Tuesday, July 22, 2014

And Here We Are Now

There's no central theme to this post, but just some updates that I wanted to put out there:

I'm reading for fun! My summer class ended over a week ago (hallelujah!) and my friend and coworker earned a spot in heaven by helping me grade final exams. Now that's all behind me and I don't have to think about teaching again until January (when I'm teaching a super fun 3 week class on personal essay writing, followed by a semester of teaching 3 days a week, and then a summer of NO summer classes).

I was reading Mists of Avalon which I was loving, but then I happened upon all of the sex abuse allegations directed at the author (who is now dead) and the book was sort of ruined for me... So I've set it aside. Right now I'm reading Sarah Caudwell mysteries which are hilariously British and also hilarious. I also have My Life in Middlemarch waiting for me. I wrote a chapter of my dissertation on another George Eliot's novel Daniel Deronda, so I'm really looking forward to that one. I also have Guests on Earth on my nightstand, which involves Zelda Fitzgerald. I loved Z so much, so I'm excited about that one, too.

* * *

Speaking of Z's... Zuzu has quit being a good sleeper. She's gone from being a solid 8pm-7am sleeper to being a bedtime-fighter, crib-climber, night-waker, parent-harasser. I realize how spoiled I've been because I am just beside myself on how to deal with this. What do people DO when their kids don't sleep? How do they function? I, for one, become short-tempered and unpleasant (more than usual, haha). We have some strategies we're implementing, but damn. Could her timing be any worse?

And people keep saying she's preparing us for the newborn. Whatever. All a newborn wants is a boob and then we all can enjoy peace and quiet and sleepy time. Zuzu as a newborn was much easier than Zuzu as a mobile, opinionated two-year-old.

What really annoys me is when she says she wants in her crib and then tells me to leave JUST  SO SHE CAN THEN CLIMB OUT OF HER CRIB. At one naptime over the weekend she wanted me to clear out of her room instead of sitting in the rocking chair and singing her lullabies and telling her to lie down, so she said, "Go to work, Mama!"

Really makes me feel good, you know? The painful irony is that when she's actually at daycare, she naps just fine with no fuss. #toddlerscanbejerks

Last night we actually had a better night, but I'm not fooled into thinking we've turned a corner.

* * *

I can't stop eating Nutella. Miraculously, I did not gain any weight this past week. I've gained close to 40 pounds already, so it's not like I'm not eating for two. I'll probably gain six more pounds this week. Because Nutella.

Also, Zuzu wanted to try my Nutella and I didn't want to share it with her because I am a mean mommy and I wanted to eat it all myself. So I told her it was HOT.

* * *

I have pregnancy carpal tunnel. It sucks. I had it with Eliza and didn't have it with Zuzu. Of course that freaks me out. It mostly bothers me at night and this time it affects both my hand and my feet. I wear wrist-braces to help the pain and swelling in my hands, but my ankles hurt and I feel pins and needles in my feet when I get up to pee in the night. My hands are still swollen and gripping anything is virtually impossible for the first few hours of the morning (making breakfast for Zuzu is extra fun). And yeah, typing this makes my hands hurt. OH THE SACRIFICES I MAKE so that people can read about the minutiae of my life.

* * *

Today is the first day of my summer that my agenda is totally open. No appointments, no grocery store runs, nothing to do but lie around and read.

Except actually I plan to clean some windows (gross, I know), mop the kitchen floor, do some laundry (I slacked over the weekend), and try to get some of my digital photos organized. It's one of those tasks that doesn't actually take as long as I think it will, is SO SATISFYING when it's completed, and is even enjoyable (except when waiting for photos to upload). So I'm not sure what it is that keeps me from staying on top of it. I did really well Zuzu's first year but definitely dropped the ball this past year. I want to get organized before Rerun gets here so I can recreate some of my favorite photo projects (like the weekly snapshot) with the new babe. Hopefully blogging about it will make me feel accountable. Maybe I need to head out to my favorite coffee shop so I am a bit more motivated...

