Thursday, March 29, 2012

What's Up

      We're going to visit my family in MI next week, so I figured I should probably try to get at least one post up before we go!  Here is some recent randomness:

-      Remember that cruise ship a while ago where everyone on board got horribly ill and it was a big debacle?  Well Punky has that virus.  And no one can seem to figure out how the eff she got it, esp since the rest of us are totally fine.  Poor kid.

-      Night weaning of Flintstone seems pretty much complete.  He sleeps all night until 5 am (though he should be sleeping till 7, right now I'll take 5).  Once in a while he'll wake up and whine, but just a little cuddling puts him back out.  His vocabulary continues to grow in leaps and bounds.  Banana and "eewwwww" are the cutest things he says. 

-      Potty training is successful but slow since it really only happens on the weekends.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we can make a little more progress in MI.

-      My surgery is looming.  Not excited.

-      I can already see very clear changes from the Compassion Endeavor.  I find that the way I think about people and situations is changing.  That I have many fewer gut reactions.  That there are people in my life I thought were toxic that maybe aren't and people I didn't realize are just big gossips.  I have two friends/aquaintences who are Navy wives.  My old college roommate's SigO is a SeaBee, and another is in MacGyver's old career path (MacGyver was in the Navy a million years ago).  I've always known that they're pretty gossipy, and I've always tried to keep my distance from military spouse drama, but now I'm thinking I need to take a couple more steps back from it.

-      Recently the azaleas were all in bloom.  It was unbelievably beautiful.  There are azaleas EVERYWHERE where we live now.  Every yard has them.  Our yards are completely surrounded by them, and we have them as dividers within the yard.  I have pictures.  They're not uploaded...

-      The weather is also beautiful.  So perfect.  MacGyver and I have been extra enjoying our runs - though we haven't been able to run together this week because of Punky's illness and my mad insane schedule.

-      I have so very, very much to say, and no motivation at all to say it.  This could be a better post. I have such good ideas right now.  But this is all you get.  Not even any obligatory pictures.  BUT there are some new pictures up on my facebook page (Colleen Timothy)!

-      I hope you are all having as beautiful a week as I am, and a much less stressful one!  See you when we get back from MI!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Don't Send Flowers

      One of my closest friends, Scathing Lawyer (SL), has always been amazing at remembering all the birthdays in our group of friends and making sure flowers get sent and cards get signed.  She was also responsible for sending the most beautiful bouquet when my beloved dog died shortly after MacGyver and I got married.  Since then, we have all scattered to the wind, but SL still sends flowers.  So when her birthday came around last year,  READ MORE>>

MacGyver's Battle with the Green Monster

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Scotts® for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

     Today, MacGyver and I were discussing our fanasies for our next abode.  Most of the conversation revolved around living in a completely Eco-Friendly house surrounded by forrests and gardens and all sorts of interesting and possibly wierd features for a Sustainable life.  There was on thing, though, completely outside that theme, that he was emphatic about.

      The lawn.

      Where we live now, the soil and the blazing hot sun combine to create an environment all but completly inhospitable to grass and it drives my dear husband nuts.  Every year he plants grass, and every year it dies.  He refuses to give up, and he cannot be dissuaded from purchasing all manner of tools and devices to try to blanket our yard with soft green grass.

       I won't be at all surprised if I come home one day to find the Scotts® Snap® Spreader System hiding out in my back yard.  You see, this thing is right up MacGyver's ally.  It's a tool that attempts to think of everything: The bag snaps right into the spreader, no pouring, lifting, or mixing necessary; and it even has an edge guard to keep the seeds from going where you don't want them (because heaven knows that's where they would really take hold for us, ha!).

      If you're interested in this system, you should really check out the Snap perks on Facebook and the System Testimonial program for a lot of perks, promotions, and contests.Advertisement

       Once MacGyver attacks our "yard" again, I'll let you know how it turns out.  For now, I'm off to research the business and environmental practices of the grass-seed production industry.  Because heaven knows I'm not a fan of the practice of watering the yard (hence the dead grass...).

