Thursday, December 30, 2010

Postpartum Adventures - 3 Weeks

It's been almost 3 weeks since my crazy delivery. L'il Dude is healthy and well and eating/sleeping like a champ.

Me, on the other hand, can't seem to get my health in order. I have developed Bells Palsy, high blood pressure and a massively painful clogged milk duct that I can't seem to alleviate. It's been a real roller coaster ride!

The excitement started the morning after coming home from the hospital, the littlest chickadee had to go to the ER too as she had cut her chin wide open by falling on a sippy cup! Stress and sleep deprivation just seemed to compound after that. Especially with the holiday rush and kindergarten Christmas requirements/parties. I was compelled to get all my Christmas cards out WITH a birth announcement and send out all my packages ASAP. Not only that, I felt I needed to start a walking routine and went on an hour and a half trail walk in the rain a few days after coming home.

The next morning after the power walk, I noticed my lip was weak when trying to drink out of a straw and put on my Chapstick. I just chalked it up to sleep deprivation. It continued to worsen that day and that night we went out to see the Metrolink Holiday Toy Express (in the cold rain) and my hubbie started freaking out how my right eye wasn't closing when the other eye blinked and how my eye would roll up in my head when trying to blink. We thought maybe I had a mini stroke and that totally scared me.

That night I Googled 'postpartum facial paralysis' and immediately pulled up info on Bells Palsy and learned everything I could about it. I was almost 100% certain that's what I had. The next morning I called my doctor's office to see if I should be seen or not. They recommended I go to the ER to rule out a neurological condition. Ugh - I dreaded going to the ER. I didn't want to bring the baby with me and I was set on breastfeeding exclusively without supplementing. Spending hours in the ER would pose a challenge I feared.

Luckily, it was a quick and easy trip considering. I was diagnosed with Bells Palsy and got a prescription for Prednisone steroids and anti-viral medicine. I guess I was lucky to get seen quickly as treatment is more successful if you are seen with the first few days of onset.

Now that it's been a few weeks since it first came on, it seems much better, thankfully. Not 100% normal or symmetrical movement of my face, but manageable. Next week I'm going to meet with an acupuncturist to start treatment for this and my other health/stress issues. I hope it makes me feel more energetic, alert and well.

I also have postpartum high blood pressure for some reason. It was never high when I was pregnant or immediately after delivery. My OB isn't concerned about how high my blood pressure is, but it's not normal for me to be above 120/70 range - I'm running about 140/90 right now.

All the advice says to REST, REST and REST some more. But honestly, I feel that I've rested and stayed at home as much as I can stand. Napping is not really an option several times a day, every day. I feel that 45 minutes of nursing time with the baby every 3 hours is considered resting. And not being able to walk or exercise as normal is lame. How many weeks of rest and recovery do I really need? I've always bounced back after my other 2 births and this was my fastest and drug-free, so why should I be so wiped out??

My latest complaint is the clogged milk duct from hell. I've done everything to get it to go away and nothing works. I've had it for over 3 days! I even did a creepy, ridiculous nursing position recommended by LaLeche that involves hovering over the baby on all fours to nurse. Um, yeah, weird. It was like doing a nursing 69 and the baby totally ripped mega farts and pooped in my face while I tried it. All the while, my husband and the 2 chickadees were all milling around. I'm glad the girls didn't ask me what the hell I was doing or that anyone took a picture.

I'm praying that in the coming week that I'll start seeing an improvement in my health. School is starting up again and DH is going back to work so I'll need to be more on top of things again.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Adventures in Labor & Delivery - Deux

My birth story for the l'il dude:

Tuesday night/morning December 7 in L&D with false labor.
Wednesday doctor appointment dilated to 3 cm.
Wednesday night drank 1 cup raspberry leaf tea.
Thursday morning drank 1 cup raspberry leaf tea.
Took 2 power walks around the neighborhood Thursday and big Christmas shopping trip.
Thursday night drank 1 cup raspberry leaf tea.
Went to bed at 10:30 with no contractions or sign of labor.
Friday, December 10th: Woke up with mega painful contraction at 1:50 and got up to pee.
Went back to bed only to have another painful contraction right away.
Got out of bed to try to walk it off.
Took a few steps and my water broke. Me: "UH OH!" (I was trying not to wake or alarm my DH.)
Went to the bathroom and saw blood and fluid on pad.
Woke DH and told him to call the sitter asap and have her rush to our house. (Last time I told her to take her time.)
Contractions were already so close together and so painful I couldn't even time them or think clearly.
Scrambled to find clothes to wear, call doctor on call and grab bags.
Could feel the contractions getting more painful (excruciating) and productive.
I was terrified it was moving so fast that I wasn't going to make it to the hospital in time.
Babysitter was pulling up to the curb 7 minutes later, we were out the door while she was going in and we started driving to the hospital.
we got to the hospital in less than 10 minutes, waited in the ER for what seemed like an eternity for the nurse wih the wheelchair.
I thought for sure the baby was going to be delivered right there.
I paced the floor as the contractions came immediately one after another.
Nurse came and she wheeled me straight to the labor room while I kept asking where the anesthesiologist was and how long to get an epidural. I was still hoping it wasn't too late.
Two nurses worked on entering my info into the computer, checking my urine and pad, getting vital signs, ordering labs, trying to start an IV (took 2 sticks)
They finally checked my cervix and I was at 9 cm.
I could feel the baby wanting to crown.
I was an emotional wreck in so much nonstop pain I couldn't function. I begged for drugs and was denied. Too far along, no time for epidural and narcotics would be bad for baby.
Nurse offered me a local anasthetic around my perineum. Ha!
She tried consoling me that it would be a snappy recovery without the epidural.
I insisted that I'm not a natural kind of girl.
Had to close my eyes to make everyone disappear.
I remember hearing the nurses asking to find out where doctor was, (in another delivery), trying to locate another doctor from NICU, asking for a table to be set up, needing another set of hands.
They gave me oxygen mask and gave my DH a chair to sit in as he apparently looked ashen.
Felt better if I pushed a little with the painful contractions. I didn't tell anyone I was doing it, I just did it.
Told DH he better get ready to catch because the baby was coming and someone better be there.
Doctor shows up, asks me to push with the next contraction, everyone in the room coaching and shouting commands, me feebly attempting to open my legs and lift them to my chest; it hurt like hell.
2 big pushes for the head and a push for some stubborn shoulders and he came out at 3:26 am. Less than 2 hours from start to finish - unbelievable!
I felt instant relief. The residual contractions and suturing were nothing.
The nurses congratulated me and said what a good job I did and how much better I would feel right away without the epidural.
Then they announced that the baby weighed 9 lbs. 2 oz!! WTF?! That really blew me away - not only a natural childbirth in less than 2 hours, but a 9 lb. BUTTERBALL!! Yikes!
I enjoyed holding him, nursing him, learning his APGAR was 8/9 and that he was totally healthy.
I focused on catching my breath and trying to make sense of what had just happened.
It was such a relief to have pregnancy and delivery completely behind me. Very surreal and intense experience.

*Will edit to make complete sentences/paragraphs as time permits.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Adventures in Labor & Delivery

Ugh. I'm so discouraged!

Last night I was so certain I was in labor.  I went to the hospital at 2:30 in the morning with contractions every 7-10 minutes apart.  After monitoring me a while and checking how dilated I was (2 cm), the nurse made me walk the halls for an hour.  The contractions pretty much disappeared after that and no change in dilation.  So we went home at 5:30 am.  What a disappointment!


