Friday, January 29, 2016

Friday Thoughts

I'm on week 2 in the new office building and so far so good.  Some of the perks include a barista making free coffee drinks and food from local restaurants for lunch (for a small fee).  Love!!  The office building itself is nice and spacious.  My seat is sort of right in the middle of everything, which I don't love.  I have a hard time working when everyone around me is talking.  I expect quiet conversations to occur, but if people are speaking loudly right next to me, I just can't concentrate.  It hasn't happened yet and I hope people continue to be respectful.

Speaking of work, my boss asked if I would mind transferring a piece of my workload to another group.  Since I joined the company, I've been responsible for overseeing a software program that the company uses.  I designed it and implemented it.  The problem is that it doesn't really fit into my job description.  That never mattered to me because I knew the software better than anyone and enjoyed overseeing the program.  When my boss asked, I was all, sure go ahead and let someone else be in charge, but if that means I have to spend the next few months training someone, then it's not worth it.  I think my response surprised her.  And I was really ok with giving up that responsibility - it meant that I could focus on learning more for my actual role.  But when I mentioned it to the software  consultant I've been working with for nearly 4 years, it nearly brought her to tears.  She said she felt like a rain cloud was hovering over her.  And now I feel terrible. :(  Maybe I shouldn't be so quick to give up something I'm really good at.

And now for something completely unrelated.  See how my thought process works... I've been hating my hair.  Lately it's been so flat and unhealthy looking.  I mentioned it last weekend when I went in to get my hair cut and my stylist told me it was likely a combination of not taking vitamins, post pregnancy hair, and the fact that my hair was getting long.  She recommended a spray for heat styling and also suggested that the only way I was going to get more volume and body was to cut it.  So that's what I did.  I cut an inch off and I'm considering going a bit shorter next time.  It's already much better.

I've never really disliked winter or cold weather and I like the change in seasons that Chicago brings.  But whew... winter with two stir crazy boys is taking it's toll.  I feel like we're all cranky and in need of fresh air.

My baby turns 1 in 1 week.  How?  How is that possible?

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

A Post on Nursing

Disclaimer:  I don't expect anyone to be interested in this post so apologies in advance.  I'm writing this for my own benefit - I like to remember events and life phases.

W was on 100% breast milk for 8 months and I had enough frozen milk to give him a mixture of milk/formula until he was 10 months old.  I was proud of this accomplishment.  Working full time and pumping certainly isn't easy.  W never had a good latch so I exclusively pumped from 1 month on.

When S was born, I knew I wanted to breastfeed once again.  I didn't set any goals for how long we'd go.  If it was working for us, great.  And if it wasn't, I refused to let myself feel guilty.  S was a natural when it came to nursing.  I still ended up pumping because it just worked better for us, but it was nice to have the option to nurse.  S ate every 2 hours and he ate a ton.  Nearly 40 ounces some days.  Every book and website told me that was too much, but they didn't know my baby.  My 10 pound boy was a great eater from birth.  And here we are.  1 year later.  S was on 100% breast milk for 11 months and I've just started supplementing with formula.  I'm extremely proud.  Given S's appetite, I never thought we'd make it as long as we did.

There were a few surprises/lessons that came with nursing/pumping this time around...

  • As this was my second go, I was no longer self conscious about pumping.  I had to ask about the pumping room at work, had to explain the breast pump quite a few times at the airport (a sure fire way to get TSA to leave you alone), and had to explain the large black bag to quite a few people.
  • Speaking of airports, they are ridiculously ill equipped for pumping moms.  The only available spot for pumping was the airport restroom, which had no outlets.  There has to be a better solution.
  • Breastfeeding is horrible for my skin.  From months 3-8, my skin broke out like crazy.  It was way way worse than anything I experienced in my youth.  I had cystic acne, which was the result of hormones.  I tried to remind myself that it was temporary, but I was extremely self conscious about my skin.  So much so, I even cancelled lunch with a friend one day.  That's very unlike me, but it exemplifies how terrible I felt about my skin.
  • Breastfeeding saved us a crap load of money.  I think S would have gone through a container of formula a week.  So roughly $100 per month.  Yikes.
  • Nursing was a great way to lose weight!  I was back to my pre-baby weight relatively quickly!  Woohoo!
  • It was totally worth it to me and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Weekend Recap

Last night, I told A that it seemed like we didn’t have a weekend and I wanted a redo.  He agreed.  We did go out for pizza on Friday night and that was fun.  I arrived first and waited for the guys inside.  I soon spotted them heading toward the door and there was a man walking ahead of them.  At one point, the man turned around, saw the boys, and smiled.  When he came in and saw me, he asked if that was my family.  I said yes and he replied that I had a great looking family.  Aww.  Such a sweet remark.  I know my boys won’t always behave perfectly, but I do hope that others notice the love we have for each other.

