October 2007

My first week back at work was really great. People are so incredible and have been so happy about having me return. (They will forget how much they missed me when I start beating the bee hive with a big bat.) Not much has changed. The same problems still exist but I’m hoping to take this opportunity to reinvent my job and my team’s charter. We’ll see how long it takes me to do this on top of pumping, getting everyone off to work and day care, paying bills, petting cats, etc. I am really glad to be back. I feel different when I’m working and I can tell my brain is operating a bit differently. I think my limited vocabulary has re-expanded to my pre-pregnancy level. I love my work and I’m thrilled that I’ll be able to make a difference in how we market on the web. I have a few thoughts about my week I’d like to share…

I was going through the notebook where I keep my plethora of lists. I had downsized to a smaller notebook while I was on maternity since I only needed personal and AiT/Planet Lar lists (my other notebook is larger because it must accommodate those lists as well as the Adobe lists so you can imagine it’s bigger and a tad more unwieldy). It made me feel like I was already behind in the things I needed to accomplish as I had an active list with unchecked boxes that still needed to be attended to. Hmmm. These things didn’t resolve themselves while I was out. I guess work still needs me. But the really cool thing was that I came upon the list of things to pack for my Mommy Hospital Bag. It seems like yesterday I was making that list. Ah, well.

This pumping@work thing is going to take some getting used to. There’s a lot of equipment and it kinda needs to be done on demand. I mean, a girl can only go so long without attending to this activity. As a matter of fact, I was talking with a colleague about Walker one morning and I experienced a rather impressive let down — more a feeling than a physical one — but I realized that this was going to need to be monitored or I was going to find myself in quite a predicament at some point. The process of the pumping is something to work out as well. What do I take with me, where to store the equipment (should I leave it at my desk and take it down each time or should I leave it in the designated room) and what should I do to pass the time? One day, I was rocking out to some music on my iPod. The next day I was chatting with Larry on the cell phone. Our facilities will be modifying the room slightly to include a phone and perhaps a small fridge (so I don’t have to work to find space for the milk aside folk’s leftover lunches). The biggest, most helpful addition will be to include a small trash can in the room 😉

Walker went for his four month well baby visit (almost a week before his 4 month birthday). He’s 16lbs 6oz, 25 inches, and has a 41.4cm head. He’s still a BIG BOY with a small head. He had to get four shots and one oral vaccine. He was so brave and wonderful. He only cried during the shots and then fussed only a bit when we got dressed. That was it ALL DAY. He smiled and laughed in the morning and then took some really good naps in the afternoon. I was so proud of him. I kept him at home for the day because I figured if he was going to be cranky and tired, he didn’t need to be with all the other kids. I was so pleasantly surprised when Sofiya (yes, I’ve been misspelling her name…) called to check on her Walker to see how he was doing. If I had any doubts about sending him to day care (which I don’t), Sofiya’s true concern about Walker put my mind at ease. She also demanded a photo of him to put up on her board.

This weekend we went to the zoo and got our membership. We had an incredible time. There was a big tiger that was sitting right up against a window and Walker loved to look at it. I loved the Meerkats (of course, they look much bigger on TV on Meerkat Manor — a must see!) Today we went with Malcolm (and parents) to the Chabot Space and Science Center. Walker was so fascinated with all the experiments and lights. Daddy loved the space suits and even got to see one he hadn’t seen before. It was so fun watching both of them so full of glee.

It’s late and I have to recharge the Mimzilla batteries. We’re starting to get the morning routine established — I even made it to work by 9am once last week (I had to get up at 6:15 to manage it). This week I’m going to throw in a new challenge — the San Jose factor. I hope to travel down there on Wednesday. We’ll see how that works since I want to be able to see Walker every night before he goes to bed…


We’re all excited

Originally uploaded by mimzilla

Today was a day I was dreading — first day back to work. But honestly, it went extremely smoothly. I chalk it up to good preparation and having a very solid family. Larry and I spent Saturday with friends at the Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival (see photos on the Flickr feed) and then had a very relaxing Sunday hanging out in bed and doing errands.

This morning we all woke up together and Mommy started to work out the process of getting us all ready for work and Sofia’s and still getting to work sometime before noon. Right now I can’t fathom getting to any location by earlier than 9am but I’m sure I’ll figure it out.

So, Walker and I went to Sofia’s and he smiled and chatted when we got there. I was fine and was feeling proud of myself until a 2-year-old started crying for her mother which made me a bit sad but I managed to compose myself and leave feeling strong and ready to go.

