Monthly Archives: February 2010

ben & the bunny

Best parts are the “Hi.” at 0:22…and when he bosses the bunny around at the end.

conversations with benjamin

Ben is now able to answer questions with an actual coherent answer! I ask him questions all the time – “what color is this?”, “how many strawberries do you have?” “who’s that?” (pointing at animal picture). But now, he can actually remember things and answer questions about them hours later.

We found this out Sunday when we came home from the zoo, and Paul was asking Ben about the animals he saw.

PAUL: “What animals did you see Ben?”
BEN: “Ah-ppo” (“Hippo”)
PAUL: “You saw a hippo? What else did you see?”
BEN: “Monkey!”
ME: “What was the monkey eating, Ben”
BEN: [furrowing brow to think]…”Odo!” (Orange)

The monkey WAS eating an orange – I asked Ben about that when we saw it. Ben himself loves oranges, of course, which is how he remembered it. But even today, I asked Ben, “Who did you play with today at school?” and got a big grin and an answer: “Oggie!” (his new guy buddy August)

Ben now actually understands some semblance of English…and can almost reply to questions. His comprehension of the world around him gets better every day, and as he understands more, he can explain more to us. It’s amazing watching his little brain develop. He’s also always so proud of himself when he answers a hard question – we get big grins with the answer. I’m so proud and happy to be the mama of this tiny boy.

in post-snowpocalyptic philadelphia

Things have been disappearing on me today.

I lost the parking stub for my car, which is stowed at an LAX offsite lot.

I lost the hat I got at H&M yesterday, on the plane, when it somehow vanished into another dimension.

I lost the belt off my almost-new grey wool winter coat, when one of the belt loops broke and it fell off. It may be in a taxi; it may be somewhere in PHL. I have no idea.

On the bright side, I did NOT lose my wallet, or a cell phone, or my ID. And I’m here, in Philadelphia, despite the snowpocalypse. And I’m staying at the Hotel Palomar Philadelphia, which was a shockingly low price for being the sort of boutique hotel where they give you a hand written welcome note upon arrival. The room I’m in is New York City tiny, but filled with eclectic pieces, a comfy desk chair, and a king bed with high thread count linens. I don’t expect to be seeing much of it, since the next few days of the ePharma summit I’m attending look somewhat…busy.

And I even managed to get an actual healthy dinner, by going to Su Xing house down the block. I sometimes abandon all hope of eating fresh fruit and vegetables while on business trips. I do not count the leached-of-nutrients iceberg lettuce in the to-go salads I end up eating most of the time on the road. And I was dreadfully hungry by the time I got in tonight, since I hadn’t really had lunch. By the time I realized I was hungry this afternoon, I was already mid-flight, where the only options were the horrible crap US Air sells on board. So I Yelped the area around the hotel, found a highly rated nearby restaurant for take-out, and called in an order. Half an hour after checking in, I was back in my room with my hot and sour soup, and a dish of mushrooms, soy protein and spinach in garlic sauce. Nutrition wise, my needs are well-met, and the only thing I could wish for would be a cup of tea (the Hilton I stayed in last month in Texas had herbal tea readily available in the club lounge on my floor). I know some business owners hate it, but I love Yelp…it’s the only way I can find something decent to eat when I land in a strange-ish city at 8pm on a Sunday. I use the Android app, filter by “Open Now”, narrow down the map to within a few blocks of my hotel…and voila.

But when I went out to get dinner, it was almost post-apocalyptic. I know Philadelphia’s Center City area fairly well, since this is where the hotels and restaurants I usually go to when I’m in town are located. And even on a Sunday, there are a few cars and people on the streets. But this was an eerily quiet night. I feel totally safe here, because I’m near Rittenhouse Square, and I know this is a more well to do area, so the quiet didn’t cause me any trepidation as I hopped over snowbanks and gingerly made my way through icy patches. In fact, it was actually rather peaceful outside…but still a bit reassuring to see people out at a nearby bar, cheering for the Superbowl.

It’s time to wrap up the deck I’m working on and get some sleep now. Oh, and take some extra vitamin C so I don’t get whatever was going around the plane. Yay, winter travel!

too much to do, not enough time

Somewhere, in the next 60 hours, I have to:

– get through another day of work
– figure out some easily meals for Paul and Ben for next week
– get my hair cut and my eyebrows shaped
– try to get to a spinning class on Saturday
– complete the usual weekend grocery shopping and housework
– figure out what I actually own that I can wear in “winter” weather next week
– buy a hat to go with my winter coat because it is SNOWING ON THE EAST COAST
– set up the desktop webcam so I can video conference Ben while gone
– be on a plane to Philadelphia by 11am on Sunday
– …and try to spend as much time as I can with Ben before I leave

I’m off to a pharma marketing summit in Philadelphia Monday through Wednesday, which means flying Sunday, which means LOSING A DAY WITH BEN. I’m sad about that. But this is the price of being a Working Mom. And work’s been ridiculous this week, so I’m barely keeping up with everything I do on a day to day basis, which pushes some of the housework (like putting away my laundry) to the weekend. I did a double workout on the Wii tonight to burn stress, and also to zone out for a while, because tomorrow, the litany of stuff starts again.

I’m tired just thinking about this.

I should stop complaining about though. I’m a little overwhelmed right now, both at work and at home, with Things That Need To Be Done, and even Getting Things Done can’t give me more waking hours to do them in. But still, I have too much to do because I have a job, which already makes me luckier than a lot of people, especially considering how much I LIKE my job and find it to be an awesome challenge, every day.

And I want to get it all done so I can spend time with my adorable, brilliant, handsome baby boy. When I do get extra time to spend with Ben, he gets snugglier with me, and sillier with me, and will tell me all about his day, in Ben-glish. Also, we read a lot of books. I love being with my tiny boy.

And I have a supportive and devoted husband to help me get it all done. Paul helps me with the housework and takes total care of Ben on nights when I’m gone (like last night, when I worked late). If I had to handle any more of the home stuff as well as my work, I’d lose it.

And I’m going out with some of my best friends on Saturday. Granted, that means I have to be all ready to go before they come over for pre-dancing drinks, but still, I’m so looking forward to going out dancing and seeing my friends.

Life gets overwhelming, at times, but it’s overwhelming because I’ve chosen to have all these wonderful things in it. There’s just the occasional days, like now, when it seems like Too Much. Maybe someday, I will be able to afford a personal assistant to handle some of this stuff.