Apr 27 2009

Aaand Back Down Again

I was starting to feel so good, so in-place, so content over the weekend. Then I had dinner last night with my father, during which my mother called (him, not me), and my peaceful mood was shaken. Then I came in to work this morning and it was shattered.

Part of why I am so freaked out about having only 12 weeks left until Roo’s birth is that it also means I have only 12 weeks left to figure out what I am going to do about my mother. My mother wants to “help out” after Roo is born, which is something she did for us after Cole was born. And, after Cole was born, she really was a big help. I’m not sure how I could have gotten through those weeks without her, really. John was still in grad school and I knew next to nobody else in the whole state, so I was kind of stranded. My mom helped me keep up the house, feed myself, go grocery shopping, and provided much needed adult conversation.

But this time, we have a much different relationship- one that has not gotten better with age. I am also in a very different situation, what with having other family (and friends that might as well be family) in town and John working about a minute away. I don’t feel stranded this time, and I don’t have worries about being able to take care of myself and Roo.

I have HUGE worries about having my mother in my home with just me and Roo for 9 hours a day, for who knows how many weeks. I am so worried about it that I have isolated it to that place of “Maybe if I ignore it long enough it will go away,” which is totally non-fuctional as well as being just plain NOT TRUE. It’s not going away. I have to deal with this, I just don’t know how.

And I can hear someone saying “Why don’t you just talk to your mother and tell her how you feel?” HAHAHAHAHAHA! No. Not that easy. My mother gets defensive and hurt over IMAGINARY SLIGHTS. Can you imagine what would happen over a REAL slight?! I could send her into a suicide spiral! YAY, ME! Responsible for my own mother’s death!

I am also imagining someone else saying “Well, your mother can’t be THAT bad. Just suck it up for a couple of weeks.” No. I don’t think I can. And yes, she really is that bad. She has already started giving me guilt trips about the work that she WILL be doing while helping me. It hasn’t even happened and ALREADY I SHOULD FEEL GUILT AND EXTREME GRATITUDE! I have suspicions that my mother is border-line bi-polar and getting worse as time goes on. I have trouble spending even 10 minutes with her without wanting to tear my own eyeballs out and stab my eardrums. I don’t want to spend the few weeks after Roo’s birth feeling this way. I want to enjoy my baby! I want to bond! The last thing I need is to feel this kind of stress when I’m trying to do that, especially because it was stress that was partly to blame for my failure to breastfeed Cole.

So here I am- I can’t do it, I can’t tell her that I can’t. Where to go from here?

And then last night came parental drama. And this morning came knowledge of the fact that she has been badmouthing people that I care about all over town. And all of this conundrum STUFF that I had been repressing came boiling back up. And I can’t concentrate on anything and I just want to go somewhere dark by myself and cry. And I just don’t know how to move ahead.

So if somebody could come and tell me what to do, I’d really appreciate it. I’m out of ideas. I’m out of energy. I’m running out of time.

Apr 24 2009

B&B Opening In Early August

I had a lovely morning today, despite initial time-management set-backs. I finally met the completely adorable Yoli (hi, Yoli!) for the first time, officially. We met at a local coffee shop (decaf latte and blueberry-cream cheese scone hot from the oven for me… Mmmm…) and she generously handed over her neutral baby clothes and a few maternity items, as well as a bottle sanitizer and some other goodies. Yay for hand me downs! Yay for the generosity of “strangers”! Yay for tiny socks! What? You know you can’t resist tiny baby socks. (Thanks again!!)

She brought along her tiny baby, about whom all I can say is “NOM. CHEEEEEKS!” He was delicious, and I swear that I didn’t nibble too hard. I’m not a monster (despite what Cole may have told you when I wouldn’t let him have juice at bedtime the other night).

I then went out and bought nearly everything that we need for the home birth, supply-wise. Seeing my cart(s) full of towels and medical supplies was vaguely disturbing, honestly. So was buying drop cloths and a tarp. I don’t remember Cole’s birth being all that… messy, really.

