13 07 2008

At the beginning of the summer I committed to visiting my family in Maine in August.  Then we went in June for a packed weekend of graduations and family parties, and I saw some family members I didn’t expect to see, which was great.  We were also completely exhausted from toting Mr. E around and sharing a hotel room/bed with him.  It felt so nice to come home and get back to our routine.

I couldn’t imagine going up there again two months later, but I told myself that after two months I would feel refreshed and willing to make the trip again.  Uh, nope.  As the date neared I was dreading it, thinking about August traffic on the highway, Mr. E not taking great naps in his car seat, and toting him around from one party to the next (a couple family get-togethers are planned for that weekend).  I couldn’t even picture where he would get a horizontal nap the entire weekend, which made me sad and a bit stressed out.

I swore I would be a parent who wouldn’t care about such details – that we’d be the on-the-go parents whose kids would just nap where they could and we’d all just adjust.  Er, not so much.  Turns out details like good naps are kinda important, and long car rides are even more exhausting when you have to make diaper-change and feeding stops, not to mention either sitting beside your kid to entertain him or listen to him cry.  But when you have to travel to grandparents you do it – just maybe not as often as you would like.

So I canceled the trip.  What. a. Relief.  I know my parents are disappointed, but our sanity is more important.  And I think Mr. E is at an in-between difficult traveling stage – too old to just sleep through it all, and too young to have long stretches of awake-time when he can entertain himself well.  I do see a portable DVD player in our future….

The best part of all is that instead of us traveling, my bestest bud who lives in England is coming to visit!  I’m so excited for her to meet Mr. E and for us to spend a few days hanging out.  We decided that the fall will be a better time to see my family.

My in-laws are teasing me about being a real Cape-Codder now that the thought of going over the bridge in the summertime seems dreadful to me.  I think I’m integrating well here…


Insert foot directly into mouth…

19 06 2008

Scene: E. and I are talking in bed, almost ready to go to sleep. In reflection of an exhausting evening with Mr. E. which resulted in E. and I taking turns eating dinner, I say:

“I wish we could have a nanny.”

E: “What?”

A: “No, I mean, just someone who would take care of Mr. E most of the day…and evening…and night.”

E: “Um, you mean ME, who takes care of Mr. E ALL DAY AND NIGHT??”

A: “Uh…yeah. Oops. Nevermind.”

E: “Well, if you get a nanny, then I get a wet-nurse.”

A: “Deal.”


27 05 2008

This past long weekend was one of those perfect stretches of days filled with great weather, fun activities, much-needed down-time, and good friends sharing good food. E. and I reconnected with old friends, spent time with brand new ones, gazed into the backyard fire, and even got in some beach time – Mr. E in tow. I was completely ecstatic when, when I said wistfully, “On a day like this, before Mr. E we would have planted ourselves on the beach all day…..” To which E. said “well, let’s bring him!” And that we did. And we sat in our beach chairs at high tide on a sunny day eating sandwiches while Mr. E sat in his stroller and played, then slept. I was in heaven. We live just 5 minutes from the beach – and we can still go!!! It wasn’t all day, but a couple hours was all I needed!

Tomorrow is my interview, so today marks the last day of the bubble of what you think a job will be before you interview and you meet the people and see the place and the bubble bursts. In my bubble I like the people and they like me, and when I start the job it is challenging but in a good way, and it is the right choice at the right time. We’ll see what reality brings.

For one more day I am off work and still high from the long, wonderful weekend. I suppose to even things out with my fellow sandwich-makers my boss put me on the schedule to work BOTH days next weekend. I’ll barely be out of church before I have to rush over there. I’ve come to hold Sundays sacred – both because they’ve stayed my day off and because we go to church and spend time with family. I didn’t realize the extent to which being scheduled to work the dreaded job this coming Sunday would upset me. I’m wishing more and more for this new job to work out…

Still Struggling

14 05 2008

Thanks to everyone for your kind words of support. It really helped. Since we’ve moved in with the in-laws E. and I are rarely in the house alone for a long stretch of time, so I think that has only made me hold things in more since I don’t really enjoy my in-laws hearing us argue or even just talk things out. Thankfully I can vent and sort things out to you all.

I’m struggling lately with some mama-guilt. Because of our schedules, I’m home with Mr. E. two full days and two mornings a week. I work Saturdays, and Sunday is the only day E. and I both have off together. Sunday is by far my FAVORITE day. The others – I’m not too keen on. I really don’t like being home alone with Mr. E. all day.

