momometer

Busy moms, life in general

Will I ever get a job???

Here’s the scoop. I graduated with a BA in Early Childhood Education in 2010, as a “non-traditional student”. I had a baby that fall, so I decided not to apply anywhere because, let’s face it, though they cannot legally say pregnancy was the reason, no one is going to hire someone to work in a school when they are due in early September. That was the year I got my tutoring gig part time after school, 6 hours a week. It was nice and gave us a little extra money, but it’s a Jan-June thing. Last year I sent out 7 packets with not a single response. No rejection letter, no acknowledgement of receipt…nothing. Last September I enrolled back in school for my Master’s degree in Curriculum Instruction. Winter came, again I did the tutoring gig. Here we are another year and I have sent out 5 or 6 resume packets and have gotten one acknowledgement with a polite “Don’t call us, we’ll call you.” and today, a letter stating that another candidate was selected. This one said that there were 60 candidates for the job.

I have to admit, I am pretty frustrated and depressed at this point. I can’t even get to the interview stage. I have not had experience, but can’t get any because no one is interested in giving me a chance. All through school we heard about all the jobs available and “teacher shortages”. Um, where? Because I am not seeing them here, in fact, it seems like there is a teacher overabundance that is creating job scarcity. I really NEED a job at this point. My husband  is self-employed so the pay is sporadic, I have bills and court-ordered expenses to pay to my ex, I need income! Do I take a menial job and try to make ends meet and have to start repaying my $350+ a month student loans, or do I try and tough it out another year? I don’t know. When I get my Master’s degree, will it help my job search, or hinder it? I don’t know what to do about any of it, but hope and pray for the best. I put my best foot forward and hope I’m a good match for something out there. There is one job I haven’t applied for that I qualify for, that is a job that is 1 hour 45 minutes away near the border of a neighboring state.  I am half tempted to apply. The pay looked good, probably as an incentive since it is so far away.

Wish me luck!

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Momometer’s musings or Jayson and the beanstalk

So, there are a myriad of topics I want to discuss today. First, totally random, I was onlne last night and remembered hearing something about my local library being haunted. Now, I have a an extermely overactive imagination, so much so, that I was forbidden to watch scary movies as a child. A really scary one, called the Changeling,  had a wheelchair involved and I was petrified (it isn’t really scary). Even as an adult, I “hear” things after watching scary movies and don’t get a wink of sleep. Anyhoo, I decided to google my puplic library and added the word “haunted” to the search. I didn’t get that, but came across a blog, complete with podcasts, about a woman who has done ghost hunting all over the country. (Check it out at www.hollowhill.com ). I am not sure whether or not I believe in ghosts, but swear I have lived in haunted houses in the past. Luckily, I have been in one very unhaunted house for 7 years now. 🙂 I was fascinated by all the stories on there about ghosts, but mostly the history of the places. There was a neat story called “The Ghost Wore Boots” and it was in 4 episodes. IDK what got me off on that topic, but I thought it was pretty neat that even in the Northeast, there were lots of stories.

Next on my list of randomness is my healthier living. This morning I made some Banana muffins. They were supposed to be banana bran muffins, but I had no bran cereal, so I used Grape Nut Flakes instead. They were actually really good! My one caveat was that I used the paper baking liners, the muffins stucck to them. Next time, I’ll just spray the muffin tins with cooking oil. If anyone is interested, let me know and I’ll post the recipe! The next thing on my healthier living list is chemicals. I am a self-procalimed germiphobe and go through a lot of hand sanitizer. My kids laugh at me all the time because I even use it to wipe down my steering wheel every time I drive. “Mom, you’re the only one who drives the car, why do you sanitize it?” “Jay drives sometimes.” “He’s your husband!” “Yeah, have you SEEN his hands? Esp. after work???” Yeah. So I’ve been hearing all about cleaners creating toxic fumes in you house and being the cause of allergies and ADHD etc. I don’t know if I put much creedence in that or not, it’ll just change in a few days anyway, but I thought, if I have something natural and non-toxic, maybe the little ones can HELP me clean. I went to my library last week (I LOVE the library, and go at least weekly) and got a bunch of cleaning and organizing tip books. All say the same thing about vinegar as a cleaner, it is a natural anti-bacterial, freshens the house and cleans most surfaces really well. So, I gave it a go. 2 hours later, I have a fresh-smelling, sparkly clean kitchen. Mind you, I took everything off the counters, cleaned them, washed all the cabinet fronts, the dishwasher (outside where the klids managed to spill stuff on all 4 sides), the stove, the greasy stove fan, all the appliances, fridges (we have 2) and the sink. I still have a few places to hit, but it is great in there! I thought it would smell like a pickle jar, but once it dries, there is no vinegary odor. Talk about cheap! I bought a spray bottle for $0.92 and a jug of vinegar for under $2. I used almost the whole 24 oz! I also added some to the “Jet Dry” area of my dishwasher, my dishes look REALLY clean and sparkly and dried faster. This is not to say I will completely give up chemicals. I cannot give up my bleach for the bathroom, with boys, I just can’t do it, but if I can make some small changes that will make my family healthier, I will.

