Saturday, April 30, 2011

Fail. Ish.

Well, it would be good if I had some kind of "lessons learned" or recap planned, but I don't. Here it is the last day of April, and I've only been moderately successful this month. On one hand, I'm disappointed, because I feel like I haven't actually written anything worth reading. On the other hand, I feel kind of okay about it, because I can feel my desire to write rekindling. If I can just hold on to that, then maybe, possibly, I'll be able to get back to writing things I don't hate.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

This I Believe (kinda)

I just finished reading the first volume of This I Believe. What I would really like to do is write my own "This I Believe" essay, but for two reasons, I cannot. First, I cannot decide what my focus would be. Would I write about my personal beliefs about God (in whom I do believe) vs. religion (of which I'm scared)? Would I write about how I feel about family? Marriage? Politics? Being a working mom? I just don't know where to start.

The second reason is that even though I have been making myself post on this blog with more frequency, I am still plagued with writer's block. I don't think that I've really written anything worth reading this whole month. And that makes me sad. Not that I used to be a great writer or anything, but I didn't used to suck. In hopes of finding some inspiration, I read over some of my old posts. Posts from back when I used to write.

Only instead of inspiring me, they kinda depressed me. I actually enjoyed reading some of my old work. Is that inappropriate to say? Not that I think I'm all awesome or anything, but some of it was pretty decent. It just makes me sad that I seem to have lost my muse. And it makes me even more sad that I don't know how to get it back.

One thing that I know I do believe is that people need a creative outlet. I need a creative outlet. I have no talents other than writing so it's very not good that I seem to be unable to do it lately. I'm wishin' and hopin' and thinkin' and prayin' that I can somehow figure out a way that I can write some things that I will feel good about writing. Maybe this weekend?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Oh... Weather

I have quite a few posts about weather. Many of them are complaining about the weather, but I do live in Ohio so I feel the rants are justified. We are in the middle of what has seemed like weeks of rain and chill and wind. More storms expected tonight and tomorrow. It's just difficult to feel motivated to do anything when I know we should be having Springtime, but we are really just having rain. I would be fine with sleeping away the days until sunshine and warmth return.

I was thinking today while waiting for Luke to get off the bus that it even seems like the trees are waiting for this deluge to stop before they finally unfurl their leaves and blossoms. I wrote this post about only seeing green out the window and how wonderful that is. Right now, the grass is really green, but the trees still just look like giant, leafless sticks. I need green and flowers and heat! Is that too much to ask? Is it?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Boys Will Be Boys

Easter Sunday always brings back a flood of memories for me. When I was little, my parents would get my sisters and I up at the crack of dawn to put on our matching Easter dresses and go up the road to Sunrise Service at church. After that service, we would make the five minute trek to my grandparents' church for Easter breakfast and regular Easter service. At some point we were allowed to have our Easter baskets, but it seemed to vary from year-to-year when and where we found them.

Easter is quite a bit different for me now. I let the boys find their Easter baskets first-thing, and yes, they pretty much end up eating candy for breakfast. My life is miserable if my kids are robbed of sleep for even one day, so we don't get up early for sunrise service. We also live too far away now to make it feasible for us to go to Easter breakfast.

Last year I did buy the boys coordinating polo shirts and plaid shorts for Easter, but it ended up being too cold for shorts and Luke refused to wear a short-sleeved shirt so I had to let him wear a plaid button-down and jeans. Then Owen didn't want to wear his shirt since Luke wasn't wearing his, so he ended up in a different polo than his Easter one. And we were almost late for church. It was so frustrating that I didn't even bother to buy them anything this year.

And now I'm so glad I didn't. I just let them wear clothes they already had, and it was pouring rain this morning, so we all wore rain boots. Thank goodness. Here is a little glimpse of what happened after Easter lunch and before Easter dessert.

And no, we were not at home, so I had to make use of my sister's laundry facilities and the boys had to run around in their underwear until their clothes were clean and dry. Oh well. They had fun. And got rid of some of the sugar buzz. Somehow I don't think matching outfits would have been nearly this memorable.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Confession Time

I was just going to add a little blurb to my post tonight, confessing that I'm failing miserably at my "alternate day" writing, but then I figured I may as well do an entire confession post. Why not?

As I've already said, I failed at writing every day. There is just too much going on. Too many days when I feel beaten down by things at work or overwhelmed by things at home or I'm just too busy. I'm trying to be okay with it since I'm still posting on here with realitive consistancy, but I am a bit dissapointed in myself.

