Tag Archives: work

Hihi!

Push publish, push publish, push publish. That’s my blogging mantra.

Disclaimer: I know these are going to be the world’s most annoying updates for all of my IF friends still in the @#*&$#@(* trenches. I love you all and apologize in advance.

The update from my corner of the universe is that all is well, and all is nutso. All at once..

• Hubs has been criss-crossing the country for the past two weeks interviewing for jobs, and he will continue to do so until the end of February. Last week, his first on the road, I struggled big-time with the whole single parent slash full-time working Mom to two 10-month-olds thing. (No sympathy please! Big props to all the folks out there who do it every.single.day!!) I just felt perpetually frazzled and like my heart was always beating faster. One morning, Champ tipped over a lamp in the living room. I was one step too slow to prevent the tippage. One worst-Mom-ever step. He was FINE, it didn’t fall in his direction or anything, but I was not. I was thiiiiiiiis close to crying. That night, in a frantic blur of a bus ride home to relieve the nanny, I was pick-pocketed. It was a mess (it continues to be a mess). I made a promise to myself that night that I would SLOW DOWN, remember to breathe, take an extra moment to gather myself, etc.

* And then the next morning as I settled into my bus seat en route to work and couldn’t find my iPhone, I was certain I’d dropped it on the sidewalk as I’d sprinted a block to catch the bus—so much for slowing down—thankfully it was at home sitting in the charging station, but I admit I did well up with tears on that bus ride. GET IT TOGETHER, GET IT TOGETHER, YOU’VE GOT TWO BABIES DEPENDING ON YOU, YOU CAN’T LOSE YOUR SH*T NOW!!! That’s all I could think last week.

• On the upside, the babies do not seem to be effected by my general aura of Very Frazzled Woman.

• This week went A LOT better—no wallet stolen, no broken lamp, no cell phone dramatics (please no jinxies, haha)—mostly because my Mom came to visit and with her help I didn’t feel like I was baking in a pressure cooker.

• Much to my dismay, because I truly love my job, I am feeling verrrrry blah about work lately. This really set in after the holidays. I had the entire week between Christmas and New Year’s with the babies and it was utter bliss. I realized in that week HOW MUCH they change every single day and how wonderful it is to be PRESENT for those changes….it was hard-hard-hard to go back to the office and leave them under someone else’s care. (I adore our nanny, it’s not about that.) I have recently experienced actual physical jealousy toward stay at home moms—even though I know what an incredibly exhausting and difficult job it is.

• My current work malaise is probably one of those cliche cases of the grass-is-always-greener. Also, it’s freezing outside and dark/gray and it’s just kind of a bummie of a time of year. [Side note: Please let hubs snag a job, please please please. It’s a tough job market and a competitive field. We are so hoping something comes together.]

• As for the babies, they are as awesome and amazing as you could possibly imagine. They light up my life in endlessly wonderful ways. The amount I have belly-laughed since they entered the world is astounding. I love their sweet baby smells, their smiles, their laughs, their splashing in the tub. I love the way they clutch at my shirt and whimper and bury their faces in my neck as I lower them into their cribs for bed at night. I love watching them on the baby monitor as they stand up at the place where their cribs almost meet and babble to each other and hand toys back and forth. I love how they scrunch up their faces and snort and smile and bounce with excitement (haha, it’s true) on their tip toes as I come into their room every morning at dawn. I love how they crawl all over me, and how they bring me books to read, and how they love to play Rolly Poly on the floor with me as the sun rises. I love eveything about them with every ounce of my being. I am so so so lucky to be living this life.

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This too shall pass

Oh, hi. 🙂

It’s been for-evah. Ay yi yi yi yi yiiii! Lots and lots of love to my all of my bloggie friends, I’ve been reading on the bus to and from work, but have been 200% sucking at commenting with my current schedule.

I come seeking positive vibes. My hubs is proposing his dissertation today and I want him to be pleased with its reception so very badly.

In case you are keeping track, this is the dissertation he put off proposing last fall, right after we found out we were pregnant (thank you lord!) with our sweet little babies. At the time, he didn’t feel awesome about the state of the paper, and he felt—and was advised—that another year to come at it from a different angle, with added data, would help his job market prospects. (In retrospect, we have learned  he would never “feel awesome” about the state of this paper. Le sigh.)

