Monday, July 31, 2006

A Day That Should Have Turned Out Differently

Despite the fact that I seem to have caught Chris' "allergies," I have been feeling pretty good. This morning, I awoke feeling recharged and ready to tackle my day. I got Marcus ready for his day (Athena chose to sleep in a bit) which included changing, dressing, feeding, and preparing bottles. For the first time since I came back from maternity leave, I actually left home on time and got to work... well, on time! Wahoo!

Soon, it became apparent that everyone returned from their summer vacations today with massive armloads of books that needed returning. I have never seen so many books come through the door. We just couldn't keep up. Of course, keeping up was made even more difficult by the massive leak that had sprung from the HVAC system that was streaming water right between the bookcarts in our workroom. Better than ON them I suppose...

So our service guys had to come out and place a HUGE ladder in our relatively SMALL workroom while we ran about like rats in an obstacle course trying to put books onto carts so they could get back out on the shelves. I stepped into the workroom to help out and ended up in there all morning.

Before I could get away for lunch, I was asked to help again, which I did, although I had only stopped helping about ten minutes before that. So none of my own work got done.

I came home from lunch and realized, to my utter horror and dismay, that I... well, let's just say that I became sick. I went back to work, but only to lock up my desk and prepare my office for a visitor who will be using it tonight. I packed up a couple of things that I could work on at home, and headed out.

But wait... "Elizabeth, there is someone here who wants to talk to you about Book Clubs." Okay... I sit back down. I listen to said person. I agree that she has some great ideas and give her my card. I get up to go.

But wait... the phone rings. It's Kathryn... and she's talking about work stuff. I'm waiting for my doctor to call back anyway to see if I can get in this afternoon, so I talk to her. She's brief because she is nice. I get up to go.

But wait... there is someone here who wants to talk to a manager about a new newspaper he's publishing in the area. He wants us to carry it. I start to realize the HUGE disadvantage of having my office right next to the circulation desk. I call one of the other managers (the one who actually handles our periodicals and newspapers) and I FINALLY make a hasty exit.

But not before sending an email to the enture staff telling them I will definitely be back tomorrow for my interviews and my evening shift. It wasn't until I actually was sitting at the doctor's office that I realized I don't WORK tomorrow evening. I work Thursday evening this week. Egad.

I go to the doctor's office because it is about a mile away and figured even if they haven't called me back, perhaps if I go and squat there, they will see me. It works, but it takes two hours and thirty minutes total. Plus side: I read Jenny McCarthy's latest book. It's not art, but it's mostly funny. I wouldn't really recommend it unless you are a fan. Her first book... Belly Laughs... is my favorite of the three.

I get the prescription I need and head to the pharmacy. It's four by now. Any hope of getting a nap in before the family comes home is dashed. The dude at the counter is very nice and says my prescription will be ready in ten minutes. SWEET! I tuck into another book and in five minutes, he calls my name. YAY!

But wait... my prescription isn't ready. In fact, they only have ONE pill of what I need. Crap. It's off to Target.

Target fills my prescription very quickly. I may switch to them for everything. (Sorry, Eckerd). I get home. I have time to put two things in the kitchen away before the rest of the family walks in. Peachy.

So Athena and I chatted, I fed Marcus, Chris cooked, we all ate dinner, and we just finished baths. I've done none of my work at home. The guys are starting to arrive for Chris' weekly game night. I have a killer headache.

And I had NO idea this would turn out to be such a wasted day when I woke up. *sigh*

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Musical Geniuses and Me

Okay, tell me if this happens to you. You are moving along perfectly well in life... being successful at work, having The World's Cutest Babies (TM) and hanging out with good friends. Then, suddenly, you are reminded that you once had potential in something or other, but you wasted it because you were young and stupid. Not following? Let me give you an example... (you knew I would)...

Today, I traveled to Greensboro to see the final student concert of the Eastern Music Festival. This is a month-long camp for kids 13-21 (shoot me now, folks... I just referred to a 21-year-old as a kid. Oy vey!) where they study orchestral music (playing it) in intense workshops and performance settings. These kids are headed for conservatories world wide including Julliard and others of that ilk. Growing up in Greensboro, we always knew about EMF, but we never attended a concert. My dad always said he wanted to, but we never got around to it.

