Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Really weird thing that happened to me today

This morning I had to go for a consultation with the implant dentist- a crown that's been hanging-in-there-just-barely for the past 6 years finally came loose a few months ago and can't be fixed. So I have to get an implant and walk around with a big gap in my mouth for 2 months. Yeah, I'm really looking forward to that. But that's not the weird part.

The weird part is that as I sat in the examining chair waiting for the dentist, a patient in the cubicle next to mine started to go through his procedure. Which apparently involved sedation and so he was hooked up to a heart monitor. Which started to beep in the regular heartbeat-everything is fine way, but I started to breathe fast and then tear up. I found myself sitting in the chair, digging my fingernails into my hands and trying to not cry. And I realized that it was the first time I've heard a heart monitor since the drama of Ethan's birth, when I had to listen to his heartbeat as I laid on my left side all day, hooked up to more machines than I ever imagined was possible. And the sound brought back all the fear and anticipation and other emotions of that day. It brought back the guilt in feeling (incredibly irrationally) that I could have tried harder, that there was something else I could have done to get that baby out or to go through the c-section without general anesthesia so that I didn't have to miss the birth of my baby.

I keep thinking I'm past all this, that it should be in the past. Because Ethan is healthy and I am fine and Daniel is just glad that those two things are true, no matter what happened back on that day in August. So why does it keep coming back at the most random times? It doesn't matter anymore, this is something I shouldn't even remotely be wasting my time thinking about!

The brain is an odd thing. Hides things from us when we want to deal with them, then springs them on us when we're totally unprepared.

In other news, Daniel's decided he needs to buy a scooter for his commute to and from work. I'm up for anything that gets him home quicker in the evening- the additional 20 minutes that have been added to his commute by his move a mile further south on 5th Avenue seem like an eternity in the evenings. Hopefully he'll find something affordable and stylish at the same time. I'll post pictures once he finally gets something.

Wednesday

It is so SO much easier to start work at 6:30 AM when it's actually daylight. And so much less scary to take the bus and walk through downtown streets to work. Now if Seattle could just get the memo that the longer days mean it's supposed to be summer....

So, last night I went to the Opting In/Opting Out panel discussion. For details on the speakers, go here- I'm at work and don't have the program with me. The whole event was organized by Parent Map, which I was not familiar with, but plan to use as a resource in the future. I arrived about 30 minutes early, after fairly minimal driving around and looking for parking and cursing Capitol Hill (the most difficult place in Seattle to find parking). I got my ticket and my goody bag and my cupcake (from Cupcake Royale, which we'd just visited for the first time this weekend. So yummy!) And I got a glass of very nice white wine by O Wine. After that I awkwardly stood in a corner of the room, trying to balance my cupcake and bag and wine and hors d'oeuvres, and not tried not to look like I felt- like I was back in middle school, on the first day of school with no one to talk to.

Thankfully I was able to eat quickly and headed upstairs for the panel discussion. Given that I get up at 5 AM on Wednesdays, I knew I was going to have to duck out early, so got a prime spot in the back row, next to the door. The panel discussion was really interesting- it was moderated by Mona Locke, a former first lady of Washington State. And my goodness, that woman has had some serious life transitions in the last 15 years! I'm amazed by all she's been through and all she's accomplished. All the other women who spoke were equally impressive and I really appreciated their honesty about their struggles in balancing motherhood and work. I could really relate to their admissions of struggling to find their identity outside of their work title. It's definitely an ongoing struggle for me.

I'm glad I went last night and am sorry I didn't get to hear the whole panel discussion. I went home feeling a little overwhelmed, to be honest, since it's been kind of a rough week at work and at home (and it was only Tuesday night...). But when I got home, Ethan woke up and I was able to spend some time snuggling with him and chatting with Daniel. And that made things alright. It's a tough job, being a mom. There's no doubt about that. And I say that, knowing I have an easy baby and a husband who really should be eligible for sainthood. It's still tough. And I'm daily trying to find my balance while feeling like someone keeps shifting the weights on the other side of the teeter-totter. But I know I'm not alone- that there are so many moms out there going through the same thing, and I'm so very glad.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Tuesday

I really should have done some work today during Ethan's afternoon nap. I took a nap instead. Seriously, the grey skies and drizzle are sucking the will to live out of me. Going to Target this morning briefly cheered me up, as did eating most of a box of Target brand mac and cheese, but then I got tired and grouchy again. The nap helped. Now I'm up and drinking coffee, because I have to go out tonight and be social. I'm going to this event: Opting In/Opting Out. I'm going to the event primarily because 1) I got a free ticket and 2) there are going to be cupcakes, but also because 3) it looks pretty interesting, and I'm always looking for ideas on how to balance home and work life.

