28 January 2009

2009 Resolutions

OK I have been giving this some thought and I think I have arrived at my final list of resolutions for 2009. In no particular order:

1. Read another 50 books. I am proud of myself for getting through that many books last year. The goal definitely kept me reading more and watching TV less. I want to continue that. Included with that goal is that I want to read more of the books I already own. Not sure if I will track that, but maybe I should.

2. Stay on top of my inbox. I tend to let my email inboxes get ridiculously long and crowded -- especially my work email. This year I am determined to be more diligent about deleting or filing emails as necessary because half the time when I look back at emails I can't even remember why I kept most of the them.

3. Cook. No, not cook more, because I don't really count microwaving or heating something up in the toaster oven as cooking. I want everyone in my house to eat healthier meals. I try to buy good food, but we also tend to go out a lot. So, my goal is to cook one dinner per week. I've cooked 2 dinners so far in January. Nothing glamorous, but they were hot and they got eaten. Also I have a great source of inspiration because Becky, knowing of my secret intentions for this year, gave me a fantastic cook book for Christmas. I haven't gotten past putting post-it notes on the recipes I want to try because I think I am a little intimidated, but I am looking forward to giving some of these recipes a shot.

4. Try doing more sports and outdoor activities. I'd like to really get in skiing and ice skating this winter. In the spring I want to go hiking and take some tennis lessons. Not sure yet about summer and fall since those tend to be my most active times anyway, but I will think of something to do. Maybe more of the same. Whatever it is, I want to do more of it.

5. Get rid of the clutter. My house isn't severely cluttered, but we've been living here almost 6 years and stuff builds up in all the hidden places like the closets and the cabinets. When I set up my home office and had to move a bunch of stuff around I realized how much clutter had build up. Main goals are the kitchen cabinets and the upstairs hall in the alcove that has the desk. Not sure anyone has a clear idea of the full inventory of those areas, but they are not being put to their best use right now.

So, I'll check back in 12 months and let you know how it goes...

26 January 2009


You know those days when one thing after another screws up your plans for the day? That seems to be the story of my life lately. I have canceled or rescheduled more plans, meetings and appointments in the last month than I think I ever have. I have had more last minute doctor appointments, more minor emergencies, and more phone calls than I thought possible in a 30-day period.

Maybe it is because work is busier than ever, maybe it is because I am still adjusting to working from home or maybe it’s just all a coincidence, but I am just feeling like I can't get a handle on things and I can't get ahead. No amount of to-do lists, getting up early, or staying up late seems to help. And I feel like I am constantly complaining which is probably true since that is clearly what I am doing right now!

So, this morning when Zoe woke up with a fever and an earache my first reaction was less maternal concern and worry and more total annoyance combined with a dash of anger at the fact that I knew there was no way Rob would stay home to take her to the doctor and I would have to rearrange more meetings, get a lot less work done than I hoped, AND cancel my dinner plans with Heather who I have been trying to have dinner with since November. Had Rob not been home at the time, I am sure I would have taken out my frustration on Zoe instead. It was not my best Mommy moment and I am not proud of it.

I did get over myself and manage to make all the necessary adjustments to my plans for the day to accommodate Zoe. Poor, sick, Zoe who burned with fever all day long and lay on the couch like wet dishrag barely making a peep after we returned from the doctor. She called for me to come snuggle with her around 6:30PM which I gladly did, but as I was holding her, I could feel her heart pounding in her chest and it freaked me out. It was as if she had just been running around like crazy, but I knew she was just laying there ad had been for hours. I called the doctor's office and left a message and was ready to rush to the ER by the time the on-call nurse called me back (about 6 or 7 minutes later).

The nurse kindly explained to me that her increased heart rate was a normal side effect of a high fever and quite expertly calmed me down without making me feel completely foolish. She suggested I give Zoe Motrin rather than Tylenol and give her a cool washcloth for her head and feet to help bring the fever down. When I hung up the phone I shed a few tears of relief and then took care of Zoe, got her fever down a bit and got her into bed and finished up some work.

And now here I am grateful that something is not really wrong with Zoe, where I hoped to be with work stuff, and even though I am still missing Heather, I feel like a real selfish bitch for my earlier behavior. I think maybe tonight was the check I needed to get things back into perspective.

