Friday, October 29, 2010

It was a good run....

While it lasted.

The Staying on Green thing.  It lasted 14 days.  And then on Tuesday bam!  She skated right past yellow straight to red.  Then the following day she got stuck on yellow.  Which means she timed her poor behavior late enough in the day she was unable to come back from it or (much more likely) she was a total pill and made no attempt to recover.

Apparently The Princess was telling her friends at lunch that Vampires were going to eat them.  Makes me so proud.  She made a little boy cry.  Good times. Yes, this will surely go down in my proud memories journal.

Yeah, no not so much.  Her big brother is however beamingly proud of her, following in his footsteps and all.

So we have a run of 14 days, solid green and then she falls off the wagon and goes for broke?  Why?

I really don't get it.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Absolutely Horrified

So my followers should know by now I am starting a new job.  The process for starting this new job has been arduous, revealing and a little bit whole lotta undignified.  First, after multiple interviews, I had to take a personality test.  At the time I found that a bit off putting, however because of it, I will not be doing as a focus one of the things I really hate.  Thank you, weird little personality test for telling them I sooooooo would hate to time meetings and take minutes. as a full time job anyway.  But even though it worked out in my favor in the end I was very freaked about someone getting into my head.  I also spent more than a few moments worried I might fail.  How fun would that be to explain, "Yeah I failed a personality test -- turns out I have none."

So that hurdle behind me I thought, I'm in like Flynn.  And then there were two --more hurdles I mean.  Next came a very probing background check which I found very confusing.  It asked for other names I have used in the past seven years.  While I was pretty confident they did not mean like "Mommy" or "Snookie-Poo" I wasn't sure exactly what to put there.  I've been married for 11 years (almost) but the Social Security Administration did not change my maiden name until like 2005-ish.  So I was pretty sure that fell within the seven year rule.  But I hemmed and hawed over it and clicked the Continue button.  On the back page it summed everything up and showed no different name under "Names used in school".  Now seriously, is this test only for recent grads?  Am I the only who they hire who has been married more than seven years?  Really???  So I clicked back to page one and added my Maiden name.  I left out my first married name because I have been divorced more than seven years and quite frankly felt that was nobody's business -- Although to be fair most people guess it anyway because of the age difference between my oldest and youngest.. Once again I passed the background. Whew, now seriously I must be done with this whole process?  right?

Sorry, once again I was wrong.  The last and most undignified test was yet to come.  Yes, I had to take a drug test.  I have been on the internet a very long time and I've "met" many people who strike you as normal, upstanding, law abiding citizens until in one of the confessions threads they admit to smoking pot -- regularly.  So knowing this, you would think I would not have been surprised, nay creeped out at being asked to provide a sample.  Really?  Me?

So yesterday at lunch I went to this tiny Dr.'s office-like setting on my lunch hour to finally wrap up this hiring process.  And I felt dirty and cheap.  I've had to take drug tests before for employment.  And every time I've felt dirty and cheap.  It's who I am.  I am perhaps a transplant from another era.  I believe that person's word should count for something.  And generally I take people at their word.  This causes me to be burnt from time to time, and that does suck.  But the alternative is to live a cynical existence trusting no one and expecting everyone to get you when they can.  I can't live like that.

I don't want to.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What failure is not.

So I guess I'm kinda on a roll.  My post on Monday outlined what I am not.  And today I will explain why starting 3 jobs in one 365-day period is not failure.  Technically it's 356 days, but you get the idea....

As you can see this year has been a series of literal false starts.  I started just over a year ago desperate and lacking confidence.  I was coming off months of being unable to find a job.  This had never really happened to me. My occupation for the better part of the last decade has been in high demand.  I'm a person who understands FDA Regulations for the Pharmaceutical Industry and can communicate them in a way that doesn't always immediately piss people off.  I can in virtually any audience get at least one person who will at least reluctantly agree with me.  I communicate the neccessary evil. 

So I live in what is perhaps the Pharmaceutical Company Capital of the world, the state of New Jersey.  Everyone in New Jersey knows at least one person who is employed in the Pharmaceutical Industry.  I read a statistic that in 1997 according to census data roughly 7% of the entire population of the state is employed in the pharma industry.  I'm sure that number is higher once the numbers from the most recent census come out.  But in either case that's a lot of people.

