Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Right Now June

Watching: The Affair on Show.time (via hulu). When the show made it’s debut four years ago, we still had cable and it was heavily promoted as part of a free trial for Show.time. I decided to give it a go, but couldn’t get passed the very first scene, which featured one of the main characters diving in a pool to swim some laps. Yes, I am going to come across as a horrible swimming snob. You see, just as medical professionals point out inaccuracies on medical dramas and lawyers find the flaws in law shows; swimmers critique actors who have a swimming scene. Interestingly, the worst offenders are pharmaceutical ads, who apparently believe that swimming is the activity that defines you as being fit and healthy. There is a Cele.brex ad that features a family swimming in a lake and the dog is the only one with proper technique. Anyway, when I first watched the opening scene to The Affair, four years ago, I just couldn’t get passed that no one, not any editors or even a best boy or grip who took swimming lessons could recognize that his form was not consistent with someone who was a lifelong swimmer (who we learn later went to college on a swimming scholarship!!). Seriously, the only thing he does correctly is put on his goggles. Furthermore, I was angry that the casting directors couldn’t just go to a community pool and find an actual swimmer with dark hair and a square jaw to use for their scene. Goggles and a swim cap makes it easy to conceal a body double. I should also mention that I was in the middle of stimming and preparing for my cat’s impending death at that time, so maybe I was a little irrational… Anyway, I overheard my colleague raving about it one day and she convinced me to give it a chance. So I fast forwarded though the initial (and other) swimming scenes and found it’s a very compelling drama. It bounces between the present and future and tells events from different perspectives, and the affair is really a side note to a murder investigation.

Reading: I finally opened and read the first chapter of Not that Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham.

Listening: After the pleasant discovery of my new radio station after getting my car serviced. Husband changed it to a sports radio station when he borrowed my car. I kept it on the sports station during the NBA playoffs as they were discussing all things Warriors, but when the games were over, I realized I couldn’t remember what my previous station was. I called our VW dealership, found out who worked on my car and asked about the ratio station and then Husband set it as a favorite.

Drinking: A Coke.Zero. Husband bought it for me when he picked up his lunch. The beverage is a bad habit, but it’s a sweet thing he does for me.

Eating: My scale is not moving in the right direction and I’m now at my Pre-pregnancy weight after being less than PPW for almost two years. I’m now back to counting my macros and I’m eating whatever fits into 1485 calories, 110 carb grams, 60 fat grams and 125 protein grams.

Wearing: My gym clothes. Because if I put them on, I’m committed to going.

Loving: My weekend away! Remember last year I went to a medical education conference  and felt really lonely? Not this time, I’m in Napa and I’m making the most of my me-time. I’ve gone swimming, sat by the pool and read, hit the gym and I’m doing to drive into town to get a pedicure. I’ve written a few blog posts, updated a presentation for a meeting and am working on creating a photo book from our Hawaii trip. Oh yeah and I’ve been learning some stuff in my lectures and I received an invitation to be a guest speaker!

Anticipating: My parents visit in August. We’re putting in a new fence and then we’ll finally be able to use our new patio! We ordered furniture and a new grill. I’m looking forward to my parents cooking.

Hoping: Kate’s transition to her new school goes well. The past two months have been difficult as her close friends moved into the Pre-school class as they turned three. Since she won’t be three until July, which is her last month at their current school, and we love her current teacher (more so than the Pre-school ones) we initially planned just to keep her in the toddler class. I figured if she was already separated from her friends, it would be easier for her when the time comes to transition to the new school. She starting expressing that she didn’t want to go to school and she’s gone back to crying and clinging to me at drop-off. Her teacher shared her observation that she’s been struggling as she’s the oldest in her class and is developmentally advanced for her age, so she’s been frustrated trying to play with the younger kids in her group. After I was 15 minutes late to work one day after a drop-off from hell, we talked to the director and asked if we could move her into the Pre-school class earlier and they obliged. Kate came home on her first day and happily exclaimed “I went to Pre-School!” The teachers reported that she gave hugs and kisses to all her friends and cooperated really well with the activities. It’s going to make her final weeks at her current school much easier, but I hope I’m not setting her up for a difficult transition when she goes to her new school.

Following: Husband and I are paying attention to the World Cup but less enthusiastically than we have in previous years. Especially as England has been so embarrassingly disappointing in the previous World Cups, we’re not getting any hopes up.

Wondering: What to do about Tyler. His meowing at night is really getting out of control. I’ve been feeding him, which I shouldn’t do as it reinforces the behavior, but sometimes it shuts him up and as he eats it, I’m wondering if he is really hungry, which is making me wonder if there is something medically wrong with him, but he hasn’t lost any weight and he’s started peeing outside his box, which makes me think this all is a behavioral issue. Putting him on Prozac works, but it has his limits as he starts running from him when it’s time for his meds, and I acknowledge I’m probably making his anxiety worse by chasing him around the house. I met a Vet who specializes in cat behavior at our local bar, so I think I’m going to book an appointment with her.

Trying: A meal prep service! I read my last Right Now post, where I was ‘Contemplating’ this and I decided to go for it. Hopefully I’ll move it to the ‘Loving’ column in my next update.

