mommy&everything

trying to find myself and humor in life

Archive for the tag “work”

Got pens?

Last week I was asked by our Regional Human Resource Administrator (i.e. “Office Manager”) if I would be willing to take part in a focus group on office services.

Always looking for an excuse to get away from my desk, I whole heartedly agreed and waited for the email with all the “fun” details.

Being a paralegal, naturally I assumed I would be grouped with the staff – the norm in my office. Imagine the look of shock on my face when I read the email advising that I was in the attorney group instead. Ugh.

Being a mature, para professional, immediately I tried to think of a way to get out of the focus group. Sitting with attorneys, most of which were partners, just did not seem like a good time.

Finally, after exhausting all options, I decided to suck it up and go to the damn group at 11am.

I took a seat in the back and prepared myself to be bored.

Bob, the focus group leader, introduced himself and explained a little bit about why we were there before starting the discussion on the basic functions of “office services” (i.e. the mailroom).

We took turns giving our opinions on faxes, document scanning (too many steps on the copiers), mail delivery, food services (adequate depending on where food is ordered from but more quality control is needed for expired beverages) and conference rooms.

Considering the group was made up of attorneys, we were all in agreement on most things. However, that soon changed when the topic of office supplies came up.

I don’t remember who brought up office supplies but it was a HOT topic in my group. Everyone had very strong opinions on brand, style, type and color.

Suddenly the room was alive with talk about how blue ink  is better than black (I totally disagree with this); ball point pens are not as “fast” as a roller ball pen; Dixon Ticonderoga No. 2 pencils and Paper Mate medium point pens are standard issue in the firm’s offices throughout the country (with the exception of our Princeton office); when attorneys from other offices visit Princeton, they “borrow” pens from our mailroom before leaving; imitation Post-it Brand sticky notes pale in comparison to the original and fall off of exhibits;  and lastly, the return of Bic Wit-out (in a bottle) is a necessity.

Funny how something as little and insignificant as a pen can “unite” a room.

For now, I will keep a close eye on my Paper Mate fine point black pens and my Bic Matic Grip mechanical pencils as well as my many Post-it notes in all sizes and colors – shhhh I have stash hidden in my desk.

my personal Post-it stash

my personal Post-it stash

Enjoy your Wednesday :)

It’s the little things

Hello friends out there in the great and almighty blogosphere!! I am back from another blogging absence that was far too long.

I don’t know what happened. One day I was home with my herniated disk (and 3 pinched nerves) blogging about Snow Chairs and the next thing I know over a month has passed and I have written no blogs – gasp!!

Friends and family dropped hints and even offered up some blog topics but nothing worked.  It wasn’t really a writer’s block, more like lack of motivation.

I was home over 8 weeks on short-term disability and while my back was healing and I was feeling better, I just felt blah.

Maybe it was the tail end of winter or the kids being sick or just life in general. Who knows. Whatever it was it caused me to almost fear the blog. I would think of a topic or idea and completely over think it.

Thoughts like Is this funny? Would anyone like it? Maybe this topic is too boring or Suppose people laugh???? were consuming me.

Once I started comparing myself to other blogs and bloggers I knew it was time for me to take a mini vacation.

I reminded myself that I started this blog for myself, not to get followers and fame (not that I would mine either LOL). I decided I would not blog again until I felt ready.

Which brings me to today Monday, April 8, 2013. Today is my first day back at work since February 5th and I was more than a little nervous to come back.

I felt like I was starting at a new school, not coming back to the place I have worked since November 2000.

I tried not to be a total Debbie Downer this morning, even when the twins yelled at me that they were too tired to get dressed.

All morning my stomach was filled with butterflies that would not go away. I changed my outfit three times before finally giving up since the kids would be late for the bus.

In the van waiting for J’s bus, I started to think about some blog topics, hoping the “right one” would magically pop into my head.

J was not a happy camper today. J is my 4yo (almost 5) with autism spectrum disorder and he is very “routine driven.” For the last 2 weeks, J’s entire routine has been out of whack and today was his first day back at school.

J sat in the van writing out words on the back of a car seat instruction manual, quietly whining that he didn’t want to go to school or see his beloved teacher Miss Heidi.

I tried telling J that I understood and that Mommy didn’t want to go to work either (what? he was the only one there to listen to me complain) but J wasn’t buying any of it.

When the bus pulled up he took a deep breath and ran toward it (he wanted to beat his friend C to the door). I yelled Hey wait…give Mommy a kiss! but he didn’t hear me or didn’t care.

