Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Why does this bug me so much?

For three years, I made the holiday party flyer and tickets (I'm not on the party committee, but my boss is, and she asked me to do it; I would pretty much do anything for this woman, who is retiring next year, a fact about which I do not want to think) for our holiday party. I was happy to do it, it was fun.

This year for whatever reason (I think maybe I'm too busy? Or maybe because I didn't go to last year's party, when I was 11 months pregnant and big as a house?) they didn't ask me to do it. That's fine. The flyer has already come out and that thing makes it look like our party is going to be held in Hell's Basement (it's all red flowing into orange, and very fireplace-y). BUT the woman who's doing it this year just asked me for my "template" for the tickets.

Um, there's no template - there are just the completed cards (and the drafts I made). From my own head. Using my own wits and power of invention, and Microsoft Word (you don't need a fancy program!). My own not-so-carefully acquired sense of design and style. My own nit-picky attention to detail! And you know what? It bugs me! They're not fancy tickets, but they're mine. And, if they weren't good enough, then why ask for my "template"?

So I sent her a PDF (let her figure the spacing, the fonts I used out herself, right? Get your own unoffensive clipart, baby!). I'm expecting, any minute, to get a call from her.

Look, I know that somewhere along the line, I probably signed some paper that said that anything I created on the job was the property of... the job. I get it. But if you want my style without me, well, tough cookies, my friend, tough cookies.

Next time I'm getting a copyright. I can do that, can't I?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


My co-worker has started going on an extended bathroom break about 10 minutes before its time for me to pump. I just noticed this yesterday. She has already complained to my boss about an accommodation that was made for me because I was having a hard time getting to work at 7 (little babies want to eat when they want to eat, and traffic, like time, waits for no one). It's not really an accommodation, we just changed my schedule. But this person thinks that everyone is my boss's favorite, except her.

Anyway, I think she thinks that the time I spend pumping is "goofing off" time, and maybe it kind of is, thanks to my iPhone, but to me, it's also serious stuff, making tomorrow's breakfast, lunch and afternoon bottles for big baby Exton.

Speaking of pumping, my AM output continues to be amazing. Ex will have at least 5 ounces, possibly 6, for one feeding tomorrow. The afternoon output goes down a little, but I'm always amazed at my body's ability to make this "liquid gold"!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Why I love the New Yorker

Next April I'm planning on finally getting an iPad (it's a long story why I'm waiting for April; long, but not very interesting, which is why I'm not going to tell you), and one of the things I'm excited about is renewing my subscription to The New Yorker magazine.

I just love the writing.

Here's a wonderful example:
She crouched in front of the enclosure. “Hey, you!” she said, beckoning to one of the animals. She reached through the barbed wire and stroked one of its ears. Boggs opened the gate, and Bloomfield—wearing flip-flops, turned-up railroad pants, a black T-shirt, and aviator sunglasses—charged in. It was sweltering. The pigs stunk. Bloomfield stood in the middle of a cloud of dust. She could have been at a cocktail party.
This paragraph is from a profile on a woman named April Bloomfield, an English chef making a name for herself in New York. You can read the whole thing here.

(There was actually a paragraph I enjoyed even more but now I can't find it. Still, this one is great, isn't it? Makes me want a pair of aviator sunglasses. It also makes me want to go to New York and eat.)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Update on my mom

For those of you who are interested, here's an update on my mom:

Update on me

My eczema is totally out of control this year. I don't understand it. Not even when I was a kid, did I have it this bad. I'm totally itchy, everywhere. My skin is red and dry and, thanks to the itchiness, even bruised a little (especially on my legs). I thought maybe I had something called PUPPPS (it's some kind of crazy pregnancy-related skin issue that I didn't have while I was pregnant, but some people, at least according to the Internet, get it afterwards too), but I saw my doctor yesterday, and he's convinced it's "just" eczema. I've had little flare ups before but never this bad. It's affecting my sleep, and Patrick's too (the baby is just fine). My doctor gave me some good advice, and new stuff to try, so hopefully this will clear up soon, because it's actually making me depressed a little. It's hard to feel like myself when I'm all red and itchy (and tired).

Also... on Saturday, my mom was admitted to the hospital. Her last few rounds of chemotherapy have been really hard on her. She's been pretty sick. It's hard because she's been through so much. I keep telling her to "be strong," "fight it" and all that, but I think she's tired of my "pep talks." Her white blood cell count is really low, and she's weak because she's had a lot of diarrhea for a long time (over a week, I think), so she's in a protected room (I just mean, no sick people, lots of hand washing required) - the baby can't visit her, which sucks. I know she wants to see him. We stopped by on Sunday night but it was pretty late - we'd spent the day with my in-laws, and my mom was tired, so it was a short visit.

Anyway, that's going on. Last year, it was my dad in the hospital at Thanksgiving. Thankfully, he's doing a lot better. I hope my mom is able to come home soon too.

