Winning games

standard September 24, 2009 5 responses

“Lark!”
“Bark!”
“Bank!”
“Tank!”
“Task”
“Tosk!”
“That’s not a word!”
“Oh right, oops. Sorry.”
“Bask!”*

What started as an innocent way to get C to play more games has turned into something much better.

First, C has taken to game playing with a passion. We had been playing games here and there. A round of Zingo one morning, a bit of Candy Land one afternoon. But this week we’re actually making an effort to sit around a table and really play. Plus, we’ve taken it to a whole new level by introducing her to cards.

M started with War, I introduced Go Fish. And now she’s really playing, calling out for cards, doing a happy dance when the game goes her way, respecting the rules, and no longer crying when she loses the butterflies on the 6s. (You might have to know this particular deck of cards to get that…)

M and I used to play games all the time. It was our favorite way of reconnecting at the end of the day. But between Law school, kids, jobs, blogs, and everything in between, we’ve forgotten how much we enjoyed it.

This week the lure of brand new games beat out the lure of the computer, the TV, and everything else. After tucking the kids snug in their beds and we headed to the kitchen instead of the living room.

Between rounds of Connect 4×4, and Scrabble Slam, we’ve reconnected in a way we used to connect. We’ve laughed and we’ve joked. We’ve teased each other and we’ve had plain old, cheap fun. We haven’t played for hours, just enough to relax and enjoy each other’s company.

I agreed to participate in Hasbro’s National Family Game Night because it sounded like fun. I stocked up and games and set aside the time. I’m grateful I did. I love that M and I have gotten back in the habit of playing and I’m delighted that we’re teaching C how fun it can be.

*To play Scrabble Slam you just make new words by swapping out one letter at a time. It’s all 4 letter words. M thinks we should try to always speak in 4 letter words now. In fact he suggested I write this blog post in 4 letter words. I didn’t even try. Nuts Jess ain’t.

What does your purse say about your personality?

standard September 16, 2009 8 responses

In an effort to get to know some of the moms at C’s new preschool I resolved to attend the first of their mothers’ group event, which took place this morning. I don’t know why I assumed I’d know anyone there – probably a throwback to when I helped run C’s last preschool – but I walked into the room and was instantly struck completely and utterly speechless with shyness.

Lucky for me most of the people there were beyond nice and in short order I had some coffee in hand and a few lovely people chatting with me. Then the talk on personality types started and I was not only thrilled that I had dragged myself and the girls out of the house early enough to get there on time, but I was even excited to have paid the annual moms’ group membership. Seriously. If all the talks are going to be this good, it was money well spent!

The speaker, Cheri Gregory, was so hilarious, and smart, and just overall wonderful and there’s absolutely no way I can do her credit, but I have to try share what I learned today; it was just that good.

According to Cheri (We’re going on first name basis here, she was that cool. I don’t think she’d mind.), you can deduct a woman’s personality type from the purse she carries. Bear with me for a moment and I’ll explain.

There are four basic personality types: Sanguine (aka popular), Melancholic (aka perfect), Choleric (aka powerful), and Phlegmatic (aka peaceful). We all tend to be a mix of these with some components coming out stronger than others. Understanding personality types and what makes them tick can help you in your day to day interactions with people.

Sanguine: You’ll easily spot, or hear, a sanguine person. She’ll be the loud boisterous one in the room. Her clothes with be bright, just like her personality.
She’s a hugger and a toucher and you can count her to jolly you out of a dark mood.
She’s wide open about everything and first to jump into a conversation.
She brings the fun with her, because that’s her goal: to have FUN!
She needs to feel connected, to feel approved, and to be loved – yes, at all costs.
Her purse? It’s big, bright, and probably cluttered with few compartments and one big wide opening.

Melancholic: The melancholic is the polar opposite of the sanguine. She’s very closed, doesn’t talk much, doesn’t touch or like to be touched. Personal space is important to her. Very important.
Her life is closed. You’ll only be told what you need to know, and only if you need to know. She wears muted sedate colors and she stays out of the limelight.
If she’s interrupted in the middle of a story she won’t pick it back up on her own volition, but she will be hurt if you don’t ask her to continue.
Her goals are simple in nature and complex in execution: to achieve, and maintain, perfect order.
She needs order, craves it really. But she needs more than just that. She’s very sensitive and aware of the needs and emotions of those around her and she expects the same sensitivity back.
Don’t expect an easy apology from this one if something goes wrong. She’ll have trouble accepting that she ever did something wrong.
Her purse? It’s very, very functional and practical. A place for everything and everything in it’s place. Plus, it’ll never go out of style; it’s a classic.

