Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Somebody Turn Off the Wave Machine

They're coming at me faster than I can handle and for the past two days I've been forgetting to breathe.  I'm thankful for the upcoming long weekend and hope to make enough headway so the thought that I should be working doesn't creep in and ruin my break.

In the midst of all the fun at work I'm still on the phone to insurance providers and doctor's offices about medical claims from Kate's birth.  I'm thinking this current issue is a case of things crossing in the mail but I hate to get these notices that say "you're account is seriously past due.  please remit immediately".  Know what I hate even more?  I hate taking time from my busy day to call the insurance company and have them tell me that there had never been a claim for the amount in question.  Who's crazy here?  Deep Breath....Aaaaah that feels good!

If I keep thinking happy thoughts of my precious babies I can get through anything!

Funny note - I asked Jeff if he was remembering to put Kate's fresh bottles in the fridge at daycare behind any bottle that may have been left over from the previous day.  His response:  I worked at a grocery store for 10 years, what an absurd question!  At least some simple things are working as they should.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Weekend Highlights

Discovering SuperTarget had to be the best of the weekend.  Jackson going with me was very fun and finding his new Spiderman dishes and cutlery made it a special thing.  The kids were all fun this weekend and with Alex's help Jackson discovered a sense of achievement in going on the potty.  He may wear that Finding Nemo underwear yet!

I made it to Mass yesterday.  I managed not to obsess about the work stuff I didn't finish on Friday and just took the weekend off from it all.  Katherine rolled over again.  This would be the second time she's performed this new trick.  Have I mentioned recently what a joy she is?  What a tremendous gift to be lucky enough to be her Mommy!

Jackson's shelf went up - thank you Jeff!  Now his room is "done" but I still maybe want to get some more things for the walls.  I think I will hold on that until something really cool strikes my fancy.  The desk in my room got put back together and so with the computer phone jack I can set up to work in there and don't have to move my stuff at dinnertime, won't have all my work papers on the kitchen table, can keep the printer there vs. the dining room, etc.  Not an ideal location to set up work and I'm nervous about it upsetting the feng shui balance I've tried to create in there but on the other hand I view my room as my haven, my oasis, my secure and comfy place, my nest.  I've been feeling a lot of "if only I could do this up in my room" as far as journaling, etc. goes.  I'm liking this idea.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

R.I.P. Ruby

My beta fish died yesterday. Poor Ruby looked totally gross there in the bowl but I had to clean him out of there before Jackson saw it.  So the bowl is clean and the snal is in there by herself and no one has noticed the fish is missing.  Such a sad testimonial to Ruby's life.  I'm tempted to stop at PetSmart for another beta today but not sure if I should observe a suitable period of mouring first.  Is a day long enough for a fish who was with us for a year and a half?

In another matter I got about half as much done at the crop last night than I would have if I'd really prepared and taken the stuff I needed to finish Jackson's book or start the book that will have my baby pictures juxtaposed with Jackson's to highlight the fact that he looks so much like I did as a youngster.  It was nice to get out of the house with time to devote to the photos and scrapbooks.  I'm thrilled Maureen and I have discovered each other and are becoming good friends and Allison is the perfect consultant and hostess as far as I'm concerned.

Lots of errands today and oh, there goes that laundry pileup again!  I'm enjoying Jeff's homemade cornbread (we eat it with butter & honey) and a hot cup of home brewed Starbuck's coffee.  I'm invited to a Tatouage Party at the home of a former neighbor but don't know whether I'll be able to swing all I have to do and going.

I really don't want to say it and not do it and I'm a little, what shall I call it, ashamed, that I am thinking of going to Mass tomorrow just to meet the new pastor who I've just learned is a good friend of a good friend.  Or shall I say "whatever works" and get my butt to the church on time? 

Sunday, August 22, 2004

It's a Glorious Day

The day is hot but dry and the sun is shining.  jackson is out playing in his little pool.  We're having friends over this afternoon and although I power shopped yesterday of course there are a handful of things I still need so I'll be at the supermarket AGAIN today. 

But I slept in - until nearly 10:00 - and Jeff brought breakfast in bed.  I cleaned up the kitchen and family room and he took Jackson outside.  Kate is swinging and snoozing. 

