Monday, August 17, 2015

This post has no title

I've realized that I like writing. And I tend to do it when I'm going through something personal or as a way to organize my thoughts. I recently just wrote a post for an organization that I hope will post this coming fall. But in the meantime I remembered that I wrote a post well over a year ago for our local parents association on balancing motherhood with working. I wasn't going through anything significant in my life other than wanting to share my voice on being an imperfect and happy working mother. I figured I'd post it here for posterity. 


Disclaimer: I let the laundry pile up (clean or otherwise.) I’ve taken to naming the dust bunnies and brambles of dog hair that collect in our house (they’re like family!) I’ve adopted the beauty experts advice on washing my hair less frequently (just keepin’ it real here) And I should probably visit the gym.

I’m what I like to call “human” and I’m a mom.

I also happen to have a full time job outside of the home and our little boy goes to daycare (school) 5 days a week.

I’m hardly a spokesperson for time management. But life is good. We have a healthy, happy little 20-month old, a nice home, jobs that keep us afloat and also happen to keep us fulfilled.

But there are a few things - both philosophical and tactical - that have helped us balance life. I don’t suspect these are new to anyone. But if you’re like me, it’s nice to know that there are others out there doing the same things. We’re all working to figure out what’s best for each of us. As mothers and fathers I think we need to eliminate the judgement that comes with the working/non-working parent debate. They’re both difficult. Some of us choose it and some have no choice but it doesn’t make any of us less of a parent. Just different.

So here’s what we do and think about that helps us. 

Be present and in the moment.
A coworker gave me this advice when I was pregnant. It seems so so obvious but I really do have to stop myself when I’m looking at my phone instead of interacting with Grey. I don’t get to be with him all day long so those hours in the morning, evening and weekends are precious. I also make sure I do this at work. When I’m focused and dedicating my time, energy and thoughts to the people in front of me I feel better about myself and I don’t miss things. I’m not perfect at this but I think about it constantly and check myself. 

Don’t sweat the small stuff.
Yes it’s the title of a corny self-help book but it really is true. Hence the disclaimer above. I’m not Type A but I do get panicky when things start to pile up or I spend too much time on Pinterest. Does it mean I love my son more if I craft homemade farm animals from dryer lint? Or less if I let the laundry go unfolded? That’s when I take a deep breath and think about what’s important to me, what’s realistic and it helps me let the little stuff go. 

We’re going to get progressively more tactical here...

Ask for help.
I’m not too proud. When I need a break to get my nails done or I need to sleep in I ask for it. I’m not super human. And when I’m not taking time for myself I can honestly say (and my husband would agree) that everyone else suffers! I’ve even asked for help in public when it’s just the two of us. I’ve had kind strangers hold Grey in the locker room at swim class so I could quickly get dressed. I’ve flown solo with him so I’ve had to rely on others to help folding his stroller in the security line. And I’ve found that more often than not people are happy to oblige. The saying “it takes a village” is so very true. 

I was not born yesterday. I’m fully aware that online shopping is not a new concept but this one choice was probably the smartest one we made. 

We use Honest Company for diapers. They show up automatically every month. They’re good for his skin and the environment. They’re cute. They don’t cost much more than regular diapers. And the small amount they do cost more is worth it. We never have to worry about wipes or diapers. Ever. 

The lesson that we learned here is that any time we can outsource the mundane and potentially time-consuming we do. This certainly doesn’t bode well for my online shopping habit or ‘living in the moment’ but hey - I’m a work in progress.

Yo Gabba Gabba.
One thing that I also try to do is stay realistic about our life and parenting choices. If I’m too ashamed to admit it in public then I probably shouldn’t be doing it. So here goes... We let Grey watch TV. There are really only a couple of shows we turn on and only for a little bit each day but it works for us. The kid loves dancing and music and when he sees Muno or Brobie shake their oddly shaped furry, bumpy bums he gets such joy from it. And we almost always watch as a family and engage while it’s on. Honestly it has given us reference points when we’re trying to teach him things like hugging and sharing. And truth be told, when we’re getting ready for school and work in the morning, it keeps him happy and distracted while I pack his lunch, toss on some clothes and make coffee for myself. But it’s never a full blown babysitter.

I could probably continue to pontificate about this forever. There are a lot of things that shape my perspective as I learn more, have new experiences, and engage with other parents. But I think we can all agree that parenting is a constant juggling act whether we stay home with our children or we work full time. And in our family we’re doing the things that we believe will help our little boy grow up with confidence, creativity, a sense of humor and kindness. 

