Thursday, September 23

Figuring it all out

My life is very different than it was a week ago. I'm about to wrap up my first week back at work, and I almost kinda sorta feel like I belong there. It's so weird, being gone so long then coming back. In some ways, I feel like I know what's going on and it all feels familiar. In other ways, I feel like a brand-new employee just starting a job. And I'm definitely still figuring out my new routine.

I haven't yet figured out how ungodly early I have to get up in order to get Milo where he needs to be and get to work by 8:00 or 8:30. And of course, it's a bonus if I get to eat breakfast, wash my hair, and spend a few minutes of quality time with my baby. I used to wake up fairly late in order to get to work at 9:00, but now that I'm pumping three times a day, I don't exactly have extra time built into my schedule. Sigh. As you probably well know, I have never been much of a morning person. However, in my opinion, it is much easier to wake up early after not sleeping through the night for months at a time. It's all about building up stamina, I suppose.

(Speaking of sleeping through the night, Milo is doing that now. Pretty consistently, too. For most of the last week or week and a half, he has been in bed by 7:30 or so and doesn't wake up until sometime between 5:30 and 6:30. It's spectacular.)

My coworkers decorated my cube for my return. There was a big "welcome back" banner, streamers, confetti, candy, and stick-on mustaches. It was awesome and made me feel very welcome. They even printed out a couple photos of Milo and posted them outside the cube. I appreciate those photos especially because I haven't gotten my act together enough to print out any photos of the boy yet. My workspace is definitely lacking without them.

Surprisingly, I don't really miss Milo during the day. Does that make me a terrible mother? I feel extremely guilty for not missing him. Maybe it's just because I anticipated that I would be so sad and emotional all day at work that the reality of it couldn't possibly meet my expectations? Or maybe I was ready to return to work and ready for a little break from the all day every day mothering thing? I don't know. I do love to see him at the end of the day. I love squeezing him tight and getting sloppy kisses on my shoulder. I love seeing him smile when he sees me come through the daycare door (and I hate how quickly he goes back to playing). But when I'm at work, I get busy and forget to miss him. I am considering deleting this entire paragraph because I am ashamed of myself, but for the sake of sharing my experience (and possibly making it easier for someone else going through this) I will leave it here.

There are a million thoughts swirling through my head about my first few days back at work, but I am feeling too scatterbrained to tell you about them. Just know that I'm happy to be at work and I am ever so aware of just how much I love Milo.

Wednesday, September 22

Duty Calls

Because I am back at work, I feel it is my duty as a Hallmarker (and a book editor no less) to share this video with you. And then encourage you to go, go to your local Hallmark store and purchase a Recordable Storybook or two.

Tuesday, September 21

The Stats: Six Months Old!

Milo had his six-month check-up yesterday afternoon. Here's how he measures up:
  • Weight: 15 lbs., 7 oz. (20th percentile)
  • Length: 25 1/2 in. (10th percentile)
  • Head Circumference: 17 1/2 in. (75th percentile)
At six months, I can hardly believe my baby is halfway to his first birthday. But on the other hand, it feels like he's been here forever. And on still another hand, I can clearly remember life before Milo and what that was like. But you better believe I wouldn't go back for anything.

At six months, Andrew and I are becoming pretty good parents. We constantly second-guess ourselves and wonder if we're making the best decisions. But so far Milo is turning out pretty well. (Knock on wood, right? It is still a little early to tell how exactly he is turning out.)

At six months, Milo is amazing. He learns new things every day and wows us all the time.

At six months, Milo rolls over like he was born to do it. He immediately rolls over upon being laid in his crib, and (fortunately) has learned to relax and sleep on his belly.

At six months, Milo sleeps primarily on his belly or his side, but he rolls and scoots all over his crib before settling down. We often hear him crying from his room, only to go in and check on him to see his head stuck in the corner of the crib, banging over and over against the rails. He can get there, but he can't quite figure out how to get himself out of there.

At six months, Milo can sit up unassisted. He only flops over when he reaches too far out for something or when he cranes his neck all around to get a good look at something.

At six months, Milo puts everything in his mouth. He especially loves the corners of board books, fingers (his or someone else's), spoons, and blankets or washcloths.

At six months, Milo does not yet have any teeth, though I remain convinced that they are coming any day now.

