Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Another First

Today the Beast had his first solid. It wasn't exactly a solid, it was rice cereal with breastmilk and it was practically liquid. But he was excited and I was excited too. It is just another indicator of how big my little baby is getting. Which makes it exciting and scary.



We don't really eat around the Beast. Sometimes I put him in the high chair while I eat my cereal but for that to happen the morning has to be going absolutely perfectly and completely on time. My breakfast is usually cookies in the car or driving through McDonalds. And we don't eat dinner around him because I want to spend my time with him in the evening playing and having fun in the bath, not cooking dinner and eating.



Now I see the result of not eating around him, he had no idea what to do with the spoon or the cereal. I don't know if eating around him would have helped the situation but it was pretty funny to watch him just spit the cereal out.



I think he enjoyed chewing on the spoon the most. We'll try again tomorrow. I can't wait till he is ready for sweet potato, I love sweet potatoes!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Happy Birthday Captain America

Today is Captain America's 30th Birthday! What an old man! (Please disregard the fact that I am already 30 and will be 31 this March).

Happy Birthday to a man who is loving, wonderful, loyal, sarcastic, a great dancer, stubborn as a mule, the pickiest eater I have ever met, hard working, seriously smart, a great attorney, a fantastic father (to the Beast and the bullies), a dreamer, expert traveler, and just an all around great guy*.

I hope you had a great birthday and I promise you the next year is going to be amazing!



*If only he would do dishes and laundry, then he would be even greater. Maybe too great.

No Time

I am not an overly confident person. When driving, I always turn around, thinking I'm lost, just to realize that if I had gone just a little further on my original course I would have reached my destination. I change my outfit at least twice before leaving the house. Between my wardrobe changes and the Beast's spit-up, mornings can get pretty interesting. I'm no stranger to second guessing, changing my mind, and asking for other's opinions.

But one thing motherhood, particularly working motherhood, has taught me is to be confident. To be sure in my decisions, not constantly question myself, and not care what others think about my decisions. Because I am just too damn tired and stressed out and pulled in a million different directions at one time to be anything else.

You want to judge me because I went back to work when the Beast was 9 weeks old? Sorry, don't have time for you. I'm too busy being a lawyer and raising a happy, healthy baby. You think I'm poisoning my baby because I supplement breastfeeding with formula? Don't have time for you either; plus, if you think that you are insane. You think my house isn't clean enough? I don't cook enough? I don't eat enough vegetables? My baby should be in cloth diapers? Yep, you guessed it, I don't have time for all of you either. I'm busy listening to my baby giggle, winning motions, and laughing with my husband.

Don't get me wrong, all of my parenting decisions have been carefully researched, pros and cons weighed, and input received from the husband. I am confident in all my decisions so that I don't have to deal with those who question them. I don't claim to be a perfect mother. Or a perfect wife or a perfect lawyer. Heck, there are dirty dishes all over the kitchen, dirty laundry all over my bedroom, the Beast is wearing the same pjs he wore last night because I didn't' feel like doing his laundry, and I did most of my Christmas shopping online while at work today. And if you want to judge me for that? Too bad. I don't have time for that.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sea World

Tomorrow is Captain America's 30th birthday. To celebrate, we went to Sea World this past weekend. I know, crazy way to celebrate the big 3-0. But we wanted to do something with the Beast and we have been wanting to go to Sea World for a long time so it worked out. But on the way there I started to think, "what the hell am I thinking, taking a 5 month old to an amusement park???? How am I going to change his diaper? Feed him? What if he freaks out?" In the end, there was nothing to worry about, the Beast did great. He took a few stroller naps and was pretty content while we were there. I even nursed him in public (with the help of a hooter hider)!

We started off with the Shamu show, we did not sit in the splash zone. I will never sit in the splash zone. That water is nasty. You don't know what those whales are doing in that water. There isn't enough purel in the world for me to sit in the splash zone.



We sat pretty high up so I'm not sure if the Beast could really see it but he appeared to be watching intently. I'm not gonna lie, I got all teary eyed watching the show. There were 3 "shamus" and it looked like a daddy, a mommy, and a baby. I have no idea if they are related or how they are related but I was so happy to be with my little family and I just couldn't believe that Captain America and I were sitting there with our son. So yea, I got emotional, it's a good thing I wear big, black sunglasses.



Captain America and I used to rule the self portrait. Turns out it is really hard to take a good picture of yourself when there are three involved.


One of the really cool things about Sea World is that there are a lot of interactive exhibits. You can play in the tide pools, pet the bat rays, and the dolphins. Captain America was very excited about the bat rays and he got to pet a starfish. It is so cute when he acts like a big kid. I touched a bat ray and ran away shrieking like a dumb girl. In my defense, it was really slimy.



Captain America and I really enjoyed Sea World. The Beast? Well who knows how much he really got out of it but he does love aquariums. He stares at the fish and follows them as they swim around. Note to family: this does not mean we want a fish. We don't. Do not buy us a fish.

Could this fish be any uglier? Yuck.

I absolutely love sea lions. They remind me of my bullies. Some are fat and lazy like my Frank and some are in your face like my Mickey.

This guy has some attitude. I respect that.



We had a great day at Sea World. And thank the good Lord that we have family that live in San Diego. We were able to drop off the bullies and then spend the night at their house. It makes things so much easier when we have the bullies taken care of. Although I have learned that I just cannot sleep with the Beast in the same room. And he can't either. Sometimes I feel a slight twinge of guilt that we don't cosleep. Like I should be snuggling my baby at all possible times. But then I have a night with him in the same room and no one is getting any sleep. He makes so much damn noise during the night which wakes me up to check on him and then he wakes up. It is an ugly cycle.

