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Archive for December, 2011

Struggling

2011/12/21 1 comment

These past few weeks have been hard on me. They’ve found me short of sleep, short of temper, and very much short of humor. So, yes, overall, I’ve been struggling.

I can’t point to any one thing – no major disasters have occurred. Instead, it’s been a summation of tiny exasperations that have added up to me being completely out of sorts. And that, in turn, has pissed me off even more, making this a vicious cycle.

It’s been the combination of lack of sleep (Meeka has yet to sleep through the night. She was approaching that point until a few weeks ago, when we had a backslide of gigantic proportions), Meeka being sick (first a cold, then a fever following her shots, now pinkeye), work feeling out of control (which is what happens when you have to take an unexpected day off due to your daughter not being allowed in daycare, and so your planned day/week is utterly thrown out of whack), the holidays approaching with little or no time for me to prepare (again, sick baby and work being off kilter)…

All of this has added up to me having a very short fuse. One that has been lit and exploded a few times in the past few days – which does nothing to make me feel better, but instead adds on the guilt. Oh, the guilt. Which is not to say that my explosions have not been justified – sorry, husband, but you totally deserve my wrath when you get called in the middle of the day to pick up our sick daughter on a day when you already have the time off and you call me when I am at work (doing one of those things that had been put off from the week before when I’d had to stay home with the Meeks) doing a project that is verrrrry time and labor intensive, and you call me to 1) ask if I can come home (ANSWER: you’re already there, dumbass, so NO, 2) call again to ask if I can call and make an appointment at the pediatrician (ANSWER: you’re an adult with a phone, the number is on the fridge, I think you can handle it), and then yet again to see if I can run out and pick up the prescription (ANSWER: what part of time and labor intensive project that was already delayed a week do you not understand? I can barely answer the phone, let alone run out to the pharmacy!)

But no matter how justified, I hate this mental fugue I have entered. It needs to stop. I need to change.

I spent a good portion of yesterday thinking about what I could do, and the answer I came up with is both simple and spectacularly hard. I need to make more time for myself. Time for me to do things I want to do. Alone. (Sometimes with friends, perhaps. But I am a person who needs – who craves – time alone to just decompress, and that? I have not been getting lately)

Lately, my days have been all about everyone else from the moment I wake up til the moment my head touches down on the pillow again. Even the time I find to do things for myself – such as read a novel – is time I am multitasking, as I usually have Meeks in my arms (or on my boobs) at the same time. It is not truly ME time.

Of course, carving out some time for myself is not going to be easy – Meeks is usually up by 6am, and for the next few hours we are occupied by getting ourselves ready for the day. Once I drop her off, it’s up to work for me… Only to come home and pick her up, slightly tired and crabby and needy from the day. The next few hours usually find me with her attached to some part of my body while I try to accomplish the evening tasks – cooking, eating, bathing, cleaning and prepping for the following day. Once she’s asleep, I’m exhausted. Too tired to really do anything much for myself, and still with plenty left I need to do for others – from laundry to more cleaning, work left over from the day, etc.

But I need to find the time somewhere in here. Not just for me, but for my daughter. She deserves a happy mother. I deserve to be happy.

And so this morning I got up an hour earlier (made easier by the fact that Meeka’s sleep schedule is finally – finally! – getting slightly better) and drank my coffee to the sparkles of our Christmas lights. I finally got out my sewing machine and embarked on a project I’ve been wanting to do for way too long now. And while those few minutes were not enough to totally clear out this mental fog, they were certainly a wonderful beginning.

And so, here is my promise to myself: I will find time for myself every day, whether it be 5 minutes or an hour. Time where all that matters is ME, and I can do exactly what I want – sip some wine, sew a blanket, read a book, it doesn’t matter. It will be my time, time to reclaim my body and myself from the tentacles of being a mother and a wife and a scientist. Time to reconnect with me.

I deserve it.

And so does my daughter.

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Attached

Remember how just a little while ago I was all, “my baby saves her special smiles for daddy, wah wah wah!” ?

Ha. Haha.

Jokes on me.

These days, it’s all about mommy. (And my boobs. But then, it’s always been about my boobs. Meeks is definitely a boob girl.)

