Category: Being Mom

Working 9 to 5, What a Way to Make a Living

Well friends, I just finished my first week back to work after 3 months of catching up on bad TV. I have to say – it felt good. And exhausting. But good.

I am now an Executive Assistant, Personal Assistant, Office Manager and Administrative Assistant to the Executive Vice President of an insurance marketing company. This is obviously a pretty new position, so I am still figuring things out and cleaning out my desk from the last person who was part time. This is my first job where I am in the office five days a week and it is a big change. Thankfully the office is casual dress and I am hourly, so I work 40 hours a week and anything more is overtime. The staff is small since we are a remote office, about 10 people and then 150 or so at headquarters in Nebraska.

I know it’s only been a week, but I think S. and I are juggling pretty well. Nothing is really different for Mike, he is going to daycare about the same time and being picked up at the same time, the only change for him is more time with Dad, but that’s never ever a bad thing. ¬†Dad gets him from daycare, gives him dinner and starts a bath, which is usually when I get home. I get a good hour or so with the guys before Mike hits the sack. He’s sleeping so much better these days which is helpful.

I was so worried about this transition. I knew MIke would be fine, but me – I wasn’t so confident. But it’s been pretty nice, at least for a week, to have lunch alone reading my book, interact with my coworkers, commute for 45 minutes listening to my podcasts … I know some days will be hard, but frankly the only time I miss Mike is when I see other kids about his age on the street. I just make up stories in my head that they are with their nannies or on vacation because their momma works 10 hours a day.

I also realized pretty quick that our time together is much more valuable now. When I get home, no cleaning or anything other than Mike until he goes to bed. Everything else can wait. And with his morning schedule I get a lot of snuggle and play time before going to work.

Side note – I thought it would be nice to stick a funny SomeEcard about being a working mom, but wow. There is so much crap about who has it harder – stay at home moms or work outside the home moms. I’m not going to play into the mommy wars, so I am going to leave you with something else ūüôā

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Looking So Long at These Pictures of You

I got the pictures of Mike’s local birthday gathering last night that my friend Miranda took and she caught so many fun moments. I have a really photogenic kid. For the first time in a long, long time I looked at the shots of me and my internal conversation went like this:

Well that shirt does nothing for your arms and it’s a bad angle for a double chin, but damn I looked happy and Mike was clearly having a blast.

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I’ve always been a bigger girl and struggled to keep my weight under control – I still do. I used to look at pictures and immediately hone in on the flaws, but no more. I am not going to be one of the mothers who hang behind the camera until they have lost the baby weight, covered their roots or changed out of the yoga pants.

I see pictures of my own Momma now and while she sees certain things, I see someone who is amazingly beautiful and perfect to me. She’s my mom. I see a moment captured that I will share with Mike and my future grand kids (God willing!). Those moments are important.

Everyone wants to take a good picture, but it’s not about me anymore and I get that. I won’t hide behind the camera – I don’t want to miss precious moments captured forever with Mike.

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Pinterest Gives Me a Tummyache

I’ve read a lot of about mommas (and daddies of course) who find social media stressful because of seeing other people’s perfect lives, even though we know life is far from perfect. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I can’t relate to that. I love social media for everything – business, personal and snooping.

Since I accepted a job offer that puts me in an office starting next Monday, my OCD is on overdrive. Much like the last week of pregnancy I have to clean the house, organize closets, have lunch with friends and do everything I said I would do during my three month unemployment and, frankly, didn’t. So I started by reorganizing my Pinterest boards. You know. Since that takes precedent over folding clothes.

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I quickly found out, not that I am lacking in the motherhood department, but I missed the boat on so many opportunities for pictures, fun crafts that only a baby can ‘do’ and traditions to start. I had so many good intentions before Mike was born and I totally missed the boat. Do I think this makes me a bad mom? No, but I am a little disappointed. I can’t go back in time and redo all Mike’s monthly pictures to be super cute with blocks announcing his age. Or capturing his little hands in the shape of a heart on a frame for the perfect Valentine’s Day frame.

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What did parents do before Pinterest? They walked blissfully through parenthood without a reminder of all the creative things they missed doing. I guess there is always hope for baby number two. But probably not.

