Monday, December 26, 2005

Happy Holy days

Merry Christmas....Happy Hannukah....and Kwanza....

I have survived the holiday (even hosted) and now am beat. In about 48 hours I am scheduled to deliver this baby. I am ready as I'll ever be. It's interesting doing this at 37 and 1/2, having just come off of a year of wedding planning (married last March) graduation (last Sat) and now ending the year with a new baby. Though I am prepared for sleepness nights, I'm experienced enough to also know that it will be a complete shock to my system after a five year period of single motherhood to an 11 and 8 year old who are pretty independent little guys. They also go to stay with their dad every other week, which allows me lots of free time... for 48 more hours! My husband has an (almost) 11 year old daughter as well who goes to her mom's a few times a week. So we have been spoiled our first two years together by having anywhere from 1 to 3 nights a week to ourselves. Always an assured date night! Not anymore... starting all over. Very surreal.

I look forward to staying at home with our new baby (girl) but also remember the isolation of stay-at-home motherhood. Seems like nobody I know can afford to (or wants to) make this choice. Interestingly, my brother is a stay at home dad of two year old twins, but he and his wife live in Arizona and I am in Ohio. So other than lots of phone time (which anyone who has one two year old realizes it is impossible to hold an intelligent phone conversation with another adult who is taking care of a two year old at that particular moment. Imagine that times twins.

Glad this baby is single :)

My sister-in-law is pregnant

My other sister-in-law (husband's brother's wife) is pregnant as well. As is my neice with her second child. All of them are either living in Ohio or visited us within the past year, so if you're really fertile I'd stay clear of my end of town unless your interested in adding onto your family!

So we are all doing our share of go forth and multiply.

On that note, I'm off to get some sleep. One of my last two nights that will only be interupted by my maternal need to pee every other hour. In two days, someone else's needs will dictate my sleep schedule :

So, once again happy whichever holiday you are celebrating. Happy Sunday if you're celebrating no holidays. I will hopefully be back on to post next weekend when I return home and am recovering from surgery.

Friday, December 16, 2005

STALLed wisdom

My favorite image representing my Kent State experience. Especially worth noting is the quote

"Can't Read, Can't Write, Kent State." Though I really think it should read, "Kent read, Kent write, Kent State." -Heavy on the Appalachian accent.

I don't think they've EVER painted over these stalls in 15 or more years. I know the images have never been altered in the year and a half that I've been attending the main campus. Of course I don't think the floor in the classroom I spent most of my time in was ever mopped either.

Maybe that's part of the charm, but I did always miss the cleanliness of the regional branches (Stark and Tusc anyway.)

Magna Cum Laude

Grades are posted!

Two A's in Jazz History and Stratford Program (a trip to Ontario through Kent to see Shakespeare Festival plays- highly reccomended!) and...

B in Theatre History!

Whew... done... graduate tomorrow.

Now I'm focusing on baby thank-you's, graduation announcements, Christmas cards and shopping--almost done with all of those! What will everyone think when I acutally accomplish these sort of tasks that always came second (or last.... if at all) due to school?

My husband and I bought something for US for Christmas. The kids (whom all have multiple electronic games, including each their own gameboys which only the 8 year old plays anymore) have been bugging us for a TV electronic game set. We have been saying no because we know that it will just mean more arguments between them.

So my husband saw an add at Target for the retro Atari flashback game for only $24.99, and we devised a plan. I am giving it to my husband for Christmas, and then he will share it with the rest of us :) That way when there is arguing and complaining between the kids, one of us can say, "That's Rick's (h) toy! Put it away!

We're doing the same with a 40 dollar kareoke machine from Walmart (his gift to me and then I will share.)

Plus we figure the atari games, which are nostalgic to us so we'll like them, will be too boring for them to bother with. Ha ha ha .... the parents win again.

Although, I'm pretty proud of my 11 year old son. We told all the kids (whom are spending Christmas with their other parents this year) that we were on a budget, and that means they can each ask for 4 or 5 inexpensive things here, and we will do our best. My step-daughter (who was an only child and the only thing tying her parents together for many many years) is not used to not getting whatever she wants for the holidays and her birthday. She will likely be showered materialistically over at her mom's. She had a hard time narrowing down her list and keeps revising it.

My youngest son asked for 4 things exactly, telling his step-sister, "Your dad and my mom need to buy things for the BABY right now! It's important that we make this sacrifice!"


Then my oldest son NEVER gave me a list. When I asked him about it he said, "I don't NEED anything. You guys get me the things I need throughout the year. So maybe just a robe and slippers this year."

I did prod a few more things out of him. But wow. He really gets it. His brother did too. I couldn't be more proud.

Oh- and the Ohio Light Opera Company is working with his middle school (which is an arts school he auditioned for and got into this year) to present The Barber of Seville in Feb. He didn't think he got in, and insisted it was ok... he didn't care about it anyway, etc. But he called me from his dad's and he's in (no parts assigned yet.) I don't care if it's just the chorus, what an opportunity! I grew up in theatre, but opera always intimidated me because I never had the chance to experience it. He was simply BEAMING over the phone.

