Thursday, December 29, 2011

This is NOT an Announcement

If you'll recall, a little over a month ago I wrote about how I am 100% not ready for another baby?  Let me stop you right there and point you to the title of this post.  And just so we're clear, I am not pregnant.  For sure.  Ok, so now that that's out of the way, back to me totally not being ready for another baby.  Or so I thought.  I now might be.  Just maybe.  Sort of.

Why the change in only 37 days?  It's simple.  My Christmas revolved around these two little guys playing together...








Lukas and his cousin Stu were so sweet together.  They had crazy (and loud) dance parties, played with trucks, read books, ate lots of food and just played and played.  Stu was so protective of his little cousin - putting his hand on his back as they'd walk down the hall, giving him toys and following Lukas around the house.  And Lukas loved his cousin just as much, if not more.

It was one of the best Christmases I can recall.  And after watching them play together, I now kind of want another kiddo.  Kind of.

Or to move to California so that Lukas and Stuie can play together all the time...

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Mr. Cob's 2011 Christmas Letter

[BACKGROUND: For the past four years, Mr. Cob and I have sent out a Christmas letter and picture to our friends and family.  This year was no different.  The letter is always filled with footnotes - it's Mr. Cob's signature style.  After a request to post it for those not on our "official" Christmas card list, I decided to share it with my loyal readers.  I hope you've had a wonderful Christmas, and spending time with your family.  This year has been especially joyous for me.  Seeing Lukas and my nephew play and dance together has been the highlight of my year.  Without further ado, the letter...]

Dearest Family and Friends:

Hello this is the Swans sending you season’s greetings and yet another letter filled almost entirely with fabrications and half-truths.(1)  In our last episode, Lukas had just been born (November), and Mrs. Swan and Mr. Cob… well to be honest, last year Lukas was born. That’s about it really.(2) If you are even marginally competent at math, you will realize that this year’s letter will mostly focus on the first year of Lukas’ life, or as doctor’s call it “his first year.”

So let’s get some of the housekeeping out of the way. Mrs. Swan went back to work at [insert law firm name] at the end of January where she continues her banking/public finance work. When she isn’t being the most amazing mom in Atlanta, she is busy with her great girlfriends and continuing her blog,(3) and starting in January, she will be doing a monthly blog post at the parenting website “Dr. Z and Friends.”(4) Mr. Cob continues to practice at [insert law firm name here] and had his first solo federal jury trial in November, which went well. Becoming a father has finally given Mr. Cob a receptive, albeit confused, audience for his crazy voices and characters.(5)

If you have been paying attention, you will now have determined that this means that Lukas is home by himself for much of the day or that maybe he is working too, probably in catering. First of all, he would probably eat all the food(6) and secondly, he isn’t tall enough to climb into his crib for a nap or cook anything on the stove.

In fact, Lukas has his first graduation in January from the “Infant” to the ”Young Toddler” class at Primrose School in Midtown. He spends his day wrestling with his classmates (Rome) and running around the classroom stealing other kid’s toys. Oh and he dances. Like all the time. Any music, he’s down.(7) At home, when he isn’t running around the house, he is busy pointing at ceiling fans, flipping through books and chasing the dog. Dog! DOG! Dog. (He says that a lot).(8) Don’t worry he dances at home too. He is such a happy little guy.

Oh No. Is that the end of the page? Well, I could shrink the font a bit? No? Ok fine. Here’s wishing you all a Happy Holidays and a Merry Christmas.

Love,
The Swans

(1) Or is that a lie too? See what I did there…



(2) There was some other stuff that happened, but it really paled in comparison to Lukas, which is saying something considering he spoke terrible English and could barely hold his liquor. Amateur.


(3) PLUG! www.thenestingswans.blogspot.com


(4) PLUG! www.drzandfriends.com. This is the one she is getting paid for so, you know, look at it and comment.


(5) Based on some field research, Mr. Cob  is writing a pilot for a children’s television show version of Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment with the role of Raskolnikov played by a Golden Retriever with an Australian accent. His crime – getting up on the couch. His punishment – hugs and kisses.


(6) A clear violation of company policy.


(7)This is not surprising, Lukas comes from a long line of dancers. His maternal great great grandfather Cesar Ramon Cesar was voted best merengue in Sicily three years in a row. His paternal great grandfather the infamous Magnus von Swan was the first, and only, male pole dancer of the Greater Stockholm area from 1875 until 1935.


(8) DOG! includes cats. And sheep. And horses. Basically, Four Legs + Excessive Hair = DOG! So, Tom Selleck might also qualify.



Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Baby School Caroling

Lukas' school sang Christmas carols to the business men and women eating lunch in their building today.  Of course Mr. Cob and I went to this.  Because, you know, 13 month old toddlers can sing and all.  It was adorable.  But the best part was secretly watching our little man enjoy the festivities - and then realize mama and dada were just a few feet away watching him!  Man do I love this kid.

5 Days - What?!

"It's the Most Wonderful Time of Year!"  It's also the busiest time of year.  It's five days before Christmas and I'm feeling very unready.  One reason is that I've already billed a full month's worth of hours in the first 19 days of December.  It is typically our busiest month of the year, so this isn't surprising, but it does make it difficult to get everything done when you're working for a few hours every night after the baby goes to bed and on the weekends.  I've done a lot of online shopping this year and Mr. Cob has picked up the rest.  He and my mom have been a huge help in taking care of Lukas while I've had to work these long hours.
 
But I can't complain, because I'm filled with so much love and joy right now.  I've been listening to the Instrumental Holidays channel on Pandora at work.  Our house is decorated and that Christmas-feeling is just in the air.  All we need to do is watch Love Actually, and I'll really feel like Christmas! 
 
