Monday, November 03, 2008

I've lost it

I think that I've officially lost it.

I went to Target today, bought an exercise ball, said "no" to the big package of Moose Munch, and showed great restraint overall. This is not my usual MO at all; usually an unsupervised visit to Target results in bags upon bags.

Either I'm finally becoming a grown up or I'm just too tired to muster up the energy for the dash during my lunch. And I said no to chocolate covered popcorn. Someone check my temperature.....

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Step one

I finally got up the courage/lost my will to avoid the scheduler at my endocrinology clinic and went in. Yuck. Got the weight lecture. Yes, I get it. (But just for the record, my fasting morning sugars were at 89, and the cut off is 100. So there. I probably won't be as smug about the lipd panel, but we'll cross that bridge later.) Yes, I've been getting it all of my life. Blech. Of course I did this on Halloween, so what do I do? Rebel in some stupid way and let loose on all of the candy that we won't be giving out.

That said, I finally got a little bit of sleep this weekend, so I wasn't ready to curl up and die around the kids' bedtime. I threw in a load of laundry, put on my shoes, and on the treadmill I went. Considering that we've had it for almost three weeks and this is the first time that I've used it, I suppose that it isn't that big of a deal, but it felt good to finally sweat again and actually enjoy it. We splurged and got the one with the wireless heart rate band, which is supposed to be a lot more accurate than the grips, and not half as irritating. Husband found a small flat screen on a open box special at local big box electronics, and has that mounted right in front of the treadmill, so that's good too. At least it was one good purchase out of my bonus money.

Final stats for the night-35 minutes, a hair under two miles, and about 290 calories. Yeah me!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

My girl-the genius

...'cause I'm not biased or anything. However, I continue to be astounded at how fast BabyA's vocabulary is expanding. She's pretty much voted to screw the signing, I'll just learn the word! Some of them tend to sound the same, but there's just enough differentiation to be able to try to get what she is screeching at you. But she's still pretty darn cute. Not that anyone asked (or cares, but hey, this is MY sandbox after all) here's what she can say at one year, one month:

  • uh-oh
  • all done
  • more
  • kitty (both the two that patrol the house and her stuffed amur leopard from the zoo)
  • doggie
  • ducky (her favorite stuffed one)
  • b-byl (for the cat, Cybl)
  • juice
  • shoes (her favorites)
  • apple
  • purple
  • night night
  • bye bye
  • Amber (otherwise known around here as yellow dog)
  • mama
  • dada
  • out
  • up

We're at that point where we identify everything, but it's not that much of a chore, since she'll make an honest effort to try to say it. I wish that she would try the signing, but she's just not that into it. The new head teacher of her room isn't that into it either; the previous one really was (she was the one that taught Son when he was this age). The prime example was that I was feeding BabyA some applesauce during lunch one day. I had the audacity to try to eat my own lunch at the same time (we're working on patience here people). She kept reaching and grunting at the applesauce on the table. I signed and said "more?" She pointed, face all scrunched up, and said "apple." Got it. Pretty clear communication there.

She's still the most amazing little bug-I can't imagine not having her here.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

crappy day. too much, not enough hours; not enough to get it all done, not enough in one stretch with my eyes closed.

miss my kids, worried about the boy, worried about my choices hurting him. happy until I tell him that he has to get ready for school (daycare/preschool). cries every morning. the drama of being three or something else? conferences next week.

little girl is literally running away from babyhood, and not looking back. learned two new words this weekend; apple and purple. loves her purple stripey socks and my ginormous striped umbrella in the rain this morning. sang all the way to daycare; didn't want to let her go and leave. still did, but still not happy about it.

strange dreams lately; last one was of a view of two embryos, perfectly dividing, in some sort of xray/MRI view of me. I was happy-twins! no fear. sad when I woke up and realized that there was no chance of the dream being a way of my body trying to tell me something. lots of baby dreams. we can't-no space, no money, too little time. I'm old, he's old, and they are still so small. I worry about being there for them when they need us the most.

husband's cardiologist appointment tomorrow; i'm terrified. the cardio MRI wasn't good, and he doesn't seem to comprehend how bad it all could be. he says he's worried about me. I don't have time to worry about me, i've got the three others. i'm avoiding the pixie-sized endocrinologist who keeps calling to get me to make an appointment-it's been a year after all. because it's always fun to pay someone to beat me up about what I already do.

just stop for a day world-just let me stop.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Disappearing Act

Yes, it's been a while. The only thing that I ask is that I get a dispensation for being horrendously busy, and sucking at the whole work/life balance thing. Work gets half, kids get half, and then there is that Husband guy, and the fuzzy occupants of our house. Me? Um yeah, I'll get to her someday. Maybe.

That being said, we had another milestone in our house a couple of weeks ago; BabyA turned 1! She's a walking, almost running, starting to talk, little whirlwind of a girl. She's been taking steps unassisted since she was about 10 months, two or three here, five or eight there. But in the past couple of weeks, she's started traversing entire rooms. A couple of nights ago we were playing and I was chasing her, and she tried to run! It was so cute and funny. The song "Drunken Sailor" came to mind. I'll give her this, she's a very determined little creature.

She can say "mama", "dada", "kitty", "b-byl" (the cat, Cybl), and, get this, "all done." We've been working on signing, and since she has pretty good fine motor control for her age, I've been trying to get her to do her thing. She looked up at me, and clear as day said "all done." With a big smile. She brings something to our family that is so uniquely her-her smiles and giggles, her stubbornness, her insistence on being heard and paid attention to. I don't think that I'll have to worry about her being a wallflower.

I do admit that I worry about her-not for any concrete reason that I can point at, but I know what it's like to be a girl, and I'm really trying to not pass on my hangups to her. It certainly would be a gift; my mom did a dozy on me. I just want her to grow up and be sure of herself, to not question every little thing; to be confident that she is good enough. Good enough to do whatever she wants, good enough to be treated well, good enough to be happy and comfortable in her own skin. Its reduced me to tears more than once. I just want so much for her. I don't want her to have to deal with what I did.

Regardless, I'm still quite smitten. Son is too; although now that she's mobile and as squawky as a grumpy parrot at times, there have been some instances of "mine!!!!" MOM!!! Which I expected at this point. He's still so great at trying to make her happy when she cries, he'll go and find a binky (I know, I know, but she's a junky-one step at a time folks), or give her one of his blankets. He's more than I had ever hoped for.

As for me, we're still nursing, and I'm not quite sure when I want to bring that to an end. This is very likely my last baby, and I don't want to lost that last link to having a baby. She seems OK with it as well, and hasn't shown any sign of wanting to wean. We may just see where it goes. I'm looking at nothing past 18 months, but we'll see. Some days I really wish that I didn't have to pump, but when I get my 20 minutes with her before she goes to bed, it's all worth it. It's the only time that she stops moving.

I've got to get back to being productive-no rest for the wicked!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Another day, three years ago.

I am forced to keep this brief, since the pile is looming, and I'm going to effectively out for 2 1/2 days next week.

Son turned three today. For some reason, this one seems more momentus to me, a little sad even. When he turned one, he was still effectively a baby; still nursing, retaining some of that wonderful baby softness but yet not quite so needy as before. When he turned two, he still had a bit of that baby left. Granted, I was a bit pre-occupied with the baby that would come a week later, but still, he had the wispy hair and curls.

Now when I look at him, no vestige of that baby is left. He is a little boy, plain and simple. He still needs his mommy, still wraps himself around me on the bad days. However, he is tall and able, and I don't even change diapers anymore. He has opinions, and is learning how to voice them. He sleeps in a toddler bed now, and will probably move up to a full size bed before Christmas. He holds my hand because he wants to (or is forced to in order to save him from himself in a parking lot) not because he needs me for support.

I love his smile, his giggle, the way that he watches out for his sister. How he wanders out of his room in the morning with his bear and fuzziness. How he gets excited about going with his dad somewhere. I admit that there are days where life would be easier if I didn't have a kid or kids, but I never, ever will regret what we went through to have him. The four years were so worth it.

Happy birthday little man.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Just a quickie

Ok, so it's been a while. This new job is kicking my ass, to put it bluntly, and I feel guilty for even taking my former usual detour to Dear Abbey in the morning.

I have a full-blown post coming one of these days; stuff about getting my hands around this job, feeling more than a little taken advantage of, glass ceilings, my lack of a sex life, nursing past one year, the disharmony in my house about how many kids is enough, the disharmony in our house about our house, and other stuff. You get the picture.

