April 13, 2016

24 hours, Part 3: tissues, sleep, and taking turns

24 hours, Part 3: coparenting, petri dishes, and self-careEveryone is down. I repeat, everyone is down.

PiC’s taken to bed with a high fever, LB’s the one who brought home the fever and is still sick, and I’m pretty broken as well. Seamus is the only one still going on all pistons. You’d think he’d have more concern for his survival in this situation. Instead, he steadfastly sticks by us with an air of unconcern.

LB has been waking around 3 am, right at 6 hours past Motrin o’clock, crying pitifully. Ze’s congested, and burning up again. I stumble around prepping the syringe of Motrin and a small bottle of milk. Ze will be thirsty and hungry to boot. PiC’s woken up and came to refresh the humidifier, cuddling LB so I can administer the dose and changes hir diaper. My heart breaks for hir small hiccups and cries as ze struggles to find a way to be comfortable. I send PiC to bed, he’s far worse off than I am, and send Seamus off as well. He’d woken up sometime after I did and came to join us as we tended to LB, sprawling bedside.

Seamus ambles off, amiably and LB dozes fitfully on my chest. Ze hasn’t slept on me since ze was four or five months and as terrible as we both feel, this brings back fond memories. Except now ze is three times larger and heavier. I roll hir off me gently and tuck her into my side so I can breathe too.

We manage four hours of restless but blissful dozing, and we’re up again. PiC stumbles in as I change hir diaper. He of the functional immune system feels better after a few hours of unbroken sleep so it’s my turn. He takes over while I catch a couple hours, then we switch again. He has to go to work for a few hours, so he leaves for the office while I clear up and get caught up on the morning’s work. The tidying can wait, I only have so much energy and my brain needs it all for work.

LB is so exhausted that the nap stretches an unheard of 4 hours, and I can relax a little bit. I’ve gotten so much done, despite a raw throat, roaring headache, and multitude of aches, that it feels like we can survive this day.

PiC gets home around 1 pm and makes us all lunch. Reluctantly, thinking ze will take up the rest of the day, I log off and we have a quiet meal together.

He’s in charge of hir now so I can carry on working and resting but he’s lucked out. Ze is still so worn out barely two hours after waking, we hear a pitifully tired “put me to bed” cry. We comply and he collapses for a short rest.

We’re not usually this sick and this is definitely as sick as LB has ever been. What a rough induction into cold and flu season? Whoever thought “what better way to challenge our Team Parent skills than to kick out our legs and push us down a hill”, if I find you, there’s a punch coming to your nose.

What did I learn?

Many of these days are about survival, and that’s ok. We don’t have any help other than paid daycare a few days a week so we are careful to spell each other and are maybe more considerate of each other’s needs than if we had more help.

We don’t have to navigate family and complicated related feelings because we’re isolated and don’t have family help. It’s occurred to us that this has actually worked out for us. We’re stronger as a team because we’ve learned to work through our strengths, weaknesses, assumptions, and all of the complications that naturally come up through a long relationship. As much as we miss our parents, far or gone, this hasn’t been without its benefits even on those really hard days.

:: Are you in close proximity to family? Is that a good or bad thing?

Read Part 1 & Part 2!

April 6, 2016

24 hours, Part 2: juggling and the baby dash

24 hours, Part 2: Baby Coworker Around 6 am, the snorfling starts. This kid is nothing like me – goes from asleep to wide awake in less than three winks – so any waking movement is The Real Deal.

PiC’s already up and initiating the daddy+baby morning routine so I pass out again, dozing until 7 am.

I brush my teeth and check email for any emergencies. Nothing this morning so I take over feeding LB, give Seamus his morning meds, and strap LB into the stroller and head out for a walk. PiC usually takes them for a walk before I get up but since I’m up early, he might as well get a head start on getting ready.

We come back 30 minutes later for blocks and song: ze stands at the block box handing me one at a time, bobbing hir head to my song. Ze hands me one block, I hand hir another. Rinse and repeat.

Ze spies PiC around the corner, not paying attention to either of us. Opportunity! Ze makes a crawl-dash for the dog’s water bowl. Seamus’s water bowl beckons to hir irresistably. We head off some dashes, the others result in flying hir to the sink after ze has a good splash in his bowl. Seamus is NOT amused.

