Monday, October 31, 2005

Ultimate Paranoia

I had a doctor’s appointment this afternoon with my primary care physician (PCP). I had quite a few moles, skin flaps, and freckles appear and/or darken while I was pregnant that I wanted to get checked out. My mom had some skin cancer a few years ago and I spend way more time outside in the sun that she ever has. Under the adage of better to be safe than sorry, I set up an appointment.

No, that’s not what I was paranoid about. My PCP is about 30 miles (or in Los Angeles speak about 45 – 60 min.) away from my house. And, I didn’t want to leave Max for it. It just seems so far away and all of the natural disasters are too fresh in my mind/memory. If something happened like an earthquake, I didn’t want to be so physically far away from him. I have been worrying about this for a week or so. I kept telling myself that I was being stupid, silly, paranoid, etc. and to get over it. But, I was still very anxious about it and no amount of self-talk was helping. Finally, I decided to “own” my feelings and realize that they were valid and they were real. As a result, I dragged Max and the nanny to the doctor’s office with me. I have a follow up appointment in early December. Maybe I will be less paranoid then.

I am leaving Max for short periods of time to run errands and go to the store, but if needed I could walk home within a reasonable amount of time. It is no longer about leaving him, but leaving him and going far enough away that I would have difficulty getting to him if there was a problem or disaster.

I have fully acknowledged and accepted my paranoia for what it is.

In other news, I finally did get the results back from Lucky’s ultra sound on Friday. I had to get upset and start crying on the phone telling the vets office that I didn’t believe them when they told me yet again I would get a call back from the doctor and that I thought they were cruel for making me wait so long when I have been so worried. The dr. didn’t even have the decency to get on the phone herself, but sent the technician to give it to me. That’s the good news. The bad news is that Lucky still isn’t 100% and I saw her in the back yard vomiting an hour or so ago. I’m going to watch her another day or two, then maybe take her into my regular vet.

Happy Halloween!! It was so hot hear today we had to take Max’s Halloween outfit off early. And, I leaked breast milk all over mine right before I left for the doctor so I had to change. I have candy, but am so tired that I’m not sure I will keep my light on for long. I am eating dinner now before Niomi leaves. Then, I plan on walking the dogs with Max and settling in.

Max never did wake up last night in his crib like I wanted him to. I ended up moving him to the co-sleeper when I went to bed and he briefly opened his eyes to see where he was and fell right back to sleep. He fell asleep at 7:30 pm and slept until 12:30 am (5 hours), ate for about 30 minutes, and fell back asleep for another 2.5 hours. Then, he wanted to be up and play. His mama was not ready, but he was so cute and in such a good mood that I smiled and made more eye contact that I should have. It is hard not to. We both dozed off at some point, but were up at 6 and out the door by 7 am. I have been dragging a bit all day.

Hey, lack of sleep, anxity, and paranoia can ware on person, you know.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Much better day

My happy baby came back last night after I posted. We took a bath and he splashed and played and smiled and laughed. Very fun! I fed him one last time and he was out like a light. We both had a good night sleep with one short feeding session around 2 I think. I don’t think either of us fully woke up for it.

Today, he woke up in a good mood and pretty much stayed that way all day. Got a little fussy this afternoon, but I now know the “gas” scream and gave him the medicine much quicker and short cycled a major meltdown.

We did a bunch of errands and then my mom came for a very simple dinner. We had a nice walk and Max is now napping in his crib. I always worry a bit when he sleeps for a long time around this time of night that he won’t be ready to sleep at a decent hour (for me) or will be up during the night and want to play. I’m told sleep begets sleep and I’m sure not going to wake him up if moving him from my lap and putting him in his crib doesn’t do it, he really needs it.

I’m starting to make a conscious effort to transition Max into sleeping in his crib. I’m not ready to have him sleep there at night, but I am putting him in the crib during the day if he isn’t napping in the swing or his car seat or bouncy. After changing him, I have been placing him there for a few minutes to wash my hands or do short things. I am also playing with him a bit more and have fed him a few times in his room. I’m trying to get him used to sights and the smells.

I’m reading the Baby Whisperer book. I read some of it while I was pregnant, but it is much more meaningful reading it now that Max is here and we have lived together for awhile. The author is a big proponent of a schedule and doesn’t think highly of feeding on demand. She says every child can be put onto an E.A.S.Y. (Eat, Activity, Sleep, You) schedule. I have paid more attention today and our schedule is more like Sleep, Eat, Activity, Eat, Sleep, Eat, Activity, Eat, Sleep. I’m only a few chapters in and not sure I agree with all of her philosophies, but I am finding it interesting reading. It has got me thinking about things I hadn’t before.

I’m very tired. Maybe I will take a “me” bath before Max wakes up. Usually, he only sleeps 5 – 10 minutes when put in his crib and I think he has been there for at least 15 min. A new record. The only problem with the bath idea is that if he wakes up while I am in the tub, I probably won’t hear him unless he really screams and I don’t want him to have a negative association like that since I am working on the transition. I guess I could try to set up one of the three sets of monitors I was given that have just been sitting in a drawer, but like I said, I am tired and that seems like too much work.

