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Making adjustments

Ah, summerI am officially a work-at-home mom. And that still seems weird to say. When people heard I would be leaving my job, they said, “That’s so cool that you can stay home with him!” Yes, but at a price. We can’t afford for me to just stay home. No way that is feasible. So I’m cobbling together clients and projects and things here-and-there in hopes it will keep us afloat.

It’s a big adjustment. I went from doing most of my work in the afternoons to needing them done in the morning. And I don’t think I’m managing it very well. Our routine has normally included the kid and I lying in bed for a while after he wakes up and eats, snoozing, playing, and being a bit quiet. I always had about an hour’s worth of work to do, which was no big deal. I did it while he went back to sleep.

After he wakes up, we go into the living room where he plays in his high chair while I fix some breakfast. And then I try to scarf down my food in between feeding him. That routine usually takes us as late as 10.30 or 11. Then I would work from 1.30 – 4.30, and again after he went to bed. more…

Bad days are inevitable

I found out on Thursday that I am officially out of a job in just a couple of weeks. I knew this was coming, but it just wasn’t concrete. Someone has accepted a job offer and that means my time must come to an end.

I’ve had time to get used to it. Hell, I’m the one that gave notice, right? It’s still tough. I worry about being replaced. What if this person is so much better than me that they wonder why this didn’t happen years ago? And why does that matter to me?

I worry about our finances. That steady income was important to me. I’ve never ventured out on my own because I like to plan. I like stability. I like to know what’s coming financially. Oh, and I like insurance, too.

I worry about having to take way too much work just to bring in the money we need. I’m afraid I’ll actually need to work more than 40 hours to cover our expenses. J has offered to work more hours and find an evening job. If he does that, though, how do I get my work done and still feel like I’m giving the boy the attention he needs? more…

And so it goes – something ends, something else begins

I never gave the whole sleeping thing with the baby a lot of thought. I didn’t want to get up in the middle of the night for feedings, and I didn’t feel comfortable with him in another room, so he slept with us. It started in the hospital. I had him on a boppy pillow in the bed with me and more than once fell asleep holding him. It seemed right at the time. And at home, we were so tired I’d frequently fall asleep holding him after he nursed. He slept better on my chest, so I just let him do it. It morphed into him sleeping in our bed.

And he’s been there every night since.

Oh, I tried to put him in the crib, but he’d continually wake up and I’d have to comfort him. He woke up every time I put him back in the crib. So I gave up and just let him sleep next to me. And it got to where I enjoyed snuggling with him. I could keep tabs on him, make sure everything was okay. And during frequent feedings it was much easier to grab him from next to me rather than getting up. more…

A little scared

A few days ago we were going about our business, all of us sprawled across our bed, enjoying some family time. We’ve recently started giving the boy a bit of apple juice in his bottle, to help with his, um, bodily functions. Transitioning to solid food can stop a kid up somewhat.

He was lying in between us, holding his own bottle. That’s a trick he’s been enjoying for a while now, although he’s been doing it more frequently in the last couple of weeks.

Something changed, something was different and it caught my attention. He made a strange noise. I looked up and he started flailing his arms, his face turning red. I grabbed him and sat him up and started pounding his back. He spit up some drool and juice.

And then he started breathing again. A little bit after that, so did I.

As I had reached for him, John noticed something off as well, telling me to sit him up right now. We both caught it at the same instant, this feeling that it – that something – wasn’t right. It was only a second or two, but that motion of grabbing him up and smacking him on the back is ingrained in my brain.

I didn’t panic. I didn’t freak out. I just did what I needed to do. It was later, as I thought about it, that I realized the gravity of what had happened, what could have happened. It reminds me that we need to be present and conscious when we’re with our children, and just be in tune with them.

Now that it’s all over, though, I’m glad he’s okay and that it was nothing major. Still, watching your little guy’s eyes go wide in panic when he can’t breathe? Not good times. Having him laugh and smile just moments later like nothing happened? A lot better.

Just not ready for this

Ha, you thought this was going to be another BlogHer post, didn’t you? Well it’s not! Sort of. Mostly.

