Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Martha Stewart Decal

I saw this Martha Stewart Dry Erase decal on another blog, and now I want it!  I keep thinking of wonderful uses for it, and love the fact that you can move it to another location.  Dry erase board on my fridge to make a grocery list?  Wonderful!  On the door of the nursery to keep track of feeding/changing/napping schedules?  Perfect!  What would you use it for? (It's out of stock at Amazon, but theoretically it's also at Staples!)

Monday, August 27, 2012

We Still Love You Scooter

One of the questions we get the most about our baby girl is, how is the dog with the baby?  The answer is, Great!  Mostly.  After Eliza was born Scooter was staying with Shawn's brother and sister-in-law, so we had them take home the little hat she wore right after she was born to let Scooter get used to the scent of the baby.  When we got home Scooter wasn't there and Shawn and I both remarked about how our family didn't feel complete without Scooter in the house too.  Shawn's brother brought Scooter over a few minutes later.  I stayed back in the bedroom with Eliza so Scooter could say hi to Shawn and get his energy out a little before we introduced him to the new baby.  But Scooter ran right past Shawn to find me and was naturally curious about what I was holding.  We let Scooter sniff Eliza to his heart's content, and then he was good, over the change.  And really, that's what he does most of the time.  He wants to sniff her, but mostly he ignores her.  Until tummy time and then when we get down on the floor with Eliza Scooter tries to get right between us.  He was so careful around her when she first came home, but he's getting a little less careful, and I'm getting a little more protective.  But overall, he really loves the baby.  When she's crying he always runs into the room to see what's wrong. And if I'm not with the baby when she's crying he comes to get me.  The biggest change with Scooter is when visitors come over, he LOVES them.  He's always loved visitors, but now he really tries to get them to pay attention to him.  It's like he's saying "Finally!  Someone to play with me!"  Poor guy, we are trying to make sure he's still getting a lot of attention, but it's true that he's not getting as much as he used to.  I think the older Eliza gets the more Scooter will love her.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Happy Birthday Poppy!

Because I love a good flashmob, and in honor of my sweet Dad's 75th birthday (which was yesterday) please enjoy these two awesome videos. (Mom, you'll have to click through to watch them.)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

My New Job

The decision to leave work and be a stay at home mom was both the easiest decision I have ever made and the most difficult one.  We considered every option, every possibility, money, the commute, daycare, insurance, everything.  If I had been in this position ten years ago I wouldn't have wanted to stay home with my kids. Ten years ago I wanted to be a career woman, I wanted the job and the office and the travel.  I guess getting all of that changed my perspective, and somehow having the job, the office, the travel made me just want family, kids, and to stay home and watch them grow.  But even knowing before I ever got pregnant that I wanted to stay home, once the dream of kids became a reality I still had to make the decision, weigh the factors.  Could I really stay home with my baby girl, or was it just a dream?  

Shawn and I talked over everything, and the biggest negative was definitely the money.  Shawn is in school and will graduate in a year, which will hopefully mean more money.  Could we afford to have me stay home and not bring in any money for a year?  The truth is, at some point I may need to go back to work part time, so the first thing I did was discuss that possibility with my boss.  But, ultimately, what I really would want would be a flexible schedule so I can work when Shawn is home and not have to put Eliza in daycare at all.  And even if a part time position was available, it would mean I would still have the commute, which was one of the biggest negatives about my job.  And let's just be honest here, I didn't exactly love my job, and that's probably one of the biggest factors.  If I loved my job I might be more inclined to go back to work for a year.  I loved the people I worked with, and there were aspects of my job that were really great and fun, but ultimately it wasn't for me and it was getting harder and harder to stay motivated.  I just couldn't see myself dropping off my precious baby in daycare and driving for an hour each way to go to a job I basically dreaded.  But, I was also worried about how I would do NOT working.  I've had a job since I was in highschool, is there some part of me that needs to work?  It's only been two months, and the first two weeks before Eliza came I did get pretty stir crazy in the house, but I love being home with her.  I look forward to a time when I can do a bit more like making dinner and cleaning, so far Eliza is pretty demanding of my time and attention.  (It's taken me a week to write this blog post.)  But I do definitely need some adult interaction, and have started to find my network of fellow stay at home moms to get together with.  