Lukas won't really understand Christmas again this year, and I'm sure he'll enjoy playing with the boxes more than the toys, but I've found that the holidays are always more special when there are children around.  And perhaps what I am most excited about is the fact that my brother and nephew are coming to town TOMORROW NIGHT!!!  I am getting tears in my eyes just typing that.  I haven't seen them since July and A LOT has gone on in life since then, so there is much to catch up on.  I'm so excited to play with my nephew and to see him interact with Lukas.  Lukas is probably still too young for them to really "play" together, but it'll just be so nice to all be together this Christmas.
 
I'm also excited to go to the Christmas Eve service at our new church, and to start some family traditions of our own.  Mr. Cob and I are cooking Christmas Eve dinner for my family at our house and then all going to church together.  My mom always cooks a big "Thanksgiving" dinner on Christmas day, so turkey and all those trimmings are out for our Christmas Eve meal, but I haven't figured out what to cook yet.  In Christmases past, my mom has done a "party-style" appetizer dinner, so perhaps we'll continue with that tradition, or I may try out some new recipes.  Or, lets be honest, at the rate I've been going, maybe we'll just order in!  (Kidding mom, just kidding...)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Advice that Isn't

There are many aspects about being a woman that I love.  But cattiness and judgement between other women is not one of them.  And worse yet, is judgement from other moms. 

I was on facebook the other day and saw a post from a college sorority sister that read something like this: hey facebook mommy friends, any advice for this new working mom?  Some days are really hard.  My response:  You can do it! It is really hard at first, but I promise that it does get better! My biggest advice is to not feel guilty and don't let other people's opinions make you feel bad. And cry when you need to :). Some days will be worse than others - but know there are lots of other working moms out there who can relate and are here to help!

I thought my advice was what I would've wanted to hear last February when I returned to work when I had a 12 week old at home/daycare.  It was upbeat and encouraging, yet understanding and hopefully made the recipient know she's not alone in her feelings.  And there is no sugar-coating it.  Return to work after having a baby is really, really hard.  I cried.  A. Lot.  But it did get better.  And eventually I got into a routine and everyone in our house is happy (some days more than others).  I made it through the first couple of months because I had a lot of people behind me and other working moms giving me advice and encouragement along the way.

What I luckily did not get, at least not to my face, was someone telling me that I was making the wrong decision.  That maybe it was hard because I should instead be at home with my baby.  But sadly, my facebook friend, received such "advice", if you can even it call it that.

One comment was to the effect of "It never gets easier."  This is not helpful to the new working mom, in any way. Whatsoever.  And for most working moms that I know, it's just not true.  It does get easier.  It takes time, but it does.  I still have days where I cry in the middle of the day at work because I wish I was at home with Lukas.  But those days are usually after I've been on vacation with him (and with my husband and away from all the responsibilities of day-to-day life), and/or are having an awful day at work, and really I'd rather be anywhere else.  It does get easier.

Another comment, which was the impetus for me writing this post said something along the lines of "It was really hard for me and I never became comfortable being away from my child. I love being home now and realize how precious this time is and how fast it will go. Something to consider?"  This comment made me want to jump through the computer and yell at this person.  It took all of my constraint to not post a comment in response and start an all out comment war on my friend's wall.  What got me the most was the end.  Something to consider?  As if this new working mom hasn't considered this.  I'd bet that just about EVERY new mom who plans to return to work at least CONSIDERS if only for a moment (or much longer) staying at home with her new baby instead of going back to work.  And a new mom reaching out to other moms for advice on juggling working and being a mom, certainly does not need someone else to remind her that she could get rid of this problem by quitting her job and staying at home with her baby.  If I'd read this piece of "advice" a week or two after returning to work from maternity leave, I would have immediately lost my shit.  At that point I was considering every second, of every day how I could figure out a way to be a stay-at-home-mom.  And I sure as hell didn't need someone else asking me if I'd considered it, especially since it was not an economic possibility for my family at that time, or even now.  And regardless of the reason a mom has for returning to work, financial or otherwise (call me crazy, some women LIKE working), putting into question another mother's decision is not your place, or helpful in any way.

Why that woman couldn't have said something encouraging and left it at that is baffling to me.  You are entitled to your opinion, but you might want to weigh when and how you express it.  And what is right for you, may not be right for the next person. 

So my advice to anyone offering advice to a new working mom, be kind with your words.  Say something loving and empowering to her.  Women have fought hard for rights of equality in the workplace and for the right to CHOOSE what to do with her career and her family life.  So don't judge someone when she chooses to be a mom and a working woman.  Love her.  Cheer her on.  And wish her strength and success.   

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Why Mom, Why?


Do you think it was the white beard, the red suit, or the who the f*&K is this complete stranger aspect of Santa that made Lukas a little weary?

Is it bad that I was kind of hoping he'd full on freak out and we'd get that amazing "child screaming and crying the first time he meets santa picture"?

Probably.

This is still pretty cute.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Recommitting, Publicly

I haven't talked about my post-baby weight loss journey in a while.  But now that it's been over a YEAR since the baby was born, coupled with the fact that I am back down to my pre-baby weight,  I think it's safe to simply call it my "weight loss" journey at this point.  I do have a magic number in my head that I'd like to get down to, but aside from that, what I really want is to tone up.  I feel all flabby and jiggly.  I lost a lot of muscle during my 9 months of pregnancy followed by my year of inconsistent/nonexistent working out.  I mean, I used to have a butt, and now, nada.  (And the ironic thing is that when I had the butt, I thought it was too big.  Turns out, I prefer a bigger butt to a flatter butt. Who knew.)
 
So, now that the turkey is behind us, I'm recommitting to this weight-loss, exercise thing.  I'm going to be diligent about entering my food into weight watchers each day and get on the exercise train again.  As for the food, this will be more challenging now since I changed my weight watchers settings from "nursing mother who supplements baby's diet with food" (i.e. 36 points a day allotment) to "not a nursing mother" (i.e. 29 points a day allotment).  Ah, so you say reading between the lines, she stopped nursing.  I actually have not stopped, but figure that since I'm just nursing in the morning and before bedtime, I'm not as worried about my supply and don't think my body needs the extra calories anymore.  I could be wrong.  We'll see how things go.  So if you see me drinking more water than wine these days, it's not because I'm pregnant (I'm not), it's because I'm trying to sexify myself.  (Oh who am I kidding, I'll still drink the wine.  I'll just have to eat a salad rather than a sandwich.  There is always a way to drink the wine.  Always.)
 
