Thoughts on the end of maternity leave round 2

Dear future self,

I have one day left before maternity leave ends and it hit me like a sack of potatoes today. Yesterday, I felt the wind up, but today I was hit. There is a part of me that is sad that these cute munchkins aren’t going to see my face in the morning, nor do I get to see theirs or smell their morning breath or hear William’s little cries or Lexi rattling our door open. I have truly adored our lazy relaxing mornings when we all snuggle in bed together and get a few more minutes to sleep while Lexi watches videos of herself. Which is followed by a leisurely breakfast and staying in pajamas until noon. And staying in pajamas until noon sounds cliche, but really, to get out of the house anytime before 11 was really challenging.

Most of what I feel is anxiety about what is too come. There is the fairly trivial questions racing through my mind at any given moment, What will our new schedule be like? Will I continue to leave the house before eyelids have lifted? Will Bill and I have 2 minutes of time for ourselves? But, a big part of that anxiety is fear. Being a working mom was challenging; how much harder is it going to be to have two? I fear the pressure to be more proactive about meal planning. I dread going back to grocery shopping with crowded aisles and picked over produce and running errands with the rest of the world on the weekends. I dread the pumping and the cleaning of the parts and the bottles and the mental checklist of making sure it is all ready for the following morning. As I type this all out and process what I’m really feeling, I guess what I fear is the constant rush of life that is about to ensue again. Evenings and weekends are consumed with prepping and planning to help make tomorrow a little bit smoother, I don’t get to just enjoy the time with Bill, Lexi and William the way I have for the past 6 weeks.

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To me, it is fascinating to compare my thoughts on the end of this maternity leave from the first one. Overall, Lexi’s was fairly relaxing. She was sleeping great and because it was so cold, we spent a lot of time inside just relaxing.¬† This time, I would describe it more as fun. That first month was rough for all, but once we got over that hump we were able to enjoy our time and do fun things. We went on lots of walks, went to MOA several times, got together with friends, played outside lots, went to parks and the zoo several times. At the end of Lexi’s leave, I was consumed by saddness and remember nearly refusing to put her down as I needed to soak up every last moment with her. I feel like I have grown so much from those days. Granted, lots of things have changed, including 3 different jobs since then. But for the first time, I feel like I have a job that I like enough that I’m kind of looking forward to going back. I’m curious to see what has happened (or hasn’t) while I’ve been out and get re-engaged into something that is bigger than contemplating the best time to make a Target run between feedings and naps.

To wrap up my thoughts, I am so grateful to be blessed with these two amazing and healthy little firecrackers that make me flutter in delight at a mere thought of them and the opportunity to even have a maternity leave. I give thanks that I have a job that pays well enough to give me this time and that I actually want to go back to. And a husband who works very unconventional and undesirable hours to watch said firecrackers, which makes me feel so much more comfortable and confident in going back to work. Lastly, as Lexi and I have been doing together every night, I prey for a smooth transition for the whole family as we embark on this next step. It is funny how I feel like I’m doing more nesting now than I did before William’s arrival. I’ve been making lists and crossing things off, ensuring the bathrooms have all been deep cleaned, everyone has clothes to wear for the next 3 months, meals are ready and available and projects are all wrapped up to make the evenings and nights as enjoyable as possible.

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Cheers to my 12 week fairytale and our new reality.

Kristin

Lexi-isms

Sweet Girl,

I swear I haven’t forgotten about posts for you. I have drafts of your monthly posts all the way from August that I need to publish. They are just more involved and I need to find time to finish them.

In the mean time, a few funny things about life with you as of late.

As I was setting the Christmas tree up and put the first section into the bottom stand and the branches bounced down, you exclaimed–“Wook Mama, tree has wings!”

Also in relation to Christmas, we have some metal reindeer that sit near the fireplace and they have some bells around their neck. When you first noticed them, you excitedly told me, “I jingle their balls.”

