Thursday, January 31, 2013

A big deal

For the past ten days Bear has gone poop on the potty rather than in a pull-up.  This is a big deal in our house, a really big deal.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Productive, sort of

Last week and the weekend were productive for me.  I finished editing some essays for a project I'm working on.  I finally finished the introduction and first part of a paper I need to work on.  I ordered a bunch of books for another project, and I am in the process of submitting the receipts for those books (this is for the grant I was awarded last year).  I have read abstracts for a panel I'm proposing for a major conference in my field and am in the process of finalizing the proposal.  I'm trying to be productive today.  George, however, is teething and has a cold.  We've been up since 5:30 after being up several times throughout the night.  I need a nap, but every time I get George to sleep he wakes up.  I will now return to trying to be productive, and by that, I mean I'm going to put George in his activity center so I can watch The View.

Monday, January 21, 2013


I'm writing this in an attempt to pull together my scattered thoughts.  I'm trying to work on a paper, but I'm thinking of the 18 other things I need to do while Archer is managing George.  My thoughts are scattered as I'm, mentally, somewhere between maternity leave and work.  I want to be working.  I want to write and compose course descriptions.  I want to put together a research grant so I can do some archival work this summer.  But I want to hang out with George, pick Wild Man up from the bus stop, and paint with Bear.  I want to make scones and stew, but I want to read and take notes too.  I want to stop thinking about home and try to focus on this task, but since I'm sitting in my home office, surrounded by crayon drawings, baby toys, and toy cars, I'm finding that a bit difficult.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Letting Go

I spoke with my dad today, very briefly.  I called my mom, and he asked to speak with me.  This is a rarity.  My dad and I tend to speak through my mom or through short emails.  For a moment, I was really happy my dad asked to talk to me.  I thought, "Hey, maybe some of the conversations we had over the holidays had an affect."  Then he said, "I just wanted to ask what Archer wants for his birthday.  You haven't told me anything yet."  I sighed and said, "I'll get him to email you, Dad.  Thanks for thinking of him."  He then said good-bye and passed the phone back to my mom.  Every January, my father repeatedly asks what Archer wants for his birthday.  It starts on Christmas Day and continues until Archer's birthday, sometimes well after.  I usually manage to come up with something--a book, a CD, a sweater.  I am always, however, hurt by my father's intense preoccupation with Archer's birthday.  You see, my dad never asks me what I want for my birthday, nor does he take part in any gift my mom sends me; similarly, he never asks the boys what they might want for their birthdays or for Christmas.  So as thoughtful as my dad is being of Archer, he seemingly forgets me and his grandsons on our birthdays.   

I am officially letting go of my feelings of disappointment and hurt.  My dad loves my husband.  I can't let that bother me.  I choose to be happy that he cares about my husband.  I know myself well enough to know that I will still struggle with this, but I will try.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Confessions of a Skinny Girl

I am a "skinny girl," whatever that means.*  I'm 5'3" and weigh about 108 pounds.  I've never been on a diet, not even after having my children. In fact, five months after giving birth to my third child I am back in my pre-pregnancy clothes with little or no effort.  I am the kind of woman other women hate, as I have been told many, many times in my life.  Because I'm petite, people tend to assume that I don't have body issues, that I'm comfortable in my own skin.  While almost every woman I know complains about her body issues to her friends, I am not allowed to do this.  In fact, if I say, "I don't like how I look in X,"  I am actually mocked.  I've been told by more than one good friend, "The skinny girl doesn't get to complain."  I, a "skinny" girl,  have some confessions to make. 
  • I do have body issues, and I do want to talk about those issues with my friends.  
  • Whenever someone says, "You look great, and I only hate you a little bit," my feelings are hurt.  
  • "Skinny" girls aren't skinny because we want to make women who aren't "skinny" feel bad.
  • Even though I don't diet, I do watch what I eat, and I do eat healthily.  
  • I spend as much time thinking about food and my body as you do.
  • I think I look awful in a bathing suit, and I'm not thrilled with the state of my abs.
  • I don't think I'm skinny enough.
Here is the biggest confession of all:
  • I have a skewed body image, as do most "skinny" girls.  Every time someone pays me a genuine compliment (and really, I feel like those are rare as most compliments include the statement "I hate you!" which I am meant to take as a joke), I think to myself, "Really, that person clearly doesn't see what I see. I think I could stand to lose a few pounds, and I really need to do more crunches."
So the next time you tell a "skinny" girl you hate her because of her size, think about how she feels about her own body first.

