Friday, December 30, 2011

The Pirate Outing

I was so surprised and touched by all the thoughtful and encouraging responses to my last post that I went back and read it again. And as I was reading, I realized I did know why I cared so much what people thought of Milo and his pirate eyes. Somehow, I still think Milo and I are the same person. Is this true of all mothers? You give birth to your baby, but a crucial part of them remains a crucial part of you? Or am I just romanticizing? I did not want to be the mother who misplaced her own life goals and ambitions onto her children, but I see in some ways I already am that mother, so entangled is my identity with Milo's. This might not be so bad if I were not also a perfectionist. Not the useful type either. I am the type desperate to be seen as utterly competent in every way. I need to exceed expectations and be showered with validating compliments. I cling to a reputation I've created for myself in my head. I have the strongest work ethic. I am the most reliable. I can juggle 14 balls at once, and keep a clean house as well. While sometimes true, these are all illusions of the most damaging kind. Remember that line I quoted in yesterday's post: "save your loved ones from the cruelty of your own impossible standards and your hard-hearted disappointment."

Right. So the thing I realized as I was re-reading yesterday's post was this: I am totally making this about me. Ew. But true. I can make a compelling argument that I simply don't want Milo to have the negative experiences that came from growing up with this eye condition. And this is certainly true, but not the whole story.  I can also explain that I have yet to take him out in public wearing an eye patch because I don't want to subject him to the uncomfortable stares and comments, but who am I kidding? As another line in this book gently reminds me, "At this age, your child doesn't have the kind of ruminating, obsessive mind that you have (pg 71)... We live fiercely fortified by the illusion of inalienable rights, among them the right to perfection...[we divide the world into] the good and bad, the better and worse...the perfect and imperfect...the flower and the weed...the you and me.  The world, of course, does not really divide that way, only our egocentric views do. By good, we mean good for me. By wrong, we mean wrong to me. Ask your child to distinguish between a daisy and a dandelion to see that there is no distinction at all." (pg 76)

While it is true that I want the best for Milo, it is also true that I desperately want Milo to be the best, smartest, most perfect and admired baby of all babies. Because, you know, that would say a lot about me.

Meanwhile, Milo, right now, is fine. He is more than fine. He is the happiest baby I've known. As far as I can tell, he is utterly unfazed by this eye condition he may or may not have. He does not notice the looks people give him when his eyes are askew. In fact, I'm not even sure that people do give him such looks, or even notice that his eyes are askew. What I do know is that I watch people as we walk by and Milo causes a ripple effect. I'm not kidding. He's that cute. He leaves a wake of people who turn and look at him as they walk by. They ooh and ahh and come to see and touch and fawn. They call over their colleagues to come and look. Not one has noticed or asked about his turned-in eye. Even his glasses have elicited only high-pitched compliments of cuteness.

This is what I know for sure: Milo is not the least bit worried that kids are going to make fun of him in kindergarten. He will never remember wearing a pirate patch, except in the memories we re-tell to him in the story of his life. He dislikes having the patch and glasses put on, but he is willing to move past that. He is sitting in front of me, waiting for me to mimic his smacking lips. That is all.

I am the one who is obsessing, creating the "problems" from the "trouble." I am keeping us indoors during patch hours. I am worried that he won't like reading and thus won't like school and won't be successful and holy shit. My kid's only six months old and I've already decided his whole life is doomed. Which will clearly reflect poorly on me as a parent.

It's absolutely still true that I only want what's best for him. I just need to learn to stop pretending that I know how every tomorrow will unfold as a result of today and focus on what's best for him right now. In this moment.

Which is clearly some tongue-clucking and lip-smacking. That's all. I just need to be here with him. That's really all he needs and wants from me. And it's so simple to give to him. And so selfish not to.

And beyond all this is another truth (from page 100): my child will learn nearly everything by watching, hearing, and imitating me. If I want my child to learn to handle difficult emotions and overcome fears, I'll have to do likewise. If I want Milo to feel comfortable in his own skin, look straight at the camera without squinting his weak eye to activate his "good" eye, and to bravely meet the gazes of curious strangers dead-on...he will learn that from watching me. Well, okay, not yet. Because I don't do that yet. But, like my friend Meryl said...we get the kid we need. I now have all the inspiration and motivation in the world to, at the very least, put on a brave face and fake it. Because the last thing I want is to teach my son to feel less than, to hide from the camera, to stay inside when he's not looking his best.

You know, as I'm typing all of this, I'm realizing this isn't the first time I've had this epiphany. I live in a dorm full of 28 teenage girls. And time and time again, I've had to stop myself from making self-deprecating remarks about my body. I've had to reach for "being healthy" instead of "losing weight." I've forced myself not to fix my hair and put on contacts before opening my door in the morning. I come to dorm meetings in my pajamas. Not because it is comfortable--although it is--but because I want these girls to live with a real woman, one with frizzy hair and all, so that they get a quiet message that they can do the same. If not today, in high school, then one day. They can revel in their messy hair and naked face and mismatched socks and talk about their geeky days with fond affection for their former selves. They can snort when they laugh and laugh until they pee and open themselves up to know and be known.

But none of that has been hard for me, truthfully. Because I was never the popular, pretty girl. I somehow came to terms with that long ago. But my eyes? I can't quite say I've come to terms with them, although we've been on more friendly terms the last few years or so.

Pretty is subjective. Crossed eyes are not.

So yes, I think we get the kids we need. And yes, it seems more important now than ever before to have some perspective and some confidence and some balls. Because that's what I want my son to see and to learn and to mimic.

And so yes, my little Pirate and I ventured out running errands today, patch and all. And would you believe that was the highlight of the day?!

I had gotten a Christmas gift that I wanted to exchange for a different size, and so I patched and bundled Milo up set out on our adventure. On the way downstairs, I ran into my neighbor and her two-year-old son. My neighbor saw Milo wearing his glasses for the first time and exclaimed how cute they were. I don't think she even noticed the patch before she called her son over to admire Milo's glasses and how cute he looked in them. Her son, of course, saw the patch right away, about the same time she did, and asked what it was. She hesitated, and I explained that Milo was wearing a pirate patch to help make his other eye grow stronger. She acted like that was perfectly normal, a pirate patch. Of course. Her son nodded and smiled and checked it out and went back to being a rescue robot, cape a-swirling.

Milo and I went off toward a mall where the store I needed was located. I navigated the traffic and the parking garage. (You know how I feel about parking garages.) I even stopped to use google on my phone to make sure the store was, in fact, in that mall. I unpacked the stroller, the diaper bag, the car seat and baby, the water bottle, and the item I was returning and noted my parking level before heading to the elevator. Upon entering the mall, I could not, for the life of me, find a store directory so I wandered around two different floors before I gave in and asked for help. I went up to a cashier behind a register in one of the stores, and thought fleetingly about pulling the stroller alongside the counter in such a way as to showcase Milo's unpatched eye. But I didn't. The nice woman behind the counter told me apologetically that the store I needed was actually in the mall across the street. Of course. Incidentally, she didn't seem to notice Milo or his pirate patch. So I headed back down the elevator and found myself with several fellow passengers. I was acutely aware of Milo's patch. I felt protective and reached forward to adjust the sunshade a bit. I angled the stroller just so. I caught myself and put it back. I furtively looked to see if anyone was looking at him funny. Maybe one woman was. It was hard to tell. I was so absorbed that I got off on the wrong level. So I got another chance to ride the elevator and check out people checking out Milo. One woman made appreciative noises in his direction. Another looked mildly curious.

I got off on the wrong level again. Bewildered, I looked around. I was sure this one was right. I got back on the elevator and noticed the color coding of the buttons. Thank god for my visual memory at least. I was certain I was parked on the green level, no matter that it was B and not the E I thought it was. Which incidentally didn't exist anyway, since the garage only went to D.

So I got back in the car, drove across the street, got everything out again, and went in the other mall. I finally found the store I was looking for on the second floor (of course) and stopped a saleslady to ask about the item, and she went off to see if she could find it in the store for me. I admired this and that as I wandered around the store. I noticed that although there weren't the usual ripples of Milo adoration, there also weren't a lot of judgmental stares or curious questions. Most importantly, Milo was babbling and smiling as per usual. He smacked his lips at me. I clucked my tongue at him. He was satisfied. I was cautiously optimistic.

Of course, then the saleslady returned to tell me the item was from an outlet store and I'd have to return it to an outlet. But also that without a gift receipt, all they were likely to do was mail a store credit to my home address. Seriously? Even though I just wanted an exchange and even though it's the annual after-Christmas return season? And even though I drove to two malls with a PIRATE and wasted my whole day just to get ONE FREAKING ERRAND CROSSED OFF MY LIST?

But then Milo started rubbing his eyes in that cute way that signals nap time. He'd been wearing the patch IN PUBLIC for two hours.

And we had been together.

Smacking lips and clucking tongues and smiling and babbling.

So I figure today went exactly as it needed to. Maybe I'll just donate that gift.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

My Little Pirate

I told you I'm reading this book called Momma Zen (which I highly recommend) and I've been dog-earing pages that I want to revisit. One page includes the quote "I still have troubles. They're just not a problem." It's in a chapter about acceptance and how everything is just as it should be and would be just fine if not for our critical commentary. It suggests we "practice acceptance on yourself so you can be kinder with your child. Practice nonjudgmental awareness of your life so you can save your loved ones from the cruelty of your own impossible standards and your hard-hearted disappointment. Practice greater faith and lesser is full of fits and starts. Some things are easy; some are not. Some things go and some things stop. Do your work; then set it down. There are no failures. Forgive and forget yourself." (page 41)

This chapter resonated with me because I know that I focus too much on my troubles and make them into problems, and I so admire the few people I know who seem to take everything in stride and with a good attitude. I do have impossible standards. And I never, never set my "work" down. And I make everything "work." And Milo, Michael and I--and pretty much everyone else that crosses my path--all suffer for it.

