Friday, October 23, 2009

What's That Smell?

I JUST DUMPED AN ENTIRE BOTTLE OF BREAST MILK ALL OVER ME. What more is there to say...Now I will smell and my baby will have to hit the freezer reserves (if there are any left!).


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Two Weeks, but Who's Counting?

I'm always running around the office trying to get things done. When I realize it's time for me to pump, I run into my office shut the door and as soon as I'm done, I'm running out. Today, I ran out right into a contractor walking into my office. "Hey" he said. "How's it going? What do you have there?" It was me standing their with the cold packs to throw in the freezer, a breast pump attachment and a bottle of milk. "Uh, nothing" as I tried to tactfully slide back into my office. "Hey, are those bottles? What do you have in there?" IS HE SERIOUSLY ASKING ME THIS? "Nothing" I said, "I'd rather not discuss it." Then, I shut my door and wanted to hide under my desk. Yeah, humiliating. And, what an idiot. Go figure!

Two times a day I shut my office door to pump. It's time consuming, it's getting tougher to do effectively and it, at times, is humiliating. My baby is now 11 1/2 months old and in two weeks she will transition to regular cows milk. There is a part of me that is so relieved to be able to stop pumping/breastfeeding and another part of me that is a little bit sad. When I'm at work away from her, this is my way of giving to her even if I'm not actually there. When this stops what will my contribution to her be during the day? Even though she doesn't know how tough it is to get her a bottle, I know. This is the end of an era for me. She is my last baby (unless I win the lottery or my husband buys on - neither of which I am really banking on). I should be overjoyed at the prospect of getting my life back. But, I'm not. I'm just okay with it.

I have a light cold going through my house right now-thank God it's not the flu (yet). First it was the baby, then me, then my son and I think it's creeping up on my daughter. When my kids are sick, there is no place I'd rather be than right there beside them. I race home to get to them. When the baby was sick, I'd fly home, drop my junk at the door and practically run to her. I'd pick her up to hug and kiss her and then the worst...she didn't want me. She wanted the Nanny. She gave me a quick cuddle, then reached for the Nanny. This breaks my heart, but when I put it in perspective, I'd rather the baby reach for the Nanny than repel her.

In the back of my mind, my trump card was that I was a source of nourishment for her. We were able to share a bond that no one else in my household gets to share. Now, in two weeks this will be gone. Weaning is going to be tough on both of us. I can almost understand how some women prolong the nursing experience for years. I can see now that the "lasts" associated with the final baby are going to be harder than I ever imagined. I see tears in my future...



Monday, October 19, 2009

Where the Wild Things Are


You know you're getting old when...You totally yell at some teeny boppers for hot-boxing (smoking pot in their car and rolling up the windows to double the high) their car next to my mini-van (ugh, the mini-van, a painful subject to discuss, so we'll save this for another post) at the drive-in movies.

Let me first preface that we as a family LOVE the drive-in movies. It's cheap, it's easy and everyone has fun. We have never had a bad enough experience to where we would not come back. Sure on occasion a kid melts down, but then they get over it and the movie night goes on. There's usually a fair amount of kids out sitting in folding chairs or laying in the back of their cars, which allows for any tantrum or outburst to just blend in with the other commotion.

We went on Saturday to watch the new movie, "Where the Wild Things Are" which was a total butchering of the book, but it was still fun just hanging out as a family. The baby slept through most of the movie, except to wake up and feed. My little boy got bored with the movie (as did most of us) and decided to go to sleep. My oldest daughter giggled at the funny monsters and cuddled up between my husband and I and loved as if she were an only child.

