Change

IMG_1382 IMG_1384 IMG_1385 IMG_1390Well, yesterday was the big day. Leah’s first day of daycare and my first day back at work. All weekend it still felt surreal that, come Monday morning, I would be going back to work and I would be dropping Leah off in the care of others, essentially, in the care of strangers. Monday morning came and I felt physically ill. With our new normal routine, hubs will drop Leah off at daycare every morning at 8 am (the church daycare is literally down the street from his office) while I go straight to work and then I will leave work at 1 pm and will go and pick Leah up. However, since it was her first day, I wanted to go with hubs to drop her off and officially meet her teachers. Whether or not this was a good idea is still unknown. Physically handing over my baby to someone else, seeing her look at me with her huge, adorable smile, and then turning around and walking away was heart breaking. I literally felt like I ripped a piece of myself off and left it in that room as I walked away. Somehow, I managed to hold back my tears until I kissed her goodbye and walked out the door. And then I let loose. Brett was a sweetheart, holding my hand and letting me have a good cry as I shakily said, “It’s just so hard.” He squeezed my hand, gave me a hug and I knew he understood. And then he physically walked me to my car, opened my door, and watched me turn the car on, ensuring that I actually did go to work instead of sitting in the parking lot and crying for the next hour. Which might have been my plan. And I’ll be honest, once I was back at work, engaged with my coworkers and the job I love, the morning flew by and before I knew it, it was time to get in the car and head back to the daycare. And seeing her smile when I walked in the room? Well, you better believe my heart just melted. So, this is new, this is change, this is hard, but I can do it. I don’t plan on working forever, but for now I know I’m doing what’s best for our family. And being at the hospital, working with the patients, my heart is there; even if a bit of it is left behind with Leah everyday.

On a much happier note, I was so excited to be able to spend some time with my old college roommate when hubs and I were in NY for Christmas. It was so crazy how it worked out, how Steph and her family just happened to be in hubs’ small hometown for a friend’s ordination the day after we arrived. I was psyched to see her little guy Niko with Leah. It is just so crazy to see a good friend, one you have known for over 5 years and being like, “Man, here we are, together with our husbands and CHILDREN.” Such a crazy, awesome feeling. Also, I have to note, I owe this girl a lot since she is basically responsible for my marriage. Steph and I were both in a class with hubs our sophomore year of college and she was the one who befriended him first. Since she was my best friend, I got to know Brett as well over the year, but if it wasn’t for her….I really doubt our friendship ever would have begun (sorry hubs). So Steph, thanks for talking to that cute blonde boy with the dimples. I owe you.

Fear

photoWhen I was younger I always figured I would be a stay at home mom. And yet, I also desired to be a child life specialist at a children’s hospital. In my mind the two would be separate, I would work for a few years and then have a baby and stay home forever, filling my days with cooking, cleaning and running my 12 children to soccer practice. (Yes, I wanted to have a dozen kids when I was younger). But then I grew up and my life was filled with real issues like paying for health insurance, buying a home, and paying back the ever dreaded student loans.

While I was pregnant, and after Leah was born, Brett and I talked a lot about what was best for our family. I love, love, love my job, but I also love my daughter more than anything else in the world and if I had a choice between my dream job and my dream baby, the baby wins hands down every time. But giving up my job all together isn’t possible for our family right now. Not only does working at a hospital give us amazing health insurance (which I hesitate to give up) but hubs and I are in the process of buying a home (hopefully) very soon and we could use all the extra cash we can get right now. So, for the time being, I will be going back to work in January. Luckily for me, I have a wonderful job at a wonderful hospital and when I called my boss back in October and said that, not only was I planning on extending my maternity leave, but I was also going to cut back on my hours, she happily said “Not a problem.”

Then came the important question; where will we put Leah when I go back to work? A private nanny was out of the question and we have no family in the area, so our only option was daycare. As a teenager I worked at a few daycares. Some where amazing and some made me think that I would never put my children in a daycare. So going into this process hubs and I knew we were going to be picky. Last Monday we set off for a visit at, what I thought would be, our first choice daycare. However, during our visit we witnessed something horrific that made me leave in tears and we quickly crossed that daycare off our list. Hubs suggested we look at a Christian daycare center down the street from his office and we made an appointment to meet with the director the next day. We felt so much better about this facility, but they typically have long wait lists. We were blessed, however, and 3 days after our visit we got a call from the director saying they could make a space for Leah starting in January.

That same day we received the call, the horrific shooting at the CT elementary school took place. As I sat there, watching the footage in tears, all I could think of were those parents who had dropped their children off at school with a kiss, a hug and a certainty that their child would be safe and cared for at school. Only something horrible and unfathomable happened and those children were stolen from their parents. And my heart breaks for them.

