Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Milk machine

My breast pump failed last week. It has had a good run. More than a year for Q and almost nine months for R. I boiled parts of it because I was noticing some mildew forming. After that, it just wasn't working. Such a bummer, since that top-of-the-line sucker from Medela was about $300. I did without it for a few days, but was running out of milk for the baby and getting uncomfortably full of milk at work.

I got a $50 model from Evenflo. It is not as good. It is hard to put together and a little unwieldy, but the worst part is the noise. It is so loud. I feel especially like a cow when I use this one.

I pump milk every afternoon around 4:15. I have a little chair and stool set up in the roomy handicap bathroom stall. Conveniently and oddly, there is an outlet in there. I was so nervous about the prospect of pumping when I first began when Q was 10 weeks old, and I went back to work. I was embarrassed and hoped no one would come in the bathroom. After several months, everyone got used to the familiar swooshing sound, and I would shout conversations over the stall walls to other girls doing their makeup at the mirror.

Now I am kind of embarrassed again. It is just so loud and mechanical sounding. I feel very conspicuous. I am such a supporter of breastfeeding and am so pleased I am able to pump milk for when I can't breastfeed, but it will always be an odd thing to me. Having a child and then breastfeeding him reminds you that you are really just a mammal. Pumping makes you feel distinctly bovine.

--MM

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas in Wine Country


We are back home tonight, unpacking and washing clothes after a great Christmas. We drove down to Napa Tuesday night around 12:30 a.m. It was very snowy and a little unnerving, but we made it by morning. My parents and sister Sally had already been at the resort for a day.

We had a great time visiting wineries and eating nice dinners. Q had a blast opening his presents and playing with all his new toys. It was a great idea to all meet in the Napa Valley. It is just an incredible place with vineyards absolutely everywhere you look. That said, I would love to go again with just adults. Having a 2 and a half year old and an eight month old is stressful. I barely tasted some of my food, and we spent a lot of time handing off babies as we hurriedly tasted the wine and tried to avoid spilling anything or shattering any glasses. All in all though, the trip went very smoothly, and it was one to remember. (Especially the visit to the Mumm Champagne winery!)


This was designed as a trip for T and I to explore our new home and look for a place to live. It was odd now knowing we will not be going there. We were sad in a way because it is a beautiful and interesting place, but are more excited with the place we will actually be going. We were glad we knew about the change before we went, so we didn't fall in love with the Napa Valley, pick out a home, and then find out it was not to be.

It was actually nice to not have to worry about doing any work and just play instead.

--MM

Monday, December 22, 2008

Rude Awakening

Q maced himself this weekend. Well not exactly but pretty close.

First some background. Most mornings when I am getting ready, Q is my little shadow. He pulls his stool in the bathroom and splashes in the other sink. He puts water in his hair and washes his face. When I put mousse in my hair, he demands some as well and rubs it on his head. While I blow dry my hair with a round brush, he awkwardly handles my straightener (unplugged of course) and another brush. I'm sure some day he will be mortified by this, but it's pretty cute now.

Now back to the macing. I woke up Saturday to him crying and calling "Mama!!" In a hazy, half-awake state I stumbled into his bedroom to find him frantically rubbing his eyes, his face red and tear-streaked, and his hair white. In his hand, he clutched an empty can of spray sunblock from the bottom of an old diaper bag. I realized what happened right away and had to chuckle a little even as I stripped off his clothes and carried him down to the bath. The poor little guy's eyes were red and teary for most of the day. I swear most of being a mother is just preventing your children from killing themselves.

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Our move has just taken a dramatic turn. We are still figuring out the details, but ours plans are totally different now. I am pretty excited about the change, but am hesitant to make any solid decisions until everything is confirmed.

--MM

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Pickin' up poo-poo

Thursday is a big day in the Modern Mama household. It's when the beloved garbage man comes. It starts around 8:00 a.m. or so. We can hear the motor a few streets away and the excitement quickly builds. Q with his ears like a bat picks up the sound of the truck and shouts, "Gobbage twuck! I wanna see it!" He hops up on my laundry hamper, and I pull up the blinds. After a few anxious moments, we see it. The green truck slowly moving down the alley, pausing at each driveway to extend its pinchers, clasp a trash barrel, heave it up high over the truck, and dump the rubbish into the back. It is a thing of great beauty. Q squeals in delight and asks, "Gobbage twuck! Do you see it??"

The wonder doesn't end there. The truck still has to hit the houses across the street. An hour or so later when we are downstairs we hear the familiar motor again. Yesterday, I heard it first and told Q, "Here it comes! Hurry!" as I went to open the front door. Q started sprinting over, took a tumble over the dog who started whimpering, and fell flat on the floor. Though he was crying, he jumped up and bounded to the front door to witness the trash collection. If only that garbage man knew how he was lighting up the morning of a little toddler.

Several months ago when Q was just learning about garbage trucks, T explained to him that he puts all the poo-poo out in the trash for the garbage truck to come retrieve. We do have a lot of poo-poo in our house from two babies, two cats, and one dog. It makes up a large portion of our weekly waste. So, Q is now under the impression the garbage truck goes from house to house picking up crap. He has his very own orange garbage truck, complete with a barrel that you can move up the side to dump at the top. Q happily plays with it singing, "There it goes! Gettin' more poo-poo!" Only six days until the poo-poo truck comes again.

--MM

Friday, December 19, 2008

Home woes

Our house is stressing me out. It has been on the market two weeks now and this week we had two tours. This entire process is incredibly challenging with two children, two cats, and a bark-happy dog. Every time I try to pick up the mess, Q follows behind me getting out more toys. When some agents came through, I was just sitting there feeding R baby food. I'm sure that's not ideal, but what can I do? We do still live there.

We had to list our home for less than we bought it for, and our real estate agent is now suggesting we go even lower. We just can't do that, so it looks like we might have to hang on to it and rent it. It makes you wish you had been renting all along so you don't end up stuck. Then once we move, do we buy? Do we rent? How do we afford any of it? What if our renters don't pay or trash the place? It is all very stressful and overwhelming.

----------------

In happier news, I got my hair done today. Don't you just feel great after that? It looks so shiny and healthy now. My highlight roots were approaching an inch.

Also, we got back R's six-month pictures this week. They are wonderful.



--MM

Monday, December 15, 2008

Tinsel and tantrums

I am feeling in control this Christmas. I like all the things that go along with it from the cards to the decorations to the wrapping, but they all tend to stress me out. I think of the list of things I need to do and wonder how I will get it all done. I go over and over my list in my mind stressing about each item. Thankfully, T helps me quite a bit, and this year we are ahead of schedule.

One of my least favorite things to do is address all those envelopes. We had 100 cards to send out from our large families, different hometowns, and many moves. T put all the names and addresses in the computer this year, so the labeling was as easy as putting on a sticker. We took our family picture in the front yard with the camera on a timer and printed 100 wallet pictures at Costco that night. The cards are out and arriving at their destinations. I spent a few hours today wrapping and those boxes are about to be shipped.

I miscalculated the allure of the gifts, however. I put them in the living room near the tree for us to admire until Christmas day. Q is a bit more impatient. After his nap, he slid down the stairs and made a beeline for a silver package with a pink bow. "Want to open it!" T had to pry his tightly-clenched fingers off the ribbon. T hustled the gifts out to the trunk of the car while I took a bawling and practically hyperventilating Q upstairs. I learned my lesson.

We are spending Christmas in Napa with my parents and sister. We will have to cart all our gifts down there. Q will be thrilled when he finally gets to rip into them.

--MM

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Nemesis

I will miss many things when I move from my current home and relocate to the Napa Valley, but one thing I won't miss is my work nemesis. Don't we all have them? It's not like I love everyone I work with, but I do have a nemesis. Today this person was particularly painful to me. I enjoyed thinking, '25 more work days until I never have to speak to you again.'

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One of my favorite things about this time of year is cranberry bliss bars from Starbucks. They are luscious little cookie bars with white chocolate chunks, cranberries, and cream cheese icing. Heaven. Now they have added the salted caramel hot chocolate (with one shot of espresso) to their repertoire. Heaven improved.

--MM

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Kissimus Tee!

It was an interesting morning. I woke up to Q holding up the giant plane Santa got for him and then Mama foolishly hid under her bed. "Plane, Mama! Open it!" he said. I looked around the room to see all his and his brother's presents scattered. There was quite a scene as I scooped up all the presents and re-hid them in the trunk of my car.

