Millennium Mom

Thursday, April 23, 2009

4/23 Blog: Lending a helping hand

In our everyday lives of multi-tasking and juggling multiple balls at once, it is easy to believe that we are invincible. Let's face it, there are days you think you can do just about anything. What we forget sometimes is we are human. We get sick, or our spouse does. Our schedules don't always line up perfectly. Or a well organized plan can sometimes be ruined be mother nature, a flat tire or any other unplanned event.

The morale I am trying to get across is don't be a hero, instead don't be afraid to ask for some help. Even better if you see a friend in a situation like this, lend the helping hand. We have had two recent instances where we were blessed to be able to lend a hand to a friend in need. Last night, we had to care for and take a good friends son home after hockey. Unfortunately his dad was ill and had to have heart surgery, and is still recovering. Their family was able to come to town and help for a while, but the dad still can not drive. After offering help on many occasions, we were thrilled when the finally took us up on it and we could take the boy to dinner with us after and drive him home.

Tonight it was at baseball practice. A boy on our teams mom is ill and also unable to drive. They have to juggle multiple children's activities with one driver and tonight was a conflict. They asked if we could drop him off after practice and of course we said yes. This is no effort at all on our part (in the grand scheme of things), allows both boys to practice and play in their normal routine and shows our kids what a helping hand is.

I remember as a child growing up my parents being the "shuttle" for many of our friends after practices, games, and so on. They would never let a child walk home at night or too far. We had a 15 person van for years, despite only having five members in our family, and it was often full. So being able to help out and drive a child homes brings back very fond memories for me, when parents trusted you with their kids, and deep friendships were formed on those rides home. We of course hope each of our friends has a speedy recovery, but in the meantime we hope they have peace of mind knowing their kids can maintain their schedules and sense of routine.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

4/19 Blog: The post-vacation un-digging

So it has been a while since I have written - a long while. I have no excuse, but a simple explanation...a nice vacation away with my family where I stepped away from "all work" both my professional career, and all other activities that take time away from blogging and other book related activities. Upon returning from our vacation, then it was simply the post-vacation un-digging. Catching up on what happened while I was gone, clearing emails and getting the brain going again.

Needless to say it was an exhausting week. On top of just craziness at work, we had a very strange week...bad weather on Monday so last minute cancelling of baseball practice that evening, our normal hockey night out on Wed, a work event for me on Thursday (and poor Arnie had to run his baseball practice and watch the girls, all on a very muddy field). Friday was a beautiful 70 degree day in Cincy and nothing could have been a better ending to a tough week.

This weekend we were blessed with one nice day and one not so nice. Thank goodness the nice day came on Saturday - which was opening day for Anderson Township Little League. The day began with a parade at 9am. I headed out with Claire and Sarah at 8:30. Unfortunately, April is an overlap month between Hockey and Baseball for Ben, so he had hockey at 8:30 and had to miss the parade. We marched until 9am and then headed to Target to pick up smaller baseball pants for Claire. We had some hand-me-downs from her cousin Jake, but they were a bit big. We took advantage of being at the store to buy some gallons of water and Gatorade powder to have for the games, in case anyone forgot a drink.

We headed to the field at 10:30. Claire's schedule is practice for an hour, followed by a game of t-ball. Normally this is 10 and 11, but due to the parade this week it was 11 and 12. This meant we would be out of the house from 8:30 to 1:30. With this in mind I packed food for the kids, some lunch meet, cheeses, yogurt, cheese sticks, juice boxes and other snacks. This should be enough to keep them happy. T-ball went great, Claire did just wonderful and seemed to enjoy it...except for "my hands are hot and sweaty in this glove" moments. But overall, for being the only girl (our neighbors has spring break this week and they are the other girls on the team) she held her own and loved it.

So...home at 1:30, quick lunch for mom and dad, can't even remember what...but long enough to get in major disagreement. I wanted to run to Home Depot to rent a tiller to work on my garden...Arnie wanted to go on his bike ride. I asked him to wait until I got back, he didn't want to...needless to say we were not on the same page...and I was mad. So off he went and then the kids and I headed out. By the time I got there there were no tillers left. This just added to my anger. Instead of tilling we started to put the fence up. The kids and our neighbors all got involved and it was great, we got half of it up by the time dad got home.

Arnie made some pasta and we all had dinner at 5 before heading out to Ben's game. The Pirates (coach pitch) did truly awesome. For their first game they really exceeded all expectations. I think the other team only did the 9 batter rule once of the six innings, meaning they go three outs before 9 players bat. More importantly, they had a great time, cheering each other on and enjoying the great weather and game. Our tired bunch got home at 8 in time to take showers and play a bit before heading to bed.

