Wednesday, December 19, 2007

for one more day

My daughter, S, and I went to a book signing by Mitch Albom, author of For One More Day, The 5 People You Meet in Heaven and Tuesdays with Morrie tonight. We had to wait over an hour because Mitch was delayed by an accident on the roads. Most of the people waiting (and there were a TON of them) were really nice. We had talked and laughed and it was so nice just to revel in goodness for a while. My daughter was AWESOME, she was so well behaved and so sweet to everyone, but she did get tired after a while.

We were probably about 30th or so in line. When Mitch Albom finally got there he made a short speech then asked that everyone let the elderly people and people with small children come up first. S was sitting on the floor in front of his table, looking sleepy, so he pointed to her and asked that we be allowed to go first! I let another woman who was probably 90 go before us though.

Of course, when I got up to the table I turned into a slathering idiot. I told him "I'm a big fan" and The 5 People You Meet in Heaven was life changing for me. DUR, talk about dorky. But he was nice and signed my books (got one for my mom too) and told S she was a good girl for being so patient.

Afterwards I told S that she is FOR SURE on Santa's good list now after behaving so well tonight!

One of the big impressions I took away with me is; It's all about attitude. A few people were complaining about the lines, the wait, the people (i.e. ME and the elderly) getting to cut to the front. They looked so sour, so sad. What did they get out of this night, except a signature and bad feelings?

I got love. Love of my daughter, love of the kind people around me who kept shunting us forward in the line. Appreciation for all that is good and kind in this world. I am so glad my daughter was with me to share in this special evening, and I will remember how I felt every time I read my book and look at Albom's signature.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


Brought to you by the letters H (HomeSlice) and L (LuvMyBoyz)... THANKS GUYS!!! Tongue out

If I had to be an actress I'd be Angelina Jolie. What's not to like? Hot mama, saving the world, BRAD? Hmmmm...

If I had to be a talk show host I'd be Oprah. Because she is flat out fabulous!

If I had to be an entertainer, I'd be Kathy Griffin. She's so damn funny and I love her hair (even if it IS extensions!)

If I had to move out of this country, I'd move to... This one is SO hard! First thought, Prague, second, Spain, third, Caymen Islands.... I CAN'T decide!

If I had to date a thug...showing my naivetee here, I can't think of any thugs!

If I had to eat just one food forever I'd eat burritos with guacamole, salsa, and all the fixin's.

If I had to be (taller/shorter) I'd be taller.

If I had to be a singer, I would be Margo Timmins from the Cowboy Junkies. I LOVE her voice, she's sexy!

If I had to marry an actor, I'd marry Harrison Ford, my favorite actor of all time. Sure, he's old now, but he's still hot!

If I had to be a flower, I'd be a sunflower.

If I had to be a drink I'd be a margarita! Yummy and fun and I'd go great with that burrito!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Just checking in

Here it is, Sunday again. AGAIN?!

I've been in a state of panic for days. The semester is ending, and I have less than 2 weeks to finish all my work. I fairly behind, so I spent all weekend (or as much of it as my family would allow) working on my projects. It's a start, a good start, but there is much yet to do.

This is the first semester that I am taking only computer science classes. So instead of final exams or papers I am writing code, creating databases, and scripting. Gawd! I'd KILL to write a paper right now. At least I could BS my way through. But with these classes... well even if you spend 20 hours designing a button, if nothing happens when you push it you still fail.

Sigh. This is the first semester where mom/work/student/me has been really out of wack. As a consequence not only is my school work suffering but so is my family. DH is tired of playing house husband, and the kids are tired of mama always being cranky or not available.

Just give me Dec. 15th, PLEASE! At that point I will have 3 glorious weeks off from school. I can't wait to bake cookies, get a tree, decorate, shop, eat, play with the kids. It's going to be fantastic and I am going to enjoy every second of it!

Until then, you won't see me around so much. I try to check in once a day, but I usually only have time to reply to one or two messages. I still love ya'll; I just need to get this stuff done.

