Friend Me

July 2, 2009

I resisted and resisted. I just couldn’t see how I would find the time to do it.  But finally my colleague shamed me into signing up, saying as a working broadcaster I need to stay connected and get myself out there! So with a couple clicks,  I’m now on Facebook.

It wasn’t just the time concern that made me hesitant. It was the privacy issue. The internet is scary place. Once you put something out there, you can’t get it back. And anyone can see it and alter it. That’s why I can’t understand why these tweens and teens post racy photos of themselves on the web or send inappropriate texts and messages on their cellphones. If not for self-respect, at least out of fear… there are so many predators lurking in cyberspace…you’d think they’d think really hard before even taking a suggestive picture. But I digress.  I’ve learned that there are settings on Facebook that can limit accessibility. And I’ve that to be on the safe side I’ll just keep photos of my kids off my page. That way I don’t have to worry about an overly enthusiastic viewers.

Turns out Facebook is a lot of fun. Still don’t have much time to do it. But I try to read new postings and comment once in a while. And I might even post something too! I’m still learning how to upload pictures and include links so my ‘friends’ can see what I’m working on and give them a reason to watch me on the news. We’ll see how far I get. Next frontier…Twitter.

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Boot-y Camp

June 29, 2009

13 week ago, I started exercising for the first time in 5 years. Granted I only do it once a week. But that’s once more than before. And while there are days when I feel like I need CPR, I really relish that time.

I don’t go to the gym… don’t even belong to one. I don’t run…hate it! I go to boot-y camp. The name was coined by my friend Sharon who said the workout should get our booties in shape for the summer! A group of moms meets at local park. Our drill sergeant is Adam Paik who is a personal trainer. He leads us through different exercises and drills. He keeps us on our toes, so we work different muscles, get our cardio in, and so we don’t get bored!

When I started at the end of March, I was so out of shape, I barely could get through some of the moves. After the first session, I was sore for 3 and a half days. Recently, Adam commented, if you could see how far you’ve come…this while I was breathlessly panting during sprints/high knee straddles. But I think that’s the point. I still look nothing like Heidi Klum. (I never will.) Remember, it’s once a week . But I am stronger. I have more endurance and I can do most of the moves now. I can even do one or two real push-ups! And I realize it’s true what they say, it may be torture while you’re actually exercising but it feels so good after you’re done.

New Year, New Me?

January 9, 2009

I wish! I don’t really make new years resolutions. The kind you write down and cross off your list as the year progresses. But every year since I can remember I say to myself, I really should start exercising. Isn’t that on everyone’s list?! Not to lose weight. I am one of those fortunate women who loses the baby weight. Although I am not losing the weight as fast this time around. But for my health. I need to build muscle strength and done density and  stave off disease…so I can be the best mom I can be for my kids. So far this year, I’ve walked on the treadmill for 30 minutes.

 But because of my kids, I don’t make enough time for exercise. Notice how I didn’t say ‘have’ enough time. Bad excuse. I know. You have to make exercise a priority. I know. Exercise will give you more energy. I know. But really I am so tired. I would rather sleep. I would rather hang out with my kids. I would rather watch a movie with my husband. I would rather watch Biggest Loser and marvel at other people exercising. I don’t want to be one of those people who start exercising after health scare. But how how how do I change my attitude so I’ll WANT to do it. Isn’t that the battle. When I look at myself in the mirror, I want to. But obviously that’s not enough. Maybe when the baby is a little older. I know more excuses. I look at the treadmill which has clothes hanging on it again after I cleared it off for the new year.  I look at it and say I will get on it today. That was yesterday. I ordered a post-pregnancy DVD online. Haven’t received it yet. It will go nicely with the pilates DVDs I ordered a few years ago. Will I really exercise this year?

