Friday, September 29, 2006

For a Few Dollars More

I'm smiling, and I can't stop. I know life isn't all about money, but it sure makes it easier sometimes. Today I had my year-end review; I was kind of scared due to the semi-recent fiascoes which had occurred. Instead of it being bad, it was pretty good. In fact, I got a bigger raise than what I was expecting. Instead of the 50-cent an hour raise that was promised in my contract, I got a dollar-an-hour raise! Whooo hooo. And my lunch with the bosses wife lasted more than 2 hours! Thank you Jesus! This has been a WONDERFUL day!

Gotta get back to work now!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

My Place in the World

I've been asking a lot of questions of myself here lately. "Why am I here?" is the big one right now, followed closely by "What is my purpose in life? What place do I fill in the world? Who, what and WHERE am I supposed to be?" I firmly believe God has a plan for all of us - what I don't know is if his plan is set in concrete, aboslute terms or if he has a general, vague conception of where he wants each of us to be. Whichever it is, I'm totally lost and have no clue how to discover it.

I've been feeling like the lines from one of my favorite Concrete Blonde songs here lately

like a book with missing pages
like a story incomplete
like a painting left unfinished
it feels like not enough to eat.
"Little Conversations" - Concrete Blonde

I'm overwhelmed and bored at the same time. Overwhelmed between school, work and kids; bored by my job and impatient to see what's around that next corner. I know what I want, but I have to figure out if that's also what is meant to happen, or if it would just hurt everyone involved and cause a disaster of nuclear proportions. And there' are other things clouding the issue - my fear of rejection, the logistics of what I want, figuring out if anyone else is wanting the same thing I am, etc.

It has me feeling confused and adrift lately, so I have therefore been questioning every major event in my life, trying to figure out if the key to the future is in my past, or if my past is just so much baggage that needs to be thrown off the train. Trying to figure out where I am supposed to exist in this world, what sort of impact (good or bad) I'm having on Jamie, if I've done all that I should have done, etc. Your typical late-night "Dear God, please don't let me have messed things up too badly and what do you have planned for me" kind of anxiety, mixed in with a bit of "please don't let this be all there is to life because if it is I don't know if I can stand it much longer" whining.

I feel as if there is something essential that I'm missing, or haven't understood, because I don't feel as though I'm living wholly in the world anymore, and I don't have the whole story. Maybe I'm the book with missing pages, but I don't know what I'm supposed to write on them. And if I don't know what to write on them, how can I tell Jamie how to complete his story as he's growing up?

Monday, September 25, 2006

Bringing You Up to Date

Wow, it's been way too long since my last post. How did four days get past me without me realizing how long it's been? A LOT has happened since then.

First of all, let me say that Jamie's soccer team won their second game! Jamie played goalie and did a fantastic job! Secondly, Jamie's coach awarded Jamie the "player of the game" medal for his defense skills and "assist" on the goal in the first game. All the kids get one for some reason or another throughout the season, but Jamie was very proud that he got it for the first game. Two other kids got medals for the first game, too. Coach White usually gives a medal for best defense, best offense, and best all-around for each game. They get actual soccer medals, and the kids are so proud and just light up when they get one!

Destiny got to witness her first soccer game this past Saturday. She stayed at our house from 6 p.m. Friday night until about 10 p.m. Saturday night. Rachel had to go from school straight to work on Friday and had to work until past 9 p.m. Then Rachel had school first thing Saturday morning then work right after that until after 9 p.m. again. So Destiny got to be my little adopted daughter. It was fun (but exhausting). She was especially excited that she got to wear Jamie's soccer jersey from last season to the game. It was so cute to hear her yelling "Go, Janie!" (she can't tell the difference yet between the "n" and "m" sounds) and "Go, Wizzawds!" She absolutely adores Jamie and runs after him like a little sister would. Jamie is at a stage where girls are kind of icky, so he treats Destiny like she really is his little sister. I spent a lot of time refereeing them, as Jamie was getting upset and yelling "Mom, she's touching my stuff!" It was actually pretty amusing. As you can see from the picture below, she's ecstatic over how she's dressed, and Jamie isn't amused at all! LOL!

In other news, school is still truckin' right along, and the pace at work has let up some. I actually got to study for two hours at work on Friday, and should have some time again today. My one year anniversary at work is next week, so my boss' wife is taking me to lunch on Friday to celebrate, which is really nice. I'm supposed to have my end-of-year review sometime this week, and, recent fiascos aside, I'm fairly confident the overall tone will be positive.

