Monday, September 29, 2014

day in the life: maternity leave ed.

It's been a long time since I've done a 'day in the life' post- in fact, it looks like my last (and only?) one was in January of 2013. young, so refreshing. So much healthy food. Ha- that's January for ya. I've been wanting to do one to capture my life on maternity leave with a baby. I'm sure one day I'll be wistful for the days of staying home and cuddling an infant all day (I mean, I'm already wistful for them...and they aren't even gone yet!), so I'd better capture a play-by-play now, before I forget that it wasn't all was also a lot of laundry and dishes. And bottle making. And washing.

So. There's a chance this whole (extreeeeemely long and detailed, sorry!) post could be of zero interest to you, but I always love seeing an occasional glimpse into the minutiae of other people's lives, so if that's you-- buckle up, cause here we go.

Friday, September 26, 2014
(Erika & Matt are 31, Camilla is 7 weeks old)

5:37 a.m.- Millie wakes us up with grunts and squirms that inform us she is ready for her next meal. Since her last feeding was a 'dream feed' around 11:00 p.m. (followed by a diaper change), this meant Matt and I got about 6.5 hours of uninterrupted sleep- can't complain!

Matt makes her bottle, I feed her, we change her, and it's back to bed for us all. Other than Matt running to the kitchen for the bottle, we do everything else right there in our bed- less disruptive for everyone. We put Millie back into her Rock 'n Play and she goes right back to sleep.

(at some point around 7 a.m., Matt gets up, dressed, and goes to work. I sleep through this.)

8:00 a.m.- I wake up and head to the kitchen to get a head start on the day. If I stay in bed until Millie wakes up, I'll feel 'behind' (and also lack caffeine) for a few hours. Better to get up and prepped for her while she's still snoozing.

I prepare my coffee (Matt brewed it before he left and leaves it on the burner for me) and Millie's bottle. I go with half a packet of Stevia, a generous splash of almond milk, and a Christmas mug. She gets 2 ounces of Similac mixed with 3ish ounces of breast milk. I put her bottle back in the fridge for when she's ready. She'll drink her bottles room temperature or cold, so I try to always have her 'next' one prepped so that she never gets hysterically hungry and I have to try to make it with one hand. That never goes well. 

After bottle prep, I put away the clean dishes from the night before, feed the pets, and take Lola outside to relieve herself. Normally Matt does that before he leaves, but apparently Lola was 'too tired' and wouldn't leave her bed this morning. Spoiled dog.
You're welcome, neighbors, for this classy ensemble. And you're welcome, blog readers, for this picture of my dog peeing.
8:30 a.m.- Breakfast and internet. 

Breakfast is toasted sandwich thins topped with peanut butter, honey, and flaxseed meal. YUM!

I set up a little 'station' in the dining room where I can eat, watch Millie on the monitor, and take care of important online business (like reading and commenting on blogs). While I'm doing this, I get the notification on my phone that my day's TimeHop is available.

Apparently it's been exactly one year since we announced our first adoption match. Bittersweet.

8:45 a.m.- Assemble the ingredients for dinner in the crock pot.

I'm making these Taco Chicken Bowls. I made them a few weeks ago and they were delicious and easy. A friend just had a baby and I signed up to take them dinner today, so I thought this would be a good way to make sure it happened with minimal freaking out on my behalf. Plus it makes enough to feed us, too!

9:00 a.m.- Noises and the video monitor confirm that Millie is ready to get up! I put her on the bed to unswaddle her and she treats me with the adorableness of a big stretch.

The bottle is ready and so is she. She eats on the couch. Sometimes she drinks her bottle very neatly, efficiently, and politely.

Yeah, this feeding wasn't one of those times. This was more a 'I haven't eaten in 20 years!!!!' gobble-fest. The kind where she sucks so hard she drowns herself in milk, then spews it all out over both of us as she's a real treat. We both needed showers after this breakfast, but neither of us got 'em. That's what baby wipes are for!

After her breakfast we went for a diaper change. Here's the thing- she hadn't pooped since Sunday. Now, she normally goes 3 days between poops, but this is more like 5, which is impressive by any standards. We've been waiting and waiting, but this morning I knew I'd need to pull out the big gun: the mint green diaper.

I don't know what it is, but every time we put this diaper on her, she poops. I think it's because it's my favorite diaper. I love the color. LOVE it. So I always save it for a time when I can appreciate it the most- like if she'll be wearing a dress with no bloomers, or an outfit that particularly matches the diaper? It's a special one. I just don't put it on her any ol' time. But we've started to notice that 99% of her poops happen immediately after putting on the green diaper. It's uncanny. So I barely get to even enjoy the cuteness of it! She immediately poops it! It's terrible and also hilarious. So Matt and I had decided that if she didn't poop overnight (in her disposable diaper like a good little baby...), we'd bust out Mint Green first thing in the morning. So I did.

