Category Archives: Money Hump Building

Smile on.

I’ve had a bit of a go of it today.

It started out with a spontaneous decision to carpool with Tony.  Which was great fun.  Sometimes necessary fun, like yesterday with the surprise “rain” that we had here.  I’m pretty sure that no one in the world knows how to properly drive in the rain, and I definitely know that no one in California knows how to do it.  At least according to social media.  Except for us.  And the “us” is interchangeable to whoever is authoring the comment, of course.

So, yesterday was necessary. Today was spontaneous, and I even joked that it was a “wasted” carpool, because traffic wasn’t all that bad at all [compared to yesterday].  Tony thought I was serious until he looked over at me.  Apparently, I can deadpan like nobody’s business.  But seriously, how can time with my best friend be “wasted?”

Anyway, Tony’s cup holders in his car are smaller than the ones in my car.  Which is strange if you consider that my entire car is smaller than his, but my cup holders are bigger than his.  Anyway, so his car’s inadequate cup holders were not holding my coffee mug and it kept sliding out every time he accelerated, decelerated or turned  Well, after I booted Tony out at his work and took over driving to my work, my coffee cup slid out and hit the floor.  It must have hit harder than I thought, enough to twist the lid.  It’s a pressurized lid, so it must have hit really hard, and was unbeknownst to me until I parked at work and went to get my coffee, except my coffee was free!  It had spilled out onto the floor mat.  I was not happy about this, not at all.

I immediately pulled the floor mat out of the car so that it wouldn’t smell up the interior.  I laid it out on the ground under the car and rushed into work.  I grieved the loss of my perfectly good coffee and took a tiny sip of the remaining small amount, then another sip, and then … the rest of it somehow spilled out and got in my hair.  SERIOUSLY!  What the … WHY???

At lunch, I headed out for my walk to the deli, but got a text that the food wasn’t needed, so I turned around and came up with the genius idea to ask the car wash guy to pressure spray the coffee off the floor mat.  Which he did and then he declined payment.

As I was walking back into work, I pressed the elevator button and our human resources person came walking up, so I smiled and held the elevator for her.  She turned to me and said, “You know something? Since the day you started here, you’ve always had a smile on your face.  I don’t know if you have shitty days or not, but if you do, I would never know it.  You are always so happy and pleasant to work with.  It’s nice.”

I blinked, smiled bigger and thanked her.  I told her I do have crappy days, but they’re not her fault… or anyone’s really, so why not smile?  What a nice thing for her to say.

So, here’s to smiling through shitty days. Because apparently people do notice.


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Filed under Money Hump Building, Who I am

When Boss Man Flies.

Yesterday, the CEO of my company traveled from Detroit to Orange County, with a layover in Chicago. United’s airplane was delayed departing Detroit, and then delayed again.  The plane finally took off, and when it landed in Chicago, they taxied around the terminal two times while they waited for a gate to open up.  Texts coming in from the CEO were a play by play of his tour around the tarmac of ORD, “I’m seeing the American terminal again.”  “I’m now seeing my plane to Orange County again…”

On the phone with the airline, the rep called the gate agent, standing by for him to arrive.  They finally found a gate and our CEO deplaned and was escorted to his connecting plane.  The representative reported that Mr. Boss Man was on his connecting flight.  Meanwhile, texts coming in from Mr. Boss Man confirmed that he was, in fact, on the plane.

Shockingly, the gate agent held the flight for 10 minutes to allow our boss to make his connection.  They closed the plane’s door behind him, and then opened it again to allow a couple more passengers to make their connection.  Allowing the plane to finally depart 23 minutes late, arriving in Orange County a grand total of 7 minutes late.  What could have been a fiasco of 3 or 4 people not making their flight turned into an amazing story of customer service success by letting people get to their final destination instead of stranding them at the airport.

united 3348

united 1463

I’m thinking Southwest Airlines could learn a thing or two from how United handled this situation.



Filed under Money Hump Building

Random Bathroomness.

A few months ago, the management company replaced the toilet paper dispensers in the restrooms here at work.  This travesty was wrought one afternoon and, had I known, I would have removed one of the keys and saved it when they were available, sticking out of the dispensers the afternoon they were installed.  Then I could have been known as the Bathroom Hero and rescued the toilet paper rolls out of there when needed.

Now we have these dispensers that are ineffective… the toilet paper breaks off (double ply, even) before you get even a couple squares off.  To be somewhat efficient, you pretty much have to start wrangling and wrestling with the thing, while it clangs and bangs in protest, the second you sit down.  In my estimation, that kind of defeats the purpose of taking a bathroom “break.”

