Look what the cat dragged in…

Coming back to my site after a year and a half is sort of picking up a conversation with an old friend. It is familiar, yet a little strange. I have started this post in my head several times over the past few months but I got bogged down searching for the right words to break the ice.

Last week I decided to go all in and register for the Blogging 101 course offered through Blogging University at WordPress. This post is courtesy of my first assignment and serves as the kick in the butt I needed to begin again and get back in touch with the reason I started this blog in the first place; to chronicle the events in the life of my new family.

I have come to miss writing monthly love letters to Kaylee, and plan to pick those back up again starting on her 5th birthday next month. I imagine this place will become more important now that we are living so far away from friends and family. It will be good to catch up now and look ahead to big things on the horizon like my baby’s first day of kindergarten!

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I’ve been looking through the new themes and plan to make some changes to the overall look and feel in the next few days. Hopefully I won’t break the whole darn thing in the process. Fingers crossed.

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Packer land here we come

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I’m a proponent of not ‘biting the hand that feeds you’ so I rarely speak about work online. The truth is that my level of workplace satisfaction has been on a steady decline for quite some time, and downright miserable for the past year and a half or so. I’ve lost track along the way. I realized part of the reason I was so conflicted about going back to work after Kaylee was born was because there was considerably less to love about the job I was going back to. Maybe I’ll share more on that later, but probably not. Coupled with the current state of Illinois economy, the time is right for a change. And, change sure is coming.

Scott landed a new job a few weeks ago just outside of Green Bay (300 miles away up in packer land). Initially we planned on him going and me staying with the kids until we sold the house. We agreed to try alternating weekend visits for a few months at which point we’d regroup. We even traded in the FJ for a VW Bug to save on gas mileage while we braced ourselves for the very real chance that we will go into debt while paying a mortgage in one state, rent in another, and full-day daycare for both kids for the first time. I can’t say i wasn’t a little freaked out at the prospect of becoming a suedo single parent with a six month old in tow, even if it was just temporarily. I was pretty sure I could hold out until Christmas but I’m not sure how long I really would have lasted. I didn’t even give it a second thought. Supporting my husband and an opportunity for better jobs in our field was a no brainier. Living the sacrifice in the meantime while everything (hopefully) came together is another story. I hear sanity is overrated anyway…

Then, I got a job offer too. Now we have two weeks to find a place to live and daycare for the kids before we start work. Oh, and Kaylee’s party is this weekend…I’m up to my eyebrows in boxes, party supplies, and chaos. The debt thing is still looming. We’ll put the house on the market after we’re out and begin the process of trying to sell out-of-state. Finger’s crossed, we’re not underwater yet. Go big or go home, right?

I’ll have lots to talk about soon, but I’ll be away for a while first until life settles down again.

6months old

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It doesn’t seem like it has been six months already, then I put my now sitting baby down and realize just how fast time has moved for this sleep deprived, working mommy of two.  Charlie has been sleeping great for several months now, waking once at 4am for a snack before finally rising for the day around 6. He has been a bit fussy with teething but is generally happy most of the time.

He still adamantly refuses a pacifier, so we have given up trying. He’s still nursing and has claimed me as his love of choice along with Kaylee’s Foofa doll.

He tends to be a very serious baby, quite bothered by noise and strangers. Unfortunately there is little peace to be found sharing a house with a rambunctious soon to be three year old girl Who thinks stomping her heels means tip-toeing And a broken inside voice (I can’t sleep while she is awake either, buddy).

Charlie is very much a boy. thoroughly enjoying being tossed into the air, tickled, bounced. He enjoys a rousing game of peek-a-boo, silly fart noises, and pulling his sister’s hair. He prefers savory to sweet foods and would much rather suck on a piece of steak than eat anything resembling a fruit purée. That’s my son!

We are settling in to being a family of four with hearts overflowing with love.

4 months old

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Charlie is almost 18lbs now despite refusing to drink from a bottle in my absence most of the time. He is starting to eat rice cereal with bananas mushed in (because of the whole not drinking from a bottle thing). He’s super chatty, just like his sister. He squeals when he’s happy and doesn’t mind tummy time so much anymore. Now that he has control of his hands, he puts them, and everything else within reach, into his mouth all the time.

notes on being a working mom: first day back

By a stroke of luck and good timing I ended up with 14 weeks off of work for Charlie’s birth. It wasn’t enough…not by a long shot. But, I suppose that may have been true for us no matter how much time I had off.

My first day back was April 1st, or, April Fool’s Day. I manged to get up on time, get Charlie fed, get myself ready, and get Kaylee started on her morning routine before 7:15 rolled around. After some nudging from Scott, I was out the door and on the road by 7:30.

I pulled into the lot at work by 7:50, plenty of time to spare.

7:51 – don’t notice travel mug is missing crucial piece that keeps the lid closed. Spill coffee all over bag, passenger seat, and floor. Mop it up with a diaper I had stashed in my purse. Try not to cry.

It was as if I could hear the universe laughing; “April Fools!”. You got me, ha, ha.

8:00 – get to my desk and set to work unpacking all the crap I drug in with me.