----------------

Things were looking up after the gift debacle subsided. T and I had put up the tree and other decorations Sunday night and couldn't wait for Q to feast his eyes on them. I had T on the phone and was shooting a video as Q made his way down the stairs. He stopped to exclaim, "Flowers! On the stairs!" (the greenery on the banister). Then he caught a glimpse of the glimmering tree. "Kissimus tee!" he squealed in delight and pushed over his child's gate at the base of the stairs to get a closer look. I told him it was just for looking not for touching. "My Kissimus tee?" he asked pointing to himself. He was pretty pleased when I told him it was.

He then checked out the "socks" hanging over the fireplace was confused when I explained one of the big stockings was his. He said, "Socks on," pointing to his little feet. He pointed out more "flowers" on the mantel and kitchen table.

The whole thing is quite exciting to him, and I'm sure he will be elated when he really receives his gifts. Preparing for this Christmas is stressing me out from the cards to the decorations to the list of gifts. The little ones make it worth it though, don't they?

--MM

Friday, December 5, 2008

Everyone's doing it

I have spent far too much time in the last 24 hours on Facebook. It is quite addicting, I must admit. I was quite surprised to see even my two OLDER (hee, hee) sisters are on. I am trying to get my husband to join, but he thinks it is lame. I keep updating him on how many friends I have now and how popular I am.

------------------------

Our house is now on the market. It is listed for less than we bought it for. It's an unnerving situation. How exactly do you show a house when you have small, messy people hanging around all the time?

--MM

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Joining the masses

Wow. I have become sucked into the Facebook frenzy. I have never partaken until now, but I got an email from a friend I knew 15 years ago referencing someone he had found on Facebook, and I decided to dive in. It is like quicksand! It keeps pulling you in deeper! Who do I know from high school? What about my hometown? The town I used to live in? Now I understand what all the fuss is about. However, I refuse to join the MySpace trend. I just feel too old for that one.

----------------

Baby R and I had a movie moment this morning. I was tossing him up in the air happily listening to his laugh....and....you can probably guess what happened next. He barfed all over me in mid-air. It was on my face and in my hair and all over my robe. Ick. Thankfully I hadn't showered yet. AND my mouth was closed.

--MM

Monday, December 1, 2008

College flashbacks

I wrote a 20-page paper this weekend. I have not done that in many years. Probably since the early college years. It is the final paper for my Media Management and Leadership class. I wrote about managing different generations in the workplace. I made T read it when I was finished. He was riveted. I have always been good at writing papers, and it took me just two days to slap it together. I have always been able to write about what I know rather than answer questions about what I don't know. Now I just have to remember how to put together a bibliography.

Last time I wrote a long paper, I did not have to stop to breastfeed a baby or answer questions of curious toddlers. I did however have to take breaks to go to the bars, so I guess every age has its distractions.

---------------

I think I was healthy for about one day before I got sick again. I am coughing and sneezing and drowsy and achy. This is really starting to piss me off.

--MM

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Mmmmm, pie

I love pie. I can easily skip a piece of cake, but pie just calls to me. Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of year because it includes pie.

I had to work yesterday on Thanksgiving Day, which made me happier to be leaving my job and no longer working on holidays. However, we still had a nice dinner with turkey (for T), tofu (for me), stuffing, sweet potatoes, spinach salad, and rolls.

The boys all came up to the station later with pumpkin pie and coffee. T cut us huge wedges, and we topped them with an obscene amount of whipped cream. Q apparently inherited our appreciation of pie and was asking for a slice all day. He usually eats the whipped cream in one giant mouthful and then asks for more.

This morning, I decided it was entirely appropriate to have pie for breakfast. Two pieces in fact. It does have vitamin A right? Q has to keep a constant dialogue going from the time he wakes up, and as is the specialty of young children, must point out all embarrassing details.

"Mama havin' pie breakfast?"
"Yes, Mama is having pie for breakfast."

I go to help myself to another slice.

"Mama havin' mo' pie?"
"Yes, Mama is having more pie. For god's sake, Mama likes pie and if Mama wants two slices for breakfast, that's what she is going to do. Are you calling your Mama fat?"

I just thought the last part. I didn't actually say it. Kids have an annoying/endearing way of calling you out on things you normally try to sneak by unnoticed.

--MM

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Short-timer

It's strange being almost gone. My boss spread the word of my departure today. People are already telling me goodbye, good luck, keep in touch. I keep reminding them, "I'm going to be here two more months!" I guess just like I am checking out of my current life, they are crossing me out of theirs. It's sad in a way.

I also am nervous about making the wrong decision. When I was in high school, I never even thought I wanted to have children. I just pictured myself as a professional woman. I am a strong feminist and didn't think I should be relegated to the household. I never would have pictured myself about to step into this lifestyle.

And yet it feels right for our family right now. I was getting to the point where I was working long, crazy hours because I felt like I was supposed to. I pride myself on getting tons of things done during a day, but it doesn't necessarily make me happy. I was getting to caught up in the idea of what my life should be like, instead of what it actually was or what I wanted it to be. My job doesn't inspire me enough to continue to give up my evenings and holidays. I feel like my career was stealing from me instead of adding to me.

Still, it is hard to acknowledge that this place will go on just fine without me. I will be replaced and life will go on. I feel protective of my position and am worried part of my identity will slip away when my title does. I have to keep reminding myself that this is not a permanent, binding decision. I can change my mind.

But this is certainly a turning point. And change is often painful even if it brings about a happy ending.

--MM

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Did it!

I gave my resignation today. What a weight off! And it wasn't even so bad. I crafted my short, professional resignation letter today and then handed it over. I am giving eight weeks notice, which I think is quite generous.

I haven't really told any co-workers yet. I am afraid at least some of them will rain on my parade a bit, so why do I want to rush into that?

But, the stage is now set. In two months, we are moving to the Napa Valley. Big changes are ahead.

--MM

Monday, November 24, 2008

Twilight addiction

Read the book. Saw the movie. The book was much better, but the movie wasn't bad at all. That might have something to do with "Edward" and "Jasper" in the movie. I now have the next book in the series, New Moon. I can't wait to delve into it tonight.

It is a bit strange being totally involved in series beloved by girls half my age, but it is just good. If you are skeptical, give it a try. I sure was. Harry Potter did not interest me in the least, but something about these books is captivating.

--MM

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Crazy child

Sometimes Q scares me a little. We are all still a little sick, so that makes him cranky, plus he has been extremely over-tired lately. When he gets like that, he is an utterly crazy child. He screams and cries and almost hyperventilates. He demands his seal and then his blanket and then doesn't want either one of them. He wants to go night-night but really he doesn't. He is hungry but he doesn't want anything to eat. He wants up. He wants down. It is a crazy thing to watch his confused, over-tired little mind trying to work.

The only time an adult would be that desperate and emotional was if he were begging for his life. Toddler brains are hard to understand. They are just little balls of emotion and uncontrolled energy. Last night, Q was having one of his now-familiar meltdowns. I tried to stay calm myself as he writhed, squealed, and occasionally pummelled me. Brushing his teeth was the biggest challenge of the night, but eventually I gated him in his room and at long last he stretched out, thumb in mouth for some much needed night-night.

-----------------

This morning, the crazy child was back. Apparently he hadn't gotten enough sleep. Neither did his mama. I was coughing all night and barely slept. I had a luncheon to go to but had an awful morning. Q was coming unhinged, R fussed in his high chair waiting for his pureed carrots, and I needed to tend to the dog.

I decided to just get done what I could and then try to make it to the luncheon on time. I half got ready, not even brushing my teeth, and hustled downstairs to meet the child care provider. She wasn't there. She apparently thought she was supposed to be there an hour later. I did not want to be late to the luncheon because it included a surprise award presentation. I strapped the kids in the car, called T, and told him to meet me at the luncheon to take over the children. Q had a poop in his pants and no shoes on. It was not my best morning.

Eventually, the kids were successfully handed off to T and then the childcare provider. I made it to the luncheon a little late, but not too late. And I did return home afterward to brush my teeth and finish making myself presentable.

I really hope this weekend brings me at least one night of cough-free sleep and a calmer, happier Q.

--MM

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Already half gone

I am struggling lately to live in the moment. I know when I am leaving, so I am already starting to disengage. Even with friendships and social groups I think, 'I won't even be here in a few months, so why even bother?' Unhealthy, I know.

In work though, I am almost feeling the opposite. I am realizing this could be the last few months I am in the broadcast journalism field, and I am trying to squeeze in last minute projects. I am feeling such conflicting feelings, because I know there are things I will miss, but I just as often am excited about the prospect of staying home with my family for a few years. It is a strange situation to be in.

