Office Perks

It has been an exciting week around here. And I mean that in a sarcastic sense. Luffy’s been ridiculously busy at work, the dumpling has been working on mobility, and I… well I’ve just been trying to make sure we all the leave the house with pants on*.

On of my coworkers (the only other female professional at our firm) is leaving. There are no hard feelings, just life and opportunities and little things like seeing her husband everyday are taking her away from the DFW area. Apparently, I paved the way for her as our partners actually entertained talks of her telecommuting. It’s been going well with me, so they were willing to give it a shot for her. That’s not going to happen (for a few reasons), but I was a little proud to have laid the groundwork.

Now that I’ve been working from home part time for over six months now, I can tell you that there are a few perks to working from an office that get overlooked:

  • Regularly interacting with humans who don’t require you to change their diaper. 10/10 would recommend. The dumpling’s not at home with me during the day, but then again, neither is anyone else. I highly recommend getting out of the house on occasion to go talk to other adults.
  • Free air conditioning. I know that we all complain that our offices are meat lockers (because I could have started an icicle farm there yesterday), but in the midst of a warm and muggy summer, free air conditioning ain’t a bad deal. If I want my home office cooler, I have to pay for it. One other perk of ridiculously cold offices: mosquito bites and poison ivy rashes get numbed by the cold. Things are much itchier at home.
  • Free snacks and drinks. The snacks part is really not that great because it just further delays me from my weight loss goals. However, the drinks part! My office stocks Le Croix in four flavors, diet Coke and Dr. Pepper, and assorted sodas, coffee, and teas. My home office stocks none of this and I blame the lazy office admin around here. Getting her to do anything is like pulling teeth.
  • Killing time with coworkers. Re: number one up there. Working from home has made me realize just how much time is wasted each day by simply talking with coworkers. There’s no idle chitchat at my home office. At my other office though, stopping by to ask a question could veer off into a thirty minute conversation about driving pet peeves. True story.
  • Seriously, getting to know your coworkers. I know half of these involve them, but it’s so true. There really is not idle chitchat between myself and my coworkers when I’m not there. So all of those little tidbits you pick up (John is thinking about backpacking through Europe next year) and life story arcs (Joe is buying a house), you don’t get any of that when you don’t physically work in the same place. The female coworker I mentioned above, she started a week or so before I went on maternity leave, so I really haven’t physically worked next to her for long. I realized yesterday that I have no idea what her husband does for a living – not even remotely (like I know Will’s wife is a teacher). No clue.
  • Getting ready in the morning. Now I admit that part of this is just a given now that I have a child (and will always and forever at-least-for-the-next-18-years be actively trying to get another person ready in the morning as well). I don’t take time to get ready anymore, and part of “getting ready” is self-care. For instance, I don’t put on my moisturizer very much any more. It has SPF 30 in it and means that I go without sunblock on my face for a good portion of the week now. Tsk tsk. I don’t put on nice clothes very much anymore – it’s all shorts and t-shirts. Which is great! Comfortable! Easy! Except that most people take me a lot more seriously in my work attire. In shorts and a tee, I look like a college student (at best).
  • Diet control. I know! I know. You’re thinking, Belle, what does working in an office have to do with your diet??? Peer pressure, my friends. Peer pressure and planned meals. You see, at the office, the only food I have available to me is the food I brought (which means I thought about it and purposefully packed so totes healthy) and the aforementioned office snacks. I have set myself up at the office as being the healthy eater. If anyone wants to lose weight, I 100% recommend doing this because now I feel like EVERYONE watches what I eat. Someone is always bound to mention it if I’m not eating broccoli that day (because I always eat broccoli). If we are celebrating a birthday with cake, someone will always make a joke that they’re gonna have cake while I eat my yogurt (which then means I feel soooo guilty even thinking about taking a piece of cake). Seriously – coworker expectations plus my own guilt equals the best diet around. At my home office though, not only is there no one around to watch me eat a second or third handful of chips, I am also in close proximity to my fridge and pantry and all the delicious things in them.