Enter Mama guilt. E. wishes she could be home with Mr. E full-time, but can’t. I’ve met so many moms who just love staying home – attending multiple mommy and baby groups, taking classes, going on walks, etc. I really just don’t like it. But I LOVE LOVE LOVE Mr. E, of course – which makes me slightly confused. Why does staying home with him bother me so much?

When E and I are home with him together, it’s a whole different story. We can take turns getting ready – when I’m home I wait for his morning nap to shower and get dressed. Eating is also more stressful – E pumps and leaves me bottles, and right now she is just keeping up with his demand. Sometimes when I drop him off she will want to feed him at around a certain time, so I stress out hoping he can wait and I won’t have to give him a bottle, therefore putting stress on E to then pump, which she would rather not do. I miss taking walks when I want to now that it’s nice out – Mr. E barely tolerates a stroller. I’ve tried going out to baby groups – Mr. E usually hates being in the car so he cries hard the whole time, and it just doesn’t feel worth it to me. Sometimes when I’m home and he’s fed, changed, tried to play, and is still cranky, I just don’t know what to do with him.

I feel so guilty about my feelings that I almost didn’t write this post. I fall more in love with Mr. E every day. I love that he can now smile and laugh and play, but I find myself longing for the days where he’ll have a nap schedule or can just tell me what he wants. I want to be able to drive somewhere without him crying so hard. I feel guilty about wanting to just go to work in the morning and come home to him at night – that feels enough to me – with the weekends to relax. I know in my head that there are other mothers out there who feel the same – I’ve met them – but some part of me just wants to understand why E. wants to badly to do the thing I just don’t like. I guess mothers, and parents, are just different. And they parent, and prefer parenting, in different ways.

I should be grateful that one of us does want to stay home, and hopefully someday that will be financially possible. In the meantime, thanks for listening.

Aptly Named

9 05 2008

Since I haven’t posted anything on here since March, and it is now May, it might be obvious that I was thinking of abandoning my dear Fumbling. Indeed, I did abandon it, and you all (all 3 of you who actually read it), until now. What can I say for myself?

I was fumbling.

Fumbling around trying to just hang on with everything going on – finished up my student teaching and began staying at home with Mr. E. I had high hopes that I would post even more often once that change occurred, picturing myself cozily seated on the couch with Skeeter while the little lad slept the day through.

(All you stay-at-home moms can commence hysterical laughter now).

Uh, I was kinda busy. Like, CONSTANTLY busy and when he slept I GOT STUFF DONE because when he was awake he required ALL OF MY BEING. When I had a brake, I sat and gazed at the computer screen or TV.

Uh, I watch A LOT of TV now.

(All you stay-at-home-moms can commence your enthusiastic “uh-huhs” now).

Then, well, I just felt drained with the blog thing. Believe it or not, my life just felt too full to add blogging to it. Well, I guess that’s not quite true, since I’ve become somewhat of a F*ace*book addict, but I digress…

So, then came the BIG MOVE, which JUST HAD to occur right after my mom visited, which JUST HAD to occur right after her first chemo treatment, which she got sick from during her visit. In the midst of all our belongings packed up in boxes throughout the house. I thought she’d be there to help take care of Mr. E while we finished packing. Instead I had to take care of her. A lot. As in, had to drive to Maine to bring her home because she was sick. The DAY BEFORE our move.

We were both in a sh*tload of denial about that one.

So I was leaving a place I love, being a reluctant stay-at-home mom (more on that later I suppose), getting ready to give up having our own place, and dealing with my sick mom, who couldn’t even hold her grandson during her visit. It was all I could do to cope day-to-day and get everything done, and when I’m stressed like that I usually turn inward instead of outward.

I’m learning I need not to do this.

Same thing has been happening the past few days. We moved, and it was completely exhausting and stressful beyond belief, and until I started my summer job I was having a rough time with the lack of structure. Once I started having a place to go that was JUST MINE, even if it meant grilling up steak and cheeses, it was something. But the deli is VERY cliquish, with my co-workers 20 years older than me and native Cape Codders, and think nothing of making gay jokes right in front of me. They’ve never known anything different. They talk openly about going out on Saturdays together dancing at the local bar, without a thought to ask me (I wouldn’t go anyway). But we are of two different species: me, just washed ashore, young, queer, with my M.Ed and this deli gig just a stop on the way. Them: this is their life, period.

I just really, really want to teach.

I know it’s early, and I know it’ll happen for me eventually. But last night the faces of my kids from student teaching flashed before my eyes and I just cried. I miss them. I miss doing what I love. I CAN’T WAIT to do what I love. Sometimes it’s just hard.

