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Friday, May 21, 2010

SAHM or WOHM

I just completed my third week back to work.  There are pros and cons to being a WOHM (I made that up...Work out of Home Mom) and pros and cons to being a SAHM (Stay at Home Mom).

I thought being a SAHM was much harder until I started learnign some cons to being a WOHM.  As a stay at home mom (on maternity leave), I relished a couple hours here and there where I could go to Target or go get my nails done or see a friend.  Now, I relish the time I have with Jack since I am away from him for nine hours every day.  I had book club tonight but I couldnt go b/c I wanted to be here when Jack went to bed.  He didn't get to bed until a little later than usual so I didn't go to book club.  Tomorrow I have a meeting at church which I might end up skipping (I already feel bad b/c I skipped the last one too).  I'm having a bunch of other moms over for brunch at 10:30 which of course I'm not skipping, plus it includes the babies!  I have a gift certificate for a manicure/pedicure that I don't know when I'll use.  I have things in my car I need to return and I don't know when I'll return them.  My house is a mess.  I have so many great friends willing to babysit  but I don't want to give up any of the time I have with Jack so don't want a babysitter.

So in this way, I guess working is hard...But of course there are reasons why it is easier too.

Just a thought!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Hard Night

Well, my grandmother is leaving tomorrow.  It was great having her here and its sad to see her go.  Too bad we can't convince her to spend more time here...maybe during the long Wisconsin winters she could be here.  Anyway, Jack is just not acting right.  I dont think his ear infection has gone away and the antibiotics are done tomorrow.  He has a low grade fever off and on.  And he is not acting right at all.  It makes me so worried.  Johns mom is watching him this week and she couldnt get him to nap today...she says he falls asleep and then suddenly wakes up like he is in pain.  When I got home at 4, he acted so relieved to see me.  But because he was so tired, I could barely keep him up.  Literally, he was falling asleep as I gave him medicine.  He didn't look right at all.  I had been thinking he was just over tired from being away this wknd.  Now I'm thinking there is something more going on.  I will go to work in the morning and call the doctor when they open to see if I can get him in for an appointment. 

Tonight he completely fell asleep by 6...I mean, I could NOT keep him awake for anything, not even to eat.  I had told my friend Elizabeth I would go to Buy Buy Baby to help her register (for her twins!!!).  I know she didn't want to wait until 8 which is when I thought the earliest I could be there was...but I called her at six since thats when Jack fell asleep.  John called me shortly after I got to the store b/c he had already woken up.  I wanted to come home but John told me not to so I didn't.  John got him back to sleep but I'm just having such mixed feelings about working.  I hate being away from him and when I get home, I have no idea why he is acting like he is.  Because I wasn't with him.  I also felt guilty not being there when he woke up tonight.  I know John is great with him but I want to be there when he isn't feeling good.  I just really thought he was down for the night.  So tonight has been a struggle.  The wedding was great because it was my brother but it would take another sibling getting married for me to leave town and go through this again.  Jack is just not a go with the flow baby and its not fair to him to drag him around outside of his routine.

Well, I'll keep you posted on the doctor's appointment if I decide to take him in tomorrow.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Jack has a new aunt...and he is a nudist.

Andrew and Whitney got married! The wedding went off without a hitch and they looked like a couple straight out of a magazine...JCrew I'd have to say.


