Thoughts on Those First Few Days

August 29, 2016

Well, I made it through my first few days back to work after maternity leave. I was able to start back working on a Wednesday, so I could ease back into working. I must say, I highly recommend it! Whether you go back on a part time basis that first week, or just start mid-week like I did, I really think it makes a difference. Jumping in full force right away isn’t exactly fun, so easing in is the way to go!

Luckily, returning to working full time isn’t nearly as difficult, from an emotional standpoint, after having a second child. When I started working after Grant was born, I went back when he was only 7 weeks old. I was starting a new job and the offer was either good right then, or never. We needed the cash flow, so I opted to start the job. It was the most whirlwind couple of weeks. I interviewed on a Friday morning, accepted the job Friday afternoon, and then started a full week later. We had to find childcare and make all sorts of arrangements. It was stressful to say the least.

Grant 3.5 months

I walked into a job where I knew no one. I had no friends there yet and I really didn’t want to be there. I’m pretty sure I almost quit about 5 times in the first month. I missed my little baby at home and just didn’t want to miss anything.

Luckily, we got into a groove and it just became the new normal. My mom and mother-in-law watched Grant so things were pretty seem less. I started to really like the job and people I was working with, so being a working mom didn’t totally suck.

Fast forward 2.5 years later, and I’m at it again. This time, it’s a lot different. I was able to take 12 weeks off instead of 7, which was amazing. I feel like I was mentally and physically ready to be back at the office. I compare it to the first day of school. You’ve been off all summer without a schedule, so the wake ups are tough. You want to go back and see your friends, but the work that goes with it all is less than exciting. Sure, a few more months would have been great, but I’m thankful to have had any time at all. I know there are plenty of moms who don’t get that privilege.

Mommy and Davis 2 months

I also know that being away from my kids is not going to damage the relationship I have with them. I truly thought leaving Grant that he would end up loving his grandparents more than me. Don’t get me wrong – I wanted him to be crazy about them too, but I selfishly wanted to be his #1. I definitely don’t need to worry about that. Coming hime from work, his eyes lit up every single day. They still do when I pick him up from school. It will be no different with Davis. The bond between a momma and her kiddos is unlike any other. No one can replace or replicate that – that I know for certain.

Now that I’m back, I just have to figure out the whole schedule part of it all because wow, it’s a ton of work. I did a much better job food prepping yesterday for the week ahead so hopefully we will not be eating out as much as last week.

Davis 3 Months

So ya, I guess that was all a long winded version of life is good around here. There will be plenty of bumps along the way I’m sure – kids getting sick, crazy schedules, etc. – but everything will be a-ok!

Grant: 2.5 Years

August 26, 2016

It’s been quite a while since I did an update on Grant, and since tomorrow is his 1/2 birthday, I think today is the perfect time!

Oh Grant, you sir are an absolute blast! I can’t tell you how many times your dad and I are in the front seat of the car, just cracking up at what you come up with.

Grant school

You are so incredibly happy just about all the times. I can count on one hand the number of true meltdowns you’ve had so far, and for that I am incredibly thankful. You are a very mild mannered kiddo with such a great disposition.

Grant sunglasses

This summer was a special one. You became a big brother to baby Davis! I was able to take 12 weeks off of work and had you at home with Davis and I part time throughout the summer. Overall, you did really well with the transition. There were a few days where you just really wanted all of my attention, but luckily it didn’t happen too often. You give your little brother so many kisses every day. I can’t wait to see you all start to play together.

grant big brother

You are back in school full time and are absolutely thriving, Grant. Your teachers love you there and are always laughing at the things you come up with. You love interacting with everyone that works there and are making lots of friends with your classmates. You are talking all the time, telling us about your day and the different things you did. To think we were worried about your speech development is laughable now. Once you started talking, you didn’t stop. You say so so many words and repeat EVERYTHING we say. It brings such a smile to our faces!

grant helmet

Grant, your favorite food is definitely the cheeseburger these days. You are always requesting to go to your favorite burger spot, BurgerFi, to get a “cheeburger and fren fries!”. No matter what meal it is, if we ask you what you want to eat, that is your response. You are a great eater and love eating as a family. We do our best to have dinner together and you love chatting with us the whole time.

grant childrens museum

You are still rocking 2T clothes but they are starting to get a little bit on the snug side. I think the transition to 3T clothes will start to happen between now and your 3rd birthday. You have big ole’ feet, just like your mom, and fit snuggly into size 8 shoes. You have some light up Lightning McQueen sandals that you think are the most fun – probably because they are!

Grant Home Depot

Speaking of Lightning McQueen, I am pretty sure you are his biggest fan! You love the movie Cars and play with your McQueen and Mater toys constantly. Your attention is split between those two guys, trains, and construction toys. Needless to say, you are the epitome of a crazy little boy and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

grant trains

We are attempting to dive into the world of potty training now, which I am *hoping* goes smoothly! You like to use the potty on your terms, which isn’t all the time. Daddy and I are hoping that with the added incentive of some Lightning McQueen underwear, we can get you to use it more regularly.

4thofJuly_4

I still am not sure how we got so lucky to have you in our lives. You are the best little 2.5 year old I could have ever been blessed with. I can’t wait to see what the next 6 months hold until you turn 3!!

Some Positives of Returning To Work After Maternity Leave

August 24, 2016

Today is my first day back at work after being off for 12 weeks for maternity leave. I am definitely not excited to be going back to the office and that has absolutely nothing to do with my job. I actually really like my position and love the people I work with. I just like my family more, no offense coworkers ;). I am doing my best to look at the upsides of being away from the house and have come up with a few to power me through the day until I get home to snuggle with Davis and give Grant loads of kisses.

