I Am A Walking Milk Factory

I’ve been feeling a little down that I can’t seem to get anything done these days.  Mornings are a blur, I get to work, come home, make dinner, and before I know it, it’s bedtime.  Tonight I actually got the catboxes clean, but that was about it.

In talking with a friend, I realize part of the problem is that I spend a significant portion of my “free” time either pumping or nursing.  I pump four times a day, two of which are during the workday, so that Nova will have her 16-19 oz of milk at daycare.  Then I also nurse; once in the morning, 2-3 times in the evening, and 2-3 times during the night.  A large portion of my day is spent expressing milk–no wonder I get absolutely nothing done.

So apparently my job, besides the one I actually get paid for, is to produce milk.  Moo.

Spring

Ah, it’s so nice outside–too bad I’m sick.  I caught something (probably from daycare) so I have been out of commission.  I don’t think it’s the flu, just a bad cold, but it’s unusual for me.  Leif was nice enough to go out on a Friday night and even get me chocolate ice-cream and Drambuie.  I love those herbal liqueurs, I treat them as medicinal much as the monks did who originally made them.  And yes, I have the odd drink now and then though I am nursing, in case you were wondering.

Speaking of nursing, with my return to work I spend a lot of time pumping.  Nova has been drinking anywhere from 15-19 oz a day at daycare.  Jeez.  I don’t know what a normal volume is, but basically I pump four times a day just to keep abreast of it.  (ha ha, bad pun I know, but I’m sick)  She can flip from her tummy onto her back, and can really push her head up when on her tummy.  And her eyes are still blue!

I am finally uploading pics onto snapfish so I can print them out.  I looked at the photos we took in Maine–we took 200 photos that week.  Crazy.  But a lot of them are textures and rocks, things that epitomize the seaside for me.   Anyways, it looks like you can share albums, so if you’re interested I’ll try to figure out how I can make them accessible.

Questions

I’m feeling philosophical and perhaps a bit morbid, but here are a couple of questions I’m currently musing on.

1.  Say you have a young child and his or her mother.  Which is worse, the death of the child or the death of the mother?  You would probably pick the death of the child, but isn’t it more cruel to have a child grieve over the death of the mother than the mother grieve over the child?  After all, the mother is an adult, and arguably better able to handle emotional issues.  However, the child has more potential years.  And the person who dies isn’t going to care–after all, they’re dead.  The grief and horror of death falls on the survivors.

2.  If you knew the world would end in five generations, what would you do?  For example, you could still have children, but you would have to know that somewhere down the line they would suffer.  (After thinking about that one, I decided I would found a company to build a self-sustaining spaceship–maybe in five generations we could figure it out).

And it’s such a pretty day outside!

Home Today

So due to a mix-up (on my part) with PTO and maternity leave, I am home today.  I have lots I should be doing, but so far all I have done is dug some dirt, pumped twice, and watched some episodes of Buffy.  Oh, and I’m having an illicit cup of coffee.  I say illicit because coffee can mess up me insides, but I am actually doing okay with it.  My brother stayed over the weekend and for company I like to make the fresh-ground stuff with real cream and brown sugar. . . mmm.

I have to say, I’m really glad to have a brother and have him so near.  We both had yesterday off so we did some shopping at Target (for really exciting stuff like socks, underwear, and vacuum cleaners) and then went out to lunch before I took him home.  He’s a good guy (though he should dump the smoking habit. . ick) and I enjoy spending time with him.  He’s also a great uncle, so good with the kids.  When he’s around, he has no compunction about picking up Nova and bouncing her when needed.

I read a lot, and I love human psychology, mind stuff, and science.  I’ve read in more than one place that how much time you spend with friends has a direct correlation with your happiness.   The people in our lives are our greatest treasures.   Having said that, I am still on the hunt for friends to complement the fringes of me.  I have my work friends (which would have more impact if I didn’t have to pump now on my lunch break), my pagan/new age friends, my geek friends, and my artist friends.  But I am still looking for bellydance friends and personal development friends.  After all, one can never have enough friends!

Case in point, on Saturday I went to the annual UW Bellydance Show.  It was fun, though not as well attended as in years past.  I was supposed to meet someone there, but she ended up getting sick, so it was just me.  I thought, well perhaps I will meet somebody new and make a new friend.  I did. . . but I think he was about 18.  Maybe 22.   He was dressed like me, blazer type jacket, armwarmers, comfy shoes, reading a book.  He had gotten there really early and we ended up talking.  And to be frank, it was nice to have someone to sit with.  But I feel guilty when I talk to single guy without putting the disclaimer out there, “I’m married. . . I have two kids. . . I’m probably twice your age.”  That, and right now, I really want to make friends with people who are sort of where I am.  People who have kids but don’t want it to totally define who they are.