Three more days and then I am back to work. It’s funny. I remember my last day and how hard it was and thinking I was going to miss it so much. HAHAHAHAHA.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Cranky Baby

Very cranky baby today. Very needy and high maintenance. He wanted to be held all day. He would fall asleep on the breast, but if I would put him down. He would instantly be awake and cry. No, not just cry. SCREAM. He behaved the best while at the V. SMC get together today. He fell asleep in my arms then happily got passed along to all of the other mom’s for some baby time. They were lined up, hands washed when I walked in. LOL. One got teary eyed because she wanted another so badly. He is currently zoning out in front of Baby Bach in the bouncy. I hear some noise, but am interpreting that to be coo’ing and talking to the TV. I need the break and am too tired to go in an check and spoil the mood. It is not crying and screaming.

Finally around 5 I gave him some Mylicon drops for gas relief. I wasn’t sure if that was the problem, but figured at this point it couldn’t hurt to try since nothing and I mean nothing else worked to calm him down. Then, I took him and the dogs on a nice long walk around the neighborhood. I think the Mylicon and the fresh air really helped. He has passed a bunch of gas since and is getting back to being my nice happy baby. I even got a small smile out of him a few minutes ago which was a rare treat today. My boobs are sore because he was chewing on them more than just sucking quite a bit. I’m sure there is not milk (or not much anyway) left at this point. I should have not let him, but hey, it was better than all out screaming. At its worst, even the boob wasn’t good enough. Sigh. I think this goes down as the second most difficult day. The first still being the first night home from the hospital. Too many days like this and I will be glad to go back to work and leave him with Niomi. Okay, looks like my break is over. I think I will put us both in the bath and see if he will go down for the night.

Friday, October 28, 2005

A Precious Gift

One of the ladies on my team made a “keepsake book” out of a paper bag, construction paper, stickers and ribbon. It came in yesterday’s mail. It is one of the most precious gifts I have received. The creativity is outstanding. In it she had the following story....

A Precious Gift

“Where did I come from?” the baby asked its mother. She answered, half-crying, half-laughing, and clasping the baby to her breast: “You were hidden in my heart as its desire, my darling. You were in the dolls of all my childhood games. In all my hopes and my loves, in my life, in the life of my mother, and in her mother before her, you have lived. In the lap of the Eternal Spirit you have been nursed and anticipated for ages.”

I don’t know if she copied it from someplace or made it up, but it just touched my heart and made me weep. It gives me new thoughts and perspective on what story I want to tell Max when he is old enough to ask.

Max - 10w2d

Max - 10w old

Thursday, October 27, 2005

The Name Max

I named Max at the last minute switching from the name Zach when he was born and I saw him for the first time. When I saw him, the name Max came to me. Max was 3rd or 4th down on my list before giving birth. It just seems to suit him. I love the name and glad that I choose it. However, since I had and named him, I have run into at least 3 people who have dogs named Max. The latest being on Tuesday when Lucky was at the vets. Who knew it was such a popular K-9 name? Good thing I am a dog lover. It just makes me laugh.

On another note, I am getting very frustrated with the vets office because I STILL have not heard the results of the u/s on Tuesday and have called several times. I would be frantic and freaked if she hasn’t started eating and having regular BM again. They are really starting to piss me off. How hard is it to look at some lab results and make a phone call, especially when someone has spent as much with them and on the testing that I have.

I am trying to tell my self to have patience and that the world doesn’t revolve around me. Patience isn’t my strong suit and who doesn’t want the world to revolve around them?

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Sleep, wonderful sleep

I got 8 hours of sleep last night in 2 stints (3 hours, then 5 hours). I woke up feeling great and much better about life in general. I still haven’t talked to the vet, but Lucky ate dinner last and had a normilish BM this morning. Max woke up in a great mood and so smiley and alert I knew it was time to get up and going. We were out of the house at 6:30 am and back by 8 am. Makes me think this will be totally doable when I go back to work.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The Best Case; The Worst Case; and Guilt

My mom’s heart tests this weekend showed abnormalities so she was not released and they did an Angioplasty procedure on Monday morning. The results were the best case scenario. There was no blockage and she was released Monday afternoon. She needed supervision for 24 hours with checks every 3 hours to ensure the entry point didn’t get hard and that she didn’t develop a blood clot. She ended up staying at my sister Julie’s house last night. It was great that Julie and Kris could be back for the procedure and they had a chance to talk to mom’s doctors themselves. Apparently, my “caretaking” abilities over the weekend left a lot to be desired in their eyes.

I had an appointment to take Lucky into the vet for a recheck to make sure her cancer is still in remission. I almost cancelled the appointment and went to my regular vet instead because Lucky’s tummy has been upset the last few days and she hasn’t been eating. But, I figured appointments at the specialty clinic were much harder to come by so if they didn’t examine her for her tummy I could stop by my normal vet on the way home. They were less than impressed with the stool sample that I brought in. Although, her blood counts looked good they did want to do an abdominal ultrasound on her to make sure the cancer didn’t come back and that wasn’t the reason for her lack of appetite since cancer had been in the area previously. I was so not expecting that and started balling in the lobby. Both Lucky and Max got agitated when I got upset. Max started screaming and Lucky tried to climb in my lap. The technician was asking if I was okay and feeling bad. It was quite a scene. There were able to get me an u/s today, but I had to wait a few hours for it. The best case was that everything looked good and they would not see a reason to aspirate. I haven’t had a chance to talk to the vet, she will call tomorrow, but paying the bill shows the worst case scenario that they saw something abnormal and decided to aspirate. I’m hoping and praying that Lucky just has a stomach bug and everything will come back normal. I don’t have the financial resources or the physical wherewithal to battle this again. Yet, emotionally, I am not ready to loose her. God, I sure hope the cancer isn’t back. All that treatment was supposed to buy me a lot more time.

