Wednesday, March 30, 2011

WMW: Bringing Work Home

One of the drawbacks of my career is that most nights I have to take my work home with me. It’s just part of the industry culture I work in and I’ve gotten used to it. To minimize the amount that I have to take home I typically eat my lunch at my desk and work on the train ride home.  However, it never fails that someone comes to me at 4:45 needing something done before the end of the day :/ 

Once I get home I take the first 90 minutes to spend some time with A and my husband, have dinner do bath time and put A to bed.  Then once he’s asleep I can log back in and get done what I have to do while I sit on the couch…with a glass of wine of course.

I wish I could leave work at work, but it’s just not in my job description to turn off when the clock strikes 5.  My crackberry blackberry is pretty much glued to my hand and you’ll find me answering work emails at midnight sometimes.  It sounds crazy but in my head it’s easier to just answer it then than waiting until the morning when 25 of its friends join my inbox.  I have been getting better at trying to not check in as much once I leave the office, but I just can't help but get the urge to check my messages when I see that little flashing red light ;)

This week’s Working Mommy Wednesday prompt from Julia over at Work, Wife, Mom….Life! is: Do you bring your work home with you? Why or why not?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Week 12: Check In

Pounds Lost this Week:  -0.75
Pounds Lost to Date:  -21.25
Pounds Left to Go:  13.75

Considering I ate very unhealthy while I was at my work conference Sun-Wed this week I can’t believe I lost anything!  (the south has some good fried mac & cheese and chicken wings…oops)  I weighed myself a couple times just to make sure the scale wasn’t lying.  lol  This week was a very stressful one for me, and when I’m stressed out I find comfort in food wine.  So I also treated myself to some much needed vino a few nights this week.  But now that vacation & this conference are over its back to reality and back onto the WW wagon.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Friday Favorites: Week 8

For this week's installment of Friday Favorites the prompts are:
  • Favorite story about your children or pets
  • Favorite money saving tip
  • Favorite website

Favorite story about your children or pets:
I have so many favorite stories about A that stem from both funny and proud moments.  We are very proud of the fact that A was an early talker but one of my favorite stories is from when he was about 22 months old and working on his “f’ words.  He was learning to say the word fork and frog during this time and let’s just say neither were coming out exactly as they should.  He was trying, but we couldn’t help but laugh.  Check it out for yourself.

Favorite money saving tip:
Seems simple enough, but writing down what you spend.  It’s very easy to loose track and spend too much when you don’t keep track of your money.  It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or even against a budget (at first), just at a minimum write it in your checkbook. - and balance it!  I can’t begin to tell you how many of my friends don’t bother keeping a checkbook and just check their balance online.  While it’s easy to go on and check your balance, you loose focus on what you’re spending your money on.  

Fee like you don’t have the time to track?  Try using mint dot com – they’ll do it for you…for free!

Favorite Website:
Well I guess that would depend on what I was shopping looking at.  Some of the cool & interesting ones I’ve found recently: 
Kids Woot (like groupon but for kids stuff)
Bobbleroos (kids blankets & pillow sets)
The Soft Landing (Eco-Friendly Products)
Freebies 4 Mom (free samples/freebies)
Uncommon Goods (cool/unique gifts)
The Vintage Pearl (Custom hand stamped jewelry)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Week 11: Check In

Pounds Lost this Week:  -3.25
Pounds Lost to Date:  -20.5
Pounds Left to Go:  14.5

I missed last week’s check in due to vacation so this week’s check in is a 2 week loss.  I am so incredibly excited that I not only didn’t gain during vacation but that I actually lost!!!  Wohooo!!  :::pats self on back:::  I guess running after A and pushing my mom around while in FL earned me some extra cardio points against the eating out and little bit of cheating I did.  Honestly, even when we went out to eat I find myself not eating as much as I did before.  I went out to lunch with some co-workers when I got back to work on Thursday and after half of my turkey burger I was so full!!  I guess that’s a good thing that even when I allow myself to cheat a little I’m not shoveling in large quantities of the bad stuff.

