Zoe likes to be the fast one

When I had Niamh it took 24h of labor (apparently I’m THAT mom who brings up hours of labor).  Not that I liked nearly anything about those 24 hours BUT it was a transition zone between before and after baby.

With Zoe I was expecting less labor overall  but she was born SO FAST that it was shocking that I suddenly had the baby that had been inside so long OUTSIDE already!  No transition time really, we got to the hospital, checked in, then they let me wander and there was a kid stuff sale.  I got back to the room for a 1 hour check and within the hour I had a baby.  I’m talking fast here.

Zoe has kept up that pace with surprising me~  She was a fast walker and a super fast talker.  Right now she talks as well as any kid in elementary – sometimes that is a bad thing since her mouth-filter is not all that developed and so she will clear as a bell talk about some embarrassing thing.  Her peers are all around her level now but I had a 2 year old talking like a 6 year old…. shockingly fast.

Now school.  I thought I had another whole year with her at home or with the 2 day’s at daycare but the world moved such that now she will be getting on a bus for full day school Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  I know, I’ve said this a ton of times in the past few weeks but I thought I had a year to wait and this fell together in about 4 weeks!  If there is a fast track, Zoe will find it.  I don’t want to think too hard about the fact that the slope is getting slippery with school starting – First mandatory full day kindergarten because the nom and now 3 day full day prek… that is how kindergarten was before.  Will Fiona have full day every day preK?  Is that good?  I don’t know and I don’t want to dig on that too hard.  It is what works for us right now with Zoe~ She keeps asking when she gets to go to school and today I can finally say ‘Monday’.

Today was her orientation and the school did a great job.  Far more info was given then I ever got from Kindergarten.  The style open house the school runs is more convenient and festive but I like this exact time, sit and listen, get all the info that the preschool did.  Zoe will actually end up being ‘with’ Niamh more often then we thought since they have the same play and lunch time.  Not sure if that is a pro or a con but we will see…

All her everything is labeled so I suppose it is official.

kidecals.com ftw

For Profit Schools

Last night we watched the John Oliver show and it really is a great news/satire show and the feature was ‘For Profit Schools’.  He makes very valid points  about some predatory practices and blatant lies some for profit schools advertise about job opportunity etc but with all ‘news’ I owe it to myself to dig a little deeper.  As an ode to my college History chair; “If your mother says she loves you, check it out”.  My bone with the piece was how hard they slammed the lobby group APSCU, a Private college lobby group, one thing they were fighting was the stats about job placement post graduation.  There isn’t time in a 7min TV piece to define ‘all the things’ and most of the time sensationalism is based people not knowing all the facts etc so I watched the piece wondering if I went to a school represented by APSCU because it was certainly Private….  If yes, then, I had a measure of pity for APSCU in fighting for less regulation because if you looked at my college; Cabrini College in Collegeville PA, and my degrees; Political Science and History and then you say “did you get a job in your field” and I have to answer a yes no question that is REALLY HARD to answer because what express job does a political science degree get you?  Nope, not a politician or even a lawyer BUT YES my degree DID get me a GOOD job right out of school.  Yes, luck and connections and willingness to go for a job I had no idea even existed before I read the description had a large part to my success, but, I had to have a BA and I had a BA so that BA got me in the interview seat.  Another day I will have to talk about how valuable a political science degree is because I really really think it is, but not today, back to APSCU.

My holdout thought about APSCU was that they were representing all not not-for-profit schools and not just the ‘alternative’ style programs like National American University (online style, not the one in DC) or University of Phoenix.  Those schools scream diploma mill but they don’t even usually give you a BA, they give you a ‘certificate’ but not much muscle behind it – they formed the core of the John oliver piece and I’m behind him 100% on his points on them.  Personally if I was hiring I would only maybe give someone with that on their resume a chance to interview…  That is a personal bias obviously but I do believe strongly in traditional schools.  Back to the point, I worried that this lobby group was also lobbying to protect schools like mine and Lars’s that you earn an honest degree but if you go into a related job is a hard question to answer.

To the google answer machine I go….

First, the vast majority of colleges out there are PRIVATE  however still not for profit, and there are also a good number of public not for profit.  To be Not for profit there are rules about where money earned is spent.  Simply put, for profit ‘profits’ go to shareholders, not for profit ‘profits’ go into the school again.  There actually are not all that many for profit schools, they just really make a ton of TV commercials.

