Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Good Trip

It was a good trip. We got home last night. I’m still tired. Every day was filled to the brim. On Saturday, after my sister left, my cousin tried to talk me into going to a movie and my mom into going shopping. I told them, you go. I’m going to take a nap at my aunt and uncles. I got about 40 min. in which was enough. The rest of the time, I was pretty much on the go the entire trip. Max never really adjusted (and I didn’t even try) to the Eastern Time zone. This meant going to bed around midnight and getting up around 8 am, except that most days after I fed Max his 5 or 6 am ET ish snack, he would go back to sleep and I was up for the duration. My cousins house it a bit loud and I am a light sleeper. So, I ran a few hours short of sleep every day. It was worth it.

The best…The best part of the trip was seeing all my family for Thanksgiving and the Baptism. My mom flew in and stayed at my Aunt’s (her sister). My sister Cindy drove in with her husband and kids and stayed with my cousin Anna. Max and I stated with my cousin Terri. My mom’s sister and three out of her four kids and their kids attended both Thanksgiving and the baptism/party afterwards. My mom’s brother and his wife and three out of their five kids attended the baptism/party afterwards. I hadn’t seen a few of my cousins in about 20 years so it was nice. It is funny. Max has now met all of his cousins that don’t live in state and his second cousins. He has yet to meet my sister Julie’s girls who live much closer. It was also really nice to meet some of my colleagues that I have worked with for a few years now and never met face to face.

The worst…The worst part of the trip was when I was going from my cousin Terri’s house to my cousin Anna’s house on Friday night to visit my sister and her kids before they left on Saturday with Max and I didn’t see the neighbors car parked in the street as I backed out of the driveway and hit it. It was only minor damage, but I was really upset. It was a traumatic event and I was short on sleep making me even more emotional. This was the first time ever I have caused a collision. Then, Terri made some smart ass remark (in an attempt to make me feel better so she says) and made me cry all over again. The other bad part was yesterday when I was meeting with a guy that reports to me for lunch before I flew out and Max cried and fussed the WHOLE time. I kept apologizing and saying, he never acts like this. It was very stressful. I guess Max just didn’t like the restaurant because he was fine once we left to go to the airport.

Max was a great traveler and very interested and curious into everything around him. One of my most precious memories of the trip is of Carolyn (Terri’s 9 year old who gave up her bed/bed room for us) reading a book out loud to her mom on one side of the couch. Max turned and started craning his neck to look at the book. He did the same thing when football was on. He is just so cute.

We had all kinds of weather, except sun, while gone. Snow, Ice, and Rain. It wasn’t bad to visit, but glad I don’t live there. What a pain to have to bundle and unbundled a kid so much every time you want to go someplace.

The most useless thing I took and didn’t need/use was the base to the car seat. It was hard to install/uninstall from their cars and we never seemed to use the same car twice. Next trip, that will stay home. Otherwise, I did a good job packing and my cousins did a great job of having everything else I would need (bouncy, play mat, breast pump, car seat blanket, sleeper blankets, etc.) ready and available for me.

It was a great trip. I think Max has been a bit bored today with just our house and Niomi after all of the stimulation and new faces and new scenery day after day after day on our trip. His cousins were so thrilled to see him and wanted to hold him and be in his face all of the time. It was very cute, but I did have to make sure he got a bit of time on the floor/away from the kids a few times.

I never did get a period this month like I thought so I guess I didn’t ovulate like I thought I did. And, Max did not have one BM the whole time we were gone, lots and lots of smelly farts, but no blow outs. Hmm. LOL. My exciting life….

I took so many pictures. Or, I should say that so many pictures were taken with my camera that it is now full. Maybe this weekend, I will get a chance to off-load them and look at them.

I am glad that I went. I’m glad that I am home.

Monday, November 21, 2005

I’m Gone, Happy Thanksgiving

I’m leaving bright and early tomorrow morning for a trip across the United States. Max’s first airplane trip. Let’s hope it is uneventful. I’ll be gone for a week and will have no chance to post. Not only will I be very busy, but my family doesn’t know about my blog and I plan to keep it that way.

I’m packed. Max is packed. Except for those things that need to go in last thing in the morning. Max is asleep. I’m headed that way soon.

Busy day. Busy weekend.

I saw that guy Hunter again this morning. Smile. He knows my car by now so knew I was on the trail. He must have been looking for me, because when he saw me he ran out to meet me and talked with me as we walked back to my car. We really have only had short conversation since that long first talk. Today when I saw him he just quickly gave me some stock tips. I really only understood about 50% of what he was saying, but passed the tips onto my sister, Julie, who has been taking classes in that sort of thing the last year or so. I just memorized what he told me so I could repeat it like a parrot. LOL. Based on something Hunter said last time we talked, I think maybe he isn’t married anymore. I could be wrong. I have two IRL friends that think I should ask him out for coffee. Of course, I don’t drink coffee. Plus, as I told them, it may ruin some of the allure/fun of the chance encounters.

