Caleb’s Officially One!

I officially have a one year old.

I can’t believe that it has already been an entire year since I was able to finally set eyes on the being I grew. Someone recently shared with me an article “6 reasons December babies are special, according to science” – and while I think that all babies are special, it was a joy to read that article. I have felt so truly blessed to have Caleb in my life. It’s funny, even though he hasn’t existed that long, I cannot imagine my life without him.

The birthday boy all ready for daycare this morning.

There have been bad days, of course, but the good days outweigh the bad days a million times over. I wouldn’t trade any of it for anything.

We don’t give Caleb a lot of sugar but I did let him have a couple of bites of a cupcake. He enjoyed it a lot.

That being said…  I’m giving my two weeks notice to my job. I returned to work when Caleb was exactly 3 months old with the short-term goal of being able to stay home with him. My self-imposed deadline kept getting pushed farther and farther back. We are now at the point where I am able to stay home with Caleb and I want to take that opportunity. The toughest part of all of this was letting Caleb’s daycare know (it made me a little misty-eyed). They’ve been with him for 9 months and have watched him grow so much. We went with that daycare because it had the feeling of taking Caleb to grandma’s house and we couldn’t have asked for a better family.

That face! <3

So this is my birthday present to Caleb in a way. Sure, it will be interesting setting up our routine, especially as I will be working some from home, but I look forward to the opportunities that we will have together. There is always that doubt in my mind if this is what is best for Caleb, for our family, but I’m comforted by so many fellow moms (even some who have children that are now in their 30’s and 40’s) telling me that they do not regret staying home with their children for the first few years.

“We are reminded that, in the fleeting time we have on this Earth, what matters is not wealth, or status, or power, or fame, but rather how well we have loved and what small part we have played in making the lives of other people better.”

– Barack Obama

The birthday boy is OUT!

We celebrated his birthday today simply. A cupcake, a song (followed by the playing of the Captain Zoom birthday song – a tradition my mom started many years ago), and that was it. We’re having a few people over on Saturday for a little birthday party but nothing big.

Transitioning to Work After Maternity Leave

I went back to work today. It’s weird, it feels like I had never left to begin with. Those 3 months that I had with Lil Bean absolutely flew by and I’m grateful for the time that I had to spend with him, though it is a little bittersweet to not be snuggling with him right now. I certainly enjoyed the lazy days I spent with him.

This was a super lazy day – pajamas and bathrobes all day!

Even though Caleb is having to go to daycare, I don’t worry because I know that he is going to a nurturing environment.

Here are some tips to help make the transition easier on the mom’s behalf when you return to work.

  • Find the right daycare. Robb and I toured two daycare facilities in our area. The first was a more modern daycare – everything was electronic and they put a lot of emphasis on education (teaching the babies sign language starting at 6 months – which is something that I plan on doing). We both fell in love with that daycare and almost canceled our appointment with the second daycare. Wanting to have something to compare the first one to, we went and toured the second daycare. It was the day before my c-section and I already wasn’t feeling my best. This daycare didn’t have the bells and whistles. They still communicated by sending a note home and they didn’t even take debit cards! But after we left, we knew that was the daycare for us. Sure, it was dated but it felt right. We both felt that taking our little one to that daycare was the equivalent of taking him to grandma’s house. It had that same comforting vibe that we wanted Caleb to have at this age. Fun fact: We found out that one of the caregivers is actually my granddad’s cousin!
  • Enjoy the quiet time. The time is takes for me to get from the daycare to my place of work is about 10 minutes. It’s nice to have that time all to myself. I can blast the radio, roll the windows down, or simply use that time to reflect on my life. Think of it as free time. Time that you don’t have to feel guilty about taking for yourself.
  • Ease into it. I took Caleb to daycare half a day on Monday and Tuesday before returning to work on today. That allowed me to run some errands with a little bit of me time thrown in. But more importantly, it allowed Caleb to start to recognize some of the daycare staff and gave me the confidence to know that he would be okay. Those 4 hours flew by. If you have the opportunity, try to take your child for part of the day before you go back to work full-time.
  • Get to know the staff. The staff at the daycare we chose are wonderful. They are so friendly and will talk your ear off if you let them. I’ve been hugged so many times by them. The staff have been there for over 20 years and love what they do. They understand how hard it can be to leave your baby and really make the effort to get to know the parents. To me, that speaks volumes. We aren’t just another payment to them, we are family.
  • Have a plan. Sure, there is always going to be upsets to your plan – a diaper blowout, alarm didn’t go off, etc., but try to have somewhat of an idea on how your morning is going to go. If your partner is home in the mornings, what can he do to help (i.e. Robb lets out the dogs and gets Caleb dressed for daycare while I dress for work)? What can you do in the evenings to help your mornings? I try to pick out my clothes the night before and ready Caleb’s bottles. What are you going to do for supper? I’ve really been working hard on get some sort of a meal plan in place and relying on my crock pot/pressure cooker.

The work day certainly seems to fly by though when I know I have my little one waiting for me!

Caleb’s first day of daycare – as well as his 3 month birthday!

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