80 Year Old Smoker = Me

So dudes turns out I am sick….well I was sicker….is sicker a word? it feels wrong….I was more sick last week. I am actually on the mend, but you wouldn’t know it from the gallons of “stuff” coming out of my face and the smoker’s cough and the super sexy voice. Let this be a lesson to you, smoking is gross….I don’t smoke, but this is what you will sound like if you do….and it is gross.

This happens about every two years. I have to take one for the team (who’s fucking team is this? and what sport are we playing?) and get sick for a couple of weeks. It is cool. I would gladly do this once every year or two than be a perpetually sick person. That would totally suck and I really feel bad for the people this happens to. Sorry people. One of those people is actually my step-niece-in-law….is that the right way of putting it? niece-step-in-law sounds like something from Mary Poppins and now I want to dance on rooftops for some reason. Anyway my SNIL is a perpetually sick baby. I feel terrible for her. Between ear infections, croup, RSV, pneumonia, and a bunch of other shit, she just totally deserves a break. So while I sat on my “get well island” (more on that in a minute), eating a cup of broccoli cheese soup from Panera and watching Doctor Zhivago (more on that in a minute too), I couldn’t help but to remember that I am definitely more fortunate health-wise than she has been. Plus I am all grown up….or at least claim to be…so I know what is happening and what not. Poor little one.

So Doctor Zhivago is fucking depressing yo. Andy laughed at me when he arrived home at hour 3 of 4 and I was like ‘Wow I didn’t realize this was going to be so depressing’. He responded ‘it is about Russia, of course it is depressing’. He’s right, I should have known. I have to say as depressing as it was, I did like it. For clarity and in case you want to watch it too, I watched the 2002 version that was on demand….I haven’t seen the older one, but I have heard good things…..I imagine it is still fairly depressing though.

Get Well Island: What is that? So when I was itty bitty this is what my parents dubbed the couch when we were sick. One of them would stay home with us and build us an area on the couch with pillows and blankets. Then on the coffee table there would be a cup of water, tissues (if required), perhaps a plate of snacks, books, crayons, whatever. They would sometimes go out and get you special “get well” stuff like the generic version of 7 Up, popsicles, a favorite movie….man we were spoiled. Anyway, on Get Well Island we would stay, alternating between naps, watching movies, chatting with mom or dad, or reading until we got better. A pretty magical notion as I remember it. Anyway, I still maintain this tradition of building a Get Well Island for myself and I am certain I will do the same for Jack.

As mentioned this go-round my Get Well snacks included soup from Panera. I sort of hit the Jack Pot this time because I ordered it to go and grabbed my bag without looking. Turns out I got two bowls of broccoli cheese soup instead of just one!…..more accurately though, I think I might have stolen someone else’s bag. oops. Hopefully my fortunate day didn’t require someone else to have a shitty one.

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Women do the sewing, Men make the bullets

Andy and I do not have a “traditional” marriage. I win the bread and more often than not he turns that bread into cooked slabs of meat. To say that he does the cooking is a misnomer. He does the meat making though……whoa….that is really dirty……and now I have visions of him topless with smudges of grease on his cheeks….torn jeans….I am going to store those in the bank for sexy time.

Moving forward. I cook sometimes, but I make things like spaghetti, tacos, grilled cheese and tomato soup……Andy has his own way of eating. It is called ramen and steak. The variation comes in the type of meat. Sometimes lamb, sometimes elk, most often beef, you get the idea. So even when I cook, he doesn’t eat my cooking. Therefore it feels like I can’t really claim that I make us dinner every night because really I just make me dinner and then give Jack pieces of it. Thank God I have a kid now, so I can at least pretend like someone enjoys my cooking. He likes to eat dirt and the plastic ends off the door stoppers, so he is an easy critic.

