Sunday, November 13, 2011

It's Been a Whirlwind of a Month

Over the course of the past month we had our annual outing to the Pumpkin Patch, a family vacation in Hawaii, work has been very demanding and I just got back from a week long business trip to India.  Jet lag, argh!  I've been up since 1:00am and have been able to get through a lot of shows on our DVR. 

I'll post pictures and highlights from each this week, excluding work of course.  Unless you want pictures of spreadsheets and powerpoint slides with lots of numbers (snooze). 

The highlight of the past month is the support and love I've received from my husband.  It started in Hawaii with a very special discussion where I was able to open up (hard for me to do) and tell him where my mind was at.  I've been struggling with being truly 'happy', dealing with a tough job, being pulled in too many directions and trying to 'do it all'.  We have a solid short term and longer term plan now, which will of course evolve over time.  We came up with it together, without arguing, without shutting down.  I haven't been this happy about the future in a really long time.  Thanks Steve!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


I have an older sister.  She is 18 months older than I am.

My youngest child (Emily) has an older sister (Abby).  Abby is 27.5 months older than Emily.

 (we need to get Emily her first haircut so the poor child can see)

Apparently, the memories of me following my older sister around all the time, wanting to do everything she did, get in her space when she didn't want me there, copying her every action and trying to 'share' toys escape me.  

It is beyond exciting and heart warming to watch a bond develop between my two girls.  They are different in many ways.  Abby is blue eyed, wavy hair and is fair skinned.  Emily has hazel eyes, board straight hair and olive skin.  Abby is sensitive, emotional and is very aware of everything that goes on around her.  Emily is tough, funny as all hell and misses some of the world around her.  Abby slept through illness and teething.  Emily will cry for hours in the middle of the night with a cold or teething.

Emily wants nothing more than to be just like her big sister.

As soon as Abby declares she's done with dinner, Emily will stop mid chew and declare 'I'm done' without regard to how much food she has left or how hungry she still is.

Heaven for bid, we try to get Emily into her car seat, without Abby in the car first.  Emily will kick and scream and kick and scream some more, unless she knows for certain Abby is coming along with us. 

We recently tried having the girls sleep in the same room at night together.  The first night was a total failure.  They wouldn't stop chatting and Emily got to the point of being over tired and really cranky, we had to separate them. They ask every night if they can sleep in the same room.

They are beginning to play together a bit more.  It's amazing to watch Abby pretend to be school teacher and Emily be the unruly student (she's 21 months and is not open to taking much direction from anyone).

I sure hope they continue developing this bond because it is a lot of fun to watch! 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Ponies and Ponies and Ponies - Oh My!

Where have I been for the past few weeks?  I’m not even sure I can recount it all but here are the highlights:

1.) Busy at work with comp plans and quarter end activities.  Had a few 1am nights/mornings.

2.) Planned a very special little girl’s birthday party.

3.) This very special little girl wanted a ballerina pony party.  Where does she come up with these ideas?

4.) I started taking a class one night a week at the local community college to exercise the creative side of my brain.

5.) I’m almost done getting things up and running to get a home based business started.

6.) Made 20+ stick ponies (aka hobby horses) for the above mentioned little girl’s birthday party.

7.) Acquired the biggest and darkest set of under eye bags I’ve ever seen on myself.

8.) Also acquired some very special memories with my girls!  Priceless!

Here is the progression of the ponies (and a couple other extras thrown in).  The past few weeks have really been all about the ponies.  I enlisted the help of my husband to cut some fabric and sand the end of the pony sticks.  I’m sure he’s waiting anxiously for my next endeavor (as he mumbles under his breath “why do you do this to yourself?”).

And some extras:

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

If You Like New Recipes - You Have to Buy This! (helps people too!)

I collect online recipes, cookbooks and handwritten recipe cards from friends.  This book is my latest purchase and I will certainly be taking my next few recipes from it!  I think tonight I'll make the Taco Salad, or maybe the Ham and Swiss Rolls, followed by some Indoor S'mores or Oatmeal Carmelitas.  Making the grocery list now! 

It's available in a printed and PDF version (PDF available now, that is what I bought)

It's $10 and 100% of the proceeds go to the 
American Red Cross.  

A lot of people gave time, supplies and heart to put this together and for such a great cause.  Buy one today, for you, for friends, etc..