So here I am in the best place in the country to be in my chosen profession and I can't find a job.  I can't even get an interview.  Month after month, job posting after job posting, nothing.  Then finally I get a call.

It wasn't ideal, it wasn't a great fit, it was a stretch, and even worse one of the hiring managers told me so at the interview.  The Client I was to be "managing" was difficult.  The contract had been in dispute for months.  The client flat out did not trust the company I was signing on with.  I was expected to turn it around, when the client felt I didn't know what I needed to know.

It was hell.  I was working all the time.  One day last February I was taking a day off.  I was supposed to go to Harrisburg to spend the weekend with a friend.  I couldn't get out of my house.  At one point I felt like I had Tourette's.  Every time I would start to pack, or get stuff together, my iPhone would ding I had mail.  And immediately I was pulling the phone out of the holster and clicking on the mailbox.  On a vacation day.

And yet I hung on.  I gave it all I had.  I went to Bulgaria twice in a 60 day period.  I just kept figuring I wasn't working hard enough.  So I was online 16 hours a day, even weekends.  To the point that my husband was frustrated.  I kept working, kept trying, kept learning.  I've never been one to quit until all other options are exhausted.

Finally in April, I was laid off.  I was on the one hand relieved, I couldn't have stood the pressure cooker much longer.  And on the other hand I was terrified.  I was barely 6 months past looking for a job.  I panicked.  As a result I took the first job I found.  It was also not a great fit, but much more in my comfort zone.  It was something I hated doing, but at least I knew I did it well.

Three months in I was bored to tears.  I went from a pressure cooker to a job where I was completely unproductive.  I did nothing all day.  I can't do this.  I feel like I'm taking advantage of people.  I feel like it's morally wrong.  I worked on a book I wanted to write, I blogged, I wrote book reviews, I searched for a new job, I did a lot of things that brought no value to the company paying for my time.  And I constantly told my Supervisor, I had nothing to do.

So I took my time, I really researched the third job.  I know this is a good fit for me and my abilities.  The Company seems really great, and I expect great things from them.  So while I am starting my third job in 356 days I do expect this will be my last for a very long time.  And for the first time in nearly a year I am excited about going to work.

And this is why even though I'm starting my thrid job in less than a year I am not a failure. No, not like Nixon was not a crook, either.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Good News and Bad News

So the Good News is I have a new job, I start November 8th.  I'm very excited, I think this company will grow exponentially and I'm getting in on the ground floor.  I will be doing what I do best, solving problems, selling ideas and working with people.  I'm very excited about the opportunity.  I feel like I've bounced a few times now since leaving Johnson and Johnson and during this time I have learned what I am definitely not good at.

1) I'm not good at being a stay at home mom.  I love my kids, and enjoy spending time with them, but I guess I have worked for too long, I need a packed schedule and a feeling of accomplishment.  Clean clothes does not give me a feeling of accomplishment.

2) I'm not good at turning around problem clients, when I'm not 100% knowledgeable.  My first job after my failed sahm experiment was a Client Manager for an outsourced Help desk.  The Client was brutal.  The Help Desk was in Bulgaria.  I was not a good peacemaker in that situation.

3) I'm not good at being a world traveller.  I don't like leaving my family for weeks at a time and being in a place that is 7 hours ahead of my family's time zone.  And right now with all that is going on in the world, I don't really enjoy flying internationally.

4) I'm not good at being oncall 24-hours-7 days a week.  When one is the Client Manager of a 24x7 help desk, one is on call that often.  I received a few too many 3:00AM calls on a Saturday.

5) I'm not good at uncertainty.  I was given a layoff notice one Tuesday and had an interview the following Wednesday.  I need predictability.

6) I'm not good at working a job that doesn't really need me.  I've been able to blog because I've had no work to do.  I don't do well with no work.

7) It IS about the money.  I always thought it wasn't about the money for me, and it probably isn't to the extent that it is for my husband as an example.  But while I was not getting paid, I realized it is at least in some small part about the money.

8) I'm not good about long commutes.  As I've spent over 2 hours a day/5 days a week in my car for the last 6 months, I realize that my time with my children is too precious for that.

9) I'm not good at sitting all day.  I've gained 20 pounds since starting the new job and I do not like it.

