Sunday, December 28, 2008

And so, it was really nice

Christmas has come and gone. It was by far the best one yet. We had everyone at the house, which was really hard on O. Crowds kinda make him nuts. Plus, all those people are always all up in his grill constantly. They all ask him 1,000,000 questions every 45 seconds. Makes me nuts and I am grown. So, he rejects them, which is kinda funny, and kinda sad, but we tell them all the time to back off and let him come to you, the ones who listen get the best of him, the ones who don't...cold shoulder. Whatevs.

He LOVED all his prizes, when we first got all the g-parents gifts under the tree, it looked like someone shit Christmas. My dad looked at it and said, that is quite a display and I said, so, I guess we will teach him about Baby Jesus next year.

Some other wins: Saw a decent picture of myself (first time in two-years), my clothes fit again, my parents make me VERY happy, my husband is the coolest cat ever and I am going into 2009 with much hope, optimism and drive. Should be a kick ass year!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Holiday check in

So, aside from the desperately ill child, things are churning along nicely toward Christmas. Here's how I am doing...

Bake cookies - check
Buy the tree - check
Watch It's a Wonderful Life (same night as the tree) - check
Take clothes and toys to homeless shelter and women's shelter - oopsy, must happen this week
Write letter to Santa w/ Owen - check
Picture w/Santa - check
Storytime w/ Santa - not gonna happen
Shop for Steve and Owen - check and check
Host 8 again for Christmas dinner - stay tuned

Breakdowns - none...YET. I was close today and not over the holidays. O and I are back to the tussling, how exhausting. When we are together, he is on some serious emotional roller-coaster, when I am not with him and Steve is, all he wants is me and when we are reunited, he just hugs and kisses me for about 15 minutes and then we start tussling again. Neat, huh? Seems cyclical, need to start studying the cycle.

The cycle ended after three days, we are on day two of regular O...double YAY!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

More good reading

I am reading The Blessing of a Skinned Knee (thanks, Deb) and it is incredibly insightful and full of wonderful ideas to ponder as you aim to raise a happy, well-adjusted, healthy child. The chapters cover a wide variety of topics and basically shares that most of the parents today are struggling for a variety of reasons, but one of the chapters is dedicated to bringing out your child's strengths by re-channeling the things that make you moderately insane. But, there are so many things that a typical two-year old does that can drive you up a wall, my question is: how do I determine that one thing?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Sunshine in winter

So, it looks like O has beat this rotovirus and for those of you who have no idea what that is, think "roto-rooter" virus. In his 2+ years on the planet, O never had diaper rash or vomiting until this past week. It was the saddest thing in the world to watch him struggle and writhe in pain and have no ability to help him other than soothe him, carry him places and try to get him to eat.

He is better now and I was finally able to execute upon the stay at home plan today. We colored, made a play doh scene, colored some more. It was lovely. At breakfast, he even asked to go to! Of course I cannot take him until he is fully better, but I think my new plan may have merit.

The most hilarious (sorta) development is his learning to "milk it". Whenever he wanted something or someone to pay attention to him, he would say, "my tummy hurts" and when he got our attention, he was fine. Little scamp. Like mother, like son!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Still sick...

Poor buddy. Poor mommy and daddy!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Passing trials

In the last 6 months I have struggled with my role, child, home situation, worth and identity. I am pretty much done with that now.

I am a mom and a damned good one at that, at least normal. Last night, I came home from Christmas shopping to a VERY sick child. It was the first time in his life that he threw up. It was 12:30 a.m., of course it was. I was there. I helped him, cared for him, changed his bed clothes and made him as comfortable as possible. I did this until 2:30. Steve took over until 5, when I took over again. When he was hungry at 6 a.m. I made him some toast. He threw that up. He got diarrhea and vomiting. He was pitiful.

I was calm, cool and caring. Oh, and PROUD! I didn't once shudder at the piles of vomit on me all night and throughout the morning. I raged at a doctor who told me there was nothing to give him and I got him to sleep for a short while. I am a mother, his mother, the best job in the whole world. I could not be more thankful that I am lucky enough to have a flexible home situation with my husband and I am really thankful for my LG steam washer with the biohazard setting. I think I'm going to make it.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Changing gears

It has come to my attention to repeated tussels with O that he and I are very different personalities. He is a quiet observer, I am a noisy social butterfly. I love doing and going, he loves staying in.

I am over-scheduling my 2-year-old. It is dumb, but true. Every day of the week, we have a morning activity, the library, art class, Cosi, the Zoo, the conservatory, blah, blah, blah. And each morning when it is time to leave the house, I am managing a tamtrum. The kid just wants to be at home with me. Can't blame him, I am F-U-N! But, I get B-O-R-E-D. But honestly, for a little peace, I need to be bored for awhile.

I determined this morning on my run that we don't need to go everywhere, every day. We are going to do one thing a week for awhile until he gets more excited about the other stuff. I am sure building castles out of blocks and play-doh princesses will be more than adequate. Did I mention I can make a mean play do princess???

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The curse of Monday

Every single Monday is such an unbelievable trial. O is so cranky, contrarian and just downright twerpy. EVERY SINGLE MONDAY. Without fail. Seriously. Then poof, Tuesday, fab child returns.

On Monday, he doesn't want to leave the house. He wants to do nothing all day but mope and crank and argue. I asked Steve if this was the same for him and he said it absolutely was. Something goes on on Monday for this kid. I think it is because of all the dual parent time and a lot of times, my parents are here to add to the excitement and then, Monday, it is all gone.

Funny thing is that every single Tuesday morning, he sleeps in past 8 a.m. Clearly something goes on that day. Now, if I can just learn and develop a strategy to deal with Mr. Cranky Pants on Monday...

Monday, December 8, 2008

And then your heart explodes

It is amazing how quickly he is growing up, he have actual conversations at the calm points of our day. In the car coming home from a six-hour road trip last month, we couldn't get the first movie to work in our travel DVD player, and instead of losing his shit, he simply said, "maybe we try another movie." I almost cried in the sweetness of this. As if he were saying: "It's fine mommy, any movie will do, it doesn't matter, I love you and love that you are doing this for me." And then my heart exploded...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Key difference in work v. home

When I think about my work day now versus my old work days, I am struck by one truly BIG difference. Even at the top of my game, in any given day, I have maybe 1-4 opportunities to get something wrong. And when I mean wrong, I mean irritating a client, losing a project or piece of business, alienating a co-worker, peer or direct report. Stuff that takes real effort to correct. Now, I have 1-4 opportunities to get it wrong AN HOUR...Think about THAT one!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


I began running in earnest in 2001. I wanted to train for a marathon. I did that marathon and two more after it. My last one was in 2005. I got pregnant six months after that race. I ran through most of my pregnancy, most meaning through the 8th month. I walked during the remainder. Once O was born, I stopped running. See, I was working all the time and when I wasn't working, I wanted to be with my family. Taking time for myself seemed selfish. So, I got woefully out of shape. In fact, after O's second birthday, I had an annual exam where I found out that I weighed nearly as much as I did when I was 8-months pregnant - ACK - so, I committed to be my smaller self by O's next birthday. So, I am back running. I built up to 16 miles a week and am really proud. The best is on those mornings when I do go run, I am a better mom. I now wish there were a way to run every day. Today, I didn't run and was a bit of a bear...But, not as bad as I have been, just not as good as I can be.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Channeling Martha effing Stewart

Thanksgiving was flawless. Dinner for 8. Ran a five-miler in the morning with Steve, went home, showered, drank my fair share (one bottle of champagne for me, one for Steve and the guests) of mimosas and we cooked a glorious feast. The house was clean, the table fabulous and the guests well behaved. If I didn't know myself would be certain that this was total bullshit, but it wasn't. It was very nice. Oh, and the boy tried everything we had. He liked the stuffing, the corn and the yams best...actually, he liked the pie best and I quote: Owen about an hour after pie while reading him a story - "that was really, really good, good, goodie-good...PIE!"