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Night Weaning

      I decided to night wean Flintstone when he hit 18 months.  While I love nursing him and see nothing wrong with night nursing well past 18 months, this seems like the right time for us.  Flintstone has woken up to nurse at midnight and 4am every night like clockwork for the last year or more.  Before that, it was even more often, and before he was born, I had to get up at least twice a night to pee from the 4th month of pregnancy on.  So I haven't slept more than 4 hours at a stretch in over 2 years.

     The whole process was less painful than I thought.  We did two nights a couple weeks ago, but he got a cold, so I waited a week or so for him to feel better.  Even though he wasn't very sick, I didn't want to aggrevate whatever bug he was fighting with the stress of weaning.  Plus, I wanted to cuddle my  bug back to health.  After about a week, we tried again.  The first night he was pretty fretful, but never for more than a few minutes at a time.  Every night from then on was less and less an issue.

      It's been about a week, and last night when I laid down with him, he whined just a little, but quieted down really quickly for his story, then laid calmly for a few minutes and promptly fell asleep.  Then he didn't wake up again until after 5 this morning!  I'm so happy for my little man.  I think he'll sleep better, too once he really gets the hang of this new arrangement.

      For anyone who's interested, here are a few more details on the progression of our sleep/nursing arrangement from the beginning:

      For the first few nights after he was born, Flintstone slept in a crib pushed up against and basically level with our bed.  We slept straight through the night not long after he was born, but only one time.  Usually, he wanted to eat every two hours.  And it didn't take me long to figure out how much easier it was if he just slept in the bed with us.  I did a bunch of research and determined this arragement to be not only safe, but very beneficial to both of us, and from that point on, Flinstone slept in the bed with us and nursed on and off throughout the night.

      Once we established a bedtime routine (dinner, maybe bath, change clothes, brush teeth, three stories), I would nurse Flintstone to sleep, then put him down in his crib next to the bed where he would sleep until midnight.  On his first waking, I would bring him into bed with us.

      As he started getting bigger, though, he started to become a bit of a wild sleeper.  His favorite position was "H is for Hell:"

      To be more specific, he would usually start out doing "Snow Angels," and gradually make the progression to "H is for Hell,"  all the while with his face close, if not connected to, my chest, and his feet seeking MacGyver out.  And Flintstone 'kneeds' his feet in his sleep - just like me.  My feet are rarely ever still, even when I'm sleeping, I rub them together, or I rub them against anything they come in contact with - like MacGyver's feet or a pillow shoved down there to keep my feet away from MacGyver's feet ;-).  Unfortunately for MacGyver, the kneeding feet are quite a bit more distracting when they are jammed into your chest, belly, neck, or face.

      Flintstone was also a fan of "The Stalker."  Which I always thought was SUPER cute, because he would break into the biggest grin the second you opened your eyes.

      Anyway, even in our massive king sized bed, somehow we always ended up in "H is for Hell," with Flintstone's feet treating MacGyver like wayward bread dough.  Actually, we discovered that when we were out and about, or on a trip or something, MacGyver could easily help put Flintstone to sleep by holding onto his feet, or letting Flintstone put his feet up against MacGyver.  It was kind of cute.  And kind of wierd since it only worked with MacGvyer.

       But the feet wars oovernight got old fast, and we decided to move Flintstone to a mattress on the floor in our room when he was round a year old (I think - I honestly don't remember what age it was).  I would lay with him, nurse him to sleep in his bed, then go about my night.  I would go to bed with MacGyver, and when Flintstone woke up, I would go lay with him and nurse him back to sleep.  About 50% of the time, I'd fall asleep too and spend most of the night, or the whole rest of the night, in Flintstone's bed.

      The night weaning is the beginning of a slow process to move Flintstone into his own room.  First, we'll complete the weaning, as we have been.  The bedtime routine has only been modified a little in that now, after he's changed into his pajamas, I nurse him fully before brushing his teeth and laying down with him to read a story.  He doesn't get to nurse during the story anymore.  I still lay with him until he falls asleep though.  And throughout the night, if he wakes up, I go lay with him and cuddle him until he falls asleep. 

