CLICK HERE FOR BLOGGER TEMPLATES AND MYSPACE LAYOUTS »

Friday, December 11, 2009

Marketing Boy Revealed

I haven't been blogging much of late. Life has just been too busy. Things are picking up at work. I had a little minor surgery. Then it was Thanksgiving.. Now the Christmas Season is upon us. Frankly, most of the things happening in my life were deeply personal and while I'll blog about divorce, being a single working mother, my amazing son, family, friends and faith... sometimes I'm hesitant to reveal too much about what's been going on personally, because well, someone once told me when you let other people into your relationships...you let them in to change your perspective.

I have a wonderful, full filling and meaningful relationship with Marketing Boy and there is a very real part of me that doesn't feel the need to let people into it. It's that special.

But there is an amazing story here that I want to document. So I will tell it and take all the advice and comments that will follow for what they are worth. My next series of blog posts will be about Marketing Boy, who going forward will be known as both Marketing Boy and Jay. But mostly Jay.

Stay tuned. I'm working on some blogging goodness. Holla!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Cole's Favorite Song


So if there is something that I would like to say I instill in my child (besides the obvious) up there in my book would be a love of music.

Music helped me survive a less than ideal adolescence. Red hair is not the ideal. Neither is going through the normal girl stuff of weight gain, acne, puberty, and boobs (or lack there of)... you know the drill we all made it thru somehow... Playing a musical instrument and being in band (yes go ahead and laugh) offered me an escape from teasing.. and not being cool.

Cole and I rarely drive around in a silent car. There is usually music..or my terrible singing, but the kiddo loves to shout " Jesus" which is "Jesus loves me" or "Spider" which is the itzy bitzy spider or "Ducky" which is the bath time song and have me sing whatever he desires on cue.

Thankfully, most of the time it's iTunes. Since I've downloaded Michael Buble's newest album- Cole has claimed "Heartache Tonight" (yes he covers the Eagles) as his song. Click here to listen
for full effect...

"Mommy play my song again!" I can put it on repeat and he bobs his head and we dance, clap, and look like a couple of crazy people. But the best part is... he sings along.. super cuteness.

He sort of looks like a junior Buble with his snazzy hair and attitude right? Cole Porter..Cole Peterson... A Mom can dream...Holla!

Monday, October 12, 2009

A Pretty Perfect Day


If you are a parent- you probably get that rainy days and Mondays get you down in more than one way. Your kids can't get outside to go play and run off kid energy and just be a kid. Add multiple days of it and suddenly your kid has sprouted horns and is terrorizing your home. Soccer is canceled indefinitely and you find yourself thinking REALLY hard about things you could do to entertain/engage them without plopping them in front of a TV or spending ridiculous amounts of money on going to the movies.

Multiply kid/rain frustration times 3 and marketing boy and I had a recipe for disaster on Saturday- but it so wasn't. Cole and I met marketing boy and his crew at the Dream Cafe for breakfast because all soccer festivities were canceled... it was cold.. the coffee was hot and we conspired about how to keep three kids from going stir crazy.

We took ourselves to the pumpkin patch and acquired three pumpkins suitable for carving. Set up my covered patio and got to work. Pumpkin carving has gotten "hard core" since my childhood days of drawing faces on the pumpkin with a magic marker and my parents trying not to slice off a finger taking the kitchen knife to the pumpkin... it's much more precise and detailed with carving sets and stencils and all kinds of other craziness.




Several hours later... we had three pumpkins carved, and I managed to make my yummy chicken corn chowder which received two votes of kid approval and one vehement disapproval... But it was all good because points were scored with all by making banana pudding as dessert.

When it was dark we lit our pumpkins so Marketing Boy's kids could see them when they left for home. I bathed my kiddo who fell asleep watching Thomas the Tank engine five minutes after his bath... and collapsed myself not too long after. I don't think I even finished my glass of mommy juice- BUT all in all it was a pretty perfect day. We managed to keep three kids corralled, entertained and happy on a day that it could have been impossible to do so.

Check out the pumpkins... Halloween is coming! I love me some Fall... this is my favorite time of year. Holla!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

On Turning 3

My baby is not as much of a baby any more. As I brace myself for what the third year of life with Cole will mean- I also beat myself up for not taking more video or pictures of him... so I'll blog:

There haven't been much of the terrible twos.. people have warned me that 3 is worse. Time will tell.. so as I think about the end of the second year- I'm amazed that children are absolute sponges. They pay attention to everything and miss nothing. Where I could previously proclaim "crap!" and it wouldn't be repeated.. not so much anymore.

Things I love about my Bubba at this point in life: He still gives me big hugs in front of all of his buddies at school...He says "I juve you mama" and loves to snuggle. He can walk, talk and has this amazing little personality. And so I'll never forget- I'll update the current speech pattern for the world:

  • "mama wht's that?" it's a hybrid of who and what- but he generally wants to know who I'm talking to on the phone
  • "DDD"- translation "DVD".. and most of our viewing pleasure is Thomas the Train. The theme song haunts me in my sleep
  • Nok still means snack
  • "Mama you're happy?" generally occurs when he has displeased me or I am focused on something other than him
  • "Yay Mama!!" every time I go to the bathroom..he feels the need to be present for it first of all and secondly he feels the need to cheer me on
  • "Mama!! Jus tuck me in" translation- Mama just tuck me in. He wants me to put all of the blankets over him and then make a little baby burrito and say "snug as a bug in a rug" as I tuck the blankets under him
  • "CHEEESSEE" he hasn't quite learned how to take a picture
  • "I can do it by myself" translation- get away from me Mama I can do it
  • every type of meat is chicken
  • we're obsessed with peanut butter
  • "pweez leave the door cwack" translation "please leave my bedroom door cracked" suddenly we're afraid of the dark or being alone- I can't decide which
  • "Mama- what we gonna do next?" the child likes to be on the go
  • "Mommy I want to hold you.." (meaning I hold him- but it's super cute)
  • "Jus stay with me" translation Just stay here with me and snuggle or focus on what I'm showing you.
Things that I find particularly annoying about parenting a three (3) year old are faces like this:

To which we immediately get disciplined for not showing his mother respect.

So far if I had to say anything about this age- it would be comparable to parenting a hybrid. A toddler who is trying oh so hard to be a little boy and it's going by much to quickly. It is definitely an adventure. With 3 I never know from day to day if he'll be clinging to me because he thinks I'm the greatest or ever so slightly pushing me away because he wants to be an independent little boy.

Regardless, he remains the best thing to ever happen to me.. I can no longer imagine life without him and while it looks like I may never have any more children of my own... parenting Cole has changed me and my life miracously. In my pre-child life- I didn't really know that I was capable of unconditional love. I think that's why God gives us the ability to be a parent. I'm blessed to have this amazing little boy to raise into what I hope will be a great man. Happy Birthday Cole!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Different Kind of Christian

So I have this friend who has also been through a divorce. There are kids .. and during the drop off the other night- the ex mother in law was watching the kids. She directed the kids to go into the house and came out with her Bible to have a chat. She proceeded to quote scripture about everything my friend had done wrong and how she felt betrayed and so on.

And this woman calls herself a Christian. In her mind, she probably feels that she is a better Christian than you or me and maybe she is. But is this really peace with the Trinity that most Christians long for? Throwing the Bible in someones face and letting them know that you feel their existence is wrong and look we're going to manipulate scripture to paint the picture. Last time I checked- Jesus showed compassion and offered grace.

Sometimes it feels like people use the Bible as a weapon

If we're really Christians is it our place to judge other human beings? I don't think so. We'll all be judged at some point- maybe we should focus a little less on passing judgement on our fellow man and find some peace that there's a higher power that will be our judge and jury. Doesn't the scripture tell us to love one another as He has loved us. Is it really so wrong to get up every day and try to live your life the way you think you should, to pray, to confess, to try to do the right thing, and have your words and actions be reflective of your life as a Christian? When did it become okay to tell someone else how they should manage their walk with Christ?

We all sin. We all get it wrong. We're all just human and hopelessly broken. If you're really a Christian and a disciple in Christ- do you embrace the weary or do you throw your Bible at them and walk away? Why do some people feel entitled to pick and choose who is worthy of God's love?

No wonder so much of the American population is un-churched. It occurs to me, that either her God is different than mine or she's just a different kind of Christian.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Life In the Compound

I affectionately call my new office building- the compound. I've nicknamed it the compound because they make it nearly impossible for you to leave the damn place. It's a ten minute hike to and from my car- which is good and bad. I'm starting to enjoy my strolls into the office now that the mornings are cooling off.

