A Day in the Life…Part 3

I haven’t been around much. I know. It is taking me about 6-8 weeks to read a book and I don’t have much motivation to review any of them.

These posts were well-received in the past so I thought I’d do a new day in the life of post to show you what I am doing instead.

My new normal:

5:45 – awaken to the sound of a baby pooping, bask in the amazing amount (6 hours) of uninterrupted sleep I just got, realize Ben is still home, request baby changing services, sleep for two more minutes.

5:47 – nurse baby, say goodbye to Ben, check Facebook/Twitter/email while nursing

6:15 – put Kai back down, go back to bed

6:40 – awaken to the sound of Evan wondering where Ben is despite the fact that Ben is never here when he wakes up, snuggle with Evan for a few minutes

6:45 – put Jake and the Neverland Pirates on for Evan, go back to sleep for 10 more minutes

6:55 – get in the shower

7:05 – Kai wakes up, prop him on the bed next to E

7:10 – ask E to go to the potty, my assistance is requested, help him and then get him dressed

7:15 – get Evan settled in on the couch with another show (PJ Masks – his newest obsession) and a frozen waffle, go back upstairs to finish getting ready

7:25 – get diapers out of dryer, get Kai dressed

7:30 – nurse Kai

7:45 – gather bottles, diapers, lunch, snacks, etc and load the car up with our numerous bags

7:58 – get shoes and socks on Evan

8:02 – get the boys in the car and leave

8:03 – put on Let It Go at Evan’s request, sing along with him really loudly

8:08 – drop Evan off at preschool

8:35 – drop Kai off at daycare

8:50 – arrive at work, make tea, start working

9 – work on a brief that is due at 5pm (court just requested it the day before)

10:00 – pump

10:20 – keep working on the brief, discuss details about refinancing our house with Ben via gchat, and email with law school about student loans

11:45 – hand brief over to boss for his review/edits

12 – go to lunch at local pizza place

1 – back to the office to pump

1:15 – work on a few other matters

2:00 – review another motion that needs to be filed today and email with co-counsel

3:30 – get brief back from boss to review, pump for the last time

3:45 – realize none of boss’ changes were saved, spend 10 minutes unsuccessfully trying to find his file

4:00 – leave boss in his office to recreate the work he did all afternoon, fend off anyone who tries to interrupt him

4:35 – review final draft of brief and send it on the assistant to file

4:55 – brief is filed with 5 minutes to spare

5:10 – leave the office

5:11 – receive the other side’s brief (which was also due at 5)

5:20 – pick up Kai, learn that he was given a bottle just before 5 which is kind of annoying but manageable

5:50 – get home and find Ben and E playing outside, go in and change

6:00 – sit down to dinner (lasagna that Ben cooked)

6:30 – change Kai, take E to the potty, head back outside with the boys while Ben goes to teach his college class, email with boss, go for a walk with Kai in the ergo and Evan on his scooter, meet a gorgeous German Shepherd puppy named Zelda along the way

7:00 – head inside to nurse Kai, read books with E while nursing, email a bit more

7:17 – give E the option of getting ready for bed or reading books by himself while I put Kai to bed. He reads. Put Kai to bed.

7:30 – get E ready for bed (potty, pajamas, brush teeth, wash face), read books with E, say goodnight

7:50 – head downstairs, scald pumped milk, put dishes away, do bottle dishes, load dishwasher

8:30 – chat with Ben when he gets home

8:40 – take a shower while Ben finishes the dishes and cleans the kitchen

8:55 – read the brief the other side filed and explain the ridiculous of this case to Ben

9:00 – put on The Walking Dead and eat ice cream, pause it in the middle to discuss refinance numbers again because I guess that’s what adults do

10:00 – head upstairs and get ready for bed

10:10 – climb into bed and nurse Kai while watching The Office

10:35 – put Kai down, climb into bed, watch more of The Office, switch to The Vampire Diaries when Ben falls asleep

11ish – go to sleep, hope I don’t get woken up by Kai until at least 3

It turns out that having a nursing babe and a preschooler and a job is a bit of work. But I’ve figured out my routines and Ben has figured out his and we’re managing quite well, I think. But, I can’t figure out when to fit in reading and exercise. It’s all audiobooks and weekend runs for the foreseeable future. I’m told it gets easier. I like to believe people when they tell me that.