I need to just be fully engaged in each day and not be living in the future. What's the point of wishing my time away? My fatal flaw is impatience though, so this is going to be a big challenge for me.

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Q has become addicted to Knee Bouncers. It is an online game for toddlers. If you have a little one that loves to bang on your laptop keys and smear them with peanut butter and Cheez-It crumbs, you must try it!

--MM

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sick house

We are all sick as dogs. At night you can hear a chorus of coughs from T's lowest pitched to the baby's pathetic squeaky cough. It is horrible seeing your kids sick, and it is really hard to take care of them when you're sick. Gone are the days when you can just check out from the world when you don't feel well.

I was feeling pretty crappy toward the end of the week, but I was the last to feel the brunt of the bug. T sounded horrible on Friday and the boys were coughing and wiping their noses. T worked a half day, and we let our child care provider stay away from the sick house.

Saturday I woke up with a croak for a voice, and the boys weren't any better. I got a sub to teach my yoga class and crawled back into bed. My body just ached. Thankfully, Q was feeling sluggish himself, so we laid in the bed together for a loooooong time. Just getting a good chunk of sleep helped a lot. Hopefully, we can end our quarantine tomorrow.

-----------------------

A friend of mine recently started a book club, and I am loving it. It is a casual, laid-back group, and we have had just one meeting so far. I was fairly skeptical about our second book. It is the ubiquitous Twilight. It is meant to be a young adult book and is centered around a family of vampires. It reminded me a lot of Harry Potter, which I never really got into. But let me tell you, it was great. I can't wait to read the next one.

--MM

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Craving a little recognition

I finished a project I was very proud of this week. I did a couple of stories on composite sketches of suspects. I put a lot of time into the project while also doing my regular job. I was very happy with the final result and has one of those rare experiences in which I actually recognize a job well done. I tend to focus a little too obsessively on what I could have done right.

The stories aired yesterday, and today when I came into work, I hoped at least for a tiny bit of acknowledgement from my bosses. At least to know they had at least watched the stories. You guessed it -- not a word. I was frustrated and aggravated. What crappy management. It is such a competitive environment as well, that many of my co-workers wouldn't dream of actually complimenting another person. I try to go out of my way to acknowledge what other people do, but apparently other people don't feel the need to do the same.

I have to keep reminding myself that I know I did a good job. But it sure would be nice to know someone else felt the same way.

--MM

Monday, November 10, 2008

Tug of war

Details of our next step in life are beginning to fall into place. I am anxious and excited but worried and hesitant. T is being transferred to a new position. It is a good move for him and a great step in his career. Two huge things are weighing on my mind: selling our house and not losing a ton of money and telling my work that I am leaving.

Another decision for me that I have been constantly thinking about is the next step in my career. Do I stay in my current profession and endure an extremely long commute for a low-level job? Do I embark on a new career and again face a long commute? I have agonized over the decision and think I have come to a solution I am comfortable with. I think I am going to stay at home with my boys and teach aerobics and yoga classes during the week. Then if it is just not for me, I will look for a job. I am excited to be able to see my sons more often, spend evenings with my husband, and not have to work on holidays. But, I do have a lot of fears. I am used to feeling valuable and important. My career is my identity and my self-worth. What will I feel like when I am just someone's mom and husband? Do I start going by my married name even though I have been known by my maiden name for the past 30 years? Will I resent my husband and his success?

These are definitely worries I have, but I am prepared for them. I know I will have to find ways to keep busy and get out of the house, and if I find myself unhappy and unfulfilled, I will go in a different direction.

I also have worries about re-entering the career world after taking time off to stay home. Will anyone hire me? Will I start at the very bottom? I am toying with the idea of working on my Master's the next few years.

My mind is reeling with constant thoughts and worries, but mostly I am excited. We have been where we are for five and a half years. I am ready for a change, and I think this is the right one.

--MM

New era

I am thrilled about our new president, though he was my second choice. I look forward to the day when our country can actually elect a woman president.

--MM

Friday, October 31, 2008

Out of whack

My poor pelvis is rotated.

I thought my back pain was improving, but then I tried to run a bit on Sunday. The pain came back with a vengeance. I was also getting nervy tings down my femurs. All in all, it's been pretty awful. I also noticed one hip seemed to be sticking out and the other caved slightly in. I can't seem to hold my body straight.

I went back to the chiropractor today and told her my hips were out of whack. She poked around a bit and informed me I have a rotated pelvis. Apparently my hip flexors are very tight and that is pulling my pelvis out of alignment. Everything in that region is still very loose following my pregnancy and birth.

She didn't really go into how big a deal this is or how quickly it will go away, but I must say it is pretty alarming to see my slightly slanted body. I am getting very tired of the intense lower back pain and nerve twinges. It is incredibly frustrating. Plus, my running is sidelined for the time being which doesn't make me very happy.

The chiropractor does seem to be doing some good, but I think I need to call the physical therapist and do SOMETHING to get myself back in line.

--MM

Monday, October 27, 2008

Monkey See


Halloween falls on a Friday this year, so that means an entire extra week of revelry, which is good news when you bought an expensive monkey costume online. Thankfully I got a good deal on the banana.

Halloween is still five days away, but our boys have already donned their costumes three times. The cost per wearing is actually quite reasonable at this point.

On Friday, our wonderful childcare provider took the boys and her son to a Halloween party at a kids museum we often go to. We met up with them during my dinner break. I forced T to take baby R on stage for the 0-2 costume contest and was quite proud when "Baby Banana!" was announced as the winner. T was embarrassed.

Saturday, I took the boys to a parade of kids and trick-or-treating in a little historic town nearby. We met a friend and her two little boys and after an exhausting hour or so of lugging our gremlins around, we called it good and went for coffee.

Today, we went to a Halloween party with my mom's group. I dressed up as a sassy tiger and T went as Joe the plumber. However, the other parents were quite as motivated to dress up. I felt a bit self-conscious in my tail and whiskers, but they're the party-poopers right?

We still have the real Halloween to go as well. I can't get enough of seeing that little monkey and his banana side kick. I'm not looking forward to the days when they actually have a say in their costumes.


--MM

Monday, October 20, 2008

Pain in the back

My back hurts. It is a huge pain in more ways than one. Two weeks or so ago, I was lifting R and felt a twinge in the middle of my back. Then in the last week or so, my lower back has been experiencing sharps pains that sometimes extend into my left hip and leg. I am walking hunched over, and it hurts to sit or stand very long. When your back hurts, just about everything you do is painful.

I decided to teach yoga this weekend, and though there were some painful moments, it actually seemed to make it feel a little better, temporarily. The pain persisted though, so today I decided to go to a chiropractor for the first time.

I have always been slightly skeptical of chiropractors, but it seemed like the right expertise for my particular problem. I have an acquaintance who is a chiropractor, so I decided to give her my business. It was an interesting process. She put this odd contraption on me that sent little shocks into my muscles, then had me twist and cracked my back a few times. It seemed to feel slightly better right afterward but feels the same now. She says my hips were out of alignment, which makes sense considering my experience post-birth these last several months. I go again tomorrow morning. We'll see if my skepticism is founded or erased.

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My mother-in-law and grandmother-in-law were in town this weekend showering the boys with attention. Q soaks it up like a sponge. It was a little cramped in the house, and T and I were kicked out of our room, our bed, and our bathroom. My back didn't feel too wonderful on the pull-out bed!

Q's great-grandma got him a big orange garbage truck. He loves it. I swear he can spend hours running the little garbage pail up and down the side and dumping it in the top. And I can spend hours watching him.

--MM

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Thirtysomething

Holy crap, I am now 30! It is very, very weird! Where did my 20's go? It felt like they lasted a couple months. When did I become a married mother of two in my thirties? Strange.

--MM

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Fork in the road

What to do next? We got a pretty good indication this week of where we will be going in the coming year. When is still up in the air but where is pretty well nailed down. Now I am just trying to figure out what.

When we moved out here, T followed my job and then had to make his own way. Now the tables will be turned. Our family is now following his job because it will be financially secure and stable. It is the smart thing to do, but it still makes me feel a little ungrounded. What will I do now? Do I stay home with the children? Do I work part time? Do I start a different career? Do I try to continue my current career just several rungs lower? It is a frightening position, but somewhat exciting.

I now question my college degree. I have two bachelor's degrees actually, journalism and Spanish, but my Spanish is incredibly rusty and my journalism is so specialized. As I was looking through job listings this week, I felt very unqualified. Oh how I wish I knew how to use a computer much better or was a nurse or something. That sure would make life easier.

