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I knew it would happen with the addition of a new, still mostly unformed, little person in our house, but I am having a hard time keeping up.
I rotate between pajamas and sweatpants. I dread leaving the house (while at the same time cannot WAIT TO LEAVE THE HOUSE). My hair, while clean, is never styled, but rather pulled back in what I pretend is a fashionably shabby pony tail. If I’m lucky I can pull some crock ingredients out of the freezer at night and throw them together the next morning. But, more likely, at 4:45 each evening I’m diving in the freezer for some frozen fish and sniffing last week’s saved rice to see if it’s still good. (Though, I am still the lucky recipient of some Meals for Mamas from our local MOMS club, and they are saving my life, and my husband’s.)
I foolishly accepted another 5-week teaching position that started this week, then flubbed the dates, forgot to reply to an email, and lost that job. (Thankfully, however, I am not off the rotation for good – my supervisor is incredibly forgiving.) I’m upset at the loss of income, yes, but more so I’m totally irritated with myself for messing up. This is not like me. I am not a flake.
Luna has been challenging in the way that many newborns are – fussy and wanting constant contact. Add to the mix a diagnosis of reflux and a suspected reaction to dairy (yes, even in baked goods *sob*), and honestly, this baby is so rarely awake and not either nursing or crying that when it DOES happen, John and I hardly know what to do. Night time is … decent, for the most part. We’re co-sleeping, which I know is not everyone’s cup of tea, but it means I get SOME sleep and Luna can eat whenever she wants to. It’s working for now.
Xander is watching more TV than I would like, because I don’t have the time or the free arms to come up with fun scavenger hunts for Sanskrit signs, or whatever, and it’s flipping SNOWING STILL, so I can’t even send him out on the patio to write on the walls with chalk. So. Joe from Blue’s Clues is his best friend at the moment.
I’m desperate for some time, some actual time, when someone is not literally hanging off of my body or whining in my ear or both and it just seems so bleak, sometimes.
I know it won’t last. I know I need to cherish the moments. Whatever. We’re all about survival right now.
I honestly think that the arrival of the sun and warm weather is going to make a big difference. I am depressingly over the snow, the cold, the gray. I want to go outside. Even if it’s with a crying baby strapped to my chest in the BabyHawk, at least there will be fresh air and something to look at other than our walls.
This post sounds dreadfully miserable, I know. It’s not as bad as that. I mean, yes, it is, in a way, but it’s also great. I have two kids, and it seems that this is all I’ve wanted. I have a baby who actually nurses well, and seems to like it. Xander LOVES his sister, and begs all the time to "touch the baby Luna." John manages his time the best he can so he’s home often, able to step in and play with Xander while Luna cluster feeds in the evenings.
And while she’s hard, yes, Luna’s head still smells like powder. Her hands are still like starfish.
Luna Everly, 7lb 15oz, 19.75 inches, and an even speedier exit than her brother.
We are home and happy and she’s really so much more than I could have ever wished for.
I’m not really able to post much this week. We are visiting my parents in Alabama for the holiday and just enjoying some down time (and retail! Target! Sephora! H&M!). Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and be careful deep frying those turkeys. Have an extra piece of pie. Calories don’t count until January.
Xan has never been anti snuggling, but lately he’s taken to hiking his shirt up while on my lap so I’ll rub his belly.
Thursday is the Big Reveal Ultrasound, and for some reason I have it in my head that this is the point at which the reality of a second pregnancy and child will begin to sink in. I’m kind of dying to know if Xander will have a baby sister or brother (90% of the time he says “fiffer,” but this morning he said “budder,” so, you know, UNRELIABLE) and not really able to focus on anything other than that.
So I’m distracting myself this week by trying to stay busy. Play dates and story time and movie nights and WHATEVER. I am just so tired of worrying about which name we like for which flavor baby. (Spoiler! We won’t tell anyone until he/she is here.)
Other ways I’ve been keeping busy:
- I booked a trip to go visit my parents in Alabama for Thanksgiving. It’s a compromise for not really being able to do Christmas. 1), I’ll be hugely pregnant and within 6 weeks of my due date and (probably) not able to fly and 2), JS prefers being home at Christmas because he used to travel around the holidays a lot. I’ve really enjoyed the quiet holidays we’ve had together so far, but I also want to see my family, so this is a nice way of getting both! We’ll do a big Thanksgiving, and a quiet Christmas in VT. Win/win. Now I’ve started menu planning. YAY!
