Time Warp Tuesday: Thanksgiving Gratitude

It’s Tuesday again people. Time to do the Time Warp! Today’s theme is Thanksgiving and gratitude. Luckily I’ve written a lot of posts on the subject of gratitude so I had plenty to choose from. The post I finally did pick is called A Token of my Gratitude (or Five). It was written on September 28, 2009 just one month after I started my blog and only a week before I found out I was pregnant a second time. During that time I was struggling very much to see the good in my life. I was still healing from my ectopic and wondering if I would ever have a child to call my own. I didn’t know how to live I had when the life I wanted seemed so unattainable. At the time I had no idea that I was already pregnant. That the tiny seed that would eventually grow into my daughter had already been planted and was starting to grow.

Now, strangely, I find myself in a similar predicament, unsure of how to proceed with my life when the life I dream of remains ever elusive. I suppose now is the perfect time to reflect, again, on five things I’m thankful for, to revel in the bounty of my life and not in what I perceive as its shortcomings.

These were my five tokens of gratitude over two years ago.

Here are my five tokens of gratitude today.

Today I am thankful for…

my daughter

Isa is the light of my life. She is my happiness, my joy, my inspiration. She has healed wounds I presumed incurable. She brings me happiness with every smile. She is my everything. Every. single. day. I thank the universe for entrusting her precious spirit into my care.

my partner

I love Mi.Vida very much and am so fortunate to have him in my life. I’m thankful that he’s willing to work through our difficulties and negotiate our differences. I delight in watching him with our daughter, who adores him more than anyone. My partner inspires me, supports me and loves me unconditionally. I am confident that we will do everything in our power to make our relationship work, now and in the future.

our families

I don’t know what we would do without the continued love and support from both our parents. They shower Isa with attention (and cloths and gifts) and they frequently watch her so we can enjoy much appreciated time to ourselves. If it weren’t for our parents we couldn’t go to couples counseling every other week, relish the occasional date night, make extra money tutoring, appreciate personal pleasures like yoga, heck, we couldn’t actually afford child care. We depend on our parents support and they provide it in spades. We are so fortunate to have the close by and willing and able to help us whenever they can.

(Isa with Mi.Vida’s parents.)

my friends

I must admit, I had lost hope that I’d ever make a good friend as an adult and now (miraculously!) I have two! I seriously don’t know what I’d do if I couldn’t text or call these women (J and B – I ❤ you!) when my life is making me crazy or sad or… crazy sad. They are always there for me, to shit talk someone who’s pissed me off, to sympathize when I’m down, to support me when I’m overwhelmed and to celebrate when I’m in high spirits. They are they for me rain or shine and I am so very thankful for their presence in my life.

(I somehow don’t have a picture of the three of us so I thought I’d include a screen shot of my and Jjiraffe’s never ending text stream. Also, those heinous exercise class stories I’m mentioning above? They are up on her blog right now and I highly suggest you check them out. They are hilariously insane.)

my blog/the blogosphere/the twitterverse

When I started this blog I didn’t realize where it would end up taking me. I never, in my wildest dreams, expected this place to serve as a porthole to a community of women I so admire and respect. I am simultaneously proud and humbled to participate in the dialogue that happens here, and on the blogs of my peers, every day. Teaching and motherhood are such isolating endeavors, if it weren’t for this space I’d be a fundamentally different (and lonelier) person. This community is more supportive than any I’ve ever had the pleasure of being a part of. I truly believe feeling accepted and supported by my online friends is one of the reasons I’m so much less scared to continue building my family. If this outlet had existed for me during my first loss, it would have been a less devastating experience, I’m sure.

And that is my top five list of things I am thankful for.

What in your life are you thankful for?

Happiest Mama Mondays: Find Your Tribe

I’ve been staring at this screen for a good five minutes and the truth is I have no idea what to write. I’ve actually been thinking about this post for a few days and I still don’t know what to write. To be honest, I’d rather not write this post at all.

