Wednesday, March 24, 2010

This May Be TMI, but...'s good, kids are good, house is good enough, Dave's good (in spite of our constant state of interrupted-sleep-fogginess). My breasts, though...not so much.

When I returned to work the first two times, both kids were already weaned. In retrospect, I think I probably mistook their increasing awareness of the their surroundings as a miscue that they weren't interested in breastfeeding anymore; this time around I'm a bit more patient and as a consequence, Gavin still nurses periodically throughout the day.

I didn't think anything at all of managing breastfeeding when heading back to work until about 2:00 in the afternoon on the first day. I was suddenly very aware of my left breast which hadn't been emptied since the night before! I nursed Gavin as soon as I got home, and figured if I could tough out dropping the midday feeding for a couple of days, my supply would adjust.

The problem is, I don't really want to go to formula on the days that I'm home, and I still really like being able to nurse Gavin when we are together. So my supply adjusted on my off-days and picked up again. And again, I was pretty uncomfortable by Monday afternoon at work. Maybe I'll try bringing my breast pump, the thing is that I doubt I can find a quiet place and 15 minutes to myself anywhere at school. But I will try. Because...

My hormones have gone berserk. I have been in a constant state of PMS for the past two weeks, my body isn't sure whether or not it should start ovulating again, my skin is a broken out mess of acne and I want to eat chocolate non-stop. So if pumping evens all that out, I will do it. And if it doesn't even all that out, well, we might just be doing morning and evening breastfeeding from here on out. It's just about time to introduce whole milk, anyway.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Oh yeah....

Now I remember one thing that sucks about working again: having to battle the crowds to do grocery shopping on the weekend with kids in tow. SO much busier.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Like Riding a Bike

Here's a paraphrased transcript of about 25 conversations I've had this week:
Me: Hey, how's it goin'?
Other Person: Oh, pretty good, how about you? You're back at work now aren't you?
Me: Yep.
Other Person: (sympathetic look) Oh, that must be rough... (or something along those lines)

The truth is...not really. I love my job, and doing it part-time is the perfect balance for me. For once I'm returning from a maternity leave to a familiar school in my old classroom and working with families who missed me. The teaching part was like riding a bike; I had a few wobbly moments on Monday morning but we quickly found our groove as a class.

When I'm working outside the home, I'm a happier person and consequently a better mom. I have a greater appreciation for the time I get to spend with my kids and I think they appreciate me more when I've been away for a bit. I'm also a bit easier on myself about the state of tidiness (or lack thereof) of my house because I've got other stuff going on. This being my third leave, I had much less worry about leaving the kids having been there, done that before. (Though as an aside, I wasn't preoccupied with Gavin while I was at work, but boy did I want to just gobble him up when I got home!)

It feels like the year of being home was really a dream that seemed like a year but then I woke up and it was actually only a couple of hours. It was lovely, but I definitely prefer the reality of my life humming along to the rhythms of my part-time work week and the school year.

Of course, it's only been three days. I might be singing a different tune when the end of June rolls around....

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A Change is Gonna Come

There is a seismic shift about to take place at my house. I'm going back to work tomorrow! Not that being on maternity leave with three kids isn't a lot of work, but it can be done in pajamas if necessary, whereas being a teacher requires a bit more decorum.

What does this mean for us as a family? A new (and wonderful) child care provider, "easy" dinners at the end of my workdays, Sundays of frantically rushing around trying to get the family ready for the upcoming week. Just as busy as my SAHM life, but in a very different way.

There is also the tricky business of re-negotiating the division of labour of household work. Dave and I have a pretty good system and he definitely carries his fair share of the load...I'm referring more to the under-5-feet-tall set at my house. When they are home, the house generally looks like a tornado has followed in their wake. Which is fine as long as they clean up after themselves at some point before they go to bed. (Gavin gets a pass until he actually hits 12 months, then he's on the chain gang, too). Unfortunately, they've become accustomed to me picking up the slack while I've been home for the past year; this hasn't done them or me any favours as I predict it will be a challenge for me to get them to PICK UP THEIR JUNK ALREADY!

It's a big transition for the whole family. I like change. I embrace it. But it's still kind of stressful.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Why I Love My Dentist

I don't want to jump him or have a dentist fetish or anything, I just think my dentist is really cool. A few reasons why....

1. When I recently referred another family to his office they sent me a Starbucks card by way of thanks. (please note, Starbucks bribery will always get you compliments when it comes to me!)

2. When I had something stuck under my gum earlier this week, they got me in the same day and after much freezing and coaxing relieved my poor, inflamed mouth.

3. While I was there, I eavesdropped on the coolest conversation to EVER take place in a dentist's office. There was an older fellow just finishing up with his teeth cleaning in the room across the way from me. The receptionist told him that since he had recently had his 90th (!!) birthday and he had been coming to this office for such a long time, the dentist decided to give the patient a special rate as a birthday gift. His file dated back to 1964, so he got the rate he would have paid in 1964: a whopping $4.00! So cool, because that was probably actually worth close to $200. Also cool because I know for a fact that my dentist was only a gleam in his dad's eye in 1964, but he is honouring the practice and patients who came before he took over about 10 years ago. And finally, the coolest thing, the old guy still has his own teeth at 90 years of age!