Wednesday, November 23, 2011
In all truthfulness, I have a lot to be thankful for this year. My family, my friends, my career, my home, my bulldogs. I often complain, whine, moan "why does everyone have an easier life than me???" But right now, I'm recognizing the reality which is that I am very blessed and thankful for all of it.
I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
A. Age: 31, about to be 32 in March. I can't even deal with how old that sounds.
B. Bed size: We finally got a king size bed about a year ago. Except that we got an Eastern King and we live in California where the California King reigns supreme so it is fucking impossible to find sheets that fit. And somehow my toddler takes up my whole damn bed.
C. Chore that you hate: I can't think of one. This is sick. I love my house being clean. Ok, I got it. I really, really hate picking up the dog poop.
D. Dogs: Frank and Mickey! Combined they are about 100 pounds of purebred English Bulldog. We love our fur babies so much even when they snore and fart (which is a lot).
E. Essential start to your day: Shower. I cannot shower the night before. If I do, I still have to shower in the morning.
F. Favorite color: Red. It used to be pink but I am a grown woman now.
G. Gold or Silver: White gold but sometimes I really like traditional yellow gold.
H. Height: 5'4, a little too tall for petite but too short for regular clothes. Shopping is fun.
I. Instruments you play: I have no musical talent at all. I used to lip sync in my junior high choir.
J. Job title: Deputy general counsel thankyouverymuch. That's just a fancy way to say lawyer.
K. Kids: Leo! 26 pounds of pure mischief. He is an evil baby genius and adorable.
L. Live: The OC. I am NOT a real housewife. Although I have shopped where they do.
M. Mother’s name: Debbie, Deborah, Crazy.
N. Nicknames: I have never had a cool nickname. Some people call me Court. Weird thing, my husband rarely calls me by my full name. It is usually Court, Babe or Baby. If he actually says Courtney I know he's annoyed with me. I had a boyfriend once that called me Lovey. It made me want to barf every. single. time.
O. Overnight hospital stays: Just for my Leo. It was really creepy. I am not a fan of overnight hospital stays.
P. Pet peeves: Sniffing, spitting, people eating cereal or anything crunchy near me, the t.v. being too loud...I kinda have issues.
Q. Quote from a movie: "Bearfucker! Do you need assistance?" That was the first one that popped into my head.
R. Right or left handed: Right.
S. Siblings: An awesome sister and a brother, both younger.
T. Hey there is no T! I'll make one up. Ummmm, transit. Ok Transit: my mom-mobile, a Hyundai Santa Fe.
U. Underwear: Always. Even while sleeping. My husband thinks I'm weird.
V. Vegetable you hate: Green mother fucking peppers. They taste like evil.
W. What makes you run late: I am rarely late. I'm even more on time since having a baby because I'm so paranoid about being late.
X. X-Rays you’ve had: My ankle when I was 10. I was in a hit and run car accident on the way to girl scout camp.
Y. Yummy food that you make: Lasagna and mac 'n cheese.
Z. Zoo animal: Polar bears. I love them so much.
Saturday, November 19, 2011
I had my husband take a picture of me in my outfit (which he said made me look like an "Occupy Wall Street-er".) Whatever, I thought it was cute. Then it hit me.
Sweater - Target. Dress - H & M. Boots - Old Navy
The one other time I did this link up, I was wearing the same fucking dress. Fail. Anyways you can see how I took my dress from summer to fall. Which was totally my point. And I totally own more than one dress.
Ugh my legs were pasty even in the middle of the summer. So we took Leo to get his picture with Santa. I know it's early but with working full time I can only do these types of things on the weekends and my December weekends are already booked. Plus the line was super short.
Leo looked totally unsure of Santa but this Santa was such a sweetheart. He saw me looking nervous and said, "Don't worry, he's going to cry but he'll be fine and you'll love the picture." He then told the Elf taking the picture, "this is a quick one," and before you knew it the whole traumatizing experience was over.
Santa was right. This picture is awesome. See that little dog Leo is holding? That is Spot. Leo loves Spot. Spot goes everywhere Leo goes, even daycare. Spot eats with Leo, sleeps with Leo. Tonight we lost Spot. He fell out of the stroller while we were walking throughout the mall. I was in tears. I retraced our steps. I asked people. I felt like an utter failure as a mom because I couldn't protect the thing my son loved.
Leo didn't even notice he was gone. Maybe Leo was mad that Spot didn't protect him from Scary Santa. When we got home, I dug out this little bear that was about the same size as Spot and poof! Leo had a new best friend.
Maybe I'm not a failure after all.
After all this, I rearranged the living room furniture and put up our Christmas tree. I also cleaned out our garage this afternoon. I sincerely hope this productivity carries over to Monday.