Take care and have a fantastic week!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Lyrical quotes

The quotes entry that many of you did has had me thinking about lines from my favorite songs. Line that move me, rock me or touch a nerve. Here are a few of them in no particular order:

1) Well I know we're dying
And there's no sign of a parachute
In this Chapel
Little chapel of love
Can't we get a little grace
And some elegance
No we scream in cathedrals
Why can't it be beautiful
Why does there
Gotta be a sacrifice
~Tori Amos, iieee

2) T
ied down to this bed of shame
You tried to move around the pain but oh
Your soul is anchored

The only comfort is the moving of the river
You enter into me, a lie upon your lips
Offer what you can, I’ll take all that I can get
Only a fool’s here...
~ Sarah McLaughlin, Ice

3) Sometimes the light's all shinin on me;
Other times I can barely see.
Lately it occurs to me what a long, strange trip its been.
~Grateful Dead, Truckin'

4) When you're sick you seem to think
You've failed eternally
And that the people you let in are only crumbling
When you're sick of thinking life in this recovery
When my decision paved the road
That lies in front of me
~Blue October, Overweight

5) Got to get back up but at your own pace
Got to fill your cup and find the way
Out of your own maze....
Look strong
Like you belong cause you do belong
Whether right or wrong you belong
I'm on your side if you fail at least you tried
To keep your aching celebrating wonder making heart alive...
~Blue October, Inner Glow

6) Healing the blind I promise to let the sun in
Sick of the dark ways we march to the drum and
Jump when they tell us that they wanna to see jumping.
F**k that, I wanna see some fist pumping.
risk something, take back what's yours
say something that you know they might attack you for
cause I'm sick of being treated like I have before
like it's stupid standing for what I'm standing for.
~Linkin Park, Hands Held High

7) I got a
Heart full of pain
Head full of stress
Handful of anger
Held in my chest
Uphill struggle
Blood, sweat and tears
Nothing to gain
Everything to fear
~Linkin Park, Nobody's Listening

8) I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains
I looked to the children, I drank from the fountains
Theres more than one answer to these questions
Pointing me in a crooked line
The less I seek my source for some definitive
(the less I seek my source)
The closer I am to fine
~Indigo Girls, Closer to Fine

9) My friend tanner she says you know
Me and jesus were of the same heart
The only thing that keeps us distant
Is that I keep fuckin up

I said come on down to chicano city park
And wash your blues away
The beautiful ladies walk right by
You know I never know what to say
~Indigo Girls, Shame on You

10) All of us arent we
Pretty pretenders
Negligent vendors
Arent we precious inside
I have no need for anger
With intimate strangers
And I got nothing to hide
~Indigo Girls

Saturday, November 10, 2007

happy Veteran's Day!

This is what I spent the last few hours doing. It's a Veteran's day present for my dad. He served in the Navy during Vietnam.

I'm proud of what I've done, so I'm sharing with my friends. Keep in mind this is all coded by hand, no WYZIWIG editors here! It may look rough in different monitor sizes, so be gentle in your critique, please!


Thursday, November 1, 2007

my baby started daycare today

Okay, so she's not a baby, she's 3 1/2. And she's been in other childcare situations before. So this shouldn't be a big deal, right? Then how come I felt like crying when I dropped her off?

Maybe I feel sad because I can't pick her up myself today, I'll be in class and her babysitter is picking her up. Maybe I feel sad because my bright, energetic non-stop talker was wandering around the room like a quiet little ghost before I left. Maybe it's because my baby is no longer my baby but is a big girl now....

I hope she fits in, I hope the kids are nice to her, I hope she has fun, I hope she likes it there.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Three things I want to remember about my kids

1. They are precious gifts and I need to appriciate them more!!!!

2. They are unique and important individuals with a purpose in life. One of my purposes is to help them fullfill theirs.

3. They are sensitive, they "wear their hearts on their sleeves" as one friend put it. Therefore I need to be more thoughtful and less abrupt in how I deal with them.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

I had the most perfect day. The weather here in Michigan was gorgeous, a perfect Indian summer day. We started off with church, the girls sang in the children's choir and did great. My Sunday school class was a blast, the theme was "Old and Young Make Good Friends" and I had 4 senior citizens come in and talk about their childhood and show the kids pictures of themselves as children. Then we made bracelets together. My kids were fantastic, no fighting, no fussing and very sweet and respectful with our guests.