 

Happy First Birthday Mike!

My Sweet One Year Old Boy –

Oh my gosh! It’s been a whole year since you arrived and made me a Momma – in fact as I am typing this I realize a year ago I was being prepped for my C-Section. They were worried that my blood pressure was so high and I was hoping they wouldn’t delay your arrival. I was leaving that hospital with a baby and thankfully it worked out to be my own. You!

I’ve spent some time reading old blog posts from the last year and it brought back so many memories. The one thing I hope you never, ever forget is how badly you were wanted and how incredibly loved you are by so many people.

The blog I wrote the day before you were born reflected how nervous I was. I was worried something would go wrong in surgery, something would be wrong with you or we would screw you up. A year later it’s obvious those worries, like many of life’s worries, didn’t happen.

Getting ready for you¬†birth, we did a lot of¬†things people joked we will never do again like go to brunch,see movies and make pottery. Which is funny now because guess what little guy? We’ve gone out to eat a lot since you arrived (and you are always¬†the center of attention), we’ve watched movies (at home, on the couch after bedtime) and we even painted pottery for Daddy’s first Father’s Day! Some people say that life is over when you have kids, but life is SO much more fun with you!

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It was really hard to picture what life would be like with you. We knew we wanted a baby, but I couldn’t picture YOU. Your eyes, hair or smile. Now I can’t picture life with you. I am sure Daddy agrees!

I remember telling someone from church that when I wake up in the morning, I remember you are there and it’s like Christmas morning. What new thing are you going to do? What are you going to discover? You truly are the best part of my day. Now that you are in a crib sleeping I like to watch you for a little bit on the monitor before getting you. You sing to yourself, walk around the perimeter and bounce. When I open the door I get the biggest grin. Like you are so thankful I am still there and you’ve been waiting all night to see me. If I live to be 1000 years old, that joyful, loved feeling will never leave me.

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I’m not sure I can put into words how much I love you. How much you amaze me and make me laugh. But my sweet one year old? I’ll eat you up I love you so.

xoxo,

Momma

 

 

8 Baby Products to Save Your Money On

Two things are obvious if you’ve been reading my blog:

1. I love lists. Like, love, love.

2. I am pretty realistic when it comes to spending money on baby stuff.

So, remember how I gave you guys my 5 Registry Must Haves? Today I am telling what you don’t need. As just like before, I bet a bunch of you will disagree wholeheartedly with my list and that’s cool. Different things work for different parents. Some of these products I’ve tried and some other products I pretty much knew I wouldn’t use and I haven’t missed. FYI – I tried to widdle this list down to 5, but I just couldn’t.

baby products to avoid

{Baby Food Maker} I covered this in my post about making baby food at home. Sure, the fancy mixers specifically for baby food work just fine, but so does the generic blender from the discount box store.

{Hooded Towels} If this doesn’t make it on your registry, you are going to get a gazillion for your shower anyway. What’s my beef with hooded towels? They fit Mike for about two¬†weeks. Now they barely wrap around him and they all seem to be thin and flimsy. After figuring this out we bought a few bath sheets on Amazon and wrap it around him a dozen times.

{Baby Bathtub} We had a baby bathtub because everyone had one and it made sense. The baby has to bathe right? We probably used it five times. It took up a TON of room in our small apartment and was more trouble than it was worth. After Mike’s first bath in the tub in the sink, we started putting him in the tub with S. He liked it so much more – being held, moved around and warm.

{Formula Mixer} Stop being lazy. Really.

{Pee-Pee Tee-Pee} Anyone with a boy knows that being peed on is a given. If you make it out of the hospital without it happening, consider it a victory! I honestly thought the PPTP was a joke, but people actually USE these things! I see a few things happening – a strong stream and being stabbed in the eye with the pointy end or Mike getting curious and pulling it off. Here’s a common tip – save your money and cover your son immediately while changing his diaper.

{Bottle Warmer} We used a bottle warmer for a few weeks before realizing that Mike liked his formula warm, room temp or cold. The warmer added extra, unnecessary time to the process. Maybe we were just lucky.