Sugar and Spice

December 3, 2008

I didn’t know just how much I’d enjoy having a girl until Carys was born. She came into the world on July 21st, weighing 8 pounds 1 1/2 ounces. That is a big baby, for me. (The boys were 6.3 and 6.6) And she has continued to fatten up. She weighs somewhere around 19 pounds now and she’s only 4 1/2 months old!!! (off the charts heavy) I’m nursing exclusively and her doctor thinks I’m producing cream. Her fat cheeks, triple chin, meaty legs, rubberband wrists, big round belly–all so juicy. I just want to eat her up! She looks like a mix between a sumo wrestler and the Michelan man.

But the chubbiness is not the best part. She is a dream baby! She’s been sleeping through the night for more than a month now. (I’m sure the extra weight helps.) She doesn’t cry unless she needs something. And usually it’s something very obvious. She’s content to hang out in my lap, the bumbo chair, play mat, bouncy chair or exersaucer. Her smile melts my heart. The her little giggle is the best sound in the world. I love the way she smells and feels in my arms. I let her fall asleep on me when I know I should probably put her down in the crib. I’m convinced baby girls are just better than baby boys.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my boys just as much. (really I do!) But boy are they tough. Ben, the two year old, still gets up in the middle of the night a few times a week. He is so stubborn and head strong. Jake is getting easier now that he’s four and understand us and can communicate his thoughts. But he’s also very very active. We have to ask him to do something 5 times before he even hears us. I know their behavior is age appropriate. And they are hilarious. They sing and dance and have me in stitches. They play together so I can get things done at home.

So now that I’ve gone on and on about my kids… what’s a proud mamma to do…it’s been a challenge leaving them at home. With each baby, going back to work broke my heart. (And I love my job. Imagine those poor moms who don’t like their line of work.) It’s so hard to spend an entire day apart from them. I know I’m missing out on the little things–their conversations, their laughter, the baby’s coos and gurgles, even mealtime is interesting at our house. They are small for so little time. And the first year, they truly change every day. The boys will stand at the door (with the large window) and wave and blow kisses. It takes me a long time to finally get in the car and let them disappear out of my sight.

This week has been particularly hard. Right now, while the baby is nursing only, I usually work on weekends. But this week, I’m filling in all week. By the time I get home from work, the kids have eaten dinner and are getting ready for bed.

My saving grace is that I have a husband who is very involved in the child rearing. And mom mother is an angel from heaven. She watches them with the love only a grandmother can give. So I know that I am fortunate to have family in the area.

My situation is not unique. Mothers across the country and the world struggle to balance their home and work lives. Some do it better than others. I struggle more than I thought I would. I’m hoping it will get easier when the baby gets to be school age. But I don’t what that time to come too fast.

Still Standing

July 18, 2008

Barely. Sometimes it hurts to walk. The baby is low. So I feel a lot of pressure when I’m upright. My back hurts and my feet swell when I sit down. When I lie down, my very large belly is always in the way. But I am still working. People ask me why. I think a lot of women take a couple of weeks off before they give birth. This gives them time to rest and nest. I’d rather have the time off after the baby is born so I can have as much time with the baby while I recuperate. But everyone, no one more than myself, is surprised that I haven’t had this baby yet. Pat Collins has started a baby pool…to guess the time of day the baby will be born. I don’t get any of the money.

It’s funny. I will be on maternity leave for about 3 months. Some of my colleagues think that’s a long time… you’ll be gone for so long! But when I’m at home, the times goes by fast. With each one, I was surprised at how quickly I was back at work. If I could, I’d take a year off. Babies change so dramatically the first year. You get toddler time for a couple of years…and then they’re kids for a few years, and the tweenage and teenage years last for a while too. But they’re only in the baby stage for a year. And they change and grow so quickly. Everyday you notice something different. Don’t get me wrong. My toddlers surprise me everyday with the things they learn and say. But the changes, especially the physical ones, are less stark at their age.

