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March, 2009:

Why People Leave Texas

I live in a state with a lot of Texas transplants – a lot of transplants in general I guess, but lots from Texas. I am a transplant myself, although not from Texas.

Anyhoo, I always wondered what the draw was? Sure, we have beautiful mountains, but we have no water, cool temperatures, and snow in the winter. After visiting Dallas last weekend, I figured it out. Those Texans get on the Interstate and can’t find their way back home . . . they keep driving and they end up here. Why? Because OMG Dallas has the worst signage I’ve ever seen on any road system anywhere!!!

Seriously . . . you exit the interstate and need to figure out where to turn after that. Forget Mapquest because the directions they provide on there for anywhere in Dallas totally suck. So you’ve exited and discover tht there are no signs to tell you where to go. You also discover that there’s an inner loop that LOOKS like it will take you back to the interstate, yet it doesn’t . . . it just takes you to the other SIDE of the interstate on a frontage road. But, how would you ever know this when there isn’t a friggin’ road sign anywhere to tell you this? And the only road sign you DO see is the one that says “go here to get back on the interstate” – the sign that is 20 yeards PAST the exit. OMG! So you end up back on the interstate, completely by accident, going the opposite direction. You plan to just get off at the next exit, and turn around to get heading the right way so you can get to your destination. But WAIT – you can’t do that . . . because the next exit takes you to a tollway – one without any BOOTHS on it. So if you don’t have one of those fancy schmancy automatic charger things on your windshield, your screwed. And no, they don’t tell you this – you just happen to have been lucky enough to have a Hubby who knows a bit about Dallas and warned you about that. So you keep going to the NEXT exit, which is exactly the same as the original one, so at least this time you know you can take that little loopy frontage road thingy and get back on the Interstate without needing to read an actual sign. So you head back in the other direction, following the wonderful directions Mapquest gave you. Ya – they suck the same this time as they did last time. You finally SEE the hotel, so you just start driving toward it until you get closer and closer, road signs being no help whatsoever.

All this just to get from the AIRPORT to the HOTEL. You haven’t actually tried to go anywhere real yet. Boy are you looking forward to tomorrow!

So that is my theory on why people leave Texas. They get on the terrible road system and just decide to keep driving to somewhere where they actually make road signs.

The Calendar

Who in your house is in charge of the calendar? In our house, it’s me – we call it The Mommy Calendar. I just spent the past 2 hours – YES 2 HOURS – updating the family calendar! Hubby’s flight schedules, my work schedule, Dude’s school projects schedule, Dude’s little league schedule, Princess’ soccer schedule, Princess’ swimming lesson schedule, Duma’s vet schedule, visitors, vacations, my volleyball schedule, snowboarding trips, dentist appointments, eye doctor appointments . . . OMG it never ends!

I know, it’s no surprise that it doesn’t end . . . that’s what happens when you have kids and pets and family that you like to spend time with and hobbies and and and . . .

I just have to say, if I didn’t have THIS smart phone and THIS calendar (both of which I LOVE LOVE LOVE) . . . we’d never be to anything on time.

My phone syncs with my calendar on my laptop and the family calendar hangs on the refrigerator . . . yes, I double schedule, but I have to with hubby being home and gone and needing to know sometimes (and not yet convinced that he needs a smart phone rather than a paper day planner). It works for us.
What’s your secret to keeping track of your family’s doings?

DUZZRD

Tomorrow I get to meet my mom in a warm place for a girl’s weekend – woo hoo! So I logged on to the airline site to check in and print my boarding pass . . . there’s a notice that due to the impending doom flying toward your state (i.e. a blizzard – the biggest we’ve had in a year), they are letting people take earlier flights for free if there are seats available. I decided to make the change – I’m only leaving 4 hours earlier, but leaving at 7:00 a.m. is better than 11:00 when the storm is supposed to arrive around noonish. Anyhoo, I’m talking to the lady and she asks for my confirmation code . . . see it up there in the subject line? Looks a lot like blizzard, huh.

Coincidence? Or Mother Nature finally answering my pleas for a huge winter storm?

Mother Nature’s timing could have been a bit better 😉

Seasonal Allergies?

Who out there has allergies? I didn’t think I did, but I’m starting to wonder if I haven’t, somehow at the age of 36, developed some seasonal allergies.