I got into work ready to chat with everyone and as I walked through the door I was greeted by rows of empty cubes. The entire web team was in San Jose for a meeting. But when I got to my desk, I was shocked to see three incredibly evil chocolate cookies and a welcome-back sign from my supportive friend Tiffany. There were a number of marketing folks who were all very warm and I received many nice emails from folks so I felt right at home. I didn’t miss a beat on making demands — within an hour of getting back, I requested that facilities make some modifications to the “quiet room” to make it a more efficient pumping room. Ah, I’m sure everyone is thrilled I’m back…

My day went smoothly and it was pretty easy to get back into the groove. I was prepared for crying in the bathroom, missing Walker terribly but I enjoyed seeing everyone and thinking about marketing stuff. I did have a few moments where I felt his absence so I made myself feel better by putting Sofia’s number on my office speed dial (it took me awhile to figure out how to do it) and calling to check in.

A few things I noticed:
* I was so good about not swearing while I was out but I slipped right back into a more brash vocabulary by noon
* I used to have an eye twitch and I hadn’t had it for quite awhile. I even forgot I ever had one. By 1:30 there was the faintest of twitches on my left eyelid. Given that I’m not stressed, I attribute it to my messy desk.
* I’m going to be getting a lot of exercise running up and down the stairs to pump every three hours
* It didn’t take me long to get right back into the midst of the gossip and intrigue

Larry picked Walker up around 4 and Sofia said he had a wonderful time at his first music class. He sat in his seat, leaned forward, and bobbed his head to the beat. He slept and ate well and then he and Larry spent some quality time together.

Did I mention that we joined a cult?

It seems now that we’ve had a child, we’re part of a cult. The child is essentially the secret handshake and people start talking about stuff they wouldn’t talk about normally. It’s hard to explain but Larry and I have laughed over some of the conversations we’ve had with complete strangers. Today Larry was in the grocery store with Walker and a random guy started guessing Walker’s age and asked Larry if he liked being a dad. You see, he was a recent inductee to the cult as well.

So, we’re part of a cult and I’m going to work hard to balance everything. Just a normal life. Just one more thing…

Nothin’ to worry about. Today went smoothly and Walker seemed to enjoy himself. Larry and I arrived at Sofia’s to drop of our little man. The house smelled incredible. As I gave Lisa his bin of belongings (choking back a few tears), Sofia took some hot blintzes off the skillet and gave them to us. She said she can’t wait for Walker to be able to eat solids so he can have her homemade blintzes. In the meantime, Larry and I are happy to eat his share.

All the kids were very excited to meet Walker and the oldest (“I’m the biggest!” she declared) complimented Walker, “What a BEAUTIFUL baby!” He’s going to fit in very well with the diverse group of kids. We left with Sofia holding Walker and everyone looking very content.

I had decided I wasn’t going to call to check up on him. I knew he’d be fine. However, Sofia is so awesome that she called us twice just to give us an update on his naps (he slept more with her than he does with us), eating and pooping. When we picked him up, he was all snuggled up and playing with Sofia. Nothin’ to worry about.

Monday will still be hard but I’m thrilled to know that Walker is in fantastic hands. I suppose I can stop eating blocks of Sharp Cheddar and wedges of Brie.

Well, today was the last day of maternity. Walker starts day care tomorrow (Larry’s and my 11 year anniversary) and Monday I go back to work. (I’ve had to be very careful with how I reference this transition. I’ve found that I’ve been saying things like, “this is our last day together” which makes it sound like we are going to send him off somewhere… Larry wipes away my tears with Walker’s burpees. I’ve already arranged for a co-worker to talk me off a ledge when I go back to work on Monday — can’t be too prepared.) We really took advantage of our time together today, spending the majority of the day hosting our mommy group. We had five mommy-baby pairs over, ate yummy foods and talked about diapers, poop and other things that only new mommies find fascinating.

I’ve found myself a bit melancholy this week but have been very determined not to let Walker know. I’d burst into tears thinking about the fact that Walker, Larry and I are about to take the next step in our lives. It’s important to do and it will be good for us all but it that doesn’t make things any easier. Tonight I packed up Walker’s bin (diapers, bottles, clothes, wipes, etc.) and that made me very sad. I began to cry. I don’t like to let my soft-mushy side show through too much so I put myself to work making Walker a nice sign for his bin. It’s quite lovely with his picture on one side and his name big and bold on the right. I hope he appreciates it one day. I think it made me feel better — not only because it distracted me — but because it made me think of all the times in the future when we will get to do crafty things together. (For those of you who don’t know, I like to make things.) While we won’t be spending all our time together, we’ll get to spend quality time together. On a related note, Walker and I made some hand and foot prints in clay. Larry and I were just discussing whether we should create a butt print. This spawned a conversation about whether Walker would appreciate that when he gets older. If he grows up like me, probably not. If he grows up like Larry, he’ll think it’s hysterical. What will he be like?

