Friday, November 30, 2007

I don't have the right kind of personality for my life today

I don't do well under stress. My anxiety genes take over the rational parts of my brain (you know, those parts that recognize that relatively minor annoyances don't constitute cause for large-scale freakouts) and I end up massively overreacting in the worst way. Take the last 24 hours, for example. Last night I learned the following:

-Our nanny may not make it back home from Mexico by Monday morning, which is when Luke is supposed to start with her. We had no backup childcare arranged.

-My principal expects us to perform the pedagogical equivalent of performing backflips on a balance beam before learning how to walk, all in the next two weeks.

-Juan will be working the night we return home from our Christmas vacation, leaving me home alone with a baby who will almost certainly be overstimulated, sleep deprived, and mad as hell at having his schedule so screwed up.

Number three is annoying, but it's just something to get through. Number two caused me quite a few headaches until I figured out how to juggle a few things around on my calendar to "make it work" this morning. Number one, however, is what kept me up most of last night, even after getting the names of some highly recommended in-home daycare providers from one of our friends.

I think it's the uncertainty of these kinds of situations that just kills me. I don't do well with change as a general rule, and when I'm forced into changing plans (be they big or small) I tend to resist with every last ounce of strength I have. Professionally and personally this isn't a very good personality trait for me to have (as my colleagues remind me at times like these, flexibility is the name of the game when you work in education) and my inflexible nature then turns every unexpected event into a crisis to stress and obsess over ad nauseum.

We have backup childcare set up now, though I don't like it as much as I like our nanny. The school stuff has been sorted out for the most part, and, well, the Christmas thing is just going to suck. So why do I still feel like I'm in panic mode? Why are my nerves on edge and why am I snapping at everyone who dares come near me? I wish I knew, and I wish I could just turn off whatever part of my personality reacts to stressful situations this way.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

One year ago today...

Exactly one year and one day ago I was convinced I wasn't pregnant. I came home after a long day of work to an empty house since Juan was on call, made some dinner, drank a beer, and started meticulously planning out my next cycle. It was going to be our 21st--twenty one months since we had started trying to get pregnant. I was considering taking a break for a cycle or two until our insurance processed the paperwork for my referral to a local RE but hadn't made up my mind one way or another yet.

In any case, I ate, I watched some TV and I went to bed. It was an altogether unremarkable night, but it was also one I'll remember for the rest of my life.

Exactly one year ago today I woke up, brushed my teeth, turned on the shower, and (just for the heck of it) took a pregnancy test. I expected it would be negative--hell, I was testing when Juan wasn't even home, that's how much I was expecting a negative result. wasn't negative. It was positive. Positive.

I remember thinking that I should be crying. You're supposed to cry when you finally get the one thing you've wanted more than anything else for almost two years, right? I couldn't cry, though. All I could do was stare at that test. Positive.

Sitting here now, staring down at Luke, part of me still can't believe that it really happened or that I'm really, finally, a mother. It's been an amazing journey, and I feel like the luckiest person alive to have taken it.

I love you, little boy. You were unquestionably worth the wait.

Monday, November 26, 2007

This time the kitchen fire wasn't my fault

Juan started a fire in our oven on Thanksgiving.

Let me repeat that for those of you who are now staring at your screen in disbelief. JUAN started a FIRE in our oven on Thanksgiving. Juan, not C. The male half of our relationship started the fire. The one who never does stupid things in the kitchen almost burned our house down. That one.


As you can tell from the lighthearted tone of this post, no serious damage was done (except the damage to Juan's food) and we were able to put the tiny fire out in about ten seconds, but still. I wasn't the one who caused culinary mayhem this time.

But let me rewind things a bit so you can get a full appreciation for what actually went down at our house last Thursday night. Being a fan of red meat and a decided hater of seafood, Juan responded to my decision to serve lobster for Thanksgiving dinner with a request for something that didn't swim. Fair enough, so my parents and I prepared our feast while Juan planned his own. We had lobster, shrimp, snow crab, spanikopita, apple pie, and (just for Juan) steak. Since there were so many different dishes (all of which had to be served piping hot) and one of us had to juggle Luke since he wasn't napping well that day, we ate in shifts. My parents and I dug into our lobster while Juan's steak was still broiling in the oven and everything was going very well until Luke needed a diaper change. Juan checked the steak, decided it needed a few more minutes under the broiler, and took the baby upstairs while my parents and I continued eating. Suddenly, smoke started pouring out of the oven and all the smoke detectors in the house went off at the same time.

Needless to say, scrambling ensued.

Sure enough, the steak had caught on fire while it was in the oven. Juan's steak was pretty charred, but some quick moves by my dad managed to save a small corner of it so he still had something to eat for dinner. The oven appears to be undamaged and we're very, very sure that the smoke detectors work properly, so overall the night wasn't a complete bust.

I should probably feel bad for crowing a bit over Juan's mishap, but given how much pleasure he's taken from my kitchen catastrophes over the years, it seems only fair for me to take some pleasure from his.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I take it back

Something exciting IS happening in our house after all! My mom and I went to lunch and a movie this afternoon in celebration of her birthday and when we came home my dad told us that he and Luke had a surprise for us. He propped Luke up with some couch cushions, made a funny noise, and Luke LAUGHED! My baby laughs!

