Monthly Archives: December 2013

Afraid of the Dark

Three nights ago, L decided that he wanted the owl light in his room on to go to bed.  We decided that was ok (mostly not worth the battle that would ensue) and let him have his night-light.  The next night, we put him to bed like normal, but did not turn the owl light on and he did not ask for it.  Minutes after leaving the room, I hear cries of “Mommy! Moooooooooommy!” so of course I go to see what is the matter.  I crouch down by L, rub his back, and ask him what is wrong.  His response is a whimpered, “Dark big scary.  Scary.  Turn owl light on.  Please?”  Now I have a dilemma.  Do I heed his wishes and turn his light on, letting him see that there is nothing scary in his room so he can sleep?  Or do I comfort him and stay with him until he falls asleep in the dark, so he knows that there is nothing to be afraid of?  (Leaving my terrified child alone in the dark is not an option)

This makes me wonder when we are supposed to give in to our child’s fears and when we are supposed to encourage them to overcome them.  L is only 2 years old, so these debates are a little premature, but they are rolling around in my head, none the less.  When do we stop chasing away the scary monster and start teaching our children to chase the monster away themselves?

For now, L will have his owl light on in his room and his Mommy will be there to chase away the monsters.

20.0 weeks: Pregnancy Sucks

I have officially reached the halfway point, yay!  And honestly, I have had it up to here (my hand is above my head) with this pregnancy.  I was really hoping that I could write about how much I love my unborn child and how I cherish each little kick that I feel; that is just not the mood that is coming across today.

Today I am tired of being tired.  All day, every day, complete exhaustion.  I feel like a zombie each day that I manage to drag myself out of bed.  I thought this was supposed to get better by now.

Sleeping has sucked for the past few weeks too.  Between having to get up to pee every hour (not exaggerating) and J snoring because of his cold, I am getting about 5 hours of interrupted sleep each night.  I can take a Unisom and crash out for the whole night, but then in the morning I am so groggy that I don’t even remember my drive to work.  That is very scary.

And finally, the headaches.  Why oh why won’t they stop?  I am having severe headaches almost every day and we have discovered that my triggers are: lack of sleep (surprise!), and stress.  With neither of those changing anytime soon, I doubt the headaches will be disappearing anytime soon.

Having complained about my problems, I know that no one is probably still reading this, but it feels good to vent it out.  I wish I could just be enjoying the wonderful miracle of life that is occurring inside of me.  I wish this pregnancy was going as easily as my first one.  Many a night, laying awake in bed, I wonder why I thought this was a good idea.  I am sure that it will all be worth it in the end, but right now, pregnancy sucks.

Please Sir, I’d like some more… time

What do I wish I had more time to do each day?

Honestly, I wish I had more time to blog.  I am a pregnant, mother of a toddler, working mom with a long commute.  From when I wake up to when I go to bed, my day is filled with the needs of other people (my son, my husband, my unborn child, my boss, ect.).  I just wish I had more time to blog during the daylight hours; the hours that my brain is functioning and my mood is as chipper as it is ever going to get.

Right now I am stealing time to blog on my lunch break, coffee break, or after L goes to bed.  My breaks are too short to form a cohesive post and my brain is fried by the time L goes to bed.  The days when J is working late and I have to single-mom the evening, my chance of blogging is nil.  Weekends aren’t any better, as that is my time to do family activities, clean house, or catch up on the mountain of laundry.

So, while I should want more time to clean or spend with my family (if I was the ideal mom), I just want a little bit more me time.  A chance to feel like a person that has thoughts outside of baby diapers and baby spinach.  A chance to accomplish something that I take pride in.  A chance to be me.  The real me.

23andYou

I am sure that you have heard in the news about 23andMe and the letter from the FDA.  If you have not heard about it, you have missed out on some great science news.  Basically, 23andMe is a company in Mountain View, CA that for $99 will analyze a sample of your genetic code for various ancestry and disease markers and give and interpretation of the results.  The interpretation tells you what genes for certain diseases you may carry, how rare that mutation is, and how important/reliable this result is.  Since the letter from the FDA, 23andMe is no longer offering an interpretation of the results of your tests for disease risk factors.  

Welcome to 23andMe.

At this time, we have suspended our health-related genetic tests to comply with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s directive to discontinue new consumer access during our regulatory review process.

We are continuing to provide you with both ancestry-related genetic tests and raw genetic data, without 23andMe’s interpretation.

If you are an existing customer please click the button below and then go to the health page for additional information, including information about refunds.