It’s quite the understatement when I say that it was tough news last fall, because it meant yet another year of living on just my income—except with two babies to feed and clothe, too. It also meant there was no option of me not going back to work after the babies arrived.

I think we’ve done our very best, given the circumstances. I freelanced like mad before the babies arrived. He worked hard on his research, and took on a new research project in the meantime to account for the extra year he’d be spending working toward his PhD.

But lately, it has gotten so hard. Let me preface this by saying that I 7000000% know these are GOOD WONDERFUL AMAZING problems to have, and I am incredibly lucky to have them. But here’s the vent session. Hubs has been working on his paper constantly since I went back to work in July. The tough thing about this period in his life—and I have such super-duper respect for all of you academic bloggies out there, who have these pressures—is that he never gets to “turn off” his work. It is always there, always hanging over him. There is always something else to do on this dissie. A new set of data to consider or crunch. Calling it all-consuming would not be an exaggeration. He works all weekend, every weekend. He stays up until 4am, every night. He is OVER it. Sick and tired of this paper. Stressed. Burnt out. Tired. Blah. Nervous. On edge. Irritable. Ready for the next thing. (Hopefully, working.) But it’s not over yet.

The problem is that this means 99.9% of the childcare falls to me, when I’m not at work. I wake up with the babies at dawn every morning (since hubs has just turned in for his night of a few hours of sleep!), feed them, play with them, prep them for their morning naps, prep the day’s bottles, do dishes, laundry, then rush to get myself ready for work and out the door. (Weekday mornings became soooo hectic that I finally threw in the towel on pumping once the babies turned 6-months old, sniff, and now that they are three days away from being 7-months-old, I have officially weaned them and my formerly-ridiculously-ginormous-and-now-normal-size boobs.) I spend every moment of every weekend with them….do all of the bottles and solid food feedings and diaper changes and outdoor adventures and naps and bathtimes and bedtimes. The babies are my charge, and it can be overwhelming and exhausting. Obviously I love every moment with them, and they are beyond fun and cuddly and miraculous in every way, but it’s also hard.

Side note: I am stuck on percentages lately. I use them 50% too much. Haha.

Plus, I just miss spending time with hubs and wish he could be with the babies more because they are freaking awesome. 🙂 I know he wishes he could, too. And I wish I could be a bigger support to him. His research is TOTALLY over my head and so all I can do is check in (but not, you know, TOO often), listen (though he rarely wants to talk about this) and tell him the truth: I believe in him and we will get through whatever happens.

I feel a little helpless and frazzled and feel no right to whine about it and have no place to take my angst…. newborn twins + full-time job + a PhD candidate husband in his final year = no one understands.

Okay, rant over.  I know it’s a temporary thing. Another six-ish weeks of insanity as he takes today’s feedback into account and preps his applications. Then—hopefully—things will settle down a bit. Or, at least, settle into a different type of stress (him traveling for interviews—please lord—and both of us praying a job offer comes through). And hopefullyhopefullyhopefully he will be gainfully employed in several more months.

So any good vibes would be awesome.

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Ugh. Yip! Ugh. Yip!

I’ve been back at work for 2.5 weeks and have started to write about what it’s been like at least 3 times now and have ultimately decided this: My opinion changes hour to hour. Seriously. Ugh. Yip! Ugh. Yip! That’s kind of how it goes. In the same 24 hour period I have felt giddily grateful to have a job that I love, coworkers I enjoy interacting with, the ability to leave the house and do something that stretches me mentally, and a loving husband and awesome nanny who make it all possible. Later the same day, I’m bitter and tearful about how late I’m stuck at the office, I am heart-achingly missing the babies and literally contemplating how we could make a go of it with two babies and zero salaries (my hubs is in grad school, muhahahahaha).PS That last one isn’t going to happen. PSS I feel really lucky to have a job in this economy. And even better, a job that I  really love. (It would be totally soul-crushing to leave your baby/babies every morning to go to a job you don’t love.) I apologize for sounding like a jerk if it seems I’m whining about work or the fact that I miss my babies, because I know how incredibly, insanely lucky I am to have these things to talk about.