Worrying: That Trump will get re-elected in 2020. I know it’s a long way off and I should be focused on the midterms. I think the Democrats will take the House, but I fear they will lose a few Senate seats. Even if the Muller’s investigation leads a Democrat led House to vote for Impeachment, it will likely fall short of votes needed in the Senate and he’ll remain in office. I follow Robert Reich on Face.book and he recently recounted his conversation with a Republican former congressman (who I’m pretty sure is Alan Simpson) where he described that Trump is teflon and a second term is his if he wants it. Although it doesn’t seem possible, I think things will get worse before they get better. The few Republicans who speak out again Trump (Bob Corker, Jeff Flake, John McCain) aren’t running for re-election and with the exception of McCain’s healthcare vote, they’ve all voted in line with his policies. Trump has inspired fellow Reality TV star and fellow misogynist pig Dennis Hof to run for an office seat he’s likely to win. It’s simply depressing

Planning: Kate’s Third birthday party. It’s the third year, I’ve been sitting in a conference making lists of things I need to get and do for her party. This year, I should save the list so I don’t have to start from scratch again next year.

Contemplating: Probably the only thing I’m scheming right now is trying to figure out Kate’s activities. I’ve been so fortunate that she’s been doing soccer and swimming lessons through her day care and we have gymnastics on Tuesdays when I am off work. When she starts her new school, she’ll be attending 5 days a week, which will mean squeezing in her activities on the weekends. Gymnastics classes on the weekends are already full with a 4-8 person wait list. I think I found a loop hole if I enroll her in a Saturday class now, before she turns three. Basically, you just have to get your foot in the door for a Saturday class and you get first dips to move into the next age group. The same group who does the soccer lessons at her Day Care also runs 6 week sessions at a local park, so I signed her up while my parents were visiting. I was also able to extend her swimming lessons at her current place for the month of August, then I’ve been looking to sign up for classes where “her brothers” attend, so she will have some more time to see them. Oh, and as parent participation isn’t required for 3 year olds…mommy can get some swim time at this pool too… hee-hee-hee [insert evil laugh]

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Equal Opportunity Mom Shaming

Last October, I had an incident with a Mom at Kate’s gymnastics class, who I felt Mom shamed me a little bit. I started to write a post about it, got half way though it, became too busy to finish, then wasn’t sure how I wanted to conclude it. I resurrected part of it into a new post, which is still in progress and I really intend to complete. Basically, the mom was critical of the Gold.fish crackers I brought for Kate’s snack. I spend most of the class gathering evidence to validate my hypothesis that she is a bitch, but it sent me into a spiral of harsh self criticism. The next week, Kate dropped the F-bomb on the way to class and I was finally able to laugh off her judgement. If she though I was a bad mother due to my snack selection, just wait until she heard my daughter’s potty mouth!

Fast forward to Memorial Day weekend. Kate and I went to the Farmer’s Market and to Tar.get. Then we had lunch at Chip.olte and I needed to make an additional trip to the Container Store to find a hamper as I didn’t find one I liked in Tar.get. As we were dragging the hamper back to my car, I sensed she was starting to fade. As she slept later that morning, I was hoping I could push her nap out a little bit, but now I was getting close to the danger zone. I really wanted to hit the sales at Old Navy and the G.ap and I had hoped that her lunch would fuel her for a while, but I could tell we would need reinforcement. So I bribed her to do a little more shopping with the promise of a frosted cookie. Ideally, I would have offered the cookie after she had exhibited good behavior at the stores, but logistically we passed the bakery before the stores. We had to queue for over half an hour, because yes you have to stand in line behind people ordering sandwiches, even if you just want baked goods.

We finally emerged from the bakery, cookie in hand, and I tried to steer her into G.ap, hoping that with busy holiday shoppers, employees wouldn’t notice a little girl eating a cookie in their store. Kate insisted that we eat outside. It was a beautiful day, the first warm day in quite a while, so I decided to follow her lead and take the time to slow down and just enjoy some time with my daughter. Kate was trying to eat her cookie as carefully as possible, but the icing was melting quickly and was getting all over her face. I was waiting until she was finished before wiping her face and hands. Just then, a couple in their mid 60s came walking toward us. The guy was wearing an Old.Navy shirt celebrating the turn of the century in 2000. As he passes us, he commented “Can’t get enough candy” in a gruff tone. He never made eye contact or smiled in my direction, so I’m pretty sure it was a remark to his wife and not to me.

I really wanted to react. I wanted to explain that the cookie was a special treat. That I don’t buy cookies, candies or any sweets to have at home. Yesterday at a friend’s birthday party, I was the mean mom who didn’t let her keep the candy she collected from the piñata. I no longer give her peanut butter crackers and she just licks the peanut butter and discards the crackers. Recently, she grabbed her snack bag and opted to eat her fruit first over her rice crackers and granola bar.  She takes swimming lessons, gymnastics and soccer classes, oh and by the way she was doing burpees with me at the gym this morning.

But I didn’t say anything. When I recounted the story to a friend the next day, I explained that there were a lot of people with smart phones and I feared they could start recording and then next thing you know, I’d be showing up in your Face.book feed “Angry Mom goes off on stranger over cookie” as we’d go viral. That was my outward explanation. The truth is that I didn’t have the nerve, because he hit a nerve. Seriously, did he have any idea how much Mom Guilt went into the decision to buy the cookie? “What message am I sending by bribing her with food?” “She’s not a dog, I shouldn’t use food as a reward” Does he think I’m not aware of her size and weight? Which by the way is a concern between me and her pediatrician. Am I not mortified by the fact that I’m needing to buy 4T pants for my not-yet three year old daughter and they look ridiculous as they’re bunched at the ankles and she still has a plumbers crack!
Just as I did with the gymnastics mom, I quickly moved into he phase of discrediting the source. He was wearing a shirt from the turn of the century. Seriously, his shirt is almost old enough to vote now. Plus, he had a gut that shows that apparently he can’t get enough candy either. Fuck you. Yet, I couldn’t quite move on passed the ‘why am I letting this bother me so much?’ phase. Then it dawned on me, it’s a new day of equal opportunity shaming. Usually mom shamers are other moms who think they have everything figured out or idealistic women without children who are imaging their own reality. Now apparently, elderly white dudes can get in the game. The gender disparity really stings, as comedian Ali Wong points out “there is so little that a man needs to do to be hailed as a great dad, and so little for a woman to do to be branded as a shit mother.”

