Thursday, April 29, 2010

Semester End Approaches! Things Are Good.

I am nearly done with my first semester of school.  I’m so excited!  I’ve learned quite a bit… more than I even realize.  Last night in class, the instructor gave us a “quiz” where he’d throw us chocolate if we answered a question right.  I knew most of the answers!  I didn’t realize how much information I’d retained!  This gives me some hope for the final!

So tonight I have a group presentation, and next week is one final exam.  Then we’re off to Mexico!  I cannot believe it!  One down, four to go!

This time last year, I was working 8-5 and had no idea that my world would be turned upside down and I’d be finishing a semester in school a  year later.  It’s a good path.  It’s a miracle, really.  I feel like I have more recognition here in school than I did in my previous position.  I have so much more opportunity.  I’m seen; a year ago I was invisible. 

I have  a lot of work ahead of me.  My family will have to work for this, too.  But I have a fantastic family.   I’m willing to work and so are they! 

It’s feeling so good to look back and see the change in direction here.  I started this blog to work out the negative emotions surrounding my layoff, and now I have nothing but positive attitude about it.  (though I’ll admit, I sometimes wonder if my tasks are being done “as well” by someone else). 

In order to be here, in school, in this TAA program (funding), I had to be laid off 8 years ago: my job had to be sent overseas to qualify for this education program.  I had to get my bachelors at my last job, and I had to be laid off again to qualify for unemployment and TAA.  All those “bad” things had to happen to me.  Here I am today, looking at a career I’m excited about, taking classes I enjoy, about to start my first internship in a new industry…

Things are good.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Magnet School for Cosmo?

So, it would seem as if the clouds are clearing and the skies are turning blue.  A school in our area is becoming a magnet school for science and math!  It’s about a mile further away than Cosmo’s current school.  So the Woodsman and I are talking about applying for a slot there.

Cosmo’s not so sure.  He has “lots” of friends where he’s at.  I think he’s afraid of starting over when he (now) has a couple of kids that are nice to him sometimes.  But I’m thinking he’s … he’s a different kid.  He talks differently, thinks differently, and of course, the behavior problems that have vastly improved (but still need some work).  He talks and thinks differently because he’s exceptionally bright (I say this at risk of sounding like one of THOSE moms… but it’s true).  I’m hoping/thinking a school designed to attract kids more “like him.” 

We’d be responsible for his transportation, though.  The mornings would be no problem.  The afternoons are a different story, since my classes all start at 4pm about an hour away.  The aftercare program runs until 6pm, so that would be iffy if the Woodsman had a late shift at his store.

At any rate, I was feeling badly about sending him to “that” school again next year.  (I love the teachers, loathe the administration).  The main questions now are whether or not to push it when Cosmo says “no” and how to handle the evening logistics. 

My Birthday

I’ve taken another trip around the sun!  I’m 29!  *wink*

I took some pictures of my darlings in the morning.  Boy, was it windy!  In the evening, we went out for dinner.  Though we didn’t factor that it was PROM.  So our two first choices were out: Olive Garden and the new Texas Roadhouse.  Chilis it was. BONUS!  No wait!  HA!  It was an hour (add 20% to that for the prom factor) wait at the Olive Garden.  So I had ribs and one of their fantastic margaritas.  We took dessert home.  Perfect.  No cake that I kinda like but feel obligated to have, no cooking, cleaning, and the boys were good.  :)

Anyway, I’ll terminate the banter.  I know you all just want to look at my handsomes, and I want to hear all about how adorable you think (know) they are!

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Taming of the Shoe

So I woke up yesterday to this: shoes 002

It would seem as if the Woodsman was not enamored with the large number of shoes we had stored in the baskets below the entry table, and he laid all the shoes in the house out to make a point.  Most of those are mine.  But to be fair, there were a few of the boys’ shoes not represented,  AND many of mine were stored in the garage just outside the door.

