October 3, 2011

I digress...and digress.....

This post is not necessarily about parenting or motherhood, or my newborn.  Just something that weighs on my mind periodically.

Amy, me and Jen
 I was a theater major in college.  A sure sign of not knowing myself well enough at all.  I knew that I truly loved the craft--everything about it; and I went to a small enough college that I was afforded the opportunity to both act and design.

Matt, K.Lee and Gina

I learned enough about it to understand that it wasn't a dumbed down choice.  The theater arts are incredibly demanding and time-consuming, requiring the "practice" and preparation of sports athletes along with the studiousness of scholars--and can be just as physically and mentally taxing as each, usually at the same time.  (I still marvel at how I functioned in those several years:  working nearly full time, commuting 45 minutes to and from school, taking a full course load and going to rehearsal four or five nights a week until 10 or 11 pm.  Not to mention going to a club two to four nights a week.)

Me and Steve in The Crucible
What I didn't know was that I wasn't the kind of person who could make a good living at it. Not because I wasn't good at it, but because I was not ambitious enough (or confident enough) to go "pound the pavement" in the city.  Also I didn't have any experience waitressing.  But seriously so many of my "old theater friends" (as I fondly remember them) still do it.  They are actors, and teachers, or even serious "hobbyists" (for lack of a better word) who still practice the craft which is their livelihood, or the subject of it, or at least a part of their lives.  The best I have done lately is to bring my kids to a series of small, local original children's theater productions done at the University in town.  And I'm not knocking that at all, I'm kind of knocking myself for not being more involved in something I truly love but have never made the time for in years.

The Room and the World (Stockton)
Me and Wavey Davey (ACC)

I did think there was a place for it in my life at one time, even after my "real life" as a mom began.  My last serious foray into theater was nine years ago when Moo was a baby and I trudged up to stay at a friend's place in Hoboken.  Lugged my 7-month-old and her stroller and "stuff" (which was probably considerable since she was my first baby and as every first-time mother knows, you can never be over-prepared for ANY eventuality) onto a bus into New York City to do the lighting for a one-man show off off Broadway.  The show was pretty successful as I remember, although I wasn't afforded the opportunity to move with it to a larger theater as I'm sure the director was probably not impressed with my tiny assistant who cried, chewed on the lighting gels and needed to be nursed every so often in the middle of the actual work I was trying to accomplish on the production.  I clearly remember at one point being at the top of a ladder working while she toppled over and hit her head on the stage.  Good times.

Hypolita from Midsummer
Me and Dan

It also pains me to even write this, but I let one of the director's students (she was a professor somewhere) whom she brought along as childcare, take my infant out for walks in the city and to a nearby playground.  The fact that she was a literal stranger still haunts me.  Possibly starving college student, quite likely short on cash?  I'm lucky Moo wasn't sold to the first bidder.  I still can't figure out why I trusted the whole set-up.  I'd like to think my mother's instinct assured me that my baby was safe.  It's more likely that my desperation to prove that I could get the job done overrode my better judgement, or at least overrode my super-anal, overprotective-new-mother-ness.  Needless to say, my daughter was and is fine.  A thriving almost-ten-year-old with her own brand of drama; she can practically cry on cue.


So it seems in this digressive post, I have digressed from my digression from parenting into parenting.  Kind of.  And if that made any sense to you at all, you must have a school-aged child who talks in circles to you daily.  However, I did have a point in my original topic.  As I remember growing up, I don't recall having anything I was particularly passionate about.  I was a straight-A student, I wasn't athletic but did try softball and tennis, I dabbled in Girl Scouts for a few years, I loved art and drawing as hobbies.  I was an elementary Jill of many trades, mistress of none.

with Larry (GCSDW summer theater) 

I often think about my path into theater because it was the first time I found something that I truly loved, and not from a child's perspective.  It was hard work yet I still loved it.  I hope that my children find something that they love and are passionate enough about to pursue, that won't someday look back upon as a digression of sorts.

almost a princess (BLT)

Read More »

August 20, 2011

Eenie, meenie, minie, mo.