I was already feeling guilty that I couldn’t do more for my mom this weekend while she was hospitalized. My sister wants me to take her home this afternoon, which is at least a 2 – 2.5 hour round trip. Now, I am feeling guilty that maybe Lucky is so unhappy that she isn’t getting as much attention as she used to with Max here that caused her immune system to shut down and the cancer to come back. She is still getting walked twice a day and I am giving her as much extra attention and play as I can. I am still worried about work and going back to work and the nanny situation.

I’m not sleeping very well (not Max’s fault, he is sleeping and I’m not) at night and don’t have the time to sleep during the day. I am not eating very well. It is all starting to take its toll. I am only one person and I can only do so much in one day. It’s seems like I am not pleasing anyone these days and my best just isn’t good enough for anyone. And, this is without me working full time. Something or many things are going to have to give next week.

Time has never seemed more precious or to go so fast as it is right now.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Nanny Update

Friday was much better with Niomi. She got here at 10 and I was home. This was a better start right off the bat. She took over on Max while I made a few phone calls and took a shower, a shower where I was able to both wash and dry my hair. What a luxury! Then, I made a few more calls. I came out of the office around noon to make some lunch and Max was a bit fussy. I thought, he is hungry and wants to eat. I let Niomi take him for a walk without adding my comments telling myself that she needs to learn his signs and that I told myself I would not butt in today. Repeating to myself over and over that just because it is different, doesn't mean it is bad. She will learn to pick up on his cues as I have.

She came back about 20 – 30 minutes later and he was screaming his head off. I stayed in the office and didn’t try to go out and butt in. However, I was so happy she came in and said, I think he is hungry, do you want to feed him or do you want me to give him a bottle? Of course, I jumped at the chance to feed him. I held him close and feed him. When he drifted off, I went out and put him in the swing and turned control back over to Niomi. She didn’t try to clean anything at all until I was feeding him. It made me feel a lot better.

It was still hard, but not as hard. I did not ball my eyes out at the end of the day. The time went by very fast and I thought that is half a work day. It was gone in a blink of an eye. I can do double of that. I can get used to it. It’s not my preference, but I can do it. I actually think I will be fine once I start back to work, but am glad I decided on a longer transition and that Niomi is available to do it. I have 8 more work days for a total of 10 days before I start back. My “to do” list is so long there is no chance of actually getting everything done even if I don’t squander my time while Niomi is here like I did last week.

In other news, my mom has been in the hospital all weekend because she was having chest and shoulder pain. She had an episode like this a few years ago and it was an infected esophagus aggravated by acid reflux. They think it is the same thing, but since the symptoms are so similar to heart attack/heart problems they wanted to do testing. Both of my sisters that live local are out of town this weekend leaving me to deal with this and mom who has been bored and very high maintenance. Haven’t gotten much done other than deal with that all weekend and getting the dogs walk.

Haven’t been sleeping that great the last few days so I am a bit tired. Max is still sleeping between 5 – 7 hours a stretch, but I haven’t been going to sleep when he does and haven’t been able to fall back asleep. On Saturday morning, I just fell back to sleep when my mom called all bored and chipper saying “I was so sure you would be up.” I explained that I now have an infant, my sleep patterns are not as predictable and reminded her that she does have a daughter on the East Coast where it was 9:30 am. She hadn’t thought about that. I laying down next to Max to nap. He slept great. I got probably 10 phone calls either from my mom or from someone in the family wanting an update. Sigh. I want to try again today, like NOW, for a nap, but am sure that as soon as I do, she will call back. I hope the test results come back soon and she gets freed. Both of us think the tests will show she is fine and she will be released. Please let it be soon.

Hmmm. I thought about something else I wanted to blog about when I was walking this morning, but can’t think of what it was right now. It was way better than this update, but my mind isn’t at full functioning capacity right now and I have no idea what it was right now. All I remember was that it would have been good.

I did manage to get 3 (out of about 50) thank you cards written, addressed, and stamped this weekend. I’m feeling quite proud of that.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

It’s not me….and yet it is.

If I let myself, I could have a major meltdown right now. The nanny started today. I’m sure she will do just fine, but I took it hard. As hard as it is, I am glad I am starting the transition now so I can get used to it.

I knew when I went down this path to single motherhood that I would have to leave my child to work. It was a built in reality and I really thought I would be okay with it. I’m not. Niami was only here for a few hours and I am a wreck. I keep telling myself that just because someone does it differently from me, doesn’t mean that it is wrong. Good thing I decided to attend the leaders staffing meeting today and locked myself in the office for the last hour or so. I needed the distraction. Max slept in the swing the whole time.

I am sure that I was driving Niami crazy until I closed the office door and left it for her. I need to give her a chance to know when Max is hungry or tired or wants to play or needs to burp. I kept butting in and trying to tell her what to do or what he wanted. She has done this before and I have trust and faith in her, but I want it to be me. She will figure it out like I have. I am really going to try to be better tomorrow.

I am a tad worried that she feels like she needs to clean more than take care of Max. I will watch this over the next few days. Maybe she just felt that way today because the house was so dirty and I got home very late from the hike and she had already started cleaning. I am sure it didn’t help that I kept stepping in and taking over on Max. Since she got almost everything cleaned today, it will be interesting to see how she acts tomorrow.

