Monthly Archives: January 2011

The best things in life are free

In September I turn 30. On this birthday my annuity payments will come to an end. It will mean a larger than 10% drop in our income of tax free money. This is gonna hurt. I’m looking at our budget stuff very carefully. This is going to mean a fairly significant lifestyle scale back. How irritating. I mean, this is a first world problem. We are still going to have substantially more money than the vast majority of Americans. (I will point out that we also don’t live in Boise so our mortgage is None Too Cheap.) We will be fine and all, but this trip to Europe is our last international travel for quite a few years. I’m going to make the most of it! That’s a lot of why I’m staying for four full weeks. Airfare is about 50% of the total cost of the trip and that’s kind of scary because hotels there are really pricey.

I haven’t really had to actually budget. Things just kind of worked out. Now I do. Damnit. Good thing I will never get pregnant again. Between all the health care costs and our increased eating out and maid service… well… that was most of the annuities. 🙂 … Actually, I just did the math. We spend almost 1.5 times the annuities on pregnancy. Good damn thing that’ll never happen again! And Shanna was even more because of the hospital transfer. Holy shit. Maybe I’m not worried after all. 🙂

Brezsny says

Virgo (August 23-September 22)
You are usually conscientious about attending to the details. It’s one of your specialties to take care of little necessities. You often know what to do in order to fix mistakes and messes caused by the imprecision of other people. For now, though, I encourage you to take a break from all that. In my opinion, you need to regenerate and replenish yourself, and a good way to accomplish that is to let your mind go blissfully blank. At least consider it, please. Give yourself permission to space out about the intricacies. Steep yourself in the primordial ooze where everything is everything.

That sounds really good.

Differences

Oh man. It’s kind of like my kids are unique people. That’s totally weird. Shanna is still far more cuddly at 2.75 years than Calli is at 4.5 months. Calli often doesn’t really want to be touched. She’ll fuss and squirm and arch her back to get away from me but if I put her in the swing or on the floor (on a blanket) she will smile and laugh and be thrilled to play with me. I thought that babies had no sense of personal space but I was wrong. Shanna would be thrilled to be allowed to nurse pretty much all day long (I’ve put up some serious limits at this point) and Calli is on long enough to fill her belly and then she is pissed off if she is still lying on my lap. TIME TO GET UP!!! Unstrangely, Calli is significantly skinnier than Shanna was at this age. She has slightly chunky legs but the rest of her has very little fat. It’s kind of sad. I was so proud of my little butter ball. I almost feel like it’s a sign my milk has become defective. I know that isn’t true. Not all babies are super chubby and it’s totally ok and healthy. Calli also dislikes carriers. All carriers. I’ve tried many styles and many positions within those styles. She’s just not into it. She’s not into strollers either. Oy.

So! Things that are a big change that are WONDERFUL include oh man is it handy that she likes to sleep by herself. Shanna still sleeps less well than Calli and always had. Shanna needs to be next to a person in a way that Calli doesn’t. I can nurse Calli to sleep in 10-15 minutes (we do have occasional nights where it is more like 30 minutes but that’s only once a week or less) and she normally needs a top up in about an hour then another when I come to bed. Then she sleeps till 5 or 6. Not bad! And there are nights when she only nurses once after I put her to bed. Sweet. Shanna wakes up more often than that. 🙂

(disclaimer before running off: Calli is a much better fit for my current life than Shanna-as-an-infant. not complaining!)
Ok out of time for writing.

How did you hurt your back?

I remember how blue the sky was.

Movies like to concentrate focus in a way that is just off center. Like when you see the boot lying on its side under the bed and hear springs bouncing so you know they are having sex.

I remember how warm the rock was.

I remember watching the snot roll down the rock because I was crying.

I remember fighting at first and then not at all.

I remember white hot pain that made me want to die.

And my back has hurt to one degree or another every single day for about 20 years. I’m not sure I will ever stop hurting. I don’t remember what exact position torqued my back. At this point I truly believe it just doesn’t matter.

