Monthly Archives: May 2011

First-Time Mom Friday (a day late)

I’ve realized that I’ve gone a bit overboard with the “Annmarie” personalization around the house.  I think this has a large part to do with me being a first time mom.  I couldn’t decide between birth announcements so I have THREE different ones:

And then there are the sweet gifts we’ve received from people (and I *LOVE* them all!):

Received from our boss’s boss’s boss’s boss’s… the head of the department!

Made by my very talented craftacular friend, Kristin.

A gift from my very sweet cousin-in-law, Christen.  She ordered the blanket and burp cloth from Petunias.

Even Jeremy has bought me Annmarie / mom – related stuff (this was his, well Annmarie’s, mother’s day make-up present:

It is a letter “A” (the owl was from a Christmas gift and the chain recently broke so I just moved it to this necklace) and there is a ring with Annmarie’s birthdate on it.  The other phrases were just funny (but VERY true!) things.  He ordered this stuff from Mano y Metal.

And then I even went and made a SHADOW box (I never thought I’d utter those words) of Annmarie’s hospital stuff like her little hat, hospital bracelets, little sign that hung in her crib…

A part of me wonders if having all of these personalized items is a first-time mom thing.  Will I go out and buy all this name stuff if we have a second baby?  Will I still be undecided about a birth announcement?  Will I dare make another shadow box?

This leads me to the tons of pictures and videos.  Does that stop after you have another (or at least does the frequency die down a bit?).  I kind of hope not because I’d hate to miss these moments with any subsequent babies…

(Annmarie has recently started squealing A TON.  It is as if she’s just found her voice.  I love it.

 

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What I Wore Wednesday Fail

Sometimes I put together outfits and think I look pretty decent.  I’ve looked in my mirror and assessed that I don’t look half bad.  But then some a-hole snaps a picture of me and then I get to see the outside view of my outfit.  And sweet baby jesus, it is bad.

An outfit that will not ever be repeated?  This.
 

I’ve always refered to my green bermuda shorts as “mom” shorts but I didn’t realize just how unflattering they are on me.

And pairing the unflatting shorts with a nursing tank top with no support and a cardigan just aren’t cutting it anymore.

The only thing I like about this outfit is my sunglasses.

This picture was sent to me on the heels of my declarations of…

  • I’m at my super fit summer weight!
  • My boobs increased a cup size!
  • I fit into all of my prepregnancy clothes!

Now all I see is that I need better shorts and support for my boobs.

I know that I declared last week that I would try to snap photos of my outfits to stay accountable for looking put together as a nursing/pumping mom but I’ve totally dropped the ball.  I promise I’ll do better next time!

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Crap I Want to Buy

I don’t know if this is the impacts of motherhood or aging talking here but I’m finding myself really wanting some stupid things lately.

The first thing that jumps out at me is something that I initially laughed at when I saw it advertised on television.  The whole concept was ridiculous and the way this task was portrayed on television (as though it was incredibly difficult) was even more absurd.

But after watching this commercial a few times and really thinking about… I want it.
Easy Feet

My feet are looking busted lately.  The constant bending over and picking up of a wee baby (that isn’t so light weight anymore) are starting to take a toll on my terrible back (I really feel like I am one sneeze away from a muscle spasm).  And the fact that I have now turned into crazy floor lady (my floors are never clean enough!) – the idea of having this fabulous foot scrubber that allows me to clean my tootsies without having to bend over seems like magic.  And for the low low price of $14.95, I can’t resist.  The next time I’m at Bed, Bath and Beyond - I think I’ll pick one of these up.

That leads me to this next invention.  I didn’t scoff at this initially – in fact, I’ve always thought it was a good idea.  I just wasn’t crazy about the look.
Secret Cami

I don’t like the lace at the top but I do dig the concept.  Sometimes I hate wearing a full on cami under stuff.  And as I reread that sentence, I realize it sounds ridiculous but I have a few dresses where you could see the line of the bottom of the cami and it just looked stupid.  So I started safety pinning a few of my dresses but that also looked stupid.

