August 24, 2014

Empty nest syndrome is more like…..

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:36 pm by whatsupwiththat

heart ripped out of your chest disorder.  The youngest is away at college (for the first time) for the last 48 hours and it has been a rocky start.  While things look better now than they did yesterday, I anticipate it is still a bumpy road we are on and I am keeping the tissue box handy, right next to my cell phone. 

In the next 48 hours, the oldest will move out again after having been home for the last 18 months and while the second time saying good bye is easier, it still isn’t a walk in the park, at least not for me.  I completely immersed myself in the role of stay at home mom for the last 13 years.  It was first and foremost at least 110% of the time as my number one priority.  I am grateful to have an understanding husband who enabled me to concentrate on home and family and put my career on hold.  Enabling has a bad rap in some mental health circles, but for the most part this was a good sort.  Far from being a helicopter parent, I have, as the boys got older, tried to (and usually successfully) hand over most of the decision making and problem solving responsibility in a supportive and loving manner.  Mistakes have been hard to watch and even harder to stop myself or my husband from cleaning them up or making them right.  It has been messy and there has been yelling and gnashing of teeth but before you can say, “Congratulations, it’s a boy!” a corner has been turned and our family structure is now stretched, never to congeal back to that nice, secure nuclear unit in quite the same way we have been for the last 21 years.  Sure, going to work the first time after I had each of the boys was agonizingly painful and my arms would begin to ache somewhere around 2:00 each afternoon for the first few weeks.  More than once, I would drive home crying, positive a truck would smash into me and I would not ever see my precious infant again.  Next comes the parade of first days of school:  Preschool, Kindergarten, Elementary, Middle School and High School.  Each of these steps got easier and easier as the years passed.  Sending our oldest off to college three years ago made for a lot of weepy nights and sudden watering of the eyes in the grocery store as I passed a favorite item of his, but I still had his brother at home, my motherhood badge was still in effect 24/7.

I never expected that physical pain I felt when missing my infant son would return 18 years later when it is now him leaving me and the next time I see him is not going to be within 24 hours. As I have passed my youngest son’s empty bedroom for the last two nights, not able to stop and say goodnight and have him bend down for a kiss, it is painfully clear that I am still a mother of two young men but my role is diminishing as they take over near full responsibility for their lives and leave my husband and I to carry on ours.  Nobody tells you about this kind of separation anxiety before you become a parent (add that to the long list of what you don’t know and find out the hard way!)

The  youngest was never the noisy sort, but the quietness of the house is overwhelming, even with his brother, the very noisy sort, still here. The stillness shouts, “Times are changing whether you are ready or not!”  Just as I hope my sons are thinking, Look out world, here I come ready or not!  So I am taking comfort in the idea that I am sharing my sons, they are not gone forever, they were never really ‘mine’ to begin with.  They are becoming their own and these steps they have to take alone, but they still know their way home and where to find their father and I to share their joys and sorrows, accomplishments and fears, ideas and dreams.  Pardon me while I go find the tissues.



August 15, 2014

What’s up with NBC, the Today show’s ridiculous reporting about…

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:03 am by whatsupwiththat

back to school lists and how out of hand they have gotten.  Instead of reporting (in awe like wonder) about why coffee filters or ice cube trays might be on the back to school lists, they present only the parents’ side of how much all this costs.  I can sympathize that back to school bills can add up and be overwhelming, but try running an effective, hands on classroom without taking a major hit to your own wallet as the teacher.  I am sure the filters and ice cube trays play some part in the classroom and will be used by the students, not for the teachers’ coffee and cold drinks, but why not ask a teacher or two and present a balanced story NBC?  And parents, wondering how some of the items you are being asked to purchase will be used or are useful in the classroom, send the teacher an email and ask!

PSA of the day ~ News stories need to present both sides.

February 22, 2014

Hopefully students make better teachers!

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:18 am by whatsupwiththat

I am back at it professionally.  I am teaching again and loving it more than I ever thought possible.  More on this later. 

January 8, 2013

teachers make the worst students

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:35 pm by whatsupwiththat

I started an on-line course to get a certificate to be able to teach English as a second language to adults.  I haven’t taken an on-line course before, except for the traffic class for my last speeding ticket which I hardly think counts after having attempted this class.  The last time I took an actual class in real life (everyone knows the Internet isn’t real-life) was 12 years ago when I finished my master’s degree.  I noticed then that the teachers that made up my class, while being a very nice group of women, were not the best students.  Don’t get me wrong, everyone was smart and well-read, but there was a lot of complaining and nit picking and by the end of the 2 year program some down right rudeness going on during class.  I had attempted a master’s program before this one that after the first meeting I dropped out of because of the attitude of most of the ‘students’ that the professor we had was ill prepared and after having only listened to the man for 2 hours they were already planning a mutiny and starting a petition to have him removed. 