Well, time to do my morning tasks, then do some studying. Hope you all have a great week!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

My New Love

I'm in love. Really, truly, I am. Let me tell you a little bit about him. He's white, has a super sharp "brain" and "thinks" really really fast. Faster than any other I've ever had. He's trim and sleek, and does whatever I ask of him without balking. All I have to do is stroke him a little, and he does it. His name is Mac, well, iMac, actually, and he's the laptop I received late Tuesday night from my brother.

Ha ha! Had you going there for a minute, didn't I? Those of you who know me know that I wouldn't abandon my affections for a certain (albeit clueless) person! But I couldn't resist telling how much my new computer ROCKS! Thank you, Bubby! He even pre-loaded it with all the Mac versions of the MS Office programs I need for school, as well as web design software I'm going to need for work, and Photoshop, which I use for work and the PTA newsletter, as well as for posting cute pictures of Jamie and Ziggy on the web. I can't say it enough: THANK YOU BUBBY!!!!!

The only problem I seem to be having with my Mac is that I can't get my printer to work on it. I even went online and downloaded an "open source" printer driver that's supposed to work with my ancient HP Deskjet 632c. Alas, it does not. Looks like I'm going to have to add money for a new printer (maybe with a scanner and copier, too?) into my budget. Perhaps I could justify it as my birthday present to myself. Or, you all could e-mail me if you have any suggestions, and I try that to see if I can get my current printer working.

Anyway, I didn't blog yesterday for myriad reasons:
1. Jamie was home sick yesterday. He was up all night Tuesday night with ear pain. We went to Wally World in the middle of the night to get some soothing ear drops for him. Took him to doctor yesterday. Diagnosis: Ear infection caused by sinus drainage attributed to ineffective allergy medicine. Got a 'script for him and he's back at school and I'm back at work today.

2. I have a huge paper due Friday, as well as several assignments in other classes due tonight, and I haven't finished any of them. As it says on a T-shirt I saw at Wally World the other night - "Procrastinators, Unite... Tomorrow!"

3. I was having lots of fun playing with my new toy, and didn't want to quit playing with it to blog about it.

In other news...


Now I must catch up on work missed yesterday. Thank goodness my boss' wife filled in for me yesterday, so I don't have too much to do today. I might actually be able to do some homework today at work. I brought my schoolbooks just in case.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Completely Unmotivated Today

Today, I am completely lacking in motivation to deal with tedious paperwork. I babysat Rachel's 2 year old daughter, Destiny, yesterday so that Rachel could go work at her new job (yay, Rachel!) But I'm not used to hyperactive 2 year olds anymore, so I'm totally exhausted. Although, it was fun to give her a bath and do girlie things like fixing her hair, etc.

However, today, I'm out of steam. No juice. Nothing. I wanna go home and go back to bed. In fact, I feel about like Destiny did yesterday after I picked her up from her babysitters...

Maybe the fact that she got a 30 minute nap on the way home is what gave her all the energy to run me ragged. Jamie was a really big helper and played with her. After she left, it was funny, because the minute Rachel went out the door with Destiny, Jamie swiped the back of his hand across his forehead and said "Pshew!" LOL

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Wizards 1, Rangers 0

Jamie's team won this morning! YAY! It was a very exciting game, as Jamie's team didn't score until the last quarter. Wizards got the ball, took it down the field. Jamie was waiting by the goal. Stephen passed the ball to Jamie, Jamie kicked it toward the goal. The Rangers' goalie got it but lost it when he half-sat on it. Jamie distracted the goalie by making a feint toward the ball, which allowed Stephen to swoop in and kick the ball in the goal. YAY! GO WIZARDS!

Jamie played three quarters, so he's understandably tired, especially considering he was so excited about the first game that he didn't fall asleep until after midnight! Game was at 8:30 and we had to go to the store beforehand to get the after-game snacks. So we got up early! Jamie's watching cartoons now, and I wouldn't be surprised if he took a nap.

Okay, so that's my update on the soccer game. Hopefully soon I'll get a good camera and be able to post some pictures of a game.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Kick-Off is Tomorrow

The kick-off of Jamie's soccer season is tomorrow. This should be interesting, as I'm one of those moms that hollers and yells encouragement and generally deafens the people in front of me. However, I still don't have all my lung capacity back and still cough quite a bit, so it should be interesting to see if I can make it through the whole game without making myself ill. Guess the inhaler better go with me.