I have a tooth infection that hopefully isn’t the start of a bad root. I’m on antibiotics as of mid-day today. I’m feeling better already. Just what is need right before a long out of town trip for the holidays. It started bothering me on Thursday and I was hoping it would go away. By Saturday, I was pretty much taking Tylenol every 5 hours or so. It was a bit better on Sunday, but couldn’t really chance it since I was leaving tomorrow.

I got my Christmas decorations up this weekend and the tree up today while Niomi was here. I know. I know. It is sinfully early, but…(this is where I justify it)…Doing it today while I was off from work and while Niomi was here watching Max was very helpful. Plus, we aren’t going to be here for Thanksgiving. This way, I will come home to a nice clean house (cleaning lady coming tomorrow) and everything decorated. It will make my December much less stressful. I still need to do all of my X-mas shopping, put up the outside lights, and I am debating about doing cards this year. I didn’t last. Maybe a combo birth announcement/x-mas card. I’m still working on the idea.

I also visited a friend, a fellow SMC’er, who had a baby girl a few weeks ago. Got Max’s 3 month pictures taken. Paid bills. Took Lucky to the vet. Blah, Blah, Blah.

Lucky’s labs came back today and don’t show anything abnormal. We don’t really know why she is refusing to eat/treats for a few days, then starting to eat and vomiting. Very disconcerting. The Vet told me to give her some Chicken and Rice and/or something she will eat. Once I did that, she started eating again. So, she is on wet/can food once a day while I am gone. My poor little girl. She never was one of those dogs who would just eat anything. She always sniffs what is being offered first before deciding if she wants it. Sometimes, she will take something and then just drop it. Now, she is just plain finicky.

Max was weighing 12 lbs 11 ½ oz. as of Saturday according to the cat scale at the vet’s on Saturday. He was measuring 24 ¾ inches when Niomi and I measured him on Friday. The kid is growing and looking as cute as can be.

I am not looking forward to traveling tomorrow. There is so much junk to haul. Even with not taking any toys, towels, and blankets and minimal diapers and wipes, and only my breast pump tubing and accessories (not the pump itself) …. I needed my own suitcase (a medium size one, but the biggest I have) and Max needed his own suitcase (a small carryone one with wheels that will not be carried on). Plus, the stroller, the car seat, the car seat base, and the carry on backpack that is stuffed to the gills. I want to take some frozen milk with ice also, but may have to scrap that idea since I have no more space and can’t carry one more thing. I don’t know how I am going to manage it. I don’t, but I am sure it will work out somehow. I was stressed last week. Now, I am just tired and wish I were there already.

Anyway, the time is ticking and I need my beauty sleep. HA HA.

Happy Turkey Day!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Still Procrastinating

Have so many things that I really should be doing. Don’t feel like it, so I thought I would blog more until I need to go meet up with a friend.

Adding up days. Really need to figure out how to get back into my fertility friend account and log things. But, I think I ovulated around the 8th or 9th. Even though I have bled (sorry if TMI), twice now, I don’t think I had ovulated until then. As such, today would be 10 or 11 dpo. The timing for moodiness is about right. With my luck, I will start and have a heavy, icky, painful period…let’s say…right about TUESDAY. That is, only if my Luteal phase defect has resolved itself with childbirth. Otherwise, I would say, any day now. Hmm. Like many things in life, time will tell.

Awhile back, I had something I wanted to blog about, but couldn’t remember what it was. I remembered on Monday when a friend asked why I had moved Max’s car seat from the center of the back seat to the side. I WOULD HIGHLY RECOMMEND, ON IMPORTANT THINGS, TO ACTUALLY READ THE MANUALS AND DO THEM YOURSELF. That being said, a few weekends ago, I did this one trail where I have to park off road and the car is at quite an angle. This caused the seatbelt holding the car seat to loosen. I fixed it, or so I thought, until I got home when I found the car seat at a 45 degree angle. So, I pulled out the manual for the car and the car seat. After going back and forth, I found the actual proper way to install the car seat. The way we were doing it wasn’t proper at all. They recommend NOT putting the seat in the middle, but in one of the outer seats where they have the LATCH system installed. If you are installing in a car without a LATCH system, they have this device to lock the seat belt. My cousin had put this on the wrong side of the car seat. When I called to tell her all of this, her response was…”oh, I never actually read how to do it, I just tried to figure it out on my own.” I wish I had known that earlier. Luckily, no major harm was done.