Labor & Delivery Nurse W/Patient In Labor

Since it's my 3rd, I thought for sure I knew what my body was doing and I was going in at just the right time.  I've never been sent home from the hospital before!  Now, all I need is sleep, but I'm paranoid that I'm going to go into labor in the middle of the night.  Then I'll second-guess everything. 

I think I lost my mucous plug *blech* today though, so labor can't be too far away.  I'm just so damn tired, I don't know how I'll make it through.  I'm so over being pregnant!  I almost wish I could just schedule an induction or a C-section.  This waiting game sucks!!! 

And no - I'm not about to use all kinds of tricks to supposedly start labor: sex, caster oil, spicy food, nipple stimulation... NOTHING!  I'm not about to have painful contractions that ultimately lead to another false labor scare.  The only thing I'm willing to do is walk, bounce on an exercise ball or drink red raspberry leaf tea.  If only my water would break; that's the only sure way to know the baby is going to come no matter what. 

What is just totally shitty is trying to arrange the logistics like a babysitter, getting the oldest chickadee to school, getting the dog out to pee, fed, etc.  I hate that we had the false alarm last night and we're going to have to call on the babysitter again if it happens in the middle of the night again.  I feel so bad.

I certainly hope I can sleep tonight.  I can't deliver a baby with this immense fatigue weighing me down.  SIGH.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Exploring My Daycare Angst

To further explain my daycare angst, I have specific examples of what tends to annoy me.
  • The long drive and time to get there and back home again.
  • Inconsistency with potty training.
  • Lost items and ruining of clothing.
  • Having to bring in an overabundance of wipes constantly (more than you use at home).
  • Hearing negative reports on their behavior and trying to explain it.
  • Wondering what they eat and do each day.
  • Long days.
  • Bringing them home tired and cranky.
  • Raised rates.
  • Wondering if there is a better option.
Overall, I've always loved our daycare provider.  Perhaps I'm just moody and being petty.  Lately I just feel like I want to have more ownership and control over my chickadees' daily lives.

After next week I won't be using any childcare, which scares me a little, but I feel like I'll have more time to potty train the littlest chickadee and spend some quality time with both of them.  As well as save needed money on childcare costs.  Perhaps I'm being too idealistic.  I know it's not going to be easy to care for a newborn and give the others quality attention, but I like to believe I can.

As always, I'm looking for the perfect balance.  Perpetually dissatisfied.  I can't make up my mind what to do when/if I go back to work.  I guess I'll just take it day-by-day, week-by-week.  Originally I told our provider that we would bring the littlest chickadee to her house twice a week while I'm on leave, but the cost, time and driving one hour each way doesn't make sense.  I can do a very part time preschool for much cheaper in the interim and start daycare up again when I go back to work.  Or use that nanny that I know.  Decisions, decisions.

I love our provider dearly and so do the chickadees.  I just want to do what's best, but having a hard time making a solid decision and sticking by it.  I feel like I owe her my business.  Ever since I pulled out a few months ago, our friendship has been strained and I feel like I'm trying to get back in her good graces again.  I don't want to hurt her feelings or offend her by telling her I changed my mind.  I know I'm indecisive, so I could always change my mind again.  I guess it's best just to wait until the time comes to return to work.

Monday, November 15, 2010

T-3 Days Until Maternity Leave!

But really......who's counting?! I already have my last 3 professional outfits (as professional as maternity clothes can be) picked out, and then I can start boxing up the clothes I'm never going to wear again.  Yes, I said never.  No more pregnancies for me!

Mr. Bossman appears to be in a cheerful mood, so that is a good way to start the week.  Hopefully it ends that way as well.  Over the weekend he emailed me another new project/idea request that made me shake my head.  I really can't think clearly enough to come up with some brilliant Christmas promotional campaign right now - sorry.  I will try, but not too hard.

Pregnant woman with magazine


I have decided to fully utilize daycare until family arrives in December.  I am in full-on nesting mode and feel completely compelled to de-clutter, organize, clean, clean, clean.  I cannot be stopped.  This is completely unlike me, mind you.  I hate cleaning and find leaving the house for other pursuits much more enjoyable.  I scoff at clean freaks!  But here I am....living it.  *sigh*  It will pass soon enough.

By the way, who wants to buy some super cute work maternity clothes?  Anyone? Anyone? 

Friday, November 12, 2010

Work & Daycare Angst

What to do? What to do?

I am torn about whether or not to return to work after this baby.  I'll be a mom of 3 kids - 2 in daycare and 1 in kindergarten, paying for after school care.... and limited funds to pay for it all.  I assumed that my long-term daycare provider (and dear friend) would be able to take the baby and my littlest chickadee for the same rate she has always extended us.

I spoke with her yesterday and she said she raised her rates.  It would still be manageable, but when factoring in my 20 mile drive to her house one way -- not sure if it's worth it.  She is an excellent preschool teacher and nurturer.  Very creative, fun and in tune with little ones.

I also talked to a girl who has babysat for us a few times.  She is available to nanny for us for a flat rate a day for all 3 kids to include cleaning, driving, school work, etc.  When doing the math, she would be less cost overall for 3 kids because we wouldn't need to pay for after school care for our oldest chickadee.  But, the kids wouldn't get the social interaction and stimulation of the home daycare/preschool setting.  But less driving for me and time shaved off the day by having someone in our home.

I might be able to come up with a compromise or a blend of the two.  But I'm still not sure.  I'm so torn.  In one way, I like working out of the home and having that outlet for my creativity and self-actualization for my professional side.  Having a 4 day work week and a fairly easy position, great benefits and amenities are nice.  Then again, my boss is definitely annoying and moody and I can't stand his presence most days.  The company structure is weird and the marketing tactics are lame for the most part.  I'm 1 of 3 Caucasians/native-English speakers there; which is fine and can be interesting, but sometimes awkward.

I just don't know if I should take a year off from working to be a stay at home mom/freelancer.  Or try to work out a flexible working schedule with my current workplace and just continue to be a working mom.  Or try to find another part time job on my maternity leave.  I could just go back to work, get the benefits, take it easy, not take it too seriously, and try it for a few months.  Pay off the medical bills, try to juggle it all, get my bearings on being a mom of 3, then make a decision.  I just don't know.  I change my mind every other day.

I sometimes get utterly annoyed with daycare.  I often get completely annoyed with working.  I do not like keeping up a home and being domestic.  I get depressed when I spend too much time at home with the kids without a break.  I like a good balance.  Going to work actually allows me to get my personal things done and keep my head straight.  But geez - if I'm going to spend over half of what I make in salary for childcare, is it really worth it?  But even a little $ in the pocket is better than none, right?  My income helps with all the extras, investing for retirement, kids' college funds, paying extra principal on our mortgage & car loan, etc.  I like having that extra cushion.  I don't like worrying about not having enough money if something were to happen.

I wish I had a crystal ball or a Magic 8 ball to tell me what I should do.  I certainly pray, but I don't feel like I'm getting a clear answer.  I guess I should wait to see how my new little baby is and how our growing family is affected by it.

Can anyone else relate to these torn feelings?  What would you do if you were in this situation?  

Passengers Push For Child-Free Flights?

Oh, lovely article in the NY Times: Passengers Push For Child-Free Flights

FOR many people, it is the second biggest fear of flying: sitting next to a screaming, kicking, uncontrollable child.
How about: "Parents Push For Asshole-Free Flights"? I always LOVE flying next to the all-important businessman who just can't seem to turn off his phone on departure and can't wait to turn it back on upon landing.  And who couldn't care less about everyone overhearing his all-too-important business details.

