If We Were Having Coffee before Valentine’s Day

Things have been awfully quiet the last few months, at least blog-wise. Real life-wise, I’ve had too much else on my mind to sit down and write. But it’s a quiet Saturday morning and I’ll join in the #WeekendCoffeeShare, with my coffee and bagel. I hope you have a good warm drink to enjoy!

Parenting-wise, there’s a bit of a struggle. Cassatt doesn’t listen and talks back a lot. At 4. We’re hoping he’ll grow out of this phase, but he’s getting a lot of discipline. I wanted to go grocery shopping this week and he refused to wear his seat belt, so we sat in the car for about 45 minutes waiting. We would have waited longer, but I told him I would wait until morning if I had to. He finally got the picture. He is stubborn though!

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Cassatt

Picasso turned 7 last month. Things have been a little easier with him than his brother, but he can be a challenge too. His biggest issue is listening and follow-through. It’s not that he refuses to do something when he’s told, he just spaces out and doesn’t do it anyway. We keep working on that. He’s reading well, knows all of his first-grade words and I need to find some more challenging words for him to work on. It does make evenings easier when he doesn’t have to study his words, though.

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Picasso

We had family photos taken a few weeks ago and I’m really happy with how they turned out. Here’s one of our family that would be my favorite except for the scowl:

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Oh well, I guess you can’t have everything. Campaigning is going well. That’s really the reason we had the pictures taken, but it was nice to find a great photographer who was willing to take some of just the boys as well. Right now I’m working on fundraising in my campaign. Missouri doesn’t have contribution limits, so I could take a $25,000 check from California if it were offered. You may laugh, but that’s already happened in this race. (No, it wasn’t given to me.) I’m meeting a lot of great people and spending lots of time on the phone. Cassatt is in preschool three full days each week, so that gives me a good chunk of time to work, which I really appreciate. Next week we register him for Kindergarten!

Before I sign off, I wanted to give you my twitter handle (the one I’m actually using now) and website. You can follow me on Twitter now at @SarahUnsicker, but don’t look for any flash fiction posts there. And my new (campaign) website is UnsickerForMissouri.com. We are working on a flashier one, but there is a good basic one up now.

If We Were Having Coffee I’d Give You a Big Hug …

Because I’ve missed you. Writing is one of those things that has fallen by the wayside in this political campaign; the campaign has swallowed my life and the election is not until next year!

Speaking of the campaign, it is obscene how important money is to politics. Ob-scene. I understand why it is so important: a lot of it goes to the printer and the post office to get a politician’s name in front of people so they will vote. But right now I am asking people for money, which is hard for me to do.

I am also meeting with lobbying organizations (yes, already!) whose endorsement I will be seeking. It is fun to meet with people who care about the political process and want to help me succeed. At the same time, I am calculating whether their PAC may give me money and whether I can get volunteer support from them.

Yes, PAC’s. Those corporate (and nonprofit!) organizations that can give so much more money than most individuals. I do wonder how much Citizen’s United plays into the whole needing money thing. I saw a Huffington Post article about this just yesterday, how PACs are getting into even School Board elections.  “Down Ticket” elections.

The best thing I get to do as a candidate is to go to forums and learn about the issues–in much detail. This week I went to a Missouri Budget Project forum, where they talked much more about early childhood than infrastructure (I had expected it would be the other way around). Early Childhood is an issue for me, but after that I feel more comfortable making it an issue politically. Today I get to go to a forum on the Ferguson Commission.

Before I move on, I have to share my political webpage and my fundraising page.


But all that is my “day job.” I hope I didn’t bore you by talking about the American political process too much. I’m curious to hear thoughts on this, especially if you are in a different country.

The boys are doing great. They went trick-or-treating last night. We hit our street before it started raining, so they didn’t want to do much more than that. Still, they got a good amount of candy and had fun running from house to house. Picasso went as a skeleton. Cassatt was going to go as a “pirate ghost” and had a pirate costume, but I convinced him at the last minute to go as a firefighter instead (his raincoat looks like a fireman’s coat).

I went to parent-teacher conferences this week. Both boys are doing great academically. Picasso is still struggling with social/behavioral issues, but we are working on that. They both have great teachers and are learning lots.

