November 30, 2011

Please don't hate me for saying this...

It's Working Mom Wednesday!
Four day weekends are nice but the transition back to work can be challenging! How are you doing with the transition?

Challenge? What challenge? I'm doing just peachy. In fact, one might even say that I am adjusting quite well and am rather glad to be back at work.

Before you start hurling insults and rotten vegetables please let me finish....

I love Thanksgiving, really I do. I love cooking the meal and hosting family and, of course, eating lots of guilt-free goodies (calories don't count if you're consuming them on a holiday). I love spending time with Jake and Rachel, and putting up our Christmas decorations on Friday, and watching cheesy movies on ABC Family together. I even love the cool late-November weather and the early smell of winter.

But, I also love schedules and a regular, less filling, food intake. And, I'm sure this will make me sound like a monster but, I also love that I can sit here in peace (with my Christmas jazz music) and not have to chase down a child, or scold a child, or feed/clean up after a child, or figure out why a child who was perfectly happy a second ago is now SCREAMING.

Staff who are covered by a Union at the institution where I work start earning more vacation than professional staff after they have more than a million years of service (which roughly rounds to 25). I know some of my co-workers don't think this is right; we should earn more vacation time than secretarial and clerical staff. But, honestly, I'm okay with it. I'm not sure what I would do with 216 hours of vacation time every year. Put your calculators down folks, I'll do the math for you. 216 hours is just over five weeks.

First of all, I don't have time to take five weeks off. Secondly, I can't afford to go anywhere so even if I did use that much vacation time I would probably end up being stuck at home for the majority of it...doing manual labor. What kind of vacation is that?

If I chose not to work my rear off at home for five weeks I could instead spend the time with Rachel. Yes, that sounds wonderful and yes I wish I could spend more time with her. I'm just not sure that it would be good for us to spend five whole weeks together. It would start out fine but eventually I would get tired of having to say "Stop!" so often and she would get bored with me (Have I mentioned that I'm not a hip hop happenin' totally awesome and way energetic fun bubbly mom who can chase around a two-year old all day?). If I took a few days off each month I’m sure that by August she would be begging me to stop. (Disclaimer) Okay so this probably isn’t true. I’m sure I could find lots of fun things for us to do together and honestly it does sound fabulous. So before you scold me for being a horrible mother (this is the part where you promise not to hate me) just remember that I'm a working mom for several reasons and they're not all related to finances.

Anyway, long story short (I'm not sure if that's true or not, is this short?) I loved having five fun-filled days off for Thanksgiving; I loved spending time with my family; I loved not setting my alarm every morning; I loved being able to enjoy life at home.

And now...

I'm thankful to be back at work. What can I say? I'm a sucker for the status quo.

November 28, 2011

I'm thankful for...

For some reason I can never seem to correctly time my blog posts with the holidays. I am forever posting Christmas wishes in January and Halloween pictures in December. But that's the beauty of having a blog centered around being a working mom...I can always blame it on being too busy (whether this is currently true or not).

For those of you who were on the edge of your seat in anticipation, here it is (in no particular order)...

My "I'm Thankful For" List:

1. The standard stuff that almost everyone includes on their lists. You know, friends, family, good job, a decent place to live, good health, etc. Next.

2. Enough free time to decorate my office with winter-type adornments that suggest it to be a certain unnamed time of the year (That's what happens when you work for a state institution folks...having to be PC happens to the best of us).

3. Little People Nativity sets. I bought one for Rachel this year and used it to explain the Christmas story to her. I wasn't sure if she was paying attention until I found the three wise men on the front porch...they were traveling from afar (to the living room).

4. Elmo. We have officially become "those" parents. You know, the ones who turn on the TV and let their child watch it for an hour so we can collect our sanity. And you know what? It's really not so bad after all.

5. My "social life". You should know that I use these words lightly. "Social life" actually refers to the fact that I am able to attend Bible study twice a month, Bunco night once a month, and Church Council. None of that would be possible without the help of my parents and a few other assorted angels.

6. Starbucks. Yes, they made the list. Why wouldn't they?

7. The Kill Squad. I suppose this also require a bit of an explanation. The Kill Squad is our herd of black cats that we adopted this summer. They live outside and kill mice, and by the looks of what is left on our sidewalks every morning they're doing a pretty good job.

8. Prayer. Oh my goodness. Where would I be if I couldn't pray?! Yikes.

9. My past; I'm thankful for every single bit of it- every wrong turn I have ever taken, every horrible boss I have ever had, every bad decision I have ever made....I'm thankful for it all. At times it's been a long road (and at other times it's been a fabulous journey!), but my past has made me the person I am today. And although some might not agree, I think I'm a bit of okay.

10. Laughter. What a gift laughter is. Always remember that.

November 18, 2011

Me again...