"Buy, buy, buy!  Sell! Sell! Sell!"  "Tell Betty I said 100 copies of the presentation!"

I love the last sentence of the article quoting Anya Clowers, RN and proprietor of JetWithKids.com, a blog about flying drama-free with children:
"So consider traveling with noise-canceling headphones and try to remember: plenty of business travelers are annoying, too.
AMEN!


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Daylight Savings Day and No Sleeping In

It is completely lame that I woke up early on the day you are supposed to gain an hour of sleep! Blame it on the pregnancy insomnia, frequent need to pee and a chickadee who wakes up early no matter the day. But it sucks! There was a time I could sleep in until noon on weekends; meaning no one would stop me AND I was completely capable.

Lord knows how I need my sleep! At 34 weeks and still working, and having crazy busy weekends, I am so exhausted. My ankles are starting to swell and it feels as though my pelvis is ripping apart. It's not enjoyable. I am actually starting to get painful contractions on occasion that remind me of the pain I'm in for soon enough. UGH!

As soon as I go on maternity leave, I fully intend to keep using childcare until the baby comes and take some time off for rest and leisure. I can't wait!!

As I finish writing this, now both chickadees are awake and getting hyped up. No more sleep or serenity... I think I'll go walk the dog; she doesn't make incessant fart noises and laugh hysterically in a manic fashion. *sigh*

Thursday, October 28, 2010

33 Weeks and an Inflated Ego

This morning started out great!  I was so happy to realize that I'm now 33 weeks along in this pregnancy and baby boy is almost full term.  He will be here so soon and I'm getting excited and anxious to meet him!

Another thing that made me happy was picking out a cute hippie chick outfit to wear to work.  So comfy and funky.

Hippie woman in summertime


Then, my oldest little chickadee told me my hair looked like Barbie's as I was getting ready.  Wow - Barbie, huh?  That good?  LOL  I love that she still looks at me with adoration and wonder.  She even thought my boobs were big!  I've always been flat chested, so this was something new and funny to me.  I let her know that they just look big because I'm pregnant; that they grow to get ready to feed the baby.  I secretly pray that don't shrivel up to a hardly-B size again.  Please God can I keep them this time?  Remember Judy Blume's, "Are You There God, It's Me, Margaret?"  That was my puberty bible.

Then, as I was walking up to my office building, I crossed paths and was subsequently passed up by 'Mr. Rock-n-Roll' in a Tommy Bahama shirt with a big martini design on the back and designer jeans.  Even though he was an older dude, he was a tall drink of water to behold.  Needless to say, I was admiring his assets.  Turns out that we ended up catching the same elevator up.  He asked me "How are you doing?"  - as he glanced down at my 'state of affairs'.

Young man holding martini glass at marina, portrait (Digital Composite)


"Swell, thanks!" I replied flippantly.

"Looks like you're working it."

"Oh yeah - this - it's fake.  I just wanted to get a few weeks off work.  You should try it!"

We laughed and off he disembarked the elevator on his floor.  I delude myself thinking that he thought me attractive.  But I was flattered and daydreamed that he found me irresistible.  (I have an over-active imagination.)  Self confidence is often lacking when you're pregnant with #3 and often second guess if you're even desirable to your own husband.  Perhaps I should have started humming, "Love in an elevator..." before he got off.  Or asked him for his phone number?  LOL - totally kidding!  I'm happily married folks!

It was also nice to get any form of social interaction at my office building.  Most days, people are too busy and self-important to even acknowledge anyone else.  Sometimes it feels like being pregnant is like a disease that people don't want to catch.  I used to go down to our office building's gym several times a week to work out at lunch, now I've been avoiding that cause it's just too awkward changing and exercising around everyone and their inquisitive stares at my prego belly.

 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Opinion About 4 Year Old's Birthday Party

I've been to a lot of young childrens' birthday parties lately and for the most part know what to expect at each one.  However, an acquaintance of mine, who is a friend on Facebook, just posted pics from a 4 year old birthday party her daughter just attended, that took me by surprise.

I don't understand why this mom thought it was an acceptable theme for a 4 year old.  It also reinforces some of the lifestyle stereotypes I have of Southern Californians that I don't attribute to and rebel against.


This little girl's birthday party theme was 'Rockstar Diva'.  At the party, they had stations for hair, makeup, nails, etc.  They all appeared to be singing karaoke (without knowing how to read?) and posed provocatively for the camera like little Lady Gagas.  The mom made elaborate goody bags with pampered products and treats inside.  I'm sure there was some designer drug in there for good measure - never too early to become trendy!

The particular theme seems ideal for a middle or high school girl, but come on - a 4 year old?!  In my mind, 'Rockstar Diva' has a negative connotation.  What do you want your child to aspire to?  I know the Disney Princesses and Barbie are insidious in their own regard, but they still seem somewhat a little more innocent and child-like than rockstar divas.

Glancing through the photos, I could almost envision these little divas in another 10-15 years - more little shopaholic princesses to flood Orange County.  Future 'Real Housewives of Orange County' - like we need any more!

Am I wrong about this?  Am I being too harsh?  Is this a harmless, fun party idea for a 4 year old girl?   

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Oh Maternity Leave, How I Long for Thee

I'm on a count down for maternity leave!  TWO MORE MONTHS!!
Woman Using a Laptop on the Beach
 
Although I know it's not going to be a vacation by any means, I just can't wait to be free from having to show up to work.  I should feel fortunate to have the flexible job that I have and all the benefits and the low pressure environment.  However, I just detest it and resent it for some reason.

I can't ever make sense of what the company actually does and if it's even ethical, I never have any real or substantial projects to work on, my boss doesn't manage well and then he is abrasive and condescending towards me.  I have a position title that I am more than qualified for, with the education and experience to back it up, but I'm definitely underutilized.  Or not utilized at all. I feel that they just want me in the position as a figure head in a way, but not to really work on anything.  But then again, I get emails from the boss filled with attitude demanding to see results from a piss-poor campaign we're working on. 

I do enjoy working in my chosen profession, and it's not as if I want to be a stay-at-home-mom, but I just can't stand him and coming to work every day.  I took the job because I was unemployed when I got the job offer and felt that I was obligated to take it, especially given all the flexibility and benefits.  I was going to give it a year and wait for the economy to turn around.  I didn't think I would get pregnant during that time! 

Now I feel completely stuck!  It's an EASY job for the paycheck, but do I really want it? Not really.  He totally treats me like I'm a slacker, but honestly, I don't have anything to really work on.  It's not a typical marketing department with a collaborative environment.  I just get thrown little tasks to work on here and there.  So I surf the net and get my personal stuff done at my desk in my down time....

So now that I have two months left to freedom, I am in dilemma thinking about my game plan.  Do I quit while I'm on leave and never come back?  I could either take a small break and then find another job, or focus on freelance projects at home.  Or do I come back after three months of maternity leave and continue to collect a paycheck for slacking off until I find another job?  (I will definitely have hospital bills that will need to be paid off.)  I could really, really slack off and take lots of personal time and have a lazy attitude, then hope to get laid off.  But I'm too ethical for that I think. 

What to do? What to do? 

Would I even be able to find a professional part time/flexible job again????  I know other moms who are lucky in that regard who actually LOVE their boss.  So it can't be totally impossible...

Either way, I am going to really enjoy going on maternity leave even though the newborn is going to keep me extra busy!  Maybe I can even keep up with blogging, writing and other hobbies better too.  Yeah, right!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Losing It

I seriously need help. It is just getting too hard. Pregnancy, fatigue, exhaustion, house, work, laundry, children, commute, dinners, dog, lunches, a-hole boss, husband working long hours.

