Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Pouring my heart out for Working Mommy Wednesday

Look at me! I’ve come a blogging long way …. Two memes in one day!






I’ve loved blogging, and I’ve loved meeting moms from all walks of life. I just recently discovered a network of working moms thanks to Julia over at Work, Wife, Mom … Life.

Today I’m tackling her prompt for Working Mommy Wednesdays … If you could change one thing about your job, what would it be? (the pay, the hours, the work you do...). This topic goes hand in hand with Shell’s Pour Your Heart Out … here’s why:

If I could change one thing about my job, hands down, it would be the traveling. I loved loved loved this aspect of my job when I first started. But, let’s face it, I was 23, single, and earning hotel/flight miles like crazy. I didn’t have any ties or a care in the world. Flash forward several years, and traveling isn’t so easy – or that much fun – now that I have to leave behind my baby, husband, home, etc. (Plus, after you travel a lot, you get picky about hotel amenities!)

My job is great. I really do love it. It is an ideal situation that affords me dual lifestyles. I work really hard, long hours for about half of the year, which includes quite a bit of traveling for several days at a time. This is the hard part

But during the other half of the year, I get to work from home. In my pajamas if I want. My hours are much more flexible. I can take Baby to music class, pick her up early from day care, and simulate a SAHM lifestyle. All while getting a full-time working mom’s paycheck and insurance.

Logically, this is an ideal situation. Emotionally, not so much.

I’ll start traveling again in August, and I’m in a bit of denial. Sometimes I think I should start mentally preparing myself, but mostly I’ve just been ignoring the reality of this situation. Not only will I travel for 3-4 days at a time, I also have a major sales meeting and conference that will take me away from home for SEVEN DAYS. SEVEN. DAYS. Initially, the plan was for Husband and Baby to come with me, but that just doesn’t seem feasible at this point.

So, that’s where I am right now…consciously ignoring the fact that I will have to leave my child (and my husband) for an entire week. And, that just kicks off about a dozen other trips I’ll be taking in the fall.

Potential mantras to get me through include:
1. Your love your job. It pays you well. It provides great insurance. It will help you give Baby everything you want for her.
2. This too shall pass. She will never know I’m gone. At least, she won’t remember it in the long run.
3. One week of sleeping through the night, good food, good wine, good friends. One entire week.

I’ll also have to work on some mantras to get Husband through that week!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Geniusness

Geniusness: Don’t look it up. It’s a word, but it's one that I made it up. Here’s why:

Husband and I met in a bar.

Not like that. We were introduced by a mutual friend.

And, the bar was really a restaurant, a popular restaurant that just happens to be called a saloon.

We were both there to see off a good friend who was heading back north for a seasonal job (no, not Santa).

Shortly after our first encounter, we started dating. I decided this was okay for several reasons:

1-He was a nice guy.
2-He was Catholic.
3-He had a great smile (still does!).
4-He said he was getting a dog soon.

For the purposes of this post, we’ll focus on Number 4.

Number 4 – He said he was getting a dog.

Flash forward almost 5 years ... No dog.

No dog.

What the?!?!

As I might have mentioned a time (or nine), Husband is quite the neat freak. He likes order, organization, and cleanliness. It seems pet hair just doesn’t fit into this equation. Make no mistake, though, he’s been clever when it comes to making up excuses over the years.

-Not just yet … I just bought this house. I don’t want to house train a dog on new carpet.

-Not yet … we’re selling this house, and buyers don’t want a house that’s had a pet.

-Not yet … we’re having a baby and it wouldn’t be good to adopt a stray just to probably ignore it in the near future (okay, I actually agreed with this one).

These were all good excuses, but excuses nonetheless.

But. BUT…. I. Have. A. Plan.

I have a plan, I tell you.

It occurred to me on Friday as Baby and I were driving home from day care. On the way home, we passed a person selling puppies on the side of the street. They were CUTE. Labs, I think. Very cute.

And, here’s where my geniusness comes in.

Geniusness. It’s a word. Don’t look it up. Just trust me.

Geniusness: I call Husband. I explain ‘how it’s gonna work’ … It’s like this: Husband, you should really select a puppy now. You see, if you select a puppy now, you have complete control over what kind of dog we get. Big or small. Long or short hair. It’s your choice.

If you don’t, it’ll be Baby’s choice. You see, I’m going to start teaching her to say ‘puppy’ just as soon as possible. And, when she looks at you with her own big, blue puppy dog eyes and points at the biggest, longest haired dog in the pack … you’re not going to be able to say no. You might think you will. But, I guarantee you won’t. So, Husband, the choice is yours. What do you say
?

