Wi-fi wonders

This post is for my Dad…
God himself knows how much we both love the country. I’m a country girl through and through… But one advantage that I can boast of “in the city” is rare lack of Internet and home wi-fi networking.

My Dad has continued issues and spotty service… He’s the true tech guy and has all the knowledge I lack… But for all the know how and equipment – if you have no wi-fi, you are sunk.

So D, here’s a smile… For whenever you get back to Internet land in a longer than two minute stretch! I thought of you today and had to laugh.

Love ya!


Eye contact – a smile – a double dog dare

Small things like, hello, eye contact, and a smile are become lost arts.  I’m both shocked  and appalled.  I want to spout, “What’s this world coming to?”  It’s like I’ve gone from hip and cool, a younger generation in-crowd member to old-fart in the blink of an eye.

But the facts remain… these things are slipping away and I see it more and more every day (and I dont get out nearly as much as this implies) but it scares me enough to get out my Mom’s soapbox and stand on it again and again.

It’s back to school time, and we are in Day 3 of our first week.  It feels like WEEK three for all the stress it brings into our home.  I cant share the WHY’s of that stress… but I can share the challenges I have posed to my kids this week…  of which I have loved hearing the stories coming back home from it.  I am proud as a peacock of these 3.  It’s not easy to be a teen or heck, and adult these days.  So when your family faces some major things head on and get back  up and do another day… my heart is humbled and I pray they have the faith to reach their goals and take baby steps up onto the big bold ones this week.

My house has not been overly loved by all in it for how backwards we are.  We don’t do TV during the school week except for the news in the morning (because the kids have morning sessions that discuss the morning news going on in the world) and we haven’t yet given our kids cell phones of their own yet.  I am very much out of favor about that one.  But before you find me an old meanie… it’s simply because I want my kids to learn how to be a human and have social interactions in a real world before handing them something that will suck their brains into it and stunt their growth without the firm base of knowledge.  Don’t worry – my daughter already knows her 14th birthday will bring her the “right” to own one.  Those rights will have provisions and stipulations.   Ah – the real world will come to live here even with virtual world a push button away.

Here’s what I mean…

I am given the finger at least once during a short visit with most members of ANY generation younger than mine. “The finger” – yes, that even has changed.  It used to mean flipping someone the birdie, a NOT nice gesture of the middle finger.  Now it’s the index, or pointing finger, held up in your general direction – as if the person whom time is being  actually SPENT with is a child in need of shushing or pausing their conversation.  Then, the finger holder will place said finger on a cell phone and begin texting away… and this is repeated over and over and over during the course of REAL conversation during a REALTIME face-to-face interaction or meeting.  There is precious little eye contact during said conversation in the real world, as they are looking for incoming texts and then share knowing smiles in the direction of their phones that will never be seen by those it’s aimed at.

Out in the “real world” however, the same finger pointers will have trouble making eye contact longer than a few seconds.  It’s like they don’t know what to do with themselves.  They don’t smile automatically when someone comes by and says Hi, either.  It’s something that needs to be taught over and over working in the food, and retail industries.  Often the results are awkward and forced.  The smile is aimed at the floor, not a person, and they say hi to the floor.  It’s because it’s not from the heart and it truly isn’t real.

Now that you’ve heard my rant – here’s how it applies to my household…

My back-to-school mantra this year was simple.  I had three challenges for each kid, depending on where they naturally were on the scale…  I have introverts and extroverts  mingling as siblings.  The same three ideas were the same however… and they were this:

1. If someone says Hi or smiles at you, smile back.  (you don’t even have to say anything.  Just a tiny small smile AIMED in their direction will be enough.)

2. Make eye contact.  If someone is talking to you, force your eyes to look at them and hold the conversation’s attention.  (nod along with it as the conversation lends itself – if you want to be super awesome!)

3. Smile at someone else.  Maybe try someone you cant find words to talk to, who no one has said hi to, someone who NEEDS a smile aimed their direction.

#4(Extra Credit)  Smile and say Hi BOTH at the same time.  Choose someone no one is talking to and needs a smile today.

I am not sure how all this ended up being second nature to me, and why I tend to be one of those people who can walk into a grocery store, knowing no one, and end up having a conversation and having smiled at 40 others while in there and had wordless conversations the whole time.  My head is always up, aware.  I see a hurting world though.  So many have heads bent in speeding through their list, in avoidance, in pain, in isolation, and just to shut out contact and interaction.

I wonder what the world would be like if we all took the challenge I set to my kids this week?  What if we all took the time to just make eye contact?  What if we took it one step further, and said Hi?  What if we all wanted extra credit and we did both and aimed it at someone who really needed to hear it today?

