As I sit in the back room, sewing cloth wipes and working on hemming work pants, I'm listening to Pandora. And just like a girl new in love, or after a breakup, every song seems written especially for this moment in my life. They pull my thoughts back to Adelaide each in their own way. She's at daycare for another two hours this morning.
I'm trying to stay busy, but then songs like this come on and make me think of the amazing connection a mother and daughter have. That me and Adelaide have.
This week has been a roller coaster of emotions for me. My little Adelaide began transitioning to daycare all week. For the past two months, we've been going in for visits. Twice a week for at least an hour each visit. We played with the toys, we interacted with the teachers and the other babies. She got to experience her classroom and started forming a relationship with the people in it.
October 10th is my start date at work, but since Adelaide is pretty sensitive, her teacher and I decided to begin the daycare transition two weeks beforehand. Monday was her (our) first day. Kevin and I both got up early, got ready, and drove to the daycare in separate cars. He will be the one to drop her off in the mornings, but I wanted to go and help him get used to the routine, too, since he hasn't been visiting with us, and it's all new to him.
We have to drop Adelaide off in a different classroom with a whole new teacher for her first 15 or so minutes, until Mrs. R gets there. Adelaide wasn't used to this new teacher, but she did wonderfully. The new teacher held her, rocked her, cooed to her, and Adelaide cried for only a few minutes. Over the next two hours, I walked around the grocery store and piddled at home, trying to distract myself from this process. I cried a lot. At 9:30, I went to get her and she was burrowed into Mrs. R's chest, sleeping but crying in her sleep. It broke my heart. And I went to pick her up, she cried pretty hard for me for a few minutes. Kevin says it's her way of saying I missed you.
Tuesday the drop-off was even better. Showed Kevin how to fill out the sign-in sheet, restock the diapers and wetbag, put the milk in the fridge, etc. Another two hours. Went to pick her up, peeked in the room, and saw my baby playing in the corner, babbling and chewing on a plastic taco. She looked very content, even when both teachers weren't paying attention to her. I stood there and smiled, trying not to cry from happiness, soaking up the moment. She did cry a little when she crawled to me, but as soon as she was in my arms, we were both okay.
Wednesday was until 10:30 a.m. We both did really well that day. The image of her playing stayed fresh in my mind, and when I went to pick her up, there was no crying at all.
Thursday, yesterday, apparently was an off day for both of us again. I tell you, it's a roller coaster. We both cried off and on until 11 a.m. She was pretty clingy last night. She is also beginning to HATE the car seat. I think she's making a connection between it and Mommy/Daddy leaving.
Today she will be there until noon. She hasn't slept there but for maybe 10 minutes all week, but today she will probably knock out at some point. She is still a horrible night-sleeper, up last night at 4 a.m. ready to go. I was able to put her back down from 6 a.m. for a quick thirty minute nap, so I'm sure she will be exhausted before long. Hopefully, also, she'll drink more than 2 ounces of milk, like she has been doing for her morning feeding. Yesterday I brought half a banana for her to eat and of course she gobbled it up, but I didn't think to do that for today.
This has been such a difficult process. There has been so much that I wanted to get done with this "free" time when Adelaide's at daycare, before I go back to work. But really, it's difficult to do anything when I'm obsessing over what Adelaide's doing. All the cute faces, the new sounds she's making everyday. The way she tilts her head or holds her hand out to wave. And as of Wednesday, possibly starting to walk (she took 2 steps!!!).
I am excited to get back into the classroom and teach. Pinterest has reawakened my creative spirit and renewed my desire to teach fun art projects. I'm not so excited to get back into the school as a whole, as I usually get stressed dealing with all the other stuff that comes along with teaching, including dealing with other adults. This year my schedule will be even more fast-paced than ever before. I'll have to find time to run down to the conference room to pump twice a day on top of the crazy schedule. I've been assigned some pretty substantial tasks on my global committee, even though I wasn't there to speak up and say I haven't done this before. There is a new teacher evaluation form I'm not familiar with, a new online social network for teachers that I'm not familiar with, a website I have to create from scratch after losing my old one, and let's not forget 800 kids' names that I probably forgot over the past year that I'll have to relearn.