We’ve started my son on solids, and it’s actually going pretty well. And that works well for our trip this week, as he’ll be in day care Friday and Saturday. So solids? Will be most helpful while I’m away from him.

He’s taking to the food quite well. He is like a little bird, opening his mouth just as far as he can, waiting for the spoon to hit his mouth. It’s the CUTEST thing.

So I breastfeed him in the morning and at night, and I’ve been trying to keep him to solids during the day. I thought a partial wean would be just about the right timing for him. But deep down, I’ve been wondering if I’m ready for that. I THINK I am. It would be nice to have my body back. more…

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Month four: letter to our son

My dearest son:

As I told you before, I probably won’t be consistent at this newsletter thing. I’m too busy spending time with you, drinking in your eyes, mouth, fingers, and toes. I can’t get enough of your sweet smile, your dimples, and your giggles.

little hands will build big things one day

This weekend, we heard you laugh in your sleep. It was one of the most precious things we’ve heard. Ever. And I heard it again last night. I’m still mopping up the puddle of goo from my side of the bed, where I melted.

You are a snuggle bug. When I take a nap with you, you plaster yourself next to me. When I put my hand on you, you stroke my arm. But when your feet are pointed my way, watch out. You love to kick. You grin madly, flail your arms, and kick with abandon. You look like a little running man, but with no traction. It’s seriously cute. And you think it’s hilarious. So we let you kick us. Daddy and I both know we’ll regret that later.

Through your eyes

I’m a little scared of your poop right now. I’m poop shy. You tend to fill your diaper up after eating, which is pretty typical. But last Saturday, after you pooped, I opened your diaper to change it. You started to pee a little as I wiped up the mess, so I covered you back up, getting poop all over you again the process. And then I heard a dreaded rumbling, and you started pooping again. At that point, I could only pray that you didn’t have gas, too. You finished, and I got ready to wipe again. You started pooping again. At that point, I got a little nervous that you’d start kicking and either get your foot in the mess or move the diaper and release a poop avalanche. I held onto your feet for dear life and you pooped yet again. At that point, I’m just praying the sides of the diaper catch everything, as I was changing you on our bed. On my side, no less. I must have used 15 wipes to clean everything up. I prayed the whole time: please don’t poop again, please don’t fart, please don’t poop any more! I’m still traumatized from it. When I hear you poop now, I cringe. Will the diaper hold? Who knew one little baby could produce so much poop all at once?

But I’ll manage anyway, because that’s what mommies do.

Time is picking up speed, and the days with you are starting to pass much faster than I would like. Right now we’re your favorite people in the whole world. You wake up with a smile for us. You grin when Daddy gets home from work and says hello to his boy.

typical guy - already hogs the remote

I knew I would love you. I always have. But I didn’t know what an absolute joy you would be. I can’t get enough of you. I could stay home all day and do nothing but entertain myself with you, go for walks, play peek-a-boo. It just doesn’t get old. I hope it continues for as long as possible, this inability to get enough of you. I live for that smile, those snuggles, these giggles. I imprint them with indelible ink on my memory.

Love,
Mama

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hard knock life

Our little man was not happy last night. Since my tummy was a little upset, it’s possible his was, too. He fussed. A lot. And I had to work. So there I was, sitting at my desk, listening to him cry, not able to do anything to help (Daddy was with him). And even if I had been able to get away from my desk, what would I do? Is it time to stop picking him up every time he cries? When do they start learning and taking advantage of that?

J doesn’t want to get in the habit of having to walk the floor with the kid. I understand that. But it also kills me to hear him cry for very long. Really. It feels like someone is ripping my heart out and *I* start to cry.

So how do you know?

He would manage to be comforted for a bit and then start crying again. I really think he had some bad gas that was bothering him, as he eventually settled down after we gave him some mylicon. But it was quite late before he managed to fall asleep.

And then, mama didn’t get much sleep, because she kept waking up all night to check on him when he whimpered in his sleep. On top of that, I had nightmares when I did sleep. Dreams full of anxiety and drama, most of it about the baby. Seriously. It even continued into today. I took a nap after working for a couple of hours this morning, and I woke up twice from bad dreams. Geez, what is up with that?

