Thursday, November 14, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Tiny Baby, Big Kid

It's hard to believe that this tiny baby is now this big, goofy kid.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Yardwork and Other Miscellany

The leaves in my yard look like a carpet, so thick on the ground that the grass has disappeared. My deck and driveway are the same, all traces of wood and concrete disappearing under a crunchy layer of gold and orange. It's beautiful, and I recall when, as a child, I would run and leap into giant piles of leaves that my grandfather had raked in the yard. I started to make a pile for Alex, but then I realized I would be putting a lot of effort into a waste of time. I have the only little boy in the world who can't stand to be dirty, so what do you think the chances are that he would voluntarily hurl himself into a pile of leaves?

I finished my English paper early. That means no more thinking about that class until Tuesday! Yay for me... except I still have to write papers for Psychology & Public Speaking, so boo, hiss to being a grown-up. Also, does anyone else see the unfairness in having to write papers for a speech class? It's a class about talking. Woe is me.

I actually manged to frame and hang two - that's right two! - of the multiple photographs I have printed. I felt a ridiculous level of pride at this accomplishment until I started counting what was left and came to the depressing realization that I need to make about double what I make now if I want to afford frames for all the photos, prints and lithographs I have waiting for my attention. Seriously, I have a painting that I bought at a show before Alex was born, actually before I was even pregnant (so at least 6 years ago) that has been waiting for a frame all this time. I get it out of the closet and measure it every so often, so progress?

We leave for Disney in 26 days. I think these will be the longest 26 days of my life. It feels like forever since we've had a proper vacation and I can fell my exhaustion level creeping higher and higher with each passing day. I full intend to sleep for most of the drive to Florida (don't tell Jym) just so I can catch up on my missing sleep. Is it too early to start packing? Because, seriously, I'm ready to go.

I can feel my eyelids drooping, so I'm off to bed.

Actually, that's a lie. I'm off to lie in bed and read Twitter and Cracked on my iPhone until I jolt myself awake by dropping the phone on my face. Then I'll really go to sleep... promise.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Hard at Work

I'm sitting her trying to convince myself to stop playing on the computer and finish my homework. If I would just get off my ass and get it done, I could be done with my Psychology class in about two days. That would mean more than a month left in the semester with one less class to worry about. My procrastinator gene seems to be dominant, though, so I'm guessing I'll be scrambling at the last minute to finish things. Wish me luck, won't you?

On the bright side, once I get through the semester I have 10 days at Disney to help me unwind. We're headed down immediately after my last Monday night class, driving all night and checking in as soon as our room is ready. I fully intend to spend the day after my last class bouncing around the Magic Kingdom with my son and husband and hugging as many mice, chipmunks and ducks as I can find. Also, eating as many churros as humanly possible.

It's just the three of us this time, no other family going and no friends to meet up with, and honestly, I can't remember that last time I felt this relaxed about a Disney trip. The only schedule we have to worry about is our own, we don't have to coordinate with anyone to decide what park to go to or what ride to ride and we can eat wherever we want without worrying about anyone else's tastes or budget. It's not that I don't enjoy traveling with family, but... yeah, but. It's just nice to have my own little family with no one else around. No promises, but I'll try to get in a couple of posts while we're there so you can all see how beautiful Disney is during the Christmas season.

More to come tomorrow; I'm off to work on my English paper. Wish me luck on that, too, won't you?

Monday, November 4, 2013

The End of the Beginning

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel for this semester. When school started, back in August, it felt that I would be slogging through homework assignments for approximately a million years. Jumping back into Algebra and writing papers was quite a shock to my system. I kept plugging away, though, and gradually it became routine. Come home, get Alex ready for bed, sit down at the computer and do some math or research. Now I have less than a month left and I can actually list all of the assignments I have left to complete. (for the curious - a couple more chapters of Algebra with homework and a test, the Algebra final, one more analysis paper, one test and a final for Psychology, 2 more speeches with self evaluations and a paper on an outside speech for Public Speaking and 2 more papers for English Comp).

I'm almost done, and by Christmas I'll have 18 credit hours under my belt (I had a few hours that transferred from years ago.) That means I just have, well, a lot more work to do. But still, it's a solid start, and I'm taking 16 more hours next semester, including what will probably be a very grueling Anatomy & Physiology class. Lots of memorization for that one, so no relying on my ability to figure out things as I go along. I'm actually going to have to buckle down and study. I'm thinking flashcards? For all the body parts and bones and muscles I have the remember? It worked for Alex when he was learning to read, so I guess it's worth a shot.