*I think this will be a series of posts.

Friday, January 04, 2013

The first step

Keeping with my theme, the first thing I need to "let go" is disappointment over certain relationships, namely the one I have with my father.  I could write a lengthy post about my dad, whom I love so very much.  Then I'd end up in tears, and I'd be dwelling on things.  Instead I want to write a few things that I need to remember about my dad that will help me let go of my disappointment about our relationship.
  • I am an adult, and I am as  responsible for the state of our relationship as he is.
  • My dad is not at the place he thought he'd be in at 64, either financially or in terms of his health.
  • My dad comes from a time when the father's primary responsibility was to be the "breadwinner."  For a variety of reasons, he feels like he has fell short in that respect.  Almost everything he does is colored by this belief.
  • My dad did not have a good relationship with his own father.
  • My dad (who is technically my stepfather) has never lived with children younger than 5 for an extended period of time.  He truly has no idea how to relate to young children.  He also believes children should just do as they are told without question.
  • My dad will always rely on my mother to convey things to me; he doesn't want to engage in any sort of emotional exchange because he is afraid I will see him get emotional.
  • My dad does the best he can.  Often that isn't enough, but I need to remember that he firmly believes that.


Before we left Home State, Yetta asked me if I had made any resolutions.  Her resolutions are straightforward, she told me: maintain her low-sodium diet (long story, but since she's been on it she's lost over 100 pounds and is much happier and healthier), try not to engage Pita in any arguments (this one will be difficult to keep, I'm betting), and to purge her house of some unnecessary stuff.  I didn't really respond other than to encourage her. 

You see, I'm not really a resolutions sort of person.  I try (emphasis on try) to identify things that need to be changed throughout the year and to work on issues as they come.  Some times I'm successful, sometimes not.  I could type up a whole list of things that I want to work on right now, but I'm not certain I see that as productive.  Profgrrrl identifies a theme that she wants to focus on each year, and I've been thinking about this technique for a while.  I've been trying to pinpoint the biggest issue I feel I have right now.  I have a hard time letting go of the little things; I do not focus on the moment very well.  So I've decided that this will be the year of "letting go."  It is a bit cliche and even a bit cheesy, I know, but I do think it will be helpful to me to remember that "letting go," whether it is bad feelings, something that didn't get done, or things I no longer need, will help me declutter my mind and my life.  That is my goal for this year.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

We're home!

Happy New Year, everyone!

We arrived home yesterday after a very early morning flight, a very short layover, and a 2-hour drive.  The children did remarkably well, but then, they tend to travel well as we've done so much of it.  CU Land has approximately 6 inches of snow on the ground.  Wild Man was so excited to see snow that he asked if we could wait to open our Santa presents so he could go play.  As Bear was equally happy to be in his own space, Archer and I agreed.  After playing in the snow for about 45 minutes, Wild Man came inside to get warm and dry.  Then he asked if we could open presents.  He was a bit disappointed we couldn't make homemade pizza for dinner, which is one of our holiday traditions, but we promised him we'd make it one night this week.  He said, "No store bought pizza, Mommy.  We have to make it from scratch!"  All in all, we had a relaxing late-afternoon and evening.

As I steal away a few moments to type this, Bear and Wild Man are "organizing" their new toys.  Our playroom is far from organized, but they are happy.  George is happy to have his things too.  He has spent some quality time in his exer-saucer this morning, and he enjoyed sitting in his high chair last night.  After more than a week sleeping between Archer and me, it will take some work to get him back in  his crib, but I'm not stressing out about anything today.  I'm as happy as my children to be home.