Friday, December 21, 2007

Order please

When everything around me is in chaos, I organize. I try to perfect my immediate environment in hopes of gaining some sense of control and order. Hence the reasons I haven't posted in several weeks.

Hubby has been sick for 2 plus weeks with a recently diagnosed sinus infection.
My sister came for the weekend to visit.
The holidays are here.
My training schedule at work doesn't give me second to breathe, much less eat, pee or pump.
Holiday parties, events, secret santa...yes, you know the rest.

Hopefully after the holidays things will normalize, and I can relax. I have so many things to report about Elliott and about parenting.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Can I do this...?

and actually put this into action...I am not sure. But, I like the idea and have been thinking about since I received the email.

Even if you use cloth diapers (or no diapers), and buy only secondhand baby clothes and toys, your best efforts at environmentally-sustainable parenting may be sabotaged by well-intentioned family and friends. As the shower gifts roll in, followed by birthday and holiday presents, the piles begin to grow, and it becomes apparent that something must be done to curb the consumerism--but what?

Just speak up! Write a letter, briefly outlining your point of view, providing lots of eco-friendly gift alternatives, and send it to potential gift-givers. Here are some guidelines to follow:
Be positive.
Express your gratitude for their generosity, keeping in mind that gifts are being given with the best intentions.
Provide a plethora of alternative gift ideas. Here are some examples:
A coupon for a trip to the museum, fire station, or swimming pool
Music or art lessons
A homemade gift, like a sack of small bean bags
A useful gift, such as a flashlight, stepstool, or kid-sized rake
A poem, a song, or a puppet show.
Don't send the letter right after receiving a gift--this may be perceived as ungrateful.
Send it well before the holiday season or birthday party, to allow for plenty of time for planning.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Interesting email

What changes when you have a baby? A better question may be: What doesn't change?

Please feel free to add on via the comments.

1. You finally stop to smell the roses, because your baby is in your arms.

2. Where you once believed you were fearless, you now find yourself afraid.

3. The sacrifices you thought you made to have a child no longer seem like sacrifices.

4. You respect your body ... finally.

5. You respect your parents and love them in a new way.

6. You find that your baby's pain feels much worse than your own.

7. You believe once again in the things you believed in as a child.

8. You lose touch with the people in your life whom you should have banished years ago.

9. Your heart breaks much more easily.

10. You think of someone else 234,836,178,976 times a day.

11. Every day is a surprise.

12. Bodily functions are no longer repulsive. In fact, they please you. (Hooray for poop!)

13. You look at your baby in the mirror instead of yourself.

14. You become a morning person.

15. Your love becomes limitless, a superhuman power.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Almost 5 months old!

Sheesh, the time goes so fast! I have been wanting to post a few updates about Elliott, and have been mentally banking them for a later post. He is changing and growing up so fast that I can barely keep up. I am going to bullet point the items just to be sure I get all of them in (while he is still sleep and before I have to work).
  • pre-teething began about 2 weeks ago (drool, sore gums, finger and the whole hand when possible is the mouth, crankiness, etc.)
  • which lead to his first cold (which he is still struggling with)
  • and during both --to chomping and chewing on my nipples while feeding (more on this saga later) due to being stuffed up and having sore gums.
  • he has been tired earlier so we have been giving him his bath at 5:30pm, he eats at 6pm and is asleep before 6:30pm, then I feed him again before I go to bed at 10pm
  • Last week--he slept from 10pm all the way until 4:30am straight through!!! And I think he would have slept longer, but I was so freaked out that he didn't wake up in the middle of the night to fed that I went in to check on him and woke him up...
  • He seems to be working his way up to sleeping through the night. Typically he sleeps until 2am, eats and then wakes up around 6am. But every few nights he will sleep until 4am (rather than the normal 12am or 2am) without waking.
  • The best part of this is that regardless of what time he wakes up in the AM-he is waking up playing in his crib, laughing, cooing and smiling. What a joy to be greeted by that smiling, happy face. It melts your heart (even at 5:45am!)
  • While the overnight routine is in flux, he seems to also be working out his daytime nap schedule. We have not done too much sleep training. Instead we trusted and have allowed him to decide when to nap and when to go to bed. That is not to say we haven't helped him along! But, more so we watch for sleepy signs, or excessive crankiness and then follow his lead. That being said, he has had a consistent bedtime since he was about 10 weeks old. And now it seems that the daytime naps are starting to get a little more solidified. Whoo hoo! They aren't set yet, and vary in length, but they are becoming more consistent. Baby steps.
  • He hasn't rolled over yet, and doesn't seem to be showing much interest in it. He is content to lay on his back and occasionally roll to his side. He will play on his tummy for 5 or 10 minutes, but then starts to fuss signaling that his tummy time is over. Maybe we need to leave him there longer and not rescue him...but, i cant watch him struggle for too long before my sympathy kicks in and I need to flip him back over. He will figure it out in his own time. I am not in a rush, as crawling ensue soon enough!
  • He is extremely alert, attentive and interactive. He loves to read books, and play on his play mat. Bee is his favorite toy to swat at and put in his mouth.
  • His hand-eye coordination is excellent. He is very good at batting his toys, sometimes with both hands simultaneously and often times with his feet too.
  • Everything goes in his mouth! What a funny and interesting way to explore your world.
  • He had his first diaper rash over the weekend. It lasted 2 days and then resolved itself.
  • Bath time = Bliss for little Elliott. He LOVES being in the bath. As soon as his tushy touches the water, he melts. We call it spa time because he just sits there, all of muscles relaxed not moving, letting his Dad wash him, and pore warm water over him. Hubby bathes him every night. What a treat to watch the two of them play together and love one another.
  • He is pretty fearless already. He isn't jumpy nor do loud noises scare him. He seems to like adventure and surprise.
  • He loves being outside. If he is fussy or cranky, we just take him outside. It is like an immediate calming force. While strolling around the neighborhood he just chills in his stroller observing the trees, sky and scenery. When he was sick, I took him outside at 4am just to calm him down (the neighbors probably didn't appreciate it...but it soothed him immediately).
  • If I prop him up on the floor, he can sit up for a short time before toppling over onto his side. His muscles are getting stronger and soon enough he wont need to be held all of the time, or for matter want to be held all of the time. *weep* My little boy is growing up so fast!
  • I am looking forward to this day because he is so big and heavy, but I also want time to slow down!
  • We haven't left him with a sitter yet, but I finally feel comfortable enough to consider hiring one for a weekend night. Woot! This will be the first time hubby and I have gone out together with out him. Drunken Saturday night here we come!

Ohh, sweet little boy, do I love you! I occasionally struggle with feeling overwhelmed, over tired or just over taken from...but most times, just a cute little laugh or smile from you is all I need to get me out of my funk and back to reality. Both Hubby and I work hard to be present every day, making sure we are making you are our first priority (he is far better at it than me)! Being present is harder than it sounds (for me anyway). I can always tell when I am not living in the moment, because caring for you 'seems' harder. But, when I do a reality check I realize that I am worrying about this or that and not paying attention to the here and now. This is a big challenge and learning opportunity for me. I am still working on it, I am growing to be less selfish and more patient and am WAY better than I was before you were born. Thank you for being patient and allowing me to grow and learn along with you. I love you son.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


Every Thanksgiving my Granny would make a Kugel. I remember the smell of the kitchen while it was baking, the way it looked, and ummmh the way it tasted. But, my Granny must have cooked it from scratch, because I have never seen a recipe. I think I might have recreated it just right this year (my Granny passed away 10 years ago, and I have been trying every year since).

Mix all ingredients together:
2 small bags of Egg Noddles (cooked)
20 oz cottage cheese
20 oz sour cream
1 package of cream cheese (chopped up)
1/2 package of Velveeta (chopped)
raisins (golden are my preference)
3 beaten eggs
1 C Milk
Cinnamon and sugar to taste (the kugel should be slightly sweet)

Melt a few tablespoons of butter in a deep pan. Line the bottom with a light layer of crushed corn flakes. Poor Kugel in, crush corn flakes lightly on top.

Bake for 45-60 minutes at 375 degrees until golden brown and warm throughout. Allow time to set up and cool. Serve with meal.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

All aboard!

I think it is happening again...I feel like everyone is out to get me, I don't care about what other people think, and I feel like I am the only rational one.

I think I might have caught it before it caught me. Now...what do I do about it?

