Getting to know Diego :)

The baby is here! Diego Antonio was born on Sunday, March 12. He’s one week old and I’m constantly astonished by how sweet, curious and real he is. It’s thrilling to finally get to know our son.

Wild to think how much life has changed in one week. As I write this, it’s 3:45 pm, Sunday afternoon, there’s a tender baby sleeping on my chest, and I’m contemplating putting this phone down and napping, as the usual afternoon exhaustion settles in.

At this same time, one week ago, I was about 12 hours in to labor, giddy and anxious over the prospect of his arrival. At that time, we were still hours from what would eventually be an unexpected, but necessary and successful, c-section delivery and the eventual delirium that washed over me when I met Diego.

The week that followed was incredibly emotional, humbling, intimidating, and beautiful, all in ways I never imagined. All three of us are very much in the thick of this bleary eyed, needy, love-filled, hormonal (ok, that one’s just me) getting-to-know-you transition phase.  David and I are mesmerized by this tremendously sweet, cozy, delicious smelling little baby that joined our life.  Diego is his own complete little person, and every day we get to know each other a little bit more. It’s intimidating and overwhelming, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to be his mom.

Hoping I’ll get a chance to write and reflect a bit about our first week together, but I’m getting the sense that this parenting thing is very much an in-the-moment process. If I don’t get around to reflecting, glad I have these brief notes to remember our first Sunday afternoon together :)

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“It can’t be compartmentalized anymore”

Guessing I’m not the only person with a phone and a partner whose Friday began with the following:

“Fay, wake up, you have to watch this.” As I blearily opened my eyes, for a nanosecond questioning the urgency over a BBC interview, the punchline of the toddler and baby crashing their dad’s workday brought a good laugh.

Now, 14 hours later, there is small part of me cringing as I write this as I can’t believe I’m participating, in any small way, in re-sharing it.  It’s been a while since something non-political has so overwhelmingly invaded my newsfeed-the Kelly dad/mom rescue video is everywhere.

Trailing close behind actual Kelly-clip links are articles analyzing every moment and implication of the interruption. I want to play! So, here’s my thoughts on #BBCDad Day.

Despite the fact it’s 2017, and we’re progressive, and social media offers unbelievable access to people’s personal lives, we’re still, at our core, more comfortable when work and family/life sit in their respective corners. And when that line gets blurred-particularly in a public, or haphazard, unexpected way-its unnerving.  It’s the whole being-in-second-grade-and-seeing-your-teacher -at-the-grocery-store phenomenon.  Or, the flip, it’s seeing your parents at work and being weirded out by their “work voice.” People have jobs, people have families, but we don’t like to see them have both at the same time.

As an avid reader of Laura Owen’s newsletter, I thought she nailed it with this comment: “The video shows how incredibly hard it is to separate your work life and your family life…none of it can be compartmentalized anymore, and it’s often when you’re trying to keep up this illusion the hardest that it comes crashing down.”  Despite our natural expectations to separate the two, in reality, this is increasingly difficult to do.

I can’t overlook the fact that a huge reason all of this struck a cord with me today-of all days-is that today was my last day working before parental leave. Because I stopped commuting 2 1/2 weeks ago, I’ve gradually tapered down from my normal routine.  I’m grateful for the leave, and frankly far too tired to have continued with a normal work/commute schedule, and so the process has been just right.

But still, it’s a moment of change. For the past 10ish years, post-college, my primary focus, both in time and mental energy, is on the “work” side of the ledger.  For the next 4ish months, thanks to California’s progressive policy and a great employer, I’ll have the luxury of focusing exclusively on the “family side.” And then, if everything works out, I’ll have the privilege of being part of the 70% of mothers who work, the 70% of women who, every day, manage both worlds.

And simply watching a 55 second clip of one parent in this moment was enough to make my eyes widen.

So, thinking about the future, I’m equal parts curious and anxious about how it will all go. (And 100% super pregnant. And stir crazy.  All likely contributing to this indulgent level of self-analysis).  Feeling very grateful for amazing friends and my mom, who already navigated this transition, who I can call with anxious questions, and who by simply doing the real work of being a mother and having a career, inspire me to know it will all be ok.

Yet, while I imagined stress when I returned to work this summer, I’m surprised by how overwhelmed I feel at the prospect of not working for the next 4 months.  The last few weeks of working from home-while welcome and necessary-helped me realized that being at home full time, for me, is not ideal. Of course, I’ve loved not commuting. The commute is rough and I haven’t missed it at all.  However, as much as I love wearing yoga pants and soaking up the quiet morning sunshine over tea, 5 days a week of quiet at home makes me a little crazy.  Being around people is healthy, and I’m more productive with a routine and a bit of a grind. (Mostly writing all this down so that when the end of June strikes and I’m wishing I could stay home longer, I’ll remember when I was **slightly** more clearheaded: 2 days a week of telecommuting is amazing, 5 days, too much. You work best when you’re working from home part time and in the office part time. It’s going to be ok).

And, of course, these 4 months will be very full of the very real demands of family life. Perhaps I’m overwhelmed thinking about this because it’s a huge change that I can’t entirely imagine, and that uncertainty is mind-boggling.

Anyway, all to say, I have no profound conclusions after #BBCDad Day, but it just got me thinking about this whole family and work thing.  Curious to see how it all goes, and grateful for the friends and colleagues I can look to for tips and examples of navigating it all.

PS-the baby is due on Sunday. Trying so hard to be patient! Not doing so well. Going a little bananas. Been going on lots of walks-these photos are from the other night, during a walk to UOP.  Really feels like spring!