Hands washed, it’s book time.  I start to read Tremendous Tractors at the book bench, ze leans up against the bench to listen for half a page, then starts sorting. This book is for … you. This book is for … you. This book is for … Seamus. This book is for … you. Halfway through reading, Busy Hands has handed me the entire stack of books. Rinse and repeat for the second half of the reading.

Next up: musical toys. Some toys are for sharing, like the blocks and Legos, some are for pulling apart and flinging about. This is one of the latter. Ze prefers to fly solo as ze wrestles the rings off the stand and discards them over a shoulder. Naturally I very helpfully undo all hir work as ze finishes, placing the parts all back on the stand again. This is worth about 20 minutes.

One of hir other musical toys goes off. Over my shoulder, I see Seamus grin and tuck his paw under his chin. THANKS.

A frown, an eye-rub. Then a bigger frown and a double eye-rub. Ze won’t admit it but the fatigue is upon hir and it’s time to warm a bottle. We’ll be weaning off the bottle soon, so we’re in a transition period of bottles before naps and sippy cups after. We bounce on the yoga ball on the way to the sofa. Bottle clutched in chubby hands, tiny feet propped up on my lap, we relax for a few minutes. And I check email again. All’s quiet, just routine stuff, so I enjoy a moment of almost-cuddling with my squirmy worm.

Bottle polished off, ze hands it to me and contemplates hir full belly with a half smile. Time was, ze would finish  bottle and throw it like a football. I like this new development. LB settles down after 9 am and Seamus gets breakfast. Now, it’s my time: get a glass of water, find my glasses, my computer, and dive into work. But first: sweatpants!

I get an hour and a quarter on Nap 1. I mowed down all urgent and important emails, jot to-do list for the rest of my work day. Caught up on some projects and even unexpectedly finish a call early so I process an Amazon return and package up the box to drop off at the post office. Prep the first load of laundry, it’ll be ready for drying sometime when ze gets up.

A wail. That’s never good. Ze normally wakes up and plays for a while, then yells for rescue, but ze has been running a fever the past few days and evidently ze’s miserable again. I hold hir for a while. Ze doesn’t want food or water, doesn’t want to be put down but doesn’t want to be held like that either. We sit on the ground with some toys, sadly looking at one, then another, until my silly song and toy rattling coaxes a smile to the surface. Soon enough it’s submerged under tears, again. This calls for a change in scenery, and we also need milk.

Seamus is appalled. We’re obviously going outside, but we’re not taking him with us??? It’s literally unbelievable. He walks out the front door to wait outside because surely we don’t mean to go anywhere without him. Except, we must. We’re going to walk to the grocery store and he’s not allowed inside. I’m certainly not tying him up outside, someone might steal him. And I can’t tie him outside with LB. I think that’s frowned on.

Heavy with guilt, I lock up, leaving him to contemplate the traitorous nature of Humans.

The outing helps hir mood. I pick up groceries, then we struggle our way back home. It’s a long bracing walk but I seem to have caught hir bug. Everything is heavier, more exhausting. It takes us 45 minutes, round trip.

I get a text from PiC as we arrive home and start coaxing some food into the somewhat refreshed baby. Between bites, we realize that he’d failed to plan his day all the way through and now needs to be picked up. He’s tried asking a few friends if they were in the area but I thought it unlikely so I dose hir up with ibuprofen (doc’s orders!), strap hir into the harness, and we plod back outside to the car.

Mom and baby to the rescue: we pick up PiC from the nearby transit stop, and we make a quick stop at the pharmacy for my meds before getting back home.Usually I have them mailed but the pharmacy screwed up this refill.

Snack time part two commences with a bun and a pinch bowl of raisins. These are perfect for letting hir feed hirself: small enough to fit infant-appropriate serving size snacks, the bowls are sturdy and flexible, ze thinks they’re toys as much as food vehicles. Ze upends the bowl, wears it as a hat, chews on the side thoughtfully.

