Our lives have changed in many ways almost all positive.
1) We have a Lucy. Our lovely home was missing something, and it turns out that all we needed was a small, drooling, pooping, warm, smiling being to complete our circle.
2) Laundry. I did a lot of laundry before. Usually my work day on Mondays were briefly interrupted with 4 loads of laundry. This would keep us in business until the following Monday. Well, not anymore. It took me 3 days to get caught up from being out of town for 4 days and that didn't include the extra load for the bedding and towels from our much welcomed guests. I have to simply admit that I will never be "done" with laundry. I was caught up yesterday and the only dirty items were the clothes Jason, Lucy & I were wearing. But, Lucy has other ideas. She "blew through" three outfits at school yesterday. Then there was a pee incident on the changing table and the towels from her super fun bath last night. Not to mention the 4 burp cloths and multiple bibs that somehow became soiled overnight.
3) Sleep. We focus on sleep a lot more than we ever did before. There are discussions about who has the 2am feeding and when Lucy went to bed, when she got up, when she should be tired, when she napped, when she didn't nap. We also find ourselves sleeping at odd times - I zonked out on the couch last night during an episode of True Blood (seriously!? I was sleeping through murder, vampires and one pretty hot sex scene.) Jason asked me, "why are you so sleepy?" It is sweet that he asks, but he knows. He also knows that once we moved upstairs to the bedroom (for me) that he fell asleep within 14 minutes.
Speaking of sleep, Lucy is trending quite nicely this week. She goes to bed between 6-7pm, wakes up around midnight for a bottle, then sleeps until 5 or 6. It is GREAT. I've even stopped waking up at 3am worried that she's starving to death.
4) Furniture. There is a ton of baby gear in our house. It's not just the big 5 foot tall bear who lives in our livingroom, but the swingy chairs, the play structures, the high chair, the playpen...
5) Safety. Soon our peanut will be mobile. She's already moving around in her crib to the point where I'm looking into a mesh bumper solution to prevent her little legs from popping through the slats and seriously pissing her off (like last night) but mesh, so if she gets her face in the same location that she doesn't suffocate.
We're also going to have to invest in baby gates soon. We're kind of hoping we can wait until the holidays and make them a grandparent gift idea, but she's probably going to be mobile before that. Plus, Jason and I have to work out where the gates will go. He wants to block the bottom of the stairs and I want to cut off that half of the house, so Lucy has "free range" in the kitchen, family room area only. We will block the top of the stairs for sure, but I don't want her roaming around the formal dining room (where all the crystal glassware lives) or the 8 foot tall bookshelves that seem like they might be fun to climb, but are filled with all the pretty things we've collected. I think making that room off limits is a better plan. We'll work it out.
6) Sex. Here's what I'll say on that front. It's still a very welcome activity and no one feels deprived. However, the baby forces you to change things up regarding how spontaneous you can be and (I can't believe this is true) sometimes you have to "make time" to make time.
7) Shopping. Used to be, if we wanted something we would just zip to the mall, Target, Lowes or where ever. Now, not so much. After work, Lucy has a very limited window of time between arriving home and going to bed that unless the trip is quick shopping just doesn't happen. We also are forced to split duties - someone will go to Lowes while the other hangs out with the napping/sleeping girl. This isn't a complaint, it's just how things are.
8) Money. We aren't going out to eat as much anymore, but for pete sake, the additional costs are soaking up that "slack" and then some. We want to put the almost $400 a month in Lucy's college fund but for now, we'll have to settle for our (much) less than that contribution and beef it up with the funds from some stock I got as part of being a respectable employed person. We can add more to the plan later when we aren't paying $#### a month for Lucy to play with Miss Alexis and Miss Valentia at "school". We are lucky that we can afford this kid. I can see where a single parent would be in a better financial situation to stay at home and take welfare money than work and try to cover the cost of (safe) day care.
9) Social Life. Since most of my friends have kids that are older they appreciate our situation, but going out to dinner, parties or movies requires a LOT of planning. Thankfully we are both very happy to view most movies on DVD, and so far the party season has been bbq's where we can lock Lucy in a closet somewhere to nap. We certainly go home a lot earlier than we ever did before Lucy (see # 3)
10) Travel. So far our travel has been weekends, but even then the amount of planning and packing that has to occur just for Lucy is incredible. When we head to Denver in the fall for a week I'm thinking of either mailing a lot of what we'll need (clothes, diapers, food, toys) or sending a shopping list for my MIL to gather (at her leisure and on sale) things like diapers & formula.
For our 4th of July celebration with the family we're looking to pack (for a day trip):
- the pack n' play
- 3-4 complete clothing changes
- 12 diapers (overkill - but she'll go through at least 8 during a full day, so 4 more is a safe bet)
- sun screen
- formula and at least 4 spare bottles (so we don't have to wash after every feeding)
- hat (for Lucy)
- the waterproof outdoor blanket
- bug repellant pods (we wear them around the baby - we don't spray the baby)
- toys (Pierre the peacock, and that weird plastic rattle thing that she likes so much.)
This list doesn't include the "for Jas & TP" pile:
- lawn chairs
- sun screen
- clothing changes (I throw up on myself from time to time too, just so Lucy doesn't feel embarrassed.)
Enough, go back to work. (or for you Dave, go to bed!)