Tag Archives: working

Ramblings from a good terrible mom

I am the best bad parent. Because I admit it. I’m currently lounging outside my toddlers bedroom door after putting him down for bed, listening to my 4 year old play xbox downstairs while I’m up here mostly naked, poking around in my phone. What kind of mom would admit that? Me.

I just nursed Atticus until he was sleepy, then lay (lie? laid? layed?) him down. He whined a little, so I posted myself outside his bedroom to make sure he is ok with me not being there. Because I love him, and don’t want to make bedtime hard for him. Trent is downstairs but within clear hearing distance, playing a kid-friendly game (Disney Infinity) for a little bit before bedtime. He’s talking to the characters and also about me. I bet if someone walked in here it would look like I’m pretty lazy… and I sure am, but I’m also a pro at balancing pleasing my kids and giving myself a little post-work break.

I had a conversation with two currently-childless friends recently. They talked about not being sure about their desires to have kids, and I sympathized. I was there once. Then I had some, and I can’t imagine my life without them. I wouldn’t want it any other way. Surprisingly, they both told me I’ve influenced them positively in their consideration. I was baffled… I see myself as a hot mess. I’m always behind at work, I cry a lot, one of my kids is a nervous wreck like me, I spoil my kids, my house is a mess, I’m unhealthy, and I can’t keep up with housework or finances.

But I love my kids. And my friends pointed out to me that priorities are different and don’t make you a bad person, and that enjoying my kids and being myself makes me a good parent.

My house might be messy, but it’s filled with memories of good times, my lovable husband, kids and dogs, and the things we all enjoy together. I might have crap all over the place, but I’m too busy making memories with my kids to notice most of the time. I would love a clean house, but I would be really sorry if I missed a good photo opportunity of my kids because I took too long cleaning the background behind them first.

I might sit around lazily on my couch sometimes between work and bedtime, but I’d be a nutcase if I didn’t do it a little. For example, today after work I played with my kids in the children’s area at the library. Afterwards we went to Starbucks for some refreshments (for them too, I promise) and I surprised Trent by letting him pick out a new Disney Infinity character. When we got home I took care of some things, then put Atticus to bed, and am currently taking a quick break before heading down to interact with Trent. I feel guilty that I’m not always 100% present, but what parent is? My time with him in just a few minutes is going to be quality, like my nursing and cuddling time was with Atticus. I refuse to let me desire to have some alone time make me impatient or short with my kids. So I’ll help myself to both alone time and quality kid time.

I once read a blog post about two words the writer said they would never again say to their kids. “Hurry up.” It talked about how kids stop and enjoy the little things, and maybe we shouldn’t be in such a rush through our lives all the time; maybe we can take a cue from children. When I’m running late for work sometimes and trying to get the kids to daycare before I head in for a busy day, I’ve found myself telling Trent “hurry up, I don’t have all morning,” while urging him into his car seat. But I try to take a step back. He pokes along the stepping stones in the yard, pointing out interesting rocks or squatting to pick a a dandelion for me. Instead of hurrying him along I try to chill. It means I’m late to work (all the time, really a lot), but I love the little extra moments we have, and he’s teaching me to be more patient. Just the other day he picked a white, fluffy dandelion. I told him to make a wish and blow the feathery seeds away. He thought for a second and said “I wish I had one thousand mommies.” At first I was a little sad at the potential competition, and I asked him after the seeds had scattered if he wanted lots of different mommies. He said no, lots of me. It’s awesome to know how much he loves me, and hopefully it means I’m doing something right.

To know that I’ve made some people more strongly consider having kids is one of the most flattering things I’ve ever heard.

Now, excuse me, but I have some Disney Infinity to play with my son.

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Zucchini overload = awesome easy lunch

We need to grocery shop, bad… I’m running out of easy stuff to bring for lunch. But while looking over the garden last night I noticed a lone zucchini. Lunch for today was easy peasy… Zucchini pizza!

I brought my small stoneware bar pan from pampered chef, which I use all the time for everything… In fact I may as well buy another. I also brought a snack sized Baggie of shredded cheese, a small cup of spaghetti sauce, and of course a small-medium sized zuke.

