Monday, January 31, 2011

Sick day, you say?

Well, Smokey wasn't really sick and that's a broken thermometer that I've thrown away since sticking it in his mouth.

The sick day was mine. Sort of. Both Jeff and I are sick. I am recovering from the flu which I haven't had in decades. I mean, I cannot remember the last time I had the flu. And Jeff has his 345 million and 7 hundredth sinus/ear infection. So, they gave him antibiotics and flu meds to prevent him from catching it from me. Me on the other hand? Got nothing. Because I am breastfeeding, they wouldn't prescribe me anything. I had to call Oli's pediatrician today to find out what to take. Which was a moot point. Since I am already past the 5 day contagious time frame and all my symptoms are gone.

Getting back to my sick day though. So far today, I have:
  • gone grocery shopping at Safeway 
  • filled up the Prius at Costco
  • vacuumed the living room floor (it gets all the leaf debris from the patio)
  • dusted and polished all wood furniture
  • done a load of  laundry: cloth diapers
  • have a second load of our clothes waiting to go
  • fed, rocked, played with Oli and put him down for a nap half a dozen times - it's going through his 3 month growth spurt so he's crankier than usual
  • Might clean our shower too - we'll see about this one
All I want to say is I have so much respect for all you stay at home mommies, but I am not cut out to be one. I cannot wait to get back to work tomorrow!

If the impending ice storm will let me get back to it.

Friday, January 28, 2011

USPS: not so dreaded anymore

What do you think of when you have to mail a package? Let me tell you, till last week, I had visions of long lines, slowly moving, employees trying to sell me additional products and services when all I want to do is mail a package first class without any singing telegrams notifying me when it gets there. So, imagine what was going through my head this morning when I woke up with a scratchy throat and burning lungs and the knowledge that I had to mail 2 packages and get postage for a third package to be mailed from NC (from my sister's place). I was ready to burrow back into my blankets and not get out of bed just at the thought of having to go to the post office.

Well, I logged into Amazon (all packages were somehow related to my Amazon account, 1 return, 2 sales) and noticed they have a link that says "buy postage." I clicked on that and oh my lordy! I not only printing packing slips and mailing labels, I even paid for shipments - 2 from here in MD and 1 from NC. All I have to do is hand the packages to my mail carrier. And I did all this without being frustrated at standing in a line, without even needing to drive anywhere in the cold, actually without even getting out of my PJs.

I also created an account online with USPS and paid for postage for a package last week. There are limited options there, for example you can't send something just first class but if you have an item that needs insurance, priority mailing, confirmation etc., it's really useful. You have to know the weight of the package but almost all of us have either a scale for ourselves or our food at home and between those two, your items should be covered. With the Amazon items, it was even easier because Amazon lists the shipping weights of their items on the selling page.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the post office. Now that I never have to set foot in their building ever again.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sunday, busy Sunday

Today involved:
  • An extra hour sleep for mommy, since Jeff got up at 6 with Oli and let me sleep in
  • Meal planning and cooking for the week (homemade sloppy joes, chicken and green beans in green curry sauce and Indian style mixed veggies with paneer)
  • grocery shopping at Costco (we got there before they opened and my goodness, I thought we'd get run over by the mob waiting to get in)
  • laundry done and put away - just one load of diapers but still it's done and put away where they belong, not on top of the washer
  • bathroom cleaned including steam cleaning the floor
  • rest of the floors vacuumed 
  • tummy time and floor play with the kid
  • daddy took a nap with Smokey and Oli
  • mommy went to the library and JC Penney (just returns, no purchases)
  • watched a Hindi movie - Dulha Mil Gaya; it was pretty entertaining and Oli enjoyed the music
  • watched part of a football game

Whew! Did today only have 14 waking hours?