My two little moments today are this:
  • Son started pre-school today. Uniform and everything. Not very happily. Son hates change, and while he has been transitioning from the toddler/twos room into one of the preschool rooms, it just hit him today when he didn't start out his day in his previous classroom. The one that he has been going to for over the past year. I know that he'll be OK, and that this is a good thing, but still. It feels different somehow, like his baby/toddlerhood is officially over, and that the title "little man" is more reality than a nickname. I didn't get misty, but I still felt a bit unsettled. I'm going to try and sneak out a little early today to go pick him up, just in case it didn't go swimmingly.
  • Son will be three on Friday. Three. What the hell? Where did this semi-articulate, stubborn, sweet, beautiful, 95% potty-trained boy come from? Where is my baby? Now I'm starting to get misty....

BabyA is also on the train out of babyland, and I swear that she's on the bullet train. Walking, a few discernible words, signing...

I'm too old for this......

Monday, August 11, 2008

Living dangerously, PT II

Son, if you haven't already gathered, is an independent, stubborn, opinionated squirt. Part of that is a function of being on the cusp of turning three, the rest is just his basic personality. This child may drive me to drink once I'm done nursing.

So, yesterday we had to make a 90 minute drive north to meet my parents halfway to drop off Son for a week with them. They have been hassling me about it all summer, and I always thought that we would be able to take a long weekend and deal with it that way. It's not that I don't trust my parents with him, but rather that he's a very schedule oriented kid, and since we had such a good thing going on the potty front and elsewhere, I really didn't want to screw that up. However, for a variety of reasons, I relented, so we decided that this would be a good week. My dad was able to take off Monday and Tuesday, Mom has a couple of weeks before school starts again, and the weather should be nice.

OK, yes, I do have a point. We were all packed and ready to go, and were just waiting for Husband to get home from work (yes, stuck working another weekend due to a flakey employee-GRRRR), and I asked him if he would put on a pullup for the drive. There aren't a whole lot of places to stop, and he had just had lunch. He looks at me in all earnestness, and says "no, thank you Mama" and proceeds to walk out of his room to go put on his shoes. Again, me following him down the hall, pausing by the bathroom, "are you sure? It's a long ride..." "No, Mama, I wear underwears." So, reluctantly, I strapped him into the carseat, hoping and praying that the peeing four times before we left had done the trick.

It did! Mom and Dad were going to stop about an hour away on their way back home, so he had a chance there as well. As far as I know, he did it! Oh, to think, a trip to Target that doesn't entail $40 for diapers each trip. The joy, the freedom, the minor return of disposable (no pun intended) income!

Friday, August 08, 2008

The true mom chronicles

Lots has been going on in chronicle land, but as I've plead earlier, I've been up to my eyeballs trying to get this new job of mine under control, and either I am in the midst of a sleep-deprived delusion (damn style channel) or it is really getting better. I am by no means out of the woods on this one, and may not be for quite some time, but it hasn't been even remotely as heinous as predicted. However, the reality need not be known publicly; from the people that I've talked to at my old site, I'm up for sainthood. How cool is that? I just had to move to a different location, but no horrible death. Hmmm....

Son has been doing extremely well on the potty training front. In the two weeks that I have been sending him to DC in underwear, he's only had a couple of accidents. I asked the teachers if they thought that we were pushing things, and they said that they thought he was doing great, and to change anything would probably cause things to backslide. We're still struggling with the whole poop thing-he'll do it at home, but it's iffy at daycare. He's been a little constipated-yes, I know that y'all really needed to know that-but I think that may be causing some of our problems. He does fine with getting in enough fluids, but I'll need to make up another batch of Husband's fantastic bran muffins to help things out. I'm not kidding, they are really, really good.

Anyway, he's been doing so well, that he's been "visiting" the pre-school room, and has been handling it pretty well. I can tell that the change is on his mind-he wants to re-join his old friends that are older than he is, most of whom he has been with since he was a baby-but yet he's not so sure about this whole big boy thing. It helps that one of the teachers that he loved in the toddler room is now in one of the pre-school rooms. This whole development, however, has raised quite a question on our part however. Since my job location has changed, and the current daycare is actually quite a way out of the way now, do we move him before he gets too settled into the pre-school environment (which he should be ready for by the start of the "school" year after Labor Day), or, since I still have to cover my old site for a while, leave him there until we absolutely have to move? Part of me thinks that it is worth the extra time and miles because he is comfortable and is doing so well. He knows most of his letters, and I heard him sounding something out a couple of days ago. He didn't get it quite right, but he was working on it based on what he knew. Oh, and did I mention that my tuition would go down again? Probably enough to justify the gas? But then again, winter is coming, and if they close, neither Husband or I are very close. I really don't want to deal with this, but I know that I will have to eventually.

On happier news, BabyA took her first steps this week. And I missed them. One of the sucky things about being a working mom. I appreciate that the daycare ladies wrote it down on her report to let me know. However, the little stinker hasn't repeated her feat at home yet. She can stand independently for a long time, but just isn't quite certain that forward movement is a good thing. She does this weird little plie type of move, like she's trying to wind up or something, but usually all that results in is that her legs get tired and she plunks down on her diapered bottom. She's still my light-her smiles are worth everything. She even has decided to grow some hair! Not as much as Son had at this age, but she isn't a cue ball anymore!

There is certainly more that I need to prattle on about, like how much longer I plan on nursing, Husband's run in with my dad (he's now 2-2 with pissing off my parents), and all sorts of other fun stuff. However, I do need to get some work done so I can possibly entertain the thought of sneaking out for a quick shopping excursion before I pick up the kids. Happy Friday!

Monday, July 28, 2008

My Monday of living dangerously

I don't know what made me do it. Avoidance of the nearly inevitable meltdown when I said no? The strong desire to get to work at a somewhat decent time? Sleep deprivation?

My bad act? I sent Son to daycare today in underwear. Cute little Thomas underwear. With a solemn promise from Son that they would return still dry at the end of the day. He hasn't managed it yet at home, but maybe since daycare is a bit more structured, and there is a bit of peer pressure involved, I'm hoping for a victory. Really, really, really hoping for a victory.

Potty training blows, it really does. He can be doing so well, and then things just go haywire. I've told him that once he runs out of the diapers that we have at home, and all of the pull-ups, he's done. No more.

Gah. Oh, and did I mention that I realized this morning when I dropped him off that his backup clothes were no longer there? Because he had already used them? This could be interesting...

UPDATE: He did it! All day dry! Even through his nap! He also did great at home-but didn't make it through the night, which is OK. Finally some progress! And being the little man that he is, he just acted like nothing monumental had happened.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

news from the front

Just one bit of bitching to get in for the day.

Since I am splitting my time between work sites, and thusly lactation rooms, I had been lugging my good 'ol pump in style with me to the new site, because I didn't have a second set of accessories for the work-provided Lactinas (yes, this is one instance where we are spoiled).

So, realizing that this split schedule may very well continue on for a while, I ordered a second accessory from one of the local hospital networks health and care stores. The person that I ordered it from told me that everything was sold piece by piece, but that she would put it together, and even send it by courier to one of the network's pharmacies near my original site, and on the way home, no less. All is good.

I picked up my little package a couple of days ago, and made the idiotic mistake of assuming that all was well. Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong...wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. (Sung to the same tune as used by Dr. Cox). I happily traipsed off to work this morning, happy that I wasn't lugging around my old pump. I also happily traipsed down the lactation room during one of my few breaks this morning, put the damn thing together, only to find that it was missing the seal that creates the necessary vacuum for it to work!!!!!! How do you send out an assembly that is missing parts!? When I explicitly said that I needed the whole thing, just not the tubing. Tubing and seal are not equivalent terms here.

So, here I sit, about ready to burst, with meetings until the end of the day, and no way to sneak out to go home or even down to the other site, since that will be over an hour round trip. I'm so pissed I can barely see straight. And I look like a Dolly Parton wannabe. Grrr.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Where to begin?

For once, I actually have something I could blog about, but now have no time to do it. Damn double edged sword.

OK, so the short version is that my work issues have resolved themselves to a large degree. I am now in charge of an entire R&D site, at a different location. This pretty much what I was doing before, but without people reporting to me. I have two admins, an attorney, and another open attorney slot that we will be filling in as soon as we can.

However, not all is wine and roses. Since this move was necessitated by the departure of yet another person (for anyone keeping track, that is five out of twelve since the beginning of the year), there was no one to backfill for me at my current location. The original plan had been to do a job swap between myself and the more senior person at the other site. That, of course, did not come to fruition upon his announcement at our offsite that he was giving his two weeks and heading for the hills. So, now that he has gone, I am now covering three sites: two in my state, and a third in Asia. Not fun.