In other baby news, Luke slept in his own room, by himself, for the first time last night and did great. I, on the other hand, hardly slept a wink for worrying about him. Hopefully tonight is better, otherwise it's going to be a very sleepy Thanksgiving for me.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Vacation, WOO!!!

I'm probably a little too excited about the Thanksgiving break given that I've only been back at work for a week and a half. I am excited, though, especially since my parents are still in town, Juan's week off starts on Thursday, and we have four delicious lobster tails in the freezer.

As you can see, I don't have any scintillating stories to share so I'll just wish you all a very happy (early) Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Day three and I'm still alive. Being back at work has been hard. It's not just leaving Luke (who is doing much better at taking bottles, by the way) but it's also the fact that teaching is physically exhausting even when I'm not operating on 4-5 hours of sleep a night. I'd sort of forgotten how much energy it takes to jump around a classroom keeping kids engaged for 8 hours a day, and especially given the situation I'm coming back to discipline-wise I can't slack at all while they're in the room.

Anyway, I'm tired and will be going to bed now even though tonight is the premiere of Project Runway ans I never miss Project Runway. Better to delay the first "make it work" of 2007 than end up passed out and drooling over my laptop.

Monday, November 12, 2007

I came, I saw, I wanted to go home

Well, at least I didn't cry.

The first day back was predictably difficult and I spent most of my time feeling discombobulated after spending 6 months out of the classroom. The kids (who got away with murder during my absence) don't especially like the fact that I'm *gasp!* enforcing the rules, but I think things will settle down in a few weeks.

As for Luke, he spent the day displaying the kind of stubbornness only my child is capable of and refused to eat more than an ounce and a half all day. Wish us all luck in trying to convince him to take a bottle more readily tomorrow.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

I may have a nervous breakdown, but at least I have a stapler

I've spent a good 10 hours putting my classroom back together this week (suffice it to say that I am less than thrilled about how my sub took care of it) as a way of focusing my anxiety about going back to work on something other than actual work. Fretting about the decided lack of a stapler in my room was a lot more appealing than thinking too hard about the fact that I would be away from Luke for at least 9 hours a day starting on Monday. We put the finishing touches on things this afternoon, and now all that's left is for me to walk in there tomorrow morning prepared to lecture my heart out about the English Renaissance and Elizabethan sonnets. Either that, or I'll break down in tears before the first bell rings. Who knows.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

I wasn't even cooking...

Remember this and this? Yeah, well at least those times I was trying to make something.

We had a big day here today (rolling! Luke rolled over!!!) so I decided to celebrate with a nice glass of wine after Juan got home. I went upstairs to the wine fridge, picked out a good Riesling, and pulled out the corkscrew. I had a hard time getting it to actually puncture the cork, but I just thought that the foil around the top was especially thick or something. After a minute I got it in, though, and it was remarkably easy to finish screwing it in.

And then I pulled up. cork came out. Because there wasn't a cork, it was a screw top.

Exhibit A:

After Juan picked himself up off the floor where he had (literally) collapsed from laughing, he insisted on taking photos to commemorate the event. I confess that I was laughing pretty hard by that point too because, really, WHO DOES THAT?

Anyway, that was my evening, and the upside of all of this was that we had to drink a whole bottle of really delicious wine. Pumping and dumping, here I come!

**I would just like to add here that while I'm slightly buzzed, Juan can't turn his head too quickly or he'll fall over. We had exactly the same amount to drink. I may have tried to use a corkscrew with a screw-top bottle, but my husband's the lightweight in our relationship.**

Monday, November 05, 2007

One Week Left

One week from today I'll be back at work. I'll leave Luke with my parents (who generously offered to come down to help ease me back into the workplace by providing childcare for my first work week) pull out of the garage, and head back to the classroom. I'll be perfectly honest here and say that part of me is really looking forward to it. I've missed teaching, missed my colleagues, and missed having adult (well, semi-adult--I do teach teenagers, after all) conversations during the day. But... I won't be with my boy all day anymore. I won't get to see his smile a dozen times before breakfast, won't be able to spend endless hours playing with him, and won't be the one to provide everything he needs 24/7. That last one is hitting me particularly hard today. One of the most overwhelming things about new motherhood is how much you're needed all the time, and while it can be a shock to the system in the beginning, I really do love how much Luke needs me.

My favorite part of staying at home has been that I've been able to be there for everything. Aside from the handful of times that I've left Luke with someone else for a couple of hours, he's gotten just about everything he could possibly need from me. Now I'm going to have to not only hand him off to a caregiver every morning, but I'm also going to have to come to terms with the fact that that caregiver will do the things I used to do between the hours of 8:00 and 4:00. She'll feed him, cuddle him, get him to take naps, love him, play with him, and be everything he needs her to be. There's a big part of me that really doesn't want anyone else to provide those things for him even though I know that he'll be fine, he'll still need me, and that it's good for him to learn how to trust people outside of our immediate family.

So if I'm not very talkative for the next week, it's because I'm soaking up every last minute of these few days Luke and I have left together. They're precious to me, and even though I'm looking forward to returning to work, I'll probably always second guess my decision to go back because it means letting him need someone else.

Saturday, November 03, 2007