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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Morning Routine

I am sure that if you're a regular reader, when you saw the title of this post you immediately rolled your eyes and thought, "What is it with this woman and routines?!"  I often think that about myself, and I am 100% positive that Dan feels that way, too.  It's a constant battle for me, because while I am a creature of habit and think that Lilly does better with some semblance of a routine, I also don't want her to be so scheduled and structured that she can't function without one.

With that being said, the one thing we've struggled the most with since I went back to work last week is a morning routine.  I cannot, for the life of me, get out the door and to work on time.  It is literally impossible, I'm convinced.  I managed to get there this morning on time, but had to pump as soon as I arrived because I didn't have time before I left the house.  I can't figure out how to fit everything in and still leave when I need to.  Before I ever leave the house, here is what I have to get accomplished:

  • Pack my lunch (I normally do this the night before to save precious morning time)
  • Get my pump and supplies ready for the day (ditto, I do this the night before)
  • 3 days/week, go to the gym
  • Feed Lilly
  • Pump, because she never empties the ladies from overnight and it's painful
  • Get Lilly dressed and ready for the day
  • Shower and get myself ready
  • Eat breakfast (normally happens on the way to work or once I arrive)
I know it probably doesn't seem like a lot to do, but even with Dan's help, it is.  And most days I have been wearing very little (if any) makeup because I don't have time.  Forget straightening my hair - I'm lucky to get it dried.  I say that to let you know that it's not like I'm spending an hour getting ready like I did pre-baby.

My problem is this: I want to nurse Lilly, but I also need to pump after for my comfort as well as to keep my supply up.  On gym mornings, I don't have time to nurse her and pump, so Dan just feeds her a bottle and I pump while I'm getting ready.  I do everything I possibly can the night before to make the mornings easier, but so far it hasn't helped too much.  The other factor to throw into this equation is that I hate to have to wake Lilly up just so I can nurse her when Dan could easily feed her a bottle.  On Mondays and Fridays, this won't be as much of an issue since I work from home, but Tuesdays-Thursdays have been rough.  Several people have suggested that I just pump for a few minutes before I wake Lilly to feed her, but how do I know how long or how much to pump to still have plenty for her to eat when she wakes?  She definitely eats more the first feeding of the day.  

When Dan and I talked about this dilemma last week, we came up with the following schedule (non-gym days only, aka Tuesday and Thursday):

6:30a: Wake up.  Sarah to immediately shower and Dan to walk Layla.  Best case scenario, 
          Sarah can get out of the shower and dry her hair by 7:00.
7:00a: Wake Lilly up.  Sarah nurses Lilly while Dan jumps in the shower.
7:30a: Lilly is (hopefully) done nursing.  Dan is out of the shower and ready.  Sarah pumps
          while finishing getting ready and is out the door by 8:00.
7:30a-8:30a: Dan takes care of Lilly while finishing getting ready for the day.
8:30a: Dan drops Lilly off at the neighbor's house and heads to work.

On Mondays and Fridays, as I said before, I'm at home so it's not as big of a deal.  Wednesdays, I skip nursing all together and Dan has full morning duty, because by the time I get home for the gym I don't have much time before I have to leave for work.

The problem with this schedule is twofold: (1) I hate waking Lilly up and would love for her to sleep as long as possible in hopes that she remembers this on the weekends and lets  Mommy and Daddy sleep in a little, and (2) even when she wakes up on her own, she mixes it up on us.  Most mornings she wakes up between 7:30-8:30, but sometimes it's 7:00, sometimes it's 9:00, sometimes (like his morning) it's at 6:30.  Her bed time hasn't really varied since I went back to work - she's gone to bed sometime between 7:30-8:30 every night.  I am starting to think that I should just cut out the morning nursing session all together, but it's so much easier and I love it so much that I hate to do that.  I honestly think Lilly likes it, too.

So, Mommy friends, what do I do?  How do I get to work on time?  Any tips or suggestions that I haven't thought of?  I'm sure I just need to be patient (something I'm REALLY bad at) and it will work itself out.  I've been waiting to sleep train Lilly until I talk to the doctor (aka bombard her with questions) at her 4-month check-up next week, but at this rate we won't even need to - she's been steadily moving up her own bedtime for the past two weeks.  All we really need work on, per the nanny's request, is nap scheduling.  And sleeping sans swaddle (Which I'd thought we'd fixed due to the implementation of some suggestions after my swaddling post, because L slept all the way through the night for several nights straight until this morning when she was up at 3:30 with an arm out.  How does she get those arms out?  And why does she only manage to get them out on work days?  AND WHERE IS THE DARN ZIPADEEZIP THAT I'M CONVINCED IS GOING TO SOLVE ALL OF MY PROBLEMS?! I placed my order a week ago. Sigh.).

In other news, Lilly still can't really sit up in the seat we got her because the back is not quite high enough (even when stuffed with towels to prop her up), so we invested in a bumbo and she LOVES it:

We originally didn't get one of these because the feedback we got from friends was that the leg holes aren't very forgiving for chunky babies.  This is definitely true - if Lilly's legs get any fatter it will be wasted money because they won't fit - but for now, as you can see by her facial expressions above, it was worth the investment.

Almost hump day!  AND...don't forget to vote.  :-)


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