pity

The poor little one is sad again. She wants to crawl and reach; she wants to stand and be held; she wants to be asleep and awake. It may be that life is frustrating to her, or it may be that she has a pain somewhere (her gums?). She is having trouble sleeping and is crying a lot more than usual.

I feel sorry for her. I wish I could help her. I know she’s a good girl and doesn’t want to be cranky.

When she was very little, she would cry and cry. Maybe it was because she was hungry and I didn’t know that she needed more to eat. THEN I would lose patience with her, and sometimes I’d have to leave her alone in her crib to cry while I got some air.

It’s been a long time since I felt that impatient with her. Now I feel pity for her.

She’s so much bigger now, I know her better. I know what gives her comfort, usually. I feel sorry for her when she’s going through a hard time.

you never know

So this weekend, I topped off my sleep tank finally. I was able to rest enough that I didn’t need a nap that day, or the next or the next. I was so excited!

Strangely, it’s been making me think of how messed up I’ve been for more almost 2 years now. Pregnancy did a number on me, and then recovering from the birth. So this weekend, while I was thinking ‘I feel so strong and rested and wonderful!’, I was flashing back to how not strong and not wonderful I had been feeling.

Past on the back and future by the hand, moving forward.

I remember how, months after, I sat at the table to eat something–because I had to eat to keep my strenght–and I realized I was totally slumped over. I made myself sit up straight, but the effort was too much. I literally did not have the strength to sit up straight and eat dinner at the same time.

And I walked up to foothill this weekend, pushing the baby and walking the dog. Walked straight up there like it was nothing. But I had struggled up it like it was Mount Everest, attempting it every day until I finally made it…back when Veronica was little.

How in the world did women do it? I still don’t exactly know how I did it. But women have been doing it for centuries. I understand why it used to kill them.

But the good news is, I can stand up straight now. I can walk and stride fast to get where I need to go without pain.

It feels good.

But yesterday, I gave in and ate a bunch of sugary yummy nuts. I shouldn’t have. I had been all full of energy, and was hungry and there they were. And I ate too many. Then I was SO sleepy. Sleepy like I used to be.

Veronica was in a nap when I got home, so I thought I’d get a snooze. But no. She woke up just as I was getting ready to take my shoes off. OH man.

So I dragged through the rest of the afternoon of child wakefullness. Just when I thought the tired was over. HA!

One thing that never changes: things never stay the same.

a matter of opinion

It’s been hot, and it keeps being hot. Yesterday, V wouldn’t eat very much.

But I gave her a sippy cut with some water in it. She LOVES to drink water from her own hands with her own cup. And since her hands and her cup are a little messy, I only give her water.

It’s hot and the radio is telling everyone to drink a lot of water, so I thought water was a good idea. But her daddy says that water makes her throw up.

well, URP.

It does, I have to admit. Then again, so does formula. And baby food. And…well, this is a time in her life when the valve pretty much goes both ways, up and down. And she loves her sippy. So I give it to her.

She’s gaining independence. She is good at sitting up now, and enjoys her tv shows greatly. We just have to stay out of her way
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babies cry

This week we’ve been trying to teach Veronica sleep independence. We started last thursday, and used the methods explained by Weissbluth. A lot of people have had success with it.

The idea is that babies need to learn to put themselves to sleep, not to be soothed and rocked and patted. So, parents should put the little one to bed before she is asleep and let her fall asleep without help.

Which means letting her cry it out.

That’s hard. Veronica has spent a lot of hours crying alone in her room this week. And I have had to steel myself not to go in there and pick her up. She’s little! She needs me! But she needs to learn.

She is learning. I can hear her wake up sometimes, and she puts herself back to sleep without crying. WONDERFUL.

She doesn’t hold it against us in the morning, either. We’ve all been getting more sleep as a result, which makes it worthwhile.

Doesn’t she look more independent?

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current state is desired state: writing and reading

One of my bosses past said to me, as I was trying to push for a needed change, “The current state is the desired state”

At the time it blew my mind; how could someone say that? It sounded so smugly self-satisfied. Captain Kirk would not agree, we as humans are supposed to be reaching and exploring. Certainly that had been how I lived my life.

NEVER NEVER satisfied with what was in front of me. When we first met, Chris gave me a quote to impress me “A man’s reach should exceed his grasp, else what’s a heaven for?” He got it right. That was me. Push for higher achievement, deeper understanding and broader experience. I figured that all I could ever hold on to in this world was myself so I had better be the best I could possibly be. I had to be big enough to beat down whatever came my way.

So this year I had a baby.

ahem

Higher, deeper, and broader narrowed to a one-dimensional pixel. The three-dimensionality of my life was POOF. It was all the one thing, and all my largeness had rendered down to nothing. That nothing of a dot that my life had become was bigger than me. If I was all I had, and I had lost myself. I was lost.