Now that I’m breastfeeding, I need access to my milk shooters.  And since the feedbags are now filled with something, I’m showing a lot cleavage.  It makes me uncomfortable to showcase my lovely lady lumps like that in the office BUT I need easy access to them for pumping.  Basically what I’m saying is that I need this stupid secret cami.  I just wished it didn’t look so cheap.

And now what I really need someone to invent is an inexpensive yet chic line of nursing clothes.  The nursing stuff offered by most stores is either grossly overpriced (seriously – why are you asking that I pay an extra $50 to pull out my boob?) or hideously designed.  And I don’t understand the nursing wear that has “secret” ways in which you can pull out your breasticle.  I just need an easy wrap, button down or v-neck that is stretchy enough to be pulled down.  No need for the theatrics – and if you look up some nursing gear, you’ll see what I mean.

If I had the means to design some nursing wear, I totally would.  Hey nursing wear designers, contact me.  Let’s work together to make something that isn’t butt ugly but that I won’t have to take a second job to afford.  And something as simple as putting some “pads” in the top to absorb any leaks would be amazing.  That’s not that hard, is it? 

The hubs and I are attending a wedding next month and based on the timeframe of the wedding – I am quite concerned about engorgement.  I know I’ll have to pump between the ceremony and reception but I worry that I won’t make it through the reception.  I told Jeremy that I think about halfway through the reception, I will look AH-MAH-ZING in my dress (and I’ll make him snap 1000 pictures of my beautiful chest) but that I will probably start leaking.  And when the leak gets so bad that you see 2 wet spots concentrated heavily around my nipples – I’m going to spill water all over me and we’ll have to vamoose.  I’ll just tell everyone that Jeremy is clearly SO DRUNK and that we have to go.  And if they don’t believe me, I’ll trip Jeremy and make it seem as though he’s just stumbling.  Brilliant plan, I know.

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Fugitive and Fears Friday

I kind of got tired of blogging about fitness because nothing has changed.  I’m still running.  I’m still doing the p90x.  This morning I stepped on the scale and was almost shocked that I was back to my summer 2009 weight (that was the year that I was super into racing and followed p90x + the diet).  Since I’ve started working again, I feel like I’m constantly wanting to graze on stuff.  I’m fully expected the “cubicle spread” (where my ass spreads from all the weight gain).  I guess breastfeeding really does burn calories.

Fugitive

So I’m officially perpetuating a stereotype.  I wish it was a good Asian stereotype like I’m really good at math or something. Unfortunately, I am a bad driver.  I never considered myself a bad driver even though Jeremy hardly ever lets me drive because he is afraid of my driving.  I’ve just considered myself to be a bit aggressive on the road.

While I still don’t think I was at fault for the November accident (and I think it may have been considered “no fault” but I’m not 100% sure on that), the accident this past week was 100% my fault.

My daycare lady called me at work and asked if I could pick up Annmarie 30 minutes early because she had a family issue.  It wasn’t a problem for me to leave a little early but for some reason, I felt very rushed and panicked when I left the office.  Traffic was abnormally heavy for 3:40ish in the downtown area of Baltimore and I was really annoyed.

I had turned left onto a street with the intent of getting in the outer-most left turn lane.  As I was pulling onto the street, a “we pick up your junk” type truck pulled in front of me.  While he didn’t cut me off or anything, he did cause me to stop in the middle of an intersection.  I sat there for about a minute and then worried that I’d be that a-hole blocking traffic. 

I looked to my left to make sure that a car wasn’t approaching and tried to pull into the inner left turn lane.  And just as I thought I had cleared the junk truck, I heard (and felt) a bump.

I thought that I may have scratched my car (not the end of the world) and KEPT ON DRIVING.  All I could think was that I was late in picking up Annie.

Once I got to my daycare lady’s home, I saw the damage and it was more than a scratch.

It is difficult to see in this picture (I took it with my phone in an underground parking garage) but on top of the world’s deepest scratch across my rear passenger door and side panel, there is a HOLE in my car (where the arrow is pointing).

When Jeremy got home, I told him what happened and of my driving away and I’m pretty sure he almost shit himself.  He yelled something about how I committed a crime and freaked out.  And then I freaked out because I thought that I was a fugitive.

