Snow Day

It has snowed several times a year EVERY year for the last several years. And yet, we continue to be super ill-equipped to handle it. It sorta suited me just fine this time.

Our new house has sort of a long, steep driveway. We do not have a garage.

Our new house now has sort of a long, steep ski-jump into a short bank of fluffy snow covered with ice. It was fun Saturday and Sunday, but a little obnoxious on Monday.

I was stuck, I couldn’t get either of our cars out of the drive. After a relatively warm Sunday afternoon, I had hoped the ice would be soft enough that I could get Shelby’s car (which was already sitting in contact with the concrete) up the hill, but no dice. Monday it took 4 hours, approximately 3 zillion pots of boiling water, 2 hoses, and a very sweet neighbor before we were finally able to get one of our cars up to the street. I definitely need a snow shovel.

In the meantime, I got to spend some quality time with my family. And introduce Hannah to snow. (Titanic anyone?)

Hannah Snow

She Rolls Over

Crap. She’s mobile.

10 weeks old. 11 weeks this Wednesday. We thought we’d have more time.

She can only roll back to front. She hasn’t figured out how to get off her tummy yet, her little arm gets in the way. Her impression of tummy time, however, has not improved. That’s the story of life kid, get used to it. You can either do the thing you like and suffer the consequences, or you can avoid the thing you like and be just fine if not a little bored. See me again when you’re 21.

She also “stands”. She is really good at dealing with her head, she can keep really good track of it for the most part now but she sucks at sitting up by herself and so hates to be in the seated position. When she’s on her back, you can grab her hands and help guide her, but she will grip and pull and adamantly NOT BEND in the middle so that she is soon wobbling on two feet, looking around with a jiggly head at all our living room has to offer. Her face is squinched tightly in concentration until you can get her to make eye contact. Then her face takes on whatever emotion you’re displaying on your face. If you have a look of surprise, she’ll raise her little eyebrows and her mouth will form a wide O. If you smile, she’ll flash you the biggest toothless grin this side of 90.

She plays peek-a-boo. She’ll let you hide her face and then smiles when you pull back the blanket/diaper rag/wash cloth. You don’t even have to say the words. She also does it herself, hides behind her hand and then flings her arms open.

Her motor control continues to improve. She kicks, kicks off things, and grabs her feet. She can move her head to look in the direction of talking/sneezing/food. She reaches and grabs, though sometimes she misses wildly first. There are things she still can’t do, like get her hand directly to her mouth. She usually punches herself in the ear first. But then she gets her hands together and uses one to push the other halfway down her throat and then gags, coughs, and grins. She is one happy baby.

If she starts to get upset about something, you can usually turn it around with a smile of your own. She doesn’t listen to soothing voices, she doesn’t take comfort in tight hugs, she requires distraction and direct eye contact. Distract her by showing her a book, using her body to do curl ups, or grab her feet and tickle her toes. Then get her to look at you and smile at her and she’ll usually forget whatever upset her and smile right back.

She let’s anybody and everybody hold her. She doesn’t fuss about it unless she’s already fussy. She’ll share her positivity and spit-up with anyone willing to hold her and bounce her. She likes swinging, bouncing, and flying but NOT dancing. She’s learning to like baths but still hates being wet. She thinks her dad is fascinating.

She’s curious but content. Opinionated but pleasant. Adaptable. Comfortable. Ludicrously cute. And growing up way too fast.

 

I Have Survived, Am Surviving

I had my first official review with a new boss in a new position for a new company. The process was very different than I am used to, and since my boss sits in another state, the process was handled remotely which was a little weird. But I survived. Want to know the best part? She listed one of my key strengths (the first key strength she listed btdubs) as being that I work well with others. I am pleasant and approachable and folks are excited when they hear that I may be assigned to help with something on their project. TAKE THAT HR!

But anyway.

We had a tenant carrot dangled in our faces only to have it completely disappear. We got an email from the property manager asking if we were negotiable on the rent price for our townhouse. We responded that we were. And then nothing. Boo. But at least it’s being shown?

We have a unique issue which I am hopeful will go away soon, one way or another. We (and by we I mean a contractor friend of ours) installed an over the range microwave where an over the range  microwave had not previously been. So if we have the front porch light on in addition to the kitchen and Christmas tree lights, we trip a circuit every time we microwave something. So that’s stupid. Either the issue will resolve itself when we no longer have 45 strings of lights plugged in (which will be any day now, surely) or the contractor friend will be coming over to fix it. More on this riveting story in the future.

