Thursday, September 29, 2011


The little man is thriving. Well, he's still in the bottom one percent for weight, but he is gaining weight like he should.  Woohoo and whew!  Apparently, the bigger concern was that he had fallen off of his growth curve recently.  At his four month appointment, he was in the seventh percentile for weight, but at his six month appointment, he had falled to the bottom one percent.  Bad.

Today, he is still in the bottom one percent but he has not fallen any further off of the curve, which is great news.  Must continue to stuff the little man.  And, after five minutes of watching the little man, our pediatrician proclaimed that his small size is probably metabolic, i.e. the little man is so active that he burns what he eats.  It was good news.

Off The Chart

My stomach drops every time I think about the appointment tomorrow morning.  I am dreading walking into the doctor's office.  I am dreading the scale.  But, this time it is not me that must be weighed.  

The little man was a peanut when he was born: 6 pounds, 5 ounces.  When we left the hospital, he was barely 6 pounds.  While he has always been a champion eater, he is also a very wiggly little baby.  There is always something that he needs to look at, that he needs to explore.  He is always moving.  He is skinny.  Our pediatrician thinks that, most likely, there is nothing wrong, that the little man just burns everything he eats.  

At his six month appointment, when I placed the little man on the scale, he was a little over 13 pounds.  At six months.  The nurse said that his weight couldn't be right.  Surely, he wasn't that light.  My stomach dropped when she asked me to place him back on the scale.  Nope, he was only 13 pounds.  And for a six month old little boy, 13 pounds is off the growth chart.  Off the bottom of the growth chart.  

Our pediatrician wanted to see the little man in six weeks to check his weight.  Six weeks is tomorrow.

I have been trying to stuff the little man.  I have been mixing in olive oil to his food.  I have tried everything to get him to eat as much as possible.  I know which foods have the greatest number of calories.  I mix oatmeal in everything.  I think, I hope, that the little man has a bit more chub than before.  But will it be enough?  I'm not sure.  

I am dreading tomorrow.  Because although I know that the little man is doing great: he is crawling, cruising, babbling, smiling and inhaling breastmilk, I am terrified that it won't be enough.  I am terrified that something is wrong.  I am scared of a label: "Failure To Thrive."  Please, let him be thriving.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Things That Piss Me Off

1.  When a man steps onto a mostly empty elevator and stands just a little too close to me.  What?  Did the other side of the elevator piss you off?  I know that you saw me standing here as I am wearing emerald blue with a white pashmina today - I don't blend into the drab corporate decor on purpose.  And don't act so surprised when I step on your foot.  You were standing too close, jackhole.
2.  The fact that my dog is an unmitigated jackhole to me and no-one else.  I could not get the dog in the crate this morning.  He. would. not. go.  And he's over 100 lbs, so pushing or forcing him in just isn't going to happen.  Two minutes after I leave, the nanny asks him into his crate, and he waltzes in all happy to be in there.  Jackhole dog.
3.  Judgy McJudgerson in my office.  The office coffee maker went on the fritz this morning.  I NEED my decalf coffee (I pretend there is real caffeine in there).  After a few minutes of playing with the thing, I managed to make it work.  All proud of myself, I said to the judgy secretary standing near me that if nothing else went right today, at least I had my coffee.  She turned up her nose at me, and said, "well, I guess so."  It was a joke (kind-of) lady.  Geesh, go judge someone else. 
4.  My temper is so much closer to the surface after having the little man.  J and I both need milk to have breakfast.  He eats cereal.  I have carnation instant breakfast.  This morning he left me about a half of a cup of milk.  I poured what little milk remained and then slammed the carton down on the counter, crushing in the top part.  It felt good.  And then I felt guilty for taking out my frustrations on an innocent milk carton - while my son was watching.
5.  The multiple gray hairs along where I part my hair that the horrible flourescent lighting in the bathoom seem to emphasize.  Do they multiply up there while I sit at my desk, because I think there are more now than when I looked in the mirror this morning.
6.  My office is located at the interesection of tourist and undergrad central, which means that the path to starbucks is blocked by 15 italian tourists pointing at some historic landmark and once in starbucks you are treated to a variation of the following:  Vapid Undergrad 1: "I like my sketchers, but I love my prada backpack."  Vapid Undergrad 2: "But I love my sketchers."  Vapid Undergrad 1:  "That's only because you don't have a prada backpack."  (From "10 Things I Hate About You")

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


It is time to relinquish the golden handcuffs.  Oh how I am ready for them to be gone.  But, before I take the handcuffs off, J and I must learn to live on less.  We must learn to keep an eye on how much our daily lives cost and where our money goes.  At this point, I have a pretty good idea of where most of our income goes (both discretionary and non), but this is our first month really trying to keep an eye on the spending.  We are going to try the staples: eat out less, cook at home more often, but J and I will both have to work to cut back on certain things.
For me, its books.  I love books.  I love the weight of a hardback book and the crisp sound of opening the cover.  I love dog-earring the pages, and looking back at the end of the book to see that some days I read pages upon pages and then the next I barely managed to read two before having to put it down again.  I have a hard time separating from the books I love.  I feel like they have become a piece of me (Little Women, Jany Eyre, a few poli-sci books from college).  I silently (or very loudly) curse my difficulty in letting them go when we move every few years.  

