Thursday, May 6, 2010

Happy 4 Months!

Stella is four months old today!  It's been nothing but great joy watching her grow and develop.  She's now reaching for things and holding on.  She found my chest hair the other day, OUCH, so I'm keeping my shirt on around her for awhile.
Her four month doctor's appointment is this coming Monday so we'll find out her official weight and length but she's about 12-13 pounds according to our rough calculations using our home scale.  I swear there are mornings I look at her and she's grown a lot overnight.  Her head control is outstanding as she will hold her head up, looking around when we raise her above us in a Superman hold.  She's still not a huge fan of holding her head up during tummy time but she's getting much better at it, holding it up for longer stretches before she decides it's not much fun and starts to fuss.
I've been able to get substitute teaching jobs about 2 or 3 times a week so that's good for me to get out into the world and deal with other people's kids.  I've taught from 12th graders in High School all the way down to Kindergartners in gym class.  The gym class was total chaos but loads of fun.  That same day I had some 1st and 2nd graders and could really tell the developmental difference between just those three years.  The second graders could concentrate more on throwing and hitting a big cushy softball with a padded bat and the kindergartners just wanted to run around chasing the balls as I threw them around the gym.
I've confirmed my desire to teach high schoolers instead of elementary students and middle schoolers would be much more of a handful but I've found I can connect with them better than anticipated so I won't rule a job teaching middle schoolers.

Here's a couple of pictures I took today.  I put her in the MSU onesie and she looked too boyish so I added the pink pants for girl power.

Stella's happy to be 4 month's old

Stella looking and grabbing a hanging toy.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Back to Work!

In my head I've written several insightful, witty and fun to read accounts of going back to work. The reason that you haven't read any of them is that Mommy has no spare time! That's right, I finally understand why parents of small children fall off the face of the earth and only resurface years later when the kids are ready to move out of the house. I finally understand why no one cleans their own house any longer. The dirt is out of control here. When I look around, I don't want to spend any time cleaning because everything is too far gone I don't know where to start. In fact, I am writing this now so I have an excuse not to tidy the living room.

I've been back to work for about 3 weeks now. I don't hate it, but don't love it either. Don't worry, the love will come back. It's just that the transition takes a lot of energy and it will take time. Work has been good, not too crazy and my co-workers and manager have been helpful as I get my head back in the game. I am enjoying working with them again. I didn't miss working, but I did miss my co-workers.

I also took my first trip for work last week -- I was gone for 2 nights and parts of three days. It went OK. I wasn't too overcome with sadness or guilt and Tim and Stella did fine too. I think it was a bit more work for Tim than he imagined, but we all survived. I missed cuddling with my girl, especially at night when I was falling asleep in the hotel room, but the testing went well and I learned a lot. Again with those great co-workers!

Lots of fun this weekend: Some of it involved beer. Not too shabby! Met the yoga moms (from my prenatal yoga class) at the Bell's beer garden ( mid day on Friday. We hung out and exchanged baby stories while sitting on a picnic blanket under some trees. Fab weather and all the babies were super cute and well behaved. Loved sharing cloth diapering tips while drinking beer. The vibe at Bell's is always fun and, during the day, wonderfully kid and family friendly. A couple of us were having so much fun we called our hubbies, they came down and we shared dinner on the aforementioned picnic blanket. Super relaxing and a wonderful afternoon to spend with my beautiful baby after missing her for 2+ days.

Saturday was the March of Dimes March for Babies. It was damp to start, but the sun came out and we had a good day. We raised $240! My original, modest, goal was $100. It was amazing to hear (actually read on the backs of T-shirts) the stories of some of the most challenged preemies. Some were so terribly early and teeny tiny (less than 2 pounds) it is a wonder that they survived at all. Many folks were walking in honor of the ones who didn't survive. I am forever grateful that Stella was a garden variety preemie. The things she had to learn were pretty standard and she benefited so very much from all the work that has been done for preemies. It was a big deal, but we were so much better off than a lot of the babies in the NICU. Praise God! After the march we celebrated the wedding of our friends Erin and Julie who were married in VT almost 2 months ago. I am continually reminded of the importance of our communities of connection and how we all depend on the networks we build. Tim and I have been blessed with the family and friends who surrounded us in our marriage and life and our new foray into parenthood. I am honored to be part of that 'village' for other people as they begin their journeys. The best part of that is as you are added to the community for other people and families, they are added to yours and the circle of support and love just keeps growing!

Will try to take more pics of the snugglebuggle over the next few days -- I know that's the only reason why some of you tune in here.  She's growing like a weed -- longer and heavier every day.  She'll be 4 months old on Thursday.  Can't believe that we've had her that long, it only feels like it's been a few weeks.  We'll be to the docs on the 10th for a check up and shots.  She'll still be small for a 4 month old, but feels pretty good to us!