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Mama Interrupted January 6, 2009

Posted by emsgeiss in Humor & Satire, parenting & family.
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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.
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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…)

A child’s prayer June 18, 2008

Posted by emsgeiss in parenting & family, toddlers.
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Yesterday, when I turned on the Evening News with Brian Williams, they were covering scenes of the viewers who lined up for hours to view Tim Russert’s body as it lay in state.

Michael is a constant chatter box, and at 28 months, some of what he says is still completely unintelligible, remnants of echolaic babble combined with the utterances of a toddler whose tongue isn’t quite able to match what his brain thinks it’s creating.

Watching the coverage and half listening to Michael, I heard from his little mouth: “bablebablebable God, babblebablebablebable blah blah blah babble babble blah blah blah. Amen.”

Michael has only been to one wake in his conscious memory. The first he attended when he was still a babe-in-arms; the second was a few weeks ago when my husband’s uncle’s mother-in-law died. At that wake, before we left, he insisted that he had to go up to the casket, where he knelt and did what he saw all the grown-ups do: make the sign of the cross.

At the time, it was cute — the actions of a toddler who wanted to be involved, simply mimicking the adults around him.

Apparently however, sometime between the wake a few weeks ago and yesterday, when he witnessed the televised event, Michael made the connection between seeing a casket and spirituality, as he babbled his heart-felt prayer.

I don’t know what he said between uttering “God” and “Amen.” Only he and God know for sure. But that’s one prayer that I’m sure will get through.

Copyright © 2008, Erika-Marie S. Geiss

This is why I love working from home… May 30, 2008

Posted by emsgeiss in networking, parenting & family, toddlers, WAHM/WAHD Stuff, women's issues.
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Tishia Lee has tagged me for this meme, which was started yesterday by Kelly McCausey’s post at sparkplugging (formerly emoms at home). It’s funny, because I have been thinking about this lately, but it really gelled when Michael and I got to watch over a baby bird. Mine is a dual photo-essay meme with the text here and the photo essay over at theWAHMmagazine’s Editor’s blog.

But before I start, I will tag three others … so get ready ladies, you’re next: Michele Tune who writes the cyber highway, Amy Mullis, who I am sure will have a humorous spin to place on being a WAHM and Jenn Hollowell, working writer and superWAHM.

There are so many wonderful WAHMs out there, so many great blogs … but alas, I can only pick three (for this post anyway), but I am sure that these wonderful ladies will share and spread the love too! (more…)

Tonight’s Cyber Savvy Show 05.28.08 May 28, 2008

Posted by emsgeiss in Business Issues, parenting & family.
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It’s Wednesday, and you know what that means … another installment of the Cyber Savvy show with Erika Geiss on Passionate Internet Voices Talk Radio.

Continuing our theme for May on Cyber Bullying and e-venge, tonight’s guest is Michael Fertik, owner and creator of Reputation Defender. Mr. Fertik has helped hundreds of people find out what is being said about them online as well as help them create damage control (and take action when necessary) when it’s the most important.

Join us tonight at 8 p.m. Eastern time to listen to an original broadcast, that was recorded earlier due to both my and Mr. Fertik’s schedules. Hear Michael’s story, learn about Reputation Defender, who is using the ‘Net to get the scoop on you and how you can protect yourself, your family and especially your children. After all, with the Internet, today, we do have a permanent record.

Please join us at 8 p.m. Eastern time at the Cyber Savvy show to hear about this very important topic.

Listen “Live” at 8 p.m. (click)

If you miss the original broadcast, the podcast will be available about an hour after the show airs: here.

We hope that you’ll tune in to tonight’s Cyber Savvy Show, with guest, Michael Fertik.

