Archive for category crazy days

Sunday (Not-So) Funday

For the first time in a few years, I have that Sunday night anxiety.  It’s that same awful feeling I used to get on Sunday nights; that feeling of hopelessness, angst and fear, knowing that I was about to return to a job that stressed me out.

Instead of returning to a job that stressed me out, tomorrow, I will be on my own with the two kids for the first time since Josh’s seizures.  For the the past week, I’ve had a knowledgeable medical staff just a call button away,  my parents’ moral and logistical support, and of course, Jeff’s unflappable presence.

Shortly after Josh’s birth in January, I remember thinking, “I’ve GOT this. I can do this, this 2 kid thing.”

I had more confidence in myself than I thought I would, and even started attending press events and writing, just two weeks after his birth. Crazy, dedicated and insane were the words I believe friends called me.  Truthfully? I love being a mother more than anything, but MY happiness lies within pursuing the things that round me out as a whole. Balance, it’s how we do.

But…after Josh’s ordeal? My parenting confidence is completely decimated.  My heart palpitates with worry, I jump every time the baby coughs or sneezes, and worst of all, Jack feeds off of my neurosis and irritability.

Mom, dad and John were supposed to come up to help me this week, but unfortunately, work schedules come first.  As a family, Jeff and I have overcome hardships, and I know we’ll make it through this uncertain transition—one therapy session at a time.

 

 

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Rocking out in between the tantrums

It’s kind of crazy how Christmas completely snuck up on me this year.  I’m sure I’m not alone in saying this, but this year, I’m so not ready.

No, really, I just put away our light-up pumpkins yesterday.  Per usual, I’m always on the ball.

You’d think with the lack of blogging and no updates over here, I’d get some of that stuff accomplished!

So, what HAVE I been doing?  Let’s see…besides negotiating my sanity while prying a sometimes-tempermental two-year old off of the ground and catching Evil Kneivel before he leaps off of the couch HEAD FIRST, I haven’t been doing much.

Who has the time or energy to do anything after all of that?

Certainly not me.

So, there you have it.  I’ve been in a slump.  Now that we’re knee-deep with being Two, things have been tricky.

I know I’m not the first or last to endure the “Terrible Twos,” but it’s tough.  (By the way, I freaking hate the term as much as the phase itself.)

Thank goodness the good moments outnumber all the temper tantrums and mischief.  It’s really not ALL that bad, but Mondays are so much more difficult, especially since we’re still reeling from being spoiled after being in Va. for two weeks. (Thank you, Lola!!)  After being together non-stop all weekend and then going back to just the two of us, Jack acts out at times, perhaps because he misses his dad.

In reality, things COULD be worse, but man, I’m exhausted both physically and mentally.  Two is kicking my ass.

Thank goodness for quiet time with ice cream and my computer.

*little rocker wanna be

When he isn’t busy driving me to the crazy house, Jack is so much fun.  As usual, we spend our days singing, dancing and playing music.  Remember how I mentioned he was spoiled while in Va?  Well, Uncle John caved into Jack’s current obsession with guitars and gave him his Christmas present early.  Since John works in the warehouse at Guitar Center, he took advantage of his discount and got Jack a real guitar, the Laguna Little Brat.

So, yes, when we watch our shows now, we’ve added his acoustic guitar accompaniment.  It’s hysterical!

I know he’s only two, but this kid really has a penchant for music.  Yeah, he loves trains and cars, but nothing quite compares to music.  Of all of his toys, his keyboard, bongos and guitar get the most wear and tear.  As we’re learning our alphabets and numbers, I’m compelled to start teaching him music theory, too.  (So I say…)

It was funny, over Thanksgiving, a few relatives came over to mom’s house and noticed Jack rocking out on one of his guitars there. My mom was explaining Jack’s love for music, and how she remembered him dancing crazily to Tchaikovsky‘s Waltz of the Flowers on HBO’s Classical Baby before he could even crawl.  Mom went on to tell our relatives that she thinks Jack’s love for music has grown even more after attending various live shows.

I’m so excited to see his love for music flourish.  I have a lot of friends that are all into putting their kids into sports as soon as they can, but me, I’ll take the kid to as many kiddie rock shows as I possibly can.

