What I’ve Learned: Maternity Leave Edition

I’m baaacck! To writing that is. Apparently, my blog has been on maternity leave as well! As I’ve been enjoying snuggles and dressing like a bum, there are a few things that I’ve come to realize.

  • I was reminded what a big job it is being a stay at home mom. I’ve been lucky enough that all the kids are in school or daycare so I can really focus on the new baby. The days where they were not, at a minimum, were chaotic. So, shout out to all the stay at home moms!!
  • Daytime TV is terrible. Maybe it’s because I’m not a huge reality TV person (talk shows included), but there are slim pickings. You can only watch Law and Order: SVU so many times. I think I watched all the episodes while on leave for Asher so I’m not seeing anything new.
  • Late night TV is terrible. So, when she wakes at 2am and I turn the TV on to stay awake while feeding her, it’s usually reruns of Law & Order: SVU (note #1 on why that’s not entertaining). Or, the lovely choices of Life Lock, Pressure Cookers, Amazing Abs, Erections, Great Sex, or a variety of kids shows on Disney and Nick Jr. Don’t get me wrong, I could use some good abs and, well, some of the other options are what got me on maternity leave to begin with so I’m not interested in watching the infomercials.
  • Babies only sleep, eat, and poop (well, at least mine does). So, for the other 22 hours a day, it can get boring after cleaning the house and taking a nap. I’ve been reading and doing puzzles. Hubs says it’s time to head back to work. He knows me well.
  • A “quick trip” to Target to get diapers or groceries is anything but that. There is something therapeutic about wandering the store without a child tugging at your leg. That is until you check out and throw up in your mouth a little bit because you spent twice as much as you expected.
  • There were more times than I like to admit where I really didn’t know what day of the week it was. And certainly not what day of the month it was. I managed to nearly forget a field trip day, almost miss a meeting, and oversleep on days I had to do school drop off.

Don’t get me wrong, maternity leave has been nice. I’ve been able to relax and get to know this new little baby of ours. There are a few items I will miss when I head back to work in a couple weeks (besides my kiddo of course!).

  • Naps. Whenever I want. I fully predict that at least once the first week back my forehead will hit the keyboard around 2pm begging for a nap.
  • Catching up on housework. I have enjoyed not using every Saturday to clean the house. I’ve been able to work on things here and there and it’s made it way more manageable.
  • Naps. Did I mention that already?
  • Grocery shopping when it’s not busy. Aside from spending too much at Target, it’s nice being able to get a good parking spot and then get through the aisles without playing bumper carts.
  • Flexibility. Asher was sent home sick last week and I did not have to worry about the debate of who does pick up and stays home with the sick kid. It’s certainly made it a lot easier for our schedules. Or when Elijah had an evening event, I didn’t have to stress about having to leave work early to make it on time.

At the end of the day, I do feel I am still a better mom when I’m working. I may be less organized and laundry may pile up a bit more, but I have that adult interaction I’ve been missing while away. And the time when I am home will be even more precious.

She’s Here!

She’s here! Our final family member arrived on Thursday, February 16th. Ariah (pronounced like “Mariah” without the “M”), completed our family. Honestly, boy or girl, we were done anyway! The boys are super excited for her to be here, and even Asher has adjusted well- after a few tough days. The pink, purple and glitter take some getting used to. I’ve, on more than one occasion, called her a boy nickname. It’s weird having another girl in the house, but it’s certainly something I can get used to!

A lot of it is surreal actually. The pregnancy was tougher than any of my others like I mentioned before. But it did go by fast in retrospect. I had started my maternity leave on the 15th. I figured that I would get a few days of rest in before my scheduled induction date on the 21st. My first day off hubs and I ran errands, had lunch together and just enjoyed some quiet time- which hasn’t happened in a REALLY long time. The morning of the 16th, we were getting the boys ready for school and then planning on running some additional errands before my 38-week checkup. In the midst of the usual morning chaos, I realized that I had either become incontinent or my water had broken and was leaking out gradually. I called the doctor and they said to head to the hospital where they could check for certain. The boys, being the boys, were moving at a snail’s pace. I had been having a few contractions and I realized that not only did we have to do drop off at 2 different locations across town from one another, but we had to head into the city. During rush hour. Now, Minneapolis doesn’t seem super big, but the traffic here is terrible. Especially if you live south of the cities and have to travel north, which we do. No matter what, I did not want to be that person to give birth on the Bloomington Ferry bridge during rush hour and be on the 5 o’clock news. After much prodding, I had to turn the drama level up a few notches and yell that my water broke so they better get a move on. Surprisingly, it worked. Those boys moved faster than I’ve ever seen. Hubs thankfully was still calm. Side note- when my water broke with Asher in the middle of the night, hubs was in a very sleep deprived, delirious panic and backed into our other car as we left. We still all laugh about that. No major incidents getting out of the house this time!

