The Leisure Time of a Mom

June 17, 2010 at 2:40 pm (Eating Out, Family, House, Marriage, Opinion, Parenting, Shopping, Sleep, Toddler, Uncategorized)

As I was catching up on my DVR last night, I came across an episode of Dr. Phil which was very interesting.   There was a study conducted by a sociologist at the University of Maryland which claims that moms have an extra 30-40 hours of leisure time a week!! HUH?  He counts things that I would not necessarily include in “leisure time”.  Things like waiting for a tow truck, going to the dentist, etc doesn’t that sound leisurely?  Normally I would think that leisure time involves a beach, a frozen drink, a cabana boy to bring me said drink, and someone trustworthy watching my daughter so that I can actually relax!!!!

I am a stay at home mom.  Relaxing right?  No need to wake up early, get dressed, schlep my daughter to school, sit in traffic, work, then do it all backwards?  My “job” is taking care of my 2 year old.  I am on call all the time.  It does not end.  The time that I can sneak away to check emails is peppered with calls of “Mommy!!!” or little hands on the keyboard.  Maybe I can check emails or facebook from my iphone right?  Well, as soon as she sees me pull that out, she wants to play with it – so out of my hands it goes.  Getting her dressed is a battle, getting myself dressed is done with one ear constantly making sure I don’t hear any crashes or screaming from the other room where she’s playing.  Driving in a car included listening to Mickey or Laurie Berkner, don’t get me wrong, I love Laurie but I really do miss driving along singing to MY music! Then there are the books strewn around the back of my car which she wants.  I go shopping!! that’s leisure right?  Pushing a stroller through a mall at warp speed.  if I’m lucky I can avert her eyes to something else while we pass the Disney Store or Build A Bear otherwise the screaming ensues and invariably we walk out with a new Mickey “thing” or a new bear.   IF I get to shop for myself it’s while entertaining her with stickers, snacks, or my iphone.  making sure she doesn’t grab things off racks, this is all if she’s in a good mood.  If she’s not is a good mood – all bets are off.  I will normally just have to hightail it out of the mall while she is screaming and trying to imitate houdini and escape from her stroller.   I also get to eat out – yay!? No leisurely lunch for me anymore.  Hurrying to order for me and for Alexis.  Keeping her entertained with crayons or whatever until the food arrives.  First getting her food ready, making sure it’s not too hot, cutting things into toddler sized pieces.  Then I scarf down my food with half my attention on her, my mommy reflexes always on edge ready to jump and prevent any spills or splashes, or if it’s a really fun lunch – anything from being launched.  Ok she’s done eating, let’s get the check, clean her off and go.  That was so relaxing!!!!

Back home.  Play time again.  This is where I can maybe jump on the computer again with the “mommy!” cries in the background or the little hands on the keyboard.  Then it’s naptime.  Ahhhhh.  Nap time.  Time for me to relax!!!! Wait – what’s that I hear?  Oh she doesn’t want to sleep.  She’s wants up.  But she’s so tired, why won’t she just fall asleep!!??!!  Ok so an hour later of tears, bribes, rocking, singing, and sometimes driving in a car she is asleep.  Ok, now I can relax.  But I’m so terrified of waking her that I need to  make sure that any TV I watch is so low that I almost need to read lips.  And I really do need to get around to the laundry and washing the dishes, and oh yeah maybe catch up on a tv show also.  No matter what I’m doing I am always listening to the monitor and therefore my “leisure time” is always tempered with the knowledge that at best she will sleep for 3 hours, but more than likely it will be 2 hours.

She’s up.  This is usually the most difficult part of the day.  From the time she wakes up from her nap until bedtime.  She still wants to play but is usually more cranky than the pre-nap hours.  I have to figure out what’s for dinner and try to cook while keeping her away from anything that could be dangerous in the kitchen.  When Marc is in town he will come home right before dinner time so then there are 2 of us.  When he’s home he will handle her bath after dinner while I clean up the kitchen and table.  If he’s not home, then it’s all me.  Then bedtime.  This is unpredictable.  She can be a great sleeper and go right to sleep, but then there are other nights where it’s a battle of wills and could take up to an hour to fall asleep.  An hour much like nap time, she doesn’t just lie there contentedly listening to music when she doesn’t want to be there.  Most of the time she falls asleep with no problem, but every few months there is a phase, it lasts anywhere from 10 days – 2 weeks where it’s every night that she cries and does not want to sleep.  Last night, I was alone with her and by the time she fell asleep it was 9:20.  Usually I don’t eat dinner with her, I wait until she’s asleep.  So last night, I found myself having a PB&J at 9:30.  Then trying to straighten up the house.  And, hey maybe a shower.  That’s leisure right?  Yeah I’m laughing too.  The shower with the monitor on the bathroom counter.  Then and only then can I relax finally.  Again, always with the monitor and always listening.  So, I stay up late because it’s the only quiet time I get just for me.

