Thursday, February 2, 2023

New Semester, New Wardrobe

I had started making purchases for this semester before it started, so here's a list of what I bought in order of how much I love it and how much it has helped me.

Kelly Bag with matching Pumparoo $39 = new $160. This is a game-changer. I would say if you're thinking about getting a pumping bag but you don't know how long you'll be pumping, this one is awesome even for just going to work. The pump compartment is a cooler so I can put my lunch in there and not have to take a separate bag. Then when I get to work, I flatten that compartment and put all my work stuff in there and it all fits. Then at the end of the day, I put all my dirty dishes in the main compartment and it all fits. Amazing! If I were to change the design at all, I would love to have a chest clip and some reflective details, but I'll work on adding that stuff myself.

Simple Joys by Carter's Baby Everyday Diaper Backpack, I got this off Buy Nothing for Free = $50 new. This is my new fav diaper bag. I love how it clips on to the stroller. I love the wipes pocket on the side. It's a great park bag.

Signature by Levi Strauss & Co. Gold Label Women's Size Totally Shaping Pull-On Skinny Jeans
Levi's $111 for 4 pairs (size 20) definitely follow the size chart, do not go by what size Amazon recommends for you! I had to send the first pair back for a refund. So far I haven't put them in the dryer but husband did and it didn't seem to ruin it. The waistband wasn't exactly right, but it got into place once I put them on. I can't speak to durability at this point since it's only week 2 but I can say that I don't dread getting dressed in the morning. I throw on one of these and go.

Latched Mama Snuggle Up Nursing Sweatshirt 2x/3x $58. I am using this WAY more than I thought I would. I absolutely love it and so does Albert. I can put him in there either forward or rear facing. It's been colder than usual with some days in the 30s and I can wear him to school so he stays nice and warm and cozy and I don't have to worry about him freezing in the stroller.

I never regret anything I buy from Latched Mama. I'm already using the vest daily and I love it.

Monday, January 2, 2023

December 2022 thoughts

12/20 - Haha DH complimented me on how snazzy I dress LO. He said kiddo is way cooler than either of us. I reminded him that I buy everything secondhand. So I just filter all the clothes for sale on consignment by kiddo's size and buy what is available. So thank you moms of Los Angeles for reselling the coolest little clothes. Yep I wish half of that stuff was in my size.

12/21 - I normally look forward to school breaks and have a list of shows to binge watch. This year I got nothing. Not that I don't want to watch TV but I just don't have a list of shows. We have Paramount+ and Disney+ and Amazon Prime and Netflix. How can there be so much content and I'm just not into any of it? 

Kiddo is watching Baby Bus on YouTube and this other channel called First Toons (KidsFirstTV). He gets really upset if we try to put on something like Netflix or Paramount+. Of course there's no TV at daycare. And he will play at home without the TV. We use it when we need to do something like shower or cook dinner.

I wish I could rip the songs from this YouTube stuff he likes and then put it in a playlist and then just play the audio of it. My dad used to do that. Take our favorite movies and shows and make an audio recording of it and then play that in the car on long road trips. We're leaving Friday and doing a 6 hour drive and I'm just not sure it will go smoothly.

>> listentoyoutube is a site that allows you to rip audio

I really liked Wheel of Time season 1, there have to be significant strong female leaders. Game of Thrones was good but a bit violent. Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power was good. What I liked were the sweeping landscape views, a full orchestral soundtrack and an immersive fantasy world. I had to really think about shows I looked forward to watching when DH and LO were not around.

Seems like DH is happy to return to work tomorrow. I, on the other hand, have a couple more weeks of winter break. So I scheduled a lot of "mommy & me" type stuff and two Disneyland days. LO is home with me until school resumes on Jan 23.

Kiddo is showing a strong preference for mommy at diaper change and nap time. I am finally feeling like the house is back in shape after we involuntarily got our fences redone. So much carnage to my garden! We traveled Dec 12-18 and Dec 23-27 so we left the fridge totally empty for most of December. Our fridge is now fully restocked and Christmas is put away and we're caught up on laundry.

Unfortunately we stayed at a cheap hotel for Thanksgiving and brought back fleas. It's been such a stress constantly washing sheets, blankets and couch covers and vacuuming and spraying. I regret being a cheapskate!!! It would have cost us $200 to switch hotels but it will cost $2200 to have pest control come over here and spray. So we're trying to treat it ourselves. And by "we" I mean ME because DH isn't really doing anything to help.

It's like when he's on vacation DH just stops doing chores. When I'm on break from school, he relies on me to do all the shopping, cooking, cleaning and childcare. While he naps all day and complains about how tired he is and eats junk food even though he is diabetic. And then he complains when I "drag" him along to playdates and outdoor workouts.

