13 December 2013

All I learned from my first two weeks back at work....

So we made it through my first week back at work.  It'll be interesting to see how we find a new balance in the next few weeks.  

  • It is entirely possible, although not advisable, to carry a pump, bookbag, purse, 2 lunch boxes, 2 daycare bags, and a baby in her bucket seat while holding the Goober's hand down to the car in one trip. 
  • The Goober turns into Miss Wiggly's bodyguard in the big kid room.  He determines who gets access to Miss Wiggly when we are picking him up from the big kid room.  Not surprisingly, the little girls in his class get more access than the little boys.  He is getting better and knocking less of them down during his crowd control.  
  • No matter how quietly I get ready in the morning, Miss Ninja Ears is up within 5 minutes.  
  • The Goober should always be second of the kiddos to get ready.  If he's ready first, out come the toys and the "what do you mean I have to put my toys away to go to school" tantrum. 
  • Your coworkers will pilfer your toolbox while you are gone and it takes a few days for it all to find its way back home. 
  • You will misdial everyone's extensions for at least three days.  
  • If the Goober sees his tricycle he will want to ride his tricycle around the block even if it is already dark.  
  • The Goober only wants to hold my hand when I don't have a hand available to hold.  
  • There is no worse hat hair than hardhat hair. Great ego boost when the kiddos comment on my bad hair day.  
  • Few things will phase a big rig driller. One of things is forgetting and then remembering what I am doing on my "pumping break". Ha!  
We are getting a grove going and at this point that is all I can ask for. Well that and for the Goober to not swipe my tangerines out of my lunch bag. Baby steps :)

27 November 2013

And so the Holidays are upon us...

Every year there is a small argument... is it Chrismakkah or Chanumas?  For obvious reasons, I lobby for Chrismakkah and some of my Jewish friends lobby for Chanumas.  This year for the first time (and not again for about 70,000 years according to our PJ Library newsletter) we have Thanksgivikkah!  Which means we can table the Chrismakkah/Chanumas until next year.  It also means Chanukkah has snuck up again on me this year.  AH! It starts tonight.  That sneaky sneaky holiday, I always forget that whatever day the holiday is on my calendar, it starts the night before.

So yay for Thanksgivikkah!  I'll have a few weeks break and then we get to do it all over again for Christmas!  Whoo!


Happy Thanksgiving!
Happy Chanukkah!
Happy Thanksgivikkah!

Gobble Tov!

19 November 2013

Heading Back to the Office

Two week left.

I have two weeks (minus 1 day) left of my maternity leave.  I've already started getting the ducks in a row to take care of the wiggly wee, the goober, my hubhub, and myself while I head back to work.  I'd be lying if I didn't say I was nervous.  I am nervous and excited and hopeful.  I am also lucky.  I found a partner who does more with the kids and around the house than a lot of the dads I know.  I found a day care that the goober definitely likes and where I feel comfortable taking the wiggly wee.  I also have a job that is flexible on some levels, juggling the wees with fieldwork has always been a challenge but it's worked out ok so far.  It will continue being a work in progress.

In all of this rowing of ducks on of my Hermanas suggested a book she read in her book club, Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg.  Considering how long the wait list at the library was for this book, I had a feeling that it was going to be an interesting read.  I'm typically a sci-fi/fantasy fiction kind of gal and so, as generally happens with two kiddos and a non-fiction book, the book sat on my dresser with the other books that I checked out that day at the library for three weeks.  I received my email from the library reminding me to return or extend the lends I still had.  All of the books were renewed with no problem, except Lean In.  On no! Because of the massive wait list for this book, I couldn't renew it.  I could either return it, put myself on the long waitlist, and hope to have a chance to read it once I was back at work (yeah right).  OR! I could make time to read it and simply deal with the 30-cent-a-day fine.  So, $2.10 later, I am so happy that I read it.  I apologize to the readers who were just behind me on the wait list.  Fear not, I will be turning it in today!

The book really resonated with me.  The book touched on prejudices we program into ourselves at a young age.  It discussed negativing corporate structure not only as a woman but as a mother.  There is incredible power in the knowledge that you are not alone in your struggles.  I was able to relate to so many of the experiences describes in the book that I was able to learn from how different people dealt with those situations.  I don't really recommend too many books to people.  Unless you are a sci-fi fan, you're not really going to want to read what I would recommend.  This book, I recommend to everyone who can read.  It was worth the wait and it made those 2am feedings go by a bit quicker.

