Sunday, February 27, 2011

As a Woman... I Really Do Suck!

I’m so un-girly that it’s really quite pathetic when I do make girly attempts.  These comments come as I’m looking at a photo that was recently taken at work.  I have ended my stay-at-home mom gig to go back to my chosen profession of Executive Assistant.  I am currently working as the Executive Assistant to the CEO and President of PBS. 

I’ve just finished my first week of work at PBS and sadly (tongue-in-cheek I say) all I can focus on is the photo that was taken and subsequently distributed to every single employee at PBS via the company emailed newsletter.  I have rarely worn make-up in life…I rarely go through the pampering rituals that I perceive most women undertake… and so when it was time to take an official photo to go along with my (first ever) published bio I got nervous and decided I needed to pay attention to my make-up that day and put on lipstick and well…brushed my hair - that was the extent of my girl-y photo-op make over.  The end result (posted above)… is classic Jennifer.  I remembered to put on a fresh application of lipstick before the photo was taken but did I think about the glasses I had shoved up to the top of my head (there-by making that stupid piece of hair stick out on the side and pretty much ruin the do)?   No.  I did not.  I was so engrossed in my work that when the Outlook meeting reminder popped up to remind me this dude was coming ‘round to take my photo all I had time to do was slap on some lipstick that at the time I was mighty proud to have remembered to bring lipstick to work.  I have girlfriends that would gasp at the fact that I don’t keep a second bag of full-on make-up at work for just such a thing.. but alas, I do not.. and there you have it.. .my very pitiful, very super-white-faced photo that went out to every employee in the company.

Perhaps I flatter myself to think that anyone is paying any attention at all to the bio and photo that was distributed on this past Friday’s newsletter and indeed I comforted myself by thinking most employees automatically delete the company newsletter without looking at it.  BUT!  NO!  I work at a different place than ever I’ve worked before… PBS is truly, in every since of the word, a family company… and people really do read these newsletters and within 30 mins of the thing being sent out I had an email from one of my CEO’s top executives stating he enjoyed reading my bio and pointed out a recent paths-crossed scenario where he too had worked at Discovery and interacted with John Hendricks (the founder).


I really suck as a woman.  Sorry my fellow women… I doubt I’ll ever change… at age 40…some things are just entrenched.

If it’s worth anything at all I have a very healthy (or unhealthy, as the case maybe) addiction to shoes!  THAT should balance out all my other non-girly attributes!

Saturday, February 26, 2011


Peaceful photo I took
at Colonial Williamsburg in 2008


We all have them.  The moment you *know* you’re in love.  The moment you look into your new-born’s eyes and feel that bond.  Life-changing and all –emotional moments when you discover something riveting about yourself or someone else.


I had a wholly unexpected “moment” this past Friday; at work no less!  I just started a new job.  I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for some time now.  It was always the plan that when the youngest turned two I would return to work; which I’ve done.  I’ve returned to my chosen career as an Executive Assistant.  I work at PBS as the Executive Assistant to the President and CEO.  I had a good feeling about the woman I work for from the moment I interviewed with her.  There was absolutely no hint of ego or arrogance in the woman.  Indeed, to the point that I thought there was no way she could be a successful executive without it!  But, to be sure, she is successful and low-and-behold… a genuinely good person!  How do I know this with only a week of work under the belt?  Well, against my better judgment – I’ll tell you. 

Why is this against my better judgment?  The answer to that is two fold.  First, I’m betraying a self-imposed betrayal of trust to my executive as well as sharing something deeply personal.  You see, I’ve found a lump in my breast; something that causes every woman’s heart to sink and a painful pit to form in their stomach.   My doc has scheduled a visit to the radiologist on Monday (two days from now).  This past Friday, when I had a moment with my new boss, I had to tell her I would not be in the office (at my brand new, 1 week old job) so I could go get this mammogram done. 

