September 2010 - Baby Steps in High Heels

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

PYHO meets WMW

8:09 AM 7
PYHO meets WMW
It’s the last day of my business trip. I’ll be home tonight just in time to rock Baby to sleep, assuming that there are no flight delays.

These last few days have been easier and more difficult that I had anticipated.

Easier, because I didn’t expect to revel in the quiet time. The last business trip I took was filled with dinners, parties, and other events with co-workers. This time, I’m alone.

I’ve been able to get a lot of work done. I have exercised every single day. And, I’ve even had some time to catch up on my book club reading. Long, hot showers that I didn’t feel the need to rush through. Uninterrupted meals. It’s been nice. Busy, but nice.

On the other hand, there have also been some difficulties. I didn’t realize how frustrating it would be to have to wait to deal with day care issues.

[Go with me a minute on this tangent – Husband called Monday to say that Baby needs more cereal for day care. I replied that I would pick up some more when I returned and that he could just take the rest of the box we have at home. But then … wait. What? How does she need more cereal? First, I just took a box a few weeks ago. She hasn’t gone through that much at home. Second, I send ALL of her meals. All of them. Why are they feeding her extra cereal? And, finally, when are they doing this? It certainly hasn’t been recorded in any of her daily reports. Ugh. Sorry for the rant, I know I owe y’all a general day care update, and I promise to try to get to it soon.]

It’s also harder than I expected to wait around to Skype with Husband and Baby. It’s the highlight of my day, but Husband is running around at home doing everything by himself. So, I feel a little ‘squeezed in’ and wish I had more (quality) time during those calls. I understand it completely. I just with I had more time.

It’s definitely a delicate balance. There are ups. There are downs. I know all parents deal with their own set of issues, and everyone has to find just the right way to juggle it all and make it work within their own family.

One thing I know for sure is this: I will be holding Baby a little tighter and for a little longer when I get home tonight. And every night between now and my next trip (which will be on Sunday).

I'm linking up with Shell at Things I Can't Say for Pour Your Heart Out Wednesday and Julia at Work, Wife, Mom ... Life for Working Mommy Wednesday.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Monday, September 27, 2010

Ten Months

2:10 PM 2
Ten Months
Sweet Baby Girl, you are 10-months-old today!

I can’t believe how time has flown.

You are so much fun, and I love watching you grow and learn new things.

You’re no longer just reaching milestones from time to time. You seem to be hitting several all at once.

You’ve been crawling, pulling up, moving from sit-to-crawl, and just on the go for a while now, but you’re getting so good at all of these things. You are so mobile, and I love watching your face as you do something new, whether it’s using a new object to pull yourself up or walking a bit farther while holding onto Mama or Daddy’s hands. You’re so excited and proud of yourself. I hope you always feel that kind of joy.

I love to listen to you talk. You babble ALL the time, and your current favorite ‘words’ sound a lot like ‘gurgle/google/oogle/goog’. You also mimic a lot of words/sounds/syllables that you hear me say. I swear you said ‘E-I-E-I-O’ and “Row Row Row Your Boat’ and 'good job' this weekend!

Sometimes, I actually think you’re having conversations with us. It really does sound like you’re contributing a ‘thank you’ or a ‘bless you’ from time to time.

And, then there are the words that I am positive you know the meaning of: mama, dada, hi, bye bye, ah-boo (peek-a-boo). You like to wave and say hiiiii or babye any time a person enters or leave a room.

It’s so much fun talking and playing with you.

You love to ‘bump’ heads.

You love to be tickled on your collar bone.

You love bath time.

And the cutest thing, you’ve recently just started laughing at yourself. I’m not sure what is making you laugh so much, but you will just giggle, giggle, giggle. I love knowing that you’ve got some great secret in that little head of yours.

You also gave the biggest belly laugh yesterday when I threw a ball up in the air over and over again. I don’t know why this was so funny, but I loved that amazing laugh.

You’re a very curious girl. You will find the tiniest button, clasp, or hole in a shirt or toy and study it for a long time. You’ve recently discovered shirt collars, and love to grasp them. I think it’s so you’ll know when we try to put you down in your crib. You’re a little clingy lately, and you want to be held all the time. (Shhh, I might complain from time to time, but I actually love all the extra cuddles!)