I thought about not doing it. I thought about telling you all that I didn’t want to and blogging is about when I want to write (blah, blah) and since I really didn’t want to write this one I wasn’t going to. And that would have been that. I know none of you would have cared, in fact I’m sure you’d all have been very supportive of me.

I should write it though. Not because I said I would or because I feel some sense of obligation, but for the simple fact that I don’t want to. If I don’t want to write this post this badly, there must be a good reason.

And there is. I don’t want to write about finding my tribe because I haven’t yet and it makes me feel really depressed. There, I’ve said it, turns out I’m shit at finding my tribe. At least in real life.

I read this chapter last week and I have to say, it was the first in which I was disappointed. While she has some good advice and useful tips, Ms. Francis doesn’t really address how difficult finding one’s tribe can be. I remember at one point her saying that if you attempt to get together and it doesn’t work out, try, try again. Yeah, that’s great, but what if you’ve tried, tried, tried and tried and it never works. What happens then?

The chapter starts with a list of must-have friends. Every mother’s companion-arsenal should include the there-when-you-need-her friend, the pal whose life circumstances mirror you own, the veteran who’s a few steps ahead and can give great advice (and put things in perspective), the friend who will always tell you the truth and the friend-sans-spawn who can actually meet you for drinks at night. I think all of these friends sound great to have and I would love to enjoy women in my life who fit any of these roles. Heck, I’d love just one friend who lives in the general vicinity (because I do have some who live farther away) and wouldn’t be surprised to see my name on her caller ID if I needed to talk.

The “Making friends 101” section does have some good advice for finding new friends. She recommends tapping such resources as the parent-teacher organization at your kids’ school or mingling with other moms at sports games. If your kids are younger, like mine, the author recommends finding a mother’s group to connect with women who have similarly-aged babies and toddlers. Some places to look for mothers groups are hospitals, local baby boutiques and online forums.

I have to admit, I found this section to be a little frustrating. As someone who has been a part of many mothers groups, one that I even organized myself, I was woefully disappointed to find they all resulted in zero friendships. Despite spending hours with some of these women, and even being invited to a few of their kid’s birthday parties, I would not call any of them friends. I’ve never once called them to chat nor considered asking them for a favor. And while I’ve tried to initiate get togethers what feels like an infinite number of times they rarely work out (and no one has EVER initiated a get together with me). Even when a mother seems interested in getting together for a walk or a jaunt at the local playground the scheduling seems all but impossible. After months of trying to connect with moms in my area (both during maternity leave and after I went back to work) and having nothing to show for it I finally gave up. It’s a lot less painful to stare at a silent phone when you haven’t left any voicemails.

This past week, as an attempt to have something positive to write for this post, I decided that I was going to reengage the mothers of the group I started during my maternity leave. My earlier suggestions of a book club had been enthusiastically shot down so I went for something more simple and less labor intensive – I invited all of them over for a wine and cheese night at my place. A week later I’ve received two (of eight) responses. One yes and one no. So I guess if that one woman wants to come over by herself we can get together, but still, it’s not what I was hoping for, or expecting.

I found the sections on not creating a clique and “putting the ‘end’ in friend” to be pretty unnecessary for me. I don’t have to worry about getting cliquey with the friends I don’t have and I’ve always been a pretty inclusive person anyway. And while I have had to put the kibosh on past friendships I really don’t anticipate any overly eager new acquaintances at this point. Maybe I should send that paragraph to all the mothers I invited to the wine and cheese night so they can better avoid me until I stop pestering them.

For some reason I did appreciate the section on how to be a good friend. While I think I am quite considerate and I know I can be thoughtful, there were a few good ideas I might use if I ever end up finding someone who’s interested in getting to know me. I look forward to texting my friend from the grocery store to see if she needs anything or helping her fold laundry or doing things around the house. Maybe some day. A girl can dream.

There was one piece of information that I felt was relavant to me at this particular (friendless) stage in my life. While the author recognizes how powerful a tool the internet can be to strike up and nurture relationships, she warns against getting so involved in online friendships as to neglect your IRL posse. I sometimes wonder if maybe I’d be more inclined to find IRL friends if I didn’t have my URL buddies to placate me. I mean, without all of you I’d be totally and utterly alone (well almost) and I’d pretty much have to find someone nearby to hang out with. If I’ve taken anything away from this chapter it’s that maybe I need to be trying harder to make friends IRL, even though I don’t know what other avenues to explore.

