Wednesday, June 12, 2013

She Works Hard (ish) for the Money (and Subsudized Daycare)


I officially went back to work today.

I work as an audiology assistant in an ENT/Audiology office.  This means that I work on hearing aids (cleaning, repairing, training on usage), and that I do a lot of miscellaneous office work.  I am working on getting my certificate in the field, although I don't know if I would find a job at another audiology office if we ever move.

God that sounded boring.

Point is, I work.  Now that I have The Kid, I will only be working three days a week, which is pretty awesome.  Today The Kid started daycare.

I've been dreading this day.

I have heard many opinions from people about my planning to be a working mom.  Some say, "hey, good for you, it's great that you like your job!"  Others say, "Will you be working full time?" and still others, "So, who is watching The Kid?"

I always want to say, "Oh, I just leave him at home with some kibble and a bowl of milk.  I put True Blood on in the background so he doesn't get bored or lonely."

For those people who ask the latter question, I pretty much know their view on the subject: I shouldn't work.  I don't have family in the area, so if I work, it means I need to use daycare.  There are a lot of people who have very strong feelings on the subject of daycare.  I've heard (not from anyone I consider a friend), "do you want a daycare raising your child?"  Well, no.  Does that mean that once a kid starts kindergarten, they're being raised by the public school system?  No?  Okay, didn't think so.

To me, daycare is sort of like school for The Kid.  We don't have any friends in the area with little kids, so it's not like he's going to have any baby friends anytime soon.  I'm hoping that he'll pick up some good habits at daycare (like learning how to share, playing with others, all that good stuff) along with the inevitable bad habits (I swear he learned those words at daycare, Mom.  Seriously, who parents these kids??).

So I brought The Kid to daycare this morning, along with a jumbo pack of diapers, an overstuffed diaper bag with multiple clothing changes just in case, four pacifiers (because... yeah, I dunno), and an anxious pressure in my chest.  I spoke with the gals there, reminded them that I work just down the hallway in case they need me, and left with a lump in my throat.

Several times during the day I thought, 'maybe I'll just walk past to see how he's doing....'  But I was able to hold off until his feeding time.  The great part of having daycare in the same building as my office is that I can feed him during the day, or I can pump, depending on how crazy our schedule is for the day.

My anxiety was wasted, however, because The Kid was TOTALLY chill.  After waking up five times last night (causing The Mom to mutter all sorts of bad words under her breath), he was apparently exhausted, because he napped and cuddled most of the day.  He seemed happy to see me each time I went in to see him, which felt good.

And you know what felt REALLY good?

Going home for lunch and eating BY MYSELF.  I live three blocks from the hospital, so I can easily run home and grab lunch.  The thing is, I haven't been able to be in our apartment by myself since The Kid was born.  Awake, that is... The Hubs has taken The Kid with him once or twice while I napped or slept in, but this was the first time I was conscious and alone.

And man... it felt awesome.  No rushing through lunch so I can calm my crying son down, no eating while breastfeeding him, just me, relaxing.

I felt good at work today, even though it was sort of an insane day, and I'd had very little sleep.  I'm good at my job, and I know what to expect.  I LOVE being a mom, but it was nice to have a few hours off to do something else, to have other responsibilities.  And when I picked up The Kid and took him home?  We cuddled and cuddled and cuddled, and I realized how much I had missed him.

I think this working mom thing is going to be okay.

Friday, June 7, 2013


The Kid was pretty needy today, wanting to be held and feeding a lot. I didn't get much done around the house. He had a blowout in KMart that was just epically gross - poop everywhere. His car seat, clothes, and towel went straight into the wash. It was a warm day, and it felt even warmer to me because my blood pressure meds make me flush. Holding a warm baby on top of that leads to immediate sweating.

But I met my friend Ricky for coffee, and we sat on the square in the sunshine and just talked. I laid down in the soft grass with my son for the first time ever.