I had a few people tell me to not even think about making the decision until Eliza arrived, to just wait until I was on maternity leave and then decide if I wanted to go back.  So, I researched that possibility and discussed with my HR what it would mean if I didn't come back while I was on maternity leave, and basically, that's a really expensive option.  Sure, you get paid and have insurance for those weeks, but if you decide not to go back, you get to pay back that insurance and most of the salary, so I knew I had to make a decision upfront.  I thought about going back for a short period of time, but then it was the finding the daycare again and the commute and the leaving my baby, so I decided that was also not an option, even if it was temporary.  

I agonized for weeks, months over the decision.  Then once I had made up my mind I agonized over when to inform my boss.  We were going through redeployment at work, and what I decided and when I announced my decision would effect other people. I didn't want to announce too soon and have them let me go before I was ready.  And waiting to tell work made me keep reassessing my decision.  So, I waited until about a month before I was supposed to go on "maternity leave" and then my boss came to me and asked what my plans were for maternity leave and even though I hadn't mentally prepared to have the discussion right then, I told him, I'm not coming back.  And at that moment I was liberated.  My boss was great, very encouraging about my decision being the right one and that he would not hesitate to hire me again.  And my timing was perfect.  The redeployment meant someone else was able to take over my accounts, and I had a month to close things out and transition everything over to them.  And while I miss my coworkers, I haven't missed my job, not even for a second.  Being a mom all day every day is so much harder than my job ever was.  And at the same time so much more rewarding.  I feel a fulfillment in being with Eliza that I never felt in my office job.  I truly feel like this is what I was meant to do, even on the days when she cries and I can't put her down for more than a minute.  I love this little girl more than I ever thought possible.  

I am so blessed to be able to stay home with Eliza.  I know plenty of moms who don't have that option. I also know plenty of moms who don't want that option.  And for me, for right now, this is the perfect decision.  

Picture found here.

Friday, August 17, 2012

One Month

Dear Eliza,

You are one month old!  I can remember life a month ago, a year ago, before you were here, before you were part of our family, but at the same time I can't imagine a time that I didn't know you.  Holding you in my arms right after you were born wasn't like meeting you for the first time, it was more like seeing a good friend again after a long time.  Did we know each other before we came to this earth?  Did you know that I was going to be your Momma?  I can't imagine life without you!

You are a wonderful sleeper, only getting up once at night and letting Momma and Daddy sleep five or six hours at night. You have to have your arms free when you sleep, you love your hands right by your face.  You love bath time, and never cry when we bathe you, but instead just look peaceful, like you are taking everything in.  You love being naked. You love going outside and going for walks with me in the mornings.  You'll immediately calm down if we take you outside.  You don't like your carseat.  You love your Daddy and if you are crying you calm down when he picks you up, he's magic.  You have dark hair and we wonder where it came from.  It curls when we wash it, but then goes wild and sticks straight up when it dries.  You have long finger and LONG feet.  You have skinny arms and legs but chubby cheeks that get chubbier every day, and a big Buda belly.  Your eyes are an amazing dark blue.  You love to just absorb the world looking around you or at whomever is holding you.  You are starting to smile and watch people, especially Momma's lips when she is talking.  Sometimes you even copy what Momma does with her mouth.

We love you more than we ever imagined was possible.

Love, Momma

Thursday, August 2, 2012

I'm a Mom

I'm a Mom.  Those three little words are so overwhelming and encompassing right now.  I've been reflecting for days on what that means.  I'm a Mom!  My love for this little girl is overwhelming, a lot of things are overwhelming right now!  I look at her and can't believe that I created her, that she is part of me and part of Shawn, and yet she is more beautiful than I ever imagined she would be.  Seeing Shawn as her Daddy is amazing, watching him hold her, listening to him sing to her, incredible.  I could sit and hold her all day long and never get anything done around the house.  When she cries my heart aches to comfort her, to make it all better, but I also have all the patience with her, waiting for her to get the cry out.  When she looks at me I feel like the most important person in the world.  I want to tell her everything at once, and yet have no idea where to begin.  How do I help her know how special and important and beautiful she is?  What is she thinking?  What does she know or remember from before she came to this earth?  Welcome to the world Baby Girl.  I can't wait to get to know you.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Introducing. . .

Eliza Helen Walker
July 10, 2012 9:40pm
7lbs 2oz 20.5 inches

Thanks for the photo Laura Durham