Thursday, December 30, 2010
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Today I got dressed. Okay, I get dressed every day, but today I put on a dress. And boots. And eyeshadow. It was time to join the ranks of the living. I was headed into the office, and my new custom fresh- from- the- grave look just wasn't going to cut it.
Monday, December 27, 2010
Santa did alright. He brought me a helicopter lego set that took me and mommy over an hour to put together. Then it fell apart and I got MAD. Stupid legos! He also brought me a camera and a guitar, but the guitar was broken. Grandpa said that a reindeer must have stepped on it. Mommy looked at him and said Santa must not have been on TARGET and winked. Why was that funny? Stupid broken guitar!
After the Santa gifts, there were still more presents to go, and it took forever. Mommy wanted me to stop and examine every single present I opened, and I just wanted to see what was next. If we did it her way it would have taken forever. Plus she said the grown ups had to open up gifts too, and their stuff was really boring. Books, and soap and dumb stuff like that. I guess that Santa doesn't like big people very much.
I got two best things for Christmas. One was a red glow stick in my stocking. It was so cool and I had it in bed with me all night long, but then it stopped working. Stupid glow stick. I also got an awesome pirate set with an eye patch, a sword and a gold earring. Arrrg I looked like a real pirate! Until the earring and the sword broke and Christmas was ruined- but only for a few minutes because then we got candy canes.
I got some really bad presents too. Auntie Erica gave me a "make your own plate and mug set." Mom was crazy about it. She was so excited, but I thought it was stupid. It didn't make noise, it wasn't a car, or a superhero. Dumb! Mommy got really mad at me when I told Auntie Erica that I didn't like it. Aren't we suppose to tell the truth? Duh!
Next year I'm going to ask Santa for a chocolate covered Lighting McQueen remote control car, with candy cane windshield wipers. I think you have to be pretty specific with the big guy. And your Aunt.
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
It was the feeling of warmth in a dingy library basement, filled with kids and faces that I recognized. It was the sense of belonging in a community, my community, even though I have been absent now for over a year.
I had spent the day before with my good friend Shannon and her lovely family, and enjoyed a playgroup with my beloved "June Babies" mamas, but for whatever reason it was the moment in the library, seeing several familiar faces unexpectedly that brought me to tears. When I went over to say hello to my friend Liz, I could not even get it together to speak. She was kind, blamed it on my hormones, and I simply had to leave without saying a word, I could not hold it together.
I love it here. I love the life we had. It was comfortable and full. It isn't as if life in California is so bad, it's just that Denver is home. This is where I belong.
And I am so very far away.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Monday, December 20, 2010
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
I am getting on a plane, Denver bound tomorrow for what is suppose to be a merry, festive holiday visit. All I can think about is how very cold I am going to be, how I won't have my own bed, how I can't just nap. People to see, things to do.
What bad timing. Why could I have not come down with this bug last week? Why am I suddenly plagued with debilitating neck pain? Oh I know, I know things could certainly be worse, but let me pout a little while.
I don't believe in Santa anyway.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
I have a feeling we won't be back.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Friday, December 3, 2010
Thursday, December 2, 2010
We found a place. A beautiful home in Oakland. Perfect? No. It is on a busy street and very close to a highway so noise is a factor, and we are unlikely to have a lot of neighborhood block parties. But we have four bedrooms and a mother in law apartment with a second kitchen. And the house is immaculate. New fixtures, fresh paint in warm colors, and beautiful window coverings. The bathrooms and kitchens are updated and shiny. It really is quite lovely.
Mostly I am excited, but I am also a little sad. I won't miss our house, but I will miss our routine. I got used to this neighborhood. The Monetary Market where we buy all of our fresh produce and the bagel shop that I frequent on the weekends which is far superior to Noah's. We have our favorite playgrounds, the doctor's office, the dry cleaner, my salon, dentist, and favorite watering holes all within a mile. Now I have to learn a whole new city again, and I'm not in the mood. I just figured all of that stuff out. Not to mention the actual moving. The packing and unpacking. The house filled with packing paper and cardboard boxes. The chaos.
But it is going to be worth it. It is going to be worth it. We are going to love it. It's going to be great. As long as I can find a good bagel.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
The book? Siblings Without Rivalry. The kicker? When I was a senior in college, I actually presented this curriculum to a parent education class that I was facilitating as part of my internship. Of course I don't remember a lick of it. It was after all a long time ago, and at the time the content was not very relevant to my every day life, thus, it didn't stick. Ironic that now, at 36 I am the student.
