So we got back from our vacation about 9:45 Wednesday night with a car full of ski clothes, dirty laundry, and tired children. A mere 10 hours later and Landon and Claire were off to school with an interesting assortment of food items in their lunch boxes, Cora was off to daycare with her bottles tucked in an old Spiderman lunchbox, and I was driving in to my first day back at work. I laid out my outfit the night before, of course- one of the dresses my mom gave me for Christmas (TJ Maxx FTW! always), my favorite heels to help break my feet back into wearing something besides slippers and running shoes, and hair I'd done two days before in Colorado because I didn't end up having time to take a shower Thursday morning.
I had to kneel so Landon could take a picture of Cora and me at the end of our first day. We both survived. Cora got to explore a new set of play gym hanging toys and I mostly talked to coworkers I'd truly missed and deleted a million emails. I was only in the office for 4.5 hours and that ended up being just about right given all the post-vacation stuff we needed to do in addition to the going back to work stuff. JP jumped right back into this lessons, so I also had my first experience picking up all three kids, bringing them home, and making dinner, with the added bonus of needing to do all the Valentine's prep we hadn't been able to do while in Colorado. It actually all went great- the big kids are so good and Cora has recently decided to embrace baby entertainment devices. Put her in her monkey bouncer in the kitchen where she can watch me cook and she'll give me a good 15-20 minutes to do things that aren't cuddling or feeding her. She's really just happy to be here, always, and could not be easier (or smilier or more content- she makes me want all the babies).
I usually decorate the table and make a special breakfast for the kids on V-Day, but this year I just made cupcakes and put out themed place mats from Target with red napkins leftover from last year. The cupcakes distracted them from the fact that breakfast was just cereal bars and yogurt because we still hadn't restocked our fridge and pantry from the trip (the weekend could not come soon enough!) and the kids were thrilled. Seriously $5 of place mats, some breakable drinkware with a stem, and Pillsbury funfetti box cake mix- little kids are so easy to please.
JP had flowers delivered, because he knows how I love them, and Claire let me do her hair for the first time in weeks. It was a Very Special Morning.
Cora and I dressed in honor of the "holiday" as well- me with my precious red Kate Spade pumps from several Christmases ago and Cora in some sassy white and red stripes. I went to barre class Friday morning (it was another half day for me at work), so I did finally take a shower. I felt my coworkers deserved it.
Work again mostly consisted of catching up on gossip, actual news, and case updates. I got my performance review that I was supposed to get in November and it was all very good and then there was lunch and I tried to force all my coworkers to eat all the leftover cupcakes I'd made the day before. I left in time to swing by Target before picking up the girls ("the girls" - I still stumble over that, I have girls plural!) to make a new Penne with Vodka Cream sauce recipe that was DELICIOUS. Seriously, ignore the silly recipe name and go make that sauce immediately, it is quick and easy and the stuff pasta dreams are made of. I cleared my bowl to the kitchen and came back to the table to see Claire with her face in her bowl licking remains too small for the eyes to see.
After dinner and before JP and I put the kids to bed and popped open a bottle of champagne to sit down to House of Cards Season 2, I asked Landon and Claire if they wanted to take a quick picture with Cora. And I got this:
Maybe my favorite picture ever so far. I just had it printed to pin to the middle of my work bulletin board and I know I'm going to stop and smile every time I see it. Which will be a lot, because it's going right above my computer.
So the last week was a little crazy with the disjointed nature of it all- skiing Monday, sledding Tuesday, driving Wednesday, working and schooling on Thursday plus Valentining on Friday, but it all went well. I haven't really had to time digest the fact that I'm Back At Work forever and my time at home is done. It was lovely. Truly lovely and my favorite of my maternity leaves. I loved having JP with me during the morning, loved snuggling my sweet Cora all afternoon, and even enjoyed getting back in shape with surprisingly obsessive barre class attendance. The next time I have that much time at home I'll likely be 60-something and retired, which is a weird thought, but I know that I enjoyed every drop of it and I'm okay going back to work too. I guess the best way to phrase it is that I'm sad to be done with maternity leave, but I'm not sad to be back at work. I like working and being an attorney. It's part of me, a happy part, and for as much satisfaction as I derive from being Landon, Claire, and Cora's mom, I derive a separate satisfaction from being an attorney. And, as luck would have it, that role comes with a badly needed salary and medical benefits, so it's good all around that I'm back doing it.
And even better, I leave that role at 4:30 and don't return to it until the next morning. It's that fact above all others that has made it fairly easy to go back to work this time. Because this face is hard to leave, but it's a lot easier when I know precisely when I'll be back.
This week is the return to full-time attorneying and JP getting everyone out the door at 7:45 while I'm already in my office, so that will be a new adventure. But at least now we have proper lunch items and Cora has a new pink flowered lunch bag for her bottles and I'm sure all will be fine. Let the securities law enforcement and high heel wearing begin!
Spring break days 5-7
12 hours ago