I was very nervous going into this weekend. It was located in Mathews, Virginia...Whitney's hometown. I wasn't sure how Jack would do off his routine. Not great!!! He didn't sleep in the car ride down of course (stop and go traffic and he always cries when we're not moving...stop and go set the tone for the rest of the trip). We rented a house on the grounds where the reception was located. Got to the house around 4. Jack was already on the brink of melting down. I left him with grandma while I went to the rehearsal which was supposed to be only thirty minutes (starting at 5:30) but didn't even get STARTED for 30 minutes and then lasted an hour or an hour and a half. I was supposed to be there since I was reading scripture but had to leave early to get back to Jack and grandma. Grandma and I made it to the rehearsal dinner but Jack and I didn't last long. He burst out in the middle of my dad's toast. John tried walking him around in the Beco but even that didn't work so Jack and I went home. I was worried he wouldnt sleep at night either since he never sleeps anywhere but his crib...but he slept perfectly in the pack n' play!!! Only thing is, I didn't get him in there until 9:30, after we went through his bedtime routine. Just because he goes to bed late, does not mean he'll wake up late. In fact, they say just the opposite happens. Typically, the more your baby sleeps, the better he'll continue to sleep. The less/worse he sleeps, the worse he'll continue to sleep, like a vicious cycle. Anyway, he woke up at his usual 5:30. He also woke up at 4:00 AM. I don't know how people who have the baby sleep in the same room do it. I wake up SO much more...b/c I hear every little peep. In fact, this morning (our second night there), he was makign a lot of noise around 3:30 AM. I woke up to feed him but was thinking, I know he isn't really hungry. I decided to wait a minute to see how it would play out. Turns out, he was just busy in his diaper and went rigth back to sleep until 5:30 when he typically wakes up. Anywho, so each night he got 2 bed about 2 hours later than normal, meaning we started both of our days there at a two hour sleep defecit. Saturday was wonderful. We had family and friends visiting all day, in and out. He met Grandma Rowland for the first time...and loved her.  check out this video.
video



He also met Dixie and Colleen this weekend...my mom's childhood friends :)





You can see he is practically naked in almost all pictures. That is because he LOVES being naked. If all else fails, strip off his clothes and normally, he is happy as a clam!

Bouncing back to the reception...before I finally brought him to bed at 8:30 (melting down)...John carried him around in the Beco carried (one of our saving graces)...


I then brought him up to bed but because people thought the bathrooms were for anyone's use, while giving Jack a bath I had people I didn't even know knocking on the door...maybe five times.  oh wells!

Here are some other pics from the wedding...

My cousin ADAM---ladies, this man is single!!!


My cousins, Kristen and Stephanie...Kristen (left) waved hello to Jack during the ceremony at which time, Jack burst out crying and exploded his diaper, shooting poop all the way up the back of his cute outfit.  I used disposables for the wknd...darn disposables!  I never have that problem with cloth.  I took Jack outside to change him since his screams were audible anywhere in the church...but made it back in for the good stuff.


Emily (my sister) and Jason (BIL), Jack's God Parents


My mom and me...


John and Jack snoozing on the porch Saturday afternoon...Jack is such a catnapper and sleeps much better ON you...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Confusion!

I’ve been reading more of “The Milk Memos”. Basically, it’s a bunch of letters some women at IBM exchanged in their lactation room while pumping. They didn’t know each other but started writing in this notebook that was sitting on the table while they pumped. They’re all different with different view points and opinions but majority of the women, wish they would not have to work. It makes me think, does it make you a “bad mom” if you work by choice? I know “bad mom” is a little dramatic, but do you know what I mean? I think that if I really wanted to stay home, we could make it work…but I’ve always enjoyed working. I like the interactions I get with coworkers and the stimulation I get from the work. In addition, I like to spend money! I’ve always liked spending money! I like nice things! Do you watch Modern Family? There is an episode where the father impulsively quits his job as a lawyer and goes home to tell his partner, who is a stay at home dad to their adopted daughter. The stay at home dad freaks a little because he is like, “but I like nice things!” You probably have to watch it to think that’s funny but it is HILARIOUS and I really related to that. ANYway, I have all these ideas in my head…first and foremost…new kitchen! If I didn’t work, I would have to make do with what we have. Sure, that’s not the end of the world but I think its fun to earn money and then develop a plan to save it and spend it to reach our goals. I really love dealing with finances and get a lot of satisfaction from paying the bills.

On the other hand, I hate leaving Jack! I spend alllllll of my waking moments with him when I am home since I miss so much time with him during the week. I don’t WANT him to get used to being with someone else during the day and I don’t want to miss any of his milestones either! So clearly, I want the best of both worlds. My old job was super flexible b/c I was 100% commission. I loved the job but the stress was so high that I knew it would be hard to be a good mom…I was so distracted all the time. Hmm…I have zero clarity on this issue so until I do, guess I'll keep doing what I'm doing.