It’s been 3 hours since Nap 1, so I prep another bottle for hir and peel my shoes out of hir hands again. Someday, this child will stop trying to lick my shoes. Until then …. I cuddle hir on my lap with a bottle. Usually ze lays on the ground snuggled into hir Boppy but today I’m too tired to pick hir up again so lap it is. NOPE, ze struggles back up. I push hir back and offer the bottle again. Well, ok. Ze drinks, pops the bottle out to show me hir progress halfway through, squirts hirself in the face with milk, and finally finishes.

Off to bed. There are some protests. There may be some bar rattling. But once I’ve initiated naptime procedures, I don’t look back. That ze knows of, anyway. *glances at the monitor*

2:11 pm: Silence. Ze has passed out. I might, too. But no, I have work to do. I could eat but am dragging-tired so peel a couple of clementines and dive back into work.

Ze sleeps two whole hours, waking in time to go on a walk with Seamus. As he chows down on early dinner, LB and I work on snacks. I cut up bananas and ze shakes up the yogurt cup. We have fruit, yogurt and some toast. Ze makes a complete mess of drinking milk from a sippy cup, again, so I mop up the milk spattered floor while ze pulls out the Legos for another pass at “building”. This means clapping them together and putting them back in the box, waving a special one at me every so often.

Hir patience seems unusually good for being under the weather so I take advantage of the free hands to prep dinner. He never expects it but the night feels like it goes so much more smoothly if dinner is ready just as PiC’s getting home. Most LB & me nights, that doesn’t happen, but ze is hanging out and entertaining hirself with the Legos so the stove and oven are fired up.

PiC rolls in a bit after 6, some surprise thing held him up, but we’re still on track for a quick dinner and put LB to bed by 7:30. Excellent! I hide in the bathroom to decompress for about 20 minutes, and then get back to work. Meanwhile, PiC puts together LB’s lunch for the next day. I usually do that but he’s got it today.

My concentration is excellent the first three hours, then call it an early night closing in on midnight. My aches are getting the better of me and I’ve cleared the day’s work, go go efficiency! It’s best to lay my broken body down for actual rest.

What did I learn?

Being flexible is the only way to survive combo days. If I try to stick to a rigid schedule like I might set for a daycare day, my focus is fractured and I do nothing well. Being present in the moment means ze and I are fully engaged when ze needs me, and then I’m fully engaged with my work when I’m working.

PiC handles all the out of the house chores like dealing with all the auto chores, picking up milk or medication, or dropping off packages. This leaves me free to use my energy where it’s most needed. Don’t get me wrong, he does plenty around the house, too, but that’s for another post.

I used to think we should hire out some of the work at home but honestly as we settle into routines, it doesn’t feel like we need to anymore. Which is good because as it happens, there’s not much extra room in the budget anyway.

We had a long discussion recently about our routine, it gets a bit flabby when it seems like you’re doing the same things over and over, but you’re really slipping into chaos bit by bit.

We’re committing to an 11 pm bedtime and to carving out specific hours on the weekend for my work. Unrelated? Not at all. We rely on each other heavily but if we’re both sleep deprived, then we’re no good to each other. So, more sleep. And more dedicated time on the weekend to engage with my work because sometimes I just need more hours on that front.

:: How set is your daily routine? Do you prefer a set schedule or taking it as it goes?

Read Part 1 & Part 3!

March 30, 2016

24 hours, Part 1: dog walks, work, and splatitude

24 hours, Part 1: childcare, working with dog, a growing babyI’d been wondering something in my quiet moments. Why I haven’t started that business yet, or finished a creative project? Surely I’ve not gotten lazy and complacent?

It’s possible but it doesn’t seem likely.

Despite knowing that I’m awfully tired from constantly being on the go, oh and also you know, health, it’s hard to fight the sneaking suspicion that my lack of greater achievement’s down to a personal failing.

To get to the truth, I decided to Time Study myself. What do I do all day? Where can I make improvements?

Between two full jobs, a full toddler, Seamus, and the odd hobby or two, there is no such thing as a typical day.

Our days fit in three categories: both of us are home and I have work, I’m home with LB and have work, I have work and no LB.

So let’s dive right in!

