Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The Only Winning Move Is Not to Play

Today, Christopher gave me a Rubik's Cube for Christmas. Tom told me it was genuinely from him; CJ saw it when the two of them were at Barnes and Noble, and CJ grabbed it and carried it around the store while telling Tom, "We haf to go show Mommy."

That would explain why the top of the package was already partially opened.

Anyway, I am now freaking obsessed with this thing. I stared at it for some time, and told Tom I was afraid to touch it, that I would mess it up. He laughed and told me it's there to play with, not to just stare at for hours. So finally, I picked it up and gave it a twist...

I had a Rubik's Once before, when I was about 5. Mom couldn't get it out of my hands. She had to hide it before I left for school. I spent days twisting, twisting, twisting, trying to solve it. One morning, Mom found the cube sitting by her chair, solved. She picked it up and a sticker fell off. I had gotten so frustrated with the darned thing I had peeled off each sticker and restuck them in order.

I haven't tried peeling this one yet.

I've already spent several moments today twisting, peering, shaking my head, twisting backwards, and occasionally biting my tongue to keep from cursing (CJ said "shit" at the store yesterday, but that's another story). I got all the yellows at one point, but had to abandon them to try to align my blues and whites.

Heaven help me. I'm on vacation for another week and a half, and I can already tell I'm getting nothing productive done.

Merry Christmas!

OK, since I mentioned it--CJ picked up the s-word from either Tom or me (we're equal opportunity shitters) and said it a couple times over the weekend. We didn't make a big deal and directed him to something else. Yesterday, we went out to finish our Christmas shopping and split up at the shopping center. Tom went to one store, and I took CJ to Linens 'N' Things.

I was trying to find a coffee grinder for my friend, Jay, who is seriously into coffee. I couldn't find one. I was next to all the coffee makers and carafes, and I knew they had to be there somewhere. I said to CJ, who was riding in the cart, "I can't find the coffee grinders. I wonder if they're out?"

My sweet little angel looked at me and with perfect inflection intoned, "Shit."

Again, I didn't make a big deal of it. He had a good point. Just then, I found what I was looking for and moved on.

Later, we were looking at candles while Christopher sang "Jingle Bells" to me ("Jinga bell, Jinga bell, Jinga alda way! Oh wah fun, do-doo-doo, jinga alda way!"). He started singing it using nonsense words, bobbing his head, "Shoo shoo shoo, shoo shoo shoo, shoo shoo doo doo shoo!", and then I realized he was using the s-word again instead of "shoo". Luckily, he was singing softly, no one overheard, and I was able to get him back on the right words.

I have no idea what I'm supposed to do with this latest development. My own darned fault, I know. I have a mouth like a sailor at home; it's a failing. Anyway, for any who have gone through this: Am I doing the right thing, letting it go and directing him to another word or activity or should I do something else? It seems to me that if I laugh, or get angry, then he'll say it more often--or who knows what other word he might pick. I'm sure I've given him plenty of choices.

And yes, later on, I told Tom what had happened while CJ was watching Bugs Bunny in our bedroom, and we laughed our asses off.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Where, Oh, Where Are You To-Night?

Jenn, your phone calls and emails have been duly noted (and quite enjoyed, especially the sung voice mail), and I'm really sorry I have been remiss in sticking with my plan to update once a month. Where have I been? Nowhere, really, just stuck in the details.

November and December have contained 2.5 weeks of training and the rest of time in planning sessions for the Mighty Morphing Web Project. After 18 months of prototyping and analysis, we're ready to go forward and managing to secure a big chunk of cash to do so. So I've been involved in sessions to plan timelines, priorities, documentation structure, resource planning, and kickoff. Somewhere in there I have found time to breathe, but barely. During this time, I'd been planning everything except my role, since I didn't know what my role would be over the next three years as we make this thing a reality. So I found the courage last week to approach my boss and create my own--essentially, I want to define the documentation standards, create the templates, hire the analysts, implement the governance, and oversee the analysts, providing guidance along the way. I also want visibility, so I want to filter the information into the regular status communications, prepare end of release containment reports, and participate in the ongoing strategy discussions for the overall project.

Amazingly, I made a strong case for why I was the best person for the role, and gave some examples of things I've done that fit in, as well as ideas for the way we should do things for MMWP. Even more amazingly, my boss thought I was right on point with my ideas and agreed that I fit exactly what he's needing for this kind of role. So, I got it.

One must be careful about one wishes for, though. Today I found out that while I may have my dream role, I may be doing it for another boss. Not sure how I feel about that. There are pros and cons to each person--I'm more hung up on the surprise of it. Remember those trainings I mentioned earlier? Turns out those discussions happened while I out learning new stuff, and since we're moving at Mach 2 to get everything ready, everyone on my team assumed I had gotten an update about from someone else. In actuality, no one told me a thing, and I bopped along blissfully ignorant of the impending new director.


On another topic--my little boy turns 3 tomorrow! I have two dozen cupcakes in the pantry ready to go to daycare tomorrow for an informal class party. I'm working from home tomorrow so I can bake a spice cake and make the cream cheese frosting, then it's time for Birthday Dinner Party! This is the first year CJ has talked about parties and birthdays, so I think he'll enjoy it. I have hats and balloons and squawking things, and way too many toys for one child to handle. Our friends Jay and Erik are coming, along with her sister Robin (who watched CJ when Tom and I had to go to Florida earlier this year). No kids this year, since we were too late with the planning to execute that piece, but I still think my little boy will be pleased.

Next week I start vacation till January 7th, but this is still a busy time--CJ's birthday, Christmas, then Tom's birthday. I love Amazon.com! I'm really looking forward to the extended family time of the three of us together, around the house, without having to juggle work and daycare for a bit. Then I'm sure we'll all get sick of each other by the time we have to resume our normal schedules and we won't accomplish half of our "honeydo" lists--but let's focus on the important thing, really:


Last random thing to mention--I have begun my 10th year with my company. I'm a little surprised about it. It's the longest I've been in any one organization in my life, and it seems to have moved quickly. Somehow, I blinked, and now I'm 32, married, a mother, with a career, and I still feel like I'm 17 and should get up early because I'm opening the Hardee's drive-thru tomorrow.

I'm not sure if this is what it means to be all growed up.

Sunday, December 16, 2007