In other news, I just pumped 16.25 oz in 15 minutes(ish). Is this crazy? That’s more than a soda I think! Possibly a soda and a half.  Does my body think I have twins? Gosh!

I’m missing Jack a lot today.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Long Morning but fantastic "push present"!!!

So you know how in my last post I mentioned how Jack seemed under the weather but maybe its because he is adjusting to me being back at work? WELL, turns out he IS under the weather.

Jack sleeps 10-11 hours straight at night. That's right, 10-11 hours. Unbelievable!!! But I woke up to the sound of him choking and gagging (reflux symptom). He wasnt even crying but I could hear it from the other room over our fan! So he woke up and was fussy...could tell he was uncomfortable. Slept with him in guest room. When the walk in hours to doctors office started I took him in. Four hours later I left. But glad we went because not only did he need a big dosage increase on the Prevacid since he is now 15 lbs 12 oz (at 10 weeks 4 days...holy cow!) but he had a fever and ear infection too. Ear infections are common in reflux babies apparently. So, now we have antibiotics too. Poor little guy. What a trooper he is.

SO, I got home and john gave me my mothers day gifts!!! I got amethyst studs for mothers day and an amethyst ring for my "push present". amethyst is jacks birthstone. my push present (what I get for pushing out the baby) is 10 weeks late! John is refusing to say its a push present and says its for mothers day because he thinks push presents are stupid but i disagree. I harrassed him so much for that push present so im definitely calling it what it is...a push present!!! Here is a pic. 'scuse my appearance...no time to look pretty :)

Thoughts...

Meant to post this yesterday...wrote it at lunch.

I think one of the hard things about being a working mom is that since you miss out on so much time during the day, you don’t want to miss a second with your baby when you’re home. We have lots of people willing to babysit but I don’t want to go anywhere without him. At the same time, I miss my favorite restaurants, long shopping trips, and movies! Heck, I even miss watching movies at home…I’m too tired to stay up that much longer after he’s gone to bed!

It’s so hard to be productive and focused at work after ten weeks off. This week there is an agency convention type thing down in Florida…so half the office is there…very quiet around here. Nice week to get started…on the other hand, a little too quiet…easy to be too relaxed.

I finally have a room to pump in so I don’t have to squat on an open toilet on the first floor. I was going to the first floor so that no one would know who it is pumping…I felt that would be akward. I think I make a ton more milk than Jack needs. I pumped 12, I repeat TWELVE ounces in 15 minutes this morning. I pump on average about 22 oz each day while I’m at work. Feed him myself before I leave for work in the morning. Get home from work at 4:00 and feed him once then and then whenever he wants until bed. I wonder how much is a normal amount to pump? I do this three times each day. I wonder how often others do? Maybe I should feel guilty for having to take this time off of work but I have not been taking lunch on many of the days so far…either that or I build one of the pumping sessions into my lunch.

I feel differently about working every day. One day I think, I really like this and am so glad to be back at work. The next I feel a little down all day long and feel I’m missing too much time with Jack. I noticed Jack has not been very smiley this week. I thought maybe he is under the weather…now I’m thinking…maybe he is adjusting to me being gone all day? I miss him a lot. The other thing is, since I get home at 4:00, I miss a lot of the day. If he is not smiley when I get home, I don’t really know why. When I was home with him all day, I’d know it was maybe b/c he didn’t take naps…or whatever!

Once John goes back to work in another week, his mother will be watching Jack. This was the best I thought, to keep him in family care until the three month mark. John’s mom took off an entire week to help us. Now I wonder if it would make me AND Jack feel better just to start with the babysitter and get settled in his long term routine. I just don’t know though b/c I think Johns mom already has requested the time off. It is a good chance for Johns mom and Jack to bond though.