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


Sunday night me and the girls went out for dinner and drinks. We chatted our way through the evening and with every word and breath refreshed our tired and weary souls. I always leave girls night with a renewed sense of self, and many thing to think about and ponder over the several weeks until we meet again.

This last meeting left me thinking about why I am the way I am. What makes me act a certain way, say certain things, or behave as I do. I dont want to analyze myself, but on a very basic shallow level, why am I like this...

In speaking with one of the gals, we realized that her hubby and I are very similar in our decisions and actions. I have thought and wondered if we had a similar upbringing, and if that was the cause of our personality similarities.

We both have a nagging desire to control our environments (the need to have everything put in its 'place', the inability to relax when things are out of place, anxiety when our environment is different or new), often times to our own discomfort and certainly to the discomfort of those who live in our circle. We both say things that we know arent the nicest things we could say...but we cant help ourselves. There just isnt an ability to filter. I dont know this gals hubby to well, so I dont want to project too many of my shortcomings onto him, but you get the idea.

Thinking back to my upbringing, I was able to identify several factors that may have influenced my personality as an adult. I am going to share them and hope for an unbiased, unconditional response.

The first is while I knew the unconditional love of my mother, our lives were often lived in flux. When I last counted I had moved over 65 times. Most occurring from the ages of 1-21. My mom has been married many times, and I have been exposed to many "Dad's". I went to 3 elementary school, one junior high and 3 high schools-all in the same town. I never felt unloved during this time, but I certainly felt a sense of instability. My Mom was magnetic though and she was always a stable force in our lives. So, while our lives wavered and our homes varied, and our father figures were many, we always had my Mom steadfast.

That is until my freshman year in high school. Which brings me to reason number 2. The summer before I started high school was probably the most pivotal summer of my life. Yes, I know that 14 is a tough time for all teenagers (and parent for that matter). But read on to see why. My Mom had recently divorced, which resulted in another move, this time to a townhouse in a lower income part of town. She had always been somewhat of a hippy and she did not hide her drug use. However, until this summer it was recreational and she was functional.

This was the summer where all things normal and sane went to hell in a hand basket. My Mom lost control of her use, and it turned into full blown addiction, sales and all things that are associated. The next few years ended with her serving a couple of years in prison, my sister(attempting) and I recovering from a coke addiction (just naming the main drug of addiction), and her pregnant at 14 years old. We both were left without a Mom, and without our beacon of strength.

During the time she was in prison, I was lucky enough to live with my Aunt and Uncle, and my sister went to live with her boyfriend and baby daddy. Anger, resentment, abandonment, hate, rebellion are just a few of the feelings I can still taste and remember from that time period. It was a hard pill to swallow, and still often is. The thought that my Mom chose drugs over her children is something I never will be able to forgive or get over (more on this later).

From these life lessons I learned how to be fiercely independent. I learned that the only person I can rely on is myself. I was conditioned to be wary of others, and skeptical. I learned how to be self-reliant, and yet not rely on anyone else. I learned how to care for myself and no one else. I spent a lot of time surviving and not very much time growing as a person. There just wasnt time for it.

When I met my hubby, all of that changed for me. I knew that we were meant for one another. I knew that I could trust him. I felt safe and at home. I was finally able to relax and let my guard down. I allowed myself to trust. He loved me and I grew. I was no longer in survival mode; I didnt need to guard my feelings. I could allow myself to open up, I was allowed to grow.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Money vs. social consciousness

I want to be the type of person who buys only organic fruits, veggies and grains. The mom who provides nutritious snacks with no trans fats, low calories and no HFCS. I want to make my own organic baby food, and cook more meals at home. I want to be environmentally aware of the different types of plastics, know about each ones harmful effects on the substances they come into contact with, and eliminate them from my repertoire of household effects. I want to eat only free range, grain fed, hormone and antibiotic free meat. I want, I want, I want...

If I only had the budget to accommodate all of my desires. Instead I buy organic when I can, shop at Whole Foods when the checking account and time allows for it. I try and eat at home and cook as often as possible. I am making more of a conscious effort to buy foods that are healthier, lower in sugar and fat, and more nutrient dense.

I feel guilty though when I can not shop or eat organic, or be as aware and socially responsible as I would like. I berate myself when I can not live up to my expectations. I often have to remind myself that I cant always get everything I want, and that I often have to make sacrifices and say no.

So, today I am trying to come to terms with the financial limitations of staying home part time with my boy. I get to spend more time with him, I get to be there for more of the firsts. I get to spend evenings laughing and playing with him without feeling rushed. And, after he goes to bed, I get to relax. It is certainly worth the trade off when I sit down and think about it.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

What would you do?

Hubby and I were preparing to hand out candy on Halloween. We were getting the porch ready for trick or treaters, and I was holding Elliott. As I mentioned before, we live in an urban neighborhood, and do not have a driveway. Several houses on our street have driveways, but ours does not. Our hood is also mixed zoning, so we have SFR's, apartments and condo's as well as businesses, shops and resturaunts.

So, we part on the street, along with many of our neighbors. Most times this isn't a problem, as there is usually parking close by the house, and I don't have to lug things too far. Well, this day I was lucky enough to get RSP (rock star parking) right in front of our house. Hubby was parked behind me, and I backed up very close to his car to try and make enough room in front of me for a small car to squeeze in.

While we were standing in our yard, a gentlemen in a medium size SUV tried to park in front of me. He proceeded to play bumper cars with me and the car in front of him. The first couple of times he hit my car trying to park, I thought...hmm, it was probably an accident and he misjudged the distance. The next couple of times, I realized that he just didn't care. As each time he backed up he hit my car, and when he pulled forward he hit the car in front of him.

The thought of his disregard infuriated me, and I went down to speak with him. I very nicely asked him to please cease hitting my car while attempting to park. He retorted and said, get this...that's what bumpers were for. Now, I did not accept this as an answer, and asked him to park elsewhere, should he be unable to park here without hitting my car again, and explained that I often must park around the corner and lug my kid and his gear from my distant parking spot to my home.

Apparently I made him angry. He backed up hard into my car again as I was walking back to my house and screeched off. Hopefully not to assault someother car with his expert parking skills. When I returned to the porch, and reunited with hubby...I was met with a look of shock and disappointment. Hubby was very mad that I had confronted this man, especially with my boy in arms.

We proceeded to get into a long conversation about the positive and negative merits of confronting a stranger. You can imagine how the conversation went remembering that my husband is mellow, and often times a pacifist. I am curious to know what you would have done in a similar situation? Was I wrong to address this person? Should I have left it alone and not said anything?

Monday, October 29, 2007

TV bugs

I watch about 2 hours of TV a week. One of those hours is dedicated to Grey's Anatomy. I heart that show. I have been thinking about past episodes and was wondering what happened to Izzy's kid? Remember she put her up for adoption and then she resurfaced because she had cancer or something? Grrr, I don't like it when they add drama just for drama sake.

Friday, October 26, 2007


Two amazing things happened today. Actually one was last night, but I will report on it today.

The first is that Elliott slept in his crib last night (all night). We put him down at the normal time (7pm), he slept until 10:30pm, I fed him and he fell back asleep. Woke again at 2am, same thing. He ate and went back to sleep. Woke again at 4am and 5am. Hubby took over and soothed him back to sleep. Then at 6am, he woke again and we brought him into our bed for some bonding time. It was the first night he slept all night in his crib. I hope we can continue the trend. I suspected that Elliott was getting disrupted by our tossing and turning and therefore not getting enough sleep. Hence the constant eating (to try and sooth himself back to sleep). Time will tell!

The other awesome thing to happen is that for the past week he has been taking 2 hour AM naps, and at least 1.5 hour afternoon naps (cool in itself...but wait there is more). I usually have to rock him to sleep, and then swaddle him tight in his crib. But today, I lay him in his crib tired, but wide awake, swaddled him ....and yup, you guessed it! He feel asleep on his own.

Could a Mom be any happier? **smile**

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Hair Loss??

For those of you who know me well, you will know that I HATE stray hairs. I actually have somewhat of a neurotic aversion to hairs be it human or animal. And especially other peoples hairs.

A few weeks ago I noticed that I was shedding more than normal. When I would brush my hair clumps would fall out. I find it disgusting to have hairs on me, I cant brush my teeth in a sink with hair in it, and I gag if I have to clean the drain.

So, when I started losing my hair...I was dismayed and slightly creeped out. But, from my research it is perfectly normal for a woman to lose more hair after she is greater than 12 weeks postpartum.