So yeah. Work. For the first couple days back I was like, “Awesome! This isn’s so bad, I can do this!”  But then….it turns out it’s pretty darn hard to be away from them all day. And then it’s morning again and time to get into the office and I miss my bus and then the train and the next bus and the next train because I literally can.not.say.goodbye.to.these.babies. And then I’m rushing rushing rushing home at night, trying to catch a half hour with them before they go to bed. It’s a lot of rushing around—and trying to find peace and quiet with the babies and hubs in between. I think it will get easier and I’ll get used to the fact that every night when I come home they honest-to-god look bigger and different than when I left then in the morning…..right?

Anyway! Some bullets….

  • They are up to 50th- (Champ) and 25th-percentile (Honey) for weights as of their 4-month appointment (non-adjusted!). I’ve stopped obsessively weighing them so much because they are such chubsters. But we still track their milk intake pretty rigidly.
  • Champ’s flat head on the right side was enough to cause concern, but nothing nearing “he needs to be in a helmet.” We were given some strict orders on how to turn his head to prevent it from getting any worse. I’ve read this happens more often in multiples (harder to turn their heads and prevent flat spots when you’re trying to focus on two babies at once)…but now it’s priority number one. Hubs tweaks his head position a half-dozen times a night!
  • Pumping is going….pretty well. The cons are that it takes away from how wonderfully unrestricted feeding time could be at dawn since I’m hooked up to a pump. And that Honey has totally lost interest in nursing (I 100% blame myself because I just couldn’t give her enough time on the boob to get thru a disinterested spell once I went back to work). And that it’s kind of a pain in the you-know-what to carry around my little cooler bag to and from the tiny, cold, dark supply closet they have me set up in. But whatever! The pros are that it feels awesome to DO SOMETHING for the babies (you know, besides bringing home the bacon) while I’m at work. And that Champ is still into nursing. And it burns a zillion and one calories. I am trying to make it to 6 months but we’ll see…..
  • I feel guilty that I can still nurse Champ 1x/day (more on the weekends) and not Honey. Sad face.
  • There are a few preggos in the office right now. It’s wonderful to not feel jealous. But I do look at them and think about how much I miss being pregnant. (Minus the anxiety!)
  • I feel like my work has been SO COLORED by IF or pregnancy and it’s SOOOOO weird to just BE at the office without that pain or anxiety. I can’t believe I’m going to leave it at that but it’s too complicated to say much more at this point.
  • Speaking of, this has been a really emotional few weeks for me and I’m not sure if it’s the work thing or the many anniversaries I’m finding everywhere I turn…..beginning of the cycle that worked, IUI day of the cycle that worked, IVF consult anniversary, wedding anniversary, weekend the babies probably implanted, etc etc etc. I think these anniversaries will be with me forever.
  • Our nanny is wonderful. Loving, nurturing, kind. There are teenie tiny things I could point out but I’m not going to because the truth is I could not ask for a bigger blessing: the peace of mind that our babies are safe and loved while I’m at work.
  • Honey rolled over from tummy to back on my first day back at work. (It seemed like a cruel/funny joke from the Universe.) Champ followed her 2 days later. Then a week after that he went from back to tummy. (Here’s hoping Honey might just be saving her first back-to-tummy roll for a weekend with Mama!) Honey loooooves to walk around as we hold her hands—it is out-of-control cute, she laughs and her eyes twinkle and she gives us the most ginormous gummy smiles. Champ folds into a little puddle when we try to put weight on his feet (hahahaha). They are talking up a storm, grabbing toys, grunting, giggling, clasping each other’s hands, and generally doing all of these incredible little-person–like things that absolutely amaze me.
  • Just when I think the babies are as cute as they could ever be, they are even cuter when they wake up the next day. Oh, my lord. It is just too much, it takes my breath away how sweet and innocent and happy and curious they are. They are good good little eggies.
  • I don’t get to put the babies to bed Wednesday, Thursday or Friday nights because of my work schedule. I think that has been the hardest part about being back at work. I won’t say more or I might never hit publish. 🙂

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Dum dum dum dum DUM

I go back to work in two weeks. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

I remember when the babies were born and feeling like my four months of maternity leave was going to be an ETERNITY. Well, it was and it wasn’t. First of all, I am in COMPLETE AWE of you rockstar Moms who go back after 6, 8, 10, 12 weeks. You guys are seriously awesome. At 6 weeks post-partum I was a complete mess. I cannot fathom having my sh*t together enough at that point to be able to leave the house in a presentable outfit, have coherent conversations, etc etc etc. You guys are amazing, seriously, amazing.