I dropped my phone this week and the screen broke, so I couldn’t use it anymore. I miss my phone! We got a new phone for me, but I don’t like it nearly as well. We weren’t about to shell out the money for a Nexus, though.

Kids are starting to get up now. Amazingly, everybody got an extra hour of sleep today (after the switch to Daylight Savings time) so even though it’s early, it feels much later. Have a great week!

Thanks to Part-Time Monster for hosting this weekly linkup!

If we were having coffee I would make sure you’re sitting down.

This post is part of a link-up hosted by Part-Time Monster

Thanks to Part-Time Monster for hosting this linkup!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you this has been a whirlwind week. I have been really busy meeting with people, having lunch and coffee, and making decisions.

OK, this is the part I need you to sit down for.

I got a call last week, out of the blue, asking if I’m interested in running for a seat on the Missouri House of Representatives in 2016.

As a friend said when I told her, “Wow, I was not expecting that.”

The back story is, the current Representative is in her fourth term in office. Missouri has term limits so she cannot run again. The Democratic party is looking for a woman, and the friend who called me about it emphasized how few lawyers there are in the House.

I have spent a lot of time over the last week praying, researching, and thinking, and finally decided that yes, this is something I want to do.

I still have to be officially approved and endorsed before I formally announce anything, but I am comfortable enough with my decision that it’s not a secret.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you the boys’ first soccer practice is today, and they’re very excited. Of course, we’re buying shin guards and socks at the last minute. But they should have fun. Housework has taken a back seat this week and I can tell by the state of my house this weekend. So if we were having coffee, I would have to apologize for my messy house. But I’m glad you had a chance to stop by! Have a great week.

If we were having coffee on September 5 …

This post is part of a link-up hosted by Part-Time Monster

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If we were having coffee, I would first tell you that my cold is getting better, thank you for asking. I made cinnamon rolls, would you like one? No, they’re not homemade, they’re from a tin. Still, they’re fresh and warm. There’s nothing better than a hot cinnamon roll on a Saturday morning, I think.

***

If we were having coffee we would talk in-depth about my career choices. I was invited by a friend this week to apply for a new job in a completely new career path. It’s a rigorous application process and the job is a lot of work for not-wonderful pay, but I am seriously considering it. The biggest drawback for me is that it involves a lot of travel. When I told my friend I would consider it, her first question was, “how old are your kids?”

I would tell you that preparations for the teacher seminar are going along great, and that CHADD is keeping me very busy. Between that and playing trains with the boys, my schedule is quite full!

I’ll keep this short this week. But I hope you have a wonderful week! Thanks for joining me, and enjoy the (calorie free) cinnamon roll!

 

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you about my roller coaster week

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If we were having coffee today, I’d be drinking tea. I’m coming down with a cold and woke up with a sore throat this morning. There is never a good time to have a cold.

It’s worse for Cassatt; colds trigger an asthma attack for him. Fortunately we had some steroids left over from the last time this happened, so I could give him some before I took him to the doctor. This saved him from needing a breathing treatment while we were at the doctor. But now we have a 4 year old who is much more active than usual due to steroids.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you how elated I am about my teacher seminar. When I first imagined the seminar, it was in response to a report that cited the high rates of suspension and expulsion among kids with disabilities, especially among minorities. ADHD often comes with behaviors that lead to discipline, and it is my hope that, by bringing this seminar to St. Louis, teachers would learn ways to better teach kids with ADHD and learn about effective discipline for these kids. I had especially wanted teachers from minority school districts to come, enough so that I was hoping to allow some to attend at no cost. This week, we were given money for scholarships for teachers from under-preforming minority school districts. I am beyond thrilled to have this recognized as a need and to have funds for these teachers.

The next challenge is getting enough people to register. But flyers just went out last week, so the seminar is still relatively unknown. I just hope teachers learn about it in time to request reimbursement from their schools.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you I had a minor car accident this week. The side of my car is pretty torn up, but nobody was injured. The kids were both in school, so they didn’t experience it at all. But it is an inconvenience, and it will take time to get everything settled.

***

Thanks for joining me for coffee this morning. I can’t wait to hear about your week!

If we were having coffee I’d give you peaches …

This post is part of a link-up hosted by Part-Time Monster

Thanks to Part-Time Monster for hosting a weekly coffee share linkup!