What’s also funny is that I had a newborn less than 2 years ago and I barely remember what is was like. Of course, I know that I was tired beyond belief from the lack of sleep.. I know I had a night cryer who couldn’t be consoled for hours…I know it was a struggle to care for the infant and his confused and somewhat shocked older brother. But do I remember what it really felt like, not really. I think we have to forget, otherwise why the heck would we go through it again. I’m trying not think about it too much… I’m afraid I’ll start panicking. I am trying to get my house in order…get the nursery spruced up. (I had to kick out the little one. The boys are sharing a room now. That’s another story.) But maybe because it’s my third, I’m not really in a rush to have everything ready. I have the essentials–carseat, a few clothes and diapers. And our generous friends, including those from work, have showered us with adorable girl gifts. Now I’m just waiting for this baby to come. I should be enjoying what little peace I have now, before my family grows once again.

Getting Close

July 11, 2008

I am now a little more than 2 weeks away from my due date. I am so ready…well at least physically. I’ve done this twice before, so I know the drill. Mentally, not sure if I’ll be ready until the baby arrives and I have to face the fact that I’ll be caring for 3 kids under the age of 5! Even then, will I really be ready. I thought I might be going into labor last night. I was having dinner with my husband, in-laws and another couple who were special guests of theirs. At about 9, I started having contractions. And they were coming every 10 minutes…if they kept coming and kept coming closer together, I would have to go to the hospital. But they didn’t so I went home to bed. I wasn’t feeling so great this morning either. I can’t get any rest. From the little one getting up and crying for me, to all the bathroom runs, leg cramps and muscle spasms, I’m not sleeping well. Plus I’m hot and uncomfortable. My feet and legs are so swollen. I can’t wear any of my shoes. I am wearing flip flops to work!

The little one, who turns 2 in October, is acting out. He is especially clingy these days and wants his mommy all the time. My mom thinks he knows what’s about to happen–that his place as the baby will be taken over by a precious baby girl and he’s trying to stake his claim while he can. Poor thing. I do feel bad for him. He hasn’t had much time to be the baby. I felt that way about the older one when he was born. But the older one is excited about his baby sister. He even offers suggestions for names. Not sure I like Beethoven for a girl. Which reminds me that we still haven’t picked a name, and havne’t finished the nursery, and haven’t installed the baby carseat….

Bellyaches

July 3, 2008

The first thing the lady at the Starbucks counter says to me is ‘Oh my God, when are you due?’ Not Good Morning. Not what can I get you today. The look of shock on her face said it all.

I am 3 and half weeks away from my due date. I’m in full waddle mode. My belly is very large. People thought I was due back in May. My co-workers laugh at me (I would like to think lovingly) as I struggle down the hallways. Heaven forbid I drop something and have to bend and pick it up. They joke that I’m having twins. I’m not. This is my third baby though. So I’m bigger in part, because my body is already stretched out and remembers carrying another human inside. It’s also because I can’t get through the day without eating dessert…twice.

I really don’t mind all the teasing. I think for some reason, people feel that pregnant women are public domain. Complete strangers ask me personal questions, they try to touch my belly. A big no-no in my book. Would they touch my stomach if I wasn’t pregnant. Of course not. But I also get a lot of smiles. People are nicer to me when I’m out and about…. except when I’m out with my boys. Then I get looks ranging from horrified disbelief to sympathy and awe. My oldest will be 4 in Oct. and his younger brother turns 2 thirteen days after that. I’ve been pregnant every other year since 2004! And the boys can be wild. They go at full speed from the moment they open their eyes. I do feel lucky that I’ve had relatively uneventful pregnancies and deliveries, and my kids are healthy and happy. While I’m still a bit petrified at the thought of having 3 children under the age of 5, I’m thrilled about the newest addition to the family. Like I tell everyone who asks, the baby is coming, coming soon.

Last Encounter

June 14, 2008

As I came into work this morning, I ran into Tim Russert in the parking lot. We had a very brief exchange. I don’t remember exactly what we said. But it went something like this.

