29 March 2012

more than 16 and a half months

Dearest Della,
You are more than 16 and a half months old.
Your language skills are insane.  Your comprehension is vast-- you know exactly what I am saying and what I mean most of the time.
You are saying new words every day and often wake up and practice some of your favorites.

Rishe! (rice)

I say, can you say cow? and you say, Moo! (and you laugh, because you know you are not saying cow)
I say, can you say frog? and you say, Hop!
I say, can you say bunny rabbit? and you say Hop!
I say, can you say snake? and you hiss.
I say, can you say lion? and you roar.

And it is so fun to watch and experience you learning so fast. Connections and nuance. Amazing amazing.  You are ferocious when thwarted, and have the saddest sad face when you cry.  You have new teeth in the bottom, so now a full row back to molars.  And your upper fangs are on their way in.

You love standing on wobbly things.
You love swinging.
You shriek with laughter on the slide on me, or the lower part by yourself for a moment before I catch you.

You've discovered dirt and sand.
You love puddles.
You love foot scraper welcome mats.
You love flinging food when you're done and I missed your cues.
You say POOP and IPEE when you've done either. You're rarely wrong. (We have a new potty just in case you feel so inclined.)

You wake up in the middle of the night, 3 nowdays, and are awake for an hour, dazzlingly awake.  Meow? You ask me where the cat is. You say Hi. You say DADA! And you say Boop to nurse.

We are nursing less and my pump is gone to a new and happy home.
I often feel full and wish we would nurse more but also know that the transition is going to need to go the other way. I miss the good parts but I am trying to enjoy the freedom of being able to be away for most of the day without pumping or leaking through my clothes and pads, and without being too uncomfortable.

I miss your littler self, but I am loving your bigger self. Bigger and bigger, all smiles and delightfulness.
You sang along with me this morning in the car.  Baa Baa added to my black sheep--

Up now means up and down again, the down is mysteriously missing.
You say Yeah! Yeah yeah yeah. Instead of yes.
And you've started to say No.

You do better with warning before we do things-- and sometimes things that were sucking are easier.
Diaper changes are often harmonious.

Your silky soft downy hair is getting more like a real person's, with wonderful curls that sproing, very long when stretched, very tight after a shampoo, very much like Lyle lovett apres hat.

You hate baths, but have started to stand by the baby bathtub while we wash you. Easier than before when you had to be held.

We all still sleep together because really, at this point, we don't have any good or easy alternatives. And I keep being scared about being too far away.
I think that there is PTSD inherent in post-lost parenting, at least there is in mine. I try to pretend it is not true, but I spend time feeling you breathe, and really, when I am holding you is when I feel most safe.  I know we will all grow out of this, gently, I hope.

Soon you'll be moving to the toddler room at daycare.  They are big in there, and noisy, and pushy, and active. A total change from the baby room.  I wonder how that will go. It will happen just about the same time Doug goes to Maine for the summer.  I wonder how that will go too. You are so much more aware, I wonder how we will all handle the transition.

You're growing so fast, I just wish time would slow down please.
I keep saying I will remember forever this moment, how you look, how you smell, how you feel cuddled up next to me, but then, the next moment comes.

I love you so much there must be other dimensions, otherwise we would all be squished flat.
I'm just sayin'.

25 March 2012

Revelations worth sharing

This came up this weekend for me over at the campfire, and it is worth sharing since I am absolutely sure I am not alone:

As long as I am working from the premise that I must meet someone else's expectations or hopes for me, I have less energy to invest in developing, acknowledging, and achieving my own. 
As long as I am afraid that whatever I create or envision will never be good enough, I will never do it (why bother?), or do it within a sub-context of fear and the presumption of insufficiency.

I have always been acutely aware of the cost (to me) of disappointing other people and never, until this very moment, spent a conscious minute being aware that there may be a cost to disappointing myself.

23 March 2012

Opening campfire, right now!

Opening campfire right now at http://thatplacewego.blogspot.com/ ! Please stop by if you've got the time. (Bonus video on fear).

Please don't hesitate, even if you aren't quite sure this is your thing. I've posted a welcome video, and truly welcome you-

hope to see you there!

22 March 2012

21 March 2012

Dreamy dreams

Doug and I went out to dinner alone last night thanks to dearest Tammy who sat with Della.
We talked about many things, but one of them was this: how dreamy (as in dream-like) this reality with Della feels compared to when we were mired in all of the fertility treatments. For both of us, this feels a little un-real, like we might wake from it at any time.

Maybe it is the sleep deprivation; maybe it is because we tried for so long that it still is hard to believe it worked.

But it got me to thinking about the unfairness of some things: how we can so easily remember painful horrible shite, but then cannot quite recall feeling fine, or even pretty darned happy.  We're wired to protect ourselves against future pain by remembering past pain (avoid jungle, remember tiger/venomous snakes/fear-or-threat-of-choice)....
But wouldn't it be great if we could evolve into being able to recall the bliss just as easily.  Be able to revel in the happy, the ordinary, the everyday... with acute awareness that it is actually happening, without this edge-dulling dream-like weirdness.

