Tag Archives: job

She Says… Vocabulary

I found someone to chaperone my work dinner in my place and raced home from work yesterday just in time to see Owen before bed. He ran over to me and started babbling immediately. I was only gone for 2 days, but I heard at least 3 new words in his vocabulary. He wasn’t saying them all for the appropriate reasons, but I think he was just practicing the new words he learned that day at daycare.

While hearing his little voice sound out new words is one of the most awesome experiences ever, I found myself wanting to yell, “STOP!”. Stop learning new words. Stop growing up. Stop changing so much when I am gone for just two days. I want you to stay in this precious toddler phase forever.

I know, I know, you’ve heard me say it before. And I’m going to have to get over it.

Now, at 13 1/2 months, Owen says:

– Dada/Daddy
– Doggie (and recently “Puppy”, which he picked up from daycare, but I’m not sure he’s put it together that it means the same thing as “Doggie”)
– Dirty (he repeats it when I say it, but it sounds a lot like “Doggie” & “Daddy”)
– Down (“DOW”)
– Bubbles (“BUH beej”)
– Baby
– No
– Up (often just a whispered “p” sound)

“Baby” is a new one from the last few days. I haven’t heard him say it while looking at an actual baby or a picture of a baby or a doll, he was just repeating it after learning it at daycare.

“No” is also new since I got home. I couldn’t stop giggling when I heard him say it. He says it like a little Frenchman. “Noh!”. He repeats it when we say it and then stops what he’s doing (at least for now), so perhaps him learning the word is indicative of him internalizing what it means. Let’s hope so 🙂 Maybe we’re totally doomed if he already knows the word “No”. I was hoping that wouldn’t be part of his vocabulary for awhile longer!

And, joy of joys, I’ve even heard a lot more “Mmmmaaaahhhh”s and “Mumumumum”s recently. I think we’re on the verge of Mama.

So being away is sad. Being away when he’s learning so much every day is even sadder. Believe me, I realize how lucky I am that I don’t have to go away very often, and I know that so many people have to do it so much more than I do. But I’m sure that doesn’t make it any easier.

Did you miss any of your baby’s milestones? Which ones?

What words were you really excited about your baby saying? When did he/she say them?


She Says… Party Boy

Owen’s party was a total success.

Good food, great friends and lots of happy babies.

Owen was in heaven surrounded by all of his friends. Mr. Social was quite the party host. He even cried when people said goodbye!

The rainbow cake (my first attempt at a cake… ever) turned out beautifully. So impressive when we made that first slice.

And Owen totally dug his gluten free rainbow cupcakes.

All in all an awesome day. We all slept well that night.

Now I am in New York for the beginning of another CRAZY work week running an in-person training that starts in New York and continues in Boston. I flew in yesterday on 9/11, on an eerily empty flight. A little nerve-wracking to be here on that day. “Complicated” doesn’t even begin to describe the logistics of the training for the rest of this week. It’s going to be a long week of early mornings and late nights and missed bedtimes. But we’ll make it through.

This morning Benjamin let me know that Owen slept in until after 7:00am. That’s a whole lot nicer than his usual 6:15am (or 5:00am if his teeth are bothering him, as they have been recently) wake up time! How come that never happens when I am home?! Lucky Daddy.

Fingers crossed that the week goes smoothly and I can get back to my normal schedule next week. I’ve only been gone since yesterday and I already miss my boys.



She Says… Party Prep

I know, I know, Owen turned 1 way back on July 24th. That feels like forever ago. We had planned a party for him the weekend of his actual birthday, but it turned out that all of our friends and family were traveling that weekend. So we rescheduled. And I put all of my party planning on hold since September 10th seemed so far away.

Fast forward to today. The party is in 2 weeks and I am 1 week away from another crazy work week running a training for 50 new hires at my company. Which means that the 1 week leading up to the party — the one where I had planned to do all of the planning and prepping — is going to essentially be nonexistant. I’m going to be rushing to work super early in the mornings and staying late at dinners and events at night. I will miss bedtimes. And I will be working my butt off. Benjamin will be eating frozen food. It’s just the way it goes.

Why we decided to put the party the day after my longest week of the year, I’ll never know. Oh wait, yes I do… it was our only free weekend until the middle of October. Already. How does that happen so far in advance?!