Speaking of no harm. I have topped myself in the bad mommy department. Yes, I surpassed the putting a sleeping baby in a bath incident. On Wednesday, I went out to dinner with my mom. My sister called at the last minute and wanted to join us. I was rushed and distracted getting out of the house. When I went to take Max out of the car seat after arriving at the restaurant, he was not properly buckled. I must have gotten distracted and only did the shoulder straps, not the bottom buckle pulling it all together. Either my mom or I threw a blanket over him and I didn’t notice it. OMG. I was a bit horrified. Note to self: no matter how rushed or busy you are…make sure your son is properly buckled into his car seat. Thank goodness, it all ended well, but …..

Another thing I have wanted to post about…Mr. Milk Face. A month or so ago, I was feeding Max at the computer and he detached. As I looked down, I was surprised to see what looked like a saliva string (if that makes sense) from his mouth to my breast. Then, I realized that it was a wayward milk duct that was continuing to release milk and what looked like a saliva string was actually a stream of milk squirting him all over the face. LOL. It was shocking and pretty funny at the same time. I think it may be one of those things that you have to actually see to believe/get the humor. Anyway, it has happened a few other times since. One of them earlier today. I am much better at catching it before he gets a complete milk bath. LOL.

I am sure I will regret squandering this time over the next few days when I try to get things accomplished while trying to watch Max instead of when I had the luxury of having Niomi here, but at this exact moment….I don’t regret it at all.

Being back to work is a lot easier now than it was a few weeks ago when I started back.

I still wish that I didn’t have to work and could spend full time caring for Max.

I am getting used to having someone in my house and doing my laundry and cleaning up everything. I still don’t like having someone making my bed. I am learning to live with it.


Stressed AND Moody

I am feeling stressed and out of sorts this afternoon. The closer I get to next Tuesday when I fly with Max for the first time, the more stressed out I am becoming. I am so ill prepared. I don’t know what to take/not take. I’m not so worried about the actual flying, but the logistics. Like, how I will manage the luggage and Max.

I have been tired all week. I’m not sleeping great. Not extremely badly, either. But, not great. I just feel so tired. So tired, that I only felt mildly guilty that I had Niomi walk the dogs last night before she left and didn’t walk them myself and/or re-walk them later.

I have also had a low grade headache; my eyes are burning; and left ear is itchy. It is really windy here this week and I think a good part of the problem is allergy/sinus related. As I type this, I am realizing what a bad mood I really am in.

Anyway, I was maintaining. Not doing too badly until about two housr ago. I went to run a few errands. Before I left, I went to make sure that Lucky knew I was leaving because if I don’t she searches hi and low for me and anxiously looking for me the whole time I am gone. I called her as I walked into the office and she didn’t even stir. I touched her and again. Nothing. My heart and stomach just dropped and I thought OMG, she is dead. How can that be? She has still been having tummy upset no and again, but at last check just a few weeks ago she was still in remission. Then, slowly, she lifted her head and looked at me. My heart started beating again, but I wanted to lay down and cry. Now, I can’t seem to shake that mood. If Niomi wasn’t here, I would go climb in bed and have a good ole’ bawl. Instead, here I sit in my office teary eyed pretending to work.

Now, I really don’t want to have to leave Lucky and Shadow next week. I want to go. Or, rather, I want to be there. And, see everyone. And, show off Max. But, I don’t want to really leave my house, my routine, and Lucky and Shadow to do it. I’m sure I will be fine once I get there. The getting is going to be hard though.

I have so many things that have to get done and this afternoon would be the perfect time to do them. Yet, I am so not in the mood.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

A moment of self doubt

I have heard that many women when they are trying to get pregnant or when they are pregnant get this self doubt about whether they will make a good mom. Probably, I am just egotistical, but that didn't happen to me. I was always so sure that I would make a great mom.

This morning when I was hiking I had a few moments of self-doubt. What if I wasn’t good enough? I want so much to be the best mommy I can be. But, what if that isn’t enough? I started getting all worked up and tear eyed (which happens so much more frequently since I had Max) over this. I started the positive self talk and told myself that no mom is ever perfect, but that I am just the mommy that Max needs.

Just then, a gust of wind blew and hit us both in the face. Max just started laughing. Made me laugh, too! Here we are both enjoying nature together.

All was then back to being right in my world. I am a good mom to my dogs and a good mom to Max. Who else would be up at 7 am in the morning hiking with them before work and giving them such an experience on a warm, windy day? We shared a little moment that no one else did this morning.

All I could think was…how cool is that?

In other news, I have no plans tonight except to walk the dogs and take it easy. That makes me so happy. I've been feeling so very tired, as trite as that sounds.

Didn’t sleep well last night. I was tossing and turning and writing in my mind a long post on Baptism Class, Religion and Politics. Time will tell if I actually get it to print. I woke up late and tired after getting to bed late and not sleeping well. Max woke up late, too.

Our routine has been that he wakes up around 5 ish and I feed him. Then, we play and cuddle for awhile before getting up and starting the day. We didn’t get that this morning. I was up and dressed before he woke up. I gave him a quick feed. Then, we were off. I like having a bit of time to play and interact even if it does mean a much earlier start to the day.

