Networking 101

Once, when I was in middle school and involved in community theater, Dad told me I should audition for a play my theater teacher was directing and name drop other directors I knew. I told him, “no” that I only wanted to get the parts that I deserved on merit, not on who I knew. I spent a lot of time in the chorus or bit parts that year.

And I wised up the next.

Dad gave me my very first lesson on networking in those theater days. Even though it took me awhile to catch on, it is a lesson that has served me well both in my career as a public relations professional and as a stay at home parent/advocate for my kids.

After Dad died, I re-dedicated myself to my next adventure. Writing a novel. He believed in me and my abilities, so I felt it was time to make good on that faith. And I’m approaching it the way Dad would want me to.

I joined an organization. Specifically, The Society of Children’s Book Writer’s and Illustrators. I joined a writing “support” group. I signed up for seminars. I am reading more in the last year than I have in the six years since Kate was born.

And today I took the biggest step of all. I registered for the SCBWI’s Winter Conference. In New York. This is a huge expense and a giant leap of faith. But I’m just doing what Dad taught me. Meet the people. Certainly, be good at what you do. Work hard. Be professional. But meet the people. Build the relationships. So I’m going to New York and I can’t wait to see who I meet.

This is for you Dad. Hope I’m making you proud.

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Win it! zenzeroyoga Mat Bag

Yoga. Madonna got killer arms doing it and Gisele got THAT BODY and Tom Brady doing it, so I really see no reason not to jump on that zen wagon. Plus, Adam Levine is a faithful yogi and I need SOMETHING to talk to him about besides screaming incoherently if I ever get to meet him, so you know. There is that.

My dear friend and general bad-ass Megan is a yoga instructor and practitioner. She has created a line of apparel, accessories and bags for the budding or experienced yogi called zenzeroyoga. Everything she makes is smart and chic and even though I am just dipping my toe in the yoga pond, I want it all.

New gear always gets me jazzed to get back in the gym (or studio) and with Spring Break just around the corner, it’s a great time to recommit to healthy resolutions. And because I love you all, my dear readers, I am offering you a chance to win this zenzeroyoga “camo with purple arrows” yoga bag, a value of $45! All you need to do is post a comment below about what your favorite yoga pose is and you are entered to win! The winner will be randomly selected on Friday, February 27.

Check out Megan’s shop on Etsy, zenzeroyoga and take advantage of FREE shipping until March 1st with the coupon code: EDELSPOT.

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This 32″ long tote-style yoga bag fits even the thickest of mats. Stick your water bottle on either end, throw your towels on top and you’re ready to go! Front pocket is perfect for wallet, cell phone & keys.

 

OFFICIAL RULES

Sweepstakes are open to readers 18 years or older with U.S. shipping addresses only. Sweepstakes ends on February 27, 2015. No purchase necessary to enter or win. One winner will be generated via Random.org. Winner will be notified within 5 days after the entry deadline date. Winners must respond within 3 days or the prize will be forfeited and a new winner will be chosen. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. We hereby release Facebook of any liability.

The EdelSpot is not responsible for any late or lost entries, electronic, hardware, Internet or other computer/communications related malfunctions, giveaway disruptions, injuries, losses or damages caused by events beyond the control of The EdelSpot, any printing or typographical errors in any materials associated with the sweepstakes or prizes lost in shipment. All federal, state, local or international taxes associated with the prize are the sole responsibility of the winner. By entering the sweepstakes, you release The EdelSpot from any liability whatsoever, and waive any and all causes of action, related to any claims, costs, injuries, losses or damages of any kind arising out of or in connection with the giveaway or delivery, mis-delivery or acceptance of any prize (including, without limitation, claims, costs, injuries, losses and damages related to personal injuries, death, damage to or destruction of property, rights of publicity or privacy, defamation or portrayal in a false light, whether intentional or unintentional), whether under a theory of contract, tort (including negligence), warranty or other theory.

One

My father, Gregory John Entwistle, was diagnosed with advanced esophageal cancer in September 2013. Five months later, on February 12, 2014, he was gone.