But I've gone the last three years because my first cousin once removed (that would be my cousin's daughter) is a violinist and has been selected to participate all three summers. (Incidentally, she calls me Aunt Elizabeth because it's easier than explaining the family tree to everyone she introduces me to. It's kind of cool being called "Aunt." I'll just refer to her as a cousin from here on out.) The past two years, I've only seen faculty concerts... one featuring Andre Watts and one featuring a very famous violinist who I absolutely cannot remember now. But this year, I went for the final student concert. And oh, my... it was excellent.

They performed Bernstein's West Side Story Symphonic Dances and they also did Pictures at an Exhibition. Even if you don't like classical music... you've heard these. And they were simply outstanding. My cousin earned an award for most improved. She's 17 and she was 13 when she arrived at her first EMF festival. THIRTEEN.

So this got me thinking about my own music career. I went to Kindermusik before I started school. I LOVED those classes. Then, at my mother's whim, I started piano at five. It was okay, but my teacher was crazy. Although I wanted to learn more and more, she continued to stifle me until she finally told my mother not to let me play Beethoven so that I wouldn't pick up any bad habits (i.e., it was too advanced for me). This is despite the fact that I was, at that moment, playing Fur Elise... and quite well, I might add. Rather than go back to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (not that I have anything against Mozart), I quit. I was seven.

Soon after that, a woman came into our third grade classroom to give us a music aptitude test. She was recruiting kids to take violin lessons through the public school system (a new program for us). I passed the test and was offered the chance to enroll in the enrichment class, which was to be offered once a week during the school day. I was so excited and begged my parents to let me do it. After all, one of my cousins was in high school in Charlotte, and she was playing violin in youth orchestras and was probably going to major in music in college... so it was in my blood.

In the fall, I started lessons and I was getting more and more confident. Then, at Christmas, my father was talking to said cousin and when I was about to play a duet with her, he made a crack about the level of difficulty. I think he intended to praise her, but inadvertently stung me with his words. I never told him about that, incidentally.

Anyway, that broke my spirit, and I gradually convinced myself I'd never be very good at violin. However, I remained hopeful and stuck with it for three years.

At the end of sixth grade, Miss Keller (our violin teacher) asked us who was interested in switching to viola or cello in the Junior High next year, as she wanted to start a string orchestra. Not only did I NOT raise my hand, but after class, I approached her and asked her NOT to ask me to switch, as I really liked the violin and wanted to focus on it.

Did she respect my wishes? Of course not. I was just a stupid ten-year-old, after all... so she called my mother and asked her to "talk to me" about switching to viola. She felt I was so good at reading music that I could adjust to the unusual clef (violas use the alto clef) and she also thought that since I was so tall and broad-shouldered, the viola would fit my body better. My mother was so excited because the viola has a deeper, richer sound which appealed to her. I suppose she didn't really want to hear me squeaking out notes on that E string anymore.

So, in seventh grade, I was holding yet another new instrument. I did well with it though, and found I did like the sound a bit more, but tired of the fact that all I ever played was harmony.... lots and lots of boring long notes. *yawn*

In eighth grade, at the behest of my private viola teacher (I had to supplement my school class because I had some catching up to do with all those violinists who had been studying for three years) I auditioned for the Greensboro Youth Orchestra. I had a horrible audition. The director even asked "You're playing WHAT?!" because I chose an easy-listening standard of the seventies rather than a classical piece. But I guess Ms. Linnell (said private teacher) pulled some strings, because not only was I invited to join, but I got 10th chair (out of 12). They really should have sat me behind the trombones.

So I did that for two years. The only thing I liked about it was the director. I had a mad crush on him. I never practiced... and I faked my way through every performance. I can't believe I wasn't kicked out. But that crush kept me coming to every freaking rehearsal... Sunday afternoons, week after week.

After ninth grade, I gave it up. I had bigger fish to fry. I wanted to learn to parle francais, and I also wanted to really get into theater... so I did. I took up singing for my musical focus and auditioned for lots of musicals. I got in a lot too...