It'll be an adjustment. It will, in so many ways. I hope it won't take long for us to figure this whole new way of life out. Right now it feels unnatural to be apart from my baby girl. I miss her so bad. And I did so good this morning dropping her off, but in this moment tears are welling because I wish beyond wishes that staying at home was an option, but it's not. Thankfully she's doing great, and hopefully she doesn't ever doubt this love we have for her.
This letter comes a week late. You turned 9 months old six days ago! We have less than three months until you're a year old, which blows my mind. With each month comes so many new things... I can't imagine what three more months will mean for your development and personality.
It's been a big month! You're now waving hello and goodbye, although you really just throw your hand up without moving it around. But it's the beginning of a wave at least.
You smile REALLY big when we sit out on the porch waiting for Daddy to come home and you see his Jeep pull up. You now recognize that the Jeep means Daddy is inside of it, and soon you will get hugs and kisses from him!
You've started to dance! Usually it's when you hear drum beats, but sometimes with music, too. You bounce your little booty up and down, and it's really cute!
You're talking up a storm these days. Well, you always have, but now instead of just vowel sounds, you say "Bah bah bah" and just last night you started saying "mah mah mah". Sometimes you also make a "kah kah kah" sound.
You love, love, love to play! Especially at night, right before bedtime. Although we should be making sure it's quiet-time, we can't pass up the fun rough-housing you like to do then! You crawl all over us, laughing and throwing yourself on top of us. It wears Momma and Daddy out, but we really love it.
Oh! And you give kisses! It's so sweet! If either Momma or Daddy says "Kisses", you will lean your head in so that we can smooch on you. You haven't connected your mouth with the act of kissing yet, but that is how you kiss for now. We'll take it!
Finally, just three days ago, you started going to school (day care) all by yourself for a little bit in the mornings. The first day was just a couple of hours, but you and Momma both cried a lot. We really missed each other. We're not used to being apart. The second day was a lot better. We were better rested, and knew what to expect. You cried a little bit when we left, but when I came to pick you up, you were playing and babbling, happy as can be! And finally, the third day (today) was really good, too. I missed you incredibly, as you were at school for three whole hours, but you were calm when I came to pick you up. You'd eaten a rice cake and drank some of your milk, and had played a lot. You were ready for a nap when you got home!
I think you'll be great at school. I only wish I could be there so I could see all the cute things you do. I'm jealous of your teachers, but I know we'll be used to this routine and separation soon. I wish there was a way I could stay home with you always, but this is the way it has to be, for now.
I love you so much, little one. My heart is so big now that you're in it. You're my whole world now. I hope you can feel just how much you mean to me.
Here's the video we took of Adelaide enjoying the xylophone at the Musical Petting Zoo on Saturday. She's completely adorable, loving the sounds of the instruments, and doing her awesomely sweet head tilt. Love this girl!
Labor Day weekend, my father-in-law called to offer us a free room at a friend's cabin for a couple nights. We had another Bradley class reunion that Saturday morning, but decided why not? A free mountain vacation? Yes, please!
The Bradley reunion was awesome, of course. Seven different families tied together because we all had our babies within a couple months of each other. And of course all our babies are amazing. In May, at our first reunion, our babies were still practicing tummy time. Now, they are crawling and cruising all over the place! Next time, they will be walking, and then talking! Gah!
Anyhow, it was great to get away for the weekend. The type-A part of me (a really big part) freaked out with such short notice, but it worked out fine, even if we did leave the house a mess. The drive was great - Adelaide seemed pretty content. It was only just over 2 hours to get there. Not bad at all!
It was nice to hang out with family and visit with my pregnant sister-in-law. It was crazy crowded in downtown Boone, so even though it was my first visit there, we pretty much stayed at the house. We did venture down to the grocery store to get ingredients for a very tasty vegan pizza that has become my most favorite pizza to date. I may do a Yummy Monday post on that sometime!
Adelaide was pretty clingy the whole weekend. Don't know if it was because she was a little sick, or if it was because we were in a new place with semi-unfamiliar people. Either way, I could barely leave her side. Made it a little less relaxing, but all the same, it was great to get away.
The house had an amazing view, as you can see in the photos. It was a mile high. The guy who owns it lets friends and friends of friends stay there for free. Oh, to have that kind of money! I'd live there year-round, it's so nice.
