Last night as I was watching The Daily Show, there was a commercial for a new Christmas based horror flick. I had to shut my eyes and plug my ears until it was over. This is not a new thing for me of course, but I’m trying to decide if I am the only thirty-something alive who is unable to watch horror or heavily suspenseful movies. It is not even that I don’t like them; I really and truly can’t watch them. I have deviated from this rule a few times, and have always paid a hefty price for it. I still remember watching Night of the Living Dead in all of its black and white cheesiness, making fun of it all through the movie, only to have two solid weeks of nightmares about the zombies coming to get me. I would lay awake at night and be totally sure that some non-mortal being would grab me, no matter how much I assured myself that this couldn’t be the case. I managed to avoid the teenaged viewings of Friday the 13th movies, and the Nightmare on Elm Street flicks, but did get sucked into Halloween. Halloween was terrifying and probably caused me a month or more of nightmares and uneasy bedtimes. My friends assured me that I was just overreacting, and none of them had similar problems dealing with the scary and gory movies. I assume I am just a freak of nature unable to get past seeing something on television and thinking about its implications in my life.

It seems some people are less bothered by the “slasher” type films because they are so graphic and violent that they couldn’t possibly happen in real life, but I cannot. However, suspenseful films that are more closely tied to reality do have a greater impact on my ability to sleep at night. The movie Seven for instance, will forever be burned in my memory, and I curse the day I relented and agreed to watch it with my now DH. That movie disturbed me so much that I can’t even discuss scenes from it without having disturbed sleep, despite the fact that it has been many years since I saw it. Sometimes the images you don’t see on the screen do haunt you far more than the ones you do see. There have been other movies in that vein, and I don’t allow myself to watch them. I know it frustrates my DH that we are so limited in our selection of movies we can watch together because of my unreasonable fears. He has taken to DVRing movies like that and just watching them when I am not around.

My fear is so great that it now extends to regular network television programs. I cannot watch shows like Criminal Intent, or even some episodes of CSI when there is “disturbing” content, even Medium gets to me. These are all shows that DH likes to watch, so he DVRs them and watches them when I am occupied with other things. Of course commercials advertising movies and even television shows also get to me. I really wonder if this is a problem for me. Is it weird that I cannot shut my brain off at night? I know rationally that I am not in danger, but my mind keeps spinning these crazy scenarios anyway. I wouldn’t say that these fears rule my life to any extent. I don’t alter plans or deviate my routines because I really fear being slashed with a machete when I walk out the door, but as I’m trying to sleep I get caught in this loop that tortures me. Perhaps I just need some Ambien, or maybe I just need to keep watching happy movies and choosing things like Cheaper by the Dozen 2 even if it is predictable and lame…at least I know I won’t lie awake at night thinking about Steve Martin’s family of 12 coming to get me (though it might make me double check my birth control method!).

Still what is up with a Christmas slasher movie? What does that say about our world?


Global warming much?

Picture this, woman gets home from work, changes into running clothes (a light long-sleeved cool max shirt and a single layer of running tights), and goes for a run outside. So you are thinking, what is the big deal about that, people do that every day, why in the hell are you wasting my time with it on your blog? The big deal is that it was December 14th, and I ran outside with only one thin layer of clothing on my body. Not only did I only have one layer of clothing on, but maybe 2 miles into my run I felt too warm and wished I had worn shorts instead. It was December 14th, seriously, in the Frozen Tundra it is not supposed to be warm enough to even consider running outside in shorts in December. That is why I own a treadmill. I don’t like to run in the cold, I don’t like to have to don 3 layers of clothing just to freeze my ass off while running. I much prefer outdoor running to treadmill running, but being the weather wimp that I am I always opt for shorts and a sports bra in the climate controlled house over icicles forming on your neck gaiter because your warm breath condenses in it when you breathe and then freezes.

I know there are die hard runners out there; it seems that one of my neighbors is of that variety, but as far as I’m concerned they are crazy. I am not one of them. I used to run outside more often through the entire winter, at least doing my long runs outside to break up the monotony of all of that treadmill running. I find it difficult to motivate myself to run much more than an hour at a shot on the treadmill, so I would take my longer runs outside and just grit my way through it. Now I’ve decided that if I just don’t sign up for a long distance race that will be run before April or May I can just skip all of those longer runs until it is warmer. I can fit in a 7 miler in an hour or so on the TM, and I figure that is good enough to get me through the cold months in decent condition.

As I was running my 4 miles last night, I couldn’t help but ponder why it is that we have no snow on the ground in mid-December, why it was almost 50 degrees when it shouldn’t be much above 32 F. I started really thinking about the Al Gore documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, that I’ve been hearing about. I haven’t watched it, nor was it high on my list of things to buy for Christmas gifts, but I know I want to watch it eventually. I caught part of Al Gore on Oprah a few weeks back, and even the brief views of the documentary had a tremendous impact. It is easy to say that one day of above average temps doesn’t indicate anything in regards to global warming, but the fact is that we’ve had pitiful snow fall for several years now, hotter summers, and warmer winters. It makes me want to buy a hybrid car, but honestly I don’t feel all that motivated to do much more. It feels like such a big problem, and I guess that makes me feel helpless to solve things all on my own. Is it really terrible for me to say that I don’t mind the warmer weather? It is just too bad that there are so many nasty consequences that come along for the ride.


Just when you think you know

I know I am tempting fate by posting this, but I feel I owe my readers an update on The Girl’s difficult bedtime rituals. For the past maybe 5 nights The Girl has been remarkably easy to get to sleep. She has been so easy to get to sleep that both last night and the night before we were able to simply plop her in her crib, give her a kiss, turn on the Fisher Price aquarium, and walk away. She simply went to sleep on her own. It is amazing to me. Just when you think you are doomed for a life filled with an hour of sitting in a dark nursery and quietly creeping out of the room, something changes. It is just too bad that I have no idea what changed. Our nighttime routines haven’t altered too much, nor have we all of a sudden become horribly consistent. Maybe she just sensed that I was a little fed up with her high maintenance needs (DH does so much better with this…even at her worst he just shrugs and says oh well as he sits in her room for hours). Maybe she is just starting to realize just how nice it is to sleep (I highly doubt that), or maybe the planets are aligned just right and it will all go back to shit tonight. At least I can take comfort in the fact that I got to sit and read a book for a solid hour last night, who really knows what The Girl has in store for me tonight.


I don’t know how it is possible, but I have finished my Christmas shopping and it is only December 14th. DH and I scribbled out a rough list of the people we needed to buy for a few weeks back, and I then converted it into Excel format listing out recipient, giver, ideas, budget, store location, and whether or not it had been purchased. Today I was updating the list and found that the only gifts left to buy are the ones for myself (which naturally fall to my DH to purchase), oh and a gift from the children to DH. I’m not saying that I am completely done with all gift related tasks, as there are still 3 packages that need to be shipped off relatively soon (two are waiting for online purchases to arrive before they can be sent on to their final destinations). My Christmas cards haven’t been sent out either, since we are still waiting for the photo cards to arrive from the photographer. Still, I can’t help but feel proud and relieved to have the bulk of the stress behind me. Perhaps my decision to just plod ahead rather than agonizing over every purchase was a wise one. That and my impulse trip into Sephora where I found gifts for most of the “hard to buy for” women on my list, everyone likes lip gloss right?

Now I guess I have to focus on some menu planning since we are hosting Christmas dinner again this year. Any good ideas for things to pair with roast beef? We are tired of ham and turkey…



I don't think I have posted a picture of my kids here before, but in order to get the gist of what I am talking about you need to watch this video. Yes, that is The Girl dancing happily and enjoying some Christmas music, only to have The Boy come and steal the doll she was holding which made her cry. This type of activity happens often in our house, one child happily playing with something only to have the other steal a toy or otherwise interrupt the play so that they in turn become the center of attention. Sometimes it is entertaining for me, other times it is exhausting, but mostly I've been looking at things from my parents' perspective. I vividly remember playing similar games with my brother when we were young, and it is only now that I can see why my parents reacted the way that they did. Ah, this must be where the "I hope you have children just like you when you grow up" phrase comes from!

Typical scene from my childhood: My brother and I minding our own business, I decide to approach him only to have him tell me to get away from him. I continue prodding him until he says something to the effect of "if you touch/talk to/breathe on me one more time I will pound you to the ground." Of course I could never resist and always pushed that button that was just dangling in front of my eyes, and then got beat up. I did my best girly fight moves, biting, kicking, pinching, and scratching and probably held my own for a while but ended up on the losing end most times. I would then go crying to my parents for help, only to be met with "what did you do to make him hit you?" Not only was I hurt, but I had no sympathetic ears to cry to. Life seemed very unfair to me then.

Now, as I watch The Girl purposely take The Boy's beloved Cars figures away from him, only to run away and giggle and wait for him to chase her I finally get it. The fight was my entertainment as pathetic as it was, and The Girl is getting hers that way too. Hopefully physical violence doesn't ensue in my house in the near future, but I guess I just see it as inevitable at some point. The Boy takes toys away to make The Girl cry too, he knows it is a sure fire way to engage her negatively or not...it also garners attention from the parents.

I would like to find better ways of dealing with this stuff then just blaming the instigator and letting things unfold, but I'm wondering if that is even feasible. I have a feeling that The Girl will just get scrappier and scrappier as the years roll on, and The Boy will refine his methods of retaliation. Amazing how different it is when you are in the driver's seat, and still don't think you can control the train wreck. I just want to take this moment to say, Mom (and Dad) I'm sorry for adding to your grey hair counts.