The plan is to replace me at the original site with two (two!!) people, but again, it takes time. So, I am trekking all over the damn metro, and have way too much to do, with a commute that has doubled due to having to drop the kids off at one location, and then drive another 15-20 minutes to the new location. I haven't looked into a new daycare, but will need to eventually, since to keep going to the one that they are at is really out of the way. I hate to do it, really I do, but the cost in time and just plain money-both in gas and in increased tuition if I try to split things up-just can't be justified. Of course, we are also in the midst of our yearly review cycle, so I've seen nothing along the lines of compensation or promotion. The head of our department is currently still in an "interim" role, so he has no visibility into what is going on. It makes me somewhat crabby to have to respond to questions about a promotion with "not yet." I'm not a moron, really.

However, despite all of my grumping above, I'm actually enjoying the madness to a degree. It would seem to be that I needed the change-I actually find it a bit invigorating. I'm learning a new technology, and taking charge of a new business unit. I get to hire a new attorney, and I have a small empire! Basically, I have more than just a hint of control-I can actually make decisions and craft things to my liking and do what I need to do to get things done. I've really needed this. It's a pleasant change from feeling trapped and fairly impotent. The work load is huge, but I've been given the green light to bring in whatever outside resources that I deem necessary. I'm trying to be responsible, but I'm doing what I need to. I figured that since I've asked for budget numbers, been given none, so I'm off to do what I need to do.

Life is a bit hectic-BabyA is toying with walking; she can stand by herself for over 10 seconds, but she is happy to cruise and crawl right now. Son's potty training is progressing-he's now tall enough to pee standing up! He's even graduated to taking showers instead of baths. All sorts of firsts that don't normally end up in the baby books, but still notable. He's so funny in that he is so proud of himself. It seems to have re-invigorated the whole effort with potty training. so I'm grateful for that. Some day I'll be able to escape from Target without buying two boxes of diapers!

I should go and pay attention to my staff call-I may actually have do something!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

My morning

4:32 AM: wake up with a start to Son sobbing from his room. Launch self out of bed to make sure that the child is not in mortal danger. Calm down, tuck back in, back into bed.

4:48 AM: Son is crying again. Kick Husband in shins and tell him that it's his turn. He tries to weasel out of it, keep kicking until he gets his ass out of bed.

4:52 AM: Son is crying again. I get up and bring him into bed with us, with a small glimmer of hope that maybe he will sleep. He had a horrid nightmare, the same recurring one that seems to show up when he is stressed (we've been hitting potty training pretty hard lately).

5:05 AM: Husband gets up for the day.

[insert five minute stretches of nap between squirms from Son, who can make a King bed feel small]

5:45 AM: Alarm

5:53 AM: Alarm after vicious snooze activation

6:11 AM: Wake up after alarm was turned off. Son is finally asleep, so I slip out of bed to get my day going, since it isn't going to wait for me.

6:22 AM: Son wakes up alone in our bed and loses it. He is honestly terrified and scared, so the point of what almost resembles an anxiety attack.

8:50 AM: Finally get into the car to go to work. It has been a loooooong morning.

9:10 AM: Son vomits all over himself and the carseat no more than five minutes from daycare. The menu? Goldfish and grapes.

9:50 AM: Arrive at work at new location (more on that when I can find some time to breathe), exchange Son with Husband, who will stay home with him that day. Extract stinky carseat from my vehicle, to avoid it fermenting in my dark colored car on a 80+ degree day.

10:10 AM Finally get into my office.

Am I having fun yet?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Well, that's new

Maybe God has been poking at me lately for my admittedly skewed view of myself. I've really been struggling on the whole self-esteem thing lately, and have been in dire need of a sense of humor. However, the following two interactions that I have had with complete strangers this week have left me scratching my head about how I present myself. I just don't know what it all means....

Date: Tuesday
Site: Hospitality Private Preview of new museum exhibit
Scene: making small talk with Director of Sales (DS) of local hotel at the reception, while Husband stepped away.

DS: [after discussing kids, etc. DS is a grandmother] "So, are you a stay-at-home mom?"
Me: [thinking that I really should have changed out of the jeans and knit pullover] "No, I'm a patent attorney at X Technology in far-flung suburb."
DS: "Oh." [silence]

I'm not disparaging SAHMs here, but I was a little unsettled by the automatic assumption that all lawyers need to look like they just stepped out of Law and Order. At this point, I don't even own what could be considered a real suit. Don't need one. Actually, we quietly mock those outside counsel of ours that come down for their obligatory face time with us and show up in suits. However, maybe the image could use an overhaul. Anyone want to sign me up for "What not to wear?" (I do have a bit of a crush on Clinton, for reasons I don't understand.)

Date: Thursday morning
Site: Convenience store across from work
Scene: After a horrid morning, stocking up on the big bottle of Diet Pepsi, and some sugar in the form of glazed blueberry cake donuts. (Ignore this bit when I post my uber-whiny weight post). Checking out with normal-looking, non-grungy 20ish male clerk (BC). Me making small talk:

Me: "After the morning I've had, I need my sugar and caffeine."
BC: [smiling] "Are you sure that's enough?"
Me: "Well, maybe not, but they tend to frown on what I really need." [kidding, totally!]
BC: [weird interested look on face] "Are you a seller too?"
Me: "Um, no." [Beats hasty exit out nearest door]

What the...? Was I just solicited for drugs? While in my sensible blue shoes, 50's-inspired cardigan, and my work badge prominently displayed? I still can't make heads or tails of it. If anything, I don't think that I'll be headed back there anytime soon. I've been assumed to be a lot of things, but never a drug dealer. Not even when I was picking up fertility drugs and syringes in a plain brown paper bag in a neighborhood where I very likely could have been a dealer, regardless of getup.

See? God is poking at me, but I have no clue what the message is. Must mull it further....

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Nine months

BabyA turned nine months last week. As I've worried before, my baby is disappearing.

However, due to some scheduling difficulties, she had her nine month appointment yesterday. Of all the things in my life, I tend to be the most punctual about my children's respective well baby/child appointments. Well, at least the scheduling part. Getting there at the appointed time, or, as I've heard that some people do, getting there prior to the appointed time, is a different story.

Regardless, we made it there in one piece, and she was fairly happy. She's been sleeping pretty rotten during the day lately, and I was a little worried that my choice of a 3:30 appointment wasn't all that wise. For once she cut me some slack (she really is a little taskmaster), and was happy and charming, except for the nurse who did the blood draw for her lead screen and hemoglobin. Big bottom lip, one dainty and dramatic tear down the cheek, looking piteously up at Daddy. Such a princess.

Everything seems to be clipping along with her. She's a bit over 18 lbs (49th) and 28ish inches (88th). Her ears are still OK, and all of the other important parts seemed ok. I did raise my concerns about the near constant runny nose, now approaching three months worth, and the rash that she seemed to have developed overnight. I appreciate that babies have sensitive skin, but I seem to have a sensitive sensitive baby. She's also been running a low-grade fever off and on for quite a while, which has been worrying me about a compromised immune system, or some infection that we were missing. The pediatrician's verdict? Teething. I have a hard time with that, since the next set are nowhere on the horizon/gumline. However, she has been a drool machine lately, so that may be it. I'm just worried about her. I'm going through Motrin like it's going out of style. She always seems to feel so much better with it, it just seems to me like there may be something else in the background. I'll give her another month or so, so we'll see.

Other than her medical status, she's a pretty happy little girl. She has become more brave in her adventures in the crawling arena, and has started to track me down when I plunk her down with her toys and disappear to do something extravagant like go to the bathroom or get ready for work. Very rarely does she complain, she just sets out, little fuzzy head down, and grins up at me with I'm found. She adores her brother, plain and simple. She pulls up on anything remotely vertical, and has only had a couple of good bumps. Funny thing is, most of them have been her toppling over while sitting and managing to miss the rug and hit the hardwood. I hate that little thump noise. She's also bound and determined to be walking before she's a year. Right now she is cruising up and down the couch or ottoman, and will hold on with just one hand, more for stability than anything, sort of like a dancer at the bar. She can stand on her own for a couple of seconds, but that is about it.

She has a ready smile, with or without the binky. She likes her Daddy an awful lot, but just likes to play with him across the room. If I am around, she likes for me to be close, which means that she wants me to hold her while she is flirting with someone else. She loves Cybl the cat, and thinks that Dracie is pretty darn cool too. Whenever she hears Cybl, she looks all over excitedly to try to find her. While Cybl complains a lot, she won't leave when BabyA yanks on fur or gets hold of a tail. We're working on "gentle," but overall she's pretty good with her.

She is terrified of the dogs, which I can't understand. She was subjected to a small bath from Yellow Dog once while she was in the carrier, which didn't seem to bother her too much at the time. However, Yellow Dog did startle her not too long ago and she has been scared ever since. Its not a matter of just giving the poor creature dirty looks from my arms, its clinging to me and being near tears. It makes me upset that its this way, since I had always imagined that the dogs would be integrated into our lives more than they are right now. It really is a case of too small of an interior space for two adults, two small children, and two bigger dogs. Outside is a different story, since the dogs can then reach speed and run over the small children. They aren't being mean or aggressive, just being big dogs. Sigh.