I am a mix of (inarticulate) emotions about my return to work.

At the moment, the overwhelming feeling is NERVES. I was working from home (those scary bedrest days) for five weeks before the babies came. Which means I haven’t been in the office since February 11. That was a loooooooooooong time ago. I was constantly on the phone with and emailing/IMing with coworkers during that time so it wasn’t like I was totally off the grid, but you know what I mean.

Since the babies came, I have compleeeeeeeeeeetely checked out of work. Well, I check my email every three weeks or so to clean it out and make sure I’m not missing a staff-wide notice about an open part-time position (hahaha), but that’s seriously the extent of it. I am also friendly with several coworkers so we’ve exchanged emails about the babies/work gossip/etc off line. But I have missed SO MUCH. Two humongous projects that I love overseeing every summer? Another staffer handled them. A major MAJOR change at my business? They sailed the stormy waters without me.

I feel really weird about the fact that “life went on” remarkably well without me at work. They have done just fine. (How in the world did they manage that?! Kidding, kidding.) Do they need me anymore? Are people going to be annoyed at me that I took four months of leave instead of the standard three? (And why the frack do I care all of a sudden?) Am I still going to be good at my job? Will I still command respect when I come back? Not just because I was GONE for so long, but because now I’m sure to be thought of as a softie, maternal, waaaah-I-miss-my-babies woman and not the tough-as-nails, burn-the-midnight-oil worker-bee I once was. (Okay, to be fair, I have always been a softie.)

As of this week, I keep showing up at my office in my dreams and it’s freaking me out.

Also, is it completely f-ed up that I’m fixated on THIS stuff and not the obvious?

That being, of course, that after four months of caring for my sweet, sweet, SWEET little babies 24-7, I will suddenly be working 50+ hours a week? Shouldn’t I be freaking out about going into withdrawal from my little ones? About how much I will miss them? Shouldn’t I be afraid of crying at my desk? How sad will I be on the nights I can’t put them to bed? How resentful am I going to be on the three nights a week that I work late? Am I going to be okay? Are the babies going to be okay without me? How will I pump? Should I stop BFing now? Will the nanny be as awesome as we think she is?

Le sigh.

Like I said, I’m a mix of emotions and I think I’m subconsciously focusing on the mental stuff: the extreme weirdness/anxiety of returning to my office job and how I’ll deal….instead of the big issue tugging at my heart: how much I’ll miss my babies.

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Two dragons

A lot of you have asked in comments 1) what are our nicknames are for the babies, 2) for belly pics, and 3) for ultrasound pics.

1) We call the babies “the babies,” “the twinsies,” “sweet things,” “sweet, sweet, SWEET things,” “little lovies,” “the two dragons,” “our cuties,” “the bambinos,” and “the hyper one and the chill one.” I promise I don’t have some private secret special individual names for them that I am not sharing. 🙂 I know it’s shocking that we don’t have a nickname for each of them (so far)! But the truth is, we tried forcing it—there was a “bacon and eggs” moment, but it was an inside joke that is just not applicable as much as we wanted it to be—and it didn’t work. Perhaps creative brilliance or inspiration will suddenly strike. But until then, they are all of the above and generally “the babies” or “the twinsies” or “sweet things” on my blog. Hubs did name his fantasy football team “Two Dragons” after them this year. This is funny if you’ve seen the movie Starsky and Hutch with Will Ferrell and Ben Stiller. It’s a silly movie, but this cracks me up immensely.

