Monday, December 21, 2009
When I lost my job last month, a colleague of mine made an offhanded comment at a dinner we were at together. She told me to "resist the urge to get a dog". Which gave me an idea... now that I'm a stay-at-home Mom for a bit, maybe it is a good time to get a dog.
He's a two year old Border Collie / Australian Shepard mix and a total sweetheart. We rescued him, I mean Santa brought him down from the North Pole this past weekend.
The girls are over the moon...
Friday, December 18, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
So I thought, how hard can it be? It's Preschool for God's sake. One of the responsibilities of being a room parent is attending the monthly PTA meetings. Once a month, for an hour. Again, how bad can it be?
Let me give you a run down of tonight's meeting...
The thing is supposed to start at 6:30pm. Ten minutes to seven, we're just getting started on the agenda. The agenda? Looked good on paper. There were topics. They appeared to be listed in order of importance. So far, so good. The Mom in charge of the meeting possibly used to be, or deeply longs to be, a project manager. Except for the fact that she clearly never learned rule # 1 of running a meeting - be sure your audience is still awake at the end of your explanation of every topic up for discussion. She also seemed oblivious to rule # 2 - follow the topics IN THE ORDER that they appear on the agenda.
The first topic starts a debate about the best way to collect money for the teacher's wish list for new items for the classrooms. One set of room Moms wants to (and apparently has a bunch of time to) keep track of the list of needed items like a wedding registry - including links to where to get each item, and allow parents multiple options including buying an item themselves, donating money for a specific item or donating money to a general fund. Great for them. Another set of room Moms want to send out a request for money and leave it at that. Even better for them. The wannabearealprojectmanager Mom wants to have the same process for all the classrooms, and insists that we all agree on one method of donation collection. The topic goes on for a good 25 minutes.
Next randomly decided on topic, fundraiser nights at local restaurants, which leads into another chunk of wasted time discussing which is the best sushi place in town, and whether they are both authentic and organic.
The next topic spurs a half hour discussion on whether or not we should ask some parents to come take pictures of the kids twice a month, store and organize said pictures, and then create yearbooks for parents to buy at the end of the year. After detailed banter on how this could actually be accomplished...I asked if anyone of the parents in attendance at this meeting would buy these yearbooks themselves. Pretty much everyone said no. There's another 30 minutes of my life I will never get back.
Finally, we've arrived at one of the more important topics, the upcoming holiday pageant - held at the church next to the preschool. A big decision needs to be made...should we have the youngest preschoolers ready at the front of the church before people arrive, or should we have them walk down the isle because that is cuter. When it come to 2 year old toddlers, who chooses cute over avoidance of screaming and tears? Tell me. Who? Then there's another big debate over whether or not to have dessert at the school after the pageant. Part of the group says yes, and part of the group doesn't want to give their kids sugar in the evening. I have an idea! If you don't want your kid to have sugar - don't attend the dessert after the pageant! Really, does it need to be this difficult?
We are now two hours into this one hour meeting, and we have one more topic left. The room parents need to send out an email soliciting money for the teacher's holiday gifts. One of the Moms in attendance happens to be an elementary school teacher, and she assures us that the teachers will be more than happy with good old cash. But we can't just leave it at that...oh no. One of the Moms thinks we should get cute change purses to present the cash in. I can tell that I'm not the only parent losing my mind at this point, because another Mom suggests that we just get a cute envelope for the cash instead.
It's now quarter to nine, and everyone starts packing up their stuff as soon as they hear the words, "so, are there any other items anyone wants to discuss?". One parent asks when we need to send out this email solicitation. The answer is by the end of this week. Yes, that's right. The most important, most urgent agenda item to be discussed was covered in overtime, and we weren't even able to come up with the wording that everyone should use - because, yes, there is specific wording that we are supposed to use. Apparently.
If you've made it the end of this blog post without nodding off on your laptop, can you please attend next month's meeting for me?
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Monday, November 9, 2009
(Literally. I'm not kidding.)
The tortuous wait is finally over. I found out today that I am getting laid off from my job at the end of the year. I was prepared for it, but it's bittersweet. After sixteen years at the same firm, it's really surreal to be moving on. I'm lucky to have gotten a severance that will give me some cushion time to find a new job.
In the meantime, I'm looking forward to going to Disneyland in December. Our kids have never been before, so we're really excited. I'm also looking forward to being a stay-at-home Mom for a while, enjoying the holidays with my family, finishing a list of projects around the house (just the list - I may not get to any of the actual projects - haha), writing and generally savoring some time off before I delve into my next adventure in working motherhood...
I'll tell Mickey you said hello!
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
(Yes, we rock at pumpkin carving.)
Roasting pumpkin seeds.
(examining the loot)
Coloring just about anything orange.
(rice crispy treats)
...and this little girl.