We did make it to the hospital where an amazing labor and delivery triage nurse- who also has 3 boys and girl- got us situated. They confirmed that my water had broken and then got us set up in the labor and delivery room. I believe we got all settled in there around 9am. My labor and delivery nurse- who also has 3 boys and a girl (I believe that was God reassuring us?!)- was absolutely awesome. My doctor stopped in to see how things were going- at which point the rest of my water broke- and they began the process of moving the labor along. For whatever reason, my body does not seem to go into regular labor patterns on its own. I’ve always needed Pitocin, which in my world means I need good drugs too. That Pitocin stuff is no joke! Heck, labor is no joke and I’m totally of the camp that if I can be comfortable, why not!? Thankfully my OB is very supportive of that- I believe the quote I heard was “no need to play hero”- and he put orders in for an epidural.

Several hard contractions later the angel anesthesiologist, showed up to get the epidural going. Within 30 minutes I was laying comfy and chatting with hubs and the nurse. They did a check and I was at 4.5 centimeters. Decent progress but we figured I had at least another 5-7 hours to go.

About an hour later, I was at 6 so we were gearing up. They rolled me to my other side to even the epidural out. About 5 or 10 minutes later, I started feeling the contractions again, or so I thought. I mentioned it to the nurse and she checked and I was at 9.5 centimeters! I was NOT ready for that. Mentally, I was still wrapping my head around the fact that we were having a baby that day and not running errands and taking naps all afternoon. About 2 minutes later my doctor shows up and they get me all set up to begin pushing. So, I do a “practice push” and out comes a head…and half a “practice push” later, she is out! Seriously, I think that was faster than a cesarean! My head was spinning. Yes, I realize that I was lucky. She and I are healthy, but that was a shock to the system.

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Since then, I’ve been healing well- far better than I expected. She is growing really well and we’re just getting settled into a new routine. We’re staying quarantined at home, as much as we can, until she gets a little older and this flu and RSV wave let up, not to mention all of the other possibilities that can come up. It’s not worth the risk. I believe the Jimmy Kimmel PSA covers it well. So, come May, we will be out and meeting people. Until then, I’ll keep sending pictures and welcome any girly advice!

Counting Down!

The countdown is on. Only 4 weeks (or likely less) until we welcome baby #4 into the family. This has by far been my toughest pregnancy. I’m not sure if it’s because of my “advanced maternal age” or because it’s a girl this time. Either way, it’s not been pretty. Aside from the physical challenges I’ve had this time (I feel like I’m perpetually riddled with arthritis, a bum hip, a bad back and the list goes on), my emotions are all over the board. Laughing one minute, crying the next, irritable after that. Hubs is supportive, but at a loss. The boys I’m sure are sick of it. I am proud to say that I’ve at least managed to keep the tears to a minimum at work- or been able to shut my office door! My apologies to all caught in my emotional crossfire.

This time around it’s been different, perhaps due to my roller coaster of emotions, but the engagement by others is just not the same. I’m guessing that it’s probably my less than cordial, don’t touch my belly unless I know you well or you’re invited, demeanor? Who knows? But sometimes it’s a little sad because I feel like maybe I’m just not as welcoming about receiving questions. I was really feeling bummed about this. I mean, we’re having our first girl and I can only shoot daggers at anyone inquiring? That doesn’t seem celebratory on my part.

Apparently that only applies to adults. I was recently at Target (sans kids!) picking some items up, one of which was diapers. I’m browsing the diaper aisle, befuddled as usual at the fact that they have every single size of the diaper brand/style I want, except the size I need. I’m digging around the shelf looking in case some got buried. There was a mom also nosing around looking for diapers as well. She had a little baby boy and a pre-school age girl with her. The girl I notice keeps looking at me. I smile at her and go about digging around for diapers. What happened next melted my heart, and I believe horrified her mother.

Girl: “That’s my baby brother”, she states his name and points to the little boy in the cart.

Me: “Wow, that’s great! I bet you like being a big sister?”

Girl: “Yes, and I have a bigger sister too.” She gives her name too.

