Trust Your Instincts

Saturday, February 21, 2015

There is a reason that February is an F word.





Last year, at precisely this time, we had spent our first few nights in our new place with not a stick of furniture but a bed and a kettle for tea.  A big empty apartment, the two (and a half) of us, and an unrelenting series of rainy days.  Reece was looking for a job, sitting hunched over the laptop scanning all the relevant sites and firing off his resume at record speed.  We had some savings, but they were depleting quickly because moving is SO EXPENSIVE.  Its always more than you think it will be.  Always.

It was so stressful, I have to say.  Doing something big and brave and new like moving across the world when you're at a severe disadvantage (way-o prego), that will kind of make your stomach turn with both anticipation and fear in equal measure.  It frustrated me, it terrified me, we ate a lot of frozen pizza and peanut butter sandwiches.  We survived.

Things do feel a lot better this February.  We have eaten only one peanut butter sandwich each so far this month, and we do some weekend joy riding in this big white minivan that we bought (because HELLO: MY NAME IS MINIVAN PERSON).  I would say, all of the things both inward and outward look better than last year.

Because, lets be real, February kind of sucks.  January is the month you think your life is going to change because you're on a high from the week straight you spent at the gym and all the green smoothies and paleo (which I call bullshit - btw- however I shall save that thought for another time) creations involving chicken and asparagus and spinach and steak... But February?  February is the month you realize that there is such a thing as too much iron and... well you've had it.  Also the month when your body's immune system can't take it anymore and you get some virus that has an equal number of letters and numbers in its name.  So, glued to your bed, next to a pile of dirty tissues, paler than the Cullens because there hasn't been sun since the first week of the year - you say a little prayer of gratitude that its only 28 days.

It is with great surprise, now, that I say that February really pulled through in the last week.  Spring came and I'm willing to forgive this awful month for being such a dick last year.  So thanks, February, I don't trust you yet... But for now I am grateful for the couple of days you've let the sun through and the flowers you popped up.  I never stick my nose up at an early spring.  That is just not the type of girl I am.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

8/52 Not an amazing shot of Piper but...


This is usually the face I get when I pull out my camera with this guy.  P appears to either be falling asleep or gazing at the sky... either one is an appropriate course of action on a Sunday evening.  Victoria has been showing off these past few days.  The sun, reaching into the far corners of my cold, creaky body, illuminates once again the memories of last spring.  I recall so vividly that first balmy morning; it was my mother's arrival at the airport the day of my baby shower, two weeks before my first baby arrived.  It felt so right, to feel a warm breeze; the breath of new life outside and squirms of impending birth inside.  That day, everything was where it should be.  Both the sun and my parents were here with us and I spent the afternoon eating wayyyy too much red liquorice (my one true pregnancy craving).







Monday, February 16, 2015

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

6/52 Life Making Stuff.



So I missed a week somewhere.

Put the photos together in a folder then, just....didn't post any?  

Oh.  I just realized I wrote a post and then just didn't post it.

Uncertain precisely how that could happen; its not like I have anyone in my life demanding ALL OF THE ATTENTION AND FOOD.  Seriously?  No one tells you this, but in life... there is so much eating.  And eating, for those of you still 18 and not sure where food comes from, requires food preparation.  And grocery shopping.  And meal planning.  And cleaning.

I've just listed the top things that I am the worst at in the world.   (Those things and also: being on time for anything and falling asleep)  Whiiiiiiiiich happen to be my job right now.  Insert awkward smiley face.

Then I read this.  I could have wept, how the truth of it struck me.

What do I do?  Try, I guess.  I'm going to plan and write in notebooks and use tupperware and become what I thought would come naturally at this point in my life.  I'm going to teach myself how to be a good life-maker.  Because homemaker is so 1952, am I right?




Thursday, February 5, 2015

5/52 Dirty faces and not one word from the cheekiest baby around.



Piper spends a lot of time 'chatting' but she says no actual words.  Sometimes I find this a bit unsettling because I'm so vocal.  My love language is almost exclusively spoken or written communication.  I think out loud.  I sing out loud.  Basically, I'm as obnoxious as they come.  But I try to be friendly about it.