Nonetheless, I was tasked with culling the shoes.  No small feat (pun intended… besides, I wear an 11.  HA!).  These are my shoes:

shoes 013

I’m going to argue (successfully) that the slippers are NOT shoes.  But subtracting those from the count, I still have 28 pairs there.  Now, I’m no Imelda Marcos, but that’s still a lot of shoes.  I did manage to chuck 6 pairs, which brings me down to a total of 22 pairs of shoes.  There’s a nice variety there, don’t you think?  Though I had to toss my black flip flops last year, and I was in need of new ones, so I found a  pair of those (plus a “bogo half” pair of pointy-toed kitten-heeled slippers).  SSsshhhh, don’t tell the Woodsman!

Though to his credit, there are a lot of shoes in the “immediate use” area, and I’ll be getting some containers to store the shoes I use less often, and perhaps a large container for out of season shoes.  The Danskos I love, but I’ll be wearing them much less now that it’s warmer!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Oh, snore.

I wish I was.  But alas.  I’m attempting, yet again, to cure insomnia with blogging.  It works well enough, plus there’s no morning grogginess. 

Partly I’m awake because I’m thinking about Cosmo and his social problems, partly because I turned in my first graduate paper today, and instead of being relieved, I’m worried that it’s not good enough.


I even sent my paper to my mom in a pre-emptive attempt at bolstering my confidence in my abilities.  It was partially successful (my mom is my biggest fan), but I still don’t know what the instructor will think.  Alas.  It will be weeks, and I need to just forget about it already.

I am an A student.  I have this obscene fear that I’ll get a B.  Really, is that so bad?  What is my deal?  I have had panic attacks over grades before.  It’s absurd.  I am not proud of it.  Part of me is glad I’m driven to excel and learn, but really?  This level of obsession is just not healthy.  I’m hoping I’ll feel more comfortable next semester when I’ve gotten more into the groove of knowing more what is expected.


No interesting developments with Cosmo today.  Other than I saw him ride his scooter sans helmet ON the splash pad.  No wheels allowed there, and he broke that rule.  The splash pad has been vandalized already by skateboarders who “grind” on the bench and who have damaged the lovely paint job.  So he’s grounded from it for a month.  Repeat offenses.  Plus, we’ll be on vacation for two weeks, so it’s not really THAT hefty a fine.

To sum it all up…

I’m thinking I’ll sleep better when I learn to give up my illusion of control.  This is why my mind whirls and thoughts spin around like a mental tornado in the wee hours.  I have faith, I do… but it’s more about my fears of inadequacy than about not ACTUALLY having control.  Did I do it right?  What will other people think?  Really, Amy… get over it.

Now that I know what my problem is, I need to find a solution that will work and implement it.  HA!  easier said than done.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Note to self: take tissues to the park

The mommy gig is exhausting.  I thought taking the boys to the park would have been a highlight of the day.  Notsomuch. 

There was a group of boys playing.  Cosmo went to join in a game of tag.  One of the boys gave him a menacing glare and said, “you get out of here.”  So he pretended not to really care, and went over to another area to play by himself. 

I tried not to.  Really hard.  But that just made the tears come harder.  Thankfully I was wearing sunglasses.  *sigh*

I’m proud of him, though.  He found something else to do.  He didn’t cry or throw a tantrum.  Then he came and sat with me for a while.  He sat with me at the park last time we went, too.  Now I understand why.  This is why he always takes some form of wheels.  So he has something to do when the other kids won’t play with him.  He can’t find his helmet, by the way, so no wheels.  So he sits with me. 

He pretended he wasn't hurt.  He’s a good actor. Is that good or bad??

It’s just soul crushing to watch him work so hard on his manners and social skills and continue to be ostracized by other kids… and even their parents.  It’s hard to see this fledgling life that is so important to me be so unimportant to others, so much as to be disregarded them.

He has improved so much! 

The Woodsman wants to move when I get my degree.  I’ve been telling him that I’m not eager to move, and I want to look for work nearby.  If things don’t change, I’m sure my opinion will.  Maybe the best thing for Cosmo is to find some place where people never knew him before the meds.

