Monday, May 28, 2012

Mom: Back to Work and First Weekend Away

Life is pretty great.  In most respects, we are a pretty well-adjusted family.  Chris and I have settled into our routine.  Susan is pretty good with her routine and is pretty clear when she is ready to change it.

Two weeks ago, I went back to work.  It was really hard.  She is changing so much everyday, and I don't want to miss any of it!  She smiles all the time now.  This past week, she started cooing all the time and discovered her hands and fingers.  Every day she changes just a little, so I really hated feeling like I was missing any of it.  Chris watched her that first week I went back to work, and my mom is watching her for the rest of the month.  Then Chris will watch her for June and July.  But anyway, that first day was hard.  I had a little work waiting on me, but not nearly enough!  Thankfully Chris sent me pictures all day long and some video.  But it was not the same!  The second day, Chris had a meeting at Duke, so I was able to baby-sit her at work.  That was fun!  But it didn't really do a whole lot to cure my separation anxiety.

Separation anxiety: Like this, but the other way around.

Last week, I had a meeting with my boss.  I told him I needed way more cases.  I wanted to feel so busy that I was teetering on overwhelmed.  Because if I can stay busy at work, then the day goes by a lot faster.  Working out helps too.  I joined the Triangle YMCA where a lot of other people in my office are members, too.  It is great because I can work out at lunch.  The dress code at our office is "clothes."  I kid you not.  If you were to walk into our office, you would be surprised to hear we are all a bunch of lawyers.  Except for Hannah Hall, who on most days makes us all look bad (Quit wearing heels Hannah!).  Anyway, being able to work out at lunch is great.  Especially if I come back looking a little worse for the wear.  Before Susan, I was an early morning workout person.  My ideal workout time on the weekdays was 5:30 a.m.  I have never liked working out after work.  After work, I like going home to relax.  And with Susan, mornings and afternoons are sacred now.  I don't want to miss any time with her.  So lunch is great!  Plus, there are a lot of classes to take at the Y during that time period. 


So being back at work has been tough, but manageable.  I didn't even cry.  I actually think that it will be much harder when we have to take her to daycare in September.  Now, the lady who will be keeping her, Ms. Lynn, is a sweetheart.  We did all of our homework, we like her a lot and my mom met her and likes her too.  But she isn't family.  She probably won't be able to text me pictures throughout the day or send me bottle and poop updates. So I think that will be harder for me than going back to work.  But I will get through it and we will all adjust.  And then it will become our normal routine. 

This past weekend was also our first weekend away from Susan.  One of my best friends from college got married on Saturday and we were invited to all of the wedding events.  So we dropped Susan (and Oscar) off with my parents on Friday and picked her up on Sunday.  Now, we missed her a ton.  But thankfully, my parents were able to send us tons of pictures and we were able to FaceTime with her both nights.  And while we were busy, we were okay.  I think the worst part was when my friend's 8-month-old niece joined the festivities.  Her niece is adorable.  Seeing her made us really miss Susan to the point that on Saturday (day of the wedding), I tried to convince Chris that it would be okay to go home because we had already wished David and Beth our best and it would be cool to miss the wedding.  Now, I am glad we stuck it out.  We had a great time together, just the two of us, doing normal stuff.  And sleeping in. It was a great trip, but we are glad to be reunited as a family.

We had a GREAT time!

Now, I don't know how we got this lucky with our baby.  But I have accepted the fact that we probably have one of the best babies ever born, and I have stopped waiting for the other shoe to drop.  Last week, at just two months old, Susan decided she was ready to go to four bottles a day.  Her last bottle is now between 7:30 and 8:30 p.m.  She usually takes 9 oz. and has a nice big poop.  Then we give her a bath.  After that, it's story time and bedtime.  Last night, she went to sleep at 8:45 and slept til 6:30 this morning.  We had to give her a pacey a couple of times (at 4:30 and 5:30) but she went back to sleep.  She still takes her morning nap and then is pretty much awake from 10:30 to 4.  At 4, she usually takes a short nap, maybe 1.5 hours.  She is awesome and we love her so much.  I don't know if its our superior parenting (ha) or Susan's winning personality or probably a combination, but she is a true joy.  I fear our second child, though, because I have a feeling it's all going to come unraveled with baby #2. But I have decided to quit worrying about that and just enjoy Susan for the next 4 years.  I'll freak out about her brother or sister later.  No need to borrow trouble.