But take heart--awareness brings with it the possibility of change. Today I was home sick with Milo. The nanny is off this week, and I had taken time off as well, with visions of spending more joyful, work-free time with Milo in the aftermath of the hectic holidays. Instead, we stayed in bed until 1:30 in the afternoon. And then took another nap or two later in the day.

And every time I woke up, I thought of the presents strewn about the kitchen, mixed in with the dirty dishes. And the growing mound of laundry that needs doing. And how I had planned a fun outing with Milo and I was wasting my time off from work.

And then I stopped.

And I thought about how much my body needs sleep, and how much my son needs my comfort. And how much pleasure it brings me to cuddle with my son. Halfway between him and sleep is a wonderful, peaceful place to be. And so I lingered there and let the rest melt away.

And the dishes didn't get done, and neither did the laundry or the groceries or the outing. But if the point was to spend time with Milo, then everything worked out just the way I wanted it to.

But I can't pretend I'm not sitting here wishing that my house was clean. Because it would really make me feel better if it was. But I'm going to try really, really hard to focus on what matters this year and learn to let go a little bit.

I've been really struggling with Milo's eye condition, which is as of now still undiagnosed other than being farsighted. I was hoping that I wouldn't pass along my eye condition to Milo, but it does have a genetic component. Oh how much trouble my eyes were growing up. The coke bottle thick glasses that made me look every bit the dork that I am. The crossed eyes that elicited so much teasing. The self-consciousness that still prevents me from looking people in the eye...which also prevents me from remembering their name, which only leads to further self-consciousness. And the photos. I, the lover of keepsakes and photo shoots, can not take a good picture to save my life. One eye is always drifting off, and that's the only thing I ever see in the photo. Honestly, it kills me. I love pictures more than anyone! I just don't want to keep any that showcase my wandering eye.

And I sure don't want my son to go through all of that.

I had an eye doctor who was always so amazed at the amount of reading I do, given my condition. Most people without binocular vision apparently don't love to read because it's so much work for their brain to translate the images coming in from the eyes. It gives them headaches and fatigue. But reading has always been my refuge. I'm worried it somehow won't work that way for Milo. And I want it to. Because I credit my love of reading with most of my success in life.

So obviously I turned out okay. And I know that, of all the things your kid could be burdened with, this is not that big a deal. But then again--it's his EYES! You only get one set.

So I was especially paranoid about his eyes, and we started noticing them turning in pretty early, but everyone said all newborns' eyes do that, so we waited. But then at five months, my best friend gently commented that she had noticed too. It was getting more pronounced and consistent. I took Milo back to the pediatrician and she agreed we should have it looked at. In my time of need I turned to google, of course, to find that Children's Hospital Boston has a national reputation for pediatric ophthalmology...and an office ten minutes from my house. What luck! We got an appointment with a lovely man who took Milo's face in both hands and exclaimed how cute he was. I immediately liked him. He dilated Milo's eyes, and found that he was farsighted, so he prescribed three months of glasses and patching before we talk about surgery. To be honest, I was ready to leap to the surgery. Because I don't want my son's eyes to be crossed. I don't want him to look less than perfect. How's that for pressure to place on a six month old? What kind of mom am I? I had read that the surgery had the best chance of being successful if done before a year, because the brain is making neural pathways or some mumbo jumbo, and I know in my heart he'll need the surgery, so I'd rather do it sooner than later so it has the most chance of being successful.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, they don't rush to slice open an infant's eyes. So we're patching Milo's right eye for 1-2 hours a day and he wears glasses daily, all day. I was so worried this would strain our relationship, as I imagined we'd fight Milo all day to keep the glasses on. I felt so bad because the day he was supposed to start wearing him he slept past the time I had to leave for work and the nanny had to put them on for the first time.

But she sent me a picture later that morning with a text that said he tried to take them off for about ten minutes, and then just moved on. That's my baby.

The patching is much the same. Milo hates having the patch put on, but once I get it in place, he lets himself be easily distracted and moves on to something interesting. Some days it irritates him more than others, and then we take it off after an hour or try again later.

We have yet to take him out with the patch on though. We time it around when we can be home playing with him. The nanny, I'm afraid to confess, is braver than we. Perhaps because it's not her kid. She brazenly takes walks with Pirate Milo and I both love and hate her for it. What is wrong with me? I've dared myself to talk about it with anyone and everyone because there's no shame in this. And everyone seems to know someone who has patched. (and lived.) But talking about it is one thing. Talking about it while my kid is right there for strangers to gawk at is another.

I'm working myself up to it.

The glasses are so much easier. They are "normal" enough, and truth be told, he is even cuter in glasses. Everyone says so. Except they don't seem to do much for the eye turn, which is just as pronounced.

I recently had an eye exam of my own, and I spoke with my doctor--who specializes in strabismus and vision therapy--about Milo. I was surprised to find him adamantly against the surgery I am in such a rush to get Milo signed up for. He says there is absolutely no research that says it's effective. That maybe it helps cosmetically in a temporary way but that many people need multiple surgeries and it does not create binocular vision. He said that vision therapy is much more likely to be effective, only it's never prescribed because it's not billable and insurance doesn't cover it. I cautiously asked about the cost...around $140 a pop, every few weeks, possibly for a few years. He also suggested taping over the middle part of both lenses in Milo's eyeglasses, forcing him to use both eyes all the time (whereas the patching only requires him to use one eye for a few hours a day.)

I hate myself for cringing at the thought of that kind of commitment. I think back to the allergy shots I had weekly for four years as a kid. They sucked for me, sure, but I had no where else to be. My poor mother, though...the scheduling havoc that must have caused! No wonder so many families opt for the one time surgery with the cosmetic results that are covered by insurance. It's not only more affordable, but also more convenient. Fast results! I want instant gratification where my baby's eyes are concerned. (And everywhere else, if I'm being honest.)

So he suggested I have my old eye doctor, who I had a longer relationship with, check Milo out. It turns out she is actually pretty famous because one of her adult patients recently wrote a book Fixing My Gaze about gaining binocular vision as an adult through vision therapy with this eye doctor. I had no idea! But she's only an hour and a half away and I trusted her (perhaps in no small part because she acted like I was a little bit of a miracle with my persistent love of reading) and so today I called and got Milo an appointment for a second opinion with her.

I had asked my pediatrician if I should be getting a second opinion and she had seemed at a loss. Many parents would, she conceded...but I had gone to Children's for the first opinion, and they're considered the best of the best. So now I have no idea what I'll do if my old eye doctor agrees with my new eye doctor that the surgery is pointless. How do you know who to trust?

I do know that I won't blink at spending the money (and time! ouch) on years of vision therapy for Milo. I read an article by the author of the Fixing My Gaze book about what it was like to see in 3D for the first time. I'll never get to know that, but I want my son to. I want him to look people confidently in the eye as he shakes their hand, and I want him to stand straight and proud in photos.

And that means that I have to consciously stop "hiding" his turned-in eye. I need to be okay with taking him out in public wearing an adhesive patch over one eye. I certainly don't want to be sending him some kind of subliminal messages that he should be ashamed of his eyes.

I didn't even realize how much I was until all this happened. I was so upset at the eye doctor's office that day. Michael let me spend hundreds of dollars on two pairs of eye glasses for Milo because I didn't like the ugly "safe" rubbery ones and wanted to get Milo the cute, metal frames instead. Despite the fact that once he starts crawling, he might be smushing metal frames into his face on a regular basis. Mommy of the year, here I come. Vain much? I can't help it. I want my baby to be as cute and perfect to the outside world as he is to me. I have no idea why I care so much what everyone else thinks about him, I really don't. All I know is that I couldn't stop crying that day and I didn't even know why. The whole episode just triggered such an intense, deep-seated emotional reaction in me.

And while I was explaining the whole thing to my current eye doctor, he looked me straight in the eye and told me Milo was not imperfect. And my heart lurched a little. I explained that I didn't want Milo to have the experiences I had. And he looked me in the eye again and told me I wasn't imperfect.

But the truth is, I think I am. I like to think I've come to terms with it, and most days it doesn't bother me at all. I've turned out just fine, after all, and I'd be happy as a clam if Milo finds the success and happiness I've found in life. But then there are days where I see myself in a photo and cringe too.

So the lesson in this must be somehow related to finding a deeper level of acceptance of my own eyes, so that I can offer that level of acceptance and kindness to my son, so that he can grow up feeling just as "normal" as the next kid.

After all..."we all have troubles. They're just not a problem anymore."

So I'm striving for that...not letting the troubles be a problem. Which means soon my fiercely-loved pirate and I will be hitting the streets, looking people right in the eye, and offering a cheery "ahoy, matey!"

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Letters to Milo (#3, 30 weeks old)

Oh what a month it's been! First, you started solid foods at 6 months...your first food was carrots...well, after the baby oatmeal, which doesn't really count as food. And apparently doesn't count as oatmeal, either, since it's NOT oatmeal and has no fiber in it. And also after that pumpkin I threw you in for a good photo opp in October, because you did chew on that quite a bit. Anyway, next you had squash, then we added cinnamon to it, which you really liked. Then you had sweet potatoes and peaches. Today you had banana-apricot-baby rice cereal and you seemed to love it. You made all kinds of excited noises, which made daddy laugh.

You also started sitting straight up at 28 weeks. One day you couldn't do it, and the next you could. It's crazy to watch as you learn new things so quickly. You've also gotten really good at scooching, especially when we put a toy just out of your reach. You're not quite crawling yet, but you can get where you want to go. Usually.