On to Christmas! My ambitious plan is the accomplish the following in the next three weeks:

Bake cookies
Buy the tree
Watch It's a Wonderful Life (same night as the tree)
Take family to see the Nutcracker (this kids loves him some ballerinas!)
Take clothes and toys to homeless shelter and women's shelter
Write letter to Santa w/ Owen
Picture w/Santa
Storytime w/ Santa
Shop for Steve and Owen
Host 8 again for Christmas dinner

Wow, so, I would say look for an emotional meltdown on 12/9, 12/15 and 12/22 - hehehe.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The more you know...

You know in your regular, collecting a paycheck job, you can choose to have a loser day sometimes. You know, where you update FB every 15 minutes, or shop for the holidays, whatever. Time on the job where you don't have to think. What is cool about my new job is that I get 1.5-3 hours of this almost every day. What I didn't realize is that the hours I am on the clock, I have to think HARD! The Happiest Toddler on the Block book reminded me just how much thinking goes into raising a happy kid. Lemme tell you something, there are hours every day that I scrutinize every work before it comes out of my mouth. And if you knew me before, I have no filter...whatever pops into my head most often came out. It was a charming quirk (unless you were on the receiving end of a rant) anyway, what a change this one is. It is a good one because I avoid so much conflict when I do it, but damn, my brain hurts!

Friday, November 21, 2008

I used to like roller coasters

I battled post partum depression during O's first year. It was the most heartbreaking thing that I could imagine. I was so out of my head that I feel in hindsight, I missed a chunk of his babyhood. And then this week, it hit me again. I started to spiral again and get very unstable. Living with a two-year-old is inexplicably hard.

In many ways they are more difficult that babies. Mostly because you don't get the impression that babies will remember crying for 2 hours five minutes after they stopped, but toddlers, oh, they remember, at least mine does. And he can tell you all about it. The cry, they argue, the contradict, the want what they want RIGHT NOOOOOOOWWWWW!! They are annoying as hell. Until you remember that they are little, weaker and do not win many battles if you don't let them.

I didn't remember that for a whole day. There was a whole day this week where I was a complete dip shit, egomaniacal, digging-in-my-heels, asshat. A whole day. I wasted a WHOLE DAY. I hate wasting time. I took this role because I felt like a missed the first two years and REALLY missed a good six months when I was a mental Jello mold. And then, I pissed a whole day away. One that could have been awesome, but instead, it was a cry-fest. Let's be honest, in the past three weeks, I pissed away 4-5 whole days, and two more while I was on vacation. All because I couldn't remember that he is little, weaker and doesn't get to win much...but alas, I did remember. Since I remembered, happy, happy kid and guess what? Happy, happy mommy, who can also be a major stupid ass.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

And then...

I broke Princess Jasmine's head clean off...yet another "not my days"

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Finally, it is all sinking in

I realized after yet another tearful day yesterday, that the problem is me. It's not that I am bad at this role, it is just that I am utterly clueless and did not read the job description. See, I have been trying to raise an adult, I am not, I am raising a child. Children and self-centered and want what they want when they want it. Guess what, me too!

For the first time in the last four months, I stopped what I was doing to meet his needs. Today, I put everything on hold and printed 1,000 princess coloring pages with him from the computer. Then I read stories to him until lunch. Steve came downstairs to have lunch with us and I walked into the kitchen to find the breakfast mess. This is SO VERY UNUSUAL.

You know what else is unusual, not having a single melt down all morning. AND, having lots of laughs, smiles and learning. He was learning to move the mouse on the computer today so we could print those princesses. And all I had to do was WAIT to clean up after breakfast. Did this make me a little crazy, yes, did it make me crazier than our normal mornings of arguments, negotiation and tantrums, HELLS NO! I know I am being thick here, but I guess I didn't realize that I was making all the problems...DORK!

Also, every morning when I get up I read the 10 commandments for a parent, very poignant.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Am I ever going to feel like I am good at this?? I am beginning to wonder.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Doing well, what with the guilt and all

It seems whenever I am seriously busy around the house with so much to do, I am not the best mom in the world, in fact, I feel I pretty much suck at it. We have guests this weekend, Trick or Treating and a party on Saturday. Not to mention the new furnace and the duct cleaning that transpired.

This required a lot of running around and work during naps. So much work, in fact, the nap time wouldn't allow me to accomplish all I needed to do. All the while, my sweet little kid only wanted me to pay attention to him and read him a book or paint. I kept saying no, not quite yet. I will, just not now. I did get around to it, but it still made me wonder if I was hurting his self esteem by not showing him he is a priority.

This happens every time we have a busy week, which is not every week, but still. I went to bed last night thinking and wanting to live by the new mantra, actions speak louder than words. Did it do it this I am ashamed that I am not able to step away from tasks or let things fall off the list so that I can be the mom I want to be. I am honestly seeking any advice you, dear Internet may have. Please let me know how I can improve and how to let things go.

Friday, October 24, 2008


Life has been pretty effing smooth sailing lately. Owen is doing great, we are really happy and enjoying life and making some new, nice friends. But, this past week has been fraught with disappointment. I wonder if people have any capacity to change, grow up and see beyond themselves to be more considerate, more thoughtful, and less, well, rotten. I always hope for better, but am always disappointed.

Although, a bright spot was that it makes me realize how lucky I am to have a spouse who loves me and respects me as a partner (this is rarer than I could have ever believed) and I him. We also have wonderful health and a beautiful boy who makes our, if only people would quit pissing me off!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Downside of development

The boy has nightmares now...big, honking, scary, screaming, quivering lip nightmares. Last night, I think he slept for a total of 5 hours. Meaning Steve and I slept for a little less than that. The sad part is the fear in his eyes. Chalk this one up to "Crap I DIDN'T think about when I realized I wanted to have kids." Poor buddy!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Busting out

O can be timid around new people and places, which is both hilarious based on the fact that I am his mother and un-nerving (same reason). It takes him time to warm up and I am growing concerned about him being labeled shy, when in fact, he is not shy, he just is deciding whether a given situation is worth his time.

