4 Years & 3 Weeks Married | Baby R’s First Halloween! (and Cindy’s Last Week of Maternity Leave)

(We dressed up, we just forgot to take a picture! Jake dressed up as Jake from State Farm & Cindy dressed up as a Trader Joe’s employee. Baby R was Elvis until she had a blowout in that costume. She then became a “Ladybug in a Pumpkin”)

Baby R celebrated her first Halloween ever!! And it was jam-packed with activities!

On Saturday, we went to our church’s Harvest Festival. There were tons of games, lots of good food, and a few jumpers! Too bad Baby R is too young to really enjoy any of it. We can’t wait until she’s older and is able to have more fun at these types of events. We mainly went to experience a Harvest Festival and do something festive. And to say “hi” to our friends.

Then, in the evening, we went to our first Halloween Party as a family! Our new friends who also have a baby around Baby R’s age hosted a little get-together with a few of their friends. We all participated in a little friendly pumpkin carving competition. Cindy was determined to carve her ugly pumpkin. No one thought it was carvable, but she and her partner did it! (everyone had to partner up with someone who is not their significant other and the competition was timed to prevent the carving from taking up the entire evening). Surprisingly, her pumpkin won 2nd place! We don’t normally do anything for Halloween, so it was fun to have actual Halloween plans. Baby R mostly slept through the activities, but she wasn’t fussy during the times she was awake. We’re wondering if we have an extroverted baby… she seems to enjoy being around people.

On actual Halloween night, we went over to Cindy’s sister and her sister’s fiance’s place to help pass out candy. They turned their little apartment stoop into a “haunted house”. It was fun watching all the little kids get scared. Baby R seemed unphased by it all. Maybe in a few years, it’ll be us who will have to walk with her up to a door because she’s too scared to get past all the decorations.

All in all, it was a great first Halloween and a great cap to Cindy’s maternity leave.

She’s fortunate to have enjoyed nearly 5 full months with Baby R. She wishes she had more time but is grateful for the time she was given. Fortunately, she’ll be easing back into work since she’s returning during all the “breaks”. Thanksgiving break is just a couple of weeks away and after that, there’s Christmas break! It helps mentally and emotionally. She feels pretty sheltered when it comes to her transition back. She knows most women aren’t able to have this type of experience.

Since this past week was her last full week with Baby R, Cindy made a conscious effort to make 0 plans. The entire week was dedicated to hanging out with Baby R. It seems like we’ve had a lot of plans and hang-outs the past 5 months. And while we have been able to enjoy time with Baby R, Cindy wanted just one week of uninterrupted time. It was the best week ever.

Cindy had a hard time bonding with Baby R in the beginning and couldn’t wait to go back to work. But now that she’s spent so much time with Baby R, she’s been getting sad at the thought of going back. She joked with Jake that she wishes she could clone herself and send her clone back to work. But also make sure the clone was incapable of feeling and having a will, so it wouldn’t turn into one of those scary movies where the clone turns evil and kills Cindy because she wants to have her own life. (haha)

In addition to all the emotions going on, there’s also the stress of pumping and scheduling that into her workday. She’s bought everything she needs, so she feels prepared. Because she travels between schools, she’ll most likely be pumping in her car– it’s more efficient than driving back to her office every time. She invested in a hands-free, tube-free pump (the Momcozy, per her coworker’s recommendation), a quality milk storage bag that she can leave in the car, and window & windshield covers. She’s got everything she needs, so now it’s just a matter of doing it. She’s a naturally very anxious person, so she hopes she’ll be able to calm down and relax enough during her pumping sessions. Her goal is to breastfeed for a year, so she’s going to try as best as she can to pump consistently. Though, the advice she’s been getting from other moms is to do the best you can and keep an open mind.

And finally, there’s the challenge of relinquishing control. Cindy’s been worrying about whether or not Baby R’s caretakers will be able to follow her “schedule” and give her good naps; if they’ll give her enough floor time and tummy time; if Baby R will end up loving the nanny more than her. It’s hard to not worry, but she’s learning to calm down, let it go, and trust the people we’ve asked to watch Baby R.

Throughout all this, Jake has been extremely supportive. He listens to Cindy when she worries and reassures her that everything will be fine. He’s taken charge of all the paperwork and communicating with the nanny, so Cindy only has to focus on going back to work. And he’s flexed his schedule for the first week Cindy’s back so he can make sure the transition of care goes smoothly.

It will be a transition, but we’re hoping it won’t be as bad as Cindy’s made it out to be. We’ll see how it goes!

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