Tuesday, December 23, 2008

What Work?

No one is here. Many divisions/organizations in my company have a mandatory shutdown the last two weeks of the year to try and help with cost control (I swear you'd think we were going to shut our doors). I am one of the few people here (Legal had a strong encouragement but no mandatory vacation) today.

Which means this morning.... I have been reading all your blogs, playing on fb (damn word twist) and goofing off. I will be heading to the gym in 20 minutes and will probably take my sweet time working out as I expect it to be lighter traffic than most days.

It's hard to get motivated to do actual work when no one is here. It's not like I don't have stuff to do. I just don't wanna.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Cold? Me? Nah.

This is a sign that we are strong, hearty people who can deal with a lot of cold and wind. We don't even make headlines until it is well, well below zero, while others make it because it is a mere 0 degrees for their morning commute.

Hmph. Babies. When I left my house it was -13 air temp. Get over it.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

To shovel or not to shovel?

OK peanut gallery... What's your take? When expecting multiple inches of snow, do you shovel in shifts or just wait until it has all fallen. Take into consideration no snow blower. 

Much of this depends on the weight of the snow. Todays snow is light, so light Little Missy and I couldn't even make a snowball with it this morning. (We tooled around for a bit up and down the street. I don't think she has been outside except to run from the car to a store and back in over two weeks. She was due for a bit of fresh air.) We are shoveling in shifts today. With 5-9 inches expected we thought, sans snowblower, we would be better off doing one mid-day and either late tonight or tomorrow morning. Ahh... the dilemmas one faces when living in Minnesota. 

Monday, December 15, 2008

Watch it wiggle...

see it jiggle.

No kids, I am not talking about Jell-O. I'm talking about my ass, my stomach and my legs. WTF? I have been sick, granted, but really, two weeks of not working out daily and my body decides to freakin' explode into a pile of mushiness? Man alive, it sucks to get old.

We have been a house of sickness lately. Little Missy came down with a bout of something nasty over a week ago (we thinks from ECFE) and after a poor night of no sleep my cold that was on the way out became a full blown mother of colds. For the last week we have gone through so much tissue in our house I had to run to Target to restock.

I was prescribed some amoxicillin today from our company clinic. Thank the gods we have one of these on site. Saves me a whole-lotta time getting my fat butt to the doctor. After three weeks of this junk they agree I have likely moved into the sinus infection category. I think the final straw came this morning when I bent over to pick something off the floor and I thought I might topple over because of the a) throbbing pain in my head and b) the weight of my head. Who knew that mucus could weigh that much. Hopefully this will get me healthy enough to handle the holiday madness.

Little Missy goes in for her 18 month check up on Thursday. 18 months. Can you believe it? I can't. My little one is growing up so fast. I know I haven't updated her blog in weeks - I promise to get on that toot sweet!

Off to blow my nose.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Split Personality

I learned yesterday that I will be split in two. 33% of my time next year will be devoted to my boss' boss. 66% of my time will still be focused on my current role in my department. I will have two desks in two different buildings (even though it takes me a whopping 5 minutes to get from my desk to the other building), two phones, one laptop (thank god) and, for all intensive purposes, two bosses.

I've dual reported in my past life, but more on paper than with real salary allocation behind it and never with two desks. The two desks is a bit odd. According to my current boss, the reason for this is so I have more face time on the 10th floor. We were absorbed into this group in January of this year and it is still uncommon for us to be associated with OGC. None of us are attorney's (although I will argue my hard earned MBA counts for something damn it) and we sit in a whole different building. We're the red-headed step child of legal.

This could prove to be quite interesting. I fear I will find myself having to act like an attorney and document my time so neither of my bosses feels he is being slighted.

I'd bitch more but at least I still have a job, a fellow team mate was laid off on Monday. Scary shit.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

11.30 Victory!

So on this eve, the last of NaBloPoMo, what do I want to post? I have been pretty negative lately and quite trite too. Since I am watching the Vikings/Bears game I might be doing the same again...

Something that has been percolating in my brain the last couple of days has been the end of the world. Do you ever wonder if all this shit going down across the globe is the beginning of the end? Negative again, I know. But, let me set this up. 

I picked up Terry Brook's Shannara series the other night. I thought I had read the whole series before but either it has been too long or I forgot it all after reading Tolkien and Eddings. (I think I actually read all three of these around the same time, it's no wonder I can't remember. ) 

All of these stories carry the same theme, good vs. evil and races that fight to death. Some races are nearly extinguished and in Brooks' version, much like King's Gunslinger series, "the world has moved on". In Brooks' version Man nearly destroyed itself by trying to gain too much power. In all of the series, including King's, man's greed and need for control leads to the end of the world as we know it. 

When I think about the war of the races, Brooks refers to in the Shannara series, I simply replace the 'races' he lists with the religions and races on our globe. What we are witnessing in our world the last several years, could be the beginning of the 'Great War' or the First War of the Races. I just keep thinking that the stuff in Mumbai and across the globe could signify the beginning of the end. Morbid, I know. 

I think my mind is here because I was reading the paper on Friday, feeling helpless. I picked up the first in Brooks' series and the similarities couldn't be missed. Then the hubby and SD brought home Hellboy II last night, and that's more of the same. 

Ok, I'm rambling. I'm off to do something mindless and watch the Vikes. 

Saturday, November 29, 2008

11.29 Mushrooms & olives

Little Missy put down some pizza at dinner tonite, cheese with mushrooms and black olives. She ate it like a champ and still put down her peas. I didn't find anything saying mushrooms or black olives needed to be avoided, but I'll be keeping an extra eye on her, nevertheless. It's somewhat hard as she has had eczema since an early age.

Today was a fairly quiet day, I'm battling yet another cold. Hmph. I'd hate to see how sick I was if Little Missy was in daycare. Apparently, I'm the one bringing home the crap.

Friday, November 28, 2008

11.28 Black Friday

Having worked retail for too many years, I avoid any sort of store or mall location on this day. I'm afraid something like this will happen to me. 

And I have to admit, I only read part of the paper this morning. This stuff that is happening in Mumbai.... I just can't fathom being in that situation. It's just sad. So very sad. 

Thursday, November 27, 2008

11.27 Happy Thanksgiving

I hope everyone had an enjoyable Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

11.26 Mmmm pumpkiny goodness

I whipped up a couple loaves of pumpkin chocolate chip bread. My sister and I got this recipe from a magazine my grandmother used to give us. It is super delish and because of the amount of pumpkin used I have to make four loaves (that's my rationalization).

I have been using one of those stone dishes and I have finally decided to chuck the thing. The last three loaves I have made recently haven't been cooked through. My teflon version doesn't have this problem. Last night I experimented by making a bigger loaf, I knew I would need to bake it longer because of the extra dough, but I had to pull it out before the sides and bottom burned to a crisp. When I turned it over the middle fell out and looked like gooey mess.

I thought these stone babies were supposed to be the best thing ever. I've had nothing but problems. If anyone has any suggestions other than tossing it, or maybe turning it into a pot for plants, let me know.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

11.25 4 hours

No, that's not how long it took me to run the race. That pain ended in 31:22. Too slow in my book, but it was cold and there were hills, damn it. My friend who I ran with last night felt like it might have been a bit longer than 5k, too. We're going to snag a fellow runner pal and run the course with her GPS watch. We'll get to the bottom of this!

That's the amount of sleep I got last night. This insomnia is getting worse. I woke up somewhere around 1am and went downstairs to see what my hubby was doing as I couldn't sleep. Nothing helps. I went to the couch. I sat in child's pose downstairs. I tried to go to my calm place. Nothing. I think I finally fell asleep somewhere around 5am with my earplugs in and my head under the pillow. This is getting out of hand.

In the past, this has occurred when I have been a) extremely stressed about work/life or b) bored out of my damn mind. I'm not stressed (other than not sleeping) so I am leaning towards 'b'. I'm bored. My job is boring. My life is a pattern of the same thing over and over and over. I'm stuck in a rut.

How can you be in a rut with a toddler, you ask? Aren't things always changing? Yes and no. Yes, she is starting to communicate better and getting into more things but it's always the same routine when I get home from work. Eat, play with her by myself, put her to bed, watch TV, go to sleep, wake up in the middle of the freaking night. Oh, bath night is in there once in awhile.

The real boredom is at work. I am so freaking bored. I find my ability to stay focused severely limited. I am no longer excited about this job or the material. And I am sick of my work being torn apart, rewritten and commented on again and again when it has been published. Sensitive, you say? Maybe a little, but I will say it again. My job is to translate legal jargon into 'normal person' speak. When you red line and rewrite it, why should I bother even trying to put something together in the first place. Just write the thing yourself.

I know I should be thankful. For my family, having a job in this economy and for my health. I feel guilty being upset about the boredom of my life but can't seem to get myself to snap out of this. The kicker is that actually sleeping would likely make me a happier person who wouldn't dwell on this crap.

I'm rambling this morning. This is one of those instances where I should listen to the saying, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all".

Monday, November 24, 2008

11.24 Off to the races

I'm off to freeze my hiney off running in the cold. At least it warmed up more than I expected. I have a scarf, gloves, hat and layers. I'm not looking forward to this. Thought I should get this out there before I come home and drink oodles of hot cocoa.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

11.23 The Waiting is Killing Me

I caved and upgraded my camera body and bought a new lens. I've been thinking about this for several months and simply have had a hard time swallowing the change required to make this purchase. It is, however, quite overdue. And a local retailer (not a big box) had a sale on the lens I wanted, beginning today, so I raced there to make it before closing. When I walked in I didn't even hesitate. I knew if I said, "Well, I'm thinking about a...", I would have walked out empty handed. I am now a proud owner of a new camera that should help my business, if at least my confidence as a photographer. Can't wait to shoot a fantastic wedding in Duluth this coming spring (hi Michelle!) with this new equipment.

