June 30, 2007

When I picked her up out of bed today after her nap, she snuggled into my neck and said, "I'm so happy."

What more could a mother ask for?

Labels: ,

June 28, 2007

This seems odd...

4:56pm blood glucose 147
8:25pm bg 135
10:55pm bg 140
2:22am bg 144

Is this odd? At first I was afraid something was wrong with the meter, but I suppose this is exactly what we are striving for and I have just never seen it quite like this before. This time period included a snack, dinner, insulin, exercise, and a bedtime snack. I know there were fluctuations; I guess we just happened to catch the numbers around the same point in their ups and downs.

I hate looking at a number and not knowing which direction she is headed, especially at night. Continuous Glucose Monitoring is a miracle and I look forward to the day, though I still don't know if O is ready to move beyond injections. We have not been using the iPorts, because she protested so much and I just haven't had the heart to override her. I can't help feeling that her reaction to a pump would be similar.

Labels: , , , , ,

June 25, 2007

Any given car ride...

"He's playing guitar. Look, Mommy."
air guitar
"NO, I want Wilco!"

Labels: ,

June 21, 2007

We now return to our Lifetime Special after an extended commercial break...

There was no way we could afford to have a baby in New York City and I don't know why it took us months to finally admit it. Well, I do know. Marc was in school and could not transfer. What could we possibly do other than have me return to work and leave O with a nanny or in daycare? Except that we couldn't afford it - our least favorite option was going to be about $17K a year. And I hated the idea of leaving her. HATED IT. So O and I returned to Chattanooga to stay with my mom and step-father while Marc finished his program in the city, following us months later. I was still going to need to work, but O would be with my mom and I thought that I could handle that.

Except that I couldn't find a job in what I considered "my field." I went on some great informational interviews and met some interesting people, but where there were countless foundations and non-profits with Officer positions in New York, in Chattanooga, those great positions were filled and I got the feeling that when they did open there would be a short list of folks considered for them. I eventually took a position in the for-profit sector and it turned out to be a good thing for me. I worked on my public speaking; I dealt with independent contractors; I met some great people; I learned.

But I chafed at being away from Olivia and was constantly reviewing our options. Marc soon got his license and started applying for positions here in town. My mom told us that she was wearing out with full-time child care. The Parent's Day Out program we tried didn't agree with O. We thought we could make it on one salary. I turned in my notice.

It was weeks before I finally stop feeling a pang of guilt each day, like I was playing hooky and bound to get caught by my boss on my way to the zoo in my flip-flops. But I got over it for the most part. I love being at home with my daughter and I relish being able to spend all this time with her, to teach her so much, and experience so much of her babyhood. I feel that she needs this kind of time and attention from me, especially since her diagnosis. I also feel that my home life would suffer if both Marc and I worked full-time and out of the house. Our organizational skills are barely strong enough to keep us all in clean clothes as it is; if we both worked, things would be too stretched.

But there is still ambivalence. I look back at the lines I just wrote and I think about how easily Marc and I have fallen into traditional roles of breadwinner and homemaker. He has more earning power than I do. I am more comfortable being at home. He still does a lot of the cooking - it's not as though he comes home to me in an apron with a nice martini waiting - but he is out and I am here, so I end up doing most of the cleaning and laundry and "housework." I sometimes resent the fact that I don't have as much definition between work and home. There are times when I feel uncomfortable when we share our "What did you do today?" stories. He saved a life. I mopped the bathroom and then went to the park. Neither of us devalue what I do here with O, but I am conscious of the demotion that I have undergone in the world at large. I don't like to think of myself as a soldier in the "Mommy Wars," as in moms who stay home vs moms who work, but there is so much more to the concept than that. It is about power and value and rights. What if something were to happen to my husband or my marriage? Would I be able to support myself and my child? Will there be a job for me in my field when I decide to and am able to go back to work? Will I ever be able to attain the level of success or income that I might have had I not left work? And how is my decision to leave the professional world affecting those issues for women in general? Many of the gains made by women in recent decades will not keep themselves made without women there to defend them. Will there be enough professional role models for the next generation?

So I have questions and anxiety, but for our little family, this is working out right now. And that is what I have to base my choices on. I am satisfied with my decision to be at home, grateful to even have the option. And for one who never really had a master plan, I'm glad to have stumbled into this particular kind of job satisfaction.

Labels: , ,

June 19, 2007

[WARNING - This post? Long. Also? Long. In an effort to liven things up, I've broken it up into installments. A cliffhanger! Whee.]

Olivia and I spend a good deal of time downtown during the week, on our way to the library or a museum or the riverfront. We weave in and out of the working folks, creating little eddies in their hurry back and forth from lunch or meetings. We are outside the rush, not expected back to an office or a call or a deadline.

I've been thinking a lot lately about working...or not working...or working really hard but not getting paid for it. Let me just state from the beginning that I am so grateful that I am not in a position that necessitates me working outside my home right now; I know that this is a luxury. My daughter needs me and I can be with her. I am thankful every day. But it is occasionally startling to look around and realize that I and so many of my contemporaries have opted out of our careers and are at home while our partners "go out into the world" and then "bring home the bacon." Suddenly, I am my grandmother, without the cooking skills.

