Sunday, August 14, 2016

Back to work

I went back to work last week for the second time, after deciding for the second time that I was going to find a different job. :) I had H during 4th year, started this job immediately after graduation, and the practice has changed A LOT since then. I decided not to go back after maternity leave when E was born, but then . . . . . . I did. I was a lot unhappier with it then than I am now, honestly, although people are leaving in droves right now so I'm not sure what the place will be like when everything settles down. I was doing more emergency work with a lunatic tyrant for a supervisor (the combination of ER work and the supervisor meant that I had stress colitis and needed medication to sleep at night) when E was born, and I do more general practice now and that supervisor is long gone. He actually announced his departure right before I went back after E was born, which was a big factor in my deciding to return . . . . . . that and inertia, if we're being honest with ourselves.

Anyway, I like most of the work I'm doing now, I like my bosses, I like my coworkers a lot, I like the facility, I like my clients, I love my schedule - I love working three 12-hour shifts a week because it means I get more time with the kids, and save a lot on childcare. The commute is pretty good. The pay is pretty good. I don't have to do surgery, which scares me, so that's a plus. There's a lot to like about it. Again, we'll see what it's like when everything settles down.

So Monday was my first day back, and it was pretty busy. I left the house at 7:15 AM and got home at 10:15 PM. I got to pump all 3 times I was supposed to, I wasn't seeing emergencies, it was nice to see everyone at work, it was REALLY nice to see patients again! I went to a goodbye party for a departing coworker a couple of weeks ago, and we were talking about work. We both agreed that while we may not always be crazy about our particular job, we love our profession, and that is very true - I can't imagine doing anything other than being a vet, and I love talking with clients and seeing patients. So it was really nice to do that again. But, of course I missed AQ like CRAZY!!! I'd never been away from her for more than 2 or 3 hours before (and that was only once, so I could go to the dentist) so that was a long time away from her. And working those kinds of hours requires some endurance that I've lost, so I need to get back into the swing of things. But overall it went well - I didn't see anything crazy, I got to work with all of my favorite nurses, I had some new consults, I got to dress up and wear makeup, I got to chat with adults without being interrupted every 6 seconds by one of the kids, it was nice to see my work buddies, and the kids did great at home. I was stuck late writing up records - while I was on leave, they changed our medical records system so that the note locks after 24 hours. I work non-consecutive days, so now I can never leave any records to write up during my next shift. It's uncommon in veterinary medicine to be scheduled any time for records and phone calls, from what I gather, so when it gets busy in the evening I might be left with 12-18 records to write up when I finish seeing appointments. Normally it's not that big a deal, but since so many of them were consults, which take forever to write, I was there pretty late.

So far I really like my new schedule, working non-consecutive days. I used to work Monday, Tuesday and Friday, so I would go from Sunday night til Wednesday morning without seeing the kids. I HATED that when E was a baby - it was really hard to be away from her for so long, other than one or two middle of the night feedings. So I love that no matter how long my day is, I'll have the whole day at home with them the next day.

I also LOVE having a nanny!!! We looked into daycare for AQ, but with 3 kids going 3 days a week, it was going to be about $2200 a month, which we couldn't afford. H also starts half-day kindergarten in September, so he'd need to be picked up after school and transported to after-care (which the school district doesn't provide). That means either all 3 kids would have to be in daycare near our house (and therefore his school), and that MM would have to leave work super early to get back here in time for pickup, since all the facilities close at 6 PM, or that the girls would have to be in one daycare and H would have to be in a different after-care, and then MM would somehow have to do 2 pickups, which would be even worse. So while I've loved the experience we had with daycare/preschool, and think it was wonderful for H and E to be with other kids their own age, in a semi-educational environment, the scheduling and finances just didn't work out with 3. I was really nervous looking for a nanny, but we ended up finding someone that I LOVE!!! We found her on one of the major childcare websites, and she had the best references I've ever heard for anyone in any kind of job, so I was really excited when we met her and everyone loved her. It made me feel so much better about having a nanny instead of daycare. The kids really love her, H and E get so excited to see her when she's coming over, and AQ did great with her bottles and naps and was reportedly happy all day long, so it's going really well so far!

And it's so nice for M to not have to rush through evening appointments to get to daycare in time for pickup, and then have hungry, tired children crying through the 35 minute drive home, and then have to get dinner ready when he gets here. The nanny feeds them dinner before he gets home at 7, and then he just does bath and bedtime. And they're not as crazy since they've been home all day, so it's working out beautifully so far. I feel bad that E will no longer have the kind of social interaction she had in daycare, and having H's 5th birthday party with a bunch of friends he's known since he was 10 weeks old made me feel guilty that she'll be in kindergarten before she really has a group of friends again!!! And AQ will never have that until she's in kindergarten! I'll have to look into joining a play group for them, I think.

