Archive | March, 2011

Perspective

30 Mar

I have a co-worker who had the same surgery with the same surgeon earlier this year. He swung by my office to wish me luck tomorrow. Then he said, “I wasn’t sure if I should tell you this, but it was the worst pain of my life.”

My stomach sank a bit. As mobile and good as I’ve been feeling, I have to admit I have questioned why I’m putting myself through this. But my gut tells me to get it fixed now, instead of dealing with issues in the future when I’m older and may not have as good of insurance.

I shared my co-worker’s statement with my mother and my BFF Amber. They both had the same response, “well, he has never been through child birth.”

Which is true. As I mentioned before, my preparations for surgery around the house have felt much like nesting, but this time, I don’t have a newborn to take care of while I’m recovering from surgery. I’ll have my Mom in town for 17 days, which is a very comforting thought. Even though I’m an adult and a mother myself, the first person I call when I’m feeling under the weather is my Mom. I’m so glad she’ll be here to help me navigate my initial recovery.

See you on the other side!

Nesting

28 Mar

I felt like I was nesting this weekend. It felt much like the preparations I did before the babies were born, trying to cram in all the laundry, cleaning and FUN that I could before my surgery on Thursday.

Saturday, after making pancakes for the family, we headed to the gym. I worked out for an hour with the kids in the daycare, and my bad knee felt felt SO good. I was doing many exercises I hadn’t been able to do since before the surgery… Oh, to go from that back to full on gimpy is going to SUCK.

Anyway, when I was done, I got the kids out of the daycare and took them swimming. We then went to a pottery painting place, as Little Miss was dead set on wanting to make something for Grandma, who arrives on Wednesday to help with the sugery aftermath. (Need I say how challenging it is to have a 20 month old in a place filled with breakable ceramics? Especially after he found the ceramic baseball?!)

We came home, took a nap, and then got the kids to my brother’s house so that JB and I could have a date night (thank you to my brother and sister in law!). We dined on sushi, and it was lovely to be able to sit at the sushi bar and not have to worry about my baby stabbing himself or other people with chopsticks.

On Sunday, our big outing was to the circus. It was kind of a let down, but I do think the kids enjoyed it. Little Man wore his tuxedo onesie (thank you, Aunt Claire), and Little Miss wore a dress and her dress coat… Of course they managed to spill an entire red snow cone all over their fancy attire. Oh well!

In the midst of all of that, I did about 7 loads of laundry, got it all put away, and made a pot of chili to help with dinners this week. Phew… Keep your fingers crossed for me as I go under the knife later this week!

Splat

23 Mar

An executive decision was made to take down my flash mob. All that work gone down the drain. Yesterday had to be the second worst day of my career… Second only to getting laid off. Allow me some silence for a few days as I pick myself up again and try to dust myself off.

FLASH MOB

21 Mar

Six months ago, I had this crazy idea that my work should stage a flash mob. I spent hours putting together the strategy, and sold it to my on-site leadership, and we submitted to a Corporate Vice President, who gave me funding.

The plan was to hold a flash mob at a ski resort. Microsoft Licensing and Microsoft Student partnered up with the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority, Alpine Meadows Ski Resort, Moment Skis and Sentury Snowboards to create a mob that was a true community event. After six months of planning, everything was ready.

Microsoft Licensing sponsored the Take the Lake Competition at Alpine Meadows, which was planned during college spring break. We had pictured the flash mob going down on a balmy Spring day outdoors in the middle of a huge crowd watching the rail jam competition.
Mother Nature had different plans for us. She sent us a blizzard in which Alpine received 54 inches of snow over the three days of the Take The Lake competition.

Months of planning and preparation had gone into both the competition, Microsoft’s presence at the competition, as well as the flash mob. We had people and equipment that had been flown into town just for the weekend, including a team of professional videographers. We decided the show must go on.
On Thursday, the plans for our two outdoor tents were moved inside, and we moved forward with plans for the flash mob. On Friday, people started getting wind of the forecast, and my Windows Phone lit up with texts, emails, and calls from people backing out of the flash mob.

On Friday night, we had a rehearsal at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center. We had 25 dancers show up, with a large group of UNR Dance Co-op dancers, who offered to teach the dance, and representatives from dance schools from Reno all the way to South Lake Tahoe. The rehearsal went well, but we knew 25 people wouldn’t make an impressive flash mob.

We had partnered with the Alpine Meadows Ski Foundation, offering them raffle prizes for a fundraiser in exchange for 100 dancers from the Alpine Meadows Ski Teams. In the weeks leading up to the event, we had 115 people committed to the flash mob from the ski teams. The day before the flash mob, our contact at the ski teams said she didn’t think people would want to participate because of the snow. We told them that we were carrying on as planned, and still needed their help.

We had a rehearsal scheduled for 7:30am at the Alpine Meadows Lodge on Saturday, the day of the flash mob. A team of three Microsoft Licensing employees left Reno at 5:30am to drive through the blizzard to the lodge. We initially had one family of four turn up to the rehearsal.