Happiest baby alive!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Dad: Buttons, zippers and snaps, oh my.

Thanks to Adam and Eve, we’re no longer allowed to strut around buck naked in the Garden of Eden. Instead we have to spend lots of time and money outfitting ourselves and, by extension, our babies. For whatever reason, a grown man running around naked in public is considered obscene, but when a baby does it, it’s hilarious. Of course if it goes on too long, the cuteness wears off and the calls to Social Services begin.

Nope, doesn't count.

Rather than let our kid walk around free and easy like Elizabeth Berkley post-Saved by the Bell, we make an effort to keep Susan clothed. She has quite a wardrobe and has already outgrown half her closet. We sometimes put her in 4 outfits a day just to make sure she wears everything at least once. There is already a “Things Susan Can’t Wear Anymore” bin.

In a terrible sign of things to come, Susan gets new outfits every week despite having a closet and two dressers full of clothes. We can’t help ourselves. Baby clothes are like crack. We walk into Babies R Us, and there are hundreds of outfits that would just look so damn cute on Susan. We’re powerless. They put the clothes front and center as soon as you walk in. You may have entered looking for bottles, but before you know it you’re trying to decide between the monkey dress and smiley flower onesie because you only have enough money to buy seven of the 12 outfits you’ve thrown into your shopping cart. We’re not to the point of pawning our television for footie pajamas (yet), but we’ve spent our fair share of cash on clothes for Susan. 

We'll take one of everything.

I didn’t think I’d actually enjoy it before we had our baby, but shopping for baby clothes is fun. For baby girls, the clothing features three main groups: cute animals (elephants, giraffes, ducks, etc.), cute insects (butterflies, bumblebees, ladybugs, etc.) and cute vegetation (flowers, strawberries, etc.). Boy and girl clothes are distinctly separated in baby stores, and even though I think Susan would look great in a monster truck onesie, I dare not venture away from the smocked, pink-tinted land of baby girl clothes. Heaven forbid that I cross the center aisle in Babies R Us and accidentally pick up something that was meant for a boy. I wouldn’t want THIS IDIOT knocking on my door. For what it’s worth Sean Harris, we have a Steve Smith Panthers jersey that I’m going to put my daughter in every Sunday once football starts.

Baby clothes are great when they’re on the rack and when they’re on your kid. Putting them on is the problem. My question for the baby clothes makers around the world is WHY DO THE BUTTONS HAVE TO BE SO DAMN SMALL???? Susan isn’t dressing herself. The adults are. So why do they put buttons that only an infant could handle onto baby clothes? Were they outsourced to The Shire? Do you know how hard it is to squeeze a quarter-inch button into a slot that’s half the size of my pinky nail? Maybe it’s not that bad if you’re a representative of the Lollipop Guild, but for those of us NOT from Oz, it’s near impossible...especially when you’re trying to button up a squirming infant who’s been on the changing table way too long because her bumbling father can’t fasten three buttons on the back of her pretty pink dress. It seriously would be easier to use a stapler and some duct tape, but again there’s the whole Social Services thing. I’m becoming more and more tempted to just let Susan wear her clothes like one of those drafty hospital gowns.

That’s why I’m a huge proponent of zippers. They should put them on everything baby wears. Gowns, pajamas, diapers, socks, swaddlers, whatever. Any chance I get to put Susan in something that zips, I take it, especially her pajamas. That way when I stumble into her nursery at 5 a.m. to change her, I don’t have to fumble with buttons designed for an Ewok or a crazy maze of snaps that only the guy from A Beautiful Mind can decipher.

It's a little known fact that John Nash designed baby clothes for Carter's
between stints as a math professor and code cracker for the CIA.

The clothes, at least for now, are relatively cheap since there isn’t much material needed to fashion a dress for a 12-pounder. We also have the benefit of not asking any input from Susan since, well, she can’t talk. Once she starts developing her own tastes though, I think we’re in trouble. I can’t wait to go look for a prom dress. I’d actually prefer that to have buttons. LOTS of buttons.