I'll let you know tomorrow how it went tonight.

Now I have to go get Ethan's food ready for daycare tomorrow. No rest for the weary.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Oh yeah, I definitely have Momnesia

I'm so glad that they have a word for this bizarre loss-of-brain condition now. Makes me feel slightly less insane. But I am still constantly surprised by the extent of my forgetfulness sometimes. Like when the baby is fussing, and it occurs to me that maybe I haven't remembered to change his diaper in a few hours. Even though I've been changing him up to 15 times a day for the past 8+ months, it's still a total surprise when it occurs to me that he might be wet. Or just now, I was sitting at my desk, and was completely caught off guard by the realization that I have to figure out something to cook for dinner tonight. Seriously, total shock at that idea. Even though I've had to cook dinner for us for almost every night for the past 2 years.

Ethan had a lovely weekend, especially his day on Saturday with all the girl babies. Although he did flirt more with their moms. My baby has a thing for married women. It's really odd.

And we're still in the midst of the weirdest winter/spring ever. 75 degrees one weekend, then hail/rain/snow the next, then 65 the next, then 50 degrees and raining on Monday. I want summer to arrive already! But it is daylight all the time here now- a little light when I went to bed last night at 8:30 (yeah, I'm wild and crazy), light again soon after I got up at 5:15 this morning. You cant beat that!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Recap

I've consumed half my mug of coffee and read all my blogs, so I think it's time to stop procrastinating and actually write a post.

Let's see- highlights of my parents' visit: 1) several dinners out with Daniel, 2) actually getting to go to the gym with Daniel and leer at his cute rear end in his workout pants, 3) visiting the Tulip Festival with my parents and the back of our heads being on the local newsmagazine TV show, 4) not having to feed Ethan dinner for almost 2 weeks, 5) having a huge number of friends and family present for Ethan's baby dedication at our church last Sunday.

All in all it was a great visit with my parents. They spoiled Ethan completely rotten. After they left, Ethan kept looking at me in confusion when I would try to do anything that didn't involve sitting around and staring at him adoringly. I could see him thinking "where's your camera? Shouldn't you be recording this?" It was hard to watch them say goodbye to him on Tuesday. I know it's absolutely heartbreaking to live so far away from their beloved grandson. Oh, and us. Forever known only as "the parents of the adorable grandson." :)

I did about have a heart attack when I was talking to my brother on the phone at the end of mom and dad's visit and he said "so, we'll see you when we get there in 2 weeks!". Yeah, that's right, more visitors. I knew they were coming and it's on my calendar and everything, but it's in May, and I don't have the energy to think about things happening on the next page of the calendar yet. I really should, because those early-in-the-month-next-page-of-the-calendar things sneak up on you fast.

Anyway, that's the general recap of the last few weeks. Daniel and the baby are out, so I need to go vacuum quickly before they get back, as Ethan's 1) scared of the vacuum and 2) he's learned to scoot to the piles of cat fur and try to eat them. Bad combination.

Okay, attaching a video- the first part is Ethan laughing at a game that my parents were playing with him, then in the second part he would just look at his bear and laugh, remembering the game. We were all laughing so hard that we cried.


video

video

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day!

Not only is today Earth Day, it's the third anniversary of mine and Daniel's engagement (thank you for giving in to the inevitable, sweetie!) and my brother and sister-in-law's second wedding anniversary. Yes, my parents had the weddings of both of their kids in the space of less than 8 weeks, after despairing of ever getting either of us married off.

So, Earth Day... so far I'm failing you a bit. Since my parents just left (wrap-up post will come later, when the baby is napping and I'm caught up on work), I've actually been doing lots of laundry and running the dishwasher. But I'm trying to cut down on how many loads I wash, and the dishwasher is on the eco setting, so that's something! And I cleaned the bathroom with my beloved Method products, which are much healthier for our home environment and our big environment.

