Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Working Mom Guilt

As an update, Jeramy is feeling much better, and Jillian has not yet come down with the flu. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Also in terms of good news, we should be the owners of just one house very shortly as the sale of the old house should be final today or tomorrow.

Okay so here is the meat and potatoes of this post. Why is it that people expect working moms to feel guilty and conflicted about their choice not to stay at home. I ask this because I have had some instances lately where somebody IRL expects to feel horrible about working when I do not. I like my job. Obviously I need my job given that Jeramy is unemployed. And if one of us were to become a permanent, full-time, stay-at-home parent it would be him and not me.

So here is the thing...I don't feel guilty. Not one little bit. The first couple days I was a little sad, but nothing like I've seen other moms go through. Admittedly my transition has been easier than most. My mother-in-law who is now only two miles down the road watches Jillian (or Jeramy when he is not working at a real job or on the new house). Breastfeeding got screwed up in the very beginning so I haven't had any nursing problems. I'm not good at keeping myself entertained without the structure a job provides. And all this does not mean I'm a bad mom. I truly cherish my time with Jillian...good luck trying to get me to let you babysit during my oh-so-valuable evenings or weekends. I just don't feel bad about my choice, and I'm tired of being made to feel like I should.

So my question to you is this. Why do people expect moms to feel guilty about working, but nobody even thinks twice about a working dads?


Updated to add...

Just to be clear I'm not saying there is anything wrong with preferring to be a SAHM or even having to work and hating it. I'm a big believer in doing whatever works for you and your family. I'm simply commenting on my own experience and frustrations here...

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Pictures and the Flu

Since Jillian is almost 6 months and it is almost Easter, I decided it was high time to have professional pictures taken again. Check them out here. The user name is emages and the password is guest.

Unfortunately illness seems to have struck our home again. Jeramy thought he was getting a cold because of a scratchy throat on Friday. However now that he is achey and running a fever of 102, I think it is the flu. I'm worried that Jillian is next. She has been sleeping a lot today, and I took her temperature this evening and it was 99.2. I'll keep an eye on her, because she doesn't stand much of a chance with Jeramy sick. I got a flu shot, so I'm hoping its protective powers work because God knows we don't need all three of us sick.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

You Know What I Hate?

Getting zits inside your ear. Or inside your nose. Ouch.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I'm Kind of Ghetto

I'm in a sharing mood today. So I'll share with you a dirty little secret that I've failed to mention before. You see, I'm kind of ghetto.

This really isn't that surprising if you know where I grew up. By the airport. I don't know if there has ever been a really nice suburb by an airport. There is just something about plane noise and jet fuel that does not mesh well with upscale living.

My high school was not exactly known for its stellar academics. In fact, I read in wikipedia that it is known as "the ghetto school" in our district. Jeramy graduated one year early with a respectable grade point average, and yet he rarely completed a homework assignment at home. (However he can give you some good tips on how to ace a vocabulary test that involves a clear pen, very small fonts and great eyesight.) I got an A in calculus without learning what a derivative was. Athletics were also lacking, and we were best known for holding the still unbroken record for the most consecutive losses in football at 46 games from 1988 to 1993. Our most famous graduate is Gary Ridgeway. He is better known as the Green River Killer infamous for killing at least 48 women who were mostly prostitutes working along the nearby highway.

With such beginnings is it really any wonder that I'm so ghetto? Just in case I haven't been fully forthcoming in the past, let me point out clear examples of my trashiness:

1. I drink wine from a box. And I like it.

2. We own more trailers than operable vehicles.

3. Our first baby purchase was a gun safe (because we're safety concious like that)

4. I have worn slippers to go grocery shopping. Multiple times.

5. I much prefer a cheap chain restaurant to those fancy places that serve food I've never heard of in amazing small portions at obscene prices.

6. There are occasions when we deem it acceptable to drink beer before noon. Like when fishing. Or camping.

All right. So I've shared my dirty little secret. So what's yours?

Monday, March 23, 2009

A Busy Weekend

You know how some people's social lives slow down after they have a baby? If this last weekend was any indicator, apparently we are not one of those families. Friday night we went out to dinner with my dad. Then on Saturday we fit a little cleaning in between shopping in the morning, a birthday party in the afternoon, and a belated St. Patty's Day gathering in the evening. Sunday we hosted a brunch for several couples and their little ones. It was one of those things I wanted to do for a while but wanted the house to be perfect first. Well finally I realized that it would never happen if I waited for perfection, so we might as well start living. Brunch seemed like a good option because (1) evening gatherings are not as feasible with babies and (2) I'm not much good at cooking anything besides breakfast.

