Today is a somber day, as I will be returning to work tomorrow. I know Asher will be in good hands--our nanny, Annie, has stayed with him for several days and was perfect with him and a huge help to us--but it's sad to realize that eight weeks have passed so quickly. Once I'm working, I know the weeks will fly by even faster. Since I can't stop time, I feel an impulse to preserve each moment, and it seems that there aren't enough ways to do that. We've got photos, videos, and outgrown clothes, but how do I can the way it feels to have him cuddled on my chest when he naps in his carrier while I wash bottles (or write this blog, as he is doing right now)? I guess Asher hasn't technically been a newborn for a while, but my return to work is for me a definitive transition. We are moving on to a new chapter.
The last couple of weeks with Asher have been a challenge but also wonderful at times. Two weeks ago, he entered a seriously fussy phase and spent most of the daytime hours awake and screaming if not properly entertained. In the last few days, he has reverted to his calm, good-natured self. We don't know to what we should attribute the change. Maturity? The "sensitive stomach" formula we started him on last Thursday afternoon on a whim (we had a sample gathering dust in the pantry)? I am thankful that we've had several good days recently because I know going back to work would be doubly hard if the last few days had been frustrating ones.
The one big challenge for us is that Asher still wakes to eat at least every three hours throughout the night and even more frequently starting around 3:00 AM, at which time he sometimes is completely awake, alert, and ready to start his day, sometimes not sleeping at all between 3:00 and 5:00 feedings. Crockett and I continue to search for a rotation that will allow both of us to get sufficient sleep, and it seems like we try a new routine weekly. Certainly, tomorrow will be the first real test of our current schedule.
Aside from seeing no change on the sleep front, we see other changes in Asher almost daily. Last week he seemed to be growing before our eyes; one day Crockett and I both noticed that suddenly his head seemed bigger, and with his new chub, he doesn't look a thing like the scrawny baby we brought home. He is interested in everything and wants to spend most of his waking time studying his environment. He is also showing increasing interest in other people and was very content when he and I went to a happy hour gathering on Friday. He also has become extremely vocal and "talks" to us more than he cries, which is a welcome change. Smiles are becoming more frequent as well.
As far as his likes and dislikes at this point, his dislikes are few and his quirky "likes" are many. The most notable of those is that he loves it when we blow on him with the hair dryer. We originally started using it on his bottom when he had bad diaper rash and have since found that the warm air is quite possibly his favorite thing in the world. He is not as big a fan of his swing as he once was, but now his Ergo carrier is his favorite place to hang out. I have gotten quite good at doing just about everything with the Ergo on, which can be a bit of a challenge because it blocks the view of my hands. When not in the Ergo sleeping or studying the world around him, Asher's favorite thing to do is to dance to Erasure, the Pet Shop Boys, and the other 80's pop that we find on Pandora. Much to his grandparents' dismay, gentle swaying isn't enough for Asher--he wants big movements, the bouncier the better. He provides quite the total-body workout!
So...as Asher grows and changes, I guess so does the rest of our family. Tomorrow will be a challenge, but I think we will all be better for it, and I know that the time I do spend with him from now on will be all the sweeter. It's funny--when I started this blog three months ago, I couldn't imagine not working; now that it's time to go back, it's hard to imagine what getting up and going to the office every morning will be like.