Friday, May 30, 2008


Our dog is an escape artist. She has figured out how to get off her dog run and squeeze under the fence. T put up boards and bricks to block her in, but tonight he looked out the window and saw her streaking through the neighbor's yard as they chased her. Oops.


I think R has acid reflux. Apparently infant GERD is not uncommon in babies. He spits up a ton, and it seems like his belly is hurting often. He hasn't been eating very well the last day or two. There's unfortunately not much you can do about it though, and he is growing well. He slept five hours in a row last night, skipping his usual 2:00 a.m. feeding. At 5:00 a.m. I nervously went in to check on him, and he was sleeping soundly. Hopefully this means sleeping through the night isn't far off.


My manicurist told me about Pandora Radio today. You just type in an artist you like, and listen to similar music for free. How cool is that? I never knew about this before!


Wednesday: 5 miles (in the rain) 44:50
Thursday: 3 miles (in the dark) 27:09
146.6 lbs


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Cleanliness is next to impossible

I am generally a clean person. I don't like cleaning at all, but I really like cleanliness. I don't even like my hands to be dirty, and I feel a little OCD tendency when I see books or papers out of order. With two children and boys for that matter, cleanliness is out the window. I write this after I just stopped Q from dropping every pellet of dog food into the dog's water creating a sort of soup.

Every night we pick up the house so everything is nicely in its place. In the morning, Q comes downstairs and methodically messes everything up. He must remove every toy from its storage place and spread it all around. Yesterday, he shared some apple slices with me, but when he couldn't chew the skin entirely, he scraped the chewed apple off his tongue and onto the carpet. Sigh.

Add to this his little brother who is getting an early start on messiness. R spits up a lot. I don't know if it is just appears to be an excessive amount, if I am just not remembering how much Q spit up, or if it really is just a lot of barf. It sure seems like the last one though. R had to have spit up fifteen times yesterday. Once it went down my leg onto the carpet. Another time, it splashed down my back onto the couch. T wasn't spared when R barfed over his shoulder and into a puddle on the ground. The worst instance though, was when R unleashed right onto my chest. It went down my shirt and pooled in my bra in a warm, sticky, sour-smelling mess. Ick. Usually I do have a cloth diaper under him to catch the spit-up, but he always manages to just miss it.

I have been trying to give in to this messiness and realize it doesn't really matter. Kids will make messes. What can you do? It is probably good for me in the long run to loosen me up a little, but come on, do I really need a bra full of barf to learn that lesson?

Our housekeeper is coming today to make everything sparkle. That is one indulgence we just don't want to give up. I can't wait to come home to a gleaming house. That will be a wonderful feeling, even if it only lasts till tomorrow morning.


Ran: 3 miles
Weight: 147 pounds


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Wine and dine

One of my favorite things to do is go to a winery. T and I are members of a couple of wine clubs, and today we visited one of our favorite wineries. I must say it is a little more relaxing without two little kids in attendance, but we still had a good time. We sat outside at a picnic table, and Q threw around his mini football. We each had a glass of Pinot Gris with a cheese and fruit plate and a baguette. Then we had a glass of Claret with some chocolate. Heaven. We got coffees on the way home. I could eat like that every day. I should have been European. I would have been a big, fat, happy European!

We started the day at a Memorial Day observance. It included a ground-breaking for a war memorial in our town. We dressed our boys in red, white, and blue and watched the festivities. It was neat to see the veterans from wars back to World War II, and Q has a fascination with flags. He pointed out every one he saw today. He also really liked the chocolate ice cream served at the event. He went to town on a cone and coated himself in a sweet, sticky mess.

It was a nice family day.


Monday, May 26, 2008


I ran six miles today. I averaged ten-minute miles which is a full minute slower than usual, but it felt great the entire run. I am considering running a marathon in September in Lake Tahoe. I haven't registered yet, because I am nervous about squeezing in the training and about how my body will respond so soon after giving birth. The training starts this week. We will see how it goes. It certainly can't hurt to work toward it. Especially since my weight loss has pretty much plateaued. I guess the actual pregnancy-related weight is already gone and now these are the extra pounds I put on. Not good.

When I was teaching group exercise classes, I did yoga and Pilates three times a week. Now I am not doing it at all, and I definitely think my body is missing. Today I ordered two ten-minute DVDs for yoga and Pilates. I figure ten minutes is a lot better than nothing.