I am more than halfway to my goal and exactly 1 lb away from my true pre-baby weight (finally, 3 years later!!).  I do have quite a bit of toning to do, but with the nice weather finally on its way I plan on doing a lot of walking, running and then swimming once the pool in my complex opens in May.  The past few years I’ve dreaded the summer coming and bathing suit/shorts season, but this year I can’t wait to show off what I’ve been working so hard at!!!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Friday Favorites: Week 7

For this week's installment of Friday Favorites the prompts are:
  • Favorite thing about your husband/fiancé/boyfriend/significant other
  • Favorite restaurant (non fast food)
  • Favorite Children’s book

Favorite Thing About Your Husband:
Definitely his sense of humor.  He is always trying to make me laugh when I’m stressed out or in a bad mood and tries to find the humor in situations where I might not find any.  We enjoy making each other laugh and I know we’ll be sharing laughs for many more years to come.

Favorite Restaurant (non fast food):
I have a few, but one of my very favorites is a small place on the west side of Manhattan that my friend Lisa and I come to love…Kashkaval.  It is a completely unique place - a cheese and gourmet foods market in the front, and an intimate, candlelit wine and cheese bar in the back.  I love their Mediterranean tapas and they serve the most amazing (and price-friendly) cheese and chocolate fondues that I have ever tasted.  It’s a must see if you are on the west side for dinner one night.

Favorite Children’s Book:

This book is my favorite mostly because of the great memories we’ve made with it.  It has become one of A’s favorite books and he reminds me every night that it must be the last book we read before bed.  A has it pretty much memorized and recites the words back with me as I read through it.  Some nights he’ll even “read” it to me :)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Last week I took A to Florida to visit my mother and step dad for a week’s vacation….by myself!  I know what you might be saying, “is she nuts?!?”  I figured I had the vacation time and it only cost us 2 plane tickets so why not take him away for a little beach time (my husband couldn’t get the time off of work so it was just the little man and myself).

I said to myself hey, I can do this.  He’s almost 3 years old and able to follow directions well so it shouldn’t be that bad.  All I need is a DVD player, a bunch of movies and some snacks and I should be fine.  So I strategically packed bags that I could carry on my back and left only one bag to pull with the stroller and I drove us to the local airport vs going down to NYC.  I was feeling great walking into the airport with A and all of the bags when a nice man offered to help wheel my suitcase in for me.  There was no line at Jet Blue and we checked in and got through security in no time (A was very cooperative through the security check).  He even got a pair of wings from the nice man at the Jet Blue counter.

I was so worried that take off was going to be a horror of A screaming that his ears hurt (we have a history of bad ear infections and he currently has tubs in both ears).  I came prepared with lollipops and drinks to help with take off, but to my surprise he never made a peep during both take off and landing (BOTH ways!).  He was too busy counting down to “blast off” as he called it.  3…2….1….blast off!!!!  It was too adorable.  The DVD player I brought was the best money I ever spent.  He spent the first hour glued to it watching Monsters, Inc.  He never made a sound…just sat there with his headphones staring at it.

The rest of the flight he made himself right at home in the seat and enjoyed some snacks and playing with his toys.  He was an excellent boy and got a few complements from other passengers on what a good boy he was.  Looking back on it I don’t know why I was so worried that he was going to be a terror on the plane.

The whole week was filled with new “firsts” for A.  First time on an airplane, first time at the beach, first time in the ocean…  He had a complete blast and I am so glad that I was there to watch him experience these things for the first time.  We played in the pool a couple days but of course it was the very last day that he was really getting into it and wanting me to toss him into the air and have him jump off the side into my arms.  We went to the aquarium one day and they have on exhibit a Clown Fish and a Blue Tang.  A runs right up to the tank points to it and says “there’s Nemo and Dory” and refuses to budge for about 10 minutes. LOL  I had to bribe him away from the exhibit so that we could see the rest of the aquarium.   He loved looking for shells and playing in the sand on the beach, but the ocean he wasn’t a big fan of.  He was scared of the waves and I think just the sheer size of the ocean scared the poor little guy.  By the last beach day I did get him to finally put his hands in and touch the ocean! 

