knits & plants

aah, the simple life. almost.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

fingers crossed

I like my job. It's a good place to work, and they let me take on whatever projects I have an interest in learning. It's pretty laid back. However, it is not particularly family-friendly. By that, I mean that not many people here have children, and if they do, they're all grown up.

So it was with some hesitation that I began looking into my maternity leave options, and more importantly, my return. Turns out child care is really, really short around here, and waiting lists are placing children for next summer. Yikes. Time to get a move on.

Whatever I decide, there are a couple things I know: 1.) We cannot afford for me to stay at home beyond what my maternity benefits will cover, which is precious little and 2.) I would go stark raving mad if I stayed home full time. So back to work it is! The question

I put together a maternity leave proposal that outlined my plans for covering my work while I'm away. But I spent most of the time concentrating on my return-to-work plan. I came up with four proposals, in order of preference to me. Plan #1 was to return to work quickly, fell-time, along with the baby. Revolutionary, non? I did my homework and came up with supporting articles from CNN and small business groups. I also was able to lay my hands on the baby-to-work policies from another small company in Vermont. My basic defense was that everybody wins. I get to spend thousands less a year on child care. I wouldn't be so emotionally torn about placing a six-week old infant in day care. Pompy gets me back as soon as possible, and I could continue to work as I do now...staying until the job is done, and not being constrained by day care hours and sick children being sent home. I don't have to suffer through an eight-hour separation every day. I don't have to pump. It goes on and on. All I really need to move my area from one end of the room to a much more private spot across the way.

Naturally, the plan relies on the support of my coworkers and their willingness to put up with having a small person around. Also, somehow I'll need to keep my mother-in-law from camping out in my office and causing a general disruption. This is a bigger concern than it might seem. I'd also need to learn how to juggle caring for him and getting some actual work done. Baby boy would come to work with me until he was too mobile to stay in one place or Pompy got tired of the arrangement, whichever came first.

Plan #2 was to work from home two days a week and do day care for the other three. Less expensive, less separation, but not completely ideal. Not sure I could work from home. I'd end up sweeping the floors and doing laundry, I think.

Other plans were a gradual return to work using up all my leave time, but not benefiting me at all in the long run. Still full time day care, and the most work interruption possible.

My boss Rob and I had a meeting last week to discuss. Although I really, really want to try bringing the baby to work, I was really not expecting the plan to fly. Imagine an office full of predominantly gay men willing to put up with the presence of a small infant? I mean, we allow dogs, but this is something else altogether. Anyway, Rob and I brainstormed as if this was not a huge obstacle. And imagine my surprise and pleasure when he told me he was not opposed to the idea of "Pompy Day Care." Dude, that's half the battle! Now all that remains is for him to win the support of the rest of the VIPs and we're in business. Easier said than done, but I really am hopeful. It would mean so much, as I know Rob realizes.

That was a week ago, and I'm still waiting to hear on a decision. Rob can be a procrastinator, so I'm not even sure that it has been discussed yet. And I'm trying not to read too much into a little chat I had with Mark, another coworker.

Mark: Wow. You cleaned. And took all that shit off the wall.

Me: Yeah, I had a germophobe moment, and I was sick of looking at the mess everywhere.

Mark: I like the artwork. Still, you're going to have to take it all down again when you move into David's space.

Helll-ooo? Move? Why would I be moving into that secluded little nook if it weren't for the need for more privacy? Say, like if I had a baby with me??? And why would Mark have let that slip if they hadn't had a discussion? And agreed, at least in principle to give it a try?

I am on the most outrageous pins and needles. Am trying to be cool. Am trying to wait until Rob is ready to talk to me. Am trying not to get my hopes up, lest it all come to nothing and they are, collectively, unwilling to give this a try. Finding it very hard not to give into hallucinations about the joys of being with my baby every moment. Oh, I am mad with anticipation and suspense. Please oh please oh please...

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

baby blitz

Dear oh dear. Thanks Jess, for recommending the world's most addictive reading for parents-to-be. Baby Bargains has been keeping me up waaay past my bedtime for two nights running. (You're supposed to read it cover to cover, right??)

First, a dilemma. My parents still have my baby crib. That makes it 29 years old. They are gently suggesting that we use it. I keep going back and forth, back and forth. Do I use it? Do I run screaming?