The BEST Halloween treat I've ever gotten in my life, is when Seesa was born 6 years ago on October 31st. I fell in love with her from the moment I touched her cheek right after she was born, and life has never been the same. I love that she always wants to be something "spooky" for Halloween, like a witch or black cat. I love that she adores animals - will watch any movie with animals in it, likes to pretend she is a dog (even though we find ourselves frequently telling her to quit barking) and I can't take her to the pet store for rabbit food without having to endure begging for whatever animals she finds there. I love that she took to Kindergarten like she'd waited for it all her life. I love that she takes care of her little sister. I love how she crawls in bed with me in the mornings and cuddles. I love her creativity and sense of humor. I love how her eyes smile. I love her love of life. And I love how she shows me, every day, a new reason be grateful for the blessing of her - my beautiful daughter.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
I don't like it when bloggers who don't write on their blogs for a while, post about how they feel bad about not writing. It's your blog, and I think you should write whenever you want to. I always go back to read bloggers that I enjoy, no matter how frequently or infrequently they write. So, why am I writing a post about not writing posts? Because I realized tonight, as I was reading some of my favorite blogs for the first time in a while, that I feel disconnected. Not just within the blogging community, but in life in general.
For the past several months, I've been waiting to find out what will happen to my job, after my firm is officially taken over by another company on December 1st. The firm that I've worked at for the past 16 years - more years than I've been married. There were plenty of distractions over the summer... trips to the Zoo, to the beach, vacations at the lake, family get-togethers, fun events like BlogHer and birthday celebrations in Vegas. And all the while at work, there's been an undercurrent of waiting. Lots of projects to work on, but all with the uncertain future of the new firm, and ambiguity of how everything will change by the end of the year.
Every decision at work and at home has hinged on the big question that is waiting to be answered...will I have a job?
It's been like a freaking tortuous roller coaster that you have no choice but to just hang on and pray for the duration of the ride. At one point, I started to get really annoyed at well-meaning friends who would ask if I knew anything yet about my job, and when would I know, and do I have any sense of which way it might go, and am I going to start looking around in the meantime, and have I updated my resume, and.....until finally, I just didn't want to talk about it anymore to anyone but a very few people. I started telling my Mom that my job is just GREAT every time she asks, so she'll stop obsessively worrying about it.
I think somewhere along the way, I disconnected myself. From some of my friends. From my attachment to my career. From blogging. From my own family to some extent.
A couple weeks ago, my husband told me that he thinks we're depressed. We're depressed. I guess that's his nice way of saying that he thinks I'm depressed, without making me feel all alone about it. I told him he was crazy, and I was not depressed. Since then, I've proceeded to cry just about every other day. Hmm, maybe he has a point. I think it's all just overwhelming. Especially in the past month, I haven't been able to enjoy the things that normally give me great pleasure. Like Fall and Halloween - my absolute favorite time of the year. And like writing - the thing that gives my mind clarity and helps me feel connected to myself and to others.
I've actually been holding it together at work quite impressively, I think. I've been very zen about the whole thing. Whatever happens, happens. I can't control it, so why get upset about it. Everything happens for a reason. It will all work out. Change equals opportunity. And the thing is, I believe all of that. I really do. So, why am I so disconnected?
Thursday, October 8, 2009
A few years before I had kids, I went skydiving for the first time. It's something I had always wanted to do, but I made a point to do it before I had kids. You know. In case I died. So I didn't leave my kids without a Mom because I wanted to experience the thrill of jumping out of a perfectly good airplane.
Which brings me to the not so perfectly good airplane. I wanted to go skydiving on the coast. If I was going to die, I wanted to go down while enjoying a beautiful view of the ocean. After signing my life away and prepping for my tandem skydive, I waited in the hanger with my husband and his best friend Scott, who is a pilot. When the plane arrived, Scott comforted me by telling me that I was probably safer jumping out of that particular plane, than I would be staying in it for the landing. So I had that going for me. Which was nice.
While I was skydiving along the gorgeous Pacific Ocean, which by the way was the most exhilarating thing I have ever done in my life and I'd do it again in a heartbeat, my husband and Scott were waiting for the van to take them over to meet me at the landing spot. Apparently, it was a fire drill for them when the time came to scramble into the old van and race down the dirt road to get to the spot before I landed. Along the way, the guys heard a huge BOOM that they literally thought was me landing on the roof of the van. They sat in silence for a moment. Then the driver simply said, "Normal", and the ride went on with no questions asked.
So, whenever I think things can't get any crazier in my life, and then they do, I think of this little story. Because the crazy is just plain normal. And the ride keeps on going. No questions asked.