This is the Beast's 5 month picture. He's actually just about 5 1/2 months. Which is insane. He's becoming more of his own person every day and it blows my mind.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Five Months

The Beast turned 5 months this week. Normally, I would take his monthy picture with some kind of "5" marker in the picture but I can't find my freaking camera. I have a baby and no camera. Horrible. I know it is somewhere in the house. The last time I had it was the other morning when I tried to take a picture of the bullies because they were squished in the same bed together and it was so cute. Anyway, since I don't have any pictures here is a little video.

video

The Beast is still a happy, smiley baby. He laughs a lot now. He loves the songs Jingle Bell and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. That is probably because those are the only Christmas songs I know by heart so I keep singing them over and over again. He has rolled over but doesn't seem to care to do it again for the time being. He does scoot himself all over his crib. And he's getting close to being able to sit on his own.

We haven't started solids yet but I think that we will in the next couple of weeks. My doctor gave me the go ahead at 4 1/2 months. I was all excited and ran to Target to buy little spoons and rice cereal. And then I just felt like it was too early and I didn't want to interfere with breastfeeding so I waited.

I'm not sure how much he weighs. The only method I have for weighing him is weighing myself first and then weighing myself holding him and figuring out the difference. I don't really care to weigh myself right now so I'll just wait till his 6 months appointment to see how much he weighs.

There is the five month update for the Beast. This post was primarily written for my family. If you are not related to the Beast this was probably rather boring. My apologies.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Rough

Today was a rough day for me. Emotionally it was exhausting. As I drove away from daycare I was really missing the Beast. Now, I always miss him but some days are more bearable than others. This was one of the non-bearable days. I think it was due in part to the fact that I was really tired and just wanted to lay in bed and snuggle with my baby.

Then, while checking my facebook on my blackberry in traffic, I saw a post by my dear cousin about World AIDS Day and remembering my Uncle Robert who passed away from complications due to AIDS in 1995. I knew World AIDS Day was today but I will admit it was not at the front of my mind. Well the facebook post brought it front and center. Cue tears on my morning commute.

Then I went to a funeral mass for my boss's mother. I did not know her but I wanted to pay my respects and show my support for my boss. It was a beautiful service and touching and made me really think about life, love, and family. Because I needed more heavy thoughts in my head.

Anyways, I started the day thinking about my uncle and the funeral mass brought me back to that. My uncle was the coolest thing I could ever imagine. He rocked a mean mohawk and dyed it all colors of the rainbow (he may be the reason why I'm obsessed with coloring my hair). He took us to Disneyland and El Capitan. He wrapped our Christmas presents in foil and newspaper which I thought was just awesome. He was and is a great uncle and I wish I had gotten the chance to know him better.



The work day seemed to drag on forever and ever as I alternated between memories of my uncle and missing my baby. At the end of the day I got to snuggle my baby but my uncle was still gone. There have been so many great developments in the fight against AIDS and I wish these had been present when they could have been useful to my uncle. But I hope that the fight against AIDS continues to be successful so that children get a chance to grow up with their uncles, mothers, fathers, siblings, and that the world, someday, gets to live without the pain of AIDS.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving.

I think it is safe to say that I failed miserably at my little thanksgiving blog project. I thought it would be a fun exercise to really think about everything I am thankful for but I ended up just being too busy to write every day. I guess in the end I am glad that I have such a full life that I didn't have time to write every day. Plus it was kind of a cheesy project and I'm really not that sappy despite the fact that I'm currently watching the movie Valentine's Day (I am also trying to not throw up in my mouth while watching said movie).

With that being said I had an amazing Thanksgiving weekend. I had Wednesday off at work so I had lunch with my sister and grandparents and did a little shopping with the sister.

How cute is my little rascally raccoon?


Early Thursday morning we headed down to San Diego and by "we" I mean, me, the husband, the baby, the bullies, two sets of golf clubs, enough diapers to last a year, a pack n play, a stroller, a huge dish of mac n cheese, and all of our bags. Our car looked like a joke. We spent the weekend with my husband's family. Thursday to Saturday. Three days of nothing but family. It was fun but draining.


My husband's family has all these fun traditions. Every Thanksgiving they have a putt putt tournament, play games, do the chicken dance, have a talent show, and so forth. Everyone is welcome to this gathering so there is always someone new to meet.

The Beast had his first appearance in the putt putt tournament. He was none too pleased. I really only participated in the putt putt tournament. During every other function I was nursing the Beast who seemed to eat every freaking two hours the whole weekend.


The weekend was a lot of fun but three days of family is exhausting. It was hard being away from home with a baby, his routine was thrown off, I didn't have my breastfeeding pillow (seriously essential to breastfeeding), we tried to sleep with Mickey in the room and she kept us up all night with her snoring. And there were a lot of people there this weekend. The Beast did great with the crowd. He was smiling and laughing the whole time. It was me that didn't fare so well. By the time we left I was freaking sick of people asking me if I was nursing (seriously why do people care?), when I was going to start solids, if he likes his daycare, is it hard to go to work, and many, many other questions regarding my parenting.

And of course I get asked really great questions like, "when does your diet start?" or "how much weight did you gain while pregnant? You were huge!" Um, how about mind your own damn business? And then I told off a lady in her 80s. Not exactly my proudest moment. I was holding the Beast and walked outside of the house to talk to someone. This lady comes running after me and says, "it's cold, the baby needs a blanket." It was 11 am, sunny and brisk, but definitely not cold. I politely declined and said that we were fine. She kept telling me that the baby needed a blanket and that it was cold. I heard this about three or four times. I finally sternly said, "he's my son, don't tell me what he needs." Awesome, way to be a bitch to the little old lady who, while super annoying, was just trying to help.

After that incident I promptly told the husband that I was done and we were going home. And to top it all off there were a million kids there who played way too rough with our dogs. Frank sprained his leg so he got extra attention from Captain America. Captain America who tore the kids a new one for playing too rough with the dogs.




So by the end of the weekend we were the assholes who yell at old ladies and little kids. At least our kid is cute.


We eventually got home and I got our Christmas cards orders, took care of three presents, put up all the decorations, and actually did all the laundry. I'm exhausted but my tree is lit and I'm drining a Sierra Nevada Celebration beer. Bring on the Christmas!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Shutterfly

Hi There.

