Friday, October 27, 2006 (TAYLOR IS 76 WEEKS OLD)

Week76a

It’s been a week since I’ve been with Taylor full-time, and so far it’s going very well. A lot of people ask me what I’m going to do with my days now that I’m home (uh, HELLO…I have a blog to maintain!) Actually, things aren’t too different than before I quit my job. First of all, I was spending 4.5 days per week with Taylor before (not including the evenings after my regular workdays). Secondly, doing anything with a toddler takes waaaaaaaaaaaaaay longer than doing things without a toddler in tow. Let’s start with eating. We can easily kill three hours a day just eating. That’s not including shopping for the food, preparing the food, cleaning up after the food, etc. When Taylor was nursing, it was so much easier. We always knew what she was going to eat, it was always ready, she always ate and there was no cleanup. Oh, yeah…and it was FREE!! Now I have all of these anxieties surrounding meals. That sounds really neurotic, but Taylor’s tastes are impossible to keep up with. What she eats one day she flatly refuses to eat the next day. I try to stay one step ahead of her, but it’s impossible. There are times when she snarfs down everything in sight, but then she goes right back to eating like a bird. I wouldn’t mind it, except she acts really hungry. This is the mealtime drill:

Taylor: “Eat, eat!”
Me: “Are you hungry, Taylor?”
Taylor: “Yeah!”
Me: “Do you want some corn?”
Taylor: “Yeah!”
Me: “OK, Taylor…here’s some corn for you.”
Taylor: “No”
Me: “You don’t want corn?”
Taylor: “No…eat, eat! Cheese.”
Me: “You want cheese – really?”
Taylor: “CHEESE!”
Me: “OK, Taylor…here’s some cheese for you.”
Taylor: “No…eat, eat!”

And so it goes, on and on…three meals a day plus snacktime. We run through our routine and before I know it an hour has passed and Taylor has eaten 3 peas, 1/2 slice of cheese, 2 bites of pasta and a raisin. That’s victory in my book. The rest of the day is filled with errands and naptime and reading the same three books over and over and over. We get the mail, which takes about 1/2 hour if we dawdle on the lawn and stop to put gravel in our mouths (okay, one of us puts gravel in the mouth, the other one tries to take it out). T.J. also loves doing the laundry. She comes down to the basement with me and pushes the buttons and spins the dials on the washer and dryer. Then she watches intently as the clothes go tumbling around in the washing machine. After I fold the clean clothes and put them away, Taylor makes sure to “help” me by taking them out of her drawers and spreading them around her room. I follow her around, picking up the clothes and re-folding them and putting them back in the drawers and she’s right behind me waiting to undo my handiwork. She usually wins this game.

Week76b

If my new life sounds a lot like the movie “Groundhog Day”, it’s not. True, there’s a lot of repetition, but the same could be said of working at a so-called “real job”. There are moments when I’m bored and frustrated, but ditto a “real job”. I’m looking after a child who throws a tantrum when she doesn’t get her way, but the same could be said of…(okay, we’ll end the “real job” comparisons there.) The hours are brutal, the pay is terrible and my boss needs to work on her communication skills but the truth is, I LOVE my new job!

Week76c Week76d Week76e

Friday, October 20, 2006 (TAYLOR IS 75 WEEKS OLD)

Big changes this week! After 5+ years of working at the Lawrence Berkeley Lab, I left my job this week and am now officially caring for Taylor on a full-time basis. This was a huge step for me, and one that Zach and I deliberated over quite a bit before finally deciding to go ahead with it. Honestly, I’m a little bit nervous about not having the structure, independence and regular paycheck of a job and I’ll miss the interaction with my coworkers. I really had the best of both worlds while I was working part time but I’m absolutely thrilled to be with Taylor. When I mentioned to people that I was going to be a stay-at-home mom, I got so many positive responses. It helped to hear from parents of older kids who said that they had no regrets about leaving their jobs to raise their children. Of course, everyone told me that the time will fly by so fast. I’m sure that they’re right – I still can’t believe that Taylor is almost a year and a half old already!! I’m just going to try to really enjoy this time while it lasts.

At home:
Week75e Week75f Week75g Week75h

Taylor playing with Jaxon:
Week75i Week75j Week75k Week75l Week75m Week75n