Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Today and Everyday

I wish I were home more. Even better, home with less to do. My having an extended break for maternity leave left me with new insight to the joys and trials of being a stay-at-home or part-time working mom. I also just finished reading a week of entries on one of my more favorite blogs, A Cup of Jo, where she featured a segment on new mothers who work at home and how they juggle their schedule. It seemed like where everyone was still very busy, their set-up gives them what seems like infinitely more time and more flexibility to spend with their kids. This leaves me feeling jealous, even though I chose my profession and choose to keep it. This has led me to thinking of what I like most and least about the stay-at-home thing.

When home, you get to see your child almost instantly. If really truly needed, you can walk through a door and scoop them up. I understand that this is not practical for productivity, but it's possible. I did attempt to ignore the wails coming from the other room when I worked at home one morning, and I am semi-happy to say that I was successful.

When home, you can schedule how you like, and do what things need to be done. The laundry, emptying the dishwasher, vacuuming, make sure bills are paid, read at your lesiure, etc. The downside of being at home, is that there's no real urgency, and your schedule is primarily determined by what your child needs at the moment. I'm really big on chores early in the day, when I feel most productive and doing those things at night after 9 pm doesn't rank high on my enjoyment scale. This is why I now love weekends, and hate when they're filled with planned activities. If I'd be home, I could also spend the day running around town with my baby, either doing things that need to be done, or taking her out to expose her to fun and interesting things, teaching this tiny absorbent person all about life. I miss the opportunities to hang out for even an hour without needing to feed her, or other necessities of just getting home for the day. I hear about how she started to laugh and jabber away, or make funny faces that day when I pick her up, but I don't get to see much of those things until 3-4 days later, when I get to keep her for the day. Every parent envisions the way their kid should be raised, and even when left with family, it's hard to give up that control to how someone else does it, even temporarily.

Benefits of working full time are really my having a break from home-life, and being able to afford to come home to everything we need. I've said since I was home on leave that if I could make the same amount, still do what I enjoy, and work just 5-10 hours less a week, I'd be thrilled. Best of both worlds. It's not to be, for now. Le grande sigh. Really, do you choose to be away, so that you can provide a stable home for your children, or do you provide a "loving" home where material and opportunity are not as important, as long as you're happy? The dichotomy of this ever-lasting question is what I believe most mothers struggle with, even if the decision has been made for them by circumstance.

All told, there are many new ideas I'm working through and will continue to parade through my head, in and out of my husband's patient ears, and back to contemplation again. Anything in the name of improvement! March on...

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Notes from the underbelly

Wasn't that a TV show at some point? I figured I have no "flip side" to account for these days, so I went with something more devious sounding. This entire first segment of this post is ridiculous, so Onward!

I finished Pride and Prejudice yesterday. It was fine. It took about 70% of the book before I became interested enough to really want to see what happened, and the writing finally made sense to me. Discovery 1) I am not a Jane Austen fan. Everything I've attempted to read has bored me and I only try to keep reading because people say they're classics. Discovery 2) why is the Darcy-Elizabeth thing such a big deal? Yes, they were trite to one another, and certain misunderstandings occurred, but that happens in a lot of relationships. Discovery 3) I found it most shocking when he proposed the first time. I've yawned through the movie and mini-series (looking at YOU Kiera Knightley) so I had no real idea of the storyline. Why then, is this considered so great? Enough. I did like it enough to not hate it, but I'm not going to be punishing myself with more Austen. I've since moved on to the Victorian era, and am reading The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins. This writing is beautiful and eloquent and actually has a developing story, rather than obnoxious over-development about characters that mean nothing. I'm also listening on audio and am hoping to whip through it, so I can re-start The Stand. I promised myself that I would finish Woman in White (a free kindle book) before I bought anything new. I did technically purchase the book yesterday, but I'm keeping to my self-imposed word and not switching to that one just yet. I figure, I have all these classics I do want to read, so why not alternate with non-free so I can save some money (and library trips).
Bored, reading about my reading habits yet?

We're slowly making progress on the house, and I finally chose and purchased wallpaper for our basement powder room. It's only been a year and a half that we've been looking at what my husband calls "sickening" walls dotted with Green Bay Packer helmets. The previous owner was a serious fan, and unfortunately, this was the one area of paraphernalia that was permanent. Hopefully it will be cuted-out (yes- cute-ed) by the end of July. Lots to do, harder to do with a baby, but hoping this weekend will be productive.

