Last night away (for now)

I have nothing left to say. I am so ready to go home I don’t think I can even whine about it anymore. Okay, that isn’t true. The Boy is sick tonight. DH told me that shortly after our evening Skype video call, The Boy told DH that he needed to take a nap. This of course is unheard of from The Boy. His temp at the time was 103 F. DH gave him some Motrin and put him to bed. Checked on him an hour later, woke him up to put him in his pjs, and his temp was 100. He went right back to sleep. DH had warned me that The Boy was sick before I saw him on the webcam, but he was just so lethargic, it made me incredibly sad. I just wanted to scoop him up and cuddle him. I hate not being there for my kids. There really is no amount of professional satisfaction that is worth this.

I talked to my Mom today to make sure she made it back home safely. We started talking about my frustration with work lately, and she started telling me about how she felt when she traveled for work when my brother and I were young. She didn’t travel much, but even the small amount she did really left an impression on her. She hated being away from her kids. I worry that this is the crap I will obsess about when my kids are grown. I know I am not going to dream about the projects I completed, but I will think back about how my children were at the ages of 3 and 1. I want to remember it, and I fear that if I am gone, I will miss too much to remember.

It sounds crazy, but I have been thinking more and more about the idea of trying to get an education degree. I think I would like to teach math. I haven’t talked to DH about it yet. I know he will think it is a crazy idea. I don’t really want to go back to school, and it really is nothing more than a pipe dream. Teaching secondary Math would likely be a big huge pay cut, and maybe I am not even really suited for something like that. It is still fun to consider it.

I’m sure my departure from this lonely hotel room will mean that my blog will be abandoned for at least the next few days. I will try to write more often though. I get to go home tomorrow!!!!!


Three down, Two to go

Well, since I posted my countdown ramblings the last two nights I feel obliged to continue the saga (so as to not let my two readers down). It turns out that I have nothing even remotely witty to write about, so I will just share a typical day of this traveling consultant with you (with client references and specific information about what I do removed):

Wake up at 5:45 am to the sound of my cell phone’s alarm clock.
Turn off cell phone alarm, which I have to get out of bed to do (why is it that hotels never have available outlets right next to the bed so I can leave my phone plugged in all night?)
Turn on the tv and watch local news until I can force myself up and into the shower
Get dressed
Put on make up, put gel in my hair, brush hair (I am very low maintenance these days)
Turn on laptop, check email, check at least one of my online forums
Turn off laptop, pack up and get ready to leave hotel for the day
Head to the hotel restaurant for breakfast
Eat breakfast with my colleague
Travel to client site
Work all day at client site
Return to hotel
Change into running clothes
Go for a run
Return to hotel
Take a shower
Get dressed again (no make up or hair fixing at this point)
Turn on laptop, check email, return emails if necessary, check forums
Get dinner, walk from hotel, or drive for take-out
Return to hotel
Watch tv, surf internet, etc.
Skype video call with the kids and DH
Miss kids terribly, wish I could be home with them
Remind myself about how many days I have left before I can go home

One or two days of that can be a nice break in my hectic life, but repeatedly it just drains me. I would much rather deal with the chaos at home than live in a hotel for days on end. Whine/over, three days down and just two more to go.


Two down three to go

My self-appointed task for this week is now to find Halloween costumes for the kids. The Boy has been saying for almost a month that he wants to be Buzz Lightyear for Halloween, and I gladly stole the idea from a friend to make The Girl be Jessie from Toy Story 2. I briefly tried to convince The Boy to be Woody, but it was no use, He. Is. Going. To. Be. BUZZZZZ! I found a Buzz costume at Target last Friday, and even bought it, but when I got it home I decided it was too cheap. I ended up ordering the Buzz Costume from the Disney Store online instead. Now I have to find a Jessie costume for The Girl. Disney does have a Jessie costume on their website, but the smallest size is the equivalent of 2T and I’m sure it would be too big for my little peanut. I noticed that Old Navy has some decent looking cowboyish costumes, but on my last visit to an Old Navy back home they didn’t have the right size for The Girl. They don’t have the right size online either. In my infinite wisdom I decided to seek out an Old Navy where I am this week, so I did just that. Unfortunately they didn’t have any cowboy costumes. They did have some cute baby cowboy boots though.

