UPDATE TO Mrs. Flinger October 16, 2015
Because the Universe has a wicked sense of humor, after this delcaration, my blog threw up all over my last upgrade.
So I'm starting over using Craft. Turning 40 and kid entering Jr High next year, sometimes it's just time for a change. These archives will still exist in the way the last child goes off to college and their room is the same for 20 years, but it's just time to move forward.
(In Theory) I’m heading to Type-A Mom Con Sep 24, 2009
I went to a private school for first grade. My mother and father had decided I learned enough in preschool to advance in to First Grade and combine my Kindergarten-First grade year together. I was an October baby and it was the best way around the school’s August 31st Cutoff.
I envied the children getting on the school bus each morning. I waited and watched and each child waved good-bye to their mother, got on the bus, and laughed joyfully, right in my little 6 year old face.
There was a party on that school bus. Every morning I saw the children have a parent-free party while I had to be carted across town to the Catholic Elementary School I was attending. The nuns did not allow a school but in the parking lot. Or at least that’s what I assumed. Most everything bad in my 6 year old life was because of those nuns. Surely they took away the party bus, too.
So it continued through the entire school year. Children gloating on the bus while I got in the car for Catholic School.
Finally the Texas School District said I was qualified enough to enter Public School (Ironic, isn’t it?) I stepped on the bus on the first day of second grade.
I sat, wide-eyed, in the middle of the bus, gaping, staring, watching. I could hardly breath I was so excited. The bus stopped to pick up kids, mostly older than I was. I sat in awe as the light blinked each time the bus stopped.
:: click click click click :: Yellow :: Click Click Click Click :: Red :: Blink Blink Blink ::
It was mesmerizing.
The Bus Driver got on the PA and announced that after we stopped at Wedgewood, we’d be late to The Other Elementary School. (Sidenote: In Texas, there is Primary School, k-2, Elementary, 3-5, Jr. High 6-8, and High School 9-12. Or at least there was in 1983.) I assumed I was just going to be late and thought I’d just hang out and watch the lights. Click Click Click.
The students filed off and I realized I was alone. I was scared. The bus driver started driving back to the bus barn. BUT WAIT! I thought we were picking up more kids! Where are all the kids!
The Bus Driver asked what grade I was in. “Second” I said shyly. “Is this your first bus ride?” Yes, I confessed.
She took me to school an hour late. I missed the introduction to my teacher, my classroom, my school. I remember the principal walking me to the class giggling. “So you never got off the bus, hu?”
My mom had the same reaction at the end of school when she was called and told about my incident.
She still laughs about it to this day.
“I forgot to tell you to get OFF the bus! Of all the things a parent needs to say, I didn’t realize that was one of them.”
This story flashes in my mind when I glance at the clock and realize it’s time for my flight to take off. I look around at the people sitting comfortably in the gage seating area. Most are working. There’s not a sign of a boarding anywhere.
Suddenly I gasp, get up, and book to the next open counter. The one stating that my flight to Ashville, and thus Type-A-Mom, is closed. “I missed the flight?!” I gasp. “Is it boarding?!” “No, you missed the flight.”
I look at the large man, wondering if I should be honest, picturing his giggle when he says, “You’ve been sitting at the other gate this whole time?”
What I hear in my head is, “So, you never got off the bus, hu?” and I realize how much I am the same.
:: click click click click ::
FAVICON- A short tutorial Sep 24, 2009
As part of establishing your “brand” as a blogger (or marketer, business or commercial website) you need to pay special attention to the consistency in which you present your image. This includes what people see in the tab of their browser when they are on your site.
The “FAVICON” or Fave Icon if you’re a human, helps identify your site in the URL and in a tab. Originally Favicons appeared on the bookmark menu when you “favorited” a site. (Thus the name)
To make a favicon there are several methods and tutorials you can use.
If you already have an image or logo that would look ok at 16x16 pixels:
Use these online tools to create your favicon out of an image
http://www.html-kit.com/favicon/ *note, this tool also uses your twitter icon if you’d prefer.
You’ll notice your file becomes a “.ico” file. This is an “icon” file that IE requires in order to display the icon correctly in the toolbar and bookmarks menu.
You can also DOWNLOAD A PHOTOSHOP PLUGIN to create your own favicon.ico (Be sure you save it with that file name. You know how IE is when you don’t do what it needs.)
Be sure you size it at 16px x 16px
*Note: You can also save it as a 32px x 32px icon for bookmarking purposes. This will automatically get scaled to 16x16 for the URL bar.
*This is the method I used on my site.
If you don’t already have an image
You can use some online tools to create a new favicon.ico:
Or you can download some of the ready made ones.
Placing the Faveicon.ico on your server.
