Back to work

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Well today is the day I went back to work. It was actually a weird feeling. Devon is now 4 months old, 13 lbs 9oz (although she feels like 16 or 20 lbs) and very smiley. She almost seems like a different baby than back when I started my SAHD duties in late May. 

I wouldn’t say I was sad to go back to work, but maybe just a little down? I can see why it was so hard for Heather to go back to work (she was fine after a couple weeks of being back to work)… I just kept thinking about what I’d be doing if I was at home with Devon all day. 

So to keep this short, I’d just say this to the bro’s out there: if you can in any way get paternity leave, or take a few weeks of vacation when your lady goes back to work, TAKE IT! I’ve been trying to write up something here today with no luck at getting across what I mean. You definitely won’t regret your time. Devon now lights up for me, like she does for Heather, every time I see her. I wonder if she would do that already had I not taken this time off. That’s not something I’d risk!

This is how we felt about me going back to work this morning.  

One week to go

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What honestly happened to June? I almost cannot believe I have only one week left at home! Heather works the Friday night to Monday morning stretch too, so I’ll have full SAHD responsibilities to tend to. But I have so many SAHD projects pending and even some left to start!

My goal today has been to finish pending projects and to not start new projects. So here’s what I’ve done:

1. Started new projects in main floor bathroom: Ripped late 80s towel rack off wall, took out main floor bathroom faucet… Need to paint it this week (looks like packer green, yuck) and put up wall cabinet. Damnit, don’t start new projects.   

2. Started new project: Upstairs shared bathroom; Break the soap dish that I hit my knee on, off tile wall. Pray there’s no opening/break in the tile behind it. No opening! No mold, that’s just coffee grounds from the trash. Ok back to pending projects.  
3. Hang pallet shelf-thing I cut last week. Check! We hardly have enough wine to fill it up!   

4. Buy more wine. 

5. Finish landscaping out front. I now it sounds weird but I was taking out all the bushes and shrubs 3 weeks ago and came to the last one and there were 3 robin eggs in a nest. And I couldn’t take it down. Well I saw 5 eggs hatch, and as of Monday evacuate the nest. So game on.    

6. Screw it. It’s the week of the 4th of July. Let’s go to the lake. 

Bday bash

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Even though I’m not at work, I generally wake up around 7am, I may not get out of bed but I usually wake. If it’s just me and Devon then I’ll get up, but in the first minutes of turning 29 … I must have received a bad omen from my body. I can’t remember my neck ever being that sore. So much that I needed to lay in bed for another 90 minutes to stretch it out. It felt like it wasn’t my last year in my 20s but my last year in my 30s type of deal.

But I made it, and told Heather all I wanted to do on my birthday was relax. And so we did. I was in my recliner for only a couple hours before her idea of relaxing had me up and walking my sore self down the pier in Hudson. However, I was rocking my new favorite dad shirt (so I felt good) and we let Devon splash around in the river for the first time. She didn’t seem to mind the water or the sand!

 Kids love him, fish fear him:  
 

I was reflecting on what else I wanted to do today to really soak in the SAHD-ness… So I cracked a beer and took the lawnmower for a spin. Not the grass needed it, so much as I needed it. Felt good to get a good checker pattern on the back yard. I know the neighbors appreciate it. I know it. 

Then I took a dad nap in my recliner. 

Then for God-knows-why… I ran 4 miles. Felt good. But heathers pizza hot dish felt better when I got back! I made sure to eat more than I burned off on the run. And then had another brew-ha… In a mug I got delivered on my bday from my dad:

  

Crib time

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A few nights ago, after 3 months of bliss, I transitioned Devon into her own room and crib. Up until then she was at the foot of our bed, in a pack-n-play. Made everything super easy as she gets up every 4-6 hours when Heather’s home at night. When Heather is gone at work overnight, Devon goes to sleep for 4-6 hours, I give her some milk and then we sleep for 8+ hours until mom gets home. It’s a good deal. Maybe she’ll wake me up once or twice a but she really gets me. She knows daddy needs sleep so he can be fun the next dad. Brilliant kid. 

But let me tell you how awesome it is to have her in her own room! And I know was/is terribly tough for Heather; for me things are settling back into the new normal. She couldn’t have stayed in our room for ever. I know all families are different with how quick they move the new addition out of their room and into the nursery… For us this long worked. Next time I’ll probably be more eager to boot the little one. But who knows, maybe I’ll want ’em to stay longer.