Friday, November 18, 2011
Those who took the July California state bar exam found out tonight if they passed. It has been five years since I logged on to the bar website and found out that I had passed. The bar exam was the hardest thing I have ever done mentally and I was immensely relieved to find out that I had passed and would never have to take it again.
It has only been five years. A drop in the bucket. And I am already feeling burnt out. All I deal with are problems. I practice special education law and I never get to see anyone happy about the education their children are receiving. No one is happy to see me when I walk into a meeting. It is all disagreement, confrontation, anger, frustration, all the fucking time.
Normally, I love being a lawyer. I really do. But today I am so fucking over it.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Me: "You know the one with the baby and the knife? They are trying to say that co-sleeping.."
Husband: "....turns babies into murderers?"
Um not exactly. I tried to explain to him the point of the ad campaign is to tell people that co-sleeping is dangerous because people could roll over, etc.
Husband: "whatever, I've been rolling over on Leo forever."
And then he went back to looking at his fantasy football stats. I kinda wish that I could just brush off parenting controversies like him. He just never gets wrapped up in what other people are doing, are saying, the latest study, "the mommy wars." He just parents the way he parents, lives his life the way he lives his life and that's it. What other people are doing is of no concern to him.
When I saw the co-sleeping ad, I furiously googled safe ways to co-sleep, benefits of co-sleeping, read everyone's blog post about the ad, about co-sleeping. All this despite the fact that we've been co-sleeping for about a year with absolutely no problems. So obviously what we are doing is working for us and that should be enough for me.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Meal planning is driving me fucking crazy! All I want is for my family to eat healthy food. I'm not getting all crazy with organic. I'm not insisting that everything be made from scratch. I just want the majority of the food we eat to not be sodium-laden crap. I just do not want to eat take-out every night of the week. Part of this desire is The Guilt (you know the working mom guilt, that just plain mom guilt), in my quest to do it all I feel like I have to provide my family with nutritious meals. The other part is a desire to not become a bloated whale.
I have two major forces working against me in my meal planning. First is time. I simply do not have time to cook a whole meal after work. I try to feed Leo by 6:30. When you get home at 6, that doesn't leave a lot of time. Lately, I have been making dinner the night before so I can heat it up and we can eat together. This works but it means that I have to spend another hour after Leo's bedtime cooking and cleaning the kitchen. This cuts into my wine time which is not ok. I only have a couple of go-to meals that I can pull together in 30 minutes. I need more!
The other force is the pickiness. My husband is an insanely picky eater. He will not eat the following: ham, any kind of seafood, sausage (he'll eat it but pout about it), corn, spaghetti noodles, any kind of squash, eggplant, green peppers, whole wheat pasta. There are more but I'm drawing a blank right now. And Leo has decided that he only eats carbs, meat, and cheese.
The other night I made pasta with homemade sauce with carrots, zucchini, and lean ground beef. Neither of them would eat it! They both caught on that I had sneaked veggies into the sauce. So frustrating. Last weekend I think Leo only ate chicken nuggets.
I'm not sure what the point of this post is. I just had to pound out my frustrations somewhere and I chose my laptop.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, and in the spirit of cleaning up any holiday funk laying around, I have decided to do a "day in my life," the grateful version. Be forewarned, I'm about to get a little sappy.
Around 5:30 a.m. I hear whimpers from the nursery. I go in to see a baby not quite ready to wake up but wanting to snuggle. I am so grateful for those snuggles! I bring Leo into bed with us and catch another half hour of sleep. Around 6 a.m. I wake up and see my boys sleeping soundly and feel incredibly blessed to have a husband who loves me and a happy healthy baby (ok toddler).
I get out of the shower to a still sleeping husband and a just waking up happy baby. I adore how happy he is in the morning. I get ready while Leo runs around the bedroom and hides the toothpaste from my husband.
After we are all dressed we head downstairs for breakfast. I present his highness with eggs, homemade whole wheat zucchini bread and wait with baited breath to see if he eats it. Today I'm grateful that he actually ate something!
Next I feed the dogs, pack up our bags, and we head out the door by 7:30-7:45 ish. Mickey isn't pictured but I love my bulldogs and I am grateful that they are sweet dogs who get along with Leo and are in (mostly) good health.
I drop Leo off at daycare around 8 a.m. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I'm extremely grateful to have a fantastic daycare so close to my house with sincere, caring teachers. My son is thriving there and his teachers have been a huge help to me.
Then I'm off to work where I do a number of lawyerly things. Some of which include reading blogs and playing on pinterest. (What? Everyone needs a mental break sometimes!) In reality, I'm researching, writing, emailing, conference calling, meeting, putting out fires. I am grateful to have an excellent job which challenges me on a daily basis, allows me to provide for my family, and keeps me sane.
