And now back to our regularly scheduled reporting

Twelve weeks sounds like a long time to take off of work.

But I can tell you, it just flies by when you’re at home, soaking in that new baby smell, the sounds of coos and the sight of baby’s happy smiles. And so, here I find myself, back in my office, checking my email, setting up interviews and marking dates on my calendar.

As with many things the third time around, coming back to work has been easier than it was with my older two children. Of course, Kieran has so far proved to be a calmer baby, a better napper, less prone to howls of rage in the car and even less grumpy when awakened by loud noises. Frankly, as the third boy in the family, it takes quite a bit of noise – or, more likely, the unexpected quiet – to rouse him from a good nap. People sometimes say the best way to make having kids easier is to have more, and I have to agree, not so much because subsequent children require less work, but because you just learn what’s worth stressing out over and what isn’t. And, of course, if you’re lucky, you get an easier baby the second or third time around.

So while I was relaxing away, holding a sleeping little boy, I saw my time off slip by so quickly as to make my head spin.

Last Monday, I walked in to my office, and it was as though no time had passed at all. Thank you for your patience while I was off work. Thanks for submitting photos and press releases. Thanks for redirecting your calls to Lake City if you called Rockwell City first. Thanks for waiting a little longer for answers to your emails.

Thank you to Toni Venteicher and Jeri Vanderheiden in our Lake City office, for stepping well out of their comfort zone to record meetings and even write about a court hearing in my absence. Thanks to Rob Maharry, in Mid-America Publishing’s Grundy Center office, for driving over here to attend a special meeting, and for writing a school board story based on a sound recording sent to him. Thanks to Danielle Potkonak, who designs the paper each week, for filling in with formatting press releases.

The Graphic-Advocate really is a team and I can’t say enough good things about how my team stepped up for the past three months, giving me time to spend with a little boy who just gets bigger by the day. Thank you, all of you, for your support.