Monday, October 17

A Monday: Seven Weeks

Today we woke up to a very cold, chilly, wet Monday. That meant the first thing to do upon going upstairs was restarting the fire in our wood stove.

Today Levi is seven weeks old, and we've settled into what might slightly resemble a morning routine. Every morning (usually) I wake up for the last time between five and six. Depending on the night, sometimes I'm up as many as three times with Levi, and if I'm lucky it's only once at about 2 a.m. When I wake up for the last time I feed him and (usually) put him back down in his crib. Sometimes he stays awake to stretch and groan, and other times he'll drift back to sleep. I take advantage of that time to pump - something I try to be very consistent with, and I usually get about four ounces of milk to store away in the freezer - and then I (usually) head upstairs to eat breakfast and visit with Scott before he leaves for the day. Then, if it's a Monday, Wednesday or Friday I head back downstairs around 6:45 or 7 to shower, and if I'm lucky Levi has still been sleeping or happy the whole time and is still content in his crib. After I get myself all ready, or until Levi is demanding he needs attention for something, I change him, dress him for the day and sit down with him about 7:30 to feed him again before heading to the office just before 8.

It's a system that works pretty well for us, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays when I work from home we follow the same schedule up to the point of dressing for the day. The beauty of getting to stay home is that I can get right down to work, without having to plan everything out carefully to get us to the office on time. It's amazing how much my life has changed to a schedule that abides by Levi's feeding times, which come about every two hours during the day. Making sure his belly's full before going anywhere is key, because he is not a patient boy when he is hungry. There's nothing to be done to quiet him down when his belly's empty, so before leaving for work, before running to the store, before heading to the ranch, before going to appointments, we must be sure that Levi is fed. And when he's fed, he's full. His little belly gets plump and round like a little well-fed puppy or piglet.

On Mondays when I'm in the office I try to get all my phone calls and interviews done for my articles for the week. That way, when I need to make some calls, I let my coworkers know and they're kind enough to come get Levi if he starts to fuss while I'm mid-interview, though I usually try to time it so that I can make phone calls when he's sleeping or happily entertaining himself on the floor. He likes to lay on the floor and kick and stretch and flail his arms and look around, especially at the fluorescent lights.

Then on Tuesdays I can write my articles and start organizing things in my files for that week's paper so that on Wednesday morning I can finalize any loose ends with articles, edit anything coming in from Saige or correspondents and get all the details together, like our news briefs, columns, obituaries, opinions.... that's the long part. I do my best to get most of the key editorial to layout by noon on Wednesdays, and it usually takes all afternoon to get the last of it finished and sent to her.

Thursday, which is at home, is my 'free' day of the week when I can (hopefully) catch up on whatever loose ends might still be hanging out there. I work on planning for future articles, contact correspondents about deadlines, contact the next week's columnists, and generally make sure I'm on top of things. Which reminds me, this week I need to finalize our Winter Cattlemen's article sheet. Special editions never end!

Fridays we're back in the office, putting the paper out in the morning and getting everything as close to perfect as possible, and Friday afternoon I make sure I've got a good understanding of what I need to do for the next week so I've got a plan of action come Monday morning.

And all this working around Levi's schedule and demands. :-) But really, I feel like it's working out pretty well juggling the two things. Granted, the first couple weeks were a little rough, but I feel like I'm getting the hang of it, and learning the 'new-mom skill' of getting work done at any moment when he's not demanding attention. I think that's the key to the whole thing. :-)

Even though it still feels like we've had him just a short time, I can't imagine not having him, and he's really fit into our lives pretty well. When we need to go somewhere we just pack him up and take him with us, feeding and changing him at the appropriate intervals, and he's proven to be a trooper, even as the newest Roundup employee. :-)

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