I just completed my first week back at work, and it was a big success! Maeve has been a real trooper letting others care for her. I felt very confident in her caregivers (mostly my mom and Nana and one day at the same daycare Roman goes to), so I was pretty much anxiety free. The best part was that I was in a class all week, so when I wasn’t trying to figure out the fundamentals of mass appraising I was gazing lovingly at photos of my children at once wishing I could be with them but also feeling grateful that I am comfortable with my calling as a working mom. As I looked at their photos it made me want to stop for a minute and write about where they are at right now because it’s starting to happen. That thing that ALL parents talk about but I hadn’t felt quite yet. Time is moving too fast. Roman and Maeve are changing too fast. Summer will be here and over too fast. And I want to remember the details.
At 9 weeks and 3 days old she is a solid little chubster with rolly thighs and squishy cheeks = completely adorable. I haven’t had a chance to weigh her since her 2 week check in (where she weighed 8 lbs 9 oz) because my scales need new batteries, but she’s almost outgrown her 0-3 month clothing, so I am estimating she is close to 11-12 lbs.
She is healthy and also very, very happy. She really dishes out those positive vibes! One of her favorite things is to be a little naked baby, and it’s only a matter of time before I will have two nudist children running around. Her sight is getting much better and she unleashes sweet little coos and giant smiles when she recognizes our faces. I call her my Sunshine Girl because she radiates her inner glow, and makes all of our hearts a little warmer.
Things she doesn’t like? Baths. I guess water takes all the fun out of being a nakey baby. She is also a bit freaked out by her brother. I can’t blame her. He loves her with ALL OF HIS MIGHT, and boy is he mighty! And strong! And does not know how to channel that energy into soft touches. Mostly it’s that he puts too much pressure on her when he lays his head or arms on her. He really is taken aback when I tell him he’s hurting her. His voice will quiver when he says,” I not hurting her Mommy. I not!”If their relationship continues down this path I know he will guard her fiercely and always have her back. I just hope ultimately it goes the other way around too!
She is much more of a crier than her brother ever was. We go through a period every night where we do our best to comfort her, but she just needs to cry. It generally lasts 30-60 minutes and then she conks out and usually sleeps in a good 4-5 hour stretch. I’ll definitely trade a little while of crying to get decent sleep! The sleep deprivation I suffered with Roman was much, much more challenging to deal with, and I am super grateful to not be contending with that as much this time around. Honestly, it stills mostly Roman that wakes us up at night…
Overall, she has been an incredibly easy baby compared to what I was expecting. My love for her is like a summer river current, easy and strong, deep and uncomplicated. It lacks the intensity that I felt for Roman when he was this age, but that fury of love almost came at the expense of my sanity. The beautiful love that I have for my daughter is going to allow me to be the best version of Mom that I can be.
If Maeve is a wildflower, Roman is undoubtedly a rocketship. I can’t even keep up. Everyday is a flurry of new words, songs, and games. He is getting good at describing what went down at school that day, and he will say things like, “I play with the wagon. Connor play with me. Connor chase me. I play with Mary and Alex. Alex cried. I paint.” [note: these are not actual names of kids in his class] And I’ll be like “oh, why did Alex cry?” and he will explain that they fell down or dish on who pushed who. Sometimes he will say he pushed someone, so then we talk about how it’s not a great communication tactic to push our friends. It’s just amazing to me that I can hold a full conversation with him. Gone are the days of simple “yes or no” questions. It’s really exciting to get to hear the thoughts that are in his head!
His interest in all things vehicles remain as strong as ever. I thought he would have moved on to something else by now, but he still loves pointing out construction equipment, cars, and buses. There have been a few times where he has made observations like, “white car turn left, mama” and sure enough there will be some random white car turning left in front of us! As a directionally challenged adult it is incredible to me that he knows anything about right and left, but he is correct about it more than 50% of the time. He also makes us listen to the Mamma Mia soundtrack in the car, every time. Luckily, he is a willing negotiator and will sometimes let me listen to a couple of my songs before I put it on.
He’s also big into bugs right now. He loves to go into the garden and look for bugs. Sometimes he holds them, sometimes he just watches, but what I’m most impressed by is how gentle he is. He tries very hard not to squish them or be too rough and always puts them back so they can “go to her mommy” or “go to her baby” depending on how big the bug is (and they are almost always “hers” for some reason). One time I found 2 earthworms on a dahlia flower, he told me they were mama and baby and he put them there so they could cuddle (although when he says it, it sounds like “cuddo”).
Speaking of cuddling, he is sooooo snuggly! We have been successful the last few months in implementing a nighttime routine which includes: bath, brush teeth, pj’s, then books with dad, and after a few of those Mom reads “Night Night Groot” and sings a song. Every night when it’s my turn he says “Cuddo me, mama! Cuddo!” That is a request I cannot deny, so even after I sing my song and get ready to leave I will stay a few minutes longer if he asks me again to cuddle with him.
Oh, so this “Night Night Groot” book by Brendan Deneen is such a great way to end the day. Roman has it practically memorized, so he will read along with me, which is too cute by itself. Troy taught him to look at the characters’ facial expressions, so Roman will also do interpretative storytelling and make the same faces as the bad guys along with sound effects. It’s really funny. The first time we read it he mistakenly identified Star Lord as a robot (to be fair, he has a pretty techy mask on) so now he tells me, “That’s not a robot, that’s Star Lord, silly goose!” I love it.
I feel like I could go on and on because he does such admirable, silly, and interesting things every day. I want to capture all of it like how he throws blankets and towels over his head and declares himself a vampire. Or how he says “silly goose” all the time as a gentle correction and it’s hysterical. Or how the other day he was at Target with my mom (and he always perks up when he hears he gets to go to Target, #thatsmyboy) and he stopped when he saw a flower wreath and said, “that looks nice” like really, 2 year old? You already have opinions on interior design? Or when he makes up songs and we try to copy him he tells us we got the lyrics wrong (“nooo, that’s not how it goes, silly goose!”). He is so special and I love him so much. As always, time is not on my side and I need to wrap up.
I am a working mom. I love my job and my coworkers, but it does not diminish the love I have for my kids. I want them to know that even though I’m working, I’m paying attention. Their lives are at the forefront of my mind, and this is just the smallest snapshot of what that looks like in the spring of 2019.