I tracked down the junk truck company’s number and left them a message with my contact info.  They never called me back.  I also called my friend that is a Baltimore City police officer to ask if I should file a report.  He laughed and said no.  He told me that it was reasonable that I kept driving if I thought the damage was minor (like just a scratch) and he even checked their system to see if a report had been filed against me (there wasn’t).

Jeremy made me call our insurance company to file a claim.  The adjuster came out this morning and estimated it was about $1400 worth of damage (and that is NOTHING compared to my almost $8k worth of damage in November). 

I’m sort of freaking out about my insurance rates though.  My rates didn’t go up after the November accident but they will surely go up now, right?  The adjuster read through the report he received and told me that it was considered a “hit and run”.  SON OF A BITCH!  That doesn’t bode well for me, does it?  And even though the junk truck company never called me, I left their info with my insurance company so I’m worried that the junk truck people will try to claim that I damaged the truck or the driver of the truck.  UGH.

Fears

Lately I’ve been thinking about all of these crazy scenarios with Annmarie.  The one that really gets me is driving through a tunnel (I drive through one just about daily) and having it collapse under the weight of the water.  I picture how quickly I could pull Annmarie out of the carseat and how I could effeciently run with her through the tunnel to safety.  I then start to have these horrific images of us being trapped as the water rises and us both drowning.  AWFUL.  And wasn’t there a movie about people being trapped in a tunnel?

I also have this terrible fear of someone trying to carjack my car with Annmarie still in it.  Would they just throw the carseat in the middle of nowhere with my sweet baby inside?  Would they hurt her?  I know I’d fight like hell to keep my baby with me but I now get really worried anytime someone gets too close to my car while I’m in it.

Then there is the ‘autopilot’ worry… the worry that I’ll somehow forget that I have Annmarie with me and leave her in a burning hot car all day.  Or I’ll leave her somewhere else just because I’ve forgotten.  I’ve already forgotten to buckle her into her carseat because I had unbuckled her to do something and then just forgot to re-buckle her.

I now worry about Jeremy incessantly.  He goes to school in a not great neighborhood and I worry about him getting mugged or murdered. 

My newest worry (and here is where I start to sound really really crazy) – rapture.  I am not religious and while I don’t really believe in rapture, a part of me wonders what if it is true.  I’m not making it to heaven.  Will I watch as my baby floats away from me?

Yes, I’m crazy.  I’m also clearly afraid of death and being separated from my child.  I’m not sure how Jeremy is going to handle me insisting that we spend EVERY SECOND together on Saturday… you know… just to be sure.  I don’t want to go to the bathroom to pee and return to my living room only to find that my family has floated away.

(and its nice to know that there are some kind atheists out there that are willing to care for your pet once you’ve ascended to Heaven.)

Do you have crazy fears?  (btw – these fears are really just a small sliver of some of my super nutty fears most of which all involve dying.)

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What I Wore Wednesday (I’m trying something new)

I was thinking about how I used to try to make an effort to look put together during my pregnancy (at least at work).  I liked that blogging about it made me feel a little more accountable to remaining somewhat chic.  And I think I need that accountability again.  This time, my work wardrobe has to function in a way that I never thought I’d need… and that way is accessible to my boobs.

So on Wednesdays (but maybe not every Wednesday) – I’ll try to post some of my work outfits that allow me easy access to the girls so that I can pump.  Yes, I pump at work.  And yes, it sucks.  But maybe this will give some future nursing moms that have to go back to work some hope that you can still look professional without screaming “I’m wearing this so that I can squeeze milk out of my nipples.”

Because I just thought of this today, I only have today’s outfit to show.  And please excuse the crappy photos.  I tried to sneak some quick photos in as soon as I got home from work / picking Annmarie up from daycare and she was crying (because she wanted attention and couldn’t understand why mom kept fumbling with the camera).

For some reason, I couldn’t get the flash to go off on the point & shoot (despite it being set to automatic).  So here is a sort of blurry close-up of my outfit:

Dress: I saw this dress in a Target ad (with a red sweater) and loved it.  I removed the cloth belt and used a fake leather belt in its place.  I thought it made it look more polished.  The buttons at the neckline made accessing my boobs easy.

Belt: Target (from a few years ago).

Sweater: H&M (from a few years ago).

Shoes:  Target (and I wore the shit out of these during my pregnancy.  I love flats!)

