Friday, May 28, 2010

Five Things That Irritate the Pee Out of Me

In response to Jessi's post, here's my list of five things that annoy the stuffing out of me.

1) Working late. On a Friday. On the Friday before a three day weekend. 'Nuff said.

2) My son not throwing away food related garbage (meal boxes, milk cartons, etc.) and just leaving them lying on the kitchen counter or on top of the fridge.

3) Answering technological questions at work for the 100th time (for the same person).

4) Putting my hand in sticky orange juice on the counter when I'm half asleep because someone didn't bother to wipe up his mess the night before when he poured himself some OJ with which to take his nighttime meds.

5) My son coming to me at the last minute before the bus comes saying "Oh, I forgot I need $5-$10-$15 etc. to go on the field trip/buy a yearbook/get a new notebook and I need it today".

Thursday, May 27, 2010

500th Post and Miscellany

This is my 500th post. I can't believe I've kept the blog up long enough to have a 500th post, much less that I'd have people still reading (yes, you are few, but loyal!). Thanks so much to everyone for sticking with me this long.

Yesterday, I did something that may be stupid. See, we live only about an hour or so away from Austin. Austin is the site of quite a few movie shoots, including the upcoming "Spy Kids 4: Armageddon." Jamie loves the movies, and I have to admit, I do, too. They're funny, wacky, clean entertainment. There's stuff in there that's funny to kids and adults. Best of all, I don't find them insulting to anyone's intelligence. Sure, they stretch the realms of possibility, but that's a big part of the fun. So when Jamie found out that they are casting for lead roles and extras for this movie (film shooting to be this summer) and are specifically looking for unknowns (there was a commercial and an article in the paper), he asked me to send them his photo and info. Yesterday, I did. I sent his photo (an 8x10 glossy of the photo in the previous post) and info to two different casting agencies associated with SK4, one in L.A. and one in Austin. These are reputable companies. I did my research on them. Now, nothing may come of this. I understand that and am fine with that possibility. I am not trying to be a "stage mother" and live my acting dreams through my kid. But since we live so close, I thought this might be a good way to add to Jamie's (nearly non-existent) college savings. Even if this particular movie doesn't pan out, there are others. Even if no movie ever wants him, there are TV commercials and print ads done in Austin all the time. And, if no one wants him for anything, that's just fine and dandy, too. It's neat just to send in the info and see what comes of it. Probably nothing, but that's okay.

In other news, more stress. I was able to successfully appeal to the state about Jamie's CHIP coverage. BUT - due to a weirdo rule - he is currently not going to have insurance for the month of June. If he has no insurance, he can't go to camp. If he has no insurance and he has a major asthma attack or ingests something he's allergic to, we're up a crap creek. I've put in an appeal request, but I won't know anything until June 10. Pray, send good karma my way, whatever you do, please do it. We need it. We also have some other financial stuff going on and would appreciate prayers, etc., on that, too.

Thank you all for sticking with me through 500 posts. Here's to 500 more!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Handsome Boy

I'm a mom. I'm supposed to think my kid is cuter than a bug's ear. But, I have to say, his recent photos show that I have one good lookin' kid! And the nicest part? Most of the time, he's just as nice on the inside, too!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Parenting FAIL

Last night was Jamie's last orchestra concert of his 6th grade year. (SIDE NOTE: I can't believe he's already almost a 7th grader! Where has the time gone?!?!!) I made sure I had plenty of batteries for the camera, but failed to dump all the old footage (which had already been uploaded to the computer) off the SD card. The camera ran out of memory and shut down right in the middle of their performance. This is an EPIC parenting fail. I'm hoping to make up for it by chaperoning the 6th grade orchestra's field trip tomorrow to Splashtown. If my sanity survives being surrounded by that many tweens at once, I will post about it at some point. Please pray for me tomorrow; I'm sure I'm going to need it!

Thursday, May 20, 2010


I used to have words. Words that would pour out of me faster than I could write them down. Words that would paint new worlds, drag readers under and weave a spell 'round all who read them. Words that gave me a reason to be.

Then I made new life, and the words stopped. The words stopped speaking to me of people and places who existed only in my mind and heart. I didn't have time to spend on words; all my time was for my son.

And now my son grows older, but I still don't have any words. They tease me, flicker through my mind as my last waking thoughts, only to disappear the next morning. My words are gone, my voice is stilled, and I wonder who I am.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I'm So Not Ready for This!

I guess it's my fault, really. I mean, I should have asked him to specify which friend. But it never occurred to me. When Jamie asked me the other day if he could invite a friend to come to Wednesday night dinner and church with us, I immediately thought of any one of a dozen of his friends. His male friends. So, I immediately said "sure". I didn't think anything of it until the next day, when Jamie announced, "Oh, by the way, CiCi* said she can come to dinner and church with us."

Excuse me? Wait. What?!? Is this the same CiCi with whom you spend hours texting on the phone? Is this the same CiCi of whom you speak at least 20 times a day? Is this the same CiCi that you have admitted is the object of your very first big time crush!?!?!

When I pointed out to him that he isn't allowed to do group dates until he's in 8th grade and no single dates until he's 16, he said, "But, Mom, it isn't a date! It's church!" Yes, it's church, but we eat dinner at church before the service, then you and the other kids go watch a movie with a message. Dinner + movie = DATE!

But he has a point. It's church. There are worse (much, much worse) places he could have wanted to go. So I'll allow it. Grudgingly. While my mother's heart screams "NO!". But only if Ms. Stephanie sits right behind you two during the movie. With a flashlight. And there better be 12 inches of space between you two during the whole movie. And yes, I will give Ms. Stephanie a ruler to measure it.

