My (Apparently) Trending Cell Phone

So I didn’t realize it yesterday when I wrote the blog, but apparently having an outdated and data-free cell phone makes me one cool chick. Who knew?

My Week with a Flip Phone

Are You Even Cool Enough to Use a Flip Phone, Though?


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My 7-Year-Old Cell Phone

The Workhorse

The Workhorse

I’ve had the same cell phone for seven years. Possibly more, but it’s been so long I can’t remember or find evidence of the transaction. It is not a smart phone. It is a slider phone with a keyboard and rudimentary capabilities for web browsing that I do not use because I do not have a data plan. I acquired this phone after smart phones were a thing, and I’ve stubbornly stuck with it ever since. Fact is, I like it. The keyboard is clicky and responsive for texting, which I do a lot, and the call quality is great. The down side of this phone is it’s slippery, but the upside is it is indestructible.

The best (cell phone) keyboard

The best (cell phone) keyboard

I’ve been toying with the idea of getting a smart phone for years, but I never do it because I don’t see a big need for it. I have plenty of internet access without it, and I don’t mind simply waiting at a restaurant for my food and being a real person.

Except then there are times I see a need for it. Times when I am waiting and I don’t have anything else to do, no book to read. Times when I want to check my e-mail because that’s how the person I’m waiting on has contacted me to let me know they’re running late. Times when I’m thinking of something specific and if I only had a smart phone I could just check it really quick so I don’t forget. Times when I want to take a picture with my phone but have it not suck. These times usually coincide with being in a room full of people who ALL have smartphones. When did I become such a luddite?

Still, I’m hesitant to pull the trigger. I know that there’s no going back. Once there is data, there will always be data. I’m worried that the ease of distraction will crowd out the more enriching standbys for passing time, like reading a book or going for a walk, so I’d like to hold off joining the flock as long as I can. I will say this: I loved my old, indestructible Toyota with great fervor, until I bought my Subaru. Now that I’m driving the Toyota to work again (so Shaun can have the carseat), I hate it. Amazing what a little horsepower – or 3G - will do.

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My Quotidian Summer’s End

I’ve been sitting on this title since last summer, and even though we’re a couple of weeks into autumn, I can’t have it lingering in my brain for another year. So I’ll have a go at stringing together some sentences that befit the appellation. Thank goodness this summer didn’t wind up being really exciting.

This was in many ways a very ordinary summer. It felt a little like a summer vacation from school, in that we mostly sat around the house doing nothing, losing track of the days of the week. Uneventful and colossally boring days that could’ve been used for something useful slipped through our fingers, never to return.

On the other hand, this was an emotional summer. The loss of our main source of income left us frightened and depressed. We would’ve liked to work on some long lingering house projects with the extra time, but we didn’t have the money. I had resolved to find work after my month-long contract job made me realize I was ready to get out of the house. But what would’ve been a long and leisurely search for the perfect part-time job turned into a race against dwindling finances.

And so I find myself, at the end of September, when all the kids have returned to school, returning to work full-time in a “permanent” position. I use the quotation marks because obviously jobs are never permanent, but I use the term because it is not a freelance/contract job. I’ve had other permanent jobs, which were all part-time. I’ve had other full-time jobs, which were contract positions. I do believe this is the first time I have had a full-time, permanent position.

Somewhat ironically, I find myself not at a cubicle but in a classroom, for five weeks of training. If that sounds crazy, it is. The jury’s still out on whether this is a good crazy (like that last month-long contract position) or bad crazy.

And that’s it. My summer is over, the luxury of time gone in a flash. House plans will have to remain on hold. I have to buckle down, suck it up, and be an adult. And a boring one at that. But who knows, maybe next summer won’t be quite so quotidian.



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My Three-Year-Old Well-Child

And so I found myself in the doctor’s office with a newly minted three-year old clinging to me for dear life, head buried in my chest, weeping uncontrollably. She was not sick, nor threatened with vaccinations, and was telling me just two minutes before how much she liked “the doctor,” referring to the friendly young nurse with whom she was making toddler small-talk. The actual doctor reassured me this was perfectly normal behavior and that this would be the last time the doctor visit would be this traumatic. First time as well, apparently, since my child has never – not even once- ran to me out of fear of a stranger.

This reassurance, though, is one of the reasons I like the well-child checks. Continue reading

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My Daughter’s Third Birthday Party

It was another dazzling last-official-weekend of summer, same as two years ago, in which we celebrated Sonja’s birthday at the park, same as two years ago. Other than that, everything was different.

