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Archive for January, 2008

My new toy

My anniversary gift from M. (for whom I got…nothing.  He’s remarkably hard to buy for and never says what he wants, dammit) was an Itzbeen – a wonderfully versatile timer for mothers who lost 50%+ of their brain cells during the birth of their child.  It lets you know how long “itzbeen” since the baby had a diaper change, nursed, how long the kid’s been sleeping, and which side you last nursed on.  There’s even an extra bonus! timer for whatever, which might come in handy when I’m doing diss work away from the computer (ie: reading).

I really debated asking for this, since it’s $30ish (I think it was actually $24.99 on Amazon – $.01 short of the required $25 for free shipping, mind you) and C.’s not going to be an infant forever, hopefully.  But since I keep forgetting all of the above things, to the point that I think we tend to nurse all night long on really sleepy nights, I decided that it would probably be a good idea and ultimately pay for itself in better organization.

And, you know, it’s purdy and low-tech electronicky.  Satisfies my gadget cravings without costing an arm and a leg.  Some people get i-phones, and some of us get Itzbeens.

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Happy Anniversary!

To, um, me and M.  I’m into the self-congratulation, apparently.

We celebrated our third wedding anniversary with lunch at Todai, the cheesy Asian buffet chain.  M. had a craving for sushi (but didn’t want to pay $4/piece to have it, and the place we were planning to go didn’t do lunch on Sundays), so we went and ate and ate and ate.  Taste: okay; value for money: M. good, me “not Korean enough.”  Apparently a good Korean is supposed to eat until blood actually begins flowing from your bursting stomach (or, as M. put it, “if you start feeling like you can’t eat any more, you’re getting there”).

After a crap night on Saturday, C. settled back into his decent sleeping pattern last night, so the sleep deprivation-induced homicidal rage that I was fighting back yesterday seems to have abated today.

Some work getting done.  But not as consistently as I’d like.

Toddler is calming down, though.  We’ve had several days in a row where she actually woke up after 6 am.  Not much after, but after is after.

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On the whole

We found out that our tax return – in which 2.0 and his timely arrival have been key players – works out to a substantially higher refund than we originally thought.  This means that we should be able to finance our trip to see M.’s family and have some to spare – yay!

So, on the whole, things aren’t too bad.

The only fly in my ointment today is that MM has caught M.’s cold.  It’s making her a little miserable, since she almost never gets sick, and now I have to try and keep her away from C. in the probably vain attempt to keep him from getting sick.  Wish me luck.

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banging my head against the wall.

It’s been quite a weekend at Casa del M.  Among the highlights:

  • On Friday night – beginning of a three-day weekend for M. – I managed to get into an argument with him concerning my inability to do anything of substance on the phone.  Let’s just say that I have an irrational fear of phone confrontations, with “confrontation” encompassing anything falling between asking about movie times (was I the only person who was happy when all that became automated??) and challenging a credit card charge.  This time, it’s potentially to the tune of $157, which doesn’t sound like a lot but it is right now.  I managed to keep us both up talking until 2 am, which substantially cut into my prime sleeping time (generally, the period between 11-ish and 2-ish, although lately it’s been about midnight until 2…ugh).
  • MM has finally gotten over the newness of having C. at home and has become freakishly needy.  Usually – and predictably – when I’m feeding or otherwise attending to C.’s needs.  On the very, very plus side, she hasn’t been taking it out on C. himself; he seems to still have an aura of difference that she likes.  But it’s been “can you play/read/sit/eat with me??” almost nonstop, and always in her little heartbreaking way (“Can you pway wif me, Mommy?”).  M. really stepped up to the plate over the weekend and pwayed with her as much as possible – and he also had her “help” with making dinner, made her hot chocolate for the first time (and emphasized that hot chocolate was a big girl drink), etc. – in a way that made me very glad he’s the Dad here.  But today it’s just us again…and I’ve typically got her watching Totoro (she asked for it, for the record) while I grab a few minutes to myself.  Sigh.  And she’s still the 5:10 kid – wakes up like clockwork every morning at 5:10 am.  And this is the kid who used to sleep until 7. *cue Mommy weeping*
  • No work happened over the weekend.  In fact, no work has happened since I last posted.  Well, except this morning; M. went down to his university yesterday and picked up some books for me at the library.  Hmm.  Rereading all of this, I realize I really should cut M. a little freaking slack.  He’s been working his butt off for me lately.
  • Which is all perspective I would probably have more of if I were getting more than three hours of sleep per every 24 hour period.
  • And, of course, there was the waking up on Sunday morning to a smashed driver-side window on our car – yes, we’d left our GPS (our CHEAP GPS – I mean, they’ll be lucky to make $50 off of it) visible, and it was stolen.  The GPS isn’t the issue; we have one car, that’s it.  When it’s out of commission – say, to have a window replaced – it means that someone is going to be seriously inconvenienced.  As in possibly missing work (M.) or having to figure out how to juggle a toddler and an infant while getting the repair done (me).  We did call the guys who come to your house to do the repair, and he was here in the freezing cold at 9 yesterday morning, but with the wrong glass.  So M.’s driving around with my dad’s clever, but not long-term, Plexiglas solution.  And it’s supposed to rain/snow today.