Physically, you’re growing too. You are just under 17 pounds and about 27-28 inches long.

You still just have the 6 teeth (4 top, 2 bottom). I know I have been saying that the other bottom 2 are coming ‘any day now,’ but I’m sure they are … those gums are pretty puffy lately.

Your dark blond hair is getting longer and curlier every day.

Your blue eyes are still blue!

I could go on and on and on. Thanks for the best ten months, we are looking forward to so many more to come!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Product Review: Mabel's Labels

7:34 PM 2
Product Review: Mabel's Labels

I cannot tell you how many times each week that I read that note on my daughter’s day care reports.

“Didn’t I just do that?” I always think to myself. I probably write and rewrite her name on every single bottle, lid, pacifier, and food container 2-3 times a week with a ‘permanent’ marker, but between dishwashers and steamer sanitizers, that wears off pretty quickly.

So, when I heard about Mabel’s Labels, I just had to try them out. Mabel’s Labels sent me one of their Ultimate-Back-to-School Combos and one set of Bag Tags, free of charge, in exchange for my honest review of their products.

Let me just say, these personalized labels are amazing. They might even be considered life-changing for a busy mom like myself!

Since we started using Mabel’s Labels a few weeks ago, I haven’t had to write my daughter’s name anywhere! And, they seem to be holding up just fine against all of the cleaning cycles we put them through, given that they’re both microwave and dishwasher safe.

Mabel’s Labels come in a variety of fun colors for both boys and girls! If you have kids who are ready for school, visit the website and customize labels to your very own needs. They also offer some other pretty neat products – household labels, clothing labels, stationary, kid safety products, etc.

Mabel’s Labels are great for the whole family!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

10 Reasons Why I Love My Job

9:08 AM 6
10 Reasons Why I Love My Job
Thanks Mama Kat for your Writer’s Workshop Prompt. After yesterday’s pity party of a blog post, I thought I’d take today off. But, this is a great way to offer a bit of perspective and take a look at the positive.

Why do I love my job?

1. The freedom. As I mentioned yesterday, I was rearranging my business trip at 3:30 am on Monday (my flight was scheduled to depart at 6:45 am). When my child is sick or there is another very valid reason to make changes in my work schedule, I have almost complete freedom to do so. I didn’t have to ask my boss. I simply informed her of the situation. It’s very reassuring to work for a company that understand that ‘life’ can sometimes get in the way.

2. The flexibility. Sure there are busy times (like right now) when I don’t have a lot of room to fit personal time into my day. But, at least six months out of the year I am able to work at my own pace. This means that I can take Baby to music class at 11 am on a Wednesday if I want to. As long as I am meeting my daily responsibilities, I don’t necessarily have to follow a 9-5 schedule.

3. The people. I love my colleagues. We’re spread out across the country, so we only actually see each other a couple of times a year. However, we always have a great time when we get together. And, we are pretty good at keeping up via Facebook and email during the rest of the year. We have a lot of fun.

4. The miles and points. We recently switched over to corporate credit cards, so this aspect might be on the decline. However, for the last 6+ years, Husband and I have enjoyed hotel points, airline miles, etc. We have loved this perk of my job and have taken some fun trips as a result.

5. The health insurance. What can I say? It’s amazing. My company is self-insured. And, although I don’t really know the ins and outs of how that works, I do know that I can insure my entire family for a fraction of what we’d pay anywhere else. The monthly rates are insanely low. The coverage is incredible. We are very lucky in this regard.

6. The anniversary trips. For every 5 years of employment, my company partially subsidized an anniversary trip for each employee and a spouse. You have to visit a city where one of our offices is located and spend some time there, but … London, here we come!

7. The respect. As a small company, I really feel like every employee has a voice. And, the powers that be actually listen to each and every one of us. Sure there are issues, as with any job, but it’s nice to work in a place where my voice is heard and respected.

8. Car allowance. Yep. I get one of these too. I drive. A. Lot. For work. Instead of a crappy company car, we get an allowance. It’s not enough to cover a car payment, but it gives us the freedom to drive what we want. And it helps defray the cost of those 3-week oil changes!

