Friday, May 29, 2009

Catch 22

We recently had a run-in with our bank. They botched up a bunch of stuff for us and didn't fix it. Ok, rather, our personal banker did it. And the bank wouldn't cover the fees for her mistakes, etc. But that is not the point of this post. We closed all the accounts that we could at this bank and moved our business elsewhere. This included Isaac's account. I established new savings and checking accounts for us, and rolled over our IRAs at new, nice bank. The only account I did not re-establish was Isaac's. And for no reason other than I haven't had his social with me to do so whenever I have been at the new bank.

Well, my husband and I started talking about what kind of account we wanted for him. Old bank had a great money market account that was perfect for the moment. New bank offers a wider range of products that seem suitable. So what's my catch 22? Ah, the infamous 529 account.

As I sat discussing the possibilities of accounts with the investment specialist, this type of account came up many times. New banker person asked what it was about 529s that we were opposed to. And I should say I am not opposed to them. I think they are a wonderful product and we seriously considered them. I want my child to have money for his education and I liked the return rates, etc. Here's why we decided not to.

Recent research into the 529 accounts (and I mean at my office with coworkers research) revealed that a 529 account can inhibit my son from receiving federal financial aid. Not federal loans, but grants, etc. The kind you don't have to pay back. Now, I would like to envision that my son will get full funding for whereever he wants to go to school, or at least a pretty sweet deal, but let's be realistic. In 18 years, the price of a semester's tuition at even a state school will most likely be equivalent to pruchasing a new car or even feeding a small nation. A coworkers banker literally told him that the 529 could prevent state and federal financial aid, and the ability to get a private loan for school. It wouldn't impact the any scholarship or grants said student would receive from the school or private sources though. Hmmmmm.

What really sealed the deal for us was that a 529 has to be used for education. I know, duh, right? So what happens if my kid doesn't want to go to school? He doesn't get the money unless he pays penalty fees up the wazoo. In an ideal world, I want my son to go to college. But if he doesn't want to, I will support him in that decision too. I want him to do what will make him happy. Yes, I will push the college road as much as I can, but it isn't for everyone. My husband didn't go to college. I got my Masters and he still makes more money than me! I have heard that a 529 also will not apply toward education at a vocational school, like culinary school.

When I told new banker person my drawbacks, she seemed a little taken aback. Like "why wouldn't you force your child to go to school?" That just isn't who we are. She said the fund could go to another one of our children. More drawbacks: What if we don't want more children? And if we do, how nice is it to say "Oh sorry son. All that money that everyone has given you over the years...yeah, you can't have that. But your sibling can!" I want my son to have the future that he wants, not what we want. Again, we will encourage him to go to college, but we will encourage him more to follow his heart and dreams. Sometimes that does not involve college.

And say he does go to college. And say he gets a great financial aid package. He can't use the money for living expenses or such. Just tuitional and educational fees. According to new banker person, that is.

So that's it. The 529 is our catch 22. Great if Isaac wants to go to college. Not great if he doesn't. I just don't know what to do. Any thoughts or suggestions? :( HELP ME!!!!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Hit Me With Your Best Shot

Or four...preferrably 2 in each thigh, please.

Isaac had his 4 month appointment today. And he did smashingly. He was all smiles and laughs with the nurses and doctor. He is still really small...13lbs 4 oz and 24 1/2 inches. Again, the Dr. wasn't worried. He is gaining a normal amount of weight at a good rate. And we have yet to supplement with formula. Still ahead with his motor skills and movements, too. Yay Isaac!

And he did better with his shots than I did. No, seriously. I cried more than him. I just can't stand watching them hold down his little legs that he loves to kick so much. His face turns all red cause he tries to kick them free and he can't. And then to watch his little face when the shots, come....I want to punch the nurse in the face for making my baby cry.

I know I can't. But it doesn't stop those maternal instincts of protecting my baby from what is hurting him.

Anyway, he cried for about 20 seconds and was fine as soon as I picked him up. He's been a little fussy this evening, but we have been cuddling him, so it's manageable.

If we do ok with the rice cereal for the next week or so, we can start on oats and barley. No purees until 6 months though.

Ok, I am exhausted. Days off make me just as tired as working ones these days.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Let Me Tell You A Secret...About a Father's Love

I know my husband loves our baby boy. I mean, he's both our child. And I know it is different than the way that I love Isaac. I'm his mommy for crying out loud. The peanut lived in me for 37 weeks. I guess I really just didn't understand HOW Ben loved our baby...until last night.

Work days are hectic for both of us, especially ones that are the first day of the week we are both at work and Isaac is at daycare. I get home and put a pre-made dinner in the oven, do about 10 million chores, and get everything ready for the morning while the baby watches Baby Einstein or sleeps or plays for 30-45 minutes. Its a hectic time in order to get everything done. We are all tired and aching to go to bed.