And on the exercise front, considering the fact that I belong to TWO gyms (one within a block of my office) and we have a treadmill in the basement, I really have no excuse.  I even took it a step further today by bringing in my "old" running shoes to keep in my office and I ordered a bunch of makeup online so I have a makeup bag here too.  Since my gym provides clothes, towels, shampoo, soap, hairdryers, etc. there is no reason I can't get to the gym a few days a week.  Today, I went to a Zumba class at lunch.  And you know what, it was the most fun I've had in a while.  I forget how much fun dancing around to hip hop and Latin music can be!  I look like a fool, no doubt, but it's a great break from sitting on my ass staring at a computer screen all day.  Tomorrow I'm going to try a power pilates class at the gym.  And maybe, just maybe, I'll get crazy and go to a spinning class later this week.
 
So there you have it.  I'll check in and let you know how I'm doing.  My "short term" goal is to lose 5 pounds by New Years Eve.  I figure I need to bring sexy back before I get fat all over again with Baby #2....

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

From that to this

 A year ago, this was my little man...

And here he was this morning...


It's so crazy how much he's changed in a year.  I feel like it's going by so quickly.  I'm starting to get more and more comments that "it's time to add a new baby".  No, no its not.

Lukas may not be a "baby" anymore, but I'm not ready to increase our roost to six.  (The dog and cat count.)  He's in this amazing stage and I want to keep all my attention on him for a while longer. 

He's so silly and likes playing "jokes".  He starts to hand you something (toy, cracker, sock) and then when you reach for it, he pulls it back and starts giggling.  His laugh is infectious.

When he wakes up in the morning, he's begun singing in his crib.  He just lays on his back staring at the walls and sings.  I find myself staring at the monitor just watching him with a big smile on my face.  (He jumps up the minute he hears his door open, so I can't sneak in and watch him in person.)

He loves books.  Mr. Cob and I keep catching him sitting in his room flipping through books one page at a time.  Hopefully this love will continue and he'll enjoy reading his whole life.

He gives kisses and hugs.  But he also likes to run free and won't let you hold him if he doesn't want to be held.  But he always "checks in" with us every few minutes and then is off running around again.

In a word, he's simply happy.

I also have a hard time believing I've been a mom for a year (and some change).  In many ways, it feels like I've been doing this for much longer; in others, it's clear I'm still "new" at it.

Striking a balance between work, life, and family is a struggle most days.  I think balance is the wrong word and I've stopped really trying to strive for it since it's rare that the stars align and everything goes perfectly in one day. 

And I do love being a mom.  I love being Lukas' mom and hearing him say "mama" when he sees me.  I love his slobbery kisses.  I love watching him grow and learn new things every day.  I love watching him as he takes in the world and is mesmerized by things that don't cause me to think twice.  I love rocking him to sleep every night before bed and having dance parties with him in the mornings. 

I am blessed beyond belief. 

And in this week of Thanksgiving, I am so thankful to have this little man in my life.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Birthday Party Bust

So, as you know from here, the little man turned one last week. And after much debate, I had decided to throw a party.

I sent out the evite (complete with corny poem). 22 adults and 8 kiddos were coming over. I planned the menu, bought the food, ordered the supplies for the party favors, had the house cleaned, had the lawn gussied up, welcomed the in-laws after an 11 plus hour drive from Chicago and may or may not have obsessively hunted down a pair of boots on ebay to wear to the party along with buying new skinny jeans, but I won't admit anything. (What, you thought the baby turning one was about him? No, no. It's about celebrating the fact that a year prior I pushed an 8 pound kid out of my you-know-what and lived to tell about it. Really, birthdays should be about the mother, not the kid. Also, it's about celebrating the milestone of making it as parents for a full year without royally screwing up. There's still plenty of time for that.)

So, Friday night before the party I was sitting on the couch decorating the sippy cup party favors when I suddenly stood up and proclaimed to the room, "I think I'm going to throw up."  Sure enough, I was suddenly hit with the stomach flu. It was ugly. Turned out my mom had it too after spending Thursday afternoon watching Lukas. He was the carrier. Damn daycare bug. First thing Saturday morning, I made the decision to call off the party planned for that afternoon. I figured no one else need to suffer through the hell that had been my Friday night. So in the end, the Lukas' first birthday party didn't happen.

Mr. Cob wanted to somewhat salvage the day, so we still had a mini party with his parents - I slept on and off in my sweat pants on the couch, Mr. Cob made the chili, Grandma Kae made the dip and Lukas thoroughly enjoyed his frosting cake. After turning himself green, Mr. Cob and I gave Lukas a bath before bed and all was going well, when suddenly Mr. Cob yelled "what IS that!?!". I look over and Lukas was holding a big turd in his hand. Yup, he pooped in the tub. Sigh. We cleaned him up, sanitized the tub and all his toys, put Lukas to bed and then I took a sleeping pill and tucked myself into bed. Three hours later I woke up to a noise coming through the monitor. I turned the video on and saw Lukas standing up in bed, not crying or really doing anything at all. So I drowsily walked downstairs, opened his door and instantly knew from the stench: he threw up. Green vomit was EVERYWHERE. Double sigh. So I spent the next hour cleaning and doing more laundry and then didn't sleep another wink fearful of Lukas throwing up in his sleep again. Sunday morning he was fine, and happy as a peach. I was exhausted. Thankfully Mr. Cob never got the flu (we practically quarantined him since he had a big jury trial in Federal court starting the following Monday that he was trying all by himself and could not afford to get sick), and the grandparents seemed to be out of the woods when they left Tuesday morning. Turns out they're weren't and the flu had a delayed response time. They both were sick by Tuesday evening.

