Friday, October 30, 2015

The Mom Questions You Cant Ask

I am a naturally inquisitive person who loves to ask questions. 
I am also impossible to offend. 
AND, to top it all off, 
I never think before I speak. 

All this combined, 
I'm probably the #1 candidate to ask a question that isn't supposed to be asked. 

there is one aspect of my personality 
thing that saves the world from my insensitive questions:
my ESFJ personality.
Although I often fail, I work hard to be sensitive to people's feelings. 
So once I learn that a question is taboo, 
it's rare I'll ever ask it again.  

Prime example
Someone announces a twin pregnnacy. 
Emily a few years ago: "Oh, are they natural or from fertility treatments?"
Emily now: "Oh that's wonderful!" 

The second answer is the politically correct answer. 
I've read entire venting posts/articles/etc on how the second answer is the correct answer. 

Another example:

 Yes, I get that many of these questions are insensitive. 
I'm not stupid. 

If we're being honest here... 
and I mean REALLY REALLY honest...
I think we've all gotten a little too sensitive. 
And really could just lighten the hell up

Scary Mommy came out with this article called: 


I get that everyone has their different levels of privacy. 
I am a classic over-sharer. 
But many - most? - are not. 
And to question is to intrude. 

But from MY perspective... 
My questions are never meant to criticize, 
or size up other mothers, 
or one-up myself. 
My questions are because I'm curious
I want to learn. 
I want to understand. 
 I am sincerely, genuinely interested in what you have to say 
about whatever situation you are in. 

But that's not appropriate anymore. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Week 19: What's In Your Bag?

Week 19 of the 30 Week Writing Challenge

What's in your bag? 

In 2007, my first job out of college, 
I bought myself a Coach leather bag to be used as a laptop bag. 
In the mid 2000s, Coach was the hot accessory in college, 
when they debuted their patterned "C"s cloth line 
as a response to the economic regression. 
Unfortunately, Coach's "C" cloth bags positioned them as a "tween" accessory, 
and (personally) I don't think they've ever fully recovered. 
Despite all this, 
Coach still knows how to make some superb quality leather. 
And that was the bag I bought.  
It's not designed to be a laptop bag, 
but I've carried 3 laptops over 8 years in this bag 
without a single bit of damage.  

This bag has seen a great amount of wear and tear over the years 
(as this photo shows so clearly) 
but in real life it's hardly noticeable.  
It's also a MUCH more beautiful color in real life, 
but no change of lighting shows accurately portrays the rich caramel color. 
It's mostly like the saddle color of this bag here

Ok, so enough about my damn bag. 
What's in it? 

1. Company-issued standard Laptop

2. Company-issued standard Laptop charger

3. Leather Coach wallet 
(bought the same time as the purse, 
and no, I did not want to match them) 

4. Chanel sunglasses 
(also have stood the test of time of 7+ years) 

5. Pens 
(only kind I'll use: Pentel R.S.V.P. fine) 

6. One random highlighter that I haven't used since my MBA 

7. A smattering of emergency hair ties and safety pins

8. Tampons* in a zip-lock bag
(When celebrities do a "what's in my bag" 
you KNOW they are hiding tampons in there too.  

9. Spare band-aid
(Because sometimes new heels can lead to bloody outcomes.)

10. Company-issued badge

*It wasn't until after I typed this post that I realized I could remove the tampons now, 
since I won't be using them for another year or so (6 months gestation + 6 months EBFing until solids).  
Although I do feel a sense of pride when a coworker scampers into my office with the frantic: 
"I got my period.  Do you have tampons?" 
And I can fulfill the request so quickly. 
So perhaps they will stay. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

16 Weeks

Week 16 

I swear I feel movement. 
My OB advised that 2nd pregnancy movements are felt much sooner
 (I felt Aaron at 18 weeks)
because the brain already knows what to look for. 
Aren't our brains clever? 

It's happened twice. 
Once when I was getting my heart echo
and once lying wide awake in bed trying to fall asleep 
(rare nowadays!). 
That strange kind of flutter that makes you think: 
"Wait, what was that?" 

Baby Size

Total Weight Gain
6 lbs

With Aaron, I had gained 5 lbs at this point. 
Pregnancy Goals: FAILING

I still wake up at 3am a lot, 
but have been putting myself back to sleep. 

