Thursday, February 25, 2010
I mentioned in yesterday's blog the program I am applying for to finish my Bachelors degree. A few people expressed interest in knowing more... So, I've been thinking about finishing my degree for awhile and am taking steps in accomplishing that goal. Way back in the day, when I was the right age I left home, went away to college, completed my Associate's at a 2-year college with good grades and transfered to a University to work on completing my Bachelor's in History with a minor in English, well long story short I left with one year to go with the intention of returning and finishing and well....you can guess that I did not return as planned and I am here, many years later, still one year shy of my degree. My university offers an on-line program designed specifically for former students, who have left for whatever reason, who want to finish what they started. The program is called BGS-Bachelor of General Studies, so I would NOT be earning the BA I started out for, but it is still a Bachelor's and I can maintain my focus in History. The program is even appropriate for students who are considering graduate work. Prospective students have to meet certain criteria, which I do, and have to have an endorsement letter signed by two people. Well the endorsement letter is now in the appropriate hands and I am confident it will be completed with a favorable endorsement. I have the applications filled out and ready to mail. We are on a very strict budget right now, which, thankfully is finally starting to loosen up, so next week I will have the application fee and the papers will be mailed in. Then it is nail bitting time!!! If I am accepted I will be given plenty of time to finish the classes needed and hopefully by the time my youngest is in school full time I will have finished my Bachelor's degree!! I have 5 or six classes to finish and they are all in the areas of history that are NOT my main focus (main focus is American History from the Revolutionary War through the Civil War)-I have to take classes like British History, Russian History, Asian History, etc (all a certain time frame or specific topic in that area not a general history).
It is one of those things I have always regretted leaving undone and now is a great time to resolve that regret. When school starts in the fall I will have two of the three in school full time, giving me some study time. I will have to find a proctor for testing purposes, but, fortunately I live in a town with an excellent Community College and an excellent library and I am confident I will be able to find SOMEBODY at one of the locations to help me with that (especially since my sis works at the college and my DH's aunt works at the library-for obvious reasons they cannot be my proctor, but they probably know somebody who can).
I always intended to use the degree to be a teacher, but even if I don't teach or use the degree for history related purposes it will still give me an edge in an ever increasingly competitive job market.
I even have a back up plan. If, for some reason I cannot forsee, I am not accepted into the program, the 2-year college I attended has, in the intervening years, become a 4-year university and offers a similar program, Thier degree is slightly different and not compatible with graduate work, but hey, that whole graduate work thing is a just a very vague goal and while I love the idea of getting an even higher education it is REALLY expensive and not totally necessary and would actually, in some cases, keep me out of consideration for some positions. Anyway, that is the plan, so, if all goes well, by fall, maybe even this summer, I will be a busy, busy lady. Fingers crossed!!
I of course, would not be giving up any of my spark time-this whole transformation thing is a package deal-gotta look as smart as I feel!!
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
I've been blogging too deeply lately- time for some fluff.
When's the last time you ran? Last Thursday for 50 seconds before my congested lungs told me to stop or die.
Do your jeans have rips, tears, and holes in them? Not intentionally. I don't think they do, would you tell me if they did?
What are you dreading right now?Actually exercising tomorrow after so many illness induced days off.
Do you get the full 8 hours of sleep a night? Try to, but going to bed at 9:00 is almost impossible and getting up at 5:00 is a necessity.
If anyone came to your house on your "lazy days" what would ya'll do? Watch a bunch of old MASH, Emergency or Bonanza episodes on DVD.
Who last grabbed your butt? My husband-anyone else would get slapped.
Have you ever been on your school's track team? You mean they had sports other than football in school? Who knew. I am a very late blooming runner...
Do you own a pair of Converse? Nah, not really my style. Loved the teeny tiny pink ones I put on my baby girls though.
Do you eat raw cookie dough? Occasionaly, it is more likely I will be licking the brownie batter off the beater though.
Have you ever kicked a vending machine? No, almost kicked a bench once, but realized how stupid that was before I broke my toes.
How do you eat Oreos? Usually in one piece, dunked in milk. If no milk is available I do the twist, lick the center out, put the halves back together and eat.
