Tuesday, October 14, 2014


I don't photoshop baby photos aside from adjusting exposure.  THIS IS REAL.  *melt*

Anyway, October so far:
  • Read all of Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point in 48 hours in order to lead the library's book discussion.  Holding it together score: 100, A+, totally.
  • Went to the Hardywood brewery/food truck court TWICE.  That place is people-with-babies-and-beer mecca.
  • Read The Very Hungry Caterpillar about 800 times.  As you do.
It's so crazy to think that a year ago, Patrick and I were getting ready to embark to Brno in the Czech Republic for the biggest gamble in our lives to date.  And now I'm listening to Vashti Bunyan and trying to drink my coffee and type this while holding my baby -- MY BABY -- before it's time to run out the door to take her to her Grammy's.  

And boom, time.  This is so very hard -- there are a lot of Hard Things, like breastfeeding and working -- but the good things are so very good.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Life in one perfect screencap

Baby baby baby baby baby baby mac-n-cheese/wine.

Yep, that pretty much sums it up.  

Monday, September 29, 2014

A fool and his money are soon parted

Finally start on that cap-sleeve tattoo fund

Buy a house again someday

Another IVF round + trip abroad for a meetup with that frozen embryo across the ocean

Say fuck it to owning a house and purchase an Airstream instead -- glamping forever!

Start a fund to eliminate the word "glamping" from all vocabularies everywhere, including my own

Cosmetic dentistry to fix these fluoride stains that cause me unceasing angst

Pay off debt and save save save <------- the name of the game outside of my fantasy list.  At least in my head, I'm covered in tattoos and have a prettier smile.  Someday, someday!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Spinning plates and leveling

Behold, my cute baby!  

She's changing so rapidly -- at 9 pounds (probably 10+ by now, since that 9lbs is from a pediatrician appointment two weeks ago!) she's outgrown her newborn swaddle wrap.  Next stop college or trade school or the Peace Corps or astronaut academy or welding class or Google University (I'm assuming this will be a Thing by then...).  I just hope she doesn't want to -- shudder -- attend Bing College (GU's rival).

There are some big changes going on at work too, and everyone knows that change is hard, so for the past week that's been weighing heavily on my mind.  And then there was the time a few weeks ago when I goofed up (minor mistake, but still) at 4:59 on a Friday, thus sending me into paroxysms of fretting all weekend, because I take pride in my work and lately I've been struggling to function at what I consider to be a decent level at times.  While I feel pretty confident parenting (as in, hey, I know nothing [Jon Snow] but I've kept her alive and well this long, so....hey, we're ok!) I feel way more plagued by self-doubt at my job.  What if I've forgotten something, what if there are program supplies I neglected to pick up, what if I forget x or y or z.  I'm spinning plates.  I suspect this heightened career-worry is a survival technique conjured up by my brain, because otherwise I'd be plagued with more worry about getting in the car with her (other drivers are scary!) or staying awake watching her sleep to make sure she's breathing.  I guess I'm going to worry about one thing or another at any given moment, but it's heavily tilted towards work, so I hope that levels out soon.

Life is good, but...heavy, weighty, muffled in the fog of new parenthood, and the rest of life just spins about me/us.  The angst is amped up when it occurs, but the joy is amped too (her smile, her smile).  I feel more balanced than I did a month ago when I felt like I was a star collapsing in on myself at times, so I think things are leveling.  But the self-doubt persists.  I hope that levels off soon too.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Letter to Self

Thursday, September 18, 2014

2 months in

I hear some moms look at pictures of their kids or something while they pump but this is the reading material I go for.  Getting anything that isn't an audiobook finished is a challenge these days.  There are just so many things I want to be doing daily.  Freddie and I are all the way up to page 25 in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, which I think is impressive.  But that's 25 pages over 2 months (my baby is 2 months old...and a whopping 9 pounds!).  Somehow the "bath, book, breast, bed" routine has been mostly truncated to "breast, bed."  

So often, I feel like I'm just barely scraping by in terms of being active and present with her.  So often, I find myself just sitting with her in my lap, zoning out, because by the time my day is done and we're there sitting together at the end of the day, despite the fact that it's the longest amount of time I even get with her, I'm so tired that I can't bring myself to do much with it.  Then I beat myself up about it -- 'You only have about two hours of time with her when she's awake per day, and you're wasting it!' I might say to myself reproachfully as I hold her and Internet at the same time (keeping the screen away from her visual range).  My mom plays with her a ton during the day and she gets lots of mental stimulation that way -- by the time my day is done, I'm barely there.  On Tuesdays I don't get out of work until 9:15PM, and then it's still a 45 minute drive home.  I barely see her on Tuesdays at all.  Even my normal days are as follows:

5:45-6AM: wake up

6-7AM: feed/pump/shower/get out the door

7-8AM: drive to my mom's house, drop Freddie off

8-9AM: drive to work

9-5:30: work

5:30-6:15: drive to pick up Freddie (I do this part for 2 weeks while I'm at one library branch, then Patrick does for 2 weeks while I work the farther-away branch, so this at least is ok, although what I wouldn't give to flip-flop the morning shift instead...but doing that makes less sense, alas)

6:15-7:15: pick her up, go home

By the time I get home, I'm dead to the world.  I have a generally easy baby, but still.

Someday, we will spend our time together doing things other than zoning out.  But these are not those days.  At least not during the week.

At least there are weekends.  Of course, she zones out a lot then too...but at least I feel like I make up for my lack of weekday presence on Saturdays and Sundays (at least, when I don't work Saturdays, which I do off and on in rotation).

I am trying, sweet little baby.  I am trying so hard to be there.  It's just hard.  The hours slip away.  

I'm writing this during a lunch break.  It's not the best I could pull together, but the best will have to wait.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Weekly typed-over-several-days-one-handed-while-nursing post

It is possible to feel so many things at once.  Sobby rage at pain that won't go away (fuck thrush), exhaustion, and simultaneous overwhelming fullness.  I feel like that fullness, more than anything, is what's keeping me afloat, even when at night I'm in tears (again: fuck thrush).  I'm beginning to balance all of these emotions a bit better.  Two weeks ago I felt like I was falling. apart.  Pain = huge factor there...still is, but the last two days have been better so even while I wait to get an appointment with my midwife *again* it's at least maybe improving?

I digress.  Anyway --

So so much about motherhood has not quite been how I'd hoped (mostly thrush, who the fuck invented this torture??!!) but this feeling of complete-ness has over-delivered on all of my expectations.  I feel like a missing board was nailed into place with the arrival of my daughter.  I feel whole.  And in feeling whole, I feel like the number of fucks I give about other things has decreased and increased.  That is, the stupid shit feels more stupid and 'whatever', and the important shit feels way more important.  I feel freer.  I feel like I want to be better.

Countless times I've read and heard about the overwhelming wave of parental love people feel.  I don't know if this is that feeling.  I think this is separate.  Feeling whole feels less like an emotion and more like a lighter state of being, a different way of breathing and moving.  It's as though a rock was lifted from my chest, or a pebbly choking hazard removed from my throat.  Love is some other thing, something apart.  Not better or worse, it is stitched to this feeling but still is a different patch of cloth.  This wholeness is more about who I am than what I feel, more about me than about us.  I don't mean that in a narcissist way.  Just in a 'I didn't know how broken that Hayley was until she got patched up with that board' way.

I hate to put that kind of 'you complete me' pressure on such a little person.  It's not quite like that.  It's not quite like, well, anything.  This wholeness simply is.