I can never rest! You're not supposed to stress when you're pregnant but that's all I ever do! And sometimes I scream at the girls so loud that I see stars and my heart feels like it's going to explode.

I laid down to rest for 5 minutes after work tonight. Couldn't get enough oxygen. Got up and made mac and cheese hoping we could all eat fast so I could lay back down. Nope. Oldest Chickadee got into the markers and drew all over her face. Littlest Chickadee pooped in her pants and it was a major clean up disaster!

(Rest of the post vanished unexplainably and now I can't remember all that made me so angry.)  Until next time...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Crazy Dream

I had this AWFUL dream last night.  It seemed to go on forever.  I was with a group of people (coworkers?) in a remote farm house and we were taken hostage by some big mobster type men.  They were not happy about how we had been doing business and were going to kill each of us by shooting us. 


Dilapidated house with tree
I begged for forgiveness and plead innocence.  That I meant no harm and wanted to spend my life spreading goodwill over all mankind.  They wouldn't listen and had no sympathy.  They were taking each person back and shooting them in the heart.  My turn was coming.  I was so afraid.  I contemplated where I could run or hide, but there was nowhere.  I wondered how bad it would hurt and how quick I would die.  I thought about if I could commit suicide in any way before the guys got to me.  It was such a paralyzing and real dream!
Then in another part of the dream, I was out of the farm house and running for my life.  I was going through these tall fields trying to find a place to hide.  There were all these slave workers from all over the world working the fields that were held there against their will.  They were resigned to their fate, but I was fighting against it. 

A reporter from Time Magazine ran into me and asked if she could talk to me.  "Not now," I said. "I'm in a hurry and can't talk. Why are you here anyway?"  She looked at me quizzically and said, "You've sent me hundreds of letters asking me to come here and investigate."  I thought to myself, 'That's strange. I most definitely didn't contact anyone at Time Magazine to come out here.'

Then I was running in fast motion and caught a quick view of the most beautiful art and creative expression from the slaves in the field.  Rows and rows of beautiful hand-painted art depicting love, peace, joy, freedom, God.  I can't recall what each piece had on it, but that's just the impression it left.  It was luminescent, glowing, holy and breathtaking.  I thought that even in the harshest of conditions, beauty and truth of the human spirit will prevail.  The artists behind it had apparently been the ones calling for help from the outside world with their art.  It's hard to explain, but briefly in my mind I thought that it was a calling from God for me to investigate and report on crimes against humanity and that my complaints and problems are petty compared to others' real problems.

The dream went on with the murderers still on my trail, but got just scrambled after that.  I ran and hid in a garden shed under a bench.  I had to crawl in some tulip plants to get in the tight space.  I thought I was pretty well hidden, then I heard footsteps coming up to the door and the door opening.  I was busted.  I thought the guy would just peek in, see nothing and then walk away.  But he seemed to know exactly where I was hiding and was going to get me. 

I woke up shortly after that and was still quite scared I was going to get shot in the chest. 

I hope my dreams tonight are much lighter.  These ones freak me out!

 

Thursday, August 5, 2010

I'm a Fighter

Hoo-rah! I survived today with feigned enthusiasm and confidence.  Micro Manager did not pester me a bit.  In fact, after I gave him my professional, matter-of-fact response back to his emails, he seemed to change his attitude too.  Victory for Team SeeMomWork!

Now on to the household battles. Imma fighter yo!

Portrait of a female boxer

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Got the Urge to Split

I am growing increasingly and uncontrollably fed up with work and honestly don't think I can go there anymore.  I don't think it's just my hormones talking.  It is simply ridiculous!  Micro Manager is intolerable and I don't even know where to start describing him.  How about bullet points?
Businessman at Desk

  • Extremely vague in expectations.
  • Condescending
  • Sarcastic
  • Impatient
  • Moody
  • Outdated in his marketing knowledge.
  • Unwilling to read up on current trends.
  • Unwilling to read email attachments.
  • Unwilling to review projects turned in.
  • Overly concerned with how the water fountains operate in the reception area.
  • Obsessed with ridiculous art to display in the office.
  • Hired a Feng Shui consultant - 'nuff said.
  • Retarded ring tone that goes off constantly. Heard of vibrate mode?
  • Shoes tap like Lord of the Dance when he walks
  • Buys corporate mugs the whole office is supposed to use from China that have Prop 65 warnings all over them. 'This item contains chemicals known by the state of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm.'  
  • Big talker/under performer.
  • Grunts without looking up when you say good morning.
  • Stands in the doorway of my office with a smirk saying "What are you looking at that is so interesting?!" if I don't give him my complete attention.
  • Has warped perceptions of what can feasibly be accomplished with social media using ONE WAY COMMUNICATION - no engaging whatsoever.  
  • Expects 1000s of followers immediately.
  • Completely bizarre business model that I don't understand, nor does he want me to understand.
  • I suspect he is one of those cult-like 'Laws of Attraction' people.
  • All about 'What can everyone do for me?' No interest whatsoever in anyone else.
  • Resembles a sewer rat.
  • To be continued........
He sent me about 3 emails today full of confrontation and irritation.  He is obsessed with the #s from a promotion we're running that isn't doing well at all. Blaming me because no one is interested in giving their personal information for a measly freebie?   Quotes from his latest email:
I am trying to be clear that building our social networks is your primary focus right now, through PR/social media tactics.  I'd like to see 25 - 50% weekly increases, which I think comes from having some great content, we distribute and is then virally expanded.

And when you are not doing this, the Employee Handbook... have you started this?
Can I see an outline and have you tell me how you are approaching this?
Weekly increase of what?! Page views? Fans? Followers? Re-tweets of posts?  Good luck with this goal, dude.  You can force this stuff - unless of course you want to use some spam-bot software.  I don't want my professional name attached to a shady dealing douche bag.

I just want to totally quit but I know I can't because of my pregnancy and benefits.  It would be best if I could just make it a few more months and go on maternity leave and then say "SEE YA!"  For a while I thought that it was the ideal job and I could totally see myself being there a long time.  Now I can't see going in another day.  I don't see how I can make it through!

Already I don't say good morning or goodbye to him.  I try to avoid him at all costs and try to do everything through email.  When he asks to meet with me in person, I can't get out of his office fast enough.  I am formulating a plan... I am going to try to make it through the next few months of work using as many excuses as I can to work from home, maybe take a vacation or two, then as soon as I can get a doctor's note I am going to split!  Have the baby, enjoy maternity leave and never come back.  I'll look for a new job if need be in the spring.  During this time I can work on more of my writing goals.

HELP!!  What do I do to get out of this job without losing my benefits??!!  How can I better cope?!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Best Cities For Working Mothers - Where's Orange County?

Forbes just released their list of cities that offer the most to working women.  I assume they just lumped Orange County into the L.A. area, because I can't imagine being worse than Las Vegas or Miami.
Job opportunities, high earnings potential and a budget-friendly cost of living come into play in choosing a great city, not to mention employment rates (ideally high) as well as women's average weekly earnings. But it's also important for moms to look into other factors too, like health care.
Here is the complete list of top cities according to Forbes.

Perhaps I should move to Minneapolis or back up to the Seattle area...

Monday, July 19, 2010

Job Interview at 4 Months Pregnant

Last week, out of the blue, a friend sent me a job posting for a job and company that I had interviewed for over a year ago.  I never got the job because they wanted someone with more agency experience.  Since my friend works for the company, she recommended me for the job and they contacted me again.