The problem with hosting a mom blog or a working mom blog is that, well, being a mom sometimes gets in the way of blogging. I had someone lined up to visit with us on today's Casual Conversation Friday but, understandably, mom stuff took over her schedule and she couldn't make it. So, we'll look forward to hearing from her next week. Until then.... you can listen to another interview (Do I hear applause and cheers of joy ?).

Me: The holidays are coming! Don't you just love this time of year?
Me Again: Absolutely! I love everything about the holidays. I even love the busy holiday schedules because that means God has blessed us with plenty of loving friends and family.

Me: So, what has Rachel been up to lately?
Me Again: Well, she recently discovered mommy's new phone (my ipad) and loves to do FaceTime with Grandma Marcia. She really loves having a new audience for her ham-it-up routine.

Also, yesterday at daycare she announced that Elmo was sick, which required all the other dolls and toys and blankets to vacate the crib to make room for the oh so precious Elmo. After his nap she tossed him into the seat of her car and announced that he was going to the doctor (apparently he had a very sore throat). She continues to amaze me. Every day she learns something new...and makes us laugh just a little bit harder.

Me: How is work going?
Me Again: Oh you know, same old same old. I'm finally finishing up some projects that I started over a year ago so that's good. Other than that....I'm sure you don't care about all of the details. But, you know, every day I wonder how I got to be so lucky....I still love my job.

Me: Any final thoughts?
Me Again: I have yet to master the whole "I make healthy meals for my family regularly" thing. I know that I should do this and I know how to do it but....I just can't seem to find the motivation to plan ahead. Plus, I spend so much time keeping my life organized. Can't I just fail at this one thing...and not feel bad about it?

Thanks folks, and have a great weekend!

And don't forget, if you would like to be a guest on Casual Conversation Friday feel free to send me an email at

November 15, 2011

I don't want (her) to grow up...

Last spring I went to a dance recital that highlighted the changes we experience in life. One of the dances featured the youngest class, dressed in little pink tutus, performing to a song that just about ripped my heart out. As they jumped and twirled to the words, "If they could stay this little" and, "Please don't ever grow up," the two oldest girls in the program (who were poised to graduate from high school) stood by and watched them, hand-in-hand, with their parents. I can only imagine what was going through the minds of all the mothers and fathers who had children on the stage.

Meanwhile, I held Rachel tightly (maybe a little too tight) in hopes that perhaps I could stop time, if only for a second. And, if I remember correctly, I cried. Of course I did.... I cry at everything.

I know that we want our children to grow up. We want them to experience all that life has to offer, and have the opportunity to change their world. But, why must it be so difficult to stand by and watch them? Rachel is already old enough to tell me, "Mommy, I do it." I can't bear the thought of what she'll say five, ten, or fifteen years from now. I'm sure it will go something more like, "Mom, I've already done it. I don't need you".

During the past few weeks several events (both personal and public) have reminded me, again, that the world can be evil. Not everyone who comes in contact with my little girl will be nice to her. She'll get hurt by boys and friends and co-workers and complete strangers. She won't always win or get a trophy. And sometimes she'll burn her hand or pinch a finger or fail a test or be turned down for a job.

Growing up is difficult. But you know what is even more difficult? Watching someone else do it.

Welcome to Parenthood.

November 10, 2011

Mrs. clean...

For the record, I am not crazy.
But, I do need to confess something...

I've been cleaning.

Like a crazy woman.

Our house is almost a century old, and is on a dusty gravel road. It collects dirt and bugs and all kinds of other yucky disgusting stuff. We also have two fat lazy cats who produce a lot of yucky disgusting stuff. In short, my house is dirty. Well, it was dirty. But now, it's clean. Spotless even (okay, so that is a bit of an exaggeration- I can tell you exactly which parts I didn't touch because I was just too tired to care anymore).

After two full "vacation" days, a Saturday afternoon, and several late evenings I can finally sleep in peace knowing that my cupboards are clean, there are no dust bunnies lurking behind or under furniture, and all dead bugs have been disposed of.

Spring is normally the time that I do this kind of cleaning, but this year I couldn't fit it into my schedule. For a while I was able to pretend that I didn't notice how disgusting our living space was getting. Sure, I clean it on a regular basis but was gross. And, after twenty-some hours of back-wrenching labor (maybe not back-wrenching but hey, it wasn't a walk in the park either) our house is finally CLEAN.

When I close my eyes I see a perfectly organized kitchen, sparkling floors, and dust free door frames. It's just magical. Of course, this didn't come without a price tag. I am exhausted, my hands are sore from scrubbing, my feet hurt, and I can't get the smell of cleaning supplies out of my nose.


you know what this means...

Next week, I'll do my regular cleaning and wonder how on earth the house got so dirty.

And then I'll remind myself to schedule my 2012 Fall Cleaning.