I told my bosses to not submit my name for that other job as interesting as it is and as good of a match as I really am for it. The timing is just not right for a move. I talked to the guy currently in the job and it is very much East Coast centric. I would be the only West Coast person on the leadership team. As minor as that is in the scheme of things, I just can’t do that battle right now and am not willing to give up my early mornings with Max and the dogs before work. I am fine with the decision and think my bosses are as well.

Max today in his new shirt. A gift from a fellow SMC this weekend. It fits perfectly and is already getting good use.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Max Laughed

In getting out all of the mundane minutia of last week, I can’t believe I forgot to mention that Max laughed for the first time. I was changing him on Saturday getting ready for the Single Mom’s get together and was playing with him…”Momma gets your tummy” where I kiss and mouth his stomach and “Tap, Tap, Tap” where I bend his legs/butt up and tap his feet to his cheeks. The first time, I thought I imagined it. But, my cousin called in the middle of it and I was able to get him to laugh again while she was on the phone and she heard it too. I tried various things to get him to laugh again today, but didn’t happen. Got lots of smiles and coo’s, but no actual laughter. At least, now I know he can do it. The other very cute thing he has been doing is blowing bubbles with his drool. At least, “I” think it is cute, but I could be biased, after all, I am the mom.

Last Weeks HIghlights

As predicted, it was a very busy week. Here are some of the highlights.

Monday - I almost got Max and I killed or at least injured in a car accident. I was driving home from Baptism class on Monday night after working all day and then setting up for the election before going to the class. They installed a new busway next to a major street. It is right next to the road with just a walkway/bike path separating them. I guess I haven’t been through that intersection at night. I was stopped at a red light going north and saw the light change and started going. I quickly realized that I had pulled into on-coming traffic. It took me a few seconds to figure out what happened; why no one else was going; and why I was in the middle of an intersection with traffic about to hit me. The backset of lights turned green so the people waiting to turn left could go, but front set of lights stayed red. The light remained green for the folks going East and luckily they were able to stop before hitting me. I was able to reverse before getting hit, but it did get the adrenalin going. Note to self, there are two sets of lights that are not on the same timer. Only go when the first set of lights turns green. Very scary. I have heard there have been several accidents in the week or two since the busyway went live. I can really understand it. It is very confusing.

Tuesday - It was a zoo around here. My garage is the polling place for my precinct. The pollworkers arrived at 6:30 am. The polls were open from 7 am – 8 pm. I helped close everything down and count the ballots. We don’t count the votes, just make sure the submitted ballots match the number of signatures in the roster and that the number of used and un-used ballots match the ballots we were given. On the non-election front, Ana, my cleaning lady, was here along with Niomi, the nanny. First time they were both here at the same time. I think it went okay. Still not certain of the nanny. Asked Ana her opinion. Ana was surprised when I told her Niomi had been a nanny for 15 years, but felt she was very trustworthy and Max would be safe. She said it may be a cultural thing and that she was caring for Max like Hispanic women typically care for their children. I asked what the difference was and basically she said that white women tend to pamper and cater to their children more (my words, not hers). I wonder if there is truth to that. In the mist of all of this, I had to run out and pick up a prescription on the other side of town for Shadow. When I got back, I was told that Max had a major meltdown and finally fell asleep.

Wednesday - Dinner with mom. Helped elderly neighbor get her heater working. We had rainy cool weather and she was using her oven to heat her house. I got my other neighbor to help because I had no idea how to light a pilot light. When we walked in you could just smell the fumes from the oven. Turns out it wasn’t the pilot light, but we got it working. Gave Jean a severe warning about using her oven to heat the house, had her leave her kitchen door open for about 10 min. to let the fumes escape, and told her to come and let me know if she couldn't get it to work gain.

Thursday - Max had another major meltdown in the morning. I was on a work call and couldn’t come out. By the time I finished the meeting, he had fallen asleep. It was very stressful, but not as stressful as it was just a few days ago. When I first went back to work, I probably would have gotten off the phone to see what the problem was. The screams did get to me and broke my concentration a bit, but I was able to carry on the conversation and finish up the call. When I went to go check on the situation, I found out that Niomi washed my very expensive/dry clean only curtains. I thought I had told her that I had them cleaned while pregnant, but they never got re-hung properly and if she had time/was looking for something to do I would love it if she fixed them. She thought I asked her to wash them. No harm/no foul. They survived the wash and we hung them wet to dry no worse for the wear. Although, I did almost start to cry when I found out. Not in front of her. In my office. To her, I said I understood it was an accident and not to worry about it because she did feel very bad. She was just trying to help and do what I want. I just wish I knew when she didn’t really understand me all the way.