All in all, she's still my little light, even though she still occasionally requires me to burn the midnight oil. I can't imagine our world without her.

Monday, June 16, 2008


As usual, I have some wonderful, deep, soul searching posts that I need to write. Also as usual, I have even less time than normal to write said deep posts, so I will have to do what I have fallen into the bad habit of doing...a laundry list of junk.

I hate weekends. Really. I always end up crabby and frustrated. I never get all of the laundry done, I seem to always end up with at least one irrationally screaming child, and also have a husband that thinks that Sunday afternoons are made for nooky time during that small window of time when kids are both napping. Does he not see the piles of laundry still mocking me from the hall? Smell the litter boxes that need to be cleaned? See the weeds that need to be pulled and the new mulch put down where you can see the landscape cloth? I turn into this grumpy, scowling shrew who ends up missing that time that I really need to just be with my kids and husband, but life just keeps screwing it up. So, I end up back at work today even more tired than I was before, even after the diet cola with the zippy caffeine and ginseng, and just wanting to cry. Blech.

We did manage to get out and attempt to test drive a different car to replace the caddie. When I say attempt, I say so in every nuance of the word. We tried to get a sitter for Saturday morning, but no luck. So, being reasonable parents, we decided that we could bring children with, since the test-driven car needed to be able to accommodate two car seats for the foreseeable future.

We managed to get one, yes, one, drive in. It took almost 15 minutes for Husband to move and install both carseats, and then deal with a screaming Son who was afraid that we were abandoning the Jeep FOREVER. "I don't yike dis car. I like Mommy's truck. Whiiiiiiine." Eventually he ran out of steam and calmed down. Despite the trauma (and a very understanding salesperson a local Toyota), off we went. And for once, we really liked what we tried. If our finances had been in order, we probably would have ordered one on the spot. However, we exercised great discretion and restraint, and drove away, albeit with longing stares. To paraphrase Wayne, it will be mine. Oh yes. It will be mine. Just not real sure when.

BabyA has shown us that she has issues with strawberries. Damn. I gave her some of those apple/strawberry baby puffs over the weekend, and by Sunday she was one broken out mess. It doesn't seem to bother her too much other than for the skin, and it doesn't affect her digestively, but she looks like she is entering puberty. Poor thing. We have her nine month well baby appointment tomorrow, so I may be able to wrangle some hydrocortisone for her. Looks like they are off my menu too, which stinks because I just got a 1/2 gallon of strawberry sorbet that is really, really, yummy. Sigh.

I'm thinking about calling my primary doc to see if I can get my happy pill dosage increased. I have been pretty horrible for the past week or so, and no one at home is liking me too much. Intellectually, I know that Son is an almost three year old that is picky, stubborn, and developing an independence that can be exasperating to watch, let alone deal with. However, I have been snapping at him way more than I should, and I know that it's getting bad when Husband has to tell me to back off. That's not the mom that I want to be. I've even been getting short with BabyA, who is asserting her mobility at the worst times lately (cue wiggling and trying to roll over and stand up during a particularly goopy diaper change, all the while fussing and complaining). Husband has been pushing buttons that I used to be able to ignore. What scares me a little is that Son was about the same age as BabyA is now when I hit a really rough patch the last time. Since I'm already on medication, I can't even manage to cry the tears that I know are there so I can't get any release there. I can't relax enough to even think about sex, let alone even want to have it. Husband's patience can only go so far. It just feels like one more burden. I just feel as though I am spinning a bit out of control. There are days where it feels like everyone would be better off without me. It isn't all doom and gloom, but seems to be outweighing the good stuff lately.

Despite being the newest incarnation of the shrew, Husband and I are supposed to have a date night tonight. My SIL has volunteered to try to take on the two darlings. Husband made it a little over two hours at work this morning before going home sick. He keeps maintaining that we will still be able to go tonight. I'm not getting my hopes up on that one. Damn.

Yep, I'm all goodness and light lately. Makes me think that I really need to follow up on my observation to work husband (ever after referred to as WH) that I really need some time off just to get my head re-organized and to purge all of the crap that I've been hauling around. I've tentatively set the week after the 4th. We'll see how it works, but I'm thinking that I probably could use it.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

not yet

Today was a momentous day for BabyA, although I don't' think that she appreciated it.

Today was the first day that she was not schlepped to daycare in her carrier. As in, she's outgrown her infant carseat and is now officially ensconced in her brother's former digs-a lovely Britax Roundabout. She was not happy. Not.One.Bit. For eleven miles, all screaming and hiccuping and huge tears. It was at the point where I was almost there with her.

Tomorrow she will be nine months old. NINE months. She's almost ready to stand on her own, and has taken to initiating some tentative cruising activities up and down the couch. Last night she was in the bathroom while Husband gave Son his bath. Son was playing in the tub, and BabyA had pulled herself up and was doing her best Kilroy over the edge. Husband was sitting on top of the toilet, held his hand out to her, and she grabbed it and just walked to him. Easy as pie. My infant is rapidly disappearing, and I have no way to even go and look for her, since she doesn't exist.

She's been subject to the downside of being the second child-there really aren't a whole lot of pictures. To be fair, Son hasn't been the subject matter of very many either. We've just had our hands full trying to keep them in one piece. I just feel so sad at the thought that I will have so very few images of her at this age. This soft and warm age where everything that she sees may be for the first time. She's already asserting her independence, and I fear that she may be giving me signs that she will be ready to wean by the time she is a year. In three short months. Despite the fact that I've been her favorite teething ring lately (who knew that so much pain could be inflicted with just two little teeth?), I don't want to lose those 20 minutes before bed when she is all mine. Relatively no wiggling, just quiet, just us.

I don't want her to leave this place just yet-I don't. I won't get to do this again, and it makes me so sad. Sad that one day they won't need me anymore, that I will be an obligation to them, and not the first person that they want when they hurt or are sad or scared. I know that our goal as parents is to raise little people that grow up into adults that will take care of this world and each other. I just wish that I didn't have to let go of them to do it.

Monday, June 09, 2008

The demise of the great V8

Husband had an epiphany today, after paying almost $80 for gas. The caddie may need to go by the wayside. All of those glorious northstar eight cylinders may need to be used on a much more sporadic basis. Husband drives over 60 miles a day roundtrip, plus all sorts of in town running. The beast is actually getting way better mileage than my Jeep (22 vs. 15), but still. Prior to things getting all wacky with gas prices, we had decided that 22 wasn't that bad, the thing was paid for, and we could suck it up for another year or so until we really had to get some major things done to it, which have been pretty minimal considering that it has 122k miles on it.

However. For the long haul, is 22 really good enough? Or, on the flip side, is the 22 bad enough to justify picking up a car payment? I have to admit, it's been nice to not have one of those for almost two years now. If we had been smart, we would have been saving at least one of the payments for just this type of event. We aren't that bright sometimes, and we decided to have another baby instead. I still think we came out on the positive side of that one.

Regardless, we get to have that fun conversation tonight. I hate money, I really do. I've become pretty good at squeezing more and more out of every single dollar, but I'm afraid that we are approaching that point where there is simply no more to squeeze. We are saving for our retirement, but we haven't really started anything for either one of the kids. Unless they get a full ride somewhere either for academics or otherwise, we are going to have to pick up the tab. For some reason, sixteen years doesn't seem anywhere close to long enough to have to get all of that together. Then there is the guilt and panic incited in me when I screw up and something doesn't get paid, or when we have to put off something that we need. Gah. I hate it.

OK. Time to be a grown up and face this one. Right?

Thursday, June 05, 2008

What's the name of that Goddess?

You know the one, the one with all of the arms and hands, with the calm and serene look on her face? That one? I can't remember the name, but I could have used her this morning.

BabyA threw a massive wrench into my routine this morning, and I really needed another adult around. Son does a more than admirable job of trying to keep her busy (there may be an Emily train in this for him), but when she is grumpy, and goopy, and just being a baby there is not much you can do. Plus, it's not fair to ask an almost three year old to run interference.

You see, normally, BabyA sleeps up until we are almost ready to leave, prior to the toy negotiations with Son. That means I am showered, prepared, and dressed prior to retrieving the little princess. Not so today. Up at 7:15, right after I got out of the shower. For those of you who have tried, putting on makeup with a grabby nine month old on one hip is not fun. I tried to put her down, but since she wouldn't let me be out of eyesight, and the tile and the tub and the toilet and the pedestal sink are not horribly forgiving, I had to hold her or listen to her scream.

She grumped through a bottle, she grumped through two, yes TWO, poopy diapers, and then promptly snored on the drive into work. You know, over 45 minutes later than normal. Sigh. You'd think that since I have almost half a year into this juggling act that I would get better at it somehow. But, to the contrary, it just gets worse.