Even sleep is not the same anymore.  I’m sure that all moms can attest to this.  Once you become a mom, you just don’t sleep as soundly because part of your subconscious is always listening to the monitor, ready to spring up at any moment.  Hopefully, she sleeps fitfully and fully through the night, but hey you never know.  She could wake up in the middle of the night and go right back to sleep or she may not.  I may bring her to bed with me because I’m too tired to fight this battle and then I have little feet kicking me and sleep is definitely compromised.  So, you see, even when I can do things “of leisure” it’s not really.  It’s always in little snippets and with a million other things floating around in my brain.

What about vacations or when I go out to dinner with a friend?  Well, not the same either.  Gone are the carefree days of really getting away.  Because, I am always thinking of Alexis and what she should be doing at the time or if she’s ok.  I will get calls and texts with updates and/or questions.  So, even those times when i do get away, my mind is not completely away.  I may not have a “job”, but I definitely work.  My job is a 24 hour a day one.  One that will be like this for as long as I can imagine.  So, please clarify your 30-40 hours of leisure time a week that I week, Mr. Sociologist, I’m not sure that you fully understand the job of a mom.

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A new decade has begun… can we go back?

January 2, 2010 at 10:49 am (Family, Friends, Marriage, Uncategorized)

This is a blog post I didn’t think I would be writing.  This is not a reality I thought I would be facing.  It should not be.  People my age should not be widows.  It’s not right.  Little 2 year old boys should not lose fathers.  Something in the universe did not work properly yesterday to allow this to happen.

My friend Gary had been battling Lymphoma courageously and had completed his course of chemo.   He was declared basically cancer-free.  He and his wife, Samantha believed they were in the home stretch of their battle.

Until Christmas Day.  Of all days.

Samantha had to take Gary to the ER believing that he was suffering from dehydration and needed IV fluids.  Never in her worst nightmares did she think that he would not walk out of the hospital, like he had done numerous times before.  Nothing prepared her for the week that would follow.  Gary was taken from the ER to ICU in kidney failure and diagnosed with pneumonia.  He did not show symptoms of being so sick.  The night before he was having fun at a Christmas Eve celebration with friends!  It came out of left field.  From there the roller coaster began- no need to detail the ups and downs that would become the way of life for Sam in the coming week.  She spent the final minutes of 2009 holding his hand welcoming in a new year, a new decade.  When she went home, she believed that New Year’s Day would be a new day.  She did not imagine the phone would ring in the early dawn hours.  She did not expect the call from the hospital to come right away.

When my phone rang before 7am and I saw the caller ID, I knew it wasn’t good.  I was at the hospital in minutes.  As I was walking into ICU as I had done several times in the past week, I heard it.  I heard crying.  Not just sad cries.  The cries of something tragic.  I knew.  I didn’t need to be told.  My friend Sam had just become a widow, Gary’s mother had lost her only child.  They, along with Sam’s mom, were destroyed.  It was a terrible scene.

Now the really hard part begins for Sam.  Planning a funeral for her 33 year-old husband.  Picking up the pieces.  Starting a new life as a single mom.  Raising her son without his dad.  I, along with so many other friends, will be by her side helping to support her and helping her figure out her new place, but it will not be easy.  And it’s not something that I thought that one of my friends would have to go through.

Gary will be missed.  He was very smart, funny, caring, kind.  He was a wonderful husband to Samantha and an excellent father to Mikey.

