Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What cheers me up

Have I ever mentioned how much I love the Indigo Girls?

The other night I was doing something and came across this video:


I love the expression on Amy Ray's face as they walk out on stage. I love how Amy and Emily huddle together momentarily, counting out the rhythm before they begin. I love how Amy is wearing ripped up jeans with black tights underneath them, and I love how she dances around while she is playing. I love how strong they are-- singing their hearts out, while wearing t-shirts and jeans.

In the interview afterwards, what's his name sounds kind of like he doesn't quite realize that these are two women who don't need a man for anything. But whatever. They handle it with grace. I think I've watched this video at least a dozen times in the last couple of days. Somehow it just makes me feel like everything is going to be okay.

Thanks. xoxo

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Dear William (20 months)

Dear William,

Today you are 20 months old!  You are so much fun.  You just keep getting funner and funner.

You have been really good this month.  It is hard to believe you used to be a little baby that just cried and cried all the time!!  Now you are a very happy little boy.  You are even getting a tooth right now (your last canine!), and it hasn't bothered you one bit*.  You do get mad sometimes, and if I try to pick you up when you do not want me to or if I take something away from you that you should not be holding, you throw yourself to the ground, kicking and screaming.  It doesn't usually make me mad because it is actually kind of hilarious.  You are happy again two seconds later if I show you a book or toy, and you have forgotten all about why you were mad in the first place.

You say a lot of things that are very cute.  You said blueberry this month.  You say up and down, shoes and socks.  Milk and juice.  Hi and bye.  You can make animal sounds.  You have this farm puzzle (that you can put together all by yourself), and when I ask you, for instance, what sound the cow makes, you say moo.  The other night I was trying to get you to get ready for bed and I told you, "We need to go upstairs and take a bath now," and you said, "We do?"

You love climbing up and down the stairs.  Instead of crawling like you used to, you hold onto the railing and walk.  Your legs are still very little and it is hard for you, so you like to hold onto somebody's hand too.

We have quite a nice bedtime routine these days.  We give you a bath, then dry you off, put you in your jammies, and make an attempt to brush your teeth.  Then we read you your favorite story, I Love You Through and Through, and give you Blue Seahorse and your little bitty blankie to hold.  We have you help us turn out the hall light, and then you help us turn out the light in your room.  We tell you nigh nigh and lay you down in your bed.  Sometimes you sit up and read your book again for a while, and sometimes you fall right to sleep.  But either way, you do not cry and need us to rock you to sleep anymore.  I am so proud of you.

You sometimes will give me great giant wonderful kisses.  You sometimes will stop whatever you are doing and run over to me and give me a hug just because you want to.  Hugs and kisses from you are the best thing ever.

You are definitely done nursing now; it's been more than a month since you last nursed.  You don't seem to miss it at all.

This past weekend your daddy was out of town so it was just you and me having fun.  We went to the art museum to look at the ancient Maya exhibit; we went to a Pow Wow on campus (you loved the dancing and drums!), and we went to watch the St. Louis marathon, which went right by our house.  We read a zillion books.  We watched Sesame Street.  It was the first time that you had ever watched Sesame Street.  You loved it.  You pointed to the screen and laughed.  You looked at me and grabbed my arm, to make sure I had seen the same hilarious thing you just saw.  And when they played music, you smiled and bobbed your head.

We go on real, actual walks sometimes, hand in hand.  I love that.  You like to walk, and you can walk for a long time without getting tired.  You have so much energy.  You have a really good sense of direction, too.  You have father's sense of direction, which makes me glad.  If we have been walking in the neighborhood, for instance, and we are on our way back home, you recognize our house.  I think you are really smart and if you want to, you can go to college someday.

We have had so much fun this month, William.  I am looking forward to each and every day!

* Addendum: About the tooth, I spoke too soon.  Today you got sent home from daycare with a fever.  That tooth is certainly bothering you now! But you are being a real trooper about it.

Does whatever a spider can

You have no idea who Spiderman is, but you like to wear the jammies.



Strutting up the driveway



Having a bit of breakfast


Drinking with just your diaper on.

At the ball field

What happened to this hat? I think you threw it down somewhere because I cannot find it anymore.

Out walking

Out for a walk

Rob & Meli

We love you very much.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

How I'm dealing with it

Just so you know, it has been about a month since Will nursed, so I guess we are done with that.  We made it almost to 19 months.