I was a vegetarian for like 5 years or something, who can really remember the details (read: I am getting old) so whilst (ooo my favorite word!) I do partake in meaty pleasures these days, I am also perfectly content going several days sans animal protein. But when I do get the inkling I turn to the doodalood and he delivers let me tell ya. Basically this narrative is just to illustrate that we have some blurred roles on our hands. He cooks/I cook – that’s trivial. I usually mow the lawn and he does the majority of the childcare….basically it is a mixed bag. It works. He still feels manly and what not. Things are peachy.

Every once in a while a conversation will playfully bring up traditional gender roles. And it cracks my shit up. Today for example, we were texting about our upcoming vacation to visit his Marine buddy. His buddy is having some trouble teaching his wife how to shoot, so asked if I would teach her while we’re down there. Additionally Andy asked if I would sew some sort of harness so that he can strap Jack onto his body armor (kidding! don’t call CPS) and run around with him. I said sure to both, but it got me to thinking we need to get some practice in before.

I just got a new gun for Christmas, her name is Alice, she’s the shit, but the opportunity to live fire her hasn’t come up……if you are just joining us, yes I am the same chick who cloth diapers, got henna-painted and did a home birth. I could write pages on the conundrum that is me. I just wanted to check because you might have thought you wandered off to some other blog. Anyway, I suggested that he and I go shoot on Friday afternoon and he texted back “sure, we need to make some more ammo”.

Being the smart-ass that I am I said “that is man’s work. You make the ammo, I will do the sewing”.

It Has Been Decided

I am not intentionally avoiding my blog. I have just been super busy with work and life. But when I realized that the last post I wrote was a “Whoa is me” post, I was like ‘they are going to think I am still wallowing in self-pity’. Not the case I assure you. I am pretty much over it. It sucks, but whatever. Life goes on and I am definitely not the type of person who likes to stay down for long.

As you might remember, I got up on my soapbox a while back about how silly 1st birthday parties are…..wait did I ever write about that? I don’t remember. My real life and my “imaginary life” (as Andy likes to call blogging) gets confused. Here’s my stance, the kid doesn’t care about getting presents at all. And usually it is just an awkward dance between parents and babies where the mom is like ‘hey! Loooook buddy! looook….hey! hey! over here baby! Isn’t this so cool?…buddy?……buddy come see this…..buddy?’. Yeah the kid could care less about his presents. Give him a plastic bottle and he will be more entertained then the most expensive gift. For that reason alone, I was ready to boycott the 1st birthday party.

I just figured there wasn’t really a point at sending out invitations and getting cake and what not. I thought instead it would be fun to just spend the day with our little family unit, go up to the mountains, or to the museum, or something where we would spend time together just the three of us. Well I told my SIL about it, who was like ‘that’s a good idea!’. And in an effort to be the go-between, in a conversation where my MIL mentioned coming out for Jack’s birthday, my SIL told her we weren’t having one. She was just trying to take the pressure off of me, but apparently it hurt my MIL’s feelings. I never would have told her ‘don’t bother coming for a visit’. She is welcome to visit whenever. Basically….ugh….it just caused a bit of a mess. Of course then I felt guilty for having hurt my MIL’s feelings. So….yeah….guess what is happening?

Yep, we are having a first birthday party. Le sigh….what is worse? I have become a party-planning nerd. Um what happened here? Where did my principals go? Two weeks ago I was like ‘um no way’, and now I am like ‘I need to go to a bulk candy store to see if they have gummy sharks’……who is this person?…..Damn it!

So it really isn’t a big deal to throw a small party to make my in-laws happy. Whatever. They should get to celebrate my kid’s birthday if they want to. I need a good excuse to deep clean my house anyway. And I guess getting excited about it is okay too. I know Jack likes cake and ice cream, so I am kind of excited to see if he will just dive in and go wild. The presents situation is unavoidable, I have tried to tell them to not buy him presents, but they do it anyway….thus how I have a shit ton of noise-making thingies post-christmas. But my plan is to attempt to completely forget about opening presents. Plus it is only going to be Jack’s grandparents (all in one house, lots of family drama, this could get fun), his aunt and a few close friends. I think it will be okay……I hope.