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First I preheated the oven at work to 400 degrees. While it heated up I sliced the zucchini in half long-ways. Then, I spread the pizza sauce on and sprinkled on the cheese. Sometimes I add oregano, garlic, sliced tomato, basil, mushrooms, or pepperoni, but I was in a hurry and feeling kinda plain when I got my lunch ready last night.

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I let the zucchini pizzas bake for 20 minutes, until the cheese was bubbly and somewhat burnt on the pan.

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Then my website went down, I received a text from my husband that my child is puking, and our credit card machine stopped working. This is my job and my life. Technology hates me.

Luckily I have awesome coworkers and while I was tethered to my computer my pal Kate brought me my half on a plate, complete with plastic ware and a napkin. So nice. While I would have loved taking an actual lunch break, at least I got to enjoy the deliciousness.

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Innovative Technology in the Library

In the library and technology world David Lee King is a true mover and shaker (in fact Library Journal named him on of the Movers & Shakers in 2008). He is the Digital Services Director at the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library (one of my favorite libraries to keep up with) in Kansas. He knows what’s up when it comes to emerging trends in libraries, particularly when it comes to technology and the social web. I don’t frequent his blog as much as I intend to, but each time I do I pull something really cool from it.

Oh, and he’s nice to look at, too. *grin*

When I decided to redesign our website last year a lot of the ideas I had for it (some of which are yet to come) came from hearing him (and others) speak at the Internet Librarian conference in 2012. I’ve also tried other social web marketing ideas he’s written about on his blog or spoken about elsewhere. He’s definitely an idol of mine. I would love to be as successful at marketing my library and doing innovative things, but I’d also like to be better at speaking and invigorating others in the field.

Anyway, I read a post he wrote about a month ago about submitting a speaking proposal at the Internet Librarian 2014 conference and it just got me thinking about being successful in my job, encouraging and exciting others, and being more active. I was speaking there for a very few years, and even though I’m a totally shy and awkward introvert I have to admit I really enjoyed it. And… I think I was good at it. I think. I hope.

I feel like I used to be more innovative and on top of things in my field. I’ve always taken pride in being a jack of many technology-related trades. Web design, graphic design, social media, marketing, video editing, teaching… I like all of it, but it feels like I’m not as valuable anymore. I think I’m just overwhelmed with the responsibilities I picked up at the beginning of the year. And don’t get me wrong: I love my new position. I feel like I’m learning things every day, but I don’t feel like I have as much time to try new things and read up on what’s going on in the field. I have ideas and even things that *should* be getting done but I have a hard time keeping up. I would love to take David’s advice and just submit a proposal. But what would I do it on? I feel like I’m not on top of or even close to the trends anymore. I’m just hanging on to the technology-in-libraries life raft while the speed boat is jetting away ahead of me.

Anyway, I’m going to make a goal of investigating and implementing two new innovative technology things in my library over the course of the next five months. I will have been in this new position for 3/4 of a year, and I think that’s more than enough time to have gotten comfortable and regained my position as the driver of the aforementioned speed boat. I am, after all, the Innovative Technology Manager. It is time to better live up to that title.

Suffering is Optional

I finished a book today (that hardly ever happens anymore) and I really want to review it here, but I just can’t do it right now.

I’m having a hard time lately. I’m less than happy in some aspects of my life and my anxiety is through the roof. I’ve always had depression and anxiety and they both come and go. Actually, that’s a lie; they never completely go. They are present and they’re really present. Right now both seem to be really present.

I try to remind myself that my happiness is defined by me. A wise woman (I wonder if she’ll read this?) once told me that suffering is optional. I am not suffering. I have a lot to be happy about.

  • I have amazing kids. They are funny, charming, and inspiring people.
  • My entire family is caring and supportive. Kids, husband, parents, sister, grandparents, in-laws, extended family… all wonderful.
  • I have a job I love in which I receive the respect I deserve. It allows me to practice my current skills, build new ones, and work my creativity.
  • My coworkers are fun and quirky and I love working with all of them.
  • I own my own wonderful home and it keeps us all warm and happy and we have plenty of space.
  • My dogs are hilarious. They’re currently alternating chasing each other and resting on their beanbags.
  • I have several really close friends in all areas of my life that make me feel good about myself, my decisions, and even about my mistakes.
  • I’m not sick or unhealthy, and neither is anyone close to me.

