Friday, August 28, 2015

Q and A, Part One

Here's a few getting to know you questions and answers.... 

1. Who is your hero?
This week, my hero is my Daddy.

2. If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
A private beach.... especially if there's good shopping near by! 

3. What is your biggest fear?
Death. It's been really bothering me the last couple of years. 

4. What is your favorite family vacation?
As a child, it was a trip we took to Disneyland and then The Grand Canyon. As a mom, so far it's been.... well, I guess Disneyland. But even that wasn't that great because BK wasn't there. We're going to Legoland in October.... maybe that will be my favorite family vacation!

5. What would you change about yourself if you could?
I wish I felt better about myself. 

6. What really makes you angry?
When my children don't listen to me.

7. What motivates you to work hard?
I'm a sucker for recognition. If I'm going to get praised in front of other people, I'm going to give 110%. 

8. What is your favorite thing about your career?
The people I work with are awesome!

9. What is your biggest complaint about your job?
That I have to work!

10. What is your proudest accomplishment?
Giving birth

11. What is your child's proudest accomplishment?
Well, you'd have to ask them.... But Bug is an excellent reader and a great sculptor. BK is a mathematician and an awesome baseball catcher. 

12. What is your favorite book to read?
I don't re-read books, so my favorite book to read is what I'm currently reading. Right now, that would be The Husband's Secret. 

13. What makes you laugh the most?
The Agent. He's pretty dang funny. 

14. What was the last movie you went to? What did you think?
The Agent and I recently saw Trainwreck with Amy Schumer. A lot of crude humor, but it was entertaining. 

15. What did you want to be when you were small?
Most of the time, I wanted to be a teacher. 

16. What does your child want to be when he/she grows up?
Bug wants to be a baker. BK wants to be a fireman. 

17. If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be?
I really just want to rest.... spend all day on the beach in a lounge chair with a book. 

18. What is your favorite game or sport to watch and play?
I don't do sports. I guess my favorite sport to play is beach volleyball. My favorite sport to watch is baseball.... if BK is playing. 

19. Would you rather ride a bike, ride a horse, or drive a car?
Drive a car. 

20. What would you sing at Karaoke night?
My go to song is Cherish by Madonna! 

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The best I'll ever get

It's always the same. 
He says he'll change,
That he's SO sorry,
That it was a mistake, and he'll never do it again.
How many times does history have to repeat itself
Before I wake up I finally figure it out? 
If I was smarter, I'd show him to the door.
But how can I walk away when he's the best I'll ever get? 
That's what he said years ago: "I am the best you will ever get." 
And I believed him. 
Is it true? 
I'll never find out. 

Mama’s Losin’ It

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Monday, August 17, 2015

A good Day

So. I told you that I applied for a promotion within my  company.

I don't know how many people applied for the job, but 11 people made it to the final interview.

I was one of them. And I bombed out.

When I got called into the boss's office today, I knew I was going to be let down easily.

But I didn't.

I am the new compliance manager in the office. That means I'm going to throw a shoe at you  if you write a check wrong or forget to write a letter or whatever.

I was completely flabbergasted when she told me I got the job. "Did you know all along that it was going to be you?"

Ummm.... no. No I did not.

I told her how I didn't think I was going to get the job because I didn't think my interview went well, and she gave me what I now I think of as a lollipop moment (If you've never heard of this, check out Drew Dudley's TED talk on Lollipop Moments).

"You could have completely bombed out on the interview and you still would have gotten the job," she said. "What people don't realize is that you're interviewing every single day. I would never make a decision based on a single interview. I look at what you do every single day."

So, I still have some issues, with depression or anxiety or whatever. But today was a good day.

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Monday, August 10, 2015

The Road to Enlightenment has a few bumps

A conversation between me and Bug....

Me: So, who's cute in your class this year?

Bug: I don't know. Really no one. And I am SO over Brady. He grew his hair out long over the summer. He looks like a girl.

Me: What about Tristan? I've always thought that he was handsome. And he seems nice.

Bug: Isn't that illegal?

Me: No.... what do you mean?

Bug: I thought it was against the law for someone with dark skin to marry someone with light skin.

Me: What? No! No, of course that's not true! Why would you think that?

Bug: I don't know, I just thought that was the law.

Me: No. No! Don't ever say that. That was the law many, many years ago, before even I was born, but you can marry whoever you want now.

You go through your day, thinking that you're raising enlightened children, and then your 9-year-old says something that sets you back fifty years.