I cherish alone time. Don't get me wrong, I love my husband and my kids and the rest of my family and my friends. I appreciate the time I get to spend with the people I care about. But I also have to admit that I am kinda a loner. I like my commute when I can listen to NPR without interruption and the the nights when Ryan is at work and the boys are in bed and I am alone with my thoughts and can kinda do what I want (you know, like write run-on sentences or eat too much Boursin cheese). It may be weird, but it's me.

I am not nearly as conservative as many people assume I am. I grew up in a conservative family and I was homeschooled(!) and went to a midwestern Christian college where dancing and drinking were not allowed. I can understand (mostly) why people are staunchly conservative, and I think that if we lived in an ideal world where everyone had equal opportunity and upbringing and access, then MAYBE the conservative views would be accpetable in a lot of circumstances. But, in case you haven't looked around or watched the news or visited anywhere outside your upper-middle class subdivision... we don't live in an ideal world. So I think that issues and problems in this country and in this world need to be looked at individually and evaluated for the best way to make things work to the benefit of the people who really need it. And if that means giving someone free access to birth control or helping them buy groceries to feed their family, I'm okay with it.

I am addicted to Food Network. I think I may have mentioned something like this before, but I really think it might be an issue. If I have control of the TV and it is on, it is probably on Food Network. This is an issue for me since I am really not that good of a cook and watching it makes me hungry and then I eat food that isn't good for me. But whatever. It does sometimes inspire me to make things I'd never thought of trying before. I've actually made popovers. And my kids ate them. For the most part.

I am not a baby person. I know I have mentioned this before too, but it is true. I'm happy for other people if they have babies, but I'm totally fine with not having any more babies. This is why it doesn't make me sad that my kids are way past the baby stage. I can deal with kids, but babies are a real challenge for me. My kids can tell me what's up and help me with stuff. Babies cry and scream and screech and rob you of sleep. Do you see where I'm coming from?

I hate being cold. Not sure if it qualifies as a confession since I've never kept it a secret, but to me being cold equals physical pain. I reall hate it and I wish it could be warm all year. Why can't it?

This isn't a very good confession post, but it's Friday, at the end of a long week, and I'm tired. Yay.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Baby Face

When your kids are babies, you spend a lot of time looking at their faces. You hold them a lot and check on them a lot and even though you know they are changing as they grow, you still see their baby faces in real life and in your mind's eye. As they get older and reach the baby (and then toddler) milestones, their faces thin up and grow up, but they still look like babies to you.

But now my boys are four and almost-six. For years, even if during the day they had seemed quite grown-up for their age, I could still sneak into their rooms at night and see them as babies. Something about their little sleeping faces still looked so innocent and baby-esque.

Over the past month or so, however, I've noticed a change. There are times when Luke, my oldest, will make a face or look at me in a certain way and instead of seeing "baby" I see "teenager." It's like for just a second something in the real progression of time shifts and I see what he will look like when he is sixteen and thinks he doesn't need me at all. It's so surreal, yet strangely comforting.

I've also noticed that when I sneak into their room after they are sleeping and check to make sure they are covered up and sleeping well, it is getting more and more difficult to see the "baby" in their faces. They no longer look the same as they looked at six months, only bigger. They look like almost grown-ups, resting from a day of their own thoughts and feelings that have little to do with me. They look so big.

I've read the books and magazines and I know this should make me sad, but it doesn't. I love seeing them grow up and become more independent. Sure, maybe in ten years when they actually want nothing to do with me, I may be sad then. But for now, I am so enjoying experiencing their flourishing personalitities and all the things they are learning and watching them become best friends with each other to the point that they don't need my attention all the time. At some point I may miss their baby faces, but for now I'm just enjoying the moment.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Some Things I Like

It's been a while since I posted a favorite things list. And on a night like tonight when I realize I haven't been able to beat my writer's block and I have ten loads of laundry to fold before I can go to sleep, it seems like a good idea to post another one. Maybe "good idea" is generous. More like, I seems like what I am going to do, good, bad, or indifferent.

Boursin Cheese - I could maybe eat an entire pack of Boursin Cheese all by myself in one sitting. Not maybe. I know I could. It is delicious. I used to eat it on crackers, but I was trying low-carb for a while and started eating it on salami. To. Die. For. No joke, if my last meal included Boursin Cheese, I would die happy.