- Fall is starting, and Xander LOVES going for walks, so we’ve been making the most of the slightly cool weather and the beginnings of colorful leaves. This weekend we all went out, Tonks included, and wandered around a local park with an off leash dog area. Tonks loves getting to run around, and Xander loves to stare and laugh hysterically at her antics.
- New recipes! I got the Weelicious cookbook and have had a lot of fun working my way through some of the recipes. So far all but one (a veggie heavy salad dressing that I tried to pass off as dipdip instead of catsup) have been huge hits with Xander. I like it because I was getting kind of bored with the same recipes I’ve been using and also frustrated that Xander was not eating anything that wasn’t beige or a cookie. All it took on both fronts was a little encouragement to be creative again.
I made a quick mention on Facebook about some of my favorite Xander-isms, those words he says that only JS and I can understand, and a friend commented that she wrote all of her daughter’s words down so she’d remember them.
I thought this was brilliant, so I’m stealing the idea.
In no particular order:
- ZahZer/DahDer – Xander
- faffle – waffle
- beebee – berry
- noast – toast
- tattoo – color/draw
- chi-chi – chicken
- mow mow – cat/iPad (there’s a cat game he likes)
- feffel – pretzel
- foofoo – flower
- nahnoo – balloon
- naynay – horse
I’m sure there are others, but these are the ones that come to mind. I wish there were a way to bottle up The Cute so I can pull it out on those days I’m tempted to list him on Craigslist.
Hey, so remember when I used to have a blog?
Yeah, me either.
Well, we’ve moved into the house (and, for the record, I love it!), we survived Irene, my mom has come and gone, we’ve painted, we’ve played, we’ve met a neighbor and we’ve (sorta) gotten back into a more regular sleep pattern (HA HA HA HA, SHUT UP).
We finally got the Internet working, though our cable card seems to be wreaking havoc on our TiVo (I will not switch to CableBrand DVR. NEVER.) I got a new compute (!), but still haven’t had time to transfer whatever files we were able to rescue from the busted one.
It’s been insanely busy. JS started teaching the day we closed, so he hasn’t had tons of time to invest in things like unpacking or painting, so it’s insanely busy and a little more slow than either of us would like. But we’re dong it. The bright yellow is out of the halls and the living room. My office is much lighter. We bought a green chair.
I posted before pictures of the house on Facebook. When we’re (mostly) all done I’ll post both before and after ones here.
OH! And I got a job. I know, right? Almost exactly a year ago I went through a binge of applying to online universities as an adjunct instructor. At the end of the month I’ll have my first class! It’s not tons of money, but it’s some, and more importantly, it’s university level teaching experience. I’m nervous, but very excited, too.
I hope to be back to regular posting this week.
Today you turn 13 months old. You’re officially into your second year. I know I sound like "such a mom" when I say it, but I seriously just can’t believe how quickly it’s gone (but, of course, you’ve ALWAYS lived with us, haven’t you?).
Last night your dad and I sat together and laughed for a good five minutes over just how much you’re already a little boy. You’re nonstop motion, a blur of dark curls and dimpled elbows, smiling beneath your pacifier. You’re changing by the minute. You’re crawling and climbing and standing and walking along the edges of anything, really. The other day I caught you hanging by the knobs of a cabinet, giggling as you lifted your feet of the floor and dangled. You talk. You love to talk. You sound a bit like a Russian robot, sure, but I know you have stories to tell us. Your eyes light up and you gesticulate wildly as you exclaim "bleee bloop stchluey cloaflo na bo bo bo!"
You are a Pet Person, no doubt about it. You break into hysterical laughter at the sight of Tonks. You want so badly to "pet" her, but she has learned that your pets are more of a fur removal process than strokes of love, so she mostly runs away from you. Unless you’re eating, in which case she is right under your chair. And you are always (ALWAYS) eating. You are an adventurous eater, so far: quinoa with shredded squash, tofu, broccoli puffs, turkey-meatballs, polenta, veggie pancakes. Your favorite seems to be French Toast, which I try to make in batches and have on hand. You are not so sure about pasta, though, leaving me to wonder if we’re related after all.
So much fun stuff awaits you in this second year of being alive. You’ll be walking and talking and running and discovering and oh, what joy.