Please note, I’m not trying to come across as the Thought Police. Think what ever you want; just keep it to yourself or at least wait until I’m out of earshot. I confess I’ve held some shaming thoughts about my cousins’ parenting. I don’t think she’s a bad parent. I know she loves her kids and wants to do what is best, but has made some bad decisions. I just don’t share thought thoughts with her; I wait until we get home and then discuss my observations with Husband. An open mind does not require an open mouth. Especially since that’s the real response to the shamers. Guess what? You can save your breath. There is nothing you can say to a mother that is harsher, meaner or more critical than anything she has already said about herself. Probably in the last five minutes. Now shut the fuck up.

Epilogue:
My day was further aggravated by the fact that I couldn’t find my parking ticket and had to pay the $25 lost ticket fee (when I had qualified for free parking). When I arrived at home, I easily found the ticket in my purse. #momfail

I finished writing this post and hit some button that accidentally erased it and I had to compose it again. #momfailagain.

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Pet Peeves

I wrote this list for no other reason than it was satisfying to write all these things down. 

1. My Husband is very energy conscious and almost never leaves a room without turning off the lights. The problem is that he’s too good at turning lights off and will turn off the garage light. As he installed the lights himself, he knows that California codes require these lights to be motion activated and will also automatically turn off. It’s not so much an issue now during Day Light Savings time, but it really pisses me off in the winter when I’m driving into a dark garage. 

2. Kate clings to my leg. I know this is just a thing that kids do, but I really hate it. I’m not sure why it pisses me off so much, but it does. Last time she tried, I made a fake kicking motion to her and sent her away crying to her daddy

3. “I want Daddy!” I should be much more understanding here, but sometimes I feel that she doesn’t appreciate how much I do for her and it feels like he gets so much credit for doing less work than me. She also tends to throw the “I want Daddy!” If I’m trying to discipline her, which really works the mom guilt

4. Husband sometimes chooses the worst times to do the “Good Cop, Bad Cop”. We were running late on one of my early days as Kate was stalling having her breakfast. I needed to get her dressed ASAP so we could head out the door. She started crying and fighting as soon as I put a shirt on her. Husband decided to be the smooth talking sensitive caring one at this moment. “Okay, honey. Why don’t you pick what you want to wear?” I went ballistic. “No! She lost her right to choose by taking so long during her breakfast! Furthermore, do you think she really gives a shit what she’s wearing? She’s just trying to stall some more!” (Of note, I do recognize that there is value in giving kids choices. Myrtle actually came up with a good idea to have Kate pick her clothes out the night before. That way she chooses as we save time. It was just killing me that Husband was so oblivious to the fact that I was running late)

5. I know I shouldn’t complain about a Husband who is good at cleaning up, but sometimes mine is just too efficient. Like when he unpacks the unused items out of her snack bag. Gee, thanks now I get to pack her bag all over again, when you could have just placed the bag in the pantry…

6. We’ve flown at least 7 or 8 times with Kate and every time, Husband asks which stroller I want to take. I get so annoyed that he doesn’t know after flying 7 or 8 times, but more so, that he can’t figure out, would I want to take the smaller, lighter, Britax stroller, or the larger, heavier, clunkier jogging stroller? Really, someone with a PhD should be able to figure this shit out on his own. I also find it annoying that he asks if I’m checking a bag when we have a connecting flight. This tells me he has not done enough solo flights to understand how the $25 bag fee is money well spent when it’s one less thing to schlep across the airport with your kid in tow.

7. Speaking of strollers, my mom keeps asking when we are going to get an umbrella style stroller. I recall from my Baby Gizmo book, the authors describe that you probably will use many different strollers over your kids lifetimes, but I haven’t seen the need to change from the two that we have. My mom borrowed an umbrella stroller from her neighbors during our visit and I know have an answer as to why we don’t use an umbrella stroller. I hate it. It’s flimsy. Kate got her feet stuck under the flexible foot rest and nearly had a bad fall. The handles are too low, there is no place for storage, especially no holder for your coffee cup. No thank you. 

8. Our washer and dryer are about 10 years old and the dryer is starting to slow down, which is odd, because we hang dry almost all of our clothes and only tumble dry bed linens, towels and Kate’s clothes. You have to use the ‘High’ temperature setting to get it to dry anything, which takes twice as long. So it really kills me when Husband overloads the dryer and nothing gets dry…

9. I cut Kate off from breastfeeding before it could ever get socially awkward with her lifting up my shirt in public. It didn’t matter. When she drinks her milk, she likes to stick her hand down my shirt and touch my chest. I get felt up every night during her bed time routine. 

