Little Bean has been going to school (daycare) for a full month and it's pretty safe to say she loves it. She always has a huge smile for her teacher and she loves to watch what the other little girls in her class are doing. It's basically the cutest thing ever.
Today when I got there for pick up, she was in the swing (we don't have one at home, so it's a special "school" thing for her) kind of zoned out. She must have just finished a bottle because the look on her face was just bliss. So I watched her through the class window for a minute while I put on my shoe covers, and then went into the room. I said "Hiiiiii Little Bean" and she looked at me and just broke into the hugest smile. I could have died. It was unreal... just the sweetest smile for her mama.
Which I totally needed, because work is less than cool. The Working Mom bit is tiring, yo.
But such is life.
I actually feel sort of badass about the whole thing. I work 40+ hours a week, take care of my baby, dog, & husband, and keep the house semi-presentable. I feel..... accomplished. Tired, clearly, but at the end of the day.... I really, honestly feel great.
And at 6am when I hear little sounds from the nursery? That is my favorite part of the day because I know when I go in there, I will see all smiles and then I bring her into our bed for 30 minutes of snuggles.
6-6:30am is a huge snugglefest in The Big Bed. It is very hard to get out of bed at 6:30. Very hard, indeed.
I've been meaning to compile a list of stuff that helps me get through the day in one piece... clearly I'm not the expert, seeing as I've been doing this Working Mom gig for only a month now, but here's what's helped me so far:
Medela Pump In Style Tote: It's easy to use, you don't have to take the pump out of the bag (it's attached, which means less to assemble when you're at work and short on time), and you can buy wipes that clean the suction part between uses. That means from set up to clean up, it takes 20 minutes... and you don't need to wash the parts in the kitchen. That makes for zero awkward run-ins with co-workers who really do not want to see you cleaning out your pump stuff...
GlamourMom nursing tanks: I wear these under everything... easy boob access means quicker pumping, which means less awkward "someone's knocking on your office door and can clearly hear the pump and you have to say you're busy and then it's awkward when you talk to them later because they know you had your boob out at work". I'm just saying. I have 5 of these and wear them every single day.... but they are heinously expensive, so I got mine in the Private Sale section and on eBay. Just search for GlamourMom and then click new with tags. They are a little cheaper, and some have free shipping. GlamourMom charges like $7 in shipping.... so I get mine on eBay. And they are awesome. The bra part is for real. I swear. There is enough support for huge bewbs. Trust me.
Initial bracelet: I bought this right around Christmas and haven't taken it off yet. My daughter's name is 4 letters long, so I got her name on mine, but it would be equally adorable (and meaningful) with her initials. It's thin and looks quite delicate, but I'm pretty rough on my jewelry and it's still in perfect shape after being worn for 2 solid months. I love wearing her name on my wrist... it helps me feel closer to her when I'm at work.
Blue painter's tape: This is all you need to label bottles. This is apparently a daycare trade secret that our daycare director shared with us. It seems that the stickers you can buy with your kid's name on them (the waterproof ones that claim to stick through washing) don't hold up at all if you sterilize your bottles (which we do) and they leave sticky crap all over the place. The painter's tape? Comes right off every time. Plus, I need to label our bottles every single day with her name, the date, what it is (milk or formula), and how many ounces. So even if we had the stickers, I'd need to find a way to get the rest of that info on there every day. The painter's tape works perfectly without any sticky residue. Our daycare uses a cup of hot water to heat the bottles, and even after being submerged, the tape is still legible and stuck to the bottle. Don't waste your money with stickers. Just buy a roll of tape at Lowes.
Quick & Easy Dinners: I've gotten into the habit of making dinners ahead when I can and making sure I always have a freezer full of frozen veggies and turkey sausage. That way I can always throw something either right in the oven or put together a quick sausage & veggie dinner. My favorite freeze-ahead recipes are enchiladas, rice ball casserole, mac & cheese, and chili. Those recipes are all WW-friendly AND husband-approved. I always split the recipe into two 8x8 baking pans to make it easy to throw one right into the freezer.
Weight Watchers: At 18 weeks postpartum, I'm just 5 lbs away from my pre-pregnancy weight.... and I put on 60 lbs during my 38 week pregnancy. It's easy. It works. And you get a crapload of extra points if you're breastfeeding. I heart WW so hard.
And now, a gratuitous pic of my 4 month old baby girl:
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