I'm also over DH's lazy parenting style. He lets LO watch cartoons all day. Then he wonders why LO has turned into a whiny monster. I prefer to schedule playdates, go to a park, museum, shopping... anything to keep us busy. I let LO watch 1 hour of TV while he is waking up (6-7am) and 1 hour while I cook dinner (4-5pm). But DH just doesn't take a hands-on approach with LO.

I'm on the floor playing cars or outside chasing LO around. I definitely think the whining is 10x worse if LO isn't worn out. I plan busy boxes with sensory stuff or cooking together or go for a walk, there are literally endless things to do together. It does take time to plan and set up and then it takes initiative to get kiddo going on a new task. It seems like DH just doesn't do that, doesn't want to, doesn't think about it, or doesn't know how.

TLDR I love my husband and I love how he supports me in a lot of ways but I feel like we have very different ideas about how to parent.

Monday, December 19, 2022

Big Trippin

So we ended up on a whirlwind week-long trip kind of by accident. My mother-in-law first came up with the idea to take us to Legoland. Then I wanted to go to Disneyland during the holiday season. We made those theme park reservations October 20th. We made all our hotel reservations on Oct 21st. Then my brother-in-law decided to join us the following weekend so we extended our vacation. So it was like 3 x 2 night trips but all in a row.

I'm writing this as we wait to check in to our 3rd hotel. What I am grateful for is that we had 1 day without driving between each driving day. And if we do this again, we agree that it would be more relaxing to stay 5 nights at the same hotel. Also it was a smart idea to have a day in between the theme parks to relax, rather than having 3 days in the park continuously.

When we left home around 9am on Monday morning, I believed we had everything except a soft structured baby carrier. It was on my packing list but I forgot to put it in the car. We drove to South Coast Plaza shopping mall, which was a great place to eat and use the facilities. Parking was free and the mall was decorated so wonderfully for the Christmas holidays. Albert rode the carousel 🎠 with his grandparents, who joined us at the mall. Then we drove caravan style down to Legoland. We arrived just in time to check in at 4pm.

Legoland has a lot of streamlined procedures for check in and check out. They text you a hyperlink, you fill out a form, then when you arrive you scan a code from your phone and an attendant gives you your room keys. Of course they also take your card for incidentals, parking, resort fee, etc. We had a dinner reservation for 4:30pm so we just took our purses and a diaper change kit and a toddler busy bag. We scoped out the layout of the hotel, took a quick peek in our rooms and then reconvened for dinner. The menu wasn't extensive. The prices were steep. But there were TVs and a pit of legos and a play area and the waitstaff was friendly and they brought the kid's food right away, which was great.

After dinner we went out to our vehicles to get the bags. Unfortunately the valets wouldn't let us use the carts so we had to load everything on the stroller and/or carry it. We got it in one trip.

The layout of the rooms was amazing. There was a kids room with bunk beds and a trundle. The kids room had a TV and a wall-mounted LEGO building scaffold. Then there was a huge bathroom. It was big enough for a wheelchair I would think. There was a stepstool for the potty/sink. The toilet had a kids potty seat incorporated. The shower had a tub and rainfall shower head that could be raised or lowered and the wand was detachable. The bathroom was great. The master bedroom had a wizard theme. I loved all the options for nightlights. I didn't love how there was no couch and we had to eat on the bed to watch TV but I guess they expected us to dine at the restaurant.

The outdoor area had a movie screen, a playground and a pool. We did end up using all those things by the end of our visit. However if it had rained the whole time, we would not have had that benefit. The character meet and greet was right outside on the patio of the restaurant. We got a kick out of that.

We went to bed early and it was hard to sleep that first night. There was no good spot in the room to use as a diaper changing station. Eventually I found it was easier to sleep on the pull-out trundle bed. The kids room had a starry night ceiling that you could turn on. Adorable. We got two little prizes. If you do a scavenger hunt in the hotel, you get a code to unlock the safe and there are some lego packs in there.

Breakfast is included. It was amazing. Oatmeal, biscuits, gravy, fruit, pancakes, waffles, bagels, lots of stuff. Omlette, white rice, fried rice, orange chicken, cereal and milk... I can't even remember everything. There were chocolate chips and sprinkles, sliced cheese, sausage and veggie patties, bacon, juice bar. It was completely awesome. We got early-entry into the park. With breakfast at 7AM we had a lot of time to burn before we could get in but the opening ceremony was very cute.

