jump to navigation

Mama Interrupted January 6, 2009

Posted by emsgeiss in Humor & Satire, parenting & family.
Tags: , , , ,
comments closed

Interruptions. They seem to punctuate parenthood. They also seem to punctuate working from home. The phone rings at the most inopportune moment, the spouse calling (or texting) to inform you that they have to stay late at the office, the bell rings during the toddler’s elusive  nap time, the call of “Mama, Mama, come play with me” interrupts the train of Pulitzer-winning thought that was flowing effortlessly from your fingers to the keyboard, and so on.  Those are among the basic, daily interruptions that  many of us contend with in one way or another. Then there are the big life interruptions: illness, death, pregnancy, going into labor, airport delays, war, severe storms and blackouts … oh yeah, and the holidays, which as much as we might anticipate them, do seem to interrupt life’s usual rhythm of chaos.

For us, the holidays and the end of 2008 were marked by a series of some of these “big”  interruptions (thankfully, none of them too tragic), but definetely enough to have 2008 end for us with neither a bang nor a whimper, but more of a dull thud that resonated into 2009  much like the overtone series or the series of ripples on a pond after being upset by the smallest of pebbles.  Actually, I’ve been Mama Interrupted for the greater part of the fall and winter, so it only seems befitting that this state of being should have carried into the holidays.

The holidays started with delusions of stress-free normalcy: cleaning and decorating for Christmas (no we’re not the decorate-the-house-and-string-the-lights-the-day-after-Thanksgiving family);  getting to the market; shopping for the The Boy’s last Christmas as an only child; getting out holiday cards, and the litany of other pre-holiday preparations.

But Mama isn’t the only factor involved. There are also The Husband, The Boy, the “baby” and the Fates.  Apparently my Muse went on vacation — perhaps to Hawaii to hang with the Obamas and the press corp — and left me with her cousins, the Fates, who thought that it would be all too much fun to mess with me and my grand plans for organization, to get ahead on work, research my next opus and make plans for our new schedule once the husband takes his newly elected post.)

The Fates tinkered with me. They decided to toss in a heaping table spoonful of snowstorms and for added flavor, two dashes of tiny colds — one for me and one for The Boy. For The Boy, this was but a mere inconvenience of having Mama chase him with tissues to remove the shiny gel cascading from his nostrils onto his upper lip. For Mama, it only added to the exhaustion of being pregnant while chasing after a toddler with said tissues, and fully determined to not make The Boy’s last singleton Christmas not suck.  Meanwhile, our house lay in limbo between campaign-aftermath and the holiday season as The Fates toyed with schedules and extra pre-vacation committments for The Husband, and needing to also prepare for his local swearing-in ceremony scheduled for New Year’s Day.

We managed to make Christmas and The Boy was elated. But this effort did not go without punishment from The Fates. The lovely ladies decided to knock me on my ass — well, more like flat on my back — allowing the effects of their simmering brew to take full effect.The day after Christmas, I was really sick. But that was not enough for those playful ladies … oh no! They decided that The Boy’s naps should also take a vacation, and that The Husband should bring home work.  I had no choice but to let them have their fun — the three dancing around me with great zeal and choreographing in counterpoint to their own dance, a pas de deux between my two children — the elder singing “Mama, Mama” every few moments, imploring me to join him on the floor with his cars, the one within me using my thimple-sized bladder as a bosu ball. All the while The Husband clickety-clacked on the computer, occasionally chanting to The Boy, “let Mama rest.”

“What next?”  The trio of tricksters asked each other. Perhaps, a black-out. (The sisters are quite fond of drama.) And thus storms ensued along with what for us was nearly two days without power, and initial forecasts from DTE that it could be several days before everyone was back up and running at full capactiy.  Ironically, only a mile away, my sister-in-law was spared from the darkness, so we went there … but not without my Muse’s sitters for me in tow.  Excited to be with his cousins twice in nearly as many days, The napless Boy wanted no part of bedtime, and did everything in his power to avoid it. (The Fates, by the way, like to share their fun, and did so with a greater portion of the area.)

Our power was restored (along with the phone and Internet), but not without leaving us to have to reboot and renetwork everything and a two-day frenzy of making preparations for The Husband’s big event, planning orignally scheduled for the period of time when we were without power. (Oh joy, oh bliss! The Fates giggled as their dance became an all-out jig.) My darling sitters gave me enough energy to make it through New Year’s and the Husband’s big event … but decided next to prey on The Boy as a parting gift for me in anticpation of the Muse’s return from her hiatus. By Saturday night, The Boy had a fever. By this morning, he was too sick to resume daycare, an event I was anticipating eagerly so that I could return to my work and the beginning of our new schedule — one that I’d planned to get a handle on during the holidays and when The Husband was on “vacation.”

