Sunday, December 05, 2010

Weepiness bookends my time off with Molly, as preparing to go back to work has made me more sad than I'd like.

It's not that I don't want to go back to work-- I really do need to get back to something other than diapers and rocking and shushing. It's just that I want to stay home too. I want it all. Actually, I don't even want to stay home, I just want to be at two places at once, for more of the day. I'm sad to give up my morning time with Molly, and being there to feed her whenever she is hungry. I will be gone during the most enjoyable time of her day-- by the evenings, she has usually turned into a fussy baby due to fighting off all of her naps. Smiles are easy in the morning:

From 2010.10 Molly

For a few days, I was able to really work on getting her naps, and she went to bed relatively easily those nights. But I have to give up on that now. She hates napping, she hates to go to bed. The screaming is obnoxious and we suppose she is too early to let her cry herself to sleep (that's MY job!)

We are lucky that she will be with Paul during the day, and me at night. No daycare. For one thing, we couldn't even afford it. At the same time, we are unlucky that we are going to each be on our own with her at our times, and rarely seeing each other. The timing is tight-- no more late nights at work, no more gym, no more shuttle (too damn slow) but it is going to work. And for now, at least, she'll be with one of her parents most of the time. Lucky girl! Lucky us! Even if it doesn't always feel lucky in the moment, while trying to calm her screaming. In hindsight, we'll remember it the way parents do-- too short.

From 2010.10 Molly

I still have tons of maternity leave time to take but I'm not sure how best to go about it. No matter what it will impact my work heavily, and I have a hard time accepting that. We're working on the best strategy-- time it for four months when we might think about sleep training? Take it in large chunks or short ones interspersed throughout the year? Which will be less damaging to my career? Which will be best for us as a family? Which might be used for other things, like a family vacation?

For now, I'm just focused on this week, as it clashes with Paul's schedule to make for a really hard week.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Monday I am returning to the office, and I have switched from feeling overwhelmed with the Molly-ness of everything all the time, to missing her fiercely just thinking about going to work. The past couple of days, I have gotten to spend some quality morning time just the two of us while Paul sleeps (we still basically take shifts, but they overlap now. Paul takes the evening take-four-hours-to-get-the-baby-to-bed, and I take the morning)

We have some quiet time in the morning, just Molly and me. At least until Monday.
She grows so fast. In fact! Last Tuesday, before Thanksgiving, she was up to 10 lbs, 14 oz, and this week, she was up to 11 pounds, 8 oz. She's totally blown through all of her newborn stuff and moved on to the big kid stuff. Soon she will outgrow the little "Newborn Napper" part of her Pack and Play that she has been sleeping in. Which Paul and I are sort of dreading, since we don't know how well she will transition.
Everything that has anything to do with sleep is heavy with all sorts of emotional baggage for me, and I neurotically worry about it and dread every night. It literally takes hours of fighting to get her to sleep at night (she's doing it right now as I type). Yay. So pretty much, my life will be: get up really early, fight the weather to ride to work, work all day, fight the weather and traffic to get home in time to switch off with Paul, balance baby and working from home in the evening (let's just be honest about the fact that my work always comes home with me), and then fighting the baby for several hours to get a few hours of sleep before repeating. Hooray! This is the part where I, as a parent, am required to say "It's so worth it!"

It's not good or bad, it's just the path we are on.

She really is charming when she is not screaming. Mostly in the morning. She fights naps too. But in between? Adorable! Lots of smiles. And some fantastic burps.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Oh how the time passes!
Slowly, actually, but I don't have any to myself.
Molly's latest turn of behavior is intense fussiness all damn day. She also discovered the dramatic cry, replacing the honest "lelelehhh" cry that used to build up naturally as she got frustrated, with a new wail that she pulls out immediately, pretty much at the drop of a hat. She demands to be carried and bounced at ALL TIMES. Any deviation from this results in immediate wailing. Which seems to be less honest than her old cries. She's onto something, I think. Drama queen.

Today I went to yoga class at my office, which I think is the first thing I have done just for me in the past 8 weeks. Babies are hell. Oops, parents aren't supposed to say that. I mean, ahem "They're lots of work but they're sooo worth it!" Later I will say "I don't remember my baby ever fussing!"

But, I am going back to work on Monday and I have tremendously mixed feelings about the whole thing. Ranging from "oh thank god, I miss adults" to "I have been replaced and have no use at work" to "I am really going to miss Molly." I have basically spent almost no time away from her in 8 weeks. Actually, make that 11 months. Am I going to miss out on her during the day? Am I just going to be glad to have some real adult things to do during the day where people aren't screaming at me for no reason? (Paul suggested that if anyone flips out in a meeting, I throw them over my knees and jiggle them until they shut up. Inappropriate? Maybe, but very effective!) Am I going to feel useless at work? Am I going to be completely overwhelmed at trying to juggle work during the day and Molly at night (Paul will be home at night with me for the next few weeks at least, but then I'll be on my own)

The worst thing is never having time for yourself. I used to have, like, hobbies and interests. And clean clothes. And that will only get worse with having work during the day. Molly is constant. There is never any rest. She barely naps, and when she does, she's left you with chores to do before she wakes up from her catnap for another round of hollering if you don't hold her. Fortunately, she is adorable. Sometimes even in her fussing. She definitely smiles at us now, especially just before spitting up violently on one of us. Yay. Last night she went for a record and projectile vomited all over me, like three times. I swear it was all of the milk she's eaten in the past week.

This could be related to the fact that she seems to be on poop strike lately. Now she just farts a lot, but the poop is apparently being stolen by someone else before we get to changing her diapers.

One of these days, maybe one of these months, she will be at an age where she can be by herself for a little bit. I hope. Don't tell Dr. Sears, but my biggest fantasy is of one night a week of not having a baby to take care of every minute. Maybe Dr. Sears would like to come and take care of her himself then.

Last week we went to Grandma Kay's house for Thanksgiving and Molly got to meet her cousins. Kate is several months older, but still? BABY FIGHT!
From 2010.10 Molly

Kate took this round on sheer size, but just wait, Molly is going to come back with cunning mean spirit later. Something tells me my brother's kids could never have mean spirit in a million years. But Molly? Well, just look at her pedigree.

She also got to meet grandma Kay for the first time:
From 2010.10 Molly

I know I have to be biased as a mother and think my baby is the cutest damn baby there ever was, but let's be honest... Molly has the most ridiculous widow's peak. And a mullet. She was essentially born with both, along with a very strong neck.

And now she is screaming again in the other room...