Speaking of health, Anna will be getting a sensory profile done next week. She does not eat fruits or veggies, only crunchy foods like cereal, weith the exception of a rare firm banana or apple slice. She also has an aversion to anything on her hjands, esp. slimy or sticky things. She will just cry if you can’t wipe it off fast enough. Talk about seeking stimulation! She jumps and bounces and is “busy” all day! It is crazy and getting to be more prominent as she gets older. I overlooked so much with Jayson, and am seeing it in her, so I am working with Early Intervention. I just hope she gets what she needs to succeed. I am really baffled as to why Sensory Integration disorder is not part of the DSM- IV though. It really does affect a child’s learning and life. *sigh*

Yesterday I blogged about my transplanted flowers and peppers, but I forgot to mention Jayson’s beans. You might remember my blog about the pinto bean in his ear (https://momometer.wordpress.com/2012/06/05/it-feels-as-tho/), so imagine my surprise when we were cleaning out his backpack and found a handful of some kind of white beans. He grabbed them and said he was saving them to plant, raced into the kitchen and threw them on top of the dirt in the little plastic pods (these were some where the plants hadn’t grown, or were waiting to be transplanted). I left them there fully intending to discard them later and promptly forgot about them. Fast forward about 4 days and we had not jsut little sprouts, but tiny plants several inches tall! I took a few pics of them after they were transplanted to a pot. It reminded me of the story of Jack and the Beanstalk, I wonder if the story arose because of the rapid rate at which those plants grow?

These are the beans…see what I mean about how tall they are?!

Look carefully in the center, you can see new ones beginning to emerge!

I  am trying to prepare for our next bout of hot weather. We have had rainy and cool weather for several days now, not humid and 60’s-70’s. It’s been wonderful! Now we are expecting 80’s by tomorrow and 90’s for Friday and the weekend. I can’t take the heat! I will try to enjoy myself despite the weather, and hope you all do too!

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Transplanting day

With the heat wave over, I decided my poor seedlings (?) plant shoots (?) whatever you want to call them needed some new digs…get it? Digs? LOL So they came out of the little plant pods and into planters or pots. I do not like getting dirty and my hands were covered, I even, *GASP* had dirt under my nails. It was worth it though because now my little plants have more room and will be residing on the deck instead of in my kitchen. I will have to see if they have enough sunlight where they are. They weren’t growing very big in the house and I am unsure whether that is becasue they had so little room or if it’s like my mother-in-law said. She thinks there is a coating on the windows that prevents enough light to come in for the plants. I’m not sure because I have another plant in here year round that seems to do ok although it does do better in the summer than in the winter.

Here are some pics:

Trying peppers in a planter.   Trying some peppers in a planter.

Transplanting to the hanging baskets and bigger pots.   Me with some transplants.

One pot of peppers.   Peppers in a pot.

Two pots of peppers.    More peppers in a pot.

Cut flower mix.   Cut flower mix.

Hummingbird mix.   Hummingbird mix.

    Not sure. LOL Thought it was sparsely, but isn’t.  That’s what happens when your daughter switches or removes the label sticks.

   Snapdragons.

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It’s gonna be a heat wave…

The windows are shut tight against this foe. Shades will be drawn as soon as the plants get enough sunlight. The A/C is humming. It is the first day of summer and we, in the Northeast, are expecting record-breaking temperatures. 100 degrees and humid. This is why I dislike summer. I am fortunate to live in a state where we see 4 seasons of change, have lakes, mountains and the ocean, but the heat of summer? I can do without it.

