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12/08/2009

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TV's Take

There are books upon books available to help Mom’s with their impending birth. For me, now 18 months post delivery, I realized there is very little information about socializing with baby.
My daughter is an incredibly “busy” little girl. She is like a baby chick that I try to herd unsuccessfully. (most kids are busy but she’s exceptional). This means play dates are filled with half spoken sentences while I prevent a near death fall, lunches out are full of tantrums as she tries to escape her high chair and trips to the park are always exciting as I chase her from one corner to the other. Not quite what I anticipated pre-parent.
Lately I find myself turning down play date invites because of how unfun they are.
My baby girl is fun, smart, sweet, busy and we love her dearly. I realize this stage will not last forever but I still wonder when the day will come when I get to rejoin the adult conversation.
What do you think, have your kids made it hard to be friendly?

TV's Take

During a recent conversation, one of my best friends reminded me of how incredibly competitive moms can be with one another. Example: Jimmy crawled at 5 months, your baby isn’t crawling yet….blah blah blah. We all know that kiddos develop differently yet it doesn’t really seem to matter; many of us still compare our parenting styles and munchkins. I’m guilty for comparing my child’s development with others. Over the past 17 months of KLV’s life I’ve found a few things work to avoid this naughty behavior.
1) I’m reminded that all kids are definitely different and develop differently.
2) I assume everyone I know is the best parent they can be.
3) Kids are born with a personality and sometimes the best parents have the wildest kiddos.
What do you think? Do you compare your child to others?

TV's Take

15 years ago today we learned my brother died in a car accident in Colorado. He was 25. I was 9 days shy of my 21st birthday, still just a kid.
We all have those events in our lives that shape us and my brother’s death was the most defining to date. I had lost one of the most important people in my life, he was gone - he was never coming back. My family was devastated. He was one of the good ones. He had an amazing sense of humor, he was smart, kind, good looking and so much fun.
I often say losing a family member is like automatic acceptance into a club you NEVER wanted to join. Your heart breaks for all incoming members, you know what they have to go through and how hard it’s going to be. Once a family member is lost, they cannot be replaced.
As I look back on the past 15 years without my brother, I have learned a great deal. His passing has taught me how to be a better person, more like him. If I have to live without him, I’m grateful for the lessons I’ve been given in his absence.
You are still missed and loved big brother.

TV's Take

Do you know couples that are frustrated by one another? Sure all couples bicker and fight because, well we are all human. What puzzles me are the women, primarily, that are surprised by what type of fathers their husbands turned out to be or how irresponsible their men are. As with any opinion there are always exceptions and people can change after I Do. That said, I would venture to say a vast majority of women know exactly what they are getting into when they say yes. They know the good, bad and the ugly about their men and enter into the commitment willingly. So why are so many women taken back at how lazy or uninvolved some of their men are? Their men were good enough when they said yes but now that they decided to have a family and/or add to their responsibilities the men are no longer good enough. This is why I’m always surprised they are surprised. What do you think?

TV's Take

When I’m out in public with my little one, I’m pretty sure every store/restaurant turns the air conditioning off once we enter. My daughter has definitely hit the ‘mini-tantrum/wax in ears/never sit still’ stage which results in less than relaxing public outings for dear old Mom. Almost immediately I’ll start sweating and the more volatile she is, more significant the sweat bead colony. I’m sure nearly half of my ‘sweaty’ anxiety is from holding her or trying to hold her while she flails her body to and from. The other half is from the fear that I don’t want her to completely fall apart and start raising holy heck in public. So I’ve resigned myself to wiping my brow and drinking ice cold water to keep the sweats away. If there are any store owners or managers reading this, if you see us approach your place of business, do all of us a favor and turn the air conditioning down, waaaay down please. And they say change is good, not sure about this one...