My dreams are often more real than my waking these days, and that I find to be disturbing.

I cannot help but retroactively wish things had been different-- that I'd been able to sit back and totally groove on my pregnancy. But I didn't. I couldn't. I was too scared.  And now, with Della, how do I hone my consciousness to allow the reality of her to feel as real, more real, than The Quest?

I don't know. I guess I just wanted to say it out loud.

Regardless of dreaminess, with Della sometimes, when we are looking at one another, or when she squeals DADA and runs to the door... my heart just about bursts with love and with surprise that she is actually here, that she IS.

Oh, how lucky we are, dreamy or not.

14 March 2012

Pi day

First and foremost: thank you! thank you for understanding my vanity-rant, by bathing suit blues, my obsessive redirection (look over there!) when other things (summer!) are too uncomfortable to contemplate.

The truth is, the bathing suit thing sucks. So, some swim shorts are on order (the last suit was skirted and horrid).  If the shorts "work" I'll simply (ha)  find a top that works with the shorts. If not, well... I'll cope.

Della is still sick but better than she was (fever gone thank goodness). We had three nights in a row that were horrid (HORRID) with her waking every 3-9 minutes (I timed it) to flail, choke and cry.  Awful.

Enter realization that we had stopped the reflux medication when we started her last course of penicillin a few weeks back for the throat infection, so yeah, we are so sorry Della.  But this realization was not before two things happened: I had a terrifying dead baby dream that left me reeling, and Doug absolutely freaked himself out over the possibility that we might have black mold in our apartment (if you look it up, prepare to be terrorized by the awful litany of bad health things it can cause).

Samples have been collected and sent to labs, and all surface mold has been cleaned with renewed vigor. An air scrubber has been procured and deployed. Sunshiny beautiful weather means windows are open, air is moving through the apartment, life is better.

I'm sick but getting better. At least I am better now than last night. This morning I felt like crap, but the general trajectory is one of improvement.

Doug had a day of chills and feeling fevery yesterday, but believes it was just exhaustion. We slept apart last night to help us all gather some sleep (and Della had a half dose of Benadryl to help with her cough and congestion on the suggestion of the doc she saw yesterday). The benadryl was not the solve-all-things miracle I hoped for, but it sure did help the cough and snot.  A lot. So while there was her usual waking and flailing, there was no choking and gasping and crying. Hear hear. Let's hear it for improved sleep for all of us!

Ok-- the call goes out:  Co-sleepers, how and when did you transition? And how did you deal with your own separation anxiety?

11 March 2012

sickness and vanity

Poor Della is sick again, this time with a fever, snot, and juicy cough.  It feels as if we have been sick in some form since September.  I know it is typical for daycare folks to experience this. And if we did not experience it now, I imagine we would when *school* started,  but I am feeling pretty beaten down by the perpetual nature of the sick. Poor Della. So much snot. Holy moly.
Bad sleep several nights in a row, almost as if she cannot stay still, and moans/cries/flails from frustration/exhaustion. But during the day, she is better. Today she woke from an unanticipated morning nap (prefaced by a half hour of unending crying) rejuvenated into a total powerhouse and delight.
But me? my ass is dragging, even after several hours of gift sleep this morning thanks to Doug.
And Doug? He is now asleep under Della for the afternoon nap.

We missed our first birthday party today. A lovely invite from one of Della's classmates. It was to be today, at a kid's gym about an hour away. I wrote last night to cancel, and the day opened up as a result. I was able to finish gathering the tax stuff from our transition filled year (holy crap) and stuffed it in an envelope for our tax guy. I was able to follow up with emails for a bunch of potential clients for one of my current bosses. And I was able to sit and have lunch with Doug and Della AT THE TABLE which was insane, since as of two days ago, there was no table top visible. I cleaned hoping to see my mom yesterday (also canceled due to The Sick). I was able to put the bathing suit that needs to be returned in the envelope thingy and fill out the return form and stick the overpriced pre-paid sticker on the outside and tape it up.

Ahh yes, the bathing suit.
The bathing suit which is also insanely overpriced a quest I am forever in the midst of-- a suit that suits my body in this inbetween place of middle age plus post-baby still nursing desk jobs... good lord. The bathing suit that would indeed be insanely cute on a pregnant body, but not on a body that just looks that way. And although I have no butt to balance my front, it does seem to have melted and slid down about 6" from where it used to be. The curple has fallen to mid-thigh, what the hell? WHO INVENTED GRAVITY ANYWAY and why did they not include life long elasticity of tissue in their miracle invention list? a butt that stays put?
It's been a tough few months body-image-wise for me.  Pilates makes me feel long and lean and taut, but in reality I am none of those things. I am kate shaped. it is not awful but for some reason I go through periods of time where I can hardly stand it.  And right now I am mostly in the midst of one of those seasons of ug. of ooph. of geez.

My sister wisely says that no one should look too closely at their own legs in february in the northern hemisphere. She's right, of course.
And since I am a very spotted but nearly translucent whitewhiteperson, I can see the blue tracery of my vein-age and lord, it is not pretty.  Also, the spots? what the heck, age spots?  dime sized freckled colored spots that are suddenly there and there and there and there and there?

