altarflame: (deluge)
The two main themes of my life these days are that child rearing can be harrowing, and politics. But that first topic is something I'm holding close, and the second one will enrage me to the point that I'll have to write 5,000 pages of vitriol, SO.

Theme #3: My Awkward Ascent Into Professionalism.

This really began late last year, when I had to figure out what exactly "business casual" actually means, for women, in Miami, and then sit down and construct a resume after more than a decade of stay at home parenting. These disheartening efforts were rewarded, though, with two different successful interviews, a training program, and a lot of invaluable experiences. Then, my Bachelor's degree arrived in the mail, screaming LEGITIMACY and honestly terrifying me because I have a fear of success that's hard to explain to people. It was followed a couple of months later by my grad school acceptance letter.

Nevermind my 48 hours of constant anxiety as I tried to accept that I was truly going to graduate school. Nevermind that first night at the Switchboard when I didn't realize until I was leaving that I had a big, 3D, unblended CHUNK of makeup in the middle of my forehead, or the time months later when I hadn't gotten my parking validation due to a mixup and realized as I was due to leave the garage that I had no way to pay and was therefore stuck arguing with a security guard at the gate. On the phones, I was doing good things! It was seriously meaningful and at times very moving. It was also sometimes horrific and I cried the whole (hour long) ride home more than once.

More recently, things have Gotten Real on new levels. In the last month I've done things like;

-Interview one on one for 45 minutes with the field coordinator at my school to talk about agency placements, and then head to the bathroom to see that I had a big, smeary, unidentifiable black smudge on my forehead the whole time.
-Rush out the door on my way to an evening presentation, dressed up but barefoot (carrying my shoes), and step right into a giant warm pile of cat puke on my front porch. This led to me wasting precious minutes shrieking and leaping around my wet, dark front yard grass trying to clean my foot.
-Leave my house bright and early for an agency interview, and then realize my GPS was leading me to the wrong place, and then realize I didn't understand the parking setup or facility gate system, so I had to call a secretary no less than FOUR TIMES and arrive almost half an hour late. She was very nice about how confusing their set up is, and how their official address is not really accurate except for mail, and how frequently people have these problems, and I really think the interview ended up going well, EXCEPT JUST FOR FUN ON THE WAY OUT -
-I got told they'll need "a reliable phone number" for me, and realized when I inquired about what the problem is with my cell number that I sent them a resume with a switched digit in the number... that they've been trying to call *headdesk*
-Later, I saw the emails from the guy I was interviewing with, inquiring about where I was and asking me to call his cell, that arrived while I was calling his secretary and driving in circles.

And again, the content driven parts, I am proud of. An older guy in a suit lead me into a big lobby area to sit side by side, and said, "Paint a picture of yourself for me," and I was able to be very honest and make it clear I was a good fit.

But man. The transition from long term stay at home parenting to being professional is, at times, a bumpy road. I feel simultaneously silly and proud when I look back on how many logistical things I've had to gradually get the hang of since I went back to school... like, gee, if you are gonna be gone for 6 solid hours, you are really screwed if you forget to put on deodorant before you head out, or don't plan ahead for how you'll eat. WHAT ADVANCED CONCEPTS.

Something about having a bunch of kids to tote supplies for trains you to feel like if it's just you, you're basically a free agent who needs nothing and can get by on zero prep.

Phone number typo aside, it's encouraging how much more I have to write on a resume now vs this time last year. Then it was, "almost have a bachelors" - now it's "working on my MSW." The Switchboard experience is a great thing for the kinds of places I'm applying, too. It's still a bare bones single sheet with room to spare, but it's more substantive than it was.

My current epiphany/conundrum is that I realized my one acceptable, flattering, "business casual" outfit may be fine for presentations and interviews, but is not gonna cut it when I'm interning 3 days per week for a whole semester. So, uh, I guess I have to go shopping.
altarflame: (deluge)

We are having wonderful conversations lately. Things my lovely little Beastie said to me, yesterday, include...

"I wish I could read minds! Then I would know what Tom was dreaming about."
Tom is a cat.

"Wouldn't it be awesome if I could just say a word, like (points at my cup) 'GOLD!' and it would turn the thing gold? Or I could say any word, and whatever I was pointing at would turn into the word I said..."

