Accidentally Co-Sleeping

Here is my dirty secret – S. and I don’t sleep in the same bed anymore. And it’s not because we don’t love each other, it’s because we DO love each other. And sleep. We really love sleep. So when it comes time to go to sleep we go our separate ways to snore, toss and turn and get up 10 times to pee in peace. Turns out we aren’t the only ones channel Lucy and Ricky Ricardo when the sun goes down. Research is showing it is more common than you think. So don’t worry. Our marriage is perfectly fine!

But even though I fall asleep alone (or with a beagle) I am not waking up alone.

Most nights between 1am and 3am Mikey finds his way into bed with me. When I am awake enough to ask him why he says something like ‘I miss you’ or ‘I want to ‘nuggle’. While most parenting books and blogs will advise me to walk him back to his bed, I simply lift up the covers and scoot over. Sometimes he curls into a ball and digs his toenails into my back. Sometimes he asks me to turn on the TV (which I don’t). But I never regret letting him in my bed for a few hours before we start our day.

Sometimes I wake up before he does and I watch him twitch and sleep with his face smooshed in the pillow. Sometimes he wakes up before me and wakes me up so he can watch Peppa Pig or Dora the Explorer. Sometimes I wake up and he is eager to chat about random things like who is picking him up from school or what toy he wants to take to show his teacher. Sometimes he wakes up and is mad at the world for no reason. But no matter what, when he ‘sneaks’ into bed with me he knows I will be there in morning.

One day I will wake up and he won’t be in my bed and that’s okay too. But until then, I will always scoot over and make room for him and be there to ‘nuggle for a few hours.

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Happy Birthday Miss Mollie

 

Dearest Mols –

Happy Birthday sweet 4 year old! You have had quite a year haven’t you! Do you know my favorite part? Watching you become a big sister. It seems like you were born specifically to have a little sister. Your Momma shares so many pictures of the two of you that melt my heart. I bet as the years go on you will have a bond like no other.

You know what else melts my heart? You and Mikey, of course. I will always remember our morning at the ‘duck park’ when Mike was too nervous to run across the playground ‘shaky bridge and you confidently ran up, grabbed his hand and helped him across. That was such a fun morning – feeding the ducks, racing down the slide then coming back to our house for fun on the deck.

You are growing into a kind, funny girl Miss Mollie. You always have a story and a laugh for me. Plus you have quite a fashion sense – all of those things will get you far in life my dear. So, in honor of your 4th birthday, here are FOUR things I love about you right now:

Your giggle that makes your shoulders shoot up like you have a secret that you find hilarious.

Your love of all things Disney Princesses, specifically Ariel because I love her too!

Your adventurous nature – soccer, ballet, RIDING A UNICORN! You are up for anything.

You’re so kind with everyone you meet and everyone in your life – including Marcie and Mike.

Happy birthday sweet Mollie!

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Thoughts on Women’s Day from Sonjara’s CEO

Reposted with permission from Sonjara’s blog. I’ve worked for Sonjara off and on for a few years and have always admired Siobhan Green, the Co-Owner and CEO. I thought it was important to share her thoughts on Women’s Day. 

Sonjara was founded as a way to keep one woman – me – in the workforce, while also allowing my husband and I to raise our children the way we wanted to. As a result, we created a workplace with values focusing on supporting the whole person – embracing their gender, age, race, ethnicity, and outside responsibilities (such as parenting or school). Using what we call “radical flexibility”, we focus on productivity as our true measurement of performance.

I never wanted to be an entrepreneur when thinking about career goals. Dedicated to international development, I always saw myself as an employee – for non-profits or government providing ICT4D [Information and Communications Technologies for Development] services. But life intervened. My former company, while having wonderful policies, was unable to overrule the decisions of my direct boss when it came to work-life balance, especially related to having a newborn. Without really thinking it through, I quit and my boss panicked. Ultimately my boss hired me as a freelancer until he found a replacement and Sonjara was born.

A few years after I founded Sonjara, my husband Andy was able to join the company full-time and then we started hiring employees. We dedicated ourselves to providing policies and a culture that addressed many of the challenges faced today by women and men who are caregivers. While initially thinking these policies would help primarily women, who still are the primary caregivers of small children, we also found men were even more in need of work options with flexible hours and location and an understanding culture of parenting responsibilities. We then realized that everyone needed and benefited from what we now call “radical flexibility”.