Could you live without a computer? Uhh NO! Had to recently and couldn't. I was hijacking every unattended key board I could.
Do you wear your shoes in the house? rarely.
Who or what sleeps with you? Always the husband, more often that I want to-the girls and occasionally the cat.
At what age did you find out that Santa wasn't real? Don't remember-8ish? I do remember it was the stupid Easter bunnies fault though.
How many phones, house phones and cell phones are in your house? No house phone-2 cell phones.
What do you do when you're sad? Cry-watch sad movies.
Last time you saw your best friend? Don't really have a best, but I haven't seen my good friend-Lisa for about 3 years now.
What jewelry are you wearing? Diamond stud earrings and my wedding band, that is all.
Is anyone on your bad side now? Yep, tough cookies for them. It isn't one of those things I dwell on or even really care about.
What's the first thing you do when you get online? Log into Spark and then open new tabs for e-mail and a couple other things.
Where do you work? I am employed by three midgets who make many demands on my time and resources. Good thing I love them.
What are you doing tomorrow? Driving the kids to school, home, back to school, home, back to school. yeah-you get the picture.
When was the last time you left your house? 1:45 to go to the kids' school
Do you return your cart? Yes. Well, let's qualify that statement. My favorite store makes it very easy to return the cart. Wal-mart not so much. So, if my kids are with me (with out DH) and the nearest station is 3 rows and 20 cars away-yeah, it's not going to happen-sorry wal-mart, put in a few more stations and yes, I'll do it everytime, but I am not going to make my kids tag after me in your crazy parking lot to walk 1/2 a mile to return the cart.
Do you have a dishwasher? Yes. And I am always surprised when I hear someone else's dishwasher at how QUIET mine is-LOVE IT!!
What noise do you hear? Lazy Town (for the millionth time today-too tired for the turn it off battle so on and on it goes) and son doing his school reading.
Would you survive in prison? Sure hope I never have to find out.
Do you know anyone with the same name as you? Yes. In high school, before we changed our names, I knew a girl with the EXACT same name as me-first and last with the same middle initial, born less than a month apart-our high school was NOT happy with us!! :)
What's the last thing you purchased? Bakugan for son as a reward for doing well in school.
What brand are your pants right now? Danskin-my warmy workout pants.
What irritates you most on the internet? Slow connection that make me post comments twice so I look like I don't know how to work a computer.
What song best describes your life right now? The sound of silence-not that it is what I have it is what I want
Do you own expensive perfume/cologne? What is expensive? I don't want to go look, but the only perfume I have is that one that looks like an apple-the red one, I can't remember the stupid name right now.
Are you taking college classes right now? No, but if I get accepted to my program I will be.
Do you like sushi? Yes, I am not very daring when it comes to food choices, but the kinds I've tried I have enjoyed.
Do you get your hair cut every month? No, I'm a girl I can let it grow for awhile before getting another cut.
Do you go online everyday? Sometimes I skip Sunday, but I try to hit the computer every day.
So, there you have it folks, a whole bunch of useless trivia about Itshowyoulive!!
Monday, February 22, 2010
I want to start by thanking all the great Sparkers out there, especially, those who read and leave wonderful comments on my blogs. I know I love reading the blogs of other's and seeing what they are accomplishing and the things that give them the power to go through another day of saying no to their favorite desserts, getting up early to workout and doing push ups until thier arms get sore just so they can say "I DID IT"!!! I love Sparkpeople. It truly keeps me going. The holidays were rough, the shin splints rougher, and there have been many days that it just seemed to be so easy to say "tomorrow I will sleep in, tomorrow I will watch 18 hours of t.v. and none of it will be fitness related, tomorrow I will eat chocolate and drink soda." But, I get on Spark and I find the power to keep going because somebody else is feeling the same way and they are not giving up, so I won't give up either!!