Today I am pimping out my little ol' blog to get 50 free holiday cards from shutterfly. Why? Because I send out like a million holiday cards and stamps keep going up in price and it gets real expensive, real fast. And since I basically sign over my entire paycheck to student loans and daycare, I could use a little break.

I just started using shutterfly and so far I am quite pleased. I have ordered a couple of their photo books and they turned out really cute. It was shockingly easy too. I uploaded a bunch of pictures and then the book maker thingy just formatted them. You can rearrange the pictures and add captions. Since I refuse to scrapbook this is pretty much the only way that I can ensure the Beast will have some kind of photographic evidence of his childhood. And you can import your pictures on facebook directly to shutterfly which is totally awesome. Shutterfly is great for just order prints as well.

So I like shutterfly and think you should try them out. Ok, where are my free cards?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Catch-Up

I am so woefully behind on my little thankful project. I do think it is better to play catch-up rather than just give up the project entirely. Here is my quickie way to catch-up:

Day Ten:

Let's see this was Wednesday. On Wednesday I was thankful that, oh lord, I can't even remember what happened on Wednesday. I went to work, I know that much. I hung out with the Beast, that's a given. I guess I am thankful I just made it through this day because clearly I was on auto-pilot and don't remember the day!

Day Eleven:

This was Veteran's Day. On this day I was thankful for all the brave men and women who have done so much for our country. I really have a lot of respect and admiration for these dedicated people and am very thankful that they protect our country, our freedom, our way of life.

Day Twelve:

This was Friday and I was thankful that my husband finally came home after another week in Arkansas. And he brought me a travel coffee mug from the Bill Clinton museum. I love me some Slick Willie and I love me some coffee. Now I can enjoy both together! Thanks Captain America!

Day Thirteen:

This was Saturday and I was thankful for some time with my husband, some time with my baby, and a trip to the mall to get the Beast's picture taken with Santa. Yea I know I am crazy early but there was absolutely no line. Have you seen the line for Santa in the mall during December? I was not going to stand in a two hour line with a baby so we got that holiday outing marked off our list.

Day Fourteen:

And we are caught up to today. Today my friends from college came over to my house for a little lunch get together. I am very thankful for my friends and the fact that we have stayed friends since college. We have gone through so much together and they are just awesome ladies. Plus, it is so much fun to reminisce about our crazy college days. It is nice to be reminded that I once went out to bars and danced and got crazy. Especially now that I go to bed at 9pm and getting crazy means having two glasses of chardonnay instead of my normal one glass.

Ok, technically I'm caught up on my project. And my house is relatively clean. And I have a Christmas tree up in my house. And I got through all the laundry. And I hosted a luncheon for my friends. And I went on a date with my husband on Saturday. Whew, this was quite the weekend!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Day Nine

I am thankful for sleep, which I am in desperate need of right now.

Goodnight!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Day Eight

I am thankful for the Beast's daycare. I am thankful for his teachers who truly love him and look after him while I'm at work. I'm thankful for the director who is also a new mom and understands when I am teary eyed after dropping him off. I am thankful for the detailed reports they give me about his day and the smiles he has when he sees his teacher in the morning. I am thankful for the peace of mind that my baby is in good hands while I am at work.

That being said, sometimes his daycare drives me crazy. I understand the need to be cautious but sometimes they get a little carried away. Right now the Beast is obsessed with sucking/chewing on his hands. Sometimes his hands are not enough and he sucks on his arm. Well the other day he gave himself a hickey doing this. Daycare called me at work to tell me about the mark on his arm. I asked, is it a rash? They said no. Is it a scratch? No. Is it bleeding? No. Do I need to pick him up? No. Then why the hell are you calling me at work?!?! When I picked him up and finally saw the infamous mark, I realized that it was from him sucking on his arm. I had to sign an incident report for my kid giving himself a hickey. The next day I went to Target and cleared them out of pacifiers and teethers. But really? Don't call me at work for such a silly little thing.

Today I got a call because they couldn't find his diapers and needed permission to use another kid's diaper. I thought, why are they calling me? Just put a diaper on his bum, he'll be fine! I suppose there are some moms that would flip out if their little darling's tushy touched a different brand of diaper than he was used to. I am not that kind of mom.

And while I love getting the detailed reports about his day, there is no need to blow sunshine up my behind. I want to know how many naps and for how long, how many bottles he drank, and how many wet/dirty diapers. I do not need to hear "the Beast enjoyed making new friends." Um, he's a baby people. He doesn't make friends or play with friends. He doesn't even engage in parallel play (oooh fancy developmental term).

All in all, I really like the Beast's daycare. Even if they are a little over the top.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Day Seven

I am thankful for weekends.


So obvious yet so true. I am so very thankful for two whole uninterrupted days with my family. I am thankful for being able to spend the entire day with the Beast and especially thankful for being able to go back to sleep after his 5am wake up call.


I am thankful for walks around the neighborhood with the Beast in his big boy stroller all bundled up. Ok, this hasn't been the case lately because it is freaking a million degrees in Southern California in November! Al Gore may have been right...




I am thankful for watching my boys watch football together. I am especially thankful when Michigan wins because then I don't have to deal with a fussy husband.




Starting this weekend, I am thankful for eating breakfast with my big boy sitting in his highchair beside me. He is not ready to join in the eating fun yet but having his highchair in the kitchen has been great. I was able to sit down and eat breakfast while he played. I cleaned the kitchen and cooked a lasagna while he watched me. I even sang songs and did little dances to keep him entertained. I got so much more done this weekend with him in the kitchen with me.





Every weekend I am thankful to run errands with my husband. First, I like running errands because I like getting stuff done and errands almost always include a trip to Target, my happy place. Second, I just really like running errands with my husband. Isn't that a little weird? I feel like we have had some great conversations while at Home Depot about our plans for the future (which includes painting our bedroom and office), grabbing lunch always ends up being a really pleasant meal, and sometimes we go to open houses just to keep tabs on the real estate market and for fun which always results into an in depth conversation about what we want in a home. Plus, you see some crazy decor in these open houses. We've seen wall-to-wall zebra carpet and the freaky wall of porcelain d0lls (not in the same house thankfully).