10. The Blue Light. Yes, we have a Kuri.g as we’re horrible people and hate the environment. Actually, I am environmentally conscientious, but I happen to enjoy the ease and convenience of having the Kur.ig make a perfect cup every time with no messy coffee grounds. No stained pouring cup. No horrid smell of burnt coffee that dripped on the heater… Anyway… One morning, after a rough night of Kate not sleeping, Husband snapped at me for ignoring the blue -needs more water-light. I was in just as bad a mood and pointed out (probably mentioning that I was up more times than he was) that we was capable of filling the Kur.ig. I added that if the worst part of your day is that you have to fill the water reservoir of the Kur.ig when you didn’t empty it; well guess what? You’re still having a pretty good day. However… now I’m finding that I’m always the one getting stuck with the blue light. He probably has two or three cups of coffee to my one, and yet I seem to be the one filling up the water. It’s really irritating me. “If that’s the worst part of your day… then you’re still having a good day…” he recently reminded me. I could add having my own words used against me on this list of pet peeves, but as I look back… if this is what I have to complain about, then I’m enjoying a pretty good life. 

Monday, 7 May 2018

My Life as an ABC Afterschool Special..

It was a sleepy Monday morning. I trudged into the kitchen. I needed coffee. I hadn’t slept very well. Either Tyler or Kate had woken me up multiple times, I can’t remember who it was. Maybe it was combined effort to sabotage my slumber. As I was waiting for my Kur.ig to warm up, I saw Kate’s snack bag was sitting on the counter. I peeked inside to see if there was anything left in the bag. I saw something that looked like a rolled up wrapper. Kate sometimes peels the sticker off her Sarg.ento snacks, which are a small little round tray of cheese and dried fruits. Except I hadn’t given her a Sarg.ento snack over the weekend and when I looked closer, I discovered that it was not a rolled up wrapper. It was a joint. A freshly rolled marijuana joint.

As a wave of panic hit, I started to retrace my steps. I packed her bag on Friday night. No drugs included. We did a 5K run on Saturday morning and I kept the bag strapped to the back of her jogging stroller and then zipped in the underneath compartment. I don’t think I left it unattended long enough for anyone to stash the hash. We went to Safe.way in the afternoon and Kate rode in the blue car cart and I gave her the snack bag while we shopped. I usually check the car before she gets in, but the joint was small enough that I could have easily missed it. Then I remembered that during the chaos of unloading the cart, checking out and bagging up the groceries, I saw Kate’s snack bag on the ground and I admonished her to pick up her bag and I’m guessing she picked up something else. At least I’m hoping that she found it on the floor, rather than someone left it on a car cart. I left the snack bag in the car on Saturday night and just added the snacks we picked up from our race goodie bag. Then on Sunday, as we were driving to the Farmer’s Market, I handed her the snack bag full of drugs.

I was freaking out big time, for many reasons; but firstly because I am very drug naïve. This was my first encounter being this close to an actual joint. I am totally drug and disease free. I often joke that I am the only person living in California who has never tried pot. I have no idea how a bong works, let alone figure out how you can make one out of an apple. (Now I’m curiously paying close attention to the lyrics of The Bing Bong song on Pep.pa Pig) I would probably still miss most of the drug references on Scooby Doo.  When I watched Dazed and Confused, I was dazed and confused. (Although I did go around repeating the line “hey man, do you have a joint?... Sure’d be a lot cooler if you did…” BTW: I now have a joint; IT’S NOT COOLER!) It’s not that I had some sort of moral stance against it; it was mostly a lack of opportunity. I wasn’t cool enough for anyone to offer it to me when I was in my impressionable years. Then I just became older and comfortable in my life to realize that I probably wasn’t missing out of anything.

It’s not that I’m against it either. I’m in favor of legalization. I believe there is inherent racism within our justice system that has lead to the unfair incarceration of blacks and other minorities for possession and distribution. (While I’m not sure if I support her candidacy, I do applaud Cynthia Nixon for calling attention for the fact that minorities get jail time for marijuana use, it’s effectively legal for white people. She should have added ‘rich’ white people, but if this country can elect Trump after all the shit her said, then they can listen to a woman who speaks some truth) I believe in the benefits of medical marijuana and I think medicinal marijuana may play a role in solving the opioid epidemic. I’m down with Mary Jane. I just don’t want it in my daughter’s lunch bag!

Seriously, I was so not expecting to find drugs in my two year old’s lunchbox. This may be the reality of #bayareaparenting. Hey, if we were across the bay, I’d be worried about her finding dirty syringes and needles. What is mostly freaking me out is anticipating that one day I may open the lunch box and find a joint that actually belongs to her. We need to have the DATS talk. (DATS was the acronym from my gymnastics coach who gave us the pre-prom talk warning about the dangers of Drugs, Alcohol, Tobacco and Sex) It’s just coming a lot sooner than I ever thought it would. We went to watch Husband umpire a hockey match at UC Berk.eley on 4/20 day and as soon as we stepped out of the car, I noted that ‘a skunk had sprayed’ (I shared my story with a fellow day care mom, who described that her son must think that our city is infested with skunks as she blames a skunk whenever they smell weed). We walked into town to get some dinner and I saw a guy selling bongs outside a store and we saw two guys rolling a fattie (I do know some of the lingo). I applied the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell policy’ She didn’t ask any questions, so I didn’t offer any explanations. Now, I’m questioning, was that a ‘missed opportunity’? I would have laughed at the idea of discussing drugs with my two year old, but that was before I found a joint in her lunchbox. If I don’t have the talk with her, someone else will. I just didn’t think it would be so soon and I’m not ready.

