What’s he doing?

I realized that the last few posts have been very Momma-centered.  Let me give you some highlights of what Little Man is able to do now.  

1) He can almost roll over.  He gets so close, but that last little part where he actually flips over has been eluding him, poor guy.  We’ll keep practicing.  

2) Nothing is outside of his grasp now.  If he wants it, he grabs it and it goes straight into his mouth.  

3) He LOVES his Johnny Jump Up.  I seriously think that we could leave him in that thing all day and he wouldn’t care in the slightest.  He might need an IV of breastmilk, but he’d be totally fine otherwise.  

4) He laughs and smiles all the time.  I’m blessed with a very happy child.  

5) Yesterday, I noticed that I can start seeing the ridges where his teeth will be on his top gums.  This explains why he keeps eating Sophie the Giraffe’s head!  

6) I know that one of my last posts about him had to do with sleeping.  He’s still sleeping like a champ at night (knock on wood) and he’s been doing much better at sleeping on his own in his crib during the day.  Like all other things with Little Man, he just needs to work it out and do things when he’s ready.  🙂

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Today is the best day of my week

It’s been a little crazy here, folks.  This week has been an emotional roller coaster and I had serious doubts about me making it through unscathed.  But, here I am.  This week, Friday is the best day.  Not because of the weekend (though, with a wedding to attend, it’ll definitely be great!), but because I get to spend the WHOLE DAY with Little Man!  

My mom (wonderful person that she is) told me that when I started back to work, I would appreciate all of the times I DO have with Little Man.  The truth of this was in how happy I was to get up with him at 6am and feed him and know that I could leave him in his jammies for a little while (and that I could stay in them too!) and that we could snuggle on the couch.  I take HUGE comfort in knowing that I don’t have to rush anywhere today.  I have errands that need to be run, but I can do them all with Little Man and that makes them better.  

I think even though he’s little, he also knows this is our day together.  He’s been extra smiley all day and seems to be in the greatest of spirits.  I’m so, so grateful to have a WHOLE DAY.   

First day back at work

So much has happened.  Little Man and I went to California all by ourselves and had a blast.  That is a post for tomorrow.  The post for today has to do with my first day back at work since having Little Man.  

I’m technically a part-time employee at school now, but the hours this week are a little weird.  We had a retreat today and some meetings for half days the rest of the week.  The tricky part is figuring out how to balance all of that time and make sure I get work done without being at the school all of the time.  

But let’s get to the heart of the matter.  

Today was the longest time that I’ve ever been away from Little Man.  We have a wonderful woman that I completely trust who is taking care of him, but I was still a complete, ridiculous mess.  I teared up a little on the way to the babysitter’s house, cried at her house, and on the way to the retreat center (thank God that Teacher Man was with me or I might not have made it).  Then, whenever people asked me about Little Man for the first 45 minutes or so, I would have to blot away the tears.  

I never thought this would be me, on so many levels.  

I thought that I would be able to stay home with my kids.  But, that’s not the wisest move for us, financially, this year and so I work.  

I never thought that being a mom would affect me emotionally as much as it does.  I never thought that I would be an attached parent.  I figured that it takes a village to raise a child.  I could rely on others to take care of my kids, no problem.  It’s so, so much harder than I thought it was going to be.  

One of the things we were supposed to reflect on when we were on our retreat today was how we balance our work life and our personal life.  I have no idea how I’m going to be able to balance my time with Little Man and getting my work done.  Even now, when I’m not actively teaching, I don’t have time to do the reading and work that needs to get done before work starts.  I’m worried.  I know that I’ll be able to do my job, but I worry about the toll that it will take on Little Man.  

Deep in my heart, I know that he’ll be fine.  It’s good for him to be around some other kids, his caretaker is great, and I’m helping our family financially.  

But, that doesn’t mean my heart won’t tear in two every time I have to say goodbye to him.  

For now, I’m going to try and make the most of it.  Snuggle with him just a little bit longer, read him a few more books, and give him a few more kisses.  

And take some deep breaths.  

Sleep, or lack thereof

Here’s the thing.  When your Little is born and you bring them home from the hospital (or birthing center, or swimming pool, or whatever), they kind of give you an instruction manual, but not really.  There are some handouts and, if you’re lucky, the nurses showed you how to do some stuff — swaddle, feed, change, etc.  You are enamored with your Little and you pay attention to them all the time.  Screw those crazy people who said to sleep when your baby sleeps!  You have this precious little being and all you want to do is hold them and treasure them and stare at them while they sleep.  Folks, I did this.  I remember the second day in the hospital with Little Man; Teacher Man had a meeting at school and I spent the whole hour and a half I was alone with Little Man staring at him sleep on my lap.  Should I have been sleeping?  Sure.  After all, I had not only grown a human being, I had also pushed him out of me in the not too distant past, and was currently managing to keep him alive by my (almost) self!  Sleep could wait!  Let me look at and smell the baby!  

But then.  

You have been home for awhile and you’ve somehow managed to establish your new normal.  You wake up in the middle of the night, carry on one-sided conversations, and do mountains of laundry.  And all is right with the world.  Your Little is thriving and doing everything he should.  He even sleeps!  Granted, most of the time he sleeps on you, but that’s no big deal, right?  I mean, he’s only six/seven/eight weeks old.  He’s a baby for crying out loud and all the books say that you can’t spoil a baby that young.  

But somehow, magically, things shift.  He’s much bigger now (say, oh, I don’t know, three months?) and still wants to nap with you.  He sleeps in his crib at night like he’s supposed to and like the big boy that he is.  But napping?  Napping is a whole other thing.  

