Under the Quilt

I'm here. You're here. Let's talk amongst ourselves.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

This is Liz

....with her Super Duper Fantabulous Hairspray!

Walking the Mall with Bouncy Hair

I was supposed to work from 7:15 am to 5:00 pm today. Around 7:20 I received a call relieving me of my child rearing duties until 2 pm. So, what to do? I knew I needed to shop for a few things, including the health food store to look for seitan. I ended up at the mall to pass time until The Healthy Nugget opened.

Did you know there's a whole species of people out there called "Mall Walkers"? Today I was introduced to them. As I entered the mall at 9:17 am, I headed to the left just to wander and get warmed up a bit. Little did I know (have you watched Stranger than Fiction?), that I was a itty, bitty fish trying to go upstream, without a paddle no less. Everyone else in the mall, and I mean EVERYONE ELSE, was walking the opposite direction that I was. There was a mix of mostly elderly people, a few young speed walkers sporting sweatsuits, people with canes or walkers, and even an elderly gentleman with headphones on jamming to his musak. It was quite entertaining. Even though it seemed to irritate some of the walkers (and probably BECAUSE it irritated them), I kept on truckin' in the same direction that I had started. I'm stubborn like that. I'm also not a sheep. Well, not all the time.

I also got my haircut today. The stylist was really working the specials, Malibu treatment this and Redkin treatment that. Supposedly to strip all of the minerals out of your hair from using well water. I got talked into buying some Bedhead shampoo and conditioner because it was a 2 fer 1 deal. Not that they ever sell it for regular price, but oh well. The name: Dumb Blonde. So, who's the dumb one? At least it smells good.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Water for Elephants

Here's a shout out to Carolyn for this book recommendation. I don't usually read books or watch movies just because someone says they liked it. But as soon as I heard the title of this book, I was intrigued to find out more about it. I mean, who doesn't like elephants? I'm only on Chapter 2 and I'm hooked. Actually, I was hooked after the prologue.

Also, a great big thanks to all the voters who support public libraries. I'm almost able to forgive you for not supporting the schools. But not quite.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

You Know It's Officially Winter When.........

....you have to scrape ice off the inside of the windshield. Yeah, it was fun. I'm not complaining though. We have a virtual winter wonderland. Finally!!!

The current temp is 7 degrees Farenheit. Weeeee!!!!

Liz dared me to do it!

Here is a truth/dare for you: do one thing that you normally wouldn't, and then tell us what you did.

I loved this one. My first idea ended up not coming to fruition. The first and only time I've donated blood, I was in high school. I always drive by the churches and community buildings with the signs out front; the time and date speaking to me. But for some reason, I never write it down or it's not a "convenient" time or day of the week. I'm sure it's not too convenient for the people sitting in a hospital waiting for a transfusion.

The same day that I was dared, I drove by the same church I always see the Red Cross sign posted out front. Just a minute before, the DJ on the radio announced that there was a Blood Emergency. Apparently there was such a shortage on blood supplies, that they were having to ration it out. So as I passed by the church, sure enough, the regular sign was replace with the "Blood Emergency" sign. I knew I had to fulfill my duty. I wrote down the time and date on the calendar. Unfortunately, my well intentions were sidelined. Again, life took over and people that could have very much used my blood pumping through my veins, got put on hold (sorry). Next time I see that sign, I'm going to try my best to make it work.

My next attempt came to me while I was perusing the shelves at the library. Sometimes I go in knowing exactly what book or what type of book I want. This time I was just wandering aimlessly not really finding anything that interested me at all. That's when my bright idea came to me. I was in the New Book section. I decided to walk along a random row of book, turn my back, and pick one off the shelf. I made a promise to myself, and my lovely blog readers, that whatever book I chose (no matter how mundane), I would read it from cover to cover. I know, I'm so adventurous. Somebody stop me before I hurt myself.

The book: Abide with Me by Delia Parr

I like the book. I just finished it a few minutes ago and, to tell the truth, it is probably a book that I may have chosen if I was judging by the cover (don't we all do that even when we try not to?). But, nonetheless, I fulfilled my promise. It took me a while to get into the story, but then it grabbed ahold of me midway and I couldn't put it down.