I guess this is when I start brushing up on my piano playing and You Tube a few guitar tutorials for myself?

Of course, as soon as we grow out of the uncontrollable tantrums, provided I don’t go crazy before then :)

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Ear infections, figure fours and no sleep for the weary

So, we’re working on a week now…

A week of what you might ask?

A week of non-stop “mama, mama, mama, mama, mama.” A week of “no like, mama.” A week of holding my strong little boy in the Figure Four position, wrestling him down to force feed him spoonfuls of Amoxicillin. A week of being quarantined all in the name of his first ear infection.

This isn’t really a milestone, but hey, we’ve been ear infection-free for 2 years. I guess we lucked out in that department. Let’s hope we won’t have to deal with this much longer or at all in the near future!

Our poor guy has been miserable. I mean, look at that face! Quite the difference from just two weeks ago at his well visit!

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Ok, so, miserable doesn’t even do it justice. He’s a hot mess quite literally. There have been a few days in a row now where his temperature has been as high as 104ish and hasn’t been below 102. When all I hear and read about is the H1N1 virus, it’s hard not to be worrisome.

So, we haven’t slept much. He hasn’t moved out of my lap much either. But the last part isn’t so bad.

Except when it’s 4am.

We’ve been to the dr. WAY too much this past week, with today’s 2 hour wait/visit/debacle involving a throat culture, hysterical little boy and punctuated with an antibiotic shot to the no longer chubby thigh.

But, good news! After sleeping off some of his exhaustion (and canceling my plans to attend a Cupcake Crawl!!) my buddy, popped up from his nap and squealed with glee! No, really. He did!

He laughed a little, whined a little, laughed a little more and then still insisted on crawling onto my lap a few times. His fever isn’t as crazy as it’s been, which is good. He’s not wailing over the pain from his ears that much either. I don’t want to jinx it, but it looks like we’re on the mend! Cross your fingers, everyone. I’m ready to have a healthy boy and a little social interaction besides the nurses at the dr’s office!

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Motherhood 2.0, or as some call it, spending way too much time online

A couple of weeks ago, after one of my really horrible days where Jack and I both melted down simultaneously, I remember spouting off to Jeff, something to the effect of, “After days like this, I don’t think I’d be able to handle another kid.”

Yeah, I REALLY said that.

I had a shitty day. And just like many people do, I said something out of haste. So, what I probably meant to say was, “After days like this, I don’t think I can handle any more kids without my support system.”

Living so far away from family, not having many local friends that have kids yet and not being super-close with many mom friends in our area, my support system is much different than what my mom’s support system was like.

In addition to mom, we grew up with my grandma caring for us on a day-to-day basis, we constantly had aunties around, not to mention, dad ruling the roost. Yeah, we were very lucky.

So, as I navigate my own adventures in motherhood, I always feel nostalgic for my own childhood. The house was always crowded with some sort of chaos; it was constantly filled with food and family life seemed like a well-oiled machine.

On any given day, I consider it a good day if both Jack and myself are out of our pjs by noon, nevermind actually find a consistent and responsible babysitter that can help me out regularly. With Jeff’s long hours and commute times, we kiss him goodbye as we’re waking up and he sometimes gets home just in time for bedtime. (It goes without saying that we appreciate his hard work that allows us to live such a wonderful life.)

It’s a long day to navigate without a co-pilot. And that’s not a complaint whatsoever. We chose this life; I cope by blogging about it :)

Ok. So maybe I don’t have the physical support system that I grew up with, or maybe my girlfriends are still hitting happy hour as I wield strollers and diaper bags. I am, however, so grateful for my online support system. If I didn’t have my blogs as therapy, my message board girls to use as a sounding board or Facebook status to update regularly or Twitter to remind me that I’m not “alone,” I’m so sure I’d have gone off the deep end by now.

I’ve seen many articles on Motherhood 2.0, but it’s this latest one that was posted on MSNBC’s site today that really hit home with me. We’ve been quarantined because of Jack’s fever and ear infections, but this article made me smile and count my blessings that I’m never alone in this.

The subhead, alone, sums up what motherhood is like:

It still takes a village to raise a child — the community has just gone from the neighborhood to the blogosphere.