Anyway, now I’m trying to get some of the planning done early so that I’m not stressed about the party after that long week of being stressed about work. The most important part of this process is letting go of my visions of perfection and handmade everything and just BUYING THINGS. Even if they are not perfect.

Owen will not ever know the difference.

Benjamin is out of town again this week (sigh), so my plan is to make these:

and this:

And figure out a menu. The “theme”, if you can call it that, is Happy Hour. Remember our invitation?

Bottles + Snacks = Happy Hour. So my idea is to have everything labeled as either bottles or snacks, and have appropriate things for the adults and the kids.

And rainbow cake. Lots of rainbow cake.

More inspiration on my Pinterest page.

What’s the best theme party you’ve ever been to? Any great “do ahead” ideas to make my party go smoothly after a long, hard week?

She Says… Back on Track

I totally rocked getting back on track this week.

– Owen happily went back to daycare. He ate well, napped well, and was generally his happy little self again. Hallelujah.

– His two teeth have cut through the surface of his gums after a little extra whining and only one wake-up in the wee hours of the morning. Nothing a little Ibuprofen and some Mama cuddles couldn’t handle. I’m happy to report that teething DOES get easier as time goes on. Thank goodness. You know, until those molars come in. Oh joy.

– I caught up on all of my work that I ignored during last week when Owen was sick. While generally I’m pretty good at concentrating 150% on EITHER work or Owen (and not trying to mix the two… because that is when I start to feel stressed and pulled in too many directions), last week was a bit hard. I HAD TO do both things at the same time, and taking care of Owen won every time. So work took a back seat. Thankfully I was able to work my butt off this week and get not only back on track, but ahead of my To Do list. Awesomeness.

– I exercised. Recently my plan has been to work out three times a week. This week I got 4 really great workouts in, including strength training, time on the elliptical on the basement, a run and a nice, long bike ride with Benjamin. I’m not expecting I can pull that off every week (it was a challenge!), but it feels really good to kickstart myself back into the routine.

– I made some yummy dinners, and meal planned some other yummy ones for the next few nights. Last night was a totally delicious quinoa salad with mango, peppers, black beans & cilantro topped with grilled chicken with grilled corn on the side (the best I’ve had all summer!). Best part about it? Totally gluten free and enough for leftovers so Owen (and Benjamin) can eat for lunch today. Love that.

– In addition to all of that I was able to spend fun time with Owen. His constant chorus of “Uh oh” (and recently the beginning of “Hiiyyyyeeee”) just about melts me every time. Swoon.

So now it’s just a matter of keeping up this momentum. Some weeks are easier than others, but it’s nice to be motivated by how good I feel when I get it all done.

On tap for this weekend: Getting Owen’s hair cut!!! Sniff, sniff. I trimmed it a few weeks ago and while it looked fine, I think a professional can get the back looking a bit nicer, and maybe take enough off the top to get his fauxhawk back. I know he will look so much older after the cut, so part of me wants to wait, wait, wait. But the bangs are starting to get in his eyes and the back gets tangled at night, even after I comb it. Before and after pics to come on Monday.

What makes you feel accomplished in a week? When did you cut your child’s hair for the first time? Were you sad? There is something strangely emotional about it for the parents.

She Says… Goals

Goal for today: Make it to 4pm when training ends and send everyone off. Drive home as fast as possible and spend the evening playing with my adorable child and husband who I’ve barely seen in the last 2 weeks.

Goal for the weekend: Unplug and spend time enjoying the lovely weather and our adorable town center. Go to the farmer’s market. Sip iced coffees while Owen toddles barefoot in the grass. Do not, under any circumstances, run errands. Except maybe to the grocery store so I can stock up on food to make delicious dinners and food for Owen. I have missed my kitchen.

Goal for next week: Undo the damage I have done by inhaling surprisingly large amounts of the catered breakfasts, lunches and dinners throughout the last two weeks while running a training program at work. I may be somewhat small, but I can eat an ungodly amount of food. It’s not a talent I’m proud of! Walk Owen to and from daycare every day. Workout as many days as possible. Eat clean. Drink water.

Deep breath. Almost there!