 

I’m hustling peaches this week. We went peach picking last weekend and went a little bit overboard. 3 boxes holds more than I thought it would! I had wanted some to can and make jam. I ended up with 16 jars of jam, 3 jars of peach butter, 7 jars of jam, a pie, and enough left over to do something else with. And plenty to eat, too. It has been a delicious week. But busy!!!

Besides the peaches, we’ve been busy with the end of summer and the first days of school. Picasso chose to go to the Magic House both Monday and Tuesday. We never stay at a museum all day; we all get exhausted after a few hours. So we didn’t get to see on Monday many things that he wanted to see, which is why we had to go back. It’s a good thing we’re members!

School started Wednesday, and I thought I would get a bunch done while the kids are in school. Boy was I wrong! Besides the hour that pickup takes out of my day, I have been crazy getting things ready for the seminar in October. We now have a location contract and brochures are FINALLY ready to send out! I spent a lot of time with the mailing house this week, getting bulk mail status cleared away and making sure the brochures were good to mail out. As soon as I dropped Cassatt off for his first day, I went downtown to the post office only to find out that 1. I didn’t have to fill out all the paperwork I had filled out; 2. I probably could have taken care of it with a phone call (although I was told they don’t answer the phones); and 3. the computers were down so they couldn’t help me anyway. Fortunately they took my information and called me back the next day with what I needed.

Saturday morning was spent in training to be an MPACT parent mentor. Basically, I will be helping parents get special education for their kids. This is some of the advocacy I was doing when I was practicing law, and I really enjoy it.

We squeezed in time for a date night last night. We went to the City Museum and had fun climbing through tunnels and caves and sliding down the 10 story slide. I only panicked a little from the heights!

I hope your week has gone well. What should I do with the rest of my peaches?

 

If we were having Coffee instead of Writing …

This post is part of a link-up hosted by Part-Time Monster

Thanks to Part-Time Monster for hosting a weekly coffee share linkup!

Good morning, I’m sitting here with a full cup of coffee and listening to the DVD my kids are watching. I got them some Scholastic books from the library–do you know those? They are watching Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site. At least they’re watching books, so that makes it educational, right? Right?

The fact that it’s still summer prevents me from doing some writing. I just hate putting my kids in front of the TV for too long so I can sit at my computer. At any rate, I haven’t written any fiction since we left for vacation. I know the longer I wait, the harder it will be to get back to it, but I just can’t seem to summon up the courage to write these days. I did get a piece published, though, about my hopes for the school year.

Of course, the back-to-school fluster makes that even harder. MOPS is ramping up–we had a pottery painting night last night, so I’m a little weary this morning. I’m slowly getting some new registrations in. We don’t actually start meetings until school has been in session for almost a month, but it’s still keeping me occupied.

And CHADD is becoming a full-time job recently. We still don’t have a contract on a conference room, but finally I feel like we’re closer to making that happen. I have the seminar posted on-line and we are slowly starting some marketing. We had a regular meeting this week, and I have a meeting with another nonprofit that works for ADHD awareness today.

My garden is growing and being eaten. The cucumbers are doing very well. I was looking forward to having some tomatoes as well, and then they got taken off the vine. Terribly frustrating! We had some okra, and the peppers are growing. I don’t think the critters will eat them, and we will have plenty of spicy peppers for a while. They’re not really doing their job, though — I planted them to discourage rabbits from eating my other vegetables!

I’d bettter start getting some things ready for my meeting. It was good to have coffee with you. I will see you next week!

If we were Having Coffee after VBS …

This post is part of a link-up hosted by Part-Time Monster

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If we were having coffee this morning, I would tell you what a relief it is that VBS is over. It went really well, although I think they’re giving me too much credit for that. I’m a little worried that I agreed next year to get a team together and oversee it. But I already have ideas about who will do what, so hopefully it won’t be hard work, just labor-intensive.

As if I need something else labor intensive right now. Other than VBS I have been stressing out over the October seminar for CHADD, to the point of almost forgetting there is a regular meeting next Wednesday. Fortunately I got everything set up for that ahead of time. Now I have to start getting things ready for our September meeting. We still haven’t sent out brochures for the October conference, I really hope we can start doing that soon.