I watched as he buckled himself into the bus seat and chatted with my neighbor. Suddenly the bus doors opened and the driver called my name.

Startled I asked what was wrong Nothing…J wants to give you a kiss she said.

And with that my little boy appeared, tears in his eyes, and gave me a kiss before getting back in his seat and buckling himself in.

J and I got to spend a lot of “alone time” together the past couple weeks – a rarity since he shares me with 3 other brothers. Sometimes he gets lost in the craziness of our house and the demands of life.

When I got to work I was not in a good mood. Sure, I put on my “game face” as I greeted people who pretended they were SO happy to see me back in the office.

All morning I could not shake the image of J’s face when he left. Just thinking about it now makes me a little sad. I looked through the pics on my phone of some of the stuff J and I did the past couple weeks and decided (with the nudging help of Mrs. Jeter) to do a blog.

I don’t know if this is my best blog, or if it is interesting or thought-provoking. However, I do know that every once in a awhile I need to step back and appreciate what I have and smile at the little things.

Happy Monday – hope everyone has a good week.

Angry Birds bike helmet

Angry Birds bike helmet

Liberty Science Center

Liberty Science Center

Strike a pose

Strike a pose

Cliques NEVER go away

Growing up I was not the popular girl in school. I was the shy, quiet, slightly chubby girl who never misbehaved and always handed in her homework in grammar school.

I went to catholic school so I escaped the middle school experience. However, in 6th grade my mom decided it would be a good idea to have me and my brother change schools.

Soooooooooooooo NOT a good idea. I would never recommend changing schools while going through puberty, in addition to be slightly chubby and shy – let’s not even discuss the aftermath of chicken pox scarring.

Sixth grade was the worst school year EVER! I was in a class of under 20 kids, the majority of whom had known each other since kindergarten. Cliques were formed and none was too eager to take on the “new girl.”

Instead I got teased, name called (fat and scarface just to name a few) and excluded from all groups.  The icing on the cake was when the “popular” girl (Aida) and her friends hid by snow boots before recess.

I cried the entire school year and begged my mom to keep me home or let me go back to my old school and nothing worked.

By the grace of God, I survived 6th grade and 7th and 8th as well. Things got better each year and I even managed to make a couple of friends before moving on to high school.

My high school was also catholic and VERY tiny (I graduated with 40 kids). Still, cliques formed pretty much from day 1 and remained the same the entire 4 years. Sure new kids came and went and occasionally there were fights within cliques (we are talking high school and girls)  but the foundations stayed the same.

St Marys (circa 1986 – 1990) had the Volleyballers, The Jocks, The Jersey City Kids, The Honor Society Kids and the Burn Outs. We each had our own section in the cafeteria and our own area in home room.

There was intermingling among clique members (R’s house parties, nights spend in G’s basement with the black light) but you knew your “friends” and that was it.

When you and your “friends” got into a fight it was always very dramatic with tears and endless phone calls back and forth (R even had 3-way calling). You thought your world was over if  you were not invited to sit next to so and so during assembly or excluded from a Saturday afternoon trip to the Garden State Plaza – the horror!!

The “elders” (anyone over the age of 16) always told you things would get better and that adults weren’t petty like teenagers were and you naïvely believed them.

College was somewhat better. Sure you had the Greeks and the Jocks but college kids think they are SO mature and grown up that there were plenty of cliques to belong to, after all you were always trying to “find yourself” and see where you fit in.

You assured yourself that once you graduated and got “real” jobs there would be no more cliques or a “popular crowd” and life would be fine.

Never have I been so wrong for nothing is worse than The Work Place Clique (except maybe the School Mom Clique but that is another blog for another day).

My first “real” job was in an office in Paramus, NJ (5 minutes from 3 major malls). I strutted off the elevator my first day wearing some green and white dress thinking I had arrived. I was introduced to my VERY hot boss (Rich M – oh what ever happened to you??) and to others in the office before being brought over to my tiny, windowless office.

I waited for the people to come over and visit with me and ask me to go to lunch but they never came. Instead I watched little groups of people come and go in the days and weeks that followed. The Smokers, The Creatives, The Married Ones and the Pretty Ones.  OMG  there are work cliques too?????

WTF??!

Slowly I was able to navigate my way through various offices and work cliques, learning something new at every location.

Always smile at people and say “Hi” or “Hey” (even if you see them in the hall 10x), be friendly to EVERYONE (even the weird guy in data processing b/c if he goes insane one day you want him on your side) and be VERY careful and extremely cautious with those you “trust” (but really, trust no one).

