Thursday, April 26, 2012

All Alone on Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day

Today is Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day. This day holds a special place in my heart because my "work" is a big part of who I am and I am very proud that my children know this. But as someone who works in a home office, I sit here all alone.

I've said before that "I'm Chandler" - my friends don't have any idea what I do for a living. And it really doesn't matter. My job isn't interesting to the layperson. However, it's a job I like. A job at which I'm currently in my second run. I'm ever so grateful to have a job in this challenging economy as I know so many other moms who want to work, but can't find it. I'm fortunate.

Remember the "woo" picture? I've added it here. You know, since I took it for work and I never do a blog post without a picture. 


But back to my point, something that I've never written about: Why I choose to have a career and be a mom at the same time.

The answer: Because NOT having a career just never occurred to me.

After I started having kids, I was actually VERY surprised at how many of my friends, some with advanced degrees, were opting to become stay-at-home moms. I certainly didn't have any issue with that. It was their choice and probably a really great one. But thinking back, I guess it was just never in my plan to do it myself. I hated college, but I worked my butt off to get the hell out of there with a degree. It never occurred to me that there would be a time when I'd be in a position where I questioned whether or not I'd be using it...not that I'm using my PR degree now, mind you.

I can't remember even one conversation I had with my husband in those early days when I was pregnant with Ryan deciding what our work plans would be. They just were. And yes, we DID want (but also pretty much need) the two incomes. It was a no-brainer. However, for me there was never that wish that I could stay home. Twelve weeks of maternity leave went by (very slowly I might add) and I was back at work. And that's what it was.

I found amazing childcare in the form of Miss Cherie, an angel on Earth who had my kids over the span of 7 years while we cycled them off to preschool. The job that I returned to after having Ryan was crappy, but I loved the one I returned to after Nat and Justin. So why not?

Right now, Ryan is with JakeRyan at his office, a big new shiny building where they have organized activities for the employee's kids. I'm at home working like every other day. Just me in my home office, wearing jeans and talking on the phone with customers. I wish one of the kids could sit by me and hear me sell my wears. I'd bore the hell out of them in 5 minutes, thus starting them on their career path to be sure that they have an interesting job like a doctor or astronaut or meth dealer. Anything not to have to sit in the office/playroom with a headset (held together with a binder clip) and talk about...whatever. I do love talking about whatever.

Monday, April 23, 2012

An Apology Letter To My Blog

Dear Blog,

I hope this letter finds you well. I owe you a bit of an apology and an explanation. You have been sorely neglected over the last month or so and I feel terrible about it.

I miss you so very much and I hope you will accept my apology as I slowly try to regain your trust.

Please let me explain: There's a lot of crap going on in Aliville lately. And by "crap" I don't just mean "we've been really busy." I won't go into details, because you're just a one-year-old and you wouldn't understand it. Plus Blog, you're my outlet for funny stuff and while I'd probably benefit from putting it on paper, you're just not the one to tell. It's really NOT funny in the slightest. Maybe I'll write a book, make a million bucks and you and I can run off to Tahiti together.

And while you're so important to me, JakeRyan and the Kids still have to come first. Please don't cry. Between soccer, dance, a vacation and increased work demands, the little rendezvous that you and I enjoyed have become few and far between and it is breaking my heart. Gone are the days when I could just sneak over on my lunch break to cavort with you before returning to work. How I miss those special times we shared.

Oh sweet Blog, let's remember the happier days like when I wrote about Braless Butt Shorts, my delusional kid calling himself "smoking hot," or the first time you met Mike Wazowski. Good times Blog, good times. I have such fond memories.

It's not that I haven't had things I want to talk to you about. Oh I have!!! It's just that the "crap" is sucking the life out of me. Please know that soon I'll be back and soon we can return to our old selves frolicking together as if we were in a Viagra commercial. Riding bikes or snuggling on the beach perhaps?

Just wait for me Blog. I'll be back soon.

Love,
Ali

P.S. I've included a recent photo to help ease your pain in my absence. I know. It's dreadful. I couldn't even be bothered to take the red-eye out. I tell you - the life is being sucked out of me.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Magic of Being Three

We are Disney people. It's who we are.

Living in Florida, for years Disney was at least a biannual jaunt. Often more.

Whenever I'm asked the best age for a kid to visit for the first time is, my answer, without hesitation is age 3. They're young enough to believe that the Magic is real and they are excited about everything, but old enough to go with the flow and understand that if they're good, fun stuff is in their future. Translation: As a parent, you get to soak in all the little kid cuteness and enthusiasm before it expires. You can see the world through their tiny eyes and it's awesome.

However, after having visited more than a dozen times in just a few years I, the mom, became saturated and initiated a "Disney Detox." We didn't visit for 16 months. Then I realized...I have a 3-year-old. This is my favorite age for Disney and Justin is missing it. I AM MISSING JUSTIN all simply because I was bored.

