Thursday, August 25, 2011

It has to be Mr. M.

This is the next installment in the Thursday blog project.  We are writing about our favorite teacher.  My favorite teacher is Mr. Maiste.  He was not my teacher, but one of Mac's teachers. 

We spent two years with Mr. Maiste.  When I first found out that .we had him, I was nervous.  He is a football coach, and the football kids like to pick on Mac.  Soon after we started, our first year with Mr. Maiste, Mac came home in tears, the football kids were picking on him... again.  I decided to see what would happen.  Would he defend these kids?  Would he stand up for Mac?

I sent him an email and told him what happened.  His response, was that he takes pride in squashing bullying.  He won't tolerate it.  Wait a minute, you are a football coach, where does this attitude come from?  He spoke to the kids in question and had them apologize.  Guess what, these kids never picked on Mac again.

It was like a turning point in Mac's educational career.  He felt safe at school for the first time in five years.  All of a sudden he felt like someone would stand up for him.  This act enabled Mac to build confidence and begin to be less "weird" and start to create some relationships with the other kids in his grade.

Mr. Maiste inspired Mac to learn more about sports.  This gave him something to talk to the other kids about.  All of a sudden he had something in common with these kids that used to pick on him.  Are they inviting him to birthday parties or to hang out?  No, but they aren't picking on him. 

I see in Mac a confidence and ability to navigate social situations that was not there before Mr. Maiste took him under his wing.  Mr. Maiste did for Mac things I could never do, because I am his mom.

Mr. Maiste also helped Mac deal with other teachers that just didn't understand where he was coming from.  He smoothed ruffled feathers and helped Mac learn to work with "difficult" people.  By providing insights in how to get Mac to do what you want him to do, he made Mac's life out of the main classroom better.

I don't know where Mac would be without Mr. Maiste, but I do know that because of him Mac is a better person.  I am sure when Mac is older he will tell his kids about Mr. Maiste.  I will always remember the kindness and grace he showed my difficult child.

Want to read about the other ladies' favorite teacher?  Check them out at Froggie, Merrylandgirl and Momarock.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Plastic Surgery

This is the latest entry in the Thursday blog project.  Our topic is would you consider plastic surgery?  If so what type?  Why or why wouldn't you?  Plastic surgery is a sticky wicket.  I see plastic surgery in two ways, medically necessary and cosmetic.

When I first read the question, I thought about writing some feminist piece about how we need to accept our bodies they way they are.  Our bodies are actually pretty amazing things.  I created three amazing individuals with my body.  I fed them, and grew them into beings that could subsist on their own.  The potential of these kids is awesome, and my body did that.

I wear the extra flubber, saggy breasts and stretch marks with a certain level of pride.  Well, pride isn't really the right word, perhaps acceptance.  Plastic surgery, to achieve some sort of perfection as defined by a picture in a magazine really isn't part of my reality.

It irks me that people, mostly women, feel that they aren't good enough unless their breasts are large enough, their bellies flat enough, their noses small and straight enough.  We need to work harder to be healthy and accept the hand that G-d dealt us.  It irks me when people get poison injected into their faces so that they can look younger.  Plastic surgery, for purely vanity reasons is in my mind, a risk not worth taking.

That said, my very crunchy, super-hippy, vegetarian sister had breast augmentation.  She had her breasts removed because of breast cancer.  In the end, her breasts were perkier and bigger than when she started.  It was sort of a happy accident, at least that was how she described it.  I never really thought that what she did was "plastic surgery," although it was.  She was attempting to restore what cancer had taken from her.  To achieve some level of normalcy.

When I worked in retail, almost a lifetime ago, one of my co-workers had breasts so large that her cup size was some place in the middle of the alphabet.  I don't remember what letter it was but was in the neighborhood of H.  She was working nights at the retail store to save up enough money to pay for her surgery.  I quit that job before she had enough money, but I am confident that if I saw her now, her breasts would be smaller.

But, if you were to totally apply my believe that our bodies are perfect the way that they are, then couldn't you also say that what my sister did was out of vanity?  Should my co-worker have accepted the hand that G-d had dealt her?  It is a hard line to draw, because to some extent, I believe that people that have plastic surgery are trying to achieve what they think is normal.  What ever that means. 

I might have plastic surgery some day, who knows life is short.  I can tell you, my nose won't change, I won't have a face lift or liposuction.  If I loose my breasts to cancer, I will probably get that fixed.  If I am disfigured in an accident, chances are I will want that corrected.  Hopefully, I won't have to make those types of decisions.  For now, the scars on my body are here to stay.  Some are reminders (like my cancer scar that reminds us to use sunscreen), and others are part of the story of my life.

While plastic surgery is not for me, at least right now, if it is for you, well that is part of your story.  Want to see if it is for any of the other ladies?  Check them out at:  Froggie, Momarock, Merrylandgirl.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Friday, August 12, 2011

Thursday, August 11, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge: Something Fun

  by slperrett9

, a photo by slperrett9 on Flickr.

