It’s hard to find the right mix of busyness on maternity leave. Last week: too much. I finally had my crash week — you know the days during maternity leave when it finally builds up and becomes too much, and you remind yourself that you are human. That you need to cut yourself some slack. That you can say no. That oh yeah, you are going through a hormonal change and physical recovery, and maybe you should put on your yoga pants again and take a big nap. And eat cookie dough (oh the entitlement after going nine months without). And then go for a run (yes, a run again!) and get some fresh air and sun.

Job has nothing on the patience of parents of young kids and people who live in Minnesota right now. There is nothing to do as your newborn sleeps 3, then 4, then 2, then 3 hours in a row at night but wait, wait, until the trendline finally straightens outs and heads toward more sleep. It will; as a second-time parent I am so grateful for this confidence. And there is nothing to do when you open the newspaper (Yes, I still subscribe. Don’t make fun) to yet another parade of 20 and 30 degree forecasts and little snowy cloud icons that ensure you’ll be breaking out the shovel yet again.

Minnesota in March

Today. It was a good year to sell the Mini Cooper.

But it is easy to shake off the surliness you felt at 5 a.m. when your two-month-old awoke crying with a burp AGAIN, mere minutes after you put her dead asleep self down following a gymnastic regimen of burping maneuvers, by watching her tiny fists stretch adorably toward her ears. By listening to her little grunty-grunts and big sighs. But watching her purse her lips. As someone who is expecting that this is her last go-around, I get it, I GET it. Me, here, now, yes. This is where I want to be.

Blythe at 8 weeks

Looking like a Gasteyer.

Smiling at 8 weeks

Also: smiling.

And if your ovaries don’t hurt already:

Bunny feet

Bunny feet.

Well, I’d rather be here again, but you’d have to be insane not to. (Have a great time on your trip this year without us, Mom and Dad. Next year, right?!)

And there is also the consolation that she is a fantastic napper, and naps make everything better. (Also, running and cookie dough.) And as I type, the most glorious sound ever: the roar of a neighbor’s snow-blower, clearing out our sidewalks and front walk. Bless him.

Now, about that nap…


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