My sister Josie has made up alot of words in her time and Nins is the newest one. It is her creation to mean niece/nephew since saying both is too wordy, for example; “My nieces and nephews are coming to visit” v “My nins are coming to visit”. I suppose when I had a girl I ruined Aunt Josie’s all nephew streak but when our sister added a girl onto her string of boys she couldn’t even say nieces and mean my kids and nephews and refer to Sinead’s crew so she created Nins. It is a gender neutral word and is a pretty cute word and all of her Nins are disgustingly cute. I am hopeful that the 40 or so people who read this will adopt the word too and pass it along to others and someday Nins might make it into common English – who knows – ‘baby daddy’ is now a perfectly recognized title so why not nins.
I’m not sure how the days go so fast because all of a sudden another week is basically gone. My July is almost over~ I have told my boss that I’ll be back on Aug 12th and I’ve told enough other people that there is no turning back now. We did our daycare orientation today and I’m not sure if it is because I’m different or Zoe is but I really do not feel as bad as last time about leaving her with daycare. She seems just a bit more independent then Niamh and it is probably all in my head but I think she will do fine. I’m to the point where I need to just start looking forward to going back to work because I don’t really have any other options. Technically we could be fine on one salary but among many reasons to keep working is the fact that I’m so close to finishing my masters that I just don’t want to quit on that as well as enjoying my job 85% of the time. Maternity leave is a magical little segment of time where I get to focus on just one little baby for so much of the day. I also get time with Lars during the day since he works from home most days of the week so we have lunch together and even though he is working the whole time it is nice to know there is backup in an emergency, and more importantly, someone to bring me coffee when I’m trapped under 12 pounds of baby. This time can not be extended because even if I didn’t go back to work everything would still change – Zoe will get bigger and be less of a tiny cute glow worm – bottom line is there is no keeping now no matter what so I embrace the future.
There was an argument I read years ago that woman who ‘suck up’ resources such as college, loans for college, higher education, job experience etc ‘owe’ society to use those skills and not retire to mothering. I agree in a certain respect; I would be very angry if I was with someone who felt it was my duty to stay home with kids that my education and career would just have to be tossed until some future date. I do not agree that staying home would somehow invalidate my education and experience – I would not forget everything I learned just because I was a stay at home mom. I personally would moderate the opinion and say that if a woman planned on being a stay at home mom it would be selfish to take on an important job or a seat is a very specialized or selective program with full knowledge that she will not carry out the job… but that really sounds just as bad as the original statement so never mind, there is no winning on this one. Fortunately my husband really wants me to grow in my career and supports my masters too but my career is not going to find a cure for cancer and if I decided to stay home I don’t think work would collapse without me. On the other (flattering) hand the coworker who is handling the lions share of my stuff is counting down to my return so he can toss it all back at me.
I am trying to focus on the positives of my work life; I will not be puked on, I will own my own schedule, I can go back to ratting the nice lunches the professional chef at work provides rather then what I can make one handed, and I should be able to get back to exercising at lunch time rather then just taking a walk every day.
So I still have a few days left and I plan on enjoying them. I’ll get stuff done, I’ll stare into my babies face, and I’ll even try to get a nap in because I know my nap days are numbered.
, originally uploaded by katymac79.
I’ve never had a problem with feeding either of my children when they needed feeding wherever we happened to be. While I am fine with this I know other people might not be so I try to be modest but I’m not going to nurse under a blanket (especially when its really hot) and since my Joyce Leslie experience I am going to start documenting all the public places I nurse. This is my version of extreme ironing (google it) and since I have a handy iPhone that is usually near me I will see how many public places I can hit in the next 12 months. I know with Niamh I nursed in MN, WI, ND, SD, IO, MO, OK, NY, NJ, PA, IN, MI, OH, CO – I don’t know if I’ll hit that many with Zoe but who knows, I might. Hopefully I don’t offend anyone reading but as my dad says, they are either functional or decorative, never both, and they are in a functional phase.
I put this on twitter yesterday but I can now officially fit into atleast one pair of my size 6 wardrobe. This particular pair of shorts started out loosish (last summer) and when I tried them a week or so after Zoe was born they just fit over my legs and behind but the huge gap between button and button hole resembled an extra large pizza slice. I tried them again last month and the gap was narrowing but still no hope of closing. I tried them yesterday just because they were on top and they actually closed with a minimum of squish. I promptly took them off in favor of a pair of sporty yoga shorts (ie stretchy and forgiving) but it is nice to know I might just have some pants options in my current wardrobe when I go back to work in a month. My secret is nursing a hungry baby, walks on nice days, living in a house with a built in stairmaster and eating one handed slows you down. I would not say my tummy is ready for any bikini experiences since it has the consistency of bread dough but I do have hope that once I go back to work and start running a few times a week at lunch I’ll tone up.