I'm off to tidy the powder room (aka the cat box), shower, then start getting some stuff ready for the afternoon meal.  We're having steak and shrimp (friend is a vegetarian); a salad with romaine, tomato, sharp provolone, red onion, and pesto, corn on the cob and mojitos.  I finally found some fresh mint at the store.  I've been regretting ripping out all of my spearmint and peppermint but it was taking over my life out there.  I do need to have some planted in a container so that I have it when I need it. 

I'm thinking a lot about my sister again.  A friend saw her at a reunion event a few weeks ago and just mentioned it to me on Friday.  I said I guess it's a good thing I didn't go to the event as it would have ruined Val's day.  Then I summed it up for her by saying that my sister hates my guts and I get the impression that my mere existence is an annoyance to her.  God forbid I should approach her to try to re-establish lines of communication for the sake of family and our children.  Anyway, it just makes me sad.  I guess she's also in my thoughts because I turned myself on to the FlyLady and right away knew that it's a system that Val would really dig.  Turns out she is into it, according to Mom, and I would just love to be able to pick up the phone and give her a call and ask her if her sink is shiny and her lace up shoes are tied on....I really do miss her and contrary to the advice of caring friends I cannot just forget her.

p.s.  the dogs had better learn how to drink out of Jackson's pool because he thinks their water dish is a pool toy and is contantantly dumping it out...woof!

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Tell Me Something Good

The date is set and the godparents are Dillon & Rachel.  Jeff and I are thrilled with this choice.  Invitations are in the mail. 

Work is going well.  I've cleaned out about half of the 350 emails in my mailbox and have a whole slew of new candidates interviewing next week.  Our new coordinator is working out fabulously and is a huge help in getting things done!  The recruiting gods are smiling upon me at the moment.

I have put my toe into the pool of FlyLady and am loving it so far.  Over the weekend I will explore the menu planning stuff and may have to issue an ultimatum to hubby that he eats seafood every so often or else because I hear that following the menu plans works best when you follow the menu plans and don't try to freelance...we'll see about that.

For right now I have to dash off to Target and the supermarket to get the things done that I would normally have taken care of during the week so that I could flit around the house on Saturday a.m.  Off I go to get dressed and fly out of here! 

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

I need to get back to bed. I'm up after feeding the baby. I feel asleep in Jackson's bed and never got up to finish addressing the invitations for the Christening. Also, I never called Dillon to ask him to be Kate's godfather. Rachel said she would love to be Kate's godmother so Jeff and I are feeling really good about this decision to have the kids be godparents. I feel like I could start
my work day right here and now as I'm up and functioning but my hand is somewhat numb so I think I need to go get some more rest. I finally went to ask the dr. about the hand thing as I don't think it's carpal tunnel. He is having me get it x-rayed. I should have walked right over to the radiology place after my appt. with him yesterday but I needed to get to the office.
Baby steps. That's what FlyLady encourages and it applies everywhere, especially to this over 40 new mom returning to work after 2nd baby.
I was feeling really confident about the stability of my job at the moment but now I'm not so sure. I had a conversation with a colleague yesterday and learned that the oursourcing of jobs to India is impacting HR in that we have reduced HR headcount in proportion to the number of jobs going to India. There are a few HR opportunities to work in India but not everyone is in a position to go for those.
However, for the moment we are hiring like gangbusters at higher levels in tax and I think my clients prefer their recruiter to be in front of them on the ground. Not so sure they wouldn't want to make do with less and have a one stop shopping arrangement with HR manager and recruiter in one though. I couldn't be that person but the new HR manager could very well be....and they are trying this model out in Boston. Just a thought.
Going back to bed now.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Here We Go Again

mom coffee cupMonday a.m. I woke before the alarm.  Actually, Piggers woke me but I recall thinking that I should get up to pump because I felt uncomfortable and I didn't know what time it was.  It was just before 6:00 a.m. so after feeding and changing her I came downstairs to release the hounds, have some breakfast, and check in.  I decided to let the coffeemaker turn itself on as it is programmed and I think it's very cool that it just starts making my coffee for me.  It's so rare that I'm down here at 6 to hear it start.  Last night I did my best to get everything together for this morning...my briefcase, Kate's bottles, Kate's & Jackson's blankets for school, their tuition check, check for Susana, the everpresent breastpump,

I find myself all excited this a.m .because Susana comes today.  It's been two weeks. We cut her back to every other week when the two kids in daycare full time cash outlay began.  It's so nice to come home to a house that's been cleaned all at once vs. one room at a time so by the time you're done you can't tell where you started because it's starting to get messy again.  The amount daycare costs each week still hasn't fully sunken in with me.  Jeff and I really need to reconfigure the way we handle our cash and expenses.  (Ha!  Like there's any cash after the expenses!)