Click HERE to purchase, purchase, purchase away:

For more background on what went into this book, you can read Skip to My Lou's post about it HERE.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I Almost Didn't Do It

I received the email that I was next on the wait list to be enrolled.  I had 72 hours to act.  I found my log in and password, proceeded to enter all fields and hit ‘next’/’submit’ where prompted, up until the last final ‘click here to confirm payment’.  I paused. 

What if Steve has to work late that night
What if the kids need me
What if it’s busy at work
How can I manage all this right now
What if I fail

I’m not sure what is so difficult about me committing to 4 hours, one night a week, for 4 months to exercise the creative part of my brain.  To do something that I have wanted to do for 5 years.

If I don’t do this now, I never will.  I entered my credit card information, placed my mouse over that final button and clicked the darn thing.  I’m committed, I hope I get in.

What?  You ask?  I am hopefully soon to be enrolled at the local community college to take a graphic design course.  It’s been over 17.5 years since I last attended college.  Most of the other students are sure to be half my age or younger, gulp! 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Bringing in the Big Guns

I needed help and bad...  So I brought in the big guns...

The last couple nights, Emily has been fighting getting ready for bed at night.  When we go to put her in her PJ's, she kicks, she screams, she wiggles, she does her best to get as far away from me as possible.  Last night was no exception.

Sunday evening Emily did the same thing and we were able to wrestle her into her PJ's, while we both broke a sweat.  Last night, Steve was working late so I was on my own.  I scooped my littlest angel up to head to her room for bedtime.  She started screaming, kicking, crying, and downright protesting going to bed. 

I did my best.  I was patient with her, telling her that I would hold her until she was ready to calm down and get dressed.  While I sat there, getting kicked and on the verge of losing my hearing from the screaming, I was able to think through a reasonable plan.  I came up with the idea to call in the big guns.

"Abby, Abby, can you come here please and help Mommy?".  Abby was in the living room watching her wind down TV for the evening.  If there is one person in the house who can get Emily to do what we want her to, it's Abby.  Abby, my very helpful, sweet, compassionate child.  She will do whatever she can (most times) to help her sister stop crying.

Abby walked into the room and I asked her if she could help me get Emily's PJ's on her.  As soon as Abby started helping, Emily immediately went from crying and screaming, to holding her foot out for Abby to put her PJ bottom's on and laughing.  It was a very sweet moment.  A very special sister moment.  'Mommy' could not satisfy Emily, but Abby could, her big sister, the one she wants to be with at all times.  The one she admires and loves dancing with.

Abby is a very special big sister, and on days like yesterday, both Emily and I are very lucky to have her in our lives.  We are actually very lucky to have her in our lives every day,  Thank you big guns!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Lady Who Lunches

Surgery, smurgery, I am a lady who lunches...

Today was a very leisurely day; a nap, lunch with a friend and dinner with my husband (in a restaurant, no kids).  While at lunch today (Sushi Ran in Sausalito, amazing food, great quality fish and a bit trendy, I like it!) I thought that I could get used to being a lady who lunches.  That thought lasted about 5 seconds. 

I cannot be that person, my mind is always going, I am always thinking about what I should be doing next and trying to come up with ideas for a home based business (in addition to my already more than full time job).  When I do more, I'm happiest, especially when it's the things I want to do. 

I typically eat lunch while at my desk or on the run, moving from one thing to another.  I don't have time for leisurely lunches very often.  When accompanied by a good friend, they are even better!  I'll leave those lunches as a special treat for now, but I'm glad I have them every once in a while!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Surgery Canceled - A Blessing in Disguise

My surgery today was canceled for a variety of reasons.  I won't bore you with the details. 

When I found out it wasn't going to happen I called UCSF Sports medicine to see if they were back on track to do a new cartilage growth/transplant procedure.  They go in, take cartilage cells out of your knee, grow it in a controlled environment for 6-8 weeks (if you know cartilage, it's very difficult to do), then they sew it back in.  I received a promising email from the research coordinator.  My fingers are crossed. 

In the mean time, I'm still going to take a week off work.  I'm capped out on my vacation accrual anyway, so might as well. 

Today, I applied for and received my California Resellers license.  More on this in the coming weeks. 

I also went to Ikea to get my home office for my new business a little better outfitted.  Why I think I can tackle furniture at Ikea solo is beyond me.  I have this misconception; since the furniture is on the cheap, it shouldn't be heavy.  Well, I wrestled that 80 lb box and it's sitting in the back of my car right now.  I'll let Steve unload it later today.