The feeling that I get, being so close to the end of this 1st semester, is amazing. I feel like I'm finally making forward progress and getting my life into gear. I can look forward, in the not to distant future, to having a job that I enjoy. To actually having a career instead of just a job. It's been a long time coming, but I'm really getting it done.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

School and Stuff

I just spent a ridiculous amount of time watching a commercial second by second and writing down everything that happened in it. Why would I do this, you ask? It's for English Comp; I have to write an analysis of an advertisement that does the following:

describes the advertisement’s features/narrative accurately; explains the significance of those features in terms of their relationship to the product/idea for sale; uses this particular advertisement to identify the cultural values that this advertisement reflects and on which it capitalizes.

Sounds like a load of fun, doesn't it? Also, I really feel I'm learning a skill here that's going to help me on my chosen career path (nursing, for those of you who didn't already know that). Can you tell that I'm less than enthusiastic about this assignment?

In other news, it's exactly one month until we leave on vacation. That means one month until I'm done with school for this semester.Which feels a little crazy when I think about it, that time has flown by this fast. But now it's starting to creep by again. I can see the end in sight, with our long awaited trip as my reward, but it feels so far away. And yes, this is a total first world problem, I am well aware of that. I have about a million things to do before the trip, including some that aren't really necessary but that I would like to get off my to-do list, so I'm hoping that I'll be able to fill my non-school time up enough so it goes by faster. On a related note, does anyone want to come hang some blinds and put up a shelf in Alex's room?

OK folks, I'm off to bed. 6 am comes awfully early and I have to get my beauty sleep. Here's hoping I have something more interesting to say tomorrow.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Not Flaking, Yet

So, here I am, day two... that's right folks. I can successfully carry through on a commitment for two whole days. Aren't you proud?

Seriously, it feels good to be putting my fingers to the keyboard. Even when I don't have much to say, like tonight. There's a cold rampaging through my house right now. Alex is in my room, passed out in front of the TV, because he's so pitiful when he's asleep that I just can't tell him no. Jym is working, powering through in that manly way of his, although I'm sure he'll make up for it by sleeping extra late on his days off.

And me? Well, despite my stuffy head, sore throat, and burgeoning cough I just managed to finish my speech assignment, so I've dosed myself with NyQuil. I expect it to take effect shortly, so if you see a random string of characters on your screen just a little further down, that was my forehead hitting the keyboard. NyQuil hits me like a ton of bricks and it also tends to make me chatty, so forgive any rambling I may do.

I haven't managed to get any Halloween photos uploaded; fingers crossed that I manage to do that tomorrow. You know, after I finish my online math test, complete the rough draft for my English Comp paper, read the three chapters for the next test in my Psychology class and practice my Monday night speech 3 or 4 times. Other than those things, I've got nothing going on.

All right guys, I can feel the NyQuil now and I've had to re-type this sentence about 5 times already, so I'm off to bed. More to come tomorrow.

P.S. My speech for Monday is a persuasive speech to convince people to get at least 8 hours of sleep. Do you think they audience will be able to detect the hypocrisy?

Friday, November 1, 2013


Oh, look, it's NaBloPoMo time again. You know what that means... another year in which I pledge to write everyday and then flake after about three posts.

It's not that I don't have anything to say; there's a constant stream of ideas in my head. Unfortunately, by the time I get done all the things that I have to do most of those ideas have evaporated into a misty, vaguely blog shaped form in the back of my sleep deprived brain.

But! This year will be different. This year I will write. I'm already at the computer, working on school stuff, so surely I can spare a few minutes for this neglected space. I won't be using any of the prompts that are popping up all over the Internet as we speak. I tried that last year and it felt too much like homework. What I will do is just sit down and write. If it pops into my head, it's going on the blog.

I have a lot going on right now. I'm in school now, working on my nursing degree. I'm just in the starting stage right now, so there's a lot of "Why do I have to take this class? Oh, everyone has to take it." English Comp for example, which I have to take in two semesters (Comp I & II). For someone who loves to write so much, you'd think it would be a breeze, but it's actually pretty boring. Also, my professor doesn't seem to like my writing style and I keep getting marked off for things that are not actually, technically, incorrect. To this I say "blerg." There's not much I can do about it, and at my age I'm not likely to make many major changes in the way I write, so I'm hoping to just get through the class with a decent grade and get a different professor for Comp II.

