One of those mornings…..


I rolled out of bed this morning cursing the infant teething process and wishing that we could have another time change so I could gain another hour of sleep.  After I stretched and got my bearings, I went to wake Amelia up for school.  It’s becoming increasingly difficult to wake her up in the morning, so when I walked into her room, I was on a mission.  I stepped up onto the bottom rung of the ladder to her loft bed and started saying her name.  I shook her shoulder and was thinking about finding a song on my phone to play her when she popped up into a sitting position.

Amelia: “What??”

Me: (slightly annoyed) “You need to get up”

Amelia: (looking at me) “Why?”

Me: “You need to get ready for school”

Amelia: “No I don’t”

**It’s at this point that I remember that today is election day… and there’s no school on election day.**

Me: “…oh shit”  (stepping down from the ladder and walking toward her door) “see you in half an hour”

Amelia:   “Well, I’m awake NOW.”

And then my 6 year old daughter spent the next 30 minutes sitting in my bed watching TV and periodically looking over at me trying to sleep and chuckling.

I also managed to spill my coffee on a jumbo pack of toilet paper left in the middle of the kitchen and get a monster paper cut while reaching into my purse for my sunglasses.

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Gooey Goodness

The last couple days have been…rough. I’m exhausted, I’m stressed, I’m feeling a bit discouraged and I’m a little disappointed in the lack of concern shown by some of my friends. I don’t want to get into it…it’s just been a lousy few days.

So tonight, as I was cleaning up after the older kids went to bed, I walked into the kitchen and found this……

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….a big pile of gooey goodness. I guess the world isn’t too bad after all.

I love it when that happens.

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.

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.

The Bronze

Have you ever held an Olympic medal?  I haven’t….but my 5 year old daughter has.

Growing up in Vermont, there were a lot of Winter Olympians floating around.  The guy who was a fixture at the ski area, the girl who’d gone to private school in the area, your friend’s brother’s girlfriend’s cousin.  Everyone had a story about somebody who was either going, or had been, to the Olympics.  There was never a shortage of “Hometown Hero” stories on the local news.

Georgia, while full of summer Olympians, is pretty lean on winter athletes.  In fact, this year there was only one Georgian in the Vancouver Games.  And she’s from Douglasville.

Elana Meyers was well on her way to becoming an Olympic Softball player when….well…they announced that they were taking softball out of the Olympics.  In 2007, she made the move to pushing bobsled.  Three years later she had an Olympic Bronze Medal. 

Last weekend, Meyers made an appearance at our local mall.  Amelia was PSYCHED.  This year she was so into the Olympics and she probably would have been excited to meet any Olympian.  The fact that this woman was from her hometown was icing on the cake.

We got there early because we weren’t sure if there would be a crowd.  They were still setting up and it was actually really quiet.  After the photo ops and handshaking with local government officials and bigwigs, Meyers sat down and started greeting people.  After a few minutes of coaching not to be shy, Amelia walked up to the table and smiled.  Elana was very sweet and asked Amelia her name and where she went to school.  Then she asked Amelia if she wanted to see the medal.  During the Olympics, Amelia & I had talked about the medals and wondered how heavy they were, so I knew that she was thrilled to see one in real life.  After a few seconds of politely looking at the medal, Elana told Amelia that she could touch it if she wanted.  Amelia gingerly touched the medal with one finger.  I thought that it would be a neat moment to photograph.  After I took the picture, Elana leaned forward and asked “Do you want to hold it?  You can.”

We took a few more pictures and thanked Elana.  It was a quick meeting, but hopefully it will be a memory that Amelia carries for the rest of her life (until she wins her own Olympic medal hehehe). 

As we were walking away, Amelia looked up at me and said “That was really fun mommy.  Thank you for bringing me” (Awwwww).  Then she said “Mommy…I know that you didn’t get to hold the medal….but it was really heavy.”   *Smile*