Monday, September 28, 2009
My first impression of you, after reading your blog, was that you were an introspective woman and a dedicated Mom. After winning your "Pay It Forward" post, I realized how incredibly creative you are when I received my package that included beautiful earrings, handmade by you! I remember reading your pre-BlogHer posts, about how hesitant you were to be thrown into a situation that involved meeting a bunch of new people, and I expected you to be shy and quiet in person. Girlfriend, I was wrong. You are one brave woman, who did not let any introverted tendencies keep you from putting yourself out there and being a friend to people like me - and I'm so happy that you did! I had such a great time getting to know you better in person at BlogHer this summer. It made me wish that we lived closer to each other, because I think you are a treasure to have as a friend.
So, on the occasion of your 40th birthday, I wanted to take the opportunity that the wonderful Issa put together for all of us - your bloggy friends - to tell you how very special you are, and to wish you a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!Welcome to the 40's!
At the age of 20, we don't care what the world thinks of us;
at 30, we worry about what it is thinking of us;
at 40, we discover that it wasn't thinking of us at all.
Personally, I think 40 is the age that you truly come into yourself and focus on what really matters to you - whatever that is.
Love and Friendship,
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Milly to Daddy: "I'm not going to jump on you, I'm going to land on you."
(said after Daddy asked her to please not jump on him - I see law school tuition in our future...)
Milly to Seesa: "If you don't move your legs, I'm going to break them."
Milly to Mommy after we pull into the driveway of our house: "Mommy, don't say okey dokey."
(it then occurred to me that I actually do say, "okey dokey" every time we pull up to the house and are about to get out of the car...what is up with that?)
Milly to Mommy: "Mommy, let the man sing the song."
(said just about anytime I sing along to the radio, which is every time the radio is on)
Three years old... the teenage years should be fun.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Drinking wine and thinking bliss is on the other side of this
I just need a compass and a willing accomplice
All my doubts that fill my head, cascading up and down again
Up and down and 'round again, down and up and 'round again
Oh, I've had my chances and I've taken them all
Just to end up right back here on the floor
To end up right back here on the floor
Pennies in a well, a million dollars in the fountain of a hotel
Fortune teller that says maybe you will go to hell
But I'm not scared at all
Of the cracks in the crystal, the cracks in the crystal ball
Sometimes you think everything is wrapped inside a diamond ring
Love just needs a witness and a little forgiveness
And a halo of patience and a less sporadic pace
And I'm learning to be brave in my beautiful mistakes
Oh, I've felt that fire and I, I've been burned
But I wouldn't trade the pain for what I've learned
I wouldn't trade the pain for what I've learned
Pennies in a well, a million dollars in the fountain of a hotel
Fortune teller that says maybe you will go to hell
But I'm not scared at all
Of the cracks in the crystal, the cracks in the crystal ball
Irony, irony, is hating love, hating love
For what it does to me, what it's done to me, what is done
Pennies in a well, a million dollars in the fountain of a hotel
Broken mirrors and a black cat's cold stare
Walk under ladders on my way to hell, I'll meet you there
But I'm not scared at all, I'm not scared at all
Of the cracks in the crystal, the cracks in the crystal ball
Monday, September 21, 2009
4:00pm Friday, arriving in Las Vegas
ME: "Oh, Vegas. You don't scare me. You're just a little town in the middle of the desert. How tough can you be? You think you're such hot shit, but I know better. I can handle you."
VEGAS: "Just you wait little girl. Just you wait..."
2:30am Sunday morning, as I'm laying down to sleep FOR THE FIRST TIME all weekend
VEGAS: "You thought you could take me, huh? HA! How you like me now???"
ME, waving the white flag: "Ok, I give up. You win."
On my way out of town, I bought t-shirts for my girls.
...because they didn't have any that said "Vegas Kicked My Mom's Ass"...
As strange as it may sound after reading the above, that weekend was exactly what I needed. I've felt like I'm swimming under water lately in my life, and Vegas was like coming up for air. No schedules, no responsibilities, no worries. Just me. And my girlfriends. And the fun nightlife. And the warm air. And the cool pool water. And that's about all I can say, because as I'm sure you know...what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.
Lish, Lisa (the birthday girl) and me
Ready to hit the town - Lish, Mandy, Jeanette, Lisa, Turia, Monica and me
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
First, have a laugh and watch a hysterical video from “Aunt Flo”. Then check out letstalkperiod.com and sign up (it only takes a minute and three clicks!).
Seventh Generation will make a donation on your behalf to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.
Lastly, for imaginary extra points, guess who plays "Aunt Flo"...?
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
After reading a recent post on Motherhood in NYC, I've self diagnosed that I have PVDS - Post Vacation Depression Syndrome. Here I am, back from a fabulous lake vacation with my family, and I'm feeling inexplicably down. Thanks to Marinka, instead of walking around wondering what the hell my problem is, I can finally attribute it to a
Here are some other things I'm hating on lately...
I hate that it didn't feel like a real summer because the weather was so wacky and unseasonably cool.
I hate that we're in this hazy zone in between spontaneous summer fun and the scheduled predictability of the school year.
