Friday, November 28, 2008

Of No Fixed Address

The time has come. Today is my last day of life in this house that I call home. Officially that would actually be tomorrow, but I don't count moving day as a normal day of life. I'll be honest - I'm emotional about it. Perhaps more than I would otherwise be because I'm bone weary.

The thing is that my darling son does not sleep. He just naps. This week his average is 1.5 hr stretches. That mean that I haven't slept longer than an hour at a time in days. Most of the time he wakes up, eats, and falls right back asleep. But one night this week he cried, screamed, for 45 minutes. I woke my husband up for help, the baby and I both in tears. Yesterday I took him to a walk-in clinic thinking that perhaps he has an ear infection. Nope. Thus, I am so tired that I think the wind could blow me over.

Tonight is the last night we sleep in our house. This evening will be Bentley's last walk in the park and his last scamper in the front yard with his buddy Oscar. Those two will miss each other. Our cable has been disconnected. Boxes abound in every room. I don't even feel comfortable in my own house. Mail has already arrived for the new owners. I will miss our next door neighbors more than words can express. I know, I know, I can always come visit. But I'm afraid the quality of our relationship will change. She has become one of my best friends. My fish tank is empty. Some fish are being cared for by a friend. Others I just gave away. It's sad, seeing it so lifeless.

Tomorrow we work. We move and we clean. Isaiah will be watched by the grandmas so that I can focus. I'm just afraid that I'll be too tired to be effective. I know I can do this, I just feel like I can't. So I have to pick my head up, wipe the tears from my eyes, and put emotions aside. This is a good thing. I wanted to move. And one day I will sleep again.

But what I really wish for is this - A day at the spa, without my child, without my husband. With no work in front of me. With no moving to do. I wish it could all happen without me and that I could just show up at the end of the day, at my parents place (where we are moving temporarily until our house is done) with all the work done and all the goodbyes said.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thursday 21

I started off doing a Thursday 13, but it turns out that I have a lot to say!

1. My baby had his first immunizations yesterday. Although he screamed, I think he handled it better than I did. This morning he has a fever and is feeling crummy.

2. I don't like my joints touching when I sleep. It's why I slept with a Teddy for so long. Now I use a more adult-ish small pillow between my elbows.

3. Not only do I not make contact with the seat of a public toilet, I also always flush with my foot.

4. I do a lot of reading and writing in the bathtub. Including most of my studying in University. The new house will have a jaccuzi. I shall reside there.

5. Moving day is 9 days away. I don't even feel at home in my home right now. I'm surrounded by boxes. I'm excited to be leaving the city, but incredibly sad to be leaving my neighborhood. The builders are a couple of weeks behind schedule, so we'll be moving in with my parents for a while. I have mixed feelings about this.

6. I'm trying to sell my 55 Gallon fish tank. There are 7 cichlids left. The other 6 are being fish-sat by one of my dearest friends.

7. The majority of the people I admire most are directly related to me.

8. I have been waiting 2.5 years to see a spinal surgeon. My back is worse than it used to be pre-baby, but better than I expected it would be. Low weight and strong muscle tone helps. I hate being crooked. I like symmetry.

9. I worry about getting to the gym once we live in the country with one car. I believe exercise is a powerful anti-depressant for me.

10. Thanks to those who commented/emailed me regarding my last post. You had some great suggestions and the support felt good. It's just neat to hear from other mums who have had similar situations.

11. Isolation and loneliness are my biggest struggles as a mom. I make an effort to get out to groups, but they are usually in the morning when we are recovering from our bad nights. Also, it just takes a while to feel like part of a group and make connections outside of it.

12. I still miss Ingrid like crazy.

13. I worry constantly lately. Hopefully that subsides once our major upheaval is over.

14. My dad is no longer a pig farmer. This week he emptied his barns. I'm kind of sad about that.

15. It amazes me how much the Husband loves me. And how much of an effort it is for him to display his affection for me. He keeps reminding me that we are a team and that despite my nightmares, he won't cheat on or leave me.

16. I wish I was the kind of person who always took time to do my toenails, read a book, or do some kind of needlework. I'm afraid I'm not patient enough to succeed at these things.

17. I'm afraid of starting a new job in April. I secretly think that I'm not smart or organized and that I made it through 4 years of University on luck, or multiple choice test taking skills alone.