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Right Now -May 2018

Reading: Nothing non-work related. Determined to make some progress in Lena Dunham’s Not that Kind of Girl while we’re in Hawaii

Watching: Game Two of the Western Conference SemiFinals. This game is a lot closer than Game One, despite having Steph back on the court.

Listening: A new radio station! A few weeks and I pulled my car into the garage and noted that it smelled like an iron-transfer. The smell lingered for a few weeks and was odd enough that I thought it was prudent to pay a few hundred dollars for the men at the dealership to tell me ‘we can’t find out why your car smells like an iron transfer, but we can’t find anything wrong’ (the smell dissipated a few days later). The guys changed my radio station, which usually really annoys me, except I really like this new station. Although I didn’t want to admit it, I was growing tired of the 80s all.the.time. The new station is classic rock, so still a lot of 80s, but also some hits from the 70s and a few from the 90s. Plus they play two songs in a row from the same artist.

Drinking: Propel Fitness water. I’m getting addicted to this stuff. I bought (2) 24 bottle cases from Costco and I just bought 8 more plus sized bottles from the reduced-to-clear section at Safe.way.

Eating: Doing better. I was within my calorie goal 5 of 7 days last week

Wearing: I’m still wearing my workout clothes as I didn’t make it to the gym; nor do any work in my garage. I don’t think I can be bothered to take off my sports bra and I’m likely going to be sleeping in it.

Loving: I’m really happy with my skin after using Rod.an and Fields skin care products. Don’t worry! I’m not a consultant and I don’t plan to be one! Actually I was turned off from R+F when a woman who used to work in my practice, friended me (we’ve never met in real life) just to get me to become a client. However, another friend posted photos of her amazing eyelashes, I became intrigued. She then showed before and after photos as she had her Husband use the Lash.Boost on one of his eyes and the difference was striking (although, yes men do have amazing eyelashes to begin with). Then I realized these were the same dermatologist who created the Proactiv system. It feels so full circle, Proactiv helped me with my adult acne in my twenties, now I need their old-lady product line in my forties. I was informed that it would take about two months to appreciate a difference, but my skin felt softer after only a few days of use and after using it for six weeks, Husband asked ‘did you get a beauty treatment? Your skin looks good’ which is pretty remarkable as he is generally oblivious.

Anticipating: Although there is still a lot that needs to be done, we’ll finally be able to enjoy our new back garden! (If only the weather would get a bit warmer) Pictures coming soon!

Hoping: I can maintain the friendships with the moms and kids from Kate’s current Day Care. I know it’s going to take a lot of work and I’ll obviously be out of the loop for a lot of things, but I’m committing myself to making the effort.

Following: The NBA playoffs. I don’t watch too many games in the regular season, but make sure to catch every playoff game. Oh, yeah and following the news to know the latest shit show in the Drumph administration

Trying: To improve my push-ups. Almost every CrossFit gym in the United States features the WOD “Murph” over Memorial Day weekend. It honors a solder killed in Afghanistan with 1 mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups and 300 air squats followed by another mile run. The Rx way to do it is to so the reps straight through while wearing a weighted vest. Most regular people break the work into 20 sets of 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups and 15 squats. This year my goals are to complete the WOD in under an hour, and I want to break into sets of 10. I feel confident that I can go at least 6-7 sets doing the pull-ups unbroken in 10s, but my push-ups need work to do sets of 10.

Fretting: Still about taking Kate away from her friends in her current Day Care. They really are a great group of kids. One boy in her class fractured his femur and has been out since March. His mom recently sent all the parents an email to let us know how positive all the kids have been to him since he has come to visit on a few occasions. She concluded, “thank you all for raising such amazing little humans” I keep reminding myself that the kids are her new school will be awesome too.

Planning: My strategery to get Kate night time trained. I was planning to do it after her third birthday, but as her diapers keeps leaking and she’s soaking the bed almost every night, I figure we should take a stab at it sooner rather than later, so I may do over Memorial Day weekend, since Husband is away and I have a very long weekend. It’s also the anniversary of when we started potty training, so once again, full circle. Dream pee, keeping a potty in the room, give me all your tips and tricks…

Contemplating: Using a local meal service.  Myrtle gave me a referral for a free week of Blue Apron, and I was a bit disappointed in the sense that it’s really a shopping delivery service, as you still have to do all the prep and cooking, which doesn’t make it worth the $13 per person per meal fee. There are a few businesses that offer already made meals from $8-12 per person and I can avoid the delivery fee as they drop off the food at our gym. That way I have to make it to the gym to pick up dinner...

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Kate 2.75 years

I like to think that I am doing a decent job as a parent. Most days, I’m earning at least a B+, maybe an A- on a good day, and I’ve got some Ds and Fs thrown in as well. Husband and I remind ourselves that good parents sometimes still have bad kids, and we know some very well adjusted adults who had really bad parents during their childhood. We’re trying to do our best, but it’s a crapshoot.

Last year, I started reading Harvey Karp’s Happiest Toddler on the Block, which was supposed to decrease tantrums and somehow make your toddler more reasonable and pleasant. While I have found his tips and techniques to be helpful, I can’t say I use them all the time. I think Kate probably averages 1-2 tantrums per day. Maybe three on a really bad day. I’ve just come to accept this comes with the territory of having a toddler. Sometimes you can anticipate them. She does not wake up well in the morning or after a nap, so that usually leads into crying over something. Sometimes, the littlest thing will set her off. I just ignore her and within a few minutes, she’s over it and has moved on.

