Things I Don’t Understand

1.  This book.  I found it while I was roaming around my local brick-and-mortar bookstore.

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Yes, a whole book about crafts to make out of cat hair.  It’s a real thing, people.  I’ve actually held it in my hands.  (Ew!!)  Not being a cat person, I thought perhaps I was out of touch.  So I asked some cat-loving friends what they thought, and the universal reply was devoid of any positive sentiment, which mostly restored my faith in humanity.

I can sort of understand a book like this being on Amazon, the place where you can write whatever you want and “publish” it automagically without having to spend any money of your own.  But this?  Was a real, in the flesh book. Someone published it.  And my local Barnes & Noble saw fit to stock it.  Why, people?  Why???

2.  My baby’s sleep.  He used to sleep from 7 PM -4 AM.  Tonight, he slept from 7-8.  As in 7 PM and 8 PM.  At first, people told me it was a growth spurt and I believed them.  But do growth spurts really last for 6 weeks?  Somehow, I doubt it.

3.  This.

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My heart is breaking into a thousand snowy pieces.  I’m assuming there’s a joke that relates to the movie Frozen that would fit here, but I’m one of three people in America who hasn’t seen it yet, so I don’t know that joke.

4.  How it is that we still have a container of Halloween candy on top of our fridge.  This is a problem on several levels.  Namely, why haven’t we eaten it yet?  And if it has lasted this long, why ever are we keeping it?

5.  How she manages to get all of these on her head.

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I don’t wonder why she puts them there, though.  It’s clear – to be hilariously cute!

On Colic and Writing and Getting Stronger

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Jude’s favorite thing in the world is to be swaddled and nursing while listening to white noise playing in the background.  He’s less colicky now than he used to be, but this technique has become a frequently-used method to soothe him when nothing else does.

Sometimes, though, nothing works – nothing at all.  Usually, this involves him furiously screaming and flailing with more vigor than anticipated for his seemingly tiny frame, and then for no reason at all, it will be over and he’ll be quiet…calm…peaceful.  Truthfully, sometimes I wonder if he’s really just super ticked at us for not figuring him out but figures he’d be better off using his energies to plot his revenge than cry, but there’s a chance I’m ascribing too much processing ability to my 4-month old. ;)

I’ve learned in life that things often get worse before they get better, and Jude’s colic has reminded me of this.  I was so eager to be done with his difficult pregnancy and adjust to being a family of 5.  Instead, I’ve been in a new level of survival mode these past four months.  I don’t say this bitterly or with regret; I wish this had all been easier, but the fact is it hasn’t been, but we’re doing it anyway, and it won’t be like this forever.  I don’t want to wish away the good with the bad.

Sometimes things get better through circumstantial changes.  Other times, things get better because we get stronger, better, and more skilled. Now that I’m starting to see some light in the tunnel of his crying (did I mentioned he laughed for me today?  ah!), I can also see myself a little more clearly, and I’m proud of what I see.  I haven’t gone crazy.  I haven’t lost complete control.  I’ve gotten better at letting go.  I’ve started to become more efficient and productive with the little time I have.  I am stronger, better, and more skilled as a mother and a homemaker than I was when I started this whole gig 9.5 years ago.

Writing is important to me, and I’ve been noticing lately that my time for writing has been slipping away from me.  Worse, I’ve found my enthusiasm has ebbed, also.  When I finally find myself alone with some quiet and free time, sometimes it’s all I can do to hold an entire coherent thought in my head, let alone put a string of them together and write them down.  Tahd’s away right now, and while we talked tonight, I was lamented the fact that it’s just not working for me right now.  It seems like I’m losing myself – to busyness and commuting and colic and toddler tantrums and single-parenting.

I hung up with him intent on writing something, but with no inspiration forthcoming I combed my draft archives until I stumbled onto the beginnings of a few general words in this post box – colic, things getting worse before they get better, the seeds that formed the first few sentences of this post.  The longer I’ve sat with these thoughts, the more I’m reminded that even though it feels like it’s getting worse, it can and will get better.  Either my circumstances will change or I’ll adapt and grow and strengthen in such a way that I can flourish even when it’s difficult.