Thus far I have restrained all of my urges to thoroughly throttle Husband for so happily tripping off to work, with his only responsibility being taking care of himself and taking out and feeding one of the dogs (yes, I get the other one). He's at work early, with his only worry being that the starch may not have worked so well while he was ironing his shirt. Meanwhile, I look like I am taking a leisurely stroll every morning, despite feeling wiped out before I even get here. Not a promotional bellringer I tell you.

Sigh. I need a vacation.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

What a difference a nap makes

For BabyA, not me. She slept until a little after 12:30! When I went in to get her, she was back to her smiley self, chatting away, although a bit distressed about the absence of her binky. She ate a great lunch, and played for a while. It was nice to finally be able to just sit and play with her with no other demands-that hasn't happened in a while.

Regardless, she went back down for a nap at 3:00, and hasn't stirred yet an hour later. I'm a little worried that all of this shut eye could make for a difficult night tonight, but I have a sneaking suspicion that she hasn't been sleeping very well for at least a couple of days, maybe more, so she is really just catching up. Even though I'm a bit tired, I'm really happy that we got this taken care of last night-she is a different kid when her ears aren't driving her nuts. She was still messing with the infected ear while she nursed this afternoon, but it isn't going to completely go away in less than 24 hours. At least she is on her way back to being my smiley little girl-all that I could hope for!

Had to happen

Just a quick synopsis of last night:
  • BabyA started to melt down (and melt everything around her due to the heat radiating off of her) around 6:00 PM
  • Ate around 7:00 after a late nap, craaaby baby
  • 7:45 PM-took temperature and approaching 104. Melting baby with goo coming out of her nose and eyes. Cool bath was a disaster. Screamy baby, where even the always reliable binky didn't work. I could feel that little pang of panic/fear. She was just so different than normal, and I knew that the night would be painful if we didn't get something done.
  • 8:25 PM-registered at ER Husband stayed home with Son, since the thought of crabby baby and crabby almost three year old was enough to make my head spin.
  • 10:05-finally back in an exam room in the peds ER By this point, the motrin that they had given her when we were triaged had kicked in, and she was in a pretty good mood. Gah. Great, make mom look even more neurotic than usual. I'm a second timer-I should have ti more together, right?
  • 11:10-see doc for grand total of five minutes. Pretty bad ear infection in one ear, lots of congestion that is forcing goo out her eyes. Oh, and in the interim, we roasted in the back exam room that was more than tropical. I ended up stripping her down to a diaper since she was warming up again. I almost wished that I could too, but that may have been frowned upon....
  • 11:30-waiting at Walgreens for amoxi and baby motrin. I had to drive ten minutes away from the Hospital, since out here in suburbia, there seems to be a dearth of 24 hour pharmacies. At least she was happy as we were waiting, and the Walgreen's muzak has improved. (In a past life, I dated a Walgreen's pharmacist for a while, and spent A LOT of time waiting for him.)
  • 12:00-BabyA fed, medicated, and in bed.
  • 12:45-Mommy fed, medicated, and in bed.

She was back up at 6:35 this morning, goopy but hungry. I hit her with another shot of the amoxi and motrin, and after some decent booby time, she was back out. It is now 10:10 and she is still out. Poor thing. Mommy is thinking about taking some time to catch a couple of winks herself. Just a long night, after a long weekend. (I don't want to talk about it-I'm just so damn frustrated I cannot stand it!)

At least she seems to be feeling a little better-she just looks like hell. I'm only going to do enough work to not have to take a vacation or sick day, but that is it. My baby needs to be babied a little.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Just a few notes

It's funny how the random little things are really what compose the substance of your day-but yet get so very little attention. So, for the day, I'm going to try to document the little things that strike my fancy today. Could be nothing but extremely trivial and boring drivel, or a compelling insight to my psyche. I'm voting for the first part, but we'll see...

Husband stayed home this morning and actually helped! Oh the joy! He's working from home today, and had some very nice Rush concert tickets fall into his lap, so he'll be gone tonight. Some guilty conscience at work? Don't care, I got to work earlier than normal this morning.

A ruling just came down on an infringement case that I had been messing with last year. A patent troll (a company that just seeks to enforce patents, but doesn't actually produce anything, just sues companies for infringement) had been sniffing around a couple of our suppliers, causing all sorts of angst and reading of indemnification clauses. Said patent troll and its client lost! Hopefully that means that I won't have to deal with this again. Well, until the next client comes troll's way.

BabyA stood up all by herself last night (yep, probably should have been higher on the list). She crawled over to Husband who was sitting on the floor, put her pudgy little hands on his leg, got her feet under her, butt in the air, grabbed on to Husband's hand for some stability, and stood up. Just like that. She's not taking that not growing up too soon request very seriously.

I sent Son to daycare today in sandals with socks. He demanded that he wear his new sandals, and since it isn't full-on sandal weather yet, I let him go for it. Hey, he's two. Who's going to question that fashion sense?

Has anyone every seen a list on lactation room etiquette? Gah. A couple of weeks ago, we had a new addition to the user pool of the lactation room at work, and it has mucked things up a bit. OK, rule #1: clean up your drips. They are everywhere! I usually wipe down the table after I rinse my stuff out, but it irritates me that I have to clean up after her. It just seems gross to me. I don't know why. Rule #2: do not usurp someone's position in the refrigerator. We share a dorm-sized refrigerator, and my spot has been taken by the new arrival. I like to put my ice pack closest to the minuscule freezer compartment to try to keep it as cold as possible. I've now lost that spot. Rule #3: there is a five minute grace period beyond the scheduled period. So, if it's 3:01, and my scheduled time ended at 3:00, please don't be knocking on the door while I'm fumbling to put myself back together. The meeting ran late, I got in late, and so on. Don't do this especially when your scheduled time has come and gone, so it's not like you are doing the breastfeeding equivalent of the potty dance out in the hall. Finally, Rule #4: Always, always, make sure to change the "in use" sign to "vacant" when you leave (no kidding, we have a sliding marker outside of the door) so there isn't that awkward, should I go in or not, moment. (See Rule #3). If it's used consistently, you'll know if the sign is for real or not. There are rules, people!

Speaking of rules, after last night, I think we have a new house rule: no single parenting on bath nights. No exceptions. They both ended up in bed, but it wiped me out, and got me drenched.

Well, off to a long weekend. Any by long I mean laundry, groceries, litter box cleaning.....

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A new milestone

BabyA, like her brother, has a flair for the dramatic. Son started walking on the day of his first birthday party. By the end of the day, he was walking across the dining room, rather steadily. However, it was almost a week after the party that he did it again. With no audience other than mom and dad, where was the motivation?

BabyA started to crawl about a week ago, just little moves. A couple of feet, stop, rest, and sit up, grump, crawl some more. Husband's mom was up on Sunday, along with his sister and two girls. Having four under the age of four in my house was an experience to behold. It also taught me that having three may be a bit more raucous than I had bargained for. (Just for the record, it doesn't scare me, but may cool my baby lust a bit, at least for a while).

Anyway, BabyA put on a crawling symposium. All over the place, little head down with the concentration of effort to move forward. She is a little funny in that every third or fourth set she has to lift her left leg so her foot helps to propel her along, as if she needs a little turbo. She takes really small "steps." Son would make these large, grand movements, but my little flower takes her time, rather petitely. Nevertheless, just like Son, she turned on the charm for the crowd.

However, unlike Son, she has continued on. Yesterday she crawled to me across the play area in her daycare room, motivated by the glint and jingle of my keys. What can I say, the girl likes the shiny stuff! Her main focus usually is to get to something vertical so she can try to pull up. Fortunately for me, she hasn't done it yet. She can get to her knees, and even manages to get one foot under her, but she doesn't have the leg strength yet to get all of the way up. Once she does though, we are done for. She's too tall to leave the crib where it is, so that will have to go down, and I'll have to the balance on the front rail act to put her down at night (yes, I still nurse her to sleep, and no, I don't plan on stopping anytime soon).

She's leaving babydom behind so quickly. One of her daycare ladies told her to slow down and not grow up quite yet. She's a stubborn little thing, so I don't think that she'll be honoring that request anytime soon. I sure wish that she would.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Request received today:

"Please cut down everything you do regarding intellectual property for a technology dense company in an very competitive industry into four powerpoint slides. Thank you."

I want to rip something apart.

Let's see, I was also told that "patent stuff really isn't relevant" to most of the new hires, even if, as far as I can tell, most of the new hires are related to our research and development. You know, the one that we pump millions of dollars into a year (way more than our closest competitor) and then can't adequately protect because of resource (not enough lawyers) and knowledge (engineers that aren't educated about the process because some moron in some staffing committee decided it wasn't relevant) scarcities.


