Tuesday, April 30, 2013

It's on

So...the thing I've been waiting months for arrived today. Not my period - the other thing, my buddy EWCM. Not a lot, just a glimmer of it, but undeniable. It appeared as I was on the toilet this evening and thought I heard B waking up so I was very distracted and went rushing in to the bedroom (he never wakes after going to bed now, so I assumed his waking up meant I should check on him in case he was in trouble). So in the moment I didn't really get to process what this meant. What this tiny little blob of bodily fluid means to me, my future, and Bumpus' future.

It means my fertility has at last returned. It means that I could start trying now, maybe. It means no more waiting, maybe. It means this is it. Do or die. I had kind of convinced myself that I was going to be stuck having to wait up to a year, and by then I may have changed my mind (remember, I have to shut down all fall and winter so as not to conflict with my event). As it is I have a very slim window now (it is May tomorrow already!). So. So many things to consider.

I have not actually had a period yet. After I had that 12 hour bleed thing as soon as I night weaned, I plugged it into my fertility app as a period so I could keep track, and exactly when the calendar said I should ovulate I had a lot of mittelschmerz cramping which I had before both of my successful IUIs. But no CM so I wondered if I had just imagined it. And then no period after when one should have showed. But now I'm back to ovulation time and here's the CM.

So. Do I go into the clinic and request an ultrasound to see what's going on in there? If things look promising, do I just go for it, right now? Ahhhhh!

Or do I wait two weeks and see if an actual period shows and plan to try in another month?

Unless there's a medical reason, I see no reason to wait - later, for me, is not better. If I go now I would be past the worst of the sickness by the time my event rolls around in four months. If I wait I'll have to endure my event horribly ill (unless I find a remedy which I would make a huge effort to do this time!). What if I wait and I still get no period and have to go through all this again next month, and I threw this month down the toilet for no good reason? Ugh!

But this is making so many assumptions. Assuming I'm actually ovulating and not just "trying" to like last time. Assuming my lining is in place (with no period, who the hell knows?). Assuming I get the timing right. Assuming this first little eggie is even viable. Assuming my body is even up to another pregnancy and won't just freak out and get rid of it like the first one.

But I'd much prefer conceiving with a 40 year old egg than a 41 year old one. I'd much sooner march right into another pregnancy when I'm already in baby mode. Especially now with B more or less off the boob, napping, and sleeping through the night. Especially now having given up most of the things I thought I could hang on to - sleep, travel, visiting family frequently, dancing regularly, disposable income. So. What do I do?

Calling the clinic tomorrow would make all of this real - it's so easy to get caught up in the fantasies of pictures of your two adorable children on your next Christmas card and forget how utterly unpleasant bringing children into the world actually is - for me, the bone-crushing nausea, the endless poking and prodding by medical professionals, the anxiety, the physical discomfort, the horrendous labor. I will never say it wasn't horrible a lot of the time because I know it was. I haven't forgotten, believe me. I just strangely feel I could hack it one more time, one last time, to bring another soul into this family. Oh boy.

One of my favorite swing tunes is Cab Calloway's "Don't Falter at the Alter." It talks about stepping up to get married and not letting your fears get the best of you; the final line is "your poppa didn't falter, son, that's why you're here." Now that EWCM has shown up...and this has all become real, will I falter...?



Monday, April 29, 2013

Mini muffin Monday, part II

Today I decided to improvise what I will call Fiesta Dinner Mini Muffins. Here is the recipe:

1 bag Mahatma saffron rice (or plain rice is fine), cooked ahead & cooled. I then used one cup of this.

1 can black beans, drained (I had pre-cooked that I used, but I'm assuming one can would be about the equivalent)

2 tbs canned green chilies

1 egg

1/3 cup shredded cheese

1/2 bag frozen chopped spinach (about 1/2 cup when cooked), boiled enough to warm up

Combine all & bake in mini muffin pan about 20 minutes at 350. I find these come out better when you fill the muffin tins only about 3/4 full (otherwise they tend to fall apart). I also would probably use non-stick spray a second time around.

I also didn't use any seasoning because of the very spicy & salty beans and rice. But if I used plain beans & rice I would probably use garlic salt, pepper, and maybe 1/4 tsp cumin.

B ate three of them as well as a handful of cooked carrots (I want to make sure he knows not all food comes in muffin form). It's also Day 3 of plunking him in front of the TV so I can sleep until 8 AM. Is this just a fluke or is this, like, a thing...? Kind of afraid to jinx it, honestly.

Today B took off his pants and threw them over the side of his playpen. Is that a statement?



Sunday, April 28, 2013

Memory lane

Today I went on an architectural tour of Pasadena with Former Nemesis and her wedding planner and friend who, like FN, has a two month old baby. It's odd (and oddly gratifying) to be the "elder statesman" when it comes to mothers - I'm so used to asking advice of my friends with older kids and multiple children; it's rare to be the one being asked advice of. The tour was a bit of a bust in that the very first house we went to had a 45 minute wait in the sweltering heat; everyone was moaning and complaining. The two little babies slept and B was a little restless in his carrier but not too bad (I did a back carry all by myself for the first time! But honestly it hurt my shoulders so bad I ended up putting him on my front anyway). However I was pretty much over it after that - there were maybe ten houses to see and we only got to three of them. And honestly - they weren't that great. My house could be on one of those tours, if I do say so myself.

But we got to talking mom stuff - diapers, poop, breast feeding, cosleeping - you know, all of those topics that used to make me roll my eyes in disgust and boredom. The friend of FN said she was so amazed that I manage on my own (I never tire of hearing that, honestly), and then went on to say how much she and her husband butt heads over parenting decisions and how unsupportive he is (I never tire of hearing that, either). I did feel bad for her, though. With all the changes around here lately with trying to wean, bedtimes, and food issues, I can't imagine having to make those calls with another person - especially if we disagreed! It must be horrible.

It is funny to be around little itty bitty babies, though, with their little wrinkled feet and crossed eyes and floppy heads (it was after all Bobby's floppy head that earned him the name Bumpus). When I was assembling last night's pictures I was amazed by how different he was at one and two months - but then by three months he just was who he is now. I think once they can see it makes a huge difference; they really come to life at that point. It's funny to see the little babies' orangey little poops that run everywhere. Thankfully B now does one or two nice solid ones a day that roll conveniently into the toilet. We enjoy flushing them down and saying bye-bye.