I hate that my husband just told me he thinks Seesa needs a new lunchbox, and I've got exactly one day to get her a new one before she starts her first day of Kindergarten, or just go with the old - apparently sub par - one.
I hate that it seems like I'm the last one in the office in the mornings and the first one out at night, and it makes me feel guilty every.single.day. In the words of MommyGeekology, being a working Mother sucks donkey balls.
I hate that even though I get out of the office as soon as humanely possible, and drive home as fast as the law will allow, I still find myself rushing to get dinner ready as soon as I walk in the door while listening to my girls cry about being s t a r v i n g.
I hate that I just found out that the city is about to start work on a span of roadway from the bridge I travel across into the city that I work in that will be completed sometime in late 2012, that is going to make my commute EVEN LONGER while the work is going on with all the detours.
I hate that it takes an act of God to do any activity in the evenings during the weekdays. Classes for my kids, dinner with family or friends, or just going to the park takes major coordination and even then, is not uncommonly derailed by work emergencies or traffic.
I hate that we missed half of the pre-Kindergarten playdates this summer, because some were scheduled during the day, during the week - making it impossible for families with two full time working parents to attend.
I hate that there are so few families with two working parents in our neighborhood... and in Marin... and in the Bay Area... and sometimes it feels like everywhere!
I hate that I sometimes get jealous of my Mom friends who have a choice about whether or not to work outside the home.
I hate that I get impatient with my kids when I'm stressed out.
I hate that as much as I try not to let it affect me and to just do the best I can and know that whatever happens, things will work out one way or another - I'm still varying degrees of freaked out about the future of my job and the changes it will bring, no matter what happens.
I hate that there's never enough time to spend with my friends.
But...I love that I have an outlet in blogging. I can take all my frustrations, get them out of my head, figuratively tear them up into a million little pieces and blow them into the wind. Despite the list that precedes this, and almost being in tears trying to get dinner ready this evening, just the thought of typing out this post after the kids are in bed was enough to help me take a deep breath, get the kids to help me with dinner and enjoy the time that I had with them before tucking them in for the night.
That. Is worth its weight in gold.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
a new blog design!
I think Nap Warden did a fantastic job designing my new look, and I'm really happy with it. I'm still reorganizing everything, and populating my tabs, but check it out and let me know what you think!
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Saturday, August 8, 2009
I actually scribbled out this post on the plane ride home from BlogHer, but I've had a migraine (or maybe it's a BlogHer hangover?) since the day I got back two weeks ago that has kept me from doing really anything besides just getting through the day - and night. I finally dragged myself to the doctor recently, and while I have yet to hear the results of the series of tests my doctor put me though, she did thankfully give me a prescription for some hard core pain relievers. Between that, and following the instructions of my best friend Lisa, who is a Physical Therapist - I'm finally starting to feel like myself again. Now, if only Lisa lived closer to me, and could come over and give me some massages...
By now, you've no doubt read more than your share of BlogHer recaps, so I'll be surprised if anyone even gets this far into this post. And if you have, you're probably just hoping I'll get to the Potato Head story. I could write a lot about my great weekend at BlogHer, but the one thing that highlighted the entire conference for me happened five minutes after my sister and I arrived at the hotel in Chicago.
We had just checked in when I noticed a small group of women sitting in the lobby that I recognized from their blogs. We went over to say hi, and it was not at all like I imagined meeting people that I had never actually talked to or seen in person would be like. It was more like catching up with friends that I'd known for a long time. There was an immediate camaraderie. I was so comfortable, that I ended up giving our room key to a couple of the women who needed a place to stash their stuff until they checked in. They were probably thinking, "who is this chick, and how does she know we're not axe murderers?" And then, "wait a minute, how do we know she's not an axe murderer!" Or maybe they felt the same way I did. The same way I felt with practically every person that I met that weekend.
I want to say THANK YOU to Kirsten, Issa, Renee, Christy, Stacey, Marinka, Jessica, Maura, Caitlin, Flappy, Greis, Andrea, Matt, Ben, Andrea, Kendra and every blogger I had the opportunity to meet, even briefly. Thank you for welcoming me as your friend. Thank you for connecting with me as a fellow writer. Thank you for opening my mind to the transformational power of blogging. Thank you for feeding my soul. Thank you for helping me find my voice. Thank you for making me laugh - and laugh and laugh and laugh. YOU made my weekend!
One of the small things I did do this past couple weeks of pain, was upload the pictures from my weekend at BlogHer so I could send them to all my new BFFs. My husband and I were watching TV on the couch while I was getting my pictures onto Flickr, and a character in the show said something to the effect of "...and then she called me the c word", at just about the same time that I was uploading the following picture:
Simultaneously, my husband was glancing over at this picture on my screen, and said to me "what's that?" To which I replied "c*nt". He stared at the picture for a moment before saying, "what do you have against Mrs Potato Head???"