I’m pretty sure we’re going to join the pool this summer! We have two pools within a couple of miles of us…I think I chose which one I want to go to. I just think it would be really fun to go to the pool with Jack after work for a couple hours a few nights each week, considering how much he loves the water! I already bought him swim diapers.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Too Sexy!

video

Lots to say...

I guess I have a lot to say today...

So today was Grandma's turn at babysitting.  Tomorrow it will be John again.  Grandma is fantastic.  We really think Jack has turned a corner (or he is sick?).  He slept from 8-10 this morning.  Then again from 1:30-4:20ish...mostly in his crib.  Maybe she is calmer than I am so he is calmer and sleeps better?  But even before, she couldnt get him to sleep much past an hour.  Now he is sleeping these amazing naps.  We were sitting in my living room talking waiting for my mom to come pick grandma up...and we heard him kind of fussing.  It was sort of a different kind of fussing than I've heard before so I rushed up and found him smooshed against the crib railings.  Guess its time I put the crib bumpers back into the crib now that he is rolling around some.  Okay not smooshed but the top of his head somehow became pushed against it.  His poor head had a big dent in it.  But he didn't even cry!  I felt sorry for him.  I picked him up and fed him...he fell asleep immediately.  I thought he wouldn't sleep well tonight but believe it or not, he went down without a peep around 8:20.  I don't get it!  But it's great.  By the way you can't even see the dent in his head anymore.  Baby's heads are kind of amazing, huh?

Katie came by for a few minutes and she took my strollers out to play around with them for a few minutes since she's trying to learn..she's expecting a little one in October.  But can you believe she isnt going to find out the gender?  I admire people with that kind of discipline.  I couldnt WAIT to find out. 

Then our friend Brian, who is in town from North Carolina, came to visit us.  He's a natural with babies.  I took a picture so his wife can check it out :) Jack completely passed out on Brian.  Guess its just one of those sleepy types of days.


Another noteworthy event...my sister was kind of like...afraid of Jack.  A lot of people think they're gonna break him.  But he is becomign a lot more fun....check out this picture of Emily and Jack.  So cute.


Cute pics...






The Milk Memos

After I wrote my small blog excerpt yesterday, the day only improved. I met with my supervisor at 1 for a meeting I requested. I wanted to talk to her about telework and I wanted to talk to her about my projects and making sure I stay busy so my days go fast and I feel like if I have to be away from my baby, at least I’m doing important work and contributing. Well, the meeting was great. I was concerned about teleworking. I turned down the opportunity before my maternity leave. I thought (and others think) that when you’re new, it is important to be seen around the office. I asked Linda if she thought teleworking would hurt me professionally. She told me it won’t hurt me a bit and that I’ve been here for almost one year. We’ll start with one day a week in June, then move to two days a week. I’m thrilled. I’ll be able to spend an hour of lunch with Jack each afternoon. I’ll be able to drop him at 7 and pick him up at 3:30 and maybe feed him each day so I only have to pump the three days/week I’m in the office. How convenient to have him so close by with the sitter. Anyway, we’re so fortunate to work for such a family-friendly agency (John and I work for the same government agency) where we have these benefits like alternate work schedules (John has every other Friday off) and telework (between John and I we’ll be teleworking three days/week). So today, I feel better again. I guess it’s natural to be up and down for the first few weeks while you leave your baby at home and go to work. I’m used to it  I can switch emotions pretty quickly!




So in addition to the telework, Linda, my supervisor, answered a lot of questions for me on my projects, I let her know where I’m interested in becoming more involved. And she told me multiple times how happy they are to have me back, how they think I do a great job, etc. It just made me feel awesome. Did I mention when I came back to work there was a “Welcome Back” banner at my cube (made by my boss!!!) signed with little notes by all of my coworkers? I’m so lucky…I have great coworkers.