Even though the weekends are always too short, I am extremely thankful for them.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Days Four, Five, and Six

Good Lord I fell behind on my little project. Its not my fault, I swear. This week has been crazy at work and the husband was in Arkansas all week so it was just me and the Beast and the bullies to fend for ourselves.

For days four, five, and six, I am thankful that there are little things in the world that make me happy and brighten my day. I am thankful that I am able to find joy in small pleasures. That I have not become so cynical and stressed out that I lost the ability to stop and smell the roses. Here are a few of my favorite (little things):

1. Starbucks - I know its so yuppie and cliche, but seriously Starbucks can pull me out of a deep funk anytime. I freaking love it. Pumpkin spice lattes, iced coffee, peppermint mocha, zen green tea (veinte, two bags, and an inch of soy). It is just so damn good and consistent. I can walk into any Starbucks and know that I will receive a little piece of happiness.

2. Bad pop music - In high school I was really into alternative rock, punk, and ska. I loved Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, Lagwagon, Save Ferris, the Aquabats, and a bunch of little indie bands. I didn't listen to any pop music. In fact, I can't even tell you what the pop music existed when I was in high school. I'm making up for lost time now. I love me so Britney, Taylor and Katie. I don't care if it is crap (and it is). This week I had a particularly rough morning dropping the Beast off at daycare. He watched me leave the room and it broke my heart. But I got myself an iced coffee and turned on the radio. Hello Britney! Before I knew, it I was rocking out to Britney (with full on car dancing) and feeling much better.

3. Granola Bars - Specifically, Quaker 90 calorie chocolate chip granola bars. I am obsessed with these. I eat them constantly and they are only 90 calories. And granola is good for you. Its a win all around.

I am definitely going to get back on track with my project tomorrow. Now I need a nap because I was at the dentist at 8am this morning, got 2 cavities filled, and then got a speeding ticket on the way home. Awesome. I might need a latte, some Britney, and a granola bar to make this day better.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Day Three

*Please note that the things I am thankful for are posted in no particular order. Each thing that I am thankful for has its own special place and is its given due weight.

Today I am thankful for my job. Hell, I'm thankful just to have a job these days; but I am thankful for my particular job. Unfortunately, I cannot go into too many details here about my job. But I will say that I am an attorney and I work in education.

I am thankful to have a job that I love. I am thankful that I have a job that helps people and that gives me a sense of purpose. I am thankful that I get to use my analytical skills, research skills, writing skills, negotiation skills, communication skill, and people skills every day.

I am thankful that my office is supportive of me being a new mom and did not care when I took off two days in my first month to take care of the Beast when he was sick. I am thankful that no one has walked in on me while pumping.

So there is my Day Three, I am thankful for my job. And with that being said, is it Friday yet?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A Little Truth

I read a lot of blogs and message boards about being a working mom. I'm always interested to see how other moms deal with juggling careers and motherhood, how they get everything done, and somehow manage to not go crazy.

In this reading I see a lot of working moms write about the advantages of being a working mother. While I think there are many advantages, I think some things need to be cleared up. Here is my list of the advantages of being a working mom and the truth behind them.

1. Working moms get to eat a hot lunch every day.

This is partially true. I do eat a hot lunch every day. But it is a hot lean cuisine. And it is more like a lukewarm lean cuisine because I cannot possibly wait the entire three minutes for my lean cuisine to finish in the microwave. And I eat it at my desk. Not exactly glamorous. My hot lunch is nothing to brag about but I would rather spend five minutes scarfing down a lean cuisine than taking an hour and half lunch and having to stay at work later to make up that time.

2. Working moms get to have adult conversations.

Again, this is partially true. I do talk to adults while at work. But I'm an attorney so most of my adult conversations consist of me calmly explaining to people the appropriate and legal way to do things and hearing their excuses as to why they did not follow the law. And then I get to talk to opposing counsel which is the equivalent of listening to a bratty kid whine and stomp their feet.

3. Working moms get to pee alone.

This one is not true. I get to use a bathroom with a row of stalls. And even though there are about ten stalls and they are all open, someone always decides they have to use the stall next to the one I am in. Awkward. I work in a very large office building and people do weird things in the bathroom. Like brush their teeth and then just put their toothbrush on the counter....of the public restroom. Um, disgusting. And I always see the one lady who must wipe down all the counters before she leaves. So weird.

4. Working moms get to dress up every day.

Again, partially true. I do get to dress up every day which means I'm back to spending $200 a month on my freaking dry cleaning bill. I miss wearing work maternity clothes. Everything was cotton and stretchy and could be washed at home. And comfy, so comfy.

And now you know the truth. Don't get me wrong, there are pluses to being a working mom (a paycheck, sense of fulfillment, etc.) and I'm loving my new role in life but I had to clear the air just a bit.

Day Two

I am thankful for my husband and everything he does for our family. I complain a lot that he does nothing. It is true that he does not vacuum, do dishes, do laundry, or make the bed. But when it comes down to the nitty gritty, the really important stuff, he makes sure that everything is ok. Plus he picks up the dog poop and I would much rather vacuum than pick up the dog poop.



When there are tough decisions to make, tough issues to deal with, he is always there, leading the way. He works hard for our family and I am very thankful for that.

And I am thankful that when we go to weddings and I have too much Chardonnay, he is always willing to take weird pictures with me and deal with my tipsy (aka drunk) ramblings.

Day One

I have a friend on facebook who is posting something she is thankful for on facebok every day for the month of November. I thought that was a good idea and I could use a reality check on all the things in my life that I am thankful for, so here I go. (I know it is November 2nd, I'm a day behind so I'll post two things that I'm thankful for today.)

The first one is easy...I am thankful for my son. So absolutely and completely thankful. I am thankful that he is happy and healthy, that he sleeps through the night, that he is all smiles when he sees me and when I give him kisses.



I am thankful for all the coos and babbles and little baby shrieks.




I am thankful that he has given me excuses to buy toys, watch cartoons, and plan trips to Sea World.