2) Maybe someday. I just feel weeeeeeeird posting pics of myself and especially belly pics. My boss (the female one!) told me today that my “little bump looks cute.” I swear my face got as hot as a skillet and as red as a strawberry. I was incredulously like, “You can really see something?!” As hubs and I see it, I just have an unattractively expanding waistline that looks exactly like chub/fat, and exactly not like a bump. We call it the “poop pooch” and the “beer belly” and also have agreed I currently have the amorphous waistline of Pat from Saturday Night Live. Apparently we are more creative with nicknaming my midsection than with the sweet things growing inside of it.

3) I will post some at some point in the near-ish future! I don’t have a scanner at home and feel much too weird bringing my pics to work. And the iPhone-quality images don’t do our twinsies justice. After each u/s I’ve had, I carefully cut the four images and place one of each baby into a frame that sits on hubs’s desk (at home) and a frame that sits on my desk (at home). I cannot visit hubs in his study without kissing his pics or sit down at my desk without kissing mine. I am obsessed and in love.

Oh, random tangent, does anyone know when the first trimester ends? I am 13w2d and I don’t know if it’s next week or right around now-ish. Google has so many different answers, beginning at 12 weeks, which seems way too early. Please please please let me keep moving forward happy and healthy and with happy and healthy babies….

Okay, that’s all for now. See, I really really really do read and cherish each one of your comments. 🙂

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Job stuff

Forever and ever, my life was consumed with trying to become pregnant. I did not think much at all about what would come next. And I don’t just mean the medical and science-y stuff that happens to the body and a growing baby. I mean, like, how my job would be effected.

Well, actually, my grand rainbows-and-sunshine-and-fairy-dust plan was that I would freelance part-time and care for the baby part-time after giving birth. To that end, I have been pretty actively freelancing in my spare time over the past couple of years (weekends, nights after work) to try to keep up contacts, etc.

So now I find myself in a slightly messy situation. Hubs is a 5th year graduate student and as he burns the midnight oil finishing his dissertation, he is becoming concerned that the changes and improvements his professors will suggest will be so dramatic that he will not be able to immediately go on the job market this fall/winter, as we had always planned. And that, in fact, he very well may be TAing and re-working his dissertation for a 6th year of grad school, and then entering the job market next fall/winter and beginning work in the fall of (gulp) 2012. Which means we will be without a legit income and/or benefits from him next year.

Which means I will have to go back to work after we have the babies. [Caveat: I feel really, really, really weird writing that, as though it is actually happening. Eeeeek. Please don’t strike me down, baby Gods.]

The complicated thing is that I got a promotion at the beginning of the summer. I won’t receive my title change or salary increase until January (yes, annoying), but the new job has many more responsibilities and later hours. I often don’t leave the office until 8pm. The thought of missing most week nights with the babies, plus working full-time and being away from them, somewhat breaks my heart. Plus, I don’t know how financially possible it is to pay for full- or part-time childcare (assuming hubs can arrange his sked to be home a couple days a week) on my somewhat crappy salary. But, the job has insurance coverage, and for the whole family, and I know how valuable that is.

There is a new job being created at our office and it begins in January. It’s part-time (two days a week) and if you choose benefits, the salary sucks. But it sounds perfect to me. I could be VERY happy working two days a week and being home with the babies the rest of the week. Plus we save money on child care. They begin interviewing candidates next week, so if I want it, I can’t think it over for a month or two—I’d need to act somewhat fast. (I don’t even know if I could snag that job, but possibly.)

Hubs doesn’t like the idea of me ditching my high-level job, which I’ve only just gotten and won’t officially be recognized for until January, for a lower-level gig. He thinks I should ask my bosses to come up with solutions for THIS job within my demands (leave by 530pm every night, possibly work a shorter week, etc). But as nice and kind as they are, there’s nothing my bosses can do about the fact that my new job is more intense and requires more hours….I truly don’t see how I could possibly finagle, say, a four day work week or a leave by 5:30pm sked. It’s not their fault, it is what it is. (STUPID PROMOTION!) But hubs is starting to understand how important it is to me to not come home late every night once we have kids. And that it might be pretty tough for him to manage two infants every week night on his own.