But who is going to help me with my neurotic problem? More on my neurosis later.

4 month check up

Elliott went to his 4 month check up with his Dad on Monday. He is doing great, growing like a weed. His weighs 18.4 pounds and is in the 95% for weight, and is 26 inches long, and in the 90% for height. He is wearing 12 month old clothes for the most part.

He got his shots, and handled the first one like a champ. But, by the time the third one hit him in the leg he was very pissed off to put it mildly. Hubby said he was glad I wasnt there to see the look of sorrow, betrayal and disbelief on his face.

The Pediatrician said we can start to introduce juice, water, solids if we wanted to. But, I am going to wait until he is at least 6 months, has some teeth, can sit up on his own, and expresses an interest in real food. I am in no hurry.

He is still sleeping very erratically. Last night he was up every 2-2.5 hours to eat. He sleeps in between hubby and I in our bed. We still swaddle him because he wont fall asleep if we dont. Although, during the night he breaks out of the blanket. Depending on who he is sleeping closer to...he will tap us with his hand--repeatedly until we wake up to care for him or feed him. He doesnt cry, he just nudges us awake and whines. It is endearing in its own baby language way.

Sunday, October 21, 2007


Yesterday, I completed my 2nd Mud Run. I haven't run since I was 4 months pregnant, however I walked with regularity throughout my entire pregnancy and beyond. I didn't run the entire thing, in fact, I walked alot of the way. I finished 15 minutes slower than my last years time, but at least I did it! I had a great time at the race, and it may have compelled me to start running again.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

108 days old

Elliott is getting more fun and expressive by the day. Hubby and I talk daily about what a joy he is to be around, and how much we love spending time with him.

He is learning new things and is happy to show them off to us. In the last few weeks he has started to smile often and just learned to laugh (a full open mouth laugh too). He smiles now on his own (with out us initiating a silly face) when something is enjoyable to him. He has started to pull his feet up to his chest, and loves it when I put his toes in his mouth. He is also beginning the process of learning how to sit up. I watch him arching his little torso into a C shape, strengthening his abdominal muscle. He doesnt hate tummy time, but you can tell it is frustrating for him. He lets out loud grunts of displeasure when I leave him on his belly for too long.

His sleep habits leave something to be desired (like...more rest). He goes to bed regularly at 7pm, I nurse him before I go to bed at 10pm, then he sleeps solidly through until about 2am. I nurse him again, but he wakes up again at 4am, and then every 30-45 minutes thereafter. However, if we can make it past 6 am or so, he will fall asleep until 7-7:30 am. We have tried to not feed him at the 4am mark hoping he will go back to sleep. No luck. I am looking for suggestions on how to get him to sleep more soundly during those early morning hours. I wonder if hubby or I toss or turn more in the wee hours, and cause him to have disrupted sleep. I am not ready to move him out of our bed yet (we dont have heat at our house, and I am still a little nervous about leaving him alone in his crib, in the next room), but I am going to move him to the pram and put it next to the bed to see if that helps him sleep more soundly.

I worry about moving him too soon, or sooner than he is developmentally/physically able. But, I have to try and see. Parenting seems to be a lot of trial and error, with a little luck mixed in. Maybe my sleep luck is ready to change, and Little E will sleep through the early morning hours soon. Dont get me wrong--I dont mind getting up with him to nurse or change diapers. In fact, I like spending that quality time with him snuggling and bonding. I just want him to sleep better from the hours of 4am to say 6am.

Lil E is slowly losing all of his baby hair. When he was born, he had the most beautiful brown hair. I would spend hours just caressing his head.

After a few weeks, it started to lighten up and turned a little bit red (my heart smiled as I wondered if he would be a red head). But then, recently, his hair started to fall out, and is being replaced with peachy fine blond hairs. Now I look into his stroller or crib and am shocked and thrilled at my little blond baby boy.

Work Update

I am officially a part-time employee, and a Mom. I started back to work last Thursday. It was difficult leaving the house, but luckily there were no tears from either Elliott or myself.

I was grateful that we had the trial run with the Nanny. This allowed Elliott the necessary time to get used to being with her (and vise versa), and allowed me the time to get acquainted with leaving him with someone else. It also forced me to get out of the house.

Now that I am back at work, I feel like all of my worry was for naught. But, I know that had I not worried so much...I might not feel so positive about my decision. I also realized that I will still be expected to complete the same amount of work...just in less time for half the pay. I am going to try and reset peoples expectations slowly, so as not to put everyone in shock. But, its gonna be a hard transition for everyone to get used to.

I learned from my girlfriend, though, how important it is to set clear expectations and boundaries from the start, and stick to them. I started today. I responded to an email I received from a team member, but since it was 'after hours' for me, I said I would look into it in the AM.

I am also in the process of training a new trainer. She seems like she is going to be awesome, and I have already wondered if she will be better than me. It will take her a while to get ramped I have a little bit of time to work on my game.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

First Laugh

My sweet baby boy laughed today. Just in time for Mommy to go back to work tomorrow. Wish me well!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

The (good) news is in

I heard back from boss man today...and all is well. I am still employed. Phew. He said that the owners were willing to work with my Wednesday schedule, at least until I was able to find the necessary coverage. Moreover, I spoke with the Nanny (which I was dreading), and she is also willing to work with my revised work schedule.

How the week will work out is hubby is home 1.5 days, I am home 2 days, and the Nanny will be here 1.5 days. She will also be overlapping with me on 4 hours one day just until she can fill that day with another family. So, while we are paying a few extra bucks a is worth it since I get to keep my job and she stays happy since her salary doesnt change. Plus, I only have to work 8-3pm, which means I get to spend the afternoon with Lil E, and some quality time with him before the nighttime routine kicks in.

Their first day together went as good as can be expected. He was a bit more fussy, didnt nap for as long as he usually does, and wouldnt take a bottle from her. But, he is still getting familiar with her, and tomorrow will be a better day. I am going to leave for the day and let them really try and get used to one another. Plus, being the new, inexperienced Mom that I am...I left today for a few hours and forgot to defrost some milk...oops. Also, it should be a lot easier for her without me in the house, looking over her shoulder.

So, on the agenda for tomorrow is the gym (for the first time since Elliott was born), and lunch with a co-worker and maybe a manicure...who knows! A whole afternoon to myself...whoo hoo!

All in all, I feel pretty good about how things worked out. I am looking forward to getting back to work, and rejoining the ranks.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Monday, October 1, 2007

The wrong reasons

I went to visit a girlfriend and her new baby boy today at the Naval Hospital. When I arrived, she was heading into a breastfeeding class, and asked that I stay and join her. I thought, what the heck...I might learn something!

There were 4 new mommies in the room. They were all memorable in their own unique ways, but there was one who stuck out for the wrong reasons. She was an attractive, young woman and from the look of her and her boyfriend/hubby/baby daddy she was about 20. The class was clearly optional and run by the lactation consultant on staff.

This gals baby started to cry during the class. The young Mom tried to soothe the baby in his bassinet, but was unsuccessful. The lactation consultant allowed the babe to cry for a while, she clearly didn't want to rush the mom or make her more nervous, before she stepped over to the gal and asked her if she would like to feed her baby, since it was rooting and giving all of the signals that he was hungry. The girl quietly said she would rather go back to her room. The LC (strongly) encouraged her to feed him, but if she was more comfortable, to go to the back of the room.

This poor little crying newborn baby was being put on hold due to this young woman's shyness, or modesty. Here we are in a breastfeeding class, in the maternity ward, surrounded by new Moms and their babies, and this gal didn't feel comfortable feeding her baby in front of anyone... In the rear of the class, after several minutes (which for the new Mom, likely felt like 10 years...), the gal was able to get her baby latched on while under the careful drape of her blanket and rejoin the class.

I couldn't help but feel bad for this gal, and moreover for her newborn son. I wondered why this woman was so uncomfortable with her body? Was it youthfulness? Was it insecurity? Was it embarrassment about exposing her breast for her baby to suckle? Was it at her partners insistence that she be modest? Who knows. All I know is that it 'seemed' like her baby was going to be fed only after his mom's modesty issues were addressed...a fact which seems pretty sad to me.