First it was the hard pistachio shells being thrown out of the car window in front of us - "Clink, clink-clink, clink," that was annoying but it comes with the territory. Then the cigarette smoke, which I'm not thrilled about, but it happens. Mind you, this is the same car for each of these annoyances. I could get past all of them until a big plume of pot smoke hit my husband, my daughter and myself in the face. My daughter pinched her nose and looked at me. "Mommy, what is that stinky smell?" I looked at my husband "That's it" I said. I hopped out of the back of my car and walked up to the hot-box car. My heart was pounding. I can't remember the last time I got in a fight, then thought "hell, I have 3 kids. I can do this." "Knock-knock" I tapped the window. "Yeah" said a startled teenager, joint in hand. In my mom voice I said "When my 6 year old daughter asks me what that smell is, I don't want to have to explain it to her. I'd appreciate it if you could stop. You're at a kids movie - NOT cool." "Alright" was all her doe-eyed face could muster up. Needless to say, the smoke stopped. Mission accomplished.

I was a lot of things as a teenager, but I don't ever remember being that stupid or inconsiderate. I guess I could have been (and I'm just blocking it out). There's knowing you need to be responsible, then there's really knowing you are responsible. I knew that night I had grown up. I traded in my Chevy Tahoe for a stupid mini-van (dagger in my heart, lungs shriveling) for crying out loud! The more I thought about it, the more I felt like a killjoy, but seriously who wants to do the drug talk with their 6 year old? I know I didn't. I'll hold out for another few years if I have any say over it.

The one good thing is that I know I'll step up to the plate for my kids. I always thought I would, but now I know. We'll go back to the drive-in movies and we'll have a great time. Maybe next time we'll even bring beer for the kids...just kidding!


Friday, October 16, 2009

Yea! It's Friday!

I'm so glad the week is coming to an end! My poor baby has been sick and my little boy has been having some breathing issues. The doctor thinks that he may be developing asthma, which is just not fair. He has FINALLY gotten past a lot of food allergies and now has to deal with this?! He's such a trooper and I can't help but love him - love all of them for that matter. My oldest is chugging along filling the shoes only an oldest sibling can. Trust me, I know this first hand as I am the oldest of 5. She's such a thoughtful little girl and I'm so proud of her. They are all growing up way too fast...

As most everyone knows, I've been struggling to lose the extra 40 lbs of baby weight I've been lugging around. My biggest challenge has been to try and stop the emotional eating. In my world, food is a mental wellness drug - which I have clearly OD'd on. I think if I can lose this weight and feel better about myself, maybe the weight of all the other things in my life, like wanting to (still) cry everyday I leave my kids will not feel so heavy. I have to find a way to stop being soooo sad about things I can't change right now. Lots of moms have to work. I get it, but it doesn't mean that I have to like it.

Here on the west coast, humidity is not something we are used to. Yesterday, following a previous two days of heavy rain, the air was hot, thick and sticky. I did NOT want to run, but I worked too hard to lose 2 lbs. last week. By the time we got homework done and all kids to bed, it was 9:00pm. I went out and ran hard for about 20 minutes, then hit the treadmill run/walking for an entire Grey's Anatomy episode, minus commercials. I don't have time to watch TV, much less TV with commercials. I am a huge fan of the DVR :-).

As a general rule, I only weigh myself one time per week and that is usually Sunday morning. I couldn't hold back this morning and ended up weighing myself and I am happy to report that I am down 1.6 lbs this week. I have until Sunday to lose a mere .4 lbs to meet my goal of 2 lbs a week. If I can stay solid for one whole month, I think I can actually do this thing.

Did I mention how HAPPY I am that it's Friday??? Have a great weekend everyone!





Tuesday, October 13, 2009

So Tired...

Overall I have a good life. I have great kids, a good husband a nice house and a job in an otherwise struggling economy. But I am so, so, so tired. I am so tired today that I couldn't even say my name or formulate a coherent sentence this morning when I got to work. Throw in some wicked wind and rain, a flooded freeway and a sick baby and well, you get the picture. I live on about 4-5 hours of interrupted sleep a night and I never ever get everything that needs to be done, done.