She Says… Breaks My Heart

For the vast majority of the year, my job is super flexible. I work from home often. If I need to take an afternoon off to take Owen to the doctor (which, as you know, happens all the time) I can easily adjust my schedule to accommodate it. My commute is easy, even from our new place in the ‘burbs. My manager is wonderful, and totally understanding about the fact that life comes before work. But every few weeks I run an in-person training program (for several days or up to 2 weeks) that requires me to be in early to set up before people arrive, attend dinners and other evening events, and then stay late to be the one signing the check. Though they are generally in Boston, sometimes they are held in other states and once in awhile even other countries (hence getting stuck in Munich last year while very pregnant). The days are long, and when I am the one in charge, there is not a lot of room for flexibility. Thankfully I also love this part of my job.

The good news is that these dates are planned far in advance, so Benjamin is able to block the days off in his calendar and we can be prepared for them. The bad news is that they still, inevitably, fall at inopportune times.

Last week and this week is one of those times.

This week a dear friend of my family’s died and I am missing her funeral. I just couldn’t figure out how to make the travel work, so I won’t be there to be with my father as he mourns the loss of his best friend. Last week Owen’s daycare was closed for a week and Benjamin was (and still is) working on a huge project for work, so we were like ships passing in the night to make sure Owen was cared for. We had a babysitter come for a few days and Owen had one person putting him down for a nap and woke up to someone else. He was given bottles in different laps every day and although we generally stuck to his schedule, things were far from normal.

I missed two bedtimes in a row already, and I’m missing tonight’s bedtime as well.

Even though it’s a short term situation, it breaks my heart.

And even though Owen is remarkably flexible and easygoing, I think it’s taking a toll on him as well. Yesterday both of his daytime naps were 30 – 45 minutes, when usually they are reliably 1.5 – 2 hours. He went down to sleep fine for Benjamin at bedtime, but woke at 4:30am this morning crying. Since he almost never does this anymore, I don’t really let him cry much, since it almost always means something is wrong (he’s wet or his teeth hurt or he threw lovey overboard). I went in to see him and you should have see how big his teary eyes got in the dark room when he saw my face. He beamed at me and cooed and patted my cheeks and touched my curls. He gazed into my eyes by the soft light of his nightlight and let his eyelids droop in my arms. It was just about the sweetest thing ever. He hadn’t seen me since yesterday morning, and I wonder if he woke up to see if I would be there. I’m so glad I was.

Benjamin thinks I’m crazy for thinking that it has to do with me, but my theory is that since I’ve been coming home while he’s been asleep, that he might think if he wakes up, I’ll be there. So he’s waking up early, hoping I’ll be there. Didn’t work out so well for naptimes, since I was still at work, but it had the intended effect at night. Who knows if he is actually capable of thinking like that, but I’m going to stick with this theory that he misses me 🙂

Needless to say, he didn’t go back to sleep at all this morning, so we’ve all been up since 4:30am. I should have just slept on his floor or something. I can’t blame him for wanting to see me — I wanted to see him! I secretly loved rocking him in the quiet of his nursery this morning. I missed him like crazy. But I don’t want to reward the crying at night so that it becomes a habit.

Thankfully after tomorrow night, I’ll still be working like a madwoman at work during the day, but I should be able to be home by his bedtime. Hopefully he will realize I’m here to stay and will go back to napping regularly and sleeping quietly until a reasonable hour.

Have you had to leave your baby for an “extended” period of time (believe me, I know a few days/bedtimes is not really an extended period of time… but it is for me!)? Did it upset his/her sleep? Is there anything I can do to help him know I’ll be back later? I already wave bye bye and kiss him like I do when I drop him off at daycare, I just think it’s hard for him to figure out when I’m going to come home since it has been so erratic.

She Says… Back to Life; Back to Reality

So, we’re home. As I mentioned last week, the beach week with my fam was full of fun and laughter, but was also filled with sleepless nights (thanks to listening to TWO babies fussing throughout the night since Owen and his cousin Becca were rooming together), and sickness (Owen had en emergency trip to the doctor on our way out of town which revealed an ear infection and – yup! – another upper respiratory infection that required breathing treatments every 4 hours at the beach, and I subsequently got a yucky cough and then pink eye because I was unable to take care of myself and sleep). Owen pretty much recovered throughout the week and although I’m still nursing my pink eye, we’re pretty much on the up and up.

And did I mention we’re HOME?

Like, to our new house? Our new house that we have “lived in” for 2 weeks but only spent 5 whole days in? Yes, that house home.

