Friday, February 26, 2010

Hi, my name is Working Wife and I have a house for sale. Would you like to come and judge me?

Yesterday I received a call from a realtor’s office giving me a courtesy heads-up that someone will come see my house today from 2-4 pm. Perfect. That gave me some time to get things ready, right? Not when you have two young kids…

This morning I got the kids ready for school and sat them down in front of the TV, telling them something most mothers don’t tell their kids when it comes to television: Don’t. Move. I am pretty sure that after their initial moment of shock over the instructions, the kids were paralyzed over having to deal with this stranger that looks like their mother who just ordered them to go ahead and watch TV… on a weekday morning.

I had an ulterior motive: Cleaning. Yes, I had picked up the house the day before, but there are very few things more stressful than having your house on the market. I know. This is my second time going through this exercise in patience, self-control and self-confidence.

I can walk into a house and see its potential, but I have also watched enough HGTV shows to know that most people can’t do that. So, armed with Clorox wipes, paper towels, a gallon of Windex and my Swiffer Jet, I ran around the house like a crazy lady. I opened curtains, cleaned mirrors, made sure that all the towels in the bathrooms were PERFECTLY straight, that the pillows on the beds were just right and that anyone walking around the house would just want to take off their shoes and love it as much as I have.

Sunshine has been taking stuff down to the new townhome so we are pretty de-cluttered and I have mentally “moved” from the house. This is not my home anymore: this is a house I live in while it gets sold.

We usually keep a very neat home, and since Sunshine is not around, the boys and I are so busy that we don’t have a lot of time to make a mess. I leave every morning after I’ve made sure that a surprise showing wouldn’t embarrass me, but something about knowing that people were coming completely made me a mess. Will this people reject my home because the kitchen counter is not sterile? Will they refuse to buy my house because there are finger prints on our stainless steel appliances?  What will people think when they open the closet doors? Will they open drawers? Will they make judgment on who we are based on the color of my sheets or the food in my pantry or freezer? Should I make a little triangle on the end of the toilet paper?!? (Maybe some of these:

Selling a home is the pits. You invite people to come into your home and judge it and therefore you. You’ve seen it in the shows: Buyers are brutal. You are trying to find the good soul that will see past the tiny burnt hole in the carpet where the cinder landed after popping out of the fireplace. This morning, I was having a heart attack at the sight of this crater. Your home is undeniably an extension of who you are. It is your sanctuary, your castle. As of two weeks ago, I have opened this sacred place and invited ANYONE who has a realtor to come and see it. And judge it. A rejection is a personal affront that you cannot explain. This is our first showing. I know it will only get worse as the showings come and go and things do not happen. Even if there is nothing really “wrong” with the house, it is hard to take it as it comes.

It is 3:15 pm and I think I might have to start looking for my secret stash of dark chocolate…

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Happy Dance.... Should I???

After sending my resume to almost every company in our new hometown, I have finally gotten a call for an interview. I am so excited! I actually did a "Happy Dance" at my desk... This could mean reuniting the family in record time!

Then, the doubt hit... What if I don't like it? What if I get a job offer at this smaller place and get called in for an interview at one of the larger places that I rather work at? Should I just "bird-in-hand" it? What happen to the happy dance???

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

So it starts....

Sigh… This is it my friends. I am going go bang my head against the wall over there until I can’t think anymore. Since this might be the last time I have a coherent thought, I decided to blog about it so you can understand.

I have a 9 year old BOY. This child, has obviously decided that his childhood is over and would like to begin the transition into manhood.

Nine years ago, I had toxemia. My son was born at 31 ½ weeks. He was 3 pounds 3 ounces. I sat next to his NICU crib for 6 weeks, hours upon hours, talking to him, singing to him, praying for him. I knew he was going to be special. A precious gift for me and the world. My heart ached with motherly love. I would’ve done ANYTHING to guarantee his life, his wellbeing. All these years of looking under the bed for monsters; all these years of cleaning up puke and bloody knees (yes, he is closer to Sunshine, until something is wrong), all these years of going broke buying clothes that only fit for two weeks… and how does he repay me? BY BEING A BOY.

