Going Bowling

I’m lucky enough to work for a company that provides several nice lactation rooms for all your breastfeeding & pumping needs. It’s one of those things that most people don’t know about until they’re in the position to need it. The usual reaction from my childless co-workers is “What?! We have one of those??”. Of course, my 6 daughter Amelia had the best reaction when she learned about it.. “There’s a special room?…Why don’t you just crawl under your desk to do it?” (oh, to be 6…).

I’m in a pretty good routine now at the end of my third week back at work. My co-workers know the drill (where I’m going, when I’ll leave, how long I’ll be gone), but a few of the young, childless, single guys obviously don’t want to acknowledge that they know what’s going on. I get it. It’s weird to them. It’s weird to put that image together with a super-hot co-worker who they see every day.

One such co-worker, Chris, who has a knack for getting into not-quite-work-appropriate conversations with me and then blushing a deep shade of scarlet, has found a graceful way for me to make my exit. One day last week, I picked up my bag and said “Ok, I’m going to go….”, trying to think of what else to say (other than “….milk myself”). Chris quickly followed up with “…bowling?”. The day before, we’d had a conversation about how much my pump-bag looks like a bowling bag.

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The whole thing is pretty old and clunky…definitely not subtle or well camoflaged. So, he said that and we all had a good laugh and there was a sigh of relief because nobody would have to say the words ‘pump’ or ‘breast’ (not me, I don’t care. I’ll say the word ‘breast’ all day long. Breast, Breast, Breast…)

So, we have a fun new euphemism and everybody feels comfortable. Hooray.

Of course, after a few days of “bowling”, Chris & I discussed how awkward it would be if we ever received an email from our manager announcing that we’d be having a department wide team-building outing….to go bowling.

Especially if they were providing the drinks.

Honda Love…

When you work the same hours every day, it makes sense that when you arrive to work you’ll park in approximately the same place every morning. I know I do. When I pull in, I see the same group of cars parked in the same few rows in the back 1/3 of the parking deck. Generally, the parking configuration varies a bit. However, at least 3 days a week, I find myself (& my Silver Honda Pilot) parked next to the same car (Gold Honda Pilot).
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Now, I know that Honda Pilots aren’t rare. In fact, looking at our parking deck, Pilots are the new go-to automobiles for young, hip families (SO much cooler than a mini-van). And I fully admit to occasionally parking next to another Pilot just for fun. But I’m starting to feel like this gold/silver Honda flirtation is getting compulsive. There are other Pilots around (steely grey, periwinkle blue), but Gold and I always seem to end up together.

And it gets weirder…
The other day, I was walking out and found the Gold Pilot parked to the left of my Silver (this is when I snapped the photo above). I was walking between the 2 cars and I happened to see a carseat in the Gold Pilot. I took another look and found that the Gold Pilot had an infant seat behind the passenger seat, a convertible seat behind the driver’s seat and a booster seat in the third row. This, oddly, is the EXACT configuration of carseats in my car. Exactly.

So, here’s my theory…
Either I have a Single White Female situation going on and this childless person is trying to take over my life OR this person is destined to be my friend. Thoughts? Either way, the other car was A LOT cleaner then mine, so it’ll probably be a good influence for me to hang out with this person.

Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes….

And by ‘diamonds’, I actually mean ‘duct tape’. Let me explain…

Since returning to work 2 weeks ago, it’s been a constant struggle to find shoes that are A) work appropriate, B) comfortable & C) match my still very limited wardrobe. I was digging through my closet the other day and I found this pair of suede Nine West pumps.

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These shoes are perfect.  The nude color matches everything.  The shoe extends up higher on the foot, so they’re incredibly comfortable.  And, best of all, I bought them at Jason’s store so I only paid $2.09. 

I spent the morning strutting through the newsroom, thinking about my fantastic shoes and planning the outfits I’d wear with them (I know…deep).  Then, as I was returning to my desk with my lunch, something seemed a little “off”.  I sat down and looked at my perfect shoes…and the entire sole was cracked….on both shoes.  Damn. 


Luckily, my manager found me a roll of tape (I referred to it as duct tape, but I believe it’s technically masking tape) and I made a quick fix.

So, what am I going to do now? This tape probably won’t hold my shoe past the end of the day. Do I get my $2 shoes fixed? It seems silly, but these are my perfect shoes right now (I don’t care that they have a skinny heel and were probably made in the late-90’s). I’m not even sure how one goes about having shoes fixed…where do I go? Hmmm…this will require some research.

Until then, I may have to rock some actual duct tape.  Seriously, that stuff is amazing.  Two weeks ago, when I fell and scraped my elbow up, I used duct tape and a paper towel until I bought some bandages (coincidentally, lifehacker recently recommended this).   And I can’t tell you how long my family drove our Ford Explorer around with duct tape holding the headlights together (with a spare roll in the glove compartment). 

While looking slightly more appropriate than the shiny silver duct tape, the masking tape isn’t quite cutting it.

