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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

You Know You're A Mom When-sDaze

You know you're a mom when:
  • You wander the aisles of Target in order to kill an hour or so and hopefully get a couple of things marked off your grocery list in the process, not to mention, blow $100 on stuff you didn't know you needed.
  • You would PAY for extra time, sleep and privacy.
  • Your favorite author's latest book is sitting on your nightstand... collecting dust.
  • You wonder how on earth you are going to get through the day when every last nerve is already fried and it's not even 8 AM yet.
  • Family and friends give you anti-stress gifts in the form of neck pillows, relaxing foot creams and gift certificates to spas from here on out.
  • You consider getting a fresh diaper, new change of clothes and socks and shoes on your tot a mini workout.
  • Your son's smile lights up a room.
Thanks, Arizona Mama for creating this meme. Visit her blog, Our Daze in the Desert.

The best is yet to be.

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Desperately Seeking Mary Poppins

I am so frustrated with our nanny search that I am ready to pull my hair out!! See photo demonstration at right.

If you haven't been following along... Up until last week, we had a wonderful young woman named Angel help care for Lucas two days a week for 5 hours each day and less than a month ago, she gave us her notice. (Saddest. Day. Ever.) She and her husband decided to move to Idaho so that he could go back to school. We were/are genuinely happy for her, supportive of her decision and had hoped that she would find us a replacement. She had previously placed nannies as part of her career and we had every confidence in her abilities.

Angel brought us ONE candidate that seemed like the perfect match, but in the end decided to devote more time to the family she is currently with, a widower and his two daughters. We can't really blame her for that... they need her more than we do.

It was an interesting interview though. It turns out that she recently discovered that she can't have children and broke down in tears while we were talking. My heart goes out to anyone that is unable to have children of their own and something inside me knew that she would be perfect with Lucas. This outward display of emotion and honest disclosure was refreshing.

Alas, it wasn't meant to be...

It was shortly there after that Angel decided "it would be best if I hand over nanny search responsibilities to you. I still have a lot of packing to do and want to make sure that I get it done on time." Um, are you kidding me? With only days until you are leaving, you drop this all on us? Great! Angel, I know you read this and I'm sorry, but that was super crummy and very disappointing.

Okay, never one to back away from a challenge, I immediately signed up for Sittercity.com on the recommendation of several friends and instantly had an In Box full of applications. Girls that clearly can't read or comprehend the words LONG TERM AVAILABILITY IS A MUST. We don't want to be in this situation again in three months.

I have had ten phone interviews in four days and two face-to-face interviews and still no one very promising. Here are some highlights for your amusement:
  • One girl is three months pregnant and wants to bring her baby to our home with her once she delivers.
  • One girl currently lives in Cleveland! We live in San Diego. She is moving out here, but not until next month.
  • Many girls are teachers and are waiting with baited breath for a teaching job offer. PLEASE READ THE AD!
  • Others are students and are looking for summer-only work. AGAIN, READ THE AD!
  • There has also been a plethora of applications that have been downright illegible, riddled with spelling errors and incoherent sentences. YOU ARE NOT GOING TO GET VERY FAR WITH ME WITHOUT GOOD GRAMMAR!!
Ugh! This is so much harder than I thought. It's like trying to find a mate, but WAY worse!!

Maybe it's a sign. Maybe the universe is trying to tell me to suck it up and be a 40 hour a week Stay At Home Mom. Who needs 10 hours of "me time" anyway?

I DO and I shutter at the thought of giving up those 600 minutes up each week. Nanny Gods, please, please, please, send someone fabulous our way!! Thank you.

The best is yet to be.

This post is for the word game, Word Up, Yo! hosted by Natalie (Mommy of a Monster), Kristin (Taming Insanity) and Liz (a belle, a bean and a chicago dog).

If you like words too, you should play along!
This week's word is plethora.

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Monday, June 28, 2010

Birthday/Update

I have been trying to write and post this ALL. DAY. LONG., so forgive me if it just turns into a hodgepodge...

I had a wonderful birthday weekend filled with some of my favorite things: pancakes, a big fat juicy cheeseburger, Berry Happy frozen yogurt, a champagne brunch with good friends,
Lucas' first swim lesson, some great laughs and quality time spent with my little family.
Oh, and a couple of SUPER frustrating phone interviews with (not so) potential nannies. More on that in another post!

I also saw not one, but TWO movies at the theater! What a treat. I LOVE going to see movies at the theater; the giant screen, the dark room and the incredible surround sound. It’s enveloping, albeit expensive. My husband and I saw Get Him to the Greek on Saturday night and I saw Knight and Day with my sister yesterday afternoon. Both are very entertaining, but definitely worth waiting for on DVD.

My husband, who has been working from home (or a nearby coffee shop) for the past
several months (89 days, but who's counting?) is supposedly moving into his new office this week and I am giving him my old industrial desk for something prettier. Remember this from my post, A Place To Call Her Own?
Guess who reads my blog? What an awesome birthday gift!! It arrived today, in three enormous boxes, which will probably sit in our foyer for a week, but it's here and it's mine and I love it. Thanks, P. xoxo

Second best birthday gift? My sister got me tickets to see Lady Gaga in August at Staples Center and I can't wait for that show!!

I am a lucky lucky girl!

I'm looking forward to what's in store for me at 38. Whether it's a growing family, move to a new city, another exciting trip across the Atlantic or even if things remain status quo, hopefully I will gain a greater sense of self and my place in the world as a wife, mother, sister and friend.

No matter what the future holds, I know that the best is yet to be.

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Friday, June 25, 2010

Flip Off!! 2

It has been a L O N G week and I have really been looking forward to Friday Flip Offs:

In no particular order:

#1 Okay, adult acne, I've HAD IT!! I had clearer skin when I was 15 and ate junk. Gimme a break already! What is it gonna take? How much tea tree oil can one person use? And by the way, I have seen you pop up on several other Flip Off lists lately, so you might just want to watch your back.

#2 To the birds that have all of a sudden started showing up outside our bedroom window at 2:00 in the morning, let's just say I'm looking into shot guns. WTF?!