The baby is adorable as ever. She is sleeping through the night mostly. More often than not, she “naps” sometime between 7 and 10p. These “naps” are generally just milk-drunk dozes for 30 – 40 minutes before she wakes up gassy and ready to eat again. I take her upstairs around 10 or 10:30 and get her settled for the final feed and put her to sleep at around 10:30 or 11. More often than not, she then sleeps until my alarm wakes us up at 6am (what the crap job, 6am?). Occasionally, she might wake up at 5:30a or as early as 4, but these are becoming more rare. I think she would actually sleep longer if I didn’t have to feed her. This would be freakin amazing IF I actually slept that well as well. But I don’t. Cuz, I don’t know, stuff?

Last night was better, I only woke up twice; once at 1am and again at 4. I went to bed stressed that the dishwasher wasn’t going to get started and so all the bottles and pump parts wouldn’t be cleaned and then I would literally explode or dry up today at work and so that’s why I woke up at 1 (I’m assuming). I went down and loaded the dishwasher myself and started it and went back upstairs to try and settle down. I don’t know why I woke up at 4. Full funbags I guess? I usually pump once at night to keep up my supply and have a little extra for Hannah who is a total milk monster during the day. I decided not to pump this time though. It was close enough to our wake up time, we had a late night, and I just didn’t feel like it so there. But I was still up so I went down and unloaded the dishwasher and packed all my pump parts and filled the bottles for Hannah’s lunch etc today. Yay for middle of the night chores!

But also, I have a blocked duct. Or possibly mastitis. Or maybe thrush. But definitely something. My right bewb is not OK. I’ve been trying all of the recommendations to fix it naturally (offering it first, offering it second, offering when she’s drowsy, offering when she’s fully awake, rotating nursing positions, laying her on the floor and feeding from overhead, pumping more, pumping less, pumping first and then offering) but so far I think all I’ve done is move the pain around rather than fix the underlying problem. She and I have had trouble with this side since she was born. I’ve had a change in benefits but do not have benefit cards or anything yet, and I’m still secretly hoping that if I hold out just a little longer, everything will magic itself, so I haven’t scheduled an appointment to have it checked out. I don’t even know who I would do that with. The midwives? My GP who I haven’t seen since May 2014? The pediatrician in case it’s thrush?

And speaking of May 2014, that’s about the last time I had my eyes checked and clearly my prescription has changed. Sounds about right for the last official dental cleaning and haircut as well. Guess I should take a day off for basic human wellness and personal hygiene but that seems exhausting. We’ve just gotten the hang of showering daily.

Ug. Here is her cuteness being all little and cute. ZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzz.

Sleeping Beauty

Oh the Agony

Company 1 is a global leader in service z with a small division specializing in service y. Company 2 is a global leader in service y with a small division specializing in service z. Company 1 bought Company 2. This turned out to be more of a merger in which Company 2 is absorbing service y from Company 1. I work for the service y division of Company 1.

Everything’s messed up.

As you would expect, most people in my division are messed up. Firewalls and protection filters and server issues plague all of our access. But add in that half of the change over occurred while I was on leave and I get a whole unique brand of messed up. The past 12 days have been very bizarre.

As part of the transition, our company email addresses changed. This required some sort of conversion in the way we log in to Outlook or the way Outlook is presented or whatever. Most people had a hiccup, a glitch, but after a quick “plug-in” or something (I will never be accused of understanding the logistics of IT) everything went from one Outlook to the other. I, however, was dropped from any standing appointments on my calendar. I have no invites to group meetings, training calls, 1 on 1 conversations with my boss… With 2016 just starting, there have been a lot of these type situations in the last several days. A lot of these type situations that I have been late to. Or have not shown up to at all. Because I have been dropped off the planet as far as Outlook is concerned.

My boss has been very forgiving, knowing that I am still sorting through individual issues as they crop up that the rest of the team handled as a group 2 months ago. But it still feels super crappy. And feels like I should have a better handle on things when even the ditziest of colleagues can explain stuff to me. Not starting 2016 with the snuggliest of feelings.

Breathe in. Breathe out. Fresh year. Fresh perspective. Breathe in. Breathe out. I’m not in trouble. Breathe in. Breathe out. Remember Hannah. Smile for her. Ahhhhhh. 

And that is how having a kid is making my life LESS stressful, if you can even believe it.

In With the New

Not resolutions as such…more sort of guidelines or objectives for 2016. 🙂

I would like to focus on my confidence this year. I’ve always been kind of hit or miss on self-esteem and my postpartum body has me dwelling deep in the pits of self-loathing. As many of you probably know, with a lack of SELF-confidence, confidence in everything else starts to waver. I need to work on that.

I am a good worker, I have a good work ethic, but I am still uncertain of my new role and what I’m supposed to do with it. I’d like to focus on reeeally training myself and reeeeeeally paying attention since I am no longer about to go out on maternity leave. I want to get back to the level of confidence I had when I left HR. I’d like to learn instead of learn from my mistakes. I want to feel in control of what I am doing rather than feeling like I’m struggling to keep up.

