February 16, 2010

"Hi. My name is Justin and I'm an anxious dad." "Hi, Justin!"


Today, Harper is 90 days old.  According to various research that I have heard about, but not actually read, babies begin to laugh around day 90, on average.  We are anxiously awaiting this development.  My beautiful baby already has an amazing smile and shows her excitement and glee to the point where she looks like she might burst.  I hope this will manifest itself into fits of giggling that are too cute to handle.

Socrates believed that the first laugh was the point when the soul entered the body.  Before that laugh, the baby wasn't a person, only an animal.  This is a wonderfully romantic notion because how could someone who never laughs be considered human?  Unfortunately, various research shows that other animals laugh as well.  Mice laugh when they are tickled, so I've heard.

In any event, the last two weeks have been a bit crazy.  Sara had to go back to work last week and she was not happy about that.  Just in time for her to start, we get blasted with 4000 feet of snow.  School was canceled for me all week, which is lucky because the day care center was closed on Wednesday and Thursday.  Harper and I spent the day together on those days and I got a basic preview of what my summer will be.  I am amazed at how stressed out I was.

Harper was wonderful, but my anxiety was astounding.  At the slightest hint of discomfort on her part, I went into a bald panic, running around the house trying to find a remedy.  Was she hungry? Did she need her diaper changed?  Did she need something to look at?  Did she want to be picked up?  Did she want to be put down?  Did she want a nap?  I know that none of these concerns were immediate or life-threatening, but the sense of panic that flowed through me was absurd.  Looking back on it now, I'm not sure what the big deal was, but that doesn't change anything.  At 4:30-5:00 each day, I picked Harper up and walked to our front room, looking out the window and asking "Is that mommy's car?"

I have no problem doing all of these things and taking care of Harper.  Being alone in the house with her makes me VERY nervous and I have no idea why.  Even if Sara is home napping, I don't have any of these issues.  I just sort of need her in the house to let me know that I'm doing an OK job. 

I HATE that I'm like this.  I want to be happy to have a day home with my daughter and not have that happiness be tainted by feeling of fear that I'm going to do something horrendous to emotionally scar her for the rest of her life.  I've even been taking her to day care slightly earlier than I need to because I've finished doing everything I can think of to do with her and I don't want her to start freaking out on my watch. 

Over this past weekend, we think she had some bad gas and wasn't getting enough sleep.  She was more cranky and miserable than she's ever been.  Normally, she's very well tempered and only cries when she's hungry or needs to be changed.  Even then, it's more like fussing than anything else.  She is a wonderful and content baby.  My fears are completely unfounded.  Logically, I know this, much the way I logically knew that my mother-in-law and aunt-in-law were not going to wrestle and tear her in half a few weeks ago, like I feared.

I think I'm doing alright as a father.  I try to be attentive to her needs.  I keep her entertained, fed, dry, warm and loved.

Why can't I be comfortable just being with her?  I sure hope this passes as she gets older.  Maybe it'll be easier to do this stuff alone when she can communicate a little better...

My brother was going to come up and see his niece and, once again, the weather conspired to keep them apart.  This time, he was as close as Johnstown and couldn't make it out.  Over the summer, when I have the time off, I plan to make a road trip to see several people and take Harper on a nice tour of the east coast.

I had a lot more to say in this post, but I can't remember what it was.  Hopefully, I'll be better about updating more often.  I have plenty of free time to do so...

Thanks to Juliet for the fantastic tye-dyed outfits!

February 1, 2010

Back to work... ick

Hi, This is Sara. I managed to post as Justin last time and I don't really know how, but I figured I would just say it was me and hopefully I signed in correctly.
So, I have been pretty busy. I have been able to take the full 12 weeks off with the little baby (and man is she cute!!). It has been absolutely fabulous having all this time with her. I have really loved it and I am split on how I feel about going back to work. On one hand I am very excited to get back to a regular routine, see my co-workers and have some money. On the other, I love my baby so much and I don't really want to leave her. It has been so amazing see her go from this helpless tiny little baby to now when she rolls over, lifts her head, looks at me with a giant smile... how could I leave that? I know I have to, but it won't be easy.
We decided on a daycare for her. I looked at a whole bunch of them. We needed to consider the location, price and how we felt about it overall. I think I am a decent judge of character and I definitely felt like I was being schmoozed (sp?) by a few of the people I talked to, so I didn't even bother going to visit their facility. While I was on the phone with one woman, she was yelling at a little person about their spoon... not good business. So the daycare that we decided on is staffed by all women (I just didn't see any men). And they seemed very nice, friendly, interested in Harper, clean etc. She will probably be at the daycare for about 7 hours a day, so it won't be really long, but it will be long for me to be away.
I am worried about all three of us and dealing with this new adjustment. I am worried about myself because I don't want to end up crying all day and I don't think I will, but yeah I might. I am worried about her, because there will be new people around her, and I don't know if they will take as good of care of her as I would? I know I am paying them to take really good care of her, so I know they will, but there is always that bit of doubt. And then I am really worried about Justin. 1) He has some trust issues regarding her and handing her over to someone else... ( he does realize this) and is willing to give her to these people, but I think it will be rough for him. 2) He is going to be the one dropping her off in the morning. The nice lady, Sharon, that runs the place said that when dropping off for the first week it will be tough and I will cry. I can call as many times as I want to. She didn't realize that Justin will be the one dropping Harper off. When I told her this she said, " Oh dear." Justin was going in to visit the facility and meet the caregivers today, so that he would be more comfortable with them. I am just hoping that he will be OK. 3) It's Justin... you hear how he is in his posts, need I say more?
When you read this Justin, remember that I love you and I just want people to know that you are a great father who is very protective and concerned when giving our daughter to strangers. You have a great support group of other parents and friends that have had to do the same thing, so they will listen and sympathize when you post about dropping her off for the first time. It wouldn't be easy for me to do it either.
Another thing I am worried about is her sleeping patterns. I am hoping that she will be able to get to sleep a little better and stay asleep, so that I can sleep. I am trying not to drink too much caffeine later in the day. I will give her a bath, put on warm jammies and nurse her then she falls asleep. Some nights she will stay awake for a long time or wake up a few times. Does anyone have any suggestions for bed-time routines? Or when to put her to bed? I am just looking for helpful hints if you have some.
Well, I think it is time to play with her some, maybe take some pictures... :) I love doing that. I have a very cute subject, so how can I resist?



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