9. Believing in what I do. I’m in sales. A lot of sales reps are just good at sales. Not me. I probably couldn’t do sales anywhere else. At least, not for a company that didn’t produce a quality product. I don’t feel like a sales rep at my job. I believe in the quality of what we do, and I’m proud to represent our business. I feel more like a ‘product liaison’ or something, and I never feel pushy about doing my job.

10. Dinners, drinks, and good times. We have several meetings and conferences throughout the year, and it’s always really nice to wine and dine our customers … because, well, we actually get to wine and dine our selves in the process! I’ve eaten as some amazing restaurants and enjoyed fabulous foods and drinks that I probably wouldn’t have otherwise.

There are definitely more reasons why I love my job. But, instead of continuing the list, I’m actually just going to go to work now ...

Have a great day!

Mama's Losin' It

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

You know you're a working mom when ...

8:27 AM 12
You know you're a working mom when ...
Julia over at Work, Wife, Mom … Life has prompted us with:

You know you’re a working mom when ….


I’m also linking up with Shell at Things I Can’t Say for another glass of Pour Your Heart Out.

Baby is currently experiencing a new phase: Separation Anxiety.

Only, right now, it’s more like Separation Anxiety meets Double Ear Infection meets Coughing/Sore Throat/Sneezing Cold meets Teething. Again.

Her new ‘favorite pastime’ is a game we call pick-me-up-no-put-me-down-no-hold-me-no-not-that-way-waaaaaaah!

And, it is … exhausting.

You know you’re a working mom when … you drop your snotty-nosed, cranky child off at day care even when you know you’ll be called to pick her up within a couple of hours. You’ve had her at home for the last 2 business days, and you MUST get SOME work done.

I feel terrible about this fact. Husband says I should get over it, but I can’t. He says that is what we pay the day care for, but it bugs me. I hate leaving my child at all, especially when she doesn’t feel well. But the truth is …

You know you’re a working mom when … you have to suck up that emotional mommy guilt and just drop your child off for a while. After all, your job is what provides the insurance to pay for medical care for that very same sick baby girl.

What’s more is how cranky I have been. I’m not proud to admit it, but I am a little under the weather myself. Couple that with a few sleepless nights and trying to cram a day’s worth of work (which, during this busy sales season, is more like 10-12 hours instead of the typical 8) into the evenings … I’m worn out. And I wasn’t even supposed to be home this week!

You know you’re a working mom when … you’re rearranging business appointments and flights at 3:30 on a Monday morning. And, you’re a little disappointed when you realize you’ll be spending the next week dealing with suctioning runny noses, doctor’s appointments, etc. instead of sleeping blissfully alone in a king-sized bed in a quiet hotel room. And then you immediately feel guilty for that disappointment.

I’ve still managed to pull off a really productive work week. I guess I’ve always thrived when I’m ‘under the gun’ … if I don’t have that type of motivation, I tend to procrastinate. So, I’ve really been pretty efficient with my work-related responsibilities. However, I also probably need to pull it together and take a little better care of myself.

This morning I commented to Husband that I smell chlorine or something chemical-like when I inhale. He responded with a, “Maybe you should go see the doctor?”

You know you’re a working mom when … you can find time to squeeze in meetings for work, trips to the pharmacy for another round of antibiotics for baby, and even a couple hours of making baby food, but you can’t seem to find a spot on your calendar to make a doctor’s appointment for yourself. Tylenol and coffee. That’s my self-prescribed remedy.

In any case, despite what seems to have evolved into a self-pitying soap box of a blog post, I do have a legitimate question for moms everywhere … do you have any advice or suggestions on how to modify a baby’s sleeping cycle? Not naps, but at night.

Baby currently sleeps from about 6:00 pm until 5:00 am (with a couple of feedings during that timeframe). We’ve tried – unsuccessfully – to switch her to just one hour later, making her bedtime 7:00 pm. However, we can’t seem to get her to last that long in the evenings!

If we could get her on a more reasonable bed time schedule, I’m thinking that times like this (i.e., when she’s sick and sleeping fitfully at night) might not be quite as difficult … you know, if we weren’t dreading her waking up at 4-something in the morning.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Pity? I’m taking it all today!

