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Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Flu, Vaccinations, and a 5K..In That Order

I'm eating Saltines and drinking Gatorade as I type. One of my besties, N, brought them over after we finished our community's annual 5K yesterday and when I realized that what I thought was a bad cold was actually the flu. It hit hard on Friday afternoon with a headache and coughs, but Friday was all about Solomon's 4 month vaccinations. It was a rough afternoon. Bobby and I were bickering about nothing I can remember right now, but I can say that vaccinations are rough on us. Bobby hates to see Solomon in pain from vaccinations,yet it doesn't phase me much because I've watched and discussed my share of polio and smallpox videos with my science students. Bobby looked like he was in physical pain watching his baby boy receive two shots to the hip. I was mildly annoyed by what seemed like hypersensitivity. Now, I'm grateful that I have such a compassionate and empathetic husband. Definitely one of his best qualities.
My "Tiffany blue" nails checking out Solo's injection spots

Fridays are my day. I encourage every mother of small children to pick a day for just herself and be faithful to it. I leave Bobby with bottles of pumped milk and go out alone or with friends. So though I was coughing and not feeling well, the body and head aches didn't start until my mani and pedi with S and N (I'm feeling nasty, but I must say, looking at these Tiffany blue nails makes me feel a bit more cheerful ). We enjoyed an evening out eating appetizers, dessert, a hot drink for my congestion, and talks of career and faith to reach for more.
first day of flu

Though I've been in bed all weekend, I am logging the efforts for balance and emotional health. Being a working mom is really hard. As a younger woman, I praised the sacrifices of women in my family, citing, "I've never seen her go out with friends for a cup of tea or a glass of wine." "She never took time for herself, always making sure there was dinner and time to check on our academics." While I am deeply grateful and quite frankly, in awe, of the sacrifices my mother and grandmothers made, I think that spending time AWAY from the never ending duties of being a mother and wife will ultimately make me more emotionally and spiritually healthy and honest about the gamet of feelings I experience--and make me a more present mom and wife. So leaving Solo and Bobby for a few hours for a mani, pedi, and appetizers makes me a better me! For moms who don't have a line in th
eir budgets for these kinds of outings, a walk or bike ride with the hubby or good friends or alone serves equally well. I've even gone to Target and "splurged" on a $2 cup of coffee for my "me time".

Solo in his first Lawndale 5K!
The 5K was also a "milestone" to my come back. I loved running before pregnancy, but with opposite spousal work schedules and sleepless nights (Solomon wakes 2-3 times a night STILL to nurse), and a work start time between 7 and 7:30am, working out before work hasn't been a good option. I hooked up with many friends yesterday morning; it felt like a reunion! So many beautiful faces with years of history with me made my morning. Bobby had pumped the jogger tires up for us the night before. It was the first time I used it, and I felt that I could run 10 miles with it! I did a fast paced walk with friends and then ran the last quarter miles. My joints her. Now I'm not sure if it was "pregnancy joints" or the flu. At any rate, Solomon and I finished our first 5K together!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

"Don't cry over spilled milk" and All Things Milky

So, this old adage finally means something to me, a woman who has been distanced from the wisdom of this vintage saying through modern comforts like refrigeration and a seemingly never ending supply of milk at Jewel or Target or Whole Foods. I couldn't find a place to pump, so I pumped in the closet like faculty bathroom on the 2nd floor, and in the awkward coordination of taking the storage bottle off of the suction cups, my baby's milk spilled all down my leg and onto the nasty faculty bathroom floor. I started to sob, but quickly pulled it together. It was gone. "DON'T CRY OVER THAT SPILLED MILK, TIFFANY. TEARS WON'T BRING IT BACK." I had to return to a meeting, looking like I had just peed my jeanie pants, smelling like sweet, sticky breast milk,but that was the lesser concern.I started strategizing how I could pump more milk even though I was feeling maxed out.

 Solomon's sweet breakfast was on the floor. What was he going to eat the next day? I felt panic. I had to move into decisive action, not succumb to tears, which would be an unfruitful distraction at this point. I grieved silently, but was resolved to get Solomon some breakfast for the next morning. Milk is serious business. It has even surfaced vices like MILK ENVY. Yes, I have had milk envy, and the object of my envy is the sweetest, coolest colleague. I really like her and wish we had more time to develop a friendship outside of work. She's really intelligent and has helped me both personally and professionally. I don't really feel envy, but I did feel like a bit of a failure when she told me she has volumes on top of volumes of stored milk. How in the...? She told me she can pump 30 ounces a day. What the...? How is that possible and why do I work so hard to squeeze out every drop I can get for just one day's supply? I so desparately want storage so we can take advantage of babysitting, but when we can only provide one bottle at a time, we can only leave Solomon for a short amount of time.

 All of our bodies are different, and while I eat very healthfully, read every article I can get to, drink water, and am faithfully taking my Mother's Milk and Fenugreek supplements to increase supply, results aren't where I want them to be. It's improving though. It all takes work and effort. My goal is to have lots of joy in the midst of the work. I'm doing something really special for my son.

I'm up all night...NOT to get lucky

I'm up all night...sanitizing; and catching up on the many chores that can't be done while Solomon is awake. At 18 weeks, Solo has his first cold. He's handling it like a champ. He's pretty stuffy, but otherwise, in good spirits. My mother bought us one of those innovate Swiss "snaut suckers" to pull out the nose phlem. Shameless product plug here. It's great. My mother got ours at a Cincinnati pharmacy, but I've seen them at Whole Foods as well. Solomon takes the suction bravely. Now, he certainly resists like all babies, but without all of the drama. It takes both of us to hold him down, and he did snatch it and pull it apart while I was doing the do, but he doesn't really scream or cry, and wants it's over, it's over. I woke up around a quarter to 3 (in the morning, that is) to sanitize our vaporizer, which I've read can help with a baby's discomfort when suffering a cold. I then moved on to sanitize and store bottles. I then realized that I fell asleep without completing my evening routine, which can pretty much ruin my life the next day. I'm not sure if that statement is an exaggeration. Being a mom and a high school teacher is very, very stressful. I aim to be at school between 7am and 7:15 to set up my lab, check emails,make copies, log grades, follow up with parents, etc, so this means that my morning, which starts before 6, has to go on without a hitch. If I don't have my lunch packed and clothes set out the night before, my whole teaching day can be thrown off. There's no time to leave the building with a 25 minute lunch, and if I don't eat, I not only don't have enough energy for my responsibilities, but milk production is negatively affected. So, after the sanitizing, I finished packing food for the day and got the coffee station ready. And now, I hear stuff nosed Solomon stirring again. It's 4:15 am. I have to be up for the day in an hour and 15 minutes.