#3 Speaking of being rudely awaken at night, will the case of the hungries, the growing pains, teeth trying to bust their way into my son's mouth, tempting toys and perhaps even, the monster living under the crib, just FLIP the hell OFF?! Let the child sleep, for God's sake! More importantly let his mommy (and daddy) sleep... a full 12 hours. Thank you!

#4 No Friday Flip Off list of mine could be complete without me bitching about traffic, but this week it's my fellow motorists, okay, cyclists to be exact and point a (middle) finger. What the hell are you thinking?! You lycra-wearing snobs aren't above the law and you don't always have the "right of way". Follow the same rules as I do in my car or you're gonna hit. It's the law, oh and while you're at it, FLIP OFF!!

#5 With my (gulp) 38th birthday tomorrow, I would be remiss if I didn't give the big ole bird to AGE and growing older. I firmly do believe as Honest Abe is quoted as saying In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years, but I would swear since I had a child, I have more gray hairs and more defined crows feet than ever before. Plus, there are new aches and pains cropping up here and there and my mind is not what it used to be. This can't all be the baby's fault, so I have drawn my own conclusion that getting old SUCKS!

Whew, I feel so much better and it's all in part to Gigi at Kludgy Mom for creating this awesome meme.

Happy weekend, everyone!

The best is yet to be.

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Time Well Spent

We don't own a piano, but I have always dreamed of having one simply to display dozens of photos across. Instead, we have this beautiful side board that does a pretty nice job.
I couldn't choose just one photo to write about, so I chose all 15. As I reminisced and went back in time, here is what I thought:

  • What a goofy grin on my face! I can't believe my husband not only took that photo just moments after I had completed my first (and only) half marathon, he had it blown up and framed so that I would always remember that pain... and pride.
  • My perfect wedding.
  • My husband and his parents - they are my family now too:
  • I have the best friends a girl could ever hope for:
  • I'm sad whenever I remember that this is the last photo that I ever got to take with my parents:
  • My dear, sweet sister, whom I sometimes feel a million miles away from, but always hold very close to my heart. Here we are after our first grueling day on the 3-Day Walk:
  • The joy and hopefulness in my eyes as I rest my hand on the new life in my belly:
  • My perfect baby just four weeks old:
  • My oldest and dearest friend in the world and all of our children together at last:
And then I actually did become inspired enough to write a poem:

They say a picture is worth a thousand words...

What if a thousand pictures were worth just one?
I'd say much easier said than done.

One word that fully encapsulates smiles, fun, tears and laughter,
Hopes, dreams and the happily ever afters?

Would it be: Happiness? Joy? Blessings? Love?
Ah, love, that's fitting. After all, isn't it the only word to speak of?

Photographs take us back and remind us of travel and distant places,
Moments with family and friends in possession of warm and familiar faces.

Our snap shots are displayed like treasures,
Out of love, in memory and for pleasure.

We capture, frame, post and share with everyone our two dimensional grins
But mostly, our photos are for our own selfish whims.

Whether they are in color, black-and-white or over exposed,
The images are not always of what is being proposed.

Were we just smiling for the sake of the lens,
Or were we truly satisfied with our lives and friends?

A sense of mystery can lie in each and every one,
"Why was I wearing this or that?", "Look at my hair!" and "I didn't know what was about to be done".

Protect your memories and your photographs as if they were gold,
Something that can never be traded, bought or sold.

And remember, L-O-V-E is what they represent
And just gazing at them is time well spent.

The best is yet to be.


I wrote this post for Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop - Prompt #2: Write a poem about a picture.

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

You Know You're A Mom When-sDaze

How many of these can you identify with?

You know you're a mom when:
  • You have no clue if Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel are still a hot Hollywood couple and frankly don't care as much as you once did.
  • It takes you (on average) up to three nights to finish watching a movie because you keep falling asleep.
  • You think your child should be as excited as you are when he gets a piece of mail addressed to him. All I ever get anymore are Land of Nod catalogs, Gymboree coupons and bills!
  • You swear if you have to go to the grocery store one more time this week you may need to be committed.
  • You make sure your kid has three square meals a day, ample snacks and plenty of liquids, but you can't remember the last time you drank a full glass of water.
  • Your child is slathered in sunscreen and wearing a hat, but you forgot all about your own sensitive skin.
  • When your child's music or favorite television program is on, all is right in the world, but God forbid you try to catch up on the news or play a little Top 40!
  • It might take you all week to do one load of laundry because you keep forgetting that you started it and once wet laundry sits in the washer for over 24 hours, it needs another round.
  • Your child uses your boob (either one will do) has an arm rest.
  • You want better for your child than you ever had it and you had it pretty dang good.
Thanks to Arizona Mama for creating this meme. Visit her blog, Our Daze in the Desert to join the fun!

The best is yet to be.


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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Patience

My husband is a very patient person.

I, on the other hand, hate waiting in lines.

I hate red lights.

I am not good at dealing with my son's temper tantrums.

I have several of my own temper tantrums each week.

I want things done N.O.W. and I have ZERO tolerance for people that dawdle or indecisiveness. I don't like to "wait and see" or "talk about it again later". I want to make a decision and move on.

They say patience is a virtue. Well, I don't get it. Clearly, I don't have very much of it and while I'd like to think I'm working on it, I don't really know that I am.

What makes one person more patient than another?

How do you develop patience?

What is so virtuous about patience anyway?

Does being patient really make you a better person?

Ah, patience, you slay me!

Webster's dictionary defines [being] patient as:
1. enduring pain, trouble, etc. without complaint
2. calmly tolerating insult, delay, confusion, etc.
3. showing calm endurance
4. diligent; persevering

Well, no wonder people (I) have such a difficult time with it. If being patient is equated with enduring pain without complaint and calmly tolerating insult, then you can keep it. It does me no good.

It sure makes patience sound like taking on a martyr "suffering in silence" role, doesn't it? No, thank you!

But, if I think about patience in terms of showing calm endurance, being diligent and persevering, then MAYBE I can SORT OF see a different aspect of patience and one that for a mommy like me, should aspire to be.

Yesterday was one of those days that particularly tried my patience.

Thank goodness my husband is a very patient person.