When I was in college, I decided that boning up on piano would help me be a better singer and it would be fun. So over a summer break at home, I picked up some sheet music at Mom's house and started sight reading Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring. For a first attempt, it wasn't half bad. But it was my mom's favorite song, and she came in to tell me how horrible I sounded. She had no idea how much that hurt my feelings, but I vowed to never play an instrument in front of people again.

So I give you this story because today, I looked at my cousin and realized how much music is probably seething down inside me that I just never allowed to surface through bad circumstance and boredom. This cousin I saw play today... her mom (my actual first cousin) is a pianist. I already mentioned the other cousin who played violin. Then their mother (my aunt) is a dramatic soprano and has sung roles like Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady and Miss Jones in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, not to mention countless operas.

I couldn't help but feel that I have gone through my entire life without really exploring what might be my strongest talent. The proof was there. I didn't try, yet it came quite naturally to me. Makes you wonder how things might have been different, doesn't it?

Friday, July 28, 2006

Clothing Clothing Everywhere and Not a Thing to Wear

Marcus can't fit into his 3-6 month stuff now. Well, most of it anyway. He's ginormous. So a few days ago, I broke open the box of 6-9 month stuff. Perhaps I have mentioned before that my friends all had boys, and so Marcus' room looks like a Goodwill dropoff center.

Anyway, I'm digging through these trying to find something for him to wear, and discover, much to my dismay, that almost all of it is long-sleeved. I'm sure when I received these clothes, I thought... yippee! In six months, it will be September and we'll be moving into long-sleeve weather! But no. As the fates would have it, my son is growing faster than the tag on his clothes would indicate, and it's July. It's close to 100 degrees daily. Ain't no way the boy is wearing sleeves.

For the record, one outfit that I especially like is shorts with a long sleeve shirt. ??? Do we live in Port Angeles? Who wears shorts with long sleeves?

Anyway... this morning I spent the bulk of my time sorting through clothes... boxing up the old... looking for wearable stuff. I closed up four boxes to go elsewhere (three to Kathryn, who is preparing for one in the next year or so, and one for Sophie with Athena's 3T stuff, which Elise may be able to wear in a couple of years). There are still at least six boxes lying around Marcus' room. Hopefully I can work on that a little tomorrow morning.

The good news is, I found a bunch of onesies that I'm pretty sure are 6-9 months, even though they originally said 12-18 months. They are the ones Cheryl and anonymouslemming sent me from England. You may remember these onesies from this post. So I'll be sure to keep them away from fire.

But if they are, indeed, too big... and if none of the other boxes present the correct size in more summery varieties, I may actually have to go to Target and BUY the boy some clothes. I have SIX BOXES of clothes in his room and I may have to BUY some. What is up with my karma?! Sheesh!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Magic Teddy Bear

See for yourself... Apparently the magic works even better if you hold the bear to your head. Tee hee... Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


We had our first Dream Dinners failure tonight. Ironically, I was just telling a coworker yesterday about how everything we'd eaten had been delicious. In this case, it wasn't that the food didn't taste good... it just cooked up wrong. It actually came out of the oven cold, but seemingly overcooked in some places and undercooked in others. Chris said it was not completely thawed, so we are guessing that was the problem. We're disappointed though, because we were looking forward to this dish (tilapia with baby shrimp). In fact, I made two bags of it, so we'll have another opportunity to try it and see if it comes out any better.

I have a meeting for a project at work tommorrow morning. I am beginning to hate this project. Every little detail involved seems to cause stress and heartache. Which is just stupid, really, considering the nature of the project. I work in a library for crissakes! How much heartache could be involved? Apparently, plenty. Bleh.

We practice something called "Facilitative Leadership" in our system. It's a good concept at its soul, but I can't seem to grasp it. It's all about listening and inquiring and testing assumptions... all good stuff... but I'm so used to doing things a different way that it seems to interfere with my productivity when I use it. I am told this is just because I need more practice. In the meantime, I have to run meetings using these skills, and I always walk out emotionally drained and feeling like a failure. Gotta love it.

