Thursday, December 31, 2009

December 2009 Photos

Friday, December 4, 2009

Gift Ideas...

Ok, In case I don't get around to a real (linked) list, here's some of the gifty-type ideas that have crossed my mind lately... starting with stocking stuffers I'd love: Badger Balm, soda can saver tupperware thingys, iTunes credits... [insert more here with more thought, soon] ... And the things I wouldn't actually ask *for* but would love to have include the Sharp Portable Steam cleaner.

Monday, November 30, 2009

November 2009 Photos

Yay @ Personal Business Allowance!

I'm so psyched that Dell employees get 80hrs/yr for PBA! I no longer have to burn my vacation time for sick days, doctors appointments, parent/teacher conferences, etc. It's been YEARS since I had any type of sick leave benefit, this is great. Plus Dell's benefits are way better than Perot's anyway, more choices and less expensive. This is working out nicely so far. :)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

And so it begins...

Ouch. More Please.

Ok, so I facebook-friended a very senior client. I value his opinion, but receiving constructive criticism is not something I'm accustomed to or familiar with. He said "* You do need to work a bit on your Facebook posts. Many fall into the category “I am eating soup now,” which is hard for me to imagine others find very interesting. There is a fine line between keeping friends and colleagues up to date on important things in your life and internet assisted navel gazing.”

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sites I Really Visit

Lessons Learned is one concept I can easily translate from work to home. So, here's my fav sidebar content, which will now be saved w/a blog export. :)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Baby Emma Crew

Stumbled upon this story today, and it brought me to tears! I was so very happy to see that today's post reports Baby Emma awake, I hope she makes a full recovery, and that the offending daycare provider never lays hands on another child in his/her life! What a nightmare!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Dell Perot

I'm hoping to use the Dell/Perot acquisition as inspiration for other change.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

IH8 Football Season

I hate hearing JR explain to Phoebe that she ought to understand that Sundays are for football. and Mondays. and Thursdays. What bullshit! NOTHING is more important than Phoebe & Christopher - on ANY day of the week! Gr. :|

Thursday, July 16, 2009


I've been tinkering w/my blog (obviously) and set it to show only the last two posts. Every time the page has loaded since my last post, the irony strikes me of "a raise" followed immediately thereafter by a "shape up" notice. Hm. I am already realizing the benefits of why I needed to get my schedule and focus together - it feels way better to have full productive days than short distracted days.

I've also been tinkering w/Phoebe's blog, which is what led me to tinker w/rss feeds, which is what led to the extensive tinkering of both my smfuller and mypsgs blogs. Neat. Distracting. Not nearly as distracting though as facebook still is! My friends list is mostly MDIHS'ers, many of whom are still on the Island, or elsewhere in Maine. Their status notes make me miss home. Well, not all that rain, good lord.

I'm the unofficial code social coordinator - we end up having a pot luck lunch about once every two months - today we're having Taco's. I'm off to find some sort of teambuilding/icebreaker activity or game or something. :)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Shape Up or Ship Out

Okay... I should have known this was coming... I just got warned to either shape up or ship out. Shame on me. Time to implement some of the changes I've been stewing on for far too long, starting with getting my lazy ass to work in time for the morning huddle, being involved is the only way to be useful. Being frustrated with ones SELF is the worst. :(

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Good News - a Raise!

The good news is that Perot lifted its hold on merit pay increases. The cost-saving measure was effective for Perot Systems Corporate, but most Perot Systems Government Services contracts INCLUDE escalation clauses - so freezing our pay was actually hurting company revenue.

My 4.6% increase didn't at first seem all that great, until I put it in perspective - it's kinda like compound interest - 4.6% of my fresh-out-of-college salary wasn't much - but THIS 4.6% is just over $350/month (before taxes anyway) - that should make a noticeable difference (even after taxes).

Rather than normal bills, I'm hoping to redirect this raise to an online investment account. I still have to find and setup said investment account, but I'm determined to get investing. I'm already looking forward to the fun of tracking and managing - better get my horse in front of the cart. :)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Unfinished Conversations

I get so distracted when M&J are in town, I feel like we start more conversations than we finish, then I get distracted by the kids, or the garage. So, just wanted to finish some thoughts that came up while y'all were here.

