We'll begin by mentioning that I am typing this post with my new swag (due to tingling and weakness in my right hand, we think I might have carpal tunnel syndrome - for now). It's a gift to myself for having five more weeks of school left!!!
Carrying on. Five more weeks of school means nine more weeks of intern year. We're in a tough work schedule spot for the next few weeks, so the Baldwin bunch took advantage of the day off and sunshine on Sunday to visit the local park and fish hatchery.
Grace only had eyes (and smiles) for her Dad.
Alas, Monday came around and left us girls alone until bed time. Grace's current favorite activities include sneaking her binky from her crib (she's supposed to to have it only at nap or bed time) and playing on/with anything infant-related.
The night usually ends with me cleaning up the Floor of Mass Destruction.
Wakey-wakey! Will's home till lunch so Laura gets to keep napping while I take Grace to OT. Just kidding, she only napped while Will and I were cleaning our room. She likes to maximize her parental time.
Between cleaning, eating and prepping for class, I teach, and our babysitter leaves. I'm able to grade until Grace wakes up. Then we play together, eat dinner, and playtime becomes binky time because it is way too early for bed and way too late for another nap, which Miss Tired Cat obviously needed. Dino wubbanub, I love you. And you, blue blanket!
I'm big on picking my battles. Sure, she shouldn't have her binky all day. But some evenings, we allow for the leeway because Mommy is all alone to handle that (those) temper tantrums, and the girls like to have solidarity when one is crying.
I loved my friend Sarah's piece in the NYT about parents and how our generation is all about peer-review. Of course, there is also the official stance of her speech therapist that more binky time = less talking time. I'm not for giving in every time Grace wants something - she's definitely learning in her many therapy sessions that we don't quit even when it's tough.
But she's still a baby, almost 19 months, and after a long day of vocalization, practicing signs, talking through sounds and babbling, I think we could both use the quiet time. I like that she has developed her own style of self-soothing. And her own fashion style! Check out that headband:
Meanwhile, my little kicker is a tummy time champ!
One and a half months strong!! Then, she gets tired and cries piteously while Grace attempts to stuff her pinky back in her mouth.
As Will says (about work), "They can't stop the clock!" Same goes for bed time.
Laura lies on the aforementioned jungle activity mat while I brush Grace's teeth, wrestle her into a clean diaper and then jammies. She calms down once her binky and blanket are back in her possession. We read a few books and snuggle, and then I start night prayers. Sometimes she flees, sometimes she sits on my lap, but mostly she likes to stay close and move around. (Off the couch, on the couch: repeat!) Either way, bed time is coming. She settles in, content.
Laura and I return to the couch, and I begin to grade while watching/ listening to Bones. I love Bones - I love the diverse characters, the way they honestly tackle discussions of religion, philosophy, morality, anthropology, crime and humans. The gore can be a bit much for me, and I appreciate the steps they've taken to make it believable. It can be silly or out there or downright terrifying, and I am stretched in my imagination and beyond my personal comfort level. Also, they made a Twitter account for Dr. Brennan and it is hilarious.
In order of importance: cuddling Laura, eating that Greek yogurt, grading, watching Bones, cleaning Grace's daily mess. Grading isn't so bad; it just requires concentration and the ability to focus. (This picture was not taken during an active grading session.)
Will gets home around 11, we stay up till 12 as he eats dinner and decompresses; then sleep (and night nursing), and the day begins again! Days have a relative pattern to them. The tough part is not always having Will in the equation; the easy part is adding him back in, though, and this morning, he was drafted into breakfast duty while I caught a couple more minutes of snooze.
I am not sure I've really noticed Grace getting bigger until Laura came around; Grace seems more like a toddler than a baby (but not until 24 months!!) with her independent streaks.
Grace discovered she could actually escape getting dressed for a couple minutes since my wrist hurt so much, so she decided to climb into Laura's bed.
I got to sit down and nurse Laura, and Grace re-visited her old haunt. Win-win-win.
When they say parenthood is an adventure, it's only if you see it as exciting. I love watching my little minds take shape, and it's amazing the bond I am building with my girls. They prefer me to their babysitter. They come for me for comfort. I encourage during therapy. We play and laugh and relax together.
Another night of girls night in; I want to take them on a walk, but my wrist hurts too much. We'll swing on the porch after Grace finishes her applesauce and play more until bed. Then I'll crunch out the rest of my Civil Rights Movement lecture with Laura and say a few prayer for Will, who is working super late, and has to give a presentation tomorrow morning at Grand Rounds. Thursday is double therapy for Grace and double class for me, and best of all, I am looking forward to Will being home for dinner.
Adventure is out there!
How is your week going?