I have been at my current office for 12 years and while it is small and pretty relaxed, it is not always the easiest place to make friends.

Over the years I have had “work” friends, made some “real friends” and learned that nothing beats a candy dish on your desk. 

I have grown up a lot in this office and learned (sometimes the hard way) that people are not always who they appear (or pretend) to be. At times, breaking up with a work friend can seem worse than breaking up with a boyfriend because  you are forced to see that person everyday from 9-5.

When a co-worker and I  “broke up”  several years ago, it was devastating. This was a person I had shared private, personal things with. We had been to each other’s houses, knew each other’s families and ate countless lunches together.

I tried to win the co-worker back, brought her in her favorite candy and visited her desk but nothing worked. It was over and I needed to accept that.

Eventually I moved on, started talking to new people and got over it. In some ways the break up was a godsend, it forced me to take a look at myself and deal with my insecurities and to grow up. In hindsight, I know that the break up was the best thing to happen, however, I wont lie, every once in a while it would sting to see the co-worker and her “new bff” leaving for lunch or a trip to CVS.

Over the past few years, my office had gone through some major changes. Management, layoffs, retirement, and office morale just to name a few.

The office dynamic also changed as have the cliques. I have my own little clique of friends but still try to follow my rules (although sometimes my face will give things/thoughts away). I was feeling pretty confident and happy until Tuesday.

Tuesday started off like it always does – boring. I was revising a document and IM’g my friend N when she told me an email had gone around getting a group together to go to lunch at some Mexican place. N said she wasnt going and started talking about shoes when it hit me WTF, I wasnt invited!!!

OMG how could I have not been invited? I talk to all those people (Magic Mike, IT Guy etc.) and no one thought to include me? Why? What did I do? I am nice!

This is ALL i thought about for the rest of the day. My feelings were really hurt. Instead of brushing it off and acting like a mature, 40yo woman, I was 12 again and crying because my boots were hidden.

I tried to laugh it off, make fun of the lunch group etc. but obviously it still bothers me since I am blogging about it.

Why is it always easier to tell other people that work people don’t matter, just do your job and go home?  I guess deep down everyone want to feel likes and accepted. 

I have survived much worse than the Qdobo lunch rejection. I know I will be fine, heck I am fine,  yet I can’t get over the rejection (maybe it’s pms).

Anyway, I promise this will be my last complaint/whine about it. Maybe next time I see that lunch crew leave I’ll even wish them well (and curse them in my head).

Happy Thursday!!!!

My name is Nicole and I am an IT Groupie

Some of you may remember back a few months ago when I had a budding lunch relationship with IT Guy. We went to lunch a couple of times and would banter in the office. Things were going well…or so I thought.

Suddenly, IT was always “busy” and had no time to take lunch. He blamed the switchover of the new computers for awhile before eventually dumping me  – I believe he actually used the words It’s not you…it’s me.

WTF I was dumped by the IT Guy?! The IT Guy who wears glasses AND khaki pants that are a size too short?!

My ego bruised (and battered), I retreated to my cube and vowed to stay away from all IT-related things. I was doing well until…I needed a privacy screen for my second monitor.

The new “in-thing” in my office is to have a second monitor on your desk. All the “cool” work people have them and I had to get in on it. After some begging asking of the IT Department I finally got one and was happy with it – except for the huge amount of space it takes up on my desk.

After my review last month, when I was told I was “unremarkable” (no, I am NOT bitter or resentful), I decided it was time to get a privacy screen for my second monitor. I could keep my emails and other non-work related things there and it would be blurred from prying eyes (a/k/a nosey co-workers).

Sounds easy enough right? WRONG!

First I went to THE IT Guy. Surely he would get me one, we had a history for Pete’s sake. I left him a sweet voicemail and patiently waited for my screen.

Instead of a screen, I got an email advising that perhaps of wanting a privacy screen, I should actually do work while in the office and that there were no privacy screens available and I would need authorization to order one.

Was IT joking?! It’s a plastic screen AND we “dated” and this is the response I get?

IT was not joking and I was screen-less.

Shortly after this diss, Junior IT Guy came to help out in our office during the infamous switchover (Jr. works out of our Philadelphia office). Junior is super nice and super young. A fellow U of Delaware Alum (and all of 23) I would occasionally chat with him about Delaware and how much fun it is there.

Hmmmm, maybe Junior would be able to get me a snag me a privacy screen if he saw one lying around the office????