Overall, it was a nice first week back. Busy but manageable. I missed the kids, especially AQ since I've never spent time away from her before, but I felt confident that the nanny was taking good care of them. I was tired at the end of the day, but not a frazzled exhausted mess. I like the work I do and enjoyed getting to do it again. I can't exactly say I'm entirely looking forward to going back tomorrow, but honestly part of me is! That's really nice.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Day in the Life - July 1, 2016

July 1, 2016

I'm 37 years old (almost 38!), DH is 39, H is 5 years old, E is 2.5 years old, and AQ is 10 weeks old.

6:40 AM - AQ wakes up to eat; she's been fidgeting and fussing in her crib and has scooted herself all the way to the foot of the crib so I know she's not going to go back to sleep. I've been awake most of the time since I last fed her at 4 AM, so I was really hoping to get another hour of sleep! Pick her up and start to nurse; she's more awake than usual at this time and is gazing at me and smiling a little half smile. :) She's also straining, which probably means she's working on a big poop! While I'm feeding her, MM comes in to get ready for work and we chat about how the night went. I'm bummed that I only got 5 hours of sleep (she also didn't fall asleep last night until almost 11, after starting bedtime at 8 PM - it was too late a start, and she had trouble staying awake to finish nursing, so she napped from 9-9:45 and then wanted to nurse again, and then was fussy for awhile) but partly that was due to my own inability to sleep. He says that he was still awake around 11 PM and heard her crying, but slept well after that.

6:50 AM - Put her back in the crib (actually a Pack & Play) and lay back down to hope for the best. A couple of minutes later hear gigantic poosplosions, which could mean a giant poop or could just be sound effects. Wait a few minutes to make sure she's done; MM walks over to the crib and mentions that she'll probably have a diaper leak - I share my theory about sound effects (sometimes I'm surprised by how little poop there actually is after a lot of noise, and sometimes the reverse). When it's been all clear for a couple of minutes I get up to check her diaper and, sure enough there's poop on her swaddle and sheet! Change her diaper in the crib to contain the mess, then move her to our bed while I change her crib sheet.

7:08 AM - Brush my teeth while AQ lays on our bed, kicking her legs and looking around. Admire her delicious rolls, which are gorgeously displayed since she's only wearing a diaper. Google "how old baby jogging" to verify my vague memory that she needs to be about 6 months old before I can take her jogging in the stroller, see that I was correct. I went for my first run in A YEAR on Wednesday, with Doodlebug in the single jogger, and did 2.25 miles at 11:40 pace with several short walking breaks. I struggle to even call that a run - I remember doing 10 milers at sub-8:00 pace just a few years ago; how far the mighty have fallen! :) I know it's a lot harder to run pushing a toddler in a stroller, but dude. It felt good to get out and move, though - walking just isn't nearly the same - and I want to go for another run. I guess I'll wait til tomorrow and take E again. MM and the kids come in while I'm brushing my teeth; E is clutching Green Baby and a toy bottle and says "Want to say goodbye!". I tell her I'm coming downstairs in just a minute, so we don't have to say goodbye yet. H is wearing his Pikachu hat and smiles and gives me a good morning kiss. :) They both want to hug and kiss AQ, so H climbs up on the bed to hover over her while E stands next to the bed. MM supervises - they can get a little excited. :)

7:15 AM - Take AQ downstairs where H and E are eating breakfast (waffle and Rice Chex for H, toast and frozen blueberries for E, milk for both). They're both dressed already - E picked out her own khaki shorts and gray T-shirt with an applique fox holding an umbrella on the front, and H is wearing blue athletic shorts and a white T-shirt with a flag design on the front that he decorated in school on Tuesday, and his Pikachu hat. :) Kiss them both again, put AQ in her swing, and filter the iced coffee concentrate. Make coffees for MM and me, and start making H's lunch. E will get the school lunch today (pizza Fridays!) but H has decided he doesn't like their pizza, so he's getting a sunbutter and jelly sandwich. I also give him a cheddar cheese stick, an apple and spinach puree pouch, and a tiny brownie. He's been eating a ton lately and I think he's having a growth spurt, so at the last minute I throw in a second cheese stick after futilely searching the kitchen for something else to include that's both healthy and which he'll eat. I need to go grocery shopping today! I ask him if he still likes hummus, and he says yes. H tells E to try to get his pokeball, and she (wisely knowing he'll yank it away at the last second) says, "No, I can't!" but he ends up letting her grab it and they both laugh. I mention to MM that I might make a Mediterranean quinoa salad for my dinner and eat before they get home so I can try an early bedtime for AQ tonight, and ask if he wants the spinach, quinoa, chicken, and roasted grape salad again that I made a couple of nights ago (he doesn't like tomatoes or cucumbers, which are the whole point of the Mediterranean salad) and he says sure. I'm not sure what I'll make for the kids, who like neither quinoa nor salad - probably chicken nuggets and fruit. Again.

