A New One

I dragged myself home from work after a hectic and difficult day.  My husband and Punkie were already home and I could hear them playing in the living room as I walked in.

On my way through the kitchen, I noticed (1) the washing machine was running (highly unusual), and (2) there was a note on the kitchen table from day care.

Pausing to look at the note, it took a few minutes for the words to de-fuzz in my failing, tired eyesight.  The note said that Punkie had a diaper blowout of such epic proportions that they had no choice but to give him a bath and they recommend that we just throw away his clothing.  They explained to my husband when he picked Punkie up that, at one point, the poop radiated out from his diaper to cover 90% of his body.  It reached all the way up the back of his neck.

That’s a new one on me.  Um…sweet?  (That’s probably not the appropriate reaction.)

I blame the peas.  I know Punkie loves those now (horrifying), but they’re disgusting and they obviously have an agenda of their own.



Playdate Shmaydate

Punkie is 5 1/2 months old and I haven’t figured out yet how to meet other new parents.

It seems like it should be easy, but I am apparently not hip to the mommyhood secret club.  I imagine Punkie with little friends and play dates, but it just hasn’t happened.  I suppose it isn’t urgent – he is at day care Monday through Friday and is meeting and playing with other babies there.

I live in a very nice, family filled suburb.  There are kids all over the place.  How do I not run into other new parents on a daily basis?  We enrolled in a baby sign language class for two reasons – to help Punkie develop his communication skills even before he can talk, and to meet other parents.  I guess I don’t click with the few other parents in the class.

I think maybe my work schedule is a factor – a lot of new moms are physically at work outside the home as well, or they’re out and about during the daytime hours.  I’m lately only out and about during a very narrow band of time in the evening.

I worry that my social failings will have a lasting effect on Punkie.  I want him to have life-long friends.  And to learn that you shouldn’t grab other babies’ noses with a kungfu grip (I neither confirm nor deny any such event).

For now, though, he seems happy.

Little Things

Punkie is 5 1/2 months old now and I’m struck by how, since he was born, it’s the little things about him that make me smile.  Although my routine has become a monotony, Punkie has a lot of quirks that really entertain me.

He’s babbling and yelling gibberish at us continuously.  He’ll jump in his Jumparoo toy for 15 minutes straight while yelling and smiling.  I just love it – I can tell that he has a lot to say.  My husband thinks I’ll regret saying this, but I can’t wait until he starts talking.  I am going to love hearing the rolling commentary of everything in his head.

Also, he has a new habit of snatching things out of my hands.  He’s fast! His favorite thing to try to snatch away is my phone- here he is trying to grab my phone for the 100th time:










I’m sure this should annoy me, but he’s so darn cute and he’s always smiling when he does it.  The only real issue is that this new habit is cutting down on my coffee intake in the morning – I can’t risk burning him with a hot coffee mug.

We’ve started him on some solid food and he has favorite foods already.  For some reason, Punkie just loves carrots and peas.  Personally, I cannot stand peas and I find the smell of the pea baby food to be disgusting –  I can’t understand how those win out against apples and bananas.  I told him that I love him even if he likes peas instead of apples.  This enthusiasm for peas and carrots is as endearing as it is puzzling.  And I have time to work on the apple thing – apple season is coming up quickly.

It’s the little things.

Vivamus Currentis

If Punkie has a motto, it’s “Live to Bounce,” or “Vivamus Currentis” (because all good mottoes are in Latin).

The bouncer is by far his favorite toy.  He is so fun to watch while he’s bouncing it out in his bouncer.

And I’m happy to have a use for my old, expensive textbooks from law school.  I graduated 15 years ago and, since then, these books have been gathering dust.

Now, they have a new life.  A life dedicated to bouncing.

Vivamus Currentis

Conference Week at Day Care

The kind folks at day care sent home a note letting us know that they were doing teacher conferences this week for all the kids.  We were invited to schedule a conference with Punkie’s teacher.

Punkie is 5 months old, so I’m not entirely sure what we will talk about.  I mean, I don’t want to NOT go to the conference – I want to know everything about how Punkie is doing.  But, what are we going to talk about?

