Late night thoughts

Last night I slept terribly. It was a million degrees in my room. Except not really. In reality, it was cool enough that the a/c wouldn’t turn on unless I set the thermostat at 66. And even that wasn’t cool enough. Eventually I turned off the a/c and just opened the window. It was only moderately cooler outside, but between the breeze and the fan pointed directly at me, I eventually cooled off enough to sleep a bit… before I woke up sweating again. Thanks pregnancy hormones.

So, as it turns out, I was awake most of the night. And my thoughts turned, as thoughts tend to do in the middle of the night, to life. I did a lot of thinking about a lot of things last night, but upon reflection this morning I realized most of my thoughts were about my career.

If you’ve been following the blog for a while you know that I’m an attorney. What you probably don’t know (because I’ve been a terrible blogger for the last 22 months or so) is that I’m not a practicing attorney anymore. I did let you all know that going back to work when Stella was tiny was really really difficult for me. And I let you know that my law firm was awesome and allowed me to work an 80% schedule instead of full time. What I didn’t let you know what that even that wasn’t enough. Practicing law in the private sector is hard, y’all, and when you add an infant into the mix the billable hour, marketing, and publication expectations become downright overwhelming. In the end, though, it was the stress and another big life event that made me reevaluate the kind of life I wanted to lead. As it turns out as much as I loved practicing law (and I really did), I didn’t love working 50+ hours a week (yes, even at 80%), still not having time to complete all my work, and having no time to spend with my family or with myself.

So, in February I started looking for a new job. A job outside of the legal field. Coincidentally, at about the same time I started job searching, I got a call from the HR director my alma mater. She was letting me know that there was an opening as an investigator in their Equal Opportunity Office and wanted to see if I might be interested.  My legal practice was focused mainly on employment and higher education law so investigating claims of employment discrimination in an higher education institution was kind of perfect. Long story short, I was interested, I interviewed, I got the job, and for the last 7 months or so that’s what I’ve been very happily doing.

I love not being in the private sector. I took a pay cut to move, but I have tons of free time, lots of vacation days (I’m on Fall Break right now!), and great benefits. So, why was I up all night thinking about my career? Because I’m having a career upheaval again. Two positions that I’m VERY interested in have opened up at the university where I work. I’ve applied for both, interviewed for one and will probably be selected to interview for the other. Here’s the problem: I’m not sure which one I really want. The positions represent different future career paths and I’m having a really hard time deciding which path I want to follow.

I know that I’m the only one who can decide which way to go. I just needed to get things down on paper (or rather, on screen) to help myself think things through. Either way, or neither way, 2014 is shaping up to be a year of HUGE change for me.

Pregnancy Update: 19 Weeks

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I did these little updates often (weekly even!) when I was pregnant with Stella. This is the first one for this pregnancy and I can already assure you that weekly updates will almost definitely NOT be forthcoming. I’ve got a toddler this time and I’m just busier this time around. And there’s the small matter of how I keep forgetting to document this pregnancy. Seriously. Sean just took the first pregnancy picture of this pregnancy about 20 minutes ago specifically so I could post it here. Why do I feel like poor Baby 2 will be lucky to have half the documentation of their babyhood as Stella does?

Anyway, here’s all the gory details:

How far along| 19 weeks. I think. I’m really bad at keeping track of things this pregnancy

Baby’s Size| Big enough to kick my bladder a lot.

Weight Gain| 6-ish pounds.  

Sleep| NOT ENOUGH. I don’t remember having insomnia when I was pregnant with Stella.

Clothes| All maternity pants.

Cravings| Yogurt and granola.

Food Aversions| Broccoli and anything that smells like broccoli.

Symptoms| Back pain, I guess? Sometimes.

Movement| Just starting up but definitely there.

Belly Button| In.

Baby’s Position| At the anatomy scan this week, she was basically bent in half. Her feet were basically behind her head… and that’s why I have another ultrasound in 6 weeks.

Highlight of the Week| Learning the baby’s sex.

What I miss|  Booze. There’s so many good pumpkin and fall-y beers available right now and I can have none.

And finally the aforementioned first and only picture of me pregnant:

 

Hopefully, by the time I get around to doing another update I’ll look more pregnant and less like I’ve been overeating for the last several months.

Big news!

I know. I know. I said I was back and then I disappeared for like 3 months. But, guys, there’s a good reason.

I found out some pretty big, HUGE, news on the summer solstice that I didn’t want to share but it was the only thing I wanted to write about. Weird, right? So, I had to just not blog for a while. Now, though, I feel “safe” telling everyone.

I’m pregnant! Baby Girl #2 will be joining us at the end of February or beginning of March 2015!

 

Walking

I’ve resolved this month to spend more time in nature. I started a new job in April that requires a longer commute so I’m in the car and/or my office a lot these days. That’s not really what led me to decide to get out more though. What really prompted this was my discovery that Google is tracking me. I know, I know. It’s creepy, corporate domination, big brother, rise of the machines, etc., etc.

It happened on June 1. I got a notification from Google Now (a service you have to enable to let Google track you) (I mean, they probably were anyway)(but maybe they’re not creepy and weren’t until I said they could?) that I had walked 3 miles in the month of May. That’s probably not super accurate because, according to the Google Now terms, Google only gets periodic updates (they claim anyway) and I don’t carry my phone with me every time I go for a walk (unsafe, I know), but that’s still a number that’s waaaaay too low for my taste.