My dad's laptop is doing just fine for me to have 'net access at home. I just had to go out and buy a ethernet adapter for it. Thank you, Bubby, for helping me figure out what the heck to buy. I haven't bought the router he told me to yet, though, as it's more expensive than my budget allows. For now, this works. Once I have to link up several computers at once, then I'll get the router.

Gotta get back to work now.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

I Love It!

Gotta love this sign! The caption said it was from British Columbia, Canada.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


I don't by any means have a dainty foot. But either my foot is small, or Jamie is the next incarnation of the Sasquatch. As evidenced below, I can now wear my son's shoes. A little tight, yes; but the fact remains, he's 8 and I can wear his shoes. Does that mean when he's a teenager I'll have to have his shoes special ordered? What's the biggest size one can find men's shoes in your average store? Should I start saving money now so he'll have an adequate "shoe fund"? Will the rest of his body grow to be proportionate to his feet, or will he be hobbit-proportioned? I now understand what my mother meant about it hurting sometimes to watch your kids grow up. But not only does it give you a pang emotionally, but it also kicks you in the wallet! Needless to say though, I think he's worth every penny. (And no, I haven't said anything to him about the size of his feet. I don't want to give him a complex!)

Monday, September 11, 2006

OK Go - Watch this Video!

I'll never look at Treadmills the same way again! This video is fun! I think I've found my new favorite band. They're called OK Go. They remind me of what used to be fun about rock and pop.

Watch this video here

What, Me, Coyote?

This has definitely been an interesting weekend. Friday night I got to play barefoot soccer in scrimmage with Jamie's soccer team. Coach wasn't there and assistant coach got stuck in traffic, so me and some other moms got the kids started on some drills, then had a little scrimmage. I had worn pink flip flops to work that day, so I had to kick them off in order to be able to run around and play soccer. When it was time to go home, I discovered the shoes had landed in a fire ant hill, and ants had infiltrated into the soles and lining of the shoes. Well, I've developed an allergy to the little twerps, so I couldn't put the shoes on. I also didn't want a car full of fire ants, so the shoes went straight into the garbage. And they were my favorite pair of shoes, too!

Friday night, Rachel and Destiny spent the night to make it easier for me to watch Destiny the next morning while her mommy went to class. Destiny is the little blonde, two-year-old diva I'd talked about before, and she's funny! I walked out of the bathroom at one point, and she squealed "I'm so proud of you! You went pee pee in the potty!" It seems she has been getting positive reinforcement from her mommy during potty training, and decided she'd reciprocate! I laughed so hard! About 9:35 Saturday morning, I started to wonder when Jamie's next psych appointment was, as he was running low on medicine. At 9:40, I found the appointment reminder slip, only to discover we were already 10 minutes late for his appointment! It was supposed to be that day! OH NO! I hadn't had a shower yet, was still in my pj's, I had a two-year-old in tow, and the doctor's office was only open until 11:30. So I called to try to reschedule for the next Saturday, but they were booked. They were kind enough to say that if we got there before 11, they'd squeeze us in. So, I took a quick shower, got dressed, brushed Destiny's hair and teeth and we flew all the way over to the other side of town for his appointment. We got there at 10:45 and were out of there by 11:35.

But then we had to drive downtown for an orientation for one of my telecourses. The kids had to go in with me, so I told them both they had to be quiet. There we were, lined up like little soldiers. Jamie in the back desk, Destiny in front of him, and me in front of her. Jamie was quiet as a mouse and such a good boy. Destiny stayed quiet for about 10 minutes, then I could hear her revving up. She then turned around to Jamie and in a loud whisper started telling him, "You have to be quiet, okay? Your mommy said we have to stay quiet, so don't make any noise, okay?" With each word she got louder. It was the type of "whispering" that only a toddler can do! I thought it was funny. The professor didn't, so he allowed me to leave early. LOL!

Then, we met Rachel back at my apartment, where I put in a load of laundry and then we all went to lunch at Ryan's Buffet. Got back to my place, Rachel and Destiny gathered up their stuff and headed to their place to take a nap. Jamie and I got ready to go to Dad's house, where I locked myself in the bedroom with the air on high and did homework. Jamie and Dad did guy stuff in the garage. Then I open a certified letter addressed to me from the Department of Homeland Security. It would seem whomever bought my old Saturn at auction never registered it in their own name. The car was seized at the border in August. Whomever was driving was trying to smuggle in illegal aliens. Since the car was registered in my name, the border patrol thought I was a coyote and were notifying me of pending legal action!!! What, me, a coyote? Hellooooooooooo? I've NEVER been to Mexico, people!