So, yea, Lukas' first birthday didn't exactly turn out as planned.

Maybe next year....

Monday, November 14, 2011

Green Baby

We gave Lukas cake for his birthday this weekend.  Do you think he liked it?



Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Lukas' First Birthday Letter

Today is my baby boy's FIRST BIRTHDAY!  I can't believe it.  Here he is a year ago - the day he was born:




 And here he is today:






(and one family photo from this past weekend)...

This year has gone by so fast and so slow at the same time.  I've cried more in the past two days than I anticipated - I'm very emotional about my little baby growing up.  It's true what they say, it goes so fast!

And in what I hope to make a yearly tradition to Lukas and all my future kiddos, here is my birthday letter to my son on his first birthday:

My dearest Lukas,

Today you turned one year old!  I can hardly believe that a year has passed since I first laid eyes on you.  At 2:50pm on Monday, November 8, 2010 you, my sweet son, entered this world.  And you stole my heart that very same minute.  The instant love and joy that I felt upon meeting you was the happiest moment of my life.  And without a doubt, the past year has been the happiest of my life.

I remember being so nervous riding in the car home from the hospital with you.  Daddy was driving and I was sitting in the backseat staring at you the entire ride.  We got you home and I was so happy and so scared at the same time.  You were just this tiny little guy, but you were our guy and we loved you more than we imagined possible.  Grandma Kae and Grandpa Paul were home waiting for us to arrive and they stayed a week helping us learn how to become parents.  Grandma Sip Sip and Grandpa Up lived only 35 minutes away, so they came by often in those first weeks to help mommy and daddy care for you.

You nursed from day one and are still nursing today, 365 days later.   In the first month or two, you ate ever 2-3 hours and we spent most of our days sitting on the couch while you nursed.  I credit nursing as a huge factor in our bonding.  You loved skin-to-skin contact and sleeping on mommy or daddy's chest.  As you've grown over the past year, you slowly dropped the amount of milk you needed, but you still enjoy nursing and it is the one thing that can soothe you immediately if you're ever upset.  You sleep in your own room all night long and then when you wake up in the morning, daddy goes downstairs to get you and brings you to our room and we begin every morning laying in mommy and daddy's bed cuddling and nursing.  We end every day rocking in the glider as you drowsily nurse to sleep.  It gives me so much joy to share this special time with you buddy.  I'll be sad when the day comes that you decide to wean.  But I have precious memories, especially from the middle of the night when the whole rest of the house is silent and its just you and me.  It makes me smile just thinking about our bonding time.

You have been a happy baby from the get-go.  You rarely cried as a little infant and your smile and dimples are infectious!  Everyone we meet comments on how smiley and happy you are.  We picked your name, Lukas, because it means "brings light" and you have lived up to that name and then some.  You bring so much light to everyone's life, especially mommy and daddy's life.  Your eight teeth shine through when you smile these days and your laugh is so sweet.  You laugh with your whole body and without embarrassment.  You love music and begin dancing, or shaking your head or pumping your arms in the air whenever you hear music being played.  Some of your favorites right now are "Little Puppy", Mumford & Sons (thanks to daddy), "When Ducks Wake up in the Morning" and Renee & Jeremy for nighttime.  I sing to you every night before bed - usually the Night Mantra: I will be your home, I will be your guide, I will be your friend, always on your side.  Sleep now in your room, quiet of the night, surrounded by the moon, until you see the light.  I sing this over and over again and you seem to relax when you hear it, even despite mommy's bad singing voice.  You just light up when a song comes on the radio and if you're upset in the car, all I have to do is play your favorite Primrose Music class CD and you start clapping your hands and kicking the seat.  I keep joking that you're going to be a professional dancer when you grow up!

You discovered your voice a few months ago and you love hearing yourself talk!  You are always babbling about something.  Right now you can say: Dada, Momma, Dog, Cat, Duck, Look/Book and your favorite "UP" as you raise your hands in the air, or stand up.  You know that a dog barks and can mimic his sound.  Grandpa Paul taught you that cats hiss, so you hiss when I ask you what a cat says.  You LOVE your puppy Wrigley and you're growing to really like your kitty Bailey.  Surprisingly, she seems to like you, even though she doesn't like most people.  You know where your nose is and can point to other people's noses, you know where your hair is and we're learning about our ears.  You love fans and get very excited whenever you see one and start hooting like an owl!  You clap your hands and if you hear the word "clap" in a song you start clapping your hands.  You're a smart little guy!  You started walking around 10 months old and are now running around - momma's having a hard time keeping up with you!  You like to climb up the stairs and we're working on teaching you to go down the stairs backwards with our "knees please!"  You're getting the hang of it.  You have NO fear and like to climb on the couch and have taught yourself how to get down from the couch.  You love the water and ran straight for the ocean and the big waves a few weeks ago at your first big beach vacation.  You love being tossed high in the air and laugh loudly when daddy plays with you.  You have a great appetite and eat just about anything you're offered.  Your favorite foods are macaroni & cheese (you eat it and loudly say "Mmmmm"), yogurt, sweet potatoes and cheerios. You eat often, but you're so busy that you are a skinny little thing!

It is a true joy being your momma.  I love you more than I ever knew was possible and I love watching you grow and learn every day.  Thank you for the happiness that you have brought to our lives.

I love you sweet boy.  Happy First Birthday, buddy!

Love, 
Momma

Monday, November 7, 2011

Beach Baby

I think its safe to say that Lukas enjoyed our beach trip...




Thursday, October 27, 2011

Friday, October 21, 2011

Dance Party Friday

Doesn't ever family have a dance party in the morning?  Happy Friday!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I'm Trying...

Ok, so after my recent post about my style ineptness, I decided that I would make a concerted effort to put some more thought into my outfit each day.  I'm going to avoid wearing ill-fitting clothes and try to at least match. 