Okay, I really don't need pity. Maybe just a Sudafed-Motrin-Dayquil concoction.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The truth in post-it notes

8:50 AM 5
The truth in post-it notes

And, you can better believe I'm not giving up easily! I'll make cuddlers out of both of them if it's the last thing I do ...

That One Mom

Monday, September 20, 2010

Change of plans

1:52 PM 1
Change of plans
St. Louis … not so much.

Instead of getting up this morning at 4:30 am to catch a flight, I was up at 3:30 giving Baby her second bottle of the night. This is not typical. She usually only needs one feeding in the middle of the night.

It was the second bad night after her fever broke on Friday, so Husband and I decided that I needed to change my plans.

He would have been fully capable of taking care of Baby, even a sick baby, all on his own. But, let’s face it, that’s just exhausting. It’s exhausting for two people to do, much less going it alone.

So, I rearranged some appointments and am working closer to home this week.

Baby? Another double ear infection, a cold, and probably teething. Here we go again.

I feel so terrible for her. She can’t sleep and is pretty fussy, which is unusual for my child. Normally, she is about as happy as any baby could possibly be, and I just hate seeing her so uncomfortable.

So, I am not out of town. I think my momentum is a bit deflated as far as the business trips go. However, I’ll just try it all again next Monday.

Such is life, I suppose, when you go from being a single, traveling sales rep to being a working mom. You have to roll with the punches.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Here I go ...

7:28 PM 2
Here I go ...
Tomorrow (Monday) morning marks my first solo business trip of this sales season.

No friends/colleagues to distract me. No fancy dinners or nice wine to expense.

Just me. A rental car. And a hotel room.

Just me. Alone with my thoughts. Thoughts of flying in thunderstorms. Thoughts of having left my sick baby at home.

Just me. Hoping to squeeze in a few good work outs and a couple good nights of uninterrupted sleep. Oh, and piles of work.

This is the routine for the next couple of months. Repeating my mantras:

-Sleep. Sanity. Paycheck. Insurance.
-Professional. Responsible. Dependable. Accountable.
-It’s only a few weeks. Total. Then, back to working from home Nov-Jan.

Here I go ….

Friday, September 17, 2010

More Exercises for New Moms

1:12 PM 9
More Exercises for New Moms
I’ve blogged before about fantastic new exercises that my newborn child has taught me.

Here’s the latest one … The My Child Won’t Stop Screaming Unless I Bounce-Bounce-Bounce for Hours-On-End

Works: Core, legs, arms.

What to do: Take screaming baby and attempt to wrangle him/her into a position that doesn’t involve flailing limbs (theirs or yours). Stand with feet shoulder width apart.

Then, bounce. Bounce. Bounce.

For at least an hour.

If you’re attention span is short, you might try changing it up a bit. Rotate your hips in a figure-8 motion every 5-6 minutes.

To maximize results, attempt to put the baby down every 15 minutes or so. This will lead to the baby screaming for longer periods of time, so that you cannot allow yourself to give up when tired.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Good ideas v. Bad ideas

8:13 AM 6
Good ideas v. Bad ideas
Good ideas: Getting a mani/pedi or a massage. Opening a good bottle of wine.

Bad ideas: Changing Baby’s formula. Cold turkey. When you’re home alone.

Good ideas: Driving the speed limit. Showing up on time for work.

Bad ideas: Throwing a load of Baby’s whites into the washing machine. Without first checking to see that a RED shirt is already in the machine. Turning the cycle to HOT.

Moral of this little story: A baby screaming inconsolably for hours on end because her tummy is so bloated that she cannot get comfortable or go to sleep can often result in pink sheets, towels, and burp cloths.

I’m sure this is Mom Logic 101, but these are newly learned lessons in my household.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

PINT: Thanks!

8:13 AM 6
PINT: Thanks!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Another dilema

6:40 PM 9
Another dilema
Baby has been in a fantastic day care since she was 8 weeks-old. We have loved the teachers, loved the way they have loved our child, and really liked the way the facility works – dividing babies into smaller age brackets as opposed to lumping 0-12 month olds into one class.