I wish I had something more positive to say about this chapter. I ache to tell you how awesome finding your tribe can be, but I can’t, because I haven’t. I have met some really wonderful people through my blog and I do now have two amazing friends who don’t live too far away. But I know that when a distance of 30+ minutes separates you and someone you enjoy, you’re not going to see them much even if you’d both love to.

I have found motherhood to be so isolating. I’ve lost or become distant with almost all my childfree friends (and almost all my friends are childfree) and I find it almost impossible to meet and stay connected with other moms. Maybe as Isa get’s older it will become easier. Maybe it will always be this hard. The truth is I really don’t know, I can only hope for a future rich with friends despite a present in which they are sorely lacking.

The Random Musings of a Stormy Sunday

My thoughts are doing that lightening round of pinball thing again. Only I think there are like 10 balls out right now.

A big storm has been ravaging Northern California for the past few days. On Friday our school was on lock down for 30 minutes for a tornado warning! When my sister, daughter and I arrived at my parents house down on the peninsula yesterday there were still mounds of hail in the front yard. Last night I woke up and realized that the pelting rain I was hearing was not Isa’s white noise track but was the storm outside, drowning out the Forest Rain sounds we had playing. Flash flood warnings are out all over the area.

* * * * *

It was a tough week without Mi.Vida here. I got sick almost immediately with a brutal cold. It started with a hellacious sore throat on Wednesday night. On Thursday morning I still felt okay but by 4th period an achy feverishness was descending. There was moment where I was sitting there feeling myself get sicker literally by the second. My 4th period students all commented on the marked difference in my appearance and demeanor from the beginning of the period and the end. This cold ended up a concrete block in my sinuses and some gunk in my lungs, but it does seem to be breaking up.

Unfortunately Isa has not been feeling better since her tooth actually cut. She’s been keeping me and my SIL on our toes with occasional vomiting episodes and frequent poopsplosions. Isa had 3 baths in under 24 hours recently. It was rough.

On Friday night I scrounged up the energy to make myself a proper dinner only to realize two bites in that I couldn’t taste it at all. It was incredibly disappointing.

Between my cold and Isa’s tummy troubles it’s been a very long week indeed.

* * * * *

I retreated down to my parents’ house this weekend for back up. My sister came along for some family time. I remember on Thursday I called my mother to tell her how sick I was and she asked if I still was coming over. I was incredulous. If I could have come down right then I would have, why would I NOT come?! I wanted someone to take care of me, or at least take care of Isa so I could take care of me.

The time down here has been wonderful. I feel much better and Isa seems to as well. We’ve eaten amazing meals and enjoyed the clean, beautifully decorated space that is my parents’ house. Being stuck inside due to storms is much more tolerable when you’re stuck in a considerably sized house with yellow walls and red couches.

Last night I shared a room with Isa and I actually enjoyed it quite a bit. It was nice to be able to lay quietly and hear her breathing next to me in the Pack n’ Play. She was peculiarly tolerant of the noises I was sure to be making. Also, the trundle in the guest room is much quieter than I remembered, so that was a pleasant surprise.

* * * * *

Mi.Vida comes home today. His flight is a little delayed by the storm but he should be home in a few hours. I’m so excited to see him and relieved that he will be home.

This afternoon I’m going to visit my very good friends who welcomed their daughter into the world this Monday (don’t worry, I’ll be wearing a mask so as not to expose her to my cold). The new mom has been combating some pretty rough baby blues but seems to be feeling better. Her experience is a relevant reminder of how challenging it can be to bring a new life into the world and then nurture it in those stressful, sleep deprived first days. I spoke to her at length on Thursday when she was realizing, seemingly for the first time, just how entirely her life had changed. She was going through a mourning period for her old life, feeling as if she were experiencing an actual death. I was again reminded of how fortunate I was to have such a euphoric transition into motherhood. I think I took it for granted, but not anymore.