So I decided on a theme after finding an adorable invite with a shark on it. Then I got a little crazy and started thinking about making sandwiches with fins and what not. I have since talked myself off of the Martha Stewart cliff and landed somewhere in the middle. There will be cupcakes and because one of my besties is a caterer/baker/mini-martha-stewart she will be making a watermelon (pending if they are in season) that looks like a shark with fruit in it’s mouth……this is what happens when you tell your caterer/baker/mini-martha bestie you are throwing a birthday party. Other than that….there will just be lots of beer.

The Post Where I Feel Incredibly Sorry For Myself – Just Skip It

The title should give you fair warning. Just get out now while you can. I am not really sure who I pissed off, but apparently the career gods are really against me these past couple of weeks. Here’s a rundown of how I have been karmically shit on recently:

About a month ago, in the evening my phone kept buzzing. It was when we were touring the new daycare. I realized I had missed 5 calls from my boss, and he called again, so I excused myself for a second, answered and asked him if I could call him back in a few minutes. Apparently I wasn’t fast enough for him because as we were filling out paperwork he called again. What the hell? Finally when we got in the car I called him back. He was in a frenzy of excitement and said ‘I am just going to throw this out there, you can take time to talk to Andy about it, but can you move to China for a couple of months’. Let me back up a second. Do you remember like forever ago when I was cryptically saying “Something really exciting might happen at work?” It’s cool if you don’t remember, it was like 4 months ago. Anyway, that was the cool thing. And here it was actually happening! Holy crap.

I turned to Andy and within a minute he was like ‘sure!’. Obviously we are kind of in the perfect position to do this. He is in school and depending on the timing he could just take a semester off. There really wasn’t much holding us back. So as you can probably figure out, last week I found out that I was not actually chosen to go…..but what makes it even better is that the new guy in our office was chosen. WTF? He is a cool guy, but he was hired less than 3 months ago, I have been here for 4 years. Now he was going to China?

I was livid and hurt and a bundle of emotions. I couldn’t even bring myself to ask my boss about it because I knew it would involve me bursting into tears. Not exactly the grown-up way to handle something. I gave myself some time to cool off, but I was going to ask.

The saving grace of that situation is that I was selected to present at an interview for a new project in Washington (the state). I present for clients regularly, but I have never been involved in getting a job, just once we have the jobs already. I was nervous, but also pep-talking myself into it. You are almost 30 years old, this is where you want to go, you can do it. So as disappointed as I was about China, I thought to myself if you go to china, then you can’t work on this project, this would be all yours, no CAD Monkey for you.

I prepped myself, picked out a snazzy outfit, psyched myself up….I was ready. We presented on Monday. I thought it went awesome. I knew there were other firms interviewing for the job, but there was just this thought that we were the ones…..I found out yesterday that we were not selected. Awesome. No new project and no China. My wounds were getting deeper and less easy to ignore.

But before I found out about the results of our interview, I built up the courage to approach my boss about China……well there was some vodka involved, but liquid courage is still courage right? I count it. I had kind of figured it out anyway, but he just confirmed that they were sending entry-level people and he pointed out that they were only sending guys so that they could rent one house and not have to worry about appearances and what not. Fine, but still I was sad. I know it is some sick entitlement complex that I need to get over, but it is still hard to not feel a little jaded about that whole situation.

Despite everything going on with getting ready for the presentation, I took a couple of hours to enter into a quick competition for a new terminal project we are going after. I always try to take advantage of opportunities and what not. Turns out, the project officer liked what I put together and asked my boss if he could have me for a day to help with the project. Shit yeah. I found that out on Monday after our presentation, before we got news of not being selected. So despite China, I thought things were looking up.

Tuesday was just a shit storm. Jack had a fever so I stayed home with him. I still logged on to my e-mail and called in to talk to my boss about everything. He e-mailed me about the selection or rather lack there of. But I was still clinging onto this new terminal project.

