Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A Day in the Life of a Working Mom

I recently read the book "Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason" (which, incidentally, is way better than the movie) and thought the idea of chronicling a day in my own life might be interesting. It might give me some insight into where all the time goes, and might be a little entertaining too. (I decided to leave out information about my weight or the amount of calories I took in throughout the day.) So, here, in the life of me.

4:30am (or so)--Woken up by Gracie, who wanted to crawl in bed with Aaron and me. Pulled G up onto bed and heard some unintelligible mumbling from husband. Contemplated asking him to repeat what he mumbled, but thought the better of it and fell back asleep.

5:27am--Woke up panicking that I had missed the alarm. Since I am virtually blind without contacts or glasses and was trapped between G and husband, woke husband up to find out what time it was. Turns out I hadn't missed the alarm and had all of 18 minutes more to sleep. More unintelligible mumbling from husband. I think I know what he said this time, but I won't repeat it here.

5:45am--Jolted out of sleep by NPR. Woke husband up again to ask him to let me out of bed, since I was blocked by G on the other side. Husband grudgingly agreed.

5:46am--Took two extra-strength ibuprofen tablets to combat throbbing headache. Regretted decision to stay up late last night to watch entire Packer game, even though it was quite exciting and a real nail-biter up till the very end.

6:30am--Showered, dressed, and headed downstairs to make G's breakfast and lunch. Put on Wiggles video to keep G entertained briefly before heading to day care.

6:45am--Dressed G for school. Today was orange day (in celebration of Halloween tomorrow), so dressed G in orange Halloween shirt, much to G's delight.

7:00am--Said goodbye to husband after being briefed on his fantasy football team and someone's unfortunate decision to waive Aaron Kampman before last night's game. Who would have known he would have had three sacks last night?

7:12am--Turned off the Wiggles and headed out the door with G. Pointed out pink sunrise clouds to G and watched a jet take off over our house.

7:20am--Dropped G off at day care and headed to work. Decided to listen to CNN on the satellite radio instead of my usual alternative rock station. traffic. Thought to self that it must be my lucky day.

7:45am--Arrived at work and hit the ground running. Delighted to hear that the first song played upon tuning in to usual alternative rock station was "London Calling" by the Clash.

8:15am--Ran downstairs to vending machine for a bag of microwave popcorn and a Diet Pepsi. Breakfast of champions, baby. Passed up free bagels and cream cheese and praised self on amazing self-restraint.

8:20am--Coworker and Weight Watcher buddy stopped by to lend me her copy of season one of "Ugly Betty". Thanked her, and then saw on the back of the DVD case that season one totals 922 minutes. Wondered to myself when in the hell I would have 922 free minutes to actually watch some discretionary programming.

9:00am--Chatted with husband on Instant Messenger about possible venues for our wedding reception. Decided that both the Art Museum and the Public Museum were way out of our price range, much to my dismay. Found some other cool venues and contacted them for tours.

9:15am--Finally got serious about getting some work done.

11:00am--Hmmm...stomach began to growl and also received meeting request from supervisor for a meeting starting at 12:30pm with one of our modeling agencies. Made quick decision to leave at 11:30 for lunch and wondered whose decision it was to schedule a meeting halfway through the normal lunch hour.

11:30am--Ducked out of the office and headed to Target to pick up cupcake mix and frosting for G's Halloween party at day care tomorrow, soda for my desk at work, and various items for G's Halloween costume.

11:45am--Slipped and fell on my way to register to purchase my items at Target. Cursed decision to wear high heels today and resolved to wear sensible shoes from now on. Also made a mental note to send sister an email about this incident, as this was the second time I wiped out at a Target, and she was present for the first occurrence.

11:50am--Wolfed down some stale nachos with nasty cheese at Target cafeteria.

12:10pm--Headed back to office and then over to main building for 12:30pm meeting.

12:30pm--Attended meeting. Turns out I didn't need to eat lunch, as agency people provided ample treats from Starbucks. Had a cookie anyway.

2:00pm--Back at my desk, participated in conference call with two new hires. It wasn't terribly exciting.

3:30pm--Sent sister an email relating story of second Target wipeout. Quickly received response that read, "OH MY GOSH. I'm trying not to laugh at you."