I am so thankful that my amazing little boy is in my life. Even when he gives me the stink eye for putting him in a puffy dragon costume.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Happy Anniversary To Us!

Today is our wedding anniversary. We have been married two years, have been a couple for about four years, and have know each other for about seven years.

In this time I have watched Captain America become an attorney, a husband, and a father. He is amazing at all three.

I have watched him steer our small family through hard times, good times, and just plain crazy times.

I have watched him be a rock that I can always depend on, for anything.



I have watched him sit on the couch, for hours upon hours, watching football, baseball, basketball, hockey, golf, and poker tournaments.

I have watched him wait and wait to take out the trash cans so that he misses the trash truck and our trash piles higher and higher.

I have watched him leave his dinner dishes on the coffee table, his underwear on the floor, and his nail clippings on his bedside table.



In this time, I have watched him be the most perfect, imperfect, husband possible. And I love him for every bit of it!
Happy anniversary baby, I love you so much and I'm so glad that you wrote me such a nice email so many years ago.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Starting to Relax

I have not blogged in a while because I felt like all I was doing was whining about how hard it is to be a working mom. Y'all it is hard, like really hard. So hard that I'm talking in a fake Southern accent. But nobody wants to hear someone whine all the time so I kept my blogging mouth shut.

While the whole working parent thing continues to be hard it is starting to get more comfortable. I'm not going to lie, the first month was brutal. I was devastated about leaving my baby and then he got his first cold and then I got a cold and then he got the stomach flu and then I got the stomach flu and Captain America got the stomach flu and broke his leg and was out of town for a week for work and I was tired and I got another cold and, and, and, the list could go one forever.

But we survived and the Beast is just over three months old and an absolute joy. I mean seriously, he is such a happy and adorable baby. He wakes up cooing and when I get him from his crib he is all smiles. He rarely is fussy and when he is fussy it is relatively easy to get him calmed down. He is doing fantastic in daycare. He "talks" to everyone, is eating like a champion, and is still a good sleeper. When I pick him up, he recognizes me and gives me a huge, toothless grin. I think the fact that he is doing well in daycare and is still a happy baby has really helped me transition back to work. So thank you Beast for doing your part and being a good boy at daycare!



My job rocks. I mean seriously, I love it. My commute absolutely sucks but I'm getting used to it and figuring out the quickest routes possible. I hate being away from the Beast during the day, but if I'm going to be away from him at least I love what I do.

Captain America has started helping out on the home front. Pre-baby, I did all the grocery shopping and cooking. I still do the grocery shopping but Captain America has started cooking dinner and that has been really, really nice. I don't mind doing the grocery shopping because he is a terrible shopper. He'll go to the grocery store and come back with nothing but four boxes of Cheez-Its. Now, I just need to teach him to rinse his dinner dish and put it in the dishwaser. Baby steps, people, baby steps.



My weekends are getting better too. When I first went back to work, I would not let the Beast out of my sight on the weekends. I thought that since I worked during the week, on the weekends he should be in my arms at all times. This made me frantic during his naps and after he went to bed trying to get housework and such done. I was also trying to keep a perfect house. I am happy to report that I am starting to relax on all fronts. I have realized that it is ok for the Beast to play on his activity mat while I switch the laundry and that I can hand him off to the husband so I can shower and/or run an errand. I am also slowly starting to realize that my house does not have to be spotless at all times. For example, this morning I started to freak out that chores needed to be done. Instead of freaking out, I said screw the chores, and took the Beast on an early morning walk. I didn't do my hair and make-up, I didn't try to look "put together." I just threw on some old workout clothes, threw the Beast in his stroller, and enjoyed the sunshine.



I feel great that I'm starting to relax and feel comfortable. The real test will be to see if I can maintain this attitude on Monday morning!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Another Video

Here's another video of the Beast for my dad. FYI: the burp is from the Beast and the panting in the background is Mickey, not me.

video

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Conflicted

Sometimes I'm not sure if I'm bipolar or just a new working mom.

Somedays I think that I rock at being a working mom. There I am wearing a pre-pregnancy suit with hair and make-up done, handling a mediation, even pumping in my car during breaks. I think I can totally do this. The Beast is thriving at daycare, the house is relatively clean, and we even have a home cooked meal for dinner.

But then there are days that are the complete opposite. Days where my hair is oily from not being washed for days, I put eye shadown on in the dark, I'm wearing maternity clothes, and I yell at my husband that I want to sell the house, move to Arkansas, and eat only ramen so that I can stay home with my baby. I even asked him the other day if Amber from Teen Mom was a better mother than me because she is at home with her baby.

I'm so conflicted. I love my job, really, I do. My new boss even told me today that I'm doing a great job. But I also love, love, love my son. I want to be able to do both. I want to spend lots of time with my son and still be an attorney working in special education. There are just not enough hours in the day.

I knew it would be hard to juggle work and being a mom. I just didn't realize that it would be this hard. And this week has been just a helluva week. Captain America hurt his leg playing softball. It may, or may not be, broken. His leg is so scraped up I can barely look at it without gagging. The Beast bumped his head at daycare. Well, another kid bumped into him. And I nearly lost my sh*t at the daycare. I mean, hello, the Beast cannot move. Someone needs to be watching him. The situation has been handled now, but I was flaming mad for a while. I left work later than usual today and barely made it to daycare on time to pick the Beast up. I must say I have mad driving skills.

I do not think the conflict between working and being a mother is going to end anytime soon. I just need to learn to be comfortable with my choice.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

How My Son Made My Dreams Come True

I've always wanted to be a singer. Well, not a professional singer but just a person who can sing and who can sing well. I love musicals, I am a total gleek, and I adore singers with huge voices who can belt out a tune like Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenowith.

But I can't sing worth a damn. Like not at all. I was in choir in junior high and I lip synced all the words. I was singing in church one time with my sister and the guy in front of me actually turned around and gave me a dirty look. I sound like a cat being strangled. During rush, my sorority had to sing to the new pledges, again I lip synced. I was lip syncing way before Ashlee Simpson made it cool.

