Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Yes, I is

Me: "Liana, are you messing up Mommy's papers?"

Liana: "Yes, I is."

Me: "Liana, you're crazy."

Liana: "Yes, I is."

Jadyn: "Nani, are you crazy?"

Liana: "No."

This is a somewhat exaggerated and fictional conversation based upon real life events happening in our house daily. Hope you are all well.

Monday, September 22, 2008

It's your choice ...

From the New York Times:


"Mr. Obama said that despite the huge new government obligation, he would press ahead with his plans to overhaul the health care system to insure more people, make college tuition more affordable, give a tax cut to the middle class and raise taxes on those making over $250,000 a year.

“The problem that we have,” Mr. Obama said, “in part has to do with wages and incomes that have been flat. And so homeowners and ordinary families out there have been working very hard, but it’s tough for them to pay the bills and stay afloat with rising gas prices and health care.

“So if we don’t address our long-term competitiveness, if we don’t address some of the inequities in the tax code, if we’re not addressing some of the things that weakened the family budget, then we’re not, over the long term, going to solve these larger problems in the financial markets.”


"But Mr. McCain said in an interview here with CNBC and The New York Times that he would press on with his plan to extend the Bush tax cuts and to cut others. Contrary to the warnings of fiscal analysts, he said he believed he could do so and balance the federal budget, which was falling deeper into deficit even before the financial crisis, by the end of his first term."

"I believe we can still balance the budget,” he said. “I think that it is restraint of spending, and I think it’s growth of government and the economy, and the recovery of our economy. And anything you do that would take more money from the American people who are hurting more now, I think, would be a serious mistake.”

And, if you can tell me exactly what the latter in bold means, please feel free to leave it in the comments. I've read it five times and still can't figure it out. I mean, seriously. SERIOUSLY.

This is not a joke, folks. The next bail out is going to be us.

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Rising up from the black hole

Besides reading and reviewing Patterson's new book, "The Dangerous Days of Daniel X," I'm starting to hit my working groove, I think.

I am no longer shrinking in the shadows. My name is slowly starting to creep back onto people's radars. I honestly feel like I have been living in a black hole in my own community.

People are sending me graduation pictures of their sons who four years ago were just leaving junior high school.

I've missed a lot of people's lives and they've missed a lot of mine but we're picking up the pieces as if I hadn't been holed up dealing with all babies, all the time for the last three years.

Our mornings and nights are still chaotic. I cry a lot in those times because they are not what I want them to be -- filled with sweet moments between two girls and their mommy. They are really quite the opposite and it's upsetting. It's been four weeks of "school" for them and I do see progress both with how they are falling into the routine and the loss of me, as well as with what they are learning.

When I'm busy at work, which is most of the time, I hardly have time to think about what I'm missing out on. But, those few moments in the day when I'm walking outside or driving, I have a minute to feel the grief inside my heart about being away from them for so long, for missing this part of their life.

When we finally reconnect, we hug a lot and we are giddy with joy. At least until we walk into the house and the crying begins. Why the crying at home? It's always been that way.

At night, when they need their blankets back on or a snuggle, I gladly hop up to do it, knowing it's my chance to get some peaceful time with them, breathe them in and feel their breath on my cheek.

It's not perfect and I can't imagine any working moms life being as such, but it's working. The job, the boss ... are very good. I'm finding my legs, again, as a smart, strong woman.

I'm still a mother, rising.

But there's a bit of that old Shawn rearing her energetic, passionate head -- the one who's always been on a mission to make the world a better place.

And, there could not be a better time to do this kind of work.

How about you? What's rising in your world right now?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

It's almost 9 p.m. ...

And this is the first real chance I've had at blogging in an entire week.

I'd like to detail how I went at it with the director of my girls child care center this week, or how we had painters in to paint the kitchen and hall and they sanded the walls and ceilings -- twice -- and we've spent the better part of the last 48 hours, cleaning everything from dishes and glasses to floors and windows.

I'd love to fill you in on how the days away from the girls, while still hard, are getting to be physically easier. I'd love to say that I love my job and I can't imagine returning to life as a SAHM ... but I can't. I just can't.

I'd love to say that working is easier, but it's not. It's so not. I can't think of the last five minutes I had to myself. I miss the quiet. Meditation may save me ...

The truth is that I feel less fulfilled about this life than I wish I did. I am going through the motions, knowing it's right for our family and that this "preschool" setting is good for my girls and that, ultimately, I hope I am doing the right thing for myself. This week I have an event with our governor and while that's cool, I'm too insecure and worried about what to wear (it's a groundbreaking ceremony so it must be ... dirt-friendly).

