(I wrote this two days ago and it took this long to get it posted.)
It is plum hard to blog while a toddler, just shy of twenty months old, is awake.
Ditto when packing all one’s possessions into boxes and moving them across town, just to have to get them all out of the boxes and into some kind of order.
And it got sooooo crazy at the end of the packing. All of the boxes are scrambled – and the unpacking is not working out at all like I had hoped.
And do you know just how irritating it is when you thought your toddler was going to take a nap, to let you finally write! – and finally break this cycle of blog silence – but he just won’t?!
So you pack him into the car – in which instantly falls asleep – except now you have to waste this nap because you really need to run the couple of errands that you were going to do later after he woke up. So now, out of sheer stubbornness, instead of going directly to your errands, you’re sitting in a taco restaurant (Panchero’s, which we used to frequent in Iowa City, how crazy is that? It’s not a very big restaurant chain but there’s one in this small Colorado town) typing on your laptop, while your toddler sleeps in his car seat in the booth across from you, because you don’t want to waste the precious time he’s asleep on errands, because you don’t want to give up the idea that today you are finally going to post something again, darn it! (Seriously, I haven’t taken my laptop out with me in months.) And then you notice you forgot to put your wedding bands back on after you put on lotion this morning. Ick! Don’t you hate that eerie feeling of having your bare ring finger out in public?
Whew! It’s been rough. It’s been rough because I really, really want to be blogging. But this boy is just so demanding of my time. I am not going to plop him in front of the TV just so I can blog. (Though it is tempting.) But man, I hate wasting his nap on errands when I could be using it for me time.
Yeah, so that’s where I’m at these days. If I’m not blogging, you know why.
Here is a picture I took this morning after breakfast.
This happened to his hair all on its own. We put him into the stroller and went for a run and that’s what he looked like when we took him out. The picture does not do the hairdo justice. And do you know how difficult it is to get a toddler to pose for a photo now that he knows he can instantly see it on your camera phone? I have countless blurry photos of him running at me with a big grin on his face while I’m shouting “No! No! No! Stay there! Stay there!”
He is at a delightful age though. (Even if he sent me from calm and this-is-going-to-be-a-good-day-finally to irritated-beyond-belief when he popped up in his crib for the umpteenth time and I realized that my plans were going to be foiled again.) He is starting to try out more and more words, parroting back things that we say. Tim and I had a laugh-attack last night when I was asking him to say words, “Can you say mama? Can you say daddy? Can you say car-car? Can you say doggie? Can you say car keys? (He does, ever so cutely – with a velar fricative to make a linguist’s knees buckle.) Can you say coconut?”
And for coconut he suddenly made up a really convoluted sign with his hand. And he repeated it again and again while we asked him to say “coconut” while sharing a good belly laugh. Losing our breath a little – but trying to downplay it so he wouldn’t get worried we were laughing at him.
I know it’s not funny, really, to anyone but us. (And you really had to be there.) But that bizarre invention of a sign, for no reason, from my child – that is the kind of moment that manages to ease the irritation of my day-to-day and the realization that I’ve given up all notion of free, or me-, time for the next decade or so.
Here are a couple more pics from our photo shoot today.
Recently, I found myself in the midst of some very blue days.
I felt extremely sad and lonely and my homesickness for Denver (city life) was ultra-strong.
I had already noticed that when I lack sleep – and I’m always lacking these days – I feel depressed. The depressed feelings were just starting to become more obtrusive – lasting longer throughout the day and for more days in a row.
And then, yeah, couple weeks ago it got pretty bad. I was beginning to actually get tearful at times. I haven’t felt that way in a long time, but it’s becoming apparent that this happens to me every couple of years.
Now? I’m almost better again. I’m back to my enthusiasm about my current entrepreneurial endeavor, but it’s at a healthy, non-manic level.
So yeah, I meant to write some posts about depression while I was feeling so blue, but it’s possible that the storm may have passed for now.
Either way, I’m reading Andrew Weil’s book Spontaneous Happiness. Thank you loving hubby for ordering it for me at the library!
And I’m really going to work on getting to bed earlier. Honest!
Like all moms, I’m sure, it’s extremely hard for me to get to bed at a decent hour. I never have time to do the reading and writing I want to do when Sebastian is awake.
Every night I face the dilemma. We make dinner, get the baby to bed, and then, against my better judgement, I stay up too late.
But, I’ve got to take care of me if I want to live my best life.
Maybe a miracle will happen and I’ll suddenly start going to bed between 9 and 10 pm, getting up at 6, exercising, having tons of energy, and living happily ever after!
A girl can dream!
But for now, I’m taking my vitamins, walking as much as I can during the week, and making it a goal to hit the sheets before 10 pm!