Use your FTP program to place the image on the root level of your domain. (Example: http://blogher.com/ or http://mrsflinger.com”)
You’ll be able to acess it by going to http://yourdomain.com/favicon.ico
*Yes, it is possible to put the image elsewhere on the server like some Wordpress Themes do. However, browsers don’t always recognize this method so for consistency, it’s best to place your icon at the root.
Placing the Faveicon.ico on your server.
Place this code between the< head > and < /head >
tag in your header template.
<link rel="icon" href="/favicon.ico" type="image/x-icon">
If you want to use a GIF or PNG instead, use this format instead (just remember that it won’t work in IE):
<link rel="icon" href="/favicon.png" type="image/png">
<link rel="icon" href="/favicon.gif" type="image/gif">
Sometimes, every so often, maybe, I quietly want another baby Sep 21, 2009
The children played together all weekend.
They are growing so quickly.
My daughter barely fits, all knees and legs, on my lap when I snuggle her.
My son has full sentences.
I feel like a person most days. A person with a job, a life, and a family.
It felt so far away at the time, when we started this, nearly five years ago.
Now I can hardly remember my daughter’s reflux.
My son’s premature birth.
My daughter’s inability to sleep more than 2 hours.
My son’s long battle with ear infections.
Now all I can think of is the family that sits at the dinner table, each in a chair.
The children that wrestle.
The people in the backseat who sing Old McDonald.
People I grew.
Little people, still, but people.
Opinionated, Joyful, Sorrowful, Reading, Playing, Loving, Jumping.
My mind whirls when I think of the past, the emptiness, the wondering.
These people are the people I didn’t know I needed.
Now I couldn’t be without them.
So sometimes, in the very quietest moments of the days when everyone is happy and well, I wonder….
Is there someone else I don’t know I need?
And would I die without knowing them?
Your Sunday Morning of Zen Sep 20, 2009
James Lipton: “What is your favorite sound?”
Mrs. Flinger: “The sound of my children playing.”
James Lipton: “What is your least favorite sound?”
Mrs. Flinger: “The sound of my children fighting.”
Taking after her mother Sep 19, 2009
Family Expectations And The Grass That Is Truly Greener Sep 18, 2009
I grew up in a suburb of Houston in a neighborhood with sidewalks and manicured lawns. I have fond memories of children riding our hot-wheels on the sidewalk, zipping up each driveway to someone’s house we all knew. Denise, Paul, Mercy, Carol. Kids spanning from 2nd grade to 6th, all mingling in the street playing basketball, riding bikes, coloring with chalk. The caste system of maturity as the older kids teased the younger and the younger kids gathering around toys.
This is my childhood and I love the memories. I can almost smell the air of a humid Saturday morning in October when the children begin to take to the sidewalk playing, knocking on doors, asking if so-and-so can come out to play.
My husband has a different memory.
My husband grew up on acreage in a tiny town in Washington State. Where rain and mud and large trees dominate his childhood. Where boys could explore for hours in a barn, watch the horses, and roll down large hills. He smells the pine and fresh air and instantly turns 8 in his head, playing trains and bikes and GI-Joes.
Each of our experiences influence our expectations for our own family. I see my children enjoying the company of others, playing in the front yard as I make dinner, calling to me that the neighbors are out chatting. My husband sees our children roaming a field of land, running in pine cones and leaves and mud.
We’re now looking for a house. It’s become evident we have a short opportunity of time to leave our tiny condo, expand our legs, and give each child a room of their own. It is now or never, in the words of our agent, and we have to move quickly.
It is now.
But as we look, searching, for the right place to live, the home we will keep for 10-15 years, for the duration of our childrens’ schooling and thus the majority of their childhood memories, we can’t get past our own happiness as a child. Land vs. Community. A newer home vs space.
We visit homes and the children marvel at the bedrooms. “It’s PINK already!” We watch as the kids run circles in the large yard running up and down the small hill. Laughing. Rolling. Smiling. We see neighbor kids playing and our children watching, wishing they could join in.
I know the lesson here. I know the conclusion. I know we are our own family, influenced by our parents but not tied by their experiences. We are a new family, full of new needs, new expectations. But we’re not so different from the family we belonged to back in 1979, or the houses we occupied. And in the end I know it’s the family, not the house, that creates the childhood memories to hold on to.
I just hope this family gets a house with a new kitchen. And a skylight.
And maybe a bit of land with large wet evergreens, because I believe in the American Dream.
We’re dreaming big. And the kids are dreaming with us.
A New Week, A New Start Sep 14, 2009
I was recently reminded of a promise I made to myself to get in shape.
oooOOOOHhhh, sighs the Internet. THAT again.
Well, yes, that. THAT.