* * * * *

My mother’s scale (and my masochistic disposition) reminded me that I’m a good 12 pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight. I’ve been steadily gaining weight since I stopped breastfeeding (and started indulging more in alcoholic beverages at the end of the day). I suppose definitive action is going to need to be made, but I haven’t decided what that will be. My dad showed a short home movie that he took a week or so again on his 54″ wide screen TV and I was unpleasantly surprised by the way I looked. It was that wake-up call that you hear so many women talk about before they start a program like Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig. My past food and body image issues make me reticent to start a full blown diet of any kind but there are daily choices I know I could be making to improve the way I look. I guess I better start making them sooner rather than later.

Unfortunately my daughter is having the opposite problem. Her tummy issues have resulted in the steady decline of her intake, both on the formula and solid foods fronts. She used to take four 6-8 ounce bottles a day and eat three full servings of solids (about 100 calories a serving). Now we’re lucky if she drinks 5 ounces at a time (sometimes it’s as little as 2 or 3) and she rarely eats a whole serving of solids, many times refusing them completely. I think this started when she was uncomfortable from cutting her tooth and now her body is used to the reduced calories. I’m concerned because she has consistently been falling down in the weight percentiles (she started at 98% and is now at 50%) and that was when she ate well. I can only imagine how she’ll fall now that she’s eating so poorly.

I never understood why parents worried so much about their children’s caloric intake. I figured that human beings ate when they are hungry (I certainly do). But now I see that it can become a very stressful subject indeed. Perhaps its the lingering effects from my lactation consultant fiasco so long ago, perhaps it’s just my nature, but I’m disappointed every check-up that she’s barely gained a pound a month, many times less than that. I know Isa is a relatively good eater I just hope she’ll remember how it feels to eat full servings and start to be hungry for them again.

* * * * *

Well this became a surprisingly verbose post. I supposed I should wrap it up. I’ll end by telling you that I’m looking forward to two social events this week. On Thursday I’m meeting with some other mom’s at a restaurant near my home. Another mom posted something on my mothers’ listserve and so many people responded she had to divide us into 4 nights! It’s obvious that mamas feel isolated and are eager to meet other mamas. I certainly know the feeling! Then on Sunday I’m meeting with Bodega Bliss (mentioned in Friday’s post) and I’m SO excited to do so. I’m proud to be taking definitive steps to combat my feelings of isolation and the general lack of friendship I feel in my life.

Thoughtful Thursdays: Community and My Place In It

I’ve been thinking a lot about this community – the community of bloggers I am now a part of. I see my blogging community as series of concentric circles. Some overlap, others don’t. At the center are the bloggers who comment on my posts regularly and who receive my comments regularly. I’ve exchanged emails with many of these woman, gchatted with others and even talked on the phone with couple. Now I’m following some of them on Twitter so I’m even more in-tuned with their daily lives.  I am planning on meeting up with a couple in the greater Bay Area in the near future. This community of women has provided me with immeasurable support. When my pregnancy loss and TTC struggles wedged themselves between me and my close friends, this community rose up to fill in those gaping holes. Instead of finding myself on an island isolated by loss I was surrounded by women who understood me and knew exactly what to say. Even if I couldn’t meet them in person their words reached me through the ether and touched me profoundly. I would be a fundamentally different person if it weren’t for my blog and the women who care enough to read it and respond.

Outside of that “inner circle” are other circles of varying sizes. Some consist of the bloggers (or Tweets) that I follow, who don’t follow me. Reading these people makes me feel less alone and significantly less crazy. I am reassured that everyone has common struggles and I’m inspired by the way that people handle their circumstances, good or bad. I get ideas for how to deal with the challenges of parenthood, how to nurture my relationship and how I might maintain healthy friendships. I feel camaraderie and sisterhood with these women, even though we don’t communicate personally.

