Tag Archives: office

May Day vs Mayday!

I used to love May Day.  Bulbs blooming, grass getting green, days at least STARTING to try and get a little longer…..  the promise of summer relaxation looming, full of promise, on the horizon.  Oh yeah.

But when you are a parent, May Day becomes more like MAYDAY!!

There is so much to do – May is the moment that the insanely big wave of all the parental shit you are doing finally breaks, and washes over you… grab something and hold the f*ck on, or be sucked out into the sea of trying to wrap up a school year while simultaneously plotting an entire summer AND making sure you have everything you need in place for the coming school year.

MAYDAY MAYDAY, we have a mom down! Send coffee!! Send wine!!  Throw up some shameless bargaining prayer!!

Every time I open my email, I find a new deluge of invitations for end-of-year school year activities, and forms to fill out for summer day camp, and even more forms for the coming fall, and (the worst) an unending supply of notices regarding MORE fees for said summer and fall.

All of the flat surfaces in our house are covered in forms and notices and finished products, with a fresh new hell of paper added to the pile each evening when Jr’s backpack explodes in a crapstorm that leads me to believe nightly that “this must’ve been the big day for sending stuff home.”  But no…. no no…  Silly, silly Keri.   Tomorrow’s pile will make you long for the smaller size of today’s.

The entire last 3 weeks leading up to the final day of the school year is an m-f-ing blur.  It is like I KNOW the days must actually be passing, but I can’t remember where they go.

A great example of this is that I actually started writing this the week BEFORE May Day.  As in, May 1st.  But then I blinked, got buried in a backpack paper explosion, and OH LOOK, it is May 15th.

This past weekend I cooked brunch for my parents to celebrate Mothers’ Day – and part of that “celebration” included 20 minutes where we all poured over our summer calendars, marking out all of the things we already KNOW are happening – followed by scrutinizing the leftover dates to see where we can wedge in other things that we all need or want to happen.

When did summer turn into something I need project management software for!?

Not to mention the last week of school that is roaring up on us – otherwise known as “the week Keri is going to office in her car in the school parking lot,” evidently.  I think there is at least one family participation activity a day for us in Jr’s class from now until the end of school.   There needs to be some sort of “emergency May mom clone” that we can all keep in the basement storage closet and just charge her up to trade off conference calls and field days…  family picnics and reconciliation reports….  appreciation teas and power points… and play performances and making meals and permission slip completion and new hire intros and sports physicals and laundry and bank file approval and swimming lessons and magazine submissions and carpool and HVAC tune ups and bedtime story books and ……


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How I spent my random vacation.

We have 6 bedrooms.


We have 3 people (4 if you count Binky the Wonder Dog, and we probably should because he would be the first to tell you he is effing “people” and don’t forget it,) in our family.

It is too damn many bedrooms, but whatever.

So The Mr has one bedroom upstairs as his office, and I had previously taken one of the bedrooms in the finished basement as my office.

This left us with 2 fully-outfitted spare bedrooms. 2 bedrooms just sitting around waiting for someone to come along and sleep in them or whatnot.

The spare room in the basement is TRICKED OUT – you get your own LEVEL of the house, FFS. Walk-in closet, the best TV in the house, surround sound, my favorite sofa, and a private bathroom.

The one upstairs is smaller, you share a bathroom with our 5 year old (“Captain-NO-Aim”) and his army of bath toys, and you are right up in the day-to-day of our family’s crap. It was the 2nd tier spare room, for sure.

It was also time to transfer Jr to a true bed, since he was bustin’ out of his Toy Story toddler bed to an extreme degree.

So I developed “The Plan.”

The Plan entailed us moving the queen bed from guest room B into Jr’s room next door, then moving my office into said unneeded guest room, and then finally the changing of my old office into Jr’s exclusive playroom.


We moved the bed into his room and got him rocking and rolling as a “big boy” (although he does still have to take a semi-hilarious running jump to get into the thing for the moment.)

Then came the last 2 steps.

And a confession. I have a LOT of stuff.   I had been cramming the clothes Jr had outgrown into that unused bedroom closet for going on 4 years, and when we moved in I had just shoved boxes marked “Keri Office” into my office closet and shut that dang door.  Then filled two bookshelves with a fraction of my favorite books in that room (hello, English degree nerd girl,) slapped some pictures on the wall and called it good.

A reckoning was coming, people.

I took a whole week off of work to make it happen, people. (And also because I had hella comical amounts of vacay accrued, yo.)

Things started off well:

Mimosa buneh ready 4 ALL THE PROJECTS.

But things, um… deteriorated kinda quickly from there…. (this is the kind of crap you miss when you don’t follow Keri on snapchat – @reluctntnburbs.)

I quickly discovered I hadn’t really purged ANYTHING from the time we had Jr…. I threw it in bags and moved it out of The Treehouse when we left the city.

There was this:

Uh oh.

And this:

Oh noes! It’s one of 80 hats I apparently liberated from the hospital!

Which escalated to this:

That escalated quickly.

And a LOT of this:


And this:

Ruh roh, queso. (With a SPOON, mind you.)

And of course this:

That salad is to keep my wine company, people.

Big ol’ shocker – Keri wasn’t handling change well. Because we have NEVER seen that before (ahem – hereand hereoh and lookie here…  I DIGRESS!)