Primarily virtual, Sonjara allows people high levels of control over their personal productivity, by managing where and when they work and giving them a lot of autonomy in how they get their work done. With modern cloud based systems, it is easier now than ever before to support flexibility while maintaining productivity, security and quality. While we see this approach as common sense, it also has the benefit of overcoming many traditional barriers faced by women – and others – in the workplace. At Sonjara, we also are passionate about supporting female entrepreneurs, female IT experts, and female leaders as well as making sure male and female entrepreneurs, IT experts and leaders are aware of unintended biases they may be unwittingly party to. We include gender in our user analyses, evaluation metrics, and design perspectives, and try to make sure data is disaggregated by gender. We try to keep up to date on the latest news on ICTs and gender, and how it intersects with race, class, age, and other factors so that we are not exacerbating existing inequalities by ignoring these differences.

We at Sonjara have decided to not stop our work on this day, but rather to double down on our work to improve the lives of women – our employees, our clients, and our beneficiaries around the world. We salute all those who promote gender equality around the world.

I wish you a Happy Women’s Day!

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Reset My Morning

If you ask me how my morning went I would say, ‘I was not my best self. Not even close’. And I am going to give you a little spoiler here – this post isn’t going to tell you about how I turned it around because I didn’t. There was no touchy-feely apology with Mike where we hugged it out. Nope. I have never been so thankful to drop him off at school.

Mike woke up at 4:30a and, from what I could gather from his fussing and whining, everything I did was wrong. Here are the things I did wrong:

  • Cut his bagel
  • Bring him strawberries and Cheerios
  • Not magically making Peppa Pig appear On Demand
  • Asked him to put his underwear on
  • Not knowing where his Ironman Potatohead went
  • Putting on the wrong Paw Patrol episode

He was just hell on wheels and I had no patience. I am so tired (in general) of telling him to be gentle and to STOP.PUTTING.STUFF.IN.MY.FACE. Helicopters, toys, fingers, feet – everything is within inches of poking my eye out. I yelled. I pointed. I handled everything wrong. And that has to be okay.

I need a timeout. I own it.  I’ll try again when he comes home from school.

And as I am editing this post I realized that I confused two texts between my cleaning lady and my oven repairman. To make a long story short, I had a cleaning crew show up when I am not even close to being picked up and my oven is still broken. It’s only 10am, so this day still has time to turn around. Right? Right.

 

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Birth is Birth is Birth

By now you’ve probably seen the viral text between a momma planning her c-section and a birth photographer where the photographer is essentially shaming the momma for not having an ‘actual birth’. For what it’s worth, I don’t think this is a real text. I have a hard time believing a birth photographer would have this mean and visceral reaction – BUT it has prompted a lot of really cool pictures and articles about c-sections. As a c-section momma I love seeing these images! I really like the Huffington Post’s recent gallery.

Mikey was a planned c-section and I was more than happy about our decision. When our (amazing) OB/GYN said with my PCOS diagnosis and Mike’s growth history he would likely be 10lbs. That was all I needed to know to make my decision. I didn’t want to be in a situation where I pushed and pushed only to have to have an emergency c-section. I wanted Mike’s entry into the world to be as safe and with as less stress for him as possible.

Mommas – you do you. You find what works for you and your baby. Don’t let anyone tell you you ‘picked’ an easy out (pun intended) or that you’re choice was wrong.

Whether you have a vaginal birth, a c-section or pull him out of you ear – I think we can all agree that birth is birth. And in honor of my c-section – here are my favorite images.

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Me For Now

It’s funny how this blog has evolved from sharing my infertility story to my pregnancy story to my momma story. Yet as the years have gone by I’ve shared some funny moments, some product reviews and letters to Mikey, but not very much about me. Let’s face it. At the end of the day I am too tired to write about me, but that needs to change. Starting now.

So a few weeks ago I went to my OBGYN to talk about starting the process to have Weisman 2.0 (I need a better name). Since Mike was a Shady Grove baby, I figured the process would be about the same. This was my 3rd visit with this doctor and I was lukewarm. She took my blood pressure and it was high, very high, and has been for the last few months. She was pretty dismissive and said the next step is to lose weight, get the blood pressure under control and come back in 3 months. And since it was the day before Valentine’s Day she felt the need to end the appointment with, ‘and try to avoid all the Valentine’s candy’!

No.

So, I made an appointment with my nurse practitioner who I adore to help me get it together. What I wanted was some immediate action items or goals. GYN left me with so many questions about diet and nutrition and as someone who already obsesses about food in one way or another, it wasn’t motivational. My NP really knew how to help, not only by putting me on a medication, but some goals:

Eliminating one thing each week from my diet (chocolate, fast food, dessert, whatever my ‘downfall’ is). The first two weeks I decided to scrap fast food.

Add 20 minutes of activity a day. Thanks to my FitBit, this should be easy to track.  It will most likely be walking and I am going to strive to do some water aerobics.

Write down what I eat. I’ve done this 1000 times before and it makes sense. How should I know how many calories I should be eating when I don’t know what I am currently eating? Spoiler alert, more than I should.

