Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Adventures in Parenting: 3 Month Mark

We made it!  Three months down and we haven't killed him (accidentally OR maliciously) yet! I mean, sure, the dog has scratched him a couple times...and he's got a slight flat spot on his head (because "Back Is Best")...and the occasional snotty nose...but he's ALIVE!  We haven't dropped him or anything! 
"Thanks for not killing me, mom!"

 I've started back to work (a couple days a week from home and then at the office the rest of the time), he will (grudgingly) take a bottle if he's starving, and I can actually carry him one handed now.  He hates tummy time about 50% of the time, but he's got great neck control, and can sit up in the Bumbo seat for about 10-15 minutes once or twice a day.  He's also discovered the TV.  We try to avoid letting him watch it much...but it's pretty mesmerizing.
You can probably guess where our TV is based on this photo.  So casual...

So I guess that means it's time for another edition of Things We've Learned About Not Killing Raising a Tiny Human:

1. Babies love Christmas trees.  I mean...most people love Christmas trees, but babies in particular. I'm glad our little man is small enough that he's not trying to get IN the tree yet--next year may be interesting.  But he loves to stare at the tree, so I slow down when we walk past it (because I love looking at the reflection of the lights in his eyes), and he gazes up at it from his swing, and I can lay him on a blanket below it and that keeps him occupied for 20 minutes or so.

2. Prepping to go back to work is weird.  You mean I'm going to have to actually think about my projects again, rather than Googling "tortle cap" and "newborn shadow box ideas"?  Now, I have to prep a bag full of stuff to take to day care, and a bag full of my pumping equipment, make notes to myself like "don't forget milk for the baby" and "don't forget the ice packs in the freezer" and "don't forget to shower" (kidding on that last one...sort of).  Picking out work clothes & packing my lunch the night before so I have less to think about in the morning...

...while also realizing that for once, I'm not the one who has to worry about whether he takes his naps.  Granted, yes...I will be at work, still worrying about whether he's napping and whether he took a bottle, and wondering WHICH bottle he took (since we sent 3 kinds)...but I don't have to.  We are paying someone else (a fair chunk of change) to worry about that for us.  It feels dismissive and like I'm a bad parent to think about it that way, but it's true--that's what child care is for.  You hand over your precious little babbin to someone else so that you can think about your work (because that's your job) and they can think about your baby (because that's THEIR job).'s not easy.  Especially when YOUR job for the last 3 months WAS thinking about the baby, and pretty much only the baby, 24/7.  And you'll still always be thinking about the baby.  But hopefully you'll eventually stop WORRYING about the baby.

3. Your Baby will inevitably screw up his sleep schedule when you have to work the next day.  I can be as prepared as I want. I can pre-pack my lunch and breakfast & have it ready in the fridge, I can already have his diaper bag, my pumping bag, and my briefcase loaded in the car. I can already have his carseat pulled out & ready to be loaded. I can have a timer set on the coffee maker. I can shower the night before, lay out my clothes the night before...but I have NO control over when he will wake up to eat.

My child has a pretty standard routine: He goes to bed between 8:30-9p.  I go to bed around 10:30p.  He wakes sometime between 3-5a to feed, and then naturally wakes up around 7-7:30a. 

So the plan goes:  My alarm goes off at 6:45am--a quiet one that only I can hear.  I get dressed, brush teeth & hair and spackle some makeup on my face, and then at 7-ish, get him up, change him, feed him, then let him play with Daddy for about 30 minutes to let his food settle and let Nature call so we can change him again before loading him into the carseat and whisking off to the sitter.

In Practice?  Well:  My first day back, he went to bed at 9p ...and woke at 5:30am instead.  Meaning by the time he finished eating and drifted back off to sleep, I got a whopping 45 minutes to lay back down and attempt to take a nap.

Last night, he was fussy from a too-short evening nap, so we put him to bed a little early (8:30p)...he woke at 2am to feed...and then AGAIN with the 5:30am.  *le sigh*

More than likely he's going through a growth spurt, but all the same...DUDE.  Can't you have your growth spurt on the nights before Mommy works from home?

4.  A crying baby is less scary.  And sometimes actually amusing, now that he likes to "talk" while he whines.  I take offense to the fact that sometimes when he's hungry I distinctly hear the word "moo" in his gibberish.  But where his cries used to make me anxious before they even happened (because I was just terrified of "WHAT IF HE CRIES"), now I know: we will both survive the cry.  Even if it happens in a car when we're 30 minutes from home, or when he's strapped to my chest and we're trapped on a 20 minute train ride...or if I accidentally scare him by blowing my nose while he's trying to eat (yes, it happened).  Yes, there are still times when he's truly wailing and I can't figure out what to do and it breaks my heart...but those moments are fewer and in general, if he's crying, we can figure it out together, and fix it in a few minutes of trial & error.