There ARE even a few NOT for profit online schools – here is a list

APSCU represents pretty much only For Profit schools although they are pretty sly about outright saying it and mostly use the word PRIVATE a ton, but I looked on their list of members, and they seem to all be for-profit.  I can’t tell for sure because other than mining each individual site they don’t tend to turn up on the college database services I like like “college decision headquarters” CAPPEX and they do seem to be on the list of For Profit schools on Wikipedia.


Conclusions… No more pity for APSCU, they lost my shadow of a doubt by having a misleading website and representing the for profit education crowd.

Side note… Just because something is for profit does not mean they are bad, I love capitalism, but from most of what I have seen the for profit education system cares more for money then quality for students.  HOWEVER if you find a way out of a bad place using one of these schools I am extremely happy for you and congratulations and wow you worked hard and I hope you got your moneys worth!

Another major component of Mr Olivers report was the debt of school.  Yes, that is a big deal….  it is another topic for another day and I’m just counting myself lucky that Lars and I both paid off our college debt years ago and we both graduated in 2000.  For me I was done in about 6 years and for him 8 but we were totally done before Niamh was born.  I could go on, I think education is very worth it but it is not worth any price…  Here are the schools we went to

Screen Captures7

and for the record we both made, respectively, more the first year out of school in 2000 than one year of 2014 tuition.

I need to go parent now but it was fun to think about something other than parenting for half an hour!  Thanks for listening :)

Project progress

We too the big step and actually talked to a professional about making our kitchen less of a trap.  It is a real trap, like you get stuck, because there are some serious choke points at important places.  When it was just Lars and I not caring about cooking it was fine, then we added a kid, then 3 and Lars got the memo I was not going to cook gourmet so now he cooks (very well!) shedding a light on our only vaguely adequate kitchen.  Bottom line, our kitchen is not big enough for our growing family and we need to make it bigger.


Our builder comes highly recommended and is very cool with us using our own subcontractors for things like flooring and he likes all of our ideas.  Major credit to a friend from NJ who sketched on a napkin in 3 seconds the perfect plan… Must be something to the fact she is a professional designer and has been for 12ish years (anyone need a designer?  She really is great at her job). I added to the plan thoughts I’ve been maturing for years and today we found out some firm yeses and firm nos to things and that is so nice to quit wondering and guessing!  The ball is rolling but I won’t get excited until I see some numbers on paper.  The best news all meeting was that he said we would only be without a sink for maybe a week!!! So much better then I was thinking :)


On top of it all he was nice~


so Zoe came down and wanted to help so I let her pick a picture for the post and she me in 1988… That is what I get for letting her pick



Subtraction project

Wow, my desk was bad but now it is very very good.  Lars had a surprise night off (since he lost 12 hours yesterday to The Man) so I had time to really do this.  Since it is glass it is kinda hard to see when totally clean but the only things on it are my computer, business/card file, water cup, notebook, and my ‘inbox’ tray.  Here is a picture… with a bonus of my cute shoes and these, btw, are my every day – goto – climb a mountain or walk the mall shoes made by Jambu.


Monday oh Monday, My last 2 kid Monday

It must seem like I’m constantly counting up or down to something….  In some ways I suppose I am because every so often I get to a point where all the things I’ve been planning on are done and I have nothing to count toward and I feel a little lost.  Babies (other peoples) are like that, I get a ‘batch’ that I watch and they usually all are born within a few months and then I have to go look for more babies to wait for~  My current batch of babies I’m watching is very eclectic – 2 mom’s club friends – one born and one due very very soon, an old work friend, and I just learned yesterday my elementary school BFF is something like 7 months but was keeping it mum from the facebook world.


Anyway, that was a tangent…  So today is my one day this week that does not have a set morning plan but we managed to fill it fast once I thought about it for 3.5 seconds.  Books to the library (and more out again) and checks to the bank.  Then all the normal stuff but I got a big jump on cleaning yesterday because Fiona too a nice nap and Lars was gone most of the day and evening so I cleaned and listened to my book and don’t I have an exciting life :)  Speaking of, I feel like I ‘arrived’ by attracting a semi snarky comment over the weekend!  She probably is not a long time reader or she would know that I don’t actually shop for shoes often at all AND I also hike, bike, run, beach, travel by car/plane and boat, ALL with 3 kids (who btw came to be in the world the old fashioned way, a nod to her final ‘action’ that she does rather then shoe shop).  She did get me thinking, the last time I shoe shopped was an absolute run through DSW to find something to replace my broken sandals.  Before that was a click and buy purchase for my sisters wedding shoe.  Before that…. I can’t actually remember, probably 2 years ago getting shoes for Karen’s wedding when I took this picture because when you are shopping w an infant, 2 and 4 year old you either embrace the crazy or go down crying.

