Monday, April 20, 2009

Mary's Visit, Leaving E

There are all kinds of things I've been meaning to blog about, but I just don't have it in me at the moment. (Plus it's 3:30--E will surely be waking up soon. He's been napping for 2.5 hours!)

We survived Mary's visit, though I did flee to the bathroom once to cry and freak out for a couple minutes. Mary sounds exactly like Mrs. Costanza on Seinfeld, and I've decided that something about the way her voice sounds makes it hard to get outright angry at her. She comes across as sweet and sincere even while being offensive and grating. I believe her heart is in the right place, but it's a lot to take: the poor listening skills, the constant, BLATANT interrupting and talking over you, the repeating of stories over and over and over again, the cleaning directions and advice (while I'm cleaning), the non-stop chatter about sales and sweepstakes and money. TJ just kinda checks out, either leaves the room or literally doesn't respond to her. And that means it falls to me, the polite daughter-in-law, to listen and respond attentively at all times (there's rarely silence) and make sure she's comfortable. Thankfully, there were no fights this time. Even when she said something about how "all Asian people make their kids take piano lessons," TJ kept his cool. And she didn't badmouth Obama or quote Rush Limbaugh, amazingly. He definitely would've lost his shit then.

Her food addiction, as usual, was sad to witness. She talks incessantly about calories and diets and losing weight and wanting to eat healthy food, and none of it means anything. It's to the point that she can't be on her feet for long at all, and she has a terrible cough left over from the walking pneumonia she had last fall and this winter. She and I went to Target one afternoon, and on our way back to the car she told me excitedly that she'd picked out a special treat for us to share in the car before we got home. It was a box of Little Debbie Nutty Bars, I kid you not. Only 100 calories! It broke my heart.

Anyway, we're going to Florida in July to visit them (TJ's dad stayed home this time), and I'm pretty optimistic that it'll be a good trip. They will *love* having E there, and he'll have fun in their pool. We can get a direct flight, and they're set up well for babies, and it will be nice not to have to worry about meals and keeping house for a few days.

I had other things I wanted to mention, but it's now after 8:00 p.m. and I need to stop. I'll just quickly add that TJ and I went out on a date Saturday night for the first time in months, and a sitter put E down for the first time in, well, ever. That was really the point of our going out--we're working up to the weekend my friend gets married in June. I was a nervous wreck for no reason, of course. He went down just fine. But I hate leaving him. It's to the point that I have a hard time thinking of anything else or enjoying myself. It feels a bit desperate and unhealthy and makes me wonder if I have any identity left apart from who I am with him.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Recent pics

Trying in vain to see his belly button. It's impossible when your belly is so round!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

This-n-that on a Thursday that feels like a Friday

It don't think I have much to say at the moment, but TJ took E to the airport to pick up his mom, so I'm alone at home, which NEVER happens. It feels divine and weird.

Mary will be here until Tuesday. You may remember some posts about her last summer. (I don't think I'll reference them here. Ahem.) I hope this visit is as enjoyable and non-suffocating as possible. I know E will love having his Grammy here.

What else . . .

Oh, we found out this week that we don't have maternity coverage. Surprise! More on this later. Shitty, shitty news.

I had my 12-week appointment today. I refused the ultrasound/Downs screening that was scheduled, and instead the doctor just listened to the heartbeat externally (it sounded nice and strong--wow). I felt great about not having the ultrasound, as wonderful as it would've been to see the baby. I also talked to the doctor about VBACs. More on this later.

Today is our four-year wedding anniversary! We have a sitter coming next Saturday, so we're going to celebrate then.

I have been really tired this week, and grateful for the ability to nap part of the time that E naps (he's been napping so well, though only sleeping ten hours a night). I ended up enlisting TJ's help in preparing for Mary's arrival (specifically he mopped downstairs last night). Everything is in good shape now.

Oh, gotta go! Am being picked up shortly for dinner.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Drowning in Oak Pollen

I have horrible allergies. Horrible. This is the third day of it.
Moving sluggishly. So congested. Uck.