      Once he's fully night weaned and sleeping through the night without waking up; I'll slowly transition away from laying with him to sitting with him.  Once he's fully accustomed to that, we'll start doing the routine in his room.

       I realize I've made it sound like MacGyver has nothing to do with this, but we've made all these plans together, and at least one night a week, MacGvyer executes the bedtime routine, always starting with a bath because Flintstone loves to take a bath with MacGyver.

      And that, folks, is our current baby sleep plan.

       Did you read yet about what happened with my coffee this morning?  Check out my last post if you missed it.

Does This Coffee Make Me Look Tired?

      After my last post, I told myself I was going to stop posting about how busy I am.  I imagine no one actually cares how many clients I've seen this week or how many case files I've failed to closed.  Well guess what?  It's my blog and I'll do what I want.

      The fever pitch at which I've been working with the other attorney out of town all week may be starting to take it's toll.  Every afternoon, every single appointment slot I've had open has been booked solid.  And I've taken walk-ins.  I've been seeing so many clients that both my clerk and my paralegal apologize to me every time they walk in my office with a new file (which is several times a day).  This is, of course, playful apologizing in response to my wry and flippant comments about how much the other attorney is going to owe me when he gets back, but still.  I'm working even faster and more effectively than I usually do, and still I'm just keeping up (which isn't really adequate when you start out behind).

      I have some cases screaming for my attention that I just can't get to.  I will -sooner or later, I will - but I really do care about all my clients and I don't like the idea of any file sitting around untouched for any period of time, even if it's only a week.

      And I'm still battling a cold.  I've been very, very successful in this battle with herbal remedies, lots of tea, and running in the sun with MacGyver.  Yes, if I'm not flat-on-my-back sick and the weather is nice, I feel like running can really help beat a cold down.  Not super-strenuous running, but still faster than a jog.

      Needless to say, I wouldn't normally be super productive on a week like this, so I've been relying much more heavily than I usually do on caffiene.  On a normal week, I'll drink one cup of green tea in the morning, and drink second infusion* or herbal teas (or combine the second infusion with herbal teas) the rest of the day.  If I'm dragging after lunch, I might add a little more green tea, or - very rarely - treat myself to a can of Pepsi Throwback (with sugar NOT HFCS).

      This week, I've been drinking coffee in the mornings, green tea when I get to work, and more green tea on top of my second infusion in the afternoon.  It's kept me functioning really well, but I suspect it's making my sleep a little less restful.  And last night I lost an hour or more to housework because I spent most of the evening out at a planning meeting for the Pagan group while MacGyver attended a meditation at the local Buddhist Sangha.

       This morning, I got up at the usual time, made myself a cup of coffee, and sat down to read more of The Island of Dr. Moreau from the H.G. Wells anthology MacGvyer got me for Yule.  I read a few sentences and felt my mind wandering.  Then I felt a hot sensation across my lap and a thump.  I had fallen asleep sitting there holding my coffee, and subsequently dumped the entire cup - every last drop - in my lap.  I think that cup of coffee woke me up more effectively than any of the others this week!

       So maybe I'm pushing myself a little hard.  Which is why I'm treating myself to a little blogging break before I head out for court this morning.  Of course, this break will be short lived, because I'm still booked solid today and tomorrow (and I "don't take appointments" on Fridays, except the 4 I currently have scheduled).

      Still, for as whiny as this post probably sounds, I am in a very good mood.  This is a good kind of busy.  I'm getting stuff done and helping people.  Things are really picking up with the Pagan group and the Buddhist group.  MacGyver and I are both very involved in the community.  There are other positives in the works that I'm not going to mention until I'm sure they will be happening.  Things are good.  Wonderful, actually.

       Hope you are all having relaxing, or at least positive, weeks.

*Second infusion is when you re-steep the same tea leaves again.  With good quality green tea, 85% of the caffiene comes out in the first 45 seconds of steeping, but you can still get a couple more good cups of tea after the first cup.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Framed Words

Jumping in again with Impulsive Addict and Seriously Shawn For Talk To Us Tuesday because it has NO RULES!  And that's about the only thing I can committ to these days.


