Monday, November 28, 2011

the first and hardest day

7:20 a.m. Drive to daycare, cry the entire way. Does not help that song All of Me is on the radio. Though I'm pretty sure an Eminem song could have been playing and I would have found a way to relate it to my morning.

7:45 a.m. Drop Henry off at daycare. Do not cry.

7:50 a.m. Cry saying goodbye to Shea. Cry on my way back to work.

8 a.m. Arrive in new cubicle to see note from previous worker.

8:15 a.m. Successfully avoid crying when four people ask how "the separation" went but end sentence with "Idon'twanttotalkaboutit."

8:45 a.m. Break out in tears when co-worker hugs me and says she knows it's a hard day for me. Receive super cute pic of my little adaptable son. He certainly does not get this trait from either of his parents.

9 a.m. Successfully avoid crying (and screaming) when finding out that pump room is not really available but I should just bother someone with an actual office every three hours to ask if I can borrow their space.

10 a.m. First pumping session in which I have to skip meeting to use an empty office which majority of staff has key to making for not so relaxed session. Master double pumping but realize how many bottles and supplies this uses each time. And washing shields in work kitchen? Embarrassing. New respect gained for working moms.

10:45 a.m. Get a report from Shea who has already visited Henry (hello, attached parents). He's happy and even slept in a bouncy seat without being held.

12:30 p.m. Visit Henry who is hungry but happy. Feel better. Change diaper and get back to work.

4 p.m. Have to send mass email asking whose office I can use to pump. Grumpy. Finish first chapter in just-for-fun book. Determine I have accomplished nothing today except survive.

5 p.m. Leave to pick up my baby.

6 p.m. Arrive home to discover that dinner still has to be made, laundry done, dishes washed, diaper bag repacked, grad school paper written and house cleaned. Well hello, new reality.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

quick, everybody look in all different directions



This is the largest group of kids Henry has ever been around. His head did come one-inch from the cement fireplace. But you know, I'm such a cool mom that I trusted daddy and kept snapping pictures.

And then I disinfected all the toys because OMG THE BABY SPIT.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

health challenge

A few weeks ago we started a health challenge run by our personal trainer friend, Becky. I'm doing it to lose my last four pounds and get some abs back. Shea is doing it because I said so.

We get points for good behaviors each day.
  • Two fruits (this is my most challenging item.Winter fruit bites it.)
  • Three vegetables
  • 64 ounces of water
  • 30 minutes of cardio
  • Strength training (abs, arm weights, holding baby)
We each picked one behavior we are going to work on throughout the challenge. Mine is two desserts or less per week. I'm not really a dessert fan but considering this challenge runs through a time when there are white chocolate pretzels, fudge and pumpkin pie available in large quantities, it's going to be tough.

Cardio has proved really challenging (read: non-existent) in Minnesota this week. It snowed. And it's cold. And being outside stinks.

My goal was to register for the Rock the Parkway half marathon after getting back into a healthy routine through the challenge. But working out while taking care of a wee little baby is proving to be more than hard. Especially when I start work and only get a couple hours a night with the little man (sob).


send ice cream

In August, 12 weeks seemed like an eternity.

I had plans to finish a scrapbook, clean the house up and down, reorganize the closets, bake bread and get my running groove back.

It's now been 14 weeks; 2,352 hours spent singing, rocking, nursing, wiping, nursing, laundering, nursing, and cuddling. There has not been a lot of baking, running or organizing. Or sleeping for that matter.

But there was a day when maternity leave stopped feeling like a painful marathon and more like the most wonderful gift. We're off to Minnesota for a week tomorrow and then I'm back to work. Today is our last day at home together.

Just like that, it's over.

This lump in my throat that has been growing slowly has now erupted into tears.

I was totally unprepared for this transformation. I thought I'd be bored, anxious to get back to a job I enjoy most days. I thought I would feel like I do at the end of a vacation - sad but excited for a routine again.

My routine these days is sleep as long as I can (7:30 a.m.), lie on a blanket for an hour tickling and making weird noises to elicit a smile or giggle, nurse every two or three hours, do dishes and laundry one-handed, psych myself up for a few hours before a Target run and do everything possible to keep him on the good side of the line. Oh, and I also watch a lot of Gossip Girl and Army Wives (don't judge me).

