Wednesday, August 11, 2010

My little oasis

I love love love having the sailboat in the Bay. It's really become my home away from home AND my little working mom's oasis. It's the one night a week when I am truly alone in a quiet place with no TV, lots of reading material and time to just... whatever. I've actually had some moments to think about future travel plans, catch up on the myriad of magazines and catalogs I never get to glance at when I'm at home and listen to water lapping on the sides of the boats while planes come in overhead. For the first time in awhile I have time to reflect, *post* and think. What an amazing concept.

The only small problem I've encountered is that since I never have time to just hang with my thoughts, I've got so many jumbled up, they seem to be fighting for my attention. One minute I'm thinking about being a better mom (while reading Parents mag usually) the next I'm thinking about making plans for the Fall and after that I'm thinking about where we should plan our travel in 2011 and beyond. I almost need a priority list of what I can think about before I think. Extreme? Maybe.

I've been thinking about how drastically things have changed for me since becoming a mom. The things, places and people I care about are definitely altered from times past. The things I'm willing to tolerate (or not) are certainly different. But the thing that strikes me the most at this moment is my awe at how other people spend their time. Now, when I read about someone doing something I'd never even consider spending time doing, I'm in awe that they have time for that. When I see someone engaging in activities I couldn't (or wouldn't) dream of doing these days, I wonder "how do they have time for that?"

Not in a judgmental way (well . . ok, sometimes) and not completely without envy (I haven't read the Sunday Times in forever!) but certainly not in a forlorn, longing way. I would never give up the time I have with E and M for any of the things I've previously spent time on or people I've spent time with. And only sometimes do I wish there were more hours in the day so I could do some of those things.

But now, I just find ways to do the things I truly care about and see the people I love most dearly in more creative ways. And I think that's the balance we have to aim for as working moms. At least this working mom.

hmm . . . I'm in awe that I even had the time and ability to follow one thought through to completion. :-)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Nothing to report, wee!

August has become one of my favorite times at work. The summer associates are recently departed, the partners are on vacation with their kids before school starts up again and the associates are out playing (or hiding) if they can. Which means things *seriously* slow down for me. And after the madness this summer both at work and home, it's quite a welcome change. And bonus, my boss is on vacation as well! So no 1:1 calls, no team calls, etc. Even though I know it won't last, I am savoring this temporary quietness in the office.

I've actually been tempted to take my laptop up to the clubhouse/pool and "work" from there :-) Haven't gotten that far yet though.

Other than that, not too much to report. We enjoyed a fabulously busy (but good) weekend celebrating E's 2nd birthday with friends and family, hosted our first overnight guests from the Bay with their new little one, N, and then enjoyed a quiet Monday at home with just a few emails in/out. Since Monday felt like Sunday, I'm hoping it will feel like a shorter work week, which is always a good thing. And with M's improved schedule, we'll be able to enjoy the weekend both at home and on the boat in the Bay.

So, here's to a good week to all and an even better weekend coming up!

ps--Almost done with Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest--the final book in Stieg Larsson's trilogy... woot!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Balance is returning, slowly

Obviously I've broken my 'once a month' rule in posting. Haven't posted since we moved in! But it has been an INSANE few months. Since the end of March we have: bought a house, moved, bought a new car, bought a sailboat (our home in the Bay), transitioned to life in Rocklin, celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary and are about to celebrate E's second birthday (gulp!). The move, the commuting, the couch-surfing in the Bay while we looked for a permanent/short-stay option in the Bay, the kid, the craziness, working and life in general has taken every ounce of my energy, sanity and time since the end of March. BUT, and that's a big BUT, the tide is finally turning!

It certainly has not been all bad--not in the least. We've had the best summer--the one I always wanted for E: watermelon and cherries on a hot summer day, corn and BBQ dinners, weekends at the pool, hangin' with our neighbors on the court, the ice cream man driving onto our court at the end of a 100+ degree day, the BEST 4th of July party and lots of pinching ourselves to believe it's all come true.

