Thursday, July 28, 2005

In the Wee Hours

Well it's 4 in the morning, I've been awake since 3 or so and can't sleep. Didn't fall asleep until almost midnight so it hasn't been a good night for me. What's got me in a quandary? It's been a hard few days for me in HR. My people lost a benefit which is something I really hate to see. I won't get into the reasons why because a public forum isn't the place to air this type of thing. But the deal is, and this is always a tricky issue in my profession, it hits hard at home for me too. I am also an employee who lost something. My daughter lost too. And that's the piece that really gets me going. A little 22 month old girl losing precious hours due to office politics.

So it starts me thinking, is this what I really want? By this, I mean this rat race we live in here in the DC area. I hear myself commenting quite frequently how fast we are all moving, that time is the precious commodity none of have enough of, it's all being sucked up too quickly. Is it like this everywhere?

My husband and I have an ongoing conversation should I work or stay home? It always comes down to two things for me. One, money, it's hard to live in this area on one income, not impossible for us, but not exactly cushy either. Two, I want to be a role model for my daughter. I want her to have her own career goals. And I also have to admit most days I like my job, I like having a life outside the home.

What's the trade off? On an average weekday how much time do I spend with her? The answer is simple, not enough. I wake her up at 7 and by 8 or shortly after she's at day care. I pick her up at 5:45, get home around 6:15 immediately hand her over to my husband so I can rush to make dinner. We eat dinner, which can be nice or stressful depending on how she feels about dinner. I give her a bath, which again can be nice or stressful, then we go downstairs and I get about 45 minutes with her before her bedtime. That's a rough trade off.

So the question still remains is it like this everywhere? Is the pace this fast? Would it be better to sell the house, use the profits to buy a comparable house somewhere where the market is not so crazy and live a more simple life? Well, since I am up in the wee hours stressing over work related issues, it's looking pretty attractive.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Little Ones

Abigail and Gigi2 Posted by Picasa

This weekend we went to visit our friends and joined them in celebrating their daughter's 1st birthday. We had a good time, and Paul really liked holding two little ones!

windows2 Posted by Picasa

party3 Posted by Picasa

party2 Posted by Picasa

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Rockstar INXS

I have to admit it. I am addicted to this show. So is Ms. Gigi, all I have to do is say "lets watch the Rock-n-Roll show" and I get instant cooperation. I have never been a INXS fan, but I just love the concept. I couldn't stand American Idol since they would never allow someone who would be a real ROCK singer survive on that show, it's all the same canned over processed crap. So this show intrigues me.

Being someone who has actually auditioned for rock bands, I definitely have some opinions on the performances and the songs they are required to sing. I also know what it's like to have to get up and sing in front of folks judging to see if you are good enough to be in their band. Although not on national television with a live audience!

Fortunately for my ego, I joined almost every band I ever auditioned for, or was at least offered the opportunity to join even if I didn't take the offer. You never know what to expect when you answer an ad looking for a singer, you have to go out and talk with the band and jam with them. I'll never forget the audition I went to where the guitar player's girlfriend was so put off by me that she had to pull him off in the middle of the audition to have sex with him. Note: They just disappeared for a while and left the rest of the band and me sitting around waiting. They came back about 30 minutes or so later all disheveled. You do the math. Needless to say they didn't hire me.

Anyway, I really like four of the singers competing and am curious to see who gets it and even more curious to see how the band does with this new singer. It will take a lot for them to reclaim and then maintain their success.

Here a few shots from back in the day...

5 on a Couch at Fort Reno Posted by Picasa

Detragiles at the old 9:30 clubPosted by Picasa

BFK at the Asylum ClubPosted by Picasa

Gigi Playing Posted by Picasa

Friday, July 15, 2005

Ramones at the Grocery Store

Ok I'm at the grocery store today and I realize the music being piped in is the Ramones. How weird is that? What's even more weird, is the mix of music that it was in, the next song was some mushy crappy pop ballad. And let me clarify this wasn't Muzak which would also be very strange, but the Ramones doing their version of Blitzkrieg Bop. In the Giant Food store. I remember back in the late seventies/early eighties I was dying to hear the Ramones on the radio on a station like DC 101 or 98 Rock, and there was NO WAY they were going to play it. Now I'm walking around in the grocery store hearing it. Is this good or bad? I can't really make up my mind. Just know it's weird.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Weekend Update

We went to the beach again this weekend, it will be the last time until sometime next month. I love going to the beach but it is hard to leave work, pack and go then come home on Sunday and go right back to work. No time to take care of business around the house. But I guess that's part of the point. I really like sitting on the beach thinking how great it is to be doing absolutely nothing.