Geniusness, I tell you. Geniusness. (Hey, If Dr. Seuss can make up words, why can’t I?)

Friday, June 25, 2010

She knows ...

I’ve never been big on eastern medicine, psychics, or the like, but I have a feeling these are just the sorts of things that Baby loves. Why? Because, I’m pretty sure she can read minds and see the future. I’ve already told you all about how she is a genius baby, but she has now taken things to a whole new level.

There are things she knows … oh, the things she knows:

-She knows when one parent is preoccupied (in the shower, taking out the trash, etc.) and when she has the other one cornered. She waits until these times to wage war, er … burst into her best goat cry.

-She knows just when I’ve flipped off the video screen of the monitor (at 2 am, no less). She knows just when I’ve snuggled deep, deep down into my blankets and pillows. She’s been silent and motionless until just this moment. Then, she lets me have it.

-She knows exactly when I’m putting the first bite of food into my mouth at dinner. She’s been a sweet, sleeping angel until the very second I bring that fork to my mouth. Then, it’s …. WAAAHHHHHH!

She knows. Oh, she definitely knows. Whether it’s ESP or intuition, I don’t see this boding well for me or for Husband. I think the (tarot) cards are all in Baby’s hands now.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Free Therapy Thursdays!

You might have noticed that my blog posts have either been overly sappy or simply absent lately. This is because I’ve been feeling especially crabby and have been trying to overcompensate for my poor mood. I don’t want to just complain in every single blog post, but I’ve been a little annoyed by, well, everything, lately.

Then I remembered a fabulous little meme that KMama does over at The Daily Dribbles called Thank You Very Much … where you can sarcastically ‘thank’ those frustrating things in ‘free therapy Thursdays’! So, here goes. I’m just going to get it all off my chest today and move on!

For more info click on her button:


-To the grocery baggers, who always insist on putting sweet potatoes, apples, and anything else that weighs 5+ pounds right on top of my bananas. Thank you very much. I oh-so-love it when my perfectly ripe bananas are brown piles of mush by the time I get home from the store.

-Also, to the grocery store baggers, thank you very much for putting all 6 liters of diet tonic water into one bag, and for not double bagging it. On that note, thank you very much for also using my HUGE freezer/cold bag for only the cold items. Four yogurts, a block of cheese, and carton of egg whites. Really? I’m pretty sure you could have fit another 18 items in that bag, too. Or at least a bottle or two of tonic. But, thanks.

-To my cable company, thanks so much for changing the formatting of your digital video recording so that it now records every. single. episode. of any show we’ve ever recorded. Re-runs. Repeated episodes on the same day. A hundred times a day. I can’t tell you how much fun it is to spend hours a day deleting these. As if I have hours to do this. Oh, and it’s also awesome when these shows we don’t need to have recorded take up all the memory so the ones we want to watch are missed. Thanks.

-To the drivers in my neighborhood who refuse to drive the speed limit … um, sorry, but I can’t even thank you here. It is a residential neighborhood, and there is no excuse for driving 50 mph down the road. I swear, you all rev your engines right when you pass the new speed limit signs. You know, the ones marked with orange flags to show you that it has been reduced. You know, the ones right across the street from where a little boy was just struck and killed. Yes, that’s what I’m talking about.

-To my computer, for hating me. Thank you very much. You will be replaced within the week. Ha.

-To my iPhone, dishwasher, DVR, and other such devices … thank you oh-so-very-much for requiring me to perform circus tricks in order to make you function as you were designed. Really, it is broadening my horizons and expanding my list of talents.

-And, finally, to the allergies/cold/who-know-what-it-is that might be plaguing Husband, Baby, and now me. Thank you very much for the stuffy heads, runny noses, and overall general misery you’ve inflicted upon my family. I cannot tell you enough how grateful we are for the sleepless nights.

Aaaaaahhhhhh. Now that that’s off my chest, your regular scheduled programming will resume shortly. Sorry for all of the complaining, and about really petty stuff, too! Sometimes, though, that’s just what life throws at you.

In all honestly, I am actually pretty grateful that these are my biggest complaints right now. I’d love it if they didn’t all hit at the same time, but I know things could be much, much worse. And, because they’re not, I am really (not sarcastically) thankful.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Post-It Note Tuesday!