Alex is sitting across from me as I type, eating a bowl of cereal.  She has her hair in pink foam curlers.  Remember pink foam curlers?  She'd put them in last night after her shower.  She'll be swimming today so that will be it for the curls but she's going to look very cute when she leaves for the Y this morning. 

Okie Dokie...it's 6:30...time to unload the dishwasher and get the business part of this day started!

Sunday, August 15, 2004

What's That Smell?

Jackson has a pair of sandals that he wears every day.  Last week they finally succumbed to whatever sweatmonster has been working on the plastic bottoms all summer.  They reek!  I've tried washing them with hot soapy water and spraying with Lysol but you can smell them from across the room AND they make poor prince's feet smell terrible....it's mid-August - do I throw them away and go buy another pair?  Yesterday I took them off to change his diaper and get him ready for his nap...he wanted to take the sandals into bed with him.  Ewww. 

I took a nice nap also as I'd had a busy morning with the girls.  Alex and I took Katherine to have her first studio portraits and it went off without a hitch.  Baby girl's pretty white dress fit perfectly.  She held her silver rattle, she smiled, she looked radiant.  Next it was off to Hecht's to try (again) to exchange the fluffy white snowsuit from Uncle Stephen for a larger size.  I may as well just make the trip to Montgomery Mall because none of the Hecht's in VA have these suits out on the floor yet.  You'd think Maryland was the Great White North or something.  I'm trying again tomorrow in Tysons after work. 

Next, we took my sapphire bracelet back to the jeweler to have the missing stone replaced.  I was hoping against hope that it was under some type of warranty and I lucked out.  The jeweler examined it with the loop, determined there had been no trauma, and said they would replace the stone for no charge.  YES! 

Finally, we stopped at Papyrus and found invitations for Kate's Christening.  I lucked out as I don't think that's a common thing and I waited until the last minute to finalize plans for the event.  We doing it on September 19 and haven't even decided who the godparents will be. 

It's hard to concentrate around here lately because the house is in a messy uproar.  Jackson is "cleaning out" his toybox at the moment and the whole family room is strewn with toys.  There is "stuff" all over the kitchen island and glasses & cereal bowls in the sink.  We have a week's worth of newspapers here and there and the front hall has at least 6 pairs of shoes, assorted mail, etc. etc.  Our room is also a big mess and I have the ironing board set up in the guest room/Kate's room, along with the last piece of the bassinet that I can't figure out how to disassemble, and the big suitcase full of infant boy stuff that I'm returning to Stacey...

Oh and the cat has returned full force to using the corner in the living room as a litter box.  I am off to Petsmart for a gallon of Nature's Miracle to dump there.  Thank goodness Susana & Sarah are coming to clean tomorrow.  I need to get her a new key.  So the plan is to have a few more gulps of my coffee, clean up this kitchen, throw in a load of wash, shower, then head for Home Depot to get keys made and then stop at the pet store.  I will take Jax with me as I think he will find the key making thing to be of interest.   Let's not even get into the chores that await when I return from that as listing them will probably send me back under the covers....and Sunday is supposed to be a day of REST.  I will shoot for getting myself to Mass next week.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

The Best Thing

The best thing about going back to work is picking up the kids...Jackson lets out a little squeal of delight when he sees me and comes barreling over to me.  Kate gives me her big smile, making sure to show off her dimple.  I just want to inhale them sometimes.  I guess the next best thing would be that more than a few people have said they're REALLY glad I'm back...as in now things will finally start moving again.  Our region is the fastest growing of 9 in the country and we're hiring for tax like crazy.  I just love a good frenzy...So as the 2nd week winds down I have my hands on maybe 30% of what I'll ultimately be doing.  I've been to the DC office twice in two weeks...usually it's that many times in a year that I have to be there, and I've been working from home two days.  Next, I must plan a trip to the Philly office to bond with the partners there.  That's usually a big love-fest.

