Monday, August 17, 2015

August mid. Also boobs.

As usual, it is almost term again and I don't know how that happened.  Especially considering that I have been in town for most of this summer.

In late July I went abroad for two weeks, my first time away from Kiddo and my first foray into being a pumping mom.  Partner did awesome and it went way better at home than I had expected; for me, it was super awkward to be in a conservative Middle Eastern country spending a lot of time traveling around and needing to pump every 5-6 hours.  All you exclusive pumpers, I salute you, it is a pain in the ass and my supply tanked for all my efforts, and I got hustled out of a museum for trying to pump there at one point because "there are [security] cameras!"  Heaven forbid some dude catch a peek.

Upon my return, Kiddo was having none of it.  It took me four days to get her back to nursing, but I did it because a) going from 6 feeds a day to none just because I was gone seemed unfair weaning, as she was obviously not ready to do it on her own, b) I have no other tools to get her to sleep/calm her down and I was not ready to lose my only skill in that department, and c) I didn't pump awkwardly and socially unacceptably all that time just to come home and have her say no.  Is it bad that c carries more weight than the others?

Now I get to suffer the flip side, where a teething toddler wants mama all night long.  Please remind me how badly I wanted her to nurse two weeks ago.  This child has also had a diaper rash since JUNE that we cannot kill.  I am not a fan. 

My summer student is done, we submitted a kinda lame abstract to a fall meeting and we'll see if we can get some better data before we actually have to go (assuming it's accepted).   I moved my office to make room for a new person in our department (yay!), and have kinda unpacked; we also updated computers in my office and lab.  Between all of those changes I am completely unprepared to do any manner of data analysis or even to find things that I need to look at.  Hopefully they get me a phone in the near future.

Immediate goal: do something resembling exercise more than once every 2 weeks.  Which would be easier if the kid slept through the night more than once a month.  

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

in which...kids

Bad blogging has continued.  But hey, I made it through the term, students graduated, I even got a tiny, miniscule amount of research done.

Right now I am teaching in a summer program for elementary and junior high kids.  It is evident that this is not an area of strength for me; repeated participation is unlikely, unless I someday want free tuition in this program for kiddo.  Seriously mad props to all you elementary ed people. 

I'm supposed to have a research student starting next week.  I haven't even cleaned my lab from the class I taught last term.  Is it terrible of me to start my research student with literature to review and dishes to wash, at least until said elementary program is over in a week and a half?

In toddler land, kiddo was a little angel for a four-day trip to the grandparents, but has proven her resilience by being a punk since we got home.  Why do they do that?  Next week she starts napping at daycare, because it was time, and also I am going away for two weeks in July for unavoidable international work-related things.  I am having serious mommy guilt about both of these things - kiddo is still nursing, still nurses to sleep 99% of the time, and I am sending her off to sleep with strangers (ok, they are not strangers, but you know) and then abandoning her for 14 days straight after 18 months of never being away overnight at all. 

The napping at daycare thing is partly so that Partner can be less insane as a single parent when I'm gone; kiddo will be able to stay there 6-7 hours instead of 3-4.  I think she will be ok with that if she can get the napping part down.  I kinda wanted to wait until she turned 2 for long daycare days, but she really loves the place, and I know we've been lucky to have the flexibility of shorter days up to this point.  Come fall term I was going to have to do it anyway, since my work life has been such a disaster due to insufficient consecutive hours of time at the office.

For the two week travel in July, I am mostly worried about traumatizing her by taking away the boobs all of a sudden and leaving her with daddy and some expressed milk for so long.  I'm sure they will adapt, I'm sure it will be fine, after a few rough days at the beginning.  I am an overly anxious parent, so I have to assume I am applying that mindset here as well.  I guess we'll see, since I don't really have the option of cancelling.

Summary: Mommy guilt.  Academic guilt.  It's a perfect storm.  

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

spring

Officially spring, which somehow makes a dirty house both more likely and harder to deal with.  But warm weather means kiddo is outside a lot, which looks like this:

- kiddo demands to go outside
- we enforce the "put on your shoes" rule
- kiddo goes outside but eventually decides to nurse
- we come inside to nurse (I am now enforcing some boundaries with nursing, and this one is my own preference)
- kiddo wants shoes off for nursing
- kiddo finishes nursing and wants to go back outside
- repeat

Kiddo also started saying "no" this week, which is still cute, but the cuteness will probably wear off soon.

I finally have an enforced writing deadline based on some revisions, which tells you how much research I've been getting done since having a baby, but the probability of meeting it at this point is approaching zero.  I'm putting a new, significant lab component into a class I'm teaching right now, which will be fun (I hope) and will move me forward with some research of my own, but which eats a lot of my "extra" time, so I write far less than I should.  That plus the post-tenure service increase and life is way too busy (as usual).