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Disney Recap

December 17, 2009 at 10:12 pm (Baby, Eating Out, Family, Holidays, Marriage, Parenting, Sleep, Travel) (, , , )

This was the 6th year that Marc and I had been to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas and the 2nd time for Alexis.  We started a tradition the first year we went of buying an ornament and having it personalized with our names, we have gotten one every year since.  We brought along the 2 grandmothers this year, my mom and marc’s mom.  My mom had come with us last year but it was the first time for marc’s mom.  This year was a lot more fun for Alexis than last year.  She loves Playhouse Disney and Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, etc.  As soon as we got close to the park she started seeing the Disney logo everywhere and yelling “MINNIE! MICKEY!” This continued in the park.  She absolutely loved everything we saw and did.  She was mesmerized by It’s a Small World and was just pointing and looking at everything.  The carousel was another big hit.  She kept saying “mas, mas” (more) b/c she wanted to keep riding.  Minnie’s house was also a lot of fun.  She sat at Minnie’s table and “had tea” she loved opening the fridge.  But, the most fun thing was watching the cake rise and fall in the oven continually.  Every time the cake fell, she would say, “uh-oooh”.  Over and over.  We were cracking up.  When she met Minnie, she nuzzled up to her.  She loved her, it was so sweet.  Unfortunately the line for Mickey was waaaaay too long so we didn’t wait.  We went to eat at the Cosmic Cafe where they have a DJ and Pluto and Goofy were there dancing.  Alexis loved it.  She was not shy at all, pushed her way past all the bigger kids, shaking her butt and poked Pluto in the back so that he would turn around and dance with her.  I kid you not.  Then when she was dancing with Goofy she bent down and touched his foot, almost like making sure he was real.

The fireworks show which is honestly the real reason that i continue to go year after year was amazing.  Alexis also was mesmerized and kept saying “ooooh” to all the pretty lights.We went into more than one store and she would just run from one thing to the next, picking up all the stuffed toys and hugging them.  We are now the proud owners of a lot of Disney stuff – a Tinkerbell light up spinning thing (I’m sure it has a better name), several t-shirts, a Minnie purse, a huge Mickey and Minnie – most of this wwas thanks to my mom, except the large Mickey which was Marc’s mom, we also got her countless stickers, or “stickies” as she calls them, which are her new obsession.  By this point she was getting very very tired and cranky.  She had not napped at all, we had hoped she would sleep in the car on the drive up but that didn’t happen.  So she passed out in her stroller around 10:30.  If she hadn’t fallen asleep the plan was that the grandmas would have taken her back to the hotel early.  We went on a few more adult rides, picked up our ornament, had some cookies and hot chocolate, by the time the park closed at midnight we were dragging and ready for bed.

The hotel was another story.  We thought it would be nice to stay in a cabin in Ft Wilderness so we could all stay together.  Eh, not so much.  I guess it’s nice if you have a big family and are staying for a while, but for an overnight I didn’t like it.  It’s definitely rustic.  Not awful, I have stayed in much worse places.  The transportation is a bit time consuming.  There are buses that take you around the resort itself.  We take a bus from our cabin to the docks where we then board a ferry for the Magic Kingdom.  By the time we did the reverse and got back to our hotel, it was after 1am.  Alexis thankfully fell right back to sleep after I put her in her PJs and put her down in the pack n play.  I didn’t think she would sleep in there but she did, she must have been so exhausted that she would have slept anywhere!

So the next day we headed to Downtown Disney for some (more) shopping.  Marc and I got our fix at the candy store of the chocolate covered marshmallows.   Those are so good.  I’m going to have to learn to make them, how tough can it be really?

So all in all we had a wonderful trip.  And it was so different to be able to see everything with Alexis, it really makes the Magic Kingdom more magical.

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Vacation journal – CA Wine Country and Canadian Rockies

October 7, 2009 at 12:23 pm (Eating Out, Marriage, Shopping, Travel, Weather) (, , , , , , )

I know I haven’t blogged in a long time, but I some very good excuses!! We moved into our new house (pics to follow in a future post), we were out of town for 10 days (subject of this post).

Marc had a conference in Sonoma, CA followed a week later by one in Banff, Canada so we decided to make a vacation out of it.  It was wonderful!!