The snake ate the baby Jesus

We put our Christmas decorations up on Sunday. The Boy has been having a blast playing with all of the “new toys.” He has little conversations between the snowmen, has them take rides in his cars and trucks, and just generally enjoys himself. Last night I sorted through the last unpacked box of decorations and found our pathetic little nativity set (no offense Mom, I know you gave it to us, but the figures do look a little scary…baby Jesus looks like baby Damien and frankly that disturbs me a bit). I wouldn’t have even put it out, but I knew The Boy would enjoy playing with the figures especially since it included a baby (the baby Jesus of course). The Boy started asking questions about the set, and DH was happy to oblige. I expected different answers from DH, since he isn’t the friendliest person about religion, but he did well and fed The Boy the “right” answers about each figurine. The Boy started acting out scenes with the figures, starting with “the fairy” flying in to help the people. DH corrected him, that it was in fact an angel and not a fairy, but The Boy said “no, it is a fairy” in the way he does when he knows we are obviously WRONG and he is RIGHT. As in, you are crazy Dad, I know this is a fairy, why on earth would you think it was an angel, just look at the wings Dad?! Our lack of religious exposure for our kids is really showing through isn’t it?

A little later in the evening, The Boy was occupying himself and we hear him say “The snake just ate the baby Jesus.” Sure enough he was playing with his dollar store wooden snake and had made it eat baby Jesus. He saw that we laughed at this, so the snake slithered over to us and The Boy said “The baby Jesus is in the snake’s tummy now.” We of course thought this was hilarious and burst into laughter. Forget about the fact that we are failing to expose our child to Christianity for a moment because this is just plain funny! I can’t recall exactly how we responded to The Boy, but I think we just let him move on. I’m sure tomorrow the snake will end up eating “the fairy,” or perhaps “the director” (he seems to be calling the kings director, or maybe he is saying conductor). I meant to take a picture of the snake curled up inside of the nativity box, but I missed the opportunity. I’m sure The Boy will come up with something equally cute before this holiday season is over.

Do not go gentle into that good night

When either DH or I are putting The Girl to bed at night I am often reminded of a poem I first read in 10th grade. It is entitled “Do not go gentle into that good night,” by Dylan Thomas. The poem itself is about death, but the last lines seem to apply to my dear girl as she fights her evening slumber: “Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” This is most definitely what she is doing. She knows she is tired, but yet has to fight it off with every ounce of her being before relenting and drifting off to sleep. If only she knew how much fun we will have waking her up at 9 am on a Saturday morning when she is a teenager, just because we can! Okay, maybe we won’t be so cruel, but these long evenings of sitting beside her crib and waiting until she is done playing with her wonderful Fisher Price aquarium are getting to be a drag. Sometimes it takes her less than 20 minutes to fall asleep, but on a bad night it can take 1.5 hours. I realize we are weak parents, and our little girl has us wrapped around her little finger, but I am simply not strong enough to let her cry it out. She wails so miserably and loudly, and sounds so pathetic that inevitably one of us will break down and “rescue” her.

For now we sit and listen and wait for our little girl to rage against the dying of the light, just long enough for her to feel good about going gently into that good night.


The month long cold

If you know me from another online environment, or in the world of actual human contact you know that I am sick. I have been suffering with a cold for the past almost 4 weeks now. I had a few days where I thought I was recovered, only to have the cough return with a vengence. My last post referred to some pain under my left rib cage, which after a little more googling I decided was due to the intense coughing I have been doing for weeks. It makes sense, because I have really been miserable which almost everyone I come in contact with can attest to. I'm sure the passengers I fly next to are oh so grateful that I am adding to the toxic sludge air that is the inside cabin of the airplane, but what can I do?

Monday morning I decided to go to the doctor to see if I could get a real cough medicine perscription, and had secret hopes that the doctor would tell me that I couldn't fly with my current illness. Sadly, I left the office with zero of the things I'd hoped for. I should be thankful that I am healthy despite the presence of an ear infection (seriously other than some strange ear popping that is hard to resolve and makes me nearly deaf in that ear I had no idea). I know the general advice is not to let little kids fly with ear infections because it can be excrutiating, but the doctor I saw passed that off as a non-issue for me. Ugh. She did say I could use it as excuse to stay home if I wanted to, but in my book that is basically like calling into work when you aren't really sick (although in this case I suppose I am sick). If I didn't have to use my "vacation" time to stay home sick I might have considered staying home. So yes, you guessed it I am typing away in my hotel room right now. I'm now taking a cocktail of Amoxicillin, Mucinex DM, and Advil all at varying intervals to handle my symptoms. It is a good thing I got a flu shot this year because if I were to get the flu on top of this I think I would be screwed.


Irrational fears

Do you ever have a minor health concern that ends up blowing up in your mind and becoming your focus for days? I do, obviously or why would I be blogging about it right? My recent concern began sometime this past Sunday. At some point I noticed that it felt like I had sore muscles in the area under my left rib cage. Of course I hadn’t done anything that could have caused sore muscles recently so it struck me as odd. I didn’t think much of it, started telling myself that it could be a side effect of the flu shot I’d received just a few days prior (however unlikely that may be). At some point yesterday while still feeling the sore muscle feeling I started to let the floodgates open in my mind, and of course headed straight for Dr. Google. Thankfully, nothing of interest popped up in my web sleuthing, but I did start staring at a calendar to see when my last AF had occurred. I don’t keep track really because AF with my handy dandy Mirena IUD isn’t much more than spotting. I have no need to worry about pregnancy since Mirena is more effective than female sterilization, so what difference does it really make? I did recall having AF-like spotting on a business trip, but I’d had many in these past few months so it was a little tricky to pinpoint which one. When I’d finally isolated the likely trip I realized it had been 5 weeks or so since her last visit. Just try Googling IUD AND pregnancy and you will see what kind of horrid thoughts started creeping into my head.

When I let myself go to that place it is very hard to talk myself down. I start coming up with “symptoms” which support whatever I have self diagnosed myself as having. After having a few semi panic attacks involving being rushed to the emergency room because of a burst fallopian tube due to an ectopic pregnancy, I rushed to Walgreens at lunch, went home and peed on a stick. Negative, pheew! I called DH to tell him that I wasn’t in fact pregnant, and he said “that’s nice Hun.” I’m starting to think that the IUD may not be the best birth control choice for me, while I love that it involves no effort on my part, it is hard to trust that it works as it is advertised. I am an IUD baby after all (yes when your Mom who had polio as a baby and therefore has paralyzed legs gets pregnant with you when your older brother is just 6 months old you know you weren’t planned!), and those thoughts creep into my head a little too often for my tastes. Of course I don’t want to go back on the pill, and this not having AF business is really nice (if you get past the irrational pregnancy thoughts that creep in occasionally), and I’m not ready to risk a third baby so there it is. I guess I do nothing and live with the freak outs. One pee on a stick episode in the 17 months I’ve had the IUD isn’t so bad is it?


Home at last

I thought I owed my blog a post from home, a truely rare occurance. Yesterday was fabulous, we wrapped up work at the client site ultra early which allowed us an ultra early flight back home. I managed to be at daycare just as The Boy woke up from his nap. He practically leaped up into my arms, and we just cuddled for a few minutes until we heard The Girl shouting from the other room. We made our way home, DH called to say he was going out for a drink and we shouldn't wait for him with dinner so we didn't. We watched Disney's Cars and played with all of The Boy's car paraphanalia at the same time. I made a wonderful dinner of corn dogs, oven fries, and baked beans. DH came home, I gave the kids baths, put The Boy to bed, and then sat in The Girl's room for approximately 1.5 hours trying to get her to fall asleep before giving up and making DH do it. I suck. He does it for 3 nights straight and I can't even handle one night. Oh well.


Slim Fast and Beef Jerky

I don’t like to eat out alone.

There I’ve said it. I feel self conscious when I sit in a restaurant all by myself. It doesn’t feel normal for me to just sit quietly while I wait for my food. When I do decide to eat out alone (while traveling) I make sure to bring a book with me so I don’t feel so lost. Tonight I was faced with the prospect of walking from my hotel to a nearby restaurant solo, or driving to a take-out type place to bring some food back to the hotel. I ended up opting for the take out. My excuse was that I needed some cough drops to cope with the horrible cough I am stuck with from my most recent nasty cold, but eating in my hotel room just seemed more appealing. I also opted for take out last night, so I have now had Qdoba and Quiznos as my fine dining experiences for the week. I decided I needed more Q’s in my diet. I am not really complaining, I get a daily per diem, so I am much better off financially if I do eat take-out since I don’t have to tip and the food is just generally cheaper. However, it makes for some long lonely evenings sitting in my hotel room.

I have been in this pattern for the last few trips, which seem to have occurred every other week through this fall. I am not even traveling alone, one of my colleagues has been accompanying me on all of these trips. He brings his own food with him from home though, and just eats alone in his hotel room (I presume). He is really making out with the per diem. I’m not sure what food he brings from home, for a while there was talk of Slim Fast shakes and beef jerky, which frankly makes my stomach turn. Is this how you would choose to eat if you were traveling for work? I didn’t think so. Perhaps he needs the extra “income.” Whenever there is talk about extending trips he seems willing, whereas I come up with many reasons why it can’t work with my schedule. Of course this could just be my lack of a work ethic, or more truthfully my extreme dislike of business travel in general and my desire to be home with my children and husband when at all possible.

