Wednesday, September 30, 2009

First trip as a single parent

I bought health insurance for the few days we'll be in Canada and fell under the category of Single Parent. That was weird.

As per my usual routine I am very anxious about this trip and my abilities to get Sweet One and I to and from Montreal smoothly. Despite the fact that the majority of our trip will be on a train and all I will have to do is entertain her. I'm excited to go but terrified of doing this alone. I think all the more better to be doing this trip. I worried about the summer vacations and once we were en route all was well and so I trust that this will happen again.

I'm tired. My mind is not working and so I must sleep so that driving to the hotel this evening will be safe! Then it's early in the morning onto the train.

Bon voyage.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Perhaps my expectations are too high

When getting my hair cut is it too much to ask:
  • that I be sitting in the chair for more than 20 minutes
  • that my hairdresser isn't distracted the entire time by everything else going on
  • that my left side is the same length as the right side
Please tell me if I am being ridiculous!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Layer by Layer

I never know quite what I am getting myself into when I start a project here in this little house of ours, especially when my two main ingredients are wallpaper and Ultra Downy. The featured bathroom is in dire need of renovation. (If it can get done we will not have to shower in the bathroom that is probably swimming in mould.) We've been in a contractor's queue for awhile now and a month ago he said that it was quite possible that he would start on October 1st. Perfect timing for Sweet One and I to be gone with all the loud noise going on. Yesterday evening,as Sweet One was going to sleep (she did it all on her own!), I found the energy get started the awful task of taking down the wall paper. The first picture is the top layer. Yes, my friend, there were more than one. Not at all sure just how much of a gong show was going to ensue. As backward as it may seem, my way of expecting a mess and getting a break actually worked! The top layer came off easily in large pieces.
And it revealed an even more beautiful layer! Gross. (Twenty minutes after I started all of the this the contractor phoned to let me know he was going to take advantage of the good weather to get other projects done. Well shit. Another month, at least, to wait.) So I got the section that is in the final picture completed and was exhausted. As I was finishing I told Big Love that I probably wouldn't do anymore until I was back from Montreal. I've been sick for over a week and haven't had a whole lot of energy.
Every time I went into the bathroom I smelled coal dust. If you walk past some houses in this town there are small steel doors near the ground for people to dump the coal directly into the basement rather than carrying it through the house. I guess I never imagined that coal would have been used recently enough to have it underneath the wallpaper. Or maybe I had hoped that the wallpaper wouldn't be so old as to contain excessive amounts of coal dust... but it did! I hated the idea of smelling that for who knows how long, especially since I had no idea if it was detrimental to our health or not, and so I started "a small section to get rid of the dust" this afternoon. This is what was under the second layer of wallpaper!
Even grosser. The grossest! What followed was not uncharacteristic to me. The above section proved fairly easy to get done (believe it or not, only 80% of it was actually still stuck to the wall!) and so I took on the next patch, which lead to the spot above the sink so that I could get rid of all the coal dust. Then since Sweet One was still sleeping, I continued on above the tub because I had gotten into a zone with just enough water/ultra downy being rubbed all over the wallpaper to make the whole process go quite smoothly. (And I only dumped one bucket of my water/ultra downy concoction on the floor!) But what is the point of finishing the wall when I still have a bit more over top of the tub because really, it's a pain to clean wet, ripped up wallpaper out of the tub so I might as well just do it once ... which finally left me with such a small spot that I couldn't not finish it all up. About 3-3.5 hours after I said "I'll just do a little bit" there was no more wallpaper. Just bare walls with this pale yellow paint on top of the plaster.
I am happy that this job is done and the bathroom is cleaned up. I hope we are next on the list soon! The bathroom has so much space in it and huge potential to be a very nice space. And the smell of Clean Breeze shouldn't stick around for too long!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

I don't think I will ever figure this out

From what I've read on other blogs, trying to get kids onto a sleeping schedule that functions and works for everyone in the family is the bane of our existence as parents. (Yes, I have failed the Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Baby because I just can't seem to get it to work.) This is today's schedule. I decided I didn't want to try and keep Sweet One awake so that she'd go to sleep at specific times. I just followed her cue.

Wake up 5:50am.
Nap 8:00-9:10 (she almost always falls asleep for a nap at 8am)
Nap 10:50-12:05 (she was already acting tired by 10:00)
Nap 2:45-present (it is 4:20 and RARELY does this kid ever sleep for more than 1.5 hours)

Now, if I can figure out how to get the longest nap to be in the middle of the day I might feel like I could have a bit of a life that doesn't center around when she needs to sleep. (And I'm a little worried about napping turning into a gong show when I go to Montreal in a few days.) I wish I felt a little more equipped with how to help her get a more functional sleep schedule.