The best is yet to be.

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Monday, June 21, 2010

Sumertime

Get your buckets, pails, sunscreen, wide brim hats and bathing suits ready, it is time to hit the beach, summertime is here!

We spent Father's Day at the beach yesterday and Lucas had no fear of the sand, ocean or waves, so something tells me that we are going to be spending a lot of time there this summer and I for one can't wait!
Today I am guest posting over at Mommy of a Monster and I'm talking about one of my favorite things on the planet (next to my adorable son and summertime) and that is of course, wine, glorious wine! Check it out.

Happy first day of summer, everyone!

The best is yet to be.

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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day

Lucas has one of the very best fathers I know. Lucas is very lucky, although I think his daddy would say it's the other way around.

In celebration of Father's Day, here are some quotes that I think epitomizes the role of father and the relationship between a father and his children:

"It doesn't matter who my father was; it matters who I remember he was." - Anne Sexton

"It is admirable for a man to take his son fishing, but there is a special place in heaven for the father who takes his daughter shopping." - John Sinor

"When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years." - Mark Twain

"Fatherhood is pretending the present you love the most is soap-on-a-rope." - Bill Cosby

"The kind of man who thinks that helping with the dishes is beneath him will also think that helping with the baby is beneath him, and then he certainly is not going to be a very successful father." - Eleanor Roosevelt

"One night a father overheard his son pray: Dear God, Make me the kind of man my Daddy is. Later that night, the Father prayed, Dear God, Make me the kind of man my son wants me to be." - Anonymous


"He didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it." - Clarence Budington Kelland

"Old as she was, she still missed her daddy sometimes." - Gloria Naylor

"Spread the diaper in the position of the diamond with you at bat. Then fold second base down to home and set the baby on the pitcher's mound. Put first base and third together, bring up home plate and pin the three together. Of course, in case of rain, you gotta call the game and start all over again." - Jimmy Piersal, on how to diaper a baby, 1968

"Small boys become big men through the influence of big men who care about small boys." - Unknown

My personal favorite:

"The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother." - Henry Ward Beecher

Happy Father's Day, everyone!

The best is yet to be.

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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Patenting Without Parents

I am parenting without parents. Are any of you?

People ask me about Lucas' grandparents all the time. They know my husband's parents live a two hour plane ride away and that we see them every month, but they don't always know where my parents are. When I tell them, it always brings the conversation to a screeching halt. I hate it when that happens.

It's always on my mind... my parents aren't here.

My parents will never meet my son.

For those of you that don't know, they both died almost three years ago of carbon monoxide poisoning. You can read details here.

A lot can happen in 32 months and every now and then, a little more than usual, (cue Lucas' recent birthday, Father's Day tomorrow and my birthday next week) I can't stop thinking about, not only what they are missing, but what I am missing too. Can there be a statue of limitations on needing a mother even if you are a mother? I don't think so.

It's stupid really, I'm almost 38 and I have no one to call with my silly parenting questions. There’s no one to ask. Sure, I have a wonderful (much younger) sister, a loving aunt and uncle, a very smart mother-in-law, a supportive sister-in-law, who is also a mother of two and tons of amazing friends in the blog world and real life, but sometimes it feels like I’m flying solo on something I shouldn't be.

To me, having a baby brings you closer to your own parents. You finally realize all the pain, suffering and worry they went through with you. Once you have a child of your own, you know just how much your mom and dad love you.

They should be here.

I should be having conversations about Lucas' milestones, poop, food, toys and TV watching habits with my mom. I should be getting choked up over seeing my dad play with his grandson and rolling my eyes at them both when they try to put, yet another visit on the calendar. I should be asking them, "when did I do this, that or the other when I was his age?".
All it's only been one year!! How am I going to do this for the rest of my life?

They would have been terrific grandparents.


Aside from two incredible people who built their lives around educating children, so much else was lost when my parents died; family traditions, history and a whole set of memories that I don't share with anyone else but them. Whenever something crosses my mind that I think Lucas might be interested in or should know, I jot it down and more than once, I have poured my heart here. It helps, but I still miss them every day.

The best is yet to be.

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Friday, June 18, 2010

@#!%^ You! 1

I LOVE the idea of flipping stuff off, so I'm going to participate in this every Friday, as long as I don't have anything else worthwhile to share and I'm good and pissed off at something.

Thanks to Gigi at Kludgy Mom for creating this meme. I know I'm going to feel better after this rant.

In no particular order:

#1 There is an intersection by our house that no mater what time of day or direction I am going, I get stuck at the red light, which would be okay, except for the fact that I end up sitting there for 4+ minutes sometimes. I've timed it! This is especially fun when running late.

My husband and I un-affectionately call it the "punishment light". It's like going to confession (I'm not Catholic, but I have seen it done in the movies). I feel like I am meant to sit there for 4+ minutes and think about all of the horrible, no good, very bad things I have done all day. Stupid light!

#2 I'd like to flip off elementary school children, high school teens and college kids....anyone who gets their summers off to frolic and play. Oh, what I wouldn't give... I l.o.v.e. summers. I have always loved summer and I miss them, so screw all of you still in school with your free of responsibilities season. I hope you have a bitchin' summer!

#3 Our DVD remote control in our bedroom. Every night, it's the same thing... I have to turn the entire machine off at least once and sometimes TWICE in order to get to the main menu and play the DVD inserted. Novel concept, huh? Oh, this infuriates me to no end. Why can't shit just work?!

#4 I'm not saying any names, but I recently took Lucas to a very popular department store to have his one year portraits taken and I was assured that the entire session would be available on line "by the time I got home". It's been a week tomorrow and I have made four phone calls and sent an e-mail and have yet to see them. Apparently the Web site was redesigned in APRIL and they are still having problems with it. Luckily I bought our favorite pose, but c'mon people!


I know there's more where that came from, but for my first time, I'll leave it at that. Feels good, you should try it!

Happy weekend, everyone.

The best is yet to be.

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

The High Five

It's High Five time again... a list of five products that I am loving right now and why.

1. Huggies Overnight Diapers
God only knows why, but we just started using these and all I have to say is: AWESOME!! On a good night Lucas sleeps 12 hours and these suckers are absorbent.

