One of the many advantages of going to nurse Elinore at lunch time is getting to see and interact with Caden and Caleb on the days they are there at lunch too. They aren't there everyday since they are in kindergarten now! One day last week, Caden walked over to where Ellie and I were and said he was wearing a necklace and a hooker.
My eyes suddenly perked up and he had my full attention.
"You're wearing what?" I asked.
"A necklace and a hooker. See, to hold this together."
Since I returned to work 4.5 weeks ago, I've quickly learned something about Mondays. They are hard.
I know very few, if any, people who say they love Mondays, but I've always been of the thought that I don't dislike another day of lie when there are so many thing to be thankful for. But fairly consistently since I've been back I've struggled through my Monday at work. After two glorious days with my family it is hard to leave them. I spend my Mondays battling the mom guilt.
I've been a working mom for years, and I've always had an itch to stay home with the kids. Yet, before Elinore, I hadn't had the experience of staying home with the boys. I didn't know how awesome it could be to stay home with them more. Maternity leave showed me that.
I think part of it stems from the fact that my mom was home with my brother and I when we were growing up. Granted, it was a very non-traditional situation where she worked at home since my parents owned their own business that operated from our home. I think that was rare for the time 20+ years ago too.
I still have the itch, it may even be stronger since Elinore arrived, but we are confident in the decision that me working is what is right for our family.
I know you'll be 4 months only in just under two weeks now, but I just couldn't wait to write some things down about what you've been doing.
You're sixteen weeks old this week. I've been noticing a lot of changes as you continue to learn and grow.
You hold onto things, but I often thing it's more of a coincidence you got it into your hand that by reaching and grabbing for it. I'm sure you'll soon master the skill!
You are really focusing on things and learning how your hands work. I sit and watch you just look at your hands and move them around. You're slowly starting to reach for things, but you haven't quite mastered it. You do hold onto things but you often require some assistance to get it to you hand.
You've gotten to a point where your curious and learning and one way you're doing that is by getting things to your mouth. If you've got something in your hand you try to get it to your mouth, and you frequently have some part of your hands/fingers in your both, usually from both hands!
You've noticed you have feet and will sit and stare at them. I think you're wondering how to get them to your hands and mouth, but only time will tell what you'll do with them.
You can roll both ways now!
A few weeks ago you started rolling onto your side and falling asleep on your own while you're in you pack-n-play or on the floor. Once that started happening we worked to move away from swaddling you to sleep at night and you've adjusted very well! The first night of no swaddle you woke up once during the night and that was it. For a week or so after we removed the swaddle we did go back to it once or twice to get you to sleep, but we haven't used it in probably two weeks.
You giggled for mama for the first time this week. I was changing you diaper in the nursery an tickling you chin and you giggled! You have this silly grunting nose that your Daddy and I think is you laughing, but this time there was no mistaking what it was, it was clearly a good laugh! I hope we start to hear it more.
You are still sleeping very well! We thank you for that.
Your baby sitters say you are the easiest infant there. You aren't too fussy for them and are content most of the time. They say when you do get fussy you just find that little thumb of yours, pop it in your mouth, and you usually settle right down!
You have not missed a week of church since you were just under two weeks old, but you almost always cry during church. I've learned that it is usually because you are tired, but I think you have a hard time giving in to sleep at church because there is so much to see and hear! I usually end up standing in the back of the sanctuary holding and rocking you until you fall asleep. You get quite a bit of attention at church as people watch you grow every week.
You had your first stuffy nose, but you could hardly tell. You were still full of smiles for us and didn't fuss too much about it. You seemed most bothered by it in the mornings.
I trimmed your finger nails last week, and thought it was going so well until I cut your thumb. We both cried and your poor little thumb bleed for awhile. I used a tissue to apply pressure until it stopped, and you really disliked not having your arm to move around while I was holding your hand still.
You love watching your brothers, and they love playing with you. Several times a week one of them will ask me if they can play with you on the floor. Caleb loves to play on the floor with you and some toys. Caden loves when you hold his finger. If we're out somewhere he loves to show other people how you'll hold his finger. You are developing wonderful sibling bonds with your brothers!