Maybe it’s my asthma, which acts up when the humidity rises and causes a poor air quality day. Maybe it’s the fact that you can strip naked, but still have skin and muscle and cannot remove that. Whatever the reason, I have always been more partial to fall and winter. Something about crisp, cool air, bundling up in sweaters, baking comfortably and cozying up appeals to me more than sweltering away all summer. Don’t get me wrong, I love the activities associated with summer; I love going to the beach and playing with the kids in the waves, we go to the lake as well ( I don’t like that so much due to my fear of fish and dislike of mucky bottoms made of dead leaf debris). Hiking is fun, riding our bikes, yard sales, carnivals, parades…like them! Heat and humidity, no. So, I will be hibernating in my cave of frigidity today. We may venture out early in the day to a playground, but will be home well before noon, with no outdoor activities.

On other fronts, I  completed 2 more classes Sunday and got A’s! Summer term started Monday, though I’ve yet to start the work. Weight loss is a joke right now. I keep gaining and losing the same 3 pounds. I need to amp up my efforts or cut back on the ice cream at night. I’ll tell you, it won’t be the ice cream that goes in this weather! 🙂

The kids, oh the kids! Anna has taken to body art, just as Kiersten did when she was little. She also inherited Kiersten’s love of redecorating. The problem? The art and redecorating is with markers. Usually purple, red or blue. Washable marker is a misnomer. It can fade slightly off the body, but even after soaking in a bubble filled bath and being scrubbed, it’s still there. And the walls? Yeah, washing them with a soapy cloth made it fade, but not disappear. I am wondering if vinegar or baking soda will help? Or will I need to go buy more Magic Erasers?

Jayson LOVES the antiques store in town. Yesterday he begged to go, so we did. He does well, asking if he can touch before he does. We have gone there for a year and a half or so and buy something almost every time we go. Yesterday a man working at the store was following us around barking “Don’t touch!” to everything. Funny, there was a man with 2 kids there and he wasn’t bothering them. Jayson was going around and saying “Mom! LOOK! Isn’t that a GREAT DEAL?!” or “Look at this Mom!” Then as we biked back home, he saw another antiques store and a consignment store with some of their wares on the sidewalk, “Hey mom! Look! Clothes! Isn’t that great mom? What a deal!”  How many 5 year olds like antique stores?! And he’s loved it since he was 3 1/2. My mother in law says it must be inherited as she and my husband both liked these things. My son, Tyler, says Jayson is going to be the next host on the Antiques Road show.

Speaking of heat, as if the man in the antique store wasn’t bad enough, we went to Goodwill, Jayson’s other favorite place to buy treasures, and some rude, toothless woman snapped at Jayson “Hey Kid! Move it! GET OUT of the WAY!”. The aisle is wide enough for 2 carts, he was up against a shelving unit and she was walking smack down the middle. I called to her “EXCUSE ME?! You don’t speak to him that way. A simple excuse me works.” She never even turned, just continued on her way smacking her gums. She bumped into some other adults though, I heard them exclaim as she did. Some people have no manners at all. It really steams me.

Keep cool, keep your cool and enjoy the day! I will!

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Looking up?

This last week has been full of pleasant surprises as far as school goes. First I had a stellar presentation. I have yet to receive my grade, but we had to first do a WebQuest, which so many peers liked as well as my professor, then I got rave reviews from them on my presentation. Let me rewind a bit, we had to create a Power Point Presentation on our WebQuest. I did mine as if I was explaining to other teachers about what a WebQuest is and why it is a good thing. It doesn’t have many slides, so I was unsure if it was “up to par”, but the feedback I recieved was phenominal! I am not one to toot my own horn, and like many of us, am my own harshest critic, so this really blew me away!

Now I have a school that is local and has 3 positions open. I needed a third letter of recommendation and asked a professor. Just this morning I got the letter and it was GLOWING! I couldn’t believe some of the things she said in there. I even posted on Facebook “I am amazed by other’s perceptions of me. Funny how it’s easier for others to see how well we do when we think we don’t quite “measure up”.” It is so true. I feel that I am a good student, but with phrases like “She has long since become one of the most valuable members of my class, and a role model for her peers.” ?! Really? ME? I feel honored and humbled to receive such praise. With a letter like that, which also touts my skills in similarly glowing terms,  how can I not get a job?! So, last night I polished up my resume, deleting items that seem foolish to have put on there, adding new experiences and typing up a cover letter. The packet sits on my table waiting for me to bring my son to school and drop them off. There are 2 other jobs, further away, but I will send packets to them as well. After all, you never want all your eggs in one basket!