Choleric:
You’ll spot your choleric person as easily as your sanguine one. She’s not the loud boisterous one, she’s the busy one. She has 2 or 3 times more energy than the average person and she’s driven to do, do, DO!
She all about function over fashion and she’ll have an abundance of personal presence. Trust me, you’ll know when she’s arrived.
The choleric’s goal is power. She needs to be in control at all times. If she’s not in control she’ll be waiting for a void of power, or she’ll create one, so she can grab the reigns.
Her life is governed by extensive to do lists, because one of her basic needs is to achieve. She only sees value in achievements.
She doesn’t need your approval, she just needs your appreciation. The best thing you can do around a choleric person is to get past your natural intimidation and tell her how much you appreciate what she’s done. One caveat though, be very very specific – she lives in the details.
Her purse? It’s small, compact, and very, very efficient.

Phlegmatic: The phlegmatic is the hardest to pinpoint because she’s the queen of blending in. She calls on what the situation needs, so she might appear to be sanguine, choleric, or even melancholic depending on the moment. You’ll have to find her by process of elimination.
Phlegmatics are sometimes considered to be model people because no single personality trait sticks out. They are perfectly balanced.
The goal of the phlegmatic is to achieve peace. Soothing, lovely peace… at all costs. To them a day full of peace, completely void of confrontation, is a perfect day.
They need you to respect who they actually are and not to try to change them into who you think they should be. And they need you to reflect the great strengths you see in them to build up their sense of self worth.
As a rule phlegmatics are great listeners, but they live in the hope that one day you’ll stop talking and ask them how they are.
Her purse? It’s calm, simple, basic, practical.

Now that you have a better understanding of the basic personality types you can adapt both your expectations and your approach. It’s not helpful to be boisterous around a melancholic person, nor is it great to be timid around a choleric. Even better, now that you know what purses go to what personality type, you can walk into any room and easily find your peeps. Now isn’t that a relief?

As for me? I’m not 100% sure where I fall. I’m leaning towards Sanguine with a big side of Phlegmatic… but when I looked at purses to get images I couldn’t resist buying that adorable giraffe print one… so who really knows.

When rejection leads to happiness and love

standard August 25, 2009 4 responses

The name printed under the picture caught my eye and made me smile. Only one person I know would really see the humor in the this, I thought as I looked at the grimacing face of the man named Bilbo Baggins Ballard.

The Gratitude Challenge of the day was to call a friend we rarely contact. An email would have to suffice. After all, we broke up ten years ago, it’s not like I even have his phone number or even know where he lives.

“Please don’t do this to your children. OK?” I emailed the short note along with the link to the article and photo smiling to myself. You have to love inside jokes that transcend time and space.

Moments later my BlackBerry buzzed and I glanced at the incoming email.

“Perfect. Just in time! First born due in two weeks. We’re considering Sam Gamgee if it’s a boy. Maybe Galdriel if it’s a girl.” The wink was implied.

Two weeks? A baby?

The email went on to explain when and who he’d married and where they were living. Thanks to an obscure Facebook note on someone’s wall last year I had vaguely known that there had been a wedding. It hadn’t phased me at the time. But now, faced with the black on white proof of both the nuptials and the fruit of the union, I was floored.

I let emotions flood me, not trying to stem or rationalize them. I simply took note as they rushed past. Let’s pretend that I shared these thoughts with you. Let’s assume they weren’t pretty or nice. We don’t need to commit them to the interwebs for all to see. I’m not proud of what I went through my mind.

The flow of bitter, angry, confused thoughts finally slowed and I was surprised to find that I wasn’t in the least bit jealous or upset. Instead I was at peace. A baby. A wife. A nice life in a lovely land. I couldn’t wish for better for a person who once meant the world to me.

Then I smiled wider as I let myself remember that his rejection had paved the road for my current happiness.

Because I wasn’t the girl for him, because he turned out to be man enough to be honest about his feelings and let me go, I met the man I was meant to be with. The one who fathered my children and loves me so completely and perfectly. The man I married 7 years ago today.

For that and for the instrumental role he played in my life and how it turned out I will be eternally grateful, I thought fondly as I reread the email one last time. And I wish him and his family as much love and happiness as I enjoy daily with mine. Even if I’m not 100% convinced he was kidding about naming his firstborn after fantastic characters.

And I’m OFF! BlogHer here I come. Aka, watch out Chicago!

standard July 23, 2009 2 responses

By an unprecedented miracle I was fully packed my 3pm this afternoon. I’m usually a last minute crazy packer, so I’m not sure what happened there. Probably forgot everything and will have to walk around wearing two different shoes.

So, if you’re going to be there look for me, I’ll be the one hobbling around.

What? You want more details?

OK, fine.

Click here to learn my back story.

And here to learn 100 random facts about me.

I’m going to be there hyping a brand new unbelievably exciting project that I’ve been working on for months and that I can almost announce to the world. Almost as in the final touches are being hammered out as I type.

I’m also going to be telling people about an AWESOME new site that I just discovered called Cozi. It’s going to make all your lives much easier next year. Trust me. Check it out. And download the screen saver. It’s too cute for words. Oh, wait, it’s only cute if your pictures are cute. But it’s still way cool.

Seriously? That’s still not enough?

You want a picture?

OK.

I kinda look like thisexcept without the serious look and slightly crazier hair.

Or kinda like this…
but without the little barnacles.

See you there!