I'm always on the lookout for fun, free things to do with Adelaide. Becoming a mother has opened me up to doing new things, so that I can show Adelaide the world and help her mind grow and reach outward towards things that she otherwise wouldn't be exposed to.
This past Saturday a big children's library in Charlotte, Imaginon, hosted a "Musical Petting Zoo." Members from the local symphony came with instruments that the children could try out and play. I'd never been to Imaginon, and had always wanted to check it out, so this seemed like a double score for us!
The section of the library with the instruments was pretty small and crowded, and LOUD. But Adelaide got to touch and experiment with some of the instruments (obviously not the cello or trombone!).
She had a blast! She checked out the cymbals, triangles, tambourine, and xylophone. The xylophone was by far the favorite. It was beautiful, sounded beautiful, and was easy for Adelaide to get really pretty music from it. She's started doing this really sweet head tilt when she's happy and smiling, and you can kind of see it in the xylophone photo.
The library is geared towards children, so there was a lot of other fun things to check out. We played in the play area, put on a show in the puppet theater, and nursed in the bathroom. Yes, even a place made especially for children only had one quiet spot for nursing mothers: an armchair in the restroom. At least it was a (somewhat) comfy chair. It did the job, at least!
Oh my, does time sure go by fast. I can't believe it's been over a week since my last post. Almost two! With my laptop being out of commission and me gearing up (whether mentally or in the physical sense) for returning to work next month, I just don't find the time to sit in the back room on my husband's computer to do much of anything online. Or maybe I've realized that my priorities have shifted for the moment. That preparing for the inevitable and getting used to new routines is what's most important now? I think that's it.
I'm trying to go to bed much earlier, since Adelaide's sleep is SO unpredictable, horrible, sporadic at night. In a month, morning naps will only exist on the weekends, and so much more will be expected of me whether I got 4 hours or 6 hours of sleep. (Any more than 6 really will be miraculous.) It's hard to let things around the house go in order to make myself get to bed just a couple hours after Adelaide, instead of waiting until she wakes up (the first time, usually 3 hours after going down). But I know it's what I'll have to do, so I'm starting now to get used to it. In a couple of weeks, I'll deny myself my morning naps, to give myself time to adjust to living without them.
I've also been doing a lot of research, when I can, about things that I can do to manage my time better. Already I feel that I don't have enough time to take care of Adelaide, take care of myself, have healthy food cooked, keep the house clean, and then maybe have time for my husband (forget crafting, reading, etc.)! I am anxious over not having enough time for all of that, plus having a full-time job. So I've been brainstorming ways to make things easier. I'll share those later.
Adelaide is SO SWEET! For the past two weeks, she has been standing independently, so proud of herself. She's up to a minute or more sometimes. Her toes curl in like she's gripping the floor, and it's so cute! She can even bend down to pick something up and stand back up without falling. She can stand herself up from a seated position as well!
She's also been "sharing"! If she has something she's gnawing on, and I come close and smack my lips, she'll hold it out to my mouth. It's usually pretty gross and covered in slobber, but I always say "thank you for sharing"!
AND, she gives kisses! If I make kissy sounds, and say "kisses?", she'll lean her head in so I can kiss her. No lips yet, but to me, she's giving kisses and it's the most adorable thing ever. I can't wait until she hugs, too, but I'm enjoying these first sweet moments of affection.
I'll write more later. I'd love to hear what you're all up to! Enjoying the slightly cooler weather? Any special moments? Please share!
How wonderful that Fall is just around the corner! I think Fall is my favorite season, followed closely by spring.
I love the crisp air, the cool weather, the beautiful leaves changing color. I love the breezes that flow through the trees, the option to wear layers and cardigans (oh, cardigans: I've missed you so!). I love being able to shut off the air conditioner, and the month(s) that we can open the windows and doors before winter comes knocking. The fresh air, clearing out the stuffy summer air. I love long walks in the middle of the day without feeling like you're going to have a heat stroke. I just love it love it love it. My favorite season.
This will be Adelaide's first Fall. I will have to make sure to introduce her to red and orange leaves, letting her play outside and watch them float down from the trees. In our yard, we have trees that drop layers and layers of leaves for months. Just when Kevin has raked/mowed them up, our grass will be blanketed in a sea of warm colors within the week.
What's your favorite season? Are you happy it's almost Fall?