Well, when he gets home, I usually pass Isaac off to Ben so I can get dinner out of the oven and get Isaac's bath ready. Yesterday night, I was flying around the house and the dinner timer went off. I went to take the baby back so Ben could eat.

"No, we're fine. I like to hold my boy."

I just kinda stopped. I don't know why it hit me the way it did. I just realized that yeah...he misses Isaac during the day too. He loves Isaac in a way I don't understand, that is different from the way I do. He takes care of him in a totally different way, but he enjoys it. He isn't afraid of him when he screams anymore and poopy diapers are tackled with no fear. I knew these things, I just never really took the time to think about them.

Ben has a relationship with Isaac unlike mine, but just as wonderful and rewarding. He has games he plays with him that Isaac won't play with me cause it's a daddy game. His mannerism are different around Ben and his expectations are different.I am hard on him for the way he does things for Isaac because it isn't the way that I, his mommy, does them. But the bottom line is, Isaac loves him and vice versa. And Ben knows how to take care of his son.

As I sat in the armchair and pumped, I looked over at the rest of my family on the couch. And I realized just how damn lucky we are. And how loved my baby boy is by both his parents.

It's completely different than what I have with Isaac, but its real and its there. Its a bond only known between father and son.

You see, daddies don't just love their children every now and's a love without end, amen.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


My baby boy hit the 4 month mark today! As I was organizing photos to put in his 2-4 month album, I was simply amazed at how he has grown and changed in just these four short months. His personality and disposition is more and more apparent everyday, and I am so looking forward to what develops in him next.

Oh my little Isaac, how the time flies by so quickly. I wish I could freeze it for just a minute, so I could just hold you.

His 4 month appointment is on Thursday. I am mentally preparing myself to watch them hold his legs down and stick needles into his thighs, while his little face goes from happy to "what the he$$!!!!" in less than a second. I am not sure how much he weighs, but we did manage to hold down the wiggle worm long enough to see that he passed 25 inches. He is still really small, I think. He is still in most of his 0-3 month clothing and just barely into Size 2 diapers. Like, the Size 2s are ginormous on him. We haven't had any major blowouts in the smaller size, knock on wood.

We have whole conversations now filled with goo's, coo's, aroo's and moo's. Although he still fits in the bouncer, it has become a thing of the past as he likes to be up level with mommy and daddy while at home. He loves to stand and jump, so the jumperoo may need to be assembled shortly. He loves the bath, loves to splash, loves the water. He has definately become more mobile. I will put him on his play mat and come back 5 minutes later and he will be completely flipped around. I must have a break dancer on my hands, with all the spinning he does. He sits up really well and loves to sit in his activity chair. His feet are in his mouth constantly, as is Sophie, the French girafe (I didn't name her...that is what her box said!).

I started giving him cereal last week. I put about 1 tablespoon into 4 ounces of milk and he loves it. This came about because Miss K told me that he ate 7 ounces in one feeding. I don't pump that much. I am getting between 4 and 5. He needed a supplement. LOVES IT!

I can't believe how fast the 4 months has gone by. It seems like just yesterday I was begging for the epidural (well, I might have asked for one while I was getting my that wrong?)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

On the Side

Ok, so for a while I have been mentioning a supplemental income, or a side business. I wanted to wait until everything was set up and ready to go before I really said anything. Now it is, so the blogosphere can here about it.

I am an independent Mary Kay beauty consultant!

I never expected to do this. I was in retail for 5 years. But when I went home, a good friend that I went to undergrad with was offering free facials since she is trying to move up in status. I wanted to help her, so I agreed. I had no idea the makeover (no pun intended) that Mary Kay received. Or rather, my idea of the company was skewed. She completely convinced me to do it. The benefits that I can receive blow my mind. No, really. Foremost, it will allow me more and more time with Isaac as my business grows.

What does this all mean for me? I am still working my full-time job. I can do this whenever I like, however much I like, etc. It's up to me. It is giving me a fantastic way to earn the money we need to reach our goals as a family: paying off debt, moving closer to family, and buying a house. And it means we will get there that much sooner.

What does this mean for you? Oh, yes! It means something for you! In order to kick start my new business, I am offering a 20% discount off a first-time order through my Mary Kay website. 20% off of anything and everything. And all orders through my site will get free shipping, no matter what is ordered. :) Even if you just happen upon this blog by random, I will give you the discount (at my I said, I worked retail. I know the shady ones and the tricks).

Tomorrow is my grand opening party, and I am really excited for it. I have already met some wonderful people, and I am looking forward to meeting more. Most of all, I am thrilled to pieces about what this means for me, Ben, and Isaac. :)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

It really doesn't matter, when you look at me that way...

This morning I had an extremely hard time leaving Isaac. We had our normal morning routine, but after he got done eating he snuggled up against me and buried his face in my shoulder. We sat there on the couch and cuddled for as long as we could before I had to get everything and everyone ready to go out the door. He whimpered a bit when I put him down in the boppy. He did the same snuggly thing when I picked up to go into the car seat. Once fastened into the seat, I got a look that seemed to say "Why can't I just stay with you today, Mommy? Where are you going that I can't come?"