And, with the cleaning, things were out of place. Nothing major, the shampoo’s and soap not back exactly the way I like them, etc. I told myself what does it matter and haven’t yet gone back to put everything back the way I want it, but I know I will. I kept thinking, that’s not how Ana does it. Ana has cleaned my house for 7 + years now. It was fine and better than it was before she got here, but not spic and span. Not as meticulous as Ana.

It is not Niami, it is me. I know this.

I think there is just too much change going on in my life right now and I don’t like it. I don’t like the changes at work. I don’t like the changes at home. I just want to be independently wealthy and stay home and raise my kids full time.

I want it to be me taking care of Max. Maybe sometime I will be sick of it and will be happy to have him in the care of someone else for awhile, but I’m not there yet.

I feel so out of control of everything right now.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


I am feeling much less angry and worked up, with no more or less sleep. It helped venting to computer land and over the phone to my East coast colleague, M from 5 -:15 - 6 am PT (8:15 - 9 am ET) . The morning hike, although muddy, helped as well and it was nice to see clear blue skies again. I sure hope I can get a nap in today, although I currently don’t feel like I need one.

I have decided to have my nanny start part time tomorrow for a few hours every day so we can better adjust and I can get the long list of things I want to get done completed before I go back to work. Hopefully, this will include some nice time on the computer and blog time.

Work Worries

Max woke up at 3 to feed and has been back asleep for awhile now. His mommy can’t say the same. I’m up worrying and crying over work. I got a call a few weeks ago saying that they wanted to split my team when I came back and give half of the team to the person who was backing me up while I was out. I was so not expecting that and it has had me a bit worried and drawn into work ever since.

Then, last Thursday, I get an email from my back-up saying she had decided to give me a group of team members because they would be less work, so I could spend more time with Max. I was pissed to say the least. Obviously, she has forgotten that this was “my” team.

I have called around and found out she has been doing major politicking while I have been out. And, I am angry and hurt and don’t feel like I can’t trust her at all at this point, but I am going to have to work with her when I go back. This is a person that I have worked with for years and have helped along getting her into better safer positions over the years. I told her 2 things before I went out on leave 1) don’t get me scheduled for any early morning meetings that I will have to get out of 2) I want my job when I get back.

After getting that email, I called my old boss and mentor to talk through how to best handle the situation and from what angle. He told me I needed to talk to my new boss (okay, I have been working for her for at least 2 years not, but…). So, I put a call into her and she calls me back on Friday night and we talk. She tells me that she is going to talk to the head of my department who I dotted line report to on a day to day basis and the person responsible for the change from a “coaching” perspective. Great. This means I need to talk to this person too. She is married, but has no children and is a total work ahaulic (sp?). I purposely made sure she didn’t find out I was pregnant until after some org. changes that were going on were completed.

Anyway, I talked to her yesterday about my worries and concerns and it became very clear in the conversation that my back up had been filtering information big time, in her favor of course, in talking to me. She wanted to talk to my back up about it and I told her it would be better if she didn’t. She agreed. Instead, she sent an email to the rest of the leadership team making it clear that I was to be involved in any decisions. One of my colleagues, who hasn’t gotten along with my back up while I was out and has told me all of the bullshit that has gone on while I am out under the leaders radar, forward it to me to both my work and my home email. My back up is monitoring my email and saw that and sent me a few terse emails like how could you not trust me.

I am up steaming hot mad about what I want to say to her when I talk to her tomorrow and what I should and will say to her, which will not be the same thing…because I will have to work with her when I get back.

Instead of getting precious sleep and enjoying my time off this last week with my precious son, this is what I have been dealing with when I get the chance and what has been keeping me up at night.

I could go on and on and on about this right now and all of the things that have made me angry and upset over it and things that I could do after talking to both my leaders. After all, I have been pondering it and mulling it over for nights now, but I won’t. I don’t want to be awake that long and am hoping after venting I can go back to sleep. After all, Max is going to need my time and attention and patience tomorrow.

There are so many other stories about Max and the nanny that didn’t show up on Monday and her 2 month check up, but I haven’t had time because any free time I have had and all of my extra mental energies have been dealing with this work situation.

It’s not that I won’t have a job. I will. It’s just that the job I am going back to isn’t going to be as fun as the one I left because of all of the political bs that has gone on and I need to work with this person and divide up my team with a person that I no longer trust or want to work with and who now feels like she has a right to the position and that it should be “equal”. AHHHHHHHHHHHH. That’s me screaming, inside, at now 5 am, some of my anger and frustration away.

This just sucks!!!

ps. Just got an email from my work collegue. I think I will shock her and call her to vent since I am up. Again, this just sucks, but I have to get this anger and anxiety out of me.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

My Medium Maintenance Baby

I was talking to a friend the other day and she commented that Max was a medium maintenance baby. I have to agree. He isn’t really colicky or fussy and doesn’t cry a lot, but he does need a lot of attention. A good part of this is because he is a breast fed baby and can only go so long without eating. Plus, he really likes being close to the food source (a.k.a. Mommy’s boob). Sometimes, he just uses it as a little pillow after he has his fill and just smiles contently. Hard to mind holding him close when I get that kind of positive reinforcement.