I was honest.  I told her everything – that I had found a lump.  It was the first time I had spoken the words out loud (I had cowardly told my husband via email and refused to speak of it in person [and still do]).  But, in this case, I was forced to speak of it face-to-face and in person.  In fact, I’m positive that my mother, father, sister and in-laws are reading this post and probably offended that I have not personally told them about this quiet anguish I am experiencing.

[To you all, my family, please don’t be offended…First and foremost I didn’t want to make a big deal of something that may turn out to be nothing and second, I didn’t want the emotional upheaval of having to “officially” tell you.]

Back to my awesome boss…upon hearing this news her immediate and honest reaction was to get up from her chair and come around her desk to hug me.  I was so taken aback that I started cry.  (damn-it!  I tried to suck it up …but I couldn’t)… then as if it weren’t enough that she was a good enough person to get up and hug me… she told me that if on Monday I needed to call someone or just to talk to please feel free to call her!  Holy crap!   I have to tell you… there is zero ego/arrogance in this woman… she will forever have my deepest respect – no matter the outcome of Monday’s exam!

Anyway… no clue why I needed to post this tonight… perhaps it’s simply that the whole matter is weighing on my mind …perhaps, in this world of selfishness, I’m astounded to find an honest selfless act…whatever it is…I’m now sharing my anguish of possible breast cancer with the world and my absolute delight in having an honest-to-God good-hearted boss with the world.

I’m sharing ….  “A Moment”.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Would you Like a Free Handmade Journal?

My fellow blogger and personal friend is hosting a giveaway on her blog, A Lil' Welsh Rarebit.

The booty?  A handmade journal and you get to pick which one you want.

I've entered to win and the chose the blue journal in the ones pictured above.

Click Here to go to the giveaway.

Good Luck!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Who Needs Yoga - I've Got Boys!

My two devil-spawn; don't let the sweet faces fool you!  ;)

This post is shared in particular with that small group of sympathetic and understanding sets of ears out there who either have children or sympathize with my plight.  I say plight tonight because it became apparent to my husband and I today we have two spawns of the devil living with us.  I say this because it is true – if you know a good exorcist please give him/her our number we need them stat!

To say we’ve had a trying day is an understatement and I just don’t even have a clue where to begin.   Even as I type this I am listening to things crash down on the hard wood floors as the kids excitedly throw said things over the railing from upstairs… I hear my husband calling out from the bathroom, where he’s running the bath water, for the kids to “get your naked bodies back in here!”  I laugh out loud at the vision in my head of the two of them butt-naked at the top of the stairs hoisting over the objects that are still crashing down loudly…I’m not getting up because this is my “free time”.  I would call it my quiet time but clearly that wouldn’t be accurate.  Back to the recap of our trying day…

My day started when I woke up this morning in a good enough mood but I awoke in my oldest son’s bed (yet again) due to a evening of night-terrors (not nightmares, there’s a difference – Goolge it) that have been happening ever since his four shots he received at his four year old check up earlier this week.  He screams in fits in his sleep saying over and over NO!  NO!  Please No!   My heart hurts for him!  But we were peacefully sleeping since roughly 3am and when I woke at 7:00am (that’s sleeping in around here, folks!) I was in a good mood… my good mood lasted all of 3 seconds as I felt Peter’s feet dig into my back while he tried to burry them deep into me to warm those two ice bricks he had for feet!  He hit my kidney or some other tender spot down there and I jumped up with a scream and woke him up with a start which made him cry … and so the day began.

Mark meanwhile, was ensconced in our bedroom with our youngest, Paul, in our bed with him I can only presume because of some other night-time issues that occurred sometime after I left our bed around 1:00a.m.; I still don’t know what the issue was because the day has been so taxing that we’ve barely spoken to one other, not out of anger but out of constantly dealing with the devil-spawns. 