Now it's bedtime folks. Good night!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A week of firsts

He loves being Superman! And of course, Smokey had to be in the photo!
  1. First play date with other moms: I went to a friends' house who has a 2 year old boy, such a cutie. We met up with another friend who has an adorable daughter born a week after Oli. The 2 babies pretty much ate and slept while the 2 year old was so cute, he kept going into our diaper bags and bringing us things for the babies. I am looking forward to more play dates since we seem to know so many people who have babies within 2 years of Oli's age. Since Oli is our one and only (another blog post about that), it'll be nice to have all these friends and their kids.
  2. First week back at work: It's all good! I have a couple projects I am helping with and so even though it's not keeping me super busy, at least I am not sitting at my desk twiddling my thumbs. I'll repeat the fact that I love my job and so, I am happy to be back at work.
  3. Oli's first week at daycare: It went great. Even though I might be a bit sad at the thought of him being happy away from me, it would be a lot worse if he was unhappy and crying the whole day there. He eats, sleeps, poops, and one day this week, he also flipped from back to belly! I immediately came home and put him down on the ground. then I focused my camera on him for 10 minutes, waiting for him to do it but of course, he didn't. I am not one of those parents who's upset that his daycare provider got to see him do something before us. He'll do it in front of us eventually. I'd rather he get all his development in wherever and whenever he needs to. The daycare is 5 minutes form my desk and they give me a written report at the end of the day. It details when he ate and how much, when he slept and for how long and when he had a diaper change. I really like them so far.
  4. Our first party with Oli: Last night, we went to a friend's holiday party with Oliver. As soon as we got there, he was taken form my arms and I saw him once to change his diaper and then after 4 hrs when we ready to go home. Mommy had some fun with her friends, got the chance to act silly and just let loose (another blog post about drinking and letting loose in front of our kids later) since I was comfortable with where we were and that he was being taken care of. We are very lucky to have the friends we have and to have the sort of mellow baby we've ended up with. He's amazing with people and that works in our favor.
  5. Our first outing without Oli and his first date with the babysitter: Today, Jeff and I went and saw Harry Potter while a babysitter watched Oli. She lives in our development and her boyfriend works for NSA. She herself is a nurse and has been an ER nurse for years. I sent her a text halfway through the movie asking how things were going and she sent me a text back with his photo asleep in her arms!
Those are the only firsts I can think of for this week but that's quite a few for 5 days!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

1st day back to work

    Bright eyed and bushy tailed
  • I was ready at 5:30; Oli was fed, just needed to get his clothes on.
  • His bags were ready, my bags were ready.
  • Found out we had a 4 hr delay; yippee. Decided to just stay up and treat is as a dry run for normal days. Did some grocery shopping at Super Fresh. Cleaned the ice off the car.
  • Got him to his daycare; realised I left his milk bottles at home. Got him settled in and then drove back home and brought his milk to them.
  • Forgot my lunch. Ate half a bag of gingerbread cookies. Now nauseous and have a headache form all the sugar.
  • Signed Oli up for swim lessons; they start 2/19, 6 half hour sessions where both mommy and daddy can get in the pool with him. Should be fun. I am terrified of drowning and can swim in a pool barely. I don't want Oliver to be like that.
  • Managed to not call the daycare to ask how he's doing.
Time to go pick him up. Here's hoping he had a happy day!

Edited: 1/19/2011 1:48 p.m.

So, everyone seems to think I should be a pile of mush and tears because Oliver is in daycare. I am not. He's in wonderful hands. When I went to pick him up yesterday, he was fast asleep. He awoke for the drive home, cooing at his little bears. He stayed up for the evening, napping a bit right before bathtime & bedtime. He didn't seem to have any negative feelings about having been away from mommy, daddy, Smokey and home. I am happy about that, since that's our only option right now. He has to go to daycare, mommy and daddy have to work and Smokey has to sleep all day at home.

We did it all again this morning. I was about 15 minutes later than I would have like to be with his drop off and me starting work, so not too bad. Only forgot my breakfast today, once again, not too shabby. I called the daycare at lunchtime and he was napping after finishing a bottle. His teacher said he was smiling and playing before falling asleep. So, he's doing well. And, so am I. I like my job and that makes it easier coming back.

Just have to get adjusted to the new schedule and hope I don't forget him at the daycare some day!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

10 weeks & vacation's over

I believe I shall be saying this a lot. "Where did the time go?" This time last year, we were recovering from our trip to India. This year, we are recovering from adding to the family. And, not only are we trying to recover from the birth, the NICU, the family visits ... it's been 10 weeks since he was born. Holy cow, where DID the time go?

