About American Idol and My Real Life

So last night we watched Idol’s disco night. All the performances were fine I guess but the only two which stood out for me were Kris Allen and of course Adam Lambert. I’m not-so-silently pegging them as my top 2 at this point. I love both the ladies, but I don’t think either of them stand a chance at this point. We’ve got Lil Rounds who just doesn’t seem to get it, and that’s fine, she still has a beautiful voice and I’m glad to have heard her – and then that tiny little bombshell, Allison whose voice just kills me, but she seems to have plateaued for me. And then I think, “She’s 16, give her time.” So despite thinking they are both very talented ladies, I’m at peace now with my decision to leave their fan camps. Matt Giraurd seems to be an every other week thing for me. I love him or ‘meh’ him. Last night veered on the side of ‘meh.’ Anoop, man, he’s found his place with ballads which consistently pleases the judges but sometimes I have to wonder if he’s even happy being pinned in this little box. Whatever keeps him in the competition? Maybe I’m over analyzing. Last night was just okay for me. Oh and Danny, well we just won’t go there. If you don’t know my opinion on him by now, you can just search all my other American Idol related posts and you’ll soon catch on, but I’m tired of bitching on it.

So we’re leaving early early early Thursday morning, dropping the kiddo off at my MIL (from there he will be getting carted around to several other relatives for what should be the weird mid-week weekend sleepover extravaganza of his life) and heading to the airport for our flight which departs at 8:50am but between the 90 minutes of preparedness time they want you to have and the hourish commute to get to the airport, it still means a god awful morning. We should arrive in Dream City by 1:30pm. Apartment hunting, town drooling and then a dinner at the hotel restaurant which Dream Company is footing the bill for. Sweet. I’m hoping and praying the hotel has cable and that I’ll be able to watch Bones and Grey’s Anatomy, because I realized last night that tv owns half my life. Sad but true. I’m already accepting that I’ll be missing America’s Next Top Model this week. It conflicts with tv times tonight and Friday when it reruns we will literally be in the air on our way home. Drats.

Friday is the actual interview with Dream Company. Dan prepared a 20 minute presentation on a previous work project of his that he has to present to the big guys. Apparently there will be other candidates there also – I don’t know if they are hiring multiple people or if he simply has competition but the concept makes me nervous. Somehow, despite trying very hard to remain on the “if this happens” camp, I think I’d largely assumed it would. What if there is someone else coming there who is better? And they get the job? And we come home to our unemployment and disappointment and continue this search? ::sigh:: I know we’ll survive it either way, either way is a big thing to deal with, but ugh, I just want this to be over either way you know? I want to know where my life is headed by Saturday PLEASE.

So yeah, that’s about all the new and big. Not sure when I’ll be posting again as it’s about to get crazy busier (like busier than already) but I’ve got some posts up today and my weekend diversion’s is scheduled to post on Friday, so my blog won’t be completely silent without me. Hope you all have a great week!

Taking The Good With The Bad

Babycenter.com has a great article up called 25 Good Things About Bad Times – the silver linings to be found in this bad economy are there if you look for them. We’ve certainly had to lately. While I’ve had plenty of stress to deal with lately, money worries and a world just waiting to change on me at every turn, the good things have been plenty and should not be forgotten. Some things I am thankful for in this bad economy:

  • Quality Time - While it would be nice to have Dan working, earning money and life returning to normal, it has also been very nice having him home, spending more time with him and both of us spending more, quality time with MM. We’ve gone to the park and playground more, taken more pictures, played more as a family (blowing bubbles, tickle fests), played more board games and video games together and talked more about more things than we would be able to otherwise.
  • Having An Extra Helping Hand - Being all six months pregnant or something absurd like that, it’s been nice having Dan home to help out. He’s been able to help with dinners, cleaning and even just chasing the boy around. I’ve been able to sleep in by almost an hour every morning, which I can hardly feel guilty about when we have nowhere to be and um, I’m six months pregnant.
  • Getting In Shape - Lately we’ve been finding extra ways to fill our day, new things to do to kill an hour or two. Our favorite thing to do is probably take long walks. We walk for at least a mile and a half almost every day, sometimes more. Dan’s also been jogging (something I have no interest in joining him with right now). He’s lost over 50 pounds since October and well you all know I’ve been able to maintain my pre-pregnancy weight. But we’ve been able to kick our lifestyle into high gear by really focusing on the exercise part of our “diets” where we weren’t before.
  • Eating Better - You’d think that by cutting back on our grocery bill everywhere we can, that our diets would be suffering, but that’s really not true. We’ve been making more meals from scratch and enjoying every minute of it. Can’t afford to buy cereal? Let’s make pancakes – oh darn, right? When we ran out of bisquick, we started making them honest to goodness from scratch and found we loved it! We learned how to make homemade meatballs and may never go back to those frozen meatballs again. We’ve also loved seeing how much we can cut down our grocery bill without it killing us. And seeing what indulgences are really important to us at the end of the day, and which ones aren’t. Our grocery bill will never be the same again.