Here I am this weekend at a wedding:

(Admittedly, its hard to screw up a dress.  Although, I did wear gold heels and gold earrings and in looking at this picture, I'm thinking silver might have been the better option.  Oh well.  Added bonus - Mr. Cob and I even compliment each other's outfits!  And doesn't Regan look cute - love that blue!)

And my workout fit on Tuesday:




 (The white Nannette Lepore shirt has been sitting in my closet for about 3ish years - it was a hand-me-down gift from my aunt.  I love it, but for some reason always shy away from wearing it.  The black and white skirt is a post-pregnancy-weight-loss shopping spree buy and the green cardigan is Talbots via Marshalls.  And the shoes (Franco Sarto - great inexpensive, comfortable brand) are 5ish years old, but I love them.  I find that I buy shoes, don't wear them, and then rediscover them 3ish years later and love them.  I have problems.)

I realized this morning that I need some work pants. And another black skirt.  I may or may not be wearing the same skirt I wore on Monday.  Don't judge.  I have realized lately that accessories are KEY in having style.  I'm really big into belts right now.  I could use some new necklaces though.


 I get to look at myself in the full length "mirror" in the elevator every morning...

I'm wearing the one pair of slacks that I own that kind of fit.  But I am wearing red shoes, which make me happy.  Try it, it works.

Do I at least get points for doing my hair today?

So I'm trying. 

At least my little monkey is stylin'!



Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Email is Out?

I heard on the radio recently that email is becoming the "old" way of communicating and that you can't expect someone to respond to your emails.  Rather, twitter, facebook and texting have taken its place.  Now call me old-school, but I just think this is ridiculous.  Perhaps its because I sit at a computer all day long and a very large part of my job involves emailing back and forth, but I just can't believe that most people don't respond to their email and would rather communicate via facebook or text.
Am I completely wrong here?  Do you respond to facebook messages or text messages before emails?  What is your favored mode of communication?
Admittedly, I have found myself facebook messaging people lately.  But I think this is due to not knowing someones email address.  So I can see where facebook is becoming a means of staying in touch, but my go-to is not a facebook message, it is an email.  And twitter as a way of staying in touch is just silly to me.  My obsession with twitter lasted all of about 10 days and I now don't ever really log-on. I never really "got" it.  I need more than 180 characters to say anything.  I'm wordy, what can I say.
Seriously though, do y'all prefer texting or facebook over email?????

Friday, October 14, 2011

Yes, Yes, There are Children in Africa...

Ok, so I know that there are many people less fortunate than myself in the world who would love to trade places with me and be dealing with my "non-problem problems". But I donate clothes to goodwill, so we'll pretend this is a serious problem for a minute. Great, thanks.


So my problem? I need a wardrobe intervention. I need What Not to Wear to come surprise me while I order yet another Dunkin Donuts coffee and fly my ass to New York with $5000 to go shopping. I'd withstand the humiliating 360 degree mirror, secret footage and national publication of my wardrobe ineptness. It would be worth it. I don't know what my problem is each morning when I have to pick out clothes, but I'm starting to suspect that either my taste is rapidly declining or I'm still half asleep when I get dressed.

Yesterday I managed to leave the house in dark jeans, a peach blousy top that one might wear when they're trying to hide a pregnancy (which I am not for those of you wondering), a Kelly green short sleeve cardigan and nude flats. I later traded the nude flats for olive green wedges, because, you know, that made sense. I looked at my reflection in the mirrored elevators on my ride up to work and just shook my head. I looked crazy. Not to mentioned that I had to wear this out to drinks last night.

Earlier this week I wore a black skirt, a blue top, different colored blue cardigan, brown belt and purple shoes. What? And today I have on jeans with a stripped sweater, a patterned top and animal print wedges - and nothing goes. I'm not even sure the colors match. At all. And no, I won't share a picture.

I used to pride myself on having decent style. I have no idea what has happened to me. I'm going to blame it on the whole being pregnant for 9 months thing and then the 9 months to lose the weight thing. That's 18 months that I wasn't wearing my normal size clothes. So most of my clothes are out of style. Or they just don't fit right because even though I've lost the baby weight, things have shifted, lifted, dropped and just changed on my body. So things that used to fit, now just look frumpy or a little off.
Sigh.  I think its time for a big time closet cleaning and then a trip to the mall.  Unless of course, anyone out there has a hook up with Stacy and Clinton.  Anyone?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Side Effects of Daycare

When people find out you're pregnant, after the initial questions: When are you due? How have you been feeling?  Are you finding out the sex?  Have you picked a name? I found that many people asked me if I was planning on returning to work.  After my response was yes, the next question that came was one I came to detest: What are you doing about childcare?  Or if they were more direct, the question was framed more like: So, you're getting a nanny, right?  Well as anyone who has read my blog before knows, no, I did not get a nanny.  When he was exactly 14 weeks old, Lukas started daycare.  As it would turn out, people are quite opinionated about daycare.  Especially older generations, as I've found they just don't seem to think kids should be sent to daycare.

I was a little nervous at first about daycare myself, especially since my childhood revolved around my mom  who stayed home with me and my brother.  Taking care of us was her career.  She was passionate about it and she's an amazing caregiver.  The closest I ever came to daycare was attending the after school program in elementary school for an hour or two until my older brother finished with school.

But for my child, I made the difficult decision to return to work as an attorney and "send him to daycare".  Gasp, I was going to have other women raising my child.  I know what some people think of this decision.   They are entitled to it.  But I am happy with my decision and my experience with daycare has had many pleasant surprises that I was not expecting.

(I should point out that Lukas is attending a new, in-town daycare/school and we pay a pretty penny for this care.  The cost rivals that of college tuition.  In fact, annually it costs more than what I paid for my law school tuition each year.  I realize that this fact alone sets my experience with daycare apart from many people who send their kids to "daycare".  Primrose is more of a "private school for babies", but in the end, Lukas is getting cared for during the day, so it's still "daycare".)