After we bought the boat, I really felt like 'this is it!' We truly are living our dreams (as corny as that sounds). M and I are still going strong, we have a beautiful son who amazes us every single day, awesome grandparents, wonderful friends, the home we always wanted and now the sailboat that Ryan never dreamed we'd get before he turned 40. We get to enjoy our life in the Bay when we want to, but live in a town that allows E to have the childhood we *always* wanted him to have--one like ours. With nature close by, bike rides, parks, pool time, soccer, grandma and grandpa.

In short, we really feel like we can't ask for anything more. I haven't felt this elated or in love with my life since we got married. No more saying "I cant wait 'til _____ (fill in the blank)" And I finally feel like I have more balance in my life. Time for working out regularly is coming back slowly, time to spend with my husband and E is more consistent, time to talk and visit with friends and most importantly time to just BE. I'm actually reading again!

Being a working mom is never easy, it is certainly the most challenging and humbling experience in life (IMHO), but as cliche as it is, it's also hands-down the most rewarding. I can't stop hugging and kissing my kid. He drives me bonkers sometimes (at least 100 times a day) but I have never loved anyone like this. I'm not sure it's possible.

So, cheers to all of that! And here's to hoping balance finds a more permanent place in my life. :-)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Tick tock

The countdown is really on now. 4 more days until we move into our new house. Really?! O mi god. But thankfully the packing is well under control, utilities and junk are mostly moved/canceled/set up, the emergency Sears run for a fridge and washing machine is taken care of. Come to mama you gorgeous stainless steel, French door, bottom freezer lovely! (How could I not have noticed in all the docs and walk-throughs that a fridge is not included?! Hello!)

In 5 more days, I'll never have to spend another night in this god forsaken house. I'll never have to hear the "clink" from weirdo-behind-our-house's chain link fence and dread that he'll be walking by my kitchen window and peering in to see if we're in here. M will never have to drag his (as well as our) trash cans out to the curb. In 5 days I'll never have to look at my dumb landlord ever again, worry that he'll drive up and want to wash his Porsche in my driveway, or worry that psycho-behind-us will come out of his rat hole while E and I are playing in the yard. All of that will be OVER! FOREVER!!!

And yes, while the commute down to the Bay for 2 days per week will royally suck, it will pass. I will get a new job and/or make it work in another way.

This past weekend we enjoyed the lovely Saturday with our closest mom/dad/kid friends at a BBQ in our honor. The host presented us with a handmade scrapbook she made of all of the memories with us and the kids and each mom wrote a personal message within. I cried when I read it. It does make me sad that we won't be here daily with the special people in our lives here. But my excitement at having a place to call home, really home, is overwhelming. E will now have a place he *belongs* and will remember all throughout his childhood. We are now able to give him everything we wanted--a safe home, good schools, a great neighborhood filled with families like ours, and hopefully, LOADS of memories.

So, while the *extreme* stress of closing on the house, inspections, escrow, blah blah blah and packing everything up, while at the same time trying to do our full time jobs as well as we can AND take care of our favorite toddler, has been . . . taxing, to say the least, it will all most definitely be WORTH it when we get into our new home THIS SATURDAY!


Friday, March 12, 2010

Icing on the cake

The universe has decided to pile it on... so I find myself trying to dig out of the rubble with just a "reasonable" amount of stress-related issues.

Last night E came down with a case of pink eye. POOR BABY BOY! So, in addition to being out of daycare for a regular cold Wed/Thurs (grandma did Wed, M called in sick Thurs to take care of E), he now also has pink eye. RAD. He officially can't go to any daycare (gym or regular) for 3 days after he starts the eye drops. He's miserable, tired, cranky and I feel awful whenever I look at his little red eyes (tearing all the time) and little fists rubbing those itchy eyes and hear him screaming while I try to work downstairs. :-( aww, my poor baby. :-(

Then . . .

Upper management decided to crank up the pressure in a BIG way at the end of Q1 and now Q2 looks like it'll be equally stressful for several reasons [1] the uppity ups are "eyes on" and watching everything we do to make sure we are performing and [2] my bay area team is literally crumbling, so I and 1 other colleague will be left holding the bag for all of our 4 combined territories until at least August/September the way things are going. RAD. The thing that blows the most is that I'm literally the only one meeting (and exceeding) quota for 2010 so far and even though I realize equity dictates that everyone must receive the same message, I really don't appreciate (or feel appreciated) that my manager and her managers are treating me (and everyone else) like we're a bunch of slackers. Makes me really question whether keeping this position after we move is a good decision or not. Especially after I got my teeny tiny raise (no raise last year, keep in mind) which equals roughly $50 per paycheck before taxes. Um, YEA. RAD.

