Friday, September 29, 2006

New York

This week I had the pleasure of a whirlwind trip to NYC. There was a one day conference on Thursday so four of us went up the day before and made the most of the little time we had there. We stayed at the Waldorf Astoria, which was very exciting to stay in landmark hotel, this was also where the conference was.

The night before we went to dinner at Tribecca Grill and then afterwards walked down to Ground Zero.

I had only seen the site of the former World Trade Centers on TV so it was quite impressive to see the site in person.

It's hard to picture the buildings that were once on the site. The more emotional part of the visit was the timeline and photgraphs posted at the entrance of the WTC subway entrance.

The stangest part of the visit was noticing the armed security outside of the WTC subway stop. 5-6 men with huge machine guns. This is not a site I have ever seen on the streets of America, while they are the good guys it's still very unsettleing. My picture was far away, as I was too itimidated to go up and directly take a picture of them.

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Saturday, September 16, 2006


Now you may find this hard to believe with all the tons of pictures I post on this blog of Ms. G., but I am not a kid person. Other people's kids get on my last nerve. Of course there are exceptions to this, like the kids who belong to anybody who reads this blog! :) No really I honestly like my friends kids or at least most of them and the kids in our family. With that said I am realizing it's not the kids I so much dislike - it's the parents. Which of course is why I like the kids I know because, I like their parents and we share similar parenting styles, or should I say we actually parent our children.

What the heck has happened to the general parent these days, is it out of fashion to have your kids abide by some sort of set of rules. Is my idea of where to to draw the line tighter than the general public? Dunno.

Case in point. I signed Gigi and I up for Mommy and Me Yoga classes for the next six weeks. I pictured several little girls with their mommys all sitting nicely following the instructor and trying to do yoga poses. How was it really? Well first of all we get there and there is only one other mommy and she has two boys who look to be about 2 1/2 and 4, the age requirement is at least 3, ok Gigi is two weeks shy of that but really close. Fine no other little girls but maybe some will sign up later. We start, it's ok every one is following instruction and doing ok. Gigi is having fun so it's good. A little bit into the class a mommy and her daughter come in. My guess is that the girl is 2ish AND she still has a pacifier glued to her mouth. The instructor is the only one working so she can't stop and see what this mommy has dropped in for so she invites them to join the class, which I thought was a good move on her part. NOT! First, the little girl was not interested in following instruction she just wanted to run around. Second, the little girl's mommy did absolutely nothing about, in no way did she try to control her or get her to participate in the instructions, she just let her run. Third, since she was running around the two little boys started running around too. ugh. Fourth, the boys' mom gave a small effort to get them back under control, but they didn't listen and she quickly gave up.

Ok what is up with this? If it were my child I would have walked her out of the play area and made her sit her on the bench until she was ready to go back in and follow instructions. This isn't just me backseat driving because I was working a plan in my head of what I was going to do if she decided to join in with the others. What is great is that I didn't need to do that because even though the rest of the kids were running around like banshees with their parents permission, my little girl continued to focus on the instructor and we did our poses. She is the best.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Hemlock Overlook

Yesterday instead of going to the office I met met my Vistage group out at Hemlock Overlook for some teambuilding exercises. Leading up to the day, knowing our Chair, I was worried he would have us up on the 30 ft high ropes course. Fortunately and unfortunately that didn't happen. I say fortunately because as soon as I heard that we weren't doing it I was relieved. But unfortunately because I had sorta gotten myself pschyed up to try it. Only 6 of our 16 members showed up so the turnout was little disappointing and you need 14 people to do the high ropes course.

Regardless we were challenged physcially at times and mentally constantly. I like the team building games, problem solving is always fun.

This was the first time we did this, maybe next time we will do the ropes. Vistage is a pretty cool thing, it's group of senior executives and we meet once a month usually at one of our places of business. The monthly meeting consists of a speaker (topics ranging from leadership, personal development, employee development, world issues, health, etc.) and then the second half of the day we work issues. This is really quite interesting. Each meeting you come in and are asked to rate these three topics from 1-5 - Business, Personal and Health. Before we work the issues we work around the table and each person gives an update on what has been going on with them since the last meeting meeting hitting on each of the three topics. It becomes clear from the updates and ratings who may have an issue to work that particualr session.

