Tuesday, November 27, 2012

16 days in pictures...sort of

It's hard to believe it's been 16 days since my last post.  Time is flying.  Everyone here is happy and healthy.  So glad to report the healthy part!!  And we are pretty sure Bryan is teething.  I can see the little bumps where his chompers will be filling in soon.

Work is crazy busy right now so it's been difficult to find the time to blog.  And since most of you see my Facebook status, you know we are all doing well.  So rather than posting lots of words, I thought I'd post the update in pictures.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

What's the date today?

Seriously?  It's November 13?  That can't be right.  I mean, really...that's not right!  I have realized that as I get older, time goes by faster. Even on those days when it seems time is standing still.  The hours can seem long, but the days pass so quickly.

Today, one of our client support reps emailed a client of mine in an effort to fix a technological hiccup the client was experiencing.  It was a list. I quickly thanked the support guru and let him know how great I thought the email was...especially the list part.  His response to me was, "Sometimes people just need a list or it all looks like a heavy fog of crazy, so they don't know where to start."  Brilliant!

With that, here's the list of Rowland happenings in the past week!

1.  My business trip went really well. I left with strep throat and returned with a double ear infection.  I was a mess but the presentation was outstanding.  In my boss' words, I "knocked it out of the park!"  That will make me feel better all day long!!
2.  Bryan is totally on the mend.  I actually think the antibiotic for his double ear infection helped with the chronic cough.  We see the pulmonologist on Thursday and are hoping for a clean bill of health!
Sleeping in his swing. We've learned that if we give
Nuggs a blankie, he will cuddle up and sleep!
3.  Chris and Nuggs survived their first night home alone together.  And by survived, I really mean that it was business as usual for Bry and Chris got a taste of the routine.  Next up, two or three nights for my company Christmas party.  Maybe.
4.  Bryan is 7 months old today.  Seven months.  How is that possible?  This week he's found his voice and is working on perfecting the most ear-piercing scream/screech you've ever heard.  Super cute, really funny and somewhat annoying all at the same time!  And I love every second of it!
5.  Our basement and office conversion projects will be finished on Thursday.  Yes, Thursday as in the day after tomorrow.  Holy catfish!  The bed and stuff will be delivered on Friday.  I can't believe how incredible it's looking.  In approximately 48 hours, there will not be strange men jumping in and out of the window wells in our basement anymore!  No more Russian Boris and his Johnny Cash music.  No more electricians with wicked senses of  humor (I think this guy's been zapped a time or two!), no more painters who think they communicate better with bi-lingual employees by talking loud enough Helen Keller could hear them.  Seriously.  Spanish is not a synonym of deaf.  I promise. Look it up! 
6.  My parents will be here on Saturday and my in-laws on Tuesday (a week from today).  They each get three nights in the new Grandparent Suite.  How cool is that?  We are all so excited we can hardly stand it!
7.  I am listening to Christmas music.  Because I can.  If the hours are long but the days so short, I want to enjoy every one of these "first Christmas with the baby" days.  And if that means I get a few extra, so be it.  Besides.  Christmas music makes me extra happy.

Happy 7 month birthday, Nuggs! Abby was too tired to play.

Monday, November 5, 2012

It's time...

Today is November 5, 2012.  I have had this week on my calendar for nearly seven months.  Since before I went on maternity leave.  Tomorrow marks the first non-Nana-assisted overnight business trip for me.  I am headed to Peoria, IL for the night.  And because you all know I love a good list, and because I know you all love to ready my lists, here's the list of reasons that I am having so many mixed-emotions about this trip:

1.  Bryan goes to what we call "school" every day.  And really "school" is just a nice way to say "daycare/petri dish."
2.  Bryan is fighting something and is FULL of buggers, the non-medical term for nasal mucus, and his cough is worse than usual.  And he's been up a couple times the last two nights.  I am hoping he's just teething, but based on how I feel, I don't think we will be that lucky.
3.  I am pretty sure I can guess what Bry's coming down with in that what he gets, I get.  And my throat hurts, my nose is runny and my ear is stuffy.
4.  Chris has only gotten up with Bryan at night once, and that was back in April and he only lasted in the room long enough to say, "Jenna, come help me or I am going to break something."  He didn't mean the baby, of course.  But let's just say that because there are no rules, he finds parenting to be quite difficult at times.  Just ask my mom about the game at Christmas and how Chris had to quit because the rules were too vague.
5.  I have to fly American Airlines into Bloomington, IL.  There is a sub-list in that statement for why THAT's a problem, so I will sum it up with this:  McFarlane luck + Airline in bankruptcy = delayed and cancelled flight guarantees.
6.  I get a night to myself.  No cooking, no cleaning, no diapers, no toys to trip over, no dogs to let out and feed.  But in return I get no fish face, no splish-splash, no feedings, no singing, no reading, no rocking, and no goodnight kisses.  That sucks.
7.  The ways in which this will be good for Chris are almost infinite.  Not only will he better appreciate what I do every day, but it will also be a critical bonding experience for my boys.  Bryan spends the mornings (after I have done all the no-fun stuff) with his Daddy.  But the evenings of feedings, baths, books and bedtime are where the real bonding happens.  And now Chris will get to feel how incredible it is when Nuggs looks up at you and touches your face, which I am convinced is his way of saying "thanks, Momma. I love you."
8.  If Nuggs gets sicker while I am gone, I have no idea how Chris will handle it.  What if school calls tomorrow or Wednesday and says Bry has a fever and Chris has to go get him?  They are both screwed if that happens.
9.  The idea of this business trip makes me think I need to look for a job that doesn't require any business travel.
10.  A job in an office requires a commute, a new wardrobe, more money spent on gas, more time spent away from home and my family, significantly less flexibility, office gossip, and a second petri dish to bring into the house.  This goes into the category of SO NOT WORTH IT.