So, why the heck are you blogging, you ask? Besides having to meet the NaBloPoMo commitment, I have to wait for the battery to charge. I should have plugged it in when I got home from the store but I didn't and it takes 2.75 hours for it to fully charge. Dang it. I tried my other batteries thinking the chargers are the same... no luck. Doesn't fit. Urgh.

Tomorrow, after I run that stupid race, you know where to find me. Tee hee!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

11.22 Cursed Iowa

What a drag. We went to the Gopher game tonight. Left at the beginning of the 4th Q b/c it was 55-0. That's right folks.... 55-donut. What a freaking sad state of Gopher affairs. How fitting this is the last game in the dome. Here's hoping that next year, playing outside, back on campus, brings us some good juju. We need it.

Friday, November 21, 2008

11.21 Because I am a shameless promoter of family

Please check out my cousin in his latest commercial here.

I'm hoping by the time Little Missy is watching TV he will be another famous Jim McMahon!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

11.20 In-freakin-somnia sucks

Working on roughly 4 hours of sleep, not tied to the babe. Don't have a clue what is causing this latest rash of sleeplessness. I haven't slept through the night in over a week. I've got to figure this out since I swear, every night I don't sleep I shave another year off my life.

So, shifting gears to the positive, maybe that will help. Little Missy (I'm changing her referral via the blog again just to spice things up - and those loving alliteration will catch my drift) is finally starting to say more things that sound like words. We finally got her to use the word buba for bubbles. We like to blow bubbles in the house while daddy is making dinner, keeps us occupied and allows me the chance to deflate after work. For many months now Little Missy has been grunting and we've been encouraging her to open her mouth to make sounds. The last couple of days she has been doing that more and more. And things sound more like words. I can almost hear the nuance between nana for banana and nana for grandma. Maybe it's just wishful thinking.

She painted a picture at ECFE yesterday with a feather. Dad said that she broke free from her fear of being without him for the first time yesterday and didn't cling to him during class. It only took 2 months for her to get used to the environment.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

11.19 Beep! Beep!

Heads up drivers on the east side! My SD got her permit last night. After completing the first round of driver's ed she headed to the DMV with her dad yesterday afternoon. Another teenager on the roads.

Seriously, remember how excited we all were when we finally got our permit? Ahh...those were the days. Now I just get in and don't think about it. Which is why sometimes I drive to work before I realize meant to go north instead of south.

Her dad took her out last night for her first behind-the-wheel action. They headed to two school parking lots near our house. Nice, empty spaces. She said she was nervous, but her dad said she did well for her first time out.

He noted some interesting things:
  • i keep my radio way too loud (actually, this was my observation when they left the house - it sure doesn't seem that loud when i am in the car)
  • he couldn't remember the last time she had been in the driver's seat. Maybe on his lap when she was three.
  • it wasn't automatic for her to adjust the mirrors and seat before hitting the gas
  • parking is a breeze when there are not other cars around

I just realized that both of us drive automatics (as does her mom and step-dad). We're going to need to find someone who has a stick shift. I learned on a stick and feel that it is important that kids know how to drive both. You never know when your college roommate is going to need to be rushed to urgent care and the only car in the driveway is a stick.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

11.18 Brrr....

Yikes. It was a whopping 20' when I awoke this morning. I'm simply not ready for this.

I could be overreacting since I went for a run last night after work to help prepare my lungs, muscles and mind for next week's race. What the hell was I thinking signing up for a race at 5pm at the end of November. I hope there are a lot of people signed up and we run in a pack to keep each other warm.

It wasn't that bad, really. Once I got going and if I was running out of the wind. I did scare the bejesus out of myself running at dusk. I'm not sure if it is due to my lasik or if I would have the same issues wearing contacts but my vision at dusk sucks. My path takes me along a swampy area over a boardwalk that is often traveled by deer and other animals. I only had my hubby's book reading light with me (so I could shine it at other cars - not to help me navigate) so in the waning daylight I kept 'seeing' things that weren't there. Of course, when I came upon a person walking their two dogs along another dark part of the path, I nearly ran into him (he was not wearing white!!). I saw his little white dog just in time and veered around.

Needless to say I will be bringing a stronger flashlight with me next time.

Monday, November 17, 2008

11.17 It's a Monday

I spent nearly 30 minutes on hold waiting for IT to answer my call since I was locked out of my computer. Appears the safety boot system they had installed is backfiring and they need to remove it from over thousands of employees laptops. Hmph.

Does your heart break when you hear your child cry? I noticed this the other night while I was drifting off to sleep (or in and out, who knows). Ms. C cried out in her sleep and my heart broke. I felt some sort of pain there, it's hard to explain and I find it happens the most when I can't see what is causing her to cry. She'll cry out when she sleeps every once in a while, she isn't really awake and typically puts herself back to sleep without issue, but it still makes my heart hurt to hear her little cry. Is it fear? Is she stuck? What should I be doing to help her.

This has to be an ingrained mommy gene that no one told me about. Is this where the super human strength comes from when something happens to one's child?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

11.16 Nap Schedule

Ms. C has never really gotten into a nap schedule. This makes life somewhat hard since we can't really get into a rhythm and never know if we are going to have a sleepy baby at a certain point in the day or a cranky one because she won't nap. 

I took her to church this morning and thought we could make it back home, but no, she fell asleep in the car for a whopping 10 minutes. So, her dad just tried to put her down 20 minutes ago and I am listening to her babble through the monitor. Two more minutes and I'm going upstairs to get her. Now it's a crapshoot as to when she will go down again. 

I've read tricks and am reading the Toddler Whisperer but none of those work. She will sleep when she wants to, no matter what we do. 

Saturday, November 15, 2008

11.15 Addicted to Word Twist

I think I am truly addicted to Word Twist. Darn facebook. I could play this all day long and never get anything done. It's down for maintenance right now and I think I have the shakes. 

The hubby and I headed to a dinner party last night and stayed out far too late (anything after 10am is late to me, these days). It was a good time and the wine didn't kick my butt too bad. I attribute this to our choice of food - pasta, bread and two desserts. Enough food in one's belly helps suck up all the alcohol.

In other news, I've got nothing. The Gophers play the Badgers this afternoon and I'm hoping to plant myself in front of the TV. I somehow have to convince Ms. C that she wants to play downstairs for 3 or so hours. I used to be able to use the cat but Tabby has gotten quite smart and escapes to the laundry room when she hears us coming. Poor kitty. Ms. C loves her so much but can't or doesn't understand how to pet her nicely. We're lucky she's a good cat and doesn't bite. Someday, I imagine these two will be inseparable

Friday, November 14, 2008

11.14 Burning in the fiery pits

I'm going to burn in hell, according to this man. Well, at least now I know what is going to happen to me when I die, because I haven't seen the inside of a confessional since I was a teenager.

As a Catholic, my soul has been on the cusp of heading to hell for quite some time. Heavens, the least of which are the use birth control and supporting pro-choice. I'm really going to be damned since I also support gay marriage and don't fully understand why the Vatican won't get out of it's old-boys-club thought process and actually let the women in the church be a bigger part of the process. Can't quite wrap my head around how we hold Mary in a higher position and regard than other religions, yet we won't led a woman lead a church. WTF? Oh... and my swearing. That's another thing. Not even to mention activities in my youth (no comments from the peanut gallery, please, my hubby knows this blog exists).

Well... I might as well just give up and forget my vows and start some torrid affair, screw volunteering as much as I do, stop giving money to the church, forget supporting social justice, etc. 'Cuz apparently none of that means diddly to God. At least according to this man.

FYI - the seats last night were freaking awesome. 13th row behind the Wild goal for 2 periods. Good times. Good times.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

11.13 Going to a fight...er, hockey tonight!

Whoo-hoo, I'm getting jazzed. My pops called last night and has tix to the Wild game tonight. I'm heading to the hockey game with my pops!

I remember the first professional hockey game I went to (which was with my dad). We took a bus from Austin to Bloomington as it was back in either 1990 or 1991 and the North Stars played the Blackhawks. Hockey fans out there know that the rivalry between these two teams was intense. It truly was a fight where a hockey game broke out.

Along the years, my pops and I have attended a handful of Gopher hockey games together, but we haven't been to a professional hockey game together in nearly 15 years. Go Wild!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

11.12 I'm gonna race

Yesterday I signed up for my first race in 2 years. It's the 24th of this month but it's only a 5k so I think I should be able to handle it. I'm running with a friend from work and the race starts from our main campus. Nothing like leaving for a race from work.

However, it snowed last night and I'm not the best cold weather runner. At least I'll get a beanie hat and a shirt out of the deal.

Wish me luck!

FYI, my arm hurt from my flu shot last night and I couldn't sleep on my left side (boo hoo, I know). It's been forever since I had a shot and didn't expect I'd be this much of a wuss. Still hurt a bit today.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

11.11 My first shot

I received my first flu shot ever this morning. My company supplies them on a first come first served basis at no cost. I stood in line for roughly 20 minutes and was out the door (with a warning from the person shooting me to pay attention for itchiness and scratchy throat). How very nice to not have to go anywhere else to obtain this shot. BTW, no allergic reactions on my part.

Why do it now? Because I have a wee tot at home who cannot get a flu shot due to her age (and probably weight). She's not in daycare and since her dad doesn't work out of the house, I am the most likely culprit to bring home the nasty bug.

I am sitting at my desk looking out the window watching the snow flakes fall. We'll see if we have an accumulation today, I hear there might actually be snow on the ground come 5pm. These are the days when I appreciate having my whopping 3 mile commute. (Well honestly, I appreciate that short commute every day!). I'm not ready for the snow and cold. Hmph.