My love of books is nothing new.  The summer between my fourth and fifth grade year, I would get up early in the morning with my mom.  She would put on her uniform (I believe it was BDUs at that point), I would pile into the car and we would head over to post.  She would drop me at the post library, and I would spend a glorious morning reading whatever I desired.  I would plow through books about animals (a couple that raised a polar bear cub) and children's series (there was one about a nanny or maid who inspected things with white gloves).  Toward the end of the morning, I would pick out a few books and check them out.  Then, I would head over to my mom's office and we would grab lunch together.  Having lunch with my mom during the week was special because it was such a rare occurence, and most importantly it was time that I had her all to myself.  After lunch, she would set me loose on post once again.  Most days, I would find a tree to climb.  I would perch myself with a book and soda and read until it was time to go home.  Those were wonderful days: special time with my mom and a day of reading by myself (and climbing trees).  

Fast forward twenty years:  I love books and can always find an excuse to justify purchasing a book.  Pregnant?  Lots of books to read.  New baby?  Even more.  Considering different sleep solutions?  Oh so many books to read.  Working motherhood?  How many can I read in a day?  And now that I have a kindle and nook on my iphone, buying books has become that much easier.  During my maternity leave, I discovered that I could hold W with one hand and read a book on my iphone with my other.  It was bliss and I flew through books (Bossypants was a high point.)  So cutting back on purchasing books will be a tough one for me.  Maybe its time I find the library once again.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

I am a runner?

In kindergarten, my mom would wake me before the sun rose.  We would drive to a track filled with men and women in gray shorts and t-shirts with ARMY emblazoned across the chest.  I would sleep in the car as my mom completed her PT (physical training).  My sister and I would cheer my mom during her PT tests, and we would celebrate as she maxed her PT test, every year.  

When I was in first grade, she entered a road race in Plains, Georgia, the home of Jimmy Carter.  She won her race that year and won a kiss from Jimmy Carter when she received her metal.  The next year, she entered me in a road race.  I was so excited as we stood among the crowd of runners.  People were bouncing up and down, antsy for the start of the race.  The gun went off.  My mom held my hand, looked down at me and said, "Here we go.  Start slow."  I loved it.  For about the first half of the race.  Then, I was done.  I was not going to take one more step.  I stopped.  I sat down on the side of the road.  The only problem was that at that point we were in the middle of a peanut field in the middle of Georgia.  My mom tried to reason with me.  I would not leave my spot on the side of the road.  And then, understandably, she got ticked.  I remember her trying to pull me to my feet.  I refused.  I crossed my arms.  And, by the way, there were still throngs of runners passing us at this point.   We finished the race eventually.  I figure that I have that incident coming back to me eventually through my strong-willed LM.

In college, I ran to meet guys at the gym and to off-set the beer.  I am going to ignore, for the moment, the time when I wasn't paying attention, tripped myself on the treadmill and got spit out the back.  I have never been graceful.  At some point in college, though, running became my time to get away.  It was a chance to not care about what anyone else thought.  I didn't care how fast or how far I went, just that I was out the door.

At the firm, running was my life line.  At 6:30 a.m., I would hit the treadmill.  I would watch the Today Show, content to know that I could run and my bb wouldn't buzz.  Later in the day, I could tell myself that if nothing else went right that day, at least I had taken a bit of time for myself in the morning.  Other days, I would race down to the gym at 8:30 p.m.  (The gym closed at 9:00 p.m.)  I would tell the person behind the desk that I just needed to get in a few miles.  I would run hard.  I would push myself, see just how fast I could run with angry music blaring in my ears.  My legs would ache as I limped back upstairs to finish my work.  The dull ache was a pleasant reminder that at least I had taken a bit of time for myself.  Before I became pregnant, I trained for and ran a half-marathon about every six months at the firm.  

