Don’t call us, we’ll call you

September 28, 2012

I don’t have time to blog anymore . . .

Filed under: Family, Personal, Teaching — Tags: , , , , — llcall @ 10:10 pm

How sad is that?! No, seriously, I’m really sad right now. I’m just terribly stressed at the moment. Who knew I would crack under the pressure of a new job after just three weeks?

I need to get things out of my head to stay sane and lately I don’t have time to write more than “Nice job on this paper” or “Get a friend to proofread!” (I write the latter at least 40 times a day.) As mundane as all that is, teaching my online course has actually produced quite a bit of existential and philosophical angst in me. The first two weeks I was convinced that this job just wasn’t the right fit for me, and I was overly introspective about the purpose of my life and how or if this really aligns with it. I kept mulling over the epistemological perspectives that I’m most comfortable teaching from and whether they match with those that my students are most interested in learning from. By the end of the second week (last Friday), I felt like I was quieting my mind on the topic, at least a little bit.

And then the oddest thing happened. Saturday morning I was lying around, grading papers when I heard a knock at the door. I found two high school girls standing on my doorstep. I thought they were going to ask me to buy a candy bar, which, of course, creates all sorts of existential angst in me. But instead they asked if they could give me a three-question survey for one of their classes. Phew. So much easier than saying no to a chocolate-bar-for-a-good-cause. That’s what I thought anyway, until I heard the questions:

  1. What do you think are moral absolutes?
  2. What do you think truth is?
  3. Do you think truth and reality are the same thing?

Seriously? What are the chances that I’m in the midst of one my semi-annual (or more often, who’s really counting?) existential crises and two teenagers just happen to stop by to chat about moral absolutes? You can’t script that!

Here’s another thing you can’t script:

At least I wouldn’t want to script it since it cost me a whole tube of mascara. I’m posting the more joyful pic here, but if you want to see how scary the whole incident really got, check out Neal’s post (spoiler alert: Heath Ledger is referenced).

And that is all.

September 19, 2012

Thanks ye bonny lass!

Filed under: Family, Personal — Tags: , , , — llcall @ 11:44 pm

For getting ye old pappy and mom a dozen free donuts at Krispy Kreme!

Eat up, me hearties, yo ho!

Course, I be earning my keep chasing ye around t’ store when ye decided to take off yer shirt, streaking and shrieking. Aye, you’re still a saucy lass!

(Am I the only person who thinks International Talk Like a Pirate Day is a better holiday than Thanksgiving?)

September 15, 2012

Video for the Weekend: Shoulder dance!

Filed under: Family, Pictures for the Weekend, Videos — Tags: , , — llcall @ 1:14 am

Even though I accomplished my goal of learning to post video online this year, I have an abominable record of actually doing so. Lately Neal has been picking up the slack, and this week he posted his three favorite dancing videos of Addison. I’m just crazy about this third video — I’ve watched it an embarrassing number of times in the last two days. But dang, that shoulder action just kills me! (Neal’s right, it’s exactly the same movement she makes when she’s trying to avoid physical affection.)

(The only thing I’m not crazy about is my terrible camera work. I seem to be perpetually at sea while shooting video. Maybe improved photography skills should be my goal for next year . . .)

September 14, 2012

Dearest Addison, for your second birthday

Filed under: Family, Motherhood — Tags: , , , , — llcall @ 6:58 pm

I couldn’t say “on your second birthday” since I wrote it a month late. And now I’m posting it 7 months late, but who’s counting (besides me)? But I had to finally post it now as a necessary prelude to something else I’m hoping to post next week.

I have considered it one of my central responsibilities to make sure that others and their feelings are real and important to you.  It’s been a worry that with all the attention you get (from us and virtually everyone you come in contact with), you will think that you are the brightest spot in every room.  At this stage it would be hard to undo that line of thought because you are, in fact, the brightest spot in every room for me and your dad . . . even when you aren’t in the room.  I’m almost embarrassed to say how predictably our days end — we put you down for bed and stroll into our room and within a second or two, one of us says that oft-repeated phrase, “She’s so cute.”  Then we launch into telling stories about you from the day, as if we don’t all live, work, eat, sleep, play, talk in the same space 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Thankfully, you seem to have been naturally endowed with a deep concern for others.  We listened to a Radiolab episode recently about how toddlers are like little sociopaths.  But I’ve known sociopaths and you, my dear, are no sociopath.  In fact, rather than a callous unconcern for the feelings of others, there’s at times a ferocious intensity to your concern, even for cartoon characters.  Sometimes this is very inconvenient, like the last night we were in Utah [in March] and I desperately needed a half-hour to pack before our 5:30 am wake-up call.  Cousin Heather obliged with the movie Happy Feet, which I thought would keep you happily engaged for a while.  Little did I know that it is the story of a misfit baby penguin who gets bullied and pushed into a snowy hole.  OH. MY. GOODNESS. were you distraught!  “Baby poco (that’s how you say penguin) OUT!  OUT!!”  “Baby poco OUT!”  Nothing would calm your tears and screaming, not even fast-forwarding to show that he (it was a he, right? I really didn’t see more than a minute of the movie through all the hubbub) still grew up into a happy, healthy, tap-dancing poco.  At the time, it all felt very bothersome since calming you down and then packing with you close on my heels/in my arms pushed back our bedtime by at least an hour or two.  But truly I’m glad you have a compassionate soul — and I hope that someday you unleash a little of that furor on behalf of someone more in need than an animated penguin.

