Friday, February 8, 2013

It Flies.

The week felt more hectic than usual because David was really wrapped up in some work stuff, so he was putting in long hours and doing work from home.  I had to go in on Thursday afternoon for a couple of meetings even though I'm usually only on campus MWF.  And I am truly loving that schedule:  On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays I'm so excited about being home with Zuzu the next day and--to be perfectly honest--by the end of the day on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I'm looking forward to teaching college students!

I had a conversation with a friend last night about childcare that made me all the more aware that the biggest reason I'm able to enjoy my job so much is because I feel so good about Zuzu's daycare.  It is a crappy, crappy thing to be anxious about what's going on with your kid while you're at work, and I'm just so grateful that I feel comfortable with the place where she spends several hours a week.

The only problematic thing about my schedule is that most of the time it kind of feels like I'm cramming a full-time job into three days a week.  (Probably because I am.)

My days on campus are crazier than they've ever been.  Back in the day, I spent a lot of my office hours "working" on my computer.  By which I mean blogging, reading blogs, scrolling through Pinterest, and checking my e-mail.  Oh, and sometimes I would plan lessons, write lectures, and do work-stuff.

I'm currently serving on a committee that is taking up a lot of my time with various meetings.  Since I'm only on campus three days a week, those meetings take up a good chunk of my day.  Plus I'm teaching THREE classes on MWF, which is a LOT for one day. Like sometimes my voice is tired of talking by the end of the day and I hardly ever get tired of talking (haha, but seriously, it's true.  Ask David.)  Plus I have to pump twice a day (ugh--least favorite part of work) and that takes 15-20 minutes by the time it's all said and done.  And I'm usually multi-tasking while I do it (checking e-mail or reading the Iliad).  I have an hour for lunch, but if I pump during that time, the hour becomes forty minutes and by the time I walk to the dining hall and eat and get back to my office, it's time for my last class of the day.  After that class, I have another schedule hour of office hours, which is barely enough time for me to respond to my work e-mails, plan what I'm doing in the next class, make any necessary photocopies, and pump again before I head home.

It is a non-stop day, and it wears me out.  Then I pick up Zuzu, go home to wash bottles and pump parts and start diaper laundry, do a little play-on-the-floor time with Zuzu, and (ugh) now I'm doing a twenty-minute workout each night. More about that in a minute.

Occasionally I have actual stuff to do in the evenings--dinner with friends, a La Leche meeting, etc.--which is great, but all of this means that my DVR is full of unwatched shows and I don't have any time to click around on the internet to my heart's content.

I'm not complaining, though.  I'm actually relishing this time because it feels so perfectly balanced for me at the moment.  When I was home with Zuzu, the last month I started feeling antsy.  It was like I knew our time was almost up so I couldn't get into a staying-at-home zone, but I wasn't ready to go back to work full time either.  This sort-of-part-time thing (I say sort of because teaching three classes is not really part time--those days are so full and if I hadn't taught the classes before, which saves me tons of prep time, I'd be totally overwhelmed) is working out really well for me.  It's definitely worth it, even if it's a little exhausting.  Last night I felt so wiped out and stressed out and aggravated that the major source of my stress is that committee I volunteered to be part of.  Fortunately it was nothing that dinner with friends and a glass of wine couldn't cure.

Adding both to my exhaustion and my sense of accomplishment is that I'm following Brandy's masochistic lead and I'm now five days in to the 30 Day Shred.  Oh, you guys.  I hate it.  But it only takes 20 minutes. And I'm determined to do it for 30 days.  Every time I do it, I tell myself, "You only have to do this X more times."  I really don't have much of a desire to work out right now, but I am vain enough that the complete lack of definition in my arms is kind of bugging me.  Also there are some tight-fitting pants that I would like to be not-so-tight-fitting.  I'm all about expanding the wardrobe options.  So we'll see where I am in 25 more days.  (Answer:  Shredded!)

I have realized that I am usually in a better mood after I work out, which reminds me of my second year of graduate school when I went to one of the therapists in the university health center, convinced that I needed antidepressants because life was bleak and also it seemed like everyone I knew was taking them (All the cool kids, that is.  It seems existential crises are rampant in English graduate programs.).  Instead, the therapist told me that I needed to start exercising.  Blah blah blah, endorphines.  I was annoyed by that advice, and I was even MORE annoyed when it worked.  And it continues to work.  I wish that I could get happy energy and long lasting endorphines from something more fun than exercise.  Like reading novels.  Or eating vanilla Joe-Joes.  Or browsing home decor and DIY blogs.

I have decided that there is something to the idea of committing to an exercise regime for 30 days.  It's short enough that I don't get bored but long enough to see some results.  So I think I'm going to start making 30 day plans for working out, and switch it up at the end of each month.  Great idea, right?  My next adventure just might include ariel fitness classes!  I had dinner earlier this week with a friend of mine who took an ariel fitness class and she said it was super fun and a fabulous arm workout.  I want to swing from a trapeze with the greatest of ease!  Seriously, doesn't that sound fun?

In other news, I got an e-mail today about a Kickstarter project that I am backing--an independent film.  Yes, that's right.  I'm a financial investor in an independent film called Return to Zero.  Doesn't that make me sound chic and interesting and also like I could be famous?

In reality, I just found out about it from my friend Caroline (who is chic and interesting) and then I donated online.  Kickstarter is this website where people working on projects in need of funds can sign on and explain their purpose and basically beg for financial backing.  Anyone can donate any sum, and if they reach the goal for fundraising, they can go ahead with their project (and the investors usually get a little something in return--like I would get a free download of the film and the soundtrack).  If they don't make enough money to move forward, then I get my money back. (Sad face.)