In frustration I vented to a co-worker one day about them as we were leaving the restroom.  She nodded in understanding and commiserated that she hated them, too.  Which makes it amusing then, to me, is that sometimes the janitors leave extra rolls of toilet paper outside the stalls on top of the feminine hygiene dispenser and, inevitably, those rolls of toilet paper always end up in the stall, sitting on top of the toilet paper dispensers.  And those extra rolls of toilet paper are always used up first.

Moral of the Story:  One should always test drive toilet paper dispensers before installing them.



Filed under Money Hump Building, Time Consumers, Weird is Fun

Decorating at Work.

All decorated for Autumn at work… I will have to do Halloween decorations mid-month since I was late getting these up.


Filed under Money Hump Building, We Love to Decorate

Manning my Post.

Last month I posted this update on Facebook:

“I work for two executives. One of them resigned yesterday. The other one resigned this morning. Neither of them knew the other was resigning. The question is, will *I* continue to have a job.”

It’s weird, you know?  I was hired 2 years ago to support them and now they’re both gone.  Their new jobs are based on relationships vs. interviewing, which is a way of saying it’s a dream job come true for them.  So I was left without a boss.

When human resources called me a couple days later, she was yawning when I answered my line.  I hoped that was a good sign and not a sign that she’s let so many people go that she now finds the whole process of termination a bore. 

Thankfully, it was the former.  She merely wanted to let me know that they had no plans to terminate me and that I should prepare myself for interviewing internally and, in the meantime, I should enjoy my easy days.  Each of those sentences are direct quotes from our conversation, although not in one run-on sentence like I wrote it.

“Enjoy my easy days?”  I muttered to myself as I left her office.  She doesn’t know me very well.  I turned on my heel and marched myself over to one of the people who I hoped would be my next boss and got on his calendar for later that afternoon.

I spent 15 minutes convincing him that I would be an asset to him and the following Monday I spoke to my other next boss.  It felt good to take the initiative, secure my next position, maintain some continuity on my resume and ignore human resources’ directive to enjoy my easy days.

These days, and especially the situation my family is currently in, I can’t afford to risk riding the gravy train.


Filed under Money Hump Building

A Pumping Momma.

It is lunch time.  I am in a locked office, looking out the window at the trees that are blooming lavender blossoms.  Some call them blue, but I think those people are color blind.  They are clearly lavender.  The machine next to me sings its song, always the same, kerchunk kerchunk it goes.  When I run it at home, late at night, my husband always thinks it’s a small dog, and even now 6 months into this parenting gig, he will turn and ask where the dog is… never mind that we don’t have, nor ever have had a dog.

So, I sit here and stare out the window at the flowering tree.  A hummingbird darts by, pausing to taste the nectar from the blossoms.  His pause coordinates with the traffic light just beyond him turning red, which stops 8 cars to let 1 car turn left.  I wonder how many of those 8 people are just a bit resentful about that…

I drink some water and notice that my hand is blue.  Dark chocolate peanut M&Ms are my vice, and amused I think about the old advertisement that M&Ms melt in your mouth, not in your hand and, unrelated, the Smurf movie.  Then I think about my baby, for whom I do all this pumping, and marvel that he has been in our lives now for 6 months.  Every day I relive his birthday and how marvelously amazing and powerful we were together.  I think about how sweet my baby was this morning when I nursed him before I left for work and, how, unexpectedly, he fell back to sleep in my arms.

I sat there and looked at the way his cheek was lit by the dim light from the window, casting his eyes into shadows, but the tips of his long eyelashes were illuminated.  His lips were so pure and innocent, and he relaxed against me and sighed as his eyelashes fluttered and, centimeter by centimeter, his beautiful eyes closed in sleep .  Gradually, gradually, I felt his tongue slow its waving caress, finishing the last of the letdown he had initiated.  Perfectly timed, his latch relaxed and I pulled away from him and covered my breast.  I looked at him, his tongue pressed against his upper gum, still nursing in his sleepy haze. I lifted him and placed him in his crib, so peacefully he went… he reached his hands up in trust, his eyes barely open, I handed him his Froggy lovey.  He grabbed him from me and rolled to his side and sighed again, as I turned his AngelCare monitor on and quietly left his room.