This all sounds like superstition and coincidence, but I kid you not- five minutes after putting it on, I hear the tell-tale signs.

I'm telling ya, ol' Mint Green is batting a thousand. If your child is a poo-crastinator (HAAA, see what I did there??), I can lend you this diaper for a nominal fee. Just let me know.

Anyway, I'm no novice anymore- I know better than to change a dipe at the first sound of a poo. I put her in the swing to let her finish her business.

9:30 a.m.- Millie's still swinging and pooping, so I start a load of laundry and begin washing bottles. When my Spidey-senses tell me she's done, I change her. We play on the changing table for a few minutes while I re-dress her, but all this activity has worn her out. She starts yawning, so we head towards the bedroom for a nap.

10:00 a.m.- Millie gets a swaddle and she's back in her Rock 'n Play for a nap.

Bye mom, see ya later!
As long as we catch her in the early stages of getting tired, she's happy to lay down and will just stare and put herself to sleep without a fuss. It's awesome. But if we wait too's much less peaceful.

While Millie naps, I get dressed, put on some minimal makeup, make the bed, and move the laundry to the dryer.

10:20 a.m.- Work on my Bible Study homework.

I'm taking advantage of my temporary SAHM lifestyle by doing a women's Bible study on Wednesday mornings. We're three weeks in and I'm really enjoying it!

10:45 a.m.- After I finish my 'homework,' I spend some time responding to emails and writing thank you cards. And I make some hot tea.

Email responding and writing cards are both tasks that pile up and overwhelm me quickly, so I do best if I methodically pick away at them. I made a good dent in the inbox and got three cards written before Millie started making sounds like she was going to get up.

11:15 a.m.- Her eyes are open, so I sprint to make her bottle, put away some clean and sterilized bottles, and put my shoes on.

11:20 a.m.- False alarm; she fell back asleep. I take advantage of this by sweeping the floors in a few rooms, responding to more emails, and writing another thank you card.

11:45 a.m.- She's still sleeping, so I go ahead and make my lunch (ham and cheese sandwich and tortilla chips) and eat it. Better to eat while I have the chance!

12:10 p.m.- Still sleeping, so I move the finished laundry to the bed and start folding.

12:20 p.m.- Annnnd nap time is over! Millie is up and ready for lunch!! We dine al fresco on the porch glider.

This time she eats much more neatly. Clearly she doesn't want another wardrobe change. After she finishes her bottle, we do some aromatherapy. I know. You didn't know I was so fancy, didja? Each day, usually multiple times a day, Millie and I indulge in some aromatherapy. This involves walking out the the eucalyptus trees in the front yard, standing amongst the branches, and me running my hands over the leaves and then holding my hands up to her nose so that she breathes in the smell. It's quite delightful, really. She seems to like it- it's been known to entertain her for as long as 45 seconds, so...that's saying something! We also do this with the lavender plant, but that's harder- we have to kneel down to reach it on the ground, and the scent doesn't come off as readily on my palms. So mainly we stick to eucalyptus. This is like my poor man's spa day.

12:45 p.m.- Take a walk around the neighborhood. 

This is also something we do multiple times a day. I get tired of being stuck in the house and being a slug, so this is an easy alternative. It's 1.2 miles around the neighborhood and the weather was cool and cloudy, so we had a delightful little jaunt.

1:10 p.m.- Work on folding laundry while Millie watches.

She loves sitting on our pile of pillows and staring out the window. We call it her 'throne.' She only made it through about 10 minutes of throne-time, though, before she let me know she was getting sleepy and wanted her swaddle. I let her start falling asleep there while I finished up folding. I love watching her fall asleep.

1:40 p.m.- Finish putting laundry away, transfer the sleeping babe to the Rock 'n Play. Spend naptime working on uploading pictures and starting this 'day in the life' post.

2:25 p.m.- She's wiggling, making noises, and wide-eyed. I get her up.

2:30 p.m.- She isn't happy. She isn't sure about life. We rock, we try a variety of pacis, we do some more aromatherapy. We take a walk and look at the flowers outside, we change her diaper, she swings in her swing. None of these things do the trick. Finally I put her back in her swaddle and she falls asleep against my chest. Oops. Apparently I shouldn't have gotten her up at 2:25...false alarm! She settles back in for an extended naptime. I lay down on the couch with the laptop and keep working on the blog while she naps on my chest. My sister calls and we chat for awhile. Millie keeps napping.