Even though my kids can make dinner stressful, eating dinner with them every night is one of the highlights of every day. Sitting in my hotel room eating alone is peaceful, but it doesn’t even come close to comparing to a dinner at home (even a dinner I had to cook). I can hear The Boy saying “How was your day?” and “my day was good” as I type. Those two phrases which he now commonly utters make all of the “I don’t like this” and “there is sauce on my noodles” stuff fade away in the background…for the most part. I bet my DH doesn’t have the same perspective I do since he is the one having to make the kids Dinosaur chicken nuggets tonight.

Another night on the road...


Business Travel Mom

A good friend of mine passed along a link to this article about Moms who travel for business. At first I was eager to read it because I am very interested to see how other traveling Moms cope. However, the spin of the article seems to be that by and large these Moms like being away because it gives them a break from the day-to-day grind of being a working Mom. I am in no way judging the Moms who say that, because I’d be lying if I said it isn’t somewhat relaxing to come back to an empty hotel room and have an entire evening to yourself. The problem comes in when you are gone for 3-5 nights at a time. Unlike one of the Moms quoted in the article, my DH does not have a flexible work schedule that allows him to accompany me on business trips so the kids can come along. Nor do I have a nanny that could do the same. I’m actually curious to know if the Moms who bring their kids with them while traveling expense (to their employers) the cost of bringing children with, or just eat the expense. The 3 extra plane tickets, not to mention meals while traveling would eat a big hole in our budget. I also feel that DH and the kids would be horribly bored in the towns I end up traveling to. Most of the towns are very small; they are towns where big companies like to locate because labor costs are lower. They are not towns you would immediately recognize the names of. While I would love to finish a day of working and come back to my kids, I don’t think it is fair to expect my family to uproot just to relieve some of my guilt for needing to travel to do my job.

I guess the women in the article are more cheerful than I am. It seems that they are all looking at the bright side of business travel, while I tend to focus on the rest of the crap that comes along for the ride. Maybe I should use my business trips to get facials, manicures, and pedicures. Perhaps that would be more fun than organizing all of our digital photos as I sit in a hotel room. I tend to feel like I need to be somewhat of a martyr when I travel for business though. It is as if I am not allowed to be happy when I am away from my kids, simply because I should be home with them instead. This idea comes only from me, but it definitely is what I do. I think I still need to watch how much “fun” I communicate to those left back home, I really don’t think that they would appreciate me being happy to be away.

I think I’ve figured out why traveling Moms are in the minority, it is because our partners are not too keen on being the parent who is home alone for days on end. My DH is fantastic about my travel, nicer about it then I would be if our roles were reversed. I do know that it becomes draining even for him when I am gone for more than 2 nights though. Two high maintenance children keep you busy, and you get very little downtime until after they go to bed. When I offered to cut my last business trip short because of The Girl’s bout of croup, he immediately accepted my offer. There was some talk about being able to handle it, but I knew he didn’t want to have to deal with it alone. I also felt it was unfair for him to have to miss two days of work, just because my work had me out of town. I did come home a day early, and I don’t think there was any detrimental harm done to the project as a result. The Girl really did need her Mommy, and frankly I was irritated to not be the one caring for her. Some things, no matter how anti-feminist it makes me sound, just belong to me, and one of those is caring for sick children. Unless of course there is barf involved, that is a job that my DH can keep.


Yoga Pants

I have become a fashion “don’t.” I’m not sure when it happened, and I don’t think I can pinpoint an exact date of my fashion demise even if I wanted to. I do suspect that the slide started happening shortly before my first child was born. I vaguely remember wearing the same pair of sweatpants through my entire pregnancy with The Boy. Coupled with a fancy red hooded sweatshirt that at one point in time belonged to my DH, I was a vision indeed. I remember DH trying to take pictures of me when I was pregnant, and I would always tell him not to because I was wearing my “grubby clothes.” He came back at one point with “you are always wearing your grubby clothes.” He was right of course, but I don’t think I had quite realized it yet. Of course I wore work appropriate maternity clothes during the day, but when I got home I immediately changed into those lovely gray sweats, a t-shirt of some sort, and that fancy red sweatshirt. Comfort was what was required after wearing horrible maternity pants all day long, pants that were either too tight or too big, but never just right. Maternity jeans that slowly rode down throughout the day, forcing me to pull them up any time I got up from standing, lest I have the crotch of my pants around my knees. Maternity pants that started out as “these pants are so big they will certainly fit me through all 9 months,” and ended up being too tight to wear much past 8 months of pregnancy. Ah, the memories.

After The Boy was born, I was so very eager to fit back into my pre-pregnancy clothes, but of course they didn’t fit me immediately. Maternity clothes could not continue being worn, because I had spent maybe 6 months wearing the same things over and over and over again, and since I was no longer pregnant just couldn’t stomach the fact that I still needed them. The old trusty sweatpants were so worn by that point, that I am fairly sure they had several holes in them in places pants cannot have holes and continue to be worn in public. I also had not yet reached the point where I found it acceptable to wear sweatpants in public. I think this is when I discovered yoga pants. Yoga pants are wonderful things, they are comfy like sweat pants, but have a nice boot leg that tries to deceive you into thinking they are “real” pants. They are fairly form fitting, which works to their advantage, by the 3rd day in a row you are wearing them they are feeling pretty good. They are somewhat stretched out, but not so much that you feel they need to be washed. The yoga pant also tricks you into thinking they are appropriate to wear in the outside world. Paired with a v-neck top you almost fool yourself into thinking you are dressed up.

Now that I have lost most of the baby weight from both children, I find myself still longing to wear the yoga pants. I love fall weather because it means I no longer have to suffer with shorts, I can hide my legs sufficiently with yoga pants again. I come home from work, go for my run, take a shower, and change into my beloved black yoga pants. The Old Navy yoga pant is very nice, but I just picked up a new pair of Danskin yoga pants, that are giving the ONs a run for their money. On the weekends, I consider myself dressed up if I am wearing jeans. Yes, I have become a fashion don’t. If I ever end up on What Not to Wear, they will have to pry the yoga pants from my hands, or maybe I would just have to hide them in our mini-van. Surely, nobody would suspect that a Mom of two kids under the age of 4 would be so addicted to yoga pants would they? I think I afforded myself too much comfort while I was pregnant, and now there is no turning back. I look at skirts and suits with disgust as I think about having to tuck in shirts all day long. Give me my yoga pants, and I am one happy camper.


Silver sickness

I’m gone and my baby girl is sick again. Have I mentioned before how much I hate traveling? I feel so helpless and useless stuck in a hotel room as my DH is the one to take The Girl to urgent care, and the one who has to take a day off work tomorrow (two days if I can’t manage to get home tomorrow rather than Friday). I want to be the one home with her. My poor little girl has croup. If I thought Mommy guilt was horrible when the kids are healthy, mommy guilt is 100 times worse when they are sick. Business travel sucks. If you ever come across another traveling Mom’s blog, please send me the link. It would be really nice to read how others handle this crap.

I got my Silver Elite package in the mail the other day. I remember the first time I made Silver Elite, back before I had kids. I was practically giddy when the package arrived. I was so happy about the prospect of first class upgrades, and intrigued by the “status” it implied. Now I see it for what it is worth, not much. 25,000 miles of my butt on an airplane this year, I haven’t yet worked backwards to figure out how many nights those miles had me away from my family, and I don’t think it would be productive or healthy for me to do so. I had hoped that I would never make any sort of airline status again in my life when I left my previous traveling job. Now I wonder how I let myself get back here again. Maybe the status will help me get a flight back home tomorrow without penalties for changes, there has to be a silver lining somewhere doesn’t there? Well, I already called and no, my status doesn't help one bit. Now to decide if $162 to change my ticket is worth it or not.


The Tables have Turned

I am the traveling spouse, not my DH, but this week my friends, the roles have shifted. DH is in China, much farther away than my trips ever take me. So far the week has been okay. I have a new perspective for how much DH does to help with the house and the kids though. I honestly think all single parents deserve a big round of applause, because to do this constantly would wear me down. I’ve actually been fairly impressed with myself, as I haven’t been resorting to more television watching time than normal (for the kids). I even distracted the kids when we got home yesterday long enough to make dinner without using the TV as a babysitter. Granted, they just had Easy Mac and peas, but at least their tummies were full. I have had to resort to letting the kids watch morning TV in my bed while I showered on a couple of occasions though. This morning The Girl woke up (she was in my bed after waking up crying in her crib at maybe 1 am, the path of least resistance – read sleep – includes just bringing her back into my bed and snuggling her until she falls asleep again) when I tried to get out of bed to head to the shower. I turned on Disney channel and she was mostly content with one of my not so favorite shows (still tolerable): Higglytown Heroes (someday I will write a blog post about the alternate “heroes” that DH and I have come up with, but not today). I can see her on our bed through the shower door in the master bathroom, so I knew she was fine. I can’t imagine what I would have done in the days before cable TV. I suppose we would have to make better use of some sort of playpen structure on occasions like this.

The rest of the morning at home went relatively smoothly, aside from The Boy not wanting to wake up, and loudly protesting about the fact that I pulled him out of bed, took off his PJs and plopped him on the toilet so he could pee. Oh well, at least he accomplished what I needed him to. I managed to coax him back to happy ever so gently, and I think he ended up forgiving me for the original offense. He watched Little Einstein’s, I took The Girl downstairs, made my lunch while eating a bowl of cereal, gave The Girl a piece of string cheese and a sippy of milk (protein right?), took the garbage can out to the curb, and somehow managed to coax The Boy downstairs to get his shoes and jacket on so we could leave. I even got to work and plopped onto an 8 am conference call just 2 or 3 minutes late. I think that went better than it sometimes does when DH is home. Is it sad though, that sitting down at my desk at work with a cup of coffee has me more relaxed than I was at home all morning?