Seriously, tears of joy in my eyes when I can make this happen without sobbing tears/tantrums from baby.





Yes, I counted. Every one of them.




Hey, I worked hard to make those green beans!















Monday, June 21, 2010

Sooo tired ....

Baby and the Horrible-No Good-Very Bad-Didn't sleep all weekend-Congested-Super Snotty Nose-Cutting Teeth for Weeks-Must be held ALL the time-Exhausted Mama Day.

You understand, right?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Three Day Weekend

Husband and I are taking the day off ... it's a three day weekend! Hope you all have fablous plans for the weekend and for Father's Day! See you next week!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Mother's Love

Husband worked late last night, so Baby and I had some girl time. As I rocked her to sleep, I just had to hold onto her for a little bit longer. She was so tiny and sweet and …. ALL MINE! Sometimes she can overwhelm me. Some days I know I couldn’t do it without Husband by my side.

Sometimes it seems like a mother’s love is all about…

Sleepless nights
Napless days
Lukewarm coffee
Dirty diapers
Washing bottles
Spit-up in my mouth
Green beans in my hair
Sweet potatoes on the floor
Nasal aspirators and a squirming child
Trimming fingernails and toenails

But some days are like yesterday. Some days are just about perfect.

The sound of Baby’s breath, her giggles, and babbling …
The dimple in her cheek, the smile on her face, the twinkle in her eye …
Those sweet, special moments put it all in perspective.

Trimming those nails is just practice for the mani/pedi spa days we’ll share in the years to come. A squirming child is proof of her healthy development. The food in my hair is usually because she’s giggling SOOO loud. And, the food on the floor, usually because she’s kicking or waving her arms in sheer delight. (Baby does love her food!)

Every washed bottle means my child’s body has been nourished. Even dirty diapers are a good sign that all is good and healthy! Sleepless nights, napless days, and a sleep-deprived mama … all extra minutes we had together.

Okay, okay, sweet as she may be while I am rocking her to sleep, I wouldn’t mind catching a few of those zzzz’s myself! But, hey, that’s what the coffee is for ... piping hot or lukewarm, the caffeine still does the trick.

And on those perfect days, I guarantee that I don’t even notice when my morning coffee has turned ice cold.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Because IT has been working on my computer for the last 3 hours, and I now have to get back to ... work. All I have time for is (almost) Wordless Wednesday:


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Post-It Note Tuesday!





[Note: Questioning my own bad parenting here, not Husband's ... he was kidding. I was seriously considering just how bad it would be to stuff Baby full of carrots!]




Seriously, these baby food companies have to be making a boat load of cash. In one hour this morning, I made 47 servings (squash and green beans). Total cost to me? Less than $5.00.






Monday, June 14, 2010

All is now right with the world.

Yes, it’s true. All is now right with the world. Why? Because Baby finally has enough hair to hold a bow!


Bibs are no longer her only accessory. Peace and balance, at last.

In fact, ‘she’ has added quite a few accessories to her wardrobe lately.

Sunglasses, a chic floppy hat that matches her bikini, faux leather moccasin-type flip flops. The list goes on (and on … and on).

Actually, regarding the bibs, I’ve decided to use them less frequently. How else will we find enough time for Baby to wear all of her cute clothes before growing out of them? When she spits up on one outfit, we’ll just change her into another one!

[Note: I believe this is a sound and scientifically legitimate theory. My husband, who happens to be a real scientist, might beg to differ. But then again, I don’t think I ever asked his opinion!]

Friday, June 11, 2010

Date Night

Thursday night is ‘date night’ in my house. At least, it is when there isn’t laundry, cleaning, etc. to take care of. And, you know, when I am actually able to keep my eyes open past 8:30.

So, last night, Husband and I were in ‘date-night-mode’, which just means we were being extra sweet to each other. As he was changing Baby’s diaper, I headed out of the room to finish up a few other things.

I said, “I love you,” on my way out.

He replied, and asked me to come back to give him a kiss.

As I approached him, dirty diaper in one hand and a nasal aspirator in the other, I thought … my, how things have changed!

Gone are the days where we get dressed up to go out for a fancy dinner. At 8:00 p.m.
Gone are the days of $8 martinis and nice bottles of wine.
Gone are the days of Friday happy hours, sleeping in on Saturday mornings, Sunday afternoon naps.

We’re now content to open a $4.97 bottle of wine, heat up left over tacos, and share a kiss over diaper changes. And if one of us (okay, both of us) has a spit-up stained shirt, that's okay too ... we're both probably too sleep deprived to notice anyway.