To me...there is nothing sweeter than seeing a baby suckle on its mother breast. There is nothing more satisfying to me than the act of nursing my baby. There is nothing more rewarding than knowing that my baby is growing and thriving with each drop of milk my breasts provide. I only wish I could express to this girl the love, the bond, and the satisfaction that comes from nursing your baby. It supersedes all modesty, and is worth every sore nipple, sleepless night, and extra pound gained.

But, alas...I left the class with my girlfriend, walked her back to her room, said my goodbyes to Mom and beautiful baby boy, and went home to give my baby the breast.

Negotiation in progress...

I spoke with the boss man, and he said that the company was firm in their desire to have me work M, W, Th 8-3 pm (rather than the previously approved M, Th, Fr 8-4:30 pm). And, in addition they want me to work from home on Tuesday for up to 4 hours-checking and responding to email and taking calls from the office, but I wouldn't be expected to call clients.

Aside from having to tell the Nanny that we don't need her on Friday anymore (this is a whole other conversation) Wednesday is the difficult hubby can only take half day. So, I offered up this schedule: Monday 8-3 pm ,Wed 7-12 pm and Thursday 8-3 pm, as well as working from home on Tuesday, and for a couple of hours temporarily on Wednesday as a tentative solution. I also agreed to actively look for a way to work the requested hours on Wed.

Boss Man is going to present it to the owners and let me know tomorrow. He is hopeful, and wants to make it work. In fact, he sounded almost as desperate as I felt to make it work. I asked him why they were changing the schedule that he and I agreed on weeks ago...he didn't know. But, seemed to feel frustrated as he is now in a difficult position too.

I feel confused and like I may have misunderstood a few conversations with the owners. At one point , via email, the owner said...lets wait until late Sept./early Oct. to confirm your schedule. I thought he was just buying time to be sure I wouldn't change my mind again...but, he really meant what he said. I should have addressed how could I wait that long to 'confirm' my schedule...? I have an infant to make arrangements for, and my husband's work schedule has to be considered...not to mention the nanny and her availability.

The good part of this new schedule is that we save 9 hours worth of Nanny pay, I have built in 3 day weekends, and Mondays are often the day many holidays fall on. The bad part is two fold--the Nanny loses 9 hours worth of pay... I am not sure how I am going to break this news to her. It isn't a good idea to make the person who is caring for your most loved baby upset or bitter. Secondly, hubby and I were looking forward to 4 hours worth of overlapping time on Wednesday. I was going to use this day to schedule doctors/dentist/hair appointments. Now, I will either have to take Elliott with me, arrange for a sitter, take time off of work, or go after hours.

More to follow...

Butterflies and 3 month birthdays

I have butterflies in my tummy, as I anxiously await my bosses call at 3pm. Wish me luck...

Today, on a lighter note, is Elliott's 3 month birthday. My sweet boy is 3 months old.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Work Woes

Tomorrow starts my personal countdown of the return to civilization. The nanny is scheduled to start Thursday, and then the following Thursday I go back to work. Tick tock, tick tock...

The anxiety has subsided a bit, and I am feeling more confident about leaving Elliott for a couple of days a week. He is hearty (17.5 lbs!!!), and healthy and overall a very happy, peaceful baby. He adapts well to changing environments, isnt scared when new people hold him, and is in good spirits most days.

Hence, the reason why when my boss called me this past Thursday I hung up feeling a bit stressed. The conversation lasted 2 days, and we still dont have a resolution. But, the cliff notes version is that one of the companies owners doesnt like the schedule that I will be working, as he doesnt feel that it supports the best interest of our clients. After hearing his reasoning, I dont disagree... But, if you boss was the one who set my new schedule.

We ended the conversation on Friday without closure. Boss man needs to talk with the owner, and then get back with me. But, basically...I explained that I can't currently work the schedule he wants, as everyone is already committed and contracted, and there is not a way to change course now...or at least right now. I suggested that I come back to work under our previously agreed upon schedule, try it out, and hope that I can switch some days around in the long run and that the nanny's schedule opens up. Or, I offered to train a replacement should this not work out for the company.

I have a ton of mixed feelings about this exchange...first off, why didnt my boss clear it with the owners BEFORE he approved it for me? Second, why are they waiting until 2 weeks before I go back to work to bring all of this up? Third, if some sketchy things hadnt occurred in our other office, we would still have the other trainer on staff and this wouldnt be an issue. Fourth, will my be boss be a stand up kind of guy, and tell the owners that HE was the one who already approved my schedule...and that it isn't me being a difficult employee? And lastly, in a small way...I hope it doesn't work out, and I can stay home after all (although, there is NO WAY we could afford it...i checked and re-checked the budget, and then checked it again. No matter how many things I cut out of the budget, or expenses I pair down--we wouldn't have enough money to even pay the basic expenses without my income).

So, I am trying not to stress or worry. But, failing miserably at both. Suggestions? Thoughts?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Thursday, September 20, 2007

All smiles

I have had this saved in my drafts for a while, because I didn't want to forget to document the event and my feelings.

So, here it goes--Elliott was nursing about 2 weeks ago, and we were gazing at each other. And all of a sudden, with my nipple still securely in his mouth--he busts out an ear to ear grin, and a little chuckle of joy.
All at once my heart melted, a big tear formed in the corner of my eye, and my chest swelled with love and pride.
I don't think I will ever forget that moment.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The long ride home

My hubby and I are from the same home town. We didn't know one another while we lived there, but were introduced to each other by his sister. One of the great things about being from the same home town, is that you never have to explain stories about when you were younger, or in high school...cause your partner knows exactly what and where (and often times who...) you are talking about.

The other nice part about being from the same home town is that when we go 'home', it means the same to both of us. Our families still live there, and when we go home, we get to see both of our families. Hubby's parents, my Aunt and Uncle and my Mom all live with in 35 minutes of one another. Plus, we have a whole bunch of friends that live there too.

We typically stay at my best friends house-but since Elliott's arrival, we have been staying at my in laws house. We have only taken Elliott home once so far. But, we decided to drive home again and visit with the families and with the SIL (who also lives 3 hours away, but in the opposite direction, and who will be visiting the same weekend). The in-laws house is now the epicenter for both hubby's sister and for us. We dont have to bring a bunch of baby items, cause Grandma's house already has everything we need.

In the past, hubby and I made efforts to visit all of the friends and family we could. Always making a point to prioritize family by day and friends by night. Since none of our friends from home have kids (yet) that makes it hard for us to see all of the peeps we want to see, and spend the requisite time with our families. Feelings easily get hurt if we dont prioritize correctly, or miss a visit with someone.

This trip and for the next several trips moving forward...I decided to save us a lot of time, and effort and ask my family to come over to the MIL's house for visits. I initially felt bad about it, feeling selfish asking people if they wanted to visit us... However, I quickly remembered how accommodating we were/are to our friends with kids, and realized that this is normal for parents with little babies (especially ones that drive 3 plus hours to visit).

So, I am excited to be able to spend time with everyone, and for Elliott to get to see his family all together. Hubby is thrilled to be able to have the brood in one place, and the In laws love hosting family events. I think it is a win-win for everyone! Now, if only everyone got along...

Monday, September 17, 2007

Happy Anniversary to me!

Today is my 2 year wedding anniversary. Hubby and I had a nice dinner at home together, reflected on the past year and set some goals for the coming year.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Thank you Thursday

I wanted to start a Thursday tradition on my blog called Thank You Thursday. In each post I wanted to remember and write about things that I was thankful for. I hoped that this would help me appreciate the wonderful life that I live, and acknowledge those people that have helped to enhance it.

However, I have only got to post one entry insofar. So, today when I saw the calendar reminder...I decided to pick up the task again and try to write.

As such, today I am thankful today for the time to blog. It has been increasingly more difficult for me to find 'me' time. I have been struggling with my time management as of late. I have a ton of anxiety about going back to work, and about leaving Elliott in the care of someone else. I want to spend as much time with my family while I am out on leave, but I also want to spend it with my friends.

However, since most of my friends work, that only leaves me time in the PM hours to schedule events with them, or on the weekends. The evenings are committed to putting Lil E to bed, and then catching up on all the household chores I didn't get completed during the day. And of course, I want to spend time with the hubby. Both hubby and I need time to ourselves too. We have hobbies we want to pursue and friends to pursue them with. Our time is further fragmented and divided.