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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The worse interview ever... and how you can learn from me

Last week, I applied for a new job. It was kind of a spur of the moment decision-- my boss implied that I had it in the bag, so I applied. 

My interview was on Friday, and it was made abundantly clear that I probably would NOT be getting the job. I didn't like how the interview went at all. I had gone in feeling prepared, but I wasn't prepared for THESE questions. Learn from me, my friends! Hopefully, you'll be better prepared.

In a nutshell, this is what the hiring manager wanted: 
1. Keep it relative to the job you're applying for. 
2. Keep it current. 
3. Be very specific in the examples you give. 

There were only four questions: 

1. Tell me about a time when you had to coach someone and it didn't go well. Tell me what you did to turn it around. 

I really bombed out on this one. I am not a manager, so I don't coach people. I tried to keep my answer positive, using examples of how I was a mentor  to my team. I said, "I don't want to say I coached them, because that's a negative term," and I was immediately interrupted. 

"It's a negative question," the hiring manager answered. "I want specific examples, with names." 

Ugh. It's like that? So, instead of saying how wonderful I am, you just want me to tell you how other people suck? 

So, I did. I sold my soul to the devil and threw one of my coworkers under the bus. the hiring manager seemed happy afterwards, but I was miserable. 

That kind of set the tone for the rest of the interview. 

2. Tell me about a time when you had a conflict with another coworker, and what did you do to resolve it. 

This was more of the same. I don't have conflicts with people, at least not work related. I told a story about a conflict two coworkers were having with other (not with me), and one of the coworkers came to me to try to get resolution.

"Who was it? What was the conflict?" the hiring manager asked. 

I told her. More bus driving on my part. 

3. Tell me what you would do to encourage and inspire your team when they're faced with a challenge. 

This question at least I could get excited about, since I could put a positive spin on it. I told the story of a coworker that needed to give a presentation, and was terribly nervous about speaking in front of others. I encouraged her and told her I would be standing right there with her, and if it got too difficult for her, she could just give me a look and I would take over. I was proud of the job she had done, and I had no problem mentioning her name to the hiring manager. 

4. Customer Service is very important in our business. Tell us about your plans to increase customer service. 

This is another question I did ok on. I knew that customer service was the hiring manager's hot button, so I was prepared. But since I had already learned that she wanted me to name names, I talked about other coworkers who were poor performers, and how I wanted to whip them into shape. Not the direction I wanted to go at all.

Then there were a few standard questions: How are you at computer programs? If you're given a deadline, will you meet the deadline on time? Where did you get your degree? Normal stuff like that. Those went ok. 

I won't know for another week if I actually got the job, but I'm not going to hold my breath. At least I applied and I was willing to put myself out there! Hopefully I'll come up with better stories next time! 

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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

52 in 52

It's time to check in on my 52 in 52 list again... 

1. Lose 21 pounds. Goal is 199. 0/21 Nope, still not losing. Steadily gaining. 
2. Wear a bikini in public. Certainly not on the right track here.
3. Spin at least 3 days a week. I've been very bad.
4. Drink at least 80 ounces of water a day. 
5. Donate all the size 16 pants in my closet. No. I need them still.
6. Have a garage sale. Not happening this month. I think my parents were talking about doing one in October
7. Donate 40 bags of stuff for Lent. 9/40 I need to clean out the closets
8. Spend 1 day a month organizing the house. 5/12
9. Have at least 10 dates with The Agent. 4/10.  I'm still behind, but I went on two day-dates with The Agent this month
10. Read 25 books. 11/25 I didn't read a single book this month. 
11. Hire a cleaning service
12. Go to the library.
13. Fly a kite.  
14. Teach Bug to ride a bike.
15. Teach BK to ride a bike.
16. Make the children pick out  a present for each other at birthdays and Christmas. Birthdays are done!
17. Get a raise. Nailed it!
18.  Go camping. Done!
19. Host a play date for each child. Done for Bug.... now we just need to work on BK.
20. Write 5 fictional pieces. 1/5
21. Cut and color hair 3 times this year. 1/3
22. Get a pedicure 4 times this year. 3/4
23. Go away overnight with The Agent, and without the kids.
24. Get a massage for Mother's Day. nope
25. Host an adult party.
26. Throw a birthday party for Bug. It technically wasn't a party, it was a birthday weekend with playdates on Friday and Saturday, and then a family party on Sunday. I feel this counts. 
27. Throw a birthday party for BK. This isn't going to happen. BK has been too naughty. 
28. Perform 12 random acts of kindness. 2/12 Jan: We put quarters in all the machines at the movie theater arcade. May: I bought donuts for everyone in the office.
29. Teach the Dumb Dog to use a leash. I guess I need to add the dumb puppy to this as well
30. Teach BK to swim. in progress
31. Take the children to the snow.
32. Make a snowman.
33. Go to Disneyland! Guess we'll have to change this to legoland! Booked for October!
34.  Go camping. done! 
35. Remodel our living room fireplace. The Agent committed to having this done by Jan 31st. That didn't happen.
36.  Make an apron for Bug.
37. Turn our backyard into a place I want to be. I have a vision, The Agent needs to execute it.
38. Work on having the house "popover guest" ready at all times. (looks around house) It's not out of control. If you gave me 15 minutes, it would look fine.
39. Take the children to The City.
40. Sign BK up for baseball.
41. Sign Bug up for piano.  Done! 
42. Take Bug on a date. Done! I took her to see Inside Out. 
43. Take BK on a date. Done
44. Seriously organize the master bedroom.
45. Turn the second master closet into.... something better.
46.  Turn our bedroom into a sexy oasis.
47.  Improve on our chore system for the children.
48.  Open a bank account for Bug.
49.  Give the children an allowance every week.
50. Increase credit score by 50 points.
51. Become debt free. (we don't have any credit card debt-- this just means paying off the house).
52. Write a new list of 52 things

