Working mom, grad school student, stage mom, and overall insane person blogging about my life as I know it. Expect funny stuff, sad stuff and general rants about my family, my life and my world. I promise it won't be boring! :-)

Friday, October 14, 2011


Hi there. Yeah, I know it's been three months since my last post. A week after my last post, my world did a complete 180 and I found myself without a job. At first, I was numb. I packed up what I could grab quickly in my office and said goodbye to as many of my friends as I could. There were tears, there were hugs and kisses on the cheek, there were exclamations of "oh my God, WHY?" and promises to keep in touch. The HR guy helped me carry my boxes down to my car and told me, "don't worry, there are plenty of jobs out there for you". Is this guy for real? Does he NOT watch the news or read the papers? I burst into tears as I turned onto the toll road and said goodbye to the place where I have dedicated my life for the past six years. It stung.

I was home by 1:00 p.m. and the kids ran to me as I entered the house. More hugs. More kisses on the cheek. This time, with the sheer joy of having Mom home early from work. Then I dropped the ball. Beanie looked at me with tears growing in her eyes and said, "Mom, what now?"   What now. Hm.

I clapped my hands and said, "Let's go". We got into the car and drove to Aldi, where we stocked up on all the things kids (and recently unemployed Moms) need to weather the storm...brownie mix, M&Ms, marachino cherries, chocolate syrup, mini marshmallows and peanut butter. We were going to turn this crappy day into something fun. Turn lemons into lemonade.

We got home and I told the kids we were going to make special "chase away the blues" brownies. They mixed the batter themselves and added their own personal touches. Beanie's looked like a work of art...flowers constructed of M&Ms with marshmallow leaves and marachino cherries for the centers. Budgie's looked like Wonka's factory exploded in the pan. mmmmm.

The brownies came out perfect and absolutely delicious. We ate them while they were still gooey and warm, with icy glasses of lemonade to chase them down. We made the best of a day that was heartbreaking for me, and scary for them. The kids were so very happy at the thought of having Mom home with them, that I caught a bit of their enthusiasm. I was happy to be with them. Even if it's just for a little while, until I find another job, I'm Mom. And that feels good.

Three months later, I'm in the middle of looking for a new job, going on interviews, and looking eyes wide open at the future. I realize that this will be a tough road ahead of me, but I have some wonderful friends who have been a tremendous help to me through networking and giving me heads-up on open positions in the area. I've met a wonderful group of new friends who have helped to guide me through the heartbreak and the anger I've felt over losing my job, and have provided me with the support and love that only truly caring people can give.

I got to spend a large part of the summer with my kids, swimming, camping, laughing and, most of all, being together. I painted my kitchen, I cleaned (and I mean CLEANED) my house, I cooked real dinners, I picked up a book and read it cover-to-cover. I felt the anger, the sadness, the hurt melt away only to be replaced by optimism, by happiness, and by love. I have the opportunity to do something completely new, for people who truly appreciate what I can do. And I'm going to embrace it fully.

I miss my Cal friends immensely. Tim, Scott, Joy, Norm, The Gregs, Walt, Tom, Gena, Doris, Mr. Kline, Christine, John, and everyone else. You are amazing, wonderful, EXTREMELY talented people who deserve nothing but the best. I love you all. And miss you terribly. But I know that I will keep in touch and we will see each other again soon.

So here I sit, drinking a glass of icy-cold lemonade and I smile. Yes, I may have lost my job. But I found something more important. I found my courage. I found my drive again. I found me. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Well, hello there!

I know, it's been a while. Life has been so crazy, it's been tough to keep my head above water, let alone write on my blog.

Soooo...what's new?

I finished my summer classes, still carrying a 4.0. I'm psyched. My goal is to graduate with a 4.0 and my Master's degree. In the immortal (?) words of Big Time Rush, "I'm half-way there!"

(giggle, snort)

Christine and I are heading out to Philly on the 29th for the Ukrainian Orthodox League convention. I truly am excited. We had so much fun last year, seeing old friends and polka-ing the night away (see my blog entry from last July). This year is a special reunion for all Jr. UOLers from years gone by. I'm excited to see folks I haven't seen in decades (gah, why did I put it that way?) and renew old friendships. It's going to be fun to see who is going to be there and what they have been up to these past 20 years.

Beanie is at theater camp, and they are performing 101 Dalmatians. She's a boxer. First time she's won a part that has lines! She is so excited! I'm just glad that she is having a good time and isn't spending these two weeks parked in front of the computer screen. Or the TV.

Well, that's it folks. With a life as packed as mine is, there isn't much time for momentous ramblings. But I'm sure I'll think of something. LOL!