For me, one of the absolute best parts of being a mom is having that kind of intimacy with him. I know that it won’t always be so, and for that reason, it is one of those things that I treasure the most.  There are times when I resent that it’s always me who puts him to bed, for there are times when I would like to eat dinner when it’s warm or any other number of things, but then I look at him in my arms and realize he will never be *this* age again and I continue…and the machine continues.


Filed under I have Family, Money Hump Building, Our Kid is Cute

Back to It.

At 7:05am on March 1st I left my home. At 7:28am I pushed the elevator button twice to avoid the elevator carriage that I hate, and then rode in my favorite elevator to the 2nd floor. I used my key card to enter the secure area, and walked down the darkened hallway illuminated at the end by the CEO’s office light. I flipped on the light switch for the executive area and sat down at my desk. There on my cubicle wall was my 2011 calendar still open to December, and the printout of the Outlook calendars for December 8th still posted from when I left work on the 7th, and there above my phone, the tiny printout of the ultrasound picture of my baby’s profile. It was as if a weird time warp had occurred, and if I didn’t know any different, it would have seemed as if my life hadn’t changed at all. Or that I can now post a color picture of my gorgeous baby, smiling even!

My company has been amazingly supportive of the new role added to my life and helping me to balance that with my return to work. I know that by law they had to provide me with a similar position, etc., etc., but they suggested a week of shortened hours to transition myself back into the swing of things, ultimately leaving the choice to me as to whether I wanted to do that or just return full time. That they are being so understanding is just remarkable to me and I am so grateful for that. They also seem to be genuinely happy to see me back at work, and that means a lot to me, too.

My mom has been an amazing support person and she has made the transition back to work for me seamless, as much as possible, and so much easier for all of us than if I had to put William in daycare. William is an incredibly blessed little boy to have a college professor as his weekday caregiver! I am beyond fortunate to have a mom like mine. She is such a blessing to us and I hope that someday I will be in a position to help someone the way my mom is helping us.

Tony is an absolutely fantastic father to William. I knew he would be. I always joked that when we had a kid I wouldn’t have to do anything but birth the baby and then hand him off to his father for raising. Of course, that’s not exactly true, but it was an amusing thing to say. Seriously, though, he is so involved and hands-on, and he helps in any way that he can, despite the fact that he works two jobs.

The relationship I have with my birth doula/lactation consultant has morphed into that of a long lost sister. I never thought when I was searching for a birth doula last year that I would have such a sustaining and fulfilling friendship with the one I chose, but she is so wonderful and helpful and has such an amazingly sweet spirit and energy. She has been integral in my success with breastfeeding William, which for me has been far more challenging than my pregnancy and birth (which, given his birth story is really saying something!). Now that I’m transitioning to pumping for him at work and breastfeeding him in the evenings, nighttime and early morning, it’s been even more important to have her as a guide. She truly is like a long lost sister to me.

It also helps that the little person who all this is about is an amazingly patient and healthy little boy. William is definitely an armful and has needs. There are times when he’s just not having a good day, he is a baby after all. For the most part, though, he exhibits patience and has the disposition of a baby who’s older than he really is. Plus, he smiles and laughs and “talks” to us a whole lot, and that makes it so much more fun than if he were crying all the time, which I hear a lot of babies tend to do.

Despite my commitment to my cichlid’s fish tank and doing water changes religiously every week, I lost two of them in the last couple months to some unknown disease. Or maybe they were just old and would have died anyway, I don’t know. My tank dwindled down to just two fish, one of the original gray females and the albino male, living together like an old married couple who hated each other in a 36 gallon tank. They spent most of their time hiding from each other, and if they happened to run into each other, they fought, and it made me sad. A couple weeks ago I called Fish Whisperer and he excitedly came over and took them and their tank. I was thrilled to learn that they have been moved into an 80 gallon tank where, according to him, they are reigning over all of his cichlids because they are so much bigger than his fish. We still have Tony’s guppy tank and they are so much easier to care for than those violent cichlids!

It’s worthy of mentioning though because it is the end of a decade for me with those fish. Maybe someday, when I have more time, I will enter the world of fish hobbyists again. For now, though, if I don’t even have time to bake the gingerbread cookie dough that I mixed up in January and had to freeze a week later, then I sure don’t have time to dicker around with dying fish! Who knows, maybe we’ll have gingerbread cookies in July.

In the meantime, we have a rainy weekend coming up. On my agenda: Wear green and go to Chick-Fil-A for free food, attend the annual Green Dinner with family, attend mass with family and the rest of the time? Snuggle my gorgeous baby (and try not to squeeze him so hard that his head pops off) and love on my husband!