Athena has been showing us her dance moves lately. We must post a video. It's too cute to describe. She does this shimmy thing... you would have to see it. It's awesome. We'll work on getting it on tape.

I've been kicking around more plans for our Disney trip. I know it's not until April, but it's the only trip I've got coming up, and I have to have something to look forward to. At the moment, we're staying at the Marriott Cypress Harbor. We are hoping to be able to switch to an onsite resort (most likely Old Key West, although we are hoping for The Wilderness Lodge for its proximity to the Magic Kingdom) but because of the nature of our friends' timeshare points, we probably won't know if space is available until early February. However, if we don't stay onsite, it will be fine. We'll spend some time at the resort pools, and we know we want to go to SeaWorld one day. Wherever we stay, it will be a good trip.

We're currently considering asking Grandma to watch Marcus for that week. (Hi, Grandma!) At first, I was gung-ho to take him, since we could get his first haircut there just as we did for Athena. But the reality of dragging the poor guy around the parks for a week behind his three-year-old sister, her five-year-old buddy, and with any luck, her good friend Aiden... well, Marcus would be miserable. And therefore so would we. He would be one year old. What would be the point, really?

Chris and I are starting to trade nights/kid responsibility. Tonight, I get Athena and he gets Marcus. However, lately, both kids have been sleeping well through the night. Athena has managed to stay on top of her bed and Marcus has gotten better at getting himself back to sleep... perhaps thanks to the magic teddy bear. So here's hoping there are no incidents.

It appears that Chris has given me his cold. I plan to kick him in his sleep many times tonight. Wish me luck.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

A Busy Day

The following posts are pictures of our day. They are sort of in reverse order, but I tried to have them make some sense. The first few are from a visit to Aiden's house. Then, there are pictures from Rick, Judy, and Jilli's visit. Enjoy!

The Artists at Play

Kathryn apparently went insane today and decided the kids could fingerpaint at her house. Not ones to turn down the chance to let our daughter destroy someone else's house, we jumped on board. I was surprised... the kids really did pretty well. And their art... amazing... as always.

You like Athena's hair? Hopefully, it will get long enough soon that we can really put it back. Although it WAS in a ponytail thing when we got there... don't know when it came out. I'm just glad she doesn't get paint in her hair. Well, usually, anyway. Posted by Picasa

Damage Assessment

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When I Grow Up...

When I grow up, I wanna be a welder! *cue music* She's a maniac, maaaaaaaaaniac I know... Posted by Picasa

Marcus' First Solids

He has been so hungry lately, we thought we'd give cereal a try. He didn't like it much. Of course, once again, poor Marcus is having one of those great milestones in his life, and his sister upstages him. I expect this will continue for the rest of their lives. Posted by Picasa

Family Portrait

From Left to Right: "Aunt" Judy, Mommy Librarian, Jilli, Marcus, Athena (and her camera face), and Chris. Uncle Rick was behind the camera. Posted by Picasa

Marcus, Jilli Dog, Toys, and Feet

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Jilli, The World's Cutest Superstar

Jilli, pictured above, is perhaps the most famous member of our family. Her "people" are Chris' Uncle Rick and his girlfriend Judy. Jilli has been on several major networks, on stage, and will soon be the star of an internet game! I'm not normally a fan of the Yorkie, but Jilli is special. She does some really great tricks. Check out her mad poker skillz on her website. Here, she poses for Rick's camera while lounging in Athena's armchair.

Athena got the chance to give her a treat. We have discussed before how much Athena loves animals... but here are two pictures that really prove it... Posted by Picasa


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And After...

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The Ticklemonster Strikes Again

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Saturday, July 22, 2006

It's All About the Teddy Bear

First, I need to go on record saying that THIS is the post my son will hate me for when he's twelve. Yes, the circumcision discussions will be up there in the top ten most hated posts for him, but this one will top it.

Athena got a bajillion stuffed animals as a baby. In fact when she was barely a zygote, my mother bought her FOUR stuffed animals on a Babies R Us binge. It is then very interesting to know that Athena didn't give a rats toot about stuffed animals until she was over a year old. She loves them now, but as an infant... no interest whatsoever.

