Theme Thursday: Where’s the Genie in My Bottle?

Theme ThursdayTheme Thursday.  It’s better than a litter of kittens, a box of wine, and McDonald’s french fries all put together!  Each week a theme is chosen via a very scientific method-most likely Jenn from Something Clever 2.0 pulling a piece of paper out of a hat.  Then we all get to work and come back with what we want to write about it.  No rules.  Ok, a few rules, but not TOO many for you rebels out there, because we like rebels.  This week’s theme is wishes. 

Does that sound like fun?  Why yes, it is.

When we were kids we always said that if we found a genie in a bottle we’d do the whole wishing thing the right way.  We’d wish for a million wishes instead of the three wishes that people always seemed to screw up in the stories we read!

And me with my problems with indecision, would definitely need more then three wishes!

IMG_2046

One of my husband’s coworkers brought this back from Italy. He went there because he is 100% born and raised Italian. I thought this was cool, it looks like something a genie would live in, does it not?

Needless to say, when I found out that this week’s theme was wishes, I was ready to jump right on that bandwagon.  I could use a few wishes.  Even more importantly, I could use a good genie!  Therefore, before the wishes, we must address the question:  What would my genie look like????

The Aladdin genie, while very funny, doesn’t really do it for me.  Jeannie from I Dream of Jeannie?  No thanks.  Kazaam?  Think I’ll pass. How about an Iron Genie?  Think about it…

Make me some coffee!

Make my wishes come true!

If I really did find a genie, I would have to make sure to ask the genie if the genie bra was really that magical…  And then I would make sure that instead of three wishes, that I would be granted infinite wishes.  It would be like having my very own fairy godparents, except BETTER (because you saw my genie, right?)

So what would I use my infinite wishes on?  Oh boy… so many possibilities.

Very first and foremost, I would wish for financial security for my family for the rest of our lives.  Not rich beyond our wildest dreams, just enough so that we wouldn’t have to (barely) live paycheck to paycheck.  This worrying constantly about whether we will have enough each pay period is for the birds.

I’d wish for some of those shirtless superheroes to come hang out at my house.  I can look, I just can’t touch, right?  And they would do all the things I need done, like clean my gutters and fix my appliances.

That's really, really nice.  Now fix my dishwasher.

That’s really, really nice. Now fix my dishwasher.

I would wish for success.  I’m not talking rich and famous success.  I mean being successful at something.  Like my writing to garner a bit more readership.  Perhaps get a book published… Or to just be able to go back to school without going bankrupt would be nice.  I know, I’ll keep dreaming…

A new laptop, with infinite memory, lightning fast internet browsing, and don’t forget the port to plug right into my brain, just like my friend Starr at The Insomniac’s Dream blogged about awhile back when we were doing “Useful Inventions” as our theme.  Oh yes, and no overheating issues, so I could actually be online for more than a little bit at a time!

I would wish for transporter technology so that we could go visit our friends and family in an instant.  Think about it-you’re getting married in Florida?  No big deal, I’ll just beam right down there.  Then I could meet Menopausal Mother for a drink in her backyard! Aw heck, I could do that every weekend!

Meno Mom backyard

Can’t you picture me having a pina colada here?

I’d wish for a better brain.  One that works regularly and doesn’t have holes in it like mine does.  Or maybe I just need to wish for some plugs for the holes!

I would wish for more empathy in the world.  And common sense.  Gosh, wouldn’t that be lovely?

How about a faucet that distributes a little bit of vino? Of course you’d think that if my genie came out of a wine bottle that would be a no-brainer…

I would wish for more talent in the kitchen.  Right now I can’t get an ounce of inventiveness (outside of what Amy at Funny is Family dishes up for her super duper Crockpot Thursdays there’s very little to add to my repertoire these days.)

cat cora

How I feel in the kitchen on a good day…

Bork bork bork!

What’s more realistic.  Bork bork bork!

I would wish for a cure, or at least a better understanding of autism.

Of course I’d wish for Calorie free desserts that taste like the real thing…

And a good night’s sleep, or two, or ten.  Heck it’s infinite wishes, right?

Most importantly, I’d wish for happiness for my children, for them to be able to attain their hopes and dreams, and eventual success.

Now dammit, it’s in my head and I have to play it…

Thought this looked like fun?  Want to participate in a future Theme Thursday?  The theme is listed for the following week in each week’s Theme Thursday post.  See what we’ve got going on, write to your little heart’s content, then come back and link er up.  In the meantime, please read some of this week’s posts to get some inspiration, because we are always inspiring, at least 92% of the time…

No I meant without the suits.  I mean they'd be wearing clothes.  I mean, oh never mind...

Oh boys, fighting over me are we?  This could happen, except they’d be without the suits. I mean they’d be wearing clothes. I mean, oh never mind…

The Getting To Know The Blogger Challenge: Goals

I’m participating in The Getting to Know The Blogger Challenge hosted by A Little Unhinged.  I took a day off for Thanksgiving, but now today I am talking about my goals.

9)  What are your goals?

Oh look, this is me. How fitting!

