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Entries in working moms (3)


I Wanted to be Rich and Famous Until my Mannventure with Chris Mann 

As many of my friends already know, it's about ME. I like to be front and center. I like attention. I like to make people laugh. I also thought that I wanted to be rich and famous.

And then I hung out with Chris Mann


Do you have ANY IDEA what it takes to be a pop star?

Here's how it went down. My friend Amy has a baby grand piano and she's sorta known around these interwebs. Chris Mann, is not only really funny, but he's also totally down with casual performances he can Ustream to his fans.

So, when I found out Chris would be in the DC area I pinged him on Twitter to play at Amy's house. Amy, realizing it would be the same day as her birthday and having just moved into a larger house, loved the idea.

My job, besides coming up with this crazy idea, was to get Chris to Amy's house. He's an urban dweller and used to public transportation so he was happy to take the least one way. But more on that later.

Here's what it takes to be a pop star, Chris Mann style

1. I didn't get a photo but first there is the luggage which weighed about 100 lbs. (Two words: BUY MERCH)

2. Be willing and able to read the directions to your driver who is trying to find a decent radio station because she left the Sirius in her car and her husband only listens to the Grateful Dead and Pink Floyd.

3. Own your mad MacGyver skillz because you never know when you'll have to hack together a microphone stand from a banana hammock and electrical tape.

Chris Mann doing what he does best only doing into a banana hammock.

4. Enjoy talking and talking and talking to people. Chris hugs, chats, and laughs endlessly with his fans at these events. He is also totally down with silly birthday photos.

Amy and Chris taunting people on Ustream who had lots to say about the artwork on her wall.

5. Have a good sense of humor when you miss the last metro train by 15 minutes and you can't find a cab for about 5 miles in a major metropolitan city. But you CAN get an Old Skool Ghostbuster Limo Cab. Those, apparently, will stop right away for you.

Chris Mann riding in style.

I no longer want to be rich and famous.

It took me all week to catch up on sleep from that night (I didn't get home until after 1:00 am) and I realized that Chris was going to do the same thing every night for the rest of the week! Granted, he's probably 10 years younger, doesn't have to get up with kids and all that but still. It's got to be hard.

And so I'm now content with watching that pop star live the dream, while I'm curled up on my sofa watching it all unfold on Ustream.



My Summer Survival Guide for the part-time work-at-home parent

Because I don’t work full time, out of the office (because I do feel like I’m working full-time as in all the time!) I don’t like to pay for the Twofer to be in camp all day, every day. It’s expensive and I don’t need that much coverage. I have found a few part-time or half day camps and they will go there a few weeks this summer but not 5-days a week. Therefore I try to come up with a plan for the days they are at home and I’m at home trying to get work done. Here is what I have found to be helpful:

1. Join a pool

There will be days they just hang around in front of the TV for the morning. If the TV is the sitter for the day I will feel less guilty knowing we can go to the pool in the afternoon where they will get exercise and fresh air. Plus, my pool has Wi-Fi so I can bring my laptop and check email during adult-swim when the kids are not allowed in the pool

2. Start now scheduling weekly play dates

I'm already talking to friends in the neighborhood to see if we can trade-off having each other's kids on Thursdays. I'm going to talk to another friend about swapping afternoons where one of us can take all the kids to the pool for a few hours. On the days the play dates are at my house I may not a lot done, but my kids will be worn out and will play quietly after that. And I’ll know ahead of time the day I’ll have NO kids at my house and so I can schedule important calls and meetings on those dates.

3. Develop a schedule

The day is easier to handle when I know ahead of time when I plan to be working. I schedule it out the day before if not a week ahead.
Usually I do something like this:
8-9am breakfast
9-12 work
12-3pm break for lunch and play or pool time
3-5 work
5-8 dinner and bed routine
8-10 work

This is just a rough schedule I have so the kids know when I’ll be done and I set limits and make time for fun.

4. Break the day up into chucks

The best way to get work done with kids around you is to break the day up into smaller chunks of time. It’s much easier to come up with several activities that are each about an hour, than it is to look at 5-8 hours of time. I like to look at the day as morning, late morning, lunch, break, late afternoon, evening.

For example, my girls are still young and enjoy the 'homework' they get from school. I purchased a few work books and activity books with word games, math games, mazes, etc. that will keep them occupied for at least an hour each morning. Next I’ll suggest a board game they haven’t seen in a while. Then I’ll send them to the basement to explore their dolls and jump on the moonbounce. Finally I’ll have them come up and work on a craft that hopefully doesn’t require too much parental assistance. Last, but not least, the TV will go on for a half hour before lunch if I need it. I like to save the TV for the late afternoon whining or fighting that always happens when everyone is just a little too tired.

5. Utilize places with free Wi-Fi

The best thing is to schedule at least an hour outside of the house with the kids just for a change of scenery. So many places offer free wi-fi and our local library is my first choice. My kids love books so they will spend hours going through the shelves and playing with the puzzles. Other areas near me like downtown Rockville and Silver Spring have included a Wi-Fi signal in their redevelopment. And there’s always snuggling up in a booth at Panera Bread – me with my laptop, the girls with their coloring books.

What are you doing to survive and even enjoy the summer with your kids?


Twittermom Blog Swap

"Today's guest post is brought to you by Brandi Schaefer from Bishop`s Room.
This is all part of the TwitterMoms "Blog Swap".
Don't forget to go check out my post over on their site

Nowadays, it is a whole new world for me and being a mom has really changed my perspective.
I want everything to be so perfect for him because that is what he is, perfect.
Sometimes the stress of trying to work, running a household and still keep my sanity get to me though. I`m running everyday, eight to five, trying not to loose sight of what truly matters.

Then comes the weekend and everything is refreshed and at peace again. So, what do I do during those long work weeks to keep from losing it?

I blog. Obviously. I get to meet all kinds of wonderful people, find new things and all kinds of inspiring ideas.

Along with my pens, and folders there iare always recent pictures of my son on my desk.

Retail therapy always helps, even if it is just window shopping.

Knowing that my two favorite guys are waiting for me to come home....and that I am loved.
Did I mention the Merlot?

Sometimes, I do wish that I was the one staying home with my son. However, my husband does a wonderful job and it makes me feel good to provide for our family.

So, these are some of the things that I do to keep me sane...What about you? If you stay home with you children, work from home, part time of full... I know we all need to find time to just unwind and just relax. What do you other moms out there do to keep your sanity?