Now, for your entertainment, a couple videos of William… the first one he was only 4 weeks old. The next one he was 6 weeks old. The picture is from his 3 month portrait session that my mom gifted us with.

Video 1: LINK
Video 2: LINK

Happy St. Patricks Day!



Filed under Daily Journeys:, Money Hump Building, Our Kid is Cute

Week of Weird.

The weird weather has continued in these parts, with a dramatic thunder and lightning storm on Saturday morning and then sun in the afternoon — as if all the morning weather drama never happened. I had chosen to sleep in that morning, and Tony, who was on his way back from the gym and was quite relieved to see that I wasn’t lap swimming at the time. Since the lightning sounded like it cracked something about 10 feet from our house (I was awake after that, for sure, although we didn’t see anything amiss), I decided it might be best to delay my swim to later that afternoon when the sun came out.

We decided to spend last Saturday morning driving around and running errands together. There are some pretty, tree-lined roads in the back part of our county and the roads curve around each other. Somewhat maddening if you’re used to a grid-like city pattern of roads, but beautiful in a simple way if you’re just out for a drive together on a rainy Saturday morning with your heads stuck out the windows of your car like a pair of oxygen deprived dogs inhaling the fresh smell of just rained on earth!

I’m not a huge follower of things like LivingSocial or Groupon, but occasionally they have a pretty good deal… like super cheap movie tickets and that awesome Amazon deal back in January. I was pretty excited when this week they had a pay $10, get $20 to spend at Whole Foods. There’s a Whole Foods pretty close to my work place (meaning I can zip over there on my lunch hour and be back at work with time to spare), and they do have bins (we all know about my affection for bin food, right?), so I was pretty tickled to get in on that deal. I love when I catch deals for things that I love.

It’s quarterly audit time at work, which means the outside auditors have come in and are sitting in the work spaces near me. As usual, the one closest to me is sick with a cold (or something, it’s always something). She sits over there and complains about how she doesn’t feel well, all the while sneezing, coughing and sniffling her nose. As usual, my immune system holds out for a week and then succumbs. It’s so frustrating to me. I’ve made mention the last two times this happened to my co-worker about this maddening pattern, but this time I made a bit of a bigger deal over it. So, they moved the ill culprit two desks over — which is great! But sadly it was too little, too late. The bug had already started settling into my immune system. I lost some pay this week because I went home sick… the whole thing just frustrates me (in case I haven’t mentioned that, like, 12 times).

This week, in case you didn’t know, there was a full moon. Or a harvest moon, the farmers call it. Or in our house, the Crazy-Ass Cat Week.

Our two alpha cats hate each other all the time, although the one just can’t comprehend the constant hate of the other and is constantly sticking his face in the other one’s face to be sure, or mosies by him, or just gets in his general vicinity when there are other, faster paths to his destination he could take. He always gets swiped or hissed at. So, lately, when he does that, I’ve taken to saying to him, “Slasher, Tug still hates you!” Slasher then looks at me with an aggrieved look on his face and goes on his way. But this week, and all weeks with a full moon, the hate is taken to an all new level with constant late night yowling, growling and feline yodeling. The hate, it’s really quite impressive.

I’m looking forward to the weekend as if it’s a reset button. To my health and to our cats’ sanity. Here’s to a new us next week!


Filed under Health/Endo, Kid Substitutes, Life Encompasses Me, Money Hump Building

Blogabilities – Week of 06/19/2011

* Me: I love your version of Rice Krispie treats. They’re so good and not as sweet as the store bought ones. I think everyone else must add extra sugar.
Him: Probably. I’m glad you like them.
Me: They’re mostly healthy, I think, you use less marshmallows than the recipe calls for… although there is a lot of butter in them.
Him: Yeah, but the butter cooks out.
Me: Stares at him with raised eyebrows. He’s totally serious.
Me: No. That’s liquor that cooks out.
Him: Oh. You’re right.

* This here is the primary reason I go to work on Fridays and get there by 8am. Also, you know, the whole “Building the Money Hump” thing. Oh, and to interact with all my charming co-workers. But mostly, this.

Croissant filled with scrambled eggs…

Fresh fruit…

* I know they’re lying to me, when I’m at the bottom of my FB feed and it says, “There are no more posts to show right now.” Liars! Liars!

* Based on traffic patterns this week, it appears that a lot of people have taken this week off from work. Good for them, good for me! Less traffic in my way cuts 10 minutes off of my commute. Such a treat!

