Friday, October 28, 2016

Paging Dr. MLC

In case the title of the post doesn't give it away, I passed my dissertation defense last Wednesday!  I can officially use the title of Dr.  Depending on when the baby is actually born will determine if I walk in December or not.  I predict a full-moon baby, which would mean Dec 14th.  As long as I have a natural zero complications childbirth then I should be good to walk in the graduation on Dec 17th but we'll have to wait and see. 

Going back to dissertation defense for a moment, it was a total let down!  I had to ask if I had passed because there was no big congratulations Dr. or yes you passed.  I honestly thought I had failed and had to present/defend again.  Apparently that is the MO of my dissertation chair.  I asked a friend that had the same chair and graduated back in May and he said he felt the exact same way.  He had to ask if he had passed too. 

As I have settled into the idea of having passed I'm slowly changing my email signatures and remembering to let people know that I actually am a doctor now.  Seems strange and weird.  I have another chapter to write for the dissertation along with some changes here and there to make it better but the title is mine!  WOW!  I can't believe I did it.  I'm only two semesters behind schedule.  May graduation would have put right on target for completing my degree "on time" but December is nothing to sneeze at.  There are lots of people who never finish! 

So there you have it.  I'm a doctor of education.  It all started with deciding to have a home birth.  That one decision moved me into a new tribe of people and ultimately into educational research.  Gymgirl changed my entire life and career.  I can't wait to see where this new baby, Spud, leads me.  

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Big news and allergy testing

So I have big news!  After several years of trying to get okay with the idea of having only one child, I'm pregnant!  Yep a totally unexpected unplanned pregnancy that mirrors the first one in a eerie fashion.  We took a pregnancy test on the exact same date as 7 years previous.  I first vomited on the same day 7 years ago.  We did announce it about a week earlier this time around.  Gymgirl has been happily telling everyone she sees.  She wants a sister.  I want a healthy baby.  DH wants a girl.  We'll see.

Yesterday for the first time in a long time I was wandering the aisle of the grocery store lost.  Gymgirl's allergy test results came back.  She has about 20 food sensitivities.  Her sensitivities seem to run opposite of DH's allergies.  Gymgirl is sensitive to chicken but DH is allergic to beef and pork.  Both have issues with wheat and gluten.  Gymgirl has one true food allergy and it was one that I never suspected: eggs.

So yesterday we dropped Gymgirl off at her piano lesson and we headed to the store to find things for dinner.  I wanted chicken nuggets, well considering the new information that went out the window.  DH and I were both staring at the meat case just lost.  DH has not cook pork chops in close to 15 years.  We always grab chicken since it was safe for him and now we have to wrap our minds around Gymgirl's food limitations too.  While Gymgirl is a good eater and usually game for trying new things, like most 6 years olds, she eats a limited number of things, ie chicken nuggets, hamburgers, mac and cheese.

While eggs are the number one concern, as the doctor said that is a true allergy cut it out completely, Gymgirl had so many sensitivities.  It seems all the things she loves to eat are the things making her breakout and stay sick.  She's sensitive to cheddar cheese, broccoli, cantaloupe, peanuts, and soy.  The list is longer but those were the ones that stuck out to me.  I know we can do it.  We can clean her diet and hopefully be able to reintroduce those foods back but right now it feels like being slapped in the face. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Best gift ever

The other day I was talking to a friend and he mentioned some gifts that he had bought an old girlfriend and that got me thinking over the last 20 years DH has bought me lots of gift, which one was the best?
I can be very picky while really not caring about what I get as a gift.  I hate flowers.  I don't really eat candy.  I like things that are very practical.  I want things that are useful.  DH hates it.  So on to the best gift.
The best gift I have gotten from DH over the last 20 years has to be the very first birthday gift he ever got me.  I'll never forget opening that gift of brand new ASICS-Gel shoes.  I think they were 7's or whatever the latest model was back in the day, 1996.  They were the most expensive gift I had ever received to that point in my life. 
Thinking back on those shoes, I think it set us up for a good pattern.  DH has supported my need to exercise and run from the very beginning.  Roller derby, yoga, and running have all be phases of my life in the last 20 years.  I like to work-out and while DH seems to hate it he is still 100% behind me.  Anyways a random post from random me.