And it broke my heart.

The morning continued, but as I got into my car at Miss K's, I felt the tears well up. I cried so hard that I had to stop at home to fix my makeup before coming to work.

I have been back to work for almost 3 weeks now. The guilt seemed to set in this morning I guess. It just seemed like I was in the wrong place today. As I drove to work, all I kept hearing in my head was "Whose dream are you making come true today? Is it yours? Or someone else's?"

I love my job (yes, I really do. I am not just saying that in case a coworker drops on by my blog). And deep down I know that the reality of it all is that in order to get where I want our family to be, settled into a house that we own, closer to family, etc., I have to work now. I love my job...but I love my baby more.

I don't know why I am feeling this way right now. I was fine with going back to work, and I was looking forward to it., I am not. Today I am angry at my situation and want to change it. Today, I want to floor it all the way to daycare, scoop up my baby boy and retreat back into our bubble where it was just me and him. I am mad that my milk is going into a bottle instead of into his mouth. I am upset that when he cries, it isn't mommy who holds him tight.

I know we will be ok. I know that I am just becoming burnt out and frustrated, and tired. And I know that I feel guilty for crawling into bed early last night, and not spending more time with Isaac these past two nights.

So here I sit, in front of a computer, working on an RFQ, wondering what my dream really is and if it even matters as much as never having to see that look on my child's face again.

Monday, May 18, 2009


I am a proud mama. I am not going to hide it, I think my baby boy is amazing and I love to share his accomplishments and to show off his pictures. He changes so much from day to day, and it is amazing to watch him grow and develop into his personality and disposition. He is the light of my life.

Isaac is not the only person I aim my pride at these days. I am always proud of my family and friends, but there are two people that really deserve a hefty pat on the back.

My little brother, who is sadly not so little anymore, became a League champion in track this weekend! @$$ haulin' Colin, as my friends and I have dubbed him, won the mile race with a time of 4:36. He is only a sophomore! And he came in second place for the 800, which he only lost by a second, if even. I mean, seriously, who runs that fast? Morever, I got the chance to see this little flash in action when I was in Ohio, and he makes it look so effortless! The kid doesn't even look like he is winded in the slightest! So big CONGRATS from the California branch of the fam, Colin! We couldn't be prouder of you! :0

And then there is one of my nearest and dearest, longtime BFF Z. After about 10 million years of school, she is becoming a Dr. of Drugs very soon. That, alone, makes me very proud. Not just because of the title or the graduation, but because it illustrates her drive, hardwork, and determination. She also has started her own photography website, and gosh darn it, is she good! The things she is able to accomplish continue to amaze me. I have known her since 1st grade, and I have seen her go through many stages in her life. I am so proud of her, and to call her my friend. I could not have picked a better godmother to Isaac. Snaps for Z! :)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

There's Always a First Time for Everything

These photos pretty much summarize some of the firsts that Isaac has had over the past week or so. Yep, he is holding toys! And now, not just holding them, but scoping them out and putting them in his mouth! This has inpsired me to go through his tub-o-toys and look for suitable ones. Gotta say, as much as they cost, he loves the Baby Einstein ones! His favorite though, is Mr. Elefante which is pictured twice above. Mr. Mono joins in the fun in the high chair pic.
And yes, he is in his high chair! Not to eat of course, but as another place for sitting and general entertainment. During my last cook-off, I noticed that someone was just not a happy camper in his bouncer on my kitchen floor. I think it was something to do with the angle and that he was looking up at everything, etc. Since I needed to get my meals done, the fussiness was just not cutting it and I just couldn't keep bending down to talk to him and get everything done. I caught a glimpse of the high chair and thought to myself "why not?" I mean, he is pretty good and sitting up with little assistance. So off came the big tray and he LOVED it.
And then we have the feet. Since discovering his tootsies, he has been obsessed with them. The other night in the bath, he finally discovered that....gasp! He can hold them in his hands! :)
He also LOVES his Baby Einstein DVDs! We have been watching the Baby's First Sounds, and he really likes do ing the activities with mommy. Can we say "ba, ba, ma, ma, ma....mommy?" :)
And if you recall Monday is Daddy Daycare day. The last two have been um....rough. I have gotten report that someone took almost 2 ounces from his bottle with little fuss! And regular daycare feedings have been increasing in success as well, as on Friday he ate about as much as I was able to pump.
Yay, Isaac Benjamin! You are growing so fast! :)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Yummy in My Tummy

Today, or tonight I should say, I started making my second batch of frozen dinners for quick baking during the work week. I make 8 dinners to freeze and eat over the next two weeks, the other three nights I make dinner because I don't work.