Tim: Hey, look at you.

Me: I know, only six more weeks.

Tim: It’s going to be great.

Me: I hope so. 

I would have never imagined that would be the last time I would talk to him. I wish I had stopped longer to spend more time in his presence. I didn’t know Tim personally, but he was such a positive force.

When I became pregnant with my third child, most people in the business had this kind of response, Again? Are you crazy? Oh my gosh! What are you going to do? But Tim beamed, I think that’s fantastic! 

I can’t say anything about the journalist, the friend, the man that he was that hasn’t been said already. But he was a person whom I admired greatly. Whenever someone asks me who my favorite journalist is, I say Tim Russert. When I anchor the Sunday morning news, I look forward to Tim’s Meet the Press promo when he says ‘Good morning Eun…’ And even though the segment is taped, I always reply ‘Good Morning Tim.’ A lot of people I work with would say I have a secret crush on him. And when I saw him in the hallways, in the parking lot or in the cafeteria, he always greeted me with a warm smile.

Like everyone else, I can’t imagine coverage of the presidential campaign and election without him. I can’t imagine Meet the Press with any other moderator. I can’t wrap my mind around the fact that’s he’s gone.

Today happens to be my birthday. Now I will always remember it as the day of Tim Russert’s passing. God Bless you Tim.  

I do not consider myself an alarmist. But recently, I found myself filling a large trash bag with my kids’ sippy cups, plastic plates, bowls, utensils, straws and containers. (Don’t worry, the bag went into the recycle bin.)

I did this after a casual conversation I had with a friend of mine who is a doctor — an eye doctor — but a smart and conscientious mother nonetheless. She was telling me about the dangers of BPAs, Bisphenol-A, a chemical found in most plastics. I had heard the warnings about chemicals leaching from plastic water bottles, and about microwaving plastic wrap, but for some reason, I hadn’t thought about the plastic I use to serve my boys food and drinks. I was more concerned about the food going into their little bodies. But, I had been microwaving their food in plasticware and putting it in the dishwasher as well. And apparently, that’s a big no-no.

Depending on who you ask, BPAs are safe — that’s the plastics industry talking — or harmful — that’s according to some scientists, who are researching links between the chemicals and behavioral changes in children. BPAs act like estrogen and may cause hormonal changes. They reportedly pose the most risk to unborn or newborn children, which is why Canada is banning baby bottles with BPAs. It has to make you wonder, if our neighbors to the north are banning these baby bottles, are they really safe. When it comes to my children, and my unborn child, it’s a risk I’m not willing to take. What if they find out 5, 10 years down the line that BPAs do cause hormonal responses in children.

I don’t feel like my concerns are unreasonable. After I threw out all the plasticware in my house, I made a trek from my home in DC to Rockville. That’s where the nearest Buy Buy Baby store is located. I bought 10 dollar sippy cups (insane!) that are BPA free and new plasticware, which I will not microwave or put in the dishwasher. I will have to buy all new baby bottles and teething rings for the the baby that is due next month. I often wonder if there’s a conspiracy to get worried mothers like me to keep buying more stuff! I found a good guide that tells you which plastics are considered safer than others. You can find it by clicking here.

 Of course this gives me just another thing to worry about. I’m probably a product of my job. I cover stories about  horrible accidents involving children, drownings, falls out of windows, car accidents, pedestrian accidents.  So I worry about my own kids’ safety, like any other mom. But I get nervous when they go to the pool because I learned that children can slip under water in seconds and not make a sound. I keep all the windows in my house locked because I learned that children are really good climbers (this from personal experience) and can get on top of anything to reach a window and push out the screen. (The other day I caught my 3 and half year old trying to open a window!) I check to make sure the straps on the carseats are properly placed everytime. I’m not saying that this makes me a good mother. These are things I’m sure most moms do because that’s what moms do. But tragedy strikes even the most careful parents, so we do the best we can and pray for divine protection.