The Television Show Parenthood -Such a good show. I end up laughing out loud a lot, but also crying at least once per episode. The writing is great and the cast is amazing. Plus, I think I might have a girl-crush on Lauren Graham. She is perfect in such a relatable, imperfect way. - All the shoes I've bought in the past four months that I love and want to wear all the time have been purchased from I know there are other sites out there, but The selection on Shoemall is great and I like the ease of sorting/finding on the site, as well as the discounts they offer.

Small-Venue Concerts - I haven't been to an excessive number of concerts, but I've been to a few. I by far prefer the ones that have been in small theaters to the ones in massive stadiums. Last night I saw Sara Bareilles at a small, local theatre. Amazing.

Summertime - I know I've posted this one before, but this spring is dragging on and on in a cold, wet, depressing grossness. I am just ready for the weather to be hot and sunny. I love summer and I miss it so much.

The end. For now.

Friday, April 15, 2011

It Was Just a Bad Day

Note: I posted this on Friday, but woke up Saturday morning wondering if it really came across the way I meant it. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to look over it till today. I'm just going to go ahead and re-post it. I don't intend for it to sound whiny or all woe-is-me, but if it does, I'm sorry.

Today was the bad end of a bad week. And I mentioned that on Facebook. And, of course, that seemed to some to be an invitation to some to tell me that my life is actually so great and I have no right to say things are bad. Am I the only one who doesn't get that? This compulsion to tell others that they shouldn't feel the way they feel? It doesn't only bother me when someone does it to me, but also when I see it done to others.

I am keenly aware that my life circumstance is better than that of a good percentage of the people currently living on the earth. I read a lot. I know about how bad things are for a lot of people. I hate that so many people have such a terrible time of it. I really do. And if I spend too much time thinking about that, I start to get very melancholy and depressed. If I knew what I could do to make life better for people in horrible situations, I would do it.

So, sure. I realize that when I say I've had a bad day that there are many others out there who are having worse lives than my one bad day. I never said otherwise. But I don't really understand why other people being in bad circumstances means that I can't just say that I'm looking forward to tomorrow since today was crap.

Why is it so difficult to just wish someone well? To hope for them that things improve? To just let them have a down moment, while hoping for better? What happened to empathy?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

In ITIL Hell

I'm skipping coming up with a post topic tonight. I'm in the middle of an ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library, for those of you lucky enough to not know what ITIL stands for) training class at work. I have to study tonight for the exam tomorrow. I mean, it's nice that my company is paying for me to get yet another certification to add to my resume, but I kind of feel like I'm being held hostage in my office building.

At least they provide lunch.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Here We Go Again

WAY back when Luke started preschool, I posted several posts about how I am a misfit among mothers. This one is the one I remember the most, but I know there are others. I know I am not the only mother who works full-time aside from my mommy duties, but somehow I often end up feeling that I am.

Now Luke is in Kindergarten and has started playing t-ball. The first time I took him to practice, I ended up setting on a bench with another mom and another dad (no relationship to each other). I tried making conversation with the mom, asking her about her son, etc., but all she did was answer my questions. No actual conversation or asking questions about my kid. Um, okay.

The dad, on the other hand, was fine talking to me about our kids and about t-ball and about the teams his older kids had played on their first years. At least I didn't have to sit only with stoic-mom the entire time.

This past week, I again had better luck talking with the dads at first. After a while I realized I was the only mom standing on one side of the field, while all the other moms had somehow migrated to the benches on the other side of the field. Nothing makes you feel more like you're back in jr. high, than seeing a group of females who all seem to be hitting it off swimmingly, while you are the outcast girl who doesn't pinch-roll (peg? pinch-cuff? Whatever that stupid fad was called) her jeans.

I know I'm writing about it so it seems like it gets to me, but what I really worry about is how it will affect Luke and Owen in the future. I don't want them to be those kids who other kids don't like because none of the other moms like their mom. Is that a thing? Would that happen?

Thankfully I did manage to find a mom who I got along with as our kids were playing on the playground after practice. She is a vetrinarian and didn't really seem to fit right in with the other moms either, but did seem like a lovely and genuine person. Maybe there is hope. I don't need to be BFFs with all the other moms. But having one or two allies as I navigate this new mom-to-a-school-kid phase would be a very good thing.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

My Name is Trischa....

...And I have a shoe addiction. I believe this stems from not knowing how to create outfits or accessorize. I try to make up for it by having great shoes. That's okay, right? I do try to be frugal about my shoes. I'm not going to go out and buy really cheap ones that are going to fall apart in three days, but I also can't justify paying full price. I try to watch for sales and use coupon codes and can typically get great shoes for less than $40.

