the land of bimsk

chicago dweller | matt lover | emmett motherer | family and friend adorer | benny obsessor | phd pursuer | allthingsfood inmybellyer

emmett is no stranger to airplanes. this past flight was his fourth round trip (7th/8th plane rides) and, most certainly, his worst showing to date. our flight took off at noon. we thought it would be a bright idea to delay his morning nap so that he’d be nice and tired on the four hour flight and perhaps indulge us with a long nap.

nope. uh uh. terrible idea. instead, our lovely emmett (who is fairly newly mobile and is only interested in crawling and/or scooting and/or grabbing at stuff constantly)…

had a truly epic blowout on the el on the way to the airport

got on the plane and immediately grabbed at everything around him, threw everything on the ground, started twisting and arching his back and craning his neck to make eye contact with everyone in our vicinity

less than five minutes into sitting down, quickly examined and rejected the few distractions we’d brought for him

ate a ridiculous amount of puffs before the plane even took off (it was the only way to keep his attention while we had to be buckled into our seats)

got steadily overtired, overstimulated, and over anxious

refused to nurse because he was too interested in trying to grab my next door neighbor’s headphones (that guy wasn’t too excited about that)

figured out how to unlatch that little table in front of our seats and proceeded to continuously bang it up and down (the person in front of us must have loved that) while we took turns latching it, trying to distract him from it, then latching it again

crumpled up the in flight magazine while trying to eat every glossy page

basically flipped the f out for 3 hours of the flight while matt and i took turns trying to walk with him in our arms in the back (he hated that), bouncing him on our knees (he hated that), trying to rock him in our arms and shush him to sleep (absolutely hated that), letting him play with napkins (he was a slight fan of that), feeding him puff after puff (a pretty big fan of that), holding a cup in front of his face so he could make sounds in it and listen to the echo (also a pretty big fan of that)

and then he did this:


yep. that is our baby emmett, crashed out on the gross changing table in the gross airplane bathroom. he clawed at those tissues above him for awhile, trying to eat them, then thrashed around for awhile longer, and then totally knocked out. it was like someone flipped a switch. i had no idea what to do so i just stood there with the bathroom door propped open with my foot trying not to laugh.

so…if you have an almost nine month old baby who has a serious case of fomo and wants to crawl all over while yanking on everything and is too young to be distracted by shiny things like ipads and enjoys pinching people under their arms (he tried that one on my next door neighbor too), let me tell you this. avoid the nonstop between ord and lax.

ugh. why is writing so hard?

(i see you, thoughts and important points, swimming around in my head. now configure yourself into something coherent and catchy and put yourselves on paper.)

a non-exhaustive list of things that make the nonstop nature of life these days much more tolerable:

  • matt. he has been helping out in any way, shape, or form that he can. he’s very busy with work right now as well but that hasn’t kept him from cooking, taking emmett, cleaning, and running errands even more so than usual.
  • emmett. he is just so much fun to be around, i never ever see time spent with him as a chore. he really is the best. god i love him.
  • coffee. matt bought me some stumptown hairbender coffee beans.  oh boy. having a nice big latte made with those every morning has been the kick in the butt that i need to get the day started.
  • smart econ-y friends. you know? the ones who will sit with me and answer the one million little questions i have about variables, survey question phrasing, controls, segmentation of time, and cutoff points. seriously. so awesome.
  • my advisor. who gives me just the right amount of encouragement to get me motivated to work as hard as i can without ever making me feel like i’m floundering. who also is a big supporter of making time for family and enjoying all pieces of life rather than selling your soul for a publication.
  • california! we leave tomorrow. we spend wednesday afternoon and all day thursday with my family. then matt and i will drive down to san diego for a few days for a friend’s wedding. emmett will stay with my folks and i will surely watch videos of him on my phone at an obnoxious level. but. i will also have quality time with just matt, hang out at the beach, eat carne asada fries, sleep in, stay out as late as i want at the wedding, and maybe maybe get a massage because ohmygod my neck and shoulders are tight (the knot in my neck is so big right now that it is visibly swollen and hot to the touch. what the?? i didn’t even know that was possible without some sort of real injury…). i’m pretty confident that little to no work will get done on this trip (i have decided that it’s just not worth it to try to squeeze in a few hours of work that will likely not be that good over spending that time with my family. time spent with my folks and emmett is just too precious) and i’m very confident that i’m okay with it.
  • chamomile tea. especially tazo chamomile tea. with some steamed hot milk and honey. it’s become a delicious, calm-inducing ritual at the end of the day. working until right before i go to bed makes it tough to shut my brain down and i find myself tossing and turning a lot before finally falling asleep. wedging in some time for a mug of tea has created a nice buffer.

that’s what it’s been for the past few weeks. absolutely nonstop. every second of the day is packed full with family, work, friends, and visitors.

i have two big projects to finish by the end of the month: revising a big paper for a journal submission and getting an analysis together and proposal written for an early september deadline (i’m basically starting this from scratch).

this would be a lot of work no matter the circumstances (each project is big and kind of confusing on its own). but, the month of august is especially tight. we were nannyless for one week, matt’s folks were in town this past weekend (which meant that i lost out on my weekend working hours), we are in california for a wedding from wednesday to monday of this week (which means i lose out on those nanny days, night time working hours, and weekend working hours). and it is so much harder to make up lost time when you have a baby.

so i’ve been working as much as possible in every possible crevice of time. for our nannyless week, i had emmett until four everyday. then handed him off to matt and worked from four until i went to sleep around 11:30. i was so completely exhausted at the end of those days. i thought it would be fine but i felt like i was working two full-time jobs. emmett is more mobile and interactive so there is really no downtime at all with him. we were always out and about or playing games at home. the second he went down for a nap, i was on my computer grappling with work.