So it was a really lovely day.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Future Doctor

Since Matt Smith is leaving Doctor Who after Christmas, I'd like to recommend The Kid to replace him as the Doctor. Sure, he's American, but he can't speak, so the accent shouldn't be a problem. I've been training him to look forlorn when someone says "the curse of the Time Lords," and he's been practicing his own catch phrase (since Geronimo was taken). So far it's just farting, but he's working on it.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

And Are My Arms Tired!

One of the less charming things about The Kid is his refusal to be put down during the day.  This is a fairly new thing for him, and no one seems to really believe it.  People see him with either me or The Hubs, and they're like "wow, he's so well-behaved!"  That's because he's gotten his evil little way.

He doesn't want to sit in his swing, he doesn't want to lay on the floor, he doesn't want to sit in his Bumbo or play with his overpriced jungle-themed play mat.  He wants us to hold him.  And he's specific about his positioning; The Hubs has to do the football carry, and I have to have him as smashed up against my boobs as possible at all times.

Of course, you can't always carry a kid around, no matter what the crazy attachment parents say.  Sometimes, you need to chop veggies or take a crap, so you put the kid down.  9 times out of 10, this results in almost immediate crying, which progresses to frantic, red-faced screaming until he is so pissed that he's making weird cat-noises.

Ashley Wilkerson Photography

And this can all happen within a matter of seconds.

This was the case yesterday.  I was already at the end of my rope when I remembered I needed to run to the post office to pick up mail (because we don't have residential delivery in our town).  I also realized I needed to get a few things at the store, so I loaded up The Kid in the car.  He immediately started wailing, so I tried one of the few tried and true methods of getting him to calm down when he can't be held - I played him some Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, specifically this song:

For some reason, this is his jam.  I love Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, but I have now heard this song a LOT.  The Kid responds okay to some other songs on the album, but "Can't Hold Us" is gold to him (ironically, "Gold" doesn't work so hot).

The song worked for the few minutes it takes to get to the post office.  Once we got in line, however, he freaked again until I started swinging his car seat around.  By the time we got our packages, The Kid was making himself known to everyone within a three block radius.

I tried calming him down so I could take him into the store, but to no avail.  I finally had to carry The Kid in my arms while pushing a cart.  He still didn't like the way I was carrying him (he wanted BOTH ARMS, Mom, GOD ARE YOU STUPID?  BOTH. ARMS.), so he screamed.  That was when The Hubs called.  After hearing The Kid scream, and finding out where we were, he said he'd stop by on the way back from work.  Twenty minutes later, he found me in the checkout line with a crying kid and in a nasty mood.  I handed him the baby and I then cried the whole way home.

So yesterday was bad.  More than anything I wanted a beer, or a gin and tonic, or maybe a horse tranquilizer.  However, I'm on Zoloft for postpartum anxiety, and alcohol just makes me really, really sleepy right now.

So I bought a 12 pack of ginger ale, biotch.

Since I have dual citizenship with Canada, I am contractually obligated to buy this brand.

 Because it's totally the same thing.  :-/

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

New Parents Be All Like Check Out My Kid

Wait... I'm WHAT?

Having a kid is awesome in so many ways.  My little dude just woke up from a nap (thankfully, he slept in his swing! All by himself!  So I didn't have to hold him!  Thank!  God!), and he immediately greeted me with a huge smile.  And then he proceeded to fill his diaper, quite loudly, I might add.  He's currently cuddled up with me on the couch, where he is continuing to poo like it's his job.  Which, I dunno, maybe it is.  Luckily he's sort of laughing about it... not sure if it's because he thinks sharts are funny, or if he's thinking that mommy has to change him.  Either way, pretty cute.

The Hubs and I knew we always wanted kids.  We discussed baby names before we were even married (yeah, I was That Girl).  We actually planned on "trying" (which is a nice way to say making the sexy times quite often without worrying about a baby ruining our lives) somewhere around our three year wedding anniversary.

