Archive | June, 2011

Listography Take 5 – Inventions

18 Jun

I’ve stumbled upon Kate Takes 5, in which you’re challenged to blog a listography from a specific weekly question. This one is about 5 inventions you wish were real.

What I found most difficult about this challenge is that even though I’ve only read two blogs with lists I’ve already seen such great ideas covered. I will try my best to be original however.

1. Magical Weight Loss and Maintenance Pill. This small, covered 100% by insurance pill is taken everyday to get to your ideal weight and then weekly to maintain it. With this pill you have to preform absolutely no exercise unless you want to and will still have a trim, toned figure. You can also eat copious amounts of food and drink excess amounts of beverages with no fear of weight gain. Discontinue use during pregnancy, but safe to use while nursing!

I’d love to look like this, but keep my ample bosom!

2. Self-paying credit card. A black Amex except someone else pays the bill. Never get charged interest, not held accountable for debt, no minimum payments. Black Amex will work for your mortgage on multi-million dollar home, as well as all utilities. Never carry cash. Never pay for anything. Next round is always on you at Happy Hour.

I’ll have charged my 7.8M Laguna Beach house on my amex

3. Superhero Pill. Depending on your needs pop one of a variety of superhero pills if you need to fly, teleport, read minds, be invisible, stop time, etc.

4. Universal Life Remote. Gives you the ability to pause, rewind or fast forward through the day as need be. Listening to a boring meeting or story by your preschooler — fast forward it! Realize you are inappropriately dressed for an outing — rewind and wear something different. Need a break? Just pause and take a nap. Like in the movie Click, which I haven’t actually seen.

5. Fountain of Youth. Ability to never age and/or live forever! I always answer if I could have one wish it would be to live forever (that is if I can’t wish for more wishes). This is frequently criticized by others, however the fountain of youth would allow you the ability to die when you so choose to stop using it. For example when the world ends, or when you’ve already seen everything and are bored. I find the latter hard to imagine because the world is forever changing as are the people in it. Who wouldn’t want to be apart of the amazing things of the future? After all in 5011 maybe some of these things will exist!

Sick Day for Bear and Mommy

14 Jun

Sometimes my blog posts are just further extensions of the things that I had tweeted throughout the day, this is one of those times.

I woke up, way too early after going to bed way too late from watching too much Bravo (it was the Real Housewives of OC !- Reunion! – Part 2!), drove the H to work, immediately stopped at the bathroom of the daycare for an emergency bathroom situation, dropped off Bella and drove me and Bear (with the 102 fever) to Target. Which was closed.

Target to me seems to be a great example of a store that should be 24 hours. Or at least open at 6am. Plenty of people (read: moms) are awake at this hour and need the essentials only Target can offer us. That is a store that both has medicine, food, cleaning supplies and exciting toys to lure the children through its shiny red doors. Since it was closed, but opening in 20 minutes we went to the Starbucks next door.

Bear was wearing his reindeer pajamas from Gap. I was wearing flip flops, yoga pants, the shirt I wore yesterday, and had my broken glasses on. We looked so classy to the corporate crew picking up their double no-foam, low fat soy milk, venti, espresso  latte coffee thing. I was trying to buy a blueberry muffin and a strawberry smoothie. I was also trying to pay in cash. You know that wondrous Visa commercial were everything grinds to a  halt because someone is paying in cash? Yeah that was me. I tend not to believe in cash and have been known to charge a dollar, but I happened to have an envelope of petty cash reimbursement from work burning a hole in my purse.

After our messy blueberry muffin consumption in the car (too crowded inside, too cold outside) we made it to Target. Where we spent 45 minutes. I have no idea how Target has this magical power to keep you wandering its aisles aimlessly looking for a shiny object that you didn’t realize you needed, but it does. I made it out with everything I needed (almost – they were out of the Mustela sunscreen I was searching for) which included 3 gatorades for Bear, babyproofing things for the kitchen (a little late, yes!) and chocolates as a thank you the Devo Assistant for watching our dogs while we’re at a wedding next weekend.

