Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Daycare Update

Yesterday C and I learned that there is no chance of starting Bear later in December. If we want a spot in January, we have to start paying on Nov. 30. After we found this out, we were both quiet and tense. On the drive home, C said, "Suddenly, I feel sick to my stomach, and M, this is one time in our relationship where I get to be more upset than you do. I've been the one home with Bear, and I actually think I'm going to feel a little lost the first day we send him for the whole day." I looked at C and tried really hard not to burst into tears, especially since both Bear and Wild Man were in the backseat.

We talked about our plan after both boys were asleep. We've decided that we will start transitioning Bear this week and next week. It will be a slow process because we want it to be. Neither of us is really concerned about the cost, especially as my teaching 3 classes this term has enabled us to put a big chunk of money in savings. We want this to be easy on Bear and, frankly, to be easy on us. So by the second week of December, we plan to start taking him to his classroom for a few hours a day. Even though I don't want to do this, I know this is the best decision. He has to be used to his surroundings and his caregivers before the holiday. The school closes from Christmas Eve till the Winter Term begins, which means Bear will go straight to daycare after not seeing the school or his caregivers for about 10 days. The start of the term will be stressful enough on everyone (it always is), so we want that transition to be as smooth as possible. We will likely not leave Bear for a full 7-hour day until January, and as he is only going 3 days a week, I will still get plenty of time with him.

Yes, I'm making a conscious effort to focus on the positive.

Monday, November 23, 2009


That single word describes my life this past semester. That and guilt. I've felt a lot of guilt about various things this semester. Suffice to say, teaching 3 classes while having an infant and a pre-schooler (oh, and a house and a husband) has been much more difficult than I would have ever imagined. I was thinking this morning (at 5:45 when Bear woke up for the day) that I've somehow managed to go a lot accomplished.
  • I've sent out 34 job applications, and I have about 6 more to send out in the next 3 weeks.
  • I've graded, on average, 40 papers a week.
  • I've prepped lessons for 3 classes.
  • I've written paper prompts, quizzes, and exams for 3 classes.
  • I've managed to keep the house reasonably clean with lots of help from C.
  • I've managed to continue nursing Bear, although I've logged in a lot of time at my breast pump (although I haven't written about it, this has been a major worry of mine).
  • C and I have managed to keep both Bear and Wild Man from getting sick the entire semester, aside from a minor eye infection that Bear had in October.
  • I attended a major conference in my field.
  • I've kept up with office hours.
  • C and I have managed to cook relatively nutritious dinners 5 nights out of 7.
  • We've actually attended a few social events, and while C's family was here, we even managed to go out to lunch just the two of us.
When I see that all in writing, I know why I'm tired. The semester ends on the 8th, and I am so looking forward to a break, albeit a short one, as the Winter term starts on January 4th. I plan to spend one whole day in my pajamas just hanging out with my guys.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Bear and Daycare

In January, C's leave ends, and given our teaching schedules, Bear will have to go to daycare part-time. I'm ok with this. Notice I didn't say I'm ecstatic or anything. I'm just ok. He will go three days a week, and two of those days are essential as C's and my teaching schedules overlap on those days. He will be 6 months old, and he will be going to the same school that Wild Man goes to. He will literally be a 10 minute walk from me if I decide I want to go nurse in the middle of the day. Plus, his teacher is going to be Miss M., who is Wild Man's best friend's mom. We know Miss M., and Bear likes her a lot. I'm quite pleased that he has been placed in her room as I think it will make the transition easier for him. This has been the plan for sometime, and as I said, I'm ok with this plan.

Last week we got a call from the school telling us that a spot had opened up for Nov. 30th. The person who does the scheduling for the infant rooms knows our situation and knows we don't want Bear to start until January, but as she explained it, she didn't know if any other spots would be opening up between now and January. If we wanted to ensure Bear had a spot in January, we had to take the November 30th spot. I agreed, but I made it clear that I preferred to wait. I even said if another spot opened that I wanted to take the later spot. She agreed, but I haven't heard anything.

November 30th is about 10 days away, and last night, C asked me what our plan was. He wants to go ahead and start Bear before the holiday break, especially if we'll already be paying for the spot. I, however, don't. After Dec. 7th, I will be done for the semester, aside from grading. I was really looking forward to just hanging out with Bear before the holidays and MLA. The thought of taking him to daycare, whether it is November 30th or later, makes me sick to my stomach. As I told C, I'm feeling all the things I felt when we started Wild Man in daycare. I know Bear has to go in January, but I don't want him to go any sooner than that. C seems to understand, but I can tell he isn't pleased. I know he'd rather start Bear so that we could both get a lot of work done in December and not be so stressed out at the start of the semester. He also said he thinks it is a good idea to get Bear exposed to the school to start building up his immune system. He makes a good argument, but then he does what he always does with these kinds of decisions. He said, "But if you want to have him home with you, that's what we'll do." I don't know what to do.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Random Thoughts

