Thursday, November 18, 2010

NaBlaPoMo No Mo'

Aw, Crap. Oh well.  So much for 30 straight days of posts. Damn.  I just fell asleep early and was busy all day yesterday.  Since I write my posts around midnight for that previous day, I just missed out when I fell asleep before 11pm.  A normal day is sleeping at 2-3:00am unless I'm pulling an all-nighter for work.  That happens more than I like because it's so quiet I get a lot done quickly.  Until he wakes up at 3:00am and I get annoyed he won't go back to bed.

But, on the upside, this motivated me to make time to post and to start writing for real.  Even if it is just for the content mills without my name on it right now, I'm getting paid for it.  If that is what I got from NaBloPoMo, then it was worth it to miss a day.  So I don't qualify for the cute prizes and whatnot, but that's okay.

So here's my post for today.  Now I can fall asleep any time I want tonight!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Social Mom

Even though I wanted to write about my love of the Beatles today, I won't because that's just too expected.  So instead I'll talk about being social as an introverted mom.  So much more interesting, I know.

Because I'm new to this area and my son just started 4-K so I'm having to really make an effort to put myself out there and get to know other moms.  In Chicago, I started a single mom's group and it was a major metro area so meeting people was easier.  This is a much smaller town, even through the major city is just as far away from me now as it was in Chicago!  It's just not suburban all the way out from Milwaukee to where I am.  It's more like farms and towns intermittently scattered up to my location and then a few bigger cities up north.  So getting to know people has been interesting.  And I thought the parents would chat more and whatever while we stood out with our kids on the playground.  Not so much.  I don't get it at all.  I'd love to say it's me, or my single parenthood status, but I don't really see them talking to anyone or each other either.  Thankfully I did bond to another mom who I really like and have been able to support through a major life issue.  I'm telling you, I'm somehow in the right place at the right time when people's lives fall out from under them.  Maybe I'm in the wrong line of work???

Anyway, today I ran into another mom from my son's class while I was at the store.  I always kind of watched other women who ran into people they knew in the store with a tinge of jealously.  I wondered if I would become that person and stop feeling like a stranger who just wanders around alone all time.  It honestly didn't help that we didn't really get any kind of list of parent's names that go with the other children in class.  Honestly, who wants to be so & so's mom when we have our own names?  So the mom and I start talking and she's obviously really involved in the school and it's events.  While we small talked, which I suck at knowing when to end and walk away, we decided to exchange phone numbers.  This is so weird for me and it's because I'm so private and terrible with social protocol.  I mean, I barely know her and we were invited to come play, and to come help at a school event next month.

Have I mentioned how freaked out I get in a big group of people I don't know and how I will blurt out crazy stuff?  Other parents/moms I don't know who all practically grew up here and their parents grew up here...oh boy.  So what I"m going to do is go and force myself to talk to other moms so I can make friends here.  Even though I would feel more comfortable with meeting other single moms, it looks like I'll have to start another group here too if I want that to happen.  I don't know how well it will be received or if it will be like my group in the Chicago area, but I have to do something.  I'm going to have to fake it until I feel it.

I don't regret moving here but I'm just not feeling like I fit in yet either.  All I know is that I better figure it out because my son is a social butterfly and I know I'm going to have to figure this all out real quick.

Monday, November 15, 2010

On Writing

This NaBloPoMo thing has been really good for me so far.  Even my wordless weekends keep me motivated without stressing me out.  What a nice change.  Normally when I've done NaBloPoMo, I get stressed out.  Missing random days just made me feel like a huge failure.  This year, something different happened.  I found my desire to write again.

Not that I'm about to go join NaNoWriMo or anything, but stranger things have happened.  I mean, after my son was born, I just lost my passion to write.  I still randomly blogged about my son's growth and development, some venting through my problems, but nothing meaty and full of substance.  Every time I tried to write anything, including my college papers, I would blank.  It's been like having a 5 year writer's block.

Sadly, most my previous writing was lost on an old hard drive and I'll never get it back.  I'd really like to go back and edit some of those pieces and submit them or post them.  The only thing I've got now is about child support drama in IL.  I've been passing the time writing other people's words through transcription.  And I love doing that but it's not writing.  It's like my placeholder until my writing came back to me.