The Legoland park itself is huge. We did 9 rides in 4 hours with Albert taking a 1 hour nap around 11am. We only got about halfway through the park. There were so many things we skipped. I don't know if we would go back but they did offer us passes to return. The food was good. We got meat at the Knight's Smokehouse BBQ. I think Albert's favorite rides were Cargo Ace and Lost Kingdom Adventure because we rode those twice. There were pretty much NO LINES which was incredible! He also really liked the Bionicle blaster and the Police and Fire Academy which weren't rides per se but more interactive. I think he would do the Academy again in a heartbeat. I also liked that area. Speaking as someone who had a LOT of Lego sets growing up, it was really fun to be immersed in the themes. We avoided the BIG gift shop instead opting for a pick-a-brick near the Deep Sea Adventure.

I couldn't figure out how to manage the photos on the app so we didn't get any formal photos taken but I think we took a good amount ourselves. We left the park at 1:30pm and bid adieu to Albert's grandparents at 2pm. We got a hand stamp to get back into the park just in case, but we didn't end up going back. We also got return tickets (4) for a future visit. Maybe we will use them? At least now we have a good idea of what the park offers.

What we did then was genius. We visited the resort pool. There were floating LEGO bricks for Albert to play with. He had to wear a life jacket. The water was super warm, like a bath. The pool had a zero entry and depth of 1.5 feet so Albert could walk in and out and all around. We stayed there for nearly 2 hours. There were 8 lifeguards for the 3 of us. I imagine in warmer months the poolside restaurant is open but it was closed for our visit. We could almost see the outdoor movie from the pool. If we had stayed 30 minutes longer, we could've watched the sunset. Overall super happy we used the pool. There were restrooms and free towels and you could reserve a cabana for $175.

We ordered takeout from the restaurant and picked it up. Eating in our room while watching Beat Bobby Flay was good. Much more relaxing than trying to entertain and contain our 2 year old. We had a view of Legoland Drive from our room and kiddo enjoyed lining his cars up on the windowsill. The in-room climate control worked great. The mini fridge was a bit loud but I was glad we had it because we ordered too much food, as usual, so it was perfect to store leftovers. The only thing lacking was wireless internet. It was good in some areas of the hotel but not in our room, which meant the Roku player didn't work. Hence Bobby Flay. But there were tons of channels for kids, news channels, and sports channels.

We have been going to bed so early this trip, it's been wonderful. We got a good night's sleep and went to breakfast at 7am again. They emphasize that you need a reservation for all meals, which we had, but I certainly saw lots of people walk up without a reservation and they got seated and served. After breakfast, Mike and Albert went to the playground while I went to pack up the room. That was a great division of labor because it gave me the quiet time I needed to pack up and organize. It gave Albert the time he needed to run, jump and climb. Checkout was easy and automatic. We dropped our keys off in the lobby. All our luggage was rolled out to the car in our stroller, so that worked out. Kiddo fell asleep pretty much right away. I think we were on the road at 9:30am. We drove to our old standby, the Anaheim Gardenwalk. Parked for 3+ hours for $6. We love parking there because there is a restroom near the security station.

We walked Downtown Disney. We got corn dogs for lunch. We walked back to the car and drove to our hotel, arrived at checkin. Got our room. Made a takeout order for CPK and got our food. Booking dog-friendly hotels in the past was a priority. Now it is a risk. We have found that using a lavender spray helps prevent the fleas from bothering us. Oilogic Slumber & Sleep Essential Oil Linen Spray gave us free samples which are great for travel-sized bottles. I would totally buy a larger one to refill the small bottles.

@hamerk02 @disneylandcalifornia #ropedrop ♬ original sound - Kayla A. Kaiser
Our LQ room was good except the tub was crushed and when you stood too close to the drain, it felt like the floor was crumbling beneath you. It was terrifying. But other than that, the room was a good fit for our needs. We plugged in our Roku and enjoyed a bit of TV and showers before bed. Next morning was our park day so we woke up at 6am, packed up the stroller and rolled out. We were lined up in plenty of time for rope drop. We got our Golden Hour and then our grey stuff and coffee at the Red Rose Tavern. We did a ride and then had an early lunch overlooking the rivers of America. It turned out to be a great spot because we could watch the boats and trains go by. Since we ate early, we pretty much had the patio to ourselves. Also Albert had a wide choice of dips, French fries, chicken nuggets, and mac n cheese, and 2% milk. Pretty much all his favorite things. So we put him in the stroller and walked through Galaxy's Edge, and he fell asleep immediately. We didn't see Grogu but we definitely looked for him. 

