Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Sept Blog-A-Thon

You can just say it straight up...I am crazy.  After all, I am a month into my new job and less than two weeks away from a brand new program year, with brand new programs, with brand new kids, in a brand new church.  Baby goat is an active 18 months old and my house is a mess.  But I've been missing the blog and the introspection and the connection of the people I know here in blogland.

And so when Tina suggested a September 30 day Blog-A-Thon I figured I should sign on.  And so, with tomorrow being September 1st I'm here pledging my desire to blog everyday this month.  It is quite possible that some of these posts will be photos or short stories, but I want to do it and I want to grow as a blogger and a writer.

September rings of "Back to School" for me, and while I can't quite justify the Blog-A-Thon as an excuse to go out and by a 64 pack of fresh crayons or sharp #2 pencils with college rule paper, I can use it as a chance to focus in on the new school year and the changes that have happened for the Goat family in the last few weeks.

And so, I invite you to join me on this path.  You can blog on your own blog (be sure to sign up on Tina's blog) or just stop by here each day and say hi.  It is nice to know that people are reading these words flung into cyber-space.  It means more than you know some days.  (And I am so sorry if I haven't been by to comment on your blog in recent weeks, I'm just getting my feet back under me).

Blog Love and Cupcakes,
Mrs. Goat

Sunday, August 29, 2010

18 months

We went to the State Fair on my 31 birthday - the first day of the fair.  As life had turned out, my birthday is baby goat's half birthday (and vice versa).  And so as well as marking my 31st birthday, it also marked baby goat turning 18 months old.  Even saying that statement is amazing to me.  It seems to have been so quick and yet he seems like he's been part of our family forever.  And now here he is closer to being a 2 yr old and being 1.  (I also just realized he's know half way to 3!!!)

 Sharing some food at the fair - 
Don't be alarmed! This was a posed shot and we then fed baby goat hot dog pieces by hand.

He's getting so big - and not just bruiser big because he's been that for a while, but he's getting so grown up.  He seems taller every moment and learns something new everyday.  I hardly am shocked when new words come out of his mouth.  Afterall, he adds words at an alarming rate it seems.

I always wonder about the words.  He is quiet in front of most people and even most of the day with us.  He has bursts of chatter but much of the day is content in observation and activity instead.  That and words seem to come and go in his vocabulary as he enjoys them.  He knows many words but has buzz words for a week or two.  His favorite - Uh OH.  He loves to do things that call for this particular phrase!

What would the fair be without seeing goats!

Before I had baby goat I knew that kids were hard work.  I knew it was a 24/7 gig and that it would be challenging, but you never really know it until you live it.  What constantly surprises me is the trial and error of parenting.  It doesn't take too long to realize this child you created is a real person, with their own opinions, moods and desires.  Some days are wonderful.  I am in sync with baby goat.  I know his needs before he does and we can play easily and have a wonderful calm, exciting, awesome day.

Other days however can be horrible.  We are off kilter and can't agree on what should be done.  Those are the days where it is hard to stop, take a breath and start over.  Ultimately you know he's a toddler and given to tantrums.  I tend to be generous with baby goat until he's doing something unsafe or inappropriate (particularly in public).  He just doesn't understand why I stop him from doing things.

He LOVES cars (and trains and trucks).  Anything with wheels is a plus in his book.  He wanted to test every car at the fair and protested (loudly) when we took him out of the driver's seat.

Baby goat went down the giant slide with Uncle Hans.  He wasn't too sure about it but didn't cry!

I am in awe of his fearlessness most of the time.  He loves swimming and has taken to climbing on everything.  Suddenly our baby proof line in the house has gone up vertically.  He is so strong and doesn't realize his own strength.  He is literally stronger than all the kids at daycare - even the 3 yr olds.  He is not mean but when he wants something he can get it.  I hope that we'll be able to teach him about his strength.

