Friday, February 25, 2011

Happy Friday!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Just Roll With It

So I have a baby book for Lukas and began filling it out a few weeks ago.  He's 15 weeks today.  So the first few weeks were not documented as things happened.  Although, most days went something like this: eat, sleep, poop, repeat.  And there weren't very many "milestones" to speak of.

But he started smiling sometime after week 1 and before week 15, but I couldn't tell you the day he smiled for the first time because I forgot to note it in his baby book.  However, smiling is probably a bad example since babies begin "smiling" before they actually "smile."  They "smile" when they're passing gas, for instance.  But he has been giving us big gummy smiles for a few weeks now.  I just don't know exactly when this began.

So in an effort to memorialize all his milestones as they occur, I'm going to try to blog about them the day they happen with the intent of transcribing them in the baby book at a later date.  You know, when I have more time and all.  Say when Lukas is like 18.

So to catch up:
-First time he laughed out loud: February 5th, 2010 (12 weeks old)
-First time he rolled over from BELLY to BACK: November 30th (3 weeks old)

I'm sure I'm missing others, but no use fretting about it now.

And there is a new milestone to add as of today!  Last night I woke up at 3:45am to Lukas crying loudly.  He was asleep in the pack and play in our room and had eaten about 3 hours before, so I thought he must just be hungry again even though it was a little early for him to need to eat.  So I walked over to him in the dark and put my hand in the crib to get him and notice that I was touching the back of his head.  And then I moved my hand and thought I felt his booty.  But this couldn't be, he sleeps on his back.  So I turned the light on and sure enough he was on his belly screaming at the top of his lungs.  He ROLLED OVER from back to belly!!  This was the first time he'd ever done it and it must have scared the hell out of him.  So I picked him up, comforted him, fed him and put him back to sleep on his back again and then went back to sleep myself.  Well an hour later I was woken up to his screams again. I turned on the light and there he was on his belly.  He'd rolled himself over again and was not too pleased.

So its official, we have a roller on our hands!  Let's hope he quickly realizes that rolling over is OK and not a reason to begin wailing at night...or we might have some long nights ahead of us.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I cried...

Yup, Monday morning was rough. Mr. Cob and I both went to drop Lukas off at “school”, both wanting to be there for his first day. We took separate cars so we could go to our offices straight from school. I drove Lukas and talked to him the entire ride over, explaining where we were going and that Mommy works and it doesn’t mean that I love him any less. I told him about all the friends he was going to make and how nice his teachers were going to be and how they were just going to love him. I was clearly still trying to convince myself that this was a good idea.

We got to the school and Mr. Cob carried him in. We went back to his room and met his teachers, who are both wonderful, nice ladies. There were a few other mom and dads there dropping off their babies. This one little boy was just crying. Loud, uncontrollable, inconsolable crying. This did not help my state of mind.

I was hugging on Lukas while we talked to one of the teachers, explaining a few of the little bits of information we thought might be useful for her to know about Lukas. And she sneakily asked to hold him. I didn’t realize at this time that when she took him, it meant it was time for me to go. Not that they were pushing us out the door at all. It’s just that it hadn’t occurred to me that she wouldn't give him right back and I’d stay all day holding him. But Mr. Cob looked at me and said, “Ok, it’s time.” And I just lost it. I started bawling. Like seriously bawling. I looked at Mr. Cob and the teacher and said, through my sobs, “I can’t go. I can’t leave him.” And I really didn’t think I could. If Mr. Cob hadn’t been with me and held my hand while coaxing me out the door, I really don’t think I would have left. But somehow I did leave. But I continued to cry.

Mr. Cob and I grabbed coffee afterwards and I cried some more. I drove to my office and sniffled in the car ride over. I composed myself on the walk from my parking deck over to my office. But then I got in my office, shut my door and just sat at my desk hysterically sobbing again. We’re talking full on break down for a good five to ten minutes.

But luckily one of the partners I work for called and gave me a project to keep me busy. She said there was no way I could sit here all day and not have anything to do. So I got to work and stopped crying. But then the franchise owner of Lukas’ school sent me this email:

Lukas is having a great first day at Primrose! What a sweet boy he is!! I went down to visit with the new students and immediately I realized that Lukas is the happy, smiley one in the group. The entire time I was in the room he just grinned and grinned at me. He has such a sweet demeanor. What’s the secret? ;) He’s truly having a great morning. I hope you are too! Thank you for sharing your sweet boy with us!