A few weeks ago, however, Baby was moved into a new classroom – the 9-12 month class. And, I just don’t like it. I don’t like the teachers at all. One of them is relatively nice, but I have been having a very hard time with the lead teacher. Perhaps I was spoiled by the previous teachers and how obvious it was that they loved my child. They were born child care givers. These new teachers just don’t give me that sense at all. In my opinion, they’re just there for a paycheck.

I know I’m assuming a lot with that last statement, and I probably shouldn’t be so judgmental. I wouldn’t know where to begin in organizing and efficiently running a classroom with 10 infants. But, I do know that my own child doesn’t eat every meal and nap at the same exact time every single day, which is what they try to tell me. In fact, they claim that every single child in their classroom eats at 9 am, 12 pm, and 3 pm and naps from 12:30-2:00. Every. Single. Day. This is a vast difference from the last classroom where, if Baby ate at 9:37 am, the report said: 9:37 am.

The real problem is that I just don’t get a good feeling.

There are some other factors, too. Baby has had a couple of ‘incident reports’ within just about as many weeks. I do understand that things will happen as babies grow, develop, explore. There are bound to be ‘incidents’ whether you’re at home or at day care. However, neither incident was the result of a wobbly baby learning to crawl or pull up. Both times involved another child whopping my daughter in the face with a toy.

Now, I understand that a teacher can’t be expected to catch every single thing that happens, but these just seemed to occur too close together for my taste. I really get a sense that these teachers are simply inattentive. It’s not just the incident report, but also how they respond to me … they don’t listen. In fact, one of them blatantly disagreed with me just this morning. On an issue that was not a matter of opinion.

And, let me tell you … if you think it’s difficult to leave your child in the care of another person that you don’t fully trust, imagine having to then take to the open highway for a business trip. Hours of driving. Alone with your thoughts. On a desolate highway. Without so much as an annoying driver to spur a bit of road rage and distract you for a few minutes.

There I was, all morning long, alone with my thoughts. I literally think I’m making myself sick over this situation. We have already secured Baby a spot in a new day care that will be closer to our house. However, she can’t begin there until the first week of December (after her first birthday).

That’s just too far away for me to sit idly by. So, I’ve decided to ask that Baby be moved to another classroom. I’ve struggled with this decision. I don’t want to be a problem parent. I don’t want my child to be neglected because I’ve rubbed somebody the wrong way (not that I think she’d actually be mistreated, but you know what I mean).

The thing is, I pay a lot of money for her to go to this day care. I’m not just looking for an efficiently run classroom. I’m looking for somebody to CARE for my child. That’s a lot to ask of perfect strangers. I know. But, I also know that it can be done. And that it has been done, time and time again, in this very place.

I don’t know if my request will be accommodated, but I know I have to try. It is already going to be difficult enough to leave home every week for the next 8 weeks for work. There is no way on earth that I will be able to do it if I don’t feel good about where my daughter is and who is taking care of her.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Found my focus. Need your help.

3:49 PM 11
Found my focus. Need your help.
So, I need your help. It’s a little silly, but I’m in somewhat of a state of shock.

You all know that Baby is in day care. For all intensive purposes, we like this particular day care (though I’m not too crazy about the current class she’s in, that’s another issue altogether).

We generally do like this place, except that it is located across town from where we live. We are on the waiting list at a couple of other places that are just down the street from our house.

We’ve been on those waiting lists since this time last year!

I stopped in recently to follow up, make sure we were still on the waiting lists …. and to also check out the next classroom up from the ‘infant’ class. Since Baby is 9-months-old now, it’s very likely that she won’t get into one of these new places until she passes the one-year mark.

I took a look at those older classes: 12-18 months and 12-24 months. Wow. Those babies are MUCH bigger than my sweet little 16-pound girl. And they sleep on mats on the floor.

As if that weren’t enough to throw me for a loop, they’re eating things like chicken spaghetti!



My child still barely gums down mashed bananas without gagging. How the heck am I going to transition her in the next 3 months to a place where she can eat meals like that?


So, I’m feeling a little overwhelmed. Yes, Baby does have 6 teeth. Yes, she loves her food, and she handles Puffs pretty well. But, I’m kind of at a loss. I guess I need to start a new Google search, but I’d also love to hear from all of you. Any ideas? Suggestions?

Please note that just because I currently make Baby’s pureed food, this does not mean that I’m opposed to store-bough options.

