- Bounces up and down on her crib mattress. She’ll actually do this if I say “Bouncy Bouncy!” She’ll look at me with a huge smile on her face and start bouncing. This is probably not a great idea to encourage her to do this, but for now I’ll go with it.
- “Daddy” is coming along much clearer. She used to just say “Dada” but she’s now making the “E” sound at the end!
- Pets the doggies REALLY nicely now. Pats them softly on the head only OCCASIONALLY pulling their fur. Such nice, patient little doggies we have.
- We are BACK TO EATING BROCCOLI CHEDDAR BITES! Yay!!! She ate 2 whole bites one morning for breakfast (used to only eat part of one a long time ago, after I baked them originally)!
- Chows down on yogurt + cinnamon. She’s also up to downing an entire (completely peeled) mandarin orange at breakfast and really loves popping plain simmered peas and sweet corn kernels (no seasonings or anything).
- She’ll now eat the Happy Baby Rice Cakes that I got her a few weeks ago, too. I think eating crunchy wafers (like those Happy Baby Teething Wafers) and the rice cakes have gotten her more accustomed to the texture, so eating the Broccoli-Cheddar bites wasn’t as unfamiliar.
- Plays tug of war with Mei Mei as she holds onto her rope toy
- She picks out her books to read for story time. I usually default to “Won’t You Be My Hugaroo” and “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” for our pre-nap story, but lately she has been pointing to other books for me to read instead. Like, today she pointed and reached for “Count My Kisses, Little One” because she didn’t want me to read the Caterpillar.
- She discovered a baggie full of pacifiers that she never liked. Now she’s found minutes and minutes of happiness rifling through them and try them all out, spitting each one out trying a new one out, spit it out, repeat. She gave one to Mei Mei and Mei Mei actually liked it and kept it in her mouth haha… Yes yes, we washed it off.
- Here’s looking at you, Daddy! When daddy winks at her from across the breakfast table, Jia does her version of winking back. It’s just the cutest thing ever, she scrunches up her nose and squints both of her eyes. I’ll have to try to catch that on camera somehow.
- I’m pretty sure I’ve written this each WSDW post for the past month, but: This time is very bitter-sweet. We are coming up on Jia’s 1 year this Saturday (Valentine’s Day) from when we went to the hospital for Jia’s delivery. It’s like this article on Babble said:
“a part of you wants them to be little forever, but that other part is so excited to see what’s next.” Lauren Jimeson, Babble.com
- After Jia weans from nursing, whenever that may be, I wonder if I will lose my identity a little bit. Sure I’ll always be “Jia’s Mom,” but for every day the past 365 days (on February 16th), Jia has needed me to eat, so my role has been her ‘provider.’ It’s been only me who could give her that nourishment and I have essentially been irreplaceable. But when she weans away from nursing, she won’t need me in the same sense of the word. Sure, she’ll probably still be just attached to me as she has been, but I won’t physically fulfill the same purpose as I do as I’m writing this. Any words of advice from moms who’ve weaned?
- At the end of this month, I’ll be traveling to Philadelphia to do some nurse consulting work at Temple University Hospital. So in preparation, I called my local rep from La Leche League International. I wanted to know what logistics to consider with leaving town and staying in a hotel and working 12.5 hour days, regarding pumping, storing, freezing, transporting milk. (Thanks Staci for your helpful advice, too!) Amy congratulated me for making it to 12 months breastfeeding, acknowledging that I am part of the small 10% of moms that make it this far. I brought up that I wanted to make it to 18 months at least, and that I don’t know what I’m going to do if and when she weans. I instantly started to get teary. This has been my purpose the last full year, to make it to 1 year of breastfeeding and to spend as much time with Jia as I could while she was tiny. Looks like we made it, princess. Now what?