With all that greatness I guess there has to be some bad to make the good that much better. Why, oh why, do some people feel the need to leave negative messages. Even if meant in a manner to help me improve myself, why leave it. I didn't ask for the advice and it really didn't even make sense in the vein of what I had written. Here is the story. On yesterday's blog I said "Everyone is beautiful" and I said it A LOT!! Those words were the words of my three year old and that was made perfectly clear. However, one sparker, felt the need to point out that my statement was not grammatically correct (guess what I'm not spell checking this either so I will have typos too). So freakin' what if my grammer is not correct. SERIOUSLY!!! It should probably have not bothered me the way it did, but it did bother me. I am the mother of 3 small children. I am a wife and an overweight woman. Trust me, I find PLENTY of reasons to correct myself, doubt myself and criticize myself during the course of the day. And that is only when my kids are not correcting me or criticizing me themselves!! Now, I am not putting down my children, I know it sound like it, but they are SMART kids and they are quick to see the little things I sometimes do wrong (like calling another driver "stupid" which is a bad word in our home) and they tell me about it. What I do not need is somebody pointing out that my grammer was incorrect. It made me feel bad :(.
I LOVED yesterdays blog. LOVED IT LOVED IT LOVED IT. I got so many positive comments from so many great sparkers. THANK YOU!!!! But, here's the thing...yes, maybe, "everyone is beautiful" is a grammatical error, but those words were spoken by MY SWEET, LOVING, CARING, ADORABLE, INNOCENT, PURE, INTELLIGENT and BEAUTIFUL three year old. HOW DARE ANYONE CRITICIZE THAT!!! I went to college. I made good grades. Yep, never finished my degree, but I took the first steps toward finishing that final year this past weekend. I was and still am a History major with an English minor. Do I CARE if "everyone is beautiful" was a grammatically incorrect statement? NOPE!! Do I sometimes read other blogs and think to myself -typo, or punctuation error, or misspelled? YEP. Can't help it, I went to college, I was asked to edit roommates papers. I worked in a business where I maintained the over important Policy and Procedure manuals. Did EVERY SINGLE word have to be perfect-Yep? Do I tell fellow sparkers about thier errors? NEVER!!!! That is not what we are here for. We are here to support and guide and help each other along.
I erased the statement from my blog so that it will no longer be there, like the red editting marks made on papers I turned in to my college profs (MOST of those papers came back with A's and B's BTW-every once in awhile a C crept in when my heart wasn't in my work and I knew I deserved those). I also sent a sparkmail message to the offender telling her my thoughts. I tend not to hold back in situations like this. So, I put this behind me and go back and read again all the WONDERFUL statements still left on that blog!!
Thanks to all my friends who consistently come back and read my ramblings. I often find them to be quite good, sometimes they are just ramblings, but sometimes they are quite good and not because I have skill or any special talent. I think they are good, because I wrote about something special to me and I feel that when I tell the story again for all of you. Thanks for reading, enjoying and taking this journey with me. It really means A LOT!!
Okay-deep breath, focus, yeah, that's better-just needed to vent....
Additional info-For the curious among you-it is the use of every"one" that was wrong. "one" indicates just one person instead of all people. "Everybody" or a different phrasing like "all people are beautiful" would be more correct. But, it is not what my daughter said so... (guess what-one is also not supposed to start a sentance with the word "but", but, I did it anyway :P).
