Month 6

Dear Henry,
You’re sixth months old today (or you were when I started writing this – again, I’m sorry that it’s over a week late…)!!!! How has half a year gone by already? This month so much has changed I don’t even know where to begin.
I guess we’ll start with the obvious.  You had your first Hanukkah and Christmas this year!  It was so much fun watching you open your gifts and laughing hysterically when you had more fun with the wrapping paper than what it was wrapped around.  You got so much stuff this year that your dad and I are going to have to get you a toy chest so that itdoesn’t look like Toys ‘R Us exploded in our house.
Your first night of Hanukkah!

Your first night of Hanukkah!

This month you started sitting up on your own. This actually just happened within the last week. You can sit and play with toys now on your own. It’s the coolest thing to watch. But, as cool as it is, it also makes me a little sad. It means your growing and becoming more and more independent everyday, and less and less the little baby that needs me for everything.
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You’ve really started getting into playing with your toys (although you still really like to put everything in your mouth). I think that your favorite thing is your Disney jumperoo. You bounce and play and swing and toddle in for the longest time. Your dad and I can put you in there and you can entertain yourself for almost an hour. But, you also really like any toy that you can sit up and play with.
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In just the past few days you’ve also started solid foods. Your dad and I have decided to skip purees and anything that involves us spoon feeding you. So far you’ve tried orange slices, banana, avocado and roasted sweet potatoes, bread and this morning you dad made a hash out of eggs, onion and potatoes and you absolutely loved it! The orange and banana caused you to wrinkle your nose and spit out what was in your mouth, but you actually ate the sweet potato, and seemed to really like it. As of right now you’re undecided on the avocado, so we’ll revisit that soon. The first few days of solids you had some tummy trouble that we think is being caused by the solids, but we’ll see if that continues, hopefully it won’t happen again.
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You started daycare this month, and while it was incredibly difficult for me (and still is at times) you seem to be thriving in it. You smile as soon as we walk in the door in the morning and as soon as I hand you over to Ms. Judy in the mornings I cease to exist. And, everyday but one so far, you’ve been smiling and happy when I picked you up (and the day you were crying was because you refused to nap and were exhausted and wired). I hate that I’m missing so much time with you, but I honestly think it’s worth it to see you so happy and to know that you’re being entertained and enriched all day.
Took your picture when I picked you up from Daycare last week

Took your picture when I picked you up from Daycare last week

This month also marked your first major road trip. We packed you up in your car seat the night of the 21st after your bedtime routine and drove through the night to Kentucky to see your Gram. You slept the whole way like a champ! Your dad and I weren’t so lucky. We hit major snow in West Virginia, and the roads got so bad that we were going 30 mph or less through most of I-77. But, we arrived at Gram’s at 3:30 that morning and after lugging all of your stuff inside were able to put you back to sleep (although it was in bed with us – you seemed to forget all of the sleep training that we did when we were in KY, but thankfully you’ve remembered it as soon as we got home). When you woke up at 6:30 that morning I nursed you and bleary eyed handed you over to Gram to entertain you while I went back to sleep. Our drive home was thankfully uneventful – again you slept the whole way!
I-77 - and this was not the worst of the snowy weather - I couldn't unclench my hands long enough to take a picture then.

I-77 – and this was not the worst of the snowy weather – I couldn’t unclench my hands long enough to take a picture then.

Nap time continues to be a struggle for you, but you’re getting better. Today you took every nap in your crib and they were all decent lengths! I know that your dad is really sad that you’re not napping on his chest anymore, but it’s for the best. Once you started napping on his chest you decided that you wanted all of your naps that way, and for some reason my chest isn’t as comfy to you as his is, and he can’t be there at every nap to snuggle you no matter how much he’d like to be (and he would really like to be).
You’re growing up so much! It seems like every time I look at your you’re getting bigger and bigger. You’re also extremely inquisitive. You study things when you look at them. I honestly think that you’re trying to figure how they work and how best you can manipulate it. You still make us work to get a laugh out of you, but you smile almost nonstop. Your smile and the fact that you love to cuddle and snuggle are some of my favorite things about you – but everything is my favorite thing about you. I’m so thankful that I’m your mom. You mean the world to me and you always will. I love you with all of my heart and I always will.
Watching Top Chef with Dad while I catch up on some much needed sleep

Watching Top Chef with Dad while I catch up on some much needed sleep

Your last day at work with me.