We remain firmly committed to fulfilling our long-term mission to help people everywhere have access to their own genetic data and have the ability to use that information to improve their lives.

Upon entering the site, please confirm you understand the new changes in our services.

-From the 23andMe website entrance portal

You can still get the ancestry information and your raw genetic data, but that is it for the moment.  Anyone with a basic background in bioinformatics can do a lot with even that much data on their own.  There are many open source sequence alignment options that you can use to compare your results and perform your own analysis with.

This whole sittuation makes me wonder if people were getting their reports back and taking drastic measures due to the results they were given.  Were people seeing that they have a 0.4% increased risk due to a BRCA1 mutation and running out and getting double mastectomies? Are people completely ignoring the current debate of genes vs. environment?  Are we so uneducated that we jump at the first hint of possible bad news and make drastic life changing decisions?  I would hope not.

I think that we all have a right to know our own genetic code, whether it comes with a nice printed interpretation or not.  The interpretation is convienient, but must be taken in perspective.  A genome sequence does not take into account the methylation of the DNA and how that affects gene expression.  Just beacuse you have a specific gene, does not mean that it is affecting you.  I think that people (and the FDA) need to calm down about this whole issue and let one get their genes sequenced and interpreted if they want to.  I also think that anyone purchasing such a service has the responsibility to read the manual, as it were, and learn a bit about the data they are recieving before they jump to any conclusions.

Baby #2 Revealed

L is so excited to show you the special news…

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He is getting a… Little Sister!

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We are so surprised and excited to be welcoming a baby girl into our family!  We were both 80% sure that we would be having another boy, since that is what runs in the family on J’s side, but we are over the moon that we are getting a little sister for L to play with (and beat up future boyfriends for!)  :)

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She was not being very cooperative during the ultrasound or at my OB visit later.  She kept her legs closed and ankles crossed for most of the time, but the rest of her was moving around like crazy.  I could tell that the ultrasound tech was half amused and half frustrated with all of her movement.

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But eventually we were able to get a peek and determine that she was definitely a SHE!

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L wants to name her Penny after the little sister in the book we have been reading him recently.  I am not a huge fan of the name, but that can be her name until we decide on one when she is born.  This is the best birthday present that I could imagine; our baby girl looks healthy and active!

Wide Load Lense

Seconds are a thing that I consider one of the simple pleasures in life.  Having just a couple more bites of a delicious slice of bacon or just one more scoop of pasta, while not very good for the waistline, is great for my mental state of being.  It is a little tiny reward for making it through the day without murdering anyone (figuratively speaking of course).

As much as I like the idea and practice of seconds, I feel socially constrained to never go back for them when in certain company due to my size.  In front of my family or my parents, I have no compunctions about having a little bit more (emphasis on little bit), because they do not perceive me as a fat person.  To them, I am just me.  If I am around my in-laws, extended family, co-workers, or friends, I feel that I am being judged for even eating anything.  So many of the people I am around on a daily basis are of the ideal body type and I can see the judgment in their eyes and facial expressions.  The way that people talk to me, take family or group pictures without me, or just stand that little bit further away from me gives me a clear signal of how they feel about how I look.  I have gone though many gatherings without eating anything due to the glances I would get when moving towards something to eat.  I feel like I need to show people that I am eating less and not trying to add to my girth.

Now that I am pregnant it is even worse.  With 3 family members also pregnant right now, there is a lot of comparison of belly size going on.  The other three women are much, much thinner than I am, of course.  I feel like I cannot eat anything but celery and carrots around the judging ones, no matter how sick or nauseated I feel.  I want to be in pictures so that I can remember this time in my life and look back and show my children what I looked like when I was younger, but the lack of pictures tells the true story.

Have you ever gone to a family Christmas, where 5 people are constantly taking pictures, and find that somehow you are not in any of them?  Not even in the background?  That is what happens to me.  I believe that people avoid taking pictures with me in them because I am not one of the beautiful people.  And who doesn’t want to take beautiful pictures?

My Xbox is Sexist

There is a problem with a new member of my household, the Xbox One.  With that statement, many people are probably thinking that my husband is playing too many games or that the system is taking up too much of our free time.  That is not the problem at all.  We hardly have any free time to play games, and when we do the other person is usually asleep.  J plays at night when I am sleeping and I wake up early and play on the weekends before anyone else is up.  L gets to play when he is being good and we are there to monitor his controller use (he is a little rough with it still).  No, the problem is with one of the coolest and newest features of the One; the automatic sign in.  My Xbox is sexist.

