December 16, 2011

Healing at home

The surgery went well. In the post-op room they kept asking me if I was ready to wake up and go into the recovery room. I kept mumbling, "No, I like sleeping." On the way home, Jrex commented that for a 20-minute procedure, it was amazing that I was gone from 9 AM til 2:30 PM. Hmm...

An incident from my breastfeeding class this summer continues to echo throughout the childbirth and motherhood experience. During the group class which included spouses, the teacher brought out sample nursing bras. One of the guys exclaimed, "Wow, so no more Victoria's Secret, huh?!" That phrase has continued to ring in my ears as each non-glamorous phase occurs.

While in the recovery room, still somewhat numb from drugs, I freaked out when I felt moisture on my stomach--I thought I'd burst my stitches. Two seconds later I realized it was milk dripping down. (Sorry for the TMI!) I asked the nurse to get my pump from Jrex in the waiting area. Now, for those who may not know, the motors for nursing pumps are LOUD. Once I finished pumping the room rang with absence of sound. I wanted to call out an apology. And in the back of my head came the echo, "No more Victoria's Secret, huh?"

December 15, 2011

Bonus Day!

When in the womb, Brex had a pattern where for a couple days he'd barely move and I'd freak out that something had gone terribly wrong, and then he'd have an active day where I wished he'd calm down. I know, I know, never happy, right? He's continued that pattern. Three days ago he would NOT nap. Today? Awake for an hour, nap. Over and over. Then he was still happy to sleep for the night (so far). Tomorrow is my hernia surgery, so I'm hoping we both get a good night's rest.

That's not the bonus though.

When the mail came, we received a huge box of local, Texas citrus, pears and chocolates. From our realtor and his wife! I think his wife sort of adopted us since we moved here and had the baby right away with no family in the area. We're so humbled by their generosity. Looks like we'll have dinner guests in January!

That's still not the bonus.

On Monday, Brex and I wandered down the street to the daycare I'd mentioned in the previous post. It's small, but all the kids looked really happy. They kept crawling into the laps of the woman who runs the place and her helper. The assistant stayed late just cause she wanted a chance to hold Brex. Let's call the director Blondie. I actually met her last fall at a neighborhood barbque and wrote her off as a total flake. Yet watching her loving, gentle approach with the kids and how content the children seemed in her care, I decided that maybe she talked my ear off because she's with kids all day? Anyway, Jrex is going to go down there with Brex tomorrow after we get home from the hospital. I need him to weigh in on which version of Blondie he sees: flake or nurturer.

Beyond all that, part of my hope for my weekend in bed is to spend some time journaling and praying about the bigger picture in terms of career/babyland/part-time/freelance/etc/etc. I need to know that I know I'm supposed to do what's next. I don't want to spend Brex's life second-guessing whichever option we pursue. Jrex is being very patient with me thrashing around trying to figure it out. I was reminded today by a dear, trusted friend that each marriage has to be interdependent. That each spouse stands alone before God before deferring to each other. I need to check in there first before forcing Jrex to be the fall-guy for whatever decision we make.

Not the bonus (obviously).

We've had major contractor drama around getting estimates for roof work. Back and forth since August! In the end, my Dad recommended that we get a clean estimate from a roofer we select (every other one was recommended by either our realtor, our insurance guy or our contractor). I followed his advice and ended up selecting the roofers who'd done our neighbor's house. I called them yesterday to find out when they were going to do the roof. They asked if they could drop off material this morning and then do the work on Friday and Saturday. Sure!

The doorbell rang today at 6:45 AM! Yikes. After the guy dropped off the materials (Class 4, hail resistant shingles. Yee-ha for Texas weather!), a bunch of Hispanic guys started to gather. Next thing we knew, they were working on the roof. As they started working, Muttola bugged me to go out. Well, obviously the back yard was out of the question, so I bundled up the baby and set forth to the park.

When I walked back in the door, the phone rang.

"OTRgirl? Congratulations! This is J with the roofing company. You just won a free garage roof!"

I was confused, "I thought we didn't include the garage in the job?"

J laughed ruefully, "We didn't. I stopped by to check in with the crew just now and they'd already started tearing up the garage roof by mistake. I didn't want you to look out of the house and see that and get worried."

