31 May 2011

Mystic (no pizza)

With softball, all of Zoe's other activities, work, and family stuff life has been pretty busy lately so we decided to declare what we like to call "family day" this past Sunday.  This is when Rob, Zoe, and I spend an entire day together doing something fun.  We chose a visit to Mystic Seaport for our "family day" adventure.  Zoe is still into Moby Dick and Mystic Seaport seemed like a good way to bring a bit of the story to life.

We were fortunate enough to have no traffic and pretty good weather.  It was a fun day walking around and seeing the re-enacters and getting to walk on board the tall ships.  The re-created Amistad is especially powerful to see.

When you go to amusement parks and zoos and the like they often have those murals or just animals that are made with face-sized cutouts expressly designed for pictures.  At Mystic Seaport they had one of the best of these I've ever seen.  I think Zoe and Rob really bring it to life here:

Sadly we did not get to Mystic Pizza for dinner, but we did stop in at the shops at Old Mistick Village and got our requisite fudge and other trinkets before heading back home.  All-in-all it was a great family day.

27 May 2011

Things I Never Thought I'd Say

You know how when you're a smug twenty-something you are sure you'll never do or say certain things as a parent?  Yeah, me too.  Until I had my own kid, of course.

I didn't actually say it, but I really wanted to say it.  It is one of the worst Mom lines there is.  It is the one that always made me cry harder and feel more miserable.  The one that made it crystal clear that you did not have an ally in Mom.  Can you guess?

Zoe was crying over some minor injury which I felt was mostly imagined and then as my mother was trying to soothe her she started searching for more things to be upset about.  It is a special talent of Zoe's to find things to cry about.  Since I was already annoyed with the first reason she was crying the adding on was really getting to me.

And that's when it happened.  The words formed in my head and were on their way out of my mouth.  It was a miracle that I was able to stop myself from saying...

If you don't stop crying, I will give you something to cry about.

20 May 2011

Week in Review by Memolane

I love Memolane! It creates these great timelines of all your online activity. Here's my timeline for this week:

Be sure to scroll left and right using the arrows at the top.

19 May 2011

My Slugger

Those of you who follow me on Twitter or Facebook already know that Zoe is playing softball this year.  It is her first year and she is in the "A" Division which is for the youngest girls.  She is actually oldest among the youngest, but that is a whole birthdate thing that probably works in her favor. (If you've read Malcolm Gladwell's The Outliers, you know what I mean.)

Zoe never really expressed an interest in softball, but I really thought she should try a team sport and I don't know why, but I thought she would be good at softball as well as really enjoy it.  Happily I have been right on both counts (so far, of course).

Turns out this has also been good for me.  In some moment of weakness or maybe it was something else, I volunteered to be the team manager.  I don't know the first thing about softball, but Zoe's team had no manager and since managing is definitely in my skill-set I agreed (a little begrudgingly, I must admit).  I have never really been a big volunteer at school or other kid-related activities.  Its just not my thing.  So label me surprised because I have to say it has actually been, well, fun.  I've made some new friends in the team coaches and parents and feel like I am part of a new community plus I feel like I am helping to make the experience special for Zoe since it is our thing together now.

I'm really proud of how Zoe has done on the team so far.  I enjoy the fact that it really is about learning the game for the girls at this age so the competitive factor is low.  I was told at my first managers meeting that the goal of A Division is to get the girls to want to come back and play again next year.  I think our team, The Purple Bulldogs, is doing a good job working toward that goal.  Overall, despite the fact that it has given both Zoe and I very busy schedules this spring, softball has been a great addition to our lives.

All this has really been so I can post this photo:

18 May 2011

The Brown T-Shirt

Did you ever get it into your head that you had to have something in order to make your wardrobe complete?  Perhaps it is a particular pair of shoes or dress, but it is something and there are exact details in your head about what it has to be.

Last fall I fel that way about gold ballet flats.  I had a mental image of what I wanted, but I had to do a fair amount of research and shopping in order to find a pair that lived up to my mental image. After and exhaustive several mall, many website search I finally found them at the Cole-Haan outlet I did feel temporarily as though my wardrobe was complete.