Pregnant woman on cell phone
We spoke on the phone and had a really good, candid conversation.  I let her know my concerns of being 4 months pregnant and switching jobs, and she was understanding.  She stressed that they were a family friendly company, offered flex time as most people who worked there had families. 
We set up an interview for just a few days following.  I was initially so excited that I just wanted to jump ship right then and there.  Then, my hesitation and fear crept in - or call it my rational, mature mind.  In no way do I love my current job 100%, but I realize it's very hard to find a job that meets almost all my criteria like my current one does.  Flexibility, part time, location, title/position, chosen career field, ability to be creative, not too demanding, excellent benefits, my own office with a great view and a gym in the building.

Anywhere I work I know I will get annoyed with the person I work for and the people I work with and the annoyance of even going to work in the first place.  So I stifled my initial excitement and asked myself if I REALLY wanted to make a job change at this particular time of being 4 months pregnant.  The answer was no. 

Changing jobs is almost like dating.  You crave the interest and attention of the new suitor, but you don't want to lose the stability and predictability of your current relationship.  Initially you think, "Hell yeah I'll go out with you!  That will be so much more fun!" Then the guilt sets in that you're going to cheat on your significant other and how is it going to look and you're instantly torn about what you should do.  I've always been a job hopper and a relationship hopper.  The grass IS always greener on the other side of the fence for me. 

But right now, I don't want to lose the medical benefits, the maternity leave, the time invested, and the peace of knowing a job and a company.  I really prayed for an answer from God hoping he would tell me what to do.  He didn't, as he never does, but I keep hoping he'll speak to me so I can just choose the right path instead of bumbling around all the time. 

I ended up emailing them to cancel the interview with the reason that after further consideration, it's just not a good time for a job change.  However, if they want to re-visit it in March, I'll be willing, of course...

To be honest, however much I love my chosen career field and working, I don't know how I'm going to manage 3 kids and continue to work when the baby is born.  I'm sure I can still manage to do it, but you never know.  I would rather quit working completely at this point than switch jobs, trading for a different kind of stress and annoyance.  I always want to earn money but I am growing increasingly irritated by working for companies.  I don't desire to become rich or climb any ladder, I just want to have a good life filled with substance and meaning.  I wish I could be more in a work from home role or run my own small business or write professionally.


Woman on floor typing on typewriter
I signed up for an online creative writing class through a writing program and I'm really excited to get started with that.  I would love to move away from business and marketing writing styles to creative writing and have more direction in that regard.  I also need more discipline for a writing lifestyle.  I'm praying that I can see this one through, instead of being a flake like I usually am about my hobbies/interests.
I think I will start a writing notebook for inspiration and writing prompts and set up a creative, inspiring writing corner in my office.  Set up a nice area where I can hopefully avoid distraction and not be connected to the internet.  That is my ultimate downfall. 

PRAY FOR ME!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Clever Little Chickadee

This morning on the drive to daycare, my littlest chickadee, who is ever so bright, asked me what was wrong.  I was pouting and moaning to myself because the morning routine and always being late stresses me out and I just want to feel sorry for myself sometimes.

She said, "What's wrong Mommy? You miss your mommy?" 

"Yeah, I miss my Mommy."

"She died?"

"No, she didn't die. She just lives far away and she doesn't take care of me. She doesn't call to check on me either."

"She gave you a poison apple?" 

I had to laugh at that one.  Yeah, she sure did give me a poison apple!

So we chatted a bit going over everything again a few times, then she said, "Be happy Mommy!  Today is a happy day!" 

Smiling Young Girl Holding Pom Poms and Standing on One Leg

"You're right.  Today IS a happy day."

And she kept repeating it.  "Today is a happy day.  Be happy Mommy!"  She was so perfectly sweet and optimistic.  I needed that little cup of cheer and I hope to remember it every time I feel sorry for myself.  I'm so happy to have her on my cheer squad.  My mom has no clue what she is missing out on with her beautiful and sweet granddaughters who bring people so much joy. 

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I've Got a Little Penis in Me!

It's official! We are breaking our pink streak with a baby boy!! Yay!

I would be happy with another girl, but having something different will add a new vibe to our family.Sucking baby
I psyched Daddio out at dinner by giving him a 'congrats it's a girl' card. I videotaped the whole thing and on the back of the card I wrote (c) 2010 J/K Cards "Psyche! Fooled Ya!" He didn't know what to believe. Then he asked the littlest chickadee and she confirmed she's having a brother. Then we broke out the ultrasound pics. That was one of my best tricks yet.

So, my only hang up right now is that I pray that people refrain from saying "little man" when referring to him. I can't stand that term!! Call him little dude, or guy, or boy - but not man. That is like nails down a chalkboard for me.

Let the planning and shopping begin!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Baby Gender Discovery

I got to get a peek at the baby today!  I now know the gender!!
Baby's Legs and Feet
I'm going to meet Daddy Poo for dinner and surprise him.  BUT - I am going to tell him the opposite one first then reveal the truth. 
I'm so glad to know what we're having!  Now it's on to planning and shopping!! Name brainstorming and more shopping!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Unexpected Dinner Guest

Great. I just found out that hubbie's ex step sis is in town and is coming for dinner. No warning or advanced notice.

We have no food and the house is a mess (not an exaggeration) and we just came back from an exhausting trip. I never like to 'entertain' anyway and I really don't want to tonight.


Dirty dishes on counter
This chick also told me she knew I was pregnant before I even took a test at 5 weeks. Yah right! She said she's psychic. uh huh. So when I told her my news a month later she didn't even act surprised; she said she knew it! Spare me. I find it hard to tolerate her know-it-all attitude especially since we are the same age and she acts like she's my elder. She even moves furniture around to show which direction looks better.

My coping skill for this evening will be to come home late, busy myself with laundry and tasks and then declare how fatigued I am - pull the pregnancy card. It's a fricking week night for God's sake.

SERENITY NOW!!

My Neglected Child

My blog is my neglected child. It takes last priority after watering the plants, mopping the floors and other chores. I love to blog, I love to read others' blogs, I love the idea of maintaining a blog, yet I just can't seem to follow through.

I think of things all day long that I'd like to blog about, vent, share, piss, moan and bitch. Then I have to do my other boring responsibilities that detract from my creativity and keep me up too late at night and then I go to bed and repeat again the next day.  I'm always exhausted!  It doesn't help that I've been in my first trimester of pregnancy and trying to just make it through each day.

Pregnant young woman with paperwork, portrait
(This was me today except I was working on Chickadee A's birthday party invites.)


I'm sick of working at my job.  If I didn't have that, I would have unlimited time for my creative and fun pursuits.  Who invented work anyway?  It's lame.  Mr. Bossman is lame.  I can't see myself working there for the long term.  I am restless for change and 'normalcy' in a job.  I'm envious of those people who blindly follow their leaders and unquestioningly go to work each day without complaint.  What bliss!  

I should be thankful for having a job, flexibility, benefits, nice office, great view, relatively peaceful work environment, fair compensation, etc.  I should be proud of my hard work that has gotten me to where I'm at today.  But really I just feel lazy and bitter and annoyed.  I think I really must perpetually take things and people for granted.  Or am always thinking how things can be better.  How wonderful it would be to be content in the moment.  