7:40 AM - AQ is happily kicking away in her swing, watching all of us. Alexa (the Echo) is playing our Pandora Brandenburg Concertos radio station. H is running around in his Pikachu hat, and decides to fire his pokeball at AQ, telling us he captured her in it and isn't going to let her out! I say, "Oh no! Does that mean you're going to take her with you to school today?" He says, "Yes! She has to go to daycare!" I tell him that I'll miss her. He goes over to the swing and gives her "one hug and two kisses". :) MM tells the kids it's time to go upstairs to brush their teeth, and I pick AQ up from her swing and ask MM to take a picture of H and me together - he does, then H gives AQ a hug and I ask him to take a picture of that, too. They go upstairs to brush their teeth, and I feed L, then walk around with AQ who is getting tired and doesn't want to be in the swing anymore.

7:55 AM - MM and the kids come back downstairs and E climbs back up onto her chair to eat some more toast. I brush her hair and put her shoes on for her (she can do it herself, but they need to leave and she's still eating). Sit on the floor with AQ and ask H for a hug and kiss goodbye, he gives me one and then asks for a "kiss on swirl" so I kiss the back of his neck where he has a little swirl of hair. :) He also gives AQ a hug and kiss goodbye, then sits on my lap. E climbs down from her chair with Green Baby and asks if she can sit on my lap too, and I say of course! There's a spot for her on my left leg, just in front of AQ. MM takes a picture of all of us together. :) H nibbles on AQ's arm and says, "I'm eating her arm rolls, because they're rolls!"

8:05 AM - Kiss MM and the kids goodbye, and they leave (late) for daycare. Take AQ into the living room and change her diaper (she pooped again!) and nurse her. She's very sleepy and is falling asleep on me, then fussing because she's tired. She is so sweet - she's still just wearing a diaper because it's so warm, and I squeeze her arm and leg rolls, and watch her little sleepy face while her eyes get heavier and heavier.

8:15 AM - When she's done nursing I take her upstairs and turn on her white noise, put her in her Love to Dream swaddle, sing her nap time song a couple of times while we walk around the room (Good night Mommy, good night L, good night sunshine, it's time for AQ's nap! Good night AQ, good night AQ, good night AQ, it's time to take your nap! Good night baby, good night Dumpling, good night darling, it's time to take your nap!) and put her in the crib. Turn on her Angel Care movement monitor and baby monitor. She immediately starts crying (she's overtired at this point - she's been up since 6:30 and usually goes back down for a nap after 60-75 minutes of wake time) but I leave the room to see if she'll settle herself. After 3 minutes she's still crying, so I go back in and reassure her, rest one hand on her chest and pat her butt with the other hand, and tell her it's just nap time and she's so sleepy, she'll feel much better after a nap. After 3 minutes of that she's still crying so I say goodnight and leave the room again (for the past couple of weeks I've noticed that my attempts to console her when she cries at naptime just wind her up more, and if I leave the room she usually settles herself and falls asleep within 3 minutes) and she's asleep 2 minutes later at 8:30 AM.

8:30 AM - I go downstairs and drink the last sip of my iced coffee, and make myself another one (decaf this time). This stuff is seriously addictive! Throw a load of laundry in the washer (including the poopy swaddle and crib sheet from this morning). One bonus about maternity leave is always being caught up on the laundry - when I'm working, the hamper (a jumbo U-Haul moving box) is always at least half full, and there's always a big pile of clean but unfolded laundry in front of the dryer. Check the checking account balance since I know a few bills are coming out today, check my work email, decide to start this post. Write until I finish my iced coffee then make another decaf - that was the last of my cold coffee, so I'll have to switch to lemonade or something after this. :)

9:20 AM - AQ is crying after 45 minutes of nap; sometimes she'll put herself back to sleep so I keep writing and wait to see what she does. 5 minutes later she's still upset, so I go get her up from nap. I say hello and cuddle her for a few minutes, then put her in the Ergo, hoping for a nap extension. Leash L up and we set out on a walk. It takes 20 or 30 minutes, but AQ does fall asleep, and sleeps for 45 minutes during the walk, waking up when we get home.

