Friday, November 11, 2011

Cheers! Happy 1/2 Birthday!

So my baby is more than halfway to one! It is truly amazing how quickly these six months have flown. I love looking at the newborn pictures - how she has grown and changed so much, but she still looks like herself. Before I had a baby, I kind of thought newborns were like aliens that morph into humans that look 100% different. I guess I never paid attention to every little detail of a newborn's features before. :)

It becomes apparent to me that I have a giant baby. I heard the 70% percentile numbers from the pedi without actually processing the reality that this number means she is larger than 69% of other babies. And in some cases, WAY larger. Everywhere we go now I see babies her age, or older, who make her look like the Jolly Green Giant. Seems like even more to me, actually! Add in the fact that her pointy little butt (just like I had as a kid - confirmed through embarassing nudie kiddie photos, not in a gross way - but no longer visible under my trunk junk) ends up looking a bit Kardashian-esque under cloth diapers, and whoa. Hulk Smash! Someone actually told Rob that she was the biggest 6-month old she'd ever seen, which I think is a bit of hyperbole!

I faced my first true working mom conundrum last week. On a Thursday afternoon, I was told they really, really wanted me to attend a training for a new contract we're starting any minute now. I've been excited about this contract, it actually will involve me using my degree and experience!! I had been really worried I made the wrong professional decision, as nothing I've worked on here has played to my strengths or interests...so me being involved, and hopefully running, this project is huge for me. So of course, I said "Oh, sure! Travel is a little hard for me right now, with Rob on nights and April being still young, but I'd really love to go..." And then the details were laid out - it started the next Tuesday, ran for 4 days, and was in Kansas City, Kansas.

Wow, thanks for the notice! They also said they understood if I couldn't go...but reading between the lines, I knew saying no would be a huge issue. Plus I wanted to go! But it meant scrambling to work something out overnight for April, and dealing with pumping on the road, etc. My employers apparently felt bad for the short notice and asking me to leave the baby, so they offered to fly someone out to stay with me and watch her during the day so I could be with her at night!

I was able to cobble something together for April and the dogs, and Rob was able to compromise with his job to be able to come for two nights. So April had her first plane trip! I flew out Monday night (missing her first Halloween. Big giant tears for this mom fail), had two nights without her (one she stayed at my parents', the next my sister stayed at our house), then Rob flew with her Wednesday. We all flew home together that Friday. Logistically challenging to pack and check her gear and book the right flights, but we prevailed!

Sure, I almost exploded my business boobs (not "fun boobs" per Rob, all business) drinking Mothers' Milk Tea, and had to run out of the class the first day to pump, but we did it! And my husband is an amazing man for flying alone with her (and getting delayed on the way). I love him so much for making it happen. The two nights without her were tough, but I am so grateful to have only had to have two nights away!

Kansas City, Kansas is super lame, by the way! We went out one night in the Missouri side, which was somewhat better, but jeez. My training was great and interesting (dork alert!), and I know it was the right thing for me professionally. I have some residual guilt. I mean, how much does it suck to feel pulled in the two directions? Work vs. family. I feel like family should always win, but reality doesn't always allow that. Plus I love what I do professionally. It's a career, not just a job. And I'm there over 40 hours a week - so I have to have some satisfaction there, too. I know this won't be the last time I have to make this decision.

So here's a picture of my baby having some barbecue with us in KC. :)

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