A day where I work without the baby around

PiC gets to sleep in until 6:20 am, could lay abed even later if he wanted because LB doesn’t stir until 6:30 but he likes to get started ahead of hir.

It’s 7:47 before I hear it. The door creaks open and a cackle floats in. It’s time for my morning kiss and goodbye, it’s a Daddy and LB day, which also means it’s a Mom and Seamus day.

I sit up. “Can I have a kiss?” Obligingly LB leans in and suckerfishes to my cheek. Little lick, little nibble. Baby kiss!

“Can I have one more?”

Ze convulses in a silent laugh, then twists upside down and sideways out of PiC’s arms to dangle over me, expectant.

I catch hir blithely trusting form and ze grins. One last kiss for the family and they’re off. Seamus and I look at each other, and flop back in bed for another ten minutes of cozy peace.

Sooner than I’d like, I crawl out of bed. It’s time for Seamus’s morning routine.

Checking email on my phone for emergencies, I brush my teeth and get dressed. The favorite part of my telecommuting schedule is usually living in my pajamas but somehow getting dressed in the morning feels more efficient than waiting til we have to go outside later.

Within 15 minutes of waking, Seamus has his medication and we’re headed outside. This used to be a quick dash to take care of business while I distractedly checked email on my phone.  Thanks to a reminder of OHIO, I’ve adopted a firm stance about time wasted on rereading emails, so this is now our time to contemplate and appreciate nature in companionable silence. We move slowly at first in the morning chill, watching the last bits of fog lace through the tree branches, letting our old joints warm up.

By the time we find our stride, it’s time to mosey on back. Our morning jaunts take 25 minutes, and then Seamus prances at the door, anticipating breakfast. I get him started, start a load of whites in the wash, get a glass of water, find my glasses, and settle in to work.

Thirty seven emails and 4 hours later, it’s time to hydrate and grab a mini chocolate bar from the fridge. As an afterthought, and a placatory gesture to the adult somewhere in me, I also take the yogurt cup with me. Funny how when you set the yogurt and candy on the desk together, I end up eating the yogurt first. Don’t get me wrong, the candy disappears an hour later, too.

Think about eating a real meal. Keep working.

Early afternoon brings a quick flurry of activity: put clothes in the dryer, wash the dishes, prep the veggies for tonight’s dinner, open, recycle, and shred mail. Put together the week’s to do packet for bills. Then, back at the computer for three more hours.

Seamus dines early these days, but he always starts the dinner dance 30 minutes before just in case I can be wheedled. Most of the afternoon is dog-naps, but his internal clock is something to behold as his perked ears bob up behind my computer screen five minutes before I intend to take a break. Dinner for him is the work of a few minutes, then I’m back into the computer glare for another hour.

By 5 pm, a break would be welcome, as would be dinner, so I head into the kitchen to throw something together. Starch, veggie, protein!

Put the pot pie in the oven and sit back down to quickly draft about two-thirds of a blog post from that scrap of an idea that bubbled up with the pot pie fixings. 30 minutes later, the oven is cozy just in time for LB and PiC to get home, exclaiming about the buttery pastry scents wafting out the door.

LB hands me the contents of the daycare bag, one by one, and I quickly wash up hir bottles and lunch boxes.

LB’s still unbelievably upbeat after a long day with hardly a nap, so ze cackles hir way through deconstructed pot pie, and then experiments with gravity. Hey look! The chicken will SPLAT just like the carrot did, and so does the green bean! That’s hilarious! *cackles*

We know it’s a necessary phase but child, stop that!

We bundle The Messy One off to hit the showers once the play time turns to boredom and most of the food now gets rubbed in hir hair. A bottle of milk warms during shower time, and the non-bathing parent clears up the dinner mess.

By 8:20, ze’s creaking and chirping from bed, falling asleep, and I get a shower! I wryly think back to the early days of newborn life when a shower was a complete luxury and give myself a full 10 minutes before it’s back to work while PiC does post-dinner washing up.

My concentration starts to waver around 10:30 and I realize that the last ten minutes were lost to mindless oblivion. It’s time to call it, so I check everything one last time to make sure I hit my deadlines and head to the kitchen.