Prior to Kate’s arrival, if I saw anyone with a screaming child, I figured they were bad parents. I mean, why can’t they show their brats some discipline? This was even after I learned in my pediatrics class that the appropriate thing to do is to ignore a tantrum. While it’s easy to do at home, it’s much harder in public. Especially as everyone is looking at you and you feel everyone is judging you. Why can’t she show her little brat some discipline?

Kate and I flew to South Carolina to visit my parents last week. As there are no direct flights, we looked for ones that had the shortest layovers (I was going to do a red-eye, but would have had to wait over four hours at the connecting airport) and we ended up getting a 6 AM flight out of SFO. It was brutal. I woke up at 3:15, we got Kate out of bed at 3:50 and headed to the airport at 4:05. I had accidentally paid for priority seating (I thought I was paying my bag fees) which turned out to be a good thing as we got to speed through the security lines. Money well spent as Kate was squirming out of her stroller at that point. As soon as we found our gate, I headed to queue up at Peet’s to get some much needed coffee.

While we were in line, Kate started to ask for some milk. I tried to explain that I would get her some, but she wanted her blue sippee cup that I had left in the car. As I tried to explain why we couldn’t bring her cup through security* she started to meltdown. It was the mother of all meltdowns. She was laying on the ground kicking and screaming. I tried to pick her up, but she started kicking me and squirmed out of my arms. I buckled her into her stroller, but Houdini escaped moments later and was back on the floor. A security guard came over to tell her to get off the floor. I nearly gave out all my $5 Starbucks cards while we were in the line at Peet’s.

Finally, we made it up to the front of the line and Kate started eyeing the baked goods. I told her she could pick one, since she doesn’t often have such treats. She had significantly calmed down at this point. As I gave my order to the barista, she looked at Kate and said “Okay you, no more crying…” I was a bit irked, but I decided to let it go. Then when she gave Kate her donut, she said it again. “Here you go, no more crying!” It was the second time that pushed me over the edge. “Actually, it’s not for you to say that to her” I told the woman as she handed me my change.

To my surprise, I actually got some nods of approval from the other customer in the line, and a few came over to me to offer the “it gets better” reassurances. What I really wanted to say to everyone, “Look, I know my kid is being an asshole right now. We woke her from a sound sleep in the middle of the night, it’s 5 in the morning and she doesn’t want to be standing in a queue to overpay for some crappy coffee. Really, she’s just expressing what everyone else is feeling right now!”

*Technically you can bring milk for a toddler or baby through security, but you have to wait for them to test it. Last time we flew, I brought an empty sippee cup and bought some milk boxes from Starbucks. I thought we could make do with a milk box, but Peet’s only had Soy milk in boxes. I ended up getting a coffee cup of milk with a plastic lid, which of course spilled twice on the flight. Kate also asked for water during the drink service and of course, they don’t have any tops, so she spilled water everywhere as well. Lesson learned: don’t ever fly without bringing a sippee cup.

Height:37.5 inches
Weight: She was 37.4 pounds when she recently stepped on the scale.

Eating: Much of the same struggles still continue. Won’t sit in her chair; wants to sit one some’s lap and when she’s really being a WLB**, she’ll want someone to spoon feed her. She also definitely into the picky eater phase. My poor mom keeps earnestly asking “Will she eat this? Will she eat that?” And I have to reply “I have no idea!” She can eat one thing one day and refuse it the next time it is offered. Our go-to for these situations is Annie’s individual cups of Mac and Cheese. Even better, Kate has even learned to make it herself. She brings her stool to the fridge so she can fill the water, parents will help with the microwave, but she’ll stir in the cheese packet and we learned a trick from a friend to add a slash of milk. It helps it cool down quicker and makes it creamier. She still loves her milk and will drink multiple cups a day. We easily go through 2-3 gallons of milk per week. She’s currently on 2% milk, but after seeing how heavy she’s become, I may do the Folger’s switch and go to 1% milk.

** Whiny Little Bitch

Sleep: We’re still doing the thing where I sit on the rocker and read while she falls asleep. She may wake up once during the night at the most. It’s not too bad. While she’s good about napping at Day Care, we can only get her to nap if she falls asleep in her car seat. As much as I’ll cry once naps stop, it will be nice not to have to deal with the pressure of when is she going to take her nap. When we were visiting my parents, she slept in my bed a few nights. While I was wary as I feared it could become a habit, I did love the closeness of sleeping next to her.

Clothing: We’ve officially moved into size 4T. I’m slowly purging out all her 3T stuff. She’s a beast.

Potty Training: I think we’re finally there during the day. Yes, I know she’s going to have an accident immediately after I post this. When we were interviewing at her new Pre-School (where she used the potty a few times) I told them that we had gone through most of the month of February and March without any day time accidents. The next day she had three accidents at her old Day Care. When we did sign her up at the new Pre-School, we agreed to pay our deposit at the higher cost non-potty trained rate and they’ll refund us the difference if she does use the potty during her first month, which hopefully she will.

She’s started telling me if she needs to go potty while were in the car, and I know it sounds crazy, but I think she knows when I can and can’t pull over as some of her accidents have been while we were on a busy highway. I put her in a back-up travel diaper while we flew, but it stayed pretty dry as she would tell me when she needed to go pee, and fortunately we weren’t too restrained by the fasten seatbelt sign. Oh, she did have a major accident when I put her in her room for a time out. #momfail.