John stayed with Jack all day yesterday. My grandma and him are switching off for the next couple of weeks. I came home, and Jack was in a GREAT mood! John must have done a fantastic job. In fact, Jack didn’t cry at all, all evening. I got home from work at 4 and he never cried…not even going to bed. He was just happy as can be! This morning, I only knew he was awake b/c I heard him sneeze a couple of times in his crib. I went in to check on him to see if he can actually sneeze in his sleep and he was just chillin in his crib, slowly waking up. So I picked him up and fed him. Still, no crying! That rice cereal really did the trick. He still does that choking/gagging thing occasionally (I noticed he did it this morning) so I know the reflux is still there but it must not be as painful b/c he isn’t crying nearly as much. Not only that but I think he is just getting to the age where a lot of the colicky babies outgrow it. But here is the funny thing…John went to bed at like 8:30 or 9 pm. I think all men should play Mr. Mom at least once or twice…they need to know how its so exhausting…b/c its hard to explain that.



I paid the bills last night and paid off Johns car. Not to say it’s only b/c of me we were able to do that but it was a reminder of why its nice that I’m working NOW…so we can do that…then LATER, maybe we’ll try to keep things very simple so that staying home can remain an option for me if I decide that’s best as my kids grow.



So, the reason I wanted to blog today was to tell you about a book entitled “The Milk Memos”. A friend commented on my blog that she would recommend that book…so I ordered it on Amazon immediately. It came yesterday and I have read a couple of chapters today while pumping. I’d have to say it’s a MUST read for any mom’s planning on returning to work and breastfeeding. It’s inspirational even! They also include templates for logging how much you pump and when. Or you can use their template to give to your day care provider on when your baby eats and how much. I really love this book. Answers a ton of good questions. As I sat, pumping, on an open toilet on the first floor of our building (I’m on the 8th floor but found the least used bathroom in the building), I felt like I’m not alone and I’m doing this with tons of other moms out there too! It’s kind of peaceful down there…the lights turn off half way through since there is no movement (motion scensored lighting). We all feel mixed feelings when returning to work and it’s completely normal. And that it’s not even bad if you kind of LIKE working and returning to work…Anyway, I think you should go purchase this book today! I really loved this excerpt and it reminded me of how I was able to reconnect with my friend Sarah, from high school, and her little cutie Bastian.  Here is the excerpt from "The Milk Memos" (by Cate Colburn-Smith and Andrea Serrette).  It is from page 25.

"Find new mommy friends by "flirting" with other moms at the pediatrician's office, at church, in the library, or at your neighborhood park.  Any woman carrying a breaskpump bag is a sure target..." blah blah blah.  I just liked the "flirting with other moms" part.

On Second Thought...

This is a post I meant to put up yesterday (5/4/2010)...I started having a hard time being back at work when John was home with Jack...maybe jealousy?  hehehe.  I dont think so!

...I think I’m overly optimistic when I’m uncomfortable with something…almost like I’m trying to talk myself into feeling good about something when I’m not. Then reality hits days or months later. It only took one day for me to decide that it’s really tough leaving Jack during the day. John is watching him today. I just called and Jack was talking in the background and it made me just start crying. I don’t know…I guess I could try to do part time? First thing is to decide how long of a chance I want to give working. A month? Two months? Six months? I just don’t like this one bit...

Monday, May 3, 2010

Was not so bad...

So like I mentioned in my last post, today was my first day back at work.  The only reason I'm blogging right now instead of sleeping in bed, is because I have things like washing the diapers and prepping the bottles for tomorrow to do before bed...and I am too tired to start.  Reason I'm tired?  Stayed up late cleaning so that my grandmother, who watched Jack today, could stay in a clean house.  Also wanted to do everything last night so I had less to worry about this morning.

Anyway, I woke up at five, got myself ready...Jack woke up at 5:45 (perfect), I fed him, etc and left the house at 6:30...got to work by 7.  I cried when I kissed him goodbye but one I was in the office, it really wasn't as bad as I thought it would be!  My coworkers had left me a Welcome banner they made taped to my cube...signed by everyone with little notes.  So sweet!  Another coworker left me a card and some chocolate :)  It was nice to walk into.  And it was just nice to be back at work interacting with people all day.  Staying at home all day is 100 times more exhausting to me than going to work...I feel blah and lathargic by the end of the day and count the minutes until John comes home.  Even when I make sure to spend a couple hours with friends each day or whatever, my only really fantastic days were days when we were around lots of people all day...like at his baptism.  Things like that.