2. LAVANILA Pure Vanilla Perfume
If you love the smell of vanilla as much as I do, then you have to check out this fragrance. Plus, not only does it smell good, it's good for you too:

From Sephora: LAVANILLA carefully infuses pure essential oils with 100 percent active botanicals for natural fragrances that are fresh, clean, and nurturing. With each spray, proprietary natural technology wraps the skin with super antioxidants goji berry and kakadu plum, soothing willowherb, and hydrating olive leaf for a healthy dose of 30 essential vitamins and minerals and 19 amino acids.

Now if I can just remember to spritz a little on each morning!

3. Trader Joe's Light Kettle Corn
TJ's is at it again. They seriously sell the best. snacks. ever. and like all the others this one doesn't disappoint and I especially love that they are packaged in their own individual bags at just 110 calories a pop.

4. Lululemon Athletica
I live in these fantabulous yoga-inspired pants. They are a bit pricey, ($80-$110) but so so SO worth it. They are comfortable, reversible and keep their shape wash after wash after wash. The hidden pocket is a nice bonus and perfect for a key and a little cash.

5. Bubbles!
When was the last time you blew bubbles? Our nanny gave Lucas a bottle for his birthday and I forgot how delightful they are. It's our new favorite thing to do at the park and in our back yard. Perfect summertime fun!

For past High Five posts, click here. Be sure to tune in tomorrow because I'm not going to be so nice.

The best is yet to be.

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

You Know You're A Mom When-sDaze

The "I'm a mom" reminders are EVERYWHERE!!

Thanks to Arizona Mama for putting together this great meme. Visit her blog, Our Daze in the Desert to join in on the fun!

You know you're a mom when...
  • At the end of the day your pockets are filled with a half-eaten pretzel stick, numerous Cheerios, a baby bottle cap, a dryer sheet and a Boogie Wipe...who knows what I'll discover in there tomorrow!
  • You know exactly how hard you have to push the stroller out in front of you in order to stuff you hair into a hat.
  • You tell your husband a little white lie about what time a mommy-only event begins in order to allow yourself just a few extra minutes to yourself.
  • You are more than willing to share your turkey from your turkey sandwich, if it means your kid will eat!
  • Going ANYWHERE requires at least 20 minutes of prep and packing and maybe even a list.
  • And speaking of going anywhere, like out to dinner, if tot is in tow, you are enjoying the Early Bird Special with all the Senior Citizens, so you get back home in time for bed time (AKA the most wonderful time of the day!!).
  • Your child smells like lavender, his hair is combed, teeth are brushed and is wearing the cutest new outfit, but you are still in your pj's and haven't washed your hair or shaved your legs, let alone put on perfume in days.
  • You justify every excessive crying spell with "it must teething".
  • You can't get "Elmo's Song" out of your head. Damn that furry little red monster!
  • Your heart bleeds a little every time you hear of an injustice to a baby, child or teen.
  • As soon as your overly fussy, overly tired child FINALLY gives in to take a nap, you feel the incredible (not to mention stupid) urge to wake him up because he is just so dang cute.
The best is yet to be.

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Moving On

Any change, any loss, does not make us victims. Others can shake you, surprise you, disappoint you, but they can't prevent you from acting, from taking the situation you're presented with and moving on. No matter where you are in life, no matter what your situation, you can always do something. You always have a choice and the choice can be power. - Blaine Lee

Friendships shouldn't be difficult, but sometimes they can be a downright messy and very complicated endeavor.

Some friendships die a natural death: people move, change jobs, start a family, or embark on a completely different stage of life. Other friendships, however, end prematurely and abruptly. When a friendship is over and you don't always understand why and it can be painful and puzzling. Sometimes a friend ends your relationship without even telling you and sometimes they are able to muster up enough courage to FINALLY say all the things they have wanted to say for a very, very long time.

I spent a good part of last week stewing over a friendship I have had for 20 years. We exchanged scathing e-mails and I ended up sharing some things that were WAY overdue. Should one of us have picked up the phone to discuss our issues? Absolutely, but e-mail has always sort of been "our thing" due to our geographic challenges.

It would take an entire blog to describe all the ups and downs and twists and turns I have had with this person over the years, so I'll spare you the torrid details and just say that like in any relationship, there were good times and some nice memories that I will always cherish, but ultimately, pride, ego and an unwillingness or inability to "show up" played a huge role in the end of our friendship.

I am certainly not perfect and there are two sides to every story, but this is my blog, so you can figure out which one of us I think was the selfish one.

I have experienced monumental changes during the last three years (I got re-married, lost both of my parents at the same time, left a 10+ year career in marketing to deal with the fall out and became a mother) and my friend wasn't much of a friend to me during any of these life altering moments and instead of saying anything to her, I pretended that everything was okay.

It wasn't.

To be fair, she had fallen on tough times too and has spent the last three years trying to find steady work, all the while nursing a back injury sustained from an auto accident and in my opinion popping too many pills and letting herself spiral out of control. Every e-mail I received was worse than the last, a virtual "woe is me" tale of sending out resumes, worry over paying medical bills, asking for money, a repossessed car, and "boy toys".

Ah, can you say different phases of life?

I am not saying that what was going on her life was was any less important than what was going on in mine, but there was so little acknowledgement of my burdens that it bruised my heart.


How does this relate to Lucas and/or motherhood?

I believe when you become a parent, you gain a much clearer view of the world around you, the relationships you have and what your priorities are. I literally don't have the time to build egos or coddle anyone but my son (and occasionally my husband) anymore!

Friendship plays a key role in shaping an individual and in making the person he or she turns out to be. I have always thought of myself as a good friend. Thoughtful, loyal, fun to be with and above all engaged. I get caught up in the details sometimes and admit to having high expectations, but over the years, I have realized that that is okay. Why shouldn't I expect the very same that I give in return?
I want nothing less for my son and the friendships he cultivates someday.

There is a lesson in this loss for me... hopefully, I'm little wiser and will be a lot more open in future. Life is too short.