And then along came Marcus. He loves to grab at things. Rattles, blankets... he is a very grabby kid. So all those dollars that were wasted on Athena can now be chalked up as an investment in the future.

The four animals my mom bought when I was about six weeks pregnant were these really soft, really cuddly Gund animals. There is a pink hippo, a white sheep, and a blue elephant. But the fourth... ah, the fourth is an ivory teddy bear. Chris discovered yesterday, quite by accident, that this is the magic teddy. If Marcus is sleepy, but isn't really willing to go to sleep, you can put this bear on his tummy and he'll clutch it and instantly fall asleep. It's as if the bear knows the Vulcan Grip. It has now worked about three times... and that's out of four times that we've put him down. This bear is the shizzle, I'm telling you.

It's very cute, too... the way he clutches it as he sucks on that paci and sleeps peacefully. I'll try to charge the camera tomorrow to take a picture of it. It's just adorable.

So, there you have it, Marcus. Hate me all you want... you are the cutest damn baby in the world and you sleep with a teddy. It's all good.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Vacation Addiction

Here is how addicted to vacations I am:

I have just planned out our vacations through 2013.

Okay, that's a bit of an exaggeration. Actually, I've planned through 2009, and then I've planned just 2013. 2010-2012 are still wide-open.

It's not as bad as it seems. And I'm sure your are scratching your head even more so since you know that we are totally broke. Makes going on vacation a bit troublesome.

Well, we ARE broke, but only in the liquid asset sense. Part of the REASON we are broke is the Disney timeshare we purchased back in 2001. And although it was expensive, it is worth every penny.

So I have really only planned our Disney vacations through 2013-ish. There is still plenty of flexibility built in to allow for other little trips here and there. The reason I have to plan so far in advance (other than my own eager-beaver, anal-retentive, order-loving issues, I mean) is to figure out how we shall spend our points each year, and whether or not I need to bank or borrow in order to make our pixie dust dream vacations real.

For example, this year, we are using zero of our points. We have a weeny baby, and generally that is not a good time to head to the Magic Kingdom. Yes, it has been done... in fact WE did it with Athena when she was five months old. We only went to SeaWorld and Universal, however, as we have done Disney a kajillion times and saw no reason to drag a baby who couldn't even sit up yet around parks we know better than our own home.

So since we are using zero points this year, unless I want to forfeit the points all together (I don't THINK so), then I have to bank them. And there are time limits on when I can do that. I have to have x number of points banked by September and another x banked by December... basically, I don't HAVE to plan too far ahead, but it is helpful, and prevents me from looking at the calendar and saying, OH MY GOSH! We have to go to Animal Kingdom NEXT WEEK or we will lose our points! And losing points is equivalent to throwing about $2K down the drain. Uncool. VERY uncool.

Of course, we don't have terribly many points left this year, because in order to go on our cruise LAST year, we had to borrow points from THIS year.


This is boring, I know. I have to keep it all in a spreadsheet. So I'm sure you don't want it described here for you. The point is, I now know generally when and for how long we will be at Disney for the next four years. Oh, and then again in 2013.

Yes, I know. I scare myself.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

What Do You Do When You Have No Money?

We're broke. Totally.

Tomorrow, I'm getting a pedicure.

I love gift certificates. To all of you who have given them to me, I love you. My feet love you. And my coworkers love you, since they don't have to listen to me whine about not being able to treat myself to something once in a while.

It's Alive! It's ALIVE!!!

Despite the fact that this blog is called "The Mommy Librarian," I seem to focus most of my posts on the "Mommy" part. This is not to ignore the hoardes of readers out there who are anxiously awaiting more news about the wonderful world of librarianship. Really, it's more a product of, "How much can I say about work without getting myself into trouble?" I long ago determined it was best to just keep my mouth shut in most cases.

But, for those of you wringing your hands, demanding an update on the professional half of my life, here goes. As you should know if you read my every word, I recently moved to a new location. Same job (sort of) but in a different place. In this case, that place is really really REALLY close to my house. Hooray. Our gas credit card is already thanking me for it. The poor thing was really getting overworked.

