Sunday, June 29, 2014

On being a working mom

I honestly can say this is THE hardest thing/decision I have ever had to live with in my life thus far. When it was time for me to go back to work when Hilton was eight weeks old I was ready. I wanted to gain a normal schedule in my life again, and have outside contact with adults on a daily basis. I felt that I was good at my job and felt comfortably challenged at work. But after a couple months of being back to work I started having a really hard time going back to work on Monday's. I changed positions at my work and so my day off changed. With my new day off I had three day weekends which made going back to working on Monday even that much harder because it meant a full four days until I got to have real time with Hilton.

You see when I get home on a typical workday normally around six p.m. I pick up Hilton from my mom's or the nanny's and get him home by six thirty which is time for him to eat his evening solids. Then once we are done eating and have a bit of time to play, it's seven and time for bath. By seven thirty p.m. he's out of the bath, diapered, lotioned, and in jammies ready for me to rock him to sleep as he eats his nighttime bottle. And by seven forty five he's asleep in bed and I clean up the house. That's all the time I get with him monday through thursday because I leave the house by seven a.m. about fifteen minutes after he wakes up and gets his first bottle. So when thursday comes I give a sigh of relief that I finally get to spend quality time with him. And when sunday comes I groan that I have to go to work the next day.

However not every monday incites this kind of reaction. It's after the really good or fun weekends with him that I am not overjoyed to go back to work. But for example the weekend he had a cold and was cranky and fussy all weekend and no amount of coddling or cuddling made him happy by monday I was worn out and glad to be able to have a break. But then the whole day while I was at work I felt guilty I wasn't home with my sick baby.

And sometimes it breaks my heart to see him so happy to see grandma or the nanny when I drop him off in the morning. I can't lie that a part of me wishes he cried when I left so at least I left feeling like he was going to miss me while I was gone. I have spent quite a couple mornings crying on my way to work because of how happy he was when he got dropped off. But when we have wonderful weekends playing, tickling, and giggling I feel reaffirmed that he loves me dearly.

It's so hard to truly explain other than I know it's good for me emotionally and mentally to be working, but at the same time I wish I was that mom that could be a stay at home mom and be completely happy. It's not that I don't want more time with him, it's just that I need time away from him to feel like I am being useful in other ways as well. I honestly do hope that by the time we have our next baby, we will be financially stable so that I can stay at home and at that point I will be fulfilled in staying home fulltime as well. However working at this time makes our time even that much more precious, and special. I don't think he resents me for working, and I know it's good for him to be well socialized with others so that he isn't attached to just me and Jared or shy.

Deciding what to do in regards to working when you become a mom has definitely been the hardest most emotional decision I make each day I have to go into work. I reaffirm that decision every day I go into work and sometimes I really really don't want to. But the doctors I work for make it an easier decision and knowing that he is in good hands while I am gone makes it a bit easier as well. Typically if Jared or grandma is watching him I get sent pictures throughout the day, so I know what he's up to. That also helps ease my angst towards being at work instead of at home. I hope this issue won't always be an issue, it's gotten easier at least as he's gotten older and is a little less helpless as time goes on. I'm sure that will continue and hopefully once Jared has graduated and gotten daytime job or career position I will be able to stay home.

Six month checkup at the doctor's (also where I work), isn't he just the cutest?

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Five Unneccessary Baby Items

you don't need in your home or to waste your money on.

1. Nasal Aspirator. Although they're not expensive don't waste your money on one. Firstly if it's that big of a deal to you, you get one at the hospital to go home with=free. Secondly they don't work very well at all especially on tiny little newborn nostrils, and they're really hard to clean and can be potentially dangerous even if you clean them correctly. Read this article if you don't believe me. 

2. Baby Shoes. Adorable? Yes. But baby won't know or use them at all except to maybe figure out how to kick them off. Even though you can probably find some for under $10, I'd still save my money. They will only wear them for what seems like sneeze and only other people will find them cute, which won't be many because you'll want to stay home as much as possible with a newborn. And most importantly it's just another step to have to take off and redress when changing your sweet little one's diaper.

3. Expensive baby bottles. Unless you have a baby with extreme colic or spitting-up issues that is primarily bottle fed there is really no reason to get special or costly bottles. We survived perfectly well on the Gerber First Essential bottles which were about a dollar apiece and we only bought nine which gets us through a week and you don't feel totally upset if you loose or damage one.

4. Bassinet. I can honestly count on my hand the number of full nights Hilton slept in the bassinet. You definitely need somewhere for your newborn to sleep when you get them home. If you want them close the most obvious answer is a bassinet. However I would get them home first and see if you really are going to want them right by you and then buy one if you need it. Hilton was quite a squirmer and squeaker in his sleep so I would wake up to that and then my waking up would wake him up and it was just a vicious cycle. Also keep in mind the other paraphernalia you have purchased. Do you have a bouncer or swing? Is it something they could sleep in? Honestly Hilton co-slept with me propped up by a pillow the first couple weeks and then transitioned to the swing. He couldn't sleep laying flat on his back because he would spit up and I would wake up to him gurgling on the spit up and he wasn't big enough to know or be able to turn his head so he could breath. That scared me. And then he when I did try to sleep him in the bassinet he hated sleeping on his back. So we'll keep it for the future babies and see if they like it better but for him it didn't work out so ultimately it was a $90 waste.

5. Diaper genie. I'm so glad for my friends who talked me out of this. I had quite a couple people tell me how this didn't seem to really work, the cartridges are expensive even if you buy them at costco in bulk, and you could still smell poop! I didn't buy one and I'm glad I didn't. We bought this diaper pail and it works amazingly well. It uses typical trash bags and has to be changed every week if you want to avoid the poop smell in your nursery just like you would with a diaper genie but it's way cheaper and without having to buy special cartridges you save quite a bit of money in the long run.