Hell, in that first sentence, you could easily transpose my last name and number of kids to ring true, too!

Jennifer Morais was a stay-at-home mother of three who was struggling financially but couldn’t afford the cost of child care if she went to work.

What it comes down to is, motherhood/parenthood is best tackled together. Whereas in generations past, large groups of relatives helped care for the kidlets, today, we have online support systems that bind so many of us together.

I love the advice and guidance I’ve received from friends online (and sometimes, friends of friends,) many of whom I can’t visit easily, but I sure as hell can get a chuckle from when their pre-schooler celebrates poop sizes. And I wouldn’t have it any other way!

A special congrats to one of my mom blog friends, Kim of Mominthecity, who was mentioned in this article. She is a truly influential individual who has been so gracious to extend invitations and contacts, much like many of my other blogging friends have done, such as Carol of NYCityMama. I hope to do the same as often as possible.

In addition to the many wonderful friends I’ve made through blogging, I’m just as thankful for the girlfriends I’ve made online on my message boards and the close friends I can keep up with thanks to Facebook. I know many of you read my blogs and comment gratuitously (which really, really helps.) And trust me, I love reading about your kids on your Facebook status, too.

For all of you who care to interact whether it’s online or in person, I’m so thankful for you—more than you know!

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Weathering through the working woes

From beginning to end, this week marked one of the most tumultuous, yet fulfilling weeks I’ve ever had.

Our guy turned 2 on Sunday.  We traveled way more than we could physically handle for the sake of others.  We welcomed another month of crazy, busy activities and events.  I attended a lovely event, but my experience was clouded by Jack’s awful, AWFUL  separation anxiety issues.  I checked out some of the hottest, coolest toys EVER and connected with so many interesting people (more on this to come and lots more info. can be read on NKT!) But best of all, my guys got to bond one on one for a change.

By the middle of the week, I was so blinded by exhaustion and frustration. After the event where Jack bawled uncontrollably for practically 2 hours in a swanky restaurant that I’d been dying to try and finally had the chance, much thanks to the luncheon I was invited to, I felt so defeated.  Instead of mingling with people, all of whom were just as passionate or interested in this brand of products, my job as a mom came first.

Jack, for some reason, can’t shake this separation anxiety spell.  He cries his little eyes out, his nose runs, his little round face gets all red and he hyperventilates…until I come back.  I know it’s a temporary phase, but it certainly doesn’t make the present any less painful.

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As a family who tries to juggle life without any family nearby, surviving on one predictable salary while I build the foundation for another, when I’m invited to a media or blogger event, I have no choice but to be selective.  It’s always an honor to be invited to events, though we can’t always swallow the expense of babysitters, plus the cabs and trains.  (Let’s put it this way, most nannies and babysitters make just as much as I did when I was still working as an editor; hence one of the reasons why I went freelance.)  So this particular event, because it was a brand that our family loves, was one event that I couldn’t wait to attend.  The fact that they offered childcare was an added perk.  Awesome right?

Yeah, not so much when your kid insists on being attached to your leg, for fear of being abandoned.

Is this separation anxiety my fault for choosing to work from home?  Are we to blame for visiting Va. more often than our bodies and emotions can handle (and saying goodbye way too enough, thus disrupting his normal routines?)

I choose to believe that it’s just another phase that we’ll weather through…

Whatever the reason might be, Jack’s crying and outbursts made another little boy cry, too.  Frickin’ fabulous, I thought.  Jack’s just barely on the cusp of understanding cause and effect, but he most certainly did not grasp why mommy wanted to leave him in a strange room filled with little kids with 2 unfamiliar adults.

Jack cried loud enough for a room full of executives, members of the press and bloggers, like me to hear.  I can’t say I was embarrassed—he’s my kid for crying out loud.  I will say that I was annoyed at the people who rolled their eyes or mouthed snarky comments about the crying kid.  MY kid.  It was then that I second-guessed myself for even attending, what I thought was, an event celebrating one of the best companies that embrace greener lifestyles and raising organic kids.

It was almost surreal that my mostly organically and green-grown child was like a misfit because he couldn’t stand being away from me.

At one point, understandably, I was asked to go tend to him because he was So LOUD.  Perhaps, they couldn’t hear the taping of speeches or hear the slideshow in the midst of his terror-filled cries?

