Omar, Becca and I just spent the last week or so in Maine. We spent some time visiting relatives (my aunt and uncle, my parents, my brother and my sister and their families), attending my high school reunion and hanging out in a cabin in the woods. We arrived home today and have begun the slow process of unpacking the car.
Before we left for our trip, I had grand visions of pre-writing blog posts and timing them to post on the appropriate days, having really cool guest bloggers or at least posting an announcement that I would be gone for awhile. Instead, I became so overwhelmed with preparing for the trip that none of that happened. When it was getting down to the wire,I had to start cutting out some of my to-do list and figured that it was more important for me to pack for the trip and figure out what to do with the cats than pre-write blog posts. Besides, I assumed I would have some time to at least create one or two short posts throughout the week. I always have such optimistic plans!
It ends up that anytime I had internet access I didn’t have a second to spare to get on the internet or the wireless connection was so secure that it was impossible to gain access or my mom had misplaced her password. When we arrived at the cabin in the woods and had some time on my hands, I discovered that I could barely get a cell phone signal and didn’t have a prayer of getting an internet connection. Boy, was that a culture shock!! Once I got over my disbelief that I would have very little contact with the outside world, I ended up embracing life in the wilderness and spent the week canoing, fishing, and whale watching.
Next time I plan on taking a weeks hiatus, I promise I will have a better plan. Really, I will!
In any case, it feels great to be back!
Warning – Whinny Post Alert!!!!
I’m so tired. And I’m tired of saying, “I’m so tired”. And my husband and friends are tired of hearing “I’m so tired”. But I’m so tired.
I just can’t seem to recover. I have been exhausted since my second trimester. So basically, I have been exhausted for a year now. No one tells you that. And it’s not that I don’t ever sleep. I sleep. But not the same quality of sleep I had before. I don’t think I’ve just woken up on my own since I gave birth. There is always something or someone waking me up. Admittedly that the “someone” is the most adorable human being ever – but nonetheless, waking up to his screams is quite a jarring experience.
The other day I was complaining explaining to someone that I feel like I work two full time jobs. I work all day and then come home and try to be a good mom. Then I physically drop at 9:30. Most nights I don’t even have enough energy to read a couple of pages of a great book I’m trying to read. This morning I noticed that my eyebrows are out of control. I just haven’t had time to pluck. My house is a mess and dirty. I haven’t updated John Patrick’s album since he was three months old. And I’m sure most of my friends think I’m a big selfish hermit because I never call anyone anymore.
Did I mention that I’m so tired? Ok, and admittedly, feeling sorry for myself. Believe me, I KNOW that I’m not the only working and tired mom out there. But how do you all do it? And am I ever going to feel rested again? Sometimes I just daydream about checking into a fancy hotel, drawing the curtains shut, turning the air conditioner down really low, and sleeping for a good 14 hours. In this dream, I wake up on my own because I have had enough sleep and it’s a slow process, not a jumping out of bed and running to get a bottle process. But then I realize that even one night away from my pumpkin would make me miserable because I would miss him so much. So I guess it just leaves me with…
I’m so tired.
I’ll admit it – we’re drowning in baby expenses – food, diapers, wipes, swimming lessons and daycare. Add to that New York City rent, working at a nonprofit and well, you can do the math. It’s tight. So last week when I went to buy diapers – again – I got cheap. There were Duane Reade generic diapers on sale for $5.99. So I bought them.
You can guess what happened… That night I woke up to the cries of a very uncomfortable baby. He had soaked through his pajamas and bed sheet. Here’s where the really shameful part comes. After this mishap, you would think that I learned my lesson and got him better diapers. Nope, I couldn’t make myself waste the $6 so I sent them all to daycare for them to use on him there.
The very next day when I went to pick him up he was in a different outfit. His teacher informed me that he had soaked through his clothes and sheets during nap time. I acted shocked by this turn of events (even though I knew full well that would happen).
Finally, I went to buy the Huggies diapers and threw out the Duane Reade generics, but I did hang my head in shame the whole walk to CVS.
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When I look back on my first few hours of breastfeeding, it is hard to believe that I have been breastfeeding for 22 months and counting. I remember in the early days I was taken it one day at a time and before I knew it, I had been breastfeeding for 3 weeks, then 3 months, then 6 months. All of a sudden I was approaching a year and found myself beginning to think about weaning.