At the same time he is loving and gentle.  He adores the cats and loved his cousin dog Cody when they visited last week!  He will hug and kiss spontaneously, even if he will frequently refuse when asked.  He is flexible and easy going most of the time.  He loves to be out and running around and figuring things out.  If he's outside he's in a good mood. period.  Well, until it is time to come inside.

He lasted 10 hours at the fair!  We were hoping for 3.  Here he is at the end of the evening, drunk on his two sweet martha's cookies and milk and up after bedtime!

Daycare was off this week and we managed to still go to work during the day with a set up of Aunt Emily (on summer break from college), Uncle Hans/Aunt Val and my parents.  They all adore him to pieces and he clearly loves them back.  His favorite person in the world (besides us I hope) is Aunt Emily but he loves the whole family.   It was a week of fun and excitment for him and once he got over his slight cold he had an awesome time. 
Mom can I have another cookie?  Also can I go to bed?

18 months blow my mind, but it is blown daily by this little baby/toddler/future man of mine.  He's so special to us.  I wish I could describe what he means to me but I don't really have the words.  Even when I am frustrated with him, or feeling the pressure of the 24/7 parenting gig, I am in love with this boy, and that love grows everyday!

Happy 18 months baby goat!

Friday, August 27, 2010

31 goals for my 31st year

Each year I make a point on or near my birthday to sit down and write out some goals for my next year.  They can be grand or minor but the meaning is just simply to take some time to think and dream about the upcoming year.  You can read last years 30 for 30 here and the others are all found along my sidebar as well.

This last year was full of big changes at baby goat continued to go.  We dealt with his asthma illness and made a big job change so it is exciting and a little scary to consider what the next year might hold.  Still things look up and I want to make this next year a chance to improve myself and the Goat family circumstances.  I have high hopes that 31 will be an outstanding one.

31 for 31

1.  Take baby goat to visit each of his great-grandparents this year. (We made it through 4 of the great-grandparents, but sadly Papa Fran passed away before we could get little goat ot see him).

2.  Redesign the blog layout/header (it has only been 3 years since my last redesign). (DONE!)

3.  Buy and move my blog to my own domain name. (DONE!)

4.  Get over 100 followers on my blog. (I made this one this fall, yay! 129 and counting)

5.  Get my trumpet repaired and find a regular place to keep playing. (not yet, but soon)

6.  Take a bidding/convention Bridge course with Mr. Goat. (not yet, but soon)

7.  Research pre-eclampsia and current its current theories and start working to make any changes I can to less my change to have it again in subsequent pregnancies. (I've done some preliminary research this year, I'll keep this up as research keeps changing)

8.  Buy a house with Mr. Goat. (SUCCESS!  WOOHOO!!!)

9.  Take baby goat to the beach. (Yup, we got back last week, what a great trip)

10. Pay off our Credit Cards. (Ummmm...no)

11. Start Baby Goat's college fund.  (This was on last years too).  (Ummmm...still no)

12. Make and give away a quilt. (Oh well, someday)

13. Write handwritten birthday notes for friends, even if they are occasionally late.  (Hahaha - hardly)

14. Be less indecisive in both major and minor decisions. (Sometimes I did much better, not always though)

15. Find and regularly meet with a spiritual/professional mentor. (I have one now and have met twice this fall so far)

16. Pray daily (why is this so hard to do?)

17. Have a sleep study done. (Done! Turns out I have sleep apnea, no big surprise there)

18. Take my lunch to work a miniumum of 3 days per week. (Still working on it)

19. Cook from scratch once per week. (I probably was close, but it depends on the definition of "cooking" and "scratch")

20. Roast a whole chicken (and eat it too).  (Yes, this one is still here) (Ummmm...no)

21. Leave leftovers from meals and eat them before they go bad. (Much better this year)

22. Go through my closet and purge clothes with a realistic understanding of my space, size and style. (I did a huge purge before the move, it might be time again though)

23. Give Mr. Goat an amazing Father's Day to make up for the last two(I think I finally managed to give Mr. Goat a Father's day he deserved)