Well what do you know, I get into work this morning and had an e-mail from the project officer saying he had passed the work off to another office. Despite the fact that the deadline is on Friday and he only needed 8 hours of help….two days in between now and Friday, you can do the math……but you know, I guess it is just par for the course.

Needless to say, I am in a funk. I know my issues are like a 1 on a 0-10 scale of horrible problems. I am a spoiled brat as I sit here huffing and puffing over this trivial shit. That is mostly why I tried not to rain on everyone’s parade.

The upside: I spent valentine’s day with my little fella. Sure he had a fever, but that just meant more cuddles for me. All-in-all I can’t complain…..well I can obviously as shown from the aforementioned, but I shouldn’t complain.

Don’t Let it Show

Work is a little cray cray this week and I am so ready for the weekend. Let’s just say, today has been a rough day. The one thing that I can always count on to keep me out of the dumps is my ladies. I love them. They make me laugh even when I am sad and upset. There is nothing like a conversation about pooing that will help brighten your day.

Also this helps. My Happy Place

 

BlewYork 2012

That title is a little misleading. Our trip certainly didn’t blow. It was fantastic. But it is the only combination of Blog and New York I could come up with. I am tired people. New Ylog wasn’t much better. At least BlewYork is funny and a little dirty.

Okay on with it. We all arrived at different times, so the communal meeting place was our hotel. Unfortunately I didn’t have a chance to snap pictures as we were all hugging and crawling onto the hotel beds to start our first conversation. Our first outing was to Rosa Mexicano, one of E’s favorite restaurants. It was gorgeous! Obviously I am an old building nerd so I loved the setting, the interior was amazing, and the food, delicious.

This dude, who was not as happy as we were, made us guacamole right at our table. Delicious guacamole.

Here are some pictures of the ladies. The interior was obviously very redish pink and moody, so my pictures aren’t that great.

Amanda and I took a picture at the same time, thus it looks like E and Oak are caught in a photo shoot.

After dinner we walked through Times Square. They have changed it a lot since the last time I was there. They’ve blocked off areas of the street just for pedestrians, they put tables and chairs out. It is quite different. This area of New York is definitely Vegas-esque.

E found a fellow asian to take a picture of us all together

We were all pretty wiped out from traveling, so back to the hotel for a pajama party.

Saturday morning we grabbed coffee and hit the town. We were originally in search for the best donut in NYC, but arrived at said bakery only to not see the donuts promised in the article. WTF? Our 6 person gang not-so-gracefully backed out of the bakery and headed on to Central Park.

Yes I made them pose for me. Look how cute they are.

Central Park was the location of the Worst Pretzels Ever Consumed. We should have known better. A $2 pretzel in NYC? Obviously the price was a warning. The idea was just so romantic.

BU is pretending it is good. But we’re about to throw them away.

From CP, we headed to the subway and down to the World Trade Center. We hadn’t really planned to do anything other than visit, but a pamphlet vendor told us that the tickets to get into the site were free and pointed us to where we could get them. It seemed silly not to go. We had about an hour before we could go in, so we sat down for a slice.

Delicious delicious pizza.

Obviously since we are with this group of ladies, there was need for some sweet treat to follow-up our pizza stop. So then it was on to Au Bon Pain for cupcakes and the most hilarious series of pictures taken during this trip.

BU discovers Creme Brule Cupcakes

BU gets really excited!

The unthinkable happens.

We scooted over to the memorial. We got a little lucky on our timing because as we were coming out the line going in was backed way up. Apparently there was a large crowd of people following us around the city.

The memorial was amazing. We all were struck by the tasteful way the buildings were memorialized. I got chills looking down at the water sweeping into a seemingly empty abyss. Surprisingly this was the site of our first tears of the trip. I think we were all bracing ourselves for a tearful weekend, but honestly we just had such a good time. There was one element at the memorial that grabbed all of our IF heartstrings and tugged hard.

 From there it was time to relieve some engorgement. So we headed to a department store nearby and Kelly, BU and I sat in a stinky bathroom extracting milk. Funsies.