It was a fun albeit tiring weekend. It didn't help that Jillian did not sleep well Friday night, and I try to handle middle of the night wake-ups on the weekends since Jeramy does them during the week. Work almost seemed relaxing today...almost.

Oh, and unfortunately Jillian did not make it to the next round of the Baby Idol contest. I think the voters must have been blind to overlook my precious Jillian, but don't worry. I'm not going to go all Toddlers and Tiaras on anybody. (Is it even possible for TLC to find new ways to exploit the children of crazy families?). Jillian seems to be handling her first life disappointment quite well and spent the weekend entertaining many of our friends with her smiles and babbling.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Another Week Down

It has been another busy week as usual. There just is not a lot of spare time in each day. I get up at 4:15am, get to work by 6:30am, leave around 3 or 3:30pm, get home around 4:30 or 5pm (if I don't run any errands or have any late meetings), feed Jillian the solid food of the week, make dinner, eat dinner, feed Jillian a bottle, give Jillian a bath and put her to bed, put dishes in the dishwasher, run a load of laundry, watch a little TV and then go to bed by 9pm. Even with all Jeramy's help, during the week it feels like I'm just treading water, and so I look forward to weekends more than ever.

Despite all this, there are oh so many fun moments throughout each evening with Jillian.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Vote for Jillian

Jillian is a contestant in FM 92.5's Baby Idol contest because she's pretty much the cutest baby on the planet. Okay, maybe I'm a little bit biased, but she is pretty damn adorable. Voting started today at noon through noon on Friday the 20th. You can vote up to 10 times a day! The downside is that you do have to sign up to vote (be careful it may look like you've voted but if you haven't signed in your vote wasn't counted). So if you have a little time on your hand and don't mind junk mail, be sure to vote for Jillian here!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Middle of Nowhere

Have I mentioned that I now live in the middle of nowhere? To get to my house you drive out out of the city, past the suburbs, into farmland and then turn down a dirt road. When you get to the end of that dirt road you come to a long dirt driveway. At the end of that driveway you find me. We have hardly met any of the neighbors because you practically have to drive to go see them; two doors down is at least 5 minutes away. We don't really fit in though because we don't own any livestock (except for that week when we borrowed my mother-in-law's goats to eat some of our blackberry bushes). These are all reasons that we love this house.

The downside is that when there are storms it is windier because we are closer to the foothills of the Cascades. There are also a lot more trees to fall down on things. So today when it got a little windy, it wasn't surprising that our power went out. Luckily the house has a generator built-in for just this sort of problem. All afternoon we were comfortably hanging out and watching TV in our nice, warm house. Then we discovered that the generator does not run the 220 power, which includes some important things like the dryer, water heater, oven and most importantly the well pump. That's right...when the power is out we have to take a "when it's yellow, let it mellow" policy. Yay. I really miss my gas powered hot water heater and city water.

At least the power wasn't off for long. I just looked over and noticed a neighbor's light in the far distance. Sure enough the power was back. At least I should get a warm shower tomorrow morning. And I can go flush the toilet now.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Beginnings of a Beautiful Mother-Daughter Relationship

First off, Jillian is feeling much better. Her hearty appetite has returned and bowel movements are back to normal. We are blow-out free, at least for now. We have adjusted for daylight savings time too, and bedtime is back to somewhere between 7 or 8pm.

She has learned to hold her own bottle. Or at least that is what I'm told. She'll do it for Jeramy. She'll do it for his mother. She outright refuses to hold it for me. I tried putting her hands on it...no. I tried letting her feed propped up on her boppy pillow rather than directly on me...no. I think she knows that mommy is perfectly capable of holding her bottle for her and is set on taking advantage of my generous nature. A sign of things to come?

At least she is pretty much sleeping solely in her crib now. As you may recall, Jillian began as a swing sleeper; motion equals sleep in her world whether in the car or in my arms or in the swing. The transition from swing to crib went in fits and starts. We were doing pretty well, but then the move disrupted things. Then we almost had it again with a little crying it out, but she got a bad cold. Now she has slept in her crib for nearly all of the past several nights. The exception has been when Jeramy was handling late night feedings and wake-ups and Jillian was uncooperative about going back to sleep. Let's just say he lacks my persistence when sleep deprived. I'm about to pack up the swing to help him avoid the easy out, but I wouldn't put it past him to dig a swing out of the rafters of the garage at 3am.