24. Finish (well, start and finish) baby goat's baby book.  (Thanks Missy for this one). (This might be the blog...)

25.  Follow through on an awesome super secret gift idea I have (I won't say for whom or when so I don't give anything away). (In the works for Christmas)

26. Take swimming lesssons with baby goat. (Nope, but we did do a music class this summer)

27. Budget for and then rejoin a gym! (With help from the ILs but so glad to be back at the gym)

28. Write something that I love, other than a blog post. (I have been writing outside the blog and loving it)

29. Give up sugar for Lent (I'm declaring it now!) (Didn't do that, but I did give up soda this year)

30. Go see the first installment of Harry Potter, movie seven on opening weekend. (Done, midnight show even, though I still need to see part two)

31. Live life to the fullest while acknowledging my faults, seeking to improve them, and recognizing the many blessings in my life.  (Always working on this)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

My Birthday It is

Know me well, my parents do.

May my birthday be with me.

Lots of Love I feel.  Much joy in my life there is.

Baby Goat, Fulfill you destiny you must. Future Geek you are. Yes...Hmmmm.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Oxymorons contained in a frothy beverage

When Mr. Goat and I were at the Twins game a week ago I took the opportunity to have a root beer - which happens to be a special Twins kind of root beer - Killebrew.  Hahaha, get it, like Harmon Killebrew, the famous Twin player from the 1960s and 70s.

Mr. Goat and I split it and it was yummy.  Then we looked at the back.  Can you see the oxymoron?

Pure Natural Spring Water 
High Fructose Corn Syrup

Pure Minnesota Honey
Caramel Color 

My question:  Why bother listing things as "Pure" when everything else is fake?  Really Target Field?  Really? (Still, it was yummy). 

And yes I do know that it is soda and therefore crap, but again, why bother with the "pure" labels.  Are you trying to fool someone?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Shh...the baby is sleeping: Tidbits during Naptime

* We are down at the ILs for the day.  We came down last night since BIL and SIL are in town from Virginia.  And with them is their adorable dog Cody.  Cody is a LabraDoodle and is large and curly.  I was hoping that baby goat and Cody would agree with each other as there would be potential for mayhem.  Thankfully they seem to be friends already.  Cody is patient with the baby, the baby is patient with his licking and they both discovered the mutual joys of mealtime.  Baby goat quickly mastered sharing his dinner with the dog.  The dog has a lifelong friend in Edward.

* The job is going well.  I am not three weeks into it and things are coming together for the school year.  I am trying to take it all with some calmness and flexibility and am doing well so far with it.  Everyone has been so nice and welcoming and that makes it much much easier.

* On the other hand, the effort in keeping calm and relatively stress free at the new job has taken all my energy.  My Couch to 5k training has derailed and I cannot fathom fitting it in at this point right now.  I am trying to take my lunch in order to eat healthfully and have managed about twice a week so far.  This is an improvement but I am still eating just badly.  I know I have gained weight and am feeling sluggish with it all.  But the thought of handling a new job and a major diet/exercise addition right now completely paralyzes me.  I hope as the fall gets going and I get comfortable I will be able to start adding things back into it.

* The other issue I am having because of the new job is a strong surge of introvertedness.  Since I am meeting so many people and putting so much energy into being engaged with the new families and staff members when my job is done for the day my mind likes to withdraw in order to process everything.  I find myself feeling quiet and wanting to sit quietly and rest in the night.  I know that this will balance out again too as our new normal works itself out.

* I got an early birthday present from Mr. Goat this weekend - my new smartphone!  I have a HTC Hero now and am loving it so far.  If you have a favorite android app please let me know.  I am in the search for the good ones, particularly free ones.  Good exercise, diet, games, weather, etc.

* I have several good posts in the works for next week and am hoping to step up the blog content again.  Between the drama of last month and getting into the new job I feel like I've been neglecting things.  I hope to maybe even work on getting a real domain name and upgrading the layout.  It is time for an overhaul!