10) I can trust God and he will help my situation.  This is perhaps the most important lesson of them all.

And the Bad News....

The new job will actually be work.  I'm trying to work on blogging at night when I get home, and hopefully I will be able to, with some regularity, but I don't think it will be 5 days/week. :(

Thursday, October 21, 2010

All about Boo

Boo is my third son.  He's not part of the twosome that is D and J, by the mere fact that they are two years apart and he is 6 years younger.  He is also left out of a huge part of the family history.  We had a house fire.  The fire destroyed our home.  D was 7, J was 5 and Boo was in utero.  The big boys clearly remember the fire, they remember the house, they remember the temporary house, they remember staying at Grammy and Freepa's, they remember their Aunts and Uncles bringing clothes and toys and books.  And they remember D's school taking up a collection and presenting them with all kinds of toys and books and stuff shortly after the fire.

Boo has no recollection of this major family event, except the part that has become part of family lore.  Boo surely doesn't remember living in PA, in the house we rebuilt.  And he probably  doesn't remember moving to New Jersey, he was barely two at the time.  All he remembers is our house in New Jersey on two acres and this school he attends now and these things he knows.  And for this and many other reasons, Boo doesn't have the bond that D & J do.

And for that reason Boo thinks he is not as good.  D has the whole creative, literary, studious brother identity locked up.  J is our athlete and hardworker.  Boo thinks he offers nothing.  Nearly every adult around Boo sees his talents, his gifts, his offerings.  But Boo does not.  Boo is definitely a glass half empty kind of kid.  Most kids Boo's age don't get him.  This doesn't help.  He is too old for fourth grade.

Any chance he's given, he does this "politican thing" as I call it.  He gladhands.  He says "Hello, how are you doing?"  He tells the preacher on Sunday mornings "Great Sermon today Pastor, you really got to me."  He refers to God as "The Lord God Almighty".  What nine year old talks like that?  He's developed quite a reputation at church.  He's been assigned the Lead in the Christmas Pageant, he's our go-to prayer leader in Sunday School, there are adults who expect him to replace the Pastor, maybe soon.  One of the other members last week said "I no longer worry about what he's going to say during Children's time, instead I listen, because I usually learn something."  My response, "His Father and I still worry about what he's going to say." and I'm not really kidding.

How can I get Boo to see himself the way so many adults in his life see him?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Fifteen years ago right about now I was holding my little bald baby boy. 

Clearly from the picture you can see he had a face only a mother could love.  And love him I did.  He was bald and wall eyed and skinny for a very long time.

But even during his "not-so-cute" period he was full of life.  Even as we had him tested for multiple serious diseases, including Lymphoma, Cystic Fibrosis and Leukemia he was happy and bubbly.  Thank God, and because of God, all of those tests came back negative, but it sure was a long road to get there.  Even as I worried about how much he slept --and he slept a lot, he was a joy.  Out of all my four children, Jay-bone was the easiest baby.  He was happy and contented.  He didn't get upset, and just went with the flow.  He was the perfect baby for that time in my life.

His brother already demanded everyone's attention and resented Jason's mere existence.  In short his brother was a very typical two year old who wanted to be an only child.  The marriage between his father and I was already all but finished by the time he was born.  And would end shortly after his birth.

And he did eventually outgrow the "not-so-cute" period.  He was downright adorable for a long time.

But he was special.     He is amazing. 
He was and is a good heart.
He is my special blond boy.
He is exactly what this family needed.  


He loves his sister. 

He has been her favorite big brother 

since before she could talk.

He is an amazing athlete. 

He doesn't realize his talent, 

but one day he will.

 And yes, he is also an evil genius. 
He loves to get his brothers going.  
Especially Boo. 
They definitely have a love-hate relationship.

God sent him to keep his older brother in reality, 
his younger brother grounded and 

his sister on her pedestal.

And now he's 15.
Fifteen years ago I was holding a baby.
And now I hold the heart of an almost-man.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Vegetables and growing up

Sorry I wasn't here yesterday.  We took The Princess to see Veggie Tales Live.  It was all I expected and more.  And she had a blast.  She danced, she played, she ran about.  And as we were walking out she said "When I grow up I want to be a singer on stage."  Her father and I said "Uh huh" in a mindless absent way.