I know people make fun of me for playing the Lottery. How do I know? Because they tell me so. "Oh, quit talking about winning the lottery" "You know, it's never going to happen, right?" Call me crazy, but I play the Lottery because it gives me hope. If I thought that I was going to wake up every day for the rest of my life this tired and stretched thin, I would lose it. I will not apologize for fantasizing about getting to be a stay-at-home mom or for having a maid (yeah, lottery or not, probably not). Seriously though, wouldn't we just quit pushing forward if life didn't seem like it would ever be what we had dreamed of? Maybe we don't achieve it all, but a stalemate is unacceptable for me.

Will I reallllly win? Probably not, but I know I never will win if I don't make a few plays at it. In my humble opinion, getting "hope" for a buck is not too shabby. Take that, you killjoys! :-)


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Financial District


I went for a walk on my lunch today and I swear everyone was super thin and crazy fashionable. I'm a sucker for beautiful shoes and handbags and I saw no shortage of either today as I strolled Market Street.

The Financial District is at the heart of the "Plastics." Everyone is attractive and very professional looking. The shoes are polished and the handbags are smart. I had labels like Chanel and Christian Louboutin flying from every direction. I'm not a label whore, but I know what I see when I see it. They all looked like they were on a mission to get somewhere important. And then there's me. Plain Jane making her way down the street in slacks and tennis shoes listening to my iTunes. In today's financial crunch I just can't compete with the Plastics. Deep down I know I don't want to either. I've learned the hard way that money doesn't buy happiness.

After I came back to work from maternity leave, I did not restock my wardrobe with great expensive stuff in bigger sizes. I can't justify $100 on ONE blouse, much less $100 on ONE pair of heels - and I've gotta walk around in those things ALL day. I improvised and pieced together cute stuff from Target or found bargains at Banana Republic (like $12 for a really cute black skirt!). There is no shame in a bargain to me - regardless of where I bought it. I guess it comes down to priorities and what is most important to you. My priority is getting the hell out of here just as quick and as fast as I can to be with my kids. They are the reason for everything I do. If I'm willing to sell my house and move to BFE, then you better believe I'm willing to dial my wardrobe expenses down to get where I want to be.

I'm not going to lie. I miss the great clothes and the ability to justify the expense. Good fashion doesn't die just because you can't afford it. Truthfully, I don't know that I'll ever buy designer again, even if I am ever able to afford it. In these times, it just seems frivolous and wasteful and those are not values I want to ingrain in my kids. There's going to be bigger problems in life than who is wearing what - trust me. What better time than now to teach our kids to just be happy with who they are and what they have. Someone in life is always going to have more. We mine as well just get comfortable with it.


Monday, October 5, 2009

"The Soupy Boob Show"

This morning I spent a few extra minutes examining the new fine lines around my eyes and the droopiness of my skin on my legs. I don't even waste time on my boobs anymore because they are a disaster: soupy and droopy. Man I took my body in my twenties for granted! Sure, it wasn't perfect, but there are things you just didn't think about then - like back-fat. No one tells you about the little extra pudge that sits at your bra line. It's a tragedy...but, weirdly enough, today, it didn't completely devastate me. Maybe it's the two pounds I lost last week starving (according to my typical standards) and slaving on the treadmill. All I know is I NEEDED those two pounds.

These days I now save my "devastated" emotions for things that really count - like walking around the office today and realizing several hours after I've arrived that my already challenged boobs are hanging at my knees. "Why?" do you ask? Because I forgot to fasten up the nursing bra - on both sides - after I quickly fed the baby this morning. I had been racing around, literally, unlatched. If people didn't notice, they were blind. Yeah, that's devastating. After three kids, all of whom have been nursed, a certain droopage is expected. Pair that with the extra weight gain and well, we have a freak show: "Come one, come all to the Soupy Boob Show!"


Ugh....humiliating.