Friday, September 25, 2009

A few things about Big Love

  1. He laughs when I bring him home "Senior Multi-Vitamins" - he doesn't like swallowing pills and they were chewable
  2. This morning I watched the season premiere of Grey's (was in complete disbelief that it was George who died the ENTIRE time) and so didn't get the vacuuming done as I often do on Big Love's day off. I told him that I wasn't going to be able to fully relax once I put Sweet One to bed and before I finished my sentence, he asked if I'd like him to vacuum the floor while I gave her her bath. Ahhh.
  3. Even though I have outbursts like yesterday that continue on into today (it only lasted for a few minutes today), he is still patient and loving and without judgement.
  4. I love tv more than he and there are times that he will sit in the living room with me, watching reruns of Gilmore Girls just to be with me. (I'm almost done and I will be able to say that I have watched every. single. episode.)
  5. When I accidentally put too much salt in the kale (I was experimenting on a new way to cook it) he profusely apologized for being a bad husband and not finishing what I made him for dinner. A few minutes later I quit eating it, too, because the salt was awful.
  6. He has been counting down the days until Sweet One and I go to Montreal (we start out in 5 sleeps!). Not because he wants to get rid of us but because he knows how important time with my friend is for my sanity. He was the one who strongly encouraged me to buy the train tickets.
  7. He constantly tells me how beautiful I am, desperately hoping that I will stop struggling with all my postpartum woes. (How does Chyler Leigh look so amazing postpartum in Grey's?)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I am a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad daugther-in-law.

I usually send out a mass email of some pictures of Sweet One. I've decided that rather than doing this every couple of weeks I will do it once a month. Every now and again I'll email my sister, my mom or another friend a picture here and there. I don't do it for my in-laws I guess because I think that Big Love can email them a picture or two in between if he wants to. But today I felt guilty and so got into our email account so that I could send them one.

There was an email from them telling us they got back from a trip which we didn't know they were on which is strange because they will often send us an email and contact info if they are going to be in the bathroom longer than usual. Big Love had even phoned them the other evening to check in with them (funnily enough he says that he does it out of obligation rather than really wanting to call them). Neither of us knew they were gone. But I digress. Their email asked to re-upload a video we have of Sweet One doing the delirious laughter thing babies do because they hadn't seen it due to their trip. At the end of the email it said to let them know how "our little girl is doing". (When we are with them, they make comments about how their other son always calls on Sundays, every week. They must have one of those fancy phones that only has the incoming capacity and not the ability to make outgoing calls.) I do not understand why, but every time they call Sweet One "our little girl/baby" (it first happened when I was pregnant) I want to punch them in the face, tell them she is their grandaughter and not their baby. I don't know why. This primal reaction is immediate and overwhelming - it will probably bug me for the rest of the day. When my mother-in-law calls her "my love" repeatedly I want to take Sweet One away from her. Stranger yet,

I replied to their email: Here is a picture of your Grandaughter. I'm not sure if I still have the file for the video. Then about 15 minutes later I decided to spend the few minutes it takes to re-upload the video and sent them a link: Luckily, it was not accidentally deleted.

I really don't know why they annoy me so much especially when we spend very little time with them. They live so far away that in the 8.5 months Sweet One has been here we have not been around them for a full 2 weeks. While sitting at the dinner of my brother-in-law's wedding (Big Love was up at the head table), my mother-in-law said something about planning a fall trip. I acted like I didn't hear anything and we've heard nothing from them. Honestly, this fall would not work for a visit from them anyway with Big Love's schedule at work. I know I've bitched about the tiny, sheltered world they live in and the eccentricities they have. I need to learn to be more tolerant and accepting.

I think that perhaps part of my issue is that I do not know my in-laws very well. We have always lived quite a distance apart and thus there has not been any foundation for a relationship to be built. I do not feel 100% comfortable around them, yet. The idea of someone stealing my child is terrifying and as lunatical as it seems, when they us terms such as 'our baby' I am afraid of losing her. I want to draw a huge line in the sand and clearly state the facts: that Big Love was their baby and therefore Sweet One is their Grandaughter NOT their baby.