...and thus, the title of this post was born.
p.s. If you took one of my blog cards at BlogHer, and tried unsuccessfully to find me on Twitter, I listed the wrong Twitter ID on my cards. It's @KariHeart. But I never tweet, so don't bother following me if you are expecting to actually communicate with me that way.
Friday, July 31, 2009
"We’re out of ice cream", she blankly told me.
Ok, how about a root beer.
"Diet", she asked.
No, regular I replied, still feeling a bit indulgent.
"Diet", she said. "It’s all we have."
My friend, Renee, asked for a glass of white wine, only to find out they were all out of that too.
"And don’t order any salads", she told us, "because we're out of lettuce."
Ok, so let’s approach this from a different angle I though, and asked - What do you have?
“We’ve got burgers and fries. Work with that. I’ll be back.” Then she turned around and walked away.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
I stayed up late the last night of BlogHer, having a pajama party with my new BFFs. If you choose to picture a bunch of scantily clad ladies having a pillow fight right about now, that’s up to you. I can’t control your thoughts, but get back to the story now. In calculating how much sleep I was going to get, I planned for the latest possible time that I could leave for the airport, and still comfortably make my flight in time. I have never been one of those people who are early to everything. Sometimes I even like cutting it close. It seems to me that getting somewhere early is a big waste of time.
I saved some money on my way to the airport by sharing a cab, and made it in plenty of time to check in. The lines were long, but I aptly determined that the curbside check in was shorter, probably because fewer people wanted to stand outside in the hot sun. So far, so good.
On my way to the security line, I was stopped because I was carrying three bags, including my newly acquired bag of swag, when the limit is two. First I try to talk my way through. “I’m going to buy a larger bag once I’m in there, and combine two of my carry-ons”. The security woman tells me my idea is a good one – thank you - but she can’t let me through with three bags. I do a once over assessment of my bag situation and find a way to shove my purse into my swag bag. Admiring my bag combination aptitude, the security woman says “Nice”.
While in the security line, I get a text from United Airlines that the departure of my flight is delayed. See? This is when it pays off to shoot for “on time”, instead of early. Imagine the sleep I would have missed out on, had I arrived early. Suckahs. Now I have the perfect amount of time to grab coffee and leisurely walk to my gate; while simultaneously texting my sister (whose flight departs a couple hours after mine) with airport updates, and of course tweet with all the other BlogHers on their way home.
When my flight is even further delayed, now scheduled to take off around the same time as my sister’s flight, I decide to go hang out with her after she arrives at the airport. We talk. We eat. We tweet. After a while, I head over to my gate in another terminal. While sitting at my gate, I tweet about my delayed flight and text my sister with blogger sightings.
Tweet, tweet. Text, text. Think about my BlogHer recap post/s. What would be better… the hamburger story or the pajama party story? La La La. This traveling without kids thing is a piece of cake. My sister texts me that she just boarded her plane. I haven’t yet. She can’t believe it.
Wait a minute.
I look up and suddenly realize that my flight is boarding over at gate 27, not gate 25 where I am sitting. Where my boarding pass SAYS the flight is supposed to depart from. I walk over to the correct gate to see if they are boarding yet. That’s weird. No one is over here. I go to the United Representative at the counter to ask when boarding will begin. It’s already boarded, she sweetly replies. Oh, I’m on that flight, I tell her, and I ask where I should go to get on. Let me just call them, she smiles. After a few uh huh’s, she hangs up. Sorry, they’ve already closed the doors. Ok. Umm. Can you tell them to open the doors so that I can get on? I can see the plane right there, I tell her. I’m sorry, we can’t open the doors now, she says. It’s too late. We did call your name several times. Clearly, they didn’t use my Twitter name, or I MAY HAVE HEARD THEM.
Panic. What the holy hell am I going to do now? I cannot believe I’ve actually missed the flight that I ended up being three and a half hours early to! You see? You see why I am not meant to be an early bird? Apparently I look pathetic enough, that the United Representative gives me a standby pass for another flight departing in 10 minutes, and tells me I better get over to the other terminal before they close the doors to that flight in exactly 6 minutes from now.
I decide I’m going to need one of those cart thingys, and fast. I shove my money in, pile my (three) two carry-ons on the cart and proceed to sprint across the terminal at record speed. All adrenalin baby. The people I was passing probably thought I was on the show “Amazing Race”. Completely out of breath halfway through, I wonder if I can go on. I’m no runner, and I question if I even have the stamina to keep up the pace I need to make it in time. Nearing the finish line, I ditch my cart in favor of the escalator. Throwing myself on the counter, I beg the next United Representative to PLEASE let me on this flight. She quickly hands me a boarding pass and tells me to get my ass on the plane NOW. She may not have said ass, but it felt like she did.
Collapsing into my seat, way in the back of the plane, I breathe a sigh of relief and text my sister to let her know that I actually got on a flight. It is at that moment, I realize that I am on THE SAME FLIGHT as my sister.