Tomorrow, I'm hopefully spending the day with a friend.  Then Friday I'm off to a local bead show, to partake in wholesale pricing with my fancy new resellers license in hand and also take a few classes.  I am very excited about this!  I'm also going to spend some precious one on one time with my precious girls!  Maybe I'll take Abby to see Cars and Emily to the park.

I'm giddy with excitement about my time off.  

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Third Time is a Charm - I Hope

March 2002 - I tore my ACL while skiing at Homewood in the Tahoe area.  I had ACL reconstruction surgery in May of that year.  The recovery was painful and long and horrible.

August 2006 - While playing tennis, I heard a pop in the same knee referenced above, could barely walk, it swelled up like a balloon.  I had surgery to clean up scar tissue that dislodged itself and also had something called a lateral release (whatever that is).  This recovery wasn't anything like the ACL recovery.  It was much easier and I only had a few days of unbearable pain.

Next Wednesday - Third times a charm, right?  Microfracture surgery to replace missing cartilage on the same knee.  I'm not excited at all.  And it wasn't until this past week that I finally got my arms around what was going to happen, even though this has been scheduled for a couple months. 

I did not have kids during the first two surgeries above.  This time I have an 18 month old and an almost 4 year old.  I'll be on crutches for 8 weeks.  8 WEEKS!!!! 

During the last visit to my Dr., he also told me there were only going to be a few things I couldn't do ever again.  Basketball (fine, I'm short anyway), soccer (fine again, I gave that up when I was 12 and running (WHAT THE HELL!).  Running is the only thing I really like to do for exercise.  I have always held out hope that I could run again one day after my ACL surgery.  I tried a few times, but it was painful.  To be told, once and for all, no more running EVER, sucks! 

And then someone from work tells me to be careful of blood clots after knee surgery, many people die because of it.  Yikes, really.  Next time don't tell me these things! 

Hopefully by Wednesday I can improve my attitude about all of this.  I need to go in with a positive mind set and look at the bright side. 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Some Days Just Suck!

Today was the culmination of a handful of not so pleasant things coming to a head all at once.  A missed opportunity, conflict, exhaustion confusion, accusations, disrespect, etc... 

I was sitting there at work and decided I needed to be apart of something positive.  I packed up my bags and finished my day from home, so I could catch a glimpse of my beautiful sweet daughters before they went for their naps.  They warmed my heart, brought tears to my eyes and reached their arms out to me to give me great big hugs. 

Yes, today was one of the worst days I've had in a long time, but those precious smiles are what life is all about.  Thank you for being there for me today Abby and Emily! 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I Forgot About This Phase

Emily, my sweet Emily.  She gives lots of kisses and gives the best 18 month old hugs.  She is fearless and wants nothing more than to be joined at the hip with her older sister at all times.  Emily has a great sense of humor, is very happy and an awesome sleeper.  She is easy going and recovers quickly from the bumps and bruises a toddler incurs.  She knows what she wants when she wants it and is freakishly strong for her age.

(imagine a cute picture of Emily here, with a scrunched up smile on her face, I'm having trouble loading pictures at this time)

Emily is now throwing tantrums, OH NO!  She does this when we take something she shouldn't be playing with or when we tell her to stop slamming the TV cabinet doors repeatedly.  You get the picture. 

When Abby was the same age, she went though a similar phase and it was brutal.  She was very emotional and would throw herself against a wall, the floor, where ever.  To the point where she would hurt herself and get even more upset.  30-40 minutes later we would have her calmed down until the next outburst.

Emily's tantrums are a little less severe and much shorter in duration.  But, can't we just bypass this phase? 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Made Some Stuff Just for Fun - Necklaces

Work has slowed a bit.  I'm through the thick of it for at least a few months.  As a result, I have a few spare minutes each day to do some things I enjoy.  My latest creations are these 100% sterling silver necklaces.  I like how they turned out, but have some work to do on the technical side of assembling. 

All the parts of the necklaces came in raw form.  I twisted wire, put jump rings on, attached clasps and circles and stones.  It was a lot of fun and nice to have a creative outlet. 

The 3 largest blue stones are real turquoise, the small blue stone on the left is a pretty Blue Chalcedony and the small yellow stone is a cheery yellow Chalcedony.  Sorry for the bad picture, it was with my cell phone in a hotel room.  I have some green amethyst and quartz to work with next. 

Next up: a few more necklaces and then some more fabric zippered accessories bags. 