CALIFORNIA: It was hot, hot, hot in Sonoma and Napa.  I’m talking 102 degrees hot.  Dry heat that makes your skin feel like it’s cracking.  But only during the day.  At night and in the mornings was cool enough that I needed a jacket and long sleeves.   We stayed in Sonoma at the conference hotel – nothing special but it was not bad.   We arrived on a Thursday into San Francisco and rented a car, stopped in Sausalito for lunch and some walking around.   Marc realized that he forgot his jacket so we also stopped to buy him a new one.  Our first night in Sonoma we went to  John Ash & Co. for dinner – it was amazing!! I wish I could have been more awake.  After being awake until very late the night before and only sleeping for 3 hours b/c of an early flight then factoring in the 3 hour time change, I was ready to put my head down on the table and nap.  The food really was excellent though!  The next day, Marc worked in the morning and I slept.  My fantasies about going to a spa were quickly taken over by my exhaustion.   I relaxed in our room – read a bit, and slept off and on until he was done working around 3.   We then headed to Healdsburg mainly b/c my favorite winery has its tasting room there – La Crema.  It is a cute and charming little town.  We walked around for a bit, had some wine then went back to our hotel.  For dinner we went to Johnny Garlic’s – the restaurant co-owned by Food Network’s Guy Fieri.  I am a huge fan of his so I had to try it out.  Loved it! It’s family style casual but with an upscale feel.  The menu selections are what you would expect at a family style restaurant, but with a twist.  We asked our waitress about Guy and she said that he is in the restaurant all the time.  He lives in the same town so whenever he’s in town he goes in.  Apparently very nice and friendly.  Saturday we spent touring the Sonoma County wineries.  We stopped for lunch at a restaurant in the town of Sonoma.  We switched hotels to one that was a little closer to the wineries.  For dinner we drove back into Sonoma and ate at The Girl and The Fig – one of the better known Sonoma restaurants and one both of us had been to before.  It did not disappoint – food was excellent.  Sunday we went to the Napa wineries and then drove back to San Francisco and had a casual dinner at a Chinese place near our hotel.

Monday was a wasted day.  We flew to Calgary via Dallas.  Long day of flying.  Seemed silly to go all the way to Dallas to come back up to Calgary but that was the only option.  We got into Calgary late and just rented a car and went to our hotel – all 3 of our meals that day were either in an airport or bought at an airport and eaten on a plane – yum.

CANADA: Tuesday we slept in a little and then headed out of town.  On the way however, we stopped at Olympic Park – the home of the 1988 Winter Olympics, some events anyway.  It was neat to see.  They have the ski jump towers, luge and bobsled tracks, downhill tracks, etc.  Very neat.  It was a bit of a ghost town because they had closed for summer and were waiting for winter.  After that we headed to Lake Louise.  We stopped in Banff for lunch on the way at Melissa’s  – a yummy little place that is apparently a Banff legend, it was very good and we were starving.  After our quick lunch we headed on to lake Louise.  The scenery is amazing.  So different from what we are accustomed to seeing in S. Florida.   We arrived in Lake Louise just in time for the snow to start – flurries at first then a bit harder.  It wasn’t cold enough for it to stick but it was so cool to see.  We were staying at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise – one of the most breathtaking hotels I’ve ever seen.  It reminded me a bit of the Overlook from the Shining and if there was a haunted hotel, this was it for sure.  We had a suite that was dead center in the back of the hotel facing the lake, we had a beautiful, uninterrupted view of the whole lake and the glacier that feeds it.  We walked around the hotel a little then went to a restaurant at the hotel for dinner, Walliser Stube, a Swiss fondue place.  I know you’re thinking fondue?  Like Melting Pot?  No.  This is the 5 star totally kicked up version of fondue.  The concept is similar but so so so much better – there was nothing left when we were done!!!!

The next morning we walked around the lake about halfway.  The weather was beautiful – crisp and clear.  The color of the lake is a beautiful aquamarine.  We then headed up to Jasper.  First we stopped at Lake Moraine which was just down the hill from Lake Louise.  It was freezing.  It was so beautiful there that I really wanted to spend more time but it was so cold and the wind so biting that I just couldn’t, I had to get out of there after not too long.  We then drove to jasper via the Icefields Parkway, the only road to and from Lake Louise and Jasper.  It is a 2 lane road that cuts through the Canadian Rockies.  This road is impassable in the winter, with avalanche warnings every few miles.  Along the way there are glaciers that reach down from high in the Colombia icefields, huge evergreens, beautiful oaks that were changing and were a beautiful gold color, aquamarine lakes and rivers, waterfalls, and snow.  We began to see the snow gathering on the pines and firs – Christmas Trees!  We stopped many times along the way to take pictures.  As we drove into Jasper, we spotted some elk along the side of the highway just hanging out.  We then went to our hotel – another Fairmont, this time the Fairmont Jasper Lodge.  Very different – more of a log cabin inspired resort.  One main building and various outbuildings.  We had a suite on the far end of the property with a fireplace.  Before we went to dinner we tried unsuccessfully to start a fire.  We ate at the hotel, The Moose’s Nook Grill, this was a restaurant with regional cuisine – lots of seafood and meat.  It was very very good – one of the best meals we had eaten to date on the trip.  My maple glazed salmon on a bed of barley was amazing!!!!  After dinner we asked a guy at the concierge desk to help us start a fire and he gladly helped so we had a fire going in our room 🙂

