I’m feeling all sorts of emotions over the past couple of days, and there’s one thing to blame for this- back to school season. (Be warned, this may get a bit candid…)

I’m really, really lucky in that I am able to remain home to take care of Luca.  My district’s contract allows for a mom to take up to two years of maternity leave.  My time is unpaid, of course, and they don’t cover insurance, but at the end of (up to) two years, I am able to return to my contract with the district.  I may not return to the same position- they’ll assign me wherever they need me, but I will have a job to return to when I finish my maternity leave.

I had initially taken off time for last fall’s semester and then later extended it for the full school year. Tom and I talked a LOT about what our next move would be, and after much discussion, we decided it was best for our family to extend my leave.

I have a lot of different feelings about this.  First, and most importantly, I am so happy. I had/have horrible anxiety about putting Luca in day care, and I’m relieved that we don’t have to cross that bridge right now.  I’m also, obviously, thrilled that I am able to stay home to care for my son. Luca’s at a great age where he is starting to really enjoy activities, and I think we will find lots of fun things to do together this fall.

I also have a lot of guilt over staying home- for various reasons.  Guilt that Tom must work even harder to support our family, guilt that I am “supposed” to be working (by society’s standards), guilt that I ‘got what I wanted’, guilt that I’m not providing financially for our family, guilt for feeling guilty… the list goes on.

It’s no surprise that our society does not necessarily encourage women to stay home to raise their children. I don’t want to go off on a tangent about this, but it’s definitely something that I’m dealing with right now.

Do I miss teaching?

That’s a loaded question.

For all of my colleagues reading, yes, I miss teaching.  I miss seeing you all every day!

Do I miss teaching? Truthfully? While I don’t necessarily miss the stress and the mounds of paperwork, I do miss the art of teaching, my colleagues and I do miss the students.

All in all, I think I am exactly where I should be right now- at home with this guy: 2014-08-22 08.30.01-1

 

Sitting here while Lauren is watching Bachelor in Paradise, and I couldn’t be any less interested.  I haven’t had much time to post in the past month (things have been a bit hectic,) but I’m working on it!

As we mentioned, it’s been three amazing years since Lauren and I tied the knot.  I can’t believe how quickly life moves.  To celebrate our anniversary, we booked a night in Atlantic City.  With the help of some generous grandmoms (my mom treated on the room, and Lauren’s mom agreed to babysit,) we were able to have a proper date night.  On the drive down, we realized that it was actually our first full night out without Luca!  We both had nights out separately, but we never went out overnight together with a sitter watching him.

Tom and Lauren in AC

Here’s what I learned:

1. It’s hard not to worry.  I wasn’t worried worried, like something awful was going to happen.  I knew that Luca was in good hands with his Grammi Tammi, but I just hoped he didn’t throw a tantrum, give her a hard time going to bed, or refuse to eat.

2. It’s easy not to worry…after a couple glasses of champagne, and a few mojitos. :)  While out to dinner, we received a text around 8PM that Luca was sleeping and that really eased what little anxiety we had.

3. We can’t drink like we used to.  I know everyone says it, but the cliche is true.  You think you can drink like you used to, and then you quickly wake up remembering your age.  It’s painful.

4. We finally hit that age where getting carded is a compliment, not an insult.

5. The “old” songs that the cover band is playing – the ones that the younger crowd doesn’t recognize… yeah, we remember when they first hit the radio.

It was an interesting trip, and we had a lot of fun throughout the weekend with our friends, moms, and sisters.  Hopefully we won’t wait another full year to have another night to ourselves!

If I’ve learned one thing about myself in this past year of being a mom, it’s that I get terrible anxiety over any big changes.

As I’ve complained about before on the blog, for whatever reason, babies don’t come with owner’s manuals and every big decision is up to the parents.  And, as a person who doesn’t like making decisions about where to go out to dinner (let alone something as important as my offspring), this tends to stress me out.

I remember leaving the hospital being scared out of my mind because no one explained… uh, anything to us.  So we learned as we went, and I’m happy to report that we’ve done okay so far.  But still, the big changes scared me.  The changes all seem to be the major transitions we’ve hit so far- to the crib, out of the swing, to solids, and now to milk.

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(the era of swing naps)

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(…and the era of dad naps)

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(the extremely short era of rock and play naps)

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(finally! naps in his crib)

Say moo

Now that Luca is a year old (!!!), I’m trying to transition from breast feeding to milk.  I’ve talked to lots of friends and read many books and blogs about this transition, but it doesn’t matter, because every baby is different and blahblahblah. (Side note- I had originally wanted to extend breast feeding to two years, but for various personal reasons, I think we are both ready to be done.)

I introduced whole milk from a local dairy last week.  Luca didn’t take more than a sip or two for a few days, and then my lactation consultant suggested I mix the cow’s milk with my breast milk.  Luca definitely enjoyed when I did this; unfortunately, his stomach did not. Poor guy was all torn up from the milk. I tried lactose-free milk with the same results.  I was pretty surprised by this, since Luca’s been eating yogurt for months.  Our pediatrician recommended that I wait two weeks and try to introduce the milk again.

It could be a whole string of reasons why this is happening, but the whole situation has me a bit frustrated and worried.  There’s no one right answer or time to make this transition- and even if I’m nervous of the process, I know it has to happen at one point or another.  And I know this, like all the big transitions we’ve made in the past, will come and go. This time right now is temporary, and I just know I will look back on this moment longing for such a seemingly easy decision!

 

P.S. If you’re the praying type, my 93 year-old grandpa could use a few. Thank you!

For a birthday!

Happy birthday, Luca!!

Luca has been the greatest gift either of us has ever received. We couldn’t be happier to celebrate our son’s first birthday today.

 

I posted these on Facebook but wanted to also include them here, as I just love these two photos so much.

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Here’s a couple of shots from our cake smash session this past weekend:

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