I stopped worrying this weekend when we all miraculously recovered from our colds to attend a family wedding. My family is HUGE, so I have countless cousins, aunts, uncles, the works. The droom was a cousin I babysat when he was little. We took O to his first wedding. He was excited to see the princess (this will be a coming post) and her prince and then have cake. We had him with princess and cake. He was his usual reserved self in church and during dinner. In fact, when a man asked O if he could have two of the plateful of crackers, O counted out two crackers and handed them over with a look that said, "that's your limit buddy, these are my crackers, don't ask again!" Then, the music started and the cake was served.

He was ALL OVER THE PLACE. Racing between tables, talking to everyone and BURNING UP the dance floor. I had sore abs from laughing with his joy. He drug everyone onto the dance floor. Me, Steve, and both my mom and dad. He danced for more than 2 hours and would have continued had it not been 10:30 - WAY past bed time.

Needless to say, I worry too much!

Friday, October 10, 2008


So, we are leaving our vacation and we are all sick. Can I just say that there is nothing harder in the WORLD than looking after a toddler when you have a cold/flu. I cannot tell you how exhausting that yesterday was. I had the chills and aches and a headache and stuffy nose and all the other crap and he just wanted to run around the yard and play soccer with me...OYE!

Feeling a right bit better today, thanks goodness.

Monday, October 6, 2008

The payoff

The whole goal behind staying at home was to participate and witness the growth and evolution of a person. I am watching this little person grow up before my eyes. I like when I see him develop, like I did tonight with three amazing and rambunctious, but fundamentally kind children. We were playing at a friend's house while on vacation and, although it took a little time, he warmed up to the kids and played with them. And despite being 7 years younger than the oldest child, they played with him too. I was such a cool thing to see.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Having some fun

Vacation as a stay at home mom is hilarious. It is crazy how different it is than being at home. I am a flat-out tourist and I don't care. I took O to a waterfall and a fish hatchery yesterday. It was so fun. We just farted around for three hours. We had a breakfast date and a lunch date. I took tons of pictures and just had a glorious time. It is nice to smell the roses and be with my boy to show him all of nature's wonders. He loves the mountains and the waterfalls. But when asked if he wanted to live here or our house, he said I like our house best. It was sweet.

It was only weird when I saw a group of business people at breakfast and I realized that used to be me...making deals, decisions, traveling. I suppressed the urge to sit with them and talk. Good thing, because I got the sense they wouldn't be too pleased with the sticky toddler by my side. Although, I can say I wouldn't trade business travel for any level of sticky toddler...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


Steve and I have lived in a number of places in our adult life. We like to travel and we like to experience things. Now that we are a telecommuting family, we can work, quite literally from anywhere. This week, we are in Oregon. We lived here for two years about 3 years ago. We got our dog when we lived here and learned we were having O living here.

I think the thing that is making this an actual post is that we traveled for 13 hours today. We had two flights that totaled about 5 hours. A two and a half hour layover, a 1 hour drive and lots of breaks. This kid was a STAR. People were stopping him on the plane to high five him and we just couldn't believe how great he was. We had to roust him from bed at 5:30 a.m. a good 2 hours before his normal wake up. During the trip, he managed a total of an hour and fifteen minutes of sleep, but it didn't matter, he was all about the things that were all around him. He talked about the waterfalls we saw and the mountains around him. It was a very proud day indeed.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Teaching opportunities

Today Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin were campaigning right next door to the Bexley Library. Today, as luck would have it is story time at said library. Therefore, the morning was spent teaching Owen all about elections. Like when a car failed to stop at a stop sign and nearly hit me and my stroller, I explained, these folks are excited to see their candidate and that since you are already born, killing you is not as big a deal.

And then there was the walk past the line to get into the rally and the people who were chanting Obama slogans, I explained that the great thing about America is that we are all allowed a right to our opinion and that we all get a say in who leads us. Then, there was the guy who flipped off the Obama people which prompted Owen to ask "what that man doing?" I was truly annoyed that someone who raise their finger in front of a child, I just said, he is expressing her opinion, but truthfully, babe, he is with the bad guy. And then Owen rolled down the sidewalk pointing at McCain supporter saying: "bad guy, bad guy, bad guy"

I know, I am going to hell...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Head above water

Feeling in a groove with O. We have a routine and we are making friends. We have never lived in one place long enough to make friends with our neighbors. It is amazing to have kid for O to play with and people for me and Steve to share experiences with. We walk together with our neighbors and their kids to get ice cream some evenings. The kids play together, it is a very new thing for us. We are settling in nicely in our new neighborhood.

It is coming on a year since moving to Ohio and I am not sure what I expected, but in many respects, this has beaten my expectations. Plus, my hair is finally grown out and I have lost 11 pounds. WOOHOO!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Today feels good

This is about the end of my third month in this new role. And, I can say, it is looking pretty great right now. I am really in a good place. I am enjoying the pace finally and looking forward to activities like making dinner or playing in the yard (as long as bug spray is involved!) I am becoming slightly more patient and listening a little better. I just feel better. I have more energy and am feeling happier. I am enjoying slow walks home from places and leisurely trips to a store. I am letting go of efficiency and embracing truly and quite literally smelling the roses.

I do not miss work on an employer's terms, however, I do miss the work in terms of ideas. I can say with all honesty that I cannot ever see going back to work for a company. I can only see working for myself on my terms with people I want to work with and projects I care about that will make a difference. I am no longer interested in measuring myself by making a number for anyone but myself. If anyone would have asked two years ago if this would have been where I was, I would have laughed in their face, because I am kinda rude like that ;-)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Had the week off

I visited my in laws this week. It was just so completely odd and yet decadent to let someone else wake up with him everyday while Steve and I went running together. It was strange not having to feed him his meals, and him not wanting me to. It was strange to see others care for him while I was there. It was even more strange to be content in the fact that I get to do that each and every day and have no guilt about letting others read the bedtime story, or change the diaper, or quell the tantrum. It was a nice break and I have an even greater appreciation for this job.

When I put him to bed last night in his own bed, it was blissful to put on his jammies, read his story and talk all about the movies he got to watch in the car on the way home. Because he gets so little television, he SO appreciates a movie. He recounted the stories to me and told me the parts he thought was funny. It was precious.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Should I be concerned that an ice-cream shop has replaced a bank? I mean, is ice cream now more profitable than a bank. Are we out of money and filling that void with calories?

I am in Normal, Ill this week visiting family. In visiting family, it is like having a nanny and being a stay at home mom, this is the height of decadence, but also, misses the point, not that I am not blogging from a wifi coffee shop while family plays with O, but still.

Why is it so hard to listen to your kid? I mean today, he said he didn't want to go to lunch after the zoo, what did I do, took him to lunch only to leave before drinks arrived because he lost it...hate this quality about myself...just listen to him, he knows!

