October 28, 2011


Okay ladies (and gentlemen?) let's give a warm welcome to today's Casual Conversation Friday guest...my cousin and dear friend, Veronica.

Veronica, bless her little heart, is a soon-to-be new mommy. She's due on November 8th(?). Several months ago she told me that perhaps she would like to have her baby on 11-11-11 (yes, that would be cool). However, she has since seen the error in her thinking and is ready to have this baby NOW. So, let's listen in on her thoughts as she prepares for the big day.

Oh, and a big thanks to V for agreeing to be my guest today. You are so very dear to me and it hurts my heart to know that you and your little one will be 1,000 miles away from me...thank God for telephones.

Me: Okay, you’re going to be a mom soon. What’s going through your head right now?
Her: I am so ready and so not prepared... all at the same time! I am so excited to meet the little guy who has been kicking me for the last several months, but terrified too. Anxiety is the word of the day (every day). I am so tired of the discomforts that seem to get worse every day. I am absolutely terrified of the delivery part of this nine-month process. And yes, I know that all of you mothers out there will tell me that I won't even remember the bad stuff once I see my little guy. But still, does it have to be so disgusting & invasive?!

Me: What piece of advice have you gotten so far that you can’t wait to incorporate into your parenting? What advice have you heard that seemed quite useless?

Her: I can't wait to take naps during the day (sleep when your baby sleeps). I am also curious about the whole whiskey on the gums when he starts teething (ha!). A bad suggestion that my grandma gave me was to breast feed in the car (while the car is moving!). Sorry grandma, but people don't do that anymore! I also heard that having a kid is like getting a tattoo on your face - you had better make sure you want it! I already have a tattoo, and I wish I could get rid of it... but, don't worry, I'm okay with keeping the baby.

Me: In just a few short weeks you’re going to join the ranks of Working Mom. How do plan to adjust to this change?
Her: I imagine I will be more grumpy due to the exhaustion. We probably won't be going to bed after we eat dinner and watch TV for an hour or two. We may have to stay up later (past 9:00). I will actually have to put effort into my time management.

Me: Any last words?
Her: I am very excited to start this journey of parenthood. There are a lot of things I want to do differently than my parents (I will try to attend more of his extra-curricular activities), and many things I want to do the same (family road trips, camping, learning to laugh together). I am also looking forward to seeing my husband as a father. I know I picked a good one!
Me again: P.S. Her family is fabulous at laughing together.

Isn't she just adorable? She's going to make a wonderful mommy and I'm fully confident that she'll one day look back on this conversation and laugh, just a little, at how much she has learned. I love you V!

And don't forget....
If you also have some great words of advice or ideas to share with the rest of us and want to be a guest on a Casual Conversation Friday please contact me at professionalmotherhoodATyahoo.com.

Anyone is welcome, so if you're not a working mom, or even a mom...no worries because we all have something to say and non-mommies are welcome to share with us as well!

October 25, 2011

How to...

I can claim that I have almost written the book on:
How to Write a Syllabus
How to Hold Effective Classroom Discussions
How to Incorporate Technology into the Classroom
How to Design Writing Assignments
How to Create Learning Portfolios
How to Motivate Students
How to Use Rubrics
How to Work With Concept Maps

and...wait for it...

How to Integrate Cognitive Processes & Learning Strategies

And that's just the beginning folks! I have such a totally awesome and way stellar life, don't I?

Seriously though.... I need the new month to start so I can take a break from writing workshop material and instead work on reconciling budgets. Now, THAT is an exciting and way stellar life.

Oh well, it could be worse.

I could be conducting a library audit. That's scheduled for later, much later.

October 19, 2011

The great pumpkin...

What does a pumpkin suitable for carving, an almost 2-year old child, and Elmo have in common?

Nothing...until this past weekend!

The location: our backyard

And so we begin

Rachel had her very own pumpkin

Daddy hard at work

Time to get directions from the experts

Let's collect the cats so they too can be involved

Look grandma and grandpa, we're almost done!

Daddy and Rachel with their Elmo pumpkin. Of course the picture wouldn't be complete without a black cat.... and an attention-grabbing cracker.

October 18, 2011

Rachel's favorite things...

My little Rachel just hit the 21-month mark. So, what is our little busy gal up to these days?

Well, here are a few of her current favorite things:

1. Pumpkins. She loves them. Not a magazine article, commercial, or yard decoration goes by that she doesn't notice...and point out...at least a dozen times.

2. Elmo. It's not Sesame Street anymore folks, its Elmo.

3. Macaroni and Cheese. For those of you who have known me for a while, you might remember that I HATE CHEESE. So, having a child who asks for Cheese (her version of the words Macaroni and Cheese) at every, single, stinkin’ meal is just a little bit disgusting.

4. Hawkeyes. Yep, that's right. My job is done. She can't count or say her alphabet yet but she knows who to cheer for and, really, that's all that matters.

5. Books. Favorites include: Puppy Go (Go Dog Go), Man (The Gingerbread Man), Ham (Green Eggs and Ham), Baa (Mary Had a Little Lamb), and Rainbow (Moses and the Ark).

6. The Sun and Moon and Stars. She has been pointing out the moon to us for several months now but lately she has also become adamant that we see the stars and are aware that the sun is hot.