Skywalker has now decided that he does not need to use his brain anymore. Ask him to put on his shoes, and be prepared to play twenty questions: What shoes? Do these match? Do you know where they are? Do you want me to put on socks? Should I change my pants also?... At first, I thought it was his way of dealing with Sunshine’s absence, but I just found out (bless my husband for keeping this from me) that this has been going on for at least a month. I am amazed that I hadn’t heard of it before.
Last night I asked him NICELY: “Skywalker, it’s 7:30 pm. Please turn off the TV and go upstairs and read for half an hour.” I should’ve seen it coming… “What book? Do you want me to read the same one I read in the afternoon? Do you want me to pick another one? How long do you want me to read again?” I have to admit, I wasn’t very nice when I told him that I could care less if he read the Owner’s manual for the vacuum cleaner if he couldn’t figure out what to read for half an hour.

Then this morning, when getting ready for school, the child put on a PARKA to go to school… It’s going to be 60 degrees today. I told him that. His response? “Yes, but it’s 37 degrees now.” I breathed HARD. I asked him to please find a sweater… You see where this is going, don’t you? After his 3rd trip up and down the stairs, Mini-me, who was standing next to me while I looked something up in the computer, turned around, looked at his brother straight in the eye and said: “REALLY DUDE? Just put on a long sleeve shirt! I got one on!” I was SHOCKED. I told Mini-me not to talk to his brother like that, that I could handle it without his help. There is a reason why I call him Mini-me… He is the uncensored version of me… His look said: “What? You were thinking it…”

I talked to my best friend, who has an 18 year old. She told me that this is the beginning of the end. “Good luck,” she said, “Your son is now beginning to turn into an idiot man.” I gasped. “When will it end???”, I moaned. Her response? “My husband just nailed his thumb with the nail gun on Sunday. Oh and by the way, just wait until those hormones hit.”

Does anyone know where to get wall padding cheap?

Monday, February 22, 2010

5,000, yes FIVE THOUSAND, meters

So there.

I did it.

I ran my first 5K yesterday and lived to tell. I have been training for about two months and the race was yesterday. It was harder than I though, but easier than I thought. I know I don’t make sense, so let me explain.

I hate exercising. I really do. There are no words to describe the level of hate dislike hate that I have for exercise. This is not a new thing. I have been like this all my life. Still, last year I decided that instead of doing a New Year’s resolution I would set myself a goal. The organization I work for sponsors a 5K in February (rain, sun or snow) so I signed up for it (you can read more about this crazy decision here).

Any-hoo… After staying put all week due to a nasty head cold, I manage to get over it (read: I beat the bug into submission with antibiotics). Still, I was concerned about the lack of practice during the week. I took advantage of the beautiful day (60 degrees!) and since the boys were fighting over Sunshine’s attention, we went for a walk at a local park. Turns out that this park has trails, and the adventurer in me (which really means that the Caribbean in me was enjoying the sun after weeks of not seeing it – Where have you been, old friend?!) decided that we would take some of the trails. It was VERY nice. Sunshine and I walked hand in hand through some gardens, as Skywalker and Mini-me ran ahead and discovered sticks, stones and had leaf races in the stream. It was SO nice, that I didn’t notice how much we were walking, nor that we were walking on pretty steep hills – that’s Western NC for you…

Sunday morning, my right calf was letting me know its displeasure over the hike with the wrong shoes. Still, I donned my running outfit, packed my cheerleaders in the car, and off we went.

We met Ricky-Martin-brother at the race. He gave me a little pep-talk before the race and off we went. I mean, off he went and I followed.

