Thursday, July 30, 2015

One Working Mom, Two Jobs

I interviewed with an Attorney a little while ago, but things seemed to be dragging a bit with summer vacation schedules, etc. He's a criminal defense (and a bunch of other stuff) attorney, and wants someone to keep his court calendar for him. He wanted to bring someone in to help out, but wasn't sure about going full time. So, instead, we are starting out with some part time work. Two mornings a week, plus some additional hours here and there. He's acknowledged that he'd like to gradually add more hours, and I'd like that, but I'm just glad for the experience even if it stays as it is for a little while.

We started the mornings this week, Tuesdays and Thursdays. I'm currently only supposed to be working 4 days at my In House job -- so instead of having a day off during the week, I instead have two mornings off to go to court for my "second job". I'm still learning, obviously, I can't take his calendar off his hands quite yet, but after doing two days of shadowing, I don't think it's too far off.

I've had so much fun, so far. The cases are serious, as most criminal cases are, and quite a few of his clients are in custody as we move the process of getting them to trial, but it's exciting. I mean, it's a lot more "fly by the seat of your pants" than anything I'm used to, and it's been a great learning experience. We're basically on our feet from 8.30 to 1pm, moving from one court room to another, from one client to another, and it's such a fast pace. This afternoon, as I'm able to actually sit down and look forward to the weekend, my adrenaline has finally let up a bit and I'm feeling exhausted but excited.

I stopped by his office this afternoon on my way back to my In House job, and they handed me a stack of papers about 8 inches high of court transcripts I have to read to write a Criminal Appellate Brief, you know... for my free time. Which is basically non-existent now!

When the Attorney committed to the two mornings, I was thrilled. But quickly, I realized that I had accepted a second job without cutting any responsibility at my current job. So, these next few weeks should be exciting!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Potty Training: Tackling Nighttime

I seriously cannot BELIEVE we've waited this long to start potty training Mia overnight. Every month, I still dutifully add a pack of training pants to my Honest Company order, and every month, I tell myself that this is the last time we are spending that extra $14, or whatever it is. It's starting to get a little ridiculous that my completely verbal and communicative 4 year old wakes me up on weekend mornings telling me that her diaper is "melting". A couple of weeks ago, Mia and Lucy went to a babysitter's house and I had to include Mia's overnight diaper in the instructions -- while the babysitter's 2 year old was completely diaper-free.

I've had a million reasons not to start. First, because Mia has never, not once, woken up with a dry training diaper. I keep reading that night training is physiological, that the kid's bladder capacity will be the indicator that she is ready to go all night without going. Well, I think I'll be waiting forever if I do that. And, it's impossible to know when she actually goes... does she hold it for most of the night and then just go in the morning when she wakes up? I have no idea. Second, because Mia has historically been a terrible sleeper. Mia didn't regularly sleep through the night until she was at least 18 months old, and even then, bedtime itself was a nightmare until recently. So, I've been dreading rocking the boat.

So, it was perfect timing when I was asked whether I was interested in reviewing Oh Crap! Potty Training by Jamie Glowacki with the promise that there was a whole chapter on nighttime training. I mean, when I started potty training Mia a few months after she turned 2, I had a self-imposed deadline of her 3rd birthday to start nighttime training, and that year came and went with a few meager attempts, during which Mia wet the bed within an hour of falling asleep.

So, now we're doing it. I've read the chapter (and a couple of others) and am going to start putting things into practice. Jamie says, right off the bat, that there are two things you have to do to night time train: 1) limit water intake and 2) wake them up to pee. So, OK. We're forging ahead. We're up at least once every night with Lucy anyway, so we (by WE I mean B, since I'm the one doing the feeding) might as well wake Mia while we're at it. Anyway, I've liked reading the parts of the book that I've read so far. I don't usually find Potty Training books terribly helpful; I've checked a few out of the library, but I've liked the instructions she's given so far! Her writing style is straight to the point, simple, but funny!

We've done 2 nights so far -- night 1 went well, completely dry. Granted, it was a Saturday night so we were up late and super vigilant. We woke Mia up 3 times, and she went twice. The second night... didn't go as well. Despite waking her up twice, and having her go twice, she wet the bed, twice. Once within 10 minutes of her being in bed -- I'm not sure she was even asleep so I'm a bit puzzled on that one. But the second time was in the morning. Again, I'm not sure if she was even asleep when it happened, since she came into my bedroom to alert me to the fact that her bed had "melted". I honestly think she might have forgotten she was sans-diaper and followed her usual habit of going first thing. Bumps in the road, for sure, but we aren't getting discouraged just yet.