10;58 AM - We walked for about an hour, and I'm very sweaty when we get back - it's really humid! L drinks a ton of water and flops on the floor for a nap. AQ nurses well, and I debate whether or not I want to go to the grocery store. I finally decide to do it (partially motivated by a craving for Chick-Fil-A) and buckle AQ into the detested car seat - she actually calms down pretty quickly and is content all the way to the grocery store! We stop at Chick-Fil-A and I get a number 1 meal (the classic!) and eat half the fries on the way to the store.

12:30 PM - AQ falls asleep in her car seat, which is on the shopping cart - she never falls asleep in the car seat! Maybe she's really tired from being up late last night. She sleeps for the last 25 minutes or so of the shopping trip (we're there for awhile - I have to peruse all the produce, looking for ripe-ish fruit that's in good shape, we need things from every department, and I end up backtracking a few times.

1 PM - Leave the grocery store. AQ is calm on the way home, I unload the car and put the frozen food and meat away, and then we sit on the couch so she can nurse and hopefully take a boob snooze! I love holding her after she falls alseep nursing (during the afternoon - in the middle of the night I like when she sleeps in her crib!). I check the mail, and my notebooks from May Designs arrived! They're so beautiful - I'm currently using a Simplified Planner, which I like a lot in general but which doesn't have enough space for notes. I want to tuck one of these notebooks in the front cover for lists and maybe journaling. I think next year I'm going to do a bullet journal instead of a formal planner.

2:23 PM - AQ has fallen asleep in my arms. :) She ends up sleeping until 5:15! She wakes up a couple of times to nurse, but drops right back off to sleep. I watch the pilot of Orphan Black on Amazon instant video - it's really good! Since she's sound asleep, I also watch the following 2 episodes. I haven't watched any tv since I finished the 3rd season of The Americans a few weeks ago (I don't feel like buying the 4th season so I'm waiting for it to be free, which will be awhile).

5:15 PM - Finally I wake AQ up, since she can only be awake for 60-90 minutes, I need to either let her sleep for another hour so she can make it to an early bedtime, or wake her up now so she can squeeze in another cat nap before bed. My butt is completely asleep from sitting in one position for 3 hours, and I'm afraid that if she does a super long stretch of sleep now, then she won't sleep well tonight, so I wake her up. She's sound asleep and a little grumpy, but quickly cheers up - she's a very happy baby in general. She sits in her swing in the kitchen while I assemble dinner (mostly leftovers, and a Mediterranean quinoa salad using leftover quinoa).

6:10 PM - Put AQ in her crib for a short nap. She falls asleep right away and I move the laundry from the washer to the dryer, then look at Instagram for a few minutes.

6:45 PM - MM arrives home with the kids! H knocks on the door and then crouches down to hide, so I open it and look around in mock confusion, asking "Who's there?" and he pops up and surprises me. :) He's wearing his Pikachu hat, and tells me he wore it at daycare today. E runs in and proudly tells me "I share with Daddy!" I ask her what she shared, and she tells me it was her pretzels. She says, "Mommyyyyy!" and hugs my legs, and I crouch down and give her a big hug and kiss. MM helps them wash their hands, and I ask them if they want to go upstairs with me to wake AQ up from her nap. They both go upstairs, and I turn off the white noise and gently rub AQ's belly, telling her it's time to wake up. She opens her eyes and smiles at me, stretching, and H leans over the side of the Pack & Play and says hello to her - she sees his Pikachu hat and starts crying! I scoop her up and tell him it's okay, I think she was just scared of his hat.

7 PM - We all sit down to eat dinner; I nurse AQ first so I start eating when everyone else is almost done. MM and I have a spinach and quinoa salad with roasted grapes and a honey lemon dressing, a Mediterranean quinoa salad, and some leftover chicken salad made with yogurt, olives, apples and celery. The kids have half a banana, some of the Mediterranean salad, peanut butter and crackers. H asks me what my favorite vegetable is and I say I think artichokes, although that's a tough one. I ask him his favorite and he says, "Broccoli, of COURSE, because it's the best." Then he asks my favorite fruit, and I think probably mango or pineapple, although that's also hard. He says, "Mine is strawberries! And blueberries, because they look like police lights!" AQ goes into her bouncy seat on the table after she's done nursing, and I eat my dinner.

