Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Sweet Sound of Silence (With a Foray Into the Squeaky Wheel Syndrome)

Silence is golden. I know that's a term we've all heard before but for me, especially today, it really hits home. Today I got to sit for quite some time and write without interruption for a decent stretch of time. The girls were gone and it seemed that my muse was kicked into high gear. (Thank you, muse.) As I've stated before, I require relative silence to write, which usually means I'm writing at the ass-crack of dawn before the girls get up or after they go to bed at night. Neither of those scenarios are exactly perfect for me. I'm not a morning person. And after a full day of work, tending to the house and the girls, etc., my brain is usually fried by the time 9pm rolls around. And I really needed the silence today, not only to write, but to reflect upon a few recent events - some of them good, others not so good.

On a high note, Maya (the soon to be 5 year old miracle child) lost her first tooth - while she was brushing her teeth. It required no effort to pull out, it quite literally fell out as she was happily brushing with her Spongebob toothbrush Saturday morning. That was quite a momentous occasion, and the tooth fairy did make a visit to her. (Actually the tooth fairy was running a bit late, but no worries, it did not get caught, whew.)

On the other hand, work has been beyond stressful lately, with lots of changes - and the promise of more to come. Some of those changes have been sad, hopefully the upcoming ones will not be that bad. Either way, those changes have made me aware that absolutely no one is indispensable at their job - at any point in time all of us can be expendable to our so-called bosses. Years of service and dedication can be flushed down the toilet in the blink of an eye. You know what else I've noticed about many workplaces (this actually pertains to life in general, not just work though) - the squeakiest wheel gets the grease. It seems as if the people that bitch the most and make the most noise and basically just bully other people get what they want - whether it is fair or not. I've also found that many people like that are liars and only out for themselves and will step on anybody in their quest for....well, whatever it is they want. At the risk of sounding like a Pollyanna, why does it have to be like that? Whatever happened to rewarding the people that do their job, without complaint every day - especially those that go above and beyond and do more than what is asked of them? I'm thinking that karma will eventually have to intervene....Wow, that was a tangent I didn't expect to go on. Anyway....

I'm thankful that I had a few hours to myself to recharge and relax. I have to admit (here comes the parental guilt) it is nice to get a brief break from having to act as a referee, nurse, short order cook and maid, even if just for a short period of time. Today's silence is due in part to the in-laws taking the girls for a few hours, something that doesn't exactly happen on a regular basis due to a plethora of reasons. However, this is not the time or the place to go into those reasons - because, as we have already covered....sometimes silence is golden. 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Fun and Slightly Wild Father's Day

Well today was Father's Day, but due to being hundreds of miles away doing the military thing, John was unable to be here with us. The girls were a little sad about it and I didn't want them to sit and dwell about missing him, so I decided to take a walk on the wild side. Unbeknownst to me (until recently- thanks to, our little neck of the woods is home to a rather interesting attraction - a petting zoo filled with some interesting and exotic animals. It's called the Idle Hour Ranch and is home to a plethora of animals both big and small - including (but not limited to) a giraffe named Sam, llamas, camels, goats, birds, an anteater, wolves and kangaroos. An added attraction this weekend (and a few more upcoming weekends) are the elephants. The animals are very interactive with their visitors - especially when they are eating food directly from your hands! How cool is that?

Because Maya is immunosuppressed, she was unable to pet or feed the animals, but she was excited to be so close to them. Both of the girls were thrilled with the antics of the animals - Peaches the bird was especially vocal today. Sam the giraffe was a big hit - he ate bread straight from Laely's hand and had beautiful and expressive (and big) brown eyes. (He also pooped while we were feeding him, an observation that Maya was all too happy to point out to everyone.) There were goats running free around the farm that were very friendly and curious. The llama we saw (and fed) was also an interesting character.

Elephant rides were offered, but Laely didn't want to ride without me and since Maya couldn't partake in that particular activity (again due to immunosuppression issues - animal bacteria, etc.) we passed on that. Laely was thrilled with her pony ride though. The kangaroos were fun to watch and the Pot-Bellied Pigs were a big hit with the girls as well. The beautiful cougar was also an breathtaking sight to see up close and personal.