I think I am going to start doing some "academic year" resolutions, similar to new year's resolutions, but relevant to my career.  The first few will be about publication rates, but if I start in the fall I'll give myself a head start via summer writing.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

hey stranger

It's break!   A break during which, of course, my child has mostly been sick and not in daycare.  I had dreams, people.  Dreams of getting ahead, doing some research, prepping classes for next week, watching a movie with my husband, cleaning my house.  Those dreams, they are dead.

This winter has been brutal for illness around here; between the 3 of us, we've had a 600% increase in puking diseases (up from the previous value of none), plus normal colds etc.  Having a toddler around is a whole new germy thing.  I am not a fan. 

On the one hand, I am thankful that she decides to get all fevery and pukey when we don't have to work, or when Grandma is visiting to help out; Kiddo has been amazingly good at getting sick whenever we have a work-free day or some backup.  On the other hand, child, I would like one stinking day of my life when I can make someone else watch you and not have to work all day.

Otherwise, Kiddo is sleeping better (praise the gods) with only a few wake-ups a night if she isn't sick or teething, and she's in a really cute stage of babble with some real words plus interesting other means of making her desires known. 

Today I finally got into the lab to refresh myself on a new instrument before I run some labs with students, which was fun.  Another class is going to be moving their software work into a new computer lab with better functionality, which is probably going to be a huge pain in my rear plus we'll have to figure out how to move data around in a new way.  I am not really looking forward to this, but somewhere I will have to carve out some time to mess around in the new space before the relevant class periods.

This is about the time of year when it's hard to imagine making it to May; at least there will be CSA vegetables in my future. 


Wednesday, December 31, 2014

out with the old

Happy New Year, internets.  This year has not been a blogging year, but maybe next year will be better.  2014, what happened to you?

We had a crazy, colicky baby who still doesn't sleep but is far more pleasant as an 11-month-old and keeps getting cuter, so I hold out hope that things will continue to become more manageable as well.  Infants are a roller-coaster, and this one was no exception; all of my attention this year was here, and everything else just kinda happened around me. 

I got tenure, and barely noticed at the time in my sleep-deprived insanity.  Now I definitely notice the extra service work.

I taught in an immersion term for the first time and SUCKED at it.  Sucked hard.  I get to do it again in the future, without a four-month-old, so that should be a much better experience. 

I was a co-PI on my first NSF grant, which was a nice win.

I finished a final piece of writing with a research group that I am excited to be free from; especially after this year, I have no time for shitty collaborators and egotistical assholes, and I'm glad that I can be that much more blunt about it now that I have tenure.

2015, I have no significant expectations, which is probably good.  I am not as sad as some might be to be wishing the kiddo's babyhood goodbye.  I hope that this kid figures out sleeping before she turns 2. 

I hope that I figure out work-life balance before I get too far into my Associate Professorhood.  I hope that I figure out what I want out of my sabbatical before I need to apply.  I hope that I manage a successful shift to a new research area using a new instrument, and get some decent publications put together over the next two years. 

I hope that we all have an excellent 2015.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

stuff

I have now spent almost three weeks trying to get about six hours of work accomplished, and I have continued to fail.  Partly because life is crazy.  Partly because I have this weird guilt thing about giving the kid to Partner to deal with, since he takes her in the AM so I can sleep.

Related, we have registered for the only (new) daycare available.  They are not open yet, but plan to be soon, but have not provided any additional information.  They do not offer half days, and if we do it full time it will cost us roughly 20% of my (and our only) salary.  If we don't do this daycare, I have to find someone else to watch the kiddo piecemeal, and I have no leads except for finding new students who would hopefully not flake out on us (this is a real concern, as all but one of the students I trusted have graduated).  I have to do something, because even with both of us home with her we get zero things done.  I have no idea what to do about all of this.

I can't believe it's almost September.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

bullets for early August

- Why does a scientific society for a field that almost universally requires its practitioners to spend significant time doing research away from home during the summer require so much of the organization of its fall meeting to occur during July and August?

- It seems like babies who sleep like crap should really get a pass on additional sleep disruption during mobility developments.  Kiddo is starting to roll, and we are sleeping even less.

- I think I will have to pass on the camping trip I normally run for my fall course, and I am both sad about that, kinda relieved, and a little worried about the wrath of the students who were planning to attend.

- We still have no idea how we will deal with the babycare situation this fall, but I am looking forward to having something to do besides entertain a little cranky person.