I’m sure there are more things – I know there are – but honestly, rather than sitting here talking about it – I’m going to get up and go live it and get back to that quality life I’ve been enjoying. While it lasts.

In what ways has this bad economy made a positive impact on your life?

I’m Dreaming Of Paid Employment

We got an email from Dream Company today basically just saying, “We received your written exam (which he took last Monday) and it is now being graded.” After it’s graded, his entire application process will be reviewed by the company and then a decision will be made as to whether to contact him for an in person interview. That process of grading and reviewing will take 1-2 weeks with a chance of a delay. They’ve been fairly prompt so far, all things considered so I’m crossing my fingers that maybe by next Monday we’ll know if he’s getting an in person interview. It’s a good thing this is all for a company that we’re half in love with, otherwise I’d have lost interest in the whole process by now. But it’s still something we really want so I’m hoping.

Other than this, he’s only had contact from two companies and two or three staffing agencies. One of the companies turned him down for lack of experience with Java, the other company has just started their hiring process and may get back to us at a later date. All the staffing agencies seem to like him but haven’t actually offered him any leads yet. So really Dream Company is our most promising prospect right now. He applied to four more jobs this morning that are all relatively in the area which could be nice. Especially if it meant not moving out of state because THEN I’d get to keep my health insurance.

But for some reason, despite set backs like that, the prospect of moving to a new place still thrills me. Like setting out on a grand adventure, starting over, discovering a new place. I love to travel and I’ve moved a lot growing up, so this desire to move probably stems from that, but really, it wouldn’t be terrible. I’d like the idea of setting down roots somewhere new, even if not permanently. Finding this new place to call home and really coming together and strengthening as a family unit. Smaller holidays would be both good and bad – I’d miss our friends and family but I’d also welcome the challenge of creating a good life for ourselves. And a lower cost of living just makes all of this all the more appealing. Plus, the economy is really in a bad place so any good job would be welcomed at this point, distance or no.

We figure that worst case scenario we’ll have a maybe or no answer from Dream Company by May 4. If he flew out for an interview the following week and was accepted, we could be into the new state by June easily. If they turn him down, at least we’ll know and we can stop waiting not terribly patiently to hear back. We could still end up anywhere at this point, but I’d love it if wherever it is could be figured out soon. Next week is my prenatal appointment so the good news is that I should have no problem keeping the appointment and will then have another month I think until the next appointment, wherever that is.

Monday Morning: April 13

Monday Morning Meme at writefromkaren.com

April 13th Questions:

1. How long have you been blogging? Who is your target audience? How often, if at all, do you think about quitting or taking an extended break? What do you do when you start feeling burned out with blogging? I’ve been blogging a little over a year. My target audience? I suppose it’s fellow mommies and anyone else who might be interested in the goings on of my life. Basically it’s the eight of you who may or may not be reading right now. :P I very occasionally feel burnt out from blogging, usually because I’ve started to “care too much.” But typically I’ll just take a day or two off or try a new approach, even if it’s only in my mind. I’ve only been blogging a year so it really hasn’t been an issue yet and at the heart of it, I’m really just doing this for me.