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39 weeks

Happy Monday! 6 more days until the due date, and we’re just (semi) patiently waiting…Clueless about the timing for this whole thing, we basically stopped making plans after mid-February, so each weekend has been pleasantly quiet.  On Friday night, we decided now was probably the time to use a gift card to Midgleys and got dressed up for a nice dinner.

Feeling quite large! No idea how big the baby is, but feels….not small.  On Saturday, we walked to brunch at House of Shaw, and I spent the rest of the day relaxing.  In a lucky twist of events, my dad had a conference in Sacramento this weekend, so we got to have dinner together in Stockton! It was so nice to show him our house and catch up before the baby gets here.

Getting a bit anxious about the whole labor and birth process, and trying not to read tooo much, but it’s hard for me to not seek out information.  Of course, there’s only so much that prep and info can tell me-I understand I need to just go with what happens.  Anyway, one piece of advice I keep finding is to get a pedicure. One poster said she couldn’t imagine the annoyance of unpolished toes during labor.  I can’t imagine even noticing that, but with ample time on Sunday, I treated myself to a pedicure and it was delightful.

Also reading about how important it is to walk every day.  Been trying to do that in our neighborhood, and on Sunday afternoon we drove out for a walk around the Wildlife Refuge.  Along the way, we ran into row after row after row of gorgeous, blossoming, almond farms!

Hesitant to trespass, David pulled over and I jumped out for a few quick photos.  They blossoms were at peak bloom and so lovely and springy. 

Thanks to all the rain Saturday night, it was a clear and pretty afternoon.


And now, Monday!

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Good night/good morning! Hello, from pregnancy-insomnia land. Really shouldn’t complain, only had a few nights this pregnancy where I’m up for hours, and I usually fall back asleep. If not..and early start to the day?

Anyway, as long as I’m up and scrolling through my phone, here’s a few things from this week that I want to remember:

Old photo from our 2015 trip to Rome

It’ll likely be a while before we do any traveling, but that doesn’t mean I’m not constantly daydreaming.  We watched a House Hunters episode in Copenhagen and I found myself searching for Norwegian airline flights and telling myself…..nope! Not happening. Anyway, in the time being, Elizabeth Minchilli’s daily Instragram stories seriously feel like a quick trip to Italy.  Every day she profiles gorgeous food, restaurants, and pretty walks and it is such a nice, pretend vacation!


Ha! I was looking out the window yesterday when David came home from work and couldn’t stop laughing seeing this scene as he walked up to the door. Getting ready…Can you tell it’s been a quiet week? Anyway, this discovery made my week. For years I’ve been searching for an English Breakfast Tea that came in a bag that tasted as good as loose leaf.  I generally just get the Trader Joe’s Earl Grey (their English Breakfast has no taste!) but even that just tastes like bland mashed up spices. BORING.  Over the weekend, I discovered this and it is delicious! Total game changer. A very pleasant start to the day.

Moving to my new little work corner.  We recently moved my desk from the guest room to the kitchen nook to make room for the baby’s dresser.  Since I worked from home this week, I got settled into the new spot, and it’s so strange how much more I enjoy it. Same house, same desk, but it just feels more productive and cheerier.  Maybe it’s the proximity to the pantry and Girl Scout cookies?

The weather was beautiful this week. It is supposed to rain this weekend, but a much more mild, flood-free rain.  As long as the rain isn’t causing damage, I’m hoping we continue to get more.  Still, it was nice to have a sunny week, go for a walk, and see hints of spring!


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Third trimester continued

Greetings from 38 weeks of pregnancy! Now that I’m coming up on the end of the third trimester, basically life is pregnancy and baby prep, and wanted to jot down a few memories of all of it.

We were able to get back into our house two weeks ago–thank goodness–and then the baby prep really began in earnest.  At that point, I was 35 weeks and feeling VERY overwhelmed by all that we still had to do.  So, I called in reinforcements…

Mom kindly flew up to help!! It was such a relief having her here.  We basically had one full day and she got a TON done.  Stocked up on essentials at Costco, put together a bunch of furniture, and she cooked many delicious meals to freeze for post-baby.

That night, I finally began to feel a bit calmer.  I kept thinking about how much I needed help from my mom, and how much I still felt like a child….it is wild to think about being a mother myself.  I just hope I’m as helpful as she is!

Anyway, while washing and folding teeny-tiny clothes that night and feeling a bit more prepared….our washing machine flooded.  Of course! Thankfully, it was just an issue with the pipe and everything is working now.

Wednesday was my last day commuting until I return after leave.  My colleagues were amazing and surprised me with a very festive Cascarones and Martinellis send-off!  I’m so grateful to work for such a supportive organization and work with the kindest people. Working from home full-time for the next two weeks/baby’s arrival.

We were in Sacramento Saturday and took advantage of the proximity to IKEA to pick up some final storage/organization pieces.  Think we have almost everything stored away..and now we wait.  PS-have baskets always been so popular? /the answer to all problems? According to Pinterest (or at least my feed), the secret to happiness seems to be: baskets, gallery walls, brass fixtures and ranunculus.

This photo is from a few days ago.  Grateful that the baby seems to be cozy and content-and thankful for some extra time-though, admittedly, getting more and more anxious about labor and the reality of everything.  Trying to stay calm, hopeful, and go with whatever happens.

While David gave a presentation in Sacramento Saturday morning, and I explored the WAL Public Market and got a coffee and pastry at Temple. It’s strange, I’ve been to Sacramento a bunch of times, but rarely on the weekend.  It was a beautiful day! Yesterday, the Stockton Symphony performed the Music of John Williams.  David’s face when they began playing the theme song from Jurassic Park–priceless.  So much joy. I even got a little emotional and I don’t even really like Jurrassic Park!

Two more days until March!



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