You enjoy your Daddy singing, which he does many times a day.
You perk up when you hear Mommy's voice and start looking around for me.
Elinore was in her first car accident at 14 weeks of age, and it was my fault.
Thankfully, it was minor no one was injured aside from the cars and my mental state.
I was having a rough morning. I was tired, frustrated and had very little patience. As I was backing out the driveway to take the kids to the sitters, when we suddenly hit something hard. At first I didn't even know what happened. What was in the driveway?
I looked and suddenly remembered Keith, who usually leaves for work 90 minutes before me was working from home that day and our car was still in the driveway.
Then I slumped over the steering wheel and cried, while the boys kind of sat in the back silently not knowing what to say or do. After making sure all the kids were okay of course.
Then I made my walk of shame, back to the front door. Keith opened the door to me standing there crying. Somehow he knew I hit something. Although at first he thought I hit someone else. As I shook my head he figured out I'd hit our car. He asked if it was bad. I told him I didn't know, I was afraid to look. We haven't had the new mini-van a month yet!
He walked outside to survey the damage. I followed, but still avoided looking. He stood there quietly before saying: "that's bad." Geez thanks Keith. That really makes a crying wife feel better!
He took some pictures and started to call his brother to see about repairs. His brothers works in an auto-body shop. I took the kids to the sitters trying to calm the tears on the short mile drive there.
One of the Caden decided it was safe to comment on the way to the sitters and asks "Mommy, why did Daddy park the car there!?" I agreed! explained that Daddy didn't do anything wrong, I wasn't paying attention.
Of course the boys ran into the sitters before I even had Elinore out of the car and had told the babysitter that Mommy crashed the car and the lights are broken on our car! They hadn't seen the back of our van yet. As they're telling the sitter about it, Caleb asks if they can make a sign to put on our car that says "Please don't hit me; please don't hit me!"
After leaving the sitters, I headed back to our house to work out the details with Keith. Crying again of course. We talk, I calm down, eat some breakfast and he tries to lighten my mood with a reminder that he backed into our house one time. At least the car can move. Our house hasn't moved since we moved in 60 years.
I should probably add that our new mini-van has a back-up camera in it. Clearly it only works if you're looking at it.
In the mornings, I take the kids to the sitters before I head into work.
Before Elinore was born Keith was always the morning drop-off and I picked them up. After Elinore was born, Keith started working earlier hours than before so they can all spend less time at the sitters. He is in the office by 6:30, so I take the kids to the sitters every morning before I get to the office at 8.
The sitters is only a mile from our house, so it's a short drive, usually with the boys and I talking about something. I drop them off with their things and give them well wishes for the day and hug and kiss them all goodbye.
Then I get in the car for the drive to work. It's about 8 miles to the office, from the sitters, which is a great. I'm so glad I don't have a long commute to work.
Before we moved, we had about an hour long commute to and from work.
It's nice time to center myself for the day and whatever it brings.
The part I don't like about my drive to work, Elinore's empty car seat base. It rattles when she's not in the car with me. That rattle is constant and reminds me that my baby isn't in the car with me. It's a reminder that I have to go be a working mom, and sometimes, that's just hard.
In the course of the last week, I've had two people make nearly the same comment to be about parenting and babies.
In the first conversation, I was stopped outside the restroom by a co-worker in another department who noticed I was back to work after having Elinore. She asked a few questions, and it came up that so far, Ellie has been a very good baby for us. She continued to comment that she thought that meant I was a very calm parent because she thinks babies can tell when parents are flustered and react accordingly.
Monday evening we had a team building social hour event at an are Buffalo Wild Wings. I hadn't planned on coming, but was feeling too guilty about not attending with everyone being there, including the team members from our of state, so Elinore and I went together. Keith had the boys at swim lessons, so it was baby goes or no one goes. We went. She was excellently behaved. She was content the entire time, she let anyone hold her, and she offered up some smiles too. One of my co-workers, who I admire to some degree, commented on her behavior and mine as well. She had something very similar to say that I was very calm and comfortable with her; she thought Elinore responded well to me comfort and ease with her.
I think I've found myself to be so much more comfortable with being a mom than I ever expected it to be.