Each attempt to gain clarity and regain control became more elusive as the Fates insisted that at every turn, Mama was to be inter—

Hang on, I hear a fuss from upstairs. (It’s all good — The Husband’s on it.)

While interruptions happen, I’ve decided that the Muse left me in the hands of  her cousins, to create a grand finale of interruptions to mark the end of a very interesting 2008 and start of 2009 wherein Mama will weather the interruptions better and be more focused, creative and constructive in doing so.  So instead of the interrupted resolutions list started before we lost power, for 2009, I think I will sum up as having an overarching theme. One that is for a new sense of discipline — in spite of the interruptions that may come flying at me. The Twisted Sisters can go play with someone else for a while — and when they’re back for more fun and games, I’ll be ready for them.

© 2009 Erika-Marie S. Geiss

The Summer Cruise–A Strange Michigan Phenomenon July 26, 2008

Posted by emsgeiss in Humor & Satire, parenting & family.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
comments closed

I’m not from Michigan originally. In fact, I’m from Back East…Bahstohn…to be precise. So there are certain Michigan summer traditions that are just anathema to my understanding, things that even after five years of living here, I really still cannot wrap my brain around. Among them are the Summer Cruises. No, no…not that kind of cruise, where you actually board a boat and go somewhere. This is the kind of cruise that involves motor vehicles and occurs on dry land…after all, this is the Motor City. (more…)

Tweet, Tweet, Kerplurk! June 12, 2008

Posted by emsgeiss in Humor & Satire, networking, writing/editing/blogging.
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
comments closed

That’s not the sound of a baby bird falling out of its nest and into a puddle. That’s the sound of me joining Plurk, which I first learned about from one of Mack Collier’s Tweets that ended up leading me here. (Thank you @MackCollier, for what are always engaging and informative posts.) I’d been reading Mack’s tweets and blog posts about Plurk and interest was piqued, but I hadn’t popped over to check it out yet, although had bookmarked it to do so later. (more…)

Look Ma, No Clones! June 5, 2008

Posted by emsgeiss in Business Issues, Humor & Satire, networking, WAHM/WAHD Stuff, writing/editing/blogging.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
comments closed

Today, I can be in several places at once…and I didn’t even have to be cloned. Woo!

Can you tell I’m just a little punchy after being up very late because of the WAH Expo after-hours party? What happens when a bunch of work-at-home professionals kick back, let loose and enable the web cams? Crazy karaoke, that’s what. All I can say is: “Jazz Hands.”

Thankfully, though anything that I wrote prior to that is lucid, which you can view in the following places.

(I have been a busy, busy little bee.)

Join me at MediaPost.com in the Digital Editions group that I started. Let’s talk about digital magazines (a pet project and love of mine)…is print dead? I think not, but digital’s the wave of the future. Sign up and join in the discussion…you can be a digital edition professional or a reader…let’s talk!

Join me at MetroMode Media, where, for the next week, I am the featured Guest Blogger.

And, you can get a double dose of your Erika fix today at the THIRD & FINAL DAY of Business and Learning’s SPRING WAH Expo.

At 1 p.m. Eastern time, I’ll be speaking about theWAHMmagazine, the only content-driven digital magazine for work-at-home parents and at 9 p.m. Eastern time, as a featured speaker I’ll be speaking about how editors are important to the small business owner, especially the work-at-home professional. But, it’s not just about me…there are many amazing presentations throughout the day along with networking and fun. And speaking of networking don’t miss Jennifer Gniadecki‘s talk about Non-toxic Networking, at 8 p.m. eastern, tonight’s other featured speaker.

View schedule.

Enter conference room.


Copyright © 2008, Erika-Marie S. Geiss

A huge tranformation June 2, 2008

Posted by emsgeiss in Business Issues, Humor & Satire, Uncategorized, writing/editing/blogging.
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
comments closed

A series of unrelated events led to needing a new head shot. I needed one anyway, since the one that I was using was one of those done “on the fly” in the yard, with my husband playing the role of photographer. The giant maple tree that I sat under, while beautiful, cast way too much of a shadow on me. And several friends, who know me in real life have commented that I wasn’t smiling in my old head shot.

Then a few weeks ago, I was struck with a raging case of iritis. Iritis is an inflammation of the iris that causes extreme pain and light sensitivity. It is not fun by any stretch of the imagination. I had it once before, in the ’90s during my first semester of graduate school. Being an art historian, having a sudden and acute vision problem was alarming and scary. This time though, I knew what it was right away, but while not as scary, is still alarming, because as a writer, eyesight is pretty important. It’s all better now, but one of the side-effects, probably more from my age than from the iritis, is that I now have to wear my glasses more often. Far-sighted with an astigmatism, I formerly only needed them for reading and when my eyes got tired. Now, it’s most of the time that I need to wear them, even when my eyes aren’t tired. Why? It’s probably part occupational hazard, part the aging process, also clearly indicated by the new-found strands of silver hairs in my coif. (Somehow, they don’t show up in the photo.)