Sunday morning, we get home and get settled down. I do more homework for a while, then call Joel to walk me through installing a new operating system on my computer. Well, it worked, but it messed up my ability to access the internet. And I couldn't fix the problem without getting on the internet to download an update. So... drag Jamie to my work to do homework on the 'puter. I also had to finish the PTA newsletter. Get all done that I can, then print out everything else to work on at home. Get back home, and get Jamie showered and ready for bed. We played a very short game of Monopoly, then he hit the bed at 9:00. I went looking for his agenda to sign, and it's nowhere to be found. The little squirt left it at school. No agenda means he'll get his responsibility pyramid piece taken down. Pyramid coming down means no Build a Bear workshop trip for him at the end of the month.

So, I took him to school this morning so we could find his agenda and I could sign it. I also had to turn in the proof copy of the PTA newsletter. Then, I get in to work about 30 minutes early and call the border patrol to inform them that I'm not running a one-woman smuggling business and fax them a copy of the bill of sale proving the car is no longer mine. Then I got busy on reports and such. Is it any wonder I'm already exhausted? I think that old Chinese curse is soooo true, "may you be cursed with an interesting life." I'd settle for less interesting and more smooth!

Today after work, I'm driving down to Dad's to get his laptop to use until the Mac Joel is sending gets here. Something tells me I won't get much homework done tonight, as it's a one-hour trip one way. By the time we get home, it will be time to throw Jamie in the shower and get ready for bed!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Zzzzzzzzzzzz... Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz....

I'm REALLY sleepy today! I think I've been in a sleep-deprived state since school started. I'm sitting here at work, fighting off falling asleep at the desk. It looks bad to clients when they walk in the door and the first thing they see is the secretary face-down on her desk drooling on the desk blotter...

My ingrained procrastination and usual over-achievement-seeking is spanking my butt right now! After much debating with myself, I have decided I am going to drop one of my classes. But I can't do it quite yet, as I have to get a consortium agreement between the two colleges which I am attending, and the head honcho I have to talk to about it isn't in the office this week. In the mean time, I have to keep up with my coursework, just in case for some reason H.H.-dude says "no".

Jamie is ecstatic that soccer has started back up for the season. His first practice was on Wednesday, and he was giddy with joy at seeing his coach again. This is his third season with the same coach, and his sixth season playing soccer. He's getting to be quite the good defender. Coach would even like to see him playing goalie more, but after Jamie's experience as goalie last season, he's really having to work at it to not be afraid of the ball when it comes to him.

Saturday, I'm babysitting Destiny, the sassy little two year old who's simultaneously in love with both my son and my dog. It's usually a toss up on which one she greets first when she comes over. She loves to play fetch with Ziggy. About a million times a visit, I'll hear her say "Go gitit, Siggy" (she can't make the Z sound yet). Then she'll go looking for Jamie, asking Rachel "Where's him?" if she can't find Jamie. 9 times out of 10, Jamie's hiding from her. He claims he's trying to play hide and seek, but I get the feeling sometimes he's just hiding, period! But for the most part, he's really good with her and plays really well with her. He doesn't like to admit it in front of his "macho" friends, but he loves playing with babies and little kids.

So far, Jamie is off to a great start at school. He still hasn't gotten his pyramid taken down at school any and his grades are all A's and some high B's. That's quite the change for a little boy who about six months ago was getting in trouble several times a day every day and had D's and F's! I'm very proud of the little booger!

The booger has soccer practice again tonight, and I'm seriously considering taking a nap in the car during practice. I've got more homework to do tonight, and also have to copy everything on my computer I want to keep. Joel is going to walk me through wiping my operating system and installing a better one, then I've got to re-install all the stuff I actually need and use on a daily basis. That consists of maybe 3 or 4 programs for me and about 20 education game programs for Jamie!

Love and hugs to you all!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Quid Pro Quo

Okay, you all have been sharing such wonderful stories about what's going on in your lives, but I have been woefully absent from the blogfest. So now it's time for me to ante up my anecdotes.

First, a couple of random quotes from the weekend:
"Mommy, what did this used to be?" - Jamie, upon finding a mysterious green and fuzzy object in the back of the fridge. I must confess, I didn't know the answer to his question!