A was allowed to do a lot of things while we were away that he wouldn’t normally be so we’ll see just how long it’s going to take to un-do all of these habits now that we’re home….most importantly sleeping.  Daylight savings occurred while we were down in FL and since the extra bedroom at the condo my Mom is renting only had 1 bed, A and I shared a bed for the week.  It should be interesting to see how tonight in his own bed goes.

A had such a great time this past week that this morning when we were packing up to leave he started to cry because he didn’t want to go home!!  I had a great time too, but I won’t lie…I was ready to go home.  A week was just enough.  It’s not entirely relaxing running after a 3 year old so after a week I am ready to go home and pass off to Daddy for a while :)

Here are a few more pictures from our week.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Mean Boys

Last weekend at a birthday party I witnessed my son get bullied for the first time.  Bullies at 3 years old?  Really?!?!  I could hardly believe my ears.  This almost 3 year old boy, who is A’s “best friend”, was telling A that he couldn’t play with him and the other kids because he was too small (mind you A is much taller than this kid) or he would just simply say to A “No, this isn’t for you”.  My poor son would burst into tears and come running to me saying that his friend told him he couldn’t play.  It broke my heart.

Two and three-year-olds are still trying to figure out what is socially acceptable behavior.  Three-year-olds are just beginning to reconcile their natural empathy for others with their desire to get what they want. They are also just beginning to develop the impulse control that will help them to grow out of this aggressiveness.  If a toddler finds out that the chosen behavior of bullying works, he will continue to use it as long as it gets him what he wants - usually control over another person.  This is exactly what seems to be happening in my son's case.  As long as this boy keeps getting the response from A, this is going to keep happening. 

That said, while the behavior the other boy is exhibiting is normal, it's our responsibility as parents to protect our kids and just because it's normal doesn't mean it's good for my little one.  This boy and A attend daycare together and from what we understood the two of them were good friends and played together well during the day.  That is why it struck me as so odd to see this boy act this way towards A at the party.  When I get back from vacation I will be calling his teacher to discuss what I saw and find out what/if anything she’s observed during the day.

I really didn’t think I would be having the bully conversations at this age so I feel a bit unprepared.  I just keep telling A to not listen to this boy and that he can play with whoever and whatever he wants.  I want A to be assertive and stick up for himself but at the same time not become too aggressive himself.  

Oh the joys of toddlerhood.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Friday Favorites: Week 6

Better late than never right?!  I had planned to do this post before I left for vacation & schedule it to post automatically but work was crazy before I left and I had no time for anything.  Not being one to shy away from a challenge, I'm posting this one day late to keep up with the challenge.

For this week's installment of Friday Favorites the prompts are:
  • Favorite blog (and not your own)
  • Favorite sport (can be one you play or watch)
  • Favorite memory (past or present)

Favorite Blog:
I am fairly new to the blogging world so I haven’t started reading many blogs.  But one of my favorites so far is Work, Wife, Mom…Life!  On most Wednesdays I participate in Julia’s Working Mommy Wednesday prompts.

Favorite Sport:
I’m funny when it comes to sports.  I prefer to watch them live vs watching on TV.  Although, I’ll watch Yankee baseball and my PSU football in the summer and fall.  My favorite sport is one that I play - volleyball.  I played all through middle and high school and then played intramural in college since my college had a highly ranked NCAA team (I’m good but not THAT good).  I am still playing volleyball today.  I am part of an intramural NYC league and play once a week.     