I started my dinners at 8:30 and finished everything, including the cleanup, by 10:45. I made five dinners tonight, and am going to make the last three tomorrow. On tonight's menu was Chicken Ratatoullie, Sirloin Tip and Mushroom Pasta, Chicken Cesear Tetrazini, Roasted Pepper and Black Bean Pasta, and Sausage Potato Bake.Tomorrow is Shrimp Parmasean, White Bean and Ham soup, and Potato Cakes with Peas and Ham.

I am really glad I make the dinners for a couple reasons. First, it makes my week so much easier. Ben picks something out of the freezer the night before, and when I get home from picking up Isaac at daycare, I put it in the oven to whatever cooking instructions I have written on the container. Then I get to snuggle and play with my baby boy for the hour it would normally take me to make dinner. The extra time with my baby is priceless, and it alleviates a huge amount of stress from my week. By making the dinners, and planning for them, I am able to follow more of a grocery budget and our bill has gone way done.

I also enjoy controlling what I put in my body. I have never been so aware of the quality of food I have been eating, and the effects it has on my body, and thus my baby's. Never before in my life have I made sure I am getting the right amount of vegetables and grains, etc. And I am so tired when we get home, the last thing I really want to do is make dinner. More than likely, if I didn't make these dinners, I would be grabbing take out or a frozen pizza. I have tons of cookbooks and recipes just begging to be made. And I do love cooking. When we first moved to San, I was so bloody busy with school, teaching, work, and wedding planning, that I used cooking and baking to destress. It gave me a blcok of time where the only thing I had to think about was what I was making, and it reallly cleared my mind and relaxed me.

Now, the dinners are freezing. The counters are cleaned off. I have eaten a bowl of Cou.nt Choc.ula and am watching an episode on DVRed CS.I M.iam.i before I snuggle into bed. Thankfully, dear little man has been sleeping in 6 hour blocks, so he only really wakes once a night to eat now. Yes, I am tired and there are many things I would like to do with my time, but doing something to better my life and my family's feels like a good tired.

(*PS...I never post recipes, but if I ever mention something that sounds good, let me know! Everything I make to freeze takes about 30 minutes to make (and only some of them are Rachea.l R.ay), and about 30 minutes to reheat or bake.)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Genius Baby

I know, I know...I have been slacking in the blogosphere this week! But in my defense, it has been a busy work week and Isaac was sick for the beginning of the week. I had to stay home with him on Tuesday, which meant my extra day off occurred with nothing productive getting done other than doting on my baby boy.

Anyway...Isaac discovered the TV a while back. He REALLY discovered the TV earlier this week. In my paranoid state to prevent my horrible vision gene from becoming dominant in my child, I freaked out and refuse to let him stare at the screen. I just don't think that he can really focus quick enough before the picture changes. My husband, however, does not think this is an issue. I think he actually said something about it being OK since we had HDTV....

I know it is just the bright colors and movement that he likes. After consulting with my eastern mommas, I went in search of Baby Einstein DVDs. To my delight, I located the entire 26 disc set for $40! And it came yesterday! I should say that each DVD is not in the case you would get if you bought it separately, and are all in a giant DVD sleeve, but still. It cost me less than $1.50 a disc. Me likey.

We haven't watched any of them yet, but it is on the agenda for tomorrow. So begins Isaac's journey into becoming more of a genius than he already is. :)

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Longest Day

The first time one of my friends had a baby, she said something to me that I will never forget. I was wearing my wedding dress and holding her newborn, and she told me that she was tired. She said "I am so tired, Sara. And thought I was tired before I had a baby....I was wrong. I didn't know tired."

Oh. My. God. I know exactly what she meant. I have never been so happy to get 4 consecutive hours of sleep. I never thought I would like that sleeping until 7 was sleeping in. I thought the bags under my eyes were bad...until know. I miss those old bags. I want to trade these dark, large, too heavy to take on the airline without paying the extra baggage fee for those bags.

Today was a rought day. As much as I tried to turn my head during a cough or a sneeze while breastfeeding, or to breathe away from his adorable little face, Isaac has finally caught whatever it is that I have. The coughing started last night. I can tell when he doesn't feel good, because he gets all cuddly. And he was very, very, VERY cuddly.

So how do you help a baby who has a sore throat and only wants to nurse because the milk feels good on his throat but then he eats too much and pukes it up and that upsets him so he starts screaming which makes his throat hurt more? He doesn't understand. I just had to cuddle him. It was a long night.

I left him with Ben today, but had to come home twice to feed him because the bottle wasn't happening and we had to keep the screams at bay. Work was busy. I had planned to go to a meeting tonight, but I had to calm a fussy sick baby and then go back to the office. We hooked up my laptop so I can access my work computer from home, but I didn't want to do that tonight. It is impossible to get anything done with a sick baby.