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Well, it's been a busy weekend. A quick recap...we all spent the week in varying degrees of illness. I spent several days living in a fog and wanting to just sleep, sleep, sleep. I missed most of my workouts for the week, but by Friday was finally feeling like I had turned the corner back towards wellness. Thankfully, because Friday we went to Disneyland!! We live relatively close and have year passes this year so we have been going from time to time. Friday was in celebration of son's birthday. We celebrated several weeks early, but the timing was right because the kids had been off school all week and my husband's paycheck went into the bank Friday morning!!! :) :) :) We had a blast. Son had a few things he HAD to do at Disneyland. First, he HAD to do the Jedi Training Acadamy. A Star Wars based "show" that has Jedi Masters "training" kids from 4 through 7 years old to be Jedi Padawans. The finale of the show has the children "fighting" Darth Maul and Darth Vader and sending them running. It really is an enjoyable show. Of course son REALLY wanted to be one of the children chosen. To maximize his chances we got to the location REALLY early-an hour before the show. There was a "cast member" (all employees at D-land are called cast members) straightening up the area so I went up and talked to him (those who know me well know I DON'T go up to strangers and engage them in conversation) and asked him about the show, where a good location was and how to maximize son's chances of getting in the show. He showed us the best place to stand (right on the isle, right in front) told me that kids that are very upbeat and excited are usually chosen, some make signs and that helps them get noticed and he told me that sometimes the parents will do something to help get their child noticed. Again those who know me well know that I DO NOT draw attention to myself in public arenas. I am definately an introvert and being an extrovert does not come naturallly or easily for me. It also does not come easily to my son!! Well, show time came and we spent a little time speaking to one of the cast members who's job it was to "warm up" the crowd. Then here came the "masters, the ones who would choose the participants, they were walking down the isle right next to me and I knew what I had to do. I started pointing at my son and saying "pick this one", "this one", "pick this one" over and over. I got a nod from one of the cast members and hoped it meant what I thought it meant but I didn't give up. I kept eye contact with some of the cast members and kept pointing and saying "pick this one". I got another nod and was almost sure he was in and sure enough he was the first kid picked!!! Put right up on the stage in his little jedi robe and he looked fit to bust. He had a blast!!! My technique was so successful we, and a few additional parents, turned it on another little boy who also looked so hopeful and it worked for him too. He was one of the last ones picked and the mother was so grateful she thanked all the parents who pointed to her son and said "this one", "this one". The kids all had a blast and it was kind of cool because at the end of the show the "masters" basically tell the bad guys that these kids are so good and so strong that they don't stand a chance and they go running. I kind of liked the message the kids were sent at the end, that if they stand up for what is right they cannot fail. Yep, definately something I want my son to learn. Son beamed for hours off the buzz that came from being in the show. It just got better when he got to go to the Lego store at Downtown Disney and pick out a Lego Star Wars kit he wanted, then to Build-a-Bear where he built a dinosaur-I had no idea they had Dinosaurs. Claw the dinosaur spent the rest of the day walking around Disneyland and getting LOTS of attention!! He was in a special Build-a-Bear carrier that let his head stick out one side and his tail out the other-everybody wanted to see Claw. The final touch of the day was when son got to build his own lightsaber!! Wow-I think he will remember this birthday forever. We had a great time, went on lots of rides and came home exhausted.
Saturday, I told my husband we were suffering from a too much fun hangover-we don't drink and neither one of us has ever had a real hangover but how I felt sure matched the descriptions I've gotten from friends who do drink!! Tired, foggy brain, headache sitting right at my temples... We were bushed-a lot too much a little too soon kept us wiped out for the entire day.
Today I am finally, actually, feeling sort of healthy!! I have a cough, but I can breathe, my chest feels clearer, my headache is clearing up and my throat is no longer sore, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel-Woo Hoo!!!
Now, finally to Everyone is beautiful...At Disneyland my three year old gave me something to think about, as she often does. We were on MY favorite ride. I love lots of the rides at Disneyland and always have a blast on everyone of them, but there is one ride I ALWAYS make sure I go on-It's a Small World. When I was a kid I had a record of the song and I think I drove everyone crazy with that record!! Son did not want to go on Small World, but I told him it was the one thing he had to do that day that he did not get to pick. Daughters love Small World and couldn't wait to go on it. Some of you might not know but last year (I think that is right) Disneyland altered their classic ride just a little and added dolls of many of thier favorite characters (Cinderella, Alice, Ariel, Jasmine and Aladdin, etc.) and the girls love to look for all the characters. Anyways...youngest is very stuck on names right now (she is three). She knows that everyone has a name and wants to know the name of everybody. She will point to pictures in magazines and ask "what her name" and I have to make something up. So, back to the ride, we are getting close to the end and we are in the section where all the nationalities are singing together and everyone is dressed in white costumes. Daughter points to one doll and asks "who that?" I said "I don't know, but isn't she pretty?" Daughter answers with "Everyone is pretty in Small World Mommy". It was one of those instant jolts of "I AM SO PROUD OF YOU!!!" I know she was talking about the dolls on the ride, but it is one of those things that, if I do my job right, she will be able to transfer to humans around her without a second thought.