And so, I spent most of my afternoon in the childcare room feeling isolated, bitter and left out.

As a friend later told me, I was being harder on myself and more critical of the situation than others were.  eh…maybe.  But from the glares that I felt that I was getting, it definitely felt much different.

My kid was crying a lot.  I should have left altogether.  Problem was, the base of our stroller was on the OTHER side of the room, like the side I couldn’t access because there was a podium and audience separating us.  So, I spent most of the event in the childcare room, missing a majority of what I trekked there for in the first place.

Lesson learned.

My feelings, experiences and thoughts in NO WAY reflect the company or publicists.  I’m quite appreciative for the aforementioned, but honestly, hurt by a few of my peers who made me feel uncomfortable for being a mother that day.  My friends who kept me company that afternoon?  Yeah, they rocked…especially when I couldn’t get our giant stroller in and out of yet another logistically impossible and stroller-unfriendly establishment.

In the end, I’m just another mom trying to make it work.  I got the information we needed, enjoyed bites of a lovely lunch and made it home unscathed.  This wasn’t the first stroller-schlepping and tear-filled outing.  My guess is that it won’t be the last.  It’s all in a day’s work of this blogging/writing/reporting mama.

Next time, I’ll rethink my choices. (Do I decline the childcare and get my own sitter?  Do I figure out a way to break this separation anxiety spell?) But today, even after all the tears and stroller-schleeping,  I’m glad I know how to handle (or NOT to handle) the next chaotic situation.  Seriously, the thought of multiple children in this city-living, event-attending realm gives me night tremors.  But that’s a whole different post.

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All aboard!

The other night, I complained to Jeff that my computer was running a little slow.  I mentioned that the thousands of photos that I’ve been taking lately might be the cause and that maybe I’d need an external hardrive to remedy this simple, techy malady.

The next day, my very thoughtful husband spent his lunchbreak persuing, geekily I might add, Costco for said remedy. Jeff found this handy dandy Hitachi hardrive that’s water and shock resistant, because you know, day-to-day with our 2 year old daredevil is as chaotic as a white water rafting excursion, except with lots of milk, cereal and toys to wade through. I bet they weren’t targeting this device for a work at home mom, though? But it’s genius!

After finding this ideal hardrive, Jeff, who normally has an aversion to shopping unless there are food samples involved, took a whirl around the rest of Costco.  He found his way to the toy section, which, as he described, looked as though they just put out their bounty of oversized boxes filled with glorious Christmas toys.  And dudes, it’s Costco, so you know there must have been awesomeness involved.

And when he wasn’t looking, just like true love, Jeff found it.  He found THE most gigantic toy one could buy their toddler. 

Have I ever mentioned that we just so happen to live in a small city apartment? 

The enormous box, the size of a standard door and weight of a walrus, enclosed not just one giant toy, but an oversized table, trundle and 100 pieces.  I personally think they forgot several zeros.  There has to be a million tiny pieces!  But alas, we now own a Kid Kraft Metropolis Table and Train Set.
Metropolis

So, you guessed it, I was reluctant about the size of this toy.  When Jeff first emailed me about it, I assumed he was thinking of Christmas.  I mean, WHERE WOULD WE PUT this metropolis you speak of?

But once I heard and saw Jeff’s excitement; how could I say no?

That night, Jeff stayed up until 2am setting up the metropolis and its table and trundle.  “I want to set it all up so that he wakes up to it.”

It’s oh so awesome.

That next morning, my two guys, with their matching disheveled hair and shirtless chests, hobbled to our living room and played with the intertwined tracks and brand new trains.  Jack and Jeff, on either corner of the table, studied every single acoutrement—all one million of them.  They giggled in unison like little school girls!

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So, I can’t move as freely in our living space anymore, and with all these damn toys cramping my style, I don’t have the Pottery Barn-esque feel either (or anything for that matter!)  But when I saw the pure happiness and sense of contentment from both of their faces, just from this enormous trainset that I didn’t want in the first place, clearly, that other stuff doesn’t matter.

Those early morning smiles and laughs: they are what matter.