I’m not being manic about this my any means. I actually really liked my big belly, it had purpose and was useful for putting my drink on. I can’t say I miss it but I didn’t mind having it.
I am home, laundry done, house reasonable, and most of my collected tivoed shows watched so now I can spend a little time recording the second half of my trip.
This trip was probably the longest I’ve spent in NY without actually moving in. It was really nice to actually settle in and have something like a routine. The routine was very vacation like but it was more like a routine of a stay at home mom in Sayville rather then the cram as much activity into a vacation that usually happens. We swam in the bay every other day, we went sailing, we visited friends and they visited us and every evening was a gourmet meal. The yacht club is a lifesaver for hot days, the bay and the breezes (and the bar) combine for very nice afternoons. Niamh got brave and almost swam while she jumped between Josie and I. Zoe got her first dip and was not exactly in love with the water but definitely did not like the ‘cold’ air on wet skin but Granddad bundled her up and when I checked on them they were both in the bar so Zoe can check that off her first list too. By the end of the two weeks I more or less had mothering two at home kids down but I was still looking forward to having the daddy back in the picture, grandparents are great but they are not quite the same as the dad. We got to see all my Sayville friends atleast once and most twice and we got to visit Miss Math and her new baby and see her cute froggy nursery.
The trip overall was very good but ended on a very sour note… It seems comical in retrospect just how many things went wrong but it was not fun to live through. We thought we were doing well arriving an hour and a half early for the flight, traffic was good and we made great time. We park and mom comes with me to help handle the luggage. We stand on line for a very very long time and when it was finally our turn a woman cuts in front with an emergency and when it was finally our turn we were 50min from flight time so they refused to take my luggage. The reason I was not an hour early was their line! The woman was not interested in helping and argued with me and then more or less ‘dismissed’ me to go stand on another line to see an agent. We get to an agent who tries hard to rebook us that day but since there were storms the previous two days everything is a mess. I’m pretty sure the flight I was on was oversold and Delta was looking for a way to bump people. After an awful 45min we have to leave with a flight for the next day but it was better then nothing. To top this all off, it took an hour to get out of the parking garage because something was creating a huge traffic jam. I have no idea why they didn’t just open the gates and clear the place out but it was dangerous and nerve wracking to try and get out with bumper to bumper traffic. We actually got all the way back to Sayville faster then the time it took to exit the garage. It was hard to focus on the positive of a free extra night because of all the angst surrounding the situation and the fact that half the day was wasted going to and from the airport and the next day we had to repeat the pack up and drive again… The next day the flight was from Laguardia airport so a different set of challenges and we ended up on another super slow line to check luggage and mom went and found another one to wait on. Delta has got to get it together because this was an absolute mess at a completely separate airport so I’m blaming Delta and not the airport. We finally got our luggage checked and Mom left me to battle the security line. I was super careful to pack next to nothing in carry on but I still had to get a double stroller, carseat, laptop, roller bag, pocketbook, and Niamh’s backpack plus all our shoes and bodies through security. We were being shoved and pushed all over because I couldn’t magically reassemble all my stuff and the people behind me were increasingly rude and pushy. I was on the family line, not the fast line, they all needed to chill out but it just went to making my day suck more. Next, Delta in their next act of ineptitude did not assign us seats and I got a variety of reasons why from the people in customer service but they told me to get to the gate asap to get seats together. I was first in line 45m before takeoff and there was no gate person – when one finally appeared she tried to blow me off and I refused to leave until she gave us seat assignments. On the positive I actually got seats because this flight was again oversold and I had just enough time to grab lunch so nobody had to hear a starving 2 year old on the 3h flight. On the negative she seated us in the second to last row in a 3 person row when I was row 19 in a 2 person row in my previous flight and the person in customer service said there was no chance of getting a back seat based on what was assigned (so Delta is inept and lies). By the time I actually got onto the plane there was no room for carry on luggage because nobody wants to pay to check luggage so they carry on the max – I was double punished because I both paid for luggage and then had no access to my laptop because there was no room for any of my carry on. The stewardess took pity on me, or, she knew I was very close to a breakdown and stored my bag in one of the forward spaces rather then checking my bag with a laptop but it sucked in general. Niamh was a trooper through all of this with only minor acts of insobortion and I’m just glad I can physically carry both her and Zoe but she was super good on the plane because she can watch Dora on my phone. The flight was atleast on time and Lars got us no problem and all our luggage made it to the other side. The positive to expensive checked luggage is that there is almost nobody at the luggage claim and its a very short wait for your stuff to appear. I think I personally had a quarter of the luggage with one bag and two carseats (carseats are free atleast). I got home and once Niamh was in bed and we ate dinner Lars was holding Zoe and I fell asleep at 9pm and slept until morning. I probably fed Zoe but I hardly remember.
