Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Have you ever noticed that posts, comments, messages, etc., that slam education are almost always written with poor grammar? Misspelled words, incorrect tense, cursing and slang are used to complain about the awful decisions of administrators or the unfairness of a teacher or how those who can't, teach.

I just want to tell them, gosh, you're right. You obviously learned nothing and should go demand your money back. Instead, perhaps you should try going back and paying more attention this time around. You might even learn to complain without sounding like an idiot.

Oh, the grumpiness of an English teacher :-)

Avoiding seclusion

Last night my wonderful husband gave me the night off, which I accepted before he could change his mind, and I headed off to Starbucks with my laptop and my new book. BTW, have you guys ever had the awesome thrill that comes when you pick up a book and it has a picture of *your friend* as the author? It's unreal. The worst part is the book is broken into 31 segments that are meant to be read one a day so I don't get to sit and devour it all at once.

As I read the first section, I got to thinking. One day I might be a famous author and have to answer questions about why I write and how I got started. So I opened up my text editor and typed out my reasons and experience so far because I want to have a real answer when I get asked one day. Knowing myself, I know that I'll forget the order of things and the sense of unfulfilled purpose that is driving me. One thing I included was the first time that I had written something of which I was incredibly proud (6th grade Language Arts paper) and I was amazed at the details I remember about how and where I wrote the paper, watching Mr. Cates (I even remember his name) read the paper aloud, and how I felt when the instructions I wrote *worked*. Wow. It's that kind of affirmation that fuels dreams.

Oh wait, this post was supposed to be on avoiding seclusion. So I sat at Starbucks writing when my 6-year-old called. She was homesick and we spent a long time just chatting and being silly. I typed out the final few thoughts on my why I write essay as I was talking to K, so the ending is a bit choppy, but I figure I have a little while to clean that up :-) After I closed that file, I opened up Chapter 2 of the novel I'm writing and got 1 1 /2 paragraphs written before a friend came in with some of her friends. I was introduced and we ended up chatting for an hour. I had a fabulous time just talking with these ladies. On the way home, I got a call from another friend and had another great conversation. Today, I met with a group of moms and kids for a play date that extended into a lunch date. I am so incredibly thankful for women that are willing to arrange their schedules and put their time and energy into spending time with me. The thing I fear the most is getting out of the habit of friends - having friends, being a friend, getting out of the house and doing things with friends. Being a SAHSM is a very isolating position if I don't work to build new relationships and nurture the ones I've already got.

So yeah, I didn't get as much work done on my novel as I would have liked, but I wouldn't have traded the time spent with friends for any number of words written.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Learning more about the girls

6-year-old K has been gone 1 1/2 weeks visiting the grandparents and comes back Thursday so it's just been 3-year-old L to deal with during the day. It's been an eye-opening experience, to say the least, so I thought I should chronicle what I've learned.

1. It was so much easier to just have 1 child! Getting errands run, fixing lunch, deciding what to do, etc., all go so much faster and smoother when there's just one child to motivate. It's also a whole lot harder, too. There is no big sister to help out with chores and entertaining the small one, so I end up doing much more interacting and far less of the other things I need to get accomplished. By the day's end I am also craving the more intelligent conversation of my oldest daughter.

2. There's only so much Dora a person should be asked to take. L has gotten on a Dora kick since there's no one else to put in an opinion on what to watch and we only have 7 or so episodes to choose from. She doesn't have the TV addiction her older sister sometimes displays, but it's enough to get really annoying.

3. L is a much more girly girl than K has ever been. She has suddenly taken to wearing mostly dresses and insists on accessorizing with jewelry, hair clips, and a purse stocked with such essentials as a toy camera, toy phone, empty make-up case, and a comb. This could be a response to her newly pierced ears, the fact that her tomboy sister isn't here to emulate, so she has to go with her own style, or that she has officially been part of our family for half of her life. The common wisdom for older child adoptions is that a child must be with the adoptive family for at least as long as she was in all other care situations combined (birth family, foster family, and orphanage) before she finally feels comfortable enough to show her true personality (and test the waters again that you're not going to leave her no matter what she does). Maybe L really just is a very feminine little girl.

4. We are going to have to address K's attitude issues. It's been so nice to *not* have someone talking back and getting sassy over everything and it took getting away from it for awhile to notice that it was such a problem. Truly, K's not that bad and I've seen worse, but she could definitely stand some improvement in that area. Unfortunately, she comes from 2 rather obstinate parents, so she comes by it honestly and I should probably work on that trait in myself as well. Otherwise, going through adolescence with 2 girls is going to be a nightmare.

5. These 2 weeks have been exactly the opportunity L needed to do some growing up. Potty-training occurred spontaneously and she finally decided it was okay to call herself a big girl.

It's time to get dinner together to take to a friend who just added daughters #2 and #3 to their family. I love my 2 girls, but I'm glad it's her with the three and not me!

I figure the first post of my new blog should be something about how I'm going to use my blog to change the world and save mankind. If I can't claim so lofty a goal, it should at least include some kind of vision statement, some reason to exist. Heck, even just a list of potential topics might be nice. I've read a few blogs in my time and everyone seems to have some overarching theme that ties their posts together. My DH has an awesome and intelligent site devoted to security. A friend fills hers with her 1 picture per day goal. A couple of pastors I know fill their with, well, pastor-like topics.

I've had to face the fact that I have no one all-consuming passion that I want to immortalize in a blog. As you can see from my description, my day is typically broken into a hundred different activities where I'm playing a hundred different roles and they all demand my undivided attention. (They don't always get my undivided attention, but I find it's a whole lot safer when I focus during activities like driving the car.) So my blog will probably be a lot like my life and deal with a plethora of topics. I suppose the overarching theme of my blog will have to be life as it appears from the viewpoint of a SAHSM (and if you don't know what that is, please see the description under my blog title).

So why write a blog, you ask? The answer is simply that I like to write. I need an excuse to write. My dream is to be a real, published writer. Of course, I have several published books to my credit, but since I was a technical writer, they were software manuals, and my name doesn't appear in any of them, they don't count. Having a blog gives me a place to practice and hone my skills. It also keeps me accountable to writing and pursuing what it takes to become a published writer. By nature I am a very laid-back, lazy person who is content to handle the crisis of the moment and not spend the time and effort required to pursue anything more. There are many opportunities out there to break into writing professionally and I need to make myself go after them, so my plan is to keep an accounting of the submissions I send off and make sure I'm doing more than waiting for the next easy thing.

The reason this is all so important to me is that I need to find something outside of my roles as wife and mother. I need something that will keep me from losing myself. Don't get me wrong, I love the life I lead and I couldn't ask for a better husband and kids, but I still feel a restlessness, a need to do something significant. Whether the restlessness comes from Satan to keep me from the contentment I should feel or the restlessness comes from God because I'm not doing all that He wants me to do, that's up for debate. At any rate, I'm anxious to see what is revealed.