Today is the one year anniversary of his passing and I have waited for this day with such dread. I asked friends for support and prayers. I anxiously tried to write a post that would honor him and the past year we’ve spent without him. I drank a little too much wine. I cried a little (or a lot). And then this morning, I woke up.

And it was just another day.

I’m not sure what I expected. I guess I thought I would wake up to a giant wave of grief, a new and sudden avalanche of feelings because ONE YEAR. ONE. It feels like such a big milestone, but if you get down to the heart of the matter, things are still the same now as they were right after he passed. Six months after he passed. Yesterday. I still miss him. I still feel like something so big is missing from our lives. I still think about him every day. I still teeter on the edge of anger. Still look for reason or meaning behind the early passing of such a good, kind man. I still wish that things were different.

But they are not. They are not different and he is not here.

One year hasn’t changed anything. It’s just another day.

Another day that I miss you, Daddy. So, so much.

0769BR

Resignation

Dear Sir;

Please accept this letter as notice of my resignation, effective immediately. While I have enjoyed this position at times, I have come to the conclusion that your children are completely, and without a doubt, un-parentable.

The many, many books I have read skimmed have prepared me with classic and time-tested approaches to address nearly ALL the challenges of raising children. YOUR children, however, are a troublesome case.

Today I took a privilege away from the children. And while all the books assured me that this would set them on the path to righteousness and correct their wayward behavior, it was hardly the response. Instead of coloring and playing demurely during my evening meeting, the children revolted. Instead of focusing on the goal of good behavior to win back their iPads and screen time, they prepared an assault on my meeting in a direct tactical response to the consequence I had sanctioned.

Doors were opened and slammed. Crayons and markers were thrown. Shouting, running and LOUD WHISPERING — SUCH LOUD WHISPERING were executed with lethal precision. Tantrums were thrown. Friends were pulled onto the battlefield and used as emotional hostages. Chairs were dragged, loudly, through a quiet auditorium in front of an audience of other, more successful parenting figures.

Sir. To put it in the most direct and honest way I can: Tonight was a shit show.

And so, it is with a heavy heart that I must admit that I am unable to parent the children any longer. Tonight they won. In an epic and unforgettable way. They won.

I will never forget my time with the children. Mainly because of the gray hair and drinking problem I have acquired during my time with them. But still. They look sweet when they are sleeping and I will miss that. Sometimes.

If you need me, please look no further than the closest adult-only resort. I’m taking a break from children (all children) for the foreseeable future.

Kind regards,

Mom

 

Throwback Thursday: It’s a Kate, Kate World: Second Edition

Happy Throwback Thursday friends! Todays #tbt is from October 2012 when Kate was a wee three year old. Y’all, I love reading these because it reminds me that Beckett isn’t some crazy alien threenager from Mars. No, he is just regular old three. Kate was there once. And for Beckett, this too will pass.

—————————————————

When you have a three-year-old, it is nearly guaranteed that whatever comes out of their mouth will make you swoon, sigh, swear or cringe. With Kate, sometimes I do all four. At the same time. Here is a little second edition of things my daughter has said recently that makes me realize, once again, it’s a Kate, Kate world — we are all just living in it.

 
Kate (shouting from somewhere in the house): MOM!
Me: Yes honey?
Kate: I love you!!
Me: Aww. I love you too sweetie. Where are you?
*silence*

Kate: Going potty.
*silence*
 
Me: Hm. I guess we all think about different things in there…
—-
Me: Hey sweetie, you got an invitation to a classmate’s birthday party! Is Benjamin nice, do you play with him?
Kate: Ew, no! Benjamin is a boy. WE don’t like boys.
Me: Who, may I ask, is WE?
Kate: You know. Us.
*head slap*
 
Me: So, all the girls in your class have decided you don’t like boys?
Kate: Right.
Me: What about your brother? Don’t you like him? HE is a boy.
Kate: I like Beckett. I like one boy.
Me: What about Daddy? Do you like him? HE is a boy.
Kate (sounding exasperated): I like Daddy. I like TWO boys.
Me: What about Pops? Do you like him? HE is a boy.
 