Your last day at work with me.

-Mom
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Burning Out

I have to say that Henry being in daycare is way harder than I thought it was going to be, and not just for the emotional aspect (although that’s a big one).

I never knew that having a child in daycare meant that I spend an hour or more every evening getting everything ready for the next day. It means shifting my whole schedule around so that I can be more efficient in the mornings with my time and be able to get me, the baby and the dog out the door with a little time to spare so none of us are late.

When I get Henry home now, I get to play with him for about 45 minutes to an hour before he starts to get cranky and really tired.

Here’s what my evening schedule looks like (because I know that you’re all so interested in this…)
5:30 – arrive home with baby
5:30-6:30 PLAY!
6:30 – 7:30 Bath, bedtime routine, nursing
7:30 Henry’s bedtime – although lately he’s been going down closer to 7:00
7:30 – 8:30 Wash and dry bottles, pump parts, nipples. When feeling up to it I sterilize everything too. While washing I also multitask and help J with making dinner.
8:30 – 9:00 eat dinner
9:00 – 9:30 Clean up from dinner, pack my lunch for tomorrow, get Henry’s bottles ready for daycare. Pack up my pump and pumping bottles.
9:30 – 9:50 Shower – I no longer have time to do this in the morning
9:50 – 10:30 my bedtime routine of moisturizing, brushing my teeth, flossing (yes, I actually floss) and sitting in bed watching tv for 5 minutes before I pass out.

This doesn’t leave much room for…well…anything else. And I’m starting to get burned out on all of this, and I’ve only been doing it for 2 weeks. I hate that we eat dinner so late. I hate that I never get anytime to sit and relax during the evening, because I know that there’s still a shit ton to do. I hate that my only time to sit and relax with J is the 30 minutes that we’re scarfing down dinner.
And I can’t do any of these things in the morning because then I’m running around like a crazier person and I forget half the things I need to bring with me.

This is hard, really really hard. I had a friend last night tell me that at one point she lost it and just started bawling one night when she was washing bottles and pump parts because it was so late and she just couldn’t take the stress of it anymore. I can TOTALLY see how that could happen, and I expect that to me in about another week and a half, tops.

And it’s about to get even harder. Henry’s going to be starting solids probably within the week. So, I’m going to have to figure out where to get extra time to have him start playing with food (we’re going to be doing the Baby Led Weaning – which despite all of this scheduling nightmare I’m actually excited about).

I think the only available option is to have one of us cook dinner while the other plays with Henry, and to find a way to push Henry’s bedtime back by 30 minutes (any suggestions on how to do that one?). We also need to start making quick and easy meals instead of the ones that take an hour to make and then 45 minutes to cook.

It would be glorious if I could get our schedule to look like this:

5:15 – arrive home with baby
5:15 -6:00 cook dinner
6:00 – 6:45 eat
6:45 – 7:30 Henry’s bedtime routine and bedtime
7:30 – 8:30 clean up from dinner and wash and pack for tomorrow
8:30 – 9:30 RELAX
9:30 Shower
10:30 My Bedtime!

now if only I could figure out HOW to make that a reality….

Upping the Pumping

Looks like my pumping drama continues. Henry is now going through his six month growth spurt. I never noticed his 3 month growth spurt, probably because I was breastfeeding on demand. But since he’s been in daycare, they tell me everyday how much he eats, plus all those empty bottles that I have to wash are proof of how much he eats.

Last week at daycare I left 4 (5 oz) bottles for him to eat everyday. My thinking was, that if he eats every 3 hours or so that he’ll only need 3 bottles, and I’d bring one more just in case. On Friday, he ate his “just in case” bottle and he did it again Monday, and was about to be fed it when I got there yesterday. Which means that everything that I pump, he now eats. Ideally I’d like to have a cushion, and I’d even more like to continue to grow my freezer stash.

It worries me that I might not pump enough for him to eat, so to try and rectify that, I’m upping my pumping routine for the remainder of this week to try and catch up to Henry’s demand.