we’ve had visitors in town - @riadovoidostoevsky who stopped by on his solo cross country motorcycle trip, matt’s family, friends who were here for weddings - which have been a lovely distraction. but i found myself slipping away to squeeze in work during these visits. and amongst it all, there’s not been any time for me. when i’m awake, i’m either with emmett, with emmett and matt, or working.

and it’s only august 11.

i’m tired. really really tired. so tired that i have fallen asleep a few times on the floor while playing with emmett. that is unheard of for me - falling asleep randomly in the middle of the day.

but i am telling myself i can take a breath after these projects are submitted. until then, i’ll work late and wake up early. i’ll do my best to enjoy time with family and friends in california. i’ll engage fully with matt and emmett. and i’ll just keep on going. this is the first time since returning from maternity leave that i’ve felt how tight time can be when your time is no longer totally your own. i’m looking forward to being on the other side of this first hurdle.

Good morning! From Emmett, lover of kitchen gear, crawling towards wires, and waking up bright and early on weekend mornings. #goemmett

last month i focused on working my butt off. i made a list of things i wanted to have done by the end of the month and worked and worked away until i got there. and i got there!

i have three dissertation studies and set goals for each one. for study one, i updated all my qualitative analyses and now have almost all of the quantitative and qualitative analyses done. for study two, i played around with a new-to-me dataset and familiarized myself with the statistical software i’ll be using for the study. i also had a really productive meeting with one of my committee members and feel like i have some direction with this study which is nice because it’s the one i feel is the most undefined. for study three, i transcribed a bunch of interviews, analyzed even more interviews, wrote a short paper, and submitted to a conference. on top of all that, my advisor and i have turned back to a paper we need to revise and submit to a journal for publication. we’re aiming to do that by the end of august. so pieces are moving. nothing is fully formed, but the processes are in motion (some slower than others) and i feel like i’m at that sweet spot of just a little bit too busy which makes me way more focused than i am if i don’t have quite enough to do.

also, i would like to note that i set my all-time pomodoro tomato record yesterday. i figured since it was the last day of the month when i wanted to work my butt off, i should work my butt off:

it’s weird. i thought that i would be more stressed out about work after i had emmett. but, it turns out, i’m much more zen about everything. i find it a lot easier to compartmentalize and focus and i find myself wasting a lot less time. i also don’t spin my wheels as much and don’t get as upset if i have an unproductive day. the pendulum always swings, so i might be saying something different soon, but for now, i’m just going to enjoy it.

for the month of august, i will focus on showing the people i love and appreciate just how much i love and appreciate them through gesture.

i have so many good people in my life. people who i love and who make  life infinitely better. so, for the month of august, i’m going to do my very best to let them know how much i love them. i’m going to do this, not only with words, but with gesture. i often think that i should do something (like finally write all the thank you notes from various baby gifts) or think someone would like something. then, typically, i don’t make it happen. this month, instead of thinking of nice things to do for people, i will do them.

It’s hell writing and it’s hell not writing. The only tolerable state is having just written.
Robert Hass (via victoriousvocabulary)

(via carry-onbaggage)

  • sore from yoga. a friend recently gave me her login to yogaglo and it is changing my life. i do yoga almost once a day now and, for the past two days, did some pretty intense flow. now i’m feeling sore in muscles i haven’t paid attention to in a very long time. it feels amazing.
  • noticeably more tan than i was a few days ago. i was outside a whole lot this weekend. i probably logged about 15 miles of walking with some combination of matt, emmett, and benny. i also spent quite a lot of time hanging out in wicker park, brunching on patios, and eating bbq with matt and emmett on our front stoop.
  • thinking about what types of solid foods to feed emmett next. he basically eats little bites of whatever we’re eating. so he’s had quite the range of food these days - falafel, hummus, a few bites of fried chicken, smoked brisket, mac and cheese, cornbread, bolognese, mashed potatoes. of course, he gets healthier fare for his everyday food. he’s been eating mostly fresh fruits and steamed vegetables for the past few months (he especially loves summer squash from our garden which is nice since we will have plenty this summer). more recently, he’s been eating some lentils, tofu, and brown rice (what a hippie). it’s a little bit too much fun to think about what to feed him next.
  • buzzing from all the fun that was had this weekend. i tried out a new boba place with a friend, i rode on the back of mung bean’s moped to dinner at fat rice (man that was fun. we intentionally took the long way home just to be able to toot her little horn and wave at more people as we rode by at a reasonable speed), i had a dark and stormy at the charleston, i attended a ladies arm wrestling match which was as awesome as you might imagine, i had a lovely lovely “family day” with my boys.
  • feeling a little sad that family days can’t happen every weekend. matt takes emmett for 4-5 hours every saturday and sunday so i can work. every once in awhile, the stars align and enough work gets done in the evenings and matt takes emmett for extra long on one weekend day that we can spend a whole blissful day together without the pressure of work. we had one of those this weekend and it made me so happy. i know we’re lucky to have the flexibility that we have in our work schedules. so lucky. but wow would it be nice to have a family day every week.
  • feeling simultaneously excited by and terrified of all the work that it will take to complete my dissertation.
  • excited about this afternoon. emmett and i are meeting my advisor for an early lunch. she is a terrific woman who has become a close mentor over the years. she recently had some family stuff happen and we haven’t sat down face to face in almost two months. i’m really looking forward to catching up with her. after that, emmett and i are headed to this awesome furniture/random stuff auction warehouse to meet a friend. we went last week and saw all kinds of amazing things. i’m hoping i can get some good bids on some treasures for our house.
  • listening to a playlist on spotify. our niece made it and i can’t stop listening to it. for some reason, i am just discovering the awesomeness that is spotify. god i am so very very behind the times.
  • overall so content with life. it’s a good one, you know?