Monthly Archives: February 2014

Cubicle Chronicles, Volume 3

Unremarkable is generally how I would describe the scenery around the office. Devoid of personality? Maybe that’s more like it.  They renovated last year, and in an effort to make the place more professional (or something like that), they sucked the life out of what could be a really neat, character-filled old mill building. Now we are surrounded by white walls (and one accent wall, because evidently accent walls are the avocado green appliances of the 2010’s), the once exposed brick has been plastered over, and the hallways feel…homogenous. The view out the windows changes with the seasons, but other than that…it’s a sterile world in here.

As things tend to do in sterile places, everything sort of fades into the background. Everything except for one plant, I’ve recently realized. On my wander from the back door to the cubicle, I pass a file cabinet (empty, abandoned), and on top of that file cabinet is a Christmas cactus. It used to be vibrant, that I recall. Now? Slowly croaking.

The man who cared for it was laid off recently. It’s unfortunate on a number of levels, because the man who cared for it was also the soul of the office, but that’s an entire other story for another time. Or not. Probably best not. Keep my nose clean. Who knows, who cares?

Anyways, the croaking Christmas cactus – I adopted it today! I took it from its home in the back hallway, toted it to my desk, and sat it right in the sunshine on my shelf. I offered it some water (it said thanks), and now there it sits…

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I like to think it’s happy, but that’s probably giving the cactus more credit than it is due. If nothing more, it is not forgotten…and, in fact, it’s a rather welcome new addition to my corner of the office (which is quite different from the corner office, mind you).

Plant 3

Yep, I think I’ll keep it.

Kind Drop #1.

Behold, the first Kind Drop* in this little space.

* What’s a Kind Drop? It’s a sneaky little bit of kindness, bestowed upon someone, somewhere, for no other reason than to hope for a smile. Similar to a random act of kindness…but more sneaky? We drop in, do something kind, swoop out. We can be anonymous or show our pretty faces, whatever we prefer. But we do it to remind ourselves that the world is a kind place, and when we’re feeling like it’s not such a kind place, well, that’s an opportunity to offer a small piece of ourselves in an effort to share the kindess. That’s all. A drop of kindness, also known as a Kind Drop.

So what was Kind Drop #1?

In honor of the worst week, we celebrate kindness with this: ___________________________________________________

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And how did it feel?

Awesome. Liberating? Free. Happy. And sneaky!

Your turn. Get in on it!  Share a smile, drop some kindness in your world.

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Three Saturday things.

1. This smile. Watching the boy learn to walk as he pushes his little gators around the house. The joy. The glee. The smile. Oh goodness, the smile. My heart melts, time and time again.

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2. In non-heart melting news, this beer tastes like butt. Shockingly, it’s priced to match.

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3. We have nothing scheduled for Sunday other than some grocery shopping, a walk outside, and perhaps some yoga. It is glorious, so very, very glorious.

Cubicle Chronicles, Volume 2

It’s the Friday edition of cubicle chronicles which means that the flourescent light around here is a little less harsh and a little more optimistic than usual.

Cubicle Volume 1

Even the giraffe feels optimistic (usually by this point in the week his neck is tired from staring at the screen all day and he has a bit of a droop in his stature).

Optimistic for what?

Well, for this stuff:

  • Friday Night Live! That means a glass of wine after work, some time with the man and the kid, and then a delicious grilled dinner after the boy is in bed. With candlelight. At the counter. Music. Me, my man, and the weekend ahead.
  • The weekend, oh dear me, THE WEEKEND. We have no plans aside from retrieving a desk, but otherwise…it’s going to be warm (well, in the 50’s), sunny (one day), and we’re free little birdies.  Free to play.
  • Free to play means maybe some yoga, surely a walk, and most decidedly time to relax with the boys.

So the view from the cubicle on a Friday?  It’s not so bad. It’s not so good, but it’s also not so bad.

Oh and I snuck out at lunchtime and ran to Target to return some stuff (and by return I mean exchange because I by no means left empty handed). It’s amazing when I free myself from the cubicle during the day…there’s a whole world out there that’s not stuck in these walls staring at a screen…sometimes I forget (which is a whole other story – file it under life goals 2014 – I’m working on it!).

Happy weekend, cubicle dwellers and the like.