Today, I feel lighter and a tiny bit sad. I am proud of myself for finally speaking my mind and letting her know how I feel about her absence over the years, but I will miss her and moving on, will think of her only with fondness.

The best is yet to be.

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Monday, June 14, 2010

Real Life Moms

Real Life Moms is a social Ning group lovingly created by Surviving Little People and is for real moms who are out there living life, raising children the best they know how and trying to see the world (and parenthood) with a sense of humor.

It's a great place to go to ask questions, share stories, photos and connect with other real moms just like you.

I am thrilled to announce that this week, Letters For Lucas is featured as a Real Life Moms Blog of the Week! I love that I actually have readers out there and appreciate SLP for choosing me!

The best is yet to be.

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Boobs

I've been thinking about boobs a lot lately.

I've been thinking about how they vary in size and shape from woman to woman and how some women go to extremes to augment, lift and smash them together.

I know nine women that have had breast implants without ever looking back (aside from one that had a horrific experience and had them removed). I'm completely envious of the way these women's boobs look. They are always so perky and look fantastic in everything they wear, especially bikinis. I'm also envious that often times, they don't even wear bras because they don't have to.

I thought I had good boobs before I had a baby. A nice solid B+, as in the size, not the grade, but as long as I brought it up I'd give them a B+ grade too. Nowadays, they are more of C- and that's with the helpful aid of the "right" bra (is there even such a thing?)

There are no two ways about it, boobs completely transform while you are pregnant and in the year that follows. I'm amazed that their sole purpose (aside from looking fabulous in a push up bra under a little black dress) is to provide nourishment.

I have several friends working on weaning their infants off the boob right now and it makes me sad. Okay, I'm just going to say it: I tried breastfeeding and it didn't work for me.

This is my story:

I have to admit I was on the fence about it from day one and struggled with my decision up until I purchased the Cadillac of all breast pumps (the Medela Pump In Style with shoulder bag), ample storage bags, boxes of bra pads, nursing shirts and two tubes Costco-sized tubes of lanolin cream. With all the gear, there was no turning back. Plus, I was looking forward to the connection and bonding that my son and I would have, not to mention, I had heard that you can burn an extra 500 calories a day by breastfeeding. Bonus!!

Little did I know what sort of battle I was up against. Breastfeeding hurt like nothing I had ever experienced before; from the top of my head to the bottom of my toes. It was more painful to me than labor and delivery and I delivered naturally without drugs.

There's just something so wrong about pulling your unsatisfied newborn off your breast only to find his mouth full of blood instead of milk and wanting to cry your eyes out from the pain.

We had lactation specialists visit us in the hospital and at home, took pictures of the pillow arrangements and bought nipple shields, which helped a little bit, but when my milk wasn't coming in and I couldn't relax and began panicking because my little tiny baby was screaming out of hunger, I resorted to pumping only. I only produced two to three ounces a day and that only lasted two months and then I, of course completely. dried. up.

Fortunately (or unfortunately), Lucas was dehydrated when he was born and took longer than the standard week to return to his birth weight, so the nurses at the hospital told us we would have to supplement with formula. Dad was feeding the synthetic stuff to our son this through a syringe while my sister was pressing on my breasts to help encourage the milk to come in and I was busy trying to relax and hold my baby in the most optimal position. As you can imagine, it wasn't a pretty picture.

I know of all the advantages of breastfed babies and I wanted them for Lucas. I thought I would have a gullet of milk gushing out of my boobs. I wanted my boobs to do what they were designed for, but instead they let me down and to this day I still feel extremely guilty that Lucas didn't get breast milk longer. I really did try and I had a lot of support around me, it just wasn't meant to be in the end.

Whether they work or not, back to boobs...and bras.

I feel like I am forever on the search for the perfect fitting, just enough lift, maximum comfort providing bra, especially now that mine have changed so much since giving birth. I think it's time for this momma to head back to Nordstrom for an "intimate" fitting.

I have had pretty good luck with the Victoria Secret Body by Victoria line, but would love to know what everyone else likes. What's your favorite everyday bra? Sports bra? Nursing bra (provided I ever give that another whirl)? Push up? T-shirt?

The best is yet to be.

This post is for the new word game, Word Up, Yo! hosted by Natalie (Mommy of a Monster), Kristin (Taming Insanity) and Liz (a belle, a bean and a chicago dog). I love words and wish I had a better vocabulary. I like the way words sound and feel sometimes rolling off my tongue. I especially enjoy words that I have to look up their meanings to. Having said all of that, you may see this button on my blog from time to time:

If you like words too, you should play along!
This week's word is gullet.

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Sunday, June 13, 2010

I Spy

Your dad has been away on a business trip all weekend and a part from a few hours today, when I had a luxurious massage followed my lunch with a friend, it has been just you and me.

You have been an absolute joy (see Friday's post for my thoughts on that) and I have realized that if I could earn a salary for watching you, I'd be a millionaire!

I love to spy on you as you try to figure things out; like how the wheels turn on your toy train and how if you push a button, the music comes back on. You appear so deep in concentration as you move from station to station in your bedroom... from the toy box over to the book shelf, on to the basket that holds all of your stuffed animals and then to the window sills. You are very busy and always seem to be on an exploration. You are deep into cause and effect and how things work right now and it is fascinating to observe.

You make very calculated movements, as though you think your next step though before you bolt off to do it. This is such an incredible characteristic to witness take shape as you learn more about the world around you and one that you most definitely did NOT inherit from me.

You are really smart. I know, I'm your mother so I may be a bit biased, but you
know to turn a book around when it is upside down and when you see a funny picture, you actually laugh.

I sat and stared at you for at least 5 minutes while you rediscovered a book that you hadn't seen in a while. You flipped slowly through it, page by page and giggled quietly to yourself at the smiling babies that you saw inside and when you were done, you started right back at the beginning. I watched you do this four times in row. It was so endearing and I didn't even know it, but tears started rolling out down my face.

Maybe I was still on a "spa high", maybe my hormones are on overdrive (will they EVER return to normal?!?) or perhaps, and I'm banking on this one, I'm simply in love with my son and everything he does.

Today was a good day, but as always, the best is yet to be.

