Friday, January 30, 2015

A Year Ago or So

I was just reading over posts from my return to work after Junior was born and...HEY!!!...that was two years ago, not one, holy crap! Well anyway, there was a post about how my boss and I were mad at each other while working on an appellate brief, but that I thought we wrote a really good brief. And another post about how we won one at the trial level but that it would be appealed anyway. Well, we won both of those. In the latter case, Claimant's appeal was taken but the decision was affirmed at the administrative board level, and we won 2-1 on that appellate brief and the Supreme Court denied review, so that was actually a huge win for our client. We're talking a six-figure win. And a big win for me because the decision was one of very few that came down in the past year that was defense-oriented. It may have been the only one, actually. Yay, me! But what do I have to show for such successes? Nothing. I am still basically doing the same thing I was doing two and a half years ago when I started this job. I am super frustrated about this but I don't want to go on and on right now because I have to turn off the computer and start winding down (and processing the caffeine from the dark-chocolate covered pecans I just ate). Like every other topic I have mentioned in the last few posts, more later.

Life Is Not What-Not (edited title only)

As promised, it's time for a little boob talk. I've succumbed to the idea that LJ will be drinking some formula. In related news, I did just start cloth-diapering him. So, win some, lose some, Little Guy!

For the first three weeks back at work I pumped twice per day and was keeping up with his needs while I was gone. It was just. so. annoying. I made a plan to cut back at his 4-month birthday (or whatever you would call that). This week I reduced the pumping to once per day, with the goal being that by the end of next week I will not be pumping at all anymore. But you know, once per day is really not that bad. Although I can't believe I pumped for the whole year with Junior, especially after I learned that my friend pumps for 15-20 minutes and gets 10 ounces. It takes me two to three times that long! By the end of this week I was pumping at 2:00 for 30-35 minutes and getting 7-8 ounces. And as much as I hated pumping, of course, I didn't mind closing my door and having a little private time. So maybe I will keep this up for awhile? Maybe to six months? There is really no reason why I can't give my baby formula during the day. I guess I worry that I will lose my evening/night/morning supply if I cut all the way back during the day, because he is still so young. I thought I wasn't supposed to feel this much stress about breastfeeding with the second kid! I also think about the freedom of not nursing, and all the normal shirts I could wear. But then I think about the pregnant-looking muffin-top I have not tried to lose and now at least I have big boobs to counter balance it. Tried to not lose is more like it...I am embarrassed to even say how much sweets I eat just about every day. So maybe that's why I now sort of want to keep pumping: so I can keep eating whatever I want and not gain weight. I am probably getting one-third of my calories from chocolate and baked goods. Then I think if I stop nursing I a) won't be so hungry all the time, and b) will HAVE to eat better. That I will then actually lose the muffin top. The good news is I love vegetables and don't prefer fried food and almost never eat fast food, so aside from the abnormally excessive sweet tooth I have a good diet. But anyway...see how conflicted I am about breastfeeding? It's all very complicated. For some reason.

OK, so cloth diapers. We used a few so far, and by a few I mean that literally. I remember being so stressed about putting disposable diapers on Junior because of the chlorine and chemicals and whatever else that they are made with. Now I'm like, no shit, chemicals, how do you think a piece of paper absorbs all that liquid? But I did feel a little guilty about not even wanting to try the cloth because they did cost us like $400 and part of the reason for getting them was to save money on disposables, which doesn't exactly happen if you buy cloth diapers and put them away and use disposables. I don't know if we've already technically gotten our money's worth having used them almost exclusively with Junior for at least 6 months. Well, LJ leaks through his disposable diaper EVERY NIGHT and suddenly I remembered we have CLOTH DIAPERS. With extra hemp inserts. So I put one on, literally tonight for the first time. We'll see how it goes. He also blew out of two diapers in a row yesterday, though I was only present for the first one. They were both so bad that he actually had to have a bath after each one. He's a good sport though! So is Senior, who had a case of the pukes yesterday but had to deal with the second blow out all on his own.