I'm out the door by 4:45 p.m. and off to pick up Leo. We get home around 6 p.m. and today I am grateful that I made dinner the night before. I just had to heat it up and we were eating. My husband gets home around 7 p.m. and we play, hang out, watch Yo Gabba Gabba until bathtime. I don't like that we eat without my husband but I'm incredibly grateful for how hard he works for our family.
Around 8 p.m., it's bath, last sippy cup of milk, teeth brushing, stories, and then off to bed. Tonight I am grateful for easy bedtime routines because mama is tired.
After Leo is in bed, I clean up the kitchen, watch t.v., play on the internet, hang out with the husband, tweet, blog, eat ice cream, drink wine. There are so many more things I'm thankful for: good friends; a warm, cozy house; plenty of food in my fridge; gas in my car. The basics that many don't have. My life isn't easy, I don't know anyone who has that, but I am grateful for all my blessings.
Monday, November 14, 2011
Sister: You could blog about how I keep trying to ask you for dating advice but you can never help me since you don't even know what it means to date anymore. Then it could start a whole debate on what dating really is. Is it to meet your soulmate? Or just to find someone to have sex with?
Me: Wow, that's really deep. I was going to post a picture of bulldogs and call it a night.
Photo by The Rogue Woman
Look, it's Monday and I survived. I think that is pretty good. Forgive me for not being more deep than that. Enjoy the picture of my bullies, feel free to discuss what it means to date amongst yourselves. But seriously, I do not understand dating in a texting/facebooking/tweeting world. Apparently, people do not just ask you out to dinner, pick you up, take you to a nice restaurant, and pay for dinner anymore.
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Then we rushed home to meet our babysitter because the husband and I actually went on a date! We had a gift card to a really nice restaurant by our house, high up on a hill with amazing views (thanks Dad!).
We sat on the outside patio, ordered drinks, and chatted. When it got too chilly we moved inside to the piano bar and made fun of the stupid drunk people from the wedding held at the restaurant. I saw multiple people climb into the backseats of cars while still holding their glass of wine.
As seen above, we enjoyed martinis. Pre-baby, one of my classic drinks was a dirty vodka martini with extra olives (bonus if the olives are blue cheese stuffed). I don't think I've had one since Leo was born because this drink is basically a cup of booze and while I can handle my wine, vodka is whole different story. So I had one of these and I was feeling so good, I ordered some foofy hibiscus martini which was pink and sweet and I don't even know what was in it.
We had a lovely date, just talking, being romantic, reconnecting, blah, blah, blah. When we got home, Leo woke up about four times throughout the night. After sleeping for shit and my martinis (plus the wine from dinner) I woke up feeling like pure fucking hell. I was hungover. I have not been legitimately hungover in a long time. Maybe once while Leo was an infant and that was a combo of hangover + stomach flu. While that sucked, it wasn't that bad. Just thaw out some breastmilk, give the kid a bottle and let him stare out whatever developmentally stimulating toy we had.
Hungover with a toddler? That shit is hard. He was bouncing all over the place, wanting to play, climb, jump off the couch, etc. I dragged myself downstairs, got him some milk and turned on the t.v. At least it was PBS kids. I'll take my mother of the year award now, thanks. Finally the husband woke up and took over for me. I ended up being able to go back to sleep and it was glorious. I felt horrific that I had to lay down because I had too much to drink before. And then I felt bad that one glass of wine and 2 martinis was considered too much to drink (I'm getting old!).
The only thing that got me out of bed and snapped me out of the depths of my hangover was me remembering that I had to get the crockpot going to start my latest pinterest recipe.
The morals of my story are: when you have a baby don't try to drink like you did before said baby, hangovers with a toddler are miserable, and pinterest will cure your hangover. You're welcome.
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Why do I keep hearing "cat's in the and the silver spoon" playing through head? Because my little baby boy is growing up!
So his hair had become a hot mess and someone thought he was a girl yesterday.
He was so good throughout the whole ordeal!
Hehe, my baby has gel in his hair. He looks so grown up now! I can feel all that little babyness he had just slipping away.
It makes me sad, but he is becoming one awesome toddler.
Friday, November 11, 2011
And then it hit me, it's not really about the wine, it's about the circumstances surrounding the glass of wine. I explained this to my friend, sometimes I don't even drink the wine I've poured. But if I'm having a glass of wine that means (1) I'm not at work and (2) I'm not actively parenting (ok sometimes I have a glass of wine in front of Leo but I usually take two sips and then I'm off chasing him). Having a glass of wine means I'm relaxing, no one is bugging me to fix anything, to settle a case, to train an employee, to get more goldfish or milk, to read Brown Bear, Brown Bear for the millionth time. The glass of wine means I am talking to my husband or reading a book or catching up on my DVR. Sometimes the glass of wine means I'm knitting and subsequently screwing up my knitting because I'm drinking a glass of wine. Basically, having a glass of wine means I've slowed down and taking some time for myself.
