I had a generous 11 weeks of maternity leave after Gillian was born and then I was back at work for 14 weeks, the last 3 of which were part-time.
I did not like being away from my baby.
The best thing about working full-time was that it gave my husband a chance to be a stay-at-home full-time dad. This is not something that he ever wanted. But he was soooo good at it. Every day he and Gillian came to see me for lunch and I got to feed her in the front seat of our car while Landon listened to me talk about my day. See, he is not only an amazing dad, but the best husband I could hope for. So Gillian wasn't suffering for one second once I returned to work. She took to the bottle easily, and I was able to pump twice a day while working, which was important to me. So my child has never had anything touch her lips except for breast milk.
I was so blessed to see Landon taking over the roll of primary care-giver in Gillian's life, even though I wished so badly that it was me. He taught her to roll over, and had her on a nap/feeding schedule. Every evening when I would get home, he would place her into my arms and she would be all mine until her bedtime, which was 2-3 hours later.
I lived for those 2-3 hours all day long. While I was working, Landon sent me pictures of Gillian playing with her toys, and video of her being her cute self and I looked at them over and over. This sounds desperate and pathetic, certainly, but that was exactly what I was. At 2 months old, I hated leaving my baby. Sitting in the hall closet with a "do not disturb" sign outside of the door twice a day while I saved my child's life source in plastic bottles felt so against nature, so contrary to everything I felt within me. I ached for her.
I remember her 4 month appointment, her pediatrician directed several questions at me: "what is her nap schedule like?", "how much is she eating?", etc... and I had no clue what the answers were. I just differed them to my husband. and I left with a weight of guilt and a broken heart.
These last 2 weeks have been heaven. I got to see her roll over for the first time. I am experiencing several "firsts" and I have felt like I have gotten to know her so much more! Although, there have been times that I have found myself looking forward to her next nap - I can't believe that. I remember the not-so-long-ago life I lived where I wanted her present with me always. So I decided to do my best to apply my perspective as a working mom to my new stay-at-home lifestyle:
1. Be fully present as much as possible, not distracted.
2. Every moment is a bonding moment.
3. Every moment is a teaching moment.
4. Every moment is a chance to love her.
5. Savor every second
With a baby as precious as this one, it's not difficult at all to follow this creed.
my Sweet Pea, playing and laughing with puke on her face.
I am a momma. I can't help but document my little girl's life. And she is growing so much and experiencing so many new things. At this stage of her infant life, it seems that every week brings new "firsts", and I snap and scribble and post and share each one as I rejoice in my mommy heart that my girl is thriving and exploring and learning.
Yesterday was the Bean's first time trying "solid" foods.
We decided to start slowly, with a little rice cereal mixed with breast milk.
I think this precious reaction has more to do with the texture than the taste. Because, honestly, it probably tasted mostly like breast milk (but i don't actually know because I didn't try it).
Still thinking about it....
(P.S. we decided that this super expensive bib was totally worth for how functional it was.)
Realizing that it tastes vaguely familiar, and all of the sudden, she becomes ravenously hungry. Landon couldn't get the food in her mouth fast enough.
Even tried to eat the bib.
She became unhappy by the time they were in the bottom of the bowl.
From all of the reading I have done, I did not expect Gillie to eat anything at all the first few days. I was so amazed at the way my girl scarfed her meal. She continues to uphold her reputation as an "easy" baby.
I don't put bows in Gillian's hair often. They look big and silly. But I do love headbands and barrettes in her hair. She doesn't mind them at all, so far. They usually bug me eventually because they don't stay in place, so she never wears them long. And if she is handed over to her father with some hair adornment, it is promptly removed. But she does have such beautiful hair, it is fun to dress it up a bit.
This scrunched up nose is her whiney face. This is a new thing. Sometimes she whines without crying, just whining. She is able to express her varied emotions in varied ways these days instead of just smiling or just crying, she is learning to communicate better. So now we have the scrunchy complainey face. And I love it just as much as her pooched-out-and-quivering-bottom-lip cry and her ear-to-ear toothless smiles.
Her hair is thick and long in the front (as you can see from the first picture). It is less thick in the back, where she has managed to rub it off with her vigorous head movements on her sheets and in her car seat. But cutest of all is this little "Alfalfa" curl on the top of her head. It is absolutely precious.