On Circumcision. My conversation with you, Mom, leads me to believe that you have not done much research on the subject - which is fine since you are not likely to be deciding about many circumcisions in the near future, and are not even likely to be giving much advice on circumcision, probably. While the argument "a boy should look like his father" is a handy way to be okay with having one intact and one circumcised grandson, it really holds no real merit. My children certainly glimpse me nude, but we do not compare genetalia. I'd rather explain to my son why he is intact when he's old enough to ask, than cut parts of his baby privates off. Think about your own private parts - in and around are ALL very sensitive and full of nerves - right? So are theirs. The arguments used to support male circumcision are the same as those previously used to support female circumcision.

I understand of course the desire/need to respect Dianne's decision to circumcise AJ. I made CJ's circumcision in the exact same faulty manner that I believe Dianne made AJ's circumcision decision - by asking only a select few, none of whom had any experience with both Intact and Circumcised boys and men. CJ is intact due to luck, not good decision making. My research into how circumcision became "routine" was disturbing. I just want people to be more informed.

Ok, now I can't remember what other conversations I thought were unfinished. Either there were none, or I just put my brain into NOCIRC mode and can't think of what else I had in mind. Either way, more later.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

It's All His Fault!

I'm having a "can't cope" day, and JR's my target - it's all his fault! The stoopid Jeep needs a/c so I can drive my own damn car - his fault for buying the Jeep in the first place. My damn car needs a starter - his fault for not having fixed it yet. Our house is a friggin half-assed hodge-podge collegiate mess - his fault for being home all day and not executing my vision of organization and interior design. Our stuff is all broken and doesn't last - his fault for being a compulsive and not careful furniture rearranger who prefers force to finess. My house is not a home to me - his fault for tayloring the entire household to suit himself and the kids. We're always broke - his fault for refusing to even consider work. also his fault for impulsive spending. also his fault for not being willing to quit w/me (our biggest most frivilous expense). I'll add more "his fault"s as they come to me. I'm surprised I'm out already. :

And JR - for Cryin' Out Loud - Quit Your Bitchin'!! I am SO sick and tired of hearing you bitch about how tired you are and what a "Groundhog Day" you're having - it's 100% & TOTALLY YOUR CHOICE!! God knows I have pled and argued for a different arrangement. You know you are not well suited to stay home. You're driving yourself crazy. You're driving me crazy.

None of which changes the fact that I love you - so much. You always make me laugh. You're the best Dad I could have ever wanted for my children.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Birdy Family

There are a couple brave birdy families who have built nests on our front porch and in the honeysuckle at our garage back door. We watched the nests form (remarkably quickly), and soon enough there were eggs. The birdys flit away angrily every time we go in or out, but that's their problem, we were there first. JR loves having the birdy families around - and is currently furious with his kitty for killing one of the parents. We hear the other little birdy singing and calling for its partner, and it makes JR so sad that there's no answer. That's twice now I've seen JR uncharacteristically moved by birds - last year it was a momma duck and her trail of little quacklings, and now these little songbirds. He's softer and sweeter than he would like to admit.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Seriously Need a Break

I have been at this far too long to have never taken a break. I am starting to really resent all the demands on my time, even the perfectly legit ones. Somehow I'm no longer entitled to any "me" time, at all, none. My every waking moment is spent servicing and supporting my household. And it tears me up to feel that resentment towards the people I love most!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

First Layoffs

I've been feeling so fortunate, to be so confidently gainfully employed during such global economic uncertainty. Perot [Govt Services] just let go six associates - out of 3300 that's not bad (unless you happen to be one of the six). I've been feeling "the itch" - the professional restlessness I ususally experience after a few years at any job: time to move on. This "reduction in staff" announcement has been a little reminder that I don't have it so bad.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Circle Game

I absolutely LOVE that Phoebe's most favorite and most-requested lullaby is Joni Mitchell's Circle Game. I've been singing it to her for so long, that it doesn't sound right to my ear anymore when I hear Joni Mitchell's version! I changed it to be about a little girl when I started singing it for Phoebe, and now I sometimes can't get it right for Christopher, he gets a mixed girl/boy version. :)

But boy... the circle game is kicking my ASS lately. My daily grind is reasonably palatable, but it's still the daily grind. I need to train myself to be my own life coach, to be a better prioritizer, to be my own motivator, always trying to set a better example. I think my parents were better parents than their parents were, I want to be even better, and I want Phoebe to strive for even better! That's a tall order on all accounts.