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Friday, June 11, 2010

Just The Two Of Us

I am lucky to have the very best partner on the planet because I honestly could NOT do this parenting thing on my own and I have so much respect for mommy's that do.

My husband and I make a great tag team because he knows how crucial my "me time", friend time, sleep and need to have a couple of moments to regroup (AKA blog about my day) are to me and how important my getting those things makes me a better mother. I can only hope I do the same for him.

Having said all that...

I have a confession to make:
sometimes it is just way easier to do it on my own. Not that my husband and I have different parenting styles; he is MORE than capable, a wonderful father and I have no qualms about their time together or the way in which he does things with our son, BUT Lucas and I have a thing going, a routine and everything just seems to work a little better/easier/smoother when it is just us.

I attribute this to being Lucas' primary care giver, the one that spends the most time with him and the fact that oh, I don't know, I'm the mom. Seriously, why is it that only Mommy will do in certain situations or on days that end in the letter 'y'? I still marvel at the fact that I could mean so much to one little person. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, while at the same time, bugs the living shit out me!

Apart from the joy and frustration of being the most important person in my young son's life, I swear he does behave
slightly better when it's just he and I, I think the tag teaming thing irks him.

Sorry, little buddy, your dad is here to stay. Here's to my partner!

The best is yet to be.

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Soundtrack Of My Life

I love music and it has always been a huge part of my life. I believe everything is better with music. I have over 6000 songs on my iPod and an "Essential" playlist with over 100 of my "favorites". They are from all different genres, some are fast, some are slow, some have no lyrics at all, they make me want to dance or cry, several remind me of simpler times when I was young and carefree, but all have special meaning to me of a particular time and place in my life and without a doubt every one makes me smile.

When Lucas was almost five months old he accompanied me on a road trip to Arizona and I played the entire playlist for him and shared the significance of each song. He slept though most of it, but I didn't take it personally. Since then he has heard those songs and many others over and over. I hope he grows up to enjoy music as much as I do.

When I think about The Soundtrack Of My Life, I think about losing my virginity to Prince's Sign 'O' The Times and dancing my first slow dance to Drive by The Cars and the fact that Fade Into You by Mazzy Star was playing when I got into my first car accident, and anytime I hear anything by The Grateful Dead, I will remember my first true love and Morning Dance by Spyro Gyro will always make me miss my dad.

But, there are 10 tunes that I'll never grow tired of and also represent my life in very big was (in order of their release dates):

1. Different Drum (1970) by Linda Ronstadt And The Stone Poneys

Yes, and I ain't saying you ain't pretty
All I'm saying is I'm not ready
For any person place or thing
To try and pull the reins in on me

I have always loved this song and it’s carefree, Miss Independent, you can’t tie me down message. I chose it for three reasons:
1) Ronstadt and I share our beginnings in Tucson, AZ.
2) While attending the University of Arizona I worked at Pier One Imports and actually helped Ms. Ronstadt when she came into the store one day.
3) My mother’s love of folk music - she couldn't carry a tune to save her life, but I sang along to The Mamas and the Papas, The Carpenters and Carol King growing up.

2. Pictures of You (1989) by The Cure

If only I'd thought of the right words
I could have held on to your heart
If only I'd thought of the right words
I wouldn't be breaking apart
All my pictures of you


I love 80’s music…Duran Duran, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Culture Club, New Order and of course, The Cure. Gorgeous and haunting lyrics, enough said!

3. How You’ve Grown (1992) by 10,000 Maniacs

"My, how you've grown."
I remember that phrase from my childhood days too.
"Just wait and see."
I remember those words and how they chided me,
when patient was the hardest thing to be.
Because we can't make up for the time that we've
lost, I must let these memories provide.
No little girl can stop her world to wait for me.

This song always remind me of the almost 12 years between my younger sister and I. I feel as though my parents and I always tried to make her older than she was and then we’d end up getting frustrated with her for being what she was…younger.

4. Waiting in Vain (1995) by Annie Lennox

It's been three years since I'm knocking on your door

And I still can knock some more
Ooh, boy, ooh, boy, is it crazy? Look, I wanna know now
For I to knock some more


I love the Bob Marley version of this song too, but this one stands out to me more because it’s sung by the incredible Annie Lennox; it just doesn't get any better!

5. We Danced Anyway (1996) by Deana Carter

Well they say you can't go back

But baby I don't believe that
Come along with me, come on and dance with me


I love how country songs tell a story, but this song is just sweet and fun.

6. The Space Between (2001) by The Dave Matthews Band

These fickle fuddled words confuse me
Like will it rain today
We waste the hours with talking, talking
These twisted games we're playing

We're strange allies
With warring hearts
What a wild eyed beast you be

The space between
The wicked lies we tell and hope to keep safe from the pain

Anyone who knows me (Natalie!) knows I am CRAZY about Dave Matthews and it is very hard to just pick one song from their discography because I honestly love all of them. This song got a lot of airplay, but for me it’s the unmistakable tongue twisting lyrics and message of hope that keep me coming back for more.

7. Break Me (2001) by Jewel

Feels like being underwater
Now that I've let go
And lost control
Water kisses fill my mouth
Water fills my soul

This song stops me in my tracks every time I hear it. I love how vulnerable, fragile and downright raw the lyrics are. It reminds me of me in the beginning of any relationship I have ever had. It takes a lot of guts to put your true self out there, but it has been worth it every time.

8. Someone Like You (2001) Van Morrison

I've been all around the world

Marching to the beat of a different
Drum.
But just lately I have
Realized
The best is yet to come

I helped my dad search high and low for this song because he loved it and we finally found it on the soundtrack of the same title. Cheesy movie but a classic song.

9. Starry-Eyed Surprise (2002) by Paul Oakenfold featuring Crazy Town

Once again I found myself with my friends
Dancin' the night away it's like the party never ends
Then again we don't want it to stop cause
Tonight's the night it goes sweat box, laser beams, flashin' lights


This is my “power song” for whenever I need that extra boost to go a little bit further on the treadmill. It never fails!