If only I could have a psychologist to explain all of this to me so I could stop being such a loon.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Waiting for a few more minutes to pass

For the longest time now I've been waking Sweet One up around 10/10:30 for a last feed before I go to sleep. Sometimes she'll wake up on her own and other times I wake her. I do have to admit that I feel guilty for startling her system when I wake her up but it is equally as hard on me to have an interrupted sleep. Last night she woke up for a feeding at 8:30 and so I decided to let her sleep through 10:00 and I spent most of the night wondering when she'd be waking me up. There are books that support the last feed of the evening and others that do not and in the end it is simply fukking hard to know whether my decision is right or not. So right now I'm just sitting here, waiting to see if she'll wake up and also deciding if I should just go to bed and see how things work out. I'm quite sure she wouldn't sleep through the night as she seems to only last about 7-8 hours before she's hungry. Rather than reading multiple books with even more opinions on what to do with our babies, I wish we could have one book specifically for our own baby. Wouldn't that be lovely?

This past Sunday I watched the Emmy's. Overall I wasn't all that impressed. They didn't grab me and I fast forwarded through a lot of it. I was pleased that no one's speech was muted, then again maybe they were all told to keep away from political comments. There was, however, one moment that practically had me crying: Kristen Chenoweth winning Best Supporting Female Actor for her role in Pushing Daisies. I absolutely adore her and equally loved the show. Rarely is there ever a show with such originality and quirkiness. I am very sad that it was cancelled.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Wardrobe worries

It is 11:39am and I am still needing to get myself dressed. My daughter is napping (she's been whiny for the first time ever today!), the main floor is vacuumed and the kitchen floor is washed and so it's not like I've been lazing around.

I hate trying to figure out what to wear these days. I look in my drawers and closet and if it isn't too big it is frumpy, or poor quality. I absolutely hate it! With the fall season approaching I am in need of new shirts because the milk factory won't fit into my pre-pregnancy shirts and I've got another 4 months to go. (I was a lot smaller then than I thought.) Shopping doesn't exactly inspire happy thoughts for me, either. I find it impossible to find affordable clothes that are a decent quality and make me feel like me. (After our recent investment at the vet, I'm not too excited about spending money in general.) Maybe Stacy and Clinton will be at my door the next time the doorbell rings!

When I was trying to think of all the things that pregnancy and having a new baby would entail, I don't think I imagined just how much money would be needed for buying clothes at all the postpartum stages.

2:44pm. It's Big Love's day off and so he took Sweet One for a walk while I napped. She loves the Snugli! She has her hat and sunglasses on it and all you can hear is brrrrr, yayayay, yaaaaaaa. I've had people smiling from across the street because they can hear her and today a woman stopped her car to tell Big Love how cute she is! She's sleeping again - so tired today. I'm having some quiet time and so I went to The Basement which I think is an amazing place for women to put stuff out there. I only learned about it in the past week or so. After reading the most recent post, one that I can relate to in terms of cold turkey off of antidepressants, I feel like a complete asshole for being so upset because I feel ugly everyday!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

My petit chat noir

nce I rescued him from the streets, I've often worried about my cat more than some people would (but also less than others, too). For the past two weeks I've been a little preoccupied with the findings in his litter box. We got to the vet on Monday and they sent in a complete blood panel to basically give us an overall view of what is going on in his body.

I've been feeling awful because he has not been getting as much attention as I would like - and some of the attention he has been getting was me being pissed off because I was stressed out. This is understandable with a baby in the house, I know. But I do feel bad about it. I became scared that I was going to have to make the decision about whether or not we deal with what is going on or just put him down. After all he is a pet and our bank accounts do not overflow with money. I came close to crying a couple times. He's been such a good cat to me for almost 9 years. The idea of putting him down sucks. Sweet One adores him even though he only tolerates her!

Luckily, at this point we do not have to make any decisions other than to change his food. This will help to manage his early kidney failure which, thanks to my worrying, we have caught early enough that it isn't dire. Already he had been on a 'prescription diet' but now we need a different (and more expensive) one. Should things get worse then we will have to re-evaluate. But for now, I'm going to search online and see if I can find his new food at a cheaper price.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Teething Poop

It's been an interesting few days here at Le Nest. Teething began last week. Of course I had no idea what was going on when I had a fussy and crying Sweet One as opposed to the Sweet One who only cries when she is hungry or her father is putting her to sleep. I learned that teething was happening once the first one was already out. HELLO! Why can't we know ahead of time so that the necessary aids in helping to soothe our children can be at hand? Number two is on its way. I just finished putting her down for a nap and just like at 10:30 last night, she screamed bloody murder. This is SO rare for her. Seriously. No bragging, just tellin' ya it is because when she does scream like this I really know something is up. So the homeopathics seemed to help but my ears are ringing even though she is sleeping. Oh. That's the neighborkid blowing his whistle? Remind me NEVER. EVER. to buy any child a whistle. So tooth number two is close to its own cotillion and then the rest. Is it normal to get a new tooth per week? Why is there no blood when these teeth push through?