I probably should give background. For several years, we have worked with HR to put together a presentation for new hires at their day one orientation. Basic things about how the patent process works, confidentiality agreements, etc. I've cut it down severely in the past couple of years. It's now been changed that someone in HR, with no IP background, gives our presentation. I could ask them to tell me the difference between the rights that are provided with a patent application (none) and an actual patent (over a decade of enforceable rights) and all they would do is blink at me. I know that it's not their job, but if you don't understand it, don't try to dictate to me what is or isn't important.

It's just another hit in a long line lately of being told that we are oh-so-important by our CEO yet not important enough to deal with our current resource crisis or address any much-needed growth in the future. It's sort of like being the other woman and hearing-I'll leave her next week-only to have it be two years later with nothing changed, yet years of your life are gone.

At least I get to decide which four slides I get to keep. How about the last one just being a picture of one particular finger extended, with an extreme close-up? Feels about right.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008


No more grumping (at least for now, I always reserve the right), as I am actually in what could be termed a good mood today. I don't know if it is the fact that spring has FINALLY arrived, with temps in the 70s today, or the good 80s tunes on the radio on the way in, or what.


I have survived 3.5 days of being a single mom to two under the age of three. I don't think that I'll get any points for grace or perfect parenting, but I've managed to achieve the basic thresholds: they are both still alive, have been fed on a regular basis (with only one trip to Wendy's at Son's request), bathed, have clean clothes, and have been put to bed at a semi-decent hour. They have even been on a walk or two, and spent one afternoon listing to MPR and playing by themselves. I'm hoping the MPR and PBS will cancel out some of the other stuff.


While I was getting ready this morning, Son climbed up on the bed and was doing his best yellow lab impersonation-panting, and, ewww, licking me. Often. I moved to get away from the little goon, and somehow he managed to head butt me (in his defense, completely unintentionally) squarely on my rather large and previously beat up nose. I heard that god awful noise of something moving in my nose, and boy, did it hurt. After my eyes stopped watering, my cursory inspection revealed nothing broken, but good lord, that kid has a hard head! Assuming that since my nose was throbbing, Son may have hurt himself too, I asked him if his head hurt. He looked at me with a rather confused look and said "no" and continued to look at me like I was an idiot. I banned him from the bed and sent him out to finish watching Clifford (see, use of PBS!)


Husband came home last night. Hooray. Sort of. He was stressed out about what he will find at work after being gone for five days (the short answer? A mess of a remodeling project), and tired and just plain grumpy. Oh, and did I mention that we are going to be driving almost five hours on Saturday down to Iowa? Good times I tell you, good times.


Son never ceases to amaze us in smart he is. In this instance, a little scarily so. Husband was home last night, and we were watching a slideshow of his pictures on the HDTV (it has this cool feature where you put in the memory card of your digital camera and it will pop up a slide show in 52 glorious inches). Son walked up to Husband, asked to be picked up, and says very earnestly, "I really love you." Hold off on the awwwws. He then proceeds, in the next breath, to say "I have a poopy diaper." Stinker.
Oh, I love my real estate website that updates me on listings that I have been following! Husband and looked (as in peered in the windows while standing out in the rain) at a huge house that is bank owned, and has been gutted back to the studs. Apparently, the bank didn't believe in winterizing (duh, winter, Minnesota) and a pipe burst, and the first floor and previously finished basement had to be stripped of everything except the framing. ANYWAY, it was originally listed at $379,900 (it's over 5,000 sq. feet) but they reduced it today by $64,000. If it drops a bit more, we may seriously consider it. It would need about $100k of work to make the first floor and the second livable, and we could leave the basement until we were ready (pending of course, the bank's approval). The yard isn't that great, but the space...oh my God the space. It has a three car garage, and then a tuckunder four car attached to the basement. Oh, the things that we could do.

Of course, there is the small matter of selling our house, which in this crap market may be tougher than even I can imagine, but still, it's really worth thinking about. I've got a list an arm long on the things that we would need to do to make ours ready-minor stuff like repainting the upstairs and stairs walls, finishing the landscaping on the one side, etc. Of course, I get my usual anxiety whenever I think about taking on a bigger mortgage, and losing my big yard. But then again, losing our big yard but gaining some much-needed space would be good. The biggest perk to this? Husband is more than 50% on board with this. After all the fights about this, he is finally figuring out that we are getting space constrained, no matter what we do. How much clutter I throw, there just isn't what we need. And BabyA is only eight months!
So, there's my week. How was yours?

Monday, May 05, 2008

Maybe Brittany had it right

Maybe this place is toxic. Really. (But no, I will not be dancing around in virtually nothing with a large snake. I have a phobia about snakes. Terrified of them).

I just don't get it. I get back into this office, and I hit a wall. I had a fairly decent weekend, all things considered. We had to drop Husband off at the airport on Saturday morning rather earlyish, so I had two tired kids, but they both did pretty well up until bedtime. On Sunday, I was able to do a little work out in my flower beds and around the yard while the kids slept.

Then I walked into this place, booted up, and want to do nothing more than run in the opposite direction.

I even went to a continuing education class on Friday that was really interesting and engaging. I was almost looking forward to going back to work on Monday. Now, I wonder what chemical they were pumping through the vents to make even begin to think that coming in today would be a fulfilling experience. I need to get myself more of that stuff, whatever it is.

Just have to trudge through, but I won't be winning any employee of the day awards.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Spring is supposed to bring hope, joy, all of those good things associated with fresh starts and blooming flowers and baby animals. If it is supposed to be all flowers and sunshine, why have I been spending the past couple of days at the point of tears on a regular basis?

I really can't think of what is causing this, or at least pin down one specific trigger. Yes, work still sucks. There has been some movement at solidifying things at the top, but no one knows what that means for the rest of us. It's been a rough almost six months now, and it's only getting worse. I'm getting so tired of getting beat up for not getting things done, when even if I were three people, it still wouldn't get all done. My jokes about job security are beginning to ring hollow right now. I can't shake this feeling that my optimism about finally getting some sort of recognition for all that I have put in over the past several year was misplaced. That I'm going to end up in the same damn rut that I have been in for a while now. The work is still fun to some degree, but the sheer volume of it is beginning to tear me down. I have decided that I suck at being superwoman, and don't understand why I even tried.

Another thing that has really been bugging me is the fact that Husband has been pushing me to find a urologist to set up an appointment for the final snip. It makes me so sad to think that I'll never have another baby in this house, never get to feel those taps again. After all that we went through to get here, battling infertility and all of its associated demons, that we are just going to shut the door with such finality. There are all sorts of pragmatic, good reasons why we should stop here. There is the fact that I'm not getting any younger, and would be a lot closer to 40 than I am to 35 if we had another. My body didn't fare well last time either-my lower back is still giving me some trouble, almost eight months later. A third pregnancy with GD would make later onset an almost certainty. We cannot afford daycare for one more; with the housing market the way it is, while we could afford a larger home, the likelihood of selling ours for anything much more than what we owe on it is really a crapshoot. I know all of that.

I can't seem to articulate to Husband how or why this is bothering me so much. I know that all kids grow up, and that babies never stay that way. I know that. But, and I hesitate to write this, since I never thought that I would have the chance to, I like being a mom. I do. I really would like more. It was when Son was about the age that BabyA is now when I got the urge to have another. While the two of them are a handful, it just doesn't feel complete to me. I'm not stuck on necessarily having another biological child, although I have to admit that I really think that I blew it with both pregnancies by not stopping to just be in the moment, in the experience. However, that's probably a pretty crappy reason to have another child. Husband is dead set against any more, and since he has to be on board, I guess that I'm stuck.

Both situations have got me feeling rather powerless, like I'm being dragged along by the current, and I have no way to control where I end up. Like nothing that I do really makes a difference in the eventual outcome, because I've lost that control. Other people control things, and there is no way that I can wrest that from them. With work, all I can do is my job, and tell those above me what I want (a major victory in itself I suppose, since I've never advocated for myself before) and let that bitch called fate take its course. Husband is a force of nature, the tornado that you can't control, but that can rip you apart. I wish that I could make him see how hard this is for me. How big a role that infertility and our subsequent family has played with me, with how I see myself. Even though I use words as a weapon, and as a way to support my family, I always seem to fail so miserably when I try to get them out to him. I don't even need to sway him to my side, but it would be a relief of sorts for him to be able to honestly say that he can understand why I would feel that way. He has already said that he can't, and in his world, that's it. No attempt to empathize, or to try to see it through my eyes. Just slam the door and don't look back.