A new chapter of our life will begin soon. It is hard to picture what it will look like, but I am ready for the change. I am itching to leave my current job, and curious to see what a new city will be like. I am sad as well to leave our childcare provider, our house, and the friends we have made. There is plenty of time to get used to the idea and hopefully to figure out what I will do next.

--MM

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I'd like to thank...

I got an award today from the Oregon Association of Broadcasters! I won best news series for three pieces I did on bullying. I must say, I was pretty happy to hear the announcement. I have been needing a boost at work lately!

--MM

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Sore

I am returning to teaching yoga this coming weekend, and this past weekend I had a training for it. I realized I have not been using some of the key muscles involved in yoga. This is a little frightening as I prepare to appear to be a well-trained, seasoned instructor.

All these different angles of my arm are sore. Baby R felt like he was about 1,000 pounds and even blow-drying my hair was a challenge today. Slowly the lactic acid is flushing out, though I am sure it will be entrenched in my poor muscles after this weekend.

I am excited to get back to teaching. I have been teaching aerobics for about ten years now, and teaching yoga for about four or so. I like to take a break every few years, so I don't get burnt out. Those breaks seem to come naturally from moving or having a baby. It will be nice to be before a class again.

--------------

I had a moment at work Friday that I am not entirely proud of. I was extremely frustrated and feeling that I was not being listened to or respected. As I tried to make my point, my two managers just pretty much smirked and shouted me down. I was shaking with anger and frustration. I let my emotions get the best of me and was mad at myself for that. I am feeling pretty uncomfortable and unhappy and am more and more convinced it is about time to move on.

I just want to shake my managers and say, "Don't you know how hard I work?? Don't you know how lucky you are to have me??" But I think already know the answer.

--MM

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Sweet young thing of the past

I wore a great pair of black silk Ann Taylor pants today that I got a great deal on. My husband T in his ever-observant way said, "What are those, leather pants?"

"No, of course not!" I said.

But, then I remembered there was a time when I actually had leather pants. Around this same time I had four piercings in each ear (two of which I put there myself), a pierced belly button, a tattoo, and very long hair. My hair is now highlighted and shoulder-length. I have a total of two piercings confined to my ear lobes. My tattoo is even gone.

I am like an entirely different person. And, I wasn't even an extremely wild child a decade ago. I was an over-achieving high school and college student. But now in the blink of an eye (at least it feels that way), I am a conservative-looking married mother of two. It is weird to me that my co-workers in their early 20's think of me as this mature woman. I still feel so young.

This is all dawning on me as my 30th birthday rapidly approaches just two weeks away now. I am not at all upset by the prospect. I am thoroughly satisfied with where I am in life. It is just a little hard to wrap your mind around. I never imagined myself as a 30 year old. And yet here I am.

But not quite yet.

--MM

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sore, but happy

My half-marathon is over, and I am sitting at home enjoying the last bit of my night off.

We packed up the kids and headed out Saturday morning and made the seven-hour drive to Lake Tahoe. We had to pick up our race information at a casino conference center. I walked with R in a front pack, and T pushed Q in the stroller as we made our way through the smoky casino by slot machines and roulette tables. It was kind of strange.

We have a friend in Lake Tahoe whose dad owns a resort. She got us a room in a motel they had recently bought, and it was an interesting set up. It was old with peeling paint and an ancient TV. There was a king bed and a cramped bathroom, but a giant hot tub. It seriously could fit eight people. I was really looking forward to a nice soak after my run, so it was fine with me. The lack of heat and even a phone was a little strange, but we're not too picky.

Saturday morning, we were out the door early. Our plan was to have T run the 5K, take the kids, and then I would catch the shuttle for the half. Unfortunately, it was a very long drive to the start of the 5K, and we couldn't find it. We eventually caught up to the runners, and T joined them about a half mile in.

I parked the car in this makeshift lot among tall pine trees and then dragged the kids to the shuttle stop. The bus was late, thankfully, because T had to run from the finish to meet us. He made up the half mile he missed in the beginning. I got on the bus and was off to the start.

I have run four marathons, one half marathon, and many 10-milers, 10Ks, and 5Ks, but this race was hard. First of all, it's in the mountains so the altitude was high to begin with. Then, about three miles in, it got higher. We had a one-and-a-half mile climb that took us up 500 feet to almost 7000'. The air was thin up there! I have never seen so many people walking in a race. I was running for most of the "Hill from Hell" as it was aptly described, but I also gave in to walking before I reached the top. There were a few more killer hills that reduced me to walking and also some crazy downhills. It was just hard. But, I finished strong, though in a pretty slow time of 2:19:22. I was just glad I wasn't doing the marathon. That would have been excruciating.

As I got close to the finish line, I saw T with the boys. Baby R was wailing. I had to finish, grab my medal and a bottle of water, and sit down on the beach to nurse him. Craziness.

T and I spent some time in the giant hot tub, and then enjoyed a nice dinner with out friend. She ran the half as well.

T, Q, and I spent the night in the king bed, while Baby R slept on a blanket on the ground. Q kept thrashing around, waking up, and kicking us, until T moved to the roll-out bed. I could never do that co-sleeping thing. You'd never get any sleep!

We set out very early Monday morning. The boys were relatively good, though had a few screaming fits that actually made my ears hurt.

It felt good to run a race again. I had to stifle my perfectionist inclination to feel like I should have run the full marathon, or should have run faster, and just be happy to run.


--MM

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Job woes, cont.

So, I am puttering along in my job still. I am still fairly miserable and itching to leave. The more I hear about the horrific economy though, the more I want to hang on to my job with both hands.

I start to stress about my job not long after I wake up. I carry around this constant anxious feeling. Q has been especially trying lately as well, so I just feel utterly frazzled most of my day. This morning he had two meltdowns and both times I struggled to put him in his room for a time out. I was trying to put up his baby gate as he pushed against it. I kept pushing him back so I could lock it into place. It was just awful. The smallest thing, like the wrong cup for his juice, just sends him into a screaming fit. T and I are really struggling with it.

I get ready for work while feeling constantly frustrated and torn as R needs to nurse and Q is wailing about his lost toy or whatever latest crisis. I am generally five to ten minutes late as I pile my stuff into the car and race off to an appointment or work.

When I finally pull into the work parking lot, I start to get a sinking feeling. Then as I walk up the stairs to my desk, the familiar anxiety starts bubbling up. I just feel constantly on edge. I hate that.

I finally feel better after I return from dinner break and most everyone has gone home for the day. Then it is nice and quiet, and I have a lot more control.

During the day, I just completely disagree with the choices made and feel disrespected and unappreciated. It is not a good feeling.

I just want to be happy in the place I spend more than 40 hours a week. Especially since home is hectic now too. The only place I get some peace is in the car alone.

--MM

Monday, September 22, 2008

Ready to run

I am running a half marathon in six days, and I think I am ready. I started out training for a marathon, but the training was too time-consuming and was basically making me miserable. I have run four before, but this time around it was just two much with two little people, T's new job schedule, and my ongoing pelvic issues. So, a half marathon it is. It is still a challenge and something to work toward without being way out of my league right now.

The problem is, I have been slacking a bit in the training. I was determined this weekend to have a nice, long run, and I succeeded. I ran 10.6 miles yesterday and felt great the entire way. It was a cool, beautiful evening, and I saw seven deer. My pelvis ached all night, but I sure felt great having that run under my belt. I can certainly do 2.5 miles more this weekend in Lake Tahoe. The elevation is a different story, but I'm just not worrying about that right now.

-----------------------

I am within about three pounds of my pre-pregnancy weight. I am very happy about that.

--MM

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Tasmanian devil child


Here are just a few of the antics of my oldest son this week:

*Wore a bike helmet to Target and carried two flags as he strutted around the aisles. (see above)
*Stole my comb and while I was in the shower, and then later when I needed with wet, snarled hair, he answered, "Comb, all gone!" Couldn't find the damn thing all day.
*Locked himself in the bathroom. I tried to calm him and get him to let go of the knob so I could unlock it. (Thankfully I had the key). I got him out and expected him to be relieved. He just laughed and said, "Bye, bye mama," and locked it once again. Apparently, he also knows how to unlock it.
*Greeted me in the bedroom as I was getting ready holding the end of a roll of toilet paper. A line of white was streaming behind him attached to the rest of the roll in the bathroom down the hall.
*Escaped from behind his baby gate in the morning and made his way downstairs. Among his activities before I woke up: depositing a packet of string cheese on the TV stand, dumping the dog food, letting the indoor cats outside.

Sometimes you have to laugh or you'll cry.