Monday, August 9, 2004

Ding Ding...Round Two

Day 1 Week 2 and I start it off by turning off the 6 a.m. alarm and sleeping until 7:30.  Not a good thing when I'm due to present at new hire orientation at 8:45.  Then I couldn't find my car keys which also had my office keys...big panic, I'm hot, I'm sweating, I'm yelling, my feet hurt.  I find the keys inside the car.  I move my presentation to later in the a.m. and conduct my 9:30 meeting via cell phone from the car on the way in.  I deliver the 20 min. presentation in 6 minutes.  The new hires must think I'm a total basket case...and I'm holed up in my office for the remainder of the day, emerging only to search for food (luckily we bring in breakfast & lunch on orientation days), go to the ladies room, and do what I have to do in the mother's lounge.  I find it easier not to postpone the pumping if I set certain times that I will go.  I know I need a certain amount for Kate the next day and I have to do it so I just make myself do it.  Otherwise, I could be glued in my chair all day and not do it at all.  So I picked the kids up at 5:00, had a glass of wine, threw together a dinner....the baby fell fast asleep after nursing twice so I escaped to the garden to harvest some roses.  The one rose I have, called Heaven On Earth, is truly divine.  It's really dense like a peony and the scent is, well, it's heavenly.  I watered the hanging baskets with the geraniums, trimmed back the basil, watered the tomatoes, and brought in some black-eyed susans.  Something is going on in that veggie garden that isn't quite right...actually several things.  First, I think there is this stockpile of Miracle Gro or something because the basil and one of the tomato plants are out of control.  Then, apparently Chloe has stomped all over that eggplant that's really a pepper so I had to cut it way back.  Finally, my cucumber plant disappeared.  There is an empty space where it was last time I checked and it had a few little cucumbers.  Now it's gone.  I think I need to get a nanny cam going out there.  I know Chloe (aka big fat bad doggie) helps herself to a green tomato every morning and probably stomped the pepper plant...but the disappearing cukes are a real mystery.

Tomorrow is another boring day in the office (yeah, right!) but the excitement starts again on Wednesday when I'm scheduled to be downtown again for the day....

Sunday, August 8, 2004

Ree's Birthday

Kate and I made it to New Jersey and back for the party.  What fun to see a friend from long ago (notice I didn't say old friend...we're the same age) and spend some quality time on her actual birthday, no less.  I think that after 40 everyone should start throwing themselves birthday parties.  It was a fabulous Fall-like day and just a warm and wonderful good time with Ree and her family including sisters and Mom.  Katherine was a big hit as she was an angel baby, gave everyone big big smiles, & had on an adorable outfit right down to the matching sweater and blanket....this is always a big hit in my crowd.  It was a bit of a stretch driving home afterward as I was very tired but my mind was very active after reconnecting with old friends AND two different radio stations had on 70's dance party type programs so Piggers and I did the disco thing all the way back to Virginia. 

Saturday, August 7, 2004

New Journal Title

I'm thinking this may be the title of the book I will write one day.  One of those nonsense books a la Erma Bombeck. 

Today Piggers and I are taking a roadtrip to South Jersey to visit my college chum for her birthday.  Jeff and Wonderboy are staying home.  This should be interesting.

Planes, Trains, Automobiles...and Buses

+++ transportation clipart bus

This falls under the category of "things that make me crazy".  The thing is public transportation.  Don't get me wrong--it's a great thing but it makes me crazy when I have to use it.  Ok, so an automobile isn't public transportation but it factors into the story when you have to drive to make your connection, right?  It's all connected! 

So, on Thursday I had to be in the downtown DC office for training.  For those who don't live in a major metro area like Washington, having the 4th worst traffic IN THE COUNTRY,  remember that show Murphy Brown?  Remember they used to drive into work together?  Well that would be because of HOV restrictions on roads leading into the city and why I had to take public transportation on Thursday. 