Since then we had a pretty quiet weekend where we rearranged some furniture and our patio/sidewalk got finished up. Monday Niamh went back to daycare and I took Zoe to her 2m check up where she was pronounced perfect. She is 12lb 6oz and 23in long so she has almost doubled her birthweight and grown 2 inches in 2 months. I looked back and Niamh was virtually identical so I feel like we are right on track. Zoe is alert, looks at people and things, smiles and coos and thats all they really expect from her – it is all extra that she has a super strong neck and can bounce on her feet like a little kangaroo. The two month check is the one with shots and she took them like a champ but during the night and some of the next day she ran a fever and was on the delicate side. Today we were back in the grove and I got stuff done including some errands, laundry and cleaning as well as plenty of staring at the cute baby time.
Only 4 weeks left of maternity leave and I have no more plans. Not even Pennsic 😦 but that is another story for another day.
Joyce Leslie and my experience with their prudish (and questionably legal) opinion on breast feeding
Today was a mostly nice day with a relaxing at home morning and a trip to the Joyce Leslie in Coram. Josie loves this place and she credits it with her cutest fashon items so I was game to go even with Niamh and Zoe in tow. We put the monkey leash on Niamh and I carried Zoe in the front pack (my sling is MIA at the moment) and with Josie holding the monkey tail we arrived at the store. Niamh was very impressed and she was as cute as the clothing with her exclamations of; ooh! and I Like That! and That Pretty! I was also impressed at the coolness and good prices and we ended up spending two hours shopping with two trips to the dressing room and the tops we ended up picking are great. The trouble began when we were on the ultra slow check out line and Zoe was very hungry because 45min car ride plus 2+h shopping = time to feed an infant and she started to let us know about it in a loud way. I don’t know if they were hand writing the credit card transactions or what but this was a SLOW line even with 6 people bopping around behind the regester. The entire line had been cooing at Zoe and talking about how sweet and well behaved Niamh is but once the hunger wails began nobody looked happy. I tried to settle her down but that was not happening, Josie offered to say in line and buy the stuff but that wasn’t really practical so I pulled up my loose t-shirt and unclipped my nursing tank top and one second later there was a baby firmly attached and eatting like I never fed her. This was all well and good and I’ve done this tons of times and the lady behind us was very verbally supportive of me feeding her etc (she is a nurse) but one of the ladies behind the counter (obviously one not working on speeding up the line) decided to come out with a jacket and INSIST that I cover up becuase “sometimes men come into the store!’, and “she knew knew it was natural and everything but I should really cover up!” and that “you can even buy nursing covers (as if I was a moron)” Ironically one of the things I was buying I intended to use as a nursing cover since it was a drapey vest and I love the other one I have, really dresses up a nursing tank. Anyway I ‘let’ her put some random jacket thing on my shoulder and over my poor babies head and she pranced away. The nurse behind me wanted to pitch a fit and in many ways so did I but I just wanted to get going and figured I would;
A. report the incident to NAPA a breast feeding advocacy group
B. report it to First Right a similar group
C. write a blog post so hopefully if you search Joyce Leslie you get to here and can read how they treated me
So really I was annoyed by this but on the flip side I’m glad it is the first time in two children I’ve had a situation where someone was so disrespectful of my decision to feed my baby. I’m really very discreet and you need to be looking at the right second at the right spot to see anything and if you are staring at my chest enough to catch that moment you have other issues. The law is that if an infant is allowed in the building you are allowed to breast feed them. So Lee from Coram NY Joyce Leslie, I’m sure you were just jealous of my self confidence and my gorgeous children but hopefully from now on you mind your own business.
As a side note, this store has dressing rooms with no doors or curtains, and, so many naked mannequins with prominent nipples that Niamh kept pointing out the nummies (our word for nursing). There were also no men within my sight. When I called back to get the person’s name they told me and then hung up on me, not exactly excellent customer service.
To conclude; the clothing at the store was great but the people working at the store were not.
Otherwise, we are still in NY and still doing very well. The heat has settled down more or less and while time in the AC is nice when we get it, we are not melting anymore. Tomorrow there will be some quality beach time since today was overcast and rainy all day. Lars braved WW by himself and since this is the first event he has packed for in 10 years I hope he didn’t forget anything tragic. We had long conversations about what to bring and where it is and he is lucky I have dedicated packed stuff so assembling things for an event is a matter of getting the right things together, you don’t have to start from scratch. I have camp bedding all together in a sea bag, our coronets and jewelry all live in one box together, the tent stuff is all in the same area of the garage, and I have a misc SCA tote that has all the random niceties I like to have at an event including a pitcher, a few nice serving plates, plastic and silver wear, our leather mugs with our device, and a selection of shelf stable snacks and supplements and a bunch of other useful stuff not worth listing. This means packing is basically selecting garb and pulling everything together.
So thats it for now, hopefully this is the only time I need to get riled up over breast feeding rights…