Anyway – after I  succumbed to my weeping and eating honored my emotions regarding the treasures that avalanched out of my closets I discovered in my purge, so much more than just a clean office started to come into view. I was able to pack a few boxes for dear friends who have little guys that can get more use out of the tiny cutie clothes and I have taken two car loads of various gear to donate at A Precious Child.

Plus, in both Jr’s packed away gear, and the books and writings coming up from my former office, I have revisited so many special moments in the history of Keri.  I re-read papers I wrote in college (dang, college Keri could REALLY pick apart a Virginia Woolf novel.)  I sat in the Big Blue Marshmallow Chair, now newly rehomed in my office, and laughed and cried my way through the journal I kept for Jr during my pregnancy and our first few months together after his birth.  I brought up the table I use as a desk, remembering that it was a cast off from the University where my paternal grandparents worked, as a groundsman and a cook, and thought back to my memories of them as I sat, palms flattened against the top.  I repositioned, again and again, the mid-century modern typing table that my in-laws bought me after I fell head-over-heals for it during one of their first visits after we moved here, grateful that they love the history of things as much as I do.

Andplusalso, that cool old TV in the corner was my mom’s family’s when she was a teenager.

Did I get it all done in a week? No – I ended up taking the long way around, for sure. But it’s coming along nicely… both rooms are, actually.

And spending that week sorting and laundering and dusting and moving and living with those things that have gathered through the years allowed me stop and think and truly know what needed to stay, and what needed to be released back out to find another round of use and love.

Hokey? Of course. But it helps my heart, so I’ll take it.

Otherwise I am just the woman who spent her vacation drinking mimosas, eating chicken wings, and crying into a pile of 10-24 month sized punk band shirts.

(Let’s never speak of this again, shall we?)

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Burning Question – Now with bonus buzzwords!


It’s time for another round of Keri’s Burning Questions….
This one gets all corporate about things,  y’all.

Here it goes:
Using “Ladies” as a greeting/salutation in business correspondence – yay, or nay?

Examples (as a bonus, I’ve included as much business jargon as I can cram into each example, because funny):

I just wanted to touch base about how we are leveraging our latest deep dive before I run it up the flagpole.


Hi Ladies,
Ready to reach out to the client with the new verbiage since I’ll be out-of-pocket for the rest of the week.  Let’s talk turkey about the action items we outlined during the cross-fuctional call last week.


So-  is “ladies” acceptable here, or not?

You guide me.

Shout it out in the comments below!


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Toddler Law. Just Sayin’.

A toddler doesn’t ALWAYS have to poop in his pants.

But if he does, it is when you literally have one foot out the door, running 20 minutes late already, on a day when every big wig you care about from the East coast office is going to be on site at your location.

And it is a monster messy poo for the ages.


Just Sayin’.


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Parallel thoughts.

A shameful confession: Outside the office is a section of street where parking is allowed, and, although there is AMPLE free lot parking in the comically large suburban office lot behind the building, the street offers quick access to the building’s door. This makes it a delight for me certain people who may be wearing unsensibly high heels and carrying way too much crap back-and-forth to the office.

HOWEVER, the other day this super-sweet spot was open SMACK in front of the building and I passed it by, telling myself it was too small for Frederico Escapé:

It wasn’t too small. You could get a damn Econoline van in there.

After parking in a different, less awesomely-close spot, I realized this and it hit me :I am in danger of losing my parallel parking mojo.

FORSOOTH! Do not speak such vulgarity!  (The English lit degree pops out every once in a while, I can’t stop it.) 
I have long spent an inordinate amount of time ribbing The Mr. about his lack of parallel parking skills.  He has used many excuses for why he can’t take various killer spots throughout our years together:  his last Acura had “blind spots” that prevented it,  the Jeep is “too big” and “the backup camera alarm is too sensitive,” and my personal favorite he “doesn’t see as well at night,” (HELLO, you are Driving Miss Keri here, pal – PRECIOUS CARGO – update your prescription, yo!!)

The point is, Keri can parallel park.   I remember distinctly going with my mom and my dear lifelong girlfriend to go see a potential apartment in the city for soon-to-be-college-student-Keri a few weeks before high school graduation, and seeing a tiny spot on  the crowded street.  Too small, remarked my friend and I.  OH NO – not for my mom who learned to drive in the city!!  She wedged her little Sentra into a spot I didn’t think would fit a Vespa, and my friend and I gasped in awe.

I was hooked.  I had to do that too.

So I did.  NO NO – So I *DO*!!

There is no way in hell I am losing my ability to fit Frederico effortlessly into spaces that appear to be Yugo-sized.  I can’t tell you the joy I feel in executing a perfect park right in front of a patio full of people at happy hour, when every dummy out there is just DYING for me to take out the bike rack beside me or jack up my hubcap.  Forget it, suckers – not City Keri, not Reluctantly Suburban Keri, not even So-damn-old-they-repo’ed-my-licence-Keri.  Never.

The shame of abandoning a bomb-diggity parking spot is NOT one I will accept as normal. Mamma’s not going out like that.

RAGE RAGE AGAINST THE DYING OF THE LIGHT!  (English lit degree again.  I am totes sure that Thomas would be down with me borrowing it to talk about my mad parking skillz.  Yep.)

If you need me I’ll be setting up a makeshift parallel parking obstacle course with the trash bins in front of the house.

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