I got a nasty cold a couple weeks ago – nasty sinus, chest, cough, throat, fever, etc. Definitely a nasty cold. Then last weekend, I started getting stuffy again . . . but that’s it. It’s just an itchy sinus thing that kind of comes and goes – it’s always there, but worse some days than others. I was thinking I was getting another cold, but I don’t think it is. Then I got to thinking . . . the past 3 years I’ve gotten this weird little “cold” in March. Just about the time we have a warm spell and the trees start to bud.

So, who thinks that I’ve developed some seasonal allergies? Can you just develop them later in life if you’ve never had a hint of allergy ever before? How would I tell if it’s a cold or allergies? I’m a total allergy novice – never had ’em – what’s good OTC stuff to try to see?

10 Week Max

It appears that 10 weeks is my maximum for not working. When I had Dude, I went back to work part time after only 10 weeks of my 12 week maternity leave was over. It’s not that I had to WORK, but I did NEED to get out of the house and interact with adults. With Hubby gone so much flying, adult interaction, without talk about babies, was necessary. The same thing when Princess was born.

Apparently, after losing my job in December, 10 weeks of free time was all I could handle. I did love being unemployed – gave me a chance to catch up on some things, get back in the groove of the gym, and spend more time with the kiddos. Then this opportunity for the part time job came and I couldn’t pass it up. 2 days a week, 20 hours max, seemed like a good fit. And so far, it has been! I love my job, the company, and the people I work with.

Yesterday, I guess I decided that just wasn’t enough. I went to the Board meeting for the local Little League and volunteered to fill the Information Officer position on the board. It must have been a stupid attack! Apparently, I’ll be in charge of the web site, the entire player/parent database, all mailings to everyone . . . oh, and REGISTRATION!

Seriously, I don’t know what I was thinking! I thought it sounded like a good idea at the time – fit right in with my freaky need to be organized (and really, what group of baseball men couldn’t use a woman to organize their stuff!) and my little bit of web knowledge. But now that I think about it, there goes all my free time!

10 weeks. At least I had 10 weeks to try to join the Pro Snowboarding Tour :-) I didn’t quite make the tour, but I did have a lot of fun up there with the fam.

So, did you have any stupid attacks this week that you might be second-guessing?

Day One Down

I finished my first official day of work today. Ya, I know I had that half day of training last week, but that doesn’t really count. Today, I was actually in the office from 8-5 and was given an actual email address . . . woo hoo!

After 5 minutes, the marketing lady walked in with a stack of papers in her hand and asked “So, how are your editing skills?” “OMG they’re awesome that was my favorite part of my last job was editing and I’m really good at it and I’d love to do it whatever it is!” is what I WANTED to say. What I really said was “They’re pretty good. What do you need?” You know, trying to be all professional and helpful and whatnot 😉 I got to edit some marketing slicks and brochures right off the bat, which was fun.

Then I had a phone meeting with all the writers that write for the project I’m managing. That was pretty cool as well! I have at least 15 items on my To Do list for that, which is cool – would easily take me 2 days to complete. This company certainly doesn’t waste any time getting new people in the flow and up to speed :-) This project I’m managing is what I’m really excited about with this job. Oh, and if any of you writers out there can crank out one-page topic-based papers, lemme know. We pay a fee for each one you write, and this project is open to anyone who can write. I’ve got the templates, the checklist (it’s very formulaic), and everything you’d need to get started. Seriously, if you want to know more, shoot me an email at jboedieatgmaildotcom.

On top of those two things, I got to learn about all the admin stuff I get to do – like answer the phones, turn in time sheets, file, and all that other good stuff that goes with being an employee in a small office.

And, in addition to getting my coin, I got keys . . . yup, first day on the job and I got keys to the office. Woo hoo!

So ya – I’m way excited. Everything went wonderfully; I love my boss, and I love the people I work with. I’m really looking forward to seeing how this whole opportunity works out in a few months.

They Called My Baby Fat!

Duma had her appointment with the vet to get her annual shots last week. First of all, I can’t believe it’s been over a year since we got this cute baby!!!

She’s gone from a cutie patutie 10 pounder to a grown up 70 pounder! Yup, she weighed in at 70 pounds at the vet last week. And do you know what the vet said? She said she was a bit “girthy” – that she needed a bit more of a waist. WHAT?! I can’t believe she called my precious baby fat! She gets walks every day, or at least gets to run off leash at the park chasing balls until she passes out. How could anyone ever call this cute thing girthy…

She’s just a growing puppy, with maybe a hint of winter weight left, or maybe it’s just poofy fur 😉 Which, on a totally unrelated note, reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from Ice Age …

Sid: Well, I think you’re stressed, and that’s why you eat so much. I mean, it’s hard to get fat on a vegan diet.
Manny: I’m not fat. It’s all this hair. It makes me look – poofy!
Sid: Fine. You have fat hair. But when you’re ready to talk, I’m here.

