Monday, March 30, 2009

Simple Life

It is after work when I am making the 20 minute drive home through crawling traffic, honking horns and idiots talking on their cell phones not paying attention, that I long for a simpler life.

Some times I just want to live in a small "one horse" town where everyone knows your name. Where jeans and flannel shirts are the norm for out and about wear. Where people drive pick ups with their dogs in the front seat. Where there is actually a mom & pop supermarket, bakery, shoe repair, and just one stop light. Where going to DQ is stepping out. Where weekends are filled not at the mall, running errands or cleaning house, but sitting on the front porch, fishing at the lake or just being, well, simple. Less stress. Less material things to worry about.

But then I watch the news and see a small town in North Dakota who are living that simple life, put sand bags around their home of 25 years to protect it from the rising and freezing waters of the Red River. These poor people, are farmers and small business owners. As they watch their homes get flooded, family artifacts, their furniture...get washed away, I realize that the lives of those I once thought were simple, just aren't so simple anymore.

That's just my random thought for the day. And I don't really know if I would be down for flannel shirts, but they at least sound comfortable.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Belated Birthday

Thursday was my birthday. It came and went so quickly I almost forgot to blog about it. Hubbs sent me a gorgeous bouquet of flowers filled with orchids, roses, and other types of gorgeousness. My boss took me out to a nice lunch. I came home to find my perfect card from Hubbs next to a new rubber spatula.Why a spatula? For the longest time we have only had metal spatulas but they don't work for the non stick frying pans. When I use the non-stick ones, I have to use a rubber cake scraper to flip things. It is a bit tacky and Hubbs has been grumbling about this situation for quite some time. He finally broke down and bought one, which is perfect. Romantic? No, thoughtful...yes.. He also got me super cute D&G aviator sunglasses I had been coveting for awhile. A bit "Maverick-ish" a la Top Gun. I think they are sexy. We enjoyed dinner at our favorite restaurant in town where I feasted on a filet mignon. It was wonderful. My mom watched Sonya so we were able to have an "adult" dinner.

We celebrated my b-day with the rest of my family on Saturday night at my parents house. My mom made me some fried chicken with mashed potatoes, gravy, soft rolls and shrimp-mandarin salad. The meal was topped off with my requested dessert of carrot cake. My mom got me this super cute long cardigan from J-Crew. LOVE IT. She also got me some other clothes which I so need right now.

It was a good time to be had and I can't believe another year has gone by so quickly.

Food Time

Sonya tried rice cereal last week and again last night. The first time was not so successful. She gagged, made funny faces and looked up at us with a "what the F&$%?" look. Last night was met with a couple of swallows of the cereal. Making progress people.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Where's The Beef?

As we know, yesterday was St. Paddy's Day. No one in my family is Irish, but every year for as long as I can remember, my parents have made corned beef, cabbage and potato pancakes in celebration of the holiday. This year was a bit hectic and it was decided it was going to be skipped. I was a bit bummed but got over it. Then I got a call yesterday around 4 from my mom inviting us over for an impromptu corned beef, cabbage and potato pancakes dinner. I kind of hesitated as it was late and I had already prepared a potato au gratin casserole for dinner plus I had a couple of loads of laundry going. After himming and hawing I decided to go. I quickly put the casserole in the fridge to eat tonight, grabbed Sonya and Hubbs and off we went. I am so glad we did because it was excellent. When I was younger I HATED corned beef, but now I really enjoy it. Potato pancakes are one of my favorite things ever. Watching me eat potato pancakes you would think you were watching the annual Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest. I have serious potato pancake eating skills. Don't be jealous.

Look! Here are super cute photos of my super photogenic daughter. She definitely did not get that trait from me.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tight Wad Tuesday

I've always been tight with money... to an extent. I was raised in a blue collar family. My dad was a carpenter and my mom a teacher. My mom drove a Mercury Zephyr (a white piece of shit station wagon with a bench seat IN THE FRONT!). I wore hand-me-downs when I was younger, from the rich girl across the street and we rarely ate out. Mostly this was because my dad is the tightest person ever. It wasn't until I got a job at GAP in high school that I really got interested in clothes and not until I met Hubb's (when I was 18) that I realized how cool it was to eat out. He was raised where they ate out a lot, mostly due to poor cooking skills in the family :)

Because my parents were huge savers and coupon clippers and very conservative with their money while also putting two kids through college without loans, I have taken those traits with me into adulthood. But I don't think I am as good as a penny pincher as they are. In a sense I am, I only buy things that are on sale, buy store brands (in the supermarket) if the name brand is not on sale and search out the best deal on the Internet for something before I purchase. Rarely do I just buy something without putting some thought into it. I feel the items I just randomly purchase usually are the ones that are not used and just a waste of money.

