Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Life This Week

So this week has been full of lots of ups and downs. Mostly in regard to my mood, not actual things that are happening.

Today is, weirdly enough, an up day. I woke up feeling pretty good this morning. Zuzu was in bed with me because she now joins us in bed in the middle of the night every night (crib! I miss you.) and Coco was in bed with us because I nurse her in bed in the middle of the night and then fall asleep so she just stays in bed and cuddles with me. Zuzu woke up and gave me kisses and was so sweet and gentle with Coco that my heart exploded.

We hit a bit of a snag when it came time to get dressed and ready for school. Zuzu has rather suddenly developed very strong opinions about clothing. I have tried all the tricks--letting her choose between two outfits, laying out her clothes the night before--and yet this morning while I was changing Coco's diaper and getting her dressed, Zuzu was in her room pulling on candy cane pajama pants and her Cardinals t-shirt. She then declared herself dressed and ready for school. Nevermind the adorable Mini-Boden corduroy jumper and red cable-knit tights that I had laid out.

I managed to coax her into the outfit of my choice, but she then insisted on wearing moccasins that are too big for her, so I let her wear them out to the car and then put the mary janes on before we went into school, promising the moccasins would wait for her in the car.

In other news... we're sort of doing Elf on the Shelf this year. We read her the story the other night and she didn't really get it and when I asked her what the elf's name was, she muttered something unintelligible that sounded like "Tennyson" and then said it was "Ho-ho." And then I got sad and frustrated because if Eliza were here she'd be totally into the Elf and it would have a name, so I said we'd just put it away.

But then my friend Molly pointed out that the two-year-old set gets excited about finding the elf each morning, even if they aren't old enough to get the rest of it (you know, the part where the elf is a spy sent by Santa to tattle... yeah, it's kinda creepy).

So anyway, our Elf is back and she just shows up in a different place each morning because finding her is actually an awesome distraction from the meltdown over having to wear something besides pajama pants and a Cardinals t-shirt. And she shall just remain nameless until next year.

This morning after the clothing negotiations, we ready to walk out the door but when I picked up Coco to put her in the carseat, I discovered she'd had a huge blowout so I had to run up and change clothes. I took off her sleeper and put her in a cute little ensemble that includes a onesie that reads "On the Nice List" (note to my Mom: I found it in my car). Then I picked her up to head downstairs and she barfed all over both of us. Big enough that we BOTH had to change clothes.

As I was changing my shirt, I realized Zuzu had been alone downstairs and quiet for some time, which could only mean trouble.

Sure enough, when I got downstairs I found that she had pulled the container of brown sugar out of the pantry and was eating it BY THE HANDFUL.

Sorry to her teachers for the sugar rush and crash, and also, who would like some home-baked treats this season? We are very sanitary here.

We finally got Zuzu to school and then I ran to Target where Coco was the awesomest shopper ever (meaning she was asleep) and I treated myself to a chai tea latte. I picked up a few necessities and then headed home to decorate the tree.

Decorating for Christmas is kind of a heavy thing... I always feel a little sad, and getting Eliza's stocking out makes me cry. And of course this year Zuzu was into everything. Her excitement is adorable, though.

(Shortly before the tree went up, she had a pants-off dance off to "Jingle Bells.")

We dragged all the boxes out and put up a few things on Sunday, put the tree up on Monday (without any ornaments on it), and the rest of the stuff is just sitting in boxes in the dining room and the house is a mess. I was waiting for the weekend for us to do it together, but last night David was like, "Why don't you just do it?"

Weirdly, that feels less sad than trying to make it a big family thing or spending Eliza's birthday weekend decorating for Christmas. I'm just going to put up my favorite ornaments today and it will be done and the dining room won't be full of boxes anymore and that's just how it's going to be this year. It feels less like a "Thing" and more like just seasonal decorating (which I really like doing).

(Of course I'm not listening to Christmas music while I do it because that "All I Want for Christmas Is You" song still guts me.)

I just finished reading Meghan O'Rourke's The Long Goodbye which was so good and a really good space for me to sit with my grief and at the same time remember that I'm not alone in feeling it, and now I'm completely switching gears and reading Mennonite in a Little Black Dress which is really amusing and enjoyable.

So... that's where things stand this week. Our plan for Eliza's birthday is to attend the annual candlelight vigil held every year on December 6th. The weather is supposed to be mild enough that we'll take the girls with us. We are planning to go to dinner (with our favorite restaurant companion, the iPad) and maybe do a little window shopping before the vigil, but we're not going to go see Santa because I just decided it's too much. So we'll save Santa for next weekend.

I'm not sure why today feels like a respite from the heaviness of grief--yesterday I was kind of a mess. But obviously it's not something I get to choose, so I'll take what I get today.


  1. Benjamin and Zuzu are the same beast. Everything is a battle with him, including clothing. I've done all the tricks, too. That bit about letting her wear the mocs in the car and switching them? I have a negotiation like that for basically EVERYTHING. I'm exhausted. But, strong-willed is just that and I have to have one leg up at all times.

  2. Will be remembering Eliza with you. I hope to make it to the vigil next year. I'm sure it will be beautiful as always and glad it won't be freezing like last year! ~M

  3. Remembering Eliza with you. The season of grief is never easy. Sending you much love to get through.

  4. Glad you had a decent day - puke and blow outs and all.

    I haven't done the Elf - out of pure laziness. Maybe once the house is decorated I will bring him out and we will start that. But I know I'll forget to move him each night. So maybe we will just skip it this year. Finn doesn't know what he's missing anyway, so whatever.

  5. It is crazy how you can feel completely normal one day and the next day be totally shattered. My son's 'birthday' is on 14 December - extremely difficult time of the year for me - yesterday I had a good day -today an invisible hand is choking me. Blessing to you and yours on Eliza's birthday xx

  6. The roller coaster of emotions is so unpredictable.... like trying to anticipate what Zuzu will get up to next :) I was laughing out loud about the brown sugar. I'm thinking of you and Eliza. Our loss anniversary is coming up (just days after my scheduled induction) and I already feel it looming and weighing on me. Nothing to do but get through it, right?