I have had a brief glimpse at what a low maintenance baby would be like this morning. Max has been great at sleeping at night and last night was no exception. In fact, he slept way better than his mommy did. We got up and he coo’d and played while mommy got ready to take the dogs out. We did a nice walk. He was awake most of the time. Then, he got a bit hungry and I fed him on the trail.* After he ate, he dozed off until we got back home. I put him in the bouncy and was able to 1) make and eat an egg breakfast 2) empty the dishwasher and reload it 3) give Shadow a bath** 4) get the towels I dried Shadow with along with one of the doggy beds into the wash. 5) pick up the house. All this time, he was in the bouncy that moved around as needed so that I could talk to him/keep an eye on him and he could coo back to me and keep an eye on me. He was happy as could be. Then, I fed him and he drifted off. I put him in the swing and he has been asleep ever since allowing me to 1) vacuum the entire house 2) put away some laundry 3) take a shower and wash and blow dry my hair (very rare that I can wash it, let alone get it dry with the dryer as well…what a luxury) 4) change the sheets on my bed 5) switch over the laundry and get another load in. 6) get to the computer and write this up.

Max getting early use out of his Halloween Outfit

Wow, I can’t remember being able to get so much done at one time since Max was born. It is very nice.

I am really enjoying my medium maintenance baby. It beats a high maintenance one any day of the week. But, it was a really nice morning and I feel so great with a clean house, a clean dog, and clean hair. I am one content woman at the moment.

* I met this lady hiking about a month ago and she has a son two months older than Max. We made her sling, which I greatly admired, because it was higher than mine and allowed her to feed while on the go. We have become friends and she made me one. I did pay her for it. She is starting a small home based business selling them. It is very nice. If anyone is interested, let me know and I will track down her card with her web address on it. I know it is here someplace.

** I just gave Shadow and Lucky a bath a few days ago, but Shadow has been having a problem with urinary incontinence and have been smelling a lot like urine the last day or so. The vet and I have been switching around medication to try to get in under control and I though we had, but…the stench indicates otherwise. Poor girl. Otherwise, she is doing great in her old age. As much as she hates baths, she didn’t seem to mind too much today (I didn’t get her head wet since it was just washed). I know I will enjoy being around her more now.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

7w6d22h old

Hard to believe that almost 8 weeks ago right now I was delivering my little guy into this world. He is growing and changing so fast. He slept a lot today. I wonder if that will carry into the night or not. We will see.

Just because he slept doesn’t mean that I actually got anything accomplished today. We got a very, very late start on our morning walk. I just couldn’t get going. By the time we got back, I was able to get a quick shower in then met a friend for lunch. I actually met her on a trail a few weeks ago when my cousin was here. She has a son 2 months older than Max. It was instant bonding with us both out with our sons in slings enjoying nature. Both kids behaved and we ended up talking for hours. I came home and took a nap with Max. Then, I spent a few hours feeding him, holding him, rocking him before we did our evening walk. He was awake and so alert for most of the walk. The motion did get to him by the end and he succumbed to a short nap. After the walk, we had a repeat of the afternoon with a little floor time and Baby Santa DVD (part of the Baby Einstein series) thrown in for stimulation. Now he is fast asleep in my arms while I type this.

I did decide on a nanny. She is from Guatemala and is a legal resident. She was a nurse in her country and has infant CPR certification. She drives and has her own car. When she came for the interview, she brought a photo album filled with reference letters from the last 10+ years with pictures of all of the kids she cared for. The only time she has changed jobs is when the family moved or the kids went to school. She quickly asked to hold Max, but washed her hands before taking him. I met with her on Sunday and Max was a crabpot that day. She tried so hard to impress me by getting him to stop fussing. I felt a bit sorry for her because nothing worked for long. She said that on top of caring for Max, my house would be so clean I wouldn’t need to have someone else come in to clean. We will see. I really like my cleaning lady and have had her for 7+ years. She was a bit more expensive than what I wanted to pay, but I decided that it was unlikely that I was going to pay what I wanted and get the high quality one on one care I wanted at the same time. It will just be tight financially for awhile. I am sure I can cut back in other places, but haven’t really looked at my expenses and budget as closely as I need to.

It took me until mid day Monday to figure out what was causing Max to be so fussy all of a sudden. There was some truth to my joke about it being caused by staying home and not being out and about. I realized that he was tired, but not really sleeping because he was used to falling asleep while moving in the car or while laying down with me for a nap. We hadn’t gone in the car and I wasn’t laying down with him because he was sleeping long enough at night I hadn’t felt the need for a nap. I can get by on 6 hours of sleep with no problem. The motion of the swing or the bouncy wasn’t enough to sooth him off to sleep. Once I figured it out, I was able to provide enough movement so he got a decent nap in and then all was well again. Mystery solved.

I finished “Raising Boys without Men” the other morning about 5 am. I have had a hard time falling back to sleep after feeding Max since he is going so long at night or have been waking up needing to pump since he is sleeping so long and then not falling back to sleep for a few hours until he wakes up ready to eat. It’s pretty sad that my 2 month old is getting so much more sleep at a stretch than I am at the moment and that I can’t even really blame it on him. Sometimes I really miss being pregnant. I have never slept as well so consistently as when I was pregnant.

I started reading this book called Baby Signs. It is very interesting and advocates paying attention and teaching your baby basic sign language to help them communicate before they can talk but after their motor skills are a bit more developed. For example, waving for bye-bye, nodding for yes, thumb to mouth for drink or thirsty, finger tips to mouth for eat or hungry, finger to palm for more, etc. It is suppose to have a long list of benefits like reducing that terrible two tantrums, helping raise IQ, help create neuron pathways in the brain, help a child talk sooner and generally foster better communication skills not only before they can talk but for life. It seems simple enough so I will probably give it a try in a few months as Max grows and develops.