--MM

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Single mom again

T is finally back home after a few days of traveling for work. It is just constant motion when he is gone. From the early morning hours when R cries for the first time to 1:00 or 2:00 a.m. when I go to sleep. Sometimes I get tired of being tired. I could nap at any moment. I think about sleeping on the weekends during the week and then squeeze in as many naps as possible on Saturday and Sunday. It's not a good way to live. As I get more and more frustrated with my current job, an 8:00 - 5:00 job looks better and better.

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The owner of the dachshund we dog-sat baked us a peach pie. Yum! I had two pieces for breakfast.

--MM

Monday, September 15, 2008

Off on the wrong foot

I had a doctor's appointment Friday morning at 9:30. Q was with his dad doing doing an interview for a charity function. Without my three-foot tall alarm clock, I overslept. I woke up at 9:17, about ten minutes after I should have left.

I had that brief moment in which I froze and wished I could close my eyes and wake up again at 8:30. But alas, I could not turn back time. I popped a stick of gun in my mouth, rubbed the smudged eyeliner from under my eyes, strapped R into his car seat and stumbled out to the car. I had only woken up about three minutes before and still felt half asleep. When I saw police lights in my rear-view mirror, I was wide awake. I wasn't even speeding, which I have a slight problem with. I had not yet however put on my seat belt, and my side back brake light was broken. Bummer. I got two tickets and then was really late for my appointment. The cop was very nice (except for giving me two tickets) and was riding a motorcycle. I wished Q was with me, because he would have loved that!

--------------------

So, it was a bit of a stressful end to the week and a rough week overall. I have had a few more struggles and conflicts at work and am still feeling fairly unhappy and frustrated there. I decided I needed a little stress relief. Saturday morning, I went for a massage and body treatment. It was two hours of heaven. It was maybe the best one I have ever gotten. I kept falling asleep during it. I wished after she finished she would have just left me there so I could nap. It was just what I needed.

Here's hoping this weekend bring fewer stressful moments and no traffic tickets!

--MM

Friday, September 12, 2008

My masochism

I think I have a bit of a masochistic streak. I am barely keeping my head above water with two (bad) kids and a full-time job, but I have decided to experiment with some Masters classes. I am not sure if I am ready to fully commit, but I am taking a class in Media Management and Leadership online this semester through my Alma mater. If all goes well, I will apply for the program after I complete that class. If I fail miserably, I'll say, Oh well, screw that, I didn't want to do it anyway.

The class is going well so far. I enjoy it and feel that familiar energy and enthusiasm from learning. I also feel that old stress and deadline pressure from those college days. This morning I was frantically trying to read and finish a case study to email it to my instructor as Q squealed and pulled on my pajamas.

The things I am learning I am already putting to use at work. I have had a few more conflicts at work this week, and I have been trying to use my new techniques for constructive confrontation. Of course, it is a bit easier when you are contemplating it as part of a hypothetical discussion instead of in the heat of the moment, but it is giving me some guidance.

I'm just ready for a nice juicy weekend.

--MM

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

So much barking

We are dog-sitting the dachshund on the right this week. She barks a lot. A LOT. I hope I don't strangle her before the week is through. What is it about barking that is so irritating? This morning between barking, fussing, and crying, I wanted to scratch my ear drums out.

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T's sisters left today and yesterday. It is so wonderful to see your children with other people who love them. It really makes you appreciate what you helped bring into this world.

--MM

Friday, September 5, 2008

Madhouse

We have a lot of beings in our house right now. Of course, there is the standard crowd, hubby T and I, little Q and baby R, two cats, and a dachshund named Ruby. Added to the mix this weekend are T's two sisters L and K, and a friend's dachshund we are dog-sitting for a week. That brings a grand total of ten beings!

The children are always tiny wild people, and the yapping wiener dogs are making for even more of a madhouse. As soon as the new dog arrived, I ushered both dachshunds outside. There they barked, yipped, and nipped each other and chased after grimy, soggy tennis balls.

It could be a long weekend.

----------------

It was a long week. It was one of those weeks that feels more like three weeks. It's like some sort of time warp lengthened the week considerably. T was out of town for three days on business. While he was gone, I embarked on a new project. I pitched the idea because I thought it was a good thing to do, and then I set off to do it all by myself. I even shot all the video even though I haven't done that in years. I had a few technical glitches that made the video dark and really, really pissed me off. But, I was able to salvage it and use some other resources to make it look pretty decent. This extra project though forced me to work a 12 hour day one of the days T was gone. It was long and exhausting.

I was proud when it aired today though. I can certainly have my lazy moments, but I am generally willing to work extremely hard when I think the project warrants it. I am just about physically incapable of half-assing projects, almost to a fault.

I have a few more projects in the pipeline, and I should be better at shooting the video for them now that I have learned from my mistakes. These projects are making me feel a lot more energized about work after a discouraging few weeks.

--MM

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Favorite kind of weekend

It was one of those weekends with nothing on the calendar. I love that. We sort of just went with the flow. On Saturday, we both slept in. We laid around the house, reading and being lazy. In the evening, we decided to get Greek food and go for a long walk. We ran into some friends and chatted while Q and their son fed ducks.

On Sunday, more laziness with one exception. I did my eight-mile run. Less than a month now until my half-marathon, and I think I will be ready. We ran some errands and then headed out for Mexican. I got a margarita as big as my head and gorged myself on chips and salsa. It doesn't get any better than that.

This Labor Day, I am working unfortunately and T is home with the boys. He heads out of town for three days starting tomorrow and will repeat the trip next week. That means some long days for MM.

I hope another lazy weekend is in the near future.

--MM

Friday, August 29, 2008

Funk update

I am feeling a bit better tonight. I had my meeting today, and it had its ups and downs. My boss started out actually pretty mad at me for going to his boss. It made my stomach drop. I have just never been in that situation. But, it ended with him saying he wanted me to be happy and to communicate my frustrations. I feel better all around.

During the meeting though, I could feel tears springing to my eyes. I see girls I work with crying all the time while on the job, and I did not want that to be me, but there I was, just like them! Is that just a female thing? I don't see guys blubbering very often in the office. I felt weak and embarrassed, but I just couldn't help it. Of course, I held it together, but I think it was pretty obvious I was getting emotional.

Anyway, I'm glad that is behind me, and my concerns are aired, and we can move forward.

--MM

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A funk

I have been in a funk lately. I can't shake it. I am sure it has a lot to do with work frustration. If you are not happy at work, your whole world is a little gray. Work takes up so much of your day and so much of your life that it has to be somewhat enjoyable or it will start to erode everything.

I think about work in the morning before I go in and at home before I go to bed. I chew on my cuticles and stew. It doesn't help that my boss has summoned me for a meeting tomorrow afternoon. Now I am just stewing away about that. Remember how I don't like confrontation? I wish he would have just called me in on the spur of the moment and not informed me a day before, so I wouldn't stress myself out about it.

My work stress is spilling over to the rest of my life. I had an appointment for noon today and was trying to get ready and all forces aligned against me. Baby R was screaming to be fed though he had just eaten an hour ago, and Q was piling all his stuffed animals in my sink. I went to feed R with my hair dripping went, and then Q got mad about something and started screaming and clinging to me. I ended up being almost 20 minutes late for my appointment which I absolutely hate.

I felt overwhelmed by stress and anxiety and really, I was just running late for an appointment. It's not like I was trying to avert nuclear war or performing brain surgery (thank god, because otherwise we would all be screwed). I'm not sure why I am feeling this way lately, but it is about to drive me crazy.
I really need to get it under control. I'll start right after tomorrow's meeting.

--MM

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

So quickly it is over

That three days went extremely fast. Sad.

A piece of advice. When going away for romantic, anniversary weekend, do not bring two tiny small children. It kind of kills the mood. Though there were some shared baths:

Not exactly what I had in mind.

We did have a good time, but I definitely underestimated the impact those two tiny guys would have. The three-hour drive wasn't terrible. There was some crying, but they are generally fairly good in the car. Dinner that first night was the bad part. Q screamed and squirmed and refused to sit in his chair. He wanted to run around the restaurant nearly colliding with startled waiters and diners. Thankfully, it was a loud restaurant so his squeals were mostly drowned out. T spent quite a bit of time walking around with him outside while I held R at the table. We both quickly downed our food and hustled out there. The next night we ordered in.

I did have a great time shopping at White House Black Market and Banana Republic, two of my favorite stores that they sadly do not have where I live. We also sampled the best coffee in the area, which is one of our favorite things to do, and visited a couple local sights. We took the boys into the swimming pool at the resort, and Q was terrified! I have taken him for so many sessions of swim lessons! That was kind of a bummer to see. He hasn't been in lessons for about six months, and I think he forgot all his skills. He'll probably be demoted the next time we sign up.