{Bottle Sterilizer}¬†We had one of these too and they are such a pain in the neck. Our bottles never fit right, it never fit enough, water ended up everywhere … it was exhausting. Now we hand wash the bottles in super hot water then run them through the dishwasher once a week.

{Pacifier Wipes} You might have picked up on the fact that I am not a germphobe.  I will tell you that I had the best of intentions of using pacifier wipes, but they were never handy when I needed them. The few times Mike used his pacifier and dropped it (or any toy), I usually just wiped it on my shirt or stuck it in my mouth first.

What would you add?

 

Dressing the 30 Year Old Me

Phew! What a busy few weeks. You might have picked up on the fact that I have a new job I am starting on Wednesday. I am really excited, but also scared crapless for a lot of reasons. Lemme back up.

So the job is at the start-up Main Street Genome. I am still figuring out the ‘elevator pitch’, but they use data to help keep Main Street businesses open and thriving. I am really passionate and interested in entrepreneurship and start-ups, so this job is right up my alley. AND I am working (and creating) the Client Success processes now that they are launching. It’s almost like the job was made for me. ¬†It’s in the heart of DC, but it sounds like in a couple months I can telework, which would be awesome because I am more productive at home and it would save me an hour commute.

That said, it is going to be a HUGE adjustment. I’ve never started a job as a ‘mom’ and I am not sure what that looks like for me. Especially since Mike isn’t sleeping totally through the night and I will have to be functional during the day. I am so glad we have a great daycare provider who is happy to see Mike every day, but it just feels uncomfortable to me that I won’t get as much time with him. I am clearly the only one in this duo who will have a problem. It will just be difficult trying to figure it all out for a few weeks. Then I am confident it will all come together and we will have our schedule. For now I am enjoying the next 2 days at home with him.

The other challenge is how to dress for an office. The dress code is business casual and the times I have been in the office I’ve seen nice jeans and sweaters, maxi dresses and black pants and button down. It seems to be a young office, and I am having those high school flashbacks and irrational fears. In my head I imagine my new coworkers laughing at my skinny jeans when I turn my back. Dressing for 30 is hard! It’s a thin line between shopping at Talbots and Forever 21. Add in that I am plus size, losing weight and on a budget and it’s double frustrating.

I did pick up a few things – black skinny ‘jeans’, dark wash jeans, a few sweaters and some professional-ish shoes. I’ve never been a fashionista, but want to look somewhat put together. ¬†Even if the classic sweater has some hidden spit up on the shoulder.

What do you suggest I pick up? 

Oh, and don’t worry.¬†I have my ‘hide the grey and shape it up’ hair appointment tomorrow.

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Friday Five – Snow, Atkins, & More

TWO posts from me in a day? I hope that makes up for the radio silence. It’s Friday, I am SO over this week, so I am linking up with Joy for Friday Five. Instead of a theme, I’m going to go rogue.

 

{Snow}¬†Ugh. I am not a fan of extremes and snow is on one end of the spectrum. I don’t mind it when I can snuggle up under a blanket and watch movies all day. BUT – when you work from home as long as you have electricity, you have to work. I was surprised at how out of sorts it felt working and having S. home and my coworker’s kids home and everyone just all off schedule. I hope next week is somewhat normal.

{Blacklist}¬†I am usually late to the TV show party but my parent’s suggested the Blacklist. S. just finished binge watching Breaking Bad so we needed something to watch. So far, I am hooked! I am more interested in how everyone is connected – they are doing a great job dropping small hints that send me to Google to see what everyone else is thinking and theorizing.

{Atkins}¬†Meeeeeeat. So S. and I are 3 weeks into the Atkins Diet and he looks amazing after losing about 15 pounds. I, on the other hand, a, dropping weight much slower, but I’m okay with that. I’m down about 8 pounds as of a few days ago. Maybe next week I will share my inspiration picture. I am literally making a pizza right now where the crust is sausage. SAUSAGE.

{Boba Video}¬†I am sure all my momma friends have seen this video from Boba. Grab a tissue. It’s a good one!

{Crawling} Almost 8 months old and military crawling for weeks (painful, frustrating weeks for Momma and Daddy), Mike FINALLY crawled. And is pulling up. Why take milestones slow?

