Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Last Week

I return to work next week. In a way I've already dipped a toe in, since I spent a day and a half in a retreat at the office. I'm also back on the email chains as we prepare for the beginning of the semester. So it's all becoming really real, right down to the boys' first solo visit to daycare tomorrow morning.

I am... ok. Genuinely torn, in that there are things I'm looking forward to - working out without having to trade off with A or else attending 6 AM classes to make it happen - and a lot that I will miss. Returning to work a month ago would have been easier emotionally, balancing both boys and their schedules was a lot harder then and I would have been just grateful for the break. 

But now? I've finally got things figured out. We have our pattern down, Baz has leveled out, we hit our stride. H is also coming out of newborn into full baby, and it's freaking adorable. He laughs at everything his brother does, which encourages Baz to find new ways to entertain the baby. Oh AND, we've been allowing Baz to run with the pack of friends on our block which means I had a whole hour the other day to read while H slept and the Gang of Four (Year Olds) ran from house to house with foam light sabres. Glorious.

I just can't believe I'm about to hand this guy over to daycare. 

Meanwhile my friends in Canada and Japan are finishing up their year-long maternity leaves. Sigh. 

I'd love to go back part time. It's not impossible, especially since A got a JOB and has been working for a national lab for two weeks already. (That background music would be the sound of angels singing). We were swinging from one trapeze to the next, financially, and made it ahead of schedule. So we have options. Right now I'll just plan on staying in my fun, easy job as is, knowing that I have the flexibility (and possibly support from my employer) to fiddle with the setup in the future.

God, how things have changed, eh?

Right now I'll soak up every minute that I've got left. Today that means lounging poolside at the Y, with a baby on my chest, library book in hand, and Baz toodling about the pool in swim camp. 

Not bad at all. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

I'm not a complicated lady.

The thought of a pepperoni pizza just made my milk let down. 

And that, if you've ever wondered what I'm like in real life, should tell you all you need to know. 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Well, that took an unexpected turn

B, singing a song:

I have a good mama
I love her, she's a nice mama!
She does lots of nice things for me

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Minnie: One Tough Mother

Baz has a set of Minnie and Mickey dolls that became his constant companions ages ago. Not having ever seen any Disney TV he was free to make up personalities for both. It was in this way that it became clear to me that we are raising a little feminist.

Mickey, according to Baz, is a kid. Usually he is about Baz's age, sometimes younger, and he is scared of a lot of things. He's nervous about sleepovers and bees, he can't watch the scary parts of movies, and he usually needs someone to hold his hand. Mickey also winds up banished a lot - he can frequently be found tucked carefully under the table or behind a door or in his bed box. He doesn't get sent to jail the way the other stuffed animals do (Baz is bafflingly law and order considering his anti-authoritarian parents. Hang 'em high Baz, that's our boy.) but Mickey is often sleeping or sick or otherwise unavailable. 

Minnie, on the other hand, is one tough bitch and is a necessity in Baz's world. We couldn't find her for bedtime one day, unleashing palpitations throughout the whole family, only to discover her driving a dump truck on the side of the house. 

Minnie is a princess, but a fighting princess. She doesn't take crap from anyone and can do aerial gymnastics. She's older than Baz, but still a girl, and isn't afraid of anything. Minnie takes care of the others, especially Mickey, which is good because the stuffed animal population in our house suffers from an alarming rate of orphaning. It's like the stuffed animal parents are just walking into traffic willynilly.

Sometimes Minnie goes on adventures or gets trapped in the dungeon out by the slide, but luckily Super Baz (now with cape) is always able to save her in the end. She gives Baz good advice, sometimes reprimands him or the other "kids" for making bad choices. Lately Minnie has been tagging along for the bus ride to camp, both because she likes to look out the window with Baz and because she can sit in his cubby, just in case he needs a cuddle during the day.

I'm awfully glad for old Min. She seems to have her head on straight, and with all the changes in Baz's life lately, she's a rock for him to rely upon.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Baz has a new trick. Whenever we walk down to the main drag - a short block away and very popular now that our little town has become so hip - he waits for young couples to stroll by and yells, "Get in their way!" So far at least half of the couple has always been charmed by a scruffy 29 pound pirate doing a jumping jack on the sidewalk, so Baz's belief in his own inherent adorableness goes undisturbed. New day, new apologies to strangers.

H is still a happy, easy dude, though he frequently is forced to put out an APB for the boobs when they try to disappear on him. He's cooing and smiling like crazy, it's freaking adorable. 
Baz, though, he's had some tough times. He only sees things in black and white at this stage, so when he feels these uncomfortable, big feelings, he doesn't know how to process the anxiety or the anger. He gets so wired up, so clearly anxious and clearly sad about not being as close to me or to H as he wants to be.. then he tells me he's a bad boy or a bad guy and it just about breaks my heart. We're doing everything we can think of to ease this transition for him, but I suspect we may just have to ride this one out. I think it will get a lot better when H can move to the crib in Baz's room. It's all Baz really wants - him and H against the world. Well, that and for H to play with him. And for Elsa and Anna to be real and come to our house. 

Maternity leave is a lot easier since Baz started camp three days a week. I have finally had a few solid quiet days to cuddle H without having to drag him all over town, and it's really sinking in that I have kids, plural. "I have to go get the kids!" and "oh, the boys will love that bunk bed in a few years." So crazy. 

I'm also so damned glad to be done with childbearing, holy crap. As soon as A gets a new job and insurance he's getting The Procedure and we're solid DONE. I am so, so excited. I mean, how is the vasectomy celebration not a thing? I feel like as soon as he goes under I'll be celebrating with the ladies, doing vodka shooters. Bring on the limes, my man's getting snipped!!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day

"Let's take a quick picture for grandma!," I said, and this is what I got:

Perhaps a little too accurate?  Here's another attempt:

Naturally, my mother loved both.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Mother of two

On April 1, H was born. 8 lb 12 oz, no meds for either of us and not much more fuss than the norm. Normal is the word I'd use for the whole experience thus far - normal birth (though terrifically glad to be done, and done with my childbearing years. On to child rearing!); normal fat baby; normal sleep deprivation; normal discomforts.

Baz has been struggling with so much change, especially coming as it did just two weeks before his fourth birthday. He wants to be closer to me, and closer to H, and isn't able to get as much of either as he would like. We woke up one morning to find a pillow bed on our bedroom floor - Baz, not allowed to crawl in bed with us until 6 AM, had made do with what he could. It gave my heart a twist, for sure.

4 weeks in and we're muddling through. Baz has been given more responsibility (he loads the dishwasher, helps prepare his own lunch, and soothes the baby) and gets more freedom. He can now walk down the sidewalk on his own to see the kids three houses down and can play in the front without an adult there with him.

After a few epic meltdowns, the first ever of that magnitude, I've also invested in more preschool hours each week. My maternity leave may be unpaid, but he was really struggling with stress at home and plain too many changes. We're both a lot happier.

I rarely have two hands free, but once H extends his longer naps to somewhere that is not On My Body, I'll write more. Mostly it's all helping Baz adjust, god I'm so tired, and For chrissake why do I always breastfeed this is miserable. People keep telling me I look good for four weeks post partum, but covered in milk with crazy hair and with cloth diapers desperately shoved in my bra for the unbelievable leaking - 'good' is not the word I would apply. 

That said, things are pretty good.