And PS - it should go without saying, but I also attribute my ability to balance working and parenthood with the respectfully filled glass of sauvignon blanc (just in case I haven’t opened my kimono enough already.)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

I Understand

So I have definitely abandoned this poor blog. And we've gotten lots done on the house since last April (more on that later).  But we've been busy in lots of other aspects of our lives many of which haven't left me in the sharing mood.  

The biggest and most important of these is having a baby.

For four years JL and I have been trying to conceive and in October 2011 we found out that it was going to happen. I was finally pregnant.  And we are unequivocally over the moon excited with giant love for this little baby boy growing inside me. I get choked up just thinking about what this little baby has already done for our little family. And we haven't even met him. 

But getting here has been one of the most trying times of my life. Not to sound super dramatic but in retrospect, it really sucked. So I decided to use my blog to shed some light on what it was like going through fertility treatments, how it affected us and why life feels really really good right now.

No doctors really knew why it wasn't working for us but we were good little patients and basically just did what we were told. JL and I drove to Mass General Hospital regularly for testing, prodding, poking, you name it. Then the doctors put me on horrible-brat-like-attitude-inducing drugs and told us when to show up to the hospital each month (you know, for the least romantic way to have a baby). But nothing took. For 3 years this was the case. And all the while I tried to maintain a positive outlook even as I was surrounded by friends, family and colleagues who were getting pregnant and having families. As they should have been. But it didn't make it any easier. It was the comments like "we weren't even trying!" or "I JUST went off the pill" that were the most heart wrenching.  Why couldn't it have been that easy for us? And why didn't my super laid back husband care more? (Well it turns out he did. This was tough for him too. He had no idea what to do to support me. And he's just incredibly patient.)

Jump to early 2011. My doctor called me in and said it was time to bring in the "big guns." IVF. I remember feeling so excited and hopeful when she told me. And I was also nervous. When the nurse said, "IVF is as much diagnostic as anything else," what I heard was "THERE MAY BE SOMETHING BIGGER HERE IF YOU CAN'T GET PREGNANT." I hadn't even thought about the alternative. This was going to happen.

So May 2011 I went under for egg retrieval. They took 30 eggs. Almost a record according to the staff. So clearly I reacted well to ALL THE STINKIN SHOTS. Ouchie. But then I got the call from my doctor. There was zero fertilization.

My heart sank. And I sobbed. And sobbed.

Reality set in that this may not be our path.  But I hadn't even thought of the alternative. I so badly wanted to make a baby with JL. To have a little person with his eccentricities and brains and good looks and my... well my sense of humor. Let's face it. I'm much funnier than JL. 

But we weren't out of options yet. ICSI was the next step and I was still clinging to that thread of hope that this would work. When people ask me what ICSI is, I explain that it's still IVF but with basic IVF, my eggs and JLs sperm are put in a dish and expected to party, resulting in fertilization. However, ours was more like an 8th grade dance. There was no co-mingling! ICSI is where they take one sperm and inject it into one egg. Awkward, unnatural, and stiff-armed dancing with that kid you really don't want to touch but you do and you survive. Maybe even grow from it... ;)  

Did you see what I did there? My attempt at foreshadowing.

Well ICSI worked. First time! Now it's April 2012 and I'm 30 weeks pregnant. Doctors said it was likely an enzyme issue that made my eggs hard. It's very typical of us - I have ninja warriors defending against the advances of poor, shy JL. 

I thought the hard part was going to be over. "I just need to get pregnant," I told myself. Well, that was half the battle. The next battle was surviving the early stages of pregnancy. I'm not an overly emotional person but take the natural hormones raging through your body and multiply that times (what felt like) 10 and inject it into your ass every day. (Women that undergo IVF have to continue taking hormone shots for 10 weeks post conception.) What do you have? Lind-zilla. 

I felt paralyzed by it. So worried and paranoid it wouldn't last. Nervous that every. little. thing. i. did. would hurt the embryo.  Because I couldn't go through what I went through again. I couldn't put JL through that. Through my ups and downs and waiting and waiting.  I was tired of being "that girl" that can't get pregnant. Which was the next stage I was about to embark upon. Re-identifying with myself. 

