Eleven weeks

Mister T is growing up too fast, you guys. Anyone have advice on how to slow down time a little bit? Or maybe freeze it completely? My last weekly post before I return to work on Friday. Ugh. I have a feeling my blogging time will be taking the back burner for awhile, as if my posts weren't already infrequent enough. Time to juggle being a full-time mommy and Physical Therapist....this should be interesting!

(I have a few 'before' and 'after' shots for you, complete with different hats. He's grown so much since those early weeks and sometimes it takes hats and clothes to make me really see it. Truman has enough hats to last a lifetime and it's sort of symbolic for me to post these as I'm preparing to wear another hat in my life. Get it?)

Truman has had an unpredictable week when it comes to his sleeping habits. I think it all started when our company left and T was all out of sorts and out of his typical routine. For about three nights in a row we totally lost the battle with naps and falling asleep at night. He would only nap for about 10 minutes, twice a day---which is WAY off from his typical pattern. Truman basically kicked our butts big time and one night after trying to put him down for over 2 hours I just carried him into our room, plopped him in our bed, whipped out my boob and let him nurse in sidelying on and off all night. It worked and we slept so I consider that a small victory! But we were doing SO well with him sleeping in the nursery and making it for 5-6 hours in a row that I didn't want to throw in the towel just yet. It took us a few more nights with Truman needing extra time to go down at night, extra soothing if he woke up after laying there for 5 minutes, extra holding my breath as I put him into the crib....but it seems like we are back to our old routine. Plus, he's napping throughout the day again. When he boycotts naps I now know that the night will be hell and thus I am ALL about encouraging little cat naps as soon as he shows signs of tiredness. Yes, the dreaded 'overtired' cycle is vicious and I hope we can avoid that experience for a long time.


My favorite time of day is now when I go and get him at about 6 am from his crib and pull him into bed with us to nurse and play a bit. He is in such a great mood and will just smile and kick around and be so freaking cute that it hurts. Of course I can't stop kissing his fatty cheeks and squeezing his tummy in moments like these and Nate is fairly obnoxious with Truman in the mornings, too. We can't help it! Little dude is too much sometimes. His cradle cap and clogged tear duct seem to be subsiding a bit and I think he's even growing a bit of hair back on the top of his head. I mentioned last time that he is totally obsessed with staring at himself in mirrors and I think the vanity has just increased a few notches this week. When he lays in his activity gym and looks up into the mirror I'm sure he just thinks there is a really cute baby friend staring back at him from the ceiling which is pretty much the most adorable thing ever. Yep, Truman is still a happy content baby most of the time and he's getting more and more interactive each day.




As for the work situation: I haven't talked much about it here but I will now be working four days a week, nine hours each day (7:30 until 5:00). I will have every Wednesday off which is pretty fabulous when I think about working only two days in a row then having a day off. I will still work quite a few weekend dates, specifically seven of them in the next four months, and when I do that I should get another day off during the week to make up for the weekend. I'm pretty excited about my new schedule but I know the nine (or actually, nine and half but we have an unpaid 30 minute lunch at my job) hour days will be really long, especially considering my 30 minute commute each way. But here's the most awesome part about this new phase in our lives: my father-in-law, Tony, decided that he wants to watch Truman two days each week. He still works full time and this option totally came out of the blue, but he was pretty adamant about it all of a sudden saying that he doesn't want Truman to be in daycare when he's this little. In fact, Tony first announced this idea saying that he was just going to completely retire from his job and watch Truman all four days each week. Woah buddy! As amazing as that offer really is for us, I worry that it will be too much for him to handle. After all, caring for a newborn all week is pretty intense and Tony is always on the go, doing random projects and disappearing for hours at a time--I'm not sure he knows how much a baby would ground him at home. So we decided that two days in daycare, two days with grandpa, and then one day with mommy during the week would be the perfect compromise.




It's not totally finalized with Tony's work just yet, so I'm praying it really does work out this way, but he wants to make this happen so I'm sure it will be just fine somehow. Not only will we save boat loads of money avoiding daycare for four days a week but now Truman gets some quality grandpa time which makes me so happy. Did I mention that my in-laws live downstairs from us? So on the days Tony watches Truman all I have to do is hand him the monitor and tell him to get Truman when he wakes up. No packing the diaper bag or tons of bottles---he can just hang out at home! We are blessed, I know. It's amazing how everything works out.