Speaking of growing and developing, Max is smiling so much both in his sleep and when he is awake. If I smile at him, he will smile back at me. It is so cute I can hardly stand it sometimes. Several times lately, after nursing him, he detaches by opening his mouth, but keeping my nipple between his lips and just smiles. OMG it is precious. Other times, he will detach and move his head so that my breast is a little pillow for him. I always wanted to breastfeed. It was very important to me. I feel very fortunate that it has gone so well between Max and I and that I am able to do so.

I have been staying away from internet research or other baby development books like what to expect because I have found it feeds into my paranoia on SIDS, suffocation, is he growing/developing normally, etc. and have been trying to stick with more positive reading when I get a chance. I am still watching way too much TV. I have scaled back some, but am still watching more than I have ever watched in my life. As much as I love smiling, making eye contact, and looking at Max and his changing expressions, TV is something to multitask with as I hold and feed Max.

Overall, life has been uneventful. I am slacking off on responsible adult duties like paying bills, sending out thank you cards, sending out pictures or birth announcements, making phone calls to catch up with people I haven’t talked to in awhile, responding to emails or general computer time. I have been excelling in socializing (especially over a meal) and spending quality time with Max. I did manage to get my hair washed (Sunday) and give the dogs a much need shampoo and condition (Monday). And, I finally decided on a day care option and hired a nanny.

Sometimes it is the simple accomplishments in life that bring the most pleasure.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

My little angel

Early this morning, I was wondering if there was a best baby award. I was thinking Max may win it or at least be a solid contender because he has slept 6 – 7 hours straight two nights in a row. However, he has been a crabapple most of the day so I will have to hold off on my submission just yet. He is peacefully sleeping at the moment. Mommy is hoping he wakes up in a better mood. Since he is almost 2 months old and I can count the number of times he has been fussy on one hand, I really can’t (and am not) complain. Poor guy. I think he may be constipated. Not that I like cleaning up after icky, icky poo poo diapers, but I can’t really remember the last time I had to which means it is at least a few days (like 3 or 4?) ago. Either that or he is so used to being on the go, he was protesting a rare day at home with no plans (other than walking the dogs).

I thought I had the nanny situation resolved, but it looks like it isn’t going to work out. Really, I was kind of relieved when I heard the news.

I had two messages when I got home yesterday from a few hours of socializing with fellow SMC’s (single mom’s by choice). The first message was from a local SMC telling me that her old nanny was looking for a position and that she just loved her. I was a bit disappointed that I had extended an offer to someone else on Friday.

[Said little angel just woke up and currently playing on play mat. We will see how long that lasts].

The person I extended the offer to is temporarily working for a good friend (who has twins) while she waits for an au pair to arrive. I have met her several times and she does a great job with the kids. That, along with the fact that she is relatively inexpensive ($300 week) are the two biggest plusses for her. The minus are that she doesn’t speak English, she is a live-in, and pay would be under the table. My friend and the nanny (and kids) came over on Friday and we talked (as best as possible with the language barrier). My friend said she was on board and wanted the job. I was less sure and wanted someone who spoke both fluent English and Spanish to talk to her, just to be sure. The second message was from my friend saying it was a “no go”. Like I said, I was relieved.

I am interviewing two other nannies. One this afternoon. She is a friend of the nanny of a friend. The other tomorrow afternoon. She is the old SMC’s nanny. Both are live out. We will see.

I am feeling much less pressured and stressed than I was last week about the whole situation. All of a sudden, I think it is just going to work out the way it was supposed to.

Max has been happily playing while I finish this up, but is reaching the end of his patience. However, he is in a much better mood (and a bit stinky, but no blow outs yet). He has really been coo’ing away the last week or two. He is just a cutie.

He is getting so big. I have put him in 3 mo. old clothes the last few days and they fit just perfect. Wow. Good thing I thought to check or he would probably have outgrown them without even one wear.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

My Genius

Max is such a genius at 7 weeks. He has mastered communication so early in life.

He was able to effectively communicate the following with just one statement:

1) Just because he is going to town and sucking on his hand like no tomorrow, he is no longer hungry.
2) He did NOT want a stinking bottle, thank you very much. If he can’t have the real deal, he will have nothing.
3) He wanted bath time with mommy. We haven’t had one in a few days and he just loves them so much he wanted to make sure we didn’t skip it again tonight.
4) He had been in the same onezie for almost 24 hours and wanted a change of clothes before settling in for the night.

I’ll let you contemplate his method of communication while you ponder how much he is growing and what a cutie pie he is.

Max - 7 Weeks

Yes, major barf episode number #2. All over me. All over him. All over the KidKozy. It was a real mess. Again, both of us were just so surprised we just stared at each other for a minute or two.

I haven’t introduced a bottle in quite a few days and was thinking I needed to do that to prevent problems with him accepting it. Hmm. I guess I was right. Got a little problem here that I need to work on. I also haven’t pumped in a few days. I thought about doing that tonight, but decided to blog instead.

He hasn’t had a big blow out poopie dipper in a few days. I was thinking the timing would be perfect for an explosion while in the bath, but I was spared.

Max slept a lot today. I hope he continues this trend through the night. Must be that growth spurt I predicted a few days ago when he was awake and eating like a fiend.