What time do you go to bed? What time does your alarm clock (or your kid) wake you up? Does lack of sleep give you the blues?
Where have I been? At the Telluride Bluegrass Festival! Here are some highlights from our weekend:
In these first photos we are watching Bela Fleck in Elks Park.
Mostly I spent the weekend tending to the baby while my friends drank and had a blast. A lot of time was spent by me and my husband, cupping our hands over Sebastian’s ears. We wish we had looked into ear-plug-muffs before we left.
The last night was in the 40s with freezing rain. We sat under our canopy chairs in the rain for Mumford & Sons.
Here is a 20 second clip of the rain:
And for the last Mumford & Sons song we were huddled in our chairs and I was cupping Sebby’s ears, but the energy of everyone in the crowd, ah, it still puts tears in my eyes. My husband and I were both kicking ourselves for not filming it, but this person did:
When the clouds broke, we looked behind us and there was new snow dumped on the mountains.
We stuck it out and were rewarded by an awesome performance by Robert Plant.
Led Zeppelin is possibly my all time favorite band.
We returned Monday afternoon, and now my husband’s parents are in town for the week. I know I missed the Keep or Purge :: Trash or Treasure last week. I hope to resume it this Thursday or Friday.
So I haven’t showered in … 3 days? And now would be my chance, except, “Dont’cha understand, ma? I gotta write?!”
I’ve got blogging fever right now and I really want to keep it going. And I want to keep taking and ORGANIZING pictures. I’m feeling particularly good today in the few moments when I can squeeze in some writing and such.
Plus, looking out the window – it’s REALLY windy today – so I don’t think we’ll be going on a walk any time soon. And the post-office is closed today… So why do I need to have clean hair?
Moving on …
IN BABY NEWS
As I’m sitting here eating lunch bouncing Sebastian on one knee, holding a bottle in his mouth as he’s too young to do so himself, and eating with the other hand, I’ve realized, “Hey, I’m actually good at this!” Good in a way that I know my husband, and even many of my friends are not. I was holding a baby and his bottle, eating, and reading through my email, responding with one hand at the same time. It happened because I was determined to eat in one sitting while it was hot. After popping up and down several times to stick my face down at eye level where he was lying, and complaining, in his play gym, I scooped him up and grabbed the bottle with barely an ounce of cold expressed milk out of the fridge and ended up here.
And when I realized that there was no way my husband could manage to feed Sebastian a bottle and eat, much less be reading email, I felt talented! I felt skillful!
And I needed that, I really, really needed that. I feel extreme gratitude that I’m able to stay home indefinitely with my child, but I’m an intelligent 21st century woman, and I, of course, thought I’d be doing “more” with myself than this.
And I am, by continuing to write and imagine a creatively productive future for myself. I’m trying to re-define what work and success means – I think we’ve been incredibly closed minded about this since we broke through the barriers that kept us out of men’s careers in the past. Yes, we can now do what men do. But what else can we do? Can we create a world where we get to use our skills and intellects in the adult world, while being present for our children?
That is the never-ending question for someone like me. Because I will never be happy being “just a mommy,” or “just a housewife.”
IN OTHER BABY NEWS
1. Sebastian has had two bottom teeth for a few weeks and the jury is out on whether he will be getting more teeth sooner, or much later. But something may be happening because he has been quite irritable the past few days, grabbing fist-fulls of my hair – right at the roots if it’s pulled back – kicking and hitting me as he lies wide awake next to me in the wee hours of the night, and BITING me. (And he’s barely 5 months old, mind you, so none of this is conscious on his part and there isn’t really a way to modify his behavior, aside from reading his mind and fixing whatever it is that’s making him so discontent.)
He bit me really badly two days ago, bad enough that I’m panicking in my mind about what I will have to do if this problem gets worse. I’m not able to produce enough milk by pumping to pump exclusively for him. I think I might preemptively order some of those nipple shields. Yeah, even if I never use them, I think it will be better to have them around in case he does another angry clamp-down on my sore nipple. The pain of the abrasion he gave me is this searing, shooting pain I’d rather not make worse.
2. I got my period in the middle of the night last night. Wah, wah. And I don’t understand why, since I breastfeed exclusively. My midwife had told me I could be fertile as soon as I missed a night feeding – and I don’t feed him for most of the night anymore. But still, since I’m still the sole source of nourishment for this growing boy, I thought my period would stay away longer.
So my to-do list now has at the top:
Order Diva cup online
Call midwives for birth control appointment
Oh, and order nipple shields.
As for the birth control, I think the safest thing to do while breastfeeding is the IUD … but it just gives me the heebie-jeebies for some reason, so I don’t know …. Any other suggestions?
Ha! I just might have time to shower before he wakes up!!! (She writes, just as he begins to stir in the other room …)