I didn’t really think this would happen a second time…

We won an all expense paid international trip. To Mexico. After the trip to Ireland I thought I had shot my wad on this kind of luck for this lifetime.

So this year I will be traveling to France, England, Scotland, and Mexico. That’s pretty fucking cool.

(I don’t have all the details yet. I’m being mailed a package. I have to ‘register’ (whatever that means) within 30 days but the trip can be anytime in the next year. That’s what I know right now. That’s an awesome thing to know!!

This is part of the downside of being disconnected.

I just found out that a woman I know through the scene, Jill, died in November. I don’t know anything about how she passed. I haven’t talked to her in a while and I feel really bad. Long after we stopped seeing one another at social events we met and had dinner every so often. She was one of the people I touched base with and felt like she *saw* me. We never spent a lot of time together but I really valued our conversations. Now she is gone. And I haven’t talked to her recently enough to even know. I feel like such a completely horrible friend.

How you spend your days is how you spend your years

A blogger I admire, Sara Janssens, asks about the rhythm of her readers’ days. (Disclaimer for all involved–she is very strongly Christian and would almost certainly feel uncomfortable reading some of what I write about. Nevertheless I find her engaging, inspiring, and worthy of respect.)

I feel like I am bad at creating routine. Our days are very unpredictable. The most consistent part of our life is that I do a load of laundry (most often diapers), wash dishes, and Noah makes breakfast just about every day. I think those are the only things I can depend on happening. And sometimes we even skip days with those.

We get up. Noah makes breakfast basically every day. We either go out to breakfast or I cook maybe 5 days out of a month. It makes me very happy to lie in bed nursing in the morning while listening to him and Shanna talk in the kitchen. If Calli finishes nursing quickly I go check internet-happenings while breakfast is completed. Then (depending on how late it is) I listen to Noah read Shanna a story or he runs off to work right away. Often there is fussing around him leaving because Shanna is very very Daddy-needy lately. (Ok, she’s just clingy in general.)

When he leaves I generally start a load of laundry. Most Mondays I catch up on the laundry I was bad about doing over the weekend. I also try to do the kitchen clean up at this point. I try to do project sort of things on Mondays. Although I do make plans with friends. Sometimes we rush out of the house without doing anything extra because packing up the diaper bag and food and whatever else I want to bring with us takes a while. Tuesdays we sometimes have plans with friends but more often lately we stay home because my awesome mother’s helper comes over to play with Shanna and I do big batch cooking or project stuff I can’t do by myself with the kids. Wednesdays are normally our park days. I don’t get a whole lot done other than that because we are usually out of the house for 5-6 hours. But Wednesdays are when I pick up our milk/eggs from the co-op and the Planet Organics box is dropped off. 🙂 I look forward to that. Thursdays look like Tuesdays and Fridays are more of a wild card. We often have plans with various people, though not always. Saturdays and Sundays involve a lot of house cleaning and hanging out as a family with occasional plans with people.

It’s a fairly slow life and yet I still feel overburdened. I don’t have anything big and ongoing right now, like gardening. I’m not doing any big house projects lately. I tend to feel like the biggest part of the first year is just about putting your head down and surviving. At least that is how it worked with Shanna. I don’t get out often and I barely keep on top of household matters. This time I am still cooking extensively which didn’t happen when Shanna was tiny.

I read a lot, both online and books. I read to Shanna a lot. I sing silly songs to my children. I care too much about things on the internet. I float in a bubble of barely-connected-to-the-world. The list of people I spend time with is small and select. If you do not take joy in my children I don’t have time for you. That sounds harsh but it’s just a fact. I don’t have child-free time at the moment and if someone is uninterested in my kids then they aren’t good to spend time with for now.

I try to be calm and accepting of life being whatever it is. I try to regulate my mood and enjoy this precious time with my babies. It will be over soon. I’m not as good as I want to be at having patience, but I think I am doing ok. At the least Shanna shows no signs of being traumatized by me getting frustrated with her. I hope that things will work out.