In other news… Front yard landscaping is still a mess and limbo. I’m turning 29 tomorrow and Devon is now pulling on my beard. So that’s fun. I only have like 10 days left then I’m back to work!  

I’ve come up with some ingenious baby chairs over the past few days: 

Father’s Day

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So this is the big day. For dads it’s akin to the big Thanksgiving Day meal, opening Christmas presents or even an elusive MN school snow day. Today is all about celebrating that which is dad. As this is my first Father’s Day, I took it the relaxing route. Some early morning fishing, pontoon ride with Heathers parents, Heather and Devon, and swung over to have dinner with my old man, Roger.

Again, I continue to be blown away by seeing Devon interact with others, but especially her 3 grandparents. They adore her and most of the time she gives them huge smiles. Silly little girl still gets shy though. She’s definitely starting to take in more of the environment around her. 

I know this day will be something very special for me going forward as Devon can do more of the whole talk-walk set of skills. She can ask me questions, in my infinite wisdom I’ll answer her, and then she’ll ask mom for the real answer. It will be a grand time. But for now, at almost 14 pounds… She’s already growing too fast. She can stand, if we guide her to not fall over, for 20, 30+ seconds. Can’t roll yet, but she looks to be not far from crawling in my eyes. 

Only 14 days left until I head back to work. Many projects in progress. Not enough time. Very SAHD. 

   

Pontoon baby!  

Grandpa Rogers’ killer beard, Devon loves it   

Baby Devon’s Friend

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When I think about what a trip it is to have a living, breathing, eating, kicking mini-me around now… I also have really been shocked to see that mini-me interact with my friends newborns. At just 10 days older, baby Olivia (‘Livy’), my friends little girl, hosted Devon today for a little play date. We all did this back when the two girls were ~1 and 3 weeks old, and the two of them were more blobs that babies. Just sitting not knowing the other was even there. Well, this time they were vocal, reaching out at one another, filling diapers simultaneously; having a grand old time! 

Jess, Olivia, Devon, yours truly:  

Livy connected with Devon, literally:  

Best buds: 

It was a fun field trip for Devon! We also got to commiserate and celebrate our parenting so far … Which was so fun! I received some advice right as Devon was born, to not compare other kids to yours and vice versa. But it was so fun to see those two, so similar! There are small differences and Livy is ahead in the rolling over game, but both are very happy and healthy babies!

Oh, and afterwards we had enough time to stop at Bed, Bath and Beyond, I didn’t know there’d be time!!! Anyways…. Got some gooooood ol’ window treatments. I couldn’t quell my excitement. 😐 but we did replace some craptastic blinds we had. All in a day’s work.   

Before:
After:  

Onto the next project.  And the next night with Devon. 

Bottling; why do men have nipples?

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Heather’s in a stretch of shifts now, so Mr. SAHD is in full charge 21 hours a day (she still takes lead for about an hour in the morning when she gets home and almost two hours before she leaves in the evening for work). So I bottle feed her thawed milk during the day and throughout the night. 

I’ve taken a break from writing as I’ve been out fishing with my old man, had to go back to work for a day to testify in court, been working on eliminating the landscaping out front, etc. but back to the baby…

Would-be-dads; no fear, we just weren’t meant to do this.  I’m convinced we were given nipples just so we question why. Thank goodness for bottles.

Bottles; Ohhh let me tell you I couldn’t have cared less goingn into all of this. Throw some milk in a bottle and squeeze it in the kids mouth. I do believe, now, I was a tad wrong. Some bottles just suck- and I give you Tommee Tippee bottles. Shaped funny but worse yet, when Devon used it, she collapses the nipple part! It’s flimsy and shoddy. Leaks all over child and dad. Makes dad frustrated. Best damn bottle out there, called Joovy Boob Baby Bottle. Like drinking out of a Coors Light bottle- you know what you’re gonna get each time. No surprises. It’s thicker plastic, easy to clean out, doesn’t leak on dad… I recommend them big time. 

Ps we currently out Dev in a sleep suit, so she can’t scratch her face up and startle herself awake. So do you know what good bottle feeding turns into in the morning?