Wednesday, September 25, 2013

On following my Motherly Instincts!

This week has kind of been a whirlwind. Anna was supposed to start daycare on Monday, however she had a lot of problems with her reflux on Sunday, so I decided to keep her home with me because I didn't want more problems and her to not be with me. I took her to the daycare for a visit on Monday and wow... my Mama's instinct flared and red flags went up left and right! I just was not happy. I didn't like what I saw in the infant room. I think when we visited when we were pregnant we really didn't know what to look for and what we wanted for our baby, and now that she is here, I know exactly what I want for her and that wasn't it! I saw babies swinging in swings, pretty much being pacified. The caregivers weren't holding a single baby. When I asked when they would be playing with toys, in the excersaucers or on floorgyms, they said when the older babies go to the one year old room for a bit. I just didn't want my Anna to be pacified all day, with only a small amount of time to be played with. There were some other problems I had... like when I called and asked about a curriculum for working with their fine motor or gross motor skills, etc, they said that there was none... that they pretty much just do what the babies want and they have music playing (um, the radio).

So I left there crying my eyes out, not sure what to do. She was supposed to go there Tuesday and I didn't want to her go at all. Jeff was at work. I was supposed to be going back to work in a week and I was NOT a happy camper because I did not feel comfortable about where she was going. I didn't want her to lose a year of her life just being pacified in a swing, when she could be learning. I wanted her to have attention and be cared for, and be surrounded by babies her age.

We had met with another place when we were pregnant, but didn't choose them because they were more expensive and we had to provide diapers. But when I remembered this place, I remembered how much I really liked it... they had artwork done by the babies on the walls and pictures of the babies. They had babies grouped by age in rooms. I called them to see if they had an opening and they had ONE opening left for her agegroup! So Jeff and I talked about it and we switched her to them! I went for a visit with her again yesterday, and they had Raffi playing, not the radio! The caregiver in her room was holding a baby the whole time (different babies, but giving them all attention!). There were babies playing on the floor gyms. And they are willing to cloth diaper for us.

I am NOT looking forward to leaving her all day to work, but I am so happy it will be at a place that she will be cared for, paid attention to, and that she will learn and grow physically and cognitively. I truly believe God was holding that spot for her!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

On my last post

My last post was raw and pure emotion. It was how I feel, but I know that staying home is not an option. I am so thankful to have a job that I love and to have the added bonus of summers and holidays with her. There aren't many moms I know that don't feel that way before they go back to work after having a baby, including my own mother who was in this same position exactly 29 years ago with me. I just pray I can make the most of every second I have with my Anna girl. It will get easier over time. I am a person of routine and I look forward to the feeling of the routine once it is in place. And I pray for snow days, but not too many that we get out late or that it takes away from my two week Christmas break! :)

Saturday, September 21, 2013

On going back to work... and a letter to my baby girl

It is 11:06pm Saturday night and I am crying my eyes out I can't sleep. I am sitting in Anna's nursery. I want to hold her, but I am too afraid she will wake up, so I will settle for hearing her breath in person and seeing her sweet face, instead of experiencing it through her monitor. It is 11:06pm... I am sitting here in tears because of what is coming. I am already heartbroken and I still have a day. I start back to work a week from Tuesday... October 1st. Anna starts daycare this week on Monday because I can't even fathom dropping her off at a strange place with strange people, smells, sights, and sounds without me a single recognizable person on my first day back to work. So I had the brilliant heartbreaking idea that I would start her a week early and during that time I would get a lot of work done. Monday she is only going for part of a day, same as Tuesday and Wednesday, but Thursday and Friday she will be there all day.

I love teaching. I love working with children and inspiring them, helping them to learn and grow. I love seeing their faces light up when they understand something that has been difficult for them. I love seeing them treat each other nicely. I love the bond I create with a class. I work for a great school district, in a great school, and with a great team of teachers. I love the grade I teach and I worked so hard to get this job. But those thoughts are the furthest things from my mind right now. I just want to be home with my baby girl. I love the changes and the growth I see from her every day, and I am so afraid I will miss something because I am at school.

When we tossed around the idea of daycare vs in home, I would only go with in home if it was someone I knew and trusted. Unfortunately, all of the people I knew and trusted that watched kids were no longer doing it. So daycare it is. My mom was wondering if she might be able to retire soon and watch her. It would be "perfect" because my parents live only a few minutes from Jeff's work and he could drop her off and pick her up every day. She would be with someone that would love her and want her to grow and I do. I put perfect in quotes for a reason. While it would be the almost next best thing, the perfect thing would be me staying home. I don't want my mom to watch her (sorry mom). I want to spend my days with her. (I said almost, because I wish I could just take her to school with me, which would be the next best thing! Great way to promote literacy... start them early and my 2nd graders would love to read to her!). I try to help myself feel better by telling myself that I have holidays and weekends and summers with her. That is more than my husband has. He isn't even guaranteed weekends. That thought helps a little. But it is a long way from a holiday, and it isn't even close to summer! I know am told it will get easier with time. I know that I will probably always wish I could just stay home with her, but that other things will fill my time to make my day go faster and that once I am allowed to leave I will be out of school. Gone are the days that I stayed until 5pm. Now I will make the most of every second I have in school, and when I am home and Anna is awake, I will do my best to have schoolwork put away.