We made a quick trip down to O.C. for a few hours so Gigi could ride the Ferris wheel and carousel, and walk the boardwalk. It's amazing how fast O.C. is changing right now, there are so many old buildings going down and new ones going up. The prices are really high, I don't know how the average family is affording it, although I say the same about the housing prices around here.

Anyway we had a good time and now it's back to work and hopefully the work on our kitchen will start this week.

A shot of us on the Ferris wheel, Gigi was a little scared, not so much of the heights but I think she didn't like the butterflies in her tummy as we descended. She warmed up to it and I think she enjoyed it.

I took my chair out so the waves would wash up on us, Gigi dug it until she got splashed in the face a few times.

Friday, July 08, 2005

The Pants

Last year I had a business trip to go on for 5 days and just coming off maternity leave had hardly anything to wear that fit. I decided I needed to go shopping. I shopped and shopped all over Montgomery Mall and was really not coming up with anything. I ended up in the Eileen Fisher store, and they start pulling out stuff, I’m trying it on, Gigi is fussing and finally I find something that fits, and not only fits but looks GREAT. Thus begins my relationship with The Pants. I purchase The Pants, go home and start to have a bit of buyer’s remorse. This is because The Pants are not cheap. The Pants cost at least twice as much as any other pair of pants I own and three or four times as much as I normally pay. I think I’m going to have to return them. But I put them on to confirm and again they fit so well and are so flattering, even for my post pregnancy body. I decide I need them for this trip so I keep them.

This is best purchase I ever made. I wear The Pants once a week, each time I wash them (YES! The Pants can be washed AND put in the dryer!), they are the first pants I wear. I start to calculate how many pairs of pants I have bought for $20, $40, $60 and how infrequently I wear them due some flaw or another and decide this was really a frugal purchase. In fact not only was it frugal but also great for my ego. When I wear The Pants, people ask “have you lost weight?” Which is only one of the top most wonderful phrases to hear someone say, right behind “I love you mommy”.

I now have four pairs of The Pants, one pair which I can proudly say I found on clearance for less than half the regular price and yes, I wear all of them constantly, forget all my other pants. I am also working on converts. I already have one in my office who really wanted to try The Pants (this is what we call them - The Pants) and when I told her about the pair I found on sale she bought them and now has at least one other pair and one pair on order. We have another woman in my office who is also contemplating The Pants. Now let me clarify which pants these are, because Eileen Fisher has several types of pants, some which are no better than your average pants just more expensive. These are the washable stretch crepe yoke waist pants. What is so great about them? First the yoke waist is so comfortable; it’s an elastic waist band that really looks good. Second, the material is fabulous, you could wear these to the gym and move every possible way or you can wear them with a suit jacket to the office and they look great. Look really good and be really comfortable. Is that unbelievable or what?!

So as you can tell I am in love with The Pants so I’ll stop now, I just felt the need to spread the word.

P.S. I am wearing The Pants in my profile picture to the right.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Can we just play nice?

As the mother of a toddler I am constantly trying to find ways to teach my daughter how to play nice. No biting, no pinching, use your inside voice. It makes me think about this upcoming battle conservatives and liberals are preparing to wage against any choice George Bush makes for his nomination to the Supreme Court. As someone who leans a little more to the liberal side of the spectrum especially on personal freedom issues, my first reaction was fear that he will actually get to make this choice. But I feel we all need to step back and allow the process to unfold without our guard up, let's not lay in wait ready to pounce.

