Millennium Mom

Monday, June 22, 2009

6/22 Blog: A busy weekend

Happy belated Father's day to any of you out there reading this. We had a great Father's day. Arnie started it just as he would dream, with a 3 hour bike ride. He is training for a half iron-man race in September, so tries to go out each Sunday morning. It works out great for everyone, we get to sleep in, eat and go to mass, and by the time we get home he is usually arriving back. The kids could not wait to give him their card. We went to Target one evening during the week to get a desk for our computer, and they got to pick out a card. The LOVE the music cards, what a great invention. They must have listened to 6 of them before the settled on one.

By the time Sunday came around they had memorized the song (at least Claire did), it goes something like this:

Dad, you are super dad
Dad, you give me everything
Dad, I know you can fix my car
A brand new beemer would take me far
I'm so glad you my dad
Your my handsome dad, my super dad, my hero dad

The best part was Claire singing along (and Sarah trying).
The rest of the weekend was "party" time at the Zucker's.
On Saturday we hosted Ben's baseball team for an end of summer party.
Arnie is the coach and wanted to do something for the kids.
We had a great time and managed to fit it in between Claire' t-ball game and Ben's game that night.

Sunday we had our annual "anniversary" bar-bq. We have it each year on the weekend we moved in, this year it was our 6th. Just a way to see our neighbors and reflect on how grateful we are for the friendships we have formed.

To make having the parties easy we asked people to bring an appetizer, side or dessert. We supply beverages and meats. The tables could be set up all weekend. I made chicken, burgers and hot dogs on Saturday. Sunday I added sausage and peppers. It is relatively easy. We always have paper products in bulk from our warehouse club ready to go. We got to be surrounded by friends all weekend with very little work on our part...just the way we like it, low stress, lots of fun.

Monday, June 15, 2009

MM Blog 6/15: Stop the madness

I know you may find this hard to believe - but I do like to separate work and pleasure. While I am married to another Proctoid, have lots of great friends who are Proctoids and love every minute of what I do...I don't like socializing with people I work closely with. I just feel I need to draw the line somewhere.

This was really important to us when we were looking for places to live when we returned from Brussels six years ago. We stayed clear of the Procter dominate neighborhoods, as we knew we would need some space. Others love it, and I can totally understand why, but given we both work there we just felt we needed to find "new people" to live near. As it ends up, two of our neighbors are P&G, but we don't work with them, did not know them before moving in, and love them to death (like most P&G people), but the key is we don't talk shop.

So, with all that as background you can probably understand why the title of this blog is "stop the madness" as I have had almost a week straight of work events at night. Some by "choice" others just because, but regardless I am spent. It all started last Wed night when my new boss was in town and the leadership team went to dinner. It was actually quite fun, we played some "get to know you games" like find a coin, look at the year and tell us the best thing that happened to you that year. We learned a lot, laughed enough and had a fantastic meal (at Eddie Merlot's new restaurant on Montgomery Rd in Cincy).

Then on Thursday I had our Univ of Michigan Ross school happy hour for our summer interns. Given I lead that team, I needed to show up. Again, I had a good time welcoming everyone, catching up with them on their summer so far, etc. Friday night was the Univ of Cincinnati School of Design, Architecture, Art and Product development annual Fashion Show. It is an annual event for Beauty marketing to go, so I headed there with my great friend Andrea. It was fantastic, except for getting home at 11. Saturday we had a wedding (yes a P&G person) and Sunday night I hosted a baby shower for a women I work with.

Tonight wasn't officially a "work" event, but it was our ladies golf night (with yes P&G people). So I am exhausted. Of course I had to watch Jon & Kate and Cake Boss. And now online. Did I also mention I squeezed in a call with Singapore at 9 :)

I swear, tomorrow I am in bed by 9...I have to, I start at 7am tomorrow so something has to give. The hard part is schools out, so suddenly the kids bedtime went back to will I keep my eyes open? Easy I guess, just looking at them, knowing the madness had ended for now and cherishing every minute with them.