I am a good mother so far, or so I’d like to think. She seems happy. If she cries, check her diaper, try bouncing, try rocking, try feeding. One of these things will work. But this is my first go around, and there are a LOT of things that I feel completely in the dark about. How much tummy time? When and how should we start solids? Potty training. Sleep training. Teething. All these things in relation to each other. When does she need to start going to a dentist? OMG her first cold, flu, allergic reaction…I am assuming I will wade through these milestones the same way we made it through the last 2 months; listening to the pediatrician, researching on the internet, trial and error. I just wish I had the confidence that I’m not missing something. Confidence that I’ll be able to continue the working mother dance without making my child weird. I need to stop second guessing everything we do.

In addition to working on my confidence, I’d like to continue to focus on being more positive. I made some really positive changes in 2015, I need to keep heading forward and not drop back into old habits. Frown less, smile more. Assume the best of others.

And both of these areas of focus should help me accomplish my third objective, which is to be more social. We have a nice new neighborhood with lots of nice new neighbors. They have been very open and friendly with us. I have been “feeding the baby” a lot. I finally took Hannah next door to deliver fudge my MIL had made (to the neighbors that have brought us dessert at least twice, cooked dinner for us the day we came home from the hospital, and bought several new outfits for Hannah), but it took a lot of urging from Shelby, and a lot of deep breaths. It shouldn’t be this hard to talk to people. The neighborhood has a website which I have joined. In this way, I have dipped my toes into social interaction with new people; but even with the entire internet between us, it is slightly terrifying to me. I need to get over that. I need to engage in our new little community. I hope 2016 will make me a better neighbor.

And I need to lose 40 pounds. K? Thanks.

Out With the Old

  1. What did you do in 2015 that you’ve never done before?

Had a baby. Nuff said. (Except I say a lot more about it in many of the following questions.)

  1. Did you keep your resolutions?

I don’t recall making any. Therefore, I doubt I kept any. Though I did start a new job, got a new house, and expanded my family, all of which were on my list of life improvement strategies.

  1. What new lives brought you joy?

Hannah Beatrice, my daugter!  Holy crap you guys, when she is not crying she is the most adorable. And when she is crying, she is only slightly less adorable and my heart shatters for her. She actually produces big wet tears.

She does this thing with her arms, my husband says she needs maracas and he is totally right. She’s stealing noses like nobody’s business. And she smiles at me. And her short little legs. And her long fingers. And her deep blue eyes. And oh my goodness her thighs. Her tiny adorable ears. And her expanding bald spot surrounded by hair long enough to curl over her tiny adorable ears. And…And…And…sweetest face

  1. For whom did you grieve, if anyone?

Thankfully, I was not affected by human loss, but my head and heart are still heavy with thoughts of Bella. I miss her so much.

  1. Did you travel anywhere exciting?

Negative. Unless you count the labor & delivery room, which I don’t.

  1. What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?

Wine. It was a long stretch of sobriety y’all. Now that the babe is outside instead of in, I am able to reunite with an old friend. Hello wine, did you miss me?

  1. What are your most memorable moments of 2015?

In no particular order:

Baby – as in discovery and delivery of.

Baby showers.

Rain showers on the back porch with my mom and Hannah.

Bella’s rapid illness and subsequent death. (Memorable doesn’t always mean good.)

Dr. Patterson’s med school graduation.

Closing on a new house.

Transfer to a new job (and the freakin awesome conversation I had regarding my transfer date).

Early mornings with Hannah, just her and me.

  1. What was your bravest moment and/or biggest achievement of the year?

Beating a dead horse…but…I had a baby? Actually going to the hospital to be induced was pretty brave. I guess also the whole having a baby while moving into a new home while making improvements on an old home to rent (please rent my old home) could be considered a pretty big achievement. A brave and possibly faulty decision, choosing to rent our old place rather than sell.

  1. What was your biggest failure and/or disappointment?

I am still so super fat. I know it has only been two months, but it has already been two months. Aren’t these pounds supposed to just slip away if I’m nursing? And I am still super gross. Stupid pimples. And stretch marks I didn’t know were there since you appeared underneath my flappy belly fat. I am disappointed in myself post-baby. “Give it time.” Give me a break. I spent 32 years figuring out my body, and then 8-9 months re-figuring out what the new pregnancy normal was. I’m tired. Just go back to regular. No? Not regular? I gotta figure this all out again? Grrrrrrrrrr. Pass the Oreos.

  1. Any memorable lapses in wellness?  (Illness, injury, etc.?)

I got in a car accident, but it was very minor. I also got Cholestasis. But otherwise had one of the most healthy years ever, I don’t even think I had a cold.