Why yes, Mrs. Punkie’s Mom, Punkie appears to like the color orange and the butterfly toy that goes “HONK” when it hits the floor.  He also poops a lot and dislikes napping.

Any suggestions for questions I should ask?

Also, as I discussed in a previous post, we’ve been ejected for illness.  So . . . I will need to find a baby sitter to watch Punkie while my husband and I go to day care.  Just take that in for a moment.

Day Care is a Cesspool of Germs and Viruses

About a week and a half ago, I wrote that day care is snotty.  HA! It’s worse than snotty.

Punkie is sick again.  Actually, that’s not entirely accurate because he never recovered 100% from the cold he developed on day 4 of day care.  Now, he has a fever.

Day care called me yesterday to let me know that Punkie had a fever over the maximum permitted threshold of 100 degrees and that I needed to come and get him right away.

I dropped everything and cancelled a couple of meetings and went to get him.  When I left day care with Punkie, I found a piece of paper in his bag that said (and I’m paraphrasing) that he was sent home for a fever and would not be welcome back until 24 hours after the fever went away without the help of medication.  So, if he magically recovered the same day, the earliest I could bring him back is Thursday.  More likely is that he would not go back until Friday or next week.

Okay… what do I do now?  I can’t bring a sick baby to work, so I need some kind of child care or I have to take time off from work.  I can see why it takes a village – someone has to be around when day care ejects the baby.

I brought Punkie to the pediatrician and she thinks that he got a virus on top of his cold.  The poor little guy was really miserable and I felt bad for him.  At its highest, his fever went to 101.8 and I’m not 100% sure why, which bothers me a lot.

He had never been sick before he started day care two and a half weeks ago.  He’s going to have the strongest immune system in history if he keeps this up.

He looks better this morning.  And, luckily, my husband was able to stay home with him today.


Podster – product review

life on the cushion

I was thinking about all of the things we received at our shower – our friends and family were so generous, it was pretty overwhelming.  Some of the baby gifts we received were necessities – diapers, car seat, crib, etc.   Some other things, we never used.

When it comes to non-necessities that we did use, my absolute favorite is the Podster.  I affectionately call it the “cushion.”

Here is a video that shows it off a little bit:  http://leachco.stores.yahoo.net/podster1.html.  It’s basically a Boppy with a closed end, so the baby can lounge in the pillow.

I put the cushion on the couch and Punkie hangs out with me while I’m doing things that require me to have my hands free (like take tons of photos of Punkie, fold laundry, eat lunch).  You can’t carry the baby every minute of every 24 hours in a day, but I didn’t want to put him in a bassinet where I couldn’t see or talk to him.  Having the cushion on the couch, I could sit next to him and talk to him constantly (lucky kid?).

The cushion inclines the baby a little bit so he can see what’s going on around him (I hear that it’s good for reflux). It’s also very comfy and is Punkie’s favorite nap location.

I use this thing EVERY. DAY.   When Punkie outgrows this cushion, I will be very sad .  The day is near – he is rolling now, so the cushion on the couch is no longer a totally safe hang-out for Punkie.


Saying No

I began my career at a conservative “biglaw” law firm.  The partners in our group were all older white men.  After working there for a while, it was clear that the partners did not want to invest training or any other resources into young female associates who might have kids and leave the firm, or who would go on maternity leave and, due to the gap in work, never make partner.

I felt a strong pressure to never say the word “baby” or say hello  to a staff member’s visiting baby, lest the partners conclude that I was a baby lover and not worth their time.

No, really.  I saw it happen.

Now, I work in-house for a company where most of my colleagues have families, and where I’ve never seen anyone criticized for having a family.

But my experience at the biglaw firm has stuck with me through the years.  In every way possible, I try to keep people at work from noticing or being reminded of my new mom status (aside from my physique, sadly).  That includes the days following a rough night with little sleep, or when I was a total stress monster because Punkie started day care.  I don’t even do this intentionally.

When I started getting pressure to go to the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge, I knew I didn’t want to participate because it starts at 7PM.  7PM is when I nurse Punkie in advance of his 8PM bedtime.