Ah, true love! :)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Not a long-term goal

For my child, I want happiness and good health. I want her to be a well-adjusted, successful person who knows and possesses true joy in her life, and all throughout her life. These goals are both long-term and immediate.

Not a long term goal? An unhealthy attachment to me, her mother … but that doesn’t stop me from (guiltily) reveling in it a little bit!

Baby’s day care was closed yesterday due to the epic rain and flooding. We spent ALL day together. It was beautiful. We had a blast. Husband was also working from home, so we all had a really good time together. At some point, though, Baby developed – or at least started to display – an obvious emotional attachment to me. No longer am I simply to hand that feeds her, changes her, etc. I’m her mama!

She has always noticed if I left the room for a moment. Sometimes she’s okay. Most of the time, though, she prefers to keep me (or whomever happens to be with her at the time) within sight. But, yesterday, she started to fuss when I left the room … even though Husband was right there with her. This morning, I handed her to Husband, and she immediately started looking around for me. ME!

No, I don’t want my little girl to have attachment issues. I really don’t, but I am ‘kinda’ loving this new reaction. Just a little bit. She wants her mama … and that’s me!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Pour Your Heart Out

It’s another ‘glass’ of Pour Your Heart Out with Shell over at Things I Can’t Say. For info on PYHO, visit Shell's blog.



It’s raining/storming/flooding here. It’s been like this for the better part of 12 hours. Nine inches of rain so far, at least that's what we've estimated. These weather conditions conjure up all kinds of emotions for me, emotions that I can’t let myself get into now. That’s a place that I just don’t have the time or energy to go today, primarily because Baby’s day care is closed due to the weather ... and I’m here juggling her and work at the same time. It’s taking most of my effort just to put on a happy face and not let her see/feel my nerves.

I loathe storms, despise flooding events, and fear what these conditions can cause.

What I will say is this … if you’re having bad weather, please be careful. Drive safely. Make smart decisions. No meeting, event, etc. is worth risking your life.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Post-It Note Tuesday: Movin' on up!







[Yes, I wrote this yesterday ... sorry. This is what I get for trying to plan ahead! Confusing timelines. Baby let out her 'Wa-poo!' yesterday on the way home ...]





















Monday, June 7, 2010

A Whole New World

I’ve known people who have lived in this world, maybe for my entire life. I smiled politely, laughed a little … even tried to help from time to time. This world is a place far, far away from any reality I’ve ever known. It’s a place of frustration, uncertainty, and well … sometimes disaster. It’s a place where even rational adults are transformed into bumbling, blubbering, incapable beings. And, now I’ve become a citizen myself.

What is this land I speak of? This sad, sad place?

This is the land of Children’s Toy Packaging. Not quite hell on earth, but definitely a place we’d all avoid if we could.

I received my green card to CTP last week. I was initially excited. Baby has recently begun showing interest in objects other than her own hand. And, let’s face it … it was probably time for me to provide my child with some type of fun and/or educational stimulus aside from her 3 favorites:

1) Her lovey, aka whichever burp cloth happens to be attached to her at the time;
2) Her hand, which provides hours of gagging entertainment; and
3) My hand, which is just a larger more Mecca-like version of her own

So, once Baby started showing interest in other objects (like the spoon at mealtimes), I realized it might be time to buy her a few toys. Now, I’m not a parent who thinks my child should have every toy under the sun, but she definitely needed something besides cloth diaper!

Green Card to CTP Application Process:
Off to the toy store, I went, armed with coupons and ideas. Agh. Of course, nothing I had on my list was in stock. Of course. So my 15 minute errand turned into an hour, but I felt pretty good. I felt like I had come away with some decent options: a couple of toys with teething ‘appendages’, some things to help encourage her to sit up, one that will even convert as she starts to walk. A ball with lots of colors, textures, etc. And one with music! I was even able to use one of my coupons, so it seemed like a successful trip.

Green Card to CTP Granted:
Flash forward 24 hours (yes, Baby had to wait … I’m a working mom too!) … it was time to disinfect everything so Baby could go crazy with all of her new loot! Toy Number One … snip a few plastic ties. Um, how do you even get scissors under that tie to cut it? Lots of finagling .. okay, first one cut! Two to go … on this first toy. FYI – it’s a plush elephant with 2 rubber feet as teethers. It’s probably 6 inches in length. THREE damn plastic ties. Seriously? And, that was the simplest one.