Vaporized

So I waited. Perhaps I would solidify again. Time would pass, the mists would clear and I would find me again.

Or maybe it was the universe I was looking for. I read books–of course I read books–on this new universe of babies and parenthood. I called and talked to people. These things kept my faith that the universe and myself in it would align into a recognizable shape.

Every day would bottom out. I would stagger, and then recover to keep going. Every time I recovered I thought “Oh, that’s it. I’m going to be okay now.” And then the next day I would hit bottom again. And it was not okay.

Was this normal? I couldn’t believe that it was normal. Then again, I couldn’t believe that the human race came into being by exiting a woman’s vagina. Belief had nothing to do with it. Perhaps this was the way things were.

I’d been reading a mommy blog and the author talked about her first childbirth and struggle with post-partum depression. She took those blog entries and made a book of it. Well! that’s a book to buy in hardback, not only ’cause it’s about my exact problem but because blogger chicks should have their books bought.

I started it, but it was too much. Prior to reading the book my crying and anxiety needle-pegging took less than 25% of my day, which was real progress. But the book was like a homeopathic medicine that I wasn’t strong enough to take. I needed a little more health before I could get health from her story.

So here’s the thing. Time has passed. Crying and anxiety have been taking less than 1% of my day now for weeks steady. I got from there to okay. So I decided to try to read the book again. It’s a very good book.

But I’m not going to talk about what’s in the book. I’m going to talk about achieving ‘okay’hood. Because the weird thing is I feel more okay than maybe I ever have. My drive is more of an idle now. Higher? Deeper? Broader? I’ll get around to that. Eventually.

I don’t get it. I don’t get it at all. But I feel like I’m still capable of all the things I could do before. But this time I don’t need to rush or stress or push. I can trust that it will happen.

which is so weird

Here’s what I’m picturing: a machine, maybe with pistons, moving and pulling and MAKING THINGS HAPPEN. But that machine is not anchored, and it jolts and rattles around. It can’t do its job very well and in fact it’s damaging itself with trying.

Then this powerful active machine gets locked in place. It’s a very different machine now, not moving around. And it feels so weird. But now it can run smoothly, and with so much less effort do what it was designed to do. Painless.

My daughter takes up all the extra room. NOT, in fact, all the oxygen like I was afraid she might, but all the extra room. Now that I’m getting used to it, maybe that was room I was a lot better without.

Shelob slayer

went out to do some laundry. i’d just gotten home, and husband was wrung out from childcare.

he asked me to do the laundry ’cause v had peed all over things

twice

so i changed from my work clothes and took the laundry to the garage whereupon

i encountered the LARGEST SCARIEST OF THE SCARY I’M NOT EVEN KIDDING SCARY spider. right by the washer and everything. it was magnificent in it’s horrifaction. i looked at it closer and saw the dreaded red hourglass. i had to get datagraphic evidence

i ran inside to get my videocamera and told chris about it

“I need your help! I’m starving and I have to pee!”

well i knew that feeling. My artistic impulses would have to be put aside to take over the bottle feeding. Chris went to go look. He came back “It’s a black widow. It has to be killed now. Before it gets away.”

He found the Raid and dispatched of the Shelob. Now I only have the memory and no evidence. That always happens!

6 months…and counting

She is six months old today. Six months later and we have a new normal. And that’s okay. It may be new, but it’s normal again. That’s what counts.

I was very skeptical that this would happen. The first four months were mind-blowing on a minute by minute basis. I talked about it to many friends, and a lot of them would say “I don’t remember…”
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don’t remember? DON’T REMEMBER? This is a biggest thing that could ever happen to a human being, how could that slip your mind?

…and yet, I find that I am letting it slip my mind. I can remember the blazing terror of those months. But I don’t have to feel that way right now, and I’d rather repress that memory. So I let it slip. And maybe eventually I won’t remember at all.

I do remember though. I remember thinking I couldn’t swallow the idea of a whole day at a time, and that I could only think in 3 hour chunks. That if I’d had a bad night of very little sleep, I would dread the next nightfall with liquified guts. I’d  tell myself that it must be possible to get through this because people had done it from time immemorial and I’d tell myself that same thing again because I did not believe it.

Now I wonder how people manage to have more than one child. I can tell myself, ‘oh NOW I know how to do it, now I know what to expect.’ But I don’t believe it.

Except I do know a little. A very little. Mostly what I know is that it get to normal eventually. More than that, I can’t rely on.

In these six months, my blog has (d)evolved into a mommy blog. I’m not writing about abstract ideas or cute little parables. It’s all about sleeping and eating and growing.

Interestingly, I think more people are reading it. I guess sleeping, eating, and growing is something everyone can relate to.
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