Favorite Memory:
I have so many but the one that stands out as being not only one of my favorite memories but as a once in a lifetime experience was the 4 weeks I spent backpacking across Europe.  Back in 1999 I spent the spring semester studying abroad in Manchester, England.  After the semester was over I spent the next month traveling with my Euro rail pass, a pack on my back and a few of my friends.  We went to over 20 cities throughout France, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Italy & Greece.  It was one of the most amazing trips of my life and some of the best memories I have from my college days.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Week 9: Check In

Pounds Lost this Week:  -0.75
Pounds Lost to Date:  -17.25
Pounds Left to Go:  17.75

I am completely shocked the scale did not go the other way this week.  I have been kind of bad this week (couple glasses of wine & a piece of cake at a birthday party…eek!) plus it’s 'that' time so I’ve been feeling very fat  bloated  fat the past few days.  The next couple weeks are going to be tough but I’m not going to stress over it. If I gain a pound or two it’s OK….I’ll loose it again.  I leave in a few days for a week vacation with my son and then as soon as I come back I leave again for a 3 day work conference :::trying to contain my excitement:::  It’s not going to be easy saying no to the good (and free) food I am going to be subject to at the conference so instead I will just limit myself to having a little bit and hope that’s good enough….and definitely take advantage of the hotel gym while I’m there.

Have a great week everyone!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Friday Favorites: Week 5

For this week's installment of Friday Favorites the prompts are:
  • Favorite (or most prized) possession (must be an object, not including photos)
  • Favorite holiday
  • Favorite gift you've ever received or given (life doesn't count)

Favorite (or most prized) Possession:
My most prized possession is something that belonged to my dad, his wedding ring.  After he died my mother gave it to me and I thought for a long time what to do with it.  Wear it on a chain, put it in a keepsake box, use the gold to make into a pair of stud earrings....I had no clue.  Then the jeweler we had been using for years suggested reshaping the ring into a heart and creating a slide pendant with it.  I jumped at the idea!  I loved that it kept the ring as it was when my dad wore it (the markings, even the inscription inside) yet changed it slightly to make it a little feminine for me to wear every day. 

the original inscription "love angie" from my mom to my dad

Favorite Holiday:
My favorite holiday is Christmas Eve.  Christmas Day you can keep, I would much rather have Christmas Eve.  As an Italian-American, this is a huge production in our family. We host a huge family dinner every other year (we rotate houses within the family) where we serve the traditional 7 fishes.  It is a night of good food, good wine and good company.  Although I don’t typically eat a lot of what I cook, I enjoy preparing & baking the meal, hosting everyone and decorating the house with all of the Christmas décor. 

Favorite Gift You’ve Ever Received:

My favorite gift I’ve ever received is my mother & baby cameo necklace.  My husband bought me this on my first Mother’s Day and I absolutely love it.  It is one of my favorite pieces of jewelry and every time I wear it A points to it and asks if it’s him in the picture. LOL

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Best Meal I Ever Had

While on one hand I could write about the cheeseburger I ate in recovery after having my son and how it was one of the best burgers I ever ate in my life, not because of the taste but because of the circumstances, but I won’t.  Instead I’m going to tell you about what I consider to be the best brunch.…hands down (and no, I’m not being compensated to write any of this).

A while back my husband and I went out with our family to Sunday brunch at Restaurant X located in Congers, NY.  It was a sit down brunch where the food was served tableside by waiters and included a large number of different entrée selections that ranged from eggs benedict to rack of lamb.  It was nice to be served for once rather than fighting with people in a buffet line.   We lost count around 12 courses and just when we thought we couldn’t possibly eat another bite they would bring something else irresistible out that we would just have to try.  Needless to say we left brunch stuffed and very satisfied.

I highly, highly recommend this place if you are looking for a special brunch. But keep in mind that if you decide to go, it’s a meal that is best enjoyed away from the kids.  If you must bring them the ones that still fit in the infant carriers would do just fine for the long meal, but toddlers probably not so much.

This week’s Working Mommy Wednesday prompt over on Work, Wife, Mom….Life! is to write about the best food I ever had.

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