4:45pm--Decided that I had had just about enough work for the day, and left the office. Also decided that music seemed a bit too loud for my drive home, and opted to listen to talk radio instead. Made mental note to thank husband for insisting on installing satellite radio in both of our vehicles.

4:49pm--Shut off talk radio...was feeling disgruntled after hearing story about nation's political problems. Opted to listen to The Decemberists instead. This was a good decision.

4:55pm--Huh...again, no traffic. Indeed, this is my lucky day.

5:10pm--Arrived home at last. Found husband and G in the living room...husband was folding laundry and G was on the couch watching the PBS program "Maya and Miguel". Felt very glad to be home.

5:30pm--Made Halloween cupcakes for G's party at school tomorrow, with G's help. G ate more batter than she actually put into the cupcakes. Promised husband he could have a cupcake before I sent the batch off to school with G tomorrow.

5:55pm--Sat down to a supper of pita bread pizzas with G and husband.

6:00pm--Brother-in-law called to brag about his Guitar Hero III-playing prowess. Brought him back down to earth by reminding him that husband and I are playing the game on medium level, while lowly brother-in-law is still floundering on the easy level. Suggested that brother-in-law purchase a Wii so all of us can play Guitar Hero together online. Laughed at self for turning into a gaming enthusiast.

6:20pm--G declared, "I wanna dance," so I grabbed a CD compilation of children's songs and cranked it up. Husband and G boogied.

6:25pm--Excused myself from dance party in the living room to put away laundry that husband so graciously folded earlier. Chuckled to myself as I realized that putting away laundry by oneself is actually a relaxing activity.

6:40pm--Rejoined dance party. Danced in manner of frog, dog, snake, cow, and other animals at G's request. Husband turned on video camera and taped the action. Hoped I didn't look horrendously fat in tank top and jeans. Imagined self watching video in 20 years and thinking that this haircut was a mistake.

7:00pm--Frosted cupcakes and agreed to let G and husband each have one. Enjoyed one myself.

7:15pm--Bathed G. G decided to entertain me with a lovely story about a little girl who was caught in a rainstorm but later found a rainbow with her grandpa. Sang the bumblebee song with G and then coaxed her out of the bath.

7:40pm--Turned on Dora the Explorer for G to help her wind down for the night. Updated blog.

8:06pm--Delighted to hear G say, "I wanna go to bed now." Scooped her up, per our nightly ritual, carried her up the steps and laid her in bed. Noticed as I turned off the lights that I could hear husband power up his Wii and begin to play his newly procured version of Guitar Hero III in the living room. Wondered if he finally was able to unlock some new songs.

8:40pm--Joined husband downstairs and confirmed suspicions that husband was playing Guitar Hero III. Updated blog. Began doing more research on reception venues in Milwaukee.

9:05pm--So, here I am. I am predicting that I will play a few rounds of Guitar Hero III if Aaron decides to let me have a turn (although that doesn't look terribly likely right now), and I will probably turn in for the night around 10:30pm. Reading this over, I'm not surprised that I am so tired at the end of a normal day. It also appears that I don't do a heck of a lot of work while actually at work. This really isn't accurate--I didn't want to bore readers with the minutae of my not-so-thrilling job.

So, that's it. It appears that I am finally going to get a turn with the guitar. Cheers!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Bizarro Child

Thought that I would depart a bit from the recent wedding-centered theme of my blog and relate an amusing story about Grace. She never ceases to amaze me.

Most kids Gracie's age are in the "Why?" stage, in which they inquire about anything and everything. My niece, who is five months younger that Grace, is an avid "Why?" asker, and after spending sometime with my niece in Florida and being asked, "Why?" about five hundred times, I started to notice more and more how Gracie almost never asks, "Why?" Sure, every once in a while she'll ask, but most of the time she seems satisfied with the answers we give her the first time around, and if she is wondering about something, she tends to ask about it in a different way (i.e., "I can't play with that because it's bedtime?"). It's like she states her theories about things in the form of a question.

And, it turns out Gracie actually discourages the constant "Why?" asking. Here is a conversation I had with her about a half an hour ago, after I learned that she hasn't been eating her lunches at day care:

Me: "Why didn't you eat your lunch today at school?"

Grace: "Because I didn't eat it."

Me: "Why not?"

Grace: "Stop asking me that."