So you start sneaking around like a cat burglar, hoping that he won’t hear you slipping out of his room after you try to ever-so-gently put him to sleep in his crib.  But nothing works.  He wakes up ALL THE TIME and those eyes POP OPEN like the possessed dolls in all those scary movies and you can’t do anything ever because you want him to JUST SLEEP.  And I mean anything: go to the bathroom, make a sandwich, dust the living room (because, for crying out loud, people are going to start SAYING something about the dust bunnies), or even, I don’t know, stretch.  

This brings us to now.  Teacher Man and I decided that we needed to Do Something.  As much as I’m not looking forward to going back to work (have we not talked about this? oh, wait, yes we have), we have to be prepared.  And part of that preparedness means that Little Man can’t be held while he naps.  Our pediatrician recommended The Baby Whisperer, so I figured we’d give it a shot (I will say this: all in all, I like it.  I refuse to have Little Man cry it out and this seemed like a good compromise — I’m able to help him learn how to sleep and not just leaving him solely to his own devices).  Last night was our first night on the program: Little Man went to bed earlier, was given a dream feed, and slept through most of the night.  Now, granted, that’s not much different than what he had been doing previously, but still… win.  

But, the napping.  It was a rough day.  I am knocking back a Cold One right now because it was a rough day.  Granted, Little Man didn’t sleep on us at all today, but he also didn’t sleep much, either.  He made it through about one sleep cycle per nap and then pretty much didn’t want to go back to sleep at all (even when he tried the shh-pat method, which did work most of the other times like going to bed at night and getting down for a nap in the beginning).  Folks, I am exhausted with trying to get this small person to understand that all he has to do is take a deep breath and SHUT HIS EYES and he’ll fall asleep.  Good grief!  Needless to say, there have been MANY Hail Mary’s today and I’m sure that there will be many more tomorrow.  

However, my husband wants me to look on the bright side (though, I’d rather garumph and complain about it even though I won’t feel better; aren’t husbands annoying when they’re right?), so I have to say this: 1) It’s only day one and it has to get better (please-say-yes-please-say-yes), 2) Little Man going to bed earlier means that I got to type this post, and 3) Little Man didn’t nap on us AT ALL today… a BIG step for him and a HUGE change when your whole world is as small as his is.  

Also, I didn’t have to walk three miles each way to get water today and I wasn’t persecuted for my religion or being a woman; it’s all about the perspective, right?  I am blessed in so many ways.  I just need to keep remembering.  

Now, it’s almost time for his dream feed and bed for me afterwards.  Prayers and positive thoughts would be much appreciated.  So would Cold Ones.  I’ll keep you posted.  

It’s been awhile… 5 Quick Takes

Okay, I know.  It’s been forever since I’ve blogged.  Almost three whole weeks, and when your Little Man is only 3 months old… that’s actually quite a bit of time!  

So, I’m jumping on the bandwagon that so many other bloggers have going on out there: 5 Quick Takes.  There’s no way that I would be able to update you on EVERYTHING that’s happened (including some work with sleep! which is HARD! and will be its own post!), I’m going to give you the seven most important highlights.  

Let the summarizing begin!

1) Aunt L and Grandma and Grandpa P came to visit!  At the end of July, my sister came to stay with us for a few days, just for fun.  It was wonderful to see her and I appreciate our relationship more and more as we get older.  She’s also Little Man’s godmother, so it’s extra special to have her around!  My parents also visited overnight one night when they were on their way to move my brother down to San Diego for grad school.  It’s crazy how much Little Man has grown since they saw him last!  He just grows and grows.  

2.  Speaking of growing,  Little Man is getting much better about holding his head up while he’s on his tummy.  This works especially well, when his blanket faces the television.  🙂  I’m all about making sure that he doesn’t watch tv, but if it encourages him to hold his head up, it might be okay, right?  He’s also starting to wiggle his hips back and forth like he’s getting ready to roll over.  We’ll see.  What he REALLY likes doing is standing on our laps.  I seriously think that this kid is going to walk before he can crawl.  If we let him, he would stand all day long.  He gets the greatest look on his face like, “Look, guys!  I’m doing it!  Just like the big kids!”  It’s adorable.  

3. Teacher Man and I are godparents!   My friend, L, and her husband, M, picked Teacher Man and I to be godparents to Peanut!  I’ve never been a godparent before, so it’s definitely an honor.  Her baptism was last weekend and it was great.  So small and perfect and Peanut was adorable.  We had a great time hanging out with her and her extended family.  I’m so excited to know that we’re going to be connected to that family forever!  

4. The beach!  As we’re getting closer and closer to school starting, Teacher Man and I decided that we needed to take a day and go to the beach with Little Man.  He was a total champ on the drive (it’s a touch under two hours) and slept most of the time.  We zoomed him around the small coastal town in his umbrella stroller (his first time in it) and he did well.  Of course, we took him to the water as well.  We don’t live in a place where the beach is warm and sunny — most everyone was wearing sweatshirts — so Little Man was a little skeptical of the wind.  Then, we put him on the sand and he liked that A LOT.  He did NOT like the ice-cold water and was very shocked when we put his little feetsies in the ocean.  🙂  It was kind of awful, but it was also kind of hilarious.  

5. Airplane!  It’s his new favorite thing.  But, we have a strict “Must Wait 60 Minutes After Eating Before Airplane” Policy.  

Alright, that’s most of the news for now.  As I mentioned above, there’s a lot going on with sleeping, but that’s going to be its own separate series of posts (which will be coming presently, I assure you).