I felt a little patriotic / country chic in this but also very preppy and pulled together.

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100 Days (its a Korean thing)

Yesterday, Annmarie turned 100 days old.  I realize that probably doesn’t seem significant or perhaps it even sounds strange to count the number of days she is but it is a big deal for Koreans (and apparently many other Asian countries).  While the 100 Day celebration (known as “baek-il”) is typically celebrated at someone’s home where your friends and family gather… that is not how my mom operates.  Being that this is her first grandchild, she insisted on renting out a facility and having the affair catered.

Just some quick background on “baek-il”, according to Wikipedia:

Another birthday celebration is Baek-il (100th-day celebration). During this celebration, the family worships Samshin. They make her offerings of rice and soup for having cared for the infant and the mother, and for having helped them live through a difficult period. They give thanks to Samshin and also pray for jae-ak (wealth), longevity, and cho-bok (traditional word for “luck”).[5] After the prayer the family, relatives and friends celebrate with rice cakes, wine, and other delicacies such as red and black bean cakes sweetened with sugar or honey. In order to protect the child, red bean rice cakes are placed at the four compass points of the house. This not only brought protection, but was also believed to bring good fortune and happiness.  It is widely believed by the Korean people that if 100 people share the rice cakes the child will live a long life, so the family would also send rice cakes to neighbors and others. Those who receive rice cakes return the dishes with lengths of thread (expressing the hope for longevity), rice and money (symbolizing future wealth

This sounds very serious and I’m sure my mom couldn’t even tell you that this is what the celebration entails.  But sharing the rice cake is actually the important piece of the celebration (and my mom was basically shoving it down people’s throats at the party).

I’ve also heard that the 100 day celebration stems from the idea that a child is actually one year old at 100 days post-birth since there is a belief that the child is alive at conception (if that makes sense).  I’m wondering if that is what other cultures celebrate?  I don’t know.

The whole event was a bit awkward because I think people were expecting something to happen… some sort of ceremony.  But there wasn’t any of that.  There was a large setup with colorful foods and lots of balloons but it was intended to be a photo op only.  The lady that manages the catering facility was a bit pushy and questions if I had brought a cake and a photographer.  I didn’t realize I needed either (especially since I know what my mom paid for the place…).  The lady’s daughter snapped some photos but I’m not sure if I’ll ever get them.  Like I said – the whole setup was awkward.  But the food was good.

Lastly, I tried to talk my mom into having the party in the afternoon.  Annmarie goes to bed around 7pm, therefore, she starts getting cranky around 6pm (because she’s tired).  But my mom didn’t listen to me and Annmarie spent a good portion screaming her head off.  Fun times.

I don’t really have pictures from the night (that don’t have other family members and I’ll spare them from my blog).  But here is what she wore:
Week 14 Outtake

My mom hated this outfit.  She wanted me to dress her in something brighter and more colorful.  And apparently the shoes were hideous and too big.  Thanks, mom.  :-)

Happy 100 Days, Annie!

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Fitness and Fatigued Friday

Since this was my first week back to work, Jeremy and I needed to figure out the ideal time to wake up in the morning so that we could both work out, get Annie ready for daycare and get ready for work.  Monday was a little shaky and we realized that we needed to wake up at least a half hour earlier just to get things done in a timely manner.

Fitness

We participated in the Race to Donate Life 5k on Saturday with team Love Luca.  I walked the 5k with Annie in her stroller alongside Kt and Luca.  Luca was a happy baby.  Annie?  Not so much.  And to sum up how she was during at least half of the event, check out the team picture (I blacked out the faces of the other team members because I don’t think they necessarily want to be all up on my blog.  But look at sweet little Luca and then look at Annie):

Aaanywho…

Now that I’m back at work, I’m able to access the gym in my office building.  Before baby (bb), I used to wake up early and head straight to the gym for a work out where I would then just get ready for the day.  I was doing at least 30 minutes of cardio 5 days a week (and kept this up until the day before I went into labor!).

During maternity leave (4 weeks postpartum), I was doing a P90x strength workout Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  At 6 weeks postpartum, I introduced cardio but was only doing it on Tuesdays, Thursday and either Saturday or Sunday (running).   