Boring, boring, boring. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Life with an infant: How did this happen? (and reasons why it still somehow works for me)

It's been entirely too long but I feel like writing today, over other things I should be doing. Yesterday I ate my very first nectarine of the summer. Organic, of course, and it was delicious. Could've been just a tad more ripe, to be more sweet, scrumptious, and delectable, but it was still pretty good.

Husband and I embarked yesterday (after a majorly long visit at the grocery store Tuesday night- with a baby, no less) on our efforts to cook more at home. We made a lentil and sausage soup and it was pretty darn good. We decided it's probably best, after seeing what our weeknight schedule is like, to prep as much ahead of time as we can. It'll be sort of like on Top Chef, only our fridge will be the cooler and we won't be hauling things off-site to cook them. Hopefully by way of cooking our own food, we will get used to using and eating foreign vegetables and fruits, and will end up a might healthier as a result. If we can spend more time together, eat healthier, (and somehow because we're awesome and have prepped everything ahead and only take a few minutes to cook things), find time to work out, it would be the ultimate trifecta.

I promise I'm not delusional. I know that with an infant (she's 12 weeks on Saturday- whoa!), you can only do so much. Taking things one step at a time is my preferred method. I pray that lifting things much heavier and for longer time spans than I ever have before will keep me active and slowly get me back in shape. When I say carrying "things" I mean: an 11 lb baby on her own for 10-40 minutes, or said child in a 3-6 lb carseat basket, a bag full of clean cloth diapers, a diaper bag, a lunch bag, a pump bag, possibly a purse or grocery bag, and any mail I might have collected on my way into the house. You know, carrying them all at one time. Yes, I could take two trips, but again, hello, baby in my hands and when else will I do it? Just easier to suck it up and deal, and then put things away all at once. I know I'm working my muscles when I was still laying in bed this morning, felt slightly like I got hit by a car while I slept.

Despite me realizing six hours of (uninterrupted) sleep (I know I'm blessed over some new parents) is not enough for me, and wishing I really liked coffee or caffeinated tea, being a mother is great. We do get stressed, and there were a couple of teary, tricky days at the beginning, but they're just part of all of this learning experience. Time's flying by, but I am at this point, really very happy.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Latest and Greatest

This week has been filled with baby-ness. For instance, my movement is more restricted now, beyond simply having a hard time putting on socks. It's now a little harder to dress. Or, new and different, is the insistance of baby to get a couple of really good leans into my bladder and pelvic region, so I'm not sure if I'm going to pee my pants in the grocery store or if I relaly don't need to go, like a normal human being. She's also taken with growing really big all of a sudden and using her new-found appendages to jab into me at indiscriminate times. I really do enjoy seem to be enjoying pregnancy for the most part, but feeling like someone is crawling up the inside of your stomach is a freaky experience.

We're avidly trying to coordinate spending and saving to maximize what we've got in the bank right now, in anticipation of future necessary purchases, inevitable house repairs, replacement appliances and cars, and upcoming wedding trip to California in late summer. Airfare to LA area is ridiculous right now! Eep.

I've basically had very little interest in reading many books. I've been reading several pages of Les Miserables at lunch. I'm enjoying it but there are sections that I just don't care about. It's like that at home too. I just can't focus on looking at a book, and prefer magazine articles and my audiobooks on my commute.

I'm prepping for my extended absence at work but it's a little tricky to figure all of the details behind what I do, and making sure people either know how to do them or where to get the info.

I'm done for now I think. Short attention sp... ooh shiny things!

Friday, February 4, 2011

It's been 5 months. Sorry.

Really, if you have any interest at all here and have been disappointed in my lack of blogging, that's about all I have to say about it. Sorry. Life is just too busy, too big, too complicated lately to remember to come back here unless I feel like writing a whole bunch. That's what today feels like, so here I am. I've also been attempting to maintain a baby blog for relatives and friends who don't live nearby to catch up on all the "doings". That's right, we're now nearly 8 months into having a baby and it's all been going okay so far. Lots of doctor appointments, naps, trips to the bathroom, and attempts at eating some healthy food. I'm just starting to get into a grumbly, "this isn't feeling so hot" phase. I'm hoping it doesn't last another two months. Like, if I could keep the baby baking, and go back to how I felt about three weeks ago, with as small a belly as I had then, life would be fabulous!

