Monday, April 02, 2007

Back from a relaxing vacation

We had a very relaxing vacation. Went to the pool and/or beach every day, a nice dinner and back to this beautiful outdoor lounge at the hotel for a drink.

We were back at the room at around 8:30pm every night (since Ladybug was soooo tired), and watched either Dancing with the Stars, American Idol or the Sony Ericsson Open.

It's so nice to get away from your real life. And it's funny how you can look forward to your routine, even if you're bored with it. Going away for a few days gives a fresh perspective on how to make it better. Somehow I always end up making a To-Do list on the plane ride home.

Make those photo albums.
Create a nice spring garden this year.
Make plans to run that 3K and get real estate license.
Be happy with myself.

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Aruba, Jamaica...

We are leaving for our one week vacation on Saturday to Aruba. I've never been there and I'm really looking forward to it. I think it is perfect timing and much needed. We all need to relax and enjoy the warm weather, the beautiful ocean and sun.

By the way, thanks for your support... even if it was just a quick comment to say that you simply understand me and my feelings means so much. Speak to you when I get back!


Thursday, March 08, 2007

Aches and Pains

I'm 35 years old and I would consider myself decently healthy. I just had a physical and everything is just fine. I go to the gym 1-2x a week and play tennis 2x a week. I may not have much game but I will run down every ball and consider myself the fastest on the court. I don't really eat healthy but sometimes I try to eat more vegetables. Fried foods are my weakness.

I don't like the idea of getting older. And the biggest reminder that I'm no spring chicken is when I come home on Wednesday nights from 2 hours of tennis. I play doubles with a mix of players, all at the same level, however we range from mid 20's to early 60's. And every week *I* am the one limping off the court. By the time I get home, my lower back aches so much I can barely lift my legs to take my pants off. And the muscles in my shoulders ached as well. I couldn't wait to gingerly crawl into bed and rest my head on my great neck support pillow my grandma got me from QVC!

I even got these new orthotics from The Walking Company after the salesperson told me they would help my lower back pain (and I didn't even tell him I had lower back pain!) after standing on that cool simulator that tells you where the pressure is in your feet. I wore them in my new sneakers last night and it didn't help one bit.

The weird thing is that I usually woke up in the morning and feel a little weak in my back but not bad at all. Perhaps I should be visiting the chiropractor today but I won't since I usually feel better the next day. Instead, I lay in bed this morning and reflect on the fact that my body seems to be slowly giving out on me. Perhaps working more on strengthening my core would help. I gotta get back into doing some yoga.


Thursday, March 01, 2007

Big Birthday

Ladybug's birthday was earlier in the month, but I'm just getting around to downloading the pictures. It was totally insane. I invited her whole class, neighborhood friends, and family. There were about 35 children and 30 adults (I was surprised at how many kids from her class brought their siblings unannounced). We had it at her gymnastics place, and they did a fair job. (There were some issues but the fact that all I had to do was bring a cake outweighed them.)

She had a ball. The kids had a great time. The parents thought I was nuts inviting all those kids. It's funny, both my husband and I never really had birthday parties. I guess that's really how it was long ago. But kids today seem to have a party every year. My husband feels like Ladybug's birthday is also a time to get together with family that we don't see often. And I felt guilty not inviting every child from her class. I think I'm going to change my position for next year, however. Every year I say I'm not going to invite so many and somehow it always catches up with us.

But it's ok. Ladybug was on top of the world for a day. That's something our parents never gave us.


Thursday, February 22, 2007

Do you Google your friends?

Google is a powerful thing. It's borderline omnipresent. I've Googled old friends from grade school, estranged friends and even my husband... just-to-see-what-comes-up. Come on, we've all done it, haven't we? Googling our own name to see what we get? And in some ways, we feel like a little internet *star* if we actually come up with some hits... right?! (Apparently, there are individuals with the same name as me living in Texas and California. One with a grandma that recently passed away, another an alumni of a well-known college.)

So Ladybug has a friend in her class that she's gotten pretty chummy with. The parents are fun and cool, and we just had our second playdate yesterday. At Ladybug's birthday party, someone actually recognized Ladybug's friend's father as someone from a reality show. Wow! I was mesmerized. In a way, I knew someone famous.

So, of course, what did I do? I went home and immediately sat down and Googled them. And to my surprise, there was so much information on them it was scary. I'm not going to give away any details but the most interesting thing I found was that Ladybug's friend's mom had a blog that told some of her key stories -- about her first marriage, her pregnancy, how she got together with said reality show star, their enormous wedding, and more. Her blog seems inactive now, it was written about 2 years ago. But I had to read the whole thing from beginning to end. I was enthralled, spellbound, entranced (I get slightly obsessive sometimes).

And then I felt guilty. I felt the way you would after eating an entire chocolate cake, like that was so good but I really should not have done that. I knew too much about her before she even told me. I was about to go call her and say, "I know everything. Tell me more!" But I decided to play it cool and let her tell me these stories when she's ready.

It's fun making new friends. But sometimes it's more fun getting to know each other in a more traditional way. I mean really, I would be horrified if she was reading my blog and all my deep dark secrets! Yikes! ;-)


Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Being a SAHM has been pretty difficult for me, and I've been doing it for over 2 years now. Now, don't get me wrong -- I am truly thankful that we can afford me to stay home but work was such a big part of my life; work was a big part of my identity.