T and I just ordered something from The Something Store. You send in ten dollars, they send you something. Probably stupid, but we thought it was interesting. I'll let you know what we get.


Sunday, May 25, 2008


T is off for three days for this long weekend. It is so nice. I got a massage and facial Saturday to take advantage of the extra help at home. It was great.

Massages are always wonderful though they do hurt a little as they work out those knots. Facials though are all about relaxation. I actually fell a sleep momentarily. I think I kind of snorted when I woke up. A bit embarrassing. The rest of the weekend is pretty wide open. Just how I like it.


Friday, May 23, 2008

Coffee club

I spoke today to a meeting of very rich philanthropists. I was invited by the hospital foundation board to talk about our family's experience in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Pediatrics. We never knew we would need those services before we began our family. Then Q was born six weeks early, and we were in the NICU for two weeks. Eight months later, we were in the hospital for a week when Q had a severe respiratory virus. This time around with R, things are going a lot more smoothly, but we are still very appreciative of those facilities and the people who support them.

T met me at the coffee club to watch the boys. I printed out pictures of Q and R during their times at the hospital and made posters. While I was speaking, Q ran in and out of the room with T chasing him. It actually was a nice effect to show how far Q has come after his rough first year. I was proud talking about our family and all we have experienced. The old rich, folks gave me great feedback and seemed to enjoy our story. A woman from the foundation board was very pleased and said she appreciated me talking about how I felt as a first time mother. She said they would like to call on me again in the future. I am glad to help and proud to talk about my sweet little boys.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Back to the grind

I returned to work yesterday, but just for a day. I decided before I had the baby that I wanted to work to cover the primary election. Our child care provider watched the boys all day. I got my first experience of trying to get ready with two children instead of one. It wasn't as hard to leave this time as it was the first time I left Q because I am used to it now and fully trust our provider. I managed to be pretty much on time even with stopping at Starbucks on the way.

It felt great to be back at work. Even though it has only been six weeks, I definitely felt a little discombobulated. At times I felt like I was in slow motion. The day went well though, and I felt invigorated when I got home. I realize that working, especially in that job, makes me happiest. Even if it reduces my time with my children, I still think it makes me a better mom overall. Instead of being with them all day but feeling languid and apathetic, I am energized during the hours I am with them. Plus, I am just good at my job, and it makes me feel proud and successful.

It was nice to have that little taste of work but now to be back on maternity leave. I know what I have ahead of me and know this time alone with my kids is precious and finite.

T returned early from his business trip. He got back a day earlier than expected. It was a relief to share the work again. He has a three-day weekend this weekend, and mama is getting a massage! However, a new mom today told me she had a lot of breast milk leak during her massage. That could be awkward.


Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Q and I went to a "Touch a Truck" event this weekend at the county fairgrounds. It was ridiculously hot....almost 100 degrees...and Q was a bit nervous, but it was pretty cute seeing dozens of little boys in truck heaven. Q liked honking the horns best.


Monday, May 19, 2008

Force of nature

Q is absolutely a force to be reckoned with. If I don't have my eyeballs glued on him constantly, he is a menace. If he has the puppy with him, it is even worse.

Yesterday, I was talking to my mom on the phone, lamenting my stressful situation, when Q turned it up a notch. He was being entirely too quiet, so I went to check on him. He had pulled almost every tissue out of the box and stuffed it into his kiddie toilet. Thankfully, they were still fairly clean, so I put them all in a big Ziploc to be reused.

This morning, I was upstairs changing the baby. When I came downstairs, Q had taken every pellet of dog food out of the dish and thrown it across the floor. They stretched all the way to the front door. As I worked to sweep them up, Q "helped" with his mini-broom by scattering them about again. I later found a few stray pellets covered in ants. Nice.

When I try to explain that this is a no-no, and he should not empty the dog's dish, he just sort of looks at me blankly. I am not sure if he doesn't get it or if he just doesn't care. My pediatrician did explain that children this age do not understand the difference between what they can do and what they shouldn't do. In their mind, if they are able to do something, there is not reason they shouldn't. How do you tackle that?

In R news; I believe he is now smiling here and there. He is six weeks old today. I honestly think he gave his first full-fledged smile to a woman at a lunch meeting I attended last week. I refuse to count that though!


