My parents were in town the last few days to visit and help out again. Mom made us a ton of food (again), and we have way more than we can possibly eat. Luckily I married a man who is ready to take on that challenge, and my child seems to be following in his daddy's footsteps (to update Monday's post, Marshall is now 11 pounds, 4 ounces at one month old), so I need to eat a lot too. We're set for a few weeks, though, now!
This week has also been my first week at home with Marshall while Terry is back at work. The anticipation of being on my own with the baby was far worse than the actual event. I've said it before, but we have a pretty easy baby. and I'm lucky to have this time with him. Here's what I was nervous about:
- Logistics of running errands, since I'm still recovering and shouldn't be lifting anything heavier than the baby. How would I get the baby to the car (we live on the third floor)? How would I get the heavy BOB stroller out of the car? How would I juggle anything I needed to buy?
- Managing my emotions. Thankfully, I've been feeling MUCH better since about the two week mark, and I'm not a total wreck anymore. But still, being alone with a baby is tough when you're new at it--and he's new at it too! We're both figuring each other out, so I was a little apprehensive about how I would handle any bouts of fussiness or major spitting up incidents without losing my cool.
- What the heck do I do with him for ten hours? I felt like the days with Terry home flew, but I assumed the hours would drag once Terry was back at work. How would I entertain Marshall that long? Would I be able to go to the bathroom? Where would I put him down to take care of small tasks around the house?
- Dealing with the nighttime feedings and changes on my own. Terry is more than willing to get up if I need him, but he has to get up at 6 am to go to work, so I have been trying to take over the nighttime stuff. It's hard, but every time I put Marshall back down to sleep I feel a little proud of myself for not waking Terry. Baby steps.
Luckily, I need not have worried. To get to the car, I strapped Marshall into our Ergo carrier and walked down with my diaper bag. We just leave the car seat in the car, and I strap him in when I get down there. Lifting the stroller out of the car (and lifting the car seat into the stroller) are things I shouldn't be doing, but there really isn't a way to avoid it at this point. Thankfully, I feel no pain and have kept it to one or two errands daily.
I'm so surprised at how I've kept my sense of humor about the stress that comes with having a baby. I think when Terry was home, I was more likely to panic or get upset because I had the luxury of doing so. Terry was there, so I could get annoyed at all the spit up and hand him the baby. But now that he's gone, I just laugh and clean up later. I think Marshall's taking it as a challenge, though, because he's becoming more creative in the amount and distance of the spit up.
Turns out ten hours passes almost as quickly with or without Terry. Here's a look at what I think might become our "routine," even though most of it gets disrupted anyway:
- Sleep/snuggle/nurse until about 8 am
- Get Marshall dressed
- Play in Marshall's room--tummy time, reading, lots of time on his activity mat (I tidy up his room a little too)
- Mom grabs breakfast while Marshall hangs out
- Mom gets ready, singing and talking to Marshall (sometimes I get to put on makeup and do my hair, some days not so much)
- Get out of the house--go for a walk or to the park or somewhere with fresh air (note: leaving the house actually takes about an hour and a half, which is generally twice as long as the actual outing)
It took me no less than two hours to get ready to leave the house to go to the park for a walk.
- Run an errand or two, maybe stopping back at home first, maybe not
- Late afternoon is Marshall's cluster feeding time, so he usually wants to eat every hour. I am learning to settle in, relax, play with him or snuggle between feedings, and just roll with it
Terry will usually arrive home around 5:30 or 6, and then he gets to hang out with Marshall while I fix dinner or get to the household stuff I didn't do during the day. So far it's a good system!
We have quite a few summer activities planned now that Marshall is here and we're adjusting. My brother and Ashley will be here this afternoon through the weekend, and we are SO excited for them to meet their nephew! We have a few fun outings planned, like a walk at the beach, a restaurant or two, and lots of bonding time for Marshall with his Aunt and Uncle!
Fourth of July will be pretty mellow, but we're hoping to make it up to my friend's parents' house for a party. I'm just counting down to Terry's three day weekend! (Granted, he gets every other Friday off anyway, but still.)
We have two weddings in the next two months! The first one is at UCLA and will be our first outing "without" Marshall, as long as giving him the bottle goes well this week! The second wedding is in August and up the coast a bit, so my parents will be coming down to babysit Marshall in the hotel while we attend the wedding. I'm also a bridesmaid in that one, so again we really hope bottle feeding is a success!
And toward the end of the summer Terry and I are planning to drive up north for Marshall's first trip to meet a few more people on my side of the family. It'll be a long trip when we stop to feed and give Marshall a break from his car seat, but we're excited to see everyone!
That's it for now. I'll be back next week with some recent meals and (hopefully) Marshall's birth story. Yikes.