So when it's impossible to leave- it's a good thing there is a cafeteria on site. There is always coffee and fresh produce. I tend to wander down there daily for a piece of fruit, coffee, or a beverage. I have a favorite cashier. I always say "Hi! How are you?" She always gives me two responses : "Some days are harder than others" or " I'm blessed" She's pretty consistent with it. For the past week it has been "Some days are harder than others" and my response is generally hang in there or I hope things get better for you or something encouraging... But the other day as I was getting my pineapple- She smiled and said "I'm blessed" I put down my wallet, looked at her and said "It's about time you shook off what ever was dragging you down?" She and the cashier sitting next to her looked at me like I'd sprouted wings or something... She couldn't believe I was paying attention.. I assured her I was. This morning when I got my coffee she smiled again and said "I'm blessed.." The sad part is I don't even know her name. I'll make sure and ask her next time..but for weeks I've known I would get one of the two responses. I've said little prayers for her as I was walking back to my desk... "Lord please help her with whatever is weighing on her heart" maybe He listened.

Such is life. We all have things weighing on us living in this day and age. Life is simply hard. But I guess my question is : Do we make it harder by putting all of these burdens and expectations on ourselves? I do. I need to get better about saying "I'm blessed" rather than stressing myself out over the small stuff. Because the truth is, perceptive people pay attention. My toddler asks me frequently when he thinks he or something has displeased me " Mama- You're Happy?" This is generally when it hits me that I need to shake it off and focus on all that is right with my life, instead of what isn't.

Have a great day. Holla!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Do What?

So I'm walking around the campus of my office this week.. and I really appreciate that my client is so active in the community. They are environmentally conscious and when you're working on warehouse/manufacturing real estate requirements- it makes me sleep a little better at night. All in all, they are a great company that cares about the community, their employees and the value of their product. So as far as clients go- I couldn't really ask for more.

I office on site with Frito Lay in Plano. The campus is nice... and the biggest perk is that we get a free bag of chips every day- even though I try to refrain. So I'm making one of my 10,000+ trips to the restroom every day because I drink a lot of water.. and everywhere in the hallway are these fliers





I think to myself... hmm? We're really going to raise money for the Heart Walk by selling Frito Chili Pie.. Never mind that Fritos (while tasty on occassion) have a boat load of fat, calories, oil, and salt..before we add the chili or the cheese.

We're all going to be heart patients after this... good thing we're raising money. Holla!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

We're Just Friends

I turned on Good Morning America last week and was somewhat shocked that Steve Harvey had joined the crew. His segment on this particular day was addressing "can men and women just be friends?" and his new book: Act like a Lady- Think like a Man. The segment started off by bringing up the classic movie When Harry Met Sally and how Billy Crystal proclaimed early on that men and women can't be friends- because the sex part always gets in the way.

I grabbed my coffee, put my laptop down and settled in to see what would happen on GMA. My girlfriend called me and shouted "are you watching this?" uh huh. I was.

Check it out: http://www.abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=8359557

Basically, Steve Harvey said that when considering outside relationships you have to ask yourself "What good does this relationship bring to your marriage"
I think this is an intriguing point of contention. It has been debated by my closest friends and I. It's been an issue in relationships for a very long time What's appropriate? What's inappropriate? Especially when there is a vast amount of gray area on either side.

I work in a predominately male field. When I travel, I'm usually the only female on the trip. When I'm in meetings it's usually me and the boys. I don't mind it. My brother trained me well. So my rules are generally, if it's a business lunch, drink, or dinner- I sort of have to go- but I think there is absolutely a way to be respectful of your relationship with it. Stay for one or two drinks instead making a night of it. Invite someone else from the office to go with you for lunch. But above all I think it's about communication.. when you fail to disclose the plans- you create doubt.

I had a very good friend that I worked with when I started out in the industry. We were close. He mentored me on how to do a deal. We crossed over to being more than business friends. I only ever thought of him as a friend. We would get lunch a couple of times a week. We would occasionally go for happy hour. When I started dating my now ex husband- he let me know that he'd like to be more than friends.. I was taken a back. I didn't think of it like that? It was then that my good friend educated me-- he said "Ashley- men never take a friendship to the level of ours if they don't want something more." I sort of lost one of my good friends. Sure, even after this we still had the occasional lunch and ran into each other at business happy hours, but it wasn't ever the same. He later married and we didn't see each other for the first several years of his marriage (other than at business functions). But he called me last week, and wants to have lunch.. I politely made sure this was something he'd cleared with his wife (because I know and respect her), and if I go- I'll let my significant other know. He's a business colleague and it is all about networking- but some might consider this crossing the line? (Especially those interviewed on the show)

Regardless, I think the key to maintaining or having relationships with people of the opposite sex is to never act in a way that would cause your spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend/special friend/person or any of the above to doubt your intentions. If your significant other read that text or email- would they have an issue? Could it be misunderstood? If they knew you had lunch,dinner, or drinks with that person would it make them uncomfortable? If you're seeking out situations that are socially okay to flirt with the opposite sex are you really happy and fulfilled in your own relationship?

What's okay with business friendships or friendships with the opposite sex in general? Can Men and Women just be friends? I think so. Especially if it's friend of your "relationship" meaning you both know and have something in common with the person or they are a couple friend.

OR you could take Steve Harvey's approach and just not do it. I'd love to get your comments! Most of my blog followers have had successful, affair proof marriages- so let me know what you think!

Happy Monday! Holla!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I should have stayed in bed

I should have stayed in bed this morning. As the alarm chimed in at a little before 7am I was having a great dream about a home purchase and my plans to make it awesome...then I woke up.

Cole had a couple of crying out bursts last night, and the dogs were restless combine the two and I was up every couple of hours... and when you're someone who needs a good solid 7 hours of sleep- this was mistake no. 1.

Marketing Boy is in LA today pitching some new business so I had Joey plus his dog Dude. I let the pups out this morning.. fed them.. watered them... took my shower..watched some GMA while getting ready for the day. Downed some coffee... all in all a normal morning. The dogs now have a dog run in the back part of my back yard.. I go out through the garage and to the side gate to let them in and out.

Cole and I are in a hurry to get out the door today. I'm trying to meet up with Chris for a Cole exchange and make it to work for a meeting. We go out through the garage- he can now climb into his car seat- the plan was for me to let the dogs out of the yard- let them into the house and buckle Cole in..

Mistake No. 2- Cole and I left the door between the house and the garage open. Picture it.. open garage door.. open door into the house.. open car door where my kid is waiting for me to buckle him in (all within 10 feet of each other ) I trot over the gate to let my puppies out... if you're really picturing it- you should know that I was in a hurry this morning and was walking around without the strap of my sandal/heel buckled.. white button down shirt.. white skirt with flowers on it...

As I open the gate, I unknowingly release two 45 pound mud balls who are suppose to be Australian Shepards...they are excited and greet me by jumping up on me.. knock me down.. I land smack on my *ss.. they manage to give me a muddy puppy greeting and they are making a mad dash into my house...

It's slow motion at this point " NNNNNOOOOO" I yell. I jump up and run in after them.. it's at this point that I cross over to crazy... I'm fairly pissed and start trying to get the dogs to obey.. no such luck. They ran laps through my house-- muddy... it's at this point that I vaguely remember cussing and finally getting them and herding them into their kennels (i'm not proud). Apparently I was really loud because when I went to the open door to collect my kiddo he was sitting in his car seat with his hand over his mouth looking like "who is this crazy woman masquerading as my mom?"

Acting like a crazy person was probably mistake no. 3. I call Chris- she's a saint, and nearby and offers to come collect Cole... there is some relief.

When she got to my house- it was clear that the Tasmanian Devil just destroyed it. I give Cole hugs.. send him on his way.. and then I decide to just sit down with my muddy skirt, my muddy legs, hands and house and cry... I'm seriously contemplating dropping the dogs at the pound on my way to work. It's not necessarily the dogs that made me want to cry.. More like it's just the icing on my two weeks of crappiness as a cake. There's no way for me to get cleaned up, change my clothes and get to work in time for my meeting.. I was looking like a mess... I had muddy dog prints in EVERY room of my house.. and two muddy dogs in kennels staring me down.

It's morning like this that you just have to declare defeat. Sometimes you just need to cry and move on..it's cleansing sometimes.. I wasn't sure what to do first, clean up the house before the muddy dog prints set into my Berber carpet-or scrap it and get my butt to work? Did I mention I only had my carpets cleaned two months ago?

It doesn't really matter what happened next... but I made peace with the dogs before I left, they forgave me and I didn't leave them at the pound or post a ad on Craigslist.. and I have more mess to clean up when I get home..

