Saturday, December 11, 2010

Ho Ho Photo

This week was hectic. To say the least. New job for mommy, new daycare schedule for Baby Zen. Furnace breakdown and restart (with smoky, scary moments!), Big Daddy working three "late night" shifts (which is really only until 8 pm, but that might as well be midnight to a 5-year-old), and the topper -- Sweet Boy puked all over himself, his lunch, and his buddy in school Friday.

But somehow in between all the zoom-around, I managed to collect our little angels in front of the tree for the annual Christmas card photo. Here's how it went down:

First, Sweet Boy posed so I could get the light and angle and position in front of the tree. Just right. Aw, darling little elf, you know the drill.

Then we add Baby Zen to the mix. He is obviously a newbie...

Here we see big brother holding on to little brother for dear life, knowing that there may be some demerits from the naughty/nice list if the baby plonks to the floor.

Now big brother is starting to really stress out about this gig. And, well, it's pretty obvious how baby brother feels about it.

This is right about the moment I started to whine and beg, too. Please, boys, we just need ONE PHOTO for the relatives! So they know how adorable and loving and well behaved you are! And how completely together your mom is!

OK, that's not bad. Even though Zen looks completely shocked (and mildly pissed off). It'll do.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Race, little rat, race

Here's one of life's great mysteries: How on Earth do so many people maintain careers -- some even advance in their careers -- while raising happy, healthy, well-balanced children -- without going completely batshit crazy in the process?

Are those people who are advancing in their careers not actually raising happy, healthy, well-balanced children? Or, are they actually batshit crazy and just hiding it well?

I'm thinking yes. We're all batshit crazy, yet some hide it better than others. And it's becoming more and more apparent that I'm not hiding it well at all. In fact, I hugged my new boss today -- who is not at all a hugger -- and watched my colleague's face distort in horror as she shook her head and joked "We don't do that in our group." I'm reviewing this moment over and over this evening, feeling completely unprofessional and ridiculous, and wondering why the hell I hugged my new boss. Hugged her! In a meeting! With an interviewee present! And the only reason I can think of is that I have finally cracked.

But it's understandable when one considers my recent jarring return to the rat race, right? How the hell do so many people do this?! In the last two months, since Chris went back to work, I have had to
  • wake up every day at 5:30 a.m. to feed the baby, then get myself ready for work and Hayden ready for school
  • hustle to make it 22 miles to my office by 7:30, work a full day that involves cramming 5 people's worth of work into 7 hours, then shuttling back up the highway at 3pm so I can meet Hayden at the bus stop every day (I actually carry my cell phone in my pocket with the alarm set to ring at 2:55 every day so I -- and everyone around me -- know it's time to go)
  • telecommute on Mondays and Fridays with my baby at my side because we couldn't find full-time daycare that we could afford right away
  • work out all details of daycare arrangements for every day, including finding someone who could babysit Jake every Tuesday until we could get him into the daycare 3 days a week, then hounding the daycare director weekly until she squeezed him in to a more permanent schedule
  • take care of the evening routine solo 3 out of 5 nights a week because of Chris's work schedule --this includes homework, piano practice/lesson, cooking and serving dinner, feeding baby, playing, wrangling, bathing both boys, settling Jake into his crib, then reading and snuggling with Hayden (and don't forget most evenings also come with some negotiating, whining, and room-sending)
  • coordinate every aspect of every day's schedule for both kids -- this includes scheduling doctor and dentist appointments and friend play dates, filling out school forms,writing teacher notes, etc. (even if Chris is doing the drop-off or the doctor's visits, I'm the one who handles the details)
On top of this, I'm transitioning to a new role at my workplace next week, and I've been anxious and amped up about that and all the other big changes at work. So when Jake came down with sinusitis this week, I really started spinning: Neither of us can take time off right now, but our baby is so sick! What do we do?! And then I had to sit on hold for over an hour with the doctor just to get an appointment... then we had to figure out who could take him to the doctor this morning... and I had to get my dad down here to stay with the sick baby all day... then I got trapped in traffic trying to get home from work... then I had to stand in line for 30 minutes with a rammy 5-year-old waiting for the baby's medicine -- when really all I wanted to do all day was simply lie in bed and snuggle the feverish, glassy-eyed, rattly coughing, snotty-nosed 8-month-old!

I, like so many other moms and dads in the world, work my money-earning job from 7:30 to 3, then work my love-earning job from 3:00 to 8:30. I get a tiny bit of break time between 8:30 and 10 pm when I finally crash and sleep hard. Then wake up and do it all over again. And again. And again.

However, I realized this week that my bosses at the love-earning job are way more demanding and difficult to please. And it's a much more stressful workplace. Which may explain why I hugged my new boss at my money-earning job today. I got confused. I thought, wow, this is nice -- someone who speaks full sentences and doesn't whine or screech and hasn't pooped on me yet today! She deserves a hug!

At which point the new boss probably thought, damn, this one is batshit crazy... glad I didn't offer her too much of a raise just yet. New boss probably should be relieved, though, that I didn't give her a sticker for being a good listener or praise her for getting her shoes on the right feet.