Status report from the great Midwest... snow. First real snow of the season. Thick enough to be pretty (for a while), but not so thick (or icy, or blowy, or slushy) to be a huge nuisance... yet. At least not to those of us traversing it by foot. I can't speak for those who have to dig out cars or on unplowed streets, which is a perennial problem here in Chicago (not all neighborhoods receive equal attention, and yes, a mayor has been voted out in the past because of this).
Most of the visitors have left (one more trip this weekend). So I am home with the baby. Who is easy... if I am right with him at all times, including naps. When carrying him everywhere gets to be too much he will sleep in a front carrier, but that still leaves me with a limited range of motion, and an aching back. Well, this will pass quickly enough.
What I am also hoping will pass relatively quickly is his big brother's upset, expressed mostly in potty "accidents" and playing at being a baby (lying down, "crying") when faced with something he'd rather not do. Like sit at the table. Or brush his teeth. Or any one of the daily activities of life.
I hold on to two phrases I've been told... one, that as hard as this transition is for Buddy, in the end a younger brother is a gift to him as well as to us. And two, that by the time we get to next Christmas, not only will things be easier all around, but Buddy won't remember what it was ever like to not have Champ in his life.
The other thing I hope will feel easier by next Christmas is the work/childcare equation. Right now we are faced with not having a place for Champ at daycare until September. I had been scheduled to go back to work in five weeks. Uffda. So we're looking for a nanny-sharing deal, while continuing to cross our fingers that some member of The Dude's family might be able to come live with us in our already tight quarters and take care of Champ during that time. I've requested a month's additional personal leave so that we have 1) more time to find something, 2) Champ is a bit older, and 3) we have one less month of care to pay for. We have talked about what our alternatives might be... but I don't feel like giving voice to them here, not yet.
Small pleasures in my life right now... I started running again last week, which makes me very happy. I bundle Champ up and place him in The Green Monster (a ginormous "all-terrain" stroller that can pass for a running stroller if I don't go too fast) and go carefully and slowly through the neighborhood, alternating walking and jogging --- he sleeps, I get out and feel like myself, good news all around.
And I've been baking bread for church, for communion, just a plain whole wheat following a recipe from the Tassajara Bread Book. The recipe I have makes more than is needed for Sundays, so we've been enjoying the extra. It's been easy enough and successful enough that I am thinking of starting to bake bread more often, just for us. Makes me feel productive... saves some money too. Both things I need, the longer I stay home by myself.
Thankfully I do get out everyday and we have been blessed so far with a pretty mild winter. And no one is sick! (Knock wood.)