I am so looking forward to what’s to come, but I also want to remember last year, your first year. I want to remember so much, the details that feel so unique to you, but are treasured by mothers the world over. I want to remember the powdery smell of your head. The way we’d fall asleep together, while you nursed – you’re starfish hands curled up against my skin. The first time you smiled at me, because you knew it was me. The way your legs would dance when I held you out to be held by your dad. The excited and impatient screech you’d give when it was time to eat. Your bewildered expression the first time you rolled over. Your dimpled fingers clutching your favorite blankie close to your face. The sound of you giggling in bed with Dad after I’d drop you there in the mornings while I made coffee and took a moment to wake up. The first time you intentionally signed "more" at me (for more food, of course). The way your dad and I would shape your hair into a Mohawk in the bathtub. The squeak of your pacifier going up and down in your mouth. The warmth of your breath against my chest as you slept against me. Your delighted surprise at discovering your feet.
Nothing else in the past year can compare to all these memories you’ve given me. They’re seared in my mind, tattooed in my heart. Every day you give me something new to treasure, even when I’m sure I’m so full already that I can’t possibly hold any more. My heart just grows to make more room. And more and more and more.
I love you, little boy.
Before I had Xander, and while I was pregnant, I wanted to be a stay at home mom…if I could. If finances allowed. If the timing was right. If, if, if. I wanted to be there, day to day. To see the little moments that go by so fast. So very fast. I wanted to cloth diaper (have had mixed success with this, but oh man, the diapers are so effing cute). I wanted to make his food. I wanted to be the woman who could take care of the baby all day, keep the house moderately clean (I know my weaknesses) and make a nice dinner at night. Not because it’s my job as a woman, but because I wanted it to be My Job.
I never thought of it as "I’ll ‘just’ stay at home." I knew it would be work.
But I was spoiled. JS had a job that allowed him so much time at home. He could teach online from his office upstairs. He could attend meetings virtually. I could shower whenever I wanted to. I could go to the store while Xander napped. I could take a break and just get out of the house, almost whenever I wanted to. I mean, yeah, JS did *work* from home. So it wasn’t ALL the time that I had such freedom, but enough. Enough to not be used to being on my own with an infant and a household (and a dog).
Now it’s different. JS still has more flexibility than MOST jobs, I’d say. But it’s not unusual for him to work away most days. You know, like MOST "other" parents of a stay-at-home family do.
But I don’t know how to do it.
I get up with him at 630 (after, if I’m lucky, one or two night wakings) and I have to feed the cat, let the dogs out, feed the dogs, get the bottle made, make coffee while JS feeds him the bottle, make his Big Boy Breakfast, make OUR breakfast, change his diaper (well, the morning one is normally JS, actually, because I’m conveniently busy at this time), and then JS walks the dog before he leaves. Then I try to play with Xander or run an errand until his nap time, but more often than not he won’t sleep and he’ll cry and scream and the dogs will bark and the cat is throwing up and I’m yelling for everyone to just SHUT UP, just for one minute! And then, of course, more barking and crying and screaming and it goes on for HOURS and I just want ten minutes to myself, ten minutes to go potty and drink some water and cram something into my mouth because I haven’t eaten all day but no, one of the dogs is peeing on the floor and needs to go out and the cat runs outside and I give up on Xander’s nap so I have to find him something to eat (I would have made him something yesterday and frozen it, but yesterday was a lot like today and I never got any time to cook) and I take too long and Xander cries some more and I have to get the cat back inside and Xander’s diaper leaked and I need to change him, which he hates, and on and on and on and on until, finally, finally, JS is about to come home and I haven’t started dinner or unloaded the dishwasher or done anything other than barely hang on to my sanity and keep our son alive.
What I’m trying to say is….I’m not very good at this. And sometimes, like today, I wonder if I am doing the right thing. If I’m cut out for this gig. If Xander wouldn’t be better off in daycare, or with a nanny, while I got the hell out of the house for a few hours. But what would I do? I’ve been jobless for 2 years. My current skill set is changing diapers with minimal poop transfer, and tuning out Yo Gaba Gaba while playing peek-a-boo with a non verbal infant.
Then there’s the fact that…you know, I LIKE him. I miss him at night after he goes to sleep. I love the mornings when he gives me that big sloppy grin. I don’t really WANT to leave him all day long.
I guess, really, the thing is….some days are hard. And today was hard. And I don’t feel like I dealt with it with particular grace and I wish I were better at this.