And they included this picture:

Then I started crying all over again. But this time I was crying for another reason. I’m happy he’s at a school where they send you an email on the first day letting you know how your baby is doing. And I was happy that he was OK.

At lunch I drove over to Lukas’ school and fed him. I’m not sure I would have made it through a full day without going to see him. And I left work early to pick him up. By the end of the day I felt emotionally drained. But we made it through his first day.

It has been easier each day. Mr. Cob is dropping him off in the mornings and I’m picking him up after work. So far I’ve gone over and fed him every day at lunch. Yesterday he was so sleepy that he didn’t even open his eyes while I nursed him. He clearly wasn’t missing me. And then today he was happy when I got there, ate like a champ and was happy when I left him. I know I won’t be able to see him every day during lunch, but for this first week, it is definitely helping me feel better his being there. We are lucky to be able to afford such a nice school and lucky that his teachers are so great.

And it really is the best feeling to go pick him up at the end of the day and have him give me a huge gummy smile when he sees me. It lets me know he knows who his momma is and that he’s happy to see me. Because Lord knows my heart skips a beat when I see him after being away from him all afternoon.

Can you tell I adore my little man?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Another First

Tomorrow Lukas will have his first day of "school" (aka daycare).  Have I mentioned how I think its silly that all the day cares in town are called schools?  Well, I should say I thought it was silly. It really is like a pre-pre school that he'll be starting.  They'll teach him baby sign language and other new things.  So I guess it is school.  And as I've come to learn, the word "daycare" has a very negative connotation, especially with my parents generation.  I think it used to be somewhere that only poor people who couldn't afford a nanny took their children.  The "school" Lukas will be attending is not at all the type of daycare where there are tons of kids just crying and not being tended to.  And it has a hefty price tag.  So in that sense, it is not "daycare."  But he'll be attending during the day and being cared for and learning things.  So, we should really call it a "place where children go during the day while their parents are working to be cared for and learn things." 

I'm having very mixed emotions about it.  I've been okay with the thought all day, but as tomorrow approaches I'm finding myself getting a little sad.  I am happy with the "school" he's going to, but I think I would be nervous regardless of where he was going.  I'm anxious to meet his teachers.  I'm anxious to hear how he does.  I'm anxious to already go back and pick him up tomorrow afternoon.

Mr. Cob's parents are staying in town until Tuesday, so if I just can't bring myself to drop him off in the morning they can watch him again.  Or I can always go get him half way through the day and have grandma and grandpa watch him in the afternoon, which I very well may do.  I'm a big fan of easing in to new things.  And as I mentioned before, he'll be less than two miles from my office, so I can always go check in on him and get some hugs at any time if I need to.

I am thankful that Lukas' two grandmas have taken care of him for the past two weeks that I've been back at work.  I don't think I could have handled dropping him at daycare and returning to work all in one day.  I fear though that tomorrow will be my hardest day back at work.  I think there might be tears. 

Wish us luck tomorrow.  Lord knows I'll need it.  I think I'll forgo mascara in the morning...

Friday, February 11, 2011

Ambition and Power

I recently attended a two hour program entitled Women and Power: Getting Ambitious about Ambition. The reason for my attendance was to complete the remaining hour I was deficient for 2010 in satisfying my 12 yearly continuing legal education requirements to continue being a lawyer in the state of Georgia. I wasn't really jazzed about the program. I hadn’t really given the topic a thought recently. Which perhaps is the problem.

I came out of the program really inspired and ready to take on the world realizing I’ve been somewhat complacent in my career the past year or so. Let me back up.

If you had asked me before the program if I would label myself as ambitious, I would have answered “absolutely” without giving it a second thought. I mean I competitively swam growing up, I did well in high school, had better grades in college and then went on to law school. Of course I am ambitious. Or at least I was ambitious. I was raised to believe I could do anything I set out to do and in my house it was always somewhat assumed that I would be an educated woman and go on to graduate school after college as my father had done. You must be ambitious to follow this course. So yes, I was ambitious. But now that I am a lawyer and have achieved that goal of becoming one, I haven’t really given a second thought to what my new ambitions are for my career path.

In my personal life I am certainly ambitious. I have goals and have set out to achieve them. I want to be the best mother I can be. Not the perfect mother, but my own best version of the perfect mother. I want to be a good wife and take steps to do so. I want to have a nice, clean home and try to keep that up. I want to maintain strong, meaningful relationships with my girlfriends and family and continually work at those relationships. I am ambitious in these endeavors.