Well I lack the ambition to figure out how to conclude this post, so you get pictures instead.

She is sitting up on her own...nice and straight.

She can bend down to reach for toys too. Her stability and range of motion has me worried about early mobility.

Hanging out with Cujo

This picture would be more appropriate if she were crying. And if the shirt said mommy rather than daddy.

Monday, March 9, 2009


I feel like the past week has been a series of clips from some new and disgusting show called Diaper Blowouts Gone Wild. At least once per day Jeramy and I have stared, perplexed, at our daughter on the changing table trying to figure out how to get her clothing off while getting the least amount of shit on her as possible. Quite literally. We nearly resorted to cutting a onesie or two off. Nearly. And I did this while sometimes feeling quite queasy myself. It has been loads of fun.

At least she was giving us obvious warning signals of our impending diaper doom. Had anybody told me that it was possible for such a small person to fart so very loud, I would have never believed them. While in the waiting room of the doctor's office she emitted such a tremendous rumble that those around us stared in disbelief at my or Jeramy's complete rudeness. "It was her", I tried to explain feebly pointing at my baby. "That's why we're here!" They looked at us in doubt while Jillian just smiled adorably.

Luckily I am feeling much better, and I suspect Jillian is too given that the frequency and consistency of her diapers. I am a little surprised that it took me three whole days to figure out my daughter was sick, but honestly the clues were subtle. (And might I add, it also took Jeramy and my mother-in-law that long to figure it out too). For one, normal baby poo looks very similar to baby diarrhea. It took a few days for it to become so frequent and so explosive to be particularly suspect. She did vomit, but only once a day for three days in a row. Jillian is a pretty pukey baby so really that wasn't overly surprising either. It wasn't really until she started drinking less and less that we suspected a problem and that coincided with me going home early from work with some lovely GI issues. The doctor wanted us to come in since Jillian wasn't eating much, and that is when we got the wonderful diagnosis of rotavirus.

Now there is a vaccine against rotavirus, but it is the oral vaccine. Well Jillian spit out most of the first dose and vomited immediately following the second dose so it wasn't really a surprise that she didn't get the immunity to it. Perhaps she received some partial immunity because her case seemed mild compared to some that Dr. M described (like 20 diapers a day bad...could you imagine?). At its peak we were closer to the 4 or 5 diapers a day with 1 or 2 being blowouts. So perhaps I'm feeling lucky.

We did miss Danny's first birthday bash thrown by C over at Sunny in Seattle. I was super bummed out to miss the giant cupcake, but I'm pretty sure that her and her guests did not want us to share with them. I was sure that Jeramy would get it, but he seems to have the GI tract of steel. Can you believe that he has never had a stomach bug in the time that I've known him, and that is somewhere around 15 years. And let me tell you, I've had some pretty violent bugs to share with him during that time. What a punk.

I'm off for bed. Daylight savings time has caught up with me but not Jillian, leaving me with little downtime in the evenings right now.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Well the good news is that we found out what was causing all of Jillian's issues. The bad news is that it is rotavirus. And just to top things off, she gave it to me too. Lovely.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Running on Empty

Why am I running on empty? I'm not sure exactly. Maybe it is because I'm exhausted from the move. Maybe it because work is stressful right now. Maybe it is because I have an inexplicably irritable baby who wakes up every hour or two fussing but not hungry. Maybe it is because my house is in shambles, and I lack the time and energy to unpack and clean up. Maybe it is the lovely stomach pains I've been dealing with. Maybe it is the congestion that just doesn't seem to go away. In all likelihood it is all of the above.

I went to the doctor this morning. It could be my gallbladder or it could be something else. Since the ultrasound showed no gallstones or sludge, the first step was to try putting me on acid blockers. If I still have breakthrough attacks of pain and nausea, then he'll have a scan done of my gallbladder. Fun times.

Jeramy bought a riding lawn mower seeing as how we now have a large enough yard to necessitate one. So the good news is that mowing the lawn is finally going to be fine enough that I don't have to do it anymore. It seems that my tenure as the only wife among our friends who mows the lawn is now over. Last summer I even mowed it well into my second trimester when it finally just got to be too much for me between the heat and swollen appendages. Of course perhaps Jeramy will pawn this responsiblility off on Jillian in the near future...