Now…please pardon me while I go rescue my crying baby.  It’s 10:57 PM and he’s already been up twice.

Here’s to less colic and more writing…someday!

On Four Years

I realized today that I’ve been taking antidepressants for four years – since we lost Mara in 2010.  I’ve taken them at other times in my adult life, too, so my total cumulative time is longer, but this is the longest consecutive amount of time I’ve taken them, and I don’t know what to think about that.

I knew I needed them in 2010.  I knew when I walked out of the emergency room I’d have to ask my doctor for them.  I was so desperate that I asked for them during my presurgical prep before my D&C, something I’m surprised I had the presence of mind to request.  Who goes to surgery and asks for antidepressants?  I think I even asked my surgical nurse, not even my regular doctor.  I’m so glad I asked, though.  Without them, I’m certain the months that followed would have been more torturous than they already were.  As it is, I look back on those days with tenderness and affection; they still hurt, but they’re special, too, and the medication helped allow me to be present enough to experience it.

I stayed on them all the way through my pregnancy with Isla, and although that pregnancy was physically quite easy, it was emotionally overwhelming and I needed the support…no question about it.  I wasn’t sure how I’d do after the pregnancy – if the hormonal upheaval and emotional turmoil of infertility would collide to leave me in a stupor, so I continued them after she was born.

About the time Isla turned 1, I was feeling really well and started thinking about discontinuing them.  About that same time, I got pregnant again, and my general rule of thumb for pregnancy is that if I’m actually successful in getting pregnant, I keep on doing what I’ve been doing to keep the boat nice and steady.  So I kept taking them.  I was glad, too, because I found myself much more emotionally challenged than I expected to be.  By the end, with the preeclampsia and preterm birth and jaundice, I knew I would have been a mess during the postpartum period without the medication.  Add in his constant crying, and I’m once again glad I still take them.

And here we are…four years later!  I’m not thrilled about this, but I am thrilled I haven’t been a complete emotional wreck during the past four years, so there’s that.  It’s not that I object to medication; it’s just that I’d prefer to be well on my own.  Once you’ve been doing something for four years, though, you might need to face the fact that being well on your own isn’t entirely possible.  I’m not sure.

I suppose only time will tell.

Little Pieces

Just a few little pieces of life…

I wrote my Negative Nelly pep talk a week or two ago, and then I completely crashed and burned.  Imagine ugly crying on my bed for hours in a heap of pillows.  Yep – that was me.  And even though it was a week ago and I haven’t cried since then, it was apparently dramatic enough that Isla remembers it because she looked at me today and said, “Mommy not crying?  Mommy no sad?”

My blood pressure has gradually come own out of “stroke range.”  My headaches are gone, too.  It’s still not great at 150s/60s-80s, but that’s a lot better than 177/107.  If only the top number would come down some more!

In an effort to help that process, I’ve started running again.  Just a little.  And I love it.  As well, I hate it!  It’s hard and I’m as slow as syrup.  But I feel so mellow when it’s over, and mellow feels really good!

We had a play date today at someone else’s house.  Isla tried to take all their toys and screamed when the others wanted to touch some.  The nerve!  lol  I’m not sure I’m ready for this territorial toddler phase again.

I can see grass on the ground.  This has been one of the longest winters ever, and it has been painful!  I don’t know how I ever endured living in northern Maine, where it usually snowed in October and every month thereafter until May.  I get a tic when I think about it.

I started eating dairy again, and I think Jude is fine with it.  I kicked off my reaquaintance to dairy with about 17 bags of Easter chocolates.  Divine!

Finally, this makes me laugh…

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This Week In Numbers

3 || days Tahd was gone

25 || rows I knitted on a new baby blanket project

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45 || minutes Jude napped alone.  Might seem low, but it’s a beautiful improvement!

52 || pictures I took with my big camera

5 || Isla’s poopy diapers I changed.  Yesterday.

177 || my systolic blood pressure reading last night

107 || my diastolic blood pressure reading last night

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1 || number of new prescriptions I got today, directly in relation to the above two numbers

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2 || messy art projects I let Isla try this week

2 || nights Jude slept until at least 3 AM before waking up for the first time (yay!!)

4 || days until Tahd travels again

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