Mami, Aunt J, Grandmommy, and Babylicious take Manhattan!!!

I am so unbelievably excited. I just registered for Blogher 2010. I know it’s still like a year away, and I have yet to make any other arraingement other than to register with Blogher, but whatever… I’M TOTALLY GOING TO BLOGHER 2010!!!!

There are quite a few blogs that I stalk on a regular basis, who’s authors I KNOW have gone to the past Blogher conferences, and my dream is to meet them all in person and have little tambourine’s picture taken with all of their children.

No, seriously.

That is my goal. I want a picture of Marlo and Babylicious and Ezra and Babylicious, and perhaps one of the three of them. I’d love Noah and Leta in the pictures to, but I’m not sure if they will show up.

Here is my plan. August 5, 2010 (Thursday) drive up to NYC. The business conference starts on the 5th, but we don’t need to be there for that. Check in, obviously, to the Hilton. Enjoy Friday the 6th at the Conference listening to all the fabulous women speak, and hopefully meeting some of the women I read daily. Saturday, I want to spend as much time at the conference as possible, however, I cannot go to NYC and not see Wicked on Broadway. So that is what I will be doing Saturday afternoon. And then we will be off Sunday back down south.

I.can’t.wait.

Keep in mind that this is just a week and a half after I take the Virginia Bar. What a great way to celebrate the completion of my first attempt at the Bar. It will be a time of limbo during which I am grateful to be finished, but scared out of my ever-loving mind that I failed and will have to take it again. Oh, the horrors.

Anyhoo.

This will be a great way to take my mind off things. Well, at least for a while.

Bliss

There are moments in the day when the little tambourine will sit on my lap, rest his head against my chest, and relax for just a bit. These moments happen rarely, as the little one is 9 months old with more energy than I’ve ever had in my entire life. He is in constant motion. His curiosity outweighs any desire to remain in my lap longer than is absolutely necessary to catch his breath. However, in those minutes, when we both are calm with nothing surrounding us but peace and quiet, it is in those moments that all the hardships of the day fade away and I experience pure bliss. The bliss of motherhood, the bliss of unconditional love, is very empowering. It’s these moments that give me the strength to continue with my day.

*************

We’ve been having problems with the little tambourine’s sleeping. Again. I’ve said this before, and I will most likely say it again, but the most frustrating and infuriating part of parenthood is an infant’s sleeping habits.

I will one day write an entire post about his sleeping issues prior to 6 months. For now, let’s keep it at “he didn’t sleep, ever.” After 6 months he started sleeping quite well. 11 hours at night, two naps during the day.  We never did have a problem getting him to sleep. It was mainly keeping him asleep that was the issue.

In the past two weeks, culminating in last week’s doctor’s appointment, it has been a nightmare trying to get him to fall asleep. It used to be bath, pj’s, story, cuddle, asleep. But he decided he wasn’t happy with that situation and has required me to rock him for hours upon hours at a time before putting him down. If I dare put him down before he is completely in the throws of slumber, he will awaken and scream his discontent. It’s gotten to the point that I dread bedtime. The time that used to be one of my favorites, is now my least favorite, and that makes me truly hurt inside. Instead of leaving his room at night feeling calm and happy, I leave exhausted, and already dreading the following night.

Something needs to be done. I understand that it is the parent’s job to parent their babies to sleep, and I am truly not averse to rocking him. However, he is at the age when I certainly should not be required to rock him all the way to sleep in order for him to stay that way. It used to not be like this. He used to be able to go down drowsy but awake (the perfect way to go down according to most books) after only a little rocking. Not recently.

I also understand that he is 9 months and is going through a lot of changes. He learned how to pull himself to a stand last week, he’s been crawling now for about a month, and he’s entering the separation anxiety phase. I know that when he doesn’t want me to leave it’s because he’s starting to understand that I still exist even after he can’t see me, and thus does not want me to be away from him. I know this should be flattering, but I also know that he’s going to get used to me rocking him all the way to sleep, and that, my friends, can never be a good thing. The only ending to that scenario is an exhausted mother and an upset little boy.

I thought that after the 6 month mark things would be better. I figured there’d be some set backs, but I always thought it would be with his night waking, not the initial bedtime.

Motherhood: the hardest and most rewarding job in the world.

Maternal Instinct

It always amazes me how my body reacts to the little tambourine’s cry.

It’s the middle of the night, and I’m in a deep slumber. One whimper sounds from the adjoining room and in an instant my eyes are open, my heart is racing, and my entire body is tense. It’s as if I’ve reached into the animalistic “fight or flight” part of my brain and pulled out what can only be described as… well… a maternal instinct I suppose. Every mother has had this feeling at one point or another. The feeling that something is wrong with your offspring. You don’t think. You simply respond. I would imagine this is what it’s like for a mother bear when a human comes between herself and her cub.

It’s a hard feeling to forget.