I'm a lucky girl and I know it.. but here lately I feel like all I do is try to clean up the mess I've made of my life. But like my muddy house, dogs, and self- I'll figure it out. We all have to... right?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Formative Years

Of raising children, I often heard, that you have until they are about seven to mold them into the people they will become. If by 7 you haven't established yourself as someone to be respected, trusted and your expectations of them- it's almost too late. I don't know that I completely agree with this, but my kid is only almost three. I'd like to think I have longer than these "formative" years to make an impact- but I guess it's any one's guess.

Here's what I know about Cole: He's a pretty good, well mannered, disciplined kid. Sure, we have our moments, and there are times- but for the most part if I communicate to him what the plan is and my expectations- we're pretty ok.

Discipline is a very child specific thing. Some kids just looking at them wrong causes them much duress. Some children taking away privileges works. Some kids are just so wrapped up in their own wants and needs it feels like you always have to yell at them to get their attention. My brother, for example, was so busy that the only way my mother could get through was to spank him. For me, I wanted to please my parents so much- all they really had to do was tell me I had disappointed them, but I received my fair share of spankings as well...

I absolutely hate to reprimand Cole. I want him to love me and think I'm the greatest thing ever, but here's the honest truth..for any parent. I think discipline is about loving your child enough to teach them the right way to behave, interact, appreciate, respect, and the boundaries. BUT it surely sucks when your dishing it out.

This morning, Cole and I were on the way to work and for me to drop him off. We drove thru my Starbucks for my iced coffee (I found a new Starbucks). Cole already had a granola bar in his hand, and a toasted bagel packed in his bag for breakfast " Mama I want a donit" (not a type o- that's how he says it) "Not today Cole. You have a granola bar and I packed a bagel for you." He looked at me.. with the look. Huffed and said "Fine."

My head nearly spun off my body. Oh no he didn't?!? A teenager this is probably to be expected... but I had this flash back to the obnoxious toddler sitting on the plane behind me on the way to Connecticut last week and how he was totally disrespecting his mother the entire flight. I threw the car in park and turned around to look at him. We had our chat. He cried. I got a "yes ma'am" out of him. Lots of sniffles.

I hadn't even had enough coffee yet.. and I'm already dishing out the discipline??!! It's mornings like these that "I love him enough" becomes my mantra.

Well- there's work to be done. I've only made it through most of my emails and made my to do list for the day. Holla!

The Year

August 6, 2009

Greetings. I blog. I write. Then I don't post them or forget to or am scatter brained and don't get to it. Sometimes I write as a cleansing process and I think "meh" I don't need to write that and I delete... but it's part of my journey.

Written/Blogged July 1

Over a year ago. I got dressed as I would any other day. I had arrangements for someone to be with Cole and I drove to the courthouse. I was number two on the docket. My friends and family had offered to come with me, but there comes a point where you have to stand on your own, and accept it . At 31, after six years of marriage, I stood before the judge and had to say that my marriage was beyond repair. I had to acknowledge that it had failed, but that the terms of the decree outlined what was fair and in the best interest of our child. The judge stamped it, signed it, and handed the decree back to me.. 60 seconds somehow erased 6 years. I walked it down for it to be filed away and just like that- it was done. I almost forgot that it has been over a year, probably because it was over long before it was final.

Leaving that courthouse I knew that Cole's care would be mine. I knew that a part of me had died. I knew that the guilt would surround me and I knew that I would spend a lot of time praying. I knew that the next year was going to be hard and that it would take the of support from my friends and family for me to get through it. That support started about two hours later when one of my best girlfriends came over to help me re-paint my bedroom..a perfect shade of yellow. I need happy colors around me. Sometimes you need new scenery and a new beginning. My new beginning sort of started that night.

Last summer was hard, but I made it through. By late summer, early fall things were definitely starting to look up. My dark cloud was becoming a lighter shade of gray. I started to realize I could move on.

Grace Eventually
A long time ago, I took a vow before God and everyone who loved me and a year ago when I stood before that judge I essentially said " You know.. I was just kidding about that.." My albeit simplistic interpretation of the Bible is: divorce is wrong. I researched, read and re read every book, chapter and verse that talked about divorce. I didn't really have an approved "out" biblicaly speaking. I struggled with this for a very long time. How could I feel totally embraced spiritually when I was going against His word? I realize I'm human... and on some crazy level I know I will be forgiven for my daily sins.. the small ones..but this to me was fairly huge.

Grace is an amazing gift. I asked for it daily. I offered it up to Will in the way I've dealt with things. And one day I decided to forgive myself and I'm almost there.


Here's what I've learned about prayer.... For the first time in my life I never prayed for what I thought Cole or I needed or wanted. I just prayed for His presence in my life and Cole's. I prayed for guidance and for the right path to be revealed for us. While it has been a struggle of a journey-I feel like it has. A year ago I had lost so much emotionally, spiritually and financially, but now I have so much more than I ever could have imagined. Just a year later.

I'm a big fan of Anne Lamott. One of her books usually resides on my nightstand (in the pile). In her book Grace Eventually she says this: "Prayer is not asking for what you think you want, but asking to be changed in ways you can't imagine."

Give it a try (not the divorce part, but the prayer part). Sometimes in life you can't possibly fathom what is in store for you.







Monday, July 27, 2009

The Potty Diaries- the final chapter (I promise)


It's a finish line I wasn't sure I would cross...ever... but we have had several successful weeks with out an accident and every poo landing in the potty (not the bathtub, my leg, or the undies). Success. I think we're there.

Which leads me to the search for the perfect preschool. Wow. Preschool sort of snuck up on me, but Cole is surrounded by adults all day and I know he's missing hanging out with some little people. I know little to nothing about child hood development so it's time. Verbally Cole is a rock star.. fine motor skills are great.. gross motor skills not so much. Social skills? Cole is great with adults.. a little unsure about how to play with kids his own age. It's time for a little something for sir Cole.

I've been fairly responsible for saving for Cole's college. I put a little bit into a 529 account every month... I was unaware I should have started saving for preschool while he was still in the womb as well.

When did it get so complicated? Montessori, NAEYC certification, full day, 1/2 day... curriculum.. AHH.. The ones I like, and are affordable have a waiting list. The ones I can't stand I can afford. What's with this Montessori theory of "they need to be here every day for it to be effective?" Good grief. Who knew?

I just want a little school with a couple mornings a week, close to the office, and close to the Amazing Wahlstedts. I found one that's within the budget. We're on the list. We'll see. I might just need to track down the families in front of us and negotiate. Otherwise, it might just be mother's day out a couple of mornings a week. He won't start kindergarten until he's about to turn 6 because of the September birthday- so I guess I should quit stressing. That's three years of preschool to pay for! But I've used it as material for the potty training and now I'll be a Mommy let down. Oh well... life will go on. Sometimes it's just about doing all you can, but when I hear "Mommy I go to school in the fall?" I feel like a loser with a capital L.
I've consumed my Lean Cuisine. Time for me to prepare for my 2pm conference call. Holla!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Bumper Sticker

Twice in the same week I've found myself behind the same car with a crazy bumper sticker. The sticker, in case you were wondering, said:

"I'll keep my money, my guns and my freedom...you can keep the change"

Good grief. Really? I wanted so badly to roll down my window and say "Instead of your guns, money, and freedom can we talk about your carbon footprint in your Excursion?" I refrained.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

I hate to say it. I'm loyal to a fault...but I may have to break up with my favorite baristas at Starbucks. Given the state of the economy and my reduced balance sheet I try to take my java from home on the trek to work- but there are mornings like today that I'm basically a pack mule with a sippy cup, a laptop bag, my handbag, my gym bag, and Cole's "pack pack" which is now weighing close to 20lbs full of choo choos and his gear for the day. Sometimes my travel cup of Coffee gets left all by its lonesome on the counter in all of the chaos.

I drop Cole off and realize I don't have any more coffee and I only managed to choke down a cup at home and let's face it the office coffee usually sucks. I pull into my favorite Starbucks and in front of me is the person who is obviously NOT trying to get to work. She has four stacks of money in front of her with an appropriate color coded "post it" with an order attached to each. She orders a latte pays from one of the stacks of money... counts the change and places it back on the counter. She then proceeds to ask the barista for a small paper sack for each of her color coordinated "post its" and to place the change into. I stand in line for way too long behind this nut bag.

It's after 8 on a Tuesday morning... get outta the way with your bags of change and post its and counting of the change and so on... there's a line forming behind her. People like me who just want their plain jane coffee (on ice) and to be on their way.

