Haven’t had much time to write recently, don’t see that changing any time soon… But I am still here, and things are going well… And now, let this cute picture of the Meeks distract you:
Shouldn’t we all be so happy? I think so!
i’ve been silent for a bit because, well, BUSY.
what have we been up to? let’s see…
a bit of light reading now and again…
trying to find ways to make being mobile even!more!fun!
swing, swing, swinging!
climbing on EVERYTHING
enjoying plenty of picnics in the park…
… and then climbing some more!
also: walking. well, maybe? sort of?
when do you consider it walking?
for the past 2ish weeks, meeka has been standing holding onto something, then turning, and walking anywhere from 1-6 steps on her own towards wherever she wants to go (sometimes making it, often not). do you consider this walking? hmmmm…
also: the husband has taken his test! woohoo! he arrived back at 3am last night (this morning) and we’ll hear if he passed on friday (but he feels good about it, so… YAY!)
also: my application for a new job is complete! fingers crossed, wish me luck! it would be a huuuuuuuge change for all of us – not just what i’d be doing (for a year), but also location (for a year). but i think it would be good for us. it might just be what we need. a huge shake-up, for sure.
also: well, no. no more also. i just felt like i should try to put one more thing ;)
Not to take away anything I wrote last week, because it is still true and I still mean it, but to qualify… first and foremost, PMS! Oh, how I forgot about you! And oh, how you made sure I remembered with a vengeance!
But beyond those bitch hormones, I’ve been thinking about the WHY lately, and tried to articulate it to my lil sis the other day… And what I’ve come up with, is that it is situational. Or perhaps, locational. Take this exact same scenario, but plonk us down in a different city/town/etc? I’m pretty sure things would look VERY different…
Well, some of it is the pressure-cooker environment of New York; no matter what field you are in you feel it, but in the one my husband is in (and that I opted out of temporarily)? It’s even more intense. You get paid less and work more than people in the same field outside of the city, all for the “prestige” of living and training in NYC. And yes, there are benefits to this – once you are done. When you are in the middle of it? IT SUCKS DONKEYBALLS.
Feeding into this – or perhaps, stemming from it? – is the “paid less” part translating into my frustrations because anywhere else, we could more easily get through this rough patch by throwing money at it for a little while – hire a cleaner, eat more take-out, etc. But here? Yes, yes, there are ethnic cuisines of whatever obscure corner of the world you want to explore on every block. But. Money. Not something we have a lot of right now. Don’t get me wrong, we’re not starving… but we also can’t eat take-out and hire a cleaner. So. Yeah. Scratch that solution.
And, of course, what also comes along for the ride in this expensive-ass city is paying more for rent to live in a postage-size apartment than many pay for their mortgage on a house with a yard and a white picket fence, etc etc. While this helps with the cleaning part (less to clean! YAY!) it doesn’t help with much else… Because you are always on top of one another, as well as the hundreds of others who live in your building and thousands of others on your block and millions of others on this one tiny little island.
And the living on top of each other part is where a lot of my frustration lies, I was realizing. As I described to my sister: some of my friends’ husbands are training to be surgeons, which means they are away. A LOT. They might see their children for an hour every other day, or so. But? When they ARE there with their family? They are THERE. Both physically and mentally present (as much as they can be, what with the sleep deprivation). My husband is in a different specialty, and what that has amounted to recently? Is that he is studying – from home. So he is actually physically present, quite a bit of the time. But mentally? NEVER. He is always, always thinking about the test/studying for the test/being annoyed that he’s being distracted from studying/etc. There is no separation between work and home for him, and so he is always absent (though physically there… which is it’s own problem, see next sentences. Would rather he was actually NOT physically there more of the time, paradoxically). Also? Due to the aforementioned tiny-ass apartment? His desk is in the living room. Which means Meeka and I are NOT in the living room. When your tiny living space is cut in half? THAT ALSO SUCKS DONKEY BALLS. Just sayin’…
So. That. Things still suck, the test is two weeks away, I am hanging on til then…
Meanwhile, while I was thinking all this, I read one of those posts that makes you stop and go, “YES! EXACTLY!” … She wrote much more eloquently about the truth of living in NYC:
“New York City takes all the basic facets of normal human existence away from you, and then sells them back to you one at a time as luxuries. Want a bathroom that fits more than one person at a time? That’ll cost ya. A bedroom door? Five hundred extra per month. Don’t even ask about closets; you don’t get those unless you work on Wall Street.”