Happy Veteran's Day
Thank you to all who have served this country!!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

11.10 (2) Irish Eyes are Smiling

Ok. I'm a little slow and didn't find this until today. Maybe the luck of the Irish helped a wee bit.

11.10 Football

There was a football game on yesterday?

Just kidding. But between my niece's baptism, the celebration after, watching Ms. C play with the matchbox cars and eating, I saw maybe 2 minutes of the game. Right when Chili makes the great decision to go for it on 4th & 1 at the 40. WTF? We got lucky and pulled out the win, I hear.

I used to plant my ass on the couch every Sunday (and most Saturdays when the Gophers are actually on TV) but this year has changed everything. Since I don't spend that much time with my daughter during the week, weekends are our time together. This has resulted in a serious lack of football watching on my part. Get TIVO or DVR the games you suggest. Right. I'm saving that $$$ for Ms. C's college education.

Anyway, it's only football and I will be heading to the last Gopher game of the season with my family in a couple of weeks so I'll get a fix. And they better win damn it. What the heck (as my nephew says) happened to them against Michigan? I mean, we're talking about Michigan 2-7 Michigan folks, not last year's Michigan. It's disappointing. Our last game is against Iowa. It's a complete toss up, considering they beat freaking Penn State on Saturday. Seriously, what the heck is going on in the Big 10? Craziness.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

11.9 Cars, hammers and wrenches

These are my daughter's favorite toys. We returned from her cousins baptism to my sister's house and the first thing my daughter chooses to play with are her older cousins matchbox cars. Whoo-hoo! I'm raising a tomboy :) Now, that's what I like to see. 

Short post as DH has to use the computer for work and Ms. C. wants to play with the car I 'borrowed' from her cousins. 

Saturday, November 08, 2008

11.8 A 2 or a 6?

Whew. Comcast is having outage issues in my area this evening. I thought I might miss posting and blow it in the first week. 

OK dear readers. Why is it that I can go from one store to another and in one wear a size 2 short and in another a size 6 ankle? Granted, the first was a pair of chinos and the second a pair of jeans, so it is a bit like comparing apples to oranges but 2 whole sizes? Even if they were the same style I wouldn't expect to see 2 whole size differences. It's frustrating. This is one reason why I have trouble ordering clothing online. I have asked my hubby to pull out the measuring tape so I can get my stats down. 

I'm not even going to comment about the crappy loss my team had today to a 2-7 friggin team. I didn't get to watch the game (ever tried to do that with a 16 mos old? Right), all I know is what I heard on the radio in bits and pieces. No offense. 

Friday, November 07, 2008

11.7 Where are the words?

So, as I lay in corpse pose in yoga this morning my mind turned away from relaxing thoughts to "why isn't Ms. C. talking?" thoughts. So much for relaxation.

I've been worrying about this for quite some time. I know that not having her in daycare would lead to a 'slower' development than some of her peers, but seriously. It's not like we don't talk at our house. And she certainly understands a lot of what we talk about at home. In fact, there isn't a great deal of frustration on that side of the coin.

Her communicating to us is quite the opposite. She still only says 'nana' (banana) and 'num' (when she likes food). In fact, she no longer will say 'down' (which, I swear, was there two weeks ago). We read to her regularly, very regularly. If she doesn't read 20 books a day it is a slow day in our house. Heck, you'd think she'd be saying 'book' by now. She doesn't even say 'bye bye' (yes, she waves) when I leave the house and I say that to her 5 days a week! We sing (well, maybe only I sing but her dad says the words), I try to tell her what I am doing. I just don't get it.

I'm beginning to wonder if her dad speaks to her at all during the day....

Some parents tell me to count my blessings, that once she starts she won't stop. But it is so hard to console her when she is trying to tell me something and I don't understand her. What's a mom supposed to do?

Thursday, November 06, 2008

11.6 You gotta spend money to make money

Isn't that what FDR said to get things moving again? So I ask myself, after coming out of a quarterly meeting with my business, how is the pay freeze my company has initiated going to help me get the economy back on track.

I had heard rumors that this might be coming down but, at this company, rumors can easily be blown out of proportion. The rationalization is that in order to maintain our current leading position (let me just add here I work for a FORTUNE 100 company, not a mom & pop shop in po-dunk USA and not even a Fortune 500 company, but in the top 100) we need to preserve our cash. OK, I hold an MBA, I get the position we are in but it seems sad to me that the company is choosing this route to try and 'right-the-ship'.

I'm off to rethink my spending.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

11.5 Ack!

Anyone have any solutions for when your child pees on the carpet? Last night after bath, as I was trying to get Claire to come into her room, clean up the space and get things in place she peed on the carpet in the hallway. This is the second time she has pulled peeing on carpet. At this rate we're going to have to re-carpet the whole house.

The first time I was getting her dressed and she stood up and refused to sit down. I'm not one for slamming my child on the ground and so I was attempting to negotiate with her while moving her towards her diaper and she peed. On the new carpet in her room. I think we used a combo of pet cleaner and a water/vinegar combo. Seemed to do the trick and we made it through the rainy fall without a huge smell in her room.

Last night Pete put pet cleaner on it after soaking it up. I'm hoping that does the trick. Seriously, the carpet is probably 20 years old but I don't plan on living in this house for more than 2 more years so I'm not putting in new carpet.

Any tricks from parents who have had this issue? Step one is to not let your child run around without a diaper on, I get that, but in the event she does it again????

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

11.4 A Simple Task

There are women in this world who still can't speak their minds. I intend to speak mine today with my ballot. Regardless of how things turn out, I am proud that I live in a place where there is NO question about what I can do today.

Monday, November 03, 2008

11.3 Oh the weather outside...

sounds delightful. I decided to work through lunch so I can skip out early and go home for a run. How can a Minnesotan pass up a 70' day in November? There should be a state law that if it hits temps this high this time of year we can skip work.

Even though I ran yesterday I am going to take advantage of the fantastic weather and get another one in today. It's not like my fat ass can't use the exercise.

Now.... where did I put that leftover Halloween candy?

Sunday, November 02, 2008

11.2 Cursed daylight savings

Wake up time for Ms. C - 5:15am (yes, I know...6:15 on the body clock)

First nap of the day (only nap???) 9:45am.

I've gotten used to the routine we have in our house and this blasted daylight savings thing is already wreaking havoc and it's only 10am. Urgh. We tried putting her to bed a bit later last night in a vain attempt to shift her body clock. Nope. Not happening. At this rate, she will be going to bed at 7pm and I will see her for two hours and night after I get home from work. In addition, I will need to be up at 5am to get through the shower before she wakes up in the morning. Again...urgh.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

11.1 First Post of NaBloPoMo

The first post of the month. Ahh...where to start. Hate to start of negative but I listened to the Gopher football game this afternoon (too nice to sit inside!!) and we lost to NW. Urgh. Homecoming loss again. Oh well... next year I hope to be at the game outside enjoying the weather AND a victory.

We had a slow Halloween last night, which we are associating with it being a Friday night. Only 71 kids. Needless to say we have a lot of leftover candy. I'm bringing into work so I don't eat it here. The last thing I need around me is chocolate. I'm trying to lose weight, here!!!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Me no wanna

I have no desire to work. None. I have a meeting in an hour with my boss' boss and I don't really want to go. I don't want to work anymore. Urgh. Change in weather? Maybe. I think it has more to do with my tenure. I never last too long at one place because I get bored. I have been in this position for just over 2 years, for me that is a LIFE TIME.

I know I need to get my butt in gear, in this environment, demonstrating a lack of work ethic makes you a target for cuts. Our company has made several in the last couple of months and I am lucky I made it through (it wasn't that close, but who knows...). I should be looking forward to this meeting and ingratiating myself to another element of this company. But you know what? I don't care. I want to be at home and take my daughter to ECFE and spend more time with her. Not with the people I work with. Sorry folks.

On another totally unrelated topic, I fear I am jinxed. I went to donate last night and they rejected me because my hemoglobin was too low. By 2 tenths of a point. I am going to get some red meat, eat some Oreos (the cookie that has the highest iron levels) and not mix my calcium with my iron (calcium depletes it). Then I'll make yet another appointment and hopefully drain myself of a pint of blood.

Monday, October 27, 2008


Some people might call me jaded. I call myself a realist.

I am a Gopher Football fan and this week we are ranked at number 17 in the BCS standings people. Let me type that again. 17. What a change. I remember sitting in the stands last year wondering if it was possible the dome could actually deflate, 'cuz that was what happened to my team.

Last year we were 1-11. This year we are 7-1 (3-1 in the Big 10). How has this amazing turnaround happened? I don't want to dismiss that coach Brewster has done a fine job changing the direction of this flailing program, but I want to weigh in on some things (here's where the jaded shines through). I don't think we should be that high. Gives me that itchy feeling of doom.
  1. We have had a REALLY easy schedule. Outside of OSU and Illinois we haven't faced tough opponents. The next three games should pose some challenges and if you have ever been a Golden Gopher football fan you better start to remember how quickly we can implode before you get your hopes up too high. Let's just remember the last bowl game we played in shall we?
  2. The Big 10 is in a state of flux. WI was ranked in the top 25 the first 3 weeks of regular season play and slid quickly out of the rankings based on their play the last 3 weeks. Michigan? I realize they have a new coach and things are crazy up there but what the heck happened to everyone? Yikes. And OSU. Oh OSU it sucks to be you (anyone catch that great OSU vs. Penn State game?? GO Joe Pa!) this year. Not that I don't mind a little parity in our division but I would have hoped it was because the Gophers climbed the ladder instead of the typical division superstars falling sharply.

The silver lining? Recruiting should improve.

