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.


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.


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.


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.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008


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??


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.


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.


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.


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.


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?


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.


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.


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.