I have lost 10 pounds...I hate when I reach a small goal of a much larger initiative, I lose all motivation...but alas, I ran this morning and that helped.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Bouncing back a bit

Last week was a vision from hell. Failure, tantrums, all kinds of tear-filled days. I finally realized that I am doing a number of things that I find to be wrong for me. First off, let me say that I have some serious flaws as it relates to parenting, first, I am obsessed with efficiency. My aim everyday as a worker was to finish all of my work for the day by noon and to have all my week's work done by early afternoon Wednesday. This worked for me very well. I am and was efficient. An example of this would be that in the course of cleaning the house, I try to figure out the fewest number of times I need to go to the basement to work with cleaning supplies and the vacuum. I can do it in one trip...

Secondly, and by far worse that the efficiency thing, I am a pretty self-centered individual. This makes it very challenging to be a parent. I am not proud being self-centered, in fact, if there were a cure for it, it would be at the top of my to-do list. Which is yet another damaging parent flaw, I am to-do oriented. I used to have lists, lots of lists. Things that needed to be accomplished everyday in order for me to feel like I was successful. So, being efficient, self centered and goal oriented, I am trying a new strategy...Make a plan for the week. Not a concrete plan, but a rough outline of the activities and fun things Owen and I can do together. Today is a perfect example...We went to the zoo, he ran the show, we came home and while he napped, I made cookie dough. So, when he gets up from his nap, we can make football cookies. He loves doing this with play-doh, so I figured it would be a winner. I will let you all know how this goes.

I think with a rough plan, I will feel less confused, lazy and like a bad parent if I fill our days will fun things to do. I also need to let go of the rushing of the poor child...he is pokey, so what!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Heavy day, light post

The terrible twos are emotionally breaking me. I hate to admit it, but, this may be way more than I can handle. Please pray...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Q: So what do you DO all day?

A: Awakened by plaintive "mmmoooooooommmmmmmmmmmmmeeeeeeeeeeee!", greet child in bed, tell him to go get daddy cuz mommy's going for a run, finish run, get a rousing hiphiphooray from child, shovel down breakfast, print out grocery list, manage morning tantrum, put on different shirt because running shirt too sweaty to wear to the grocery, coax irritable toddler to go to grocery store, select toy to thwart store tantrum, run out of house with binky, grocery list, car key and purse, oh yeah, and the toddler, toss purse in car, ask toddler to hold key, pick up toddler, wedge him into the Jetta, buckle him in, open garage, breathe, drive to grocery, more breathing (phwew), walk through grocery chasing my dancing child, pay for groceries, wrestle with my purse, get cart to car, open car and start it to cool it so I will not have to hear how hot the car is for 20 minutes, put groceries in car, return cart with child, put kid in car, buckle kid, dispense binky, wonder if I will make it home before peeing my pants. Get home, unbuckle kid, send him to the house. Prop open doors, unload groceries, unpack groceries, make a snack, continue unpacking grocs, pour a cup of milk, finish unpacking groceries, get doodle pad out for budding artist, take out all of the crap we didn't eat last week to the trash, take out the recycling, trip over recycling cans, curse and scream. return to house a little fresher, talk toddler off ledge, unload diswasher that hubby was kind enough to run, load dishwasher with all the tupperware from fridge that has moldy crap in it, go outside and play, watch dog be tormented by bees, gather no fewer than 6 awful mosquito bites, drag screaming toddler in house. Convince toddler to play favorite past time, play-doh. Make fab pond with ducks, fish and bread to feed ducks, pull out more drawing materials, draw and color, greet hubby for lunch, make "triangle" sandwich as requested, serve lunch, eat something, not sure what, take child out of seat, wash hands, walk up steps, crawl into bed with child, roll around and play before child dozes off to sleep, visit with hubby, sit down, read the Internet and blog...and it's only 2:15.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Yep, I am that mom

Much to my surprise, I am the mom that does not allow juice, limits television to less than 2 hours a WEEK and yes, even in his easter eggs, I hid cereal and yogurt raisins. People, I think, know this about me. The moms I see and spend time with know that he doesn't get the same things their kids get, but for some reason, they cannot stop themselves from trying to ply my child with juice, cookies, you name it.

I am beginning to think that they believe I am depriving my child, doing a poor job as a mother, or what could be worse, trying to undermine all of my hard work. Stop doing this, if I say no thank you, it means, no thank you. And PLEASE don't say the word ice cream louder than any other word in your sentence so I have to either manage a tantrum or cave. ARGH!

To add to all of this silliness, tonight, Steve and I decided we will start having weekly movie nights as a family. It will be a prelude to family game night, etc. So, we tell O tonight that we are going to watch a movie tomorrow and maybe even eat on the couch in front of the television. His response: (direct quote) "That'd be craazzzaaayyy"

I guess I am a little stiff with the rules.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Things you just didn't know

I admit, I had no idea how hard being a parent was going to be. I just didn't. Especially the beginning, oye, the beginning! And then there was a lull in the difficulty, and now, a new difficulty has reared its ugly head. Nope, not the terrible twos, although, they are terrible, it is the paralyzing fear that your child will suffer other children's cruelty.

When I realized I wanted to have a baby I wanted to see life again. I was thinking about all the cool stuff, like learning to ride a bike, a first kiss, eating ice cream as it dripped down my face, you know, the Hallmark card crap. I failed to remember that life is hard, people are mean and children are violent, rotten creatures. I think it is important to note that my son is truly a docile soul. He watches everyone and everything and when he is ready, he decides who he will play with and what he will join. He chooses his friends carefully. The other day, Steve caught a bigger boy pick on O while we were at a play date. I was furious. I wanted to kick that 5-year-olds ass. But, I can't. Talk about egging on bullies (your mom rescued you, blahblahblah).

But, the more I learned about the story, the prouder I was of my son. This bigger child wanted to put some stuffed animal in O's shirt, O wouldn't let him and stood his ground. The bigger boy got mad and probably shoved him, but O still wouldn't let him. I was so proud of him for saying NO, you will no do what I don't want you to do. Now, I just need to teach him to shove back...see, O, is 3'3+" tall, according to charts, he is likely to be over 6'4". He is almost as big as this 5 year old. And he is pretty strong. I am sure he won't have many bullying problems later in life, but, I know I will restraining myself from roughing up a 6 year old...

Saturday, August 16, 2008

It really does get easier

When our boy was born and the subsequent months that made up the first year, I battled post-partem depressed pretty badly. I had a terrible time adjusting to this new person in my home and the addition to the very tightly guarded membership to the Stracey (steve and tracey) club. I was certain that it would be hard and would never let up. I had lost all faith that I could be a mom and enjoy it.

Many, many people including the wonderful woman who treated my depression said over and over again it will get better and easier, just cut yourself some slack (note: I never cut myself any slack, ever, seriously, ask Steve). Slack cutting is just not one of my strong suits. Either way, I got through it, however tenuously I would hang on some days.