Friday - Planned to run out real quick and run some errand, like grocery shopping, during lunch. Went to the store I have used for 10 years not and it was closed up. Had to go to the next closest store which was back tracking and 2 miles further. Store has different layout and it took me a lot longer to find what I needed. Got home late. Was told Max had another inconsolable crying fit and had just fallen asleep. Missed several work related calls while I was gone. Still trying to figure out work org. change. Had several calls on this. I’ve been offered this other position which would take me out of people care and give me a more project focus. I’m leaning towards staying where I am. One of my bosses wants me to take the other position because it will make his job much easier and I am a strong candidate/good fit for it. I told them I could go either way. We will see which position they are able to back fill first. Have call into the guy I would replace in the other position to ask him some questions. Left work early, but later than I wanted, to pick up one friend to go to another friends house for game night. We wanted to get there before the worst of Friday night traffic hit. We had a good time, but managed to not play one game. LOL. Got home late.

Saturday - Dragged myself out of bed and got the dogs hiked. Came home; thawed out the Chili I made last week (made a double batch and served some Tuesday night for the pollworkers) for the Single Mom’s get together; got Max and I fed; showered; loaded up the car; left a bit late, but not too bad. Realized I needed gas. Stopped. As I was pulling on the freeway (making a left turn with a left turn light), I had to break hard to not hit a car making a right turn when they didn’t have the right away and the Chili spilt all over the back of my car. Had a great time at the SMC get together. Stopped by to see a member and her new baby on the way home. Got home; walked dogs; made dinner; gave Max a bath; got him to sleep; crashed out myself.

Sunday - Got interior of car detailed. Chili stain came out of carpet and car no longer smells like burnt Chili. Came home and took a nap. Max took longer nap so I had time to straighten up the house and wash the dishes that had been sitting in the sink since Friday. Had nice day at home with Max, just the two of us.

It’s funny how things work out sometimes. Normally, I take the Baby Bjorn out of the car after I hike, because Max has decided he doesn’t like the slings anymore and I use it for both the morning hike and the evening walk around the neighborhood. On Saturday, I left it in the car just in case I needed it while out. I also put the stroller in the car just because I like to be prepared (former Girl Scout), although that isn’t really germane to this story. When the Chili spilt, it got on the Baby Bjorn as well and I wanted to walk the dogs without waiting for a load of laundry to be washed and dried. So, I went into Max’s closet to see how small the other Baby Bjorn I was given was. I had always assumed it was too small for me, but it isn’t. It worked just fine. Good to know. Now, I can leave one in the car and have one for the house. That simplifies my life just a little bit. And, hanging next to the Baby Bjorn were two crib/car toys that I didn’t realize were there that are perfect for the age Max is now. If the Chile wouldn’t have spilt, I would have never gone to look at the other Baby Bjorn and would have probably not realized I could use it or discovered the toys which had been washed and hung to dry in his closet.

Anyway, it was a busy week, especially being my first full week back to work. I’m glad I didn’t have much going on today so I could rest and recharge for next week. I have a few things going on next week, but not nearly as busy. Then, I am on vacation for a week and leave for Michigan a week from Tuesday for Thanksgiving and his christening. First airplane trip with Max. Yikes, I am so not prepared and haven’t even thought about what I need to take for him. I can back for myself in short order. Packing for us both is going to take some thought.

I’m still not 100% sure of the nanny. Max seems to be fussy and cry much more for her. He has never had an all out cry fest, been completely inconsolable where he just cries himself to sleep with me. Never. Not once. But, I am Mom. And, I have the boob. And, haven’t really trained him with the bottle. He will take the bottle sometimes, but not always. I’m not sure that it would be better with someone else. I trust her not to hurt Max and not let him hurt himself. I trust her enough to actually leave the house. I remind myself that no baby or child has ever died from crying. Max’s eyes do light up when he sees her in the morning and he gives her a big smile so I think he doesn’t completely hate her and probably does actually like her. I just wonder if it would be better with someone else. Not ready to make a change, but am going to monitor the situation through December. If I need to, maybe I will use the 2 weeks I have off around Christmas to interview others. We will see.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

I'm 12 weeks old today.

Why did she take me out?

I just LOVE the tub!

I'm so cute she can't help herself.

What is my mommy thinking taking and posting these?

Getting ready for bath!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Busy Week

Got a back to back busy week here. Don’t think I will have time to post unless I use “work” time to do it. And, I am still trying to get caught up after being out for so long. Things are fine, but have a full work week, baptism classes, election (garage is polling place for my precinct), and some social get together’s planned. I’m very tired and it is only Tuesday. Calgone…take me away.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Coo’ing in Crib

Max is coo’ing in his crib at the moment. I’m trying to get him to take at least one nap in his crib during the day. He was almost asleep in my arms after “lunch” so I decided to put him down in his crib. As soon as he was put down, he was wide awake. He is talking a bit, but not crying so I am going to leave him be for awhile and see what happens.