So I get it. The barista can't control the customers and I'm not asking them too. What is making me want to break up is that there's four barista's shooting the *hit over to the side looking at this lady like she's a couple of clowns short of a circus and I understand because I'm having the same thought- but people pick your jaw up off the floor and one of you start manning a register so the rest of us can get our coffee, leave you a tip, and be on our way to work.

Mornings like this are becoming the rule and not the exception. Last week the barista was at the same party as the dude two people in front of me and they were just chatting it up over how much fun it was and who all was there. Meanwhile the line is 8 deep of people trying to get to work..looking a little lost without their cup of joe.

Believe me, I think Starbucks is a classy organization. I'm happy to give them my $2+ dollars for my iced coffee in the summertime when I forget my travel cup, but I'm starting to realize I could drive home and get it for the amount of time I spend waiting on my favorite baristas as of late. Heck I might just start Duke's of Hazarding it over the counter and make my own beverage. I could be a barista?

But I'm loyal..so I'll give them a few more trys before I break up and find a new Starbucks. I was a little antzy this morning, but I did manage to refrain from taking out the lady in front of me. Maybe I should consider giving up the caffeine all together? It might be causing anger issues?

Holla!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Take this pull up and shove it

I would like to take every pull up in my house out in the back yard and light them on fire..I'd throw "Once Upon a Potty" in there too- just for effect.

I know I know I said I was done posting about potty training, but this is going to be such amazing blackmail material for me when Cole is much older and much cooler .
We were doing so well with potty training. Rarely any accidents. There were still some issues with the whole poo thing and I was constantly reassured that this is completely normal for little boys. I've had a few more floaters in the bath tub. Then about two weeks ago Sir Cole just decided "I'm no longer being rewarded for this potty training business- I'm over it.." We're back to accidents and being too lazy or too busy to go to the bathroom.


Meanwhile, I've visited countless preschools and assured them that MY son is potty trained. What a load of crap.


Last night is a busy evening. Grocery store, gym, laundry, making of banana pudding & dinner for Cole... and I know that he needs to take care of some business. Into the bathroom we go. I know what needs to happen. He knows what needs to happen... and then the crying commenced. The kind where the veins pop out of his toddler neck. "Cole you can do this" I assure him... Cole is a smart little toddler. When he realizes the temper tantrum isn't getting him anywhere- he turns on the charm...sniffing..wiping back tears he says "Mommy I want to hold you" and I am a sucker for my little boy.. I pull him off the potty and into my lap. I have taken to sitting on the bathroom floor during this potty cheer leading craziness. "Cole you're a big boy and I know you can do this.. I know you're tummy hurts..let's just finish and then we can watch Thomas and you can have a nok (snack)" He snivels for effect and says " ok mommy" I get him back on the potty and notice a little bit of poo on my leg where he had been sitting.

When will the madness end?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Judgement

About six weeks ago Cole and I happily trotted out to the mail box.. hoping to find the latest Pottery Barn catalog or my newest Real Simple, but instead, all I found were bills and a jury summons.

"Great." I mumbled. "It's bad Mommy?" Cole asked judging the expression on my face more than the words that came from my mouth. "Bubba..it's not good" I opened it.. and immediately began looking for my out..remembering something about my mother always getting out of it for having small children. It clearly says if you work outside the home and have childcare you can't offer up the excuse.

I happily postponed..then failed to show, but called them and asked to reschedule and finally I was all out of options. Monday was it. Jury duty here I come. Armed with the second book in the Twilight series, comfy but appropriate clothes and my iPhone- I drove myself down to the County Courthouse.

You know the drill. Room of hundreds..everyone stands in line because they think their excuse is better than everyone else's to get out of it.. For two hours this went on. I sat in silence reading my book. Then they started assigning us to cases. I get sent to a courtroom with about 70 others. The process of voir dire began. For hours we sat for the judge to first explain to us how the jury interviewing would take place, and then to be questioned by the DA and the defense attorney. I was on the front row. Perspective juror number 7. All I could think about was getting out of it and as I listened to this room of my "peers" answer questions - I was shocked by some of the responses. I realize I am somewhat of a sheltered, liberal thinker, but the room full of my peers made me glad for my upbringing.

They don't give many details about the evidence or the case. We only knew this: 6 counts of indecency with a child.

When the DA asked if anyone in the room would have issue with handing down judgement, one lady raised her hand and said " I'm a Christian and I believe that we will all be judged one day- I just don't feel that it's my place to do it.. I can't pass judgement on another human being.." I sort of raised one eye brow... having seen this woman spend 10 minutes with the judge in the initial holding room trying to get out of it... I was, if I'm honest, a little skeptical. The DA said "Fair enough" and visibly marked her off the list.

I thought about that woman's statement. For a minute I thought she was totally wrong to say it. Indecency with a child? As a parent or a person, how could you not offer judgement? Then I started thinking about my own beliefs..my own judgement if you will. Why is it that I don't think it's my place to judge on some issues, but on others I have no problem....shouldn't our human ability to "judge" be consistent?

The Defense attorney started doing the questioning at this point. He started picking on me because I'd managed to remain fairly quiet during all of this hoop la. Probably because I will still shocked at this room full of my peers. My rule out question was this: "Ms Peterson could you consider probation for the accused if he was convicted on all six counts?" Maybe it was my answer or maybe it was because I started arguing with the defense counsel about the way he was asking the question, but I was released. I'm glad... I didn't want to hear the particulars of that case, but I could have passed judgement and I can't decide if that's good or bad.

Friday, June 12, 2009

A Song That Haunts Me

One of my favorite things to do when I need to get things accomplished is to put in my head phones, set my iTunes to shuffle and re-discover songs that I might not look for everyday. There is one song, that when it comes on... I sort of stop what I am doing and pause to listen. It haunts me:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Vh0ULDdO80&feature=related

iTunes Orignals rocks. Nearly all of my favorite artists have produced an iTunes Originals album where they talk about their motivation for songs.. why they wrote them, their writing process, the ideas, and it seems that most of the time- the creative masterpiece is most difficult for them conjure up. The dedicated song writers, or writers in general treat it like a 9-5 job. They "clock in" if you will and proceed to write..to create.. and sometimes the stars align and greatness is produced. Sometimes they leave their studio with nothing but a load of crap. This always fascinates me. If I'm not experiencing a certain level of peace, or allowed the time to day dream and think- the words escape me. How strange the creative process is for those who are artists? I digress. Basically, when asked about this song, Mr. Gray explained that he was contracted to write the theme song for a movie entitled "This Year's Love" He accepted the job, but had this pressure to write the song with a very specific story in mind. He clocked in and clocked out and This Years Love was written. He found that the process was actually something he enjoyed.. The money from the song actually funded his next album and creative genius got a paycheck. While the movie never actually happened. The song did.. and I'm thankful. Because now it can haunt me on my iPod.

David Gray is probably one of my favorite artists (I have many). Sadly, there were days in the past that I didn't want to go home. Sometimes I would drive around in my car with Cole in the back seat for way to long- letting David Gray console me..allowing me time to think. It is ironic that songs can take on different meanings to you at different stages in your life.

Well...there is work to be done. Have a great weekend. Holla!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Blogging on Hold

I haven't had much to blog about. Probably because I'm doing good to remember where I'm suppose to be and when and not lose my mind. I'm on hold with the help desk for computer issues so I started typing this because I was gently reminded "Remember when you use to blog?"

If you look at all of the big "stress" things in life, I'm told they are: death, divorce, moving and a new job. I've had two of the four in under a year, with a now almost three year old in tow. I'm going to cut myself a little slack.

Here is what I know about myself and change: I get scatter brained. I have a hard time getting anywhere on time... I get a little emotional... so I'm learning to be a little more patient with myself. While extra curricular small groups, and book clubs and the music lessons I want to take are all fun.. they are all on hold until I get my feet underneath me. Perhaps not the best attitude to take in life, but as of late it has felt more like if I have to "handle" one more thing I'll scream.

I wish I could say my new job was all that I hoped it would be. Most days I still leave the office thinking (irrationally) "what have I done?" Ask me about sharing a cube later. I have an amazing pic to give you some idea:





(Please note: I agreed to the above working situation because I was told it was temporary and I felt it was the best way to get up to speed and help the client...now I'm over it)


After some thought, the rational side of my brain reminds me it is change... and change takes time. It has only been 45 days.. hang in there Ashley. Progress is being made every day and I no longer have to deal with the most miserable man of client any longer... or make his copies. So these are all perks. I will most likely get shipped to CBRE offices which will be good and bad. Good because the picture above will no longer be my existence 8+ hours a day and I'll get to meet new people and work at the corporate offices instead of on-site with the client. Bad because the commute will be longer and it will mean more time away from Cole.. and more change.

