Sunday, March 25, 2012

Yep, still here!

So I'm back, by popular demand. Or at least by my husband's demand. "Write a blog tonight!" he insisted. Me, I'm just tired.

I can't even remember the last time I wrote a blog entry. I miss it! But life has taken over and I just don't have the time right now. Work. School. Homework. Parenting. Marriage. Home ownership. And so on. I am superwoman extraordinaire by my own admission, but even I'm crying uncle. Life is great, really really great, but it's too much at once.

The good news is that Johnny is the world's best father and while I am working or sitting in a class I hate (I love one, I hate the other), or running or wherever I am, I know my girls are happy and busy and learning. I know they are engaged. I know they are loved. But I miss them.

So I've cut back on social outings. I've cut back on some exercising (sorry, Sunday afternoon Pilates! I do miss you!). I have cut back on sleep, phone calls, housework, emails, etc., even more than before. I have too much to do, and I want to spend every spare minute with my girls.

Last week I was getting ready for work one morning. I had already run and then showered, and it was getting late. I was rushing around doing a million things at once: packing a bag, drying my hair, putting on shoes, making lunch. Thora walked over and handed me Llama Llama Red Pajama, the book we always read together. "Read this!" she demanded. "I can't, Bea," I said, "Mama's gotta go to work." I pushed her gently away. "Read this!" she demanded again, and I thought about how quickly she is growing up and how much I love to read with her and how I suspect that Llama Llama Red Pajama is her favorite book to read with me because of the line "Mama llama's always near even when she's not right here." Or maybe it's the kisses she leans in on cue to receive. But either way. I sat down on the couch and pulled her on my lap and we read it twice, and life waited ten minutes. It was worth it. Now I try to get up a little earlier and set some time aside to do something with her every morning before I go. This morning we made muffins. Other mornings we read or draw or build Lego towers or make waffles shaped like hearts or paint our nails or make videos to send to people we love or take a shower together and hang around in matching bathrobes or share a bowl of oatmeal. On days I have school, I miss bedtime so these mornings are so important to me.

She's now speaking in nearly full sentences, which amazes me. I am actually having conversations with my daughter. I don't always like what she says though. There's a lot of "Mama, where'd the iPad go?" and "Thora and Mama make muffins?" and "Thora go park now?" as she's walking out our front door by herself while I'm still in my underwear. She does say please and thank you most of the time, but please is often shouted and accompanied by an index finger pointed at whatever she's asking for. (It's hard not to laugh at this.) She's not a tantrum-y kid but when she doesn't get what she wants, she lets us know in no uncertain terms, at least until something distracts her, like Elmo's Song, which we sing (at her request) over and over. "Thora's song?" she'll say. So I sing it with Thora's name. Then, "Daddy's song?" so I sing it with Daddy instead of Elmo. Then, "Freyja's song?" and so on. We sing for the cats, for Mickey Mouse, for anyone whose name she remembers. Again and again and again. I can talk to her on the phone now, and she talks back. When Johnny leaves to go hang out with a friend or to get to an appointment or whatever, we walk him to the elevator and she asks me "Daddy go work?" Her second birthday came and went. It was good to see friends and family and to teach her the happy birthday song, but the whole thing was more for me than it was for her. And now that she's two, I refuse to count her age in months anymore. Potty training is going in fits and starts, which means overall it's not really going. But we have time... and a washer/dryer, so I don't care all that much.  She still knows all her letters and numbers. Now she knows all her colors (yesterday she requested the "dark black" marker, which made us both proud) and shapes. She is learning to sing songs, dance to the beat and slide down the slide by herself. She basically commandeered my iPad and it is now full of apps for her and she doesn't always only play Angry Birds. She still loves bath time, especially choosing which color tablet she's going to throw in to color the water. She's going through a picky phase (and by picky I mean picky for Thora, which by most toddler standards I'd say isn't all that picky. Tonight she had mushrooms, artichoke hearts and whole wheat pasta for dinner but ignored the tomatoes and tomato sauce.) She figured out how to pedal, loves being outside, and is just generally a good natured kid. Best of all, she sleeps through the night completely, for twelve glorious hours.

Meanwhile, Freyja is now six months old. She smiles all day long. I mean it. This kid rarely cries. When she does, it's because she's tired and she's asking to be put down. Can you believe that? She goes to sleep immediately, by herself, if you put her down. She can roll over now and she can sit in a high chair or otherwise semi-propped up. She can grab things. Everything goes right into her mouth, of course. She's a drooly, gummy mess. But she's happy. Her big blue eyes and gorgeous smile melt my heart. She's still pretty teeny, but she's got cheeks like her sister. She's finally caught up to her age in size and her 3 - 6 month clothes no longer fit her. She's getting there.

And I am still nursing exclusively. At five months, Thora was grabbing food out of our hands. At six months, Freyja's showing no interest. I try to feed her bits of things here and there, and she'll gobble happily on whatever I stick in her mouth, but half the time she forgets what she's doing and it just dribbles right back out. She's not ready. But pumping is a challenge, for various reasons that have nothing to do with my milk supply. I hate pumping in public bathrooms as I often must at school or on the go, and at my primary office space at work I do have somewhere I can go but it's six floors below my office and extricating myself from meetings and everything else two to three times a day is no easy feat. I keep a pump there, but I have to carry my other one to school and with me to the two other office spaces I am regularly at, so basically every day on top of my school books, my work stuff, my lunch and everything else I carry around, I'm also toting a Medela Pump-in-Style and all the accoutrements. Every day I make a joke about needing Hermione's magic bottomless bag from the last Harry Potter book, but that joke isn't that funny anymore. Pumping sucks. So I try to be home as much as I can to feed her, which means making out of the way stops at home between work and school and whenever else I possibly can.

I do manage to go running about four times a week. What's crazy is how important this has become to me. In the past, I ran to lose weight. I white-knuckled it, to borrow a phrase I recently heard, to get through the workouts and burn the calories, but I didn't actually like it. I did it because I was supposed to, but really I spent far more time trying to talk myself into going running or going to the gym than I ever did actually working out. So I was a failed runner. Nothing more than a wanna-be. And I never lost an ounce. Now I dig it. I'm not sure what happened exactly, but somewhere in that Couch-to-5K program I did, I started feeling good. Really really good. I am losing weight. (At this point I have lost 38 pounds since the day after Freyja was born.) But more importantly (and honestly, I can't believe I am saying there is something more important than losing weight but I mean this): my body feels great and my head feels even better. If I don't go, I am crabby and tired, and I feel bad about myself. I go and my head starts to clear. I swear it's like a fog lifting. I listen to music or podcasts and get into the zone. What the hell? Even typing that, I'm like, who the heck am I talking about? It's hilarious to think that this is me. Every time I run I feel like it will be the last time because I am so not a runner that I will get outed as a fraud and barred from ever running again, but then there I am the next morning, lacing up my shoes and asking Thora to walk me to the elevator and give me a kiss goodbye. I think that without running I wouldn't be able to manage everything else. People ask me how I find the time to work out, but how can I afford not to? It's the best therapist out there, the best anti-anxiety medication. I can almost feel my mind rearranging itself correctly like a winning game of Tetris when I'm out on a run. I don't run that hard, I don't run that fast. But I run, and when I do, I recharge my batteries and have the energy to tackle another day.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for updating me on my favorite uptown family! I miss you all. Give my love to Johnny and the rest of the clan.



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