Pros: It is FREE. It has successfully raised four children, all of whom lived to tell the tale. It's kinda heirloom-y. Did I mention it was free?

Cons: Well, duh. It's thirty years behind in safety standards. There are wide spaces between slats AND it had corner posts. Everything I read rants about not using a crib even a few years out of date.

So, Do I become super-safety paranoid mama, or laid-back possibly-put-my-child-in-jepoardy mama? Gaargh.

Moving on, it is supremely difficult to get in a full day's work after reading the baby bedding section. The siren call of the internet is very hard to avoid. But I'm sharing because I'd like some help. The nursery. I found so many bedding sets I love that I think my head is about to come spinning off. So, vote for your favorite and help me make a decision. Because I simply cannot on my own.

Caveat: I have no intention of creating the matchy-matchy nursery haven shown below. Diaper bags? Please. I'm not even going to get a changing table. My wicker dresser with glass top will work juuust fine, thank you! But still...they're so freakin cute!! So without further ado, and in no particular order...once y'all have weighed in, I'll let you know what way we go!

Whales Tale

Turtle Bay

Starry Night

Oh, and I've finished both the Farmyard Baby Wrap and the Baby Hoodie Sweater. Can't show em to you, though, because Glenn misplaced the camera.

UPDATED: After sleeping on it, and discussing with Glenn, we've narrowed our choices somewhat, so I've deleted the losers.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

deciding to delete

Thanks to everybody for their thoughts and prayers. Upon reflection, I have decided that it would be inappropriate to discuss Rachel any more within this blog. So I've deleted the entry.

When this first began to unfold, I stupidly anticipated that the scare would be just that...a scare. However, as we find out more (and none of it good) it feels wrong to use this blog to share information here. She's not even my child.

For those of you wo have emailed me or left comments, thanks so much. I'll be happy to answer individual inquiries about Rachel, but I'll not be posting anymore about her. I know you'll all understand.

So it's with a profoundly new appreciation for this little life inside me that I go about my life today. Love and good thoughts to you all.


Friday, September 15, 2006

Letters to my Baby Boy - Week 19

That's right, you're not just 'someone' anymore! Yesterday, we went in for your ultrasound, and there is very little doubt that you are a boy. Our baby boy. It feels so good to know more about you! I'm delighted to find out. You father is, needless to say, beside himself with excitement. I think he's already planning your first trip into the woods together. If he comes home with a camouflage onesie, I will have to kill him.

The ultrasound tech was decidedly unimpressed with your reticence to be scanned. She called you names like 'stinker'. In order to get all the shots she needed, she kept poking me in the stomach. Hard. Not sure you liked that either, but it did get you to turn around. Seeing all your little parts rise out of the deep was an amazing experience. And when she finally began calling you a 'he', I didn't even catch on right away. Wasn't even aware until she typed 'male' in this shot at first. And then, just to cover all the bases, she provided this helpful little arrow to point out your...oh shit. Here we go. I'm entering the great arena of genital euphemisms. Gad. I am not ready for this!

I love this shot. What a pose. Are you sleeping? Praying? Sucking your thumb?

Here's your head, as she notes, in profile.

This shot we have to talk about. This supposedly, is your face. Not, as I hoped, as interpreted by Edvard Munch, but your real face.

The tech says this is exactly what you're supposed to look like, and I'm going to take her word for it. Still, you're kind of giving me the wiggins. I'm really hoping that this is not a shot of you strenuously objecting to your living quarters. I promise to send you in whatever you want, just don't look so much like Jack Skellington, ok?

Okay, just gotta love your feet. Quite possibly my favorite shot. Can't think of anything else to say about that.

Baby Boy, I am so impatient to meet you. Keep growing bigger (but not too big). We've still got a long way to go. I know you probably can't hear much yet, but I've been playing music for you. Might as well get you up to speed on the Boss and Bob Dylan right away. Please consider letting me get some sleep. Hope you're liking the walks with Murphy. He is going to be your biggest fan.


your mama


Wednesday, September 13, 2006

yup, so going to hell

I've been trying really, really hard all day to wish my mother in law out of existence (my existence, not out of being entirely). She can stay, as long as I don't have to hear her or talk to her, especially when I AM WORKING OF THE EFFING DATABASE AND TROUBLESHOOTING THE BAZILLION SNAFUS THAT HAVE COME INTO BEING SINCE WE UPGRADED FILEMAKER.

