Off to “School”

So May 2013 has ushered in a lot of new beginnings at the Southie barracks.  With Ace back to work, the little Deputy started “school” at the Company’s on-site daycare.  Ace is loving having her muffin face at work with her, so much so that Ace now firmly believes that every business in America should have on-site day care at least for infants.  For the working moms of the world, it makes going back to work exponentially easier.

Having the Deputy with her at work means that Ace gets to nurse her at least once a day, can pop in for some quick cuddles when work allows, and is in constant contact with her teachers either in person or over the phone about how she is doing.  Luckily, the Deputy seems to have adjusted so well to her new surroundings and is such a HAPPY baby — smiling so much and generally making life easy for Ace and Joker and her teachers with her pleasant disposition (except of course when she is in the car or is fighting some bad gas).  Like her mama, the Deputy is a “side sleeper” and is becoming a little bit of a teacher’s pet.  Her teachers really enjoy her and tell Ace that they think that she’s “advanced” for her ripe old age of 3 months, grabbing at things so well, being so alert and “talking” tons.  Oh and she’s got the rolling over thing mastered now too.  So all is well in the land of the little Deputy.  She’s still waking Ace up once or twice a night, but such is life.  Ace has simply upped her caffeine intake.  And often can be found asleep for the night at 9pm 🙂

The Sheriff too transitioned from her nanny share to “school” at Ace’s work this month.  Saying good-bye to the Nanny, who is like family, was beyond difficult and Ace and Joker will be forever grateful for all that she did to help them raise the Sheriff to be a sweet, smart, and polite toddler — not to mention independent, determined and Spanish-speaking!  Ace and Joker hit the nanny jackpot when they hired the Nanny and they hope she will always be a part of the Sheriff’s and their life.

As the Sheriff started school last week, her teachers were very impressed with her language and social skills for 2.3.  One teacher even told Ace she thought the Sheriff was performing at a pre-school level.  She has only been there for 4 days but seems to have her routine down and loves to play with “friends.”  But when asked what her classmates names are, she says “I don’t know.”  I suppose that it’s only been 4 days — we will cut her some slack!

Joker visited school on the Sheriff’s first day and got to meet the girls’ teachers and see the facility.  Ace always finds it helpful for people to meet Joker because then it explains exactly why the girls are so tall!   The Sheriff’s classmates stared at Joker in awe.  It was cute.

Ace and Joker are still adjusting to their new life as full-time working, traveling and commuting parents with two kids in day care.  Although life seems to have gotten significantly crazier this month with no rest stops anywhere in sight, Ace and Joker wouldn’t have it any other way.  They are very lucky.  And they know it.



12 Weeks

When the Sheriff arrived in March 2011, Ace had a generous maternity leave of 6 months.  Though considering how much of her life she had given the Firm up to that point (and what she would give after she returned from the Sheriff’s leave), six months seemed like nothing.  But it was a glorious half year through the spring and summer of 2011.  Ace remembers sunny walks with the C-Man and his Momma around God’s Country (aka Castle Island), lunches with the Joker in Cambridge, Tuesdays in Webster, a trip to California, and some great beach days in Maine and on the Cape.  The best six months ever is how Ace termed it on Facebook before going back to work.  Without a doubt, a very special time to remember and cherish.

Fast forward to the summer of 2012.  Ace was newly pregnant with the Deputy and psyched about the idea of another 6 month hiatus from the Firm through the summer of 2013.  Another perfectly timed mat leave!  Another sweet little girl to add to the Get-Along Gang.

But life doesn’t always go as planned.  A good problem to have, Ace wasn’t really looking but was offered an in-house job that she simply couldn’t refuse.  A growing Massachusetts company in a fun industry with smart and normal colleagues who were all big law refugees who shared her values about working and living.  A job that would allow her to be a lawyer but also a mom, and not feel guilty about it.  Less money, but a better lifestyle.  No more billable hours.  She took the job, but not without trying her hardest to negotiate a longer maternity leave.  How could she possibly leave her sweet baby after just 12 weeks?  That would be down right criminal.  But if you do for one in corporate America, you have to do for all, and the Company would not budge on extending her leave.  So Ace was stuck with just 12 weeks.

But from the moment the Deputy arrived, Ace kept one thought in the back of head — quality over quantity — a mantra many working parents live by.  They have to.  And as Ace heads back to work in a few days, she is satisfied that she and the Deputy have had a wonderful and special maternity leave, with lots of time logged with the Sheriff as well.

What will Ace remember from this leave?  For starters, the closeness that she and the Deputy have shared.  With the Joker having a blast with the Sheriff, Ace has focused her energies on the Deputy, creating a unique bond with her baby girl.   The Deputy knows Ace before anyone else, and she feels safe in her arms.  Ace also has worn the Deputy so much more than she ever needed to wear the Sheriff– all around Southie, at the park, for hours shopping, while pushing the Sheriff in the stroller, to get coffee, resting on the roofdeck, and just around the barracks.  The Deputy’s happy place is certainly in the Bjorn (and NOT her car seat).  She can sleep for hours on Ace’s chest while Ace is chasing after the Sheriff!  Ace does not feel complete these days without wearing the Deputy for at least a couple hours a day.

From this leave, Ace also will remember the many trips to the park with the Sheriff and the Deputy — chatting with other moms and getting to know the kids in the neighborhood and feeling a part of the community, all while trying to convince the Sheriff that sharing is good and that she shouldn’t steal other kids’ toys!  Ace made a bunch of new mom and nanny friends and loved taking the girls to the Sheriff’s music class.  This maternity leave definitely afforded Ace the opportunity to appreciate city living and raising young kids in the city.  She doubts she (or the Sheriff) would have had so much fun in the burbs.

Ace will also remember her special day with the Deputy at Castle Island, cuddling with her up on the hill for hours; the Deputy’s playdates with the Fox Twins; and her first loop around the Sugar Bowl and the Esplanade with her new friends Elsie and Maisie.  Ace will remember morning play time at the mall play spaces before the weather got nice, nursing the Deputy all over the malls!

Ace will remember what an amazing, well mannered baby the Deputy is.  Sleeping through the Sherrif’s 2nd birthday party, smiling through Dziadz’s birthday dinner, chilling out at the nursing home while visiting Great Grandma, and not a peep at Easter Sunday mass, Sesame Live with Babci, or at lunch with Babs and Ah Choo at the Beer Garden.  Ace will remember the Deputy’s first baby shower for Momma Hart and her first wedding shower for Auntie Dupree.  She behaved beautifully at each.  Ace will remember what a little angel the Deputy was as a baby.

Ace also will remember the Deputy sleeping so peacefully in her arms while she learned about the Marathon Bombings on tv.

Ace will remember the feeling of success she felt after putting both girls to bed alone for the first time when the Joker started traveling in early March 2013…for three weeks!

Ace will remember the endless pumping.  A labor of love.  1,000 ounces frozen in the freezer.  Ace is pretty happy about that.

Ace will remember the Deputy’s light blows to the head from the Sheriff (one with her tennis racket!) and the Sheriff’s plea to leave the Deputy at home when getting ready to go out or to put the Deputy “down” when the Sheriff wanted attention.  Really, the Sheriff has started to love the Deputy but occasionally decides she was better off before she arrived.

Ace will remember Fridays in Webster with the girls.  She will remember spending time with the Nanny.  But most of all she will remember lazy afternoons at the Southie barracks with the Deputy sleeping on her chest or in her arms.  On occasion, Ace would catch some zzz’s too.  Of all of the activities they packed into these past 12 weeks, those days are by far the most memorable and the most special.  Those are the days to remember.