However, instead of making lofty goals, promises, and pubic announcements, I’m just going to share with you one or two things I’m going to try this week. Will I do this again next week? I can not say. Mainly because one of the things I’m trying to cut back on, aside from booze (god, the excess sugar!) and processed meats, I’m also giving up making promises I know I can’t keep.
So? Here are two things I’m doing this particular week.
1. Doing this DVD twice this week. It’s a ballet conditioning workout and in some ways? It is harder than The Shred. Dearlawd my abs! MY ABS.
2. Making this hearty Minestrone soup one night.
Quick Fall Minestrone
This easy soup brims with fresh vegetables; canned beans and orzo make it hearty and filling. Use a vegetable peeler to quickly remove the skin from the squash.
TOTAL TIME: 35 MINUTES
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups vegetable broth
2½ . cups (¾ .-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash
2½ . cups (¾ .-inch) cubed peeled baking potato
1 cup (1-inch) cut green beans (about ¼ . pound)
½ . cup diced carrot
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ . teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ . teaspoon salt
4 cups chopped kale
½ . cup uncooked orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
1 (16-ounce) can cannellini beans or other white beans, rinsed and drained
½ . cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté 2½ . minutes or until tender. Add broth and the next 7 ingredients (broth through salt); bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 3 minutes. Add kale, orzo, and beans; cook 5 minutes or until orzo is done and vegetables are tender. Sprinkle with cheese.
Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1½ . cups soup and 1 tablespoon cheese)
CALORIES 212 (21% from fat); FAT 5g (sat 1.6g, mono 1g, poly 1.2g); PROTEIN 9.6g; CARB 36g; FIBER 3.9g; CHOL 5mg; IRON 1.9mg; SODIUM 961mg; CALC 164mg
This recipe is from CookingLight
In the words of Bob, “Baby stepping toward healthy….”
Learn to programm iApps from Stanford thanks to iTunesU. Free. Sep 13, 2009
I purchased a book about a year ago for programming iPhone Apps. That book? The spine still isn’t broken; which is a sure sign that I’m either a) complete slacker or b) too anal to break the spines on my books.
Clearly it’s not B.
I tend to learn better through interaction so when I found out I could participate in a class at STANFORD for FREE?
I felt a little giddy.
So I’ll be participating in the Stanford iTunes U iApp Building. There is a series of podcast downloads with associated PDF slides of the lectures.
I’ll be downloading these files as quickly as possible before word gets out that I can get smart FOR FREE from STANFORD.
Maybe someone was completely baked when they thought this was a great idea, because it was. It is. And it feels a touch illegal, wrong, and a little dirty. Me getting smart off Stanford’s lectures.
Raur, baby. Just… Raur. Bring on teh sexy code!
Labor Day: A working mother’s question, a plea, and a pledge Sep 08, 2009
My family did what most other Seattle families did this Labor Day: We hunkered down and went out in the rain. As Seattle dwellers, we’re accustom to venturing out in the rain in our gear and rain boots. It’s what we do.
And so we did.
Shortly after these photos were taken, Toddler Boy started puking. The fever from two days ago apparently turned in to the flu and we spent most of the night cuddling, cleaning, and holding while his body rejected the virus.
I’ve never been one of those mothers who liked to fight about what was harder: staying home or working. I’m not one of those mothers that enjoys competing at that level (a nice healthy game of scattegories, though, is fair game) so I’m not interested in saying that because I am keeping my son home from preschool/daycare today I need sympathy for me and him. And, alternatively, I’m not looking for a lecture about being a working mom.
No. What I need is a tall red beer. And ear plugs.
It’s a fine line to walk, the working mother. On the one hand, there is the guilt, the pull, the tug of the family. On the other hand, there are bills, a housing market that failed miserably, and an education your children deserve. Toss in self-fulfillment and the fact that I love my job and you have one complex equation.
Some days are obvious: Today is a work day. Tomorrow is a holiday.
But most days are gray, overcast, misty with confusion and the lack of differentiation.
Especially the days one of the kids stay home sick.
I have not found the balance between working, focusing, and caring for the demanding, ill, little person. I haven’t been successful at holding my son, rocking him to sleep without thinking of the list I need to accomplish.
I do not seperate well.
I don’t have the answer. I don’t know how to be present in the thing I’m doing. I’m always in a million places focusing on how to get those million things to completion.
Yesterday for an hour and a half I was walking with my family on a path in the rain watching the ducks and the children. I wasn’t in my computer, I wasn’t in my to do list, I wasn’t in our finances. I was walking with my family. Purely. Simply.
Maybe I’m not great at separating my rolls yet. But I know I can have them work together. At least some of the times.
Or maybe just by asking the questions I’m admitting failure.
Either way. I don’t know how you do it.
How. Do. You. Do. It?