It's not working. Am considering more drastic action. Intervention requested. Otherwise, I am going to lose my temper and very few people who read this blog have been fortunate enough not to witness the devestation that ensues. help meeeeeeee

Monday, September 11, 2006

winter's here!

Just kidding. Mostly. We had a hard frost last night. I was not expecting it, but I didn't listen to the radio all day either. Glenn woke me up at 5:30am to tell me. You'd have thought it was Christmas. For Glenn, frost means the official start to hunting season. Hence the twitterpations. I, however, was not so excited.

Everything is just about over in the garden. Tomatoes, beans, cukes...they're all little piles on browny-greeny mush. I can pick the tomatoes before tonight, and they'll mostly be ok, but just like last year, then I'll have 75 pounds of green tomatoes sitting in the kitchen and hosting the world's largest fruit fly convention. Bummer. What's more, now we have no reason to begin the projects we truly dread...putting the garden to bed. It's tiller time, which will be no small feat with the amount of weedage to be chopped up.

Although fall is my favorite season, there is always an element of melancholy to it. I think it makes me sad because here in Vermont, fall might last until Thanksgiving, or we might have snow in two weeks. You just never know. The days are already getting shorter. The glorious summer nights are over. Fog fills the Connecticut Valley, sometimes not burning off until noon. Mornings are in the thirties, but it's 75 degrees by the end of the work day. It's a incomprehensible season, erratic whenever possible, and I love it.

Because where else can you get a hard frost within thirty-six hours of swimming in the lake?

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

what I do instead of sleeping

I am getting very cranky with the Farmyard Baby Wrap. Well, no, I am getting cranky with my knitting ineptitude. This is my first foray into color knitting and I am just not getting the hang of stranding. The tension is all f***ed up! It looks like the eqivalent of knitting with fingerpaint. Gaargh. Just because it's for a baby doesn't mean it should look like it was knit by a baby. Advice appreciated! I have three rows of blocks to go, and then I have to embroider the outlines, feet, eyes, and such, so there's definitely time for improvement!

Onto something I am marginally more experienced at...canning! Even with a disaster of a garden year, I have more tomatoes and peppers than I can keep up with. This is one of our favorites: Mixed Pepper Jam. Yum! It's spicy and tangy and a little sweet. And it's so pretty! This year's is especially alluring due to the Black Czech hot peppers (purple) and the Carrot chiles (bright orange) I grew. Tonight it's onto either homemade ketchup or homemade V8 juice. Both are new recipes, so wish me luck. Nothing worse than all this prep and work and boiling water and sanitizing to come up with something inedible.

And, lastly, there's the bed issue. I've broken down and gotten a prescription for Ambien, so there is a remote chance I might get some sleep. Except that I am the last to bed, and get only whatever space is still unclaimed by husband, dog, or cats. You'd think this wouldn't be much of a problem in a king-sized bed! Glenn is un-wakeable, especially when it comes to giving up space. And Murphy, well, he usually pulls the poor, pitiful amputee card, giving me such a woeful expression that I cave and give up trying to manever him to a corner of the bed. Plus, you know how little kids go all limp and add fifty pounds to their dead weight when they don't want to be moved? Well, Murphy has learned that particular trick. Thank god Lola only weighs seven pounds.

Lastly, I think, I think I feel movement. So hard to tell! It's such a funny sensation of pressure. And what's really weird is that I don't notice it build and build until all of a sudden it's gone! Only a week and two days until the ultrasound! Trying to keep my mind occupied, but it's so hard!

Oh, and the leaves are changing here. Welcome fall. At least it didn't frost in August. I hate that.

Friday, September 01, 2006

insomnia haiku

look, i'd really like
to sleep tonight. maybe more
than twenty minutes.

not stressed, not worried,
not caffinated. and yet
not able to sleep.

sweet bebe, i'll be
up with you all night for months,
so let's sleep now, yeah?

on the couch. with cat,
blanket, and clicker, dreading
work at 9am.