Yeah.  Because I would have been so ready for a kid when I was 25.

Luckily, we wised up and realized that no, that wouldn't really be the best choice at the moment.  I can only imagine how I would have handled a kid three years ago, when we had crappy jobs and zero friends in town.  As best as I can figure, I got knocked up on our five-year wedding anniversary.  We'd been "trying" (there's that word again) for about 10 months when it happened.

Let me set the scene for you:  It's late July, and about 8 AM on a Friday.  I've just stepped out of the shower when I realize I was planning to take a pregnancy test that morning, at the advice of my sister-in-law.  I was about three days late, which wasn't totally strange for me.  I remember that a pregnancy test is most accurate when you test with the first pee of the morning (the dark, smelly kind.... mmmmmm...).  Unfortunately, being the classy lady that I am, I had already peed in the shower (don't pretend you don't; it's like a bladder spa in there, complete with warmth and water sounds to encourage total bladder relaxation).  So I pop a squat and will myself to pee, even a little bit.  I'm super cheap, so I bought the Dollar Tree pregnancy test that you have to use an eyedropper with instead of just peeing on a stick.  Yup,  So I put the pee on the test, and I hear a frantic knock at the bathroom door.  "One moment!" I say, and then I look over at the piece of urine-covered plastic that will change the rest of my life.  There are two pink lines.  Okay, that's normal.  Wait.  I look back.  There are TWO PINK LINES.

Hoooooooooly shit.  Two lines.  Baby-time.

By this time, there have been several more frantic knocks, followed by a panicked little boy voice saying, "Aunt Jessica, I really have to go!"  I throw on some clothes, grab my magic urine baby predictor and run to my bedroom.  My SIL sees me looking odd (and by that, I mean crying and laughing and hyperventilating) and follows me into the bedroom.  "What's up?" she asks.

I shove my pee-pee plastic magic device in her face.  She's got two kids, so she knows what's up, and there's lots of crying (especially on her part) and laughing (on both our parts) and swearing (just on mine).  It was an exhilarating moment.

My husband's reaction was more understated, because The Hubs is the most chill dude in the galaxy.  He smiled, he hugged me, and he said sweet things while I cried lots of happy tears.  And then he said, "Is it okay to joke around now, or is it not the time?"  I told him to go for it, and he informed me that all the alcohol in the house was now his.

Yeah.  Romance.

So that's the story of finding out I had a tiny human growing inside me.  My hormone levels are a bit wacky, so the very fact that we COULD get pregnant without fertility meds was a bit of a surprise to me.  And now I've got The Kid, who sharts and smiles and laughs and brings new meaning to the words exhaustion and elation.

The Kid in utero, approximately 9 weeks

Monday, June 3, 2013

Well Hey There.

Need.  From Cafe Press.

On March 23, 2013, I became a mom.  I'm still not sure exactly how it happened.  I know a five-year wedding anniversary and an amazing gin cocktail were involved.

And most likely a penis and a vagina, but I'm just speculating.

Two and a half months later, my apartment has morphed into baby-land.  I always said this would not happen.  But there on the ground is the brand new Fisher-Price Rainforest Melodies and Lights Deluxe Gym (which, BTW, did not come with batteries, which SERIOUSLY???).  Next to it is a borrowed and slightly broken (also doesn't make noise, so my kid doesn't giving a flying crap about it) bouncy chair.  To the right is a folded up stroller, and a swing that my kid tolerates for maybe ten minutes at a time, tops.

I don't even want to talk about the bottles and the breast pump and, oh yeah, all the dishes.

I love my kid.  He's so cute it's stupid.  When he smiles, it just about breaks my heart.

Still, life has changed, a LOT.  I knew it would, of course, but there's no way to prepare for this sort of tsunami of change.

This blog is about treading water, enjoying the good parts of parenthood, and trying to keep my shit together.

Welcome.  Please, have a Zoloft, on me.