Looking Back, Moving Forward

It is Evan’s first day of preschool. I will tell you all about it once I’ve accepted that fact that this is happening. And I promise you there will be pictures. But as much as we are excited about moving forward, I couldn’t approach this milestone without looking back.

Saying goodbye to Evan’s sitter on Friday broke my heart a little. She has cared for him since he was 12 weeks old. She’s comforted him when I couldn’t be there. She’s fed him more breakfasts and lunch than I have. She’s put him down for more naps than I have. For the last two years, he has spent more weekday waking hours with her than with me. She has had a very large role in raising my child from the baby he was to the toddler he is.

Two years ago, almost to the day, I was returning to work from maternity leave. I was an anxious, tearful wreck. I was sure I couldn’t leave my baby with a near stranger. I was sure she wouldn’t care for him the way I would. How could she, with 4 other kids to watch? I was terrified about leaving Evan with anyone else. I gave her a written notes on how to feed him, change him, and soothe him.

But after a few days, I realized we could do this working/daycare thing. And after a few months, I realized Evan was still thriving. I was new to this caring-for-a-child thing, but she had 20+ years of experience to balance that out.

Now, we had our ups and downs. I sat in her house sobbing for an hour one day when she forced me to accept the reality that he was hungry and I didn’t have enough milk and I was going to need to consider the formula I spent 6 hard months avoiding. I spent many annoyed days home with a perfectly healthy kid because she had deemed him “sick” unnecessarily. After doing it for a year, she gave me a hard time about cloth diapering to the point that I finally just sent in disposables.

But she also got me through the challenges of introducing solids and dropping naps. She reassured me that I was doing a good job, even when I felt like I had no idea what I was doing. My son was more loved because he had our love and her love.

This isn’t goodbye forever. No one is moving. We can still visit and she’s offered to watch him on school holidays. But I know that if I am feeling this strongly about the end of this two year relationship, that it will be even harder on her and on Evan. Change is a part of life and this is Evan’s first big experience with that. I know he is going to love school. I know he is ready for this new phase. But I wish I could explain to him why he isn’t going to be seeing his sitter every day .

I promised her I wouldn’t share the last picture I took of her and Evan on Friday online. She thought she looked like a mess. She had just spent ten hours caring for other people’s children for the fifth day in the row. Of course she looked like a mess. It’s a hard job raising other people’s children. Her work day is longer than mine. Her tiny clients are more demanding than mine. She doesn’t get to go our for lunch or take a personal day.  I am going to respect her wishes and not share that photo here, but I know Evan will love her in it just the way she is.

Evan is Two!

I suddenly find myself to be the mother of a two year old. Amazing. Party pictures to come later, but here is a quick update on Evan.

Evan's Birthday_05 26 14_1750_edited-1

Favorite activities: Playing outside, running, not sitting still, playing in the water, playing with balls, hide and seek, climbing.

Favorite foods: Eggs, veggie dogs, peanut butter, yogurt.

Favorite shows: Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Super Why.

Favorite Books: Green Hat Blue Hat, Baby Signing Time, I Met a Moose in Maine One Day, Goodnight Moon, Sleepy Time.

Awesome new skills: Primary/secondary colors, shapes, counting 1-10 (when he feels like it), recognizing letters, coming up with full sentences.

Official height and Weight to come on Friday.

And…here is a video of some of his photos from the past year. He went from baby to little boy, right before my eyes.


Looking Back from the Bittersweet End

I breastfed Evan for 18 months: 7 months of exclusive breastfeeding, 5 months of breastfeeding with some formula, and 6 months of extended breastfeeding as we slowly weaned after his first birthday. 18 months seems long to most, but in my circle 18 months is actually on the early side for weaning, and I struggled with letting it go at the end. I am no longer a nursing mom and it has taken me a little while to come to terms with that.