But back to my on-line adventure.  I should have known there were going to be problems when I was being threatened with disconnection when I was taking too long taking notes.  I opted not to take my 16 year old son’s advise to cut and paste the important info into a word document and print it out for notes.  while that seems like a good idea, I am old school and need the process of writing my own notes to help process the info.  I felt pretty good when I got a 95 on my first lesson review (all mult. choice and t/f) but then I got a 78.3 on the next.  The first essay answer I attempted was not up to par and I had an idea I hadn’t given a detailed enough answer so I tried a little harder on the next essay answer and got 90 out of 100 points for it.  That’s better!  The project assignment was a piece of cake…or so I thought.  I used to teach how to use I statements to my 6th graders in conflict resolution.  I got a little creative and changed the four offensive you statements to responsible I-statements and got a 30%.  What?  I had to ask for clarification as to what I did wrong and the iota of feedback I got back from my ‘teacher’ was an example with no creativity whatsoever.  So I rewrote the statements and regurgitated them back as blandly as they were first written and I am awaiting my new score.  I have a quiz up as my next assignment and I am not looking forward to it.

If anyone out there has on-line course experience and can offer me some words of wisdom, I would very much appreciate it.

PSA of the day *stay in school*

(being out for too long makes it a bitch to get back in the swing of it)

January 4, 2013

The party’s over….

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:10 pm by whatsupwiththat

The tree is down.  The outdoor lights came in last week.  If I wasn’t so set on starting off the new year in a productive mood, I’d be depressed.  Christmas brings with it a lot of work and stress and hub bub, but it also means family get togethers, baking  and shopping!  I’m just going to have to incorporate those 3 into the whole year.   The first as much as possible and the other 2 in moderation.  What I am really proud of is as I am putting Christmas decorations away, I am organizing them.  I plan to start listing again on ebay and if it isn’t ebay worthy I have 2 boxes in the basement: garage sale and freecycle/wings.  2013 is the year all the dead weight gets gone!

PSA of the day* keep intimate info to yourself, sharing it makes you avoid your own blog!*


January 2, 2013

Nancy Drew Blue

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:37 am by whatsupwiththat

Bear with me while I attempt something that I think, if I can accomplish, will be pretty…neat.

I was laying in bed this morning in the wee hours of dawn and could sense my husband was awake as well so I left my warm, comfy side of our bed and snuggled up behind him to spoon.  As is my habit I found my favorite hand warmer and I had his full attention in the palm of my hand.  I like to think I know the right buttons to push and areas to tickle and tease so I went at it and was rewarded with pleasant sighs and the usual happy finish.  But what I find so intriguing is this; because of my abdomen being flush against my husband’s back I was keenly aware of 12-16 muscle contractions or surges and I am typically only aware of 8, if I had to guess.  So I asked my dearest after clean up had occurred and we were settling back into our bed if before any expulsion happens are there preliminary pumps and he said , of course, and I learned something new.

So I wanted to share  my learning experience but in such a way as to not attract any people searching for adult material.  I think I did it.  I hope it doesn’t offend anyone and I can promise sharing such information is not going to be a regular on this blog.

I realize this has nothing to do with Nancy Drew but when I discuss adult topics with my husband I try to keep it as clean as possible and he has referred to how I put things as  how it would be if Nancy Drew went blue.


January 1, 2013

New Year … New Habits… New Results

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:11 am by whatsupwiththat

As a kid I always liked the number 13. I felt sorry for it because everyone thought of it as unlucky and I remember thinking how can the first year of being a teenager be so bad? And it wasn’t. I enjoyed being 13 even with the bad perms, dorky 80’s big rimmed glasses and braces I sported and my ineptitude at handling friendships.
I really don’t want to make traditional resolutions, I only feel bad when I break them, so I am going to strive to do some things differently in 2013 and hope they become lifelong habits. The main goal that pertains to this blog is writing more and in doing so I am relatively sure you, dear reader, will glean from my posts what the other changes I am implementing are. See you soon!

PSA of the day *Just DO it*
(Nike will understand my plagerism, it is just too good of a slogan to be kept only for sportswear ads!)