We returned home tonight, and instead of feeling like a nice day off, it was a scramble to get everything done we usually accomplish on Sundays. I made the shopping list and planned our meals for the rest of the week, washed my laundry and the kids', and ran on the treadmill. Reality so quickly sets in.

At least this weekend will come more quickly.

--MM

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Three days off

I am on the cusp of a three-day weekend. That makes me very happy. Tomorrow is our fifth anniversary, which is quite hard for me to believe. We take turns planning something fun, and T has the odd years. I know we are going somewhere, but I don't know where. The boys of course will be going with us, so it's not exactly romantic solitude, but it will be fun family time. And it will be THREE DAYS OFF. That is exactly what I need right now.

Things have been a bit better. My boss is actually acting totally different lately even since my co-worker and I complained. So, I guess it had a good result in some way. At least he knows that we were noticing some problems around here. And, though discouraged, I'm not sorry I spoke up. That took a lot for me to do.

----------------------

In other good news, I am down to about 139 pounds. I have learned all sorts of things in my physical therapy. I was referred to PT to strengthen my pelvic floor, but she is also helping me flatten my belly. I have been doing crunches for ever, but she is totally against them. She has me do these very subtle exercises to strengthen the transverse abdominals and says the strong rectus abdominis pretty much take care of themselves. She is also teaching me better posture. I always thought I was sitting up so straight when really I was arching my back and hurting it. Very interesting.

------------------------

I spent the week running from an appointment to appointment...mine and the boys. Also, T was out of town overnight on Wednesday, so I was pulling double duty. I am exhausted after this week and very happy I will not be returning to work until Tuesday.

--MM

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Discouraged

The week started off well. A co-worker of mine went to talk to our boss about some of the same concerns I have. I felt great! Finally, we will be heard! Things will change! I should have known.

Both of us were summoned this afternoon. We weren't in trouble or anything. It was more like we were mistaken. At least that was his spin on it. We have been misinterpreting the situation. I was pretty disappointed in the turn of events. I feel pretty unhappy and unfulfilled and am not sure what to do at this point. At one point do you decide to move on? It is such a risk. I am nervous to leave and then wish I hadn't. I fear I will regret it. There is much more on the line once you have kids and bills and a mortgage. Jobs in this region are not exactly plentiful or well-paying. But the thought of staying gives me a sinking feeling. What to do, what to do??

--MM

Monday, August 18, 2008

Olympics overload

I love the Olympics. Partly because of Aaron Piersol and Jason Lezak but mostly because it is just fun to watch. I am usually not a huge fan of the Opening Ceremonies, but this year they were spectacular. I like watching the swimming, track, and gymnastics for the nail-biting finishes, but even enjoy the novelty of badminton and trampoline. So interesting. Who knew there was such a thing as Olympic doubles table tennis? Fascinating.

I have spent many hours on my couch this week with my eyes glued to the television, but I also like watching as I run on the treadmill. It is inspiring to see athletes in the perfect form pushing themselves to the limit of human ability. It makes me speed up a bit. Granted, even the competitors in the marathon are running about twice as fast as me, but I still feel a little of that athletic inspiration spilling over. I will miss the games when they are over.

----------------------

As I continue to train for my own feat of athleticism, the Lake Tahoe half marathon, I set out tonight to run six miles. The run is just over a month away, and I need to step it up a little to make sure I can at least do ten miles by the time race day arrives. A half marathon is 13.1 miles, but the adrenaline of race day always carries you that last few miles.

It was extremely smoky today from wildfires in the area. It smelled like a barbecue outside, and I couldn't even see the mountains in the distance. I worried a bit about running in those conditions. I felt fine at first, and then a little over two miles out, I started feeling really nauseated. I felt like I was running at a really high altitude. I walked for a few minutes and contemplated calling my husband to come pick me up. I started running again, and as it got a little later, the smoke seemed to settle, and I felt fine again. I ended up going 6.5 miles and feeling pretty good after that initial problem.

I won't be setting any world records at this half marathon and the only medal I will get is the finisher's medal, but I still am an athlete just the same.

--MM

Friday, August 15, 2008

Fear of Authority

I had my meeting with my boss. It went well actually. I was so nervous about it. I thought about it as I laid in bed last night, then when I got up this morning, then when I was running on the treadmill. I planned what I would say and wrote down my key points. I had second thoughts about even calling the meeting. I went into work a little early and got started on my other tasks. I nervously checked the clock, and when it was time, I took a deep breath and went downstairs to his office.

I told him I have been unhappy and frustrated lately. I explained some of the things that bothered me, and he took notes. He said he would address the issues, told me he valued what I had to say and that I was an important employee, and thanked me. That made me feel good. I didn't say all I had to say. I held back a little, but I am still proud of myself for speaking up. That's not like me.

I have always been a little afraid of authority. Maybe it is because I had a pretty authoritarian mom growing up. I even get nervous when I pull up next to a police officer. I have never been a major rule-breaker, but something about authority figures scares me. I have always been envious of people who can just chat away with their bosses and invite them out for coffee. I generally keep my contact to a minimum and only enter their office when summoned. I am getting better about it, as evidenced by today's meeting, but I am still kind of a wuss.

I am feeling better about work in a lot of ways. Still having my frustrations, but hopefully my brave confrontation of authority today will make a difference.

--MM

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Bedtime setbacks, cont.

The toddler bed is not going well. Very early this morning I awoke abruptly to screaming. T rushed into Q's room and couldn't see him at first. Then he saw him crumpled on the other side of the new toddler bed. Poor little guy had apparently fallen off. Granted, the bed is only about a foot off the ground, but he still was quite shaken up.

He refused to go back to sleep. T ended up spending the rest of the night on the couches downstairs with him. R woke up around 6:00 a.m. Then Q was up again not long after I got R fed and back to sleep. I went to bed at 1:30 or so, so I was hurting. Q would have nothing to do with his bed. I was tired and grumpy and irritable and worried when I thought of being up all the way till midnight. And it was only Monday. Not good.

I finally got Q to sleep on my bed and put R in his crib. That's when one of the cats decided to get annoying. Not a good choice. I locked her out of the room and carefully laid down next to Q. We all got a little nap, and I think it made us all a lot happier.

---------------

That is until I got to work. I have been very frustrated there lately. I am planning to meet with my boss to talk things through. We'll see what happens, but right now it is just not making me happy. That irritates and saddens me because this job is what I have wanted to do for many years, and I am pretty good at it. I hate to just give up, but it may come to that.

--MM

Monday, August 11, 2008

No Night-Night

Q is suddenly becoming a problem sleeper. I don't know where it came from. He has always been great at it. He usually goes right down at night after our regular routine. He changes into his pajamas, brushes his teeth, reads a few books, and hopes right into bed. He usually tells me when he needs a nap. He walks up clutching his favorite stuffed seal and says, "Wanna go night night."

That hasn't happened lately. The last two days he skipped his nap. I knew he was exhausted, and one time he even fell asleep briefly on my feet on the couch, but he vocally refused his nap. That made him grouchy and fussy. Not a good cycle. He has still been pretty good at night. Mostly because he is so wiped out by that time.

Complicating these bedtime troubles is the fact that Q is now in a big boy bed. Tonight was his first night. We decided it was time after he flipped out of his crib. At first he did not quite understand his new little bed without sides. But tonight he settled right into it. It is strange to see him in that bed and out of his crib. It is a very visible reminder that he is not a baby anymore. He is speaking in full sentences, sitting on the potty, and now sleeping in his own bed. Crazy. When did that happen?

-----------------------

All day today I have been measuring my input and output of liquids for my pelvic floor physical therapy. It's gross. I could never be a nurse. I don't even like to be in that close of contact with my own bodily fluids.

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I am down to 140 pounds, just eight pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight, though I'd love to lose ten to 15 more. Surprisingly, you actually lose weight when you eat less. Who would have thought?

--MM

Friday, August 8, 2008

PT and pee pee

This is another one of those blogs you might not want to read if you haven't yet had a child. Or maybe you do want to read it, because these are some of the things I wish I would have known!

Anyway, I will leave out some of the gory details to spare you and spare me the embarrassment. I have been having some issues with my pelvic floor ever since R was born. You may remember I have a fairly small pelvis, and he had a pretty big head. I suffered a third-degree tear and was pretty uncomfortable for awhile there. My poor muscles were stretched and shriveled. Whoever knew how important those were? I do now.