He has basically slept through the night the last two nights. On Friday night, we both fell asleep around 8 pm (yep, pretty exciting around here!). He woke up twice to eat (after 6 hours, then 3 hours, I think, kinda foggy memory), but then fell right back to sleep. Last night, he went to bed at 8 (I managed another hour or two of uptime before crashing) and slept 8 straight hours. He woke up at 4 am ate for 20 minutes, then played around and coo’d for about 20 minutes, then fell back asleep until 7 am. Very nice schedule. Of course, it will never work during the week because I need to get out to walk the dogs much earlier so I can get back for work.

Anyway, the point is that now that he is close to sleeping through the night, I need to think about moving him from the co-sleeper to his crib. And, I want him to be comfortable doing so during the day before we make that switch.

The problem is that during the day, he has no set sleep pattern (or any other pattern for that matter). Yesterday, he fell asleep for about 40 min. in his car seat while I was running errands and then again about an hour in my arms around 4pm. That’s it. I tried to lay down with him and take a nap around 1 pm, but he was just not interested. He played and coo’d and had a jolly time, but no sleep. I gave up around 3 ish. He slept 1 hour 40 minutes all day. That is it. I have heard that babies are supposed to sleep a lot more during the day. Advice from any mommie’s out there? Is this normal?

Some day’s he will just catnap on and off all day. Other day’s he will sleep for 2 or 3 hours, although both Niomi and I start checking him and shaking our head because that is really not the normal for him.

Hmm. This baby stuff can be hard to figure out sometimes.

Just checked, not yet asleep (or really even looking close to it), but he is just laying there moving his legs up and down kicking the mattress. Looking content, so I left him and snuck back out. BTW, when he see’s me checking him, he just looks at me and doesn’t cry or anything. I think this is a good sign. Okay, he’s back to coo’ing and talking now. LOL>

In other news, Lucky got into a dog fight (literally) with my friend Heather’s dog Daphne this morning. Neither dog was hurt. I ran into her and her friend Sean, who is visiting from England, on the trail with Heather’s two dogs. As Heather said, they have been wanting to mix it up for awhile now. Lucky and Daphne have really never liked each other. They tolerated each other, but there was no love lost between them. We have had them together and ….
…post interrupted….

Max started crying. Went and picked him up. Got him calm. Dogs started going crazy. Inspector for Tuesday’s election was at the gate. Ignored him. Got Max calm. Fed him again. He started dozing off. Put him in the crib again. Success. Decided to take nice relaxing shower and wash my hair. Checked Max. Still asleep. Got dressed and blew dry half of my hair. Checked Max. Awake. Drat. I think that was 20 – 25 min.

Made progress. Got him to fall asleep and wake up in crib without crying. Now, how do I explain what I want done and how I want it done to Niomi. Well, I will save that one for tomorrow.

Things have been better with Niomi since I had that last talk. She isn’t in Max’s face ove stimulating him. He is much less fussy. I am much less on edge. Niomi is more comfortable and less on edge. We are making progress.

Okay, got to go.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

First Day Back

Last night, Max fell asleep in his crib for the first time. I was talking to a friend on the phone (got a new wireless headset on sale cheep at The Good Guys which is going out of business) and went into his room to change him and put on his sleeper. After I finished, I put him in his crib and sat in the chair talking while he looked around and coo’d for about 20 minutes and then just fell asleep. I am very happy about this and think I will try to establish this as the new routine. I did move him to my room/the co-sleeper when I went to bed because I am not ready for him to be so far away during the night yet. He has been waking up still at least once to eat. Last night, it was twice AND he was up at 5 all smiles and ready to play. I had to laugh since it was the least amount of sleep I have gotten in awhile and my first day back to work.

Back to work has gone okay. My team called a little after 9 to wish me welcome back just as Niomi brought me Max to feed. He wasn’t really hungry, but tired and was having a meltdown while I was on the phone and couldn’t go on mute. Great! I just laughed it off and said that we are still working out some of the kinks in the going back to work routine.

On the nanny front, things have seemed to go a little bit better after I had my last talk with Niomi about not having to be in Max’s face and entertaining him every second if he is content. I explained that he needed to also learn to play on his own and be independent otherwise as he grew older it would be a problem. I didn’t want her to ignore him to get cleaning done, but she didn’t have to be constantly stimulating him. I think maybe we are finally striking a balance. I guess we are all just getting more comfortable and used to each others personalities and styles.

I’m tired and counting the minutes until I am “done” working for the day so I can hold and cuddle my little guy. Not to say I haven’t seen him and held him a few times today. I fed him twice and Niomi gave him a bottle once and I watched him play while I pumped once. I’m so fortunate that I work from home and have that chance. It is worth the hassle and invasion of privacy by having someone in my home.