I worked at a large investment banking firm for 14 years. I started there when I was 19, as a junior secretary and I left there working in Technology/Marketing managing 6 people. The opportunities I was given were amazing, and I was highly regarded and well-respected. I had many hats, many jobs and always excelled. When I left, I was at the pique of my career and hoped to finally make officer status, and become a Vice President. Sadly, I wasn't promoted because of these silly rules about going from a non-exempt to exempt status, and I wasn't eligible. I decided to quit the following June because I was beginning to feel unfulfilled at work since there was this little person waiting for me at home.

I used to work long hours. On one particular project, I worked a few days until 2am. The reward was great recognition and accomplishment, and a trip to an all-day spa treatments at Elizabeth Arden when it was done. Accomplishments were tangible, and projects were seen to an end result. Of course, we all know the accomplishments and satisfaction we get from parenting, but the only tangible projects I have now are finishing all the laundry and cleaning up the basement. B-O-R-I-N-G.

On the flip side, my Ladybug is happy and flourishing. She is a busy 4-year old with school every morning and busy days filled with play dates, swimming lessons, nature club, and gymnastics. But my days sometimes are lonely, isolating and unfulfilling.

I am constantly trying to have that positive self talk about my wondrous days and the fact that I can play tennis on any given Friday morning. And then there are days that I see a pretty dress in the mall that I would've bought for work and I'm almost brought to tears. I feel so fragile sometimes.

So my darling husband decided that he was so mad at me yesterday and left without kissing me good-bye for work (that's always the tip-off that he's upset at something). So I caught him on his way out and he was visibly pissed but just said, "Oh, so you don't know." And we didn't talk all day. I tried to call him twice and he just let his cell go to voicemail. I still don't know what his problem was.

Yesterday, I was trying to hold it together but my mind was elsewhere thinking of my unfulfilled career and my unfulfilled marriage. I actually had to pull over before I picked up Ladybug from school and just get the tears out and over with. I love my husband dearly, more than he cares to know, but one thing we don't have is that we don't get each other. Eleven year later, and there's no synchronisity, no strong bond. He's even more insecure than I am in a lot of ways, and I don't always have it in me to reach out to him and give him what he needs. We have a complicated relationship.

But here I am trying to make sense out of this life and what my purpose is. So I have a couple of new goals: First, after our vacation in March (when the weather here should be warmer), I'm going to start training for my first 3K or 5K race. Second, I'm going to get my Real Estate license. Hopefully, setting these tangible goals will help.

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Saturday, February 10, 2007

Little Swimmer

This picture was taken last spring during our Disney trip, but it's relative to this little story. My Ladybug loves the pool. She could swim all day long, and even when we're in Disney World with all the amusements and attractions, the pool is still her favorite.

So I signed her up a couple of weeks ago for swimming lessons. I thought she would love to go swimming in the middle of winter once a week. So far, she's gone twice and she's not all that enthused. She thought it was all going to be fun and games, with her inflatable wings on (we call them swimmies). Needless to say, there's been a lot of crying going on during these 30 minute lessons.

I also have to preface the point of this story with the fact that I cry at everything... at the drop of a hat, I will shed a tear. Happy, sad, whatever, I cry. My husband has season Knicks tickets, and I even cry at most games when they sing the National Anthem. At the Shamu show in Disney, I cried the entire time because the sappy theme of the show was to Believe in Your Dreams.

Anyway, I've found Ladybug's swimming lessons to be another moment that I cry every time, for so many reasons. First of all, my little girl is growing up. She's getting so big, so smart and eventually will be so independent. Soon she'll be able to swim on her own. Also, there is this young girl, Katie, who is Ladybug's swimming instructor. She's probably about 19 or 20 years old, but she's very good. This week, when Samantha slipped on the steps and went under, it was kind of scary to watch. Of course, she was fine and really only went under up to her eyeballs but it was scary for both she and I (I am in the waiting area and can watch everything through a big window). But watching the way Katie was so gentle with her, had tears running down my face.

Katie calmly picked her up, held her and gently went around the pool. I saw her talking to her, wiping her tears and her hair from her face. Every time she put her hair behind her ears with such great maternal instinct, I had tears running down. Katie never seemed to falter, and always had a sweet smile. It was as if she knew Ladybug forever, perhaps as a member of her own family, and was just telling her everything was ok.

So for the rest of the lesson, Ladybug was not happy. She was scared but Katie never let her go after that, and for the most part, Ladybug was leaning back on Katie's chest just kicking her feet. But I felt it was progress. With great angst on her face, Ladybug followed her instructions and was trusting her, even though I could see she was really scared.

When I went out to pick her out of the pool, she saw me and cried, the kind of a cry someone feels when their scared in a situation, and then see a parent. The emotions let go, and you just want to be held and cry on their shoulder. I said to Katie, "You were so sweet with her." And my eyes started to well up. I couldn't even say good-bye to her as I walked away because I was kind of embarrassed of my own sappiness.

So even if I'm having a rough or lonely or not-so-great week, I still see beauty in these moments. It reminds me how wonderful it is to be a mother and to be home with Ladybug all day. And how thankful I should be to not miss them.

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