In looking back over my list here, the biggest thing is my coworkers. It all boils down to being very isolated while working from home. It’s something you don’t really think about when drooling over the prospect of working from home, but there it is. I think the half and half deal I have going on right now is pretty perfect, the best of both worlds, if I may bust out the cliches on you. Just enough time at the office to interact and connect with my peers and just enough time away to actually enjoy my life.

* Ok, confession time. The dumpling doesn’t ever leave the house in pants, that poor baby. In my defense, this is the one time in his life where it’s perfectly acceptable for him to appear in public sans pants and I want him to enjoy it to the fullest.

Never fear!

It was negative. Whew.

My original speculation was correct – hormonal weirdness – anovulation – Clomid to conceive hypothetical second baby. Check – check – check.

And that’s all we’ll say on the matter, moving on.


I’m taking the dumpling in to the pediatrician’s office this morning to have his iron levels rechecked. I, um, am not very optimistic that his levels are going to be any better than they were last time. He has thwarted me in all attempts at getting that stupid supplement into his mouth and down the hatch. He even hated the smoothie I made for him — with banana! One of his favorites!! I plan on asking for tips because I am tapped out.


I got bangs! Again! Woo!

To explain, I had bangs all through college basically. I think I look pretty good with bangs (I have a long, empty forehead and my hair just sort of naturally seems suited for bangs). Anyway, had them for a while and then decided to grow them out for our wedding. (I had a birdcage veil and thought that the line of the short veil plus the line of my bangs wasn’t a great combination. Plus, we all know that bangs are a wildcard and, on a day that they needed to be absolutely perfect [I did my own hair], I didn’t want to risk it.) (Parenthesis!!) So I grew them out and that, of course, took forever. So then I thought I needed to stick with the no-bangs look for a while and then I got tired of it and chopped my hair off again.

And now that I write that out, it’s not at all as interesting as it is in my head, so I’m sorry about that. But I’ll leave it because the dumpling is waking up and it’s time to head to the pediatrician’s office! Happy Friday!

Life thoughts while pumping

I’m currently sitting in the only conference room in my office without windows (actually, it’s the only space in my office without windows period). I’m on my second pump of the day and thought it might be fun to present a few thoughts I have while pumping. It’s like Belle Live!, only post-pregnancy.

I will never get over how weird it is to take my shirt off at work. 

[Puts on hands-free pumping bra and fires up the trusty Medela…]

I mean, my shirt AND bra are off. At work! So weird. 

My boobs are technically covered at least, should someone stumble in. Mostly covered. 

I like when I remember to wear a pumping friendly outfit – a tank and cardigan – that way I get the most coverage even with my boobs out. 

Ugh. I can hear my (male) coworkers talking outside of my room. That makes being shirtless even weirder. 

(Shirtless at work!)

I wonder if they can hear my pump. 

[Tries not to think about coworkers anymore lest this whole situation feel even more awkward.]

At least I can play on my phone in here. Pumping pre-smart-phone days must have been super boring. 

I bet that’s how men feel about going to the bathroom pre-smart-phone days. Why must they always be in there for like half an hour?

[Checks latest game]

All right, got my tasks done – feed ALL the farm animals!!

Ugh, I need to pee. I always forget to pee before I take my shirt off. And it’s not like I’m going to put my shirt back on just to pee. 

Honestly, that’s the worst part about this pumping business – taking my shirt off a hundred times a day. Or, you know, like three times, but it feels like a hundred times. 

And forget about wearing a dress! Like I’m gonna sit in this room naked. I would freeze. Plus, can you even imagine how weird it would be???

(Naked at work!)

[Massaging breasts which is really just fancy talk for moving the flanges around]

I always like when the milk spurts with enough force to hear as it hits the back of the flange. Much better than the slow dribble. 

My boobs are really uneven. I hope they even up after I stop nursing. 

Speaking of, what am I going to do with myself when I stop pumping?! I’m going to have so much free time!!

I could take up a hobby!

And quit timing my meals!

And quit timing my caffeine consumption!