We parked in my favorite nap spot by Big Thunder Mtn RR. Albert slept for a full 2 hours. After the nap we used our Genie+ LL to skip the line and enjoy the holiday overlay of It's A Small World. Mike got us pretzels and we found a spot to watch the Christmas Fantasy parade. After that we got dinner at Bengal BBQ and the three of us were so exhausted that we ate in silence. So we realized it was time to head out. Luckily on our way to the exit, we caught the Main Street USA tree lighting ceremony. It was so cute.

At our hotel, we did showers and finished our dinner and watched a bit of TV. We were in bed shortly after 7pm. I was awakened by the fireworks at 9:30pm but it was okay. I enjoyed watching them from our room.

Next day, we tried having all of us down at continental breakfast. It was messy, loud, but at least we got a free meal. We had the room nearly all packed up before breakfast. After eating, we got the luggage cart and loaded it up. We left a tip in the room for the housekeeping staff. I was astounded at the amount of garbage we amassed during our 2-night stay. We left our car at the hotel and went for another walk through downtown Disney. It's safe and there are restrooms.

When we got back to our car, Albert was ready for his nap. We had a nice drive to the next hotel and he slept for 2 hours again. We arrived at 1pm but checkin wasn't until 4pm so we chilled in the parking lot. That's when I started writing this. Luckily they let us use the restroom in the lobby. And they let us know we could go into our room at 2pm. 

Our 3rd room was very homey. It was a Residence Inn. There was a kitchenette, fireplace, bed, couch, desk, dining table. The cupboards and drawers were stocked with dishsoap, dishtowels, silverware, potato peeler, can opener, bowls, coffee mugs, etc. It was nice after a couple days of not having real mugs for our morning coffee. It was nice to have a full-size fridge. The bathroom had a large countertop and vanity area that was split from the toilet and shower.

We went to the grocery store and bought $70 worth of food and had a quite nice dinner and early bedtime. Continental breakfast was included and there were eggs, sausage and cereal, toast, coffee, juice. It was nice but nothing fancy. I had the idea to burn a log in our fireplace, which I felt was a great way to enjoy the room. Late morning Mike got the idea to do some Christmas shopping. It was ironic to be buying gifts for other people on his birthday. 

This year our Christmas theme turned out to be the year of socks. I bought Woven Pear socks for my family and Mike went to the $1 spot at Target and did the same. Turns out all of us kept it simple this year with cash and gift cards, which was nice. The gifts were small and portable.

Mike’s birthday was great. There were streamers and balloons saying 50th. The plates were metallic and we almost burned the house down by microwaving one. We got dinner catering from El Pollo Loco. It was all so wonderful.

We bundled up and walked down to the boat parade. Since I didn't have a backpack style baby carrier, we took Albert down to the dock in the BOB stroller. As soon as he was floating, he fell asleep. The boats were festive and it was nice to catch up with our nephews. The moment I had to relax on the dock after Albert fell asleep and the parade started was just about as peaceful as I could ever dream up. It was like a Monet or Renoir painting.

The following morning was very relaxing. We packed up from 6-8am. We grabbed continental breakfast and checked out. We rendezvous-ed with Albert's California grandparents for a nice walk through the back bay. Then we met up with Uncle Dave for lunch at Fashion Island. We had an uneventful drive home and made it with 10 minutes to spare for the Zoom call with Albert's Nebraska grandparents. I'm finishing up this blog post at work. I would have loved to embed photos throughout but short video clips will have to do.

Saturday, December 17, 2022

November 2022 thoughts

11/2 - Wondering Wednesday - What to do while kiddo is sleeping in? When to send them back to daycare after a few sick days? How long will they continue to fit in the stroller? Mombrain is working overtime this morning!

I did a COVID test yesterday. It was negative, so at least we know it's not that. He has one molar left (top right) that has yet to erupt but he hasn't been asking for Tylenol so I didn't think it was that. He asked me to read him a book about being sad. It was powerful because he doesn't talk yet and maybe that was his way to communicate. His dad took the day off to stay with him because daycare drop-off was such a struggle that I gave up. I dropped LO at DH's office after trying and failing to convince LO to put on his mask FOR AN HOUR. DH has never done drop-off, not even once. So if he takes kiddo back over there, this will be a first.

I found the weight limits on our BOB Revolution CE 2011. There's a default position up to 40 lbs. Position 2 is for Child 41 to 70 pounds. So we have a ways to go. Our kid is light (28 lbs) but tall so his head hits the awning. I guess that's why I thought he might be getting too big. I have a folding wagon with a removable canopy, which allows for much taller kiddos. A snack tray in the wagon would be nice. I also would love if it had the push bar handle instead of a pull handle.