I often think about "starting all over again", but it doesn't fill me with dread like it used to. As mentioned, I feel like I'd be so damned good at it a second time - I feel like I'd have so much less anxiety (not that I felt that anxious, but something kept me sleeping with the lights and TV on that whole first month). Although I will say that now that B and I have a real schedule going - naptime, lunch, breakfast, dinner, outings, playtime in the playroom, bed asleep by 7 - the idea of returning to the chaos that is caring for a newborn (the cluster feeds, the growth spurts, the random all night screaming) does not appeal to me. But something tells me I'd just have to be more regimented if there were a preschooler in the house that also needed his needs met. Things would just have to be run more efficiently around here than they were all last year. And I'm up to the challenge. I accept the vomit, right?

The last two days I've put B in the living room in his playpen and switched on the TV at 6 am so I could go back to bed. And it worked, sort of. He didn't start fussing until about 8 which is more reasonable. The first day I put on Pingu, the little penguin cartoon, but today I was too lazy and he ended up watching the 1970's costume sex romp Tom Jones. Whoops! Well in my defense it's hardly like he watches it anyway, it just keeps him company. I don't know if these two days of being able to go back to bed were just a fluke or if this can be a system for handling these god-awful early mornings; let's hope he stays content out there!

When FN and I decided to quit the tour we headed to a park so B could stretch his legs and her baby could be taken out of his carrier and eat. All of a sudden I look over and see Bumpus standing. Just standing up in the middle of the grass, not a care in the world. "Bumpus! Are you standing?" I asked him, incredulous. He promptly keeled over and bonked his head. But in that moment I was one proud momma.


Friday, April 26, 2013

Graduating

We graduated to Bumpus' big boy car seat today. I had long ago weaned myself off of carrying B in the bucket seat (largely because it became too damned heavy) in anticipation of this day. It's such a relief to have that taken care of (thanks to Mom Guru's husband! Sometimes you do need a little male assistance!). It's hard to believe this is the carseat that will get him through most of his childhood years - I'll drive him to his first day of kindergarten in that seat! Crazy. I am keeping the bucket seat and base, however. You know, just in case.

I am still figuring out how best to handle the early mornings. I have tried a variety of options with mixed results. Lately I've been putting him in the playpen in the living room and lying on the couch (if I go back in the bedroom he usually ends up screaming). I put on a movie (I've been obsessively watching Michael Winterbottom's The Trip over and over) and try to sleep, which usually doesn't happen. I've also taken him to the playroom and laid down on the bed up there. But ugh. Mostly what happens is I just lie around in a stupor until one or both of us gets hungry. He was up at 5 AM today. Blah.

A friend in my book club has her daughter watch a show called Pingu when she has to take a work call at home; it doesn't have quick cuts, no language, and is really simple. Because it's on Netflix there's no commercials. I may give this a try and see if he'll hang out by himself in the living room. Honestly I didn't want to introduce him to kid's TV this early, but I'm desperate. If I can get even one more hour of sleep in the morning it would make such a difference!

At least everything else about his sleep is excellent - his new bedtime is 7 pm and he barely cries for two minutes before passing out; today he napped 1 1/2 hours in the crib in the day and was a peach the rest of the day because of it.

Lest you think all I can do is complain about how my kid drags me out of bed in the morning, I have to say we've been having some really nice times lately. He has a great sense of humor. Sometimes when he gets fed up he'll smack and swing his hands around in frustration, and when I do it back to him he cracks up. We can play catch now (sort of), and he thinks it's hysterical when I say "think fast!" and bounce the ball off him. He can now sit on my lap while I read a short book to him - he loves it when I make the animals make noises. I sing him one of my favorite camp songs and I can see him learning it and trying to sing along. He shoves his hands down my shirt every chance he gets.

Speaking of what's in my shirt, my boobs deflated very suddenly a few days ago. I also put on about four pounds. I do believe the magical breast feeding diet is officially over. Dammit.



Thursday, April 25, 2013

Stages

Today solidified for me that B has come to the age where the hang-out-with-our-babies-on-blankets routine no longer works. I went to a meetup at an outdoor mall that had a kid's music thing...and it just sucked for me. Most of the babies in the group are younger than B - five to nine months old - and the difference between that age set and the over-ones is huge. I get it now, the restrictions some mommy groups have on babies' ages. When half the babies are lying peacefully on their blankets and the other half are trampling them and grabbing toys out of their hands, it just doesn't work. We of course are the tramplers.

So B kept crawling on to the awful straw-like fake grass (I called it "spray painted grass") that got all over EVERYTHING; every time I stood up a shower of it would come off of my pants and rain into the babies' mouths; B of course had it on every part of his body (including inside his diaper!!!), and of course kept eating it, and choking on it. And we all had to feed our babies lunch in the middle of this - and this frigging "grass" got all over all the food. Who the hell plans children's events on this kind of surface? It was like going to the beach without being prepared to go to the beach.

So pretty much the entire visit consisted of chasing B around as he put wads of synthetic grass in his mouth, wrenched the toys out of the little babies' hands and made them cry, and threw tantrums every time I took something out of his mouth or moved him. It sucked.

I'm thinking the best outings that involve other people from now on will have to consist of an actual activity, in particular walking while pushing him in a stroller. Or a playground where he can swing, or do something. Because he needs to explore, but exploring everyone's purses and trying to eat the other babies' food doesn't work for me. And if the point of doing these outings is for me to socialize with other mothers, that's out. I don't even get to say two words to anyone.

I know it sounds like I'm being a bitch and complaining about my adorable child who's just being completely age-appropriate. And this is true (about me being a bitch right now). But in my defense I'm being wrenched out of bed at 6 am every day and I am not doing well with it - I'm exhausted and fed up. I don't know how to entertain this child all day, every day, without losing my mind. Which is why I need some part time daycare, stat. I would like to say I at least get my evenings to myself so I can be productive, but so far this has not been true at all - by the time he's in bed (7 pm these days) I'm so worn out all I can do is stare into space for a few hours and then go to bed. So, not optimizing my time. Not at all.

I know I'm just going through a rough adjustment period and I will learn how to cope with some of these issues, or at least get used to them and adapt. Things will look up. But right now I'm just not feeling it. For the moment I think I need to choose activities that aren't going to make me nuts - and the putting the babies on blankets thing is not happening anymore.

In other news, I'm drying up, I've booked a trip to see a cousin in Florida for July (pray for me), and one of my chickens is dying. All righty then.



Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Listmania

I am a big fan of lists. Since I weaned myself off of my old New Yorker desk diary in favor of my IPhone calendar and notes apps instead, I find I make more and more lists - groceries, house projects, craft projects, recipes I want to try, songs I should sing with the band, not to mention tons of work-related lists (how many classes to give each dance instructor and at what rate, ideas for the following year, etc).