30 Day Photo Challenge: Something I Made

  by slperrett9

The rabbit is not done, that is why it only has one leg. Don't worry it will have the right number when I finish it up!

10 years ago

The next entry in the Thursday blog project is:  Are you today, where you thought you would be 10 years ago?

My old brain is having a very hard time even remembering 10 years ago.  Let's do a little math, 10 years ago was 2001.  In August of 2001, Mac would have been celebrating his first birthday.  He would have had about his millionth ear infection and would be preparing for tubes in his ears.  This is only relavent to me because after he got the tubes in his ears, his ability to speak went from one or two words at a time to full paragraphs and by the time he was 13 months, he could out talk most anyone.  Anyone who knows him won't be surprised by this.

In September, on the 11th, some dudes would decide it was a good day to fly a plane into a building.  This changed the fundamental character of our nation.  We now submit to gynecological exams at the airport.  It is now acceptable for some stranger to feel my breasts in public at the airport.  Naked pictures are flashed up on a screen.  All in the name of security.

During this time, I was working.  I was trying to figure out how to balance having a baby and a job that required long hours and lots of travel.  This balancing act was made more difficult because my husband also had a job that required long hours and lots of travel.  We were like ships that passed in the night handing the baby off from one parent to the other.  Sometimes in airports.

I hated my job.  Well, hated would have been an improvement.  It just wasn't the right thing for me to be doing.  I was super good at it, so I was able to acheive a lot of success and as a result make a lot of money.  In October of 2001, Mac dressed up in a costume and went trick or treating to a few houses in our neighborhood.  I missed it because I was on a business trip.  This is an experience I will never be able to have with him.  I can not get this back.

The job I had at this time was actually a step down in terms of money and status, but theoretically I was trading that for increased flexibility.  The reality was that they weren't happy when I would leave at 4:30 so I could get my child at daycare.  Even though I worked at home and got to the office at 6:30 most days.  I just wasn't available enough.

I spent the better part of 2001, wishing I could just be with my child.  That we could figure out a way to make it work on just one salary.  It was made more challenging because I was the primary wage earner.  It was hard to choose to walk away from my six figure salary.  To take more than a 50% cut in pay.

Anyone who really knows me, knows that if I want it bad enough, I will generally figure out how to make it happen.  We ran the numbers up one side and down the other.  We figured out how to make it work.  We cut back on things we didn't need, refinanced our house, I got a cheaper car, etc.  We figured out how to live on less.  ::soap box moment::  When people wish they could stay home with their kids, when they complain that they can't afford to not work, in all but very few cases, I think, if you wanted it bad enough you could have it.  You just have to stop spending money on all the things you think you need.  Life isn't about things, it is about experiences and if you are working you miss so many experiences.  Like your kid's first Halloween.  You can never get that back and that is more important than stuff.  We are not lucky, we are frugal.  ::end soap box moment::

By July of 2002, I took the lowest paying, hardest job I would ever have.  The job I will have the longest.  On July 1, 2002, I became a Stay at Home Mother.  I left the corporate world and started using coupons and living on much, much less.  Amazingly, my kids want for nothing, we have plenty and it has worked out ok.  We will still retire, send our kids to college, live in a pretty nice house, and go on trips.  If I had not done this, we would not have been able to make it work out.  We could not have managed our kids and their needs and our jobs without loosing our minds.  During this year, we made a hard decision, but it was without question the right decision.

Where I am today, is not really surprising or unimaginable to my 10 year ago self.  That person was stressed, overwhelmed and cried a lot.  I get stressed and overwhelmed today, but I am not that lunatic that called her mommy hysterical in an airport because she couldn't be with her baby.  My mother told me, "chase what you want, I believe you can make it work."

I admire working moms, their ability to keep all those balls in the air.   They are like super heros.  But, I wouldn't trade my life for theirs for all the money in the world. It is 78 and sunny today, I will be at the pool.

Want to see how the other ladies have changed in the last 10 years?  Check them out at Froggie, Momarock, Merrylandgirl.

30 Day Photo Challenge: Faceless Self portrait

Self portrait by slperrett9

Self portrait, a photo by slperrett9 on Flickr.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

This may be my last day

Today is Thursday and that means that there is an entry for the Thursday blog project.  Today's topic was to share your theme song and why that song is your theme song.  It was my idea.  See, my world is set to music.  This seems normal to me.  I almost always have theme song going.

What I didn't realize is that like the underwear container and the -ter joke, this is something that is unique to me.  Most people don't set their lives to music and think that having a theme song is something that they should do.  Yes, I name my cars too... your point?  Have you read the title of this blog?  Crazy is in it.