Plus! No more taking my damn shirt off a million times a day!!

Ahhhh, a girl can dream. Only four more months. 

Or I could always switch to formula. 

But then I’d miss nursing on the weekends. Plus nursing’s just so easy. 

I will not say free, cause my time is worth a lot. (So there, imaginary argumentative naysayer!)

I mean, I’m hooked up to this pump three times a day for 25+ minutes a session, five days a week. That’s a lot of time!

Ok, but seriously, how much longer for this session??

[Checks timer]

Argh! At least another five minutes. 

I seriously envy the ladies who can pump in like 15 minutes. 

Or the ladies who can just pump once for every bottle. 

Or the ones who still meet the demands of their babies!

Seriously, I spend so much time hooked up to the pump and I STILL don’t collect enough. 

Must. Stop. These. Thoughts. 

[Pulls up baby photos. Again.]

My baby sure is cute. 

Ugh. Coworkers outside of my room again. Just chatting it up. 

I should join in on their conversation one day. Just like yell through the wall. That would be hilarious. 

I wouldn’t even have to yell because I can obviously hear them just fine and they’re not yelling.

On second thought, nevermind. I mean, what if this led them to realize they could talk with me through the wall and then they started asking my questions while pumping???

Cause that would be even more awkward than sitting here shirtless. 

[Checks timer. Again.]

25 minutes!! Oh thank you!!

And fin.

Blind as a bat

I’m sitting in my cubicle today, partially mostly blind because of a contact snafu that started back on Saturday night. (Also, I really do mean the mostly blind part, so please ignore any typos!)

Saturday night, the dumpling woke up soon after Luffy and I went to bed. I blearily made my way to his room and was halfway through nursing him when I realized that my right eye was bugging me. I thought there was an eyelash in it, perhaps, but didn’t want to keep rubbing my eye. After the dumpling finished, I returned him to his crib and made my way back to bed and sleep – desperate to close my eyes and let mother nature take care of the annoying eyelash.

I awoke Sunday morning quite sure that I was coming down with something. Sore throat. Check. Congested sinuses. Check. Watery eyes. Check. I moaned and tried to flop over to go to sleep again when I realized that my eyes weren’t just watery, they were swollen and painful. It hurt to open them. It hurt to close them. I feared that I was having another allergic reaction. (I’ve actually had several subsequent reactions, but they haven’t been as severe as that first one.) I finally gave up on trying to get back to sleep and stumbled into the bathroom to examine my poor eyeballs. They were extremely swollen and red and watery and hmmmm, what’s that little line there?? …. I am an idiot. Upon closer examination, I realized that I had completely forgotten to take out my contacts the night before.

WTH Belle? How could I have completely forgotten that I had perfect vision as I climbed into bed the night before? Or when I got the dumpling for his nursing session? To make matters even more ridiculous, I’d had two separate dreams that night about something being in my eye, like, I don’t know, my subconscious was trying to alert me of how idiotic I was being. Good grief. Way to make life hard for yourself.

Anyway, I took them out immediately and felt relief almost instantly (and then succumbed to food poisoning, but at least my eyes felt better).

So fast forward to today. Today is the first time I’ve attempted to wear contacts since then. They felt perfectly fine when I put them in this morning (and in the hour I wore them around the house before leaving). On the drive in to work however, things started to go downhill. Something must have happened to them; they almost feel warped now. I have astigmatisms, which mean that I have weighted contacts to hold the lenses in a certain position. It’s not working now so they’re slipping everywhere. Plus the left one keeps getting caught on my eyelid and dragged upwards or off to the side. It was driving me bonkers, so I pulled it out, thinking surely I could make it a day with only one contact (especially since I removed only the left, which is technically my stronger eye).

HAHAHAHAHA.

Yeah no. Blind, am I.

I am sitting a foot away from my computer screen and yet, I can’t read these words. I mean, I can, because I know what I’m writing. So my brain fills it all in (funny how we can do that right? like those little paragraphs that point out that we don’t actually need the letters in the correct order to be able to read a passage). But if I actually want to bring the letters into focus, I have to get closer.