I had the bright idea to go to a book store today (15 degree temps and vicious winds voided any attempt at out-door play, by the way – I take back ever saying I wanted to live in Boston…this Southern gal can’t -CAN NOT- move any further North than this!).  I was thinking I’d find a bookstore with a story hour for the kids… Peter doesn’t like them so much but Paul gets a big kick out of them…I couldn’t find any so we decided to head to the bookstore anyway and buy some new books.

Paul spent the entire time there screeching very loudly with joy as he swiped his hand across shelves of books that to his surprise he could easily clear in one big, loud crashing swoop.  Once this maneuver was discovered there was no stopping him!  The routine went ….as I am picking up books from his last demolition he’s off to the next counter swiping off the next round of books…Mark, meanwhile, is chasing down Peter who thinks it’s perfectly OK to open all the puzzle boxes and put them together.  So I’m picking Paul up like a sack of potatoes and hoisting him under my arm; too afraid to put him back down or the scenario of swipe-off-books-while-mommy-cleans-up-the-last-mess would never end. Paul is parallel to the floor under my arm with his head sticking out front and his feet kicking wildly in back while I squat holding this 23lb wiggly weight and delicately balance my back pack and all the boys coats under my free arm so I can free up my hand to pick up the books and place them back on the shelves.  I did do this successfully without falling over!  Pht!  Who needs yoga, I’ve got boys!

We finally manage to pick out a few books for the boys and couple for ourselves and head to the check out counter, me with sweat on my brow from my workout in the heated store while wearing my winter coat and Mark with a pursed lip and I’m going to kill someone look on his red face.  The tally comes to something like $85 and Mark says some cute comment along the lines of having to pay for the torture of the experience…wish I could remember exactly what he said because it really cracked me up…the cashier had no clue what he meant and must’ve thought we were true ass-hole parents because I was still standing there conducting the business of checking out with Paul hoisted under my arm (he was giggling though by this time because I had made a game of it by saying hut-hut! And running through the store with him like he was a football…so…I guess the cashier’s looks had more to do with the fact that Mom was nuts…whatever).

Then the production of getting the boys back in their coats began.  I had put all their hats, gloves and scarves in my backpack so we wouldn’t lose them…while digging them out I made the mistake of putting Paul down who immediately ran to the magazines while saying “uh-oh” before he even got to them.  When he got to the magazines he’s saying “uh-oh” louder and pulling them all off the shelf to the floor one by one.  A very stylish gay man and his partner glared at us for ruining their morning, I smiled at them and said “I’ll sell him for cheap!”  -  they laughed but moved away just the same.  I hoist Paul under my arm again as I put all the magazines back.  I look up to see Mark and Peter exiting the store and leaving my backpack on the floor with Paul’s coat… Mark had had enough!  Paul sees them leave too and begins screaming and crying DAAAADDDY!!!!   PETER!!!!!  Very dramatically with his arm reaching out as if he’d really been sold off.  He continues chanting Daddy!!  Peter!!!  over and over even after I get his coat on and his hood up and as I’m going down the street after Mark and Peter.  People are passing me on the street and looking at me as I’ve just kidnapped the kid.

We all get to the car, get the kids strapped in their car seats and Mark now seated in the driver’s seat turns to me and says with a very defeated sound to his voice…we still have to do the grocery run.

I can’t even type anymore… I think, dear reader, you get the idea of my day - just know this type stuff continued on into the evening to the point that our next door neighbor left his home around 5:30p.m. dramatically slamming his front door because of the noise emanating from our home (at least that was what I figured was happening).  So, if you’re one of my readers whose kids are no longer this age or you don’t have kids please…enjoy your “boring” mornings where you just don’t know what to do with yourself after sleeping in until 10am, have an extra cup of coffee for me and hey…watch a movie from beginning to end un-interrupted!  Do that for me will ya?  Savor and enjoy it!  

PS…just checked to see what the boys had thrown over the upstairs railing….the diaper pail that was full of dirty diapers….it busted open and there are little bundles of dirty diapers all the floor also several toy cars and railroad tracks.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Quite a Harried Morning!