Things that happen in thirty days Sep 04, 2009
1. The moon waxes and wanes and makes a complete circle around the earth.
2. Women bleed.
3. You can fail at the thirty day challenge.
4. And Mrs. Flinger Finally Gets Around To Her Post-BlogHer BrewHAHA post.
First, I want to say a huge, gigantic, fabulous, big, wonderful shoutout to Johnson and Johnson for their fabulous give-away. I was one of the lucky winners in the BlogHer Travel Sweepstakes. I honestly don’t know what I’d have done without them. The contacts there are so wonderfully kind and helpful and I just need to shout out to J&J with a huge big HOWDYHO! And thank you. From a most humbled me.
Instead of recapping in a play-by-play fashion, I’ve been gnawing on an overview in my head since the flight home a month ago. I’ve been sorting out the details looking for the big picture, trying not to get too bogged down in the WHO and the WHERE. I enjoyed my time with so many people, both new friends and old friends. And since most everything has already been said about the swag, parties, mommy blogging, I have no need to rehash any of it because in the end, it’s what you take out of the conference that sticks with you…
...Even thirty days later.
The Big Picture
I spent a lot of time walking around Chicago with Amanda, my friend from work. She is smart, funny, a potty mouth, and I love her for all of it. Her perspective kept me grounded, focused. She writes. We talked about writing versus blogging. We talked about the depth of relationships and “the game” of blogging. In the end I realized where my priorities were shifting and how it was effecting relationships that I cared about, my job, my home life, my children.
My time with her was invaluable. I learned as much, or more, about blogging and my own intrinsic value simply from wandering Chicago with one of BlogLand’s most amazing, underground, bloggers.
The Love Fest
I’ve been blogging since August 2003. I’ve been in the community for a long long time. This provides time to meet, love, and admire people from WAY WAY back in, like, 2004. (!) In blog years, which are similar to dog years, that’s about twenty-five decades or roughly the time it takes to figure out what you want to do with your life.
And then you realize they are people.
And they love you back.
Jen is one such loveliness.
Schmutzie and her Palinode are long-time blog loves as well. And I simply adore them both with the flame of a thousand binary suns. As fellow web geeks, well spoken and down-right hilarious, they are a cozy hug in the middle of a conference of strangers. They are home.
Way way back in 2004, I read Busy Mom and just about died the first time she commented on my site. BUSYMOM, YO! And then she got twitter and made me laugh daily with her quick-wit hidden messages. (“Omeonsay Eedsnay Acationvay Omfray Ossbay”)
And finally, Finally, after all these years, I sat on her lap and followed her around like a pup.
It’s almost strange to me that I’ve never met Karen. Is that possible? That I’ve never actually MET her until this summer? We’ve worked together for two years now and have talked on the phone maybe a billion times but my first hug with the lovely lady that is so beautiful inside and out only happened this summer. And it was wonderful.
Megan is another phone-buddy of mine and someone I consider a “real life” friend. This is our third conference together but it feels as though she lives here in my neighborhood. Or maybe I just wish she did.
This year we had actual MEN at the conference! MEN! In a sea of women! It must’ve been heaven for them.
Or utter scary hell.
Either way, I had the opportunity to say hello to a friend. Maybe you heard of him? Chris Mann? He’s not totally hot or anything.
Theron is another boy that came to the Room 704 party. He is the president of People Pond and since we had a hard time calling him “Theron” we just referred to him as “Kent Cracker” because, comon, he’s so totally Clark Kent. Right?
A surprising, wonderful, fabulous first time love of mine is Sleepy New Mommy. I FECKING LURVE HER. Obviously.
Also, I adored meeting Megan from Megan’s Minute. She was a breath of logical fresh air and fun.
I met so many people, did not take enough pictures, fell in to a stupor of love and overwhelmed dehydration, and took terrible notes. But I remember people, the ones who were kind, who I did not see enough of, who are lovely inside and out. And I hope to see them more, both online and off.
I can’t say enough about Lotus (whom I was almost killed by a car for whilst hugging until Amanda saved me) and my fellow 704 party throwers. They are my tribe. And I would not have survived without them.
And oh, so many more people that I adore. I’m so blessed to know so many great souls. Seriously wonderful people that can cut loose, cuss, drink, laugh, share, and be a genuine person, a friend, a love.
I am blessed in multitude for what this community, this blog, has brought me.
And I would never have it without you.
All of you.
(For better recaps, see these lovely womenz that I had the joy of meeting in person and who say something nice about me. I pay them.)
Lotus’s fucking awesome hilariousness
Karen’s Canadian Recap, eh
Christine of the bean blog
PhD in parenting
The Pioneer Woman
Jodifur (who was a complete JOY to meet, a highlight for sure!)
And maybe yours, too, but I’m godawful at checking stats. GODAWFUL, I say. See also: paying bills. But that’s another story for another day.