We noticed that sometimes one of your eyes tuns in, so we took you to the best eye doctor in Boston to get it checked out. It turns out you're very farsighted, so the doctor prescribed some glasses for you. I couldn't imagine how we'd keep glasses on you, but you've been a real trooper and adapted really well. You've only tried to take them off and eat them a few times. =) Everyone says you look really cute in them, and daddy and I agree. In fact, it's hard to imagine you without them now! The eye doctor also asked us to patch one of your eyes for a few hours a day to make sure you're using the weaker eye so it keeps getting stronger. You've been really good at that too. You don't like having the patch put on (who would?) but once it's on, you're okay with it and just move on to playing. Now daddy and I have added "pirate" to your growing list of nicknames, which include turtle, baby, peanut, peanut butter, bud/buddy, and Mr. Magoo (mostly because it rhymes with "I love you.")

You also had your first visit to the emergency room this month. I took you out shopping one day with girls from the dorm--we were buying warm clothes for homeless kids, and I was wearing you in the baby carrier. Some stranger lady yelled at me for not putting socks on you in December. Thanks for getting me in trouble there, Mr. I-Hate-Wearing-Socks. Anyway, you were having fun and seemed happy, but after we got home, daddy went to get you ready for bed and realized you felt warm and it turned out you had a 103 fever. We were supposed to be getting ready for a holiday party in the dorm, but we weren't feeling very cheerful...we were so worried about you! We called the doctor and they said we shouldn't worry because you didn't have any other symptoms and were in good spirits. But then your temperature rose to 104.2 and we called again and they said we should bring you to the ER.

They had to take urine and blood samples to run some tests and it took them three tries to get the blood and you were screaming your angry little head off like we've never heard you scream before. It made us so sad. I tried to distract you with singing and I thought daddy was going to rip you right off the table and away from those nurses! Afterward, he said that it seemed like I wasn't even upset. And the truth was, I wasn't upset. I was so totally focused on you and comforting you that I didn't have room for any other feelings. Motherhood is like that, I guess.

In the end, the doctors concluded it was a virus and we just had to wait it out. The nurser were impressed that you stopped crying as soon as I was allowed to pick you up. They said it was clear that we have a special connection. i was glad because I figure it means you feel safe, secure and taken care of. Your fever lasted another two days, and then it gave way to a cough and throwing up, which was so sad to watch becasue there's no medicine we can give you to make you feel better. But that only lasted a day or two, and then you were back to your old self.

We took you to Bass Pro Shops (of all places) to get your picture taken with Santa Claus and it was so much fun. People kept coming up to us to tell us how cute you are. It was like being with a famous person! One lady even said you should be a model. You were wonderful with Santa and we got a super cute smiling picture and the family that was after us in line was jealous because their little girl cried when she met Santa. I suggested the parents hold her in the picture and they said they already have THREE photos like that...this was their fourth try. Yikes. Just remember that when daddy tells you I tortured you with photo shoots, peanut.

It was so much fun celebrating your first Christmas! You "helped" me decorate the Christmas tree--it took three days to finish, with me hanging the balls and you in the baby carrier and me pretending you were guiding the placement of the ornaments. You kept me company in your high chair while I baked, and you went shopping with me for hours on end without complaining a bit. You celebrated your first Chanukah and loved seeing the lit candles. And we took you to the town where mommy grew up because there's a special house there, decorated with 30,000 Christmas lights. We met Alexis, Matt, and baby Liam there, but Liam was asleep so he didn't get to see the lights. Maybe next year you can show him around.

We were heading to NY for Christmas Eve, so we celebrated Christmas as a family that morning and you got your presents from mommy and daddy. You were so much fun to watch as you opened the presents, which we wrapped in tissue paper to make it easier for you. You seemed to love your activity cube and stuffed giraffe best. Then we went to visit Linda, Joe, Sammy, and Matty for Christmas Eve. I used to babysit for Sam and Matt, so it's funny to think that I need a babysitter for you already! Anyway, they adore you and spoiled you with way too many toys, including a giant fuzzy frog chair and an activity table--I have no idea where we will put them in this tiny apartment!

We woke up super early on Christmas morning to go to Aunt Tiffany's house. Santa had dropped your presents off there, and your favorite was a plush flower pot toy that makes music when you touch the flowers and it lights up as well! Aunt Tiff and her family got you lots of good presents too...but you loved the satin-backed cozy blankie best (of course--it runs in our family!). Uncle Larry got you some fun musical instruments and grandma and grandpa got you a super special baby spoon with your name on it. It's beautiful. Then we went to your great grandma's house where you got even more presents! I think we will donate some of your toys so that little kids that don't have many toys will have some new things to play with, because you have so much and it's important to think about how you can help others.  Plus, there's no more room in the toy basket.

You've really changed the way we think about the holidays, my little peanut. There were no presents I wanted this year because all I wanted was to spend time with you and daddy. Daddy took today off of work and we didn't wind up doing anything special. We fed, napped, and bathed you and we played with you. Just a regular day. But after you went to sleep, daddy said he wished we'd win the lottery so he didn't have to work so much and could spend more time with us. I went and bought a lottery ticket after that.

You recently discovered consonants and your babbling has gotten so much cuter as a result. We giggle a lot when you start "talking." It's impossible not to. Especially when you make your mad/frustrated "nanananana" sound. I think daddy is pleased that you discovered "dadadadada" before "mamamamama" but I don't mind at all.

Alright, time for mommy to go to bed. I hope you've had the best first Chanukah and Christmas, baby Milo.

Sweet dreams.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Meditation Milo and Mindful Momma, All Blissed Out

I just want you to know I haven't fallen into an abyss. Much.

I've actually written 342 seriously witty, clever, inspirational blog posts in the 6 weeks since I last published. I just didn't have time to write them down.

I'm reading this book called Momma Zen. I highly recommend it, especially for new parents. I found it while looking for some guidance on mindful mothering. Because I am anything but mindful these days. As evidenced by the fact that I went out to lunch with some of my new-mom friends, after having carefully prepared everything I might need to entertain, feed, and distract Milo during the grocery shopping trip I was planning for after lunch. I had the carrier, the spoon, the shopping cart cover, two toys...etc etc.

But after ordering up $30 worth of food and dessert at lunch, I came to the mortifying realization that I had forgotten one key ingredient for a successful shopping venture: my wallet. oops.

Thank goodness I was with other new moms, who offered compassion rather than judgment, and happily offered up not only money for my lunch, but ALSO for my grocery needs, since they know all too well the effort and timing that went into planning the grocery outing.

I am still basking in their generosity.

But back to the mindfulness bit. If I ever carried a pen with me, this new book would be all underlined up already. I swear it's going to change my life. But I don't have the energy to go into all that now...maybe next post. For now I just wanted to tell you that it's already working. Here are two little examples:

I went for a pedicure with a friend tonight...a super rare outing without my little sidekick. It was lovely. We chatted, ran a few necessary errands (so much easier and faster without the peanut!) and came out the other side with charming toes (silver for me, purple for her). What more could you ask for?

I got home and (after pumping) decided to "give up" on being productive and take a bath instead of wrapping presents or doing work or cleaning the house so my nanny can't see what a slob I am. (Who am I kidding here?)

And that's when I noticed I had messed up BOTH big toes of my lovely silver pedicure.

But get this: I didn't care one iota. My pedicure was imperfect, but in the same moment I realized that, I also realized that it had absolutely no bearing on the experience of getting the pedicure, which was still just as perfect as it had been an hour earlier.

Maybe that doesn't seem like a big deal to you, but let me tell you there have been plenty of days where the idea of wasting $35 and coming out the other side with messy toes would have sent me over the edge of the cliff.

So I climbed into my hot bath with my new book and prayed that Milo wouldn't wake up for an hour, since it seems like he always needs me about ten minutes after I submerge myself in a bath.

It was my lucky night...Milo lasted one hour and two minutes. Ask and ye shall receive, eh?

I dried off and went in to my hungry baby, who immediately offered some kisses and hugs and nestled into my warm neck. I curled up in the rocking chair with him, paying attention to the angle of his body and neck, trying to make it as comfortable as possible for him. And, instead of losing myself in my iPhone/email/facebook...I smoothed my baby's head like my mom used to do when I was sick. I focused on his breathing. I tried to guess how long he had been nursing (4 minutes, though it felt like 20). In fact, I felt exactly the same way I had on my meditation retreat last summer...Is it okay to scratch that itch? This isn't super comfortable. But it is peaceful. Only now I'm sleepy. I wonder how long it's been. Is the bell gonna ring soon? Surely it's been an hour by now.

Yet another way Milo is my meditation bell.

But then he stopped nursing and settled into the crook of my arm, his face turned toward mine. I got to watch sleep tiptoe down his face. And the quick smiles of early sleep. Even a little giggle. I couldn't resist a little cuddle and even risked kissing his cheek. He stayed asleep. I couldn't resist texting Michael. I was so brimming with joy, I needed to share it. I wanted him to come in and experience it as well. I have this (probably unfounded) fear that Michael does not get these moments with Milo because he works full time and can't nurse Milo. I so want him to feel this unbridled joy and awe.

I never, ever thought I'd be the kind of mother that thinks my child is LITERALLY a miracle and wants to strap him in a baby carrier and take him EVERYWHERE with me, even to work. Except I don't really want to work. But it turns out, this is the kind of mother I am. And I am not the least bit bothered by this surprise.

I had a recent graduate come and visit on her break from college, and after spending a few minutes with Milo and I, she commented on the fact that mothering suited me...I can't remember her exact words. I wish I had written them down, because I found them incredibly uplifting and even validating. (Yes, I let myself feel validated by a 19-year-old. Go me.) She thought it was immediately clear that I was meant for this. That it came naturally.

And I was proud.

Anyway, eventually I decided that staying in the rocking chair with Milo all night was--though endlessly enthralling--ultimately unsustainable and unwise.

And, as is his recent custom, he woke up upon being placed in his crib and cried. Only this time, I wasn't impatient for him to sleep, so that I could sleep. I felt like I had all the time in the world to wait for him to soothe himself to sleep.

