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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Rude is a Learned Behavior

I work at the headquarters of a Fortune 50 company with thousands of other people and it literally takes me eight to 10 minutes to walk from my car to my office.  Every morning on my walk in I do a little social experiment.  I smile and say "good morning" to every single person I pass, whether I know them or not.

It absolutely shocks me how many people walk through the halls looking down at the floor and don't respond at all to my greeting.  Have we really gotten to the point where basic manners have gone out of style!?  News flash - if someone smiles at you, smile back.  I promise it will immediately put you in a better mood.

As Piper grows up, I will teach her the Golden Rule - always treat others as you would like to be treated.  Here are some of the other simple, common sense manners I will teach her.

1.   Hold the door for people who are walking behind you.  If someone holds the door for you, remember to say "thank you."
2.   If someone lets you into packed traffic, acknowledge their kindness with a wave.
3.   Do not be rude to waiters/waitresses.
4.   When someone compliments you, accept the compliment with grace and say "thank you."
5.   If someone thinks enough of you to give you a gift or goes out of their way to do something nice for you, send a handwritten thank you note, not just an e-mail or text.

I don't buy it when there is a rude person and people make excuses for him/her by saying, "oh, that's just the way he/she is."  Unacceptable!  Rudeness is a learned behavior that people continue because no one calls them on it.  However, if rudeness is a learned behavior, that means it can also be unlearned.  I say we start a trend of kindness instead of rudeness.   Who's with me?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Sick of Being Sick

Piper has already learned the fine art of sharing...germs, that is.  If anyone ever sneezed directly in my face or grabbed at me with gooey germy hands, I would probably freak out.  But when Piper does it repeatedly, there’s not much I can do.

One of the bad things about being a working parent with a child at daycare for the first time, is that Piper will pick up a boatload of colds, flu, chicken pox or a myriad of other things.  The good thing is she will build up a fantastic immunity and not get sick much down the line.  However, in the meantime, I seem to pick up the adult-sized version of every illness too!

I was warned that my first year as a new parent would be the sickest year of my life.  Since I rarely get sick, I thought this rule wouldn’t apply to me.  Boy was I wrong.   I’ve had more colds, sinus infections and flu-like symptoms in the past few months than I have had over the past few years.  It hasn't been easy struggling through a full slate of meetings and projects with a pounding headache, sore throat and runny nose.  More hot Tazo Passion Fruit tea and Halls, please.

All in all, dealing with colds and such is a small price to pay for cuddle time and showers of sloppy kisses from the Pipernator.  The little nugget is pretty hard to resist.     

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Every Girl Needs a Pair of Red Sparkle Shoes

Shoes, glorious shoes!  I love shoes, from pumps to boots to sneakers.  What I love even more is finding a good sale on shoes.  Today, Piper experienced her very first shoeapalooza.  We walked into Target for Kleenex, toothpaste and shampoo and walked out with eight pairs of shoes for Piper...and forgot the toothpaste.  You read that correctly - eight pairs!  I swear if we had been at K-Mart, they would have been forced to make a blue light special announcement over the store intercom.

I was going about my normal Target shopping when I happened to swing by the shoe department.  Okay, the truth is that the shoe department in any store has a magnetic pull on me...I cannot walk away.  The Target heavens opened up and bestowed upon me a 75% off sale on little girl sparkle shoes.  Within arms reach were sparkle shoes in red, silver, gold and black.  They were all marked down to $3.50.  I was so excited I started to feel faint.  This is what is feels like to be in the "shopping zone."  Keep in mind that Piper is only seven months and they only had toddler sizes.  Do you think I let that stop me!?

I picked out a pair in each color for her to wear next year.  Then the woman next to me pointed out where they had smaller sizes.  Much to my delight I found tiny sizes Piper could wear now.  Into my cart went black patent leather, brown suede with flowers and two pairs of pink shiny slip-on sneakers in different sizes.   Eight pairs of shoes for under $30.00!  The only person who could top me with that sale would be my mom.  So what if the teenage checker gave me a strange look as he rung up my purchases.

When I got home, I strategically hid the shoe bag from my husband already picturing him shaking his head and rolling his eyes.  Little does he know that this is only the beginning.  The poor guy has no idea what he is in for with mommy and the tiny fashionista duo.

Piper's baby book will now reflect that her first mommy/daughter shopping spree took place on January 15, 2011.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Poonami Madness

I've quickly learned that becoming a parent means you discuss diapers and poop way more than any person should.  No longer is celebrity gossip the hot topic with my friends.  Instead, we compare poonami stories. What's a poonami you ask?  A poonami is a crazy explosive diaper that squishes out of the top, bottom and sides.  Lovely, I know.  Piper is already infamous at daycare for her poonamis.

On the surface, people see Piper as a beautiful petite princess.  She always arrives at daycare dressed to the nines, usually with a matching headband (alternating between giant bows and giant flowers) or a saucy hat.  However, more times than not, when I pick her up, I am greeted by her teacher with a the plastic bag of grossness and Piper wearing the mismatched extra onesie and leggings I've sent for "emergencies." Oh yes, the bag is filled with Piper's poopie clothes.  It's always a thrilling treat to open up the bag when we get home.   My mother would cringe to know that rather than wash the really bad ones, I have been known to just toss the entire outfit.

Can my tiny fashionista really be so gross.  The answer is a resounding YES!

I have had to literally cut her out of at least four onesies so far.  There was just no possible way to pull it over her head without getting poop in her hair.  Piper also has wonderful timing, like creating a poonami five minutes after we give her a bath and get her cozy in her pajamas...or when we're running late in the morning and I am strapping her into the car seat...or, this is my favorite, on the 40 minute drive home from daycare in an inclosed car.

My theory is that she stays so tiny because everything goes right through her.  If that is the case, then I hope that Piper keeps up the good metabolism for the rest of her life.  Ironically, Piper doesn't smell so good right now.  Fingers crossed it's not a poonami.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

My name is Jen McGrath and I am a Wommy.  What's a Wommy?  A Wommy is a working mommy.  Before we get any further, I want to make sure no one is offended.  I know that stay-at-home moms are working moms and work incredibly hard.  However, I'm going to be sharing my personal stories and experiences about balancing motherhood with a corporate job (8-10 hours a day), a commute, daycare, attempting to squeeze in a trip to the gym, etc.  These are purely my stories and not meant to compare the pros/cons of moms who work at home versus outside the home.

That said - how was everyone's New Year celebration?  As a mom of a six-month old baby (sweet baby girl Piper), I stayed at home, rented bad movies and ate pizza.  Oh yes, times have changed.  In fact, it was at a crazy NYE party at a hotel on Michigan Avenue in 2002 where I met my hubby, Ryan, also know as Piper's baby daddy.  And you know what - I loved every moment of staying at home with Piper and Ryan.  Well, maybe I didn't love the part where I had to change an explosive diaper, but the rest was pretty good.  Yes, I may be getting old and boring, but I am okay with that.  

Stay tuned for more stories in 2011.  Now off to watch some football.