I had some issues with my bladder when I went running, and I kept hoping they would just go away. Finally, I sucked it up and told my ObGyn. She referred me to physical therapy. I was dreading it, but finally made the appointment. Better to take care of this now and minimize problems down the road.

I had my appointment Tuesday. It was not awful, but it was far from pleasant. There was a lot of probing and palpitating. I have pretty much lost all shame after having two babies and now this. After the basic probing, we moved on to the high tech exam. Again, I will spare you the details, but it involved a little mechanical thing which I squeezed and a computer measured the strength of the squeezes. Fun, huh? Now I have to practice at home and go in every week for her to measure my progress. I feel like she should at least buy me dinner.

In a related story, I have been doing crunches like crazy, trying in vain to flatten my belly. I still felt like I looked three or four months pregnant. My stomach muscles are still separated and rounded, which is pretty common during and after pregnancy. Then, I was reading the other night that if you do crunches and your stomach is pooching out during them, you can make that roundness permanent! No! I stopped my crunches immediately. As I read more, I learned that my weak pelvic floor muscles, my separated abs, and the lower back pain I had been feeling are probably all connected. So, now I am working on toning it all up and getting a little closer to how I used to be. But I fully understand now, after a baby your body is just never the same - inside or out.

--MM

Monday, August 4, 2008

This and that

Besides the many accidents these last few days as detailed in my previous post, I also had some interesting experiences. Here are a few of the highlights.

*My mom's group had a play date Friday in which the kids made hand prints on t-shirts. Baby R made footprints. It was a bit messy and stressful, but the results are cute. Q still has remnants of red paint on his fingernails. Kind of odd-looking.

*I stopped by a breastfeeding week celebration to show my support and thank the lactation consultants who helped me with both boys. Q got a balloon. I later noticed it was a breast.

*I subbed for my old yoga class on Saturday morning. Q went into the gym daycare, but R is still too young. I took him into class, and he sat next to me as I instructed. Just as I feared, he started fussing about 20 minutes in. I held him for awhile, as I demonstrated Warrior and Right Angle. Then one of my participants held him the rest of class. I was also sore for two days after not doing yoga in months.

*I took the boys to a kids' fair Saturday. Q climbed in the back of police cars and a fire truck. He sort of played tennis and made a monkey puppet.

*We went to a petting zoo Sunday. Q saw a baby goat, lots of big goats, a llama, chickens, pigs, ducks, and a baby deer. He even rode a pony.

After that the chaos started. But everyone made it to Monday, and for the majority of the time it was a good weekend. You take the bad with the good I guess.

--MM

Week of boo-boos

It started Thursday. Our child care provider left me a voice mail that her son had conked his head and was bleeding. She was on the way to the emergency care facility and would be late. Of course, I didn't expect her to come in while nursing her son's head wound. T came home for the afternoon to watch the kids.

The injuries continued tonight. We were making black bean-corn-sauteed onion quesadillas. They were wonderful, eventually. But, first T was trying to slice onions on a mandolin. You slide an onion or egg or potato or whatever over a blade. Suddenly he yelled and swore and started clutching his bloody thumb. My stomach is turning again as I type this. He had sliced off the side of the tip of his thumb. We found the little piece of flesh in the pile of onions later. He was bleeding like crazy and went to call a nursing line to find out if he should get stitches. They said to just apply pressure and take Tylenol. It bled for hours, but finally let up.

Meanwhile, I finished the quesadillas and then we sat down to eat. Q was throwing a fit. He was screaming and trying to climb on T which wasn't working as T nursed his injured thumb. T took Q up for some quiet time in his bed, and our next scare happened. As I was nibbling my quesadilla, I heard a loud thump and T yelling "Noooo!" My stomach dropped to my toes, and I sprinted up the stairs. T was holding a crying Q. Q had apparently flipped out of his bed landing on his head. I held him for a few minutes, and he quieted down. He seemed OK, but we nervously watched him closely to see if he hurt himself. I was shaking for about half an hour.

Throughout the day, baby R was also screaming. It was a guttural cry with his eyes and fist clenched. We are pretty sure his acid reflux was bothering him. All in all, it was a rough, painful day in more ways than one. I hate my kids being in pain and am terrified of one of them getting seriously hurt. It seems like it can happen so easily and innocently. So much of parenting is just keeping your children from hurting themselves, and sometimes you can't prevent it no matter what you do. That terrifies me.

--MM

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Mean mama

I had two intense moments of guilt today. You just never get used to it. The first horrible feeling came when I was trimming R's tiny fingernails. You can probably guess what came next. I snipped a bit of his tiny index finger, and he started wailing. I seriously felt like I was going to throw up. I think you feel your child's pain more intensely than your own. Fingers of course bleed like crazy, so that little millimeter-wide cut seemed to bleed forever. I apologized over and over and put a tiny band aid on. Just thinking about it now makes me feel sick all over again.

The second awful feeling of guilt came when I was running on the treadmill. R was hanging out in his bouncy chair next to me, and Q was playing with cars. Then Q reached over and pushed this little switch on the bottom of the treadmill. It made it stop abruptly. It's not like I was close to falling off or anything, but it startled me, and I screamed at him. I immediately felt horrible, and said, "Mama's sorry for yelling at you, but please do NOT turn that off." It's not like I never raise my voice to him, but I really screamed this time unnecessarily, and that is just not the mother I want to be.

--MM

Monday, July 28, 2008

Dollar deals

We hit the dollar store this weekend. I have visited in the past here or there but never really thought much of it. Though that place is full of cheap crap for just a buck, it is a gold mine if you have kids.

We went in for some bubble paraphernalia to give Q something to do for the afternoon. We ended up getting two big bubble wands, a package of small bubble wands, a huge thing of dish soap for bubble making in the kiddie pool, sidewalk chalk, a set of three tiny train cars, two things of pens and a stain remover for me. Our grand total? Nine dollars. That is amazing. Granted, one of the bubble wands broke before we even used it and two of the three train cars lost their wheels, but we duct taped the bubble wand, and Q is still playing with the broken trains. I consider it a bargain.

That place even had wine glasses and candles and all sorts of things. I think when Q is older we can go there and let him pick out a few treats. It's probably also good for entertaining if you want pink plates or something but don't want to spend a lot of money. I was thoroughly impressed.

--MM

Many martinis

I hosted a mom's group event this weekend. It was a Mom's Night In. We generally have Mom's Night Out events, but they are in loud bars, and it is hard to talk very much. So, I had a few of the ladies over for drinks and appetizers.

I decided to phone it in slightly by just buying all my snacks. I got a couple kinds of chips, two dips, veggies, a cheese torta, cheesecake, and truffles. I opened a couple of bottles of wine and found an easy martini recipe.

We had a theme of "show and tell" to break the ice. The ladies arrived at 7:00 p.m. T took the boys to the mall to get them out of the house. We showed and told about our items and also played "two truths and a lie." You offer two true statements about yourself and one false one, and everyone else tries to figure out which is which. We had fun and learned about each other, and the drinks were flowing freely.

I haven't had much too drink in the last year obviously, so I am a bit of a lightweight. After a martini and a couple glasses of wine, I was spent. I was seeing a little double and wobbly on my feet. Everyone left and I crawled in to bed.

This morning, I woke up to a slight headache and a parched mouth, but not too bad. I don't know how I did this day after day in college.

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French Martini

2 oz. Vodka
1 oz. Chambord (or other raspberry liquor)
1.5 ounce pineapple juice

Stir with ice and strain into glass.

-MM

Friday, July 25, 2008

Flunking time management

I never leave myself enough time. I always predict how long something will take based on the best case scenario, which pretty much never happens, so then I am rushing around and frequently late.

Take today for example. I took the boys to a park for a play date. It was nice and close and easy. Q had a good time. When I got home I ran and walked for about 25 minutes on the treadmill and left myself about 45 minutes to get ready. That is doable if I scramble and if nothing slows me down. Then of course, the child care provider was extra chatty, her son wanted to show me a fingerprint he made, R demanded an extra feeding, Q woke up and had a poopy diaper, and my hair was flat and unmanageable. I was soon running very late with absolutely no time to make a very necessary trip to Starbucks. Even with half-doing my hair and not putting on my make-up, I was 15 minutes late to work. Definitely need to schedule a little extra time for these unforeseen circumstances that always seem to happen.