     Man, oh man, what a week!  And it's only Tuesday!  The other lawyer is out of the office for the whole week, and I was already behind at the beginning of the week, so things have been crazy to say the least.  And I'm drowning myself in teas and herbal remedies trying to fight off this sneaky little cold since being sick just isn't an option this week.  Yesterday I tried to run it out of myself, which seemed to help so we'll see.

      MacGyver's been super busy, too.  Contemplating a new career and juggling a million balls in the air.  I have no idea how that man does it.  He's also working on and heading up committees for the church left and right, and battling the insurance company, and performing routine vehicle maintnance because heaven knows I'm not about to do it.  He lead the most beautiful Ostara ritual on Sunday.  I can't wait to upload the pictures, if our friend who took them ever sends them to me.

      And even in the midst of all the swirling chaos of our lives, it's still important for us to find time for each other, to remind each other that we're still in this together and that we're still completely in love.  I've mentioned before that we have a journal that we've passed back and forth to record our feelings to each other since way back when we were in a long distance relationship.  Well, needless to say, neither of us has a whole lot of time for epic romance sonnets these days.  So we also have this:
      It's just a sheet of (recycled) notebook paper in a cheap frame.  We keep it in our master bathroom and use it to write little love notes back and forth to each other nearly every day.  You can also fancy it up with scrapbook paper, but I went the tree saving root with a little less dye.  You can also just write on the mirror in dry erase marker, but I always feel guilty erasing MacGyver's beautiful words when I need to do my hair.

      What little gestures to you share with your loved ones?

     Finally, on a totally unrelated note:

Happy Ostara/Equinox!
Won't you balance some eggs with us?

Friday, March 16, 2012

Making Every Bouquet Better

      When did the simple act of sending flowers become a huge moral conflict?

      About the same time buying chocolate did ;-)

      Personally, I think there are a heck of a lot of things you can easily send to people that are a lot better than flowers and have a better impact on the environment and the recipient.  If you haven't READ MORE>>

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Weekend, Weekend, Weekend, Fight!

**OK, so it's no longer Tuesday.  I started writing this post yesterday, but then my stupid computer crashed.  Erg.  Just pretend it's still Tuesday.  Heaven knows I could use the extra day...


      Look at all the blogging I'm doing this week!  I know it looks like a lot, but it's an illusion.  Half of it has been done on my phone, and the rest of it is barely entertaining ;-)  Today, though I'm jumping in again with  Impulsive Addict and Seriously Shawn For Talk To Us Tuesday because it has NO RULES!  And that's about the only thing I can committ to these days.

      Back when I thought I was really busy but still managed to find time to blog just about every day, I really enjoyed recounting all the fun we had on the weekends.  I like to have a record of the good times our family has and the activities we do.  For instance, I thought I had written a post about how we went geocaching a few weeks ago, but now it looks like I didn't.  That's a little sad because it was a really fun weekend.

      I don't even remember what we did the morning before we went geo-caching, but I do remember that it was just an all around great day.  Our area has a lot of geo-caches (think gps guided outdoor treasure hunt).  That day, we went to a local state part that we love and chased down one cache, spent some time on the beach, then went after another.

This child LOVES nature and being outdoors more than anything.

Mama, what are these?!?

No, I will not put them down.  They are my new friends.  I am keeping them.

Punky and Flintstone exploring.  Is this not one of the most gorgeous parks you've ever seen?  The whole place is amazing.

Since we did this on Super Bowl Sunday, the beach was absolutely deserted.

My kids refuse to smile in pictures with me.  It's because I'm an aweful troll of a mom who tries to make them stand still for 10 seconds for a picture.

This sad excuse for a picture is the only one I have of finding the geo-cache, which Punky is pointing at.
       We love geo-cacheing.  It is a great way to be out in nature, explore, and get some low-key exercise.  We haven't been out again since that weekend, but that's because all our weekends since have been filled with all sorts of other fun!