And to make matters much more wonderful my cat is not doing well. Without too much disgusting detail, I've been checking his litterbox dailing to monitor the state of his poop and today we went to the vet where they ordered a full blood panel. I hope we caught something soon enough because if anything is excessively expensive (this trip would have had me crying if it got any more expensive) to deal with what is going on we may have to look at alternatives. Never thought I'd be so invested in poop! Not just a baby's, but a cat's, too!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Defeat can sometimes be very sweet

We've been battling it out for an hour now. Her incessant writhing is making my arms hurt and my pleas for her to go to sleep are ignored. I give up. Does she know that she has won this one?

I stand up. My nursing tank is damp because the pee has leaked through the homemade cloth diaper. It is too thin. I didn't make it out of the right material, even though I thought it was going to be perfect. All the money spent and time invested have been wasted. Another thing to add to the list of what I thought I had figured out before she was born only to be shown how little I know now that she is here. Maybe I can selvage and repurpose the material. I know I've lost this one.

I haven't bothered to change my shirt yet. Still trying to gain some composure from the battle. Pee is sterile, isn't it?

The sun is shining on our covered porch and I think we'll go there. It's time for her to have supper. Potato, sweet potato and peaches. She can't get enough peaches. We both feel better now. She is talking constantly, telling me all that she has to say. Her smiles stretch for miles. The blue of her eyes are sparkling and I think I can see the depths of the ocean in them.

One day down the road she is going to fake sleep all in the attempt to avoid spending time with me. What is one little, late afternoon nap missed? For now, I'll drink these moments in. Now I win.

Travel help needed

So here's where I need a little help and so I'm putting it out there. Big Love is taking his final week of holidays over the Halloween weekend. At this point we're thinking Philly or Baltimore for a couple of days and then maybe Chesapeake Bay. It can not be too expensive and it has to be baby-friendly. I'm wondering if anyone out there has any ideas about where a good place to stay would be and what some things would be good to do. The only thing I hate about exploring new places is that you can spend hours trying to figure out what to do before you realize half your day is done and you haven't done a damn thing!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Starting one place and ending up somewhere different.

Within the first six months or so of moving to this town it became evident that 'fitting in' wasn't going to be easy. When it came to meeting other women who might be considered my peers, they were already in firmly established social groups and despite their outward actions of welcome it was obvious that there is no room for anyone new. Three years and counting has not helped me feel like I am going to feel all that at home here in this little town, which is ok for now.

I am loving the book Rockabye by Rebecca Woolf. I seriously can not get enough of her and thank god she has two blogs out there that I can read until my heart's content! I know it is probably quite cliche to say that there are moments in her book where I feel like she is writing about what I'm experiencing, but it is true. I completely relate to her agony of trying to meet new friends so that her son, Archer, can have kids to play with. The guilt I feel that I do not have any playmates for Sweet One is sometimes palatable. (She seems content so maybe my guilt over this is mostly my own sadness that I haven't made any friends my own age!) I've been getting through her book quickly because I want to soak up every word of it. I'm no book critic but I adore how beautifully she has told her story in a completely honest way.

And if her story isn't enough to read about finding a way to be an individual while being a mother - because really, the world of motherhood sure has a lot of expectations of what one should and shouldn't do - I go to see Julie & Julia yesterday. A young woman turning 30 who wasn't where she thought she'd be brilliantly, and with great originality, makes her reality what she wants it to be. Is the universe telling me something? Problem is, I simply do not know how to go about figuring it out for myself.

As if often the case, I'm typing this post thinking it will be about one thing and it is turning out to be something as things pop up in this melon of mine. What I'm realizing right now is that at this point I am afraid that once Sweet One does not need me at home with her that I will not have anything for myself. I want to find a way to leave my mark on this world. I'm not wanting to be famous or anything like that but I do so desperately want to feel like I have contributed to this world in a way that is true to myself. I know that being a mother is important and that being at home with Sweet One is where I need to be now. I do not want to be a SAHM for the rest of my life. Eventually I'm going to have to figure out what I want to do with my life! I'm not one to find brilliant original ideas. Usually I see what others are doing and then try to do my own version. This seems to lack personal motivation and confidence more than I would like it to.

For now I think this post needs to end here. Not quite finished but it has gone as far as it can for now. I hope it has more to it in 5 or 10 years from now. Luckily, I have the amazing husband who will support anything I want to do, just like Julie & Julia did. So maybe there is hope and I will find 'what I'm meant to be'.