Maternity Leave Superlatives

It has been exactly 8 weeks since my last day at work. Part of me feels like the time has gone by supersonically fast and the other part feels like it has been forever since I’ve been there.

I go back to work tomorrow and I’m surprisingly feeling pretty okay about it. But what in the heck have I actually done in the last 8 weeks?

In the style of my favorite blog, here are my Maternity Leave Superlatives:

Most Productive: Using the time that I was stuck at home without my baby to unpack the house do home improvement projects. One of my favorites is the den!

Most Repetitive and Annoying: All the calls I’ve had to make to various insurance companies. After having Jack I kept receiving bill after bill for things that should have been paid through my insurance. After literally dozens of calls, we finally figured out that although my doctor’s office updated my plan number, they did not update the claims address. Now, the bills are finally being paid and I no longer have to freak out when I get one in the mail for thousands of dollars.

This is my Nana from my wedding in 2008

Most Heartbreaking: The death of my grandmother.  She had fought back so many times before, and I really thought she was going to pull through again this time. I’m just thankful that she was able to meet Jack before she passed away.

Most Amazing: That I rock at being a mommy. Somehow I found this deep pit of patience that I’ve never had before. I can magically deal with the cries and screams and somehow know how to make it all better. I really thought I was going to be bored out of my mind at home for these last 8 weeks, but I’ve enjoyed every single minute of hanging out with Jack.

Winner of the “I said I’d never do that” Award: After years of saying that I was never going to be one of those people who posts a zillion pictures of their kid on Facebook, I can now say that my foot is firmly lodged in my mouth because I totally do it too. I try not to be too obnoxious about it, but with our family spread out all over the place it really is the easiest way to keep in touch with everyone.

Happy (Belated) Easter!

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The Countdown to Returning to Work

My last day at work was Monday, February 13th.

At the time, I had no idea that would be my last day in the office. I wasn’t due for two more months and thought I had plenty of time to get ready for my maternity leave.

Of course, life likes to surprise you – so instead of planning as I normally would, I plopped out a baby and never went back to work.

I would have liked to go back and work some days while Jack was still in the NICU, but my short term disability insurance wouldn’t allow it so I was required to take my leave immediately.

My awesome job is actually giving me 12 weeks off (60 workdays) for maternity leave, but due to some random issues I need to return on at least a part-time basis before I have three $0 paychecks. So, after taking off 40 workdays in a row, I’ll be returning to work three days a week until my leave runs out in June.

With only the rest of this week and next week off before I start back at work, it’s starting to feel a little weird.

Part of me is pretty excited to return to the office. I have my work laptop and blackberry at home with me, so I’ve kept up-to-date on most of the office shenanigans. I’m totally looking forward to putting on nice clothes, going to the office and having grown up conversations. Since I truly do love marketing and enjoy the people I work with, it will be nice to get back into the swing of things. I’m a little intimidated because a new department head was hired and I’ll be meeting him for the first time, but I’m keeping positive and hoping that he’s just as cool as everyone else.

The other part of me – the one that can chill around the house all day in pj’s and snuggle up with my son – doesn’t want to go back at all.

I know, this is CRAZY! I’ve always been that girl that has said that I couldn’t imagine being a stay at home mom and would miss work too much. And this is still true. But I can now see the draw in staying home.

Look at this face -- who would want to leave him to go to work??!!

My son is awesome. And adorable. And hilarious. And every day I spend with him I love him even more (if that’s even possible). So, the idea of leaving him to go to work feels like a joke. Especially because I JUST got him back from the hospital.

The only thing that makes this option not rip my heart out is our childcare plan of having my mom, husband and me split the days caring for Jack. Knowing that Jack will be cared for by family makes it so much easier for me to tolerate. Because it’s not just me dropping him off somewhere while I go to work, it’s that my son is lucky enough to spend time with his grandmother.

Which is doubly-good because she won’t think I’m a psycho when I check in multiple times a day… while working my butt off at the office. See, you can have the best of both worlds!