We had just sat through two hours of eight foot tall dancing Vegetables.  After driving two and a half hours to the middle of nowhere Pennsylvania.

When she said it again two and a half hours later, as we were almost home, we didn't really remember the first time.  But the statement that got me the second time was this.

"I want to be a singer and dancer on stage when I'm grown up, like ten."

Now from her vantage point of five, ten is double that --twice her current lifetime and gosh, that's gotta be old, right?

From his and my vantage points, No, not so much.

We explained to her that 10 was NOT grown up and Daddy even got her to agree to forty five.  But I think she just agreed to get us to shut up.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Invasion of the 5 year old body snatchers

Let me Preface this by saying nearly ALL my parenting/nanny/babysitting experience is of the masculine gender.  I took stock of all the children I've babysat over the years and yep, most of those  rug rats  treasures from above were of the male variety.  There were a couple of older sisters thrown in for good measure, but for the most part it was all boy.  And then I proceeded to have 3 of my very own.  And then finally God (probably tired of my pleading) blessed me with my own darling daughter.

Prior to my pregnancy with The Princess, I had sworn off red meat for 20 years.  I existed solely on fish and fowl.  And then about 3 months pregnant I went on the bacon cheeseburger diet.  At work I'd have a bacon, egg and cheese croissant and for lunch it was a bacon cheeseburger. I bought steaks and asked my husband to cook them.  He could not bring himself to do it.  This was one of my defining characteristics.  He was convinced an alien had invaded my body.  No clearly it was just my daughter.

Then she was born.  She delivered with her hand over her head, a mere four years after I delivered a 10 lb 9 ounce bouncing baby boy.  He was easier than her.  Apparently at one point I screamed (at the not-yet-born baby) "Get Out."  She wasn't keen on leaving the womb.

Finally we had her, our beautiful daughter (with a purple arm because it was bruised when she delivered WITH HER HAND OVER HER HEAD!!!).  And that was the last time we slept for 15 months.  Well actually that's not true.  We were known to rent a hotel room at the Hampton Inn down the road from our house while the kids were with a babysitter so we could reconnect as husband and wife catch a few hours of uninterrupted sleep.

And at three months old while I tried to get her used to the formula the daycare was going to provide when she started, she proceeded to go on a hunger strike.  Hunger strike you say?  Yes, for 3 days she refused to eat. At 11 weeks old.  She did not like this new formula.  So we switched her back and provided the Formula to the daycare at our expense.  Thank you Miss Princess.

So now, the Princess is 5.  I have no idea what the heck is going on.  She came up to me the other day just bawling.  She and I were the only ones home so I know her minions ahem brothers didn't do anything.  So I asked, "What's wrong Beautiful?"  her response "I don't know."

Uh what?  Now I am feminine, but not girly.  I don't cry, really at all.  But if I do cry, you can bet I absolutely know why.  Most of my friends call my husband my "Wifey" because he's more sensitive than I am.  So I ask you all who have girls, What the heck?  What does one do when one's daughter cries and doesn't even know why?  While you're working on that one, I've got another scenario you can help me decode.

This morning she finally found her Twinkle Toes shoe that was missing.  So clearly she wants to wear the pair.  She gets dressed, and then insists on tying the shoe.  She does know how to tie, but since the Twinkle Toe has been missing it's been all Mary Janes all the time.  So her shoe tying is a bit rusty.  She was having trouble.  She starts crying --huh?  No there's no crying in shoe tying.  So with the boys I would have said something very sexist like "what are you -- a little girl?"  But clearly this doesn't have the same effect on a little girl as it does on say a little boy.

So please tell me this is going to improve, a lot and quickly.  If it's not then please lie like a rug.  Seriously.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Best non-Announcement Day Ever

So we all have those expected-to-be-important days in life, or what I call the "Announcement days".  Those are the days like births, marriages, parties, etc. where you send out either an announcement or an invite.  One way or another the card industry is getting some money for those days.  There's also generally a camera some where capturing the event for posterity.  We all live for the Announcement Days and our photo albums (physical or virtual) are filled with them.

