Friday, January 11, 2013

Around and about

I did not realize until I looked in my Google Reader feed that I had not updated since August.  I really have very good intentions; this was not an on-purpose abandonment.  And it's not like I'm never online, for goodness' sake; I'm online most nights after Elle goes to bed.  This simply hasn't become part of my daily online routine, for whatever reason.

I'm on other online platforms where I'm active and regularly interact with others, and this journal just isn't part of that.  I have to consider that the universe might be trying to tell me something.  If I decide to stop, at least I can archive/save my posts here, so it's not like I'll lose the content.

Not really ready to make that decision today, but clearly it's something I need to consider.

So, what's new since August?  Well, I have a two and a half-year-old Elle blazing a trail through life.  And blazing she is; she is smart and opinionated and bossy and sassy and wants to do everything, right now.  In other words, a pretty typical toddler.

She's off the charts verbally; she's been speaking in complete sentences for longer than I can remember, and uses mutisyllabic words in their appropriate context all the time.  ("Spectacular" was her word last week.)  People regularly think she's about a year older than she is based on how well she speaks.  "Mommy, you crack me up!" is one of my favorites.  She also is ALREADY bargaining about why she doesn't need to nap:  "I can only sleep when the stars are out!" is the current rationale.

If she was a year older, though, hopefully she'd be potty trained-- something she has absolutely NO interest in.  Zero.  Zip.  Nada.  And as I have already learned with a hundred other things, there's no point in forcing; it ain't never gonna fly.

One day, underwear or M&Ms or something is going to matter enough to Elle that she'll engage.  Until then, I keep the potty seats around, we read books, I ask her if she wants to sit on the potty-- and that's it.  Pushing it will only make it a battle, and there's no point in that.

She's really fighting her naps right now.  Based on my extensive research ("extensive research" = "messing around on Google") she really still needs the nap, and I should just keep putting her down.  Our pediatrician agrees.  The problem with no naps, during the week at least, is that by the time I pick her up she's exhausted, is a meltdown machine, and then goes down earlier than she used to so we have little time together after work.  While I don't mind an evening to myself occasionally, it means our weeknights have been pretty short lately.

And then, of course, on the weekends I still really need her to nap!  I get an awful lot done during that time.  I have no problem leaving her in her crib for a while-- she's perfectly happy there with her stuffed animals-- but I don't really relax when she's not sleeping, so I'm exhausted by the end of the day as well.

This too shall pass, I know.  Just like everything else.  And she's eating like a horse lately, so perhaps the no nap/big appetite is something developmental.

**   **

In terms of non-Mommy stuff, I've finally dropped a few pounds and feel a million times better.  I firmly believe that one can be healthy at (almost) any size, but I personally feel better within a certain range (and don't need to buy all new clothing), so it's good for me to stay there.  FYI, that range is not what all the fancy charts and graphs tell me I "should" weigh-- but it's the range where I function better, where I'm not so tired after going up stairs, where my knees don't ache, where I feel a little more confident about myself.  (The charts can go to hell.  If I weighed what the charts told me to weigh, I wouldn't have a curve left on my body and I'd only be able to eat about four times a week to maintain it.  Sorry, not interested.)

I have a few pounds to go before I'm solidly within my own personal range, but I'm far closer than I was two months ago, and that's worth celebrating.

I'm trying to exercise, and read more, and am enjoying some trashy television shows.  Life as a single parent isn't glamorous, but it's pretty okay.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

I know many parents that have trouble watching the news, or reading true crime stories, or doing things like that any more.  They could before they had kids.  Now, with kids, it’s too hard.

Every story you see about an abused child could be your child.  Every teenage drug overdose could, someday, be your teenager.  The kinds of things that can go horribly wrong is, honestly, too much sometimes.

I said to a friend at work, who has two adult boys who seem to be nice, well-adjusted, good, employed kids:  “You must thank God every day that your boys turned out well.”  And she said she did.  Every day, she gives thanks that they are healthy, happy, productive members of society.

The sheer number of things that can go wrong is breathtaking, and the fact that probability is on your side is not particularly comforting.  Sure, way more kids turn out fine than turn out to be screwed up.  But the path to getting there—to knowing that your child is going to be OK—is terrifying and heartbreaking and really freaking hard.  When you’re a single parent, it’s even harder, because it is 125% on YOU.  There’s no one sharing the fear—sure, there are other people who love your child, and hope that your child succeeds, but it’s not the same.

I watch Elle sometimes.  She’s so inquisitive and thoughtful and funny.  She’s increasingly adventurous.  She remembers things—so many things, in some cases things I wish she’d forget.  She’s constantly asking questions and more and more drawing her own conclusions.  She has clearly stated likes and dislikes.  She is taking on the world every day, figuring out her place in it, and claiming it for her own.

I hope all of that energy and intelligence and sass goes in the right direction.  I hope I can help her become the amazing woman I know she can be.  It’s a serious responsibility, and it’s a privilege.

Friday, August 10, 2012

In one week,  we leave for a short (five night) vacation with friends.  We're renting a house.  Not on a lake, but not far from one, and the setup looks perfect for one couple, two singles, and a toddler.

Plus, the house has a screened-in porch, which may not be technically necessary, but is going to be awesome.

