|I love her squishy arms! And her ?blue eyes. And her general squeezable-ness.|
I had a little scare last week where it looked like I might have to go back to work sooner than expected and boy, did it put enjoying-maternity-leave into perspective. It also lit a fire under my ass to get more things done. Luckily the snafu got sorted out and I don't return to work until June 24, as planned. And that's only for a week. And then I have the summer off. Phew.
But I'm still being very productive. And it's unbelievable to me how focused I'm being, at least a lot of the time, and yet I still have so much to do. Getting things done feels like a full time job.
The big news around here is that Amelie has learned to bring her hands to her mouth. Pretty thrilling. She also noticed her feet the other day while sitting in her car seat. It was pretty amusing to watch her watching her feet fly around.
The dropping of the dream feed is going well. Now I'm just trying to move that last nighttime feeding later. Two nights ago it was 4:30 am. Last night we made it to 6 am! This is much easier than I remember with Calliope, where I was mucking about with decreasing her feeding by a half an ounce (or thirty seconds of nursing) every third night, which was really stressful. With Amelie, I just stick the pacifier back in (she's in a Rock n Pl.ay pulled up right next to my bed) and roll over and fall back asleep. It's astounding to me that she goes along with this.
The only potential wrinkle is that I worry about my milk supply. Two of my friends had supply issues when they tried this schedule. And I sometimes feel like my breasts aren't that full. So I've been pumping once before I go to bed. With Calliope, I pumped mid-morning but my schedule is too chaotic with two kids to pull this off. So I can offer a bottle after nursing when my boobs weren't feeling full at the beginning of a feeding, but so far, Amelie rarely takes much, if anything, from the bottle.
Things with Calliope are mostly really great. She seems to be transitioning into that cooperative, agreeable four year old I've heard about. She continues to be very loving with Amelie, and has become much more responsive to my requests.
Sometimes she's really scared of a hole in the paint in her wall recently, though, which cracks me up. No pun intended.
She saw my dad's gravestone when we went for the unveiling of my mom's gravestone last weekend. She's been talking about him, now, saying, "I miss my grammy and my father. They died." She did this in playschool this week and I got raised eyebrows and silence from the teacher as she looked to me for my response... I interrupted quickly and said, "you mean your Grammy and your grandfather." I don't want people thinking I let Calliope believe her father died.
It's a little amusing to me, though, since my dad died well before Calliope was born. But it's nice to think that she wants to think of him as a part of her family, too.
The unveiling was... well, good and hard, both. I was really sad. I miss my mom a lot. But I got a chance to speak about how I miss her mostly as the grandmother to my children. And just getting to express that, and to cry -- something I almost never do -- felt really cathartic and healing. I feel a lot less sad now.
And kneeling before my parents' graves, Calliope's hand in mine, as we placed pebbles on their gravestones... I felt their presence. I'm not really a spiritual person but I could sense them, sense their unwavering love and support and pride. It was like I got a glimpse of their best selves, the parents and grandparents they strived to be, seeing me and us with great affection from beyond. It felt really good. And like I got a sense of closure.
I had really wavered about going at all, and then about bringing Calliope, but I'm so glad I did. Amelie cried through most of it, and struggling with a bottle and then trying to nurse her wasn't ideal, but it was really great to have Calliope there.
|Amelie with my mom's best friend, who I am hoping may become an honorary grandma|
Behind them you can see my brother's last Mother's Day gift to my mom -- photos from my
brother's wedding, just seven weeks before my mother's death, including one of my mother
walking my brother down the aisle.