Baby D Makes Three

born December 27, 2012

my favorite time of day

it’s early and still dark outside but I am dressed and ready for work. I sneak into your room with a warm bottle. as much as I try not to wake you, you do, and you sit up and lift your arms to me. I pick up your warm, sleepy body and cuddle you. we sit in the rocking chair while I feed you your first bottle of the day. you look at me with sleepy eyes that are full of trust and the weight of your tiny body in my arms reminds me of why I do everything I do. it’s all for you. it’s my favorite time of day.

it’s the end of my workday and my heart races a little. it’s time to go pick you up from daycare. it’s my favorite time of day.

I arrive at your daycare and you see me walk through the door. you make a sound of delight and race over to me, crawling as fast as you can and sometimes tripping over yourself. I pick you up and you laugh and bounce and give me a hug. it’s my favorite time of day.

it’s evening and we are living life: feeding you dinner, playing with you, cooking and eating our own dinner, bath time. you have added so much to our life. you make it more fun, more hectic, more messy, and totally worth it. it’s my favorite time of day.

it’s bedtime and you are in your cozy footy pajamas. you are holding onto your lovey, and I am holding on to you. I rock you and sing our special lullaby. you look at me with those same sleepy, trusting eyes you did this morning. I linger, not wanting to lay you down in your crib, but knowing I have to. I kiss your little forehead and tuck you in. it’s my favorite time of day.

it’s the middle of the night and something has woken you from your sleep. you are cranky and crying. I am so tired I can barely see but I stumble into the nursery to pick you up and comfort you. we rock and I rub your back. you drift back to sleep and again I linger. not wanting to put you down, but knowing I need to go back to bed myself.  It’s my favorite time of day.

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month 6

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dear Cora,

you are 6 months old! a half a year! I cannot believe it. and it makes me so happy and so sad at the same time to write that. you are so much fun! every day with you is an adventure. but you are also growing way too fast.

at your check up you weighed 13 pounds 6 ounces and were 25 inches long. That puts you in the 13th percentile for weight and the 15th for length. you are still our petite girl (even though you eat like a champ!), but you are perfectly healthy.

this month you started going to daycare. you LOVE it! I was so nervous leaving you, but seeing how happy you are, and how much you learn every day makes it so much easier for me to go to work. most days, when I come to get you, you give me the biggest smile! I love it.

you can sit up unassisted for short periods of time if we prop you up – you can’t get yourself into a seated position yet. you are a rolling machine! you roll from your tummy to your back, and from your back to your tummy. you also spin around in circles. you are NEVER in the same place or position that I left you  in when I come back. you are really trying to crawl. you push and reach and snort and get frustrated with yourself but you are getting so close. then I will really be in trouble. watching the older kids at daycare has really encouraged you to try harder to crawl. you don’t want to be left behind.

you grab EVERYTHING in your sight line. you especially love paper, which makes it hard for me to open the mail and hold you. you love touching my drinking glass too, and it’s cute to see you react when the glass is especially cold. you also pull the straw out of my glass whenever you can. you are learning how to put your pacifier back in your mouth when it falls out.

you got your first cold this month. and your second :(. we were all so sad. and then I caught it. we were pretty miserable for a couple of days. I felt so bad for you because you obviously wanted to play and have your normal routine, but you didn’t feel well so you were very cranky. you also got pink eye on your 6 month birthday. the doctor prescribed you drops (which you really did not like), but the redness was mostly gone the next day and was completely cleared the day after that.

you love: looking at yourself in the mirror, having growling contests with your daddy, spinning in circles, rolling from your back onto your side, your jumperoo.

this month you tried some new foods and loved them all. you had sweet potatoes, squash, carrots, green beans, and prune juice. you are a great eater! we love not having to worry about a picky baby.

sometimes when I hold you up on my shoulder and pat your back to burp you, you will put one of your arms over my shoulder and tap my back. oh so sweet.

you started “saying” two-syllable words and using consonants. we hear a lot of “blah blah, gah gah, la la, and na nas”

you learned how to jump in your jumperoo this month. it is really funny to see you jump and get so excited.

