Re-In-Stalling.

ladies-room-signsSince I know you’re probably dying to know how my office women’s restroom signs are doing, I thought I’d give you this little update:  it’s not looking good.  Actually, I take that back.  The signs are still going strong in all most of the stalls, as you can see in the pic on the left above.  But in one stall the sign has flopped over and not one bathroom-goer has attempted to fix it!  Guess I’ll be hitting up the ladies room with some scotch tape this week.  Remind me at the end of this post to tell the story about the last time I had to bring office supplies into a bathroom stall with me…

But back to the present day bathroom issues.  You probably don’t recall (if you do you have way too much time on your hands) that I also requested that our facilities department fix the lack of hooks on several stall doors.  It’s a really annoying thing to go into the bathroom really having to pee only to then see that there is no hook on the door for your stuff and then you have to unlock the door, go to the next stall, pray it has hooks, and if that one doesn’t boy you’re in trouble.  You get the point.  Needless to say they have not been replaced.  Very disappointing, facilities.  Verrrry disappointing.  So I’ll be following up on that this week too.

And there you have it.  That’s literally what I’m up to this week.  Is that sad?  Don’t answer that.

And now here’s the part where I reward you for reading this update with an embarrassing personal story about yours truly:  The year was 2006.  I was working as an audit associate for a big scary firm that shall remain unnamed.  I was wearing black “Editor” pants by Express (they were my faves).  I went to the ladies room at some point in the afternoon, only to realize I could see the floor through my pants when I sat down.

“That’s odd,” I thought.  Upon closer examination I realized my pants had ripped at some point during the day from front to back.  No joke.  Entire crotch inseam was wide open.  With several long hours to go at work and no chance at being able to go home to change pants, I needed to fix the situation pronto.  So I did what any resourceful young auditor would do – I wrapped my cable knit v-neck sweater around my waist (standard attire back then was sweater over a button down – standard), went back to the audit room, told everyone what just happened, and grabbed the stapler to take it back to the ladies room among screams of “Do NOT bring that back in here!”.  The tricky part was stapling my pants together without anyone wondering what the heck I was doing in there.  But that was nothing a loud throaty fake cough couldn’t cover up: Aaahheeeeghhhmmm.  Staple. Staple. Staple.  AhhheeGGGGMM. Staple.  In fact my performance was so good, a nice lady called back at me from the sink that I sound terrible and to take care of that cough.  Lord knows what she really thought I was doing in there.

But staple-mending my pants worked pretty well actually.  I almost forgot about the whole situation until I brought them to the dry cleaner the following week who looked at me like I was crazy.  And little did I know back then in my young, work-hard-play-hard audit days that in just 7 short years I’d be bringing office supplies back into the ladies room as a mature, working mom.  Ha.  Real mature.  NOT.

 

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An Explanation.

For why I was MIA last week.  I think that’s only the second time this year I’ve left you hanging without words of neat-dom.  Not too bad, but not what I set out to do when I created this little bloggo almost a year ago.  Yep, KIN is almost ONE!  Just add ‘plan a bday party for my blog’ to the list I guess.

So anyway, things here are busy.  Not more than anyone else, I’m sure, but pretty darn busy.  And the picture below represents just how busy.  I give you, “Failed Africa Cake”.

Holiday-Potluck-WorldTheme-Africa-Cake

Allow me to explain.  Work is busy.  Home is busy.  It’s the holidays.  We have parties on top of parties, and to-do’s on top of to-do’s.  Last Thursday was the holiday party at both A’s school (annual potluck), and at my office (literally it’s in the office).  A’s holiday party ‘theme’ was Around the World, and her classroom was assigned Africa.  Not knowing what to make, and her being too young to turn this into a geography and/or anthropology lesson, I copped out and decided to make a cake, and decorate it with the map of Africa.  Don’t judge me.

Well I went to make said cake at about 9:30 on Wednesday night and noticed we were out of butter.  Great.  A quick google search (on my new phone), taught me that you could sub in applesauce.  Eh.  Worth a try though.  Cake went happily into the oven, I went happily into the shower, but A was not so happy upstairs in her crib and decided to let us know.  So B went up, leaving Africa cake to get a little toasty in the oven…for fifteen minutes too long.  Screw up #2 of the night.  When the cake cooled and I tried to move it, it fell apart in a few area, requiring glue by icing in multiple spots.  But, it did turn out looking pretty good, and it didn’t taste too bad, considering it had no butter…

Let’s move on to Thursday.  All day meetings required me to be out in West Chester (an hour west of Philly on a good day) and leave earlier than daycare would take A.  So while I battled the long ride out there B walked her to daycare…and forgot her shoes.  Unbeknownst to me of course until later that day.  I left straight from WC, Africa cake in the backseat, and went straight to daycare.  Mind you it was had been freezing out so now the cake had been frozen, then thawed.  This was really the cake that wouldn’t die.  I arrived at daycare, cake in hand, ready to clean A up to take her over to my office.  Only I noticed she had no shoes.  It never ends.

