Back to Work

I survived my first week as a working mother. I’m overly caffeinated most days and still tired, but I survived.

The hardest part, aside from leaving Alexander, has been figuring out how to fit everything in. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to and I realized that’s not the case. I can fit in everything that I want/need to do, but I just literally have no time for anything else.

I’m sure our routine will change as the days go on and we figure out what’s working and what’s not and of course, as Alexander gets older, but for now, this is what’s been working:

4am-ish: Feed Alexander

6:20am: My alarm goes off for the morning. I jump in the shower and pray that Alexander stays asleep. He usually will start to fuss, but not full-on cry so I leave him in his crib so I can get dressed.

7:00am-8:00am: Feed Alexander and myself. Get all of his things ready for daycare. The daycare we use provides formula and diapers (!!), so I just need to bring clean bottles and two changes of clothing. He has a pacifier that he leaves there.

8:10ish – Strap Alexander into his car seat and leave the house.  The first day I went back, it was pouring rain.  That was awesome.  I was stopped at a red light during this picture, by the way.

Rain

8:40- arrive at daycare. Drop him off.

8:50 – sometimes this happens:

Starbucks

My office moved locations while I was on maternity leave.  The new office is about 10 minutes from the old office and conveniently located directly next to a Starbucks.  It’s also much closer to a super nice Whole Foods.  My wallet is crying.

9:00: start my work day

6:00 – leave work

6:10- pick up Alexander. I really look forward to this. Picking him up is way more fun than dropping him off!

6:45ish – arrive at home. Jason feeds Alexander.

7-8: If I want to work out that day, I will. I’ve been doing the Couch to 10K program to try to get back into running shape. And by “doing,” I mean I’ve done it once. If I don’t workout, I’ll walk Murphy around the block, which takes about 20 minutes.

8: Make dinner. I’ve been trying to do all my prep work on the weekends so I don’t feel like I only have time for frozen pizza for dinner. I’m aiming to cook two meals a week. Baby steps. This week we had Indian Tofu Curry and Portobello Polenta Bowls. Eat dinner.

Indian curry

 

Polenta bowl

9:00 – Wash bottles. Prepare formula for overnight and the next morning. Do the dishes. (Jason unloads them in the morning.) If Alexander needs a bath, this is when he’ll get it. At this point, I’ll probably start whining about how tired I am.

10:00 – Either Jason or I will feed Alexander. I usually put him to sleep around 10:30 or 11.

11-11:30 – go to sleep

Repeat x 4 and hope that Friday gets here quickly!

Double the Festivals

If you’ve read my blog in the past, you know that festivals are huge in Atlanta and one of my favorite things to do when it gets warm out.  Here it is the first weekend in April and the festivals are already going strong.  We managed to go to two this weekend.

First up – the Beltline Boil.  This was a new festival – more of a crawfish tasting really.  It was in the Old Fourth Ward Park on the Beltline, which is basically a big paved trail that goes all through town and was built in the past few years.

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We went with our friends Joan and Sean, who live walking distance from the park.  This festival featured nine Atlanta restaurants giving away samples of their version of a low country boil.  We got there when it started, so we wouldn’t miss out of the food.

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Can we talk about how he is wearing jeans?  So cute!  And I have been obsessed with him wearing that sweater since before he was born.  This was probably the one and only time he’ll wear it.  Before you have a baby, you don’t really realize the importance of buying certain sizes in certain seasons.  If you have a small baby born in January, for example, this 0-3 Old Navy (which runs big) sweater isn’t going to get a lot of use before it gets warm out.

And speaking of warm, when we got to the festival, it was in the 50s.  Two hours later, it was probably 80.  I was not prepared and despite being in a hooded stroller and putting a towel on his head while I fed him, my baby got some sun on his face and I feel like a terrible mother.  Needless to say, a sun bonnet was purchased shortly after we got home.

I digress.  Back to the crawfish.

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Creepy, no?

I was pretty skeeved out by the crawfish, but I did eat some shrimp, corn, mussels and potatoes.  You could vote on your favorite restaurant and the one with the most votes would be awarded some money to a charity of their choice.  My top three restaurant favorites were 4th and Swift, Bantam Pub and Loca Luna.  A quick peek on their facebook page just now told that Bantam Pub was the winner.  I’ve never even heard of it before, but now it’s on my to-go list.  That’ll probably happen in about, oh 5 years.  Oh, how life has changed.

Getting their early was really smart because it started to get crowded and the lines for the various samples were really long.  There was a stage with music, but we didn’t really pay much attention to the bands.  We left around 3.

On the drive home, we decided to stop at another festival – the Spring Festival on Ponce.  It was on our way home, so why not?

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Yup, festival season is in full effect.  And, unlike Bantam Pub, we can go with a baby.  Speaking of baby, mine just woke up.

Finding a Baby Carrier

As a first-time mom, figuring out what exactly you need for a baby is tough.  Sure, there are all sorts of guides out there (I liked Lucie’s List for any of you that might be reading that are currently pregnant) and you can always ask friends for opinions, but so much of it is dependent on personal preference.  I registered for a bunch of Avent bottles based on a friend’s recommendation.  Alexander hated them.  Now we use Dr. Browns.

I knew that I wanted some sort of baby carrier.  Based on my limited internet research, I ended up registering for both the Moby Wrap and the Ergo.  My rationale for registering for two different types was that the Moby would be better to wear around the house, while the Ergo would be more for adventures outside.

I got the Moby as a gift.  It sat in Alexander’s room for a while waiting for him to get big enough to use it.  When he was about 7.5 lbs, I decided to give it a whirl.  For those that aren’t familiar, the Moby is literally a long piece of fabric.  I’d heard a lot of good things about it and figured how hard could it be?  Umm, very hard.  After watching numerous Youtube videos, I kind of figured it out, but I never felt like I was doing it right.

Moby

I’m pretty sure I had it on correctly, but he never felt secure to me.  I watched more videos, posted questions on Facebook and even went to a babywearing group meeting to try to figure it out.  But after a while, I realized, it just wasn’t for me.

A friend of mine lent me a Maya Ring Sling.  This definitely felt more secure than the Moby but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to buy one for myself.  (I don’t think I have him in there correctly in that picture, btw.)

Ring sling

I figured that I’d just buy an Ergo but then another friend let me try her Beco Gemini and I really liked it.  It’s a structured carrier like the Ergo, but unlike the Ergo, you don’t need an infant insert for smaller babies.  Babies can also face forward.

Beco gemini

It’s not cheap (but neither is the Ergo) but I think it’s worth it.  Babywearing makes things so much easier.  Now I can take Alexander with me when I walk Murphy.  (I couldn’t with the stroller because Murphy pulls hard.)  I can take him to Kroger or Target without lugging the car seat into the store.  Basically, I can have full use of my hands again.

For those of you who have absolutely no interest in babywearing or are wondering why I’d post so many unflattering, makeup-less selfies, umm, here’s a picture of some peppers.  And a PSA not to use green peppers when making a roasted red pepper soup.

Peppers

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