Coming home to a bunch of boxes and a bit of disorganization was not the most relaxing homecoming, but it certainly feels nice to be home for good. My mom and little sister came and spent the night prior to leaving for the beach, and my brother and sister-in-law and their 6 month old baby came up to visit on their way home from the beach, so we were able to get a bit more unpacking done while my family hung out with Owen. The kitchen, living room, dining room and bedrooms are completely unpacked and organized. We’re not exactly ready to start putting art up on the walls, but we’re doing pretty well!

Owen is LOVING his playroom (which is about 2.5 times bigger than his entire nursery in our old house) and sleeps like a champ in his new nursery. He didn’t really have any sort of adjustment period to the new house; he just kept his old schedule and took it all in stride. What a flexible little boy.

Obviously this is not very exciting to you without pictures. Pictures to come, I promise! Now I’m off to enjoy my last day of vacation with the O-meister before I start work again tomorrow and he starts his new daycare. Lots to write about in the next few days…

She Says… Missing my Boys

Ok, enough about the strange publicity our pregnancy test video has gotten recently. Back to regular blogging!

I’ve been in New York since Wednesday afternoon. Without Owen. Or Benjamin; but I’m used to being without him. Prior to this trip I hadn’t left Owen for more than a night (and I only did that one time). I’m incredibly lucky that Benjamin is so comfortable handling everything Owen-related so I can go on my trip without thinking twice about if Owen will be in good hands. Since Benjamin and I each work 4 days a week and have Owen by ourselves one day a week, I think it has helped us both become really adept at doing everything from morning routine to bedtime.

We both do the same things, but we don’t always do them the same way. I think that’s key to keeping Owen flexible and teaching him not to get stuck with the same person doing the same things all the time, since that won’t always be possible. Daycare helps immensely with this too, and I can already see ways in which Owen has grown to be a really laid back kid. Who knows if that’s nature or nurture, but it certainly helps when we have to switch up the daily plan! He can sleep in his crib, the stroller or the car. He can eat his food hot or cold. He can drink his bottle just about anywhere. He doesn’t mind being bundled up or dressed in just a onesie. He’ll play with just about anything you hand him, as long as he can fit it in his mouth. He honestly couldn’t care less about sitting in a dirty diaper for a long time (though I find that disturbing).

I love coming back after leaving Benjamin and Owen for awhile and seeing the little things that are evidence to how Benjamin does things differently than I do. The outfit he wore (NOT what I would have picked, but adorable nonetheless… and probably even more adorable than normal because Daddy picked it out). The toys strewn around the house in different places. The diaper bag stuffed with receipts or camera batteries instead of baby wipes.

It’s so cute to think about my two favorite boys having a little man time.

But I really miss them. I missed 2 bedtimes and I’ll miss tonight’s bedtime as well, since I’ll be on the train back to Boston. I missed two mornings, the sweetest time to see Owen shake his head and rub his eyes as I come into focus and watch him smile. Already looking forward to Saturday morning.

I’ve enjoyed my trip. I wandered into H&M when I arrived in New York and bought myself a new shirt. Not something I generally have the luxury to do. I had lovely (expensed) dinners with glasses of wine. I slept in a hotel room, by myself, with nice soft linens and plush pillows. Nice, nice, nice.

But still, I prefer to be at home with my boys. So live it up, guys! Mom comes home tonight!

She Says… Happy as a Clam

Here’s how yesterday went down.

Knowing that Owen may have been fighting off a bug or teething (since he had a slight fever the day before), I took his temp in the morning. He had a SLIGHT fever (well below the threshold where daycare asks you to keep children at home), and he was acting happy as could be and didn’t have any other symptoms of illness. I gave him some infant Motrin to make him a little more comfortable (NOT to drug him and force daycare to take him when he was sick, as many commenters on yesterday’s post implied). When I dropped him off, I spoke to his teachers and explained the situation — that he had a slight fever the day before and that morning, but seemed completely unaffected by it. I wrote a note to ask them to please watch the fever and call me if it got any higher or if any other symptoms developed. I gave them my cell phone number so they could reach me even if I was in a meeting. I rushed to work and started working as hard as I could, knowing that I might need to go pick Owen up at any moment if things got worse.

At 1:30pm daycare called and said his temp was a little higher than the morning, but still not anything to worry about. He was happily cooing in the background during the call, and they said he was acting a little clingy, but “happy as a clam”. Happy as a clam and a low-grade fever does NOT warrant rushing home from work to go pick him up. At least not in my book.

