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Today is CRAZY weather-wise. It's been raining like the flood is coming off and on all day. Then it'll heat up and be warm for 20 minutes. Then cold. Now, it's back to lashing rains - with thunder and flash lightning! Woo-hoo!

In the last 24 hours I have written just over 2000 words (actually took me 2 hours, plus an hour of revision) and mailed it off to my advisor. Neat. The essay is on Margaret Barker's ideas, which, if true in any way would totally throw conventional Christianity for a loop. Maybe I'll post my essay under a filter.

I also read, in the last 24 hours, a book about Taoist sexual practices that I found used. While I do not doubt there can be spiritual and physical benefits from various forms of Eastern sexual practices, a dude wrote the book and his tone plus the content (heavily centered on how fellatio has physically restorative and spiritual benefits) makes me think: yer a douchebag.

Adam leaves for the US tomorrow. He does the dishes. It dawned on me today that I now have to do the dishes too while he's gone. Ack! Come mid to late afternoons I am *wiped out* and just want to watch tv. I feel like the worst parent ever because I know B and I are going to watch copious amounts of cartoons, movies and whatnot. Ah well. I'm pregnant. So there.

In more 'awesome parenting and domesticity' we are having left over tuna casserole. Don't all rush over for dinner, now.
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Lil' B said fuck tonight, and in context too. Oops.
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You can see by the time stamp that it's late. I just finished dinner. In the end, my puttanesca suuuuucked. Ah well. Adam got to play football/soccer tonight so I was going to put B down and then cook a grown up dinner. Mmmm, extra anchovies! But Bennett? I can't put him to sleep anymore. If I am anywhere near him at bedtime he *freaks out* about boo-boos. As part of my nightweaning process I stopped nursing him to sleep, but I broke it tonight and nursed him down. But I got halfway to the door and he woke up in frantic tears: "Boo-boo? GONE?" And if he gets to 'boo-boo touch' then he really just stays awake playing with it. How am I going to put him to bed when Adam is gone for two whole weeks in July??

Naps? Out in 3 minutes. 15 if it's me. We have a pattern and stick to it. But holy smoke, we have a kid that just. does. not. want to fall asleep alone (so we've stopped trying) or miss a single a moment of life with us. Bless him.

This too shall pass. And I'm sure at some point I'll miss these days of eternal snuggles and desire for no one but us.

My week

May. 2nd, 2010 09:54 am
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This last week has been so odd. I have crashed after more than a week of high energy, focus, and massive amounts of reading. I now can barely bring myself to string a coherent thought together. At the beginning of the week Bennett started a new trend of waking up at 5.30 am. At first I thought his was great: I was fed, dressed, checked in, exercised, etc all before 8am! Win! But it's been every morning this week. Doesn't matter what time he goes to bed, he is up with the birds. It hits me right in the middle of a dream cycle and I spend the beginning of the day somewhere in the spaces between dreaming and awake. It's unsettling. It is also difficult because he's waking up demanding boo-boos and crying when it doesn't happen RIGHTNOW. Being followed around by a whining, crying toddler whilst trying to pee and feed the now also whining cats at that hour of the morning is too much for me.

Yesterday was the worst day yet. I decided to take advantage of the early start and work on my paper. I need to add a section about suffering. I went to my cafe of choice and bought a coffee (which I rarely do). I had already had a cup of tea at home. Later in the morning a friend came by and bought me more tea and then.... it hit me. I had had WAY too much caffeine on far too little food and by 11 am I was CRACKED OUT. It was incredibly uncomfortable and I couldn't think. My mind was racing. Then I crashed in the late afternoon and felt ill. Whee.

So today, I'm wrecked. Up again at 5.30. But the house is clean(ish), the laundry hung. I made huevos rancheros. And then Bennett dumped all the cat litter out of the box and onto the floor.

Seriously, gypsies? I'm offering a special: I'll pay YOU to take him.
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I've been up for two hours today. With B's new schedule and the increased daylight I like to get up between 6 and 7 to get some time by myself to, ideally, do a little yoga and breathe. I have found that the quiet morning alone time, even as little as 30 minutes, creates a lot more space in me for the demands of my day.