Pass the Lysol

I promised myself I would never write an apology post for being a bad blogger. But guys? I’m sorry. This whole week has been a blur. First of all, snow. It was just 5 inches but it has screwed this whole week up. My coworker’s kids are out of school so work is a little out of sorts. Mike’s daycare is closed and S. spent 2 days home because of the feds closing and having a wicked cold. As for Charlie, it’s too cold to take him for a good walk, and too cold to venture to Day Camp. Needless to say I am climbing the walls. But mainly, I have been doing laundry because everything Mike touches has snot or throw up on it. Poor guy has an icky cold which is more time consuming than I could have imagined 8 months ago.

Yesterday was the worst. All Mike wanted to do was be held. Not worn, not laying next to me – held. Which is difficult when I work from home and have a million other things to do. I really depend on his naps which is the obvious problem. I would rock and rock him to sleep, then rock until he was REALLY asleep, then put him in the crib and he would instantly become hysterical. I even let him cry it out for 15 minutes only to go in there and he had spit up over everything – blanket, sheets, himself, everything. Cue the momma meltdown which sent us both to a warm bubble bath to try to relax. By the time S. got home, Mike was a happy baby again as if to prove I am a total drama queen and liar.

Then came bedtime. Mike fell asleep at a decent hour and slept until 9P when he woke up suddenly hysterical. I brought him to S. in bed so I could finish some work, but he had yet to calm down by the time I finished, so I brought him to the couch with me. He calmed down a bit, we wiped his nose and then I heard it. The tummy grumble. By the time I registered what was about to happen, he had spit up all over my shirt. S. came to the rescue so I could get cleaned up, but then it happened again. But much worse.

All. Over. S.

Then again. All over his playmat¬†which you think would be great because we could easily wipe it down, but we didn’t have that kind of luck. One of the star pieces was missing and when we lifted it up there was a perfectly shaped star puddle of throw up. ¬†At the risk of sounding gross, the beagle was very excited. Back to the bathtub we go!

 

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After a bath with a fussy baby and new jammies, which we are quickly running out of with all the washing, Mike snuggled with me on the couch while S. cleaned up the mess (he scored major major daddy points considering he is sick himself). Around midnight I went to put a very asleep Mike into his crib and he INSTANTLY woke up. Back to the couch where we both dozed off and when I woke up around 3AM he went into his crib without waking up. He must have felt some sort of remorse because he let me sleep until 8:30AM.

We seem to be on an uptick today, but still very clingy and spit-uppy making any sort of productivity impossible.

If this has bought with the cold has taught me anything, it’s sometimes you just have to do what’s best for your kid and if that means sitting on the couch snuggling watching Doc McStuffins, then so be it. I’ll sleep when I’m dead. And even then I will be waiting for him to wake up in the middle of the night.

 

Footloose and Fancy Free

So remember last week when I was convinced I was screwing Mike up because I wasn’t letting him cry it out when he was waking up hysterical in the middle of the night?

And remember all the things we tried to solve the random problem? Like buying a space heater and flannel sheets? Turning on white noise, turning off white noise, turning on talk radio, turning OFF talk radio, tushie pats, back rubs, formula, water, begging, pleading? None of those worked by the way.

So why was Mike waking up hysterical all of a sudden? Here is the conversation that went at our house on Friday morning.

Jackie (6AM): Holy crap! Mike slept all night! God is good!

S.: So what was different?

Jackie: I have no idea. None whatsoever.

(later in the day)

Jackie: His jammies didn’t have feet (to S. and his momma who was visiting)

S: What?

Jackie: Last night. His jammies didn’t have feet. His feet are always covered in the footed jammies. They weren’t last night.

S: There we go!

Jackie: If we do the footless jammies and he sleeps all night again, I am going to be pissed.

(the next morning)

Jackie: Mike slept through the night. I am cutting the feet out of his damn jammies.

So my dear friends … 3 weeks of sleepless nights, a doctor’s visit, countless hours researching night terrors and sleep training and he just didn’t like his feet covered. Duh.

If I don’t laugh, I cry.

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