We got a lot done today, though. Stuff like taxes and vacuuming and cooking and starting to clean out/organize the garage. And there was playing, lots of playing outside with a certain someone. He has allergies too, but there's no keeping him from going outside.

About the working-from-home/noise situation, I should clarify that it's not that E and I have to be quiet when we're here--we really don't--we just can't be crazy loud. It doesn't cramp our style most days, I wouldn't say. Just sometimes, usually near the end of the day, though having the sand and water table out back has helped with that. But I vacuum regularly while TJ works, and crank up the radio in the kitchen and so forth. I don't want to make it sound like we have to tiptoe around. As frustrating as it was, Friday's incident was the first of its kind, of that magnitude. We talked about it later, and TJ just doesn't think it's going to happen that often. Still, he'll need to find a place with wireless to work come next fall, if not sooner. And I have to ignore the shrieking (which I normally do) at all costs.

Okay, time to go. I'm trying not to get trapped online up here every night after E goes down. I have yet to be successful.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Working from Home: The Noise Factor

Obviously there are huge, huge benefits to having TJ work at home: the overall pace of our lives (especially when compared to the hellish job he had before), the lack of commute, the help I get in the mornings, the ability for us both to be present for dinner prep/evening playtime. The fact that we're usually done eating dinner by 6:30. The bonus of having my lunch made for me whenever TJ has time. (We never eat lunch together, but he makes my lunch when he can.) And perhaps most importantly, there's the huge benefit of E getting to see TJ during the day, even if it's just to wave hi as we pass his office.

TJ doesn't have the type of working-from-home job where you make your own hours and work quietly behind a desk. His is a high-pressure, fast-paced job that's more suited to an office environment in many ways. His schedule is packed with phone meetings and conference calls with clients and colleagues and his partners. He never starts later than 8:00 in the morning, and doesn't take a real break until he stops for the day, which is at 5:00 on average (though he sometimes works at night). Not bad.

The issue that seems to be developing has to do with E's noise level, specifically the high-pitched shrieks he's been into lately. There's no way to stop him, nor should we, in my opinion, and the dynamic that's developing around his shrieks is problematic to say the least. For example: Today we'd been out all morning. Upstairs from 8:30 to 9:30, and then out of the house from 9:30 to 12:30. E needed to eat lunch as soon as we got home, and then we'd be going upstairs for naptime. He was in his highchair, waiting for me to quickly get his lunch together, when he started with the EARSPLITTING shrieks. I knew that TJ was just getting on a video conference call, so I was shushing E desperately (knowing that this only makes it worse, but feeling like I had to do something). I was begging him to be quiet, but the shrieks continued, not surprisingly. TJ came barging out of his office with his earpiece on and said, "You've got to do something. Just . . . do something." I said there was nothing I could do. He repeated that I had to, period. I repeated that there was literally nothing I could do, sorry. E had to eat. Back and forth we went, at a stalemate.

After lunch, to get E upstairs without a struggle or a peep, I was parceling out sour cream and onion chips (not worth explaining, but obviously they're not something I want him eating at all). Yep, I was buying his silence until we were safely upstairs.

Not good.

It's frustrating to me, and I know it's frustrating on TJ's end as well. But I don't know what else I can do. I'm already taking him out of the house every single morning of the week, then we're upstairs in the afternoons from 1:00 to 4:00 or so.

The last time TJ was out of town (which obviously sucked except in the way I'm about to mention), there were a couple of days where E and I had a dance fest in the kitchen over lunchtime. I cranked up the music and we were dancing and laughing and whirling around like lunatics. It felt so wonderful, and I remember wondering why we'd never done this before. And then I realized--it's because we always, always have to be quiet.

There are also times when I'm trying to prepare dinner when TJ's working late, and E's doing what toddlers do in that situation--pulling on my legs and moaning and crying and trying to get my attention. I can't let him do it for long since it's too loud, but if it were just the two of us at home, he would have to wait until I'd reached a stopping point. I worry about what this is teaching him. And what about when the new baby is born? Can you imagine?!

We definitely need to figure something out.