The point being is that I feel like I have my voice back and I want to write about the things I think and feel.  I also want to get paid for my writing and that means I've been hired into the world of content mills until I get my feet wet and can move onto private clients.  I know, I know, it's horrible and taboo to admit that.  In fact, if it was a transcriptionist saying they took a job for only $15-20 an audio hour, I'd freak out on them and give the speech about driving the prices we're paid down into the ground.  I've seen the same argument from the writing camp as well.  It's a stepping stone.

So I'm welcoming my self back to the world of writing.  I'm a content mill whore right now, and blogger as always.  I don't know that my blog will become something more than what it is now, but who knows.  I do know that I do not want it to become what I've seen some really good blogs morph into after getting some recognition.  I also think this will likely stay separate from my paid writing since my single motherhood is personal to me.  I need this place to let go of the stress of parenting my child alone.  This is a place where I can make grammatical and punctuation errors without fear and horror.

So I'm feeling excited and motivated to move into what I see is a natural progression of my current career.  Or at least a move back into doing what I really enjoy.  Writing.

Friday, November 12, 2010

It's Not About Sleep

This is going to be positive and full of light.  Ok, maybe not the whole thing because that would be annoying.

I rescinded all punishments and we're going to try something else.  Mostly because I am sick and if I have to entertain my son all weekend without any screen time breaks I might die.  See, so much for positive and happiness already.  Anyway, I think not having a small child on lockdown for not going to bed might have been a tad extreme.  As a woman, I'm blaming the age-old PMS and also the cold that about tried to kill me this morning when I tried to wake up.  It tried to pull me back into bed while I got my son ready for school.  Thank God for school today.  I seriously needed 2.5 hours to myself to rest!

I also tried a neti pot for the first time today ever.  I also tried using a spoonful of honey (shut up!) and it really did help with the congestion.  The neti pot was disgusting and horrible.  NOW I know why my son throws up whenever I use the saline spray on him when he's snotty.  But it worked for a while and I did feel kind of good while I ran errands.  But still disgusting as all get out.

I have so much work this weekend that I feel blessed it's available but man do I feel like laying in bed all weekend.  But the holidays are coming and I'm already going to miss out on my Black Friday shopping.  I'm SO upset about this!!!!  I'm a little worried work will slow down during the holidays and I'm going to be struggling until January.  I could really pass on that too.  I think as a freelancer it's normal to worry about work slow down, and I had to chase down my first client for a payment.  That was not fun.

I miss going to school.  I'm really ready to go back after the past 6 months off.  I can't believe it's been 6 months already!  I'm ready to fill out my FAFSA and all that fun stuff.  The taxes...well, we'll see how I feel about that in January too.  I made some changes in my freelance clients and I'm hoping to see an increase rather than a decrease, but I think the change caused a dip in my income for a while while it all sorted out.

Lastly, in my random babble for the evening, I'm shocked that it's almost Thanksgiving!  I'm excited and I can't wait to try some new desserts, but holy cow seriously???!!!  That means Christmas and snow is right around the corner.  Totally freaking out about snow.  Seriously.  I hate snow.  And I moved up North rather than back down South.  I'm insane obviously.  I'm praying the snowflakes I see in the forecast disappear to just rain. Yuck.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I Really Need a Husband... give me a break when my son will just not wind down and go to bed.  Seriously.  It's been 2. 5 hours and I've taken away everything that can be taken away.  He's going to come home from school tomorrow with all his toys in my closet and nothing to do but read books.  I'm at my wits end now and no amount of routine is getting this kid to sleep.  You would think I gave him a shot of caffeine right before bed.  I'm seriously not kidding.  I would cry but that isn't going to get him to sleep either!

Here's where the need for a husband comes in.  I could walk away from this situation and take a mommy mental health moment.  Those parenting articles about how when you feel too angry to be pleasant with your child...they don't come from a single parent.  I've locked myself in my bathroom when he acts like this and he bangs on the door until I come out.  It is NOT calming to have your child yelling and banging on a bathroom door while you try to get your head back on straight.