I have to say I'm getting pretty good at it. Change is inevitable really. It is the only constant in life so I figure if the worst that happens is I get scatter brained, have writers block, and cry occasionally over my work situation I'm doing okay?

Tech support has decided that I've held long enough (20 min) Have to get this wrapped up and get my car dropped off for service. Maybe I'll get a really cool loaner. Holla!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Victory and Defeat

There are times in life that you get to declare victory and when you do, I find it best to immediately celebrate them.

Yesterday was a great day. I'm finally starting to simmer down on the work front and settle into a groove. A little bit anyway. I'm still most upset about having to give up Diet Dr. Pepper.. I've almost resolved to start smuggling them in- but have been forewarned that anything but a Pepsi product puts you in the same category as a crack head.. so I guess I have a decision to make.. crack head and be a happier camper with a Diet Dr. Pepper.. or brand loyalty?

Moving on, I go to pick up Cole and "Cortey" (as Cole calls her) informed me that Cole finally poo'd in the potty. (Please note this will be my LAST poo post).

I proudly cheered Cole on and told him how proud I was of him and "woo hoo'" let's go buy a new choo choo and the super duper train track I'd promised (shamefully) if he would just poo in the potty. We were off to Target. I applauded him all the way to the store. We got there and Cole took off running through the aisles " I went poo poo in the potty!!!" he chanted as he ran through the store and just this once I allowed him to be the crazy kid with no manners. I had promised after all. I was running to keep up, but it was awesome to celebrate this victory with my little man. We made it to the Thomas the Train aisle and picked out a new choo choo and I picked up the super duper track I'd shown him the pictures of online. Cole even proclaimed to the checkout girl that "I get to buy new train because I went POO POO in the potty..." as he handed her salty the choo choo.

We made it home and he wouldn't hear of dinner until I'd assembled the new track which I was sure I needed a degree in engineering to do, but I figured it out and Cole was one happy camper. It even got me a "I juve you Mommy" and that still melts my heart. We finished dinner and playtime and then it's usually bath time and bedtime. Cole usually gets to enjoy a lavender bath kicked back in the over sized tub in my bathroom where from the bathtub he can see the TV in my bedroom. I usually put the then favorite movie on for him. So he's enjoying his bath/ play/ movie time, and I putting fresh sheets on my bed (before you report me to CPS my bed is 5 ft from the bathtub in the master bath and I can see him while I'm completing the chore).. I finish up and go to give Cole the final scrub down before he gets out of the bath... it was then that I noticed it... A floater in the bathtub.

Hence the title of this blog. We had a victory in potty training today.. but I think a floater in the bathtub definitely equals defeat. Such is parenthood. High and lows. Nastiness and sweetness.. " I juve you Mommys" and floaters.

Well, I've enjoyed my lunch in the courtyard. Listened to the waterfall. Typed this blog, and I drank my required Pepsi product. Time to wander back to my desk and get back to it. Holla!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Well Okay

So Saturday morning I'm enjoying a peaceful morning at home before Cole and I head to my brother's for Mother's Day festivities...The decision was to celebrate on Saturday rather than Sunday because of work schedules. There seem to be very few mornings Cole and I get a quiet morning at home. I especially love that my child slept until 9am, as did I, and if you know me- you know that sleep does wonders for my mood.. So when I realized I'd gotten a full 9 hours of sleep I nearly danced the jig.

I made coffee, let Joey out, and started making sir Cole's breakfast. I started thinking about Mother's Day and the weekend and stuff. I was determined not to let the weekend bring me down. You see, Sunday would have been my 7 year anniversary. While it's really crazy that I still recognize this.. it's a reminder for me that I couldn't make it work and a little bit of sadness. It's also fairly tough being a mom on your own, realizing that your kiddo is 2 and it's Mother's Day and well you know what I mean.

So I reflected. Allowed myself a moment to feel what I was feeling. I remembered last Mother's Day and my family gathered around me at my dining room table having lunch. Chris and Rachel were recently engaged and we were talking about their wedding and the plans.. and I was so happy for them. Meanwhile, I was in the middle of a divorce and there was sadness and me trying not cry. But even with all of that Mom and Dad gave me the greatest gift. A rose bush. My Dad came armed with a shovel and planted it for me. This little rose bush. I went outside Saturday to take a picture of it for this post because it has had the most beautiful blooms on it and has been amazing this spring.. but with all of the storms we've had..my blooms were on hiatus.

So I thought to myself "well okay" and I continued mentally writing this blog in my head. It has been nice to watch my roses prosper and thrive. As lame as it sounds, my roses are a reminder to me of where I've been and where I'm going. When I move, I'll have to find a way to take them with me. I'm very protective of them and I've never been more upset with my new puppy then when she took to trying to dig up my roses. Bad dog! I had a peaceful Mother's Day and a great time at my big bro's house. He and Rachel have truly made a home and it's great.

There you have it. It's spring and if you find yourself at a cross road in your life.. let me encourage you to plant something. Something that will renew itself every year. It will be an amazing experience next year when you can reflect and acknowledge just how far you've come.

I need to go seek out caffeine. The coffee wore off a while ago. Holla!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I don't know what to call it

When I was four I took my first tap lesson. I thought it was awesome. Shuffle- ball-change. Though a tom boy, I still thought the shoes that made noise when I shuffled my feet were fairly amazing. Next it was more tap. Then jazz. A couple of ballet lessons. A brief stint with soccer and then I discovered baton twirling. It stuck. I was a "twirler" for about four years. Thank God they taught me to juggle the damn things. It's a life skill that paid off.

It has been a crazy few weeks. I left my last job on April 18th. I was glad to leave if I'm honest. My client didn't speak to me my last two weeks. Good thing I was stocked up on the Mommy Juice. I started my new job on April 20th. Flew to Atlanta on the 21st. Flew back to Dallas on the 22nd. Left for Boston on the 23rd. Back in Dallas on the 26th and back in the office on the 27th. All of this while trying to juggle childcare and not lose my mind or worry myself sick. What's a girl to say? Your new boss calls and tells you you are going to Atlanta for training. Next thing you know they've booked your flights.. and I'm thinking CRAP I didn't exactly volunteer being a single mom to a 2yr old in the interview. So I started juggling.

If I'm honest I'm in a little bit of culture shock about my new gig. I knew they needed help and I felt equal to the task... I've just found it slightly crazy that a Fortune 50 company manages their portfolio of nearly 2,000 properties in the way that they do. There's a better way.. I'm just having to pick my jaw up off the floor to figure out why they do it their way. I have to find the PC way to suggest another alternative...if that's even what you call it. So I figure I'll keep my head down. Do it their way for a while, earn some trust, settle in, and then do what I guess I'm being paid to do: make it better. The good news is when I figure it out I'll look like a superstar. Maybe they'll get me some super cool tap shoes. I will say my new clients are awesome. They genuinely want me there. It's a great feeling.

I left my first day from the office crying. All I kept thinking was "what have I done?" Then I reminded myself of the reasons why I left my old job and the fact that the new one is like the wild west.. anything can happen. It's a little exciting. Even though I've had the "what have I done" thought on more the one occasion over the past few weeks..here's what I know: I prayed about this decision. I prayed that if it was God's will it would happen. Here I am. I'm still going to trust that there's a reason. It may lead to something good or it may be something bad... but generally in life I've started to trust that I usually land on my feet because I can juggle and I can pray.

Holla! I'm a big nerd. The house is clean. I've blogged. Now I have to go find out who got voted off on Idol.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Potty Diaries Weeks 2 & Beyond

It's been a while since my last post.. It's okay if you have a RSS feed and you've missed my random blogs... you can admit it. Or you could be thinking "Thank God Ashley has gone radio silent" I've had a lot to process and I'm not ready to post about all of those thoughts and/or feelings yet so I'll write about my favorite subject: Cole. While I try not to have all of my posts be about Cole and go on and on about him because that's annoying...we're potty training people. It's a big fricken deal.

I have to give Cole kudos. By the end of week two he'd pretty much gotten this peeing in the potty thing down. He was even telling me when he needed to go and if he didn't then I could recognize the sign: Dancing around, grabbing himself, and looking for an escape route. At the end of week two I proudly drove him to Target where we added two new trains to the collection: Duke and Duncan. Good times. I felt like we were on our way.

