Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Mostly Settled in to My WordPress Home

So, I have migrated most of my content from here, set up some new things and am in the process of determining next steps for my new blog/website. It is an exciting time and I would be THRILLED if all of my wonderful followers would go and find me there.

My new blog is taking a bit of a different direction as I focus on teaching music, my own music studies, music in general for students (with a focus on the beginner) products for teachers and student and even some freebies such as vocal warm-ups which I will add so that they can be downloaded.  Please come join me!  Hope to see you soon!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Aaachoo! So, I haven't been around much... *cough

A couple of weeks back, my daughter, Sarah (AKA Trouble) brought home a lovely virus.  She saw fit to share it with her best friend during their sleep over and with her father for his birthday.  Nothing says Happy Birthday like the cold/flu virus, right?  Well, I am hopefully the last to get it and I was sooo sick. In fact, I pretty much spent the better part of two days in bed, a luxury I cannot normally afford.  Even after that, I was a zombie for another three days and I'm still going through the tissues like mad and coughing up a lung.  Needless to say, I was pretty much not focused enough to do much posting or moving and my first voice lesson of the season was interesting!

That said, I am going forward with the move. Just getting some things set up with my new WordPress blog then I will look into whether I can do the transfer from here myself or whether it would be worth my while to bite the bullet and pay someone to move my blog.  :)  Anyone have any experience with moving from Blogger to Wordpress?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Nearly Time to Take the Plunge

I have been thinking of making a move for some time now and the more I network with other bloggers, the clearer it becomes that it will soon be time to make the leap from Blogger to WordPress.  I have a few reasons for this.

One - I am a music teacher and I seem to have blogs and sites all over the place.  I think the time is now to get serious about having not only a mommy blog, but also one that can make me money and promote my home studio. :)  I have a domain over at Go Daddy, which I may or may not keep (we'll see) but it seems like I could put together a much nicer blog/studio website and have it all in one place I am already paying for.

Two- I am tired of having page load and freezing issues. It took me way too long to respond to the bloggers who were so gracious to comment on last week's blog post because of those issues.  If blogging is about relationships, responding to bloggers or followers is crucial and using a platform which makes these things difficult just seems like a waste of time at this point in time.

I am working through one question, however, and that is whether I can keep a section for blogging like I have been doing recently, about my life with my family and the seasons of parenting.  I'll be looking into a way to keep that going because I don't want to stop doing this kind of post after getting such positive feedback and because I really do enjoy it.  :)

Right now, I have been working with the sweet and wonderful Lisa Cash Hanson and learning how I might make my blog/website more profitable.  I am involved with a great group of ladies in a group called Blogs to Riches and am part of the Inner Circle with special one on one training with Lisa.  She is working hard to help those of us who need to make the move to WordPress easier.  I highly recommend the group and the training if you are in the market for some advice and gentle butt kicking to help grow your blog and business.  You can check out the book for yourself here!  Click here to visit Mompreneur Mogul.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Why I am a Failure as a Mom

This hop is a great idea.  I can't wait to tell you how I have failed as a mom with my daughters who are now seventeen and thirteen.  I know I have failed because of the feedback I have had from the girls when they tell me what other moms think and from a phone call I got once telling me that my daughter was participating on a website called, of all things, DEVIANT art!  *swoons away

When they were small I failed them by;

-Only breastfeeding Melissa for a couple of months because I was a stressed out single mom
-choosing to give birth to Sarah (DD#2) at home on my living room floor surrounded by peace and quiet and love
-allowing them solid food when they seemed like they wanted it, rather than by the books
-letting them play under the bleachers while Daddy umpired baseball - they were the dirtiest kids around!
-having them with us at the rink when Dad refereed, or the golf course when he played
-giving them the choice to not wear their jackets if it was cold so that they would learn (of course, I took a jacket  in case they needed it)
-pulling Melissa out of second grade and homeschooling her for two years
-teaching Sarah to read, print and do math before she even started Kindergarten because she was ready
-saying "no" even when it broke my heart because it was the best thing for them
-allowing them to dress themselves even if their clothes didn't match
-not putting a block on the tv, but rather monitoring in person what they watched and discussing things that came up
-treating scary questions as teachable moments