Then there's a day like yesterday.  It began as just an ordinary Sunday.  We did plan to get pumpkins and while that's a tradition, it's definitely not Announcement worthy.  And then, it all changed.  It all started at Sunday School, one of the Pastors asked if the children were interested in participating in the Christmas Pageant.  I found this slightly odd, but I guess when you have 4 children, the powers that be want to know either you're in or you're out.  Four children in a Christmas Pageant in a small-ish Rural church can really change the make up.  I confirmed 75% participation, Mr. Cool (the ninth grader) wants no part of a Christmas Pageant.  The Pastor noted she wanted to speak to me later and off she went.

It was our turn (4th & 5th graders) to lead the group Sunday School Worship so we told the story of The Wall of Jericho and made it fall.  Hat tip to the King for the brick template and the red paint.  Boo was on cloud nine.  We had only 2 students show up so he was everything except the narrator.  He loved blowing the tin foil covered cardboard trumpet.

After Sunday School, the Pastor found us again and asked if Boo wanted to be the Lead in the Christmas Pageant.  And thus commences his acting career.  This is the most wonderful thing for him.  He loves to be the center of attention.  He's also the third boy in the family.  He's not really into athletics and couldn't compete with his older brother anyway. The role of bookworm son is already being played by his oldest brother.  But this -- be star of the show, oh yeah he's so got this.  And he walked on sunshine the rest of the day.  (literally singing the song -- let's hope there's no singing required)

With Church done we moved on to the pumpkin patch.  The kids love the pumpkin patch.  The boys try to pick the biggest pumpkins they can.  The Black Family rule is:  You can get the biggest pumpkin you can carry out of the patch and to the car.  Mr. Cool always pushes the envelope.  The princess picks out every pumpkin in the patch as hers before settling (usually) on the first one she spotted. And all six of us cut up and laugh throughout the patch.  The kids try to guess how much the biggest pumpkin weighs, and every year ask "Hey Dad could we get the big one this year?" The big one is usually 8 feet in diameter.  The answer is always no.

Back at home, the princess had been requesting to decorate the house for Halloween all week.  "We don't really do that, sweetie" was not a deterrent.  So yesterday afternoon we went out to buy Halloween decorations.  Again Mr. Cool declined, he and the King stayed home.  The three that came had very different visions of a yard/house for halloween.  Dino-man wanted spooky and scary. The Princess wanted goofy scary.  The Boo man wanted something in between.  We settled for spider webs, a furry spider, a goofy ghost and a few other things.  The hit for the Princess is a sparkly purple cat. The real cat, however is not a fan.

All done with the shopping we commenced pumpkin cleaning and carving.  Nobody likes cleaning out their pumpkin.

 I don't get why they can make seedless watermelons and still have stringy pumpkins. But I digress.

Once the pumpkins were cleaned, the King, pumpkin carver extraordinaire carves whatever their hearts desire.  We have a Princess, a Boo, a so goofy it's cool and a dinosaur lined up on our front porch.  Oh yeah and mine is "O" -- perhaps I yell too much.

It's really not about the finished product even though they are super cool jack-o-lanterns, it's really about the 4 or 5 hours that we joke and laugh in the kitchen.  It's about having a few precious hours to reconnect with the boys.  I am reminded all too often of the countdown that has begun.  Dino man has one more Halloween Pumpkin carving before college.  One more.  Sheesh.  How the heck did this happen?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

I stayed on Green.

Is how the princess greeted me when I picked her up from school yesterday.  Do you know what that means?

She did it.  She stayed still during Circle Time.

And with those four simple words all the frustrations of the day floated off of my shoulders and out into the universe.

And Smug Mom tried to rear her smug little head and thoughts creeped into my head "Wow, that was easy.  Why didn't I think of this before?" until I realized,

I didn't know what I didn't think of. 

I didn't know why she stayed on green. 

I did not have any idea what made her behave in Circle Time.  I could not write a DIY book on how to make your child sit still and shut up and make a bazillion dollars, because every parent I know would want this secret.  After I played this scenario out in my head, I noticed that her pony tail with the braid was gone from her hair.

I asked what happened.  And the teacher from accross the room answered for her, "She wanted to look like Ava."

Huh?  What?  My independent, strong willed, free spirit wanted to look like someone else?  Huh?

And then as if sensing my confusion she clarified "Yeah Mommy, me and Ava were twins today."

