Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Unworking From Home.

I spent the better part of the day today not at work. Malone woke up with a goopy eye and a nose full of snot. I signed on for a few hours this morning to respond to some emails, check in with my bosses, and to coordinate coverage while Malone and Daddy had breakfast. One of the best parts of working from home full time, is well working from home after all.

Usually, Mike is on the hook for all of the sick kid days since he has 3.5 times more vacation, sick, and personal days than I do. But today, he is also out of commission with a wicked cold.

The sick day rules were in full effect. Malone stayed in his pajamas all day, the apple juice was free flowing, and Cailou was shown on demand. He had the best time.

I, on the other hand, struggled to remain present. I know I'm probably not the first mother (working or SHAM) to ever feel this way, but honestly there are just not enough hours in my day. And today I felt the compulsive need to clean, organize, and do laundry since I had the extra time available. I had to constantly reign myself back in from feeling like I was "wasting" it and instead focus on caring for and hanging out with Malone.

A visit to the doctor this afternoon revealed exactly what I was hoping would not be the case- pink eye aka conjunctivitis, aka a pain in the rear. Malone has to have 24 hours of eye drops in his system before he can return, lest he spread it to all of his carrier monkey friends at daycare.

So, at least I'll get to try again tomorrow.

I'm linking up today with Shell at Things I Can't Say.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

A take away.

Yesterday morning I learned someone I once knew passed away after a battle with cancer.

She left two very small children and her husband behind.

We were coworkers ages ago at a fashion forward boutique and casual friends. She left after having her first child and came back to work part time- picking up a shift here or there. Most of the time she lent her creative talents to design the windows or help with merchandising. We never really pursued a relationship outside of work but were friendly when we ran into each other outside of work and in our community after we both moved on from working at the boutique.

We had lost touch, I had no idea she was really sick until a mutual contact hosted a benefit on her website to raise money for her medical treatments.

I didn't realize how much of an impact K had on my parenting choices until I started to reflect on our relationship.

K was the first mama I ever observed nursing in public. My young (not yet even married or thinking about kids self ) did even know that breastfeeding was something people still did, let alone in public for the world to see. Her quiet confidence about nursing opened my eyes to a mama path that I myself later chose when I had Malone.

I have a distinct memory of K dressing the windows with her baby on her back. Before this moment of observation, I had always thought that you had to use a stroller or carry your baby in your arms. I had no idea a baby could be "worn." Wearing her baby seemed like a natural idea to K and eventually, to me too.

I wish that I would have pursued more of a friendship with K than just our causal work friendship that stayed within the confines of that boutique. I wonder what else I could have learned from her. And for her family and friends who are mourning her loss, I wish peaceful memories of reflection.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

I wasn't expecting this.

3 years ago when we moved here (just over the mountain from our old town), we agreed that living here was temporary. This place wasn't even really on our radar, but the rental we found was amazing and suited our needs to a tee.

The city itself isn't as desirable as some of the neighboring towns- the crime rate is higher, the schools are not known to be the best or even second best in the area. There are a lot of run down houses and old factories, signs that the times have changed. The word "inner city" is sometimes used.

But, little by little I have really fallen in love with my city. My neighborhood and neighbors are amazing. The city is rich with history and tradition. The population is diverse.

Recently, a new mayor was elected. He has such a fresh vision for change and a plan that I really can get behind. Good things are happening here.

We are dreaming about buying a house. Sometimes, I like to look to see what is available. And lately, I just can't see leaving our neighborhood.

I wasn't expecting this.

I'm linking this up with Shell over at Things I Can't Say and her wonderful Tuesday Meme, Pour Your Heart Out.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Friday, January 6, 2012


I'm linking up today with Life Rearranged to share the week in review, Instagram style.

life rearranged

I took Malone to the shoe store and told him to pick out what he wanted. These were actually his second choice, the ones he really wanted were pink and sparkly. I was fully prepared to buy them for him, but they were out of his size. I think these are an awesome choice, who wouldn't love sparkly shoes?

We went to Philadelphia to celebrate New Years with my in laws and nephew (who is six months younger than Malone). The weather was unseasonably warm and we enjoyed tons of park time.

This picture cracks me up. Malone swings sideways and shows us his (unintentional) bird.

During a nap time drive around Valley Forge I came across this grouping of deer. There were many more than what is in the photo.

I also went over this covered bridge. Down the road and to the left is definitely where the 1% live. The homes are expansive and beautiful!

On a different nap time drive through Valley Forge I got out for a second and captured these cabins near Washington's Headquarters.

I love this picture! This was a huge cargo plan landing at Newark as we drove by on our way home from PA.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

An open letter to a new mother.

Dear new mother,

By the time you read this you will have been home for a few days. You have survived the flurry of visitors at the hospital, the endless calls of congratulations, and are learning all about the new awesome little person who is now a part of your family. You are prepared. You've done your homework. Maybe you've even attended a parenting class or two.

The reason I write this letter is because I had a post birth experience that I wasn't prepared for. In my early mothering days I felt waves of emotion I have never felt before. They were extreme. The highs were overflowing with love, excitement, and inspiration. But the lows were incapacitating and full of fear, depression, worry, and guilt. I was irrational. I had intrusive thoughts about really scary things.

Luckily, because I was well versed in the warning signs of postpartum depression thanks to a wonderful support group I was attending I was able to seek the help I need. I called my midwife and made an appointment to come in and chat. I went and we developed a game plan.

I write this to you today because I want you to know that postpartum depression is real. It is common. It is normal. And it is okay to ask for what you need.

2.5 years after giving birth I can tell you that I still don't feel like my "normal" self. I've actually given up trying to find that person. However, I'm a new version of normal that is steady, strong, and happy.

You will find your path and your own rhythm as you grow into motherhood. You are your own best advocate.

Your friend who will always be here to watch your baby so you can eat, sleep, or pee in peace.

I'm linking this up with Shell over at Things I Can't Say.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Blank Slate.

2011's goals were not met, by A LONG SHOT.

In fact, I'd call every one of them (and there were 11) a big fat fail. They mostly failed for good reason, I set my goals TOO HIGH.

I've only made one goal this year, to be better at following through. In my work life and mothering life, I am great at following through. If I wasn't, I'd be unemployed and Malone would be well on his way to bratty-kid-dom. I mean what I say, and I do what I mean.

But with other areas of my life, I have not been shining in this area.

I have a pile of library books that were due in August sitting at door just waiting to be returned. A friend had a baby, I offered a meal, and then never followed up. I have a pile of thank you card to writes. I let an opportunity to give this blog a bit more exposure slip through my fingers. This list could go on and on and on.

There are other things that I'd like to happen in 2012. I guess I'll call them wishes instead of goals.

1. To have Malone diaper free during the day by this 3rd birthday. He's staying dry most days now, so this is well within reach.
2. To craft more.
3. To purchase a DSLR camera. I've almost got all of the money saved for this. It is SO HARD to pull the trigger.
4. To treat my body better- to be more mindful of the things I eat, to get more sleep, and to be more active.
5. To go on an overnight date with my husband.

2012 will be a great year.

I'm linking this with Mama Kat and her pretty much fabulous writing workshop.