Since I am now meeting with my SMC thinker/trier group and hang out on the Facebook SMC group pretty regularly and am contemplating TTC #2, I have found myself thinking back to the time when I was theorizing about TTC Bumpus, and what similarities and differences there are between the two.

So here are two lists - one, two years later, looking back on why I wanted to try for one:

Because I was sick of waiting to be chosen by some man so I would have the chance to procreate.

Because my aunt had died and I felt our gene pool shrinking.

Because I didn't want to one day regret not having children.

Because I wanted to heal some of my childhood issues.

Because I didn't want to be the perpetual spinster aunt that everyone pities.

Because if I had to have one more bitter conversation with my ever-shrinking pool of single girlfriends about how annoying it is that everyone but us gets married and has kids I was going to drive off a cliff.

Here's why I have had a change of heart and am contemplating #2:

Because I want B to have a sibling, someone to share this experience with other than just me.

Because I feel I have a chance to do pregnancy and labor much healthier, smarter, and better, and heal the trauma of my last pregnancy and labor.

Because I want B to have someone to play with.

Because I want B to learn to share and be part of a group and not the sole focus of my attention (although I know I could still teach him these things without a sibling).

Because I want more of a legacy for our family.

Because I want to name something.

Because I don't want to regret not having tried for two when I had this tiny window of opportunity.

Because I'd be so darned good at this a second time around.

Because, on my best days, I feel like the universe is a good place that blesses people who are gutsy and take risks. That with the arrival of B I managed to break the "nothing good ever happens to me" spell. Because even knowing the potential heartbreak, even horror, that could await me going down this road, most days I just feel lucky. I feel like maybe, just maybe, I can pull this off, and it will all have been worth it.



Monday, April 22, 2013

Mini muffin Monday!

Ok, I did it! I completely improvised my first batch of dinner muffins, and they were a huge hit! B crammed three into his mouth AND a few sweet potato fries, which means this dinner definitely counts as the most nutritious dinner he's ever had, considering the fact that up until now dinners have been maybe 1 tbs of curry off my plate or 1 tsp of lentil soup buried under the same string cheese he had for lunch.

So after stalking Pinterest recipes and also asking for a few from Facebook friends and finding I didn't have the ingredients for any of them, I decided to just wing it based on what's in my refrigerator. Here's what I did:

1 zucchini, chopped small and sautéed in a little olive oil, with a little garlic salt sprinkled on

Mixed together: 2 eggs, 1/2 cup grated cheese, 1 cup cooked brown rice, 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese, 1/4 tsp oregano. Dash salt & grinding of pepper.

Combine all & bake in mini muffin pan at 350 for fifteen/twenty minutes. Makes two dozen.

If I were to make these again I might use less cheese and one less egg. But really, Bumpus isn't watching his weight, so why not use them? They held together really well and didn't stick to the pan.

I think a good rule of thumb for these recipes going forward is:

You need a base (brown rice, quinoa, corn meal, bread crumbs, flour)

You need at least one binding agent (eggs, cheese)

You need at least one vegetable, pre- cooked and cut small or grated

One or two complimentary spices

Small amount of salt/pepper - just a dash, really

Just think of the possibilities! I'd like to try a Mexican one with soy crumbles, taco seasoning, rice and black beans, or a corn dog type one, or a broccoli/cauliflower one, etc etc. After I shop Friday and try some more I'll post more recipes!

What a relief that B can have a proper dinner, one that involves vegetables and whole grains, that I don't have to feed him. Yippee. And it's seven PM and he's asleep in his crib. Bam.



Sunday, April 21, 2013

New ideas

This morning after I put B in the playpen so I could clean up the kitchen and take a shower, I suddenly felt like lying down for a bit, so I did. I didn't get to sleep (although B did, which was great), but as I lay there I suddenly remembered the church-based drop in daycare place I visited last fall when I was first thinking about taking B to part time daycare. I thought of it because when I was cleaning out my office I found their rate sheet, so it's been on my mind. The #1 deterrent to part time daycare is cost. But if I took him here just one day a week it would be less than half the cost of setting him up at the Baby Kennel. Two days a week would still be less. And from what I can remember, the hours and days are very flexible at this place. So I wouldn't be locked in. I'm thinking of doing another visit next week, now that he's older and his needs are different. I want to make sure they actually stimulate the kids - have them singing and dancing and learning things - rather than it just being a holding tank. If I feel good about it I may get him started soon.

I made a list of all the things I could potentially do if I had one or two free weekdays. Right now that's the only time I have zero childcare available to me, so certain things are difficult, such as:

Dental/medical appointments
Yoga
Challenging hikes
Swimming/hanging out in the hot tub
Gardening
House projects
Any fertility stuff
Lunch with friends
Shopping
Movies

Especially if I want to try for #2 I'm going to need to make lots of last minute daytime appointments, which this place would allow for.

It's funny because the first thing I thought of when I thought of having a free day to myself was how bored and lonely I'd be-! I'm not proud of that. I'm always aware of whatever emotional neediness I may have not affecting the boy - I think this is something we single mothers especially need to be mindful of. He's going to have to be in real school soon enough; it's healthy for him to know caretakers other than me. Last night when I took him to the Baby Kennel he screamed and clung to me, and the caretaker said "he used to be such a happy boy!" Welcome to separation anxiety! Thankfully he slept well there and was not put off by being taken home in the car at midnight.

In other news - re: food, thanks again for all the helpful suggestions and for (hopefully) not judging me (too much). I believe you are correct that he wants to feed himself and that I needn't worry about not having a big dinner. That takes a big load off since I was worried about dinner - he eats really well for breakfast and lunch but dinners, not so much. Yesterday I made 4 dozen blueberry mini muffins, and when I placed one on his tray for breakfast he was utterly enthralled by it and ate two very happily. Bolstered by this I am going to try making lots of things in the mini muffin tins - pizzas, quiches, Mac and cheese, all with lots of vegetables. I think if I make things bite sized and appealing he may go for it. It's hard for me to think of things from a baby's perspective sometimes - that the world is very large and overwhelming, and he may want to do things he's not physically developed enough for (feeding himself). So, I'll work on that. Having a variety of pre-cooked "dinner muffins" would make mealtimes MUCH easier, too, since I could just plop those down and let him have fun tearing them apart while I feed myself. Fingers crossed this solves the problem.

In other news, I've been meaning to bring this up - I've been watching this show LA Shrinks, and on it there's a female psychiatrist who is 38 and feeling her clock ticking and trying to convince her husband to go for it (he at 46 is reluctant still-!). So she goes in for fertility testing, and although they don't really say what her "problem" is, it sounds like my old issue, because when the doctor asks if she uses birth control and she says yes, the doctor says sometimes when women have used birth control for a long time their bodies just sort of "give up" and stop ovulating. See? I knew it!!!