But here I sit with 10 white bath towels, 14 white washclothes, 6 white hand towels, white sheets, white pillow cases, 4 drop cloths, a whole mess of medical supplies, and a bucket. If I don’t use them for birth for some reason, I figure I can start a B&B.;

So I guess things are coming together, as I knew they would, deep down, but feared that it would be harder, somehow, than it has been. I still have so much to do to be prepared for the birth, what with all of the stuff needing to be washed several times and kept sterilized until use. I kind of figure that I may need to take a bit of time off of work just before the due date so that I can have enough time to get it all done.

But today was good for me. I feel accomplished, and better prepared.

It’s also been LOVELY to not have to sit in my damn office chair all day.

Apr 23 2009

Baby Boom

In my not terribly large circle of friends, 5 have had babies already this year. Three were becoming parents for the first time, one for the second, and one for the third.

That’s a lot of babies!

I also know of several people who are due later in the year, making a total of 9 babies born just to friends just this year alone.

I’ve been tracking everyone’s progress (from afar- not up in their business all of the time or anything) and all of my anticipation has been for others up to this point. Now that the final spring baby has been successfully pushed out, my thoughts are turning to one thing:


I have the next closest due date. It’s my baby that I can be anticipating now. It’s my labor watch that others will be on. It’s my announcements that will come next.

This is alternately terrifically exciting and extremely terrifying. Sometimes it’s both simultaneously. I hate this part of pregnancy and I love it. This is still the part of having a child that I have the least control over, but it’s also a time of incredible possibility. I have to keep convincing myself to keep breathing, not panic, not over-think things, but also feel like I have to talk myself down from being TOO excited or attached to any one thing in case something goes wrong or doesn’t happen like I want it to.

Each time I think about how much time I have left (about 12 weeks), I think “Oh no- that’s TOO LONG. I’m so uncomfortable. I’ll never make it!” and “But I still have SO MUCH to do! There will never be enough time!” The remaining time, no matter how much there is, feels both interminable and non-existent.

Apr 18 2009

On Family Relationships

Cole: So, Titi is your mommy, and Titi is Tati Emi’s mommy, and Tati Emi is your GIRLFRIEND!
Me: Umm… Almost.

Apr 17 2009

Dialogue With a 3.5 Year Old

Cole, last night when it was getting dark: I want to wear my helmet and ride my bike.
Me: No, not tonight. It’s too late.
Me: No, I already said that it’s too late.
Cole, stretched out flat on his tummy on the cold concrete walkway to block my path to the house: But I will CRY and CRY and CRY!
Me: Well that’s too bad, but it’s still too late.
Cole: Well then I won’t go inside.
Me: Nice try, but if you don’t get up by the count of three I will pick you up and carry you inside.
Cole: NO!
Me: 1…
Cole: But I WILL CRY!
Me: 2…
Cole: Please oh please oh please!!
Me: 3. (Picking him up)
Cole: (Shrieking) NOOOOO! I will walk.
Me: Okay then, go.
Cole, inside house: But I want to wear my helmet and ride my bike!
Me: We just went through this outside and I said it’s too late. Just because we’re inside with the lights on doesn’t mean it’s not too late now.
Me:….. (Walk away.)
Me: (In the other room quietly laughing about his fake cries.)
Cole: Dad, can I have some cereal and watch a movie?


Apr 16 2009

“Why do…?” Death Edition

“Mommy? Why does people and animals die?”

I froze in Cole’s doorway, having just turned out the light and said my “goodnights” and “I love yous.” I looked back at his sweet face peeking out at me from the tunnel he had created for himself in the blankets.


This was unexpected. We have been honest with Cole about what’s happening when characters die in his movies or when we lose people in our lives, but I still didn’t think that I would get this question for at least another year.

I don’t want to lie. I also don’t want to confuse or scare him about death. Death is one more part of life, a part shared by all living things. The cause may vary, but the effect is the same. There is no point in fearing it- pain, yes; death, no.

“Sometimes living things get really, really old and their bodies stop working the way that they should, and so they die. And sometimes living things get really, really sick or really, really hurt and the doctors can’t fix them and they die.”