I recently ordered a pair of nude pumps. This pair, if you're curious. I have lots of black shoes and several black boots, but I have been working to add variety. Before these, I bought a great pair of army green heels. These nude heels arrived on a day when I was working from home and I tried them on right away. They are so cute.

But then my husband came home and I showed them to him. He acutally (usually) has great taste in clothes. He isn't one of those guys who obsesses about his looks, but he also looks good when he leaves the house. He took one look at these shoes and said, "They look like high-heel wooden shoes from Holland."

Talk about a blow to my enthusiasm. Of course, I wanted to say they look nothing like that, but... I couldn't. All I could do was laugh. They don't really look like that, but I could kind of see what he meant! And now every time I wear them, all I can think of is "wooden shoes."

So, if I can just get into my closet this weekend to sort, organize, discard, and evaluate.... I'm hoping that I can find some items that go perfectly with wooden high heels.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

It's Not THAT Weird

I have an unusually-spelled name. I get that. But, c'mon. It's not THAT weird. However, the other day, I had a very strange experience at the doctor that made me wonder if maybe I am wrong in thinking my name, while uncommonly spelled, isn't that difficult.

I had an appointment with a new doctor. When I made the appointment over the phone, the girl put me on hold for about five minutes, then I got disconnected. That should have been a sign right there, but I called back, the girl apologized and took my information. I gave her my name and my social security number, so she could verify my insurance. The thought crossed my mind that I didn't spell my name for her, but she was going to check my insurance so I figured she could get the correct spelling from that.

Apparently not. When I arrived for my appointment, I was given a clipboard of paperwork to fill out, on which my name and insurance information were already filled in. As the receptionist handed me the clipboard, I noticed the following in the 'Last Name' line: (Tricia) Goodwin. The first name line read: Trischa. Then she said, "Your insurance is listed under this name," pointing to where it read Trischa, "But we can put both names on your file."

Not quite sure what was going on, I pointed to the correct spelling and said, "That does say 'Trischa' (pronounced Trisha). That is how my name is spelled."

To which she replied, "That's fine if your name is spelled that way. We can put that name," again pointing to the actual spelling of my name, "But we can put Tricia (saying it out loud) as well. We can put both names on your file."

I know it's bad, but by now I was completely annoyed. What part of "Trischa" is my name didn't make sense to her. So I just said, "Why would you put both names on my file?? My name is Trischa (pointing to that spelling) and it is pronounced "Trish-a" so you don't need to put the other spelling (pointing to Tricia)."

A little indignant, she said, "Well, the appointment book had it spelled this way (pointing to Tricia), but we have to go by what your insurance is under."

Goodness. I mean, is it really that confusing? Why is it so hard to understand that a lot of names have multiple spellings? Finally I just told her, "Well, the girl who took my appointment didn't ask for the correct spelling and I thought she could get it from my insurance. Please only put this spelling (indicating Trischa) on my file and leave the other spelling off."

I'm sure this story isn't nearly as amusing to read as it is to hear me tell it out loud, but it is all I have for today. I spent the day at the ballpark in Cincinnati with my boys, watching the Reds lose. Now my nose is sunburned and I am tired. I'm hoping to have a much better post this weekend.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


I'm always so jealous when I see girls who seem to have mastered their own personal style, especially when that style looks like what I wish was my personal style. I'm not really sure of how to describe what I would like to be my style, but maybe funky-classic? Casual-classic? I dunno. I'm not a trendy person, but I do try to make sure that I'm not wearing things that are horribly out-of-fashion. If I ever take "fashion quizes" in magazines, I usually just barely fall under "classic," but I know I'm not classic in the glamorous, Audrey Hepburn or Jackie Kennedy way.

No, I'm not glamorous at all. I don't know how to accessorize. I don't wear lipstick. I'm not sure how so many other people seem to be able to look so cute and put together. My default work clothes are dresses, since there is very little involved in making sure the outfit "works." Just coordinate the shoes and go. My default at-home wear is whatever is super comfortable and warm. Yet I still wish I had whatever gene it is that makes people know exactly what looks good together and exactly what looks good on their bodies, all while looking as though they put very little effort into the whole thing. Like it just came naturally for them to know how to mix all the elements of their wardrobe into an amazing collage of perfect outfits.

I recently stumbled onto this blog. I can't remember how I found it and I hope this girl doesn't hate me for linking to her since I am not a fashion blogger, but I just think she is completely adorable. I know that not all of her outfits would work for me (she looks super-cute in skinny jeans and flats, while I look weird and frumpy in them), but she does such a great job of mixing together outfits that are workable for a mom, and yet fun and flattering. I would love to be more like that.

