Tuesday, August 23, 2011

An overview of my first day

Yesterday was definitely a mix of emotions for me. Overall, it went pretty well. Although it's hard to be away from my kids, I do like my job, and so that certainly helps me to head off to it everyday. And I know that my kids are well cared for and loved in my short absence.

I did feel out of sorts when I first embarked yesterday morning. My kids were with their grandparents yesterday, and they came right to our house, so that part was easy. I did have a hard time saying goodbye to Anne. She's so tiny, and I know that she'll only be this little for a short period of time. It's hard to miss out on any of that.

But off I set, and I put my Catholic podcasts on to soothe me, which I haven't been able to listen to since I left work back in mid-May. I took my usual route and prayed the rosary on my small chaplet while I drove. Since classes haven't started yet, parking was a snap. The journey into my office, however, wasn't quite so smooth.

For one thing, these days I carry more poundage in an excessive number of bags than I even weigh. I've got:

(1) My work bag. Filled with any number of interesting tidbits on a daily basis (Mike is always curious about what is inside this oversized thing) yesterday it contained bulky photo frames for pictures of Anne, a book I've had checked out since December, and new odds and ends for my office.

(2) My breast pump.

(3) My knitting bag, for lunchtime.

(4) My purse. I'm not ashamed to say that it isn't exactly small.

And when I do have to take Anne to daycare, this adds another bag. Sigh.

Anyway, I loaded up and headed in. I wasn't moving with anything resembling speed. Once on on the staff elevator I had to think for a second before selecting my floor, and I had a panicky moment where I wondered if I even still had the keys to my office.

Once inside, I set the bags down, called a friend, and went for coffee. Off to a productive start.

Once back in my office, the main thing I accomplished all day was making a huge mess on my desk as I sorted through mail. I remain afraid of my email inbox.

After work, I headed home. Mike doesn't get home until 5:30, I have about 30-40 minutes without him there to wrangle the kids and get dinner started. Well.

I learned an important lesson. When you have a small baby, and you work full-time, you shouldn't even try to make a dinner that takes longer than switching off the crock pot. Even though the dinner I chose was from a book entitled The Busy Family Cookbook and took 30 minutes total to make, disaster still ensued.

All Anne wanted me to do was sit down and nurse her, and that's all that I wanted to do. Yet I felt compelled, because that's just how I am, to try and have a hot dinner ready for when Mike arrived home. Although an admirable goal, that just doesn't work with a baby. I need to give her my undivided attention when I come home.

So, what ended up happening is that I was running around trying to cook chicken while Anne cried from her bouncey seat and Henry spilled apple juice on the floor. I did nurse Anne, but she clearly was planning to stay latched on and snuggling while I had designs on moving on to dinner. She wasn't too happy when I delatched her.

Once Mike got home, we ate dinner while alternately soothing a fussy Anne and Henry asked questions. Mike cleaned the kitchen while I nursed Anne again. I got my pump unpacked, the parts sanitized, and picked up the house a tad while Mike held Anne. Then I had to read to Hank while he pooed on the potty. Mike gave Anne a bath. I took a shower while Mike entertained both children. By time I got out of the shower, Henry was heading up to bed, and Anne was demanding to be put down. This child is *tired* by 7:15 pm. She does everything but tuck herself in to let you know that she desperately wants to be sleeping in bed. Mike put Hank to bed while I nursed Anne, a towel still perched on my head. I put Anne down and then had to ready everything for daycare this morning. Lots of milk pouring and freezing ensued.

Tangent: I have a freakish milk supply. Anne consumed 9 ozs. of milk yesterday. Want to know how much I pumped at work? *16 ozs*. I think this is why Anne spits up so much when I nurse her. She's being totally overwhelmed by milk. The refrigerator looked like I could open up a dairy. Anyway...

By then, I was totally exhausted. I had nothing planned for dinner today nor had I packed my lunch. But I was all done in. I made a vodka & tonic.

It was absolutely *insane*. I felt overwhelmed, but I know that it'll get better. We'll get into a routine, and it'll get a little easier as Anne gets bigger.

As I went to bed last night, I was dreading the first day at daycare today. And going through this crazy morning and evening thing again. I was also anxious to see how Anne slept. I didn't drink any caffeine yesterday (Cherry Coke Zero, how I miss you...) plus Anne had bottles during the day. My suspicion is that the bottles give her less gas and less spitting up. For the past week, she's gone from sleeping pretty good (up twice per night) to getting up every couple of hours again. She would start off waking at 11 pm or so and then just keep getting up frequently from there. I was in tears Saturday night. So, we put her down last night and hoped for the best. I was almost hoping that the night wouldn't be any different, because that would mean that I could go back to my beloved Coke. :)

Eventually...Hark! I wake up. Anne is fussing, wanting to nurse. I looked at the clock. 12:40 am.

Well, shit.

She slept for over 5 hours. Although she has slept longer in the past (not frequently, but it has happened) this is as good as she's slept in a long time. I don't know. Maybe I'm looking for a source where there really is none. She's a baby. She's going to get up at night.

Does this mean I can have Cherry Coke Zero again?

This morning, I got up earlier and the morning was slightly less chaotic. It was Anne's first day of daycare. Post to detail tomorrow...

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