Let's begin with the bus (btw, there is no plane in this story, that's just the title)  I start out by falling back to sleep after the alarm went off thereby cutting my getting ready for work time in half and let me mention that when I researched this wonderful new county bus that picks you up within a half mile of my house and takes you to the train station I found two different pick up times listed.  Let's just say that I should have believed it was the earier time AND that the bus would be right on the dot.  So there I am caught at the light across the street from the shopping center where the bus pulls in, I'm pulled up so far my FRIGGING MINIVAN doesn't trip the light, and the the bus departs.  For a brief time I am behind, then in front of, then next to the FRIGGING BUS on the road to the train station.  Let me take a step back.  I was preparing to take the bus because the new thing at the Metro stations is that you need a smartcard to park there.  They no longer accept cash.  But I can't get a smartcard because SOME MORON underordered smartcards and there are none to be had.  So I decide to take a chance that some Metro parking lots are taking cash so folks without smartcards can park. Maybe I'm right, maybe I'm wrong.  So I head to the Merrifield Metro station and learn that they are not accepting cash.  Why didn't I borrow Fern's smartcard when she offered it?  Why did I go to Merrifield instead of W. Falls?  Because I had the bus thing all figured out, that's why.  Now I develop my Plan C right there on the spot.  Plan C was to drive to my office, located midway between the Merrifield station and the West Falls Metro, park there & take a taxi to the station.  Do I need to tell you upon arrival at W. Falls I learn they are accepting cash?  No?  You figured that out already?  Finally I'm on the right track, literally and figuratively.  Everything is right with hhe world excluding my feet. The shoes I wore chewed blisters into my heels while I hustled to the train platform.  That's what I get for running around barefoot for the past 3 months, right?  So now I'm hobbling down the hill from Metro Center to the office, dragging my computer in a rollie bag behind me (thank God for rollie bags), with my purse and breast pump (Medela Pump In Style, btw) banging against my hip.  Let's summarize what I've learned:

1.  RecruitSoft - that's what I was there for, after all

2.  The bus really does come at 6:50 a.m.

3.  Do not look a gift smartcard in the mouth.  Borrow Fern's for next time

4.  It's time to throw those black flats in the trash

5.  I'm not smart enough to take public transportation?

6.  The receptionist at 12th St is new but she does have a first aid kit at her desk

7.  I can now get to the ladies room AND the mother's lounge without getting lost.

I am all ready to try it again on Wednesday!




Wednesday, August 4, 2004

Beauty Rest

Last night Jackson did not want to go to sleep.  Just before 10:00 pm I left him in his room saying I was going to change into my p.j.'s and go to sleep myself....I came downstairs for a popcicle and to talk to Jeff.  Next thing I knew Jackson was calling me from the top of the stairs.  We had an exchange about him needing to go to sleep.  A short time later it got quiet and I went upstairs to find........

Jackson on my bed, comforter drawn back, sitting amongst the pillows, watching t.v. and PAINTING HIS TOENAILS!!!  It was so amazing--his technique was so good--tht I could not be upset with him.  He did not get one drop on the sheets, go figure.  If ever there was a reason to go around with the video camera in my hand this was it!  Oh, and he looks up and says "Hi Mom!"  His big toe was totally pale pink!


Monday, August 2, 2004


I am so digging this blue font these days. 

Got up this a.m., got the kids & myself ready to roll, dropped them off at daycare, and got to the office at a reasonable hour....no knot in my stomach, no dry mouth, no anxious feeling.  I did what I had to do in the office, had lunch with a new colleague, pumped twice, and picked up the kids at daycare by 3:30.  I was exhausted shortly after hitting home but caught a mini 2nd wind.  Kate must have exhausted herself being cute all day because she has nursed twice but fell asleep shortly after coming home and is out like a light.  I think Jeff fell asleep in Jackson's bed during the snuggling that follows the story reading.  I'm glad for a little quiet but awake time.  This going back to work after maternity leave is much less stressful the second time around.  I did miss angel baby but had her picture hung right above my computer before I did anything else today.  Jackson's mug is already plastered all over my office.  I am one proud Momma!

Work will be making me crazy by week's end, no doubt about it.  Maybe I am already crazy because I told the boss today that I am not getting spun up about things anymore because no matter how much I put into what I do it's always too little too late and I have no control over whether people we hire turn out to be giant assholes after they look so good on paper and interview well, etc., nor do I have control of whether they're happy once they get here....no my yob!  Anyway, I said I'm letting this get to me anymore.  If I get so upset that I think I'm going to lose it I'll just quit.  To put it into context recruiting is crazy busy right now for us, I've been out 14 weeks and he's been doing my job, plus his own, plus, plus, plus...  He knows I'm a true blue loyal person and love the firm and just said that for effect.  ha ha @@

Anyway, it was nice to come back to an uncluttered office.  The time I took to really clean house before I left has paid off!  I also feel like the slate is clean and I can make a fresh start before things get bogged down in the inevitable messes they do that it is my job to sort out as the recruiter.  People actually think this stuff is easy.  Hah!  The process looks fine on paper but you have to remember those are human beings behind the "interviewer" and "interviewee" and the "hiring manager".  People change their minds, they cancel, they have unreasonable expectations, they get (I just love this term) squirrely.  Why do I love what I do?  It's in my blood, I guess.  Maybe that's why my friend Kathy calls me Clarke the Shark?