11/7 - November is moving faster than October. October moved faster than September. I barely remember August at this point. I'm so grateful.

Boob Cake

We finally have a return to menstruation. It's been 32 months of breastfeeding, which has saved our family $424 in feminine hygiene products. So we celebrated by getting Sprinkles strawberry cupcakes which were delicious and look like boobs.

Also I am celebrating that I AM NOT CRAZY. I was having hormonal rebalancing that made me sad and IT WAS REAL and it will get better.

Our tiny oasis

I bought ~$100 of stuff at the SCV KIDS Online in Valencia in September. I bought ~$100 of stuff at LA KIDS Online in Burbank in October. One of the things I bought was a lot of fake succulents. I stuck them into my vertical garden because my real succulents weren't looking too hot. I think it looks absolutely great. I'm happy we are going to see Thomas the train this weekend to celebrate Veteran's day and spend the day with Albert's grandparents. We are also planning to sell some stuff at LA KIDS San Fernando Valley in Woodland Hills in December. If I can secure a consignor number tomorrow at 10am. Not that I'm trying to make a ton of money, but it would be nice to clean out the garage of stuff that we aren't really using. Some things are just a "miss" in terms of what Albert likes.

11/15 - Oh the money I've spent on vitamins! I seriously wish it would be covered by insurance or just shipped to you (government issued). Right now I'm taking postnatal, vit D, vit B12, Calcium-Magnesium, and lecithin. It's $1.20 per day. It adds up. From kiddo's DOB until now, that would add up to $1,171.20. I had it in my imagination that we could take a nice vacation for the price of these vitamins, and yes, it's true. That's not including the prenatal vitamin, vit B6 and digestive aids I was taking during pregnancy. Like, it feels sad to spend our hard-earned money on this. Like, earning money at all feels sad. I feel sad every time I leave my kiddo behind while I go to work. I feel sad that a mother's work isn't really recognized in our society. I feel sad that there aren't a lot of postnatal visits for the birthing parent. I feel like pelvic floor PT and talk-therapy should be compulsory. And complimentary. I probably feel sad because I'm going through weaning blues. There are symptoms associated with weaning like dizziness that nobody warns you about. I got a whole book on weaning and it's not even mentioned. I feel sad that my non-teaching days are treated like "days off" but they're not really days off, I still have a ton of student work to grade. I'll be over here crying in my tea buried under a mountain of ungraded papers.

TLDR: My kiddo is home sick today.

11/17 - Another day, another daycare battle. I do my best to comply with the mask policy, but now there are signs posted saying the kid cannot enter the classroom OR THE HALLWAY unless they are wearing a mask. Masks are optional in the atrium where sign-in happens. I am so sick of battling my kid to put his mask on.

We had just gotten into a good groove where I take him into the classroom, he washes his hands, we say goodbye and he puts his mask on WILLINGLY. Prior to last week, we would have a battle in the hallway because he couldn't go into his classroom without a mask. Now he can't go into the hallway so we have to battle in the atrium. I ended up carrying him out to the car to "start over" and I had him put his mask on outside before we went into the atrium because it was just so embarrassing to have a screaming kid in the big open indoor area.

I think one of the most unsettling things about the pandemic was the changes in policy. Like when we get used to one thing, then the policy changes, we just have to adjust and it sucks. And it seems arbitrary, we don't always get to know the "why." The kids don't wear masks while sleeping or eating, which they do right there in the classroom. Honestly I don't even know what this battle is about. I just know that if I'm not willing to do it, we'll get kicked out of this daycare and it is well-priced and conveniently located.

I hate that I'm the one consistently doing dropoff and I'm the one fighting this battle and it feels personal that they changed their policy, like it's just to keep us from struggling in the narrow hallway, which was awkward. I find it so challenging to negotiate with Marchling. There's no incentive that I can think of, he's not persuaded by stuffies wearing masks, friends and family members wearing masks, he's not interested in food or toy rewards. All he wants is cuddles and that's not helpful when I'm trying to drop off and get out of there. Lingering definitely made the problem worse.

I honestly don't know how the other parents bargain with their 2-year and 3-year olds. How do they ALL behave so well and we're the only ones who can't seem to get with the program? Sigh... parent-teacher conference is Dec 2nd (two weeks from now) so maybe that will shed some light on these issues we're having. I'm exhausted.

I tried discussing masking in the car. I think I need to start talking about it more and just start him wearing it sooner. What ultimately worked was to reward him with a surprise car.