The house is still (or even more of) a mess than yesterday believe it or not. Cleaning wasn’t on the menu for today. Instead I met with a financial advisor, took a nap, hiked/walked with the dogs, talked on the phone, went to dinner with my mom, fed and cared for Max because when he was awake, he wanted to eat and have lots of mamma’s attention.

I was right in thinking that things are more involved and political at work than I thought met the eye. My closest co-worker didn't even know of the org. change until I left her a message and she will be affected by it as well. She said it was briefly brought up in a meeting a week or so ago and she said she didn't think it was a good idea. She thought it had been dropped. And, she hasn't seen eye to eye with my back up while I am out, nor have a few other people. However, my back up has been sucking up to the bosses. I expected nothing less from my back up. Really. I did tell her that she couldn't do such a good job that they didn't want me back. I guess my back up figured out a way around that. My co-worker was less than thrilled when I told her the org. plan. Her words, "I feel like there are a bunch of small fires under my bridge that I don't know about and they are going to heat up and it will come crashing down on me." Not much I can do until I go back full time and not really anything I can do to stop the change from happening. May need to make a few more phone calls though to get a better picture of what I will be going back to. Sigh. Got a call back from my boss’s admin. My official go back date is October 31. Halloween. Bigger sigh.

Tomorrow….in addition to having lunch with a friend…I vow to work on the nanny/day care situation, look at my budget and what I can really afford, and call my tax guy to understand the tax implications. I really, really must. The house can go to pot one more day.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

My Poor Baby

He woke up screaming from his nap. That is just not like him. He usually wakes up slowly and in a decent mood. I calmed him down and fed him and thought we had the blues behind us. I found out while walking the dogs how wrong I was. We had to turn back he was so unhappy. First time that has ever happened. The dogs were less than thrilled. They couldn’t figure out why we turned around and kept trying to go the other way all the while Max was screaming at the top of his lungs. Very stressful. I got us home without any of my neighbors coming out to find out what I was doing to my poor child.

Turns out he had very bad gas. I think we have it all out and settled and he is back asleep. I hope. It was a bit rough going there for awhile and he was just so uncomfortable and unhappy. I’m so glad I got my rocking chair. After I got him settled down and fed him again, he just lay on my chest and zone out for awhile and I was able to rock and pat the air bubbles away.

I think it was the spinach quiche I had for lunch. The first night home from the hospital, we had a terrible night because of gas and I had eaten a lot of this dish my friend had brought over. I think it is a combination of egg and spinach together that does it because I have had eggs and spinach separately with no problem for either of us.

Well, I had better go to sleep as well since I didn’t get much last night just in case he wakes up again and this little episode is behind us. Patience and calm are much easier to come by when you are not tired and stressed out.

Nights like tonight have me counting my blessings that he isn’t really colicky and is usually a pretty calm and happy guy. It is stressful enough in the small isolated times it has occurred for Max and I. I can only imagine how hard it must be for those whose babies are fussier much more often.

Out of Sorts

Max is finally sleeping and I have some down time. He has only been sleeping for brief periods (like when I am in the car with him) the last day or so and eating often. I guess he is getting ready to grow again. (smile) Last night was one of the rougher ones for us lately. Actually, he went to bed at a reasonable time, but I had a late heavy nap and a call from work that had me tossing and turning. It was like my mommy life and my work life collided and it was sooner than I wanted. I’m glad they called to ask my approval/opinion. They want to open about 8 – 10 positions on my team which would bring the total employees reporting to me about 80. This is unmanageable. Really, the 70 I have is too much for one person, but who am I to complain right now. They are proposing to split my team in half and give half to the person covering for me while I am on leave. I am fine with this, but the calls about it made me really anxious and unsettled. I have decided that is because I don’t really know what it truly going on. I can’t/don’t really want to go into details, but things just aren’t adding up from what I have heard prior to day from colleagues and from one of my bosses. So, I am going to get dragged into work stuff a bit early as they figure out how to re-organize, but it is in my best interest. It is the straddling the fence that makes me anxious and unsettled.

I also don’t feel like getting into the whole history of my relationship with my dad and how that has affected me. However, here is an example, a recent interaction, if you will, of what a jerk he can be. I haven’t talked to my dad since the early part of my pregnancy. I pick up the phone last night and to my surprise, he has called. My first thought is “what does he want” since I never really hear from him (he has a psycho wife who is resentful that he was married before and has other children that aren’t hers). Sure enough, it takes him about 10 min., but finally the “purpose” for the call is revealed. In the lead up to the purpose, he manages to insult me several times, but he is so clueless that I’m sure he doesn’t even realize it. He asks me if people at work have “ostracized” me for having Max. I explained that, no, they have been very supportive. He asked about my post pregnancy weight loss and wasn’t satisfied when I told him that I was below my pre-pregnancy weight. He told me that I need to get exercising. I explained that I walk twice a day, each and every day, for about an hour and a half, and that lack of exercise is not the problem. I commented on how most people are impressed with the amount of exercise I am getting with an infant and that hormones and heredity were factors in my weight. I shut up when I realized I was getting defensive. He can be such and asshole. He did not ask me about Max or how things are going. He did give me a hard time for not calling him on his birthday, yet he hasn’t called me on my birthday ever that I remember, nor did he call to congratulate me on the birth of Max. I don’t know why I let him get to me. My older sister recently went to a psychic who claimed that my dad’s dad came to her and told her that we have a year or so to make our peace with him and that we shouldn’t judge him too harshly because my dad did better than he (my grandpa) did and my grandpa did better than his dad. He said something to the affect that you can’t be angry at someone for not being able to build a boat, or play the piano, or whatever, if they were never taught how. Intellectually, I know this is true and that he did the best he could. I really believe that. But, his best sucked most of the time. I am not so angry with him for what happened growing up. I am angry with him for not standing up to his second wife. She is controlling and manipulative. Personally, I don’t see how he stands it. We are never allowed to see him with out her and the time we are give are crumbs. For example, on one of his last trips to California he was here for about 10 days. The entire visit was spent with her family and son that lived here at the time. My sisters and I were given the opportunity, at the very last minute, to spend about 3 hours of that 10 days. I had prior plans that had been on the schedule for at least 6 weeks and chose not to change them. Yes, I am angry. I’m not sure if I am supposed to make peace with him or myself over this in the next year, but I am not sure I can do it.

