Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Changing Seasons

A lot has happened in the last month.

Elizabeth is back at work full time, which means Evie started day care.  Mother's Day.  Evie had his first plane flight.  Elizabeth started teaching dance again.  And that's not even getting into developmental milestones.

May 10, 2016

The first big spring thing for us was Mother's Day.  We went hiking at Uvas Canyon, where Obie's ashes are.  We drove up in the late morning, but the park was full.  That hadn't even crossed our minds as a possibility and we were thrown for a loop.  Luckily, we were able to come back in the afternoon and spend some time at this special place.

One of Evie's dragonflies at Uvas Canyon.  May 8, 2016.

At Manzanita Point.  May 8, 2016.

Mother's Day felt weird.  Maybe it will feel different when Everett is old enough to be making school projects and writing his name in cards.  To Elizabeth, right now, it felt more like a reminder of what our family is missing.  Maybe it will always feel that way.

On May 12, Elizabeth returned to work full time and Everett started day care.  To many Americans, this seems like a late return to work.  To most of the world, it seems like way too soon.  Can it be both?  By taking advantage of California's Paid Family Leave and the federal Family & Medical Leave Act, Elizabeth was able to stay home with Everett for 18 weeks.  

While the time home with Everett was important for everyone, it was also stressful.  Not in a negative way, but taking care of an infant requires constant attention.  Often Elizabeth was doing two or three things at once, and only getting any sort of respite if Everett happened to take a nap where she could set him down (not a given on any particular day).  Now that Everett is in day care, she can do one thing at a time.  The first time she sat and ate lunch - and didn't do anything else - since Evie was born was her first day back at work.  It was strange, but also offers an opportunity to recharge.  

We are still learning this new schedule.  Figuring out how to balance household chores with getting Everett settled for bed and dinner for us is a work in progress.  

Leaving Everett with day care is hard, but not as emotionally intense as we expected.  Getting pictures like this on day one certainly helped.

Evie having fun at day care, May 12, 2016.

Living in a different state from everyone in our immediate families means Everett is going to travel by plane.  It was only a matter of time.  Turns out his first flight was from San Francisco to Chicago-O'Hare.  We tried to give ourselves the best chance for success - direct flights, late morning, Economy Plus seating, renting a car seat instead of carrying one, shipping a Pack & Play direct instead of carrying one...but you can't plan for everything!

First flight with a lap child, May 20, 2016.

We sat on the tarmac for nearly two hours waiting for a pilot.  Everett took big ol' nap.  It was awesome, but we were nervous we were using up all our easy time.  Turns out we needn't have worried as Evie was as good as a baby could be.  Minimal crying, lots of napping, and no blow outs.  Multiple strangers told us how good he did.  That one goes in the win column.

Everett was also surprisingly chill with being in a new house, meeting more new people (and a dog), going to restaurants, and the dreaded time change.  Did he sleep that first night?  Not really, but he was in such an adorable giddy mood that it kept us from getting too frustrated.

 Meeting cousins...

and besties...

and hanging with a familiar Aunt, all on May 22, 2016.

Everett is learning new things every day.  Watching him figure things out is amazing - there's nothing quite like it.  He's making sense of the world around him, and that's pretty neat.  He's much more vocal than even a month ago, squealing, cooing, and grunting.  Still working on those consonant sounds, but they'll be coming any day.

He loves his Exersaucer, sitting up (with some assistance), and when he's in the mood for it, rolling over.  He's a strong little guy (even the day care lady says so), which makes sense because his 25th percentile body has been holding up a 95th+ percentile head this whole time.

 You must not hop on pop! May 2016.

All smiles for tummy time, May 2016.

Last year, everything felt stuck.  Seasons seemed ridiculous.  This year, change is constant and the seasons mirror that.  As we head into summer, the weather is getting HOT, Everett is getting more and more of a personality, and we'll embark on parenting challenges such as sleep training, solid foods, and mobility.