TV's Take

We are preparing to travel to the Midwest to see family and friends. Now we haven’t flown with a toddler before so I’m anticipating the flight will be filled with meltdowns, from both me and my little babe. More so, my family is going to be the one all the business professionals and dating couples do not want to sit next to. I mean we are going to be ‘that’ family they all dread. Of course we will have books, activities, movies and snacks galore to lessen the chance of meltdowns at 10,000 feet. I’ve already started several retorts in my head for fellow rude passengers, but that will only cause the Air Marshalls to cuff me so that may not be a good idea. Regardless the clock is ticking and soon we won’t be virgin airline parent passengers anymore. Let’s hope for everyone’s sake that our little one is the good girl she normally is and that the sky is friendly to everyone. Got any good traveling stories to share?

TV's Take

I’ve become a mom who makes treats for her family. There I said it. There are two reasons why this new activity is strange to me. One: baking seems too domestic. If I’m not careful I’ll be putting on a nice dress and apron much like June Clever. I’ve enjoyed cooking for years but baking is definitely mom-like. Two: having all this ‘treat – comfort food’ equals extra lbs, boooo!
Of course there really isn’t anything wrong with making your family sweet things they enjoy and it’s just proof I do enjoy my role as a stay at home. So instead of denying that I’ve turned into TV the Homemaker, I’ll share an old simple ‘treat’ recipe my Mom used to make for me and my siblings.
Carmel Bars
1 c brown sugar
1 c butter
Boil for 1 minute
Pour butter/sugar mixture over arranged graham crackers (3/4 of pack) on cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 5 minutes or until the center starts to bubble. Let pan cool (place in refrigerator to expedite).
Slowly melt large chocolate Hersey bar. Once melted, pour over graham cracker mixture. Cool again, cut and serve.
Got any good childhood recipes to share?

TV's Take

As mentioned in a previous post, I used to recruit and interview candidates for positions. If you are one of the many good people preparing to dip your toe in the proverbial job pool, here are a few interviewing tips, based on my experience. 1) Have specific examples of past successes/projects. The key-be specific. Interviewer training 101, the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. As a result, the goal is to get the candidate to answer questions using specific past examples. 2) Look sharp and error on the side of over-dressing, meaning put on that suit. 3) Do your research on the company, products/services and the position. 4) Follow up with a thank you e-mail and clarify next communication steps. 5) If you are not offered the job, it’s more likely that there will be something better out there. In addition, interviewing gives you good practice for the job you were meant to get. These are just a few tips, any interviewing tips that work for you?

TV's Take

Recently, I had to update my resume and we all know how much fun that can be. Many moons ago, I was a corporate recruiter, so employees, family and friends would ask me to help write their resume. Like you I’m not into wasting time, so instead of reinventing the wheel I suggested we start with their job description. Professionals spend hours writing good job descriptions, so why not honor their hard work and use your own description. If you don’t have a job description or find your description lacks professionalism, do a Google, Monster or Careerbuilder search for your position. You will most certainly want to tailor the description based on your specific skills and experience. Also it’s a good idea to list measurable accomplishments on your resume, but don’t embellish. This world keeps getting smaller, so make sure your resume is accurate! Keeping your resume up-to-date will help when your dream job calls, particularly if they want your resume ASAP. Got any good resume writing tips to share?

TV's Take

Edna, great comment. You are brave for initiating change in your life. It's much easier to sit back and hope your life changes; strong souls actually seek the change they want.

Edna May

Change is inevitable it's how you handle it that gets you through the maze. Even the changes I've initiated have been challenging. Interesting topic. Like everyones comments

TV's Take

Are you good at giving compliments? Many of us have never been taught how to accept a compliment or how important it is to give meaningful compliments. I am no expert but I’m certain many of us could use a little help. Often times I’ll think “my friend’s outfit is super cute” but often it remains a thought and I won’t actually say anything. Other days I’ll think about how well an employee handled a difficult situation but again I won’t necessarily tell them my positive opinion. I’m not a jealous person so my only explanation is another conversation or thought gets in the way of expressing the compliment. Whatever the reason, people like to hear thoughtful compliments. The key is being thoughtful, not generic. Example, the statement “you did a great job today” would mean more if it was specific, “your presentation today was outstanding, good job!” BTW: thank you for taking the time to read my blog. So, have you given a thoughtful compliment today?

