Tuesday, March 26, 2013


All the time you hear of babies doing crazy things the second their mother or father goes out of ear shot or eye sight. I think about this all the time when Austin is crying and I have to run to the bathroom real quick, take out the trash, or check on dinner. With the exception of one near escape from his swing, it has never been a dire emergency - not even close - but more of a "no one is giving me attention at this exact moment and I must have it now" cry. When this occurs and I find myself taking an extra minute or doing something seemingly selfish or self indulgent or just not Austin-centric, I think of what a headline might read if an accident were to occur such as:

Foot stuck in Crib Bars; Results in Massive Bunions for 5 month old; Mom plucking eyebrows.

Mom Taking Out Trash during Strained Pea Debacle

NJ Boy falls 3 inches from Play Mat while Mom checks on Pasta Fagioli

Baby Coughs Up Hairball; Shedding Mom to Blame

I'm sure moms all over the world have these concerns, especially when you are flirting with the idea of basic pleasures like taking one more minute in the shower or snoozing for five more minutes in bed before welcoming the day with poopie diapers and pureed bananas. I would assume it is commonplace to question your parenting abilities, your strategies, and your techniques. I know I am constantly puzzled as to why everyone can get my son to nap for an hour and a half or more except me. As of late, twenty minutes has been deemed a small victory.

Regardless of how you feel, know you are better than the following moms and their "headlines":

A 51 year old Palm Bay, Florida Mom and her 23 year old son pull a heist at a CVS demanding 100 mgs of morphine

In Kansas City, Missouri, a 17 year old Mom leaves her two year old in the car while she hawks drugs. She returns to find son and other children playing with the plate of cocaine.

A 28 year old Wisconsin Mom was arrested for shooting her 8 year old with a BB gun because her boyfriend bet she wouldn't

And across the pond, a Mom, 54, french kisses her son, 30, as a means to pass drugs through prison security.

Can a Mom (or Dad) have it all?

How can you leave this face at home and go to work without feeling a pang of guilt? It's damn near impossible, but it a decision moms have to make as their maternity leave comes to a close. To work or not to work, that is the question.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I thought going back to work would be a no brainer. I went to a lot of school to just have a baby and call it a day, professionally speaking, didn't seem like an option. But, as January 14th neared, the degrees, the certificates, the credentials seemed to lose their value and bottles, breast pumps, diapers, and onsies started to look more and more appealing.

At the end of the day I chose to go back to work for several reasons. The first was my new position was very "new mom" friendly. With the ability to work from home two days a week, I am with my son more than I am away at work. This hybrid life style also makes me a better mom, I think, since I am more tolerant of tears, break downs, explosive poop, and spit up. It also allows me to interact with adults, put those diplomas to work, and prevent a glaring gap on my professional resume, The second reason I decided to return to work was based on our quality of life. Although DJ is the "bread winner", per se, I am not significantly far behind. The purchase of our house, the vacations we take, the dinners we eat - are all based on two salaries. This said, I never want to say "No Austin, we can't go to Disney" for money purposes. As an only child, and the wife of an only child, I recognize how spoiled I actually was (and still am). I certainly don't want Austin to be a spoiled brat, but should he want to dabble in soccer, football, and dance - I want to give him that opportunity. I want him to experience camp, travel, and annual vacations. He deserves that.

The third reason was my support system. Because my parents live twenty minutes away and my husband works remotely, we were fortunate enough to have childcare in place. Free childcare. This was HUGE. I recently spoke to a mother and she was paying $1500.00 a month for childcare. Although her monthly salary was more, she would still have to take off in the event of a sick child, to be a field trip volunteer, or a school closing. At the end of the day, she chose to be a stay-at-home mom because it was more cost effective. DJ and I have a very good system - although not perfect - Austin spends three days a week with my parents and then two days a week at home with us. Even though we are both working the days I am home, we do a pretty good job of tagging each other in and out of parent duty. Our system allows me to go to work with piece of mind, knowing my child is in good hands, getting undivided attention, and is in a safe environment.

Recently Sheryl Sandburg's book "Lean In" took the women's workforce by storm as she wishes to encourage women to "pursue their ambitions" and change the conversation from what we can't do to what we can do. I think the premise is excellent; however critiques think she may be out of touch with the needs, demands, and stresses of the everyday working woman. I'm not sure what a day in the life of Ms. Sandburg is, but I can guess she doesn't take the 8:11 train into Penn Station every morning, but she probably has a million other stresses that I can't even begin to fathom. I followed the website, Leanin.org as well as joined the LinkedIn group in hopes of connecting with women who share my concerns as well as ambitions. Hopefully I will one day be the CEO of something other than 16 Beechwood Avenue. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Austin's First:

Sandy 10/28/2012
Football Game
Cowboys v Giants (Giants win!): 10/28/2012
Car Ride: 
Daddy's Ford F150 10/30/2012
Bath: 11/10/2012
(Lost umbilical cord 11/9/2012)
First Night in Crib: 11/11/2012
At home with Mom and Dad 11/22/2012
Smiles: 12/24/2012
First Visit to MD: 12/25/2012
Baltimore Ravens vs. San Fransisco 49ers (Ravens Win!) 2/3/2013
Roll Front-to-Back: 2/27/2013
First Papal Resignation: Benedict XVI
(first pope to resign since Pope Gregory XII in 1415)
Solid Fruit: 
Bananas 3/2/2013
Solid Vegetable: 
Peas 3/12/2013
First Papal Conclave: 3/12-3/13/2013
Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires - selected papal name of Francis 
First Preaster (and, consequently, St. Patrick's Day)
First Easter: 3/31/2013
First tooth: 4/5/2013
Sits up in Tripod Position: 4/24/2013
Sits without support and sucks on toe!: 4/27/2013
Austin with Dad in GCT
First Night in a Hotel: 5/4/2013
First Cold: 5/14/2013 - I didn't think Austin could get any cuter until he gave me the biggest smile, through his sniffles and dried boogers around his nose. I melted whereas 16 year old me would have been totally grossed out. 
First Trip to NYC: 5/26/2013 - Spent the day with Mom and Dad going to brunch and visiting Grand Central Terminal. It was a little chilly but he was a champ all day! 
First Crawls - The weekend of 6/14/2013
First Train Ride - The New Hope Railroad Express in New Hope, PA for Father's Day 6/16/13
First Hair Cut (unofficial): 7/4/2013 - just a little off the bangs
First Trip to the Beach (Avalon): 8/4/13
Pulls himself up from floor to standing!: 8/6/13
First Government Shut Down: 9/28/2013
First Shoes: Stride Rite 4.5 Wide Curious George Style 10/5/13
First Day of Day Care: Little Genius Academy in DaVinci's Den 11/1/13
Stands on Own and First Word (Da-da) - end of Oct/early Nov.
First Record Breaking Temperature (HIGH) : 12/21/2013 - 70* F (previously 65* F in 1998)
First Record Breaking Temperature (LOW): 1/7/2014 - 4*F (previously 6*F in 1896). 
Austin Walks (and gets his first black eye as a result): 1/2014
First Projectile Vomit: 4/6/14 Preaster 

Top Songs on Billboard Top 40:
10. Alex Clare, Too Close
9. Flo Rida, Whistle
8. Kesha, Die Young
7. One Direction, Live While We're Young
6. Ellie Goulding, Lights
5. fun, Some Nights
4. Pink, Blow Me (One Last Kiss)
3. Taylor Swift, We are Never Ever Getting Back Together (most annoying song EVER!)
2. Psy, Gangnam Style
1. Maroon 5, One More Night

Who was in Office: President Barack Obama/ Vice President: Joe Biden

Movies in Theaters in October 2012:

Taken 2, Frankenweenie, Seven Psychopaths, Argo, Butter

News Headlines from Around The World:

1. US braced for massive storm as Hurricane Sandy Nears
2. British pop start Gary Glitter arrested in connection with Jimmy Saville sex abuse scandal
3. 7.7 Earthquake strikes Western Coast of Canada, tsunami warning issued then retracted

Chinese Year of the Dragon:

The dragon is the 5th sign of the Chinese Zodiac. It is a majestic, proud sign. The talented, artistic Dragos are the real show-offs of the Chinese Zodiac. They are always popular and they easily influence those are them. Dragons are determined, successful, and enthusiastic. Dragons usually find successful careers in the performing or creative arts, or in politics. Their element is Earth and their color is gold. This year adventure and boldness are favored. 
DJ was born the Year of the Dog (1982) and I am the Year of the Pig (1983).

What else happened this day in history?
1826: The Statue of Liberty is dedicated by Grover Cleveland on October 28th, 1886. The Statue was built in France and and funded by the French people and was shipped in 1885 to New York and placed onto Liberty Island in New York Harbor. 
1922:  (Italy) King Victor Emmanuel III hands over power to Mussolini who was supported by the military. 
1927: (US) 150 kegs of the genuine scotch whisky described as 140% proof bearing the label of Perth Scotland has been captured in New Haven, Connecticut after being landed at smugglers cove 
1929: (US) Wall Street crash's Black Monday.  Following the crash on the 24th ( Black Thursday ) over the weekend a number of investors decided to pull out of the market on the ( Monday 13% drop ) and by the the next day ( Tuesday another 12% drop ) as word spread the number of investors attempting to sell shares sent the market into a downward spiral. 
Dow Jones Industrial Average on Black Monday and Black Tuesday
DateChange% ChangeClose
October 28, 1929−38.33−12.82260.64
October 29, 1929−30.57−11.73230.07
1965: (US) The Gateway Arch, a 630 ft high parabola of stainless steel marking the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial on the waterfront of St. Louis, Missouri is completed 

Also celebrated:
JapanPrefectural Earthquake Disaster Prevention Day" to help residents prepare for earthquakes.
Greece: Ohi Day commemorates the rejection by Greek dictator Ioannis Metaxas
Worldwide: International Animation Day - commemorates the first public performance of Emile Reynaud’s Theatre Optique at the Grevin Museum in Paris, 1892