I married a man of few words, but the words he chooses to express are well thought out, and meaningful... He's a sniper, if you will.  I am more the machine gun type.  Our girl, although she is the most affectionate and loving human being I have encountered thus far, may take after her father in regards to speech.  She's not in a hurry to express whats on her mind.  For fear, perhaps, that it distract her from thinking more deeply and thoroughly about unpacking my clean laundry basket.

The other day, however, I was changing her diaper and somewhere between holding her down with my one arm (I wish there was a baby wrestling championship belt somewhere...) and pulling her pants back up I tried to distract her with a big smile and an overenthusiastic "Hey!".  She looked right back up at me and said it twice.  

She hasn't done it since, so clearly I'm either seeing a mirage of communication where none exists.  Either that, or she's messing with me.  Which could be entirely possible.  She's a clever little minx.


Just look at that face and try to tell me she wouldn't try and mess with my head.








Wednesday, January 28, 2015

4/52 The Nine Month Mark.


Brand new people are funny.  We embrace them, love them, and care for them... but most of all, we are absolutely fascinated by them.  From their minute limbs and appendages to their, at times, adult-like flatulence ...  It is truly mystifying how they grow.

Why is that?

Babies are logically small humans.  They are small because it would be terribly inconvenient to give birth to a full grown person (the mere thought of is entirely shudder inducing, I assure you).

Logically, they make sense.  They grow and develop, every day they are different from who they were yesterday.  A tooth is bigger, a leg is stronger, and eyes light up brighter than they did yesterday. I act like this is amazing.  That no other baby has ever travelled this journey of growing up before mine.  No baby has ever yelled "Maaaaaaamaaaaaa" when she's sad, or wants food.  No baby has learned to give sloppy, wet 'kisses' before mine did.  And no baby most certainly has ever pulled herself up on furniture, proudly welding her free hand in a very obvious demonstration of her new found skill.  These things have been pioneered this month by my child and it feels like no one has ever done them before.  

This is motherhood for me.  Daily focus on my girl.  My first, my muse.  Every day I'm so  confused, glad, delighted and sad that she's growing so fast.  Happy Nine months of survival and overwhelming love to us. 


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

3/52


Real, wordy post coming soon.  For now I leave you with my 3rd weekly portrait of this year.

4 teeth (finally) and 8 straight hours of sleep the last couple nights.  Its good to be happy and clean.

Music we've listened to today is from this list and I like so far!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

2/52

I think this counts as week two?  1-7 would be week one (nailed it) so 8-14 is two...

Consider the decision made.  Its week two and so I've documented more of 2015.

Still blowing the dust off my poor, neglected camera so bear with me.  I tried my hand at manual focus (with a baby.  because I'm an idiot.) and it completely shows in a few of these but somehow I like the dimension.  Mistakes don't have to be bad.  This blog is for me, anyway.  Don't get me wrong, I'm stoked you're here reading this.  But its still comforting to know that creativity is entirely subjective.

I, for instance, have never seen stretched earlobes that made me go "whoa, can't handle all that style up in here".  I'm usually more like "you could fit a baby CARROT IN YOUR EARLOBE.  what the heck."  But I appreciate that someone out there loves it.  What a diverse bunch we are.  

With that small nugget of thought from my brain at way-too-early-o'clock in the morning, I give you 2/52.  A portrait of my daughter in the second week of 2015.



And some out takes.  Because its my blog.









Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Because New Years.

I'm a sucker for fresh starts.

New notebooks, sharpening a pencil for the first time, painting walls, rearranging furniture... even moving.  God knows I've done that enough times.

Perhaps I coped with the constant upheaval of my youth by deciding to glean what was positive about all that change.  A chance to start over.

The further I move through life, I realise that we take more and more with us wherever we make our 'fresh start'.  For instance, I now have a child.  Basically a permanent fixture in who I choose to be from here on...  which is really cool.  I suppose I just now understand why people say "Enjoy being young!"  and "You have so much ahead of you... endless possibilities!"

