Categories
memes & carnivals photography

WW: Now That’s A Tricycle

For more wordless fun check out Wordless Wednesday and 5 Minutes For Mom.

(Slight change of previous plans – Mothers Day pictures will be up tomorrow!)

Categories
daybook memes & carnivals

Simple Woman’s Daybook: May 4th

Outside My Window: It’s been nice and cool and cloudy. The heat wave seems to be over and I’m content as I can still get by with my summer-ish wardrobe and maybe a light sweater. We’ve had a bit of rain but nothing remarkable.

I am hearing: Curious George on tv – we’re headed to my grandma’s for dinner soon but MM insists he finishes watching his show before his diaper change, after which we will leave.

I am thinking: Too many things at once – my brain is still pretty muddled with all the same things, trying to plan the upcoming weeks but pretty much completely unable to.

I am hoping:
that Dream Company gets back to Dan soon! So far nothing, although we did hear from his old boss that they contacted him for a reference this past Friday, so we know they are still doing something and hopefully we hear soon. Not that I’m getting impatient or anything. 😛

From The Kitchen
Monday: dinner at my grandmas
Tuesday: Spaghetti with mozzarella stuffed meatballs – yum!
Wednesday: Hot Dogs & Mac ‘n’ Cheese
Thursday: Hamburger Night
Friday: Chicken something or other

This menu is staring to look awfully repetitive but the price has been working well for us, so it will do for now. I look forward to being able to expand our menus even just a little bit…

I’m now reading: Lioness Rampant, the last book in the Alanna series by Tamora Pierce. I started reading Influence a couple of nights ago, only to realize it was absolutely nothing like what I thought it would be – you know, a memoir. It’s actually a coffee table book style collection of interviews with 20 famous-ish people who have “influenced” the Olsen twins. I really didn’t care for it at all and had no interest in the 20 people they interviewed so I abandoned it. I hope they do a real memoir someday, although I guess I’d expect that kind of book to come much later in their lives, which is fine.

I am creating: Nothing at the moment – I did take some pictures for my review of the Amazon Kindle 2 and shot the video for this week’s In My Opinion video meme (click the link for this week’s questions if you want to play along), so that’s sort of creative… I guess.

Around the house: We’ve been cleaning up clutter mostly, it’s been nice to see a lot of old junk go but we have a lot more left to do!

One of my favorite things: We’ve been teaching MM to spell a bit. Still very early on in the process but it’s been really cute. We got a book from Frecklebox (to review for Mommas Review) that has his name splashed all over it and we’ve been loving using that to help him learn to spell his name and dude it works and he loves it!

A few plans for the rest of the week: That totally depends on when Dream Company gets back to us and what they say. If it’s a yes, we’ll be calling moving companies and packing, etc. If it’s a no, hubby has a couple companies lined up to apply to via recommendations from some friends. Oh and tv of course, because you know I run my life by the tv schedule.

A Picture Thought: Here’s a cute picture of MM eating dinner with one of his new favorite bedtime / all the time stuffed animals – a little stuffed Westie that follows him everywhere, even to the breakfast table apparently. Picture captured by daddy.

Categories
family fun work & the economy

Here, Sort Of

Yeah I know, I’ve become a disappearing act. To be fair, I’ve barely been home and when I have been home I was dealing with the Case Of The Disappearing Internet. Or rather, hubby has been tinkering and it took out my internet for awhile and then he had to scratch is head and fume at my iMac for awhile because they don’t speak the same language apparently. Something about Arabic. Anyway, I’m sort of back now, but I know my posting is going to be pathetic and my blog reading is even worse probably. I’m here, sort of. I’m trying to plan so many aspects of this move at the same time that it makes my head spin and we haven’t even gotten an official job offer. I’m feeling impatient but really it’s only Tuesday and I won’t be surprised if we don’t hear from them before Friday afternoon. Whatever. Then I need to find an apartment, a moving company and health insurance in like the blink of an eye and you know, pack and move and get my address changd for like a gazillion things and actually move. Gah. Whose brilliant idea was this again?