In the afternoon my family went to an apple orchard. Here's some pictures, the day was glorious.

When we got home DH and I raked leaves and worked in the yard, something we desperately needed to do. For dinner we had a scrumptious Hungarian Szedinger Gulasch which had been in the crock-pot all day. I'm still bloated from it! Now I just have to get the kids to bed and do some homework and my perfect day will be at an end... sigh.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

I am blessed

Despite my moaning and complaining occasionally about my kids, my life, my stress I have to stop every now and then and remind myself to count my blessings.

I have two smart, well behaved, healthy beautiful children who teach me new things and bring me joy every day.

I have a supportive, loving husband.

I love my job.

I get to expand my mind and my knowledge regularly by attending graduate school.

I have wonderful, supportive parents.

I have kind and interesting friends.

I have a roof over my head, clothes on my body and food on my table.

All my loved ones are healthy.

I have a caring UU community to act as my sanctuary when the greater world gets to be too much.

...I'm sure I have many more blessings, theses are just the ones that come to mind right now. I hope I don't sound like I'm bragging. I just had one of those moments where I looked at my child and recognized how special she is and how lucky I am to have her (and her sister) in my life; and I had to stop and pay homage to her and to the wonder that is life!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

The Blue October and Yellowcard concert last night...

...was absolutely amazing. The concert started off with a not too good garage band. They were followed by Shiny Toy Guns, who were pretty good. Then things really got kicking with Yellowcard. They were great! I didn't know their music all that well before the concert, just a few songs. But their performance rocked! The lead singer was really dynamic and spoke a lot with the crowd. He really got us going. The violinist was fabulous and really talented.

To back track a moment, I went to the concert with my DH. He wasn't really into it, so we started out sitting in the balcony. I wasn't feeling the energy up there, all the people were sitting there, still as stones, acting bored! So towards the end of Yellowcard I excused myself and went down front to dance. Apparently I was gone for 1.5 hours, because once Blue October started playing I totally lost track of time! DH was kind of annoyed, but seriously this is my FAVORITE band and I just had to dance...

Justin was incredible! I was about 5 rows back from the front and several times he came over to the section I was dancing in. Staring into his eyes while screaming along with his vocals is not an experience I'm going to forget! The band played 1.5 hours, and covered almost every song from Foiled, as well as several from Consent to Treatment and History For Sale. They played my two favorites, HRSA and X Amount of Words, so I was in heaven!

The only two down parts to the concert: The sound checks between each band took about 30 minutes each, so that was 1.5 hours lost. All in all the concert lasted 5 hours. So my babysitter bill was extreme... LOL, but it was worth it! The other thing that wasn't so nice was there were these 3 totally drunken jerks right behind me on the floor. They kept slamming into me and these 3 other "little" women. One of them spilled his beer all over a girls back... when we told them off they got in our face and started screaming about how they were "real" fans and we should go home and listen to the band on our radios... Assholes. I know, never bother arguing with a drunk as it won't get you anywhere but it was frustrating as they were sending such a bad energy into the crowd....

Anyone still with me? Okay, then I'll just say a few words about WHY I love Blue October so much. It's not just the music, although their sound is phenomenal. It is the lyrics too. You know that Justin has been through hell in his life, drug addiction, abuse, and hospitalization in mental wards. But he made it OUT, AND THROUGH THE OTHER SIDE. A lot of his songs are about recovery and how amazing life is. He has such a positive message about why life is great and worth living, and when someone with that kind of past says "LIFE IS GOOD!" you REALLY listen! Plus he is incredibly intelligent and has an amazing talent for poetry... I could go on but I'll stop now. Sufficiet to say, I HAD A GREAT TIME!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

why we co-sleep

Okay, I promised to write this journal a while ago but I've been putting it off. I wanted to find the perfect words, but that's not going to happen. So I'll just give it my best.

I began co-sleeping immediately with my first born. She was a "high-needs" baby. She needed lots of holding and LOTS of breastfeeding. At that time I hadn't read any parenting books, no one had told me what I was SUPPOSED to be doing. I just went with my gut and tried my best to meet my baby's needs. And what she needed was love, comfort and ME!

