Although I turned a new page on our refrigerator calendar, I completely forgot about monthly goals! Being on maternity leave has left me, for the most part, blissfully unaware of the month and sometimes even the day of the week. The only difference in my days is really whether it's a day that Dashiell is at home or at daycare. Or if it's Friday because then I go to breastfeeding group. If Dashiell is at home then I know the days will be a bit more full but fun and we'll probably find an adventure somewhere, like story time at the library or to wander the gardens next to The Coffee Shop, and we'll definitely spend lots of time in our front and back yards. On days when Dashiell is at daycare the hours of my day are - dare I say - relaxing, at least usually. Cedric sleeps, nurses, smiles and kicks. Chris is home as well right now and so we stare at Cedric, read, I listen to podcasts and try to do a bit of writing, we eat lunch together and usually at some point discuss our budget because that's how we have fun. I can usually start dinner before Chris arrives home from fetching Dashiell. I don't feel quite so tired at the end of the day.
February seems to be a month that can get brushed aside. Just a few weeks of limbo between the new year and the start of spring. I've seen lots of complaints about February and the brutal cold around the web. I'll admit I've felt a bit jealous of having a real winter.* But at our house February was fantastic. We had warm, spring-like weather as well as several brisk days of drizzle (my favorite). Chris and I had our first date post-Cedric when we went to an Orange Theory Fitness class and out to lunch in downtown Gilbert to try the veggie burger at Zin Burger (I'd definitely order it again). (And downtown Gilbert, you are looking sharp!) We hosted our first neighbor dinner and hosted a friend for dinner who was driving through. It was a cozy month centered around home.
March won't be quite as home-centered. We have some travel coming up and at the end of the month I'm heading back to work. It'll be a big transition but I'm remembering the great balance I was feeling towards the end of my pregnancy with Cedric and feeling optimistic that I'll find that again.
Big things happening in March:
+ Travel to Prescott. The whole family is heading to the mountains for a couple of nights, our first trip as a family of four!
+ Travel to Austin! Cedric and I are heading to Austin this month for his inaugural trip to the motherland, which is how natives refer to Texas in case you didn't know (or maybe it's just me).
+ Transition back to work. At the end of the month I'll start back to work.
+ Exercise twice per week. I'm going to Orange Theory once a week and I'd like to fit in a walk, run or bike ride at least once a week as well.
+ Plan Dashiell's second birthday party. I can't believe it!
+ Embrace change. Returning to work will bring lots of change for me and our family. I don't expect the transition to be easy but I want to focus on the good parts (seeing colleagues again, returning to work I enjoy) over the hard (leaving Cedric, being busier, not having as much time at home with Dashiell, Cedric and Chris). I usually find that I need about six months to settle fully into a new routine after a big change so I want to give myself until September to expect to feel like life is normal again.
Recurring monthly goals:
+ Maintain podcast recording/production schedule necessary to air a new Girl Next Door Podcast episode every other week. We've been planning another awesome year for you so I hope you'll subscribe on iTunes or on favorite podcast player (like Stitcher for you non-Apple folks) and tune in!
+ Download photos off of phone and sort them into folders for Cedric's baby photo book and our 2015 Team Wharton family album.
*I have a dream percolating where our family will house swap with a family somewhere in the cold north for a week each February, win-win right?