*silence*
Me: Kate?
Kate: *SIGH* WHAT?
Me: *SIGH* Nevermind
—–
Kate: Look! Look Mom, I did it! I wrote my name!
*showing me some scribbles on a piece of paper at the sign-in counter at the gym*
Me: Very nice Kate.
Kate: You know Mom, I don’t know about about it, but I’m pretty sure I’m terrific at writing.
—–
As I pick Kate up from school:
Me: Here Kate, I brought you strawberries.
Kate: STRAWBERRIES?!?!?! MOM, you are the BEST MOM!!!!! I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!
Me: Soooo. Strawberries every day after school?
Kate: Or you could bring chocolate milk. That would be pretty cool too Mom.
—–

Kate walks into the kitchen with a dinosaur stuffed up her shirt.
Kate: “Daddy, do you like boobies?”
 
*Ben studiously ignores her while looking in the fridge*
 
Kate: Daddy? Do you like my BIG BOOBIES??
*Ben still looking in fridge and refusing to make eye contact with the three-year-old who is making him EXTREMELY UNCOMFORTABLE*
 
Kate (parading around the kitchen): Daaaaaaaaaaddddddddyyyyyy.
Ben: KATE. Those are not boobies. That is a dinosaur. Take it out of your shirt.
Kate (pouting): When I grow up, I’m going to have boobies.
 
*awkward silence*
 
Kate: BIG boobies.
 
*Kate stomps out of kitchen. Ben rolls into the fetal position on the floor. I laugh so hard I nearly pee myself*

Outed by dinosaurs

toy_story_3_rex_poster-p2282518722292700628phc_500A few days ago I was driving around with Beckett, only half listening to his chatter. Which you can’t judge me for, because he is a talker and talks about EVERYTHING and so help me, if I listened to every single word he spoke, I would have to be committed. He once sang a song he made up about poop for 33 straight minutes. THIRTY THREE MINUTES. I mean. YOU GUYS. Of course I don’t pay attention to everything out of his mouth. It’s for my own mental protection.

So I wasn’t completely sure what we were talking about when he started asking me questions but normally I can just fly by the seat of my pants when that happens. Because let me be honest, we aren’t talking about politics or the economy here. We are typically covering such riveting topics as how a bird goes to the bathroom when flying and why clouds are sometimes different colors and if an animal would be able to break in the window of his bedroom and eat him.

But flying by the seat of my pants didn’t work out so well for me this time. Our conversation in the car when like this:

Beckett: MOM. I asked you a question. I asked what you know about Dinosaur layers.

Me: Layers? Like, layers on a cake?

Beckett: What?

Me: Honey, I don’t know anything about dinosaur layers. Are you sure that is the word you want to use? Do you know what layers are? They are like if you are stacking things, you get layers. Are you maybe talking about when you dig for dinosaurs, there are different layers of the Earth?

Becket: NO! I mean DINOSAUR LAYERS.

Me: Okay, so like, stacking dinosaurs on top of each other? Like that? You want to stack dinosaurs?

Beckett (now shrieking): MOM!! NO!!! Layers are not STACKING. I am not talking about STACKING DINOSAURS. I am talking about the secret hideouts that dinosaurs live in! DINOSAUR LAYERS!!!

Me (totally dumbfounded): Oh.

……..<DING!>……..

Me: OHHH. YOU MEAN LAIRS NOT LAYERS. Lairs. Dinosaur Lairs. ‘Cause, see, I was just thinking you were talking about layers.

Beckett (sigh. Like, BIG sigh): MOM.

Me: Wow, sorry. I get it now buddy. Lairs. Secret Hideouts. Got it.

Beckett: So? What do you know about dinosaur lairs?

Me: Not a thing.

Beckett (mumbles under his breath): You don’t know ANYTHING Mom.

Well crap. Y’all, he just figured me out.