So, it’s been that kind of weekend, and that’s why I’ve been pretty scarce.  I did manage to get 30 min. of reading in this morning, so there’s that.  But the worries that I’m never going to be done are lurking in the back of my mind, and it gets in the way sometimes.  MM’s having a better day today, it seems, so there’s that, too.  C. is sleeping right now – you would if you’d spent a good part of the night awake.

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The good news: C. weighed in at 9.02 lbs yesterday, so we officially don’t have to go and get him weighed anymore. For those of you keeping track, this is 13 oz. over his weight last week (8 lbs. 5 oz.). Told you all he does is eat.

The bad news: The “diaper rash” he’s had since he got home, pretty much, has not improved. It’s angry red little patches, and I just realized this morning that it’s oozing a bit. I’m sure it hurts like nobody’s business. So, back to the doctor we go, first thing tomorrow morning. Which means that – since we have just the one car – we need to get M. to the station at stupid o’clock in the morning, and then bolt on over to the Dr.’s office. Again.

And I never got my 15 min. in yesterday. Marauding anxieties are starting to pound on the door again; it’s starting to feel very overwhelming, and I’m doubting my ability to finish the thing when I never have five minutes to myself (or when I do, I apparently spend it blogging…).

C. didn’t sleep as well last night, so this is an especially sleep-deprived day. It’s cold, gray, and snowing outside – the kind of weather I like if a nap is somewhere in the offing. If it’s not, it just feels unspeakably dreary.

Things will improve. Just not today.

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Blub blub blub

I’m finding that I’m experiencing most days like some kind of psychotic rollercoaster ride; I vacillate between feeling like I can do anything and that things are well under my control, and feeling like I’m trapped in some kind of unrelenting hell and doing everything possible wrong, wrong, wrong.

I suppose hormones could be partly to blame.  And sleep deprivation – that’s probably a big contributing factor.  But it makes the days a little difficult to get through sometimes.  I’m unreasonably crabby with MM first thing in the morning – partly because “first thing” lately has been 5:15 am, and at that time – at least the last two days – the baby is still sleeping, which means that I could still be sleeping if some people would just stay in bed.  But no.  I could refuse to go take the gate down or something, but she’s getting so short shrift right now anyway that I feel guilty about it.

I’m not sure how well the feeding thing is going; right now, I’m primarily breastfeeding, pumping when he misses a feeding (not very damned often during the day), and – forgive me, breastfeeding purists everywhere – supplementing when I have nothing left and he still thinks he’s staaaaaaaarving to death.  There’s a clear difference between his “I think I’m starving, I need more food” cry and his “I have nothing better to do so I think I’ll try to feed” cry, and when he’s sucked me dry there’s little else I feel like I can do besides supplement.  But because I do, I feel a bit like I’m failing somehow.