I haven't been blogging regularly, and while I miss, I don't have the time or the energy to post as much as I used to. In fact, I'm writing this at 6:30 in the morning, as Bear woke me up at 5:45 ready to play. I had to get up in 45 minutes anyway, so we're hanging out downstairs while C and Wild Man continue to sleep. Bear is currently playing with his favorite toy and trying to sit up on his own, while I do some things on the computer. I'm thinking about so many different things lately, so I thought I'd post some random thoughts.
  • MLA is in about 6 weeks, and I still haven't decided what to do about the conference. I made hotel reservations in September, but I haven't bought a plane ticket. In fact, we can't decide if I should go, if the whole family should go, or if Bear and I should go. I'd rather take the whole family if only because I won't be worried about everyone. If I take Bear with me, I know there will be lots of friends there who will happily take care of him if I'm in an interview, but I also know I'll be more relaxed if I know Bear is with C. C thinks I should go on my own, but Bear will only be 6 months old at that point. He'll still be nursing a lot, and he is still nursing a lot at night (at least twice). I'm not sure either of us is ready to be away from each other for that long. So we're currently contemplating other options.
  • We also can't decide if we want to fly or drive. Flying has its advantages, but it is expensive. Driving is, well, driving. Putting the boys in the car for 8+ hours isn't my idea of fun. Although given the fact that we'd likely fly out of the nearest big U.S. city, we may as well just drive and have the freedom of having our own car.
  • I have about 12 more applications to send off in the next 2 weeks, and at that point, I will have applied for about 36 jobs. I've eliminated and added some along the way. I've heard from two schools requesting my full dossier, so we'll see what we see. C is very confident that I'll get interviews this year, but I'm not so sure. I think he is being a supportive husband more than anything else.
  • Wild Man has been very clingy and needy since C's return. For the past few days he is demanding hugs and kisses from both C and I all the time and randomly announcing, "I love you, Mommy. I love you, Daddy." I think this has something to do with C's recent trip and all the family who have come and gone in the past two weeks. He seems to want to make sure that no one is going anywhere for a while, which is another reason why I'd rather just take everyone to MLA.
  • I finally gave in and started Bear on solids. We initially tried a few weeks ago, at C's insistence and our doctor's suggestion. She said he was showing all the indications that he was ready, which, frankly, I disagreed with. The first night we gave him some very runny rice cereal mixed with breast milk he just let it run down his chin and started screaming. I felt justified knowing I was right! But while C was gone, Bear began reaching for my plate and watching everyone eat. He even started imitating us chew. About 2 weeks after we first tried rice cereal, I tried it again, and he willingly (and happily) ate about 2 tablespoons. We've since introduced oatmeal, which he seems to prefer, and sweet potatoes, which he loves. Since he is so much younger than Wild Man was when he started solids, I want to introduce new foods more slowly. And since Bear is likely my last baby, I want to do things with him that I didn't do with Wild Man, so I'm trying my hand at homemade baby food. I made Wild Man a few things, but it was easier at that time to buy jarred baby food. In all honesty, it would be easier this time around too, but I want to start Bear off on organic food, at least for the first year. Organic produce is much cheaper than organic baby food in CU Land, so I'll be able to make baby food and freeze it for a lot less than I could buy it already made.
  • I cannot believe Christmas is only 6 weeks away. I have done nothing to prepare. I will be hitting the internet again to send gifts to family in the States. I think we're going to get Wild Man an art easel, but I have no idea what to get Bear. Or C for that matter.
  • I'm presenting at a conference in town tomorrow and am totally unprepared. Luckily the paper is written, although I haven't looked at it in about 3 years. I think it will be a late night. . .
  • I'm contemplating hiring a baby sitter for a Saturday afternoon so C and I can go out alone, even if only for an hour. I have a student who has mentioned that she does a lot of babysitting. She seems to be really bright and dependable, and given her personality, I know Wild Man would like her. I'm not sure she could manage both boys though, especially given Bear's random unwillingness to take a bottle. I'm also not sure it's ethical for me to hire someone who is currently in my class.
  • I guess I should stop writing and get my day started. . .

Friday, November 06, 2009

C is home!

C got home on Wednesday night. Both boys were asleep by the time he made it home. Bear, however, woke up around 5 to play, and when he saw his father, his entire face lit up. He played for an hour or so, and when he got fussy, which usually indicates he is ready to nurse and go back to sleep, he refused to nurse. He kept coming off the breast and looking at C. C finally took him and rocked him back to sleep. Yesterday was my long teaching day, and apparently Bear was only happy when C was holding him.

When Wild Man woke up, C walked into his room, and I heard Wild Man shout, "Hooray! Daddy is home!" Both boys have staid very close to their dad in the past 24-hours, despite the presence of both Yetta and Pita (I'll write more on that later). In fact, right now all my men are snuggling on the couch together. Seeing them together is wonderful.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

A productive Sunday

So the entire time change threw Wild Man off, which means I've been up forever. First Bear woke up at 5 to play, which is not that unusual. By 6 he was ready to go back to sleep. I nursed him and got him down, and just as I was drifting off to sleep Wild Man started hollering "Mommy! I want to play!" I debated waking my mom up, but honestly, it wasn't worth it. Wild Man likely would have flipped out and had a meltdown or just demanded me anyway. So I got up and took him downstairs. We chatted, and then he asked to watch a movie. I was exhausted, so I complied. He watched while I drank coffee and graded. Bear woke up about 45 minutes later, and then I did get my mom up. She amused Bear while I kept on grading. After my brother got up and Wild Man's movie was over, we had breakfast. Then Wild Man drug his uncle upstairs to play, and my mom did some stuff around the house for me (my house is a wreck, and I don't even care that Yetta will be here later in the week; how's that for progress?). Meanwhile I nursed Bear, and we both napped on the couch for an hour or so. Then we all got ready and headed to the bookstore, where we met some friends. Wild Man played with his buddies while I chatted with my friend and my mom shopped for Wild Man and Bear. By the time we got home, it was lunchtime and then naptime. Currently Bear is napping on me (no, I'm not moving him as I needed him to cooperate), Wild Man is napping in his room (despite fighting the nap, he finally gave in), and my mom is napping on the couch. My brother is reading. I have just finished grading all 22 of my students' job portfolios and am about to finish up some more job applications myself.

Not bad for a Sunday.