And then my son was born and I began singing to him. He loves it! He doesn't care how horrific I sound, he is all smiles when I sing to him. Especially when I sing itsy bitsy spider, he likes the hand motions.



So now I belt it out for the Beast. I had to google nursery rhymes and songs to figure out what to sing. Don't judge, I didn't have a lot of experience with kids before the Beast came along.



The Beast has changed my life in many ways. He has made me a singer. We'll see if he still loves my singing when he is 15 years old.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Little Beast Talk

Here is a little video of the Beast trying to talk. Warning it is a little long and I'm just saying "hi baby" over and over again. I'm mainly posting this for my dad to see. I know my mom will complain that it is too long.

video

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

News Flash

Here is your super obvious news flash for the day...being a working mom is hard, like really hard. Take away the mommy guilt of putting your baby in daycare and being a working mom is still just physically exhausting. I told a good friend that being a working parent is rough and she said that I make it look pretty awesome. Really? Well bless your little heart good friend because about 90% of the time I'm a total basket case. Although, I am really proud of myself that I have remembered to wear make-up to work so far.

I just feel like my day is so grueling. Thank the good Lord that the Beast sleeps through the night. I just do not know how working parents go to work with a little one that wakes through the night. Kudos to those parents. I feel like we are finally settling into a routine so that is nice. This is my third week back to work but it is the Beast's first full week of daycare. As of right now, I get up at 5:30am, take a shower, do hair and make-up and put my jewelry on. Then I nurse the Beast. After he's done eating, he is either asleep so he goes back in the crib or awake in which case the husband takes over. Then I run downstairs to get his bottles ready, pack up my pump, my work bag, and grab my lunch. Then run back upstairs to get dressed and grab a snuggle with the Beast. Sometimes I drop the Beast off at daycare and sometimes Captain America does it.

Around 8 or 8:30 am I arrive at work. Then I work the whole day with no lunch. I don't take a lunch because (1) I work in the ghetto and there is nothing good to eat around my office, (2) I waste a lot of work time pumping, and (3) I want to get the hell out of there as soon as possible to get my baby! I really like my new job but it just can't compete with the Beast. I pump three times at work all while fielding emails and doing legal research and trying to keep on top of everything that needs to get done.

I leave work promptly at 5pm and pick up the Beast around 5:45pm. He is at daycare a long time. It's horrible and breaks my heart but we have no other option. Such is the life of lawyers. We are home by 6pm, the Beast eats, we play, we have bathtime, the Beast eats again, and then he is down for the night I do not do anything other than spend time with the Beast from when I get home until he goes to bed. I usually wait to eat dinner unless I can eat the food with one hand. I don't wash bottles, do laundry, check email. From 6pm until 7 or 8pm is strictly my time with my baby. Although yesterday he fell asleep in the car on the way home from daycare and was done for the night. I was sad all day today because I didn't get my time with him. But that can't be helped, he's a growing boy and getting over a cold. When he needs to sleep, he needs to sleep.

After the Beast is in bed, I wash his bottles, wash all my pump parts, pack my lunch, lay out his clothes and anything he needs for daycare, lay out my clothes (laying out my clothes involves me trying on various work clothes to see what fits), and prep his bottles for the next day. This is usually done around 8pm (if the Beast goes down around 7pm) and then I have a couple of hours to hang out with the husband and relax before I need to be in bed at 10pm. Then I go to bed to start the whole thing over the next day.

My weekends are devoted to spending time with my son. I try to do errands and chores only when he is asleep. I don't usually get everything done. If you come to my house you will see that the guest bathroom could use some serious TLC but I don't care because no one ever uses it. I will definitely be getting a housekeeper once I'm bringing in some money again. You can see why I'm exhausted. And now it is eight minutes till 10, I need to get to bed before I turn into a pumpkin.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Not Fair

My 94 year old grandmother has a flat screen tv and I do not. My bedroom tv is one that I had in junior high.

I really want a flat screen. I think I would leave out all the ceramic figurines though.

Baptism of the Beast

It has been a helluva week. First the Beast got sick. It was just a cold but it was in in his lungs and it was his first cold and he is so little, so of course I was in a panic. Then I got sick. And I still can't take my beloved advil cold and sinus because I'm nursing. Grrrr. I haven't had any since before I got pregnant and I miss it! I ended up missing work Friday (even though I just started my new job) because my ears felt like they were going to explode. The Beast ended up going to the doctor twice, we had to call in Captain America's grandma to watch him so he didn't have to go to daycare. It was a mess.

Despite all this, I still had to get everything ready for the Beast's baptism which was this past Saturday.



It ended up being a great day. The Beast was a happy, smiley baby the whole day. The ceremony was lovely and very special.



But the day didn't start out great. I had decided that I would order croissant sandwiches and a cake from Alberston's and that I would make the rest. On Friday I had to prepare broccoli slaw, potato salad, grilled corn salad, and curry dip for a veggie platter for 30 people. Plus take care of a sick baby and a sick me. I didn't get to the grocery store until 7:30pm. I was up until midnight boiling potatoes and grilling corn.

I went to bed exhausted but with everything done and ready. In the morning I went to Alberston's to pick up the sandwiches that I ordered online. But when I got there, the sandwiches weren't ready. They didn't even have my order. I started to lose it. I started yelling, "well just start making sandwiches, I need them!" One of the deli workers calmly asked me if maybe I had placed my order with the other Albertson's in my city because people usually get them confused. I told her of course not and to start making sandwiches. She, again very calmly, suggested that she call the other store. I was like fine, whatever. Um yeah, I placed the order at the wrong store. My sandwiches were ready at the other store. And I looked like a big asshole.

However, I managed to order my cake from the right Albertson's. Of course it wasn't ready. So in between yelling at the deli workers to make sandwiches, I started yelling at the bakery people because my cake wasn't ready. Not my proudest moment. But I specifically said it needed to be ready at 8am and it was 8:20 and still not ready. And that smug baker sure as hell didn't need to move like a turtle while decorating the cake. I know she was doing it just to piss me off.