I’ve been thinking about the community this blog has afforded me a lot as I slowly piece together my new blog. I’ve also thought about how I identify myself in this community and how I will identify myself differently on my new blog. So far I’ve registered the domain name, rented server space, set up my database and installed WordPress. I think I have a theme picked out but that is about it. I have to admit, I’m not 100% sure what I want to accomplish with the space so I’m having a hard time deciding where to start. I wonder how I will present myself on my new blog, who I will be. It seems weird to me that I will be communicating from a space that is not primarily motherhood-after-loss focused. Pregnancy loss and then motherhood so fundamentally changed me, it feels completely natural to fill this blog with thoughts related to that. I’m not sure who else I am, without those circumstances confining me. Without their presence shaping me I fear I’ll dissolve into an amorphous blob, void of form, structure or direction. Where will I be coming from if it’s not from my scarred place shaped by the pain of my loss and the anxiety I feel about future losses?

The truth is I have no idea.

But I want to find out.

I know there is more to me than my pregnancy loss and the horrible anxiety I felt during my second pregnancy. There is more to me than the panic I feel when I think about trying again or the butterflies I can’t explain when I hear that anybody is newly expecting. I used “confined” earlier to describe it and that word is incredibly accurate. I sense that confinement more and more as I communicate with people through the computer or relate to people who are sitting across from me. I know another me exists, one that is not so dominated by loss and fear of future loss. I want to know who that person is. I almost wrote that I want to become acquainted with her again, but I realize that I’ve never met this new person, who has been borne of the months and months of TTC, the ectopic pregnancy, the 24 hours in the ER, the second, (anxiety inducing) successful pregnancy, the nine months of motherhood. I really don’t know who she is when she’s not looking through the lens of loss, both real and imagined.

My new blog scares me in so many ways. I’m not sure I have anything to offer the already over-crowded world of woman-authored-blogs. I’m not sure where my journey will take me and therefore I can’t guess whether people will want to join me on it. But the thing I’m most afraid of is that I won’t have anything to say that I wouldn’t say here. I’m worried that this is all that I am.

Of course there will be many common themes (parenthood, family, friendship) but they will be explored from a different place, with distinct tones and divergent points-of-view. And the honest-to-gosh truth is I’m not sure what those points-of-view will be. I’m not sure which tone I’ll adopt when tackling the new topics, let alone the familiar ones.

The new blog will chronicle a big change in my life. I hope that change will inspire other, deeper, more meaningful transformations. I hope it will allow me to not move on from my pregnancy loss but to perhaps move past it. To enjoy a life beyond it. A life where I have something to give not just to the pregnancy loss community but to the community of womankind in general.

I know my pregnancy loss will always be with me. It is a part of me, as much as any other experience is. More so, in fact. It will define me, in some way, for the rest of my days. I don’t wish to leave it behind. Those first weeks of my first pregnancy were so incredible, I wouldn’t erase them to spare myself the pain that followed. But I don’t feel it has to remain such a prominent part of my life. I hope it will fade into the background like a scar eventually lightens to better match the skin around it. I will always recognize it and it will be noticeable to the touch, but hopefully it will eventually beceome less obvious to the casual passerby.

Will this “new” me be someone others want to know? Will I be able to build any kind of community around my new blog? I don’t know. I do know that any new community I might find will NEVER replace the one I already have. I will keep writing this blog because it’s a part of me, just like the events that sparked its inception. And I would be devastated to lose the women I’ve met here, the women who become more involved in my life with each passing day.

Today I passed the 1,000th comment mark. (Thanks Kate!) 1,000 times people have reached out to me on this blog. That number is absolutely staggering to me. The women behind those comments have supported me in my darkest times of loss, walked with me on the long, anxious road through my pregnancy, celebrated the birth of my daughter and cheered me on as I stumble through motherhood. 1,000 times they have consoled me, commiserated with me, congratulated me, calmed my anxieties, acknowledged my fears, and, most importantly, validated my feelings, no matter what they were. And for that I am forever grateful.

Thank you for 1,000 comments! I look forward to 1,000 more!

What does this community mean to you? What parts of you thrive in your blog space? Do you think your IF/pregnancy loss experience will ever fade, even a little bit?