I feel like a lot of moms, myself included, are always saying "I need wine now!" But I think the wine is really code for "I need some fucking me-time people or I will cut something." And we all know that the illusive me-time is crucial to the survival of any mother's sanity. Of course, me-time is even better if you do have a glass of good wine to accompany it.
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
And then came today where I dealt with a teething toddler who has pinkeye. So I had to keep him cooped up in the house all day and he was going cuh-razy. Husband gets to stay home with him tomorrow. Good luck Honey!
So I wanted to keep up with my posting every day during November but last night's post got screwed up and today was just a cluster fuck of not-awesomeness. So all I have is a couple of parenting confessions:
1) When I read books to Leo I pretend I'm doing a voiceover for Reading Rainbow and try to read the story in my very best professional actor voice full of depth and emotion.
2) When I cook in the kitchen, I let Leo play on the floor around me and empty out my cabinets, play with pots and pans, etc. (while making sure he's safe and all). While he does this I day dream about his Food Network special where he says in his interview, "I grew up in my mom's kitchen, watching her cook and that's what inspired me to become a chef." And then he becomes a world famous chef, sells cookbooks, opens a restaurant, and takes care of me in my old age.
Ok that's all I got. Back to my appellate brief who is being a little bitch and won't write herself.
Monday, November 7, 2011
Of course I gave my usual lame answer, an awkward "oh I don't sleep very much." While this is true, it is a poor answer because I've never slept very much. In college, I partied Tuesday through Saturday, worked, was active in my sorority, and got good enough grades to get into law school. After college was law school and then becoming an attorney, so yeah, sleep isn't really something I do.
Since my answer to the inevitable "how do you do it all?" is so weak, I've decided to come up with some better ones. The next time someone asks me anything about how I manage to work full-time and be a mom here are some of my choices for an answer:
- It's easy to do it all when you are full of the awesome, like I am.
- I rule at all aspects of life.
- I am practically perfect in every way.
And here is the real answer. The answer that I should be proud to say. The real reason how I can manage everything.
I am smart, ambitious, and driven. I am organized, efficient, and dedicated to every commitment I undertake whether it be as a mother, attorney, wife, dog-owner, or homeowner.
Why I am so hesitant to give the real answer? Is it modesty? Am I really that humble? Does it feel like I'm bragging to tell somebody that I am good at all the things that I do? Why can't I just be proud of it? Is this something that other working moms struggle with?
This dilemma reminds me of Tina Fey's take on the matter where, she says that this question is the worst you can ask a mother because she either has to say that a) she's not doing things well or b) she is doing everything well which makes the other person feel like shit. That's a very loose paraphrasing because I can't find the actual quote but you know what I mean. I wish mothers could get to a point where we can comfortably say "hey I'm a good mom and employee," and other mothers can say "hey, that's great, good for you," without any bad feelings on either side.
Sunday, November 6, 2011
I. Am. Done.
So instead of anything meaningful, I have one last thing to say about the Johnson & Johnson cancer-causing baby shampoo issue. I'm not sure why carcinogens would be put in baby shampoo but they obviously do something because the organic, non-cancer-causing Burt's Bees shampoo/wash sucks. It doesn't get foamy and bubbly, it smells weird, and makes the water look oddly oily.
And tomorrow I have a court appearance that I really would rather not attend. Plus I have to write this stupid appellate brief that I have been putting off forever (sidenote: Pinterest you need to go away for this week, I've got shit to do). Basically, I'm in a "WHERE THE HELL IS MAH WINE?" kind of mood. Alright, that's enough of that. I am off to be pissy now.
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Anyways, back to the swim lessons. I do not own a lot of bathing suits and after the birth of my precious child, most of them look down right scary. I had been wearing my super cute, red, 50s style one piece to lessons. Although it is flattering, it is a really expensive Juicy Couture suit and really made for lounging by the pool and not actual swimming. So today I figured I would give my expensive suit a rest and throw on my faded black bikini, baring stretch marks and all. I was a little self conscious about this choice but I thought, "fuck it, last week a mom wore a sports bra and shorts, we're all moms right?"
Wrong. Of course this is the week that there are two dads in the class. Obviously they also have children and wives who have had children so the gasps in horror at my stomach weren't too loud. That was fail number one for the day.
After swim lessons, I threw Leo in the bath to rinse off the chlorine. I lovingly washed him with his Burt's Bees soap. After the Johnson & Johnson debacle, I threw all of mine away, even the Aveeno because it is made by J&J, ran to Target and spent way too much money on Burt's Bees soap and lotion. Apparently, I think it is ok to put my kid in a swimming pool with so much chlorine my eyes are burning, but absolutely no J&J.