Saturday W woke up and complained that his ear hurt.  It seemed odd to me because aside from a runny nose every now and then, he didn’t have any other symptoms.  The boys have been sick with colds off and on since November, but they both seemed to be doing well recently.  Anyway, I gave him a bit of Motrin and he was better.  I went to get my hair cut awhile later and A texted me that W was complaining about his ear again.  I told him to give a little Tylenol.  By this point, the pediatrician was closed for the day.  Fast forward to Saturday night.  We decided to go grocery shopping and I saw 3 different people that I knew – all parents.  Apparently , the grocery store is the place to be on Saturday night.  While there, W was whiny and just unhappy.  He fell asleep in the car on the way home.  I brought him inside where he cried and cried.  I knew he was really tired and there are times where he wakes up crying.  He was so upset, he puked.  I changed him into his pjs and brought him to bed.  No dinner.  He woke at 4 in the morning and I brought him back to bed.

The next morning, he woke up around 7am and said he felt better.  I wasn’t sure we should bring him to the doctor, but A thought it was a good idea.  It seemed better to go on a Sunday when I wouldn’t have to take a day off.  So A and S headed to church while W and I headed to the pediatrician.  Let it be known that I have never been wrong about an ear infection and I was certain this doctor’s visit was going to be a big waste of time.  I texted A saying that W told me his ear didn’t hurt and I hated the thought of exposing him to all the germs at the pediatrician.  I should also mention that W is the only kid I know who loves going to the doctor.  The doctor started with W’s left ear – totally fine.  And then she had a look at the right ear, the one he had complained about.  Sure enough, ear infection.  I was wrong and apologized to W for doubting him. J  I think my guy must have a high tolerance for pain because the doctor said it was significant and W was telling me it didn’t hurt as much anymore.

So a trip to Starbucks and an antibiotic later, all is well.  I spent the rest of the day cleaning and making tacos.  I had hoped to get much more cleaning done and I wanted to finish more decorations for S’s birthday party, but it didn’t happen.  We also learned on Saturday that one of our favorite local restaurants is closing – very sad about that.  Here’s hoping this week is a good one.  Nearing the end of January!!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Weekend Recap

This past weekend was a fun one.  The temps finally got above the single digits on Saturday so A and I decided to take W on a special outing.  Nani was kind enough to watch S for us while we were out.  We started with lunch at the Rain Forest CafĂ© and then we took W to Build a Bear Workshop where he made a bear for S’s birthday.  A few people have asked if W will be upset about giving the bear away.  I don’t think so.  W doesn’t seem too attached to the bear and refers to it as S’s birthday bear.  Of course, we won’t know for sure until the birthday party.

After lunch and Build a Bear, we headed back to Nani’s.  S had just fallen asleep so we hung out until he woke up.  Then it was off to church and the annual chili cook off.  The boys do not eat chili so say got McDonalds while my mom and I tried 8 different kinds of chili.  All in all, a fun day.

Sunday was back to being frigid.  I think the high was 3 degrees.  I am not a fan of January.  Probably my least favorite month.  I ventured to the grocery store to do our weekly shopping and the boys remained indoors.  I made soup for dinner and A got the fire going in our fireplace so at least we had a cozy end of the weekend.

Today is my first day at the new office building.  Pros include a shorter drive to work.  I’m most excited about this.  It now takes me about 30 minutes to get to work versus 45 minutes.  What a difference 15 minutes can make!  The new building has a fancy kitchen, new restaurants supplying lunch daily (for a small fee), and apparently there’s a game room?!?  We also got Fitbits, which was a nice little perk.  Cons:  The company is becoming more corporate and I hate that.  We’re supposed to wear IDs on a lanyard around our neck.  Barf.  I never even had an ID until recently.  We’re also supposed to check our visitors in.  A and the boys have visited many times and they’ve been able to walk right up to my floor – until now.  And finally, last Friday, I attended a funeral and had to use a vacation day.  I’ve never had to do that before.  And I realize I’ve been lucky until now.  I really like working for small companies with a laid back atmosphere and I see that going away.  It makes me sad.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Stitch Fix #6

My latest Stitch Fix was great!  I’m so impressed with the clothes I’ve gotten.  The style is usually right on.  This time around, I made up my mind that I would only keep 2 items max.  With the recent holidays, I definitely didn’t need anything.  As soon as I opened the box, I knew it was going to be a tough decision.  Forgive the horrible pictures.  They were taken after a long day and with a phone so they definitely don’t do the clothing any justice.