And indeed I did. Do.

But now that he IS asleep, I'd just be stupid to stay up typing on this little keyboard here. So I'm seizing the moment for sleep. Hopefully, I'll make time to write again tomorrow. But if I don't, I know you'll understand.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Mom Marketing Idea

Okay, so I have a brilliant idea for corner stores to corner the market on mom sales. This would work for gas stations, convenience stores...pretty much anyplace.

All they need to do is have carside service. Perhaps while pumping your gas there would be a little button you could push to talk and say, "can you add a gallon of 1% milk and bring it out please?" Because let me tell you, if there was a place that offered that, I would ALWAYS shop there. Because once you have your baby in the car--especially if they fall asleep--there's just no way I'm getting him out for a quick pit stop, no matter how damn thirsty I am. (Remember that time I drove around looking for a McDonald's only to find the ONE McDonald's without a drive through?!)

This brainstorm hit me yesterday when I was at our mom's group. We went to Cheesecake Factory for lunch first, and I got some cheesecake to go, as usual. As usual, I left it in the fridge at the center. Halfway down the road, I had an internal debate about whether to turn back. On the one hand, I really, really wanted that cheesecake and it cost something like $7. On the other hand, it would require getting Milo back out of the car. sigh. I did wind up going back--because that's some expensive cheesecake and got lucky: one of my mom friends was still in the parking lot and offered to watch Milo so I could run in and grab it. (While doing so, I realized the staff probably thought I left my baby alone in the car to get cheesecake. oops.)

Minor crisis averted...but then I needed gas. And milk. And by the time I got to the gas station, Milo was asleep. And he REALLY needed to sleep. double sigh. No frosted flakes for mommy.

The thing is, I really bet that man working in the gas station wouldn't have minded bringing me out some milk. I thought about asking strangers at the pumps, even. They could have a $5-10 minimum charge and I'd STILL probably take them up on it, at least during those super thirsty times.

I'm not looking for royalties on this one...the idea is up for grabs to any and all takers. You could market yourself as the parent-friendly gas station. Perhaps also the elder-friendly corner store.

Get on that, people.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

'Cause, you know...he kinda is a little miracle.

Well, looks like my "commitment" to blogging means posting about every 3-4 weeks. What can I say? At this rate, it's a wonder I'm still married. And that my son is still alive.

No, seriously.

At our opening faculty meetings this year, we were supposed to write postcards about what we did over the summer and post them on the wall for everyone to read and catch up on. Mine said something along the lines of "I kept my son alive all summer." People still come up to me laughing about it, but I was serious. It was a pretty major accomplishment.

One I almost fucked up the other night. The thing is, it's been a rough week. One of the roughest we've had in a long time. It started well enough. On Saturday, we went out to Western Mass to celebrate a friend's birthday and engagement. I was a little stressed because I had only recently realized that I hadn't yet written my college recommendations--which take about two hours each--and they were due on Tuesday. Also, Michael had given Milo his first cold, and he gave it to me. We were all kind of miserable. Michael never gets sick. I'm a total wimp when I'm sick. (Unless I have some big deadline at work, in which case I'm some weird martyr-masochist hybrid.) Turns out we are both wimps when Milo is sick. Milo, on the other hand, is a real trooper. Even when he was running a 102 fever, he was smiling and happy. You just can't get that kid down. Well, unless you're trying to use that Swedish snotsucker invention to relieve his runny nose. Then he screams bloody murder. Sheesh. Trush me, Milo, this hurts me waaaaaay more than it hurts you. ew.

Anyway, we went out to Western Mass for our annual pumpkin carving/birthday celebration and this year, since we were toting a little man with us, Michael and I opted to share a pumpkin.

I had ulterior motives. I had big plans to take pics of Milo in a pumpkin. Michael hates when I do this kind of thing to Milo, calling it torture. Sheesh. So I prepared. I started mentioning the idea weeks before the pumpkin carving weekend. I can't wait to throw Milo in a pumpkin! I'd throw out nonchalantly, as if this was a normal rite of passage for celebrating a first Halloween. Hell, it should be.

Luckily my friend's fiancee is into photography, and also acted like this was totally normal. Which helped my case a lot, I think. We went to pick pumpkins and he held them up to Milo to see if he'd fit inside. That's not weird, right?

Anyway, who cares. We got just about the cutest picture that's ever been taken of a baby. In the history of the world. You might think I'm biased, but everyone that's seen it says so.
This isn't it. But you've all already seen that one  as my facebook profile. 
So, that was fun, despite the sickness and stress and whatnot. Plus I love my friends out there and it was so great to see them. The freak snowstorm didn't stop us from going out for some lovely Indian food, and then we headed to our hotel on the early side to get peanut to bed.

We always, ALWAYS get a free upgrade to the jacuzzi room at that hotel. Unfortunately, the freak snowstorm caused power outages which meant no upgrade for us. sigh.

Then, once settled in, we got a text from our co-dorm parents saying the dorm was out of power too. AGH. The Milk! dammit. I swear, I had JUST gotten my freaking supply worked up again to a non-stressful level from the last time the damn power went out. Has the school not heard of generators? Really? I mean, I don't pay $45,000 a year to live there, but I think if I did, I'd probably expect that my kid would have electricity. But I digress.

The next morning, I got a text saying the power was back on. I figured I had lost the refrigerated milk but the frozen milk would still be good, and most of the other stuff in the fridge should be fine.

Then came a third text saying it was out again.

Fuck with my emotions much? Not funny.

The power was off for two days...just long enough to have to chuck nearly everything. For the second time in two months. And we still haven't had time to go grocery shopping since then.

Of course the second problem was that I had all these recommendations to write in two days. And that required not only power but internet service. Awesome.

So we decided to check into a hotel. We found one near the school that still had power and booked it. We showed up to check in 20 minutes later. They had lost power. sigh. We wasted a whole bunch of recommendation-writing time finding a hotel/place with power and internet and finally found ourselves at the Best Western. Not my favorite, but hey, it came with free wifi and a hot shower.

Michael ran out for supplies and Milo needed a bath pretty badly since we hadn't bathed him since that whole throwing him naked in a pumpkin incident. He can't sit up by himself yet, so to avoid drowning, I took a bath with him. Then, just for fun, I decided to take him "swimming" by holding my hands under him and moving him through the water. I bounced him around and dipped his head back. And he totally liked it. Or maybe he liked my clever "swimmy swimmy swim" song. Hard to tell. But I had fun, and it did make rinsing the shampoo out of his hair super easy.

I wrote recommendations all night and fell into bed sometime around two. The next morning, I got a text that we were getting a small generator and should have some power back, so we checked out early and went back to meet the nanny and get back to work on those recommendations.

I was up until 3 am that night and the next, but got everything done. Oh--did I mention I decided to apply for the co-director of college counseling job? I figured I could explore any concerns I had in the interview process and that I shouldn't rule myself out...I should let them do that. The only problem was that the resume and cover letter were due the SAME DAY as the recommendation letters. Which I can only assume was a test of my time management skills, given that they definitely know the college application timeline! So I was mostly (sort of ) okay with that. I finished updating the resume, wrote a cover letter, and then went to check the job description to make sure I had addressed everything. Which was when I discovered they also wanted a PERSONAL STATEMENT. WTF?! I'm not applying to a phd program here. It took a while to determine what to put in a personal statement that wouldn't repeat the cover letter and resume, but eventually I got it all done. Several pages later.

This is all important background about the whole keeping Milo alive thing. I didn't forget about that.

The point is that I was stressed out, sleep deprived, depressed over lost milk, and without food. After several nights of a 3 am bedtime, I went to bed "early" at 1:00 am. Of course Milo woke up hungry right after I got settled and fell asleep. I sleepily lifted him from his bassinet and lay him down next to me, in the center of the bed, to nurse, promptly falling asleep again. At some point, I realized he was done, and flipped him to my other side so that the next time he woke up I could feed him without him really waking up. We do this all the time, folks. No babies are injured. Usually.

Only for some reason, Milo was wide awake. I, on the other hand, not so much. I sleepily pulled up Billy Joel on my iphone to lull him back asleep and was out before the song was over. Him, on the other hand--not so much.

I usually wake up if Milo breathes funny, that's how in sync we are. (When he's sleeping next to me.) Which just goes to show you how tired I was. Because I was PASSED OUT.

Until I heard a sudden shriek.

I had no idea what happened. It was pitch black. I was disoriented. I wasn't even sure where I had left Milo last. But some kind of super-mother-instinct shit kicked in and within seconds I was scooping him off the floor. The only thing that registered was his sad little body, lying on the floor, perpendicular to the bed. How did he even wind up in that direction? OMG. Did his head hit the wooden lip on the bed on the way down? How can you tell if a baby is concussed?

I've been pretty chill about Milo. I let him play on the floor. Sometimes I clean his mouth with the burp cloth AFTER I clean the floor with it. I let people hold him when they ask to, and I don't even ask if they've washed their hands. I can handle him "crying it out."

But holy shit, I am not kidding when I say I am still traumatized by the falling out of bed incident. He could have broken his neck!

Luckily, Milo stopped crying pretty much as soon as I picked him up. And, to his credit, Michael did not act the least bit accusatory that I let our son fall out of the bed. Unfortunately, I had enough adrenaline coursing through my body that I couldn't sleep for the rest of the night. I suspect Milo had a hard time as well, given that I was squishing him against my body in a death grip.

So that's my story. We're all still alive. I don't let Milo near the edge of the bed anymore.

Really, it's time to start transitioning him to a crib anyway, since the bassinet is getting a little small for him.

I never, ever though I'd say this, but I'm really gonna miss that little guy in my bed at night. I mean, I'll be happy to get my "big guy" back. I've missed Michael, with the baby often in between us. But he doesn't like it as much when kiss his face all night.