I eventually calmed down, got my cake, got my sandwiches, and got the hell outta there. We made it to the church on time and everything was fine.

The food turned out really good. The ultra sugary, cheesy sheetcake is a must for baptisms.



Oh I almost forgot to mention that during the baptism ceremony, the Beast let out the loudest, wettest fart/poop known to man. Everyone in the church heard it and Captain America and I were doubled over with the giggles. I peeked down the Beast's pants and realized that this diaper needed to be changed, like now. I got up from the pew, ran over to an empty pew in the back of the church, threw him down and changed his diaper. I look up and Captain America is running over to me. The priest is waiting for the Beast and I'm holding up the whole ceremony. I grabbed the Beast, ran back to the Priest and left poor Captain America to clean baby crap off the pew. It was definitely a memorable baptism.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Ugh

I had these big plans to blog about my great, long weekend which was really fabulous. We did all sorts of fun things, saw family, friends, relaxed a bit, and even got the house clean. But then my little baby Beast got sick. Cue working mom guilt. And now all I can focus on is my poor little baby and the horrendous chest cold he has. And I didn't even get to take him to the doctor. Captain America had to take him because, well I'm on day 3 of a brand new job and I couldn't just take a day off. There is nothing sadder than the sound of a tiny, little baby cough. Breaks my heart everytime.

And I now have that horrendous cold. And I'm beyond exhausted from staying up all night sucking the snot out of the Beast's nose. So I'm going to bed.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I Did It!

I did it. I went to work all day while the Beast went to "school." I survived. The Beast survived. We were all fine. The world didn't end. I am so relieved the first day back to work is finally over.

Don't get me wrong, my heart was ripped straight out of my chest when I left him at school. He was asleep when I dropped him off. I placed him in his crib and he looked so sweet and peaceful, I just couldn't stand to leave him. I really like his teachers and that makes me feel a lot better. I was chatting with his morning teacher while she was tending to a fussy baby trying to crawl. She casually mentioned that she watches this baby at night. I didn't think anything of the remark until I got in the car and realized she was dropping a subtle hint that she is available for after hours babysitting. The teachers are not really supposed to make private arrangements with parents for fear of liability. But clearly she does anyways. I wonder if her rates are reasonable? This could actually work out nicely. As much as I dearly love my son, I do have dreams of a sushi dinner with just my husband.



I managed to keep it all together until I started walking out of the facility. Then my eyes started to well up with tears, just as I was walking past the director's office. The office with an open door and the assistant director sitting there, who clearly saw me coming. I thought it would be rude to just walk by so I popped my head in and stammered some incoherent sentence about paying tuition. When I walked in, the shocked assistant director exclaimed, "Oh! You look so pretty!" Ok, I get that last time I was here I looked like a homeless person, but do you really need to act so damn surprised that I was able to pull myself together for work? Geez, as if this morning didn't suck enough already! Then she asked me if I was doing ok. I answered with a weak, quivering, "yea." Then she asked, "are you sure you are ok?" I answered with an ever weaker "yes," and ran out of the office while I was starting to cry. I could hear her shout after me, "ok, see you later, have a good day!" So now I am the weirdo parent that can't hold a conversation and runs away crying. Awesome.



Other than the rough morning, the day went great. I had a great first day at my new job. I managed to pump without incident. Even though I spilled mustard on my dress from my sandwich it was a tiny amount and not noticeable. I got a solid two hours with the Beast before he fell asleep. We sang songs, read a book, had a little tummy time, had a bath, and snuggled. So while I didn't see him for all that long, it was a great two hours.

And now I am effing tired. Thank goodness tomorrow is Friday. We survived going back to work, but it is going to take some time to get used to this routine



On a sidenote, Michigan (Captain America's alma mater) has their first game this weekend. For the love of all that is holy I hope they win some games. I am in no mood to deal with a grumpy husband just because his team loses.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Firsts

Today the Beast discovered his hands and started sucking on them. I have no idea if this is some sort of developmental milestone, but it was the first time I have seen him do it and it was pretty cute.



I know that a common complaint of working mothers is that they will miss seeing their child's first milestonses such as rolling over, crawling, walking, etc. Some tell their daycare provider to not tell them when their child experiences a first so that when they see it, they think it is a true first. I was really worried about missing the Beast's firsts because I would be at work. But I realized that I could just as easily miss a milestone because I was in the shower or at the grocery store. I certainly cannot sit by son 24-7, staring at him and waiting for him to do something. That would be weird and creepy. I also will not tell his daycare providers to not tell me when he hits a milestone. I want to know when he does it and it will still be special when I see it for the first time. I work in special education and a lot of the evaluations concerning little ones centers on when they hit certain developmental milestones. So I don't give a damn who sees it first as long as he meets them!

Maybe I will miss the first time he sits up or crawls because I'll be at work, but I will take solace in the fact that I will definitely witness his first trip to Hawaii (Summer 2011 baby!) and I will be there when he graduates college without student loans. Every situation has their pros and cons, especially being a working parent. Even though I may be sad about missing the Beast's firsts, I am going to focus on the opportunites I can provide him and the positive aspects of being a working parent.

Fulfilling a Fantasy

In spite of all my anxiety regarding going back to work, I'm not actually working yet. My new hire paperwork is all caught up in the maze of human resources which has bought me a few more days hanging out with the Beast. And I'm not going to complain about that.

Today I decided to fulfill one of my stay at home mom fantasies...pushing my baby around in the stroller at South Coast Plaza (the mall to end all malls). I used to work across the street from South Coast and while at lunch I would see an army of stay at home moms with their babies. I daydreamed of pushing around my stroller, wearing my juicy couture sweatsuit, and spending my husband's money on lavish presents for myself and the baby all while laughing at the poor saps in suits. Remember this is a fantasy.

So I got all dressed and put the Beast in a cute outfit. I think he was not too thrilled about the puppy on his overalls.