And also this:
“the truth is that we’re just not reaping any of the benefits of living in Manhattan these days, and city living is getting in the way of our life more than it’s enhancing it.”
That, right there, is IT. Yes, my husband is NOT helping matters right now with his intense preoccupation with himself (ahem. his test. sorry) but the root cause of my frustration? Is situational, locational, perhaps even somewhat vocational (OK, not that last – just wanted to make it rhyme)
So that’s the update.
“You make it look so easy,” he said, watching me wrestle a hyperactive dog into submission with one hand, a curious baby strapped to my chest, my other hand getting the appropriate keys ready to let us into the apartment.
I gave a small smile as I thanked him.
But inwardly, I cringed. That’s the problem, I thought, that’s exactly the problem.
I make it all look so easy.
Our pictures are falling off of the walls.
Something about the change in temperature or humidity, combined with the way we hung them up (3M Command Strips, in case you were wondering… as it is next to impossible to nail into concrete walls), means that every morning I find a new hole on the wall.
They fall, but they don’t break.
And every morning, I pick them up, dust them off, and hang them back up. Hoping that this time, this time, they won’t fall.
My friends have told me that they like to talk to me because I am so level-headed. They can tell me their problems, and I can help them see solutions… Or at least provide a sympathetic ear to listen.
I am the one who tells my old roommate, a new mother, that though she is not the mother she wanted to be – though she has had problems and struggles with things she never thought she would – she is still a mother. And a fantastic one, at that. She might not be able to breastfeed, but she is doing anything and everything she can for her daughter. And that’s what counts.
I am the one who is able to listen to the frantic worries of my friend about what might be wrong with her daughter, and then calm her fears with my background medical knowledge and some insight into genetic testing. Her daughter will be fine; she will be fine; everything will be fine.
But I am also the one who does not confide my worries to these same friends, because what could they say? My worries are not about my skills as a mother (I know I am a good mother. I know I make mistakes, but that I learn from them. I know I am trying my hardest. I know I am doing fine) or the development of my daughter (I still think she is absolutely brilliant… or at least, meeting all developmental milestones). They are more general and more specific than that. They reach to the heart of my family, not just myself…
My husband has made it clear that, for now, his priority is not his family.
While I can see where he is coming from (somewhat), I cannot agree.
But I also cannot change this.
There is no way to change another person’s mind once it is set.
And so I am left to shoulder the burden that he has left behind.
I work full-time, mother my daughter full-time, and do everything else as well.
I feel myself stretching thinner and thinner to cover all the things I need to do.
I empathize with all the single parents out there, because that is what I now am, despite what it looks like to others looking in.
I have hope that it is temporary… But worry that it is not. Once the date of his test comes and goes, what happens? One thing will be over, but we’ll be moving on to another, just as big, just as stressful… What then?
And so I make plans… Plans to get out, get away, get myself the help that I need. Get my daughter other people to help with her care. Get us away from an environment that churns us into these situations.
Of course, none of that helps with the now. Even if these plans work out, nothing will change today, tomorrow, or even next week.
Just like the pictures, I can feel my life falling down all around me… Falling, but not breaking. And just like the pictures, every morning I find a new hole, then pick up the fallen pieces and carefully place them back, hoping that they will not fall again.
The problem is, no one else sees what has fallen.
I am up earlier than everyone, gathering the pieces, replacing them, filling the holes.
They see the wall, covered with smiling photos.
I see the pictures that have fallen, been replaced, and fallen again.
I see myself picking them up, every day.
I see myself making it all look so easy.
But that doesn’t mean that it is.
I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately… Also known as: WARNING! WARNING! BAD MOOD!!! WARNING!
There is no real reason, just a general ickiness. Things I want to change – that I know WILL change – just not fast enough for me.
When my daughter gets fussy, it’s usually pretty easy to fix – she usually wants food or a cuddle. And if all else fails, the boobs solve everything.