Friday, April 19, 2013

Super bitchtastic

This morning I had a concept for another super bitchy blog post. But it's been such an enjoyable day and right now is so pleasant that it's hard to recall the level of irritation I had at seven this morning. This is how days tend to go around here. Mornings are brutal. Afternoons are lovely and evenings are pleasant. A far cry from the evening torment I used to experience when B would fuss and fuss and mangle my nipples. Remember that?

So I inched his bedtime back to 7:30 over the last couple of nights in an effort to get him to sleep longer. No effect. He's always up by 6 to 6:30. I suppose I could keep putting him to bed at 7:30 to see if he sleeps longer...but honestly I don't see a baby who always sleeps 10-11 hours suddenly sleeping 14 hours, which is what I'd like. So I may stick with 8 pm for now. That gives me time to get a proper dinner in him and a bath and I know he's actually tired. Anything before 8 he screams until 8 anyway. I don't know. I wonder if I put him to bed at nine, would he sleep until 7 or 8 or would he just be "overtired"? I just wish I was a morning person. I hate these early mornings with the heat of a thousand suns.

I went to my mommy & me meetup today and was pleased to see that I am not the only one not thrilled with the new eating situation. Sometimes I feel like a monster for how much I don't enjoy mealtimes. But luckily I am not the only one. I think it's fair to say that in fact I fucking hate it.

It's just a mess, time consuming, and utterly frustrating. B has a habit of shaking his head, furrowing his brow, and/or turning away or putting his face flat on his tray every time I offer a spoonful of food. This doesn't mean he doesn't want it. It just means I have to sit there and stare into space and offer it ten more times before he takes it. Then he'll wipe his mouth with the back of his hands and rub it all over his head. Then he throws everything on the floor, then he smacks the spoon out of my hand sending food flying everywhere. Then he screams and kicks the tray off the high chair. Then he uses his cracker to shovel food onto the floor. And I have to do this three times a day, every day. I FUCKING HATE IT.

According to the other moms it is normal for him to feast at breakfast (he can eat a waffle and two eggs with no problem) but only want a light snack for dinner - it's a struggle to get more than a few spoonfuls in him at night. I also do one last breast feed in the late afternoon which may be a part of it, but when I've tried cutting this feed he really seems to miss it and it makes my boobs really angry (and try sleeping all night on angry boobs - not fun).

So I've resigned myself to the fact that now is the hardest part when it comes to food - he's learning how to eat, so it's slow going. And he can't feed himself (not with utensils, anyway), so I have to do it, and it takes forever. Just keeping us both fed three times a day feels like it takes the entire day sometimes. Soon it won't be like this - soon he'll be able to feed himself and I can eat with him. But right now - it sucks. I had even reduced us to feeding him off my plate in the living room while he stood in his playpen; but it made such a horrendous mess that I stopped. My poor carpet!

Pretty much everything else is a battle, too. Putting on clothes. Taking off clothes. Putting on shoes and hats. Getting into the stroller or carseat. Going down for naps. Waking up from naps. Going to bed at night. Waking up in the morning. Getting in the playpen. Sometimes it feels like every action in our day involves screaming, back arching, whining, kicking, and tears.

He's lucky everything in between involves him being unbearably cute and lovable-! Can't wait for whatever phase this is to pass. Here he is being cute today.



Thursday, April 18, 2013

Mamas and papas

My father sent me a friend request on Facebook today. This completely freaks me out. I accepted it because I thought it would be weird if I didn't...but...my mother and I aren't connected on there, and my other relatives either don't have Facebook profiles or rarely check them. I don't think my father will be on there very much - from what I can tell he has very limited Internet access, being in the outback of Brazil (they call it the Interior). And I'm sure he just wants to see the Bumpus pics and videos and is a little curious about me, too (we haven't seen each other in person since 1980). But. I don't know why, but I feel like my private space has been invaded. As if Facebook, or this blog, is in any way private! Privacy has gone the way of phone books. It's something we'll tell our children about, because it sure won't exist for them and barely exists for us.

My father's profile has no pictures and only about ten friends - mostly fellow ranchers in southern Brazil - and a couple of young women hottie types that completely grossed me out. There are a few things I want to know about my father, but many I don't. And his love life is something I do not want to know about!

Today as I was doing my Silverlake walk the thought popped into my head that when my mother was my age she had a 20 year old and a 10 year old. At her age I have a one year old. When I was born AI for single people was pretty much unheard of; abortion was still illegal, and the pill was still relatively new. What a different world, huh? My mother never would have been a candidate for single motherhood by choice, however. Like so many children even today, my sister and I were just side effects of the main show, which was her pursuit of male attention.

It's still totally bizarre to me that I am a mother of an infant at 40. And that some of my same aged friends are also just starting to have babies now. So when our kids graduate college we'll be just shy of being senior citizens!

Not a day goes by that I don't think about what's on TV, what music we listen to, what's going on in the world, and think this is what my son's culture will be - this is his childhood, this is what was going on in the world when he was born. He's going to think about our furniture, his little outfits, our car, our house, with the same odd sentimentality I do my childhood objects and surroundings. It's just too weird!

For a while, at least, he'll think I'm superwoman, the way I thought my mother was superwoman. She was the smartest, wisest, funniest, hippest person in the world. But boy, oh boy did she have her demons. And I have mine, of course, but so far I've managed to not let them keep me from expressing my love for him. I figure if I can at least do that, I've done a lot.



Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Let the green grow

Spring really has sprung around here. The smell of orange blossoms, jasmine and lantana is positively intoxicating. I'm doing my part by making more and more terrariums. I've made one for each room more or less - I went with all succulents so I don't have to water them (much). I need to remake the bathroom one, though, since I put in too much water and all the dirt floated up and covered the plants and white decorative rocks. So I need to take everything out and start over. But after that I got in a groove. I love houseplants but can't be buggered to water them. Hopefully I can have a bit of green around that is extremely low maintenance. And I'm excited to be on the lookout for vintage miniatures to put in them - I love collecting things! My current collections are (not counting vintage clothes which to me are just "clothes"): class rings from the 30s and 40s, and British royalty commemorative cups (coronations, silver jubilees, etc).

B is on track with the sleeping program. It's amazing how consistency and schedule have such an effect - after tinkering with the timing a bit, I've settled on 8 pm as bedtime. I just pick him up, change his diaper, put on his jammies, sing to him for about two minutes, and put him down in the crib. He goes to sleep without so much as a peep! It's amazing.