It probably doesn't help that I've been so tired that I could cry lately. I've been coming home, doing all of the fun stuff like dinner and baths, and then have been working for another couple of hours after everyone has gone to bed. I hate slinking into bed and having to cling to my edge. I miss just being able to sit and watch a movie, or one of our late-ish night favorites. But if I don't do it, the bottles will never get washed, the dishes won't find a home in the dishwasher, clothes won't get folded, and oh, that little thing called the job that pays the mortgage and everything else won't get attended to.

I've just been battling up this hill for so long without a break of any kind that I just have run out of reserves. I need a husband that gets me right now, someone who understands what I am trying to do, and why I feel compelled to do it, and can just support me. I need to get something, anything from him (that doesn't have sex as its ultimate end goal) that can help bring me back on keel. I just don't see it coming. He has to travel for work beginning on Saturday and won't be back for five days, so I don't see any downtime for me anytime soon.

I know that so many go through so much more than I do, have so many other hurts and haunting grief that they carry with them. There are times when I use that thought to try to put it all in perspective, and it just makes me feel worse for being so weak that I can't just handle all of this and get one with it already. If I didn't have Son and BabyA right now, I would be sunk. BabyA really has been my light as of late-she doesn't care what I do, just so long as I can hold her, and provide a binky. In return I get smiles and giggles and snuggles, with no demands. Son is very good at being almost three, but he also has those moments that cause me to wish that he would never grow up-just stay this sweet and beautiful boy. I know that can't happen. I also know that it's not fair to place the burden of providing emotional solace for their mother on them. But right now, there are times where they and the animals in the house are all that I have.

I just feel as though I am failing at every turn. I just want to crawl into a hole and only come out when things become manageable again. Somehow I don't think that is going to work.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Used Husband, free to good home

Yes, it's been that kind of day-already.

It really begins last night. Son has been sneezing and chasing a runny nose for a couple of days, but yesterday he woke up with a squeaky voice, which only got progressively worse. While it was sort of cute, I could see that this was going to head down a bad path. By that night, he was in near tears because his throat hurt. He wouldn't eat his dinner, and practically screamed when he tried to get some juice down.

Husband volunteered to take him to the pediatrician this morning, but not without desperate need to somehow get a medal for doing it. It is supposed to be warm today, so he first complains that he can't find a short sleeve shirt. Yes, they are in the closet on the left hand side. What about shorts? Yes, they are in the closet on the left hand side. What socks? Good grief-where they have been for the past 31 months of Son's life? By this point, I'm at the point of telling him to get the hell out of the way and just let me do it (which I think was the desired outcome). No, no, no he protests, I can do it. Finally, he heads out the door, and I asked him where Son's coat was. Yes, it is supposed to be in the mid-70's today, but it is only 55 outside right now. He's sick. He needs a coat.

What followed was a symphony of slamming doors and cars peeling out of the garage because they were allegedly going to be late. (They weren't). It was my fault that Husband didn't find Son's coat out in the back seat of his car, where he had put it yesterday. I was so damn mad at him I could barely see straight. I'm still ticked off. I do all of this stuff as a matter of course, just because it has to be done. I don't buy into the whole attitude that my chromosomal makeup allows me to have my act together as it applies to parenting more so than Husband's. It's just because I pay attention. Husband can't be bothered with the small details like what the weather will be like, or where the clothes go. Because, heaven forbid, he would pick up a laundry basket and actually do something with the contents other than just deposit said basket in front of me. Never mind the whole full time job thing. The job that needs a bit more attention than it is getting now-I need to do more than just tread water right now. I need to be able to show that I can handle it, but having to have another full time job at home on top of it makes me extraordinarily crabby.

Oh, and one more thing, since I'm bitching. He doesn't get how I'm wound up so tightly right now that I can't relax long enough to breathe, let alone be an enthusiastic partner in intimate encounters. I'm not doing this to punish him, really. I just have zero desire to do anything along that line. It took me longer this time to heal from birth, even though it wasn't quite as physically traumatic, it was just tougher overall. Two years can make a huge difference. Anyway, between the work demands, the pressure to keep things together at home, plus the whole downshift in attitude due to the happy pills, I'm just not horribly engaged right now. On top of that, when he comes to me right after the alarm, and I'm listening to the monitor for stirrings from BabyA, and to the room across the hall, it's hard to have any focus on the task at hand. He's frustrated, I'm frustrated, and no one is happy. I just want to curl up into a ball and cry some days. I just feel as though I'm stuck in a vise between everything, and it just keeps getting tighter and tighter, and I get more and more compressed.

Happy freakin' Monday.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Is this thing on?

Argh. ARGH!!! I don't know what to say, although profanity laden would be the choice. I'm not horribly fluent, so I'll spare everyone.

OK, here's the deal. NewManager took a leave of absence over the past couple of weeks, for no disclosed reason. He was supposed to be back on Monday. He hasn't shown up yet. The big hope was that, dependent upon whether he came in or not, we would finally get a resolution of this whole mess and be able to move on. Hire to fill the gaping holes, find some sort of relief from the crushing workloads.

Radio silence. From everyone.

I've been getting phone calls from other sites asking for a status update, since NewManager is at a site in the same area. I have nothing to tell them.

We were hoping to see something from OldManager on Monday, and certainly expected something today. If not a full explanation (oh how the theories have flown around here), then at least a status update. Nothing. In OldManager's defense, we kinda sorta filed a lawsuit on Monday, so he's been just a touch busy. The waiting is killing me. I just want to know and move on. This isn't like Christmas and knowing that the biggest box is for you and having to wait t open presents. This is waiting for your sentence.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Spring is a'comin'! II

After having a near miss with a lot of snow over the weekend (my parents got hit with over six inches on Friday-the school had a snow day for crying out loud), I found even more reassurances that spring is coming. It's been a very long, cold winter.
  • my crocus in both the front and back yards are up, and some have even bloomed. My tulips are also poking their heads through.
  • my tulips are also in jeopardy from the booming bunny population in the back yard. The neighborhood has only one outdoor cat that is of any use, and he's only into the occasional bird or squirrel, not Monty Pythonesque bunnies. If they murder my tulips or sedums again this year....(and no, my cats are of absolutely no use, since they are both declawed AND don't like the feel of grass)
  • My neighbors the country club horticulturalist and golf course superintendent were out cleaning out their perennial beds yesterday. If they are out, then I can go out. Forget the Farmer's Almanac, I've got S and T!

However, not a single decent sized lake has any decent amount of open water yet. The opener is less than a month away. Oh, and our boat still isn't done yet. Sigh.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Milestone-I think

Today was a biggie for Son. I finally came to the realization that while he is staunchly refusing to be potty trained at home, he IS doing pretty darn well at daycare. Regular poopy and even more regular pee. Which is very good. I think that it has helped that he has moved to the group in his toddler room that is now preparing to go into preschool. Most of them are potty trained, so for this one brief instance, peer pressure may be a good thing.

So, I sucked it up and bought the gold-lined (not really, but has anyone really looked at the price of these things?!) Cars (tm) pull-ups (TM) for him to have at daycare. If he doesn't take advantage of them, he'll be right back in diapers, but I thought that this may be the kick-start to getting the whole thing rolling. Part of the problem at home is that he gets so into what he is doing that he doesn't want to stop and go potty, even though he can recognize that he has to go. I haven't been horribly good at making a point to have him try, but when he is vehemently denying that he has to go, I feel like I'm pushing too hard, and may be doing more harm than good. However, at daycare, he routinely tells them that he has to go, and then does. It's great in one aspect, because he's really trying, but also lousy in another, since he doesn't do that at all at home. I'm trying not to get frustrated, but argh! Somehow it seems wrong to have conversations involving long, compound sentences while changing a poopy diaper. Sigh. I just hope that I'm getting broke in with the tough one, and that BabyA will make it look easy. Oh please, let that be the case.

I've cut him some slack, since he very rarely, if ever, wakes up dry from naps or overnight. His body just isn't quite ready for that step. He's so darn smart though, that during his waking hours I know that he can do it. I should just resign myself to the fact that with this, along with all of the big milestones, he will set his own schedule, and that when he is ready, he will just up and do it. For now though, we'll see if he can pull this off (absolutely no pun intended). Cross your fingers!

Monday, April 07, 2008

Baby needs some new shoes

OK, so she doesn't crawl, let alone walk, but those little tootsie's of BabyA's needed some protection from the elements. Really. Now that it's getting warmer out, and she can sit by herself, she will be going out on walks in the big stroller at daycare. I wouldn't go out on a 55 degree day in just socks, so why would I ask my baby girl to?

So, really, it's all Stride Rite's fault. I mean, they send me the postcard telling me about the buy one, get the second at 50% off, and hey, what am I supposed to do? Son goes through shoes like there is no tomorrow, although now that he is approaching three, he has finally slowed down enough that he is no longer outgrowing shoes before they even look like they are worn. We are now officially on our third (!) pair of sneakers in toddler size 9. He also got a pair of semi-dressy brown shoes for his spring program at daycare, and for the pictures that I need to book sometime today.