*Name changed to protect the innocent

**That thunking sound you hear is me banging my head against the wall, trying desperately to forget that my son has a date (of sorts) tonight. Can I just lock him in a closet until he's 30? Please?!?!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

On The Brighter Side

The good thing about being such a moody wench is the fact that, eventually, my dark despair turns into sunny optimism. Well, for a while at least. So, I'm taking advantage of a break in the gloom around here to post about the things that are giving me hope here lately.

  1. I finally sucked it up and e-mailed the head of the Master's of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) program at TWU. This is the program that will give me a Master's Degree with initial teacher certification at TWU, my alma mater. To my utmost relief, the teachers are willing and eager to work around the whole "face-to-face"' meeting requirement for distance learning students. They have done so in the past and, the director ensures me, will continue to do so in the future. So, there's hope I can still participate in that program. All my documents are turned in, my file is complete, and all I'm awaiting is departmental review of my grades and recommendations. I hope to know something in the next week or two.
  2. I finally decided that, although a Master's in Women's Studies interests me, there are more advantages to me teaching in the public schools than in academia. I was interested in teaching anyway, whether in K-12 or college. Due to the government programs to recruit qualified K-12 teachers, it makes more financial sense in the long run for me to pursue teaching K-12. I'd make a higher salary in higher education, but I'd still have a bunch of debt to pay off and would have to go further into debt to get there. By pursuing K-12 teaching, the government will give me free grants to pursue this degree, forgive $17.000 of my existing student loans, and forget about any outstanding debt after 10 years. Plus, there are more employment opportunities in K-12 than there are in higher ed.
  3. My file is also complete at one of the schools here in town that is only about a 15 minute drive from my house. I went over Friday on my lunch break and turned in all the final paperwork to the financial aid department. This is a private university, but it also offers a Master's Degree program with initial teacher certification. My file is under review and I have a student ID number with which to check my application status. I should know something there in the next week or two, as well.
  4. The other school here in San Antonio doesn't look as promising. Of all the things I've turned in and know, from checking my application status, that they have received, they've already lost two of them. I've received several phone calls from them about missing items that have already been logged in. I'm not stressing it, though, because this was my last choice school. They require the GRE (which is very expensive) and their program is still very new. It obviously has quite a few kinks to be worked out. I'm not worried about this one because I know from the other two schools I'm virtually guaranteed acceptance because of my GPA. It's merely a matter of who will give me the most financial aid.

So, that's life right now. Jamie's cruising through the final weeks of school, I'm cruising through work, and things are okay. My house is still a complete mess, but I'm not stressing about it too much right now. I'm keeping busy with music at church, going to services and other sundry churchly activities. I'm just taking a deep breath and trying to take things as they come. It seems to be working - for now. Ask me again in a week or two, and it might be a different story. :-)

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Apologies and Thanks

I've done this to you twice now. I get all down and discouraged, write a down in the dumps/I'm so insecure post, then trot off to continue my real-life angst and leave you all staring at a really depressing post. My apologies. I think the stress of impending grad school has driven me insane. I do want to sincerely thank you all for the words of encouragement and support. They are very much appreciated!

In an attempt to bring you up to date with what's going on, I offer the following items regarding my quest to enter grad school this fall:

  1. Trying to get ready for grad school applications is a major stress. I had forgotten how expensive just applying can be, not to mention the fees to take the required tests. Grad school may have to wait another year just to raise the money for the dang tests and applications!
  2. TWU doesn't require a GRE, but did require an application fee. Which I paid first, seeing as how they already have all my transcripts. BUT - it looks like I can't do that program, after all. Their supposedly "on-line" education classes require monthly meetings. In person. In Denton. Which is about a 5-6 hour drive from here. [sigh] So I wasted $50 in application fees for nothing.
  3. All the other programs down here, except two, require the GRE. It costs $160. I qualify for a fee reduction waiver, but that can only be used on one test, and still makes the cost $80.
  4. Most of the programs down here don't offer the certification(s) I want. Seems like there's a shortage of programs for Science 4-8 and Technology Applications EC-12. Only a couple of places offer those particular certifications with Master's Degree in Education.
  5. Of the two places that do offer what I want and don't require the GRE (but only because of how high my GPA is), only one offers a Master's program. The other is a post-baccalaureate program only. If I'm going to do this, I want a Master's degree to go with it so I don't have to go back to school later to get one (as most school districts require in X number of years).
  6. If I go to grad school, I'm going to have to not work (or only part-time) while in school due to observation requirements and student teaching. But the program that has the nice living stipend is one of the ones that doesn't offer the certifications I want.

So, that's what has contributed to my stress and my funk here lately. But, I'm in a much better mood overall than I was.

In other news, tonight I'm singing a Shaun Groves song, "Kingdom Coming", for our Nat'l Day of Prayer service at church. I first heard the song on Friday. I've learned it, but last night the super talented musician who is helping me suggested I sing it up a key, because the key it's written in is just a tad low. So, he e-mailed me a mp3 of the song in a higher key, and I'm working on that. And singing it tonight. I hope I don't make the congregations' ears bleed. :-)

Jamie is doing well and excited that he only has 19 days of school left in the year. He's also excited at the prospect of my going back to school to be a teacher. He thinks it's cool. He also likes the idea of me being home when he is.

Much love and affection to you all, and thanks for the encouragement!