Restless and Wanting

My daughter can’t sleep. She has a horrible cold. Her nose runs like a faucet. Her cough is a deep mining of wet sludge. Her nose is so thick with sickness, it can’t perform it’s primary function. She can hardly drink out of a bottle let alone use her binki for comfort. I’ve raised on side of her mattress an inch and a half, hoping it will keep her sinuses from becoming an impenetrable block. Over and over she grasps sleep lightly only for the hacking to rip it away before she can manage a firm grip. She is jarred awake again and again. She is restless.

I feel like this now, unsettled. Something is not right, something is off. Mi.Vida feels it too. We are jabbing at each other, light but sharp, leaving marks here and there. The stings we inflict linger, even if they won’t scar. We have retreated to different ends of the house. Mi.Vida does the dishes and I write this. When he’s done I will make dinner and he will do whatever he does. It’s not that we’re mad at each other, we’re just, tired. Our fuses are short, our tempers untamed. We are dogs, each taut on it’s own leash, the slightest hint of a snarl curling lips away from teeth.

I need a glass of wine.

Today I went for a run. It was beautiful out and the pan-handle was filled with passersby enjoying the sunshine and unseasonable warmth. There were so many pregnant women out, I started looking for bellies. I think I’m always looking for bellies.

I think about being pregnant again. A lot. I think about it in relationship to my body and the new luke-warm enthusiasm it conjures. I think about it in terms of my job and how I could stay home for the most amount of time. I think about pregnancy in terms of what it will take to achieve it. I think about it in relation to our finances. I think about how a pregnancy will affect my relationship with my partner. Will there be more days like today if we have two?

I think about what I have. I think about this new life, transformed yet recognizable. I think about the weight that has been lifted, the holes that have been filled, the significance my daughter infuses into every day. I think about how much more I have to lose, how the uncertainty presents a different weight to bear. I wonder how my daughter can bring me endless joy and yet not be enough. I ponder this drive inside of me to bear children, to be a mother, again and again.

I long to talk with someone. I want to discuss motherhood. I want to dissect the the places that feel both foreign and familiar. I want to reconcile the momentous with the mundane. I want to harmonize the elation and the bewilderment. I want to weave my story into something significant and prolific and I don’t want to do it alone.

Mostly, I want someone who will nod not politely, but perceptively, appreciatively.

I want a friend who walks a similar path, shares corresponding thoughts. I long to find a kindred spirit who understands without explanation.

Motherhood can be isolating. Teaching is isolating as well. I’m a relatively young mother in an area where young motherhood is a relatively aberrant phenomena. When I do meet mothers my age they are wonderful to walk with while comparing stories of sleep deprivation and first foods, but I have yet to see that spark in anyone. I’ve yet to meet a woman whose experience as a mother mirrors my own.

Motherhood can be all-consuming. I feel that most women writhe against that while I relish in it. All I’ve ever wanted was to be a mother. I chose my profession based on the assumption that I’d have kids to pick up after school and spend breaks with. I would happily give up anything from my old life to make room for my progeny. In fact, my old life felt empty because I was leaving space for them, even before they arrived. I feel like the woman feminism forgot. I feel like my desire to just be a mother, above all else, flies in the face of everything woman have fought for. I fear that others will think less of me for my fervent desire to bear children. I worry they’ll judge me for my frenzied need to have another, and another if I could.

I feel misconceived in my own life. I feel misplaced in the place I call home. I feel like I don’t belong, like I’ll never find anyone who sees me, unwaveringly.

I know I’m not alone in this desire. It’s human nature to want to belong, to be understood.

But that doesn’t make it any easier to bear the burden of being just a little bit… unexpected.

Trial and Error (Light on the former, heavy on the latter)

So yesterday I went to a baby shower. I was lucky enough to never attend a (non-work) baby shower before this one (except my own). I didn’t know anyone there besides the mother-to-be and it was really far away from my place, requiring over an hour of travel time each way. Being at the shower meant I’d miss most of Isa’s awake hours, which was hard. But I was still excited to go because I love the woman having the baby (she is my best friend’s wife) and hope we can see them a lot when when they enter parentdom.

