Archives for the month of: April, 2016

  
Gia has been in swim lessons for three Saturday’s now at The Rose Bowl Aquatics Center. It’s two outdoor pools with a gorgeous mountain backdrop. 

The first week she cried most throughout most of it. The second week was overcast and the pool was heated and she was just kind of skeptical. By last week, another sunny day, she was smiling and laughing, especially at the end when J would sit her up on the wall and let her fall into the pool in her arms (one of the instructed exercises). I love her little swimsuits and hat and her face absorbing the new sensations… SO cute. One of us goes in and the other hangs out with my friend’s husband, cheering the babies on. They do tummy floats, back kicks, doggie crawl, hold onto the wall, and fall into the water, plus singing circles and splashing. 

  

Now that Gia goes to music and swim each week, it feels like the beginning of many years of classes and sports; this is both overwhelming and exciting.

  
At the end they release a ton of rubber duckies into the pool!

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You know when one drop of ink taints a crystal clear bowl of water? My work situation is tainting an otherwise beautiful time in my life. I won’t be listing all of the horrible awkward details here, but they include our program head making passive-aggressive comments in meetings, calling me out on mistakes no one else would have even noticed, and hiring people who don’t fit into our clinic and make everyone uncomfortable. Many of the coworkers I was close to have left or are waiting for their new hire dates – seven, to be exact, in a clinic of only about thirty people altogether. The program head has stopped making weird comments about my pumping and now is uber-sweet about it. Then today she called me out on a mistake which was really embarrassing and then told me (with a falsely sympathetic and patronizing look on her face) that I could come to her if being a new working mom is too difficult and I need to talk. 

The thing that’s bothering me the most is how I respond. I’ve spent the last few months processing all of these happenings in my coworkers’ cubicles or in the hallway. I’ve given one of our new “supervisors”  who doesn’t fit in and acts better than everyone else (mind you, I have a higher degree, have been licensed longer and have worked at the clinic for longer) the silent or bitch treatment, depending. I’ve said things to this woman that shock me. And recently, since she’s started being grossly sweet, I’ve made myself vulnerable to her, ie, admitting how tired I am, identifying my weaknesses. Suffice it to say, I just don’t feel comfortable about how I’m handling it all. 

When I began to realize how serious the situation was a few months ago, my intention was to rise above and end up proud of how I handled it. In some ways I am – I haven’t quit, I’ve delivered what I believe to be excellent services to my clients, and I’ve supported my interns the best I can. In other ways, though, feel ashamed of my mistakes and sometimes dirty for venting so much. 

It took me a long time to learn how to behave at work and in social and professional situations. I’ve been diagnosed with ADHD  twice by specialists who do extensive testing. Usually people grow out of this disorder, but I was re-diagnosed at age 25, which is rare. Because of my inattention and related anxiety, I do make small mistakes. I do behave impulsively sometimes. I do lapse into fight or fight reactions. I’m also really emotionally sensitive. I want to be strong and deal with this situation effectively, but it’s hard. Every day I leave my awesome child and COMMUTE to a job that then makes me feel sick. I drive away from my family. I pump three times at work and get barely any milk. Sometimes in meetings I’m so anxious and offended I’m shaking and my heart is racing. I’m on high alert all the time. And now, tonight, I’m feeling like some of it’s because I’m not smart enough, professional enough, organized enough. 

I’ve known for awhile that I need to work in a certain type of environment with a boss who is supportive, easy-going and appreciates my strengths. This is NOT that environment anymore. It really was when I started, so it’s very disappointing. I am working SO hard, seeing clients back to back, working with women who refuse to see the new therapists because they don’t like them (she hires people who don’t fit into the culture) and supervising the two psychology interns day in and day out. I’m working so hard and things just get worse – I feel defeated. 

I’m not sure what the universe is trying to show or teach me, but I know it’s something. Hopefully writing this will help me come to that realization. I’ve tried mindfuless, being strong, recognizing myself as much as possible, and always getting support from J. I’m hoping things will get better soon. And a little surprise if you’ve made it this far – we are seriously considering moving back to San Diego soon! So maybe there’s a light at the end of the tunnel…

Better post this before the 9-month mark!

This month has been a game changer in terms of both physical and cognitive development. Gia’s movements, social interactions and interests have taken a huge leap!
 