I made the decision to take one for the team and plan a trip complete with the three Suitcase kids and their cousins. And this 3-year-old didn't disappoint.


He raced around like a mad man, maneuvered his Dumbo elephant with gusto and swung from queue railings like Tarzan. He was a trooper whenever we told him to smile for photos even when he knew another ride was just around the corner. He tried his hardest not to touch the toilet seats or run out of the bathroom without me. 


He sat mesmerized in his stroller with his mouth open as the Main Street Electrical Parade passed and waved and screamed "hi" to each passing illuminated character. He took his yellow glow stick, reached up and poked the unfazed stroller attendant at Small World right in the very ample boob...on purpose, just for the heck of it and ran away, thus mortifying his mother. We made it through three days with only one or two behavior incidents - a success if you ask me.


He ate cotton candy that temporarily turned his teeth blue for the only family picture we took the entire weekend. He ran around catching Jake's gold doubloons as if they were real treasure, ignoring the fact that they were simply round pieces tissue paper being shot down from the ceiling.


Justin gave his Mommy that incomparable "I've got a little kid at Disney" feeling that won't be around much longer. Three is magical, three is fleeting. I'm not getting any more 3-year-olds. I'd better enjoy it while I can.




Monday, April 9, 2012

The Day After Easter

Life has been dishing me a king-sized dose of colossal B.S. over the last month. I've been intentionally slacking on my poor little blog.

Easter, however was pretty spectacular. We hosted brunch for 20 at our house.

I can sum up our Easter awesomeness in three words: Pinterest String Eggs. I love them. So did Easter Bunny Mike Wazowski.

I've been cleaning up candy wrappers all day. I had a jellybean stuck to the bottom of my shoe.

This morning, I cleaned what I originally thought was poop or dried blood off of Natalie's bed sheets. Luckily my friend Traci kindly asked if any of the kids ever smuggled candy... I bravely took a whiff...whew, chocolate.

This is also the same child who also sneaked a bag of Easter candy out of the house under her shirt and quickly tucked it beneath the seat in the minivan. I snagged her.

The Easter Jackass (the Easter Bunny's less intelligent, yet devastatingly handsome assistant) visited our house again. He hid Ryan's basket in an impossible-to-find location, a big bin of toys.

It was not visible to anyone other than the Easter Jackass and led to numerous threats from Ryan that he was quitting and a mess all over the floor. With a load of hints (and outright cheating by his awesome mom) he found it. Really, it wasn't even fun at this point.



An Annoying Orange t-shirt and his very own, very large bag of jellybeans solved the issue and all was right in the world again.











Monday, April 2, 2012

A Pinterest Warning For Everybody

If you're not on Pinterest, you may as well stop reading this now. This won't interest you.

This is not my typical post, but I thought this was extremely disturbing...and illegal...so I wanted to share. Let me point out, I'm not a Super-Pinner or anything. I don't pin a million things a day, but anyone who knows me knows I sing the praises of Pinterest for EVERYTHING!

Back in September, I threw Natalie a Fancy Nancy party and got all of my ideas off of Pinterest. I even made a special board called "For My Natty Bratty." A board name very customized to me and my daughter - the reason I was throwing the party. Because honestly I don't care who looks at my Pinboards, I don't need them for blog traffic and am not really concerned about them being helpful to others. Yes, a shocker.

One pin in particular (that I pinned myself as an original pin) has caught on like wildfire over the last few weeks and was re-pinned over 160 times. My description was "Treats for the Fancy Nancy Party. Love the M&Ms." Here's the original site because I LOVED this idea, pinned it and totally used the tutorial as the author intended. Marshmallow Treat Pops. Lots of REAL people repinned it too, don't get me wrong. This pin probably drove plenty of legitimate traffic to its original (and deserving) site.

I got so sick of being notified of its multiple re-pins that I un-pinned it over the weekend. I then went on and searched "Fancy Nancy" and was shocked to find that not only are people STEALING the original author's photo, they are using my name, my description and my very customized board name and linking them out to spam sites.






Photo Credits: The Hostess with the Mostess


My point: I don't know what you as a Pinner or Blogger should DO about this. Just be cautioned. Maybe if you see one of your pins running rampant, take it down? I don't know what the answer is. However, I don't really want MY name being associated with offers from criminals.

I also feel horrible and somewhat responsible for having the original author's intellectual property stolen. Obviously, back in September I had no idea of the Pinterest IP uproar that occurred recently, but I pinned this using Pinterest the way it was intended - because I loved the idea, I knew other people would use it and thought the author should totally get traffic from a kick-ass idea.

She put her tutorial out there for people like me to find and use, not for scammers to abuse.

This is what Pinterest intended, isn't it?

Please feel free share this post and warn others. If not for anything else, but to keep YOUR NAME from being used in the description.