So then, once all that was over, I had a day to get the presentation done for our open house. So then I was up until 2 am again.

In case you're wondering, I worked 47 hours last week. Which is more than twice what I'm contracted for. For the second week in a row. (Doesn't bode well for my ability to set boundaries in a director level position, does it?)

Also, as my colleague reminded me...not worth the $6500 a year I'm making. Actually, now that I have the nanny coming for more hours, it's less than that, but I can't bring myself to re-calculate. Better not to know.

And then...we were on duty. And we had our Admissions Open House. And we were missing a student for an hour or so (after curfew). And then had another student crying in our apartment.

So...yeah. A rough week. But I will say that Milo does provide some much-needed perspective.

For example, I had to bring him to faculty meeting and as always, he's perfectly quiet and smiley. Until he gets really tired. And starts to talk to himself. After someone asked a question and the room fell silent. haha. Well done, Milo. Um, I'll just sneak out the back now though.

And also--the kisses. Okay, I know they're not really kisses. He probably thinks my cheek should have a nipple on it or something. But he has started giving me open-mouth kisses and while I would find it quite gross from anyone else, I think it's pretty much the most charming thing ever.

I may have even licked his face in return. Once.

And then there was his first shower. He was totally unfazed by the water in his face and super cute and happy. Our little water baby. And the first time he sat up by himself. And HALLOWEEN. Aw. Our little tootsie roll. And all the time in the new front carrier. I swear, dear readers, I never thought I'd be one of those  moms that called their babies "miracles" and refused to leave them ever. But I hate leaving him. I'm seriously trying to figure out how to have a job where I can bring him to work with me. (People here bring dogs to work; why can't I bring Milo? He's way cuter and non-allergenic.) I love running errands with him in the carrier.

And I *might* have bought him a little Chanukah outfit with the word "miracle" on it with the idea that it was a double entendre.

'Cause, you know...he kinda is a little miracle.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

YAY Sleep!

So it's been just over a month since my last post. Which would be unacceptable, except for that it's been a really busy, and somewhat depressing, month. So it's probably better for all of us that you didn't get the play-by-play. Here's the late-night recap:
  • The poison ivy was followed by a secondary rash. The first doctor said it was an allergic reaction to my body's allergic reaction to the poison ivy. (um, what?) He sent me to a dermatologist, who diagnosed me with scabies. (um, WTF?) I really don't think it was scabies since Milo and Michael didn't have it and I was sharing a bed with them, but I did the treatment anyway, which consisted of covering every inch of my body (seriously) from the neck down with this cream stuff for 8 hours and then washing everything in my house. It was not awesome. And I had to miss the wedding of a dear friend from high school to do it, which made me really sad. I did get some SUPER antihistamine pills, which helped me sleep, which was a nice by product since I had been itching so badly I couldn't sleep. I had read online that standing under burning hot water had the same effect as scratching without the worry of breaking skin (just boiling it). So I did that a lot. At odd hours of the morning. Desperate times and all that. Anyway, two weeks later...still itchy. She called in a prescription for the strongest topical steroid ever. Guess what? Still itching. Much better...I can sleep and all I figure I better just learn to live with it. But it wasn't really what I needed just as the kids were moving in and life was getting more hectic.
  • The kids moved in. Life got more hectic. We have 28 girls this year, and they are actually mostly pretty wonderful. But that doesn't mean it wasn't hellish getting them moved in and adjusted and having two hour dorm meetings to go over all the rules, and then a whole weekend of keeping them (and thus, us) busy so they wouldn't get homesick. Whenever we're on duty, the phone and doorbell are constantly ringing. Especially if I try to pee. Nursing Milo is a real feat. At least, nursing him without flashing the visiting boy from another dorm is a real feat.
  • At the same time, I was faced with a whole bunch of terribly unrealistic deadlines for design projects at work. The kind that aren't even useful if not finished on time. Except all my nanny hours were taken up with meetings, so I spent most of my time with Milo trying to get him to be quiet or sleep or entertain himself so I could catch up on work. Which isn't exactly how I wanted to spend my time at home with him. Pretty much I felt like a total failure as an employee and as a mom. Which was also not awesome.
  • Then, I got my first paycheck. And realized that after I pay the nanny, I make about $125 a week. For those of you weak at math, that's a whole $6500 a year. Which is pretty depressing. I'd happily PAY someone that just so my life didn't feel like this. Which led me to it really worth it? Working? I had a baby because I want to raise children, not hire someone else to do it. And if I'm not making any money but killing myself to fit 26 hours into every day...what's the point? I mean, I love my work. Mostly. But I love my son more. And I miss my sanity. And sleep.
  • So then, while I'm wondering if it's all worth it...along comes an opportunity to apply for a director level job in college counseling. And I love college counseling. Especially at our school, which is not completely obsessed with the H-Y-P holy trinity of college admissions. But it's MORE than a full time job, and I was just wondering if I really want to be missing even this much Peanut time. I didn't suspect I'd feel this way, to be honest, as I love work. But it's harder than I thought to juggle everything without dropping any of the balls...and if I got this job, it would be even harder to have good boundaries. And we all know I'm not good at that anyway.
So, you're mostly caught up on the big stuff now. Lots of little things, but it's probably better we stay big-picture for now. I'm re-committing to this whole blogging thing, because it helps me get stuff out of my head and thus helps me stay sane.

So I've been "sleep training" Milo. Michael didn't want any part of the whole "cry it out" thing, so while he was in Vegas for three nights, I geared up to try and get Peanut on a better sleep schedule and help him start falling asleep by himself since up until then it took 30 minutes of bouncing or laying down with him or nursing him to get him to really sleep. So I steeled myself for hours of shrieking and armed myself with some reading ahead of time and gave it a shot.

Um, he didn't really cry though. He fussed for about five minutes. Then he talked to himself for a few minutes. Whimpered a bit. And went to sleep. What? 

It's true. It's been a week now, and it's worked every night. He doesn't always STAY asleep, but putting him to sleep is actually kind of cute and cozy. One night, I was on the bed next to him singing him Billy Joel's "Goodnight, my Angel" lullabye and he was laying in his bassinet, holding my hand through the rails. AWWWWW. How cute is he?

To be honest, I kind of missed cuddling with him in the bed while Michael was away and we were "sleep training." He's kind of getting to the point where when he wakes up he can soothe himself back to sleep. But the last couple of nights, he's been waking up nearly every hour for the first half of the night and I'm not really sure what that's about.

Alright, lots more to tell you but I'm falling asleep sitting up. And I need to go pump so that tomorrow night I can sleep ALL night for the first time since Milo was born and Michael can do ALL the feedings. YAY SLEEP!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Holy itch cream, am I miserable.

What a week! 6 days with no power. Three nights in a hotel, going back and forth, not knowing whether to check out or rebook. Two days of meetings until 9:30 pm. No air conditioning. No pumping. No night-time bottle help from Michael (because we had no bottles). A whole week of 4-hr-sleep nights.

I have to say, if there's a bright side to this week, it is having great confidence in our nanny, who started on Monday. We had half power when she arrived on Monday and no power when she left. On Wednesday, she showed up with a little mini-generator/battery thing that could power my pump and a fan for most of the day. Resourceful. I like it! The lack of power brought a lot of little challenges...storing and heating her lunch...our apartment being too hot to stand...her having to walk across campus to another dorm to retrieve milk to feed Milo. And she seemed to take it all in stride, with a positive attitude. She even returned to work on Thursday. yay.

I asked the nanny (who I will refer to as Tricia from now on) what text messaging plan she had and she said she had an unlimited plan on verizon. WOOHOO. I casually said that she could feel free to send me any little pictures she might take throughout the day, and she actually did. She'd send me a little text or photo when they went on a walk or when she got Milo to nap in his bassinet or when he was rocking at tummy time. It made it so much easier to be away from him. I love that she is willing to do this. (As a side note, I am irrationally annoyed by people who don't text, as I find it the most convenient way to communicate since I can respond immediately no matter where I am. People who require a phone call are subject to a long wait, since I have to find a period of peace and quiet and no interruptions...which happens roughly every four months or so.)

Anyway, the other great thing about Tricia is that she's interested in photography. So I leave my nice camera out and at the end of the day, I get to come home to pictures of Milo! yay.

AND she likes cleaning and organizing. So much so that I think I'm going to sit down with her and list out the housekeeping tasks that are part of the job as described when we interviewed her, but then offer to pay her extra for going above and beyond when Milo is sleeping. And I like that she shows good judgment with that...Milo had a hard day on Thursday and she didn't try to get the fridge cleaned out. She focused on Milo, which is just as it should be. Yet she has initiative, like on Monday when she had time and started organizing his clothes.

And get this--she offered to go grocery shopping for us if we made her a list.

I think I'm in love.

So anyway, that was the highlight of the week. If she was so great during such a challenging first week, I have great faith that she will work out and that will make it MUCH easier to not feel guilty about working and to stay sane.

The week had a lot of lows, though. Besides the lack of power/air conditioning/refrigerator/internet/cable. It was also VERY hard to get work done, since I couldn't work from home on the days when I didn't have Tricia here and thus couldn't go to the office. I feel like I spent every spare minute making arrangements related to power outage stuff and where we would sleep or how Milo would eat and whatnot. Which means we got nothing done in terms of preparing the dorm for the students who started arriving on Thursday. I'm kind of in denial that the year is actually starting and it's really too bad that we're starting off the dorm parenting year already depleted.

On the other hand, we were at the receiving end of a lot of kindness this week. My admissions boss kept offering different ways to help out, and my dorm parenting boss let me skip one of our opening meetings to go to the hotel with Milo so Tricia wouldn't have to stay with him in our dark apartment (which also saved us $60). One of my colleagues asked why we hadn't asked for help in carting our stuff down to the other dorm's fridge. It never would have occurred to me to call them, but how nice to hear that they would have been happy to help. Our neighbors offered us food, and helped us get our food to the other dorm, and also responded to a late night text to defrost a frozen bag of milk for Milo. And my wonderful sister donated/lent me hilton honors points for that last night in the hotel after we ran out of our own points. (Thanks, Tiff!)