Weight: 21.5 pounds 

Size: 12 months/18-24 months, depending 

Teeth: four on top, four on bottom

Development: fully crawling, pulling herself to standing, starting to cruise, carefully sitting back down by putting one hand down first, playing peek-a-boo,  turning pages of books, mimicking sounds like “up” and “uh-oh”. I think she may still be slightly cross-eyed so we are going to have our pediatrician refer us to an optometrist. 

Naps: 3 with nanny, 2 on weekends with us

Favorite activities: reading books, clapping, knocking down block towers, standing up and walking while holding our hands, and LAUGHING while we’re being silly. 

Food: loves zucchini and apple oatmeal with flax seed, vegetable soup with beans, pieces of beets, broccoli, asparagus, etc, sautéed greens, berries, and noodles. Oh, and definitely breast milk!

Sleep: Not fun. Leap 6 has been a bitch, and interesting considering how alert and interactive Gia is. A lot of her ability to self-soothe is still there, but it’s as if she’s moved on to needing new ways of connecting anyway. Some nights she has trouble going to sleep, and she’s harder to settle after her night feeds. She wakes up twice. I’m planning to wean her from one of them once her teething and sleep regression settle down. I nurse her in bed and we sometimes end up bed sharing in the early morning hours; the rest of the time she’s in her crib with a knitted blanket and her fox lovey. We’re doing some research and consideration of how to organize Gia’s sleep again now that her behavior has changed so much. I need to figure out how to help her sleep better now that she stands in the crib staring at us!

 

 
  
  
  
  
As far as mom life goes, I’be been struggling with my work environment not being as healthy as I’d like, low pumping productivity, and sleep. On the positive side, being a mom just gets better and better. I find it easier to care of Gia without feeling anxious and overwhelmed. J and I have started going out more during the weekend days since we’re always home at night for Gia’s bedtime, and it’s been FUN! We are working on our relationship too, and it’s slowly paying off. Playing with Gia together is the best – she loves to read books, dance to Paul Simon, and ride around with J on my exercise ball chair. Making her laugh is more fun than going out drinking any day! Well, we least for now.

 
The other day I was watching Parenthood and there was a cheesy, cathartic but well-edited scene tying an episode of parenting strife together. I thought, very clearly, I can’t believe I almost missed out on this. I can’t believe I didn’t realize how incredible having a baby is. I am so, so happy.  Being Gia’s mom is the best thing I’ve ever done.

  
Two weeks ago Gia stopped going to sleep as easily. With the time change, her bedroom was light at 7 pm when she usually goes down, but it wasn’t just that. She wasn’t calming down while nursing and when I put her in her crib, when normally she would roll over and close her eyes, she was popping up, wide awake and crying. A few times that week it took an hour or more to get her to sleep, and several times in the middle of the night it took the same to get her back to sleep. When I opened the Wonder Weeks app, a storm cloud loomed over her little head. 

J and I discussed her baby craziness a few days later and decided we just wanted to support and comfort her, rather than take a hard line. We let her sleep in bed with us after her first waking a few times.  At the same time, she started crawling on all fours and pulling herself to standing. She wants to stand and “walk” holding our hands all the time! She also claps and says “uh-oh” and “up”, although I’m sure she doesn’t know what they mean. We weren’t about to do sleep waves while she was standing in the crib, peering over the top screaming. I suppose you could, but it didn’t feel the same now that she can pull herself up. 

It’s been pretty rough.  I did have a couple of freak-outs at 3am. One night I removed myself and slept in the nursery because I couldn’t be the best mother in that moment. I had to listen to her cry in J’s arms for awhile, but she’d already nursed for 45 minutes and I knew she was okay. She had trouble sleeping for two weeks and is just starting to get back on track. We changed her bedtime routine to 7 and bedtime to 7:30, and I started doing a dream feed so I could skip a night waking. (Why didn’t I start this earlier, it’s great! She’s so mellow and goes right back to sleep and sometimes I get to sleep six hours straight.) 

The best thing I did during this sleep regression was take two warm baths with Gia. One night when J was away on business and Gia seemed really amped up I drew a bath and pulled her in with me. We hadn’t done this since she was just a few months old. We lay there playing and nursing for a long time and she went right to sleep that night. It was nice so we tried it again a few nights ago. 

 
During the day though, this sassy little girl is pretty hilarious. She cracks up at the silliest things, lies on her back staring at books like she’s reading them, andslurps down the broth at the end of her soup bowl. I feel a lot less anxious about taking care of her, aside from her weekend naps which really stress me out (she naps perfectly for the nanny but with us will only nap in stroller or ergo). She’s very interactive. She’s started a music class on Fridays and we start swim lessons this Saturday.