Eh, nothing spectacular. 
Maybe oreos. 
But I'd eat an oreo any day of my life. 
After all, 

Anything Make Me Ill
The numbers on the scale.

Symptoms of the Week
Not drinking.

What I miss
Do you know what it's like doing a brewery tour pregnant? 
I have now done TWO brewery tours pregnant. 
Harpoon Brewery in Boston 
and Sly Fox in Pottstown, PA. 
It's sad doing a brewery tour pregnant. 
Very sad. 

Embarrassing Cry of the Week
Still tear-free. 
I think Aaron sucks all the energy out of me, 
so there is no room for tears. 

Still Running?
I made it up to 3.5 miles this week! 
That's a new pregnancy record! 
I felt AWESOME too, 
but then I was dead afterwards for like 24 hours.  

Excited for
We have been amping Aaron up for Halloween 
ever since September when we first bought his costume. 
(Because I'm an over-planner like that.) 
Seriously, I am SO EXCITED to take this child trick-o-treating. 
He tells EVERYONE that he is going to be a minion for Halloween. 
His daycare teachers hear it every day. 

General Mood
I definitely feel like I'm getting my energy back. 
Of course, there are still times I plop on the couch 
and declare that I SHALL NOT MOVE unless there is fire or blood. 
But overall, I feel like more like my typical productive self, 
and less like the black cloud of grumpy exhaustion. 

16 Weeks with Aaron. 

Friday, October 23, 2015

That Dreaded Moment Where My Child Has Opinions

One of the greatest things about nonverbal children, 
is the lack of opinions. 
Opinions are a fundamental step in development 
and self-expression. 

And just this week, 
we embarked on a brand new set of opinions:
The Outfit Opinion. 

I used to be able to just dress Aaron is whatever outfit I chose. 
Then we made the mistake of buying him ONE character shirt (Thomas) 
and that freakin' shirt became a daily request. 
I've stuck to a pretty strict "wear once than launder" 
because I like wasting water. 
Which means he can only wear his Thomas shirt once a week. 

But now... NOW he is starting to demand other outfit pieces. 
The shirts still abide by the "wear once and launder" rule. 
But other pieces, like his red Hunter boots, don't fit that excuse. 

This morning, I carried in his laundry basket full of fresh clean folded clothes. 
He immediately starts picking through to decide what he wants to wear. 
Lesson learned: put clothes away in secret! 
I suppose that at 2.5, it is time for me to accept the inevitable. 
My child has opinions on what he wears. 
And there's only so many battles to fight. 
So yes, we will be leaving the house like this now: 
 The black-on-navy kills my soul

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Week 18: SomeTHINGS I Miss

Week 18 of the 30 Week Writing Challenge

Someone Somethings You Miss 

I decided to alter this duplicate topic to somethings I miss. 
Because while there aren't a lot of people I actively miss, 
there ARE a lot of things that I actively miss. 
Does that make heartless and materialistic? 
Oh well. 

Rather than take one and harp on it, 
 let's just go right through them all: 

1. I miss having free time. 
I'm pretty sure every mom in the history of the world has felt like this. 
I truly don't know what I used to do with my weekends pre-Aaron. 
I know I slept in a lot, 
and went out a lot in the evenings, 
but what exactly did I do from morning to night? 

Anyone remember the snuggie? 

2. I miss spontaneously going out at nights. 
Going out at night as a parent is such a production.
It requires planning, 
and texting for availability, 
and coordinating schedules,
and yada yada yada. 
Sometimes I just miss responding "YES" to a party invite, 
and all I had to plan was what to wear. 

 Who wants to go to the bar?!

3. I miss tailgating. 
We used to tailgate a LOT. 
We have so much tailgating gear in our basement. 
Portable grills. 
Collapsable tables. 
Coolers, etc. 
And I miss it.

Because why not wear a mini skirt while tailgating? 
Oh the choices we make when we are young...

4. I miss traveling. 
 Not just international travel, 
but being able to plan spontaneous weekend visits. 
Like driving to Boston to visit a friend. 

5. I miss drinking. 
I really love drinking
I miss popping a cold beer with a football game.
I miss sipping on a glass (or two!) of wine. 
I miss perusing a cocktail menu, 
and picking out my favorite not-too-sweet cocktail. 

