Monday, August 17, 2009

6 months

Dear Zoe,

You're 6 months old, sweetie! A whole half year old! Where is the time going? It's crazy to think that we'll be planning your first birthday party soon.

As you grow, you're becoming more fun and interactive. You love to explore and discover new things. When we sit you in your Bu.mbo, you immediately scan your immediate surroundings and literally grab and lunge toward everything within your reach. Also, you absolutely love playing with magazines, paper bags and sheets of paper. You enjoy the crinkling sound they make. Everything you touch ends up in your mouth. The experts say that babies love to explore through touch, and babies also like to feel and taste things with their mouth; all of the above apply to you.

This month was challenging with respect to your nighttime sleep. You just didn't want to sleep for more than a couple of hours at a time. As a survival tactic, Mommy and Daddy started putting you in the bed with us. This is the only way we were able to get decent sleep, and you sleep like a dream next to Mommy. But because I'm posting this late, I'll let you in on a little're overcoming your sleep challenges and getting back to sleeping through the night. More on this when I give you a 7 month update.

Naps are a horse of another color. You are so alert and active that you just don't have time to nap. You don't want to miss a thing, Zoe! You apparently think naps are so juvenile. The great thing is you're not fussy from not napping. But we know you need the sleep, so we're trying different tactics to get you to nap more and better. I hope to have good things to report in your 7 month update.

The most exciting development this month is that you started sitting up! It took you four days to master it, and now you're a pro! It's so exciting!

Mommy and Daddy love you with all we have, sweetness. You are an amazing little girl. You're so happy, and you love to laugh. Your smiles are infectious. You are absolutely the light of our lives!

My love always,

What do you do the 2nd day your baby can sit up on her own? You put her in a high chair, of course!

A visit from great auntie, Colette

Having Fun!

Christmas in July. Great-auntie Colette had to get a picture in the coat she bought you, but you never got to wear. What a shame because the coat is darling!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

When and Why Does it Change?

Zoe started solids last Sunday. As any mommy of an exclusively breastfed baby knows, when you add solids, the poop changes. Boy does it change! No longer is it a consistent color and virtually odorless. Every diaper change becomes a new adventure. What color will it be? How will it smell? Will she even have a dirty diaper today? So far I've managed to escape the really bad diapers, but Trevor told me about them. He says they are VERY different! It's amazing what a big change a little bit of rice cereal can make. Why is that? Anyway, this new development made me think about how much we change from infancy to adulthood. When and why do the following change:

- when and why do we lose that amazing limberness that babies have? I would give anything to be able to lay on my back and pull my toes into my mouth in one smooth and painless motion. Heck, I'd even take the pain if I could even do it at all.

- when and why does it become socially unacceptable to poot (or toot as others call it) in public? It's so cute when Zoe does it....right now. One day it won't be. In fact, it will be downright embarrassing.

- when and why do we lose that amazingly soft baby skin?

- when and why do we even care what people think about us? Ah, to be oblivious to the world around you....

- when and why do we lose that sweet baby scent? Even when you haven't had a bath in two days....

- when and why do we stop celebrating weight gain? I REALLY want to know the answer to this question! LOL.

- when and why is it unacceptable to suck on your fingers and drool? It looks so relaxing.

I'm sure other things will come to mind in time. To be a baby again....not a care in the world....

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Zoe See (or Hear), Zoe Do

Zoe mimicked me for the first time yesterday. It was so cute. I was trying to give her some water in a bottle (something new now that we've started her on solids!), and she started to cough. After making sure she was okay, I mimicked her cute little cough. Zoe smiled and coughed again. So I coughed again, and then she coughed again. We went back and forth about four or five times. It was absolutely adorable. Unfortunately, true to her form, Zoe stopped this little activity as soon as Daddy pulled out the camcorder.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Day 3 = More Difficult

Well, today is more difficult. I got home around 6pm last night and thoroughly enjoyed my time with Zoe. She started getting sleepy around 7:45, so we were upstairs starting her bedtime routine around 8:00. That's when it hit me. I only had 2 hours of quality time with Zoe! 2 hours!! How awful is that?! Although we had a little time in the morning, it wasn't the same because I had to get dressed and out of the house.