To further solidify my belief that not just some things, but everything, happens for a reason… I ended up having a great conversation with a very nice gentleman sitting next to me. We were discussing my work in the Finance industry, and the uncertainty of my job after some recent big changes. It turns out that his brother is the HR Director at another financial firm in San Francisco. The silver lining – it’s always there.
Monday, July 20, 2009
The only thing you need to know about me if you meet me at BlogHer, or anywhere else in real life for that matter
Some bloggers have posted pre-BlogHer "get to know me" posts, that made me think - what do people need to know about me for this event? Then I realized that there is really only one thing that you need to know if you meet me at BlogHer, or anywhere else in real life for that matter (that's the my longest post title ever, by the way), and that one thing is how to pronounce my name.
My name is Kari. Pronounced "car", as in automobile, and "e", as in the letter E. As opposed to "care" "e", as in Sex in the City. My name is of Norwegian descent. As am I. As is my sister. Her name, by the way, is Kirsten - "keer" "sten". Our whole lives, we've gotten Carrie and Kristen. Except when the winter Olympics rolls around, and every other female athlete from Norway is named Kari or Kirsten. Then, I finally feel get to hear our names pronounced correctly on a regular basis. Please don't feel badly if you don't pronounce my name "car" "E". I may not even correct you. I so commonly hear it pronounced Carrie, that I don't even notice it anymore.
Also on the subject of BlogHer, I found this very funny comparison of a popular person vs a blogger on Mom-101's blog. It made me question how many people will actually be participating in the karaoke party on Friday night. Judging from the comments about the party on the BlogHer website, about 3 people seemed psyched about it. Guess maybe I'll have the mike all to myself!
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
That is the question I asked a couple of my good friends who were discussing clothes one day. What is D&G? They paused and looked at me. I'm guessing they were waiting for me to say "just kidding!". I didn't. Then they laughed their asses off. And that defines my fashion sense. Or lack there of...
While reading my BlogHer attendee news email, I learned that Tide and Tim Gunn want to know - what are you wearing to BlogHer '09? When I read this, I thought to myself, "Crap, what am I wearing to BlogHer?" I have absolutely no idea. So I thought I'd write a post about it, for the chance to win a private style consultation with Tim Gunn - who is apparently a big deal in the fashion world.
Here's Tim's list of essential items for BlogHer:
- Basic black dress. Ok, gotta get one of those.
- Classic white shirt. I think I've got one of those.
- Jeans. Definitely have those.
- Skirt. Got a couple of those too.
- Day Dress. Nope. Can someone tell me where to find a day dress?
- Jacket. Umm...not sure. Can you tell why I need this style consultation?!
What I do have is shoes. I adore shoes. Shoes are the one thing that I feel like I know how to buy. Although even that is questionable. Case in point... I just purchased three pairs of shoes from Target for $14 each. Come on - are people really going to be able to tell that they came from Target? I mean people other most woman and every gay man? Ok, so everyone will know, but won't they just think - "hey, cute shoes, and what a smart woman for getting them at a bargain!" Maybe not.
Here are some shoes (not from Target) that I think women and gay men can appreciate.
So, I'll be wearing these shoes at BlogHer. I'll most likely be naked other that that, seeing as how I have no clothes to go with them, but at least I'll be wearing cute shoes!
p.s. For my fellow non-fashionista friends... D&G stands for Dolce and Gabbana. Apparently.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
I recently took a trip to the San Francisco Zoo. I was excited to see the new baby gorilla, Hasani, and I knew my girls would love seeing him too. I've got a routine when I visit the Zoo, that's tried and true. We get there just as they open, head straight for the bears to watch them catch live fish for their morning meal, head over for a ride on the steam train, check out the lions and tigers on our way to eat lunch, then head over to the children's area where we check out the meerkats and friends and the kids are just finishing their cotton candy in time to go into the petting zoo. That's the routine. And it works.
But not this time... Here's how this last trip went.
Get to the zoo just as they open - check. But wait a minute. Why is there a huge line of people waiting to get into the zoo? Weird. It's a weekday. What is up with that? I'm not too worried at this point, because I have a zoo membership, so I won't have to wait in that long line. When I get up to the front, I see a sign "SF Residents Free Day". Awesome. I can't stand crowds, and will do anything to avoid going somewhere during busy times, so this really sets us up for a fun visit.
Get the push jeep for the kids to ride in - check. Essential, especially with the crowds. I've got them contained, and can quickly move from one place to the next at my own pace.
Look at a zoo schedule to see when the baby gorilla is on display - check. Find out the gorilla exhibit is closed that day - shit.