Due to avalanche control, the road into the resort was shut down, and everyone was restricted to the lodge. We tried to recruit the people trapped in the lodge with us to the flash mob, but no one was interested. At 8am the day of the flash mob, it was looking doomed.

Our team of videographers showed up for the rehearsal in a Chevy Cavalier, not the ideal car for the weather conditions. After the rehearsal, they said they were headed back to the lodge in Tahoe City to get their equipment. At this time, roads between Alpine and Tahoe City were not an easy task for a vehicle without four wheel drive or chains.

It was an unbelievable rally as we tried to gather dancers. The head coach for the ski teams approached us and said he would have ski teams come to us to learn the dance throughout the day as they came in for shelter from the storm. Jennifer Mizzi, a MSLI Intern (and dance minor) led dance training all day in a secret room in the lodge.

People spent 3 hours on the road driving in blizzard conditions from Reno and Carson City to Alpine Meadows for this event. The entire day, we tried to see if the weather would ease up for us to execute the flash mob outside at the rail jam, but it never did. All day, we worried if the videographer would make it back in time for the flash mob. Thankfully, they did.

In an effort to show the weather conditions on the video, we had the UNR dancers go outside, and we signaled them when to enter the lodge dancing. One of the dancers was put in charge of the Reno Tahoe Big Horn mascot, RT. We had the Windows mascot, Buddy, inside the lodge fending off the kids that were swarming him before the flash mob began.

At 4pm, the flash mob was scheduled to start, but the videographer was getting his team of 12 in place still. We fretted over scantily clad dancers in 80s apparel shivering in the hurricane force winds and blinding snow. At 4:10, everyone was ready, and the music was pumped into the lodge, while people planted all throughout the lodge and the dancers streaming into the lodge all got up and started dancing to the Microsoft song “I’m a PC for Life.”

Unfortunately, RT the Bighorn was left out in the storm, and only realized she had been left when she was the only person left outside the lodge, and found her way inside with limited visibility from the head to join in the festivities.

We ended up having around 125 people participating in the flash mob. During the chorus, all of the participants shouted “I’m a PC for Life”, which echoed off of the high ceilings of the lodge. Considering mere hours before we had feared the flash mob would consist of 10 people, it was truly an amazing feat.
This flash mob was an entire community coming together. We had children, dancers, ski team members, coaches and parents, employees and their families and friends. Our mission was to promote local products and the Reno Tahoe area. We did that in one of the most powerful storms of the year, pooling resources and making new friends.

Thank you to everyone for braving the storm and making this happen.

Quote of the Day

15 Mar

I love Tina Fey. Check out this quote:

“Kids are definitely the boss of you. Anyone who will barge into the room while you are on the commode is the boss of you. And when you explain to them that you’re on the commode and that they should leave but they don’t? That’s a high-level boss.”

Taken from this article. That is SO true!

You’re Driving Me INSANE

14 Mar

Isn’t it lovely how kids repeat the things we adults say?! This weekend, while in the locker room at the pool, my daughter says loudly to me, “you’re driving me INSANE.”

“Little girls shouldn’t say that.” I responded.

She then asks, “what does that mean?”

In my head, I’m thinking you know when you’re running around like a crazy person in our house making your brother scream over and over and over? That drives me INSANE.

I had to tone it down a bit and tell her that when she acts really silly and doesn’t follow my rules, it makes me feel a little insane.

I know I shouldn’t use those words, but sometimes living with two little ones can be a bit like Chinese water torture, as they keep irritating you with an endless stream of little transgressions until you JUST CAN’T HANDLE IT ANYMORE. That is the point I usually tell my daughter she is driving me insane.

Oops. What can I say? I’m only human!

Someday She Will Learn

11 Mar

I’ve been tired this week. My days have been starting at 6am, where I hop on the bike and do some PT, then get the kids fed, lunches packed, and then get Little Miss to school and me to work. My lunch breaks are spent at PT, and after work, I get both kids, make dinner, put them to bed, and then do more PT. I finish this routine at 10:30 many nights.

I’ve been having trouble sleeping as well, and my daughter has been picking the early mornings as a time to test her limits with me.

Oh, sister, that is not a wise idea.

I am not a morning person. I generally wake up in a good mood, though. But take this morning, for instance, when I made Little Miss what she requested for breakfast, and after I get it on the table, she changes her mind and collapses in the kitchen when I refuse to make her another breakfast, I get a bit testy.

I set the kitchen timer for a minute, and said if she wasn’t eating her breakfast by the time that timer went off, I was taking away her brand new doll.

“I don’t care, Rapunzel is my favorite anyway,” she says haughtily.

In my early morning fog of sleep deprivation and looking at 14 hours of constant activity, my approach was no-nonsense.

“OK, I’ll take away all of your dolls for 2 days.”

“Two days isn’t that long,” she responds. Some day she will learn not to mess with me. I then marched upstairs, put all of her dolls in a garbage bag, and told her they’d be gone for a week.

Of course, all hell broke loose. All before 7am. By the time I arrive to work, I’m harried, on my third cup of coffee, and thinking my childless and single co-workers have NO IDEA of the hurculean efforts it took for me to get to work by 8:30. NO IDEA.