Month 10

Double digits.  TEN months. My word. Little dude is creeping on not being so little anymore (or as not so little as a less than one year old can be). This month included a lot of changes: Eating like a champ: apples, strawberries, green smoothies, banana, toast, avocado, chicken, ground beef, yogurt, eggplant (not a hit), chili, mashed potatoes, squash, amongst other delicious treats.  Oh, Oaxacan cheese in Mexico! We’re still doing great nursing with no plans to quit before a year, so that is that in the milk department. Hurrah, milk truck!

Naps: usually 2 with a quick one on the way home from daycare (2.25?) Passport stamps: 2, we went to Mexico this month!

Teeth: still 5, but more on the horizon if all this drool tells us anything

Weight: 18 lbs 9 ounces at the 9 month appointment, so probably up to 19 by now

Height: 2 feet 3 and a half (inches are for babies)

Head: huge. 90th percentile here. Boy has big brains.

New tricks: high fives, waves, clapping! Chomp and Clack is the new favorite toy, and he can walk all by himself using the gators as a motor (or perhaps for stability). He also now consistently pulls himself to stand (he started in month 9, but now it’s all over the place, all the time).  The crib has been lowered!

Movement: trying to crawl. Trying SO hard to crawl. He has the army crawl down, and he can scoot on his bum…and he can strategically roll himself around the room to get where he wants to go…and he crawls a few steps before flopping over.  So soon we should have the real deal…in theory.

Adventure of the month: Mexico!  We joined the Colorado family in Cancun for MLK Day weekend and spent a delightful five days in the warm sunshine, drinking margaritas, eating tacos, and relaxing. It was much needed, passed too quickly, and left us craving more. All in all, it was perfect!  Little dude got to practice his Spanish (so did his mom), so he (she) was happy about that as well.

Cheers to you, little dude – ten months old and so very, very much joy to share with the world.

Three winter things

It’s that time of year: the dregs of winter when the world feels cold, the snow hardens our spirit, and we all count the minutes until the first warm Spring day.

And then we get a few more inches of snow, followed by the return of the sun, and we find ourselves here…blessed by the beauty of a serene, frosty cold beach, and things don’t seem so bad.

So we count our three things.

1. We have our wee family along for the walk to enjoy this scene with us, and the wee-est of the family is snuggled against Dad, snoozing peacefully.

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2. It’s a beach. Covered in snow. Need I say more?

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3. Duh, three is that we live in New England where there are four seasons which means that, beautiful or not, winter must come to an end and some day – SOME DAY – in the not too far off future we will sit on this very same beach, toes in the sand, sun on our faces, counting our blessings to be so fortunate.

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The worst week.

We just completed what can only be refered to as the worst week. The worst week in a long, long time. It included an obscene amount of sick baby, laundry, hospital, dehydration, exhaustion, birthdays (two of them!), and just overall worstness. The worst of the worstness. We were hit by it.

Walloped.

Hard.

And it hurt.

But there was some good that came out of it. Focus on the good.

The good:

  • When, in a pity party puddle of worstness, your husband reminds you that you’re in it together. You’re a team. And when two of the three team members are down for the count, the third one picks up the slack (he didn’t even complain…well…not to me at least…I imagine he did to others…but man…).
  • When same husband lets you get takeout soup for your birthday dinner just because all you want for your birthday dinner is takeout soup.
  • And again, when same husband tells you to get out of the house, go to yoga, take a hour for yourself.
  • And then yoga teacher reminds you that when life hands you a pile of worstness, to just breathe. Inhale, exhale, move on, celebrate, because…
  • The final load of sick week laundry. Washed on the heavy cycle in hot water. Clean, dry, folded, DONE.
  • The floors are mopped (by the husband). HE MOPPED THE FLOORS.
  • The reminder of what was meant when we said we are in it for the long haul. To pick each other up when one (or two) are down. To remind your partner to take a break. To practice patience. To show love when all you want to do it run away, far, far away, from the sick ward that is – was! – your living room, but instead you turned towards us, hugged us, and reminded us that we were getting better minute by minute.
  • And the final good of the week? That minute, on my birthday, when I realized that yes, a beer sounded delightful, so I drank one and rang in 33 in hopes that the worst week was, in fact, over, and we were on to bigger and brighter days for the rest of our year.

Onward to those bigger and brighter days, and so long to the worst week. Please don’t visit again soon.

Three things: Sochi, mochi, kerplochi.