Oli's had a busy first 10 weeks of life. In this small amount of time, he's:
  • been to the movies and slept angelically through Little Fockers.
  • been to numerous restaurants, too many to even count
  • done a road trip to Wilmington NC to visit his nani, nanu and mausi. Slept most of the 8 hr drive each way, except to eat and demand to be changed.
  • started fitting into 3 month clothing
  • smiles at people he recognizes
  • talks (or well makes sounds like he's trying to talk) at Smokey, us, the hanging toys off his play mat
  • has discovered how to throw a back arching tantrum (my, how young they learn)
  • has learned how to make so many expressions. Our friend, Jenn, caught a few of his expressions on camera (that's the photo up top).
So, Oli's doing great. There don't seem to be any lasting effects form his pneumothorax or his stay at the NICU. Trust me, you can hear him wail and know that his lungs are perfect.

Oli's parents, on the other hand? We are learning slowly too. We are learning what each different cry means. We are learning how exciting it is when he looks at us in the morning and smiles his gummy smile, indicating he knows it's us. We are learning that there will never be a worry so great as the one for his welfare. We are learning that we can be excited about his growing up and learning new things daily while also missing the stuff he leaves behind. We are learning that we can be excited about helping him discover all that's good in the world while also wondering how to protect him from all the evils. I know I am also wondering about how to balance my need and want to go back to work with the need and want to be with him at all times.

Dear Oli, I hope you know that when mommy says she can't wait to go back to work, it does NOT ever translate to wanting to be away from you. I need to go back to work to balance being me with being a mommy. I have been me for much longer than I have been a mommy and I have missed that in the last few months. Discovering you has been wondrous and will be wondrous as you grow and learn and venture out (and get into cupboards and break my china and other people's windows) but I also need to go back and renew my self worth as a person. I am a wife, a sister, a daughter, now a mother but also an IT Specialist. I know people will laugh as they read this but my job is important to me. I happen like my job too (that's something else we'll talk about as you grow up - finding something to do that you like and that can pay for your shoe addiction uhh grocery bills, I mean). So, I hope that this Tuesday, when we both leave this cozy nest, we'll both be ok. I love you more than I ever thought possible.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Ahh daycare

If Jeff and I had not taken a tour of the daycare at my work and met the women who'll be caring for Oliver day in and day out, I might have chosen some chimpanzees from the local zoo to come watch him in our home instead. Based on my experience with the administrative staff there. Let me recap our experience with le staff at le daycare. And I won't be naming names, though most of you know where I work so can probably figure it out.

Rewind back to February last year when Jeff and I found out we were going to add to the family. After the first few weeks of disbelief and shock, I started making lists of to dos and one of them was check with daycare. Being a federal employee, I get a relatively good deal at the daycare on our campus. Additionally, it's a 5 minute walk from my desk and they encourage parents to visit the children throughout the day. So, I called in March 2010 and got us on the wait list. In June, we took a tour of the daycare and as previously mentioned, met the women who'll be in the infant room and were generally impressed by them.

We also met with the director and someone else on the admin staff. At every step, we were told we would have no problem getting in and we were on the wait-list. Well, the word 'wait-list' makes me a little leery because it does not imply that we are in. So, I'd call once a month to make sure things were good. At some point, we were told to call when the baby was born and we'd go form there. Ok, so fast forward to baby being born. 11/7/2010. Came home 11/15/2010. Sometime in the week after that, I called to give them his information - birth date, name, date of start at daycare etc. At this point is where I started worrying. 1, nobody called me back to confirm they had our information. I waited a week and called them back. I was told we were way down on the wait-list and we would be called as soon as a space opened up. Very different from what they told us 8 months prior. Oh well, what were we going to do. They had our info, they'd call us.

Me being me, I still called every other week to find out what was happening with this wait-list. And, I'd get told, we'll call you in a week to update you on your position on the list. Except, nobody would call us. So, I would call back in a week. Mid-December we were told we were #9 on the wait-list. On December 26th, I called to get an update and this is the conversation I have:

Me: "Hi Miss ABC, this is Sylvie Williams, I was calling to check where we were on the wait-list?"
Miss ABC: "Oh, let me check, what did you say your name was?"
Me: "Sylvie Williams"
Miss ABC: "Oh ok and your son is walking, right?"
Me: "uh no he's not even 2 months old yet."
Miss ABC: "Oh, what? let me check something again."