7:40 PM - After we're all done, MM takes the kids up for bath, and I take AQ up for bedtime - it's later than I like to put her to bed (it seems like bedtime before 7:30 seems to go better) but I'm hoping the late nap will make up for it. She nurses pretty well for a few minutes, then gets fussy, but after a big burp she latches back on. When she starts crying her tired cry I change her into pajamas and put her swaddle on, turn on her white noise, and she's smiling at me and looks wide awake so we chat for a few minutes - she coos and gurgles and smiles at me. :) She nurses again and falls asleep on me.

8:15 PM-  I give AQ to MM so he can try to burp her while I say good night to the kids. I say goodnight to E first, and she asks where AQ is - I tell her she's with Daddy, and E smiles. I give her a kissing hand, put it on her cheek, and say goodnight. She asks for Green Baby, so I run back downstairs and retrieve her and her bottle from the toy stroller. Then I go in to say goodnight to H, and he asks for "down lows and up highs", which we do every night. He goes first and does down low, up high, down low (too slow!), up high (too slow!), here is the church, here is the steeple, here is the bell tower, here is the chimney, open the doors and see the two people! Then we do a double thumb war, then a double pinky war, then cut the pickle. I do a similar routine, with a little bit of dancing thrown in. We kiss each other on the cheek, I kiss his swirl, and wish him sweet dreams.

8:30 PM - I retrieve AQ from MM, and she's been crying for a couple of minutes. I nurse her again, she falls asleep on me again, and I sing Love You Forever and put her in the Pack & Play at 8:49 PM.

8:50 PM - I go downstairs to pump, and put away the dinner leftovers. Pump about 7 ounces, clean up the kitchen a little bit, pack the cooler bag with milk bottles for MM to give her tonight (while I sleep!) She sleeps until 9:30 and wakes up crying, and MM tries to give her a bottle (she refuses), tries to burp her (no luck), puts her back in the crib and pats her for a few minutes, and then cycles through all those options again a couple more times until she finally falls asleep at 10:23 PM.

9:30 PM - Go to sleep (on the couch, this is where the "off duty" parent sleeps so that AQ doesn't wake them up, and because MM snores like a chainsaw - I want him to do a sleep study to make sure he doesn't have apnea) after looking at Instagram and Facebook for a few minutes.

4:00 AM - Wake up hot, get up to pee, lay back down without the covers, hear AQ crying. She stops a few minutes later so I figure MM is giving her a bottle, and try to go back to sleep. A few minutes later she's crying again, and it sounds like she's winding up instead of settling down. Debate whether I should let MM try to work it out on his own, or whether I should go help him - with H and E, sometimes my "help" just interfered and he usually wanted to do it himself, and said that he'd ask for help if he needed it, which is fair. She's been a little resistant to the bottle lately and I wonder if she might want to nurse, which also will sometimes calm her down when she's too upset for other comforting. End up going upstairs around 4:40 AM, she's freaking out so I nurse her, walk around and sing to her, nurse her again, and she eventually falls asleep on me so I put her back in the crib. MM and I talk about possible approaches for middle of the night wakings, and the fact that since I spend so much more time with her (especially since I'm still on maternity leave) I can "read" her better than he can, although we both find her a little harder to interpret than we did H or E - it's not as obvious when she's over-tired vs hungry, for example. I go back to sleep for a couple more hours.

I wanted to include photos with this post! But since I talk about work sometimes, I guess I should keep it anonymous. I also wanted to have this finished in time for a round-up on a blog I read regularly, but I missed the deadline! Maybe next time.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Summer bucket list

We're on a strict budget this summer, due to house expenses, under-withholding for taxes resulting in a large tax bill, having to re-file last year's taxes because of an error, and the fact that one of our vehicles (the one we need to keep, since it fits both car seats) is leaking oil. I say that we're implementing summer austerity measures. :) Basically it means (#firstworldproblems!!!) that we have $800 a month to live on once all of our bills are paid and retirement savings (less than our target, but enough that I can sleep at night) have come out. So that's our grocery, gas, entertainment, clothing, child gear (diapers, etc) budget. Obviously that's a comfortable amount for necessities, but doesn't allow for things like, say, vacations. So I want to plan things that we'll enjoy, without spending a lot of money!

- 3 day trips to the beach! We live 90 minutes away, and some years we don't even go once.
- Overnight trip to Sesame Place. H is just the right age to LOVE it, and I think E will like it too.
- Family party. Already scheduled for Fathers' Day.
- Visit at least 1 playground every week.

