Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Just a Mother

I've seen this story around for quite a while, I just love it! Enjoy! - Shaina


A few months ago, when I was picking up the children at school, another mother I knew rushed up to me. She was fuming with indignation.

“Do you know what you and I are?” she demanded.

Before I could answer~and I didn’t really have one handy~she blurted out the reason for her question. It seemed she had just returned from renewing her driver’s license at the County Clerk’s office. Asked by the woman recorder to state her “occupation,” she had hesitated, uncertain how to classify herself.

“What I mean is,” explained the recorder, “Do you have a job, or are you just a ….?”

“Of course I have a job.” she snapped. “I’m a mother.”

“We don’t list ‘mother’ as an occupation…’housewife’ covers it,” said the recorder emphatically.

I forgot all about her story until one day when I found myself in the same situation, this time at our own Town Hall. The Clerk was obviously a career woman. poised, efficient, and possessed of a high-sounding title, like “Official Interrogator” or “Town Registrar.”

“And what is your occupation?” she probed.

What made me say it, I do not know. The words simply popped out. “I’m…a Research Associate in the field of Child Development and Human Relations.”

The clerk paused, ball-point pen frozen in midair, and looked up as though she had not heard right. I repeated the title slowly, emphasizing the most significant words. Then I stared with wonder as my pompous pronouncement was written in bold, black ink on the official questionnaire.

“Might I ask,” said the clerk with new interest,”just what you do in your field?”

Coolly, without a trace of fluster in my voice, I heard myself reply,”I have a continuing program of research (what mother doesn’t) in the laboratory and in the field (normally I would have said indoors and out). I’m working for my Masters (the whole darned family) and already have four credits (all daughters).

Of course, the job is one of the most demanding in the humanities (any mother care to disagree?) and I often work 14 hours a day (24 is more like it). But the job is more challenging than most.

There was an increasing note of respect in the clerk’s voice as she completed the form, stood up, and personally ushered me to the door.

As I drove into our driveway buoyed up by my glamorous new career, I was greeted by my lab assistants~age 13, 7, and 3. And upstairs, I could hear our new experimental model (six months) in the child-development program, testing out a new vocal pattern.

I felt triumphant. I had scored a beat on bureaucracy. And I had gone down on the official records as someone more distinguished and indispensable to mankind than “just another….” Home…what a glorious career. Especially when there’s a title on the door.

**From Chicken Soup for the Soul

Monday, April 27, 2009

Zoe's 1st Steps!

I posted this morning and since then a couple huge things have happened so I have to update again!

First the most exciting thing of all... Zoe walked! She walked from Daddy to Mommy, then from Mommy to Daddy about 10-15 times tonight, right before bed. The most steps she took at once was 7. She looked so adorable walking in her very first pair of pajamas. I was videotaping so...believe it or not, I have no pictures! I'll get one of her walking tomorrow if she decides to do it again.

In other exciting news... I finally received my Photographer Diploma today!! It's official! Wooohoo! It is such a relief to be completely finished with this program. I have been working on it slowly for 2 years now, I had to pay extra money for two different extentions so I could have more time to finish it, and I was 2 months away from not being *able* to complete it. After two extentions you cannot have anymore. The whole thing at the end became so stressful, but now it is finished and I have a Career Diploma in Photography to show for it. I already framed it! I bought frames specifically for my Diploma and Gage's degree that he will be getting next year. Each frame was 25 cents at a garage sale on Thursday!

That's it for now, I just had to share some exciting news!


Zoe's Zoo Adventures and More


We've been quite busy lately. The weather warmed up enough for us to venture outside! On the 15th we went to the Omaha Zoo in Nebraska. It was Zoe's first trip to an actual Zoo (we did go to the Wild Animal Park in Escondido, CA when Zoe was 3 months old). Her favorite part was the Aquarium, especially the tank that was filled with Jelly Fish! We were in Omaha because it was time to drop off my sister at the Omaha airport. She left that evening. A few days later Zoe went to the Sioux Falls Zoo with Grandma & Uncle Brad, so she should be an animal expert by now.

Zoe has been enjoying slides & swings at various parks around Sioux Falls. She still isn't walking yet, but she's getting close. She has learned how to climb onto her little tikes slide at home, as well as the couches. Yesterday she started making the "doooo" sound, it's cute listening to her sing "doo dooo dooo doo" all day. She's also increasing her vocabulary. She currently says:

  • Thank You - "Aah Coo"
  • Cheese - "Chzzzzz"
  • Cracker - "CraCr"
  • Dada
  • Kiss
  • Kitty
  • Uh Oh
  • Duck (her favorite and most frequent word of all!)
  • Eyes (very rare, but she says it)
I think I'll keep track of her first 10 words and write them in her babybook.

