Spring Cleaning

SLEEP, sweet, sweet, glorious, sleep. Lately baby has been sleeping through the night once in a while, and oh my God, I feel like a new person. I’m itching to get so many things done. And fresh starts usually means getting rid of the old as well, a new haircut, a clean desk… feeling new.

I’m not about to go full KonMari on all of my things, but my goal is to get rid of a lot of clutter. Confession: my parents are borderline hoarders. They can’t let go of anything, or  bear to donate anything that might be useful in the future. I’m lucky enough that I don’t worry about running out of food or clothes. I take care of my things (I finally got rid of 15 year old socks, that were still good, just this year) so they last a very long time. Unfortunately, that means even if I buy very little, things accumulate.

Maybe my goal of a clean, minimal space is partly rebellion.

I don’t have a huge space to take care of, so my goal is to clean out one cabinet or dresser a day until the end of the month. That seems doable even with a busy schedule. I’m going to get rid of the clothes that I don’t really wear, or doesn’t fit, because after the baby, my body isn’t the same. I’m not the same either.

Oh, and meal planning. I’m back in the office, so I might take a cue from my friend Lisa and do some customizable meal prep. I like a lot of her other ideas too. We all need more downtime and less structured time.

I don’t want to live my life chained to a giant to-do list that never ends (the truth is, some days it feels like it). There has to be time for spontaneity, friends, reading books, cups of tea, and watching movies. It feels even more important now that I’ve got a kid who is endlessly occupying whenever she’s awake.

Fresh starts. Feels good so far.

-T

ALSO, for some reason I can’t stop looking at this: How to fold your clothes. 

Reinventing the Wheel

As always, there’s change in the air. It’s a fresh new year, and time for a new take on the blog. This place has evolved into somewhere to keep up with friends, rather than to publish information on writing, and I like that things are low key around here. Honestly, I’ve been at this so long, I’m just going to repeat myself if talk about that.

You guys don’t need any how to write posts. The more I read, the more I really only want to say “do what works for you”.

So, as I mentioned in the sidebar, it’s time to actually do what I want to with this blog, which is “anything”.  It’s time to start having some fun here! I find journaling relaxing, but I’ll keep it to occasional updates about writing or whatever’s on my mind about it, and not what I ate for breakfast (that’s what Twitter is for). Maybe I’ll post some photos while I look for information, or just about anything cool I find on the web. I’ll try and post more regularly, either which way.

Talk soon. – T

Looking Forward to 2016

A year passed in the blink of an eye. I’m in the middle of planning baby’s first birthday party, and getting back into the swing of things in the office. I’m lucky that I like my work and that I’ve been looking forward to it. Being home with a baby can be incredibly isolating. As much as I miss the little bean while I’m away, it’s such a relief to have time to collect my thoughts, eat lunch without rushing, and talk to adults.

I have so many things I’d like to do this year that I know I won’t get to them all but this is what it looks like so far.

  1. January I’m focusing on getting my dayjob schedule on track. It’s a big adjustment with childcare to consider, and waking up at an ungodly hour to get to work early enough to leave earlier. In the meantime I can also try fitting reading into the schedule somewhere. I have a long commute so audio books might be good.
  2. February I’d like to pick a project to work on. I’ve got two novels battling it out in my brain, and I need to do some brainstorming and outlining to see which one has the most meat on the bones.
  3. March to December, draft draft draft! I’ll need to figure out where to squeeze in the writing time. It might have to wait until the little bean is asleep. (Please God let her be sleeping better by then…)
  4. May is the Creative Ink Fest. I’ll be volunteering. I’ll see you there local writer friends!
  5. June is tentatively 4th St. Fantasy. I’m hoping I can swing it this year. I’ve been so out of the loop it would be nice to catch up with people and do at least one con this year.

That looks like a plan, yes?

Looking Back at 2015

Garlands

I’m very out of practice with the blogging. I’ve written and deleted and changed my mind about what I would like to say, because nothing seems like enough to sum up this roller coaster of a year. It feels like we’re finally treading water now that baby is napping and sleeping on a more regular schedule, but it’s taken so much to get here.

It hasn’t been all good, but the good parts more than make up for everything. Pick an emotion and I guarantee I’ve gone through it in extremes over the past year. There’s just so much to learn as new parents, and honestly it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Now I see why that 1 year birthday is such a big deal. You survived. Baby survived. It’s all a little bit less of a crazy.