During week two I gladly rinsed out the nasty training pants because...well, Cole wasn't ready to make the grand deposit if you know what I mean. It's just gross, but I'm his Mom and this is part of the process. But as I'm rinsing the nasty drawers with my rubber gloves on, I'm thinking teaching him to drive will be a cakewalk compared to this. Heck some annoying, possessive little teenage girl might even be welcomed over this chore.

It's week 4 and Cole has yet to poop in the potty. I've tried everything. I've made him feel like it was gross and disgusting... I've bribed him by logging on to the web and showing him all of the Thomas the Train crap I'd buy if he'd just poop in the potty. I've danced. I've sang. I've spent lots of time sitting on the bathroom floor cheering him on and to no avail. Sunday I caved when I knew he needed to go and just put him on the potty, handed him a book and his favorite Thomas the Train paper where we check off each new engine that gets added to the collection and let him sit a while. It works for big boys..why not a 2 year old... and nothing.

I was talking to my Dad last night (aka Papa) and he was telling me that the 4 year old next door still wasn't pooping in the potty. One of my friend's nieces (also 4) will go get a pull up and request that it be put on when she needs to go... REALLY? I'll have a 4 year old that won't take care of business where he should? Grrrr...

There has to be an easier way? Trust me I don't like posting about poo any more than the next person..but what's it going to take? Someone help me please.

I'm dieting.. so I can't even turn to Mommy Juice for comfort...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Feel Good

I received the link to this video a couple of days ago... now it's made it all over the news. But when I watched the video I was moved. Check it out:

http://perezhilton.com/tv/index.php?ptvid=89e03ffa2a814

At first I thought maybe she was lip sinking the song. It's a great song from the musical Les Miserables which is one of my all time favorites. What I love is everyone was just waiting to mock her and as a viewer I think, on some level, I was waiting to see if it was going to be a train wreck. Instead it gave me chills. I always love a good underdog story. Enjoy!

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Potty Diaries

Week One
When you are a parent, you know there will be a few parental events that you will not relish. In my mind they were/are: The first date, the moving out, the sex talk, keeping him off drugs and involved in the right activities, and keeping him exposed to the right types of people without being a control freak, and finally no. 6 in my mind was potty training. I guess because it's a little gross and to me, on some level, it means my baby is no longer a baby.

I've been contemplating this potty training stuff for a while now. I bought Cole some big boy pants. Thomas the Train of course. I started looking for the signs.. i.e heading to the corner to poop, knowing when his diaper needs to be changed.. and so on.

Finally, being a first time Mommy I thought: There has to be a video about this? So I logged on to Amazon and two days later Once Upon a Potty landed on my doorstep. Good grief. Save your money. Kids today have super animated movies... Dreamworks and Pixar ..the bar has been set pretty high. I plugged this Once Upon a Potty DVD in and sat down with Cole to watch it. He couldn't have been less excited. I was deflated. This DVD was certainly dug up from Mr. Rogers toy chest circa 1980. So I reverted to reading the ole faithful "Plop" book to Cole before nap time (right after Duck on a Bike). Amazon can I get my $ back on Once Upon a Potty? Still, I was hesitant to pull the trigger. Literally.

Cole's other Mommy,Miss Chris aka "the pro," finally just told me when we were going to potty train. It was the push I needed. It has been an interesting week. Texts from Chris "Cole did pp in the potty at Sprouts" where he proclaimed " I did yellow Ms. Chris." On Wednesday Cole proclaimed "I no make a mess on Mommy's floor!" Then there was Wednesday night which was the clincher. I guess in my mind when I potty trained, Cole would stand up on a little stool and still pee standing up, but there's this potty seat craziness involved. For me, getting Cole to potty involves me sitting down on the floor in front of him in the bathroom while he's on the throne. There I sing stupid songs. Instead of Twinkle Twinkle lil star..it's Tinkle Tinkle.. then there's the poop song.. which is my version of the Salt n Pepa's Schoop song.. substitute poop for schoop and it's an instant toddler hit. It's greatness. So it's Wednesday. I'm singing tinkle tinkle like a moron and Cole decides to grab his man friend mid stream and suddenly in the middle of tinkle tinkle I'm dodging a yellow stream. It was awesome. Wish my reflexes were quicker. All in a day's work I suppose. Cole thought it was hilarious of course. "Mommy! I pp'd you!"

There it is. Week 1 of the potty diaries. I will say Thursday was a no accident day. Only one pair of Thomas the Train undies to wash. This morning it was a dry pull up and a pee pee in the potty. I promised to buy a new choo choo when I got off work.. and I'm sure at some point this weekend I'll have a date night with Cole. Who's not such a baby anymore? I'm working to get him registered for preschool in the fall. I can't believe it.

Happy Easter! I'm bailing in a little while to go buy Cole a red Radio Flyer tricycle from the Easter Bunny. Holla!!



Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Resignation

So Monday I handed in my resignation. I have been with the same company for ten (10) years. They hired me when I graduated from college. I was fortunate to be placed on a great team and had amazing people show me the ropes and teach me how to do a commercial real estate deal. No matter how seasoned I become.. I still call on these team members who have all long sense dispersed and ask for insight. The thing I love about my job is no matter how many deals I've done...there's no such thing as an easy real estate deal. Every transaction is different. Unique. Crazy crap happens along the way. If it were easy, companies wouldn't need me and the team of people that it takes to get it done. More than anything, I think what I do has helped me to always be thinking ahead. What could the next hurdle possibly be between me and the finish line? Maybe that's why the magic 8 ball resides on my desk.

A Sense of Pride
I think as a newbie starting out in the commercial real estate industry, there was a very strong sense of pride in working for the Company of which I was a part. The Staubach Company. I happily hung the company constitution in my cubby and went to work. As the name of the company would imply.. its founder was a class act. He was about doing the right thing and doing so with integrity. Pretty easy to feel pride in that. I remember being in awe when he'd wander the halls just to chat with the folks at the company. But businesses evolve and last year there was a merger and while it has been a positive thing...there comes a point where I think you realize that you can't grow anymore and it's time to move on. Perhaps in Senior management's eyes I'll always be the twenty something college grad.


Comfort in What You Know
There is a comfort in what you know. A comfort that comes when you know what to expect. I've had that comfort for quite a while. I've been happy to stay put and coast. Fear makes you do a lot of things. Fear can make you stagnant. Taking a big career leap can lead to a couple of things: I'll either succeed or I'll fail, but I guess that's up to me and I'm not very good at failure.

I weighed the options. I labored over the decision (because that's what I do) and felt like a great opportunity landed in my lap. All I did was post a resume. They called me and the rest is history. I'm excited. I'm excited about a new opportunity to prove myself and to blaze a new trail. The task before me is huge..but in the end I could lead a team of people and show some other newbie the ropes I suppose. Maybe they will still call me ten years later for pointers... who knows.

Even with this excitement, there is some sadness. My professional relationship has outlasted most of my personal ones. It has been the one steady. The one constant in a life of change. I'm thankful for that, but on another level I feel like I owe it to the organization to leave because there are days that it is difficult for me to give it my all. I don't like working when I'm no longer going above and beyond in everything I do.

There you have it. I get to stay on two more weeks before I start my new gig. I'm pleased because I'll get to leave on my terms. I'll leave my deals in good standing because once I'm gone I want my last two weeks of work product to reflect what I've consistently delivered over the last ten years.

In ten years I've done nearly 200 Real Estate deals. I met some of my very best friends at this company, worked with some of the best in the industry, and all in all it has been an amazing journey. Now it's time for a new adventure. Holla!!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Genius!

I will add the disclaimer at the beginning of this post: I'll be bragging on my amazing little boy. Choose not to read if you must... but he's a genius. Really he is...I'm not partial or biased or anything- I'm just his Mom.

So last week I pick Cole up from the Amazing Wahlstedt's and tell him that we need to go to Sprouts. Some folks tell me I live in the equivalent of Oklahoma living as far north as I do. Regardless, I guess we're not sophisticated enough for Whole Foods..so we get Sprouts. A Farmer's Market sort of grocer concept. Hearing that Sprouts is on the agenda Cole proclaims "Pouts Mommy?" I confirm that Pouts is the destination and he continues " MOMMY! I go to Pouts and get a nok!" I agree to Pouts and the nok and Cole was stoked... I load him up in the car and he proceeds to give me turn by turn instructions to Pouts. I realize he probably frequents Pouts with not only me, but Dabid and Kiss as well, but nonetheless, as he gives me the turn by turn instructions to Pouts complete with pointing and proclaiming "Mommy this way!" I'm thinking I should up my monthly contribution to the college fund.. I'm thinking ivy league here people (OK not really, but it did consume about 10 seconds of thought for me).