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And on a sidenote, after writing this post, this is what’s going through my head:

And she said honey take me dancing
But they ended up by sleeping
In a doorway
By the bodegas and the lights on
Upper Broadway
Wearing diamonds on the soles of their shoes

Paul Simon

My Motherhood Epiphany

*Yes, I promise that I’ll stop talking about my kids.  Hopefully soon.  But 3 months since having a baby, and 2 weeks since returning to work, kids are what’s on my mind*

I have an aquaintance who is all into childbirth.  She’s a doula.  She’s on birthing message boards.  She feels comfortable giving (sometimes unsolicited) advice to any pregnant woman who will listen.  And, to prove her devotion, she’s got a whole bunch of kids.  In the interest of this staying a LITTLE anonymous, I won’t say how many…but it’s a bunch…you’d need a special car.  And word on the street is that she’s pregnant again.  (I have no problem with people having a lot of kids.  Hell, there are people I work with who think *I* have a lot of kids.  If you can provide for them and love them, then go ahead and make babies!).  I don’t know her well, I see her MAYBE once a month, but sometimes I wonder if she’s more into the process of pregnancy and childbirth than she is actually being a parent.  It’s not a dig at her parenting, she could be a fantastic parent, but this is the image that I perceive.  Anyway, this post really isn’t about her.

I was recently browsing through a message board that I followed when I was pregnant, trying to catch up with my old board-mates, and I started reading posts by women who were just finding out they were pregnant.  In the past, I’d always had “belly-envy” right after I had a baby.  Extreme jealousy that I was finished with the journey and these women were just beginning.  It’s exciting to find out that you’re pregnant and have so many possibilities ahead of you.  But this time there was just….nothing.  I’m happy for these women, and I remember that time fondly, but I’m just sort of over it.  

At some point in the recent past, there was a shift in my psyche.  I’ve reached a place in my life where I’d rather be a mother to children on the outside of my body.  I really like being a mom to my kids.  My kids talk back and bounce off walls and try me every day with their emerging personalities….and I love it.  My job now is to guide them to become their own people.  I’m happy with my little tribe.

I liked being pregnant.  Actually, I LOVED being pregnant.  I felt good.  I had a maternity wardrobe with just enough funk.  I got a kick out of amusing people with how un-pregnant I acted.  Yes, I even enjoyed people rubbing my belly.  But, by the third time around, I didn’t need to talk about it.  My life didn’t revolve around childbirth.  Maybe that should have been my first clue that something was changing.  It would probably be different if I was a doula or a midwife of something else that involved birth.  My job has little to do with medicine or babies or reproduction (nothing, actually).  I’ve got other stuff going on in my life.  I’m just ready to move on.

I’m happy to no longer be a vessel.  From now on, I’ll be a touchstone.

Back to Work….I’m okay

I’m half-way through my second week of work following an eleven week maternity leave. This is the third time I’m done this, so you’re THINK that I’d happily float back, excited to my friends and stimulate my mind.  Yeah…not so much.

It’s fine. I’m not crying on my way to work anymore. I’m not waking up in a cold sweat, panicking that I was going to forget something anymore. I’m okay.

I just don’t really want to go.

After Amelia was born, I sobbed about coming back to work. I was leaving my baby for the first time. It helped that Jason was home by the time I left for work, but I was LEAVING my BABY.

With Zaven, I couldn’t WAIT to come back to work. He wasn’t a demon, but he was certainly a little more challenging then Amelia had been. I’d also fallen out of love with the mom-group I’d found when Amelia was a baby (actually, it was a pretty ugly, everything below-the-surface, break-up). Either way, I needed adults and I needed the newsroom.

This time, I stayed firmly in denial that I was going to have to come back to work. I didn’t firm up childcare until the last minute. I didn’t stock the freezer with pre-cooked meals (I really should have done that). I didn’t even get the random appointments out of the way before I came back (oil change…I REALLY should have done that).  There was never any doubt that I’d return to work.  I WAS going.  I just didn’t want to accept it or prepare for it.

Leading up to my return, people would bring it up. “So, back to work soon, huh?” would be asked with either sympathy or excitement, depending on the person. I’d just sigh and cut them off as they were about to ask about childcare (that was ALWAYS the next question). I didn’t want to talk about. I didn’t want to think about it. Like my three year-old screams in the middle of a tantrum- “I JUST DON’T WANT TO DO IT!!!” (and then I mentally throw myself on the floor, kicking & screaming)

But alas, I’m an adult. And, as an adult, sometimes I have to do things I don’t want to do.  I have to remember what I tell Zaven when he asks why I have to go to work- I have to go to work to make money for our family. I have to go to work because work is where I exercise my brain (and, ahem, sometimes write my blog). I have to go to work because that’s where I see and talk to adults every day…and talking to adults makes me happy.  I also have to remember that, ultimately, my children are proud of me.

So, I’m okay.  I’ll be okay.  We’ll ALL be okay.

Just one quick question- Can anyone tell me how to get three kids up and out the door in the morning and then get myself to work….on time?  Thanks.