As much as I’ve tried to “forget” the reality of what will come bright & early on Monday morning … It’s time to face the end of my maternity leave and start to my 2012 school year. It has been four months since I had to set my alarm clock, pack my lunch, or lay out my outfit for the next day.  I haven’t heard the calls for “Mrs. Brickner,” the sound of the school bell, or had a need to take attendance.  This departure from school and my normal routine has certainly been welcomed, and replaced with some major life-changes.  Since June, I have desperately awaited the end of my pregnancy, welcomed my beautiful daughter, and transitioned into motherhood.  It has been eventful, to say the least, and with its craziness … The thought of returning to work hasn’t been at the forefront of my mind.
But it’s here.  The thought of leaving our Waverly Maye for seven hours a day, Monday – Friday, is almost unbearable.  I will miss that sweet face so much that I am not sure how I will get in the car, and the thought of not being there for each feeding, smile, and possible milestone really does bring tears to my eyes. But it is inevitable, and therefore, I must look at the positives. She will be in good hands, I can come home to her by three each day, and I have the summer to look forward to.  And the truth is, I do love my job and look forward to seeing the kids and to having a reason to dry my hair & put on make-up again. 
So … I am prepared for a tough morning, first day, and week back (and I know I won’t be the first to experience this, as there is a section of cards dedicated for moms first day back to work at Target, a search on google, and several books on the subject).  But I know it will get easier, and eventually, will be to best scenario for both of us.  And no matter what, we have the summer.  

In her first 10 weeks of life, Waverly Maye and her pacifier have had a love/hate relationship.  At some points of the day, it is a lifesaver.  She grasps onto it for dear life and it seems to be the singr,e best baby purchase that we made.  (Specifically, when she is sitting in her car seat, more than a little angry to be restrained by its two tight straps).  At other moments, she abruptly spits it out, seemingly angry that we would even consider giving her such a silly thing.
Well, it seems we have moved on … to something we didn’t have to purchase and that is pretty adorable, if you ask me.  I woke up the other night to Waverly fiercely sucking her thumb.  She found it.  And liked it.  She has been back at least daily since, and even though she hasn’t quite figured out the typical maneveuer yet … it seems to be the perfect self-soother for her.  And as a result, we have benefited from a little more sleep in the Brickner household, as she has only has needed to wake up once a night since.

Day Two After Finding Her Thumb. 🙂

 

It seems lately there is a first for everything … although today’s first is not as positive as many of the others we have experienced lately.  Our sweet, innocent baby girl is sick for the first time.  There is nothing worse than hearing your baby sniffle, sneeze, and cough when you can’t do anything about it.      I just want to make it all better for our Waverly Maye, and have been snuggling her close to at least make this first illness a little more bearable.
The good news?  Even with a stuffy nose and watery eyes, Waverly manages to crack a smile.  Somehow my baby girl completely brightens each and every one of my days, every single day since the day she was born. 

I have this feeling that our Waverly Maye is going to have quite the personality. Even at just over two months old, she shows her sweet, spunky, and silly traits throughout the day … and truly, you never know what you are going to get.  We call her our little drama queen, a nickname I have also been known to have.  🙂

Yesterday, Waverly met a baby her age for the first time.  One of my mother’s closest friends  became a first-time grandmother one month before our Li-li, and her grandson is Brady.  Needless to say, Waverly was batting her eyes at “Baby Brad” in no time.  She was smiling & talking while making complete eye contact across the table, minutes before having a little meltdown in the middle of the Lynnhaven food court.  All while Brady chilled on his grandmother’s lap. 
Oh, gotta love our crazy baby girl.  They say … “Like mother, like daughter.”

 

In less than three weeks, I will officially be off maternity leave and back to work.  Truthfully, I am not yet ready to accept this reality and would rather not yet talk about it … but had to mention it as we are beginning to transition for the routine we will soon have.
 
On Mondays & Wednesdays when that “time” comes, Waverly will be with her Li-li.  And since Li-li is a personal trainer and one of the fittest grandmas I know … she makes a visit to the gym each morning.  Luckily, Waverly will be taken well care of at that gym, as I found out today. 
 
The nursery at the gym is only one floor away from where Li-li will be, and this morning, where I was, as I did a spin class while Waverly tried out her space.  It was beneficial for two reasons; (A) we found out that Waverly was perfectly fine, and (B), I was able to workout my post-baby body.  More to come on the body part later, but as for reason (A), it is comforting to know that our sweet girl will have a pleasant place to be.  It also provides an avenue for her to see other babies and kids since she won’t be in day care for as long as I can help it.  If anything, Waverly did better than I did as I missed her and thought about her for the entire hour she was one floor below me.  I couldn’t wait to be done and see that cute face with her big blue eyes, chubby cheeks, and button nose.   
It’s definitely going to be hard.