Anyway, the reason I was able to move is because this closer library just recently decided to reorganized, thereby adding in this new department, which I am now charged with creating. This is my favorite thing in the world to do at work. Starting from scratch... building from the ground up. Hooray!

So last week, I mentioned I hired someone. Now that person becomes the first person other than me to populate this new department. In the next two weeks (hopefully) we will hire the second person to join me. Both of these positions I get to hire because they were vacated in the last six months and have been held open with the idea that they would help me populate my department.

After that, the really hard part kicks in. I will start taking volunteers from the current staff. In one case, that's not a problem. I've been given one full-time library assistant position, and guess what... only one person has volunteered! Done!

But then the suckfest starts. I have two other positions... each with two people having expressed interest. I have to somehow choose one (interview? draw straws? arm wrestling?) and then hope the other doesn't mind. Ugh. Even if the participants are professional about it (and I know they will be... these people are wonderful), it's still a crappy place to be in.

So as we creep along, it's looking like I will have a real, honest-to-goodness department created by the end of August. I'm like Dr. Frankenstein... putting the pieces together one by one until one day I can say, "It's Alive!!!!" or at the very least I can say, "Look, MY did it!"*

Friday, July 14, 2006

Waxing Nostalgic

A few things have happened in the last couple of weeks that make me very nostalgic.

1) I had a birthday.
2) Bernie visited and looked through my scrapbooks from my big trip to Greece.
3) I found out we were hopelessly broke and it made me remember those days before marriage and kids when I had money.

Since I was sort of pining for the past, I thought I might look through the same scrapbooks I showed Bernie. If nothing else, I hoped it would motivate me to clean up my office so I could scrapbook again. All it did was make me a little weepy.

I went to Greece with a girlfriend who I never see anymore. (She, like MOST of my friends, moved away. And like most of THOSE friends, she moved to Charlotte.) She sent me a card while I was on leave to tell me she is expecting. She's been TRYING to expect since before I started trying to get pregnant the first time. I haven't even called her. I'm such a loser.

Anyway, we had the most amazing trip EVER. I look back at the pictures and realize that I will never have that chance again. I'm so glad I did it when I could. The way the finances look right now, I'm not sure we'll ever get to go to Europe again. Certainly not like that trip.

We were two American girls without any ties to anything... free to wander about as we pleased. She and I were great traveling companions because we understood each other so well. We are both a little wacky, albeit in different ways.

I can't get over how SKINNY I am in these pictures. This was the summer before I met Chris. I had just lost 40 pounds on the old "eat right and exercise" diet. I really need to get back to doing that. It's not like it would kill me. And these pictures remind me of just what CAN be possible.

Sorry if they are a bit fuzzy... I scanned them from my scrapbook, obviously. But I hope they convey the youth and party-atmosphere of that wonderful trip. These are not the best pictures we took, but they are still great to look back on.

I would rank this as my favorite vacation ever. I've had other wonderful vacations, but this one really defies description. We were there two and a half weeks. We immersed ourselves in that beautiful country, and we came home changed. I would feel bad that my best vacation hasn't been with my husband, but I suspect he would tell you that his favorite vacation didn't include me. Sure, we've had some nice ones... but the number one trip... not with each other.

So tell me, what was YOUR number one vacation?

Sleepy Time... And the Livin' Is Easy

Since Jessey posted a picture of her sleeping child in a post about how she's stays awake, I thought I'd post a picture of my wide-awake child in a post about how he sleeps.

I almost hate to post this for fear of jinxing it, but Mr. Man has slept through the night for TWO nights in a ROW. And when I say "through the night" I mean he has slept from 7pm-ish PAST 6am. I cannot say for sure what time he woke up this morning because as of this posting, he is still asleep.

Well, he did wake briefly while I was in the shower, but Chris plunked his magical paci back in his mouth and he's gone back off to La-La Land. Looks like Chris has too...

And Athena woke up screaming a moment ago, but never came out of her room. She seems to have drifted off again as well. So I'm the only one awake.

OH! She's awake. I just looked up and like a ghostly apparition, Athena is standing in the darkened hallway outside our room. That scared the bejeezus out of me! Perhaps I should see to her nourishment.

I'd Like to Offer You the Position...