I need to get a better phone and headset in place to really make things ideal. Maybe by early next week I will have settled back in fully.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Change is hard!!!

I am so good at pointing that out to others and I had to point it out to myself. It is hard enough when you have one part of your life in flux, much harder the more change that you have. And, I have a lot of change going on. I could go into detail about the whole change curve and the stages a person goes through, basically denial, the valley of despair, and acceptance. Actually, there is another stage in there between denial and valley of despair…avoidance I think. I think it is safe to say that yesterday I was in the valley of despair.

I’ve been doing a lot of self analysis trying to figure out what, exactly, is bugging me. Yesterday, I knew that something was off, but didn’t know what…just that I felt really bad. Today, I think I have figured it out. At least most of it. Like most things in life it is multifaceted.

1) Invasion of Space/Privacy
2) Noise/Crying
3) Parenting Style
4) Work
5) Separation anxiety

I like being alone. I like my space. I like living alone. I am used to living alone and having everything done my way. It is hard having someone else here and around. She makes my bed. She washes and puts away my laundry. She is in my drawers and closets and cupboards. She folds my clothes differently than I do. She hangs things I would put in a drawer. It bugs me, but I think I can live with it. I don’t like having my bed made. It seems like such a waste. Every night I just have to put it back the way I wanted it/left it. I know that some people would really like it. It bugs me, but I think I can live with it. When she is making my bed, she puts the breastfeeding pillow and my remote in Max’s co-sleeper. I don’t think I can live with that. I want nothing in the crib/co-sleeper but Max and the little triangles to keep him in place. It’s just me. Anyway, the point is that as we have been transitioning, I have increased Niomi’s hours so she is around and in my space more. If I am going to have an in-home nanny, I need to get used to having my space invaded to a certain extent. This, per se, is not a Niomi issue, it would bug me whoever was here, but I need to identify what I can live with and what I can’t. Those that bug me enough that I want done my way, I need to say something to her about it. If she continues to do it after I talk to her, then it is an issue. I need to spend more time thinking about what I can and can’t live with, but I feel a lot better having identified that I was being invaded.

I don’t like loud noises. I never have. They physically hurt my ears and cause me stress and anxiety. Many people, especially if they live alone will have the radio or TV on in the background for noise. I almost never do this. I like the quiet. When I do listen to music or TV, I usually keep the volume just low enough so that I can hear it. When Niomi is trying to entertain or distract Max, she is loud. When we went to the dr. the other day, she spent half the car ride shaking rattles in his face. I wanted to shout, PLEASE STOP. PLEASE SHUT UP. When we got to the waiting room, they had some toys for children and again, she got in his face and started moving them and making noise. Again, I wanted to shout, PLEASE STOP. PLEASE BE QUIET. I didn’t because although I was worried she was over-stimulating him, he wasn’t crying or fussy. I realize now that it wasn’t about Max. It was me that was getting over stimulated and projecting my feelings. On the noise, I really can’t take it. It is stressing me out all over again just thinking about it. I can close my office door when I work to filter out most of it. This is a style thing. Not sure if it is a deal breaker or not.

Crying babies have always grated on my nerves and stressed me out. People have said to me many times that it is different (meaning better, easier to take) when it is your own. I have also come to discover and in the last day recognize and admit that it is WORSE for me when it is my own. Max’s high pitch cry’s screams hurt my ears and causes me physical anxiety. In some of the reading I have done (more of the Baby Whisperer), while I logically know that all babies cry and it is their only way to communicate, inside I feel like BABY CRY=BAD MOMMY. On top of the other reading that I have done that says that babies feel insecure and won’t develop trust if you let them cry. A good friend asked me where I read that and we reviewed the pages together. Lucky she had the same book. It made me realize that I hadn’t read or absorb the parts that all babies will cry and sometimes you can’t settle them down. I filtered that right out. The crying thing is MY issue. It would be an issue no matter who the care giver is. It is hard enough when he cries when I am in charge. It is much, much harder to have him cry and listening to someone else try to settle him. This is a “me” issue that I need to work through. However, I am not sure that I like the way that Niomi tries to sooth him, because it is too loud for me, making me much more anxious. Adding fuel to the fire. I do like it when she takes him out of the house away from me. I hope that the walking and fresh air sooth him, but really…incessant crying and fussiness, especially in my own son, ties my stomach in not and winds me tighter than get out.