What's not so great, however, is the fact that he seems to have settled into a 6 am wake up time. Which does not work for me, not one bit. I have been in the habit of immediately taking him up to the playroom so I can at least lie down a little longer, with mixed results. Most of the time he just wants up onto the bed so he can horse around and smash his skull into my nose. Today he thankfully went back to sleep for over an hour. But mostly these 6 am wake ups are killing me. I've put it out to one of my Facebook mom groups for advice; I do have blackout curtains but they won't be installed until next week. I don't want to risk pushing his bedtime later again, since he's already tired and rubbing his eyes by 7 pm. Maybe when he wakes so early I should try to coax him back to sleep...but I don't know. Or I could just accept that this is now wake up time. I feel like I at least need to try to get him to sleep a little later, though - even one hour would make such a difference!

I got what I *think* is a precursor to a bill for B's emergency room visit in Feb. It looks like total costs were $2000, for which I will be responsible $400. Or as best as I could glean from the bill's hieroglyphics. I guess that's not so terrible. Better than $2000, huh? One of our fellow musicians was in a car accident this week badly injuring his right arm and is now stuck with $43,000 in bills (no insurance). Our band is thinking of doing a fundraiser for him. So it could be a lot worse, huh?



Sunday, April 14, 2013

Renovating

Thanks, everyone, for the condolences on my dog. I think I'm all cried out now - I hope! I had a good old sob yesterday that did me a world of good, in which I let myself cry like a baby for a few minutes and speak out loud all the things that were bothering me - that I was sorry I hadn't made her last days better, that I was sorry I didn't hold her before they took her away, that I was sorry the baby took her place. Sometimes it helps to say things out loud even when nobody's listening, you know? I did a similar thing when my aunt died.

Of course yesterday I went on my Silverlake walk which passes a dog park and I saw a man running out of it with a bloody chihuahua in his arms (I'm assuming the dog got attacked by another dog), and then today I watched the Louis CK HBO special for a little laugh and his first bit is about a sad old lady and her little dog that should be flushed down the toilet. Ahhhhhh!!!

At least Project Reclaim Office has begun. Tonight I painstakingly sifted through about six years of papers and files - oy! I discovered I never had my healthcare directive signed by witnesses, and also unearthed all my old fertility clinic info, like the printout of all the donors and my notes, which I kept. I am looking forward to doing a deep clean in there and redecorating a little - for so many months the office was this sad, abandoned place; now it's time to spruce it up and make it a place of work and joy again.

I had my second SMC meeting today - a few new people came which was cool. The group may soon outgrow my little house (it's one of the sucky things about vintage houses - no good space for entertaining). My dream is to have a real meeting space with childcare and all that - but that's a ways off yet. Many of us mentioned the need for real community in the single mom world - as in, babysitting help, someone to call in an emergency, etc. Hopefully this will happen for us. I know that if I'm successful in pursuing #2 I will definitely need help during the conception/pregnancy/new baby times. For sure I won't be able to handle all that alone, especially if I have a troubled pregnancy. Knock wood that doesn't happen.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Elle est libre

So I put my dog down today. I should have done it ages ago, but honestly, I just didn't have the guts. And for that I feel very guilty. As a (nearly) life long vegetarian I don't take the suffering of animals lightly, and the idea that I let her drag on like this for months is not something I'll forgive myself easily.

Earlier this week I took her little sweater off because the weather was set to warm up - and was aghast at what I saw. She had deteriorated to skin and bones - she had patches of hair loss, and an angry looking sore on her back leg. I just hadn't looked at her that closely in ages, not since I first quarantined her in the office back in the fall. I was pretty horrified, and that's when I knew that despite the fact that she still had an appetite, still could get around and seemed to be enjoying going outside each day, that it was Time. And that I needed to get over my fears and do right by my pet.

I adopted her from a rescue back in 2008 when it was clear that my "relationship" with The Australian was not going to pan out. She was an old gal even then, but very sweet and cuddly. And that little animal really opened my heart, as animals do. I learned how to be affectionate and nurturing. I learned how to not care if you look silly talking baby talk to something. She was my Child Substitute. And later she became my Pregnancy Companion.

But she did not do well being displaced by the baby. And honestly I think she was on a downward spiral health wise anyway - when I picked her up from the kennel after giving birth she just didn't look good; she looked thin, she looked like she had aged. And despite the first few months seeming to adapt well to the baby, it became clear that she was jealous and heartbroken. Then came the putting her in the office...the beginning of the end.

I had so often envisioned having to take her to be put down, waking up knowing "today's the day", driving her over there, mouthing the words "this dog needs to be put down today", having to face a vet who might chastise me for letting her get so sick. But I just had to put my big girl pants on and do it. The vet listened to her heart and told me it was very bad and so he agreed it was time - then listed off all the things they could do: make me a little paw print in clay, give me the ashes or not, etc etc. I felt like a jerk turning all of these sentimental touches down, but I couldn't deal. They asked if I wanted a few minutes alone and I declined because I couldn't cope. I'm a guy, remember?

I patted her little head and told her she'd been a good girl and said, "no more pain, ok?" And that was it. $127 later she was gone.

I managed to distract myself pretty well today making this terrarium, until when I was making dinner I thought about her young and healthy again, running free, free from the body that tortured her. And that set me bawling. These poor little animals are born into so much pain sometimes - when I got her she had been taken from the previous owners after being shot several times by a bb gun. I like to think that despite the sad ending I at least gave her some happiness and love in her final years. She was very, very loved by me.

Sometimes it seems like we're so trapped by our circumstances, our age, our bodies, our lack of options. It made me think about one of my favorite movies, Vagabond, a French movie about a runaway girl told by the people who encountered her. At one point a dutiful daughter who is stuck on a farm helping her parents sees the girl walk by, and her parents say she's filthy and in danger and sad, but the daughter says she envies the girl. Why, they ask? "Elle est libre, elle est libre." She's free.



Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I, man

So I was describing my sleep training efforts to a friend, the one who came and got me at the emergency room when B's mole burst. I was telling her how the initial crying didn't bother me one bit. And then remembered how I looked on calmly and rubbed his hand while they stitched him up in the ER while she had to leave the room. I think I've come to the conclusion that, to all intents and purposes, I am, essentially, a guy.

I've always had a very masculine energy, but rather than it being tamped down as a mother, I think it's ramped up. It's because you have to be strong, you have to be both father and mother. And you can't just be helpless and hand things off to someone else. Being a mother has really challenged me emotionally and pushed a lot of my old buttons, but I have to say I'm gaining a lot of confidence as I tackle each of these things that scare or confuse me. The sleep thing has been HUGE. Having basically gotten my son to sleep through the night every night and as of tonight go down with not even so much as a whimper has made me feel like superwoman.

