Life lately (according to my Iphone…)

Brett went out of town for a few days and Leah and I enjoyed some mommy and me time. We went on fro-yo dates and I made her sleep with me every night because I’m a baby and I was too scared to sleep alone.

Leah has developed a new “cheeeseee!” face and pictures will never be the same again. I am loving her little smile and poses in every picture we take these days.

Big news for South Florida-we finally got a Trader Joes!!!! Well, technically we’ve had one for awhile now, but it was all the way down in South Miami and as much as I love TJ’s, I couldn’t justify driving 45 minutes to grocery shop. Now, however, we have one only 15 minutes away and we take full advantage of the closeness!! Leah is obsessed with pushing the kid size grocery cart around and mommy is obsessed with the dark chocolate peanut butter cups…and cookie butter….and cowboy bark….and maple cookies. It’s like every pregnant woman’s dream in there.

The cat lady has enjoyed visits with the neighborhood cat. This cat (blacky? Shadow? I can never remember) isn’t exactly owned by anyone, but one of our neighbors lets it sleep in their garage and our other neighbor feeds him (her?) treats, so the cat basically belongs to the street. She has taking a strong liking to Leah and will follow us up and down the street when we go for evening strolls, rubbing up against Leah’s legs until she bends down and pets her. And our little animal lover here is obsessed with her and is so sad anytime we go out and the kitty is no where to be found (which isn’t often). And I just love how Leah has the sweetest little heart for any and all animals!

My child life co-workers threw me and the other pregger child lifers (Katie and Shannon) the CUTEST “Three Peas in a Pod” baby shower at work!! It was so incredibly sweet and all the food was delicious!! I had to leave in the middle to run and pick up Leah, but she came back in time to help me open gifts and snack on cake pops, so she wasn’t complaining!

Fall is coming to Florida!!! (maybe?) The last few days have brought “chilly” mornings and highs of only low 80’s which has made being outside and going on long walks MUCH more enjoyable!! The other day I decided to walk the 3 round trip miles to the grocery store with Leah to get a few necessities and I quickly learned that 83 degrees is still VERY hot for an 8 month pregnant lady pushing a stroller full of groceries, but I just can’t help it. The cool breeze is giving me hope that this hot, hot season is over!!

Lately Leah’s art projects look a lot like this. Who am I to question her artistic genius, even when it spreads itself all over the kitchen floor!? On that day she told me that she was drawing “pumpkins.”

Some of my very best friends took me out to the Cheesecake Factory to celebrate baby girl’s soon-to-be arrival!! We had a blast and they spoiled me with an amazing dinner, flowers, and baby gift. I’m so thankful to have these girls in my life!

My friend Katie, however, missed that dinner because she was busy in the hospital GIVING BIRTH to her beautiful baby boy, Colby!!! He was born last Thursday around 2 pm and I am in love with the little squish. I spent much of my morning on Friday up on the mother and baby unit holding that little guy (I mean, working hard for any co-workers who might read this!! haha) and then I just had to go back on Saturday as well before they were discharged. Colby is seriously the cutest little chub muffin in the world (8 lbs 10 oz at birth!!) and yet, still so teeny and I just soaked in his sweetness. I held him over my baby bump and told him that he would be meeting his girlfriend soon!!

 

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.

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!

The time I was on the Hooter’s swimsuit pageant….

And before you wonder any longer, no, not as a contestant.

I know it’s quite the lovely snapshot of me.

You get a lot of interesting visitors when you work in a children’s hospital, some more exciting than others. This weekend the 2012 Hooter’s Swimsuit Competition was filmed live in south Florida and our children’s hospital had the pleasure of hosting about 20 of those lovely competitors who came to visit with our patients. You know those Hooter’s girls, always giving back. I am not a big fan of Hooters and the messages I believe they promote to young woman, but I have to admit, as funny as most of them looked playing with our kids in their 6 inch sparkle stilettos, most of the ladies were so high energy and eager, excited and ready to play with our kids and get them involved in different games. It was pretty fun to see! Even if they did sign photos with “Hoots and Smooches.” Because obviously that’s totally appropriate for a 5 year old. And then the network decided to interview a child life specialist and of course my loving co-worker volunteered me to do it. Because nothing says “Hooter’s swimsuit competition” more than an 8 month pregnant lady. And before I knew it, I had a 10 second clip on Saturday’s live airing on FX, which basically makes me famous. All in the exciting day’s work of a child life specialist!

Oh, just some thoughts…

It’s Monday. Or Wednesday, depending how you look at it, since I’m only working three days this week. Look at me being all “glass half full.”

Start of the week thoughts.

  1. I burnt my neck with a curling iron like crazy this morning while doing my hair. Which means that I went to work looking like I had a nice big hickey on my neck. Reaaalll professional.
  2. Let’s talk about children and cell phones for a minute. Since when is it common for a 6 year old to have an Iphone? Come on, a child who hardly possesses the fine motor skills to dial a phone number should not have a nicer phone than me. Gone are the days where a kid has to call collect after soccer practice and quickly yell “momcomepickmeup!” when the computerized message asks for your name. “Do you accept a call from-momcomepickmeup!?” Yes, this was my form of communication until I was 16.
  3. The running club decided to take a break from actually running and decided to go see Twilight instead. Best. Decision. Ever. Sometimes you just need a vampire break. And although the movie was killer (obvi) the best entertainment actually came from the family sitting in front of us. The husband, wife, and their 2 almost grown daughters were just loving the movie, dad especially. He made sure to fist pump Edward throughout the movie and boy oh boy was he just loving the werewolves scene.
  4. In two more days Brett and I will be back in NY, the state where our love began. I fully plan on spending a day in the city, walking through every single area that is significant in our relationship. Oh let the memories begin!

A brief hello…

I know it’s been a few days since I’ve blogged but that’s because I’ve been too busy whispering and laughing and telling secrets with Cakes. Sister time is wonderful. 🙂 Caitlin and Brett both met me at the hospital today for a wonderful hospital lunch (okay, so really the food in our cafe is pretty good) and a tour. This is probably the 3rd “tour” hubs has had of the place, but he was a good sport and tagged along.

But really, it made me proud to work in such an amazing, huge, beautiful children’s hospital. It sure makes it fun to show people around and watch their awed faces.

Cakes has also had some job interviews in the area and I have been crossing my fingers and saying my prayers that one of them will pull through. And then she can move down here and be my BFF forever. Well, my second BFF besides Brett. Who will watch Glee and Dance Mom’s with me every week without one word of complaint or ridicule.

I can’t believe tomorrow is Thursday already. Slow down week!

Happy Wednesday.