See, when we moved to Connecticut about 15 years ago, our theme song was Living La Vida Loca.  Our life was so crazy, in what I thought at the time a good way.  It didn't really go that way, but I had a baby, lost a job, found a job, lost a job, became a stay at home mom.  It was la vida loca.

For awhile we were without a song.  Nothing spoke to me.  Then we moved to Illinois.  Our song was by Rodney Atkins, If You're Going Through Hell.  My favorite part is when you ask a Genie from a bottle for directions and she lies to you.  That is where we were when we got here.  My life was in the crapper.  Actually that  might have been an improvement.  But you see, we kept on going and guess what we made it through.  We are ok now.  This could change but right now, we are good.

After we got out, our theme song was Boundin'.  It is really a Pixar Animation short, but if you haven't seen it, you can see it on YouTube, I couldn't embed it.  You really should check it out.  See once I got to the other side, I had to live with the changes that had happened.  So like the sheep (yeah a sheep, that might be part of the reason I love it) I had lost my beautiful hair and had to find myself inside all the changes.  I think this song is about being ok with yourself regardless of where you are and what happens to you.  That was a good message.

Lately, I have been thinking about addressing the song.  Boundin', while super awesome was not really hitting all the right notes.  Which is probably why I suggested the topic.  There are some things in my life that I want to do, that I have never been able to do.  I am going to conquer them.  Anything worth having is worth doing all the hard work to get.  No short cuts.  I am going to put in the time.  There are some people I need to forgive.  There are some yesterday's I need to say goodbye to.  To that end, my new song is Nickelback's, If Today Was Your Last Day. 

As I approach the middle of my life, my days are getting short, and I need to remember that it really does me no good to hold on to old grudges.  While things may not be the way I want them to be, they are what they are and really in most cases that is outside of the span of my control.  I am going to mend my own broken heart and shoot for the stars.  In the end, life is all about forgiveness.  The ability to let the bad stuff go and be ok with that, even if the person or people that wronged you don't ask for it. 
So that is my story in music, if you want to hear what the other ladies have to say check them out at Froggie, Merrylandgirl and Momarock.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge:What I Wore

photo by slperrett9

Take with Instagram on iphone, using Earlybird filter.

Monday, August 1, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge: Self Portrait

I have decided to do one of these blog challenges... we will see how this goes. If you want to play too, you can find the information at 30 day photo challenge.

I hate pictures of me. So, taking a self portrait is somewhat challenging. Here is what we got.  I imagine as I learn how to use the software the pictures will get better.

photo by slperrett9

photo, a photo by slperrett9 on Flickr.

True Confessions of a Canine Convict

Here I am in the back of a police car.  I do not understand how what I did was such a crime.  I am trying to explain the situation to the policeman, but he won't hear any of it.  He just slammed the door on my nose and drove me away.

My crime you ask?  I walked to the corner of my block.  It was all of three houses away.  When is walking down the street a crime?  I see my people do it all the time.  Other animals, like rabbits, do it all the time.  But, when I try and exercise my legs a bit and see the happenings down the street, I am treated like a common criminal.

I was just being friendly when I barked at that man, you might even say I was downright neighborly.  I wanted to notify him about the rabbits that where tunneling under his deck.  But did he think I was being helpful?  No, he called the coppers on me. 

When the police did arrive, I thought I will just tell them my story and I would be on my way.  But, no, they weren't listening they just shoved me, not to nicely I might add, into the back of the squad car.  At first I thought maybe they were giving me a lift home, but no, they were taking me to jail.

Humans get to make a phone call to their lawyers upon arriving at prision.  When I asked for my phone call, did I get it?  No siree.  My rights were violated.  I have to say they could have been nicer when they gave me those shots.  No petting and treats like they do at the vet, no they just jammed it in the scruff of my neck.  Moving me along like an assembly line.  A little bedside manner goes a long way, just sayin'.

Jail isn't so bad, the food was good and these nice volunteers take us out to a pen and play with us.  They were pretty nice, but no one wanted to hear my story.  I was guilty in their eyes.  I tried to tell them that I had been wrongly convicted and if they would just call my family we could straighten this whole thing out.  They would hear nothing of it.

There is no due process, no hearing with the judge, nothing.  They take the word of that not so neighborly neighbor and determine that I am a problem.  I am going to have to take this up the with the rabbits.  I am sure they can manage some sort of pox on his house.

Anyway, after what seemed to be a life sentence my people did come and get me.  I guess I had done the time.  My people seemed happy to see me, but they were angry and me for leaving.  I would like to repeat that I just went for a stroll.  An evening constitiutional if you will, what is the crime in that?

Now I have been microchipped.  I think it is some sort of communist plot to track my movements.  A way for Big Brother to monitor my every move.  Here I am a senior citizen, who now has a wrap sheet.

This is convict 58-9357 signing off.  Next time I want to take a stroll I think will take one the kids with me.