After the bath, I lovingly massage the Burt's Bees lotion on my cute little baby. All the while I'm thinking, "what the hell? This stuff is so sticky and doesn't absorb at all." Looking at my white little baby, I realized I was vigorously rubbing the soap on him. Fail number two. Back in the bath he went, I'm sure thinking, "what the hell is she doing? I just took a fucking bath."
It is not even 2:30pm and I've had two major fails (but I managed to get a blog post out!). Tonight I'm going to a wedding where I have just been informed that the bride plans to get me hammered since she was so hammered at my wedding. As long as she plans on giving me about three glasses of wine, she will accomplish her plan.
Friday, November 4, 2011
- How many teeth do 16 month olds get? Because I feel like Leo has been teething for-fucking-ever. I love that little man but I am over the whiny and the drool and the nasty teething poops.
- Pinterest may be my downfall at work. I have this appellate brief to write and I just do not want to write it. So I play on pinterest. It is terrible and I'm ashamed to admit but I'm sick of wading through pages of testimony.
- I started Christmas shopping this past week and I feel so on top of this holiday already! I'm sure I'll be scrambling at the last minute for something but I will enjoy my feeling of accomplishment while it lasts.
- While I may have gotten a head start on Christmas, my Halloween decorations are still up. And it poured rain today. So my cobwebs on the bushes in the front are now, I don't even know, but they don't look easy to remove.
- I hate U.S.C. football.
- This week I found this video:
My mom bought a VHS of this 1968 Christmas special from the bargain bin at Pic n Save (now called Big Lots). And we loved it so much but the VHS has long been lost. I was so excited to find it, I even cried a little while watching it. Also, I remember being so embarrassed to go to Pic n Save and worried that I would see someone that I knew. And then my mom pointed out that, if I did run into someone I knew than that person would be at Pic n Save too so there is nothing to be embarrassed about.
Ok, that's all I got. Expect some more fluff over the weekend and hopefully some substance next week.
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
In working and being a mama
And with a kid on my arm
I'm still an exceptional earner
And you want a piece of me"
- The very wise Ms. Britney Spears in "Piece of Me."
Mama got a raise today. I'm bringing home the bacon, frying it up, serving it, and packing it up for lunch tomorrow. Time to pick out a celebratory purse.
Monday, September 12, 2011
Usually we are so busy that there is not much downtime for me to get bored but this past Sunday we did not have much going on and I so wanted to get out of the house. We were debating between taking Leo to the park or strolling around the Circle (the Circle is this adorable little town center where I live with antique stores, restaurants, a cute fountain, etc.). The Circle ended up winning. We walked around and had an appetizer and a glass of wine on the patio of a favorite restaurant. The weather was gorgeous and it felt like we were on vacation.
When we got back to the house, Leo was cuh-razy. He was just a little ball of energy that was ricocheting off the walls. I started to feel bad that we had not taken him to the park. The husband off-handedly commented, "oh Mommy was selfish and didn't take you to the park."
Me? Selfish? Putting my own needs before the baby? Never! It is all about him, all the time. Ok, maybe I was thinking more about me when I decided I wanted to go to a restaurant for a glass of wine and a little food. That definitely would not be Leo's first choice. He would have chosen the park. I declared that we were still going to the park and would go after dinner.
I fed Leo his dinner and got in the car to go to the park. There is an awesome, brand new, super clean with a perfect toddler sized playset park about 15 minutes from our house. I headed there. While I was driving I realized that the sun was setting. Crap! I have to take my baby to the park! I started to freak out and tried checking my phone for the sunset time. It was in 20 minutes! Shit! I started to use my navigation to find a closer park with no luck. Fuck it, I thought, we are going to the damn park and I floored it. Now I was the crazy mom in her crazy SUV driving like a bat out of hell to get to the park in time before the sunset.
Don't judge me about my cell phone use and bat out of hell driving. There is a reason why I bought Leo the most expensive car seat that ever existed.
We finally got to the park (the husband stayed home to work on the yard aka watch football). It ended up being a success. We had a solid 20 minutes of play time which is perfect for a toddler. Leo is obsessed with balloons right now and he saw a little girl with one, of course he started to chase her. The little girl didn't speak English and kept yelling at him in Spanish. I wanted to say "he just likes your balloon" but my high school Spanish was failing me and I was afraid of saying something horribly offensive which would prompt her parents yelling at me in Spanish. So I just kept redirecting him. Despite the constant chasing, we had fun.