  1. We will have a gorgeous, and I mean beautiful, outdoor stadium to play in next year. (We drove by it a couple weeks ago and since I have never experienced football on campus I am SUPER jazzed.)
  2. And even if a winning record came as a result of an easier schedule, perhaps the kiddies will be more excited to play for a team that put up some W's this season.

Regardless, if we make it a bowl game where the temp is higher than it is here at that time of the year I am seriously considering booking my flight. And if they make it to the Rose Bowl, as a coworker said he heard an analyst consider today, I'm getting a babysitter b/c their ain't no way I am missing that one baby.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Help Me Here Folks

I'm struggling with this one. Please, someone tell my small, simple-minded brain how to make sense of why this man is leaving with upwards of 10 million buckaroos while there will be layoffs later in the year.

Truthfully speaking, I know how it works. I spent 10 years in HR so believe me, I know how it works. My point is.... HR LEADERS - get your shit together and figure out how to write exit clauses into contracts that DO NOT ALLOW THIS CRAP TO CONTINUE. This is bull-freakin-shit and despite the fact that it can be argued that jobs will need to be cut regardless of this man's golden parachute with a good deal of validity.... it sends bad messages.

OK. I'm done.

Monday, October 20, 2008


I'm taking the leap. I'm going to try NoBloPoMo this year. Why? Because I want to add a bit more activity to my life, since you can see my blogging has been light the last few months. Fair warning, my few readers, posts maybe strange, pointless and boring in the coming weeks. Or, maybe this will be the practice I need to become a real blogger :)

Should be exciting since we'll be dealing with the outcome of the presidental race.

I'm off to start thinking of ideas.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Catching up

I've been a bit busy at work the last two weeks and haven't had much time to blog. Not a whole lot has been happening in my world as of late anyway. Yesterday was an interesting day so I thought I would take a few minutes out of my work day and blog. I'm especially crabby today as I am coming down with a cold so bear with the snippiness that may bleed through.

I am frustrated with the debates. Frustrated that neither candidate actually answers a darn question. I watched most of the debate last night (full disclosure, I fell asleep towards the end) and had a hard time not flipping the channel when the candidates went off on their I'll-blame-the-other-party-and-not-answer-your-question diatribes. Seriously... I know who I am voting for and I was disappointed in his performance. All the media outlets are posing the question, "who won?", followed up with statements about how it is hard to tell. Well, I'm here to tell you that is because they didn't answer the questions. No wonder you can't tell. You know how to win over the undecided and independent voters, boys? Actually answer questions in short and clear sentences. You will win the hearts of many voters across this great land. I know I posted before how I was already tired of the mudslinging, and while it wasn't too over-the-top last night, I just didn't have the patience. I floated between that and a repeat of Bizarre Foods. Urgh.

On a different note, yesterday my co-workers and I went to a local transitional housing unit to volunteer during the lunch hour. We arrived around 10am and worked until 1pm, doing food prep, serving, cleaning, and anything else they could find for us to do. It was an amazing experience. This location houses up to 55 homeless people and there is always a waiting list. Residents can be individuals or families and they also allow 'drop-ins' for meals. These folks have been referred to this facility by another location in DT SP and can only stay for 30 days. After that they are either back on the street if they have not found housing. The staff are truly God's angels. To see what they see every day and still come to work, continue to have faith and hope. It's amazing.

Let me just tell you how hard it was to walk out of there after seeing what I saw. There was a precocious little girl, five, maybe six, who I wanted to take home. She and her parents live in a car. They sleep in a church on the hard floor using cardboard boxes to separate them from the other families. She has never been to school. What type of life is she going to have living like this and not receiving an education? How will she break this cycle? I want very much to go and grab her (all of the children, really) and take her home, give her a warm bed and a permanent address so she can go to school. And to see her eyes light up and her chatter away with all of us. Kids are resilient.

Needless to say, I came home and told Pete we needed to find a way to either volunteer, donate or do something more for these people as they are less than 2 miles away from where we live and it feels more like they are on a different planet. And then I hugged my little girl, hoping nothing like this ever befalls her.

Monday, September 22, 2008


Oh. And I forgot to post that I have been on the bridge 2 times in the last three days. Who knew I would appreciate the reopening of this thoroughfare so much?

It's SO WIDE!!!

Drawing blood

I had my yearly appointment this afternoon. Don't worry, no details will be provided, other than the fact that I verified I can donate blood. After receiving a transfusion after delivery last year, Claire's receipt of a donor's blood while in the NICU and knowing that I carry universal blood (O-) I have been considering donating. My dad has delivered pint upon pint upon pint over the years and my hubby goes in every 62 days as well (he's also O-). For some reason I thought one needed to be 120 lbs to qualify and considered lying like my friend Kim did in high school, but nearly (or was it actually, Kim?) fainting didn't sound like the best of ideas. But, surprise, I qualify. You only have to be 110 lbs if you are over 17. I fall somewhere in between 110 & 120 - I have to keep you guessing. So I booked myself an appointment online this evening for Oct 2nd.

Afraid of needles and vials, you ask? Heck no. While in the hospital my blood was drawn every 6 hours and I have those great veins that typically pop out without a great deal of work on my part. To be honest, I am somewhat excited. I am looking forward to feeling like I am providing something to someone who may find themselves in the position I was last year. Or their child. You see, as a universal donor, my blood may be used for a baby in the NICU or an ER situation when a child is rushed in who has not been typed. And that, my dear friends, feels pretty darn good.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Scary Post Response

OK. I just got a comment on Ms. C's blog from an outsider. I know outsiders have linked to her blog b/c of the tracking and I've been considering making it private b/c I'm not sure how much I like the idea of pedophiles finding pictures of her online. I just changed the comments setting to allow me to moderate them (sorry kids, hope this isn't a pain).

I realize it could also have been just random but it really does make me think of protecting her more. Thoughts?

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

An Angry Leftist Speaks

I was watching the local news last night, camped out at the RNC and listened to a delegate comment that Bush's speak was non-partisan. Where does referring to his opposition and their supporters as the angry left fit into non-partisan? I mean really.

Full disclosure: I consider myself an independent, not a democrat so I have bones to pick there too.

The hubby and I have been chatting a bit about the whole media circus, not just surrounding our fair cities this week due to the RNC, but, in general. How media controls politics and politics controls media. Where is the truth? Will the average Joe ever really understand the platform of the candidates? Do the candidates even understand their platforms? It's getting tiresome and we've got a few more months left of ad campaigns and mudslinging. As grateful as I am to live in a country where a) I CAN VOTE, b) I have a choice and c) ad campaigns are aired, I do get tired of them once they start getting into the crap-slinging. (Perhaps I am already jaded b/c the senate race here started on that note from day one....)

And don't get me started on the protesting fiasco happening in SP. A normally mundane piece of land has turned into chaos, so media outlets report. As an angry-leftist-independent I am all about free speech and all about giving people the opportunity to express their opinion. I do live in the camp that a peaceful, thoughtful and articulate protest gains a lot more credible attention than violent actions. When violence comes into play I draw the line. When you deface an innocent individual's property and suck other people into violence who were there protesting in peace, we are no longer on the same side. Stay the hell away from me and don't you dare try to explain to me why you are justified in defacing and destroying innocent people's property in the name of your 'cause'. You do not represent me.

Monday, August 18, 2008


We had a good mini-vacation last week. We went up north with my family and spent 3 days at the town home we rent. A good time was had by all, although sleeping in the same room as your toddler who moves around like a madwoman is not as easy as I thought it would be. And I learned some new entertainment techniques on our last 2 hours of the car ride up. 

Claire tried many new things which you can check out here. We lucked out by swinging into Duluth just in time to join Carrie & Dahlia for a walk along the lake. It was great to have a chance to hook up with Carrie and her adorable, good natured babe. 

In other news, our nanny started today. It seems like things went well. Claire was a bit needy this morning and I feared for the worst. But her dad called me at work and said she went back down for a nap at 8am. She hasn't taken a nap that early since she was a baby :). Apparently the weekend wore her out more than we thought. Our nanny said she was surprised by how well Claire did today and was impressed by her mellow nature. I swear it has all to do with her sleeping pattern. Now, if I can just get her to sleep in until 7am.... 

Friday, August 08, 2008

The Beetles Ate It All

I am slowly becoming a maniac. I despise Japanese beetles with a vengeance now. They came back last month and within 3 weeks deforested the linden tree again. Pete tried a nasty all-natural option sometime during week two of their encampment (Jerry Baker's Beetle mix) that involved dead beetles, water and spraying the tree. We think more may have landed on the him than the tree. Didn't work. No dent in their gorging. In fact, I think they went through the tree faster this year than they have in the past. When they were at their peak we could shake a tree branch and it appeared like the Apocalypse was coming. These beetles aren't very bright (no beetle is, I understand people, you get my point) and it should be easy to remove them but when there are literally hundreds and hundreds on your tree. It's daunting.

Since there is nothing left to eat in our yard they have moved on. On a walk the other night I counted 14 Bag-a-Bugs. Great. Now all the damn beetles east of the Mississippi are going to come to our neighborhood. FYI, most of these bags are about 1/4 full and since they use pheromones they actually do end up attracting more beetles.

The only really good thing about these bags are that they catch the horny bastards before they can lay their grubs. ALL these bugs do is eat and get it on. They are constantly laying on one another. It's like an orgy in our back yard. Yeesh. Birds and bees should be retitled to 'beetle-on-beetle'.

What really bites is once they come there doesn't appear to be a non-toxic method of removal. You can spray your tree/plant with dish soap but it doesn't stop them from coming back. And have you ever tried spraying a 40' tree? It would be easier to climb the house and spray from the roof! I already removed the grape vine that was also infested (planned to remove it anyway) and we've debated removing the tree but that seems silly.