There was only one moment during the shower when I felt the difference between our two experiences (she got pregnant the first month trying). She was retelling the story of how she told her husband that she was pregnant and I suddenly remembered both the times I told Mi.Vida about our pregnancies. The differences between the two instances are substantial.

The first pregnancy I found out about while traveling without him in New York. When I got home I bought him a Father’s Day Card (it had just passed that weekend) and wrote, “I know you’ll be the most amazing dad” in it, or some such sentimental saying. And then I gave it to him with a positive pregnancy test. It was amazing and I was so excited. Of course we lost that pregnancy two weeks later in an ER with an MVA and two methotrexate shots in the ass.

The second time I told Mi.Vida we were pregnant it was 6am on a work day and I was sobbing with fear that we’d have another ectopic. There was so little happiness in finding out about that pregnancy. And for some reason, hearing her tell her story made me realize that for the first time. And I had to take a few minutes to mourn the excitement I should have felt when I found out about the pregnancy that brought me my daughter. It only lasted a moment though, and I rallied to play all the silly games and watch her open present after present.

On the way back I thought of how I’d tell Mi.Vida we were pregnant for number two, if we’re lucky enough for that to happen to us. I don’t want to share it because Mi.Vida reads my blog. I have to say, I’m excited about it.

Until I wonder if that will be another doomed pregnancy, and I’ll be wasting my special idea on a something I will remember later through the anguished lens of loss. There is no way to know until it’s too late, so I’ll have to take that step in faith, if the time ever comes.

Anyway, enough of that sad-sap stuff. I mean, I didn’t have to go to work today. Why am making myself feel shitty in spite of that awesome fact?!

I actually made myself feel pretty shitty earlier today too. I’m sure you all remember that I was a little over-zealous about Isa’s sleep schedule, especially about her naps. Well, the good news is she’s a great napper now, taking two 1.5-2.5 hour naps every day at consistent times. The bad news is, we’ve become completely beholden to said nap schedule, which leaves us these times to do anything out of the house: 8:30-10:00, 12:30-2:30, 4:00-6:30 (give or take 30 minutes). By the time Isa is up, dressed and fed we’ve lost 30+ precious minutes of that time, leaving less time left than most outings would require to execute.

I’ve really noticed the constraints of this nap schedule when trying to meet up with a mom who lives in the area. Her son is only five months and is still taking three naps. Which means our children are on completely opposite schedules. Whenever Isa is awake, H is asleep and vice versa. We haven’t been able to see each other since I went back to work.

So today I did a bold and uncharacteristic thing. I said f*ck it and took Isa out, leaving after she was supposed to go down for her nap. Not only did I do that, but I stayed out for 1.5 hours, bringing her home when she sometimes gets up from her nap. Oh, and I also didn’t bring a bottle.

About 7 blocks from home she totally lost her $h!t. Like back arching, shrill screaming, tears streaming lost her shit. I felt horrible. I hurried home, made her a bottle and put her to bed. She was so tired and looked so dejected as she finished those eight ounces, I felt horribly guilty. I promptly broke down when I walked out of her room declaring myself the Worst Mother Ever.

So my first attempt at flying in the face of Isa’s nap schedule did not go as I had hoped. In the end I wasn’t even thankful to see the woman that I met up with, even though I was so desperate to talk with a fellow mom that I took Isa out during her nap in the first place. Of course, I did nothing to ensure a successful outting, and I only have myself to blame for that. The next time I try this I will be home much earlier (and I will have a bottle with me, just in case).

We spent the rest of today making some homemade baby food (which I will tell you more about on Useful Tuesday) and hosting some friends for a couple of hours of adult conversation.

Tonight I’ve said I will cook dinner, as Mi.Vida has much to do and little time to do it. My pipe dream is to bring Isa downtown between this nap and bedtime so I can use an Old Navy coupon before it expires. I doubt that will happen, but a mom can dream.

In the meantime, I’m so behind on my Creme de la Creme comments, I need to get on that. I’ve read up to 80 but have only commented up to 65. Gotten shrink that gap!