I remember when I lived in Iowa for my first job out of college. I had few friends and lived in an apartment alone. I would come home for the weekend to visit, and as I would get ready to drive back on Sunday night, it didn't make sense. I was happy and alive at home, in Iowa I was sad. And I chose the sad because it meant career, money to pay the bills and probably some sort of "this is making me a better person" song and dance.

This feels the same. Except way worse.

Maybe I'll adjust and the routine and return to the adult world will be refreshing.

But right now it feels really, really painful.

Which is why after our Target run this afternoon, Henry and I are getting a lot of ice cream.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Friday, November 11, 2011

three months

Dear little Henry,

You're three months old today! It seems like you learn something new every single day. You talk when we talk to you. You are starting to attempt to sit up and roll over, though the amount of energy you expend leaves you desperate for a nap. You loooove to cuddle and end up turned on your side to face mom or dad when you're sleeping next to us.

This has been a big month for you. You went on your first long road trip to meet the great grandmas.You were a trooper and made it nine hours with only one stop.

You visited the apple orchard and dressed up as a pumpkin for Halloween.

You can play for 45 minutes at a time. You love to lie on the floor on your monkey blanket, swing in the kitchen while I make dinner and bat at toys in your gym. You rarely cry now, mostly when it's time to sleep. Speaking of sleep, you've cut back to one night feeding and have slept through the night half a dozen times. Oh baby boy, thank you!

The most exciting thing this month was your recognition of mom and dad's faces and voices. There is nothing better than watching your face light up when daddy arrives home or when mama picks you up after a nap. You can follow us across the room now and you crane your neck to find someone who is calling your name.

The sight of your little face makes me love you so much I feel it with my whole body.

We have two more weeks before I go back to work. Bring on the walks, shopping, cuddling and giggling!

I love you, Henry. LOVE.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

much-needed conversation

I love college football.

My t-shirt drawer plastic bin underneath my bed is full of purple, K-State t-shirts. I don't bat an eye at spending the money for season tickets which also includes a 2-hour drive and giving up most of our fall weekends for games. I dyed my hair purple for a bowl game. I love the excitement, the smells, the traditions. Love it.

But I don't love it more than people.

I watched the Penn State saga unfold, first with sadness, now with horror. Students are taking to the streets in anger. One would assume it'd be anger over the horrifying silence of a coach, a president and other administrators about the rape of helpless little boys. But no. It's anger over a coach being held accountable, the fear of tainting a legacy or perhaps even just anger that the remaining three football games will not be the same.

My own little boy is next to me while I'm writing this. Smiling away, not a care in the world.  I think (and immediately panic) about the ways in which this world will take away his sweet innocence. I hope and pray that nothing this tragic ever crosses his path.

I don't know what happened for sure or who was involved. I trust that the justice system will deal with the action and inaction.

But there is a conversation that needs to take place, not just at Penn State but on all college campuses. A winning football team, a coach's legacy must take a backseat to the safety of our kids.

Friday, November 4, 2011

the unbirthday

My 29th birthday started out with brunch with a great friend and this cute little boy.

Take a look at that sweet, innocent face because it's the last time you'll see it today.

The rest of the day included what seems to be the three month growth spurt. Or a possession by demons. There was screaming, blow out diapers, nursing every hour and lots of sleeping. Except not sleeping in the crib or swing or in a nest of blankets on the couch. Sleeping in my arms and ONLY there.

OK, that's a sweet face, too.
Try to put him down. I dare you. This combined with the same behavior last night along with no coffee led to the most massive migraine/tension headache/nausea combo I've had in a long time. In the meantime, the dog peed on the floor, the cat puked on the couch and I accidentally sat in it. Special.

Luckily the hubs got home early.

We were going to get cheap food for dinner but the pain jolting in my head every time I moved made my stomach turn at every suggestion. Plus Henry was screaming. One migraine pain pill, two Tylenol and a scalding hot shower later, I was recovering.

We finally devoured food, in bed, at 8 p.m.

Followed by more screaming, clawing at my face and a massive blowout diaper. That may have been the grand finale (please, I beg you) because the poor kid is sound asleep now. Growing is so hard!

Tomorrow we're having a birthday redo. There is wine, a large plate of sushi and babysitting grandparents in my future.