Today I attempted not wearing my little silicone nipple thingies for the first time ever. I probably could have stopped wearing them weeks ago but I just kept using them out of habit; then this morning as I was washing them I just thought, what the heck? I never leak, and with very little nursing my nipples don't hurt (as much) anymore. So I had a bit of an itchy day with my gross pilled nursing bra (I need to stop wearing those, too), and then a funny thing happened when I went to give the baby his dinner time nurse. He just held the nipple there in his mouth for a second, looked confused, and then turned away. I tried the other side, and it was the same. No interest. I could tell he was hungry so I got him a sippy cup of cow's milk, which he wolfed down. And we had a nice cuddle in the rocker watching TV while he drank. It's interesting to me that he rejected the nipple - they probably felt different and/or smelled different from not being encased behind silicone all day. But I did have that moment of, "is this it? Is he weaning himself?" A friend of mine described how one day her infant daughter just looked at the boob, patted it nicely, and walked away, as if to say "thanks for the good times." I will try for my usual morning nurse with B tomorrow and we'll see what he does. But if he's done, he's done. Part of me despaired a little at this, but then I had to remember that it has to happen sooner or later-! My little lad is growing up.

This week I bought each of the four original Mary Poppins books to someday read to B. These books were a HUGE influence on me when I was a kid, and I always dreamed of reading them to my own kids one day. I think my mother must have them in Brazil because I can't find them anywhere (and I am the keeper of all family heirloom type things), so I decided to find the original 1930s and 40s books online, which was not hard to do. The original Mary P was NOT a sweet, singing darling like in the movie. No sir, the real Mary is kind of a bitch, always ready with a nasty remark or back handed compliment (I remember driving my mother nuts with this when I tried to emulate MP when I was around ten). I think a great deal of MP still lives in me, honestly. I'll be fascinated to see what reading those books as an adult will be like!

I also plan on reading B the Chronicles of Narnia set and the Little House on the Prairie books. What are your childhood favorites that you want to read to your kids?



Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Better day

So of course today was one of those perfect baby days. And so it goes, huh? Not complaining, though. I sidestepped the early morning cry-fest by taking B straight up to the playroom when he woke up and lying on the bed there. So I felt somewhat rested and he was able to play, which he can no longer do in the crib since I took all the toys out (now that he actually sleeps there).

He must be teething again because he's having similar poop issues as last time - tons of explosive poo and a resulting awful rash, which I'm sure can't feel good. I don't feel any buds coming in but I think that's the culprit. Last night he was with a sitter again until about 12:30 and when I settled into bed he woke and was inconsolable - thankfully my often latent maternal instinct kicked in and I didn't just let him cry and insist he go back to sleep but instead checked his diaper and sure enough, giant poo and angry red rash. Poor little guy. I put some ointment on it and rocked him a bit for comfort, then when I put him back down to sleep he conked right out.

I think I'm getting better at redirecting - so often when he starts to get in a snit I just stare at him, helpless...and it takes me a minute to remember to distract him with something. I'm sure as the months go by I'll become a real pro, however.

Tonight I gave myself a break and fed B pasta off my plate while he stood in his playpen in just a diaper. Sometimes this three kid meals in the high chair a day thing is just too much for me.

I have to admit I had a great time dancing the last couple of nights. Luckily because there was a weekend dance event (that I attended Sunday night) a few people were still in town to come see our band last night, so I got to dance when I wasn't singing. How I miss it! But nights like those are few and far between, when all your friends come out and everyone has a great time. I remember when every night was like that. Sigh.

At one of my commenter's suggestions I have made an appointment with a Kaiser midwife, the one I started with in the pregnancy but who I never saw again because she's so popular. So popular in fact that her first availability isn't for six weeks-! But I figure I owe it to myself to do some due diligence as far as investigating the practicality of another pregnancy for me. I know she doesn't have a crystal ball, and nobody but me can make this decision. But I would like to get a medical opinion - about the possibility of getting pre-e again and if I really can help myself with diet and supplements, how safe is pregnancy in your 40s, etc. I figure it can't hurt to talk to someone.

If you had asked me yesterday how I felt about having another baby, I would have said "hell to the no." Ask me after a day like today and I'd say, "why not? I've totally got this!" And so it goes.



Monday, April 8, 2013

Bitch fest

I'm having one of those days. I'm exhausted and fed up and just want to hide in a closet. So please take the following with a grain of salt and understand that thankfully I rarely feel this way. But it is how I feel today.

Right now Bumpus is sitting angelic and cute in his playpen, just all smiles and adorable babbling and grabbing his toes. Where was this baby at seven this morning? Nowhere to be found. Instead I woke up with Devil Baby Monster.

Had pretty much the Worst.Morning.Ever. Since I didn't get enough sleep last night, when B woke up I did what I have sometimes done with mixed results - put him in his playpen so I can at least lie quietly for a few minutes. Well, today it didn't work out so hot. He got completely worked up into a frenzy so that when I finally broke down and picked him up there was no going back. He just smashed the back of his hard skull into my clavicle over and over, screamed until my ears rang, and would not be comforted no matter what I did. At one point I thought there must genuinely be something wrong with him - I gave him some teething tablets; nothing. Finally dosed him with Tylenol; still nothing. I had that awful moment every parent has when you cannot figure out what's bothering your kid and you feel like an incompetent idiot. And you're utterly exhausted and fed up and - dare I say it - angry. Because there's just nothing lovable about a screaming, kicking, squirming toddler. Especially not when they've been at it for over an hour and don't want to be held or comforted in any way. I guess now is the time for his being mad just for the sake of being mad. I haven't figured out how to handle this yet, since 90% of the time he settles down very easily.

What did it finally? Taking him upstairs to the playroom. I think it distracted him enough that he got over whatever mood he was in. So, lesson learned here: a), accept the fact that you're not going to get more sleep and don't think he'll play nicely in the playpen first thing in the morning, and b) definitely move him around the house for distraction purposes. It will probably help settle him down.

I have to say the idea that I will never, ever again get to sleep in later than 7 AM, no matter how tired I am, no matter how sick I am, no matter how late my gig the night before got me home, makes me literally want to cry my eyes out. I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "fuck you, I get up at six every day. Bite me." Yes, I understand this sentiment. But what if someone told you you had to get up at 2 AM from now on every day of your life, while going to bed at the same time? That's a bit how I feel right now. I have THREE long distance gigs three weekends in May which involve driving home from San Diego or Santa Barbara and probably not getting home until about 3 AM. Only to be woken up in four hours. Oh, and every penny I make will go to pay the babysitter for the eight hours I have to leave him each time. I'm in hell.

