My New Diet Plan

I should specify before I write this that I am not actually on a diet or trying to lose weight.

As I’ve been spending so much time at work, sleeping so little, and surviving the days through the liberal use of coffee, Diet Coke, and chocolate covered espresso beans.

I noticed on Inauguration Day that I was jumping around like four kids in a Bounce House, and realized that the caffeine might actually be making me jittery.

So, I’ve started telling people that my new diet plan is to drink so much coffee that I get a full cardio workout through fidgeting all day.

Thanks

A week ago, I was talking on the phone to my mother and she told me, out of nowhere, that my blog is boring. (Thanks, Mom.) It really bummed me out.

But, in the last week, I have had at least three people tell me that they enjoy reading it.

So, thanks, everyone. Your kind words made a world of difference to me.

11 Months

That’s what it took.

Eleven months–to the day–after having Hazel, I am back to my pre-pregnancy weight. Woohoo!

I would love to attribute it to hard work, but aside from a couple of months of intensive Wii Fit (not recent months, either), I’ve been a lazy bum.

What I think happened is that as Hazel started progressively eating more solid foods, my body stopped holding on to that last stubborn ten pounds, and I just dropped the weight. I feel like something similar happened with Oliver.

In any case, I feel great! Actually, I feel tiny. Mostly because I got new, knee high boots, and I can zip them over my fat legs–no small feat, considering that I haven’t been able to do that… ever, as far as I can remember.

‘Tis the Season

Busy season, that is.

I will likely be scarce for the next few weeks, as I have temporarily increased my hours to full time busy season hours (which means 55+ hours a week mandatory minimum). When I’m not at work, I plan on spending my time pretty much inhaling Hazel and Oliver.

“Don’t You Have Kids?!”

So, I admit it. Occasionally I swear. And by occasionally, I mean whenever I feel like it. I’m not ashamed, I don’t feel guilty–they are just words and sometimes I choose to use them instead of the more politically correct “Shoot” or “Fudge”.

I went to a dinner the other night with some friends, including some people I didn’t know. I was talking with a friend about something, and I said the F-word.

The girl sitting a few seats away was apparently listening in, and interrupted.
Her: Did you just say “#$%@”?
Me: Uh, I guess so. I wasn’t really paying attention.
Her: Don’t you have kids?
Me: Uhhhh, yeah. But I don’t think they can hear me. They’re at home, sleeping.

Now, please, let’s all give her a big, cyber eye-roll.

Child Care Tax Benefits (or should we say losses?)

Last year (and this year, annoyingly enough), I had $5000 taken out of my paycheck pre-tax. This was supposed to be money that was not taxable so that I could pay for child care. As such, when filling out my 2007 return, I did not include this in taxable income.

Well, it turns out that pre-tax means ‘deferred tax’. The $5000 not only should have been included in my taxable income, but also made me ineligible to get child and dependent care expenses deductions.

My 2007 tax return was audited, and now I owe the government $522 + $22 in interest and penalties.

Thanks for that benefit, Deloitte. I’m glad that not only do I pay most of my income to child care, but I also had to pay an extra $22, as well as jump through hoops to get back my $5000 that was deducted from my income.

Bah, humbug.

Mommy CPA

So, I’ve been thinking about the turmoil of the working mother. I haven’t really talked to anyone else about this, but I imagine that I cannot possibly be alone, and what I feel is probably universally shared by all moms who go to work.

I get up in the morning, race around as quietly as possible to get as much done before Oliver and Hazel wake up, and then get them ready. I drive them to their nanny’s house on my way to work, and have to give them hugs and kisses (and sometimes more hugs and kisses) before I leave for work. Some mornings I can’t help but cry on my way in.

I go to work, and by the time I arrive, I have put on my auditing persona. I concentrate on work and colleagues, and while I talk about my kids (perhaps more than these single guys that I work with are really interested in… but they humor me, and I love them for it), I’m not really focused on them. I love my job, I work hard, I get stuff done. I talk with my clients, I try to help my staff, I audit financial statements.

Except when it’s time for me to have some quiet time with my pump. I take the pump downstairs, and read parenting magazines. Pumping is never as satisfying as nursing (I guess machines really aren’t an adequate replacement for children, as much as I may love my Crackberry), and I always wonder what the people who work in the offices next to the room clearly labeled “LACTATION ROOM” think of me when I walk in and out, and if they wonder about the mysterious interior of the locked room.

Some of my more forward coworkers have asked me about the room, and some general questions about pumping. I appreciate that, because it’s way less awkward. More awkward is when someone asks me an innocuous question about the trendy black carrying case (“Is your lunch in there?”), and I can’t think of anything to say except the truth–that it’s a pump. The younger people are sometimes really slow to pick up, and ask, “A pump? What do you mean?”, and I have to explain, for breastmilk. (Of course, as I’m writing this, the clever answer seems obvious–is my lunch in there? No, but my daughter’s is!)

As I near the end of my workday, I climb back into my car and make mental to do lists for the next day as I drive away from Fannie Mae’s offices and towards home, my kids, and the other me.

When I arrive at my nanny’s house, Oliver doesn’t want to talk to me–he doesn’t do transitions well, and my arrival is no different. Hazel smiles at me like I have just made her whole universe better–and her smile does the same for mine. We go home, play, eat, bathe, read, sing, dance, and love.

Except on the really rough days, I love my job. I love what I do. I love that I go to work. In other circumstances, I would love to be full time. But I love my kids. I love Oliver’s jokes, Hazel’s stubbornness, the way that they hold hands and kiss and love each other so much. Is it possible to have it all? Maybe I am–maybe having it all involves sacrificing a little bit of everything, but coming out as a better, more whole me on the other side. Am I cheating my kids out of my time? Am I cheating my coworkers out of my knowledge and experience? Maybe. But I think that I need both sides of me–I need Mommy-Katy, as well as Katy-Katy. And, just as important (if not discussed here), I need Conner’s Katy, too.