Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Career Woman

For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a geologist.

No, I take that back.

I wanted to be a geologist the summer I flew from South Carolina to California to visit my sister, Eileen, who was working as a chemist in an environmental laboratory. For a glorious month the summer after my 10th grade year, I worked in the lab, beside my sister, helping to prepare soil and groundwater samples for chemical analysis.

As much fun as it was handling samples that were heavily contaminated with petroleum hydrocarbons, I was especially impressed by the hordes of breathtakingly gorgeous good looking guys that would bring these samples in from the "field". I would listen intently as they told me their stories of geology - which seemed to involve camping at some beautiful and remote location - every weekend.

Not only did it appear that the "field" of geology was full of breathtakingly gorgeous good looking guys, I thought it would be a lot more fun to spend my time in the outdoors collecting samples rather than sit in a lab all day.

Returning home to South Carolina, I was convinced that I would grow up and be a geologist. I had absolutely no idea what a degree in geology entailed, nor did I have any idea what I would do with my degree, once obtained. I just envisioned I'd spend beautiful days in the "field" working alongside breathtakingly gorgeous good looking guys ... and on the weekend, I would go camping in the mountains.

What could be better?

I'll tell you this ... as a 16-year old girl ... NOTHING!

By the time I went off to college, I was steadfast that I would major in geology. Unfortunately, my school at the time, Winthrop College, didn't have a geology program - but I was lucky enough to meet with an advisor, who got me lined up to take all the necessary courses before I transferred to a school where I could complete my degree.

As it turns out, my advisor, a breathtakingly gorgeous a handsome man, just so happened to have a PhD in geology and would take off on camping trips to the mountains every weekend.

That pretty much concluded my research that I was indeed making the right choice for my future.

I'm totally getting away from the story that I wanted to tell, about my day, today. So I'll have to save for some other time, the part about moving to California so I could finish my degree - meeting Charlie as we played for the title of Intramural Singles Tennis Champion - soon discovering that he was a geology major, hitting on him in a hot tub, getting married and giving birth to triplets after trying to start a family for almost 10 years.

The important part of the long-winded introduction was to say that I've known for quite some time that I've wanted to be a geologist. And aside from the work force that is inundated with attractive people, the weekend camping trips that we haven't taken in (let's see 30-month old triplets, plus 12 months, minus 2, carry the 1) three years, I truly love the science of geology.

What's better yet is that there is an amazing need for geologists. If we don't find happiness in the oil and gas industry - there's a good chance we'll find it in geotechnical - research and education - or environmental.

As for me, I've been working in some component of the environmental industry, ever since my 10th grade summer in the laboratory with my sister, Eileen. Not only have I had some wonderful job experiences, I've met some wonderful people along the way.

Before our children were born, I was very involved in my career. My most valuable piece of equipment was my laptop computer and my PDA. It was not unusual that I would work a 70-hour work week and feel motivated to do the same exact thing, the following week.

Just because I loved it so.

Once our children were born, I took a year off, and then - decided that I wanted to get back in to my career, albeit on a part-time basis. The arrangement that Charlie and I have currently, really couldn't be any better. I get to enjoy my career and work from our home alongside my children and my geologist husband, who just so happens to be a breathtakingly gorgeous handsome man.

Life is good.

I am a mom.

I am a career woman.

One day, hopefully soon, we'll be able to go camping again.

Today, Charlie had to leave early to go out in the "field."

I had an important conference call with 45 of my co-workers that was scheduled to begin at 9 AM. I knew that this coincided with the conclusion of breakfast and with some planning, the kids would be happily playing in their sandbox so I could participate in my call, from the quiet backyard.

One thing I've learned is that around here - things very rarely go "according to plan."

Just as I was dialing in to my conference call - while the children were sitting at the kitchen table happily eating their fresh fruit with cottage cheese - Elizabeth projectile vomited. Carolyn and William started to shriek "Oh-no, boo-boo!!" as I informed the other 45 participants in the conference call that I had joined the meeting.

Grabbing a mega size roll of Bounty papertowels, I started to mop up the mess that was across the table, all the while praying that this was an isolated event and not some horrific viral bug that would spread throughout the entire family and cause everyone to vomit for the next 7 to 14 days. (As of this posting, it does indeed seem to be an isolated event).

I dropped my 8-month pregnant body to my knees and began to clean up the floor, as Elizabeth vomited another two times. Just then, I was hit in the head by a fistful of cottage cheese.

Vomit was flying all over the place.

Cottage cheese was flying all over the place.

I grabbed Elizabeth from her chair, stripped her of her vomit-soaked pajamas, dunked her in the kitchen sink for a quick bath, and dried her off with papertowels. I quickly got her dressed, surrounded her with more papertowels and plopped her on the sofa.

I then stripped William and Carolyn of their pajamas which were caked with cottage cheese, cleaned them up the best I could with papertowels, got them dressed and plopped them on the sofa next to their sister. I set about sweeping up the mounds of cottage cheese and vomit from our floor, which was a lot more difficult than I expected, before pulling out the mop to sanitize.

All the while, I was participating in my conference call.

When I think back, just a few years ago, never once did I imagine that as a career woman, this is the kind of life I'd lead.

But here I am.

With a mega roll of Bounty papertowels in one hand ... a telephone with "mute" capabilities in the other ... and a purple dinosaur on public television, I can do everything that I once did.

And then some.


  1. Oh. MY!

    Talk about "take your children to work day" - ha!

  2. Oh, wow. You are SUPERWOMAN. I simply wouldn't be able to concentrate on a phone call while doing all of that, let along a MEETING. Geesh.

  3. The mute button is a WAHM's very, very, very best friend. What the other callers can't hear won't hurt them. :)

  4. That is awesome. I'm pretty sure I would have just sat down and cried or something! You are quite the career woman.

  5. Talk about multitasking!

  6. i'm inspired, while at the same time feeling really, really stupid for complaining about anything. truly.

  7. ...and I was just thinking this morning, "how did I manage everything while I was working, too?"
    I don't know how you do it? Thank God, Mark doesn't read this blog!

  8. Lol. For months now I have participated on a weekly conference call... Our phone is terribly designed and I can't tell you the number of times that I've hung up on the group with a too tight squeeze of my shoulder when changing a poopy diaper.
    It's hard to know whether that's more embarrassing or the fact that a couple times they didn't notice that I'd dropped off the call!

  9. Man! I have said it before and I think I will say it are hillarious! I seriously don't know how you do it!!! I can see how the mute botton would be highly needed, but seriously, I still don't know how you get through conference calls with all that? Do the people on the other end know that you have 3 toddlers?
    Either way GREAT JOB all around!

  10. you are amazing:) I forgot about a mute button function initially though -- nice. I think you and your husbands schedules sounds absolutely perfect.

  11. As your suite-mate at Winthrop, I can atest to the fact that you never once waivered from your geology dreams, good looking guys or did anything "according to plan". You will forever be my Miss American Pie --- living the ultimate American Dream!

    P.S. Kyle sends hugs & kisses!

  12. NICE on the mute button!!! You rock pregnant WAHM of triplet geologist Goddess!!!!

  13. You are the QUEEN.......a well deserved Happy Belated Mother's Day to you!