A while back, a friend of mine was going through a very tough time in her life.  When addressing what was going on, she simply said this:  “I want to get back to enjoying my life, not just simply existing in it.”  How very well said.  This is something that I put in the back of my mind as I have been on my journey.  As we continue to try to build our lives back after years of school and unemployment, I’m hoping I’ll get there eventually.

I think that sometimes we need to make our own sunbeams.

My goal is to find something that I can feel good about and be successful at.  For now I’m pursuing writing and blogging.  I hope that maybe the road will lead to something that I can do for a living.  I would love to help support my family again, but maybe in a way that I find fulfilling.  Maybe someday it will be possible for me to go back to school, but for now I’m not so sure it’s in the cards for me.

I want to raise my kids to see that people who work hard and stick to it can achieve anything.  My husband has proved that this is true, but I’m still struggling with that concept.  I want them to find their niche in life that I can’t seem to find for myself.  I just want them to be happy, feel safe, and secure.  Isn’t that what we all want for our kids?

Previous Blogger Challenge Posts-This Could Be Fun:  I’m Doing The 15 Day Getting To Know The Blogger Challenge, Where I Grew Up, Favorite Childhood Memories, School, Work, Life, Friends, Family

Reality: Coming to Terms With That Sucky Dark Side of Life

The reality of it hit me today.  My son was going on and on and on about the different things he wanted to do when he grew up.  I nodded and gave a little feedback.  He was so excited about everything he was talking about.  And I was there still listening but the inner voice was pretty loud.  How can I encourage my children to be everything they want to be when I don’t believe in myself?

My son is a little odd.  Ok, he’s a lot odd.  He has a lot going on.  The Toddler years were rough.  Preschool started out rough but ended beautifully-he was in a situation where everything just clicked.  Then there was kindergarten.  It was hell, both for him and for me.  It was just like other children were not real to him.  Yes he would sometimes try to relate to them, but a lot of the time he was in trouble for hitting a friend or pushing a friend.  Sometimes it was an accident.  My son is ADD, and he flails his body around a lot.  But other times he said that the other child was “bothering” him.  Supposedly the child was just trying to talk to him.  He simply wanted nothing to do with the rules, would yell at the teacher, roll on the floor, be very disruptive.  It was awful.  He spend a good amount of time in the office that year in trouble.  I’m sure it didn’t help that I was working right across the hall in the other kindergarten room.  I witnessed a lot.  And I am not one of those parents who thinks their child can do no wrong.  There are many instances when he is at fault.

First grade has gone well.  At the end of his kindergarten year they put together an IEP for him.  He had different times of the day where he would meet with his special ed teacher to go over his schedule, etc.  His teacher was very no nonsense and just seemed to get him.  We’ve gotten all the way through first grade and we are now into summer.  I’m worried about 2nd grade because unlike first grade I don’t really know any of the teachers.  Summer has been rough.  I tried to put together a schedule for him every day.  So far it’s not gone very well.  We end up deviating from the original schedule on the refrigerator at lot and he can’t handle it.  He is so quick to anger when things don’t go his way!

The word Asperger’s came up frequently when we were trying to pin down what was going on with my son.  Very intelligent, curious, he speaks very formally, like a miniature adult.  He has great difficulty relating to other children who are around his age.  When other children are at the park playing, he’d rather find an adult and talk to them about some sports thing he had been reading.  Playing outside never happens for very long because he tires of it quickly.  At least we have convinced him to bring his books out.  At least he’ll be out instead of in.

He just doesn’t play.  Some of his little quirks remind me of me, but there is so much that is so different.  I played as a youngster.  MY mother says that I never really was bored because I would use my imagination and basically make things up.  Oh to be young again.  I just don’t see that in my son.  Even when he is given a character to pretend with, he has to find out what the story is and that exact story is what needs to be acted out.  He doesn’t like pretend all that much-he much prefers scientific and nonfiction stuff.

Today I approached him with the idea of having a notebook to turn into a “field guide”-he could write down all of his scientific hypotheses and theories as well as draw some of the critters outside.  He seemed to like that idea.  My husband I have talked about how the only way we are going to get this boy outdoors without the sprinkler being on is somehow making it science.

I am a mean mom.  I make my children go out.  We have a nice big fenced in back yard with a swing set and a tire swing.  We have bikes, riding tools, balls, tennis rackets, a batting tee.  You name it we have it.  BUt they don’t want to play.  I don’t turn the TV on and I have my reasons.  Get outside and experience nature!  Use your imagination!

I remember being around my son’s age and running around the yard in my swimsuit and my towel tied around me like a toga.  We were playing Gods and Goddesses.  Clash of the TItans was REALLY big that year!  And these were things we just thought up and did.  There were no rules.  We made it up as we went along.  We didn’t always GET along, but it was fun!

I don’t see my kids doing much of that.  My 4 year old does ok with some things.  She has parties for her ponies and takes care of the different characters in her room.  But she’s 4.  MY 7 year old really just needs to get out with a couple of boys his age and pretend and run around.  Somehow I don’t see that happening!