* I read a few weeks ago that when kids are 18-24 months old they can gain a new word every 10 hrs.  I thought it was crazy.  But here we are a week before baby goat turns 18 months and he's adding words left and right.  I should start keeping a real list but here are a few of the ones I remember off the top of my head:
mama, dada, cat, dog, fish, shoe, diaper, here, more, all done, doppler (cat), tsu (cat), banana, elaine (daycare), up, uh-oh, I wanna, yes, no, hi, etc...  And I am sure there are more.  He can be quiet for a long time and then other times he talks so easily.  Just when I worry we are behind the game he comes up with a new word and I calm down.

* I'm sure there is much going on in my life right now but for the moment the baby has awoken.  Happy Saturday everyone, the toddler circus begins again.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Twins Win!

Mr. Goat and I won free tickets to the Twins Game on Saturday night.  We went with @AlexaTC and her husband.  It was a perfect night.  Not too hot or sunny with a slight breeze.  We had great seats but it seems that all of Target Field's seats are good.  It is a great stadium.

It was a pitching dual and was a well played defensive game.  Our first run was scored with back to back sacrifice hits (a bunt and a fly) and the score stayed that way until we got an insurance run in the 8th.  Duensing pitched a complete shutout game - his first.

There was some rain clouds throughout the evening but it didn't really start doing anything until the end of the game when it sprinkled some.  We walked to the car in the sprinkle and as soon as we got in the storms hit and suddenly it was pouring.  We had timed it perfectly.

It was a fast game too so we got home in plenty of time.  All in all it was a great date night for Mr. Goat and I.  Go Twins!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Toddler Tantrums

His back arches.  He twists his arms seemingly out of their sockets while simultaneously becoming dead weight in my arms.  He flings himself to the floor in a mess of sobs and incoherent babbles of frustration.  Over tiny things:  Going inside.  Taking the kleenex he grabs away.  Strapping him into the car.  Removing him from the couch when he tries to run across it. 

I didn't think that would be us.  What happened to our mellow boy?  I thought I had a handle on him.

I know, from working with families and parents, that it is normal.  That kids do this.  That at some point they grow out of flopping on the floor crying and screaming.  (Please tell me that he'll grow out of it).  But it shakes this perfect ideal I had in my head, that somehow I would be the parent who walks the line between independence and protection.  I wanted to be a discipline master in the zen zone of firm yet loving.

Naturally my progeny would know instinctively when I meant business.  I wasn't so delusional that they wouldn't push boundaries but they would know that I was the ultimate authority and that I did it with love and worry for their safety.

But parenting in my head is so much different than reality. 


Yeah.  I know.

Baby goat and I went on a playdate today.  We were at Choo Choo Bob's playing with half of St. Paul's toddlers and moms trying to escape the dreary weather.  There I witnessed hitting, tantrums, grabbing toys, crying, stomping, running away, and plenty of "Mine!."  I witnessed time outs and quick escapes and shameful parent apologies.

But baby goat?  He played joyfully.  He shared toys.  He got hit more than once and seemed completely unfazed.  He came when called.  He didn't touch when I asked him not too.  He smiled and played and left quietly when it was time.

Who knows which child you get when?  It could have easily been him, but something must be going right with this toddler of mine.
It must be daycare.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Power of Prayer

I feel like I owe so much to God lately for the way a truly horrible month of hospitalizations, job loss and drama gave way to a job, a chance to decompress and a healthier child.  And I am so grateful for you all who prayed for me along the way.  I truly believe in the power of prayer.  Sometimes we pray for miracles and the answers come in strange and unexpected ways but God does answer prayer. (And often with a sense of humor and joy).  My life in the last few weeks is testament to that.

But as my life is improving I am extremely aware of the wide variety of friends and family who are in need of prayer right now.  And it meant so much to me all the prayers you gave me that I would like to return the favor.  I would love to hear from each of you about what prayer requests you have and I will take time each day to pray for you all. 

I hope to give back a little of the support, encouragement and prayer.  Please share what you feel comfortable with and be as general or specific that you'd like.  If you need consider dropping me an email privately if that is better, but I am serious, I would like to pray for anyone out there who needs it.