Johnny and the Sprites

I don’t know how it is possible to have a song stuck in your head for three days, but it is. It would be one thing if it were a catchy tune, or even a song I enjoyed listening to. This song is neither. It is the theme song to a show on the Disney Channel. Scratch that, it is the theme song to a “mini show” on the Disney Channel, called Johnny and the Sprites. If you don’t have little children you likely don’t spend much time watching Playhouse Disney, but since I do have small children we watch far too much Disney Channel so I am all too familiar. The mini shows come on in between the other shows, since Playhouse Disney doesn’t have commercials in the traditional sense (they have plenty of advertising for other Disney shows though!). So, back to my Johnny and the Sprites rant, I will quickly sum up the story for you: Johnny went to live in this house in the woods, to work on his music On His Own, of course. Then he realized it was not just a house, but a magical place, he realized he was not alone. See you are starting to think this could be the good start of a cheesy horror movie aren’t you? Anyway, now he’s Johnny…AND THE SPRITES, Johnny, AND THE SPRITES, JOHNNY, AND THE SPRITES! The sprites are two horrible Muppet looking creatures, and they complain endlessly about things. Mostly I try to change the channel when they come on, but sometimes I am in the midst of getting ready for work and the TV is a great babysitter during that time. The only real problem is that the stupid theme song has been running through my head since maybe Tuesday. I’ll be sitting at my desk working away, and suddenly I’m humming Johnny, and the sprites, Johnny, and the sprites, Johnny! Ugh!

I won’t even get started on the Hot Dog song from the new Mickey Mouse animated clubhouse show; thankfully that hasn’t made it to my internal radio yet. Perhaps someone can tell me what they say at the end of the show though when they say: “We’re splitting the scene, we’re full of (cheer?)” I swear they say we’re full of beer, which frankly makes the show more enjoyable for me. I can now smile about Mickey kicking back a few beers at the clubhouse with Donald and Goofy (if anyone drinks Goofy does right?). Okay, now that I’ve veered off track, I have replaced the Johnny and the Sprites song in my head with the Mickey song. I don’t think it is a vast improvement, but at least it is different. Hot dog, hot dog, hot diggity dog…


A race report

I mentioned several months back that I had signed up for a 10 mile race, so I figured I owe my loyal reader a race report. The race was the Twin Cities 10-miler, and it took place this past Sunday starting at 7:10 am. The race festivities began for me the day before when I packed up the kids and took them to the marathon expo to get my race packet. I think I had a temporary lapse of sanity when I offered to take both kids by myself, but since I had been gone all week I felt like DH deserved at least a brief period of time to be ALONE in the house. He didn’t protest in the least, so I suspect he was happy to be kid free for a few hours. Back to my story, we got to the Expo site and I decided to just pay the exorbitant $10 to park at the closest most convenient ramp, robbery I tell you! I had decided to just put The Girl in the Ergo backpack, and make The Boy ride in one of our many strollers. This plan was working well; I made my way to pick up my packet without incident. However, then I got greedy and decided to browse through the many booths at the expo. The Girl decided this was a great time to start pulling my hair HARD. I kept turning around to correct her, but it wasn’t working. She just kept grabbing huge chunks of my hair and pulling with all of her might. I finally had The Boy get out of the stroller, took her off of my back, and strapped her into the stroller instead. My scalp thanked me, but now I was dealing with a preschooler who likes to wander just a little too far away from me for me to feel comfortable in a huge crowd of people. We had to leave. $10 to park for maybe 20 minutes of expo attendance, not bad for the parking lot owners anyway. I took the kids home for naps, and tried to just relax for the rest of the day. Sadly The Girl fell asleep for approximately 5 minutes on the drive home, and seemed to proclaim “what do you mean I need a nap? I had a nap in the car, don’t you remember Mom?” The afternoon was spent fighting with an uncooperative toddler, and she never did take a nap.

Later that evening, DH and I were discussing the plan for getting me to the start of the race at approximately 6:30 am. Neither of us was enthused about our options, all of which involved waking up children earlier than they should be woken up. Out of the blue the phone rang, and our fabulous DCP offered to come over to sit with the kids in the morning so DH could drop me off w/o having to wake up the kids, problem solved! Have I mentioned before how fabulous our DCP is? I don’t even remember telling her that I was running the race.

The morning of the race, things went smoothly, I woke up, showered, ate, had some coffee, and it was off to the start. DH dropped me off a few blocks away from the start, I walked over and used the bathrooms a few times while I polished off a bottle of water. I made my way back to the starting line, and took my place in the second wave starting gate. Someone sang the Star Spangled Banner, the mayor of Minneapolis spoke, and wave one started. A minute or so later, wave 2 was released and we were off. I won’t bore you with a step-by-step recount of the race, because frankly I don’t even think I am capable of writing one. Mostly I felt good during the race. There were a few uphills that had my legs screaming, but cardio-wise I felt good through the entire race. I let myself walk up one big hill that just always gets to me whenever I run it (from the river up to Summit Avenue). I think my problem with that hill is mostly mental, but my legs thanked me for walking it anyway.

I tried calling DH (yes I had my cell phone in my pocket) when I was maybe one mile from the finish line, to let him know that I was close, but he missed my call. I didn’t realize until after I finished that he had tried calling me back immediately after that call. I decided to just give the last mile more effort than I had been giving the preceding miles, when I reached the Cathedral I really kicked it in. I sailed to the finish line, and was thankful to be able to stop running. The finishing chute is longer than you think it is when you see it from the Cathedral. I didn’t see DH or the kids anywhere near the finish, but we had agreed to meet in the family meeting area so I just made my way through the crowd, got my t-shirt and my free food and found the first letter of my last name sign. DH and the kids weren’t there, and DH wasn’t answering his phone, so I waited until he finally called me back. They found me, and we made our way to the car and headed back home.

My only complaint from the race was that my left foot was hurting from early on in the race and continued to hurt afterwards. I had been nursing a soft tissue injury (self-diagnosis from a visible bruise on the bottom of my foot) for several weeks, and I think the run aggravated it. I’m also wondering if my trusty Asics need to be switched out for something that fits my feet better. I’ve had arch issues before, and they were related to a new pair of Asics, and I think I ended up in Brooks for a time after that debacle. Of course the injury occurred in a very old worn pair of shoes, so I want to give the new shoes I have a few more weeks before I switch them out.

Next race? I’m not sure. I doubt I will run anything this winter, but perhaps a Thanksgiving 5K would be fun.


Last night away (for now)

I have nothing left to say. I am so ready to go home I don’t think I can even whine about it anymore. Okay, that isn’t true. The Boy is sick tonight. DH told me that shortly after our evening Skype video call, The Boy told DH that he needed to take a nap. This of course is unheard of from The Boy. His temp at the time was 103 F. DH gave him some Motrin and put him to bed. Checked on him an hour later, woke him up to put him in his pjs, and his temp was 100. He went right back to sleep. DH had warned me that The Boy was sick before I saw him on the webcam, but he was just so lethargic, it made me incredibly sad. I just wanted to scoop him up and cuddle him. I hate not being there for my kids. There really is no amount of professional satisfaction that is worth this.

I talked to my Mom today to make sure she made it back home safely. We started talking about my frustration with work lately, and she started telling me about how she felt when she traveled for work when my brother and I were young. She didn’t travel much, but even the small amount she did really left an impression on her. She hated being away from her kids. I worry that this is the crap I will obsess about when my kids are grown. I know I am not going to dream about the projects I completed, but I will think back about how my children were at the ages of 3 and 1. I want to remember it, and I fear that if I am gone, I will miss too much to remember.

It sounds crazy, but I have been thinking more and more about the idea of trying to get an education degree. I think I would like to teach math. I haven’t talked to DH about it yet. I know he will think it is a crazy idea. I don’t really want to go back to school, and it really is nothing more than a pipe dream. Teaching secondary Math would likely be a big huge pay cut, and maybe I am not even really suited for something like that. It is still fun to consider it.

I’m sure my departure from this lonely hotel room will mean that my blog will be abandoned for at least the next few days. I will try to write more often though. I get to go home tomorrow!!!!!


Three down, Two to go

Well, since I posted my countdown ramblings the last two nights I feel obliged to continue the saga (so as to not let my two readers down). It turns out that I have nothing even remotely witty to write about, so I will just share a typical day of this traveling consultant with you (with client references and specific information about what I do removed):

Wake up at 5:45 am to the sound of my cell phone’s alarm clock.
Turn off cell phone alarm, which I have to get out of bed to do (why is it that hotels never have available outlets right next to the bed so I can leave my phone plugged in all night?)
Turn on the tv and watch local news until I can force myself up and into the shower
Get dressed
Put on make up, put gel in my hair, brush hair (I am very low maintenance these days)
Turn on laptop, check email, check at least one of my online forums
Turn off laptop, pack up and get ready to leave hotel for the day
Head to the hotel restaurant for breakfast
Eat breakfast with my colleague
Travel to client site
Work all day at client site
Return to hotel
Change into running clothes
Go for a run
Return to hotel
Take a shower
Get dressed again (no make up or hair fixing at this point)
Turn on laptop, check email, return emails if necessary, check forums
Get dinner, walk from hotel, or drive for take-out
Return to hotel
Watch tv, surf internet, etc.
Skype video call with the kids and DH
Miss kids terribly, wish I could be home with them
Remind myself about how many days I have left before I can go home

One or two days of that can be a nice break in my hectic life, but repeatedly it just drains me. I would much rather deal with the chaos at home than live in a hotel for days on end. Whine/over, three days down and just two more to go.


