Sunday, January 29, 2012

A good feeling

I haven't had any investors calling about my business plan.  And, to be honest, I see why.  How long will my child like those magnets?  How would I keep this business going long term?  I began thinking about scrapping the whole project and starting up something a little different.

Dimes for Drool.

I could weigh my pillow before I go to bed, weigh it in the morning, find the difference and get paid a dime for every-- well, I figure I'll always drool in my sleep.  I could even get Paul to volunteer his pillow.

Then I realized how gross this is and decided to put some of my entrepreneurial aspirations on hold for a bit.  My daughter needs the extra time and attention anyway as tooth number four makes it's debut.  She's been pretty uncomfortable.

Through her discomfort she still manages to manifest more of her personality everyday.  Tonight, after I put her in her jammies, she picked up her snugly bear and walked into my bedroom to find her daddy.  She marched up to Paul, handed him bear, and reached up to him.  Soon, both emerged, Andrea on his hip, and Paul wrapped around her little finger.  She knows what she wants and is pretty good at communicating.

As I watched my husband read her a bedtime story and give her some bedtime milk, I was reminded how precious this time is.

Being a stay-at-home mom is the hardest thing I've ever done but the best too.  I love witnessing all of Andrea's highs and even lows.  Just this week I observed her giggle in the bathtub, smear bananas in her hair, point at a balloon (a.k.a baa), stir plastic lettuce in a bowl, "read" a book to herself, softly pat my head, poke her finger up her nose, chase after me, throw a cheerio fit, hit her face on a footstool and come running to mommy to wipe her tears, resist a diaper change, crawl on my lap for a snuggle, and give me hugs around my neck with kisses on my cheek.  I'm so grateful that she's mine, and I love her so much.

I know I'm exactly where I'm suppose to be.  That's a good feeling.

Monday, January 23, 2012

My business

I've never considered myself much of a business woman.  In fact, I'm probably an anti-business woman.  I'm so uncomfortable with selling product that I instead insult the product I'm trying push.  No, I've never actually worked a sales job, but I find my reaction to giving away food I've cooked quite illuminating.

Example:  Paul comes home from school and I greet him at the door wearing my apron, looking oh-so-domestic, and holding a silver platter of freshly baked cupcakes.  I say, "Welcome home darling husband! (I call him that all the time. . .)  Have a cupcake.  I made it so it's probably nasty.  Yeah, the batter was a little runny so I added some oat bran, and then I forgot the pinch of salt in the frosting, so I just sprinkled it on top-- which made it totally gross.  I had to scrape off the tainted part which is why these look so ugly. Enjoy!"  And he'll eat seven because that's what he does.

I can't even sell my own cooking, and that's only the beginning of my pitchman problems.  Despite my long list of business flaws, an idea came to me today that I could not sweep under the rug.

I was making soup for lunch.  Bean and pasta soup, if you must know.  I burnt the onions a little, added too much basil, and the noodles turned into cement on the bottom of the pan because I didn't stir often enough.  (Do you see?  Do you see what I'm talking about?  AHH!)  Whilst I cooked, my little child toddled and crawled below.  Once she became sufficiently bored with all there was to see in my vicinity, she ventured over to the garbage can and had to be relocated to the living room before she started plucking out the moldy contents.

On my way back to the kitchen I stopped in front of the fridge and stared down at the multitude of magnets scattered about the floor.  "If I had a dime for every time I picked these up in a day. . ." I mumbled under my breath.

And that was it.  My new business.  It was like lightning struck and brilliance was born.  I'm going to call it, "Dimes for Magnets."

Here's the master plan: I will count every time I pick up those magnets and get paid one dime per pick up.  Simple, clean, no coworker drama, perfect.  As my business grows I will purchase a second fridge and another set of magnets.  Perhaps I'll hire another little toddler (following child labor laws, of course!) to help Andrea with her work.  I can create a website dedicated to "Dimes for Magnets."

I'll find a ribbon color that's not being used and donate half of my proceeds to the Paying Off the Master's Program (POMP) Fund.

On the website there will be a link to live footage of my kitchen floor so you can be a part of the action.  I will have sponsors who will get a custom magnet, placed loving on my fridge(s), which will not only advertise their business to my live audience, but for every time their logo hits the floor I will donate $. 05 to POMP.  I got two words for you: tax deduction.