I am not going to lie to you. It was hard. Have I mentioned that there are no flat surfaces in Western North Carolina? You think they are, but no such luck. So I had to run most of this race on an incline. With a sore calf. I had to stop to walk a couple of times to stretch my leg and didn’t feel too guilty about it- until an old lady speed-walked RIGHT PAST ME. That was it. The gauntlet was thrown. I have my suspicions that this lady doesn’t have a life as busy as mine and that she has plenty of time to exercise (and has probably been doing it for longer than two months) but to WALK past me? Oh, it was SO on!

So I found my second fourth fifth wind and off I went. Ricky-Martin-brother had encouraged me 15 minutes before (as he ran in the opposite direction) and I knew I could do it.

As I made the last turn, I saw the finish line and then saw my fresh-as-a-cucumber brother (can you detect the bitterness yet?) waving at me. I looked at the other side of the finish line and there they were: Sunshine, Skywalker and Mini-me… cheering me on! And all of a sudden, I picked up the pace and finished… and I wasn’t the last one either.

I looked at my time and I beat my training time by 10 minutes. I was tired. I was proud. My new goal: finish a 5K by running it the entire way and a 10K before the end of the year. That’s if I can get my legs to respond again…

Friday, February 19, 2010

The clouds parted and....

Sunshine is coming home today!

When you are on vacation, five days go by too fast. When you are with the kids all by yourself and your husband is working in another town, five days are an eternity!

Can't wait to sleep in tomorrow!!!!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Back off!

I just received a phone call from Human Resources. A funny one.

I am a pretty prominent person in our organization (not important, just very visible), and if you haven't noticed, I have a sense of humor... and people like that. I am also sarcastic, but loving, compassionate and get along with people of all ranks: from the cleaning crew to the Executives (even the ones that don't say hello to ANYONE who is not another Executive).

Needless to say, word has gotten around that my departure is imminent. Sunshine is now 3 hours away, and I am looking for a job in the same city so we can reunite the family. Still, I told my Job-Husband that without such job, I cannot leave my current position. I hated to leave him hanging and not allowing the process of finding my replacement to take its course, but financially, we can't do it. He told me that it would be fine, that he is no hurry to replace me while I am here (See? He got over his issues).

But I digress, as I walk around, people are asking me if it's true that I'm leaving, that I will be missed, that I am not allowed to leave, who is going to do this, who's going to be as nice- you know, all the stuff that you wish you can bottle up and use on days that you feel like crap about your job...

And then, there are the HR calls...

LW: Good afternoon, this is LW.
HR: LW? It's "Informant" from HR. How are you?
LW: Doing good! What's up?
HR: Ummm... Is it true that you are leaving?
LW: Yes! Eventually. My husband finally got a job, but it's three hours away. We're pretty excited. Why?
HR: Well, I was wondering...
LW: Why?
HR: Because I have received two emails of people applying for your job.
LW: But... I haven't resigned yet... and I don't know when I will be resigning... um... is the job posted?
HR: No, that's the point. I didn't know that you were leaving and then I got this, and I freaked out a little, because I didn't know what was going on!
LW: Can you tell me who was it?
HR: Sure.... It was... "There's no way she'll ever be able to do this job" and "She'll never get this job".
LW: (Laughing)... Interesting... Don't worry. When I am ready to leave, I will officially resign, I will give my two weeks notice and I will make sure that I have a good-bye party.

I should've known... The buzzards are already gathering... Back off, bitches! I am not dead yet!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Four days before the 5K I have been training for the last 2 months... and I have a head cold... Can't run if I can't breathe...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

So this is what happens when one gloats…

So my first couple of days as a “single mom” have been interesting enough that I can’t wait for Sunshine to come back on Friday.

