Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Whose pants are these?!

I was never a thin, lithe women, but I actually do have clothing in my closest from college in size 6, maybe even a size 4. But, again that was 20 years ago, right around the time I snared my hot husband. Since then, I have been very large (now and in Dallas) and fit (Chicago and some in Hood River). Then I had O. He is lovely, but when I went into the hospital to deliver him, some nasty bitch sneaked into my house and either hid or altered all of my old pre-O pants. I couldn't fit into anything.

Then, the post partem depression sunk in and seriously, whose pants are these??? I see them in the laundry and they are HUGE. Seriously, huger than ever before. OK, so, I took a few three years off running, and I drank gallons of wine and maybe had too much to eat like every day for every meal, but, honestly, this is just mean! I am the chubby mom now! And I cannot allow it. I will drop this baggage and I will do so smartly and as quickly as possible.

Three weeks ago, I started running three times a week. And since it was been more than 3 years since my last marathon, I finally gave up on any notion that I was at all fit and admitted that I am starting over. And that means that if I run 1.5 miles, that is a stinking miracle. Just like the last time I got myself into awesome shape. I know what to do and now that I have nothing but time, I can achieve this. I am hoping to make a discernible difference in my shape by Thanksgiving. I think I can drop 20-30 pounds by then...Anyone wanna take me up on a challenge here???

The dog days of summer

As I sit here in my lovely, affordable home on a single income, I daydream about the places I used to live. How the Northwest had such mild weather and no bugs and how beautiful the mountains are and about a thousand other things that I convinced myself were not that great when we were leaving. I think about Portland all the time, the city we intended to move to when we first ventured out west. Alas, we wound up in lovely Hood River and met some of our dearest and lifelong friends, not to mention the single income we have now. In fact, much of what we have right now, we owe to Hood River. But we left. We left for a promotion that I desperately wanted and we left to return to our city slicker heritage. We left for Seattle. Seattle was wonderful, but it was expensive and far from Owen's grandparents, making it less than ideal. When we knew we were going to move one last time (we hoped), we looked again longingly at Portland. It just couldn't work, the family was the reason to relocate and they weren't in Portland either, so, having never got to live in Portland, I idealize it. Only, shouldacouldawoulda, I am still not there. And neither is our family. But, it is nice to dream about.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Soooo, that's how we treat moms

Went to lunch to meet a friend today. She blew it off, but what was worse, was watching all of the working crowd get priority service over me and O. I waited longer to order and waited so long to pay that the host felt sorry for me and ran my card for the server who could give a crap about me or my boy. (who by the way is the best lunch date ever!!) Four tables around me were in and out by the time I got my card run. I was so angry, I would have stiffed the server with a note on the receipt that read: "If you would have cared about my service as much as you cared about your other customers, maybe I would have tipped you like they did."

But alas, I did not because I knew full well that the rest of the crew taking care of us probably shared in that tip and they didn't deserve it for her lack of interest in a customer with a child. I was very disappointed and pretty offended that I didn't matter.

I will not be returning to Rise n Dine in the Arena District, and I would encourage all other moms to do the same, you don't matter to them, at least I didn't, and from what Steve tells me about his time as a primary care-taker, they didn't care about him either. I guess the working lunch crowd is in a greater hurry than a mom with a two year old before nap time - if you know anything about this, there is nothing more urgent than a sleepy toddler. Tsk, tsk, Rise n Dine, and for any other establishment who feels moms are second class.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

My, how things change

I know this is going to sound completely rediculous, untrue and more than slightly deranged, but, for nearly two years, Steve and I rocked Owen to sleep every night and for every nap. Seriously, nearly two years. Owen would never fall asleep if he were awake in his own crib and would cry. Trust me, the kid most of you have met can get himself worked up into such a crying jag that he will give himself the hiccups. He would do this if we didn't do the rocking.

And pretty much for this same period of time, he slept through the night fewer than 25 times. Steve bore the brunt of this idiosyncracy, but nonetheless, it was exhausting. (I would at this time like to note that we are old parents, so, this is actually quite something.)

And then, suddenly, we tried a big boy bed. And wouldn't you know it, he puts himself to sleep, everytime, for every slumber. And, he sleeps through the night 98 percent of the time. It was miraculous, shocking and really quite astounding when we realized that he was doing this on his own, like a big boy. It was if he said to himself, ok, I got it from here guys, I am a big boy with my big boy bed and I can do it.

When we look back on those nearly two years of sleep deprivation and frustration of not having a child who could sooth himself to sleep, we cannot believe we did it, or that he did for that matter. It is yet another example that being a parent is the most bittersweet endeavor one could imagine. Sometimes, I miss those quiet times in his room rocking him into a slumber singing him lullabys and talking about his day, other times, I cannot believe we made it this far and how proud I am of all of us for doing what worked for our boy (not necessarily for us).

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Sources of fear

When I was 5 years old, I apparently demanded to see Jaws. Yes, that Jaws, big shark, eating people, heads washing up on shore, scaring everyone. Well, my parents obliged. I wish they hadn't and seeing that now as a parent, I am a little mad about it. I am now to this day terrified of the ocean. In fact, I am not even crazy about the pool for fear of being eaten by a shark IN THE BEXLEY POOL.

