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

Advertisements

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.
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
comments closed

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…)

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

Posted by emsgeiss in mommyfest, networking, parenting & family, writing/editing/blogging.
Tags: , , , , , ,
comments closed

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.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
comments closed

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

Rock On! It’s MommyFest 2008 May 12, 2008

Posted by emsgeiss in networking, parenting & family, WAHM/WAHD Stuff, writing/editing/blogging.
Tags: , , , , ,
comments closed

“The what?” You say. The fifth annual MommyFest online conference and blog party. I’m really psyched to be a part of it. It looks like it is  going to be a full week of talks, prizes, networking, making connections and a whole lot of blogging. Fingers are crossed that the boy, the man and the Internet cooperate with me.

So who are the boy, the man and the Internet? Well…the last one you already know if you’re reading this. If you don’t know … well, just ask Al Gore.

The boy, is my darling 27-month-old son, Michael, the aspiring writer. (Really, he is … he is going to follow in Mama’s footsteps. At least that’s the trajectory he seems to be on, and is my latest obsession.)  The man, is my darling husband, Doug, who is not an aspiring writer, but is an engineer and a public servant (we don’t use the other P-word, even though it does make me a political wife).

Who am I? I’m a work-at-home mom, like many of the MommyFest participants, a writer, blogger, editor and the publisher/and editor-in-chief of theWAHMmagazine. I”m originally from the Boston area, now transplanted in Michigan (hence the title of my blog, since Michigan is the state that’s shaped like a mitten). I actually started my home-based editing business as a part-time venture when I was in graduate school for art and architectural history, long before I was married or a parent. When my husband and I decided to start a family, it made sense to kick it up a notch and make it my primary job, since we always knew that at least one of us would be a work-at-home parent. Now, we’re a work-at-home family, me full-time, DH telecommuting part of the week from his full-time job. It’s a pretty nifty lifestyle.

I’m really looking forward to this week, spending more time with some of the moms I already know who are participating and getting to meet many others. Oh yeah, and theWAHMmagazine is also one of the sponsors and MommyFest participants get a special offer on a one-year subscription to the magazine.  Find out more at MommyFest! 😀

Rock on! It’s MommyFest 2008!

What this mother’s day means to me May 11, 2008

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

Oooh! Ahhhh! Another Mother’s Day meme. Today, the blogosphere’s probably chock full of them. But beyond being a mama, and celebrating my third Mother’s Day with my husband and son, this Mother’s Day also marks an important anniversary for me in my writing career.

A year ago, my Mother’s Day gift from my husband was a set of books. Not just any books, mind you … I got the Deluxe Edition of the 2007 edition of the Writer’s Market and Christina Katz’ Writer Mama, and a couple of other writing resources. Nothing that sparked or shone when the light hit it just right. Nothing to make other women wonder “if he got it a Jared.” But they were things that were more valuable and precious than any new piece of raw hunk of crystal or ore harvested from the earth and then transformed into something pretty. (Not that I don’t like jewelry … don’t get me wrong.) (more…)

Five things about this mom May 11, 2008

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

This week is MommyFest — a week-long virutal conference and blog party. It’s also MommyFest’s fifth birthday. One of the blog party activities is a mom meme, five things about me.

So, here goes… (more…)

Tonight’s Cyber Savvy Show 05.07.08 May 7, 2008

Posted by emsgeiss in Cyber Savvy Show, education, parenting & family, writing/editing/blogging.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
comments closed

This May, I am featuring a series of related topics on cyber bullying and e-venge on the Cyber Savvy Show with Erika-Marie S. Geiss at Passionate Internet Voices Talk Radio (PIVTR).

Tonight, I kick the series off with Sue Scheff, parenting advocate and founder of P.U.R.E. — Parents’ Universal Resource Experts.

Ms. Scheff will be talking about her experiences with cyber bullying and about her new book Wit’s End, a resource and guide for parents in the midst of handling troubled teenagers. Ms. Scheff has appeared on television and featured in articles including on: 20/20, ABC News i-Caught, CNN Headline News, NPR and BBC Talk Radio as well as in articles in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, USA Today, Forbes and many other periodicals.

I am honored to have her on tonight’s broadcast of the Cyber Savvy Show. To learn more about Ms. Scheff and her work before tonight’s show airs, please visit www.helpyourteens.com or to www.suescheff.com.

To purchase an early-release copy of Wit’s End (Health Communications, Inc.) online, visit www.witsendbook.com. (Wit’s End will be available in bookstores in June.)

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, Sue Scheff.

→After the show ←

please join us for and hour
of continued discussion with Sue Scheff
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

Another Black Eye for Detroit April 3, 2008

Posted by emsgeiss in education, parenting & family, politics, WAHM/WAHD Stuff.
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
comments closed

It’s been a whopper of a year for Detroit, and it’s only April. So far, aside from job cuts, strikes affecting the auto industry and the worst housing market, we’ve had three big national blows to contribute to the Motor City’s perception of being the nation’s Swamp of Suckiness. Perhaps since bad things come in threes, this will be it for a while, and Detroit can manage to get out of the quagmire…but only with a lot of help.

First, Fit Pregnancy listed Detroit as the worst city to have a baby/raise a child. Second, we have Mayor Kilpatrick to thank for the “Text Message Scandal.” (New York, we feel your pain.) And now, Tuesday’s report from America’s Promise showing Detroit to have the lowest high school graduation rate in urban public schools in the United States.

I’m sure people all over the country, who are aware of these events are wondering why people even live here. Okay, so I don’t actually live in Detroit, but what happens in Detroit does affect the rest of us in the Mitten. (Youppers might disagree, but then again, many call those of us in the Mitten “trolls” since we live “under the bridge.) But I digress. This recent news really has me steaming though. I can deal with Fit Pregnancy’s report–not everyone realizes that they have choices when it comes to where they give birth or how, and that’s an issue for another post. I can almost deal with the mayoral scandal, and will wait to see the developments unfold as they’re reported in every major paper in the state and on every network—including CNN. But as a parent with a child who will be going to school in the not too distant future, the statistics about our public schools are not only appalling, but scary and it doesn’t sit well with me one bit. (more…)

Girls, Make Up and Self Esteem—A Double-edged Sword March 22, 2008

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

Oh Yeah. It Starts Early

I belong to a few parenting groups—most of them directly relate to being a WAHM, others focus more on parenting specifically. Today, I saw a post at one of them about a young daughter’s self esteem. The question was about trouble with a five-year-old who only thinks she’s beautiful if she’s wearing make-up. Her mother has explained to the daughter that she is beautiful without make-up and that moms wear make-up because they have to in order to look beautiful. Oy. Every feminist fiber in my being wanted to scream at her, “What do you mean that moms wear makeup because we have to in order to look beautiful?” “Why are you buying into to cosmetic industry’s myths?” The post also made me wonder why this five year old was wearing make up to begin with even if it is “only lip gloss and eye shadow” as the distressed mother stated. Only eye shadow? Again, oy. (more…)