What's being green for me? I recycle, try (and usually fail) to remember to take my bags to the store instead of using paper/plastic, feed my baby organic food and try to feed myself mostly the same, take the bus or walk instead of driving when I can. Simple things. I believe in those things. But, as an environmental toxicologist, I get frustrated by some of the things I see being done in the name of being more green or more healthy. Things like banning a substance when there is no science that shows any risk to humans and even less science proving that the alternatives are any healthier than what is being banned. I get frustrated when I spend years of my professional life studying something, something I believe in and stand behind 100%, only to watch public hysteria over nothing make my work the scientific equivalent of whispering into a tornado. That kind of green I struggle with. But it keeps me employed, so I shouldn't fuss too much about it. :)

The piles of laundry are calling. I'd better go answer before they fall over and we lose a cat or two under all the sheets and towels.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Completely loopy on allergy medicine

Okay, so here in Seattle it rained on Thursday, was decent on Friday, was 70+ degrees on Saturday, then down to 50 on Sunday, rained and thunderstormed (while still being cold) on Monday, and rained more on Tuesday. This is doing WONDERS for my sinuses. We have the loveliness of the pressure changes plus the fun of all of the trees/flowers that bloomed during the warm spell last week.

BUT- I GET TO TAKE MEDICINE NOW!!! I am FINALLY no longer pregnant or nursing!!!!!!! You have no idea how happy this makes me. Slightly below the "getting to wear pretty bras" joy.

Yeah, so I have no tolerance for medicine any more. I spent most of the day yesterday at my desk, staring at the screen and trying to make sense of the words. Today I skipped the morning medicine, as Ethan was participating in a hearing study at the University, and I had to operate the car. But then we were home and it was fair game. Ethan and I have spent a lot of time today staring at the ceiling and his toys with similar senses of awe and wonder. Apparently allergy medicine reduces me to the intelligence level of an 8 month old.

So, my parents return tomorrow from their side trip to Portland. Which means that as of tomorrow we'll be back to sharing a bedroom with Ethan, a living room/kitchen with my parents and a bathroom with the cats. For 6 more days. I love having guests, but I would love it a whole lot more if we had another couple hundred square feet to share.

I hear the munchkin, better close and go rescue him from his crib. Which is apparently an evil and bad place to be, according to him. Gotta run!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

So...tired...

It's Sunday night here- my parents are down in Portland for a few days now. Which means Daniel and I get to sleep in our own room, away from the coughing, cranky baby. Thank goodness. I'm not entirely sure how we're going to survive 6 more nights in his room when Mom and Dad get back.

My parents arrived Thursday afternoon and we've been having a good time since then. They're trying to teach Ethan to crawl, but so far that's not working so well. But poor Ethan has some nasty allergies going on, so he can barely breathe, so moving around is not something he's too interested in.

Friday my parents watched Ethan while I went to work, then we went to Target on Friday afternoon, since Dad forgot his dress pants at home, and didnt want to wear jeans to church. Saturday we got up, loaded ourselves into the car, and went to catch the ferry to Bremerton to have lunch with my grandmother. We arrived in plenty of time, got in line and sat and chatted while we waited. About 5 minutes before the ferry loaded, Daniel went to start the car and found that the battery was dead. A nice lady in the next line tried to get us started, but she had to go catch the ferry herself before we could get everything hooked up. So, Mom and I took Ethan to McDonalds to wait while Daniel and Dad got the car jumpstarted by the Ferry workers. We were soon first in line for the next ferry! We made it to Bremerton eventually and had a lovely lunch with my grandmother. Coming home we had no ferry issues and made it home easily... only to get stuck at an intersection while we were trying to get home... because the Dalai Lami was driving past in his motorcade (many motorcycle policemen, many security agents).

Today we had a nice morning at church and then ate yummy Vietnamese Pho for lunch. Then I actually got to go to the gym!!! And came home and cooked meals for the next two evenings. I went and took a bath while Daniel cooked tonight's dinner, and came out to smell something burning. Daniel didn't smell anything, but when he opened the pot lid, the rice-a-roni was smoking and billows of smoke came out! So we're still working on tonight's dinner- hopefully it'll be ready soon, I'm hungry!!

