Archive | January, 2014

Peace and Quiet

31 Jan

Since December, life has been crazy. It’s been a combination of fun-crazy (Christmas in MT with the fam), busy-crazy (teaching 2 writing classes and doing dissertation stuff) and crazy-crazy (the ex.).

I don’t want to go into the play-by-play of it all, but I’m finally settling back into a calm, peaceful routine. I *think* I’ve worked everything out with the ex where he respects my space/boundaries while also being in N’s life. I have built enough structure into my classes so that when life gets a little crazy, I don’t look crazy and unorganized to my students (case in point – my fall teaching evals were some of my best yet and my life was falling apart). We’ve had a stomach bug roll through and a cold that is verging on bronchitis (for me), yet we’re still doing ok. Professionally, things are going really well. Really, really well. I feel like the end is in sight, even if it’s still a year and a half away, I can see how to reach graduation, job, etc. Boy, am I going to celebrate!

I also found out about legal services at my university where law students give legal advice for cheap, so I’m most likely going to go that route to actually get divorce filed. It’s hanging over this relationship where the ex still hangs on because nothing is official. . .yet I’m so done that I’ve actually been on a couple dates. Once it’s filed, I think he’ll finally ‘get’ it and I can truly start moving on.

I’ve been thinking a lot about moving on. It was fun to go on a couple dates (though both were duds). It was good to a) see that there are other fish in the sea b) see that I’m desirable and c) talk to other human beings, who aren’t toddlers or crazy. I also realized that I have a lot of stuff to work out before I go back out to date for real. The amount I talked about the ex was atrocious, so I need to learn to talk about myself and relationships without talking about him. I wear my heart far too much on my sleeve and I think I need to figure out boundaries. . . that is, I open up too much and then I’m a total bitch when I shut down. I need to learn how to equalize my openness and my emotions so that it’s not one or the other. Luckily, it’s pretty much pointless to date over the next year since I need to work overtime to finish my PhD, find an amazing job, and get the hell outta here and build a new, amazing life wherever it is that i’ll be working (Academia is so weird that way…). Once I know what that life will look like, I can think about finding someone else to share it with.

For now, more than anything, I am so thankful for peace and quiet. N thrives in routine and kind love. My academic work comes from calm thought. The ex and I are toxic together and it has been a really difficult process for him and me to get him out (both in September and more recently, after he returned back and figuring out where boundaries needed to be set). So for now, I am savoring the calm and hoping that this balance keeps.

N at 28 months

17 Jan

20140117-230510.jpg
My little boy has been so delightful lately – he seems like such a little grown-up with so much personality – that I can’t help but post an update for posterity (and for his next baby book).

Nicknames: Snuggle-bug, snuggle-puppy, muffin, angel

Temperament: Alternates between being a really sweet, curious boy and being a cranky frustrated boy. As he develops his own mind about things, it is becoming clear that N is really easygoing and happy, but he has strong opinions about things. Sometimes he just wants things a certain way, and if you don’t do it (or know what he wants) he’ll scream, cry, or best of all, throw himself on the ground. He’s also very physical in his feelings: when he’s excited he’ll run up to you with open arms (or if you’re holding him, he’ll hit you in the face or bonk his head in joy. It’s great he’s so excited but can be painful) or if he’s mad he’ll thrown himself on the ground, biting the thing that offended him. He also takes his anger out on mama, by grabbing my hair or sticking his fingers in my mouth. When he’s really mad, he’ll knock chairs over or throw the toy that frustrated him. Such big emotions for such a little boy!20140117-230811.jpg

But these things are few and far between. Most of all, N is a happy delight! And when he is frustrated, I usually come to figure out that there’s a reason behind it: he’s not feeling well, he wanted something I couldn’t figure out, he was hungry, etc. And once I figure it out, he’s back to being my little sweet angel.

What Baby’s Eating: He loves bagels, raisins, cheese!, waffles (with syrup), graham crackers, blueberries, spaghetti, sometimes chicken & other meats, chocolate milk, and sweets. He likes one specific kind of veggie burger so I keep that in the meal rotation quite often. He also likes sweet potato tater tots and meatballs. Loves Chicken McNuggets, is so-so on other chicken nuggets. He also likes Thai noodles and Indian dishes (as long as they’re not TOO spicy. His instincts are definitely not towards the most varied and healthy diet, but I think I do an ok job of keeping it varied and healthy.

What Baby’s Saying: As I posted previously, we’re finally getting our language explosion! Hooray! Most of his sounds are related to ba and sha. He has great intonation: he says baby and bye-bye perfectly. He says bath-time as kind of a ba-sha that rhymes perfectly. Open is ba-ba but it rhymes with open. Hard to explain (or decipher) without knowing, but once you hear it, you know exactly what he’s saying.

Since he’s raised with Russian, I think his great sounding fricatives (sh, fa, j) come from that exposure. He definitely needs more sound diversity, but we’ll get what we can take 🙂 He also still prefers function words (doesn’t say a lot of nouns, more verbs and prepositions) but he’s kind of an all-business kind of guy.

Things I Could Do Without: The mysterious crankiness and tantrums. It’s hard to be 2! But as I said before, they’re usually caused by something–tiredness, hunger, thirst or a communication breakdown.

Item/Toy You Love The Most: Hmm, this is tough. For the first time in your life, you have too many toys 🙂 I say this in the best possible way – we’ve always limited toys because you have always been happy with a few simple things. But now that you’re getting into pretend play, I want to have more toys to support that.

You love driving cars around, especially this old, broken hand-me-down car that makes noises. You love driving that, and other cars, around the house, under-foot. In the bath, you love pouring water from cup to bucket to watering can. You also love driving cars in the bath (with a small bath ‘shelf’ used as a ramp).

You love your stuffed animals, especially a duck puppet, a fox mom and baby, a stuffed sock monkey and your baby. And your seahorse that plays music and glows. You’ll often wake up in the morning or from nap with your arms full of your babies.

Things I’m Loving Most Right Now: Your personality! You’ve really grown into a person. I think I see it so clearly now that your dad is around again. Since he hadn’t seen you in 3 1/2 months, he knew you as someone else. I can really see your growth reflected in his eyes.

I think what stands out the most is your independence and your sweetness. You climb steps on your own. You know who you want to play with and when (And if it’s not your turn he’ll say bye-bye and walk you out of the room). You love kisses and I’ve seen you kissing animals on TV and at the store. When you said goodbye to grandma and grandpa after our Christmas visit, you gave them lots of kisses all on your own. When you saw your papa after missing him for over 3 months, you immediately said “hi” and kissed him. You are so deeply, genuinely sweet and your independence only makes it sweeter. 

20140117-231134.jpg

20140117-231153.jpg