I would also like to take a moment to bitch about the food thing. I am making a real effort to feed B real food three times a day. And apart from the fun of seeing him try new foods, so far it kind of blows. It takes FOREVER. Sometimes I try to feed myself at the same time, but sometimes it's too complicated. So there's frantically trying to get some non-messy food into his hands once he gets into the high chair so he doesn't get impatient and start screaming (always poufs or a cracker). Then I have to prevent him from taking his sleeve and sweeping all the food on to the floor, or sticking his elbows into something messy, or taking the food piece by piece and dropping it over the side. Then there's trying to figure out if he's thirsty or done; sometimes having to wrench his mouth open and pull the food out since he shoved too much of it in there and doesn't know how to swallow it (for this reason he won't be having apple again for a while). Eventually I always get fed up with waiting for him to feed himself and just start shoveling food in with a spoon (if I didn't do this we'd literally sit there all day). Then I have to endure ear piercing screams as I try to clean his face and hands. Then I have to clean the high chair, floor, myself, and dishes. And this is three times a day, every day. I kind of hate it. Weaning isn't looking too great right now, I'll be honest.

So after our craptastic morning I had a bunch of errands to run, in and out of the car over and over, and...he was just fine. And he's fine now. So, what was this morning about? Probably mad at me for leaving him in the playpen that long...which was never a problem before...but is obviously now a problem. Ok. Well, I won't be doing that again I guess!

Days like these definitely make me think I absolutely cannot handle two children. I don't have it in me, I don't know what I'm doing, I'm too selfish, I'm not mumsy and loving enough. I want sleep. I want to enjoy a meal. I want to go out and not have to race home and relieve a sitter. I want a BREAK.

I may look into that part time nursery school after all. I can't afford it, but as my event gets nearer it may be necessary so I can focus on work and those long term intense projects that start popping up. Or just for my own sanity, at this point.

Here is a more light hearted look at what I'm going through today. I have to admit I laughed and it made me feel better:

http://reasonsmysoniscrying.tumblr.com/

Saturday, April 6, 2013

It's happening...

One of my favorite scenes in Bridesmaids is when the bride is trying on an expensive wedding dress and is running across the street to a bathroom and finally stops and squats down in defeat, saying simply "it's happening...it's happening...", and we can all guess what's going on underneath that dress. This is kind of how I feel about Bumpus' new toddler behavior. I want to run away from it or hide it under a dress. Or have it not be happening.

It's been ramping up for a couple of months. But today was the first day I wanted to just put him in a room and slam the door. Apart from the night before my event when he wouldn't stop fussing, this is the first time I've actually been angry with him.

I had him down for a nap around noon when he started to rub his eyes and look tired. He screamed for a bit but then slept nicely for 45 minutes. However when he woke up crying, he was inconsolable. No amount of singing, rocking, milk in a sippy cup, snacks, waving at the baby in the mirror, burping, diaper changing, or playing would stop his ear-piercing screams. We had to get to a meetup downtown so I figured hey, we'll see if the car calms him down, and if not, we can always just drive around and then go home again. Well, he still screamed in the car for a little bit, then settled down and was mostly ok until my usual unpleasantness when taking the baby out to any parks - he only wants to molest everyone's purses and shove gravel or bark into his mouth at lightening speed. And then when I pull the offending substances out of his mouth or try to redirect his crawling he bucks and screams like a crazy person. Or, like a one-year-old. So meeting up to let the babies lie around on blankets is no longer feasible for me. Sigh. Ditto mommy & me movies and mommy & me yoga.

Anyway I have no idea what today's meltdown was about. Was he still tired? Hungry? Wet? Gassy? Full of existential angst? Who the hell knows? He's too little to tell me and hasn't grasped signing yet despite my desultory efforts. Now is just that hard part - big enough to get in trouble, not big enough to understand "no" or consequences.

The good news is all of the gals at the meet up had exactly the same experiences; we spent the whole time commiserating about the new behavior and how baffling and exhausting it is. That actually made me feel much better. Just knowing everything he's doing is totally normal at least takes the worry out of it. Now it's just surviving until he outgrows it!

And right now he's being totally adorable and happy in his jumper. That's my boy.



Friday, April 5, 2013

Cold Feet

So a couple of nights ago I forced myself to watch Call the Midwife, a charming although occasionally brutal series about a group of young midwives working London's East End in the 1950s. I knew it would terrorize me because I HATE labor scenes. In fact, even now they often give me mild to severe panic attacks. "And you're thinking of having another baby?" Read on.

Spoiler alert - don't read on if you don't want to read certain details of the show. The reason I watched it was because I am an Anglophile and am suffering mild withdrawal now that Downton Abbey is on hiatus, and all my friends are watching it and talking about it, and honestly I wanted to test my resolve to try for another baby. Turns out my resolve is not as steady as I'd thought.

The very first episode depicts a pre-eclampsic woman giving birth to a blue, still baby. Um, hello...? I couldn't believe they showed this. Now miraculously the baby starts breathing once it's been "put aside" and it all ends well...but good lord. I don't think I'll ever scrape the image of that tiny still face out of my brain. I have to keep telling myself, "the baby lived, remember? It was a happy story!" Then another episode has yet ANOTHER pre-eclampsic woman who delivers a tiny preemie after having a seizure, and then they both die. Good times, huh? Jeez.

It's funny how I had never in my life heard of this condition before I had it and suddenly it's very common and a major cause of maternal and/or fetal death and seems to be on every show about pregnant women. Suffice it to say I'm thoroughly freaked out.

I also did a bit more googling and found one unfortunate article after another stating that change in diet has NOT been proven to protect against pre-eclampsia and in fact loading up on protein can be very damaging to a pregnant woman's already over-taxed system. Also that tests have shown even loading up on liver and kidney supporting herbs and teas have had little to no effect. So, the crunchy granola websites say these methods work; the hardcore scientific and medical websites say they don't. Which would you believe?

I feel pretty deflated, but mostly just downright scared. Even with the depictions on the show of normal women in labor - the horrid "transition" phase, the gut-busting pushing, the hour upon hour of hideous pain. Don't think I forgot about any of this, because I certainly didn't. But seeing it so honestly portrayed just took me aback. Yes, that's what it's really like. It's pretty fucking awful.