I did not anticipate this in my life, but part of that might be because I didn't really have a plan. After college, my jobs were chosen mostly on the basis of what they weren't: I couldn't stomach a corporate job; I wasn't interested in business or computers; I wasn't artistic; there was no family business to run. The criteria really seemed to be that at the end of the day, I had spent some of my working hours doing something that felt personally meaningful. I ended up in Social Services working as a Case Manager for children in mental facilities, children in the foster system, and adults with severe mental illnesses and drug problems. I found this work fascinating and at times fulfilling, but it was also heartbreaking and depressing. And there was always the issue of money and advancement...it will come as a shock to few when I say that finding meaning does not always mean finding a good livelihood.

Not entirely certain that another degree was what I wanted, but knowing that it could only help expand my options (or at least give me time to stall), I went back to school and got my Master's Degree in Counseling. Here's the thing though: by the time I finished, I knew that it wasn't for me. I didn't feel like I was helping any more. I didn't feel like a good counselor. I was no longer sure of my faith in The System. I wanted to do Something Else, so when the opportunity to move to New York immediately presented itself, I started making plans.

If I had known then what I was getting myself into in New York...the fierce competitiveness of the job market, the number of resumes I would send and interviews I would go on, the number of times I would be rejected...I would have really given pause. But I didn't know and so I plunged right in. And just as my money began to dry up and I seriously began to think that I might have to somehow beg or borrow enough to reverse my trek and come home, I found a job. It wasn't a perfect job, only because I had a horrible boss. Everything else about it turned out to be a great fit. I was working for a foundation with substantial assets which were used to support the arts, educational programs, libraries, after-school opportunities, etc. As a Program Officer, I read proposals and reports, made recommendations to the board, and evaluated grant expenditures. Best of all for someone brand new to the city, I had to visit the programs we supported across all five boroughs, giving me an opportunity to get to know the city in a way that I never would have done on my own. It was perfect.

When I was laid off after 9/11, I took a job with UNICEF; this time it was fundraising. This turned out to be the best job I ever had. It was fascinating work and piqued my interest in international politics and conflicts. I really enjoyed working with my boss. I was able to build on my experience and familiarly with grantmaking and was asked to do a lot of writing. In addition, the organization offered major opportunities for advancement and I anticipated that I would be able to actually make a career of that work. And then I got pregnant.

What happens next? Does she quit her job? Is it a boy or a girl?
Oh, never mind. Just come back tomorrow.

Labels: , ,

June 15, 2007

A few of our favorites from the week...

We scored new patio furniture for free last weekend (Thanks, Amy!) and have had our breakfast on the porch every day since.


We got some 24-hour legos action goin' on over here. I build "houses." Marc builds Cerberus. No joke.

Posted by Picasa

We found this video over at Sweet Juniper (where Dutch has an interesting post about the animators, John and Faith Hubley, along with a link to another Academy Award-winning film of theirs). Neither O nor I can get enough. It is long, but she asks to watch it again and again. Sometimes I just watch her watch it. It's amazing.

Labels: , , , ,

June 12, 2007

We went to the Bessie Smith Strut last night - more people, music, and chicken-on-a-stick than you could...well, shake a stick at. Olivia loved hanging out on the Plaza, as usual, playing in the fountain and dancing to the music, but when we got her into the thick of the Struttin', she was a bit overwhelmed. When I asked her if she wanted to go home, she told me primly, "Yes, I don't want the peoples."


June 11, 2007



Wet grass stuck to everyone's feet. Lightning bugs and the smell of hamburgers from the neighbor's grill. Moms sit on the stoop laughing and negotiating toy exchanges gone awry.
Early summer Saturday evening - just like I remember from my childhood. Except much, much better.

Labels: ,

June 07, 2007

Olivia's conversation with herself as she fell asleep last night

I want my pillow.
I don't want my pillow. Put it on the floor.
Do you want edamame? OK!
Do you want hotdog? OK!
Do you want milk? OK!
I want my water.
I don't want my water. Put it on the windowsill.
Do you want apple? OK!
I went swimming.
I don't like it.
Hush little baby. garble garble Nan sings that.
I want boobah. (melba toast)
I don't like it.
Do you want stickers? OK!
Where's my water?
I don't want it.

Labels: ,

June 04, 2007

How to Miss a Moving Target

"What was she?"
"236. I'm going to give her 0.6."
"Are you sure?"
"She was almost this high last night when we gave her 0.6."
"No, she was in the 300s."
"336. She's 336."
"Oh, shit. I thought you said 236. What happened? She only had a little of the cracker and some milk."
"I'll test her again."
"What was she?"
"What the hell?"
"I'm going to give her 0.6."

"What is she?"
"What happened?! How much insulin did you give her?
"I thought that it was 2 units in the morning."
"Yesterday she had a small breakfast and by mid-morning she was down to 55. This morning she had a fairly small breakfast, so I cut back to 1.6."
"And now she's in the 400s."
"Now she's in the 400s."

Labels: , ,

June 02, 2007

Happy Birthday, CMFK!

We miss you, though we know that you might not be able to tell by the amount of mail you have been receiving. Something will be winging its way down under soon! We'll toast you with Bloody Marys at brunch this weekend!


June 01, 2007

If you had run across us yesterday, this is what you might have seen:

Yes, that is a swim diaper. And no, lady at Walgreen's, I didn't put it on her. She did that herself and if asked, would say,"I got my diaper on my head."

Labels: ,