Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Book Review: Heaven is for Real

We spent all day yesterday in the car driving back from Arizona for Memorial Day - usually an 8 hour drive without kids. With multiple potty breaks and nursing/diaper change breaks, it made for a very long drive. But we survived and even enjoyed the drive with the help of a great audio book.

Courtesy of the Orange County Public Library and Overdrive Media Console for Android, we all listened to the audio book, "Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Journey of His Trip to Heaven and Back" by Todd and Sonja Burpo.

We were enthralled from the very beginning and didn't want to stop listening. The premise is that an almost four year old boy, Colton, who almost died from a burst appendix and while under sedation in surgery, visited heaven. He did not die and go to heaven, according to Burpo, as the doctor's said his vital signs were maintained the entire time.

I thought it was fascinating that Colton sat on Jesus' lap, met John the Baptist as well as his unknown older sister who was miscarried at two months. That made me well up at the thought and gave me hope that I may someday meet unknown relatives that are watching me from above in heaven. He described heaven as having rainbow colors, angels with swords, Jesus having red marks on him and loving, gentle eyes and a horse. People have wings of various sizes, time is non-existent, you get to choose a different body (sweet!).

After we listened to the entire audio book, I couldn't stop thinking about Colton's experience and the implications in my life. My mom had a miscarriage with her second pregnancy when she was six months into it I think. I started wondering if I would meet this big sister someday. I never have thought much about it; what's past is past, right? But wow - maybe she has been my guardian angel when I've almost been kidnapped, killed or other grim demise. There have been several times in my life when I've made really bad choices and still lived to tell about it.

I don't have an in-depth bible knowledge, but definitely have a heart to learn more about God and Jesus and where we go after we die. I love reading stories like this and like to believe that they are true. I really want to give my children a strong foundation of Christian knowledge as I wish my mom had given me. I don't like 'bible bumping', but letting them know that they are loved unconditionally from their heavenly father. It is a valuable lesson that I am only just starting to understand for myself.

I've been praying for my mom lately (again) and hoping that God brings someone into her life to be a partner, caretaker, entertainer, and to most of all open her heart. Not just for my selfish desires to have a better mom in my life, but for her happiness. I also want her to explore Christianity and heal from her past hurts and victim mentality. I know that God does miracles in people's lives, and as "Heaven is for Real" reminds me, He actually listens to our prayers. I sometimes question whether or not He hears mine and cares, but apparently He really does.

I pray for my train wreck of a brother and sister too, but that may be just asking for too much. HA! Another story for another time...

All in all, this was a great book. All three adults in the car loved it, so that means it's truly excellent. LOL.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Jobs I Won't Apply For

In the past I've been a 'go-getter' and had the drive to succeed. Now, I feel more like Peter Gibbons from Office Space. I will work hard, but only between the hours of 8 to 5 and do like take a lunch break. I also still have to balance out my own personal life and that of my family.

I'm in no rush to get a job at this point, but I do like to take a peek at what's posted just in case. Here is an example of a job I WON'T be applying for based on the requirements of the position:

Extremely detail oriented
Be Pro-active
Ability to multi-task
Ability to handle high pressure
Ability to adapt to change at a moments notice
Excellent communication skills verbal and written
Strong organizational skills
Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work well with others
Ability to bring fresh ideas to the department
Outstanding Customer Service Relations

Behavioral Attributes
• Go getter attitude with all projects assigned
• Work well under pressure while maintaining a professional attitude.
• Ability to work closely with team members and foster a team environment
• A “can do" attitude that focuses on solving problems and minimizing blame
• Calm and flexible with a positive, solution-oriented approach to change and new challenges

Ugh - it just seems so rigid and unfriendly already. Makes me cringe. I would prefer to work in a non-hostile work environment where I can sip my morning coffee and ease into the work day.

What's worse - the chaos of staying at home with 3 kids all day or a tyrannical boss? I'll take the former - at least I can take them to the gym and let someone else watch them for a while as I read a magazine on the elliptical machine.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

I Still Shave My Legs

Even though I am now a bonified au natural chick with exclusive breastfeeding, cloth diapering and about to embark on making my own baby food, I am still a bit far from being a full-fledged hippie.  "I feel like a natural woman..."

Yes, I did happen to have a completely natural, drug-free birth, but that was not by choice.  I'm for epidurals all the way!  I do tend to wear sensible shoes a lot more these days, but I still wear a bra, put on makeup and shave my legs, armpits and bikini region.  I do not wear patchouli but wear a very nice perfume from Benefit  called B Spot. I paint my toenails and fingernails and workout at the  gym. I also listen to rap music in addition to my folk music thank you very much.

I've co-slept, baby-wore and chose all BPA free products, but I've also used the cry it out and Baby Wise methods. I've dabbled in homeschooling, but I'm not committed to it. If I had some extra money, I would totally put my kids in an expensive Montessori school.  I would LOVE to have 'someone else raise my kids.' Anyone work for free?

So there, that proves it, I am not a real hippie - yet.  Now where did I put my peace pipe?  I'm late for my drum circle...