Categories
family fun

Weekend Diversions: The Getting Offline Edition

I’m writing this week’s Weekend Diversions on a Tuesday, taking total advantage of the post scheduling feature. Why write so far in advance? Thursday and Friday I’m going to be traveling with my husband to an out of state in person interview with a company we’re calling Dream Company. With any luck by the time we get back Friday night we’ll be celebrating a new job and delusionally busy with the planning details. I doubt I’ll be glancing at the computer much this weekend, thus the scheduled post. To celebrate this occasion, I thought I’d devote this week’s Weekend Diversions to minimalizing our time here online, or getting away from it completely. I’m going to start with small steps for the first diversion and by the third diversion, hopefully you’ll be hopping off the computer, too, into a fun new adventure with your family.

So let’s start with Readability, a website that lets you choose the fonts, font sizes and margins that you prefer to read online, install a little bookmarklet into your toolbar, and then click the bookmark when you want to view a certain page in that format. Cut the clutter and get to the heart of what you are trying to read. I’m betting this could increase your productivity and at the very least it was kind of fun playing with the settings and seeing how it did it’s thing. Give it a whirl.

Alright, this next one is for my fellow Mac users. To all the PC or Linux users reading this, I’m sorry, you’ll just have to move on to the next diversion, which promises to be a lot of fun anyway. Alright, for my Mac pals still with me, check out Freedom – this little application will disable your network connection for up to eight hours at a time, allowing you to step away, into the real world and find some 3D diversions in the form of ‘the rest of your life.’ Don’t worry if you change your mind and want to log back into your network before the time is up – just reboot your computer and you’ll be back up and running. I think this is a neat way to encourage yourself to take a break if you find yourself spending too much time online – or if you are trying to limit your kid’s online usage. But before you go, make sure you check out this last diversion!!

Since you’ve used Readability to increase your productivity and get your work done, and you’re maybe thinking about installing Freedom to give yourself a little internet R&R, here’s a link that will help you find something new and fun to do. KaBOOM lets you find local places to go out and play in your area. Search by your town or the town you’d like to visit and it will give you a list of parks and play areas near you.Want more incentive to give KaBOOM a try? If you know of a play area not on KaBoom you can enter it into their databse yourself. For each valid entry, Julianne Hough will donate $1 to your cause — and enter you in a drawing to win prizes. This week, you could win an Amazon Kindle 2! To read more about KaBoom and their mission to find as many places for kids to play as possible, click here.

Categories
memes & carnivals

In My Opinion: April 22

This week’s questions for the In My Opinion video meme are:

  1. One of mom’s traits I admired is/was …
  2. I remember getting into trouble with my parents on this occasion.
  3. Are you more of a rule keeper, or a rule breaker? Why?

And here is my video response:

Your turn.

Categories
work & the economy

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.

Categories
family fun memes & carnivals photography work & the economy

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!

Categories
family fun op ed

So Here’s What’s Up

Spring has sprung and life continues to change. For us it’s changing a lot. My husband’s company literally ran out of money, forcing them to “lay him off” – i.e. they had nothing to pay him with so he has no job. This happened last week. We’re doing okay. We’re job hunting, we filed for unemployment, we’re doing all the normal things you do. Nobody is freaking out, for the most part. Money is tight. But we’re doing okay.

We’ve told our parents and a few other people but there are still a lot of people who don’t know – talk about a weird subject to bring up – mostly I just don’t know where to start – or don’t want to talk about it – you know we’re dealing with it but I’m really doing fine and just don’t want to talk about it mostly. All we can do is look for new work. Where that new work will be, I have no idea. We are looking in this area but there isn’t much that wouldn’t involve a ridiculous commute. We’re looking further away and have this one state that we are kind of half in love with but it’s over 1,000 miles away – i.e. over 13 hours drive away – i.e. kissing our support network goodbye. All our friends and family, for the most part, live very close by and that would cease to exist. It should bother us more than it does I’m thinking.

Part of me wants to go – the cost of living here is terrible, as I’ve mentioned before and frankly it sounds like an adventure to me. But I’d miss people – and it’s scary, the idea of breaking off – especially being all 22 weeks pregnant and whatnot – that would likely mean finding a new doctor, new health insurance, a new hospital – and who knows who’d be able to come see the new baby, much less watch MM while I’m in the hospital. It’d be tough. But obviously people do it.