I have been struggling with all of this, and the prospect of it just getting more difficult when I return to work. However, today--I am going to appreciate the time I have had so far with Elliott and the month I still have. I am going to focus on being present. I am grateful for today, which has allotted me time to post and reflect.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

bye bye cable

Today, after much discussion and deliberation (planting the seed, watering it, tending the garden, weeding, etc.)...we cancelled the high dollar cable, the DVR, the HD, the premium phone services and are left with BASIC cable, a telephone that rings, and of course the WWW at full power.

Yup folks, just 20 some odd channels to chose from. I can still watch Grey's Anatomy, and hubby can still watch MLB all is well in the world. And the best part...Lil E will grow up playing outside and not planted in front of the boob tube.

Saturday, September 8, 2007


Having a baby is a big transition. Duh, many of you are already saying. I know, I know. But, the last 8 weeks have been great. I didn't feel like much had changed about my lifestyle. We have still been pretty mobile, and haven't had to sacrifice a lot of our time or normal life events.

In the last week, I have come to realization that it is all about to change. With my maternity leave slowing coming to a close, I am trying to get both Elliott and myself on a loose schedule. He has already created one for himself most days. I am just trying to solidify it, for my own peace of mind and for the nanny's sake. I was feeling very relieved (and cocky) to have such an awesome kid, one who sleeps easily and in reasonable chunks. Blah, blah, blah. Then I understood with a greater magnitude what getting him on a schedule meant.

It means that we no longer can be out later than his bedtime. It means, having to say 'No' to events if it conflicts with his naps or sleep schedule (I have a hard time with this). It means being home nightly. I also realized that while I was once excited about the weekend, because I got to sleep in...well, I came to the shocking realization that it was a thing of the past. The weekend is just like any other day for my boy, with the same 6am wake up as a weekday.

My hubby has also been feeling the changes that are brewing. He has been feeling restless and short tempered. We have been short with one another, and there is a general strain in the air. I suggested that he get out of the house, and relax a bit. He took my suggestion and called up a friend, and was invited over to play and hang out. We talked about it, but he did say if he was going to accept the invitation or decline. I didn't ask assuming he would tell me when he decided. We went about our new evening routine, but hubby had a bit of spring in his step. I was pleased that he was breaking through his funk, and moving forward with a smile.

Then, he leans over and kisses me goodbye. I asked where he was going in a surprised voice, and he responded saying he was going to his friends house. Oh...I know we talked about it, I just didn't realize you had decided to go, but have fun I sadly replied.

*Sniffle*, I thought he was happy to be home with me. But Nope, he was happy at the prospect of getting out of the house. I would be too if I was him.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

C-section remorse

In the old days, I used to subscribe to a whole slew of magazines. These days, I am more selective about my subscriptions and my time. With so little free time since Elliott's birth, I had to make my parenting magazine selection carefully. I couldn't fill my time with Parents, Family Circle and Better Homes and Gardens. So, I chose my favorite mag-called Mothering. It is published semi-monthly, and when it arrives I usually read it cover to cover.

The cover article for this issue was on Cesarean births, the articles title is Cesarean birth in a culture of fear. The opening paragraph went something like this-Cesarean births are on the rise and are increasingly being performed even when they are not medically necessary. When I (the articles author) ask women why they think this rise is occurring-- they may give a variety of reasons, but they will always justify their own need for a c-section as medically necessary...

I read the entire article, and thought it was a well researched article, and I dont wholly disagree with the author. When I finished reading it, I felt bad about my Cesarean and it made me begin to question again our birth choices. I felt like the author and therefore the magazine put a black cloud over my birth because I had a C-section. The opening statements of the article insinuated that women who have C-sections think they are necessary, even when they are not medically needed. I think the author is missing the point.

If a woman has a C-section, and felt it was necessary, isn't that a short coming on the medical establishments part for misinforming us about the actual need, versus the alternatives? The fear is on the part of the doctors, yes. They are trying to avoid liability and lawsuits. And if that is the point of her article, I felt the author should be standing up for our rights regarding informed consent, looking for ways to educate us on how to avoid feeling pressured into a C-Section, and teaching people how to make more educated decisions while under the pressure of labor, fatigue, and pain. She should not be pulling the rug out from under us that have had a Cesarean birth. She devalues those women who have had C-section births by making a generalized comment like her opening statements.

The result, again, was me feeling judged by the author. And, at a time when I was almost emotionally healed...I am now questioning once again the necessity of my surgery, and therefore my proposed inability to deliver natural. I did all of the right things (and still failed). I was under the care of a Midwife. I took great care of myself during my pregnancy. I was low risk. I had a doula. I didnt take drugs during my labor (pain killers, an epidural, etc.), and labored naturally all the way to 10 centimeters. I pushed with all my might...for 3 hours! I followed the natural child birth prescription, and I still had a C-section. I had an abnormal labor condition-arrest of descent.

Was mine necessary? Was it medically the right thing to do? Could I have delivered my baby vaginally, without surgery? Was it safer for the hospital to suggest the surgery, versus risk an assisted delivery (which comes with a whole list of risks to the baby)? Did I make the right decision for both Elliott and myself? The tricky part about all of the questions and uncertainty is that I will never know for sure if the surgery was necessary. What the article doesnt tell you is when a C-Section is necessary. Or under what circumstances a Cesarean birth is suggested for the safety and health of the mother and child. I will always wonder if I could have pushed Elliott out, with a little help from pitocin and an epidural.

Everytime I use the restroom, I look at my incision. I feel my stomach, where it is still numb and sore to the touch and wonder if I could have avoided having a surgical delivery. I dont think a magazine that is supposed to support women, honor them as mothers, and hold them in high esteem would want their readerships take home message to be one of alienation and judgment. I am therefore very disappointed after reading this article that more thought was not rendered before delivering such a harsh blow to woman kind. I am also disappointed that an article that is calling our birth ritual 'a culture of fear', is using the same tactics to 'educate' its readership about the nuances of a Cesarean birth using a step by step diagram of the surgical procedures, with a header "so you want to have a cesarean?" Women and especially Moms already suffer from a tremendous amount of guilt. Should we be adding to their load by now questioning the way they birth?

While I cant change the course of events in my own life or their outcomes. I can say that I feel like in my case, a cesarean was the best option for us. If the author of the article wants to question that, I would encourage her to research and publish an article on how to avoid one, rather than one that instills fear in those first time Mom's before they deliver.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

You are Qualified!

Congratulations, you are now a qualified breast milk donor with the San Gabriel Valley Milk Bank! By becoming a breast milk donor, you have taken a step that can directly impact the lives of critically ill and premature infants.

PS-you can download the new Breastfeeding Icon here.

Ping Pong anyone?

I have been thinking a lot about the last 2 months. How quickly they have passed, am I documenting them thoroughly enough, is his hitting all of the milestones. Elliott's 2 month mark was this past Saturday. He is such a good baby. I feel very lucky that he is so easy, and doesn't suffer from anything that would classify him as high needs.

I wonder though, if I am giving him the stimulus that he needs. I haven't been the type of parent who is paranoid about every little thing, and I feel pretty lackadaisical about entertaining him. I feel like I have been pretty relaxed about most things.

I have to admit to a few neurotic actions though, or my hubby will call me out. In the beginning I was concerned that our cat would suffocate him. Our cat, Chloe, is new to us. We adopted her in February from the Humane Society, and since she is relatively new to our household, I was still a bit uncertain about her behaviour. And since Elliott cant move using his own volition, I thought it best to not allow the kitty to sleep in the same room with Elliott. My hubby thought I was nuts, but I think I was just being safe. The change came when one night, after a diaper change, I forgot to close the bedroom door and lock her out. She sleep at the foot of the bed, and didn't suffocate the kiddo, and she has been allowed in the room since.

I also have gotten increasingly concerned about letting people hold him. When he was first born, I was ok with people holding him. Then, over the weeks, I think I became more protective over him...and now, I am very cautious about letting people holding him. Maybe because I have a fear of dropping him, I think that some one else will. I don't know.

But, aside from these two things I think I am pretty chill as a new mom. I still check on him periodically, to make sure he is still breathing and alive. Being a mom, I of course, feel guilty that I might not be doing enough. Maybe I should be more concerned with his development, maybe I should read to him more, maybe I should take him less places and keep him safe and unexposed at home...the list goes on and on, as you might suspect. Just fill in the worry, and I have thought it.