If I needed to be at a work function at 7PM for an important reason, like a customer meeting or something like that, I’d make it work.  But for the Corporate Challenge, I don’t feel it’s worth the sacrifice.  Besides, there will be plenty of opportunities to participate in mandatory fun.

The Corporate Challenge is a 3-mile run or walk and many businesses in town will form teams and participate.

I am not athletic.  I’ve never been athletic.  In fact, I am a plus sized girl who does not run, unless chased by a grizzly bear.  And let’s be honest – I’d probably be eaten pretty quickly if a grizzly bear were introduced into my ecosystem.  If, instead of a grizzly bear, it was one of those smaller black bears, I might weigh the risks against the unpleasantness of running and decide to just walk normal speed.

And if I were to walk or run a 3-mile course, I’d choose to huff and puff in private, without my co-workers watching.

So, again today, I was pressured to go to the Corporate Challenge.  Every biglaw lawyer instinct in my brain was yelling:

Don’t tell them you have to take care of a baby instead of going to mandatory fun!

I said the Corporate Challenge just isn’t my cup of tea.  The parry quickly came – you can walk instead of running.  I said I might be able to help set up or prepare, but I can’t participate in the run/walk.  The response was, aw, come on, it’s no fun unless you do the walk.

I really didn’t want to say out loud that I need to go home to breast feed my baby . . . although I knew it is 100% the choice I would make.

So . . . choking on my sense of horror, I said “I have to go home and take care of the baby.”  My heart sank – I’d probably go home tonight and update my resume.

And the response came:

Okay, but definitely next year.



“Mommy Wars” = Stupid

I’ve heard a fair amount of the so-called mommy wars.  Some people say there is a conflict between stay-at-home moms versus  work-outside-the-home moms,  but I’m not buying it.

We all do our best for our kid(s), for ourselves, for our loved ones. Who are you or I to second-guess that?

I think a big part of the so-called “conflict” is really just people reacting to that self-conscious feeling that you get when you know other people are judging you.  This is really just insecurity, isn’t it?  Maybe some people do judge us, but we have to let it go – there are assholes everywhere.  Does the fact that someone is judging you change what’s best for you and your family?

Putting that aside, I am bothered by stupid people, like Gwyneth Paltrow, who talk about things they couldn’t possibly understand (http://www.eonline.com/news/525210/gwyneth-paltrow-s-post-split-plans-actress-reveals-she-s-taking-a-break-from-acting-to-focus-on-her-kids; http://time.com/93041/gwyneth-paltrow-mommy-wars/).

This really doesn’t help anyone.  She’s a wealthy actress who was raised in privilege and who lives in a bubble.  I’m sure she has her problems too, like everyone, but there is no way she could begin to know (A) what it’s like to work a day job and take care of a family, or (B) whether it’s easier or more difficult than what Gwyneth does.

Shut up, Gwyneth Paltrow.

Let’s learn a lesson from stupidity.  You and I cannot fully understand the context within which another woman lives.  You don’t know, and I don’t know.  All we can do is respect each other enough to accept that we’re all trying to do the best we can for our families, the best way we know how.

As a feminist, I wonder how we’ll move forward if we let people convince us that we’re fighting each other.  Honestly, I’m not even interested in explaining my choice to work outside the home here, or anywhere.  It’s my prerogative and I’m doing it.  If you start to feel all judge-y, just remind yourself that (i) I am doing my very best to make sure that my son has everything in life that he needs, including a mother who loves him very much,  and (ii) my choices are exactly that – mine.

As a child of the 70’s and 80’s, I have the refrain of “Free to be . . . You and Me” running though my head.  Let’s sing it together, people (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_26FOHoaC78).


Fun Fact

Here’s a fun fact for today – breast milk stains clothing.

Last week, I dripped a lot of breast milk on a pair of pants that I like to wear to work during nice weather.  Frankly, at this post-baby juncture, I’m lucky to have pants that fit and I know I don’t have time to shop for replacement work clothes.  But, never fear, I told myself, it’s just spilled milk.

I laundered those pants and put them away until this morning, when I put them back on and left for work.

Sure enough, today is day two of walking around with milk spots all over both pant legs.


How do YOU get breast milk stains out?