So, tomorrow Walker will begin his own thing. Mommy and Walker had our thing together. We were one. Now Mommy will go back to her thing, Daddy will have his thing, Walker will start his thing, and we will have a very special thing together as a family. This gives me some sense of serenity. (It doesn’t hurt that I have a new boss who is awesome and is very supportive. If he wasn’t there making things easier for my team, I think I’d be feeling worse. I’m actually excited about work but dread going to work if that makes any sense.)

Enough whining. Did I mention that Walker rolled over from front to back this week? YAY!

Things I didn’t do that I planned on completing:

  • go to the dentist
  • edit vacation movies
  • organize Walker’s room
  • start Walker’s scrapbook
  • weed and clean up the backyard
  • organize my desk
  • build a path in the backyard

Here’s what I did accomplish:

  • significantly curb my swearing (gosh, I swore like a SAILOR!)
  • hug and kiss and generally smother an adorable little boy
  • meet wonderful people
  • learn a bunch about myself

I guess it all works out and I’m thrilled. Over the last few months, I did notice that my “One More Thing” tendancy hasn’t really been reduced and thankfully, Walker has been gracious enough to let me jam yet another thing into our list of tasks. (And when he doesn’t want to let me do another thing, he lets me know.)

Tomorrow we take Walker to day care. Larry and I will have been married 11 years. I love my life and my family.

I sit here late on Sunday evening considering what to do with the rest of my waking time — writing thank you notes, paying bills or blogging. Given I have a mere week before I return to work, I have decided to spend the time writing to all of you.

There are just four more days of stay-at-home-mommyness. Walker starts day care on Friday. We’re going to try the whole process the day before I go back to work so I can get used to not seeing him all day and having the support of my wonderful husband as I experience withdrawal. Friday also happens to be our anniversary (11 years) so we plan on doing something fun that we just couldn’t do with Walker. However, things just seem more fun with him so we haven’t really figured out any activities yet (and please get your minds out of the gutter).

Last Thursday was a strange day. If you read the last post, Thursday was the day our dear doggie Jake passed away. It was also the day that started out with sewage backing up into our downstairs bathroom (did I mention that the appliance/maintenance gods hate me?). As the nice Roto Rooter man was downstairs with Larry, I decided to call Sofia and arrange Walker’s day care schedule. We decided Friday would be the day and she listed out all the stuff he would need to bring (it’s like supplying a small army unit). When I hung up the phone, I burst into tears. The rest of the day was fun — Walker and I visited Maryann and Malcolm and did hand and foot impressions.

I just can’t believe it’s been 15 weeks since Walker was born. I still sometimes feel we have a house guest — like this little person we met and have learned so much about will pack up and go to his next destination. And I suppose that’s true. One day he’ll go to college or travel or take whatever path he chooses. While it’s no longer strange to call him “my son” or to think that I’m a mommy, there are moments when I wonder when I’m going to wake up and it will all be like it was before. I suppose that when I return to work, there will be hours during the day when I’m simply “mimi@adobe”. But I’m hoping there will be an undercurrent of “Walker’s mom” which will make me more centered and a balanced person.

So what to do? I’m going to take advantage of the time I have with Walker during my maternity leave — going to my mommies group, taking walks, doing errands, and visiting friends. The important thing is playing with Walker and watching him grow — his newest milestone is blowing raspberries and is quite charming.

So phfffffffffffffbt to you all.


Originally uploaded by mimzilla

When I was 10 I was nipped by a dog on my face. It was my fault (I was trying to cuddle with a bookstore dog I didn’t really know) but I was a bit wary of dogs after that. We always had cats.

When I was 21, I moved to San Francisco and lived with my Dad. He’s a dog person. And not just any dog but bigger dogs like Labs and Retrievers. Over the years he’s had many wonderful dogs and I’ve completely come around and adore all dogs — big and small.

Dad’s most recent dog was Jake. A large Chocolate Lab, he was rescued after being abandoned on a beach in Marin. When dad adopted him, he was a few years old and had severe emotional scars from his ordeal. The separation anxiety was intense and there were many times when Jake would be overwhelmed by his fear and just pee where he stood — unfortunately it once happened in an inconvenient place, the office of one of Dad’s clients. Jake was not a bouncy Lab but rather, methodical and selective of whom he chose to share his affection. At the end, his back legs were weak, he was deaf as a doorknob and had a persistent ear malady which made him a bit stinky. But Jake was amazing. He taught us all about resilience and the power that love and trust and patience have in helping us to overcome intense fears and the scars from abuse.

Unfortunately, as the leaves turn and we say good bye to summer, we had to say good bye to our friend Jake. We believe it was a brain tumor that finally got the better of our brave and faithful friend after 13.5 years. As in life, he was surrounded by many, many people who loved him and learned as much from him as he did from us.

Thank you Jake.