The first thing that I wasn't expecting from daycare was for the "strangers" who are taking care of him every day to become an extended part of our family.  His teachers and the administrators at Primrose spend more time with my son than most of my family.  They may not have the same kind of love for him that my family does, but they love him.  And we love them.  One of his two original teachers left a few months ago to start another job that allowed her more time with her young children, and I've missed her and was genuinely sad to see her go.  But we've stayed in touch (thanks to facebook) and have had one play date and another planned this weekend.  Another one of his teachers is leaving this Friday and she will be just as missed.  These women are such a huge part of my life and Lukas' life.  They are not strangers by any definition of the word.  They are amazing, patient and loving caregivers who I feel 100% confidence in caring for my son.

When I first went back to work, I felt like I was a horrible mother.  How could I possibly choose to return to work over staying at home devoting all of my time to raising my son?  There was a lot of doubt and we won't even talk about the guilt.  But over the past 8 months I've realized that I am a better mother because I work outside of the home.  I am fully present with Lukas when I am with him.  I devote all of my attention to him and whatever game we're playing, book we're reading or song we're singing.  I don't take the time I do spend with him for granted, and I think I would if I were not working.  I believe I would see taking care of him as another chore, another thing to do.  Instead, I really engage with him and cherish the time I am home with him in the mornings, evenings and weekends.  And they do more with him at baby school than I would at home - painting and drawing, reading lots of books, singing, dancing, learning sign language and gaining social skills by interacting daily with the other babies. I think he's getting the best of me as a mom and the best from daycare.  The combination is proving to work and so far he's an extremely happy baby, which is really all I could hope for at this point.

The last thing I wasn't expecting from daycare was making new friends.  I have had the joy and privilege of meeting some hilarious women in the other moms in Lukas' class.  It's nice to have other mothers who understand the frustrations of nursing and the questions about continuing to work.  These ladies know what I'm going through at any given time, be it juggling being a mom, working and being a wife; dealing with horrible diaper rash; projectile vomiting; not sleeping.  You name it, if it is baby related, they've likely experienced it.  I find that at the end of each work day I don't just look forward to picking up Lukas, I also have the added bonus of seeing friends.  The "boys club" as our boys have been dubbed, will all be together in the same class for at least another 6 months and I'm so glad because that means the moms will all get to be together for that long too.  It's not easy making new girlfriends, so I consider myself lucky to have met these women and be able to call them friends.

So the next time I'm pregnant and someone asks what I'm doing about childcare, I'm going to happily tell them that my baby will be going to daycare baby school at Primrose.

Complete Bullshit

Ok, so I just figured out how to view my blog stats and come to find out that out of my top 5 posts of all time (out of about 300ish), TWO of them are posts THAT I DID NOT WRITE. They are posts that MR. COB WROTE. What the fuck. Seriously? This is depressing to me.

This means one of many things:

1. Mr. Cob is much funnier than me. (Blah, Blah, Blah. Mr. Cob is great, Mr. Cob is funny. Blah. He gets it all from me. Don't let his humor fool you. It's not the improv classes, or the voice impersonations, or the random ass jokes that can make a room full of people laugh. He gets it from me. I'm the inspiration for his jokes, anyway.)

2. I am not funny. No, no, that can't be it.

3. Mr. Cob is more interesting than me. (Hum, lets do a comparison:


• Mr. Cob = lawyer. Me = lawyer.
• Mr. Cob = 30 years old. Me = 30 years old.
• Mr. Cob = oldest child. Me = youngest child
• Mr. Cob = video gamer, baseball lover, scrabble enthusiast, beer maker, dad. Me = wine drinker, sushi eater, wine lover, runner, wino, writer, mom.


Nope, we're practically the same person, so he's not more interesting than me. Definitely not.)

4. I promote his blog posts more than my own. (This is the only logical explanation as to why his posts get more hits than mine. I broadcast his posts on facebook and shout to the world: "read what my hubby wrote." And then you do. Yes, this must be the reason. He's not funnier than me.)

Well now that THAT is settled I'm going to go cry in a corner and attempt to forget that I don't even write the most popular posts ON MY OWN BLOG.

Stay tuned. I'll see if my celebrity fame-whore husband will write a guest post for your enjoyment soon.

Future Soccer Stars?

Mr. Cob and my brother have grand plans for Lukas and his cousin Stu to play on the US soccer team in the world cup in 2018.  If you want to be the best, you have to start early....




At Christmas, we'll take a video of Stu and Lukas kicking the soccer ball together!  Love my boys.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A Non-Problem Problem

This is so not a real problem.  It's not really a problem at all.  It's really just me being indecisive.  Which is something I'm bad at.  I'm trying to be better. Thanks for asking.  So today's indecisive/non-problem problem is what to do for the little man's first birthday.  Lukas turns ONE in exactly 34 days. (scream, yikes, whoa, how did this happen?)

It's a pretty big event/milestone in his life.  It's a big milestone in my life.  It means I made it through of one year of parenting with my marriage in tact, my job kicking on, my waist whittling down, a happy kid and my sanity still on the "more sane" side of the sane spectrum.  (What? You didn't know there is a sane spectrum?  There is.  Believe me. I've traveled along all sides of it - just ask Mr. Cob.  Or better yet, my mother.)  Where was I?  Oh yes.  One year birthday. 

It's a big deal in these parts.  In the past year alone I've been to two one-year-olds' birthday parties.  The moms order invitations, bake cake-pops, decorate the house, clean the house, invite family and friends, plan activities, open presents, etc. etc.  It's a big to-do.  And it's one that I'm just not sure I'm up for.