Life is good. What more could I ask for? I just need to repeat that until it feels real.

Arts Gala, Technology, & the Maker Movement in Libraries

What an interesting weekend! The Arts Gala is officially over! What a successful event; there were so many wonderful artists and such a variety of art available. I purchased a new handmade mug (out of which I just drank a cup of tea, yum), a gift for my sister, a wooden kitchen tool for Nate, a handwoven mat to go under the Keurig I have at work, and a gorgeous polymer clay necklace pendant thing that matches the dress I bought for the event. It’s my reward for wearing the dress and for working so hard this week and weekend.

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I had a really interesting discussion with the artist that makes the wooden utensils. He talked about technology and how it seems to affect kids these days, and it morphed into how it also affects people his age, in their 50s and older. It used to be that kids spent more time outside, dreaming up things and entertaining themselves with their own creations. Now technology consumes kids and adults. I argue, though, that while it certainly can become consuming, kids are better at multitasking and can maintain a variety of interests.

This really gets me even more interested in the idea of implementing makerboxes in the library. Being able to integrate technology with other things (creating music, crafts, art, food, clothes, games, etc.) is vital right now, for kids and adults. For kids because, well, they’re our future, and technology is unarguably a part of the future. And for adults because they need to be able to get creative, learn new skills, and both fail and succeed at things, just like kids do. I would like our library to do several things with these makerboxes, but my thoughts are all too exciting and disjointed right now for them to be productive.

I want to create a few boxes with a handful of themed items within. Music, STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics), crafts/art.

I want to offer sporadic and unstructured library programs involving one makerbox at a time. For example, we set out the STEM makerbox and have a librarian start building a marble run or work on a Lego robotics kit. Kids, teens and even adults would see what’s happening and become interested and it would be an opportunity for them to try things out without having to stay for the duration of a program. Another idea is to set out a crafting makerbox with yarn, knitting needles, and a crochet hook. As people pass by they can contribute to an ongoing project that is set out for a week or so.

I love the idea of encouraging creativity and interaction that doesn’t have the boundaries of time or a set of expectations to go along with it. I can’t wait to get something started in my library. I think that, though it was stressful, having PLA and the Arts Gala back to back has really inspired me and renewed my passion for my job.

If only my office at work wasn’t a pigsty.

I had this fantastic idea…

…to start a blog. Actually, several of my friends had the fantastic idea and after tons of encouragement as well as the death of a website I’ve decided to take the plunge.

But dang, no one told me how hard it would be to choose a blog name.

First of all I am a Libra and thus am not equipped to make decisions. I couldn’t figure out what topic to focus on. After all, everything that I’m interested in is so thrilling that readers will want to hear everything I have to say about it. If I started out with a house and home blog (which I wouldn’t, because I don’t house and home) and then decided to start talking about the awesome book I’m reading or how difficult being a working mom can be or what I’m tackling today in Photoshop then I’d be straying from the topic too much, right? And hey, all-encompassing blogs aren’t a dime a dozen, right? I love writing. I love other things, too, and all equally. And I have a lot to say about everything and nothing, so this is my space to say a ton of that.

  • I’m a mother. I didn’t want to be one at one time, but I obtained an awesome child through marriage and decided to have two more awesome kids. My three boys are hilarious and beautiful and I love them.Me, Nicholas, Trent, and Atticus
  • I’m a wife to a dude that totally isn’t my typical type. I love him.

    Nate & Me

  • I’m a full-time working woman; a librarian and an IT manager. I recently finished a master’s degree just two months after delivering my youngest. What a doozy.
  • I love granola/hippy parenty mushy-gushy stuff, like babywearing, breastfeeding (yeah, ’til they’re 2 years old, too, isn’t that weird?), co-sleeping, not crying-it-out, giving birth and knowing what happens during labor, etc.IMG_2012
  • I love gardening and canning and preserving. I’m not good at any of it, but I love it.IMG_2016
  • I love reading (but do it slowly) and listening to bluegrass and Nine Inch Nails. IMG_2708
  • I love giving my opinion and telling it like it is but not if I can’t hide behind a keyboard.

So I guess you could say I’m a suburbanite. And you might also say this is my soapbox. Now step aside so I can get up on it.