May 12, 2012

20 years of Mother’s days

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 1:37 am by whatsupwiththat

19 years ago I spent my first Mother’s day overly pregnant. My first-born was due on the 5th, it was the 9th and he started arriving on the 11th. It is 2 am here and now on the 12th, in 2012, and at this point 19 years ago I was about an hour into pushing and counting to 10. During those (what seemed like) futile pushes, my husband and I jokingly said that at least this kid will be born knowing how to count to 10, he has heard it so often. My nearly 11 pound bouncing baby bundle of all boy joy finally got here after almost 5 more hours of pushing, suction that was futile due to a full head of gorgeous black hair, forceps, and an intern going in up to her elbows (or so it seemed from my angle) and helping our battered and bruised first-born arrive to the anesthesiologist proclaiming the Bears were going to be calling any minute to sign him up (that jerk is another post all on his own, but I am in too good of a mood right now) and my son, he is fantastic at math, who knew!
I never dreamed I’d be spending his 19th birthday with him opening his presents in the car before taking him to lunch to celebrate in the town where he is away at school. I won’t be spending this Mother’s day with him, finals loom, and while I am okay with that; it got me to thinking how the importance of this Hallmark holiday has evolved for me over the past 20 years. That first one as an expectant mom I couldn’t wait to just see and hold my first child and on the eve of my twentieth I am beginning to see the kind of man he will be, is becoming. His brother is on the cusp of young adulthood, starting to consider colleges even farther away, and it dawns on me that my Mother’s days of grubby kisses and exuberant hugs, handmade cards with homemade craft presents are over. Mother’s day, for the very first time, is going to mean a phone call (or more likely a text) from an adult son who is busy living his life apart from mine. Now in all honesty, as I sit here at 2:22 am and type that out I am tearing up and there is an honest to goodness lump in my throat, but I couldn’t be happier. As much as 20 years ago, I never wanted to let him go and I was thrilled a few years later when he changed his mind about joining the army because he found out I wouldn’t be coming with, I could not possibly be any happier. This Mother’s day, I can see that the result is so worth the journey. Happy Mother’s day, whatever number this one is for you, I have found they just keep getting better.

And even more importantly, Happy Birthday Mitch!  I couldn’t have done any of the last 20 Mother’s days without you and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Best late Mother’s day present ever…!

PSA of the day:   You guessed it , go call (or text or twitter even) your mom or an important woman in your life, you’ll make her day.

April 27, 2012

Open letter to Verizon executives

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:14 pm by whatsupwiththat

Thank you! A few days ago the slow obliteration of the landline department in the northeastern IL office my husband works out of was halted and is rumored to be under consideration. I am praying that you look very carefully at what is going on in the landline industry and realize that your bottom line, while being very important, is not the only thing being greatly affected by the move away from traditional landline phone systems. I cannot imagine that you cannot see the business contracts that could be kept and cultivated by being one of the only major phone companies supporting the antiquated phone systems in the present economy. Many businesses need to nurse these old systems along and would be very grateful to remain your customer for years to come. Eventually, either due to an upswing in the economy or the inevitable realization that the age of their phone system and lack of support available to continue it as a viable option, I would imagine you will be able to convert them over to wireless business line systems and continue to keep their business and loyalty. You do see that a quick profit is not always as desirable as a solid business relationship and there are also all the employees and families to consider that you will be keeping employed and off of unemployment. I realize there is a lot more to the situation than the very basic picture I have painted and I also realize the union angle is difficult as well. But please while you are reconsidering the downsizing and/or ultimate removal of the branch my husband and so many others work in, I am literally begging you to see the whole picture and not just the bottom line. Thanks for reading and hopefully taking into consideration my plea.

December 17, 2011

Christmas Dilemma

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:28 am by whatsupwiththat

I LOVE sending out our Christmas cards. I agonize over finding just the right card and have the best time legally allowed planning and executing the yearly Christmas themed photo of the boys. Alas this year I am dragging my feet. I took the few photos that my camera-shy 15 yr old would allow at Thanksgiving and due to a craptastic camera and little to no preplanning, surprise, surprise they turned out not so good. So I did the next best thing which is cropped their heads from each of their best shots and elffed them up! I have capture shots from some of the better Office Max  backgrounds to choose from and I have 2 links that I find absolutely hilarious and have actually laughed so hard while viewing them that I may have peed my pants just a little. That’s how funny and apropos (sp?) they are and NO, having 2 over 10 lb infants has absolutely nothing to do with the sneezing and laughing incontinence that can occur. It is just how my bladder chooses to share in the glee…..and sneezing.
Now you would think the afore-mentioned incontinence would be my dilemma but sadly it is not even a blip on my radar at this point, that is how much I take it for granted that it is just part of my life. No my dilemma is that as cute and funny the capture shots are, I really want to share the links to the 2 best songs from the Elf Yourself site and I am delusional enough to think that everyone I send a christmas card to will rush to their computer to see the boys humiliated for their mother’s enjoyment. Why I asked my husband for feedback on this is beside the point but he insists that I should include a line about emailing me for the link and just leave it at that. I think I should include the links with the photos and cut out me being the middle man. I mean really I think our relatives are much more likely to enter the link if they have it right there in front of them, and not at all likely to email me to get it, wait for me to reply and then click on the link. I wish I had emails for all the people I snail mail cards to but I don’t. So while I am probably going to go ahead and do it my way and include the link in the cards and not wait to see how few people ask for the link through email I am wondering what YOU think would be the best course to take.
Perhaps I have thought about this long enough while typing this post that the best solution has come to me…like an epiphany of sort, tis the season after all. I can include the links and the option of emailing me for a clickable link if that’s what they prefer. BINGO! I would still love to know what you think and have included the links for your laughing and tinkling enjoyment.

PSA of the day~ Get your depends on and watch these!

If you only have time for one go for the second one.  It is pee-tastic!

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