Monday, November 16, 2015


I haven't written since I took my new job since one there isn't really time and it is difficult to know what is safe to discuss in a public arena.  This incident just has me shaken and I need somewhere to talk it out so to my trusty blog I go.

One Friday I was honored to be asked to speak on a Graduate Student panel to help undergraduate honor student think about their futures.  I took the time to try and catch up on schoolwork which has gone by the way side since I went back to work full-time.

As I was leaving I decided to thank the professor who had invited me and in general check-in since it had been about 6 months since I had seen him last.  In the course of conversation I was told that I poisoned his class.  I was blamed for the lack of A's.  Seriously!  He looked me dead in the face and called me poison.  I did try and argue and back him off the whole idea but still it out there.  I am poison.

I went home and told DH all about it.  Here is the worse part, DH agreed!  He agrees I poisoned the class.  Words have currency and the choice of poison was like a dagger to my ego.  I'm a nice person.  I'm easy to get along with (usually).  But now I just keep hearing that I'm poison.

After thinking it over for 24 hours and still being bother by it, I talked it out with DH some more.  He still thinks I was poison in that class but he made an interesting point.  Why the hell to do I care?  That was over 6 months ago and my grade ain't changing so what is done is done.  According to DH the reason I can't let it go has to do with the who said it rather than the content of what was said.

 I think he is right, of course.  I've been called much worse than poison so why does this one interaction bother me.  I think it felt out of the blue and mean-spirited.  The word was chosen to hurt me.  Six month and the best word the PHD could find was poison!  I thought he thought better of me.  Instead he seems to hate me.  Okay, I guess I'll file that in my trashcan and move on.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Dissertation and a general update

This has been a weird few weeks.  I started a new job and I am in full swing in dissertation work.  This last semester was quite tough on me.  I had a stats professor that I seemed to connect with on a personal level but not on a stats level so I spent a lot of time trying to teach myself stats which meant very little time for dissertation work.  I ended up with a B.  I'm not happy about it but this professor did push me to be nicer to myself, the whole negative self-talk thing I do.  Just like DH, the stats professor would get on to me about my negative words toward myself.  I think I am getting a little better about it or at the very least I am more aware of it and trying to turn my words around to the positive. 

Dissertation writing has been an interesting process.  In theory you have to write about 200 pages for your dissertation.  In theory you have about 75 pages or so ready when it is time to defend your dissertation proposal.  I turned in about 67 pages when I sent in my request for a dissertation chair.  I got my first pick and he replied in about 9 hours which is amazing!  My dissertation chair is a man I really respect and most day I'm just in awe of him.  He is like the creator of the idea of the scholar-practitioner so I feel like I won the lottery!  I sent out requests/invitations for my dissertation committee today.  If they all agree then I'll have a committee of four.  If someone does not accept then we'll go back to the drawing board and see who else would be a good fit given who has accepted. 

Gymgirl had an amazing couple of month in kindergarten and will moving on to the first grade next year.  It was not an easy decision to make.  She is not technically old enough for 1st grade, missing it by five months, but leaving her in kinder would be a disservice to her.  She is reading at about a 3rd grade level and while her handwriting is a bit shaking, she is mature enough to handle herself with the slightly older children so we are letting her try it out.  I consulted with derby sisters and with doctoral cohort members and they all agree let her move on.  Maybe this will prove to be a disaster but since when does age dictate skill?