After a quick stop at Battery Park, the group split off into two teams, one group went to get 10 minute massages and pedicures and the other nerdier group went to MOOD. I’ll let you guess which group I was in. I would have graced this post with 8,000 pictures of the rows of fabric, me hugging the rows of fabric, me hugging the people who work there, but they took my giant bag at the door, so I was sans camera. Le sigh. But I did get two extremely cute and expensive fabrics….which I will be doing something amazing with when I figure out what.

After MOOD we found ourselves with a beer craving on our hands. So we headed to an irish pub and rendezvoused with all the ladies. After a couple of beers we were ready to eat again. Off to the subway we went in search of some delicious food in China Town.

Amanda was good at spotting the rats running about the subway.

The picture doesn’t really do it justice, but we were smashed in at the table, but the food was so worth it. We stuffed our faces and barely said a word except ‘will you pass the fried rice?’ ‘let’s order more of this!’. It was delicious. We were going to walk to the Brooklyn Bridge, but instead decided that a drive-by in a cab sounded much warmer. So we hailed a cab and off we went. Next stop Serendipity.

The amount of people gathered around Serendipity was crazy. I am not actually sure how big it is on the inside. All we could see was a wall of people and a guy coming out asked his wife ‘do you really think it is an hour and a half wait?’. We decided it was too late to sit around for 2 hours for a frozen hot chocolate….okay well everyone else decided. Obviously I would have done it. As we were walking our way back towards Bloomingdale’s to catch a cab to the hotel, we stumbled upon Dylan’s Candy Bar. It was like a glowing beacon in the night. Come in, come in – it beckoned to us. And we obliged of course.

After we quenched our sweet tooth, it was back to the hotel we went. For another pajama party, this time with facial massages from BU! Then I braided her hair. No I really did. She has amazingly beautiful hair and I wanted to play with it.

It was our last night all together. We regretfully went to bed and all promised that it wouldn’t be too long until we were together again.

The next morning Kelly took off first. Followed closely by Oak. Soon we were down to just four ladies. We walked around, in search of one last adventure. We located a delicious pretzel to make up for the atrocities of the day before. Then we hopped a cab to F.A.O Schwarz to play on the giant piano.

I found a Canadian molesting Indiana Jones.

Then we found a map depicting that moose are the only Canadian inhabitants.

All too soon we were grabbing our bags for one last stop. Grand Central.

A beautiful ending to a beautiful weekend. A few more tears were shed as we hugged one last time.

As sad as it was, there was one little face I was itching to see again. How I missed this little man.

So that was the end of our quick adventure to the City. It was wonderful to give E a real hug and we all left with our hearts a little warmer.

That Time I Almost Weaned

I promise the NYC trip is next on the topic of discussion. It just requires the download and file-size reduction of many photographs. But I didn’t want to forget to write about this one aspect of the last several days. You all know that I have a weaning plan and what not. I always assumed it would be me encouraging Jack to wean instead of him letting me know he was ready.

Starting early last week, Jack stopped nursing when I got home from work. Rather he would start nursing, suck a couple of times and then squirm away to go play. The first day I just figured he was full. The second I figured he was distracted. On Thursday I was starting to wonder if it was a sign he was ready for the next weaning step. He still liked to nurse before bed and in the morning. Maybe he was ready for the next step.

On Friday, I nursed him in the morning as usual. Then tried again on the plane….three times. No go. When we arrived at the airport to meet my MIL, I decided I should try once more just to see, because he was about to be in the car for 2 hours and he hadn’t eaten in about 6 hours, so he had to be hungry. Not having it again. Luckily I had taken some frozen milk and thought to start de-frosting one of them near the end of our flight…..that in and of itself was pretty hilarious.

So we were getting close and I was like ‘fuck how to warm this up quick?’ obviously running it under hot water on an airplane is a little out of the question….what else is warm? I proceeded to put the frozen milk between my thighs, in the small of my back, under my arm (obviously outside the shirt) and rotate it around finding warm portions of my skin. I started out just holding it in my hands, but realized Jack was going to be pissed if my hands were freezing when we arrived. Anyway, there is an on-the-go trick you never thought you might need.

