Sunday, September 30, 2007


I love October, I truly do. The air lets go of its summer sluggishness and perks up. It smells good. It feels good. The nights turn crisp, but not cold.* The summer haze gives way to a sky of marvelous blue. The beach, no longer overrun with tourists, is perfect with water warm enough for barefoot walks. There are other things I like about October. The pumpkin patch. The fair. Halloween. Jeans. Sweatshirts.

October makes me feel hopeful. In October, I can do anything.

Which is why I've decided to lose weight. I'm ready, and this baby weight is getting old. It isn't the only reason I am skipping my high school reunion, but it is one reason. I need to lose seven to ten pounds to be back to my pre-pregancy/ pre-fertility treatment weight. Ten would be lovely, but seven would get me back to my favorite jeans.

Here is my plan: Eat less. Exercise more.

This is easy to say now after a day of face stuffing (E's birthday party), but I feel like I'm ready. I feel bad about myself. I've gone soft and my rear end is drooping. May face is full. My thighs touch. Ew.

It is going to be hard. I'm busy at home and at work and this doesn't lend itself to thoughtful eating. I tend to go a long time and then eat too much. I need to pack lunches and remove temptation from the house (bread, crackers, and candy** that means you). I am trying to plan the week's dinners now. Lots of brown rice and veggies and lean protein. This is how we eat when we have time for meal preparation so the trick will be to find that time. I need to cut my snacking, too.

As difficult as eating correctly will be, I think the key will be getting exercise. I used to be a runner. Then I had children. When I was running, I ran marathons. I wasn't fast, but I wasn't embarrassed by my efforts, either. I need to start running again. (Walking doesn't do it for me because I am an endorphin junkie.) Once again, time is a huge problem. I'm going to be running at night, I guess, because mornings are just too full and already-harried around here. I may look into a membership at the gym near my office so I can have a shower if I want to run during the day.

Tonight I told J about my desire to lose weight. He has agreed to not be the food police, but to be supportive. We'll see.

My goal for the month is to lose five pounds. I'll report back.

*Excellent for sleep if the children are cooperative.
**I have a well-developed sweet tooth.

Friday, September 28, 2007


All day yesterday (Thursday) I was convinced it was Friday. In fact, I told students who had stopped by to talk about projects that I would see them on Monday. I told colleagues to have good weekends. I cleaned my office fridge. When I eventually realized* I had a day to go, I quickly cycled through the Kubler-Ross five stages of grief.

Anyway, Friday is really here and I am relieved because it is been a brutal week. I'm too tired to write a proper post tonight, but I think I'll follow Suz's cue, embrace my inner coward, and post a quick update.

Since I last posted:

1. I have made an effort to curse less often around E.

2. E. turned three. A friend gleefully told me that three is worse than two.

3. I read yet another self-help type book.

4. I decided to have a big party for E's birthday (to be held this Sunday).

5. M started saying "Mama" appropriately. She is also able to understand more than I gave her credit for.

6. I decided against attending my class reunion for reasons that will be the subject of a forthcoming post.

7. I overindulged in too much TV-- Top Chef, The Office, some of The War, bits of Survivor, and some of the Bionic Woman.

8. I took a day to stay home, alone. I danced around with my iPod, and alternated grading tests, cleaning the house, and sorting through the girls' clothes.

9. I told my mother that no, I would not tell E that "nana is going to be sad and cry" if E won't talk with her on the phone. My child is not responsible for anyone else's emotional state. The guilt stops here.

10. Had wild fantasies about sleeping more than six-seven hours.

*A very hopeful student asked, "So that means we don't have class tomorrow?!"

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

My little parrot

As we were driving home in stop and start traffic, I heard a little voice from the back seat:

"Goddammit, cars. Move! Go faster! We need to get home."

I'm hanging my head in shame. I've obviously had a few moments of road rage as of late, and E is apparently a parrot.

Consider my act cleaned up.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Worry and Guilt

I grew up Catholic and was thus well acquainted with worry and guilt before I became a mother. Still, nothing prepared me for this.

At 12.5 months, M still isn't talking.

No "Mama" no "DaDa. " No signs, except to wave bye-bye. No pointing. At times, I'm not even convinced she recognizes her name. Each day that passes and that she doesn't talk, the knot in my stomach twists tighter. I've been scouring the Internet and I'm not at all pleased by what I'm finding. While a few sites say that some babies don't say their first words until a little later, it is pretty clear that she has missed a milestone.

On the bright side, she is extremely affectionate and gregarious. She laughs at funny sounds and interacts well with her family. She knows how to turn the TV and air purifier on and off and she can work the remote control. She walks around with the Leapfrog Farm Magnet farmhouse like it is a baby boom box. She babbles constantly. She lights up when she hears the start of the Signing Time video, and she dances to its songs.

But no words and no signs.

I know you aren't supposed to compare children, but how can I not compare her to her big sister, who WAS saying Mama, Dada and duck by now and who WAS signing some basic words by now? How can I not compare her to other children at her daycare or the children of friends or my neighbor's grandson, or my niece and nephew, or the children of other bloggers? How?

So why the guilt? At some level, I am convinced that it is my fault that she is behind. Maybe it is because I had to put her in daycare at such a tender age. Maybe it is because she doesn't get as much one-on-one time as her sister did as an only child staying home with me or a nanny. Maybe I ate something I shouldn't have while pregnant. Whatever. All. My. Fault.

I did speak to her pediatrician on Friday. The doctor seemed somewhat concerned but thought that we should give M a few more months before a formal assessment. At the time, I agreed that we should just wait a little longer, but now the second-guess chorus is singing and I'm no longer sure that waiting is a good idea.

I've decided that I need to clear one day a week to stay home with her and to work with her one on one. I don't have a clear Tuesday or Thursday for two weeks, but I'll try to get at least a half day this week and next. I'm not sure exactly what we'll be able to accomplish, but I'll feel better knowing that she is getting my undivided attention for a little while.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


Consider my ass kicked.

With the start of the new semester, my life has gotten busy. I'm taking my children to two different centers, teaching two sections of a new course, experimenting with student blogs in an old course, trying to sustain my research, attempting to exercise, planning (if not always delivering) nutritious family meals, packing lunchboxes, keeping a clean house, planning a double birthday party and attempting to find a little me time.

I'm tired.

At the same time, after a year of self-imposed maternity and sabbatical exile, it is nice to be around other people. While my colleagues and I spend a good bit of time complaining about our tone-deaf administration, we do manage to have intellectually stimulating conversations. When that fails, we talk trash about our most annoying students.

E's new center is very, very good. Because it is on campus and --bonus!-- across the street from my office, I am able to observe her class rather frequently. She doesn't know I am there because of an ingenious one-way mirror, but I love having a window, literally, on her day. She seems content at the new center and the teacher seems quite competent. The second guess chorus has quieted down.

My courses seem to be going well. The new practicum is quite a lot of work, but the students have not been complaining or freaking out which is good for my stress level. I decided that my social issues students should each create a blog rather than write a term paper. I'm not sure if this was a good move or a really bad idea. Their first entries are due today, so I will soon have a better idea of how this is going to play out.

We are having a double birthday party for the girls this weekend. We've just invited family and one close set of friends who know my family. We'll have a party with other little kids for E's real birthday in a few weeks, but I thought things would get too crowded with family (17 people) and little kids. Plus, my family is sufficiently crazy that I am at a point where keeping my family and friends separate seems a really good idea.

I have lots to write about, but not much time. I'm hoping to find a little time to write this weekend and to catch up on the blogs I like to read. Stay tuned.