And here's my check in for my Summer reading challenge... since I didn't read anything, it's the same as last month: 

  • 5 points freebie!  (Flirting With Felicity by Gerri Russell) Done!
  • 10 points a book you have never heard of before. (Everything Burns by Vincent Zandri) Done!
  • 10 points a book that has been on your TBR list for at least two years. (City of Bones by Cassandra Clare)
  • 10 points a book that won a Goodreads “best book” award in 2014. (Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen)
  • 15 points a book by an author who is completely new to you. (The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty)
  • 15 points a book by an author you have read before. (Ancient Guardians: The Awakening by SL Morgan) Done!
  • 15 points a book with “light” or  “dark” in the title (Darkness of Light by Stacey Marie Brown) Done!
  • 20 points a  book with a city, state, or country in the title (Uganda Be Kidding Me by Chelsea Handler)
  • 20 points a book with an animal on the cover (Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson)
  • 25 points a book that is part of a series with at least 4 books (Son by Lois Lowry) Done!
  • 25 points a book that is longer than 500 pages long (Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness)
  • 30 points a book with an alliterative title (Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King) Done!
Total points  so far: 100/200

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Monday, August 3, 2015

The Summer Fun List Recap

Happy First day of school!

What? your kids don't go back to school until the day after Labor Day? Yeah, you're normal. We're funky  over here in Cali. 

We didn't get as much stuff done as I would have liked this summer, but we got a lot done! Who knew it would be so hard to grab some chalk and draw on the driveway? We just never got to it! But here's a few things we were able to do: 

1. have a picnic at the park
2. play mini golf
3. go camping

4. homemade pizza party
5. Make a new art project
6. have a cousin sleepover
7. go swimming
8. go to a summer matinee
9. sleep under the stars
10. write your own story
11. scavenger hunt walk
12. Make S'mores
13. run in the sprinklers
14. catch butterflies with nets
15. make root beer floats
16. Fly  a kite
17. donate canned goods to the homeless shelter
18. have a water balloon fight

19. create sidewalk art using chalk
20. do a fun science project
21. make homemade bubbles
22. hunt for shapes in the clouds
23. go to a water splash pad
24. make smoothies
25. go fishing
26. build an indoor fort using blankets
27. go bowling
28. have an ice cream party with lots of toppings
29. go to a baseball game
30. go on a road trip
31. go to the library
32. go to the beach
33. build a sand castle
34. play hopscotch
35. make homemade instruments
36. bake and decorate cookies
37. make homemade popsicles
38. play catch
39. learn how to play a new board game
40. do a jigsaw puzzle
41. mail a letter to someone special

42. have a pillow fight
43. have a treasure hunt
44. play Frisbee
45. ride bikes
46. play dress up
47. Invite friends over

48. make friendship bracelets
49. Set off fireworks
50. Make Father's Day presents
51. Watermelon seed spitting contest! 
52. Have a dance party
53. go blueberry picking
54. plant flowers
55. paint rocks
56. go to the fair
57. go to the farmer's market

58. make daisy chains

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