So I really think that once I make the adjustment, working is not going to be bad.  I leave work at 3:30 and home by 4.  I came home and grandma was singing to Jack and he was sleeping on her.  She was soooo upset and worried because he had scratched his forhead with his nails.  He does this sometimes when he cries so we always try to keep his nails super short.  He came out at birth with scratches on his face!  I told grandma not to worry this happens a lot!  But she still asked me how John reacted to the scratch when he got home from work.  I was like, Grandma!!! Dont worry!!!  This happens all the time with Jack.  When he fusses he scratches at his face.  I told you, this kid is dramatic :)  Anyway, he took several cat naps and two, one hour naps today.  He was in a GREAT mood tonight but it seems like the more/better he sleeps, the sleepier he is...so he went to bed tonight around 7:45 or slightly earlier.

I was so excited to come home and see him tonight!!  John is staying home with him tomorrow...can't wait to hear how it goes!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Returning to Work...

Tomorrow is my first day back at work.  agh!  WOAH.

In a sense, I'm looking forward to working.  I've always worked and enjoyed working.  Thank goodness about half way through my maternity leave I reconnected with a friend from high school who has a son three weeks older than Jack.  I have talked about Bastian in similar posts.  They both came over today with Ian (husband and dad).  Here is a picture Ian took of us...


Bastian kind of looks like..."This party sucks." and it looks like Jack is like, "Hey you...Bastian...remember me/  We've been walking together."  I'll miss our walks but Sarah and I are going to find a way to walk on weekends now.  Anywho...today John and I had some friends over from church (plus Sarah, Ian, and Bastian).  Here are a couple of pictures...









The poor little guy was soooo tired by the end...I felt guilty keeping him awake.  Our house is tiny so all the noise I think got to him by the end of the cookout.  The rest of the day was rough but I got some fantastic smiles out of him before bed. 

So...I made myself a to-do list toinght so I could get everything possible done tonight...all I have to do tomorrow is shower, dress (clothes are already ironed and laying out!), eat breakfast, and feed Jack.  John packed out lunches for us so thats done.  I'll have to set up Jack's bottles even though i really have no idea how much he'll eat.  I'll leave for work at 6:30, Grandma arrives at 6:45, John leaves for work at 7.  I'm nervous no one can do it like me...I guess I must deep down think I'm pretty AWESOME.  I dont even know how John will do it.  (My grandma and John are alternating days this week).  Now that grandma has him on rice cereal though he is soooo much easier.  He naps during the day!  Miracle!!!  I feel a little more comfortable leaving him with her now...I was worried he would completely exhaust her.  She is even bringing food here tomorrow so she can make us dinner.  So sweet :) 

A couple things I'm thinking about for tomorrow...Where will I pump!!!  I have to figure that out or I might end up in my car which is a little weird and inconvenient.  Also, will I miss him too much?  I am  feeling a little weepy about it now.  On the other hand, staying at home is TOUGH work for many reasons but the only one that seems a little TOO hard is that I get no people interaction.  Sure my neighbors are outside and I talk with them, and I met up with friends now and then...but those interactions only take up a couple hours a day...no where near the amount of interaction you get in an office.  By the end of the day I am so lathargic.  so this way I'll be able to have my interaction with people and really look forward to seeing Jack at the end of the day.  I'll be home by 4:00 every day which isn't bad.  And some in my office telework twice a week.  I am allowd to telework 1 day each week and I may ask if I can eventually telework twice/week.  That would be nice b/c my day would be over at 3:30 and I could walk over and get Jack or even have lunch with him. 

I really want to make sure when I go back to work that I have lots of work to do b/c I want my days to fly by...so hopefully I can meet with my boss tomorrow to get that underway!  I'll let you know how it goes!