Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Ever Watch Big Bang Theory?

Have you seen Big Bang Theory? The tv show has this great character named Raj who is unable to speak in front of women... unless he's had a nip or two of an alcoholic beverage. Miss P is evidently the 3 year old version of Raj.

On Monday morning, P had surgery to put ear tubes in both ears and remove her tonsils and adenoids. The poor monkey had tonsils that were much too big for her and they were causing breathing difficulties and some pain. The ear tubes were a 'bonus' surgery due to a persistent fluid-in-the-ear problem.

We were able to use a local surgery center, where they cater to kids and generally spoil the little ones rotten so they forget what's about to happen. After watching a little Disney channel, we headed back to a little hospital bed where they distracted Miss P with crayons, coloring pages, and a stuffed bear while they checked blood pressure and such. Once she was changed into her cartoon character hospital gown, they gave her a small dose of Tylenol and 'something to make her relax'.


For 30 minutes, she had refused to look at the nurses, ignored the anesthesiologist completely, and made almost no sounds whatsoever while preparations were made. 15 minutes after her happy drugs, the kiddo was singing and smiling and talking to pretty much anyone who stuck their faces around the curtain. At one point, she weaved back and forth a bit, and then leaned into her pillow, saying, "I feel lazy." Ha!

The surgery itself took around 35 minutes and the poor baby hasn't been a very happy camper since then. I'm working from home this week - and I use the term 'working' very loosely since so far all I've accomplished is watching a lot of Dora the Explorer - and we're hoping she can head back to daycare on a limited basis next week. Keep the peanut in your thoughts!

Monday, April 12, 2010

New Orleans: Where Alligators and Work Collide

One of the great things about traveling for work is the opportunity to explore new cities that I may not visit on my own. Over the years, I’ve had glimpses of Seattle, Houston, San Antonio, Las Vegas, Chicago… and now New Orleans. Because the purpose of the trip is typically to meet and mingle and network, there isn’t a lot of time for tourist activities, but I’ve managed to see a little of every city. New Orleans was no exception. Our hotel had a gorgeous view of the Riverwalk and we were only a couple of blocks from Bourbon Street, so we were able to hit the highlights in the few hours we actually had to ourselves.

And by 'we', I mean me, my boss, my boss's wife (who also works for our company), and one of my co-workers who lives in Chicago.

Our office was hosting this particular conference, and it was non-stop socializing, which meant my smile was worn out by Day 2. But it was also fun. I toured Destrehan Plantation, held a baby alligator, handed out beads at a welcome reception, and took photos at the awards banquet. Since I rarely have anything to do with this particular part of our office, I met a lot of new people (one of whom - a member from Mexico - gave me a bottle of tequila. It's still tucked inside a shoe in my suitcase because I haven't unpacked!). I gave a presentation on applying social networking sites to b2b marketing efforts and it went well, if feedback is to be believed. The entire conference went really well, actually.

I love to travel, but I really love to travel with my boss. First, because it's nice to have someone else taking care of all of the expenses :) Second, because he's a lot of fun and he makes sure his employees enjoy themselves. He believes that traveling for work is a way of thanking his employees for their efforts, so we stay in really nice hotels and eat at great restaurants.

Seriously people, my hotel room in New Orleans was bigger than two rooms at the Holiday Inn. The bathroom had double sinks and a separate tub and shower… on opposite sides of the room.

We ate at Restaurant Cuvee one night, which was AMAZING... the fillet... Oh. My. Gosh. The meals served at the conference events weren't your typical dry chicken dishes either. In fact, I almost weeped over a dessert bar at the lunch on Saturday. I'm not a fan of fish, but on this trip I tried flounder, oysters, and a shrimp appetizer that was actually darn good. My boss considers it his life's work to get me to try new foods, and, since he's the one paying for all of my food and wine, I try to give in gracefully on occasion. :)

On our last morning in New Orleans, I was determined to do one more 'tourist' thing and the rest of the group humored me. On Sunday morning, we took a cab to Cafe Du Monde for beignets, strolled around the French Quarter, and then walked back to our hotel along the Riverwalk path. It was a lovely way to end the trip.

I have another conference on the agenda until mid-May and then nothing until my annual Indianpolis trip in October. It will be good to let my liver detox for a bit. Socializing gets more difficult as you age.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Reaching the Finish Line

You may remember that I'm running a half marathon on May 2nd. I talked my sister into this craziness, and we've been training since January. I'm planning a nice mix of running and walk breaks, with the ultimate goal of finishing my 13.1 miles upright and in excellent shape for a celebratory margarita with my sis.

This particular half marathon is in Lincoln and the starting line is next to the stadium where my beloved Huskers play football on Saturday afternoons in the fall. I received an email this weekend from the track club that sponsors the half marathon, announcing a change in the finish line this year...

This fall, when I'm sitting in the stands cheering on the Big Red, I can look at the 50 yard line and think about what I've accomplished. Crossing that finish line is going to ROCK!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Big Easy Bound

I leave for New Orleans on Thursday. Before I leave, I have to write an article, edit a couple more, rewrite a benefit survey summary, and do some quick edits on an event program. Oh, and I should probably put together my presentation. Since I'm... ya' know... presenting at the conference.

It's the minor details that will kill you.

I'm actually not feeling that overwhelmed, to be honest. I accomplished quite a lot last week and am in pretty good shape, as long as I have a fairly productive day tomorrow. I probably should have worked today, but instead I went shopping since the Easter Bunny was completely unprepared for his big hop and I had no clothes to wear for the conference.

You have heard this song and dance before, no? :)

As of this evening, I now have perfectly acceptable outfits for three of the four days, including a cute jeans jacket/knee-length skirt combo, a darling outfit for a cocktail reception, and a new 3/4 length sleeve cardigan in a Spring-y color to wear with my gray dress pants. It's always a good idea to wear something new for a confidence boost when standing in front of a bunch of people with nothing to talk about because you chose to go shopping instead of finishing a presentation.


I still have shoe issues and obviously I need to find one more outfit, but I have four whole days and surely I can come up with something. I am simply brimming with confidence this evening! Remind me of that on Wednesday, k?