Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Day Five: Damn You, 6am Wakeup

Even on day 5, it's hard. My calves no longer ache all the time (at least, not as much as before), but the workout in general is really hard. And doing it during the work week is extra hard. So I'm not only sore but sore and tired. So tired that I fell asleep on the bus Monday morning, and again during a training session when I got here. Well, not completely asleep but the nodding off kind of asleep I used to fall during my infant development class during college after pulling an all-nighter. (I don't know why it was always that class but I swear it was. I also don't know how getting 6-6.5 hours of sleep became the equivalent of an all-nighter but it clearly has.) I may need to start setting the coffee maker to autobrew so I can get a cup before we leave in the morning and avoid the exhaustion that sets in by 8:00.

It does seem to be worth it, though. Maybe. I think. I am feeling a bit fitter now than I was a week ago. I feel somewhat stronger. And I think muscles are now reforming beneath my layers of blubber. (Though there's still a lot of blubber.) Hooray for small victories.

Coming back to the timing issue, doing this over the weekend was not so bad. When Harry took a nap, I did the workout, then showered, and generally had time to spare before he woke up. Doing it during the week is much harder. I really wanted to avoid seeing a 5 on the clock, so I've been getting up at 6 on the dot this week. 6:00 - 6:07, I get changed into workout clothes, go to the bathroom, fill a water bottle, get the TV on, and get the program on. 6:07-6:33, I do the workout. (Yeah, it's 25 minutes, not 20, once you factor in the (very minimal amount of) stretching she does before and after.) 6:34-6:44, I shower and get dressed (usually just into something loungy, waiting to dress for work until I'm ready to leave in case someone spits up on me). Then I attend to the child.

Speaking of the child, Harry seems to have decided that whenever I get up is when he will get up, so he plays with his crib toy and/or with his little Piglet and Pooh Bear until P gets out of bed and retrieves him. P changes his diaper, and then they talk to the dog and read stories in Harry's room until I'm out of the shower and ready to feed him. We still get an hour or more of nursing and playtime in the morning before I have to get him dressed and finish packing him up. But the morning definitely feels more rushed now. And even though it's only 15 minutes earlier, I am not a fan of the 6am wakeup.

Damn you, 6am wakeup. I hate you, but I can survive anything for 30 days, I suppose.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Day Two: Feeling Shredded

But more like, say, cheese than in any bodybuilding kind of way.

Day One: Not so bad. It was a hard 20 minutes, but I forced myself to finish it. She kept reminding me that looking better/feeling more healthy wouldn't come for free and that if I wanted it to only cost 20 minutes of my time I couldn't dial it in. So I tried not to. Things that were more agonizing: jumping rope, push-ups, lunges, those front arm raises. Things that were less agonizing: jumping jacks, punching, ab work, squats.

Day Two: Much harder than Day One. People say it gets easier, but I know from experience that Day Two is often the hardest -- your body is still pissed at you for making it do something on Day One. Jumping rope was less bad than the day before but the push-ups were like slowly dying. I had to take a breather. Twice. In, like, thirty seconds. The ab work was a little easier too. But the rest of the stuff that was hard yesterday was as bad or worse.

I'm sure I didn't set myself up for an easier day tomorrow by going for what was supposed to be a hike but turned out to be more of a leisurely stroll this afternoon. We'll see. I am also really not looking forward to having to get up at an hour that starts with 5 on purpose in order to do this. Ick. 30 days. I suppose I can survive anything for 30 days.

Last Weekend (Catching Up)

Last weekend was the first nice weekend in a long while (like, five months). And we tried to cram many months worth of nice weekend activities into a single weekend. (But I also had to work, so we had to cram all those activities into small windows of time not occupied by me working.)

On Saturday, we took Harry to the park. He checked out the swings (a big hit, as you can see):

And the slide:

And some assorted other fun activities (he was not so sure about the springy animals or the seesaw -- they didn't do anything cool and we wouldn't let him eat them):

Then on Sunday, we took him to his first Red Sox game. So as to avoid posting pictures of P, here is a picture of Harry before the game (the only pregame photo in which Harry isn't bent in half -- he was really fixated on his feet):

It was hard to pay attention to the game, and our seats were in the shade where it was chilly, and Harry didn't get an afternoon nap, as the people behind us kept smiling and waving at him every time he would try to put his head down and you can't really tell people to please stop being nice to your kid, but the game was fairly fun anyway. And even if it wasn't it was Harry's first game. Of many. (We have tickets to eight (I think) Sunday afternoon home games this season.) We need to remember to dress more appropriately for the weather where our seats are (we have those seats for three more games) rather than the weather in general. And we need to avoid making plans with Ps cousin for after the game, as it left me more concerned than I otherwise would have been about Harry's lack of an afternoon nap.