Oh, and let me share this one trick I found on Pinterest or something to make middle of the night sheet changes easier: cover the mattress with a water proof protector under the fitted sheet, natch. BUT then, put a couple of puppy training pads down, and cover with another fitted sheet (and repeat as many times as you like). If there's an accident, remove the fitted sheet, and hopefully your puppy pads will have caught the "wet" and kept the next layer of sheet dry!

Like I said, I was sent a copy of Oh Crap! Potty Training for no charge if I was interested in writing a review - which I was! Opinions and execution is my own.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

These two

There two. Together. They kill me. The sisters.

6 months in, and I cannot believe how much they love each other. Every morning, Mia wakes up racing into our room looking for Lucy (whose wake up is often around 5am, and Brian plops her down next to me while he goes off and does this thing called "exercise"), and the three of us spend the first few minutes of every day cuddling and giggling. Mia does everything she can to make Lucy laugh, Lucy doesn't take her eyes off Mia, and I... supervise. Lucy is always in the best mood in the mornings, and Mia takes full advantage. This has also helped getting Mia out of bed, who used to resist weekday wake ups.

Every Monday, Lucy goes to daycare with Mia. Mia reported stays in the baby room for the first few minutes of the day to "make sure Lucy isn't sad", before heading out to join the big kids. When the daycare teachers told me this after the first day, I had to hold back the tears.

On days that I can barely keep my eyelids from closing, I realize that the best thing I could have done for Mia was to give her this baby sister. And I often think about how lucky Lucy is to have three people to love her.

Friday, June 19, 2015

The State of Me, post partum take 2.

After giving birth to Mia, it took me over a year to start caring about myself again. Caring about my body, my appearance, my hair, clothes, everything. I'm not sure I realized it while I was in that post-partum funk. I wouldn't necessary escalate it to PPD, but having a baby, becoming a mother and coming to terms with your new identity was difficult for me. Adding a second baby does add a lot of work, but it doesn't change who you are quite as much. Yes, there is a new person and that is certainly a big deal, but I'm already a Mom, so the adjustment was just that much easier.

Of course, I'm still nursing. That is what my body is doing right now, that is what my body is for. I decide what to eat based on that, skip my allergy medicine despite feeling congested, choose my clothing, choosing beer over wine. I suppose this will continue until she's a year old and we start to wean, but for now, it's still a huge part of me, and my life. 

I am, and have been for a while, watching what I eat. Immediately after having Lucy, I dropped all the baby weight within 4 weeks of giving birth. I was back in pre-pregnancy jeans, despite a flabbier midsection. I don't know how to explain it, but it may have been a combination of the difficult recovery decreasing my appetite, plus the round the clock nursing that did it. But, as soon as my supply regulated but my appetite did not, I gained everything back. I didn't realize it until my pants started feeling tight again, but I started low-carbing and got some very quick results. Of course, my milk supply totally tanked, and I realized that my usual method of cutting carbs out completely was not going to work out this time around.

It's probably for the best, actually. Instead of being very strict with my eating for a shorter period of time, I have to be sensible for a long period of time. It's been just over 6 weeks now, but B and I are still eating well. We've eliminated white starches (but I have to eat a starch at every meal). I've lost 12 lbs, which puts me at about 8 lbs until pre-pregnancy weight. The scale hasn't budged in a couple of weeks, but I'm hoping that Lucy will start sleeping semi-regularly again soon, and I can actually wake up with enough energy to do a little bit of yoga once in a while. The belly flab is pretty serious this time, though. It felt like it was pretty flabby after giving birth to Mia, but stretching that skin for a second time seems to have pushed its limits -- it's not bouncing back. 

Another lovely post-partum side effect that has really shown up this time around: hair loss. For a little while there, I was shedding multiple handfuls of hair during each shampoo. I had a lot of hair, and it's pretty thick, so it doesn't look bad, or thinning at all, but it is significant. I can go around my ponytail 4 times with a hair tie now, when it used to be 3. I'd easily estimate that I've at least lost 1/3 of my hair. It'll come back, and when it does, I'll have a lovely head of chia hair.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Very wet, but not so wild.

Now that Lucy is 6 months old, it feels like we have our lives back again. Before the past few weeks, it has felt like there was a bit of a timer on us leaving the house. Lucy would need a nap, or I'd need to be able to go back to the car to nurse her (I'm not VERY comfortable nursing on the go, and neither is she). But, on a very hot Las Vegas Day, we slathered ourselves in sunscreen, and headed out to cool off at Wet n Wild!

I have the best memories of water parks are a kid. I remember coming back from a field trip to a water park without realizing the butt section of my bathing suit had gotten so worn out from the constant sliding that there were actual holes in it! Mia loves the water. We don't have a pool, but a few of our friends do, and as soon as she spots the water, she will go in no matter what the water temperature is. So, I thought a water playground would actually be the perfect fit for her. 

