Millennium Mom

Sunday, September 28, 2008

It's Official

Well, it's official now, I am a published author. On Wednesday evening I had to go straight from work to my son's Kindergarten class for "math night" where I learned how to "sort" and "patterning" and how they help young children learn math. I knew the books were being dropped off, so I was a bit anxious. So much that I was tempted to drive right by the Walgreen's on my way home instead of returning the "too big" batman costume. But I didn't, I ran in and got it done (before I would find it months from now in my car).

My husband, being the great guy he is didn't open the case of books. He wanted me to be able to do it. The whole family gathered around and we cut the box open. It was such an amazing feeling to see the books. It was real. I had really done it. It was thrilling and scary all at the same time. Of course each child wanted their own, so they now each have one on their night stand. Hopefully they won't be my only customers.

Now the fun really begins. Will it sell? Will people like it? Will we ever recoup all the money we have spent? Who knows is the answer to each of these questions, but regardless I have learned a ton and accomplished the goal of publishing my book. Cross that one off the list.

Monday, September 22, 2008

There's no place like home

I am writing this after returning from one of my business trips abroad. I was supposed to be in Europe for 6 days, depart on Sunday evening and return Saturday morning. In order to get five full days in this is the only schedule that works.
But, hurricane Ike decided to hit Cincinnati with a 90 mph wind storm at 3pm Sunday which shut down the airport, which meant mom wasn't leaving until Monday. Thank goodness my counterpart flew out Saturday, so we had at least one person in the London on Monday to listen to the consumer focus groups we had set up.

Monday was me on conference calls and catching up on how the research was going, in between yard pick-up, limbs burning and work. Thank god once again I had my parents here. My dad had the 40 foot tree that fell in our yard cut up by the time my husband (who isn't so handy with tools) got home from work.

So I flew out Monday to London arriving first thing Tuesday and heading straight into research. After two long days in London, which included me driving on the wrong side (that makes children's bathes seem relaxing) I departed for Geneva for meetings. Due to the weather two of my peers chose not to fly out, so my Friday meetings were cancelled, which meant my trip got shorter on the back-end too. That was news I wanted to share with my kids fast.

When I travel I try to talk to the kids every day, so we have our time just as if I was home. They love hearing where I am and are always fascinated by the time difference. When I tell them I am going to bed and it is only 4pm where they are and haven't had dinner, they just think it is the coolest thing ever. Before I go I also make a point to show there where on our globe I will be, some how I think this makes it easier on them, they feel like they know where mommy is.

Arnie and I have also started to do something "different" for an evening out when we are home alone with the kids. Its breaks things up and makes ones evening a bit easier. This trip Arnie took the kids, and two friends (yes five kids, god bless him) to the Reds game. They had a blast, Arnie didn't have to cook dinner and somehow it easier going to bed after a bit more excitement which leads to exhaustion.

I arrived home Friday late afternoon to 3 smiling faces, the best sight on earth. Pizza night made it easy as usual, then a great game of cards with the neighbors. It felt so great to be with my family and back to my routine. There really is no place like home.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Just one of those (bad) days

Have you ever had just one of those days...and before you know is it turns into multiple days. I certainly had one of those on Saturday. It should have been a great day at Kings Island. That is our local amusement park. Procter & Gamble who both my husband and I work for rent it out for a weekend in September as a "thank you" to its Cincinnati based employees. It is great, as the lines aren't too long, you see lots of familiar places and barely go into your pocket for cash.

I should have none it wouldn't go smooth when my husband gave me a hard time about when I wanted to leave. He just didn't want to go as early as I did, which meant we started off on the wrong "feet". From that point on every decision I wanted to make he just deferred to me, which I hate.

So we go there when the rides opened and all started well. But then, instead of it being cloud covered and slight rain like the weather man said it was 95 degrees and very sunny. Unfortunately I believed the weather man, so I had windbreakers and rain coats vs. sunscreen. Problem number 1. Thankfully I ran into my friend Lela Coffey who was prepared and she loaned me some sun screen...but it was still hot, which made everyone cranky.

Oh...and did I say that before we left for the day, my husband opened the freezer to find ice cream melting all over the place. Of course I say "could you tell if the door was shut" to know if it was a major problem or just we left it open, which makes him even more pissed at me (because I wanted to leave early remember).

So we come home late afternoon and realize, the freezer is not getting colder. Which meant we had to start calling neighbors for space. This created more tension and before I knew it my husband was heading to a bar to have a drink while I headed to bed (and he doesn't drink).

The morale of the story is for me to give up on my super organized ways and just not worry about being there early, etc. It was apparent my husband didn't want to rush and I pushed it. I should have been more flexible and the day would have been much better. Instead it put a tense feel into the weekend, which didn't help when we got the remnants of Ike in Cincinnati, lost power, had trees come down, my flight to London be cancelled and going to bed in the dark. Be flexible, talk it out and put and end to the "bad day" ASAP before it becomes a bigger headache than it should.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Finding the time for quiet alone time

The beauty of children is they bring so much life, love and spirit into your life and home. The downside is it rarely calms down, particularly if you have more than one child. While one is playing nicely and quietly alone, the other(s) are often more than making up for the lack of noise and action. The older my children get the more I find myself needing to just "sneak away" for my own quiet time.