All in all, last weekend was fun. Hopefully, there will be a post about this weekend before next weekend rolls around.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Isn't That Something You Do To Paper?

My dieting efforts have fallen a bit by the wayside lately. I've been eating badly. And opting not to get on the scale as a result. I know I need to get myself back on track but just don't feel like it, which is the same bad attitude that landed me in this fat situation in the first place. Needless to say, I should not have eaten an entire small Boboli pizza for dinner last night, even if I did use low fat cheese on it.

Historically, I stayed fairly healthy through exercise. I enjoy exercise. Or I enjoy feeling fit and seem more capable of knowing that exercise = fit than that not eating like it might be my last meal = less fat. But I no longer have time to exercise. Or, I have time but it would mean cutting into either time with Harry or sleep, neither one of which I am really psyched to give up. So I've been pondering this issue lately.

In my pondering, I've come to feel like everyone out there is into Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred. It's only 20 minutes a day. I can do 20 minutes a day. Maybe. I can at least try. I guess. It's available On Demand from Com.cast. At least parts 1 and 2 are. So I'll give it a whirl. 30 days seems like about the maximum amount of focus I'm capable of giving to anything these days (like, say, my dieting efforts or my Wii Fit kick).

Friday, April 24, 2009


Is it me? I did it twice, and they were similar but different. In the first, I only listed one hobby, thinking there was no option to select multiple. In this one, I listed chose all that were applicable. I actually think the first was more me, oddly. Maybe I should stick to reading.

To view more, visit Niobe.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Common Bonds*: Ticks, Harry (But Less), Screwing Up At Work

As to the first, Buddy started acting funny ten days ago. On Friday, he was playing like usual in the yard. On Saturday, he started limping. By Sunday morning, he wouldn't put any weight on his left front paw. By Sunday night, he didn't even get up to play or hang out with us. Monday morning, we called the vet. It wasn't a sprain, like we thought. It was Lyme. Screw you ticks. Poor boy :( He is now on antibiotics for a month. Three pills a day. That have to be taken with food. And can't be taken with cheese. And our dog only eats his dog food when he feels like it. Unless it's sprinkled with cheese. It's been a bit of a challenge. On the positive side, the antibiotics seem to be working. By the end of last week, he was seeming himself again. Though he has no understanding regarding why he isn't allowed to play like usual.

As to the second, Harry has been doing a bit better with nursing, though the biting hasn't stopped completely. I took Nicky's suggestion (made by a few other as well) and tried Tylenol about an hour before bed, and it seems to be helping. The only two nights he has bitten me more than once have been the ones we forgot the Tylenol. And the biting has slowed down in general. Even better, he has gone back to nursing again -- the partial strike is over (though he does seem to nurse for shorter periods now). He struggled with the bottle at daycare last week too, so I'm trying not to take it personally. It does appear to be teething related.

As for screwing things up at work, I'm still feeling stressed about it. Probably fueled by the fact that I'm feeling somewhat anxious about work in general. But the senior associate stepped in front of the bus rather than throwing me under (especially admirable given that he is up for partner this year). So he may think less of me but I seem to have otherwise emerged from the giant fuck-up largely unscathed (though I may just be unaware of the realities of my situation). But it still sucks.

Much to share about the parts of the weekend I didn't spend working, but I'll save that for tomorrow and Wednesday.

* Any other Jeopardy fans out there?

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Our living room occupies the southwest corner of our house. The west facing window is big. Really big. Huge in fact. It's ten feet wide. Yeah, ten. And it faces west, so it gets a ton of sun in the afternoon. In the winter, this is nice, as it gives a bit of extra warmth. And year round it gets a ton of light, which is also nice. But in the summer it gets hot. And in the four years we've owned this house, we haven't put up window treatments in that room. Clearly we need them. But we can't figure out a solution.

Here are the issues.
  1. The size. No blind/shade/etc. company makes a blind/shade/etc. that is ten feet wide.
  2. The fact that the window is actually five smaller windows (and the center plus the two outer ones crank out). So getting two blinds/shades/etc. that are each half the width means that any gap in the center will let in light. So we'd need to do five separate things. And we'd still risk having light come in between the blinds/shades/etc. since the frame between them is narrow.
  3. As noted, three have cranks. So we need something that won't get in the way.
Anyone have any ideas? We're currently thinking of making (or having made -- I'm not much of a seamstress) a set of super-wide curtains with some overlap in the center (to avoid the light coming in) and hanging them on a long rod. We think we'd have to make the rod ourselves, since we haven't seen one long enough, but that should be fairly easy. It would have to be mounted on both ends and in the middle.

