Friday, October 28, 2011

Let's go, Cardinals!

My daughter's favorite TV characters:

Clifford the Big Red Dog (and Emma-whee A-wiz-bif)

Bob the Tomato
(Whaddya mean I can't dance? I can dance! What about Uncle Louie's Polka Party? Didn't you see me dancing at Uncle Louie's Polka Party?)

And Tony LaRussa
(Whenever the TVshows him, she says Look! It's Tony! He gonna win!)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

More adventures in pumping

Maybe I should make this a series.  Remember all the “fun” I had pumping at a concert?

So.  I'm working at a client's office this week. This morning, this happened:

I was MAD.  I really wanted to stand my ground, but I don’t have access to the room-reservation system, so I wasn’t positive I was on the schedule for the right time and room.  Later, I went to talk to the person who had reserved the room for me.  She checked the schedule and there I was:  conference room A reserved for auditor from 9:30 – 10:00.

When we were having our discussion earlier, the woman asked me “are you the auditor?” yet continued to insist I wasn’t on the schedule.  After seeing the room was reserved “for auditor,” it was quite clear she’d been lying.  I was on the schedule and SHE KNEW IT.  Yet she LIED. 

After confirming all my other times were on the schedule, I thought the whole thing was over.  I was still ticked, but figured if she messed with me again I could deal with it then.  But apparently the person who reserved the room for me went to this person’s boss.  She (the room-stealer, not the boss) insisted it had been a mistake but that I shouldn’t be using that room anyway because I don’t need the computer in there and she does.  I wasn’t aware the issue was still being discussed until several hours later when the head of the department (a man) brought me a “lactation room in use” sign to use and called IT to move the computer out of the room.  And then I died of embarrassment.

This place has two other conference rooms.  Yes, they have a lot of meetings, but I’m sure at least one of them would be open somewhere around the times I usually pump. I’m all for standing up for my lactation rights, but I’m also flexible.  No need to rearrange the office.  I’m only here for three weeks!

(I know Iowa has great lactation laws, but I haven't looked at them in a couple years.  Maybe a designated lactation room is required, so 'whatever room is free' doesn't work? I do think they looked up the laws today.)

Monday, October 24, 2011

What I learned this weekend

  • If you’re thinking about flying with a two-year-old and a four-month-old, DON’T DO IT.  Or at least bring a nanny.  Everything went pretty well for us. There was very little crying on the plane and no disasters.  Honestly, things couldn’t have gone much better.  But it was so unbelievably exhausting I fear I may never recover.  I don’t know how I would have survived it if things had gone wrong.
  • When you squish a baby tightly into a Moby wrap, there’s really no place for poop to go except out of the diaper.  Consider not wearing a white shirt.
  • You can have an amazing time with 50 people you’ve never met.
  • If you insist on taking a breastfeeding baby on a plane trip, throw any hopes of modesty out the window.  Over the course of the trip I flashed a (female) TSA agent, a young (male) professional traveling alone, a not-at-all-subtle man who stared intently as my child ate*, and everyone seated near me on the plane.  Multiple times. 
  • Speaking of nursing, you want to know how I knew the Blathering ladies where “my people” (a phrase used often this past weekend)? There was a semi-designated pumping area at the Blathering house and a small shelf full of breastmilk in the fridge.
  • The outside dining area at the flagship Whole Foods is cutthroat.  On Sunday I walked out of the store carrying a bunch of food, with a baby strapped to me, and trying to herd a two-year-old.  As I was almost to a table, a woman on a bike flew past me and practically threw herself on the table to claim it before I could.  There were no other open tables.  I stood there for a few minutes.  Some people got up to leave.  When I was almost to that table, the same woman ran in front of me and grabbed the only chair, so she could have FOUR at her table.
  • Don’t feed the birds means:  for the love of God, don’t feed the birds.  Enough people evidently ignore the signs the pigeons consider any food in the patio area fair game.  I was sitting on the edge of the rock wall (because I had NO CHAIR), eating a piece of sushi, and a pigeon came flying at me and TOOK A BITE OF MY FOOD.  While it was on the way to my mouth.  The damn bird almost hit me in the face.  I screamed, threw the rest of the piece, and two other birds immediately converged and devoured it.  I ate the rest of the sushi hunched over the table trying to hide it from the pigeons and flinching every time I saw one.**
  • You can have it all – at least for the weekend.  I had a fun family weekend.  I had a girls’ weekend.  I had some down time.  I even read a whole book.  Going into the weekend I was panicking, thinking there was no way bringing my family to the Blathering would work.  But it did.  And I loved it.  My only regret is I didn’t get to hear more mother-in-law stories from TJ.

