Thursday, June 28, 2012

Maternity Leave

Dear Mia,

I started writing a blog post on April 12th and it was going to detail how we spent our days together while I was on maternity leave.  This is how it began:

One of my favorite parts of the day is cuddling with you on the couch and watching The Price is Right.  We do this from 10:00 am to 11:00 am every day, just after I change your diaper and get you dressed for the day.  I wrap you up in a little fleece blanket so you're nice a cozy, recline our seat and settle in for must-see-TV.  Sometimes Oscar will jump up and cuddle with us on the footrest.  There's no better way to spend 60 minutes.

I've been home with you since the day you were born and it's been the most important six weeks of my life.

I've come to realize that one of the main purposes of maternity leave is to teach me that I cannot move at the speed of light anymore.  Life with you moves a lot slower than it did before you arrived.

Unfortunately I never found the time to finish this post and it sat unpublished in my blog drafts for months.  I'm going to try and finish it now because it's scary how faded those memories are, and I want to keep those memories alive.  So here it is:

Our day would start at 5:00am when you would wake up hungry for your morning bottle.  Your cries would rouse me from my sleep and we'd head to the kitchen together where I'd make your bottle.  You'd eat like a champ and then I would change your diaper and pump for your next meal.  While I pumped you would fall asleep laying next to me on the couch.  When I was done we'd both go back to bed until you woke again at 9:00am.  The cycle repeated at 9:00am with a bottle, diaper change and pumping, followed by an outfit change for you.  Then we'd return to the couch for the hour of TV watching that I detailed above.

You'd inevitably fall asleep again from about 10:30am to Noon.  I'd spend most of that time showering and getting ready for the day.  Sometimes I'd put laundry away or run the vacuum, too.  You woke up to eat again at 12pm and then we'd sit with your Dad (who came home every day for lunch during my leave) from 12:15-12:45pm.  After he left I'd have lunch and pump while you took another small nap.

By 2:00pm we were both ready to get out of the house.  Sometimes we'd head out to the grocery store or run errands, and other days we'd go for a short walk around the neighborhood.  I was still having some pain from the c-section so our outings were always pretty brief.

You would eat again at 3:00pm, whether we were home or not, and then I'd have to be home shortly after that to pump.  Sometimes (ok, once in a blue moon) I'd get dinner ready and your Dad and I would eat when he got home at 5:15pm.  There was more eating/diaper changing/pumping at 6:00pm, 9:00pm and 11:00pm.  Your Dad and I would also change you into your pajamas and give you a bath (3 times a week).  You would fall asleep right after your final feeding at 11:00pm and sleep like a champ until the next morning at 5:00am.

Mia, the time we spent at home together was priceless and I wouldn't trade those six weeks for the world.  I enjoyed each and every minute of our time together, and I'm so glad that I finally found the time to write about it.  I hope I can continue to blog and keep these kinds of memories alive.  I love you, nugget!


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

3 Months

Dear Mia,

You are three months old today!  And to celebrate this milestone you have decided to stop eating.  Yep, you've just decided that you're not all that interested in taking your bottle anymore, thankyouverymuch.  I'm sure you've convinced yourself that bottles are SO last month, but unfortunately that's your only method of nutrition at this point... so we're going to have to come to some sort of compromise.  Ok?

This month you really fell into a routine and started letting us know your likes and dislikes.  Likes: kicking, standing, your morning bottle, Daddy's funny faces and silly noises, anything you can stick in your mouth, your hands, bath time, and having your cheek rubbed.  Dislikes: long car rides and 6:00 pm.

Mia, you have a serious problem with 6:00 pm.  We're not really sure what exactly triggers it, but every day at 6:00 pm you are a non-eating, inconsolable, screaming baby.  It takes a good hour to finally calm you down- a routine which includes gas medicine, 2 ounces of milk (if we're lucky), a diaper change, rocking, butt patting, and me (or your Dad) eating dinner with one hand as we balance you on our lap with the other.  I really wish we could just draw up a new clock and leave the 6 off.  It would make our days SO much more enjoyable.