I often tell people that I am going to formula feed my next kid and see which one is smarter. Most people laugh at the joke, but when I said this to my best friend back home, she dismissively stated, “Shut up. You will not.” And she’s right. As hard as it was at times, as much as I just wanted my body and some freedom back, as much sleep as I lost, I would do it all again. And probably will.

Much like pregnancy, breastfeeding is an amazing experience despite the difficulties. With pregnancy, it’s the morning sickness, the back pain, the exhaustion. With nursing, it’s the latch on pain, the supply concerns, the EXHAUSTION. But I gave my son the best food on Earth. I am all for supporting mothers who choose to formula feed (I am formula fed and I seem to be a well-adjusted adult). But, when deciding how to feed my own child, I could’t ignore the plethora of benefits of breastfeeding and breast milk. So I sobbed in pain for 6 weeks, pumped diligently for six months, sobbed some more when I realized I couldn’t pump enough and had to mix that first bottle of formula. But I also smiled at my newborn rooting around, watched with joy as he thrived, and watched in amazement the first time he brought me the boppy and asked for “ilk.”

I had some hurdles which I won’t go into detail here. I already wrote about the latch on pain and a bit about my supply issues in my six month post and I wrote a guest post about my supply issues over at Liberating Working Moms. It’s not easy. The people who tell you breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt if you are doing it right are lying to you. There will be tears. But there will also be milk drunk baby smiles. And the sweetest bonding. And a lifetime of benefits.

And I would absolutely do it again. Stay strong, mamas. We got this.

Catching Up on Family Reads

For awhile, Ben would read out loud while I was nursing Evan before Bed. We made our way through The World of Pooh, Harry Potter, The Little Prince, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I had planned on doing cute little family reviews for each of them, but they just sat there in my drafts for months and months. So here are my quick thoughts on The Little Prince and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (I’ve reviewed Harry Potter plenty already):

The Little Prince was weird. Like really weird. I don’t think I understood it. Jen? Can you explain it to me?

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is just as I remember it. Maybe funnier. Definitely a book I hope to revisit with E when he’s older.

I haven’t nursed Evan before bed in months, so we haven’t started anything new in awhile, but I am looking forward to reading as a family again when E is a little older (readaloud time with an active toddler lasts approximately 45 seconds so we stick to board books).

What books have you enjoyed or do you hope to enjoy with your children?

TSS: June 2013 [Monthly Recap]

The Sunday Salon.comIt’s already July 7. Time to wrap up June.

Reader

June was a tough month for me. Two of these were books that Ben and I (but mostly Ben) read to Evan, so I’m not sure they even count. I only finished 2 audiobooks because I also listened to about 25 hours of employment law conference material. I live an exciting life.

In addition to these, I reviewed Lean In; Sight Reading; and If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This.

I also took part in Audiobook Week sharing: My Audiobook YearHow I Choose AudiobooksMid-Week MemeAudiobook Tasks; and this year’s Audiobook Flowchart. And, as part of Audiobook Month, I posted an interview with Simon Vance.

Photographer:

So I’m officially adding this to my blog identity (tab to come soon). I’m a little nervous about it because I don’t really feel like a photographer – just someone who likes to take some pictures and pretends she knows a little about it. But, I also don’t really consider myself a very good runner. And I often don’t feel like a very good dancer and I’ve been taking class my whole life. So I’m just going for it.

This month I shared photos from the Dunedin Duck Derby and a father’s day photo. I am hoping to do more photo posts in the future.

Dancer

I haven’t danced since March. It’s pretty much the saddest thing ever. When Ben gets back from Vermont, I need to make time to take a class.

But I am watching So You Think You Can Dance again. Any favorites yet?

Runner

I am working my way through Couch 2 5k. I am on Week 5, so I am getting there. I should probably find a 5k to run at the end but it’s summer in Florida and who wants to race then? Between the heat, humidity, and the jogging stroller, I’m not sure what I’m doing is actually running. But I’m out there.

Mom

Evan is 13 months old and in full blown toddler mode. I’m having a bit of a harder time adjusting – it’s hard to remember shoes and snacks when we leave the house! I am single-parenting right now, but it’s going great – partly thanks to my helpful future sister-in-law who is staying with me.

I just love this kid.