Overall, the trip to Idle Hour Ranch was a great way to spend Father's Day, and I'm hoping the girls remember the fun we had instead of focusing on the fact that they couldn't be with their dad. However, we did get a phone call from him today after we got home, which added to the excitement of the day. I'm not sure what made them happier - the 10 minute phone call from Daddy or the afternoon spent at a petting zoo, but either way I'm happy just because they are.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Where Does the Time Go?

Well, it's official - I am now the mother of a seven year old. It's been quite the whirlwind of a day...mostly happy but still tinged with a bit of firstborn is growing up. Sometimes it feels as if it's all happening at warp speed. I still remember the day Laely was born like it was yesterday. The pain of labor (especially back labor) was almost unbearable (until that lovely epidural kicked in). I remember the tense silence in the room as the doctor realized the umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck - then the sweet sound of her lungs filling with air and the loud and beautiful sound of my baby's first cries. Within a few short minutes of her birth, I was holding her and I looked into her bright and wondrous eyes as she slowly focused on her surroundings. I realized that this precious gift was mine - and that a piece of my heart would always be with her. I remember the awe that both John and I felt that day (and every day since).

Now, she's a spunky and curious seven year old girl who loves to read, write and dance. She has changed my life (as children tend to do) in so many unexpected but positive ways - and I believe that she (and Maya) are two of the best things that have ever happened to me. As I watched her enjoy her ice cream cake tonight, surrounded by friends and family, I found myself smiling yet I also felt tears in my eyes. I'm so proud of the way she is growing up and love to watch her evolve as a person, but at the same time I wish time would slow down.

After the party was over and the friends and family left, we talked about her day. She told me it was the perfect birthday - she missed Daddy but she was excited to get his letter, she loved her presents and all the fun things she had gotten to do throughout the day. Then Laely told me that she loved me and that I made her feel like the luckiest girl in the world. And I'll take that compliment from my girls as much as I can get it - because in another 7 years when she's a teenager I probably won't be hearing that too often. And I'll probably still be wondering where the time goes.....

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Another Week in the Life....

Ok - things have been a little hectic lately. Between shooting a commercial, working on several different writing projects and FINALLY buying a car I seriously have been feeling like a chicken running around with it's head cut off. Technically I have been car-less since March, when my 12 year old Honda finally bit the dust.  I have been driving John's car, seeing as how he doesn't need it until October. However, his car (which is also a 12 year old Honda) has almost 200,000 miles on it and leaks oil and other unidentifiable fluids.  Another recent issue with his car is the fact that if you drive it at a speed above 60 miles per hour it tends to shake, shimmy and convulse more than a Pentecostal during Sunday church service. (And don't even get me started on the odd noises coming out of the car's engine.) For the past few weeks, I have been dragging the girls all over hell's half-acre (aka lots and lots of car lots), searching for the perfect car within my price range and budget. Finally, I got what I wanted, made the deal and drove my sweet little SUV off the lot. (Here's a shameless plug for KIA of Dayton and my credit union - they rock!)

Writing has been going particularly well - I think? I finally grew some balls (so to speak) and submitted a  short story in a writing contest. (I did this at the urging of a fellow writer - never ever would I have had the courage to do it on my own. I wanted to enter a contest earlier in the year in order to help gain a spot at a local writer's workshop but totally talked myself out of it. Maybe next year though.) Anyway, I've also been working on the manuscript, finished another short story and have been working on an article for a local website/blog. It's odd, I have been writing for so long but talking about it still makes me nervous. You know the feeling - like when you have that nightmare that you're giving a speech naked in front of a bunch of people you don't know and they are all laughing at you?

Oh well, I guess I'll keep slogging through and making progress putting words onto paper. Writing tends to help me calm down when I'm stressed. I've found that I can find inspiration even in the most asinine situations. (I work with the public - I run into those crazy situations on an almost daily basis.)  Plus, it's cheaper than therapy.