We have no set wake up, nap, or bed time. Things just kind of flow. We eat at approximate times but even that is highly flexible. I’m slightly apprehensive because Calli is showing signs of being less happy about the irregular hours. She wants to be at home, in bed, in a dark room at 6:30. She’s not real happy about being out. This is going to be challenging. Calli is already getting to the point where she is uninterested in new people. The women in my playgroup are ok–they can hold her. Almost anyone else makes her cry.

Ok, I can think of one thing that I like about the rhythm of our days a great deal. We often cuddle together during rest times and I stroke my daughters’ hair and tell them all the things about them that I love and enjoy. I tell them how wonderful and strong they are. I point out to Shanna places where she has recently developed new skills or accomplishments and talk to her about the gradual process she endured. I tell her I am proud of how strong and brave she is. I encourage her to keep trying things she currently can’t do because I am confident that she will learn how to do them. Even on the really hard days I can always find things to talk about in a positive way. I’m proud of myself for that. I’m proud that my daughter often goes to sleep with a smile on her face because she is so very sure of being loved and adored. This is my contribution to the universe.

Who in the hell okay’ed this project?!

We have a little board book called First Rhymes. Most of the rhymes are the old favorites everyone knows (Little Bo Peep, Little Jack Horner, etc.) but there is one that uhm… who decided that this was a good idea (for a book published in 2005)?

I Love Little Pussy

I love little pussy,
Her coat is so warm,
And if I don’t hur her
She’ll do me no harm.

*cough* Totally innocent, I’m sure.

smks: pants!

I was singing, “Oh fussy pants oh fussy pants, how fussy are your paaaaants” to the tune of “Oh Christmas Tree”. Shanna stopped whining/crying long enough to tell me, “I’m not wearing pants, only panties.” Then a fresh wail came out. It was hilarious!

(She’s crying because she is terribly upset that she can’t go with daddy to pick up take out that he is getting on his way home from work. Sorry kid.)

Not the prettiest

Cause all that dripping snot is very unattractive. I’m doing better, but I’m not all better. I’m so glad Noah stayed home yesterday when I felt like death but I’m totally fine without him today even though I still feel gross. Shanna seems to be getting more sick, which sucks. Calli is holding the course. I’m not sure I will be able to get any chores done today with the dizziness but hopefully none of us will starve. 🙂

It is getting worse

I am getting way more sick as time goes on. As are both girls. The stupid neti pot made it so I can almost breathe but did nothing for the pain. Calli is up, crying, choking, and spitting up like crazy. My head hurts so bad. I got less than three hours of sleep cumulatively after going to bed at 7:30. Today is going to be miserable. whine. whine. whine. 🙁

Adventures in milk and sugar

I went out for a while on Saturday night leaving Noah alone with the girls. This meant defrosting some milk for Calli, just in case. Apparently she didn’t actually want it during the night, but it was already defrosted and you can’t refreeze. So I helped her with the cup on Sunday. (We do have bottles but I’m lazy.) She sucked the milk down so fast it was startling. And then I got the rest of the milk from the bag and brought the cup back towards her. She saw the cup and started *whining* and lurching for it. She wanted it bad. I was impressed. So much for thinking she has zero interest in food. If I were a more giving mother I would pump more often so she could drink from a cup because she obviously wants to. But I’m lazy so she’s going to have to wait for a bit. 🙂

This reaction and her current slightly increased fussiness is making me wonder about me eliminating sugar from my diet. I know the milk is adequate still but I kind of wonder if the flavor is less awesome because she is used to me having a fair bit of sugar. My mood also sucks donkey dick. I am being a viper. 🙁 I do still think doing this for a month is a good choice because health-wise neither of us will suffer. I’m just unfun. 21 days to go.

smks: eyes

I was looking down at Calli and telling her that her eyes are still mostly gray, but they are becoming more brown by the day and I think that is awesome. I wanted a brown eyed daughter. So Shanna said, “But my eyes aren’t brown…” I said, “Nope, your eyes are very special. Your eyes are sometimes blue or brown or green or gray depending on your mood. My eyes can’t do that. It’s unusual and very neat.” So she said, “Your eyes are very wonderful and beautiful Mommy. I like them.”

*sniff*