Mike does pick up and he says half the kids are running around indoors without masks in the afternoon. I just hate that drop off is already so traumatic. Like, who cries at pick up? nobody. Who cries at drop off? many of them. Then to make the mask a thing that happens when we say goodbye to mommy... I just hate it.

Yeah, I had hoped it would prevent the spread of colds, but kiddo has been sick twice this semester so it's not like it's completely preventing the spread of diseases. It almost seems like a test that I'm failing, but that's probably just my insecurity as a FTM. We don't do punishment like time outs and such. My kiddo is generally happy and agreeable and so sweet. This mask thing is like WHY is this the hill we need to die on?

11/21 - Kiddo loves sour cream dip. I asked him last night what he wanted for dinner and he said "dip" and did a hand gesture like dipping a chip. It was so cute. At daycare dropoff this morning, it sounded like he said "love you" and did an open arms gesture. Kind of like blowing a big kiss. We're still speech delayed and the only word we hear regularly is "car" so it's always a milestone when we hear other sounds.

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

How is weaning going? Update

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2022 (previous post)

Wed, Sept 21, 2022 This is the day I hurt my back? I stopped carrying my son around and also stopped working out. This kind of sent me into a spiral of depression (understandably).

Monday, October 3, 2022 9:28 AM I received my first Fall paycheck and there is an error. I did not see SCI 100 on my appointment letter (attached) and I have not been paid for teaching it. I was paid $900. less than I was expecting this month.

Tuesday, October 4, 2022 4:06 PM I don’t think I’ll be teaching SCI 100 again. I’ve been doing it every semester since 2016 and it’s been nothing but trouble. The whole experience has lost its luster.

Wednesday, October 5, 2022 10:04 AM I was doing a bit of soul searching last night and I considered that maybe everything is tough right now because I'm weaning my son. I know that can cause some sadness as hormones rebalance. Maybe it's just that. I'm looking into it. Also trying to not make any major life decisions during this time of transition that I might regret later.

Thursday, Oct 6, 2022 started taking EZ Melts B12 as Methylcobalamin, 2,500 mcg, Sublingual Vitamins, Vegan, Zero Sugar, Natural Cherry Flavor, 90 Fast Dissolve Tablets

Friday, October 7, 2022 Visiting the Chiropractor.
Oct 11
Oct 17
Oct 21
Oct 28

Saturday, October 8, 2022 Teacher gratitude mugs delivered.
Oct 12 bought flowers.
Oct 15 assembled gratitude bouquets with candy.
Oct 16 carved pumpkins.

Tuesday, November 1, 2022, at 08:55 AM I was having a bad week when I said I didn’t want to teach SCI 100 anymore. I’m feeling better now.

Thursday, November 3, 2022, My period started just a bit of spotting.

Friday, November 4, 2022, I had an extremely heavy period. Bled through my underwear and pants even though wearing a tampon. It was on par with the blood flow after my son was born. I was so unprepared. I had thought it would be painful with cramps but it was just stealth and lots of blood. I had to go buy adult diapers and heavy flow pads. It was nuts.

Sunday, November 6, 2022 I feel dizzy getting in and out of bed. I was scared to walk downstairs because I had such bad vertigo.
Wednesday, November 9, 2022 I fell into bed literally because I was so dizzy. Turns out feeling dizzy is also a symptom of weaning. Props to DH for suggesting it. A light Google search confirms.

All this stuff is related. Guess I need to start reading 

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

October 2022 thoughts

10/04 - I sat down with my boss today and told him I'd lost the joy that I once found in my job. There are some people who are resigning which creates some opportunities for lateral movement from faculty to staff. I am working too hard for too little pay with no real sick days or vacation days. I am a teeny bit sad when thinking about not teaching anymore. But also my kiddo is my primary concern now. If I can make the same income doing less work and less stressful work, why not make the switch if I can?

TLDR: now that I'm a parent, I have lost the spark I once had for my profession

10/10 - Milestone Monday - Kiddo loves stacking his wooden blocks. He makes a tower that is 10 blocks high. Then he shows me his "fist of power" before he knocks it down. He puts a cone-shaped block on top. Then lifts it up and puts another square block in the middle. Repeat. Repeat. He counts the blocks and if you ask him how many blocks there are, he will show you on his fingers. His finger counting is getting really good. Sometimes, he will head-butt the tower to knock it down. Then he needs a kiss on the forehead. I'm sure it doesn't really hurt but I don't mind giving kisses.

10/12 - Wondering Wednesday 

Me: conceived Marchling through IVF. Them: oh are you having another? I know someone who did IVF and then had two more naturally. Me: I'm 42. Them: so what? Marchling needs a sibling!