When we pull into the Pouts parking lot.. Cole lets me know that he doesn't need a buggy and he can walk.. "Mommy I don't need buggy.. I walk" I indulge him for a moment..we run to the door as we always do because I can't get him to hold my hand for too terribly long in the parking lot.... I wipe down the buggy with the provided antibacterial wipes- catch my child and load him up.. he then begins to point in the general direction of the noks (aka the packaged candy) and lets me know which one he wants on this particular trip. Salt water taffy it is. As I unwrap one piece and he shoves it into his chipmunk cheek.. he smiles, hugs me and says "Mommy I got a nok at Pouts!" While there was also a spit spray from him talking with a hunk of taffy in his cheek I think to myself: life is good and my kid isn't directionally challenged. Things are definitely looking up.

This Morning
This may come as a surprise, but I have days that I'm not a ray of sunshine. I'm going on nearly a week of Cole being up several times in a night after his surgery. I don't know if it's bad dreams or what. I feel sort of like I'm doing a zombie shuffle. Last night I feel asleep at 10pm watching TV- woke up to Cole screaming at 11:15.. you get the picture. Rinse. Lather. Repeat. I'm running late this morning. Joey pulls a mud wrestler trick.. I'm trying to get ready for work.... Cole decides to wake up. He's chipper and in a good mood, but wants to play with choo choos. I say okay, but direct " you can only play a few minutes..we need to go." I put his back pack with all of this choo choos on his train table for easy toddler access... and resume getting our bags together, sippy cups filled and the car loaded. Five minutes go by.. I'm making the final rounds and I tell Cole to put all of his choo choos back in his bag.. we're leaving in two minutes. I make sure all the doors are locked, dog secure, and stop by the train table that resides in the living room to collect his back pack and trains...Cole is standing there with all of his trains in his bag.. he even put a diaper in the back pack..I look at him and I'm shocked. He smiles and says "Ready Mommy!" Once again I'm thinking my kid is a genius. I say " Cole you're so smart..you're all ready to go! I love you so much!!" He looks pleased and heads to the garage to get in the car.

Maybe it's all the avocados and salmon I ate when I was pregnant? Or maybe not. I'm sure every mother thinks her child is the smartest. But really? Directions and packing up a backpack at 2 1/2? Granted he also tries to see how far up his nose he can stick his finger and thinks farting in the bath tub is fun (bubbles mommy!) but I'm thinking there's a little bit of genius roaming around in there too? I guess we'll see as we're going to tackle potty training next week. Good times. We're going with just Thomas the Train undies and clothes. Should be interesting.

Back to work. I've called the cable company, consumed my lean cuisine and Diet Dr. Pepper. It's almost the weekend. Woo hoo! Holla!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Life is Fragile

Sometimes it is odd what you remember of your childhood. Whenever I went to see my Grandsam there were always certain constants about her home. As soon as I could read I think I remember reading one of the pictures on her wall and it said "Life is Fragile- Handle with Prayer" I asked her what that meant and I still remember her response. She said "Sugar babe it means that life is hard and we need to rely on God" It's the five year old answer I realize..I guess there are so many different ways to look at that saying. But it was always there and as I grew up the meaning changed for me from time to time.

I don't think any of us pause very often to think about the fragility of life. We don't often pause to think how our entire set of circumstances can be changed in an instant. There are days and sometimes weeks that, in reflection, can show this to you.

I picked Cole up last Wednesday afternoon and Chris informed me that one of the single Moms that our church had adopted for Christmas had fallen on even harder times.. with the help of the congregation she was able to help this struggling Mom out. There are days that I feel very unfortunate. It all seems so hard..but the truth is I'm blessed. I have the means to provide for my family.. but when you pause to reflect how quickly that comfort could be taken from you in today's world- it's very humbling to realize I could be the single mom who's fallen on hard times. None of us are immune from the perils of life.. sometimes all there is left to do is pray. Life is Fragile.

Last Friday- Cole had surgery. Fairly minor surgery to take care of testicular issue, but nerve racking for a mom all the same. I found myself a little frustrated at the arrogance of the surgeon. To him it was just another case...to me it was my whole world he was operating on. Cole was a trooper and a great little patient, but I found myself humbled that all it would take is a mistake or two from a surgeon.. Really.. if you think about it.. that's all it could take. Life is Fragile.

It's on these days, that you realize just how human you are... Fortunately, after realizing just how human you are...you get supported by people who love you. Thanks to my friends and family who kept Cole and I fed, sent choo choo cookie bouquets and just kept us company.

I've been on a little bit of a writing hiatus. Frankly, I just haven't had much to say. The creative juices haven't been flowing. BUT my circumstances are about to change and I'm excited... and it will be a new adventure... and I need one. Stay tuned. Holla!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

We're Going Streaking Thru the Quad


I love that scene in Old School. I laugh every time. Boys are just silly. At any age they can still revert to children. My boy is no different I suppose. One of Cole's favorite things to do is run through the house naked. Sometimes I snap a pic or two just for blackmail material when he brings his first girl home... I have to be stealthy about it though... I have to snap the pic and still continue to chase him. It's a difficult maneuver. I stumbled on to this one and just laughed out loud. I thought of Will Farrell in Old School and it's been a rough few weeks for me- so I thought it was good for a laugh. I needed to laugh today.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

More on Joey

Look at this face? Doesn't she look sweet and innocent... Aww Joey.

So I sprung Joey from doggie boot camp a couple of weeks ago. I think it did a lot for her. You might be reading this thinking I've lost my ever loving mind sending my dog to doggie boot camp- but here's my thought process: This is the dog I want Cole to grow up with. I want her to heel, sit, stay, have some manners and be a long term member of the family. It's a process. Joey is doing much better though she's not exactly where I want her to be with her personality- but she's evolving. She wasn't socialized as a puppy. Her fate was to be sold to be bred for her coloring, which is unique, so my coming along was a good thing. Joey won't be expected to have several litters of pups. She'll get to live the cush life at my house. Eventually, she'll get super excited when Cole and I come home- but I think she's still thinking about it for now.

My trainer Dylan at Man's Best Friend say's this about my Joey: Joey knows she's a dog. She likes being a dog. She has to figure out her place in the pack.

Joey has figured a few things out... she likes playing in the back yard. She likes digging little holes for herself and running in circles around the pear tree. She likes to go on runs with me- but gets a little stressed if there are too many cars passing us on the street. She loves the taste of books: To date she's devoured about four. The most recent being Twilight.. which I was most upset about because I hadn't finished it, but thanks to marketing boy a new one showed up on my doorstep a couple of days later. Joey also enjoys shoes and my slippers. Most recently given up in the war was my favorite pair of sock monkey slippers. Which brings me to my favorite aspect of Joey.. Joey the mud wrestler.

My two dogs prior to Joey..were Sophie the Westie who was quite the princess and Tobie the mutt- forever my ex's faithful companion. Neither Sophie or Tobie would go outside if it was raining. To get them to go potty I would generally have to put them on their leashes, get my umbrella, walk outside with them.. and with Sophie I had to go as far as holding the umbrella over her while the squatted.. otherwise she'd look at me like I'd lost my mind. Joey is fine with the rain. She runs right out there and thru the mud to take care of her business. I think she had a mud wrestling contest with her imaginary friend last night.. because she showed back up at my back door looking like she was ready to come in after a successful victory. It's the craziest thing I've ever seen. She happily stands there when I towel her off and wipe her paws.. like she's proud of being gross. She promptly came inside assumed her belly up sleeping position and went to sleep while I cleaned up the latest Joey mess.
Joey's favorite play mate is Dude. Dude is Marketing Boy's dog and Joey is never happier than when he is around. She lays down right beside him and licks his ears. It's really kind of gross- but she just loves Dude. She loves to be in the backyard playing with him... and then I get two, dirty, gross, albeit happy dogs.. and of course they expect to come inside looking all "tow up" too. And I cringe. I cringe at the fact I just cleaned up the house or vacuumed or swept and these two mutts expect to be let inside looking like doggie grooming salon escapees. But they are awfully cute- so I usually open the door.

With Spring, the rain, and the current state of my backyard..mud wrestler Joey will probably be here a while. So I made a small purchase to calm my nerves because I'm a proactive problem solver. I found a good deal on Hoover Floor Mate.. so I bit the bullet (thank you Craigs List). When my mud wrestler trotted in last night after her towel off and still left muddy paw prints I cleaned it up in about two minutes. IT ROCKS! I highly recommend it. It's like Prozac for a neat freak. Joey the mud wrestler has been slow to show her personality- but we're getting there...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Spring Cleaning

It's Spring... or at least it felt like it until I woke up this morning to cold rain. What a dreary day...