I am hoping that the book will actually provide me with some insight and useful tools to help me break the dreadful cycle of "nah-nah-nah-nah-boo-boo" and "You love him more than me." It better or I may just run off and join the freaking circus. So far, I am finding the book to be interesting. My favorite nugget thus far is as follows : Imagine that your husband takes you aside one day and tells you "I love you so much and you are so special to me, that I am going to get a second wife. She is going to add so much joy to our family, and I know that you will love her too. I expect you to be very nice to her and share all of your belongings with her."
Yeah. Now that hit home. It gives a whole new perspective on how it might feel to be a kid welcoming a new sibling into the family. It would kind of suck.
The book goes on to provide many examples of positive reactions to sibling jealousy, and I think some of the ideas just may work, but I worry that I am not smart enough to execute these techniques in real life. It's one thing to say what you would do in a hypothetical situation, and another to think fast on your feet in the heat of a preschooler versus toddler meltdown. But I am going to try. Hard.
Is it just me, or does this whole parenting thing seem to get more difficult and complicated with time?
Monday, November 29, 2010
Tonight was the very first social outing I have had with my new coworkers. The occasion: our head of global HR was visiting from New York. It was a fun evening actually. I have come to learn that PR attracts incredibly clever, charismatic people, and in fact, this holds true for agency HR staff as well (present company included!) But I was nervous. Like any one who is self conscious about something, I assumed that it became glaringly obvious to everyone else. Like a neon sign hanging above my belly flashing "PREGNANT".
I did a fairly good job disguising my bloated tummy with a newly purchased loose fitting (Liz Lang Maternity) shirt and cardigan, yet I knew there may be some other hurdles to scramble. Primarily, the wine factor. Luckily, as previously noted, I have never actually gone out with this group before, so nobody was aware of my typical (heavy) drinking habits. But still I anticipated the moment. The wine list was passed around. The orders were taken, and the drinks poured. "Rachel, you're not having any wine?"someone asks. I spew out my rehearsed response, something about migraines and giving up wine for a couple of weeks. It seemed to go over. (Although it is truly a ridiculous scenario for anyone who knows me. I would rather deal with an occasional throbbing headache than God forbid, give up my Zinfindel). The evening continued on and went well. We covered everything from politics to religion before somehow landing on the topics of babies and fertility.
An unexpected moment came. "Rachel, are you planning on having more children?" It was as if, like in some old movie, a record came to a screeching stop, and everyone all at once turned their heads for my response. I stammered a moment and came up with this gem; "The jury is still out on that one!" Which, I suppose is not a total lie, at less than seven weeks, this pregnancy could have a disappointing end. But everyone laughed, and we moved on.
The final incident was in the coffee ordering. A round of caffeine love for everyone, everyone accept me that is. I ordered decaf, which should be normal right? It was 8pm. But my colleague eyed me (with what I felt was suspicion, but which I am nearly 100% sure I fabricated) and asked "Don't you drink caffeine?" "Oh yes" I assured, her, "just not at night." Ha! What a whopper, I could drink a triple espresso, and still fall right to sleep. I am immune to caffeine, I swear it, but they are none the wiser.
Imagination or not, I think they are on to me. By the time this is posted, they will have already received official word of my news. They can tell me then if I am diffusional and self-absorbed, and if they honestly thought that I was a clean-living tea-totaler. I'll prove to them otherwise in 8 or 9 months...
I was completely right. Everyone knew after that fateful evening. Guess I am not as crazy as I thought I was.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Finally last night, the husband and I watched the cult classic Heathers. Wow. I of course had seen the movie many years ago, but I had forgotten what a dark, creepy and just plain bizarre movie it is. More than that it made me feel old. Really old. That movie came out in 1989. Winona Ryder was hot, and Christian Slater wasn't bad either. And the wardrobe . Wow. Talk about dated. It got me thinking. Winona and Christian must be pushing at least 40 now right? That number isn't so terribly far off for me either. I am closer to the dowdy middle age parents than I am the angst filled teens. Ouch.