The reason I donated is because the movie is about...  a couple who has a stillborn baby.  I know.  Not exactly a box office blow out.  (Hence the need for funding.)  Grief movies are not popular (I haven't even seen Through the Rabbit Hole yet, although still I want to).  As difficult as I think it will be for me to see this movie, I really want the opportunity to watch it.  As one of the articles states, it's "a beautiful movie about terrible things."  The film has actually already been made (starring Minnie Driver--and who didn't love her in Circle of Friends?  I also liked her in Good Will Hunting, actually.) but it needs money to go into post-production.  Anyway, if you're interested, you can also read more about the film here.  And then you can pony up some cash here and wait to see if they make their goal.  And you can spread the word by posting about it on your myface page, those of you who are emotionally capable of handling social media (I still am not).

I ordered prints of the six month photos!  I loved photo 4 (the clear winner) but in the end, I ignored the majority and it only made the 5x7 cut (sorry those of you who voted for #4!  I still appreciate your opinions!).  I ended up getting two large prints--#2 and #7.  I love Zuzu's smiling face, but to me, #4 didn't look like her super-happy smile, so I went with the sweet face and the funny face.  Now I just have to get them framed and up on the walls...

Anyone want baby update?  Well, girlfriend thinks she's pretty hot stuff now because she likes to stand up ALL BY HERSELF.

Don't get too excited--she can't pull herself into a standing position (Although she tries and grunts and gets her butt about two inches off the ground.  So much effort with so little to show for it... kind of like me and the 30 Day Shred).  So I have to stand her up, and she's still totally wobbly and falls over.  But LOOK AT HER!

So proud of herself.
She's getting so big.

The days and weeks are really flying by.  In my previous post about photo organizing, I don't think I mention ANOTHER way I'm documenting our daily life (because the blog and a million photos are clearly not enough self-gratification for my ravenous ego).  But seriously, I want a quick way to account for the blur of days that slip by far too quickly and easily.  She's seven months old and fast on her way to eight and where has the time gone?  The boring day to day stuff becomes hard to remember, and I want to be able to look back at it and capture just a little bit of what's "normal" at the moment, because a year from now I know that life will be radically different.

So I'm writing in this:

image from here
I ordered it from Amazon and it's basically a 5 year diary.  365 pages, with 5 entries on each page.  You fill in the year, and write a sentence or two.  I try to do it each night after I put Zuzu to bed, but yeah, I've totally cheated and gone back to fill in three or four days at once.  Still, it's amazing what I have ALREADY forgotten that happened just a couple of months ago.  It's not thrilling stuff, and most of it is baby-centered since I imagine giving it to Zuzu someday.  Some days just say, "Man, I love this baby."  And there are a few days (like this last Tuesday) that say, "I really miss Eliza today."  But most of it is just the mundane occurrences that I think will be fun to look back on someday--compliments from fellow Target shoppers on the cuteness of my baby, taking David's grandma out to dinner for her birthday when Zuzu slept through dinner and woke up to the waitstaff singing, Zuzu's distaste for lovingly-prepared organic purees, and the diaper blow out that made me late for work last week.  And, the first time she stood up by herself (well, with the help of the laundry basket)!

Enough documenting how I'm documenting what I'm documenting.  This is getting a little too meta for Friday afternoon...


  1. That post just exhausted my yoga-pant wearing ass.

    You're welcome. I'm on day 28 and want to rip Jillian's mouth off because she says the same thing every bloody day. Least favorite thing about the DVD? Not being able to fast forward the intro. I'll be doing a full-fledged review complete with snarky comments about the Shred, Jillian, Anita, and Natalie (cheater).

    And trapeze? Are you kidding me??! I tried to do a somersault the other day and nearly cracked my neck off. I would surely fall off and land on my face. If you do it, I am going to need a photo of proof.

  2. Good lord, I'm exhausted just reading that. Not sure if it was the work schedule or that shredding nonsense or what, but my head is spinning.

    I haven't gotten up the nerve to try one of the free classes at Bumbershoots yet and I could spit and hit the windows of the place from my house. My nine year old loves it and sails around with the greatest of ease.

    I taught one college class for three hours, two days a week while also working full time. I did it for eleven semesters, but finally hung it up. It's a heck of a lot of work. Each fall I would lose my voice when I started the class back up again.

  3. Oh that book looks perfect!

    I tried the shred I think before I got pregnant with Luke. I think I made it a week? Who knew jumping jacks and push ups were so hard when you are old?!

    Do not encourage mobility at all! Trust me on that!

  4. Now I want to watch Circle of Friends. That Chris Odonell - so cute. And Yesss, I wanted #2 to win!

    Also, what's a vanilla Joe-Joe?

  5. OMG the 30 Day Shred is BRUTAL. I can't usually walk the first day after I start it. And I've started it a lot of times.

    It's great to hear you so satisfied with your work-life balance! My office times/school days (I have 2.5 this semester) are becoming increasingly frantic as I add more responsibilities.

  6. I joined the Kickstarter campaign, too. Thanks for letting us know!

    In that same vein, I wanted to let you know that I've written a piece for The New York Times parenting blog (the Motherlode) on stillbirth, and I'd love it if some baby loss parents would join in the discussion there. It's up now!

  7. I go in 2-ish days a week, and you're right! No time to screw around! I sort of like it. I feel like I have just trimmed the fat out of my workdays. Next year will be weird because I hate pumping, so I hope to go for a couple of hours everyday instead.