April was crazy, with zero time to reflect. The past week has been a little better, at least. I've been teaching an immersion term, which has been a time killer. This week grandma is visiting, which has been a nice shift and helpful in many ways (not least in the presence of her expert flower-arranging eye for belated pot-filling). Kiddo is loving the extra attention, both from immersion term students and grandma. I think next week when she is deprived of both (our time in residence is over for the immersion program) she will probably be cranky.
Kiddo is entering an annoying stage, in which a nap pushes bedtime to almost 11 and no nap leads to cranky afternoons and about 7:30 as bedtime. Daycare won't keep her awake, so we can't just drop the nap entirely, and in any case she usually needs to nap the day after an early bedtime due to the earlier wake-up. I'm sure this is a common thing at this age, but I am not a fan. It's a pain that we can't plan activities since we don't know when she'll be sleeping, and I often want to go to sleep before she does on the later nights.
Kiddo also does not sleep through the night yet (parents, that is a YET, right, like...she will...right? Some day?). So. There is that to contend with.
As the academic year winds down I think we are really hitting the "Partner has been a student for three years and we have a toddler in daycare" financial burn in a way that we did not before; I'm not sure why, maybe because daycare was part time prior to last summer and it got harder after that? Maybe because a lot of things have come up recently that I would have liked to do (a friend's wedding abroad, going far away for Xmas to see my family, an extra conference panel) and I'm sad to have to keep passing. Maybe because Partner is finishing up and looking at grad school.
I am glad he is doing stuff he loves, just like I got to do. I don't want him to not do that. I just wish I didn't let our inability to do things and pay for things get under my skin and make me feel so unqualified to adult.
Break, it is upon us! We have a giant list of things we have been neglecting, but they are mostly small, so I hope to have several days of down time. I've already exercised two days in a row, and we haven't even started yet.
Last year this was our period of most intense baby illness, with a cold followed by UTI followed by intense antibiotic-related yeast and diarrhea. It was the beginning of the end for cloth diapers, since the yeast took months to defeat and the kiddo's poor bum was so raw we went to cloth-unfriendly ointments to keep things manageable. Kiddo was home from daycare for weeks last year, including the break, so we didn't get much down time at all and thank the gods that grandma visited early in the month.
This year it looks like we might actually be relatively healthy (all of us!) as we head into the break, and while I don't want to count too many chickens at this point, perhaps I will get to speak to my husband for more than 5 minutes when we are not also entertaining a toddler.
We finally reached the part of winter where illness takes over (this seems to last through at least mid-March). Kiddo has been home all week with fever and coughing, and we are all so stir-crazy that she has now watched every available episode of Daniel Tiger and is calling out for him in her sleep (no joke). We are also now resorting to hiring some of my students to babysit so that I can keep teaching class and perhaps we don't all go insane. Too bad I have a field trip this Saturday (poor Partner. pray for him). Also paying twice for child care is lame.
I'm hoping that by this weekend she will be able to go outside to play in what should be warm-enough weather. And perhaps we will get to the store for the first time in two weeks and restock on perishable foods. Luckily sick toddlers don't actually want to eat, and we also ended up with this week as our test week for Hello Fresh (veggie boxes, not vegan enough for us and maybe we already know too much about cooking to really appreciate the service, but I am not complaining about having food delivered to our door the one time).
Two weeks to break. It's starting to feel like we are dragging ourselves to that peak with our fingernails.
2016! I resolved to get active again. I started using the standing desk prototype Partner built for me back in 2013, which never made it to the design stage but works fine. I stand a lot of the day and it is nice. I went back to the gym for the first time since I was very pregnant and I went swimming. I stashed all the relevant things in my gym locker for regular use, I made sure I had space in my schedule a few days a week, and I decided I was going to start the process of returning to the self who used to go crazy when she missed too many workouts.
Cue: toddler illness, spreading to family illness, becoming bronchitis and sinus infections. Which can be fought with antibiotics in everyone but me because thrush (I am not going there again, thank you, I will just be sick for longer). Cue: puking toddler, stomach flu that I am now waiting to experience. Cue: issues with family transportation that require more carpooling and less schedule flexibility. Cue: cold-as-hell weather. Cue: lots of extra meetings that weren't on my schedule three weeks ago.
Cue: "fuck it" attitude and consumption of popcorn.
My friends, I am terrible these days. Too much committee work, too little sleep, grant writing. Kiddo just turned 2, and with it some enforced changes in bedtime that give me some extra working hours prior to midnight, and I hope that will help. Sleep is slowly, slowly getting better, though it does doom us to sleeping in different beds (me with kiddo, dad on his own).
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.
Associate Professor in ____ science at a Small Liberal Arts College (SLAC). Supporting Partner through a little later-life student-hood. Welcomed Kiddo in 2014. Really liking this job, even when it gets rough.