Last week I pumped after Henry ate at 6:00 am. And, then at work at 9:00, 12:00 and 3:00. I averaged about 4 ounces per session, which isn’t too shabby. Since I need to up that here’s what my pumping schedule looks like now:

  • 5:50 – pump 5 minutes on each boob
  • 6:00 – breastfeed Henry
  • 6:20-6:40 – pump ten minutes on each boob. This let me have a total of 4.5 ounces this morning, I could have kept going, ’cause I wasn’t empty yet, but I ran out of time.
  • 8:30 – pump until empty (30 minutes today and got 6.75 ounces).
  • 11:00 – pump until empty (25 minutes today and got 5 ounces).
  • 1:30 – pump until empty (20 minutes – 3.5 ounces)
  • 4:00 – pump until empty (25 minutes – 3.5 ounces)
  • 6:30 – breastfeed Henry

Hopefully this will help bump up my supply and give me a little breathing room, and more milk in my freezer.

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Pumping Woes

I’m in a bit of a shitty situation. Let me give you some back story first.

When I brought Henry to work with me, I used to nurse him in my office, which I share with my mother-in-law. But, when he started to get really distracted easily, I went and took him down to an empty office to nurse him. It was quiet, and I could turn the lights off and it really helped with getting him to eat.

When Henry went into daycare, I used the same empty office to pump all last week. So today at 9:00, with my pump, ipad and water in hand I walked down to the empty office, and low and behold, there was a person in there using the space as their office! And NO ONE TOLD ME!

Now here’s where the shitty part comes into play. I share an office, so while I felt completely comfortable nursing Henry in there, I don’t feel comfortable pumping in front of others. There’s just something different about it. Especially when the person you share an office with goes in and out all the time, and I sit right next to the door. I just feel exposed, and because I’m uncomfortable, I don’t produce much milk.

So, when I complained to my brother-in-law about the situation, he told me that I had a few options. 1) I can get over it and pump in my office. 2) I can use the storage room. or 3) I can drive 5 minutes down the road to their other company and pump in their filing/storage room.

I have to say that I’m hurt and ticked off by how I’m being treated with the whole pumping situation. Granted, I’m the only one in the office to ever put them in a position like this, and they aren’t likely to be in this position again for quite some time, if ever. But, still! A little compassion would be nice.

So, out of my options, I chose option 3. So, now I drive over to their other company 3 times a day to pump (the people over there let me use their conference room, so guess that’s the upside).

sigh….I really need to find another job and soon.

Making it Work

So, I asked my bosses/ in-laws if I could change my work hours to be from 7:30 to 4:30 instead of 8:00 to 5:00, so I could be with Henry a little more in the evenings before he has to go to bed.  They agreed, which is awesome!  And, today I actually got to work on time!  The downside is that I forgot to bring with me half the things I need for the day, because I ran around like a chicken with its head cut off this morning trying to get out the door by 6:50.

  • I remembered to bring my bagel for breakfast, but I forgot the bring the peanut butter that goes on it.  I’m now still hungry and my dog is looking at me like I betrayed her because there is no knife to lick today.
  • I remembered to bring my pump and two bottles to pump into, but I forgot the third bottle, which means that I get to pump into a bottle and then pour the milk into my thoroughly scrubbed travel coffee mug to hold it all day.
  • I remembered to bring my purse, but forgot to put my cell phone and ipad in it.
 I tried to get everything packed yesterday so that I could just grab everything and hit the road this morning.  It looks like this is going to take a little while longer to figure out.  I think I might have to start making a check list of things to do the night before and in the morning so that nothing is forgotten in the future.
On the upside, when Henry was dropped off this morning, he smiled as soon as we walked into his classroom.  I think he’s really enjoying daycare.  It was also really awesome to come home yesterday to J and Henry and see Henry’s face light up when he saw me.
Smiling baby being picked up at daycare!

Smiling baby being picked up at daycare!

Henry

A little while ago J and I took Henry to have some portraits made for Hanukkah and Christmas gifts for our parents. All we have right now are the 5 sample ones that went straight to out email. We still do not have access to the rest of them because Sears Portrait Studio uploaded pictures of another family on our account. I’ll post those as soon as it’s fixed. But in the meantime, here are the 5 we do have access to.

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Isn’t he precious!?!?!?!