Archive for January, 2009

CIO, yes or no?

January 31, 2009

My MIL offered to stay with Val overnight if we wanted to let her cry it out while we stayed somewhere we couldn’t hear. 

Every morning between 4 and 5 a.m., I am so tempted.  One of T’s colleagues says she did it and is soooo glad she did.  Another friend said “babies are resilient, she’ll be fine.”  Dr. Weissbluth recommends it.  My in-laws support it.  Thanks to the sleep deprivation, it’s getting harder and harder for me to a) think, b) keep my cool… and my A-exams start Monday…

But… can I bear the thought of her crying to sleep every night for a week???   That’s how long it took T’s colleague.  Would I/we be able to refrain from going in to her?  Because the only way it would work would be if we did not give in.  Give in once and you’re worse off than before, right?  Would it destroy her faith in humankind?  I was telling my MIL about the attachment theory reasons against CIO, and she said “well I guess we traumatized our kids then, and so did every other parent in our generation.”  Well, maybe ya did.  T’s younger sister has been completely estranged from them for years, but I didn’t point that out.  There are a lot of other factors in that dynamic but all I’m saying is CIO might have gotten them off on the wrong foot in the beginning. 

Please weigh in!!!



January 31, 2009

I feel like an ungrateful wretch for even confessing this… but at 4:30 a.m. while V. screamed in her dad’s arms, refusing or unable to go back to sleep, I pulled the pillow over my head and fantasized about jumping on a bus to Anywhere-But-Here with just my backpack and guitar, like I used to do in my early 20s.  I took Greyhound all over the US (Missoula to Buffalo, Chicago to Dallas) and Bolivia (La Paz, Potosi, Santa Cruz, Cochabamba) and it was just me I had to look out for, just me I had to take care of.  I wondered if maybe I could give her away to a deserving family.  This sleep thing is killing me.  I don’t know how much longer I can go on.  The Baby Whisperer thing was working for a few days, but then we had a relapse and I don’t know why.  I know I’ve been inconsistent with nursing her to sleep sometimes, and I know that’s what she screams for.  But I can’t make up my mind whether it’s better never to do it or always to do it, and I know it’s one or the other.  I remember very clearly the Psych 101 experiments with little white rats; if you rewarded their behavior at random intervals, they’d push that damn little lever over 100 times to get the food pellet.  If they could be that persistent, why do I imagine she won’t be?  It’s just that I begin with resolve and then fall apart in the face of the wailing mouth, squirting tears, arched back.  I told T. that we’re giving it 3 more nights and then if she’s not doing better at sleeping through the night by then, we’re going to have to try the dreaded Cry It Out. 

The thing is, she’s doing better – if by better you mean waking us up 5-6 times instead of 10-12.  But that’s still too much.  I have a chronic headache and I burst in to tears or yell at T. over every little thing.  This can’t go on.

ups and downs (rinse, repeat)

January 30, 2009

I am bouncing between floor and ceiling like a human powerball.  Yesterday T. really stepped it up, after I mentioned that I had blogged about our, um, frank meeting of minds.  He started clearing an upstairs room to become my office, and took over re-settling baby to sleep in the wee small hours this morning.  More importantly, he keeps checking in about what I need and making sure that we’re negotiating rather than him just making executive decisions.  So I was feeling good.  Then last night was another night from hell, and this morning I was a wreck again.  But we had a good morning, the sitter put V. down for her nap, and things are looking better now. 

I feel like I now understand with crystalline clarity why people in industrialized, atomized, wired, automated, nuclear societies have fewer children.  I keep thinking about the women I knew in Bolivia who would have 7 or 8… not that they necessarily wanted to, mind you – many women told me they’d be happy with 2 or 3 – but it’s somehow more doable within a different kind of social arrangement.

low point

January 29, 2009

Yesterday sucked.

At 1:00 a.m. I lay in bed crying, thinking “if tomorrow is anything like today was, then I don’t see the point in going on.”  I was overwhelmed with the certainty that I will fail in my degree program, that I was literally going to die from lack of sleep, that my husband was a prime, grade-A @$$hole.  I asked the universe, WHY do people have kids????  (Oh yeah…I guess this is why… but in the moment, such was not clear to me.)