TV's Take

Do you find it challenging to spend time with the friends you’ve got? I do and recently I came into some social situations where new acquaintances want to become friends. This is great with the exception that it’s challenging to spend time with my current circle of friends. What’s more interesting is that I’m not sure I want to spend time with these new acquaintances simply because I don’t have the time. This begs an even bigger question, what kind of narcissistic being am I to think I don’t need anymore friends? It is true that friends will come and go from our lives and as a result being open to new friends is important. In addition, I’ve moved to new cities and know that the key to that move transition going well is meeting nice like-minded friends. So back to the question, with parenting and working how does one find time for new acquaintances? Anyone else have this dilemma?

TV's Take

I now work very part-time from home while raising our 1 year old daughter. It’s wonderful to be home with her and we are connecting more as a result. Staying home has created a new behavior in me; I feel compelled to tell my husband all I did around the house that day. Example, “Today I mopped the floor and did 3 loads of laundry.” I’m not looking for an ‘atta boy’ but rather don’t want him thinking that I’m at home eating the proverbial bon bon all day. We’ve laughed about my subordinate style behavior and I’ve threatened to start typing up daily reports for his files. Like traditional careers where people are held accountable, no one is here working with me on projects. As a result, my need to report on the daily tasks helps keep me on track. Besides, where would we be without accountability, right?

TV's Takes

Communication Conundrum. I became a Facebook (fb) user in 2008 out of peer pressure. When I first started using the site and reading what my friends were posting, I was hooked! I was able to connect with some friends I hadn’t talked to in years. After months of using the site something strange was happening within my close circle of friends, we stopped sending personal e-mails and calling each other. We were relying on fb to maintain our relationships, but the quality was gone. fb created this amazing networking tool but it should not be the only way we keep in touch. Nothing can replace that smile, hug or one-on-one time with a good friend.
The very technology that was created to keep us connected may unintentionally drive us apart. I now appreciate fb for what it is, another tool to stay connected but definitely not the only tool. How do you think fb has affected your relationships?

TV's Takes

Making a Change. Recently I decided to leave my job to pursue other interests. Historically, change has not been my friend, however we seem to spend enough time together that I’m starting to see its good qualities. As I get older or wiser, my life’s transitions seem to be more exciting and more rewarding. Taking leaps of faith allow us to experience new people, ideas and a new sense of self. So many people in this world complain about their jobs or lives but never do anything to change it. They get stuck watching the world in motion often times mocking those seeking a better life. I admit to ‘getting stuck’ during my life but in reflection those are definite periods of unhappiness. Seeing change as an opportunity is really what living is all about.
Are you ready for a change?

TV's Takes

We are all doing our best. Several years ago I participated in a Human Resources class that focused on a basic principle, people are doing their best based on who they are. For over a decade this idea has stuck with me, we really are doing the best we can. The exceptions to this rule are of course crazy criminals. I’d like to say this principle gives me great wisdom in dealing with difficult people but I too am not perfect. Most of us don’t wake up each day and say we are going to be a terrible co-worker or spouse. If your co-worker or spouse is driving you crazy keep in mind the feelings may be mutual. We all come from different places; we have unique experiences and varying perspectives. This year I am going to work on using the whole notion that most people don’t mean to frustrate me but rather they are trying their best. My patience and understanding will help eliminate quick judgments and reactions, which is always a good thing. What do you think, are most people doing the best they can?

TV's Takes

A good year to slow down. Many of us make new years resolutions to do more. This year my resolution is to slow down and enjoy my relationships more. My new resolution became evident over the holidays when I took a few days off to spend with my family. During a typical work week I’m home with my daughter two days. During those days home with her, I’m so busy answering work e-mails, taking calls or doing the traditional household chores that spending time with her is even a chore. This holiday those typical tasks have decreased significantly and I’ve noticed something – I’m enjoying her more. My busy schedule had a negative effect on us. This seems like an obvious point but sometimes we are so wrapped up in our lives that we forget what’s important. So as you assess all that you need to do this year don’t forget to focus on your personal relationships. What do you think?