I’m terrified at the thought of leaving Leah in someone else’s care. The daycare showed us their strong security measures, locked doors with keypads needing codes punched in to enter, but we all know that terrible things can happen where they’re least expected. I feel certain about this daycare. I truly believe that Brett and I were meant to witness what we did at the first daycare in order to realize that Leah is meant to be elsewhere. I love the church daycare and the sweet older women who work in the infant room. When I drop Leah off in the mornings I do so with the knowledge that she is going to be loved and cuddled by those sweet ladies until I pick her up a few hours later. I know she will be loved and cared for there, but I cannot know with 100% certainty that she will be safe. And that’s what kills me because, as a mother, I would never intentionally put her in harms way.

But here’s the thing: come January I will drop my daughter off and trust that she will be kept safe. And although I know for a fact that I will cry all the way to work that first day, I also know that it will get better. I can’t live my life in fear and (unfortunately) I can’t keep Leah safe in a sling attached to my body until she’s 18. Whether it’s daycare next month or preschool in 3 years, eventually I will need to leave her and trust that she will be okay. What happened in CT was sickening and unimaginable and I know the fear will be on my heart and mind for those first few weeks back at work. But I also know that I am not in control of my life, hubs life, or Leah’s life. God is. And you better believe I will be praying for her safety not only in daycare, but every year she is in school and beyond.

So daycare, I’m ready for you. I might cry more than my baby does when I drop her off, but I’m prepared to begin this next stage in our family’s life. That is, until hubs and I make our millions and I can quit my job and hang out with our dozen kids, of course.

Child life

I have mentioned my job as a child life specialist a few times on this blog. I love, love LOVE my job, but I also know that it’s an occupation that very few people know about. Maimonides Infants and Children’s Hospital in Brooklyn, NY made an amazing “Day in the Life” video of a child life specialist. I love it and I think it does a great job showing a “typical” day for a child life specialist. Check out the video and for more child life info click on over to my child life page!

 

 

 

Bahama Breezin’

I had the perfect Thursday night, consisting of wedding dress shopping with a good friend followed up with a delicious lemonade and flat bread dinner at Bahama Breeze. I love wedding dress shopping. Yes, it was fun when I was planning my own wedding, but I honestly think it’s even more exciting when you are helping a good friend dream up her perfect wedding day. There’s just something about getting caught up in someone else’s big moments that is infectious and I am looking forward to helping more in the month ahead. (And yes I know I’ll have a newborn at home and may be a tad bit occupied, but there’s always time for wedding planning on the side, right??)

The weekend is coming!! Happy almost Friday.

Cute as a button

My baby shower was adorable. My two amazing friends, Christine and Katie (pictured above) did an amazing job planning and executing the adorable theme of “cute as a button.” They showed up at my house on Saturday morning, kicking me and Brett out while they took over our house, decorating and setting up all of the amazingly delicious desserts they made for the event. I came back from a lovely lunch with hubs to the cutest back yard ever. Unfortunately the rain drove us inside about an hour into the shower, but we rolled with it. There were fun games, onesie decorating, and good conversation. And Lotsy, our wonderful clown from the children’s hospital, came over straight from work and I’m pretty sure Noodle is the only baby who has ever had a clown at her party before she was even born. Lucky, lucky girl.

My friends and family showered me with love and I was overwhelmed with their generosity. Baby girl now has most of her needed necessities, along with a whole wardrobe of adorable outfits. My mother-in-law made the trip down from NY and it was so great having her there. We were blessed to get to spend the whole weekend with her and I was so incredibly excited to open her gift of my highly sought after BOB jogging stroller. Can’t wait to take our little Noodle on many runs in the future!!

I’ll tell you what, it’s incredibly hard not to have my family live close by, but I am so blessed to have the most amazing friends who would do so much for me. It really is true that good friends become your family and I am a lucky girl to have the very best girl friends who will very soon become the very best aunties to our little girl!!

A Birthday, a crepe and a ring


Tomorrow is one of my best friend, Katie’s, birthday so me and the girls took her out for an early celebratory lunch today on Las Olas. She came with exciting news of her own, having gotten engaged over the weekend while she and her boyfriend were in Key West. Of course she kept the news from us for about 10 minutes, hiding her left hand under the table as she listened to us rattle on about boring work news she missed on Friday. But we sure were excited when she finally blurted out the news, in her casual manner of “oh yeah then we went on a bike ride and at the end he proposed.” No biggie. Best birthday gift ever, I’m sure. Happy Birthday Katie!!

Surprise Baby Shower


My super sweet nurses threw me a surprise baby shower at work today! I was so shocked and grateful that they took time out of their busy day to throw me a luncheon. And the food…oh man, I think I ate my weight in delicious sandwiches, pastries, fruit with chocolate dip, pita and hummus, cupcakes….and so on. And then, because I obviously didn’t eat enough there, I made up a plate of cupcakes and cookies to bring home. Because you can never have enough desserts. I wish I got a picture of me and all my nurses together, but sadly they were coming in and out the whole time since it was the middle of the day and they were a little busy actually doing their job of caring for patients. But I am so blessed to work with such an amazing and sweet bunch of people!! I’m going to miss them when I’m out on maternity leave!