30 Days of Thanks: Day Sixteen

I am thankful for my upbringing. My parents did the best that they knew how and never neglected me. Their decisions, their struggles and their love helped shape who I am now. I was taught values, to appreciate what I had, to take care of the things I had, to be kind and to be humble. If I wanted something, I worked for it.

I hope that I can pass these values onto Mila.

6 Months: My Rock Star!

It’s Mila’s half-birthday!

Six months was amazing; so many new things! At this point I really can’t pick a favorite age – every month has it’s new joys. By the time

Mila was 6-months-old, she was reaching for things, rolling, and stretching. Mila could sit up on her own and actually preferred it.

We’ve started watching SproutMickey Mouse Clubhouse and Backyardigans.

Mila responds to her name, occasionally.
“Mom” went away and then came back, and Mila finally said, “dah!” We were driving and out of the backseat we hear “da-da!” I looked over to see Dan smiling, ear-to-ear. There was the true sense of that expression at that moment and everything shifted.

Mila has acquired the desire to stand. One day when I came home from work, Dan showed me how he taught Mila to “1, 2, 3…stand”. She loved having her arms lifted and scrambled to a standing position all on her own.

Mila’s first try in a shopping cart seat.
February 10, 2012 (4 days shy of 7 months).

Mila has started scooting, or more precisely, bouncing on her bottom to move around. She’s like an upright bunny!

At some point this month, we stopped using the 3-6 month clothes and her jungle mat was neatly put away for another baby, another time.

Mila’s eating more solids and has attempted a sippy cup and done great! Of course, at the time of writing this, she hasn’t quite done as well since.

Mila drools like crazy, (like a ‘kitchen faucet’, if you ask Uncle Dave P.) and began to mock-chew. I got her puffs and she loves them. Watching her with these is very amusing.

January 28, 2012

I remember thinking back to Mila at only a couple of months old, her head laying on my chest, as I rocked her to sleep. There was one time that I thought, “one day she won’t do this”. Before I knew it, I had to cradle her in my arms to put her to sleep. There is only an occasional, few-and-far-between time that Mila will lay her head on my chest or shoulder and I eat it up!

January 13, 2012

She has started lifting her arms to let us know she wants picked up/out of her bouncer. She puts her own binky in her mouth — even when she’s sleeping.

By the end of six months, Mila was spending more time on her belly and moving in 360 degree circles to get objects she wanted. She’s trying harder and harder to crawl.

I have been back to work for 3 months and the best part of my work day is coming home to an excited, kicking Mila! The whole world disappears when I see that smiling face.

***

Mila has a puff treat (February 4, 2012):

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.

“Lemme See Your Tongue!”

I’ve been slacking in my blogging world lately, if you couldn’t tell. I have been thinking a lot about what I want to write next, document and share. I’ve even been writing brief notes in my trusty little note-keeper on my iPhone. Today, however, is different. I just had to share some fun pictures and video of Mila and Me playing.

"Happy baby!"

"Show me your tongue"

"There's your tongue!"

We did this for a bit until I clicked on the video camera…

Not sure how going back to work next week is going to be. I just love being home with Mila. And who wouldn’t? 🙂