Life as MommyMo

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Birthday Fail

For years I've dreamed about the fun first birthday parties I'd have for my kids. Attempt number one was foiled when Sam's travel didn't come through in time for him to be home with us. I distinctly remember moping around the house and office that day, feeling sorry for all of us that we couldn't be together the day he turned one. I recall especially whining that it seemed unfair (irrationally so, I know) that we missed his birth (for obvious reasons) and then couldn't even be with him on his first birthday. We certainly celebrated after he came home and his foster family did have a Tol celebration for him, but I was always a little disappointed to have missed a milestone that is so universally celebrated.

When we started the process for a second child and opted to enter the "regular program" this time, I was happy to know that we'd at least have #2 home for his or her first birthday. It was probably only days after we were matched with Max, then, that I started mentally planning what we'd do for his big day. I figured out very early on that not only would we be together, but that the day fell on a Sunday, so we'd be able to celebrate with everyone on the actual day. A small thing perhaps, but it was really important to me.

Well... obstacle number one came when we realized that a big party just wasn't "right" for our shy little guy. He's definitely still adjusting and crowds tend to unnerve him a bit. That one didn't upset me too much. We can still celebrate the big day with a smaller group of people.

I have spent several weeks figuring out the details of this party. I am not much of a cook, but was particularly excited to try cooking Korean food for the first time. I was also totally looking forward to setting up his Tol table. I'd decided exactly how I was going to set up the table and the toljabee ceremony...

A few days ago, Rob remarked that he thought Baby Max had gotten two pimples on his face. I checked them out and said that I didn't know what they were for sure, but that they didn't look like baby acne to me. I figured it would be odd for him to suddenly develop that and since he has eczema, I didn't really worry too much. We already use a ton of potions and lotions to take extra special care of his skin.

Yesterday morning Rob was the first to greet Max in the morning and I heard him say... "Uhhhhhh... Karen?? You might want to come here. I think Max has chicken pox."

I told him that he was being ridiculous. I was instantly in denial that the poor little guy had developed chicken pox after being vaccinated. After all, Sam had also gotten a few pox after the vaccine. I was told that it was so rare that I could not imagine that both of my kids would end up in the same boat.

Well, genius that I am, it took me a few more minutes to do mental math. He probably didn't get chicken pox from the vaccine. He got it from ME since I'd had shingles. That was the real reason he's already been vaccinated early.

I did what every panicky mom would do. I called the most experienced mom I know before the doctor's office opened to verify my fears, then made the call right at 9 a.m.

So... Rather than running around like a loony trying to get my kid's party ready or attending my nephew's fourth birthday party, I'm sitting at home with a whiny baby and whining myself about the whole situation. While Max isn't terribly miserable or covered in the rash, he's still contagious and we can't risk making my pregnant sister-in-law sick. I also don't think the little guy will fully enjoy the festivities in his current condition. His sore throat has not made eating fun, so I can't even imagine he'd want birthday cake. And it's just not right for a kid not to get to make a mess of his cake on his first birthday!

We'll certainly still do something at home tomorrow with Max so that we don't skip his birthday all together, and we've already rescheduled his party for next weekend. I just hope that it only takes that long to get over my SERIOUS case of mommy guilt. It's bad enough to have made my own child sick... I need to let go of the fact that it's interfered with his first birthday party, too!

Monday, July 13, 2009

First Day Back

Well... the fun had to end sometime. I went back to work full-time today. I can't really complain. I love my job AND get to do it from home, so it's not like I was far from Baby Max, even when I was tethered to my desk. All in all, it was a good first day back. I got to hear the voices of friends I'd missed and was warmly welcomed... I assume most of that is relief that I'll be taking over some of the projects that had been handed off, but for today we'll assume it was all about how much my sparkling personality was missed around the virtual hallways of the American Cancer Society.

The best and worst part of the day came at lunchtime. I ran downstairs between conference calls to find Rob and Max having lunch. Max lit up like the Fourth of July when he saw me. It was the cutest thing EVER, but heartbreaking, too. He kept touching my face as if to say "It's been so LONG, Mommy. Thank goodness you're finally BACK." Poor kid wasn't too happy 12 minutes later when I had to run back up to the office. I will try to take at least a little bit better lunch break going forward... I know 12 minutes isn't exactly healthy for anyone, but there was a lot to do on the first day back after three months, especially considering I left at the height of the fundraising season. Sorry again to all of my coworkers who thankfully never once made a peep about my ill-timed departure. They all smiled and wished me well and did a TON of work that wouldn't normally be theirs to do.

Sam also had his first day of camp today. He told us we ruined his day by coming to pick him up at 3 p.m. Apparently he needed more time out with his friends instead of home with his boring parents. He got his wish since he went three doors down to play the minute he got home, and came back to find another friend waiting to play for another hour.

We got Sam's kindergarten assignment in the mail this weekend. He's going to be in morning kindergarten with a teacher who's apparently been well-loved at Thomas Paine Elementary for more than twenty years. He's already excited to go. We picked out his backpack and lunchbox online this weekend. He can't wait to "look like a big kid."

I will sign off with this (relatively for me) short post. I have stuff to look up in order to be ready for Max's first birthday and Korean toljabee celebration this weekend. I've found recipes for bulgogi and jap chae that I'm going to try to make as well as a Korean cucumber salad. We'll pair that with burgers and hot dogs for the less adventurous members of the family. I'm also going to dive in to the construction of some of the intricate towers that decorate the Tol table. I've been planning to do this for our second child for years (Sam was still in Korea on his first birthday) so you'd think I'd be more organized by now. Not so much.