I don't have a big ending to this post, though I did want to mention that this morning, at around 4:30, the baby woke me up. I fed him a little, and then tried to get him to go back to sleep. He was stretching and tossing and turning, and I couldn't tell what he needed to back to sleep. I picked him up and held him but he was wiggly, so I let him lie down again. He was on my right side, and I was facing him. He climbed up onto my stomach and draped himself over me for a few minutes, and I thought, huh, that's an interesting sleeping position. I let him be. Then he slid down and wiggled his way under my arm - he was pretty much in the same position he's in when I feed him in bed, but he wasn't hungry. He put his little arm around me and snuggled me very, very tightly, and then he fell asleep.

Let me just say that getting out of bed for work was no fun at all this morning.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Note to self:

Must avoid becoming this type of mom.

OK, so see, "being non-judgemental" was already on my to-do list. Score! This mom is messed up.

Hmmm. I wonder what the "Facebook" of JP's time will be? And will there be jetpacks for everyone by then?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


It's almost Thanksgiving! I am, as usual, really looking forward to it. I think I've mentioned that it's my favorite holiday? Why, you ask?

Dude. Because of the food, of course. This year will be extra fun, because it's JP's first Thanksgiving, and I cannot wait to let the little guy test drive some of my favorite foods.

I'm a little confused about letting him have mashed potatoes, though. Since of course we make them with lots of butter and milk, and he's still under the 12 month mark, I'm not sure about letting him have some. Maybe I'll just reserve a little for him when they start getting made, without the milk. Or maybe I'll bring along some breastmilk and make him his own. Is that weird? I think it's OK for him to have a little butter, no? I mean, let the guy live a little, right? I'm also thinking about how to get him to try a little turkey. Maybe I'll do the whole leg thing (where you clear off most of the big pieces of meat and let baby just hold it and chomp on it like a caveman). My dad will get a kick of that.

Speaking of food and living a little - I went to Weight Watchers this week as usual, and the topic was (of course) surviving the holidays. I've been doing pretty good on WW so far, but I'm telling you, I'm not going to count points on Thanksgiving. I want to eat, and I want to eat everything my brother and I (we're doing all the cooking) make. This year he agreed to stuff the turkey with my favorite stuffing recipe, and come on. What's better than stuffing? I ask you!

Anyway, I wanted to talk about being thankful. I have a friend on FB (okay, okay, I have many friends on FB; but one particular friend!...) and every day she's been posting what she's thankful for. I could do a daily list, but for now I'm going to stick with this one:

I am very thankful for:
  1. My sweet, happy, healthy, wiggly, adorable little baby. He is truly the light of my life.
  2. My husband, who has always been a good guy, but as a father, has blossomed as a man. Can men blossom? I don't know, but he is a wonderful daddy to our sweet, happy... (see above), and the best partner and friend I've ever had. He makes me smile, laugh, and put away his laundry. Wait, that last one wasn't supposed to be on there...
  3. My job. As much as I complain about the commute, the hours, and my insane/amusing/annoying co-workers, I know how lucky I am to not only have a job at all, but one that provides me with a retirement plan, benefits, and opportunities. I don't get to be as creative as I would like, I'm away from my baby more than I like, I have to dress up once in awhile, but I know that I've kind of got it made.
  4. My family. My mom's still undergoing chemotherapy and has some issues, but she is fighting cancer and enjoying her grandson. My dad's health seems to have evened out a little, and the rest of my family is healthy and around. I am so happy that JP will get to know his grandmas and my dad, his grandfather. I only wish Patrick's dad was here to see my little family. I suspect that JP's aunts and uncles are going to spoil him rotten come Christmas time. My comment on this is, pace yourselves. You have many more Christmases to come!
  5. My home, which we were finally able to put a little money into. The outside "remodel" is complete, and actually looks like a place I am proud of, that I feel reflects our taste and looks nice. Someday we'll get the inside to look less like your (slightly crazy) grandma's house (and one day I'll have a new bathroom...) but for now, it's a fine place to live.
  6. My friends. You know who you are. Thank you for being there for me.
  7. My neighbors. I am so lucky to live somewhere I feel safe, around people I trust and enjoy. Except for the pothead kids: you, not so much.
Anyway, it's not a very imaginative list, but there you go.

I hope that your Thanksgiving (a week away!) is full of warm memories and sweet family.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Trying to understand the world, and today, mostly failing

Last night I couldn't sleep. While I was laying there in bed, even though the story is over a week old, I finally read a few articles about the sexual molestation scandal at Penn State. I knew it was horrible, but some of the details are really making me sick, primarily, that the main guy, Jerry Sandusky, isn't in jail. It is beyond disgusting what he did, and equally beyond disgusting that no one did anything. I posted some pretty hot (in terms of my anger, and language) stuff on Facebook yesterday, and I apologize to anyone who hasn't heard me (or read me) using the F word before (if you were shocked by it).

I wrote, "Why the hell isn't that POS ["piece of shit"] Sandusky guy in jail? I hate this story."