(and I have to confess to a little strategic supplementing occasionally; he’s much more likely to get some formula when I’m ready for him to sleep for awhile…bad, bad mommy)

I’m trying not to even think of the diss in any kind of big picture sense; therein lies paralysis.  Just trying to keep my head down and stick to my daily 15…although one of these days I’m going to have to get in touch with my advisor and let her know where things stand.  Since I’ve been promising a chapter draft for well over half a year, I’m not looking forward to this.

Aaaaaaaaaagh.  I’m never going to have my own life again.  I’m never going to sleep again.  I cannot see the forest for the trees.

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Greetings

From the Land of the Sick (M.), Tired (me), Hungry (C.) and Grumpy (also C.).

MM’s fine, if a little (understandably) needy.  But only a little, and right now she’s being entertained by – yep, you guessed it – Totoro.  I’d feel better about this if she were watching it in Japanese or something, but we’re sticking with the Dakota Fanning version for now.  It’s not as obnoxious as you might want to think.

I think we’re dealing with a touch of colic here; not a 24-hour thing (Thank! God!), but he’s definitely got a few extended pissy periods during the day (like right now, although I have him trapped in the Baby Bjorn, which is keeping him confused, if not entirely satisfied).  BUT, happily, he’s starting to figure out that he can sleep by himself at night, which is having a predictably positive effect on my outlook on life.  He’s gotten into a fairly regular pattern of sleeping from 10-ish to 2-ish, so I’m usually able to get some sleep in then.  And last night he actually went back to sleep by himself for an hour or so after I fed him at around 4, so that was also exciting for me.  My nightly sleep increased from about 2.5 hours to nearly 4 last night – very, very exciting.

So, yes, I’m terminally sleep deprived.  I keep watching movies on the DVR in the middle of the night, getting to the end, and deleting them with no conscious memory of either what happened at the end, or of the act of deleting them.  I’m always a little amazed when I wake up after having dozed off to find C. still alive in my arms, since I apparently have little conscious activity happening at these times.

And M. has had a cold for the past five days or so, which is making both of us irritable (my irritability is a little less rational, since I’m mostly just peeved that his body would crap out on him when I NEED him, dammit).  So he’s been on restricted babycare (some holding, but little else, since I really, really don’t want a sick newborn) and trying to catch some rest here and there when I’m not making him do stuff for me.  I think he’s planning to go to work today, though, so hopefully he’s on the upswing.  I’d love it if he were better in time for the three-day weekend, and not only so I can get some relief.  Although that’s part of it.

I missed doing my 15 min. yesterday, although I did talk with M. for a half-hour or so about the argument I’m working on; he said he thought it counted, although I’m not so sure.  I did just finish my 15 min. for today, though.  I’ve moved on to more difficult reading – academic, rather than ethnographic.  For some reason, I get unreasonably anxious when academic reading is on the table – it makes me feel all kinds of inadequate, usually.  But I seem to be in a place where the desire to FINISH, GODDAMMIT is outweighing the anxiety; or maybe it’s just the timing process – committing to read for 15 minutes is much less daunting than sitting down with a long book and not knowing when it will end.  And the 15 min. thing seems to be making me a more efficient reader – not so much in terms of speed (I’m generally a fast reader, although this has not always been to my benefit), but in terms of picking and choosing what’s relevant.  The reasoning seems to be that if I have limited time, I’m damned well going to read what’s most relevant to what I’m writing, and skip the rest for now.  This may be academically suspect behavior, but it’ll probably help me get done faster.

So, with that, I’ll wish everyone a good Tuesday.  C.’s given up his wails of dissatisfaction for the moment (poor baby…but, dammit, he just ate!), and MM’s happily Totoroing, so I’ll try to cop a few minutes of sleep on the couch.

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