I hope I start feeling better soon, otherwise I am going to turn into one giant couch potato who writes really boring blog posts about what I am watching on tv.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
Now the fine print:
Those who take Morning Sickness- The Pill may experience abdominal swelling and bloating, sudden mood swings, crying unexpectedly and for no apparent reason and massive fatigue.
Friday, November 19, 2010
Only a few days ago, life was normal. We had a nice routine going, a rhythm. It all changed with a "positive" sign. A pregnancy test. A possible baby. I was home alone when I took the test. I had a bad neck and decided I could not make the trip to Sacramento with my family. I got a deep tissue massage and took a 2 hour nap. The sun seemed brighter. Something was different. I did the "deed" and took the test, leaving it resting on the bathroom counter. I took a long hot shower, thinking about the possible result, willing myself to stay in the warm mist of not knowing for a few more minutes. I stepped out of the shower wrapped a towel around my sore body and looked down at the counter. PREGNANT. My heartbeat quickened. My first reaction... excitement, joy, disbelief. I could not wait for my husband to return home so I could share the news. But I guarded myself, due to a haunting memory. When the husband and I were trying to conceive our second child, we had months and months of fertility treatments. Then one day I took a Clear Blue Easy test, and holy cow it was positive. I was ecstatic. I called all my closest family and friends to tell them the news, throwing caution to the wind. Everyone knew we were trying anyway. That night I could hardly sleep. My head was busy contemplating potential baby names and due dates. The next morning my joy came to a screeching halt when another, then another, then another test came back negative. Who gets a false positive? I do. But it was unheard of. Yet it happened, and as silly as it may seem I was devastated.
But it was different this time. I took two additional tests after the first positive, both with the same result. So it is true I am pregnant. My husband and I were in a state of shock for the first day. We giggled at the prospect of a mini-van and maybe, just maybe a girl.
But now here I am with a few more days to digest it all, and what I am left with is cold fear. A close girlfriend just miscarried. She was a few weeks ahead of me. I know that I could share the same fate. And if everything (God willing) turns out, then I will have three babies. Three. I never planned on three. Now let me state this for the record, we were not completely surprised by the pregnancy, we knew that we were playing with fire, and yet I guess I didn't quite expect it. Now I am here trying to envision my new life, and there is so much uncertainty. Where will we live? This house is so small. Will I ever get any me time again? I was really enjoying my evenings out with new girlfriends. How will we pay for college for three kids? No more shopping for mama. What will my body look like after three pregnancies? I have a feeling I am going to be asking for a tummy tuck every Christmas....
So right now, I am feeling quite afraid, afraid for the baby as I am with each pregnancy, because ultimately above all else I want this baby, and I want it healthy. And I am afraid of what my life might look like for the next few years. And you know the one thing that might help in a situation like this? A glass of wine. But like the ibuprofen I desperately wish I could take for the never ending spasm in my neck, alcohol is off limits. That is just plain cruel isn't it?
Thursday, November 18, 2010
I realize that you may have some concerns. Perhaps you feel that you do not have time to train a new employee, or you may worry that this individual will not fit in with our organizational culture. Finally given our small offices, I realize that it is hard to imagine that we have any additional room for another person. These are all valid concerns. However, we are in the process of scoping out new locations for our corporate headquarters. I am confident that we will find a new space that will be comfortable for all of us....eventually. Additionally you all have very important jobs to do! I expect each of you to welcome our new staff member with open arms, and take him or her under your wing. Think of this as an excellent opportunity to further develop strong leadership skills.
I admit, I did not believe that this day would ever come, but here it is, please celebrate with me!
Monday, November 15, 2010
Friday, November 12, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Friday, November 5, 2010
A trip to Target today actually proved to be therapeutic, joyful even. The store was seriously decked out. Festive signs suspended from the ceilings, isles upon isles of all things Christmas. Cards, paper goods, wrapping, ornaments, lights, candy, stockings, stocking stuffers, lawn decorations, tinsel, ribbon, candles, red and green socks and sweaters, even underwear. Ahh sheer consumerism.