10. The Book of Love (2004) by Peter Gabriel

The book of love is long and boring

And written very long ago
It's full of flowers and heart-shaped boxes
And things we're all too young to know


Simple melody and witty lyrics; Peter Gabriel sings with a frailty and poignancy no one else could manage. Beautiful song!

And for good measure:

11. Far Away (2005) by Nickelback

'Cause I needed, I need to hear you say that I love you (That I love you)
I have loved you all along
And I forgive you (And I forgive you) for being away for far too long


This song occupies a very special place in my heart and I can't get through it without crying, especially when I hear the line below. It makes me think of my parents who have been gone for far too long and are very much missed every single day.

This was an incredible writing experience and I enjoyed walking down memory lane and really thinking about why I chose each and every one of the songs above. Thank you, Mama Kat for the topic. Incidentally, I made a play list of just these songs and listened to it while I wrote this, reaffirming my selections.

The best is yet to be.

I wrote this post for Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop - Prompt #1: Soundtrack of your life - Pick 10 songs that you would have on a soundtrack for your life, pick a line from each that you most identify with and write a short statement of why this song made it.

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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Stupid @#!%^ House!!

I can see the headline now:

SAN DIEGO MOTHER STUFFS TODDLER
(AND LARGE TOY)
DOWN DRAIN PIPE.


Ever since we returned from our trip to Australia, Lucas has been waking up in the middle of the night every other night, or so needing a bottle. We thought he was just getting used to being home and the time difference, etc., so we obliged.

We are idiots!

We have been home over a month and I'm pretty sure he's pulling one over on us now. So, three nights ago, on his birthday nevertheless, we stopped getting up with him and started to let him work it out. It was working great, until last night when I forgot to remove the latest distraction.

Meet the culprit:
The Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Learning Home

Cute enough, right? But very dangerous! It turns out if this thing,
a once thought of as the perfect birthday gift from Mommy & Daddy is within eyesight, Lucas won't sleep. Lucas wants to play.

He was up from 1:15 - 1:45 whining and carrying on and I thought trying to go back to sleep, but when I finally went in to his room, he was sitting up in his crib with his "take me to Disneyland look" pointing at the house. I comforted him, explained that it was nighttime and that he could play with his new toy in the morning, to which he promptly rolled on to his tummy, which usually indicates he's going to cooperate. I also removed the house from his room only to set the music off, which only ignited his desire to play with it. Stupid @#!%^ house!! A complete melt down ensues and it's now almost 2:00 in the morning.

He was still whining at 2:15 and 2:30, upon which time I got him a bottle, cursed the world and thanked God it was at this point that Dad took over. I was so pissed!

Needless to say, we have made up (sort of), but are both sleep deprived today.

The best is yet to be.

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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

My First Guest Post

I was a little apprehensive at first when one of the editors-in-chief (Natalie of Mommy of a Monster (I Mean Toddler) and Infant Twins) asked me to write a guest post for the fabulous, not to mention new and improved mommy blogging community, Our Mommyhood. It was a lot of fun and I'll do it again, given naps and bedtime happen in this house exactly when I want them to. Ha ha, that'll be the day!!

Without further adieu, please enjoy Disillusions and the First-Time Mom and let me know if you can relate, think I'm crazy or just being a little too honest?!

The best is yet to be.

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Just A Mom

It was one year ago today that we were discharged from the hospital with our new little bundle of joy. We were so excited to bring you home, but also couldn't help but wonder, what are these nurses thinking, are they really going to let us take you with us?

This photo was taken moments after we arrived home.
Somehow we survived that first day and night and every day and night since then. A whole year of parenthood!

A whole year of...

onesies, burp cloths, blankets and bibs
nightly feedings [sleep deprivation]
(mis)identifying cries
buying more diapers (or batteries) than we ever thought we'd need
discussing poop
checking in on you as you sleep
hugs and kisses
trying to make you giggle
proudly introducing you [showing you off] to our family and friends
taking more pictures than ever before
figuring out how to operate all the different contraptions and how they work to carry and keep you safe
laundry
calling you everything but your name
making ridiculous sounds, noises and faces
lullabies
hanging out on the floor playing with you and your million toys
finding creative ways to keep you engaged, happy and above all quiet
love
confusion
worry
guilt
relief
surprise
bewilderment
beginning to trust our instincts

What a monumental year! Yay for us!!

Thank God the first year only lasts the first year.

Now that you are a year old, I suppose I can't be considered a "new" mom anymore, can I?

Now, I'm just a mom. :)

The best is yet to be.

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Monday, June 7, 2010

How Fab!

Leah, my sister and fellow blogger (LA 'n' LA) has awarded me with the '"Your Blog is Fabulous" award because as one of my three faithful, day-after-day readers and commenter's she thinks I deserve it.

Most days I do too, if I do say so myself. I'm not a skilled writer by any stretch of the imagination, but this blog has been a very very VERY good thing for me as a new mom (since Lucas just turned one, how long can I get away with calling myself a new mom? More on that later.) and has kept my psyche in check. It is my outlet, I am thankful to have it and appreciate all my readers and their comments. I excited to share this with Lucas someday.

I haven't even gotten to the fabulous part yet!

Unlike with most blog awards, I don't have to do a darn thing in order to accept it,
(i.e. share seven things about myself with you) aside from pass it along. Easy!

I've given my friend Coreen awards before and I feel as though she is still worthy. If you aren't reading her very funny, very smart and very insightful The Adventures of Captain Fussypants, Little Miss Squeak & Caleb the Wonder Dog, you are missing out! Coreen just added a beautiful new baby girl to her mix and now has even more to share. She also just revamped her blog and it is super cute.

However, if you are still interested in learning some facts about me, check out my previous recognitions here.

Thanks, Leah!

The best is yet to be.

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Saddest. Day. Ever.

Last week our beloved nanny told us she and her husband will be moving to Idaho at the end of the month. Needless to say, telecommuting won't work in this particular case.

It was a very sad day in our house.

Before you judge, yes, I have a nanny and I have come to depend, rely and cherish the 10 short hours each week that she is here for me to get a million different things done without my little side kick in tow.