      A couple weeks ago, we put in a third garden.  We have our first, small garden near our patio (of which I don't believe I have any pictures).  That one didn't get enough light for most things, but grows some beautiful herbs and is also home to some stubborn brussels sprouts which refuse to grow properly.  The second garden is our big garden out in our side yard near the road.  Any pictures from past posts that mention the garden would be of that garden.  Right now, it looks very baren with just little seedlings here and there.  In the spirit of that, MacGyver took one string of solar LED christmas lights and threw them haphazardly over the branches of the palm tree in the middle of the garden.  So now it looks super redneck, which is rather fitting for us.

       The third garden takes up a large corner of our backyard and is devoted mainly to greens: spinach, kale, collards, broccoli, and a couple other things I can't remember now.  We also planted some seedlings that grew out of the squash seeds on the top of our compost heap along the fence.

Digging like Daddy

Look!  I can shovel, too!

      While MacGyver was busy digging, mixing, and mounding, and while Punky was running back and forth between her swing and the neighbors', Flintstone and I started some seeds:

This is my kind of housework, Mama

      This last weekend was no exception to the joy and fun of previous weekends.  Friday night, we volunteered overnight for Family Promise, a volunteer organization that helps homeless families acheive sustainable independance.  We stayed with two families, including two little boys Punky's age and one Flintstone's age, so there was much playing going on!  Some people think of working with the homeless as a sad experience, but I don't see it that way.

       Part of that is because Family Promise isn't just a place for homeless individuals to sleep and get some food; it provides further services to actually get them on their feet.  While I am completely in support of any kind of homeless shelter, there are some of them that can be shrouded in a feeling of hopelessness.  Family Promise shelters - in my experience - do not have that problem.  Which is why we're comfortable taking the kids there.

      I love any opportunity to get my kids involved in volunteering and service, and this was an excellent opportunity.  The parents in the program were wonderful company, and after fulfilling the responsibilities of volunteers, we spent a pleasent evening chatting about all sorts of things while the kids played.

      Another thing I enjoyed was that there was no awkwardness.  I have been in volunteering situations with people who were facing rough times when I either didn't want to admit that I was a lawyer because people assume that means I am wealthy or where I did say I was a lawyer and the individuals I was working with started treating me differently.  Nothing like that happened Friday night.  We were all just people.  It was lovely, and we're looking forward to volunteering again some time.

      We kicked off Saturday with a trip to the Farmer's Market followed by a lovely day at home.  Flintstone and I cleaned the kitchen while MacGyver built a new bench with shoe storage cubbies for our entryway.  Thank heavens, because our entryway had become a center of disorganization and random odds and ends clutter in our house.  It looks a lot nicer now.  And the clutter has relocated across the room to the next nearest flat surface ;-)

      We went to a couple of local nurseries and got some new plants for the garden.  We perfer to start them from seeds but MacGyver we only have so much time for seeding and transplanting.  One day.  One day our whole garden will be from our own seeds (and kitchen scraps!).

      Saturday night, we went to our favorite little local coffee house for some Fair Trade soy lattees and a walk along the waterfront at dusk.  The weather was perfect; the water was gorgeous; it was just beautiful.  We played with the kids on the playground for a good 45 minutes: laughing and running around, climbing, and sliding.  We had a blast.  We wondered back toward the coffee house and took a short break to roll around on the grass under the stars since night had fallen by this point.  Eventually, we made it back to the car and headed home.  Flinstone was out in about 4 seconds.

      At home, we watched an episode of Numb3rs, our new favorite show on Netflix.  I actually have a whole post about the show, but it went off on a wild tangent and needs to be edited...  You know, so it's nice and consice like this post...

      After we tucked Punky in, we cracked open a bottle of wine and spent a little quality time together.  We did NOT take the time change into account.

      Sunday morning, I spent my usual hour playing alone with Flintstone while everyone else was asleep.  Well, half the time I was playing with him.  The other half he was entertaining himself, and I was reading The Other Boleyn Girl, which started out a little slow, but I'm very much enjoying now.

      The church service was wonderful as always, and afterward we had some discussions about the upcoming Ostara ritual.  (Is it that time already?!?!).  The rest of the day was grocery shopping, gardening, chilling, cooking, and eating.

      And then we were back to the grind.