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.
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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…)

Touching on a Memory May 21, 2008

Posted by emsgeiss in parenting & family, toddlers.
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As he often is, Michael was in our bedroom as I was getting dressed. Next on deck for getting dressed and clad only in his diaper, he was playing by the side of the bed, searching for something in the basket of toys that I keep there for him. With my back to him, I could still see him in the mirror. He found the bear that he wanted and started to climb onto the bed, but lost his footing and slipped back down. While he landed on his feet, he stumbled backwards and landed in the basket. It was terribly cute, but he did scrape his back on the basket handle and he was stuck in the basket. Still partially dressed myself, I ran over to scoop him out and climbed on the bed with him and checked his minor scrape. But something happened to both of us at that moment. (more…)

What I’ve learned since being a mom May 16, 2008

Posted by emsgeiss in mommyfest, networking, parenting & family, writing/editing/blogging.
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I’ve learned many things since becoming a mom, among them:

  • To always accept the soggy cheerios from a toddler’s outstretched hand…they are unprompted tokens of affection and appreciation.
  • To take long walks, and during them, stop and examine the ants on the sidewalk, chase a bird or two, and become mesmerized by the way leaves dance in a soft breeze.
  • That puddles are not a nuisance. Puddles are for jumping and splashing in. (There are always towels, dry clothes and hot chocolate afterwards.)
  • There is no greater joy than the sound of your child’s giggles, especially when accompanied by Papa’s guffaws.
  • Watching and listening to my husband read my son a bedtime story can melt my heart and make me fall in love with him again, no matter how ticked off I might have been earlier.
  • Mama milk is magic.
  • Mama kisses are magic.
  • Nothing can prepare you for the heartbreak of hearing or seeing your child in pain, especially when it’s a pain that you can’t make go away with magic kisses.
  • My heart is bigger than I could have ever imagined.
  • That my own mom was even more amazing that I ever realized, because now, I understand.

Tonight’s Cyber Savvy Show 05.14.08 May 14, 2008

Posted by emsgeiss in Cyber Savvy Show, education, parenting & family.
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It’s Wednesday, so that means it’s time for another installment of the Cyber Savvy show with Erika Geiss on Passionate Internet Voices Talk Radio.

Continuing our theme for May on Cyber Bullying and e-venge, tonight’s guest is Krysten Moore, Miss New Jersey Teen USA, 2007 and who works with the advocacy group Love Our Children USA to help end cyber bullying and other forms of electronic hazing and protect the lives of children, adolescents and families affected by electronic predators.

Join me tonight at 8 p.m. Eastern time to listen live to the broadcast, hear Krysten’s story, learn about her involvement with Love Our Children and how you can protect yourself, your family and especially your children from the Internet predators that they do know.

Please join us at 8 p.m. Eastern time at the Cyber Savvy show to hear about these very important topics.

Listen Live at 8 p.m. (click)

If you miss the live broadcast, the podcast is available about an hour after the show airs: here.

We hope that you’ll tune in to tonight’s Cyber Savvy Show, with guest, Krysten Moore.

→After the show ←

Feel free to continue the discussion
at the PIVTR forum.

You can access the forum three ways:

  • Logged-in forum members go here
  • Forum log-in (members who aren’t already logged in) here
    Then scroll down to the Cyber Savvy Show thread.
  • Register for the forum here
    (If you are not registered for the PIVTR forum already, and want to participate in the discussion, please register for the forum before the show ends at 8:30 p.m. Eastern time. Registration is free. After registering/validating your subscription, enter the forum, and scroll down to the Cyber Savvy Show thread.)

Copyright © 2008, Erika-Marie S. Geiss

The pen war May 13, 2008

Posted by emsgeiss in mommyfest, parenting & family, toddlers, writing/editing/blogging.
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I‘ve always had a great love for pens — all writing utensils, actually. Even from young, there was something about having a good pen that ranked among one of life’s important necessities. And while a perfectly sharpened, brand-new No. 2 pencil was a joy to write with, the pen was supreme. Make it a fountain pen and I was all a-tingle. Perhaps, it was a sign that I was destined to be a writer. Perhaps I was just a freak. Maybe both.

One can imagine then, the great pride I take in selecting my manual writing tools, even the mundane ones for daily writing tasks.

Both my husband and son are also quite enamored with my pens.

(more…)