Needless to say, I’m pretty tired today AND a bit leery about going to sleep. Isn’t that lovely?

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our little man

I just weighed the boy today. You know, it’s really scientific. I step on the scale, look at the numbers, then step off. Then I grab the boy and step back on. See? Totally accurate and scientific. The weight difference this time? Guess. Go on. I’ll wait. Do you have a number in mind? You do? Was it twenty? Yes, my not-quite four month old weighs 20 pounds. No wonder my back hurts. This weekend, we were in Long Beach at the convention center. I saw a woman walking along with her tiny baby in her Bjorn. We chatted and I asked her how old. Nine months, y’all. NINE months. My kid dwarfed him. Lawsy, this is gonna be a big boy.

We’re getting close to some milestones. He doesn’t quite reach and grab things with his hands, but he will draw things in with his hands/ arms when they get close enough. And, of course, take them straight to his mouth. Heh. He’s babbling a lot now. And getting louder. The last 3 days he has squawked a lot more than before. I recorded some of it. I suppose I could upload it so you can hear (let me know if you want me to). It’s pretty cute. At least, I think so. Sending a copy to mom and dad.

He sits up with help. We have to prop him a bit, but he loves sitting in the crook of our arms while in the bed. And the drool. Oh lord, the drool. I think he’ll be teething fairly soon.

But he is such a joy to be around. Really mellow. He does cry when he needs something, or when he’s fighting sleep. Yet I know how much worse it could be. Even when he’s grouchy, I love being around him.

Just trying to enjoy our time with the wee bugger. Here’s hoping you’re enjoying time with your little buggers, too. Happy Love Thursday.

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Gums, gurgles, and goos

I’m actually getting a fair amount of sleep at night. Oh, I wake up a lot to check on the kid. When he so much as stirs, I’m awake. So my sleep is frequently interrupted. But at least I can go back to sleep fairly quickly. And that makes for MUCH better days, let me tell you.

For now, I’m telecommuting and I do love it. The babe naps while I’m working. And when I’m not working, I get to gaze into those beautiful little eyes and watch as his face lights up with a gummy smile. He’s drooling a lot, which means teeth probably aren’t far off. I’m not looking forward to those feeding times!

I knew my life would change. We all know our lives will change. People keep mentioning how nice it must be to get back to work and into the land of the living. I’d rather be at home, listening to my son practice new sounds and watch him kick so hard it looks like he’s running in place. I have a lot of friends who I can email and chat with online. Their blogs are available. I can follow them on Twitter. I can call them on the phone. Heck, I can even meet them for lunch. But the kid still gets time and attention from me during these things. I can’t do that when I’m in the office.

I never thought I’d say this, but I’d rather be home. I can’t, but I’d rather. It is what it is.

So my days consist of naps, diapers, email, and little gurgling noises coming from the bouncy seat next to my desk. And I like it that way.

Happy Love Thursday y’all. May you find what fills your heart with happiness.

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getting back to work, and not wanting to

Monday I go into work for the first time in three months. It seems like so much longer than that. And yet, not long at all. How long it’s been doesn’t matter.

What matters is that I’m a nervous wreck.

I haven’t been away from our boy (soon to be named, “Tank” because Wee One just DOES NOT apply anymore) since he was born. The longest I’ve left him was a run to the store, which I can see from my bedroom window. And on Monday, I’m expected to be away from him for 4 hours. Not 15 minutes. FOUR hours. And I’m beside myself. I start crying every time I think about it. Why?

Because my exclusive time with him is over and from here it’s just more time away and more separation. There will never be this time again. He’ll start depending on me less and before I know it he’ll grow up and move away. And I’m not ready for any of that.

Going back to work isn’t a big deal. Once I get caught up, I can work from home (for a few months, anyway). We need the insurance. So I’ll do what I have to do, because we need the money and the coverage.

But really, it’s what it symbolizes that rips my heart out. The little guy still needs me. I know this. But it still signals the end of something that I’m not ready to face. I have no choice, and I think that’s what hurts the most.

I really have no choice.

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