I find a certain salvation in our nanny, along with long walks, work outs, naps, doctor, dentist, hair, and nail appointments, lunches with my husband, friends, sister and even mother-in-law. It is the time that I need for myself to recharge, step out of the mommy role for a little bit and gain a sense of accomplishment. Not that raising my little boy doesn't already provide that, but I'm not referring to the 'how many bottles I made' or 'tantrums I lived through' variety.

Sure, we'll find someone else and luckily Lucas is too young to be that attached to Angel, but I certainly am, I really REALLY like her and I'm going to miss her terribly.

The best is yet to be.

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Sunday, June 6, 2010

A Onederful First Year!

Today you are one year old! While some days certainly seemed a lot longer than others, one year never went by faster!

One year old. Wow!!

Looking back on all of your monthly milestones, I am in awe. You have grown so much, learned more than I ever thought you would and are becoming your very own little wonderful person full of character and charm.

Like every other month, this was a big one full of lots of firsts; like:
  • Visiting Legoland
  • Graduating from your second Kindermusik class
  • Graduating from wearing the Doc Band (read all about our experience here)
  • Sitting forward in the car!!
  • Knowing where your belly, head and toes are
  • Picking your lovey and a favorite little stuffed monkey out from a pile of several other things
  • Can follow simple commands like, 'go get it' and 'put this in there'... we are still working on 'no' and 'don't touch that'
  • When asked a 'who', 'what', 'where', 'when', or 'why' question, shrug your shoulders and turn your hands up. This is the most adorable thing I have ever seen a toddler do!
  • Developed a love affair with every household appliance we own... hence the reason to learn the word 'no'!
  • Attended two more birthday parties (for a grand total of six in just your first year of life!)
  • Your eyes are still blue and I think it's safe to say that they are going to stay that way. :)
We celebrated your special day yesterday at home with a BBQ, balloons, cupcakes and plenty of gifts. Your two aunts and grandparents came to visit and it was a lot of fun.

I will never forget the day you were born and how I held you in my arms until the sun came up, just staring at you in complete adoration. What a great day. Happy Birthday, son. I love you.

Your destiny is waiting and the best is always yet to be.

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Friday, June 4, 2010

A Place To Call Her Own

It's official! Every single room in our house has baby stuff in it... Whether it is an entire diaper changing station, mounds of toys, an exersaucer, high chair, pile of blankets, you name it, it's in there.

With family coming to visit this weekend for someone's very special one year birthday party, reigning in the clutter has been a top priority around here, but if your home is anything like ours, one project always leads to three more and nothing really gets done.

Sure, we hung a couple of photos, made sure that there were clean sheets on the guest bed and straightened up a little, but home ownership + parenthood = projects. It's in the handbook and it's never ending. We're always trying to clear out old stuff only to make room for new stuff and now there's all this baby stuff to boot. It's a vicious cycle, but I'm starting to repeat myself (My Stuff Has Stuff).

Amidst the attempt to organize, I have realized that I would like a space of my own. Just a quiet corner where I can sit and think (and blog!!).

Now, I know if my husband is reading this and he does occasionally, he is thinking, "what the hell is she thinking? Half of the stuff we have is hers and the other half, the baby's!" And while he may be right, lust after these desks with me for a moment:
Brighton White Vanity/Desk - Crate and Barrel

Bedford Corner Desk Set - Pottery Barn

Bedford Small Desk Set - Pottery Barn

Eames molded plastic side chair/Moda desk and desk organizer - Room & Board

A mommy can dream, can't she?

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone and may we all have a little space we can call our own.

The best is yet to be.

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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Laughter Is The Best Medicine

I had so much fun flexing my creative side last week for Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop that I thought I'd give it another go. Let's be honest, I also loved all the feedback! :)

This week, I'm tackling Prompt #1: Write about a time when you laughed at an inappropriate time.

From 2002 - 2005 I worked at a small boutique direct mail advertising agency for which I had a love/hate relationship. No other job has taken so much out of me, aside from being a mother.

As soon as I entered the office doors, I immediately fell under the spell and was captivated by the idea of "agency life", along with the uber chic offices with ultra cool furniture, young, hip, energetic, like-minded staff and overall aura.

I soon learned that agency life wasn't all it was cracked up to be. It's very long hours with very little reward and no matter what, the client is always right and if the client wants to see changes to their piece and it's 6:00 on a Friday evening, you make them and you stayed until they were acceptable. In other words, working here meant zero social life and a lot of fast food.

For the first year and a half, this fast-paced, often chaotic life style was okay by me because I had just gotten divorced, so I was able to pour myself into my job and became a machine. I often worked 10+ hour days, felt like I had finally hot my stride and was excelling professionally, but by
my third year, I had grown disenchanted and the shiny offices started to lackluster, not to mention the micromanagement and annoying narcissism that was all around me. At this company, the sales team and their fierce leader ruled the roost and it was starting to get annoying.

I decided life would be better back on the client side, so I put my feelers out there and even had a couple of promising interviews. L
ow and behold, almost three and a half years to the day after I started, I was laid off along with 24 other employees.

I wasn't so much shocked that I was being laid off, but in the way in which it happened. All 25 of us were summoned to the conference room and told at the same time. It was like a study in human behavior and what people do upon hearing the words, "Today is your last day here".

I couldn't help myself, I started cracking up. Inappropriate? Yes! Justified? Definitely! Maybe it was my nerves, anger, hurt, or the utter ridiculousness
of it, but the whole thing seemed hilarious to me. One other girl, thankfully (or not) sitting across from me had the same reaction. We were in stitches and getting nothing but evil glares from the CEO as she, through tears informed us that this was "one of the hardest things she has ever had to do". What a bunch of BS!

Other people around the table were crying and some just got mad, red in the face and started asking a lot of questions. The room was a mess!

In the end, I am grateful for the time I spent at this company and learned a lot while I was there and even still consider a few of my old co-workers good friends, but I lost a lot of respect for the upper management that day. To say that I think the way they handled the lay off was poor is an understatement. For such a small company (at the time, there were only 100 employees), they should have taken the time to talk to each of us individually.

I was thankful for the severance package and accepted a killer new job exactly four days after the lay off and you better believe it was on the client side!

The best is yet to be.

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