So, I post on the mecca of social networks, Facebook.  (No irony lost on me that the majority of you reading this will get here via the aforementioned site.)  I post "status" updates, pictures and the occasional witty remark (humor me).  I shamelessly post pictures of my newborn.  She's a major attention-getter, which is the point.
If you've read anything prior to this post (or know me maybe even remotely) you'd know that my third child came as a serious surprise.  A friend just told me the baby is so cute she almost wants to have another.  I advised against it.  She said maybe she'll lobby for a puppy instead. 
L'il Geel is gorgeous and a very good baby.  I love her little smiles and the mysterious baby babble.  The day-to-day frustrations are far outweighed by the joy and wonder of this little person.  But take me back a year, before I knew her--knew of her even--give me a choice and I might have chosen the puppy. 

Read More »

April 27, 2011

done and done.

I am so done.  This would come as no surprise to anyone who has seen my Fred Flintstone feet in the last few days.  My excitement over flip-flop weather was quickly extinguished by the struggle I had actually fitting my swollen sausage-like feet into my flip-flops.  Disappointment is a gross understatement.  I cried real tears.  I will admit, though, that it is a slight improvement over actually bending over to stuff my almost-as-swollen feet (several weeks ago) into my winter boots.  At least I haven't gotten out of breath wriggling my puffy dogs under the flip-flop straps.  And for my friends who have suggested crocs:  I have two pair and they have been just as difficult to squeeze into.

In addition to that particular brand of fun, I've been having a blast with indigestion.  (Here is where the faint-of-stomach may wish to skip to the next paragraph.)  Gone are the halcyon days of mild nausea and few discreet burps.  Tonight I am desperately hoping I will vomit just to relieve the gross discomfort of continually burping up chunks of dinner.  I can only assume my newly limited stomach capacity has made it more difficult to fully digest what I eat in a timely manner.  That and the never-ending Zumba class (still) below, continuing to toss the salad I ate for dinner, hours after I ate it.

And speaking again of baby movement; what in the world is this kid trying to accomplish in there?  I still cannot fathom why a tiny infant would need to move THAT much.  It is more and more uncomfortable every day and almost disturbing how active this child is.  I am thinking of investing in one of those baby straight-jackets I saw the other day--euphemistically called a swaddler.  Genius!  If I only I could make use of it now.....
Read More »

March 7, 2011

The karate kid.

In trying to get organized, I come across a paper from my doctor that I am supposed to use to track fetal kicks/movement from now (28 weeks) until the end of the pregnancy.  The idea is that as you notice patterns in the baby's behavior you should focus on a specific time of day that the baby seems active and track that activity daily.  (Although as one friend pointed out to me: the further along you get, the larger the baby gets, the less room to move. Therefore,  fewer movements to track.) 

I think I would prefer to focus on when this kid DOESN'T move.  I like to enjoy the moments (seemingly few) that I can sit and not be bothered by the incessant Zumba class inside.  She moves so often and so acrobatically that I find myself getting utterly annoyed with her and praying that she's not one of "those" kids--that can't sit still for 3 minutes and has to get into everything.  I'm way too lazy for that kind of child.

I would prefer to sleep through the night without waking up to the 4 am action scene that is being filmed in my uterus.  I can't quite imagine what would require so much shucking and jiving at all hours of the night.  Of course she has no sense of day or night right now, but the time of day (or night) is really irrelevant.  What does a tiny human need to be doing at any time at this point?  Kicking, elbowing, tucking and rolling. (Ok, maybe not, but that's what it feels like.) 

On the other hand, I guess I may be concerned if there were an equivalent lack of movement.  Possibly. But right now I crave the quiet.  The calm.  The still.

I wish there was a way to get this karate kid to take up tai chi.
Read More »

February 20, 2011

how are YOU feeling?

My new favorite question.  And I don't mean that entirely sarcastically.  Many people who genuinely have some level of concern for me have asked me that recently--and not unexpectedly.  It is "the thing to ask" nowadays.  (Not for society in general, just for my circle of family, friends and maybe even acquaintances.)