Over time I found that the best, most peaceful way for us all to get some sleep was for my baby to be in my bed. Most of the time when she woke up to nurse I would latch her on and go straight back to sleep. Much more preferable to me than getting up and sitting somewhere with her.

Fast forward 18 months. At this point we slowly transitioned DD1 into her own bed. It took about 6 months, but we got to the point where she was sleeping all alone. Then DD2 came along. At the time, DH was working in another country, and I was all alone with a toddler and a newborn. It was just easier for me to have both children in my bed at night, so DD1 moved back into our room.

Since then we have cycled through phases where both kids slept with us, one kid slept with us, or both kids slept alone. We "go with the flow" and whatever is needed AT THE TIME is what we do. Right now we are back to having both girls in our bed. For various reasons they NEED this right now. And I have to say, when I come home form a long night at work and crawl in between those two precious angels it is the best feeling in the world. I whisper to them I love them, hold their little hands and feel that overwhelming love wash over me.

So, why do we co-sleep? Because it is good for our children. Because it improves our family bond. Because it has helped my girls learn to care for and nurture each other. (Honestly I have never seen two more loving and empathetic children than mine (mother's pride aside!) and I believe that our years of sacrifice, nurturing and parenting has helped shaped these characteristics in them.) Because, in the end, it's what works for us.

a little disappointed

So I'm a little disappointed with my daughter's Halloween costumes this year. For once, both of them picked something to be other than a Disney Princess. My little one wanted to be Alice, from Alice in Wonderland and the eldest wanted to be a gypsy. I found an Alice costume at the Disney store, but it was $40! We are really short on money right now and that is just too much. I DON'T have time to make something this year either.

So DH found an ad last night in the paper for a Halloween store with costumes on sale. I let the girls look at it and pick what costumes they liked. Even though I had been planning on pulling together a gypsy costume myself, once DD1 saw the store costumes of course she wanted one too. So we ended up with... Tinkerbell and Cinderella. Great, how original. :(

I know, I'm being silly right? They are happy and that's what counts. But I was really looking forward to something a little original this year.... Kick me if you think I'm being stupid. :)

Monday, October 1, 2007

Poor Me

I'm feeling rather self-pitying right now... I went to the foot doctor today because an old problem has been flaring up and causing me a lot of pain. After lots of waiting and lots of x-rays she determined that I have ARTHRITIS in my foot! Now I have to wear this horrible wedge shoe for 2 weeks and get fitted for special (read VERY EXPENSIVE) insoles. I can't have shots because I'm allergic to them, so this is it. I'm barely over 30 and I have arthritis? Wah! Sorry for the pity party but this is really annoying. The shoe SUCKS and makes me look like a git. And I'm wondering if I have problems now what's it going to be like in 20 years? Boo hoo, okay, the party's over, I'll quit whinging now....

Sunday, September 23, 2007

My first day "teaching" and my sweet daughter

Today was my first day teaching religious education at our church. I'm working with the 2-4 year olds. My sweet daughter greeted me this morning with a big smile and a "Good Morning, Mrs. Sunday-school teacher!" Then before I left (she needed a day off so stayed home with dad) she gave me a hug and said "You'll be a great teacher, because you're the best mom that was ever born." Awww. She is such a sweet-heart!

So my first day went really well. Only about half the kids I was expecting were there, but I was glad because it made it a lot easier to work with the group. The kids were great and followed my directions well. The lesson plan went off without a hitch. It was such a welcome change from the first day working at my daughter's co-op preschool, which I wrote about last week. I'm looking forward to next Sunday!

Monday, September 17, 2007

The best big sister in the world

Today was DD1's school book fair. I only sent $12 with her, as last year that was more than enough for her to buy two books. One for her, one for her little sister (this was her own idea). So this year apparently she picked out her sister's stuff first. A book, a pencil and an eraser. She ended up spending ALL her money on her sister, so she couldn't buy anything for herself. It's so sweet and so sad at the same time, it makes my heart break. I couldn't ask for a more loving and thoughtful child, this girl is always giving to others, sometimes to the detriment of herself.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The first day of preschool

Today is my 3 yr. old's first day of preschool. I'm really happy to get her into an environment where she can socialize with other children her age. Right now all her friends are actually her sister's friends, and consequently 2-4 yrs. older than her. She is great with one-on-one playing, but not with group play. She likes to be the center of attention too much. I am hoping that preschool will give her a chance to learn how to interact in a group and play more age appropriate games. Plus I'm looking forward to two hours to myself! Yeah preschool!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Remember Beslan

I am late in posting this, but the memories just came surging back.

Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia, for those who may be unfamiliar with the tragedy:

"The Beslan school hostage crisis (also referred to as the Beslan school siege or Beslan Massacre) began when a group of armed Chechen separatists/Islamic fundamentalists[1] took more than 1,200 schoolchildren and adults hostage on September 1, 2004, at School Number One (SNO) in the town of Beslan, North Ossetia-Alania, (an autonomous republic in the North Caucasus region of the Russian Federation). On the third day of the standoff, a chaotic gunbattle broke out between the hostage-takers and Russian security forces. 334 civilians were killed,[2] including 186 children[3] and hundreds more were wounded."

I was in Germany when the hostage crisis took place. On the first day of the new school year in Russia terrorists took this school and 1200 children with their parents hostage, in the name of Chechnian freedom. I watched for days as children suffered and were killed. The Russian government completely bungled the negotiations and rescue efforts. It was horrible. Some of the terrorists were women. Possibly mothers. Yet they killed other mothers and their children. Why? I do not understand this insanity in the name of God or Country.

So when September rolls around, we must remember the victims of 9/11, but we must also remember all the other victims of terrorism in the world as well.

6 years ago today...

I was living in Frankfurt, Germany. My first baby was only 3 weeks old, and I was trying to adjust to motherhood. Honestly it wasn't that hard, as this fierce, overwhelming love, more intense than anything I had ever felt before, was carrying me through. It was afternoon in Germany, when my husband called home to say that 2 airplanes had crashed into the Twin Towers. I thought he was mistaken, there was no way such a thing could happen. Maybe one small plane, but two? I rushed to turn on the TV, my baby in my arms, then sank to the couch in shock.

I spent the next several hours on that couch, switching back and forth between CNN and BBC, trying to learn, trying to understand what happened. It was only 6 am on the West Coast where my family lived, but I called and woke them up; "turn on the TV" I told my sleepy mother. We cried together on the phone.

The thoughts I remember from that day are those of a new mother who only wishes for her child to have a safe world to grow up in. I grieved for those lost, and the ones who lost them. I was angered that anyone could have such a callous disregard for life. I was also scared. Scared because Bush was in office. Scared that his reaction would lead to another World War. Scared because my home was just minutes away from one of the financial centers of Europe, and if an attack were to come to Germany we could be in danger. Scared because I was an American on foreign soil. Scared because I didn't want my baby to grow up in a world where strangers would kill strangers over ideology...

Now, 6 years later I look back to find that only some of my fears came to pass. But I think the potential for world-wide disaster is still near. For me, today is a day to remember the innocent people who lost their lives, and it is also a day to remember that it is fear, hatred, and zelotism which caused those losses. It may sound idealistic, it may sound naive, but wouldn't the best way to honor the victims of terrorism be to find world peace?

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Back to school blues

Tomorrow my 6 year old will be starting 1st grade. She is very excited; she made her new teacher a present and has been practicing reading for the last couple of weeks to get ready. She wants to ride the bus, eat at school and learn lots of new things. I'm happy that she is so excited, but I am sad to see her take this big step. To me this year is 100 times worse than when she started Kindergarten. For me it is one more blow towards her becoming an independant adult. She keeps telling me, "you'll be sad when I'm gone all day in school". Yes, darling, I will!

What makes the whole situation worse is my job requires me to work 4-10pm. That was great when both girls were little, as they had either mom or dad taking care of them most of the day. But now she will be in school until 4, so I won't even see her before I leave for work. I can't help her with her homework or ask about her day. If anything bad happens I won't be there to see her face when she comes home and talk to her about it (getting info out of her can be like pulling teeth, it takes great care and understanding plus a lot of time). I have Tuesdays off, so I've promised her that will be "our day"; when dad gets home to watch the little one she and I will go out for a walk, hot cocoa or whatever else she wants to do.