I kept this back and forth banter up in my head. Its like a never ending ping pong game of guilt and trust. Similar to my vacillation during pregnancy and labor. It all comes back to having to trust my intuition, my gut instinct. I have to be OK raising my son in a way that is comfortable for me as a person, one that feels right, and is therefore natural. I know that when I listen to him, watch his reactions, sense his displeasure or contentment that as his Mom, I will know the right thing to do. It doesn't always become obvious right away, that is certain. But, I feel like if I pay attention that it does become evident, for example, that something may not be right and a change needs to occur.

I hope that I can always be present with him. Even if I am not the type of Mom who keeps a baby book, or writes him monthly letters. I hope that he will always feel safe and secure, grow up to be confident and happy, and know how much I love him.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Bloggers Block

I have been keeping up on reading everyone's blogs, but I haven't had anything to write about on my own. So, rather than bore everyone with the minute details of my life, I just thought I would check in and share that I have writers/bloggers block.

I hope it passes soon. In the interim, here are some photos of my little man from our trip to SF.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

What's up?

I have spoken about our neighbors before, and how generous they are. Yesterday, I was lucky enough to be invited to see Mama Mia. I of course accepted, and hubby was nice enough to stay home with Elliott. It was great and I had a blast. I love musicals, and this one was exceptional.

We are also preparing for our first out of town trip with Elliott. He will make his first airplane voyage at just over 8 weeks old. Wish us luck. In the last few days, he has begun to smile. I am having a hard time capturing it on film, but I keep trying. It is melting my heart to see. He is growing up so fast. *sniffle*

I also found out that COBRA will cost us $591.69 a month. So, I am looking into how much it would cost us to be added to Jeff's insurance, and then I need to verify that we can keep our current medical group, etc. Ohh, the joys of the medical bureaucracy.

I heart Craigslist. I am addicted to it. I am never buying anything new again, without first looking on craigslist to see if I can buy it used. Yesterday I bought a snap and go stroller for $10!!! Last week I bought 2 Maya Wrap slings for $20. Just with these two purchases alone, I saved over $125.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Public Speaking

I was the kid in grade school who when the teacher asked a question to the class, and was looking around for someone to raise their hand, or worse yet to call on randomly...I intentionally would not make eye contact, and try to look like I was looking for the answer. I never wanted to be called on in class, not even if I did know the answer. I would rarely raise my hand. When we had to read from our books out loud, I would count the number of kids in front of me, and count the paragraphs so I knew which one I would be reading. Then I would read and re-read it to myself, so I could be sure I read it well aloud. I never heard what the other kids read, because I was too busy 'preparing' for my oral performance. I would get very nervous when it was my turn, turn all red in the face, and hope that I did well and didnt pronounce any words incorrectly. I was relieved when my turn was over, and could finally relax and breathe easy.

This anxiety carried over into Junior High and High School. In Spanish class, I would dread having to recite Spanish words out loud. I would be mortified if I pronounced the word incorrectly. It was humiliating for me to not know the vocab words, and forget having a Spanish conversation...I just couldnt do it.

In college, I was a Cultural Anthropology major. I transferred in as a Junior, so most of my classes were upper division courses. As such, many of them were very small classes, some as few as 8 students. These classes were a double edged sword. You got the rare opportunity to truly learn from a professor and not use a syllabus. These were Professors whose work you very much admired. But, you also were often required to talk in class. These classes were a huge contrast to classes such as my Human Anatomy class, which had 850 students in it, 12 teachers aides, and it was recorded just in case you didnt make it to class that day.

One class I took was an upper division course with Brian Fagan, who basically wrote the basic Cultural Anthro book that many Universities and Colleges use. The class was one of those awesome classes, with just 8 students. I was in awe of Dr. Fagan. I loved his teaching style, I admired his work as an Anthropologist, and he was remarkably easy to talk to. After a few classes, he laid out the quarters coursework... The whole class grade was based on 4 oral presentations, memorized, 15 minutes long. He didnt want to have to read or grade anything. I was in agony. I needed this class to graduate. I was on a tight schedule, if I wanted to graduate in 6 quarters. I couldnt drop the class, and find another take its place (it was too late in the quarter).

I cried. I went home and cried. When it came time for me do my first presentation, I went into Dr. Fagan's office and cried. Yup, it is true. I cried in his office, explaining my absolute fear of public speaking. He was very kind and listened attentively, and seemed to understand. But, he was not flexible on the requirements. I gave my speeches with note cards, and for that I received a B in the class.

I have always had this fear of speaking out in public settings. I am by no means shy. I am very outspoken and have pretty strong opinions about things. I just dont like to give prepared talks in front of people, or being called out in public. I am afraid that people will think I am stupid. Yup, that is the truth. I am afraid of being judged by others.

My FIL is involved in Rotary and as such gives speeches with ease, and often. When my hubby was little, he and his Dad prepared a speech (I think it was about Abe Lincoln) that was so good they were asked to go around to all the schools and perform the speech. They both speak publicly with ease. My MIL is a teacher, no problems speaking there. My Uncle is a problem speaking in public there either. I even suffered from anxiety speaking at my own wedding!

Last year, I scheduled an interview with my now boss. He explained that the job required someone who understood and could train users on our software and could integrate companies business model into the training. Industry knowledge was a given. Also required was the ability to talk in public...duh! Anyone who is a trainer needs to have the ability to speak in front of a group. I didnt tell him about my fears. I figured that I would use this to strong arm me into becoming more comfortable with my voice. I was successful in forcing myself to become comfortable in this environment, and more at ease with speaking in public. It is also easier to do when you know what you are talking about, and have given the same talk over and over.

I still struggle however when I am put on the spot, and with speaking in public depending on the scenario. I have been forced to think about why I have these long standing issues is as a result of a conflict I am having with my hubbys best friend. We have a communication problem. The problem is that he asks very direct questions (often ones that are about my feelings-argh!), and these questions put me on the spot. I immediately feel embarrassed and defensive, and I get nervous. He doesnt mean to make me feel this way of course, although he is a teacher in real life. I think he is truly curious about my answer, and hopes to get to know me better as a result.

Because I am already nervous about being asked a question that I havent thought about before, or know how to answer...I cant think quickly. I already suffer from the inability to think and process things quickly. I need TIME to sort through my feelings, and consider all the variables. For me, it can take weeks to come to terms with some things, and be able to articulate my feelings. Hence the reason I blog. I can take however long I need to to formulate and write out my thoughts and feelings.

Anyway, I always answer the questions. Because if I didnt I would feel stupid. However, the answers aren't really how/why I feel about the question. They are spontaneous replies, and not at all how I would answer had I taken the time to think about it. But, for fear of looking stupid and not knowing the answer --I always say something. This conversational habit we have gotten into has left me feeling uncomfortable talking with this person. And over time I have become bitter and angry towards this person. Of course, this has caused a lot of strife for both me and my hubby.

I would have liked to have realized earlier that the cause of my grief was simply my inability to say-hmm, let me think about that and get back with ya. But, again...I am slow processor of info and feelings. I felt powerless in the conversations. I could have also just explained that I dont like being put on the spot...blah blah blah. But, that would have been too easy. I had to complicate it. Silly, really the whole thing now looking back.

What fun it is going to be to try and move past this one...

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Part-time Mama

My bosses, reluctantly, approved my request to work part-time when I return from Maternity Leave. Woot!

I feel pretty relieved to be able to be home with Elliott 2 week days, and only have to work 3 days. Hubby will also be taking off 1 day a week to be with Elliott. The other 2 days we will have a nanny come to the house and watch him. I feel like this is the best decision for all parties.

If I would have stayed home, and not gone back to work...I suspect that I would have resented it. More directed towards my husband than anything. Just over the last few weeks, I have noticed and observed some behaviors and feelings that I didnt think would permeate my thought cavity. For example-if my husband is the sole financial provider...he would be under a lot of stress top provide for us, and need to work all the time to feel comfortable and confident that he is doing just that. I would become resentful that he is working too much, and not spending enough time with his son and I. He would then feel more stressed out, and not be any fun to be around. Thereby perpetuating a vicious cycle of disappointment and anger. Another scenario would be one where I am home all day with Elliott taking care of him, and doing household chores. Once my husband came home from work, I would expect to get a break from kid duty. But, if he was tired too, or had to work late, or wanted to go out with the boys or to a game...I could become bitter and resentful at being 'stuck in the house'. Neither of these situations speak to the stressors that are associated with not being a financial contributor anymore either. There are an entirely new set of worries that I dont even want to think about.