Yesterday, I decided to try to run a bunch of errands that needed doing since it was one of our last dorm parenting-free days. I have to say, running errands with Milo is an exercise in patience. I have to give up any sense of control or expectations about how much will get done and how quickly. I fear I will never be on time for anything, ever again.

Though at least now I have a better excuse than before. ;-)

I took the little newborn insert out of the car seat because it was squishing Milo's head a bit. But halfway to our first errand, I looked in the rear view mirror and found Milo asleep, with his head cocked at an impossible angle. The more I looked, the more I convinced myself that his neck had snapped and he was no longer breathing.  After a mild panic attack, I pulled over on the side of the highway to get out and see if he was breathing. He was. Jesus. I am losing my freaking mind.

Since he's sleeping, I decide to go to the McDonald's drive through (which is easier to get to than the burger king drive through.) I am eating a ton of fast food lately, because it doesn't seem worth getting him out of the car just to get some food. I'm all about drive throughs now. In fact, I wonder why they don't have more drive-through services aimed at moms. Like drive through grocery stores. Anyway, I get all excited about the fries and head to that McDonald's I wrote about a few weeks ago with the double-laned drive through. I drive all the way around the building, following the arrows on the ground around and around like I'm in line at Disney World, only to find that the ride (drive through window) is closed. Dammit. Now I have to go to Burger King after all. Of course, by the time I get there, Milo is waking up. And he's hungry! I was hoping to find someplace with wi-fi for my ipad, so I drive around a few strip malls that seem likely but can't find any internet. I do realize how pathetic this behavior is. I literally had the ipad open on the front seat and drove around watching it try to find a network. Sigh. No such luck. So I settled on parking in the lot near my first errand  and climbed into the back seat to keep Milo company. I made a deal with him that if he let me finish my lunch, then I'd feed him. He did. So I did. Luckily I had my Oprah magazine stored on the ipad for entertainment while nursing. (oh how I love technology.)

So then, we get to the first errand, which was returning the too-long curtains I had bought to try to use as shower curtains in the dorm. (Turns out they come in two different sizes and I hadn't noticed and gotten the longer size. Oh well--already bought new ones on Amazon.) Milo started fussing while we were in line to make the return, and I knew he was tired, so I took him out of the stroller and rocked him. He was happier and I managed everything one-handed. Afterward, I needed to pick up more stuff for the dorm and wound up throwing it all in the stroller while I carried Milo. Along the way, I found nicer bath mats for the dorm (which meant making another stop here to return the other ones!) and by the time I checked out, Milo was clearly desperately tired yet fighting sleep, but I had gotten a lot of the stuff we needed. I realized he needed a new diaper and figured it was a good time to head to babies r us. We had our eye on a little sleeper thingie that goes between us in the bed since Milo hasn't been sleeping as well lately and Michael worries about him being in the bed with us. I had noticed a 15% off coupon in the latest mailer, but I didn't have it with me. I figured I could change Milo, and see if I could score a coupon and get the sleeper.

The first lady I asked told me they couldn't do that, but if I brought the item back within 7 days with the coupon, they could credit me the amount of the coupon. HA. Clearly, she doesn't have kids and doesn't understand the major undertaking it is to run errands with a newborn. I nearly started crying but decided to just head for the changing room. Once Milo was all fresh and clean, I headed back over to the service desk, eyeing a coupon booklet behind the counter. I considered just grabbing it and making a run for it but instead I waited to ask a different clerk if I could use one of the coupons. She said no problem, and off I went to find the sleeper. Awesome. Another errand done.

So then it was off to DSW, because I have no shoes that fit me other than flip flops. And aside from them not being particularly professional for my return to work, they are also not tall enough for most of my pants not to get ruined. Oh yeah, and it's going to get cold pretty soon.

Milo FREAKED out in the parking lot of babies r us, so I decided to walk to DSW, hoping he'd fall asleep in the stroller. I tried to give him a pacifier, but he threw it on the ground. He was so, so tired but fighting sleep hard. I started driving the stroller like a crazy, drunk woman and took the long way to the shoe store. Luckily, he fell asleep (quite suddenly) before we got there. So I could shop in peace, but sadly found no shoes that would work. What a waste of his sleep time.

So I decided to head to Marshalls, which has a big shoe selection. Plus, Michael needed new jeans and shirts and Marshalls is a good bet for that too. Unfortunately, halfway through the shoe section, Milo started whimpering. And then proceeded to have the biggest meltdown I've ever seen him have. Even after I picked him up and bounced him, he screamed his angry red face off like I was kidnapping him from his real mom. Who would never drag him around on errands for hours at a time, obviously. And ate real food that did not come from a drive through window.

People were looking at me but I didn't care. I just didn't know what was wrong with my normally peaceful baby. I had just fed him an hour and a half before, and he had a clean diaper, and I was holding what could be causing this massive meltdown of epic proportions? Well, I know only one thing that always works, so I headed for the dressing room with my two nursing-friendly shirts. Once inside the "family dressing room" I slumped onto the teeny tiny seat and opened my bra to nurse Milo, who seemed both starving (wtf?!) and happy.


Then he had a blowout. NOoooooooo. sigh.

So then I changed him on the floor of the dressing room, and changed his clothes (thank goodness I had extra!) Finally...about an hour after arriving at the store, I tried on my shirts. One seemed like it would work pretty well for requirements for new clothing are so very different now that I'm a mother. Anyway, I go to the men's section and start pulling shirts and jeans that might work for Michael and pile them on the handle of the stroller. I give Milo a little elephant toy to play with. I have everything I need but then remember that Michael wanted me to find a new toy or two for Milo to interact with, so I head to the baby section. Once there, Milo starts fussing again. I figure he has gas and go to pick him up.

Do you see where this is going?

Yeah, well I was too distracted by my screaming baby to see the foreshadowing on the wall. So I picked Milo up. And the whole stroller flips over, spewing Michael's clothes all over the floor. Let me tell you--righting the stroller and picking up all that stuff one handed wasn't so entirely easy. But I got it done, and selected two chime toys for Milo's car seat and headed to the checkout with nary a tear from me or Milo.

I unload the stroller onto the checkout counter and put Milo back in. At which point, he starts fussing and I realize we lost the little elephant toy he seemed so fascinated with. sigh. The lady lets me put the chimes on right away to distract him and then once I finish paying, I go all over the store until we find the little elephant.

Phew. Is it midnight yet? I get him back in the car and decide to call it a day and head home.

Luckily, by the time we get home, the school has installed a giant generator big enough to power the entire campus.

And then a few hours later, the power came back on. hahahaha. Clearly they should have gotten the generator earlier!

Oh...I forgot to mention two other important highlights of the week. First, on Tuesday night, we did Milo's three month photo session with a wonderful photographer (Mary Macomber) who charges for the session but gives you all the images on a CD, which is rare and awesome and also critical in my eyes. The session lasted about two hours and sadly, Milo was only feeling smiley for the first ten minutes or so. Which was extra funny since when we got back to the hotel afterward, he wouldn't STOP smiling for the rest of the night. What a tease. Even so, Mary got some great shots and I'm super excited to get the CD this week! I'm especially thrilled because she did some family shots and we didn't have ANY good pics of the three of us before. YAY.

The other thing is not quite as uplifting: somehow I got a bunch of poison ivy. It was either from the photo shoot, where I was barefoot for about ten minutes, or from running down to turn off the alarm on the dorm fire door when a contractor set it off. Either way, it is ALL over my feet and between my toes. And, I guess I must have spread it by scratching it and then scratching a bug bite, because it is also on my inner thighs. freaking awesome. I have such a serious reaction to it that I'm in serious misery. I could itch my skin right off into a bloody pulp. But I'm trying not to. Last night, I got up to nurse Milo at 3 am and couldn't fall back asleep the itch was so bad. I got online and looked up home remedies and went to the kitchen to make a paste of baking soda and vinegar which I spread all over myself and then wrapped in saran wrap so as not to get it on the sheets.

I'm serious. I really did this. It seemed like a good idea at 4 am.

It didn't work.

Today I tried Zanfel, which was recommended by a friend and nurse. You need to make it into a paste and then rub it vigorously on the poison ivy until it stops itching. Well, it worked pretty well on two areas but not at all between my toes. Turns out I can't get the prescription either, since I'm breastfeeding.

I'm trying not to be too dramatic here, but holy itch creme am I miserable.

What a week.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Because after a day like today, why would you elect to spend another minute without cable, internet, lights, and AIR CONDITIONING?!?

So, the hurricane hit us pretty hard. Maybe not as hard as they were predicting, but it did tear down a tree outside our home, which tore down a power line, which is still across our road. Also, we have no power. Or internet. We DID have some power, for a bit. The bedroom and nursery and half the kitchen was out, but we had power in other parts of the apartment, so we rigged up some extension cords and went about our business. But today the fire department came to check out the live wire and thought it would be a good idea to cut the rest of the power. Awesome. I mean, yeah, that makes sense and all, but it also kind of sucked. Especially since my nanny was home with Milo at the time. She took it in stride, which is a good sign.

Speaking of which, today was the nanny's first day. She's fantastic. At least, so far. It took a bit of time to show her the ropes, which wasn't good in the sense that I have a huge project to finish this week and I was counting on doing the bulk of it today. But it was a totally worthwhile investment. She took the whole "Milo might or might not take a bottle and might scream as if he is in great pain" situation really well. She also did well with trying to feed him the first time with me there. (no pressure or anything, huh?) I worked in the dorm room next door so I was easily accessible, other than a couple of meetings on campus. The only questions she asked were very thoughtful ones, like is it okay to use the exercise ball for play or only for calming him to sleep? Speaking of sleep, she got him to nap in his bassinet (which I have never gotten him to do.) AND THEN SHE SORTED HIS CLOTHES! hahahahaha. I think I'm in love.


