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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Angry baby!

Today I was on top of things. I marched Charlotte out the door at 9:30am, 45 minutes early for church. Drove the 15 minutes to church, dropped her off and trotted off to the church coffee shop for a cranberry muffin and decaf latte. Feeling rather smug, I strolled into church on time and located a seat at the front.

20 minutes before the end of the service, I see Charlotte's numbers come up on the big screen (it's a church that seats 7,000 people and the nursery assigns a number to each baby so if your child is misbehaving, or in the case of a 3 month old, freaking out, they can notify the parents). I grab my little card and check back and forth like 3 times, yep it's my kid. I craw over 5 people to get out and walk back the entire length of the church (did I mention it's big enough to seat 7,000 people?)

I arrive at the nursery to find her sleeping - it was such a big cry that she wore herself out! I'm rather absent minded at times so I really hope her numbers were not up there too long before I noticed them. She screams as soon as she sees me as if to say, thank God your here I was tortured.

The remainder of the day was okay but she clung to me all day. At one point I forgot to keep my hair back and she got a handful. She wouldn't let go, and I couldn't change positions so she got really mad. My how those little hands can grip!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Something is nagging me

It's Sarah Palin. Ever since I heard she went back to work 3 days after having a baby I've been irritated with her. Not one to believe everything I read I looked up articles written at the time she gave birth, by Alaskan newspapers that interviewed and have her quoted saying this about returning to work so quickly:

"It's a sign of the times to be able to do this," she said. "I can think of so many male candidates who watched a families grow while they were in office.

"There is no reason to believe a woman can't do it with a growing family. My baby will not be at all or in any sense neglected."

I'm irritated because I just had a baby 3 months ago and I still remember 3 days after the birth having trouble walking comfortably, definitely not able to walk far. We stopped at the mall because I decided I desperately need black sandals but didn't feel capable of walking to the other side of the mall to get a nursing bra (the day before I gave birth I walked 3 miles). I remember having trouble sitting for much longer then it took to feed the baby in the hospital. I won't even go into the additional "personal" details that a woman goes through in the week after having a baby. Suffice it to say, if you've been through it, you're shaking your head like I am.

I should also point out that prior to having a baby I was somewhat of a workaholic. I've been known to work 12 hour days consistently for long periods of time. I've traveled to Asia for weeks at a time working long hours the entire time. I've kept up a grueling pace for 7.5 years without much of a second thought. But going back to work 3 days after having a baby - not on my plate of options. I will admit I answered email on my phone throughout the first 5 days because my baby came a month early and was still in the hospital, also it's only good manners to leave fellow co-workers with some semblance of guidance and direction, but that involved lying on the couch with pain meds near by. Going to the office to meet with people and discuss policy - ridiculous.

Seeing a women act really cocky about flouncing back into the office 3 days after giving birth irritates me on so many levels but not in the sense that it was something I couldn't do but what seems like shouldn't be done. I can't explain it any further then to say I'm so irritated I don't believe it will be possible for me to vote for her.

I have nothing further to say about a woman's decision to do anything beyond this point. It's just returning to work 3 days after having a baby that really irritate me. If it were a major sort of operation, I'd have the same feeling. You have to wonder how a woman who doesn't have the common sense to take care of herself could run this country? Also, it doesn't help women reach the right to have government paid maternity leave for 3 months when the governor of Alaska decides to return to work without taking any maternity leave. Sort of makes the guy politicians wonder if she can do it what are all these other women clamoring for? While I recognize it might not be possible to take a full 3 months off while Governor, one could at string together vacation days and sick days to take a few weeks off. The least she could do is show some kind of shared sympathy for moms with young babies needing paid maternity leave. All we get is a statement about the right of woman to work equal to a man.