Two down three to go

My self-appointed task for this week is now to find Halloween costumes for the kids. The Boy has been saying for almost a month that he wants to be Buzz Lightyear for Halloween, and I gladly stole the idea from a friend to make The Girl be Jessie from Toy Story 2. I briefly tried to convince The Boy to be Woody, but it was no use, He. Is. Going. To. Be. BUZZZZZ! I found a Buzz costume at Target last Friday, and even bought it, but when I got it home I decided it was too cheap. I ended up ordering the Buzz Costume from the Disney Store online instead. Now I have to find a Jessie costume for The Girl. Disney does have a Jessie costume on their website, but the smallest size is the equivalent of 2T and I’m sure it would be too big for my little peanut. I noticed that Old Navy has some decent looking cowboyish costumes, but on my last visit to an Old Navy back home they didn’t have the right size for The Girl. They don’t have the right size online either. In my infinite wisdom I decided to seek out an Old Navy where I am this week, so I did just that. Unfortunately they didn’t have any cowboy costumes. They did have some cute baby cowboy boots though.

My MIL offered to help us make cow print chaps if we can’t find anything suitable, but I have visions of The Girl’s costume being a huge fiasco with lots of last minute running around involved. Oh well, it isn’t like I have anything better to do right? We planned the next few workshops with our client this afternoon, and I thankfully managed to avoid planning one that would have me away on Halloween itself. I do think I will have to miss the annual daycare Halloween party though (if it happens the week before Halloween). I’m sad about this, but I managed to get 1.5 weeks of workshops condensed to 4 days so I do feel good about that.

I can’t believe it is only Tuesday. It feels like I have been on this trip for a week already. The worst part is that we are only working half day sessions with the client, then using the afternoons to catch up on documentation and other miscellaneous tasks. If we were busy all day I think I would feel better about the length of this trip. I really think we could have squeezed all we need to accomplish into 3 days, which would have had me home two nights sooner. Okay, I should stop wallowing again, perhaps a Skype call with the kids will make me feel better? Two down, three to go.


One down four to go

I am traveling for work yet again. This trip has me away from home for five nights. If I didn’t enjoy what I do so much I think it would drive me crazy, because even though I do like what I do I don’t like being away from my family. It helps that my DH doesn’t complain about me being away, and having to step-up and take care of the kids solo. What doesn’t help is the fact that my Mom came to visit last week, and she is still at my house until Wednesday. When she was contemplating a trip I told her to just buy the tickets and I would work around her dates, unfortunately a new project kicked off and I was asked to be on it. I had been very low on work for most of the summer, so I was definitely due for a new project. I just wish I didn’t have to leave during her once a year visit. Thankfully DH took a few days off of work so my Mom could spend a few more days with the kids (the real reason for the visit).

Tonight I am just hanging out in my hotel room, watching some television and surfing the internet at the same time. I picked up a burrito at a fast food place, and then got some milk, a two liter of Diet Root Beer, and some animal crackers to round out my evening. I am really living the high life now. Business travel is not exactly exotic. I spend each night thinking about how many more nights I need to pass before I get to leave. Certainly there are some perks to being kid-free for a few nights, like having time to post here for one. I would trade the perks for being able to give my kids kisses good night in person every time though. Oh well, at this point whining isn’t helping my mood or the situation, so I should stop wallowing. Perhaps I should find something more productive to occupy my “free-time” with. Maybe I could start scrapbooking, but then I would have to haul all of that stuff with me, and I’m guessing I wouldn’t enjoy that. Maybe I could load all of my digital photos onto my laptop hard drive so I could categorize them and apply labels so it will be easy to find pictures of The Girl when she was 2 months old on a whim, or pictures of The Boy and The Girl together last Halloween. Granted we do have the pictures sorted by date already, but the finer categories seems like a good idea, maybe I could even order prints from our digital photos for the first time since The Boy was over one year old (yes we are bad parents, with absolutely no printed snapshots of our youngest child). Yes, I will definitely do that, of course it needs to wait until my next trip. Someone needs to hold me to that.

DH is getting ready to make a trip to the Far East next month. I guess I will have a new perspective for what it is like to be alone with our kids for an entire week. I don’t think I will get the same level of sympathy everyone I meet while I travel seems to confer to my DH though. For some reason it is a huge enigma to others that a man can handle tending for his children for a week. When clients find out I have children, they inevitably ask “what do you do with your kids when you are away?” I typically mention that my DH takes care of them, and try to change the subject. It seems like a very odd question to ask someone. It is as if they assume I must have a full time nanny in order to be able to travel. I don’t think anyone would ask a male consultant what he does with his kids while he travels, they would just assume that his wife takes care of things while he is away. Why do they ask me? It just seems weird. Yes, I am the only female consultant in my very small company, but I am not the only woman with kids who has to travel for work. I suppose the super-woman would want to keep traveling to prove something to the rest of the world, but really I don’t want to be that woman. I want to be a good Mom, and I hope that by traveling when I need to, I am not damaging my children in some way. I don’t think that I am. Anyway, it is one down and four more to go until I can go home and squeeze my kids tight again.


How much is too much?

In the process of potty training The Boy, we have purchased a fair number of small toys that he earns as prizes when he fills up his sticker chart with stickers. The first time he filled up his sheet we were really generous and gave him an Emily wooden train from the Thomas line of trains. The next time he earned a small die cast Tow Mater from the Disney/Pixar Cars movie, then a small die cast Lightning McQueen, oh and I think there was a Toby wooden train in the mix too. Now he is requesting specific items, and we foolishly promised them to him. First he wanted Mack (the semi truck and trailer that transports Lightning McQueen in the movie), and now he wants Sally and Doc. Of course this can all be blamed on DH and me. We should have just told him that he can’t pick his potty prizes, that he just gets what he gets, but we offered specific items so now he has an expectation that he will get the specific prize he wants. Foolish, foolish, foolish parents! The hilarity comes in when you hear that in order to find Mack, we visited not one, not two, but 5 local Targets, 2 Walmarts, 2 Toys R Us stores, and called the Disney Store (not to mention some serious web sleuthing). Thankfully DH scored a Mack for somewhere in the neighborhood of $15. The Boy was happy with Mack, and is still happy with Mack, but has started telling us that he will get Sally next. The tough part is that all of these little $2.99 die cast cars are sold out everywhere because, as the nice woman who pointed DH towards the Mack at Toys R Us explained, collectors are buying them up in mass quantities. As DH and I were discussing our strategy to find Sally and Doc we finally had the discussion about all of this being too much for The Boy. We are spoiling him by giving him so many toys, and making each toy he has less special because there is always a new one that will come along next week. Heck if he really forces himself he can earn several each week, but he might end up with hemorrhoids in the process (he now gets 1 for having a dry Pull-up, 1 for peeing, and 2 for having a BM). Soon he will catch on that if he drinks mass quantities of water he will have to pee more often, but we aren’t quite there yet.

The bigger issue of course is the how much is too much issue. DH and I both grew up in families where money was an object. My often told example of how poor my family was is that when we ran out of milk we just made another pitcher of it. Yes, we drank powdered milk. Adding water to the milk flakes was a common task I performed. I’m not sure when we changed to regular milk, but it must have been somewhere in late elementary school for me. I know my parents economized as much as possible, and my brother and I didn’t get everything we asked for. However, I can’t say that I ever felt deprived. One of my favorite toys as a child was a Noah’s ark that was filled with small plastic animals (I liked the animals…no religious meaning to me!), and my Mom confessed to me recently that it was a garage sale find. I also remember receiving a homemade Cabbage Patch Doll when they were all the rage. Even though I received several real Cabbage Patch Dolls subsequently, she was always my favorite (I think I still have her in a dusty old box in the basement to subject upon my kids when they can appreciate her). I didn’t even realize that we didn’t have much money until I reached junior high, and I wasn’t even close to wearing the “right” clothes. I think I managed a pair of Guess jeans in 7th grade from a local second hand store, but I had to use my babysitting money to get them. DH can recount similar stories of getting not quite what he asked for at Christmas and his Birthday, and he has horror stories about having to buy clothes at Fleet Farm (shudder).

How do people strike a balance between feeling good that they can provide extras for their children, and providing so much that the things are no longer valued? DH and I are finding this very difficult lately. The Boy is old enough to understand that we can buy him new toys, and he realizes that he can make requests. We are smart enough (I think) to realize that we shouldn’t buy him new toys whenever he asks for them, and that we should buy him new toys far less often than we currently do. However, it is fun to buy him new toys. It is fun to watch his reaction as he flutters with excitement playing with the new thing for the first 5 minutes. Of course we realize that the new toy eventually becomes old toy and collects dust at the bottom of the toy bin. In some ways I think it would be easier if we just couldn’t afford to buy him new things so often, but as a result of our dual incomes we can afford it. We buy new things for ourselves when we want to, though we both have horribly old wardrobes, and really don’t buy much for ourselves aside from lunches out and the occasionally Caribou Coffee. We are both hoarders, and automatically invest a good chunk of our income automatically each month. Buying toys for our children will not break us financially. It could turn our kids into spoiled brats though.

I want my kids to grow up knowing that money doesn’t grow on trees. I want them to realize that there is a cost for all of the little trinkets they covet. I think this means that DH and I need to start putting more of the money we would spend on toys into their college accounts. We are not doing them any favors by indulging their every whim, even though they do get big smiles on their faces when we do. I want my kids to have nice things, but I don’t want them to think it is their birthright. While I entered junior high wearing the “wrong” clothes, and my parents couldn’t afford to buy me the “right” clothes, we will be able to afford the “right” clothes. The struggle will be to teach our kids that there really is no such thing as the “right” clothes or things. Our possessions do not make us good people; in fact they can make us bad people if we aren’t careful. I don’t want my kids to be ridiculed by their classmates, but I want them to be able to stand up to those who are ridiculing others. Mostly I want my kids to be above all of that junior high bullshit.

