for some reason, i have recently decided that i need to be stitching on the mushroom chart again. its been in hibernation for a year. i didn’t forget about it, i just didn’t even care that it was there, inside my closet. now all of a sudden i’m addicted to it again. teeny tiny details is all i want. following complicated charts and sorting masses of coloured thread, turning my focus down to the area the size of a postage stamp, its suddenly wholesome all over again. I’ve been picking it up every night as i sit with the girls in their room. we put an audiobook on the tablet and they fall asleep listening while i keep them company (blaze wont sleep alone yet) and make very,very slow progress with various shades of creams and greys down the stem of a mushroom.
i forgot about toddlers. August 24, 2016
this baby is much more toddler than she is baby. she is into EVERYTHING and i can’t get anything done with her around because she wants to ‘help’ or be in my lap or whatever it is that she can do to sabotage it.
jim took the girls to the CNE today. I had a drs appointment in mississauga at 2, but other than that i had the whole day free with just me and thalia. i thought htat we would hang out at home, i would find something nice to do durign het day, like maybe bake something or watch a show and knit.
no siree. not a chance. we started out with thalia being a grumpy, clingy baby who jsut wanted to sit on my lap and look at my boob. seriously, not even nurse, she didnt want any milk, she just wanted my breast to be out of my shirt so it would be there, close by. every time i tried to put my clothes back on she yelled at signed “milk milk milk milk” i kept offering to nurse her and she pushed me away. didnt want to actually drink the milk, just wanted it there, available at all times. awesome. if she was an adult human instead of a baby one, demanding that i leave my breast out so she can see it (and rub her face in it periodically) would be considered abuse. since she is a baby she can get away with it.
i thought maybe she was tired so i took her to lay down. i put on a podcast to listen to and she lay down for about 0.6 seconds and then that was that. she messed around with the tablet, changing the podcast, opening up random shit, being a pain in the ass generally. i decided ot give up on the podcast idea and just let her muck around with the tablet while i tried to finish up a small bead project i have been working on, and nope, thats not gonna fly either. she needs to be in the beads. and if not in the beads, then in my lap. toddlers are my least favourite stage of childhood. seriously it takes the most energy, and most of what they do is (from an adult perspective at least) utterly pointless and infuriating.
so forget it. i called it quits and we got in the car. we drove to the fabric store. i picked up some stuff, a quilt bating for this really ugly sweater quit that i don’t love at all but i’m committed to finishing because i’ve come this far already. then we went to staples and i picked up (!!!) SCHOOL SUPPLIES. yeah thats right, i bought pens and three sturdy, pretty notebooks and a new and charming little journal. all around me where high school kids and one girl and her mom shopping for supplies for residence. her mom was anxious and a bit overbearing and saying things like “is that enough paper? dont you think you need more? do you need binders? here, take another one just in case,” the girl kept saying “whatever, its fine mom.” and here i am, coming up on 28 years old, with my third baby of all things, a 13 month old who is riding in the carrier on my chest and I’m here picking out notebooks.
then we drove to the drs office. i went to get my prescription to change hands from the dr at womens college that used to write it for me to my family dr who i haven’t seen in ages. because i haven’t been there in ages, he said “well since you are here, lets do a tetanus shot because you are overdue, and then check your blood sugars and cholesterol because you should do that every three years anyway” so i got a shot, a prescription,and then we went to the blood lab. Thalia charmed all the people in the waiting room, and then yelled a lot when she wasnt allowed to sit on me while they did bloodwork/tests.
I still had time to kill if i wanted to, and I didn’t need to be anywhere for a while, so i decided to go find a teapot. I don’t have a teapot and i’ve been thinking of getting one for a while. so we went to the thrift store.
Thalia fell asleep on the way. i put her back in the carrier, and she stayed asleep. she is soooo cuddly and sweet and i will really miss these days when she was small and i could tuck her in under my chin and have her close all the time.
i found a perfect teapot for $10 along with a couple other things. i was not seduced by the beautiful mugs. i was not seduced by the beautiful set of plates, grey-pink with cherry blossoms, even though they were like $7 for all of them. we don’t need plates right now, even cherry blossom ones. sadly.
headed home. it was a full day, we got a lot of things done and i got new notebooks and a new teapot and now its time for dinner and bed. and maybe tea.
countdown to the MEP orientation and social dinner: 8 days.