* Interestingly, the staring man wasn’t leering in an “omg, BOOBZ” kind of way, he seemed perplexed as to what I was doing.  It’s like I was feeding the baby via my elbow or something – he looked like he had no idea what was going on.
** I now totally get why Phoebe Buffay threw the bowl full of lottery tickets when the scary pigeon flew at her.  I think this was the SAME PIGEON.  He’s probably bitter he didn’t grab that $10,000 ticket.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Accent vlog + baby

I wish the camera hadn't been looking UP at me, but I wasn't going to spend a lot of time messing with it.

Untitled from Jessica M on Vimeo.

Say the following words:
Aunt, route, wash, oil, theatre, iron, salmon, caramel, fire, water, sure, data, ruin, crayon, toilet, New Orleans, pecan, both, again, probably, spitting image, Alabama, lawyer, coupon, mayonnaise, syrup, pajamas, caught

And answer these questions:
What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house?
What is the bug that curls into a ball when you touch it?
What is the bubbly carbonated drink called?
What do you call gym shoes?
What do you say to address a group of people?
What do you call the kind of spider that has an oval-shaped body and extremely long legs?
What do you call your grandparents?
What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket?
What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining?
What is the thing you use to change the TV channel?

The best laid plans

Tuesday I took the morning off to go with Meg’s daycare to the pumpkin patch. With the whole I-hate-working thing, this was going to be a much-needed sanity saver.

Then Meg woke up with pink eye.

I called the daycare, hoping against hope they’d let us come anyway – she obviously couldn’t spend the day at the center, but maybe we could drive separately and tour the pumpkin patch with the class?


I totally understand that, but it was a bummer.

We ended up having an awesome morning anyway, though. Besides the doctor, we went to the pharmacy, the bank, the post office, the consignment store, and the grocery store. We knocked out my whole errands to-do list. We even crossed a list item off at the doctor’s when they agreed to give her a flu shot while we were there.

Despite the shot, the pink eye, AND the massive ear infection the doctor discovered, Meg acted like she thought it was Christmas morning. She was so happy to be by herself with mommy. I realized since the baby was born, I haven’t been away from him for any reason that didn’t take me away from both kids. Oops. I think it also bothers her that since I went back to work, Paul goes along every time she goes to Grandma’s house (on non-daycare days my mom babysits while I work). She loves her brother very much (and says so often), but I think she’s a little desperate for time with someone’s undivided attention. We’ll have to have some mommy-daughter dates soon.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

I have no title.

I don't like being a working parent. Monday through Wendesday we just try to get by. Thursday I work a half day, then Thursday afternoon and Friday I bust my butt running errands, doing laundry, washing dishes... There just aren't enough hours in the day. We're all cranky and exhausted and snapping at each other.

I don't like being in my home. The kitchen is always a disaster, there's laundry everywhere, and the toys are never picked up. I'm always either frantically rushing around trying to restore order, yelling at the kids for interrupting me while I'm cleaning, or sitting on the couch so paralyzed by the mess I don't even know where to start. And you know what the worst part is? I can't even calm my own baby. I realized for the past two weeks I've been trying to soothe him the way he used to like and it hasn't worked at all. I don't know if he doesn't like it because I'm not here to do it anymore or not, but it doesn't matter. What does matter is if I was here I'd know what the NEW way is.

I don't enjoy any of the things I used to. Laundry is one of my favorite things, but now it feels like a huge burden. I actually like loading and unloading the dishwasher (I know), but I don't anymore. I couldn't care less about my favorite TV shows coming back for the fall. I can't get into books. Even reading blogs feels like a joyless time suck.

What also pisses me off is people are going to read this and say 'postpartum depression' and that makes me want to SCREAM. I have no idea what role hormones play in this but I'm pretty certain if I quit my job it would go away. I was really, really happy on maternity leave, sleepless nights and all. Now I feel completely overwhelmed.

