last month, i focused on letting people i love and appreciate know how much i love and appreciate them through gesture. hmm. i’d say i didn’t do that great with this one. i did a few things here and there, but it certainly didn’t turn out the way i thought it might. i was really busy this past month, and while that did distract me, i don’t think it’s really an excuse. i did do a few things. i wrote some thank you cards for baby gifts and gave some to people in person while the others are still sitting in my office unmailed. my study buddies always cook awesome meals for me and i got it together enough one day to bake a peach pie for them. matt always gets me thoughtful gifts while he’s out by himself. i love receiving these little gestures and picked up a sweater that he’s been wanting while i was out one day. i tried to verbally let people know how much i appreciate them. but…still. this is one i’d like to try out again since i do think it’s really important to be mindful of such things.
for the month of september, i will focus on limiting my spending.
i don’t know what has been going on with me the past few months but i feel like i’ve been spending more money than i usually do/need to do/ought to do. it’s little expenses that add up like lunches out or a little thing for emmett or something for the house that we “absolutely” need. it’s also been big things like getting something on our car fixed, boarding for benny while we’re out of town. so. this month, i want to limit my spending. i also want to watch my spending. i’m going to record what i spend on what everyday. i’ll parse out what was spent on the family (ex. groceries) out of our joint account and what was purely personal (ex. another pair of shoes i don’t really need) out of my personal account. maybe seeing it all laid out like that will make me think a little more carefully about where and how i spend money.
i’ve been working pretty hard for these past few weeks on two big projects. and right now, they happen to be out of my hands. we are updating an analysis on one and a committee member is reviewing a draft of another. so, on sunday, we were able to have a family day (usually matt or i is watching emmett for at least part of the day while the other works)! i hung out with matt and emmett all day and did not do one little piece of work. it was glorious.
- the day started off with a green smoothie and a spin class.
- then, while emmett napped, matt and i cleaned the house. this might not sound very exciting but i’ve been wanting to give our floors a deep clean for a long time. emmett’s crawling now and goes all over the place. i was cringing thinking about the last time our floors were mopped. so, matt and i vacuumed, dusted, mopped, and straightened up.
- after emmett woke up, we drove down to the southside to try out the infamous breaded steak sandwich. i would say that chicago is a city that knows how to make a sandwich. i would also say that this breaded steak sandwich is the best sandwich i’ve eaten here (and i’ve eaten a LOT of sandwiches). oh man it was good.
- we got back to our neighborhood, loaded emmett up in the stroller, and walked over to the bucktown arts fest. emmett took a long stroller nap while matt and i browsed the booths. we found a shady bench to sit on where we shared some deep fried oreos and fresh squeezed lemonade and watched a kids dance competition. that was particularly hilarious.
- we came back to the house to cool off, took some cat naps, and played with emmett.
- then we did the near impossible. we switched out emmett’s car seat from the infant seat to the big boy seat in less than 15 minutes with little to no frustration. truly truly shocking.
- next we went to a mexican seafood restaurant and sat outside on the patio and had shrimp fajitas, fish tacos, and a mexican coke.
- we came back home, got emmett ready for bed, put him down with no crying or whimpering (also nearly impossible), and i cleaned out emmett’s closet. cleared out the stuff that’s too small for him and took some stuff out that he’ll wear as the weather turns cooler.
- finally, matt and i lay out on the couch and watched bad tv.
what an awesome summer day. food (so much good food), laughs with my boys, organization and cleaning, and no data or writing or theoretical framing. it was perfect.
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:
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.