3:30 p.m.- Still sleeping, poor tired baby. I get up and lay her down so that I can make her next bottle. When she wakes up, she'll probably be starving. After making the bottle, I return to my computer and the couch.

3:50 p.m.- She wakes up! Bottle and a diaper change.

4:15 p.m.- We head to the front porch to glide, enjoy the weather,  and read a few books.

Then I spent a few minutes trying to get her to smile at me. It went mostly like this:

Not amusing, Mom. Try again.
4:40 p.m.- Time for another walk around the neighborhood. This time I wear her in the Ergo. She falls immediately asleep and I perfect the art of walking while texting and scrolling through Facebook. When you walk around the same neighborhood as many times a day and week as I do...the scenery ceases to be entertaining.

5:05 p.m.- We return home from our walk. I put Millie down for her nap and I do some picking up around the house. Then I pack up the meal and dessert to take to my friend.

5:45 p.m.- Matt is home from work- and he brought me flowers! Happy Friday to me! As soon as he walks through the door, I leave to deliver dinner. I started to slack on my pictures, clearly- you'll just have to take my word for it. I dropped off dinner, stayed to chat (and hold the teeeeeeeensy baby (5 lb. 10 oz.!!)) for a few minutes, and then ran into Aldi to pick up a few groceries.

7:15 p.m.- I arrive back home, put away the groceries, eat dinner (I saved half of the crock pot meal for us to eat), and do some dishes. Matt has been taking care of Millie since he got home, so I have no idea what she was doing at this point. Probably napping. Or hanging out. Or maybe eating. You know...the only three things she really does.

7:45 p.m.- Fun diversion- our next door neighbors came over so that I could notarize some contracts that they had to sign! This is definitely not something that happens frequently, but I'm glad I could help them out! They hung out (and signed stuff) (and I stamped and signed and notarized) for about half an hour and kindly paid me in homemade cookies!

Notary stamp + cookies. Excellent.
8:35 p.m.- Bath time for baby! But not just any old bath. A bath with Daddy!

We recently discovered the extreme fun and cuteness of letting Millie 'swim' in the big bath with us. She loves it and we pretty much just squeal with glee the whole time watching her. Everybody wins.

9:00 p.m.- Millie dons her jammies and hat and we settle in to read a Bible story together as a family on our bed.

9:10 p.m.- Bedtime for Mills!

9:30-50 p.m.- Yeah, not so much on the bedtime. Millie treats us to a few meltdowns and lots of unhappy growling. We rock her, feed her, walk her, and ultimate realize it's some serious gas giving her issues. A few gas drops and she's back to being a happy (and sleepy) baby. Nighty night!

10:00 p.m.- We're planning a weekend trip in the mountains with Matt's siblings/siblings-in-law/nieces/nephews this fall, so we had a marathon group text session as we all browsed different rentals on VRBO, shared links, and debated the merits of various cabins and cities. We finally decided on one and I sent an email to the owner to get some clarification on a few things- if all goes well, we will hopefully book it!

11:30 p.m.- I take a shower, we wake Millie up for a quick 'dream feed', put her back down to bed, and hit the hay ourselves. Another exciting Friday in the books!

If you made it through all of this, you are a saint. Or possibly just very bored. At any rate- now my very exciting day of maternity leave has been immortalized for the generations to come (ha- bored generations, maybe) and I will never have to wonder just what did I do all day??


  1. Love that you guys are doing the dream feed! People thought we were crazy for waking a sleeping baby to eat but it was so worth it and obviously works great for Millie!

  2. Love reading this. . . I love hearing about other mommas days/schedules etc. :) She is just too cute for words!!

  3. Mint must get Millie's bowels a movin'!!! I'm totally using poo hole...totally! I don't care if it's not a medical term!
    Definitely making that crockpot recipe. This is my favorite time of the year to use mine and I love new recipes. My boys should be willing to eat this one.
    Millsie is changing so much every day! My maternity leave was the best. After all these years I can still remember all the snuggles. Enjoy!!!!!

  4. I love reading these! Millie sounds like such a good little baby, and y'all obviously have the parenting thing down.

  5. Omg I'm totally taking a bath with my boys now that I've seen the pic of M and Millie!!! Isn't maternity leave the absolute best?!?!

  6. That sounds like such a fun day! Millie is just too adorable and I'm glad that you get to enjoy these days you have at home with her.