This morning B woke up with me. It's Cling-a-Thon 2010. But that's because he's been pooping ALL morning. And he hates pooping. HATES. IT. The first poop fell on the floor when I went to fold up the diaper. Had to clean that up. He pooped again. A nice wet oozy one. Thank heavens for Goodmama diapers. We've never had a leak in them. Today might put that to the test. And he's still pooping.

But it's not just baby poop, folks! The first item of the day was finding Nigel Cat had shat loose stools all over the red living room chair. Le SIGH. Thankfully, the synthetic fabric was easy to clean.

Sweet lard. I cannot wait to go the office today.
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In the spirit of gratitude.

*Spring. It is here. There is red growth on the tree branches, the faintest of buds on some. The snow drops have been bloomed for weeks. The daffodils have had their green out but yesterday I saw the yellow bits all enclosed waiting to bloom. I saw some purple crocuses over the weekend too. Birds are building nests and chirping like mad. The sun is warm. Today I hung my laundry out on the line for the first time since November! Ah, sun, miracle elixir, you take away the stains of the world.

*My homemade chicken noodle soup. Lately, I've been nailing the broth. Bennett drinks it down.

*Mutliculturalism. Adam, B and I went to a birthday party yesterday. It was one of the the most diverse parties I've ever been to. It was the first birthday of a little boy that goes to one of B's playgroups. The little boy was asleep through most of it. He is Nigerian. His father is a student here. Aunts and uncles from London came. There was a Polish couple. Locals, though mainly of English extraction. Two Muslim families from Libya were there too - the hosts are also Muslim. And one little boy who is half Bengali. Languages heard: English, Spanish (thanks to Adam), Polish, Yoruba, Arabic. Amazing.

*Friends. We have friends here! Not really close friends, yet, but friends nonetheless. It's wonderful. It's like we live here.

*Best of all, Bennett goes to sleep at 8pm. Cut for those who couldn't care less )

ETA: How could I forget?! Adam got a great gig today. So we will have money for bills one month in advance. This is a great step toward getting back on our feet!
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Oh the poor first child. Such an experiment. I think I shall start saving for the therapy bills right now.
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It snowed again. Adam is not pleased. The moon was so bright last night I probably could have sat outside and read if I'd wanted to freeze my ass off.

But, let me tell you about my night. It was kind of exciting. Had Adam not been there B would have died. B and I were sleeping on the air mattress on the floor (we're transitioning him out of our bed). He didn't fall asleep until 12.30. He does this about 3 times a week - just won't fall asleep. Ugh. I was so tired and I crashed so hard that I didn't hear B choking on his own vomit at 4am. He was lying on his back and I woke up because Adam called out to B as he rolled over to attend the situation. Thankfully, I managed to roll B over onto his stomach and get the vomit out of his mouth. Cue sheet change #1 and nursing session.

We all got back into the big bed together, settled down, just drifting off to sleep when B exploded with even more vomit. All over the duvet, sheets and all of our jammies. Cue sheet change #2 and jammie change for all. Around 6.45 we finally had wound down enough to go back to sleep. Ugh.

Turns out Adam had given B some jalapenos in his dinner. B is fine this morning. But, wow, does he need a bath. Thank god for Adam.
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Ohmygod. WTF is up my child? We had a total night time fake out. Zonked out at 8.45pm - WIN! Up at 10.30 and we tried *everything* in our tool box, including making up some new tools. No sleep til almost 1.30. Two hours later? Bennett is squirming and crying and keeps scooting up in bed bonking his head. And it's COLD, but he won't abide by covers. Every hour. Ay yi yi. And the nursing. My god, the nursing.

It was almost enough to make me want to attempt a DIY hysterectomy, to ensure that the ol' uterus doesn't ever put me through this again.

But while I am bleary and coming down with a cold, I am surprisingly alright. Not having to be anywhere at any set time is *so helpful*.

Still. Good thing lil' tykes are so damn cute and snuggly.

Again

Dec. 30th, 2009 01:10 pm
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Once again I have B parked in front of a Spanish language Pixar movie. This is good because he's eaten and I can now cram in some school work. My adviser is coming up to my house today in three hours. This is great because the weather is so wet and blustery that I don't want to have to leave the house with B. Day 2 of not leaving the house. This seems to be working - Bennett slept for 12.5 hours last night and didn't have a coughing fit. FANTASTIC.