Our biggest challenge is going to be night time training. We’ve been using Hugg.ies over night pull ups and she leaks. Almost.Every.Night. We’re constantly washing her bed sheets. I tried using crib sheets, but found they really only delay the pee from soaking through, so I’ve been placing them underneath the mattress pad to try to save the mattress as much as I can.  As I’m still delaying about getting a twin bed for her, I think I’ll wait until she is night time trained, then I can get rid of the pee-stained toddler bed mattress. Maybe we’ll burn it.

Someone recently suggested placing a pad inside her diaper at night, which I think it worth a try, although it brings back my PTSD of trying to chose a box of pads after my D&C only to discover that every pad has a wings, or is extra long and the basic Care.free pads that I remember from my ‘Growing Up and Liking It’ Starter-kit no longer exist. One source I read suggested doing a dream pee. You bring a potty into the room, place it under your kid while they are sleeping and make some ‘Pssss’ing sounds on the hopes that they’ll empty their bladders. I’m curious to try this only because I tried to get Kate to pee if she woke up during the night and one time she was still so sleepy that she almost fell forward off the toilet and face planted in the kitty towel litter box.

Milestones: She started dressing herself! It was a morning when we were already pressed for time. Kate was still wearing her hooded towel. I told her that I would go get dressed and then come back to get her dressed. I figured she would carry on playing at her kitchen, but when I came out of my room. I found her in her room, putting on her coat after she put on her undies, pants and a shirt. As for the color choices… it’s no worse than her father would do… Hey, she picked out her Warriors shirt and they did have a game that night. I was totally impressed. She even went out to the garage to get her boots and put them on in the house.

She’s really engaging in a lot of imaginary play. She likes to pretend “I am the mommy and you are little” and she’ll drop me off at Pre-school, or we’ll go to the park or the Zoo (she even found an old take out menu to serve as our ‘map’ to navigate the Zoo). She also enjoys playing ‘Circle time’ where she’ll place some of her dolls and stuffed animals (and will try to recruit Husband or me) in a circle and lead us through songs (I also learned she does her own version of Circle Time with her pre-school classmates).

Health Issues: She had an ear infection at the end of January, but otherwise she made it through one of the worst flu seasons on record without so much as a cold. (Ironically, she was supposed to get her flu shot on the day she was seen for the ear infection, which had to be delayed due to her fever) She may have caught a touch of the second flu wave that hit in early April. On the horrible 6 AM flight, it took over an hour to get her to fall asleep, and she slept for nearly two and half hours, which is really long for her, but I chalked it up to the early morning start. When she woke up in preparation for landing, I thought she still looked really tired and had that glossy-glazed look in her eyes. When I strapped her in to the stroller to get to our next gate, she felt really warm and I could tell that she had a fever. I was really tempted not to give her anything, thinking the fever could help her sleep on the next flight, but as the wheels in my Evil Mom brain we turning, she told me “I need medicine!” I gave her some Tylenol and she slept another hour (allowing Mommy to have a nice peaceful lunch in the airport) and she woke up bright and alert and was even charming to the fellow passengers on the next flight.

She seemed back to herself once we arrived at my parents’ house, and then suddenly started throwing up all.over.me. Ugh, it brought back memories of her newborn days when I would get showered in puke and it would soak through my clothes to my skin. Yuck. A few days later I got the fever and chills, but (so far) have missed out on the vomiting.

Activities: I’ve been really frustrated at her gymnastics classes. We started this new class that is much more structured than her old one and maybe it’s too much for her as she’ll either be really clingy (she’ll just want to sit on my lap) or she’ll be really defiant and won’t follow along, forcing me to sit with her in a time out. It just kills me as she’s the tallest and oldest in her class and the younger smaller ones have no problem listening and going through the exercises. I began to wonder if it was a bad idea to start her at the free range gym, but one of my swim team mates (who used to teach at the new gym and her oldest is a standout on their competitive team) suggested a fight fire with fire approach. “Take her to an open gym session on a Saturday and let her run around everywhere and get it out of her system. Then she may be more willing to listen during the classes.” (She also echoed that at this age, it’s not so much the gymnastics skills that are important, it’s learning how to listen to instructions) Husband agreed that it’s not a bad idea to try, but before I had a chance to get her in on a Saturday, I went with the Mean Mom threat. “If you don’t start to participate, we’re going to leave and never come back” That worked. Some times old school parenting is the way to go.

Looking forward to: We’ve attended two birthday parties this month and we have another one next weekend, which has prompted me to start thinking about Kate’s third birthday party. I had thought about doing a Pep.pa theme, but Kate is so over Peppa and is really into Dora right now (Plus we did Olivia last year, so it would be two consecutive years of piggies). So I’ve started thinking about purple backpacks for gift bags and creating a map… As much as I can’t stand the repetitive formula of the show, it easily lends to a party theme. Oh, after watching Kate just lick the frosting off cupcakes two weeks in a row, I’ve decided I’m not going to bother buying fancy cupcakes. I’m just going to open some cans of frosting and distribute some spoons. Have at it.

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Update on 2018 Goals

As I saw that Non-Sequitor Chica posted a quarterly update on her 2018 goals, I decided to hold myself accountable too.