One morning I stalked found Junior installing a computer in an empty office and I made my move. In my sweetest voice, I asked Jr. about his weekend and casually threw out there that if he happened to see a privacy screen anywhere that it would be greatly appreciated if he could grab it for me.

Junior smiled, only the way a 23-year-old can, and said no problem he was on it. I strutted back to my desk with my head held high. I’ll show IT Guy who means business I thought to myself.

A little while later, Junior appeared in my cube. You got me a screen? I asked. Umm no, there are none. Don’t worry though, I spoke with Asst. IT Guy and he said he’ll get you one.

I called Asst. IT Guy and asked if he was really going to get me one when IT said it was a no go. He humored me (in that IT way) and assured me he would “do his best.”

A week or so went by and shockingly, I was still screen-less. I needed a new plan but what????

Later that week, IT Manager arrived in our office to oversee the never-ending computer switchover. I had seen the Manager in the past and even chatted with him at last year’s Holiday Party but I didn’t think he would remember me. Luckily, I was having a legitimate computer problem when he was walking by my cube.  I called him in.

He listened to my dilemma and answered me with complete and total sarcasm. Gee, is there a class in sarcasm that IT people are required to take? I asked. Why yes there is, I am glad you noticed he replied and with that we started chatting.

We got to talking about Junior and how young he was (and how jealous we were), family vacations (he gave me the name of a great place to stay in Lancaster, PA) and then it hit me, I would ask Manager for a privacy screen!

Manager was getting ready to leave when I ever so nicely said Hey, you could be my absolute FAVORITE IT person if you could maybe get me a privacy screen for my monitor???

What? he said,  you want a screen? I explained the whole thing and he laughed. Sure, not a problem I’ll have Asst IT order it for you. Really???!! I exclaimed Yeah sure, not a big deal.

I was on cloud 9, I was actually going to get a screen! I saw Asst. IT later that afternoon and asked how my screen was coming. Oh good, Manager told me to go ahead and order you one.

YES!!

The next day I brought in a chocolate donut for Manager (L had made me stop at “Donut House” on the way to daycare). I figured the donut was a good thank you and he would appreciate my kiss ass gesture.

I walked around and found out that Manager had gone back to Philadelphia. Hmmmm, now what? I know! I walked over to Asst. IT’s office and handed him the bag. Here ya go, just a little bribe for you for my screen I said with a smile.

He accepted the bribe and thanked me. Later that morning, I emailed Manager and told him the donut was really meant for him but it would be our little secret and next time he was in Princeton, maybe we could go to lunch. Manager agreed and said the screen would be mine soon.

My screen is here and it makes me smile everyday. I love being able to have just a tiny bit of privacy in my door-less cube. I emailed with Manager and thanked him (I even sent him a picture of it) and told him I owe him a lunch.

Yesterday we got an email that Phili IT Guy would be covering Tech Support in our office this week. I have known Phili IT for about a year. He fills in every once in a while and he is fun to chat with. He just turned 40 in April, has a Brooklyn accent and reminds me of the boys I used to chase back in high school (cruising Ridge Road anyone??).

I was telling Phili IT all about my screen dilemma and he was hysterical. Apparently in the Philadelphia office, privacy screens are as accessible as post-its so he didn’t know what the big deal was.

We wound up going for Chinese later and not only did he treat, he also opened the car door and let me walk into the building first (IT Guy NEVER did this).

Last night at dinner I was telling the husband about my lunch and he laughed. What is it with you and the IT Department? he asked between bites of chicken. I know right!  Mrs. Jeter says I’m a groupie. You gotta do a blog about this one he said while downing his drink.

My screen :)

 

Bippity boppity boo

Bippity Boppity Boo

Bippity Boppity Boo (Photo credit: Adg’s Screen Caps)

So today I met with a colleague at work to “revisit” my February performance review. Back in February, it was brought to my attention, in a rather constructively critical manner, that I was a bit of a clock watcher and basically inept (per one partner). However, it was decided that I would be given 4 months to “improve” and then be given the opportunity to “revisit” the issues – I know you are jealous.

Well it has been over 4 months but I was in NO hurry to be reviewed again. Sitting across a desk from someone as they rattle off a list of negatives (no matter how “constructive”) is not really my idea of a good time (such as say a PAP smear) so I ignored the 4 month mark.

Honestly, I thought work was going pretty well. I was covering for another paralegal on maternity leave and that had kept me busy. I was working with different lawyers and it was a nice change of pace. There were no major catastrophes (at least that were brought to my immediate attention) and I was feeling somewhat confident – anyone who knows me knows that me using the word “confident” is a big deal since I am not typically a confident person.