Not only that but Nate is officially done with this semester on Wednesday and doesn't start his clinicals until June 1. That means that this Friday and also all next week, Truman gets to hang out with daddy and I can focus on returning to work without stressing about daycare right away. I think this will help ease me back into work and will make my first day back pretty anti-climatic since I don't have to drop him off with strangers just yet. :) We'll get to test out how many bottles he'll need while Nate is at home with access to my freezer stash if needed which makes me breathe a little easier over that whole situation. I think Nate is excited and just a wee bit nervous about being the main caregiver for a week and I'm sure there will be many hilarious stories to share:)


When I think about going back to work my biggest source of anxiety is figuring out our morning schedule and attempting to continue breastfeeding as a working mom. How am I going to get myself ready in the mornings, feed Truman, get him ready and get out the door in time without losing my mind? And we've done so well with nursing while I'm home and I'm proud of being able to exclusively breastfeed for 11 weeks thus far, but I'm nervous that going back to work will be a huge hurdle in our breastfeeding journey. I've read a lot about pumping at work and my boss is open to me taking breaks during the day to do so, but the logistics of it totally freak me out. Where do I store the milk? Do I make the bottles immediately or at home? What if I can't pump one-for-one what Truman eats each day? Do I have to clean my pump parts every time? And dude, hauling around my giant pump plus a possible cooler plus my lunch plus a diaper bag plus my purse? Overwhelming! I know I'll figure out what works for me but it's still scary how much everything will change around here. Change is hard.

I'm not going to speak too much on the subject right now but know this: I would do almost anything to stay at home with Truman indefinitely. While pregnant, I wasn't sure if I'd love being at home or if I'd yearn to get back into my job with adult interactions and mental stimulation. Turns out I'm head over heels in love with my mommy job and although I went to school for many years to get my Masters and have school loans to prove it, there is nothing more satisfying to me than caring for my baby boy. However, I have a responsibility to my entire family as the sole breadwinner in our household right now. You see, I was the one with the baby fever last summer. I knew that if we had a baby before Nate was finished with school that I would have no choice but to go back to work. After all, if I didn't work we would have NO income and no health insurance which would be incredibly irresponsible on my part. My dream would be to stay home with Truman (and pop out about 3 more kiddos, too) and I firmly believe that stay at home moms are incredibly blessed to have that option. But I signed up for this situation when I wanted kids sooner rather than later. This is our life right now, this is our situation and when Nate decided to go back to school for a career he will love I promised to support him for the good of our whole family. I just tell myself that Truman is going to be surrounded by love while I'm away--from his grandpa and also from great daycare providers. Our evenings, weekends, and Wednesdays are going to be *that* much more special when we are together and I fully intend to make up for my lost cuddle times by smothering the poor boy:)

One year from right now, Nate will be graduating PT school (eeeek!) and perhaps we will have other options for our family at that time (ie Nate can work full time and maybe I can stay at home. Fair trade, right? Tag, you're it!). But until then I really need to focus on sucking it up, putting on my big girl panties, and just dealing with the fact that I cannot be home with him 24/7 anymore. Sulking and crying and being frustrated/sad about it doesn't change anything (but sometimes it does feel good to get it all out of my system before I move on with the day). Without a doubt, being a working mom will be the hardest thing I've ever done and I will need all of your prayers and good vibes to get through each day. I know I'm not alone in this new role and I know Truman will be just fine. But it doesn't mean leaving him will be any easier for me since I have a strong desire to stay at home. Just typing all this out makes me want to go snuggle Truman right now, so I think I will while I can.

Eleven weeks: cuter than ever and prepping for some major changes around here. Sigh.


  1. The last two paragraphs made me cry. I've been thinking about your SO much the last couple of weeks, dreading your return to work for you. You are an awesome mom and an awesome wife, Julia, and I'm glad you are finding a way to make peace with the situation. And in a year when Nate is graduated and you are hopefully staying at home, you will enjoy it that much more, knowing how blessed you are.

