This Week So Far

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Message from my BFF Sunday night

Monday – 1st day of daycare for my sweet girl and 1st day back to work for her momma. Whew.. Sooo.. the daycare in our town doesn’t take babies until they’re a year old, so she goes to daycare near my husband’s work (literally like a quarter of a mile from him, but 30 minutes from home). Whitlee normally eats at 6AM, 10AM, 2PM, 6PM, and about 9:30PM. I have to leave for work at 6:45/6:50 to be there at 7 (yes, lucky, I know.) The plan was to get up at 5AM and get ready for work, feed her at 6AM like normal and we’d have 45ish minutes for her to eat, get a clean diaper, clean clothes and ready for the day. Nolan doesn’t have to be at work until 8, so there’s really no reason for him to get up that early, so I try to let him sleep until his alarm at 6:30. Well she had other plans. She was awake at 5am which is when I needed to be getting ready. Thankfully, at first she was just laying in her crib, talking away. (seriously a d o r a b l e) About 5:30, she started crying because she was getting hungry and just wanted to be held. So I let her sit in my lap while I finished getting ready. She likes to hold my makeup brushes while I do my makeup. Hashtag Girl Mom! Then she ate and just wanted to be held, so we snuggled for a little while.

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I headed out at 6:45 and they headed out about 7:15. I told Nolan to make sure she wore a bow, and he sent me this picture of her all ready for her first day!

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I called the daycare at lunch to check on her and they said she napped until 9:30, ate her whole bottle at 10, and was currently napping again! Perfect!! I was really worried she’d refuse to eat for them or refuse to nap or just cry the whole time. But they said she had been smiley when she was awake and was doing wonderful. I was so excited to see her when she got home and she immediately smiled at me – that made everything okay. I’d been reading horror stories about babies that wouldn’t smile for their mom after being away all day, and some that said their babies wouldn’t even look at them for hours.

Tuesday – We attempted the same plan of attack of me getting up at 5AM, feeding her at 6AM, and then take her to my mother in law’s before work. Well if I thought Monday was rough going, Tuesday was over the top. She started out by basically sleeping all night but woke up at 4:30AM, ready to eat. I did what I could on getting ready for work while Nolan tried to comfort her for a little while, but I finally had to stop and feed her and then had to finish getting ready one armed because once again, she just wanted me to hold her. Nolan absolutely helps when he can, but I think she’s a serious momma’s girl right now and sometimes only I will do. I can’t say I hate it when she does that though. We checked on her at lunch again, and my mother in law said she was doing wonderful. She slept until 10 and ate her whole bottle, then cat napped a little around 12. When I got there to pick her up, she was asleep and continued to sleep until her bottle at 6! We took advantage of the warm weather and went for a walk in the stroller and she was all smiles for me but too quick for the camera.

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So obviously her morning routine was not working anymore. We talked about it and decided to move everything up by an hour. She apparently wakes up at 5 now, so we’re going to try eating at 5AM, 9AM, 1PM, 5:30PM, and 9PM. We played all evening, then started her bedtime routine at 9 instead of 9:30.

Wednesday – I got up at 5AM and actually had to wake her up to eat. Of course she’d sleep once we rearranged her schedule… But I fed her at 5, then rocked her back to sleep and layed her in her crib while I got ready for work. I was actually able to get ready and eat breakfast without her crying. I went to tell Nolan bye and he was standing at her crib in the dark, patting her trying to get her back to sleep. I asked if she was crying and he said no, but that she was just rolling around in her crib. She does that when she’s sleepy, but can’t get settled. So I flipped her light on and we sat there and talked to her for a little bit before I had to leave. She was so smiley and happy, just babbling away. That was much better than hoping she sleeps until 6 and having her just want to be held. Because trust me, if I have a choice of getting ready for work or loving on my girl – bet you can guess what I’ll choose. Every time.

So hopefully this schedule works a little better. She seems to enjoy daycare the most but it’s probably because there are other babies and lots of toys and fun things to look at. We’ll see how it goes the rest of the week before we call it a successful week. If things go as smoothly as this morning, I think we can do this. Otherwise, I was seriously questioning whether I was doing the right thing by being away from her and jacking with her morning routine so much.

Tomorrow is my Friday so I’m counting down until my 3 day weekend with the little munchkin!

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Return to Work Eve

Well it has arrived. I go back to work tomorrow. I’ve been mentally preparing for this since before Whitlee ever arrived, schedule preparing for this for over a month, and physically preparing all week. I’m now sitting on the couch while Miss Priss naps in her carseat beside me (because she fell asleep on the way home from grocery shopping), waiting on my chicken for the week to cook so I can finish preparing my stuff for the week.