It had seemed that I'd instantly joined this 'club' of women that had children. Like it was all excitement and happiness the moment the good news spread. Only I didn't feel that way.  I wasn't a shoe-in for the club. And I couldn't act like I was. Infertility is and was something that will live with me forever and in a way, it does partially define me. But I survived it. And the little embryo that has grown into a currently 4 lb. boxer is my little high-tech baby. He's our little fighter.

They were difficult years. Years I spent suppressing the pain I was going through and not letting JL into my heart. Years he didn't know what to do with any of it - it was new to both of us.  However throughout those years of trying I made some great friendships, learned my threshold for emotional and physical pain, learned to appreciate JL's sense of patience, learned more about how I can be a better friend to those suffering from their own personal crises, and learned not to take anything for granted. 

Hopefully my experiences will only better prepare me to guide my little one into the real world.  Or not.  But I know that someday when he comes to me after a heartbreak or a great accomplishment, I can undoubtedly say I understand.  

Because we made him.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Floors Complete!

And they are amazing. Nothing crazy - just pre-finished oak but they match the rest of the house and uh WE FINALLY HAVE FLOORS. Here are two pics for now... more posts comin. Just been a bit hectic topped off by lazy. The usual.

Next up is paint. I have to go find samples for the wall and cabinets. For the cabinets I like the second one down - Nimbus Cloud by Sherwin Williams. I'm also hunting for fabric to cover the counter stool seats. 

Sunday, February 27, 2011

And the winner is: New Countertops!

Yes I'm watching the Oscars and posting these pics.

Our granite has arrived. We are no longer preparing food on a jankety old door and narsty particle board. We are one step closer to civility.

The white is just primer but it sure does transform the cabinets. Just as we hoped. PHEW.  

Sunday, January 30, 2011


I've been lucky in that my work takes me to Florida but I still have to return to THIS. At least it's pretty and my dogs are cute as pie.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

This is getting deadly serious...

We're close. Very close.  But I also realized that a year ago I was naive enough to think that this would be an easy endeavor. HA.

At least now our structure is sound as a pound. So here's where we are:
  • Cupboards are up but still need to be sanded down and painted.  We're painting them Ashwood Moss by Sherwin Williams.
  • New hardware needed... I can't get brass out of my head...
  • Countertops have been ordered. We went with Supreme White granite.
  • New stove and fridge are arriving tomorrow!
  • Subway tiles with dark grout on the backsplash.
  • Oak flooring to match the rest of the downstairs. Not my favorite but it'll make the place feel bigger if it's continuous throughout...
  • Paint on the walls of course... 

And other fun stuff but I'm getting ahead of myself.

Hehe... This is me face planted after a
business trip.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


I must warn you, these photos are incredibly offensive. Our kitchen is naked. That said, here's where we are:

Side note - I love this pic of John. He looks chubby. And he
really isn't. At all. But he lets his belly stick out, which cracks
me up.

What are you looking at you're wondering? Quite honestly it's too hard to explain. Or I'm lazy. Basically John keeps uncovering structural issues and he is a perfectionist. And he watches lots of Holmes on Homes. So he's doing lots of stuff to prepare for installing new hardwood floors, the ceilings, and recessed lighting. He also moved the plumbing (with the help of our neighbor/friend who is a plumber) so the sink will live in a new spot. See last picture. Everything you see in these pics in terms of cabinets, appliances, etc. are temporary. It's just so we can have running water, a fridge and a stove while we're going through this. I am still malnutritioned.

Anyway now for the fun part. The "new" cabinets! Insert image of Lindsay doing a toe touch cheerleading jump. (PS - I wasn't a cheerleader. I was on the drill team though. Obviously.) We had to abandon the idea of the hardwood cabinetry for a variety of reasons, but mainly it's either super expensive to buy them, which we were never going to do anyway, or it would take John forever to make them from scratch. Not his fault but he's single-handedly doing this kitchen so we are going another route. The original plan, which I still love and it will suit the style of our 150 year old house, is the grey cabinetry I posted about months and months ago. 

The best part? We found a whole kitchen for sale on Craigslist for $500. I think they'll look awesome painted grey and with new handles/pulls.

We won't use the top trim part, just the cabinets. I know we can transform them to where they look custom. Recently Erin at Elements of Style did a whole post about grey kitchens. I got super excited, since it's the same idea we're working towards. Check out the pics she found: Green Grey Kitchens