Anyway, I decided to bring the review up last week when my supervisor was visiting my office and figured I wouldn’t hear anything more about it. Wrong.

So here I am today feeling OK about myself as I shut the door to C’s office. I make myself comfortable, amidst the folders and papers on her guest chair, and brace myself for the news. C starts off telling me that the majority of the “talk” was “positive” BUT there were some episodes of “self-sabotage” and plenty of room to grow (I do too much personal stuff and one partner never knows when I am “around”) but overall I had “improved” since February. Whew…but wait there is more.

It seems the overall opinion, among the lawyers, was that I am not very “remarkable” and that I do nothing to distinguish myself from any other Tom, Dick or Harry that could sit at my desk.

Do you feel the love???

How does one respond to that? Do you smile and say thank you? Do you cry and leave in a hurry or do you just take it all in and pretend to give a shit?

My reaction was a combination of all three. After a HUGE pep talk I left C’s office feeling…well…like crap but knowing it was up to me to make a change because no one was going to do it for me.

C said I was allowed a brief moment of pity (I took an hour) and then I needed to focus on what I could do in my life to make me happy (in work and home) and “shine”.

I feel like I am at a cross roads lately. I know that there is no way I was put on this earth to be a paralegal. Seriously, there had to be some other purpose for me other than being unremarkable at a law firm satellite office in Princeton, NJ. But what??

C had asked me today in her office what I liked to do and what made me happy. I toyed with a sarcastic rebuttal but decided against it. Instead I told C that I enjoyed blogging and working with parents of kids’ who have autism (like my 4yo).

Ok, great, wtf am I going to do with those 2 thingd?? While I would love to be a professional blogger, I don’t think bloggers get medical benefits  – a necessity with 4 kids (one of whom has ASD). Also, I really have a clue as to how you become a full-time professional blogger.

As for working with parents, this is something that sort of took me by surprise. Last year, I was given the opportunity to sit on a parent panel at an autism seminar. At first I was terrified thinking who the hell would care what I would have to say????

Then something strange happened that day, not only did people listen to me but they asked ME questions and even emailed ME. They actually cared about what I had to say and to paraphrase Sally Field “they really liked me”. It was a great feeling and I volunteered for any other future parent panels.

I started networking among the ASD professionals and even volunteered to work at a carnival hoping to get my name out there and be remembered. I don’t know if my efforts will pay off one day but at least I know that a couple of times a year I get to take part in something that really makes me feel good about myself and makes me feel like I am making a difference.

C told me today that I can’t expect instant gratification and that I need to keep working and making a mark for myself, to plant the proverbial seeds that will someday grow.

I guess C has a point but all I could think of when I got home is how I wish I had a real Fairy Godmother who would swoop down and shout bippity boppity boo! before making all my wishes come true.

I know, I know, I am a 40 yo mom of 4 and I can’t expect anyone, let alone a Fairy Godmother, to make my dreams come true. It is up to me to do that but really, just one time, I think it would be FABULOUS!!!

In the meantime I will continue to do my best at work to be more “remarkable”. I will put on a fake smile and look happy as I sit at my desk “working” and doing NOTHING personal (like everyone else is doing). Who knows, maybe it will all pay off and someday I will get to do something I truly like.

In the meantime, I will keep hoping and praying to hear the magic words bippity boppity boo!!

Rainy days and Mondays ALWAYS get me down…

Rain Umbrella 01

Rain Umbrella 01 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was all set today to blog about my “date” last week with the IS Guy but I have decided to save that for another day. It’s raining, it’s Monday, it’s cold out  and I just spilled coffee down my pants (which were just cleaned btw) UGH!! What is it about Mondays????

My weekend was busy but good. Friday I was asked to take part on a parent panel at an autism symposium.  I have been on parent panels before but never have I had to sit on a stage with a microphone. Although I was nervous, the fear quickly subsided once I answered my first question.

Overall the symposium was great and I feel lucky to have been a part of it. One of the speakers, Ari Ne’eman, cofounder of  the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, was inspiring and his talk made me question how I view autism and what my goals are for J. 

Saturday was full of errands and Sunday was my surprise “linner” (lunch/dinner) thrown by my mom, aunt and sister-in-law. My birthday is next month but they insisted, despite my protests,  that I have some sort of surprise factor for my big day. The surprise was nice (it was just family) but I could have done without the plastic necklace they made me wear.

And here we are today on a rainy Monday. When my alarm went off an hour early I should have known the day would be less than perfect. J was NOT happy to be dressed and out the door for his weekly OT session and  he and L had come to blows several times over the 1 balloon left over from the party yesterday.