It’s funny in an ironic sort of way that people go on and on about how “boys need their fathers” to grow up healthy and secure. The book I am reading “Raising Boys without Men”, by Peggy Drexler confirms what I have suspected -- women, by themselves, are capable of raising boys, without an in home father, who are secure and confident. Why hasn’t anyone done any studies on “girls needed their fathers”? I would put money that it would show, by in large, girls are affected more by not having a strong positive male role model than boys. Maybe it is just me and my personal experience.

Anyway, between the work situation and the call from my dad (not to mention the fact that I still haven’t made a nanny/day care decision and I am running out of time), I have been a bit out of sorts the last day or so. This is affecting my sleep which is already limited. It is a bad cycle that I need to break very soon. I’ve been contemplating hiring a baby sitter for a few hours so I can get some me time, but I just haven’t been able to make that call. I also haven’t called my PCP to make an appointment to get a referral for a dermatologist to check out all of the skin flaps and growths that appeared/grew while I was pregnant; or my accountant to ask about tax implications of hiring a nanny and why they have to be considered and employee vs. an independent consultant; or the oncologist to schedule a blood draw for Lucky to check whether she is still in remission; etc. I still have not looked at my budget; or sent out thank you cards for all the gifts received after Max was born; or looked into tickets to Michigan for Thanksgiving where I am going to, hopefully, have Max baptized; etc. What have I been doing? Having F-U-N!! Max and I have been on the go meeting up with friends for lunches and dinners and general visits. Between caring for Max and my socializing, time is scarce. Ah, the choices we make. Right now, I am choosing fun over the every day structured reality which is right around the corner and trying to crash in to my new mommy glow. I’m telling myself not to let it, but the anxiety and unsettled feeling is lingering just below the surface.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Date Night

I was dressed to the 9’s (old college t-shirt and maternity shorts, hair that hasn’t been washed in days, and not even a hint of make up).

I had a great meal (single woman’s pasta – 3 min. capellini noodles with jar spaghetti sauce poured over it, topped with parmesan cheese and a few pine nuts). Who really needs more than one course?

Some wine (1/2 a bottle, about 2 and a half glasses consumed over the course of a few hours, a good bottle – Sterling 2001 Merlot, one of the many I stocked up on over the years for AC [after child] when I was poor and couldn’t afford the good stuff). First time I drank since way before I was pregnant. Boy did it taste good.

A movie (a nice romantic comedy - Drew Barrymore in Never Been Kissed).

Some cuddling on the couch (Lucky, Max, and I shared while Shadow lay within a hands reach).

Atmosphere (a nice messy house that I “meant” to pick up today and never quite got to – dishes in the sink, mail from several days thrown about, dog toys and discarded clothing spread about, etc.)

Low key (first dinner I have eaten at home since at least Wednesday [can’t remember as what happened on Tuesday or before so who really knows how long it has been]. Something to be said for staying in for a change.

What more can a girl want on a Saturday night?

Gosh, it really was a good time, but all good things must come to and end. My hot date fell asleep before the night was through (Max is nicely asleep in the swing letting me have some computer time for a change). It was very relaxing, even if it did end in spilled milk (me with a nice breast leak spot [left] from so called date falling asleep too soon).

I’m so glad I have my life.


Since time is limited and I have so many post ideas running through my head and not enough time to do them, what would you rather read about….

1) ‘Roids – as in hemorrhoids (things that probably should never really be discussed)
2) The nanny situation (aka why I still haven't/can't make a decision)
3) My 6 week post partum and my brief visit by the peds office with Max
4) Psychics, making peace with my dad/letting go of the anger (aka why I have trust issues)

ETA: Or something else? Open to suggestions! Helpful vs. un-useful baby gifts/items? Why naps are so great and yet I never new it before? What is keeping me awake at night? (it is not the obvious/what you may think)

K – It was great to talk to you today. This is what Max looked like when we were on the phone.

Kaia - Great to talk to you today as well. I’m so sorry to hear about your cat. I read your entry on N54. It had me in tears. I can empathize with the regret of not spending quality time over the last few months (yes, I picked up on that because of my own guilt with my two doggies), but remember…our pets love us unconditionally. She sounds like she was such a lovely companion. As trite as it probably sounds, she will always be apart of your life in your memory. Remind me of that when one of my beloved passes, okay? My heart breaks for you.

Jen - Hope to see you soon at the next SMC meeting. I need to think of something good to make/take? Any thoughts/ideas?

C - It was great spending time with you yesterday. It was worth missing a nap for. (smile)


May I be as blessed tomorrow as I was today.