He was having a really rough couple of days during that time, when 2 of his canines were coming in.  Normally when he is in that kind of frantic mode, he nurses and then he feels better.  He was kneeling on my lap, screaming and pummeling me with his fists, so I offered to let him nurse.  He looked at me, kind of perplexed, covered me over with my shirt and patted me very nicely.  Then he climbed off my lap and got a book and came tearing back over to me so that I could read it to him.  And that was that.  He hasn't nursed since.

In some ways it's nice, I guess.  I have more time to clean up the kitchen after dinner now that he's not nursing.  And Rob can put him to bed while I'm folding laundry or something.  Now that I think about it, I just want to curl up and bawl my eyes out.

So the way that I am dealing with it is to not think about it most of the time.  I have thrown myself into the writing of The Novel.  It is so intense; i did not really realize how difficult it would be not only to write this thing, but also to write it while working full time, caring for a small child, and still attempting to run.  It is crazy.  I work on it from about 8:30pm until about midnight or 1am.  Then I'm up by 7 and at work by 8:30 so I can squeeze in another half hour (usually editing what I wrote the previous night) before work.  I do my job until "lunch" and then I close my door for an hour and write.  It is weird.  I worked there for like 6 months without so much as ever taking a 5 minute lunch break.  Rationally I know that I am not paid to work over "lunch," but for some reason it still just didn't seem right for me to take a real actual lunch break.  I am making up for that with gusto.  When I finish the work day, I come home and deal with dinner, childcare, etc, and start working on it again, and thus the whole cycle repeats.

The whole household is mobilized regarding The Novel as well.  Rob got me some really amazing software called Scrivener that is quite possibly the best thing ever.  Seriously.  I wish I had used it while writing my dissertation.  Without Rob, I would have been writing this thing in a Word document like some sort of chump.  He said he did it not just to help me, but also for self preservation.  He assumes that "we" will publish it as an e-book, and Scrivener software allows you do to this with a touch of a button (I keep hoping I don't actually touch that button before it is ready, which bear in mind could be years from now), whereas it would apparently be an infinitely more difficult process to format a Word document for the same thing.  The only drawback to Scrivener is that it doesn't autocorrect typos/spelling errors, but oh well.  The rest of it's wonderfulness more than makes up for that.

Rob also has been a superb source of information for me on many and varied topics.  Well, in Part 1 of The Novel, one of the main characters is a high school boy, so Rob has been giving me a lot of insight into what that is like.  At times this has been quite hilarious. Though I must point out that the guy in the book is nothing like Rob ever was (and I assure you, is nothing like any high school boy I ever knew or had a crush on.  This is fiction).

Last weekend, Rob also took me to go meet with Cousin Don (no relation), who happened to be in town.  Cousin Don is another information source for me; wouldn't you like to know what I asked him.  At any rate, this was a completely altruistic act on Rob's part: he knew that if he did not arrange for the meeting between me and Don, then drive me over there (I would never have found it on my own, plus I am still terrified to drive anywhere in Saint Louis besides the grocery store), and entertain Will while Don and I talked, it never would have happened.  I told him thanks for doing that, and he smiled and nodded, but I don't think he is aware of how much I appreciate it and how much it means to me.  He must really believe in me, and in The Novel, to go to so much trouble.

So I am beginning to feel like the stakes are high.  I am putting in an extraordinary amount of effort on this.  I have told people I am writing it, mainly so that I can get information from them.  And the people I have told about it want to read it.  Are you kidding me? No way.  No one who knows me or is related to me is ever allowed to read it.  The subject matter is a little bit... how can I put this?  I don't even know.  I'm not sure if it is even suitable for Rob to read.

Since it is doubtful that I would ever actually publish it or allow anyone to read it, I sometimes wonder why on earth I am doing this.  But ask Amy or Jolyne or anybody I was friends with while growing up and they will tell you, this is how I deal with things.  I write.  I just couldn't do this the whole time that grad school was sucking the life out of me.  But now that I am not clamped by the iron fist of grad school, It is easier in many ways to pour myself into The Novel rather than deal with the reality of the financial crisis we recently suffered, or the fact that I have weaned my only child, or that I still sometimes wonder if I should have fought harder for Eduardo, or that I occasionally question the wisdom of irrevocably taking myself off the tenure track.

I promise to go to bed before 1am tonight.

Thanks for reading.