On the first day, we had a winter storm warning, so at 5:45 am my phone rang, with a recording from the County Education Department cancelling school for the day (AGAIN). Of course, not only I had no backup plan, but my dad, who is usually my back up plan, was in Florida attending a mini-family reunion. So… I got the kids up anyway, and waited as long as I could before waking a neighbor up and begged her to take Skywalker for the day. Her kids are almost the same ages as mine and she is a SAHM, so off he went. I thought I was going to cry of relief. I took Mini-me to daycare and wondered the entire time, where the snow was. As I pulled into the parking lot, the radio announcement said that the Warning had been downgraded to an Advisory… So school was cancelled and I was stuck (almost) for the POSSIBILITY of snow. Really? Cancel school BEFORE you know if you have to do it or not? I don't have the heart to tell my kid that there is a STRONG possibility that he will be going to school on Saturdays, Holidays or have his Spring Break cancelled because of all these "snow" days...

I survived the day… only to realize as I went to sleep, that I was a little stuffy… At 10 pm I realized I couldn’t breathe (a problem since I have sleep apnea and have to use a CPAP machine)… At 2:30 am and on the verge of tears, I cranked up the humidity and was finally able to fall sleep… until 6 am. So on three hours of sleep after a chaotic day, I have earned my Valentine’s Day present. Is it Friday yet?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Go ahead. Hate me. You'll change your mind tomorrow.

Ok... Sunshine has left. This was my first evening as a single mom. I took advantage of his last day here and started the day cooking/prepping up a storm. By 10 am I had all the fixings for a week’s worth of dinners ready to go. Vegetables were cut and group together in little containers, chicken was placed in ziplock bags waiting to be thrown in the slow cooker, side dishes that could be made ahead of time were completed... By 11 am, Mini-me and I were making a batch of brownies. I knew that he was going to need the treat later (although I am trying to be careful not to set in his subconscious that chocolate is good when you are sad... still, it works wonders for me...)
By 12:45, Skywalker had enough of family time and was itching to go play outside. I told him to say goodbye, that by the time he came back home, his dad would be gone. His first reaction: “Really? Until Friday?” I said yes. He thought about it in sad contemplation for exactly 1.2 seconds. Then he looked at me (Sunshine was sitting RIGHT there) and said: “What time should I be home?” Ah! Revenge is sweet when is served with a side of traitor... Sunshine smiled, but didn’t say anything. 
At 12:50 he tried to say goodbye to Mini-me. It was heart-wrenching. Still, he was able to leave. We called my mom and since my dad is on a trip, we asked her to come over for dinner. I knew it would do the trick. You see, I may compete with Sunshine for the affection of our children, but neither can EVER compete with Abuelo and Abuela. Sunshine and I are tied for third place after those two.
My mom came and we had a lovely dinner which was topped with the wonderful brownies we had baked earlier.... YUMMY.
Bedtime routines were started and Mini-me was in bed and asleep by 7:15 p.m. Yep, you read right, my four year old was asleep by 7:15. You can start hating me now. Everyone does. I don’t care. Skywalker is downstairs watching TV (Star Wars, OF COURSE- what a geek-in-training), and he’ll come to bed soon to read until 8 p.m.... Yep, hate me again. 
Then, I will go to my room and curl up in bed with my Kindle until 9 p.m. when Desperate Housewives await (is there a show tonight?). 
Oh, and by the way, my husband loooooves me.... (See below). Let the mudslinging begin. I can take it.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Is this crazy week over yet?

Finally my work husband (WH), aka my boss, has come to terms with my departure. It took him 3 days of making my life hell to finally realize that a) I was leaving no matter what, and b) he might as well stop being an ass so I can remember him pleasantly instead of me bringing one of my sons to pee on his desk on my last day… Just kidding, I would never do that… they are too short to reach the top of the desk.

I wrote my reference letter and gave myself such great reviews that I thought I was made out of gold. Surprisingly, he only edited it slightly and did not include any negative remarks. I was surprised, considering my “inability” to write.

This week has otherwise been extremely busy. I am trying to stay on top of things, and although I may not be commenting these days, I read your blogs often – especially when I am mad at my WH.