Usually packing LB’s lunch is still amusing: ze eats everything so I just compose a sort of balanced collection of snacks in bite sizes and that’s set. (Yes, I’m easily amused.) I’m the most underachieving bento box packing mom ever and I’m only that because it totally entertains me. If I could justify it, ze would be carrying hir own R2-D2 to daycare. Heck, if I had to pack a lunch that sucker would be MINE. PiC is in charge of the bottles and labeling everything according to daycare procedure.

Oh and Seamus needs his meds so I check on the supply and make a mental note. Second half of the month is always time to figure out if we need more medications or pill pockets, or basically anything on Amazon’s Subscribe & Save. I’m aiming for that 15% off, if we get a delivery.

The kitchen’s cleared up, lunch is packed, and we’ve made it through another day. I deserve bed and a book. If only sleep came to adults as easily as it does to the dog whose been snoring for the past 2 hours! These hours of the night are the most wasteful part of my 24 hours: I have to read to relax enough to sleep. There are days, though, sleep eludes me til past 2 am.

Yesterday, I worked til 2 am so at least trying to sleep is an improvement for this hour of the night.

What did I learn?

As much as I love seeeing LB’s face all day, when it comes to working, daycare is a blessing. I get so much done when it’s just me. I have so energy left at the end of the day to snuggle hir and do bedtime routines. If only daycare wasn’t a petri dish but that immune system needs to be built sometime and early is better than later.

Daycare has made a huge difference in our ability to get things done and not be exhausted every second of every day. It’s been absolutely critical in letting us both have our alone time professionally, and therefore have the energy to give each other personal time.

I’m not a morning person but sometimes my pain drives an extra early morning whether I intended to or not. This means that it’s not always a good idea to insist on getting everything done the night before. For the first time, I’m becoming  relaxed about doing as much as I can, when I can, and trusting that the rest will get done in its own time.

:: What morning routines work best for you? Are you decidedly at your best at any particular time of day or day of week?

Read Part 2 & Part 3!

October 7, 2015

In limbo: requires flexibility

We’ve been reading a lot of Dr. Seuss lately. More accurately, I’ve been reading, LB just cruises by and checks out the illustrations sometimes. Believe it or not, this is the first time I’ve read Oh, the places you’ll go in its entirety. It’s actually pretty good!

I like that the optimism and enthusiasm is tempered with nods to reality: that sometimes you’ll be alone, sometimes you’ll hit a rough spot. And other times, you’ll steer into….

The Waiting Place…

…for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or the waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for the wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.

Oh, the places you’ll go! 

Clearly, waiting isn’t high on Dr. Seuss’s list, not the way he puts it, but every so often, patience is a virtue.

I’m waiting on … little things

  • UPS to deliver replacement electronics. All my devices are trying to die on me.
  • UPS to deliver Seamus’s medication.
  • United miles to post to our account.

Bigger things

  • Perhaps a bit nervously, my interview for Jessica’s podcast goes up in October.
  • For the next round of inspiration on my writing project. You can’t always force the writing. When I do, I end up with a thousand words of drivel. It’s not a pretty sight.
  • 2016 travel plans are taking shape. Quite a few things are already lined up next year and we’ve got several itineraries started in TripIt.
  • For my work across multiple projects to bear fruit. For free moments to squeeze in work on those projects.
  • A lot of people I care about are having a hard time right now, in all aspects of life, and I’m doing my darnedest to support them, online or off. I am hoping that their efforts bear fruit.

What are y’all waiting for these days? Are you having trouble living in the moment as you wait or do you feel balanced?

August 25, 2015

I suck at moderation

Chronic

Status: Flattened, with feet up. It’s the only way I can write, with the few still-functional fingers, when my hands, arms, shoulders, and back are racetracks for searing, electro-shock variety pain. After etching grooves deep in my bones, the pain creates a fatigue swamp, literally knocking me out for a few hours. By Day 5, staying conscious is an accomplishment.  I spent Days 1 and 2 waking up from that haze wondering what the heck time it is and when I passed out.

Looks like I overdid it. Or maybe it was all due to fall apart right about now. I’m not sure. Navigating that balance between doing what you “can” but not taking on too much is like blindfolding yourself, spinning in circles, then trying to unlock the master lock of a door with ten identical knobs. With a toothpick. It’s a crapshoot. There are no reliable signals to follow.