And so I sit here, heartbroken... not able to sleep... listening to her breath and make noises in her sleep... very tempted to face my worry of waking her just to hold her. I want to write her a letter (which will probably only make me cry harder). And so here it goes:

My dear, sweet Anna,

You are so little and so loved. I've learned so much about you from the minute you were born. I love to watch you grow and learn. I love to watch you do new things. No one else knows you the way I know you and no one else has the bond we have. 

I am heartbroken to have to leave you during the day, but it is to help provide for you so that your Daddy and I can give you the experiences and the things you need for a happy, successful life. I wish we could live off of love, because if so, we would be set for life and I could stay home with you! But we can't. I know that you won't know the difference growing up, because I never knew the difference. I hope you can learn a lot from me working. I hope you see me a strong. I hope you see me as someone who can work to provide for you, while being a loving mother to you. I hope you learn how to be kind and gracious to others when you are learning how to be around your peers. Wow... peers. Even someone as little as you has peers your own age!

We are asked whose personality we think you have. Daddy's, very reserved and laid back, or mine, very independent and strong. It seems like no matter whose personality we say, the person seems surprised that we say that. The truth is, I hope you have both of our personalities. I hope you are like your Daddy in that you don't let things worry right away and you think before you speak. I hope you are like me in that you are strong and you aren't afraid to speak up when you need to and you aren't afraid to stand up for yourself. If you have both of our personalities I know you will grow to be a strong woman who can take care of herself and doesn't need others to take care of her, however I hope that you love and allow others to take care of you once in a while. I hope you don't feel you need to be with someone to make you happy, however I hope you do find someone to make you happy, the way your Daddy makes me happy. I hope that one day you get to experience the love of being a mother, just as I am experiencing it now. It is the most amazing feeling in the world and I am so thankful I have you. 

Anna, Mommy and Daddy are always here for you. We will always love you, like no one else can ever love you. We will love you for you. I hate that I have to leave you during the day, but I promise to make the most of every second we have together when I am home. 

I love you, my sweet miracle.


Monday, September 16, 2013

2 months old! (a little late)

My Anna Banana is 2 months old (and a week). We left for vacation on her 2 month day, so I didn't have a chance to post. She has grown and changed so much! Just when I think I couldn't adore her more, I do! :)

Here are her stats for birth, 1 month, and 2 months:

Birth Weight: 6 lbs 14 oz               1 Month: 8lbs 10oz            2 Months: 10lbs 12oz
Birth Length: 20 1/2 in                 1 Month: 21 3/4 in             2 Months: 23 in

She now talks and smiles and coos constantly when she is happy! She also is starting to laugh. We got the most adorable laugh from her on vacation!

We did figure out that she has reflux and is starting a medication to help her. Feeding her has become so difficult because of her reflux and she can get pretty fussy because of it, but aside from that she is such a happy and social baby!

She has now been in 8 states, including where she lives. We went on a vacation to New Hampshire and Vermont last week. We had such a nice time staying in a cabin and hiking, touring, etc together. She is such a good traveler and we had to get New England in her blood early! We made sure to come home stocked up on Patriots gear for her!

Here are a few pictures of my angel from vacation:


And one from today:

Thursday, September 5, 2013


A year ago I was about to run my third half marathon and then my fourth half marathon in October. Two weeks after my fourth half marathon I found out I was pregnant... about 8 weeks pregnant, and due in July. I was in tip top shape at the time... I had just lost 62 lbs and was on my way to losing the last 15 I wanted to lose, I could easily run a half marathon, and had aspirations for a marathon in April. Boy did pregnancy put a halt to that! But I credit my amazing pregnancy to getting myself healthy.

Now, I say that because of this next part... when I started running again this week I was humbled, very fast. I hadn't struggled with running that much since I started, 62lbs+ heavier, and struggling to run a block. Thankfully this time I can run a bit over a mile. Boy is it humbling... especially after childbirth, where, instead of tight, strong legs, abs, and other parts, there are now droopy, floppy parts, skin, etc because there is no longer a baby keeping my skin tight, and you don't realize how much skin stretches to support that baby until that baby is no longer in there!

But I am doing it again and I will get where I was again sometime! The important thing is that I continue to do it to set an example for Anna Banana, because I want her to grow up with healthy parents who value exercise so that she can learn from us and learn to value exercise as well!

Everyone needs a little slap of humility once in a while to appreciate where they came from and where they are headed.

