Alina and I survived my first two weeks back at work. Actually, Alina did more than survive; she did really well at day care. She enjoys watching the other kids, being bottle fed every two hours, taking consistently scheduled naps in the car, and having her diaper changed more frequently than Mom would bother to change her. (At least Mom does change her; Dad seems to think that fathers are not allowed to change the diapers of their female offspring.) As for me, I’m a bit tired. I can’t blame Alina, though; she has been sleeping stretches of up to 7 hours. The problem is that going to bed at 9 and getting up at 5 leaves little extra time to get in my sleep quota for the night if Alina and I do not fall back to sleep immediately after she feeds. And though I can tolerate our strict schedule during the work week, I get somewhat grumpy when Alina wakes me up at 5 a.m. on the weekend and I watch my husband sleep in until 9 a.m., when I finally hand the baby over to him and pump some milk for Alina to drink because she can’t be bothered to nurse during regular daytime hours. I am thankful that Alina takes her bottles readily, but I feel disappointed and worn out when she indicates through her cries and protests that she would rather have a bottle of milk than nurse from the tap. At least she still nurses for me at night fairly well. And at least she sleeps for respectable stretches. On the worst nights, she sleeps a 3-hour stretch and then wakes every couple hours after that. On the best nights, she sleeps a 7-hour stretch, i.e., “through the night.”
Alina really has been a good, happy baby these past two weeks, so I have the feeling that she did hit Wonder Week 8 early. She now really enjoys kicking in her bouncy chair, making the sounds and lights go off. She coos and smiles and flirts with us when we hold her. She loves to be carried around with her belly resting on my forearm. She loves to nap in my arms on the brown sofa, but she also naps on her own sometimes. We haven’t been walking the Rail Trail since I went back to work, unfortunately, but she enjoys sitting outside with us while we barbeque or eat dinner.
I’m trying cloth diapers for the first time today. I bought a grab bag of various pocket diapers off e-bay. So far, the Kawaii Baby, Sunny Baby, and Diaper Safari diapers seem to be a success, but the SimplyCloth and Alva diapers seem to be too big. This is not too surprising, given that the diapers are One Size and Alina weighed in at 10 lbs, 1 oz at her 2-month pediatrician appointment. I was expecting her to weigh closer to 11 lbs, but Alina is turning into more of a lightweight than her brother. She was average length at 22.5 in, making her about 10 percentile weight-for-length. The difference, I think, is that Peter took bottles for comfort. Alina does not nurse for comfort, and though it seems that she might like to take bottles for comfort, she is not permitted unrestricted access to bottles as Peter was.
Work has been slow for me thus far. I don’t mind because I know this is just a brief calm period before I get assigned to projects and have a continuous stream of things to take care of. So far, I have mostly been reading documents, helping with the binding of lab manuals, attending a few meetings, and making mock lab kits I have training on LoMaS, PAREXEL’s laboratory operations management software, scheduled for Wednesday, and then I will be able to do more typical lab specialist tasks. Happily, my manager is obviously very pro-family and work/life balance, and members of my team frequently work from home when appointments conflict with the regular work hours. The other North American lab logistics team members have been very helpful and welcoming – even giving me a Babies ‘R Us gift card upon my return to work. I hope to be able to make greater contributions to the team’s productivity in the coming months.
For Memorial Day weekend, we went to the EcoTarium on Saturday and had pho for lunch at Hien Vuong. On Sunday, I had well-laid plans to drive up to New Hampshire, take a scenic 1-hour ride on the Winnipesaukee Railroad, visit our former neighbor, Rita, and have lunch with her, and then stop at a local beach with a playground for Peter before heading home. Unfortunately, after we got to the train depot, I realized that I had written down the address for the wrong depot; this one only had 2-hour rides. So we went to visit Rita first. Rita looked good and was very kind to us, fixing hamburgers, salad, and strawberry shortcake for lunch and offering Peter toys to play with. We were happy to see that she had settled into her new home well. We then bustled off to try to catch the 3 p.m. train from the correct train depot, but after we started driving, I found that the address was not recognized by our GPS. We nonetheless made it to the depot just before 3 p.m., only to find that all the parking spots were occupied. The depot was on a beach in a resort area, and with a high around 80 degrees, the streets near the depot were teaming with tourists. Peter and Alina had fallen asleep during our drive to Weirs Beach, anyhow, so we turned our car around and headed back towards Massachusetts. As we neared Concord, though, Peter awakened, and Son was inspired to try to see an attraction, after all. We drove right up to the capitol building; the shiny gold dome was hard to miss! Then, seeing that the planetarium was “only” 1.2 miles away, we decided to enjoy the weather and walk there. It was probably closer to 2 miles walking distance, and the planetarium was closed when we arrived, but we enjoyed the model of the Mercury-Redstone rocket in the plaza in front of the planetarium. We stopped at Friendly’s for ice cream on the walk back to the state house and finally made it home after 8 p.m.
I stayed home today. We had Son’s coworker, Ivan, over for dinner. Son proudly put our new grill to work cooking shrimp, meatballs, chicken, and corn. Ivan had introduced us to SwissBakers in Allston last weekend when the bakery/café was having its anniversary celebration. They had a magician, a yodeling accordionist, tours of the bakery, and generous free samples of pretzel bites, macaroons, tarts, Bavarian cream, Lindt chocolate, etc. There was also an outdoor area for kids with ride-on toys that effectively earned SwissBakers the title of Peter’s Favorite Restaurant.
Mother’s Day was also lovely. I received an Irish silver bracelet from my darling husband, and we had fun in Boston Common and the Public Garden. Now I have to figure out something nice for him for Father’s Day and our anniversary…