I got to hire someone this week. Even better, it's someone who has been trying very hard to break into our library system and has been doing better and better in her interviews each time. So it's so awesome to reward someone for that hard work.

Of course, the down side is I also had to call some other internal candidates and I still have to write letters to some others to let them know they were NOT successful. One great moment deserves eight other crappy ones, I suppose.

I have been on both ends of the interview process in this library system, and despite the fact that I didn't get two jobs in a row, one I wasn't really qualified for yet and the other I was already doing in another branch, I feel the process is awfully fair. And it is, indeed, significant that I use the terms "awful" and "fair."

Obviously, I can't talk about the intricacies of the interviews. However, I'm glad we have a very formal, strict process as jobs in this system are treasured and when they open up, the candidate pool is amazingly good. I interviewed nine people for a part-time Library Assistant position. I could have hired ANY of them. The minimum requirement for that job is a high school diploma. Most of the people I interviewed had Master's Degrees (some in library science, some in other fields) or were working towards them. This is for part-time work! Lots of nights and weekends. Starting salary is between 10 and 18K. The county does pay benefits, though, which does sort of bring up the value of that paycheck.

There is nothing like interviewing a whole bunch of people who REALLY want to just get ANY job as long as it's for the organization YOU work for to remind you how lucky you are to have your job.

And I get to hire a librarian sometime in the next couple of weeks. Woo hoo! This is great!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Dream Dinners Redux

So I've told you all about Dream Dinners and how much I love the concept. I even told you that the first couple of meals we had were pretty darn tasty. So on Friday, I'm about to go to my third Dream Dinners session, so I thought I would update you on how it's all working out.

First of all, if I'm going back a third time, it must be working out pretty well, so let's just get that out of the way. But let's explore all the ways it is going well.

1) The food is delicious. Seriously. Even when the food isn't exactly to our own taste, we have to admit that it's pretty good. We had Barbeque Pork Wraps with Jason and Bernie on Saturday, and neither Chris nor myself actually care for Barbeque... any style. If we disappear suddenly, it's because admitting that may have just revoked our rights to live in this state... but regardless, the pork wraps were good! We were pleased.

2) The sessions are fun. I love to cook, but finding time and finding my kitchen in a clean enough state to actually cook well is difficult. And when I say "difficult," what I mean is "impossible." Now I get to go to a place for two hours and just do the fun part... put things together. All the ingredients are there... it's like coloring by numbers. Or crosstitch. I dig it.

3) I am saving assloads of time. No meal planning. Way less grocery shopping. Chris can cook any of the meals I've premade with little to no direction at all. Cha-CHING!

4) I am saving small assloads of money. I buy less groceries. Granted, the Dream Dinners are $200 for a month's worth of food, but I think I've easily cut out that much, probably more, in dining out and groceries. Woo hoo!

5) We get a variety of food. We have salmon. We have beef. We have French. We have Chinese. We really do get a little bit of everything. It SEEMS like I'm the most creative cook in the world... but really, I'm letting someone else do all that work for me. It's like I'm delegating really really well.

Are there disadvantages? Well, I suppose. This month, I didn't really think as many of the entrees sounded very appetizing, so we'll have more repeats. And I don't really like paying for the stuff when I register rather than when I take it all home. And the music they play in the store while you cook is pretty generic "everyone can dig this" stuff... so it's not great. Jessey would be disappointed that they don't pump out Snoop. Okay, fine... I admit it... I'm disappointed too. Although I would settle for some good showtunes.

But the trade offs are so well worth it. I'm totally addicted. Try it. You'll like it. I can argue that it's even worth buying a small freezer to put out in your garage. SO worth it. Trust me.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Boo Boo

Yesterday, my cuticle split on the middle finger of my right hand. It hurts a lot. I put a Band-Aid (R) on it so that it wouldn't continue to catch on stuff and hurt even more. The only one that was handy is graced with the images of Sesame Street(R) characters.

Athena saw it this morning.

Athena: Mommy, boo-boo?
Me: Yes, Mommy has a boo-boo.
Athena: Elmo?
Me: Yes, Elmo is helping make the boo-boo better.
Athena: kissing Mommy's finger. All better.