Don't get me wrong, I love a good party.  I love throwing a good party.  My parties involve lots of wine and beer and I even whip out the fine china every once in a while.  But I just don't know if the big One Year Old Birthday Party is something I should do.  For one thing, I don't know that Lukas would really want a ton of people staring at him while he's expected to smash the cake in his face.  (Although, the kid does tend to put on a show for an audience, and considering his hearty appetite and love for sweets, he'd probably dive into the cake.)  And then there's the question of who to invite?  Family, of course.  Friends with kiddos around his age, sure - they have to watch their little ones anyway, so why not come to my house and watch your kids with a glass of wine in hand.  But what about friends without kids?  Do they really want to come to my kids first birthday party?  Would they feel obligated to come and bring a gift?  Or would their feelings be hurt if I didn't invite them?  And then what about all of Lukas' school friends.  If we have a party, I think I'd want them to come.  They're his buds.  And then there's his teachers.  They spend 5 days a week with him, so would they really want to spend one afternoon of their weekend with him?  And now we're talking about a whole heck of a lot of people in my house.  And I'd need food.  What do you cook for a group of adults and one year olds?  And the cake?  And back to the whole house cleaning thing.  And what do you do at a one year old's birthday party.  In November?  It just sounds like a lot.  Especially when there's this little 12 month old dude who doesn't always nap when he "should" and could be having an "off" day and probably couldn't care either way.

Sigh.  This is so not a problem but I need to make a decision one way or the other soon.  I'm leaning towards just doing a family shin-dig.  Or maybe the party...there are some cute invitations out there and I just love an invitation poem:

A BIRTHDAY POEM FOR LUKAS

The animals have all gathered ‘round to say,
November the 8 is a very fine day.

For one year ago, with the sun shining bright,
Baby Lukas arrived, to his momma's delight.

His daddy smiled bigger than ever before,
Their lives suddenly changed with this baby to adore.

365 days have now gone by,
Some come celebrate with Lukas, our silly little guy.

We’ll dance and we’ll sing songs, as only babies do,
And we’ll wish Lukas a happy birthday as he turns one, not two!


Monday, October 3, 2011

Church Search Conclusion

It has been over a year and a half ago that we started our Church Search and it has finally come to an end.  We've found a church.  And we're joining it officially on October 23, which will be the same day that Lukas is baptized at said church.  As we discussed with the Pastor, it'll be nice to all join together on the same day, as a family.
Our search didn't go as I'd assumed it would.  I envisioned us trying out lots of different churches in Atlanta and had even started a list of places I was interested in, but we only ended up going to three different churches during our search.  The first was Redeemer Lutheran Church on Peachtree in Midtown.  It is a beautiful church that Mr. Cob and I had attended multiple times a few years back.  We liked it, but there was something that never felt quite "right" to me.  I was always a little uncomfortable.  And the one pastor we really like had left the church in the few years since we'd attended.
The second church we went to was Buckhead Church with some friends.  It was an entertaining service, but ultimately was not what we were looking for, for various reasons.
The third church we tried was St. John's Lutheran church on Ponce in the Candler Park/Druid Hills area of Atlanta, about 5 minutes from our house.  We've driven by the church countless times and thrown out the idea of trying it one day.  Eventually a few months ago, that one day came.  It's a smaller church than I thought we'd end up in.  The first service we attended was  in the summer and the regular pastor was out of town, so there was a female pastor filling in.  I enjoyed the service.  Mr. Cob seemed to like it just fine, but was a tad weary of the smallness.  We both liked it enough that we decided we'd go again when the regular pastor was back to hear him and give it a second chance.  And then I did some research on the internet and came across this piece  on the pastor.  And while most people will probably think I'm nuts for saying this, reading that piece is the reason I initially new that this church might be the place for us.  The fact that Pastor Bradley is gay said all I needed to know about this church.  It was open to all people.  It was liberal.  It practiced what Christians preach.  Acceptance.  Nonjudgement.  Love.  I called Mr. Cob and shared this bit of information with him and told him I definitely wanted to go back.  He thought I was crazy, but having grown up Lutheran himself, I believe he was happy that we might end up raising our own family in the religion of his childhood.
So we went back.  And then we went back again, and again.  Every week that we go, I feel good afterwards.  I feel happier about the world and have a renewed sense of faith in people.  I smile more.  I look forward to going back the next week.
This is a very odd and strange thing for me.  I have never before been fully comfortable in any church.  I don't usually connect with the sermon and what people are saying.  I am going through the motions and fidgeting the entire time.  But that has changed since we've found St. Johns.
We had coffee with Pastor Bradley and talked about joining the church and getting Lukas baptized.  Our conversation with him left in me with similar feeling to how I felt when we met with Brian, the Methodist minister that married us.  They are both very open and loving and not at all what I thought clergymen would be like.  I realized that I didn't have to believe 100% of the things that I thought Christians believed in before joining the church.  I don't have to have all the answers to the questions I have.  Best of all, I felt comfortable talking to Pastor Bradley about the questions I had about faith, Hell and Christianity.  He suggested some books that I might find interesting on the topic and the one I've already read, Love Wins, was a great read and one that I connected with.
Yesterday, St. John's Church celebrated the Feast of St. Francis with a blessing of the animals during the service.  So we brought our pup, Wrigley to church with us.  Lukas' favorite thing (aside from his mom and dad, of course), are dogs.  He can say the word dog.  He walks up to Wrigley, throws himself on her and just loves on her.  He can find pictures of dogs in his books.  And he gets very happy when he sees a dog.  So you can only imagine his joy upon sitting in church and staring, pointing at all the doggies and repeatedly saying "dog" yesterday.  As I sat in the last pew with my 11 month old son on my lap, babbling "dog" during the silent moments, my husband a little harried sitting next to me while our dog pawed at the puppy in front of her, I smiled and was truly happy in this chruch.
I am happy that we have found a place where I can explore my faith and hopefully grow in it.  I am happy that Lukas will be raised at a church that seems to practice what it preaches and that he will be taught at church to truly accept all types of people, no matter what.  I am happy that my family now has a church home.  I am happy that the church search has come to a successful end.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Mr. Cob's 30

Mr. Cob's sis sent me some pictures from our weekend in Chicago for Mr. Cob's birthday and I thought I'd share them.  Happy Friday!

