...because it's one example of how we attempt to entertain our babies while working. Throw in a few more kids and this place would look exactly like a daycare center.
Today was my first day back to work from a very brief, eight-week maternity leave. While part of me was not at all ready to go back it was exciting immersing myself in my job again and using my partially -post-partum-addled brain. The hardest part was not playing with Way the entire time because today, one day before his two-month birthday, he found his laugh!
Back in April, I bragged about a mini-vacation that we'd planned to take in May. Roger's mom came to town earlier this week and she and Delaney and I went to stay at a local resort where Roger was speaking as part of our company's annual conference. At the close of that post in April, I said, "We may not be going far, but it'll still feel like a vacation to me."
Ha, ha, ha. How naiive and misguided that assumption was. It's true that we didn't go very far but other than ordering room service nothing about the last 24 hours felt like a vacation to me. Delaney and I cut our "trip" short and came back home last night, a day early.
This brief excursion was the first time she and I had spent the night away from home since she was born. So, it was kind of a big step for us, but I never thought of it that way throughout the planning process. She's such an easygoing, agreeable baby and she continually goes with the flow without comment or complaint that it never occurred to me that disrupting her schedule on such a grand scale would actually phase her. Uh. It did.
My parents came out to the resort last night so they could babysit Delaney while the three of us (Roger, me, his mom) attended the conference's infamous welcome reception. They watched her in Roger's room (we had separate rooms so that Roger could work late into the night, getting ready for his various speaking sessions over the three-day conference) and the plan was for them to put her to bed in the pack 'n' play and Roger would help me transfer her to a crib in my room when we got back from the party.
The reception, complete with open bar, was awesome. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the familiar faces of customers I've worked with over the last ten years and catching up with them while enjoying a couple of adult beverages. I even wore a sparkly new top and glittery shoes. A few people remarked on my weight loss. Another told me I looked great, as if I'd left my "mom persona" behind for the night. It felt so good to be out enjoying myself and not worrying about Delaney's needs for just a few hours. When we got back to the room, my mom told me that they were able to put Delaney down for bed without any trouble. It was easy, almost too easy, she said before she and my dad left. She was right.
While Delaney slept peacefully in the bedroom portion of Roger's suite we ordered room service and stayed up in the living room talking until about 11:30. Then, it began. I heard Delaney crying. But, it wasn't just any little cry. This was the cry of a confused, scared, desperate baby. She woke up and didn't recognize where she was and no one was there with her. Roger picked her up and tried to comfort her, but she was crying too hard, reaching for me and starting to hyperventilate. I was able to calm her down and soon we walked her back to my room. We got there at midnight and Roger put her in the crib where she seemed to settle down. But, as he and I were saying goodnight, she started crying again. Roger had to leave to finish some work for the morning. I told him to go that I'd get her back down and everything would be fine. What a joke.
She wouldn't settle down or stop crying or coughing for anything. We may have gotten a grand total of one hour of sleep that night. It was miserable. As bad as our previous rough night had been, this was so much worse because this time Roger wasn't with me to take turns with her. It was all on me and I was unbelieveably exhausted (she'd been up coughing a few times the last few nights so I wasn't getting as much sleep as I was used to).
We were supposed to stay one more night, but after careful consideration, I made the call to take her home last night. Roger and his mom stayed at hotel and Delaney and I returned home where she slept for 12 blissful hours. I think she just missed home and her bed and we'd taken her out of her comfort zone. But, as nice as it was to get her back to her routine for that night, getting her back to her regular schedule hasn't been that simple. She got off of her napping schedule too so now we're back to a little CIO to get her back on track. And? It sucks. I hate it and now I find it hard to believe that I'll ever get to or want to go on a "vacation" again.
I've got a meeting at the office today, my first in months. I used to go in for weekly meetings, but several months back, when Delaney became more mobile and it was harder for me to find a babysitter during the weekdays for her, I asked my boss if we could change our schedule to once a month meetings with phone conferences making up the difference. Luckily, he agreed. But, sometimes things would get busy for both of us and the montly meeting would get put off and next thing we knew, two or three months had passed.
So it's been a while since I've been there and I'm glad we're finally meeting today. It's strange, but I generally look forward to these meetings. It's not even the meetings or their content that I look forward to so much, but the chance to get out of the house and just be in an office setting for a few hours. I can visit with my coworkers, whom I never get to see, and by just being present I can get a vibe for what's happening, what's new and what's got everyone excited.
Now, don't misunderstand me. I am VERY happy to be working from home and wouldn't change that for the world. I'm incredibly lucky that my company has made that option available to me. But, every once in a while, it's nice to don something other than my mommy uniform of khakis and a black Tshirt, stop by Starbuck's for a latte on the way and then head to the office for discussions with adults that don't involve mentions of diapers, naptime and whether or not Delaney is walking yet. It's a welcome respite in my otherwise baby-centric days.