"I'll bet if I was a mama chicken, and I had to sit on eggs, and it wasn't time for them to hatch yet, that would be super boring."

And things that I explained to her, yesterday, include...

-vacuum sealed packaging
-why cameras have flashes
-what happens to bathwater after it drains
-the difference between a pegasus and a unicorn
-what cheerleaders do

Peter, Aaron's cat, brought a rat in and dropped it the other evening when we had the doors open. It led to about an hour of total anarchy, small people standing on furniture shrieking, small people trying to chase and herd it outside, and me trying to shout over everyone to calm them down and formulate some sort of plan. The rat was adorable and terrified of us and, at one point, Aaron managed to catch it in a beanie hat, yet it still got away. We eventually ended up resigning ourselves to the fact that it was going to spend the night in our piano. We set up a humane trap, and now we keep moving that humane trap around the house based on where someone thinks they may have heard or seen the thing. It's in the walls, though, and I don't want to poison it and then have it die in the walls and smell terrible.

Elise and I were talking about this, and all of a sudden she had the biggest eyes and the brightest idea, that the fairies could let it out through the fairy doors we have in the kitchen or the big closet. Ever since then, we talk a lot about the fairies riding the rat around in the walls, and whether they've put a saddle on it.
altarflame: (Snoop)
The best part of my day was the park. It was cool and windy, and I just vegged on a bench crocheting something just for me, for once, while Isaac, Jake and Elise ran around playing. When it was time to go they ran off ahead as I got my stuff together, and then I found them at the water fountain. Isaac was on all fours, with Elise standing on his back drinking while Jake held the button down. They make me really happy.

There's a Porteugese woman who brings two foster kids to the park all the time. She only speaks Porteugese, while the children speak only Spanish and Creole, respectively. Through my broken spanish which is sort of almost like Porteugese, which I may not be spelling correctly, I have managed to ascertain that the kids are from South America and Haiti, and have mental deficiencies in the boy's case and some kind of terminal genetic condition in the girl's. The woman is a nurse who brings them to the park the same day we go. She likes what I crochet and can't believe I have five kids that are all mine. She really, really wants to know english. Somehow through a lot of gesturing and laughter we get a lot through. My kids and her charges share sand toys. It is a really fancy and gorgeous park in the middle of a very affluent neighborhood and we usually have it to ourselves. I don't normally like trying to make small talk in english, but somehow I am always glad to see this woman when she turns out to be there.

The best part of my night, after an epic solo dance party that left me with jello legs, was the bath. I keep telling Grant I need to devise some kind of waterproof cushions I can stick in that tub so I can get comfortable and go to sleep. You know, without drowning.

The best part of my weekend was playing Uno with Grant and Shaun last night. We laughed so much, for so long. I am really not sure what would happen if I drank but it would surely be ridiculous because I get pretty delirious naturally. Also, you would not believe how hard and often I kick their asses at Uno.

I feel like a bad person for bringing this up, but I keep thinking about it and I was just like, you know what? I'm gonna bring it up. So. My older kids have Harry Potter posters all over their room, and one wall has a shot of Tom Felton, aka Draco Malfoy, just as himself, the actor - and then also another picture of Draco Malfoy, in character like wearing wizard robes or something. And I was weirded out by how Draco is a semi-attractive kid, you can look at the picture and think, ok, he's gonna be hot one day. Tom my opinion, which I admit is subjective. Anyway, I went and did a google image search one night after reading to them to see if it was just those particular shots and it is REALLY REALLY WEIRD how without fail, Draco looks great and Tom Felton...doesn't. To a degree that is disconcerting and beyond makeup or whatever. I mean, it IS THE SAME GUY, WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?

Behold examples of this shallow drivel behind the cut )

Nancy emailed me this picture that she took of Ananda, while they drove alone in her car.

I need to make myself a new purse. The one I've been using forever is getting ripped and stained and just, generally, no longer acceptable. I have this whole vision for patchwork and even got some supplemental fabrics last time I was at Kristin's; I just need to get in there with the sewing machine and make it happen.

I also have several things I need to list on eBay to fund important things like more trips to Lush. If anyone is interested in some still brand new (aside from sitting in my closet for a year) red Doc Marten boots with black laces, for instance, or a used forest green Balenciaga bag I found at Goodwill, please do let me know. I also have a vomitous (but pristine!) Hello Kitty bag with little dangly Hello Kitty...things...on it, that appears new. It would be great to not have to deal with setting up auctions. Maybe I'll post pictures here first. The boots are a women's size 10, men's 8, and definitely Unisex in design. Standard high calf Dr. Marten combat boots.