And then today. Today, we got to so something so unbelievable normal. Something from our old life that we really loved doing (no, not smoking!). We went for a hike. In the woods. With Owen. He actually walked on a trail with us. I am pretty sure it was a glimpse into what heaven could be like, except for the million other people with the same idea crowding the trail...and all the people smoking as they hiked (honestly, you know you are in Ohio when people smoke and hike). But, still, a hike, together. It was awesome and it is getting easier and, I lost 8 pounds over the last three weeks, so I am kinda on a roll. I have a lot more to lose, but, 8 is a real beginning!

It is a wonder to focus on so little beyond own well-being and that of my family. It really does make it easier to do the things I have been ignoring for the last two years.

Friday, August 15, 2008


I come from smokers but I waited to start until my early 20s. I quit in 2001. I am not one of those people who can smoke only when they drink, I am either smoking or I am not. A few months ago, I started again. I was so disappointed in myself but yet, there I was smoking three cigarettes a day, one during his nap, one when he went to bed and one before we went to bed. It was so decadent. Each one I finished I would be so sad that I would obsessively wash my hands and change my clothes and but soap in my hair so I wouldn't smell like cigarettes, which I am sure I did. I don't want O to be like this and I certainly don't want to be the smoking mom, that is GROSS!

I was stressed and under pressure, but truthfully, those are all excuses for the fact that I love to smoke. Problem is, can't smoke, it will kill you and probably turn O into a smoker as well. Two HUGE whammies against this disgusting and delicious habit. So, like the first time, I have taken up running again to fight the smoking urge. Nothing keeps you off the butts like running. You really notice a difference when you aren't smoking. And I am doing pretty good, three days in and no big urges...still love it, though, which makes me hate confusing...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Starting to come together

I am running again, feels great. Also, I finally grew my hair out enough that it doesn't look hideous. But, best of all, I think I am beginning to accept my new role. I am trying to be present in his days. Some days it is hard. Some days, I just want to blog and do "work". But, I am now starting to put that aside and really play. It is pretty kick ass. We are having fun and when I take the time to listen to him and what he wants, we don't have a lot of challenges, just laughs and harmony. I think our Chicago break did us some good. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Lucky for me, my kid rocks

So, the feelings of humiliation and failure have passed with two successful runs and some time with another mom who is great. But nothing can make you feel better than a loving little face that is grateful to have your attention and time. Thinking back to yesterday, I realized that O was a complete gem of a child. He was patient and flexible. I am so fortunate to have a great kid. He is smart and sweet, a wonderful combination all that and he in funny. I am a lucky gal when I stop being so wound up to realize how good I have it. Thanks Internets for all your kind words and IMs. I REALLY, REALLY appreciate it!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Because sometimes, you just have to cry

I get back from a great weekend visiting my parents and then this morning, overslept, missed Gymboree, missed my morning run, had no food in the house and no grocery list, suitcases everywhere and nothing unpacked, laundry everywhere and toys strewn about. My to do list feels epic and I am overwhelmed. I get very upset when there is chaos in my house and today was like a tornado. It culminated with me spilling my lunch all over the kitchen floor. I just cried. And cried and cried. Sometimes, that is all you can do.

I think it is great to have Steve at home, but when he is here on days like today, it is embarrassing and even harder to hold it together. I never thought there would be a down side to this, but this is it. When I am feeling like a failure and holding myself together by a thread, I have an audience. blah. But then he helps and I need it, but I wish I could do it all myself.

Friday, August 1, 2008

life on hold

Some days are so blissful, peaceful and wonderful and then some days are restless and doubt-filled and hard. And through no fault of my child, today was the later. O was a great kid today. No tantrums of merit, no demands, just his normal sweet self. Me, I am just feeling like my actual life is on hold right now. But this is my actual life. I know my career is on hold and in some ways there are so many things that have also been suspended: sleep, dating my husband, hikes, bikes, dinners, vacations, being a two-income family. Needless to say, I think I need a cocktail...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Whose pants are these?!

I was never a thin, lithe women, but I actually do have clothing in my closest from college in size 6, maybe even a size 4. But, again that was 20 years ago, right around the time I snared my hot husband. Since then, I have been very large (now and in Dallas) and fit (Chicago and some in Hood River). Then I had O. He is lovely, but when I went into the hospital to deliver him, some nasty bitch sneaked into my house and either hid or altered all of my old pre-O pants. I couldn't fit into anything.

Then, the post partem depression sunk in and seriously, whose pants are these??? I see them in the laundry and they are HUGE. Seriously, huger than ever before. OK, so, I took a few three years off running, and I drank gallons of wine and maybe had too much to eat like every day for every meal, but, honestly, this is just mean! I am the chubby mom now! And I cannot allow it. I will drop this baggage and I will do so smartly and as quickly as possible.

Three weeks ago, I started running three times a week. And since it was been more than 3 years since my last marathon, I finally gave up on any notion that I was at all fit and admitted that I am starting over. And that means that if I run 1.5 miles, that is a stinking miracle. Just like the last time I got myself into awesome shape. I know what to do and now that I have nothing but time, I can achieve this. I am hoping to make a discernible difference in my shape by Thanksgiving. I think I can drop 20-30 pounds by then...Anyone wanna take me up on a challenge here???

The dog days of summer

As I sit here in my lovely, affordable home on a single income, I daydream about the places I used to live. How the Northwest had such mild weather and no bugs and how beautiful the mountains are and about a thousand other things that I convinced myself were not that great when we were leaving. I think about Portland all the time, the city we intended to move to when we first ventured out west. Alas, we wound up in lovely Hood River and met some of our dearest and lifelong friends, not to mention the single income we have now. In fact, much of what we have right now, we owe to Hood River. But we left. We left for a promotion that I desperately wanted and we left to return to our city slicker heritage. We left for Seattle. Seattle was wonderful, but it was expensive and far from Owen's grandparents, making it less than ideal. When we knew we were going to move one last time (we hoped), we looked again longingly at Portland. It just couldn't work, the family was the reason to relocate and they weren't in Portland either, so, having never got to live in Portland, I idealize it. Only, shouldacouldawoulda, I am still not there. And neither is our family. But, it is nice to dream about.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Soooo, that's how we treat moms

Went to lunch to meet a friend today. She blew it off, but what was worse, was watching all of the working crowd get priority service over me and O. I waited longer to order and waited so long to pay that the host felt sorry for me and ran my card for the server who could give a crap about me or my boy. (who by the way is the best lunch date ever!!) Four tables around me were in and out by the time I got my card run. I was so angry, I would have stiffed the server with a note on the receipt that read: "If you would have cared about my service as much as you cared about your other customers, maybe I would have tipped you like they did."

But alas, I did not because I knew full well that the rest of the crew taking care of us probably shared in that tip and they didn't deserve it for her lack of interest in a customer with a child. I was very disappointed and pretty offended that I didn't matter.