But am I ambitious in my job? After attending this program, I have a new desire to be ambitious in my job. Which is perhaps coming at the perfect time – i.e. just returning to work from maternity leave and having feelings of guilt for being a working mother. I now believe I need to really sit down and think about what I want from my career. Is my goal to make partner? Well, yes, but then what? Where do I want my legal career to go. I need to give this some thought.

The one thing that became clear from this program is the difference between men and women in the work place and their different approaches to getting ahead. Women tend to shy away from confrontation and think that they don’t have to fight for themselves. If you do a good job, you expect to get noticed. But it became apparent from this room full of female lawyers that this isn’t necessarily the case. I learned (or was reminded, because I’ve heard most of this before but tend to forget it quickly) that you have to speak up and advocate for yourself. If you want something, ASK. Have an action plan for where you are going and execute it.  The old boys club mentality is still out there in many ways and women can't just sit back and expect to get ahead.  You have to be proactive. 

You go girl.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Downside

So the most positive thing to come out of my pregnancy was obviously Mr. Lukas.

(BTW, can you tell I'm a little obsessed with the Instagram App on my new iPhone?!?!)

But I'd be lying if I said there weren't any less-than-positives occurring due to the pregnancy (although every single one has been well worth it!) 
For instance, I still have 22ish pounds to lose and can't fit in any of my pre-pregnancy clothes at this time.
I have some stretch marks.  They're lovely.
I can't yet wear my wedding rings again.

But these are all small potatoes compared to the biggest downside of all...
My feet have grown half a size larger.
Meaning my shoes do not fit. 
 Have I mentioned that I love shoes. (Some might say I'm obsessed).  I counted this morning and I have over 50 pairs of shoes in my closet plus more in a box under my bed.  (Yes, yes this is more shoes than any one person needs.  I have a problem.)
But I can't fit in any of these shoes. They're all too small now!
I found this out last week when I went to put on my black patent Cole Hann mary janes.  My toes hit the front of the shoe.  I almost began to cry.  And then I tried on shoe after shoe and most did not fit. 

But there is an upside.  I have an excuse to go shoe shopping now!  And I began with these beauties:

You can never go wrong with red heels.  They're like a ray of sunshine on your feet.  They're making me happy today!!! 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Being a Lawyer and a Mommy

I am a working mother now. Or I should really say I'm a mom who is working outside of the house. I now know that every mother is a "working"'s just that some don't get paid for their work in money. (But kisses and cuddles are pretty good pay themselves.  At least they are more rewarding in many ways.) What I'm trying to say is that my maternity leave is over and I'm back to being a lawyer during the day.

The days leading up to my return were horrible. I cried all the time just thinking about being apart from Lukas. I'd spent every day, all day, with him for 12 weeks. How was I suddenly going to be apart from him for 8-9 hours a day, 5 days a week? The thought alone was enough to turn me into a puddle of tears. The one thing that got me through was knowing that this did not have to be a permanent change if I just couldn't handle it. I could always quit my job and be a stay at home mom. Buy I at least had to go back for now (from a financial standpoint and from an "I have an education and kind of like being a lawyer and want a career and at least need to try to be both a mom and lawyer before choosing the mom-only route" standpoint).

So Monday morning rolled around. My mom was watching Lukas for my first week back, so she arrived bright and early. I woke up and pumped as I irrationally was fearful that somehow Lukas would eat the 14 ounces in the fridge and 30 ounces in the freezer (note that the average baby eats only 25 ounces in a DAY...and probably only like 12 ounces in an 8 hour period.  I was nervous, what can I say?). I then fed him, got dressed for the day and held him just staring at his sweet face while he slept. I went over all the details with my mom - how to use the bottle warmer (which she's already used multiple times), where his clothes are (which she helped me put away before he was born), where the bottles were, etc. etc. I was stalling.  Big time. She knew where everything was in my house and how to take care of a baby. (She'd raised two kiddos who turned out just fine.) She was not the problem. I was. I couldn't convince myself to leave the house. Eventually she somehow shoved me out the door and told me that they would be fine. I'm still not sure how I hadn't started crying yet, but I held my composure. I went and sat in my car in the driveway but couldn't put it in reverse to pull out. I just sat there confused and sad.  Could I really leave him?  But after five minutes I gave myself a pep talk and was able to leave. Somehow, there were still no tears.