So. This month I’ve decided to make sure that number is a bit higher and I’ve been trying to make sure I get at least half an hour of time in nature everyday. Usually that takes the form of a walk either with the bear dogs or the husband and baby. Sometimes it’s just some time playing in the yard and gardening with the baby. Sometimes its a lunchtime stroll across campus. The point isn’t really a specific activity. It’s to make sure I see some sunshine and get a little more movement in my life.

Thus far it’s going really well. All the time in nature is making me focus on things I wouldn’t have noticed before. Like that there’s a couple of wild ducks that hang out in my neighbors yard in the evening and that my dogs give the illusion of being really well trained when there’s other people around provided those other people aren’t also walking dogs. Here’s my favorite view from last night’s walk in the park near my house.

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I discovered heaven on Earth

Guys. Did you know there’s a beer cheese festival? And did you know that for $5 you can taste like 30 different kinds of beer cheese? I know. It sounds too good to be true. But, luckily, it is true! It’s happening today in Winchester and it’s awesome.

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We spent the early afternoon there today with a few thousand of our closest friends. Not only is this festival awesome because it revolves around beer cheese and Ale-8, the fact that it was on Father’s Day weekend got me out of going to a steakhouse to celebrate. Beer cheese and no steak. Win-win.

This was, surprisingly, our first festival with a baby. No wait. That’s a lie. I took Stella to a festival in Berea last year. BUT. This was definitely our first festival with a toddler. She LOVED it. She spent most of the time people watching but when she wasn’t doing that she was tossing her hat on the ground to distract us while she bolted away.

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We just got home and I’m already looking forward to next year!

Jumping back on the horse

 

It’s been a while since I posted something here. The truth is I had a really really rough few months in the fall in winter. I won’t bore you with the details suffice to say it wasn’t anything super serious. It was really just a work-life balance thing. Things are better now and for the last several weeks I’ve felt the old urge to write again. I’m feeling excited that my creative spark is every so slowly starting to shine again. I’ve been putting off posting here though. This is by far the longest blogging break I’ve taken and I was am nervous about coming back. Here I am though. I’m back and I’m ready to write again. Stay tuned!

I’m not down with OPPC: Other People’s Parenting Choices

I wish that wasn’t true. I wish I was very zen about other people’s parenting choices (OPPC). But I’m not. And it’s probably the biggest surprise to me since I became a parent.

Understand when I say that  “I wish I was very zen” I don’t mean that I’m out there berating parents who make parenting decisions I wouldn’t make or that I think my choices are the gold standard of parenting or that I’m perfect. Just the other day, I decided to keep Stella out of the dogs’ water bowl by giving her her own bowl of water. Shockingly, SHOCKINGLY, I ended up with a mad wet baby and a puddle of water on the floor.

What I mean, and what’s been a huge surprise to me, is how much seeing other parents make choices I wouldn’t bothers me. I suspect OPPC upset me because I just don’t understand. 95% of the parenting choices I’ve made (and Sean has agreed with), I made because my instinct told me to do it that way. Stella slept on my chest for the first three weeks of her life because it felt like the right thing to do. We practice baby led weaning because my instinct told me she didn’t need purees at 4 months old. I wear her a lot because keeping her close feels right. I think because my parenting “book” is just my instinct, I don’t understand how or why people make other choices.

A lot of parenting choices I make aren’t exactly mainstream. I know the way Sean and I parent isn’t for everyone and that all parents do what they think is best for their child. Hell, other parents probably even have different instincts. But. That doesn’t make me feel less sad when I find out a friend gave up on breastfeeding two weeks in because they didn’t have family support.  I hope that the intense… feelings I have about OPPC will fade with time. Or that at least I’ll get so used to it being there that I can ignore it. Right now though it’s raw. I know I’m not the first mom in the history of the world to have this problem, so any suggestions for dealing with this?

Unbelievable

So, I went to the doctor a couple of weeks ago for my physical and a couple of vaccinations (the flu and whopping cough–both only because of the baby). Yesterday, I got the results from the bazillion (not an exaggeration) tests they did. Slightly unsurprisingly, I’m super healthy. Except. I have high cholesterol.

At first, I couldn’t believe it. I mean, if you know me or have been reading ye olde bloge for any amount of time, you know I’m pretty healthy. I run (sometimes), I do yoga, I weight train (less often than I should these days), I’m a  vegetarian, I don’t eat processed foods (very much). I’m generally speaking pretty super healthy. In fact, I think this is the first time, I’ve ever had a slightly abnormal test result. So what did I do? That’s right. I turned to the interwebz.

Here’s what I found: Having high cholesterol when you’re breastfeeding is pretty normal and common. Which is weird, but makes me feel a little bit better and talked me off the OH-MY-GOD-I’M-GOING-TO-DIE-A-PREMATURE-HEART-DISEASE-RELATED-DEATH cliff I had been on. I mean, if the results don’t change after Stella weans I’m sure I’ll be back on the cliff, but for now I’m good. Has anyone else had this experience?