I have a thousand words to write for a paper tonight.  I thought I was distracted before.  Oy.  How on earth am I going to keep my mind on “Pay for Performance?”  I’m hoping writing will help alleviate my mind.  Maybe it will make me less crabby?  How can I be so crabby when my son went through the same thing??  *deep breath*

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A light unto my path…

I had some revelations this week.  I feel so much more confident in where I’m going and where I’ve been.  After hearing about improved relationships at my old employer, I know in my bones that I made all the right moves there. 

I also know that my dismissal was a fantastic gift. 

Not only are politics pretty much the same where I was at (aside from the one improved relationship)… but the forecast is so much sunnier where I’m headed!  My school held a little banquet for the students, staff, and area employers.  It was largely intended for networking, which I appreciated.  So I sat at a table with people I didn’t go to class with, and I recognized one of the women. 

I had worked with her before!  She was in HR at my last employer.  She recognized me right away, and carried on about how awesome I was (too bad my instructors weren’t right there).  She also told me that her employer is looking for a QA person, and she’d called our previous HR asking about me.  She was trying to recruit me at the table! 

If I didn’t want this degree so bad, I’d probably have seriously considered it… but there are many reasons why I need to just continue on.

But how utterly flattering!  Not only did she remember me, but she’d asked about me!!  And told my classmate I was AWESOME!

That all felt pretty good.  God is looking out for me and letting me know I'm headed in the right direction.  It's a good way to be.


What a great week!  Easter was lovely.  I have pictures to prove it. I was actually able to get a couple shots of the boys together!  They aren’t super duper shots, but they’re good enough to post!    They still have their name stickers on from Church… LOL.Easter 2010 080 Easter 2010 075

After church and the egg hunt, we went to the park.  Cosmo practiced tricks on his skateboard.  Swing played around with the pooch.

Easter 2010 086 Easter 2010 162 Easter 2010 144 Easter 2010 135 Easter 2010 170

Aren’t they adorable?

Sleep is for the weak

So I confess, the main reason I’m here is because I can’t sleep.  My knee hurts for some reason.  Aleve is about the only thing that seems to help the joint pain I’ve been having.  So I’ve taken some, I’ve put my thoughts down and shared my darlings  (BTW… Swing has been telling me “Mom, you are my angel darling”), the meds seem to be helping, and I better off to bed while I still have the remnants of a nice, cozy “had a glass of red tonight” sleepyhead.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Happy Easter!

Easter Egg Hunt

Today was our church’s Easter Egg Hunt.  It’s a very large church, and it was a very large community event held at a local high school.  The soccer field hosted the school aged kids, and the football field hosted the littles.   The parking lot filled up, and people parked way down the street.

I’m blown away at how well thought out and organized the event was.  There were thousands of people there, and it was so effortless to attend.

It was also chilly with a gusty wind.  My boys lacked coats.

I shouldn’t feel so guilty.  After all, I reminded them several times to get their coats before we left, but they preferred to chase the dog, or otherwise run around like screaming banshees.  It’s hard to be little and contain excitement.

So I’m there in a coat and gloves with a hot cup of coffee while Cosmo is in only a long sleeve tee.  At least Swing had on a fleece top… , right?

Though in all honesty, I don’t feel THAT guilty.  They are big enough to get their own coats or jackets.  They were reminded, and chose not to heed my advice.  Besides, it was 44*, they weren’t going to die or lose digits due to exposure.  And they still had fun!

I also forgot the camera.  So I have no pictures of the adorableness.  Swing was intent on only picking up blue eggs at first, so it started off kind of slow, but he had fun.  Cosmo was on his own at a different field (5 areas based on age). 

In the end (a whole half hour later), we all had a fantastic time despite the weather (that wasn’t even wet).  I’m looking forward to Easter Services tomorrow.  I think we’ll watch “The Passion of the Christ” as a family tonight.  We should make it a tradition to watch it on Good Friday.

Friday, April 2, 2010


So I was offered an internship!  I’m so excited!  This community health organization is growing, and they need someone to document their systems, specifically one of the IT processes.  I guess there’s a good potential for future employment there, too.  I’m excited.  I’m not sure what the specifics are: hours, length of service, etc, but I’m still jazzed.  The folks who interviewed me were personable, and I’m optimistic that I’ll enjoy this project!