Luckily they found some extra shoes in the lost & found, and although they were clearly little boy shoes, they actually looked pretty cute.  So then we headed over to my office to meet up with B, cram some food down our throats (no alcohol though since apparently you can’t have a drink if you bring your kid…), take a pic with Santa (while A cried the whole time), and show A my office.  Which was apparently the highlight of the night:

A at work

Just look at those pudgy little fingers on the keyboard.  Kills me.

So moral of the story is I’ve been busy and have NOT been keeping things neat around my abode, or life for that matter!  But at least I’m keeping it real here on the blog for ya.  Nothing to hide – failed Africa cake story told to the public? Check. “Child Labor” photo shared with the interwebs? Check.

We did do some decorating over the weekend so I can share those pics soon.  I do have some answers to Holiday Q’s that I’ve gotten recently.  And remember you can ask any Q’s that you have here!

That’s Amore.

organized-cookies-depth-of-field

You know your husband really loves you when: a) he spontaneously makes you chocolate chip cookies on a Friday night, b) he puts the uneaten ones away in a tupperware (leaving the cookie trays and spatula in the sink for you to clean, but we’ll ignore that for purposes of this post…), and c) he ORGANIZES them in the tupperware because he “thought you’d like to see them nice and neat in there”.  Wow.  Of course I’m sure this reflects more upon the fact that he thinks I’m insane, but I’ll take it.  I saw these cookies on my counter Saturday morning and just had to snap a pic.

Speaking of which, notice anything different about this pic?  Anyone?  Probably not, but I do: it was edited in my new fancy Photoshop Elements program.  I brightened and lightened and enhanced and background-blurred to get the perfect organized cookie tupperware shot above.  I’ve been complaining for a while that I needed a better photo editing tool than what comes standard on my Mac, and my awesome in-laws got me the application for my birthday.  Which was a fantastic one, in case anyone was wondering.  I mentioned it in this post before we left to go on vacation, which was also stellar.  No work, no cleaning, no blogging.  I really took the week off and it was perfect.  Back to reality last week was a shock though so I do apologize for the very long blogging break.

But I’m back now.  I’ve got cookies and I’ve got Photoshop.  Watch out world!

Summer Slump.

Working-Mom-Summer-Slump-Need-VacationAs I’m sure you’ve noticed, I’m in a bit of a blogging slump.  We’ve had a VERY off-schedule August and I’ve been too exhausted by the end of the day to blog about some neat projects I’ve actually worked on this summer.  I pretty much organize some area of my life or house every weekend.  Sometimes it’s small (like my coupons), sometimes it’s a lot bigger (like the outdoor space behind our house), but I can never let well enough alone.  I’m always “just quickly tidying up” while B rolls his eyes since he knows this will snowball into me fully reorganizing some space that he deemed perfectly fine.  So I have been busy keeping it neat around here and do have some things to share soon.

We’re on vacation starting this weekend through Labor Day and it can’t come soon enough.  I’m in need of some time away from work (and my organized spaces!) to just fall off the grid and relax.  We’re headed out to Montauk where my family has been going for 59 years. Until I was 18 I hadn’t missed a trip out there, but then along came college and the real world (aka a job in 2004, our wedding in 2009, and a super pregnant yours truly in 2011).  Needless to say in the last 12 summers I’ve only made it out there 4 or 5 times.  My last time out there was in 2010 when B and I made a long-weekend trip out to see my family.  While fun, it’s too short, especially coming from Philly.  So this time we’re doing it right and staying for just over a week.  I cannot wait.

I may do some blogging if the mood strikes (I really do have some fun organizing projects to share!), and I’ll definitely be doing some running.  I’ve got serious miles to catch up on for NYC 26.2.  My busy August put running in the back seat (blogging is obviously trailing behind the car – hanging from the bumper!).  I’m in the middle of Week 8 right now which is turning out to be a little challenging because of the Pangaea Juice Cleanse that I’m doing (that I mentioned here).  And I can’t wait to post about that adventure too – I just finished Day 2 of 3 and so far so good.  Trying to start my new decade feeling light and fit (yep, I turn 30 on Monday…whomp, whomp).

So, basically this is one giant multi-tasking post:  serving as a public acknowledgement of my slumpi-ness as of late, a warning that more slumping may occur  and a promise of some quality bring-you-up-to-speed future posts.  You know I like to multi-task!

A Perfect Ten. {Part 1 of 2}

ten-months-breastfeeding-nursing-pumpingTo start this post I have lots of disclaimers for everyone.  Can you tell I’m married to an attorney?