Me: “That’s great. You’re lucky to have a sister and a brother.” I’m amused at this point but also don’t want to get too personal because that would be weird and you never know how people will react. I notice she keeps looking at my belly. “I have 3 big boys at home and now there is a baby girl in my belly!”

Girl: “I bet she makes noise. Mom I can hear her baby making noise.” At that moment, she skips over to me and places her ear on my belly. “Mom, I hear her baby moving!” Her mom is beyond horrified, apologizes, and tells her she needs to always ask permission.

Me: “Not even an issue. In fact, that made my day.” I couldn’t stop smiling. I really wanted to be able to reassure the mom as much as possible that it really was okay. But, I get it because I know some people that would not be okay with that. But for me, I loved the innocent enthusiasm. It was a welcome change. So, when I have my ridiculous instants of emotions, I go back to that moment and the joy she had to “hear the baby” and am happy I was able to be part of that moment, and that my baby girl could be as well.

Grandpa Green

This may not be a normal “working mom” post, but we all have loved ones we lose, working moms or not. I really don’t know another way to honor my grandpa- besides making choices that wouldn’t have him hollering “Judas Priest”!

People that knew grandpa before grandma died knew he was a goofball. Not one ounce of him cared what people thought. He was always in the moment, enjoying life. He retired from the post office when I was 4, so I really only knew the “retired” grandpa. I can’t speak to how grandma and grandpa were as parents. I assume they were fine- my mom and her siblings turned out to be successful, productive people. But, I can tell you, he loved being grandpa.

He was very passionate about taking care of his home and yard. You knew better than to touch the walls going up and down the stairs at their house. I laugh because my parents wouldn’t say boo about the boys touching the walls. If they did that at grandpa’s house, they would for sure get one booming warning before getting a good ol’ fashioned lickin’. You didn’t mess with his grass either- that was his summer hobby. He liked woodworking too. He even built custom Barbie furniture for his granddaughters. Of course he painted them bright green- that may have been the only paint color he had now that I think of it…

As much as he loved us, you didn’t mess around with him. When he said something, he meant business. I, being the oldest, of course had to test the waters with him. My most vivid memory was when he and grandma were over watching me and my brother. My mom had explicitly told me to not go to my friend’s house a block over. I, thinking grandpa was too old to catch me, decided to run over there. I mean, what was he really going to do?? Well, he chased me all the way to their porch (he ran way faster than I thought possible!). He carried me home, dangling me by one arm, swatting my butt the whole way. In today’s society, someone for sure would have called CPS. I’m pretty sure people in our neighborhood just looked and said “good for him”. Seriously though, I thought that he was going to beat me senseless.

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Christmas was always a very special time with him. I think he loved getting the grandkids riled up on Christmas Eve telling us Santa was on the roof. We would plaster our noses on the window trying to look. Now that I think of it, that was actually one of the few times he didn’t yell at us about getting our fingers or faces on the window. Of course, he would usually do that after he had had a few adult beverages with the parents and neighbors. I remember Grandpa and his neighbor Tony having a great time together on Christmas Eve. The party didn’t start until Tony and Virginia came over. Even as a kid, I knew that was when things would get fun. Those memories of Christmas Eve are so nostalgic for me. I even told Hubs that this Christmas didn’t feel the same because that whole dynamic is different. But I suppose that is part of growing up.

Grandpa was always active too. He kept walking regularly even after retiring and managed to stay in pretty good shape (see above comments about him chasing me). He would often play Trac Ball with us in the backyard or ride around the yard on my brothers moped (that usually happened after a few adult beverages as well).

I remember when I told him I was dating hubs. He was not happy. Like many in his generation, plus from a smaller town, he didn’t quite understand the idea of an interracial relationship. I asked him to at least meet him and then to form his own opinion. So, when they met, I mentioned that hubs was a history major (this was well before med school) and that he was also in the Marine Corps (Grandpa was in the Navy and Army and very proud of his service time). Grandpa did manage to put him through the ringer a bit, he asked a lot of questions, but by the end of the day, they were swapping war stories and hubs was relentlessly picking his brain about all of his experiences. And of course them both being named “Robert” didn’t hurt! I joke with him that I think grandpa liked him more than me! I can remember going over there and they would sit for hours sifting through old documents while grandma and I would sit there and smile.