Last night, Steve and I went to see the new Batman movie at 9:30 p.m. There were small children in the theater. I would say ranging in age from 3-8. WTF, people?? This movie is DARK, even says so in the title. The characters are scary, or at least intense, hell, one of them has half of his face burned off and you see it! The Joker is scary in his random affection for violence and there is even (SPOILER ALERT) some implied impending violence against children. OMG!!! This is not the place to take your small child. I was sad for the kids because they deserve parents who give a shit, I was angry at the parents for being so selfish as to bring small kids to an obviously intense (and really, really good) movie and appalled that theaters don't seem to mind. When we were leaving there were a few of the kids who were crying, a few sleeping and a few who were clearly shell shocked by what they had seen.

When Owen is 5 and demands to see some movie like Jaws, I will explain to him that he is too young to develop life-long irrational fears, and I will tell him the story of Jaws and The Dark Knight.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Settling in

This weekend is Owen's second birthday, so, I have been running around like mad and haven't had a free minute to blog, in fact, I need to go make our party favors. I will try to post more later today. Needless to say, this week has been a joy. I am getting used to this new existence and Owen is getting used to me. All is well, if not a little nutty. More later, favors await.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The adjustment period

Last week felt like a vacation. It really did. I just felt like there would be work to go back to at some point and that it was just a short little respite. This week, feels a little more like permanence and it is both scary and confusing.

I remember when I was leaving, I was feeling that I would be wanting to do nothing but be Owen's mom for the next few years and would not want to even think about taking anything on for at least another 6 months.

A few days ago, I pictured working in the afternoons. Yesterday, I was figuring out when I could work and what I wanted to work on. Some 6 months. I am so grateful Steve is committed to a 6 month contract to allow me to fully adjust. I know this is just a moment in time where I feel that I only provide value when I am working. I just didn't realize that I derived so much of who I am from working and earning.

I can say that either way, I still cannot imagine going back to anything full time. I cannot really see working for anyone but me and deciding what I could and would take on. I wonder when even part time will pass as a desire now that the vacation is over.

Funny, but true, I really am struggling with simply being a mom. Maybe it is because the last 16 years have been so frenetic and I became accustomed to doing 47 things at once and now I simply answer the same question 47 times.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Wrestling with identity

If you know me, you know how much I love shoes and bags (and jewelry), and in my new role, there is no need for any of those items at all. Bags and a toddler are a joke and there is something about walking into Gymboree with my Bob Shimmer Choo ballet slipper that seems like overkill. The problem is I thought I would be one of those glam Charlotte moms who wore beautiful, but comfortable and elegantly casual clothes, and yet, I cannot muster anything beyond jeans and a tee, a really big tee to hide my tummy. I feel like any moment I am going to be on what not to wear. I saw some bags tonight shopping that made me want to get that elegance going again. I think I will aim for the Fall for this transition. I am still trying to figure out how and when to shower each day.

Week one lessons

I am learning to take my time since that is what I have now. I have time. Negotiating with a toddler in a grocery store is quite possibly what I will be doing in hell. Keeping a house together requires near perpetual motion. I kinda feel like a shark, walking around picking up, cleaning up, unloading dishes, I only sit to blog (and nap). Napping is awesome. The days are much shorter than I could have imagined. It is all of a sudden 5 pm. Did I mention the napping? Snuggling up to my child in the afternoon is just bliss. Speaking of which, I think I may go nap...after I clean up!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Now, people...

After being at home for a week, I have seen some things that are hilarious, adorable and downright alarming. I think I will start with alarming. I have witnessed some horrifying interesting parenting techniques this week. Some of them left me wondering why people go to all the trouble...here are some samples.

Crying child not wanting to go down water slide. Dad tricks him into sitting down, then shoves him. Child arrives at bottom of slide terrified and very distrustful of his father.

Crying child standing in front of mother who doesn't bother to look at the child, let alone comfort her, but also doesn't break for one second her conversation with her other mom friend (who has no idea where her kid might be!) I would like to note that the crying child not being comforted earlier kicked and pushed Owen in an effort to hurry him down the slide until I scolded her to stop. Her mother was 150 yards away talking to her friend.

Moms chatting away, dads playing catch in the pool, baby, crying and nearly falling into pool...no one notices.

I could go on and on, but maybe I am the weird one. We unwittingly did attachment parenting. And because we were late to parenting in our marriage and have very few incredibly close friends (stupid moving all the time), we just want to play with him. We don't leave his side at the pool or the playground or anywhere really.

I am not saying we are the best parents, I am just saying we like our kid and want to play with him above most others. I am noticing that this is backfiring a bit because at a party this weekend, he really wanted to hang around the adults and not so much with the kids his age. Scary for many reasons, but, he is also only 2, almost.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

So, what's it like on Day 2?

I have said "what?" a lot less to Steve, because I am present in my own life right now. I am not distracted, I am mentally and emotionally here. It is lovely. Thanks so much, Steve for this opportunity to refocus and recharge with the wonderful little boy you have raised so elegantly.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Shaking it off

My first full day as a stay at home mom and it dawns on me as I ride with O on the carousel for the third time that I am accountable to no one but him. My schedule is his schedule. I have nothing to do or anywhere to be other than on this carousel ride. What a liberating feeling. This is a really odd feeling of freedom. I hope it lasts for a long time. I feel very much at ease, with few cares. It is exhilarating.

I also realized that there is more time in a day with this role for right now. We do something fun in the morning, he takes a massive nap and we play at the house or run errands in the afternoon. Easy breezy.

Last role, I would hammer all day, race home and try to be the most exciting person alive for three hours. The old thing was exhausting. Yes, I am the luckiest girl in the world.