A good friend of mine was the target of a clothes chart made by several of her classmates in 5th or 6th grade. They kept track of her outfits so they could make fun of the fact that she wore the same things multiple times in one week. This friend now has the means to afford plenty of her own clothes, but it obviously left a big mark on her for many years. How do I teach my kids that making a clothes chart is a ghastly, evil thing to do? I suppose the answer is that I need to model my own behavior in such a way that they see we aren’t better than anyone else. If I can really get my kids to understand this, I will be happy. I hope for my kids to understand that life is so much more than the labels on your clothes imply. I know the answer lies in me not making a big deal out of labels, and designer outfits. Even though we can afford to buy them Polo, we need to buy them and us Target clothes as well, because it really doesn’t matter. If I can teach them that being kind to others is paramount, I think I will have done my job…and now I am rambling.



I will preface this post with the fact that I am not a Christian, and am not really sure what I believe in terms of a higher power, so take it for what it is worth. A recent topic on one of the message boards I frequent got me thinking about the Christian Bible. I make no claims to be a biblical scholar, nor have I read more than scant passages when forced to in the process of being confirmed or at the various bible camps I was tricked into attending in my youth. My view of the bible is that it is an old piece of historical fiction, or if you must it could be a loose biography based on 3rd or 4th hand accounts. I’m not basing my view on anything concrete, just vague recollections about how it was transcribed. So with my view in mind I find it mind boggling when other people quote bible verses as “proof” of some point they are trying to make. As far as I’m concerned they could be quoting Moby Dick to me, as it would have the same impact (well if they quoted Moby Dick I might be more inclined to listen). I am convinced that you can find a bible passage to support whatever agenda you are trying to push. I could probably scan through the latest novel I read to find quotes that would support my views on life as well. So what exactly does it prove? It proves nothing.

Why I am bothering to write this post at all has partially to do with the fact that I get very annoyed when people quote bible passages to me, claim to follow the teachings in it to the letter, but in reality do not follow all of the teachings. They follow some of the teachings, and use the bible as a weapon to make them feel superior to others who have “not seen the light.” They tell other people that they will be going to hell if they don’t accept Jesus Christ as their lord and savior. They say they feel compelled to share this because they want everyone else to be able to join them in heaven. I’m not quite sure why they want me to join them in heaven when clearly I am evil incarnate, and not worthy of joining them in this special place. I do take slight comfort in the fact that I will not have to spend my eternity with such close-minded people. I am fairly confident that most of my friends and family will join me in hell, so at least I will have company.

It all makes me think of a recent blog post from a friend of mine. I’d link to it, but I don’t want her to get any sort of religious wrath for what I am writing. I hope she doesn’t mind, but I am stealing a passage from her post in which she describes leadership training she is taking part in:
There are 7 levels and, according to Torbert, the largest percentages of people tend to think at the Achiever (4) or Expert (3)level. That’s great because we need experts and achievers but, sometimes it can be difficult to solve a problem when you are that close to it. Achievers and Experts tend to perceive their own way as the only way (hey, they are the experts after all) and are more interested in results rather than investigating other possibilities.

Some verbal cues that you are thinking in the Expert logic is “yes, but…” That’s a pretty good clue that you’re not really listening, or if you are, it is only to try and find fault with the other person’s argument. Achiever’s say “we can agree to disagree” which also indicates that you’re really not interested in the other person’s point of view.

This captures so clearly my frustration when I get into discussions with people who are trying to push their religious views upon me. I could come up with 1000 valid points as to why they should be more open-minded, and perhaps even concede that Christianity may not be the only way to avoid an afterlife burning in hell, but they will always respond with “yes, but…” They aren’t listening, just parroting what they have read, what they have been parroted by others, the discussion is useless. Of course on the flipside I do have to acknowledge that it is possible that they are right, that I will spend an eternity in hell because I have refused to come to jesus. I guess that is the risk I will take. It is good for me to try my hardest to see the flipside; otherwise I just go down my own path of “yes, but…” and don’t really listen to their points of view. It reminds me that it is not helpful to find evidence that the bible isn’t meant to be taken literally because then I am trying to push my own agenda. I certainly don’t have all of the answers. As much as I believe that we should strive to be good people, and try our hardest to just do as we would have others do to us, that is not enough for some. So while they might challenge me to read the bible so I can see for myself why I need to be saved, I also challenge them to read the bible and follow all of it not just the parts they have cherry picked as interesting.


International differences

Life has been busy lately, or at least it has felt that way to me. I'm actually on an international trip for work as I type, and happen to have just a few minutes before meeting some colleagues for dinner. I miss the kids terribly, but because I've been fairly busy on this trip I haven't quite reached the point of "if I don't go home this instant I will surely die from not seeing my children for so many days." Anyway, since I am in Europe for the first time in my life I thought I would explore the obvious differences I have noticed in my few days here.

1. The first thing I noticed was in getting off of the airplane when I arrived in Stockholm, people don't practice the, what I thought was universal, "let the people in front of your row out of the plane before you barrel through to get off the plane." I was a little ticked to not be able to get out of the plane when it was my turn per se, and couldn't believe that the people in the rows in front of me were allowing people from the back of the plane to get off before them. I have traveled extensively by airplane in the US, and this practice is not even questioned there. I also experienced a similar thing when trying to get off of the express train from the airport into the city, I was basically dumbfounded. My colleague thinks this might just be a big city thing, but since I have been to plenty of big cities in the US I don't think it is.

2. People assume I can speak Swedish, but are very polite when they realize I can't and quickly/easily switch to English. I am very thankful for this, and I think more than makes up for people wanting to get the hell off of the airplane.

3. It is very common for people to drink beer on their lunch breaks here. I am told it is a weak beer (perhaps what we would call 3-2 beer, but I'm not sure), but I was absolutely shocked to see my Swedish colleagues drinking beer at lunch (and more shocked that it was just included with the special they ordered). This just doesn't happen in the US, although I'm sure many people would like it to.

4. The hotel rooms don't have sheets on the beds. Instead they have thin comforters with duvet covers on them. This wouldn't even bother me except for the fact that I am so very used to cranking up the cold air in hotel rooms to help me sleep better, and here there is no A/C in the rooms. I wake up all hot and sweaty because of the comforter (if there were sheets I would just use a sheet as I just HAVE to have some sort of cover when I sleep), open the window, then stay awake because of street noise.

5. I have no concept for how much money I am spending when I use Swedish currency, this despite having converted some money and knowing that conversion rate.

6. In many ways the climate/scenery here feels like I could be in Northern Minnesota and not in Sweden at all. The trees are the same, the ducks are the same, and the weather is similar. If not for the fabulous old buildings I might even be fooled.

I'm sure there are more, but those are all I can think off right now.


Hot and cute

It is so hot here today that I feel like I might melt every time I step outside. It is absolutely yucky out. Forget about feeling a little uncomfortable during a run, the heat makes it downright dangerous to exercise outdoors. Yuck. Blech. Did I mention it is hot? I couldn’t even let The Boy wear his new “I do all of my own stunts” t-shirt today because it is black, and since they will likely venture outdoors at daycare I felt it was inappropriate to dress him in the hottest color available in his wardrobe. He did wear his brand new Stride Rite “running” shoes though, as that was my final bribe to get him out the door more quickly. Who knew he would be so enamored by his shoes that he would practically fly out the door to daycare rather than meandering or worse whining about it. Anyway, I hope the heat breaks soon because I’m done with summer. I’m ready for fall, have no need for hot weather and high humidity. Of course I want fall to last for 6 months and be more of the Indian summer variety than the frigid Northwoods variety, but I digress. I was getting into a nice little routine of running outside immediately after work, but now I’m hunkering down in the basement to run on the treadmill which is not nearly as interesting. Oh well, I’m sure the weather will change eventually, it can’t stay hot forever since this is the frozen tundra after all.

Apparently I have run out of all interesting things to write in my blog, as I’ve now resorted to blogging about the weather. I’m not sure what that says about me, but to make it not completely about the weather I will add a little potty training update. After I complained about The Boy not being potty trained, I decided to hand the task of training him over to DH. DH accepted the task, read the Potty Training for Dummies book, and has now developed his own game plan. He has decided that we need to teach The Boy how to get dressed/undressed on his own before we make the leap to potty training. The Boy seems fairly interested in dressing himself, but since I am impatient and often running late for work I really have to force myself to let him do it himself. He often gets his shirt partly on, then exclaims “Mommy do it.” It is so much easier to just do it for him, but I must persevere, and I must just gently assist rather than doing it for him. Hopefully DH is right and this new skill will translate to being more ready for the big potty training adventure. With any luck the boy will be self-sufficient in no time. I mean he already wakes up on Saturdays does a quick pass through our bedroom to see if we are awake (I pretend to be asleep of course), then returns to his room, turns on his light and plays with his trains for a while. I figure he gives us an extra 30 minutes of sleep, so I’m all for it. He sometimes makes a detour through The Girl’s room, and will wake her up if she is sleeping. At first I wasn’t thrilled with this, but last weekend he woke her up and kept her entertained for a good 20 minutes. When I finally went in her room to investigate (they were having WAY too much fun), he was in her crib and was prompting her to play with various toys he must have thrown over the side of the crib before he climbed in. So.incredibly.cute.words.cannot.express.just.how.cute.it.was. I now have dreams of the two of them heading downstairs on their own, getting their own breakfasts, and letting me sleep until after 7 am on a Saturday! It is only a dream, but man it is a good one.