So, being a part-time professional and a full-time Mommy seems to be the best thing for me and my family right now. The time that I am away from my career and the work force in the grand scheme of my working lifetime is minuscule, and the impact will hopefully be small. But the impact of me being home with Elliott I think is going to be grand.

There are some practical things to work out of course. Since I will not be working more than 30 hours, I no longer will qualify for medical/dental/vision insurance. So, they will have to offer me COBRA, which we will pay out of the low, low price of $500 for the 2 of us. Yikes, is right. But, either I pay it, or hubby pays it. Either way it has to get paid. Then, when I go back to work full-time, the company will pick up the cost again.

We also have to budget for the loss of my income and the nanny's salary. Plus, should we ever want to go out sans kiddo, we need to factor in childcare costs.

The benefits to the company are that I will likely not need to take off too much work to attend doctors appointments and the like, since I will be home 2 days a week. I can schedule most of those things on the days I am home. And since I will only be in the office 20 odd hours a week, I will be forced to be efficient and very time conscious. That can only be good for the company!

So, I have been communicating via email and phone conversations with my bosses, and while they want me to wait until the end of September to commit to anything (I imagine for fear of committing and then changing my mind...), I am already starting to plan in my head for my return (boo hoo only 5 more weeks). I put my re-start date on the calendar and the nanny's start date on the calendar for the week prior.

Things that I have to prepare or get ready before I go back:
a new budget
a pumping schedule for Elliott and for my donations
Elliott's schedule (as soon as he has one...add that to the list too)
Lose 15 more pounds so that my work clothes fit again (lose another 30 after that to look good)
keep training for the Mud Run so I dont look and act the fool at the race

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

2 month check-up

Elliott had his 2 month check up today. It was a little earlier than originally planned, due to the fact that he needed to get his vaccinations before we travel to SF at the end of the month.

He did a great job handling the shots. He cried for wee bit right after they were injected, but then settled down pretty quickly. I breastfeed him right away, and then he fell asleep in the sling and subsequently the car seat. I think it caused his Dad and I more stress than it did him.

He also got a stellar report card from the pediatric doc. He is at or above the 95th percentile for all things-height, weight and head circumference. All his reflexes are in line. She also put our worry to rest that he was gaining and growing to quickly. She said they look for steady growth over time and showed me the chart they plot it on. She also confirmed that he looked very healthy, and to keep up the good work. Big yippee- she signed off on me being able to donate milk certifying that Elliott was healthy and not wanting for milk.

All and all, a very good visit.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Weekend Update

Another weekend is coming to a close. Which means another week of my maternity leave has slipped by. And that ultimately means that Elliott is another week older. He is 7 weeks old today, and he is growing so quickly *Sniffle*!

It is a double edged sword. I get excited every day they he makes a new noise or facial gesture, and yet I know that it means that we are one day older than the day before. *sigh* His hair is turning strawberry blond, and he has the cutest orangy colored eyebrows. He has started to make like squeak sounds, and is cooing. He loves to take baths, and hates to have his clothes changed. We have our 2 month check-up on Tuesday, which we aren't looking forward to.

We went to our first of many baseball game on Friday night as a family. Elliott was decked out in Padre gear, and slept through the entire game in the sling. What a rock star.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

World Clock

Thank you Thursday

Hubby and I were talking yesterday about how lucky were are to have such great friends. We are also amazed at how generous people can be, without ever asking for anything in return. I think we are exceptionally lucky to be surrounded by such awesome peeps. So much so that I want to share a few examples.

Hubby and I were recounting the weekend, and how on a moments notice our friends from home opened up their homes to the 3 of us and the bup-scout, prepared us a delicious meal, gave us glass after glass of tasty homemade beer, and cancelled their existing plans to hang out with us. Now that is coolness.

The reason we went home was for my best friends 33rd birthday. Ever since I can remember we have celebrated our birthdays together. So, this year with the babe and all- and the 3 hour drive home (turned 5 hours this trip due to traffic), we thought we were going to miss out. But, hubby thought it would be a great idea to surprise him and drive home. We did just that, and surprised him alright. We also crashed what was planned as a family b-day party. Oops. But, since I have known the family for 18 years...they allowed it. Food, friends and fun. Again, a great time.

We were also remembering how endlessly generous some people are. Hubby has a couple of friends that live in the hood. These folks are always stopping by with wine, inviting us over for dinner and drinks, and offering to watch the little man. In my mind, they also did the nicest thing for us after the baby was born--they baked a HUGE lasagna and dropped it off. No visiting required, no questions asked. Just a wonderful homemade meal, ready to be baked and eaten-now that is awesomely old school.

Our other friends stocked our fridge with Bar Mitvah leftovers so that when we returned from the hospital we had food to eat. They also decorated the house, and made it festive for our return.

Our neighbors across the street are always stopping by to see if we need anything from the store, or Target, or if we want to come by for dinner or drinks. An endless amount of generosity from people we just met a few months ago.

I am also grateful for the incredible amount of baby gifts we got in the mail AFTER Elliott was born. I also had no idea that when people came to visit that they would bring such wonderful gifts.

These are just a few of things I have on my mind today that I am thankful for. I am feeling an overwhelming amount of gratitude for the people I have in my life.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Cleared for takeoff

I had my 6 week post-partum follow up appointment with my Midwife yesterday. All is well, my incision is healing nicely. I am clear for exercise and sex. My breasts and nipples look good, and (drum roll please....) they didnt ask me if I had help at home. Maybe by now they know that I dont.

I also decided to have an IUD placed, so that for a bit I am safe from worrying about getting pregnant again. Even though, if I am exclusively breastfeeding, I should be pretty can never be too sure. What a process the IUD placement was. Apparently my cervix is oddly placed, and it took the midwife and an assistant both working down under to get a clear sight path. All the while, I had Elliott on my chest trying to pacify him (he was a crank pot yesterday), trying not to move so they wouldn't botch the procedure.

I also sent the email to my employer to request a part-time gig. My immediate boss wrote back and said that once he discusses it with the 2 owners, he will call me to discuss. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

I have been milking (no pun) the whole 6 weeks no exercise thing, and havent really done too much in the way of physical activity. But, since I now have no more excuses as to why I havent lost all my pregnancy weight (30 pounds down, 15 more pounds to go)...I got off my rump and went for a 2 mile walk this AM with the kiddo and pooch in tow. We walked often when I was pregnant and recovering. But, now I have to get serious.

It was a good feeling to be out and about again, and it was still early enough that it wasnt too muggy. The humidity here is a killer lately, and we dont have AC. Part of my motivation is also the fact that in October, my work sponsors us in the Mud Run. We are competing against our times last year, and for every minute we finish faster than our time last year, they will pay us $100!!! Last year I completed it in 95 minutes, and made $550 (the prize last year was $50 per minute). This year I dont have any hopes of beating my time, but I am still going to walk the 6.2 miles and finish the race. Since I havent put my running shoes on in 9 plus months, I am going to keep my goals reasonable. Plus, they have already secured me a spot, and a T-shirt!

Elliott is doing great. He is adorable and of course I am falling more and more in love with him every day. Hubby is taking a day and half off of on site work each week to be with him. So, for the first time today, I left during this time. I only went to the grocery store, and was back just as he awoke from a nap and needed to nurse. But, it felt good and liberating to be able to leave and know that he was in good, safe hands and to still be able to nurse him.

I am still pumping every morning to control the over-active let down, and occasionally in the middle of the night (depending on how long he sleeps and if we get to nurse on both sides), but the breastfeeding this has taken a very positive turn. And I also am getting a nice supply built up in the freezer. I am still uncertain how much he eats for each meal, but I am going to guess its about 3-4 ounces. Every time we go to a breastfeeding support meeting, his has already eaten and is napping on and off so we cant get a true gage of actual ouncage consumed.

My friend, who works here suggested that I pump and donate my extra milk. I am going to get screened for it, and see if I qualify. No sense in letting the over-supply go to waste. Thoughts?

Monday, August 13, 2007

Part-time proposal

I have to be logical. Although, it is extremely difficult given the amount of emotion I have swilling around in my heart. I can hardly think clearly about this subject, because I love Elliott so much it clouds my decision making ability.

I am going to propose a part-time schedule to my employer. If they accept, I will go back 3 days a week, hubby will be home a day and a half and we will have a Nanny 2 days a week. If I decide that part-time work isnt for me...well, then at least I tried.

If they dont accept my proposal and say that full time is the only option...then we will have to decide if we can afford for me to be a SAHM, or if I should go back to work full-time.