My other problem is it took me forever to get dressed. I am having such issues with that lately. My belly is still so rounded from being pregnant three and a half months ago, and I still need to lose at least ten pounds. A good half of my wardrobe doesn't fit and most of the rest doesn't fit well. Some of my skirts don't zip, and others make me look too bulgy. I am self-conscious in any shirt that is fitted. Today I put on a white shirt and black shorts. Too clingy. Changed to a black skirt. Too bulgy. Changed to a patterned shirt and short black skirt. Too skanky. Finished with the same shirt and a longer black skirt that is not zipped all the way up. Plus, I wear a suit jacket most every day, and very few of mine button up correctly right now. A lot of that is from the extra cup size I have from breastfeeding but the rest is belly bulge, and I do not like it.

I have a hard time remembering how long it took me to get back into shape after having Q, but I did get back to a body I was comfortable with. I felt fine in a bikini and weighed 13 pounds less than I do now. Then again I did have Q six weeks early, so my belly did not get as enormous as it did this time. There are some benefits to premature birth. Not many, but some. I fear my previous body is now just a skinny, distant memory.

-MM

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Happy kids, tired mama


First, a clarification. I like the Starbucks Doubleshot that they actually make at the stores. They shake up espresso, milk, and a little classic syrup. It is yummy. I have not tried the stuff in cans and am a bit skeptical, but if it is as good as the real thing, I will jump on board.

Now on to my chaotic day. There was a Children's Festival this week. I meant to go yesterday to meet up with my mom's group, but just didn't feel up to it. I knew Q would love it, but I also knew it would be a challenge. Today, I sucked it up and dove in. You know those days? You just want to lay on the couch, but you know you should take the hard road because it is worth it for the little ones.

It was rough with just one person. I had the baby strapped to me, and Q was free range. The festival was packed and for the first time, I was thinking how handy those baby leashes must be. Q kept wandering off, and it was so hard to pick him up with R in his Snugli. I had to ask for help from other parents once or twice, but all in all it was a success. Q had fun painting and playing in bubbles. I made the drastic mistake of wearing white pants.

When we got home, the boys were wiped out and fell right asleep. I would have paid a large sum of money to do the same, but alas, I had to get on the treadmill then jump in the shower and head to work for a full day. Sometimes I wish there were just more hours in the day to sleep.

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We woke up to another ant infestation this morning. They were coming in the back door and side door and meeting in the middle. They were swarming in the cat food and invading the litter box. It was overwhelming to look at their trail of little black bodies. I hate them!! Though I am a deep lover of animals, I delighted in spraying poison on them. Stupid ant jerks. They better not come back.


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Sunday: 4.5 miles running .5 walking
Monday: 30 mins. walking
Tuesday: 30 mins. running

144 lbs--need to step up the weight loss. My clothes don't fit!

-- MM

Monday, July 21, 2008

On my list

Two things are making me happy right now. Well more than that of course. My children and all that...But two other things.

1. "The Omnivore's Dilemma." It is a fascinating read about the food we eat, and how it has changed so much. Do you realize how much corn is in just about everything you put in your mouth? It is kind of scary really the strange things we do to something that is supposed to be natural. The author is not a vegetarian, but he sure made me glad I am one. It makes you actually think about what you eat rather than mindlessly chomp away. Which I still do from time to time. I mean, I have been known to eat a whole container of Icebreakers Sours to the point my tongue is burning, but I do generally like to be mindful of what I take in.

2. On to the second one, perhaps in direct contrast to the first. The wonderful Starbucks Doubleshot on Ice. I usually like just coffee or a cappuccino even it is hot outside. I don't like my drinks too syrupy or sweet. This is quite lovely though. Sweet, creamy, tastes like espresso. It hits the spot most every afternoon these days and is not insanely expensive like some of the other drinks on the menu.

Now on to the thing that is weirding me out this week.

1. Q is starting to get smelly. He is changing from the sweet-smelling baby to a full-fledged stinky boy. It started slow with a dirty, puppy dog smell (as my mom would say). But T and I have noticed his feet and shoes are now smelly. Like a grown person smelly! Sigh. I guess we should wash him a little more often.

--MM

All's not fair

A county fair is not the best place for a vegetarian for a number of reasons. First, I do not understand the whole FFA and 4-H experience. These kids get so close to their animals that they become more than pets. They name them, feed them, bathe them, blow-dry their fur, and then send them off to slaughter. Why would you want to set yourself up for such heartache? I haven't even met or cared for livestock, and I still don't want to eat it.

We stopped in the meat goat barn and watched some judging. I admired the cute little goats and their proud middle-school handlers. And then felt physically ill thinking about them being killed and eaten. We walked out of there and into the beef barn. Same issue. I distracted myself by asking Q what sounds cows make. He dutifully belted, "Moo!" Still sad.

We encountered more problems in the food aisle. There is sausage, chicken, chicken-on-a-stick, sausage-on-a-stick, burgers, hot dogs, but not a lot of tofu. I did satisfy myself with a funnel cake and marionberry lemonade. They were quite tasty I must say. Q was tall enough this year to go on three rides. I felt like barfing after accompanying him on the carousel. I hope by the time he is tall enough for the death drop, he can go alone.

We finished the day in the pavilion for prize-winning art, baked goods, and vegetables. Finally, a place where a vegetarian can feel at home at the fair.

--MM

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Wonderful weekend

I am so ready for this weekend. It has been a rough week. I have gotten about 5 or 6 hours a sleep a night and have been struggling to finish my project for next week. I feel overworked and under-appreciated at work. I had the thought a few times at work this week that it just isn't worth it. They are asking too much from me. I finished the week feeling okay with work but still frustrated. I am just not willing to dedicate my life to my job when I have two little babies at home. They just can't expect that. But now it is the weekend and hopefully time for naps and laying around and glasses of wine.

--MM

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Heart attack and back

It has been a roller coaster of a day. T had a class so I was responsible for the preparation of the kiddoes in the morning and at bed time. I also had an appointment at 2:30, so I went in to work an hour early to get things started, then left for my appointment, and afterward returned to work. The day was hectic as usual, involving some poop episodes and Ruby the dachshund nearly getting run over by a scooter. I was actually supposed to meet someone for coffee this morning, but I called and said that was just not happening. The real heart attack was in the middle of the day at work.

I am two-thirds of the way done with a project I am working on. Or at least I thought I was. It has been a rush as it is. I have been working different shifts and slightly longer hours to get it done by Monday when it airs. Today two co-workers were trying to access the project and couldn't find it. I felt like I was going to throw up. I went to look for it too and realized I hadn't put it in permanent files. If it is not there, the system is designed to erase files after seven days. It had been seven days.

I felt such a sense of dread thinking of all of those hours of work. I emailed T to mope. Then, I pulled my self up, summoned my strength and got ready for a long night and a long rest of the week. Then I found it. I'm not sure how or why. It should be long gone. But it's not. And I am sooooo glad.

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Friday--rest
Saturday--4 miles on treadmill
Sunday--4 miles outside
Monday--30 minutes walk/run on treadmill
Tuesday--rest
Wednesday--4 miles on treadmill

--MM

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Guilt

I have been feeling guilty lately. About every little thing. I am a pretty guilty person by nature, but lately I have just felt swamped in it.

I feel guilty about being at work instead of being with my babies. I feel guilty that I am not focused enough on work now that my family is larger. I feel guilty if I eat too much ice cream or skip my run. I feel guilty if I am late for an appointment. I feel guilty if I depend on my co-worker, so I end up just doing extra work. I feel guilty that I am not making T a priority.

I am driving myself crazy. I know all this guilt is misplaced, but I can't shake it. I tell T how I feel, and he doesn't feel the same. Even after a business trip or an especially long day, he doesn't waste a moment on guilt. I don't think I have struck the right balance in my life yet, and even that is making me feel guilty.

--MM

Monday, July 14, 2008

Overindulgence

Things got better after a rough Saturday. T and I went out for our date night Saturday night. We're trying to do that once a month now, so that our life isn't all about work and kids. We went out to a nice dinner and then to a wine bar afterward. There was not a single movie that interested us, unfortunately. I didn't feel like wasting $18 on "Hancock." So, the movie will have to wait till next time.


Sunday, we woke up at the painful hour of 6:00 a.m. to go to a balloon rally. Q is a great lover of standard-size balloons, so gigantic ones were quite a thrill. We watched all of them lift off as Q shouted, "Boon! Up high!"

After that we went to breakfast at a local little diner we had never visited but will again.


Check out the size of those cinnamon rolls! They were as big as Q's head! And they were good! Why do restaurants do this to me? I have self-control and will power in some situations, but not when a large portion of something especially tasty is sitting in front of me. Then I generally polish it off until I am feeling uncomfortably full. Which is exactly what I did. Seriously, that sucker was the size of about five regular cinnamon rolls. It would have been wrong to leave some behind. Right?

--MM