Getting used to life in our new community has been both exciting and frustrating. It’s gorgeous here – things are blooming, and I LOVE our church. Even before we moved here I claimed it as my/our place to connect with this community and make our own friends. E. has lots of family, and her family has lots of friends, but as for us having our OWN friends, it comes down to nil. I thought the church community would be a great way to meet people. Last week we officially joined.

So did my mother-in-law.

Ok, I’ve REALLY tried to be open-minded and understanding about this. Obviously anyone can join or attend whatever church they wish. But I started attending this church last fall, and felt at home there. She recently learned we were joining, and wanted to join too. I think she likes it ok, but has attended just a couple of times. Let me explain. She’s the type of person that likes to join ANYTHING. There’s a famous family story that she once saw a huge line somewhere and got in it just to see what all the fuss was about. In short, she’s a JOINER.

Whatever. I can still make my own friends and get involved in my own way. But put all these things together, and I’ve been feeling a bit down lately. I found myself turning inward again, not wanting to deal with anyone, even E. Thankfully, my wife is quite observant and patient, and made me talk about it. I felt so much better. We decided that since we live with her parents, and don’t really have our own social network yet, we really have to make time for just us – either the three of us, or the two of us. I think that will really make a difference. I’m realizing I need to talk things out with her instead of retreating.

I’m also remembering I don’t do well with big transitions.

A similar experience happened when we moved to the Valley. I think I was mildly depressed for months (might have had to do with the fact that we were completely broke as well). But I’m just a stable gal – I like knowing what’s ahead – a loooong way ahead: where we live, where I work, etc. Being with E. has helped me relax a bit in this area in very healthy ways, but to some extent it’s just the way I am.

So perhaps this transition will be hard for me for some time. I think blogging about it might help, too.

Thanks for reading, whoever you 3 readers are. 🙂


6 02 2008

I’ve been a bit overwhelmed and busy lately.  More than anything, I’ve been feeling a lot of different things, including:

  • completely overwhelmed at what I need to accomplish during my student teaching
  • exhausted from sleepless nights, coupled with teaching all day
  • a deep sadness at the loss of Emmy Lou – more than I ever thought I’d feel
  • sheer awe and humility at the intelligence, resilience, cleverness, affection, and persistence shown by 4th graders
  • appreciation and excitement that I get this time solely dedicated to learning how to be a teacher
  • profound wonderment that I had such a hard time deciding which Democratic candidate to vote for, and still in utter shock of the loss of feeling like I’m voting for the lesser of two evils (or, my favorite twist: the evil of two lessers), and instead feeling completely satisfied if either of the two front-runners get the nomination
  • a deepended love and appreication for E., who cares for Mr. E. all day and night, crafts diaper liners and homemade wipes, manages so many household importances, and does it all with such grace and without any complaint
  • complete relief and thankful that my mom, who is getting a lump removed from her breast, is ok and without a cancer diagnosis
  • completely in love with Mr. E., who stays on my mind all day, and is the first thing I want to see when I wake up, and when I walk in the door after a long day, and whose skin I’ll never tire of kissing

The Babymoon is Over

21 01 2008
I’m going back to work (student teaching) tomorrow – I can’t believe it. It’s been so great to be at home with E. and Mr. E. – spending so much uninterrupted time together getting to know him, giving him baths, and taking copious amounts of pictures of him, of course. It’s also been good that we’ve taken him out of the house together – to get the routine down enough so that we can manage it on our own in the future when we need to. I am excited to get back to the students, but I know it will be hard to leave my little guy.

E. asked me the other night if I was going to post about the birth from my point of view. I said I didn’t think I would. I feel like E. gave a very thorough account of what happened, and I was right there with her through every bit of it. The hardest part of it all was watching her in so much pain for so long, and that coupled with no sleep left my nerves shot by the early morning on the day he was born. But I learned, as these kind of experiences often teach us, how amazingly equipped our bodies, minds and spirits are to take on such extreme circumstances, and when my perfect boy was born I forgot about all of it. The other hard part was sleeping in a hospital for 3 nights, and I thought I might just lose it when they started threatening a 4th because of his jaundice. Thank goodness we broke out of there!

The best part was the experience of his birth, seeing him come into this world and then being the one to look at him and pronounce “it’s a boy!” Perhaps the most amazing thing I’ve ever experienced.

Almost 2 weeks later, and Mr. E. has seemed to fit seamlessly into our lives. Sometimes he takes up a lot of energy – like when it takes us hours to get out of the house, but sometimes he is just the cartoon baby, plopped right down in front of us, silently sleeping while we carry on with our lives. This is going to be such an interesting journey…