Now, I struggle to run.  How do I make time during my harried day to just get out the door?  I don't know.  Perhaps I need to master our huge jogging stroller.  Perhaps I need to run at lunch, glares from the partners be damned.  Whatever the solution, I need to find it.  Running is my sanity, and without it, I find a darkness invades my days.  The darkness makes me loathe my job even more.  The darkness makes it tough to see the humor.  The darkness makes me love being a mom a little less.  I need running.  I just need to figure out how to get out the door.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Yesterday, a colleague told me, "I think its BS that you are considered 'tainted' because you work part-time."  Her comment didn't sting at the time.  Afterall, I know how part-time attorneys are viewed in this office.  But today, that comment stings, and it frightens me.
Before I became pregnant - and before I announced to the office that I was pregnant - I worked hard.  I earned my badge of honor:  I was on a trial team that basically required me to sleep at the office for at least three months; I was screamed at by the partner who screams; I ate breakfast, lunch and dinner at my desk; I drafted a PI opposition over the weekend (while going through infertility treatments unbeknownst to my office); I saw the sunrise and sunset from my desk; I worked out of a client office for a week (at ten weeks pregnant); I led doc review teams and managed junior associates.  The day before I announced that I was pregnant, I was viewed as a "team player."  I would do what was required to get the work done.  No one dared question my commitment, my work ethic.  And then, it changed.  It was not a seismic shift.  Looking back, I don't think I even realized it was happening.  The partner who leads our practice group was incredibly supportive of me, of the pregnancy.  When my blood pressure shot up towards the middle of my pregnancy, I was encouraged to do what I needed to protect the pregnancy. 
The first fall that I was at the firm, a woman in my practice group returned from maternity leave.  She broke down amongst a group of women, saying that her commitment to the job had been questioned.  I smuggly sat at the table and thought, "that won't happen to me, because I will be valued.  Before I go on my maternity leave, I will show them that I am committed to this job.  I am different.  That won't happen to me." 
It happened to me.  What I did before my pregnancy: the long hours, the work, the sacrifice, has all vanished.  Now I am defined by my part-time status.  I am defined by the fact that I will be home to see my son. every. night. I was sure that I could beat the rap that came with working part-time.  I was sure that I would still be valued.  But I am not. 

A day is coming in a little over a month where I fully expect my superiors to question my comittment, my work ethic (my three month status review).  I expect to be sat down, to be told that I should do more, be more, bill more.  I will not be allowed to point to all that came before.  They will not hear me say that this is an adjustment period.  They will not hear me say that when I am at work, I am committed to doing what must be done, I am efficient, I bill.  They will not hear me.  
While I cannot wait to leave the firm behind, I value the hard-work, the accomplishments, and the hours that I have committed to the firm.  And now, it feels as though all of those sacrifices are trivilized.  All that came before is minimized - and that is what stings.  I am excited to leave the firm behind, but not yet.  For now, I need the job, the income.  I fear that my status places me on the chopping block, regardless of what I have done in the past - and that is what frightens me.  Years ago, I naively thought I could escape the view that I would be "lesser" when I returned from maternity leave.   I did not.  

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Reason 425 Why I Co-Sleep With My Son

About thirty minutes before the LM wakes up every morning, he becomes a wiggle butt.  He flops around, kicks his legs, rolls with authority, wants his pacifier and then really doesn't.   Occasionally, I can pull him onto my chest and he will drift back to sleep for another thirty minutes.  Those thirty minutes are my gradual alarm clock, as he almost always wakes up between 6:00 and 7:00.  This morning, however, he started wiggling at 4:30 a.m.  I braced myself for an early wake-up.  He started squirming.  He kicked.  He inched higher and higher in the bed.  He found my arm.  Picked his head up and slammed it down on my arm.  Then he rolled towards me, head still on my arm, cuddled into me, sighed and drifted back into a deep sleep.  I pulled the covers up a little higher and held him tight.  While there are nights and mornings when I question whether he is ready for his crib full-time, mornings like these, I am so very happy to have my little bear next to me in bed.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

It happened. And I am forever grossed out.

Our nanny keeps a log of what she and the little man do every day: how much he eats, when he sleeps, that today they were playing and she was making animal noises and he cried when she mooed like a cow.  But only that noise.  We may have a vegetarian on our hands.  Anyway, she noted that she gave him prunes for lunch as he was clearly having trouble in the morning and did not have his usual morning constitutional.  Fast forward to dinner tonight:  I was feeding LM when I noticed that he was clearly trying to poop.  I gave the kid a few minutes and we finished dinner.  

We have a routine down for bathtime.  I jump in the bath.  J strips the kid down to his diaper and brings him into the bathroom.  He takes off the diaper and hands LM to me in the bathtub.  We have added a step for when the kid has pooped.  J is supposed to take the diaper off before he comes in the bathroom and clean the kid.  Otherwise, we have the scene from a few nights ago where I precariously hold LM above the water with his butt to J while J attempts to clean the kid with toilet paper.  There is a reason that baby wipes are stronger than toilet paper -- toilet paper doesn't work on baby poop.  At all.  It also sticks to baby butts and ends up floating in the water.  Tonight J skipped the step of cleaning the kid before he came into the bathroom, which led to LM being cleaned with toilet paper.  As J was leaving he said, "Wow. I hope he's done.  Oh wait, LM poop on mommy that would be funny."  Famous last words.

Did I mention that I filled the bath extra full tonight?  With lots of bubbles.  Bubbles make it hard to see what is in the water.  LM and I were enjoying our bath when I felt something in the water.  At first I thought it was just a piece of left over toilet paper.  Oh no.  The kid had let it rip, big time.  I squelled.  J came running.  LM cried.  We tried to clean it up.  Just at the point where we started letting the water drain, he let another one rip.  I squelled more.  We got that cleaned up.  I was sitting in a messy, gross tub, getting ready to hand LM to John, when the kid, yet again, let one rip.  on my thigh.  At that point, I just handed LM to John, got toilet paper and cleaned myself up.  And then I disinfected the tub.

The bath, round 2 of the evening was much less eventful.  I took a long shower after.  Will may have missed his bedtime tonight.  I think I'm going to go shower again.