"Will there still be enough material to do the porch roof?"

"Yup. Merry Christmas!"


December 9, 2011


I didn't mean to take a month off!

The truth is dawning on me: I blog to escape and/or analyze my life. Slow afternoon at work, but I need to stay on the computer and be available? Read some blogs. Something is itching at me mentally? Blog about it in order to process it. Feeling restless and wanting to skip to the end of whatever phase of life is passing by? Troll the internet so I feel like I'm going somewhere.

Well, now that all the family is gone and we have December with just the three of us, I don't have any of the above 'needs'. Somehow, being Brex's mother has stilled the restlessness in me. If I try to jump ahead to the 'next' phase, I'll miss the one he's in now, and I don't want to do that.

Each day feels like a gift to have him and have the chance to be on this side of the Mom line. In terms of crossing that line, I'd mostly given up (most of the time). My thread of hope was tattered and I didn't let myself picture what it would be like to be a Mom. In contrast to when I was younger and just assumed I'd spend most of my life mothering, I'd shifted to avoiding the kids' sections of stores, not cooing (too much) over baby shoes or hats, and tending towards friends who didn't have children.

It's strange and good now to be going to the '2011 playgroup' (went yesterday for the first time. Collection of very nice alpha Moms and fun kids.), to find out about the nursery at church, to gush over fat little baby feet and edible baby cheeks. I have a bone deep contentment that I'm finding surprising and very welcome.

Which leads to my current dilemma: daycare! Ugh.

I'm supposed to start work January 3rd. I haven't found an option that really works. There's one near the house that feels like a baby warehouse to me. Nothing terrible about it, but it didn't feel happy either. The workers looked like they were putting in time at a job. In the building next to Jrex's at UT, there's a daycare that felt a LOT happier, but that's a 20-minute drive. I hate the idea that if I'm doing the pickup/dropoff, I'll waste an hour and a half a day in driving. If Jrex takes him, I hate the idea that I wouldn't see Brex from 7 AM until 7 PM. That's unacceptable to me. There is a daycare at UT that only does admissions in August. That one is amazing, but we may or may not get in, and we need a solution in the meantime. My hope would be that by August, Jrex could come home a little earlier in the evenings and that I could do the morning drop off. I'm following up on one lead for a home-based daycare right down the street. I'll visit on Monday and see if it's a fit. She makes organic food for the kids and only takes 6 at a time. The review said that she's a great middle-ground between a nanny and a traditional day care.

I've reached out to a cool stay-at-home mom a block away and will see if that pans out. I would love to have someone like that bring my kid into her fold (I'd pay what I would to a daycare, but feel MUCH better about it). Obviously, I don't have much time yet, so I'm freaking out a little about that.

Of course the bigger question is whether I should jump on the mommy-track. The problem with being a designer and doing that, my computer skills would become obsolete VERY quickly. It seems a bit short-sighted to throw away years of amassing skills when it's unlikely I'd be able to get back into the job force as a 50-something graphic designer.

There's a teaching position I may apply for, but it's at a school that's a 50-minute drive from here. The position calls for teaching four classes on a tenure-track. As much as teaching sounds like a great fit with parenting, I'm not sure that particular job would be the right pick. I'll likely go through the application process just to get my portfolio up to speed, plus it will give me an idea if I'm at all competitive in the academic arena.

Other tidbits from the long silence:
  • OTRbro and OTRdad came for Thanksgiving and cranked out a bunch of home projects. OTRbro found out that he actually liked the blob phase (or at least Brex's version of it).
  • I've already ruined Brex. Due to his sleeping position, his head has flattened out on the right back side. Sigh. Now I have to wedge him with rolled up towels to make him sleep on his side (something a daycare is unlikely to do!) Those baby helmets cost thousands of dollars and aren't covered by most insurers. Ugh.
  • After the 2-month pediatrician visit, I became the mommy torture queen. Not only did I stop swaddling him to sleep, I had to do the towel bit AND give him lots of 'tummy time' (a.k.a. "baby-scream-his-lungs-out time"). All to try to give him a lifetime with a head he can shave without shame. Poor Mom K worked her butt off to keep Brex happy and content so he'll develop a good personality, only to have me come along and trash it all!