Hooray, I hear you cry, she is silent no longer! Yes, I have been quiet but I guess this is the reality of being back at work. I now have two weeks back at work under my belt (I also still have a very jiggly tummy in need of toning under my belt, but that's going to have to wait for a little while until I get a better handle on my schedule!). At any rate, I think week one was deemed a success: I made it in on time every day, nobody said to me "Who are you and what are you doing here?" when I was in the office, and Noah seemed very happy at the nursery.
Monday - my first day back at work - was, for lack of a better word, surreal. Matt was working from home so we both got the boys to the nursery, and I was only slightly tearful as I said goodbye to Noah. Fortunately I reined it in and within no time it seemed I was headed off to catch my train. It felt extremely odd to be back in the office, simultaneously feeling as if I had been gone forever, and in the next minute feeling like I had never really left. I got up and running on my laptop and then had a very liberating disposal of loads of paper and notes from years past; while my house was a mess, I felt I could try to keep a clean desk.
Walking around in the City made obvious all the things that were so different to the weekday life I’d come accustomed to. First off, everyone was dressed in dark clothes, and seemed tired, in a kind of beaten-down way as opposed to a massively-sleep-deprived-but-enjoying-it way that defines the tired mother’s expressions. Everyone moved quickly, or as quickly as possible when one is also tapping out a message into a Blackberry.
Noah’s sleep on Sunday night had been pretty bad; he woke up at 12:20 and I was able to get him back to sleep pretty quickly, but at 3:45 he woke up and was awake until about 5:15. I never really did figure out what the issue was, but I had given him milk and Calpol at some points in the hour and a half, so finally he must have decided it was time to go back to sleep.
Monday night was no better and may have even been worse: he woke at 2:30 and then 4:45, 4:45 being a particularly unpleasant time of the day to be woken up. I think at both times he may have gone right back to sleep after verifying that I was still in the house, so perhaps that was in fact easier.
By Tuesday I was feeling as if I had never spent a day out of the office. That night Noah had a pretty big dinner and all of his bottle, yet still woke before midnight. Deciding that it couldn’t possibly be hunger, we ended up letting him cry – for, all told, an hour and a half – and he did in fact eventually whimper himself off to sleep.
On Wednesday Granny Karla arrived from the US. The boys were very excited to see her, as was I. We went and did a few errands and then headed off with Jenny, Charlie and Flora to the last of the Elm Green storytimes. Blake and Charlie have pretty much been enjoying an exclusive storytime by the librarian there for the past 3 months or so; the school has finally decided that given the uptake/attendance, they are going to see if there is something else they can do for community outreach. We'll be disappointed not to have it as our Wednesday afternoon activity, but it makes sense.
The amazing thing about Wednesday and Thursday nights is that for all intents and purposes, Noah slept through the night on both occasions! On Wednesday I had to go settle him around 1:00, but he then went through til 5:45. On Thursday, I closed my eyes at 11:07 and did not open them again until 5:45 – it felt truly amazing. Of course 5:45 is not the greatest time of the day but after over 6 straight hours of sleep, it felt like I’d been to a health spa. Friday and Saturday didn’t go quite as well – but at least we know, as we’ve said before, that he can do it!
I had been craving pancakes over the past couple of weeks, so on Saturday we went to the Lido Café at Brockwell Park, where Noah was just a doll during breakfast. There was quite a loud din in the place and he just seemed to love all the noise, the chatter, the warmth of the place and the smell of the food. He sucked on some pancakes, gnawed on the crust of some toasted bread, and generally was about as happy as a clam. So sweet.
Later that afternoon we headed over to Nunhead for the birthday party of Blake’s “best and favorite” friend from nursery, Mia. Blake was in luck as the other member of their little nursery musketeer gang, a little girl named Frankie, was also there. We were exhausted that evening and Matt and I gave up on our plans to go out to dinner.
And so, after crossing the Thames several times during the week, I then crossed the Atlantic on Sunday and headed over to a very cold Boston, where I worked for the week. Although it was very hard to say goodbye to the boys, I would be lying if I said it was all a hardship. There were definitely a lot of wonderful things about the trip: I got to sleep, uninterrupted, in a wonderfully comfortable hotel bed; I didn't have to worry about cooking, cleaning, changing nappies, commuting, or getting anyone but myself up and ready in the morning; I got to swim every morning; and I got to catch up with some colleagues and friends and generally feel a bit like that other person who is me but without children. On Sunday night I headed out to Newton to see Marisa and Kyle, Ellie and Tyler, and I had a bonus visit to Dartmouth rugby friend Mo Mac who had just given birth to a gorgeous little girl 4 days prior. Ellie and Tyler were very sweet so it was nice to catch up with them, as best you can when various people are having to tend to bathtime and storytime for the little ones (thanks, Kyle!).
The week was productive and my main accomplishment was remembering to phone home twice a day for updates and to say hello and goodnight to Blake and Noah. After day 2, Blake decided he didn't want to talk to me any more, but he was having lots of fun with the doubly powerful Team Granny (Bishy came on Tuesday and stayed through Friday) who were showering both of the boys with attention. I landed back on Friday and it was very exciting to see everyone, although Noah burst into tears when he saw me. He'd had a rough week with a bout of conjunctivitis and both boys have these pretty horrendous-sounding coughs, so I hope everyone feels better this week.
We had a nice weekend with several naps, and today is Granny Karla's birthday so we went out for a pub lunch. Bishy had bought a cake for her on Thursday and they had a little party which she seemed to love.
We have a big week ahead as it's the start of Blake's birthday celebrations. I have just been looking up how to make a dinosaur cake so stay tuned for updates on how my cake-baking aspirations no doubt won't marry up to my cake-baking abilities!
For now, goodnight. I hope I'll be able to return to some of my more creative and thoughtful posts, but for now it's just good to be back in the blogosphere.