This morning Zoe remained asleep when I got out of bed. She finally woke up about 15 minutes before I had to leave, and she was in such a happy mood, thus I left in 30 minutes and got to work later than I planned. And today is her 1/2 birthday....6 months old already! I must have kissed Zoe 50 times before leaving the house. I just wanted to stay home with her to play, snuggle, etc.

On my way to the office I called to check my messages, and I had a message from a partner in our D.C. office. He needs my assistance with a new merger that has a short time frame. I'm hopeful that the workload will be manageable so that I can enjoy my evening with Zoe (all 2 hours of it....sigh) and my weekend with her.

I don't know if I can REALLY do this????!!! :-(

Breathe. One day at a time....

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I'm a Working Mom Now: First Day Reflections

My first day back in the office went surprisingly well. Of course, I was very tearful yesterday morning (as well as the last six weeks). I cried three times before leaving the house, thus I didn't wear any mascara because I didn't know how I would hold up during the day.

Arriving to my building felt strange. When the elevator opened on the 42nd floor, I thought I was on the wrong floor due to some aesthetic changes to the floor during my six month leave. I made my way to my office---still as I left it. It was weird not having a secretary or colleagues to say good morning to. (My sec'y is on vacation this week, and my colleagues are gone---one retired, one resigned, so that leaves only me in my section in Dallas) The minute I walked in my office I had this strange sense of peace come over me, and I suddenly knew it was going to be a good day.

Trevor brought Zoe up for lunch, which was great! We went to a nearby restaurant, and I experienced my first moment of conflict between being a professional and being a mommy. You see, Zoe was very hungry (she only ate 1/2 an ounce all morning after I left), so she needed to be nursed. I'm typically not shy about nursing in public, but yesterday I was. Something felt fundamentally wrong, and dare I say embarrassing, about nursing my baby in the middle of a restaurant full of professionals. There were Blackberries and navy blue power suits everywhere. Pulling out my nursing bib, pulling off my jacket, and lifting up my shirt just felt....wrong. We ended up moving to a table tucked in the back corner of the restaurant, and I felt better. I fed Zoe, fed myself, and all was well.

The next awkward moment came when it was time to go pump. I had my pump in tow as I rode down the elevator with my family to say good-bye. (They came back up with me when we returned from lunch so I could attempt to nurse Zoe one more time in my office) When the elevator door opened on the lobby floor, a partner that has been chomping at the bit for me to return was standing there. I introduced him to my family (he feigned interest), and I awkwardly kissed Trevor and Zoe good-bye. (Are you supposed to kiss your family good-bye in front of a partner? Who knows, but I did!) So I rode the elevator back up with the partner, with my pump on my shoulder, as he asked if I had time to meet. I didn't want to say "um, I have to go pump." But I DID need to go pump. My right boob was about to explode! LOL. So I just said I had to make a stop and would have to talk to him later. (Are you supposed to blow off a partner to go pump? Who knows?!) I went to pump, stored away my milk, packed up my bag, and headed back to my office.

The entire day was quiet. I didn't receive a single work related phone call or e-mail. I guess my section is slow??? Having a quiet day helped with the transition, but I know everyday won't be (and can't be) that way.

I left my office at 4:45 and was pulling out of the garage by 4:50. (This will be my daily goal due to my long commute. I will just work after Zoe goes to bed to finish up my work.) I made a quick stop at the grocery store and Babies R Us and was home a little after 6pm. When I walked in the house Zoe was crying, right on cue, so I rushed in and nursed her. I was finally exclusively a mommy again, and I could nurse my baby girl freely and openly. I held Zoe all night, played with her, and just soaked her up. She didn't sleep well, so she ended up in bed with us. I especially enjoyed cuddling with her as she slept like an angel.

Day one complete....