I've pretty much been relegated to getting exercise from walking up and down our staircase or taking the dog outside in the backyard on a leash. Baby is just scrunching my lungs now, and that's not super fun. I hate being out of breath. My family somehow is putting together a shower, which we're grateful for, and semi-surprised it came together. My friend Bri is helping, and I'm relatively certain that is why it's come together. Looking forward to a nice little party up here, and my mother-in-law and sister-in-law are throwing a small fete down state as well in a couple of weeks! I will be glad when those things are finished though, because we have very little in the nursery, aside from a glider and ottoman (thank you in-laws!), a re-finished bookcase (thank you me- more on that later), a bunch of baby books and decorative items, and about four baby outfits in the closet. The rest of the room is still filled with our junk, an old computer, and boxes. Not baby-ready whatsoever.

Aside from a work trip to Vegas that husband had to take, and my judging dance competitions nearly every weekend in Jan.-Feb., we're enjoying our time as we can. Being and staying in love despite the addition of children is a major life goal of mine. Plus, if our kid sees a healthy relationship in front of them just about every day, I think that their thoughts and feelings will help them develop healthy relationships for themselves.

And, my boss just caught me writing this. He didn't say anything, but it's still embarassing and you can't click off the screen once it's there, so I just had to leave it and hope he'd stop glancing at the screen. Yuck. Guess I'll be gone for a while again. I'll try to make my big comeback at home instead.

Final thoughts for today:

1) I'm upset that I forgot my oatmeal today. I just started to like it and now (even though I still don't like the texture) I'm a fan because of the health benefits and the flavor.

2) I've been itching for some exercise the last few days. I'm actually looking forward to lunch not just because I get to eat, but also because I'm hoping a treadmill is open upstairs and I can get in a 20 minute walk session. Yay for exercising for an easier labor and baby's health!

3) I am so thankful that of his own admission, my husband is volunteering to help clean up the house more. Our dogs make the house tough to keep liveably (is that a word?) clean, and his help will make a big difference in my attitude and energy level!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Taking time out = happiness

I haven't written here in a while, most likely because I'm finding that I'm trying (without really trying) to simplify my life. We lived wthout wifi in our house for several months and while I missed being able to pop onto twitter and check out the lives of my friends as I made dinner, or walked down the hallway to another chore, I can now say I could* live without that stuff. It's not that I no longer appreciate lordvoldemort's cheeky tweets chiding muggles for incorrect grammar, or that I don't want to hear which kitchen necessity so and so requires to build out their cafe, but that's just it. I don't really.
I've also thought about all the great things I could share here, but have opted instead to do other things instead of actually loggin in and writing them down. For example, I've take advantage of my time at work to be productive, spent time with my husband, competing against each other along with the newlywed game on tv, or simply read a book outside while watching the dogs play. I've unplugged a bit, and don't mind so much. I have a feeling that there will be more for me someday to care about, and starting now isn't a major sacrifice. I doubt, that while I've really enjoyed the new friends I've made online, I will look back one day and really remember all the days or hours I spent chatting it up or checking out the latest fashion trends on some crummy website. Just trying to appreciate and grasp at what things are most important. I think I have enough going on right now as it is to fill my time. Here's to being less wired, less frenetic, and less web-tired.

* could, meaning would do it if I had to, but would prefer to keep it around, you know, just in case.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Lazy Sunday

Here I am, 8 am on a Sunday morning, hanging with my puppies. I've been awake for over an hour-I slept in 'til nearly 7! We had a very nice dinner at a German restaurant last night with a whole group of friends. It was the usual, guys-side, girls-side of the table, complete with odd looks from each side, when some bit of conversation was ear-catching. I'm pretty psyched that we're seeing most of the group again in a couple of weeks for a clam bake. The guys are currently in the midst of making selections for the most important event of the Fall- fantasy football. Good thing I enjoy football and (almost) take more interest in his team than he does (shh!).

And so, (don't we love that heinous example of sentence construction?) I plan to spend my day reading, changing the sheets, putting dishes away, at least one load of laundry, and perhaps a little shopping out on the town. When husband gets back, I'm very certain we're planning to catch a matinée of Inception, since we've heard how good it really is. Yay for lazy days, complete with movies! That's the latest, see you on the flip-side.