All in all the majority of what we bought we did need and use quite a bit, but I honestly can say that we wouldn't have used these things enough to justify them. Each baby of course is individual, but with every big purchase keep your receipts and don't open them unless you absolutely feel you will use them so you can return them in case you don't. Babies can be expensive but they don't have to be prohibitive if you plan well.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Five Necessary Baby Items

that I couldn't live without. Now that little man is six months old we have successfully used all the baby paraphernalia and I've made a list of what we couldn't survive without and what we use on a daily basis.

1. a baby carrier-doesn't matter what brand but get one! I was so confined to the bedroom or nursery when he was first home because I didn't want to leave him but was unable to get things done easily as well. The house fell into serious disrepair and worse yet I was bored out of my mind half the time. Once I got a baby carrier and found one that Hilton liked, the chores were able to get done and I felt comfortable taking him out even if it was just to the backyard to play with the dogs.

2. Aden and Anais swaddlers. L.O.V.E. They were amazing once we figured out how he liked to be swaddled which helped him develop a sleep pattern. Now that we're no longer swaddling they are a perfect blanket to have him lay on at church or cuddle up with for a nap. Not bulky so it fits into my diaper bag wonderfully and nothing that's going to keep him too hot at night. Definite must buy!

3. burp clothes. We live and die by these. He's in that spitting up phase (4-8 months typical peak at 6 months) so we easily use four or so at church alone. Whatever brand you prefer, I love carter's only because they absorb a lot and they stay in place when you put them on your shoulder. Plus they come in cute patterns! Buy some for the diaper bag, the car, and the nursery and buy lots! You will definitely use these a million times over.

4. teething rings. When he was loving his play mat we had these strung from one side to the other and criss crossing and he loved to grab onto them. It really helped with his hand eye coordination. Now that he no longer really uses the play mat we have them clumped in strings and have them attached to toys and he loves to suck on them. They're great entertainment for sure! We honestly use them everyday, and bonus they're disher machine safe so just put them in every once and a while to clean.

5. baby glider/swing. Honestly it was a splurge but so worth it. For the first four months this is where he slept. If I needed to get a shower I could put him down and he would nap for a good little while. He loved the music and often this was the only way to get him to sleep for long period of time when he was less than two months old. I wouldn't say you have to get a swing but a bouncer or something to entertain them but keep them safe. This had a five point harness which he couldn't wiggle out of so I felt safe setting him in it.

 These are all things we use on a daily basis. There a many other things I could add to the list particularly the best baby socks you will ever find which are called Growing Socks. Only thing brand we found that stay on his feet despite his best efforts (and sometimes ours) to take them off!

One thing is for sure, there is lots and lots of baby paraphernalia that you can fill your home with, but when you live in a smaller home or in restricted space you have to choose wisely. All of these things you would use time and again!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Your Sixth Month

Oh my goodness how this month has flown by! You are already half a year old which is just totally crazy! How is that possible? It seems like just yesterday I was holding you in my arms for the first time and kissing your sweet face.

You are still in size six month clothing much to my surprise! Not for long I don't feel like though. We just moved you up to size three diapers and thank goodness! They are so much easier to get on you. Diaper changing has definitely started to become a workout with you. I spend the majority of the diaper changing experience fighting to keep you flat on your back and on the table. I definitely cannot walk away anymore from the table to grab something because you'd be on the floor. You are so strong in body and spirit, you definitely want your way and have started to learn how to fake cry. It's adorable and frustrating all at the same time because I know when you're doing it but still want to console you. Grandma falls for it more than I do though so we will see if you learn it doesn't get you anything or if it will be a struggle.

You are officially to only one wake up through the night, typically around one or two AM. Mom is definitely enjoying the extra shut eye and am grateful we suffered through the sleep training. It was fun and definitely filled with tears from both you and me but it has paid off. You are completely used to sleeping unswaddled and actually immediately switch to your side once I lay you in your crib.

We have recently increased your bottles to 5 oz. at a time, and are trying to do solids with you twice a day now. You have mastered how to hold your bottle by yourself but have also figured out that if you refuse to hold it mommy will, so sometimes you are lazy. You still love pears, sweet potatoes, squash, carrots, and mommy is trying to introduce avocado we'll see if you like it!

You are officially sitting all on your own and love to sit on the floor with toys surrounding you and play and pick up with what interests you. However you are still top heavy and we've had a couple bonked heads in the past week or so because you turn or lift your head to fast and off balance yourself. Mom cried just as hard as you did though the first time so I'm very careful to make sure to surround you with pillows or sit on the floor with you to catch you if necessary.

We've gone to two swimming lessons so far and you are pretty stoic about the whole experience except for when we lay you on your back. You really really hate that because the water gets in your ears. However you enjoy it when mommy sits you on the edge of the pool and you jump fall in and I catch you. So far I'm glad we did it, however we will wait to do any more lessons until next year. You are by far the youngest baby in the class and all the others are able to either crawl or walk so we have to simplify the activities for you compared to the other babies.

Daddy is loving tickling you and giving you raspberries. You are so fun to play with.

Mommy is loving your fine blonde hair that is growing on your head. It's actually starting to thicken up!

The doggies are loving that you throw your toys to them from the high chair. Adi has taken a certain liking to your koala toy and mommy has caught her with it a couple times. Naughty Adi!

Happy half birthday my love!!! I can't believe you're halfway to being a year old, where is the time going?!