I'm already so sad that she is applying to grad schools for next year and won't likely be a long-term nanny for Milo. Fingers crossed that this isn't a honeymoon phase. I've heard horror stories about nannies, but she seems really, really wonderful. And super flexible and accommodating too.

By the time I came back from my second meeting, the power was out and it was time for the nanny to go home. Which was sad. Because I have to be honest...having her there was strangely liberating. Maybe not so strange to moms who have been through this before, I guess. But for the hour or so I got to sit at a desk in a quiet room, in a breeze from the open window, getting work done...I felt so GREAT. I also felt like I wanted to use the time to get stuff for my own life done rather than work, but hey.

I also missed Milo more than I expected to, given he was next door and it was only a five hour separation. And I saw him two or three times during that time. But I really did miss him.

After the nanny left, I fed Milo and laid down with him, intending to have a cozy nap. About five minutes in, he was asleep and I got a text explaining that the power might be out for up to three days.



So I began some frantic texting on my dying phone (the laptop and kindle were already dead) trying to come up with a plan for the night. I didn't want to move because Milo hasn't been sleeping well during the day OR during the night lately, and he was fast asleep. So I tried to plan without moving.

Our friend was coming to watch Milo while we were supposed to attend a 4 hour meeting. Which meant she'd be in the dark with nothing to do for four hours. oops.

Then I realized everything in our fridge and freezer was going to spoil. So I called around to other dorms until I found one with an empty dorm fridge, and then I packed up the most important and/or expensive items in two coolers.

Then I was stuck. Milo was sleeping--in a bed, no less--and it seemed like a lot of work to carry the two coolers down to the car, then get Milo in a car seat and down, only to do it all in reverse at the dorm, then again to get back to the dorm...and I only had 20 minutes till our friend would arrive to babysit Milo and I had to head to the meeting.

Thank goodness for good friends. One of our campus friends was kind enough to cart my two coolers over to the other dorm and unpack them in the fridge and freezer. We'll probably have to chuck the stuff that wouldn't  fit, but I think I saved the important stuff. Or Matt did anyway. Thanks, Matt.

Stuff like that really restores my faith in humanity.

Along the journey today I got TWO different phone calls with TWO bits of fairly serious bad news that I can't really write about now...but it just sort of added to the tension of the day.

So during the four hour dorm parent meeting, Michael and I booked a hotel for tonight.

Because after a day like today, why would you elect to spend another minute without cable, internet, lights, and AIR CONDITIONING?!?

You want to know the best thing to come of today though? Milo slept a bunch with the nanny...then slept two hours for me...then slept most of the four hours our friend was babysitting him...and HE'S STILL ASLEEP as we speak.

I'm not sure if it was the dark house, or the stimulation of having all these different caretakers, or general exhaustion from the last few nights of interrupted sleep...but maybe...dare I say...we've turned a leaf?

I think I'll get ready for bed and dream feed him and hope we all get more sleep tonight, because boy do we need it.

Meanwhile, tomorrow is the big photo shoot. I'm super excited, although we didn't get to prepare for it tonight as I had planned. So tomorrow I'll have to pack outfits for Michael, me and Milo. I had to prepare Michael for what to expect, because he pretty much hates this kind of stuff, thinks I'm a crazy picture lady (which is true) and also thinks I tend to torture our son with all the posing and picture taking (I respectfully disagree.)  So the fact that he's leaving work early, driving an hour away, and going through with this means he really, really loves me.

Which helps after a day like today and a week like this one.

Keep your fingers crossed for deep, long sleep and restored power!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Fuck it. I'm going to sleep.

Well. Today was up and down. Another night of sleep deprivation. Milo woke on the early side last night and I was SO exhausted that I poked Michael to do the bottle feeding. Michael decided to try an experiment and try to feed Milo in bed. Which meant I was awake and calming Milo for the 10 minutes it took to get the bottle ready, and then awake listening to him cry and refuse the bottle. I got up and went to sleep on the couch. Then Michael came out to the living room, so I went back to the bedroom. I'd been up for a half hour at that point, which means I would have been sleeping again already if I had just fed Milo myself.

This is so not working out for me.

When Milo woke next, it was 2 hours later and he was hungry enough to take the bottle. From me. When he started whimpering, I took him out of the room so as not to wake Michael. I'm pretty sure I should be up for wife of the year, at least, if not mother of the year. It took a good 45 minutes before I could go back to bed, which meant there was no way I was going to be ready to start work at 8 am.

Milo woke again at 8:15 and after feeding him, I pumped and showered and dressed. I got him dressed and grabbed a quick bite to eat while topping him off before I went to get my laptop set up so I can actually work. I get down to the tech office and am met by the IT guy's dog.

Why do people think it's okay to bring their dogs to work??

I'm allergic to dogs. For all I know, my son is too. I'm pretty sure I offended the IT guys with my obvious jitterbug to avoid the dog touching me or my son. sigh.

He sets me up and says it will take a half an hour so I tell him I'll go to admissions while he's doing it. I get some dorm stuff done while there and then finally head home with my computer a good two hours after I left the house. Though I'm counting this as "work"...I still haven't gotten any work done and it's 12:45 already. So I have a quick lunch, feed peanut, and go about testing and setting up files on my computer.

It turns out I can't access the two folders on the server that are most critical to the work that needs to be done soonest.

But now IT guy isn't responding to emails.

It's time for a webinar on social networking, but peanut starts whimpering because he's tired and can't fall asleep. So I snuggle him up on me and set up the webinar.

I've so got this.

In fact, this is the life...working from home, listening to my webinar with my baby all cozy on me.

I listen with interest for about 40 minutes, and the next thing I hear is "this webinar is closed."


Crap. I fell asleep. sigh.
And Milo did too. Which is awesome, except for that every time I move the slightest bit, he wakes up crying.

After some VERY slow maneuvering, I have one arm free in order to work one-handed with an awkward reach around Milo.

Then I get an email from our baby's photographer saying that she can't do Tuesday for Milo's 3 month shoot after all. Which pretty much makes me want to quit EVERYthing for some irrational reason. Originally we had booked for this Sunday, but then the photographer asked to switch to Saturday. Then she discovered the hurricane weather and suggested we try a back up date, only we couldn't find a weekend date for a good six weeks thanks to dorm parenting and her schedule. So I asked her about Tuesday afternoon, which is the ONLY free time we have next week, and then begged Michael to leave work early that day because this is so important to me. And, bless him, he said he'd work it out even though I know he thinks I'm beyond crazy with this whole picture thing.

And then she tells me she just booked someone else for that time slot because she thought I couldn't do it.

I'm seriously going to cry, because there is NO OTHER time I can do it before Milo is, like, walking. And I was so looking forward to this. And I am already really regretting that I didn't get belly or newborn pictures done.

So I reply back with a copy of my last email to her which clearly states that we are holding Tuesday for us and cross my fingers that she finds a way to make it work.

I try to go back to work, but Milo wakes up. At least he slept 2.5 hours this time. He really hasn't been sleeping during the day lately. Michael texts to tell me he's leaving the office and can I have Milo fed and ready to go to the last daddy/baby class. I finish just as Michael gets home and promise to order dinner by the time he comes back, because then he has to turn around and pick up our neighbors from the airport.  I won't even tell you how much money we've spent on take-out food this week. Suffice it to say Milo isn't going to have much of a college fund at this rate.

They leave and I FINALLY get two solid hours of work done. AWESOME. I feel on top of things again, because I've mocked up some really good postcards for my boss, which energizes me. I send them off to her just as the food gets here. Too bad I still owe the office another 2 hours.

After we finish eating, Michael heads to the airport and I put Milo to bed so I can finish some more work and/or clean the kitchen which resembles the town dump. Only messier.

But their flight is delayed (but not reported as such online. fuckers.) And Milo wakes up again. So I get a few emails done but then need to feed him.

Now it's 11:00. The kitchen is still a mess. The poop-soaked laundry never got done. I didn't get a chance to take Milo's 12 week photo. I still owe the office two hours of work. I'm supposed to be at a stroller strides exercise class at 9:45 am, which means waking up by 8:15.

Oh and did I mention that I have no pants that fit? My preggo jeans are falling off but my pre-preggo pants are too tight. Which should make this photo shoot on Tuesday interesting. Is it too much to hope that I might make it to TJ Maxx tomorrow?

Fuck it. I'm going to sleep. Hey, maybe tonight will be the night Milo sleeps for 9 hours straight.

Holy shit. Did you hear that thunder?

Let's hope we're not underwater by tomorrow morning.

And that Milo isn't afraid of thunder.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

This is such a set up for failure.

Thank god for nannies. Mine wasn't available this week, which was unfortunate since it's my first week back at "work." I get to work from "home" this year, since I live in the dorm on campus and they needed my office space for someone else. Here's the thing about working from home when you have a baby and no nanny: It takes at least two hours to do one hour worth of work. Which means it takes at least 14 hours to do 7 hours worth of work.

I've gotten approximately 7 hours total of sleep over the past two nights combined.

By the time Michael gets home, I've been working for ten hours yet still owe the school another three for the day.

Today, I got up at 7:30 after getting about four hours of sleep scattered throughout the night. I fed Milo, showered, and dressed. I started trying to work. He got fussy. Then hungry. I fed him. He immediately had a blowout all over the boppy pillow. I had just replaced the cover after laundering it from the last blowout.

I ran hot water through the poop on the boppy cover, the onesie, and the receiving blanket I used to pick him up and left it all to dry.

I went back to feeding him, then lulled him to sleep and got back to work.