At six months, Milo gets up on all fours and has been rocking back and forth for a couple weeks now. He also jumps to his hands and feet in the downward dog position. Sometimes his head goes to the floor, too. He also has begun to scoot his knees forward and back, and would be crawling if he could just figure out how to move his hands forward.

At six months, Milo can stretch out and roll and shuffle his way forward when enticed by a toy. He's pretty good and getting to things that are placed a foot or two in front of him.

At six months, Milo will slip and slide backwards infinitely when placed on a hardwood floor, leaving a trail of slobber in his wake.

At six months, Milo babbles a lot. He has said mama quite a few times, and is sometimes so excited about it he says it over and over, like mamamamamama. I'm sure it's because he thinks I am just that special. Of course I kid. He can make the sound, but does not attach it to any particular thing. He also says buhbuhbuh and fuh and other things I can't really spell.

At six months, Milo has begun to interact with us in a new way. He participates in the games we play with him, like reaching out to our hands and giggling when they touch, or anticipating when we are going to appear out of nowhere from around the corner. This makes playtime much more fun.

At six months, Milo still loves his bouncy jumperoo chair. He has explored it all now, I think. It took awhile to make it past the oddly shaped fruit, but now he checks out the strange blue horse and even the striped spring covers.

At six months, Milo can use a high chair in restaurants, thanks to the sewing talents of Grandma Sarah and her cushy chair cover.

At six months, Milo gets bored in restaurant high chairs, and we have learned it is best not to put him in one much before the food arrives.

At six months, Milo has a lot of fun being flipped around and turned upside down. He also likes swinging on Daddy's lap and "flying" toward the mirror.

At six months, Milo can suck up water through a straw, though very little of it gets swallowed.

At six months, Milo started solids. Like a couple of hours ago. Jury's still out on this one. (However, I will say that I think I messed up the food. We gave him rice cereal that I made, and it had a weird consistency. Can anyone tell me what rice cereal is supposed to be like, texture-wise?)

At six months, Milo sometimes splashes in the bath. He loves feeling the water being poured over his chest. He also tries to grab the stream of water and seems amazed when he can't hold on to it.

At six months, Milo—ahem—grabs himself during diaper changes. Occasionally with some enthusiasm. It looks uncomfortable to me, with that iron-fisted grip, but what do I know? We now have to be careful to keep his hands out of the way when he goes #2's gross. Remember how everything goes in his mouth?

At six months, Milo no longer squeaks when he eats. I think this stopped a long time ago, but I don't recall exactly when. He has also become a much more efficient eater. Whereas it used to take him 30 minutes to finish a meal, he can now down it in 12 or 15. Twenty if he's tired.

At six months, Milo has started daycare. Yesterday was his first day. And I have only called twice to check on him. They say that he seems to be liking it. He smiles and plays and has a good time. It's difficult to be away from him, but I am convinced that daycare will be a good experience for him.

At six months, I have gone back to work. Today was my first day. I'd call it a success.

At six months, Milo is amazing. Did I say that already?

Sunday, September 19

The Time Has Come

I am a mess. An emotional wreck. I alternate between crying and being irrationally angry with Andrew. Milo starts daycare tomorrow, and I head back to work on Tuesday. And even though it's been a full six months—or maybe because it's been a full six months—I'm not ready for this.

Yes, I miss work. I love what I do, and I love my workplace and my coworkers. But how can I leave my baby in the care of people who are, for now, essentially perfect strangers? Of course Milo will have a good time. New toys, new faces to check out. But I like to think that he needs me and will miss me. I know I will miss him. Just typing that makes me tear up, and I'm not even kidding. I knew it would be hard to leave him at daycare, and I also knew that I would definitely be returning to work—no question. Though I knew these things before he was even born, that knowledge hasn't made it any easier now that the time has come.

Earlier tonight I loaded up a bag full of the stuff he'll need at daycare. Two crib sheets, a couple of spare outfits, a bunch of cloth diapers and wipes. I felt like I was packing his bags to send him off forever. And since mornings are going to be spent mostly getting ready and getting out the door, and evenings will consist of a whopping hour and half before Milo's bedtime, I practically am sending him off forever. I feel like I'm never going to see my baby anymore. And that breaks my heart. See you when it's time to start kindergarten, Milo.

I'm sure I'm sounding a little overly dramatic to those of you who have never dropped off your first child at daycare for the first time. But some of you know what I'm saying, right? And some of you have told me that it does get easier, and I can't tell you how much I'm holding on to that thought. You've also told me how wonderful his smile will be when he sees me walk through the door in the evening. I look forward to that, too.