I will not be returning to Rise n Dine in the Arena District, and I would encourage all other moms to do the same, you don't matter to them, at least I didn't, and from what Steve tells me about his time as a primary care-taker, they didn't care about him either. I guess the working lunch crowd is in a greater hurry than a mom with a two year old before nap time - if you know anything about this, there is nothing more urgent than a sleepy toddler. Tsk, tsk, Rise n Dine, and for any other establishment who feels moms are second class.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

My, how things change

I know this is going to sound completely rediculous, untrue and more than slightly deranged, but, for nearly two years, Steve and I rocked Owen to sleep every night and for every nap. Seriously, nearly two years. Owen would never fall asleep if he were awake in his own crib and would cry. Trust me, the kid most of you have met can get himself worked up into such a crying jag that he will give himself the hiccups. He would do this if we didn't do the rocking.

And pretty much for this same period of time, he slept through the night fewer than 25 times. Steve bore the brunt of this idiosyncracy, but nonetheless, it was exhausting. (I would at this time like to note that we are old parents, so, this is actually quite something.)

And then, suddenly, we tried a big boy bed. And wouldn't you know it, he puts himself to sleep, everytime, for every slumber. And, he sleeps through the night 98 percent of the time. It was miraculous, shocking and really quite astounding when we realized that he was doing this on his own, like a big boy. It was if he said to himself, ok, I got it from here guys, I am a big boy with my big boy bed and I can do it.

When we look back on those nearly two years of sleep deprivation and frustration of not having a child who could sooth himself to sleep, we cannot believe we did it, or that he did for that matter. It is yet another example that being a parent is the most bittersweet endeavor one could imagine. Sometimes, I miss those quiet times in his room rocking him into a slumber singing him lullabys and talking about his day, other times, I cannot believe we made it this far and how proud I am of all of us for doing what worked for our boy (not necessarily for us).

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Sources of fear

When I was 5 years old, I apparently demanded to see Jaws. Yes, that Jaws, big shark, eating people, heads washing up on shore, scaring everyone. Well, my parents obliged. I wish they hadn't and seeing that now as a parent, I am a little mad about it. I am now to this day terrified of the ocean. In fact, I am not even crazy about the pool for fear of being eaten by a shark IN THE BEXLEY POOL.

Last night, Steve and I went to see the new Batman movie at 9:30 p.m. There were small children in the theater. I would say ranging in age from 3-8. WTF, people?? This movie is DARK, even says so in the title. The characters are scary, or at least intense, hell, one of them has half of his face burned off and you see it! The Joker is scary in his random affection for violence and there is even (SPOILER ALERT) some implied impending violence against children. OMG!!! This is not the place to take your small child. I was sad for the kids because they deserve parents who give a shit, I was angry at the parents for being so selfish as to bring small kids to an obviously intense (and really, really good) movie and appalled that theaters don't seem to mind. When we were leaving there were a few of the kids who were crying, a few sleeping and a few who were clearly shell shocked by what they had seen.

When Owen is 5 and demands to see some movie like Jaws, I will explain to him that he is too young to develop life-long irrational fears, and I will tell him the story of Jaws and The Dark Knight.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Settling in

This weekend is Owen's second birthday, so, I have been running around like mad and haven't had a free minute to blog, in fact, I need to go make our party favors. I will try to post more later today. Needless to say, this week has been a joy. I am getting used to this new existence and Owen is getting used to me. All is well, if not a little nutty. More later, favors await.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The adjustment period

Last week felt like a vacation. It really did. I just felt like there would be work to go back to at some point and that it was just a short little respite. This week, feels a little more like permanence and it is both scary and confusing.

I remember when I was leaving, I was feeling that I would be wanting to do nothing but be Owen's mom for the next few years and would not want to even think about taking anything on for at least another 6 months.

A few days ago, I pictured working in the afternoons. Yesterday, I was figuring out when I could work and what I wanted to work on. Some 6 months. I am so grateful Steve is committed to a 6 month contract to allow me to fully adjust. I know this is just a moment in time where I feel that I only provide value when I am working. I just didn't realize that I derived so much of who I am from working and earning.

I can say that either way, I still cannot imagine going back to anything full time. I cannot really see working for anyone but me and deciding what I could and would take on. I wonder when even part time will pass as a desire now that the vacation is over.

Funny, but true, I really am struggling with simply being a mom. Maybe it is because the last 16 years have been so frenetic and I became accustomed to doing 47 things at once and now I simply answer the same question 47 times.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Wrestling with identity

If you know me, you know how much I love shoes and bags (and jewelry), and in my new role, there is no need for any of those items at all. Bags and a toddler are a joke and there is something about walking into Gymboree with my Bob Shimmer Choo ballet slipper that seems like overkill. The problem is I thought I would be one of those glam Charlotte moms who wore beautiful, but comfortable and elegantly casual clothes, and yet, I cannot muster anything beyond jeans and a tee, a really big tee to hide my tummy. I feel like any moment I am going to be on what not to wear. I saw some bags tonight shopping that made me want to get that elegance going again. I think I will aim for the Fall for this transition. I am still trying to figure out how and when to shower each day.

Week one lessons

I am learning to take my time since that is what I have now. I have time. Negotiating with a toddler in a grocery store is quite possibly what I will be doing in hell. Keeping a house together requires near perpetual motion. I kinda feel like a shark, walking around picking up, cleaning up, unloading dishes, I only sit to blog (and nap). Napping is awesome. The days are much shorter than I could have imagined. It is all of a sudden 5 pm. Did I mention the napping? Snuggling up to my child in the afternoon is just bliss. Speaking of which, I think I may go nap...after I clean up!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Now, people...

After being at home for a week, I have seen some things that are hilarious, adorable and downright alarming. I think I will start with alarming. I have witnessed some horrifying interesting parenting techniques this week. Some of them left me wondering why people go to all the are some samples.

Crying child not wanting to go down water slide. Dad tricks him into sitting down, then shoves him. Child arrives at bottom of slide terrified and very distrustful of his father.

Crying child standing in front of mother who doesn't bother to look at the child, let alone comfort her, but also doesn't break for one second her conversation with her other mom friend (who has no idea where her kid might be!) I would like to note that the crying child not being comforted earlier kicked and pushed Owen in an effort to hurry him down the slide until I scolded her to stop. Her mother was 150 yards away talking to her friend.

Moms chatting away, dads playing catch in the pool, baby, crying and nearly falling into one notices.

I could go on and on, but maybe I am the weird one. We unwittingly did attachment parenting. And because we were late to parenting in our marriage and have very few incredibly close friends (stupid moving all the time), we just want to play with him. We don't leave his side at the pool or the playground or anywhere really.

I am not saying we are the best parents, I am just saying we like our kid and want to play with him above most others. I am noticing that this is backfiring a bit because at a party this weekend, he really wanted to hang around the adults and not so much with the kids his age. Scary for many reasons, but, he is also only 2, almost.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

So, what's it like on Day 2?

