I’ve been struggling. First I was torn to go back to work and leave my little bundle behind. But my employer has let me work from home a couple days during the week each week. Then I was torn because it was a struggle to manage my time at home… if I was playing with the baby I felt guilt over not working while technically on the clock, but if I set the baby down to play and ignored her to work I felt like a terrible mother. Then I struggled with just getting my brain in the right place after so much time away – it felt like my brain was in first gear and wouldn’t shift.
With each of these I prayed for a lot of help, and asked my Bible study group to pray for me as well.
God took care of us. I keep learning that I don’t need to worry, that He’ll provide, whether that be money or time or whatever.
One day I was struggling with working at home and my boss called and asked for me to send over a presentation that I’d been working on for a week.. he said to just send him what I had. I had two slides with some pictures and no insightful information. I panicked. But then I prayed, “God, please put my brain in the right place, make me good at this kind of work again, and help me to finish this today.”
All of a sudden I thought, Oh, I should get this information which will prove this point. Oh and I already have this data which will support this statement and all I need is to quickly go find this one thing which will sum up this slide nicely.
And it all came together. A week’s worth of work all crammed into a couple hours in the afternoon and voila I looked productive at home (I was most afraid of losing my ability to work from home if they thought I couldn’t handle it).
So that’s how God helped me with the productivity aspect. And as for managing my time between the two, Aria now sleeps a good chunk in the middle of the day. I let her nurse and she’ll fall asleep in my arms and I just leave her laying across my arms as I work on my laptop in my lap, on a pillow. It works pretty well, because I’m right there if she stirs, but I can focus on work for a good portion of the day, and give her attention when she wakes up. See, He provides.
Oh, and the best part – I was scheduled to travel a LOT during these two months. Something like four different trips each four days long. Not only would this have been time away from my precious family, but I was worried I was going to lose my milk supply from too much stress and not enough opportunity to pump. But it was all cancelled!
It has all worked out so well. They will let me continue working from home for the rest of the year, Eric and Aria bonded and learned each other’s habits and schedules during my few days away, and God has helped me be able to be both productive and motherly while at home.
I’m so blessed.
Oh what a wonderful night of sleep. For me, at least.
I had to travel to San Francisco for a big meeting and for the first time since Aria was born (or even before that) I slept through the night. Granted, I was also exhausted from being up since 4 am East coast time, traveling for hours then starting a full day of work at 9 Pacific time (funny how you have enough time change to allow for that kind of torture) then of course a late dinner before being able to crash. So I was tired, and anywhere would have been blissful sleeping quarters at that point. Even so, I was the only one from our office that slept well. Everyone found it amusing that I was so well rested. Oh and I somehow managed to take nearly two hours to get ready in the morning when I usually only give myself twenty to thirty minutes, so I got a lot of compliments… like on my hair which was washed, dried, and brushed.
All this travel has been extremely hard on… well on part of me… I had to convince my travel companions that I really needed to stop at my hotel room before going to the office, so I could relieve … part of me. Let’s just say I looked like I had implants…. very painful implants. But I survived and they’ve been accommodating here. Tomorrow I get to figure out how to survive a long trip home with the same issues, but at least I’ll be home with Aria on Friday who can nurse alllllll day if she wants.
So Aria. It’s funny because I’m doing way better than I thought I would. I get asked if I’m worried about how Eric is taking care of her and honestly I’m not. Not because I don’t care, but I just totally trust Eric, and I know he loves her and is taking the absolute best care of her. Plus this is excellent bonding time for them, and a chance for him to get to know her little quirks a bit better. He is even coming to see things my way, like letting her just sleep in our bed (because he doesn’t want to risk waking her). I think he was afraid he’d roll over on her, but instead he has been waking up at every little noise to check on her like I do. It’s funny how you can develop mothery tendencies overnight if required. I guess she slept pretty well for him, though when she woke up to eat at 3am she wanted more than he’d prepared and by the time he had more she was pretty worked up so even once she was sated she was awake….so just lie there watching him instead of going back to sleep. I guess she did eventually though.
I do miss her though. Both of them. Someone asked if I, once I’m back in my room, look at pictures of her. I do. And they’re mostly of Eric holding or playing with her. It makes me question what I’m doing…working and traveling..
I love them so much. I think I could easily trade the peaceful nights of sleep in a lonely hotel for broken sleep with my wonderful little family.
My little punkin is starting to show so much personality. Even when it’s not desirable that she do so.
For example, I took her to get pictures taken, just because, and made sure to do so in the morning, right after she woke up and was fed, and was the most bubbly, coo-y, adorably sweet baby possible. She babbled in the car while playing with her beloved dragonfly toy – crinkle crinkle crinkle – she smiled at me when I took her out and carried her into JCPenny, she cooed as we waited our turn and didn’t even ask to be taken out of her car seat.
The photographer told us we were next, had set up the little seat for her to sit in and just asked me to set her down. Which I did. And Aria started getting fussy. I’m not sure if it was too warm in there, if she didn’t want to be set down, or what, but she didn’t really like what we were doing. The photographer tried to make her smile by making funny noises. I helped and together we got a couple of really quick but sweet smiles out of her, but then she resorted to fussy-town. We rearranged her and tried different angles, but she wasn’t really having it.