"Pick a [cloth] heart out of the basket. Rub it on your left elbow, rub it really good against your funny bone so your new bear will have a great sense of humor. Rub the heart against your forehead, so he'll always know what you're thinking. Now hold it up against your heart so he'll always know what you're feeling and that you love him." - Jami, a Build-A-Bear Workshop employee, instructing my Jamie on how to stuff his new bear. After this little ritual, Jamie got to pop the heart inside the bear, then watch as Jami (getting confusing, isn't it) put a tube in the hole in the back of said bear and filled him with stuffing.

"There's a hole in this underwear. Let's get another one." - Rachel, upon examining the underwear selections for the bears at Build-A-Bear Workshop.

"Um, Rachel, that's for their tails." - Me, pointing out to Rachel that there are supposed to be holes in the underwear.

Now for the update on Life in Hacker Haus:
This week is going to be kind of crazy. The first PTA meeting is tonight at 5:45. I won't have anything to report, but I'll be there, anyway. Then Jamie's soccer season starts tomorrow night with practice at 5:30. Thursday is the due date for many of my homework assignments (which, sadly, I haven't completed yet). Friday Jamie has soccer practice again at 5:30. Saturday morning I'll probably be watching R-'s daughter D- while R- has her first Saturday class. Then Saturday afternoon we'll be going to Dad's and I'll be taking more homework down with me.

I got a little upset with Jamie over the weekend. All last week, he talked about how he was running for student council. All I heard every day was "student council this and student council that." He even went to all the trouble to get his teacher recommendations and everything. Then when it came time for us to buy the poster board and stuff to make his campaign poster, he started crying and said he didn't want to do it, but wouldn't tell me why.

After 45 minutes of me badgering him, he finally admitted he was afraid to make the required two-minute speech on camera for the whole school to watch on the classroom TVs. I told him I would help him write it and practice it. He just cried harder and said he didn't want to. Sooooo.... he quit. Just like that, he gave up. I told him fine, he could give up, but once he made the decision he didn't want to do it, he had to stick to it. There would be no changing his mind at the last minute. And that's the last I have heard of student council.

It's very frustrating for me. I'm a very stubborn person. I try not to give up easily. I usually dig in and fight until all other options are exhausted. Only then do I give up. But he was sooooo excited, then just... gave it up. How can I teach him you can't just give up when things get hard? That you can't just quit when you're scared? I would have thought that what I'm doing day by day would show him that. Maybe not. Anyway, any suggestions on how to teach Jamie that you don't just quit when things get hard? It seems my talking to him about it just made things worse, not better.

And, lastly, Ziggy is still a sweet silly puppy who loves us all very much. He was very happy to have all the attention this weekend, and ecstatic over the extra day at home with him. He was very upset this morning and tried to keep me from leaving the house. He wanted Mommy to stay home and play with him some more!

Monday, September 04, 2006

I'm Guilty of Blog Neglect

As much as I nag (yes, I used the "n" word) ya'll to post, I've been woefully lax myself. I was gently reminded of this via e-mail. However, I would like to plead my case as a busy mother before you.

I have been devoting a lot of time to my studies and my job this week. Added to that, yesterday, my friend R- came over and helped me get some order to this chaos that was my apartment. It was a HUGE task. She was here from noon until 11 p.m. And we still aren't done, but the apartment is at a place where I can handle it on my own now without being overwhelmed by the mere thought of what all had to be done. Let me put it to you this way, R- found so many dirty clothes that I have already done about 8 loads of laundry, and I know I have at least that many more loads yet to do!

Then today, Jamie had to get his promised reward. Jamie didn't get any pieces of his behaviour pyramid taken down for the whole MONTH of August (okay, so it was more like three weeks. You get the idea!) This was a massive accomplishment for him. So, as I had promised him, I took him to Build-A-Bear Workshop to make a small bear (short month = small bear. Next month is a longer month, which = bigger bear). So, Jamie had a blast picking out what bear he wanted to make, how much stuffing needed to be in it, what clothes to put on it, etc. He hasn't let go of the bear yet since he got it (even took it in the bathroom with him!) So, I would like to you all to meet Jamie's new best friend:

Jamie absolutely fell in love with the oufit from Toy Story. You know which space ranger this outfit represents. Jamie got to name his bear and print out a birth certificate. He couldn't think of a name for him, so I got to name him. He's called "Fuzz Lightyear." Pretty clever, even if I do say so myself!

Tomorrow is a day for more schoolwork and visiting Dad. Pretty much I'm taking my school books out there with me and locking myself in the bedroom with paper, pencils and books to read and take notes. Jamie and Dad will go out to the shed to do boy things or whatever.

My love to you all!