It’s been brewing for a little while, but it all came to a head this week. First came the weekend – two whole days of MOMMY! (and her boobs! YAY!) The weekend is always a fav of ours (but of course) filled with lots of mommy-and-meeka time, as well as lots of yummy foods (booby time for her, cooking time for me) and lots of naps (for both of us). Of course, these little interludes always make Mondays hard (baby’s gotta learn, right? And this is an important life lesson. Mondays can suck. Lesson = learned)

But this Monday was different. It was Meeka’s 6 month appointment, which happened to fall smack in the middle of the day. And scheduling-wise, this made daycare impossible for the morning, and I knew from the last appointment, returning after the SHOTS! would also not be happening. So the Meeks came to work with me in the morning (luckily, Monday mornings are the one time this is a possibility…), we went to the appointment (because-she’s-my-child-and-I-dote-on-her aside: little girl is a genius! met all her 9 month milestones at 6 months! woot! … oh, wait. maybe that’s not a good thing. mobility? ACK!) (real aside: I’m well aware these milestones are lowest-common-denominator, and my daughter is completely normal and likely average. But she’s my daughter. So I’m allowed to think she’s a genius. I’m just not gonna force this belief on anyone else… until she truly is a Mensa candidate)

…and where was I?

Oh, yes. Monday. After the appointment we went home, as I’d arranged to work from home for the afternoon knowing the likelihood of crankiness and fever (HIGH). She slept a good 3 hours (allowing me to actually do my work, woot!) and then woke up – in a decent mood. WOW. We went down to daycare to play for an hour (me figuring it would be good to remind her of the place, since she’d now been gone 3 days, and well, if it’s bad after 2, imagine 3?!?!) which was lots of fun (I love her daycare. LOVE IT)

Home, dinner, bedtime routine. All went well. (foreboding music here)

She went to sleep like normal… Only to wake up SCREAMING at 10pm. Fever? Check. Inconsolable sobbing? Check. (OK, she was consolable. By my boobs. OF COURSE.) Terrible night? Check. (She managed to sleep – some- but only if I was holding her. ALL NIGHT LONG. Otherwise, she was up fussing every 45 minutes. As for me? Sleep? Heh. NO.)

She still had a (slight) fever in the morning. Daycare wouldn’t take her.

I had to call in sick. (Cue the start to my week getting really sucky… well, really, the lack of sleep was the real start)

She was fine – we had a lovely day together with her being her sweet, smiley, happy self.

Cut to Wednesday – after 4 days of mommy-time.

Was it bad? Um, YES.

Inconsolable crying, refusing to eat (anything, at all, ever). More crying. My husband was called to come in and help, but even he couldn’t calm her down. (I was stuck up at work, given my unintended day off the day before which threw my entire week into shambles)

Nothing worked.

Until I walked in the door. Mommy magic. End of crying.

It’s what I wanted, yes? A sign my baby loooooooved me? Well, I got it. She looooooooves me. And waaaaaaaants me. And won’t stand for anyone else.

Can we go back? Can I un-wish this? I mean, I love that my daughter loves me. I do. I just wish she’d also spread a bit of that love around (or at least some tolerance) so I didn’t feel so bad leaving a screaming child at daycare. (Truth? She isn’t screaming when I leave. She’s always happily playing on the mat. The fussiness starts later on, when she wants food or comfort and my boobs aren’t there to give it) (Also? I’m aware that this extreme preference for me comes entirely due to the walking buffet that is on my chest. She lets me know this by trying to stand, grabbing for my neck, and then leaning in open-mouthed to nom nom nom on my chest. Over my clothes. Like I said, she’s a boob girl) (Also also? She does adjust. She’s never as happy as when she’s with my boobies, but by day 2 she’s back to being my happy smiley girl)

 

Categories: meeka's moods

six months

2011/12/07 3 comments

6 months ago today, I woke up. I got dressed, hopped the subway with the husband. Quickly strode past the idling strangers on the sidewalk with my city-quick pace. Walked into the brick building that faced the park. Sat down in a semi-comfy chair. And waited.

Usually when I wait, I get impatient. But 6 months ago, I don’t remember that. The husband was, oh yes, but that was to be expected. If I was, then it was to be expected as well, but I wasn’t. I just sat there, soaking the day in. The unexpectedly impatient one was you, little baby, who kicked around and decided to get things going. And so my belly started rippling as I sat there, as you told the world you were ready to meet it.

Others joined us waiting in the chairs, some to quickly go into other rooms, some to wait and stay. One lady was counting out loud as if she didn’t know she was, every 5 minutes… 4 minutes… and then to a room she went. I used her beat to figure out yours (oh impatient one, with ripples every minute. And still, I sat there patiently)

Finally it was our turn, your time. We left the chairs for a room. I changed. I waited some more.