I have said "what?" a lot less to Steve, because I am present in my own life right now. I am not distracted, I am mentally and emotionally here. It is lovely. Thanks so much, Steve for this opportunity to refocus and recharge with the wonderful little boy you have raised so elegantly.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Shaking it off

My first full day as a stay at home mom and it dawns on me as I ride with O on the carousel for the third time that I am accountable to no one but him. My schedule is his schedule. I have nothing to do or anywhere to be other than on this carousel ride. What a liberating feeling. This is a really odd feeling of freedom. I hope it lasts for a long time. I feel very much at ease, with few cares. It is exhilarating.

I also realized that there is more time in a day with this role for right now. We do something fun in the morning, he takes a massive nap and we play at the house or run errands in the afternoon. Easy breezy.

Last role, I would hammer all day, race home and try to be the most exciting person alive for three hours. The old thing was exhausting. Yes, I am the luckiest girl in the world.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Well, I have reached the exit

This weekend, I began my new role. Clearly, Owen has been waiting for this for some time. We went to the zoo and we rode the pony. He told Steve a few weeks ago that he wanted to ride the pony with mommy and sure enough, we did. I am amazed at how big he is and how grown he seems. It is misleading. It is difficult to remember that this child who is more than 3 feet tall and speaks in full and clear sentences is only ONE!

I found myself earlier in the month giving him a hard time when he throws the rare tantrum. But, now that I am completely unencumbered with anything resembling a distraction, it is far easier to remember he is only one and indeed will have tantrums. I like being present for my son and husband. It is a nice change and I am pretty sure the transition is going to be easy for the time being. There is no pressure. There is only Owen and teaching him.

This morning as my first weekday not going to work in 7 years, I was informed by the one-year-old that I am a "good mommy". Sweet, I am getting favorable reviews on my first day...nice!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Reasons I am thrilled to be on the off ramp

There are so very many things in corporate america that are stupid. Here is a short little list of the things that make me completely insane that I will be happy not to see for a few years. Also, there is hope in my heart, when I come back these items will be taken care of, so for those of you not off-ramping, help a sister out, keep pushing to agenda and making change...

Old Boys Clubs
You know when we are looking into a company and you go to the About us section of their website. You click on the management team and there is either
a.) no women, or
b.) one woman either in HR or
c.) one woman who is the assistant to all the men.
I think these companies should be embarrassed to have NO WOMEN working in the highest corridors of their company. NONE. This is beyond sexism. There are millions of women qualified to be CIOs, COOs, CMOs, CEOs for that matter. And many of these companies are marketing to us. How in the world will the know what we want? Clearly, they ask the office manager.

VP of my butt
The made-up, dumb-ass, self-aggrandising job title. The 90s called and they want heir job titles back. Chief Yahoo!, Flash Ninja, Storyteller, Evangelist, I could go one, but I just threw up in my mouth. End this ridiculous practice and tell me what your GD job actual is!

Do you really want to know?
I telecommuted for two years. I grew accustomed to getting my work done as efficiently as possible with no interruptions. Out of sight was out of mind. Few people called me unless we had a scheduled call and no one would walk up to my desk (except my cat) while I was listening to music hammering out a proposal. I was busy, obviously. So, needless to say, I hate forced small talk. People, if you genuinely care about my weekend or what I am doing tonight, fine, but, I ain't buying it. Plus, most of my stories now revolve around my kid and I know from not having a kid, those stories are BORING AS ALL GET OUT! So, let's just come to work, do our jobs, form some relationships and leave the forced small talk behind us.

This is my vision for the workforce in 2012. But then again, I just read that is the year of the apocalypse, so, either way...

Short timer

Woke up this morning and thought it was Saturday. It wasn't. I guess I am anxious for Saturday and my first day in my new role full time. I am trying to get everything transitioned.

People say the nicest things when you leave a job. They should do this more when we are on the job...

Monday, June 23, 2008

Girdin' up time

One week to go and how did I kick off this scary week? By being a complete jerk. It made me realize that since giving birth, I have lacked energy and enthusiasm. I have been tired and lazy. I am slow to rise to help do things. I am embarrassed by this. I want to have energy back. I want to be enthusiastic again. I have one week to find those big girl pants so I can stop feeling scared and disappointed and start projecting confidence again. I need that energy back if I am going to live up to my next job as Owen's mom. I owe him that at the very least.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


I love excitement. I love communication. I check email about 1,000 times a day and I have several accounts. I love Facebook and LinkedIn. I love people's blogs. I like knowing what is going on and what is in the news. I like being current. I like news. All kinds of news, office news, national news, personal news, you name it. Oh, I should probably mention, I was a journalism major.

I love change and excitement and new-ness. I have moved more than 1,000 miles five times. And because of all these things, I am concerned for my new job. I know there will be new things that Owen will do every day and things he will learn. I am hopeful that I will get the same charge out of them. I probably wont I will probably get a different change.

I have noticed since my notice, that I receive fewer emails both at work and personally. I have fewer IMs. I think I am being weaned from the Internet. I don't like it.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Observations on Suess

Yertle the Turtle is a metephor of the Bush Administration...


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Can I do this?

The word has spread at work for the most part and everyone is very happy for me. But, I think my son is the happiest. Everyday he wakes up asking if today mommy stays home? And when I say no, he says mommy says home soon. And then proceeds to tell me all the things we are going to do together. It begs the question: Are his expectations of me aligned with what the reality will be?

Think about this: For the past two years, I have gone to work and was Mrs. Momma Excitement from 5:30-8. I was the treat to go see at lunch. And now, I will be the primary care-taker. The one to manage tantrums and fits. The one to kiss the boo-boo. I hope I can live up to his expectations. I hope I can live up to mine.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Raising people

Now that I will be going from managing clients to raising a child. I see very few differences. Really, if I want a client to do something and they are challenging, I make it their idea. This might be one of my special skills. I know it sounds completely manipulative, and maybe it is, but it works and everyone feels good about the outcome.

The same can be said about our son. He is in a big boy bed now. We made it his idea. We bought some rails and played in the bed with him and when it came time to go to bed one day, he said big bed, big bed. And then he slept the whole night for like 4 days in a row (this is the current record).

The same for the potty. We bought him a potty when he asked for one. We never pressed him to use it, instead we would tell him that when he used it all the time, he would get a fish to replace his changing pad. We also told him many times as he squirmed during a diaper change, that if you don't want us to change your diaper, you can always learn to use to potty. Last week, he looked like he might have to go. I asked him and he did. He is not using it all the time, but it isn't scary or a big deal. It is his idea to use it.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Truths, half-truths and lies

Is it me or are more and more healthy women having weird, difficult, problematic, or downright scary births. My pregnancy was a breeze. I didn't have much sickness, I gained 25 pounds (of which, I have kept because don't like to get rid of things), but man, was labor awful.

I was in labor for 31 hours. And every single thing they scared me with in birthing class happened to me. Not kidding. A sampling: back labor, not progressing, had to have my water broken, had to put the spring-y thin-y in Owen's head, I could go on, but I do hope to eat today. It was just hideous. I think I remember asking my husband if he would be kind enough to smother me with my body pillow, which he declined and I of course, I just continued sobbing.