So you know it sucks but in some ways it’s almost awesome – a big chance for change – but it’s no secret this economy sucks and mostly I’m just hoping we can find work before our money dries up. And that’s pretty much all I feel like saying about that. For now. If you’ve noticed me being less chatty than usual / abandoning Twitter, etc. that’s why. The small talk is kind of wearing on me to be honest – plus with Dan home, I’m trying to spend time with him instead of just playing on my computer. I’m also helping him job hunt and applying for any government aid I think we can get. Every little bit helps right? Lord knows how long this job hunt will last. I’m still reading your blogs and mostly commenting but I’m also still laying low. Don’t take it personally – I’m sure I’ll get back in the swing of things before you know it.

Categories
contests & giveaways

Spreading Some Bloggy Love

My old swap buddy Meg @ Faith & Gasoline just gave me the Kreativ Blogger award! She’s such a sweetie and today seemed like the perfect day to spread a little bloggy love, so now I’m going to pass it on to some of you, my loyal and faithful readers! But first – the rules:

  1. List seven of the things I love.
  2. Present the Kreativ Blogger award to seven other bloggers.

Seven Things I Looooooove Are:

  1. My Family – this is all inclusive, because, duh obviously I love my husband, my son, my not-yet-born little BB, my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles – it would get tedious to list them all, but a crime to leave any out – so they’re all getting grouped together right here! Hope they like being all squished together-like!
  2. Getting Great Stuff For Free – like this cool Itzbeen Baby Care Timer that I reviewed @ Momma’s Review today. I can’t wait till little BB is born so I can put this to excellent use! Being a review blogger is pretty much the most awesome thing I’ve ever done and working for my bestie Ange is pretty fantastic. I’ll be reviewing a lot of other great stuff soon, so if you haven’t bookmarked Momma’s Review yet you really should!
  3. The book I’m reading! – I’ve had excellent book luck so far this year and Waiting For Birdy by Catherine Newman is no exception. Get this guys – it’s a memoir by a woman who wrote a column at babycenter.com about finding out she was pregnant with her second child (when her first child, a son, was about 2 1/2) and all those weird second time around, “Do I really want this?” stuff as well as typical mommy worries, potty training, etc. It’s like reading about my life by someone way better at writing than me. Spooky but awesome. You can read some great teasers for this book here.
  4. Breyer’s Double Fudge Brownie Fat Free Ice Cream – this stuff is delicious – like swoon worthy and only has 110 calories in a one cup serving. It’s unreal. We switched to frozen yogurt for awhile to cut down on calories and were pretty happy with that decision – then in walked this ice cream and BAM are we hooked. It’s like guilt free heaven.
  5. Cuddling With MM – he’s growing up so fast, learning new things every day and gaining independence by leaps and bounds. He annoys the heck out of me (especially when he strips down naked and pees all over his bed) but man I love just sitting down and cuddling with him – and I love it when he asks me to cuddle – he really is the best!
  6. Whole Foods – I had never been to a Whole Foods before and wasn’t really sure what the hype was. I mean, isn’t Trader Joe’s good enough? And while I love me some TJ, now that I’ve been to a Whole Foods, I get the hype. They are nice – it’s kind of like going to the Gourmet Grocery Store except stuff is still very reasonably priced. I just wish our closest location were a little bit closer and not quite in quite so ghetto a neighborhood. Our location does story time with milk and cookies on Tuesdays and seriously if they weren’t where they are, I’d be loving the idea of taking MM there for that!
  7. Yogi Chai Tea – I’ve been a pretty huge Tazo fan for awhile and still love their teas (especially the frappucino style you can get at Starbucks) but I recently tried Yogi Tea’s chai for the first time (I found it at our Whole Foods) and oh my lord, it is heavenly. It has a little bit lighter of a flavor but still so delicious and the aroma is just out of this world. By far the best cuppa tea I’ve ever had.

Wasn’t that fun? I think even managed to sneak in some blogging about things I’ve been doing lately, etc. that would have been too ittle for a blog post of their own – it’s like a “random stuff” post with a purpose – not to mention how nice it is to think about all the awesome stuff in our lives, instead of just our gripes and complaints (sore back, sprained foot, my car’s check enginge light is on, my son strips down naked and pees all over his bed…) so it seems fititng that I end this with something else that makes me superly happy and filled to tbe brim with love – YOU! Here’s a special little shout out to seven of my readers who make me smile constantly:

  1. Krystyn @ Really Are You Serious
  2. Scrap Girl @ Serendipity
  3. Sue @ My Musings
  4. Ange @ Red Knows How
  5. Jen @ Stuff Jen Says
  6. Nancy @ Life With My Boys
  7. Jean @ Working Momma 247