In light of these developments, things are looking up. I am hopeful that I will get good grades on my projects and that I will soon be gainfully employed. Whether it is right up the street, or in a town a little ways away, I need a job and the feeling of accomplishment it brings. I will have time off with my children and will be a better mother because I won’t be so overwhelmed anymore. Fingers and toes crossed, prayers uttered, good vibes coming…and the waiting begins.

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Keeping perspective

Wow! What an incredible weekend! The weather was glorious, the sun shining and I spent it with some of my favorite people, my husband, 2 of my daughters and 1 of my sons. Saturday we went to a local Science Center and learned about, and viewed, some animals native to our area. We capped this off with a lovely picnic on the grounds. Later that evening, while my husband was out watching the Celtics game, I took the little ones for a ride in the bike trailer attached to my sons bike (mine had an unfortunate incident occur last fall that we need to have repaired). We biked maybe a mile or so, my daughter, Kiersten and I, as I towed the little ones behind me.

Sunday, my husband, who accused me of “not working”, even leaving a note on the white board that said “CLEAN: While Jay works, I should work.”, did some cleaning. Granted, I slacked for 2 days while doing a marathon reading session and school work whenever the kids stopped calling my name. The reading was a 3 book series, for pleasure, not school. I admit I slacked, BUT, as I pointed out to him, I am home with the kids, work P/T and go to school F/T. Many people do one, not all 3. He relented and did a marathon chore session himself Sunday! I got to go for another bike ride (on my husband’s new, not yet ridden bike no less!), with just my daughter, Kiersten, stopped for ice cream and just chatted away with her. I returned to mopped floors, a clean deck and less dishes in the sink. It was so nice. We commented on how quickly weekends go by compared to the work week. I also stated that if summer was like this, 82 degrees, with a cool breeze and sunshine, I wouldn’t hate it so. 90 degree temps with humidity in the 70’s or above do not make me happy. Neither do bugs, esp. biting bugs. I seem to overreact to their bites. Gnats and black flies make my eyes swell almost shut when they invariably bite me near the eyes, mosquitoes leave huge welts which form into red spots that stay for up to a week…I hate it! Give me fall weather with beautifully colored, crunchy leaves, or softly falling snowflakes any day! I realize I am in the minority opinion on the whole snow thing.

Mostly I am trying to live in the now. I always seem to be jumping ahead, worrying about tomorrow, or some distant day in the future. I worry constantly about how to pay bills, the kids health and happiness, family, friends…you name it, I worry. I want more days like last weekend, where I am happy doing simple things. Letting tomorrow take care of itself and trying to be more present, well, in the present.

Weight loss has been another thing that I am finding is easier when I don’t think about it. I have only lost a total of maybe 5 lbs or so, but most of it happened when I wasn’t stressing over finding time to work out. I lost 3 1/2 lbs just playing with my kids at the playground, riding bikes and playing on the Wii. Even with still having sweets, and probably more than I should. I am going to try to maintain this, because as summer progresses, we will be swimming, riding our bikes, walking and playing more. We have emerged from our winter’s hibernation fully now and are enjoying the sun-drenched days. Of course, sometimes I hibernate in the summer on those hazy, hot and humid days, hiding away with my asthma and my air conditioner when the air quality is poor, but I have day trips I am planning and fun back-to-basics childhood games to teach my kids. I want to try to enjoy this summer to it’s fullest, play tag, hide and go seek and hopscotch with the kids. Monkey in the middle, badminton and croquet. There is a fair in my husband’s VT hometown that we journey to every year, complete with a parade. The kids love it, there are rides, livestock and games. The first year we went, a tornado hit 1 mile away and I was hunkered on the ground with a baby in my arms (Jayson at the time) praying we wouldn’t get struck by lightning or sucked away. For those of you who don’t know, here in the Northeast, tornadoes are extremely rare and don’t often touch down. Truly a frightening experience, the last several have been tame in comparison.

So I am trying to keep my perspective, this too shall pass and all that. I want to be present in the here and now, to truly enjoy my children, family and friends and try to make those connections before they are just a distant memory leaving me filled with “if-only’s”.

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Happy Birthday, now get that bean out of your ear, or, The Busy week.