Add to that, moderation was always a special sort of hell for me.

I want to do more. I know I shouldn’t actually do it but I always want to do more and usually telling me “you can’t” is like pitching a lit match into a hay bale and saying don’t burn. Before my pain became chronic, pushing myself was a treat.

When I walk a quarter of a mile, I want that next quarter. If I run a half, I want another half. That was how I worked up to my first mile under 8 minutes, was how I competed in my chosen sports, was how I fought my way up, professionally. I still remember learning about building stamina from my first great P.E. teacher. Youth was on my side back then too, but the regimen was sound. Performing exercise to failure (also known as: until you can no longer maintain perfect form) was the first of many steps to building strength and endurance.

“No pain, no gain” was my actual motto. Fool.

My body doesn’t respond to that tearing down of muscles the same way anymore. It doesn’t work normally anymore. It stopped being normal half a lifetime ago.

I was never a quick study, though heaven help me, I’m some kind of stubborn. At first, the trade-off for pushing through, even if only by 15 or 20 minutes, was “only” days of crippling pain. Later on, crushing fatigue joined the party. An afternoon running errands cost two days of bed rest. A couple hours of exercise cost a week of mobility. Three weeks, once, when I was particularly boneheaded. If -no, when- I challenge myself, push myself just another eighth of a mile, just another five minutes, “just another” crashes down around my ears. It becomes a choice to sacrifice all other life activities like feeding myself or bathing. It should have been obvious, but it still took more than a decade before I accepted it.

Having accepted that fact, now, it’s a whole other struggle.

It’s battling my own instincts to get up and get out because to do otherwise is lazy except that to do so is to hamstring myself because I’m down to my last Energon Cube. It’s trying to parse the muddled and confusing signals correctly so that I don’t cross the line, but “stay active!” How do you tell when enough is enough if sometimes you’re feeling as close to fine as I get, don’t feel like you’re overexerting, but only crash the moment you stop moving? What do I go on, if I can’t trust how I feel?

To make things even more confusing, once every several months or so, for a couple hours it’s like the sun is shining on me. I have energy and only medium pain, the fatigue has backed off and I’m like unto a Tiny God of Getting Shit Done. For those brief magical hours, anything seems possible. That’s not today’s problem though.

Aragorn

As usual, I’m not the only one who’s had a rough few days. Abby has, as have a few other friends. I call a do-over on a crappy wasted weekend!

August 21, 2015

TGIF: Summer Edition

Friday1


This is a bit of a brain dump.

It’s Friday and on the one hand, holy crap, what have I gotten done this week?? I made it through 4 week days with unusual probably fibro-related brain fog and 4 bouts of my glucose levels bottoming out leaving me shaky, dizzy, and almost gasping for breath.  Got some work done. Didn’t get any of my real writing done.

On the other hand, THANK GOODNESS it’s Friday.

I am grateful beyond measure for Fridays right now. This level of relief’s normally the sign to quit my job and move on, most people TGIF because work is so very onerous, but that’s not precisely my problem. I am at odds with my job, it’s true, but it’s manageable even when I take on too much. Usually I just power – or muddle – through but it takes more of a toll some weeks than others. This week more than last. Frazzled is not usually my thing and it’s usually a sign that something is twirling off the axis.

It’s the short break from being Juggler and Timekeeper Extraordinaire that I crave. There’s a sense, during the week, that every single minute has to be used wisely. During naps, between naps, I have to be Getting Everything Done. That go-go-go feeling is draining.

On the weekend, it’s ok to clock out of Mom duty and hand the Adorable Creeper over for a break. We can take turns, it’s not just a hamster wheel of work / child / housework / child / work / child / housework.

We didn’t do much on our weekends, in the pre-LB era, except when we did too much. I like that our weekends are a little more even keeled now. I like that I actually want to take small outings occasionally. It makes me feel human again. We went to the Ferry Building and you all know how much I love doing that. We might even go so far as to take the family to a little farm and meet farm animals. For FUN.