I hope that Bush tries to prevent as much controversy as possible by consulting those who will confirm the nomination. But it drives me nuts to see the lines of war already being drawn, it appears no matter who he chooses, someone is ready to spend our tax dollars fighting it. I feel we are losing some of the dignity involved in the political process. Everyone who comes in is almost guaranteed to be chewed up and spit out. Regardless of your political beliefs, it's important to recognize that the people being considered for nomination in are in tops of their careers, the personal microscope that our process has become cannot be becoming to anyone.

Can we go back to the time when we had a respect for how our founding fathers set up the checks and balances of the process? Can we show some respect for the people we have voted into office to make these decisions? We all need to recognize that this is a very divided country right now and compromise is needed on all fronts. I think that this is something we learned about as toddlers compromise, inside voice, take turns, respect. These are things I am teaching my daughter, how can I teach the rest of the country?

Monday, July 04, 2005

Latest Pictures

It's the end of the week and we downloaded the latest batch of pictures. They are from the last few weekends.

Every year our neighborhood has a parade for the 4th of July, the main attraction is a fire engine plus lots of kids and dogs.

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The day before we went to my parents house to celebrate my dad's birthday.

PapPap and Peppy on PapPap's birthday Posted by Picasa

Playing in the Pool at Nanna's and PapPap's Posted by Picasa

Eating Breakfast in new outfit from Grandma Posted by Picasa

For Father's Day, we again went over to my folk's house, afterwards we went to a car show. Gigi liked the band but both she and Paul were very tired.

Gigi and Daddy after the car show on Father's Day Posted by Picasa

This is my mom at the car show, we were walking around looking at cars and some guy that she went to grade school with recognized her in the crowd, it was pretty cool.

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Gigi at the car show Posted by Picasa

The day before Paul's Mom was in town so we went up to visit his sister Karen, with Jackie and Natalie.

Jackie, Grandma, Karen and Gigi Posted by Picasa

Love this purple dress...

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Sunday, July 03, 2005


Dealing with clutter is a crazy battle, that is unless of course you are the type who never lets anything get out of place and can ruthlessly throw out anything not needed TODAY. I am currently waging a major war against clutter but I think I am losing. I watch the shows where people's homes are out of control and think how did they get there? I know that won't happen to us but still, while I am clearing out and throwing out and donating stuff, I find myself coming home with bags of new stuff. I argue - this is stuff I need. I think. It seems important enough at the time. Today we went to Ikea and bought a floor lamp, a ceiling light, a new set of dishes and few toys for Gigi. The lights we need, they are replacements for lights that have died. Although the old lights are still here in our house, adding to the clutter. The dishes, ok they are not needed, but I am SO sick of my old dishes that we have had for 8 years now and are very, very 90's. They are cute, cool mix and match patterns. I am trading them in for nice white plates. Who would have guessed Ms. Punk Rock Princess would go out and seek white dishes. We all surprise ourselves. Anyway will I be able to part with the old ones or will I hold onto them for the next 5 to 10 years? I am already thinking of a spot in a newly cleared space to store them "just in case" we need them. Am I crazy?

Friday, July 01, 2005

Our Kitchen

I am getting pretty excited about our upcoming kitchen face lift. We almost have all the supplies needed for the job and it's been cool making the purchases trying to visualize the changes.

I need to post a before shot. But I'll try to describe how it is now and has been for the last five years since we moved in. Our kitchen sucks. More detail, we have horrible linoleum on the floor which was damaged when we moved in. It is so old and worn it feels like you never really get it clean. The counter tops are this blah cream color, really crappy stock laminate and the cooktop says left top but it's really the right top etc...

We are getting new terra cotta ceramic flooring, new countertops, new stainless dishwasher, cook top, sink and faucet (our current one drenches anyone who come to our house and doesn't know how finesse it). We are keeping the cabinets, but putting on a fresh coat of paint and new brushed nickel hardware. We also are painting the walls.

I am not looking forward to doing the work. We are not doing it all ourselves, we have a great contractor doing the complicated stuff requiring actual skills, but we are painting the cabinets and walls ourselves. Ugh. Also we will lose the use of our kitchen while this is going on. Everything needs to be pulled out, then eventually put back. This will be great process since I can purge stuff taking up room that we never use.