Thank you blogland.  Grace and Peace to you all.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Yes. But.

Yes, my to do list is endless.

Yes, my laundry is overflowing.

Yes, my living room is messy.

Yes, my snooze button gets pushed.

Yes, my temper can flare.

Yes, my workout is un-worked.

But, my heart is full of joy.

But, my arms are good for hugs.

But, my loyalty is epic.

But, my God gives me grace.

But, my family is my world.

But, my blessings are countless.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Work Week 1

Whew!  My first week is essentially over - at least being in the office this week.  It is one of the "luxuries" of church work, having a day off during the week because of Sunday and evening responsibilities.  On the one hand I've hardly scratched the surface of what needs doing in these first days and am excited to keep digging into the details of this wonderfully amazing church.  On the other hand, I am SO ready for a rest.

It has been a week of meetings, meetings, reading files and more meetings.  And I am so excited and thrilled to be there but I feel the strain of meeting lots and lots of new people.  It has been hard to find quiet spaces and moments to recoup and recover.  That combined with the racing to-do lists when I try to sleep have made it a crazy week.

Thank goodness that baby goat is feeling mostly better from the ear infection that made him cranky and temperamental earlier this week.  Of course tonight he was teething so the cranky may just be par for the course this week!  It is funny working again after two short weeks off.  I come home and it seems like he's grown an inch, learned a new word, and mastered some new skill.  But it feels so good to work and contribute again too.  As much as I love love love baby goat and have real SAHM tendencies, it isn't feasible right now and I'm glad to be jumping into it!

Still I have a massage and pedicure scheduled tomorrow and it will be much needed!

Monday, August 02, 2010

A sign

An excerpt from Sunday's first reading at the New Church -

I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun, because I must leave them to the one who comes after me.  And who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool? Yet he will have control over all the work into which I have poured my effort and skill under the sun. This too is meaningless.  So my heart began to despair over all my toilsome labor under the sun. For a man may do his work with wisdom, knowledge and skill, and then he must leave all he owns to someone who has not worked for it. This too is meaningless and a great misfortune. .  ~ Ecclesiastes 2:18-20

This was part of the first reading this Sunday.  Mr. Goat and I were at our New Church for the first time.  Baby goat was in the nursery having fun flirting with the girls in charge.  It has been hard for me to let go my worry and concern and anger and sadness from the Old Church.  I had put in so much time there.  Those programs, they are MINE, I had shaped them and guided them for so long that it felt like something in my life was missing.

And I worried for them.  My concern for my kids and my families superceded my anger at the way things happened.  I wanted to say goodbye, to say "I'm sorry it is ending this way, it wasn't my choice'" and let them know that I still care.  But that hasn't been possible so far.  Of course part of me also wants to have the last word and prove to the Old Church that they've made a horrible mistake letting me go.  The vindictive part of me wants them to regret sending me away.

As excited and thrilled as I was to start my new position these thoughts kept creeping back in, that is until the first reading on Sunday.

And I stopped.

And listened.

There was WORD there in that Bible passage for me at that time.  The Word of God reminding me, telling me, showing me that it is ok and even necessary to let the past month be in the past.  That God will care the Old Church, that God will care for me and the New Church.

The passage generally refers to the fact that you can't take "stuff" with you after you die, but I think it works for me too.  I cannot be fully present for New Church if I am dwelling in the emotions and anxiety that the Old Church left behind.  And so I am choosing to be fully present.  My work is important for me and I will serve in my vocation at the New Church completely.  I will still support my old church friends and hope that the Old Church succeeds, but it is no longer about me.

It is funny isn't it, that God gives you just the WORD you need to hear.

Oh, and the communion hymn on Sunday - My Life Flows On in Endless Song

My life flows on in endless song;
Above earth’s lamentation
I hear the sweet though far off hymn
That hails a new creation:

Through all the tumult and the strife
I hear the music ringing;
It finds an echo in my soul—
How can I keep from singing?

How indeed.