I am dreading the return a little less now.  I am definitely exited to get back to some the projects I had to hand off to when I left almost four months ago. [There are others I would be more than happy to see permanently stay with their new "owners".  I just have a feeling that those will be the first to be kicked back to me.  Oh well.] I'm just not going to stress so much about the logistics, the boring stuff, the stuff that always takes care of itself since those ducks are already in a row.

So in two weeks (minus 1 day), I'll be back at the office figuring out the momma with 2 kiddos thing, the field geologist thing, the office geologist thing, the fabulous wife thing, and all of the other things that go with being me.  I'll be ok.  I'll figure it out.  I always do.

08 November 2013

Bonding with the Moms in the Women's Lounge

With a small one as little as our wee one, it's easy to feel trapped in the house to make sure that the feeding/changing/pumping occurs every two to three hours.  At first, I never ventured far from home so that I could get back home to take care of Miss Wee One.  Lately, I've been venturing farther and farther and for longer periods of time. I've been finding out which places do and do not have changing tables and which amazing places have mother's rooms.  I still don't understand how the library does not have a changing table.  (You'd think with all of the storytimes and events for kiddos that there would be at least a changing table.  Nope!) Babies R Us is always a good bet with regards to a mom's room for feeding and changing.  A gem I have found is actually in the South Bay Galleria.  According to the other moms I have met in the Women's Lounge in the Nordstroms of the Galleria (on the third flood), it's the only place in the mall where you can feel a wee one away from public eye.  The few times I've been in there, I have met some pretty fun moms.

I recently hit the lounge on an errand day that ended at the mall.  I met a mom (we never exchanged names) who also had a super wee one (about a month old) and a toddler (just a month shy of 2 years).  For the half hour we were in there together we traded secrets, did the "oh, I get it", and just vented to each other about the desire to hide from our kids so that we can go to the restroom without the audience. It was just nice to chit chat with someone who is in almost exactly the same boat I'm in.  If I ever see this woman ever again, I'll be shocked.  Oddly enough, it probably wouldn't have been as fun an experience if I saw her on a regular basis.  For a short period of time I was able to connect with another human being and it was nice. It took me out the bustle of my errand day and reminded me that too often we whiz past each other without a second thought.

So, ladies, seriously, The Galleria, Nordstom's, third floor - It's a nice and relaxing place to take care of the wee one when you are out and about.

04 November 2013

A Special Quinceañera

Fifteen Halloweens ago five women after weeks of hard work, sleepless nights, endless road trips, cases of diet soda, and the occasional ridicule from the conservative core on Duke's campus stepped out onto campus and proclaimed ourselves.  We were Kappa Chapter of Latinas Promoviendo Comunidad/Lambda Pi Chi Sorority Incorporated.  We were excited, energized, and a little cocky, but ready to put our own brand of stamp on the Duke world.  We brought Pi Chi to Duke and we opened up the south to Pi Chi.

We were such a motley crew but in a way that's what made it work.  Joia was the one who brought us all together.  A bit of a stress bunny but at the end of the day you could always count on her to get things done.  Lisbert was the brains of the operation.  Fueled by a can of Diet Coke, there wasn't anything she couldn't do.  Solimar was the heart of our group. She was our peacekeeper and perpetual silver-lining-finder.  Annette was our comedian.  She found a way to make us laugh even when it was her complete inability to stay awake past midnight.  I was the caboose.  I watched our backs.  I was never shy about putting people in their places if they even thought about being disrespectful to us or what we were trying to do.
Annette, Paola, Lisbert, Solimar, and Joia
(Asihüex, Micalia, Cáilat, Xarikén, and Khewasíl)

Fifteen years later, it's insane to think about the impact that the five of us had on our organization, our university, and even on the region.  Even now, women I've known for years and women I've never met are planning a celebratory weekend for Kappa's Quinceañera.  Unfortunately, I can't make it but it gives me the warm and fuzzies to know that I played my part in the history that they are celebrating.

I owe a lot to the chapter, to the organization, and to those four women.  I know more about Cuban culture than any Colombian should know.  I jumped off a cliff in Puerto Rico during a last minute spring break trip to Soli's house.  I have a true appreciation of how much work can get done in the wee hours after midnight and before 5am.  I am a mean wielder of a hot glue gun.  I have an incredible network of Hermanas who love me, my children, my life, and all of my quirks.

Yo soy Micalia.  I am a Pi Chi.  I will always be a Pi Chi.  Felíz Quinceañera, Kappa Chapter and all Southeast Hermanas!