Even as I sit here in bed, my mind is running through all the things that I should get done. That don't have to be done because they aren't a priority, but I still am going to obsess over them. Things that no one cares about but me. Things that no one will notice have gone incomplete, except for me. Things that have been on my to-do list for weeks, months...but never get crossed off. And they probably never will.

I swear I need need like another 20 hours in the day just so I can have peace of mind. I just need to learn to relax. I can't enjoy my job if I am constantly thinking about what needs to be done at home. I can't relax at home if I can't accomplish what I need to at work. Another viscious cycle. The days feel neverending but go by too fast.

This same friend is a smart girl. I respect her in alot of ways, and I really value her friendship. She is also the one that told me when I got married, everything changes. And she couldn't explain how, just that it would. And she was right.

I shared these musings with her when I saw her last, telling her how tired I was. Her response? She smiled and said "Wait until you have two..."

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Best Present I Could Ask For

I have come to learn that there is absolutely nothing that I love more, or that makes me happier than this:

I have other moments in my life that come close, but absolutely nothing wraps my heart in love and happiness like the first smile I get from Isaac in the morning when I look into the bassinet to pick him up. I wake up to his coos and kicks, sometimes his harder kicks and fussy squeals, but it never fails that when he sees me, I get a beautiful smile. Yes, I know that he has serious bedhead! Silly baby boy. And I know that techinically we are not supposed to have a pillow in his bed, and we really don't. It's actually a rolled up blanket that protects his little head from the top of the bassinet. He only has about a week left in the bassinet...he is just getting too big.

I have been having a wonderful first Mother's Day. In addition to the handprint, Isaac gave me several other things. With the help of Daddy, he gave me my new laptop that I am typing this on! I have been wanting a new for my work and side business, and Ben has been itching to get the mass quantities of baby photos off his hard drive. Last night I came home from the grocery to find my new (Dell)red XPS! With the help of Nonnie, I got a beautiful baby scrapbook that has wonderful photos of my beautiful baby boy. I cried when I opened it. :) Finally, my husband got me spa gift certificate for a massage, manicure, and highlights/haircut that I am really looking forward to using.

We have just been hanging around the house today, which I what I wanted to do. I busted tail yesterday to get everything done so I could relax today. Isaac and I took a great nap this morning and spent about an hour talking to Nonnie and Nana over the webcam, which was really nice. I am pretty sure that I want a big bucket of that wrong?

We are by ourselves for about another hour and a half, so I am going to lay on the couch with Isaac and watch some CSI M.iam.i before I have to start getting everything ready for another week of work. This week I am working Monday through Wednesday and then Friday. It is going to be a busy, busy week.

Happy Mother's Day, mommas! I hope your day is as beautiful as mine! I know this is not a Mother's Day picture, but I love it. I love my boys! Perhaps they are plotting my next gift (Hint:new camera! :) )

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Baby Expo-sure

Today, Isaac and I journeyed into Santa Rosa to the My Baby Expo. I didn't really know what to expect, given I had only heard about the event off a sign posted on the telephone pole on the way to daycare, but boy am I glad we went! We got loaded with free stuff and saw some of the awesome new gadgets in baby and mommy gear! Among our stash, we walked away with new design Avent bottles (Score! this is our bottle!), a Munchie Mug, some sippie cups, play-doh recipes, TONS of coupons, free samples of wipes, boogie wipes, diapers, a baby brag book....soooo much stuff.

We visited every booth, and more so, we talked to every booth, even if it didn't really apply to our situation. All the folks there were excellant resources and knew many baby things, other that what they were there for. We also entered all the raffles, so hopefully we are contacted to say we won something! I really want this chair or this storyboard. Fingers crossed!

The main reason I went was to scout photographers. There were some great ones there, but I think we are going to go with the Giggle Gallery. We did a little session with them (it was only $4) and the photographer worked really well with Isaac. We ordered a set of prints (only $12), and her prices are a little more in our budget than the others that were there. One thing I must say...I know that photographers are professionals, and make a lot of money on prints. But seriousy, If I am paying you $200 - $300 for 30 minutes, I want access to the digital copy of my pictures...especially if a sheet of wallets is $62. Is that so wrong? :( Too much to ask, I know. I am probably just being too cheap.

Friday, May 8, 2009

We Made It!

Hurray! We all survived the first week of Mommy back at work!

I have to say that I have been beat, beat, BEAT. By last night I was ready to collapse. Going to bed at 11 and getting up at 5 everyday when I was used to more sleep for the past 14 weeks....not so fun. Thankfully Isaac is pooped afer a day at day care and is only waking up once to eat at night.

Work was fine for me. It started off slow, but picked up quickly towards the end of the week. It is nice to be back into some semblance of my previous life, even though things have changed. I really like getting to see Isaac on the webcam, and it brightens the day and makes it go a little faster. Pumping is hard, not going to lie. I am pumping every 3 hours, about when the little man would eat. I feel bad taking a long time, so I pump both sides at once. It makes me dizzy. Working a 9 hour day is kinda tough for me, but this is what I chose. I picked to jump in feet first, all at once. I will say that I am sooooo glad that I made all those dinners and froze them. It was so wonderful to just get something out of the freezer the night before and then just throw it in the oven when I got home and fed the baby. I may continue this process throughout the summer until I get used to this new routine.