I'm mildly panicking because yet again I've done no school work. I don't know what's up. I just don't want to. I know I will. I'm just not there yet. I plan to plow through a book review and watch some Youtube lectures by one of the people I'm critiquing. Hopefully that will give me something to discuss. I seem to be full of fabulous ideas, but empty of any follow through. Even this morning I had another cutting edge idea. Go me. Now to FOLLOW THROUGH and do the actual work.

Deeeeep breaths.

****
You know you're a liberal hippie parent when you tell your kid, in response to cartoon fighting, that they're working together to overcome the oppressors.

****
And no word on the cats yet. Any minute now.....
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I spent two hours last night draining the washing machine and mopping up dirty diaper laundry water. So now all the towels are wet and of course need to be laundered.

Adam left for London this morning. I have spent the whole morning cleaning up. Bennett is now parked in front of Lilo and Stitch in Spanish, so I can have time to drink tea and chill out. I have also discovered that he will eat if he's watching something. It's a little like feeding a robot, but at least he eats.... right?
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Ok. So I'm entering week #3 of being ill and I'm on virus #2. This week I begin going back to work, illness or no. I went to the doctor on Friday, just to make sure I didn't have something unusual or requiring medication, and she was only concerned that I was so pale. Everything just needs rest. Or a good cold snap to kill of the crud that's been making the rounds. What sucks is that while your immune system is low fighting off one bug, you're vulnerable for the next. Bah, I say.

I have been spending my time watching a lot of 'tv' - by that I mean tv on the internet. Adam and I have started watching Freaks and Geeks, which is pretty good. The new show that gets my vote, and frankly kicks Glee's confused, sorry ass (even though I so want it to work) is Community. Really funny, quite smart, and that main dude is hot. That always helps. I also discovered Sesame Street online, which has been very helpful with the downpours that Wales has been getting lately. Bennett and I watch clips, which we can arrange in themes - like, numbers, feelings, letters, etc. We make it interactive and it's fun.

I've also recently discovered Lady Gaga. She's a good singer, with brainless, forgettable, but ok music. But what a freaking FABULOUS performance artist. She's like a mainstream Bjork, without the amazing music. I am more than a little in love her Bad Romance video. The zombie dancing just slays me. I think I am going to have to watch every single video she's made.

ETA: I also wanted to add these bits but forgot. I also watched Away We Go which is sweet, but enh. However, the best bits are the Maggie Gyllenhall-Ultra AP satire. I've been recognizing a lot of my hypocrisy and other attractive traits lately, and I recognized more than I'd like to admit in this section. You can see bits here and here.
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Ok. Discipline for a bright not-quite-18month old. Lay it on me. It seems too early for time outs. The only thing we need to discipline for is hitting. He is my child so this is not surprising at all. If my mother knew she'd be overjoyed. He loves to throw things and waves sticks around and hit. It definitely seems more out of energy and love of the action than out of malice. He's just as quick to hug and kiss and he doesn't hit other children, just me and Adam. But now some times we get whacked with whatever it is he's carrying around. We give him lots of attention, play time and room to be loud and active.

Any suggestions? Right now we say No firmly, say he may not hit, and if he keeps doing it we hold his hands or arms. He doesn't see us hit nor do we have tv, so it's not by example. I'm sure tired of being hit.
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Tina Beattie's God's Mother, Eve's Advocate is rocking my world.

Bank of America is taking us for everything we're worth and making understanding the problem so difficult to discern that I doubt I am smart enough to complete my advanced degree. How do they make stuff so complicated and so hard to find the answers?

Thanks to Chiv, I have found a cheap furniture place that will deliver to Lampeter. OH THANK YOU JESUS. I cannot live out of a suitcase for another week. I cannot. Three months is it!

I love having an office. I think we're getting internet at home next week.

Today at 3pm the family we like and know here is coming over for a play date. They have a 3 year old and a 17 month old. Both are great kids. I have realized that I pay attention to the kids to see if I'll like the parents. At least at this age, where so much of the kid is still formed by the parents. Bennett sooooo needs more playdates. We still have no answers to our child care quandry.