It is summer, and *newsflash* there is nothing on TV. Seriously – nothing. Yes, we get by with a few recorded episodes of The Closer, Monk, and let’s not forget a new season of Entourage, but this is the far cry from the hum of the DVR during the rest of the year. What happens in our house is that the television stays mostly off until the children go to bed, I turn to good old reliable HGTV, and then surf the internet on my laptop. I don’t even really watch any shows, just keep it on to keep me company while DH is in the other room playing a computer game or reading a book. Of course it has now gotten so bad that I have seen almost all of the shows on HGTV more than once, so it doesn’t even qualify as background noise anymore without annoying me. The Discovery Channel has been getting more airplay lately as a result. I’ve always liked Myth Busters, and have now really started to enjoy Dirty Jobs, and some other show about crab fishing in the waters off of Alaska –who knew the price of Alaskan king crab is actually justified. Of course all of this mindless TV airplay makes me feel slightly guilty that I don’t have a more productive use of my time after the kids are in bed and before I go to bed. I suppose I could take up knitting, but who am I kidding. It is actually really relaxing to just sit and do nothing for an hour or so every day. I’m thinking I shouldn’t mess with it.


Racing again

After a long hiatus I have decided to run a race again. If memory serves, the last race I ran was Grandma’s Marathon in 2004. I’m not sure why I haven’t run a race since then, other than maybe the fact that I got pregnant with The Girl just a few months later. Of course The Boy was just 4 months old when I ran my first race after his birth, and Grandma’s was almost exactly one year after his birth. This time around I didn’t feel compelled to prove that I could get back into shape so quickly, so I haven’t pushed myself too much. Yes, I was running just 2.5 weeks after The Girl was born, but I haven’t run anything over maybe 9 miles since that 2004 marathon. I suppose it is time for me to test the waters again. I’m registered for a 10 mile race in early October, so I have some incentive to start increasing my weekend long run again. I would like to finish in 90 minutes or less, but I don’t intend on fretting about it too much. My new motto is that running should be my stress-release not my stress inducer. I hope I can increase my mileage and keep it fun. My Type A personality just likes to kick in and find training plans online though…so far I haven’t even Googled it, any bets as to how long it takes me to do so?

There is some sick twisted sense of pride that kicks in when I meet/exceed a running goal. However, I never felt that pride when I finished either of my marathons. Training for the marathons was like having a second part-time job that I didn’t enjoy very much. I had training plans in Excel looming over me, and Hal Higdon words of wisdom ingrained in my head. Both experiences left me saying something to the effect of Why in the hell did I do that to myself? I know I am capable of working towards a running goal without torturing myself, and I intend to try it once again.


Potty Training Drop Out

I like to think that I am a reasonable person (which of course doesn’t make it true), so am I being unreasonable to think that The Boy is ready to be potty trained? He is three, and my newly purchased copy of Potty Training for Dummies seems to imply that all rational people start the potty training process at the age of two (yes I actually bought a Dummy book for this task). I decided to skip the readiness chapter, because he is three for Pete’s sake! We have had some form of a potty since he was maybe 18 months old and I had silly illusions that he would magically potty train himself by 2.5. Sadly it didn’t happen. The Girl was born last year, so we followed the much touted advice of “don’t even bother training him now because he will just regress when the baby is born,” and it has worked well in that for the past 14 months we have been busily diapering two children. It is getting old, and since I can have long conversations with The Boy I’ve decided he is certainly capable of emptying his bladder and bowels into the toilet.

So the fun begins. I should add that a younger boy at daycare started wearing big-boy-underwear to daycare last week, so perhaps I felt like a slacker for not being more proactive about The Boy’s potty progress. Anyway, I’m basically clueless and so is the ever helpful DH. I got some advice online and from our wonderful DCP that perhaps in The Boy’s case we would just need to switch him to big-boy-underwear (which I will now refer to as BBU so I don’t have to type is anymore!) to see what happens. Hmmm, what happens is that The Boy pees all over your living room couch while watching Toy Story for the 1000th time, and I have a little fit about it and put The Boy back in diapers. The Boy is not fazed.

I read that some children are really excited to wear BBU. BBU is not all that attractive to The Boy, even special Disney Cars BBU, not all that interesting to The Boy. Pull-ups and the like are treated just like diapers, and lets face it they are just diapers that can be pulled down and he knows it. We tried a sticker chart, with the ultimate reward being a new Thomas line train…not fazed. We have tried bribing each attempt at pottying with food (most recently gummy worms), not fazed. He’s been watching us pee for years, but apparently this has done nothing except to lower my privacy standards when I’m in the bathroom. Of course he has been watching DH pee, which has led to The Boy’s new insistence that “I stand,” which is so far from ideal it makes me shake. I mean he is pointing everywhere but in the toilet when he stands, imagine the mess if he actually manages to pee!

We recently purchased an anatomically correct boy doll that drinks and pees when you press his tummy (handy…if only The Boy would do the same). The Boy loves the peeing doll, but I don’t know if it has made much difference in his willingness to use the potty. All I have left in my arsenal is a whole heap of positive talk and reinforcement, and the idea of having a potty party at some point in the future. The Boy went to daycare in a Pull-up this morning because I was too tired to try to make him pee before we left. I am a potty-training drop-out. It turns out that diapering is just easier. Perhaps if we wait until The Girl is ready it will be easier to just train them both at the same time? It is so odd that something we just take for granted can be so difficult to teach a child. The book makes me feel like an insensitive ass for even having some negative thoughts when The Boy pees himself not 2 minutes after being on the potty and producing squat. I am supposed to praise his efforts, and reassure him that I am not upset about the wetting (I’m really struggling with this one since I am in fact upset!). I’m supposed to tell him, you are trying so hard, I’m sure someday soon you will be able to use the potty just like a big boy! Ugh, all I keep thinking is “Do or no Do, there is no try” –Yoda

So the big question is, do we buy a potty video to add to the arsenal, or am I just grasping at straws now?



If you have ever taken a Myers-Briggs inventory or something similar you know that we can all be classified into various personality types. I don’t remember my type exactly, but I do know that the first choices are between I and E (introvert and extrovert). I am most definitely an I. I have learned to become more extroverted over the years, and in work situations you might not even realize that I prefer to sit quietly and soak things in before weighing in on matters. However, that is my comfort zone, in certain social situations I revert to my “shy” ways of the past. It is not that I am afraid to speak, or even feel uncomfortable speaking, just that my internal processing doesn’t always allow me to speak out in a timely manner. I get irritated when people shine a negative light on this trait, especially when I can see my son following the same path. The world has too many extroverts already, people who speak first without thinking, people who need external validation in order to function. I’m perfectly content to know that the only validation that really matters is personal validation. I know that I am my own best supporter and best critic, and at the end of the day my voice is the only one that really matters to me.

I hope I can steer my son away from people that tell him he is shy, and try to force him to speak when he isn’t comfortable. I hope he can grow up knowing that there is nothing wrong with needing a few moments to process things internally before speaking out. I refuse to label my son with a term like shy. His own grandparents keep using this term, and I need to nip it in the bud. Yes, it takes him a while to warm up to people he doesn’t see on a regular basis, but I find this endearing and helpful in that I don’t think he is apt to talk to strangers. Yes, the world needs outgoing extroverts to blaze new trails, but it needs the introverts to get down to the details and actually get things done. My son is not deficient (nor am I) because he functions better as an introvert. I firmly believe that the more you label and try to change the more introverted people become…it is a defense mechanism. The more you encourage and accept the less people need to be introverted. So there, that is my new tidbit of wisdom for the day (or month).

All of the above stems from my recent realization that I have very few friends in my life that I haven’t known since forever. I wonder if I would be happier if I took a few more risks and just put myself out there more. I do find myself wanting more strong friendships, or even a few more casual friends. I’ve found some great friends in online environments, people I consider to be true friends, but sadly geography keeps us from doing things in person. I suppose it was an initial risk to put myself out there online, and it has paid off…just need to do it “in real life” as well. I suppose it doesn’t help that my one hobby, running, is a very solitary activity. Yes, there are running groups, but I really do prefer to run by myself, even really long runs. I’ve tried running with others, and it is okay, but running alone is usually better. I may just go to a Mom’s club meeting…it can’t hurt too much can it?


Do you ever

I’ll admit that I am a message board junkie. I have managed to limit myself to just 3 message boards that I frequent on a regular basis, but every now and then I find myself reading others too. It all started when I found the Runner’s World forums back in 1998 or 1999, I quickly became addicted. I was a very regular contributor to the Women’s forum back in the day, even managed to meet some of the women I “talked” to in person on a couple of occasions. On my quest to have a baby I had a miscarriage which led me to Fertility Friend (FF). I learned more than you ever wanted to know about BBT, how to chart it, and what fertility signs I should be on the lookout for. Thankfully The Boy was conceived fairly quickly, because all of that charting surely would have driven me mad if it had dragged on for months.

