Wednesday, February 20, 2013

7 Months

Baby girl is 7 months today! And such a big day because she started her new day care this morning! After 2 months of piecing together time with my amazing mother-in-law, wonderful mom, and awesome baby sitter we finally got into the day care we wanted. They had a cancellation so we managed to get in earlier than we had expected (thanks for always looking out for us, God!). I was so anxious about taking her this morning I could not sleep and woke up around 5:30am. I think I was anxious for a variety of reasons: she's been sick with an ear infection, a bit scarred from our last day care experience and the fact that she's 7 months old. I know, the last one seems a bit odd. But for some reason, I wasn't worried about leaving her when she was younger because she just needed the basics to be cared for: clean diaper, food and sleep. Now, she's learning and growing and needing more attention (girlfriend is wobbly!). And we've bonded more now so it's harder to leave my little monkey with someone new. Whatever, it's my own little issue that I'm working through. :)

But I do have to say that the sweet day care director sent me an e-mail with two pictures of Emily around lunch time. She said Emily was doing great and she was smiling in both pictures. When I left Emily this morning I was adamant I would NOT cry and that one e-mail just about undid all of my hard work! It was such a thoughtful gesture that helped ease the worried mind of a new mommy.
Back to Em! She's growing like a weed and just a bundle of fun.

  • She weighs 17 lbs now and her length and head circumference are on a good growth curve.
  • She said "dada"! And has said it several times since. She scrunches up her face when she's talking which is new and hilarious because she looks like a little old man.
  • She's almost rolling over from back to belly. She can definitely get to her side, just not all the way over. For some reason she always likes to try this when she's on the changing table.
  • She's eating food twice and day and loving it all (even prunes!).
  • She sleeps through the night (sometimes almost 11 hours!) and likes to cat-nap throughout the day.
  • She had graduated to the jogging stroller without being in her car seat. She loves it because she can now look out the front and likes to hold on the tray when we are strolling along.
  • She plays really well by herself and is fascinated with all her toys and any book (she's already torn off the cover of Pat the Bunny).
Last week I was away from her overnight for the first time. I had a work conference and spent 2 nights in DC. Everyone was fine and the house was in one piece (more or less) when I returned. I swear she got bigger in the 2 1/2 days I was away. I wasn't sad about leaving her because I knew she would get some great quality time with "dada" but I sure did miss her. Face Time is a wonderful thing! And I know we will be using again when I have another conference in two weeks, this time I'll be gone for 4 full days. We did it once, we can do it again.  And when I return, we'll be taking Emily on her first trip to the circus. Let the fun continue into month 8!


Monday, February 18, 2013

You Might Be a Parent If....

Growing up in North Carolina (and now residing in South Carolina), I've heard my fair share of Jeff Foxworthy jokes over the years. Some of them are a little off the wall, but most of them make you giggle because there's a thread of truth to them. Maybe you don't want to admit that you/your family says or does that, but you sure know of someone who says or does!

Over the last few weeks, I keep having moments where I chuckle to myself and think "you might be a parent if...". They strike and random times and are things that would probably only be funny to someone who's lived it. might be a parent if:
  • You've found a paci/baby sock/toy in your bed.
  • You have snot or spit on you and it's not yours.
  • You've caught spit up in your hand.
  • Your child has been asleep for 15 minutes before you realize you're still watching the Disney Chanel.
  • It's 8:30pm and you're exhausted.
  • You're on a first name basis with the nurse that answers the pediatrician's after hours line.
  • You discuss the best baby food and diaper contents with total strangers in the baby isle at the grocery store.
While the list could go on and on about the funny moments we find ourselves in as parents, there is an equally long (if not longer) list of the amazing, touching moments. Like, you might be a parent if the smallest smile can brighten your day. Or, you'd give up hours of sleep just to hold and rock your little one while she breathes ever so lightly on your neck.

Parenthood is a wonderful and hilarious journey! What's your "you might be a parent if..." moment?


Monday, February 4, 2013

Guilt and Compromise

It’s no secret that mommies have lots of guilt. Sometimes it sneaks up on you and other times it seeps into and permeates your every thought. Guilt is chronic. It builds up over time and it’s hard to shake.

When we first brought Emily home, everything was new and wonderful and guilt free! People understood that we had a new baby and were supportive. Work and other activities just had to come second. Then the months came and went and the guilt slowly started creeping in. Lately, I’ve started feeling guilty about the oddest things. Mostly I feel guilty about leaving Emily everyday (although she is in great hands and being cared for my loving friends and family). Then I feel guilty when I come home and want to spend time with her but also want time to unwind. I feel guilty that I don’t spend enough time with Randy and then I feel worse when dinner is not cooked and dishes and/or laundry beings to pile up.

Then I go to church or get an e-mail from a friend and feel guilt for not being as involved as I used to be or for keeping up with what’s going on in my friend’s lives. Forget spending time with friends or doing other activities, I can barely keep up with what I have going on now.

I know I have great friends and family that understand, but it’s hard for me to give myself a pass. I know that I can’t do everything but it doesn’t keep me from feeling like I SHOULD be doing everything. I WANT to do a kick ass job at work, come home and make a bang up meal, clean every corner of my house, play with my baby until she falls asleep, spend quality time with my husband, volunteer in my spare time, and have lots of social time with friends.  But I CAN’T do it all.

In the midst of feeling torn in a million different directions, there’s a solution in compromise.  Compromise that’s easier said than done.  First of all, it’s a compromise of what I want do and what I can actually do. Then it’s a compromise of where Randy and I have differing opinions of how we should spend time and resources. Add to that automatic compromise that comes along with having a baby. And to top it all off, making compromises with the external demand that include work, volunteering and social activities. Then compromise seems like an overwhelming, impossible feat.

So I’m starting slow, baby steps when it comes to compromise. I’m learning to let go. And that means of my own expectations and the expectations of others. It’s not realistic to expect that I can do what I could do before Emily or even a few months ago. Life continues to change and evolve and so should our expectations of ourselves and others. Yes, it’s going to made me sad/mad/frustrated/etc. that I can’t do what I could previously do or what I want to do. But I just have to acknowledge those normal feelings and move forward.

And then realize that in letting go, I have before me new opportunities. Because let’s face it, do I really want to keep doing what I’ve always done? Maybe it’s best to look back fondly on those moments and not try to relive or keep alive. There are new experiences to be had and new activities to be involved in. So instead of looking at these situations as doors closed, I should really be looking at them as new road to travel down. And hopefully the people that I love will travel down these roads with me. If not, we’ve had a wonderful journey together and I wish them all the best as they travel down their own path. Because no matter the paths we chose to take, they are our own choices and those of no one else. And wherever our paths take us, the journey is probably much more enjoyable with a lighter load of that guilt off our backs.