Me and Mr. Cob

Me and My sis-in-law

Comedy show action


Mr. Cob & the Fruncles - aka, his BFFs from home

The Birthday Boy!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Me, Me, Me

Enough about the little dude for a minute.  Let's talk about me.  (Egocentric? Yes.  It happens.)

So what have I been up to?  (I'm assuming you've been wondering this. No?  Ok, well, whatever.  Just go with it.  Or stop reading.  Either way.) 

I'd say that right now I'm still identifying most with the title of "mom".  I feel like I'm finally comfortable in this roll and actually good at it.  I like taking care of Lukas, I like every aspect of being a mom so far.  Even the dirty diapers, laundry and other mundane tasks.  Mothering is definitely one of the things I was meant to do in this life.  I'd be lying if I said I don't get frustrated, mainly when I'm in the middle of trying to soothe a teething boy or cleaning the poop out of the tub, but even those are things that I find joy in.  Because they're all for this little guy.  And he's just so cute and in this great stage of learning and changing so much right now.

But I said we weren't here to talk about him.

I'm still working full time.  I'm now in my 5th year as a lawyer, at the same firm I started with out of law school.  Most days I love my job.  The people are what make it great.  My boss is understanding and respectful of the fact that I have a family, and because of that, I have a more positive outlook towards work and don't mind working in the evenings and weekends, if need be.  I leave work at 5 on the dot most days, which gives me a few hours with Lukas in the evenings.  But it's hard to juggle work and home life, especially when I'm busy.  I've been getting in the office around 8 every day, working until 5 and then about every other day I end up working a few hours at night after Lukas goes to bed.  This leaves little time for housework, leisurely activities, friends and even Mr. Cob.  Time management and trying to do everything I want to do is the hardest part of being a working mom.  I usually feel like I'm neglecting someone or something in my life.  Often, that someone is myself.  I'm having a hard time fitting in exercise time, which is something that I enjoy doing and something that makes me feel good about myself.  And if I do find time to exercise, that's time that I'm not able to spend with Mr. Cob.  And time with him, especially alone, is hard to come by these days.  I still don't know how some women do it all, and make it look easy.  Because it's not.  But I'm trying to figure it out as we go and not beat myself up in the process.

While I can't find too much time to exercise, I have managed to lose ALL of the baby weight.  As in all SIXTY FIVE plus pounds of it.  And then some.  (But let's not mention the fact that I've lost a ton of muscle tone too...).  I was doing Weight Watchers, and am still signed up for it, but have been bad about keeping track of my points the past two weeks.  WW definitely helps you realize what you are eating and change your habits as needed.  But the other reason I swear I've been able to get rid of this weight is because I'm still nursing.  I really believe it's helped me get the weight off.  I'm almost at the 11 month mark of breastfeeding and plan on continuing until Lukas is one and then cutting back or stopping altogether.  I've heard that your body drops another 5ish pounds once you stop nursing, so that'll be a nice plus at the end.  I would like to tone up and get some muscle definition back, as well as work out a few times a week.  Now with the cooler weather coming in, I can take Lukas out in the jogging stroller and hopefully get back in to running.  And it really does feel great to fit back in my clothes again.  It may have taken 9-10 months to drop the weight, but that's how long it took me to gain the baby weight and I'm not a crazy celebrity non-eating woman, so I'll take the 9-10 month time frame.  And the best part, I not only have my old, thinner body back, but I now have boobs to go with it.  Maybe I'll never stop nursing...Just kidding.  Maybe.

Well that's enough about me for now.  I'm sure I'll write about the little guy again soon.  I just can't help myself.  I'm obsessed.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Boy's Best Friend

Another Lukas post.  Because I haven't written in the baby book in, eh, 2-3 months.  Oops.

So words.  The little dude can definitely understand more than he can say, but he's starting to say, or attempt to say more words.  His vocabulary includes the following:

Dada
Mama
DOG
Night-Night (aka "nigh nigh")

He can clap when he hears the word clap, even if he doesn't see you clapping.  If you ask him to point to the fan he looks up for the fan.  It's fun stuff.

But without a doubt, his biggest obsession is the dog.  (And the cat, which I believe he thinks is a dog.  Ok, so he thinks anything furry with legs is a dog.  What can I say - he's a baby.)  Well his Grandma Kae bought him his first stuffed animal dog and he l.o.v.e.s. it.  Like for real.  It's come in handy in convincing him to walk more and get the walking on tape.


So maybe he's a cat man after all?!?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Here I Am...

Life has been happening lately.  So blogging has not.  Not that anyone has probably missed me.  Anyone even out there?  Hello???

So what have we been up to?  In a nutshell:

Lukas started walking.  Like for real walking.  As in, he can walk clear across a room without falling.  Does this mean I have a toddler?  Toddle is a good description of the way in which he walks.  I need to get a good video, but in the mean time, picture a miniature drunk sailor wobbling along half running taking lots of mini shuffle-esque steps with his hands raised in the air.  Usually with a big grin.  Onlookers tend to smile after seeing this silliness.  It's infectious.

Mr. Cob turned 30 and I managed to plan and execute a surprise 30th birthday trip to Chicago for him (and me and Lukas).  His brother from Miami flew in, his sister and her boyfriend spent the weekend with us, his two childhood best friends helped us celebrate (one driving in from Iowa and the other secretly helped me plan the whole thing along with his sis) and his parents babysat - it was amazing! We even fit in a playdate with two of Mr. Cob's college buddies and their kids.  We had a quick trip, but it was so fun.  I love Chicago and feel like I'm supposed to live there one day.  Probably not any day soon because I would want to live in the city, and I think we've missed that window for the time being.  I told Mr. Cob that when our kiddos are grown and we have more money than we do today, maybe we can rent a condo in downtown Chicago and live there for a year.  It just makes me so happy to be outside walking down Michigan Avenue.  I think I'm a city girl at heart.


We have a busy fall ahead of us full of family and friend visits, a wedding, two trips to the beach, Lukas' baptism and then his first birthday.  Life is busy, but good.