Thursday we began our drive back to Banff.  This time we stopped at a few spots to sightsee.  Athabasca Falls, Sunwapta Falls and we did the Colombia Icefields tour.  This tour takes you from the visitors center to the Athabasca glacier.  We have to go on a specially designed bus with massive wheels.  Once there, the temperature was about 15 degrees Fahrenheit.  Freezing.  And slippery.  We were on ice high up in the mountain.  It was spectacular though.  We then continued on towards Banff.  Our last hotel (so we thought) for the trip was yet another fairmont – this time the famed Fairmont Banff Springs.  Marc checked us in and I was on the phone.  When we was finished he came over to me with the good news – they had upgraded us to the Presidential Suite!! He said the woman who checked him in was surprised too when she saw it.  This is a 1500 sq ft room, high up in the hotel with a private elevator entrance.  I think we were in shock.  The room was huge and spacious, the view was just unbelievable, 360 degrees, the largest room in the hotel and the highest point, also the most expensive, the front desk told us it normally goes for$3500 a night!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Once we thoroughly inspected the room we headed out to the town of Banff for dinner.  The Maple Leaf Grill was another regional cuisine restaurant that served up seafood and meats – we loved it 🙂

Friday was a workday for Marc.  I headed into town for a bit of overpriced shopping.  Banff is a lovely little ski town with a main street filled with shops specially designed for tourists.  Souvenirs, crappy art, and fudge shops.  We only brought home things for Alexis, didn’t even buy ourselves anything.  It was cold and snowy but I really enjoyed walking up and down the streets and stopping in the stores.  Marc had a lunch break so we went to a Greek place for some souvlaki.  Then it was back to work for him and I went up to our room to relax and do some reading.   Once he finished, we headed back into town for a bit before dinner.  We had both read and heard about a restaurant called Bison and were told it was excellent, so we decided to go there for dinner.  The rumors were right – it was very good.  The place focused on locally and regionally grown organic foods and it was so fresh and delicious.  Marc ate bison which is the specialty there and everywhere in the area – all the restaurants have it.  He enjoyed it.  I, however, had salmon – the wild sockeye variety – yum-o!!   It had been snowy off and on all day and was freezing so we were thinking it would be more of the same the next day.

Saturday morning we woke up and opened the curtains to a winter wonderland.  I guess it had been snowing all night b/c everything was white.  It was beautiful.  Everywhere we looked was covered in snow!! We were like kids in a candy store since it’s such a novelty for us.  We got dressed, took some pics of the scenery from our balcony and then off we went.  Our first stop was the hot springs.  The name says it all – hot springs gurgle up from deep in the earth and they have made an attraction out of it.  There is an outdoor pool which is about 97 degrees (F) and people go swimming!!! I took pictures as I stayed bundled in my coat and gloves – no way was i going to get in a bathing suit and go swimming in 30 degree weather!! I’m sure it would have been great, but when I went home with pneumonia, the novelty would have worn off.  The water itself is warm, but the getting in and especially getting out would have been brutal!! And forget getting my hair wet – it would have frozen solid on my head.  I digress – we did not go swimming 🙂  Next we went to the gondola which takes you up to the summit of Sulphur Mountain, elev. 7,486ft.  I do not like heights and I do not like enclosed spaces, so this little gondola ascending up the mountain high above the ground held only by a cable above was a perfect recipe for a panic attack.  Marc really wanted to do this so I agreed, making him swear not to do anything stupid like rock back and forth or make stupid comments about us falling.  So I concentrated on taking deep breaths and not thinking  about what I was doing and I made the 8 minute ride up to the top.  Now that I was there, I seriously considered hiking back down the mountain rather than do it again, but I figured that would be a bad idea.  Once up there we went out on the observation platform and admired the view.  Of course there wasn’t much of a view of Banff since it was snowing pretty heavily and the clouds were low, but it was beautiful.  We went outside and walked along a trail that led to the Cosmic Ray center.  I would have loved to see it – but there were about a million wooden steps leading up to it which were all snow covered, so we opted not to go up.  We went back to the visitors center had a hot chocolate and headed back down in the gondola.  Next we headed into town for lunch at a yummy burger bar which gives you a sheet of paper with lots of options for toppings, cheeses, sauces, buns, even meats.  It was very good.  We walked and shopped some more then went back to our room and relaxed.  This was our last night of vacation (so we thought) and we decided to have a little more casual dinner since we had been going to fancy restaurants almost every night.  We ate at a local Italian place – Giorgio’s which turned out to be really good and just what we wanted!! After dinner we went back to the hotel and packed.