I talked to two SMC’s yesterday who both love their nanny’s. I wanted to find out if they grew to feel that way over time or had an instant connection. It was a split decision. The one thing they both said was that it was important to find a nanny who reflected, as closely as possible, your parenting style. The problem is that I am still defining my parenting style. Both of the people I talked with had an older child then became pregnant with twins on their second attempt. After talking to them and mulling things over, I realized that they already had their parenting style established at the point they hired a nanny. I’m still working on mine. I’m not always sure what I want, but I know what I don’t want when I see it. It is much easier to find what you are looking for when you know what it is instead of what it is not. This one is going to take some time. My cousin equated it to dating. With each person you date, you find out more about yourself and what you do/do not want in a spouse. This is a scary one because obviously, I never found exactly what I wanted in a spouse. Maybe, I won’t find what I am looking for in a nanny, exactly, in a nanny either. However, it may take a few “dates”. I’m not ready to make a change yet. When I bought my house, I had a typed up list of my “must haves”, my “no ways”, and my “nice to haves”. I knew exactly what I was looking for and recognized it when I saw it. I need to spend more time thinking about this and to do the same thing for a nanny. Once I do this, I can put Niomi against my criteria to see how she matches up. I need to do more homework here. Until then, I can’t and shouldn’t make a change.

With all of this, as I have mentioned, I am not happy about changes that are going on at work or having to go back to work.

I guess it is no wonder I have been feeling so emotional and out of sorts. There has been a lot going on. There is a lot of change right now in my life.

Some people say/believe that everything happens for a reason. My friend C and I were talking the other day about my “golden” nanny, the one who flaked on me a few Mondays ago, the one I would have hired off the bat if money weren’t an issue. If she hadn’t of flaked, I would have fired Niomi and hired her in a hot minute. We both laughed, knowing that I would have even though she really is more expensive than I can comfortably afford. Just think, then I would have missed out on all of this personal growth and self awareness.

What I need to do is take what attracted me to “golden” nanny and identify that, put that into a list along with what I have learned bugs me about Niomi and see what I come up with.

In a discussion a few weeks ago on a unrelated topic, sort of, about paying nanny’s under or above the table, someone pointed that there are basically two types of people -- rule followers and rule breakers. As much as I would like it to be differently, I am inherently a rule follower. I wish I wasn’t, but I am. If you apply this to parenting, it can be very difficult. One person says things should be done this way. Another book says it should be done that way. I need to realize and recognize, as a rule follower, as much as I would like my list of “rules” that tell me the way to be the best parent each person has their own set of rules. I need to set and establish mine and what will work for Max and I. This is going to take time. I need to stop feeling bad and trying to measure myself against anyone else because my kid isn’t on a schedule or is on a schedule or I give him the boob too much or I let him cry too much or I don’t let him cry enough. I need to stop feeling bad and start recognizing that everyone is different and need to find what they can live with. I need to find out what I can and can’t live with. Again, this is going to take time and it may change over time. Cognitive parenting. I think I can live with establishing and changing my philosophy as Max and I both grow and learn together. I can have him in a S.E.A.E.S routine (Sleep, Eat, Activity, Eat, Sleep) instead of a E.A.S.Y. routine (Eat, Activity, Sleep, You) if I want. Yes, maybe I am pacifying him. Yes, maybe I am projecting my feelings onto Max because I don’t like to go to sleep hungry and I don’t think he would either. I can do it. It is my prerogative, because I am the mom.

I’m not sure if what I have said even makes sense and I am not going to re-read it now to check. However, it has been therapeutic to identify the issues and to get this out. I still have a lot of work to do, but I feel like I have made great strides. I know now why I was feeling so badly. I have actionable steps to take to fix some of it. Others, it is enough for me to just be aware of. Who knew that having a kid could invoke such personal growth?

Now, I am off to lunch with a girlfriend I thought I would see and spend much more time with while I was out on leave and haven’t.

Ugh! Tomorrow, I go back to work.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Emotional and Grouchy

Dreading going back to work. A LOT!! Can and have crying at the littlest things. Not sure I have hired the right nanny. Not sure if it is me or her or both. Started a long blog about it and what I liked and didn’t, but didn’t get it finished. Getting nothing done. Nothing is making me happy. Everything is annoying me. I have a headache. The mole that the Dr. put liquid nitrogen yesterday hurts. Yep, I’m in a down right foul mood. Doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, I really do it up.

Talked to several other SMC’s today that have nanny’s and thinking about interviewing some more. Thank God for that group and the friends and acquaintances I have met through it. They have been enormously helpful and wonderful resources. So I guess not everything is black/doom and gloom.

Not sure if I am going to make a change with the nanny, but do think I am going to look around a bit more. If I find something better, great. If not fine.

I’m worried that the problem isn’t with the nanny, but with me. Maybe no one will be “right” because it isn’t me.

The SMC’s have given me good advice and said to talk to my current nanny about what is bugging me and give her another week or two to see how it goes. If not, trust my instant and make a change.

Thank you to the SMC’s have given their opinions and shared their thoughts and suggestions. Thank you to my friend C who has listened to me bitch and moan and cry on and off all day.

I have heard it said and read that “it takes a village” to raise a child. Today, I needed my village.

Off to wipe my latest set of tears and go play with my son.