1. Following Flexible Eating and continued weight loss

Fail. To my surprise, I only gained 2 or 3 pounds over the holidays (which I probably shouldn’t say only 2-3 as that it a lot of a short time). I hit the New running (literally doing a 10K and I went to the gym on NYD) and cleaned up my eating habits. I did well for the first two weeks of January, and noticed that I gained 2 pounds from my bloated starting weight. At the same time, our new siding and windows project was hampering my efforts as I lost access to my kitchen a few times and we ended up eating take out multiple times in one week. I need to do better. I’ve been yielding to too many temptations in the break room at work and I know my other culprit is eating some of Kate’s snacks. Perhaps in the month of June I’ll do another Whole 30, because we’re going to Hawaii in May. I’m going to try to be disciplined most days, but indulge at the Luau.

2. Enter the Cross-Fit Open
Success! I note only entered, but I competed in the Rx division and placed 15 out of 40 in my gym! Years ago, one of my swim teammates kind of poked fun at the idea of the Cross Fit Open. “Cross Fit Competition? What the fuck is that? Ooo I’m the best at working out” I laughed along with her at that time, but I now know that the laugh was one me, as with the exception of the super elite athletes, you’re really only competing with yourself to see how good you can be. The Open allows you to achieve some PBs, but it also exposes your weaknesses. I quickly learned that it was not just about getting through the workout, but maximizing my effort by being more efficient. Being smart as well as being strong. The WOD in the second week was a 1-10 ladder of Dumbbell squats (35 lbs) and bar facing burpees followed by a 1 rep max hang power clean all with a 12 minute time cap. During my first attempt, I finished the complex, but ran out of time for my clean. A few others also failed to make it to the clean, so we repeated the painful WOD a few days later. This time I came up with a time strategy for the squats and burpees, I found it was helpful to rest the dumbbells on my shoulders for the squats and I PR’d my clean when my coach “accidentally” put on plates heavier than I requested and said “Oops, no time to change, you’ll have to lift this”. I got to know a lot of people who go to different class times and I can’t wait to do it again next year.

3. Sending cards for birthdays
Success! I misses one or two as I needed to reset my settings after I found a few birthday.alarm reminders in my spam, but so far I’ve been pretty consistent

4. Keep up with Kate’s Share Days
Early Success, then Fail. Each week Kate’s Day Care leans a letter of the Alphabet and on Friday, they’re (read Moms) are supposed to bring a show and tell item with that letter. I did really well for the first few weeks of the New Year, I even rocked a quilt for ‘Q’ and a toy xylophone for ‘X’ (the weeks don’t go in alphabetical order -don’t ask me why) and then I faded. Will try harder after we get back from break

5. Adjust to my new role in a leadership position
Work in Progress. I was really reluctant to take on this challenge. I served as a Lead Clinician many years ago and I concluded that I’m not very good in a management or administrative role. However, our current site lead was stepping down (and was later promoted to a higher leadership position) I’m the third most senior person in our group, no one else applied for the position and it pays a bit extra. At a minimum, I have a newfound respect for how hard it is to be in a leadership position as people can be really annoying and I hope I was never this difficult. Our service line manager wanted to arrange an in service dinner with the three other department in our affiliate and proposed a central location and suggested 5 possible dates. I presented these dates to my team and had two people responded with  “can’t we do a different location?” “Can we do our own meeting, why do we have to meet as a big group?” Oh, because that’s not extra work for me to arrange another meeting at a different location. I had to be the bitch and say, ‘just reply yes or no to these dates. I’m not arranging a separate meeting’. (Not just because I don’t want to do the extra work, but the goal of the meeting was also for everyone to meet as a group and I feared it wouldn’t go down well if we did our own thing)

6. Send my In-laws photos on a monthly basis
Success! Well, I’m 4 for 4 so far this year. I made a deal with myself that if I didn’t send the photos by the 6th of each month, I wouldn’t be able to go to the gym or swim. There was extra motivation as I could hear my swim coaching yelling; “What do you mean you missed practice because you needed to email your in-laws some photos? I need you to work on relay starts!  How hard is it to pick up your phone and send some damn photos? Do it NOW!” Send. And done.

7. Run some 5K races with Kate
Success! We did one on New Year’s Eve and another on President’s Day weekend. We’re signed up to do another at the end of the month

8. More FaceTime with Husband
Success and Fail. We’ve been taking advantage of the Parents Night Out provided by our day care (something I’ll really miss when she goes to the new school, but I’ve found some other options) and when we’re out, phones must be put away (except one time, I drunk texted our friends in LA about visiting…) We’re still really bad about using our devices late at night and first thing in the morning, rather than talking to each other. We’re hoping once my schedule changes and I’m home earlier in the evenings, we’ll have some more family time.

9. Swim Times
Fail and some Success. The pool was closed for repairs for most of the month of January, some of my teammates found alternate locations to practice, but I took the time off. Unfortunately, as we got closer to the championship meet, I missed a lot of practice due to Husband’s and my own work conflicts, a few nights where Kate didn’t sleep well, and I just wasn’t where I wanted to be in term of my training. I had to bring Kate to some of our smaller meets leading into the Championships, which is not ideal, as I can’t really warm-up and warm-down as I need to, but I did manage to somehow get a new PB in my 50 Free. I went to visit my parents during the week before my meet and I ended up getting a bad cold. In hindsight, it just wasn’t a good idea to spend a day traveling, and then show up to a meet jet lagged and expect to swim my best. I surprised myself by dropping 14 seconds in a 500 Free (and placed second) but struggled in my other events, especially Fly. I did better in the 100 Free than I did last year, so it’s a PB post baby, in my 40-44 age group. I’ll take it.