Me: kiddo is in Early Intervention for a speech delay. Them: I know someone who didn't talk until they were in preschool and they're fine now. Me: I know it isn't my fault but I feel like it is. I feel I failed as a mom.

Me: I am depressed and want to quit my job or make a major career change. Them: have you tried painting or watching standup comedy? It would be a waste of your talent to take a job that pays the same as you make now but with better benefits. Why not keep doing the job you have now because you're so good at it? You'll get bored of an easier job. Me: Don't I deserve easy?! Being a parent is hard enough.

I get so raw and vulnerable when it comes to sharing personal information and life choices. And I do feel this type of unsolicited advice is hurting my feelings. My spouse is also my coworker and he tells our colleagues everything we are going through because he is a talker. But then our colleagues come back at me with these anecdotes, which I assume they are sharing to try to be helpful. Am I being too sensitive? Sometimes I wish I could be less sensitive and just let it go. But here I am losing sleep over it while Marchling is asleep like an angel. I got 2 referrals to therapist/psychiatrist out of our insurance and the cost was like WOAH. Like annual passes to Disneyland for a family of 3. Yes that is my currency. Maybe I can treat my depression with many trips to Disneyland.

10/20 - Holy crap I can't believe this month is almost over. I feel like it was yesterday in September and I was like, "better grab a Halloween costume before they're all gone," and now it's like, "better book a hotel for Thanksgiving." We have stuff planned with the in-laws just about every other weekend from now until the end of the calendar year. Which on the one hand is good because LO hardly knows his grandparents who live just 2 hours drive away.

I'm praying this weekend goes better than our last visit with them in which they surprised LO with a slip and slide and inflatable pool but didn't tell any of us to bring swimsuits. Then LO didn't know how to do the slip and slide so I demonstrated IN MY CLOTHES and then had to sit around in my bra while my shirt was in the dryer. It was pretty hot that day, so it felt good to be soaked, but c'mon just let us know to bring a swim diaper for kiddo.

We're going apple picking, which I'm totally stoked about. I have a recipe for Hogwarts Pumpkin Juice (which is apple cider with pumpkin puree and spices in it). I made a costume for our cargo bicycle which I plan to debut on Sunday at a bike event. I got LO a bullhorn with a siren. He's really into rescue vehicles (ambulance, fire truck, police car, etc) and I know he's going to go crazy over the siren. I read the Amazon review which said it's really loud but I am hoping it will work OK for an outdoor cycling event. I may regret this deeply.

10/21 - Walking around with an empty stroller really throws people off. It shows how uncommon it is to do daycare dropoff without a car. If it were more common, I would not have to answer the question "where's the baby?" on a daily basis. I wish all our cities were more pedestrianized so that we wouldn't have to go to special places to walk safely. 2 weeks til daylight savings and while I appreciate the cooler temps, I miss the long days.

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

simple joys

This life contains simple joys. A comfy shirt. An ample couch. A tasty meal. I feel the Thanksgiving season approaches and I want to remember the abundance and live gratefully. 

We used out Disneyland magic key pass a few times so far. I had planned to go once again in September but I hurt my back and opted to wait until the heat wave passes. But I have gotten a lot of use out of my XXL spirit jersey. I got one for DH in acid wash blue and one in peach rose gold.

Sactional Couch

We got a Sactional couch. The 4 seats / 5 sides Corded Velvet Sactional Storage Bundle from Costco. It came with a Lovesac Citysac and Squattoman with Cover, two Footsacs, four Throw Pillows (two small, two large) and two cupholders and a table. I love it sooooooooooooooo much. The blankets and pillows and cupholders are everything. We've already changed the configuration from what is in this picture but it suits us so well.

These cold days I love making hot tea in my Ceres Chill and it stays SO HOT I have to mix it with water to get it to a perfect drinking temperature. I also love how it keeps cold stuff cold in the summer. I've taken it to the beach, on a bike ride, and used it during my son's 2nd bday party. The flip top lid with sipper and straw is so great and I appreciate the leash to give it a handle. I love the rose gold color.

I'm so grateful that I was able to even take time off to stay at home with my baby. I had Spring 2020 to recover from the pregnancy and delivery and I had the summer to enjoy being in the nest with my little baby bird. When I returned to work, I was paid for 13 units but I think I only taught 10. This is the "reduced workload" that is a benefit from my employer. I also had a light load in Spring 2021 but mind you, we were still managing without daycare and having no help from family or a babysitter.

