Monday, August 24, 2009

The Imperfect Storm

I have been on blog hiatus for a while because of the new job/new schedule. I was hoping to remedy that this past weekend; however, nature had other plans.

Friday evening brought a storm of epic proportions. I had just gotten home from work, and Claire was on a sleepover at her daddy's/grandparents' house. I had just whipped up a pan of sloppy joe and flopped on the couch to eat dinner and watch meaningless TV, i.e., Lifetime or something of the sort. I heard the thunder start and the lights in my apartment flashed off and then back on.

Grrr. Please not another two days of no electricity.

Nope, as luck would have it the electricity did not go off. As luck would NOT have it, a booming crack of thunder followed in mere seconds by violent bolts of lightning hit my very building. Simultaneously, my cable box and computer seemed to fry up and fizzle out. At this same moment, the fire alarm for the building was set off....and proceeded to ring for an hour straight. Fire trucks and emergency vehicles remained at my apartment for hours. Funny, no one even bothered to check if there was a fire. I actually went over to the front door and put my hand on it, thinking I'd smell smoke or the door would be hot or one of those things you learn in some elementary school assembly.

So my friends, about one month after my TV was destroyed by a storm, my computer and my cable box have also bitten the dust. I am w/o my computer,i.e., the internet, and I'm not happy about it. Comcast is coming Wednesday to fix the cable box, and I have to somehow get myself a new computer to replace the one that died that was LESS than four months old.

I'm so done with these storms.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


I am just sitting here about to get ready to go on some errands and I'm thinking of Claire. Every minute that Claire is not with me, I think of her. And I was sitting here imagining her walking through the door later today, and it hit me.

She is MY child. I created that life. After almost two years, that still blows me away on a daily basis. I study her face, her little body...I made this. There is no greater miracle. This world was meant to have Claire in it. I love her in a way that I could not explain to anyone. I'm a mom!

Saturday, August 8, 2009


Well, I made it through my first week in the office...barely! Wow, that kicked my butt!!! After two and a half months of being homebound and unscheduled, it was an adjustment being on a timetable. But the hardest part was the constant rushing. That will probably continue for a while. I was so spoiled with my ten-minute commute to work. I could let Claire wake up on her own (which I still believe..and probably always will the natural, healthy way for a child to wake up!). We could relax a bit and left the house usually somewhere between 8:00 am and 8:30 am (plus I had a great boss who wasn't strict w/starting times, cause mine was technically supposed to be 8:30..hehe).

Fast forward to present day, new job. I have to get up at 5 am, get Claire up at 6 am, and be out of the house by 6:45 am to ship her off to daycare and then rush to the metro station to grab the eastbound train, then off the train at Charles Center for a thankfully short two-block walk to E. Redwood St. downtown, where I need to be in by 8 am. I work until 5 pm, and then back out, run to the metro station to try my hardest to catch the 5:05 train (which I accomplish by leaving the office at 4:55...I figure close enough), back up to Owings Mills, then in the car and rush to daycare to try to be there between 5:50 pm and 6 pm.

I'll tell you this...I get Claire home, we play, I get her dinner, we play and usually relax w/Sesame Street (I heart On Demand), then off to the bedroom for books and bed. It's now 8 pm, and I grab some dinner, go into my bedroom to eat and watch TV, and all this week I've actually never come out of the bedroom once I go in! I've fallen asleep each night by 9 pm. Mama's a tired puppy!!!!

The was the typical first week. I don't really have a clue what I'm doing and sit there most of the day reviewing program tutorials or old copies of proposals. Once in a while I get a task to do, which I gobble up because I hate feeling useless. I repeat over and over to myself that I have to be patient. The people are all nice, but it's a different environment. I can't kind of slip into obscurity here and take a mental break to read my e-mail. This is not a 5,000 person company that I'm used to. This is a 9-person company, and I have to follow the rules to the T.

This is definitely going to be a place though where I can really challenge myself. I'm not working in conjunction with a group of other writers; I AM the proposal department! With that, I plan on taking my test to become accredited and then join the Association for Proposal Management Professionals. I will be attending industry conferences, and I really have the chance to make my mark. That is both exciting and terrifying to me. But we shall see where this journey takes me.

So Claire's dad took her today for an overnighter. I have to take this time to run errands, another luxury I had to give up with this job. When I worked in Owings Mills, at lunch I'd buzz around to the bank, the post office, grocery store, tailors, even for a haircut. I finally located my bank downtown. (And I'll spare you that story on the blog, but some of you individually will have to endure my tale of "Kara has no sense of direction and walked an hour to find her bank that was two blocks away while sweating in a sweater in 90 degrees and burning her feet" Yes, you'll hear it.) But today I'm off to the grocery store, post office, tailors, bank. Ugh, thank goodness for grocery store banks!

Two really positive side effects of the new job...walking and reading. I have gotten no exercise probably since Claire was born, I'm ashamed to say. I've begun my journey to address my eating and weight issues, albeit very slowly, but still no exercise. Well, now there's the metro, and even though it's only about two blocks, it usually involves me walking very fast...yesterday it even involved me full out sprinting because I heard the train coming in while I was still two flights of stairs away in the station. (And I caught that dang train, too!!) It's really hard...I'm out of breath all the time. That's how I know it's a good thing! At some point, I won't be so out of breath, and the 20-25 minutes of exercise I get each day will be a good thing.

I've always said that I never got as much reading done as I did when I worked downtown at Lippincott during 2003-2004. Well, I'm happy to say that good habit is back. I had a book I had bought a few months ago that I had struggled to get to page 75 (out of 300). I could just never find the time. Well, with two 25-minute metro rides and an hour lunch each day, I had the book finished Friday afternoon. So now onto the next one! Reading always makes me feel happy and more creative.

I guess the part I am struggling with and probably always will is the daycare situation. Like I said, I hate forcing Claire out of bed at 6 am. I still insist on holding her for a half hour because I can't bring myself to force that little baby to be rushed right when she wakes up. So we sit and watch Between the Lions on PBS and snuggle. That has resulted in me usually not making it to daycare by 7, but so far, I've made it to work by 8 am each day regardless. But she's the only one in her class at daycare that early. Her teacher is actually in with the 3-year-olds, so I take her in there and she holds Claire until they both go to the toddler room. I hate that I have to do that to her. She is quite tired at night, and I feel even worse. I'm trying to move the bedtime back, but she hasn't been very receptive to it. I just can't get over the guilt. She doesn't seem to be suffering from it, and her teachers say she's doing great, but there's nothing anyone can say that will ease the sadness I feel when I have to rush this little sweetheart because of a situation she didn't ask for. Oh well. Something I'll continue to wrestle with, I'm sure.

OK, it's 1:25, and I've gotta get out of here! What exciting plans do I have since I'm baby-free??? Tonight I'm cooking up some gnocchi w/meat sauce and renting Obsession on On Demand. Total guilty pleasure!!!!

I'll leave you with these two photos...

"I love eatin' my blueberries right out of the carton!!"

Claire eating her pasta pickups and broccoli with both a fork AND spoon...she prefers adult-sized now, and she does a terrific job with them!