Saturday, May 14, 2011

It's Birthday Party Season!

We are now in the season where we attend 1 or 2 children's birthday parties every single weekend. The chickadees love it and it frees us up to talk to the other parents and enjoy food/drinks that others prepared. It's a win/win.

Last Saturday was my actual birthday and we spent it going to 2 kid's parties. I dressed up in a feather boa and a party hat and made sure I had a blast. Gotta love the parties that serve booze!

One party was a costume party with a Hawaiian theme for a 6 year old. The one immediately after was a Wow Wow Wubbzy party for a 2 year old. This one was a hoot. The older boy kept turning off the bounce house to see it collapse on all the kids inside. Later he pummeled another boy with a cushion thing. But - I had my microbrew, so I just watched the entertainment. It wasn't unlike the college parties I (sorta) remember so fondly.

Today we have a 3 year old birthday party at a high end sports club. Parents get access to the facilities (pool, gym, restaurant/bar) as the kids do an obstacle course in the kids club with plenty of assistants/babysitters. Super cool!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

BlogHer 2011

I'm getting so excited for BlogHer 2011 in San Diego!  This is my first blogging conference! I love San Diego too!
Stock Photography - Windsurfing
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I'm hoping to learn a lot and meet other bloggers. Hopefully get some ideas on how to be more creative and interesting. I know, I know - I'm already pretty fascinating... it's hard to improve upon perfection, right? Totally kidding!

I really wanted to stay in the Marriott Marquis at the convention center, but decided it was too much money to spend, so I found a room about 1/2 mile down the road at the Gaslamp Plaza Suites. It's $120 a night, has a 3 star rating, good reviews and the walk be great for exercise each day. I'm actually thinking those little bicycle taxis will be convenient and fun. Parking at the hotel will be like $26 a day, so I'm considering taking the train down. Doubt hubbie will like that idea though.

He's coming with me and the kids and plans to take them to the zoo.  He keeps telling me he can't take the baby with him, but I think otherwise.  If I'm still nursing, I'll need to pump of course, but that shouldn't be a problem.  Not sure what would be easier - the onsite childcare or my husband's care?

Now it's time to start planning my conference schedule and parties.  Everything sounds so fun and appealing.  I am a little fearful of going solo, not knowing anyone and being shy, but I'm sure that I can find at least one person to hang with.

If you're going, what are your plans?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Phone Interview with 3 Kids at Home

I am a big ball of anxiety.  I have a phone interview for my dream job tomorrow and no established childcare!  I'm completely crazy for leaving it to chance. 

My oldest chickadee has to stay home I think because she threw up twice today.  My littlest chickadee I was going to plop in front of the TV.  I was just going to feed the little chicken hawk, give him his binky and put him in the swing.  Then PRAY to God that I remain undisturbed for the entire phone interview.  That is just asking too much of all 3 kids though. 

My friend might come over to supervise the little clutch or my husband offered to take an early lunch to come home and help out.  Ideally though, it's best to prepare for an interview hours in advance, reviewing the company, sample interview questions, warming up your vocal cords, gaining confidence.  Not easy to do with a nursing baby, a sick child and an accident-prone preschooler at home.  Can I lock them out in the backyard for a half an hour? The TV and lots of delicious snacks are my best bet I think. 

This job is with a well-known lifestyle brand doing marketing communications/social media.  I am totally qualified for the position and am passionate about the products.  I did not want to return to work this soon (assuming I even get past the phone interview), but for this job, I totally would. 

I am just totally stuck on childcare for the little chicken hawk though.  The girls are simple to place somewhere.  Infant childcare is ridiculously expensive and hard to come by.  My long term provider is too far to drive to anymore, sadly.  There is an in-home daycare near me that is affordable, but a somewhat stern Indian woman runs it and doesn't have the free spirit and playful nature that I am usually drawn to.  She has one opening right now. 

At this point, I am fine if I don't get the job too so I can enjoy the summer with all the kids.  But on the other hand, I seriously doubt another job this cool would come about.  I know I've told myself I don't ever want to work corporate again.........I said I was going to dive straight into writing short stories, novels, poems, you name it.  I was going to develop some cool business ideas, grow my blog, keep the house running smoothly and be the perfect mom.  Um yeah, that's not really happening. 

My mind is not fully-functional, I'm getting super lazy and bored, I'm overeating and under-exercising, I am not efficient with my time at home; it's just not turning out as I would have liked.  For some reason, going to a job is therapeutic and fulfilling sometimes.  It's nice to be around other people and develop friendships and have a life outside of the chaos at home. 

Now my last job was a farce and my boss was a total douchebag, but I almost miss it.  I wish I didn't keep having nightmares about my boss though.  It's really starting to bug me.  I keep dreaming that he hired me back and I'm wondering why I am going along with it.

I must prepare my body and mind for this daunting interview tomorrow.  Must get some sleep.  The baby is waking up at night again to nurse and it exhausts me. 

I am leaving the outcome in God's hands - or fate if you will.  Whatever will be, will be.