Today got off to a better start.  School was on a 2-hour delay, so T. was able to stay home and play with V. this morning while I worked on yet another grant application. 

While we were putting V. to bed last night I gave T. a little piece of my mind so he was on his best behavior today.  I was still mad when we went to bed though, mostly b/c he defended himself by pointing out that yesterday he did the dishes… twice… BIG WHOOP is all I have to say to that.  And he claimed to have made lunch, when in reality I made lunch.  All he did was drain the pasta, add garlic and oregano to the sauce and stir it.  I very much doubt that counts as “making lunch.”  Anyway, I was very much relating to Serenity’s rant as well.  Not so much the details as the general principles. 

So yesterday, because of the snow, I didn’t have any help at all until T. finally finished his own work and magnanimously decided he was ready to help with child care, at around 4 p.m.  I had gotten up an hour earlier than usual with a pounding sleep-deprivation headache that lasted all day.  So at that point I was in no shape to work since I could hardly maintain a coherent thought in my head.  Anyway, since Friday I’ve been obsessing completely over our new sleep regime

Last night, once I figured out (at 1 a.m. – see above) that V. was hungry, was better.  Today (so far) is better than yesterday.  I may survive.  I’m not entirely certain how.


January 26, 2009

Wow… can’t believe I’ve been missing this story from Kristen and Nate – am so in the same neck of the woods.


January 21, 2009

I learned Sunday night that a friend of mine experienced a 1st-trimester loss just days before Christmas.  She is publicly upbeat about 2009, but I am just so sad for her and her husband right now.

This is the Bright Side

January 15, 2009

Ok so reading my last two posts it just all sounds complainy… and I was complaining/venting, I was. At the same time, I have to take a moment to acknowledge the gratitude, the fulness of joy I feel when I hold her close to me and she rests her little head on my shoulders. We have money in the bank, a roof over our heads, and lots and lots and lots of books lining the walls. We have piles of warm clothes and toys for the little one, mostly gifts from people who love us.

Best of all… we now have internet… 🙂 (just kidding; while it’s a lifeline, it’s not really the best thing. She’s sleeping on our bed right now.)

roller coaster life

January 14, 2009

So I’m bogged down in yet another grant application, all with its own departmental drama to boot… but I won’t go into that because it just makes me super-annoyed.

My little Widget (newest nickname – along with Rubber Biscuit, Little One-one, and Babycakes) is currently playing on T’s office floor while I try to whip off a quick post here.

I never, ever, imagined that being a [working] parent would be so effing hard. I’m interviewing babysitters tomorrow… but today I pretty much lost my proverbial marbles. I was crying, throwing dishes into the sink… poor baby just stared at me, wondering what was going on. It’s just SO HARD to get ANYTHING done. It helps if/when I can just let go of my to-do list and forget about it, and just play with and enjoy her wholly. But that’s hard to do, when the house is such a post-moving chaotic mess, and I have a deadline on Thursday, and T. is teaching four classes plus trying to keep his program from being eliminated piece by piece by what he calls the “soulless minions of orthodoxy” (line stolen from a DS9 episode).

Little by little we’re getting things figured out… but the toilet is leaking, and the belt on the dryer broke, and T. keeps taking the wrong car in the mornings (the one with the car seat in it…)

Honestly? If not for my MIL, I’d be in a straightjacket right now. Or worse.

Back online

January 11, 2009

It took us four days to travel across the country by train, three days to see my friend C. get married in Yosemite, and another four days to get back to the East Coast. During that time I think I had internect connection twice. We spent Christmas Day in Union Station in Chicago, cold and bored, and I got food poisoning from (I think) a half dozen chicken wings. Then we had five days to pack up my NY apartment before driving south on New Year’s Day. It was an eventful end to 2008. Little V. handled it all with equanimity. She is currently fighting an ear infection (boooo!), practicing her new-found crawling skillz, and declaiming “Bababababa!” I’m trying to figure out all our new systems here. Today the dryer broke. It’s great having doting grandparents nearby (most of the time)!!!