Luckily my ex, his wife and I get along well, and he has offered (or rather she offered FOR him!) to do most of the picking up after his rehearsals, because I will have a newborn in tow everywhere I go, plus due to C-section won't be able to drive for 3 weeks. I can't wait to see the show in Feb!

Well off to finsish all these cards.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


Just got home from finishing (final) final exam and picking up the final I took last week. Got either an A or B today. Got a high B on horrid theatre history final last week (two points away from an A- damn objective questions.)

Graduation is Saturday and it is time to reflect what I have gained from the whole experience...

I have now made it through 5 years of single motherhood, full-time work, taking care of my moneypit (I mean house), remarriage (middle of spring semester last year) moving, quitting work, attempting to sell my house (now that I've fixed everything for someone else to enjoy!), merging my sons and step daughter into a new family, suffering healthwise through a difficult pregnancy...all while maintaining a 3.7 GPA.

Now here comes the bragging part. I will graduate with the honor Magna Cum Laude on my diploma! I wouldn't have if I received a C on either of these finals, so there was a little pressure once I ordered my announcements.

The sad part is that though I'm proud to finish and have done well grade wise, it's all a blur. I don't really feel any smarter or more educated than when I started. Well, I feel a little wiser maybe. Or is that jaded? Mostly due to the fact that degrees don't mean you've learned much more than some vague trivia. My mind is a garbled, disorganized trival pursuit pie piece. I can't sift through the plethera of detached dates and fuzzy concepts to hold an intelligent conversation about the history of the theatre at all after three semesters on the topic. Bummer.

My degree also sacrificed valuable time away from my kids who are so grown up compared to being 3 and 6 when I started (11 and 8 now). I sacrificed so much time with them along the way. Then there were the many times that I thought my degree would literally kill me because it was such a strain on my health.

And here's a bit of advice to those of you embarking on a degree in a subject about which you are extremely passionate: Beware that pursuing such a degree often meas you either can no longer find time or energy to experience your passion, OR having your passion dissected and beaten into the ground repeatedly may simply kill it for you. I have not acted in 3 years (before my degree I was in 2-4 shows a year since age 5.) I have no idea when I will be ready to devote 3 hours a night 6 days a week for several months straight ever again. I am just plain pooped! Also, now that I have a fabulous man in my life, THREE kids 8, 10, and 11, and a fourth one on the way...Ugh. Just don't know if I have it in me anymore.

I actually used to think I wanted to go on for a masters degree too, but now I just don't know. Not really excited to go on for more, especially since the very tough Theatre History prof is in charge of the graduate program! EEEEEK! I already suffered through her horrible exams for three semesters, and I'm not sure I'm up for more! I want to start living in the moment. No more "one day when school is done, when I find the right guy, when I have time to write, to act again, to spend time with my kids...." I'm there now! FINALLY! No excuses.

Well, maybe one that will be here in about 2-3 weeks and weigh in at somewhere around 8 lbs. At this moment my path is being directed for me. That does take some of the pressure off. This new baby takes precedence over any future academic plans anyway. But if memory serves, nothing forces you to slow down and soak up daily existence more than a new baby (or maybe that's just a delirious state due to lack of sleep!)

Off to Christmas Shop for kids, and return mount o' pink velour for some more practical items tonight!

Monday, December 12, 2005

Ice Storm

ice storm my backyard 2004 Posted by Picasa

Ice Storm

ice storm 2004 Posted by Picasa

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Punderson Writers Retreat

Punderson Writers' Retreat April 05 Posted by Picasa

Early attempts

Ok.. I consider myself somewhere between techno challenged and as computer savy as most... but I'm new to this blogging stuff. So it may take a few tries to get it right. Apologies in advance to all who know exactly what they're doing.

Today is a beautiful winter's day. Wish I felt up to running out and Christmas Shopping. It's a little hazzardous so late in pregnancy (3 weeks to go!) due to all the snow, ice, and my ever-increasing lack of grace and dexterity. I have quite a bit of shopping to do for both Christmas and new baby, along with LOTS of returns for baby stuff. I had a shower a few weeks ago and almost everyone bought velour pink outfits (well- yes we do know it's a girl, so it's not that unreasonable!) Having spent my time shopping for baby boy clothes in years gone by I thought I would embrace pink as spontaneous and fun!!!!

But I am not a frilly female myself, and much prefer the practicle side. So....fancy pink velour will be traded in for some jammies (in yellow, green and lavendar) just to mix it up. The favorite outfit I received (mine as well as the crowd who may also been running out of "OOOhhhhs and Ahhhhhsss for pink velour) was sent by my cousin- one of the few brave people to tackle my actual gift registry. God bless her.

I tried to put it in right here, but once again I am new to this. So I'll post it separately, along with a pic of the mound o' pink velour. Well, I know this isn't the most exciting reading on here so I'll wrap up. I just wanted to get my feet wet so to speak (hence the pic I took of the pond :) Hope all are safely making their way through horrible Holiday traffic and shopping. I'm staying in today and enjoying the tree.

Mountain of pink velour

Cool penguin outfit