Anyway, back to BabyA. So, it's not only Stride Rite's fault, but Husband's as well. We had to wait a good 15 minutes to get our name called, so by the time that we were done with Son, he was beyond antsy. So was Husband, who can't stand crowds or lots of people in a small space. The little store was packed (lots of people with my same affliction no less), so he and Son bolted as soon as we got Son's old shoes back on. In my defense, I had told him that I wanted to get a little something for BabyA for said walks, etc. However, it was his fault in that he left me unattended.

So, we finally got down to business with BabyA, who was being beyond cute-all smiles, and shy little head bends. First, we discovered that she has tiny little feet. Someone her age would run around a size two, maybe even a three (God knows that Son did). Not my girl. She's in a size 1-that's for newborns! Well, at least she has been saved from having her mother's flippers-I'm all of 5'2" but wear a size 9 post pregnancy, and I've got no inkling of an arch. Soooo, I got her these:

oh, and since I *had* to get a second pair, these as well:

I am such a sucker. However, the first pair were really meant to be. Really. I was hanging up some clothes for this spring/summer in BabyA's closet, and came across a pink, brown, and cream outfit that I had forgotten. The whole thing together was adorable. BabyA looked at me like I had lost it when I was beside myself this morning after I got her dressed, but geez, is she one cute kid!

Don't judge me. Even if I will never be able to enter the cute Olympics, my kids certainly can. It's just so much more fun to dress them than this two kids in three years body. Almost as expensive, but much more rewarding.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Spring is a'comin'!

Two signs of spring (three if you count that most of the snow that we got last week has disappeared):
  • outside of the gate that I use to go into work, there are three dandelions in bloom. No spring bulbs, but the weeds are back. Hooray!
  • the boat storage place across the street from work has now taken out all of the boats and they are all lined up against the fence, in either their shrink-wrapped white glory (yes, up here we shrink wrap our boats over the winter) or with their tarps all still firmly attached. You see, its the horse race track that uses the stables to store the boats over the off season, so soon we will see the horses out on the exercise track and walking in their circles.

Next stop: the fishing opener!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

And the hits keep on coming

After receiving an email tonight, by the end of April we will have lost 30% of our attorney staff since December. So, let's see, how many people do I have to be now, on top of just handling my job?
  1. I picked up my former manager's prosecution load upon his resignation
  2. I'm covering for the contracts attorney who is out on maternity leave, and has accepted another position within the company, with only a 50/50 shot of her being replaced
  3. We are losing our patent agent in the Far East at the end of April, so I'll pick up all of her agreement work and support for all of Asia, where we have one R&D facility, and multiple manufacturing groups in several different countries.

Oh, and let's see, in the past three years, I've had another manager quit, so I picked up half of his job, and then my partner in crime quite two year ago, which resulted in me picking up the other half of the manager's job. None of these people have been replaced. I don't know if I should cry, get pissed, or give up. I can't wait until I hear what the plan is now.

For some reason, the whole hiding under the covers thing is sounding more and more appealing....

If only

Just a quick summary of how this week has been going.

The slow simmer of a possible positive change in the situation at work has been completely obliterated. I don't know how we are going to emerge from this. My previous musings about finding another job were more fanciful than anything-I harbored the hope that something would finally click here and we could get back to being what we were-a strong, cohesive group that was making significant inroads to making a positive change in the company. I like who I work with, and the work is stimulating, but the environment is horrible right now. I'm not so sure that thoughts about leaving are that out of the realm of possibilty now. I think that I'm moving from fanciful to pragmatic and serious.

Needless to say, all I have wanted to do for the past couple of days is hide in bed and pull the covers over my head until this all passes (I hope) in a couple of months. For some reason, they won't pay me to go into emotional denial, so here I sit. It's beginning to take a toll on me, all of it. The insane workloads, the side conversations, the uncertainty of what hit we will take next. I'm having a tough time sleeping, and my shoulders are so tight I have to make a conscious effort to put them down instead of having them hunched up by my ears.

Husband for some reason doesn't get the stress right now, even though we have been in a similar place with him at other jobs. I just need a distraction, a hug, a squeeze of the hand. Instead, he gets mad at the situation, which really doesn't help me too much. His staunch refusal to even consider me getting a different job isn't helping either-I hate feeling trapped, but right now, that about sums it up.

This sucks.

Monday, March 31, 2008


I've gotten into the habit, pretty much since the day that we brought BabyA home, to say a prayer over her as she sleeps on my lap after her bedtime feed. I started because I was so worried about her when she came home. She didn't have any major issues, just flirting with jaundice, but it still scared me. So, I say my prayer when she is so peaceful and beautiful on my lap, usually with a small hand holding onto my shirt, or resting so softly on the breast that helped her to find that slumber that only babies can have.

I'm not what anyone would consider highly religious. I'm a pathetic Catholic at best-I manage to hit the major feast days, and both of the kids are baptized Catholic, because, what if? I would like to actually make it to church more often. When allowed, when I can just be in the moment, I come away recharged to some degree. The whole mass is a meditation of sorts to me. The predictability of it all. The prayers and invocations that I have been reading/saying since I was able to read the monthly missal in the pews. It's comforting-it's always a place that I can go and know just what to do.

I'm embarrassed to some degree that I can't seem to manage to make it with two small kids, since I watch the mother of four under the age of 10 that pulls it off with no problem. Meanwhile, I am trying not to commit a cardinal sin when my terrible two almost three son cannot.sit.still. I want him to be able to find that same comfort, that same peace. I suppose that he will have to find it for himself, sort of like I did. I was raised Catholic in a small town of 750 where there were four Lutheran churches. I went because I was dragged by my parents. I chose a Catholic university for undergraduate, with the secret hope that I would finally be part of the majority for once, among a community with a shared history and background. Eventually, I participated in campus ministry. Nothing more than a twice a month lector, but still, I found my faith to some degree.

After college and law school, I lost that focus. Constant moves and all that came with it. However, upon entering the fourth year of struggling to have a baby, I had what can only be called an epiphany one night while laying in bed after yet another IUI. I had been up for what seemed like hours, staring at the ceiling, my mind not shutting off. Am I or aren't I? What if? What now? All of those questions that flow so easily through an infertile's mind. Through all of our treatments, which weren't half as extensive as some, I had always had some spectre of hope lingering in the background. At first it was the naive, "well, of course and IUI will work right away, the timing is dead on!" Then I progressed to "I'm due for a break here" to "IVF won't be that bad, really." However, that night, for some reason, I was able to still my mind enough to realize that everything, all of it, was really out of my control. I had done all that I could-I had given myself the shots, gone to the ultrasounds, trusted my Husband with the huge needle for the trigger, and had laid on the exam for the requisite 10 minutes. That a higher power now controlled my destiny, one that was probably happening as I lay there 12 hours post IUI. I just decided to give it up to that power. That even if it hadn't worked, that I had done all that I could. Even though the Church doesn't condone treatment, some of what I had been taught had come through to give me that moment of peace, of clarity. Was it a coincidence that was the cycle that Son came about? I don't know. All I know is that the biology of conception makes me believe that there has to be something else going on.

Of course, my theory has plenty of holes in it, I know. What about those people who get children and then do something horrible to them? What about those much wanted, much loved children that are lost before they are even born, or after? What about them? I don't have an answer. All I know is that I offered up my worry, and was able to find some sort of peace, maybe even a bit of strength. A good friend, who is also a Baptist deacon, had said something along that line to me, and in that instant, it made sense, but it took me a while to let go of that illusion of being able to control everything. I still struggle with that, and I try to identify the things that I really can do something about, and the things that I can't.

I was in the same place when we had that blip on the radar when I was about 8 weeks with BabyA. It was amazing how one tiny, and I mean tiny, clot could throw my whole world into a spiral. What would I have done if something had really happened? It was a couple of weeks after the whole incident, and again, laying in bed thinking about all of the things that were happening, and what was going to happen. Would this pregnancy make it? How will this affect Son? How can we pay for this? Will I ever want to eat again? This may sound completely out there, but I swear that I heard a voice in my head tell me that "it will be alright." I actually fell asleep not too long after that. I swear that I haven't gone off the deep end, and it hasn't happened again. It was just one of those moments that gives me a bit of pause.

Needless to say, I say my prayer over BabyA every night with the hope that someone is listening. I give thanks for the gift of my precious little girl, for her brother. I ask for patience. I ask for the protection of babies like Simone over at Flotsam, and to heal the hearts of those that haven't had the chance to feel the slow breathing of a contented baby on their lap, or who have and had to suffer through a loss of that small soul. My heart hurts for them, and it makes me realize just how lucky we are to have two healthy children asleep in the house. I really hope that someone is listening.