And I think tomorrow is going to be a highly interactive school day, rife with Right Start Math, Story of the World history, and group e-searching of various scientific questions I've recently been asked. I am going to be delusional and pretend I won't have Elise taking up all my space in the bed and pestering me for milk within 10 minutes of going to lay down.
altarflame: (Default)
In honor of how I'm turning 28 this month, which seems kind of weirdly surreal to be honest now that it is nearly upon me, I'm going to record two recent traumas.

1. I realized I have this deep crease under each eye. It's way up under there, like under my lower lashes,'s deep. And there. I think, well, I mean, uh - I think it could know...a wrinkle.

2. Forgive me for the tmi, my more modest readers, but I made this guideline for myself a few years ago that I would trim my hair here and there but not CUT IT cut it until it grew at least past my boobs, right? It was at just the right length to curl over them at the time when I was naked. Sounded good to keep my scissor happiness at bay. Well. A few days ago I got out of the shower and I was like, huh, it's been a long time since I've cut my hair, and it's still only like two inches as judged by it's relative place with my boobs - WAIT A MINUTE!!! OH MAN THIS CANNOT BE! I THINK...I THINK...I THINK MY HAIR HAS CONTINUED TO GROW!!!!

*shaking my head*

Ah well.

For what it's worth this is really funny stuff to me.

There was a lot I did not get done, today, but the things I did manage I'm very satisfied with.

-I am now TOTALLY done with Isaac's blanket - it's in there covering his whole bed and he's sleeping with it for the first night <3
-I sewed Aaron's ballet shoes...they come with stretchy straps that have to be custom sewn to fit the particular feet, usually there is a seamstress at dance stores for that but there wasn't this time. It's a really easy thing, but, whatevs, he is happy with them and I feel accomplished
-got replacement parts that had gone missing from Elise's seat for my bike. On our last road trip, which we took the bike rack on, some strap attachments seemed to have been gradually beaten off by the highway wind or something. She asks about it ALL THE TIME since it's been out of commission, and FINALLY it's back together...and free! The bike shop had a duplicate seat that was somehow defective and they were credited for and they just gave me the pieces off of it :)
-I had a long phone conversation with my brother that has led Grant and I to some deep talk and possible changes...more on that later.

I am so tired, and it is feeling so late to me, that I'm gonna just be lazy as I've never been and let people know there are some pictures from Jake's birthday on my flickr. I was really happy with how his robot cake came out.

Tomorrow is gonna be like,

-breakfast/prayers/chores for everyone
-go pick up our produce, and deposit checks
-put away a massive ton of laundry
-Right Start Math w/ A and A
-money lesson with Isaac
-read to little kids
-bake pie pumpkins, clean dining room and kicthen maniacally while they bake
-make phone calls to my mother and brother
-come up with some kind of dinner plan
-take Aaron to his Elite dance class
-dinner, bedtime routines, finally alone time with Grant
-which will feature The Office on hulu. We have a sweet backed up few episodes from him not watching anything throughout September.
altarflame: (Default)
Two major good things: Elise's birthday party and my Mother's Day yesterday.

Photo Tour of the Birthday Party, and then some other pics )

Mother's Day was PERFECT. Really, really great...I told Grant the day before that I'd like to go down to Anne's Beach and eat out for dinner.
I woke up at 1 in the afternoon, and he had french toast ready and all the kids wearing goggles ready to greet me :D

The drive down was great, the water was warm as a bath and just as clear, ISAAC GOT OUT OF HIS LITTLE INFLATABLE BOAT AND GOT IN WITH US, Jake and Elise were brave enough to walk and wade and "swim" alone the whole way out on the sandbars for the first time...and yesterday, the sandbars went clear out to the boating channels, I swear you could go half a mile from shore and still be in knee deep water.

Outback in Islamorada was heaven afterwards. No, really...HEAVEN. And the ride back was warm wind through the open roof in the van and good music and talking with G.

Sweet Mother's Night, too. You know, "Every Mother's Day has to have a Mother's Night", right?
Like this:

Anyway, yeah, good Mother's Night :p

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