First up, the Octavia Alana Plaid and Houndstooth Infinity Scarf and Market & Spruce Wilco Quilted Vest.  In theory, this reversible scarf was amazing.  It had a black and white houndstooth print on one side and a navy and green plaid on the other.  I loved the idea of it.  But after trying it on, I felt like it was swallowing me.  It was just too big and bulky and I didn’t love the material – I’m very picky about scarves and can’t stand to have anything remotely itchy touching my neck.  Sadly, this just didn’t work for me.  The vest on the other hand, I loved.  For some reason it looks like a strange grayish shade in the photos, but in person it’s a pretty dark green.  Something I wouldn’t have selected for myself, but I really liked it on.

Poor S has been teething like mad and all he wanted was to be held.

So I look terrible in both of these photos - oddly enough they were taken at the same time as the following photos and I don't look nearly as bad??  We'll just chalk it up to the giant scarf leaving me disheveled.  Also, the scarf doesn't look so huge in the photo, but trust me, it was!!!  One more thing - this photo makes me want to chop my hair. :P

Next up, the Market & Spruce Fierro Elbow Patch Crew Neck Sweater (could the names be any longer??) and Kut From the Kloth Cai Bootcut Jeans.  I requested this sweater in gray, but only the navy was available.  It was a but snug on me, but I’m hoping it will stretch with a bit of wear.  Let it be known that A hates elbow patches and he pointed them out right away.  Unfortunately for him, I absolutely love them and since I’m the one wearing them, I decided to keep the sweater.  A really liked the jeans and they do look flattering in the photo.  I may regret not keeping them.  I didn’t feel like they were very flattering on, the denim was stiff, and I prefer a darker wash.  Ultimately, I chose to send these back.

Finally, the 41Hawthorne Montreal Henley Blouse.  I really liked this blouse and it’s totally my style.  BUT I already have a couple very similar black and white blouses.  When I asked A for his opinion, he told me the pattern reminded him of the piranha plants in Super Mario.  And that’s why I will never ask for his fashion advice again.  Just kidding.  Because I had similar blouses, this also went back.

I kept 2 items as that was my original plan.  It was a very tough decision and I actually tried on each of these items more than one (except for the scarf – that just wasn’t working for me).

Monday, January 11, 2016

Weekend Recap

There wasn’t much exciting about this weekend.  We were insanely busy despite having no real plans.  W asked to go out to lunch on Saturday and I thought, sure, why not.  So after both boys were bathed and S woke from his nap, we headed out.  W does this thing where he tries to lay down anytime we’re out to eat.  I have no idea why and it drives me crazy.  We’re constantly telling him to sit up.  He’s in between needing a booster seat and not.  When we can use the booster, things go a little smoother, but sometimes it makes him way too tall.  So he was doing his laying across a chair thing on Saturday and A told him to sit up.  Upon hearing this, he started full on crying.  I have no idea why.  I took him away from the table so we would disturb the other diners.  After 2 minutes, he was totally fine and proceeded to eat an entire Red Robin burger and all his fries.  I’m guessing he must have been hungry despite eating a good breakfast.

After that, we headed to ATT so I could get a new phone.  Both boys were good despite having to wait.  S wanted to crawl around the store and was mad that we wouldn’t let him.  I’m sure we looked like a circus.  But after having a dud for 3ish weeks, I’m super excited to have a new phone – with insurance this time!!  From there, it was off to the pet store and then home.  S napped again and afterwards we put away the Christmas tree.  It always makes me sad to see the tree come down.  W was an amazing helper.  He was an ornament removing machine -  I couldn’t keep up.  At one point, A and I realized the top section of tree was missing.  We discovered that W had dragged it through the house, down the stairs, proceeded to climb up the step stool and put it in the crawl space.  What?!?  He did the same with the tree skirt.  Kinda made up for his meltdown at the restaurant. ;)

The boys sported Valentine's attire because out with one holiday and on to the next!  They looked so cute!

Saturday night, I didn’t sleep well because I was cold.  I’m always cold so I thought it was just me.  But when I got out of bed Sunday morning, I realized the house was in fact freezing.  I ran downstairs and looked at the thermostat.  It was 55 degrees in our house.  55!!  I immediately knew what happened.  I ran down stairs to the basement and checked the furnace.  As I suspected, the switch was off.  As soon as W woke, our conversation went like this:

Me: W, did you turn off the furnace?
W:  I did do that.
Me: W, you can’t turn off the furnace.  Our house is so cold now.
W: I sorry for doing that, mommy.