Optimism

I feel abnormally optimistic today, which considering last week's unfortunate whirlwind, is like winning a prize. Monday's for me are usually the worst of the worst, but not today. I mean it wasn't like "YIPPEE, I'm heading to work" or anything, but it wasn't the jab to my stomach I've become all too familiar with. I'm usually pretty tired from trying to get everything ready for the week and sad because I have to wake up and leave my kids for 12 hours a day. Those things were all still there, just the shock of it was...hmmm...duller. I don't know know, maybe I'm just too tired to know anymore :-).

This weekend was full as usual. My dad who has been out of work since January recently had surgery on his shoulder. He lives alone in a modest house in the city next door to mine. It's not far, but far enough that we probably don't visit has much as we should. My sister has done most of the work to make sure he is taken care of, but Saturday was my turn. The kids and I visited, we went grocery shopping, we did coffee and then we visited more. He was not the best father, but he is a good man and a great Grandpa to my kids. This is redemption enough for any grudge I may have ever had. Seeing him so distraught over not finding a job for so long makes me thankful for what I have. I can't explain it, but I just feel like everything is going to be okay.

We're all in such a rush - I'm the biggest offender of this. As I cleaned out baby clothes from the dressing table yesterday I had to periodically stop to hug a small outfit both my girls have now worn. They still smelled like a baby. Even as I clean out the clothes I still have just a small glimmer of hope that I get to have another baby, that this little dreamy stage of life will not end. I know this is selfish. I know we don't have the room, we can't afford it and we will terminally be tired for the rest of our lives. But then I look at my little boy, my sweet loving little boy who has been struggling with a mean streak lately, and I think where did the time go? When did he start being a big kid with thoughts and emotions of his own. Even when he thinks I'm a "Meanie" and runs from me, my love for him is steadfast. I love my kids more than anything else in this world. Would another baby really cramp our lives that much?

I'm telling you, if this isn't a lucky week I don't know what is. I know we're all supposed to be at the driver's seat of our happiness, so this week is going to be my go at it. Maybe I crash and burn, but maybe not...we'll have to see.

I know it's sick, but I've invested yet another dollar on a lottery ticket. Hope. It's a powerful thing.



Friday, October 2, 2009

TGIF


You know that you're gonna be late to work when:

1. There is daylight where darkness is normally.

2. You wake up actually feeling like you slept.

3. You have a super important meeting that morning.

4. You didn't do dishes the night before because you were going to get up early and do them.

5. You have nothing to wear because you were going to get up early and run a load of wash.

When you are trying to run out the door for work - 45 minutes late - baby gates are not your friend. I made an error in judgement this morning. I was 3/4 of the way down my stairs when I made the decision to hurdle the gate I would have otherwise had to crawl over. With a big "STOMP" sound all my kids looked up from the breakfast table. "Wow, Dad. Did you just see what Mom did?" my daughter whispered. "Yeah, your mom is a superhero" I heard my husband say with a smile. I knew right then and there that we'd be tackling the "But you did it, Mom! Why can't I" scenario sooner than later. I'm just glad I didn't eat it and add another 15 minutes or more to my already behind schedule.

I'd like to tell you that my day went smoother and that the clouds parted and rainbows jumped from the sky and left me a pot of gold, but I can't. Why start lying to you now? From a "friendly" conference call with a company who wants to take my job to a colleague interviewing for a position with a competing company, my work life followed my home life in perfect stride. The good news is that in another 1 hour and 28 minutes I'm going to get in my car and drive like a maniac to get to my sweet, rotten, perfect kids - oh and of course, to my perfect imperfect husband who is coaching a game that we'll try to make.

Well, there is my day. It was so ridiculous, I actually had to start laughing at one point. I only finished half of my "Do or Die" list, but there is always Monday when a new list will be created. What's a few more things to add? I guess if life was too easy we would get bored and do drugs and have random irresponsible trysts with strangers to keep it lively. Oh, but not me, I live lively (isn't it obvious?). At the end of the day I have a family I love and my very own house to clean and I wouldn't trade this for the boringest life out there ;-).

Happy Friday! Go love someone!