21 January 2009

This is how old I am

I got this from both Charlotte and Emily and I really liked both of their posts so I thought I'd give it a go myself.

I saw the original Broadway production of "Annie" with Andrea McCardle and after the show my father bought me the cast recording of the music. It was a vinyl record, of course. I played it endlessly on my record player and memorized every song. That is probably when I fell in love with theater.

Speaking of vinyl, I can remember buying the 45s of "Pop Muzik" by M and "Another Brick in the Wall" by Pink Floyd. Also committed those songs to memory. I think I can still sing them word for word.

I remember when Dr. Scholls sandals were all the rage. They were banned from my elementary school because a girl broke her ankle in them -- or so we were told. I had blue ones.

The first VHS movie I ever watched was "Death Race 2000" at my California cousins' house. The VHS machine was as big as my printer/scanner/fax is today and the "remote control" was on a long wire.

I was at sleepaway camp when Diana Spencer married Prince Charles. One of the counselors snuck me into the counselor's cabin to watch. I also saw the movie "E.T." while at sleepaway camp on "lifer's night out." (A lifer is someone who goes to sleepaway camp for all 8 weeks.)

I waited in line to see "Star Wars."

I watched Luke and Laura get married, but I never thought Luke was good looking. That perm was hideous to me even then.

My best friend and I used to pass notes back and forth on actual paper. Sometimes we'd decorate the notes with stickers.

I wore stirrup pants and thought they looked good. Considering how young and thin I was at the time, they probably didn't look that bad, just not great.

I cried at the last M*A*S*H episode.

The first computer I used was running DOS and the first time I used an Apple I saw the light. I have been a computer lover ever since.

Our first home printer was a dot matrix printer and it was so cool. We were one of the first people I knew to have a printer at home. I used to love to tear the edges off the print outs and decorate with them like streamers.

I only knew 2 people in college who had their own computers.

The first president I was old enough to vote for was Bill Clinton.

I was married in the previous century.

20 January 2009

This is the day!

I am so excited for about this day. I can't remember ever paying so much attention to inaugural events before, but this is clearly something special. The world is set to change TODAY.

In celebration of today I have made my very own Obamicon!

(Great big thanks go out to Charlotte for sharing this on her blog last week.)

16 January 2009

You'll Flip for Zoe

A ZoesMom production:

Zoe's Little Gym performance

P.S. Of 6 posts this month 4 of them have had photos or video -- can you tell I got a new camera for Christmas???

12 January 2009

More life lessons from Zoe

It's all downhill from here, originally uploaded by Marcyjill.

Sunday afternoon we took Zoe sledding on a big hill in a nearby park. Zoe can be pretty fearless so she was raring to go when we got to the top of the hill. Rob and I were both a bit nervous about pushing our little girl off down a hill that steep, but we were there and she was ready so we put her in the sled and off she went laughing the entire time. She practically ran back up the hill.

On the third run down Zoe's hat came off when she was almost at the bottom of the hill. After she reached the bottom she headed up the hill to retrieve it. There were a lot of people on the hill so what happened next wasn't even that surprising. A sled loaded with 2 kids and a Dad hit her and knocked her right off her feet. It was one of those moments where time just stops.

Rob and I ran down the hill as quickly as we could. I thought she had to have either have a concussion or a broken bone. It was a nasty looking hit. We looked her over carefully. She had a cut on her nose and a scrape on her forehead, but otherwise, miraculously, she looked OK. She stopped crying as we headed back up the hill, but when Rob and I headed toward the car rather than heading back to the sledding she started to cry again.

"We don't have to go home now, do we?" she cried. "I want to do more sledding!"

We decided that if she felt up to it than she must be OK and a huge smile spread across her face when I said she could go down for a few more runs. And she was off and running again, smiling, laughing, slightly more cautious, but just as enthusiastic.

Zoe has always been like that. I think of her as being "unsinkable." When she wants to do something, go somewhere nothing stands in her way. A little thing like being tackled by a sled wasn't going to ruin her day of sledding.

Makes me think there is a good lesson in there for me too. I can't let the little setbacks ruin the big picture. It is so easy to fall into that, but life is so much happier when you don't.