Here's an excerpt that I loved:

"Regardless of location or size or the wealth of the patients, there's a distinctive smell in every hospital. It's not the scent of disinfectant, disease or medical lotions. It's the subtle blend of hope and fear, despair and optimism, as some patients fight to live just a little while longer while others pray for death to come."

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

When It Rains, It Pours

Boy, oh boy. I guess I did ask for it. And believe me, I ain't complaining a bit. I've had interviews with parents during the day and almost every evening. I have two more lined up tomorrow. Yay! Thanks for all the well wishes!

Current status:

* A 2 1/2 year old girl, 2-3 days per week (she loves the bunnies)

* A 16 month old boy and his 2 1/2 year old sister, I'll be meeting them on Thursday but mom has already signed them up for 2-3 days per week

* A 9 month old boy who I had last week; he already has a daycare but I'm the backup

Those are my "for sures". Then I have the newborn baby girl that visited when I couldn't quite focus on her. I'll be calling them back to see if they have any more questions or if they made a decision yet. Tomorrow I have a 9 month old girl visiting in the morning and a 3 year old girl in the evening. And then I just talked to one of Jesse's friends' mom about after school care. If that works out they will both be thrilled. This is one of her friends who has been to our house numerous times and vice versa.

It's funny because for the last 10 years that I've had my daycare, there were only a handful of girls the whole time. Now it seems the trend is changing.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I don't have to turn anyone away due to conflicting schedules. Legally, and for good reasons, I can only have 2 children under the age of 2 at a time. So hopefully all the under 2 crowd will have schedules that stagger, either days and/or times.

Yay!! (happy dance)

Bring on the play dough! Get out the paints! It's time to parrrr-tay!!!

(now I bet you're all jealous of me and want to have a job where you get to sniff playdough and play dress up and get paid for it.....yeah, I didn't forget about the poopy diapers and snotty noses and late parents but it's still worth it)

*****I haven't forgotten about my end of the deal with our Truth or Dare game. I'm still working on a couple of them and then I'll post. Still can't fit the "Vikings are invading!" into a conversation yet. Dang you, Stu! Maybe I'll try it in the sauna tonight.....

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Zzzzzzzz, what'd you say?

I think I need to get myself and my husband to bed. He fell asleep on the couch and in between snores, let out a "it seems screwed". I'm always amused when people talk in their sleep. Nighty nite, sleep tight!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Filling the Hole

Yep. You can pull your mind out, of the gutter that is. It's a different kind of hole that I'm slowly beginning to fill. The one that's been empty since I had to leave behind some very special children and their parents. The hole in my heart slowly, very slowly, beginning to fill back up. In the past week I have met some very wonderful parents and their even more wonderful and adorable children. One of whom I couldn't exactly see, but I was told that she is adorable**.

I had my first official day of work on Thursday. I don't think I've ever been this happy to work before. It's not all about the money. Yes, we definitely need the second income, but it is so much more than that. Even though I've complained and fretted for a long time about needing to get back to work to start contributing to the family's income, I now feel that there was a reason why I was not able to work until now. It helped me to realize that this is definitely what I should be doing with my life. I had contemplated getting some other jobs in the meantime, but their sole purpose would have been just to pay the bills. What I really wanted to be doing all along is caring for children and being that special savior for working parents. The one whom they can depend upon to take care of all of their child's needs throughout the day so they can go to work or school and not have to worry about if their little one is safe and secure. And in return for all the dirty diapers and baby spit-up down my back and aching back from sitting on the floor playing baby games all day and bursting bladder from holding an infant who won't nap anywhere but my lap, my heart begins to refill.