Disclaimer #1: A very big warning to any male and/or squeamish readers: the post you are about to read is a long and intricate tale of my 10 month experience with breastfeeding that ended with mixed emotions last weekend, and it’s going to be TMI central.   I can’t help it.  I learned so much from the process and wished so bad in the beginning there were more “good to know” tips/guides out there for the modern mama, that I feel like I must share my experience.  So for those of you that are going to stick with me here, prepare yourself for a very long and personal sob story post about my 10 months of nursing and pumping.  You might want to take a bathroom break and grab a snack, because this is going to be a long one.

And of course…

Disclaimer #2: I am by no means an expert on this topic, nor do I purport to be one.  Every woman and every baby will have a different experience when it comes to breastfeeding, so what I am sharing is just my personal tale, and a few things that I learned along the way.

Now with that behind us, let’s begin.  To help organize my thoughts so that people can actually take something away from this rambling tale post, I have broken things down into a few categories.  Today I will share my Personal Nursing Story.  Tomorrow I’ll be back to add Random Things Learned, Products That are Awesome, and Pumping at Work (and in the car, and on an airplane, and at bachelorette parties, and at weddings…. )

My Personal Nursing Story

While pregnant, I was both intrigued and horrified with the idea of breastfeeding.  I knew there were loads of personal and health benefits for me and A, that it would save us money, etc., but I’m also not really a “boob” person so the thought of the whole thing freaked me out a little to be honest.  Not wanting to have anything set in stone that I didn’t know squat about, I decided I was going to try to breastfeed A and hopefully make it to 6 months (as recommended by the AAP), but I was also keeping myself real and also preparing for it to possibly just not work for me.

With that decision made, I actually enrolled in a Breastfeeding class offered at my hospital BEFORE A was born.  I just wanted to know more – I literally knew nothing.  The class was great.  Some people are going to call BS on this, but I honestly credit a lot of my breastfeeding success to have come from taking this class.  I don’t mean the “how to” aspect – no one can possibly prepare you for that – but just the general gist of how the whole thing works.  I was able to build a foundation of knowledge before the baby came, which was helpful because in those frantic first newborn days you won’t retain squat.

A ended up being a planned C-section because she was breech at our 20 week anatomy scan and never flipped in the 19 ½ weeks after that.  (We’re just waiting for her teenage years when this innate stubbornness is going to rear its ugly head again.)  Of course I was terrified that I wasn’t going to be able to nurse, but of course that was silly.  Although it was uncomfortable in the midsection for a few weeks,  the surgery had no direct impact on lactation and nursing.  About 2 hours post-surgery (we did not have success with the immediate post-birth-plop-the-baby-on-your-chest nursing attempt), and with the help of one of these, we had our first successful nursing session.

Throughout our hospital stay A seemed to be nursing well.  It’s very hard to tell in the beginning but wet diapers and spit-up can give you good clues.  I realize I am very lucky to be writing this. Just to make things clear – I did have some serious boob discomfort so this wasn’t all peaches and roses here people.  But I was able to leave the hospital happy with how we were doing, which also made me more confident and relaxed about things.  Being relaxed can do wonders for “let down” and nursing in general.

I nursed A exclusively for the next 8 months (when we were together, while apart she drank pumped milk).  We introduced solids at 4 months, but her only drink was breast milk.  At 8 months I stopped nursing and switched to bottle feeding her B-milk.  At that age she was getting distracted during our sessions and I was  interested in having my body back to myself since it was summer.  I also wanted her to start understanding the concept of feeding herself, so I liked being able to give her a bottle to hold.  It wasn’t until 9 months that I started supplementing her bottles at daycare with formula so I could give myself a break with all that pumping (more on that insanity tomorrow).  Now at 10 months she’s almost fully weaned to formula (she still gets about 5oz a day of frozen B-milk while we use up my freezer stash – also included tomorrow).  She’ll be on formula for another 2ish months until we can switch to cow’s milk (again, as recommended by the AAP).

Things were NOT always easy.  I was EXHAUSTED in the beginning.  I had sore boobs.  When my milk came in I thought my boobs had caught on fire.  There were times I just felt like a big milking cow.  Learning how/when to pump was beyond confusing (and I’m a relatively intelligent person with 2 graduate degrees…).  Keeping up with nursing and pumping to maintain milk supply was tiring and got old.  The stress of being A’s only food source could have killed me at times.  But it was worth it to me.  I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished and wouldn’t change any of it.  I’m sure when another baby comes around it will be hard to make it to 10 months again, but that’s OK.  Every baby is different.  This worked for me and for A and that’s what made us so successful.  We never forced it.

Moral of my nursing story: keep an open mind.  Don’t make decisions before you know what you’re talking about.  Learn to roll with the punches, and learn to relax.  The only “right” thing to do is what will work best for you and your baby and your family.  And yes, it’s all a LOT easier said than done.

Tidbits, Tips and Tricks coming tomorrow…