I got my article finished! It should be published next week, I’ll share when it is. Now I’m interested in trying to get more published.

The weather has been dry this week, which is nice, but I haven’t been watering my garden as much. I need to spend some time in it this weekend. We have lots of cucumbers still, but our tomatoes are slow to ripen. I get excited when I see a green tomato, but I’m not very patient with them!

My coffee cup is dry now, and I don’t want to talk your ear off. What has been the hilight of your week?

If we could squeeze in coffee this weekend …

This post is part of a link-up hosted by Part-Time Monster

Thanks to Part-Time Monster for hosting a weekly coffee share linkup!

I don’t know how I am finding time to write this post this weekend, except that a friend says she misses my writing so I’ll take a few stream-of-consciousness minutes here.

Next week is Vacation Bible School, and I got roped into being co-coordinator this year. I’m actually not doing all that much, but I think it means I’ll be doing a ton next year. Right now that’s a long way off so I don’t mind, or at least I’m not using brain space to think about that. I’ll be at church all afternoon tomorrow and all this week and next weekend. I should have been there all day today, too, but …

MOPS had our annual planning retreat this weekend. Although I think we should call it something other than a “retreat”–that word to me signals something relaxing, almost a vacation. Our MOPS retreat is 10 hours of planning for the upcoming MOPS year. It is nice to get it all planned out, but goodness I’m tired by the end of it! (MOPS, by the way, stands for Mothers of Preschoolers. It’s a Christian organization that supports moms of young kids. We meet twice a month through the school year, so that’s a lot of planning!)

Since it’s the weekend, I’m not doing anything for CHADD. We got the room finalized for the evening presentation, now I’m trying to get it finalized for the full-day presentation and get a contract for the room. Once I get that contract, we can start marketing, but getting that is proving to be much more difficult than I had thought! I’m in a waiting game for that right now, hopefully that will be finalized next week.

On top of all of that, I have a contract to write an article. Yay! I’m very excited about this–my first real freelance job. But the deadline is Wednesday.

My garden is bursting with cucumbers, more than we can eat. I picked my first tomato from the garden yesterday! It was delicious. I don’t think I’ll get a huge tomato crop, which is disappointing. Peaches are getting into season though, so I’ll get some of those to can soon!

Have a great week!

If We Were Having Coffee Under the Dragon …

This post is part of a link-up hosted by Part-Time Monster

Thanks to Part-Time Monster for hosting a weekly coffee share linkup!

Picasso got up to see the sunrise this morning. He said it looks like a dragon.

Thanks for joining me this early morning. The coffee is brewed, grab a cup and sit down. I would have made muffins this morning, but we’re out of flour, so grab some virtual coffee cake instead.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I’ve had a busy week. We’re trying to book a venue for the Parent Training seminar, and I was making a million phone calls. Then we decided on a space, and the phone calls suddenly stopped. I’m waiting for them to call me to finalize the details. It’s Saturday now, though, so nothing’s going to happen with that until Monday.

Did I mention how much fun it is to be making phone calls with kids in the house? Yesterday I ended up locked in the bedroom with them pounding on the door. But that’s better than the screaming I got the other day right after I said “hello”. That doesn’t do much for my professional appearance …

In the middle of all this, I had a very exciting e-mail this week. I had applied for a job as a social media editor. The rejection letter said they would like my voice in their publication and invited me to pitch some articles. So I pitched three articles yesterday, we’ll see where they go.

If we were having coffee, I’d have to brag about my garden. I trimmed back the overgrowth from vacation, and re-discovered my tomato plant. No ripe tomatoes yet, but I’m getting plenty of green ones. I do have a ton of cucumbers now. If we were having coffee, I’d send you home with one or two. I may make pickles today. We have two okra pods; I’m waiting to pick them until we have enough to do something with. (What do you do with one pod of okra?) I am enjoying their flowers though.

Okra Flower

The photo doesn’t do it justice.

The boys have done a lot of building this week — with Legos, the Erector Set (they make them in plastic now), and Tinker Toys. They can sit for hours building. We stayed home for the most part this week, but went to Grant’s Farm yesterday. They had a great time riding the tram, looking at the animals, and feeding the goats.

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Now it’s my turn to listen to you. How has your week been?

 

 

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