As for Gage and I - we are both doing very well. I'm still waiting for my Diploma to arrive in the mail, I'm so excited! I'm also enjoying the slightly warmer weather and the GREEN LEAVES on the trees. Sioux Falls lawns are now completely filled with bright green grass, another sight that you don't see to much of in CA. Spring is in the air!! It's still in the 40's though. We did have one very strange day where it was 91 degrees, which happened to be the day we went to the Kingswood garage sales. I actually got a small sunburn.

Some friends of ours moved just 3 blocks away from us yesterday. We helped them move and then I walked home. Now Zoe and Kjersten can play together whenever they want :)

Gage is home today because his classes were canceled for some reason today. Unfortunately it is dreary outside and looks like it may rain. I'm not sure what the plan is for today.

We just listened to the end of Tom Sawyer on MP3. We've been listening to the book off and on for a few days. I think I'm going to listen to more books on mp3, since I am not really a fan of sitting down and reading.

That's it for now. If I think of other things to report I will!


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Blizzards, Babies, and Kisses

This week:
  • Zoe added the word, "eyes" to her vocabulary. This morning she also tried to say "shoes" but she hasn't quite got it yet. Right now it's like "szzzz"
  • Zoe drank through a straw!
  • Zoe gave us kisses for the first time.
  • Zoe played her Daddy's drums for the first time! She did very well too.
  • Gage and I are celebrating 3 years since we got engaged! He proposed to me 3 years ago today!
  • I FINISHED MY PHOTOGRAPHY PROGRAM!!!!!!!!! It took me 2 years to complete and originally I was going to try and finish it in 6 months. I mailed in my last project and so as soon as they get it, I'll have a Diploma in Photography.
  • We had a BLIZZARD. Seriously, on the 3rd it was a beautiful day...green grass was growing, it was in the 4o's or 5o's...the next day... we were covered in 6 inches of snow. Two days later, it all melted.
  • We met Emmeline Maine - our friends Mel & Tim had a beautiful baby girl on March 29th and we met her on the 4th. She is one of the most beautiful newborns I've ever seen!
  • Both of my brothers became a year older. My stepbrother turned 24 on the 6th, my brother turned 22 on the 7th.
  • We rearranged our living room a bit and hung things on the walls! I LOVE rearranging furniture... but I didn't think it was possible for this room, but after a year and a half of the same thing we finally changed a couple things and it looks a lot better in here.
  • We ate lunch at taco bell yesterday and we left with about 4 inside jokes.
  • I began exercising again. I've been SORE for 2 days. :)
  • We watched American Idol. We like all of them except Lil and maybe Anoop. They are still great singers though. My favorites are Kris Allen and Danny Gokey.
  • Went to Plato's Closet. A store Gabby has wanted to go to ever since she got here. It's one of our favorite stores. If only they wouldn't play so much rotten music!
  • We went to Wal Mart about 3 times. That is more than I go in about 3 months. We're all set for Easter baskets though!

So there we have it. A few updates from the past week or so.

Zoe's Birthday - March 12th

I just realized I never posted pictures from Zoe's actual birthday, just her birthday party. So here are a few from her 1st birthday!

We began our day in Omaha, Nebraska at the Motel 6 we were staying at (they have the worst beds ever by the way!) We ended up having breakfast at HyVee of all places. We bought bagels, muffins, and doughnuts. Yum!

We had picked up my sister Gabby the night before at the Omaha airport. This is Gabby!

We drove for a while and stopped at McDonalds for lunch - Zoe had her first Cheeseburger. She hated it of course! She did like the fries though.

Here is Zoe. I was bummed we had to spend most of her birthday in a car but it's alright! She spent some quality time with her Aunt Gabby.

We finally arrived in Sioux Falls at about 5pm and we met up with Gage's parents and brothers at CiCi's Pizza for dinner. I can't remember the last day we had fast food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner... but it was Zoe's 1st birthday, so that makes it okay! ;) Overall I think Zoe enjoyed her birthday. She of course had no idea it was her birthday but she enjoyed it nevertheless.


Finding Joy in the Winter Months

For our family, this time of year is full of two things: celebrations and a slightly overwhelming sense of cabin fever. Both Gage and I cel...