Monday, June 20, 2011

Commissioned Project - Complete

I did it, despite one minor schedule disruption.

I'm a planner.  I hate the mad dash at the end of a deadline.  I like peaceful and proactive progress, at work as well as at home.  I like to finish projects ahead of time with a little bit a breathing room just in case. 

This project was well planned.  I cut the fabric and started sewing over the weekend.  I was scheduled to finish Tuesday evening.  'Was', being the key word here. 

During the day at work on Tuesday, there was an awful lot of pounding going on in an office not far from mine.  Some repair work.  That, coupled with an extra sunny day and no sunglasses to be found, spelled disaster for me.  That evening, my head was pounding and I mean noise and light sensitivity pounding.

When Steve got home at 6pm, I went to lay down, for 30 minutes, for the advil to kick in and to ease the pounding in my head.  Next thing I know, it's 11:45pm, I must have been tired.  Oops.

I had 6 more little wallets to finish, but each one of them was already about 60%  done.  Well, I did it, delivered the projects.  I also added a little necklace inside for a little extra something special.  I hope the women liked them (I should know later today)! 

Here are some pictures of the finished projects.  The party colors were purple, yellow and gray.  This fabric was just perfect!  Special thanks to Buddha for the assistance. 

Friday, June 10, 2011

My First Big Commissioned Project

I've been trying to get a little idea of mine off the ground, for over a year.  Any spare time I've had is taken up with kids or work.  I decided that I needed to commit myself to something small and go for it.  I needed something with a deadline that wasn't flexible and I needed a firm commitment so I would be forced into it.

I sprung this idea onto a co-worker of mine who is throwing a bachelorette party for her sister in San Diego in 8 days.  A week ago I asked her if I could make something to be included in the favor buckets they are giving away.  She was a little hesitant at first, but I think I finally wore her down.  I am doing them at my cost, for a couple reasons:

1.) I really enjoy working with this person, she really is just wonderful.
2.) I can't ask her to pay for something that I've inflicted on her.

I am making little zippered pouches (enough to hold credit cards, money and lipstick) and cute little necklaces to match the color theme of the weekend; purple, yellow and gray.  What a great color combination.  I found this fabric by Michael Miller that will fit the bill!  I may add some accent fabric in solid gray and yellow.  I also ordered zippers in the 3 theme colors as well. 

I'm likely going to be doing a lot of cutting and sewing and gluing over the weekend.  I'll post more pictures on Monday on the progress I've made.  I am really looking forward to doing this.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Two things wrong with The Bachelorette...

The Bachelorette was a complete disaster tonight. Two things were drastically wrong with this episode...

1.) How did the producers let this guy on the show? Really Bentley, you are such a jerk. Because of you, I will teach my daughters to love themselves enough to spot an a$?hole a mile away and not have low self esteem that they think someone like you can be genuine. How dare you use your daughter as your reason to go home, which itself was a lie!!! You disgust me.

2.) Ashley, you were warned. At the point you learned of Bentley's intentions, you should have never let him get out of the limo! Why even give a guy like this a chance, there were many more to choose from. Why do women do this to themselves? Why are they so enamored with the bad boy. You cannot change guys like that. Once a snake, always a snake..

Shows like this make me realize I am married to a wonderful husband and father. He would never even imagine treating anyone this badly, nor would he ever use his precious daughters as a cover to something so awful. Please don't tell him this though. I'm still trying to get him to do more around the house and I don't want to lose traction :)...

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Juggling Act

As a corporate finance professional, fiscal year end is always a blast (please re-read with sarcasm).  12-14 hour days, tracking down revenue entries, daily reporting of where we think we'll land, etc, etc.  Sounds utterly fascinating huh?  If I talked about my job to most people, their eyes would glaze over, some might even fall asleep, but it does get pretty intense.

During this fiscal year end period, my Memorial Day weekends are always work focused.  I do try to carve out some time for family and this weekend was no exception.   Saturday and Sunday were pretty crazy...  They looked like this:

8:30am - 10:am at the gym with the kids.  I only got in a 30 minute workout because Emily decided that screaming at the top of her lungs in the kids center was a good idea.  We waited for Abby to be done at 9:30am and socialized with friends for another half hour.

