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:

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'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


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


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 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'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!