I found myself constantly wondering when Bella was going to wake up as it was quite strange to be home without her. But also sort of nice. We proceeded to lounge in bed while Bear took some Tylenol and watched Generator Rex while I finished a book (that I started yesterday). The book (terribly titled, but well written and funny) was “Not Ready for Mom Jeans” by Maureen Lipinski. The book seemed to have impeccable timing as it was all about a mom debating whether or not she wanted to continue her career or be a SAHM. There was a paragraph towards the end of the book that completely hit home:

With all of this gratitude, I’m reminded that when I die my resume isn’t going to be listed in my obituary. It will be my daughter’s name, her existence, that will be worthy enough to include in those few, short lines.

So with that I went downstairs, to the room I dislike for its coldness and proximity to things that can eat me to look at spreadsheets. Which did indeed prove the H’s point that its not remotely feasible for me to stay home unless we gave up things like gas, food, cable, internet, and leaving our house.


Silver lining ahead! We pay off the Subaru in February 2012 and I’ve already let the H know that I plan to put my two weeks in as soon as I submit that final car payment, barring of course that by then I have my dream job.

Bear and I also picked up McDonalds for lunch (his pick) and saw Pirates of the Caribbean: Stranger Tides. I am an awesome mom, I know. I figure he only has a fever, but is otherwise fine. No difference between watching a movie at home versus the movie theater. Though I’m sure the H will disagree.

I only wish that this could be my daily life instead of back at work again idling the day away.


The Un-Cuddly Baby

14 Jun Athens Undercovers

I”m a very cuddly person. In fact, we are in general a very cuddly family. Or smuggly as we like to call ourselves finding snuggle to not be a particularly inviting word we much rather smuggle. In fact under cover smuggles are our favorite.

Our dog, Athens, is cuddly. In fact he can’t even bear to lay on a wooden floor like a real dog, but instead prefers ideally laying on pillows also undercovers.

At first Elia wasn’t particularly into this whole human cuddling in a bed thing, but she saw Athens was living the good life and so she jumped aboard as well. For a long time we had two dogs undercover in the bed with us. Then we had to institute the “no dogs allowed” policy because it had gotten a little bit ridiculous.

Bear has always been a cuddly fellow. We would swaddle him when he was a baby because he loved the feeling of being tightly held. His absolute favorite thing was what we called frogging. He probably spent my entire maternity leave laying on top of me frogging while I watched daytime TV.

He still loves to cuddle in fact he sneaks into our bed every single night and sleeps with us. We basically say good night by saying, “we’ll see you when you sneak in.” I heart his cuddles big time which is why I’m in no hurry to ask him to remove himself as my nightly visitor. In fact I used to think Athens was the best cuddler as he can contort himself into seemingly any position, but I think Bears got it covered now as #1 Cuddler.When the H is out of town I don’t even make him fall asleep in his own bed first, but let him stay in mine from the get go.

But Bella, not so much. She has no interest in these kinds of things. She had no time for swaddling as a baby, she preferred to cuddle her face suffocatingly close to her blanket. While we read Bear books every single night before bed (we had the bedtime routine thing down cold), Bella will not sit still long enough to read her the shortest of books. Rocking her to sleep? I don’t think so. The closest I’ve gotten to cuddling is when she was a baby and she’d fall asleep next to me nursing in the wee hours of the morning when the H would bring her before he left for work. Now even nursing is an opportunity for her to practice various circus acts of how to keep moving while still being attached to me.

She was very adamant that she was not interested in napping yesterday afternoon. She did however not want to play. Or eat. Certainly not be rocked, or read to. I tried singing her a lullaby, but she took her nuk out of her mouth and stuck it in mine. I thought that was a little rude as she could have been more tactful in her preferences.

I really hope she outgrows this I don’t like to cuddle thing because she’s not going to fit in very well with the family otherwise.

What it Costs to Feed a Family of Four

13 Jun

As I constantly debate about whether or not I should be a stay at home mom the main thing it comes down to is money. Because as always in life everything is about MONEY. I seem to always go over budget when it comes to food, so I’ve started to wonder if its not really just me, but if my budget itself is out of line. Which upon consulting twitter it appears as though it is my budget. $200 a month for four people (well 3.5) is pretty damn unreasonable. And that’s supposedly including my weekly Chipotle at $10.01, so obviously I always exceeded it by a lot.