7. Daddy. Everyone else is basically just a means to get to her daddy.

8. Daycare. Rachel just loves going to Jane's house. On weekends she asks for her friends and every morning on the ride over she questions us quite thoroughly to ensure that we are, in fact, going to Jane's.

9. Monkey PJs. Her winter pajamas have monkeys on the feet and once those things are on all eyes must be on her toes. She wiggles them and then laughs as the faces scrunch up and the ears move.

10. Talking. She must get this from her dad. Okay, that's not true (at all) but all I can say is wow....she certainly has a lot to say and the part that amazes me is that we can actually understand her. Of course, lately she also feels the need to let everyone know that, "Mommy burped at table." That was five days ago folks.

October 12, 2011

Totally 80's...

This afternoon I spotted a leather jacket hanging in the window of one of our city's most trendy stores. My first response was, "Wow....I think I wore an exact replicate of that thing in junior-high!"

Either I was way ahead of my time or the 80's are back.


No matter how hard I try, I just cannot picture my adorable little gal with bangs piled up to the ceiling or rolled jeans. Does the world really need another round of silk shirts and leggings? Can we not survive just fine without having to tuck our shirts in (only to pull them back out a few inches)?

I used to make fun of people like me. You know, the ones who had closets full of clothes that were only worn on "Oldies" day during Spirit Week; kept in hopes that they would one day come back into style.

I shake my head and sigh in dismay at these and other strange trends that are currently the hip-hop-happenin' thing (feathers in your hair, really?).

But, I'll be honest....

I cannot wait to get my totally rad and way too cool light blue leather jacket back out!

October 7, 2011

Work, wife, mom...life!

It is truly an honor to introduce my guest for today's Casual Conversation Friday. Julia, over at Work, Wife, Mom...Life! is a super mom in training.

Julia's blog is an oasis for working moms, and her Working Mommy Network provides a perfect opportunity to meet other moms who are, most likely, facing a lot of the same issues that we all face each and every day. Please take a moment to visit her blog- you have to because it's just that fabulous. In the meantime, I present a good friend and wonderful resource for all things related to motherhood...Julia.

Thanks Julia!

Me: What is the greatest piece of advice you have ever received that you would like to pass on to other moms?
Her: When you are with your kids, be WITH your kids. It's so hard because we are often distracted by stuff... work, Internet, blogs, TV, etc. But make sure that you always have time to just BE WITH your kids.

Me: What do you like most about being a mom? Working mom?
Her: I most like coming home and hearing the kids scream "Mooommmmmyyyyyyyy!" when I walk in the door. And then they rush to me with a huge hug around the legs. That doesn't mean I like being gone all day, but I love that they love seeing me. And I also love that while I can still be a great mom, I can impact the lives of other kids in the community with the work that I do.

Me: What parenthood-related challenges have you been able to overcome and how did you do it?
Her: One challenge for us was the fact that my husband has become a stay-at-home Dad. Not really parenting related, but it definitely changed things for awhile. We had to talk things out and I had to really understand where he was coming from and he to understand where I was coming from. Lots of communication.

Me: Any last words of wisdom?
Her: Your family is your core foundation. You can work and exercise and have girl dates and do things you love, but don't ever let it over take your family.

See...I told you she's wonderful. Thanks for sharing with us Julia!

And don't forget....
If you also have some great words of advice or ideas to share with the rest of us and want to be a guest on a Casual Conversation Friday please contact me at professionalmotherhood@yahoo.com.

Anyone is welcome to share so if you're not a working mom, or even a mom...no worries because we all have something to say so non-mommies are welcome!

October 3, 2011

Cookie monster...

Last Monday I remember thinking, "Wow, it's been awhile since I have had to give Rachel a time-out...good for us!"

And then Tuesday came.

Rachel will be 21 months old next week. That means she has the emotional maturity of... well... a two-year old.

When I hear a child throwing a tantrum in the store I verbally (out loud) thank God that it's not my child and pray that it stays that way for at least a few minutes because when you have a toddler, anything can happen at any time. Did you hear that? Let me repeat it.
Any emotion can begin (or end)

Happiness is not a frame of mind when you're a toddler. Instead, it's an option in the smorgasbord of feelings that can be expressed over the course of a few short minutes. It's often here...and then gone just as quickly as it came.

I'm trying my hardest to be a good parent. But, there are days when it would be much easier to just let her have a cookie and deal with the consequences later. And if one more person informs me, during one of her tantrums, that I should, "...just not let her act like that" I'm going to invite them to take a turn in conveying this message to my sweet little perceptive angel in between her gasps for air. After all, I'm sure that if I would just try to reason with her she would welcome the opportunity stop screaming and sit down to discuss the situation over coffee and milk.

When your child is throwing a fit (again), telling them to, "Calm down or deal with with consequences" is like trying to whisper to a dragon.

So, what do you do?

You take bets on whose kid will cry during the family picture (mine, of course).
You scope out the pefect time-out corner of every restaurant, church, and store you enter.
You pray. A lot.
You go through your personal library and throw away every book you have on how to raise children.
You thank God that your child is normal.

And, you tell yourself over and over and over and over...."DO NOT LET HER HAVE THE COOKIE!"