Then the photographer tried again to make her smile…by going “I’m gonna getcha getcha getcha!”
Aria screamed. Her face turned red around her eyes, the bottom lip popped out, and she just started crying like the lady had pinched her. She told me to pick the baby up, that she wasn’t going to get any better sitting there, and as I did I turned to walk around with her a little and the photographer told me that Aria turned her head over my shoulder, stuck her lip out at her, and pouted right at her. Angrily.
They offered to let me try to re-happify her while they took another client, so I walked back out into the lobby area and played with her. I sat her on the couch next to me and at first she started to cry but stopped pretty quickly when I started doing the normal talking and playing with her. She started smiling. Then some little laughs. Then cooing back at me.
When they said we could come back Aria was in a fine place and I was hopeful we’d get some new good pictures. I sat her down and WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.
That was the end of picture day.
Really it was best because there were only a couple good pictures for me to purchase, so I didn’t spend gobs of money, guiltily buying everything even remotely good. 🙂
A couple nights later we went to BSF, as usual. She’s become pretty used to the drill, and has even received gifts because the ladies just think she’s so cute. She was an angel all night long, sleeping during the group time, then nursing quietly, and then during the lecture she played quietly (mostly quietly) and wasn’t too distracting, sitting in her car seat on the floor next to my chair.
Well.. she was a little distracting. She had just gotten a new cloth book with really crinkly pages and she was enjoying talking to it as she violently crinkled pages then crammed them in her face. We were sitting in the back, and ladies in the row in front of us would periodically turn to look at her. I asked if she was distracting and while they said no, truly she was… not in a bad way, but distracting nonetheless.
So I took it from her, set it in a chair next to us, and gave her back the dragonfly which is a little less noisy.
She took the dragonfly, crinkled it a little, stopped, looked up at the book, would almost imperceptibly sigh, then slowly draw the dragonfly wing into her mouth, all the while still watching that book to make sure it didn’t go anywhere. Then sit quietly for a second looking at the dragonfly, then look back up at the book to see if it was still there.
The lady next to me started laughing. I turned to her and whispered, “she really wants that book!” and she agreed. So I gave in and handed the book back to Aria, who proceeded to coo and crinkle madly again.
At the end, one of the ladies who had been nearby in front of us came over and commented on how adorable she is and asked if she could hold the baby. I handed her over and in less than 10 seconds she started screaming. Flat out screaming. I was quickly handed the baby back. It had been so quiet a moment before, so a screaming baby drew attention. As ladies were leaving they stopped by, “What happened? She was so good!”
I wasn’t sure what to say, so I said, “Oh it’s past her bedtime and she’s tired..”
While that lady was still standing there she was muttering, “it’s because I held her.. “
So then my friend Erica walks up and smiles at Aria and wouldn’t you know the baby stopped crying and smiled back. I really hope the cry-inducing lady wasn’t nearby when that happened. I felt so rude, on behalf of my baby.
She has also made it known how much she enjoys sitting up, grabbing my thumbs or fingers and pulling, even when I have no intention of helping her to a sitting position. Or the airplane game which always makes her smile, even when she’s the most unhappily miserable baby ever there was. In fact a couple nights ago we had a flashback night – for the first time in a really really long time she was really fussy and wouldn’t be put to bed. She refused to nurse, she refused to cuddle, she didn’t want to sit or be read to or anything. We tried everything we could think of from changing the diaper to the onesie, from gas medicine to fever medicine (over the course of an hour), tried burping and swaddling.. etc. We tried everything that had potentially ever worked before, but she wouldn’t stop crying.
I decided to flip her over, put her on my knees as I lie on the bed, and flew her around like my little airplane. And a huuuuge grin burst out. As soon as I stopped a pout started to form and she started to revert to crying, so I zoomed her around some more and got more smiles. It was ridiculous because it was clear she really wanted to cry but just couldn’t help herself when she was an airplane and mommy was smiling up at her. I showed Eric because it was so funny; I handed him a crying baby and said, “make her an airplane” which he did and was rewarded with a sad but huge smile. Poor baby.
Well we eventually got her to sleep by walking around the house singing. She fell asleep on my shoulder, so I went to lay her down in her bassinet and she immediately woke up and started crying again. So I picked her back up, walked around a little more, and went through all of Amazing Grace that I know. When I felt her head thunk on my shoulder I tried again and was rewarded with a soft whimper, a sigh, then silence. Tucked in, she slept for most of the night before waking up again. And blessedly nursed happy as normal when she did wake up.
She’s incredibly vocal and especially loves to carry on conversations with people who really know how to talk to a baby, loves to smile big toothless gummy grins (and will smile at pretty much everyone except the two ladies mentioned above), is a cuddle hog, has a very expressive face and hands that want to touch everything, and is almost always happy unless something is truly wrong. We’re so blessed to have such a sweet and easy baby. I love her soooooooooooooooooo much.