We’ve had a hard time getting back into the swing of things after the holiday break; as a result Peter has been late to school the last two days.  Today I was determined to get Peter to school by 8:00 a.m. so he could enjoy the full half hour of free-play time before the learning begins.  In hindsight I think taking that dose of Nyquil to help me get my Z’s last night was probably not a great idea.  Never the less we all woke up late and the rush began. 

The morning was hectic with me constantly coaxing the kids to eat-chew-swallow, brush your teeth, stop  doing that, put that toy down, come here…come here…come here…stop taking your shoes off, no Paul you can’t have tape, let’s go go go!   And we were out the door…

[Side note: The request for tape from Paul is not new, it started when I was wrapping gifts for Christmas and I’d give him a piece to play with so he would leave me alone for a bit.  The true love for tape began, though, when I was taping up boxes to ship out…he loved the big packaging tape!]  Back to the story:

With the hurried rush out the door I completely forgot to make my (fully potty trained, mind you) toddler go to the bathroom.  So half way to the bus stop he tells me he has to pee with a very urgent look on his face.  I mutter “sh*t”; which the 1 ½ year old immediately repeats and has been repeating all day today, thank you very much.  (the day was mingled with urgent requests from 1 year old for tape and the word shit….just beautiful.) 

I cross the street to the laundry mat…restroom out of service. 

Walk up about 3 doors to the breakfast-serving hole-in-the-wall restaurant “no public bathrooms”….

I’m frantically dragging the ever-urgent Peter up the street with the very loud tape-requesting 1 year old clutched in my arms looking for a bathroom….I’m considering letting him go in the alley when I remember the7-11 a block up… we make a dash for it.  The cashier must have noticed the I’m-not-having-a-great-morning look on my face because he didn’t say a word when asked where the restrooms were and just pointed to a door around the corner from the rolling hotdogs.  I run back through the door with Peter who’s getting quite vocal about the urgency of the situation and I grab the handle and pull … it’s locked.  I look up to see a sign that says out of order.  Ya think the cashier coulda said something right?  I turn to leave and notice the custodian floor drain with the mop in the corner….I yank down Peter’s pants and tell him to go.  OH, yes I did!  I wave to the cashier and say “thanks” with a sweet smile as we leave and could only think of Adam Sandler in “Big Daddy” when the restaurant owner wouldn't let his 'son' use the bathroom.

We hop on the city bus that seemed to be waiting just for us right outside the 7-11 and jet down to the next bus stop and hop off; we cross the street to Peter’s school and we made it just in time.  Whew.   Evidence of my hurried morning must have been apparent to the teachers there too because I could see some sympathetic looks coming off their faces as I had a good 15 minute chat with them about Paul starting school there next month.  That whole conversation by the way was littered with interruptions from Paul with the words “tape” and “shit”.   

Paul and I hop the bus again to go to the park.  We hang there a bit, hit the Starbucks and hop the bus home.  The entire bus ride home Paul is obsessed with tape... I can’t get him stop asking and he in turn is getting irritated with me and is getting a bit pushy about it.  We finally get home.

An hour later Paul and I are playing on the floor and he starts in again about tape.  I keep saying no and he keeps yanking my hair.  I figure he's doing this out of frustration from being told no but it hurts and I’m getting really mad!  I reach up to pull his hands down; his hands are clinched to a huge chunk of hair in the back of my head.  I finally pry his hands off to find a massive chunk of gray thick packing tape wadded up in my hair!  I yell “SH*T!” again (and so does he immediately after). It dawns on me that the tape, was a piece of big thick gray duct tape I had given Peter to play with at bedtime the night before and must have gotten stuck in my hair during the night when I went in to lay down with a nightmare-stricken Peter.

All morning long I tramped around the city with that damn piece of tape wadded up in my hair!  I guess all those people I encountered really DID know the crazy morning I had!  

New year’s resolution…if I do nothing else before leaving the house, at least brush my hair!