Monday, June 8, 2009

MM Blog 6/8: A new boss

Well, it is officially still four weeks away, but I now have a new boss. I think I have shared with you all of the transitions going on at P&G, in particular our Beauty & Grooming business. It is all good, and makes all the sense in the world long-term. In the short-term what it means for me is a new boss. My old boss, who had worked on Pantene for over a decade is moving to another role and we are getting a new boss. I have heard nothing but great things about her (yes, another female!) and we have lots in common (she too is a mother of three).

Like any new working relationship it will take time. She is Dutch by ethnic background, and is married to a Greek, so very diverse. She spent her whole career in Beauty which will be great. The hard part for me is I don't really "report" to her but on paper. My role is pretty autonomous in nature and works as closely with R&D. My old boss was totally fine with this and it worked, I just need to ensure the new one is as well.

I will meet her for the first time tomorrow, as she is hear onboarding this week. Unfortunately even though she officially starts July 1, she won't move to Cincinnati until mid-August, so it will be a long transition. And word on the street is my role may be changing and I move to a new general manager by the end of the calendar as I say to my husband "I am just holding on for the ride, hoping it goes smoothly."

I think moms and even more so working moms are wired to handle change. It just comes with our hormones I guess. I often like to lump all change together. For example, I moved to another country, started a new role and got married all at the same time. The same on our return from Europe, started new role, moved into new house in new neighborhood in Cincy and got pregnant all at the same time. So, based on this I thought I was used to it. But to be honest, all of the change going on at work has been a bit much to handle. While I am doing just fine, still have a great job and love coming to work. Not being fully informed, and not being able to steer the organization as much as they need to be has been tough. I like to keep my people fully informed but there is just so much day-to-day change it is hard.

On the other hand, I think trying to steer the change vs sitting back is always the right thing to do, even with your children. As a mom or manager we owe it to those who look up to us to do right by them and to try to make their world a little better, easier, more comforting. So no matter how uncomfortable I feel, I need to step up and not let that come across to do right by my people...and at home, by my kids should that much change ever be needed at home.

Monday, June 1, 2009

6/1 Blog: Happy June

Wow - it's June. I can't believe it. Even more unbelievable is my little boy will finish Kindergarten on Friday, and my sweet Claire will begin in less than three months. My how time truly does fly. This spring has been a whirlwind. It feels like yesterday we were heading to Canada for Spring break and now we are saying goodbye to the school year.

They say being in a state of change can slow things down or speed them up, for me it has been like warp speed ahead. Just trying to keep up with the change at work has made the home life seem to fly. I know longer feel like "getting online" at home, as the precious downtime we have is just so...precious! I truly don't want to disturb it. It is nice to just sit down and do a Sudoku game, mindless in some ways, brain exercise in others, but quiet and peaceful each time.

Tonight we had a make-up game for Ben. Not too much of a disturbance to us or any of the other 12 families as we were able to use our practice time and field. But instead of a practice which starts at 6:30, we had a game, which meant at the field at 6pm. This all meant mom went in her work clothes and heals. I guess you can say I was a 'stylish" bench coach. The boys played well and had a great time, as really is fun being there with them, cheering them on, trying to keep them from keeping score in their minds (we don't keep score) and who's on deck, in the hole, which position they will go to and so, fun, fun.

On the home front we had a great weekend. My parents came in Thursday night for the girls concert. God bless them they drove 11 hours, with my soon to be 87 year old grandma to see the girls. In their words "it was well worth it" and trumped any NY recital they have seen. They were truly impressed with how "intricate" the young girls routines were. I really had nothing to compare it to so I will trust them. They also got to see Claire and Ben play ball, and have dinner with Andrea (one of my bridesmaids who works at P&G) and her husband Bob who came over for dinner. They headed out this morning, so short but sweet.

Even shorter, my in-laws drove down Friday from Detroit, arrived at 4:30 for a 7:30 recital, then immediately go on the road after to head to Iowa (they would stop on the way) for my nieces recital on Saturday. Now that is dedication and devotion to the grandkids. So the girls had all their grandma's, papa's and mimi here, it could not have been more special for them. All of this was with me as a single parent. Arnie had his 20 year reunion at Denison, so he left Thursday after work and came home Sunday afternoon. He had a great time catching up with friends and we missed him a ton.

Well, the girls just came in and said time for bed. They want me to put them to bed so I will say goodbye.