Of course it was the coldest day of the winter so far.

We finally thawed out and headed to church and Starbucks.  Afterwards, we headed home so S could nap.  Little man took a 2.5 hour nap and A helped me clean out the refrigerator.  Exciting things happen when the baby naps.  Ha.  I then went grocery shopping and made one of my favorites – salsa verde enchiladas for dinner.

In other news, I'm completely overwhelmed planning S's first birthday party.  I want it to be as great as W's first birthday party, but I'm so short on time. :\

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

S is 11 Months Old!

Dear S,
Happy 11 months!! We’re heading into your last month as a baby. Just thinking about that makes me cry.
This was a really tough month because you had some semblance of a cold That’s right. Since mid-November, you’ve had cold after cold after cold. 4 to be exact. On the bright side, you typically have 2 bad days and then it’s just a bit of a drippy nose and lingering cough. We haven’t had to visit the doctor yet (knock on all things). You’ve also been teething. Despite that misery, you’ve been your happy self throughout the day. You’ve had quite a few sleepless nights due to coughing and/or teething, but seem to be getting back on track.

You still have 4 teeth (2 top, 2 bottom), but it appears several are in the works.
We celebrated your first Christmas and had three different celebrations. You were not interested in present opening, but did enjoy your new toys and provided lots of smiles per usual. You got to meet extended family members and eat delicious food.
I’m very surprised you’re not walking. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. It’s just that I know you could if you wanted to. You seem to know that crawling will get you to your destination faster so you have no time to devote to learning to walk. You do cruise around the furniture, climb up the stairs, and you’ve stood in place without holding onto anything. You also push your shopping cart through the house by holding onto the handle and walking with it.

When you hear “bye bye”, you wave. You raise your hands for “so big”. You love to cuddle. You dance and it’s my favorite “trick” that you do. You say mama and dada. Daddy says you know what the words mean and you say them with purpose – I’m not sure. You can identify several items when asked: mommy, daddy, Will, light, doggy, balloon…
You still love to eat everything. Daddy introduced you to breakfast sausage this month and you’re a big fan. You also love pizza and meat.
Oh, one thing I have to note. You’re an exceptionally good baby. From day one, we’ve been able to take you anywhere and everywhere – you really are a joy. For the first time ever, you got fussy at church and daddy had to take you to the lobby. We go to church every week so this is quite the accomplishment.
You seem to be transitioning to one nap and have been taking one really long nap mid-day. Not sure if this is a fluke or will continue.
You are our everything and more, S. 1 year, here we come… sob.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Beginning a New Year

Well, the new year hasn’t started off in the greatest way for us.  I’d like to think we’re getting the challenging things out of the way.  S has been battling a nasty cough/cold for a few days now.  His 4th cold since November, which is just ridiculous.  We had plans for the boys over the New Year holiday, but ended up just staying in and trying to make S feel better.  Luckily none of the colds have required a trip to the doctor just yet.  I hate seeing my boys sick.

This is also my second least favorite time of the year – the first being A returning to school after summer break.  At least we have fall and Christmas to look forward to after A’s return.  But once all the Christmas festivities are over, there’s a long stretch of cold winter and no holidays.  Boo.  We do have S’s first birthday in February, but I have very mixed feelings about that.  My baby is growing up. L  We also have a trip planned for spring break, but it just seems SO far off.

As the new year begins, I’m feeling like I need to make some changes in who I spend time with.  I’m hoping to make some new friends and reconnect with a few friends from high school.  I want to surround myself with positive people who make me happy and bring out the best in me.  I feel like I say that every year.  But I’ve been reflecting on a few comments, a few posts I’ve seen, a few events, and it’s time for a change.  I’m not really one for making resolutions, but that’s a goal for the year – more time with people who make me happy and less time with those who do not.

This is a strange time for me.  Every year since 2012, I’ve had plans for major, life changing events – whether it was preparing for a round of IVF or the birth of a child, each year had something big in the works.  And this year, I have absolutely nothing planned in the way of life events.  I’m curious and a little nervous to see what this year holds.

Finally, W has been making me laugh so much lately.  He had a tantrum yesterday and told me he was just being a crabby man.  Lol.  W and I went to church yesterday while A stayed home with S.  Upon seeing that I was wearing a new top, W exclaimed, “Look at you!  You’re wearing fancy clothes!”.  Haha!  My fancy clothes… I do really like this top.