On my way into work I couldn’t help but think how today would have been the perfect sleep-lay-in-bed-pjs kind of day (like those days ever exist in my house!)  I blasted Adele and forged on ahead.

Now here I am at my desk, completely unmotivated, in coffee stained pants and a black camisole with deodorant smeared across the front (a good look if you haven’t tried it). The rain has frizzed my hair a little but I guess I can look on the bright side, in a little over 2 hours I can eat lunch and in 6 hours I can go home!!

Whenever it rains on a Monday I ALWAYS think of The Carpenter’s song “Rainy Days and Mondays”. How I know this song is beyond me. It came out before I was born and I only know the chorus but thanks to Google, I was able to look up the lyrics and Karen was not a happy camper when she wrote this. Still I think these words are appropriate for this Monday

… Hangin’ around
Nothing to do but frown
Rainy Days and Mondays always get me down.

Happy Monday friends, I hope I have not depressed you too much (lol)! Before we know it, it will be Tuesday and hopefully to quote Annie …the Sun will come out tomorrow….

Are you there Fairy Godmother, it’s me Cindy

Cinderella - Prince Charming & Cinderella

Cinderella - Prince Charming & Cinderella (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dear Fair Godmother,

I am starting to worry, I haven’t heard from you in ages, is everything ok? Did you “forget” to send me your new mailing address again?

Anyway, my fairytale is just not happening the way we had discussed. I know, it’s my fairytale and I can’t compare myself to others (Snow White with a prince and a bunch of “little” men, Rapunzel with all that great hair or even Sleeping Beauty who actually gets a full nights sleep). But can’t you wave your wand and tweak a couple of things?

FG, when I said I wanted to be a successful, working mom, I was thinking of  a career doing something I love, something with meaning – or at least making 6 figures. Not working 8-4 and paying close to 6 figures for health benefits for Prince Charming and the 4 princes.

If I must work, can’t you arrange for me to get ready in a peaceful atmosphere? Maybe a vanity with a velvet cushioned stool and perfect lighting where I can sit and put on my make-up ALONE.  Standing in a cramped bathroom, where there is always a bulb out, trying to tweeze my eyebrows while L continuously flushes the toilet while throwing my Bobbi Brown eyeshadows ($22/each) all over the floor was not what I had in mind.

A huge walk-in-closet with racks of clothing (that all fit) arranged by color and a full length mirror I could twirl in front of would be nice. Instead I share a closet with Prince C and the kids and if I want to twirl, I have to walk through the kids’ room, over a pile of toys, and stand in hallway (remember those ugly mirrored doors in front of the washer/dryer we talked about).

Also, didn’t we had discuss how a working mom needs lots and lots of shoes, in a variety of heel heights and styles?  You must have forgotten, why else would I have to crawl around on the closet floor looking for the missing left heel (as I wear the right) with J asking me for a red juice and M asking me who Bobafet is?

While on the topic of clothes FG, could you make me 5 inches taller? I know that I am almost 40 (ouch) and long past any growth spurt (at least a vertical one) but apparently pants are only made for people 5’8 or above.  A couple of inches would really save me time in the morning (no more scrambling around in my closet for a pair of shoes high enough so my pants wont drag on the floor) and money at the tailor ($10/hem?!).

Sorry to go off on a tangent, what were we talking about? Oh my working mom fairytale. Let’s discuss childcare. I thought a nanny was a given. Someone like Supernanny or Mary Poppins (or even the chick from the Sound of Music). A firm yet motherly type who would whip the kids into shape and have dinner on the table by 5. Not my poor aunt and uncle who walk in to complete and total chaos every morning. Today L was wearing a bike helmet and his brother’s sneakers, clawing at the door to go outside and ride his scooter,  J was crying for a lollipop and the other J standing half-naked in the bathroom watching Dora.

Lastly, why do all the radio stations play commercials, or Katy Perry, at the same time? How is a princess supposed to clear her head and get ready for the day when she is stuck listening to commercials for hair removal or pet supplies or that damn Firework song?

I have to wrap up, since I am writing this at work.  I would really appreciate a response, please don’t make me Google you again. Thanks so much for your time!!

Cinderella

ps – what the hell happened to the Lunch Fairy? I had to bring  pb&j and a bag of jellybeans for lunch today.