11:30 really does seem to be the new breakfast time. its when I have had a chance to sit down and eat something most mornings. Today it was get the girls to camp, then get a handle on the day, make a plan of attack for everything that we need to gt done, discuss skating lessons for the girls with jim, then take thalia to have a bath. she plays in the water and i am determined to do SOMETHING useful with this little pocket of time I have, so i scrub the floor and the side of the tub. there, thats something at least.
Jim takes her to nap. I think they are both asleep actually, as I haven’t heard anything for a while. i get some breakfast, turn a blind eye to the state of the kitchen (food first. kitchen later) and sat down to eat and quickly checked through my emails, caught up with the status of all the other part-time students for midwifery (so many of us are trying to work out our courses right now and we are all trading info and tips and “guys, i figured it out, this is how you find it” notes).
tuesday fell apart. in hindsight i can see that it was going to happen, that the crazy train was off the rails all day, and i was getting hints the whole day that it was going to end with me being a delusional basket case trying to hurt myself at 2 am. (which it did.) i don’t know what happened. but whatever, the next day was back to normal and everything seems fine now. taking meds doesn’t eliminate every one of my bad days, it leaves me with one every couple months, which i can live with. the important thing is recognizing that its happening and trying to pull out early. trying to recognize the lies for what they are – lies. i actually feel like i am a different person than i was on Tuesday. I believe different things (aka, things from reality) than i did then.
what a stupid day August 16, 2016
today feels crappy. thalia slept very badly. she was awake it seems like every hour or so, uncomfortable and i think hungry. every time she woke up she was soaked with sweat – not even damp – SOAKED. i pulled of the shirt that she had fallen asleep in, which was as so wet i probably could have rung it out. I wiped her down with a damp cloth and that seemed to help. she asked to nurse all night. i basically slept on and off between finding her attached to my nipple.
i got up and she was still asleep, finally sleeping peacefully. i slipped away from her and got the girls ready for camp. they were up already and we were busy trashing the place in a pretend unicorn game. we got to camp on time and nobody gave me a hard time this morning. when i got home buth she and jim were still asleep.
it has rained all day. the slow, steady grey rain that just doenst let up. and its about time for it – the whole of the country is parched. its the perfect rain to sit quietly and eat some breakfast and settle in to catching up on some work. since thalia was still sleeping, thats exactly what i planned on doing.
then she cries.
jim brings her out to me and then goes back to bed. she whines for the next hour, grumpy and inconsolable. doesnt want to be in my lap, doenst want to be on the floor, doesn’t want to eat, and if i offered to nurse her she bit me. doesnt want to do anything other than flail around and complain. i dont get to eat. i don’t get to settle into figuring out how to get enrolled in that last course i need.
eventually i go and wake jim up and i am a grumpy ass at him. the entire morning is gone and all i have done is try to hold the baby. the day is slipping by me, and all around me is the mess. THE CONSTANT FUCKING MESS. i had made a little list next to me on the desk, and it barely scratches the surface of what i need to get done. call the drs office, call the rock climbing place to get coco into the fall session, clean the cat litter, clean the guinea pigs, enroll in A&P, mail the henna package, strip the bed and wash the laundry and then the guinea pig laundry. clean up the random cat poo that somebody thoughtfully left in the bath tub over night. mop the kitchen floor, after i find it.
I am mean to jim and he snaps back at me, and i realize what i am doing and reign myself in. later he hugs me. he takes thalia and i decide to lay down in bed, by myself, without a baby climbing on me whining, for like five minutes. please just for five minutes. then i can get up and clean all the things. i can feel that buzzing in my body that is my reaction to stress overload – a physical ache everywhere. like inside me somewhere is that low, constant hum of a refrigerator.
then its 3:00! my five minutes turned into a three hour nap. while i was starting to wake up i was panicking, thinking, it looks really late in the morning. who took the girls to camp? i guess jim did, but why would he do it? did we all sleep in? did we miss camp? who put the garbage out? then i realized that it was actually still the same day. i didn’t have to get up and go through the regular morning routine because it wasnt Wednesday morning yet.
the buzzing is gone. and so is, unfortunately, the whole fucking day. i didnt realize i was that tired. i didnt actually realize i was tried at all – tired is so normal that it feels really strange to NOT feel tired. when i woke up and felt not tired, i thought ‘oh yeah, that’s what well-rested feels like. i forgot.’ well-rested happens a couple times a month i think, not often enough for me to recognize that it should, in fact, be the normal.
jim has thalia in the bath when I get up. when she gets out, i get in. while i wash she throws in bath toys for me and i throw them back out and then she throws them back in again and we play this hilarious game fro a while. jim goes to get the girls from camp. get the girls from camp?! surely i just dropped them off like an hour ago. napping always feels like a huge waste of time. if you nap, you cant clean. you cant work your way down through the to-do list. nothing gets done when you sleep. I hate it. i hate waking up and finding that the day is finished and i did NOTHING.