Quickly head over the the far end of the zoo, so we can make it to the California bear exhibit in time for the morning feeding - check. We're one of the first people there, just a few minutes before feeding time. Except that feeding time is moved forward by a half an hour. Which I only discover after waiting for 20 minutes wondering why they haven't fed the bears yet. Ok, we'll just wait it out another 10 minutes, no problem. 20 minutes later, the zoo keeper comes out to inform us that they can't feed the bears in this exhibit today because of some bee's nest in the exhibit that they need to remove. Hello? Aren't bears used to bees? With the honey and all? Whatever.
Head to the steam train, that should be opening just about now - check. Get in relatively short line, this is looking good. Wait. Wait. Wait. Tell kids that if they don't stop antagonizing each other, we're not going on the train. Wait. Wait. Wait. Ask self WTF is going on today? Text my sister to tell her about my zoo visit so far. She says it sounds like a Fail. Think that if I had Twitter on my phone, I could tweet this right now. FINALLY get on the flipping train.
Try to pass by the carousel quickly enough that kids won't notice...nope. Kids noticed. Kids want to ride. Badly. Get in huge line for the dumb tokens. Really? I can't just give you my four bucks and get on? I have to wait in one line for tokens, and then another line to give you the tokens and get on the ride? The line for tokens is really more of a mob around the token machine, than a distinguishable line, so I sort of make my way to the front. One person finishes, and I'm standing next to another woman with a Gosselin-size family of kids and all I know is, I've got my money out and ready to go, and she's still rifling around her purse - so I just start shoving my money in and grabbing my tokens. I can't be totally sure, but she may have called me a few choice words in Spanish.
On our way over to grab some lunch, I asked the kids if they wanted to just head home and stop somewhere else fun on the way home. They are having nothing to do with that idea. Apparently, THEY are having fun! At least someone is...
Acquire surprisingly healthy meal and actually find a table to sit at - check. The cashier commented as I showed my membership for a discount on my meal, "I didn't expect to see any members here today". Yah. Well. I'm clearly not a well-informed member. Kids finish meal, with the promise of post-lunch cotton candy.
Leisurely peruse the rest of the zoo, with kids happily contained in the jeep, eating cotton candy and drinking "monkey juice", aka grape juice in monkey shaped bottles. Arrive at the petting zoo area, just in time to wipe sticky sugary hands off so that we can go feed some goats and ogle the baby ducklings. Check.
Head home prior to any waypastournormalnaptime meltdowns. Check.
Moral of the story = expectation and attitude are everything. My kids had no expectations for our zoo visit, and they had a grand ol' time, despite the series of unfortunate events that plagued my day. They are a constant reminder to me, to not sweat the small stuff - and it's ALL small stuff.
Cotton Candy and Monkey Juice - it doesn't get better than that
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
I was dropping my kids off at preschool one morning. One of the Moms who lives in my neighborhood said in passing, "Hey, I saw you running yesterday". As is typical in the mornings, I was rushing, so I just said "Did you? Have a great day!".
Was there a possibility that she did see me running in the neighborhood, you ask. Not a chance.
I didn't give the exchange a second thought, until the next time I ran into her at preschool, and she said "Hey, I saw you running again - you're really motivated!" Great. She's bringing it up again? Think quick! "Oh yah, well, just trying to stay fit!" Nice choice. Now I've taken on this other person's identity.
New plan - avoid this Mom at all costs.
A short time later, I was at a friend's daughter's birthday party, and who do I run into? Aaaccckkk, it's the Mom from preschool who thinks I'm an avid runner. Ok, stick with the plan. Avoid her. She tracked me down despite my diversion tactics, and - you guessed it - she brings it up again! And now it's gotten worse. She says, "Did you get a personal trainer? I saw you running with a guy yesterday, it looked like he was timing you or something."
You have got to be kidding me. Not only do I run practically every day, but now I have a trainer or possibly I'm having an affair with someone. I wonder if we run before or after our trysts...? My mind wanders... Get back on topic! Think! What do I say now???
Here's my brilliant response. "Oh, if you saw me with someone else, then it definitely wasn't me. I only run alone." Huh? WTF is that supposed to mean? It was clearly the same person, and now I'm somehow trying to claim that I have a twin who is more of a team runner, whereas I am a dedicated solo runner. Why wouldn't I just run with my running twin? And her new hot trainer.
I think after that I think I said something like "Mommy's coming sweetie - gotta go!" and I made a fast exit, leaving her looking dazed and confused.
Moral of the story? Really, no matter how pressed for time you are - think before you speak. What I should have said on that very first encounter (which is also the complete truth by the way) was, "If you saw someone running, I can assure you that it most definitely was NOT me."
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Recently I wrote an article for my local mother's club newsletter. At the end of the article it said this:
"Kirsten lives with her husband and three children in Hillytown, Ca. In her spare time she writes about motherhood among other things at www.thenorwindians.blogspot.com."
I am starting to regret that little blurb. I feel sort of exposed. It was one thing for a few family members and some close friends to know about my blog. But now I sort of feel like I've exposed myself to my whole community. There is nothing on there that I am ashamed of, or regret writing. But it still feels a little strange.