On the way home I realized that I had no gas. After filling up, we got home around 8pm. Leo got a bath and went straight to bed he was so exhausted. All this because I felt compelled by guilt to get him to the park. Because I felt guilty for thinking about what I wanted to do before what the baby might want to do. Looking back, Leo had fun at the Circle and would have been fine without going to the park. We had fun at the park but the heart attack I suffered in trying to get there really wasn't necessary. He would have had just as much fun at home with us.
I need to remember that it is ok to think about what I want from time to time. That putting me first or listening to what I would like to do is ok and does not need to result in a frantic dash to the park to make up for it. When I was younger and I thought about motherhood being hard I thought it was because of the dirty diapers and sleepless nights. I did not fathom the sheer amounts of guilt that could stem from a simple decision to go to a restaurant versus the park.
Motherhood is kind of a mind-fuck.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
In the days before Leo I would have been so flipping stoked to be advising the board. I would have sat up there all proud and stuff extolling expert legal advice. Now I just hope that no one can see my anxiety induced sweat attack as I check my phone obsessively for text messages from my husband confirming that he got the baby.
But then, randomly, I ended up getting out of the meeting early and traffic was amazingly light. I called my husband four times, left two voicemails, and a text message telling him I would get Leo. I was not all that surprised when I bumped into him in the hall of daycare as I was walking out with Leo. Obviously, we need to work on checking our phone.
Since we were both off work early we went to Red Robin. Yum.
Leo got a balloon and a kid's meal complete with a little cup of milk. He looked like such a little boy. It seriously seems like yesterday I that was trying to figure out how to breastfeed him while sitting in a booth at a restaurant and not bang his head on a table. Or mixing a bottle of formula and hoping the La Leche League nazis didn't see me. But there he was, with his little cup and everything.
Dinner with my boys was such a nice, random surprise on this fake Monday. Leo loved his balloon but could not handle it if the balloon was floating over his head. So I had to hold it at face level. Toddlers are weird.
How cute are my boys? I could just die. Seriously. Later that night I watched my husband read books to Leo and my icy heart melted just a little. This motherhood thing is making me soft.
Monday, September 5, 2011
First it was gameday on Saturday. Yay? The Husband went to University of Michigan so of course Leo and I have to support him.
I also made chicken picatta, crockpot chili and cornbread (from a box), and a lasagna. I would now like a weekend to recover from my weekend.
Thursday, September 1, 2011
But this post is not about me (for once). This post is about Leo and daycare. I signed up Leo for daycare when I was about five months pregnant. I just wanted to get it over with. I researched all options and picked a daycare center that I loved.
Leo started at nine weeks old. It was heartbreaking for me. I don't think he noticed all that much.
His teachers quickly became his second greatest cheerleaders (besides me and the husband). They cheered him on as he learned to roll over, sit, crawl, and walk. They worked with me through starting solids, teething, and sickness. They were always there with advice and stories of their own experiences.
And boy was there sickness. Despite their best efforts, the daycare center is a germ factory. Leo has suffered through colds, two fevers, two stomach bugs, pink eye, and an alleged ear infection (I still think it was teething and the doctor was wrong). My world fell apart each time he was sick. It was never anything serious. He always recovered quickly. There was much drama over who would miss work, who could take him to the doctor. Looking back now, I laugh at myself for being so dramatic about it. I never thought I would find myself begging for solid poop so he could go back to daycare and I wouldn't have to miss a third day of work. The one plus side is that a sick baby is a snuggly baby.
When Leo was having a rough day, his teachers were always there with extra love, attention, and snuggles.
I laughed to myself when he brought home all his "art projects." I had no idea I would be hanging such things on my fridge so early but I did.
When I dropped him off, I watched a huge smile spread across his chubby cheeks as he saw his teachers. I swear one in particular can make him laugh in a way that I have never seen duplicated.
At a very early age I watched him engage in parallel play and when he hugged a little girl the other day I just about died.
Leo has been in fulltime daycare for a year. He is happy, healthy, and well adjusted. He is cautious about strangers but quick to warm up to friendly faces. Different environments do not faze him. He is curious and active. He can nap through noise and in broad daylight. I frequently vacuum his room while he is asleep and he doesn't even notice it. Dropping him off is still hard, picking him up is still amazing. I miss him like crazy during the day but I am comforted by the fact that he is in such caring and capable hands.
So to all my daycare mommas out there - I know it's hard and I know people will give you the sideeye and yes, your kid is going to get sick, a lot. But daycare can be such a great place, a source of support, and an environment where your child can grow into an amazing little person. My advice is to research your options and pick the center that meets your standards. You can ask all the questions in the world, but once you walk into the center you will just know if it is right for you and your family. Oh, and invest in a good humidifier. Those are a lifesaver.