Yep, you heard me right.  Ignore whatever commercials that you may have seen; my Xbox has a distinct preference for men.  It can see and sign in J before the home screen even appears, but I can sit in front of it (with perfect lighting) and not be recognized for 10 minutes.  Yes, I have told it to recognize me in many different situations of hairstyle and lighting.  For some reason, it just does not want to see me; this is really frustrating because I actually end up playing the Xbox more than J (either gaming or Netflix/Hulu).

It doesn’t end there either.  The voice commands are not working for me either, but they work fine for J.  That one is particularly frustrating when trying to start Netflix but not wanting to grab the controller that you just hid from your 2 year old.  The Xbox even picks up L’s voice over mine, so it cannot be the pitch of the voice because his is even higher than mine.  I am at a loss for what to do about this.  Do I need to have a harassment seminar for my Xbox?  I hope that an update comes through soon with a fix for this problem.  Until then, my Xbox and I are not on speaking terms.

Challenge Accepted . . . maybe

Do I think I am more or less likely to complete December 2013 NaBloPoMo?

This is a tough prompt for me to anwser; I think both yes and no.  

Yes, because I feel the need to do something other than work, sleep, and take care of my son.  Notice that cleaning the house is not in that list.  Right now, I feel like I am losing my identity as a person outside of being a working mom.  With this pregnancy, I have become even more focused on just simply getting from one day to the next without any major meltdowns (for me or L).  I think that getting back into writting might be an easy way to give myself something to spend an hour on each night, just for me.

No, because I feel so overwhelmed with just the idea of getting from one day to the next.  Futhermore, I do not have a good track record of completing the NaBloPoMo months.  I am also not doing myself any favors by trying this again during the busiest month of the year.  So yeah, I will be surprised at myself if I manage to complete the month.

Last year I was able to complete the PhotoADay challenge and take a picture roughly every day.  Once the year ended and I became pregnant with #2 my photo taking slipped further and further behind.  I am extremely disappointed in myself for losing that habit after working for a year to make it a habit.  I got some really good pictures (and some really bad ones) from doing that challenge; improving my composition style was the best thing I got out of it.  I am challenging myself to complete this challenge to improve my writting and to give myself an identity outside of working mom.

Full Time Mom

I wrote this post on Oct 26, 2011 on my first blog for family, but I never posted it.  I figured it was finally time to post this since it is something that still affects my life daily.  Being a working mom shapes who I am and how I approach life.

Tonight is my last night of maternity leave and it is a bittersweet feeling.

Today we had a trial run of J taking care of L all day himself.  I stayed upstairs and did not interfere, even when I could hear L crying because the bottle was not as good as Mommy.  It was a very hard thing to do, but I had to trust that J would come and get me if he needed me.  Everyone made it through the day intact!  L ate enough, took 2 of his bottles well and fought the other 2, had play time and he took his naps.  For the first time since we got it, L had fun in his bouncy chair!  (Big relief because we got that to help J get some work done during the day)

Now, I am getting ready to go to bed after only seeing L for an hour before it was his bedtime.  It is sad to go from taking care of him for 8+ hours to only seeing him for a couple of hours.  I know that tons of parents do this and I will get used to it but, all of these phrases of encouragement don't make me feel any better.  I still feel like I am abandoning our little guy.

I have many many reasons to go back to work and not many reasons to stay home. I think I would go crazy if I ever stayed home long term.  Unfortunately, all the reasons in the world do not help when I think of how sad L is going to be tomorrow when he does not get tummy time or book reading time with me.  He is going to have to learn a whole new schedule with his Daddy, and that will take some time.

On the other hand, I am looking forward to going back to work and doing more with my day than reading L's sheep book or singing "Head, Shoulder, Knees and Toes".  As much as I enjoyed that, I do want to do more with my life than be only a mom.  Which brings me to something that I heard on the BabyCenter forums.  Some women call moms that work full time "part time moms".  I find this extremely offensive!  I am still a full time mom, even though I will be going to work.  The best response I read to this offensive statement was one mother asking if the offender was a "part time wife" because her husband went to work.  I cannot believe that other mothers would think that you stop thinking about your child just because you are at work.  It simply baffles me.

Well, I just wanted to put what I am thinking and feeling out into the nothingness that is the blog-o-sphere.  Yes, I am female so it helps to talk about my feelings.  Time to make my lunch, print a couple of pictures of L for work, pack my work bag, figure out what to wear tomorrow, and go to bed so I can get some sleep before L wakes up to eat.  Good night everyone, tomorrow I will be a working mom.

A Working Mom