So here's the stats so far. The baby boy I cared for the last two days was a "drop-in". He has a regular daycare provider who had to leave town rather quickly to visit her mother who's in ICU. I may have him back next week also. I hope so. He's an adorable, sweet little boy. Then today, I had a mother visit who has a 2 1/2 year old girl and a 16 month old boy. She has already decided to have me as their provider, but I will meet the children next week sometime. Finally, I had another couple, first time parents, visit at the beginning of the week. It was the same day that I had an eye appointment. It was merely an hour after I had my eyes dilated. They wanted me to hold their precious 8 week old girl. I obliged (how could I not?). The only problem was, ** I COULD NOT SEE HER! She was a big, blurry bundle of cuteness. Seriously, it was the strangest feeling ever. I have had my eyes dilated before, but it's been a long time. And it was never when I was trying to conduct business. Or meet people for the first time. Or drive. I asked the receptionist at the office when I made the appointment if it would be safe for me to drive myself home. "Oh sure, most people do." I again asked the doctor the same question as he put the drops in my eyes. "Oh yeah, plus it'll be dark outside when you leave so you won't have to worry about the bright light." Let me give you a tip. Do not, and I repeat NOT, attempt to drive after having your eyesight altered to the point that you cannot focus on anything. Especially if it is nighttime and snowing.

Anyhoo, the couple with the newborn girl were very nice. They were visiting another daycare on Thursday and then planning on making a decision. Please pick me *fingers crossed*. They seemed like the kind of people that would be wonderful to work with. And who doesn't love the newborn smell? I tried to suck in as much of it as I could while they were here. There's nothing quite like it, I tell ya.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

I Knew it Would Happen Sometime

And for some news that some of you may care nothing about but I have to plaster it here anyways......tomorrow is the first day I'll be able to work for actual moolah in over a year and a half. WOO HOO!

And there are a few other potential children who are just waiting for their wonderful parents to make a decision.

I will hopefully post soon to fulfill my end of the Truth or Dare game. If I can get blogger to agree with me, there will even be pictures!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Are you game?

Now for a little fun (aka: trying to avoid the realities of life).

Remember that adolescent, idiotic but also sometimes very fun game of Truth or Dare?

Let's try a blogger version. Each of you (who are willing and able to) will request either a truth or dare for yourself in the comment section. I will in turn fulfill your request by giving you a question of truth or a dare that you must do. We will go with the honesty policy but you must give a detailed report of the results or your dare.

In turn, you are all allowed to ask me a truth or dare.

Hit me!

Friday, January 12, 2007

The Bestest Idea I've Ever Had

Since I've been a Stay-at-Home mom** for the past year and a half, I have had lots of time to bake, sew, crochet, and keep things up with the house. I must admit that I've enjoyed this time, although I sound like I could join the Amish at any time (except for the fact that I'm typing this on a computer and using electricity to send it to you via the internet, but other than that, I could be Amish). I've been baking breads and muffins and trying out new vegetarian recipes left and right (sometimes to the dismay of the family, but who cares?). It should be interesting to see if I can keep things going when I actually do start working again.

So, while I was preparing the yummy muffin recipe from J Martin, an idea popped into my head. "Why not write a recipe book," my optimistic self thought.

"Yeah, great idea but what would you call it?" my pessimistic self responded.

"Let's see. It needs to be something catchy. Something that will stand out from all the other millions of recipe books out there."

"So, what's it gonna be? You really think you can come up with something that will sell?"

"How about this.......Fish Don't Feel Pain."


"You know, it could be a cookbook for Pesco-Vegetarians."

"Pesco what?"

"It's when someone eats only seafood and vegetarian food."

"So what's with the "Fish Don't Feel Pain"?"

"Well, you know how most people think it's cruel to eat dogs or cats because so many of us have them as pets? But not as many people think it's cruel to kill and eat farm animals because most of us don't have them as pets. And even though some people have tiny, little fish in a tank as "pets", how many people have a salmon or trout as a family friend? Yeah, that's what I thought. And if we don't have a close personal connection to something, then it must not feel pain when it dies, right?"

"I give up."

** The term "Stay-at-Home" mom has always baffled me. Does that mean that you are not allowed to go out of the house? Because obviously you have to leave the house to go buy groceries and cart your children around to all of their activities. And I always wonder how to answer people when they ask, "Do you work outside the home?" Well, let's see. I'm a mom that works as a mom, sometimes in the home, sometimes outside the home. I'm also a substitute mom to other moms' children and most of that work is done in the home but some of it is also outside the home because kids love to play outside.