I feel bad because I think that if we had found out where they laid their grubs last year and done something to remove/kill the grubs, perhaps the neighborhood wouldn't be infested to this degree. Who knows. I don't remember them being here the first year we lived in this house so we have no idea what brought them to this little enclave on the east side. Urgh.


Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Beautiful Babe

Welcome Hazel Marie

Hazel Marie Dufresne arrived this morning at 6:30am (ish) weighing in at 7lbs 4 oz. Not sure on length, apparently she has black curly hair. Heading over tonight to see mom & the new babe. Congrats to the Dufresne clan!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Darn it all

We didn't get in to the TC10. If you could, you would hear the sarcasm dripping off my words as I tell you just how disappointed I am.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Nanny search

OK. After one night of sleep which amounted to a whopping 2 hours, it dawned on me (no pun intended) that I am having serious issues with the daycare thing. Since Ms. C was denied her RSV shots last year she has one more year to go before she has moved out of the 'high risk' area. The idea of putting her in a daycare.... yeah, right. It goes beyond that issue, alone, but I haven't the energy to post why it bothers me so. I think it has a lot to do with not having found the 'right' place yet.

So, the nanny search has begun. To keep Claire from being overexposed to germs, we will pony up the money and get a nanny. I have a couple leads and am going to through a post out on Craigslist. Wish us luck!


This is how many calories I can take in during the day if I want to lose 2 lbs a week. Crap. I think I might have already taken that in today. 938. WTF?

I have been 'trying' to lose weight and seriously need to do something before I learn we have been given the green light for the TC 10. I do not want to be carrying around this extra 10 lbs while running. My knees took enough of a beating last spring with the extra 25 lbs from the pregnancy.

Today I go run with a coworker and am not all that excited. Ms. C did not have a good night and was restless, meaning mom did not sleep and was equally restless. When I got up at 4am to tell Pete to come to bed, the cat puked. I mean really. Can't a girl just get some sleep.

How this turned into a post about sleep I don't know....

Anyway. My point is, I will have to figure out what I can to do get back on track. No more sweets after dinner. Smaller portion sizes and I'm seriously considering dropping my weight training and adding back in the cardio. I hate to stop lifting, as I do enjoy that activity, but with only running 2, sometimes 3 days a week, I will not be prepared for any race. Urgh. This getting old thing sucks.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Laugh out loud

Thanks Carrie! We had a great time viewing your movie last night and laughing out loud. Well done. I am so very proud of you and that you have followed your dream. And I was delighted to actually get to see Ms. D in person. Love her.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Invincible no more

My women's softball team beat our sister team last night, 14-13. This has not happened in the nearly 10 YEARS I have been playing in this league. And what a fanstastic game. I always enjoy it more when both sides have a fighting chance. It makes my senses come alive. Needless to say, our sister team was stunned. Simply stunned. Little did they know when we played them earlier in the year that I was watching and putting together a line up specifically for this game. Hey. It's called scouting out the other team. Take note - we're on fire!!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

TC 10 Mile

My in-laws and I are registering for the TC 10 mile. I haven't run a race since the last time I ran this course in 2006 before becoming pregnant.

I'm not sure I am ready for this. I think I should have started with a couple hundred 5k races before getting back into mid-distance runs. Oh well. The race is a lottery so we won't know if we are in until July 18th. In the meantime I need to maintain the thought that we could get in and get my butt in gear. I haven't been able to make it past 3 miles on a run. How the heck do I think I'm going to make it 10? Yeesh. I used to kick out 5 miles without question. What happened to me?

Today is a run day so I'll go pound the pavement during lunch and see if I can get my head back in the running game.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Bang! Kapow!

The 4th has come and gone and nary a firecracker was seen at our house. Heard is another story, but so it goes. Lucky for me, Ms. C can sleep through most noises. The white trash episode on Friday was another story as it occurred while she was going down to sleep, but in relation to what Carrie experienced, it was nothing. Just a couple f-inheimers thrown around and my neighbors coming out to tell their son's (who should be living on his own, btw) friends to shut the hell up. Since they were already taking care of the matter, Pete returned to watering the lawn and I returned inside with Ms. C. I brought her onto the deck since she typically has a calming effect on drunk 25-year-old-testosterone-filled-idiotic guys trying to impress equally drunk 25-year-old scantily-clad girlies. Makes them think what might come after the hook-up, me thinks.

We took the girl to the first of what are sure to be numerous parades. We were actually late and missed the first run through but since we were in Afton, the only way the parade could return to its original starting place was to come up the road again. Lucked out. Then we hung out at the park and enjoyed the baby swing. Kids running around everywhere and Ms. C spent most of the time picking up sticks, as is her passion, and watching the big kids.

Two new teeth sprouted last week so the weekend was partially filled with crankiness and short fuses. She and I spent some time in the pool on Saturday. She took two spills but kept her head out of the water and didn't seem to be scared of the water. She walked around with her bath toys and splashed away. It was a good experience for me to see my babe able to keep herself upright, even when she slipped. I have been reticent to let go of her but know that she needs to experience things to learn. Urgh.

Then it was off to a BBQ with a small group of friends. Ms. C thoroughly enjoyed watching Wiley-dog (a huge love of a dog) walk around. She didn't reach out to touch her but didn't flinch when Wiley came over to lick some food off her face. Ms. C just followed her around and had a blast playing with her older buddy Logan's toys, chatting with Auntie's Robin and Jackie and checking out the new grass.

Both of us were too darn hot and cranky to do much yesterday so we spent the day playing on the deck or inside in the air conditioning.

It's hard for me to return to work after a three day weekend when she stands at the gate and says mama. I am dreading, simply dreading when I have to begin dropping her off at daycare at the end of next month. It's killing me. I am still waffling between the home daycare across the street and the center. I don't want anyone else to take care of her but I know that isn't realistic. Her dad needs to work and that's how it goes. She is a tough little cookie and will probably end up loving it but I don't want my baby to have to deal with separation-anxiety. Hmph. Maybe I'm giving myself too much credit and she won't give a hoot that she's not at home with dad. We'll have to see.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Just in time!

UPDATE: Kennedy Ann was born on Wednesday evening at 8:49pm, weighing in at 5lbs 9 ounces. Congrats Jen & John!!

My friend is having her baby, my friend is having her baby!

Her water broke while we were shooting her pregnancy photos last night. Holy cow. Thank goodness we got those photos done last night! Now I am impatiently waiting for news on Baby Girl S!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Makes you think

My BIL told me about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch last week. More info can be found here. Holy crap.


It's a humbling experience to see how fragile life can be and a reminder to appreciate what one has and has been given.

A friend of mine came very close to death last week. She's been dealing with cancer for the past 5 years and her lungs finally gave up and stopped working a little over a week ago. She was rushed to the hospital and intubated. The last week was a bit of a blur as we waited to hear how she would pull through, reading her CaringBridge journal every time it was updated, signing up for meal coverage and praying. She is now out of the hospital and growing stronger each day. Her turnaround is not only amazing but a testament to how white light and energy can impact a person.

Over the last several days I have been reminded to be thankful that I am healthy, my family is healthy, that I am surrounded by love, that my friend is a strong, beautiful human being, that there is strength in numbers and that thought and prayer really can be a powerful force. The outpouring of support and energy has truly been an amazing thing to experience.

Last night our softball team played in honor of our friend. One player's husband brought a video camera and recorded the game so it could be burned onto a DVD for her. It sounds silly but, despite our loss, the energy at the game was so positive you could nearly taste it. We had a great time (as we always do when we play) and made some really funny bloopers that are sure to bring out a laugh or two. And it was inspiring that our first basewoman returned to the field last night after beating HER cancer and having reconstruction surgery in early May.

One of our players had a vision last week that by the end of our season our friend would be back on the bench, watching us play. Here's hoping it can come true.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Avoiding work

All my friends are doing it... so I'm joining in the fun.

1. What is your first name? Drop the 'hobby'
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush? (Chris Cornell)
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation? Australia
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life? That's family (not just cats)
11. One Word to describe you. Passionate.
12. Your flickr name. Weeone

To avoid work:
a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Hmph. Hope this looks OK.

I think I left my brain somewhere yesterday. Or perhaps I lost it over the weekend. Who knows. All I know is as I was biking into work today I realized that I forgot my bra. Good thing I decided to wear something that won't show that I am wearing my sports bra today instead of one of my newly purchased, nicely laundered bras. And I have to do a presentation over lunch. Oh well.

I don't know what my deal is lately but unless I have a list I'm SOL. I can't even remember what I'm doing from one day to the next. I associate some of this with a large part of my brain being used for new parenting worry and the rest with the fact that I don't sleep.

This is not due to my lovely daughter but, rather, my lovely husband and his frickin' snoring. I'm about to snap. I don't know why this is hitting me so hard this week, but I am seriously having a very hard time dealing with the noise. Up at 3am this morning listening to him sawing logs. Rolling over works for a temp fix. Urgh. I'm dragging. We've tried those silly nose strips. He just takes them off sometime in the middle of the night and sticks them on the wall. Not kidding. He has no clue what he has done with them.

Maybe I'll just lay my head down on my desk for a little nap.....

Monday, June 09, 2008

All that work...

for 22 bucks. That's what we made off our portion of the garage sale this weekend. You heard me right. $22.00. I don't even want to think what that would be in euros. We host it at our house so we tend to do a lot of prep work getting the garage cleaned out. Hardly seems worth it.

Oh well. Lots of family and I was off work on Friday. That's gotta count for something, right?

Monday, June 02, 2008

Weekend wrap up

What a crazy weekend. Well, it felt like a crazy weekend...