MM & I:
- 3 dates! We already have one planned for the end of June - we're going to spend the day in the city, walking around and eating EVERYTHING. There are so many places I want to try, and it's not worth trying with the kids, most of the time. Also, our last date was . . . . . . . . in December? I think? And the one before that was last June, so we're due.
-Use our fire pit

- Work out 3 times a week. I currently do one YMCA workout (usually stationary bike, since I can read or watch Downton Abbey at the same time) and go running once a week. I'd like to add a third workout; either another YMCA day (I'd love to get back into swimming more regularly), bikram yoga, Barre, or TRX.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Making mom friends

It is so hard to make friends with other moms. So far, actually, it's been impossible! I haven't made one single friend through the kids - not one playdate, not one coffee, nothing.

It's true that I don't really try very hard; when I go to the playground with the kids, I'm there to play with them. And when I go alone (without M), trying to chase H around while also keeping E happy means that it's impossible to have an actual conversation with another adult.

But there have been a handful of occasions where I've gotten into a conversation with another mom, thought she was really nice and interesting, and we have similar-aged children, and I would have liked to suggest a playdate or lunch or walk or whatever . . . . . . but then I don't. One example that comes to mind is a mom in H's daycare class - he's friends with a girl whose mother seems really cool, and I love chatting with her on the rare occasions that we happen to run into each other. And our kids ALREADY KNOW EACH OTHER and play together at school. So why haven't I said, "Hey, we should meet at the playground one afternoon and have coffee while the kids play!" or something similar?

I'm reminded of this issue now because this morning, we took the kids to a new playground about 15 minutes away. It's in a beautiful neighborhood, and in addition to a couple of big playground structures, it also has tennis courts, a baseball field, etc. H was running around playing with M, and I was pushing E in the swing, and a mom came up and put her daughter in the swing next to E's. We started chatting, and ended up talking for about 10 minutes - she's from the area, lives out of state now but is moving back, and her daughter is E's age. We talked about teething, real estate prices, the changes you don't think about when you move from a big city to a suburb (like needing your stroller to fit in your car because while you used to walk around the city, now you need to drive everywhere), and random small talk. She seemed really nice, and very friendly and easy to talk to. AND she's sort of new to the area, so she probably doesn't know very many people. She even mentioned how different it is at the playgrounds here - in the city, there were always tons of moms there with their kids, and here they're so empty because everyone has yards and stays home. That was the perfect opening to say, "Well, if you ever want to get together, here's my phone number - there's a coffee shop/play space a few minutes away where we could meet so the kids could play". But, I didn't.

Why?!?!? I think partly because, of course, of fear of rejection. It's almost like asking someone out on a date! I'm not sure what the protocol is for inviting someone you just met 5 minutes ago to hang out with your respective kids. Actually, I think it's mostly that - I was worried that she'd be like, "OMG, who is this desperate weirdo asking me to hang out? I was just being polite because we were stuck next to each other while our babies were on the swings". But really, if that was her reaction, who cares? How would that have harmed me? I'd never have seen her again.

So really, I had nothing to lose. And maybe I would have made a new friend! Which would be nice, because almost all of our friends are still child-free, so our schedules don't mesh very well (it's hard to have an active social life when you're in bed by 9 PM on Saturday night!). But I didn't even try.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Another kind of long day

I always feel terrible when I don't enjoy a day at home with the kids.

I remember when H was a baby, and I was a 4th year on clinical rotations, and I would go literally days at a time without seeing him at all (or just gazing at him, asleep in his crib, before I went to bed myself when I got home at midnight), and ALL I WANTED TO DO was stay home and spend all day, every day with him. Even when I graduated and started a real job with more-normal hours, I still wished I had more time with him. So now that I get to spend the entire day alone with both kids 2-4 days a week, I always feel like I should be enjoying every minute.

Maybe enjoying every single minute isn't realistic; of course everyone is going to have the occasional trying moment, but I look at how BIG and OLD H seems compared to himself a year ago, and how unbelievably QUICKLY they're both growing up, and I want to savor this time because it will end so soon.

But yesterday was such. a. long. day. By the time M got home from work around 7:30, I was so done - I was giving the kids baths, and H had a tantrum because he didn't want to share the tub with E, so she was in the tub by herself and H and I were sitting next to it, and I was pretty much just staring at the wall waiting for bath time to be over so I could go to bed. Instead of enjoying my adorable, fat little baby who was splashing in the tub! Instead of concocting outlandish imaginary scenarios involving cars (or Cars, I guess - they usually feature McQueen or Mater, among other characters) with my adorable, imaginative little man! I was literally staring at the wall, answering H with monosyllables, and waiting for bedtime.