Yeah, no interesting stuff to talk about today. I'll work on that. Hope you all had a great weekend!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

VERY EXCITING!!

Not much time to post- much cleaning to do before heading to the airport. But, I just had to post to say... I'm wearing a normal bra today! Not a nursing bra! And it's not beige or white (the color of my nursing bras! And it's actually a pretty bra!!!

I never imagined that a normal bra could ever make me so happy. :)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The blame game

I was reading my blogs the other day (oh my goodness, you guys are so great, but boy do you suck up a lot of my time!) and came across this entry. And it (as usual with this blogger) broke my heart. After I read it, I was telling Daniel about the post and how it hurts sometimes to be a mom and to feel so much guilt over things we have no control over. Like having to have a c-section- maybe I should have just pushed harder, and maybe I could have gotten through the back pain and not had general anesthesia so that Daniel could have been there. And maybe if I'd done something different when I was sick last week, my milk supply wouldn't have vanished. And on and on and on.

WHY do we do this? Apparently dads don't have this issue as much as we do. Daniel just stared at me in confusion when I was talking about the other blogger's guilt and about my feelings of guilt about various things. As if being a mom isn't hard enough without sitting around worrying about past decisions and events that were likely out of our control to begin with. I wish I didn't do this so much. And I wish I could fix it for every other mom that I hear expressing these feelings and just hug them all and say "it's okay- you could not have done anything differently. You are amazing and strong and you are doing a good job." But I cant.

In other more cheerful news, we went to Target today. I love Target. Ethan loves Target too. It's the best. And it's so much fun to go to on weekdays, since everyone is there with a cute baby or toddler. It's like a baby parade with fun, affordable products. Sigh of happiness.

Oh, sounds like I have a dirty diaper to change! Better go deal with that.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Monday

I'm a little bitter that my TV shows got pre-empted tonight by NCAA basketball. I dont mind some sports, but college b-ball is not on my list of things to watch. I did manage to find a recent episode of Top Chef on Hulu.com, so at least I wasn't forced to spend my evening being productive or anything. Well, except for doing more laundry. Because Ethan saw that I was done with the laundry and so had to immediately vomit all over himself and me and the floor.

Daniel's first day at his new job went well. He emailed me this afternoon to tell me that he has a view of Smith Tower from his office. That's where we got married. So that's cool. My job was less great today. I take that back, the job was fine, my brain was just not there. But I muddled through the day and actually got a few things accomplished in the end. I have to say, I'm completely baffled by my coworkers. They sit quietly in their offices all day, only emerging once for lunch and maybe one other time. I'm out of my chair and going to the bathroom/the drinking fountain/looking for a snack/watching the construction cranes out the window and being thankful I'm not one of the crane operators and dont have to climb ALL THE WAY UP TO THE TOP!!! (How do they do that, anyway?). I never really grasped the concept of sitting still and focusing. So it confuses me when everyone else around me does it so well.

Tomorrow Ethan and I have the condo to ourselves again. First time in several weeks that we'll be home on a weekday without Daniel. I'm kind of looking forward to getting back to my normal routine. And I think there's a trip to Target in our future, assuming Ethan's feeling better tomorrow.

Time to go to bed and dream happy Target dreams.

Photo from our Victoria trip

Sunday, April 6, 2008

And another weekend draws to a close

So, let's see. Catching up since my last post.

Took Ethan to the doctor on Thursday. I knew he was pretty much fine, so tried to mention that as many times as possible when we got to the doctor. I also tried to say repeatedly that I was mainly bringing him in since we were going to Canada on Friday morning and I didn't want to be at the mercy of an unknown medical system. I'm glad I did, as the doctor looked at his ears and listened to his lungs and pronounced it all as a cold that was almost gone. She was more concerned about the 6 poopy diapers per day for the last week. Fortunately, that seems to be better now too. Maybe we can all actually stay well now for a few days.

And in other news, it looks like I wont be nursing much longer. Since Ethan and I both got sick at the same time, my supply has dropped massively and doesn't seem to be returning. And Ethan LOVES his bottles. He can chew on them and move them and do all sorts of things that I object to when the food source is attached to my chest. We made it 8 months, so I'm fairly happy with that. I'm going to try to keep up with morning and late night feedings for a while, and will probably continue to pump at work, but I think that we're going to be moving to all formula in our very near future.

