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Archive for August, 2008

Before I go into the various posts about our summer, I want to write about a few things that I have been up to.

First and foremost, I got a job and have an interview tomorrow for a second position. This came about in such an unusual way that I have to write about it to remember it all.

Moving to New York has been great, but it has its setbacks–i.e. extremely expensive. We’ve had a lot of expenses from our overseas move, cross-country move, etc. and while dh’s salary is good, it has been so tight and stressful. I’ve worried a lot of what we were going to do. It wasn’t really feasible for dh to work more, because he has a salary-based position, so more hours doesn’t translate into more money. And I was at a loss for what I could do to contribute to the income aspect of things. With four children, it’s important for me to be home as much as possible. The kids need me at home after school. My traditional job of teaching piano and voice lessons just didn’t seem right. For one thing, prime teaching time is after-school–when my children need me the most. Also, we don’t have a functioning piano.

One day while this was all on my mind, I had a thought to check Craigslist. I hopped online and found two job postings that I was perfectly qualified for. At first, I thought I would email the next day, but I bit the bullet and emailed two letters detailing some of my previous experience and qualifications right then. To my complete surprise, both places called me back the same day.

I’ve already accepted one position as a piano and voice teacher on Saturdays at a local music school. It will fit the needs of our family well, give me more experience as a teacher and provide a little extra income.

I interview for the second job tomorrow. I know less about this job, but it has me more excited in some ways. The job is for a preschool music teacher. There is a company based in New Jersey which provides a developmentally appropriate music program for daycare and preschool centers. This company has openings in my county in New York. It would be a few hours during the week. I’m concerned about what to do with my little girl. But I’ll deal with that if I get the job. I’m interested in this job because of the music class taught I taught in Sweden. I had so much fun with it and want to learn more. Also, it might be a way for me to develop my own business in the future. Teaching preschool music classes seems more family-friendly at this stage of my kids’ lives.

I hope the interview goes well tomorrow. We’ll see if this job is a good fit for me.

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Is he really big enough???

So my little five-year old man is getting ready for kindergarten. Everyday he asks me if today is the day for school.

This evening he came up to me, clad in shorts, t-shirt, sandals with a backpack strapped to his back. He said, “Am I ready to go to school?”

We inspected the contents of his backpack:

1. piggy bank

2. plastic gun

3. camera

4. a small notebook

5. Beary-his beloved Teddy Bear

I convinced him to put back the toy gun and piggy bank, but I’m fine with the other items. I just love it when I get a glimpse into his head.

And boy am I ever going to miss him when he’s at school.

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9 years people. 9 years of suffering from urinary tract infections at least a few times a year. And it turns out the reason and solution are relatively simple. I feel just a teensy bitter at the doctors in Sweden. I begged them many times to send me to a urologist and they never did. And now, because of the lovely medical system in the U.S. I have some answers and some relief.

Things I would never inflict on people

Kiera Knightly in Pride and Prejudice. Don’t get me wrong, the music and scenery are downright Bronteish and beautiful. But Kiera sucks all the beauty and life out of Elizabeth Bennett and turns her into a spoiled high school girl flinging lines to Mr. Darcy like they were in the hallway slamming locker doors and shouting insults back and forth.

James Blunt-I think that is his name–the singer who sings You are beautiful. . . he is so whiny and his lyrics are pretentious. He makes me want to tear my hair out in big clumps. 

Michael Bolton is scary. His hair is ugly and the man cannot sing. shudder, shudder

Fabio is the freakiest man alive. It’s hard to think of him as a sexual icon for the ladies in romance novels.

Things that I love that should be shared with everyone.

Gary Allan, George Strait, Jason Aldean, and Kenny Chesney

Yessiree, there are some beautiful songs made by these men. And if I could figure out how to do it, I just might try and link something from youtube.

Gary Allan is gritty and a bit rough around the edges. And it is also dedicated to my sisters who share my passion for Gary Allan.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3_7ph6XK-g

 This song by George Strait yet again confirms why I love his music so much. I would have to dedicate it to my Dad–even though he can’t sing much, but the whole message pretty much makes me think of him.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aca3s7l_Db0

This song is dedicated to all those farm boys I knew growing up. I am profoundly grateful I am not a farmer’s wife, but I sure admire farmers. It’s hard, hard work and pretty thankless. Jason Aldean just nails the whole life of a farmer in this song.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXVI33aqfWk

And this song by Kenny Chesney is dedicated to my man and cute kids.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4ySSg4QG8g

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(Note to my readers: Yes, I’m still on blogging vacation, but I had this experience and then this title came to me. And it was too good to be forgotten. But after I post it, I’m back on vacation.)

I have lived a cool whip free existence for 5 1/2 years. Not that I was anti-cool whip or anything, just that cool whip was one of the many products not sold in Sweden. When I thought of cool whip (in connection with all things gelatin), I sighed in a nostalgic kind of way.

So this week, rushing through the store at night, picking up those last-minute things needed for the culinary treats for a birthday, I was looking for whipping cream for Swedish pancakes. Whipping cream was not to be had that night, and I saw the Cool Whip. I grabbed it remembering that I always liked it and thought it would be a fine substitute.

We ate our Swedish pancakes with strawberries and cool whip. The boys loved the stuff. It tasted fine. But then, I left out the remains of our breakfast all day. Yes, I know, slacker mom, but I’m trying to enjoy my summer, not work my way obsessively through it. And I discovered a terrible truth about Cool Whip–it doesn’t dissolve, it just maintains it perfect fluffy condition for hours and hours. My stomach started to turn thinking about the undissolving fluffy mass going through my digestive system. I had known that Cool Whip was a non-dairy product, but had never really analyzed the ingredient list. What comprises Cool Whip? Water, corn syrup, hydrogenated vegetable oil, high fructose corn syrup and other yucky things.

So we’re going for a Cool Whip free existence. Cream tastes better anyway.

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