Just for the record, the stock answer (however true and obvious) is "Large and uncomfortable."  That should cover me for the next three months.  And the three after that will be "Sleep-deprived and tired.  Extremely and utterly so."  That will get me through to September.  After that, the field is open.

What I don't get into with most people is that I am not only feeling large and uncomfortable--I am also feeling tired, stressed, guilt-ridden and diffident.  All or some at any and many given moments any day.  Tired?  Of course, the insomnia is back.  Guilt-ridden at our complete inability to come up with a name for this child.  We can't even find one that we kinda like.  I have heard of people who have taken their nameless newborn home from the hospital and found a name three days later!  (Is this possible?  What is the statute of limitations on filling out that Social Security paperwork?)  I can hardly imagine having a nameless tiny being in our home!  Cooing and fussing over Baby Girl Doe.  Really?

The diffidence and stress?  Well, horrible as it sounds, this kid is still first and foremost in my mind: a logistical nightmare.  Where will we put her and all of her adorable and space-hogging accouterments?  As yet, no more square footage has magically appeared in our house.

How will I work?  I can't not work.  Thankfully my job is somewhat flexible, but that initial flexibility will have to be replaced at some point (probably sooner than I'd prefer or be ready for) by a routine that I can't quite imagine right now.

Who will care for this child (during the day) if it can't be me?  And with that, how will I (such an avid breast-feeder with Moo and Slim) nurse this baby?  I have openly admitted that I am WAY too lazy to pump, and absolutely positive I won't have the time.  And will however-long-I-can-nurse-her be long enough??

Will she be as good a kid as my first two--both of whom I was there for every day, nursed until they were well over a year, and loved and wanted from the time they were known to be?

I could probably work myself up into a half-decent panic, but that is why I stop at "Large and uncomfortable."  I don't need to go there.  More specifically, I'm there a lot lately, I just don't need to drag everyone else there with me.

No really, I'm feeling fine.  Thanks for asking.
Read More »

January 7, 2011

sugar and spice....

so.  no snakes, no snails, no puppy dog tails.  i was pretty sure that this was a boy, mostly based on the fact that this pregnancy has been identical to my last (with Slim) and entirely NOT like my first (with Moo).  now i'm pretty sure that I have no clue what i'm sure of.

can i just be grossly honest and say that i cried?  not at the ultrasound.  not even right afterwards.  not even entirely because we've just renewed our ride on the estrogen roller coaster for what is essentially another eighteen or so years.  i'm not even pretty sure why i cried.

i was fond of telling people that i was not ashamed to say that i wanted another boy--although i honestly can't even say exactly why.  Lord knows, Slim isn't the easiest-going of little men.  a loving and generally very happy guy, but not the lowest on the maintenance scale.

 i was so fond of telling everyone what i "really" wanted because i was so sure that i was going to get it.  and i think a big part of that was because i was so not wanting to have another baby, but since that point can't be argued, at least i can have a preferred gender.  selfish?  absolutely.

but i don't write this to be popular.  i haven't even written ANYTHING in so long--partly because i wasn't sure how honest i could be (even with myself), but that's kind of the point of me starting this to begin with.  (i won't digress into one of those why-i-started-this-blog posts.  that is for some future post.  it has flowed in my head frequently recently, but it just feels kinda cliche and i'm not ready to go there yet)

another cue for the waterworks?  a name.  i HAVE to name this baby.  i have always felt a need to know the gender of my children before they are born.  i want to be that much more prepared and talk to them and feel that bond, but i am especially desperate this time.  I NEED to feel that.  i want to talk to her and feel like i know her already.  and i kinda do, but i still want that connection.

i saw her face today.  it could be any baby face, but it is mine.  arm squashed up against her head.  laying in utero, just like her older siblings lay in their beds.  so much all of ours.  so much not just mine to be upset about.  she will be something like the other two and nothing like them.  and i will love her no matter what.
Read More »

You share because you care.