Ignore it... ahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!  Phew that was really hilarious right there.  Ignore that he's not in bed and is now back in the living room trying to watch TV?  Ignore that he's still awake at 11:00 at night and I'm getting zero work done and will be up all night trying to finish it when it's finally quiet?  Or that he's yelling from his room for me because he's SO thirsty or SO bored or SO hungry and I should ignore that?  Obviously more advice from people who don't live in a multi-unit dwelling with rules that request reasonable quiet after 9:00 pm.

Again, this where the husband could be getting up (even if I had to nag at nudge him) to deal with this nonsense.  I could be happily working in another room in peace.  With a door shut.  No interruptions.  Quietly.  Alone.

It's just the constant almost every single day of battling this small being to go to sleep already.  I need a freakin' break from it sometimes.  This is either why god made kids cute or He let someone discover the creation of Xanax.  I'm exhausted and it's just never ending.  The only mental break I'm getting is when he's in school and I don't get work done like I planned.  I sit and veg out so I can recharge in anticipation for bedtime.  I'm serious.  Dead serious.  I dread it.  I know that after dinner begins the battle to bed.  Every step is an argument.  I just would like a break from the bedtime battle for a little while.  Then the husband can go away again before they get sick and I have to take care of them too!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Bedtime Showdown

I'm done with nice at bedtime.  I've gotten tired of the arguing, the cajoling, the pleading, and the yelling.  Now I'm just taking things away.  I'm done fooling around and now I'm just going to be 'mean' and he's not going to like it.  And I really don't care.  Just letting him know before he laid down what the punishment was if he DID get up was enough for the past two days to keep him in bed.  Today, not so much.  Today is the day of testing.  He's so far gotten his before-school morning shows taken away for the next two days, and any game oriented screen time for the rest of the week.  He's heading into the weekend.

It's not the taking away of the fun stuff that is hard.  It's going to be the days where I have to enforce it.  The whining and the crying and the angry boy attitude that I hate so much is the hard part of the equation.  It's easy to say, "Ok, no more (whatever) show before school."  But when he wants to watch his show, per our normal routine, and I say, "No, you didn't go to bed and stay there like you were told last night.  Go get a book or color."  That's going to be when the parenting skills come out and I have to deal with ignore the reaction to his consequences.  The reason I chose those things is because those are the things that motivate him and it's the reason he wants to stay up.

He can earn days back if he goes to bed without fussing and causing problems...

...and we just added Saturday to the days without screen time.  It's likely going to be a loooong weekend at this rate...

As I was saying, he can earn a day back for a day he goes to bed and doesn't get up or fights going to bed.  Depending on how he behaves during the day and if he has good behaviors during the day, I may let him earn things like his DS back.  I do want to reward his good behaviors.  And if something things I'm a crappy parent for letting my kid even play video games or watch TV at 4 years old, well suck it.  My son will the the one teaching yours how to use current technology.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Aftermath

I haven't emailed his teacher about the stoplight method she uses.  Yet.  I did ask my son where the stoplight was and if he or the teacher moved his name on it.  I asked if anyone made fun or laughed at him when he got yellow yesterday.  I also asked how he felt about getting a yellow.  He didn't seem to be embarrassed or care.

I asked the opinion of a teacher I know and my sister who has had three kids go through various school districts.  The Internet produced some interesting opinions as well.  My best friend said just don't stress it since it's ridiculous anyway the way schools do a lot of things they do.  My sister said suck it up because most classrooms use this method so he better get used to it.  She also said communication with the teacher is key to ensure he thrives.  The Internet forums of teachers seem to either love this method as wonderful or despise it as lazy.  I lean to the latter, but I'm new to this so I'm still watching and learning.  The parenting forums basically said, yes it sucks but just tell your kid that sometimes we have to do things in life we don't like.  Or they said just tell your kid it doesn't matter what they get unless it's really, really bad.

So my stance is that I'm going to wait and see.  Plus, I'm thinking the $3,500 tuition for private school, or becoming a Lutheran for free private school, isn't going to really work for us.  Not only that, I don't want to be seen as reacting just because my child had yellow yesterday.  The second my child comes home and says he doesn't want to go to school because he was embarrassed he got in trouble is the day I go all momma bear.