Friday night started with a viewing of SATC with some girlfriends and dinner, including cosmos, of course. I had a great time at the movie. It did make me laugh and cry and I realized how much I missed the girls from NYC. My night out lasted all the way until 9:30pm - whoo-hoo!

Saturday was spent working feverishly to finish the baby blanket for my friend. Her shower was on Sunday and I hadn't quite finished the edging. I was able to finish and toss it in the washing machine with Claire's laundry, a minor victory for this poor planning crocheter. Pete ripped out the other dying dogwood from the front yard. I ripped out the really dead one last week in one pull. The semi-dead one came out in three pulls from Pete. It is so nice to not have those scraggly looking crappy things in the front yard. I was able to transplant the hostas from the backyard where they were less than thriving along with the marigolds and then we went to a local garden center to pick up yet more ground cover. We spent part of the evening in the lower level of the house waiting to see if we were going to be swept away by rain or wind and/or if our gardens would take a beating. We were lucky and made it through with just rain. Claire was able to 'stay up late' as the weather hit our neck of the woods right when I was going to put her down.

Sunday we did the church thing and putzed around. I was able to get the rest of the flowers in the garden and will call it good for the year. Until I split some more of the iris' and transplant some in the back garden that just don't seem to like the soil. Man I love putzing in the garden. The smell of dirt after a rain, like perfume to me. Then I headed to the shower. I had hoped to bring the babe but she fell asleep right before I headed out - which is for the best. After the shower I started to prep for our annual garage sale this weekend. We host every year b/c we have the best locale. We don't have a lot of stuff this year, all the baby stuff is going to my sister so we're pretty light on merchandise.

I keep thinking last year at this time I thought things were going well and that the pain in my back and headaches were associated with just regular preggers issues. Who would have thought?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A beet

This is what I look like after running these days. I nice red beet. Not sure if it is associated with overheating or lack of oxygen, all I know is the folks at the gym at work today were probably worried I was going to keel over.

I joined the gym at work on Friday (a mere $18/mos). I blocked out my lunch for the remainder of the year and have a plan to run at least 2 days a week and either lift or take a class the other 3 days. They did a 'fitness assessment' (blood pressure: high, weight: high, pulse: normal) before I could begin working out for obvious insurance reasons. I about fell over when I saw the number for my weight. Urgh. Damn complacency and slowing metabolism.

Today was my first official day back on the wagon. I thought I would run outside but it's a bit on the chilly side so I opted to hit the treadmill. I don't think I have run inside in over a year. It was a bit of a trip and I instantly remembered why I prefer to run outside. The damn displays. How long do I have left? What's my pace? How many calories have I burned? It's like an obsession. I am out of practice and forgot to grab a towel to hide the numbers.

Nevertheless, I did end up running 3 miles. It is damn hot in this tiny gym and coupled with the extra 15lbs I am carrying, I look like a new kid on the block. I swear, looking at me after (and during, I presume) a run you'd be surprised I have run a marathon, numerous halves and countless 5ks. It's going to be an uphill battle.

And I have to get in the habit of packing stuff for 'after' the workout. While the gym has showers and hair/body shampoo they do not provide you with deodorant and brushes! Luckily, I keep spares at my desk and was able to finish getting ready back in my cube.

This evening, I bike home and can call it good. No pressure to feel like I need to squeeze in a workout after Claire goes to bed. This doesn't mean I won't be using the BOB. Oh no. This is what I need to do to get my ass in gear to push the BOB. I did that on Saturday for 33 minutes and looked like a beet that had been pulverized.

Memorial Memorial Weekend

We had a bit of a scare this weekend with Claire. You can read about it here. Needless to say, she didn't leave the house yesterday.

I learned about a possible new photography opportunity that might fall into my lap. My friend's grandmother passed away and the service is happening this weekend and she is scheduled for a wedding. She works as an independent contractor with a studio out of Stillwater. She offered up my name as a backup and I went over to a meeting with the team and presented my portfolio. I hate doing that. I feel like such a failure. Urgh. I always walk away ready to sell my equipment and just give up the dream.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Manual labor

Ay yi yi. I am sore today from my weekend warrior attempts this past weekend. In between birthday parties for family members I was able to turn over the veggie garden and get some plants in the ground. Here's a before picture of the veggie garden. I'll post an after when I get the rest of the plants in the ground. 

I'm trying the trick of planting marigolds around the veggie garden to help keep the deer and rabbits out. Pete thought he heard that they will make the veggies taste weird. Anyone had this issue before? 

My MIL gave me some hens and chicks and I planted those in some bare, dry spots. I hear they don't need a lot of care and I fear with the peanut around this year I will not be spending a whole lot of time tending to the gardens. The weeds will go wild this year. I'm also trying some new stuff this year, cosmos in the sunny spots and snapdragons in the smallest of small pots. I tend to get into ruts and plant the same stuff every year. This year I put more in the ground and used less of the pots. Maybe it was the weird spring weather ~ I just felt like doing something different.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Victory is Ours!

My softball team finally won a game last night. This is the first time in recent memory that Teal has one, without it being b/c the other team had to forfeit.

And we won with cushion. 18-6 or something like that... We had two grand slams and two more home runs. Yippee!

Personally, I had an OK game. Ms. C was with me so I was only able to play 2 innings in the field before she decided she would not be happy unless mom was holding her. She's been going through some separation anxiety stuff lately. Oh well. That's the way it goes.

Next week we play our 'sister' team. There is an intense rivalry and in years past we have gotten spanked by them. This year may be a bit different. We have some solid players and we're hoping that, at the very least, we can hold our own and not end up with a bagel.

Monday, May 12, 2008

My first official mom's day

I spent most of the weekend with my mom. Sans baby. This was the first night I have been away from her since she came home from the NICU. It was quite strange. While I was very relaxed at my parent's house, by noon on Sunday I was itching to get home. Being a working mom, I value my time with my little peanut.

And you should see what she is up to these days, tearing around the living room like a champ. She and I went for a visit at Ms. J's house last night as my friend, Ms. H, was in from LA. She was walking all around the living room, from one chair to the other with nary a hand on a couch/chair. So far she her longest walk has been roughly 7 feet. Holy cow. It is really happening. She is mobile, mobile, mobile. The best part is she doesn't get too fed up when she falls on her bottom. She just crawls over to the nearest table/chair and pulls herself up again. The only time we have an issue is when she bonks her head. And she bonked it good yesterday on the darn coffee table. Urgh. No matter how hard you try...

The best part of the day. She was walking around saying, mama, mmmmaaa, mama. Sure. It was probably a coincidence but I'm taking it :)

Monday, May 05, 2008

My 200th Post!!!

Holy cow. I was actually going to post about my first 30 minute run in nearly 2 years but I just realized this is my 200th post. Doing a little dance in my cube.

So, as I was going to say. I had one of those runs this weekend where I felt like I could go forever. Well, not forever, really, but I wasn't dying when I got back home. I almost called my dad and told him we should rethink the 'quitting while we are ahead to train for a marathon' thing. I know I didn't do my full 3 miles but for not having run for many moons, I felt pretty darn good. I now have a new technique. Run with the jogging stroller 3 days a week and then doing a long run without the jogger. Man, I can run a lot faster and longer when I am not pushing a 20 lb kid in a 20 lb stroller.

Now, if I could just drop the extra 10 lbs I am carrying I'll be FLYING!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Ray of Light

This has been a crazy week. I am either WAY out of practice or jinxed. It didn't help that I've been feeling the 'itch'. Not that itch, kids. The itch to find another gig. This is the longest I've lasted at a position for quite some time, which I attribute to having 3 months off last year to have a baby, but it's back. The burnout feeling has returned. But I just got some good news so I can hang in there a bit longer.

My session Monday morning in front of 70 people went flat after my laptop wouldn't boot up. Yes, I know, this is what you get when you whip your laptop off the docking station without putting it in standby too many times. Still... So I presented without visual aids. It actually went fine. For those who know me and my presentation style I do tend to be a walker and a gesture-fanatic so at least they were visually connected in some fashion. And the group was running behind so my 20 minutes was shaved to 15. Good thing I'm a fast talker. Hopefully they were able to keep up.

Today, I was seriously ready to quit. My afternoon session, which included dual delivery to folks in the room and several via web confo went haywire. Imagine yourself walking into a confo room with several people in attendance only to learn that the phones don't work. Now, how do the phones not work at a Fortune 100 company. Really? Really? You have to be kidding me. And the damn web confo was whacking out on me. In truth, I was frantic to find another confo room, which is nearly impossible on the fly, and couldn't think straight. So, thank the heavens I had sent out the deck before the meeting and folks were able to follow along, for the first 20 minutes. We were kicked out of the meeting room with the working phones....

Now for the good news. I met with my boss this afternoon and he has approved my involvement in an upcoming coaching program being developed out of the OD group. He knows that my career in his dept will not last forever and rather than holding me down, he supports my future growth. He also knows that it won't happen tomorrow so he is willing to appease me by letting me lay the ground work for potential positions in the company. Thank goodness I work for someone with this perspective. We'll see how long this holds me over. Right now I am seriously considering why I work for a company that doesn't appear to be in line with many of the things I value (I refuse to admit my company is involved in hazardous chemicals - best to remain naive). But, I have to pay the bills and the market isn't looking too good at the moment. Oh well. At least I feel like there is something fun and good waiting for me in the fall.

Now I am off to go see my little peanut!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Wheeze. Cough.

I am so friggin' out of shape. After stepping on the scale this weekend I resolved to get my butt in gear, as it has gotten rather large.

I tried running again yesterday. It was a fantastic day. Made it a whopping 20 minutes. Yes, yes, I was pushing Claire in the jogger, but still. 20 minutes. Yeesh. Didn't I run a marathon once? I can't believe how quickly I fell out of practice. And how quickly I gained the weight and lost the muscle. Urgh.