Sunday morning we woke up had breakfast, said goodbye to our fabulous room and checked out.  Our trip home was from Calgary to Dallas then to Miami.  We left the hotel at 10am local time (12noon Miami time) and were scheduled to arrive home at 11pm( Miami time).  We had a tight connection in Dallas – only 40 minutes to make our flight so we knew that if your flight was delayed at all, we would not make it.  It was the last flight from Dallas to Miami for the night and the only flight out of Calgary that was an option for us on American.  So as we got closer to Calgary – we were checking the flight and realized that our plane which was coming from Dallas had not left yet and was held up in Dallas b/c of weather – ruh-roh.  By the time we got to the car  rental place to return the car, we knew that we were going to miss our connection b/c we were now delayed an hour and a half.  We got a call from American telling us that  they had re-routed us on Continental through Houston, leaving in an hour!! A little more notice would have been good.  We hustled inside the terminal to the Continental desk and they would not let us check in b/c by this point it was under an hour and for an international flight they don’t allow that.  Crap.  ok over to the American desk to see if there was anything they could do.  Nope.  No other flights anywhere else that would get us home.  So we were stuck.  Our only hope of getting home was that our flight from Dallas to Miami would also be delayed.  Of course now we had plenty of time to kill at the airport since we were delayed.  Once on the plane to Dallas we asked the flight attendant if there was any way of knowing once we got closer if our flight was delayed.  She was very nice and said she would check for us and if it was that she would move us up to first class so we could run off the plane first.  As we got close and our connection and gate were not announced we knew that we missed our flight 😦  Upon landing we found out the flight had been delayed and left at 7:50pm, we landed at 8pm – that’s right 10 minutes!!!!!!!!!!  Luckily marc is a frequent American flyer and has platinum status so we went to the admirals club to have them help us.  They were so so nice and gave us a hotel voucher for the airport hyatt and booked us on the first morning flight at 6am to Miami.  We trudged up to the hotel without our luggage which had been checked through to Miami so we couldn’t get it.  Lovely.  So glad I put on clean underwear that morning.  The hotel gave us some toiletries like toothbrushes and deodorant and we had dinner at TGIFridays in the terminal – how’s that for gourmet?  We went to sleep and prepared for an early day.  The alarm rang at 4:30am and the only bright spot about all of this was that we were able to get up get dressed, go though security easily with no bags and no people at that time of the morning and go right to our gate – no driving or checking baggage or anything.  We made it home bleary eyed but glad to have arrived at 9:45.

We went through 4 time zones on our trip – pacific, central, mountain, back to central, then eastern.  To say that our internal clocks were totally screwy is an understatement!! Overall it was a great trip and I’m glad we went!! Marc and I are self-admitted hotel snobs and stay in nice places, but the Fairmonts – all 3 of them that we stayed in, were by far the nicest hotels we had ever been in.  Not just the buildings themselves, but  the staff.  They were all over the top nice.  They went out of their way to make our stays perfect.  They were always so nice and friendly.  They definitely have a great corporate philosophy and hiring policy.  It was not easy being away from Alexis for 10 days, especially for me since I am with her all the time, but it was also a nice break.  Since she was with my mom mom I knew that she was in great hands and that she was happy and well taken care of.

Here is a link to my snapfish album with all our pics…  Click here

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Move, Pictures, SEO

April 16, 2009 at 6:05 pm (Baby, Family, Home Improvement, House, Marriage, Sleep)

Ok lots of topics in one post.  I guess that’s what happens when I don’t blog for almost 2 months!!!!!