Grandpa Page came to visit for one evening (for my birthday) this month and you had fun playing with him. you also spent some time with Grammy, Grandpa DuBray, and Mimi at breakfast to celebrate my birthday.

you are wearing size 2 diapers and sizes 0-3 (still!) and 3-6 month clothing.

favorites

Cora – stuffed animals, sweet potatoes, sitting, rolling, jumperoo

Me – picking you up from school, your smiles, early morning and late night nursing – when you are sleepy and snuggly.

pictures

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confliction

dear Cora,

there are so many things on my heart right now. I wasn’t prepared for this confliction I seem to feel about everything now that I am back at work. being a working mother is wonder-awful. I am so in love with you and wouldn’t trade being your momma for anything. but it seems there is a flip side to almost every wonderful aspect of working motherhood; a negative side, lurking just beneath the surface.

here are a few examples of wonder-awful working motherhood:

I am overjoyed that you are happy at daycare. I am saddened to be away from you.

I am thrilled you are such a good eater and get so much to eat during the day. I am heartbroken that I do not seem to be able to pump enough to keep up with your appetite.

I cherish the moments late in the evening and early in the morning when I nurse you; it is our special time together. I am exhausted from going to bed later and getting up so early to be able to nurse you.

I love seeing your happy face every morning before I go to work. I hate to leave you.

being back at work is easier than I thought, and a lot more rewarding. I miss you all day long, and feel guilty you are being cared for by someone else..

evenings are sacred; you are only awake for a few hours after work and daycare, and I try to squeeze a whole days worth of love, snuggles, and kisses into those precious hours. there is not enough time to go around, and I find myself stressing over the chores that aren’t getting done.

my body was your home for 9 months, it protected, nurtured, and grew you; that is amazing to think about, and a huge blessing. my body looks like it grew and birthed a human; I am uncomfortable and self conscious of my new physique.

you are a happy, healthy, intelligent baby! I constantly worry about your growth and development.

my love for you expands every single day. you bring joy and wonderment to my life. you make me a better, more loving, more patient version of myself. And there is no awful flip side to that. so I’ll hold on to that as I start another day, and hope that today holds more wonderful than awful.

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Daycare

(Found this in the draft folder from March 17. Oops)

I have agonized over where to take Cora for daycare since early in my pregnancy. It’s hard to imagine finding someone or someplace you trust enough to hand your child over everyday.

J and I ruled out in-home care pretty quickly. We did not know anyone who could give a recommendation and didn’t feel comfortable trusting online reviews written by people we don’t know. Plus, I really want a pet free environment and it seems all the in home care I found had pets. We also felt strongly that we wanted some sort of educational aspect. For those reasons we decided a school was going to be the best option.

We had about 5 options to look into, and narrowed it down to 2 based on location, information we found on their individual websites, and in one case, finding the school was closed when I went to visit. This left our choices Kindercare or Merryhill School.

We toured Merryhill School at their open house on a Saturday in early March. The Principal took us on the tour and we were very impressed with her organization and passion for the school. The tour was about an hour long and we learned about their curriculum and each of the different levels Cora would attend before leaving for kindergarten. We were especially pleased to learn they offer a pre-k 2 class. Cora’s December birthday means she will miss the age cutoff for kindergarten and will be a little older when she actually starts kindergarten. The pre-k 2 class means she will get additional teaching to prepare for kindergarten instead of repeating pre-k again.

During that next week we took a tour of Kindercare. We were not impressed by the location we looked at. When we first walked in, we noticed it smelled strange. I made an appointment, however, the principal did not seem prepared for us at all. She basically took us to the infant room, told us how many babies are enrolled and waited for questions. If we hadn’t toured Merryhill, I wouldn’t have had a clue what to ask.

There were a ton of differences, but what sealed the deal on Merryhill was really the curriculum (I feel Cora will get more from Merryhill than Kindercare) and the bottle issue. Kindercare requires you bring bottles every day, already prepared (breast milk thawed or formula already mixed). This seems awful. Cora seems to eat a different amount every day. I would be so worried I wouldn’t send enough, but on the other hand, if she doesn’t drink it, it gets wasted. I spend precious time with the breast pump procuring that milk. It is too precious to waste. Merryhill lets you bring in a big bag of frozen milk and enough bottles for the day and they will thaw and prepare the bottles.

So we are now part of the Merryhill School family. I am so happy we found a place I am comfortable with. It is still going to be difficult to go back to work, but knowing she is in a safe place will hopefully help ease the transition.

disclaimer: I realize child care is a VERY personal decision. You may not have had the same experience I had, and probably made different decisions regarding your child care. I am in no way judging your decisions. You made the best choice for your child. I’m just sharing my experience.

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