I love that kid.


Well, the new disposable bottles didn't work out. Not at all. They made Marcus miserably gassy. I mean, REALLY gassy. Like cry-and-scream-for-an-hour gassy. It's a real pisser as I had already purchased my full stock of them before they started making him the world's grumpiest baby. So I'm back to the expensive Dr. Brown's bottles, and I'm out about $30. Nice, eh?

We saw Pirates of the Caribbean tonight with Aiden's parents. The kids stayed home with a sitter, as the content of this movie isn't really suitable for kids. Of course, that didn't stop some parents from bringing their little ones, but not everyone is as perfect in the parenting department as we are. I completely enjoyed myself. Many buckles were swashed. And how Depp makes those horrible teeth sexy I will never understand. But he does. *sigh*

Experienced a surreal parade in downtown Apex that was staged for a documentary on NHL fans or something. We just stumbled upon it. There were a handful of people there to be on camera. We, on the other hand, just ducked into a restaurant.

Made cookies today. I love making cookies. Makes me feel so "Donna Reed." And then later, it makes me feel fat.

Jason and Bernie stopped by today. We miss having Jason so close by since he moved to Charlotte, and we haven't been able to spend a lot of time with Bernie, since they married after he moved away. Although they knew each other when he lived here, she lived half-way around the world. So it wasn't until they married that she moved here. Anyway, it was good to see them. And they lavished gifts on Marcus. I have hidden the gifts for when Marcus is older and can defend them from his sister, who would claim them as hers in a heartbeat.

We saw one of my sorority sisters last night, along with her husband and their two boys. I have only barely kept in touch with her since I graduated, but we finally arranged to get together for dinner and general backyard mayhem for her kids and ours. It was truly an enjoyable evening.

So all totaled, we spent the weekend with three different sets of friends from three different phases of our lives. I knew Heather in college, then Chris knew Jason from work in the early part of our marriage, and then finally I know Kathryn from my current job. A weekend like this makes me consider how lucky I am to have the friends I have. Let's face it, I can be downright grumpy and hard to deal with from time to time, and yet I have friends who stick with me through many many many many years. In fact, in my circle of closest friends, I count people who I have known from as far back as 8th grade. Really impressive that they even still talk to me considering what a royal diva bitch I was in high school.

So let that be a lesson to you, new friends! Once we're friends, you can never get rid of me! Mwuahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

If this becomes the plot of the next big horror movie, I'm suing. And I'm totally sharing the settlement with my poor friends who put up with me.

Friday, July 07, 2006

My Do It!

Athena can now climb in and out of her carseat and buckle herself in with only minimal help/interference from us. And as she does this, she cries her victory cry...

"My Do It! My Do It!"

So totally cute.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

I Give Up

Just when I get one part of my life together, another part falls apart. Just once, I'd like to have it all together. The house in order, the bills paid, my job enjoyable and reasonably caught up, and all of my family in love with each other. My friends all healthy, my dog not wheezy and shakey, my cats not being killed by neighbors... What if one day all could be in place and well? Would it cause the Earth to stop rotating? I wonder...

I hate days when some things are going so well that they have to be counterbalanced by crapulence. And then I hate how I act on those days. I hate me for being so hateful. It's worse than chasing your own tail.

Sorry to be so cryptic, but that's all you're getting. I just had to vent. Thanks.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

For Those of You Itching to See The Man...

Here he is in all his splendor. I do think he's wearing a diaper, but it doesn't look like it, does it? I don't know for sure, because Kathryn took this while they were watching our offspring Friday night. I wasn't there. She sent me five pictures from that night. In all five, my kids are mostly naked. I would be concerned, but they are MY kids... I understand. Posted by Picasa

It's Amazing What You Can Tune Out...

Kathryn sent this to me. She took it on a visit to their house. In the foreground, you see our daughter, clearly in a state of all out frenzy. In the background, that's Chris... completely engrossed in an Entertainment Weekly. So for those of you who are childless and wonder, "Can't they SHUT that kid UP?!" the answer is, "Yes, if we actually heard that kid... but we've long since learned to completely tune it out." Posted by Picasa