The kids are finally coming to terms with the departure of their dad. Mini-me had a meltdown last Sunday in which he told his dad how he needed to go with him and take care of him so he wouldn’t be alone. When Sunshine asked him who would take care of me, without missing a beat he answered: “Skywalker can do that”. Please let me know if you find any pieces of my heart lying around your homes after that atomic bomb was detonated in the corners of my chest. You see… I love Skywalker with all my heart. He is part of me, but Mini-me is just Mini-me.

All mothers know that there is one kid in the brood that you just identify with, you know, one that is “your” kid, the one you can communicate with by just looking at him/her because it’s like looking at a mirror? The one that thinks YOU are the coolest thing in the world? Skywalker and Sunshine are thick as thieves. Mini-me and me have that special thing… until last Sunday of course. I debated for a while if I was going to pout about it, but then I realized that the kids are going to be only with me for the foreseeable future and they are going to have their dad only on the weekends. I could make up the lost ground, right?!?
And then, I came home today from work, to find my children eating Valentine’s Day candy like it was Halloween night… Sunshine will now have to pay…

How about you? Do you have a kid that you would never admit to others that is “your” kid? If you do, are you insanely protective of him/her when your spouse dares to wander into your territory? You are not going to call Child Protective Services on me, are you?

Monday, February 8, 2010

Changing gears...

So after a WONDERFUL adventure, now the work really begins.

Saturday we dedicated the whole day to the kids and making sure they had fun. It was my way of bribing them into a feeling good about eventually having to move. We went to a Children’s museum, went to a themed restaurant for dinner, let them stay up as late as they wanted watching movies at the hotel, etc.

On Sunday, we had an early breakfast and proceeded to spend the next 3 hours driving around town looking for rentals, good neighborhoods, etc. I should rephrase that: Sunshine and I spent 3 hours driving around, while Skywalker and Mini-me played their hand-helds for 20 minutes and moved on to whining about how long we were in the car, the lack of a fun destination, wanting to get out of the car, being thirsty, being hungry, when we were going to be home, annoying each other, fighting over the shared arm-rest… Have you seen the commercial where the parents give their two kids a stack of cash and push a vending machine into the living room before heading out on a weekend vacation? I thought it was funny when I first watched it, but yesterday I was considering the benefits on that wonderful plan.

We did find a very nice location and things seem to be falling into place. Now I have to make 1,000,000 decisions before Friday. The lack of analysis time is driving me crazy. I am one to think things over and make the right decision. The pressure is a constant headache right now. I can’t wait until we have at least transitioned to something, ANYTHING, even if it’s a new routine.

I also told my boss about my departure this morning. I asked him to give me a recommendation and complete a form requested by a job I applied for . I think he wasn’t too happy about me leaving… I mean, don’t get me wrong, he gave me a good recommendation, but as someone who just worked her fingers to the bone for him, I was a little upset about a couple of his ratings. I know I am not perfect, but, I need a job, man! Get it together! Geez… Then I got his request to write my own letter of recommendation and he will edit it… After giving me a “Fair” level on Written Communication… from the man who edits his own stuff 15 times and doesn’t like the way I write it the first time… So I decided to practice my writing skills doing my blog posting while on hold to speak to an airline representative for 1 hour and 10 minutes (and counting) to get a refund for his plane ticket. I am a SAINT I tell you! A SAINT!

I am trying very hard not to get “Short-timer’s” attitude, but he is not helping. At least he marked “YES” on the question of re-hire…

Men that you work for are so hard to keep content… from the 4 and 9 year olds in the backseat, to the 50-something across the hall….

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Pack up!

So after a rough night (must've been something I ate), I decided to pack the family and head out on an adventure to the new city that will be our home soon.

We are going without reservations to any hotel, no plans and just a list of things to do in the area. I am looking forward to seeing the place and want to make this trip fun for the boys. It is important to me that they start getting excited about what will be our new home.