I say sneak because my youngest Sarah likes to be on mommy's hip or practically attached to me what seems to be at all times. She is definitely the most attached and just likes to take advantage of time with mommy. She wants to sit on my lap at dinner, sit on my lap watching TV, be in the bathroom when I get the point. So if I say "I'm going upstairs to change" when I get home from work, then I immediately hear the pitter patter (sp?) of her feet behind me, or "up mommy, I want to go with you."

So, I put dinner on and then "sneak" up the backstairs. Just the alone time to get into my comfy clothes is enough to de-compress from the day and prepare for the fun evening to come. Depending on what I am making this often turns into 15-20 minutes, particularly if daddy is home. I will go into the laundry room (which is of my tips) and fold the load of laundry I threw in that morning, or get online in the office upstairs and check my personal email/book email, or even play a game of FreeCell (which I am now officially addicted to).

Eventually you hear "mommy where are you" or someone just shows up upstairs. The good thing is I am really excited when they do that, because I had a few moments to gather myself, shift into full on mommy mode and simply relax.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The beauty of extra hands

As I mentioned yesterday, September is one of the three times a year my parents visit us in Cincinnati. They normally come in March for Claire's birthday, September for Ben & Sarah's birthdays and then every other December for Christmas.

I have gotten into the habit of arranging my business trips around when they come. So on Sunday I will get on a plane and head to Europe for a week. I do the same thing in March but that time do Asia and Europe. It is wonderful for Arnie to have extra hands around to help, particularly with preparing dinner and getting the kids down. It's not that he can't do it alone, but we have found after 2 days by yourself, the stress begins to build. This way Grandma and Grandpa get quality time with the kids, I am not distracted on my trip wondering how Arnie is doing and Arnie isn't too stressed by the time I return.

Once you have the extra hands in your home be sure to utilize them. We dropped off our van to have body work done yesterday because we have my parents car this week, so we weren't down a car which would require major scheduling, etc. My dad met me at the dealer last night and will go with me to pick it up. I also made the kids doctors appointments for their annual visit while my parents are here, so we are not rushing home to get the last appointment. An oil change is on the list as well as other things around the house that require someone to be home.

I came up with a new thing this week. My mom is going into Ben's class to volunteer. I work full-time so volunteering during the day is very hard. I think this is really important and hopefully can find time to do it in the future. But in the meantime, my mom is going in to help this week. This lets her see Ben's school and meet his teacher and shows our commitment to the class, even though Arnie and my schedules don't allow us personally to be there. I will make the PTA meeting tonight at 7, but the day was just impossible this week.

So as my book says in one of the tips "don't be afraid to ask for help" and "call in support when you travel"...we are putting these to use this week (and many more which I will share later) and I encourage you to so do too.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Welcome to Millennium Mom's blog

Hello everyone.
If you are reading this you have found my web site and blog.
Thanks for that.
I realized I probably needed to get my act together and start reaching out to you all through the blog, you have taken time to check out the site, so I will take the time to share my thoughts with you all.

The last few months have been a whirlwind. My book officially went to print 11 days ago, so it is REALLY official now. I am still trying to manage the details of the book with work, family, etc and so far so good. My first event for the book is on October 1st. If any of you are in the Cincinnati area please join us at the girls night out event. Check out the web site for more info, it should be a great event benefiting the Leukemia and Lymphoma society.

On the family side, my children are now 6 (as of Saturday), 4.5 and 3 (as of tomorrow) years old. So we have officially begun the transition to school. This meant hiring a nanny for the first time after 5 wonderful years in Daycare. Kirsten is wonderful and loving with the children. With Ben only having half-day K we found it too difficult to try to manage various schedules with our work schedules and decided to go with a nanny. So far so good.

This past weekend was our "birthday" weekend. Both sets of grandparents arrived on Friday. Mine after a 11 hour drive from NY and Arnie's from Detroit (about 5 hours). We decided to treat Ben to a dinner and go out for fondue, I don't recommend it for young families. The meal was fine, but it is a longer meal and a bit tough for the kids. Yesterday we hosted a bar-bq birthday party for our neighbors and their families. We do this instead of kid's parties to make sure they have a special day, but to limit gifts (we have a no gift policy) so it is about being with family and friends and not about entertainment and toys. It was 80 degrees and sunny, the perfect day and fun had by all.

My parents will stay for 11 days, normally it is two weeks, but we will make due. So Kirsten is on vacation this week and G&G take over. I leave for a week long business trip on Sunday night, so Arnie will have some extra hands for a few days, before my parents leave, and I am due back the following Saturday.

That's it for now. I plan to update this daily each night, finding a few minutes to share some tips for various things that happened during the day.

Thanks again for reading, more soon.