H just woke up on the wrong side of the bed, and never really recovered. E and I both have mild colds, so he may be coming down with one and not feeling quite right. Or he may have just been having a random 3 year old day. But he had a meltdown at breakfast because we weren't getting his food fast enough, a tantrum because I asked him to put on his shoes so we could go outside, he pooped in his underwear and then announced it with a big smile, he insisted on pushing E's stroller when we went to the grocery store and kept running it into things, when I tried to play cars with him during E's nap he was bossy and kept telling me "No! Not that! Here! Do this instead!" and grabbing whichever car I was playing with (which he'd just given me a minute earlier), at dinner I made chicken barley chili (he loves chili) and he had a crying, screaming meltdown because he didn't want corn in it, despite the fact that I had removed a serving of chili for him before adding the corn to the  pot because I KNOW he doesn't want corn in his chili, and he'd been happily eating it for several minutes before he noticed that there was corn in MY bowl. And at least a dozen other episodes throughout the day that totally sapped my energy and patience, so that by the end of the day I just wanted to go to bed. And E was very clingy, probably because of her cold, and didn't want to be put down most of the day, but ALSO didn't want to go in the Ergo, so it was very hard to do anything since she needs both hands to be held safely (she likes to arch and lurch and dive, so I have to hold her with both arms).

We had fun moments, too. We went outside and played catch; we went to the pool and I carried E around while towing him around in his PuddleJumper, and he even would let go of my hand and let me walk a few feet away and then kick to me! I was so proud of him! We played a board game, he and E crawled around on the floor together making each other laugh, we read some stories.

When we were walking home from the pool, it was a beautiful evening and we were all finally in a good mood at the same time, and I was already sad about how hard the day had been, and I was thinking that in 20 years, I will give anything I have, trade anything in the world, for just one more day of this time with the kids at these ages. They'll be grown up and gone away, and I'll talk to them on the phone a couple times a week, and I will wish I could trade something - anything - for one more day with them as little ones. Even a hard day!

But, when I was in the middle of yesterday, it just seemed soooooo loooooooong. And I hate when that happens!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Long days

I've gotten so used to working part-time that when I have a full day, it feels like it lasts forever. Yesterday I worked from 8A - 10P, so I was gone from 7:15A - 10:45P, which legitimately IS a long day, but I used to do that regularly and I don't remember it feeling so . . . . . . . exhausting. I know part of it is that E is STILL not sleeping through the night (why, oh why?!?!?) and usually wakes us up twice (once she can be comforted with a papi, or a sip of water, or a brief cuddle; the other time she insists on nursing), and is usually up for the day by about 6:30. So on nights when I'm off, and have the discipline to go to bed early, I can get a full night's sleep (interrupted, but still a reasonable number of hours), but on nights that I don't even get home from work until almost 11 PM, it's just not going to happen.

Good things yesterday: Cafe Americano from Starbucks on my way to work. LOVE that drink. Why does their coffee taste so much better than mine?!? I have an espresso machine, and I use their beans! I get that I'm not a professional barista using professional-grade equipment, but really, should the difference be THAT significant? A SB espresso is a completely different creation than one of mine. On bad work days, I fantasize about going to work at Starbucks, at least temporarily, so I could learn how to make coffee like they do. :)

Beautiful, beautiful weather!!! It seems like fall has come early this year! Which is a great relief, since our electricity bill was almost $300 last month! Yikes. 3rd floor apartment woes. I'm sure it'll go back up to the 90s at some point, but I'm really enjoying it right now.

H and E both woke up before I left for work, so I got to give them both some hugs and kisses, and squeeze E's fat little legs. :) H blew me a kiss as I left, and E waved goodbye. I love them so much!

I felt like all the patients I saw yesterday were reasonably manageable, which was nice.

I got to wear real clothes to work! We used to have a scrubs dress-code, but recently we were given the option of business casual dress as well. I loved wearing scrubs (what could be easier or more comfortable? It's like going to work in your pajamas! And requires zero thought or planning!), but now that I've been wearing them every work day for 2 years, it's nice to dress up in pretty clothes sometimes.

Suboptimal things yesterday: I only got to see the kids for 5 minutes in the morning before I left for work.

I dropped my beautiful Medela Freestyle pump on the floor while I was pumping at work! And since then it's been noisier than usual, and I think the suction is a little weaker. :( I had it clipped onto my waist band, and I crouched down to pick up something I'd dropped, and when I stood up it fell off and crashed onto the floor. Well, at least it still works.