    Regarding breastfeeding, I'm a firm believer that you can do anything you set your mind to. If you are determined to continue, you will be able to. I have no doubt. It will take some adjusting, no question, but it will work out. You ran a marathon, lady! You can definitely handle pumping. :)

  2. Oh my Julia. Those pictures are just so telling aren't they? I love the first before and after, he just looks pleased as punch with life.

    And I'm sure he is, because just as Kristal said, he's got a fantastic mama. Before Isaac, we were in the same camp. Heck, my Mom does daycare, I've always just thought that's what Mom's DO! There's no problem with shipping your kids off to be watched by someone else. Plus they cry a lot, who wants to be around them? But I was SO wrong.

    You do sound very peaceful and resigned to your situation. How awesome for your FIL to get the work situation in his favor! I'll be praying that it comes to full fruition.

    I will AGAIN agree with Kristal regarding breastfeeding. It's quite simple, either you dedicate yourself to making it work or you don't. :) I believe you will. You've already endured the pain thus far, this is just a different type of pain. You will withstand it with a little bit of stubbornness. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure you've got some of that. :)

  3. He's grown so much! I love a good before and after. :) You are amazing, Julia, and you will definitely be able to handle working and being a mommy. You can do anything you set your mind to--and that set up with your father in law sounds PERFECT!

  4. Hey, I totally feel your pain. I've been back at work for 1.5 months. I'm in a similar position as you. I'm a lawyer, took out loans to go to school & assumed that being a working mom would be no biggie until I had my baby girl and want nothing more than to stay at home (or at the very least part-time). While one day that might be a reality (perhaps w subsequent children), it isn't now. The first week was hard- I cried at my desk a lot -- really professional, right? But then it got easier. I still want to stay at home eventually, but meanwhile my baby is thriving & loved & totally happy. It'll be hard, but you can totally do it!! You seemed more mentally stable than I was all along!!! And when you see how great he's doing at daycare, etc... and how much he learns from his little classmates, you'll feel much better.

  5. i remember the last week home with Augustine. It was really hard. Then I had to return to work. Not fun. But it's gotten easier. Not the best, but easier.
    As for bfing, you can totally do it. I can't pump one for one while we're away from each other. I pump extra before he wakes in the morning and again right before I go to bed. I am a firm believer that you need to sleep when he sleeps. Don't wake up in the middle of the night just to pump milk when he is sleeping. I do pump in the middle of the night after he has woke up me.
    plus i love weekends, when he gets to feed off of me all weekend long and pump up my supply. :)

    good luck!

  6. You are soooo lucky to have found a day care that will take Truman only 2 days a week! All of the infant rooms in my area make you pay for the full week even if you don't use all of the days because you're "paying for the crib" regardless of whether or not it gets used. I am super jealous that you only have to pay for 2 days a week!!

  7. You can do it! I'm not going to sugar coat it, it will be HARD, but you'll get through it.

    My advice for you on the breastfeeding at work thing is set a schedule if you can. I pumped every 3 hours on the dot (and once in the morning after the first feeding, but before I left for work). The biggest mistake we make is letting too much time go by, and then your supply decreases. And I just stored my milk in a fridge and gave it to the little guy for his bottles the next day.

    I dedicated myself to working a whole year and now I am "retiring" to be a full-time momma. I totally feel for you, just get through this year and know that you can reach your stay at home goal in the near future!!

  8. I loves me some Truman. The hats are all great and he totally has the personality to pull them off! :)

  9. Truman is looking so different over the past couple posts - his features are changing I think - definitely looking more grown up!

    You will totally make the breastfeeding schedule work. It'll take some getting used to, as I'm sure all of these changes took some getting used to. Get one big bag for the pump/cooler/lunch/purse to cut down on the amount of items you're carrying!

  10. Oh hon, the working mama situation does get better. Maybe I'm not a good example as I quit my job on a whim because I missed my son so damn much.

    Unfortunately, I will have to go back as soon as I find a new job. And now I have not one but TWO sons to miss. Darn it, it makes me wish I lived in France or Canada! Maternity leave is sorry in the U.S.