Happy Summer!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Baby Doll

Like every parent, I am completely proud of my kids and I think they are the most awesome kids in the world. And yes, like all parents, I'm a bit biased. :-D

Beanie is what I call my little advocate of all that is right and just. She stands up for the underdog and will tell someone when they are wrong. She is also extremely empathetic. She just...feels.

In kindergarten and first grade, she had a friend, Joseph. Joseph was born prematurely and had some pretty serious birth-related injuries that left him reliant on crutches. Actually, Joseph was lucky to be alive. Despite his physical limitations, Joseph is a sweet boy, very loving and funny and a friend that is truer than any I have ever seen. The only problem is that he hadn't had the chance to prove it to his classmates, as nobody wanted to play with Joseph. He spent a lot of his time alone on the playground, with nobody to talk to. Within the first month of her kindergarten year, Beanie had befriended Joseph and found ways to include him in play. They became fast friends, spending nearly every day playing together in the playground. She pushed him on the swings, helped him onto the merry-go-round, even finding ways to have him participate in games the other children were playing, like tag or hide and go seek.

But I digress.

Yesterday was their school's flea market. The kids were given first crack at the toys. Beanie bought items for all of us and was ready to leave the sale when she saw it. "IT" being a doll. This doll was dirty. It wore no pants. It had old rubber bands and sticker bits in its hair. It wasn't a caucasian doll. It was everything that the other kids hadn't wanted. Beanie picked it up and said, "I want to buy this." The ladies behind the table couldn't believe it, asking her if she was absolutely sure she wanted the doll. She said yes.

Her friends teased her. Why would she want such a messed-up doll? It was dirty. It wasn't the right color. It wasn't even completely dressed!

Beanie didn't offer them any excuses. She held that doll securely all the way home and cleaned it up. She washed its shirt and found a pair of pants in her toybox that fit it. She patiently pulled out the broken rubber bands and sticker bits from its hair, then lovingly styled it.

What she found when she was done was a beautiful little baby doll. It just needed some attention, is all.

When I asked her why she chose this doll, she said something that brought a tear to my eye. She said, "I felt bad for her. She was sitting on that table all alone, nobody wanted her. I knew they were going to throw it away when we left. I didn't want that to happen. She just needed someone to take her home and clean her up and love her."

What Beanie has shown me is something that I, sadly, have lost. The ability to see past the surface and straight to the heart. She has shown me time and time again how important it is to look past someone's abilities, or their appearance, and see what they really are inside. Like Joseph. Like her new doll.

I'm proud of Beanie. And that's not just a biased Mom talking.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Another year, another something or other...

Wow, it's hard to believe that it's been a month and a half since I last posted. I have to admit, life has been crazy this past month. Between Beanie's shows, finishing papers for school, spending time with out-of-town family, Christmas (both of them), it's been hard to find five minutes to myself to breathe. But now school is back in for Beanie, mine is going to start again on Tuesday, she's back in theater classes and dance, and things are winding down and settling.


So, in the interest of new year's resolutions and the like, below is my list of things I will do for MYSELF for a change in 2011.

I promise to:

1. Spend more time reading. I will make a date with myself to do so once a week. And not Spongebob Squarepants books, either. They will be read on the sofa with a cup of tea. And a blanket. If I have to put ear buds in my head and listen to classical music while I'm doing it to block out the din of screaming kids, I will do so. I need the mental break.

2. Get rid of my old, raggedy clothes (work, play, etc.) and beef up my wardrobe with nicer things. Thanks to Tim and Kim, I've got a good start! :-) Buying one pair of $60 work pants per month will NOT break me. And if there is a sale at J. Jill, all the better!!!!!

3. I will start saving again. Not having a nest egg to fall back on is hard for me. I don't like to be helpless if something happens to the house/car/whatever.

4. I will upgrade my phone as soon as Cricket gets the iPhone (apparently, it's coming...)

5. I will finally stick to a diet and lose some weight. Although some of my WONDERFUL friends have said that I'm fine the way I am, I'm not fine with me. Blood pressure slowly rising, family history of diabetes, tired all the time...yeah, it's time.

6. I will spend more time with my brother and his family. We only see each other about 4X per year...it needs to be more. They live only 2 hours away from me, and I can make the trip. It just needs to happen...

7. Because my OCD won't let me have 6 as my last point (needs to be 7, LOL!!!) I will pick one last one... hmmm... OKAY I got it... I will wash my car on a regular basis and not wait for the rain to wash it for me...

Okay, folks. There ya have it. My list of things I'm going to do for myself this year. I'll check back with you in, oh, 11 months to see how I'm doing.

My fingers are crossed that I can actually DO all these things. But you never know...