Now it is a brown t-shirt.  Not just any old brown t-shirt, but a nice brown t-shirt, what I like to call a "dressy t-shirt."  Not a grey t-shirt, not a beige t-shirt, but a brown t-shirt.  The added complication is that it has to come in petite sizes.  I am short and regular t-shirts are usually way too long.  Unfortunately brown is not a big color for spring and early summer clothes.  At least not from what I've seen in stores.  I've seen a few options that almost qualify such as:

from Ann Taylor Loft
And this one:
from Eddie Bauer

But I'm still not in love.  Not crazy about the beige-ness of the shirt form Ann Taylor Loft even though I do like the design.  I like the color of the Eddie Bauer shirt, but I'n not crazy about the detail around the buttons.  Last night I went so far as to order these two t-shirts from Old Navy because I had a 20% off coupon and their petite sizes fit me well.

But I am not convinced either of these will be the t-shirt I am after. Anyone have any suggestions? I am willing to spend a little more than I usually would to fulfill this clear wardrobe need.

17 May 2011

The Ennui

How do you know when it is time to move on?  (No, not from Rob.  He may not be perfect, but I sure do love him.)

I may never have used or thought of the word "ennui" correctly until now.  That really seems to sum up how I have been feeling about work lately.  I don't want to go into a whole long list of details about why I am feeling this way because you never know who's reading this (my biggest fear being boring to tears anyone reading this), but it is becoming increasingly clear that I need to think about making a change.  And, of course, what is the only thing worse than being dissatisfied?  Change!

Here's the thing...I work from home.  There are pros and cons to working from home, but certainly some of the biggest pros have to do with Zoe.  I am always here for her before and after school.  I can pick her up when she is sick, I can help her with her homework, I can take her to after school activities, and I never have to worry about picking her up from after in time.  In other words, I get to have the best of both worlds  for a working mom and a stay-at-home mom.  If I have to go back to commuting to an office that will all have to change and that is the biggest thing holding me back from seriously pursuing a new job.

I've updated my resume.  I've updated my LinkedIn profile.  I've asked for recommendations.  I've perused many job postings.  I've tweaked my resume and my profile.  I think I'm technically ready to start putting myself out there.  Now I just have to get mentally ready.  (And I'll have to get wardrobe ready too, naturally.)

09 May 2011

The thing about Mother's Day

The thing about Mother's Day is that you have to figure out how to celebrate all the Moms in your life and realistically that is not always possible.  When you are like me and have a mother of my own and a mother-in-law both nearby things can get complicated.  Very often, dare I say almost every time, Mother's Day is never about me.  It is about my Mom or Rob's Mom.  Sometimes it is about Aunts and sisters-in-law too.  Don't get me wrong, I am pleased to celebrate all the mothers in our life, but there's only so much time in one weekend and when you're in a situation like mine, you don't usually end up getting to do something for yourself.

I know I am not alone in this situation therefore I really think there needs to be one set strategy or hierarchy for dealing with this.  Perhaps each family needs to set their own and maybe it should be decided when you get married?  I don't know how it would work though.  When I even start trying to think about it my head hurts.  Every year we hit the same problem:  too many mothers and not enough time.

I know I should be grateful that I have my mother, my mother-in-law, my sisters-in-law and my daughter who all want to celebrate Mother's day with me and I am.  And I am very grateful and consider myself lucky.  I know a time will come around when my mother and my mother-in-law won't be around just as I know a time will come when Zoe wishes me "Happy Mother's Day" via text message from wherever life has taken her.

Perhaps the problem is really with the holiday itself?  Do we really need Mother's Day?  I mean we all know it is a Hallmark invented occasion  that is fully supported by the florists and jewelry stores, so why do we invest so much into it?  I really don't know.  I guess we're suckers for marketing.

All I do know is that almost every year on Mother's Day (since I became a mother, of course) I end up feeling like all I did was run around to please others which leaves me feeling simultaneously taken for granted and selfish and that just seems completely counterintuitive to the spirit of the day