Thursday, November 30, 2006

In the Zone

So, we have this huge presentation here in work today...what am I doing? Blogging, of course. I have a five minute bit part in this dog and pony show (and seriously, the level of people they have here (chairman of the board, CEO, COO, EVP, one of the institutional investors...) no one really would know the right question to ask even if we handed it to them anyway). We're (ok me mostly) all making nervous jokes.

And of course, this is the morning C picks to wake up wayyyyy grumpy, wanting to sleep some more, telling anyone who will listen she's tired and doesn't want to go to school.....D brings her downstairs, she sheds copious tears on my shoulder, and my heart is breaking. Of course I wish I could have stayed longer (even though she had calmed down and was getting dressed when I left).

Now I'm trying to 'get in the zone' and get psyched up for this meeting, and I'm just kind of meh about it all. I think that's the difference between men and women in the work force. If this presentation is blown, oh well, it's just work. I'll still go home and have the love of my family and work is just a means to do things with my family. I think for men, they take it a bit more seriously (not that I don't take it seriously, I just don't think it's the end of the world if things aren't perfect)....


Monday, November 27, 2006

Material Girl

So we listen to Disney Radio on the weekends in the car (because it's funny to hear C sing along to some of the songs. I'm not sure how she knows the words to some songs, but she does.) And, while I realize that the 80's happened just yesterday (to me, anyway) apparently the 'tweens' are just discovering that decade.

Imagine my shock when I heard what I thought was a slower, Muzak'd version of Madonna's Material Girl. Imagine the further shock when the DJ said it was the new Hilary Duff song. Hilary Duff??!!

Oh. My. God.

Now, I know Madonna isn't the world's greatest singer, and other songs from the decade have already been remade, but for some reason, this re-make really really disturbs me. Is it because I know exactly how old I was when it was on the radio, and remember what was going on in my life at the time? Is it because my nieces (who think Hilary Duff is all that and a bag of chips) love the song and I think it's horrible in comparison to the original?

Like, gag me.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Guess where we went today?

And guess who had dirty water dogs and loved them?

It didn't even feel like Christmas...the weather was incredible - sunny, blue skies and almost sixty degrees. More like spring than winter. But I'm ok with that. Ok, and very tired. We walked through Central Park up to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and back down to Grand Central Terminal. Back when D and I lived in the city, that would have been a short day. Now that we're suburbanites, I am exhausted.

How was your weekend?

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Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!


Now, who's going to have the best leftovers tomorrow? I may need to come over for lunch.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Fundraising stress

So C goes to Catholic school for kindergarten. D and I both went to Catholic grammar school (she goes to the one he went to!), Catholic high school and Catholic college. For the most part it's been incredible for her. She's learning a lot, has made new friends, and loves her teacher. All good things.

The bad? All the fundraising (and associated paperwork) that comes home every Thursday. It has been averaging two (2) fundraisers a month. Yes, there is an option to "opt out" and just pay the school the amount that they're looking for each family to raise. Which, somehow we did (perhaps in all the paperwork I filled out during the summer before she started). Except we never received any paperwork (until this week) stating that's what we did. So since Sept, I've been selling a bit here and there, figuring I'll end up writing a check at the end of the year anyway.

This week was parent teacher conferences (C is doing very well, but tends to just get up and wander around when she feels like it. Luckily her teacher is very patient and understands that C is one of the youngest in the class.). After the conferences, the parent was supposed to sign up and take a box of candy bars to sell.

D went to the conference, and didn't take the box. With all the emphasis on childhood obesity, and the stern warnings from the school to pack nutritious lunches and snacks, in addition to the fact that we're heading into holiday season, it just didn't seem like a good idea to be pushing chocolate. Whatever paperwork they had with the candy showed that we "opted out" so we caught a break there.

However, now we're delinquent in paying our "opt out" fee. Half was due in August and half due in December. I guess I'll just have to write the whole check next month. But at least I won't have to sell anything!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Congrats to the Dubyas!

Congratulations to Mrs Big Dubya on the birth of her new baby girl!! According to the Mr.Big Dubya's blog, the baby was 8 pounds! Very impressive! You go Mrs. Big Dubya! And the Lil' Dubya's a big brother now...

And, speaking from experience, girls are so much fun. Congratulations to the Dubya's, and welcome to the world baby girl!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Thanksgiving Games

D tagged me with a meme (is that pronounced meem? Or mem? Discuss.) but I don’t feel like working on it right now. I can not believe there’s only one weekend until Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving in our family is now like some demented game of beat the clock. My brother (married, kids) alternates Thanksgiving and Easter with his in-laws. This year it’s his turn to spend time with our family. D and I, we travel all over the state. Twice the food, but none of the relaxation! (And don’t suggest doing what my brother does. You’ve obviously forgotten my MIL – “I’m going to die soon and I need to see my precious doll every chance I get”. Even though she’s healthy for an 80 something year old woman. She’s Italian. Enough said.).

When my mom was alive, we’d go to my grandma’s for Thanksgiving. My grandma would make the turkey, and my mom would make everything else. That Wednesday would be a cooking frenzy – she’d make as much as she could ahead of time, then get up early on Thursday and finish. Because we eat at noon. But ever since she died, we all just seem to go around in circles about who’s going where and eating what.

My grandma still has Thanksgiving dinner, except now it’s my aunt that cooks. And while I love my aunt, she has a tendency to underestimate how much food is needed, so it ends up like the loaves and fishes. Add to that that fact that my cousin is diabetic so she cooks very plain food, it’s just not the same. If it wasn’t my brother’s turn to spend Thanksgiving with us, that’s where’d we be. Except add four more people to the mix and it causes problems, especially for people who aren’t used to cooking for large hungry crowds.