I had a couple of bummer cases, including a sad euthanasia of a young, otherwise totally healthy pet because of a life-threatening (but very treatable) condition that the owners just truly couldn't afford to treat. That hasn't happened in awhile, and it's really heart-breaking when it does. I always think about those patients when I wake up in the middle of the night and can't go back to sleep, wondering what if I had done this, or that, or the other thing, could I have helped them?

Things I'm looking forward to this week: Pumpkin iced coffee! I had a small cup this morning, and it was soooooo good! If the weather's going to be fall-like, I may as well celebrate!

Finishing my reading about proteinuria. After reading several consensus statements about diagnostic and management considerations, I feel like I have a better handle on it than I ever did before, and I love that feeling!

Working on my 10-day meditation run. I downloaded the Headspace app last week, and I'm on day 6 today. I usually do the meditation when I go to bed, and sometimes I doze off (the intro series are each only 10 minutes long, so I must be tired if I can't even stay awake for 10 minutes!)

Maybe finishing The Life of Pi!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Weekend deliciousness

Saturday I had a reasonably good day at work; no crazy cases and I left relatively on time. It was a beautiful day, so when the kids woke up after I got home, we walked to a nearby elementary school with a playground. E watched from the stroller while M, H and I ran all around and climbed on things and chased each other. :) I was a monster trying to eat H, and he loved it. Didn't bring my phone, so no pics! It was a very nice evening. I think M and I stayed up too late after the kids went to bed, though. We were having so much fun with the kids that we also put them to bed late, too. They've been playing a lot with H's little Ikea circus tent recently, crawling in and out of it and playing peek-a-boo with the door flaps. They both giggle and it's so adorable, it's really hard to stop them when they're having fun together.

Sunday morning we got up early (oh, it was hard to get up! Saturday morning I'd fed and walked the dogs before leaving for work, so M got to sleep in until 7:30. Sunday morning he returned the favor by getting up with the kids, but even with the extra little bit of sleep I was still SO. TIRED.) and threw clothes on everyone, then hit the road for brunch! There's a restaurant in the city that we LOVE for brunch, and we hadn't been there in months. It gets really crowded if you don't get there early (they open at 8), and E usually takes a nap around 9 or 9:30, so we wanted to get there right when they opened.

We've been going there since H was a tiny little baby (possibly before? It's so hard to accurately remember the BC era that I'm not sure), and it's so much fun to look at pictures of how SMALL he was, and how BIG he looks now! He's so grown up!

And this is H and E, at around the same ages:

Don't they look like twins?!?!? I always think that E looks so much different than H did at the same age, but when I compare pictures, they're very similar.

And the two of them hanging out and chowing down together:

We had creme brulee French toast (my favorite ever. We usually try the French toast on the specials menu, but this one is the best so far), fried chicken and waffle Benedict, and sweet potato fries (mostly for the kids to munch on). And good coffee (they brew La Colombe, which I love), and fresh-squeezed OJ for H. We stuffed ourselves silly! I haven't been that full in a very long time.

E fell asleep briefly on the way home, but luckily only about 10 minutes away, so she woke up when we parked and then still took a normal nap once we got home. She did think about taking a little snooze on M's shoulder on the way inside, though.

While the kids took their afternoon nap, I went running! It was so nice. :) Because I worked long days the week before last, I never worked out, and then this past week I just . . . . . didn't feel like it, I guess. So it felt great to move around again. The weather was beautiful, too. After running, I read an ACVIM consensus paper on proteinuria (exciting, my weekend is!) then dyed my gray roots (blech) and showered. 

When the kids woke up, we headed out again to another playground! We're very lucky that there are 4 decent playgrounds within reasonable walking distance (2 are only about a 10 minute walk), so that's pretty much always an option for something to do when the weather is okay. H and M ran all around and climbed on things, and I sat on the wood chips and pushed E in the swing. H doesn't like swings (???) but E seems to, so far.

For dinner I made that ridiculously easy "chili" (can of black beans, can of diced tomatoes, half a packet of taco seasoning) and added half a bag of frozen corn. We ate it with Fritos; H decided he didn't want the corn and spent half the meal painstakingly extracting every single kernel from his bowl using his little spoon. Then of course he just wanted to eat Fritos, and although I don't want to turn mealtimes into battles, and I don't want him to think that eating healthy food is a "chore" you have to do to get to the "good" part (dessert), I also don't want him to eat nothing but corn chips for dinner! So we had to cut him off after his second helping of Fritos, and he eventually ate his (now corn-free) chili.

Then it was time for baths and bedtime, far too soon! I do wish weekends were 3 days long.