I only wish my bad mood could be solved as easily.
How, When, Why?
Meeka has always been a boob girl. She loves to nurse. She latched on immediately in the hospital, and has been trying to live attached to my boob ever since. She’s currently working out her own exercise routine, tentatively called “Breastfeeding Gymnastics” – and no, it’s not the boobs doing the gyrating (thank god!) but rather, the baby trying to see how many ways she can contort herself while still keeping the nipple in position (she’s got some good rotation going, as well as some pretty impressive one-leg-only poses)
Of course, the converse of this is that she is not now, and never has been, a bottle babe. Since she is in daycare, she does get them … But doesn’t really like to drink from them. And, like her mommy, can be very stubborn. And good at refusing what she doesn’t want. And so – some days when I pick her up, she’s had only 4oz from a bottle. (Other days, she’s had 20oz. So. Yeah) They offer, she refuses. And refuses. And refuses.
Which leads to a bit more night feeding than I’d like. OK, a lot more night feeding than I’d like.
Now, my basic parenting philosophy is to do what is best for the baby – go where she leads, etc etc (within reason). Which in this case, seems to be, stick with the boob, lady! Sure. Fine. I’m OK with that, in general…
(You knew there was a but)
My problem is that my husband and I are leaving on vacation in 2 months. For 10 days. Without the baby.
She’ll be one year, at that point. My mom is coming to stay with her, in our apartment, her familiar environment. She’ll be going to daycare every day like usual. (Yes, I am still talking myself into this, a bit. Because – I DON’T WANT TO LEAVE MAH BABY!!! MY PRESHUS LITTLE BABY!!! … On the other hand, VACATION! Alone, with my husband, in an exotic locale, to celebrate 5 years of marriage and the end of his training and x y z… But this isn’t a discussion of that, really.)
Sure, it’s 2 months away. A LOT can change in that time (and most likely will). But I know my stubborn little one. I know I need to think and plan for this now. Because it might just take her that long to adjust… But to what? That’s my problem. I don’t quite know what to do with this situation.
Do I stay on course – which is nursing at wake up, upon return from daycare, at bedtime, and then on demand at night? (Generally 1-2x per night, though she’s had a sleep regression recently)
Do I try to gradually wean from the boob? (Ideally get down to wake up and bedtime nursing, perhaps?) And how do I do this? Any tips?
I don’t want to cut it all out now, that’s not on the table. For one thing, I’d like to nurse at least a year. It’s working for us (too well, that’s the problem).
But what would an abrupt cut-off when I leave do?
And… If we’re still going with the nursing then, would we be able to pick it back up when I return? (I know that would mean pumping while away, which I am OK with doing if I thought she’d still want to nurse when I got back. But would she? After 10 days without? I know some kids go right back to it after a 2-3 day break, but a longer one?!?!)
(And I’m also wary of how any changes would affect her milk intake – right now, despite being at daycare all day, the majority of it is via nursing. If I cut this back, then perhaps the bottle intake would go up. But… if it didn’t… DEHYDRATION! My least favorite nemesis, since we went down that road once before… And while we’d be watching closely for that, how to fix it if she’s refusing bottles? ARGH!)
(And yes, given my reading, I should be all zen and “my job is to provide the food, her job is to eat it”. And I am, sort of. But I also know how stubborn she can be about drinking… such that she dehydrated herself once before… So that makes the zen-state a bit harder to attain)
She’s offering you the sippy cup. Because she sure isn’t going to drink from it!
this is not a post, because i do not have the brain power to actually compose real words into real sentences with real meaning.
i am just too tired.
the combination of a severe head cold (thanks for sharing, meeka and all you other daycare kiddos!) and total lack of sleep (why, hello there sleep regression! and also four new teeth! nice of you to stop by!) has turned my head into a cloud of fog from which very little coherence escapes.
so i’m just gonna post some pictures from my phone and call it a day. (these are from a couple months ago, but whatever. they’re cute. and meeka just outgrew those pyjamas, which were some of my favorites. SOB! why oh why do these little ones grow so fast?!?!)
she was so itty bitty!
and now she’s a big girl, with a big girl attitude!