The good, the bad and would it have killed her to put some lipgloss on

Lipstick and lipgloss

Image via Wikipedia

Yesterday started off good. I was having a good hair day, there were no major catastrophes with the kids and, most importantly, I was wearing my slimming navy pants. Ok, I can do this, only 8 hours and my weekend starts I thought as I headed into work. I was also happy because last night was going to be my first Google+ “pow wow” with some blogger moms I had gotten friendly with and I was excited to try it out.

The morning went by pretty quickly. I was working on a very boring important project so that was keeping me busy. Around lunch time I started to get a nervous feeling  in my stomach. I had J’s parent-teacher conference after work and I didn’t  know what to expect. J is my 3yo with ASD (autism spectrum disorder) and he attends an autism pre-k class. J has been making wonderful progress this year, he is talking more and actually making sentences and being more expressive and even socializing with some of the other kids. However, he will NOT potty train and tends to be a bit stubborn (not surprising if you knew his brothers) and I knew this was going to come up at the conference. Ugh.

My other problem with the conference is something that has nothing to do with J, it is all me. When I see J making so much progress and acting like a typical 3yo, I start to think that maybe his ASD diagnosis was a mistake. I start to tell myself that his teacher/therapists will tell me J is “cured” and we can go back to “normal.”  This fantasy was squashed at our last conference so I wasn’t feeling too optimistic for this one.

Meanwhile at work, I was still diligently working on my boring important project and it was obvious I was not going to have it completed by 4pm. I went to update my boss on the status and she was actually happy (sort of) with the progress. We chatted for a minute or 2 about my nervousness over J’s conference and then came this …I just want to give you a little constructive criticism…

For the next 20 minutes I was given enough constructive comments to last me till the end of the month. The comments weren’t all bad constructive, I was told I was intuitive and just fail to use this  at work. After hearing the words clock and watcher I excused myself since I was now late for the parent/teacher conference. The whole ride to J’s school those words swirled in my head. Super, now I was late AND in a bad mood.  

I must have looked “great” when I ran in the classroom because J’s teacher asked me if I was tired before she offered me a tiny seat at a tiny table in the back of the classroom. J is not “cured” but he is doing great. His teacher and therapists told me his progress was excellent and he was a pleasure to have in class – he just needs to potty train and not be so stubborn.

I decided to treat me and the husband to chinese for dinner since I was tired still feeling sorry for myself.  The next couple hours were a blur of cleaning up, baths and bedtime  – and  trying to come up with 3 pieces of green clothing for everyone’s respective “green day” at school. Before I knew it, it was time for the “pow wow”. I was a little nervous about being on a camera but thought it wouldn’t be too bad, after all it was 9pm on a Thursday night. I logged on to Google+ and all of the sudden I was not only staring at the faces of 4 other mommies, I was also staring at myself . O-M-G was all I could think, would it have killed me to have put on some concealer or at least a little lip gloss before I met these women??!!

The chat was great once I was able to postition the computer so my head was cut off stop staring at myself. It was nice to hear what other moms had to say about their lives and chaotic mornings.

Lying in bed, thinking over my day, I realized it was not the worst day. Yes the constructive criticism sucked (and I have gotten enough lately to last me a lifetime) but in the grand scheme of things how much does that matter? When I am 80 (god willing) I hope I not to be  remembered for what I accomplished at the office but rather for what I did as a mom. A mom who tried (sometimes successfully) to raise her 4 boys to be happy, healthy and kind people. 

ps – I PROMISE for the next cyber pow wow to have some make-up on :)

I just paid $40 for a what?!

untitled

untitled (Photo credit: holisticmonkey)

My employer has participated in a wellness program for the past  2 years and employees are encouraged to sign up for the quarterly health sessions.  These sessions consist of  a weekly weigh-in and pep talk (given by a very fit trainer) with a occassional guest trainer teaching a zumba class.  If you know me, you know that this is NOT my cup of tea.  Group weigh-ins are not how I want to spend my lunch hour (I don’t care if the scale is in a separate room) so I’ve ignored the emails and stayed in my cube wishing I was 10 pounds thinner or 5 inches taller.

This past Tuesday was the “kick off” lunch and my secretary dragged convinced me to go (Panera was catering lunch so that helped).  I was enjoying my turkey, bacon bravo sandwich (yum!) when Trainer #1 started talking and welcoming us to the spring session (yipee). He said that this quarter they were starting a new program called “Walk Across America” and if you signed up you got a state-of-the-art pedometer to track your steps. Every 10,000 steps walked would count as 50 miles across the map of America. Now I was intrigued, not by the large, laminated map he was holding up, but rather by the pedometer.