2. What’s on your mind now? ::laughs:: What isn’t on my mind? Yesterday was Easter so we just saw family, ate good food, MM got to participate in Easter Egg hunts at both families’ which was fun and he was adorable. We had a great time and I’m berating myself for being a terrible mommy blogger and not taking any pictures. And you know… the job hunt. Still no word yet from Dream Company but it’s still earlyish, who knows. Dan applied to a bunch of jobs this morning and we took some long walks, did laundry, etc. Productive yet relaxing. Now the boys are both napping and I’m squeezing in some bloggy time – yay!

3. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the body or the mind of a 30-year old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want? Explain your answer, please. I think I’d take the brain of a 30 year old. I think that accepting the physical aging process is a good thing to do – those wrinkles and what have you are a sign of where you’ve been, the gray hairs – they are worth every minute. But the memory loss that comes with age? It would be nice to skip that, to stay sharp and really be able to remember every little second – or you know, as much as possible. It’s not like my memory is so hot now to begin with. :P

4. What would you constitute a “perfect” evening for you? Perfect would mean that MM ate his entire dinner without complaint, didn’t kick and scream his way to bed time and that we enjoyed every minute of the day together. Dinner would have come out perfectly and / or been prepared by someone else. We’d have a great movie or favorite tv show to look forward to or maybe play a board game or get together with friends. I’d go to bed tired but content and actually fall asleep when my head hit the pillow.

Your turn.

Where’s Mom (5 of 52): Gone Tribal

My grandmother had the genius idea to build a teepee – but after buying all the necessary equipment, for whatever reason (or maybe it was her reason all along) she decided to recruit Dan to build it instead and gave us the equipment. I think Dan was thrilled to have a project to work on and he put all his boy scouts / master seamster / engineering skills to work and built the mother of all teepees in my opinion (you aren’t even seeing the finished version in these pictures, it got even better than this.

I’m not sure if you know that my husband is a Wampanoag – you’d never know it looking at him in all his white boy glory, but it’s true. I can vividly remember having to get a DNA test after MM was born so that he could be accepted into the tribe, too. Silliness. But regardless, it’s kind of cool and it made this whole teepee business all the more fun, even though Dan said something about claiming that his ancestors lived in teepees was about as absurd as saying my (European) ancestors came from China – whatever – he’s Native American, it’s a teepee – and clearly it’s in his genes to build these things because unless he’s built like 80 of them before now that I don’t know about, he certainly made it look easy – but maybe that’s just a guy thing. Speaking of China, I really got a kick out of the fabric being all Asian Zen-like. We’re a multicultural free for all kind of family I guess.

Anyway, in the midst of all this fun, I also managed to get myself into a couple of pictures – I hate most of them, but there I am, nonetheless. If I think of it, I’ll take some pictures of the finished teepee and we can all ooh and ahh over hubby’s handiwork and stuff. Meanwhile, MM is pretty much thinking he won the luckiest kid on the planet lottery right now – his daddy seems to have decided to stay home and make teepees for him and eat lots of birthday cake. Basically the best vacation ever in his opinion. In my opinion? If we don’t find a few more projects to do – or a new job for Dan – I might go crazy. He had a quick impromptu phone interview of sorts with another company that’s in the early stages of hiring, even further away than Dream Company and in a state that had me feeling all geographically biased and holier than thou, thinking, “We can’t live there – gross!” But I researched the town a bit, because it sounds like they really liked Dan (who wouldn’t) and it doesn’t seem as bad as I thought, maybe even kind of nice. I guess at the end of the day, every town has it’s ups and downs – I’m sure even Dream Company in Dream State has it’s negative points (besides the 17 hour drive from here). What really gets me – is that it could end up being either of these places, or somewhere else entirely – and it could happen at anytime. My life has turned into one big Choose Your Own Adventure book except it kind of feels like someone else is choosing which pages to jump to and I’m just saying, “But will I have health insurance?” over and over until I turn blue in the face. I mean… Look – up there at the top of this post – pictures of me!

52 Weeks is a year long challenge for YOU to be in a picture once a week for 52 weeks. We are always the ones behind the camera, this is YOUR chance to get out in front and be in the pictures with our family. We are glad you are joining this challenge. More importantly your family will really enjoy having you in the picture. Thanks for playing along! Oh, you can just jump in now with 1 of 52, you’re not getting off that easy! Now go take a picture!