Drop 5lbs before my monthly follow up. I’m not going to share my weight here. And not because I am ashamed of it, but because it doesn’t matter. This isn’t about hitting a magic number, it’s about getting healthier, and that is tied to my weight, then that is the goal. I think 5lbs is totally manageable for the first month. That appointment was on the 23rd and I am already down 1.5 without making many changes just yet.

So that’s where I am now – where my focus is. And blogging more. But don’t worry, this isn’t going to morph into a ‘fat to fit’ or ‘weight loss journey’ or ‘transformation’ blog. You don’t need that and neither do I.

PS – that picture above was from this past weekend when the weather was unseasonably AMAZING and we took Mikey to a new playground. Normally I would throw on some sweatpants, tshirt and sports bra – but it is time I put on a real bra and actual clothes. It’s easy to look at that picture and see my wrinkly shirt or pasty legs, but instead I am remembering how much fun it was watching my boys interact, Mike go down the slide dozens of times laughing and what a great morning it was. #babysteps

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Dear Mikey: February 2017

Dear Mikey –

As I write this, you are laying next to me watching really annoying videos on YouTube kids on my iPad while I read and catch up on emails and Daddy and Charlie sleep. It is the perfect holiday weekend! Every so often you grab my attention and want to show me something and I am so impressed by what you know. And I’m not talking multiplication tables, but who characters are on shows you’ve never seen – like R2D2 from Star Wars. Granted, you call him Two-Two, but we get the idea. It’s clear you are building friendships at preschool and learning from your new friends.

I feel like I always start your blog posts with ‘it’s been a long time since I’ve written’ and this time is no different. But here are a few tidbits about you now, at 3 years and 8 months old.

{Opinions} Opinions – you have them. And not just about little things like TV shows and bed time. You had a hair cut yesterday and the stylist gave you a faux hawk and you were NOT happy. Of course you were polite until we got in the car and then you spent the rest of the morning asking me to fix it. And when we ask if you want a cheese stick for a snack you rarely say no – but immediately follow up with ‘not the spiky kind’ referring to the pepper jack cheese stick I accidentally packed you for lunch one day.

{Potty Time} I never want to embarrass you too much on social media or the internet since I am not sure what the internet will look like by the time you are an adult and you didn’t ask for a blogger mom, but I am thrilled to announce you are 100% daytime potty trained and have been for some time now. It was a relatively simple process and you were happy to pee for Reese Peanut Butter Cup (which you call cake) or go ‘big potty’ for a sticker or temporary tattoo. We are not really focusing on night time training, but happy we can leave the house without 100 diapers ‘just in case’.

{Manners} Daddy and I are a stickler for manners and you are picking up on that quickly. I love that when we sit down for dinner together you ask if you can start eating (I think school is teaching you that) and if you can be excused when you are done. You are quick to bless people after a sneeze and excuse yourself if you ‘toot’. I love that your days are filled with ‘yes pleases’ and ‘no thank yous’. (Now if we can get you to forget you know the word damn we would be in luck)

{Play} You are still super hero obsessed citing Batman and Ironman as your favorites. You also are a fan of gel clings which you like to use to decorate our car windows. You’ve been taking swimming lessons again, and even though you didn’t pass the county’s Parent and Me class this go-around, you had a hell of a lot of fun doing it. You saw your first movie in the theatre a few weeks ago and LOVED the experience. Sing was a great first movie. You like to randomly say, ‘today was a great day’ or ‘we had a fun day’!

{Bedtime} The biggest challenge for us as your parents is bedtime. Kid. You need to go to bed. I know you don’t want to the party to stop and you claim you aren’t tired, but you are and you need to go to bed. And more recently you’ve been getting in bed with me around 5am which I don’t mind. But bedtime should not take over an hour to happen. You are going to have a rude awakening (ha, pun intended) when we address this issue. I know in 10 years I won’t be able to get you OUT of bed!

{Hospital} We did have a quick trip to the ER when you had a really high fever. You charmed every nurse and perked up a bit when you got some medicine.

Well my lovie, we have a busy day hanging out with your cousin Mollie and feeding the ducks. We should probably get moving!

I’ll eat you up, I love you so,

Momma xoxo

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Happy Heart Month!

It’s funny how quickly life changes and you have no choice but to embrace the change and adapt. When S. was diagnosed with Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) last year, we had to do just that. And since he had that experience and is almost on the other side of his recovery, February takes on a new meaning since it is Heart Healthy Month!

Since I’ve mentioned HCM a few times here I thought I would celebrate Heart Healthy Month by sharing some information about the disease.