After my failed attempt at the airport, I filled him a bottle and said my goodbyes.

On Sunday I pumped in the morning and saved it. We had been dumping all weekend. Let me just tell you how heartbreaking that was. As someone who is trying to give their child every bit of breast milk they can coax out of their tits, the first time I tipped that bottle into the sink my heart went with it. But there was no way to save it all. No freezer available. But I saved Sunday mornings, grabbed the ice bucket liner, filled it with ice, plopped my bag in the middle and tied it off.

Luckily I was smart enough to put the bag on the outside pocket of my suitcase. I realized the ice bucket liner was thin as shit and if it melted in my bag….well I was headed home anyway, but still. Just before we got on the shuttle to go to the airport, someone stopped me to let me know my bag was leaking water. I pulled it out, tore open the bag and pulled out my milk. It was still cold. Score.

Normally I would have pumped again before I met up with my MIL and Jack, but I wanted to be full, in case he was ready to nurse. The I made the mistake of putting my pump in my suitcase and checking it at the ticket counter. Oops.

We sat down to eat and Jack started getting a little of the hunger fusses. I pulled out my nursing cover and he was clawing at me like ‘give me your boob already!’. It was exciting. Yes! this is happening! ALRIGHT! He latched on for a second, squirmed, cried, flailed around, sat up. I tried to ease him back down. Repeat upset flailing. Mother effer! I pulled out the bag of milk and we asked for a warm cup of water from our server….btw our server ignored us for a bit after coming over while I was attempting to get my boob in Jack’s mouth. Not sure how much he saw. I choose to believe very little, but that poor man might be scarred forever.

As we were waiting for the water, Jack continued to fuss for food. It was written all over my face how distraught I was. I mean I know we are eeking up to 11 months, but I really wasn’t even thinking this would happen until after he turned a year. Was he really done with breastfeeding besides bedtime and in the morning? I tried not to be upset. But I was. It was stupid……and it is easy to say it was stupid in hindsight.

We were still waiting for the water when I was trying to think of the possibilities. The most likely: 1 – he is teething and it hurts to latch. 2 – he is overly stimulated. 3 – he hates being under the nursing cover. I was in pain. My right boob had a clot that only he was going to be able to get out. My pump was on its way to the plane. I had to try again. So I took him to the bathroom. Latched the stall door and tried again. At first it was the same stuff. Latch for a second. Squirm back, whine, and flail. He wanted to stand and touch the toilet paper dispenser. I’d let him do that, then laid him back down and tried to re-latch him. He’d pull away, want to stand up and look at the tile on the wall. I would let him do that, then lay him back down. Repeat. After a little while he seemed to be satisfied with seeing all there was to see in the bathroom stall and he LATCHED!!!!! Oh sweet jesus. I couldn’t have been happier. And he DRANK! We sat in that stall for a good 30 minutes while he emptied my right engorged and painful side and then the left.

I let him nurse as long as he wanted. Knowing that my MIL was sitting at our table, no doubt our food had arrived and my salmon was getting cold, I didn’t give a fuck. This was one of the happiest moments of my breastfeeding career and that says a lot when there are people taking a crap nearby. I looked down into those bright blue gorgeous baby eyes and reconnected with my little man. I couldn’t say it out loud, because it would have been weird to hear someone saying ‘oh thank you!’ in a bathroom stall, but I tried to express how thankful I was.

Maybe it was a sign he is ready to pull back a bit. Or maybe he was just taking a little vacation. He ended up nursing again on the plane-ride home. I was pleasantly surprised about that one. So it is possible maybe he was just overly stimulated, probably has a lot to do with his teeth. But I have to say, I was really close to taking it as a sign that he was ready to wean from the day-boob. I am really glad that I didn’t give up. Especially because giving up would have meant me bent over the sink in the airport bathroom yesterday with tears rolling down my cheeks as I tried to milk myself. I can think of very few people who would want to see that.