Hot food

Eating a hot meal is much easier said than done while spending time with an infant. Each time I would warm something up, Davis would need to be held or would wake up from a nap. While I work, I can eat when I want to and have my lunch actually be warm. I also don’t have to scarf it down in fear the baby would wake up before I’m done.

Working out in the middle of the day

My office building has a gym that we have access to. I always workout during lunch to give myself a jolt of energy to power me through the afternoon. I am definitely looking forward to getting more consistent with weight training and being able to use the treadmill of needed. Office gyms are the best!

Wearing real clothes

I live in tank tops and shorts these days. I’m pretty sure I’ve done my hair a total of 5 times in the past 3 months. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to wearing clothes that aren’t elastic driven or that are conducive to nursing. It’ll be nice to get in some dresses that don’t button up the front for sure. My wardrobe is about to expand exponentially!

A quiet commute

I don’t work very far from home, but 10-15 minutes alone each morning to listen to music or talk on the phone without a toddler chatting or baby crying in the backseat will be glorious. Time in the car can be tough with young kids, so I am definitely looking forward to this snippet of time alone.

Chatting with adults

I’m really looking forward to chatting with my coworkers. Right now, my life revolves around feeding schedules, poopy diapers and nap time. Getting  to talk to some friends about what’s up with them will be great! It’ll be nice to see what all went on the past 3 months!

There ya have it – my glass half full mentality to returning to work. I’d much rather spend all of my time with my little family, but me working is the best option for us at the moment. That may change in coming years, but for now, I’ll find the positives!

What do you think are some benefits of returning back to work after maternity leave?

 

Spontaneity

August 22, 2016

Having young children tends to take some of the spontaneity out of things. We are constantly thinking about feeding schedules, bed times, and the overall mood of the kids. While a schedule is absolutely amazing for kids (I’m a HUGE advocate of this), doing things for the heck of it and just for fun is extremely needed as well. We took a little lesson from our own playbook this past Sunday and did just that – had a spontaneous trip to the beach!

Beach day August 2016

We were on our way home around 5pm on Sunday from the grocery, and from the backseat came a request to go to the beach. Grant loves the beach and we hadn’t been since the week before Davis was born – 3 whole months! Marcus looked at me and said how funny it would be if we actually went. I looked back at him and said hey, why not?! Let’s do it! Grant beach August 2016

We went home, unloaded all the groceries, and  then reloaded the car with our bare essentials for the beach – swimsuits, towels and snacks. We took the 30 minute drive over and set up shop for an hour! We didn’t plan dinner or what we would do when we actually got there. We just went!

Pass a grille Davis beach

As funny as it may sound, this was a huge breakthrough for us! It’s so easy to get caught up in the reasons you shouldn’t do something, no matter what you may be referring to. For us, a simple impromptu trip to the beach was extremely exhilarating and was just what we needed. Kids are absolutely amazing but being tied to a schedule isn’t always the best. Having just a few hours to just simply go and not be worried about bed time, when the baby needed to eat next or why we shouldn’t go was amazing. It was also Davis’ first beach day, which made it that much more special!

Davis beach August 2016

Our little trip was an awesome reminder that not everything has to be planned to a T to be fun. Throwing a schedule out the window can be good for the soul every now and then!

Grant Marcus beach

Do you tend to tie yourself to a schedule or do you live life spontaneously?

Activities to do With a Toddler While on Maternity Leave

August 19, 2016

Today is my last Friday before heading back to work after 12 glorious weeks off of work for maternity leave. While there was a decent amount of downtime, I also was pretty busy taking care of both a toddler and a newborn. It is completely different the second time around, as Grant is super busy and keeping him entertained is not always an easy feat! Here are a few things we did this summer to keep an active toddler happy!

The Splash Park

We have a few great splash parks close to us and were sure to visit them a few times during the week this past summer. We would always get there before the sun was too intense in the morning, or as it started to go down in the late afternoon. Grant LOVES water, so this was always so much fun for him. Water Park Splash Pad

The Children’s Museum

The Glazer Children’s Museum here in town was hands down our favorite place to go. There is so much to do there and one huge perk – it’s inside!! It’s also very affordable – just $100 for an annual pass for the whole family. I plan to do a post on all of the amazing things the museum has, so be on the look out there! I’ll link it up here once it is up and live :)

Grant Children's Museum

The Mall

We have a great play area at the mall, and would go and walk a loop around the mall for a little exercise before diving in. We only went in the morning when it was a bit less crowded so there were less germs and kids around. The days it was raining and nasty out were always a little tough at the play area because it was so busy! It only took us one rainy day to figure that one out!

Out to Lunch

This seems like a simple one, but you would be surprised what a treat it is for a toddler (and his mama!) to go to lunch and get out of the house. Grant loves “chee-burgers” and “chick-nuggets” so anytime he gets treated, he is all smiles!

Construction Sites

Grant is obsessed with construction. He absolutely loves anything having to do with demolition or building something new! We have stopped on the side of the road countless times to see the dump trucks, diggers, and cranes in action.

Grant Construction

Watched movies

Yea, I know – watching movies isn’t the best use of our time. However, sometimes popping in a movie was the only option if I had to feed Davis and Grant was being particularly clingy. We did our best not to rely on it too often, but hey – sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do!

The Zoo

We didn’t  frequent the zoo as much as I would have liked due to one reason and once reason alone – the heat. The zoo is super toasty so we went 2x throughout the summer. This would be a great option if you had some time off of work during some cooler months. There are fun rides and a splash park at our zoo as well, so after looking at the animals, we always head over for some more fun.

Zoo car

What places did you frequent while on maternity leave with more than one child at home?