Friday, November 2, 2012

All new meaning to "Rat Race"


Approximately 90 minutes after I wrote this blog, Mayor Bloomberg cancelled the New York City Marathon!  While a difficult decision, I believe it to be for the greater good.  And while I understand that thousands of New Yorkers were planning to run the race and are now disappointed, there are millions of New Yorkers who are grateful they are not.

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If you are a regular reader, you know that I am a runner.  I am slow. Very slow.  But I run.  As often as this post-childbirth pain ridden body will let me.  And up until I was pregnant, I ran daily including two (well, almost two) half marathons in the summer of 2011.

I have two friends living in New Jersey, one in Queens NY and family in New Hampshire.  Thankfully all three of them escaped Sandy relatively unharmed.  One lost their car, a few trees and many belongings. One lost their roof, two cars, and most of their house.  The other two managed to avoid loss all together. I am not sure about the cousins in NH, but the friends in NY/NJ are still without power, no generator, and just enough gas to get them far enough away that they may be able to find some food and gas.

September 11, 2001 was the most devastating day in my 36 years of history.  The shock, the tragedy, the loss, the aftermath, the cleanup, the surviving, the rebuilding.  While the death toll from Hurricane Sandy is only a fraction of the 2011 tragedy, the loss is significantly greater.

This weekend marks the 42nd running of the New York City Marathon.  Nearly 50,000 people, a third of whom come from other countries, will descend on the Big Apple to run 26.2 miles through each of the five NYC boroughs.

I am a firm believer in all the cliches:  rising above, making lemonade, silver linings, pulling up by the bootstraps, and it takes a village.  And I agree that the city stands significant financial gains for hosting the race.  And that every racer with a heart will make a donation on top of their race fee to help the victims of the hurricane.

Here's the problem with all the logic:
There are hundreds of thousands without power through the tri-state area.  NYC alone is still half-dark with power restoration estimation being about 10 days.
Headlines read:  Man pull gun after cutting in line for gas and NYC taxis running out of gas as lines grow
Stores are out of food
People on Staten Island are devastated and the death toll is rising

If I were a hungry New Yorker who had lost my home in the storm, was out of gas and/or didn't have a generator, here would be my perception:
The generator they are using to power the media tent can provide electricity to 400 homes
These crazy people running 26.2 through our sand-covered streets are worried about carb-loading before the race...I am worried about finding food for tomorrow.
Because some of these runners will need assistance on the course, there will be fewer cops to stop the looting and fewer paramedics to help with search and rescue/recovery
There's a winter storm brewing in the Atlantic that's shaping up to be a Nor'easter.  I am wondering where to go from here and now comes the snow.  And you think I care if you finish your 26.2 to say that you did it?

If you are running the NYC marathon, it's not your first marathon.  If you are not a contender for one of the spots that pays a prize, how about helping a neighbor instead of crossing an item off your bucket list?

Hey, NY Road Runner Assoc.  Why don't  you offer your shuttle service to the non-contenders so they can do something more fulfilling with significantly greater impact on society.  Bus them to a Borough and let them lend a hand (and foot) and offer to give their race entry fee and the expense of the goodie bag to the American Red Cross.  I know you are donating $26.20 for each runner, totally just about $1 million for relief efforts, but that won't rebuild the Jersey shore, Staten Island, or even fix the damage on Liberty Island for Pete's sake.  Maybe you should postpone the marathon, or let racers defer their entry to next year.

Runners are a loyal lot of wonderful people.  We are a family who looks out for each other.  We run together in different places at different times, but we are all runners and share that eternal bond.  I would like to think that those running NYC this weekend can find a creative way to use their endurance training in a way that will benefit those who have lost everything from this storm.

Just my thoughts.