Several people told me after the article was published that they liked reading it. It was nice to get actual face to face feedback on something I wrote. Something I was proud of and came from my heart. A few people had questions about the blog. A handful said they thought it was "neat" or "really great."
It could very possibly all be in my head, but lately I've been feeling a little bit judged at preschool pick up. At Raj's end of the year preschool picnic I overheard a conversation between three moms. I couldn't hear it all, but the snippets I did hear went something like this:
"If you have a blog, you have to know who your audience is."
"You know, they get paid. Every time you click on their page, the advertisers pay them."
"I'm not a writer, but some people just feel the need to be heard."
I have no idea if they were talking about me. They are moms that I am friendly with, but not more than a hello at drop off or a casual comment here and there. It bothered me for at first, but I was over it by the time I got home that day. Then recently another mom that I am actually fairly good friends with made the comment that she "had neither the time nor the inclination for mommy blogs." I'm not sure why I took offense. She is well aware of my blog, and she may read it occasionally.
After mulling it all over for the day, I feel the need to just get this off my chest. I remember the first time I heard the word "blog." Jay is always aware of the latest and greatest trends in technology. I remember when he told me about a small start-up company about 10 years ago that sounded to me like a glorified flea market and was sure to fail. I thought it sounded ridiculous. That company was called Ebay. Anyway, he started a sample blog, just to see what all the buzz was about and wanted to know what I thought. Of course, I thought it might be a good way to keep in touch with out of town family, but other than that, it looked sort of stupid. I didn't get it.
Four years later, I was showing him my new blog. I don't really remember the first blog I started reading, or how I came across it. But I've always enjoyed reading personal essays and getting a small look into someone else's life experiences. I find comfort in reading things that I can relate to. I have learned a ton and been exposed to whole other world's reading blog posts by people I have nothing in common with. I totally get it now.
I started my blog in part because of my relationship with my own mother. I've always wondered what her life was like when my sister and I were little. What did she think about? How did she feel about being a mom? What were we like? Did she ever get frustrated? Was it all sunshine and roses? Since I will never, ever be a scrap booker in the traditional sense... I wanted to create a virtual scrap book. A scrap book of words. The good, the bad and everything in between of my motherhood experience. I want to remember that Raj calls guacamole whack-a-moley. I want to remember days like this and things like this. I also want to document my thoughts about things like this and this.
And let's face it -- I am a straight up mommy blogger. I'm not a great writer, writing on a blog to hone my craft. I am just a mom sharing my stories on a blog. I post lots of stories about my kids and endless photos. It is what it is. Maybe I am a little geeky, but find reading about other people's lives interesting. I don't think anything bad can come from sharing our motherhood/life experiences and getting feedback from each other. And isn't that really the essence of blogging? It is for me anyway.
And the money/ads question. Much to my husband's disappointment, I make enough money off ads on my blog to be able to take my kids out for frozen yogurt once a month. I am not in this for the money and honestly, product reviews are not my cup of tea.
Maybe it will all backfire on me someday and my kids will not like my virtual scrap book at all. I am hoping that they will someday appreciate this little record of our lives. I am hoping that sharing my "journal" with them when they are older will make us closer.
I am not really sure why I am not comfortable posting this on my own blog. I have been feeling very tentative there lately since the article in the newsletter came out. I think I was a much better blogger a year ago when no one was reading me. I realize I am preaching to the choir here when it comes to why we blog. But I needed to get it out anyway. In a lot of ways I am more comfortable with myself on my blog. I find it much easier to express myself in writing than in person. I can say things on my blog that I would be terrified to tell even my sister in person. If that makes me strange, or geeky, or whatever, so be it.
I understand that lots of people don't "get" blogging, especially personal blogging. It's the same thing as me not really "getting" Facebook (even though they are so similar, go figure). I know it may seem strange to some. They can't imagine spending a weekend in Chicago talking about blogging and meeting virtual strangers in real life.
But you are not strangers to me at all. I gain a lot from reading your blogs. If you gain something from reading mine, great! Who is my audience? The only audience that really matters to me are these people.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Thank you to my firm for finally announcing the fate of our company. That's right, the wait is over. Another financial firm has purchased the financial firm that I work for. This will likely result in a sizable layoff after the end of the year. And how is it that this is something to be thankful for??? After spending the better part of the past two years engrossed in the day to day details of the economic downturn, having survived one round of layoffs earlier this year only to learn shortly afterwards that my firm was up for sale, then working in a fog of ambiguity and stress for the past few months while we all waited to see what was going to happen - now we finally know!!! Now we can move forward! I don't know what will happen to my job, but I strongly believe that when one door closes, several more open. I'm ready to walk forward through the next door in my life, whatever happens.
I will bestow the "Your blog is deer to me as cupcakes" award to you, if you leave me a comment telling me about the best bad news you've ever gotten.