There is also the whole make-up thing. I wear powder foundation and mascara. And chapstick (what? that's not make-up?) I recently started wearing eye shadow, but I have somewhat hooded eyes and I am just not good at putting it on. My friend Sara, on the other hand, her make-up always looks fabulous. As though her make-up is professionally done each time she leaves the house. Is it bad to be jealous of how good your friends look?

Anyway, I'm not really sure of what to do. I think I will start with cleaning out my closet. I tried to start this weekend, but there was a birthday party and a baby shower and t-ball practice and two little boys running around like crazy people that kept me from getting to it. But this weekend, I really am going to try. I'm going to try to go through my closet and get rid of everything that doesn't fit well or that I haven't worn in over a year. And then I'm going to try pairing things together that I've never worn together. And I'm going to try to make a list of some accessories I think might help me expand/enhance some of those outfits

We'll see how it goes. But taking baby steps in the direction of working on my personal style is certainly better than sitting around being jealous of how great other people look.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Toothpicks, Please

There are many reasons I have only two children. Two kids is really plenty for me. I do not feel the need to just continue producing offspring. I love, LOVE my boys. But the thought of going through another pregnancy and the whole newborn phase again is completely terrifying to me. I was ecstatic when I put all my maternity clothes in a bin and gave them away. I don't think I've ever once had a dreamy nostalgic thought of "Well, babies are cute and maybe I should have kept the clothes...." No. I was glad to help out someone who needed them, but also glad to be rid of them.

The main thing I do not miss at all about having a baby around is the sleepless nights. Neither of my boys were good nighttime sleepers. I tried to do things "right," like having them sleep in their own crib every night from the time we brought them home from the hospital. I did not rush to them every single time they fussed. I tried to follow the rules that are supposed to produce good sleepers, but to no avail. My kids were up every few hours, every night, for months on end. Oh, the torture of never getting a full night sleep. My kids obviously hated me.

Things got a little better after my oldest turned one, but not long after, I was pregnant again and even more exhausted. And any change of schedule or even minor illness would send us into a spate of sleepless nights. Once my youngest was born, it was back to the cycle of up every few hours, every night. But then my oldest would somehow manage to wake up at least once a night too. Oy.

Most of the first six months of my youngest son's life are a blur in my memory. All I really remember is the overwhelming exhaustion. I'm not sure what I said to them on the phone or what prompted it, but I do have this vivid memory of opening the front door and my parents standing there on the porch. My mom took the baby, who was probably only a few weeks old at the time, and said "Go to bed. We can take care of our grandsons for a few hours." I broke down in tears.

Going without sleep is hard. Really, really hard. I guess in a way it gets you used to the fact that most things about being a parent are hard, but that doesn't make up for lost sleep. Add to no sleep trying to be a good parent and work full time and salvage some semblence of a life (outside of parenting and sleep-deprivation), and you have a recipe for disaster.

It seems like my kids have been sick on-and-off (but mostly on) since.... oh... the beginning of winter. Month after month of spending bundles of nights getting up every few hours to administer medicine, wipe noses, and various other unpleasant things I will not detail here, and I feel like I cannot go on like this much longer. I just want winter to go away, for my kids to be well, and to get a full nights' sleep for more than two nights in a row. I also wish this post were better and that it made sense, but I can barely stay awake. This will have to do for now. In the meantime, I need to set the coffeemaker to brew in the morning and remember to set out the toothpicks to help me keep my eyes open for work.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Day One

If I could explain how bad my writer's block has been lately, I would. I'm really not sure of what happened. But I do know that I've got to try something to get back on track. I wouldn't exactly say that I've missed writing, at least, not in the way I would miss a dear friend or a favorite food if I'd gone months without. But I have felt like something has been missing lately and I think that is me putting effort into anything other than what is absolutely necessary to maintain my life.

So here I am. Back to another write-everyday-for-a-month month. Only this time I'm going to do something different. I've been mulling over the thought that maybe knowing that people I know might read everything I post has in some way made me less likely to post. I'm going to write every day, but I'm only going to post here every other day. The in-between days I will write, but not post to this blog. At the end of the month, I will evaluate my work and see how it is different in quality and content.

If there is something really worth sharing in my in-between writing, I may post it here after the end of April, but I guess we will see how it goes. I am actually starting to get excited about this little experiment. I'm really hoping it gets me back into my writing and a little bit out of my predictable routine.