My days, since last month, are a little less hectic than before but they remain nonstop. LB needs a third nap now and that’s great. I get quite a lot done during naps and late into the evening but I haven’t made the time to work on my extracurricular projects as much as I ought to. I need to do more writing. A LOT more writing. I need to test some business ideas and determine my next steps after this job is over.

I do have time but it happens in bits and pieces so it’s not useful for tackling the bigger chunks of either project. The trick will be to figure out how to smush those bits together to make a usable large chunk, like the ends of soap. Until then, my anti-stress mechanism is, as always, planning so that’s where my little time chunks go. I research our next trip, our next investment, our next credit card.

Under the good news column, PiC insisted that I take some real me time, and I caved. So I’ll do that.

Also, I stretched out of my comfort zone agreeing to do an interview on Jessica’s podcast. It won’t come out for a while yet so now I have far too much time to think about how silly I sounded, or how much I rambled, or any number of things.

I blinked and it’s near the end of August. Did anyone see that coming? Before you know it, we’ll be into Fall. And into my birthmonth! I might take a leaf from a good friend’s book and celebrate all month. Low key, but all month, in little ways. Because why not?

Summer is winding down, are you planning any last hurrahs before fall rolls in?

July 3, 2015

What a weekday looks like around here

We’re in between childcare helpers, still, so these days my schedule is a really weird non-routine routine. It’s not terrible, but it’s a really incredibly full day. I still log at least 8 hours of work, not continuously, but thank goodness my work allows this kind of flexibility.

If we’re really lucky, LB actually stays asleep after we put hir down at least til 8 hours later. Someday, I dream of this someday, maybe ze will even sleep 10 or 12 hours. In the meantime, every weekday is looking something like this:

Between 4-4:30am: get up, change diaper, feed, PiC gets up and tries to get hir back down to sleep, while I collapse in bed.
Between 7-7:30am: If I’m lucky, ze did got to sleep and is still sleeping which means I have time to brush my teeth and get to work.  If not, ze probably got me up again and PiC is too beat so it’s my turn to play with hir for a couple hours til the next nap because ze is up for good.
Between 8-9am: Zip through some work before PiC leaves for the day. PiC makes me breakfast, I absentmindedly scarf that down with one hand, the other hand still working. LB lands in my lap to “help” for a while. If ze’s cooperative, ze will play with toys. If less so, ze will attempt to take over typing.
10-12pm: Try to get LB down for a nap. Wash dishes, wash bottles. Work like the wind while ze is sleeping.
If I get a 3rd hour of nap, I can do some household stuff: Pay bills, update tax filing info for 2014, get the laundry going, put food in the crockpot, follow up on weird things with billers.
1-3:30pm: feeding/diapering, play with a very awake Wiggle Worm. Read books, dangle toys. Take hir and Seamus out for a walk. Let hir “crawl” on the floor while I catch any easy to answer emails.
3:30-4pm: feeding, convince The Angry Inchworm to take another nap if ze is tired. Sometimes it’s a 30-45 minute third nap, sometimes this is the second nap of the day and lasts an hour or two. Seamus will start angling for his medications because after he takes them, he gets dinner. Whip through any dishes, knock out some more work.
Between 5:30-6:30 pm: LB will be up and at it again so I’m all hirs. Feeding, diapering, and playing again. Feed Seamus. PiC gets home at some point and takes over for an hour of daddy+baby time. Sometimes they go out for a walk with Seamus.
7 pm: I start gathering a change of clothes and we’re blasting some tunes for hir bath. We’ve got this down to a science, now. Ze was terrified by the big bathtub but with music, toys, and a super efficient routine, ze’s cool with it now.
7:30-8 pm: If we’re in good odor with the baby gods, ze is finishing up the bedtime bottle and nodding off. If not, ze demands another bottle and is wide awake.
9 pm: Adult people dinner. Talk through anything we need to discuss, if we still have brainpower. Sometimes PiC can get in a workout before dinner. Sometimes we BOTH get to take showers. Sometimes I’m still catching up on work. Other times, I’m trying to arrange travel or figure out what’s up with our commitments.
11 pm: Remember that thing called sleep and stumble to bed wondering why the hell we didn’t do this earlier.

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