I’m Leaving (And Returning) On A Jet Plane…

My father worked for the same company for 41 years and in his entire professional career he never was sent out-of-town on a business trip.  In fact, he never spent even one night away from home when I was growing up.  I on the other hand have been working for 20+ years  and I can’t even begin to tell you how many business trips I’ve been on.

TravelingmomI love my career in public relations and its given me the tremendous opportunity to travel and see many places, both large and small in this world.  It’s due in large part to my many business trips that I can brag and say that I’ve visited all the contiguous 48 United States (I’ve also been to Hawaii on my honeymoon, so I’ve been to 49 states,  all I need is to cross Alaska off my list).Continue reading ⇒

Become a Mompreneur through Huggies MomInspired Grant Program!

recite-29695-411785639-6euw89 copyHave you ever heard the quote “necessity is the mother of invention?” What’s more necessary for moms (and dads) than having innovative tools to help us to take care of our kids. Our kids can be a great source of inspiration into creating useful products to help us  live our day-to-day lives.  According to a recent survey*, four million babies are born each year and more than 84% of “mompreneurs” said they thought of a big idea for a product after becoming a parent. Now, Huggies MomInspired Grant Program is here to help turn those mom dreams into a reality.

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Huggies MomInspired Grant Program will award $15,000 grants for up to 12 people to explore and grow their innovative product ideas that help to make parents’ lives easier. Winners will also receive business advice from Maria Bailey, author, radio and TV personality and founder of BSMMedia.com, as well as support from Huggies’ own parent company, Kimberly-Clark.

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On The Road Again

I love my job – and this time I’m talking about the one I’m actually paid to do!

For the past 19 years I’ve only ever worked in television public relations.  The networks I’ve been employed at have been incredibly diverse and I’ve been fortunate to meet many amazing people and worked on many exciting projects.   One of the things I always loved about my job was all the travel I got to do.  I’ve been to both the glamorous and not-so-glamorous places across this country, Canada and even Mexico.  Living out of a suitcase was sometimes tough since I always seemed to pack too much, but it was always a new adventure.  It’s because of my work that I can say that I’ve been to all 48 continental United States (in fact I’ve been to 49 states in total, I went to Hawaii on my honeymoon so all that’s left is Alaska).  I’ve traveled private, first class and in coach, by planes, trains and automobiles – including driving cross-country in a 1939 Ford Coup with no seat belts, AC, heat or radio! TravelingmomMy love of work travel changed when I had the kidlets.

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How To Survive A Kid Sickday

My son is home sick from school today with a mild fever and with a nose that has snot dripping freely like a soda from a dispenser that it’s upsetting his stomach (and mine too, ick!).  I’m not feeling 100% myself either, but nowhere like the flu I had last month.  It’s more jet lag, having just traveled to and from LA in a 48-hour span for work this past weekend.

sicksonMy poor little guy, sleeping next to mommy as she types away!

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Who Do You Trust? Finding A New Nanny…..

June is always a chaotic month. Though the school year is winding down, my kidlets have quite a busy schedule!  Field trips and parties a-plenty are on tap this month plus my son will also graduate from pre-school!  There will also be plenty of changes in store for this summer! My son will start his first-ever summer camp program and my daughter is excited to move up to her new classroom and teacher.  But undoubtedly the biggest change will be a new after-school nanny.

Do nannies really look like this aside from the movies?

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Earning My Stripes As “The Harried Mom”

For the past two weeks, I’ve totally earned my moniker of “The Harried Mom!”  It’s been a busy time on both the home and work fronts. Luckily, the chaos is slated to end (somewhat) later this week.

First and foremost is family stuff, of course! The Hubs and I are starting to prepare our son, and ourselves, to transition from pre-school to kindergarten.  We’re very lucky that our school system offers a full-day program, because many other systems in our area do not.  Our district initiated their program 28 years ago and it’s still going strong.   Our very first step in this journey was to pre-register our son back in January.  Yes, I said pre-register.  You can read all about that HERE.  Then came orientation night a couple of weeks back, held in the gymnasium of our town’s intermediate school.    It had definitely been a long time since I’d been in an elementary school gym, but amazingly it all came back to me — parquet floors with enough shellac gooped on top that my non-regulation shoes left scuff marks all the way to our seats! The gym had a stage area for choral concerts, school plays and graduation ceremonies, and it was decorated with both an American and school flag that probably both have been there since the place originally opened.  It looked kind of small to me, but of course if you were the size of a kindergartener, the place would look pretty enormous.

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All Aboard! One Commuter Mommy’s Nightmare…

When I was growing up in Northern NJ, not far from where I actually live today, my father worked in New York City and commuted weekdays via the bus.  He walked to and from the bus since it wasn’t too far from our home.  However, on rainy days my mom would gather my sister and I into the back seat of our old Dodge Polara sedan (that was some boat of a car!) and pick him up at the bus stop so he wouldn’t come home totally drenched. As a kid, commuting didn’t seem very glamorous to me.  Sure, I’d seen plenty of TV shows and movies where the hard-working husband grabs his overcoat, takes the last slugs out of a mug of joe, breezes by his wife and gives her a peck on the cheek as he races out the door to catch the train or bus to his job at the ad agency or the architectural firm in the big, bad city. But it didn’t really look like anything I wanted to experience day in, day out.