First – we now have a new home, temporarily anyway.  We sold our house 6 weeks after we put it on the market and decided that it would be wise to move in with my parents until we find a house instead of rushing to find one.  We sold our house furnished so luckily we didn’t have to store all of our furniture along with our belongings.  We packed up all our stuff in the midst of working 2 weeks at the SEO (more on that later), put most of it in storage and are now happily settled into our new digs.  i gotta say I’m pretty happy here.  Not that I could live with my parents indefinitely, but it is nice to be back in my old neighborhood amongst family and friends – there’s something familiar and comforting about it.  We start the house hunt in earnest this weekend and I’m sure we will find the perfect home for us 🙂  I loved my old home but it never felt like “home” to me.  Marc was the one who chose the house long before we began dating and I moved in with him to his house and it always felt that way.  So while I really liked the house it will be nice to have a house that is truly “ours”.

Next – pictures! I am very fortunate to have a talented friend who is also a photographer, Stephanie Sokol!! I wanted to have some professional photos taken of Alexis before her first birthday and I could not be happier with the way these turned out.  Here is the link to the photos www.stephaniesokol.smugmug.com and here is the link to Stephanie’s blog http://www.stephaniesokol.blogspot.com/

Lastly, Sony Ericsson Open.  This was my 9th year working at the tournament.  I started there as the Special Events Manager as a full time employee and have since transitioned to tournament only staff and for the past 3 years I have been the Stadium Court Producer – responsible for all music, contests, ceremonies, etc that happen on stadium court.  I absolutely love what I do there and I love the people who I see from year to year.  The downside – the hours.  It’s a killer.  It’s 12 days of long hours.  I was there about 14 hours a day on average.  Marc and I met there – he’s in charge of the Ballperson program so he has the same killer hours as I do – he is actully there about 3 hours before I am in the morning so neither one of us is around too much for Alexis.  Luckily we were able to stay with my parents and they stepped in, along with other family members to act as surrogate parents while we were away!  As an added bonus this year, we were closing on our house just over a week after the end of the tournament.  So in the week that we usually recover from the exhaustion, we had to pack our house and get ready for he move.  So now we are finally getting to relax and catch our breath a bit!!!!!

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Grown Up Valentine’s Day

February 10, 2009 at 6:46 pm (Family, Holidays, Marriage, Uncategorized) (, , )

No, this is no x-rated.

I was thinking the other day about how different Valentine’s Day has become.  When I was little, my dad would always get me flowers and a gift.  I was always his Valentine.  He would bring home a dozen roses for my mom and a single one for me.  I loved it.

Then in high school it was always about putting things on lockers.  Balloons, cards, etc.  I would decorate my boyfriends locker and he would decorate mine.  Walking through the halls was like a big circus of red and pink mylar!! It was fun and exciting!!

Then in my early 20’s it was all dependent on whether I was dating someone.  If I was – then I was concerend with dinner reservations and what he was getting me.  If I was single – then it was boycotting the holiday by drinking with my other single girlfriends.  I think I had more fun the years I was single!!!!!

Now, married and a mom- it’s almost an afterthought.  I feel so old, but I hate going out to dinner on Valentine’s Day.  I don’t want to wait and have to choose from a limited menu and have crappy service from a waiter who is trying to hurry me out.  Alexis is still too little to be excited about any holiday, so that’s not fun yet, maybe next year?   As for our plans – well I guess we’re going to grill some lobster tails and have a nice dinner at home, exchange some small gifts.    I know it’s supposed to be about celebrating your love and call me cynical but after being together for 5 years (5 years!!!) it has lost some of its pizzaz.   Since we live together and are married, it’s different than when we were dating and it was a special night to be together and be in love.  Ok, I am cynical.

Don’t get me wrong – i love holidays and I will wear my shirt with the heart on the front and my heart earrings on Saturday b/c that’s just me.   I guess what I’m trying to say is that the anticipation is not the same.  Although I really do like lobster tails 🙂

*Update* My husband read this and was offended b/c he felt that I was ignoring him and not acting like I was in love.  So, for him let me clarify, yes I am in love and will celebrate that.  What I mean is that things change through the years.  And it has become a comfortable love, instead of something new.   Not bad,  just different.

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Bring back Merry Christmas!