See that building in the background? The advertisement for our house described it as a shed. But in reality, we think it was a grow room. I'm by no means an expert in this area. But what shed has its own breaker panel, heat, underground ventilation, reflective walls and excellent insulation?

I've taken Jillian off of solid food for the time being. Ever since we started the rice cereal she has been extremely fussy and gassy, has horribly nasty diarrhea and blow-outs for the first time since she was about a month old (her poo has been relatively solid for about two months), and has started waking up every couple of hours at night and refusing to go back to sleep even though she is not hungry. On one hand, I doubt that a few tablespoons of rice cereal can wreak such havoc. However, it is the only variable that has changed in the past week. I hope this works, because coming home to an inconsolably fussy baby is incredibly draining.

When she isn't fussing, Jillian is noticing the world around her more and more. In the past couple of weeks she has really began noticing Cujo. He still isn't thrilled about her, but at least he tolerates her existence. I'm sure grow on him more once she starts sending crumbs his way.

All right. Enough whining.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Spending Time with Daddy

Jillian has been spending a lot more time with Jeramy since he doesn't have a paying job these days. I'm a bit jealous because she is such a daddy's girl. Whenever he walks into the room or she hears his voice, she breaks into a huge smile. She especially loves it when he lifts her into the air and blows raspberries on her belly.

Spending time with daddy also leads to some interesting wardrobe choices, as I found out when I received the following picture message from Jeramy yesterday...

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Where do I even begin?

My life is so busy right now that there is so much that I could blog about but no time to actually write-up a coherent post. So in lieu of that you get bullet points and pictures.
  • I've been having tummy issues. About an hour after I eat I get horribly sick to my stomach. I'm nauseated but I don't vomit. This has happened about six times in the past two weeks. After the first few episodes I saw my doctor who dismissed it as re-starting birth control pills. However it happened a couple more times only it was worse and I hadn't been on the active pills for nearly a week. On Friday night it was bad enough that I had Jeramy take me to the ER. We waited for nearly 4 hours to get in, and then spent another few hours there. The doc there thought it was probably my gallbladder but nothing showed up on the ultrasound. He sent me home with painkillers and told me to see my doctor again. I hope we get this figured out soon, because debilitating stomach pain sucks.
  • We were going to wait a little while longer before feeding Jillian solid foods, but she was so interested in Jeramy's potato chips the other night we decided to give it a try. She got the hang of it right away, and so we'll start feeding her a little rice cereal every evening just before bath time.
  • Jeramy saw a mini-cow and mini-bull on CraigsList. He jokingly told me that he contemplated buying them and a mini-horse to start a mini-farm.
  • The inspection on the house must have went well. They only asked us to screw down the skylights, which the roofers forgot to do. I guess there were a few other small things, but they aren't asking us to fix those because they know we have a good back-up offer.
  • The house is still a complete disaster. Insulating and drywalling the garage has consumed Jeramy's time, and that is a priority so that he can get everything in the garage as opposed to in the driveway.
  • Jillian rolled from front to back at my mother-in-law's house, but she refuses to give a repeat performance. She is pretty close to rolling over from back to front. She gets all the way up on her side, but can't quite get over her shoulder.
  • She can also now sit up on her own without support.
  • I need to dig out the 6-9 month clothes soon. She is getting so big way to fast.
  • We got a new cell phone contract and new phones since we couldn't get service at the new house. I got a Blackberry Curve. I've never cared anything about having a cell phone before, but this is seriously the most awesome thing ever.
  • I woke up to snow on Thursday. Scratch that. I woke up, took a shower, and when Jeramy turned on the TV they were discussing snow. I looked outside and sure enough, snow. Since we live on the never ending driveway, I waited for it to melt before going into work in the afternoon.
  • Jillian and I are both at odds with teeth. I suspect Jillian may be teething although the signs tend to come and go. She has been rather fussy and at times the only thing that comforts her is chewing on my finger. I had a lovely visit with the dentist where they told me I needed a deep cleaning and a couple of cavities filled. As a bonus if these cavities are bad enough, I may get inlays instead. Yay. At least I no longer have to worry about not using my flexible spending account money this year.

Her first few bites of solid food.

Our first snow at the new house

Helping out with laundry.