Fast forward 20 some-odd years to me getting married and living in the Jersey-burbs.  Both the hubs and I work in New York City so one of the conditions of where we set up house was that there had to be a train station nearby.  We thought trains were more reliable than buses plus the Hubs gets motion sickness easily. Seriously, I’ve seen him start to turn green taking our kidlets on the merry-go-round!

I’ve been commuting now by train for some eight years, and for the past four years I took the same NJ Transit train home everyday so I knew all the conductors, greeting each with a knowing “I’m a regular” nod and formed a friendship, most of them unspoken, with a group of commuters who traveled on the same train as I.  I knew the people to stay away from,  like the man who talks to himself while crunching on a bag of Doritos and then always had an awkward streak of nacho cheese dust on his pants, the group of rowdy sports-talking, beer-drinking investment bankers, or the woman who always seemed to misplace something – her train ticket, lipstick, phone, whatever, and would frantically search all her belongs for that day’s missing item.    There were also those I didn’t mind sharing a seat with, like the woman who knits hats and booties for intensive care/preemie babies, the IT man who showed me the latest apps and best games to get on iPad, or the older gentleman who was always reading a book about history or a famous figure.

Well, last week I started a new work schedule, which now has me working from home one day a week (yay!), but has me leaving the office later on the other four days (boo!).  So I’m now taking a later train home and I am trying to size-up my new train companions so I can navigate a “safe” seat for the ride home.  So far, I’ve encountered a man who eats an entire six course dinner on the train, in a sort of Bento box set up, but it’s definitely not Asian cuisine (smells more like fried fish and Brussels sprouts), a lady who fake coughs any time it looks like someone is going to sit next to her, and another woman who I refer to in my head as “the bag lady” since she carries about six different size bags and doesn’t want to put any of them on the rack above the seat — there are a lot of people who have perfected this rather rude “don’t sit next to me” trick.  Oh, and there is a man who clearly doesn’t take his coat dry cleaners enough…PEE-ew!  It used to be that I would get to the train with a good 10 minutes to spare, and had my choice of seats.  With my new schedule, I’m now getting to the train with about 3 minutes to spare before departure and my seat pickins’ are pretty slim…. So which of these evils have I gone with, well, last night I went with smelly coat guy last night since I’m totally all congested and can’t tell B.O. apart from a bouquet of flowers!

The Hubs recently made a brilliant discovery, an express bus that stops in our town.  He’s done that route a few times with no motion sickness.  He said while the bus is sometimes crowded, it’s just as fast, if not faster than the train.   I’m seriously considering switching to the bus line, especially if I can’t find a safer, saner, less-stinky or more entertaining co-rider to share my seat with!

 

Kids In Common

 I am so thrilled that this story was included on BlogHerMom.  Thank you for stopping by to read the whole story!

Featured on BlogHer.com

My style is not to give the hard sell the entire time, but to sprinkle my pitch with casual conversation to hopefully find a shared connection with the reporter. Either I was having an “off” day and was totally boring or this reporter was the least inquisitive person on the planet. I was never more thankful when our salads were quickly followed by our meals and the check discretely handed to me. This meeting, my pitch and potential coverage of my project was heading for a complete bust. I wanted to get out of there as quickly as possible and lick my publicity wounds back in my office. It was also clear that he wanted to make a fast get-away, as he kept checking his iPhone for any excuse to get away. However, like any good publicist, I wanted to give the reporter my business card.

I reached down into my purse to grab my business card holder and mistakenly grabbed this and placed it on the table instead:

My son’s Hot Wheels Houston Fire-EMS Rescue vehicle

Look into the purse of any mom with pre-schoolers and you’re likely to find cars, toys, dolls, lollypops, half-eaten candy, used tissues and wet wipes, among other things. I usually try to clean out my bag each week because otherwise my purse would weigh ten pounds!  Apparently, I missed this one…..

I was totally embarrassed, but the reporter chuckled and asked, “How old is your son?” I told him he’s four and totally obsessed with fire trucks, monster trucks, and pretty much anything else that has wheels. He said his son was three and is just as obsessed and loves watching anything with cars or trucks on his iPad, which he sometimes has to wrestle away from his son for order to get work done! The entire tone of the lunch changed and instead of us rushing to get out of there, we sat at the table for another 30 minutes just talking about our kids and parenting in general. I turned him on to Mighty Machines, or what the Hubs and I jokingly refer to as “truck porn” for kids – 45 minutes of nothing but different kinds of trucks. Just enough time for mom or dad to finish up some leftover work, send out an emergency email, get dinner ready or put on a load of laundry! He gave me his “thumbs-up” review of the Children’s Museum of Manhattan which he had visited the prior weekend for the first time.

It was finally time to leave and as we shook hands goodbye, the reporter told me to email him more info on my upcoming project and he’d vet it out, but sounded like he’d be into doing something on it. SUCCESS!!

When I got home that night, I gave my son a kiss and told him that he had helped me at work today – and pulled out his fire department rescue vehicle. I don’t think he really understood what I was telling him, he was just happy to get his “favorite” toy back. Then I decided to forget about work for a while and got down on the floor with my son and daughter and played cars until the Hubs came home!