Here is my email so far:

I am extremely excited to be returning to work in October, once my Maternity Leave is up. The last few months have been an amazing time of transition with my new family, and I love being a Mom. But, I am looking forward to returning to work, and adding back the balance in my life that only my professional career can bring. I miss my clients and co-workers, as well as the daily conversations about the ever changing mortgage industry.

I would like to discuss options as to what may be the best way for me to re-enter my position at XX come October and long term. Prior to my Maternity Leave taking effect, I reviewed possibilities with Boss Man and the idea of me taking one day off a week was discussed. It was determined that I would need to use vacation time for any time I took off and once my vacation days were used up I would need to return to work full time.

As I look towards the future and my new role as a Mom and professional, I would like to re-visit these possibilities. I want to be available to my son for his first critical year, and I would like to consider the possibility of coming back to work part-time, and modifying my salary accordingly. I would like to review this possibility with you, in hopes of establishing a part-time work week upon my return.

I am open to ideas/suggestions/thoughts as it relates to hours, days of the week, and commitments that would need to be addressed and considered for this option to be successful and beneficial to XX. I would also like to note that should we encounter an exceptionally busy week, with some advance notice, I could make myself available for increased hours.

I hope after you have had some time to consider this option, that you will approve this request. However, I do understand if this isn’t feasible and am open to exploring other options with XX.

Friday, August 10, 2007

SAHM or not...

Why in my rational mind do I know that I have to go back to work, at least part time. But, my everyday brain keeps looking for ways to make it work with me being a SAHM?

It is coming down to the wire now too. The nanny needs to set her fall schedule. I need to get clearance from my work. We need to plan out our budget (for either variable). My hubby needs to plan his schedule, depending on what I end up doing. Etc. etc.

I need help. Please put your 2 cents worth in, and let me know what you think.

PS-finally made it to the LLL meeting, and 2 times to a breastfeeding support group. We also got a new bed, which makes night feeding a ton easier!

Consider this:

Monday, August 6, 2007


I was waiting to have my Rx filled last Friday, and read in a parenting magazine about Pro Ana websites that are popping up on the WWW. I googled it out of curiosity, and hit a couple of sites. Pretty shocking. The websites at first glance appear to support peeps that are suffering from Anorexia and/or Bulimia, but upon closer inspection they are actually supporting the disorder, and helping perpetuate the problem.

I learned how to nurse in the side lying position last night. Hubby and I decided to sleep share with Elliott, and kick the co-sleeping bed to the curb. I think I finally have enough confidence as a parent, trust my instincts, and feel that all of us would get a better night sleep. We tried it out last night, and he still was up like an alarm clock at 12:30, 3am and 5am. But, it was so nice to only have to get out of bed once (for a diaper change)! I was unable to master this position before because of the surgery. I couldnt lie/sleep on my side comfortably for several weeks post surgery. Woot!

My headache went away finally, after 34 hours. Needless to say, I did not take any more of the medication. I am still suffering with the nipple/breast pain, but we are trying to manage the best we can.

Elliott occasionally will latch on by himself without my direction or assistance. What a pleasant change. Breastfeeding took a positive turn over the last few days. **huge sigh of relief** It still isnt easy, but it is easier than last week.

My sister reported to me today that she quit smoking. Big props to her.

Elliott's Aunt and Cousin came to visit yesterday. We had a great day together. I think with the exception of a couple last people, almost everyone I care about has come to visit and meet Elliott.

We booked our trip to SF for our friends wedding. I am a little apprehensive about traveling with a 2 month old.

I decided that sooner versus later, I need to talk with my work about going part-time, at least for a while. I need to just get it out of the way, so I can rest easier and start to mentally prepare for my return to the office. And should they decline, and insist that I work full-time, then I can also prepare myself for that as well. I have been composing my words in my head for a few days. Wish me luck.

I was teasing a friend over the weekend, and must have hit a sore/sensitive spot. His wife did the hand across the throat thing--like cut/stop. I felt embarrassed and blushed, and as quick as my conflicted brain could changed the subject. Of course, I felt remorseful, but mostly I felt embarrassed for crossing over some unsaid line, and not having known it. I certainly didnt want to hurt any ones feelings, and felt horrible for several days at the prospect that I might have. However, since the cut/stop sign was silent, I didnt feel like it was appropriate to address the mis-speak. But, perhaps I should? It keeps creeping into my thoughts, and I cant seem to let it go.

Elliott has outgrown his newborn size clothes, and is now wearing 3 month sizes. He is weighing in at over 12 pounds and many of the adorable onesies are too small for him. I have a whole bag of clothes to put into storage awaiting #2. Speaking of clothes...I wore a pair of pre-pregnancy jeans yesterday. Granted they were the stretchy varietal, and they were baggy before and now they are tight. But, lets not split hairs. After all this is the first pair of pants I have worn in 6 plus months that doesnt have an elastic waist band.

Not sure if I shared this already, but about 2 weeks ago, I bought the My Brest Friend breast feeding pillow (which I dont recommend). The paper insert in the package had the word waist spelled waste. Now, I am not one to talk about spelling since I am a horrible speller (I was always one of the first to sit down when we had a spelling competition in school). But, hmm...kinda a big difference there, doncha think?

Saturday, August 4, 2007

BF Follow up

Motherhood makes me feel stupid. At least that is often how I feel lately. There are so many new things to learn. So many times where you have to be vulnerable, and ask for help or advice. So many times you have to throw your hands up in the air, and say you just dont know the answer or what to do. So many times where more than your maternal instinct is required.

My experience at the Midwife yesterday was no exception. The first not so pleasant experience was making the appointment. The admin when I told her my reason for wanting to come in, said, something to the affect, Oh, did you see Eve? I said that I had, and she proceeded to say that Eve had referred several people to the Clinic with the same diagnosis, which she (the admin) was surprised about since the condition was so rare. I shrugged it off. But, it really bothered me. What business does an admin have telling me about other peoples diagnosis, planting a seed of doubt about the lactation consultant's abilities, as well as my own diagnosis. Plus, she is an ADMIN, she is not a midwife, a LC, or a doctor... She isnt even a nurse.

I was very excited about seeing the Midwife. I saw another Midwife I havent meet. I think I have almost seen every one (Linda, Jennifer, Rebecca, Jazmine, Beth, Rita...), except for Steve. Who I suspect might be in clinic next week when I go to my follow up appointment. When the Midwife came in, I explained my story (the let down issue, the clamping, the extreme pain during and long after a feeding, my visit to the LC and the diagnosis).

She listened attentively, and then proceeded to say that she has never heard of the condition, and even conducted some on-line research prior to my visit. She proceeded to say that she would be uncomfortable prescribing meds to me, etc. etc.

I started to cry. Through my tears, I explained how I considered myself an intelligent woman, resourceful, and up for a challenge. But, that I was at the end of my rope. I saw a LC in the hospital, I meet with my Doula for a post-partum visit to assist with BF. I have the Sears book on BF, I have conducted a ton of on-line research. I have consulted friends who have successfully BF, I attended the hospital sponsored BF support group, I have called La Leche League (they didnt call back-twice), I called the hospitals BF Program-2x's (no call back). I saw a Midwife again (on Wednesday past) who said my nipples looked great! I finally decided to shell out the $60 and see a LC in person. I cried harder, explaining how hard BF was, and how everyone touts that the Breast is Best, but that there wasnt enough support out there...waaaaahhhhhhhhh.

When I was able to regroup, and hold back the tears...I realized that I probably startled the poor gal. She was now more sympathetic. I asked her for any other alternative solutions she had, as I was willing to try anything to ensure that my BF relationship was not jeopardized. She didnt have any solutions. But, offered to discuss it with the OB on staff.

She returned after discussing it with the OB, asked me a few more questions and then wrote me the prescription. She also said the OB had never heard of the conditions either, but they were able to find a 2004 study published in Pediatrics. So, with a heavy warning to call should I develop any side effects I left feeling very successful, if not a tad bit depressed with the sucky-ness of the system.

I filled the prescription, and took my first pill this morning. And ever since I have had a horrible migraine (I have taken 1200 ml of Motrin). Headache of course is the first side effect listed on the pharmacy printout. I will need to analyze the cost/benefit of the headache versus the nipple pain. Again, more to follow.

Which brings me back to feeling stupid. All of that fretting, crying, pain, etc. and now the medicine may not even be tolerable. Boy...dont I feel stupid.