This little girl is worth every droop:

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Moving Anna to her room and mention of a giveaway

We moved Anna into her own room two weeks ago yesterday. That was a ROUGH night for Mommy, but not so rough for Anna! Thank goodness for friends that stay up and chat with me until I am sleepy so that I am not up crying all night worrying that something will happen to my baby girl. I loved having her next to me and probably would have kept her there for a while, had she not grown out of the cradle she slept in. I would wake up to hear her grunting because she got stuck in her cradle like this:

And so I knew it was time to move her. I had to light a fire under my hubby's butt to convince him to hang the baby monitor for me so that I could at least see and hear her in her room. I am not thrilled with her baby monitor, but it at least has video and sound.

The Bragging Mommy is giving away a babymonitor that I would LOVE to have! So I am blogging and posting a link for you to see this monitor as well!

And so here is a picture of Anna in her room for her first night... after Mommy cried and prayed that she would be OK and many Mommy kisses. And we survived. And she actually sleeps better in her room than she did next to me. We've even had mornings where she's slept until 8:15!!! And that does make this mommy very happy!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

One step forward...

Yesterday I went for my first run since I was around 15 weeks pregnant. My last run was a 4 mile race in the hills near our house and it was torture because of the way I was carrying. I stopped running in January and switched to walking for a while. I did walk a 5K in May at around 36 weeks pregnant, but other than that, no racing. I miss it a lot. I went out yesterday for a run and it felt great. It was only a little over a mile, but it still felt nice. I may have had 2 miles in me, but I don't want to push it too early. I will get there, maybe next week or the week after.

I miss the distance I used to run. I ran a half marathon when I was 6 weeks pregnant and a 10 miler at 8 weeks pregnant (although by that time the fatigue was starting to set in and I was still having a lot of the early pregnancy cramping, so it wasn't the best 10 miler). But I would trade the distance for my little girl ANY DAY! I am hoping to get back up to a half marathon next year, and a marathon at some point in my life, but I really don't know how to juggle being a mommy, teaching, and running a long distance. I'd like to push Anna in a running stroller when I run, and that will take some work for both of us to build up her time stamina in a stroller, but at the same time I will be building up my distance. We will see how it goes! Any advice is welcome!

And because no post is complete without a picture of my leading lady, here is my new favorite picture (of my 8 week old!!!)...

Sunday, September 1, 2013

It is September...

This is a month I usually look forward to. It is the month I married my husband. It is the start of fall. It is the start of football. School is back and in full swing. This year, however, it is bitter sweet. There are things I am really looking forward to... like our first vacation as a family of 3! Jeff has worked a lot since going back to work after Anna was born, and it will be so nice to have him to ourselves for a whole week!

This month, though, is also the last month I am home with Anna. I start back at school 1 month from today. So the end of this month we are starting to transition to daycare and I dread that week more than anything! But at least I have one month... and my munchkin just woke up, so I am going to go play!

On holding my baby

Let me tell you a little story... 6 years ago this month, a man and a woman were married. They were so happy together, and still are. They decided right away to bring a child into this world. After a year of trying, she had a positive pregnancy test, but it turned out to be a chemical pregnancy. They continued for 4 more years to try for a baby. These years had their ups and downs. They were still so happy together, but they were going through tests and treatments to try to make their dream of a child come true. There were many tears. Many Mother's Days and Father's Days passed with empty arms. They saw their friends have one, two, and even three babies during this time. Eventually they let their trying take a back burner and let running, traveling, and their jobs take over their lives. They were still happy together, but they decided to put off their trying for a few years, but there was still that empty sadness in their hearts. One day, during the first weekend of November 2012, she wasn't feeling right and decided to take a pregnancy test. SURPRISE! It was positive! After doctors told her she wouldn't be able to have a baby without the help of modern medicine, a miracle happened! After all these years their dreams were coming true. After 10 months of a beautiful pregnancy, their daughter was born and they couldn't be happier.

You see, that is my story above. After almost 6 years, I can finally hold my little miracle. And so I hold her any chance I get. I never, ever get tired of holding her because time moves so fast and she is already growing and changing before my very eyes. I love when people get to meet her and snuggle her and hold her, but when I am told (not by anyone specific, I promise! This is just an observation of my feelings over the last 8 weeks!) that I get to see her and hold her every day so they want to hold her for a long time, it sounds like nails on a chalkboard. I have to remind myself that they don't see her often and that they just love her and want to adore her. But I also know that a month from today, I will have even less time every day holding her, and that breaks my heart. And so, yes, even if someone is around that hasn't met her, I want to hold her. And if she is fussy while she is being held by someone else, it only makes me want to take her and help her stop fussing and make her happy. So yes, I am going to snuggle my baby and hold her, and smile at her, and talk to her, because I waited 6 years for this and nothing makes me happier than to hold her or see her daddy hold her. So be patient with me. It is hard for me to share my miracle, but I promise I am doing my best to remind myself that others want to get to know her and love on her to!