New Year, New Shorts

Both kids were up early this morning, so although it’s 9 AM my shirt is already soiled with tee-tee, poop, spit up, and toddler tears.  I’ve cleaned boiled egg yolk off of the floor, helped to assemble a Busytown floor puzzle, emptied the dishwasher, and given the baby a bath.

My saintly husband is home with the kids now and I’m sitting here in Starbucks in a comfy chair, watching the rain out the window and drinking my Mocha…grande, today, thank you very much.  I’m relaxed, but unfortunately not feeling very clever.  So today you get some random family updates, sans moralizing or witty punch lines.

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I don’t have any new resolutions for this year, but The Most Optimistic Day of the Year has given me fresh energy for my many ongoing self- and family-improvement projects.  The big one is getting all of us back on a normal waking/sleeping schedule, which we’ve been out of since Jem was born.  I’m trying to break the bad habit cycle, and we’re in that miserable phase of  trying to wake up with my alarm whether or not I got to bed on time the night before.  Which I usually didn’t, because Jem still stays up late, and also because we have had no self control when it comes to stopping that dang Netflix before it begins playing the next episode of White Collar.

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Speaking of White Collar, we finished the three seasons that are available online, and now there’s a void in our evening routine.  I know it’s shallow, but I so enjoyed those late-night hours with Neal and Peter and a cup of coffee.  Last night we watched the new episode of Downton Abbey, which of course was good, but there’s only one of those per week.  I hate watching TV in real time.  If we don’t find with a new show soon, I’m going to have to resort to quaint, old-fashioned sources of evening entertainment, like having conversations with my husband, reading a book, or carding wool.

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And speaking again of White Collar, I dreamed the other night that I was married to Peter Burke, so maybe a little time away from the TV is not a bad thing after all.

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We weren’t sure if getting Abby a trampoline for Christmas was a stroke of genius or wild irresponsibility.  The verdict is in: GENIUS!  Abby jumps every day, preferring to have company but entertaining herself pretty well even if I have to stay on the ground holding the baby while I supervise.  It’s been cold, so we don’t stay out long, but Abby has been going to bed between 6:30 and 7 with no fuss since she’s started jumping. As an added bonus, our beds and couches are perking back up now that they’re not the only things that have to absorb Abby’s wild energy.

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Jem is a dream.  He’s a bit of a pig, but as long as I keep his tummy full he’s as happy as can be.  When he’s awake, he’ll lay  on his play mat or sit in his bouncer and happily watch as Abby and I play or do chores.  He gives me a few squeaks when he gets tired, and if I can get to him quickly, he’ll settle in for a nap with just a bit of rocking and soothing. He’s not a total angel baby because he’s not sleeping through the night yet, but I forgive him for that because he’s such a doll in every other way.

I don’t know how anybody can have parenting principles after the first child (not that I had them then, either).  I haven’t been willing to keep us all home to get him on a rigid eating/napping schedule during the day, and at night I pick him up at first cry to keep him from waking up Abby.  So there goes Babywise.  But on-demand, attachment-parenting techniques don’t work either, because I can only meet the demands of one child at a time. Even if he’s hungry or tired or in need of a new diaper, sometimes Jem just has to wait his turn!

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Against all my better judgment, I can’t stop myself from referring back to my baby-parenting books or following the baby advice pins on Pinterest.  So even though my official position is still, “The Experts don’t know anything!,” I still find myself plagued at every turn by a hundred contradictory angels on my shoulders.  When Jem cries, a panicked voice in my head warns, “Crying produces the stress hormone cortisol!  It’s damaging his brain! He’s learning that he can’t trust you to meet his needs!”  So I pick him up and cuddle him, or feed him before his three hours are up, or tuck him in the Moby, and I’m assaulted again: “If God wanted you to be a marsupial he would have made you one! Keep this up and he’ll never sleep through the night!  That Bjorn will damage his hip joints and he’ll be bowlegged for the rest of his life!”

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Dear Doctor, this kind of pressure is UNHELPFUL.

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I read another Jeffrey Archer book called Sons of Fortune.  It’s not as good as the ones I recommended to you already (Books 1 and 2 of the Clifton Chronicles).  I raced through it and definitely enjoyed it, but there were a few things about it that I didn’t like, most notably the entire ending.  According to the reviews on Amazon.com, I am not alone here.  The big up side to reading this book is that it reminded me of another boy name that I love, if and when I ever need one.

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Not that I’m thinking about having another baby any time soon.  I’m still feeling like I’m in way over my head; the urgent demands of feeding, bottom-wiping, and soothing my two munchkins dominate my daily schedule.   I only enjoy a one-second victory when I fold the last piece of clean laundry, empty the dust pan into the trash can, or wipe down a toilet with a clean rag; then I blink twice and the chore is looming again.  So for now I’m resigned to living without self-indulgent luxuries like shaving my legs, paying a bill that’s not due TOMORROW, or writing anything but grocery lists.

I console myself that one of these days I’ll hit stride and can incorporate some of those treats back into my life.  I will, one day, right?  Just say yes and pat my head.

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It’s been 10 days and three sits at the computer since I’ve started this post.  Can you believe this is all I have to show for myself?

See you again, sometime.

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7 responses to “New Year, New Shorts

  1. Lindsay, love your posts:) Praying for you!

  2. Although I don’t have a journal, through your blog you are able to articulate precisely the thoughts that would fill it’s pages.
    Keep it up. This is my mommy therapy :). Thank you.

  3. white collar has a new season starting next week 🙂 we love that show! and we also have no self control for stopping Netflix-we’re watching all the West Wing episodes currently and I always want “just one more!”

  4. We are also losing sleep over West Wing! We enjoyed Sorkin’s new show “Newsroom” this summer, so I was so happy that West Wing was finally available.

  5. We love watching Bones on Netflix, and feel as if Bones and Booth are our friends (who really need our help and encouragement sometimes). They have been known to incorporate our dreams!

  6. Thanks for the TV recommendations! I am looking forward to trying out some new shows now!

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