It feels as though a month has passed since last week, or no time at all has passed, it’s hard to decide which. Jayson decided on his Birthday that sticking a bean in his ear was a great idea. He goes to 2 preschool programs and was in the morning one when he did this. I never heard the first call because I was vacuuming, but 3 hours later, after not hearing back from me, the teacher called again. She felt really REALLY bad! Kids will  be kids, there’s nothing she could do about it is my POV. I asked her if she knew why he put said bean in his ear and she said he told her this “I don’t know, but it’s really PAINFUL!” We were able to get him into the Dr’s office for 4pm, I had to go to work, so my husband took him. I got home at 5, and the bean was still there. “It was too far in for the Dr. to even attempt to get it out. He made an appointment with ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) for tomorrow at 10.” I was upset, Jayson was supposed to go on the big field trip the next day.

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At 7:30am I received a call from ENT asking if we could come earlier. YES! Maybe he can make his field trip! NO! They want him in for 9 and that’s when they leave for the trip. Tomorrow is his last day there, ever. 😦 They asked what Jayson had had to eat or drink, nothing, he was still asleep. “Good. If the Dr. cannot get it out, we will need to send you to the hospital to surgically remove it.” Great. I brought Jayson in at 9, the Dr. got the bean closer to the outside of his ear, but Jayson was screaming, crying and covering his ears. Poor kid. “It’s PAINFUL! It’s REALLY, REALLY painful!” and refused to let the good Dr. do any more. So, we were sent to the hospital for an 11:30 surgery. I called my husband. Jayson was not able to have his ADHD meds and he and Anna were both in rare form, not listening, running around, yelling, fighting…this was not shaping into a good day. Plus, there were the goats. Anna was supposed to be seeing baby goats at storytime and she loves animals.

The waiting room was a challenge until Jayson took my phone and played games. I had my husband take Anna, she was a beast that day! She would see her goats after all! Finally, we were called. Jayson didn’t have much prep as they were just giving him a litle bit of gas, no IV and he didn’t even have to wear a gown. He walked off to the OR and I returned to the waiting room. Within 10-15 minutes, I was back with my little guy and he was sleeping peacefully. The good news? I was handed a small specimin jar with the offending bean and told that luckily, the bean hadn’t hit the ear drum, there was no concern over hearing loss and he just had “an ulcer where the bean was”. Phew! After Jayson awoke, we decided he wouldn’t go to school that day and went to Pizza Hut for lunch. It was a good day in his eyes! Plus, he was still able to make his graduation party that night.

Then the weekend came… if I haven’t mentioned it before, I am a Girl Scout leader. I finally got a full time co-leader this year (previously, it was just me, and last year, my ex-husband was sort of my co-leader, when he could make the meetings). Friday we met at a local store and collected 10 girls (including our own), 10 sleeping bags and an untold number of bags full of girl stuff, plus our own. Good thing we both have big vehicles! We had a bit of an issue with GPS, my CL (co-leader) found a shorter route via GPS and we decided to go that way. It brought us all over the place! We wound up taking much longer to get where we were going, had hungry complaining girls who were driving us crazy trying to find cell phone service and complaining about that! Seriously?! These girls are 9, 10 and 11! At one point, we stopped to get gas and use the bathroom and 2 of them were walking around, cell phones to the sky “I have a bar! No! 2 bars!” “Hey! I have 3!” *Sigh* Luckily we had NO SERVICE at the camp, or else it would have been a tough battle prying the phones from them to do activities.

Without delving into all the details…we settled in, had ice cream with some of the other troops, then returned to our bunks. We had an issue at bedtime getting several of the girls to stop talking and go to sleep and had to remove one from the general public. We were sharing a cabin with another, smaller troop and our girls were keeping them up. Saturday was full of fun activities, we had some free time, and in the pouring rain, 57 degree weather, 7 out of 10 of our girls went swimming. The water was actually warmer than the air. I walked down in flip flops, pants rolled up in the rain to watch 7 shivering girls swimming. It didn’t last more than 1/2 an hour and we hurried back to our cabin. There was game playing, bracelet making and skit practicing before we headed back to the activities cabin to have snack and do some more crafts. We ALL loved the shrinky dinks. I haven’t seen those since I was a kid! We had dinner, then the “campfire” which was moved indoors due to the torrential rain. We watched skits, our girls were in one too, and had a S’more before we left for home. Most troops stayed the extra night, but it made no sense to me to pay extra to sleep, wake early, clean the cabin, pack the cars, eat and be gone by 9am. We arrived back in town just after 10pm with happily chattering girls who hadn’t wanted to leave. It was a really good time. 🙂 I am still exhausted, and the fact that I keep staying up super late reading doesn’t help. I couldn’t put my book down yesterday and started the 2nd in the series. Which reminds me…I’m going to read while the little ones are still a-snooze!

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