This is an unprecedented move for me. Usually I am an extremely Type-A kind of person, and I would NEVER in a MILLION YEARS just pick up and head out for a 2 day adventure without any plans other than starting at the Children's Museum. I am actually giddy with excitement... :)

How about any of you, when was the last time you just picked up and went on an adventure???

Friday, February 5, 2010


It’s been a couple of days, but it’s been a crazy couple of days. Sunshine got a job! FINALLY! It is a great feeling! The dread of every bill cycle has almost lifted (have to wait until that first check before I can declare victory). He has secured employment with an awesome company, at a great salary… 3 hours away.

Now the challenges begin. It’s called “Dealing with Success”. Sunshine will be living in a 1 bedroom hotel suite for the time being and we plan to see each other every weekend. He is very excited to get started and from the sound of it, so are his new bosses. While he is over there rolling in his glory, I have now switched “lack of sleep because of Unemployment” for “lack of sleep because of all the crap that needs to get done”. We are putting our house in the market next week, somehow I have to manage the two kids by myself (I have no idea how single moms do it – my hat and respect to them!), figure out how to keep the house clean and presentable for showings (hoping all the time that it WILL get sold), finding a job for me… Although we are hoping for a move at the end of the school year, now I have to figure out where the good schools are, daycares, neighborhoods… I am hoping that we can rent for a while until I can figure all this out, but not before we can sell the house up here.

Oh, and did I mention that my boss has been out of the country for a week and he doesn’t know? He called me about 5 minutes ago to see how things were and to get some help with some flights home. He sounded so happy to be back in the country, that I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I am leaving. His last words before hanging up? “See you Monday! I look forward to being back!” Greeaaaat…. Now I have to break his heart also… One of the other VPs asked me this week (when he found out) “How are you going to commute?” I laughed. He then realized I am leaving. Not so joyous anymore. I guess that it feels good to be so appreciated and loved at work.

I should be so lucky to find another one like this.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Five more minutes...

This morning Sunshine left at 5:50 am for a job interview in a city 2 ½ hours away. That meant that I was left to get up to take care of the kids (he usually does that, and yes, I am VERY lucky). Since school was cancelled for the day, I needed to make sure that the kids were at my parents’ house by 7:50am – which really means by 7:30 because I have to be at work by 8am.

Before leaving, Sunshine kissed me good bye and with one eye opened, I wished him good luck. Then I rolled over. A couple of minutes must’ve passed before my brain got the message that I needed to get up to take care of things. I opened one eye and looked at the clock… 6:04… I did a quick calculation and realized that if I didn’t fuss with my hair, I could sleep in until 6:15… so I did.

When I got up, I heard Skywalker getting up and going into the bathroom to take his shower and get ready. I love that kid. I got ready and went across the hall to wake up Mini-me. I turned on the light and immediately heard a groan… from the kid who usually gets up at 5:50 am on Saturdays and Sundays. I walked over and kissed him on the cheek, “Good morning sleepyhead”, I said. He put his hand square ON MY FACE, pushed me away and said: “I am not ready”, then rolled over. Oh revenge! How sweet is thy taste in my mouth on this Monday morn! “Too bad, kid. Get up.” As I pulled the covers back, Mini-me scooted himself down the mattress, as if the light of the lamp was made of pure acid. “Five more minutes, mom!” It took me a minute to realize that I was while I was hearing this from my FOUR year old, my nine year-old was already finished his shower and was getting ready in his room. Then, I remembered the hand on my face, looked at the younger version of me and smiling I said: “Sorry, there were only five more minutes available this morning, and your mother already slept through them.” I wish I could say I felt a tad bad about getting him up, but did I mentioned he gets up at the crack of dawn on the weekends? I wonder if my mom ever felt this way…. Now that I think about it, I am pretty sure she did, and that’s why she was always so happy in the morning.