Thursday, May 01, 2008

delusions of grandeur

Tomorrow, I'm due to return back to work. Because I've been on maternity leave for the past 10-months, all of the passwords on my work laptop need to be reset and several software and hardware updates need to be installed. Since I have a home office and work from a "remote location", I'll be driving three hours north to Los Angeles to one of our Information Technology centers to have all of this work completed.

Did I mention that I'm not planning to wean Henry?

Or that I'm not planning to pump?

Because I'm a glutton for punishment it is so important to me that I continue nursing Henry until either he or I decides that we've had enough, Charlie and all four children are going with me to Los Angeles, on my first day back to work. Charlie will also be bringing the baby to me on Tuesday of next week, so that I can nurse him during lunch time, when I'll be meeting with my boss and one of my co-workers and several of my consultants during a project transfer.

My husband is also planning to accompany me to my quarterly meetings so the baby is never too far from the boob. Or, more appropriately, the boob is never too far from the baby. We're slated to go to Seattle in July and Palm Springs in October.

Yesterday, I registered the kids for Montessori which is scheduled to begin in September.

Today, I woke up thinking that I'd made a foolish mistake. Not because the expense of sending three children to Montessori is great ... but because they are too young to be going off to school five days a week for three hours a day. And moreover, do I really want to go back to work when I could be home playing with the kids everyday? I mean, the primary reason I am returning to work is so that I can afford the cost of Montessori.

Before I called the bank to cancel the check, I talked to Charlie.

He reminded me of all the reasons we had for sending our kids to Montessori in the first place. I'll write about all that later, but suffice to say ... the reasons are good great. He also reminded me that when I am working part-time, two days a week - from our house - he will be home to look after Henry while the kids are in school. And then, he'll look after the kids when they come home from school, so I can continue working.

On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, Charlie will drop the kids off to school on his way to work while I stay home with Henry. I'll have a three hour break in the morning before I need to go and pick them up from school. This will be my opportunity to go grocery shopping, fold laundry, check in on work-related items, or lay on the floor and watch the ceiling fan.

We'll have the entire afternoon to do fun things together - and because the children were separated from each other for the bulk of the day - they will be happy, loving, peaceful little creatures with wings sprouting from their back.

On Tuesday and Thursday, Charlie will drop the kids off to school and have a three hour break, with just Henry, before he needs to pick the kids up from school. I will either be at home working, or in one of my consultant's offices working, and have a full day to myself.

Let me say that again.

I'll have a full day TO MYSELF.

Charlie gets to spend more time at home with the children and with me.

I get two full days to myself.

Our children meanwhile, by attending school, will have the opportunity to spend a little time away from each other and a little time to research, explore, discover and interact with other children and a teacher - and understand how things work in a classroom.

By the time they start Montessori in September, they will be almost four years old and I plan to keep them in Montessori through Kindergarten. Even though we could start them in Kindergarten as early as next year, I can already see that it would be too soon and I see NO rush to start the kids in school early. I would much prefer that they be a little bit older, a little bit more physically and emotionally mature.

Although research shows that children who are born prematurely typically catch up by the time they are two, if our children had been born when they were due to arrive (12/21/04), they wouldn't be eligible to begin Kindergarten until 2010. So. That's when I'm planning to start them. And beyond that, I am planning to home school them. At least for a little while. I'm also planning to start them in Suzuki when they turn five.

I'm planning to spend all of next week finishing my posts on organization tips. Including kitchen space, closet space, clothing, shoes, paperwork, garage, car and linens. I'm also planning to write about some of the best toys and activities that I've discovered to do with children.

Then, I'm going to help Charlie start posting on this blog because when he is home with the kids, he'll have nothing better to do during nap time then share with the world his recipes and stories about fatherhood and how AWESOME it is to be married to me. He'll tell you why it is so important that you warm your plates before you place hot food on them. He might also tell you how women are a lot like crock pots and men are a lot like microwaves.

This coming Saturday, at 7:00 AM, I'm planning to begin training for a 10K with my fellow triplet mom, Jessica. Considering I abhor running almost as much as I abhor the thought of getting out of bed before 7:00 AM on a weekend ... this is a big huge step for me. But since I just registered and paid for the training, which will culminate with a race on the Fourth of July (Henry's first birthday ... *sob!*), I'm bound.

What a gift that will be to my self if I am capable of running a 10K on my baby’s first birthday without throwing up a lung. I figure if Charlie can complete a play structure that the manual suggests will take 32 hours, in just under 26 hours, then surely I can run 6.2 miles.

Even if it takes me three days.


  1. Wow...I admire you about the running. Have you run before at all?

    I returned to part time teacing with a eight month old and never weaned him. He never did have a bottle and eventually went to a cup (although he didn't take it when I first started). My husband and occasional caregiver just made sure he had lots of watery fruits and runny cereal, and kept offering the cup until he finally did learn to take it. The first week my husband brought him to me at lunch time, but after that, he was fine. He nursed before and after work, and at bedtime and that lasted until he quit at 13 months. Nursing was just such a nice connection and made the guilt of returning to work a little easier to take. I think it's great that you are going to keep it up!

  2. Jen - I got tired just reading your post. You are taking on a lot!!! Make sure you rest a bit on your 2 days off every week and do something just for you!


  3. Can't wait to see you guys today! Yippeeee!

  4. Wow, your plans sound great. Even if you accomplish half of those things it sounds good for you and good for your family. I am impressed with how you and Charlie will make the part-time work schedule fit. I hope it all goes smoothly according to plan.