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The other thing he loved a lot was grandma. As an outsider you may not know it- they bickered ALL THE TIME. Grandpa yelling “Judas Priest June!” and she retorting “Oh shut up Bob!”. It often served as our entertainment growing up. Probably the most memorable moment was the Christmas before grandma died. We were all playing cards- all the grandkids, spouses, grandma, and grandpa. They started arguing about which way you deal the cards- do you deal to the right or to the left? I mean really arguing. Like we were laughing and peeing our pants because these two were so serious about which way to deal the cards. The best part is that we all still laugh about it. In fact, I don’t think we can all play cards without mentioning it.

When she died, honestly, he died with her. He really wasn’t the same again. He didn’t know how to function. So, for the last 9 years, we’ve had a different version of grandpa. Sometimes, he was hard to love. Sometimes, he was just plain annoying. Most of the time, he was just not the same. So, when he passed away earlier this month, I was surprised. Mostly because it’s what he’s been saying he wanted since grandma died and no matter how much he smoked and his health failed, he just seemed to be hanging on. So, I believe grandpa got what he wanted for Christmas, to be with grandma again. We just hope she was ready for him!

Maternity/Paternity Leave

Today marks my 2 year “blogiversary”. I thought I would “celebrate” by posting something a little different- but still related to being a working mom. I started this post over a year ago, long before my current pregnancy. I’m interested to hear feedback and/or discussion regarding this topic, although I know it can be sensitive, especially in our current political climate. So, for those that partake- enjoy, it’s my opinion and only supported by articles and blogs I’ve read online. Don’t expect it to be a thesis….

I don’t typically post controversial stuff on my blog. Well, unless you consider me working and having kids controversial, but then why read a working mom blog in the first place? Either way, I’ve noticed a topic that has popped up in the news on several occasions. No, I’m not talking about political candidate rhetoric. I’m referring to paid time off for the birth or adoption of a child. Now, I cannot speak about adoption because I’ve never gone through that process. However, aside from the fact that the baby comes from someone else’s uterus, you still have the emotional roller coaster, extreme lifestyle change and the “getting to know you” phase of a new person to take care of. So, it still applies. But, I’ll save that topic for people that have the experience to speak from that perspective. And for my male readers- I’ll cover my thoughts on paternity leave, just be patient, I’ll get to it.

If you look at the recent companies that have changed their policies regarding leave, the bulk of them are tech or “trendy” companies. They are looking to attract and keep, good talent. When talking with people, especially those that live outside of the US, most are appalled by our current leave policy- or lack of policy- in most cases. I’ve heard conversations on both sides of this- and have read the many comments on some of these articles which include valid arguments on both sides, along with ignorant, troll-like responses. So, because I can only speak about what I know, here are my thoughts on paid leave for parents.

I was fortunate enough to work for companies where I qualified for FMLA (12 weeks of leave with job protection) and that paid me for 6 weeks at 66% of my salary. Now, don’t get me wrong, I say that I was fortunate because a lot of people I’ve read about worked places where they had far less time, were not under FMLA, and did not receive any pay. That is unfortunate. I often think about the idea that when you have an employee who gets the flu, you send them home. You don’t risk them spreading the virus to others which can cause a huge decrease in productivity when you have several people out. I get it, getting pregnant is not contagious. But, attitude and morale are- and maybe more so. If your employee comes back to work depressed, stressed, and tired, that does not help anyone. If the employee is worth keeping, it’s worth offering perks that keep them there.

I do consider myself lucky. I could have not gotten paid, and I don’t know about you, but coming out of college with student loans does not lend a lot of flexibility to “saving up”. Not to mention all of the new “grown up” things that were then added. Plus, how in the world do you know how much to save? I mean, you can save enough for your medical costs (assuming you have a perfect, no issue birth) and then several months of money to cover living expenses (again, assuming that nothing goes wrong while you’re off). But even then, it would have taken hubs and I, on our meager salaries starting out, years to save the amount of money to cover the medical costs (roughly $5-8K for Elijah which was the most normal birth we had) and the household expenses for 3-6 months. Yes I know, it’s our fault we took out student loans, had a car payment, mortgage, utilities, food, etc. We could not have afforded to have any more time off unpaid. I only took the paid 6 weeks off to not affect our budget any more than it already had been. I was also lucky enough to not have any lingering health issues so returning at 6 weeks, although still too early in my opinion, was more doable than having to go back any earlier.