* * *

I may end up writing more about this, but I had a really productive birth-prep-session with a doula this week. It was a combination of normal conversation, art therapy, and pain management discussion, and I left feeling so much more confident about my previous experiences being able to help me have a good labor and delivery this time (who knew that drawing on big paper with pastels would actually make me feel better?). Of course, my definition of "good" is simply "live baby," so that makes things easier. But she had some really helpful things to say, and I surprised myself with some of the details that came back to me as I told her the stories of Eliza's and Zuzu's births (while crying, because, obviously). I wasn't sure what to expect before this session, but I left feeling lighter and more focused and ready for baby.

* * *

One of the benefits of living in our neighborhood is that we have a beautiful park within walking distance.

One of the downsides to living in this neighborhood with Zuzu is that anytime we go for a walk, she INSISTS that we walk to park and stop at the playground. There is no strolling around, peeping in windows at dusk (from the sidewalk--I'm not a total creeper. I just like to see how people decorate). She has memorized the walk to the park and will start yelling and pointing, "NO! Go, Mama, GO!" if we try to head to another destination.

It's not that I mind going to the park, but I don't trust myself to keep up with her on the bigger slides and climbers, so it means that David chases her around while I stand or sit with Cooper and Zuzu gets exercise while I am bored or look like the detached parent on my phone or make small talk that's not very interesting with other moms.

I would actually like to do some walking that feels productive and allows David and I to have conversations together, so last night we loaded up in the car and drove to another park where we could actually WALK and avoid the playground. Of course Zuzu was only content in the stroller for a short amount of time (another reason I'm holding off on making a double stroller decision until next spring) and then she insisted on walking AND holding Cooper's leash by herself. She uses the phrase "My turn!" to insist that she be allowed to do things on her own. She also wanted to pet every other dog we saw, "Hi, doggie! I touch it!" and while I am a huge dog lover, my experience with Little Mac has taught me NOT to let my toddler run up to strange dogs and touch them.

So I still didn't get a lot of productive walking done. It was pretty funny when we passed one of those work-out stations where a guy was doing pull-ups and Zuzu dropped the leash, ran over to the guy, and said to him, "I do this!" I'm sure she wanted to hang upside down as she did with Bop, but instead we let the guy work out in peace and told Zuzu it was not, in fact, her turn.

* * *

We are going to a wedding this weekend and I'm really looking forward to it. It's friends of mine from grad school so many of my favorite grad school people will be there and I think it will be really fun. My birthday is also coming up, although we have no big plans for that. But dinner out is exciting for me, so that's fine.

* * *

Okay, seriously. This cobweb in the living room window has been driving me crazy for WEEKS and it's time that I do something about it.

After I eat a Nutella + graham cracker sandwich and finish this chapter in the book I'm reading...



12 comments:

  1. What are you talking about with Mists of Avalon??? It's my all time favorite, I re-read it when I was pregnant for the 20th time and named my deceased daughter Avalon. What terrible news!!

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  2. There's probably some way to directly reply to comments via e-mail but I don't know how to do it. Anyway, I added a link to the article in the Guardian above. i think it's very tricky when terrible people create magical art or literature. If I had finished the book before reading the article, I think I would have been able to keep loving the book and feel separately sad for her daughter, but since I read both at the same time, it tainted the book for me.

    The news IS terrible, but regardless, Avalon is a lovely name and the premise of it as it exists in the book is a beautiful one.

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  3. Did someone say SLEEP?!!? you know I have to comment on the bad sleeper situation and how life goes while sleep deprived.