Okay, off to try for a productive day at work. I'm fighting off a cold or something, and it's easier and more restful to go to work than it is to stay home w/JR & Christopher! What a nut job I married.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Gospel of Mary

I can't find it now, but yesterday I found a summary of the Gospel of Mary that enlightened me to the idea that there are tons of other historical gospel and/or gnostic writings that were not included in the Bible. For someone as comfortable as I am w/my own spiritual standing, I sure do spend a fair amount of time wondering about it... I'm not much interested in pursuing an advanced degree, but I'm toying with the idea of taking community college classes for the fun of it. I think I'd enjoy a woodworking class, some exploratory religious classes, maybe some psychology... that doesn't sound like a bad way to get some "me" time! :)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Mourning the End of an Era

Little Mister Christopher & I are on day three w/no boobs. While I am anxious to have my body to myself again, I do already miss spending that quiet intimate time with him. Plus there's nothing more convenient than whippin' out a boob - I hate having to make bottles, especially in the middle of the night.

Then I remind myself that our nursing had turned into a game for him - lets see how Mommy reacts when I bite this one! I wonder if it'll hurt when I smack the other one! Latch on. Let go. Latch on. Let go. So it wasn't really all that quiet intimacy I like to remember anymore anyway. :)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Superbowl Schmooperbowl!

JR has turned me against the NFL. I used to almost enjoy football, but because JR tells us to leave him alone while he watches, I now almost hate it. I feel similarly about NFL, F1, NHRA, & UFC. I "get" that television is fun, there's several shows I'd watch regularly if I had the free time. FAMILY > TV Dammit!

And to make matters worse, he finally agreed to speak to a counselor, which both his shrink and I have been encouraging since he started on the meds, 5yrs? ago. After just one session, whatever he said, she encouraged him to take MORE time for himself! Specifically 45mins-1hr, as if he doesn't get that! He gets that, easily. I wish there was a way for some objective observation that wouldn't be an invasion of our privacy.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wholly Unproductive

There are several factors impacting my ability to be productive at work. I'm not sure which is the most influential factor, so I'm gonna have to tackle them all simultaneously. The first and most obvious is facebook - holy cow what an addiction! I'm feeling very close to all my "friends" (many of whom I would not even have remembered if not for facebook, so how close could they really be, right?). If self-discipline doesn't prevail soon, I may request intervention - like maybe suggest the IT Dept block the site! But I'll try less drastic measures first, like maybe set aside ten minutes twice a day to facebook.

Another factor is my mgmt. I was brought on by the "prior administration" who was familiar with my strenghts, he knew how to utilize my talents, and did so without much regard to office politics. When I spoke w/the current CDR about my being more helpful to her, she kinda said professional development wasn't her bailywick and din't offer much guidance. The current civilian manager won't do much for fear of stepping on union toes. And my PSGS management is absolutely 100% clueless regarding my day-to-day work, if my customers don't complain and keep awarding task order extensions, then PSGS considers my performance "distinguished"!

Another, less approachable factor, is federal bureaucracy. I have long been frustrated that the Navy can safely oversee the construction of nuclear-powered vessels, but can't manage to track its own commitments. C'mon! Even if I was a govt civilian, I wouldn't be able to push the change that needs to happen in that organization, and I ESPECIALLY can't do it as a contractor!

Ok, more later, I'm off the walk the doggy, good night! XOXO :) SMF

President Obama

Well finally! I actually thought there'd be a woman in the White House before a black guy, but I couldn't be happier that it's the Obamas. I have yet to form much of a political opinion of him, this election has been, for me, more about race relations than anything else, and I'm tickled pink that we now have black President! I'm glad there's little girls running around the White House. I think Barack & Michelle are a fine marital example. Now we'll see how he does at the job... I'm hopeful.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

An Epiphany

I went to sleep hungry last night (ignoring my munchies), and struggled to get to sleep. As my mind wandered, I had an epiphany! I'm a damn Process Improvement professional - and I need to apply my work skills to my personal life! I know how to optimize things, my life should not run as haphazardly as it does. I'll start w/a bona fide "Executive Planning Session" (EPS), from which other efforts will follow, like probably a real 5yr/10yr Plan, with goals and objectives, and hopefully even household process improvements, like schedules and rules and such, that can help our day-to-day goings on. Define. Measure. Analyze. Improve. Control. I'm going to DMAIC my life. Wish me luck.

After my epiphany, I got up at 2am and had a bowl of Honey Smacks, played again, then went back to bed and slept soundly until two snoozes after the alarm first went off. Phoebe had gone to bed early as promised, Christopher had slept through the night, so my day got off to a reasonable start. I even managed to get Phoebe onto the bus, which came early, despite having gotten her off to a 25min late start. I am Mom, hear me roar.