Millennium Mom

Friday, July 31, 2009

7/31 Blog: Where did July go?

Oh my gosh...tomorrow is August. I can't believe it. I know people say it all the time, but my time flies. For me, it has been on warp speed since having kids, really since out of baby stage. At least when I had a baby around, the day had such a routine and details to it that it didn't seem to fly. Many diaper changes, feedings, spits ups, change of clothes and so on. But it also had twist and turns pending their mood, nap schedule and so forth. For whatever reason this made it seem like time didn't fly.

Since my kids have been out of diapers it is a whole nother story. The days just fly. It seems like yesterday, literally that I was driving with the kids to NY, and it was four weeks ago. For years people told me when they would see me with my babies...oh gosh, it seems like I was just in your shoes...and now the kids are (you fill it in...out of the to college....teenagers and not speaking to me...and so forth).

I would always smile, as it's the polite thing to do, but not really knowing how to imagine it. Now Ben is only 7 (in five weeks) and I already feel it. The hours turn to days, turn to weeks, turn to months and years before you can blink and catch a glimpse of it. I was looking at the dresses I had bought at Sam's for the girls the other day. Every year when they put cute Easter dresses out I buy two of them and that is what we take our family picture in. I thought at the time, we have time, as it seemed like we just took them. Last night I looked at the photo and it was last June, so now I am late...I guess we will head to Penney's tomorrow to get them done.

By the way, I love pics at Penney's. Have nothing to compare it to other than people coming to our house, and Olan Mills which my mom did when I was a kid. The house thing was totally convenient when you had infants as you didn't have to take them out of the house, could schedule around naps, etc. But it was very expensive. I tried Penney's and we love it. Very nice, quick and you look at your pics about 15-30 minutes later, order them and out you go. They show up in the mail in a couple of weeks. They can do color, B&W, fancy layouts, any size. I think this will be our fourth time and so far three-for-three and you can't beat the price. Perhaps Sears is the same, but we are so happy we stick with them.

Work was good this week. An odd week as it was our "summer camp" which is a camp for future marketers before they enter business school for MBA. We invite people to participate for the week to get to know P&G and marketing. I spoke on a panel Monday and conducted interviews today. I love participating and with each passing year I am figuring out Gen Y's more and more. Not sure the talent pool was as strong this year, we will see how offers go. My hypothesis is people aren't giving up their jobs to sink 100K into B-school given lots of people are graduating with out jobs, even from top five schools. Not sure if I would make the same choice I did in today's environment either, as it is much riskier then when I did it back in '95.

Still working lots of organizational projects in the re-org of Beauty and Grooming and our Innovation groups. Love the work, but it has been a lot. Monday and Tuesday I will be helping out our Baby Care category in their innovation work, looking forward to it as I can speak from a marketers and moms perspective, what can be better.

In between a beautiful weekend in Cincinnati. Going to spend the day with friends tomorrow and to cheer Arnie on in his tri-athlon on Sunday...go daddy go.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

7/28 Blog: UGHHHH technical problems

Gosh I wish I was more technically advanced. Nothing is more frustrating then having computer problems and not being able to fix them (and neither can my husband). I have a Fox segment tomorrow so I wanted to type up a packing cheat sheet to put online as part of the segment. I quickly typed it up while Arnie was clearing the tables and loading the dishwasher. Great, not even 7:30 and all I needed to do was email it to Sheila at the station. Well, one hour later it was done. For some reason my work computer would not pick up our wireless network. It happens more than it should, and for the life of me I don't know why, sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't.

So, I saved the file to a flash drive and would email it from our home computer. Only one of our home computers has my book email account saved as a favorite so I wanted to use that one. The other computers were online as the kids were on them, so I knew wireless was working. But not on that computer...why, oh why...after unplugging every cord possible it finally worked. Essentially that computer has a hard wire to the wireless given the router sits next to it, but the cord had loosened. Finally the email was off, after a very frustrating hour.

I am amazed with how unproductive technology can make it. Of course its productivity gain probably offsets it, but it is unreal. I have a printer at work that every time we loose power has to re-set the IP address. But not an easy thing, I have to call tech support each time. I try not to complain as 99% of people share a printer, but gosh is it frustrating to come in one day and have a printer and not the next day...and believe me, at an innovation center where their are labs, pilot plants and more we loose power a LOT!

So now I am going to try to log onto my work email remotely on the web on my home computer. I really need to get an email out to my team regarding a meeting in the morning...please cross your fingers for me, as I am sure you can all relate to what I am feeling right now and how frustrating it is to spend an hour on something you thought would be five minutes, particularly given how busy we all our.

Friday, July 24, 2009

7/24 Blog: TGIF

You know how the saying goes...thank god its Friday. I am actually still in the office at, not a work-a-holic. Long story short, my husband's best friend from childhood is passing through town. So Arnie took the day off and heading to Kings Island, the big amusement park in Cincy with the kids to meet Pat and his family, as well as another family. They want to go to dinner afterwards, but not until they are having too much fun.

I am too cheap to go buy a ticket for an hour or two, so I am sitting here. I was working on my annual review, always a good thing to do when you have nothing better to do, but I need a break. It is eerie (sp?) being in a large office space with no one else around, but here I am. I am sure the cleaning person will arrive shortly.