Also, the little girl that got a red yesterday...I heard her having to apologize to the teacher and was embarrassed for her.  I'm going to have to come up with a plan as asap and decide how I'm going to play this out based on the needs of my son.  It's going to be a long road this education thing.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Classroom Discipline

Today we were told my child's classroom was going to institute the discipline method known as the stoplight method.  It's pretty common from what I'm reading and I know some other parents whose kids lived through it and survived.  Basically it's a method where everyone starts on green with their name marker.  If they get warnings throughout the day for discipline issues, they move their name down to yellow, and red is a note home to the parents.  This is usually hung in a public or prominent location in the classroom.   I was concerned about it before he started school because it's not really a method I think is appropriate.  Public shame to get my child to toe the line?  Group-think to ensure the other kids shame him into behaving correctly next time?  If you don't think the other kids know who is the 'bad kid' who got yellow or red, you're wrong.  My child knew exactly who got red today when I found out he was on yellow.  So I know the other kids knew he was a yellow today.  There are rewards for not getting moved down and a class reward when they all do the right thing.  I just don't know exactly how thrilled I am with this way of motivating kids to act right.  I know my son is sensitive to public embarrassment.  It may not have sunk in yet, and I'm sure not going to tell him, but it will sink in if someone makes fun of him for getting yellow or red one day.  So do I allow public embarrassment be the consequence of his poor choice and hope that teaches him to correct his problem, which is not my preferred method.  Or do I talk to the teacher and see if it can be made less public so the child knows they did the wrong thing without the kids and other parents judging them for poor choices, or just a bad day?   I just don't know how my son is going to react to this and/or if he's going to be the kid who is always on yellow or red.  I'd really like to have her make a change now before it's really set in stone with the kids that it's done a certain way and they're used to it.  they'll really notice the change if she moves it later.  I may just have to suck it up and get over it.  I just really don't want this to squash my kid's happiness in going to school everyday.

It's either going to be a really, really long year or we're going to be in private school next year.  Unless I hope and pray we always get teachers who don't use that method.  Bwhahahahaha!!!!!  So funny.

Friday, November 5, 2010


I've never really be a very social person.  I like having people to do stuff with, but I'm not good at keeping up friendships.  I'm not a phone person and somehow I got all the friends who aren't email or texters!  Either that or I must keep up a stream of stupidity that normal people get tired of hearing.  I honestly don't know.

So when I joined an online forum that had a professional focus for my type of work, I thought it would be great that I could have a place like a virtual water cooler.  I am pretty quiet when I join a new forum so I can get the lay of the land and watch the dynamics of those who are most active.  Now, I had some misgivings about a few people on this board, but I'm not very political or outspoken about personal issues anyway.  I lay low and play Switzerland most the time especially if it's work oriented.  Somehow I think that's working against me.  I'm not even sure I can explain it.

When I joined I stayed out of all the in-fighting.  I threw a few opinions out there but nothing so as to someone would side with or against me.  There are quite a few that are very outspoken and rub me the wrong way.  Yes, there is the typical clique that will even gang up on another person for random reasons.  They are new, or tried to defend themselves and didn't cow to the overloards of the board.  It's a shame when I see this but I suppose in my line of work you have to have a thick skin anyway.  I've often been afraid to post anything in fear I'd get reamed for something someone took wrong.

What's really sad is that this forum is a huge wealth of knowledge for my industry.  It's a great networking resource and for keeping up on shady contracts or companies that are hiring.  Now I don't even know if I want to be a part of it.  Not because I got what I needed from it and now it's of no use to me, but because I don't feel included.  Even though I've posted something almost every day for the past four months, I'm invisible.  I will reply to someone and include information that someone asked about and it's not acknowleged.  Then not two posts down someone else will say the same thing and everyone is quoting it and commenting on it like I never said anything!  I do not understand it.  I'm afraid to even mention it lest I be seen as a complainer.  It's a professional board so I'm not trying to have the companies that hire from it see me get blasted for whining about getting left out.  I thought maybe people are so self-absorbed they were just typing replies and not reading the previous responses, until I saw replies to other participants right after me.