Once the issues have been put on the table, the member digs into the issue and the group asks questions to flush out what the issue is and what the member needs from the group. After all questions are asked, each member of the group gives advice on the issue. You may or may not agree with the advice, but it's very interesting to see how different people think. Also when there are that many people working an issue it really brings out things you haven't thought of and sometimes the real issue is flushed out and it's something very different than what the member put on the table. I've worked an issue twice and both times it really helped me get some perpective and figure out how to to tackle it so I was able to resolve the issue much better than I would have on my own.

Anyway yesterday was fun...

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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Neighbor’s House

When a house goes on the market in my neighborhood, all the neighbors like to check it our when it’s open. So this weekend we decided to take a walk down the street to see a new house that just went on the market. As we turn the corner and are walking toward the house we also see balloons and the open sign for another house in the hood – Her house.

Well we go into the first house and check it out. It’s quite nice and much more expensive than the other houses for sale in our hood, which is why we wanted to see it. One draw back, the house next door had a fire last March and is still in major disrepair. In fact I had not realized how bad the fire was until we got a view of it from the neighbor’s backyard. It was quite a fire. I’m not sure why it is taking so long to get it repaired, insurance or something else, but it can’t be making it any easier for the neighbors to sell their house.

Anyway done with that. I want to go see Her house. Not that I really about seeing what the house looks like, but to get the info on her departure. The real estate agent has the same last name so I was thinking it might be her son and we worried she might be there. The hubby advised against going, but we were already halfway there and I wanted to go, so we did.

She was there. We walk in and wind back to the kitchen, the real agent greets us and she is right behind him. I introduce myself and sign in using my maiden name so we don’t have to worry about any backlash. I also let him know we are neighbors but I know a coworker looking for a house, this is true. She is really giving me the eye. Am I paranoid? Maybe she’s just an ornery old lady and looks at everyone that way. This is probably the truth but she also probably knows my voice, who cares. I look her in the eye and say hello, can’t remember if she said hello back or not but I don’t think she did. So the agent is giving me the hard sell. I told him we just want to get some info and take a quick tour but he was aggressive. I took the opportunity find out that they are retiring and have a house ready but won’t move until the house is sold. DAMN! DAMN! DAMN! This is hard market to sell a house in. Oh well now I am ready to go but Paul and Gigi are somewhere in the house and this guy is really selling hard. Finally we are leaving and he says he’ll call me in a few days for feedback. Go ahead I left a fake number…

Friday, September 01, 2006

My New Favorite Person

One of the hardest parts about being a working mom is making a decision on what isn’t going to get done. Obviously your child needs all the care attention you give her. You have an obligation to be at work. Keeping nutritious food in the house and preparing meals, kind of important. Laundry can become a real issue if you haven’t done it and you’re trying to get your child’s breakfast and lunch ready and get out the door for work and you find she has no clean pants. So what gets left undone, unless of course you’re Supermom and need no sleep? In our house, its housekeeping.

Last year we remodeled our kitchen, it looks great. Take a quick guess on how many times our new floor was mopped since Jan 1st? Let’s see it’s August, so you think maybe once a month, so 8 times? Doubt it, my guess is once. Bathrooms, more often, but still not as often as needed, especially the floors. I’ve wanted to hire a housekeeper for about three years now. But for one the hubby was completely opposed, ”I’ll do more cleaning”, he has not. The cost, the rates I was hearing were a bit prohibitive. Plus, I’ve never had someone come in my house while I wasn’t home and spend hours working in our personal space.

I got over all that. A friend recommend her housekeeper and I jumped on it. Wow, I can never go back! Yesterday was her first day; she will come once every two weeks. Yesterday being the first visit was heavy duty as she needed to get everything up to par. Now I know what I just wrote, but really I didn’t think our house was “that” dirty. We keep it fairly straight, everything in its place and don’t allow real messes to go without being immediately addressed. Really it’s dust that we have an issue with (thinking about getting our ducts cleaned but that’s a whole other story). When I walked in our house yesterday after her visit I was floored, (excuse the pun). Not only were all the floors clean, bathrooms sparkly and all the surfaces dust free. But things I don’t think much about were pristine like the wood blinds and the base boards, the toothbrush holder, behind the cappuccino machine, etc. The transformation was incredible. Everywhere I turned I was in awe, all the finest details – clean.

Needless to say I have a new favorite person.