Unfortunately there's nothing I can do about the latter except what is asked of me (I gotta pay my new mortgage) and the former will resolve over the next few days. But I sure do hope I get good news on the position I've been vying for over a month now. (fingers crossed!!)

Last night when I went to pick up E's eye drops I also grabbed a new bottle of antacids (for me) and a new bottle of pepto (for M) and when I reviewed the contents of my bag on the way out, I thought, "hm... clearly we are a little stressed right now."

I must say this--thank GAWD for awesome grandparents who answered the cry for help and drove down today to help. Between reports, con-calls, manager calls/fire-drill emails, the movers' in-home estimate, E's pink eye & cold, crankiness and general unhappiness, and the massive pressure I've got at work, I really don't know what we'd do without them today. I literally called last night and said "mom, we need you guys!" and just like Roto-Rooter, they came on down.

Thanks universe. While you're royally screwing me at the moment, at least I'm able to fight back with a posse of support!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

99 bottles of beer on the wall....

That's what I feel like these days. Each beer represents the number, and perhaps its exponent, of things left to do in the 18 days (thanks for the reminder BT's lil sis!) left before we move in. Actually 17 since we're moving in the day before C's wedding. Yesterday I felt pretty good with the progress we've made--I packed all the non-essentials in the kitchen, family room and dining room. M has agreed to take on E's closet (which he shares). I'll tackle the hall closets, bathroom and my office this week before we head back up to Rocklin for yet another meeting. (fingers crossed). And thanks to his tenacious efforts, M has secured our new homeowners insurance provider and taken care of many of the new utility set ups and we have an appointment to tour a new daycare next Monday. But still, lots of to-do's remain and I often wonder how we'll get it all done in 17 days. REALLY.

We were so worried about it last weekend that we decided to hit up our local winery one last time before the move--
Picchetti. Picked up 2 overdue shipments, drank one bottle and met 2 other amazing couples (with kids E's age) in the process. Overall a great Saturday afternoon.

We were so stressed again that we took Sunday off to attend a baby shower (me) while M and E hit the kids'
Science Museum in San-Jo.... then hit an Oscar party in the City that night. (it doesn't matter than we haven't seen a single film that was nominated).

Then, we decided 'screw it! We're going ahead with our planned date night!' last night. And I don't regret a single moment (except perhaps overindulging in the food and wine). We enjoyed each other's company as partners in life, love and marriage, and not just as co-parents, at the lovely and amazing
Evvia. Probably our last dinner there for awhile too.

Ultimately it'll all get done. In the meantime, we want to savor our last few weeks in the Bay Area. There will be much to miss. But I'm so effin' excited about our new life in Rocklin I'm having a hard time being sad. I can't tell you how excited I am to have my own bathroom sink. And a dishwasher. And a backyard ALL to ourselves. And a GARAGE! (3-car garage at that!). And free babysitting for those much-needed date nights.

Now, back to those bottles of beer on the wall . . .

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Scatter brained

I have way too many things going on upstairs and I've been finding myself awake at 3am because of them....things I'd like to accomplish, things that *must* get done and things I'm hoping happen (at my excited urging of course). The problem is pushing the "wants" off to the side so the "musts" can be executed successfully and leaving the "hopes" to themselves now that they are in the hands of others. Of course saying as much is much easier than doing so. But the key priorities now are getting the move organized, do my paying job to the best of my ability, do my best in my mothering job and put at least some meaningful effort towards my wife job. Needless to say, I'm feeling stretched on all fronts. And it's more fun to plan some of the wants (10 year wedding anniversary fun!) than the needs (finding a new daycare in Rocklin).

Not much else exciting to report... except that we are hugely excited to move into our new home!! Seeing the progress has been really fun and going to see the house in person this weekend is going to be awesome.

Back to my paying job . . .