I'm not saying I've made any decisions here, let's just say some days my mantra is "come on, you can do this!" and then others it's "don't do this!". Ah, if only for a crystal ball, huh? If only I could know for sure I'd have a healthy pregnancy; but there's no way to know that. My hope is I could turn it all around and have the healthy pregnancy and birth I dreamed of, but I have to accept the risk that it could be worse...much worse. Like putting my life at risk worse...or having a baby that doesn't survive worse. I would imagine most healthcare professionals who saw my labs and knew how my last pregnancy went would tell me to count my blessings and not be foolish enough to attempt this again, not in my 40s. Once again I ask myself, "do you feel lucky today, punk?"



Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Time on my hands and not enough time

It's too bizarre to have B asleep a couple of hours before me, and an hour or two during the day, in his crib. I honestly don't know what to do with myself. Yesterday I went out to the front yard and made the below bouquet out of hawthorn and camellias. Last night I lay on the couch and watched a documentary about Chinese artist Ai WeiWei. I hadn't laid on the couch probably since pregnancy - well, not without a baby next to me, anyway! I'm finding the new freedom pretty exhilarating.

Speaking of freedom, I let B out in the house to crawl around the floor with me following him today. I know that sounds crazy to some of you, that he doesn't just roam freely around the house all of the time. But this is not something I feel comfortable doing, not yet. As I've mentioned before I would literally have to pack up and store the entire house for this to happen. But as I followed him around and watched what he was interested in I did get an idea of how to baby proof certain areas; I think I can cordon off the front of the house and make the kitchen and bathroom inaccessible so he can have a little more freedom. I know the day is coming fast when he won't be content with the playpen and jumper anymore.

Told another friend about my T42 plans again today. As always the response was, "but you said no way." I know this is the knee jerk response, but it is a little irritating to hear again and again - like nobody's ever allowed to change their mind about anything, especially based on new information (possibly avoiding getting pre-e and having to be induced again). If someone could tell me right now that yes I would definitely get pre-e again and yes have to be induced again I would say no way. But I really believe I have a good chance of turning this around. You can't plan for anything, I know. But why assume the worst? Why assume everything will go wrong? If I'd done that from the beginning I never would have had B, either.

I decided against taking Vitex. For one B is not completely weaned yet and it's just too scary to mess with your body while breast feeding. Also it looks like it's mainly meant for women with messed up cycles - that if you don't have a problem it could create one. As of right now I have no reason to believe I have a problem other than not having enough time to get this show on the road. If I wean B completely and nothing happens for months I may reconsider. But right now I kind of want to see what happens this month.


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Other One

Lately as I ponder the possibility of two children, I've definitely been worried about changing dynamics. I've been worried about being spread too thin. But mostly I worry that despite my best intentions - creating a lifetime friend for B to enjoy and lean on - that adding another person to this relationship will break more things than it will fix.

I hate it when I see little kid siblings fight, which they seem to do ALL the TIME. How will I handle that? I have this horrible memory of the time I lived with my aunt and uncle and two similar aged boy cousins, and the three of us fought like cats and dogs, until finally one day my aunt sat at the kitchen table, put her head down, and sobbed. We drove her to that! Will that be me in a few years?

I'd like to think you can curtail this sort of thing by simply checking fighting early on in the lives of your kids - adamantly discouraging fighting and encouraging cooperation, etc. But I know that's a little idealistic. Kids fight, it's what they do. Especially when there are two kids and one mommy. There's just not enough of me to go around.

My mother was convinced her parents didn't want her and instead favored her older sister - the taller, prettier, more popular one, the one who got the silver baby cup and spoon, the one who always had boyfriends. My aunt was married for over forty years; my mother married four times and is currently single. Did those early cues about my mother's self esteem contribute to her hodge-podge of a life?

I often think about this potential new baby, boy or girl, and how different our dynamic would be, for better or worse. I for sure would be more practiced and competent (except for the exasperating reality that all babies are different!). But I would also have less time and attention to devote to the new one. I doubt he or she would be as publicly celebrated, either - no big baby shower, no big 1st birthday party. Because I just wouldn't have the energy or wherewithal. Is it better for kids to not be so celebrated and fawned over, to learn to share? The optimist in me says yes.

One of the more disturbing things everyone's always told me is if your first kid is easy and good that the second will be a nightmare. I hate to say it but I think this is true in most two kid families I know. It would be naive of me to assume the other baby would be as chill and easy as Bumpus. I definitely sidestepped a lot of the issues many mothers have to deal with in the first year - reflux, allergies, ear infections, fevers, not gaining weight, breast feeding supply issues, colic, delays. How much harder would this have been if I'd had to deal with any, or all of that?

Still. I don't think anyone enters into having two babies, especially as a single woman, thinking "this will be a snap!" I know it's going to be frickin' hard, way harder, no doubt, than I can even picture. Is that reason enough to not do it? No, not the way I feel right now. But it sure is scary.

Last night I was doing my usual planning and plotting, and was as always dismayed by my lack of decent times during the year to actually have a baby, based on running this event. I know better than to put myself in my third trimester during my event because of the intense stress; now I know to not have a newborn during the event, either. Which cuts out six months of the year. Then there's the crippling nausea I experience the first three months - I already survived one event with that level of sickness and I would never intentionally do that to myself again. So now we're down to three months to conceive. And guess what? Those three months started last month. So if I don't get my cycles back by June at the very latest I pretty much have to wait a whole YEAR to try again (except for one Hail Mary try in September).

So I looked up some information about naturally inducing ovulation and getting your periods back on track, and one name that kept coming up again and again was Vitex, an herbal supplement also known as chasteberry used for "female trouble". I am considering taking it to get things moving along. If anyone has information about this, I'd like to hear it.

In other news, B went down to sleep with the sitter at around nine Sun night, had one wake up at around five, then up for good at 8. Yesterday since we weren't leaving the house all day I had the unpleasant task of trying to get him to nap in his crib, but I did it! And he slept a solid 1 1/2 hours. Encouraged by this I tried to get him to bed before me, at 8:45 pm; screamed hysterically for maybe a minute and then conked out. Awesome. He's still doing this super early wake up thing, though, waking anywhere between 4 and 6, and it's hard to get him back to sleep at that point; sometimes I just bring him into bed to feed him. I have ordered black out blinds for the windows in an effort to make the room darker to maybe keep him sleeping (the room is very bright once the sun starts to come up). I'd like to say I'm getting more rest, but it's not true - I'm plagued by horrible, racing nightmares every night that leave me exhausted. I know this is just part of hormones/changes in sleep patterns, so hopefully this will even out. Still I'm thrilled by the new sleep patterns. Couldn't be more delighted, really.