We zoomed home to get Abby a snack and changed for Dance Class from 11-12.  At 11:45 Steve shows up to dance class with Emily, after having gone to buy a birthday present and I head off to get my hair colored (skunk stripe of gray loveliness, be gone!).  I get home at 2:45, and turn around at 3:00pm to take Abby to a birthday party from 3-4:30 (she had soo much fun).  Then we leave the party at 4:30 to take the in-laws their car at the airport, head home, make the girls dinner, give them baths and they are fast asleep. All throughout the day, I'm checking/sending emails, talking with my team, making sure things aren't blowing up on the work front. 

Sunday, Steve started BBQ'ing at 9am, and make the most wonderful pulled pork and smoked brisket I think he's ever made.  He gets pretty stressed out when he cooks, so I try to give him space.  My family shows up at 11:30am, I make some coleslaw and mac and cheese, we visit, I check emails, send emails, we eat, we play in the backyard, visit some more, etc..

During busy times like this, I typically burn the candle at both ends, especially when the busy time falls on a holiday weekend.  Somehow we manage, I get in fun time with my girls, I get my work done, I get less sleep than I need, but have the memories of the girls laughing and playing to carry me through.  

I know at one point I may look back and think I worked too much and missed too much of Abby and Emily's younger years.  I hope I don't, but it is possible.  Until I have that epiphany, I'll continue the juggling act to try to squeeze in as much time with them as I can and enjoy the challenges at work as well.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Memorial Day Recipes - Doing it up BIG

We are going to do it up big this weekend.  My half sister and her husband are visiting my mom and they are coming to our house on Sunday.  I'm so excited to see them, they are wonderful people!

I really can't recall the last time Steve bbq'd.  I don't count the hot dogs and Aidell's sausages he warmed up on the bbq last weekend.  We are going all out with smoked brisket and pulled pork.  YUM with a capital Y-U-M!!!

For the cooking process, Steve uses the recipes for brisket and pulled pork from the The Cook's Illustrated Guide to Grilling and Barbecue.  Really, there isn't another source out there that has allowed us to produced a better quality product. 

 In addition to brisket and pulled pork I'm going to make Ina Garten's super delicious mac & cheese (we skip the tomatoes and sometimes even the breadcrumbs and it's still just as tasty).  If you go this route, be sure to get the real deal Gruyere cheese (Trader Joe's has a great price). 

I'm also going to make a vinegar based coleslaw.  Neither Steve or I like mayo/sour cream, so the traditional coleslaw is out (yuck to the mayo based coleslaw). I'll likely omit the dill. 

I'm also going to make our own rub for the different meats.  I'm going to have to dig those recipes out (hmm, where could they be).  I sometimes make it in bulk during the holidays and give it as gifts.  It's a hit with the in-laws.  

Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone!  Please take a moment or two over this long weekend to remember what Memorial Day is all about (see below). 

(from Wikipedia):
Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May (May 30 in 2011). Formerly known as Decoration Day, it commemorates men and women who died while in military service to the United States.[1] First enacted to honor Union and Confederate soldiers following the American Civil War,[2] it was extended after World War I to honor Americans who have died in all wars.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend Deals (Michael's, Coach Shoes, Brooks Brother's, etc...)

Coach Shoes - some up to half off (don't tell Steve, but I might have purchased a pair or two). 

Brooks Brothers Dress Shirts - 2 for $109 - May 26-27th only and includes both men's and women's shirts

LOFT is holding a $25 and under event - includes skirts, shorts, tops, T's, etc...

Naturalizer 20% off entire purchase, including sale items

Gap has great deals all around their store (and website).  Their memorial day event touts up to 50% off.

Michael's coupon for 20% your entire purchase - valid Sunday may 29th

Happy Memorial Day weekend and happy shopping!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Best (and safe) Sunscreens

After having kids, I started looking at all the ingredients that go into the products they come in contact with (mainly soaps, lotions, etc), to make sure I was minimizing any potential long term impact to their health.  Cancer runs in both my family and Steve's so we will do anything we can to reduce risks for our kids since they are likely pre-disposed. 

The Environmental Working Group puts out a report every year on Safe Sunscreens.  I only buy off this list.. 

Elsewhere in the Environmental Working Group's website is a section called Skin Deep which lists safety of a lot more personal products (make-up, shampoo, lotions, etc).  Take a look, it's very informative. 

Have a safe and sunburn free summer!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Co-Sleeping: I Understand the Appeal Now!

(written last Friday)

Last night was a bit rough.  I was in the office until 7:30pm, which meant when I got home, I could do a few things around the house and get to bed at a decent hour, finally!  Sleep, I longed for sleep and was very excited at the prospect of a solid 8+ hours. 