I think I am in hormonal flux too--

So about the bathing suit
it is a familiar quest- and one that invariably ends badly.
last year I got a suit for camp (soon, we will be back in the summer schedule of Doug away, remember that whole thing? gah) that was *fine* but too big by the time summer came.
this time I figured my shape is less in flux, so I'd try to get something again--- I chose one, it came.  it's the right size, cute print, and truly vastly horrible on me, horrible horrible horrible.
I might give up.
No, I won't. I know me better than that. It is too symbolic. I will try to find a suit with something akin to obsessiveness, and make myself feel like shit in the process. An annual ritual combining vanity and self-disgust.

Sometimes it is easier to focus on something like this, even with symbolism and self-loathing, than to deal with thorny issues of work identity and the looming summer logistical nightmare of single parenthood and how will I possibly do it?

Don't worry
all will be fine.  A suit will happen or it won't. I'll be fine either way. I only swam once last year anyway.
and pilates is making me stronger no matter if it shows or not. and I love it with a passion that is a little weird.
and about summer. It will happen. it will be fine. time will pass. fall will come.  we will figure it out. it is just very very hard.

ok then!
Thanks for listening.

07 March 2012

An invitation

I want to invite you all to join me on March 23,24 and 25th for a completely free virtual weekend retreat. Wherever you may be, let’s join psychic forces and share the intention to move one of our creative projects (or more!) closer to completion.  
Most of us have a backlog of unfinished business.
Most of us have creative projects, not quite abandoned, but left in some intermediate point between the sweet intensity of the beginning of a creative endeavor and the equally sweet but often loaded end.
Some projects may be close to being done but we just have not been able to do that last thing… or we have hesitated to call it “done” so we can move on. Having the project remain open and unfinished is often important to us.
Maybe over the course of the weekend we can finish something, wrap it up, release it…. or maybe we can move one of our projects closer to completion… or maybe the most we can do with the time available is to make an honest assessment about what it will take to bring one of our projects to some sort of closure…
And let’s take advantage of  the moment and the shared experience to expand this to a more general atmosphere of assessment and release: What habits of thought or work habits or avoidance habits are no longer serving us? What can we let go of so we can more forward with a little less weight?
The retreat will open with a virtual campfire friday night the 23rd with a video greeting from me (view it anytime!)– and throughout the weekend I’ll be posting several videos and short entries to support the difficult but rewarding work of finishing and letting go.
The hope is that no matter where you are, no matter what your time zone, or family situation, or amount of energy or time, we can join together with the shared intention of addressing challenges in our creative lives with whatever time we have- 5 minutes, fine! a whole day? magnificent!
Even if you have just a few minutes to join in, stop by at my heartwork site or at that place we go for a little support and community building (please share comments!)– I’ll be trying something new this time and I’ll be cross posting in both locations.

Know someone who might be interested? Please pass it on! The invitation is open!

01 March 2012

Metaphor warning

We got a lot of snow here in Peterborough, New Hampshire. We had almost 10" by this morning, and it snowed all day. This is not like the giant snows of my childhood, but it is the biggest snow by far this winter.
The last snow we had like this was in October.

I picked Della up at daycare today, and as I drove down the slippery streets, I realized that I never approach anything else like I do driving in snow.

In snow, you get a little stuck, you rock the car. You get pushed out. Or towed.
You stop at a stop sign or light, you can start up in second, a little lower RPMs, a little less likely to slip...
If there's a ridge, you can back up and then shoot over/through it with the power of momentum...

When I am driving in snow, I just do these things. I don't think OBSTACLE, GOD/GODDESS/ALL-THAT-IS MUST NOT WANT ME TO DO THIS,  or I FAILED, or I SUCK, or I KNEW IT/I DESERVE STRUGGLE.

No, I just drive and it is really pretty peaceful as long as I am not out of control, can still brake, and am not in any danger.

So there I was, rocking the car a bit to get unstuck, starting up in second, backing up to make it over a hump and I realized just how much I need to channel this rather matter of fact kate into this much more quick to assume I'm incompetent kate.

And for a while I felt pretty smug about my realization.

Then tonight, Della had a tantrum that had her crying so hard she threw up on Doug and I was right back to the I SUCK part of the program.

She's fine, sleeping now, was lovely afterwards.  I do not know the actual trigger, it was baffling. Just suddenly there, full blown, boneless baby flinging herself and crying so hard it was scary.  All I could do was corral her into a safe area while she flailed.  It sucked.

It is times like these that I feel starved for a  WHY. Just so I can understand what happened.
But, there is no why that I can understand. We are still learning to speak the same language. I have to be ok with not knowing. Or be not ok, it does not change the not knowing.

You can bet I'll be visiting the helpful links that folks shared last time I confessed that the potential for the dreaded tantrum is apparently now something I need to be mindful of... I'm a pretty tender person, this takes real strength that I need to foster from somewhere, dig deep, do this thing.  I have to admit, I really, really wanted to get off easy.