Before I left on maternity leave, I cannot tell you the number of times co-workers would ask me when I was leaving on my “vacation”. These were never co-workers with children, and furthermore whenever the term “vacation” was used in front of a co-worker with a child the perpetrator would be swiftly corrected. I laughed it off everytime. Sure I knew it would be tough for a while, but we have had a dog (our practice kid) for a few years and she figured things out very quickly.
Well, if you haven’t realized it by this point in the blog, I’ll just spell it out, humans are a lot more difficult to raise than dogs. I envy having to teach Dany to avoid peeing on (most) rugs in our house. To be fair to mama dogs, in the beginning puppies are bigger squishes than humans but even in dog years that helpless period is short compared to that of a human baby. Anyway, the point of this paragraph is to educate anyone, like my former self, who believes that raising an infant is like training a pet. Cats and dogs are a heck of a lot less needy and infinitely more independent. So dear, misguided co-workers, while extremely fulfilling and joy-bringing, parenthood is not a vacation.
But, I am on vacation now! That is, Will has taken his two weeks of paternity leave! Also known as Daddy Daycare!! After 139 days, it is Daddy’s turn to take the wheel of this fender-less, dented jalopy! As it stands today, I plan to feed and care for Julius before and after “work” (or what would be work on a normal day). For the other 8 hours he is Daddy’s baby. Mostly we decided to do this because Julius has a little problem taking bottles. I know, you’re probably thinking, “but I thought he was exclusively fed by bottle for over a week after he was born”. Well it’s true, but to curb some of that overproduction problem I switched to exclusively breastfeeding him a couple weeks after we got him to latch. A month after that he no longer would take a bottle. We’ve (Will’s) been struggling almost daily to try and feed him by bottle when he gets home in the evening. (This is what I refer to as “Daddy torture time”, since both Will and Julius are never happy during this time.)
I can report however, that despite many tears, I don’t think Julius completely starved today. Though I did find it quite comical when Will asked me how I have time to shower or brush my teeth during the day. I just simply explained that I didn’t. (For reference, I do shower but I just do all those things before he wakes up or after he goes to bed.) Just to be totally clear, I know it sounds like quite a sob story that Will is taking two weeks of time to do what you now know (if you didn’t before) is not at all a vacation and in some cases closer to torture. But for perspective, he just returned from a 4 day, real, honest-to-god vacation in the Caribbean while I kept Julius and Dany alive and happy. And on top of all that I managed to accomplish several projects! This project you can complete in just one naptime (that is if you’re baby naps at all, unlike mine). Plus it is super easy, inexpensive, and produces great results!
DIY Rubber Stamps
What you’ll need:
- Draw a design on your rubber eraser. Make sure to specify the areas that will be removed. Keep in mind that you’ll need to remove rubber to form any “whitespace” in your design. If you want to make a mark on the paper, you’ll need to leave the rubber in those spots. I find it easiest to color the areas to be removed black so you know it needs to go. This sounds simple but is very easy to mess up. Take your time analyzing!
- Use your linoleum cutters to start removing the areas you have marked for removal. Start with the smallest size to define the edges of your design, and move to a larger sized cutter from there.
- Cut off any excess edge of the eraser, using a scissor or knife.
- Test your stamp. Use an inkpad (or acrylic paint applied thinly to a sheet of aluminum foil) and press your design onto the pad. Firmly press stamp to scrap paper. If ink lands on the paper in a location it shouldn’t remove additional rubber using the linoleum cutter.