Today I rode my bike into work, despite the 50% chance of rain this afternoon. I ran to get a bike rack yesterday so I could strap a change of clothing, my coffee and water on and cruise. I had my lunch packed but I had difficulty fitting it on the rack using the mesh netting. Oh well. I forced myself to get a salad for lunch and am not walking past the rice krispie bars sitting on the common table.

This getting old thing is a bitch.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

One more worry

I was at lunch with a friend today discussing how to parent in a world where every day an article comes out talking about hazards that have long term impacts on your children. Here's the good news I read today.

BPA's. The debate rages on whether this chemical (which I'm sure my company has helped manufacture) can cause development issues. On top of all of this I am trying to convince Ms. C's dad that we should buy organic whole milk when she moves off formula since it shouldn't be laden with damn growth hormones fed to the cow. Needless to say, I went on a hunt last month to buy Ms. C BPA free sippy cups and pacifiers. I didn't make the switch on her bottles but am having second thoughts.

Then I find out that I put her at risk b/c of having HELLPS while reading this article. Great.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Enough already.

I think I'm gonna call him and offer to provide him some free career counseling. We need to find a new position for this man. Make a decision and stick with it. Yeesh. (Sorry Meigan)

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Girlfriends for Claire

I am so jazzed. In the last two weeks I have learned that Claire's growing circle of friends and family will include two new girls, arriving in August, thanks to my friend Jen and my sister, Karey.

I'm especially excited about the new cousin as only lives 15-20 minutes away!! Since Claire won't have any siblings close to her age I hope she will be able to spend time with her cousin and develop a close bond. We shall see...

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Went Stripping Last Night

Get your minds out of the gutter, you crazy kids. I'm a mom now.

We headed to the Strip Club for a Birthday Club dinner last night. Delish, delish, delish. If you are a meat eater and interested in checking out a new surf and turf joint on the east side, I highly recommend you go. We were served by the co-owner Tim, who was just a delight. It's a treat when your server can tell you intimate details about the menu. He was also very kind when my steak came just a bit on the pink side for my liking. He accommodated me and brought me a new plate (new steak?) that suited my taste buds (read eyeballs). Dessert was a new experience for our table. A standard chocolate crowd, we deviated from our norm and found ourselves thoroughly enjoying some more springy flavors of lemon and blueberry. And he comped our birthday girl for her dessert.

Delightful. Our tab was one of the highest we have seen, even with only five attending, but well worth the money. I made a point to save enough for lunch today, which is my standard MO (stretch that dollar as far as I can).

I ordered a NY Strip with pistachio butter sauce. It was served with a healthy side of cooked carrots in butter. This is the first time, I believe, I have eaten grass-fed beef. And locally sourced, at that. Slathered in pistachio butter sauce it was hard to taste the difference. (Plus, I don't usually eat a cut of beef this caliber.) Fellow table mates who ordered their strip naked enjoyed the morsel so I can assume grass-fed is a hit.

Yum, yum.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Where have I been?

Away from the blogging world the last couple of weeks. It seems as though all of my goals for the year are due now, now, now. Or at least everyone wants them now, now, now. Urgh. I can only do so much.

Ms. C has also decided that sleeping through the night isn't so much her thing. I was spoiled for the last several months. Her dad and I are hoping it is a teething issue and not a new pattern. Last night she awoke at midnight, angry that she couldn't (read wouldn't) flip over from her belly to her back*. Earlier in the evening her dad had commented that we should really begin the process of having her put herself to sleep. She will put herself to sleep but only if she can suckle on her burp cloth, which isn't really a safe option since she could either a) choke herself by sucking it too far down her throat or b) strangle herself by having it twist around her neck.

Yes, I admit it, we've been 'those' parents. The one's that rock their babe to sleep at night. Mostly because I end up putting her down and I love to see her face resting on my shoulder. However, she is getting heavy (we estimate somewhere in the 20 lbs range) and a dead weight baby is hard to hold onto for any length of time.

Anyway, I got up with her and flipped her to her back but that didn't stop the fussing. I picked her up but tried to stay true to our new commitment of having her put herself to sleep and ended up putting her back to bed while she was awake (after 30 minutes of calming her down, getting her back into a sleepy state of mind, trying to sing her to sleep while standing next to her crib with my hand on her belly, rolling her onto her side, etc.). Didn't work. Loud crying ensued but I bore down and told her dad that we would have to wait out the storm. Yeah right. You know what he did??? Got up, picked her up and brought her into bed. I was like WTF? Well, even that didn't take so I got back up, took her from her dad and fed the tot. She finally fell back to sleep. (We're not trying to starve her, really. I waited that long only b/c she doesn't usually eat much and prefers to sooth herself by suckling on her burp cloth).

Any parents out there have suggestions on how to put their little one to rest at night without a lot of pain and anguish?

On a completely unrelated note. I am SICK of snow and cold. Yes, it is nearly 40' right now and the sun is shining so what the h-e-double hockey sticks am I complaining about? I want to go for a walk outside with Ms. C. Ahh....spring in MN.

*Please note, she flipped herself onto her belly. We are good parents and follow the rule of back is best.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Daycare update

We ran the numbers after visiting three daycare facilities last week and realized we are better off keeping her at home for the time being. Since we would only be putting her in on a part time basis we would be upcharged. If we wait another 8 months (when she is a toddler) the rates drop so we're hanging on by our fingernails with the current schedule. It would be so nice to know if Pete's current crazy-busy project load will continue. If that would be the case we could bite the bullet and put her in but it's so up in the air. One month it is madness and the next it is slllloooowww.

Maybe during the summer one of the older neighbor kids will be looking for some additional income and would take on the role as 'summer nanny'. Any creative ideas from the peanut gallery?

Sleep. What sleep....

An update on Ms. Claire here. Needless to say I am tired and I swear I have ADD at work. I can't focus on anything for more than a few minutes.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Sick of it

I am sick of being sick. This is round three this year. I am so tired of being sick. Home ill today (thank goodness mom is up today to take care of Claire) and I am so tired of blowing my nose and coughing. Urgh. 

Friday, February 15, 2008

Letting her go already?


Who would have thought this word could be so scary. We're going to have to put Ms. C in daycare. Pete's workload is too crazy and my sister is going to need to scale back on taking her sometime in the next coming months. We have to bite the bullet and put her in on a part-time basis.

And I'm scared. I can't get over hearing about the bad situations that happen at daycare. I try to tell myself that there are hundreds of other kids who are just fine in daycare. Several of them are my friend's children! But all I think of is leaving her with a stranger. It makes my blood run cold. What will these people do when she has a meltdown? How long will she sit in her poop before they finally decide they can get to her and change her? Will they walk around with her like we do during the day holding her hands so she can 'stretch' her legs? How will they handle the fact that she likes to snuggle before falling asleep?

I just don't think I can do it. But I have to. I have to find a way to let her go and put my trust in some person who doesn't know my daughter.

Oh so tired

Ms. C decided to awaken at 2:43am. I have gotten so used to her sleeping through the night... Plus the day before Pete had an early flight to SD for a biz trip and left the house way early so I was up. The trouble with being an insomniac is that once you are awake it is very, very, very, very, very difficult to get back to sleep. Needless to say I am dragging today.

I need to stay awake and do some work so that I am not carrying that stress around and keeping myself awake at night with worries about 'getting it all done'. I swear. This job is so odd. Peaks and valleys in terms of the level of work. Early in the week all of my 'sessions' were out for review. They are still out for review but somehow by yesterday afternoon I had at least 5 more URGENT 'sessions' come out of some needs assessments. Damn needs assessments. All they do is create more work! Just kidding. They are the lifeblood of me keeping my job and my compass.

Sometimes I am overwhelmed by how much training really needs to be done. I tend to overextend myself and want to do it all now, now, now. But I can't do that, especially with a little one at home and my desire to jet out of here as soon as I can so I can get home and see her.

Ahh....this is what they mean by work/life balance issues.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

We are walking, we are walking...

Oh those crazy Austin kids. Check out Carrie's site for some much needed mid-week entertainment.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Reality Check

My step came home from school this week with some pretty tough news. One of her good friend's has been in and out of school as of late. Recent tests came back and confirmed that she has lung cancer. She is 14 years old.

The first thoughts that ran through my head were, "not fair", "shouldn't happen to this kid", "will her mother FINALLY quit smoking now?*".

This poor girl can't go live with her father and she and her mother live in a small duplex. Mom smokes inside all the time and her daughter is exposed to a heavy dose of second hand smoke. According to my step the mother has said she won't quit smoking. We're not sure if that really was the response or if it was more along the lines of "it will be tough to quit smoking". We weren't there so we don't know. Nevertheless, I can't imagine what these two are going through.


Pete and I immediately start to think about how we can help this young lady. We're not in a position to take her in, nor would be want to face that battle with her mother, but we are trying to understand what is happening on the medical front. So we ask, what is her coverage situation? Is there a possible need for a benefit in the future? How far has the cancer progressed? How is she doing emotionally? FYI -getting your information from another 14 year old is not the best route. She hasn't a clue, which is not a bad thing. She shouldn't have to be dealing with this either.

14. I can't imagine it. All I want to do is go hug her and tell her we're here. And to suck that damn cancer out of her.

*Full disclosure - I am an ex-smoker who quit for the second/third time a mere 2 years ago.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Crisis averted

Update on my work crisis. It was averted. The kind folks who gave me a heads up that I would be screwed came through for me (I take back my previous rant about them, kinda) and provided me with a version of the software that has been approved by IT. Thank the heavens! They even gave it to me for FREE! Score! And I get to keep my 2008 version and have offered to do beta testing for them when they start to look at having IT review this version.