Isaac loves daycare. He has lots of fun with Miss K, and she says he is such a good baby. He is doing much better wth his bottles. She even gets long stints of tummy time from him! She says he loves to watch the other kids play. Thank goodness, I have a social baby! And he made me a present for Mother's Day!

We had a really nice day today, sleeping in until 8. Isaac was up at 5, ready to begin the day, but I just was not. I have discovered that if I feed him laying down next to me on a pillow, he goes back to sleep. I don't play that card often, but I did this morning. I had an IUD followup this morning, and then we had lunch with friend T and Baby C. I got a car wash so my almost grey supposed to be black car is black again. This afternoon we just lounged around and read some stories and played. Tomorrow we are going to the Baby Expo and I am going to try to scout photographers.

I guess I should actually make dinner tonight. :) But before I go I will share 2 major things happened for Isaac today. He discovered his feet and is now obsessed with looking at them and touching them. And he put his arms around his little seahorse buddy. :) Cutest thing ever.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Why you make me hate you?!

I am referring to various financial and credit corporations that have severely irritated me. I will list them in order that I am annoyed with them.

1. California State Disability Insurance. Remember the conversation I had with the oh-so-clever employees of SDI? Well, I finally convinced them that I did NOT, in fact, return to work the day after my baby was born, and my disability benefits needed to begin on the day right after that last Friday I was at work. However, SDI benefits have a mandatory 7 day waiting period. Most people use vacation pay to cover this unpaid time, which is what I fully intended to do, had my baby come closer to his due date or later. For a vaginal delivery, you get 6 weeks of SDI pay. This comes from the doctor's certification stating you were disabled. So, my claim date was essentially 3 days before my child's birthday. SDI will only pay you benefits until the Dr. certifies you are able to return to work, 6 weeks after the baby is born. See where I am going with this? Basically, I am losing 4 days of paid maternity. In the grand scheme of things, it is not such a big deal. The important thing is that I spent the time with my baby and had any pay at all. It just irks me that I am entitled to 42 days, but because he came earlier than expected, I will only get 38 and I have only been paid for 23. And I am back at work!. Seriously, this has to happen to more people than just me. How many babies come on their due date? Like 1%? GET IT TOGETHER PEOPLE! I have done everything you told me to do and then some! Pay me!

2. Citibank. Bastards on their own. We got a loan from them to cover business expenses. We signed up for this loan with our "personal banker" who has helped us with many things before this. There are numerous things that she did not disclose to us when we signed that should have been brought to our attention. First, the loan payment will automatically be deducted from the checking account that we have to open when we get the loan. All we were told was that we had to have a particular account linked to the loan, and it had to be opened the same time. I guess if I had really thought about it, I would have thought dig deeper into it. However, I was like 10million weeks preggo and on a break from work where things were busy. And no one told us that we had to have the autodeduct option in order to secure our not great interest rate. Apparently this option made it not so great rather than definately not so great. And did she tell us that the account she set up had a minimum balance requirement of 10,000 in combined accounts? Um, no. Seriously, wtf? If we had that kind of money, would we be borrowing it? Needless to say, we have closed all our Citibank accounts and have moved to WaMu. Tomorrow I am going to set up Isaac's account again. And let me tell you, he loves to sit still at the bank for long periods of time (sense my sarcasm?).

3. Citibank credit cards. Like most people in this rough economy, my husband and I are constantly looking to reduce debt and save money at every turn. We recently received an offer from one of his credit cards that had what seemed like a great offer. For however much we paid over the minimum amount due, Citibank would reduce our debt by 5% of that amount up to $550 over the next 4 billing cycles. Good deal right? I was all for having my husband call and sign up for this offer. On the last night for him to possibly do so, he was looking for any reason not to call. He hates calling about things like that. So he turned over the sheet and read the ittty-bitty, light gray fine print on the back. Good thing he did! By enrolling in this offer we were agreeing to allow Citibank to reduce our credit by the amount we over paid. So if we paid the maximum amount and had our debt reduced by the max $550, our limit would then be reduced almost $3500! That would definately cause a credit hit! Lesson learned bastards....always read the fine print.

4. New York Life Insurance. Yes, my husband and I understand the need to have life insurance now that we are caring for a child. However, I do not understand the need to carry a term policy for 1.2 million dollars. We do not own a home. We do not own a business. I am pretty sure that our assigned guardians would take our child even though he was not rich. We simply need enough money to cover childcare expenses and the other spouses yearly salary for a few years, as well as funeral expenses. We are pretty sure that our child does not require a 50k policy either. He generates no income at the present time. Please quit trying to pressure me into a policy that we don't need, or we will take our business elsewhere. Do not waste my time until you have written the policy to the specifications we asked for.