       Thus ends a very long and thrilling weekend recap for Cheap Wine and Cookies Land.  But since I'm eating up my time with a super long post anyway, there are a couple other things I want to mention:

       I kicked @$$ in groundfighting yesterday.  About 2 weeks ago a new Marine Corps Martial Arts Progrpam (MCMAP) class started up that I am actually able to attend since it's not at a ridiculous time.  I love MCMAP, and don't get to do it nearly as often as I'd like.  I really want to finish up my black belt before I get out of the Marine Corps, but I don't know if that will be possible.  Right now I'm working on my Green belt, which I want to get by the beginning of May.  After that, I'll have to take a break for my surgery.  After the Green belt is Brown and then Black.  It's a LOT of hours to try to fit in in the next year or so, but it makes me really happy.

       Yesterday was the first day we've done groundfighting in this class.  I was pitted against another female who was a little shorter but also a little stockier than I am.  She was definitely favored to win.  I'm not surprised.  I am not a person who would ever jump to fight, and in practice, I tend to worry way too much about accidentally hurting my partner.  And I'm small.  I'm 5'5" tall and 116lbs.  But I am desceptively strong, very flexible, and I don't like to lose.

       I had my opponant's face on the mat from the start and for pretty much the whole thing.  AND it was an amazing workout.  I love groundfighting.

       That said, I'm not getting too cocky, because everyone else in the class is a lot bigger than me, so future opponants will be a lot more challenging.

      Last night we had a meeting for one of the Committees from our church at our house.  For as busy as we are, MacGyver and I can't seem to avoid getting sucked into more and more activities with the church!  The Pagan group, the Buddhist group, the Young Adults group, and now MacGyver has joined the Communications Committee which governs all things technological, networking, and related to communications.  It is a fairly new committee since our little church is undergoing a massive growth surge.  Websites need to be designed, with all the widgets and gadgets necessary to keep a congregations of social and environmental justice-minded activist individuals aware of what's going on.

       I'm not on that committee.  It's MacGyver's thing and I DO NOT have time (I keep insistantly telling myself).  So I was doing dishes, cooking, and doing laundry, wandering around the house while they were meeting.  While cooking, I was listening to MacGvyer talk about social justice issues and community organization, referencing actions of the UUA (the nationwide head of UUism), and I had to smile.

        When we first met, MacGyver and I butted heads a little bit about religion.  While MacGyver no longer practiced, he had been raised Catholic and was stuck in an internal conflict between his unsteady Christian beliefs and his issues with some of the practices of the Catholic church.  He wasn't thrilled about my Paganism because he had aparently known some "wiccans" when he was younger who left a bad taste in his mouth about the whole thing; and UUism didn't even sound like a religion to him because it lacked the rules and dogma to which he was accustomed.

      Well, now, 8 years after having first met, we've both changed a lot.  We are too extreme personalities pulling each other to the center.  He teaches me to question, and I teach him to trust.  And last night, listening to him speak, a fervent voice of Unitarian Universalism, I had to smile at how far we've come together.

      Maybe one of these days I'll do a post on the consept of shared intelligence...

I call this "Off to the Ministry of Magic."
We're still potty training at a completely un-rushed rate.  Whenever possible, which is often only on the weekends, Flintstone runs around diaper free.  And while he rarely actually uses the potty (for it's intended purpose, at least), it has been a long time since we've had any puddles on the floor.  Progress.  And now when he needs his diaper changed, in addition to signing "change," he also points at his diaper and insists, "Pee-pee!" 
Truely my child:  We had a huge thunderstorm, and I couldn't pull him away from watching the rain in the garden.  I had to serve him his veggie pancakes and tea in front of the open slider.  And, yes, we give him tea.  Mostly nettle and camomile, occasionally with just a touch of green tea.  He loves it.  And he asks for tea by name.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Compassionate Life: Step 2: Look at Your Own Family

      Step 2 was the February step.  It's now March.  I didn't write anything on step 2 in February, not because I wasn't doing it, not because I wasn't thinking about it and living it and looking at my own world every day, but because of this part.  The Family part.  I really didn't know what to put here.

