That E figures out the potty training thing. Hoorah! How quickly things change. She has finally put it together and learned to pee in the potty. I can't wait until she is diaper free. I'm fearful of public restrooms, but how bad can it be compared to changing big girl poopy diapers?
In December, I wrote my list of wishes for the next year. I hesitate to call them resolutions because I find resolutions too depressing. So how am I doing? Let's review:
That I find the will to finish the text. Ummm, no. I did, however, find the will to admit that the situation was untenable.
That the publisher is nicer. Right.
That my daughters are healthy. Let's see. If we exclude ear infections, the girls are doing well. If we include ear infections, then this isn't going particularly well. E, who had tubes placed last summer, had a very bad ear infection in February. Other than that, she has just had a few colds. Poor little M, on the other hand, has hopped on the ear infection band wagon. She has been on four rounds of antibiotics since February 21 and her hearing tests came back abnormal because of the fluid. She will get tubes on May 2. I haven't talked about this yet (probably because I am in denial), but she has not hit some verbal milestones (our pediatrician calls it a mild delay at this point) so I am hoping that once the fluid is clear, she will be able to hear and to catch up.
That daycare is more traumatic for me than for Baby M. This one has turned out pretty well. I'm a control freak and it has been hard to come to terms that my instructions may or may not be followed (I must say this part was easier when we had a nanny). I am all for schedules, so I'm also not pleased that some days she naps and some days she does not. On the bright side, she seems happy when I pick her up and I am glad that she doesn't seem bored.
That E figures out the potty training thing. Oh. God. No. Not yet.
That J and I have time to reconnect. Ha ha. Part of the problem here may be that by "reconnect" we mean different things. When I think of reconnecting, I think of having meaningful conversations about non-child subjects and maybe a little cuddling (preferably in the form of a massage). When J thinks of reconnecting, he thinks of sex. I don't know if it is the breast feeding, the fatigue that comes with raising a toddler and a baby, or if I am just deflicted, but the last thing I want--and I mean the last thing-- is sex. I don't want to be touched. In fact, I get annoyed and even angry when he attempts to initiate.
That I can breastfeed M until she is one or until I feel good about stopping. Except for the recent biting, this is working. Pumping for daycare is hard work for me, but each week I somehow have enough. I plan to start introducing whole milk (cut in with breast milk) in a sippy around 11 months so that she can be day weaned by her first birthday.
That I lose the baby weight. Um. No. I lost several pounds when I had pneumonia, but I think I have gained them back. I am getting back on the exercise wagon because swimsuit season is upon us.
Peace on Earth. Sigh.
That I become better organized. Yes! I have been slowly, but surely improving. I'm still pretty pathetic, but my paperwork is under better control, the finances are under control, and I'm starting to declutter the nooks and crannies of the house. Being more organized has given me a huge boost. I have a long way to go, but it feels nice to feel more in control.
That I keep writing in this space for therapy. Yes!
That fewer hairs show up on my chin. Sadly, no. While it probably isn't noticeable to anyone but me, I seem to be sprouting more chin hairs. I don't want to be one of those older women (my grandmother was one and my mother-in-law is on her way) who are oblivious to the inch long gray hairs making little curly cues off their chins. I may be a sucker, but I just ordered this.
That I give more to worthwhile causes and charities. Except to make a few trips to Goodwill and to donate a dollar now and again to March of Dimes I've not done much. Wait! I did give to Walk for Autism because my neighbor is walking in it (her son is autistic) and I did make a donation to the local rape crisis agency. Still, I should do more.
So that's my first quarter report. How is your year going?
She bit me. My teething girl bit me on the boob. She has taken a few minor chomps before, but this was different. There was blood. And shrieking. I'm maimed.
God help me, but I do not want to resort to my father-in-law's unsolicited suggestion, but something must be done. I startled her and made her cry, which was only fair considering she MADE ME BLEED, so maybe that will be enough of a message. I'm going to be very wary the next few times she nurses.
I need to go look into first aid options. Owieeeeeeeeee!
It has been nearly three weeks since the termination of my text contract. Overall, I feel relieved. But I would be lying if I didn't admit to feeling let down, too. Finishing major projects is analogous in some ways to giving birth.* Take my dissertation: the process was full of anxiety, and hurt like hell, but in the end I had the cutest little doctorate in the whole world. With the text fiasco there was no epidural, the baby got stuck, and there was a bitch of a nurse telling me what a shitty job I was doing-- for two and a half years.** It would have been wonderful to have walked away with a little bundle of (text and royalty) joy, but that wasn't to be. And it is a bitter pill. The aftertaste will be with me a long time.
It is probably just as well that my girls have taken turns getting sick over the last few weeks--ear infections and mystery fevers-- because I needed a little space and time to think.
It has taken me a few weeks to decompress, but I've turned my attention to two projects. In one, I am examining social network data I collected two years ago as part of a team studying sexual victimization. I am comparing the social networks of college women who report having been sexually assaulted to the social networks of college women who do not report having been sexually assaulted. I want to know if there are significant differences in network structure, such as the intensity of their ties to others and memberships in primary and secondary groups, that may heighten or mitigate risk of assault. In the other project, I am examining patterns of cosponsorship and co-voting in a legislative body to test the effects of race, gender, and other attributes on legislative effectiveness.
For the most part, I am excited to be working on both of these. Thus far, I have been reviewing the literature to bring myself up to speed on recent developments. This has been good for my ego because I'm finding that my previous work has been cited, particularly with the legislative work. I've also found that there have been some methodological advances and I look forward to being able to run my models with some newly validated measures.***
I'm going to work as fast as I can on both projects with the goal of having at least one paper out for review by the fall and others in the pipeline. I'm looking forward to new beginnings and easy deliveries.
*I apologize for using birth analogies, but it's all I've got right now.
**In fits and starts, of course. I had two babies in this time, went up for tenure, renovated a house, had surgery, and held a full time teaching job.
***Measures are always an issue with reviewers. Having published, validated measures to use and cite will make the review process a bit smoother for me.
A month after being told that there was a less than 1% chance of conceiving again using my own eggs, I found myself pregnant. After an anxious pregnancy, I found myself blessed with another daughter. We decided to temp fate and try for a third child. Two miscarriages later, I'm trying to figure out what comes next. In this space, I talk about mothering, working and life in general.