They were about to put him down for another nap since he was rubbing his eyes, so I asked them to take his temp upon waking and let me know if it was higher or if he seemed uncomfortable. As soon as he woke up, they called to let me know it had spiked to a higher number. I IMMEDIATELY, WITHOUT A SECOND THOUGHT, shut my laptop and headed out the door to go pick him up. Ahem. Despite what some of the commenters on yesterday’s post might think I would do. Even with his elevated temp, Owen was still, as they called it, happy as a clam.

I ran into daycare to find him happily playing with one of the daycare teachers’ hair while she smiled at him and held him in her arms. Exactly what I would have been doing if I had rushed to pick him up earlier in the day. Or not sent him to daycare at all. Except this way, I got a lot of work done, and was in a really good place to be able to leave work and spend the entire day Friday and entire weekend with my baby 100%, and not thinking about the work I still needed to do.

We immediately went upstairs to the doctor (side note: choosing a doctor/daycare in the same building was one of the best decisions I ever made). The doctor confirmed the high temp and gave Owen some infant Motrin. She checked him out and confirmed that his ears were fine, his breathing was fine, his general gestalt was fine. He has a stuffy nose (that he has had since the first day he started daycare, no joke). Her best guess is that Owen is fighting a virus. Totally normal. And/or teething. Also totally normal. And for both of those things, you don’t do much else other than keep him on Motrin to keep him comfortable, and make sure the symptoms don’t get worse. Oh, and encourage him to eat and sleep as much as possible.

Exactly what daycare did yesterday. And exactly what I’m doing today. Just for the record, I think the decisions Benjamin and I made over the last few days were balanced, realistic, and exactly right for our family at this point in time. And Owen is still happy as a clam.

She Says… Off the Wagon

I’ve fallen off the wagon. The workout wagon.

Finding (nay, making) time to exercise post-baby has come  in waves. Right after Owen was born I had a longer recovery than I expected, so my only exercise was walking my wriggly little newborn around in the stroller, worrying if he was getting too much sun. Despite feeling like I was barely doing anything, I began to see my pre-baby body emerge and the extra padding melt away. Once I recovered and was able to be active again, I got into a really good routine of working out during naptimes and going for longer, more energetic walks with Owen and Schnitzel. When the weather turned colder and walks were not so comfortable (or even possible for my sensitive-skinned child), naps were becoming more regular, so I set up a living room workout space and sweated it out in front of dvd’s during morning naps.

When I returned to work in January, I had visions of working out during lunch hours and getting back into my pre-baby fitness level by power walking my commute and fitting in trips to the gym while Owen was happily playing at daycare.

Do you know what? That’s just not happening. Shocker.

I returned to work at 80%, working 4 days a week. I’m getting paid less, yet I didn’t seem to give up any responsibilities. Which means that essentially I’m doing 5 days worth of work in 4 days. And, I’ll be honest, I was a super efficient worker before, so now I’m kind of on the verge of maxing out. I don’t feel totally overwhelmed, but I am working my butt off from the minute I start in the morning to the minute I close my laptop at night. (Side note: Wouldn’t it be great if we could literally work our butts off? Then I wouldn’t have to make time for the gym…) There are no lunchtime workouts, or quick stops at the gym on my way home. There is not enough time (or energy) for morning yoga routines or strength training or workout dvd’s. Thankfully I am pretty strict about closing the laptop and leaving it closed once the work day is over, so family time is family time. Once in a long time I have to work at night, but that’s rare, and I work hard to keep it that way.

Still, this whole working mom thing is go-go-go all day and all night.

We’re doing fine. The laundry is done (most of the time), and sometimes even folded within a day or so of coming out of the dryer. The dishes are washed (thanks to my resident dishwasher wonderful husband). Owen’s food and bottles are prepped each night before daycare days so we can grab ‘n go in the mornings. We cook yummy dinners (for the most part) and Benjamin and I enjoy a few hours together each night after Owen goes to bed (even if we generally choose to spend them in front of the tv… don’t judge). We spend our Saturdays running errands and seeing friends. I even squeeze out time to blog most days. Life is pretty darn good, even if I feel like I’m running as fast as I can and just barely keeping up.

I may have fallen off the workout wagon, but it’s not really a big deal at the moment. At least I know my priorities are in the right place. Owen is, without a doubt, the most important thing in my life right now. Above work and working out and laundry and dishes and even (gasp!) blogging.

Screw the workout wagon. I’ve got enough going on. At least for now.