The other complicating factor is that I don’t know exactly how maternity leave works in my office. I thought we were allowed up to 12 weeks unpaid leave with FMLA laws, but something in our employee handbook (which I’ve been reading and re-reading this week) makes me think women who have just given birth might be eligible to have some of their salary for those 12 weeks, due to short-term-disability coverage provided by our office. That would suddenly make switching to the part-time job in January a major liability, as I would be paid at a much lower rate instead of my current/raise rate. I definitely need to talk to my HR manager tomorrow about the maternity leave policy. (And, yuck, by the way. He is a total gossip. I am going to have sternly tell him this is a confidential conversation. I think he’s required by law to honor my wishes???)

And you know what else? It feels like I’m jinxing myself by doing all of this research and considering all of these options and potentially applying for a new job within my company within the month. I’m anxious that something is going to go wrong almost every waking second. But at the same time, it’s imperative to set our (hopefully, hopefully) family up for next year. Ahhhh!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m reallllllllllllly happy to be having this dilemma. Hubs and I are blessed to be given these complicated choices. It’s just messy.

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It’s talk to Egg about your baby day…

I think I have a sign on me this very snowy morning that says “I would absolutely love to hear about your newborn/toddler/baby right now so please gush away!!”

On the elevator up to the office, a coworker with baby twins chatted me up rather suddenly. She wanted to explain why it is that she is so thrilled to be back at work. She’d spent the week off watching, feeding and playing with her twin babies and had been absolutely EXHAUSTED. Work is so much easier! Babies are so hard! I’m so lucky it’s just me and hubs!

As I settled into my desk, a coworker with a 19-month-old IMed me this out of the blue: “Q has sooo much personality these days. He climbs on chairs and couches every chance he gets. He keeps finding new ways to get into trouble but is so cute we can’t get too mad! I’m bringing him into the office soon!” That’s soooo cute! Great! I can’t wait to see him!

I walked to the break room for my third mug of coffee (more on that later) and my coworker with a four-month-old boy asked what we did for the holidays. “Flew home to Kansas City to see my parents and siblings, it was great!” I said, “How about you guys?” Instead of traveling to Boston like they do every year, they stayed in town for the first time EVER because they are “building their own family now.” Of course! Right! That’s so awesome!

Back at my desk, I clicked on my personal email account to find a blast from the past message from a former coworker. He was in the mood to talk about his toddler and to share some pics of her! Here is what HE had to say: “M is quite a little talker, it turns out – she’s not yet two and a half, and she’s totally verbal. The other day, she was enjoying a sucker, and she said, ‘This sucker feels warm in my tummy, daddy.’ Isn’t that funny? She loves all of the things a two-year-old should love – Elmo, Sesame Street, the various princesses, Olivia the pig, and so on. She kills me.” Oh, wow! Yes, so funny! That is so killer!!!!

I’m sorry, I’m being a total and complete JEEEEERK BAAAAALLLLLLL. All of these folks are AWESOME. I can understand why you’d gush about your baby, especially when you have cute holiday stories to share. I get it, because I want to gush about a baby I don’t even have! I don’t know, maybe it’s just in the water today. Maybe it’s because it’s snowing cats and dogs outside and they’re missing seeing their little cutie pies all bundled up? Or maybe it’s not about them at all, and it’s actually about ME BEING CRAZY-TOWN AND SUDDENLY NOTICING EVERYONE AND THEIR MOTHER HAS A BABY OR IS PREGNANT, EVEN CHARACTERS IN THE SEASON FOUR LOST RERUNS I’VE BEEN WATCHING LATELY?! Dunno. 🙂

Oh yeah, so I’m guzzling coffee again. Because my temp dropped all the way down to pre-ovulation levels today. Still no sign of my period, which is officially becoming annoying, but it’s just a matter of time. My luteal phase is already a day longer than it was on my last Clomid cycle, and that just proves the Rule of Egg: my body is stubbornly unpredictable. And to add injury to insult, because my RE’s office asked me to when I got my awesomely-misleading P4 results (just to me, of course), I took an HPT test this morning. We all know how that went down: BFN. Eh, whatever, it was not a crushing experience. I think the temping sorta prepares you for the blow, so you suffer little by little instead of getting punched in the stomach.

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