Dollar store hat + Ring Pop + Wine on the deck = The Picture of Afternoon Drinking

6. I miss being in tip top shape. 
My mid-20s was the peak of my physical fitness. 
Everything looked good on me. 
I loved going shopping, 
and getting dressed, 
and knowing that I looked great
I wish I could dedicate more time to getting in shape, 
but see #1 above. 

Guessing this will be the last picture EVER of me in a bikini.  Our honeymoon.

Now, to be fair, let's round this out with something that trumps all of the above

wondering if I'll ever be a mom. 

I know that sounds a bit morbid, 
but prior to Aaron, 
I always wondered if we would have trouble 
or if something would go wrong. 
Being a mom is very important to me. 
And I am OK missing all of the above
to have this grainy picture instead: 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Week 15

Second pregnancy definitely flies by. 

First pregnancy is like: "I'm 12 weeks and 3.5 days!" 

My heart doctor asked how far along I was and replied: 
"13. No 14. No wait, 15!" 

I used to memorize the pregnancy apps and read every word. 
Now I open it to check fruit size and skim the first few sentences. 
Apparently week 15 is supposed to be a rise in energy (haha) 
which can stimulate feelings of frisky-ness. 
 Oh really now? 
Does this take into account the 2.5 year old who screamed through bedtime routine? 

Baby Size

Total Weight Gain
5 lbs. 
I am officially failing at my Pregnancy Goals
because with Aaron I had gained 4 lbs at Week 15 and now I'm at 5 lbs. 
So... I need to get a handle on this stat.

Pretty good. 

Nothing that stands out this week. 

What I miss
Not being fat. 
I know, I know. 
"You're not fat, you're growing a baby!" 
This past weekend we were at my in-laws, 
and my SIL is 2 weeks ahead of me, 
and has this adorable tiny baby bump. 
I look like I ate Jabba the Hut.

Still Running?
3 miles!

Excited for
Bar tour this weekend! 
Yes you read that right. 
Our friends are doing a bar tour and we shall be eagerly participating. 
The funniest part is that the chick coordinating is also pregnant. 
So it's going to be a bunch of drunk people, 
and then us.

General Mood
To be fair, we had a REALLY good weekend this past weekend. 
Aaron was pretty much an Angel Child, 
and we had a lot of fun visiting friends, family, 
and hanging out in the beautiful cool weather. 
But on Monday, we moved into our new "open office" HQ
I should write a whole post about open office, 
because I have many many many thoughts on it, 
but the gist is that every. single. employee. 
(including the most executive level president) 
sits in a cubicle. 
They are supposedly "work stations" 
but that's a BS name. 
It's supposed to foster collaboration and communication, 
and is totally the trend in corporate america. 
Problem is that it SUCKS BALLS
I'm on day 2 and I'm reading to go hide in a closet. 
I miss my office. 
I miss my door. 
I miss actually have valid conversations with my coworkers, 
because there were not 500 other coworkers who could listen in! 

Moving on... 
obligatory bump photo. 

Link to Week 15 with Aaron is here
It was my first blogpost ever. 
And I didn't include a single photo.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Goals for this Pregnancy

My first pregnancy I had these lofty ridiculous expectations 
all of which I can't remember, 
and I'm sure I accomplished absolutely none of them.
This time I have two goals: 

1. Deliver a healthy baby. 

This is obviously always #1. 
Be safe. 
Make good choices. 
No shooting up heroine or anything. 

2.  Attempt VBAC

I've talked about this a lot with my OBGYN practice. 
They are 100% on board as long as the baby is measuring "normal" or smaller. 

(As reference, I gained 40 lbs even my first pregnancy. 
Aaron was 10 lbs 4.7 oz, 
with a 99% percentile head circumference)

40 weeks with Aaron 
I'm hoping this was a no-makeup shot because whoa, rosacea!

At 38 weeks, I will go for an ultrasound to determine the baby's size. 
Although not perfect, the ultrasound should be within a 10-15% range, 
which isn't much. 
If the baby is clocking in at 7 lbs, 
they'll let me go for a VBAC. 
If the baby is clocking in at 9 lbs, 
then scheduled c-section it is. 