Niamh age 4

Niamh age 4 – shoe loves are born not made

It was nice to get defended in comments too, almost feels like a real blog here not just my daily typing exercise :)

So other then a jam packed week of things, the subtraction project (today is desktops… my desk is a holey hell of bad because I share an office with Lars but I am only down here about an hour a day and I work frantically and then leave) and all the regular things.  I used to listen to the news and NPR and that gave me tons to talk about, need to get back to that so there is something more than ‘oh, ah, same thing different week’.  Looping back to the title, we are counting down to Zoe full day preschool next week!  It is really just getting back to what we had last year with M and W but now we are adding in Friday and also saving money doing it – win win.

Time to give some attention to this desk I’m at, good to clean it every now and then, I wonder what treasure I might find?

The Subraction Project

This project has been around for a good while and I always enjoy the prompts I get from them but I’ve never ‘joined in’ before.  The point of the project, very simply put, is to tackle little projects everyday and subtract some of the clutter/chaos/extra out to make life overall easier.

I signed up for September all ready to go but apparently my subliminal brain is one step a head because out of the first 5 prompts I have done them all myself in the past month….  I really do give this project credit though since I’ve been reading about it and as I come to a nest of things I think “what can I subtract…”

If you are interested, here is the project and full link to the first 5 projects

Basically day 1; edit the pens/pencils and/or utensil drawers.  I did both of these in the past month and it has made life much nicer.  There is a cache of markers in the kids room that I have not audited but technically I like that if half don’t work then Fiona is 50% less likely to draw on herself and the wall.  ** Mom Pro tips, never ever bring a non washable marker or crayon into the house.  Our sharpies are guarded and up high.

Day 2 was more mentally getting read for school, subtracting the drama.  I had a year of trying this and that to get us out the door without fear of panic attack or stroke and we are doing ok so far.  Getting up at 7:30 seems to be the key, we end up with 30 min of ‘nothing’ but easier to fill that then be panic.  For some reason waking up at 8 means everything is a tragic rush and is really stressful.  7:30 it is… we will see next week how mixing in Zoe to the bus too will help or hurt.


Day 3 Piles of paper.  Ok this will be life long and no, still have not totally done anything with Niamh’s kindergarten work – BUT I have been attacking other piles of paper so I count that.  I do like her suggestions of how much to save so I’ll build that into the project that is ‘maturing’ in my mind.


Day 4 Leftover containers.  Not to brag, but, I’m ruthless on these in general.  I love containers but I have held off getting out of control.  The most organized spot in the kitchen is the two places I have reusable containers.  Last year I made it a goal to have minimal waste in Niamh’s lunch box so other then some pre packaged food like yogurt, everything goes into a container.  The little snack bowels I got for baby food way back are now my go-to for components of lunch and we have 2 styles of container that we stick with so no strays or extras.  I did give it a look just because and I tossed one lid that looked a bit melty.  Lars is always sneaking containers into the trash that are just too gross to deal with so no stains either.  For the record we use Glad square boxes and a random Costco brand that is a shallow rectangle but it was 50 for about $15 so tossing one now and then is ok.


Day 5, today, was to let go of 5 things and the prompt indicated shoes, makeup, and lotions (in a list) and I bit the bullet 2 weeks ago and purged the make up collection so I’m down to less then one box and half of that is novelty stuff for crazy makeup.  I did take a real look and I’m letting go of three pairs of shoes.

The red ones I wore to my sister Sinead’s wedding and countless other things and they just need to retire.  The sparklie high silver ones I wore once and they hurt and I’m really not ever going to wear them in my life so away they go (donate). The slippers are from my sister Josie’s ex boyfriend and they are a tad uncomfortable but I have not worn them ever really because he was out the door about 2 months after I got them and I don’t want to really be reminded of him because he was just a ‘mah’ person and her next boyfriend (now husband) is 210% more awesome. (also donate)


It is hard to let go of some things and I’m not ready for everything she prompts but I have proof that just reading the prompts gets them into my brain and eventually I get to a place where I can get rid of things…. like I finally delt with the box of stuff that came from my old work.  It spent 2 years in a box in the garage since I didn’t want to deal with it and 85% went directly into the trash when I did open it.

Anyone want to join me in the project?