I must admit, I'll miss having that super-bright room, but it'll be nice to be able to have a little privacy on that side of the house, since that's the corner of our corner-lot (i.e. both sides of the room face a very close street).

Friday, April 17, 2009

Maybe I'll Be Staying Home With Harry After All

Something got fucked up at work today.

Someone senior to me said "Can we do X?" And I said sure. On its face, it seemed reasonable. For a reason neither of us thought of but which we were equally capable of recognizing, it turned out doing X was not a good plan. I fear that if a head must roll, it may be mine, even though it wasn't entirely my fault. Fuck. Fuck fuck fuck. Fuck.

Oh, and it's 6:30 on a Friday night and I'm still here. This is the third night this week that I've missed Harry's dinner, and may be the first that I miss bedtime. I want to curl up in a corner right now.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Seven Months

My special guy,

I think I say this every month, but this was a huge month for you. New skills, a new routine, time with family. There was much going on.

No sooner had your seventh month began than you decided it was time to roll back to front and sit independently. The first time you rolled from front to back, you seemed shocked that it had happened. Even now, four months later, you seem a little uncertain when you want to get off your tummy. Back to front was completely different. It was clearly deliberate, and definitely something you had been mentally puzzling for a while. Once you did it, you kept on doing it. Over and over. But just because you do it on purpose doesn't mean that you're happy about it. Which can be a problem when it's naptime and you are too tired to remember how to flip back over. Or when you roll yourself into the side of the crib.

Being able to sit on your own for long stretches has allowed you to learn how to play with your toys in a more meaningful way. You have figured out that a toy at a distance on a blanket can be brought closer by pulling on the blanket. You transfer your toys from hand to hand, shaking and throwing and banging them to see what they do. You push the animal sounds on the exersaucer. And you rock the ring stacker back and forth, fascinated by the movement. When you want a ring, you find a way to get it, sometimes taking the rings off one at a time and other times knocking them all off at once by pulling on the bottom and tipping the whole thing over.

But even though you know tons of new ways to play, your first choice is still to stick anything you encounter in your mouth.

Your love affair with solid food continues. We thought you ate a lot before, but you were just getting started. It turns out that you love fruit. Any fruit. Banana, avocado, peaches, apples, prunes, pears. Each one better than the last. You now eat two meals of solids daily, each one consisting of a quarter cup of cereal, plus milk or water to mix, followed by (or mixed with) a half cup of fruit or vegetable. It's a bit grotesque. We'll be adding in a third meal soon, even though you may eat us out of house and home.

Apparently all this food agrees with you, as you seem to have gained three pounds this month, if the bathroom scale is to be believed. And I think it is, as we discovered on Sunday that you outgrew your Easter outfit long before Easter -- whereas you wore the 0-3 month size until you were 4 months, at 7 months you seem to be done with much of the 6-9. Sigh. You used to be our stringbean, but that doesn't seem to be the case anymore. It's amazing to watch you transform from a baby into a big boy, right before our eyes.

Speaking of the Easter outfit, you survived Easter wearing a onesie and cords with your vest. The three of us went to church together, which was nice -- people hadn't seen you in a while, as your naptime is now at the same time as church. We then went to see your great-grandma and your grammies and your step-grandparents for lunch. Everyone was very happy to see you. Everyone wanted to play with you -- even your great-grandma, who decided she would like to be called GG. Your grammy JJ had you laughing up a storm, which got her laughing hysterically in turn. They were all amazed to see how interactive you've gotten. We then went to see Daddy's family -- Grandma and Grandpa and Auntie T. You seemed to have a fantastic time, and everyone enjoyed getting to spend time with you, even though it was exhausting for your daddy and me. I'm glad to see you developing a good relationship with your family.

Speaking of relationships, you have finally figured out that torment need not be a one way street between you and the dog. He may win when it comes to licking, but you have figured out how to kick him and how to pull his fur. We've been trying to teach you to be gentle, to pet him nicely, but it's tough when he's always in your face, trying to get his kisses in. He's going to be in for a rude awakening when you become mobile.