T and I have been talking about his job and the travel and my stress with it all. One thing we are pretty sure that we have worked out is that the whole family will accompany him on a trip to Wisconsin next month, where my parents and one sister and her family live. The plane trip will be interesting to say the least, but that is an arrangement I can look forward to instead of a week I will dread!

A friend came over to help me tonight. She stayed with the boys while I went to the grocery store. I lingered in the aisles and enjoyed a coffee before I returned home to the madness. Just getting out of the house for an hour helped me clear my head. I have a renewed sense that we can do this. T will complete his training and his Masters in one year, and things will be a little easier in my life. I can get through it.


I am working tomorrow for our state's primary election. It will be a long day, but I am very excited. I would be so antsy if I were sitting at home watching the action from my couch. I have bottles of milk in the fridge and am ready for my first foray back into the working world.


Sunday, May 18, 2008

Domestic hell

Maybe some day I will look back on this and laugh, but it is hard to imagine right now. I just had to leave the grocery store without buying a thing because my two small children were having concurrent meltdowns.

Let's back up a bit. T worked all week, then went to school all day Saturday, then left today (Sunday) on a business trip. I feel like a single stay-at-home mom and that is not what I signed up for. Especially since I am a working mother and the bread-winner.

When I went to the grocery store just now, R was in his baby seat in the front part of the cart and Q was in the back. I attempted to put Q in the grocery store day care, but as I expected he clung to my legs and refused to go in. Then R started wailing. I tried to hold R and have Q sit in the front, but Q kept climbing out. Nearby shoppers started to stare. I felt fabulous as you can imagine. I made a valiant attempt to try to at least get the essentials. I don't even have cereal to eat tomorrow morning. I put some bananas in the cart and wrestled R into his sling. He continued to cry and there really wasn't any room in the cart with Q in there. I put the bananas back, wheeled out to the car, and drove home, crying along the way.

I feel like I am being asked to sacrifice too much right now. T is going to school and starting a new job and never home. I am nursing all night and constantly sleep-deprived. It all falls on me, and I am dreading when I go back to work and it is twice as difficult. I worry that I will take it out on Q and not be the good mom he deserves.

I'm just not sure what to do. I imagine I will feel better tonight or tomorrow, but right now I am just overwhelmed, frustrated, and unhappy.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Looking up

I am feeling better today. Our current childcare provider would like to pick up the extra hours while T is traveling for work, so it looks like we will be OK. I am still nervous about the utter exhaustion, but if other women can do it, why can't I?

R was wide awake again last night despite my two-cup coffee limit. I started the day feeling so tired I could feel it in my bones, but somehow when you keep busy you feel revived. I took Q to a bike derby with my moms' group, and he loved zooming around the park on his tiny bike. Later we went for a three-mile walk. It was hot out, but it is going to get even hotter this week. It might get up to 101 Friday. Not sure if I am ready for that just yet.


I admit I have a lot to learn when it comes to motherhood. Whenever I am at the park or a store, it always seems like the the other mothers have a lot more control and patience. But, I have figured a few things out in the last two years. I have a few items I just can't live without now. One is a Bebe Au Lait Nursing Cover also known as a "Hooter Hider." I used to be pretty self-conscious about nursing in public, but these covers give you privacy while letting you keep an eye on your baby. I pretty much whip it out anywhere now! I also love the Peanut Shell baby sling. It is ideal for keeping the little guy content but keeping my hands free to chase the big guy. Lastly, the Miracle Blanket is a wonderful thing. It is a little hard to finagle at first, but once you get all the pieces figured out, it keeps those flailing limbs nicely swaddled. I would recommend any of these if you are looking for a gift for a new mom. They make life a little easier.


Tonight I am having a little red wine and some Mint Milanos, watching "American Idol" and "Top Chef" on TV and hoping Baby R is asleep more often than awake overnight.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Sleepless nights

In some ways I feel like I have really had it together the last few days. I haven't panicked when Q went through one of his many meltdowns. I have gotten a lot done including two early morning appointments with two tiny boys in tow. I have eaten well and exercised. But, now I am having some major concerns about T's new job and how it fits into our life. He has these concerns as well. It will include a fair amount of travel. I work till midnight, so that makes finding supplemental childcare a challenge and a large extra expense. Plus, I will be on my own on those days. That means very long days at home and at work. It gives me a bit of a sick feeling in my stomach thinking about it.