5.  Traveling with a baby is less scary.  When we were prepping to travel up to our parents' homes for Thanksgiving, I was so anxious, not knowing if he would sleep in the car, or sleep in his Pack 'n Play, or throw tantrums every 5 minutes...  But now that we have that trip under our belt, we know: yes, he will sleep for 2 hours in a car.  Yes, he will sleep in his Pack 'n Play (though not as well as he does his crib).  And we're better at cutting off fussing before it starts, so we can deal with it if he gets a little agitated.  

We decided to take a little overnight trip to Eureka Springs to see the Christmas lights & get out of town for a bit.  Lil' Man slept the whole way there & back, he played quietly in his carseat while we sampled a few beers at our favorite watering hole, and then when he started fussing, we were able to rock him to sleep.  We even went to a nice sit-down dinner, where he was AWAKE the entire time, and he stayed content until the last five minutes when he decided it was HIS turn for dinner.  Bedtime was another story--our room was unusually hot which I think was a contributing factor, but instead of his usual waking at 4am to feed, he woke at 12:30am, and 4am, and 6:30am.  It was rough on me, but I survived.  Otherwise the trip was pretty uneventful.  Granted--we were back in our hotel room by 8:30pm, where we usually would go bar-hopping or something more interesting, but such is life with a baby.  Someday, our little man will be on bottles all the time and we can leave him overnight and just take a trip by ourselves.
Just chillin' at the hotel, motel, Holiday Innnnn... ( was a Comfort Inn.  Whatevs. I don't get to quote Rapper's Delight every day.)

6.  Fewer overnight feedings make it hard to get through my Amazon Watchlist.  When I was up nursing every 2 hours, I zoomed through Treme in just a few weeks, 20 minutes at a time.  But now that our Lil' Man only wakes up once (maybe twice if he's a little off his game) and only takes 10-15 minutes to nurse, it takes me a couple days to finish one episode.  This is not exactly a complaint...just an observation. :)

7.  Little Milestones are Awesome. And really, they're sorta what make it all worth it.  We get smiles all the time now.  He can hold his head up really well--and now that he's realized he can sit up (with assistance), he wants to do it ALL.THE.TIME (meaning he fusses when we try to lay him down somewhere other than the floor).  He loves to grab things, so all those toys we were given can actually get use now.  We haven't gotten an official laugh yet, but we do get adorable squeals sometimes.
This toy is called a Winkel.  And yes, I giggle like a middle school boy every time I ask my son if he wants to "play with his Winkel".

8. Bath Time is still traumatic.  And takes both Mom & Dad to accomplish.  I'm not sure if he hates being naked, or if the room just isn't quite warm enough for him, but we've checked the water temp, and I hold him in his tub so he feels supported & secure...but he screams the WHOLE TIME and the ordeal ends with him wrapped in a big fluffy blanket staring up at me like "WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT???".  One of these days, I'm hoping it somehow clicks: "hey...this water stuff isn't so bad...look, I can splash and kick and get my parents wet!  Hahahah!!!"  ...but it hasn't happened yet.

9. Pumping at work is a pain.  I'm sure it will get easier to coordinate once it's part of my routine, like getting coffee from the breakroom, but right now, it's a weird hassle.  I have a large cubicle--yes, it has a door, but it also has a giant window and no ceiling, meaning all of office mates would be able to hear my pump (which sorta screams "HELLO FELLOW OFFICE PEEPS, I AM MAKING MILK!!!", and I consider that a distraction).  Our main bathroom doesn't have any convenient outlets for plugging the pump in.  So the most ideal place is this small bathroom that's inside our conference room.  There's a nice chair in there for chilling, there's a sink for rinsing pump parts...however, it's INSIDE the conference room, meaning if someone is using the conference room, I have to wait...and wait...and wait.  Because it's a little rude for me to interrupt say, an interview with a potential new employee: *knock knock* "Oh hey--can I come in and milk myself?  Thanks!"

But, the hassle is worth it for now.  And as the Evenflo storage bags tell me:

Previous Adventures:
Birth Story
3 Weeks
Month 1
6 Weeks
Month 2
Mom Guilt Edition
Working Mom Edition
Things That Suck
Traveling For The Holidays
Living In The Moment

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