When I realized my five year old daughter was diving into peer pressure head first, the stresses of the day slammed back down on my shoulders like the ton of bricks they were.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Things that made me smile September

The Princess yelling at the caterpillar eating her cherry tomatoes "Caterpillar stop eating my tomatoes, they are for my Dad's Ca-PRAY-zi salad." Daily, at the top of her lungs, for like 3 weeks.

My Jaybone asking me when I would make more Zucchini Bread.

My daughter's first Soccer Game. And the ghosts of my sons' childhoods on the field.

My Magpie and Sophums barking at me every time I walk in the door because they need to lick my face right then.

My Princess saying "My friend Emma is allergic to the leaves changing colors."

Kidding the Dino man about when the princess used to call him Da-woo.

Laughing about the apples we picked that I can't get rid of.

Watching the Dino Man spend two full Saturdays peeling apples.  And him saying he liked it.

Fighting with the sand that isn't holding the brick patio we laid in place.

The Princess trying to hide a bad note sent home from the teacher.

The Boo Man trying to convince me to sign his folder full of send home papers, without actually looking at the papers.

The Princess deciding to clean her room to earn a star for the chore chart, at 7:30 in the morning on a work/school day.

The never ending self-replenishing basket of yet-to-be matched socks that is permanently stuck in my living room.

Sharing my husband's birthday with him for the 12th time.

The 8th Circle Time of Hell

Subtitle: How my kids have declared war on criss cross applesauce and use Circle Time as their battlefield.

For the uninitiated, Circle Time in Preschool and Kindergarten is a lovely time of the day torturous invention where a teacher takes 10-20 children, puts them in a circle on a rug and goes over the calendar and weather and what not this usually takes about 15 minutes, but to my children you'd think it lasted 7 hours.  When I was growing up we were told to sit "Indian Style" however I think that term is frowned upon now and it has become "Criss Cross Applesauce".

Dante's Divine Comedy defines the 8th Circle of Hell as belonging to the Fraudulent.  In that circle Bowge IX belongs to sowers of discord.  Because of my children, well 3 of them anyway, I have been stuck in the 8th Circle of Hell for 11 years. 

My oldest son has his faults.  Behaving at school has never been one of them.  He has always gone to school, sat quietly and for the most part been the kid most teachers adore.  He's never been a stellar student.  And he is not studious, unless the topic really interests him.  But he has also never gotten into trouble.  The teachers in short have loved him.  I've had more than one teacher say, "If only I had a classful of D's.  He is an absolute joy."

After his 2nd year in Catholic school without so much as a demerit I began feeling smug.  I had this whole parenting thing down.  I was raising well-behaved wonderful children.  And I was delusional.  And my second son was about to show me just how delusional I was.

Preschool had been tough with J.  He pushed buttons teachers did not even know they had.  In his 3 year old class he had a friend named Jane.  J and Jane were kindred spirits.  The made quite an unlikely pair of leaders.  Jane was adopted from China, so she was this adorable, petite, dark haired, dark skinned doll.  J was half a foot taller than her, and he was fair skinned with platinum blonde curly hair.  And they ruled the roost.

They finally met their match in Miss Becky and she controlled them.  The teacher who had them as 2's I heard is institutionalized, but I can neither confirm or deny that report.  The school moved Miss Becky with them when they turned 4.  I think the other teachers were afraid of them, again a report I can neither confirm or deny.

After Pre-K J began the same Catholic School D was attending.  He had the same Kindergarten teacher.  A lovely woman who had been teaching for that Catholic School for 20-some odd years.  She and J did not mix well.  J was not fazed  by his clothespin being moved to yellow or red.  He did not care to do what she was asking.  And he certainly did not like circle time.

We spanked, threatened, grounded, took away privledges, rewarded -- in short everything we could think of.  Nothing worked.  Finally Kindergarten was over, and we moved the boys to the public school.  We chalked it up to J being a square peg in a round hole.  His first grade teacher was amazing.  He loved her and she him.  First grade was much easier than Kindergarten.

And my forays with Circle Time were reduced to nightmares involving teacher conferences where I was called a bad parent.  or so I thought.

Next came Boo.  He was so disruptive in circle time his 4-K teacher sent him to another room while she conducted circle time.  His Kindergarten teacher just allowed him not to participate.  He would get so frustrated with the other children because "Come on Madison, we did this yesterday. It's Monday, September 20, 2010.  Yesterday was Sunday, tomorrow is Tuesday.  The weather is cloudy. Are we done Miss Whoever?"