       My quest to become more compassionate in some areas of my family life READ MORE>>

Compassionate Life: Step 2: Look at Your Own World

      To me, this step is about looking forward and out at all the potential good that could be done with Compassion.  It is also about looking at the world, and my world, with Compassion.

      There are many subjects upon which I naturally look with Compassion:  animals, babies, downtrodden individuals - you know, the easy ones.  I was going to say my friends and family, but READ MORE>>

Kitchen Scraps in High Demand

      Between recycling and composting, we have drastically reduced the amount of waste we produce as a family.  We've also increased the number of waste containers we have in our kitchen.  First it was just regular recycling, special plastics, a compost bucket on the counter, and our regular trash can.  Then we started READ MORE>>

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Things are Always Shifting

       There is so much going on.  So much to say and so much to ramble about.  So many blog posts waiting to be written, and so very many more waiting to be read.

      Alas, I am in fear for this little blog of mine.  Things in my life are changing, shifting, as they always do.  I still love this blog, and I'm not ready to give up on it yet, but I'm not sure it will ever be the same as it has been.  There are two major shifts that are threatening the longevity of Cheap Wine and Cookies right now:  my life and my personality.

       I mentioned some big news recently.  While it is not set in stone yet, it is looking like I am destined for a pretty big promotion here in a few months.  They want to make me the Military Justice Officer (usually called the MOJO).  This is one step above lead prosecutor (in civilian terms).  I will be in charge of all prosecutions for the entire Eastern Region.  I will be third in command here when I work, right after the Colonel and the Major.  And ohbytheway, it will be a new Colonel and a new Major, because the current ones are leaving.

      This is a big deal.  It's a big promotion (in responsibility, authority, and prestige - not in pay, ha).  Two years ago, I really, really wanted to be MOJO.  There are many who envy this position.

       Alas, the last month or so since I found out about this intended course of events, I have had a lot of internal struggle about it.  As you might be able to guess, this is an intense job.  Probably not the best job for someone who wants to focus on family more - which is where I find myself standing at this point in my life.

       This is long hours and the course of people's lives will be riding on me.  And, to be honest, I considered asking to be passed up, asking to stay where I am.  I'm happy being the head of my section, and I am good at what I do now.  I have advanced the way my office works and expanded the knowledge base we have here.  And that probably plays into why I will shortly be moving.  Because I didn't ask to be passed up - mostly because I don't think I have a choice at this point.  The big heads seem set on me filling that seat.  Heaven help us all.

       So if I've said I was busy before, it's only just begun.  If I haven't had time to blog lately, I'll be lucky if I have time to bathe come fall.

       I have struggled with this impending change, and I have accepted it. 

      I do not will my future.  I try not to wish or hope.  I strive to move forward, but I don't focus on the direction.  I have faith that if I live my life the  best way I know how, I will be brought to where I need to be. 

      I never wanted to be a lawyer, but coincidence, and blind corners, and fate brought me to Law School, and I loved it, and I love Law.  I never would have dreamed that I would end up with MacGyver, and yet, against all sorts of strange odds, I did, and I couldn't be happier.  We have grown together in ways I know I never would have grown with anyone else.  The Marine Corps brought us to this base that we had never even considered, and there have been opportunities here we never could have foreseen.  I am always pushing forward, but I leave the direction up to fate.

       So I accept that this is what I need to do, and it is a very, very good opportunity.  If I get out of the Marine Corps, this will be excellent experience to have under my belt in a very competitive civilian economy.  If I stay in the Marine Corps, this puts me on an excellent career track.  I will be in a position of enough authority that I should (if the Universe smiles on me and grants me superiours who do not micromanage) be able to juggle both a massive caseload and family responsibilities.

      But I don't know what will become of this poor little blog.  This blog I have loved so much and poured so much into.  This blog where I have made so very many friends and stored so many memories.  I don't want to see it go, but even now, I feel it slipping a little.  And it's not just because I'm busy.

       I also feel a lot less of a drive to post here lately.  I still think of things I want to post about all the time.  I still think of things I believe would make good posts or that I want to share, but there's just not as much push behind it.