Hmm. I've been shut down. I have to admit, it made me chuckle.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Wedding Week Highlights

So, as many of you know, our wedding last week was part of a larger vacation to Florida with our immediate families. Naturally, the wedding ceremony itself was the biggest highlight of the week, but there were several other noteworthy happenings as well. Here they are.

-Watching Gracie get SO excited to see Sleeping Beauty, Belle, Snow White, and Jasmine at the Breakfast with the Princesses. Life looks so much more interesting and magical when I see it through the eyes of my own little princess.

-Our wedding cake. I'm not a frosting person--I'm usually the one turning down a frosting-covered corner piece of cake for a middle piece with much less frosting. But, our cake was simply delicious, frosting and all. The cake was light as a feather, and the frosting wasn't the usual sugary stuff. It was like eating flavored whipped cream. Yummy. I still have some in my fridge if anyone is interested.

-Extended time basking in the sun by the pool. We spent all of our first day by the pool and most of the day after the wedding in our swimsuits enjoying the warm sunshine and occasionally taking a dip in the refreshing water.

-The annual Food and Wine Festival at Epcot. Aaron and I hit Epcot by ourselves on the last day of the trip, and luckily, we made it in time for the festival. There were food and wine selections from over 20 countries from all over the world stationed at various locations all over the park, and we enjoyed ourselves. By the end of the day, we were stuffed with every kind of food imaginable and drunk from a wide variety of wines. My favorites: the German sausage wrapped in a pretzel roll and topped with sauerkraut and the French pomegranite champagne.

-Disney's customer service. The wedding ceremony, transportation, and reception dinner went off without a hitch, and we did next to nothing to prepare for any of it. We left it all in the hands of our very capable wedding coordinator, and she did a fabulous job. And, she did it all with a smile on her face...the money we spent for all of this was well worth it.

-All-you-can-drink iced tea. 'Nuff said.

-Our wedding vows. Aaron's were a perfect reflection of his personality--funny, genuine, kind, loving, and from the heart. I'd like to think mine measured up to his. And, I managed to get almost halfway through mine without starting to cry. Bert was right. Waiting to write your vows till the night before the wedding is the best idea. I know mine were written while feeling the truest emotions that one feels right before their wedding.

-Spending time with my "old" family and my "new" family. I had the opportunity to spend really good, quality time with my parents, my sister and her husband, and my daughter away from the pressures of everyday life, and I will always cherish that. And, I got to spend tons of time with Aaron's family, my new family, too. I really enjoyed getting to know all of them better and feeling the warm welcome into their lives.

-Sleeping in. It's something I don't get to do much these days, and I really appreciated the few mornings that didn't begin with a blaring alarm clock and splitting headache.

-Coming home with my new husband. Gotta love it.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Wedding pics...

Here are some pics from the wedding!! More to come!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Mrs. K

Well, we're back from Florida, and I'm enjoying my fourth full day of married life. The trip was wonderful in every possible way, with the minor exceptions of the extremely humid weather in Florida and the fact that Aaron had a stomach bug most of the day after the wedding. I will post pictures as soon as I can, and I will also include the link for our professional photos as soon as it's available to me. And, I promise more details about our wedding, and our vacation, as soon as I get caught up on my sleep. But, for now, the whole experience can be summed up in one word...magical. More to come!!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The All Girls School

I work at an all girls school. It's not a school in the traditional's a department in a marketing firm in which 26 out of the 27 employees are females and the one male that works with us is trying as hard as he can to "girl it up" so he can fit in. It's an all girls school, and I'm the weird older student who started school towards the end of the year and who no one knows or bothers to get to know.

Here's the deal...I started working at this company over a month ago, after moving to Milwaukee. It sounded like a great opportunity at the time, and I thought I would have a head start there, since Aaron worked at this company a couple of years back and I had already met quite a few people that work there now through Aaron at various social gatherings.

Turns out that all the people that I had previously met through Aaron actually work at the main building, which is down the road from the building that I work in. Not a big deal, I thought to myself--I would just meet my coworkers at this building and it would work out just fine.

Wrong again. I sensed during my first week that I didn't fit in. The first thing I noticed was that everyone in the department is quite a bit younger than me. The second thing that I noticed was that there are very few wives or mothers in the department. These facts in and of themselves aren't a big deal, but when you add the fact that the department is an iron-clad clique that no one can break into, things become uncomfortable for this new girl.