  1. Where did most of your money go?

Ummmm…….did I mention I had a baby? And bought a house? While still owning a second house? We broke.

  1. Is there a song or pop culture moment that will forever remind you of 2015?

Pretty much tuned most of that out. But maybe the great dress debate? Is it blue and black? Or white and gold? The world may never know. (It’s totally blue and black. I saw a thing with the lady who actually took the original picture. Suckers.)

  1. Compared to this time last year are you (a) happier or sadder? (b) heavier or lighter? (c) richer or poorer?

(a) Generally happier, when I can get the postpartum crap under control.

(b) Heavier.  I haven’t weighed myself since my six week postpartum appointment, but at that time I was still the heaviest I have ever been un-pregnant. I have no clothes.

(c) Totally poorer in money, richer in quality of life. The money thing is temporary though (fingers crossed). We will get out from under one of our mortgages one way or another, the hit from the first time home buyer credit on our taxes will just be a one time thing that will hopefully be countered somewhat by the birth of a new dependant, and the medical bills are already mostly paid. And then we can start to rebuild our savings. But it was all totally worth it (except the townhouse so far. We’ll see, money pit better get someone in there soon!).

  1. How did you spend (a) Mardi Gras, (b) Easter, (c) Fourth of July, (d) Thanksgiving, (e) Christmas, and (f) New Years’ Eve?

(a) We did the usual – nothing.  (b) I think Shelby made a ham since I started eating meat again.  (c) Went to Bynum for a pot-luck with friends and fireworks on the bridge.  (d) Made a ludicrously large turkey that we ate for several days. Spent our first holiday as a new family totally alone. Which was nice, and also depressing.  (e) Christmas with the in-laws at our house.  (f) I took a nap just so I could stay up til midnight. Drank one glass of champagne while we watched re-runs of The Simpsons. It didn’t take long for me to get totally comfortable in momville.

  1. Any new loves/friends/positive forces in your life?

Hannah. And our new neighbors. They are simply some of the nicest people I’ve ever met. In a borderline creepy kind of way. Like, we’ll either get along swimmingly or end up tied up in their basement. Wish us luck!

  1. What was your favorite tv and/or movie?

I think the only movie I saw in theaters in 2015 (that I can remember) was Antman which I thought was fun. As for TV, not surprisingly, I got a lot of Netflix in over the last few months. I started and finished Master of None. Caught up on the second season of Broadchurch. Finished NCIS and Criminal Minds. Ditched Bones though. Found a new TV show I’m still trying to decide about, though largely I think I like it. Blue Bloods. I’d describe it as sort of an amalgamation of The Wire, NYPD Blue, and Law & Order (the original) with Tom Selleck.

We also just found the Almost Impossible Gameshow from the UK. That crap is just bananas.

In the world of cable television, I have watched Castle. (It’s OK but somewhat lacking compared to other series in the genre. I’m a sucker for Nathan Fillion though.) I’m addicted to COPS. Forensic Files. Modern Family. And Pawn Stars. I actually have learned useful information from that show.

(All of this TV is quite literally since Hannah was born. I barely watched before she came as I was either packing, resting, or working.)

  1. What was your favorite book?

I packed most of my books early so read a lot of garbage that I found at work or wherever. But I did read the new Flavia novel “As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust”.

  1. What did you want and get?

Some change in the area of work/life balance!

  1. What did you want and not get?

Medication free natural birth. But, the induction was the best thing for the baby and the epidural was regrettable, but not detrimental so…

  1. What did you do on your birthday?

My husband took a newly pregnant me to brunch which I largely kept down! And then I feel like I had rehearsal or a performance and probably went to bed early. Cuz 2015 was exciting like that.

  1. Anything notable in your fashion or appearance in 2015?

Pregnancy highwaters! AKA an astounding array of capris pants.

  1. What kept you sane?

Well if this doesn’t make me sound horrible – keeping tight control over all the things. Focusing on the houses and the cat and the baby and all the stuff that went along with it would drive most people insane, but having all those things on my plate (plus learning a new job) gave me purpose and drive. It helped me succeed at all of those things in a way I don’t think I would have if I had been less busy. CONTROL CONTROL CONTROL. That should have been my middle name.

  1. Anything in the political arena you care to recall?

Nope. Don’t even know what’s happening. Except Trump. It’s hard not to know about Trump. But I have no opinions I care to express.

  1. Who did you miss?

Everyone ever. Bella. My emotions have been kind of a wreck the past few months. Gee, I wonder why that could be.

  1. Closing remarks?  Life lessons/morals/catch phrases, etc.?

Be careful what you wish for? Cuz you might get all of it at one time. A good catch phrase of the year for me is “It’s a good thing you’re cute.” This comes in handy when the husband (and now daughter) try my patience. Which is surprisingly hard to do.