“But you don’t have to worry about dying. You will live for a long, long time. You will have kids and your kids will have kids, and you’ll have lots of people who love you and you’ll do lots of wonderful things in your life before you ever come close to dying.”

He giggled about the idea of him having kids and grandkids. We rubbed noses, gave another hug and kiss, and I left.

Feeling very unsure.

Did I say the right thing? Did I give too much information? Not enough? Will he worry every time he’s sick? Every time he gets an owie?

He woke up twice, once because he was having a nightmare about a monster eating him and once because… I’m not really sure. His ankle was hurting him, I think. Both times he needed to hear my heart before he could go back to bed.

When I mentioned it today at school, his teacher said that he has recently been telling her that people die because their hearts stop. Apparently, this has been on his mind for a while. That made me think about how obsessed he has been with listening to our hearts. Is he checking to make sure we’re okay? That we’re not going to die and leave him?

I’m trying so hard to do the right thing; to always have the right words to say, but it’s not that easy. What do you do when your kids ask these questions? Do you have something always prepared ahead of time? Do you improvise? Do you ask for an extension on the assignment?

Apr 14 2009


I was really down yesterday. John asked if it could be hormonal and then I ripped off his face and ate it.

Or maybe that was just in my head.

And while YES. FINE. there probably IS a rather large portion of it that could be explained by my trashed hormones, I know that’s not the extent.

There are parts that have to do with my mother, how disappointed I continue to be in her, despite honest attempts to turn the other cheek and give another chance. How it’s so different now than it was for me almost 4 years ago when Cole was born, when I couldn’t WAIT for her to get to Pittsburgh to help me after the birth, and how I have an awful, echoing dread about her being here this time.

There are parts that have to do with just how uncomfortable I am already, and how I know it will only get worse. They say that the second trimester is like the “honeymoon” of pregnancy- not so sick but not yet too huge. Well, I am a week from the beginning of my third trimester and I’m still waiting for the honeymoon to start. I’m not hopeful.

There are parts that have to do with money, and how I thought we might be able to swing that lovely pre-baby vacation to the coast somewhere, and maybe still have enough to buy John an awesome 30th birthday present, but hopes are dashed now that we can’t put off replacing the roof any longer. With silver-dollar-sized holes in our shingles? I think we have our financial priorities pretty clearly laid out.

And some have to do with my lack of friends that I can actually talk to face-to-face. I have lovely friends, but communication is pretty limited to what can go on inside this little box here on my desk, which is slightly less than the intimate conversations that I feel like I could really use right now.

Yet others have to do with, ridiculously, a baby shower, and whether or not I will actually get one this time. A coworker suggested at one point that she would arrange one for me, but I haven’t heard anything since, my mother has made it clear that she isn’t interested in throwing one, and I have no friends who are local enough to step up. Really, this is not about stuff and, I think, goes directly back to the “mother” and “friends” entries.

And then there’s the actual “stuff”- the baby stuff. All of the damn STUFF I have to buy before this kid pops out. There are the newborn clothes (which, upon review of what I have from Cole, is the area in which I am most lacking!), the receiving blankets, the carrier, the carseat head-rest, the bottles, and all of the unbeleivable amount of SHIT I have to have prepared for a home-birth (towels, medical supplies, food, sheets, plastic drop-cloths, TOWELS). AND DIAPERS! CAN’T FORGET THE DAMN DIAPERS! I’m overwhelmed before I begin.

And finally, there’s the stuff that I long to talk about but I just can’t because it would be neither helpful nor fair.

So yeah- I feel lonely and sad and frustrated and disappointed and uncomfortable and overwhelmed and so damn tired.

But yes, some of it is hormones.

Update: So now I kind of feel like an asshole because a friend read this and just called and said that now she’s throwing me a baby shower, and I sort of feel like it must have seemed like I was begging for someone to do just that, but I’m so thrilled about the idea of getting my friends together and spending time with them that I’m trying not to second-guess this wonderful act of generosity and instead just be happy that I have people in my life that see that I’m having trouble and say “I WILL FIX THAT.” And I love them for it. Thank you.