11 January 2009

Asking for what you want

I don't know why, but for most of my life I have had trouble asking for what I want. I would go so far as to say that I occasionally have a low-level fear in some situations. I don't like talking to strangers, I despise having to ask for information or help, and I will almost always try to work something out myself first even if it would be faster to just ask someone. I even hate having to do something as simple as calling in an order for take-out food. This is one of the reasons why I love the internet so much. I can get my prescriptions filled, get driving directions, order from a catalog, and even grocery shop without having to talk to anyone. And the internet is often faster and more efficient than the "old-fashioned" way. However, there are still many situations in life where relying on the internet is not an option or is simply not going to lead to the result I am after.

Zoe, on the other hand, has absolutely no fear or issues with asking for what she wants. She usually orders for herself when we're in a restaurant and she is never afraid to ask a question of anyone. Several months ago we were at Danbury Mall and Zoe wanted to go to Claire's. I didn't know where Claire's was in the mall so I told Zoe we'd have to find a directory. That wasn't working for her so she marched into the next store and went right up to the counter and asked "Where's Claire's?" I was amazed. Of course she got the directions and we were able to head right to the store. Where did she learn to be so fearless about asking for what she wants? Then I realized that a better question was "what exactly is my problem?"

Since that day I have been making an effort to ask for what I want and it is actually working. Just this past week I was able to get the cost of shipping for my new desk refunded to me because of poor customer service. The store didn't offer it to me, I spoke to the store manager and asked for a refund and it was granted. That felt really good. Last month when I was going through my job change my original offer letter had a title that I felt was a demotion so I asked for a different title -- and I got it. That was a tough one for me to do despite the fact that I was able to handle it via email. The old me never would have done that.

I spend so much of my time with Zoe teaching her how to do things or how to behave, showing her new places, giving her new experiences, but every now and then she has a lesson for me. It takes me by surprise every time -- especially because it turns out to be so helpful to my life.

07 January 2009

Dancin' to the 80s

Just like my parents did, I like to play the music of my youth for Zoe. She really enjoys some of the 80s stuff -- especially R.E.M. and The Cure. Tonight, for a change of pace, I played her some Madonna while she was in the bathroom having a bath and getting ready for bed.

Dancing ensued.

05 January 2009

The Tooth Fairy comes tonight!

Zoe loses her first tooth, originally uploaded by Marcyjill.

We were starting to lose hope, but at last it has happened -- Zoe lost her first tooth in school today. She is so excited! At least I know I will be able to get her to sleep tonight because, after all, the Tooth Fairy can't come if you're not sleeping.

Personally I hated losing my teeth. The feeling of a loose tooth grossed me out and I hated that feeling of no tooth being there. Also I was a little afraid of the Tooth Fairy reaching under my pillow. But Zoe is excited about losing the tooth and can't wait to see what the Tooth Fairy brings.

Now I just have to figure out the going rate for the first lost tooth.

01 January 2009

2008 Books Read

Here is the list of all 50 books I read in 2008. I'm quite proud of that number!

1. Mansfield Park
2. Love, Rosie
3. Lost and Found
4. Firefly Lane
5. Cotillion
6. Tom Jones
7. Bringing Home the Birkin
8. Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
9. Venetia
10. On Chesil Beach
11. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
12. Gossip Girl
13. Imagine Me and You
14. Bringing Down the House
15. Don't Make Me Think
16. The Wonder Spot
17. Interpreter of Maladies
18. The Big Sleep
19. The Unknown Ajax
20. Not Another Bad Date
21. The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen
22. The City of Falling Angels
23. Love the One You're With
24. An Assembly Such as This
25. The River King
26. Second Chance
27. Dirty Girls On Top
28. Things Fall Apart
29. The Beach House
30. Digging to America
31. Pretty Little Mistakes
32. Replay
33. American Wife
34. The Sari Shop
35. Duty and Desire
36. These Three Remain
37. 24-Karat Kids
38. Vanity Fair
39. My Best Friend's Girl
40. When You are Engulfed in Flames
41. Born Standing Up
42. The Uncommon Reader
43. Rocket Man
44. Blink
45. Night Fall
46. The Outcast
47. The Last Summer (of You & Me)
48. Dog Handling
49. Bookends
50. Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict