Monday, January 31, 2011

Life in the fast lane.

To quote my favorite show, Always Sunny in Philadelphia, "WASSUP BITCHES???"

I'm back at work which, surprisingly, means I'll be able to Blog again! Unlike my tyrannical little imp Sadie, my employer is legally obligated to give me breaks and stuff. More often than not I have to use them to milk myself but every now and then I get to steal a moment to play on the interwebz. So let's start off with a checklist of what's going on in the Valentine household as of late:

1. Mama is back at work: This is going surprisingly well. Before I was back at work I was racked with guilt about leaving Sadie Bug. Would she remember me? Miss me? Wind up on a bell tower in 16 years because of some working mother abandonment complex? I'm pleased to report that yes, she does in fact remember me; my mother in law lies to me and tells me that Sadie misses me desperately all day long; She has yet to pick up an automatic weapon or write a manifesto, so we appear to be good on all fronts.

I miss her like crazy all day long, but seeing her little face at the end of the day is amazing, especially now that she smiles and giggles at me all the time. Our mornings are fun too, we nurse and get up and play for a little bit before I get ready for work. Let me tell you, my "Pat-a-cake" rendition KILLS with the infant set. KILLS.

2. Sadie smiles! And laughs!: The smiling happens on the regular, the laughing happens when you've done something TRULY AMAZING like kiss her neck, nibble her toes or make up some awesomely weird baby-centric lyrics set to the tune of "Whoomp, There It Is!". We call her Dubya because at this point her laugh is a weird chuckle reminiscent of our last fearless leader, which is super awkward since the mister and I are both die hard liberals. I just hope she doesn't invade any Middle Eastern countries unprovoked. ZING!

3. New Wheels: There comes a time, once you've had a baby, put your hubs in grad school, work full time and move to the burbs where you have to come to terms with a second vehicle. We've been a one vehicle house for years, but the logistics were becoming insane. Like trying to solve a rubix cube on an Absinthe bender. (Which I totally recommend trying at least once in your life.) We hemmed, we hawed, we pondered incredibly insensible cars (I totally need a Mercedes, right?) but in the end wound up with a cute little Ford Focus. We got a kick ass deal on a year old model that is loaded (as loaded as a Ford gets that is). It's super fun to drive and very safe and I feel super patriotic for buying my first American vehicle. Take THAT right wingers. You may have guns and Sarah Palin but I have a piece of Detroit engineering in my garage bitches. It almost offsets the Huyandai aka "Axles of Evil" Tucson that we also own.

4. I'm skinnier than before I was pregnant: This is a total attention whore moment. I am totally one of those chicks that other chicks hate. I was at my pre-pregnancy weight at my 6 week post partum appointment and now weigh about 5 pounds less. Before you start sending me hate mail, please remember that a.) I had a 10 pound baby b.)I have to breastfeed said 10 lb. baby and c.) I have to lug around that 10 (now 15 lb.) baby all the time. Call up US Weekly, that should be the new Hollywood fab diet, the "TEN POUND BABY DIET". I bet the Kardashian skanks will fully be onboard, until they realize that they have to parent the baby too. Babies totally interfere with the "let's wear way too much eye makeup while living off our late father's estate and trolling for professional athletes to sponge off" lifestyle. But I digress.

Anyhow, life in Valentine land is pretty awesome. My baby rocks, my husband is super cute and I fit into my skinny jeans again. Now if I could just fit into all my shoes...


Sunday, January 9, 2011

The wonder of 4 AM.

I'm a working mom. I'm a working mom for many reasons: financial, emotional, professional and personal. I've never had an interest in being a stay at home mom; I enjoy my work and the satisfaction of helping provide for my family. That said, as the date of my return to work fast approaches, I'm incredibly sad. I am beside myself that I'll be missing out on the mid-morning snuggles of our first nap of the day. I'm sad that instead of staring into my sweet girl's eyes while we nurse, I'll be pumping in the empty office down the hall. I'm sad that it will (until Spring) be dark when I leave and come home. But this is our reality, our life and while I know it will be fine, I'm allowing myself to wallow a little bit right now.

I'm actually somewhat excited too. Part of me is looking forward to the mental stimulation, the chance to get out of the house and the reality of 8 spit-up free hours a day! And therein lies the weird dilemma of working motherhood: the somewhat schizophrenic reality of wanting to be the sole caretaker of your child but also wanting to have a life outside of the domestic realm.

In the interest of full disclosure, my darling husband has said (and would) support me if I wanted to stop working. But the reality is that our quality of life and our desire to create the world that I want for Sadie requires me to work for now. Mr. Val accelerated his graduate school plans so that he can afford us the opportunity to choose a different situation but that is still 2 years away. In the meantime, our priorities dictate that we both need to work outside the home to give our daughter all that she deserves in this world.

I feel guilty complaining because our situation is so much better than so many people right now. Mr. Val and I both have great jobs within understanding and flexible environments. On top of that, my daughter will be in the best hands possible as her wonderful Grandma will be watching her. I will never have the words to thank my wonderful Mother in law for that. If I can't watch my daughter all day, there is no better choice than family and we are so incredibly blessed to have family that want to provide that for our darling girl.

I also have to remind myself that it is temporary. My husband works his adorable butt off all day every day to bring us closer to the next phase of our life where I can have the option to work, work part time or not work at all. Every day that I wake up next to this amazing man I pinch myself. Since the day I met Mr. Val my life has gotten better and better; I know that the years to come will be no exception.

Today we started Sadie's college fund. Mr. Val and I take a lot of pride in our ability to provide not just the basics for our daughter but the extras as well. It is these things that wake us up early in the morning to ride our respective trains to work and keep us up studying into the wee hours of the morning. And it is her smiling face that has made 4:00 AM a wonderful hour to be awake. 4 AM is the hour of the day that is just hers and mine. It's the hour where we stare at each other while I nurse her and say that we love each other with our eyes. It's the hour where we pad quietly around the house until she drifts back to sleep. It's the hour where Mr. Val sleepily rolls over and tells us he loves us. It's the hour that would have never seen me awake a year ago...but now I love 4 AM because it is the hour that each new day begins for my family, full of love.

And that's what working motherhood will be for me. Stealing the moments that matter, since love isn't dictated by the quantity of time you spend together but the quality. It will be sad to leave her each day but so wonderful to see her smiling face at the end of each one. I will miss snuggling her at noon but will look forward to 4 AM...because that is our moment each day to make it count and no one can take it from us.