My only problem? If I don't wear khakis and a black T-shirt what on earth will I wear?
A year ago today, I left my full-time job one month before my due date to prepare for the arrival of my new baby and to become a stay-at-home-mom. And, about how I adore staying home with her. How I don't miss working full-time outside of the home at all. How fullfilled I am. And, that's all true. Every bit of it. I love staying home with Delaney and I wouldn't change a thing. But, I'm not going to get all philosophical about it like I originally planned.
Instead, I'm going to write about how my heart pounded out of my chest today when a daycare worker at the gym found me in the steamroom to tell me that Delaney was breaking out in hives again. They think she grabbed another kid's bottle and shoved it in her mouth. Yeah, that's right. She wouldn't ever take a bottle from me or her dad, but from some strange kid, well sure! Why not? I took the fastest shower of my life, threw my clothes on and ran to the daycare room with dripping wet hair only to find Delaney playing happily with blocks, no visible trace of hives on her. As it happens, one of the ladies washed Delaney's face after she broke out and that seemed to clear things up, thankfully.
This "dairy allergy" or whatever it is is so strange and troublesome. It almost seems as though she doesn't have to ingest dairy (or very much of it) to cause a reaction. If the dairy item just touches the skin around her mouth or her lips, out come the hives. I've never heard of or read about anything like it. I just keep hoping she'll outgrow this and I pray every day that she won't develop more serious allergies to things like peanuts or tree nuts. THAT would really freak me out.
And, I'm going to write about how tomorrow I'm going to a luncheon. At a restaurant. With adults. I'm going to wear a skirt and panty hose and shoes that aren't sneakers. I'm going to take a purse instead of a diaper bag and I'm going to do my best impression of an intelligent, interesting woman. Our financial advisor is hosting one of those silly luncheons, "Smart women finish rich." I'm only mildly interested in the topic, but I convinced a friend to join me (and convinced her mother to babysit!), and I think it'll be fun to be out in the world, amidst thinking women, enjoying a free lunch.
Now, if I could only remember where the heck my old pantyhose are...
I usually don't have to go into the office more than once every month or two for an assignments meeting, but today I needed to assist R. with a presentation. While I was gone, Delaney stayed home with her Nana and had lots of fun. R. and I had a great time working together again and we even had time for a lovely lunch.
It was nice getting to put on "professional" clothes and experiencing the office setting, watching everyone bustle about, doing business. But, the best part of going into the office? Getting to leave after only a few hours to go home to Delaney. I count my blessings every day that I'm able to be with her and also have the opportunity to work from home part-time. It's the best of both worlds and I love it.
I recently explained to my employer that it was becoming inconvenient for me and Delaney to go in to the office once per week for a face-to-face meeting. They wanted me to come in at 4:00 p.m and the meetings ususally ran for 1 - 1 1/2 hours, leaving us to fight rush-hour traffic to get home and disrupting Delaney's feeding schedule in the meantime. I told them that I could come in to the office once per month and we could have phone conferences during the other weeks. Happily, they agreed.
Yesterday was our first phone conference and, overall, it went well. But, I have to admit that it reminded me of that music video (was it Van Halen's?) about the phone sex worker. You know, the one where the guy's talking to this chick and he imagines she's this sexy beauty. When they flash over to the other side of the conversation, there's the phone sex chick: looking harried, wearing pajamas, holding a baby on her hip, smoking a cigarette and ironing, all while she talks dirty to the guy on the phone. Just a chick trying to earn a living.
While I wasn't talking sex to my employers, I wasn't smoking and I most certainly wasn't ironing, I fit the bill in every other way. There I was, trying my best to sound like a marketing professional in my pajamas while propping the phone up with my shoulder, holding Delaney with one hand and simultaneously checking my meeting notes and taking new notes with the other. Five minutes into our conversation, Delaney reached up and pressed buttons on the phone, disconnecting our meeting. I hurriedly called back only to discover that my employers were mid-conversation. They didn't even realize I had been disconnected until the receptionist patched me through on the other line. After we got the conversation back on track, we accomplished quite a bit.
I guess you don't necessarily need to be the epitome of a polished-looking professional to do a great job. Aparently, all I need is a telephone, something to write on and an adorable infant dangling from my arm.
I'll be receiving the first paycheck of my new "job" today. It'll be the first one I've received in five months, albeit, exponentially smaller than that last paycheck so many months ago. But, money's money and I'm just grateful to have the opportunity to make some while getting to stay home with Delaney. I haven't been clocking as many hours as I thought I would, but truthfully, I'm easing into this WAH thing. Some days are trickier than others when it comes to getting my "work" done while taking care of D at the same time. I'm still working to get her on a napping schedule, which should help both her and my time management. Some days the naps are successful. Some days they're not. She's not a major napper and loves being awake all day, afraid she might miss something if she sleeps. But, like everything else, we are learning and growing together, getting better at these things every day.