That morning, Jeff reminded me of Ricky Schroeder riding on his ride-on train in the opening credits of Silver Spoons.  Jack was definitely Alfonso Robeiro doing his happy dance.  Oh wait, wrong show :)

You’re probably all like, it’s just trainset!  I know, right?  But this, my friends, is so much more…

Jack's train set and table
Above Jack’s crib, I had wall words made to decorate his closet/nursery.  It reads: “From small beginnings come great things.”  It’s so hard to believe that it’s already been two years ago when we welcomed our little buddy and embarked on that small beginning. 
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This giant trainset might take up too much space in our little living room for right now, but according to our mantra, Jeff had the foresight to pick this fun birthday gift because, undoubtedly, we’re just prepping for all that greatness and space that’s sure to follow.

As Jack would say, choo choo all aboard!

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It was the best of times. It was the worst of times… It’s Hawaii time

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times… Ah, but yes, it was our family vacation!

After a much needed, yet unexpected hiatus from the blogs, I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on our recent trip to Hawaii for Kris’ wedding. Based on well over 1,000 photos that’s taking me a week to upload to Flickr, it’s safe to say, we had a great time in the Aloha State. But like most family vacations, there was plenty of drama too.

The first drama of the trip happened even BEFORE we left for the airport. My brother John, whose connecting flight was strategically planned for Newark so he could fly WITH us to help out with the kid was delayed, thus debunking that whole plan. Go figure.

Since this was our third trip to Hawaii, but the first with a kid in tow, we were expecting it to be significantly different. I don’t know about you guys, but a vacation with little kids isn’t even “really” a vacation. Especially when a 10.5 hr. flight is involved. Oh, yeah, and a 6 hour time difference too.

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Back in the day, Jeff and I used to pop a few Tylenol PMs and voila, we’d be in Hawaii. This trip, uh, yeah…no matter how many toys and treats we brought along, we were still that family at times. At departure, since we sat in the very back row of the plane, it was LOUD, and of course there were tears. Lots of them. After a few minutes we were good. For the rest of the long flight while we chased daylight en route to paradise, Jeff and I were tasked with entertaining Jack while he was awake. We broke out a new set of Tech Decks (which, by the way say in BOLD print that they’re only for 9 years and up) and a new Thomas Train. The Tech Decks won out. For a good hour or so, we used the tray as a ramp over and over and OVER.

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After the novelty of the tiny skate boards wore out, another meltdown ensued AND it was just about the time for naptime–thank goodness.

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Thank goodness for the 2 hour nap and a little *ahem* help.

It always feels like the trip THERE is much longer, especially when it’s nonstop and you’re trying to get used to the time change all at once. But truly, it felt like that flight aged me a few years.

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But once we arrived, the gentle glow of sunset and the sweet breezes greeted us and we couldn’t have been more relieved. We arrived at around 6:00 pm local time, which meant midnight east coast time, but surprisingly, much thanks to his rolling PBS bookbag, Jack was juuuust fine.

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That is, until Kris and Jason picked us up from the airport and we had to tell Jack it was time to ride in his carseat again.

Oh sweet Jesus. The hysteria and cries of terror from this child was disturbing. Poor kid. Poor Kris and Jason for having to cart us around with a very unhappy Jack! It was enough to make us all want to drink. But really, I didn’t blame the poor kid for being so upset for not wanting to be in his carseat after that long ass flight. Kris and Jason were so kind and accommodating, EVEN through the crying.

But even through the crying and “stop looking at me” attitude from the kid, seeing my sweet cousin and anticipating her big day was well worth all that traveling. Oh, and those tears, too.

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Aloooooha, Hawaii. Get ready for my family.

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Because of me, we’ll never have nice things

I don’t drive very often anymore, perhaps for good reason.

Somewhere, not too far from here, my husband is sitting in his cube not-so-quietly cursing about my latest debacle.

As I was coming home from ShopRite yesterday afternoon, I was trying to console Jack in the backseat and ended up clipping a curb as I tried to make a right turn. I ended up blowing out the tire and Jeff had to come and change it—in the rain. Ugh. I feel so awful because not only is this an unexpected expense to replace the tire, but it’s now become a huge inconvenience because the tire is a “special order” since it’s a newer car.

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No matter how many times I say ‘sorry,’ I know Jeff is so disappointed/outraged/livid, which makes me so sad.