Once my company is worth a substantial amount I will go public and sell my shares for an incredibly lucrative amount.  I will then retire due to some astonishingly mysterious back problems.

Now I just need an initial investor to with a lot of dimes.  Any takers?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A major step

My little Andrea started walking this week.  For the last month or so she's been gearing up for it.  I could see it in her toes and the way she'd stand alone digging her heals firmly into the floor.  Occasionally, she would take one unassisted step if she was very close to another object she could hold on to.  Then on Sunday she just took off.  Standing at the fridge she decided she wanted be at the rocking chair so she took a step.  Then another and another and another.

Well, I lost it.


He ran into the room and she walked to him, panting and smiling.  We clapped and cheered.  I retrieved the camera and attempted to video the milestone.  But all of our exuberant attention and the excitement of seeing the camera proved too much for her and she dropped back to her hands and knees.

Everyday we are treated to more and more little steps, and with each step I feel as though I'm losing my baby and gaining a little girl.

Her first little hairdo.
But Andrea is not just becoming  any girl.  She is the ultimate girly girl.  This child puts everything on her wrists.  Hair bands, magic bullet rings, Christmas tree ornaments, you name it.  If it will fit over her hand she will wear it as a bracelet.  When I began to notice this, I was confused.  I don't wear bracelets-- where did she learn this?  Paul pointed out that my mom wears bracelets to church and if Andrea sits with her she gets to play with them.

Last week when I was changing the sheets in Andrea's crib I found four hair bands that she'd smuggled in at nap times.

Notice the hair band on her arm.
Hearing her little words is another reminder how quickly she's growing up.  Some of her favorite phrases are: good dog, hi daddy, hi chickens, what dat?, yeah, bottle, banana, tree, and mum.  She understands even more than she can say.  Today as I loaded the dishwasher I told her we had to add soap and she pointed to the soap dispenser on the dishwasher door.  I was so impressed; I didn't think she paid that much attention.  I went ahead and added the detergent and watched my tiny helper try to close the door.

Perhaps she's ready for some chores. ;)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

It's too late to be writing but. . .

I’m a mess.

I’ve been thinking about Illinois a lot lately-- mostly late at night when I should be sleeping.  In those late hours I muse over the possibility of visiting this summer.  I worry about the possibility of not.  I imagine the nightmare of Andrea on a plane and the three hour car ride from the airport.  When I close my eyes I’m transported to the winding freeways of St. Louis transitioning into the uncrowded country highways of Williamson County.  I breathe in and my lungs fill with the humid air and the hair on my arms reach for the midnight mists.  I can hear the insects, so many insects, clicking and chirping in the moist grass and little yellow fireflies twinkle like fallen stars.

I miss my family.  I miss my cousins, aunts, uncles, grandmothers and can’t wait to see their faces.  I want to play games, catch up, and eat far more than I should because that’s what we do when we get together.  I want to throw horseshoes and play softball and eat something off a grill.  Grilled food tastes better in Illinois.  I want to hear old family tales that I’ve heard a thousand times before, and I want to laugh because they are still funny.  I want to take pictures until my finger’s sore so I don’t forget anything.

Then I remember how much I’ve changed in the last four years—how my life has changed and I’m just scared. . .  scared that the magic is gone.

I still haven’t put away Christmas.  My stockings are still hung by the chimney looking pitiful and my tree is sitting in the corner sucking the sunshine out of the room like a black hole.  I plugged in the lights today for the first time since New Years because I knew Andrea would like it.  There was no sparkle though.  No cheery twinkle.  It’s strange that those decorations fill with life for a season.

When the season’s over, the magic just dies.  What if I go back, so eager to show my husband the magical place I called home long after I moved away only to be disenchanted and disappointed?

I’m a mess.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Something funny

My sister complained to me yesterday that nothing entertaining was happening on the blog-o-sphere.  I, in turn, promised that I'd post something entertaining.  However, nothing particularly exciting is happening in my life.  So I've decided to post some popular internet trends that are often deemed funny.

Random cat pictures with poor grammar.

 Demotivational poster for something everyday.

Demotivational poster making fun of Twilight.

A possibly offensive political comic.

Awkward family photos and/or pictures of ugly Christmas sweaters.

Admiral Ackbar.

 And a suuuuuuper uncomfortable screenshot.

Sorry, Janell!  It's all I got right now.