I seriously feel like everyone has put me on ignore there, but it would show me on my stats if everyone had me on ignore! I don't know what I did, or if I'm being too sensitive about it.  I am probably being too sensitive.  I could easily just stop trying to post and only use it for my own research and get over it.  I don't know.  It feels like when you're in the office and everyone is at a cubicle talking and when you walk up they shut up.  When you walk away you hear snippets of conversation you were trying to interject.  I know I'm socially awkward but dang.  I can't even get included on the Internet.

Now I feel like a weirdo for writing about how the Internet is ignoring me!  Boo hoo, poor me that self-important people don't talk to me on the Internet.  This is why I'm a dork.  Really.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


I'm writing for NaBloPoMo elsewhere. So this will be a VERY quiet place...much like it already is.  *tumbleweeds*

Feel free to ask where I'm writing if you're interested in my random ramblings.

All Nighter

I need ideas if I'm going to do this all month!  I wore myself out working all night and my brain is on non-function mode right now.  The naps I'm taking isn't helping recharge at all.  I have another hour of audio waiting for me to complete which  means I'm looking at another late, late night since it's like 11pm right now.  I'm a night person anyway, but being this tired makes me snappish.  My kid only went to school for 45 minutes.  I know the teacher thinks I'm insane but I needed that time to shower in peace.  Seriously, you'd think at 4 my son could entertain himself while I shower.  It was so much easier when he was an infant and could sit in the bouncy seat or pack n play.  I never understood new moms of one who say showering is low on the list of abilities.  Now, my son jumps on the bed, pulls things out of the refrigerator to eat, and yells like he's been stabbed while I shower.  I'm constantly like, "What was that?  Are you ok?"  Or he just walks in and asks a million questions that couldn't wait until I'm done.  It was bliss today having a quiet shower.  I know this is all over the place.  I just need sleep so I can get back to functional.  My son...he's still up and jumping on my bed.  I'm trying so hard to not yell.

I'm so tired.  I'm very cranky.  Sometimes I hate being self employed.  I wouldn't trade it in for a desk job ever.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Facebook the Homewrecker

So I'm going out on a ledge here that it's not really news to anyone that people are cheating on their spouses with past school flames on Facebook.  Shocker!  I know.   Rekindling that old flame with a past love by catching up on the good times and sharing the problems with your current relationship.  It's easier than picking up a drunk slut in a bar, and even that would be more work than what Facebook offers.

Now, I know that a cheater is going to cheat with or without Facebook, but I'm focused on people who are breaking up a marriage for someone they reconnected with on Facebook.  The problem is that finding a past love before Facebook meant putting in some effort.  You were looking them up, finding a current name or location assuming neither had changed, or having to wait until a school reunion came up.  These days you just type in the name in Facebook and send a friend request.  Now, you have the ability to chat quietly without detection even if your spouse or children are in the same room.  For someone having a rough patch in their relationship, it's like having opportunity served on a silver platter without even getting off the couch.

Here's what's so irritating to me about this.  You would think, as a single mom, this issue doesn't affect me at all since I have no spouse to lose anymore.  But it does.  I've seen first hand a marriage crumbling from this very thing, and another hookup that brought a baby into world while the husband and wife split up.   I'm saddened by it if this is what marriage has to offer me.  I don't want to worry about or police my partner's Internet use.  It breaks my heart to know the my friends aren't the only ones this is happening to.  I do not understand it.

Granted, I do not have many high school friends on my Facebook page.  So maybe there's that disconnect for me in not being someone who just adds everyone to Facebook (or Twitter).   I do have ex-boyfriends and/or partners that I added, and I don't hit on the married ones.   Which is not to say that I have never, ever been the 'other woman' when I was young, childless, and single.  We all make choices, good and bad, sometimes.  I just can't see doing that now, especially after being divorced myself.  As a single mom, what example would that set for my son if I became a homewrecker because I wanted someone else's husband?