       I think I've just been more internally focused lately.  It's like the need to put stuff out there has lessened.  Maybe I'm growing up.  Maybe I'm less narcissistic ;-)  Probably, I'm just too busy and focused elsewhere.

      Because even as I write that I'm thinking of two or three posts I really wish I had time to put up.  So I guess the drive is still there.  And the narcissism.  They're just being subjugated.

       And yes, I think there's a slight egotistical drive behind blogging.  Most blogging, at least.  But that's not meant and an indictment of bloggers.  I think humans are naturally approval seeking creatures.  So don't anyone get all upset thinking I just insulted you.

      So there you have it.  I don't know what the future holds for Cheap Wine and Cookies.  I want to believe I will get back to posting more regularly soon, but honestly I don't know how that would be.

      Don't give up on me yet, though.  Because, at the very least, I will always have the need to post obligatory random pictures!

I've probably already posted some of these, but I'm too lazy busy to check.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

"If I Die" Letters to My Kids

Is This Morbid or Something Every Mom Should Do?

       I currently have a featured post on CafeMom.  This morning I edited the final drafts of ten wills, which was a pretty persistant reminder to myself that I need to write my own will.  Like, now.  Because you really never know what is going to happen or when and as much as I plan to be the great-grandma with the best stories and the huge garden when I'm really old, I have to face the fact that I could just as easily be taken in a car accident on the way home.

       So the need for a will is clear (heaven knows I harp on it enough with my clients).  But I also know that I don't want my will to be all that I leave behind.  The thought of my children growing up without me is deeply painful, and I know that if I can't be there for them in person, I want to leave behind as much as I can to remind them that I love them more than anything, that I'm always here for them even if only in spirit, and that to always strive to be the wonderful people I know they are.

       My first thought this morning, one I had had many times in the past, was to write them each letters - something they could keep and hold, my words that they could always keep with them.  I would start with just general letters, just in case the worst were to happen right away, and then I would write more letters to be given to them on special future occasions like 13th, 16th, 21st and 25th birthdays, graduations from high school and college, prom, getting engaged, wedding day, birth of a first child, etc.

       So I posted on CafeMom looking for some ideas and input (as I often do when I'm too rushed to write a "real" post for this-here blog), and wouldn't you know it, I got TONS of input.  And I got featured.  Which probably isn't really anything at all to be proud of, and yet I am...

       Some of the answers, though, gave me even better ideas than my original idea.  One person suggested doing some video recordings because grown son, who had lost his father many years before, complained of not being able to remember his father's voice.

      Another post - many of them, actually - suggested keeping a journal* of letters to the children to be given to them either at some future age, or in the sad even of my passing.  Through the journal, you can pass on love and advice and also include memories - sort of like a baby book carried forward.

       Yet another suggestion was to do the letters for various birthdays, but plan to give them to the child whether or not you die (that was sort of a Duh! *forehead smack* moment for me ;-)).  A similar suggestion was to write letters on each of your childrens' birthdays.

      A final suggestion I would like to mention (because I want to do it!) is to record yourself reading a beloved story (hello The Lorax and Oh, The Places You'll Go!!), so that you can read to your kids, grandkids, and beyond, even when you're not there.

       That is just the beginning of the discussion, but it has given me SO many wonderful ideas!  I know what I'll be doing this weekend!  Creating journals for Punky and Flintstone, into which I will also be putting DVDs of messages I want them to have and maybe a story or two!

      Lastly, I encourage you, if you decide to join in, to purchase an ethically produced, environmentally friendly journal, like these ones I'm thinking of getting for Punky and Flintstone from The Animal Rescue Site Store:

      What would you say in this kind of letter?  I'm trying to strike a balance between the really heartfelt "I'm always with you, be a good person" stuff and a little bit of humor (like Tina Fey's Mother's Prayer).

      What do you think?  What would you write?  What occassions would you write letters for?  I'm also thinking about doing letters for my parents, brother, and best friends, though in all likelihood I'll never get around to it.

      *I don't know why I didn't think of this, either.  MacGyver and I have had a journal we've passed back and forth to write things to each other since we were just dating.  Though now I wish I would have gotten it from The Animal Rescue Site.


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