I was directed to this MSNBC article by @PolPrairieMama which was helpful and referred me to the USDA breaks outs for a thrifty, low cost, moderate or liberal food plan and updated with prices as of April 2011. Basically my monthly costs would range between $530-$1030 for a family of four dependent on the plan. Which is soooo much closer to what I actually wind up spending monthly ($500ish) and also not remotely what I was expecting. I can’t believe food costs so much!

This also must be what The H is always talking about with the kids being expensive. They don’t seem expensive, but I suppose we do need to feed them and apparently that costs a lot of money, who would have known!

This is the link to the PDF of the USDA breakouts:

#Bfing and the Working Mom

10 Jun photo(6)

As part of the Breastfeeding Blog Hop, here’s been my experience working while pumping otherwise known as Ode to the Pump:

Most importantly see also my pump song.

I exclusively pumped with Bear for the whole first year because of the difficulty we had actually nursing. So me and the pump got to be quite good friends. With Bella I was luckily enough that nursing her was quite easy, but while I was on maternity leave with her I still pumped once every morning to build up a frozen stash for times I knew I would be away. I wish I had known the glory of the pump with Bear. I was so afraid to pump in those first few weeks because I didn’t want to be engorged anymore than I already was so I didn’t want to send a mixed message that there was more demand than actually existed. However, I was in so.much.pain. and the pump was able to give me the much needed relief.

When I got back to work I still had enough supply and Bella was still eating frequently enough that I felt like I was activating on a constant basis. Layering was very important. So were nursing pads. I went with the cotton ones (less expensive, more environmentally friendly) with Bear but I wised up and went with the disposable ones that absorb WAY more and never leak through this time around. Since I work 10 hour shifts and Bella’s been sleeping through the night for months I pump first thing in the morning when I wake up, twice at work and then once before going to bed. Lately, I’ve dropped the last pump before bed depending how late it was when I last pumped. And sometimes I only pump once at work depending on meetings or if I feel like it. And twice at all day conferences I only pumped before and after work and not once the whole day. Those reasons and the fact that at 8.5 months Bella eats a lot more solid foods and sleeps through the night (she takes 25 oz of milk during the daycare day) are why my supply has fallen quite sharply. This morning when I pumped at work I only got an ounce in 15 minutes. ABSURD. I used to pump 4-5 oz in that long of a session. Now to get any reasonable quantity I have to pump for at least 30 minutes, a privilege I don’t have during the work day.

It was easier when she was younger to pump more often. I had more milk. She drank more milk. I was fresh back from leave. Now, at almost nine months I feel strange slipping away from work 2x a day to pump. I feel a slight air of you’re still doing that?  from co-workers. Plus, even in my own head its sort of like do I still have to do this? I have enough supply frozen that I could get by awhile, but not 3 months awhile and I don’t want to give her formula when I can produce milk.

Its hard to schedule pumping around meetings and impromptu pop ins at work. I’m lucky enough that my work has a dedicated mothering room for this purpose. Equipped with a cozy chair, bookcase of magazines and books, extra nursing pads, breastmilk storage bags, a mirror, the whole she-bang.

The hardest for me was those all day offsite training sessions. Plus, I have no adapter for my pump to pump in my car awkwardly in the parking lot. So I uncomfortably went without. In July, I’ll be in Orlando for a week long conference and I know I’ll have to sneak back to my hotel room between sessions or during meal breaks to pump and that sort of sucks. With Bear I pumped once in an airport bathroom, it just had to be done. In fact at the same conference 4 years ago I was pumping. However then Bear was only 5.5 months old so I had much more milk and demand to keep up. It was hard not being able to go to the after conference parties because I need to go pump.


In general, its hard to have to excuse yourself from professional situations for very personal reasons. I still haven’t thought of a good way to tell male co-workers that I can’t talk right now because I have to go to THE Room. I feel like if you really want it though you can make it work. Even if means pumping on a toilet stall or in your car, or hand pumping just to relieve the pressure (an awful thing I had to do once, talk about crying over spilled milk!) It’s doable.

If I CAN do it it, You CAN do it and we all CAN do it. 





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