I thought that I’d maybe be able to return to my 5 days a week cardio routine once I returned to work but it looks like that is not happening.  Why?  Getting a baby ready for daycare is a lot of work!

Also, since I am now lugging a pump to work on top of my purse (that is currently the diaper bag because I just don’t feel like switching things back and forth between bags), also lugging a gym bag isn’t really that ideal unless that is the only workout of the day. 

Basically what I’m saying is – my maternity leave fitness routine hasn’t changed.  I’m happy that I managed to get to the gym twice this week (on Tuesday and Thursday) but don’t see me ever being able to do both the strength workout at home and then go the gym and then get to work on time.  It makes me tired just thinking about it.

I also need to determine when I’ll use up the remaining Stroller Strides classes I paid for.  I can only do the 5:30pm ones (Monday and Wednesday) and the 9am Saturday class.  While the 9am class wouldn’t be difficult, I wouldn’t be able to use up my pass before it expires.  But after picking up Annie from daycare – the idea of hauling ass to the park at 5:30pm seems exhausting too.  Oy, what to do.  I think I just need to get back into this routine. 

But that leads me to…

Fatigue

Now that I’m back at work and we’re using a daycare provider (who is AWESOME.  I love this woman.  She is so incredibly sweet with Annie and you can tell that Annie just loves her already) – we have to prep a lot of stuff the night before and the morning of.  Jeremy has a break between his Spring semester and Summer semester of classes so it has been fantastic to have him home and helping – but I think I might die once he starts his summer semester.

Here is our new routine:

Night before

  • pull out frozen breastmilk from freezer and place in fridge to defrost (we’ve determined we always need to be a day ahead to make things easy.  So on Sunday we pulled out enough frozen breastmilk for 2 days – Monday and Tuesday because on Monday night, we pulled out the frozen breastmilk for Wednesday.  I hope that makes sense.)
  • place the defrosted breastmilk into bottles (ideally we’d already have defrosted milk)
  • place bottle cooler pack in freezer
  • place pump bag freezer pack in freezer
  • wash and dry cloth diapers
  • wash and dry any soiled clothes (in case we don’t have enough for the next day)
  • wash all pump bottles and parts
  •  
  • (this isn’t an actual image of our bottles but we do have this drying rack and we do use Dr. Brown’s bottles so this is a pretty close representation of what our kitchen has going on during the week)
  • wash previously used bottles (although our amazing daycare lady actually washes all of the bottles before we come to pick up Annie.  But in my cleaning craze, I still sterilize the bottles and this isn’t because I don’t trust her – I’d still sterilize the bottles we wash.)
  • pack our lunches (and in my case, I pack a breakfast as well)

Morning of

  • grab dry cloth diapers and assemble them then pack them in Annie’s daycare bag
  • grab all pump bottles and parts and place in pump bag
  • grab several outfits for Annie (in case of diaper leaks at daycare) and pack in daycare bag
  • wake Annie (or sometimes she just wakes up on her own) and change her diaper
  • nurse Annie
  • depending on the day, we workout and sometimes it is before Annie wakes up (and that is ideal) but this morning she was up so I nursed her and then she hung out with us in the basement and played on her floor gym while we worked out)
  • shower and get ready for work
  • tummy time with Annie (if time permits)
  • change Annie’s diaper and get her dressed
  • make sure the dogs have been fed and have gone to the bathroom several times outside

and I’m sure I’m still forgetting something.  Needless to say, we’re now waking up at 5am to accomplish all of this.  As for the night before routine?  I pick Annie up around 4:30pm, get home around 4:45pm and then nurse her then try to squeeze in some quality time.

Because the weather has been so nice and we feel bad leaving the dogs kenneled all day, we’ve been squeezing in some quick walks around the park (30-40 minutes).  When we get home, the bedtime routine begins for Annie and then we start the entire night before routine.  Basically we’re not getting much time to wind down.

I’m sure we just need to get into the routine and things will feel like second nature at some point but right now – it is exhausting.  I am thrilled that the weekend is here although we won’t really get to sleep very late but we get a break from our night before routine and even the morning of routine and the idea of that seems magical.

And just because I think this post needs more pictures…
Annmarie 156

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