I only have a few people I really knew well and one ex-high school flame that got deleted for sending too many event notices.  Even when talking to him I kept thinking, "I don't know you at all.  I know the past you and it's a huge divide from the you I'm chatting with right now."  It was this strange warp of reality and past mixed together, but I had no desire to pursue him.  Interestingly, his wife and he had an arrangement that they could have 'Facebook affairs' as long as they weren't brought to real life and stayed online.  Is that a solution?

The point is when I hear about my friend's husband leaving her for a single mom on Facebook because they're 'soul mates', I get really sick inside.   Does he think he can save this woman or things will just magically be better for him?  Or was that just his way out and it makes it easier for him to leave?  When I hear about a friend's brother getting a married woman pregnant because they reconnected on Facebook, I feel discouraged.   Is marriage so easily discarded that Facebook becomes the catalyst in its breakup?  There is a huge divide between the person you knew back then and who they are now!  Can someone please explain how you leave a marriage, even a rocky one, for someone you used to love back then?  Is it a thing of grass is greener?  It's a shame, and it really sucks for the spouse left behind for a lover found on Facebook.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Frustration at Bedtime

Bedtime.  I hate it.  I hate the whole process.  I hate how my son argues and negotiates and refuses to just wind down.  He's constantly moving and thinking and just stubborn.  Once I get him in bed, the getting up for multiple reasons begins.  I hear, "I'm hungry.  I'm thirsty.  There are monsters.  I'm having bad dreams."  I'm pretty sure bad dreams only happen after you are asleep, but let my kid tell it you can be awake too.  I get angrier and angrier the more he gets up.  My work gets put off later and later with each interruption.  No matter what time we start the process, he just does not go to sleep at a reasonable hour.  Sometimes I just have him lay down in the living room in hopes he just falls asleep while I work, just to keep the aggravation of his getting out of bed to a minimum.

I thought school would wear him out and make him go to sleep earlier.  Nope.  He's just as wound up after school, through dinner, and beyond bedtime.  What's worse is he gets MORE hyper as he gets more and more tired.  Like now.  He was just bouncing off the walls and getting up and wanting to watch the election results with me.  I'm glad he's interested in the elections, in that he watches for the checkmarks for blue candidates.  I just don't want that at 10:30 pm.  I'm starting to think X@nax was made for mothers who have to put stubborn children to bed.  Heaven knows I could use one at bed time to keep me sane most days.

So here I am, my son is finally falling asleep, FINALLY!  All I feel is guilt and shame that I can't even get a 4 year old in bed.  Why?  How can I not control a 4 year old child's bed time?  I'm definitely feeling like a crappy mom tonight, and wondering how come other moms seem to be able to manage multiple children without freaking out.  I have one and I feel like it's chaos here at night.  I try to roll with the punches.  I try.  My patience has limits and I am not letting this child run things here.  Oh well.  I seriously hope this gets better when he goes to kindergarten all day or we're going to have a super stressed out mom here.

Now that he's sleeping, I can finally get my work done.  Another all-nighter in store.

Monday, November 1, 2010

NaBloPoMo and More

So I've been blogging elsewhere and I realized I have a space here I can be more free and open with my opinions.  Funny how that works.  So I'm going to do NaBloPoMo this month to get things going.

If you really, really want to catch up where the previous post ends, you can go to A Beautiful Baby and get the most recent updates.

I've already written down ideas for the next few posts so hopefully I can stay on top of this all month.  I really just struggle sometimes to find the time to actually just write it all out.  I feel so rushed and like I should be doing something else more productive than 'just blogging'.  But then I wonder why my brain is on high-speed and when I blogged all my thoughts and ideas it wasn't so jumbled up in there.  It's not like I'm in school this year.  I'm working a lot to make up for the financial aspects of that choice, but I have time.  What I need to do is delete blogs from my RSS feed so I can get stuff done.  Honestly, that's my time suck and the ironic part is I can still read those and waste time even when my Internet lock add-on has me blocked from everything else.  Well, so much for that!

So tomorrow begins my single mom posts of substance and today is my, "Hi, I'm here and participating" post.  I really hope to get back into the groove of blogging regularly by doing this.  I sure do miss it.

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