I also said that I "wish all kinds of bad shit on that man and anyone else who did nothing to help those little boys." I said that I hope someone finds him and "kicks his ass. A hundred times. A thousand times." I am not a violent person. But little kids were violated while a bunch of stupid, weak-ass men stood around, apparently out of fear for their jobs that are just about a GAME, and did nothing about it. To be in thrall to an institution that's basically, I guess, about making money for the school (win games, get money) and to allow that or some kind of misguided loyalty to prevent you from doing the right thing: it's so shameful.

It is unfathomable to me that a bunch of adults knew that little kids were being victimized -- knew it, saw it!, talked about it amongst themselves -- and didn't do anything. Somebody, when I asked how a stupid football program could have so much power in a college, said, "well, they don't have anything else." That's insane. It's maniacal. It's so wrong. It's crazy to me that a game is so important, or that the people involved could get away with such despicable actions because of some made up status they held (I say made up because it's just football! It's a stupid game! Seriously, I don't care how important to you football is: IT'S JUST FOOTBALL).

My subsequent updates on FB ran along the lines of, "they should de-fund the football program and give the money to the orchestra, the math club." They could build a health clinic, a playground, a fucking parking lot! I think I also said that the team should be pelted with rotten fruit next time they take the field. I know that the kids on the team today had nothing to do with what happened, and my rotten fruit comment wasn't really serious, but the students who rioted when that coach guy* was fired, I mean, come on! That they didn't fire McQueary as well (the one who saw that slimebag Sandusky hurting a little boy) is totally baffling to me.

It just makes me so sad. And angry. I just don't get it. How people can be so blind to suffering, so heartless? The New York Times has posted (at least) two articles that draw a comparison to the Catholic Church's sex scandal, and it's a nice hypothesis, I guess. But football, and salvation don't compare. It's equally bad either way, in any environment. And if the people involved had been working toward some less-lofty goal (say, fried chicken distribution!) would it make a difference? Would their righteousness be less ridiculous? Or more? "We are putting out the best fried chicken in the WORLD! It blinded us to the right thing! It shielded us from moral duty!" It doesn't matter. It's a tragedy wherever it happens, and it's a tragedy when people turn a blind eye.

It makes me feel so helpless. Such a huge story (the real story, what happened to those boys, or even who they were) is being ignored. I don't mean, more details, because that feels like more victimization, I mean, how this affected them, who they are now. I'm almost afraid to look for that story because I don't want to hear the rest of it anymore.

*I didn't know Joe Paterno's name before this. I wish I still didn't.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Where I've been

So it's been a while since I've posted anything on a regular basis. Boy, gone are the days of the daily posts, huh.

Here's a quick rundown, in no particular order:
  • The little guy had his nine month birthday a couple of weeks ago. NINE MONTHS. He's now been out as long as he was in. Time moves too darn fast.
  • He's getting his belly off the floor when he crawls now. He just started doing that out of the blue on Sunday afternoon. Craziness.
  • He's pulling himself up in his crib, pack and play, and on ANYTHING ELSE HE CAN FIND. That includes the couch, the dining table, the dining table chairs, his high chair, the bookshelves, his toy box, the headboard of the bed, the bathtub... this kid wants desperately to be vertical. I am not emotionally prepared to be the mother of a walking baby. I'm just not. Where'd my little tiny baby go?
  • We had some landscaping done last week. We hired a landscape architect named Andy De Young, who Patrick found on Angie's List. He was awesome. So nice, 100% professional and incredibly knowledgeable. He's an artist. He came to our house and talked to us for awhile, then he went into the yard armed with some graph paper, ordinary black pens, and his imagination, and came up with something gorgeous, simple, and totally us. And easy to maintain! Then he recommended another guy to come do all the plants for us, and yesterday they finished. Our plain, boring, squared off yards are now beautifully and professionally planted, and in 3 months when everything fills in will look even more pretty. I can't wait. Andy also designated a space behind the garage for a "vegetable garden." I think I'll wait until JP is big enough to help me out back there and then I can be all, "Here's a watermelon! The BABY grew it!" The design also included space for a bench next to the driveway (my request). I wanted someplace to put my shopping bags when I come back from the store. And to sit and watch the neighborhood with the baby. We got the bench last night. I love it. I can't wait to play out in the backyard with the baby.
  • My mom started chemo again a few months ago and had a bad reaction. She got pretty sick. So now her oncologist is recommending a new treatment... and we'll just have to wait and see how that goes. She's pretty tired of feeling bad. I hope things go better.
  • My stupid allergies continue to plague me. All the times I complained about sneezing and having watery eyes? If I could've only known that one day I would have red, itchy skin, too! I would be grateful for just sneezing. I'm now taking Allegra twice a day, but my doctor can't give me anything more powerful until I finish breastfeeding. It sucks! I hate being red and itchy!
  • At JP's 9 month checkup, his pediatrician seemed surprised that I'm still breastfeeding. And since then, several people (the lady at the lactation center where I went to pick up a new nursing bra, various friends and family) have expressed surprise, too. I'm so proud I made it this long! It's not easy, but then: it's totally doable. Does that make sense? I love doing it... and I'm not ready to stop... but one day I would love my body to belong to me again, too. I'm not in a rush; I'm just telling you.
Oh, and this happened:

My new short hair!