jim had made fried rice. normally i dont care for fried rice but so far today i have eaten a measly sandwich, and its now waaay past lunch time. i will eat any ready-made food. Thalia is also hungry so i am sharing with her. Jim calls me to talk about what we are doing for hte rest of the day, and what is our tentative schedule for tomorrow. thalia thinks i am moving too slowly on this rice and spoon business, and pulls the whole bowl over onto herself. the bowl smashes into a million million tiny shards all around her and she screams. i hang up on jim, pick her up, cuddle her and look her over. only one pinprick sized welt is coming up on the top of her foot. thank god. i pick the rice out of her hair and she asks for milk. we sit for a while until she calms down, then i stick her in her highchair with a pencil crayon and a scrap piece of paper and start the process of cleaning up what was supposed to be my lunch.
jim gets home with the girls. he takes them all out to the market. its 5:20 and all i have ate today is one measly sandwich and a banana.i guess thats okay because I’ve only been awake for 6 hours of the day so far.
i am supposed to working on one of jims paintings. i do not want to. i want to just sit quietly and do something for myself – just for myself. i feel like i cannot bring myself to work on any paintings, and certainly not sit quietly somewhere and do my own thing, BECAUSE OF ALL THE FUCKING CLEANING. my to-do list is still there. its yet another day where nothing happened.
i am enrolled in two out of hte three courses I need to have. the last one is full apparently, evne though i NEED to take it, right now, and so does a bunch of other part-time students. we are all asking each other, what is going on? is it a glitch? how do i get in? why is the system built to be harder for us than fro full-time students? somebody said ‘starting to think that i can’t hack it in the program if i can’t even figure out how to enroll” and i kinda think they are doing it on purpose. like its a test. its really getting silly actually, only one thing – ONE THING – about this process has been straightforwards and streamlined. everything else has been a mess. the one thing that was easy was applying for a student card.i used a photo from our wedding day. its old, but every time i see it i will secretly know that its a photo taken on a special day, with two really important people standing on either side of me.
we all cleaned all morning yesterday. we got the girls involved, i handled the bedrooms and bathroom and jim dealt with the catastrophe that was the living room and kitchen. Then we went out for the afternoon to the pioneer village and then came home and jims dad visited for a bit, and then we ate dinner and went to bed. and i swear that the magical fucks shit up fairy came in the night. IT LOOKS EXACTLY THE SAME. i don’t understand how this happens. the place is a disaster all over again. the apartment is small and it gets out of hand wicked fast. you cannot take your eyes off the ball for ONE SECOND. i seriously get up in the morning, look around me, and think about what i need to clean today. cleaning runs my life.
dealing with the course enrollment took all morning to sort out. in the end i fired off an email to the one person who is most likely to be able to help me, and left it at that. then i got thalia down for a nap, ate some breakfast at 11:30 and now im waiting for jim to get home so that i can go re-apply for a replacement drivers license, since thalia hid mine somewhere so well that nobody is able to find it. Blaze is going to the dentists today so she is home, then after the dentist we are going out to get ice cream to celebrate Blaze going to the dentist, and to bribe her into going again next time. somehow the kid has developed about 9 cavities. cordelia, meanwhile, has perfect teeth. i don’t understand how that happens either – dentist asked me ‘do you guys have juice at home? does she eat a lot of candy?” nope and nope. they eat the same food, brush their teeth and the same time each day, and yet, blazes mouth is riddled with holes and cordelia is fine. i asked the dentist and she said that at this point, you can blame genetics. jim had awesome teeth and still does, i was prone to cavities. poor kid got my bad teeth gene i guess.
its going to be approx $3,500 of dentist bills. we don’t have any insurance right now because jim doesn’t get any coverage for being a part-time employee, so thats coming directly out of savings. ouch. thankfully we can take that hit and its not too bad at all. but then my tuition goes in on top of that as well, and its eating into the “buy a house”fund.