A Sept 2014 (23)Sonja really understood that this was her birthday and that meant she would go from being two years old to three. (I’m three!) She was excited to open her gifts and capable as well, though she received much assistance from her friend Grant.

Grant helps Sonja open her gifts.

Grant helps Sonja open her gifts.

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My Three-Year-Old

So long, terrible-twos, you weren’t so bad. Hello, temper-tantrum-threes, you are already wearing me out.

Big girl dancing

Big girl dancing

The milestones are coming fewer and farther between. About a month ago, I decided we were going to say sayonara to the bottle, and if that meant Sonja would no longer drink milk, so be it. And so be it was. Although she occasionally expresses desire for a bottle, she finds the idea of milk from a glass particularly heinous. It seems to me she only likes the ritual, not the beverage.

Speaking of rituals, the next thing to go will be the binky. I’m not looking forward to that transition. I’m hoping, like the potty training, it’ll be quick and dirty. It’ll be soon. By the next update, I expect it to be a done deal.

Next stop, binky rehab.

Next stop, binky rehab.

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My Birthday – 2014 Edition

I had another birthday. Can you believe it? (Oh you can? Okay.) Looking back at my previous two birthday posts, I noticed both contained the word “marred.” As in, something went awry. This time, I think the whole year was marred. In the last twelve months, our house was burglarized, my husband was laid off, and surely some other less memorable but still unfortunate shit happened too.

When looked at in that particular light, I am not sorry to see the year go, despite the fact I’m not super fond of the fact I keep getting older. Though smarter people might choose not to define a year by negatives, I’ve decided to see my new year as a gift. A time to take the crap that has happened, crumple it up, throw it away (no recycling here) and move on to better things. Continue reading

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Our Second Family Vacation, Part 3

Imagine if you will, a family of three sitting in a Taco Time at the beach, a restaurant picked precisely for its familiarity and guarantee that the food would be liked by all. After a few jokes wondering if they’d crossed some border because the menu was completely different than what they were expecting, the food is delivered to the table. A tater tot is torn in half and allowed to cool for the little one. Mom takes one bit of her own food and the phone rings. It is 11:20 a.m. The dad’s face is somber. The phrase “yes, this is he,” is uttered. The mother nearly faints.

The 11:00 news of Microsoft’s layoffs was coming directly to us. Shaun and the rest of his team, minus two people, were summarily laid off. The 3 ½ hour drive home from the ocean was quiet and queasy, the fantastic and fresh memories sullied by the news being delivered while we were still making those memories.

Let’s step back. Continue reading

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Our Second Family Vacation, Part 2

Part 2 of our two day vacation starts with an uneventful car trip to Vancouver, WA. It was a two-hour drive and we didn’t stop and we didn’t even get lost. We listened to Caspar Babypants most of the way down, and Sonja was quiet and sleepy, though not sleeping. When we arrived at my friend’s house, Sonja asked, “Is it the beach?”

My friend had prepared a lovely lunch for us, of which Sonja ate nothing. That was expected. We visited for a few hours, during which Sonja got the chance to play with my friend’s daughter, though the 10-month old didn’t hold her attention for very long. When Sonja got whiny, we said our goodbyes and put her in the car. She was asleep by Portland and didn’t wake until just before Seaside, so it was, once again, perfect timing.

Clockwise from top left: Me, Maya, Anna and Sonja. We took several of these shots, this was the best we could get out of the kids.

Clockwise from top left: Me, Maya, Anna and Sonja. We took several of these shots, this was the best we could get out of the kids.

Family Portrait right about nap time.

Family Portrait right about nap time.

We arrived at our hotel about 3:30, which was about the same time we arrived the year before. So my whole reasoning for why we should stay two days was shot, but I was glad that we had the extra time. After reading last year’s blog, I was stunned how much we actually accomplished in our short stay. Continue reading

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Our Second Family Vacation, Part 1

After last year’s successful first family vacation to Seaside, Oregon – about two seconds after – our daughter started asking to go back to the beach. She asked all year long, sometimes at random moments and always when she saw pictures of herself building sandcastles or feeding seals. We had not necessarily intended to go back to Seaside this year, but in addition to the frequent requests from Sonja, we realized it would be a fantastic place to take the new dog we acquired last November. Yes, the dog would love the beach and Sonja would love the beach so we would go back to the beach!

Last Year's Beach Vacation

Last Year’s Beach Vacation

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