* I’m not terribly thrilled that my boss is going on another 2 week travel trip, starting tomorrow. (sigh) I’m really praying that this trip will go more smoothly for him than the last one. The reality of it is that it matters not how much preparation one does in advance, because wacky weather and unattended packages left in airports can throw it all off.

* Because I’ve been swimming laps outside in our community pool, I’ve not been going to the gym to swim or attending my weekly aquatic aerobic class. My instructor for the class emailed me a couple nights ago to tell me how much she missed me. Isn’t that the sweetest thing ever?

* Outside the kitchen/break room window at work there are several jacaranda trees where a group of crows like to hang out. I love watching them hop around in the tree, fly from tree to tree, or when they sit up there and groom themselves. On an occasion last week, the gardeners were testing the sprinklers and there was one crow who flew down and hopped through the sprinklers like a 5 year old kid on a hot summer day. He hopped and flew through several of them, even found some puddles to splash through, and then went so far as to stick his face in the sprinkler itself. That bird was so wet and so very happy with himself. It made me happy to watch him being happy.

Crow in a jacaranda tree…

Kind of difficult to see him since he’s in the shade of the tree…


Filed under Best Husband, Blogabilities, Money Hump Building

Blogabilities – Week of 05/22/2011

* It’s been a bit of a rough week for me at work. I know I’ve mentioned how glad I am when both of my bosses are in the office. A main reason for that is, I have one boss who seems to have the worst travel luck I’ve ever seen. Delays, cancellations and other bizarre happenings always, without fail, seem to happen to him. He started traveling this past Monday for a two week journey. This week he happened to be right in the middle of all the tornadoes, hail storms, heavy rains and winds… (sigh) You can pretty much guess what happened. Not looking forward to next week, either.

* A couple nights ago, we were all comfy, watching a movie. Tug was curled up on my lap, happily soaking up some human time. All of a sudden, we heard a HUGE yowling noise. One of our other cats (Ripper) had jumped the little black cat (Snug, also known as Tug’s cat) in an attempt to play. The huge noise was Snug making a scene since he didn’t want to play. Tug leaped out of my lap and bounded to Snug’s defense and we immediately had to act as referees (anything with Tug involves refereeing). An hour later, I got up to go to bed and saw blood spots all over the entryway (where the huge fight happened). There was a trail of blood out to the cat run, another one out to the garage, trails of blood everywhere. So much blood. It was unbelievable, really.
A small sample of all the blood…

We spent the next 20 minutes herding cats so we could inspect them and, of course, the last one to be inspected (Tug) was the culprit. And it was just a torn ear. Look at all that blood splattered inside his ear, too. Stupid head wounds.

* Next month, auto insurance and home insurance come due. That’s always a huge chunk of money that pains me greatly when I have to write the check. I have to say that the bill paying, money spending part of being a grown-up is a big incentive to want to stay a kid forever.

* There are two tree shrubs over by our community pool that bloom the most gorgeous, scented pink flowers every year. Last year, I took a picture of them a day before the gardeners heavily pruned them back, making them look like immodest sticks. This year, I missed the initial blooming, but tonight I noticed there were two renegade stalks of flowers. I picked one of them and brought it home, justified by the suspicion that I just know the gardeners are waiting, watching, and will snip them off and discard them tomorrow.

* Lap swimming. God, how I love lap swimming. It makes me feel good all over. I swear, I should have been born a mermaid.

* I’ve always loved lemonade, and when at restaurants can be found inquiring, “Do you have lemonade from a mix or squeezed from lemons?” If it’s fresh squeezed, I’m all over it. (Side note: Chick-Fil-A makes their own real lemonade, in case you were wondering. So does Lucille’s BBQ, but theirs is really sweet.) I found a recipe online that uses fresh lemons and Splenda. I customized it a bit, and now I just make my own lemonade.

* I called the lady who cuts my hair this week to see how she’s doing. I’ve been praying for her, because she had surgery to eradicate a cancerous tumor from her intestines back in March. She’s doing chemotherapy and sounds somewhat upbeat, if a bit confused at how quickly it all happened. In the course of our conversation, she suggested that I go see “Dalia, the lady who worked at the station next to me” for my hair trimming needs. Today I worked up the nerve to do so and am so happy with my freshly trimmed hair. Swishy, swishy. Loving it!

* Facing a three day weekend. Also, tomorrow is a “work 6 hours, get paid for 8” day at work. Seems fair to me, so that’s what I’ll be doing!


Filed under Blogabilities, Kid Substitutes, Mermaid Envy, Money Hump Building