So here when he should be playing, my son comes and sits with me on the park bench while his sister is still running around on the climber.  He’s asking me all kinds of questions and then starts in about how he wants to be a firefighter, a professional football player, and a racecar driver when he grows up.,  I want to be supportive.  I also want to throw in the whole “You’ll still need to go to college” Schtick.  But I hesitated.  My kids have had the university here shoved down their throat since their dad went there.  And graduated.  And got a good job.  Now he has to pay the loans back.  Ouch.

Me?  I went to college and I think I’ve made it pretty clear how that’s worked out for me.  I went to school so that I didn’t have to have a job with a nametag.  Yet I just left a job that I had to wear a nametag for.  Sigh…

WHile I am sure that there is something out there that we are all meant to do, right now I think my thing is not there.  When they arranged the whole finding your way thing they didn’t put the answer for me.  Or something.  There are days when I feel like I need a shirt that says “I went to ____ college, and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.  And debt,”

Today I was told (in an email of course) that no, there will be no more data entry after this week.  That I will officially be starting over in the unemployment department,  Saddening, and maddening.  Really-I think it’s the whole thing where a guy tells a girl he’ll call and doesn’t.  I’m sorry they were sad I would be leaving, but don’t tell me there’s a job possibility there!  The job where I could continue to do data entry from my home possibly 30 to 40 hours per week it sounded very promising.  It doesn’t exist.  It’s not there and not much I can do about it.

So I’m back in the job hunt.  I have very two cute things to take into consideration too.  My husband has been trying to put together some sort of budget for us now that we have a lot we have to pay out in loans.  Now he says that I HAVE to find something-we had discussed the possibility of me just staying home.  I thought we had agreed that full time wasn’t going to be something I was going to explore.  But the reality of it is that the areas I have looked in the past I would be working to basically pay the childcare that I have to arrange for my kids.  Doesn’t seem quite right.

And I’m not going to work at McDonalds.  There was a summer where I was trying to work just something for the summer so I could have flexibility with it when I had to go back to work at the school in the preschool.  That summer I applied for lots of jobs-Kum and Go, Caseys. Holubs, Lowes, etc. Noone called me or even tried to interview me.  Overqualified.

The thinking here is that I went to college so I wouldn’t have to have a job that I wear a nametag.  Yet I just left a job that I had to wear a nametag (because, I”m assuming, someone might try to be a Red Cross Imposter.  HA HA)

I’m skimming the jobs online after finishing my data entry-some interesting jobs out there.  Some are ones that I could do with no problem but pay nothing.  Some that are interesting but I don’t have the right qualifications for.  I just don’t even know where to start.  I owe it to myself to not go to work at McDonalds. After all I DID go to school. I DO have a bachelor’s degree.

None of this really registers with my husband.  He has been through several job losses with me, on each side, and he doesn’t really know what to do when I get so down on myself.  He feels a job is a job, and I get the impression that he feels that if I don’t find one quick there’s something wrong with me.  We are running headfirst into a money problem with his and my student loans eating up so much of our budget.  What do we do?  He’s set.  He has a fabulous job that he drives far away to every day.  He gets to go to a local gym for free-I just about cried when he told me that.  I just had to give up my membership and my body is paying the price.  I’m not jealous.  I just wish I could get some stuff to get going in the right direction for me.

But if you don’t know what you want to do it makes it difficult.  And SOMEONE has to be here for my kids.  I’m ok with working, but I can’t be in a town an hour away 8-5 every day. I passed on a job with the disorganization doing their scheduling.  Pretty sure you don’t even have to have a degree to do that job.  But too far away.  Am I selling myself short?

I feel like I have no skills to offer.  That makes it hard to present yourself to a potential employer.

Aren’t there still jobs out there that want you to have a 4 year degree but don’t really care what it’s in?  I wish the schools would do that with preschool.  I know that I WANT to teach preschool. I did it for many years at several different centers.  I was very good at it.  But having to go through the trainings to present that paper that says I am fit to teach those kids is pricey and ridiculous since childcare centers pay so low.  Going back to school for an early childhood degree probably isn’t the best idea.  More loans.  More student teaching.

I’ve finally managed to break away from the child care aspect and here I am not even sure what I want to do.  So I look at jobs and analyze them and then try to decide if I’m worthy of even applying for them.  And how am I going to work it if I get an interview?  Is someone going to watch my kids?

Now that I know that I am officially done I guess there are things for me to do.  1) Get unemployment called. Doubt I qualify, but might be able to get something.  2)  Call the student loan people.  Sorry, if I am not employed I don;t have $$ coming in!  3)  And this is the hard one-Call Iowa State, then go in and talk to somebody.  I can conceivably still go this fall if I can just figure it out.

Everyone deserves a chance to feel successful at something.  I don’t ask for much, I just want to be able to do something that makes me happy and brings in enough money to survive.  My lifestyle is not extravagant, and I shouldn’t be made to feel bad if I want to keep shopping for clothes at Goodwill .  I love my children, and I don’t want to be some career woman that never sees them, but I DO need to figure out what my next move is here.  A job, no job, school, a home business.  I don’t know.  Any suggestions are always welcome.