Double dog dare you…  😀

PS – Meet Kori and Doogie, two rescue pooches adopted from the local shelter … and they are my “double dog dare” duo 🙂

What everyone else is doing

What am I, ten??  I stand in the isle at the local super store and feel like I’ve failed.  I haven’t managed to give my kids the world in back-to-school obsessive overload.  Everywhere you turn, there’s a new this or that which is far better than the one you had ( or upon seeing new item) no longer want.  I feel like I should be giving in to the massive wants and desires to redo every nook and crany…  and non of it will make them do their homework faster or better.  Not after week one and the newness wears off the “cool” idea that would make it all work so much better.

I look at the back to school isles crowded with carts loaded to the top, and frantic parents and over tired kids.  I am shocked to see myself reflected back in their mirroring images.  When did I buy into all that?  I just want nice things for my kids, but excess, no matter how well intended, is not only NOT helpful, it’s a drag.

I often feel like I’m not “enough” because I no longer can work at a job when the kids go off to school.  Not the way I used to.  I still freelance, but my workspace is my desk in the living room.  No one makes me show up on the bad days either.  I’m the boss of all that.  And it’s odd to say the least.

I realize I have the adult form of peer pressure.  Mom-Parental peer pressure.  Sometimes it’s hard to just accept that I am who i am and it’s okay to just be who that is.  I push myself to be what everyone else is being, doing, or giving.  But one look at my kids proves that whatever it is I’m doing – I’m honestly getting something right.

So for me – I work at home, when the kids are in school.  I am only available to clients or for work when the kids are gone.  If they’re home, I’m off that clock and on the Mom clock.  I don’t dress up in fancy clothes, or drive cool cars.  I wear comfy jeans, some so long loved they have rips in the knee and wear like a second set of jammies they’re so soft with a pair of grey laceless Converse equally worn.  I drive a practical mom van to fit my brood and I actually secretly LOVE it.  It’s comfortable, holds stuff in cool compartments to keep clutter at bay, and is my perfect shade of red.  Best of both worlds.

I am more okay with doing this when I stay safely away from the masses and from the magazines and the media.  Too much is totted today as the “only way” to be a REAL woman who’s making a difference in her world.  But today?  Today I declare it to be wrong.  I believe there are many ways to be a good woman, wife, mother, and to do it with strength, character, and honor.

So while I challenge myself to live my life – the way it NEEDS to be lived – based on WHO lives here and what they really need, and face up to the fact that I AM good enough…  I challenge YOU to do the same.  Ignore the world who says you are never enough and just get good at being you – and doing the things that matter with gusto.

What do you say?  Wanna try it?

Record time

None of my kids are babies anymore.  Bittersweetly sad but true.  So sitting in a waiting room with babies crying, little toddler bead-run toys, and tiny tables were no longer feeling comfortable.  Puberty had set in and this was soooo lame.

With that I somewhat wistfully requested our records and moved them into the family doctor that both my parents, my husband and I share.  We are now all together at Doc U’s and it is honestly easier to have one place to deal with.

I started out working at this Pediatric office, however, before I ever was a momma of kids.  I concede that working there was at least half responsible for creating my “baby fever” I had so badly when we were married just a year along.  I’ve know the doctors as friendly co-workers, not just my kid’s doctors.  It’s sorta sad to leave an era behind.

But that said – Doc U has known me as a patient since before I had kids as well… so I’m blessed with a wonderful family doctor who is truly that – one for my whole family, even my parents.

I showed up to take the three massive envelopes of files since birth for my kids over with me to transfer into their new records only to find one tiny envelope.  I looked at the lady with a tilt of the head and said, “are these just the shot records?”  She knew I was frustrated with not having ALL of them as requested.

She smiled and pulled out a tiny engraved USB drive.  I tried not to let my mouth hang open as obviously as I’m sure it did.  Yeah, duh…  it’s the next generation Christi.

But do you have any idea how many hours I spent at the copy machine making copies and filing originals in the transferred out shelving units… trying to find files and put families together into new filing systems and do it all by hand.   Now it’s all digital and on a tiny thumb drive.  This means they can download the records and do whatever they do with them… and I can keep this and have my kid’s records since the day they were born.  I’m in awe.

Now that medical records seem particularly important to me in my personal health – it’s kinda nice to have my kids and be able to know when a sniffle was, and when major illnesses had hit.  I dont remember much, but it’s all documented for three kids how they’ve grown, where they are on the growth chart, and all at my fingertips.  Moreover, I now have a way to have their complete records should we have need to travel or an emergency while out of town.  It’s all there on a tiny thumb drive.

So what is the point to all this rambling?  Just the surprise and awe of how far we’ve come and happy to have reached the day where we are all together in one place with a doctor we trust. One where they’ve even worked with us through sticky insurance issues, no insurance at all, and now back to a good plan.  It’s a blessing these days to have a trustworthy doctor for your family – and have peace of mind when it comes to my family’s health.  🙂

I take none of it for granted.  It’s a huge blessing.