I Bring You February

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Three weeks after our journal post about January, I bring you one about February. Too bad I’m still 8 months behind, though, since October just ended.

Going back to Boston and therefore back to working remotely after the holidays while Nate went back to teaching on campus was, candidly, quite hard for me. The first week back, which was the end of January, I was working on a complex and time-consuming website project for a client who’s very important to our company and my hours were pretty overwhelming for having a baby at home. For example, the night we flew in, I stayed up until 4:30am writing. Those days are more of a blur to me now, but I remember them clearly enough to say with certainty that the end of January and very beginning of February were the hardest days of any since Maisy’s arrival up to that point. My life was out of balance, with too much to do and without sufficient time (or energy, for that matter) to do it, and I wouldn’t call my coping style at the time “grace under fire.” I mean, I knew I could push through and figure out how to make things get better, but I give props to Nate for being a patient, helpful, generally understanding and, most of all, forgiving partner. I wasn’t the easiest person to live with as the January Blahs reared their ugly head in my life once again.

I often say, “Pull yourself together, man!” In February, I gradually started doing that. First, I rebooted with a trip to Utah from the 4th to 10th, marking 4 more flights on Miss Maisy’s airplane travel card. On the plane and at the airport:

Kenzie and my mom made the trip to Utah for Kenzie’s February break from school to visit BYU and the family, and Maisy and I were glad to be able to join them. We missed Nate while we were there, but he was very productive in our absence, catching up on work he’d gotten behind on. Here’s a pic of him in his “thinking hat,” writing away while we were gone:

I kept Nate updated with texts and plenty of pics of Maisy doing her thing, being a baby:

We spent time with my mom’s side of the family:

My Gramma & Papa

With My Mom’s Parents, Siblings & Families (Repeated from Instagram)

With Mom’s Uncle, Aunt, & Cousins

I worked while my mom helped with Maisy, and we visited BYU with Kenzie to help her check out her housing options. We also met up with old friends:

Kenzie and I even went snowboarding one afternoon… Never mind how I paid for it with sore knees for weeks afterwards:

We explored Salt Lake’s downtown together, both old and new parts (pics repeated from Instagram):

I felt a surprising amount of nostalgia seeing places where Nate and I spent time together when our relationship was developing (both times we dated), and where I made tons of fond memories with friends and family during my single days there. I love Salt Lake City – in a different way than I love Austin because Austin is my hometown, or rather Cedar Park is. I love Salt Lake as the place where I started my life and then later came into my own as an independent young adult.

Also while in SLC, Maisy accompanied us to see War Horse, and she expressed an extreme disdain for formula when we tried it one afternoon. Last, I really wanted to buy this huge moose from Costco, but I ended up deciding it probably (just barely) wasn’t worth getting an extra seat for it on the plane:

After Maisy and I returned from our reboot trip, a friend of ours (Theresa) started coming over on the 16th to watch Maisy for 4 hours every weekday so I could have a block of time for phone calls and work that needed to be done during normal business hours. Maisy took a short while getting used to spending the afternoon with a new friend, but after a couple weeks she seemed to rather enjoy having another person to play with her. Theresa and Maisy went on lots of walks when the weather was good enough, and the rest of the time they played in the nursery. It was still challenging to find another 4-5 hours for me to work, but I managed alright with a lot of late nights on the computer after Maisy would go to bed. Nate always has an overabundance of work to get done, so as lame as it sounds we would “hang out” in our home office working until late and making intermittent conversation, then we’d either watch an episode of Parks & Recreation before bed or just crash. Sometimes Maisy would help us work, until she grew to associate our office with not getting as much attention as she wanted and became less accommodating. Here she is taking memos and sending faxes:

The “nannying” arrangement turned out to be a blessing in more ways than just for work. Theresa and I, who were formerly more casual friends, became close friends. As I tried to determine the best thing for both our little family and my family’s business (I’d previously considered going part-time around then), Theresa was an everyday sounding board who offered a listening ear without judgement. The job was a blessing to Theresa and her husband as well, while she was going to school and he was preparing for a career change.

Nate cleaned the whole house while I was in Utah, which he often would do while I was away traveling for work or whatever reason. That was a much-appreciated precursor to Valentine’s Day, which we decided to go low-key on this year. We went to Panera to indulge in bread bowls because that always hits the spot for us, then we watched the season finale of Downtown Abbey. For our second date without baby girl (because Maisy joined us for V’s Day), we went to a William Fitzsimmons concert and got icecream at Rancatore’s while our good friends, the Kellys, watched Maisy. I needed the one-on-one time with my man to see a good music show, laugh, feel a little bit footloose, and have my favorite treat.

William Fitzsimmons (Repeated from Instagram)

Coffee-Flavored Icecream… Nummy num.

Nate worked like a madman all month, totally wearing himself out, worrying me about it, and even landing himself in the ER the night of the 26th. It was a little scare that turned out to be nothing serious, but still a good reminder to not sacrifice health for work. We don’t often have enough work-life balance and February was no exception, but it’s something we’re ever-mindful of and constantly trying to figure out, especially as Nate is starting to apply for jobs.

Now for some stats: At Maisy’s 3-month doctor checkup, she weighed 12.19 lbs. and was 23.75 inches long. All her percentiles were lower compared to the previous months (because she was born bigger after coming late), but she was still healthy and thriving. Maisy rolled over for the first time (tummy to back) on February 20th, and we have a video of that I might post separately. In February, I nursed for 89 hours and 40 minutes, with many of those moments spent increasingly sleepily by both Maisy and me. Maisy took a bottle 3 times in February, although not formula after her unequivocal and resolute rejection of that flavor. We changed 182 diapers, and the longest night I slept was 7 hours and 9 minutes before Maisy started waking up for nighttime feedings a lot more. At her pediatrician’s request, I fed Maisy as often as she expressed an interest. This meant less sleep for me, but the doctor felt like since her size percentiles had gone down, that’s what I should try… So I did.

And there you have it, ladies and gents: February 2012.

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