We took a two-night trip to visit the lake house of friends last weekend (the sitter was off) and Elle loved the beach and the sand, and got more and more brave with each moment that passed.  So I'm looking forward to being able to spend a bit more time

My parents are coming over and staying in a B&B for a couple of the nights we're there.  Of course, it's gone from "we'll be in town, we'll get together for dinner once, we don't need to spend all the time together" to "what are we doing for dinner every night?"

This really wasn't intended to be a family vacation with them.  Oh, well.  It's still a vacation.


On our mini-vacation last week, I tried out sleeping in the same room as Elle.  Hahahaha.  Let's just say we won't start cosleeping anytime soon.  Elle wakes up between sleep cycles; most nights, in her own room, she goes right back to sleep.  Sometimes she'll make a little noise, but she's out again very quickly.

When Mama's in the room, she remembers.  She wakes up, sits up, and wants to par-tay.  It's really funny, unless it's 2:30 in the morning and you're tired...

So yeah.  No cosleeping in this family.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Help! Help!

Elle's new thing:   “Help!  Help, Mama!  Help!” said in a very dramatic tone of voice.

The first couple of times, I thought something was really wrong and rushed to wherever she was; now I realize that for some reason this is her standard response to wanting some kind of assistance (not usually NEEDING it, but WANTING it) and so I don’t take it as seriously.  Eventually I need to work with her on the whole concept of “crying wolf,” but right now I just find it hilarious to hear this little wee voice piping “Help!  Help!” when it’s often something as serious as the fact that she wants someone else to pick up her crayon for her.

I have a tiny Drama Mama.  I have no idea where that comes from.  None.  Nope.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Know your limitations

Things I am not and will never be

1. A model.

2. Skinny like a model.

3. Patient.

4. Patient like Caill0u's mother.  Or any of the adults on that godforsaken show.  They are calm, patient and loving even when I (or any real-life parent, I suspect) would be shrieking like a crazed harpy.  They’d probably just laugh warmly and say “Oh, Call0u!” if he accidentally set off a nuke.

5. Rich.

6. Someone who cooks each meal from scratch using only wholesome organic ingredients.  ("Just whip up a couple of batches over the weekend!" Bitch, please.  You are obviously married and/or have household help.  Or you have a child that takes three-hour naps.  Or all of the above.)

7. Good at going to bed early.  We’ve been having some two-year-old sleep regression at Casa Plus One, and by the time she’s down, I have so little time to myself that I am reluctant to go to bed.  I need to get over that.  Sleep = health = really, really important.

Speaking of #7, yawn.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Happy, happy birthday

I have been absent for a while!  Combine being very busy at work, a week of vacation at my parents’ (which was not precisely a vacation, which is another post), and me dumping a giant glass of lemonade smack on top of my laptop—- and you have a distinct lack of posting.

(I still had internet access; I have several other devices on which I can get FB, e-mail, etc.  But I don’t like typing on a netbook.  I now have a work laptop on a temporary basis, and need to figure out finances to see when I can afford a new laptop of my own.  It may be a while.)

The big news is that Elle is TWO YEARS OLD.  Two!  People tell you it flies by but you don’t believe them until all of a sudden you’re having a conversation—an actual conversation-- with your two-year-old daughter about Caill0u, and you realize…  wow.  Two.

I think I said this last year, but I'll say a variation of it again:  I have made it through two years as a single parent.  It hasn't always been pretty, mind you, but at the end of the day I have a healthy, happy daughter and that's really all that matters.  Just ignore the piles of laundry in the corner and don’t look at my basement, thanks.

Happy birthday to my girl.  I love you.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Not the kind of overachieving I was hoping for

We're on Day Four of Sick House, which sounds like a PBS miniseries, and certainly is quite dramatic, but is not nearly as well-costumed.  Elle managed to combine catching a virus and strep, which has led to several days of lousy appetite, a refusal to drink anything but water, and general crankiness.  (On my part AND hers!)  The antibiotic took care of the strep quickly, but the virus just has to work its way through.

So far I seem to be OK.  We'll see if it lasts.  Apparently if you're going to catch strep it takes three days, and I don't see anything. Yet.

I'm used to the picky eating, but the refusing milk is just strange for my kid. Elle would do nothing but drink milk all day every day every night FOREVER if you let her, so this is completely not normal.  And she won't have anything to do with juice, either, no matter what I do to fancy it up.  She also wants nothing to do with ice cream, sherbert, or popsicles.  I haven't tried a slushy, but it's a good bet that won't work, either.

Friday she barely drank anything, but fortunately yesterday she was at least drinking water (not as much as I would like, but she had the required number of wet diapers, so...) and at dinner last night, she ate more than she'd eaten since Wednesday.  It certainly wasn't BRAT-diet approved, but if she's gonna eat Pirate Booty, Mama's gonna feed her Pirate Booty.  (Also, applesauce, which I forced into her.  I hate doing that, but needs must.)

At least she's been sleeping well at night and napping well during the day (I was even able to work from home a little both Thursday and Friday), so that's good.  She's starting to stir now and I am hopeful today's the day she goes back on her normal picky toddler diet.

This is one of those times when it would be much, much easier to be parenting with a partner.  There's no respite.  To be fair, I didn't put out a call to the troops (my friends) asking for help; I know people would have come by.  But with a partner, they're just there, and if you're trying to get medicine down your struggling toddler's throat there's someone else to help.  That would be nice.

But we're fine, we're hopefully on the mend, and I should get back to work tomorrow.  Right before I go away for the week of the holiday.  :)