As they got older, I got even worse.  I did such awful things as;

-allowing Melissa to pick her own curfew in high school (she picked an earlier time than I would have!)
-allowing them to walk to the store at the corner and not filling them with my fears of kidnappings or accidents
-teaching them about safely searching the internet rather than putting a parental block on the computer -monitoring what they were doing on the internet (Miss is nearly 18 and I still reserve the right to see what she is doing on the internet I pay for although I never barge into her room or Sarah's)
-not only allowing them to go to anime conventions, but going along with an open mind and eventually embracing the community
-allowing them more and more as they get older to face the consequences of their actions rather than bailing them out
-taking them out of school to go to Disneyland

As you can see, I'm a really horrible mom.  It probably explains why my daughters' friends always come over here and why some of Melissa's friends in high school said they wanted to live here.  I blame my husband; he takes a much liberal approach to parenting and I, by instinct, would be a more protective mom, but it's his fault I have learned to be more middle of the road.

Oh yeah. Worst of all; my kids know they can come to be about anything and I will still love them.  Horrible, no?

Missa and me on the evening of her grad dinner

Sarah and me watching 3D movies on Freedom of the Seas

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

When the Baby of the Family Finishes Grade School

  On the very same day her sister graduated from high school, our younger princess, Sarah, finished grade seven and prepared to move on to high school herself. Sarah is princess is name and attitude, but not in dress, so she borrowed a pretty black dress from her older sister (who is actually smaller than she is, incidentally). Ever the individual, and finding herself without dress shoes, she wore her winged sneakers. The effect really must be seen to be appreciated.

   I was feeling quite emotional since older sister was having “real” grad, but also feeling like my sweet baby had grown up far too quickly as well. Sarah is the daughter I don't talk about as much, but she is as much blessing as her sister. She is my homebirth baby, my lawyer to be (the girl can argue anything!) my beauty queen in skinny jeans and with the biggest attitude. It's not that she necessarily believes the world owes her, but more that she simply doesn't care what most people think about her. I wish I had been more like that when I was a teen! She has always been the child to present her case when she wants something and is concerned that we might have objections. She carefully researches and explains her point of view. Smart little stinker!

   At any rate, this same little girl (who is nearly taller than I am!) was leaving her elementary school and, through a series of district wide changes, being separated from several of her best friends. Not easy for most kids, but for one who loves from the deepest part of herself, very difficult.

   We arrived at her luncheon ceremony to find that there were not enough chairs. Interestingly enough, I attended school here from the age of 13 and graduated from one of the local high schools, but this small town's flavour has changed so much with the migration of city people to the area. I had not bonded with the mothers of her school even during the years of standing outside making polite conversation with some but mostly being ignored. I still find that ironic, given that I am from here! We did finally find her best friend's mom and I sat near her.

   There was an award ceremony during which the two teachers presented certificates both serious and silly. Sarah even earned a new award – The Silver Shoe Award – for her crazy shoes! Then came the moment which shocked us both. Sarah had received 100% on her science exam and thus earned the Science award for the grade! :) There was then a very sad few moments as the class took time to remember a young lady who had died in a car accident during the course of the year. When her grandmother made the presentation, I don't think there was a dry eye in the room. It had been difficult even for us parents to see our children grapple with this kind of loss at such a young age.
The ceremony ended with a fun AV presentation some of the boys had put together. Included were baby pictures and current ones of the class and even a photo of the girl who had been lost to that car crash. Again, probably not too many dry eyes in the room.

   Afterward, there was much picture taking on the part of proud parents, cake eating by all, and good-byes between staff and students. I was so proud to see the pride in Sarah's teachers' eyes as they congratulated and encouraged her. I hope that she won't waste her not unconsiderable intelligence (inherited from her father) during her high school years. I am also glad that in all of the separation which took place, she is still in school with her best friend and that she has chosen her friends wisely. In the next few years with all of the growing up and craziness, she will need steady and reliable friends.

