Monday, October 8, 2012

Everything and nothing at all.

So so much to say that I haven't been able to prioritize what to write about...hence the silence. I decided to just write a little bit about each and expand in the future.

Little L: Is walking, weaned, ONE year old! Bittersweet this milestone. Its funny because he is still so physically tiny (the same weight as our friend's 5 month old!), and it seems plain wrong to switch from bottles to sippies, and brush his teeth, and have him in the "toddler room" at daycare. He's walking like an absolute super star, climbing, going up & down stairs. Strangers are astounded and I'm having to frequently explain that he's small for his age, not some sort of baby genius. Already he's starting on some toddler dramatics (he's learning from the absolute best!) and can cue the tears on demand when he's thwarted from whatever mischief he's up to (generally involving putting his food/toys in the dog bowl/recycling bin/toilet). But after every few minutes careening around the room, he orbits back for a quick sweet snuggle, only to launch again.

Big Brother B: More beginnings and endings. Daytime potty training happened, and he's loving his big-boy underwear. Seems to have shot up an inch or two overnight. The new shoes we bought (a whole size up from last year's shoes) are looking snug already. He can actually count things up to 5 (he could recite numbers to 20, but never actually got the counting until now). Got obsessed with the solar system after reading some strange book from the library and knows all the planets. So so quick to anger, eleventy-billion times a day he is shouting NOOOO! complete with fist clenching, foot stomping and throwing things over such heinous crimes as being asked to sit on the toilet, getting off the toilet when done, putting shoes on, taking shoes off, taking a bath, getting out of the bath, being offered food, not being given cake and ice cream for breakfast, etc...He is smart. So the bookish way. He remembers things, knows things, that kids his age may not know. But he's on the slow side for basic life skills---he can't yet use a fork or spoon, drink from a cup, dress or undress himself. And anything he can't do he refuses to do...easily frustrated, he will immediately say "I can't do it. Help me". How to get him over the fear of failure, to learn to try and try again?

Me: Hanging in there. I feel completely overwhelmed at work. Overwhelm generally leads to paralysis for me, so... yeah. I've got a big grant deadline approaching and I'm uncharacteristically behind.

I love fall weather, the crisp cool mornings are so energizing. But the shortening days remind me that soon I'll be coming home from work in the dark. There was a tinge of winter in the air this weekend, and I'm dreading the days we can't just send the kids out into the back patio while we're trying to work in the kitchen, or run to a nearby park when they get their cranks on. Winter with tiny ones can be tough.
Physically I'm always tired, despite getting enough sleep most nights. Migraines are coming back as my periods are returning, after a couple of years reprieve. Can't get my allergies under control despite oral antihistamines, nasal steroids, optical antihistamines daily. May have to break down and use that damn gross neti pot contraption that everyone is raving about.

Emotionally, the anxiety and occasional sadness keep bubbling up despite my efforts to suppress them. I have blamed sleep deprivation, infertility, pregnancy, nursing hormones, etc... etc... but I'm currently at baseline for sleep & hormones so I have nothing to blame. I think its just me. I'm still lacking motivation for anything beyond the basics in life. The general response to this is "be kind to yourself", which sounds so nice, but I'm not entirely sure what it means in practical terms. Relax? Shop? Eat? Drink? Veg? Those things sound nice and ARE nice in the moment but leave me empty after the fact. Sometimes the best thing for me when I'm a bit down on myself is to push myself to meet a challenge---which involves giving myself a kick in the ass initially; could this be the best "kindness"? I had to quit my ballet class to take B to swim lessons for a few weeks, and now I can't remember why I liked it so much. The weather is perfect for running, but I can't seem to bother. I've got a whole cabinet full of fabric I bought in a fit of motivation to sew things---including fun cartoon material I got in spring to make PJ shorts for the boys and several different patterns for making myself tank dresses---shorts and tank dress weather is over. I haven't ready a book in months, I started our last book club pick two days before the meeting and obviously did not finish (it was boring). Went to the meeting anyways, though, not missing a chance to get away for a couple of hours.  

G & I are falling back into our old pattern of going our separate ways once the kids are in bed. We talk, but its 100% about the kids, logistics, household maintenance type stuff. At the end of the day I don't have the energy to "work on our relationship", and I sense he feels the same way. I used to wonder how married couples "grew apart" when they clearly spent so much time together. Now I totally get it.

I realize this all sounds incredibly depressing, but honestly I still think I'm pretty damn lucky, and I often do feel a deep sense of contentment with my life. I am maturing---growing---into this new and bigger and deeper stage in life and these are my growing pains.


  1. You probably have already done this, but have you gotten your thyroid, iron and vitamin D levels checked?

    I'm so not into the neti pot. Gross.

    What would happen if you "force" yourself to do something on your list of what you thought was fun before? Maybe it sounds overwhelming to start, but once you get into it, it'll be better and fun? That sometimes pulls me out of a funk.

    Anyway, what you're feeling sounds like stuff I've gone through in the past year or two so feel free to email me (it's on my blog) if you want to chat?

  2. You do really sound like you are beating the crap out of yourself for no reason in particular. Life probably isn't going to slow down (I think our kids are the same age and I think , but am not sure, that we have similar occupations) for a few years to come, maybe it is best for you to *make* yourself do something that is ONLY for you. I don't know about you, but I miss female friendships the most, which were some of the first "things" (not really a "thing", but you know what I mean) when life really picked up its pace. And jettison the guilt as best you can, it just erodes the little expendable energy you have left.

  3. I get it and I think it's a very good thing you are so aware.


  4. Philly really is horrible for the allergies, isn't it? I have been shunning the neti pot. Everyone seems really stressed out by grant deadlines these days. Hopefully you'll feel less overwhelmed soon. Sometimes it helps me to just get some thoughts down to return to later. For me, editing is so much easier than that first step.

    Hang in there! And again, let me know if you want to go for a run. (I'll even tell you my real name... haha.)