So due to the rocky economy and my cheap ass inherited traits, I am going to try and have a Tuesday focus blog called "Tight Wad Tuesday". Each week I will focus on something that has great value at a low price. This week is just an intro and next week I will pick an item. I know, super original, but it gives me a chance to get out of my writing rut.

Being home for 5 months I have discovered the hidden treasures in stores like Ross, TJ Maxx and Marshall's. I have them ranked by which ones have better housewares (Ross), better baby clothes (Ross and TJ Maxx) and better designer clothing brands (Marshall's, hello I saw a pair of Hudson jeans there for 75% off!) I have also fallen in love with our outlet mall. I usually did not frequent it much but that has changed. I love the Carter's, Gymboree and Oshkosh stores and have found amazing deals at the GAP and Banana Republic stores too. As you mama's know, babies go through so many clothes so I am always looking for cute outfits for Sonya.

So with that I am closing my first Tight Wad Tuesday that consisted of meaningless chatter about being cheap and finding jeans at Marshall's.

Over and out.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Say No to Strangers

On Saturday night Sonya started crying every time my sister-in-law came close to her (i.e. making faces, trying to get her to laugh). She was fine around my parents, hubbs, and I, but whenever Lisa came around she got pissed. Then last night she did the same thing when my other sister-in-law Juliana and my mother- in-law came over. I am not sure what is going on. Is she going to start going through a faze where she does not like strangers?

Personally, I would feel kind of bad if a baby only cried at me when I came around. Lisa did not mind since our niece did that at her age. I secretly am flattered that I am the one she clings to even though I know she should get used to others.

I have a hard time when people are holding Sonya and being super high strung. In particular, hubbs' mom and grandparents are very much, how do I say this... "in your face" when it comes to playing with her. My theory is to have her discover things. Their theory is to shake things in front of her face (is normally okay to do if you are doing it gently, but they are obnoxious about it) and then they wonder why she gets frustrated. If she cries they chalk it up to her having a belly ache. I want to yell "she does not have a f*&^%*$^ belly ache, she doesn't like what you are doing!" She is a mellow baby and is not a fan of 15 modes of stimulation all at the same time. How do I voice these things to them politely? It really gets on my nerves. They are VERY loving people but are SOOOOO sensitive and I don't want to hurt their feelings at all, but in another sense, she is my daughter and they should respect my wishes whether they agree with me or not.

If my own parents are doing something I don't like, I quickly let them know, they may grumble a bit but I know they will listen and stop something that I don't like. I don't have a great relationship with my dad, he pisses me off a ton, but I actually am quite comfortable when he is with Sonya for some reason. I guess there are just people who are more natural around babies than others.

I guess I just had no idea how fired up I could get about the way people handle themselves around my daughter. I know part of it is just being a mom and feeling strongly protective, but the other part is the people who act weird around her are completely clueless. I want to know how to navigate around these dicey situations. I want people to respect me and hubb's wishes without getting all bent out of shape. Any words of wisdom?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

9 to 5

Back to work today. Was up super late last night getting everything ready. I had to get the diaper bag packed, the pump assecories together, my lunch packed, my clothes ready, etc. I almost hit the snooze button a couple of times this morning but realized that I actually HAD to get my ass out of bed this time.

I was sad after I dropped Sonya off at daycare but my day has been very busy so I have not had a hard time focusing on other things. Plus, my boss and coworkers sent me a gorgeous bouquet of flowers to welcome me back.

Tomorrow I will work from home so this week was pretty easy in terms of a back to work transition.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

15 lbs. and Counting

That sounds like a title for a new TLC reality show.

Sonya's 4 month appt. was today. She was 15 lbs. 4 oz. and is 25 inches long. Got the okay to start her on rice cereal, but I think I will wait until I get my new work schedule down before I try it. Also, I need to get a high chair. I am looking at the Peg Perego Prima Pappa one. It is more expensive but my cousin has one and it has lasted through three kids and still looks good. Does anyone have any recommendations? I want one that does not stand out too much in our dining room, can be easily cleaned and moved.