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Oh crap, I'm supposed to leave early to take my dog to the vet. I haven't told my boss yet and I need to leave in an hour. Work is exploding but my puppy is sick. What to do? I tidied up the situation the best I could, sent the boss an email, and proceed to haul ass to daycare so I could get the kid, get home, get the dog, and get to the vet on time.
Of course as I'm pulling into the house, my boss calls and wants to discuss the event for me. So I'm talking through things as I'm changing Leo out of the random outfit daycare put on him after a blowout diaper, trying to get out of my work clothes, pack a diaper bag, find the dog's collar, etc. Luckily my boss was super understanding of my puppy's needs and didn't mind at all that I had left early. (I swear I will only work for a women who has kids and is a dog lover, they just get it.)
I made it to the vet on time, explained the problem to the doctor and everthing was going well. Then he asked me, "so what do you do besides being a fulltime mom?"
I thought this was an odd question. I answered that I was an attorney but I thought what if I didn't have an "outside the home" job? That would have been really awkward. Here I was, during the work day, in shorts and flip flops. I clearly didn't look professional or even employed.
The vet started mumbling, "full time job, kid, a dog, hard to keep up, hard to do it all." I replied, "actually I have two dogs, I left one at home." He said, "you just can't do it all." I replied, "I try my best."
He repeated, "you just can't do it all." Um, excuse me? Am I not here at the vet in the middle of the work day just to make sure my dog is taken care of? Is my happy, well adjusted toddler not eating nutritous snacks and reading his numbers book which I thoughtfully packed to keep him occupied? Am I not checking my phone and reading work emails, determining if anything needs my immediate attention? Am I not dropping $200 on various medicines and anal gland expression without batting any eye because my husband and I both work and, bottom line, we can afford that?
I do believe, good sir, that you are in the middle of observing me "doing it all" right in front of your very eyes. What a strange guy, with strange mumblings.
Even though the vet was odd, he fixed Mickey up. She had some hot spots and to keep her from itching them, we put a t-shirt on her. She's doing well and looks darn cute.
In unrelated news, Leo has started planking. I don't understand these kids and their crazy trends. He can also open the lid to the toilet. Super fun.
Monday, August 29, 2011
Scenario One: I send a flurry of weepy text messages to my husband saying things like "I don't care if we have to eat ramen and live in a van down by the river, I need to stay home with my baby!" I typically get some kind of "get over yourself" response and then I move along with my day.
Scenario Two: I decide that since I'm such an empowered working mom I deserve a little treat. So I head down to Target where I drop $100 on shoes, cardigans that will look like crap after one wash, clothes for Leo, wine, and a twix bar. Or I buy a bunch of crap online and then nervously await the arrival of the package so I can hide it from my husband.
Scenario Three: In a desperate attempt to feel validated for working I spend the majority of my day reading working mom blogs. Said blogs are entertaining and informative but sort of defeat the whole "working" part of being a working mom.
Obviously these scenarios are not exactly ideal, for my psyche, job, or wallet. What should happen is that I see the random sahm status update, think "oh I'm glad that person is having a nice day, " and go about my lawyerly business. And for the love of all things holy if I see the "Do I work? Yes, I'm a Mom! I'm an alarm clock, maid, cook, yada, yada" post one more flipping time I'm going to flip my mom shit. That little cut and paste status update is just embarrassing to all moms, working, sahm, or otherwise. I sure as hell do not see any dads posting that kind of crap.
This post was meant to be an insightful look into my working mom status and how I perceive the grass on the other side. However, it ended up being more rambling because it is 9:00 p.m. and I am in the middle of making roasted butternut squash soup. Clearly I have issues that are not going to be sorted out in one blog post.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Leo is always a bright spot in a dreary day but lately he has taken to throwing his food after the high chair and it drives me crazy! I am psycho about his food. I make just about everything. I lovingly bake bread, make meatballs with veggies, cook him a hot breakfast every day and when he just throws it on the floor it drives me so insane! I think part of my obsession with making all of his food comes from my working mom guilt. I want my son to have all the benefits that a stay at home mom might provide and in my fantasy world stay at home moms make every meal for their child from scratch and my son will not be denied that just because I work damnit!!! And I fully realize that stay at home moms could not possibly make every meal from scratch and I should probably let go just a little so that I'm not staying up till midnight on a work night baking banana bread but I'm a little neurotic so there you go.
I know he is just a toddler and he doesn't mean anything by it. But seeing that food fly to the floor when I've spent so much time preparing is enough to drive anyone mad. Plus, he keeps throwing food to the dogs and that doesn't go well for anyone (my bullies have sensitive tummies).