So, Victoria was great. We had a fun trip up on the Clipper. Daniel, my sweet, friendly husband, made friends with the husband in the couple sitting next to us. And we had a good time running around the city and staying in the Fairmont Empress. We had a lovely room with plenty of space for the baby. And, Daniel had mentioned that we were up there to celebrate my birthday, and there was a great set of chocolates and tea in our room. How fun! We were in our room from 5 PM Friday night to 11 AM Saturday morning (yeah. we're wild and crazy), and it was a great place to be located. Saturday we went to the Royal BC Museum and enjoyed the exhibits, then got take-out food and headed back to the Clipper. It's going to be hard to adjust when Ethan's older, as we were the first people (out of 300) on the boat both directions, since we got priority boarding. And our new friends sat next to us again on the way back, which was fun.

Now it's back to work for me, and to a new job for Daniel. And much to do this week, as my parents arrive Thursday for a 2 week visit. They're going to Portland for a few days, but it's still going to be 9 days/nights with 4 adults and 1 baby in a 900 square foot condo. Who would like to start the collection for the chocolate that will need to be purchased to help me recover? Anyone?

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Always second guessing...

That's the curse of motherhood, isn't it. Constantly wondering if you've done/said the right thing. Worrying because your child is a completely unique individual, and so are you, so there's no one that you can check things against. This does not suit my personality... not at all...

Anyway, today I'm having a battle with my pre-mom personality versus my mom personality. One of the things I hate most in life is bothering people. Any people. Even people that I pay to bother. Including the doctor. We've only taken Ethan in for well-baby visits so far, and I've only left phone messages with the doctor twice, once when he'd been constipated for 4 days, and once when he threw up all over me.

Last week Ethan caught a cold. He's still coughing and still has a runny nose. This week Daniel and I caught it, and it's a nasty bug. I totally understand why Ethan's been so cranky. A few days ago, Ethan started pulling on his ear. Not constantly, but often. But he didn't seem upset about it, so I kind of let it go. Especially since he's also teething and some of the books/websites said that teething pain can lead to ear tugging. But then today I realized that he's also been screaming when we lay him down flat, which is apparently another symptom of an earache.

I finally dealt with my fear of "bothering" the doctor and called for an appointment for tomorrow (I don't have access to a car today). I did have a lot of ear problems as a kid, so it's likely that Ethan will too. And we're going to Victoria on Friday, and I don't want him getting more sick in Canada when we're far from our doctors. So now I've shifted my guilt and second-guessing to worrying if I should have found a way to get him to the doctor today. Even though he seems to be pretty much okay. Sigh. THIS JOB IS HARD!!!! Is there an instruction manual somewhere that I didn't get? Anyone have a spare copy?

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Really, he does occasionally have other facial expressions

I've recently realized that my son is making pretty much the same face in every photo I've posted of him online- slack-jawed, drooling, staring blankly at the camera. I promise you, he makes lots of other faces, just not when the camera is around. He knows the camera. It has some sort of sedative effect on him. Whenever he sees either my cell phone camera or our regular camera, he stops whatever he's doing, assumes the face described above, and stays still as long as possible. It's fascinating how quickly they learn.

Tonight I freaked Daniel out. He was working from home today, but had to go in to his new job for a few hours to meet up with the outgoing person. By the time he got home, I just needed a break. He's been working from home for over a week, and yesterday he came to work with me to use our phones, since the phones at my office are better than our Vonage or cell phones. I love my husband and baby, but by 6:30 PM tonight, I was done. He was concerned that something was wrong, but I assured him that I just needed to get out by myself, for some other purpose than going to work or the gym. So I went and wandered around Fred Meyer for an hour. Bought wine (got carded!!!!) and pretty new towels for our bathroom (on sale!!) and snacks for our trip to Victoria on Friday.

Then I came home and folded laundry and unloaded the dishwasher. Real life is always just over the horizon.

Anyway, tomorrow is work for me and Daniel both, and he's driving down to Satsop one last time to fill out paperwork and turn in his laptop. His job has been good to him for many years, but I'm so glad he's moving on.

Off to bed for me!