We got the use of a shaded cabana for the day, which included an ice bucket, waters and a personal attendant who was charming but a bit overwhelmed on his second day of work. It was so nice to have a base camp to settle in for the day, and a play to draw some curtains and have complete privacy, which is a total dream for nursing. I was able to recline on the lounge chairs, and Lucy didn't have to be covered up (which she hates). As soon as I realized that she was comfortable, I knew that we could stick around for as long as Mia wanted to. I hate taking her away from fun just because Lucy needs a proper nap and feeding. 

The rarest picture of me in a bathing suit - I was so happy to be there, it had to be documented, flabby belly and all.

I get the impression that many of their employees are high school students out of school for the summer, and I absolutely love that. I would have loved to have this job as a high school student! B and I joked that when the kids were older, we'd just buy them season passes and meal passes and send them to Wet n' Wild for the summer instead of paying for a summer camp! It's certainly better than having them laze around the house all day.

How much would you have loved this as a little kid?

Our cabana was right in front of the "little kid" section of the park. Smaller slides, splash pads, waterfalls, etc. Mia ran towards the play structure as soon as we had our stuff down, but our little wimpy kid was terrified when she realized that there was a giant bucket of water that periodically spilled out over the whole play structure! The first time it dumped water on her, she rushed right back to the cabana with her Papa. There were also a set of toddler slides (unaffected by the giant bucket of fear) that she was much more content on.

Escaping the Bucket of Fear
I was itching to get on a water slide, so as soon as B and Mia came back, I left B with the baby in the shade (where he belongs) and headed out to one of the tandem water slides. I scanned the lines to see whether there were little kids in line with their parents, and took Mia to that one. Once we were installed in our tube with Mia ensconced safely between my legs, we went down. Little did I know, the whole ride would be in the dark! Mia was again terrified and vowed never to trust her parents again. 

From our cabana, Mia (now fearful of any words her parents said) hadn't yet spotted the lazy river or the pool. We convinced her to put on her little puddle jumper and head to the lazy river, so that Lucy didn't have to miss out on all the fun. There were little lifevests available for babies, so we strapped one on Lucy and settled into an inner tube for seven a couple of laps around the river. Mia swam around, B flipped over, and everyone had a fantastic time going around and around and around. I didn't bring my phone (since... water) but I got a few giggles out of Lucy sticking her feet in the water and watching her big sister splash around. I think we even managed to get some of Mia's trust back.

Mia, Lucy and I headed back to the Cabana to order lunch, while B went and had his own fun at the Slideboarding ride which he explained was a combination video game/water slide and while the whole process took kind of a long time, he came back grinning so I think he had a great time. He said something about needing to go back later on and try to beat his time, but I just smiled and nodded. I knew perfectly well that I wouldn't be able to get Mia back on any water slides, but I had my eye on the wave pool and wanted to spend the rest of the day bobbing up and down on a tube. Mia and I headed over there for a good long time. She loved loved loved the wave pool, and gained a bit of her bravery back. She even had me let go of her several times, and kept on asking to get closer to the big waves. I love me a wave pool, only second to a lazy river. 

Alas, B's second turn on the sideboard was naught. Mia and I were signaled out of the wave pool because there had been some thunder and lightening, because Las Vegas wanted to choose the one day we were at the water park to rain. 

We felt slightly guilty for being so sheltered while others gathered around the umbrellas. I believe umbrellas are general admission, first come first served, but cabanas require a reservation and extra fee. They also have some cool looking day beds, and some umbrella rentals that you can set up on the grass.

After waiting it out for a little bit longer, it didn't look like it was going to clear up. Since the 4 year old was tired, the husband was not yet sunburned, and the baby had yet to take a nap, we decided to call it and pack it up.

Mia fell asleep on the way home, a rarity now a days and a sure sign of a good time.

I was given complimentary passes to Wet n' Wild for my family to experience the new attractions just opened this summer, they did not require a blog post in exchange, but we had a great time! All opinions are my own.

Monday, June 15, 2015


I've posted 2 backdated posts -- one for Lucy and one for Mia! Check them out.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Settling In

Lucy is 6 months now, Mia just turned 4. Lucy's sleep has become pretty horrific, waking as if she were a newborn. I feel like a zombie for most of the day, until my own bedtime rolls around of course and it seems like a great idea to just play one more episode of Breaking Bad (our current binge).

Life feels hectic, but boring at the same time. Weeks are long, but months are short. I'm writing here with the hope of getting back into this little hobby of mine, a way to record things. I'm sorry Lucy, your first 6 months won't be quite a  documented as your sisters were. But, such is life for a second child!