Race to Witch Mountain – Movie Review

Rating: PG
Running Time: 98 minutes

Dude used his “Family Activity” coupon to get us all to this movie. Personally, I thought it was a fun movie. The Rock is not hard on the eyes, and his role in this movie was pretty good. The alien kids did well in their roles as well . . . some people said they were terrible actors and were very lifeless . . . um, they are aliens – I’m guessing they were supposed to act that way.

Anyhoo . . . lots of action and danger; a little more than I like in a “family” movie, but it was good. Princess (6) did not like the movie at all. Afterall, there weren’t any fairies, rainbows, or unicorns in it. She did not want to go to it, but Dude played the Family Activity card, so she was trapped. She made it through with her blue raspberry Icee in hand. She said she liked the puppy 😉

Dude thought it was awesome! What 8 year old wouldn’t like car chases, robot aliens, and a pimped out fridge? He laughed quite a bit and recited a few of the lines as the movie went on. I think he was probably mostly excited that we agreed to go to the movie . . . not typically the kind of movie we go see. Yes, we’re those terrible parents who don’t take our kids to see lost of action and danger films yet.

Overall, it was fun. I’m glad I got to see it with Dude. He loved it and wants to see it again. Princess, not so much. If you’re looking for a fun family movie, this is not it. If you’re looking for a movie to take an 8+ boy to with his buddies, go for it!

The Wisdom of an 8 Year Old

Dude saw me looking at some work stuff the other night when he came home from school.

Dude: You have homework for work. Just like I have homework for school. Cool!
Me: Yup. It’s kind of homework for work. I’m just looking at some stuff so I’m ready for my first day Friday.
Dude: I bet you’ll have fun.
Me: Maybe. But I’m kind of nervous about it.
Dude: Why?
Me: Because I haven’t had a new job in a long long time. I’m just a little nervous about knowing what to do and all that stuff.
Dude: Kind of like when I start a new class at school. You’ll do good. And no matter what, I bet you’ll make some new friends, which is a good thing.

Yes, Dude, I bet I will, too. Thanks for the boost!

I’m Not New

But I AM nervous! Nervous about that new job I start tomorrow.

I’ve been a technical writer and editor for over 13 years – I’m good at it and I love doing it. The problem is, this is my first real “new” job. My first tech. writing job was while I was still in college . . . my internship. I got a paid internship at a small engineering company in my home town. I was the only writer, so I basically got feedback from a bunch of male engineers during the day and drank whiskey and beer with them at the softball games in the evening. I didn’t feel overwhelmed because I knew I was new and so did they. Let’s just say expectations were low, so it was easy to exceed them. They hired me full-time when my internship was over and I’d graduated.

My next job I got after I moved here. I was a very new writer since my only previous writing job had been the internship. I loved the job and the people I worked with for over 12 years. I learned a TON! I knew what to do, I knew what was expected of me, and I was very comfortable in my ability to go to work every day and get done what I needed to, and sometimes more. I mentored new employees, made recommendations on tools we should use, and trained employees on those new tools. I was good at my job.

But tomorrow, I start a new job. My boss is the CEO of the company as well as an ex-Air Force Pilot. He’s a very good writer. He knows what he wants and how he wants it. What if how HE wants it isn’t how I end up DOING it? What if my writing abilities aren’t “all that” in his mind? What if I totally suck at this new job? What if I go in there and do a great job but they still can’t hire me for the money I want to make and the hours I want to work in 6 months? It would be easier if he WASN’T a good writer . . . then I’d feel like I had something to offer. Either way, I DO have something to offer – I know that. But instead of feeling confident, I’m feeling a little intimidated. It’s probably stupid and unfounded. He’s a great guy, and the other employees I’ve met seem wonderful as well. It’s just that it’s been a long time since I’ve been trained to do anything at a new company.

Blah blah blah – I’ll pack my lunch in the morning, put on actual work clothes instead of work out clothes, and head to the office. I’ll do what I can with what I’ve got and we’ll see how it goes.

Wish me luck!