I got into bed around 9:30pm.  Put my head on my pillow and heard crying.  Her timing is impeccable I tell you!  When Emily typically cries while she is sleeping, it's short lived and she's usually asleep within 5 minutes.  NOT LAST NIGHT.

I don't think the poor thing slept more than 3 hours total.  Throughout the night, we gave her tylenol, motrin, milk, water, we rocked her and patted her tummy/back while she laid in her crib.  At one point in the wee hours of the morning, I was laying on her floor trying to comfort her by reaching into her crib and rubbing her leg or arm.  Steve went in several times and rocked her back to sleep, but as soon as she went into her crib, she cried and cried and cried.

This is VERY unusual behavior for Emily, so something was wrong, we just didn't know what it was, and still don't.

At 4am, bleary eyed, frustrated for her and for me, I picked her up and brought her into our bed.  In our house this is totally taboo.  This is the first time we have slept with a child in our bed, can you believe it?  To each his own, but co-sleeping is not our thing. 

Emily tossed and turned, crawled around a little bit, shoved her hand in Steve's face while he was sleeping, kicked me a handful of times, and continued to cry off and on for the next couple hours.  On the rare occasion when she was able to sleep for 20 minutes or so, she was the cutest, most peaceful, adorable, cuddly little human being I have ever seen.  I now understand why parents do this.

This is not going to become a habit, but we should make this a special treat from time to time and not rule it out entirely.  Of course, only when we have enough sleep reserves to get us through the next day, because those little bodies move around a lot when they sleep and I don't think Steve or I would wake feeling very rested.

I am hoping for a better night tonight for our little Miss Em.  We have a big day tomorrow and it will be in all our best interest if she has a good nights rest.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Contemplating Their Future

On Tuesday, I attended the Professional Business Women’s Conference in San Francisco.  The thing that struck a chord with me most was this VIDEO (you have to watch it especially if you have a daughter, you really do!).  It sent chills up and down my spine and made tears well up in my eyes (as I was sitting next to my boss and other co-workers, I tried to keep myself together).

The video is only words, nothing else.  I am still thinking about it and wondering what kind of future my girls will have.  I wonder if they will deal with the gender struggles that my generation deals with or if it will be easier for them.  Will they chase their dreams and feel confident enough to go after them?  Women still earn 77% to the dollar of what men earn.  We hold far fewer positions of executive management positions than men.

Shortly after this video we heard the stories of 5 wonderful young women who will be heading off to college next year (UC Berkeley, UC Santa Barbara, Loyola Marymount, etc..).  They all faced obstacles and had to overcome many hurdles to educate themselves and persevere (poverty, death, tragedy and more).  They were an inspiration to all 3000+ conference attendees. 

Earlier in the day, we also listened to Jackie Speier, a Congresswoman from California.  She was shot 5 times in her late 20’s in Africa and almost died, suffered miscarriages, lost her husband in a car accident when she was pregnant with her second child, and lost several political races before landing where she is today. 

My perception of women who have achieved a lot in their careers is that they were born privileged, things came easy to them, they have easy lives, they are naturally smart, etc..  Yesterday was another data point, but one that finally stuck with me, that boy was I wrong.  I never felt that I could be one of those powerful women.  There is no way in hell I could ever match up.  Whenever I am in meetings with high level executives, I never feel like I belong at the table with them. 

I have always struggled to fit in.  Middle school and high school were especially tough for me.  I never felt that I what I did mattered and when I was successful at something, it was based on pure luck.  College was a bit of a turning point for me, but it was still a struggle. 

I NEVER want my girls to feel as though they did not deserve their accomplishments or feel they don’t measure up to their peers.  I want them to be confident, stand up for themselves and most of all, believe in themselves.  I know in order to so this, I need to be able to set an example for them.  It’s time I make changes about what I feel I am capable of and go after my dreams, so they can feel empowered to achieve theirs. 

How do I do this?  I’m not sure, but I am going to figure it out!  I have two little girls who are dependent on me and I don’t want to let them down.  

Here another way to get to the video:

Friday, May 6, 2011

She Broke My Heart

I guess this is what being a Mom is all about.  When something happens to your child that devastates her (all relative of course for a 3 year old), your heart breaks too.

Steve got home from a business trip last night.  He typically brings backs little gifts for the girls and it is something Abby always looks forward too.  Neither Steve or I travel frequently, so it's a rare treat.