Yeah, Junior and Senior were both sick this week, twice. They were puking on Monday, better by Tuesday, then Senior was puking again by Wednesday and Junior had to leave daycare early today due to diarrhea. He seems to be doing fine, Senior is back to normal, LJ has avoided it all and I am trying not to brag about my amazing immune system because so far I have avoided it all too. This winter has just really sucked with illnesses and cold and now snow and I wish we could just go outside more but we will have to be happy with running laps around the inside of the house instead I guess.

Speaking of the house...long story for another day. But generally speaking, though I love having wood floors on the second level, I would not buy another old house if given the opportunity (unless we're talking renovated farm house), mainly because I can't stand old house smell and I want to buy a new house now, please. (It's not mold, we had that remediated already. So, yeah, more on that later.)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

New Routine

Having two kids is not the same as having one. It's a lot harder. I guess I missed the memo on this, because I am having some trouble adjusting to being a working (pumping) mom of not one but two children. I used to think working part time was some sort of cop out, but now I totally get that a new mother might like to spend some time with her kids. I am lucky enough to have kids that sleep well and go to bed at a decent hour. But this means I hardly see them at all at the end of the work day! One night they were both asleep before 7:00. Seven! I am part proud and part appalled. That is not the norm, but LJ is pretty consistent with a 7/7:30 bedtime now. At his age Junior was still staying up until 11 every night. This is nice and yet difficult. I also thought that the assumption that a woman would not come back to work after having her second child was sexist BS. But again, I totally get it. I see how you can get to the end of the your second maternity leave, however long or short, and say it is just not worth it because you need more time to be with your newborn and there are a host of things you could also be doing with your older child.

I've only been back to work seven days, which I would call well within a reasonable adjustment period, but I am struggling with all that has to get done in a day before 7/7:30 each night and everything that doesn't get done after 7/7:30 each night. Like everything that does not involve eating or sleeping. Remember exercise? I think just last week I went to a yoga class and right now it feels like "never again." I thought tonight as I left work about I would do if I didn't have kids. Because leaving work at 5:40 like I did would seem quite early rather than too late to get another nursing session with LJ. I would definitely have gone to the gym or maybe a 6:00 cardio or yoga class, then afterward run an errand or met someone for a drink or dinner, come home and relaxed for a bit with something enjoyable to read.

I guess in a way I have done this because I ran circles around the house playing "chase" with Junior for 5 minutes and did one 10-second downward dog (cardio AND yoga), then met LJ for a drink (i.e. nursed him to sleep), had dinner with Senior (i.e. put some frozen perogies and chicken nuggets on a baking sheet and ate them standing up well after they cooled down because Sprout screamed his head off about going to bed and we were stuck in another room upstairs so as not to disturb him further by walking past his room), then read something enjoyable by fucking around on Facebook for a while. Actually I poked around on the New York Times which I do find actually enjoyable, in addition to Facebook time which I find pseudo enjoyable.

Overall, being back at work continues to be not as bad as I might have thought but I am realizing just how much another kid changes your life and how selfish I would really like to be. I received some advice today that "the world favors a 4-person family." If we decide to "go for the girl" we will have to go for another vehicle as well because my Mazda3 definitely does not accommodate3 car seats, and kids are in car seats these days until they are twelve. How much would another kid change my life and work life (and exercise ability)? If I go back to work after a third kid will I pump even less than I am pumping with the second? Teaser for my next post--we're going to start talking about my boobs again.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Warning: Back to Work

I'm going back to work tomorrow after a 14-week leave. LJ just started sleeping like a champ at night, so at least there's that. I hope he won't miss me as much as I will miss him. I think I will come home for lunch tomorrow because he usually is ready to nurse between 12 and 1. I'm glad I have that luxury...I went to an interview on Friday for a job that would be 50 minutes away. The interview didn't go so great but at least I have a new perspective on my job now, which includes a 10-minute commute. More on all that later. For now, wish us luck! I have a feeling I will actually be posting more and not less often here. You've been warned.