CTP Citizenship:
Six or seven packages later, a bleeding knuckle, lots of frustration … and I still haven’t even used the Clorox or sink full of soapy water. Agh. The delightful life as a citizen of Children’s Toy Packaging Land.

On Probabtion:
So, it didn’t take long before I found myself in a bit of trouble. I’m nosey, a little pushy, and I ask a lot of questions. This ‘autocracy’ didn’t seem too fond of all of my nosing around, so I’m officially on probation. Here are the questions I’ve been asking about CTP:
1) If a toy is designed for a 6-month-old, do you really need to secure it 3 times to a piece of cardboard? I mean, if she can’t get the toy loose, she’ll just cram the cardboard into her mouth, right?

2) If a toy is designed for ages 6-18 months, does it really need to be secured to a piece of cardboard EIGHT times? Okay, I’m talking 8 twisty-ties, each looped through a piece of plastic on the back side of cardboard and taped. Really, I’m thinking it doesn’t matter what age the toy is designed for. EIGHT times? This is on a plush ball, by the way.

3) Not to get all political/social/etc., but I’m guessing that these security ties were likely put in place by some toddler in a third world country, and well … doesn’t that kind of defeat the purpose of safety ties all together?

4) Finally, all this cardboard! What do you do with it if your city doesn’t include it on their recycling list?

Citizenship Verdict:
I’m hosed. Never getting out of this place. At least not for 10-20 …
Anyone have any tips on how to survive?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A little proud of myself!

Well, Baby has liked and disliked the sweet peas I made. She seems to change her mind at every meal time. Unfortunately, whether or not she likes the taste, her tummy doesn’t seem to like them very much. So, I’m putting the green veggies on hold until we try a few others first.

To that end, today I made carrots and sweet potatoes. And, I’ve got squash in the fridge to make this weekend. And, yes … I’m a little proud of myself! As tempted as I am by the shiny, fancy baby food makers, I did everything this morning with a regular steamer pot and blender. In just a couple of hours, I had 48 servings of carrots and about 36 servings of sweet potatoes. The icing on the cake? I bought those carrots, organic no less, on sale for $1/bag. That’s $2 for 48 servings of baby food! Great savings for little effort!

Carrots and sweet potatoes were definitely much easier to make than the peas. It's actually funny, because the potatoes were the last thing I made myself even though it’s the first food I introduced to Baby. I have to say, they were the easiest to make. I just baked them in the oven while working on the carrots and added water and pureed at the end. So simple.

Now, let’s hope that Baby 1) likes carrots and my homemade sweet potatoes; and 2) isn’t allergic to the carrots. Otherwise, I’ll have many, many servings of baby food to share with all of you!

By the way, thanks to Brandi for the suggestions! I used ice cube trays and they worked perfectly!!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Pour Your Heart Out

Joining Shell for another Wednesday glass of Pour Your Heart Out. For details:



Today my heart is sad. I heard some terrible news over the weekend. A guy that I grew up with lost his young son in a drowning accident. Being that I’m originally from a small town, there are still lots of stories/rumors regarding what actually happened, so I don’t know a lot of details at this point. What I do know is that this family needs our prayers.

Their son would have turned 4-years-old later this month, and I’ve heard that the family has requested birthday balloons in lieu of flowers at the funeral, which will be held tomorrow. Most of you reading this do not know this family. In fact, I really don’t know them. But, if my heart is this sad just hearing their story, then I can’t imagine what they’re going through. I do know that our blogging community is full of phenomenal moms with big hearts. Please take a moment and say a prayer. Thank you.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Post-It Note Tuesday!

Well, for some reason, that's the only post-it note I can get my computer to create right now. But, great news! $100 for Mission Monkey! I'll be donating this week!

If other post-it notes existed, they'd tell you all about my first attempt at making baby food. Sweet peas. Hmmm ... it was quite interesting! Probably not the best choice for my first attempt, because it was somewhat labor intensive to strain the peas after steaming, mashing, etc. But, it turned out okay. And, the real test ... Baby LOVED them! She sat with her mouth open, just waiting for another bite. It was the cutest thing! Still think I need to get that Beaba Babycook though ... just too many pots/pans/dishes otherwise. Or, maybe that's just my novice skills. Perhaps I could streamline the process with a bit more practice.

Another post-it note ... I also managed to attach a few more cabinet door locks today! I don't think any amount of practice will help on that front. Some work like a charm. Others? Not so much. I'm not giving up though!