- Work: Now that I’m coming up on 1 year, I have needed to evaluate where this leaves me with regards to employment. I have technically been “PRN” (as needed) at the hospital in the ICU and also PRN with my nurse consulting position. I started this blog, stemming from where my passion has evolved, and I’ve been able to reach a consistent hands-full of readers. I have spent every single day with Jia and I’ve breastfed her every day. So this last year to me has been absolutely worth the financial adjustment, as I accomplished everything I wanted. But, I know that when I return to work, I want that work to be meaningful, important, purposeful, and not make things harder on my family. I’ve had a VERY understanding and flexible boss back at the hospital, who I’m sure has lost all hopes of me returning full- or even let’s be real, part-time to the ICU (Moira, if you’re reading this or if someone tells you about this, I am so grateful). But, I have had a difficult time in figuring out if it makes sense to go back to 3- 12-hour shifts. Nurses know this means really, 3- 13 hour shifts, because after we’re done with shift report and make sure our charting is complete, it’s 8 PM (or AM). I know the nurses who do go back make it work, and they roll with it. I just want to figure out what my options are here:
- For one, 12- hour shifts would mean my mother-in-law would be with Jia from 10 AM (when Jeff would likely have to drop Jia off at her house) until who knows. I wouldn’t make it to her house after work until 8:30 PM which is an hour past bedtime, and once we drove home and bathed and got ready for bed it would be 9:30 PM. Nursing is not the type of work you can just say “peace out” at 5 PM to go pick up your kid.
- The alternative is she spends the night at her grandparents’ house 3 nights a week, wakes up with them those mornings. That’s a big responsibility/burden on them, too. And we would miss out on 3 entire days, Jeff wouldn’t get to see her at all (and neither would I) until the next day, after my shifts would be over for the week when I would pick her up. That means Jeff wouldn’t have seen her for 48 hours, for just one of my shifts (he gets home post-bedtime). If 3 in a row, he wouldn’t see her for 4 days straight. I mean, neither would I. We’re not OK with that.
- Option 3 is grandma watches Jia at our house from 8 AM until 8:30 PM when I get home. That means all feedings, naps, meals, bath time, bedtime. That’s a lot. That also means grandma comes the night BEFORE I have to work, to spend the night to be here in the morning, too. So essentially it would be (if I worked 3 shifts in a row, which doesn’t usually happen) 4 days of the week. This means grandma can’t have a life of her own. Grandma also substitute teaches on her free days, and goes to the gym, volunteers at the library, sees friends, etc. This would be taking a lot of time from her.
- Option 4 is day care. We didn’t look into day care. We didn’t think it made any sense, since my in-laws lived about 10 miles from us. We felt like it was an incredible waste of money to have strangers look after our baby if we had a set of parents a stone’s toss away. Also, Jeff really likes the fact that Jia hasn’t gotten sick at all, isn’t around dirty unvaccinated children, we control what she eats, and family gets to witness her “Firsts.” I don’t blame him, I agree. After 1 year, I don’t think it’s as big of a deal, but then again I’ve done NO research on day cares and I know they have waiting lists anyway. The process of researching centers kind of freaks me out.
- Oh and did I mention Jeff comes home from work at a consistent 9:30/10 PM nowadays due to the current “situation” at Microstrategy? So that is a very significant factor.
- So what’s the plan: Trying to figure out if there’s a normal-hours nursing job that I can get in pediatrics (outpatient) that is only a few days a week, meaning part-time at 24-ish hours (vs. 36 hospital nurse hours, vs 40 normal persons hours). There’s our peds clinic, so I’m waiting to hear on that one, and then there’s my other option – to try and get more hours with my consulting job that isn’t guaranteed hours, but they say they’re definitely going to need me a lot the next few months. So neither of those are really concrete, but I’ll take non-concrete for now. I’ll go to Philly and teach nurses how to put in devices for fecal incontinence and cross my fingers. My ICU job just seems to put a lot of pressure/needing a LOT of planning and rearranging of schedules for our family even though it’s only 2 or 3 days a week.
OK wow that was a lot, I think I’ll end it here.
This Saturday’s Sproutings post will be written by Jeff. It’ll be the first of his mini-series of Dad’s Posts. Hope you all enjoy it!
Til next week!