Eh, a little closer.

There we go.

I am literally six inches from my screen. I brought my ruler out and everything.

So if you need me, I’ll be here. Nose to pixel with the monitor.

 

Randomness

Hey guys – remember when I used to post a bunch of random things together??? Let’s do that again.


I am super excited for our neighbors. They’re pregnant (having a little boy – squeee!!!). I knew she was due around the beginning of June and I vaguely remember her telling me that her doctor wasn’t going to let her go past June 5th, so I’ve been watching their house like a hawk. I noticed their primary car was gone late Sunday afternoon, but thought that perhaps they were enjoying a last hurrah. Then, like a weirdo, I checked after the dumpling’s 2am nursing session to find that their car was still gone. YAYAYAYAY!!! BABY TIME!!!

Sure enough, their car is still gone today, but I’m hoping that they come home today so I can catch a glimpse of them as they arrive. I swear I’m not a stalker I’m just so excited for them and their new baby! It has me all nostalgic for my own last few days of pregnancy and our first days at home with the dumpling.


Speaking of the dumpling, tomorrow he has his first splash day at daycare. Splash day is every Wednesday throughout summer and I seriously might pass out from the adorableness. I got him little swim trunks and a swim shirt and a little sun protection hat. PICTURE IT. Itty bitty 6 mo swim trunks!!! So cute!


I’m buckling down on my weight loss efforts. My baby is seven months old – I can no longer say I just had a baby. It’s odd, in a way, because it’s been so long since I’ve actively tried to lose weight. That’s not meant as some humble brag – har har har – I legitimately have been at the level of fitness that I desired for a very long time. “Dieting” for me was more of a oh, I ate a bunch of crap this weekend and feel so bloated so I’ll eat really well for a couple of days and voila!! So I’m trying to cement it in my head that this will probably take more than a couple of days.

I was actually feeling pretty good about myself until we went to my parent’s house for Memorial Day. I didn’t even eat that poorly, I just had a lot of champagne (what can I say, my mom and I both love champagne). And alas, all of those bubbles add up to definitely more than air. Le boo.


Speaking of Memorial Day, we had a great time in my hometown! It was the dumpling’s second flight (remember the first one??) and he did amazingly well this time too. This trip was his first time spending the night someplace else. I was a touch concerned, but vowed to just take it in stride. He reverted back to two night wakings, one normal and one out of the ordinary. I think the out-of-the-ordinary one was more due to him being aware that he was not in his own room and thus made it hard for him to go back to sleep in the early morning hours (around 5:30am). Overall though, he still did really well.

It was also really interesting to see his waketimes be affected because of his completely new environment. He was so busy observing and figuring things out that he’d be ready for a nap about an hour and a half after he woke up (he’s solidly in two-hour waketimes right now). It mostly meant he was a yo-yo of happy baby, tired baby. Poor dumpling.

Another first for the books – we went swimming! And here is when I really struggle with my decision not to post pictures of him because he was SOOOO ADORABLE. My mom, who was super excited about us coming, went out and got him a little floaty thing. One of these. He was very wary at first (and I don’t blame him – the pool is a lot bigger than his bath tub), but he warmed right up to it. He even paddled his little feet the entire time. He was exhausted afterwards, but I think he enjoyed it.


Lastly, that book I had on hold at the library, it actually became available much earlier. I read it last week and, honestly, I wasn’t impressed. I really like some of Rainbow Rowell’s other books, but this one wasn’t great. At one point, I honestly thought the writing was bad on purpose (the whole premise from her book Fangirl is that this book, Carry On, Simon is fan-fiction), but, after reading her acknowledgements, I realized that wasn’t the case. I can definitely see why most authors stick to specific genre. Rowell is really good with contemporary stories, little dramas that take place in current day. She was not adept at creating a world, however, as her descriptions of things like dragons or the magic in the book fell a little flat. Also, if you’ve read Fangirl, I oddly connected with the characters in her fan-fic (Simon and Baz, who are the main characters here – I know, it’s a little hard to follow) more deeply as presented there, in little snippets. For some reason, that did not translate to a whole book and they felt one-dimensional.