So, there is the financial side of this argument. Sure I suppose you can prepare for that technically. But what you cannot prepare for is the physical side of the process. Forget about the pregnancy itself, morning sickness, fatigue, and any other ailments pregnant women often experience. Let’s talk about the actual delivery. A good delivery would allow a woman to go into the hospital, labor for a short period of time and then pop out the baby. No IV needed, no drugs, no stitches and minimal bleeding. But, let’s be real. How often does that happen? Going by the number of women that I’ve known who have had babies, deliveries seldom go that way. Think about it, you are pushing a baby- typically the size of a small watermelon (if you’re lucky), through a part of the body that is substantially smaller than that. There is bound to be some scrambling of things happening there. The body goes through extreme pain and contortion (it feels like that anyway) in order to get the baby out. If not naturally, you end up with an incision in your lower abdomen. So, stitches in your abdomen or in your lady parts, either way, not fun.

Hearing all of that fun, messy stuff, can we talk about the fact that it is really only a woman who can have the baby? I’ve heard the argument that it’s not a company’s responsibility to provide paid leave for their employees, it’s a privilege. That’s correct, it is a privilege. However, why wouldn’t a business offer paid time off for employees. Let’s think about this. We have to assume that the employee having the baby is a good employee- otherwise why are they still employed there? Not to mention, the only employee that can physically give birth, is a woman. So for those that argue that if you can’t afford the time off, then don’t have a baby: that would limit a LOT of women to having babies when they’re young before entering the workforce (again assuming there are no financial challenges- see my remark about student loans), waiting until they retire (hello biological clock) or heck, why not just stay home and not work? It seems a little sexist considering women are the only ones that can actually perform the process of birthing. Again- adoption aside for this particular argument. I even heard comments along the lines of “that’s why women shouldn’t work”, but I’ll save those for another forum. I’m not interested in entertaining thoughts from the 1950’s at this moment in time.

Having said all of this, I’m not saying it only applies to women. It should be the same for men as well. What better support system than to have your other half there to help you when you’re exhausted, sore, emotional, etc.? Besides, it really wouldn’t be fair to say that only women can get this benefit. Yes, they go through the bulk of the process (remember my watermelon example) but men should be allowed to also have that bonding time with the newest family member. There is value in having full participation from all parents involved.

What could the down sides be? Your worker, who again I assume is a good worker as they are still employed, will come back re-energized and ready to contribute? The partner of that worker comes back knowing they were able to be there for some irreplaceable moments with their newest family member? This has been a very hot topic with a LOT of opinions, I get that. But I do also recognize our society is changing in a big way. People are yearning for more of a balance in their life. They want a rewarding career but also are seeing the value of having a family and not waiting until they are in their 40’s. I also understand that there are some businesses that cannot afford to provide this type of benefit. Maybe it’s time to look at other examples across the globe to see what works or doesn’t work. I’m writing about this not because I’ve been through this 3 times, and am about to go through this again. But because I hurt for those that are having children without any resources, or want children, and cannot because we as the leading country in the world, cannot put ourselves in others shoes and show understanding or empathy for people in situations different than ours. We can do better than that, if even making an effort to discuss in a civilized manner. It has to start somewhere.

 

 

Keep In Mind…

What’s a blog without one mention of the election? A good blog you might say!? I figured I would add my thoughts as it will be 4 years before I get the chance again. And who knows if this blog will be around then??

So, it’s that time again Every 4 years, the eve of the big election. Some of you may hide in a closet and wait for it to be over. For others, this is like the political Super bowl- regardless of who or what you’re voting for.  For me, I love watching all of this. I hate politics normally, but something about watching the electoral votes come in is just purely fascinating to me. Of course I’m sure there are people that would just like to watch TV without a political ad popping up. Either way, here are a few things I want to mention- and I will say- this post is candidate agnostic so you don’t have to lecture me about whatever party you hold near and dear. There are some observations that I’m trying to keep in mind.

 

  • Regardless of who you’re voting for, it’s not okay to demean people because they do not agree with you. On November 9th one of those candidate will be elected by our democracy to lead our country. And guess what, we all still live here! We all still have to work, shop, worship, etc. with one another. Consider life beyond November 8th.
  • In regards to the previous item, if it’s frightening, you know, life beyond November 8th– then GO VOTE! Whichever way you go, be part of the process and don’t leave it up to everyone else. As far as I’m concerned, I have no room to complain if I don’t participate.
  • At the end of this process, we are all still Americans. We may not agree with one another on everything, but that is what makes this country special. That is why, over centuries, people immigrated here for a better life. A life that is not oppressed, where they can practice religion, culture, and live their life outside of whatever cultural norm may have been oppressing them before. America is a melting pot of people and heritages that survived world wars, depressions and recessions, terrorist attacks, and countless things that would have, and people thought, should have, torn us apart. But we were resilient. Let’s not let our own democratic process divide all of us.