The thought of weaning felt really overwhelming. I had grown accustomed to my “secret weapon” of nursing. Becca having trouble sleeping? Whip out a boob! Not sure that Becca had enough to eat tonight? Whip out the boob? Becca fell and skinned her knee? Whip out the boob? Becca just feeling cranky and annoyed? Whip out the boob!
I hadn’t realized how much I had grown to rely on nursing until I began to think about not having it anymore. How the heck was I going to deal with all of the situations above without nursing? It was the ultimate panacea and I didn’t have any reliable back-ups.
Since Becca’s 1st birthday, we have been s-l-o-w-l-y working on weaning. A month after her birthday, she went 24 hours without nursing. I thought for sure that it was just a matter of days before Becca would be finished nursing. I felt conflicted at the thought but also excited about truly getting my body back. Instead, it was as if Becca had her own freak-out about losing her panacea and increased her nursing significantly.
For the past 10 months, Becca has continued to decrease and increase her nursing. During this time, she has gone as long as 72 hours without nursing. Just when I am getting ready to pack in my nursing bras, Becca will begin to nurse again. Apparently, she is as conflicted as I am.
Lately, I seem to be writing about the library a lot. What can I say? I spend a lot of time there.
One of my main reasons for going there is to get free books. Isn’t that one of the reasons most people go to the library? I can choose any book my heart desires and I don’t have to pay a red cent for them. If my library doesn’t have a certain book, I can even request it from one of the dozens of libraries in my county’s library system.
But here’s the thing, recently I requested all kinds of books from the inter-library loan and then I become overwhelmed by the sheer number of them and then I just got busy. So I lost track of time and began racking up fines for my books. When I returned the first batch of books, I had $20 in fines. Yep, that’s right. I paid $20 for free books. Instead of learning from my mistakes, I managed to return the next batch of books late and now have a $12 fee waiting for me. I am beginning to feel as if my free library card has morphed into a high interest credit card overnight. This is one walk of shame that I can not afford to keep making.
Like all toddlers, Becca is instinctually a scientist that is fascinated by the world around her. She is always trying to figure out how things work or determine where things belong. I often find that her investigations of an every day object will engross her for hours at a time while her fancy, battery operated toys collect dust in the corner.
- A cell phone rings and she begins to run around the house frantically searching for it *sort of like her mom*. When she manages to locate it, she will then run up to the owner (my husband, my MIL or myself) and proudly hand it to him or her. It is amazing how often she manages to match the correct cell phone with the correct person.
- As I am filling up her sippy cup, I knock it over and it manages to soak the counter and quickly drip onto the floor. As I am grabbing for a paper towel to soak up the spill, Becca is eagerly hunched over it poking at it, mesmerized by how the liquid moves at her touch.
- Becca discovers a ziploc bag filled with pencils. She spends the next 1/2 hour or so taking the pencils in and out of the bag. Sometimes struggling to line the pencil up properly and get it situated on correctly with the other pencils but completely engrossed in her task.
On a regular basis, Becca (and many other toddlers) are informally practicing the scientific process and perfecting the ability to make scientific inquiries. It isn’t necessary to buy any genius tapes or purchase any special products. Instead, I just need to engage with her and support her as she explores her world. Without any flashcards or outside intervention, Becca is naturally developing the inquiry skills recommend by the Center for Science, Mathematics and Engineering.
In order to develop this process, the Center recommends that students do the following:
- ASK A QUESTION ABOUT OBJECTS, ORGANISMS, AND EVENTS IN THE ENVIRONMENT.
- PLAN AND CONDUCT A SIMPLE INVESTIGATION.
- EMPLOY SIMPLE EQUIPMENT AND TOOLS TO GATHER DATA AND EXTEND THE SENSES.
- USE DATA TO CONSTRUCT A REASONABLE EXPLANATION.
- COMMUNICATE INVESTIGATIONS AND EXPLANATIONS.
So the next time that Becca rips my make-up bag apart and smears lipstick all over her hands, my purse and her car seat, I will remind myself it is just part of the scientific process. I will then ask her to explain what her original hypothesis was (lipstick shows up better on mama’s white purse then on my grey car seat) and ask her to explain what her investigation revealed (mama’s face does get redder than her lipstick).
At the rate we’re going, Becca should be receiving the Nobel Prize before she reaches kindergarten. The question is: should she apply for early admission to MIT now or would it be better for her to wait and compare her scholarship monies before making a decision? I’ve heard that Rutgers has some amazing science programs.
What is your scientist up to?
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