I hated Circle time as much as he did.  This was child #2 failing at Circle Time.  I was no longer Super Mom.  I was failing at Circle Time.  How flipping hard could it be to teach a child to sit still and shut up?

My daughter is now failing at Circle Time.  And apparently she doesn't care.  She could care less if her clothespin gets moved from green to yellow to red.  At Back to School Night, the teacher assumed if a child doesn't care if the clothespin gets moved, there must be no consequences at home.  When she said that, smug supermom reared her head again and - as I imagined my sensitive child crying over her clothes pin getting moved - I thought, "Well, at least she's not talking about me.  The Princess has consequences at home and is certainly not blowing off her clothespin getting moved."

Ummmm yeah, not so much.  As I found out after the Curriculum Spiel, when I spoke to her privately.  I was told she just doesn't care and goes right back to doing what she was doing that got her moved in the first place.  Smug Supermom didn't completely die, because this teacher believed that 5 year olds don't lie. I shattered that belief by telling her the Princess tried to hide the second note home when she was moved to red.

I am now counting down the days to First grade which will end my days in the 8th Circle Time of Hell.  Circle Time does not go to First Grade.  A fact I could not be happier about.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Oh Hi! There you are.

It seems my blogs come in starts and stops.  What have I been doing since my last blog post?

Over the last week I've been working on what I believe may end up being my first book, we shall see.

I've also made my own granola.  No I am not a liberal tree hugger, I'm a cheap mom who likes granola in my chemically sweetened yogurt.  I also had to send in the oatmeal container for use at school by my 9 year old and have been storing my oatmeal in one of my large plastic containers for like a month.  I needed my plastic container.  Making granola seemed more humane easier than force-feeding an entire container of oatmeal to my kids.

I also made chocolate chip cookies.  I love chocolate chip cookies.  My kids love chocolate chip cookies.  My husband really loves chocolate chip cookies.  Chocolate chip cookies make my whole house smile.  Sadly a double batch lasts about a week, 5 days, okay 3 days around my house.

I also planted my mums.  They look nice.  I still need to plant my new bulbs.

You may remember I took the kids apple picking a few weeks ago.  (I never blogged about it, only posted it on FB) Despite 10 quarts of apple sauce.  Two apple pies, 24 apple muffins and two loaves of apple bread, I still have apples.  So I also made more apple muffins.  And more apple bread.  I still have apples.  I think they are reproducing when I'm not watching.

I also picked the last Zucchini of the season from my garden.  I made 24 Zucchini muffins and 9 mini loaves of zucchini bread.

Meanwhile The Princess's Elmo Cherry Tomato Plants are still producing like kudzu in a Southern Summer.  My Pumkins have stopped.  My Squash is pathetic. The watermelon plants which produced exactly 1.5 watermelons this past summer are laughing at me. My beautiful, lush, green Heirloom Tomato plants produced Tomatoes smaller than her Cherry Tomatoes, and even they have given up the ghost.  And the Elmo Cherry Tomatoes keep on going.  The Princess doesn't like tomatoes -- any tomatoes.  Even tomatoes she grew and nurtured.  She refuses to eat them.  I'm getting tired of Cherry Tomatoes.

The Princess informed me last week "My friend Emma is allergic to the leaves changing colors." After the doctor diagnosed her with a Sinus infection as a result of allergies. "I am like Emma, Momma"

God was faithful.  As always.  He promised me he would take care of things.  He did.  And in true God fashion, not at all like I had imagined.  The firm that has been slow in paying sent us a check a week ago Saturday.  That check bounced last Thursday.  My husband was furious and worried and stressed and kept it all inside until Friday after he spoke to the President and CFO of this company.  In true King-like fashion he kept the problem to himself until he could also offer a solution.

The CFO called on Friday morning, apologizing profusely.  Explaining all kinds of ways.  My husband probably not very magnamiously said simply "Pay us or we press charges."  The CFO agreed to wire the money to our account that day -- and he did.  He also agreed to pay the two oldest invoices every week until we are caught up -- I believe he will.  We went from finacial concerns ("how are we going to pay our bills that are already late?" kinda concerns) to all the bills are paid for the month.  Halleluiah God is good.

I think I'll end on that.