My MIL offered to help us make cow print chaps if we can’t find anything suitable, but I have visions of The Girl’s costume being a huge fiasco with lots of last minute running around involved. Oh well, it isn’t like I have anything better to do right? We planned the next few workshops with our client this afternoon, and I thankfully managed to avoid planning one that would have me away on Halloween itself. I do think I will have to miss the annual daycare Halloween party though (if it happens the week before Halloween). I’m sad about this, but I managed to get 1.5 weeks of workshops condensed to 4 days so I do feel good about that.

I can’t believe it is only Tuesday. It feels like I have been on this trip for a week already. The worst part is that we are only working half day sessions with the client, then using the afternoons to catch up on documentation and other miscellaneous tasks. If we were busy all day I think I would feel better about the length of this trip. I really think we could have squeezed all we need to accomplish into 3 days, which would have had me home two nights sooner. Okay, I should stop wallowing again, perhaps a Skype call with the kids will make me feel better? Two down, three to go.


One down four to go

I am traveling for work yet again. This trip has me away from home for five nights. If I didn’t enjoy what I do so much I think it would drive me crazy, because even though I do like what I do I don’t like being away from my family. It helps that my DH doesn’t complain about me being away, and having to step-up and take care of the kids solo. What doesn’t help is the fact that my Mom came to visit last week, and she is still at my house until Wednesday. When she was contemplating a trip I told her to just buy the tickets and I would work around her dates, unfortunately a new project kicked off and I was asked to be on it. I had been very low on work for most of the summer, so I was definitely due for a new project. I just wish I didn’t have to leave during her once a year visit. Thankfully DH took a few days off of work so my Mom could spend a few more days with the kids (the real reason for the visit).

Tonight I am just hanging out in my hotel room, watching some television and surfing the internet at the same time. I picked up a burrito at a fast food place, and then got some milk, a two liter of Diet Root Beer, and some animal crackers to round out my evening. I am really living the high life now. Business travel is not exactly exotic. I spend each night thinking about how many more nights I need to pass before I get to leave. Certainly there are some perks to being kid-free for a few nights, like having time to post here for one. I would trade the perks for being able to give my kids kisses good night in person every time though. Oh well, at this point whining isn’t helping my mood or the situation, so I should stop wallowing. Perhaps I should find something more productive to occupy my “free-time” with. Maybe I could start scrapbooking, but then I would have to haul all of that stuff with me, and I’m guessing I wouldn’t enjoy that. Maybe I could load all of my digital photos onto my laptop hard drive so I could categorize them and apply labels so it will be easy to find pictures of The Girl when she was 2 months old on a whim, or pictures of The Boy and The Girl together last Halloween. Granted we do have the pictures sorted by date already, but the finer categories seems like a good idea, maybe I could even order prints from our digital photos for the first time since The Boy was over one year old (yes we are bad parents, with absolutely no printed snapshots of our youngest child). Yes, I will definitely do that, of course it needs to wait until my next trip. Someone needs to hold me to that.

DH is getting ready to make a trip to the Far East next month. I guess I will have a new perspective for what it is like to be alone with our kids for an entire week. I don’t think I will get the same level of sympathy everyone I meet while I travel seems to confer to my DH though. For some reason it is a huge enigma to others that a man can handle tending for his children for a week. When clients find out I have children, they inevitably ask “what do you do with your kids when you are away?” I typically mention that my DH takes care of them, and try to change the subject. It seems like a very odd question to ask someone. It is as if they assume I must have a full time nanny in order to be able to travel. I don’t think anyone would ask a male consultant what he does with his kids while he travels, they would just assume that his wife takes care of things while he is away. Why do they ask me? It just seems weird. Yes, I am the only female consultant in my very small company, but I am not the only woman with kids who has to travel for work. I suppose the super-woman would want to keep traveling to prove something to the rest of the world, but really I don’t want to be that woman. I want to be a good Mom, and I hope that by traveling when I need to, I am not damaging my children in some way. I don’t think that I am. Anyway, it is one down and four more to go until I can go home and squeeze my kids tight again.