Buh-Bye Maternity Leave

This coming week is a doosey: Rosie turns 17 weeks old on Monday (and 4 months old on Thursday), I will be 30 (!!!) next Sunday, and tomorrow officially marks the end of my maternity leave.

I have been soooooo blessed to have an extra 5 weeks over and above (thank you summer!) what we're officially allowed to take here in the US (I even blogged about my first 12 weeks over here)--side note, Canadian and UK friends: I'm supremely jealous of your leaves--but still, it doesn't feel long enough.  Don't get me wrong, as I've said (broken record here!) a'many times before: I love my job and what I do, but golly, I love spending each and every day with my kiddos.  I don't think anything will ever top that, no matter how much I enjoy it.

I am ready to go back to work--a big part because I know I have to go back, therefore I've gotten myself in the mindset of that.  I would love to be able to stay home with my burritos, but unless we win the lottery, a cop's salary alone won't cut it for us, so work I will!

I am going to miss these little baby snuggles oh-so-much--and I will be savoring them in the evenings and weekends when I'm home.  These 4 months have gone by way too fast, and I know my snuggles are limited--Patrick hardly ever gives me any snuggle time anymore!--so I really really will savor our time together.

I went up to work a few weeks ago and my office and classroom are now littered (even more!) with pics of my kiddos--if I can't be with them all day looking at pictures of their sweet faces will have to do!

Just as when I went back to work 2 years ago after I had Patrick, the same situation holds true: our kiddos are in great hands when Mike and I are at work.  And, as much as I complain about Mike's schedule, it is superrrrrr beneficial when I'm working--when he's on his 3 weeks of evenings (3-11pm), he gets to spend all day with the kiddos essentially till I get off work.  So for those 3 weeks we hardly need any childcare.  And when he's on daytimes (7am-3pm) and working during the week (a rarity that we're both working all 5 weekdays), our kiddos are with their great aunts, grandma, or grandpa.  We are SO LUCKY and SO BLESSED that we have family watching them when we're working--a huge relief to us that they're with our amazingly awesome family members.

However, selfishly I wish I could be with them all day long.  Rosie and I have struck up such a good bond with her nursing (she refuses a bottle from me or anyone if I'm around! --which, as much as it sucks for others, I kinda like that she's a mama's girl--Patrick would take a bottle from anyone whether I was around or not!) I am going to miss nursing her all day long.  And, maybe an unwarranted fear here, but I'm worried that she'll not want to nurse anymore and just prefer a bottle all the time after I go back.  I hope not--which is why I only nurse her when I'm around!--but we'll see.  I'd love to be able to get her to a year nursing (Patrick made it only 6 months on the boob--the rest he got pumped milk), so here's a goal I'm setting for myself for that.  If it doesn't happen, that's okay, she'll still get my milk through a year, but I'm really hoping I can be a full-time working mama who still breastfeeds.  Fingers crossed.

A few things I'll miss about my maternity leave:

Waking up every morning and getting the kiddos fed, dressed, and ready for the day...especially when Patrick decides Ro Ro needs her iPad or his picture monkey (lovie), or her nose wiped and he gets/does these things for her and my heart just melts.

Tot time at the pool in the mornings--it has been so much fun to spend our mornings at the pool with our buddies before lunch and naps.  These are some of my favorite memories from this summer.

The adorable relationship my kiddos have with each other, and how much Patrick genuinely loves and adores his little sister--always wanting to do what she is doing, holding her hand, giving her his most beloved picture monkey (lovie), and so much more.  I'm so glad I was able to witness so many of these moments this summer--and capture many of them on camera.

Snuggles and selfies with my favorite kiddos.  We took so many pictures this summer I have too many (haha, j/k--NEVER) but I love how much my kiddies like pictures, even with their mama.

Babywearing!  I know I'll still be able to do this, but we spent SO MUCH TIME this summer out and about and Rosie got a lot of snuggle time in her Tula!  Plus, Patrick has taken an interest in it and loves to wear one of my Tulas around the house with his animals--something I'll miss seeing him do when I'm back at work.

Their personalities grow and develop all day every day.  Obviously when I'm with them I get to see their fashion sense (uh-hm, Patrick!) come out and their grins (Rosie!) get bigger and bigger.  I can't wait to see these develop even more, but I've sure loved witnessing them all day every day this summer.

Field trips to the train store, Museum of Transportation, Zoo, pool, choo choo tracks, parks, and so many more.  Obviously we can still do these things when we're together on weekends and at nights, but we won't have our weekdays together all day every like we did.  I'm savoring (and looking back at past posts--thank you blogging!) all of the fun things we did this summer.

Impromptu photoshoots with my minions.  We had a'many of these this summer, mostly at the whim of me grabbing my camera and plopping them down somewhere, and I just loved them.  Thank the good Lord above for pictures so I can relive and see these cherished times over and over again whenever I want.

All seasons come to an end, and a new season starts.  Much like the weather, thus is the story of my maternity leave.  It is ending, like my summer vacation, but a new season is starting soon.  What will this new season bring?!  Hopefully lots of milestones, giggles, new experiences, stories, and a world of adventures in the coming days, weeks, months, and years.  I look forward to next summer--when I am blessed to have a job that I love that also gives me months off to recover from the school year AND (most importantly!) spend with my kiddos.  I actually just bought a new pool for our backyard (the exact same one we had at our city house!) to use next summer--when Patrick will be 3 and Rosie 1 (WHAT?!!!)--and I'm looking forward to that.

Well, thanks for listening (or reading???) to my RIP maternity leave rant.  It really was a good one!  --and, whenever #3 comes along, I'll have to look back at this post and remind myself to savor each and every teeny tiny second I get on leave, however long or short, because it does indeed go too fast.

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