I'm a Republican. I'm the very voter that should be cheering her on right now. Instead I'm incredibly bothered. Now, when I look at her, I only see a smug face.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Mommy amnesia

I've heard it is inevitable but until now I felt secure in myself that it had not happened to me. Look at me I said, I'm back to work and functioning properly. I'm getting decent sleep and baby is sleeping properly at night. I've skipped this thing called mommy amnesia, it probably only happens to stay at home moms and dads.

Wednesday I left for work at 9:30am through the garage, waved bye to husband and drove off to work.

Later that day, I arranged to meet husband at church where we would drop little one off at the nursery and enjoy two independent hours.

Husband called to discuss our meeting point and made a polite observation that I might want to not leave through the garage door anymore. It suddenly hit me - I FORGOT TO CLOSE THE GARAGE DOOR THAT MORNING!!!

We have 3 cats who have been looking for an uninhibited opportunity to explore the great outdoors and kill lizards with glee. Thankfully all 3 were accounted for when husband left at 6pm and were begging for dinner.

Today I went to a lunch seminar at church and before leaving for work I thought to myself, take $5.00 for lunch buffet and pen (I'm obsessive about taking notes). I left home without cash and pen in purse and thus arrived at seminar empty handed and had to borrow both from friends.

One day recently I finished breast pumping at work and walked all the way back to open office creative area with breast milk bag in hand - reaching desk and realizing situation I backed quietly out of the room, I don't believe anyone saw me. I'm sure of it, it would have been called out.

I've been telling myself for 3 days to put the razor back in the shower from overnight bag.

I used to be able to tell myself to do something and minutes later, I would remember. Now thoughts are in and out.

I'm not exempt. The baby has zapped my brain. I'm now officially a mommy.

Is it really a week later? And is baby really 3 months old today???

Stunned to realize this past week has flown by. Last Thursday I spent the morning packing like a mad women and preparing for a hurricane (that never got here but certainly looked ominous enough).

It was interesting getting through security with a dog and baby. Husband had baby and I had dog. Both must be removed from their carriers, then carriers are dropped on the conveyor belt and pet/baby hand carried through the doorway.

The flight went smoothly thanks to all the advice to nurse baby on the accent and descent.

I was worried about baby getting upset on the 2 hour drive home but she just sat in her car seat and giggled at grandma most of the way home. Babies do have such a way with grandparents.

We got to see my 93 year old great aunt. It was a really nice visit and she told us how she held my grandfather when he was born (she was 6) and she held my dad and myself and now my daughter. How cool is that. She also told us to not let Charlotte stand at such a young age because it will make her bow legged and it's one of those moments when you just nod and and say - oh really, we'll be careful to not do that. Husband came home and found it debunked in our "First year with baby" book.

Mom threw a post born baby shower with 31 relatives - at least 10 of which were children under the age of 10. It rained so we were all cooped up inside where it became a wonderful distraction to have a sweet playful dog that all the kids could adore. I think the dog was more popular then the baby! Husband even got the dog to do all his tricks and let the kids give him treats.

I got to see friends from high school while grandma babysat - really makes one want to move home!

The flight home was as lovely as the first.

I'm sure one day we will have a nail biting trip with the baby but this one was almost perfect - until you count the small mishaps of forgetting the breast pump base (yeah I packed all the parts but the base) and over packing a bit (I really didn't need to pack the bottle warmer and so many clothes and blankets!!!). Hard to find the right packing balance with babies first trip. Since going back to work I've gotten quite reliant on the breast pump and it was a bit alarming to deal without. In fact I didn't, I went to the store and bought a cheap hand pump which was extremely difficult to use and made me so thankful for electric.

And finally, baby is 3 months old today

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Getting ready for work

I'm sitting here holding a bouncing baby at 8:30am who has just hurled vomit all the way down my back and onto my pajama bottoms. Thankfully I've not chosen to get ready for work yet.

I keep glancing at husband to see what is taking so long with his breakfast. It seems the polite thing to hold baby while he finishes but it keeps getting later and later. It seems husband is caught up cleaning the espresso percolator and there is a whole lot of poking and prodding at the espresso screen and exclaiming that we have not cleaned it properly in years. He is not making progress on breakfast.