    I'll be thinking of you. You've done such a good job as a new mama and although there will inevitably be some tears shed you can be proud that you are doing the right thing for your family.

  11. Looking at those pictures, I can't believe the difference in Truman in 11 weeks. He is growing so fast. Love all the hats!!!

    I will be thinking of you as you go back to work. Lots of hugs to you guys.

  12. Oh, those pictures are to die for. He is so precious, and it's so fun to see the progression.

    As for breastfeeding, I'm with everyone else - you're committed to it and you'll make it work. If you have specific questions, let me know, I'm a pro now. ;) As for washing the parts, you can rinse them off after each use but then just put them in the fridge so that any milk still on them stays fresh - then you just wash the parts once you get home at night.

    I'm sorry you're feeling so down about returning to work. Hopefully you'll find that it won't be nearly as bad as you're anticipating. It's really wonderful that you're able to have Wednesdays off with him, plus that you only have to actually take him out of the house for daycare twice a week.

    You know I'm here whenever you want/need to talk!

  13. Oh, Julia. :-( I can't believe your time has gone so fast!

    You know what? Everything will work out. And, having a non-parent care for your baby isn't the worst thing in the world- both my brother and I had a nanny growing up, because my mom couldn't stay home. Not only did both of us turn out just fine, but that nanny and her husband are now like a third set of grandparents for us.

    The best example you can set as a parent is to do the best you can with what you're given, and trust that things will work out the way they should.

    Big Hugs!!

  14. That little man is sooooo precious!
    It's a bummer that you have to go back to work but as you see, time goes by so quickly. It's awesome that you only have to do daycare one day a week. T is one loved and lucky little man.

  15. What an amazing blessing that your FIL is going to watch Truman a couple of days for you! I am thinking of you and you are in my prayers - I know it will be tough but it is just for a season and it will all be worth it one day.

  16. He is already almost 3 months old? How did that happen? I guess as quick as mine will be7 right?

    You said it right. We went to school and worked hard, and all we want to do is stay at home w our babies, but life doesn't let us right now. i love that your being so positive about it right now!

    There are good days, bad days and some of those days in between. BUT you are right, that time with your child are so much more special. The feeling you get when you see him after a long day=pure bliss. Plus, when he gets older and he smiles when he see's you. it warms your heart.

    sorry for the book, but i think that sometimes you hear of all these mommies getting to stay home and it gets kind of frustrating when that is all you want, but you can't have.

  17. Awwww!
    First - he's as adorable as ever!
    Second - I think most moms relate to wanting to stay at home. I was always going to take the minimum maternity leave and go right back to work, but having that little one changes everything! I cried the first day I had to drop him off at daycare.
    Third - if you're determined to make pumping work - it will. It may take some practice, some spoiled milk and forgetting your pump at home before you become a pro. :o)
    Last - do as much as you can the night before and leave at the door or in the car - even if you're exhausted. It makes the morning a breeze if you don't have to worry about lunch/diaper bag/pump/etc.

    Good luck - I'm rooting for ya!

  18. Pumping from work can def be done! i went back this week and hauled my big ass pump to work with me. Luckily we have a fridge downstairs so I just pump and store it in the fridge til it's time to go home. all my coworkers tease me and give me grief, it's fun. You can do it!
    I would kill to be a stay at home mom too, but we can't afford it right now. i can't complain too much cause i'm only working 2.5-3 days a week. Def better than full time. I'll be happy for you if you get to stay at home!

  19. oh and yes I clean my pumpy parts after every pump. Just hot water and a little palmolive. easy peasy.

  20. They sure do grow up so fast. My daughter is going to be four in July. I seems like yesterday that we brought her home from the hospital. I have memories of her sitting in the living room in her cloth diaper and not much bigger than my forearm.
    By the way if anybody is interested in cloth diapers go to http://www.monkeybunz.com they have great prices.

  21. The pics of Truman in that frog hat are killing me!!! He is just too much!
    You have such a great attitude about going back to work, and you should feel so proud of yourself for how well you are taking care of your family, at home, and at work. Enjoy your last few days, and good luck next week. I have no doubt you will get into a rhythm and it will all work out great.


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