You know, when I was 18, I did not look far enough ahead.  I really wanted to find love, and I did.  I wanted to have kids, and I did.  I wanted to get a job and not worry about my income too much (hence the scientific degree), and I did.  Now what?  Am I greedy that I want something more?  I often wonder why the heck I am here.  I do, very much, want to be a great mom to my two girls.  I want to grow old and see my grandchildren.  I want to teach them that you there’s always another finish line and it’s okay to not have the answers.  I know that I have a great deal of influence in the circle of my family, but it is a small circle of influence.  I feel often that I am quite ordinary, and it bugs me.

I dreamt the other night that Rowan and I were on a bus with a bunch of other people.  We were cresting on top of a mountain and starting for a bridge that crossed over a giant sea towards a large city.  As I looked at the other end of the bridge, it collapsed.  For a moment I was relieved, because I thought we weren’t on it yet, but then I realized we had already started driving across.  As we fell through the air and were about to hit the water, I felt sad, but not horrified.   I was sad that this was all the life Rowan and I would get, there was so much I wanted to do, and I hoped it was quick because she was so young.  I didn’t think this was the way it was going to end for us.  And as we fell, I fell into my body and realized the weight on my arm was Nova, not Rowan, and I was alive.  It felt so real, and so I have to wonder–I get to live some more, so what am I going to doing with that time?

I don’t have any allusions that I’m going to cure cancer or AIDs or anything like that.  But I do want the world to be a better place because I am here.  Part of that is definitely bringing up my kids to be compassionate.  Other than that, I’m not sure what I can contribute.  I suppose there’s money, but I want to get my hands dirty.  Of course any big dreams are going to have to wait a bit, as I sort of have my hands full with a young baby right now.  🙂

Horribly Sad

So today started out as any other day.  I have a huge proposal I’m trying to get though at work and it’s slow going.  Then I hear a coworker talking about how a 6-week old died at an in-home daycare yesterday and it’s all over the news.  I hate news stories like that, but out of morbid curiosity I check it out.  Baby Death at Daycare!  Illegal At-Home Daycare!  And then I realize in horror that it happened to the provider who took care of Rowan for her first three years.  I feel sick inside.

I feel sick because it might be due to SIDS or whatever, but the new agencies are going to rake her over the coals.  I know how much she has always loved kids, and for this to happen on her watch must be a terrible feeling.   She was Rowan’s second mom.  I seriously doubt she had anything to do with it, but I know public opinion will be against her.  And I feel so awful for the parents, because that is a parent’s worst nightmare.   What a horrible situation all around, and I can’t stop thinking about it.

So I came home and have been all over Nova.  She chooses this day to be really sleepy, and rather than be like “Whee! Free time!” I just want to hold her and confirm she’s okay.

The Smell of Violets

You can tell it’s spring by the smell of violets.   It was so wonderful to come home the other day and walk out the back door into the sun and see violets all over the lawn.  One year I actually made candied violets, but this year I have my hands full with a new baby.

This was my first week back at work, and it went pretty well.  Even better, Nova did really well at daycare.   I got a new type of bottle and she’s been pretty good with it at daycare.  And, daycare tires her out.  Three nights in a row she slept from 7:30 pm to 3:00 am before waking up to be fed.  One night she went from 7:30 pm to 5:30 am.  (However, I think she may have a slight cold now because last night she wanted to nurse constantly and is a bit stuffed up–that would also be a gift from daycare).  I have to use the seat belt on the vibrating chair now because she’s getting so active.

Yesterday, we had a birthday party for Rowan.  We had five other kids over.  Instead of goody bags, we decorated tshirts for each kid to take home, then decorated balloons with sticker faces.  We had a special “Princess and the Frog” cake made that appeared to be a 1:1 ratio of frosting to cake.  The cake itself was good, but I’m not a big fan of regular frosting.

It’s funny, I didn’t really want a party at our house, partly because of the baby but also partly because I was afraid our house would be too small.  I love our house for us, but when I see the houses of other parents, there always seems to be a big basement area with room for running about.   It seems most of Rowan’s friends live in newer houses, twice the size of ours.  (Of course, their mortgage is probably twice ours too, so I don’t complain about that).  But when people come over, we always get compliments on our house.  I think that’s because these large houses are all white on the inside–they’re afraid to really liven it up.   To me, what is the point of a home that doesn’t reflect who you are?

Well, someone is cooing and burbling at me, so that’s it for now.