They took some measurements and stared at me in surprise – “You’re having contractions! Every minute!”

Yes, I know. I have been all morning. She’s ready to say hello.

“But… But…”

I knew we could wait. You needed to be ready, too.

And soon enough, we all were ready.

And you greeted the world with your perfect cry, and we finally said hello face to face.

Categories: the mommy thing

sunrise

2011/12/02 2 comments

every morning that it is nice, the three of us go out on an adventure, meeka, mooji, and me (adventures range from walking around the block to walking around the city, depending on the day and time and whether or not the dog does his business in a timely manner)

back when the fall was fall, and not this new winter weather, we went for a sunrise walk up up up to the park (sometimes we like to do this even on a weekday, just to glory in being together and outside and awake… though often the dog does more glorying than either of the humans)

this is what our little adventure looked like:

ready for a walk? yes ma’am, i am!

someday they will invent a fleece blanket that warm and inviting for grown-ups, indeed! (oh, wait! it’s called a snuggy!)

me too! me too!

if the sun is not up, momma’s gonna stop for coffee. lots and lots of coffee. (sorry, mooj, none for you!)

i can drink coffee while pushing a stroller, walking a dog, AND taking pictures of the sunrise! hello, my name is multi-tasker, what else can i do for you today?

we’ve made it to the park by the river in time for a glorious sunrise, oh yes!

of course, meeks isn’t looking at the sunrise so much as taking a nap…

and mooji’s sniff sniff sniffing

they don’t know what they’re missing

well, mooji knows what he’s missing – my breakfast. this is his begging face. human food? please? says he

the sun is up by the time we’ve shared my bagel, and it’s time to head home…

and we’re happy to be back there, as well!

Categories: big bad city living

knock knock

2011/12/01 2 comments

so the same thing that dragged me right up and out of my little funk last week knocked me right into the land of wow-i’m-even-more-tired ! ah, family. love, love, love them. even if they do exhaust me.

the meeks and i spent a lovely thanksgiving with the non-laws (that would be my brother’s in-laws, who are in now way related to us, and yet are family. thanksgiving with them has become a tradition for me, and i was so happy to introduce meeka to it as well … what is a not-s0-nice tradition is the husband having to work on the holiday, and so not being able to join us – boo!)

the following day was filled with the fam as well, as everyone but my glamorous sis who had to stay in lala land came in to the city to stroll with us around central park. and stroll we did, the humans of us. our canine companion? was off at more of a bound. or a lope. or as i sometimes like to call it, he did his skitter-butt-dance (you’d know why if you saw it. hilarious, but also foreboding the fact that the dog is about to lose his ever-lovin’ mind)

the rest of the weekend was the recovery, also filled with many a pleasant walk and many a pleasant scarfing-of-leftovers.

monday brought what i’d been semi-dreading, the occurrence of a work event and i had no idea how it would go. turns out, all was well! yay!

some even better work news on top of that and all of a sudden my week was light! and airy! as i now had so much less to do! in a good way! yay!

so of course i’ve used that time wisely to look up cute christmas baby pyjamas. and maybe some matching ones (with feet! yay feetie pyjamas!) in adult sizes.

and meeks has used that time to declare she really doesn’t like her bottle, oh no, not at all, no thanks.

and also learn the sign for milk.

(yes, we’re learning baby sign language. meeka has been absolutely fascinated by her hands, so i figured she might catch on quickly. or something. turns out, she did catch on very quickly – to one sign, and one sign only. and in a very specialized context. she now signs for milk when she wants me… or rather my boobs. the other signs? eh. nothin’. but turning me into her own private cow? oh yes, she’s got that one down)

luckily, she also decided tonight that peas are alright. in fact, they’re pretty good. so what if she’s gotten them everywhere but in her mouth before? tonight, they are yummy. more, please!

oh, but that’s not all.

she wants to grow up even faster, so she’s gonna show mommy how she can scoot her cute little naked baby bum all around (but backwards only…) after we have a bath to wash off the remains of dinner (which, while almost 85% ended up in the mouth, still had an amazing 15% smeared everywhere…)

but little girl is still little – not yet 6 months! – and sometimes it’s nice to remind her of that. so we’re ending the night with her cuddled in my arms, fast asleep as i type. my baby, who will only be a baby for so long. and who tipped over and knocked her head (on a soft mat) and needed her mommy to comfort her. i am so lucky to be able to.