And then I came to the Hanukkah isle. A neat, tidy little section dedicated to the Chosen People. The Hanukkah isle probably represented about 1/10,000 of the store's merchandise, it was so......manageable. And it came to me. This is it. This year I'm a Hanukkah girl and it is going to be easy and fun. I purchased a driedle covered tablecloth for $5. A menorah adhesive to put on the window. I added a stack of blue Star of David napkins and 2 packs of chocolate gelt to my cart. Wah-lah. Holiday decorations complete. Easy. The rest of my plan includes eight small gifts for each of the kids, and inviting another family over for an evening of latke eating. We will light the menorah, maybe bake a few cookies and enjoy family time. I like it.
As for Christmas? No I will not ignore the holiday entirely, it is after all my husband's tradition, and the boys love it. But I'm going to let daddy be the Christmas guy. If he wants to get a tree and mess with the lights, I'll be there cheering him on from the sofa with a cup of apple cider. I am not joining the frenzy this year. I will enjoy the neighborhood lights and the 24x7 Christmas Carols on the local light radio channel. We will fly to Denver to celebrate with family, but I'm not knocking myself out purchasing large bulky gifts that need to be shipped back and forth, we are going small scale, and I'm just going to try and enjoy the season for the beauty that it brings. I am going to focus on keeping it fun, even if it isn't picture perfect, even if we don't do it all. Maybe we will skip the long line at the mall for the shot of Zack and Evan squirming on Santa's knee. Maybe we won't have the most elaborate holiday meals, or the best decorated house on the block. But we are going to have fun.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Sunday, October 31, 2010
- I went to a movie by myself on Saturday night. I know *crazy*, but I rather enjoyed it. I mean who really needs a partner to view a film? It isn't as if I want to chat during the movie, and after 11.5 years of marriage, I feel no urge to make out in a dark theater. So going solo suits me just fine. Accept. Accept I ran into a couple from Zack's preschool and I instantly felt weird. What did they think? "Look at that poor woman.... doesn't she have any friends?" "Where do you think her husband is?"
- My husband's friend visited us from the great state of Minnesota this weekend. He confided that one of his goals was to get a mention in getrealmama. So here it is Pete-great to see you. You are a true beer nerd, and I mean that in the nicest of ways. I am sure he feels a profound sense of fulfillment now.
- Today was a day chock full of trick-or-treating. We took our two little Batmen out on three seperate occassions to collect candy from strangers, and they were delighted. I was mildly embarressed by Zachary's lack-luster "Trick or Treat" and forced "Thank you", mumbled with his back already turned to the door. However, Evan's cheerful "Trick or Thank you!" made up for it all. He was quite the charmer. Now we have enough candy to keep us sugar-loaded until Easter. Super.
Friday, October 29, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
I guess that I'm on a roll. First on my list was Mr. Pickles. Now we can add "Bertha" the babysitter. I am calling her Bertha to protect her identity, while I am sure she doesn't read my blog, you just never know who does.
Bertha has babysat for us probably about 6-7 times over the course of the past year. She works at my son's preschool, which is how I met her. She is a fine older lady. Not the spry, energetic type my children would prefer, but rather the trustworthy person who you hire to watch the munchkins for an hour or two before bedtime. She feeds them, sticks them in front of the TV for a half an hour, then tucks them into bed.
I'll be honest. I have always been slightly dissatisfied with her services. For $15/hour, you think she could give the boys a bath before settling on our sofa to watch Dateline until we arrive home. Nope. No bath. Cleaning up after herself also doesn't seem to be a strength. One night we arrived home to not only a mess of dirty dishes, but a full pan of almost untouched lasagna sitting on the counter. It had been there since I removed it from the oven upon her arrival, five hours ago. The lasagna, needless to say, went in the trash. I don't know why I kept calling her. Maybe because finding a new sitter is so much work, and at least I knew Bertha would show up.
Well today was the final straw. This camel's back is broken. I can take no more. Goodbye Bertha. True, I may be over-reacting, but I'm not feeling very well, so cut me a little slack.
Tonight, at this very moment I am suppose to be in San Francisco with my husband at The World Series! The hubs scored tickets from a generous vendor, and I was invited to attend. Now, I am not a huge baseball fan, but I do enjoy a game, the crowds, the junk food, the beer, it's a good time. And The World Series? That has to be one heck of a party. Bertha was scheduled to babysit. But here is the problem. I am sick. Sick-sick. Too sick to go out and have fun, even if it means that I am stuck at home with rowdy kids. So I called Bertha with the news this morning. Bertha was not happy. Bertha was not shy about her feelings. Bertha went on and on about how she had just turned down another job and how she had planned on working tonight.