I discovered a new set of message boards on FF, and formed attachments to the women in my Due Date buddy group (a group of women all expecting babies in the same month I was). We talked each other down from various forms of pregnancy paranoia, and obsessed over the number of weeks along we were, all counting down to meeting our new babies. The babies arrived one by one, and those of us with due dates later in the month kept checking in obsessively hoping that reading about someone else’s impending labor would send our bodies into labor as well (that tactic never really worked). Eventually we all had our babies (more proof that despite how you feel when you are 37-42 weeks pregnant that nobody is pregnant forever, even though it REALLY feels that way sometimes), and some of us stayed in touch. Some of the women in that original buddy group drifted off, and sometimes I wonder what happened to them. Of course I realize that we had a strong bond while we were all pregnant together, afterwards, just having kids the same age isn’t enough to keep people together…especially in an online forum. I still wonder what happened to the home birthing mama, who went well overdue with her 3rd baby. I suspect she was just too busy chasing after 3 little kids to be online much anymore!

Anyway, I’m no longer frequenting FF, but it did lead me to the 3 boards I do read today in one way or another. The boards that are more public spurred me to write this post today (as I felt like somewhat of a back story was required before jumping into it). Do you ever read posts from a person (or blog entries for that matter), and use them to diagnose the posters with a variety of problems? Some people are always complaining about their spouse, others always complain about their in-laws, but the complaints tend to led me to want to suggest the person go to therapy to solve her own issues. She can have a perfectly legitimate complaint, her husband might be an ass, or her in-laws might be miserable, but I keep thinking maybe if you were able to focus on yourself the issues wouldn’t bother you so much, or maybe you would be able to stand up for yourself so these things don’t happen to you anymore. I mean we only have the power to change ourselves, and how we view events in our lives, we cannot change anyone else, no matter how much we want to. Yes, we can influence others, but from my very limited experience I’ve found that I see much greater results when I work on myself first.

I don’t think it is inexcusable to complain about things, I think it is a natural and beneficial thing to do. I only find it exhausting when the same people are always complaining about what I view to be similar things. It becomes clear to me (as I read about one tiny aspect of that person’s life) that if she only changed her perspective she wouldn’t be irate the majority of the time. Of course I don’t even respond to such posts, because I don’t feel like the advice I would give would be appreciated. I mean who wants to write a long vent about how her husband doesn’t appreciate her and get a response other than “yeah your husband is an ass?” I realize these types of posts are a way to feel validated, and a way to vent without risking a divorce. Heck, I’ve posted similar things myself. I’m still not sure why I feel compelled to put on the therapist hat when I read such things, just wondering if I am the only one who does it I guess. I think this tendency is forcing me to participate in public online forums less and less, my therapist hat is telling me to “live your own life.” It is likely good advice, but I still want to talk to my buddy group friends…just need to find a good balance.


Thank you for teaching me

3 years ago today…
I woke up like it was any other day (as much as that applies when you are 3 days past your “official” due date with your first baby), ate breakfast, and started my normal Saturday task of updating our finances in Microsoft Money (yes I know, I am a geek). While entering our expenses I started paying attention to the contractions I was having, and noticed that they were uncomfortable and had some sort of consistency in their timing. I won’t reminisce about all aspects of that day, as my other website contains the full birth story, but by the end of that day I was a Mom. I remember how tiny he was, and how unprepared I felt for the new responsibility I held in my arms. I also remember just studying his little arms, legs, fingers, feet, face, and even his little ears which had little elf hairs growing on the rims. How was it possible that something so beautiful and precious had been placed in my care? As he has grown, he has only gotten better. He is burned into my heart the way nothing else ever had been, or I suspect ever will be. Obviously I love his younger sister, but that first child bond – the fact that he first made me a Mother just makes the relationship different. We learned how to be, together, and are in fact still learning how to be. Each day brings a new piece of the world into his focus, and I hope I am able to help him interpret it in a meaningful way.

He has taught me many things, but perhaps the most powerful is that I am not able to control him. He is his own person, I do my best to guide his choices and decisions, but each day he pushes back just a little more. He is separating from me more and more with each passing day. It sometimes makes me sad to think that I can go weeks without speaking to my parents, and that one day He will go weeks without talking or maybe even thinking about his. Of course I am getting way ahead of myself here, the boy is 3, and it is not like he will be going off to college tomorrow. I guess I’m just reflecting more on my 3rd anniversary as a parent, than I am on his birth. When DH and I decided to try to conceive a baby, I don’t think either of us had any idea what a ride we were in for. Yes, we wanted to be parents, but I know I had only vague ideas of what that meant. I didn’t realize that for the rest of my life, I would think first about my children. I didn’t realize that my heart could grow as big as it has. I didn’t realize that the complicated little people we created would change me so much. I didn’t realize how wonderful it is to watch your children grow and accomplish new things. I didn’t realize how awe inspiring even the smallest things can be to a child, and how fabulous it is to observe them soak everything in.

Yes, we were children at one point in time, but as we grow and learn we become hardened to new things. We just don’t look at a birthday balloon the same way a 3-year old does. If my twenties were about thinking I knew it all, my thirties are certainly about teaching me that knowing it all means nothing. To really find joy in even the most mundane tasks, to find the butterfly, to see the ladybug, to happen upon a lucky stick, these are the true pleasures in life. Our world through a child’s eye is truly a wonderful place.

Thank you my little man, for teaching me, and for trusting me to guide you through these early years of your life. I love you.

P.S. I feel like I should start singing “I Hope you Dance” after what I’ve written above, but I won’t. Just reflecting…


Feeling sorry for myself

I should rename my blog to something more appropriate, like "complains about everything" or "whines incessantly," yes I am about to whine and complain again. Not only am I horrible about updating this blog, but when I do post it is just to vent/complain/etc. If you are still reading I'd be surprised.

I'm on a business trip right now, and thankfully I get to go back home tomorrow evening. I've been gone since Tuesday evening, but haven't seen my kids since I dropped them off at daycare Tuesday morning. My kids are fine, home with their Dad, and in a lot of ways my travel of late has been great for DH to figure things out with the kids without my help. It has also been good for Toddler and Infant (who recently had a birthday so she will now be referred to as Toddler 2) to learn to rely on Daddy rather than me all of the time. Of course I am insanely jealous of the fact that I am the one traveling. I'm sure I would complain if I were home alone with the kids and DH were traveling, but DH says nothing. Honestly I think he is worried I will quit my job if he presses the issue too much, and he likes the money I earn far too much to let me do that (at least without another job lined up).

Two weeks in a row with 3 nights away from home in each week is just brutal on me though. I feel so disconnected from my family, and I get so worn out having to be "on" while traveling with coworkers. Breakfast together, working together all day, lunch, dinner, and even a run with my boss last night. It is just too much. I almost said no when my boss asked if he could go for a run with me, the only me time I had in store for the day, but figured it was just plain rude for me to do so. Thankfully tonight he didn't want to run, so I skipped out on dinner with him in order to run solo, and grab a bite to eat by myself after my run. We are staying in a college town, with a variety of clothing stores just a block down from the hotel, so I ran, ate at Chipotle, and went shopping for a while. It was good, even though I kept passing people with babies which just made me miss my babies all the more. I don't have to travel next week, and am very much looking forward to the three day weekend this weekend. I think I need to be away for 4 nights the week after next though, and it just makes me sad. I don't feel like I can say no, but this travel is killing me.

I feel a little trapped for the time being. I don't want to change jobs until I have been here for at least a year since I have a couple of gaps in my employment history now. I suppose I could have a serious talk with my boss about my dissatisfaction with all of this travel, but he did warn me about travel when I accepted the job. I came into it knowing travel was likely, but since I didn't travel at all for the first 6 months it is just now coming to me how much I hate being away from the kids. I left a previous job partially because of travel, and those trips were almost always no longer than 1 night at a shot. I think I could handle 1 night away trips at this point, but these 3-4 day trips are impossible. My son now says things to me like "but you will go on a trip" when we are discussing daily plans. It breaks my heart. We have webcams for my laptop and for the desktop computer at home, so we have had some video calls this week, but I always end up in tears when we have to hang up. It just isn't the same. Toddler 2 tries to grab the monitor for a while, then she just sits and chews on her hand or a toy. Toddler walks away and begs to watch movies.

I realize I am completely rambling right now, I think I just need to get all of these feelings out of me rather than trying to pretend that I am okay with travel. I am not okay with travel. I need to be home with my kids, for their sake and for mine. I will not travel long term. I will find a new job, or find some way to make this job involve much less travel. I cannot just stay the course, because it is seriously affecting my quality of life.

Ugh, sorry to be such a downer.



So infant will be 12 months old in a week. This means that I will no longer have to be her primary source of nutrition. I don’t plan on weaning her, am hoping that she can get the chance to self-wean, but I will stop pumping at work (except when I am traveling over night). I’m down to one pump per day at work, and for some reason I just feel odd about that. I am hugely ambivalent about pumping at work. I hate it, but don’t want to give it up. How is that possible? I never even intended to pump at work at all, but here I am 8 months later still doing it. I thought for sure I would dance a little jig when I could stop pumping. Don’t get me wrong I know I will adjust quickly, and won’t miss the pump in the least when it is packed up for good. I just feel like I’m saying “Happy Birthday honey, your gift from me is no more breast milk.” Considering how much she enjoys nursing and breast milk in general I can’t see that this is a happy gift for her. I suppose part of it is that while I am still pumping I feel like I am still more connected to her even when she isn’t with me. Every time I pump I think of her little face looking up at me, and I just feel good about it.

Of course I also feel like I will miss my pumping breaks. They are the only times during the day that I can slack off and surf the internet without guilt. On the other hand, it will be really nice to not worry about finding places to pump at client sites. If I never have to pump while sitting on a toilet seat again it will be too soon. Still I worry that by not pumping during the day I will force Infant to wean sooner than she wants to. This parenthood business is just so damn complicated. Sometimes I wish I could make a decision about my children without having to analyze the implications 1000 times in my head, but I suppose I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t do that.