So my dad tells me (at C’s birthday party) to figure out what we’re doing and where we’re going. This involves me emailing my brothers (after talking to my sister in law at C’s party) and telling him what we’ve decided. Thanksgiving at my brother’s (the married one) house. But when I talk to dad the next time, he says we’re invited down (she lives next door, down the hill) to ‘your grandmother’s. It could be her last Thanksgiving, you know’. Then I try to talk him out of that because the one brother who’s closest to my aunt finds out she’s stressing about all the people who could potentially be there. So around and around we go. Go out for Thanksgiving dinner? Good idea, but dad doesn’t like to leave the city of Bristol.

We finally end up agreeing on going to my married brother’s house for dinner.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Birthday Pumpkin

Five years ago you came into our world. Five whole years already! It amazes me how much you’ve changed, and how much you’ve changed our world.

I used to rock you to sleep – all the working outside the home mommy guilt, and I didn’t mind it. I thought you’d be 18 and I’d still have to rock you to sleep. But now? You demand two songs, tolerate a kiss from me, and ask me to go ask Daddy to sing the “rainbow song”. Then you have conversations with your doll, and go to sleep. And for the most part, stay asleep through the whole night.

You like to tell jokes – silly, made up knock-knock jokes that you think are the funniest in the whole wide world. And watching you laugh at your own jokes makes me laugh too – not at you, but with you. Because something about your laugh, the way your eyes crinkle, and one can’t help but laugh along with you.

You’re stubborn, and a perfectionist (I wonder where she gets that from?). You get frustrated when you can’t make your letters for homework perfectly, and I ache and want to do it for you, but stop myself because you need to learn that sometimes, just good enough is ok too.

You’re a daredevil about some things – swimming, for example. You waded right into the ocean when you were 18 months, and laughed when a wave knocked you over. You think you can do anything your bigger cousins can do, and sometimes you get so rambunctious I think you should have been a boy. But then you put on a dress and play with dolls and you’re such a girly girl, and I don’t understand that either, because I am not that way.

Sometimes I forget you’re only five – you act and speak like you’re so much older. That’s probably from being the only child. You travel well, even making up games to play in the car with Daddy and me, and rarely ask “are we there yet?”. You like to eat out at restaurants, and people are amazed that you eat vegetables and more than just nuggets and fries.

I can’t remember what life was like five years ago. I’m sure I was more rested, and not as stressed, and definitely in better shape, but I wouldn’t trade my life now for the world.

Happy Birthday, pumpkin!!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

November means politics

I was going to post something all profound about how exactly five years ago today was the last day that D and I were child free and how the last 4.99 years have changed me, but I could never get it really to go anywhere.

Instead, I just have one simple request: VOTE. I don’t care if you consider yourself blue, red or purple polka dotted, just get out there and vote (if you’re registered). I will be cutting out a little bit early, racing home to pick up D (and C) and heading to the polls.

C has voted with us before, but I think this is the first year she understands that it’s something. I told her last night that we would be doing this, and she wanted to know why and how come (all very good questions) and hopefully this exercise in politics will help her become a better citizen when she can finally vote (Poor C – her birthday is tomorrow, so she’ll probably be 19 before she can actually vote in an election).

So, go vote – even if your candidate seems to be hopelessly behind in the polls, even if you’re voting against a candidate instead of for a candidate, please, please, exercise the right and privilege that you have….

Friday, November 03, 2006

Goodbye Mr. Eko

Mr. Eko, we hardly knew ye…..and now you’re gone. Actually, I think all the people who were in the tail section of Oceanic Flight 815 (the “tailies”) are now gone. Except Bernard, whom we haven’t seen or heard this season….

I’m disappointed. I’ll watch next week, but when Lost goes on it’s hiatus until February, maybe I’ll use Wed nights to exercise. That way I won’t miss any Thursday shows (Yay Ugly Betty and Grey’s Anatomy!)….

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Moms Who Travel

The NY Times has an article in their business section today about how moms who travel for work look forward to that time. And that’s true. When I travel, I love not having to cut someone else’s food, or remind them to sit down, chew with their mouth closed or have to wipe anyone’s bottom. I love not having to go from the car after the commute home to a few moments to sit down right to bath and bedtime. I look forward to ordering room service, watching something other than Kim Possible or the Fairly OddParents, and reading a book.

C knows I travel for work. I try never to be away for more than 3 nights, and C is ok with it. She gets to spend time with daddy, and things are probably a bit more relaxed than when I’m involved.

Now, the Times tends to present their subject as if every mom who traveled for work had the same travel opportunities. I’ve worked in NYC, and even when I did, I never got to stay at a Four Seasons or some spa resort destination. (Ok I did get to stay at the Broadmoor one time, but that was after I had left the city, and it was a boondoggle that us “peons” haven’t been invited back to since).

But what really really bothers me is not so much the tone of the article, but the comments on the article. Why does it have to be black or white? Some commenters seem to think if one enjoys the time away from their child, that makes them a bad parent (not their exact words, but the insinuation is there). Why is it that some people don’t understand that I can enjoy the alone time and miss my daughter too? I don’t think it’s an either/or situation.

And why is there no article about dads/husbands who travel for work? I know a few guys I work with have said they enjoy that time alone too. Don’t kids benefit from the attention from both parents? So why not beat up on the dads, too?

Now, I realize that if all the parents of the world united there could probably be some real change in the way work (either for a corporation or for the family) gets done. But it wouldn’t sell papers, so you’re probably not going to read about that. But it should be something to think about. I honestly hope C doesn’t have to feel like she needs to defend any choice about parenting she makes (whether she works full time outside the home or stays home with kids).