Steve brought Abby back a snowglobe and it lasted all of about an hour and a half in our house.  Abby loved that snowglobe in the short time it was with her.  She has a very special bond with her Daddy and anything he brings her is just perfect in her eyes. 

I told Abby she needed to be really careful with the snowglobe because it was glass.  That she needed to keep it on the table or her dresser or it would break (see where we are heading here). 

Abby took the snowglobe back to her room and a couple minutes later she starts screaming, blood curdling screaming.  I run back and find her standing over the broken snowglobe screaming "I broke it, I broke it". 

The first thing I do is pick her up to make sure she doesn't step on any glass..  She's free of any glass fragments, but still screaming and crying.  I sit down with her and we both cry.  I know how much that snowglobe meant to her.  I know she misses her Daddy when he travels and it was the first time she had a snowglobe and she loved that thing for everything it represented (her Daddy, her Daddy thinking about her when she was away and a new experience for her). 

I know a bit dramatic perhaps, but she was devastated.  Is this what it is going to be like when she gets her heart broken, or if kids make fun of her at school, or when she doesn't get something she really wants in life (into the college of her dreams or the job of a lifetime)?  If we are both this upset about a snowglobe, how are we going to handle something bigger? 

A recent picture of my princess with another princess. 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

I'm Glad (Almost) No One Walked in on Me!

This isn't going to be as juicy as some might think, but it is funny!

I went to the break room/kitchen on my floor at work to put soup in the microwave.  A few minutes later I go back to retrieve my food and this is when the fun begins..

My low fat cream like soup decided to explode in the microwave.  Lovely!  It was everywhere, and I mean in every nook and cranny in the microwave.  One that is shared by a handful of people.  I have to get this cleaned up quickly I thought to myself.

I picked up the soup container to throw it away.  I get within 2 inches of the garbage and I drop it.  The remaining soup in the container splatters all over my (white soup on black) pants and the floor.  And also on the garbage cans.  Perfect!!

I really hope no one walks in on me cleaning this up, it's EVERYWHERE!

I hear footsteps, CRAP!  Thankfully it is a woman on my team, who I adore working with.  She looks at me, she looks at the microwave, then at my pants and says "what happened?".  I laughed through the story as she helped me clean up my big 'ole goopy soup mess. 

No one else walked in while I was cleaning up the soup explosion of the century.  I'll be heading home now to finish the rest of my work day in clean, non-soup laden pants.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

More Conversations with Abby

This one is a zinger. 

I don't recall thinking boys had cooties until I was at least in first or second grade.  Boys still thought girls were cool until then too. Apparently times have changed.

Me: "Abby, who did you play with at school today"
Abby: "I played with A and B", both girls
Me: "Abby, do you ever play with the boys in your class"
Abby: "No Mommy"
Me: "How come?"
Abby: "Boys make girls sick"
Me: "Who told you that?"
Abby: "Someone in my dream"

Abby will uphold rules like no one else.  If someone isn't behaving in class, she will tell them to listen to the teacher and behave.  When it comes to ratting someone out who told her something, she won't budge.  She will make something up.  While I appreciate this loyalty to her friends, I think it might cause some problems when she is a teenager.

Sometime soon I'll be able to post "Conversations with Emily".  Right now she is grunting, whining and pointing to communicate with a handful of one syllable words thrown in.  Her communication style is age appropriate, but it does not translate to blog form very well...

Monday, May 2, 2011 - 20% off today

I love this store when there is a deal.  I can find all my fancy face products and today they are 20% off...  Use coupon code ALL4MOM today (some restrictions may apply). 

I love the Murad Pomegrate line for face cleanser and moisturizer.

Butter LONDON nail polish, no bad ingredients. 

My new favorite shampoo, Alterna Bamboo, for my 80's curly hair.  This shampoo and conditioner tame the frizzies and make it easier to blow dry straight every day.  No parabens, sulfates, etc..  My hair gets oily easily and this doesn't weigh it down, I'm in love!

T3 hairdryers and flat irons are fabulous.  A little spendy, but perhaps worth it with the coupon?


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Paper Cuts

There are a handful of things that have happened to Abby over the past year that have been difficult to explain. 

1.) Describing what was going to happen to her when she had her blood drawn this past winter

2.) Trying to explain that vacation was three weeks away.  Three weeks was not a concept she was able to grasp easily. 

