Sunday, January 21, 2007

Thanks, everyone, for all of your kind words, whether via comment, phonecall or e-mail. I feel mildly embarassed, but definitely encouraged by the outpouring of care and attention. Thank you.

It has been a discipline to wait to post what I am DOING ABOUT my current situation, to look a little helpless for a couple of days before I tell you why you shouldn't worry quite so much because I am doing my best to take care of things. (If you know me well, this should sound completely tongue-in-cheek.)

The night before last, I went to the Cox home to have a night "off" in the guest room. I still woke up every couple of hours, but the nice part was that I could just look at the clock and roll over, never actually having to get up. A big psychological break.

I have started gardening again, and yesterday had fun sifting through the freshly digested compost to pull out the grubs as I put it in the garden. So far we are growing sweet peas, ranunculus, asparagus, purple kale, strawberies, onions a salad greens garden and a variety of herbs. Plus, we are working hard at getting the backyard as pleasant as possible for upcoming spring and summer dinners outside. Did I tell you we (our complex) got a fire pit for Christmas from our land lord? Sure, I had to ask for it, but still-- what a nice gift!

I am going to get a YMCA membersip. I just found out that they will watch A. for free while I work out! I'm sure she will love the change of scenery as much as I will. I keep joking about packing a lunch and camping out there all day...

Also I usually make "fancy" dinners for Jeff and I during the week that we enjoy together with wine (sometimes) and candlelight (always) after A is in bed. We always look forward to a couple hours alone together in the evenings to talk, watch a movie or play a board game. Odd as it may sound, I think we actually get along better now that A is here. A nice surprise.

Any other ideas that have carried you through the rough patches you've experienced?

Thursday, January 18, 2007

I have a confession to make.

Well, two. The first is that I have a really hard time with anything that smacks of a pity party. I just don't believe in pity parties, and have to check myself, as I often find myself judging people for complaining. It's embarassing to me to imply that my life is anything but priviledged and full of blessings. I mean, I didn't even blog about my sixth month of pregnancy when I got the worst eye infection (it looked like a scuba accident,) a cold, pneumonia and then broke a rib coughing-- although now that I can laugh about it, it's safe enough to mention. So please understand that this feels risky. And that at this moment I am trying to overcome a major pride issue.
My main confession is that I am having a really hard time in life. ( I don't want to speak for Jeff, but it's true that we are in this together.) Amelia has been such a challenge for us. I feel like I had approached parenthood knowing that it would be stretching, but feeling like I was definitely up to the challenge. The journey so far has been way beyond my imagination. Not just the challenges of my pregnancy, or the birth experience I hope to never repeat, but the whole deal up until now. Amelia is almost seven months old, and she is still practically sleeping like a newborn. I have written cheerful things before like "it was tough, but we're all sleeping better now," but they should have read, "Amelia was waking up every forty minutes, but now she wakes up every two to three hours, on a good night." She now sleeps four hours at a stretch on a great night. I am trying to think of a stronger word than "exhausted," but I can't at the moment. However, "cranky" is very accurate, and I feel like I am constantly on the verge of a major social blunder. That thing that has typically kept me from speaking my mind when I shouldn't or that helps me choose nice words in a tricky conversation is all gone. Sleep is not the only issue. Amelia has an incredibly dynamic personality and is almost constantly frustrated by... well, I don't know... maybe physical limitations?.. She rarely cries, but hollers almost constantly, and as Grandpa put it, "spends most of her time and energy trying to do things she can't do yet." On the one hand, I try to take her out every day because she LOVES new people and environments and is incredibly and enjoyably social. On the other hand, she rarely lasts more than an hour and a half being out, so I almost never visit friends or do much outside of the home besides running errands. It feels like I've been under house arrest. And so many other things. The breastfeeding not working out. Making formula every day. Cloth diapers. Weekly trips to Herbie's to see what we else we might try. Chiropractic treatments. I have an appointment with an integrative medicine pediatrician in Newport Beach on Thursday to try to figure out what is going on with little A.
It's really, really tough. I have a hard time admitting it, and feel weak doing so. But recently a few people have challenged me to be more honest about where I am at, and the toll all of this has taken. So there it is. I confess, I'm having a hard time.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

This is my late Christmas entry. We may also get a New Year's one shortly. Maybe.

Christmas was full of family, as it should be. We went up to Oregon and spent Christmas Eve at J's parents' house, then drove up on Christmas morning to D&H's house to be with siblings for the traditional Sibling Brunch. We spent an extra couple of days scoping out Olympia's potential as a place for us to settle and spending time with David and Heather, whom we have been missing. Then we went back to Portland to spend some quality time with Jeff's sister's family. One highlight was that they took Amelia for a day while Jeff and I enjoyed the city and time alone together!
We had a great time with everyone. It was so good to be with family on both sides, and Amelia is at a very interactive and enjoyable age. Sleep was not so good (at all!) but she loved spending time with so many new people during the daytime, and was on her absolute best behavior. Here is her six month photo.

This year, I made almost all of our gifts, which kept me pretty busy. I enjoyed it a lot. We have misplaced our camera somewhere in our house, so I can't show pictures of everything. But I did get pictures of the biggest project of the year. I got our niece on Jeff's side a tea set and made a bag that keeps the set and doubles as a tablecloth. I didn't have a pattern, so the problem-solving part of making it took much more effort than the actual sewing. Next time it should go pretty quickly.