I had always wanted a pedometer, especially on the days when I have gone up and down the stairs a million times to get socks/juice/a transformer/change the laundry etc. Exactly how many steps do I walk in a day and really, how do those damn things work?? Now I could actually have my very own.

Trainer #1, who by the way did not have an ounce of fat on his body, talked about how we would start a walking club, have a recipe swap and maybe we would start competeing against other offices on our trek across America.  Picturing myself walking, along the main road,  in a walking club wearing sneakers with my work clothes, turned me off completely so I tuned out trainer man – that is until he started talking about the pedometer again.  He said it was the best one ever AND it came on a lanyard. Ummm lanyards are not my type of accessory but I kept listening. The pedometer could also be kept in your pocket (thank god) and be plugged directly into the computer to track your steps. In addition, whoever walks the most miles gets a prize. Ok sign me up.

After the lunch and chocolate chip cookie courtesy of Panera the email came around advising that the cost of the program was $40 and would start next Tuesday.  Pedometers were only being given to those who gave their checks (made payable to the firm) by Friday the 16th. Ugh, $40 bucks for a pedometer??? Am I crazy?

Well I just walked my check over to the HR girl (too bad I didn’t already have the pedometer since she sits on the other side of the office) and I am officially on the “team” to “Walk Across America.” I don’t know if this was the best idea or if it will be the best $40 spent but I guess I will find out Tuesday at weigh-in (O-M-G). I’ll keep you posted and who knows, maybe I’ll be captain of the walking team (a girl can dream right?)

ps – I promise to post a picture of my new pedometer as soon as i get it :)

That Sunday night feeling

 

A sad face.

Image via Wikipedia

Dinner is done and cleaned up, the kids are bathed and in bed (all but the 2yo who is another story completely). Laundry is almost done, groceries are bought and dinner for tomorrow night is already decided. I attempted to pick out an outfit for work but hated everything in the closet didn’t feel like ironing so I’ll worry about that in the morning.

Ugh, it’s Sunday night. I hate Sunday nights. My hate is not a new thing, it goes back as far as I can remember probably back to grammar school. Back then I didn’t think too much about it. I can vaguely remember a dull ache in the pit of my stomach which usually happened after my mom would ask if I had finished my homework. It was not an ache that hurt it was more like butterflies, a nagging “feeling” that the weekend was over and it was back to the weekday routine for another 5 days. 

I don’t remember “the feeling” much in high school. High school was fun though. It was hanging out with friends and volleyball practice (yes, I was not only on the volleyball team but I was captain senior year). It was seeing your crush in the hallway and copying algebra homework at lunch.

“The feeling” didn’t happen much in college unless there was an exam or maybe the start of a new semester. Something I wasnt quite ready for or knew what to expect. College was still fun and meant seeing friends, planning a night at the bar or watching Melrose Place with housemates.

“The feeling” came back full force once college was over and I had my first real job. I chalked this up to not really loving my first post college experience. It was in a small direct marketing office and my job consisted of picking out mailing lists that would suit whatever marketing campaign was being developed. I remember “the feeling” would start to make its presence known in the late afternoon when I would just be getting home from running errands. A dull, nagging reminder that work was tomorrow and all fun was over until next weekend.

The years went by and “the feeling” stuck around. It would go away for long weekends or the start of a vacation but come the end of the vacation it would hit me like a ton of bricks. I don’t remember having “the feeling” during my maternity leaves, then again I can’t remember a lot about my maternity leaves due to the lack of sleep and sanity. However, I do remember feeling sick to my stomach the night before each of my maternity leaves was over.

I don’t know what my problem is. I have worked at my job for over 11 years so it’s not a new environment full of people I don’t know. Maybe it’s just not knowing what will be waiting for me in my little cube. The memo sitting on my chair or the voice and/or emails waiting for my reply asap.

I can’t be the only one who experiences this, am I? My grandfather worked till he was 91, he LOVED Monday mornings and would leave with a huge smile on his face. My friend Mrs. Jeter works from home on Mondays and I am pretty sure she doesn’t get “the feeling” on her Sunday nights. The husband seems fine, I havent heard him complain of anything as he sits in the other room playing some war game on his phone.

I guess I should try to make a truce with “the feeling.” It’s been around for many years and I don’t see it going away anytime soon. I wonder if I loved my job if it would still stick around or go bother someone else. Hmmmm, that is something to think about.

It all starts with baby steps so tonight, instead of dwelling on “the feeling”, I will pour some wine (please let there be wine left) and read my book and enjoy the last hours of a nice weekend until next Sunday.

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