Everyone is beautiful on small world. I kept this thought with me on Saturday and as I looked through the latest issue of Shape magazine, I was struck by how many different kinds of beautiful were represented in the magazine. The one picture that had the biggest impact was a picture of Serena Williams. I am NOT a Venus or Serena fan. I am not really a tennis fan. It is one of those sports that barely registers a blip on my radar and the players, generally, even less so. But there was this amazing photo of Serena, you can barely see her face, but she is jumping with joy, presumably over a great shot or a win. What was amazing about the picture was that you could see this incredible muscle definition in her legs and in her arms, but at the same time she is curvy and sexy and sweaty and just AMAZING. Combined with my daughters statement this picture struck me as a perfect example of "everyone is beautiful in small world". People with curves, people without curves, people who are short and people who are tall, people who win gold medals and people who go home with nothing but the experience of having tried their best, people who are light, people who are dark, people who have done their best and have reached thier goal and people who are just starting out...everyone is beautiful in our small world. It is what the ride really is all about and a message as important today as it was when the ride first opened. It's a world of laughter, a world of tears, it's a world of hopes and a world of fears. There's so much that we share, it's time we're aware, it's a small world after all...
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Uggh!! I haven't had a cold this bad for awhile!! My poor family has really been going through it. All of us have had a cold AND a stomach bug!! That is everyone except my husband, how does he get so lucky??
The kids are all getting over their colds and the stomach bug only lasted a day for each of us. My cold just set in on Monday morning. I went out and walked on Monday, but I haven't done anything since. I have just felt too aweful. Monday after the workout just went totally downhill, feeling feverish everytime I exerted myself. And, by exertion I mean standing up and walking across the room. Tuesday was a little better, I only felt aweful if I tried to breath or do housework!! Today I am finally feeling a bit better and got some work done (FINALLY!!!).
Unfortunately, this week is a school holiday (Presiden't Week) and the kids have been home all week with a sick mom.
Oh dear, you should see my poor house!! I did make a dent in the dishes and laundry today, but there are still toys everywhere. I held some of the destruction at bay by turning the kitchen table into a tent so they stayed occupied with that for quite awhile. Unfortunately I've had to mediate more fights than I can stand. The three of them cooped up together is getting to be too much for all of them!! Poor son lost Wii time again today due to yelling at his poor littlest sister while she was playing Wii. Each child has a set amount of time and can play anything they want during their time (all our games are E). Littleset was playing her favorite Build a Bear Workshop. She wins medals for finishing a game whether she wins or loses. Where she places affects the number of medals. Well, son, who is "overachiever" personified, can't stand watching her "lose" and threw a massive hissy fit because she was "annoying him" by losing. She doesn't see it as losing though because she still gets medals!! Oh dear!! Too much family time is not a great thing. I have a plan for helping son understand that "losing" is not the horrible thing he thinks it is.
I am going to post a sign, maybe two, that says "When I lose I learn..." then he can earn Wii time or stars (our allowance system-stars = money) for each thing he fills in. The other sign might say something to the effect of "---------is more important than winning".
Thankfully, I am feeling a bit better and on Friday we go to Disneyland!! We live close enough to have annual passes and we are going on Friday to celebrate Hubby's and Son's birthdays (a bit early). Son is super excited because he gets to dictate MOST of what we do on Friday. Space Mountain, Jedi Training Academy and Build a Bear Workshop are all on the agenda so far. At least we will be out of the house!! :)
The good news is that even though I haven't worked out AT ALL, I have left the alarm clock on and have gotten up at the workout time each morning hoping to feel well enough to workout. I feel this is the best I could do at this point and am VERY happy with it!! Tomorrow should be a better day, my brain feels like it has recovered from the cold, at least, even if the rest of me still feels congested. Happy start of Lent to those who observe, hope your goal(s) go(es) well. My religion doesn't observe Lent, but I have always loved the arrival of Lent because it means Easter (probably my second favorite holiday) is just around the corner! Hope everyone is doing well and Sparking along!!
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