It all starts next week when he has his first four-day business trip. One of the days I am actually working to cover the primary election. That means I will be awake much of the night with a six-week old, waking up early with a two-year-old, juggling childcare providers during the day and evening, and working for nine hours as well. Just the thought of it exhausts me. I hope we are making the right decision, and I think in the long run we are, but it sure is going to be a rough year or so.


Q had a doctor's appointment this morning and is getting tall and skinny. He weighs 27 pounds and is 3 feet tall. R is also filling out nicely, though he is battling an unfortunate case of baby acne right now. Poor little man. He was wide awake for hours last night. I think my four cups of coffee may be to blame. I am now taking the difficult step of scaling back my caffeine intake. It's a vicious cycle.

Here are the many moods of R:


Monday, May 12, 2008

Bouncing back

I ran 5 miles tonight! My feet and knees hurt now, but I am happy.


An "active" child

First off, I had a lovely Mother's Day. I accepted my husband's offer to do just about nothing all day and took several naps. We started off the day with a nice breakfast and then went to get Q's two-year-old pictures. We guessed this would not go smoothly, and we were right. He clung to his dad and squealed. We finally managed to get a few good pictures by putting a blanket over his head, saying, "Where is Q??" and then whipping it off. The photographer snapped just as he was laughing. Years from now he will look like a sweet, little angel in his two-year-old pictures, but we will know the truth!

T then took him back to the Railroad Park, so he could ride the little train. Last time there was too long of a line. Q was delighted.

We had a wonderful Mother's Day dinner sans Q. I took R so I could nurse him. It was a price fixe four-course menu. We got a bottle of their cheapest sparkling wine (only the finest for us) and chose our courses.

I had:

-artichoke tart
-mixed greens with blueberries and pine nuts
-spinach-goat cheese ravioli with sage brown butter
-fruit crepes

Yum!! It was one of those dinners T and I kept talking about long after it was over.


This morning Q had his follow up hearing screening. Last time he chattered the whole time, and they couldn't get an accurate reading. The audiologist suggested he come back when he was 2, because he might be calmer. Fat chance.

I was proud of being only five minutes late for the appointment after R peed on himself and Q battled getting his teeth brushed. Then R decided he needed to be fed as soon as we arrived. I nursed him during the screening. Q was supposed to sit quietly on a chair and listen for sounds the audiologist made from speakers on either side of him. She monitored whether he turned in the right direction and how quickly he responded. However, as you probably guessed things did not go as planned. Q sat in his chair for about ten seconds. Then he slid down and rattled around the room playing with a toy tractor. He talked to himself and walked around climbing on things. I was supposed to be silent so he could hear, plus I was feeding the baby so there wasn't much I could do. He did hear things from time to time when he wasn't drowning them out.

Eventually the audiologist came into the booth and acknowledged that it was a fruitless endeavor. I don't think Q has any hearing problems, and she didn't think so either. She said just to contact her in the future if I had any suspicions, and they could actually check his hearing under sedation.

I asked her didn't all two-year-olds behave the same during the screenings? She said Q was quite a bit more active than most but wasn't entirely unusual. At least he's not boring I guess.


Saturday, May 10, 2008

Home alone

Staying at home is very isolating. Everyone keeps asking me if I am dreading going back to work, but a big part of me is looking forward to it. Is that horrible? I am just not at my best when I am at home. I am so tired that I want to sleep all day, but then I drink too much coffee and am wide awake. But if I do nap, I feel like a failure for not getting enough done. Our child care provider takes Q on some days, and I feel guilty that I am farming him out. The house is a mess, and half the time I want to strangle the dog because she keeps pooping on the floor. This is exhausting! I think going back to work will be a relief! I just have not figured out the correct balance yet. The day I do strike it right will probably be my first day back at the office.


Thursday, May 8, 2008

On my own

My mom left this morning, and T is back at work full time. I am all by myself! Scary. I am certainly going to have to fire up the coffee pot, because I will be up a lot of the night and then up with Q in the morning. T and I used to work together and saw a lot of each other, but things will be really different now. He will leave around 7:30 in the morning, probably (hopefully) before I wake up, and I will work till midnight. He also will be gone all day Saturday at school. We will go from seeing each other constantly to hardly seeing each other at all. I am hoping this will just help us appreciate each other more and really enjoy our time together. We were more likely to get on each others' nerves before when we were together non-stop. We are a little concerned about the travel his new job will require and who will take care of the little ones, but I am confident we will figure it out. It's a time of some big changes in the MM household.