Off to put down the little munchkin for a nap. She is a bit tired from her shots. By the way, this time she barely cried. Hubb's sent me down the hall while she got them so I wouldn't cry like last time. I was a babbling mess at her 2 month check up.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Work it

Sonya had her first professional photos taken today. Talk about the cutest thing ever. I can't wait to get them back!

So since I am going back to work soon (boo) I decided I needed to incorporate a fitness routine with my new work and baby routine. I remember Jen saying how much Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred worked, so I went ahead and ordered it. I hate going to the gym. I would much rather do things at home. But I don't like working out for long periods of time or else I get bored and lose interest, or maybe it is just me getting too exhausted. Anyhoo, I need something 30 minutes or less which is why I picked this one. Also, I can't find my 20 minute Winsor Pilates DVD. I think I lost it when we moved and am hoping to rediscover it one of these days, like when I decide to go through all of my old Donald Duck trinkets I collected when I was 12, or 18....or 26. I am super bummed I lost it, it really is the best work out ever. It helped me get super toned before we got married.

Either way, we'll see how that 30 Day Shred goes, thinking about starting it on Friday.... we'll see.

Sonya is rolling all over the place now. No longer can she be content on her back on the activity mat, she is now rolling over and over and over! It is so cute.

"Hey Mom, don't turn away, I am about to roll across the house quicker than you can make your microwave oatmeal!"

Monday, March 2, 2009

Wrapping Up

It really started to hit me yesterday. It was rainy outside, I had a bladder infection and a headache. Sonya was wearing a super soft fleece bunny outfit and looked so cute. I sat across the table from hubbs while he gave Sonya a bottle at breakfast, soaking it all in. I was gloomy, grumpy and I still can't shake it.

I'm going back to work in 9 days. How did 5 months go by so quickly? Where did the time go? I have appreciated every second of every day that I have been with our child. I am lucky, a lot of companies have shorter maternity leaves, but it still just does not seem like long enough.

Staying home is not an option. Living in Northern California is EXPENSIVE , even during this crappy economy, thus requiring two incomes to have a decent lifestyle. You don't know how many times I think about moving to somewhere else where it is cheaper to live where I can stay at home. But then you give up being close to family, friends and the place you called home. Both of our families live here. I want my daughter to know her grandparents and not just see them at major holidays. I think about this A LOT. A lot more than I tell hubbs. I know I would be so alone living so far away. My mom is my best friend, I see her about every couple of days, I can't imagine being a 5 hour plane ride away instead of a 10 minute drive.

I hope that once I get back to work, I start feeling better. I think everything will work out in my head. I will be working from home two days a week so Sonya will only be in daycare three days a week, but I just can't shake the guilt that I know is so common to moms going back to work. I know once I am back in the office interacting with my fellow colleagues, who also have kids in daycare, that my spirits will lift, but until then I am blue. I keep trying to soak it all in. I don't want to share Sonya with anyone. I want her all to myself. Seriously, look at this face, how could to you not?

We went to dinner last week with hubbs' grandparents who try to see Sonya as much as possible. While hubbs' grandma sat holding Sonya, I just wanted to reach across the table and grab her from her. I didn't want to share her! I feel bad for being like this, but in a sense, I feel like I have the right to be like this. I am going back to work soon, and I don't want to share. I'm the mom. Period.

The other day I asked my mom (who is a teacher) if she thought that kids that had a stay at home mom had different relationships with their moms than those whose mom's worked while they were little. She simply said "no". We then talked about the two of us and how my mom worked when I was a baby and how she is my best friend now. I did not feel abandoned when I was little because my mom worked. In fact, I actually looked up to her. Even at a young age, I realized the amount of items she could tackle in one day. I admired all that she could do; make use healthy lunches, get us to school on time, get herself to work on time, pick us up from daycare, fix a fabulous dinner (she IS the best cook I know), help us with our homework and still have time to give us undivided attention whenever we needed it. But most of all, we were so loved. I always was taken care of and nurtured without being spoiled. I hope that my daughter can look up to me like the way I look up to my mom.

Each day back at work will get a little easier, but I know there will still be those days that I picture me, hubbs', Sonya, Lucy and Patty all packed up in a U-Haul headed for some place more affordable, where I can stay at home, and be with my Sonya every morning, day and night.