30 Days of Thanks: Day Seven

Today I am thankful for family and friends, the ability to go out and enjoy a couple of drinks with dinner…

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and a new hair cut & color!

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What IS She Doing?

June 23, 2012.

Our little family was gathered at a friend’s new house, sitting in her backyard, chatting. Mila wanted down, and figuring there wasn’t anything she could really hurt herself on or get into, I let her go.

I guess the grass was fairly new to her or maybe this was different from what we had at home. We couldn’t help but laugh as we watched her walk/crawl/something around the backyard. She wouldn’t put her knees down on the grass and instead crawled around on her hands and feet with her legs slightly bent. It was a sight to be seen!

11 months, 9 days

This was also the day Dan came up with the idea of mass producing and selling baby knee pads, (then babies could crawl ANYWHERE, yay!). I don’t know what he’s thinking most times.

Mila Does The Discovery Museum!

January 16, 2012, (written on July 28, 2012).

Our family and a pair of friends and their 16-month-old son all took a trip to The Garden State Discovery Museum back in January. It’s a little advanced for Mila, (6-months-old at the time), however, we thought it would be fun to go as a double-dating-type of family.

We all had fun.Dan played with dolls; Nate and Frank played with bubbles; Mila and I crawled around in the one place made for a baby of her age…if she just felt like crawling. I took pictures of Mila on the horse and Bernice and I drew with spirographs. It was a great day with great friends!

 

 

Back to Work

So I made it. I officially went back to work on October 24th and it was difficult. I felt happy, guilty, sad, lonely, excited, nervous and anxious, to name just a few emotions. Yes, I cried. It wasn’t when I left my baby for the first time; it wasn’t when I finally made it home to greet her after a long day at work. It was one evening when things weren’t going so well and the pressure was piling up.

Mila’s screaming bloody murder. Work has been stressful already. I feel guilty leaving her and for wondering what goes on when I’m not there. I’m a mess.

The return message I received from a friend is what broke me:

You will always wonder what goes on when you’re not there, and you will always want to be by her side. You’re not a mess, you’re a mom and you’re amazing!

That came from a dad of an eleven year-old. He’s been there; he can relate. And he helps me all the time.

That was my second day back and on the third, my boss threw the pressure at me like a ninety-seven mile per hour curve ball headed straight for that little spot between my eyes. I broke again. I guess it’s like breaking the seal: once you’ve let go, it’s a little easier to just crumble some more.  I left early that day and went straight home to be with my angel. I took a blanket outside and we enjoyed a beautiful autumn day.

Airplane Mila

We watched the bright yellow school buses drive by and the big white, fluffy clouds float along the brilliant blue sky. We listened to the birds and the planes flying high above us. We watched the yellow and red leaves fall and listened to the wind blow softly through the grass. My soul was refreshed. I felt close to my daughter again. I felt alive and confident.

I made it through the following two weeks incident free and strong. I’m able to bond with Mila despite my hours away, and I spend every moment I can with her. We’ve both learned a new routine and surprisingly I have gotten used to the early mornings easily.

If you’re a mom getting ready to go back to work after a long stay at home with your baby, just know this: it gets easier and you will get through it. Each of us finds our own way along that path – the one that works for both baby and mom.

Mila Goes to the Apple Festival!

October 1 and 2, 2011, (written on July 28, 2012).

The National Apple Harvest Festival in Arendtsville, Pennsylvania was Mila’s first real trip – a road trip at that! She did really well on the 162 mile, almost 3-hour trek. In other words, she slept.

We stopped off at Dan’s parent’s house first to get their SUV for the trip. It made the trip much more comfortable.

We were fortunate enough to have a place to stay, just outside of Gettysburg, with family friends. We made our way there, had dinner and retired for the evening.

This was also Mila’s first experience sleeping away from home, in a bed other than a crib. She did fairly well in the pack-n-play and at some point in the night we found a radio with a mellow station to play and that helped put her back to sleep.

The next day, we headed to the Apple Festival. Our luck was

running low because it rained the night before and it didn’t look like it was going to let up. This event is primarily outside and it was cold. We wrapped Mila up nice in her stroller and she spent a good portion of the day sleeping. I guess that’s what happens at this age, (about 2 and a half months).

We walked around and admired all the crafters and their work; I found switch-plates with snoopy and grabbed them for Mila’s nursery; Dan found a sock monkey that he couldn’t resist; we ate festival food; and we even had a sign made for our front door.

In spite of the rain and the extensive amount of miles away from home, Mila did so well and we had a great time visiting with friends and experiencing the Apple Festival. One of the best things to come from this trip was definitely the apple butter.  There is nothing like fresh made apple butter. Yum!