The good news is IT IS BEAUTIFUL out here in Cincy, so we should have a fun weekend. I already got all my back-to school shopping done - hit the outlets while on vacation for clothes, and hit Toys R Us (buy 1 crayola item get 2 free) and Target this week for the back to school supplies and shoes, so we are all set. That means we will get to play a little. I'm voting for the zoo on Sunday, nothing better than that on a nice day.

It is also that time of year that I have to get the kids registered in their normal activities. The summer is downtime and then things start up again, Ballet, Hockey and Swim lessons are on my list. So weird that Claire is going to Kindergarten we will have one full day, one half-day and one at home, talk about transition year.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

7/21 Blog: Back in the "swing" of things

So, it is my second day back in the office after being out two weeks. While I worked the first week, it is very different when you are remote versus physically present, people just don't "bug" you with every little thing as much. I actually like being "bugged" and asked questions, I think it gets decisions made faster and keeps things moving, but every now and then it is good to just be away and get some work done.

For those who go away on a vacation vs. a "stay-cation" I think when you on on vacation there are two schools of thought - leave the computer and blackberry at home (and sometimes you are forced to depending on connectivity at your location) or take it. It is quite a debate among people and what is best. I think it is a personal choice on how you like to be productive and get things done at work. For me, I take them. The computer to get online and stay in touch, as often we are not getting a daily paper where we are. The blackberry to "clear it out" every now and then. To me this is not "working". Sometimes I reply, if I think it will keep things moving. 80% of the time I just delete the emails, as I know it will change or get sorted out by the time I am back.

I get many responses of "aren't you on vacation" and the answer is yes! But I would rather get on every evening or 48 hours and delete then come back to 500 plus emails on Monday morning. Maybe I will try that once, just block the first 3 hours of my Monday back and go through email. Perhaps it is better. For now I like my system...and even with that system I came in at 6:15 AM yesterday to get through things before my first meeting at 7am. Because of course your calendar is jam packed given people just lost a week with you. I needed to print off some things, get through the weekends email and so on.

Yes, I could have gotten online and done email on Sunday night, but to me I was still on vacation. Instead I hung out with my kids and had fun, went to bed at 9pm when they did and got up at the crack of dawn to get back into the "swing" of things?

What do you all do when you go on vacation? I would love some advice.

Friday, July 10, 2009

7/10 Blog: On the road again

Well, after a great week (well 6.5 days officially) we are getting ready to hit the road again.
For those of you who don't live in your hometown or around family I am sure you can identify what those weeks are like when you go home. Non-stop going from house to house to see people. There are some trips here were we try not to do that and relax, but without Arnie here (who is the relax half of our relationship :)), I was on the go.

The great part was this time I actually got to see a couple of old high school friends in addition to family. My friend Deanna moved back up here from NC two years ago so I finally made it over to her place for swimming and dinner. Last night I saw my friend Erika who I have not seen in at least 15 years. It was great meeting her three kids and hanging out over a beer. I didn't get to meet her husband (or vice versa) as he was traveling, so definitely next time we are in town.

The kids have had a BLAST as they always do. Claire loves the Miller and Santaniello kids (I grew up next door to their parents) and just soaks them up while she is here. Sarah does as well, but also hangs with her cousin "baby John" (who is now 2!) a ton. Ben is all about being Jake's shadow. He was so excited he could stay for full-day camp and got a few sleep overs in (including last night, so I won't see him until he arrives in PA tonight with my sister).

I had one last work call this AM...just got my vaca has officially begun. I am heading upstairs to finish packing and start packing the car. Ironically that is the topic of my next Fox 19 segment on the 29th of this month. We decided to film me packing for this trip, so I should have it down pat by now.

I am looking forward to PA. The area looks beautiful and it is within 20 minutes of my college town so I can bring the kids to campus and the basketball camp that Gina and I went to when we were kids, I can't wait to see if the cabins and courts are still there. More from PA later.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

7/8 Blog: Hello from NY

Hello everyone. Well, we made it safe and sound to NY. Last Friday (the 3rd), the three kids and I hit the road to come to NY. We pulled out of the driveway at 8am and pulled into NY at 6:45 pm, which was actually really good time. The kids were wonderful. I am amazed how good they do if we give them enough "coaching" and talk about the event in advance. All week Arnie was telling them how important it was for them to behave and help me in the car, etc. The entire time I could not have asked for better behavior. When we stopped they held hands, stayed together, Ben held the doors for us and more. It was almost easier with one parent then with two. Why I don't "coach" before every big event is beyond me, because it works like a charm.

Their cousins were here to greet them when we arrived. I think Ben jumped into Jacob's arms. By the time I got out of the car he was wrapped around him (while Jake is only 2 years older, he is MUCH bigger then Ben so can lift him pretty easily). My parents had ordered my favorite pizza and subs from J&F our local place which made my trip within the first hour. By the time we ate my entire family was here which was great (just not Arn).

We have been going non-stop since. Ben is in basketball camp all week. The girls have played with neighbors, cousins and more. We have gone swimming at two different pools and will hit two more today (why does it seem like there are so many more pools in NY than Ohio?). We also had my cousin Tyler's high school graduation party, so I saw all of my aunts, uncles and cousins at that. Was a bit weird as it was a large party without my grandmas who passed away last year, but still great to see everyone.

The only downer is my van was acting up on the ride out here. I took it into the local Chrysler dealer in town and it has two things wrong. One of which they didn't have a part. The latest is they found it in Mass. and it should arrive today so they can fix it before we leave for PA on Friday. Cross your fingers as it would make life a bit complicated to try to figure out how to get back for the van from PA.