    One thing I really like about your blog is how you capture your feelings about each day, with honesty and immediacy. At our house too, some days like yesterday are crazy-bad, one problem leading to the next and triggering the next until we've all had a rough day. Other days are wonderful, one good thing leading to another, and I feel great about the world and my role in it. You reflect those passing emotions of being a busy parent so well. Thanks.

  5. Sieze the day!! If only I could get .000015 of that list done in a month my family would be so proud. But you my friend I have no doubt you will get that done plus some.

    Its amazing how little nursing Oh Henry will need when its not immediately available. I went back to work when RED was 10mths old and after the first weekend she didn't need me until I ended my eight hour shift. And even then I needed her moreso:)

    Can't wait to hear from Charlie, he has big shoes to fill.

  6. Did you know you can switch the ceiling fan to go either direction?

  7. Karen in Buffalo5/1/08, 12:36 PM

    I hope your first day back to work went well for everyone!
    You weren't kidding when you said you are an organizer! You have what sounds like a well thought out plan for the near future. Looking forward to reading about it all as it happens (& can't wait to try some of Charlie's recipes).
    Good Luck with the training!

  8. i have to say.. i was all like "hey.. look how cool i am.. jen(three for me) .. as you'll always be known in our household.. checked my blog AND commented! *laff*.. i'm easy to please.

    sounds like a lot on your plate but that you've got things to a level where you are doing better with all the changes.. kudos, my friend.

    good luck back at work.. your husband is a keeper.. your boobs would have exploded if he wasn't willing to help you out with henry given the "no pumping" thing.. *laff*

    i'm envious of your work situation and of the fact that you two must have great careers and work for supportive companies given that you're able to make enough to survive (and get the kids into preschool) yet work part time and not have to be stuck in an office job. i wish my DW and i could swing something like that.. but at the same time.. ben is getting SO much out of the family daycare that he's in. he has some great friends (and we've made some great friends in their parents) and he is currently trilingual.. he understands spanish and english equally and he's signing. he's just starting to talk and it seems that we've got an equal mix of spanish and english. give that i took french in high school and only know how to count to ten in spanish.. i have a number of children's spanish-to-english photo dictionaries to help mom out! *laff*

    good luck with the run!!

  9. Hey Jen, Just checking in to see how your 1st day back to work went today. Can't wait to hear all about it.


  10. Hi Jen:

    I have read your blog for quite a while and, like most others here, think you have a gift for writing and a wonderful attitude towards life.

    Just writing to say a couple things.

    1.) Wow -- you go. If you accomplish all of this -- buy yourself tons of chocolate -- it will be well deserved.

    2.) I have been meaning to start exercising again and your blog is the last "push" I need to do it. I had a "tentative" goal of getting up to take a 6:30 am yoga class before my twins twice a week and now I am signing up! Thanks for the encouragement by example.

    3.) Lastly, I live in Seattle and have three year old twins (girl/boy.) If you or Charlie want a list of child friendly activities/places to go, feel free to e-mail me ( You may already know of many places, but thought I would offer to provide a list if you don't.

    Again, good luck with all the upcoming changes. It sounds like the right thing for you and your family.

  11. As impressed as I am with you - Charlie wins the battle for putting that thing together. Seriously, I am in awe.

    If you're ever in NY, stop by - we've got projects galore for him and twins and singleton will be a breeze for him as well.

  12. Best of luck with the transition. Seize the day!

  13. Just wait until you see how quickly your "3-hour break" goes!

    It was way too quick for me...which is why I signed on the dotted line to add 2 more hours to my kids' school day!!!

  14. Hey! I've started running too! Been in a few races already and have a few goals... 1/2 Marathon in 1 year and full marathon in 2!

    Peggy, one of your other many cuzzins said that Boston will accept 'volunteer' type runners. We could meet up there for a group run! OR better yet - let's all meet at Walt Disney WOrld for their marathon!! What do ya say? It'll be fun!

    Talk to you later, Marg

  15. OMG! You are freaking me out, Jen! You know I'm a competitive freak, but you've left me at the starting line. It's like you jumped right off the depression diving board into the mania pool! I LOVE IT! What's your secret? I want some of whatever you are doing!

    Okay, I can't wait to see how this all works out. This is fabulous, all of it. Now I need to go lay down and rest a little after reading this post.

  16. Good luck returning to work!

    I struggled with putting my three year old twins in preschool this past year. I wasn't planing on doing it, but it was brought to my attenetion how crazy my life was with six kids and that I probably could use the break. Then I felt guilty because I felt like I was being selfish pushing them out of the house so I could have kid free time. I found, however, that they could use a break from me and the house just as much as I need a little space of my own. It has really been a blessing for all three (eight)of us.

  17. how did the first day go? and when do the kids actually begin school? are they excited?

  18. I hope the first day back went well! If anyone can do it you surely can!!

  19. I'm back. I just realized this very moment that you are giving the keys to your Blog Car to CHARLIE. Does he drink and drive? Oh, and are you crazy?!!!

    Charlie, what we want to know before Jen posts her organizational tips for the kitchen is if you open the cupboards, and the food is in disarray and no longer neatly lined up and the dishtowels are no longer hanging at equal lengths, DOES THAT MEAN JEN'S BACK IN THE HOUSE?????

  20. Did I read FREE TIME, just Jen time, actual FREE TIME! For a mom of 4 that must sound like heaven. Enjoy.
    I'm glad you decided to put the Amazing Trips in Montessori. My mom is a twin, she and her sister spent every waking moment of their lives together until they got to high school. Only then were they allowed to have individual friends. Yep I said allowed.