But really, if it wasn't for being pregnant and needing the benefits and security, I would have worked at finding another job by now.  Now I am stuck until at least December if I want the benefits, then I need to decide what to do.  Quit and stay at home with 3 kids, go back to work almost full time or switch jobs? I've switched jobs on maternity leave twice before and that's pretty rough.  So it's either quit and take a work hiatus or go back to work and half ass it until I am ready to quit or job hop.  Decisions, decisions.  

Regardless, I am going to make a solid attempt to be more consistent about blogging.  I have lots to vent about these days.  

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A Lovely Email From a Micro-Manager

I don't have much time to really express how I feel about this email I received the other day from my micro-managing misfit of a boss.  But, suffice it to say, that it REALLY annoyed me.  Reminds me of my glory days back in the USAF.  Hoo-rah!
 
A salute is a gesture of courtesy given to a superior officer by a subordinate -- that's w

Ironically, I was hired under the understanding that as a working mom, I need flexibility and a laid back working environment.  So much for that pipe dream.  I am now formulating 'battle strategies' to fight back at this nuisance.   

Apparently he was looking for me after he came back from his lunch break and I was nowhere to be found.  Gasp!  It must have been a little past 2:00.  Without further ado, here is my lovely email:

I would appreciate it if you would select a time for your lunch break, so that you are back at your desk by 1:30 each day.

Please let me know what your normal daily schedule will be, understanding it may vary for special requirements, so that I know when to expect you and we can be at our work areas, at basically the same times to better exchange in ongoing dialogue.

Thanks,
Micro Manager
I'm just happy that he is not my husband or my Dad, or other family member, because that would be intolerable.  

Any good ideas for implementing subtle workforce insubordinance? 

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Turning Japanese

So I had an interesting dream last night.  I dreamt I was at work.  But our offices were outside in the woods.  This one guy who I actually work with in real life was in charge all of a sudden.  He was not happy with me because I wasn't learning Japanese and it was suddenly mandatory for the job.  (In real life, this guy will only speak Japanese. He may understand English, but he'll never speak it.)


He had many strict new rules for the job.  Not only did I need to speak Japanese, he wanted me to learn how to write in Japanese and was trying to teach me calligraphy.  His desk was embedded into the trunk of a tree, by the way.  He was calling me out in front of everyone and making me feel incompetent.  
 
Japanese PM Taro Aso Holds The New Year Press Conference

There was also a new way we were supposed to sign our emails.  It all depended on your status/class.  I was trying very hard to learn all these new things and wondered how in the hell my world got so turned upside down.  I asked myself if I really wanted to stick with the job or just quit.  Looking at those Japanese characters swimming nonsensically in front of me was very intimidating.


Now I'm really at work, in an office building, speaking and writing away in English. What a relief.

Let the Wild Pregnancy Dreams Begin!

The crazy dreams started a week a half ago, before I knew I was even pregnant. Every night I've had vivid and elaborate dreams that seem to go on and on.  

One night this weekend I dreamt I was hanging out with Apolo Ohno and we were trying to figure out which bar to go to with our friends.  We decided we were going to drive up to Canada to go to some really fun clubs.  Can't remember the rest, but he was just a cool dude to hang out with.

Out of Focus Image of a City at Night

Last night I dreamt that my friends (people I actually don't know in real life) and I were in Vegas partying.  I was younger, more energetic, wasn't married and didn't have kids. At least they never crossed my mind.  I was really drunk and realized that I was supposed to have checked out of my hotel room the day before. So I panicked thinking I better get my stuff before they threw it away/took it.  But I couldn't find my hotel key anywhere and I kept getting distracted from the task. 

There were tons of people milling about and they wanted to go to the next bar.  One girl pointed to some photo that was stored up in the ceiling rafter/attic space and asked me if it was mine.  I looked closely and it was an old black and white family photo of a farm family probably from Iowa probably from the early 1900s.  I looked into the face of the mom in the photo and she looked pasty white, hair pulled back, wearing a farm apron like dress, plain, serious,  tired and all about survival in their new home in America.  I said, "Nope, it's not mine.  Interesting though.  Wonder what it's doing here?"  (In a wild hotel in Vegas).

Some dudes helped me out to get me in my room so I could pack up my stuff.  My roommate's stuff was there too and I knew she had already flown out and left her stuff.  So I had to try to pack up her stuff to and figure out how to get it to her.  Guest services had left a really nice expensive looking lotion gift on the bed too that I thought was super cool.  I tried packing both suitcases and nothing would fit in there.  There were too many shoes.  And everywhere I looked, there were more shoes to put in the suitcase.  

I saw very clearly this one pair of shoes that trips me out - I doubt they even exist in real life.  They are black and white wing top, semi high heeled, knee length boots! Crazy. I thought to myself - those don't look like shoes my friend would wear - she must have really changed her tastes since I last hung out with her.  I was in a hurry to pack up and get it settled so I could keep partying and then hook up with this one guy who was with us.  It never happened since I was so discombobulated with all the packing nonsense.

Then another segment, I decided to drive from Vegas instead of fly since I could get a good deal; $98 to be precise.  They cut me even a better deal if I would agree to drive down someone's dachshund dog to Dana Point.  But I would have to keep it at my house for a week to wait for them to arrive for pick up.  I asked if the dog could stay outside in the backyard without trying to escape and would it get along with a St. Bernard.  They said it might try to escape, but I still said okay, I'd do it.

Then I left the car rental place, went to a big busy place to fill up with gas. I couldn't read the gauge on the car and it kept fluctuating.  Just when I was about to get out and pump, the gauge jumped to full and I took off.  Some dude was checking me out waiting for me to decide what to do.  When I drove off, so did he.  He was wearing an aqua plaid fedora type hat and thought he was cool.  I didn't have time for him - I was in a hurry.  Excited to hit the road.  

Blurred Image of 
Speedometer
So, I'm about to go to bed now and I'm curious to see what dreams I'll have tonight.  It's only a matter of time until the $ex dreams start happening that are common when pregnant.  My hubbie says I should have one about my boss, since I've had one about all my bosses I've had at some point.  I shrieked telling him NOT to even plant that seed in my head!  I couldn't stand it if I had to have a dream about my boss and then have it stuck in my head every time I see him.  God forbid!

The one thing that's annoying me is this reoccurring feeling of anxiety and trying to find things or trying to get somewhere in my dreams.  Then I toss and turn and have a little bit of insomnia.  I'm not that far along - I shouldn't be experiencing that right now!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I'm Feeling Green on Earth Day

So it's Earth Day, and it's fitting, because I'm feeling quite green today. 
Sick woman

Aside from my queasiness, I feel good because I've recycled, drove a fuel efficient car, used cloth diapers, ate organic food, drank from a reusable bottle, didn't use too much water in the bath tub, the girls bathed together, I skipped washing my hair and shaving today.  I am bonified!

But seriously though, it's been a hell of a month!  I went back up to Seattle to be with my mom after her surgery, fully expecting her to have cancer and a grim prognosis.  I learned she has the beginnings of emphysema and she hadn't told me.  She looked like a corpse when I first saw her after surgery and her breathing was so raspy and labored.  She seriously looked like an 80 year old and not a 60 year old woman!  

She wasn't the best patient and the drugs made her really out of it.  She seemed like a crazy woman and I think the nurses were utterly fed up with her.  They definitely didn't get her sense of humor (or lack thereof).  

After four days of committed service to her and we knew she wasn't going to die anytime soon, my uncle pushed me to go home to my own family, work, life, joys.  Hinted around about not enabling my mom and that I'd done a damn good job of sticking by her through the rough days.  I was able to help her get cleaned up, dressed, packed up and released from the hospital and back to my uncle's house.  Then he took me to the airport and I flew home.  