So the Opening Ceremony was on Friday night, and I love love love the Olympics. Everything about them….except that every time Olympic time rolls around, I get super excited for the Opening Ceremony, only to remember that…it’s pretty lame. Except for Beijing…Beijing was not lame. But in general?  Blah. That said, I still love love love the Olympics. And celebrating that it’s Olympic time. That means you, Sochi. In all of your construction not yet complete, balmy winter weather, Cyrillic script kind of ways.

Three ways (gold, silver, and bronze – duh) I love and celebrate thee:

Gold: With Moscow Mules! Yes. Mmm. I need a tin cup.

Silver: With a trip to the Russian market. Hello steamed dumplings, weird cheesy crepe things, and pickled everything.

Bronze: With warm, fuzzy feelings for everything Olympic-y. Go USA. Go curlers. And good grief, goooooooo Jamaican bobsled team!

Cubicle Chronicles, Volume 1

So I work in a cubicle (sigh).  From 7:30-4:00 each day. And I work in one of those places that values your butt in a seat more so than it does the declaration that we’re so hip, we work in a coffee shop from time to time and are as productive as when our butts in seats in oddly shaped boxes that promote an “open floor plan” that the people designing declare to be so great but invariably when given the choice those same people decide to plant themselves in offices away from the nightmare that is the open floor plan.  Anyways, I’m surrounded by one sort of high wall, one sort of not high wall, and one really not high half way.

The flourescent lights do nothing good for our already sour demeanours.

I have windows though! They make up my fourth wall, and they also serve as a not-so-gentle reminder each day that I spend far too much time on the wrong side of the windows.

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One window…

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Two windows. Weeeeee!

So what to do?

I don’t know. But something. SOMETHING. I’m working on it…

In the meantime, I make my world a happier place by consuming heart-shaped globs of corn syrup, writing in a red pen (how bold), and drinking too much…coffee.

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Balancing it all.

The kid needs his shots; his nose is running; why won’t he stop pulling at his ears? I need a shower; the laundry is out of control; what’s that you say, you want something prepared for dinner? Oh, you don’t want something prepared; you just liked it when you would walk through the door and there was something prepared for dinner. I liked it too. Let’s have toast, shall we? Oh, but the report is due; would you send this one quick email; I need that by the end of the day yesterday. You look tired. I AM tired.

I spend a lot of time these days contemplating how to balance it all. But you know what? I don’t think it’s possible.

I recently wrote this in an email (I’m so sick of email): I’m tired. My brain is tired. I feel mildly pathetic.  Like a giant wimp in need of a fireplace, a warm blanket, a cup of tea. Alas. Click clack click clack, just keep typing.

What a sad, sad state. Mildly pathetic, yes. Tired, yes. But also rather sad. Those are not the words of a gal on top of her game, grabbing her world by the reins and parading forward. They’re more akin to a Captain Wimpy Pants, tossed onto a rollercoaster that’s screaming down the tracks, out of control.

So how do I right the sheep? Nope, not the sheep. The ship. That was not intentional.

Do you see what I mean? Mildly pathetic. Though righting sheep is a novel concept. (Okay, so mildly pathetic with a bit of insanity thrown in for good measure.)

But really, what do I do? How do I carve out time to focus on the stuff that really matters while simultaneously remembering to forget about the stuff that doesn’t (remembering to forget? Yep, that’s what I’m looking to do. What? Mildly pathetic. Aaaaaand we’re back)?

Steps to achieve the goal:

1. Write. It sounds counterintuitive, because by nature writing is a drawn-out process, but this drawn-out process is soothing to me and helps me sort through the details, prioritize the prioritizable (huh?).

2. Breathe. Take five minutes when it feels like I have zero minutes, and breathe. Okay, breathe for about thirty seconds, but take that time to remember that all of these minor emergencies I have concocted in my mind are so far from emergencies it’s silly. Approach things in a thought-out manner, rather than in crazy lady mode. It can be done.

3. Laugh. Laugh at the craziness. Laughter soothes, laughter heals, laughter invigorates. Just do it: laugh. It serves as a magnificent reminder that life is nothing more than a series of crazy moments; what we control is our reaction. Laugh. You will never regret it (unless you laugh at an inappropriate time in an inappropriate setting – but even then, you’ll look back on it some day…and laugh).

I think that’s all for now. This space has taken on a pattern of lists of three, and I like it. Short, to the point, concise (there you are, another list of three).

Balance begins within. Mom balance is fed by coffee, chocolate, and laughter, with a side of yoga, runs, and wine. It all circles around a wee little man – at times a large contributor to the imbalance – without whom nothing would be complete. Breathe, Kara, breathe.