December 4, 2008 at 4:32 pm (Holidays, Marriage, Opinion) (, , )

During “the holidays” this over-emphasis on political correctness drives me nuts.  I know that not everyone celebrates the birth of Jesus – I get it.  More than most probably since we are a 2 religion household.  We have a Christmas Tree and a Menorah.  We celebrate Christmas and Hanukkah in our house.  So, what is the harm in saying to a person buying Christmas wrapping paper or a Santa statue “Merry Christmas” or to someone buying a Menorah or dreidel “Happy Hanukkah”?  Why must it be Happy Holidays?  The big tree with lights and ornaments being lit in the mall is a Christmas Tree not a holiday tree.  That thing with 9 lights on top – that’s a menorah. not holiday candelabra.  Come on.  I don’t know anyone who would be offended by calling a spade a spade.  I hear it on the news, on tv, everywhere!  We can all be tolerant of each others differences and respectful.  But, we can also acknowledge those differences instead of mushing it all together.  And, if you don’t celebrate any holiday well then I’m sorry but you are in the minority and will probably be wished happy something between now and January 1st.

I certainly would not be offended if someone came up to me and said Happy Hanukkah.  It’s the spirit of the season.  Be happy and tolerant.  We keep the outside of our house neutral.  We have lights, but they are all white  – no santa, no nativity, no menorah.  Inside, we have decorations that represent both holidays.  We do not try to mesh them into one “Holiday” rather keep them separate and special.

So can we please bring back Merry Christmas?!! Oh, and Happy Hanukkah and Happy Kwanzaa and hey Happy Festivus!!

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My toothbrush is possessed

October 6, 2008 at 10:17 am (Marriage, Random, Sleep, Uncategorized) ()

Last night I got up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night and when I open the bathroom door, I heard this buzzing sound.  So I follow the sound to its source and realize its coming from my toothbrush. We have the Crest SpinBrush ones that you turn on and off.  I picked it up and it wasn’t on but it was buzzing, so I switched it on and then off and it stopped.   Ok.  I go back to bed and about 5 minutes later it starts again.  I guess since I wasn’t asleep yet, I heard it through the door and Marc heard it too.  So he got up to check it out, same thing.  So, he took the battery out.  I’m going to get a new toothbrush today.

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3 years ago today / olympics are killing me

August 13, 2008 at 9:46 am (Baby, Marriage, Sleep) (, , , )

That’s right 2 for the price of 1 – 2 topics, 1 post!

First, today marks the 3 year anniversary of my and marc’s engagement.  We got married exactly 9 months later – to the day.  I can’t believe it’s been 3 years and how much has changed in that time!! This is one of our “engagement” pics.  It was taken the night of our rehearsal b/c we never did them earlier, but it’s one of my faves of he and I.  Plus I get to see how skinny I was then!!!!

I don’t know about you, but I have been staying up way past my bedtime lately to watch the olympics.  I’ve been going to bed around midnight every night!! Usually I try to be in bed by 10:30, asleep by 11.  I’m tired.  It’s worth it and I love watching every minute of it, but boy is it exhasusting!!!  I’m sure next week I won’t be up quite as late, once the swimming and gymnastics are over b/c those are my 2 favorite sports to watch.   When Alexis wakes up in the morning, I struggle to drag myself out of bed to go get her!  Oh, well, it’s only every 4 years, right!?!

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Alone again

July 14, 2008 at 1:29 pm (Baby, Marriage, Random, Travel) (, , , )

Marc is off on another trip, this one is short he comes back tomorrow night – very late though (after midnight) so I’m alone for 2 days.   I knew when I married him that he traveled for work a lot, so its nothing new to me.  After becoming a mom its a lot more difficult being alone.  I really look forward to him coming home from work so that I can get a break even if it’s only for a short time.  So having to be a single parent for 2 full days is exhausting!! I definitely find things to do to occupy myself and I do get out of the house, but it’s still just me.  If Alexis wakes up in the middle of the night, I can’t poke him and ask him to go check on her, that’s my job.

Then of course there’s the totally irrational fears I have.  I will preface this by saying I lived alone for 4 years before I moved in with Marc – 2 years with a roommate and 2 years with just my cat! No alarm and I lived in a duplex so I didn’t even have the “security” of a building with lots of people.  I never minded it.  But I think I’ve become accostomed to having someone around.  So the nights when Marc is not here, I hear every sound and jump at shadows! It’s totally unlike me.  But I can’t help it.  We do have a great alarm system which I turn on.  We live in a gated community and have off-duty police that patrol our neighborhood, so by all accounts I’m safe, but I still feel safer with someone else around!! So I know the next evening and a half will be a bit anxiety-ridden.

Lest you think it’s all bad though, there is an upside.  I like the peace and quiet.  There is the tranquility of being able to do whatever I want and just sit and read a book or watch my TiVoed shows.  So, it’s not awful and I do enjoy some alone time, just not at night!!!!

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