Nevermind that I would’ve liked to grocery shop sans toddler—just once—or the fact that I could’ve walked to the grocery store today instead of Sunday or that maybe I should’ve begged Jeff to come along to help me with errands since I was exhausted to tackle it on my own, or that I could’ve taken a different route home, no matter how you dice it, it happened and noone was hurt–just the tire of our newish car.

I obviously make mistakes all the time and I have no problem admitting it, but damn, why must these catastrophes happen at times like this?

Taking trains, unexpected expenses, eyesore for a spare tire AND we leave for vacation and Kris’ wedding in a week— all while trying to hatch a plan on what to do about the “Little Old Lady’s House” that we’d like to buy (more to come.) Grrrrr. Why now!?

So, maybe when and if we do move to the suburbs (if Jeff doesn’t divorce between now and then) we can forgo getting a 2nd vehicle and just get me a bike instead? Clearly, I have no business having a mom mobile (or desire for that matter)

No, for real.

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Adventures in babysitting, or the lack thereof

Many years ago, when I pulled the shock and awe moment of telling my parents that I’d be moving to NYC to pursue a career in magazine journalism, they, of course, yelled at me.

Ok, maybe yell is a bit exaggerating.

They full-on freaked out.

“What if you can’t find a job!”  “It’s NYC!” “Where will you live” “WHAT IF YOU CAN’T FIND A JOB.”

In tears, I assured them I would.

And, I did.

I landed an internship at a well known men’s magazine at the time.

Ok, so it was unpaid, but it was a job.

From there, I went on to work at my last position…well, we all know how that ended up.  But, I loved what I did.

Correction, I love what I do.

If I didn’t, we wouldn’t have stayed; we surely would’ve moved back to our hometown, where life is more predictable, mortgages are half of what we pay for rent and more importantly, reliable (sometimes FREE) babysitters flow like water.

And, it’s days like today that make me wonder WHAT THE hell was I thinking?

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On Sunday night, I had butterflies because of all the exciting events and gigs that are starting to fill my icalendar:  luncheons, social media events, holiday showcases, meetings with PR friends, writing gigs.  A year ago, on Sunday nights, in anticipation of returning back to work, I’d get stomach cramps, insomnia and anxiety-induced headaches.

Ah, the Sunday shitstorm, I so don’t miss that!

But now, things are starting to come full-circle; or, at least I thought so.

In line with these new opportunities and gigs, we hired a new part-time babysitter—a sweet lady with college-aged children.  We lined her up to start today, to cover for me while I attended a media luncheon with a major children’s shoe company.  Kids were welcome to the event, but because Jack is in that temper tantrum/into everything stage AKA psychotic 2 year old phase, a sitter would be the only way to go.

I did the dishes, cleared the toys—-hell, I even organized my piles of papers and mountain of product samples that arrive in my mailbox daily.  That, in itself, was a feat.

Though I had a late start in getting dressed, I was done flat-ironing my hair by the time 10:58 a.am. rolled around.  With the lunch at noon, I asked her to arrive at 11 a.m. so I’d have plenty of time to show her around before jetting off into the City.

11:05, still no sitter.

11:13, still no sitter.

11:22, NO DAMN SITTER.

I checked my email—nada.

I checked my voicemail and that’s where things got crazy.

I tried to check voicemails and got some effed up message.  Of course, my phone was not working.  Why would it?

I sent a frantic email to Jeff telling him about the situation, who then, called my phone with no problem.  WTF? His phone worked, but not mine.  But even more interesting, I could receive incoming calls, but could not make any outgoing calls.

WHY me?

At 11:30, still no word from the sitter, but the phone situation figured itself out.

At this point, all I could think about was the childcare battles I had while I was still working at my old office—all the tears, the inappropriate comments, the stress.

It actually broke my heart that the childcare problem reared its head once again.  Jack is such a wonderful boy, and all I want to do is continue the momentum I have going with this new career path, WHY IN THE HELL is it so hard to secure reliable, affordable childcare? Isn’t that why I left my office job in the first place?

By 11:38 a.m., attending the luncheon was a lost cause.  With such a heavy heart, Jack and I grabbed a few books and did what we always do:  we sat and hugged and read.