    I'm confident that because Zu has been such a good sleeper so far, she'll turn a corner soon enough and this can be classified as a "stage". Or at least I hope so. Theo has JUST started sleeping 8-9 "solid" hours each night. And I will note that solid means he still wakes and cries, but he puts himself back to sleep within minutes. There are some nights - like last night - where we don't hear a peep from him. We either sleep through it, or he doesn't cry. But about a month or so back I made the decision (and asked Daniel to PLEASE get on board for our future's sake) to stop going to Theo during his wake up's at 12AM...3AM...5AM... and just let him cry. IT WAS HARD. I FELT AWFUL. But I was convinced that he was just looking for comfort and company... and kid... I need to fucking sleep or I might kill someone soon. (Kinda only kidding). And after about 3 nights of waking and crying for a
    GOOD 20-30 MINUTES (scratch my face off now please!!) each night, he stopped. Since then, some nights he does 7.5 hours straight... some 8-9... once or twice he did 10 glorious hours... but he's still sleep troubled. Naps have become bullshit. He fights them and needs to cry a bit into his mattress alone in his room before he falls asleep - where he once just was able to go down sleeping from my arms to crib. Babies... toddlers... some are just crazy with sleep. Theo was and is one of those kids.

    I'm a POS person when I'm sleep deprived, and a less than satisfactory mother too. And that's why we HAD TO do something to gear him in the right direction. I managed myself with little social interaction, large cups of tea several times a day, and lots of couch lounging while he did actually nap because I just couldn't muster any motivation to do anything else. Life sucked.

    ANYWAY!!

    I have developed a huge love for Nutella too. Cant believe I went 30 years of my life without ever eating the stuff!!

    Your carpal tunnel brings me back. I had it with Alexander, but not Theodore. what you describe is EXACTLY how I felt. I hope it clears soon, or at least the INSTANT Rerun is born.

    Your stories of Zuzu and life itself are hilariously cute, as always.

    xox

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  4. OMFG the sleep. Dorothy has been a truly terrible sleeper which was really hard to take after 3 good ones. It's not you; it's her-- she'll figure it out. That's my attitude anyway. Terrible timing, though!

    SO SMART to wait on the double! Mine is a big fat waste of $500 because Cooper hates it, although the (cheapo) one I had with Harry and Jack was used everyday and then I threw it away because no more babies. Oops. Wearing the baby and pushing a single worked great for us when Cooper was less anti-stroller.

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  5. I've been cutting up a banana and putting a dab of nutella on a little over half and peanut butter on the rest, then a bit of honey over all of them. Nom nom nom.

    I'm such a pissy person with no sleep so I feel ya there.

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  6. Speaking of books....If you haven't read Mary Robinette Kowal's Glamourist Histories yet (http://www.maryrobinettekowal.com/) get them NOW, and you will have so much fun during the late night wake-ups/feedings.

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  7. I had pregnancy CTS with G and mildly with Jack. By the time I was in late pregnancy with P I had already been done work for a while so it wasn't that bad at all.

    I was going to make a funny joke about the CTS still allowing you to consume Nutella, but it is delicious and I'd hate for you to dislike it. ;)

    Grace has had a few rough nights as of late. The mighty "they" of the internet tell you to resume things as quickly as possible- go back to your normal routine/rocking/rubbing thing. DON'T do what I did and bring her to bed with you because you will get NONE of the sleeps. ;)

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  8. Luke stopped sleeping right before Matthew was born too. They were both up together many nights and it sucked! But you will survive. I seriously don't know what I would do with myself if I had a whole night of sleep with neither child up! You just get used to it!

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  9. I loved The Mists of Avalon during my formative years. Just loved it. I just recently read an article by someone who re-read it with the info on the scandal, and they coudln't get through it knowing the allegations.

    I'm curious about the doula - did you find someone specifically who had loss experience, or just get
    lucky?
    And YES! Nutella!!!

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  10. Speaking of nutella, have you ever tried the Bischoff spread? I'm not sure how difficult it is to find but it's made from those cookies you sometimes get on the airplane? It's incredible!

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  11. After reading this I picked up the Sarah Cauldwell trilogy and so far I love it! Thanks for the book recommendations.

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