TV's Takes

The hardest tumble a man can make is to fall over his own bluff. ~Ambrose Bierce. Being honest with yourself is not always easy. Most of us live in an intellectual place where we like to believe we are being honest with ourselves. Many of us are only partially honest, choosing to defend or ignore our character qualities that are less than ideal. What makes being honest with ourselves so hard? Being honest with ourselves should be freeing and result in new opportunities. As I enter a time of transition, I’ve been sharing my fears and uncertainties with myself and trusted friends and family. It’s a good feeling to put myself out there and work on being honest with the person I strive to become. If it’s time to uncover your bluff, seek out a friend or family member who is objective and ask them what they see in you (both positive and constructive). Is it time to see the real you?

TV's Take

Making new friends. When I moved West from the Midwest several years ago, I was lucky because my ‘husband to be’ had a great group of married friends he already knew through work. Luckily, I became fast friends with a few of the wives. Phew! When meeting new potential friends I consistently look for the following qualities: They are Fun/Like to Laugh. If a potential girl friend cannot be silly or appreciate humor then it’s a no go. Positive or at least a Realist. When time with friends is precious and honestly a respite, the last thing I want to do is hear about all the problems with her, her family, her job, her man and the world in general. It’s okay to talk about problems but fellow girls need to bring positive energy to the table too. Trustworthiness. If you cannot trust your friends then they are, frankly not a friend.
Since becoming a mother, working, maintaining a home and being a wife there is little time to maintain friendships. Good friends understand that if you don’t talk to them everyday or in some cases each week, it’s okay. That said, friends are an essential aspect of feeling a sense of belonging. Having a good friendship base can help when problems arise or when you just need time away from your day to day. As they new year approaches make sure you are surrounding yourself with positive, healthy minded people. What qualities do you look for in friends?

TV's Take

Helping Parents Prepare for Change. If you are fortunate enough to know a wonderful family who is about to welcome a little one into the world here are some ideas on fun/thoughtful gift ideas.
1)Buy off the registry. Couples generally need the items on their registry, so it’s a good idea to at least consider purchasing items from the list.
2)Sheet Sets. A friend of mine bought me a zipper sheet set for the crib. It is the BEST gift (convenience related) I received after I had my little girl. It makes changing crib sheets so much easier. If you’ve had to change crib sheets in the middle of the night, you know what an inconvenience it is. These sheets allow you to change the crib sheet in less than a minute! Go to www.cloudsandstars.com to view their selection.
3)Organic Blankets and Bibs. A fun on-line store to check out for organic bamboo blankets and bibs www.babyurprecious.com
4)Clothing. Purchase clothing that will fit the little one several months from delivery. Also consider the time of year in which the baby will wear the outfit. During my showers I received so many wonderful warm clothing outfits. Because it’s typically over 105 degrees in the summer, my little one couldn’t wear the adorable sweaters that finally fit her in July.
5)Gift cards are great, really. Some of you may think that gift cards are impersonal but honestly they allow the parents to go out and buy whatever they need or want.
What are some great baby gifts you've received?

Justin

Great topic!

I much agree that "change is a constant inevitable". Just on Earth alone, "change" has been happening for millions of years, and I truly believe that change is very natural- and is a part of nature. How change affects us individually is based largely on how we view it, and it's important that we keep an open mind for "what looks like a loss may be the very event which is subsequently responsible for helping to produce the major achievement of your life." (Srully D. Blotnick)

Towards life and change, our attitude is a large part of our perception.

The Spa

Love everyone's thoughts on change. Very inspiring and motivating ways to think about change!

Nora AS

"Change has a considerable psychological impact on the human mind. To the fearful it is threatening because it means that things may get worse. To the hopeful it is encouraging because things may get better. To the confident it is inspiring because the challenge exists to make things better".

Nora

Everything changes, nothing stays the same is something the Buddha said to explain the concept of impermanence and encourage people to detach themselves from material possessions.

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