Alex is in Kindergarten, and doing well. He blew through the reading program that they use in about 8 weeks, so the school bought him a license for the 3rd grade program and he's working on that. They earn points for the activities and quizzes in the program and his teacher set his goal at 10 points. He's earned 2 already in the week he's been using it, so I think you can see where this is going.

Alrighty, my typing fingers are already tired from working on my Public Speaking assignment, so I'm signing off for tonight. If you're lucky, I might motivate myself to upload the Halloween photos tomorrow so you can see Alex in all his cuteness. Until then I leave you with this:

Seriously,isn't he the cutest kid in the world?

Monday, August 5, 2013


I sent my boy off to Kindergarten today. We've been preparing for this day for weeks, months really, talking about the things that he'll do and learn. I've been trying to get him excited, to avoid the tears and separation anxiety so many people talk about.

I may have done too good of a job.

We walked into the school this morning at 7:40. Well, I walked. Alex was bouncing around like a demented bunny on a steady diet of amphetamines and coffee. It was all I could do to get him to hold still long enough for the obligatory first day of school photo.

We walked down what felt like the shortest hallway in the world, me trying to slow him down and Alex rushing to join the throng of children heading for the check-in table. Reaching the table they ask what group he's in. "Orange," I say, proud to have remembered this important fact. While I have my 5 second conversation with the teacher, Alex has already located his name tag and is attempting to peel the backing. The teacher smiles as I stick the tag to Alex's shirt, pressing firmly to make sure it sticks, to ensure that everyone knows my baby's name today.

We follow the crowd to the Auditorium, Alex dragging me along. As soon as we walk in the sound hits me, dozens of children in various states of excitement and dismay. Alex makes his way to an empty seat in the front row, next to a boy in a green shirt, eager to make a new friend.

The boy is sad, however, and Alex is baffled by this.

And that pretty much sums it up. To him, this is all an adventure, the first step into the most exciting thing he's ever done. How can anyone be scared or sad or lonely or nervous when everything is so grand? And just like that, the sadness that was welling inside of me evaporates, morphing into delight at the joy he feels. I kneel down, giving him a kiss and receiving a lick in return (a delightful habit he's developed lately). I hug him and move to stand when he throws his arms around my neck, squeezing tightly. "Love you, Mama," he whispers in my ear. I laugh, relieved that he needs me after all and hold him tight. Just seconds later I disentangle myself and step away.

"Be good today," I tell him, mock stern. He grins, mischievous. He settles into his chair and I move towards the door, and just like that, I'm no longer the focus of his world. He looks around as I watch, kicking his feet as he takes it all in. When I reach the door I turn back one last time, expecting him to be watching.

He is not, of course, not my independent boy. I call his name and blow him a kiss. He sends one back and I'm gone, leaving him in the hands of people I've just met, letting him go, just a bit.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

For Alex - My Almost Big Boy

I love...

how you think cuddling and snuggling are different. To quote you: "Cuddling is touching and snuggling is no touching!"

the way you love music; you sing all the time, and it makes me smile whenever I hear your little off-key voice.

how proficient you've become with the computer. You use it better than some of the people I work with, and I'm so proud that you're diving full force into the technocentric world we live in.

how happy you were when you discovered that our new king sized bed is plenty big enough for the three of us to cuddle without Daddy grumbling that he doesn't have any room.

that you want to hold my hand, even when we're just walking around the house. I know our hand holding days are numbered.

your ninja moves. You flip and kick and air-punch your way across the living room several times a day, always with a cry of "Watch my moves, mama!"

your enthusiasm for make believe. We were playing restaurant the other day, and you were so involved that you tried to eat the sandwich you made. You quickly discovered that felt food is not as good as the real thing.

the look of concentration on your face when you're really focused on something. I wonder what's really going on in that mind of yours.

the way you sneak into my room in the morning, unplugging your iPhone with as much stealth as possible, hoping to get a few uninterrupted moments with your favorite apps. I usually wake up because you walk like a herd of elephants, but I let you think your sneaking works, because you're always so pleased with yourself.

how you still think mommy kisses make everything better. I don't know how much longer this particular magic will keep working, but as long as it does, I'm happy to kiss your boo-boos - even the ones on your stinky toes!

how big you are now, but how you're still so small at the same time. I want to freeze this age, almost five, and keep you like this forever... almost a big boy, but still young enough to need your mama.

I love you, Alex.

Thanks to Allie, over at Having a Fields Days, for the idea for this post. Her list for Sarah Hazel is so sweet.