BUT, quitting my job scares the hell out of me, especially because I LIKE my job. I'm not miserable when I'm at work. I just don't have enough time for both work and home stuff and if I have to choose, I choose staying home over, for example, continuing to work and hiring a cleaning service. But what if I'd just have to get through an awful...what? Six months? Year? then everything would start working again? What if I give up a job I like when I don't really have to? I do WANT to, though. I'm just scared about the future. I can't think of anything scarier than going back to work after staying home for a few years. Right now I just feel stuck.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Seven Quick Takes

Yay for the new seven quick takes template!

--- 1 ---

Even though I only listen to the radio in the car and despite the fact it came out in 1993, I hear Little Texas’ “God Bless Texas” at least once a week.  Every time I do, I think BLATHERING, WOO-HOO!  I can’t believe it’s only two weeks away.

--- 2 ---

Part of the reason I'm now really excited for the Blathering is I finally have (almost) all my clothes picked out! I just need something for Sunday morning.

--- 3 ---

Meg doesn't understand how the radio works. She's grown up only listening to music on iPods. When we get in the car she starts shouting out her favorite songs and refuses to believe us when we tell her we can't make the radio play the songs we want. I tell her we can only listen to whatever happens to be playing. It doesn't help, though, that I continually switch between the five stations I have on presets, so I do appear to be controlling the music. I think she thinks I'm lying and deliberately not playing the songs she wants.

--- 4 ---

Meg loves Dora the Explorer. She has Dora dolls, books, and music, but we've never seen the TV show. (Please don't tell her there's a TV show.) Is Isa the Iguana on the show? How is her (is it a her?) name pronounced? I say Eye-suh, Thomas says Ih-suh (usually). Just now he said Iz-uh.

--- 5 ---

Did I tell you guys I'm running a 5K? I think I've tweeted about it. A week from Sunday (the 16th), Thomas is running a half-marathon and I'm running the 5K at the same event. This will be my first race ever. I'm rediculously slow, so my goal is to finish in under 50 minutes.

--- 6 ---

Paul is going to be a monkey for Halloween. I got his costume for $8 at a consignment shop. Margaret is going to be a fairy. As far as I know she's never watched/read anything with a fairy in it, but the costume came in a hand-me-down box and she proclaimed it "pretty" and wants to wear it all the time.

I am very glad the hand-me-down box came this past weekend, because I had found nothing for Margaret I was willing to pay for. I think I was expecting to find an $8 costume like Paul's, but I looked everywhere I could think of for used costumes and couldn't find anything in 2T.

(This quick take is pretty much exactly what I wrote in Michelle's comments here.)

--- 7 ---

Paul rolled over for the first time on Tuesday! The cat would like everyone to know she rolls over all the time and no one cheers.

(Yes, I already tweeted this. If you like reading the same things twice, follow me here!)

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I've written a ridiculous number of posts based on things I hear on the radio

Someone called into the radio this morning complaining about the ridiculousness of ordering a Diet Coke with a fast food meal.  I don’t understand how people can think Diet Coke is ‘Coke for people on a diet’.  (Other than the name.  So I guess I do get it, but I reject it.)  They are different drinks.  If someone orders coffee, it’s not like people say “You ordered a DOUBLE WHOPPER VALUE MEAL, don’t pretend you’re making up for the calories by drinking coffee instead of a milkshake.”  Different drinks.  Coffee is not the diet version of a milkshake.  Diet Coke may have been intended to be the diet version of Coke, but it didn’t work.  In my experience, people either drink only regular soda or only diet soda.  No matter how good/poor their food choices are.
Don’t even get me started on the ‘you’re making a poor choice already, why not make it worse’ mentality.  Didn’t Swistle cover this at some point?  Let me look…  Yes, here.
You know what else they said on the radio this morning?  “I don’t know why someone hasn’t invented something to attach pacifiers to clothes so when they fall out of babies’ mouths they don’t fall to the floor…or under the seats in the car.”  There were three people with children 2 months – 10 years (collectively) discussing this!  How have none of them seen a pacifier clip?  
NUK Universal 1 Pack BPA Free Pacifier Clip, Colors May Vary
They didn’t seem to be saying these things don’t always work, they acted like nothing had ever been invented for that purpose.  Are they not used much anymore?  Neither of my kids take/took pacifiers, so I don’t know, but 10-15 years ago when I was babysitting a lot everyone had them.