So cheers to the possibility that I might get a full nights sleep this year.  Happy 2015. 

For whatever you find within your grasp, do it as best as you possibly can.  So says P in front of our printer, tricky devil.








With that, I give you my first week of the 52 project.  Again.  Because last year I didn't get beyond week 2 or 3.  So lets aim for week 5 this time, shall we?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Light.

Today I had to call 911.


It's not because I heard a gunshot or wrapped my car around a tree or anything..

My kid is apparently allergic to bananas (wtf?  bananas?)

Her histamine reaction was a little too drastic to ignore and I don't own any Benadryl, having absolutely no family history -and therefore no knowledge, really- of allergies.  I was told by the nurses' hotline, who I called about the hives, to call 911 and get some help to be safe.  

No matter how much I consciously and intellectually knew that P was going to be fine... tears still stung my eyes and the air I tried to breathe caught in my throat, waiting for me to try and swallow.  Every day I'm afraid of something terrible happening.  That those I love so dearly will be hurt or taken from me.  Dialling the numbers and asking for an ambulance was the realisation of the ghoulish thoughts that plague my mind on a daily basis.  Its kept me awake.  My trembling voice sputtering out my address... the whole thing.  So today, even though it was okay, today was like my worst nightmare had come to life.

This feeling of dread, the constant fear of dramatically tragic things happening at any moment, I'm told this is something called anxiety.  It hasn't really been a major player in my life I think, but as I'm writing this I'm reminded of how terrified I was to drive after a major car accident I was in.  How I only ever saw flashes of crashing and dying.  The impact so seared my memory it would be impossible to forget how it felt to be so thoroughly out of control.  Sometimes the flashes happened even outside of cars.  

Then I had a baby.  I watched out for post-partum depression because I know it strikes those who have a history of depression... but it never really came.  I honestly felt fine for a good few months.  But eventually I couldn't fall asleep again (my insomnia was cured by pregnancy *insert smiley face*) for the worries and the heaviness in my chest and the constant lump in my throat.  I dread going to bed because I have to wade through a thick bog of my own worst fears:  tragic loss, pain and loneliness, just to reach slumber.

From some of the reading I've done... it seems that this is somewhat normal for women who have babies but they're not exactly fresh off the press.  Whether it is to do with the hormones from altering the breastfeeding to incorporate solid food (Thank you Cup Of Jo for talking openly about that sort of thing), or if its just my body chemistry at this stage... regardless of what exactly is the cause, something has happened.

I will call this an introduction to a world that I hope I never need to visit again.  I feel that what happened around a week ago was a real anxiety attack.  I know just like I knew I was in labour.  If you have to ask "is this it?"  it probably isn't.  But this was it.  Like someone turned down the speed of my heart by half a beat and my hands and feet felt numb... tingly.  A 100 pound bag of bricks lay on my chest, inhibiting my ability to draw breath.  I pulled in air as best I could like I had just run a few sets of stairs, but I was actually lying down unable to move.

Being out of control in that way... my own body somehow turning against me, it was... it IS terrifying.  Truthfully, it frightens me now just to think of it happening again.  I'm desperately hoping that it won't.  Maybe that is why I am writing this down.  Some kind of outlet so my mind has a distraction other than stirring up my entire body into a heart attack like frenzy.

Its working, I think.  So bear with me, internet.  

I'll get real therapy, I'm sure.  But for now, I want to sleep.  So I had to get this out in front of me.  

I hope if anyone reading this has ever experienced, or is experiencing post-partum (or any kind I guess) anxiety... find some sort of comfort or validation that someone else is right in the middle of it too.  I want to talk about it.  Its part of my post baby body.  Like my shorter hair cut and the extra skin around my midsection.  Also my weak, popping knees.  There are a lot of things that still continue to heal after one gives birth.  Some of them annoying, unhelpful, unavoidable... Others are treatable.  This is one of them, I believe.   

Because darkness cannot overcome light.  

Light is not happiness and rainbows.  
Its not the power of positive thinking.  
It is honesty.  
It is opening up a window to see what really is.





So I'm letting the light in... you might see some dirty dishes lying around.  

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