So how do I produce a smaller baby? 
Well it's not as easy as ordering off a menu. 
There are two factors to consider: 

Lifestyle = gaining less weight should produce smaller baby
Genetics = no matter what, my body is designed to grow a big baby 

Obviously, I can only affect one of those. 
If it's genetics, then there's nothing to stop a secondary 10.5 lbs baby. 
But let's focus on the variable factors...


a) Actually watch what I eat. 
I'm not saying I ate pints of ice cream with Aaron, 
but I certainly wasn't eating salads either. 
I pretty much ate what I wanted when I wanted, 
which if you remember my love of food
meant some pretty unhealthy choices. 

This time, I'm going to try to watch my calories. 
Of course I give myself permission to splurge occasionally, 
but if I do have a few days of excess, 
I'm going to try to make up for it 
with a stricter diet
and more exercise.

Which leads me to... 

b) Exercise = Running!

With Aaron, 
I stopped running regularly at 14 weeks, 
and then quit altogether after 18 weeks.
I felt uncomfortable and 
(first pregnancy and all) 
I was nervous and decided not to push through it. 

This time I want to keep running for a LOT longer. 
I'm still running after work 
and as we dive into PSL season
I've been enjoying the cool crisp weather.

I honestly don't know how long I'll be able to keep it up. 
I don't want to make myself promises like: 
"Oh, I'll run all the way to 40 weeks
because that's just setting myself up for disappointment. 
It is physically possible (and safe!) for the female body to run at 40 weeks, 
but I don't know if I have it in me.
I DO know that I want to push myself further than I did with Aaron. 
So anything past 18 weeks will be success. 
But I am hoping for much more.

c) Prenatal Yoga 

I started prenatal yoga at 20 weeks with Aaron. 
While I made the mistake of substituting "real" exercise with yoga, 
I'm a MILLION TIMES thankful that I did yoga. 

I met my BFF Virginia who we now do Monthly Kid Swap with. 
I found our beloved pediatrician through class recommendations. 
And I truly believe that yoga contributed 
to the easiest c-section recovery in the history of birthing babies. 

This time, even if I am not successful at VBAC, 
I want to set myself up for an easy recovery. 
And if prenatal yoga contributed even a little bit to that, 
I'm all about it!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Elusive Free Time

As mothers, free time is as elusive as winning the lottery. 
And an hour to myself feels as luxurious as an all-day spa treatment. 

Exaggeration much? 
Eh, I don't think so. 

When I do grasp a moment of this free time, 
there is so much pressure to MAKE THE MOST OF IT. 

A few weeks ago, 
I read this fascinating article about 
Don't let the title turn you off! 
It is an incredibly insightful article, 
particularly for moms. 

Although the author touches on several points, 
what really spoke to me...
(again, that Bible study term : "this verse spoke to me..."

Historically, leisure time was only for men
Hence why men dominant history in art, literature, science, 
and so many other "leisurely" pursuits. 
Because they had the time
They weren't raising children, cooking, or running a home. 

Our society is different nowadays, 
moms are working the same hours as dads 
(not me, but many are), 
yet the vast majority of the houeswork and childcare lies with the mom. 
Obviously, this is a gross generalization
There are many families where dads are cooking, 
dads are cleaning, 
and dads are spending the most time with the kids. 

But back to our gross generalizing, 
we women are not programmed for leisure time.
This morning, Adam took Aaron for a few hours of errands. 
As he walked out the door, 
I looked around and tought: 
"So... what do I do?" 
Then my mental list started... 
- clean up the kitchen 
- do laundry 
- pick up the house 
- start cooking 
I thought to this article and I said to myself: 
"No, Emily. These are all things you should do.  
And you will do... later. 
What do you WANT to do?" 

And... I was stumped. 

Sometimes, in my free time, 
I like to organize and purge, 
but I didn't have a lot of energy this morning 
so I figured no need to force something I wasn't excited about. 

Perhaps read? 
I read a little, but wasn't particularly into the book. 

I thought back to the days pre-child, pre-marriage, and pre-house. 
When I lived in an apartment with no responsibility 
besides going to work during the week. 
Many Saturday mornings, 
I would lie on the couch watching cooking shows on the Food Network. 
So here I am, 
with my laptop, 
on the couch, 
watching Food Network. 
And it feels awesome

As free time becomes more and more elusive with a second baby, 
and around-the-clock-breastfeeding, 
I want to make sure I spend my free time doing things I want to do
If that means lying on the couch, 
typing on my laptop,
 and zoning out to Food Network. 
So be it. 

I'll get the rest done later.