Anyway, read it if you can borrow it and were curious about, but I wouldn’t recommend buying it.


And that’s all I have folks! Along with trying to lose some weight, I’m also really trying to get better about posting but, you know, work and life gets in the way. Excuses, excuses.

Boring Mama

I am the definition of boring right now.

It’s all work and life and taking care of the dumpling.

Here are the “exciting” things that have happened in the past week:


Luffy and I ordered a bunch of Disney movies. We’re starting to build our collection for the Dumpling. …. Who are we kidding? They’re totally for us.

The Dumpling finally fits into his cloth diapers. I bought a few (and had a few gifted to us) before he arrived with the intention of using them as soon as possible. Our diapers said we could start using them at eight pounds, so I thought we’d be using them pretty quickly. And then the dumpling got here and was a peanut. Even when he finally hit eight pounds, he was so long and skinny that the diapers still didn’t fit quite right. Now that he’s (probably) over 13 pounds, I think he’s got enough chunk to wear them. I’m still not 100% pleased with the fit and will probably look into other varieties, but for now they’re working as daytime diapers.

Speaking of momentous occasions, the Dumpling’s high chair is coming today! Our pediatrician gave us the green light to start solids at four months, but I waited a bit. Now that he’s almost five months, I think he’s ready to start. I made some sweet potatoes last weekend so I think we’ll let him play with that this weekend! I can’t believe he’s already old enough for solid food.

In more Dumpling news, he’s sitting better and better each day. It’s kind of a frustrating milestone though because he still needs support/supervision to sit and yet, now that he’s experienced sitting, he’s not really happy laying on the floor anymore. So basically he can’t just be *put down* right now. But still… happy times.

Also…. this has not happened again. What gives child?! I would say #seriousbabyisserious, but he’s not really all that serious. He has all these big hammy grins and he’s working on a few screechy sounds, along with all of his ahhhhs and hoos, and yet no laugh. It’s getting to the point now where I’ve thought about googling baby laughed once and not again problem????? and yet I don’t want to open that can of worms, so I haven’t.


And that’s about it. See? I’m totally boring now.

PS – Jas would like to remind everyone that she is still here and as beautiful as ever. Thank you very much. Signed – demoted first baby

A challenge

Me to myself when I look over recent blog posts…. hmmmm… you know, I haven’t talked about anything non-baby-related in…. a while. And, tbh, that was a weird post that really didn’t turn out how I had it in my mind. So let’s see if I can come up with something non-baby-related to talk about… it’s time… now, what to write, what to write?


You guys probably know I’m an accountant. I feel sure I’ve mentioned it before. I used to be an auditor, working for one of the Big Four accounting firms. With that in mind, I can absolutely fathom the mortification that the partners at PWC must be feeling over this flub:

Ouch.

I really don’t know who to blame/pity the most. I mean, if it were me handing the envelope to the presenters, I’d be checking that envelope a half dozen times to make sure it was the correct one. So, no bueno for the PWC partner handing over those envelopes. (And it is a partner, by the way, not some lowly staff 1). On the other hand, the presenters looked at a card that didn’t line up with the category they were presenting and announced it anyway. If I were presenting, I probably would have made some light joke but asked for the envelope to be checked before announcing the pinnacle of the awards to the wrong group. So, no bueno for the presenters either, even though they technically weren’t at fault (unlike the Steve Harvey fiasco).


Speaking of award shows, I’m not really into them. I know several people who LOVE the Oscars and go all out, hosting black tie parties and fun watch parties. Meh. Just not my cup of tea. However, I stumbled across this incredible opening performance from the insanely talented Neil Patrick Harris and I just… holy moly.

I could watch this a hundred more times.


So that’s about all I have for today. One last thing though: if you’re ever bored and looking at some time to kill, go look up the “feud” between Jimmy Kimmel and Matt Damon. Hilarious.