one of jims students has been struggling. really, really struggling. he keeps not showing up and then emailing jim later. he has talked about depression and anxiety, and how he can’t handle being in that room basically, and how he is so freaked out that he can’t absorb the materials or focus on the classes. jim has been trying to help him and he has been as sympathetic as possible, and he said “i know this, because my wife has been dealing with anxiety and depression for over 10 years” and so it turned into me emailing the student and reaching out to him. he seems sweet and sincere, and is just in a big mess right now and trying hard to get out of it. i know he just barely made it through the course, and only because jim fudged it a bit to squeeze him through with a pass. i don’t know how i can help him other than to say ‘yeah man, i hear you. its really hard. talk to me if you need.” teaching isn’t just standing there talking at a room and writing math on the whiteboard. he develops these relationships with his students, and it makes them respect and love him even more. he puts in the effort for them and they in turn put in the effort to the class.
we just hit that fifth anniversary. we were at my moms place, and she came over and gave me a hug and said ‘happy anniversary!” and i said “oh, is that today? i haven’t looked at a calendar for a few days.” jim looked a bit sheepish, and we chuckled and admitted that we both forgot. he said that he had remembered about a month ago and made some tentative plans in his head to do something, but in the end it would have blown us both right by if other people hadnt spoken up. (jims mom texted us too). i guess thats life with three kids for you. and blazes birthday is 7 days after we were married, so it mostly goes unnoticed and bows out of the way for her birthday anyway, which i feel is as it should be.
five years feels significant, solid. like we really accomplished something. the traditional present for a fifth anniversary is wood. i wonder what that would have been 150 years ago? and what would that would be now? a new cutting board? i like next years better – traditionally for year six, you get candy.
pretty tired today. every little thing feels like a big accomplishment. a lot of teeny steps, all in the right direction. put away the girls winter clothes – a job that took two minutes but i have been putting off or just not getting around to for weeks. done. got the girls to camp on time, cleaned out the cat litter, took out the garbage, all tiny things. all done. it all counts.
its hot. i mean HOT. its record-breaking heat and dry for this summer. last yer was thunderstorm after thunderstorm, i remember because the baby inside me would fight to get out every time it rained and the air pressure changed. the radio warns everyone all the time, “heat warning, check on your elderly people, drink water, stay indoors” my neighbour keeps watering his lawn, over and over again nd its not making any difference.
maybe why i feel a bit listless. i am fighting a battle with the heat, trying to open up the apartment in the early morning and use the fans to suck in as much cool air as possible, then shut it all up again by mid-morning to keep the hot out and the cool in. by the middle of the afternoon though, once the girls are home from camp, we just have to have the AC on. after dinner and when it gets dark and it cools down, i open up all the windows and the back door to suck in the cooler air again.
quickie for today August 4, 2016
i went to a kinda-friends house (i wish she was more my friend but we aren’t really that close) in the morning. i took thalia with me, and before we showed up we picked up scones from the bakery. she is going into her third year in midwifery, and she wanted to give me some of her notes to borrow and one of her textbooks, and a stack of the studies that you read in the critical appraisal of research class.
her apartment is beautiful. it is bigger than ours, and better laid out i think. she has art everywhere and little sweet things tucked into surprising places. her kitchen is bright and light and i love her retro black and white tile counters. it made me want to come home and do a deep cleaning and a purge and a total reorganization of our place, and slap a bunch of beautiful art on the walls. i am feeling cramped in here more and more recently. we are staying her for at least another year, and then we will reassess after a year of school as see where we are.
my friend has four cats but only one made an appearance today. Thalia, of course, was thrilled by this. for her its all cats, all the time.
when i got home i looked round at my trashed place, and set to cleaning up the kitchen. i picked up all the tupperware and cookie cutters that Thalia had spread around the place. i cleared off the kitchen table of 34679872345 pieces of the girls playmobil. i wiped down the counters, stacked the dishwasher, and now, a few hours later, i just sat and watched thalia pull down all the tupperware and cookie cutters again. oy. its impossible. the girls are in summer camp for two weeks starting next week so it will feel less crowded and hopefully i can keep it tidy for more than 2 hours. im going to use those two weeks to get some of that cleaning/purging done before i get to the hard work of school.
i spent a couple hours this afternoon sewing a knitting needle roll. like a big padded roll with a dozen long narrow pockets in it to slide knitting needles into. its not like i have enough needles to need one, but i had some pretty fabric and i wanted to do something creative for the afternoon. its a success anyway. its a small project that i can whip up quickly, and i can feel productive without cleaning anything. i feel like my life kinda boils down to wake up, clean things, knit something, clean more, put girls to bed, clean a bit more, watch tv, go to bed. at least throwing sewing in there breaks it up a bit. i dream of having an actual room where i can leave the sewing machine (and the wheel, come to think of it) set up all the time. drop in, work on something for 30 minutes, then go about the day some more. i don’t know if that will ever happen.