She's gone for a few minutes, comes back and asks me, "ok, so your son is walking."

I sat on my couch, trying not to lose it. I had called so many times and repeatedly given my information to them. But, what were we going to do? So, I politely repeated our information and was told we were #6 on the wait-list. She also said she'd called the parents ahead of me and was waiting for call backs. Also promised to call me back within a week. Guess what? No call back. So, I waited 10 days and called them back yesterday morning.

Me: "Hi this is Sylvie Williams just calling to check on the wait-list."
Miss ABC: "let me look at my list. Oh yeah Miss Williams, your son is walking, right?"


Good news is, they had an opening, and I told her I would pick up the registration packet that same day. She said she'd leave it with the receptionist. I get there to pick it up and they inform me that I have to pay the $85 registration fee right then and there to hold our spot. By check or money order ONLY. Once again, #@%$#@$%%^$% could they not have mentioned that on the phone? I was able to get a hold of Brenda and she dropped off a check for me.

How I didn't go home and down a 6 pack, I don't know. But, at least we have daycare starting when I go back to work in 2 weeks.

Just a random question for parents out there: is Oliver supposed to be walking by 8 weeks? No? really? ok, I didn't think so. Whew, I was starting to think he was behind or something.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

2010: in with a bang, out with a bigger bang

Last year, well last to last year since I mean 2009, we ended the year in India at a grand party at a resort. This year, we ended the year in our house, with our sweet little baby boy. Sleep deprived and not so bushy tailed, we thank the powers that be for sending this little angel faced munchkin to us.

We also celebrated 5 years of marriage. Which, you folks, apparently when you have a newborn, you don't remember the morning of the day you complete five years of marriage. December 30, 2010, Jeff and I woke up with his alarm at 6; I fed Oliver as he got ready to go to work. He left, I went into the living room to sit with my sister. My mom walked out of the guest bedroom and wished me a happy anniversary, I sat there with a dumbfounded look on my face and said, "oh we forgot it was our anniversary." Well, our family didn't. My sister even looked up what the traditional gift for a 5th anniversary was and being that it was wood, my parents and sis got us this ultra cute kid's rocking chair form ye olde Cracker Barrel. A little big for Oli right now but I see numerous hours of rockin' enjoyment in his future. We managed to make it out to dinner at a Japanese steakhouse for our anniversary. I am not linking to the place because it was just blah but the company was great and Oli didn't start fussing till it was time to pay. Which has been par for the course as far as dining out goes.

He also went to his very first movie, Little Fockers, which was just ok. What was memorable was the fact that after drinking milk right at the beginning of the movie, Oli slept right through to the rolling credits. We went to a 9:15 a.m. showing on the 31st, hoping that there wouldn't be too many people there in case he was too fussy. But, he was amazing. I am pretty sure our luck with going out is going to run out some day but for now, he is being so wonderfully cooperative.

In another rather strange turn of events, for the first time in the 7 years we have known each other, Jeff and I stayed up to bring in the new year. We were fading around 10:30 p.m. so we put in Back to the Future, the very first one and it kept us awake long enough to see the clock turn 12. Then we stayed up another 20 minutes to finish the movie and passed out pretty soon thereafter.

So, what was new for us this past year?
  • I got pregnant
  • my sister started her residency and moved to Wilmington, NC with our parents in May
  • I visited Niagara Falls for the very first time with Jeff in August and was sufficiently impressed
  • Jeff's sister had a baby boy in September
  • we had our baby boy in November
  • Jeff's parents visited in December; they really need to come out in the spring/summer, the winters here are a shock to Californians
  • we've successfully stayed married for 5 years without killing each other
  • we stayed up till midnight on New Year's Eve, possibly for the last time ever, considering how we felt the next day
What are we planning for in the next year?
  • watching Oli grow and seeing his personality emerge
  • working on getting Jeff a job closer to home; the 2 hr commute each way is a bummer to say the least
  • making a visit out to the West Coast
  • maybe getting a cruise in, specially since they all now leave out of Baltimore
Really, I am sure there's more that both Jeff and I would like to do but my brain has decided this is as long as it's going to work this morning.

I'll end with wishing all of you a wonderful New Year and hoping all your dreams get realized in 2011.