I really, really love that little boy.
Where did this teeny baby go? How can he be six months old already?

Wednesday, September 15


I am wearing new deodorant today and if I do say so myself, I am smelling pretty damn good. Like rainbows and sunshine.

(It is the random thoughts such as this that make me wonder if I ought to tweet. Because seriously, that was NOT worth a blog post. Sorry for getting you all hot and bothered at the thought that there might be actual new CONTENT over here.)

(There will be new content soon, though! Milo's six-month stats will be up Tuesday, as will my tears for leaving him at daycare for the first time.)

(Can you believe this started out as a comment on my armpits? You're welcome.)

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Wednesday, September 8

Not Feeling Well

Stuffy nose. Troublesome cough. General Mr.-Crankypants-ness.
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Sunday, September 5

He thought it was a stick.

Today Andrew stepped on a water balloon that was just outside our back door. Except instead of a balloon, it was a dead mouse that Gary had left for us. And instead of water, it was mouse poop. And it shot across our kitchen.

The end.

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles: The Recipe

Several of you asked me for the recipe for these truffles. Far be it for me to deny you the pleasure. I found the recipe on Take a Megabite; she credits Annie's Eats, My Kitchen Cafe, and Taste of Home. So. It is not only delicious, but popular. With no further ado, here is the recipe.

  • 8 Tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (I used a mix of all-purpose unbleached flour and garbanzo bean flour)
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips (I probably used 3/4 cup because I'm like that)
  • 1 1/2 pound semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (I only used 24 squares, or 3 boxes of baker's chocolate)
  • sprinkles, chopped nuts, additional mini chocolate chips, etc. (optional, for garnish)

  1. In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the flour, condensed milk, and vanilla until incorporated and smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips. Taste for good measure. (Go ahead, there aren't even any raw eggs to worry about!)
  2. Using your hands or a melon baller, shape dough into 1 to 1 1/2-inch balls. Place on a baking sheet lined with wax paper or parchment paper. Cover loosely (or not, like me) and transfer to the freezer for 1-2 hours.
  3. When ready to dip the truffles, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Drop the chilled truffles one at a time into the chocolate. Use a fork to roll the truffles around until they're thoroughly coated. Lift out of the chocolate with a fork, allowing the excess chocolate to drip off and transfer to a baking sheet lined with wax paper or parchment paper. Before the chocolate sets, scatter sprinkles or other garnish to ensure it sticks. (Optional: Instead of garnish, drizzle chocolate over the tops of the truffles after chocolate has set to make nice swirly patterns and make your truffles look extra fancy.)
  4. Once all the truffles have been dipped and garnished, store in the fridge until ready to serve. Or devour them all in one sitting. Whichever floats your boat.

Saturday, September 4


Tonight we had dinner at my in-laws'. We got a late start, and by the time we left it was way past Milo's bedtime. Andrew sat in the backseat for the drive home to attempt to keep Milo awake. (In our experience, if he falls asleep in the car, he has a harder time falling asleep in his bed.)

Andrew did everything. He sang about five green and speckled frogs. He tickled. He poked and made faces. But the heavy eyelids were winning, and every blink seemed like it would be the last before sleep set in. Just a half mile or so from home, we lowered the windows all the way and turned up the radio.

And as we turned on to our street, the wind blowing in my hair, "Stayin' Alive" playing loud and proud for all the neighbors to hear in an attempt to keep my baby awake for a few more minutes, I thought to myself, "This is what making a memory feels like."

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Thursday, September 2

Drool (and I'm not even talking about Milo's)

A few days ago I made chocolate chip cookie dough truffles, just because I read about them and wanted to make them. Correction: I wanted to eat them. And the only way I was going to get to eat them was if I made them. So I did.
They were very good. Very, very good. If you would like to eat them, too, you should invite me to a party. The sort of party where guests are expected to bring snacks, that is. These truffles were so good, Andrew and I ate about ten of them in two days. This may not sound like a lot, but our scale disagrees.
So we did what reasonable people who want to be reasonably healthy do. Andrew took them* to work where other reasonable people who want to be reasonably healthy lost control, realized they had no willpower, and ate them all before it was even time for lunch.

*Shhh, don't tell Andrew, but I totally stuck a few of the truffles in the freezer to save for later, when I desperately need a cookie dough fix.