Lastly, tonight I am attempting to make nachos. I found Doritos with no flavor. I know, it's disgusting, but a world without Mexican food is not one I want to live in. Gotta make do with what's at hand!
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My father in law loves to go to thrift stores. Several times a week after work he'll hit the stores. But it's not the vintage kind of thrift store, it's the Salvation Army or AmVets. He LOVES them. And on the weekends he goes to the swap meet. His garage is filled with things he thinks he'll use some day. He has 16 tennis rackets, several incomplete sets of golf clubs, old paintings because he wants to use the frames someday, etc etc. But his favorite things? Stuffed animals that light up, sing, and/or dance. Oh yes. He has three (that I can see) dancing chickens. A valentine's dog with sunglasses that wags his tail and sings "I feel good." And others. But we've hidden them. Obviously Bennett thinks they're wonderful. They light up! He can effect change! It's music!

But the worst thing is that my father in law loves to buy Bennett cheap plastic toys that require batteries. Can the toy light up or make music? Did it cost a dollar or less? Then Bennett must have it. The worst offender these days is a microphone that plays only 4 measures - not the complete songs, for better or worse - of Wiggles tunes. I have "We gonna do the ooooowwll! hoo hoo", "Quack quack quack", "Head shoulders knees and toes, knees and toes", "Wake up Jim! We need you for the show!", and other fine tunes STUCK IN MY HEAD. Bennett thinks it is the most wonderful toy ever.

I have told both Bennett and my father in law that these toys will not be making their way to Wales.

But speaking of Wales.... our visas - which arrived today! - have been approved for THREE WHOLE YEARS! Hot damn. We'll see if I can write an entire dissertation in three years. I have a concrete deadline now. I am SO excited to be there. I cannot wait to make my new home in Lampeter.
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Hearing Bennett cry is like kryptonite to me. It derails my thoughts, arrests my function, overtakes my heart. I can't imagine having more than one child crying - would I explode from the overload? I feel like I've voluntarily rendered myself more mortal than I was before.

The flip side, and there's always a flip side, is that I also feel more alive in ways I never thought possible before. Little things, like having a flabby belly, which before would have sent me scampering on the rat wheel of neurosis, are inconsequential. Perhaps annoying, but certainly not important. The joy of simple moments, the delight in being alive, in being human, is far deeper than I anticipated.

But still. I have the ability to be slain by a tiny creature who has yet to know an ounce of malice.

This parenting thing is intense.
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Speaking of adopt-a-mom.... I wish there was a sleep adopt-a-mom group. Sleep is our biggest challenge. We do not want to do anything CIO related, but sweet lord, you just can't make a kid sleep. Or stop squirming. Or want to be with anyone other than mama. As frustrating as the inconsistency is, I am grateful that these awful chunks are broken up with periods where he sleeps soundly and easily. I know that this will pass, but we have no idea what we're doing. One of us is always wondering if we're creating bad habits and dragging this out.

GAH.

(Boy, Bennett sure is mad that his papa is trying to put him to sleep.)

More

Jun. 11th, 2009 01:55 pm
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I am winning the worst, most boring mommy ever award today.

I really just want to curl up under a huge duvet and hunker down for a day or two, hiding out from the world.

I am not cut out for this full time stay at home mom business.
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It's close to 1 AM. Bennett has finally - FINALLY - consented to sleeping. He had two half hour naps, passed out at 7.30, slept for two hours. I came to bed at 9.30 and my mere presence woke him up. It's like he's got special mama radar that functions eve in the heaviest of his sleeping. He would not go back to sleep.

Our night:
Nursing, snuggling, singing, bottle, repeat the first three. Headbutts, squirming, babbling, kicking. Swaddling, nursing, singing, stroking, bottle. Crying, flailing, hands and knees, chasing fairies (or something that he can see and I can't) up the wall, kicking Adam repeatedly in the upper extremities. Bottle, cuddling, stroking. Kicking, crying, laughing. Adam leaves for the couch. Sleeping! Crying, all fours, crawling, whacking head into wall. Light on, diaper change, nursing, cuddling. Screaming, sobbing, squirming, passing out. Sneaking out to pee..... AWAKE! Crying, snuggling, nursing. ASLEEP!

Peeing, water, snack, internet, bed.

OY.

Good thing I'll be fresh and rested for the portraits that we're getting taken tomorrow.

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