This happens about three times a night with the little tambourine and myself. He wakes up, makes noise for varying periods of time, and then will usually fall back to sleep. The entire time he is awake I am tense, my heart is racing, and my eyes are wide open staring at his door. It always takes me a while to fall back to sleep after one of these episodes. What do I think is wrong? I know he’s safe.

I think it’s a learned response from the days when he was waking every 2 hours, the wretched post- newborn/pre-Ferber days. Those were the days when I dreaded putting him to bed because I knew he would be up again in two hours. Those were the days when he would wake up, and I would lay in bed hoping with all the power in my being that he would make a little bit of noise and then fall back to sleep on his own. This never happened. He was conditioned to fall asleep only after he’d spent some time with Mami. I had made him this way. Those nights my eyes would open, my heart would race, and my entire body would tense up.

Things are much different now. Much better, really. And yet, I still respond the way I did when sleeping was not a happy time. I sometimes wonder how long it will last. I wonder when he is 3, will I still awaken with an increased heart-rate? Will I ever forget what it was like those first 6 months of his life? I have a feeling that as soon as I forget, that will be when I truly need to respond in this way. For that reason I’m ok with being tense for a few minutes if it means that I am ready if he ever truly needs me.

I would probably murder someone to see Sigur Ros live…

Too bad they never come anywhere near my village.

I played some Sigur Ros for the little tambourine today for the first time and he loved it. I held him in my arms with the itunes blasting. He laughed, smiled, and exerted a level of excitement I truly had never seen before. He lifted his arm in the air as if he was trying to feel the music. I knew immediately how he felt. I’ve now played Takk on repeat for the past 6 hours, softly of course, as background noise. If he gets fussy, I turn it up, and at least for a little while, he is quiet.

I missed classes today. Mr. Tambourine isn’t feeling well, and I didn’t want him to have to worry about caring for little tambourine while he is ill. It’s early in the semester, and I have an absence or two that I can waste. The sun is shining for the first time in 2 weeks, and the temperature is above 40, so we went for a walk, had some lunch, soaked in the Vitamin D. Anything to distract the little tambourine from the discomfort of being a baby. I do believe little tambourine’s teeth are bothering him again. There is probably nothing I like less than a teething baby. Remedies are limited and don’t often work to the point that the little one is completely content. Quite frustrating as a mother.

The joys of old aparment living.

If there is one more morning when I wake up, try to vacuum, and subsequently blow a fuse, I may scream. Because, here’s the thing, my landlords are native town folks (as in they’ve lived in this tiny town their entire lives, not that they are native american) and the do things very very VERY slowly. It takes about 3 phone calls and a couple of trips to their store, where they proceed to talk about the weather for 30 minutes, before anything is ever fixed. Mr. Tambourine has actually learned how to fix light switches (and I suppose will now learn how to change a fuse) in order to avoid the need to speak with our landlords.

The problem is, we live in an aparment that was built in the 40’s. Instead of having a big renovation to update the entire aparment, my landlord’s approach is to just fix things as they happen, which wouldn’t be a problem, if things didn’t go wrong EVERY SINGLE DAY! I may be exaggerating a bit, but since we moved in a year and a half ago we’ve had numerous fuses blow, and have to be replaced, an oven that had to be replaced, a washer that has had to be replaced, lightswitches that have gone haywire, baseboard heating that has stopped working, and now our roof is leaking. I am slightly apprehensive to even bring up the roof problem with the landlords because I am sure, if they choose to replace the roof, it will take forever, and I’m not sure if I have it in me to go without a roof for the time being.

You may be wondering why I remain in that apartment. As much as I complain it’s a HUGE apartment, and is very reasonably priced. Other landlords in the area have taken advantage of the fact that the law students here need a place to stay, and because it’s such a small town, our options are limited. This results in increased prices for incredibly tiny TINY apartments. I’ve honestly seen a house that is roughly 1,500 square feet be converted into 4 apartments. My apartment is around 1,500 square feet alone. It also came furnished, has it’s own washer and dryer, and is very close to my school. These were all important things I was looking for when apartment hunting two summers ago. As frustrating as it is to have things go wrong, I cannot justify moving the little Tambourine, Mr. Tambourine, and myself to a much smaller apartment where we’d have to purchase all new furniture, only because I don’t want to deal with landlords. As it is the adults have a bedroom, the little Tambourine has a bedroom AND a playroom, we have an office, a living room, a kitchen and a decent sized bathroom. It’s more than we need, but now that we’ve gotten used to it, we’ve become spoiled.

For now it is better for us to continue on then it is to move. We’re only here for another year and a half. As long as nothing major goes wrong, I suppose we can deal with it.

A little fall of rain…

Some days are better than others.

Some days Mr. Tambourine is helpful and friendly. Some days little tambourine is the epitome of a happy baby. Some days classes go quickly and are thoroughly interesting. Some days I don’t mind living in a tiny town.

Today was not one of those days.

Today Mr. Tambourine was sick. Today little tambourine was teething like no other. Today my classes felt like they were 10 hours long. Today, all I wanted to do was take a coffee break at Starbucks.

The closest Starbucks to me is 3 hours away.

Today was not one of those days.

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