And so I set out on my 6 mile drive to work. About a minute in to the drive tears just started flowing down my face. I was uncontrollably crying and couldn't stop. I cried the entire drive to my office. I was a mess. Luckily the partners were away at the annual partners meeting, so I wouldn't have to try to compose myself too much. Two of my female coworkers have had babies in the past two years and they knew what I was going through. I knew I had someone to empathize with me. I was prepared for the worst, given the tear-filled car ride. What was going to happen when I sat down in my office? Shockingly, nothing. No more tears. I was sad and missed Lukas like crazy, but I didn't fall apart. In fact, I was really taken aback by my composure and togetherness. In all honestly, I even began to feel guilty that I didn't feel worse and that I wasn't this mess of emotions and constantly bawling. What did that say about me? Luckily, after talking to some very wise women, I realized that this was a normal reaction. I missed being with my son, but I also enjoyed being out of the house and getting back to work. And that does not make me a bad mother.

The rest of the week went smoothly. I somehow didn't cry once the entire week at the office. Wednesday afternoon on my car ride home I did become very sad and started to cry. I'm still not sure where that came from given that I was on my way home to see Lukas, yet I was very very sad about having to be apart from him. I'm going to blame it on the hormones. (Nope, the hormones aren't gone just because the pregnancy is over...especially since I'm nursing...its just a continuation of the crazy hormones.)  Or maybe I'm just prone to crying in the car.

I do question if the reason I was OK was because I knew Lukas was in good hands with my mother. I knew he was with someone who loved him and would do anything for him. And this week Mr. Cob's parents are watching him, so I have the same reassurance that he's getting lots of love. Next Monday could be different when he starts going to daycare. I think I might cry then. But maybe not. Hopefully not.

The one big change I've noticed since being back at work is that I'm more present in whatever it is I'm doing. If I'm at work, I'm trying to be efficient and get work done and not dilly dally around. When I'm at the office, I might as well get as much work done as possible. And then when I'm home with Lukas, I'm really there with him. I'm not half playing with him, half checking my phone, half watching TV. I'm 100% focused on Lukas. I'm not able to spend as much time quantity-wise with him as I'd like, so I will try to make up for that with making sure we are spending quality time together when I am home. I'm also trying to remind myself that I am working in part to give him a better life. I know many people would argue that my being home would be the best thing for him, but for our family its just not in the cards. At least not right now. I'm sure I will continue feeling guilty for not being at home with him every day. But for now I'm juggling my two roles as best I can and as best I know how.

Just because I'm working, it doesn't mean I love my son any less. I hope he knows that and will always know that. I'm now starting to cry as I write that. Because I do feel guilty and constantly change how I feel about being apart from him. And I miss him. I miss being with him and seeing his sweet face all day. And now I'm sad. I'd normally try to put a happy twist on this to end on a positive note. But the fact of the matter is, I wish I was home with my boy.

Monday, February 7, 2011

So Much to Say..

...but not enough time to say it.  Life has been very busy.  I'm now back to work so when I'm home I'm squeezing in as much quality Lukas time as possible and when I'm at work I'm trying to be as efficient as possible to maximize said quality Lukas time.  But I will write soon about how it's been since maternity leave ended and other life things.

For now, I thought I'd share some updated pics of Lukas.  At his three month appointment last week he weighed in at 13 pounds 5 ounces (50th percentile), is 25 inches long (75th percentile) and still has a tiny head at 15.5 inches (25th percentile).  He had a big growth spurt since our 6 week appointment (where he was 25th%/25th%/10th% respectively).

And he's doing great.  He laughed out loud for this first time this weekend - apparently our friend Lauren is hilarious - he hasn't laughed for just us yet.  He has found his hands and loves sucking on his pointer finger but hasn't found his thumb's usually curled under into his palm.  He's a good sleeper - last night he slept downstairs in the nursery for the first time at night (he has been in our room since he came home from the hospital).  I woke up at 3am wondering why he hadn't woken to eat yet, but let him keep sleeping while I sleepily pumped in the dark...the joys of nursing...  He didn't wake until he went EIGHT straight hours!!!  His longest stretch yet.  He smiles a lot and is a very happy baby.  I fall in love with him more every day!  Just look at this face - how can you not love him?!?!

11 weeks old

12 weeks in his Bumbo chair

13 weeks old with his best friend, Wrigley