You’re very confident that the baby is going to be your sister and when we ask you what we should name her, you just say ‘Girl’. Along those lines, over the past few days, with no prompting on my behalf at all, you like to tell me the things you’re going to share with your sister. Randomly, you started talking about how you were going to share books with sister and your pals. I asked if you were going to share Giraffee with your sister and you responded sternly, ‘No, Giraffee mine’.

You love anything and all things trains these days, and every train is named Thomas.

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You learned how to open doors this week, which has made things a little more interesting as it is harder to keep you out of certain areas. While celebrating Christmas with Daddy’s family, you opened the door to the basement and went down their to get a toy. I saw that the door was open and the light was on, but didn’t hear any activity going on down there so I shut off the light and closed the door. I quickly learned that you had been down there. Thankfully, you went to the stairs, turned the light back on and came up and started banging on the door. Because the height of the stair is lower, you can’t reach the door handle. I felt pretty terrible about that, but was glad you didn’t freak out at all.

This is your second night sleeping in your big girl bed and so far so good! You haven’t gotten out yet–just gone straight to bed.

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You can say your ‘L’s but most of the time they come out as ‘W’s’. ‘Wook, Wexi, Wight, Woud, Wips’

Grandma B gave you a Santa nesting doll and you love to play with it. For some reason, you refer to the smallest one as ‘Baby Boy’.

We had some Christmas show on one morning and Santa came on the screen and you stood up on the couch started clapping your hands and saying ‘whaa-whoo’ ‘Whaa-hoo’!

Thats all for now my love bug. I have so many more thoughts for you around becoming a big sister and how our relationship is going to change. I’ll find some time in the next couple weeks to share.

Love,

Mama

 

Peanut-free club

Dear Lexi,

A couple of weeks ago, you joined the peanut-free club. About a week before your first birthday, I gave you some peanut butter on toast and you didn’t have any kind of reaction, so I thought we were in the clear on the peanut allergy. So the Saturday after your birthday, you had some peanut butter on your toast again. This time, wherever the peanut butter was touching your face was all red and then when I wiped your face off, the red spots turned into hives, little white raised bumps. I called the doctor immediately and by the time I got off the phone they were gone. Apparently, you don’t react the first time with food allergies as you need to be exposed before you can have a reaction.

Luckily, we had your 12 month checkup schedule within a couple of days so we could talk to the doctor about your reaction then.

While at the doctor, they did a blood test to confirm any allergies and sure enough you have a mild peanut allergy. Thankfully, you aren’t allergic to any other foods, but we still need to be very careful with the foods we give you.

Since they said you have a mild allergy, I’m hopeful that you’ll grow out of it within a couple of years!

Until then, we’re stocked with epi-pens, Benadryl and reading labels!

Love,

Mama

Snuggles

Dear Lexi,

You’ve got a great intuition and sometimes it feels like you can read Mama and Dada’s brain. Tonight was one of those nights. The day itself wasn’t overly fantastic. Nothing horrible happened, I just felt crummy. I had a headache and knew I needed to go to bed. So we began the bedtime routine: jammies, books and nursing. Usually you fall asleep while nursing making the night time routine easy. Tonight however you didn’t. Hoping for a long shot, I grabbed Giraffee from your crib, reclined the rocker, put the blanket over us and hoped you would cuddle in and fall asleep. In reality, I knew this was never going to happen. I’ve tried it before and you end up crawling all over me and the chair and gaining more energy that you should for a little girl that needs to go to sleep. But for whatever reason tonight, you knew that is just what mama needed. You didn’t fall asleep, but you tried so hard. You kept moving around trying to get comfortable moving your head from side to side, switching positions in the chair, ¬†nuzzling on my arm or shoulder or chest and for the life of you, you just couldn’t get comfy.

Eventually, I laid you in your crib, you grabbed giraffee and rolled onto your tummy and feel asleep without a peep, which is also a rarity.

Thank you for being so sweet and knowing just what mama needed was some extra Lexi snuggles. I love you!

Love,

Mama