Okay, before you think I am totally heartless, to some extent I get it. She was planning on making $60.00 tonight for sitting on her butt watching TV in my living room. Maybe she had that money ear-marked. But it isn't as if I have ever cancelled on her before. It isn't as if this is her regular job. I am not her employer.
What really ticked me off? The fact that she didn't have an ounce of sympathy for me. Did she think I was lying? Did she think that I decided that it would be more fun to stay at home eating saltine crackers than going to see the ball game that everyone is talking about?
In the end I asked her if she wanted me to pay her for a portion of what she would have received tonight. Her words? "You just have to do what you think is right." I gave her a check for $45.00. You can be damn sure that was the last dollar she is going to earn from me.
Maybe I am not being fair. Maybe it is common practice to pay a sitter when you cancel on them. Perhaps I just have some pent up anger about the lack-luster job she does for us, and some general dissatisfaction with the way this evening turned out.
What do you think?
Monday, October 25, 2010
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
- Behavior: Maintains composure while children
wail and sob after being served french
toast for breakfast... they wanted microwave
pancakes. Reward: One grande Starbucks latte.
- Behavior: Shouts "Rats!" after dropping an eight volume cookbook on big toe, rather than using a more descriptive exclamation. Reward: Getting to watch a real-life rated "R" movie for a change.
- Behavior: Gives up opportunity to watch "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" so husband can watch baseball game. (Again). Reward: A professional massage.
- Behavior: Does not cry when son tells her for the 22nd time in one day "you're not my friend" Reward: A night out with girlfriend's who actually like being around me.
- Behavior: Picking up husband's dirty socks, underwear, and t-shirts, putting them in hamper without muttering a single snarky comment. Reward: Peace
- Behavior: Listening to son painstakingly read each word of the 62 page "I Can Read" version of Danny and the Dinosaur, while my dinner gets cold. Reward: A heart all swelled up with pride.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Zack hates his little brother.
If Zack were in the mafia he would order a hit on him.
If he had a facebook page, he would taunt him 24/7 with his status updates. "Evan poops in his diaper!" "Evan is a stupid baby!"
If he were the head of this household he would disown Evan. Trust me, he has inquired on multiple occasions about the possibility of "kicking Evan out of the family."
I am not making this stuff up.
Is it a phase? If it is it goes back to June 12, 2008.
Sure there have been flashes of tenderness along the way. I will never forget the first time Zachary witnessed me changing Evan's diaper. When I removed the infant onsie, Zack recoiled in horror at the site of Evan's stumpy belly button. I had forgotten to warn him. He looked truly scared and for his brothers well being. Sweet, but that was a long time ago. Since that moment, I would have to say there have only been a handful of times when Zachary has shown even a small amount of kindness toward his nemesis.
Is this normal? It seems to me that all of my friends with multiple kids have older siblings that look after their little brother or sister. They give out hugs and kisses, perhaps sometimes to forcefully, but at least the intention is there. Zack has never asked to hug his brother. He will barely stand next to him for a photograph.
So what did I do wrong? I tried to prepare my son for the arrival of his baby brother. I read the "I'm a big brother!" book to Zack about 200 times. I talked on and on about how important a big brother is. We talk about jealousy, and got a book about it. I feel as though we give him tons of attention. Today for example, I took him for a mommy & me day, and went to the bookstore and the movies with him. I filled him up with mama hugs and popcorn and we had a delightful time... until we got home, and the fighting between brothers started all over again.
Please readers, I am looking for your advice, or your words of encouragement. Have you witnessed this type of behavior before? (Tell me I am not alone!). Do you have any ideas on how to improve the situation? (Since brothers cannot get a divorce, we are all stuck together under the same very small roof for at least the next 13 years). I am all ears.
Friday, October 15, 2010
What does this picture say to you?
To me the biased mama, it screams two things:
1) I have a very, very smart son, perhaps even "gifted". Harvard here we come (full scholarship of course.) Zachary at five years old, selected this shirt himself. Why? Because he could read every word on the shirt. "Do not feed the bears" "I am not a bear" "Trust me". And he thought it was hysterical. Okay so maybe his sense of humor is that of a preschooler but the kid has some mad skillz.
2) I have a teenager with attitude stuck in a five-year old body. I mean just look at him.