It is just so sad to see my precious little one, the girl who was permanently attached to mama's hip until age 3, make these transitions to independance, even though I am fiercly proud of the girl she has become.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

MM 8/23/2007: My daughter rocks!

First of all, let me say I don't want to offend anyone's beliefs, just share a story I love about my daughter.

I have to say I love, love, love my daughter. Both daughters actually. They are so awesome, but for different reasons. This post is about my eldest.

A few months ago she asked where the first person ever came from. She knew that dinosaurs came first so she thought that maybe a dinosaur mommy had a human baby. So I explained how the dinosaurs died out then the whole evolution thing, which she thought was pretty cool. Tonight, she asked where EVERYTHING came from, like the Earth and all living things. So I told her that people believe different things, told her about the Christian Creation and the Big Bang Theory, then asked her what she thought. (I'm a UU, we always try to present EVERY side of the debate). After a long time she said she thought it was all magic. How cute!

I just love it when she asks these big questions, even though I often don't know the answer. I wonder where all these thoughts come from, are they typical of a 5 or 6 year old? No matter, I still think she rocks!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

MM 8/18/2007: The perfect birthday party

Thursday was my daughter's 6th birthday and today we had the party. Everything went perfectly! I got all the cleaning done yesterday, so I just had to decorate and set up the crafts today. We ordered an ice cream cake and DH went out to pick it up just before the party. It was a Barbie and the Magic of Pegasus theme. When the girls arived we had a jewel treasure hunt. I gave each girl a bag with two charms and a bead in it. Then they searched for the matching colored beads. When everyone had found their beads we used them to make charm bracelets. After that we made Wands of Light. It was great. All the girls were well behaved and no one fought or cried about anything. After a short play break for them (I needed to clean up the craft stuff) came two rounds of musical chairs. Again, the girls were awesome and took losing in stride. We followed that with a story game; I gave each girl a wrapped present to hold (gotta love the Dollar Store) and read the book to the movie out loud. Each time I said the name Anikka they passed the present to the girl next to them, and at the end they got to open the present they were holding last. After the story we had the ice cream cake (Barbie of course) and opened presents. There was about 30 minutes left so we went outside to play. At the end each girl got a coloring packet of Barbie pictures I printed out from the internet, topped by a picture of themself to color. It was the best birthday party we've ever had. Thanks to everyone who gave me ideas a few weeks ago when I posted asking for party games.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

MM 7/18/2007: My absolutely fabulous camping trip

I had the most fantastic camping trip this weekend. My family and I drove down to Illinois to meet up with 4 of my best girlfriends from college (and their families). We had a blast. Everyone got along, including the kiddies and hubbies. I couldn't have asked for a better reunion. Us 5 girls haven't all been together since we graduated 11 years ago from the little women's college in Missouri where we all met. We were inseparable those 2 years, so it was fantastic to see everyone again! It's amazing, everyone looks just the same as they did back then... We all live in different states now and the logistics of planning this trip were pretty complicated, but it was well worth it. I'll upload some pictures when I have the time.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

MM 7/10/2007: A little about me, Maya's Mom introduction

Hi everyone,

My name is Christina and I'm new to this site. I live in Michigan with my husband and our two daughters, Saskia who is almost 6 and Fiona who is 3. I work part-time as an assistant Librarian at a college. I'm also working on my Master's in Library and Information Sciences, with a specialty in Information Management.

Between work, school, kids and household responsibilities I'm insanely busy most of the time. But when I do have a free moment I like reading and gardening. I used to do yoga but I quit after my second daughter was born and haven't been able to get back into it yet, although I'd really like to!

A few other things about me... I'm a member of Amnesty International and very interested in social justice and environmental issues. I try to be an involved parent and do things with my eldest daughter's school, like PTA and Girl Scouting events, but I don't succeed as often as I'd like. :(

I love being a mom, it's the best thing in the world. But sometimes it's nice to talk about grown-up stuff too! I hope I get the chance to discuss both here!