Oh - and not to forget how I got scolded by the TSA guy for not taking my laptop out of its case.  I had words with him to refute myself, he shook his head at me walking away and me shouting, "Don't you shake your head at me!" (and under my breath, "Douche bag!")  I think the pilot behind me thought it was amusing and startling at the same time.

I returned to work the next day against my will and better judgment.  I really could have used a day off with the girls.  My boss' attitude and demanding behavior didn't help my mood.  I felt a familiar anger boil up inside me every time he sent me one of his curt emails and I gave him an attitude right back in every single one of my emails back to him.  I slammed things around, grunted, didn't offer greetings or salutations to him.  It was almost comical, and I had a vague recollection of feeling this way with other bosses in jobs prior.  Usually I can be composed and professional and it's rare to lose my temper.  


These spells of anger were what prompted me to pick up a few pregnancy tests on the way home from work.  It didn't seem plausible that I could be, only doing the deed twice in a month and I have been timing my cycle so faithfully.  But I still hadn't received Aunt Flo and I was on day 38 or so.  (Normally a 35 day cycle).  


So, the next morning, tested and it was positive! SHOCK and DENIAL! Fear and wonder! How? Now what? To be honest, I'm still in shock and denial.  That was a week ago and I was feeling no symptoms.  Now... I feel run over by a truck. Nauseous and exhausted.  Fuzzy brained. Angry and impatient. Weird dreams. Insomnia. Can't concentrate at work. Ravenous but aversion to food at the same time. 

I got on BabyCenter right away to find out my due date (around Christmas!), see what's going on with my body/baby,  read about other moms to be and what they're experiencing.  That's a time sucker right there when you're at work! To be honest, people on those boards can be very obsessed and over-the-top, so it's not somewhere you want to hang out for too long I decided.


So I called OB, they ordered lab work, I had blood drawn for HCG levels and all is good and numbers growing, so next step, an early ultrasound next week.  In the mean time, I've only told 6 people and not telling anymore until I know there's a heartbeat. (Except you know now, dear reader). Shh... keep it on the DL.


In other contrasting and devastating news, my daycare provider and friend, who is only 29, just found out she has ovarian cancer.  In a routine exam, she had a lot of pain when they pushed down on her ovaries.  They investigated further with an ultrasound later that week and spent over 2 hours looking at suspicious growths.  This week she went in for a laparoscopic surgery and they found huge growths all around her ovaries.  She had to have a complete hysterectomy!  


Let me tell you, this girl is a sweetheart who absolutely adores children and has a gift for teaching little ones and nurturing them.  She was the little girl who spent hours taking care of her dollies and playing house - to the extreme.  All she has ever wanted is to be a mom and she was trying to move forward with those steps in her life with her boyfriend - marriage, family.  It is such a shocker.  Now she will need to have chemo and will lose her beautiful hair.  Thank god for her life though - I hope they caught it early.

In a way it's so backwards - my mom was spared of cancer even though she's lived a pretty unhealthy life, smoking since she was a teenager.  My friend, who is extremely healthy, organic, active, fit, young - has cancer and will be robbed of having children.  Unbelievable.  


So, I need lots of prayers, good vibes, comfort and humor sent my way.  Have any advice for preparing for a third child?  Is my life going to get completely unmanageable now?

Monday, April 5, 2010

IMHO: "Study: Lack of breastfeeding costs lives, billions of dollars"

Here's my opinion on new article released today, "Study: Lack of breastfeeding costs lives, billions of dollars"
(Article from CNN Health by Miriam Falco(CNN) -- If most new moms would breastfeed their babies for the first six months of life, it would save nearly 1,000 lives and billions of dollars each year, according to a new study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.

"The United States incurs $13 billion in excess costs annually and suffers 911 preventable deaths per year because our breastfeeding rates fall far below medical recommendations," the report said.

Read full article here.

What is even better than the article, is the comments people post at the bottom!  It's a full-on brawl.  Who's right, who's better; breast-feeders vs. non-breast-feeders; working moms vs. stay-at-home moms. 

Personally, I exclusively breast fed both my daughters for over six months, and went back to work at 3-4 months.  Carried my Big Bertha (Medela Pump in Style) double pump everywhere I went, pumped twice a day in the bathroom at work, endured some very embarrassing moments, and I had a freezer full of breast milk to show for it.  It was hard work, that took some good time management and organization, but a choice I wasn't willing to compromise on. 

I'm not a whip-it-out in public sort of girl either.  I don't care if I had a hooter hider, it still made me very uncomfortable. My girls did not like covers over their heads and they would try to hit or kick off the cover and make a scene.  Now, I look back fondly at that special time I had with them, nursing them and providing them optimal nutrition.  It was so all-compassing at the time and now it's a faint memory. 

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Survived Flying Solo With the Chickadees

This past weekend, Team Pink and I went on an adventure to the Great Northwest and we survived the journey! (I'm a little worse for wear, however, but alive.)  

It actually wasn't too bad flying solo with them and the girls did great.  I made sure to pack very light and not have a lot of extra carry on bags to lug around.  1 suitcase and 1 carry on backpack total.  1 toy and 1 book for each girl, 5 magazines for me.

Seeing my brother and his new baby girl was wonderful.  I removed my prejudice and judgment about his life and situation and just shared my joy over this new and beautiful life.  I do hope and pray that my brother does make better life choices and remain clean and sober from here on out.

Woman with mop and bucket
My mom was on better behavior this weekend and really had some good interaction with the girls.  She did do many of the things that irritate me, however - watching Y&R soap opera on VHS tape with the volume up full blast, falling asleep in front of the TV and then rewinding to play over again, chain smoking and reading books outside and nitpicking/second-guessing/nay-saying everything.  

She really has lost a lot of weight and is generally easily fatigued.  I worry about her and I'm scared for the test results.  I just wish they could hurry and do the surgery to find out if it's a cancerous tumor and then tackle treatment. When we said goodbye, I gave her a big hug and took a good look at her.  I don't know when I'll get to see her again and what her condition will be then. I felt very sad.

Life is so fleeting and I've assumed my mom would always be strong, invincible and cantankerous.  I'm not ready to see her health fail.  I'll continue to pray for her though.  We don't know if it's cancer, but my mind just automatically goes there.

At least she has put her will and financial affairs in order for the most part.  I'm her executor and health power of attorney and that scares me.  She has not been a very good steward of her finances, so I don't want to be responsible for cleaning up any financial messes.  Especially from out of state. 

On a lighter note, Easter is coming! New life, new beginnings.  The chickadees are excited to wear their new Easter dresses and eat lots of candy.  The in-laws are coming to town and we will attend a HUGE church event on Sunday.  

We will also have to have a 1st birthday celebration for our St. Bernard puppy!  She is so beautiful as she went to the groomer yesterday for her birthday present.  I'm sure she'd prefer cake and ice cream though.




Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I Heart Stress


Child Smirking
Life just keeps getting better and better!  As I don't want to lose any more sleep than I need to, I'll provide a quick list of things that are bogging me down:
  • My mom's health - 2 kidney infections in the past few months, big time weight loss, and now a discovered 6"x6"x3" mass in her uterus. She has been in remission of breast cancer for over 10 years, so this frightens me. She's also very stubborn and stunted emotionally and that always frustrates me. She refuses to talk about it and shuts down and rushes to get off the phone.
  • My brother's mental/emotional state - he's been released from the slammer and struggling to get adjusted to civilian life again, with new rules.  He's been deemed 'unemployable' due to some mental and health conditions, not sure what. It concerns me that might not be taking the best care of himself and following up with the professionals. Also, what if what he has is genetic?! If so, I think I'll need to re-assess having another child. It's hard to watch your family member destroy their life.
  • Zits - I am not a teenager anymore - why must I be plagued with a forehead of mini-Mt.Rainers?
  • Taxes - I really should have been better organized with my record keeping last year.
  • Work - I have better things to do. Do I really have to go there every damn day?  Don't you know I have baby albums to compile (only 4 years overdue), write letters, sleep in, play video games and other recreational pursuits? P.S. Mr. Bossman, does it really hurt to have a sense of humor? Please don't smirk condescendingly when I attempt a joke.
  • Blog - I set a goal to write twice a week, to be more creative, add some photos, etc. and it's just another thing that I'm half-assing. So much for being able to quit my day job... Also, I want to read more blogs and get to know other bloggers and learn from them.  Not sure how to squeeze that one in with all the other demands.
  • Marriage - when was our last date night??
  • Chickadees - I need to spend more time with them and quit getting home so damn late. I also need to plan healthier dinners. I need to stop raising my voice and barking orders. I'm very impatient and short-tempered. 
Honestly, I really just need to get more sleep.  Starting tomorrow...

Monday, March 15, 2010

Wonderful Guest Speaker Tonight at MOPS


Susan Peterson, author of the book, "Fun and Educational Places to Go with Kids and Adults in Southern California," came and spoke at our MOPS group tonight.  

She is such a lively and energetic person and her book is incredibly comprehensive!  She wrote an entire book listing out family-friendly and affordable locations to visit throughout southern California broken up by category, city, price and even has a calendar section to check events by date.  Places you wouldn't even know about on your own!

I wish we had more time to hear her speak, as she had so many wonderful ideas for kids. For example, collecting small key chains when you travel to new places and display them all on a plastic chain so children can visualize all the places they've been and remember them.  Or collecting postcards from places you've visited, writing the date of the visit on the back and a quote from the child of what was the best part.  She even sewed patches on a quilt from all the places they'd been for one of her sons.  Also, allowing your child to make their own photo album of their trip giving full creative liberties. *GASP* (I'm a control freak when it comes to crafts).
She had so many good ideas how to make the most out of the time you have with your child and igniting their interest in subjects with these enriching field trips.  It was inspiring presentation and I got a lot of good ideas from it.  

My friend mentioned to me after that it made her feel a little guilty that she hadn't done as much of these types of things with her kids and I could relate to that little twinge of mommy guilt.  Life gets too busy and filled up by checking things off my To Do List!

Now that I've purchased this book, however, I can come up with some creative activities to do with the Chickadees.  Perhaps take a sick day for the hell of it!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Month of Firsts

We've had an awesome month so far with several new 'Firsts' for the girls. We went on our first ski trip where our 4 year old actually skied (and wiped me out in the process).

And tonight we went to our first hockey game in which the Ducks actually won!

I love our family adventures! I just wish we could afford and had time to do more fun things. Chickadee A is now signed up for intro to soccer, so that should be interesting. I'm not sure if she will enjoy team sports as she is very independent, but we'll give it a shot.

I never did anything fun like skiing or sporting events as a young child, so I hope the girls have a fuller life because of it. (I did make up for it later though - don't worry about me.)

I am determined to fit more leisure and recreation into my life. All work and no play makes me a dull chick; my new motto - "See Mom Play."

Monday, March 8, 2010

Adventures in Potty Training Continues

Unfortunately, we are still struggling with the madness of potty training.  I am not sure how many weeks it's been - I think we're in the months now.  I haven't had to buy any more disposable diapers, but I sure do a lot of laundry!  

The hardest part of cloth diapers is using them when on the go, traveling, at daycare and at bedtime.  Which is pretty much all the time!  We've had success with her going #2 on the potty for 3 days in a row though, so that's promising!  I just listen for a sequence of farts around dinner time, and I know it's time to go!  I don't think my husband got the signal fast enough last night though - apparently he had a bit of a mess to clean up in the bathroom...

I'll keep up the efforts, but it can be fairly discouraging, to say the least.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Guilty Pleasures

To reflect my lax attitude lately, I really let loose yesterday in the grocery store. 

I usually try to be very conscious about making healthy choices in foods - whole wheat, organic, fresh, no added preservatives or chemicals, no sugar or sodium-laden foods.  We usually shop at Trader Joes and Fresh and Easy - you get the picture. 


It hasn't always been like this, however.  Most of my young adult life and into my 20s, I didn't care as much about the quality of the food or about chemicals/preservatives as long as it was affordable, easy to make, tasted good and I stayed relatively thin.  


close-up of a bowl of macaroni and cheese
Needless to say, I got wild yesterday and bought some of my all-time faves: Beef Stroganoff H@mburger Helper AND Kr@ft Macaroni and Cheese.  Oh the guilty pleasures!  Good thing I stopped before grabbing for the Tw!nkies...



I really can't wait to make them - mmmm - so delicious.  I'll just wash them down with a big glass of water and do an extra few minutes of cardio this week.  Then go back to proper, healthy family fare.  I really should set a good example, right?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

World's Best Valentines Day Gift

What do you get the man who has everything for Valentines Day?! Look no further than the beautiful and luxurious "3 Wolf Moon T-Shirt".  


Imagine the surprised glee when he opens his gift and beholds the slendor:

My man will be the envy of all with this testosterone-radiating t-shirt. Wear with caution - it's a real chick magnet!

Nothing expresses your love more than the majestic 3 Wolf Moon T-Shirt!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Adventures in Potty Training - Take 2


Rubber Pants


This is week #2 using cloth diapers/training pants.  Needless to say, it's not effective whatsoever. It's quite frustrating as every trip to the bathroom yields a wet or poopy mess.  

Logically, I understand you're supposed to allow the child to control the potty training, but emotionally I can't let it go.  It seems everyone else has such an easy time of it; "we just did x,y and z and she was potty trained in a day." 

Cloth diapers, going bare, using a potty timer, books, videos, sticker charts, rewards, threats, bribes, big girl vs. baby pep talks, watching big sis pee, etc. etc. She's pooped on the potty one minute, and then the next minute, she'll poop all over in her underwear.  There is no consistency.  It is so maddening!

I'm very near just giving up and going right back to disposable diapers. The cloth diapers are getting so messy and cumbersome - I fill a bucket with them each day.  Pick up a whole bag of wet ones from daycare each day and start all over again the next.  

Chickadee K just does not seem to mind being wet or poopy!  She is in no way disgusted by walking around with poop in her pants.  And she poops about 3 times a day!!  Every time I go to the gym, she poops and the staff need to find me to come back to change her.  Every time I go to my moms group meetings, she poops and I have to scramble to find supplies and location to change her on the fly.  I'm so damn sick of it!

I'm also the only one who seems vigilant about it.  Making sure her pants are clean and dry, asking if she needs to go, coaxing her to go before we leave the house and when we get home.  Utterly exhausting.  


Everyone has their miracle formula to potty training and I just wonder why in the hell it doesn't work for my daughter?!  Especially those self-righteous people who claim their child was potty trained by 12 months. Neither of my daughters adhere to any of my attempts to rushing them through the potty training process.  I can't stand the thought of another 6 -12 months of this crap (literally and figuratively)!


I am seriously considering surrendering for the moment and going out to buy a bulk box of disposable training pants and just ignore the bathroom for a while.  It's just way too time consuming, all-encompassing and I can't stand all the poop surprises.  


Stay tuned for more adventures in potty training...