And then, the doorbell rings.  and rings, and rings, and rings.

It was the babysitter.

Of course it was…

Even before she could make it up the stairs, she was yelling, “I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry.”  And then she went on to tell me her story about how she was interviewing for another job a few towns away.  The bus to the lightrail to a cab—her commuting stars just didn’t align.  Like many of us in the area, she’s dependent on public transportation.  And of course, she didn’t have my number on hand.  So compile all the other ridiculous details above, this is exactly the kind of nonsense that can only happen to me.

I sent the sitter home since there was no way I could show up an hour late.  I emailed and left a voicemail for my PR contact, but I still felt so awful.  All I wanted to do was attend this lunch, and then childcare chaos happens.  Why does it have to be so damn complicated?

[As a sidenote, Jeff usually covers for me when I attend most media events.  But because this one was sort of last minute and in the middle of the day, I foolishly thought I could easily get a babysitter.]

I ranted about the whole scenario via my Facebook status, but still, I felt so disappointed.  I’ve had all day and night to think about this and I’ve come to terms that I can’t be upset.

Public transportation is a wonderful thing, though when you missed one connection, you’re screwed.  I know this all too well.  The sitter, who lost her job as a programmer 2 months ago, really is a nice person.  Not to mention, Jack immediately warmed up to her.  Even people he knows get a 5 minute Jack warm up buffer!  How could I be mad when, of all people, I know to expect the unexpected.

Like my cousin wisely said to me when I called her to whine about my day, all of this happened because, for some reason, I wasn’t meant to attend that event.

It’s not the end of the world if I miss an event due to things out of my control.  If I learned anything today, I’ve learned to forgive and forget. I’ll likely email the sitter later today to see if we can have a do-over.  I’m a big believer in second chances.

And oh yes, the scrubbing of the stovetop in preparation for a babysitter?  Yeah, I learned that the stuff I normally put off, it can always wait until tomorrow. Aim low, it’ll leave less room for disappointment.

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Smelling the flowers

This email greeted me in my inbox a few weeks ago, but life has been too crazy to blog about it until now. Things haven’t slowed down, but instead, I’m taking the time to get to get back to basics and make myself write my thoughts out—the whole reason why I started blogging in the first place.

My Toddler This Week

Hello, Jen!
Have an hour to kill? Ditch the stroller and let your toddler lead you on a walk around the block. You’ll be amazed at how many times your curious explorer will stop to check out small objects such as an interesting rock, a dead leaf, or a parade of ants. Your toddler isn’t trying to drive you crazy by dawdling. To him, the journey is as exciting as the destination, and the small details of the world are irresistible.

Still trying to juggle all of this, I caught myself forgetting my priorities, and sometimes losing my temper because I just couldn’t be “bothered.”

All I could think about this email was, how appropriate!

The kid’s journey and my journey?  It’s all the same.  The main difference, however, is that we’re just trying to grasp the unique details of our world on the way to our destination.

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NKT, and the opportunities that are coming about because of it, has me constantly on the go. When some people ask what I “do” and then I tell them that I’ve transitioned to a blogger and freelance writer, I always get THE look: the facial expression that dispels my/our choice to leave my old job (that, btw, negatively affected every fiber of my being for years.) It’s also the look that says, “Oh, so, really, you’re just a stay at home mom that has a website.”

Sure, if that’s what you want to call it.

I kind of think of it as, I’m a mom, who together with her hubs, decided that taking a risk to follow my passion was invaluable. (with many, many sacrifices involved)  But also, I’m a mom that writes because it’s what I “do.”

Just like Jack dances and dances then runs and then explores?  It’s what he does.

But we do it, because it’s what’s right, it’s what makes us happy and it’s what makes sense.

As I get all caught up in the moment with this conference, travel plans, writing, blogging, networking, it’s easy to lose focus.  It’s easy to forget that I’m a mom with a kid who needs her FIRST.

As a reminder for myself: when he begs to explore and I resist because I’m worried about the repercussions, it’s not because he’s being irrational, but instead, it’s because the journey is as exciting as the destination.

smelling the flowers

We’ll get there—eventually.  But (literally) taking time to smell the flowers and pick up rocks?  It’s the most important part of the whole experience.

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