All that said, this month hasn't been all sunshine and rainbows. You have become a huge fan of hair pulling, which wasn't so bad when you were smaller but has started to hurt now that you're bigger. More painfully, you have realized that you can bite, which is fine when you're playing with a toy but less fine when you're nursing. You've been biting more and more and eating less and less lately, which makes me sad. I love our special time together and hope this passes soon.

And even more sadly for me, this month was the month when our full-time time together came to an end. After six months of getting to be your mommy all day long, it was time for me to return to work. This seems to have been a much bigger deal for me than it was for you. I cried a bunch the first few days whereas you were perfectly content to hang out with Miss M and the motley crew for the day. Someone is still giving you your milk and your solids and putting you down for your naps. So long as that happens, you don't seem to mind that that someone isn't me. I am very glad that you weren't traumatized by the change but will admit to being a little sad that you don't seem to miss me at all. Because even though it's gotten easier to go to work I do miss you terribly all day. I don't know how anyone wouldn't miss a guy as great as you, even if you do bite.

But then I get to come home at the end of the day and see your big smiles and get some sweet cuddles. I feed you your dinner. I watch you try so very desperately to crawl. After daddy gives you your bath and does your lotion and puts on your jammies, you nurse for the last time of the day, and I watch you relax into me, rubbing my hand with yours with your eyes closed as you get ready to drift off to sleep, opening them again to smile at me as I leave your room. And my heart is so full it could burst. And all is right with the world.

Love always,


Monday, April 13, 2009


My dear rice krispie,

Had you made it out of the first trimester and been among the small percentage of babies born on their due date (like your mama), we would be celebrating your first birthday today.

Remembering you today,


Sunday, April 12, 2009

Praying It's Not the Beginner's End

Ever since starting day care, my nursing relationship with my son has been getting poorer and poorer. Today, he barely nursed at all. He would latch on, suck 2 or 3 times, then bite. And he has teeth, so it hurts. Since 8:30 this morning, he hasn't eaten for more than 3 minutes at a time. And he has bitten me so many times I've lost count. I can't imagine that he isn't incredibly hungry right now. I'm sure he'll wake up in the middle of the night, crying in hunger. And I have no idea what to do. I want to fix this more than I could ever express.

As I mentioned before when talking about my concerns about supply (which have proven unfounded -- I'm pretty sure I have had no supply issues), I feel very strongly about this on a personal level. Please know that I have no issues with people who can't nurse or who choose not to -- and I don't think breastfeeding is necessary to a strong and healthy relationship with one's child. But it's something that is important to me. And I'm beyond devastated right now. My nipples are in pain from being bitten so many times. And my breasts ache with fullness. And I am so frustrated and so sad. It's been over a week that these issues have persisted. It seems to be getting worse rather than better. And I'm just so sad.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Sleeping In

Out of the last eleven weekend days, P has slept in on nine of them. Four or five of those, he slept until 9. Most of the rest were until 7:30 or 8. Two he only slept until Harry was changed and fed. (Harry wakes up around 6:20 most days. Man, I wish it were 7.) I have slept in (enough to require P to give him a bottle) four times since Harry was born, one of those times being in the past few weeks.

On these weekend mornings, I find myself full of a jumble of emotions and am never quite sure what to make of it. I feel a resentment toward P for just assuming that I will be the one to get up every frickin Saturday and Sunday. But it's not really about that. It's not like I don't want to be spending that time with Harry, feeding him and playing with him, just the two of us. Because I do. Who would want to miss this?

It's more that I wish that I didn't feel an underlying sense of guilt for wanting to sleep in. Because, seriously, I'd love to get a little extra sleep. I miss sleeping past 7. Really, really miss it. And I'm not good at going to bed early, so I'm tired all the time. But I get so much less time with Harry now that I'm back at work, and I hate the idea of giving any of that up, even for sleep. And he already gets so many meals provided by someone who isn't me each week. And he's growing so much and doing so many new things and getting ready to pop more teeth and starting to push up on his hands and knees and discovering new ways to play with toys and I'd hate to miss any of it.

For a while I thought that maybe my resentment toward P was really me wanting him to want to spend that time with Harry (in a very stereotypical woman-wanting-man-to-want-something kinda way) and to be willing to sacrifice time for himself to do so. But I think maybe I'm just jealous of his ability to take space for himself when he needs it. To go play video-games with friends on a Saturday. To take a motorcycle safety class for a weekend. To get a little extra sleep. I probably need to do more of that myself. But I'm not really there yet.

Something for me to ponder.