Road Trip

Let me tell you about a recent road trip I took to visit the fam.  It’s about a 375 mile trek.  The trip as an adult isn’t so bad.  But when you are 4 or 8, it’s dreadfully boring.  The trip in was perfect for about a half hour.  Then the boys decided they would rather fight than sit in a car reading, playing with cars, etc.  I was mitigating so much fighting that I blew right by my first exit.  I drove 30 miles before I realized I should have turned South by now.  So I drove the 30 miles back to my southerly turn and corrected my course.

I drive another hour or so and decide I want to find something in my purse.  But I can’t find my purse.  I pull over and check the trunk; surely it must be in there.  It was not.  I’m nearly half way to my destination before I realize my options are to turn back, or see if my parents can meet me at some point to refuel me.

I did not want to go back.  I did not want to drive 6 hours with crabby kids for nothing, only to have to do it again (I was running an errand for the Woodsman). 

You can imagine the frantic calls to the Woodsman and my parents.  Turns out, the Woodsman confessed it was his fault.  (How on EARTH could I have missed my purse?).  Like most people, I put everything that needs to be in the car by the door to be loaded.  If it’s by the door, it’s as good as loaded.  I had both my computer bag and my purse there.  Therefore, they were both in the car, right?

Well, the Woodsman is fastidious.  As this incident proves, sometimes TOO fastidious.  He thought I’d moved my wallet from my purse to my computer bag (as I do for school), so he put my purse away in the closet.  While I was loading. 

Of course I was utterly frustrated and pretty upset when I discovered I was not to “blame” for the whole debacle.  But… we all have our annoying habits that sometimes work against us in a big way, no?

Thankfully, I have the best parents in the world, and my dad drove 75 miles with a 5 gallon tank of gas to fuel me up.  Thankfully again, we were able to get all the way to a state park, so the boys had a place to play while we waited. (The refueling trip was not perfectly timed, but who could complain about that when someone makes such a heroic rescue?)  We played on the swings, found “snake holes,” ran around… it was really the perfect waiting spot.  It couldn’t have gone better!   Plus, Dad brought us lunch!  We were hungry.  No money = no lunch stops!

It’s really amazing how helpless you feel without ID and a debit card.  I felt like I wasn’t an adult.  I was so dependent.  My mom gave me a spare wallet and some cash, which was such a blessing, but the feeling of utter dependence didn’t magically disappear.  The Woodsman had my wallet mailed to me (second day), and all was better when I received that package!

The visit was nice.  I completed the task for the Woodsman, despite his error. 

The drive home was lovely.  The boys could NOT have been better behaved.  I am really very proud of them (still).

No Meds

Though this posting is already quite the tome, I wanted to talk about one other aspect of the “Mystery of the Missing Purse.”  I had Cosmo’s meds in there.  5 days without them?  Could I do it?  I had called the Ped’s office to see if she could call my parent’s physician to write a script to be filled in town.  I knew it was a long shot, and ultimately I wasn’t able to do it.  the Woodsman attempted to mail them, but that was also foiled.  So we had to suck it up and work with the ADHD kid off the meds.

I gave him coffee.  It worked pretty well.  It wasn’t the same as medicated, mind you, but it “took the edge off.”  I gave him a cup in the morning and a cup in the afternoon. 

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Quitting School

So I've been doing a lot of thinking lately.  This school schtick isn't easy.  At least not with two small boys, so I'm going to take a different route.  I've signed up to be a representative with "Close to my Heart."  My mom and my sister are big fans of their product, so I know I'll have a good customer base to start off with.  This company sells tools and equipment for scrapbooking.  It's a solid, growing market, and I'll be able to spend more time with the boys, and enjoy walks in the park with Swing during the day.

I haven't yet decided if I'm going to finish out the semester.  I'm current and all, but the end of term projects are coming due, and it's really going to be very busy.  There's SO much work!

If you haven't figured out why I'm quitting school and upending my entire career roadmap, check your calendar.  If that doesn't help, I don't know what to say.