Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Life in Olympic Increments

When one Olympics starts, it's hard not to think about what you were doing during the last Olympics.  You remember - Beijing, 2008?

I don't remember what I did for the entire 17 day span, but I do remember one evening watching Michael Phelps from my hospital bed.  I was about 35 weeks pregnant with Braden, on bedrest, and was admitted to the hospital after a minor bleed.  I spent the night in angst, thinking about lung development and NICUs and steroid shots.  I was discharged the next day, and I gave birth 5 weeks later, the day before my due date.

And the Olympics before that?  That was Athens, 2004.  I actually don't remember watching that Olympics.  I was a summer associate at Skadden, living with my boyfriend (soon to be husband), with one year of law school remaining. I was too busy enjoying Manhattan to watch the Olympics.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Me and the Nannies

A reality of living in suburban DC as a stay at home mom is that you are outnumbered.  By the nannies.

They are everywhere.  Parks, pools, mall play areas, gym classes, preschool pick ups.  It's usually easy to tell who they are.  They are often too young or too old to be a mom.  Or look nothing like the children.  Or speak a different language than the children.  Obviously this is not a foolproof method, as there are some older moms, bilingual moms, etc.  But overall, it's generally easy to tell.

I remember when I first started staying at home I was worried that it would be hard for me to find other stay at home mom friends, since all I seemed to be meeting was nannies.  That didn't turn out to the case.  If anything, stay at home moms tend to gravitate towards each other because there are so many nannies.  We're the minority out there, so we stick together.

If this "us" and "them" notion sounds silly, that's because it is.  Why such a nanny/mom distinction? The answer is, I'm not quite sure.  But it's there.  Maybe because of a language barrier.  Maybe because of the age differences.  Maybe because of the notion that their presence is inherently temporary - their time with any given family will end at some point.

But I think there's something more.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

I Love Me a Random Night Out

Especially on a Monday night.

It started out as an ordinary excursion in to DC, to meet my drinking/eating/blogging/we-just-want-out-of-the-house-every-once-in-a-while partner in crime, Darcy.   I took public transportation all the way downtown (walk to bus stop, bus to metro, then metro), and felt all city-ish non-suburban-like.

We went to  to Zaytinya, a Jose Andres staple, which I hadn't been to since 2006.  We were seated quickly, and got down to business.  Drinks.  The drink of evening?  A "Clean Monday" - cucumber and mint infused Plymouth Gin with St. Germain, Cava.

Clean.  On a Monday.
We both ordered one, but I retained the wine list, thinking I would switch to wine for my second drink.  It wasn't to be.

Friday, July 20, 2012

A Letter to My Anxiety

Dear Anxiety,

It had been a while since I had seen you.  Over 18 months, in fact, since you paid me an unwelcome visit right after Casey was born.  I thought I had bid you good riddance.  But unfortunately, you decided to stop in a few weeks ago.

You came out of nowhere, but that's what you tend to do.  You reared your ugly head on my first day of vacation.  You laughed in my face at the timing.

And oh, you were so familiar.  You started in slow, with some uneasy thoughts.  You got my heart racing.  And then you hit me hard the same way you did last time - you didn't let me go to sleep.

You said some pretty crappy things to me.  Things like, "See what's happening, Shannon?  You're slipping back into a postpartum episode.  This one is going to be worse than last time."  And "You thought you were off your medication?  That you were in the clear?  Ha!"  And "I so am going to ruin your vacation."

Ultimately, you gave me the all familiar mantra - your favorite: "You'll never sleep normally again. In fact, you won't sleep at all.  And the lack of sleep will make you crazy.  And once you are crazy, you will live the rest of your life strapped to a gurney in a mental institution and your children will never know you."

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Pale and Proud

Dear Random Acquaintance,

Yes, I have just gotten back from two weeks of vacation.  And yes, as you have pointed out, I am not tan.

No, I never get tan.


Yes, I put on SPF 50 and hide under trees and stand in the shade unless absolutely necessary.

Yes, my kids are pale too.  And they also are doused in SPF 50 and forced under trees.

No, I don't have any desire to lie on a towel under the sun with my eyes closed for hours on end.

That seems kind of boring to me, actually.

Besides, haven't you heard, pale is the new tan?

And didn't you know that in Asia, being pale is the cool thing?  As well as being tall and having a big nose?  I fit right in there.

You've heard of skin cancer, right?

And wrinkles? Lots and lots of wrinkles?

What's that you say?  You are asking if I ever consider spray tans?

Why, yes.  I've done that before.  (It was a weak, hypocritical moment.)

But overall, I am not envious of your bronze tan lines.

I am pale and proud.

And I will be all summer.




Monday, July 16, 2012

Breaking All My Rules

Today is one of the most depressing days of my year.  It's the first full day home after our Cape Cod vacation.

I should know this is coming.  Every year it's the same.  It is dread.  It is sadness.  It is oh my god, I have to wait twelve more months to go back ?

My two weeks in Wellfleet are always the highlight of my year.

There's the fact that it's beautiful.  Pristine.  Untouched by McDonalds or Walmart or in-ground swimming pools. There's the fact that there's no humidity and it averages around 75 degrees this time of year. There's the fact that there's always family around and I get at least a week of uninterrupted time with my husband.  There's the fact that I've been going there every summer for my entire life and so in many ways, it feels like coming home.

But more than any of that, it's the highlight of my year because I get to break the rules when I go there - all of the stupid rules I make for myself in everyday life because I want to be healthy and responsible and accountable.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

In Honor of Best Friends

July 5th is a special day.

Because this girl was born today:

March 2012
That girl on the left is Dana, my best friend.

Dana and I met in seventh grade science class, with Mr. Ross.  I can't remember exactly how it happened, but we became fast friends.  And then best friends.  We had a "notebook" and even one of those BFF friendship necklaces.  (You remember those right, with the two halves that each person wears?  Oh junior high, how I don't miss thee.).

Circa 1992.  Oh dear. 
We had sleepovers.  We went on each other's family vacations.  We grew out of our awkward stage (thank God).  We tried alcohol for the first time (do you remember Zima?  With jolly ranchers?).  We had crushes and first loves and first heartbreaks.  I went with her to the front step of a girl's house to confront her for hooking up with Dana's boyfriend.  We made each other mix tapes.  We double dated for prom.  We stuck together all through high school.

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Good, the Bad

Lets start with the good...

- I am in Cape Cod.
- I have already eaten at RookiesBox Lunch, and Mac's Shack.  (Not all glamorous, but the best food ever).
- I also went here yesterday during naptime for oysters and a beer.
- The weather is perfect.
- The timing is perfect (aka, I am not without power in 100 degree heat back at home.  I can't say the same for my husband. I have a knack for avoiding these sorts of things).
- I found via a Facebook status that a friend of mine that I haven't seen in years is in Cape Cod too, and we are having lunch tomorrow.
- My husband, sister, aunt, and cousins will be here later this week.

And then the bad...

- Casey has a 102 fever and I'm not quite sure what to do with him.
- The trip here was LONG and sucked and unpacking everything sans a husband is the worst.
- My insomnia has come back in full force. It started last week for no explicable reason and it's causing me to spiral downward a bit. My psychiatrist thinks it may be a second post partum episode, which apparently can happen anytime in the first two years.  I'm kind of struggling to be honest.

But overall, I'd say the good outweighs the bad.  I am trying to remind myself that.

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