As I mentioned in my Maternity Leave post, Whitlee will be going to daycare Mondays and Wednesdays, staying with my mother in law on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and staying with my mom every other Friday (I’m off every other Friday). Daycare is her first stop and daddy will be doing drop off duty so I’ve emptied all of my personal stuff from her diaper bag and added even more essentials like diaper rash cream, teething tablets, extra pacifiers, extra clothes just in case, and swaddle wraps for napping. Daycare provides formula, so we’re only responsible for sending diapers, wipes, bottles, and her own preferential stuff. I’ve got a package of diapers and wipes set with her bag, ready to go. I’ve also got everything together to go to her MawMaw’s house and to YaYa’s house –  a jug of nursery water, package of diapers, package of wipes, and can of formula. Each are getting their own set to just keep at their house.

I have all of her paperwork filled out, shot records filled out and her “first day of daycare outfit” picked out.

I’m about 75% nervous and sad and anxious about actually being away from her. Nervous that she’ll cry all day or not eat enough or not nap very well. Sad that she might be mad at me when she comes home. And anxious to just do it all. We’ve basically been on Whitlee Time since she came home; we work around her schedule. Now we have to master the art of sticking to her schedule and making it click with ours. Which leads to I’m about 20% ready to get it over with and settle into a routine. Then there’s a measly 5% of me that’s a little excited about making my money again. We have so many plans for our future, including building a house hopefully later this year or early next year and it requires both of us to work to get that started. So me going back to work is the first step towards a new house for Whitlee to grow up in.

I’m really trying to focus on the positives and the things I can control, like packing her stuff and planning our routine to some extent. Nolan and I have discussed how to make our lives easier for the next few weeks until we get in a groove, like making sure we wash dishes after we eat or eating off paper plates when we can, doing one load of laundry a day, and prioritizing into “must do’s” and “can wait til later’s”.

This post feels sort of scattered, which is sort of how I feel, but I just wanted to document the day before a major change in our lives. Hopefully everything runs as smoothly as possible and I don’t cry every day. I’m mostly worried about Whitlee’s adjustment and I hope she handles it well. I’ll update again as soon as possible with how we’re adjusting but it may be quiet here again for a little bit!

Just a reminder and another hint – Southernly Ever After is having our very first giveaway in May for Whitlee’s 6 month birthday! Here’s your next hint! 🙂

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And some Whitlee pictures just because.

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Maternity Leave

Today marks the two week countdown until my maternity leave is up and I have to leave this little face!

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Originally I had planned on taking 12 weeks, the maximum amount allowed by FMLA. When Whitlee needed to be delivered 6 weeks early, the neonatologist suggested I ask to take more if I could because it would be best to delay her exposure to daycare until she was at least 3 months old.

Thankfully, I have been blessed to work for an amazing family owned company and I have a wonderful boss (who also had a preemie baby once upon a time!) and they completely understood and allowed me to take all the time I needed, just as long as I ultimately come back. I’m not tooting my own horn, but I play a pretty important part to a major project. My replacement has been doing well, but a coworker told me my boss is dying without me there, so we set the return date for March 16th, when Whitlee is a day shy of 16 weeks old.

We decided to split Whitlee’s time away from me a few different ways. Hopefully it works out to help her be a well rounded, social baby as opposed to totally freaking her out to be all over the place. My work schedule is what they call a 9/80 schedule where we work 4 days a week, 9 hours a day, and on Fridays, we alternate between working 8 hours and being off. Basically I’m off every other Friday and the Fridays that I do work, I get off an hour early.

Nolan’s parents asked to keep her full time when I go back, but we decided we wanted her to go to daycare, at least a couple days a week. There’s not a daycare in our town that takes babies under a year, so I toured one near Nolan’s work about 30 minutes away and I loved it. There were so many things I thought were really great about it.

-It’s all baby girls in Whitlee’s “class” and the class is small. There are only 5 other babies. I like the smaller class so she’ll get plenty of attention.

-They are all CPR certified. One of her “teachers” is actually an RN also. And all of the employees have been there for a very long time.

-You can’t even get into the facility without being buzzed in. Love that!

-It’s literally within walking distance of Nolan’s work. He can get to her very very quickly in case of an emergency.

-They send home a report card each day telling how much she ate, how many dirty diapers, how much she slept, and if there was anything noteworthy that we need to know (sickness, accidents, milestones, etc.)

So Mondays and Wednesdays, she’ll be going there. Nolan will do drop off and pick up and will probably go down and check on her at lunch the first couple of times. Tuesdays and Thursdays, she’ll go to my mother in laws, which is on the way of my 10 minute drive to work, so I’ll do drop off and pick up and probably visit at lunch every chance I get. And every other Friday that I work, she’ll be staying with my mom. She’ll be getting plenty of interaction with other kids her age and plenty of grandparent time. I’m really hoping it works out well, because this was the only thing that felt okay to me.

If it works out, we’ll continue this until she’s about 18 months old, then she’ll start going to a preschool on our street and she’ll go there until she starts real school. We’ll probably still do Mondays with my mother in law, and Fridays with my mom, and preschool Tues, Wed, Thurs. Everyone in our town loves this preschool and there is usually a waiting list. Thankfully, I’m that insane mom who’s had her kid on the waiting list since before she was born…  🙂

So here’s to hoping my last two weeks at home go by extremely slow. I love spending every single minute with our girl!

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