My husband and I have come up with specific financial goals. These goals are tailored to help us meet our long term goals of buying a house and moving closer to family. People like the above mentioned do not help us meet our goals.

Yoga for Youngens

I love yoga. I did yoga before I was preggers and all through my pregnancy. I would love to do yoga now, but I am hard pressed for the time to do anything like that right now, with the baby being so small and having no one to babysit at night. Disappointing....then I received a course listing for the local JC, and they offer a class this summer called "Mommy and Me Yoga."

The description of this class says that it combines yoga positions for mom and little one and creates a bonding experience. This sounds all fine and dandy, but the issue I have is the age specifications. It says it is from children 0 to 4 years.

Now, I am pretty sure Isaac's movements and yoga capabilities are much more limited than that of a 4 year old. I am not sure what kind of poses this yoga class entails, but I find that age range to be a bit of a put off. I really want to get into yoga, but a mommy's only post natal class will not work for me (again, lack of a sitter). It seems a mommy and baby class would be ideal. Is such a thing offered? Like, just for smaller babies? Any thoughts or suggestions?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Battery Operated Devices

One of the important things I have learned as a new mother is the importance of a battery stash. Ever notice how all things baby require about 10million gazillion batteries, which, of course, are never included? And for those of you who don't have babies yet....heads up! Seriously, our packnplay alone takes 6AA for the music/noise box and 4D for the vibrating mechanism under the mattress pad. That's 10 batteries! For one thing!

Now, when we put all our baby stuff together, I saved all the instructions and assembly garble just so I can know what kind of batteries and how many each thing requires. As things began to become assembled, it became apparent that a large quantity of batteries in a variety of sizes would be required. I guess I just didn't pay close attention to this attribute when I was registering and if I had known how much cash I was going to be throwing into the battery industry, I may have reconsidered some of our choices...or at least purchased stock in Duracell and Energizer.

Because I didn't evaluate the battery requirements beforehand, our baby boy has become accustomed to the tricks and such that these batteries produce within their respective devices. Consequently, when these batteries run out, all hell breaks loose. For example, I usually put Isaac in his bouncer and bring it into the bathroom while I take my shower (unless he is sleeping). One day, I was hastily shampooing my hair (a gift of learn to take 3 minute showers again) when I hear piercing wails out of nowhere. Thinking something catastrophic has occurred, I practically leap from the shower and tear the curtain down while doing so. While standing naked and shivering and covered in suds while a puddle of water drips off my body onto the tile, I come to realize that the bouncer has merely run out of battery juice and the lights, bubbles, and music no longer work and the vibrations have all but ceased to a teeny tremble, if that. Once Isaac had calmed down, I finished in the shower and searched for replacement batteries. There were none. I didn't find this to be a big deal. Isaac, on the other hand....thought this was a pressing diaster! He KNOWS what that chair is supposed to do, and therefore did not want any part of it until it was fully functional again.

After this happened (it was a month or so ago), I stocked up on batteries. And not the generic kind that I would normally buy to save some pennnies. I went all out and bought the copper tops and bunnies that keep going, ang going, and going...I was not going to have that headache again. I became panicky last night when I noticed that my husband had left the vibration mechanism on the swing on...ALL DAY. Now, the actual swing base plugs in (or takes batteries, but seriously....8D's?) but the papasan seat is removable and functions as a floor rocker, so it also takes batteries. This feature is one that keeps Isaac happy in the mornings during his nap. To have this run out of juice well.....not so pretty. I was annoyed. I checked our battery stash, and luckily, we have the replacement batteries. I was pumping at work...I hear miss medela making a wierd sound. And then she (yep, my pump is a she.)all but died. Fortunately, I was close to the end of my pumping session and it was the end of the day. But I have been relying on miss medela to run off batteries, as the most comfortable pumping places in my home are not close to a wall outlet. For those of you wondering, miss medela takes 8AA batteries. Again, I had the replacement batteries. Had I would not have been pretty.

I never understood why people put batteries on their baby registeries...until now. Those suckers get expensive! I wish I would have done so, not to encourage people to buy them (well...maybe), but to get the discount on them! From this moment on, I solemnly swear to purchase the batteries for friends if their baby gift so requires them.

1st Day With Daddy

So this is what I came home to yesterday:

This is the jersey that we bought for him way back when, I know that Ben has been dying to put it on him. Since he has been so small, I didn't think it would be fitting him for a while. And it was still huge on him, but he looks adorable.

