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.