But hard as it is, being a mom is also probably one of the most amazing things too. Having one little person that trusts you 100% never to drop them (even though baby’s squirmy and heavy and you’re only human) is humbling. That you could fail is not something that baby know’s is possible, and you just have to try harder or be stronger. Mama doesn’t get a day off even if she’s sick.

Every day baby learns something new, and her personality keeps getting bigger the more she’s able to express herself. It’s nothing that either of us parents is responsible for, it was just there from the start. It makes me humbled to think that every one of us was perfect the moment we were born, and who we are was already fully formed. If that’s not a miracle, I don’t know what is.

I’m still figuring out how to be both myself and mom at the same time. E and I are still figuring out how to be a couple and parents at the same time. I think that will be a work in progress for a while, but I’m looking forward to the new year. I think we’ll be a little less sleep deprived, and things will get more predictable once I go back to work. I suppose we’ll just see how it goes.

Happy Holidays!

-T

Here Comes The Fall

Maybe it’s our northern latitude, but by the time the end of summer nears, the sun has a different quality to it. The light is a little more blue, and it’s touch is cool even at midday, instead of scorching. Without fail, by September 1st it’s noticeable even when there are a few official weeks of summer left. The seasons have turned.

I can’t believe time has passed so quickly. It’s felt both excruciatingly slow, but when I look back it’s like I blinked. Suddenly I have a really squirmy 7 month old on my hands, who thinks she can walk, so she lets go (but she can’t). I’ve been trying to teach her how to fall without hurting herself, because she will fall. Luckily, she’s a smart little bean and is getting a hang of it fast. Now I watch her bend her legs, and fall onto her butt instead of toppling over, so she doesn’t hit her head.

We could wax philosophical about the life metaphors there, but I know you get it. Learning how to get back up is almost as important as learning how to walk.

I’ve got things to get back to too. It’s easier now that the little bean’s sleeping better. There’s a deep well of creativity that needs filling up, and I’ve got a stack of books, tv shows, and movies to get to. I’m very, very, thirsty.

I hope you had a good summer, but I’ve been looking forward to the cooler days of fall.

The Other Side of the Mirror

The other day I went shopping for the first time since the baby was born. I had no idea what size I was any more. I picked up a couple shirts unsure if they would fit, and when I looked in the mirror half-dressed, I saw my mothers body reflected back at me. The familiarity was startling and uncanny.

Some things sag and squish (and will never be the same again). There are dark stretch marks below the round of my belly (I know these will fade to fine silvery lines one day). Nothing is what it used to be, but it’s not a bad thing, just different. How could it not be?

I used to hate photos of myself, because I would undoubtedly have a silly expression on my face. Now I don’t mind as long as baby is smiling with me. I used to worry about some fat here and there (girls are taught to worry about these things), the freckles on my face and all kinds of minor imperfections. Now they don’t bother me, because I know how much this body is capable of. I used to stress about every little thing, fill up every moment with work for the sake of work. Now, nothing matters as long as the baby is okay. It doesn’t feel like me, but as if I’ve been thrown into a body I need to get used to inhabiting.

There are echoes of my mother, that I’m just starting to recognize. How much of who we become is because of our parents? Where do they end and I begin? Would I recognize my grandmother’s, grandmother’s, grandmother? Their DNA is left in pieces, in ways I don’t recognize, and in my daughter now too.

I am not the same, but I have always been this person too. Funny how that works.

Dispatch 3 via the New Parent Underground 

Life now follows a particular logic, alien to the pre-baby mindset. I have enumerated the new equations below.

Baby Math:

  • Eating + baby = chew x 5 speed
  • Nap time x baby = random success rate
  • Hot days + baby = buy an air conditioner or everyone suffers
  • Tired baby = hyperactive baby
  • Clothes + baby = spit stained + yogurt scented
  • Cooking + baby = crying + smoke alarm ringing + questionable meals 
  • Sleep + baby = unsolvable 

Dispatch 2 via the New Parent Underground

Still alive! The baby overlord continues to be demanding.

Days and nights blur together but somehow we parental units survive. (If you look very closely you may notice twitching of the eyes, a glimmer of madness, spit stained clothing and unwashed hair).

Every day we face a different challenge. Perhaps it’s not easier but we’ve grown more accustomed to the baby’s demands. Consequently, a new weapon has been deployed to keep us from rebellion: the gummy smile.

It is perhaps the most effective tool the baby has used yet. It also serves as non-financial compensation (or as distraction from the lack thereof). I do not understand how the baby manages such a feat. Every smile is as effective as a drug, causing an immediate reaction in the heart region.

Still in need of sleep. Can that be bottled?

Signing off one handed. The overlord has claimed the other.