I went to the mall and pushed my stroller around. The trip didn't exactly live up to my fantasy. My juicy couture sweatsuit is no where near fitting over my ass and I had to wear a maternity dress. Even though I have the snap-n-go stroller (so much smaller than the travel system), I was still ramming into every freaking clothing display that I walked by. That was annoying. Also there was no spending of my husband's money on lavish presents. I spent my own money and I could barely find anything to buy because I'm still all lumpy from being pregnant.

And I had to take a million freaking elevators. I am not sure why I didn't think this part out. Of course I would have to take the elevator, I had a stroller. But I hate, hate, hate elevators. They give me the willies and just two nights ago I had a nightmare that I was stuck in one. I have been stuck in an elevator twice. Once was when I was a kid, with my family. The doors started to open before we reached the floor and the whole thing jammed. My mom panicked and started screaming "save the air for the children!" The second time was in high school with about fifteen people jammed in the elevator. Scary stuff.

Even though the shopping trip was less than perfect, I managed to find a dress for the Beast's baptism (I am choosing to ignore the size on the tag) and I got to have lunch with a good friend.

And the Beast slept the entire time. Even with me ramming into all the clothing racks.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Almost Ready

I am ready to go back to work. Let me clarify that, I will never be ready to leave my son. I'll be that crazy middle-aged woman dropping my son off at college, crying hysterically, and making sure he has enough sweaters. But in terms of preparation, I am so ready. My pump is all packed in its discreet tote that says "I'm just a black tote bag, I'm not a machine that is going to milk someone like a cow, don't mind me." I have purchased a new dress for my first day and a sassy new work bag (both from Target, I'll be hitting Nordy's after those paychecks start rolling in again). I have enough frozen casserole to feed me and Brady for a week and enough frozen breastmilk to keep the Beast pacified for a while. The Beast's cubby at daycare is stocked with six bibs, five extra outfits, two sleep sacks, two blankets, and five crib sheets.

The only thing I don't have is a good picture of my little family for my office. I have the obligatory wedding photo framed for my office. This is my absolute favorite photo of us from the wedding. I pretty much hated all the posed photos. We looked so fake in the posed ones. Candid shots just capture the mood so much better.



This is the picture I have framed for my office. It is cute. I like that we match (I'm very big on coordination). And yes we coordinated on purpose, we were going to a birthday party and the guests were supposed to dress in black and white. I went to three stores looking for a black and white outfit for the Beast. I was determined to have him participate in his first theme party.




But this picture isn't that great. My husband's head is cut off and the Beast looks all yellow and jaundicey. He did have jaundice when we came home from the hospital. It was scary and not something I really want to think about often.

This past weekend, we all went to my grandparents' house for dinner. I was determined to get a good family photo for my office. I curled my hair, put a cute outfit on the Beast. I was all set.



Then I downloaded the photo onto my computer and it was a total fail. I'm all shiny and my forehead is all bumpy from getting my eyebrows waxed. The photo is all grainy and we have the devil red eye thing going on. Which I tried to fix with my primitive editing skills. While I was able to reduce the red eye, the editing results in a dull, lifeless, creepy, zombie eye look.

I am pretty much ready to go back to work. I am still going to work on getting the family picture perfect. I would also like the bullies to be included. That should be interesting.

Friday, August 27, 2010

First Day of School

Yesterday was the Beast's first official day in daycare. By the way, we are referring to daycare as "school," it just sounds better. He had a trial run at school before I actually return to work next week. I think this trial run was more for me than him. He's a pretty mellow guy and does well in any environment. I, on the other hand, am a high strung mess who does not do well with change.

I dropped him off around 9am with a plan to pick him up at noon. He was asleep when I dropped him off so I put him in his little crib. I bought him a new seahorse to take to school with him but the school does not allow any loose items in the crib for safety reasons. So I strapped the seahorse, by his tail, to the side of the crib with a pacifer lanyard. Poor seahorse. I dropped off his bottles (I brought 10 oz all together for three hours, just a little much). And said goodbye.

Then I got in my car and started wailing. This was the first time I had left the Beast with anyone other than my husband. He looked so little in his crib. I was afraid that he would wake up and be scared and not know where I am. So I'm driving in my car totally sobbing. Oh and I hadn't showered yet or put on makeup or brushed my hair and I was wearing my holey yoga pants. So I'm driving down the road looking like a deranged homeless person.

Even though I was sad I was determined to be productive and go to the grocery store. But first I needed to pull it together. So I blasted "You Can't Stop the Beat" from the musical, Hairspray. This is my go-song to cheer me up or just wake me up. So now I look like a sobbing, deranged, homeless person who is screeching out Broadway musicals.



I managed to calm down at the grocery store and was even able to enjoy my carmel frappuchino. Since I was so productive with going to the grocery store, I decided to get a pedicure. You know pedicures just are not what they used to be. They are not actually that relaxing. I had to fend off the lady's barrage of questions regarding whether I want a flower (no, I'm not 12), extra massage, or the super expensive callous remover that melts skin away (that can't be good). After getting a somewhat crappy pedicure, I got my eyebrows waxed. As if it wasn't enough to ruin my pedicure, the lady keeps asking me if I want my lip waxed. I tell her no. I have never had my lip waxed because I don't need to have it waxed. Sure, I have a stray hair here and there but (1) it is blonde hair, and (2) the wax totally irritates my skin and I so did not need a mustache of broken out, red skin. She keeps telling me that I need to have it waxed. I finally firmly said "no thank you," and she shut up. By that point I was like hurry the hell up, I need to get my baby!!!

When I picked up the Beast, he was chilling in a boppy just watching the world around him. He looked pretty content. He drank his bottle like a good boy and his teacher said he didn't cry at all. The school even made a little photo collage for me:



The top right picture looks funny because it is all stretched out. I am feeling pretty good about the school thing. I'm glad he was able to nap and enjoy his bottle. Of course when I got him home, he was a fussy butt for the rest of the day. He fought his naps with a vengeance and didn't go to bed until 9 pm (but he slept until 5:30 am, yay!!!). I'm happy with his school but it is definitely going to take some time to get into a routine.