I think Ben gained a new appreciation for how I stayed home with the baby everyday for 14 weeks and still managed to maintain the house and get dinner ready and run the errands. Isaac didn't like his bottle yesterday and only ate about 4 ounces. He was starving when I got home. He latched on and didn't move for about 20 minutes. Ben was tired and hadn't showered or even changed out of his pjs. He did manage to load the dishwasher. :)

My first day back to work was fine. It feels wierd, but a good wierd. There is lots going on, so I have plenty to keep me busy. By the time I got home, I was exhausted. And I still had to get everything ready for today! I have to say that freezing dinners was such a good thing for us. It was so nice to just heat up the oven and throw the pan into it. Plus cleanup was a breeze.

Isaac has been sleeping wonderfully (knock on wood). On Sunday night he slept from 1030 to 445, and last night from 930 to 330. Hopefully daycare will get him good and tired today. I saw him on Miss K's webcam, and he seemed very content. Whew. :)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Back to the Daily Grind

I am officially back at work, and have been for about 5 hours now. Today has been going pretty well, and the ache I feel for my little Isaac is as minimal as one coudl expect. I am actually going to be pretty busy, so that should keep me distracted. Isaac is at home with my husband today, and from what I gather, he is doing ok. I guess he has been sleeping most of the time. Ben and I went over his routine and such yesterday night, and he was very patient with me. Like, I know he knows where his bibs and stuff are, but it was for my peace of mind and I think he got that.

I took a little "computer hiatus" yesterday, being it was my last day with Isaac on maternity leave. All we did was play and snuggle.

I had a good birthday on Friday...and woke up with a horrible sore throat on Saturday. Yesterday was bad too. I am still so apprehensive to take any OTC meds because of breastfeeding. I have never been so aware of what I am putting into my body as I am now that it is going to another person. Like, even when I was pregnant, I was not this hyper about it. I think it is because I can see the direct effect the differences in my milk have on the baby.

Speaking of milk, my bonding with my pump has begun. So far, so good. Fingers crossed.

I miss my baby boy. :(

Friday, May 1, 2009

The End is Near....

The end of my maternity leave, that is. The official end of my glorious 14 weeks of paid maternity leave is over on Monday. :( Isaac did well at daycare on Wednesday, and even took his bottle. I kept busy with errands, and for the most part, we both did well on our own. But every time I looked in the rearview mirror and saw the empty carseat base and mirror vacant of Isaac's little smiling heart broke a little bit.

I spent the day cuddling with my baby...wait, I pretty much did that all week. That, and reflect on the past 14 weeks.

My dinners are done. My desk is cleared and ready for Monday morning, complete with pictures of my baby boy. Isaac's daycare box is stocked and his toys are already there. SDI has almost paid me all of my claim (Seriously, Cal SDI...why you make me hate you?). I have new clothes, a new haircut, new makeup. I discussed the direction I want my career to go with my boss. I have started up my supplemental income (I will talk about it one day, I swear). My project list is well underway, as all the files have been cleaned up and organized. I have a cleaning schedule in place. I watch new shows onTV (When you are watching TV to keep yourself awake, you find many an interesting thing) and my DVR is setup and ready to go.

I will return to work with many things accomplished, many things left undone in sacrifice of cherishing every waking minute with Isaac. I return to work a different person, with different priorities and goals. I left an uncomfortable pregnant woman and return a glowing mother.

As sad as it makes me to leave him, and as much as I wish I could remain in my stay at home and in my jammies all day phase of life, it's time to move on. I am ready to tackle the next phase of life as a new working mother, trying to better life for her family. I love my job, and I love my husband and son. As sad as I am, I am also excited. It's time. We are both as ready for this as we will ever be.

Mommy the Plumber

Ok, so I am not an actual plumber. And the other night illustrated that I am just not cut out for that vocation should the environmental thing fall through.

Part of my preparing to go back to work, as you may recall, is preparing and freezig two weeks of dinners. On Tuesday, I was making chili and Mexican lasagna, both of which contain ground beef. Being that I do not have a garabge disposal at this new house, I have to drain the fat and collect it in a fat jar. Well, I was really tired this week and somehow the fat didn't quite make it into the any of it. Major brain fart. Where did it go, you ask? It went down the drain.

As I was finishing the cleaning up, I noticed that the sinks were not draining. Hmmm....I thought. Perhaps it is just clogged with food bits and such. So I got the plunger. No avail. Then I noticed the empty-ish fat jar. Oops.

I cleaned out underneath the sink and put the biggest bowl I could find under the Ubend thing. Then I unscrewed it. GROOOOSSSSSSSS. Once the nasty fat had been removed, I noticed the nasty water in the bowl. I thougt it would be much easier to put the pipe back together with the bowl out of the way. So what did I do with it? I POURED IT DOWN THE SINK.

Yep, I am that much of a genius. Needless to say, the skanky water went everywhere. EVERYWHERE. And I just stood there dumbfounded, unsure of what to do next. 4 beach towels later, the water was gone, the sink was back together and the rug was banished to the basement to be washed.

The only upside? Isaac thought it was HILARIOUS. He watched the whole episode from the comfort and dryness of his bouncer, laughing all the while.