He woke himself up 15 minutes later. I found a streaming kids music station online and tried to keep working. Only I couldn't access the server, which has everything I need to do work. I contacted tech support, who said I could stop by later this afternoon. I emailed them a time and tried to do some other prep work. Milo fell asleep moments before my 11:00 meeting at the office.

I have to move my car because they're doing tree work, so I put Milo in the car seat and figure I can drive to the office (and thus don't need the stroller). I get halfway there before remembering the appraisal people are coming today and expect to find the car in the lot outside the dorm. So then I get peanut out of the car and walk all the way to the office with the heavy carseat. I get there right on time but a previous meeting runs 30 minutes late and Milo is awake by the time my meeting starts.

Luckily, he is happy to lay on my shoulder and stare around and stays mostly quiet throughout the meeting. He's a good baby.

THAT meeting runs 30 minutes over, so I then have a half hour to go home, feed Milo, feed me, get my laptop, drop it off at tech and get to the office for a meeting with my boss. I decide to carry Milo home since he's fallen asleep on me and the car seat will be heavy to carry that far.

I'm running late and haven't heard from IT, so I send them an email telling them the laptop will be at my office for them to pick up or update there. I had left the car seat at the office, so this time I brought the stroller with my laptop and notes and diaper bag. I have a long meeting with my boss, during which I try to keep Milo quiet and wind up having to feed him. I hadn't brought the hooter hider since I had just fed him, and he keeps fidgeting, so I wind up fumbling with my boob a lot. My boss took it all in stride, bless her. We go through the projects I'm supposed to do in the first month or two and find I have approximately 12 that need to be done in the first three weeks. Which also contain two days of meetings. So I have 7 days (49 hours) to complete them, and I have child care for 35 of those hours.

This is such a set up for failure.

The meeting ends and it turns out tech never came by, so I walk down to their office only to find they aren't there. I walk all the way back home to find an email asking if I can do it tomorrow instead. Which means I still don't have access to do the work I need to do. Milo is hungry again by this point.

I feel like I've just run a marathon. And yet accomplished nearly nothing.

On the bright side, my baby sat through about 4 hours of meetings and was a model baby the whole time. And I was prepared for everything...he spit up and I had it cleaned off before he even knew what was happening. Unfortunately, he never slept for more than 20 minutes at a time all day so he probably won't sleep well tonight.

And, crap. Now I have a meeting of the dorm parents to get ready for opening the dorm. Which happens in a week. I am so not ready for that.

But I am ready for my nanny. In fact, I'm seriously regretting not just biting the bullet and booking her for 8 hrs/day instead of 5. I don't know why I thought I could do the other three hours of work with Milo. While dorm parenting. hahahaha.

I hope we all sleep deeply tonight. I have a lot to catch up on tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Catch Up Post

  • We paid a ridiculous amount of money to stay in a hotel near my sister.  It reminded us of the shining, which was creepy. However, it was roomy and 3 miles from her, so very convenient. Unfortunately, the bed sucked, we had to park in a parking garage with poles, there was no wireless internet, and no free breakfast. Ridiculous for the price.
  • Peanut took a bottle from Michael--no problem--the night before we left. Just like he did the night before we left for Burlington. This time I didn't fall for it and didn't pack the pump and a million bottles. However, I did bring two bottles of pre-pumped milk, hoping we could feed him on the way without stopping. He only woke up when we stopped at dinner, so I just nursed him at the table, thinking I'd save the bottles for later. Only when we got to the hotel, I discovered they had pretty much all leaked out, leaving a total of 2 ounces. sigh. On the bright side, when he woke up in the middle of the night, he took it no problem.
  • The next time Michael tried to give him a bottle, he took about half an ounce. The time after that when I tried to give him a bottle, he wouldn't take it at all. He's toying with us. Not cool peanut, not cool.
  • It was great to see family and meet our newest nephew, Oakley. He was so tiny, it made me nostalgic for when Milo was that tiny. It's hard to even remember. Good thing I have 342 pictures from his first week! (yet I still regret not having professional photos done during the newborn stage.)
  • Unfortunately, we didn't get to NJ until 2 am, which meant we slept late on Saturday and were still tired. Thus, though we had a great time with my sister, we weren't at all helpful to her. =(
  • But we got to celebrate my nephew's fourth birthday and see my parents and uncle, which was really nice.
  • But then it took us 5.5 hours to get home, which was exhausting. Mostly for Michael. But Milo slept the whole way except for a brief waking at our dinner stop to eat. 
  • Milo didn't sleep much during the day while we were in NJ. Maybe too much stimulation? Anyway, this also meant he didn't sleep much Sunday night. Which meant I didn't sleep much Sunday night. Which meant we slept-fed-stayed-in-bed until 1 pm on Monday. 
  • Which meant that when my doorbell rang at 2 pm, I was sitting on the couch in a bathrobe, feeding Milo. Very exposed. I had a flash of serious anger. Who drops by unannounced?!
  • I sighed, paused my DVR, pulled Milo off, put the boobs away, pulled my robe closed and answered the door. With my glasses on and my hair unwashed. And my apartment looking like a grenade had been thrown under my door.
  • A colleague from another department was waiting outside. Awesome.
  • She made small talk for ten minutes before getting around to the fact that she needed keys to a dorm room. All that small talk made it seem very rude that I didn't invite her in. 
  • Meanwhile, I was just hoping my apartment didn't smell. sigh.
  • After that, I got motivated and showered. After Michael got home, I did laundry, dishes, and cleaned the kitchen and living room. And emptied our suitcases! (quickest ever!)
  • But we're leaving again on Thursday so it won't last.
  • I felt really accomplished by the time I went to bed last night, but also kind of wired so I couldn't fall asleep for a while.
  • Which left me really tired this morning. 
  • Oh, and peanut wouldn't fall asleep for hours last night again. Not like him at all. He'd fall asleep and then wake up crying  screeching.
  • I was PASSED OUT this morning when my alarm went off at 9 and snoozed until 9:30. Which meant I didn't have time to pump.
  • I fed peanut, then hopped in the shower with him in the bouncer. He seemed happy, so then I got dressed. Then I went to get him dressed. Only when I started to unswaddle him, I noticed poop. Everywhere. Hard not to notice really. I picked his ankles up in one hand and lifted his bottom half off the table to check out the damage underneath. Which is when I saw poop dribbling out of the top of his diaper down his back.
  • eewwwwwww. Why, oh why, does this NEVER happen when Michael is home?!
  • And why, oh why, had my son not made a single PEEP to let me know he was sitting in shit?
  • In fact, he was in a great mood.
  • I think he was laughing at me.
  • Which was kinda cute, actually.
  • Of course, that meant we were ten minutes late to our mommy group last lunch today. I tried to keep perspective and not speed on the way there as a result.
  • Interestingly, Peanut didn't need to eat again until 2:00. (after eating at 9:15 this morning.) He slept through the whole lunch, which was awesome. Except I had brought the remains of the bottle to try to feed him at the restaurant.
  • By the time we got to the mom's group, most of it had leaked out. sigh.
  • He wouldn't take it anyway, so it didn't really matter. double sigh.
  • Mom's group was awesome. We sang songs and played with a parachute and took tons of cute baby pics. It was so great it made me kind of devastated that it was our last class. I really LIKE these moms. How crazy is that? I feel so close to them, after all we've shared with each other. Yet I wonder if we'll really keep in touch. We're all going to have really different schedules, with most of us going back to work. And we haven't known each other that long. 
  • Thank god for facebook.
  • I may have peer-pressured one of the moms to get a facebook account just so we could keep in touch more conveniently. wow.
  • Luckily, about 5 of us are taking the next steps moms class group together, starting in two weeks. YAY. I really hope to stay in touch with the others though.
  • I was in such a good mood after the group that I didn't even mind that Milo wanted to eat every two hours afterward. In fact, I latched him on and then started making phone calls...paying bills, fixing fraud charges, dealing with car stuff and health insurance stuff, and then finding and booking an inn on the cape for Thursday and Friday night...our last little getaway before the girls get back.
  • It took a really long time, but we're booked at a cute place with a private beach (with HAMMOCKS!) and walking distance to town. Which is awesome because Michael can take the car fishing and I can make myself do something fun. Gotta be careful of peanut in the sun though. Which means trying to get out early and come back for the middle of the day high sun hours.
  • Oh! And I was proactive this time and asked Michael for some Milo-free time to get a massage at a spa near the hotel. YAY. Hopefully they have availability.
  • I agreed to this plan so that we can come home Saturday night so Michael can fish in a tournament on Sunday. But I forgot he has his daddy class Thursday night and already missed one week. Which means we can't leave for the cape until after 7:30. Which means we have to pack the car tomorrow night. Even though we have a dorm parent BBQ. That we're co-hosting. And it means I can't have ladies night drinks on Thursday, which I suggested. oops.
  • Michael came home tonight after stopping at the grocery store. He made delicious dinner and spent time calming Milo down before making Danish aebleskiver for our International Theme dorm parent bbq we are co-hosting tomorrow. It takes a long time to make them, but they are delicious little round funnel cake tasting bundles of goodness. 
  • Tomorrow he'll make Thai pineapple fried rice which will also be awesome. He rocks.
  • I have to get up early tomorrow but it's for a good reason. A good friend from high school is suddenly in town. I get to meet his partner and he gets to meet Milo. And we all get to eat at my favorite french toast restaurant IN A PICKLE! woohoo. (they should probably pay me for marketing.)
  • After that, I need to tour a family for admissions. Even though I'm still on maternity leave, I had recruited this family and they wanted to meet me. I hope Milo behaves on the tour. I hope I'm not late. 
  • THEN I have to get ready for the BBQ. And hopefully have energy for a round of drinks with the girls afterward. Then packing for Thursday!
  • whoa.
  • I better go to bed.