   And so begins a new chapter. One child embarking on her journey as a young adult and the other foraying into the wilderness which is high school. ;) I am so proud of them both. 

  Sarah on the right sporting her winged silver shoes.

Monday, September 10, 2012

When your Baby Graduates

June 27, 2012 was the end of a stage of my daughters young life and the beginning of another one. She had found the “perfect” dress in her grade eleven year while out shopping with one of her closest friends, and had called excitedly to ask if we would allow her to buy it. Ever the bargain hunter, Melissa had found her dream dress at a consignment shop for a mere $50. She had already texted us a photo of her wearing the dress and her friend insisted that if Miss didn't buy it herself, she was going to buy it for her!

Now, more than a year later, I helped her by carefully curling her freshly dyed hair into a pile of ringlets and pulling it back. She slipped into her dress and added the tiara she had found the week before ($11!) and declared herself a “freaking pretty princess”. I had to agree. I carefully applied make up leaving her to do her own mascara. This princess is far too jumpy for anyone else to apply her mascara!

Her Royal Highness allowed me to take some photos in the back yard before I rushed off to her sister's grade seven graduation (which merits its own post :) ) Her grandmother was coming soon to pick her up and take her down the mall for the classic car parade, a tradition which began after I graduated in this town some years ago. She would be met there by her biological father who had flown out from Alberta to be here for her grad. :) It would be some hours before my husband and I would see her again.

When we got to the school it was HOT. I found myself sitting between my ex and my husband and was struck that, even though I wish her biological father had been more involved when she was small, Melissa is blessed to have two dads who get along and I am also blessed to think of my ex as a friend. I did wonder if I would have to send the two of them to time out, however, as they got sillier and noisier as time went on. Excitement and shared pride, I guess? At any rate, the grads finally filed in and the ceremony began.

As a side note, I should add that sitting in bleacher for any amount of time is agony for both my ex and my husband. They are both prone to bad knees and hubby even had hip replacement surgery when he was only forty! The great Canadian game has really done them both in. Hockey is dangerous for more than just concussions. ;)

Anyway, the time was finally nearing for Melissa to take her walk. Both dads positioned themselves in the aisle and with not a little difficulty, got down on their knees to take photos. Miss later told me that they had her in stitches of laughter calling eachother old and wondering who was going to help whom up off the ground!

When she turned the corner to cross the room, I was there waiting to take her picture and give one last hug. She had tears in her eyes and reached for me. Talk about bittersweet! My little girl, the one with whom I lived alone for two and a half years is now in a position to leave me. I know that I will always be her mother and she will always be my baby and that we have a special relationship which won't ever end, but I also know that it will change. Perhaps more gradually, since she is not in a hurry to leave home, but it will change. Mixed with the pride is a little melancholy. Her sister started high school and it won't be long before she has her time of leaving. I guess to everything there really is a season, and motherhood has been such a blessed time for me.  

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Away from my blog for far too long!

I apologize profusely for my long absence.  I last posted just before my daughter graduated, but I had no idea how my life would blow up in my face for a few weeks!  I want to be careful to keep this from getting too personal, but let's just say that my husband and I looked very hard at whether this marriage is going to continue to work out or not.  I am in counselling, he is making some changes and we are taking it one step at a time.

Meanwhile, my daughter graduated in a lovely ceremony where she looked in her words; "like a pretty freaking princess!"   I'll be sure to post more about that later today.  Brag pics WILL be included. ;)  We also took a trip (surprise, surprise!) to the Edmonton area where she visited with her biological father. I drove (roughly 1200KM each way - somewhere in the 750 mile area) and it was a really cool experience. More blog material! Yay! :)

Some exciting things are happening.  I will be teaching a series of music classes at our local rec centre starting next week.  My younger daughter started high school at the high school from which I graduated (some) years ago.  My older daughter decided to stay with us for at least the next year and has begun a job search.  I have also joined Lisa Cash Hanson's Blogs to Riches Club where I will learn a lot more about blogging for money and how to be a successful blogger.  So here is to a really exciting fall!  Hope you all had a wonderful summer!