Follow that delicious development with post-partum hair loss. I knew it was bound to happen, but it’s still disarming to find clumps and clumps of hair coming off in your hands at every turn. So off it went…what was left of it anyway.

So bye-bye braids and hello sassy boy cut.

Before

After

Well, at the very least, the new head shot makes me look more like a literary professional and less like a hippie-mama, as my darling husband would quip. At least that’s what I’d like to think. And hey, I’m smiling this time.

Copyright © 2008 Erika-Marie S. Geiss

To sleep or not to sleep…or rather, when May 23, 2008

Posted by emsgeiss in Business Issues, Cyber Savvy Show, Green & Frunchy, Humor & Satire, networking, parenting & family, toddlers, WAHM/WAHD Stuff.
Tags: , , , , ,
comments closed

My mom and grandma used to marvel at how I was such an early riser as a baby. Apparently, even after my birth, which was late at night and when most sane people getting ready to turn in, I was up the next morning…at dawn.

Now, not so much. My late-teen and early adult years turned me into a bona fide night owl. Maybe it was the late nights studying. Maybe it was the late nights partying. I don’t know. Whatever it was, it definitely made a marked shift in my sleeping vs. waking patterns and preference. In fact, in many ways, it’s what’s made being a work-at-home professional with a kid (um, a WAHM that is), a bit easier. It’s quiet at night. And the chances for any interruptions in thought process or work flow are slim to none. (more…)

Holy E-mail, Batman April 13, 2008

Posted by emsgeiss in Business Issues, Humor & Satire.
Tags: , , , , , ,
comments closed

Like most people, I have way too many e-mail accounts. Seriously. It’s nuts. I even have e-mail accounts that I don’t use for various reasons and can’t even remember the login and password combos. It’s sick.

Here’s how bad it is: (more…)

What’s in a number? April 2, 2008

Posted by emsgeiss in Humor & Satire.
Tags: , , , ,
comments closed

We tend to imbue numbers with meanings…why, I have no idea. I’m not a numerologist. Most people however do have lucky and unlucky numbers and some of these number issues are cultural. The lucky number seven for example; the unlucky thirteen. For me, when I was playing varsity sports, my lucky number was three. My soccer coach never let anyone have the numbers one or ten (one, because soccer is a team sport and there is was “no number one” in his mind, and ten because that was Pele’s number, and he didn’t want any of us to get cocky thinking that we were Pele.) Yeah, I just dated myself.

Thirteen also has significance as being unlucky and some New York City buildings are reported to not even have a thirteenth floor, which is actually dumb, since you can’t go from twelve to fourteen without it. But, that’s what superstitions are…largely ridiculous.

The number six, when in a series of three (you can see my own superstition manifesting itself as you read this), is also one of those numbers. Yeah, I know what and who it represents and why, being a good little Catholic girl, seeing the number (and attached to something related to me) kind of makes me cringe. Of course, I also know that I only give it weight, by even worrying about it. And at the AW Water Cooler, I soon will hit that number of posts. And I’m wondering, what will happen when I do? Will the number be revealed beneath my avatar? Will my avatar sprout horns and a pitch fork? Will my post six-hundred-sixty-sixth post explode? Or will it be a non event and just another post? I’m figuring that it will be the latter, of course, because hell, it is just another number. (And 777 is only 111 posts away.)

Copyright © 2008 Erika-Marie S. Geiss

Argggggggh! March 24, 2008

Posted by emsgeiss in Business Issues, Humor & Satire, networking, WAHM/WAHD Stuff, writing/editing/blogging.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
comments closed

Okay. There. I’ve said it. And it felt good.

Wondering why the Charlie Brown-esque cry of distress and frustration?

It’s simple, really. I am amazed and frustrated by some of the mistakes that occur online. Seriously. It’s like a plague. I am online—a lot. (As if that isn’t obvious…I’ve got a blog or two or three.) My business is primarily online, my magazine is online. And of course, there are e-mail and social media and professional networking sites. The good thing about my little rant here, is that it allows me to plug two things, but not before I wax on about this recent musing that has been brewing in the corners of my mind for some time now. (more…)

Toddler Love March 20, 2008

Posted by emsgeiss in Humor & Satire, parenting & family, toddlers, WAHM/WAHD Stuff.
Tags: , , , , , , ,
comments closed

A soggy Cheerio (or a handful of them) offered to you. A partially eaten piece of steak (that you don’t realize was chewed until after it’s been shoved into your mouth). A big wet and sticky kiss. A sudden nuzzle out of the blue or a hug that leaves little hand prints as its aftermath.

Gross? Yes—to almost anyone except the parent of a toddler. (more…)