Today was a trying day at work. I had someone object to my presence at a meeting because it was adversarial and then I got mustard all over myself at lunch right before a video conference (luckily my jacket covered it). The road to daycare was closed so I had to take a huge detour for dropping off and picking up. I forgot my walled and had to track down a co-worker who was willing to (1) have lunch with me and (2) pay for my lunch.
I was actually dreading feeding Leo dinner because I just couldn't take him throwing anymore food on the floor. I had made spinach mac n cheese and chicken/corn/green bean meatballs earlier in the week. I put them all on his little dinosaur plate and put it on the high chair while holding my breath.
And thank sweet, little, 8 pound, 6 oz, baby Jesus he ate all of it! He didn't throw a single piece off the highchair and even used his spoon to eat applesauce. My sweet little boy knew exactly how to make his momma happy! Just watching him enjoy his dinner improved my mood by leaps and bounds. Now tomorrow he'll probably eat nothing but cheesy poofs for dinner. Yay for the roller coaster of motherhood.
Sunday, August 7, 2011
Background information: born and raised Catholic. Currently a practicing Catholic and by practicing I mean I have lots of guilt and go to mass during Lent.
I have had my fair share of the drama lately. I still cannot go into details but that is not really the point of this post. I have been feeling lost, helpless, confused. I lie awake at night wondering, questioning.
This morning I went to mass. I don't think I have been since Leo's baptism in September. The drama is not what spurred me to go. I simply went because I have been meaning to go to mass and the timing just seemed to work out this morning.
While I was there the drama hit me full force. As I was holding my sleeping son in my lap, my eyes stung with the tears I was struggling to keep in. I started to pray.
I never understood when people said give up your problems to God. I always thought, "shouldn't you do something about your problems instead of relying on someone else?" But today, for some reason, I did just that.
And He answered me. He inspired me to tackle the drama. He gave me hope. He showed me a path. It is going to be a long, painful, twisty path. But where I had been staring at a wall, I am now looking down a path.
I now understand when people say give up your problems to God. That is what I did today and I am so grateful.
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Instead I shall leave you with photographic evidence of why one should not drink wine and try to bake/frost a cake at the same time.
I give you Exhibit A - the organic chocolate cake and organic vanilla frosting that I prepared for Leo's first birthday:
Yes, I made him an organic cake (it was still a mix from a box) and then royally screwed up the frosting. Needless to say, this cake did not make it to the party and I ended up just giving him a slice of the adult cake instead which he refused to smash.
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Sunday, July 31, 2011
We have taken Leo (I'm sick of calling him the beast, his name is Leo) on a lot of trips. His first vacation was to San Diego at 7 weeks. He's been on a plane, train, and automobile. Despite his well traveled status, each trip we take with him I feel like I'm learning something totally new.
Traveling with an infant is definitely a lot different than traveling with a toddler. This was the first time traveling with Leo where he was not dependent on breastfeeding/bottles for eating. He's just about 13 months, he eats real food, three times a day with a snack or two. I didn't think this would be a big deal. I packed some snacks and figured we would just get food in restaurants.
The problem is Captain America and I eat huge, gigantic, oh my gawd you are a fat American, meals on vacation. But we only eat once or twice a day. We started the morning with a typical vacay sized breakfast and were uncomfortably full. After swimming and an epic nap, Leo was hungry again so we headed out to lunch and ate another gigantic meal at a Mexican restaurant. Let's just say there were 5 items between two combo plates and leave it at that.
We go back to the hotel after scoring some new books and a puzzle at a Borders sale. Captain America took a nap and I entertained a crazy toddler. Then a few short hours later I say to my husband, "It's six o'clock, Leo needs to eat, we need to get dinner." He looked at me with pitiful eyes. We were still so full from breakfast and lunch but Leo was starting to flip his toddler shit so we headed out to a restaurant.
By the time we were seated and ordered, Leo was not having it at all. He alternated between a whine/cry and a staring us down with eyes that said "hey dumbasses, you have to feed me regularly or I will flip my toddler shit." Finally our food arrived, a meatball sandwich for me and a pizza for Captain America. The only reason I ordered a meatball sandwich was because it would be easy to share the meatballs with Leo. He's still too little for a kid's meal, he just doesn't eat that much food, so I usually share mine with him. The sight of the meatballs made me want to hurl but Leo was happy he finally got to eat. And since Captain America and I are like dogs, if you put food in front of us we will eat it no matter how sick we feel, we ate our food.
We ended up spending Saturday night in our hotel bed, whining and complaining about seriously uncomfortably full stomachs. Next trip I will definitely plan our eating better and more according to Leo's schedule. Captain America and I are on serious orders to slow down the eating. Eating three meals a day is fine if you don't completely pig out at each one. Ugh, my stomach still hurts. I'm looking forward to a week of grilled chicken breast and steamed veggies. Right after I finish my wine.