18. I think the Church is it's own worst enemy. Church politics make my stomach twirl. Too bad something Holy has to be maintained by flawed Human Beings.

19. I love storms in winter. Not so much the summer variety.

20. I often wish I could pause life. I want my baby to stay a baby. In fact, I already miss his littleness more than I probably should. I want my parents and in-laws to stay young and healthy. I would give up a lot to keep my Grandparents around. But if I could change one thing, I would bring my brother and his family home, because I know this is where they long to be. And because I miss him. Our hearts speak the same language.

21. Being called lazy is the worst insult anyone could give me.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


My son has decided that he has more important things to do than eat. It has been getting progressively worse. Now he refuses to nurse unless he is either almost asleep or just waking up. At night he wakes up every 2-3 hours and nurses while in a half-sleep kind of state.

He always latches on and works for a minute or two before figuring that he must be missing out on something. He sits up and looks for his Dad, the dog, or a sunbeam. If I don't help him sit up he complains. Loudly. Usually as soon as the milk comes down he is on to other more exciting things.

This evening I tried again with no success. I decided to make a bottle with formula and see how that would go. To my great surprise, he was thrilled and inhaled the two ounces I had prepared. He used to gag on formula...

Anyway, I'm just not sure what to do. Should I continue to try to nurse him? Am I trying to nurse him too often (every 3-4 hours)? Should I just pump and give him a bottle?

Advice welcome.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Since my last post, the first tooth has made an appearance! He's also mastering the sippy cup. Changing so fast!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

6 Months Old

Today my baby is 6 months old. I can't believe that I've been a parent for half a year already.

Here is what Isaiah is up to:

- Weighs 16 lb 4 oz
- Loves anything with lights
- Can communicate what he wants without words. Clearly.
- Prefers to be put down and have his back patted when he is ready for a nap. No cuddles please.
- Likes sleeping on his left side or his tummy
- Loves trying new foods
- Enjoys touching faces of people he loves
- Sits confidently
- Moves around the floor quickly. It's not quite coordinated enough to call it a crawl - more like a scootch. Sort of like an inch worm. It gets faster every day.
- Is easily distracted and wants part of any action
- Laughs at the dog more than anything else
- Has light colored grey/green/brown eyes. They are still deciding.
- Has one blond hair in the midst of the browns
- Is still working on his first teeth
- Loves keyboards, remotes, and cell phones
- Reaches for the person he wants to hold him
- Likes to chew on his soother and occasionally sucks his thumb when napping
- Doesn't know what to make of other babies. They kind of freak him out. It's not his fault - we don't hang out with any other young mums and babies. I'm working on this.

Things I have learned:

- I am much more selfish and much less patient than I had previously imagined myself to be
- Go with whatever works.
- Don't listen too much to everyone else's advice. And don't let other people's judgements make or break your day.
- Time to my self is important
- Time alone with the husband is important
- It doesn't matter if the bed doesn't get made
- It does matter if I don't nap and eat properly
- Almost any job can be accomplished in day if it's broken down into small pieces
- My son's laughter can erase any hard feelings about the long, hard night that I'd felt only moments earlier.

He touches my face and makes soft sounds, looking at me in awe. It's amazing to feel so loved and so loving towards a tiny being. Sometimes I imagine expanding our family, and I think it must be impossible to love another as much as this one. Last night, I held him as he slept and stroked his soft head.

Don't grow up so fast, my boy. There is no rush.

Pictures to follow.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Bargain Hunting

When we sold our house, we included the appliances. This means that we need new appliances for our house that is being built. The thing about new appliances is that they are expensive! With some smart budgeting (I manage the budget in this house) we could do it. But why buy new when we might be able to save hundreds, even thousands, of dollars with something slightly used. The husband and I agreed - our appliances must be less than 5 years old. He wanted stainless steel though. I mentioned that our children would lick their fingers and then open the fridge, leaving prints that are almost impossible to wipe off all over the place. White shows the least. The clean argument won him over.

So I took to the 'net, searching the pages of classified sites. A few weeks ago I found a fridge. It's a beauty with 2 doors. 1 side is fridge, the other side freezer. It has a water dispenser and an ice maker. Not essentials for me, but convenient none-the-less. It was used a few months before it's owner had to move into a senior's complex. At $1400 brand new, I got it for $625.