 

Enough of my soapbox, you get the idea. Even after this is all done, I still have respect for my fellow Americans. If you want to make a difference, participate! Treat people kindly and allow the process to run its course. And either way it goes, I’ll be celebrating on November 9th that it is finally over!!!

Bag Balm

Bag balm. We have a love hate relationship. It’s an AMAZING ointment to use for baby bottoms (it’s official use is for milking cows, but whatever). Seriously. My sister-in-law first told me about it when she had my nephew 11 years ago and we’ve been believers ever since. The stuff will fix diaper rash in no time. It’s not exactly great smelling, but it gets the job done. And when you’re dealing with a raw baby bottom, anything is worth a shot. The trick with bag balm, aside from its ability to moisturize, is that it is a protectant for the skin. So it is really hard to get off. You can wipe away the excess, sure. But just know there will be a little coating protecting that lovely epidermis of yours for a few more wipes or washings. It’s great. No need to reapply multiple times.

That’s where the love story ends however. Our first battle was several years ago when our sweet Aden was about 3 years old. He had the most adorable, fluffy, big curls ever. They were thick and fine and they fit his personality just perfect. aden

Aden decided that Bag Balm apparently looked like a “hair cream” and managed to wipe half a can into his delightful hair before we saw what was happening. Oh. My. Goodness. I didn’t know what was worse at first: the fact he had it in his hair or I would have to get it all over my hands just to get it out (as opposed to using baby wipes or a Q-Tip on their bottoms).  I mean, what’s a little extra moisture in his hair? Especially compared to having antiseptic smelling hands for a week? It couldn’t be that bad right? Oh, it was. There was NO way out.

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First, we scraped. That got the large chunks out, but it also mushed the remnants into his hair even more. We tried shampoo. Nope. We tried dish soap. That’s supposed to cut grease right? Nope. We tried homemade concoctions we found online. Nothing. Not a single thing was working to get that layer of grease out of his hair. So, the final option, a haircut. I was devastated and Aden, of course after being practically water boarded trying to get the stuff out of his hair, was not about to sit for a haircut. It took some patience, but my little innocent, sweet toddler went from his sweet 3 year old self to a small child after that haircut. He just looked so much older! And, it still took a good week to get that last layer of grease out.

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At the risk of totally humiliating myself, here is the rest of the story. Bag Balm and I stayed on speaking terms but had grown apart as the big boys were out of diapers and we thankfully didn’t have a lot of intestinal bugs. Well, until recently. Thankfully the most recent episode wasn’t as traumatizing as the first (at least not yet I hope). You see, it works great on babies, but really, it works great on all ages. When the big boys get a bug where they’re wiping a lot and it’s getting uncomfortable, we bust out the Bag Balm. Same with the adults. And recently, it had hit me. I don’t have the time to sit in a nice warm tub for hours on end (as much as I would like to), so we move to option B- option Bag Balm. Well, of course that day I had errands to run and quite honestly, I have about 2 options for clothing right now- maternity yoga pants and work pants. So, I opted for the comfy route (the yoga pants if you were wondering) and headed to the store. I wandered around Target, enjoying a rare moment at the store by myself, in no huge rush to get back. The bum was feeling better so why not take my time right? Well, I get home and we’re unloading groceries and hubs says, “Hey, you have a grease mark on the bottom of your pants”. I figure it’s just from chapstick someone left in the dryer. I look in the mirror. Nope. Not. At. All. I had a dark, wide, and quite obvious mark up the seam of the pants, basically covering the crack. I either had the sweatiest crack ever for a cool October day or had wet my pants and it had traveled up the seam. Nice. And, to make matters worse, it was a rare day where I was wearing a maternity shirt that didn’t cover my butt. So, the entire time I was at the store, I was walking around with my grease mark hanging out. That’s where it could get worse, I suppose. Maybe someone took a picture of me, unknowingly, and will post it online. Heck, maybe it’s already out there. So if you see it, just let me know. I want to be able to at least benefit from whatever ad money they’re making!

At the end of the day, I know I won’t break up with Bag Balm. Not with another little one on the way and one still in diapers. It’s too valuable not to have around. I just need to remember to keep my bum covered!