You're much more vocal with coos and laughs (and cries) but sometimes you'll break into a full conversation with yourself and just go on and on, babbling so much that your Dad and I just stare at you, thinking that at any moment we're actually going to be able to understand you!  Just the other day we were all in the car on the way to dinner and you chatted the entire way there.  You've also started to mimic the noises and faces your Dad makes, which is adorable... and frightening to think that one day you two are totally going to gang up on me.

You hate tummy time, and I'm probably the world's worst Mom for not making you do it more (so sue me), but you LOVE to stand up, shake your booty, and do a great bobble-head impression.  I like to stand you on my leg and as you rock back and forth, trying to stay balanced, I say "shake what I gave ya!" and you give me a big grin.  You're so darn cute.

I may complain about your little quirks sometimes, but in general you are a very happy baby, Mia.  You like to be included in the conversation, lay on your playmat, kick your piano, and get sloppy kisses from the dogs.  You smile at everyone you meet, love to be held, and just recently belly-laughed at Grandma Snipes for the first time.  We haven't been able to get you to laugh like that since, but we're trying!  You are still a great shopper, sleeper, and don't mind being in your car seat.  You are a joy!

This past month your Aunt Kirsten came for a visit and I took you to Naperville to meet your Aunt Sue and Emily and spend some more time with your Grandma Young.  You had a great time in Naperville and got all kinds of presents.  You are so spoiled!  Your Dad and I are planning a trip to Michigan soon so you can meet all of your Michigan relatives, and we're also planning a quick getaway to Indianapolis which will be your first overnight away from home.  We hope we can add "great traveler" to your list of attributes.  What do you think?

Love you baby,

Monday, June 4, 2012

Mornings with Mia

Dear Mia,

I've been back at work for six weeks now, and thankfully we've been able to establish, and stick to, a pretty good morning routine during that time.  Granted, it's ever-changing as you grow and mature, but it's working for now!

I try to be up and in the kitchen by 5:30am.  I empty the dishwasher, tidy up downstairs, and get your morning bottle heating up before I sit down to pump.  Around 6am you begin to stir, wake your Dad up, and the two of you come downstairs for your morning bottle.  Your Dad sings this song to you every morning, and you love it:

Good morning to you
Good morning to you
Good morning Miss Mia
Good morning to you!

You eat about 6 ounces of milk while snuggling with Daddy (who may or may not be half-asleep) and then lay in your boppy next to me while I finish pumping.  Some days you're more awake than others, but if you've eaten enough you're in a good mood and are perfectly content sucking on your hand as I talk to you and we watch Home Improvement re-runs.

I'm done by 6:15am and after getting everything packed up for the day (your diaper bag, bottles of milk, my pump, empty bottles, my lunch, my purse) we head upstairs to get perdy.

First, I change you out of your sleeper and into your day's attire- usually a onesie, pants and socks.  (Even though it's summer, I'm always afraid your little toes are going to get cold!)  You are always so bright eyed and smiley during this time that I can't help but give you LOTS of kisses as you lay on your changing pad, and tickle your tummy as I change your clothes.  When you're all dressed we head across the hall to the bathroom and I start getting ready.

I have a little spot for you all decked out on the counter and you hang out with me while I apply my face and straighten my hair.  I turn on Pandora and we listen to music or we talk about all of the fun things you're going to do at your Aunt Courtney's house.  You are cheery and happy until about 6:50am when you fuss until I turn you on your side and give you your pacifier.  You curl up just slightly right there on the counter and start to doze.

When I'm done in the bathroom I move you into the bed, right next to your Daddy (who usually returns to bed after an unsuccessful attempt at a coffee wake-me-up).  As soon as your head hits my pillow you fall asleep and snooze for ten minutes while I get dressed.

We're out the door at 7:15am with all of our bags in tow.  You wake up momentarily when I buckle you into your car seat but you are always fast asleep by the time we back out of the driveway.  I drop you off at Aunt Courtney's house around 7:30am and head off to work.

I have never been a morning person, however I'm realizing that mornings can be SO much more enjoyable if I give myself more time to slow down and enjoy moments with you.  It's those little morning giggles, bare belly tickles, and kisses I plant on your beautiful little feet that get me through my (sometimes difficult) days at work.  I love spending my mornings with you Mia, and I hope we can continue a good morning routine as you get older.  I love you!