3.) The latest was a paper cut she received last night while getting a book out for me to read at bedtime. 

Those paper cuts hurt so darn bad!  The pain made her scream and the when she saw the blood she screamed more.  After 5 minutes, a cold cloth, some pressure on the wound followed by two (not one, but two) Tinker Bell band aids she was at least able to catch her breath. 

Her bedtime routine was a little longer than normal today, as we talked a lot about her paper cut and her band aids.  She kept asking me why the paper cut her, thinking the paper did it on purpose. 

15 minutes after she fell asleep she woke up and belted out "thank you for my special band aids", then went right back to sleep.  She earned those special band aids for her very legitimate "ouchie". 

Here's hoping everyone has a paper cut free day!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

More Royal Wedding Goodness

Yes, I'm Royal Wedding obsessed.  I would get up to watch it live, but because I'm on the West Coast of the US, it will be at 1AM my time.  A DVR version of it will have to do!

Eleni's out of Chelsea Market in NYC has some fantastic cookies all decked out for the Royal Wedding.  I had the pleasure of eating Eleni's cookies recently (Easter themed) and they were wonderfully delicious! 

If you are in the Bay Area stop by one of these Tea place's for some Royal Wedding scones or tea sandwiches.

The English Rose in San Carlos, which is now serving 'A Royal Tea'.  The Tea includes a scone, mini quiche, sausage roll, a tart, sticky toffee pudding, a wedding favor and a glass of champagne (as well as a couple other items). 

Lisa's Tea Treasures in Menlo Park - no mention of anything Royal Wedding related, but a nice spot for tea.

Sweetea's in San Mateo is serving a special Royal Wedding Tea on April 19th and 30th. 

I may still order some of that 'No More Waity, Katie' nail polish...  The name alone cracks me up! 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Gearing Up For the Royal Wedding

I'm not sure why I am so interested in the upcoming Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, but I am.  As mentioned previously, I have an addition to reality shows.  I am sure, since this is 'real', I'm really drawn to it.

So, if you are like me, let me help feed your addiction.  Here are some great sites with all the latest news on the Royal Wedding:

The Washington Post - Great overall coverage

The Today Show - Great overall coverage

Highlights from the Guest List - Celebs and Dignitaries

iPhone Apps related to the Royal Wedding - I'm off to go download one now
Schedule of Events Apps
Everything you need to know about the Royal Wedding App

Minute by minute schedule of the days events - Scheduled with military precision

What will be served at the reception immediately following the wedding - Who knew there wasn't going to be a sit down lunch, but passed canapes?

Want to buy Royal Wedding mementos?

Did the Butter nail polish line really create a color called "No More Waity Katie", crass name, but I like the color.

They sell both nail polish and lip gloss in this color.  The great thing about the Butter line is that their products are formulated without the use of the harmful ingredients like Formaldehyde, Toluene, DBP or Parabens, bonus!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Aftermath

Oh boy, this one was tough!

As I might have alluded to before, I've been busy at work.  A lot of the work my team and I have been doing came to a head this week.  We had meetings, we presented budgets.  Overall I would say it was a success.  We improved relationships with our business partners, which will go along way to making our jobs more effective and meaningful.  I took many hits and received many bruises (figurative, not literal), fighting for my team and the things we needed. 

I finally see progress and I am very excited about our near term future and we continue to make an impact.  What made it all worth it, was my team.  They are all fantastic, skilled, curious and mature.

What the last 2 months caused was quite the aftermath in my home life.  I have not been easy to deal with.  I have been overworked, tired and stressed.  Our house is totally disorganized (with the exception of what our nanny has graciously helped with).  My laundry is scattered all over the place (bathroom, laundry basket, floor of closet, laundry area, etc.) the fridge is bare, I'm sure there are some overdue bills and official looking notices I need to tend to after I find them.  There are clothes that are too small in my kids dresser drawers and I have no idea what I am going to serve for Easter brunch. 

Somehow, I'll get our lives back in order and under some level of control.

I hope everyone has a great weekend. If you celebrate Easter, I hope your time with family and those you love is wonderful.  I'll be enjoying time with my family and cleaning up the aftermath.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Meetings, Meetings, Meetings

Yes, I'll be in meetings for the next few days.  Stressful, entertaining, possibly with lots of conflict between the parties involved.  Thankfully I am just an innocent bystander, trying to extrapolate a budget for next fiscal year from all the conversations that will take place.  It might be as entertaining as an action film....