Time to try baby out on the swing. I need to get ready for work.

More later on our fun trip home to grandmas.

edited to add:
and as I leave for work, husband exclaims, "it's 9:30, aren't you late for work?"

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Going home to grandma's!!!! - and baby is 11 weeks old - tra la la

Wow. That is all I can say. These past 2 days have been insane. In case you hadn't noticed, there are 3 hurricanes headed towards Florida. The first was supposed to hit today and thankfully it's taken a turn north. The next 2 are coming in next week and one is already a category 4.

We fly out in 2 hours and here is what we did from 6am - now:

-put up shutters on all windows
-brought all plants into the bathroom
-cleaned cat litter, filled bowls with food & water
-packed for trip (took most of my day, hub did the other stuff)
-called 5 people to watch our dog (yeah on the day we are leaving) and everyone is going out of town. Not hurricane related, just going out of town. What a coincidence. Either we just developed really bad BO or we are destined to take dog with us. So husband went out to buy a dog carrier.
-give dog bath

Where was baby during all this you ask? Miraculously she was sleeping! We are stunned and pleasantly surprised.

I gotta run now. More to follow after plane ride!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Regrets? not really....

Boss threw me a trick question - "I need someone to go to Hong Kong, I don't suppose you would be up for going?". Nope - not until I reach the six month mark of breast feeding and then I'll cheer for myself and decide if I can handle the next six - I replied. Thinking of course if teeth develop that might cut my resolve earlier then expected. Please don't anyone warn me of how early this can happen, let me rest in my bubble.

Next question, "I also need someone to go to London" - I interrupt with, well I suppose I could manage that trip. He immediately cuts me off with saying "a ten hour flight to London, if you can't handle 14 hours to Hong Kong then..." with raised eyebrows. I must sulkily agree he has a point. I can just imagine the trip might go like this:

- Breast pump immediately before leaving for airport
- 1/2 hour drive to airport
- 1 hour wait before flight
- 2 hour flight to New York
- Breast pump in bathroom upon arrival in New York
- Find London flight and wait remaining 1:30 minutes before boarding
- During 10 hour flight pump 3 times, the last time 1/2 hour before decent
- Arrive to London, go through customs, collect luggage, catch Heathrow Express train to Paddington Station, always freak out a little that I'm getting on the wrong train.
- Arrive to Paddington Station and wait in long taxi queue.
- Take taxi to hotel
- Breast pump immediately upon reaching room
- Typically arrive mid-afternoon and don't have meetings the first day so run around London regardless of any jet lag
- Hope stress of travel hasn't reduce milk production
- During entire day of meetings at one client location, find excuses to disappear to bathroom for 15 - 20 minutes every 3-4 hours. Not to mention dragging equipment in some kind of inconspicuous briefcase or giant purse.

Honestly I can handle the client thing just fine. People are generally incredibly accommodating; it's really the breast pumping in airplane and airport bathrooms that has me feeling all uggg. Oh and the day following client visit boss always wants to shop all day long looking for inspiration in Hamleys (typically spend 2-3 hours there). Followed by at least an hour in The Disney Store, sometimes a visit to Harrod's (I'm speechless in the food and wine section every time), followed by a long leisurely look in the Nike store at all the really cool stuff they offer the UK and for some stupid reason only give us items in white because American's have no taste (jealous much?) and this all involves walking and walking while carrying breast pump equipment and trying out random bathrooms all over London. I have incredible stamina but there are limits.

Later that day Boss looked at my employee who supported our UK client during my maternity leave and says, I guess it's just you and me S! She happily clapped her hands as I did my best to not sulk at the rubbing in of my inability to go. I do love London and find this almost unbearable but not to the point that I'm willing to end my quest to breast feed baby or breast pump in bathrooms all over London. Sorry London, I'll get back to you some day. Just not again this year. Twice in one year, really, what was I thinking?