And I went to the doctor on Thursday and she started me on some meds.

Double whew.

On the home front my hubby was off snowmobiling in northern WI this weekend so Claire and I had a girls weekend full of visits and visitors.

I think she might be cutting her first tooth. She is acting a bit off yesterday afternoon, pulling her ears more than usual and chewing on my hands. She has always been a chewer and drooler so those typical tell-tale signs do not give me any indication if she is actually cutting a tooth. She was running a very low-grade fever last night and yesterday she was just impatient. Nothing kept her happy for very long and she would go from one extreme to the next. It was like a roller coaster.

We just learned that her big sis (who was with us the last 2 weeks) was sick all weekend and is going in for a strep test this afternoon. My hubby called and said he is going to keep a close eye on Claire. We're hoping it wasn't transferred and that Claire really is cutting a tooth and not dealing with something worse. Claire might argue that getting teeth is just as worse but you get my drift.

I'm looking forward to the day when Claire can tell me 'where it hurts' instead of me guessing what is happening to my little bear.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Ironically the song that came on right after I posted is Failure by Ian Ball. The key line in the song is 'Don't let a little failure get you down'. I'm trying to make this my mantra this afternoon.

Sorry for the tough love

I am seriously ready to throw my hands in the air and scream 'I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE!'.

I have been stressing the last several days because I have been dealing with a fairly sharp learning curve with a new elearning program at work. I was so stressed that I wasn't sleeping (damn stress-induced insomnia) and I have a f'ing sinus infection to boot.

This morning I had a breakthrough after working with another person at my company who uses this software. (Even though this software provides a great deal more interactivity and functionality than the powerpoint on crack version currently pushed as the 'corporate solution' the organization can't support it because they have had to cut resources and they feel that the powerpoint on crack version is just fine.) I was jazzed to get working on storyboards and ready to get moving on programming until I just opened my email.

Apparently the company who sold me the software sent me the latest and greatest version and they can't be certain ti will work with our newly upgraded LMS. This is a snippet from the email I just rec'd from the internal contact:

Officially, it's unsupported by us so (if ) you have problem, you're on your
Also, 2008 is not approved by IT to work at (insert company

Sorry for the tough love but it has to be that way . . .

OK. I get that it isn't their problem that the software company sent me the wrong version but I am just pissed. There is some history with this 'support' group that gets my hackles up, namely that we are a Fortune 100 company who should be on the leading curve of learning solutions not back in the dark ages. Instead of being forward thinking and determining that they need to justify the business need for supporting this software in the organization they tell us that it isn't supported (not just the 2008 version but any version). Screw you. I don't expect to hand hold me and help me through the problem but the email felt more like a slap in the face than I needed today.

My response back was not nice. It wasn't directed at them but more at the fact that if they have another contact other than the person who approved this version in the first place to please let me know the name so I can contact him/her and get his resolved. My job is seriously on the line. You may think I am exaggerating but my team has once again been moved into yet another part of the company and I have a project due for my boss' boss in a couple weeks.

I cannot deal with this and feel like I am going to explode. I know I am being overly sensitive but when I feel like my job is already on the line and then I get an email like this I just feel like I could cry. This is when I wish I wasn't the primary breadwinner in the family and could roll with whatever is going to come my way without worrying that I might be out of a job.

Monday, January 28, 2008

You should be....

Found this on Sarah's site. While it worked for her I am apparnently in the wrong field. I went in and took the quiz a again chosing my 'second choice' and this time it came back with You Should Be a Teacher. A bit more appropriate to my current job.

You Should Be a Doctor

You are practical, sharp, and very intuitive.
Optimistic and energetic, you are a problem solver who doesn't get discouraged easily.
You are also quite compassionate and caring. You make people feel hopeful.
You're highly adaptable and capable. You do well with almost any curve ball life throws at you.

You do best when you:

- Are always learning new subjects
- Use your knowledge to solve problems

You would also be a good therapist or detective.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Crafty projects

Until daylight savings kicks in I have a couple of hours between when Ms. Claire goes down and my bed time. Instead of sitting like a lump in front of the TV I decided to start another craft project.

And of course, instead of taking things slow I want to jump in head first and create a semi-complicated (read complicated for me) bear for someone who will be having a baby later this year. I also want to crochet a new scarf for next year and perhaps a baby blanket for someone else who is having a baby later this year.

I went to Joanne Fabrics yesterday over lunch to check out yarn for the bear project. I left without buying anything. I was very frustrated. I could not for the life of me find the weights they have listed for the pattern in the book I am using. Urgh. I must be an idiot but all I could find was #4. Being a novice (and being on my lunch hour) I didn't waste time asking one of the ladies working where I could find what I wanted. I think I will try again when I have a bit more time and patience.

So, last night I decided for the heckuvit I would just try to make the bear using their instructions but using the yarn I already have and maybe it will work out OK. I think it will. It just won't look exactly like the bear in the book. Since the baby who will get this gift won't know the difference will it really matter? I can tackle the 'advanced' version when I can find the right damn yarn.

I asked Pete if I could start hosting some Stitch-N-Bitch sessions at the house. I love the idea of people getting together to chit-chat and work on projects at the same time. This might actually help me finish a project on time too! But, other than my sister and perhaps Michelle I don't know anyone on the east side who would be interested. Anyone know any knitters and/or crocheters who would want to participate?

Friday, January 18, 2008

First Ave

Not sure if this is going to come through or not. If not, click here to get to the article and link to the audio slideshow. It made me happy and sad at the same time. I have spent many hours in this place over the years but since Ms. C came along I have only been once. I'm losing my edge.

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Weekend in Review

Whew. I am in a much better place today. The last few days have been emotional roller coasters. As of Friday of last week all I wanted to do was quit my damn job and run for the hills, sans hubby and child. By this morning at 10am I have returned to a better place and feel like I can take on the world again.

My day job was really getting me down. We're tasked with a lot of great stuff but lack the leader to really take things anywhere. It's tough to be tasked with creating a communications plan when there are people on the team that can't f'in communicate with anyone. I have to chose my words carefully here in case someone should ever stumble upon this little blog. The idea of creating said communication plan is wonderful. I would LOVE to do this. But when I begin to work towards this goal I immediately become disheartened. Why? Because it will be ripped apart and made into something a certain person on my team wants, no matter what I do. It takes the drive right out of me. This is the same experience I have when creating new training materials. By the time I left work on Friday I had seriously had it. I wanted nothing to do with this company. I cruised home early so we could get in the car and fly out of town.

We drove to my old home town for my dad's retirement party. (I haven't been back to town since my parents moved 5 years ago!) As I am driving I kept asking myself how my dad managed to stay at the same company for 35+ years. How did he keep himself from not telling them to take a hike? My dad and I have similar tempers and I know he has had some 'interesting' conversations with his management in the past. How in the world did he keep his mouth shut? And can I get myself to do the same? Can I find a way to just let go and report to work with the same drive and energy when I feel like I have no recourse? After the two hour drive down I still didn't have any answers. However, I think I found part of the answer at the party. Friends from the days when my dad was a line supervisor were there. Friends who I have known since I was an infant. And the stories! It was great to see these folks again and to hear them share story after story about good times. It dawned on me that my dad had a core group of guys who he started with and they remained close no matter what town we lived in or where they were in the 'chain of command'. With that network you can handle a lot of shit that rolls your way.

On the way home we ran into an ice storm that had cars in ditches left and right and me behind the wheel, white-knuckled and swearing like a sailor with both of the girls in the car. Pete finally had to take over driving when I damn near slid into another car in front of us.

I was paid for only 2 hours of work when in reality I worked for 5 hours. There was a miscommunication between my client and I regarding the wedding. It all worked out in the end and I'll chalk this up to another learning experience on my part. I was very glad to be a part of this person's special day so I'm not too upset about it in the grand scheme of things but it did teach me that I need to be clearer about what I will be doing and why you are paying me.

Pete went to help my dad move a bunch of stuff for his new stained glass business and was gone from 9a-7p. No biggie. Jordan was home and could help with Claire later in the day when my photo shoot arrived.

Well... Ms. Claire apparently had stomach cramps (who knows - she can't tell me) and was crying from 11:45am - 3pm. And I'm not exaggerating. She was really crying the whole time. I finally had to wake Jordan up at 2-freaking-pm because I needed to eat something. Claire finally went down for a very short nap around 3pm. Pete called to say he would be late. My client called and said she would be late. OK. I can deal with that, Jordan said she would stay to help with Claire.

My client finally showed up about 3 hours after initially planned. Oddly enough, this is when things started to get a little better in my small world. We ended up having a blast with the shoot but I was stressing as Claire needed a bath and we have a bit of routine we go through and it was all out whack. Pete took the lead and gave Claire her bath, got her ready for bed and by the time my client left we were back into the swing of things.

I returned to work determined to put a new face on things. I will find a way to be a good employee. I need this job too damn much.

I had a meeting with a guy in another department at 9am. He is a trainer in a business unit. By the end of the meeting I found the thing I have been seeking for nearly a year and a half. A group of people who think like me, do the same type of job and want to work to make things better. I am now networked in with other trainers who meet on a regular basis outside of their normal job duties to share ideas and talk about how we can leverage the platforms available to us and each other. We're also thinking about creating a consortium to help with a new platform that launched but has no support. I can't believe how much energy I have gotten from this 1 hour conversation. I can't wait to tap into the brain power of these people and have their support when I need to brainstorm about challenges that I face.

Thank goodness. I don't want to be sad coming to work and stressing about how I am going to make ends meet if I go somewhere else.

My learnings from this crazy weekend?
1. Do NOT overbook yourself. I seriously can't do this anymore
2. Wait. Be patient. It will get better.
3. Be happy this is all I have to worry about.