I had a baby 14 weeks and 1 day ago, and I did it. I didn't stop once.
It is my worst 5K time to date, but I did it without walking!
This is the second annual 5K my employer has hosted as a part of Spirit Day activities. Last year, I set my 5K PR at the race. This year I had my worst time, but hey, a lot has changed in a year!
I also met my goal of running a 5K in 2012 after the birth of our baby.
The downside, it's a pretty competitive race.
I timed myself at 38:51, and I was the last finisher.
And I do mean the very last of the entire crowd of probably about 40 people. Shortly into my second mile, I was followed by the security guard in his car as an escort most of the way to the finish. After following me for awhile, he did drive off and circle back around for the last 1/2 mile or so. He stopped traffic for me at an intersection or two. Nothing to make you feel like you're running slow like the security guard escorting you to the finish line!
My sweet husband and his boss were both still there at the finish line cheering for me along with a few other people. Another lady in another department here even came out and ran the last bit with me. They were wondering who was left out there since it was such a small crowd.
Caden has a very curious mind and is always asking questions about things, how they're made, how they work, etc. He retains a lot of what he learns and brings it back up later. He'll make a statement about something he learned, but it is nearly always followed with a "that right Daddy?" or "that right Mommy?"
You can be very active. You love to lay on the floor looking at someone while kicking those little legs and throwing those little arms all around!
You've started to take an interest in watching and listening to your toys. You'll hold them if we give them to you, but haven't reached for them on your own yet.
You just discovered you can move some of the toys on your car seat attachment with toys on it. You love watching them move with color.
You're continued to be a great sleep for us. Your longest stretch of sleep in your three months has been ten and a half hours. We've been blessed with a good sleeper!
You're slowly started taking a pacifier. We decided to give them to you since you were really starting to like your thumb.
Mommy went back to work this past month, just last week for a partial week. Mommy cried the whole way to work to leave you. You've handled the transition well though. You refused the first bottle they tried to give you, but finally took in while you in a swing, otherwise you refused. You haven't had any trouble since then with taking your bottles. You're taking about two bottles a day for them, and I am able to come nurse you at lunch time.
You are nursing about 4-5 times a day during the week with two bottles and 6-7 times on the weekends without any bottles.
You're getting a little better with your napping and have been consistent in taking a longer nap each day with 3-5 shorter naps throughout the day.
I just noticed this week how big your hands are getting. I often play with them while you're nursing, or you'll hold a finger while you do, and they have grown so much from the wrinkly little grandma hands you had when you first born.
Caden loves when you will hold his finger and when you do he's content to stay with you as we move around the house or wherever we are. Caleb loves to lay on the floor and play with you. They're happy to have you at the baby sitters with them too.
You are becoming much more vocal too. I love hearing you talk to us. I've just recently started singing to you and you really like it, but your daddy has been singing to you all along and you usually enjoy that too. I stick to songs like 'Jesus loves me.' Your daddy tends to make them up or change the words in songs he knows some of the words too.
Introduce us to your husband! (What's his name? How old? What does he look like?)
Keith is my husband; he's 30, and he looks like this:
What is your husband's favorite thing to do?
Well, aside from spending time with his family, his hobbies include playing his play station and taking care of his fish tank.
What does your husband do Monday-Friday?
He works in information technology at an insurance company. I can't explain the weird computer nerd things he does, mainly because I don't really understand them.
What was the FIRST thing you noticed about your husband when you met?
I was very intrigued by him. I tried to be sly in watching him from the next cubicle isle over. I wanted to know more; I needed to more about him!
What is your husband's BEST quality?
He loves God, his family and works hard. So I couldn't keep it to just one.
What is your husband's biggest pet peeve?
He can't stand it when he can hear someone chewing. He sends me out of the room, often.
How does your husband feel about blogging?
My blog is pretty low key with not so many readers. I don't write for people, but for myself. I like that our family and most people we know in real life don't know about it. He's pretty indifferent to it. He doesn't read it, unless I send him something specific I want him to see.
What is something you do/can do that makes your husband feel loved?
We just took a quiz recently about our love language. His top score is quality time, so I'll be making an effort to squeeze some more of that.