If I had to sum up this past month in one word, it would be:
You are either pooping, trying to poop, thinking about trying to poop, or just plain gassy. Poop is the bane of your existence, your nemesis. It makes you so fussy and angry! We all had a rough couple of weeks until your father thought to harness the power of the internet. Now we know better ways to feed you so that you can digest easier. Victory! You're a much happier poop-er now.
This month marks the first time we've been on our own, without the help of our families. It's nice to be just the three of us and figure out a routine. On the other hand, there are a lot fewer helping hands around here. The house is messier. The kitchen isn't always clean when we go to bed. I've taken fewer showers. The living room is more cluttered.
Really, it's all your fault: your needs trump anything and everything else. The floors need to be swept? The dog needs to go out? Gotta pee? Too bad! You come first! But I can't resent you, my beautiful, beautiful trump card.
You're a bit more particular about your sleep these days. You especially love to be bounced and swayed to be put to sleep. BUT! It must be while I'm standing up. If I try to bounce you to sleep while I'm sitting on the couch, you become quite incensed. I can almost hear you say: "YOU'RE NOT DOING IT RIGHT, MOM!" One notable exception to this pattern was that one night when your dad put you to sleep by playing classic rock on the guitar and belting out the tunes. That was pretty awesome.
Oh, and this month you've started squealing..... spontaneous, loud, delightful little squeals that are usually paired with a smile! They come at the most random times, and I'm not sure what you're trying to say, but we take it to mean that you love us back.
We've been extremely blessed to have had William in June: both my husband and I have been off all summer since I'm a teacher and he's a grad student! But now with back-to-school looming (I start Friday and the kids start Monday!), I have a few thoughts on going back to work.
My school district doesn't give any paid maternity leave. If you want to stay home with your baby, you'd better have a lot of sick days and personal days stored up. So I'm grateful that I had 2 months to stay at home, worry free.
That said, my husband and I want to avoid daycare at all cost (and we have no family around to watch the baby). Max can work from home three days a week, and I'll be taking an "intermittent maternity leave" the other two days a week. I have some sick/personal days in my bank, but not enough to cover the whole year. But I think the pay cut will be worth it, though!
You know how some mamas are really excited to go back to work? I think I understand that. But I don't feel that way.... maybe if my job involved actual adult interaction instead of managing a class of second graders. Right now it just seems ridiculous to me to leave my baby to go take care of some other people's babies!
So in a way, I'm blessed that I'll only have to go in three days a week (I'll be planning for a long term sub for the other two days). I have some worries - mainly about pumping and messing with my milk supply - but I hope everything will work out!
Do any of you working mamas have tips about pumping? I'd be grateful to hear your advice!
Last week, when we had Max's side of the family in town, we all decided to be adventurous and go to the Dallas Aquarium. And I do mean adventurous - it's hard to get our act together to take baby anywhere, let alone somewhere as exciting as the aquarium!
William was a trooper! (And I've never needed to carry a purse so big before!)
Everyone's saying hi to the monkeys.
Looking at the sting rays - and Max refuses to smile for a picture ;)
William got tired of the stroller. This is my view of him in his sling!
After the aquarium, we ate a very late lunch at the Spaghetti Warehouse. I would have taken pictures, but I was too busy stuffing my face with pasta alfredo!
All in all, it was worth the hassle to get out there and do something fun! I need to schedule more adventures soon!
I'm using my camera more than I ever have before these days! I recently dressed William in some actual clothes instead of the usual onesies - then I was like: "Quick, take a picture before he grows out of it or pees/poops/spits up on it!!"
Anyways, we're doing lots of lazy hanging out around here. Thought I'd share some links I'm sure you'll enjoy as much as I did:
This is what William sleeps in. Forget the pretty bassinets, this thing has been a lifesaver!! The incline is so perfect. It's so easy to rock, and the best part is - when he kicks around and gets fussy, he rocks it himself and can put himself back to sleep!!
I've decided against drinking any caffeine while breast feeding. But! I still miss my morning cup of coffee. This instant stuff tastes like the real thing. I can almost convince myself I'm more awake (almost....)
So... what in your life can you not live without? Do share!
Here I am, thinking I'm so organized... but my best attempt has been thwarted!
You see, I have a basket with all of baby William's washcloths and hooded towels. Now that our guest bathroom is once again available (we had our parents with us for the last seven weeks!) I thought I'd keep the baby tub and the towel basket in there.
But! I forgot about our pets, who are usually up to no good:
As you can see, Mrs. Hufflepuff removed the top few towels and made herself comfortable! Grrr.....
Today is our TEN YEAR wedding anniversary! We got married at the ripe old age of 20, and it was the best decision I've ever made!
I thought I'd share our love story in honor of this momentous occasion:
I met my husband, Max, for the first time during freshman orientation in college.
We were going around in a circle, introducing ourselves and saying where we were from. This was a tricky question for me since my family started out in California, but moved to France when I was seven. And then, to make things even more complicated, I attended a boarding school in Germany for high school.
So when it came around to my turn, I said, "California, France, and Germany," and that's how I made the nerdiest first impression with my future husband.
I didn't see much of him after that, even though we lived in the same dorm. We started hanging out rather randomly in April of that year. I sat next to him at a dorm picnic and asked him, by way of an ice breaker, if he was Canadian. He wasn't.
Our relationship really kicked off on my birthday, when we got into an impromptu cake fight, chasing each other, laughing, and getting frosting everywhere.
Shortly after that, our first year of college had ended, and I flew back to Germany to spend the summer with my family. Max and I emailed each other back and forth during that time, and checking my inbox was the absolute highlight of my day.
I half-jokingly invited him to come over and visit with me and my family. You know, because it's not like Michigan and Germany share a border or anything. To my utter surprise, he did! One day during his two week trip, we toured the World War 1 trenches, and it was there that we "officially" started dating. August 10th, 2001.
We held hands. We cuddled. We hugged. But we didn't kiss.
I had told him right off the bat that I wasn't ready to kiss him yet. (Truthfully I had never kissed anyone before, and the idea was terrifying!) He was a trooper about it!
As the months progressed, we knew we were meant for each other, and we knew we wanted to get married soon. We decided to save our first kiss for the altar.
We were married on August 10th, 2002, precisely one year after we started dating. (I like to tell people it's because we're organized, but actually it was just a coincidence!) By this time, I was more than ready to kiss him :).
So there we were, standing at the altar: his dad and my dad (both pastors) up at the front, conducting the ceremony. It occurred to me right before dad said: "You may kiss the bride" that I was going to have my very first kiss ever right in front of all of these people!
I leaned in for the kiss. I thought it was going to be a huge, romantic moment in my life. And it was! But at the time I can only remember thinking: "Gee, this is wet!" He likes to say that I wouldn't let go of him when he tried to pull away... but that's his side of the story!
I'm glad we saved our first kiss (I can hold this over my daughter's head someday...). I wouldn't recommend it to everyone, though. We were lucky in that we had a short engagement. But it definitely made our story special, and I believe that it deepened our relationship. Ten years and we're still going strong!