DH and I are super busy with both of us working full-time.  DH is still involved with Standpipe Coffee and Black Spot Tattoo so he works a full-time plus a part-time job.  Me, I'm working full-time plus motherhood, doctoral work, roller derby, and life as it comes at me.  In other words life is good.

Us with The Shiz 'cause why not!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

New Life Path - Schooling

My daughter started school today.  My daughter, the daughter of a homeschool/unschooling researcher, started school today.  I’ve spent the better part of the day crying.  I didn’t want to let her go but I know it is the right decision.  I’m afraid this makes me a fraud of a researcher and yet I can’t not send her to school.  I’m going to the principal of a school and my daughter should be attending that school.  I can’t sell my school as a wonderful place for children but not good enough for my child.  I can’t live a dual life so where does my love of homeschooling fit into all of this.  I believe in homeschooling.  Not every child belongs in school.  Not every child is successful working in a curriculum. 
Today I am discovering a new self.  I am shedding the skin of a homeschool mom.  I feel raw.  I feel everything and I know that while I am doing the right thing I am allowed to question it.  This was not my plan.  Why do I make plans?  Life is what happens when you are busy making plans.  Yes John Lennon, life just bitch slapped me.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Why my daughter goes to #rollerderby with me . . .

I'm a newbie to the derby world.  Just yesterday I was telling someone that I had thought children changed everything and then derby happened.  Before derby I would have looked forward to going out on ladies nights for drinks and gossip, now I want to get more time on skates.  Before derby I coveted clothes or cool looking shoes, now I want gear!

So that is all well and good but what does it have to do with GymGirl?  GymGirl loves to go to derby.  She has made some incredible friends, other derby daughters.  She loves going to see her friends and she loves to cheer her momma on.  The second part is the big reason I want GymGirl to see me at derby.  She can cheer me on.  I'm 100% in my girl's corner.  I'm there cheering, videoing, being as supportive as possible while GymGirl does her thing.  Derby gives her the chance to do the same for me.

GymGirl sees me being strong, being weak, pushing hard, being pushed hard, working out, supporting other women, cheering other women, and the list goes on.  GymGirl knows I can't do everything at derby.  She sees me struggle and that is okay.  Struggle is a real part of life.  In the real world, the moms are strong and never let their children in on mom's struggles.  My daughter see me, all of me.  It is scary to be that raw with GymGirl.  She has seen me take some nasty falls and get back up.  GymGirl has been on the side of the rink cheering and yelling "Go Momma Go!"

We go roller skating a few times a month now.  GymGirl can not wait to be 7 and join Jr. Roller Derby.  GymGirl wants to be a rollergirl.  Derby has made GymGirl a better gymnast.  No more "I can't" instead I get "I just have to work a little harder."  She stops my negative talk and I stop hers.  We push each other to be better at the sports that we love.

Women do not often get to be in truly supportive groups.  It seems that in any group of women there is some competition going on, who is most successful, who got laid the most, who is the prettiest, who can run the longest,  and so on.  In derby, we don't have time for that.  I want each girl in derby to do her best and she wants the same for me.  If we stop to focus on who is the prettiest we are going to have our asses handed to us by the opposing team (even when that team is just our fellow roller girls).  GymGirls see women working together.  I feel like my best self at derby, even when I am on the rink floor wanting to vomit.

I want my daughter to see me at my best self, feeling like my best self.  I want to be someone she looks up to.  I want to be a hero in my daughter's eyes.  I might be a hero to her without derby but at derby I feel like a hero.  If I want my daughter to grow up knowing that she can be her own hero then I have to model that to her.  I derby for me.  Derby is for me.  Derby carries to just all other areas of my life.  After derby I keep that best self around.  Other people get to see me too.

I want my daughter to know she has the right to do something just for her.  I love having her at derby.  She loves going to derby.  Maybe one day she'll be a roller girl herself but even if she doesn't choose that path, I know seeing her mom being strong, being beautiful, being weak, being her best self, will help GymGirl feel being her best self is normal.