After buying one appliance, the Husband got the itch. "Let's just go buy new," he said. He likes to accomplish things - check them off his list. And appliances were on the list. I refused, stating that we could buy a stove any time before moving and that we were in no big rush. If we couldn't find anything till shortly before the move, we'd consider new.

Then on Saturday I found it. A flat top Frigidaire, 3 years old and barely used. It was immaculate. We purchased it for $325. I was so excited! Did we ever luck out.

We can wait for the dishwasher. We can do dishes by hand for a year or so. We're not even looking for this one.

Yesterday we also purchased all of the lights for the house. We picked our paint colors. Now all we need to do is sit back and wait. Oh, and pack this house in our spare time. We move in just over two weeks. It's starting to feel real.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

No Sleep Blues

I am so frustrated. I'm waking up 3 or 4, sometimes more, times a night for my baby. I wish I knew what to do. Is he hungry? Teething? Or in a bad habit? Yesterday I started a bedtime routine. Till now I've always just waited till he seemed tired, then fed him and put him down. Now we've added a nightly bath and story to the mix.

Yesterday night he woke up at 2 AM. I fed him. He woke again at 3 AM. I figured he couldn't possibly be hungry, so I patted his back for 15 minutes and he fell asleep. For fifteen minutes. I asked the husband to put him back to sleep. It didn't work. I dragged myself out of bed and fed the boy. He settled and fell back asleep.

At 4 AM he cried. And so did I. I told my husband that I would go feed him, and then put him up for adoption in the morning.

This morning he was up at 930. He nursed twice and had a big bowl of cereal in a two hour period before going down for his nap. Why is he so hungry??

I have a headache, the grumps, and a massage this afternoon. My patience is thin. My back hurts. My head is groggy. And I'm feeling sorry for myself. I know I'm not the only Mum who has gone through this, and I know it's just a phase. Eventually he'll sleep again. But in the meantime, I reserve the right to feel a bit cantankerous.

Monday, November 3, 2008

This Week's Challenge

I love going to the gym. It gives me a break from my baby. When I'm doing cardio or lifting weights, all I'm thinking about is working out. It's a time to be selfish. A time to focus on myself. I'm convinced that exercise is a powerful anti-depressant.

I hate going to the gym. The more I go, the more I think about my body. I can't walk past a scale without stepping on it. I look at my tummy and see the outline of where my baby used to live. It's round. It used to be flat.

So I have this love-hate relationship with the gym. Truth is, I can get a bit obsessed about going. This week the Husband issued me a challenge. Should I accept and conquer the challenge, a prize awaits me. Take one week off from the gym. Get my eating and sleeping on track. Take naps. Record my diet. Consume a balanced diet, high in calories. Focus on my health. Then resume exercising.

I'm going to do it!

Saturday, November 1, 2008


We are preparing to move. Boxes have emerged and pictures have been taken off the walls. It comes up in conversations every day. The house. The move. It's coming. We've got to get ready.

I don't claim to need as much order in my life as the Husband does. He's near diagnosable Obsessive Compulsive. But I already feel like things are out of place. The pressure is on. Next week the people who bought our bedroom set are taking it away. Where will I store my clothes? Laundry baskets, perhaps. I'm amazed at the clutter a mere two years in a place can accumulate. My new rule - If we haven't used it in two years, donate it!

The questions consume my mind. Is the U-Haul rented? Have we recruited enough help? What can we pack now? When can we move it over? When will the house be done? How long will we live with my parents in the meantime? Will we like it there? Oh, and what color do we want the kitchen walls?

I've been outside a lot lately, enjoying the sunshine and unseasonably warm temperatures. Most of the leaves are off the trees now and I noticed a thin layer of ice on the edges of the lake the other day. Everything is dying for winter. I talk to people in the park, watch my dog run down the leaf covered path, and enjoy feeling comfortable in my surroundings. It feels like grief to have to leave this place.

And I worry. What if my neighbors are terrible? What if nobody likes me? What if small town church politics affect our potential relationships? When people see me, will they remember the awkward girl I was in high school? Will they whisper about the girl they heard had been in a mental health facility? Or will I have a clean slate to start off with? I'm afraid of spending a whole winter inside, alone with my baby. I start to contemplate my return to work.

Maybe I could just close my eyes and sleep through the next six weeks. Besides, I'm so, so tired.