Before I was a mother, I vowed not to let toys take over my house. I am losing the battle. As the kids get bigger, so do their toys. With Q's recent birthday, we have a whole new crop of stuff. Right now there is a giant bus tent thing in our kitchen and a shopping cart toppled in the entry way with its toy groceries scattered around the house. A toy basket meant to contain the madness is empty in our dining area and its toys are spread around the floor. The mess extends upstairs and to the garage. Q just got a new wagon for his birthday and this morning he spent about 30 minutes just sitting in it. I went out and pulled him around the garage a few times. He just loves it. I kept going out to check on him, and there he was...still sitting proudly in his red wagon. It was so sweet, it made me ache inside.


My post-pregnancy weight loss has stalled, and it is pissing me off! Things were going great for a couple weeks but then they just plateaued. Not good. I guess I actually have to start eating less and forgoing the nightly ice cream. Bummer.


Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Baby beach bums

We just got back from a quick trip to the beach. My parents were in town and my mom still is. We made the 3.5 hour trip for one night. It was a tricky task with a newborn and a two year old, but we managed and did have some fun.

My parents rented a mini-van to carry all of us and our stuff. I admittedly nursed R in the backseat breaking the law in the process, but I didn't feel like stopping every time he wanted a snack.

Q loved the beach. It was windy and chilly, but he was fascinated by the water and loved throwing rocks and watching dogs chase Frisbees. We even dipped R's little toes into the Pacific Ocean for his first taste of the sea.

Of course, being out of town requires a lot of restaurant meals. Q had many meltdowns and T and I were frazzled much of the time. It was nice to have a few more sets of hands to keep him busy.

This was our first experience with two children in a hotel room, and it wasn't pleasant. We attempted to put Q in his crib and go next door to my parents' room, but Q flipped out. He seemed to actually think we were abandoning him, and he panicked. We went back to our room and ignored him while he stood up in his crib and chattered at us. R of course was up every three hours and that would wake up Q. We got very little sleep! Thankfully it was just one night.

Monday was Q's second birthday. I felt a little stressed planning the weekend away and then Q's celebration as soon as we got back. Having visitors to see R is not actually helpful. It just piles on more responsibility! We got Q a shopping cart and a lawnmower to push around. He loves them. It feels like it has been much longer than two years and much shorter at the same time.

Having my mom in town is a mixed blessing. She is an amazing cook and is great with the kids, but she has very exacting standards. I feel a bit like my house and my parenting are under the microscope. She is quick to offer advice about how I am handling things with a screaming Q or a fussing R. I feel self-conscious and defensive, but am determined to raise my kids the way I want to. There are some things about the way I was brought up that I don't want to repeat, but I can't just come out and say that obviously! I love having her in town in a lot of ways, and it is nice to have a little help now that T returned to work, but it will be nice to have full control again in a few days.


Thursday, May 1, 2008


As is we haven't had enough upheaval in our life lately, more is on the way. Of course, we are still adjusting to a newborn baby in the house and a terrible two-year-old, and now T is changing jobs. He will begin his new career next Tuesday.

We have known about the change for awhile, and he is excited about it, and I am all for it, but that doesn't mean it won't have some challenges. Right now we work together, and we have for the past five years. It will be strange not to see him at work and to no longer rely on each other professionally. I also think in a lot of ways it will be healthier. Work would often take over our lives, because one of us was in the workplace fourteen hours a day! It's all we would talk about and stress about! Now he will have his own workplace.

This new job involves a year of training to be a manager. Eventually, it should be a lucrative position and good for our family, but this first year involves a small pay cut. With my raise, we will be making the same as last year. His job also could involve more travel. I do worry that a lot of the burden will fall on me, and it's not like I am just taking care of the kids. I will also be trying to keep up my career! So, there certainly will be some challenges, but this job brings better benefits and a strong future, so it is good news for our family. We also plan on relocating with his job in about two years when my contract ends. I am excited about where our new home will be and hope we can stay there for quite awhile. Big changes!


My parents are coming out this weekend to see R and visit Q. We are going to go to the coast for one night and then return for Q's second birthday next Monday...Cinco de Mayo!!


I am up to running just over three miles. It is slow going but feels good. I have also squeezed into my jeans, though a bit of a muffin top remains. At least I can wear most of my old clothes now. That chubby in-between stage can make you crazy!