  7. I loved reading about your day! It made me miss maternity leave, though. :-/ I'd forgotten what those first few months with a newborn were like. Granted, you are FAR more productive than I ever was; I basically lived under a rock and did nothing more than breastfeed and watch Bravo TV...but that time with your new baby is still so special and it looks like you're making the most of it! Miss Millie is getting more and more beautiful each day, if that's even possible. She can't really be 7 weeks old already, can she??

  8. I love Matt's comment on relaxing in the mint green diaper! Perfect! Have you used VRBO before? I just booked a place after talking to the owner a few times. The vacation is in February, and I am a bit nervous we will get there and have no house to stay in. Ha ha! Anyway, enjoy your time off.

  9. I love this! I think I will try to do this same type of post this week.

  10. I want to do a day in the life post but I haven't gotten around to it yet! I really should get on that...

    Millie is such a good girl being able to put herself to sleep! wow! She has the most beautiful eyes ever...

  11. Love the Rock N Play!
    Love the Ergo.
    This post makes me miss my maternity leaves!

  12. It was excellent planning on your part for Millie to be born just as fall was approaching - well done! Davis was born right before The Hottest Summer Ever in 2011 and I hated not being able to get out of the house and take walks when we needed to break up the day!

  13. I love the 'day in the life' posts. It's probably weird, but it is so interesting to me what others do during the day. I hope I have your spidey sense when our little one arrives!

  14. I love this. These are the kind of days I look forward to having in the future.

    P.S. What workout app is that?

  15. Hahaha the magic mint diaper - I love it!! I'm glad you are soaking up alllll the snuggles! I also enjoy reading about the minutiae of other people's lives, especially when they have an adorable baby! I may have to do one too though it wouldn't be as cute and probably really boring haha.

  16. This is too cute. The mint green diaper trick, like a charm!! Sounds like your time off with little one is going amazing and you have got a great routine settled in that works! She is tooooo cute, love those lips! I am also on week 3 of Children of the Day by Beth Moore, I love it so far!

  17. What a day! Love that Matt brought you flowers xoxo I can't wait to have these days too :)

  18. I don't know if you talked about it in another post that I missed, but I would love to hear more about the breastmilk your using. We're adopting a baby due in December and are going to have donated breastmilk to give her for a little while at least. I would love to hear about how that's going!

  19. A. the pictures of Millie are HEARTWARMINGLY ADORABLE.
    B. Can you PLEASE email me that crock pot recipe??? It looks awesome!

  20. I would like to learn more about the dream feed, and which cloth diapers do you use? I tried to search on your blog, but the search bar is broken.

  21. I LOVED this! Seriously! Thank you for sharing! xo

  22. I read the whole thing, not bored one bit! You are doing a great job, I remember the newborn maternity leave days, cherish them! Every stage is so special in it's own unique way!!

  23. Enjoyed reading this and seeing all the pics. That's too funny about the mint green diaper!

  24. So apparently I'm a creepy stalker b/c I totally love reading these day in the life posts. :) I used the same app with Harvey (and once he went to daycare at 8w I made his daycare lady use it too!) - i loved it! Sounds like you have a great routine going!

  25. Admit it: you secretly always wondered what took up all of SAHMs' time with infants, right? I totally did, and then the twins were born, and I kicked my smug, wondering self in the face.

  26. What app are you using to track Millie's feeding, sleeping, etc?

  27. I seriously love this post Erika. Maybe it's because I'm naturally a really nosy person? Regardless, I much enjoyed it :)

  28. I enjoyed seeing your day with little Millie. The breakfast looks exactly like something I'd have (I eat the same PB and honey!). I love her little throne, too. :)

  29. So Dave used to take baths with our kids too but he didn't wear a swimsuit. Also, my internet is really slow so it takes forever to scroll down on a page. These two things seem unrelated until I reached the picture of Matt and Millie and all I'm seeing is a lot of bare leg, and I'm getting really nervous wondering how much of Matt I'm going to see! I should have known this is a G-rated blog.

    Also, I love Day In The Life Posts and I was reading the ones I did when Rachel was a baby and there was a lot of e-mailing, blogging, and thank you card writing thrown in there! Plus laundry, laundry, and more laundry!

  30. Love it! Ahhh, I miss those stay at home days so much...I don't have to tell you to treasure it while you can, because I already know you are. It's funny because my days were so full, but I look back now and think, "What the heck did I do all day?!" The answer is "Love on that baby," of course. And it was wonderful.

    Loved all the photos!

  31. Love all the pics! Great job for documenting the whole day!

  32. michelemybelle@gmail.comOctober 22, 2014 at 10:29 AM

    Have you tried Dr Brown's bottles? We have used them with all 3 and haven't had too any gas problems considering my babies were all formula-fed and get constipated.


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