Can you tell I'm in a weird mood today?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Going Bananas

It never fails. No matter how small or large of a bunch of bananas (now you've figured out that I'm not talking about me going bonkers), I always end up with one to three left that have passed the ripeness stage of eatability (yes, that's a work because I said so).

As much as we like my famous banana nut bread and smoothies, it can get kind of old after awhile.
So, I'm asking for your help. Does anyone have any good recipes to use up over ripe bananas? I'm up for anything. Hit me!

Friday, January 05, 2007

Let's see if Blogger lets anyone read this thing

Time to dismantle the Christmas tree and throw it in the bonfire pile along with last year's tree. Next year we will break out the fake one that I bought for 50% at the after Christmas sale.

Ho hum........

Time to get the kids back on a regular sleeping schedule (and myself) again before school starts back on Monday. They have been having sleepovers with friends, both at our house and at friends' houses which often means staying up all night and collapsing on the downstairs futon the following day.

Ho hum.........

I'm almost finished making my sister's birthday gift, a crocheted afghan. The name of the pattern is "Sophisticated Swirl". My sis isn't into anything fancy or extravagant, so I tried to pick something simple yet interesting. I like how it's turning out so far. Maybe I'll post a picture if I remember to before sending it off. I'm also making those no sew fleece blankets for all of my niece's and nephew's birthdays this year. Sent the first one off already for a Jan. 4th birthday. If I remember, I'll take pictures of each as I finish them. They are super simple and cost the same as I would spend on a typical present....a little over $20. I waited until the fleece was on sale at JoAnn's for 50%.

Ho hum....... (aka: boring post)

On a more interesting note, Ron's b-mom is probably going to visit sometime in February. He offered to let her stay with us, we have plenty of room and nice comfy sofa. If she accepts the offer, it'll allow for more late hours of visiting and looking through photos and learning family history. Yay! It still seems all so strange to me. I'm just so glad that they both have the opportunity to get to know each other, even though there was a lot of missed opportunities....37 years of them. My fear was always that we would find out who she was only to discover that she had already passed on. But now, there's so much healing to be had. I know it'll come slowly, but I'm just glad that the opportunity is there.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Ho Hum

And now to follow my upbeat new year post with a dismal one.

I feel stuck. Paralyzed. I'm not exactly sure what else to do at this point.

I've continuously run ads (expensive ones, I might add) in the newspaper. I've handed out and posted flyers where ever I could. I've told people at the school and elsewhere that "I'm starting up my daycare and looking for clients". I even resorted to child labor. Jesse handed out some of my business cards to friends at school who have a new baby sibling at home.

I've received a few calls. Some from people still just "calling around". Some from people who soon realized that I was too far out of their commute path. And some from people looking for employment (if I was advertising for a job, I would have placed my ad in the help wanted section!).

So, what to do? I'm stumped. The tightness in my chest continues to grow every day that passes. The bills come. The tightness increases. Is there something else that I could/should be doing? Maybe this is payback for all the times that it was so easy to build up my business.

The money stress is one thing. And then there's the whole wanting to feel like I have a purpose. I've loved the whole Stay-at-Home mom thing. Even though it wasn't planned for me to be off of work for this long, I've loved having the freedom to volunteer at the schools and be here for my kids after school without having the distraction of a house full of little ones. Even though I've always technically been a Stay-at-Home mom because my job is at home, I have not always been able to make my children the #1 priority. Screaming infants and toddlers most of the time overrule moody school-agers. But those demanding infants and toddlers also help pay the bills.

So, what to do? I have now resorted to offering care round the clock. Even though this might interfere with my family life (if I ever DO get any kids), I don't feel like I have a choice at this point. I don't like to get this desperate that I would take anybody, even if I have an eery feeling upon meeting them. But, again, I AM THAT DESPERATE.

Back to placing those ads......