  • HCM is a genetic disease that affects 1 in 500 people.
  • It is characterized by the thickening of the heart muscle (usually the one that separates the ventricles) blocking air intake causing the heart to work harder.
  • HCM is the leading cause of sudden cardiac death in young adults.
  • Most people with HCM have no symptoms and experience no significant problems. For others, it can cause shortness of breath on exertion, dizziness, fainting, fatigue, and chest pain.
  • For an accurate diagnosis, a physical examination, chest x-ray, electrocardiogram and/or Echocardiography is needed.
  • Treatment can vary depending on the patient – S. is on a beta blocker for the rest of his life, has a defibrillator to regulate his heart rate and had surgery (Myectomy) to ‘shave’ down his heart muscle (which won’t grow back).
  • It is sometimes present at birth, but it most commonly develops in early adulthood. Since it is genetic, there is a 50/50 chance a child will ‘inherit’ it from their parent. Mike will be checked by his pediatrician yearly until adolescent which is when he will go to a cardiologist yearly for checkups.
  • Life post surgery with HCM for S. will be pretty normal, he just needs to watch his diet and exercise – like everyone does!

If you are interested in learning more about HCM or other heart diseases, visit the American Heart Association

And don’t forget to wear red on February 3rd!

 

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Dear Mike: Parent Teacher Conference

Dear Mikey –

Daddy and I were so worried about finding you a good preschool where you would make friends and start your educational journey. We knew right away that the school we chose would be a good fit for you and we weren’t wrong!

It took a little bit for you to share your day, but now you come home and share things about your day like what you learned (T-Rex dinosaurs eat meat!), what happened on the playground (someone threw sand in your eyes) and what your ‘job’ was (your current favorite is either Flag Holder or Line Leader). It has certainly made dinner time more interesting.

You’ve been there six months so Daddy and I were invited to our first PARENT TEACHER CONFERENCE (dun, dun, dun). We have a pretty good relationship with your teachers so we knew there wasn’t going to be any surprises, but we liked hearing more about your day and interests. Here are the highlights of you at 3 and a half from your teacher:

You are a genuinely good kid who wants to do well. You never do anything out of malice – which makes Momma’s heart happy.

You love reading and often will bring a book to your teacher and ask her to read it. Most of the time she can, but when she can’t you happily read it to yourself or with your best friend, B.

You have a growing interest in science like your Daddy. You are very focused on the details, so that makes sense!

Speaking of details, you always seem to know when something in your classroom is different or if someone comes in. You are always the first one to welcome them with a good morning or good afternoon.

Bug, like I said, we are not surprised, but we are so proud of the kid you are becoming.

I’ll eat you up, I love you so,

Momma xoxo

 

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The One Thing You Need in Your Kitchen


 

I will be honest, I don’t make money off my blog. It would be nice, but I am too tired to figure it out. However, some companies reach out to me (or vice versa) for product reviews and if I feel like my ‘audience’ (all 4 of you, hi mom) would find value in it, I green light it.

When Brieftons wanted to send me a chopper/grater/slicer/mixer do-hickey my initial reaction was a eye roll. I have a very expensive, heavy and large blender/mixer/chopper thing we got as a wedding gift that I use once a year at best and is too expensive to get rid of. Our kitchen space is limited and I bet it’s a pain in the ass to clean. BUT. I am currently obsessed with chopped salads and they are pretty labor intensive. So what the hell. Send me your magic machine! 

Guys? Buy this. I am all in. It basically has three core pieces – the bowl (with a divider), the top with the rip cord and another top with a slot to put the right ‘slicer’ in. This makes it super easy to clean and store.  But … this is only about $25. It can’t do everything it claims that easily. So for the sake of my blog, I decided to try. I needed to clean out the pantry and had a box of key lime bars (oh DARN) so I made them. The mixer part of this thing is worth the money alone. It totally gives in to how lazy I am. I put all the ingredients (4 eggs, 1/4 water and the mix) into the bowl, put the mixer attachments in, secure to top, pull the ripcord a few times and voila! Perfectly mixed.

Next was veggie prep and it totally exceeded my expectations! It was SO easy to switch out the slicer plates, clean the bowl and get my chopped salad pieces done quickly. I was spending $3 on pre-chopped onions to save time, but I bought a $0.67 onion this week and chopped it in 2 minutes.

The only negative I can come up with is the ‘safety food holder’ which you stick on your veggies (or whatever) to protect your hand while slicing. It didn’t stay in the veggies well enough to be efficient. But otherwise it fits my criteria for being awesome – cheap, efficient, space saving and money saving.

Here are some before and after pictures if you don’t believe me. And forgive the carrot picture. All I had handy was baby carrots. It looks so sad!

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, the legal stuff. Yes, I got this product for free to try. No they didn’t pay me for a positive review, they can’t afford that. No, if you buy it off Amazon I don’t get paid. But I should. 

 

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