My suspicions about my social status were soon confirmed. I decided to give things a shot and have lunch with some of the "girls" during my second week at work. The other girls were talking about hitting the clubs with their boyfriends and shopping all weekend long (things I never get to do anymore but really don't miss much anyway). I thought that maybe adding to the conversation by talking about shopping with my daughter the weekend before would be a good way to introduce the girls to my life and maybe pique some interest or forge a common bond. However, the mere mention of having a child halted the conversation in its tracks. I could just about hear the crickets chirping in the background.

And then there's the age factor. From what I have heard, most of the girls I work with are in their early 20's, and I am turning 30 in March. Not too many years separate us, but I happen to believe there is a huge difference between a 23-year-old and a 29-year-old, especially given some of the life experiences I have had over the past several years. In fact, my first day, I was training with a girl who graduated from my alma mater. She asked me what year I graduated, and when I told her, her exact words were, "You're old." I had to bite my tongue to keep myself from saying, "Well, you should lay off the cupcakes."

I've always been a little awkward, socially speaking. Back in high school I was the girl who was involved in everything, but chose to stick with just a couple of close friends or enjoy some solitude rather than hang out with tons of people. In college, I joined a sorority only to drop out a couple of months later because I felt like I didn't fit in. I'm finding that a lot of those feelings that I thought I had left back in my college days are surfacing again.

I guess the difference now is that I've grown into my own skin. I can look at the girls I work with and feel a twinge of rejection, but that's quickly replaced by one simple thought...It doesn't really matter to me. After all, it's just a job, and in the scheme of things, I probably won't forge long-term relationships with these people anyway. Yeah, it would be nice to be close to the people I spend a majority of my day with, but if I'm not, I guess that's ok. I get to come home to the people that really matter to me at the end of the day anyway.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to figure out what I'm going to do when I grow up...

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Long time no blog...

I have been neglecting this blog for quite some time, mostly because Aaron set up our wedding website and I have been posting on there, but also because I have just been too damn busy. So, I have decided that it's high time I start posting on here again because I love to write and honestly, I have been missing it.

Another reason I decided to start blogging again was that I have been noticing some things lately that are truly blog-worthy. And, since I'm sure Aaron needs a break from my rants every now and then, I suppose this is a good outlet for me.

So, the other day I had a truly crappy day at work, and I decided to leave a little early, get some gas, and get home to the people that make me happy. The lines at the gas station were long, as usual, and it seemed to me that half the pumps at this station were out of order. So, after waiting in line for at least five minutes (doesn't seem too long thinking about it now, but at the time, it seemed like an eternity), my turn at the pump finally came. Much to my dismay, some one else decided that it was their turn, too, and dove right in front of me and stole the pump. Then, instead of pumping gas and getting out of the way so I could take my turn, the guy gets out of his car and walks into the gas station, comes out with a slushie and assorted goodies, and drives away without putting a drop of gas in his car. Seriously. I sat in disbelief as he drove off, and apparently I sat there long enough that another patron saw his chance and pulled in next to the pump I had been waiting for. (It should be stated that at least this guy actually USED the pump, so the sting wasn't quite as bad.)

After I finally fueled up my car, I was frazzled and ready to just get home. But, as anyone that lives in Milwaukee knows, any commute through town is going to involve at least some sort of construction delay, and this day was no exception. I was mentally prepared for this, but I wasn't prepared for the guy who swerved into my lane while he was simultaneously talking on his cell phone and eating a Big Mac. I also wasn't prepared for the guy who tailgated me for half the commute and then flashed a rather inappropriate gesture in my direction when he finally passed me. (This dude had a Jesus fish on his car...the irony was not lost on me.)

I realize that I might be sounding a bit whiny, but one thing occurred to me once I got home. People are in such a rush that they don't take the time to be courteous. I can't stand that. If there is one thing I have learned in the past few years, it's that there is so much more to people than meets the eye. The guy in the car next to me could have just learned that his wife has cancer. The girl in the cube across the row from me might be grieving over a miscarriage. Yeah, I had just had a crappy day and things could have been much, much worse, but I was struck by how no one seemed to be thinking of anyone but themselves that afternoon. I think the world would be a much better place if people just stopped to think about others, and do something small, like let someone pass you on the highway or give up your spot in line.

Ok, I just realized that the battery on my laptop only has 15% of its life left, so I'm forced to close. Be back soon!