Finally, I had an emergency c-section. Which is ironic because upon first meeting my doctor, I asked for a scheduled one. Seems to me, everyone would have saved a lot of time had these people just listened to me. This is a recurring theme.

But alas, I had an emergency c because Owen had determined that the umbilical chord should come out first. He must have looked at that thing and said, sakes alive, I am going to need this thingy out there!

Wild, I know, but like 10 other women I am friends with had some other crazy-ass story about their emergency c-section, or their infection afterward, or the baby had problems. Is it me, or is the medical community just blowing sunshine up our expanding asses when we have babies? They always make you think that these oddities are simply that, uncommon occurrences. Well, from my circle of friends, we are a bunch of oddities. Either that, or we are being lied to about what is normal. Or it is all that crack we smoked...

(really, no one I know actually smokes crack)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Admitting stuff to yourself

I bought this today:

Because I finally admitted that I cannot wear a bikini anymore. I am someone's mother. I am older and let's be honest, I am completely out of shape. And to be doubly honest, no one is looking at me anymore.

Luckily, I have a great, gorgeous husband, but really, my life isn't about how I look so much anymore. And what an adjustment, because it used to be! It is hard to realize that to the general public, you know, the people who we all used to dress to impress, don't see women my age anymore.

And when I finally admitted to myself that I have moved past hottie, I bought a swimskirt...and a really big hat so no one knows it's me!

Pink Rose, how cool!

So, the lovely and talented Heather presented me with a Pink Rose Award. This is my first award as a stay-at-home mom. Although, I am not quite at home yet. I am working the "notice period". So, I am getting transition documents together reading what the Internets is doing. Thanks Heather for the prize. You know how I love prizes! I would like to nominate the following:

She is a new mom who might be one of the most authentically nice people in the world. Which is why I wonder about her. I mean, who is that awesome all the time.

Cat is smart, funny and wildly creative. I love to see what is inspiring her.

Give the Pink Rose Award to those who inspire you or need to be inspired, to those who have encouraged you or those who need encouragement. Here's what to do:

1. On your blog, copy and paste the award, these rules, a link back to the person who selected you, and a link to this post: You will find the story behind the Pink Rose Award and other graphics to choose from there.

2. Select as many award recipients as you would like, link to their blogs (if they have one), and explain why you have chosen them.

3. Let them know that you have selected them for an award by commenting on one of their posts.

4. If you are selected, pass it on by giving the Pink Rose Award to others.

5. If you find that someone you want to nominate has already been selected by someone else, you can still honor them by posting a comment on their award post stating your reasons for wishing to grant them the award.

6. You do not have to wait until someone nominates you to nominate someone else.

Now open!

I just clicked the public botton. Welcome!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Managing against lists

I am a list maker. I make lists for everything, even vacation. In fact, my grocery list is in order of how the grocery store is laid out. When my husband left our son in my care right around his first birthday, I made an exhaustive list of what we would do every day, in order, with time ranges assigned. I have control problems, or as I like to repeat to myself in hushed tones: I enjoy order.

That being said, have been known to be wildly efficient at work. One manager said I could push a watermelon through a head of a pin. I am not sure what that means, but it is one of the colorful southern expressions that make me smile. So, in making this transition from executive to stay-at-home mom, I am a little worried about this personality trait. I am curious to see how it manifests itself and I am further curious to see what my lists look like and for that matter, how long the list making lasts. I would like to set the over/under (did mention I love gambling?) on the amount of time before there is no list to 4.5 months.

Please place your bets.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

So, how did it go?

I was so nervous yesterday, that I thought I was going to throw up. What makes me laugh about this is that I have quit my fair share of jobs, hell, I have quit the same company three times. But, for some reason, I was really nervous. I spoke to my manager, who rules by the way, and he was so gracious! He understood the desire to walk away for a period of time to raise a child. He saw this as a great thing for me and my son. He made no bones about it that he also saw it as a loss for the company, which was nice to hear. I also told a close office friend that I was leaving and that was far harder than telling my manager. I will be interested to see how the office gossip swirl plays out.

I am stepping away from my career in a few short weeks, and am I going out with a bang. This week, I am launching a new site, new templates for another site, a content update for a third site, oh, yeah, and I was quoted in AdAge. It's kinda like, "Good night everybody, next show's at 9:30!"

Sunday, June 8, 2008


Yes, despite the fact that my son is turning two next month, I still have and wear some maternity clothes. Thankfully, they are only tops, but nonetheless, it is not exactly where I wanted to be at this point. Six months before I got pregnant, I ran my last marathon. I have never been a skinny person, but I have been fit. Not so much anymore.

I am aiming to have all maternity wear out of the rotation before his second birthday. Not exactly sure how it will happen, but it has to. And then, I will try to fgure out how on God's green Earth, I will get my old pants back!

Saturday, June 7, 2008


I am giving notice on Monday and I am honestly quite nervous. I hate disappointing people, and I know I will be doing that to some. I also have not told all of the people who I would call friends after I leave. I need to do that, but I am worried they will reject me. This is pretty scary to me. I know what I need to do and when I take the emotion out of it, anyone who would begrudge me for deciding to raise my son is kinda a bonehead anyway. But, my non-emotional side is not all that strong at this moment. I will post on Monday about how it goes and then I will open this site up for public scrutiny. Oye!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Wheels in motion

So yesterday, I set up a meeting for Monday with my boss. I will be resigning in that meeting. I have told one person here at work about my exit. She is happy for me, but is convinced there will be sincere activity to keep me. Anything beyond 1 hour a week will be declined. I also got a call yesterday from an former manager who has an immediate opening. I guess no one is taking me seriously.

It will be very hard exiting the workforce, but I am so excited about this move. I know that my career has defined me for so many years in so many people's eyes. But, truthfully, what has defined me in my eyes in my marriage. It is my proudest achievement. Not the titles, or the P&Ls or the teams, projects or accounts, but the relationship that I forged with my husband over the last 18 years.

All that being said, I am curious to see how long I will stay home before I get the urge to take on a contract. One moment, I think it will be more than a few years, then I think I will be panicking at the 6 month mark. This is going to be a true experiment. I better get some beakers.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Coming soon!

After 16 years of climbing the corporate ladder, I am handing up my Coach briefcase, Jimmy Choo pumps and leaving the workforce to stay at home with my little boy. I plan to chronicle the transition on this site. I will take it public and market it once I give my notice next week. I very much want to encourage participation from anyone who manages to find this site. I think there are 21 million Off-Ramp Moms and former careerists who headed for the rug rat race. Ultimately, I want to build a community of moms like me to build friendships, play dates, share news and craft ideas, and maybe even line us up some part-time work if we want it.

Ok, I quit in 4 more days...And then I have maybe 2 more weeks until I get the honor of raising my son. Stay tuned.