10:15 – pump. Try not to think about the months of this I have ahead of me. Think about how odd it is to do this at my desk. Check email to pass the time. Body decides it’s not a fan of this new setup. Get dismal amount of milk.

10:30 – spend time getting reacclimated. Start picking away at to-do list I made before I left.

12:00 – eat lunch. Send text to hubby to check in. No response. Wonder if the kids are eating him alive.

12:15 – pump. Think about baby. Cry. Get more milk than ever.

12:30 – Check in with coworkers about various projects. Schedule meetings, get through more email, get some web stuff done for gallery.

3:30 – pump. Think about baby. Try to cry. Doesn’t work. Clean up pump parts and pack them away for the day. Make some calls.

4:30 – walk to car. Get overwhelmed by coffee smell upon opening the door. Drive home with windows cracked. Ponder how much worse the smell would be if I had gotten around to adding milk instead of forgetting it in my rush to get out the door.

Feel exhausted. Stop off and Panera to pick up dinner rather than cook.

5:15 – pull up to the house. Take garbage cans inside. See Kaylee peek through the garage door while chanting ‘mommy’, ‘mommy’, ‘mommy.’ Run up and give her a big hug. Try not to cry.

5:20 – listen to toddler recount her day. Her story is mostly fiction, full of plot holes, and broken English.

5:25 – Kiss husband. Husband looks like he’s been through a war. Baby cried all day. Apologize for the coffee incident. Kiss baby. Smell baby. Nurse baby while watching Dora with Toddler. Husband is crashed out next to us on couch.

5:45 – baby is asleep. Put baby to bed. Watch daddy and Toddler play chase.

6:00 – Toddler squeals. Baby is awake. Change baby’s diaper. Watch daddy and Toddler play chase. Nurse baby some more.

7:00 – Baby is asleep. Put baby to bed. Get toddler ready for bed.

7:30 – Finish watching Dora. Brush toddlers teeth. Pee-pee on the potty. Turn on toddler’s favorite music. Dance together in her room. Get her into bed. Pick out stories. Read stories. Sing ABC song. Draw letters on her back. Toddler has to go pee-pee. Get out of bed. Go to bathroom. Get back in bed. Tuck toddler in. Toddler wants drink. Get drink. Toddler wants a kiss. Give her a daddy kiss, kitty kiss, doggie kiss, fishy kiss, eskimo kiss, octopus kiss. Kiss all of her animals. And. One. last. BIG. kiss. Say goodnight light. Turn off light.

8:00 – leave toddler to fend for herself in the dark.

8:10 – toddler is asleep. Do dishes. Start load of laundry.

8:30 – crash out on couch.

9:00 – baby is awake. Change baby. Nurse baby. Put baby back to bed.

10:00- take a nap.

12:15 – wake up. Pump. Throw pump parts in sink and milk in fridge. Trip over cat. Stub toe on kitchen table. Yell at cat.

1:00 – Fall into bed. Realize forgot to feed cats. Fall asleep while pondering getting up.

2:55 – cats freak out and start running around the house moaning.

3:00 – baby is awake. Try not to cry. Yell at cats. Change baby. Nurse baby.

3:45 – baby is asleep.

3:50 – baby wakes up when put down to bed. Baby cries. Walk baby until he falls asleep again.

4:00 – put baby down to sleep. Baby wakes up. Baby cries. Try not to cry. Nurse baby.

4:15 – baby is asleep again. Burp baby. Fall alseep with baby on chest.

5:45 – wake up. Get stink-eye from cat who is two inches from face. Put baby in swing. Baby is asleep. Take shower before he wakes up again.

6:00 – get ready for work. Pack up baby’s daycare bag. Pack up toddler’s daycare bag. Trip over cat while packing lunch for hubby and me. Feed cats.

6:30 – baby is awake. Change baby. Nurse baby.

7:00 – baby is asleep. Put baby in swing. Start swing. Swing is lound. Baby wakes up. Leave baby to fend for himself. Baby falls back to sleep.

7:05 – Toddler is awake. Go to toddler’s bedroom. Greet toddler. Get toddler dressed. Toddler wants ‘new milk’ and to ‘watch a show.’ Find Dora on Netflix. Start Dora. Toddler cries. Toddler wants to watch Caillou.  Stop Dora. Start Caillou. Wake up daddy.

7:30 – kiss everyone goodbye. Toddler clings to my leg as I head out the door. Daddy grabs toddler. Toddler cries “nooooo! don’t go mommy”, “stay with Kaylee”, “Mommy no go to work”, “Take Kaylee with you”.  Baby wakes up.

7:35 – pull out of garage. Realize I left lunch sitting out on counter. Wonder if this is what life will be like for the next year. Try not to cry.  Listen to Colby Calliet CD. Stop for cinnamon swirl latte on the way in. Daddy sends picture text. Everyone is all smiles. Feel better.

Status

Coming up on the end of my second week back at work. I miss the kids. I can’t seem to manage to get organized. Laundry is piling up. Charlie cries most of the day out of protest. Some days he goes on hunger strikes and refuses to eat until I pick him up after work. Mornings and evenings are a mess when it’s 2 on 1 four days a week. We are all stressed out. It is crazy hard. I am hopeful it will get easier. Until then, we try to laugh as much as we can, sometimes even while crying.