Sunday brought showers (which was why I was so intent in getting the tiller on Saturday). We (the kids and I) headed back out to the garden after breakfast to work on the fence again. It was drizzling a bit. I had checked and they showed rain on and off the entire day. I opted not to do the 4 hour rental at 8am given we had church at noon and with rain I just wasn't sure. In hindsight, should have done it, as it rained less in the morning than afternoon...oh well. After church and lunch Arnie told me to go get a tiller and he would do it. I guess 24 hours of sneering at him sunk in. So, in the drizzling rain this afternoon, Arnie and I finished the fence and tilled our garden.

All in all, these (assuming we are successful) will be the most expensive vegetables on earth. But I have enjoyed every minute of it. Part of me is going back to my childhood and my grandparents garden...I have vivid memories of heading up the hill to pick the vegetables. Another part of me wants to form memories like those with my kids. And then another wants to do good for the environment if I can (I also bought a barrel at Home Depot to collect rain water).

So, I have blisters, my husband is exhausted and we played in mud all day...but it feels great and I can't wait to sew my seeds this week, keep your fingers crossed.

Monday, April 6, 2009

MM Blog 4/6: Hello from Whistler, Canada

Greetings from (in my opinion) one of the most beautiful places in the world, British Columbia, Canada. We are on our spring break vacation with the kids in Whistler, Canada. We first visited Whistler 2 years ago and decided to come back again this year (and if you know me, that means I really like it, as I don't like going back to the same place over and over again...with so many other things to see in the world).

Getting here had the normal craziness before a vacation. Where should I start??? Let's start at work. I could not have had a more nuts 24 hours before I left. One of my key projects has a big update at the end of the month with our Group President. Let's just say it is crunch time, move forward and take some big risks, or just shut it down. On Friday I was preparing a presentation to do the latter all day long. I felt bad, even my team didn't know the final decision, but I had to get it out before I left. Unfortunately I have a pre-call tomorrow with some key business leaders to get them aligned before the 21st. Even when I left I was waiting for one last slide. That last slide made my morning this morning crazy, as dealing with wireless in a hotel, not being able to get on my work server and so on led to me sending the presentation to my finance counterpart via my yahoo email account and him sending the email out....all before 7am Whistler time.

The other "work" related nightmare was my passport. Saturday afternoon Arnie asked me where my passport was, I very casually said in my briefcase, where it always is (dughh). Then at 10 pm when I went to get it, it wasn't there. Panic set in. We were flying into Seattle but would need it to cross the border. I tried so hard to remember when I last had it. Did I bring it to NY with me last month? No, didn't think so. Where could it be. Finally it dawned on my that my admin had taken it to get a Visa to go to China in February. Then we cancelled our trip, but I wasn't sure I had gotten it back. Thank god I had her cell phone. She was 99% sure she had never given it back to me and it was in her files at work. She also hides a key so I could get into her desk. So at 10:45 pm I set out to drive the 25 minutes to the office, entered and got my passport. That meant I went to bed at midnight and had to get up at 6:15...ughhh, the day of lots of travel.

Arnie and I were pretty on top of the packing. No real nightmares on that front. We didn't bring car seat, which was a miss. We should have just brought them onto the plane, but we forgot and had thought they would charge us the extra luggage huge fee. In hindsight we could have had them sit in them on the plane. Extra money out the door with the rental car company, but no big deal in the grand scheme of things.

The other big news is my son lost his first teeth. He had a couple of loose ones in the front bottom. But then he got hit pretty hard at hockey on Saturday and that really made them loose. He ended up losing them both on the plane ride out. The flight attendants couldn't believe it, nor could he. He was smart enough to ask me to bring a sandwich bag in case he did lose them on vacation, so they were in a safe place...always thinking that kid.

Yesterday was a long day, up at 6:15, leave for airport at 7am, get to Seattle at 10:30 am their time, get rental car then drive 6 hours north to Whistler. Hit traffic in Seattle, at the border and in Vancouver, on a Sunday! Needless to say it took longer than we expected but the kids were troopers. We had them in bed by 8pm, and Ben was up at 3:30 am (of course his normal time up at home...6:30) and tonight they all fell asleep before 7pm with a long day of skiing in them. I guess it is the normal debate do you keep them on 'their" time or make them adjust to the time difference. So far they are sticking to Cincinnati time and we will make due I guess. Tomorrow we will try to have them nap when we get home at 4pm from the mountain, and before going swimming...that make help us get a little more in sync with local time.

Well, I am tired (yes it is 8:15pm out here) and need to shower. Think about Whistler for a future vacation, you will get a first hand look when the Olympics are here next February.