By Fall 2021 we couldn't handle Albert alone without help. I found a nearby daycare (Little Treehouse Academy) and we enrolled him starting November 1st. The lectures were taught fully online that semester. It was in Spring 2022 where we had the first 3 weeks virtual and then in-person thereafter. I still love my LuLaRoe wardrobe, it's silly and it was just the perfect thing to accommodate my mombod. Now that my regular pants and shirts fit, I feel like it's time to wear regular clothes again. But I'm grateful for that solution to my problem of none of my shirts buttoning.

Aug 2020

One of my biggest fears or hurdles about returning to work was that my former professional wardrobe just didn't fit at all and it was almost comical how bad it was. The above photo was taken 5 months postpartum. Only now do I feel like I want to wear normal clothes again. That's 2 years, 8 months people. So if you're considering buying nursing clothes or some interim wardrobe, go ahead. You'll be wearing it for quite a while. I still wear maternity shirts even though I've given all my maternity pants away.

I'm grateful for my walk-in closet. I'm grateful for hangers. I'm grateful that I can go in there and touch and feel everything and pick out something crazy to wear that suits my mood. I'm grateful that I haven't lost my job for wearing all this ridiculous stuff. I'm grateful that I can get dressed in the dark because my closet is organized in such a way that I can navigate by touch.

I guess I can get away with my crazy outfits in the grand tradition of Mrs. Frizzle of the Magic Schoolbus. But I'm sure there are some who look at my outfit choices with raised eyebrows. I keep waiting for students to write about it on the teaching evaluations but so far nobody has said anything. I think we're all in the "post-covid nothing fits and I'm used to teaching and learning from my bedroom" mood. My schedule next semester (Spring 2023) is all labs and I do my best to NOT wear LuLaRoe in the lab. It's just not going to withstand a chemical spill or heat.

Aug 2020 (Fall 2020)

My old lab shirts just seemed like my boobs wouldn't be contained by them. I also felt self-conscious about my mom tummy, which I sadly tried to get rid of for months and months and then around 13 months postpartum I just gave up or gave in. Now when I see my son nursing, he loves my belly and it's his safe place and his pillow so maybe it's a good thing. I'm grateful for my mom tummy.

Dec 2021 (Spring 2022)

When I was first learning about LuLaRoe shirts, it was because I had bought a lot of $200 which had about 100 pieces. Leggings of all plus sizes and a few children's. Tops of all styles and sizes. Spring 2022 is when we started back fully in-person (with a 3 week delay). Fall 2021 was still online. Spring 2021 I taught one section of CHEM 321L in-person. Fall 2021 I did teach two sections of CHEM 101 Lab in person. Both of these classes had A and B groups to split the class in half to maintain social distancing. Spring 2022 I taught 4 sections of CHEM 333L in person. There were 18 students per section and the requirement for social distancing was no longer.

April 2022 (Spring 2022)

I have been doing "styling" of my LuLaRoe shirts now in Fall 2022 which is why I think I'm ready for a regular wardrobe. I've been using a hair tie to gather the baggy shirt either on both sides (for the perfect T), or just in the back, or in the front and back.

May 2022

Then I found the Latched Mama boyfriend nursing T. I bought two of them used from Poshmark for $20 each around Easter time but they got lost in shipping. Luckily they arrived just after Mother's Day. I love them so much I ended up buying two more for $25 each new in size 2X. They're a little big so I end up tying them up in the summer. Especially if it's a hot day.

I love how easy it is to untie and nurse or take the sleeves down for a formal photo. For winter, like it is now, I love the Crewneck Nursing Pullover. I got one from Poshmark used for $40 and I love it so much. It's the definition of cozy and functional. I love how Latched Mama's company motto is "play clothes for nursing moms." I love anything that normalizes and celebrates this stage. I just found a BST facebook group for Latched Mama clothing.

I got two pullovers for $25 each while they are $53 each new. The size is 2X/3X. I also bought a fifth boyfriend nursing T in size XL because it's the first thing I reach for when I'm in the closet. New prints are $36 and solid color is $38.

I also bought a bundle of 3 Kindred Bravely nursing bras. The Motherhood maternity ones finally gave up the ghost. They were $120 for a pack of 3. Not the most sexy color or style but what I need is support and function. The clip down bras are good, the only thing I don't like about them are the pads. They move around a lot when you wash them. There's a Kindred Bravely BST because of course there is, but for me I would prefer to buy bras new because they do wear out.

Is it American to think of spending money on yourself as self-care or is it something important to do to be a part of society, live up to society's standards, and also just to function in the world? I can say that I feel gratitude that I can spend money on things that make my life more comfortable. I am grateful that I have been able to dress my postpartum body how I want and how I need to get through the days and nights. I'm so thankful for my husband and son and how they bring HEAPS AND HEAPS of joy into my life.