You’ll learn soon enough (maybe you already have?) that we live a little differently than some people. (Grammy has taken to calling it an “alternative lifestyle” for lack of a more specific explanation.) Some people don’t think we’re making the best choices for your future. One person even said that moving you into a 40-square-foot bedroom, which we plan to do, would constitute child abuse (though I’m about 65% sure they were kidding). What you should know though is that you drove us to it! We hadn’t entirely planned on both of us wanting to be your stay-at-home parent, but how can either one of us be expected to go off and not see you for 8, 9 hours a day? With your level of exuberance, 8 hours away would be like missing 275 super important, often hilarious moments. So we jockey back and forth, adjusting who spends the most time with you (daddy would like it known that he does the majority share at the moment), trying to find the perfect balance of income and health and fun. Someday you’ll want dance classes and Barbies (eek!) and a car, but for now you mostly want us. And we are happy to oblige, despite my occasional neurotic posts grappling with motherhood and lost autonomy.

Your dad was supposed to write a letter too, but he’s been busy — writing about 50 love letters to you. You’ll appreciate them when you’re old enough to read them, which may be about 16 or 17 judging by some of his subject matter.

In short, sweet Aa’son, te adoro. Te adoro.

September 6, 2012

Scumdog redux

Filed under: Personal — Tags: , , , , — llcall @ 4:55 am

Once upon a time, we were going to take these Call family pictures in the evening. Addison and I had a busy day ahead of us — dropping my mom at the airport, visiting my famous friend Rach and making friends with her younguns, using up a gift card at a Salt Lake eatery, picking Neal up from the airport — so I did what any brilliant mommy would do, I brought like three changes of clothes for my two-year-old. Just. in. case. I even brought a spare shirt for myself since I seem to end up with greasy handprints about midway through any day.

Everything was going swimmingly. Addison seemed to like her new Nelson friends and I was completely taken with darling little Elizabeth May. I could have held that little six-week-old forever.

Except it would have been gross since, in one intense moment, she covered us both in slimy, yellow newborn poop.

I know you’re gasping right now because, of course, I didn’t bring a change of pants for ME. But never fear, I was in good hands with my fashion consultant nearby. You’d think I planned the whole thing since I left her house with a new skirt (pictured here) and pair of pants. It’s cool how the Universe/Rachel seems to deliver a new pair of pants just when I need one (after all, I lost my beloved CK jeans last year).

Everybody needs a friend like Rach. (Except for people with a natural sense of style, I mean.)

September 4, 2012

Metablogging and money guilt

[That’s right, blogging about my blogging again.]

I have only written a handful of posts on my personal finance blog since introducing it in June. Still, it’s about what I was planning on — tracking our income, deconstructing our budget, and explaining our lifestyle choices. In that vein, I recently wrote a post about “the why” behind some of our choices per the suggestion of Alysa. It’s about “money guilt” — and by the way, I’m DYING to hear more thoughts/opinions/experiences/non-experiences on the topic! — and after I was done writing, I felt so relieved to have finally recorded some of those childhood experiences that have loomed surprisingly large in my life.

But then I thought, this is really part of my personal history; it ties into so many of the things that I’ve been working on recording like therapy and childhood memories. And I wished instead that I had written it on this blog. And then I bemoaned the fragmentation that seems to so easily creep into our lives.

But of course, it’s not a big deal (I just have nothing else to think about at 1:00 am); I could just post a link on this blog when I feel like something hits on the more personal aspects of personal finance. Or I could cross-post them. Really, I can do whatever I want since they’re my blogs, though I’m less inclined to cross-post since the 6 people that read Chronically Ill Finances also read this blog.

This leads to another silly problem that has frustrated me on the blogging front in recent weeks. A few friends have asked me to post a link to my personal finance blog on my sidebar, perhaps even updating when there’s a new post. That sounded easy enough since I’ve done a similar thing on Neal’s blogs. What I discovered, however, is that when I inserted a sidebar link, WordPress was resetting my entire sidebar, wanting me to design it from scratch. And that is just not my thing. In case you can’t tell, aesthetics have played a very minuscule role in my blogging tenure. I have had the same theme since maybe 2009 and I haven’t customized anything — just let it do its (boring) thing. The idea of tweaking my sidebar or layout or color scheme just doesn’t excite me in the least. So, no automatically updating sidebar link.

But last night at 1:00 am I finally had a productive thought. I could add a page with a blog link to my sidebar. It’s not quite as smooth, but if you do ever want to hop over to my personal finance blog, it will only be a couple of clicks away. (Or one click if you’re reading this post.)

[End metablogging.]

September 2, 2012

Pictures for the (long) Weekend: How do you think “potty learning” is going?

Filed under: Family, Pictures for the Weekend — Tags: , , — llcall @ 5:08 pm

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