I just need to know where to start.


One of those days ...

10:45 AM 2
One of those days ...
I must still be catching up on ... work, blogging, life, etc.

I have so many thoughts and stories swirling around in my head, but the ability to channel any of it into a thoughtful or focused blog post is currently escaping me.

Must be one of those days (er, weeks?) ... I think I'll spare you all my unorganized ramblings ... for now.

I'm hoping to get back on track next week.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Working Mommy Wednesday: Coffee.

10:19 AM 10
Working Mommy Wednesday: Coffee.
Working Mommy Wednesday asks …

What do you consider necessary to get through the day?

For me, it’s simple. Coffee. Sad, but true.

Why is it sad? Because I never drank coffee before Baby was born.

In fact, I barely drank caffeine at all. One small glass of iced tea would make me shake, because even that tiny amount of caffeine was foreign to my body.

Now, I can barely function without it. Scratch that … I’m not sure I could function without it AT ALL.

What gets YOU through the day?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I'm back!

10:44 AM 8
I'm back!
I'm back! I'm home, and I was able to spend a nice, long holiday weekend with Husband and Baby.

I made it through the entire week without any major breakdowns. Maybe a few minor ones here and there. Like when IT wiped my computer, deleting Skype and my microphone capabilities ... and the fact that I realized this with only minutes to go before Baby's bedtime. Thank goodness for a fast internet connection and an smart, quick-thinking husband!

I have a few stories to share, and I'll get to that this week ... as soon as I climb out from under this mountain of 'catching up' that seems to have taken over my life.

How is it that I can spend an entire week away FOR work, including parts of TWO weekends, and come back with MORE work to do?

I guess that's just how it goes. I'm not complaining. I survived! Being away was both harder and easier than I expected. The trip was fun and exhausting. I was challenged professionally, but it also seemed so natural.

It's a little surreal that it is all behind me now, that which I anticipated/feared/struggled with for weeks (even months), is no longer even an issue. I do have many business trips in the coming months, but none as long or as far away as last week's trip to D.C.

And, if I survived 7 days/6 nights, I should have no problem with the 2-3 day trips I have coming up. I hope!

Thank you all for your encouraging comments and emails. It was nice to still feel connected even if I was away from home and a little out of my element. I'm hoping to catch up with all of my IRL and bloggy friends soon. Have a great week!

PINT: I'll see you next week!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Almost there ...

3:33 PM 5
Almost there ...
So, I tried to convince Husband that it would be worth it for me to spend $115 on a different plane ticket that would get me home 38 minutes earlier that the current flight I'm taking home tomorrow (which my company has paid for).

Husband said ... no.


In any case, I'll be heading to the airport this time tomorrow. If all hurricanes, etc. could please not disrupt my flight plans, that would be great. Thanks.


6:52 AM 1
TOMORROW ...........................

Thursday, September 2, 2010


8:24 PM 3







Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Half Way There ...

7:25 PM 4
Half Way There ...
Four days and three nights down. Three nights/days to go.

Sales meeting: completed.

National conference: booth assembled; starts tomorrow.

So far, so good! Except that I’m exhausted. EXHAUSTED.

Tonight is the first night that I’ve had a little down time. And, by down time, I actually mean—time to myself in my hotel room … to work. And not have to go to a four-hour dinner or group activity. I’ve had fun doing those things, but I’m a little worn out!

Baby has had a fabulous stay with her grandparents, and I have photographic evidence of just how spoiled she’s been this week. Husband picked her up today, which is both fortunate and unfortunate. Fortunate because it means the week is half over and I’m that much closer to being home. Unfortunate because now Baby goes back to day care, and I don’t get hourly picture updates emailed to my iPhone.

Thanks to all of you for your encouraging words, comments, and emails. I’m sorry I haven’t had a chance to respond individually (or visit your blogs) this week.

I hope everyone has fun plans for the holiday weekend. I plan to hold Baby as close as she’ll let me for as long as she’ll let me starting at 10:43 pm on Saturday night (which is roughly 8 minutes after my plane lands).

And sleep. I also plan to celebrate Labor Day by sleeping. I will be reverting back to the ‘sleep when the baby sleeps’ mantra of new mothers. At least for a couple of days.