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Reviewing Citrus Lane: Was it Worth it?

I mentioned in a previous post that I was going to give myself the gift of Citrus Lane. Since each month’s box o’ presents is a surprise until you receive it, I really didn’t know what to expect.

reviewing citrus lane

Well, I received the March gift box in the mail and I figure I’d share my thoughts on its contents.

The theme of this month’s gift box is “Dining Out” which I thought would be perfect for us since we have an addiction to restaurants. In the last two weeks that Jack has been home, we’ve taken him to eat out with us at least 5 times and he’s totally slept through about 80% of it.

So, what did this magical box contain?

• A pacifier made out of organic rubber by Natursutten ($7.95 value)

• One “Itsy Ritzy Bib, Burp and Bath Cloth” ($12.99 value)

• A full-sized bottle of Mommy’s Bliss Gripe Water ($11.99 value)

• A teething toy by ZoLi ($5.00 value)

• Weleda Almond Soothing Facial Lotion and Cleansing Lotion for Mommy ($53.00 value)

• A few promo codes for 10% – 20% of the products in the gift box

• A $10 off promo code for anything at

Based on the values given in the accompanying brochure, the gift box has a total retail value of $90.93 + promo codes.

Would I have paid $90 for everything inside?


But I was totally happy to pay the monthly subscription cost of $30.*

Most of the things in the box aren’t things I would have gone out and purchased, but that’s kind of the point. They put together a few things that people love but I might not have known about and send it to me. Brilliant!

My favorite thing so far is the bib/burp cloth/bath cloth – its super soft and a really great size.

And look, it totally works as a blanket too!

It will work out well as a burp cloth while Jack is still small and then snap around his neck to be a super absorbent bib. When he outgrows the bib, it can be used as a wash cloth when giving him a bath. I have a bunch of different kinds of burp cloths from various shower gifts, but I can already say that I like this one best.

I tried the fancy schmancy face wash and lotion today when I took a shower (yes, I totally took a shower today while staying home with the baby all by myself. YAY me!) Did it make me insanely beautiful and take 10 years off my face – um, no.

Extreme closeup!

Here’s a close up of the results (with mostly wet hair, sorry. I showered… what more do you want from me??). My skin looks exactly the same as it always does.

I already religiously use my Origins face wash and face lotion with SPF, which is a bit pricy but nowhere as expensive as the Weleda stuff. I’ll stick with Origins – it smells way better and also protects my skin from UV rays.

Jack would totally be smizing if his eyes were open.

We haven’t tried out the pacifier and teething toy since Jack is sleeping. Here he is modeling them though.

I was pretty excited about the last thing in the box, Mommy’s Bliss Gripe Water. Apparently my baby takes after his daddy, because he is super gassy. Not just normal gassy, I mean this kid farts ALL THE TIME. He sleeps great during the day, but most of the night he sits there and just grunts as hard as he can until a toot finally comes out. It’s hilarious, but I could totally use some sleep! I had asked my doctor about gripe water and she said that some people swear by it, so I had planned to pick some up when I had a chance.

I tried it out yesterday and gave Jack a teeny tiny serving to see if it helped. And honestly, I can’t tell if it helped at all. I’m going to try again tonight and give him the serving directly before we try and go to bed, so cross you fingers that we can all get some sleep!

All in all, I think this month’s Citrus Lane box was worth the price. I like the anticipation of receiving a present in the mail (its way better than bills) and trying out products that I would have never known about.

April’s gift box is all around the theme of “Bath and Bedtime – creating a healthy, relaxing bath and bedtime routine”. As you can tell by this picture of Jack’s first real bath (he was just getting sponge baths), he’s not quite a fan yet and we can use a relaxing bathtime routine!

The washrag is strategically placed for Jack’s modesty. And to ensure he doesn’t totally hate me when he grows up.

* I actually only paid $20 for the March gift box because I used a promo code. You can use it too. Click here and use code 20TODAY to save 20% off the cost of any subscription.

PS — I reviewed another Citrus Lane box here.

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