Honestly, being back in the working world has reminded me of one very harsh reality that I had forgotten over the last two years: That real life people are inefficient, average and often rather annoying.

My little third-floor attic office and work-at-home schedule -- though demanding -- and blogging and communicating with my best friends by e-mail put me in a bubble that erased this fact from my memory. I was the boss, and I didn't have to rely on too many people -- at least not for much more than a 20-minute interview.

Now I'm left to realize that we're all human and that human sometimes isn't even close to being perfect -- or even average -- in real life.

I blame all of you for appearing so perfect to me, for making me believe in humanity again.

Darn you!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A small giveaway happening today

Check out my other blog for a cool Yoplait Kids Yogurt review -- and a giveaway -- as part of The Parent Bloggers Network. You could win something -- or you could, at the very least, print off a good Yoplait Kids coupon.

And, speaking of giveaways. Have you checked out my good friend The Writer Mama's Back to School Giveaways? I won four or five books last year and, unfortunately, have been so overwhelmed with my new life haven't been able to enter. But that shouldn't stop you, now! Go. Here. Now.

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Continuing Education

As someone who has been a part of that "media" we all gripe about, I must give a shout-out when I read something outstanding. I know the media has more in it than they have given over the years.

I don't know about you, but I am on a mission. A real mission. And it starts with me. And it starts with you.

Daddy Dan started in 2004 reading everything he could to be an informed citizen and an informed voter. That means more than reading your hometown newspaper and watching the morning and evening news. We must seek out all sources of information about everything personal to us. And, since what is personal to us is sleeping in the next room ...

I will read everything I can about this election to be sure that WE THE PEOPLE are going to be represented.

And this tells me a lot. Please consider it, and pass it on.

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Monday, September 8, 2008

The most important click of your life

I don't have time to write ... but, luckily, someone else has.

Go here to read my feelings, exactly. And more.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

These are the days of our lives

There should be a blog post here. Something witty or heartbreaking or, even, just tired prose. But, I have nothing. A long list of things I didn't get to do this weekend, a deep well of sadness that the weekend is over and a very weird feeling of not wanting to be a working mom or a stay-at-home mom or, even, a work-at-home mom anymore.

I just am.

I feel like a bug hitting the windshield of an 18-wheeler -- caught off guard with the full impact of this is what life is for mothers today.

The question remains: How will blogging fit into this new life of ours?

I wish I knew the answer. I'm pleading for the energy, the material and the time. This is the only thing I have and I want to keep it, even if everything else is a mess.

I'm sorry for not reading your blogs, or even if I have read your posts, I haven't commented. I'm sorry for being absent. For being melodramatic. For being sad. For being angry. For taking at least one coffee break each day at work and wasting money on take-out lunches because anything -- ANYTHING -- is better than peanut butter and jelly or grilled cheese right now.

To change all of this, I'm going to say this: Life is getting easier. And I still have a lot to say. I just don't know when and how I'll get to say it.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Where I am now

We survived last week.


Friday evening I collapsed in the arms of my two little girls and husband and cried. I've never appreciated a three-day weekend more.

I'm almost at a loss for words now. Numb, cautiously optimistic that this week will prove to be better.

By Friday, Liana was soaring without me. But, she was never the one I was worried about. I knew she'd thrive. She's a social butterfly ... someone who seriously needs to be around other people to feel her best.

She didn't even cry when I left Friday morning.

But, Jadyn ... she's a whole other story and just the thought of what I knew she was going through last week can send me spiraling down, again.

Still, she showed an ever-so-slight improvement Friday by not crying as long, and even played for most of the day. She still cried at pick up. She still didn't eat lunch -- but neither did all week. She was still so relieved to get back into her parents' arms. It didn't help that she picked up a small cold or something, too, but her weekend was all out of whack with what we believe was some night terrors and up several times a night wanting daddy, no mommy, no daddy. Helpless, knowing her pain, we did as she requested.

I'm sure tonight she'll sleep well and then the week will start all over again.

On a side note, both girls are talking non-stop now and it's so neat to witness it.

Highlights of this milestone:

In bed one night this weekend. The room was dark and we were doing our nightly petting hours. Liana said, "Daddy! I have gas."

Then, today at lunch:

Daddy: "Do you like grapes?" (Asked to Liana while she was eating almonds but preparing to eat a grape.)

Liana: "Yes." Pause. "I like nuts, too."

Thanks to everyone who has been trying to console me this past week. I do appreciate all of your kind words. I'm just going to let this play out for a while and see how it goes. There may be few postings in the meantime. Or, not ... you just never know.


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