So if Spring has sprung-I guess it sort of explains my current contemplative thoughts. I feel like I should be cleaning things up. Cleaning up the mess that the last year left behind. For so long, I was doing good to get up, put one foot in front of the other, and remember ot breath in and out. What a difference a year makes. Now I feel like it is Spring, we're through the first part of the year, Easter is coming.. then Summer.. I feel like I need to get ready. To get my crap together. To open the doors to the closets I've been piling a years worth of crap in.

There feels like there is so much chaos and uncertainty right now. My car is acting crazy again *sigh* but I don't really want to committ to another one right now. My back yard looks like a sand pit from Joey and company running around in it. I have a closet full of baby stuff, maternity clothes, and clothes that no longer fit screaming for me to get rid of them but I just can't seem to find the time. My gate is currently being propped up by my recycling bin and I'm afraid if I actually wheel my recycling bin down my driveway to put it out for collection that my fence will fall over... then my dog will escape..my kid will be distraught and I'll have lyrics to a really bad country song.

But here is what really needs to get cleaned up. Cole has seen his Dad a lot more than usual in the last month. He's been waking up asking " I wanna see Daddy" and I don't know how to respond. When I pick him up in the afternoon it's "I wanna see Daddy" and again I don't know what to say. My canned response is "I'm sure you'll see Daddy soon.." and I hope it to be true. There is a part of me that wants to say "W-H-A-T?" It's been Cole & I pretty much from day one.. I've been the one to nurse every illness, to take him to every doctor's appointment, to dress him, to bath him, to plan for his future, and to care for him every day. " I wanna see Daddy" can cut you to the core when this has been your existence. I want to reason with my two year old " What about Mommy?" but that's not rational. I think it's great that Cole is starting to relate to his Dad..but what do you say when you're not exactly sure when he'll see him again? I've swallowed my pride and just started asking if he'd like to take Cole for a little while. It's a lot of work to clean up your own attitude I'm realizing.

It's much easier for me to focus on the things that are falling down around me than to realize I need some cleaning up in my thought process too.. I need to focus on the mess I'll be cleaning up in the future if I don't do everything possible for Cole to spend time with his Dad. So I'm trying to do some Spring Cleaning..starting with me. Maybe next week I'll actually have the courage to put the really full recyling bin out for pick up.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I didn't give it up

So I didn't give up blogging for lent.. I've just been (as my dad would say) busier than a one legged man in a butt kicking contest...Butter my butt and call me a biscuit it's been a crazy week and a half.

Lucky for me no one I work with knows I blog.. so I can say this. I've been grilled, interrogated, poked and prodded..otherwise known as a job interview. Several for one particular gig in the last week. To me, job interviews are a lot like sitting in a small room with a light in your eyes with people asking you ridiculous questions. There's always a PC way to answer and as I type this blog I'm wondering: Did I answer correctly? Did I act overly interested? Desperate? Not interested enough? Did I look young and stupid? Was my resume okay? My suit? Did I have something in my teeth even though I checked twenty times before I went in to the interview? The best part of this meeting today: I got to size up the competition. Not exactly the way it should be - but I made the short list. It's me and two other candidates.. and we were all being paraded around in front of the client like a big dog and pony show. My question is this: Was I the dog or the pony? I tried to stare the competition down and look all intimidating.. hopefully it worked.


Here's where I'm at. If you know my story- you know that I started with a great real estate firm right out of college. My real estate professor liked that I showed up to class everyday dressed for work and sort of took me under his wing. I guess he liked that I was having to work my way through. He helped me land my first job. He said "get your foot in the door." Getting your foot in the door with a great company is key.. so I did. I started out making next to nothing and worked my way up. Now there is a brick wall (or very mean man depending on your perspective) and I keep running into the damn thing.

In May, I will celebrate 10 years with my company. It's been a good ten years for the most part..but sadly, I'm learning, in today's world loyalty doesn't always have the great return that we think it should have. I've struggled with this. I like being loyal. I like thinking that if I ride out the bad and lean times that there will be an upside and I've found that it just doesn't work that way in the corporate arena. It certainly doesn't work that way now that the boutique firm I started out with has merged with a larger firm that reports to wall street and investors. It changes the dynamics quite a bit.



Update

When I started this blog.. I was one of three. Now I'm it. An offer letter is forthcoming. They have been calling my references. So we'll see. At this point- I've prayed about it. God will take care of me. I threw a fairly big number at them and if they deliver -I'll go. If they don't then I'll keep plodding on along-doing what I do..waiting for the next opportunity. Regardless, with the time change, and all of the craziness last week I'm feeling fairly drained. Life always seems so uncertain.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Progress

Today is Ash Wednesday. The beginning of the Lenten season. It is customary to give up something for the season of Lent to be reminded of the sacrifice that was made for us. My pastor suggested that I should think about giving up blogging..while I marinate on that sacrifice and decide if that's something I should do..this could be my last blog for a while... or not. I could just give up mommy juice. Coffee isn't an option if we're thinking about the well being of those who love me...so there you have it.

I've found myself reflecting a little this week. I vowed not to look back on 2008 in my first blog of 2009.. but this is me we're talking about.

Cole spent the day and night with his Dad this past weekend. A first sleepover since the split. I talked about it all week so he'd be excited. I kept telling him that Saturday he was going to spend the night with his Daddy and Tobie and it would be so much fun. Meanwhile I had a ball of fear wallowing around in my stomach. It truly made me a nervous wreck to think about it. Luckily, Saturday I had plans to shop and have lunch with the girl friends and Saturday night I had plans to take Marketing Boy to dinner for his birthday.. all good distractions. I called to check on him before bed and he seemed happy enough... So I made it through the night without too much fear or worry.

I've always joked about divorce ettiquette. I've tried so hard not to speak badly about Cole's Dad. Because honestly, we had some good years... In my heart I know Will is a good guy, it was just clear that we didn't want the same things for Cole or for the family. We weren't on the same page. It's sad and tragic, but we were never truly partners. However, without those years I wouldn't have Cole and I'll always be glad that Will and I had Cole.

As I reflect over the past year..it was about this time last year that I knew it was over. The decision was made.. steps were taken. The past year has been hard because Will has been so very angry with me and he let me know it.. It felt like every chance he got. I am proud to say that I never waivered. I didn't indulge in the verbal assaults (at least to him- girlfriends, friends and family don't count right?).. I vowed to take the high road and trust me there were times when all I wanted to do was go postal. To just lay it all out there and lash into him for all of the hurt..for all the years of indifference.. ..but I refrained. He had to work through it at his own pace as well.

The past few times Will and I have talked.. I would say it's been pleasant. It doesn't feel like he's angry at me anymore. We coordinate the details and are cordial. He seems happier and I'm relieved. I think he finally realizes that it was for the best. He's moved on and he seems content in his new relationship. I wanted that for him. I prayed for it for him, so I'm thankful.

After the Daddy sleepover this weekend.. we were missing a binky. I texted Will to see if he had it. He replied that he did and told me what a great job I was doing with Cole. There were times that I never thought we'd get here..but that's what I call progress.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Present


So this morning was a little dramatic. Cole fell down and hit his head pretty hard. Maybe it's because he was trying to get out the door in a pair of Mommy's heels and his Converse? You're probably reading this thinking.." Umm Ashley- why were you letting Cole walk around in your heels?" I was trying to get to work people. I had Cole to drop off and kids to drive to school. Ever gotten ready for work with a two year old holding up every possible product, make up brush, or tweezer and asking "Mommy what's this?" Or turning the hair dryer off and on repeatedly? It can get a little overwhelming. So I figured if he wanted to walk around in heels and it would give me a minute to find mine- we were going to roll with it. He did great in the house-- it was when we were trying to load up the car that it became a challenge. I even said "Cole let's take Mommy's shoes off and then BAM! He fell and I mean hard. Then it was on. The mega meltdown. The crying. The shaking. The kicking. The squealing.. the looking at me like "Mommy why did you let me walk around in your heels?" And I realized I probably shouldn't have done that. I felt fairly horrible. I couldn't get him calmed down. He was clinging to me like he was drowning. In my head I was chanting "bad mommy bad mommy." Five minutes later the melt down subsided. Cole moved past it and we were on to just sniveling and sniffing and wiping tears from our face. We both needed to change our clothes at this point. The drama of it all. Being 2 is hard work.

Back in the house we went. I got him changed first. Then went looking for something suitable for me to wear to work. It was about that time Cole came toddling in my closet.. "Mommy!! Here you goes..present..." I thought it was really sweet until I realized what I'd just taken out of his hand was a booger. Gross.