Musings of a Mum: 6 months old
December 30, 2012
December 30, 2012 Candace Morris 2 Comments
Merry Christmas, cherub lumps.
what gifts are for
December 26, 2012
December 26, 2012 Candace Morris 3 Comments
A Type-A Mum
December 18, 2012
December 18, 2012 Candace Morris 1 Comments
I keep forgetting that happiness is my job.
I keep making lists thinking that once my brain has dumped these tasks and worries onto a piece of paper, it will finally know peace, it will finally relax into that sacred emptiness. Nope. It now only serves as a visual reminder of what I cannot do.
And yet it feels strange to crave peace in this environment of Bowie and I. The tasks I create are my own. I answer to no one. I wear what I want, sleep if I need, and bathe in silence (well, not recently as Bowie has decided to showcase her vocal skills). My life is enviable.
Hell, I envy it.
I have toyed a while now with the idea of writing a "Fertility, Pregnancy, and Motherhood for the Type-A" book. Today's chapter would be titled, "How to learn to endure mess."
I am visually stimulated. I need chaos to be ordered before I can relax. Pre-baby (and pre-baby stuff, geeze) I was able to keep things straightened enough to fulfill my needs. It wasn't perfect, but it was enough for me. Now, there are exponentially more messes and exponentially less time to straighten them.
This last Saturday, otherwise known as the only December day where Joel didn't work and we had no other social obligations, we were so glad to have a day to relax together. I kept saying to myself, "Okay, just finish THIS and then you can go relax with Joel." It just never came, and I spent the day in anxiety and irritation.
So I am realizing that I have a new challenge ahead of me. I must instead learn to clear the mental clutter in order to rest, since there is no physical way to have visual order as often as I need it. I cannot continue to allow these messes to rule my mood.
The next chapter in the "Type-A Mother" would be how to deal with travel anxiety. We are taking Bowie to my home in LA for New Year's, and I can almost not focus on anything else for the fears I have about travel.
Since life persists on being uncooperative, I shall endeavor to learn a new way to happiness.
The only thing that has worked thus far is deep, deep breathing.
These things make me blindly giddy.
the morning in numbers
December 13, 2012
December 13, 2012 Candace Morris 2 Comments
...and countless pesky tasks pushed back into the corner of my mind where they belong, forced to wait patiently until I can address them with the time they deserve.
Life is like a poem. The doing and going are the words, even beautiful in-and-of themselves. The living and being is the meaning behind those words. I guess today I am wanting to take shelter in-between the lines, to linger in the subjective meaning that only I can interpret for myself. I suppose this is the art of living.
supplements, dinosaurs, and other random bits
December 10, 2012
December 10, 2012 Candace Morris 1 Comments
Oh the wonders of good health insurance.
We have held off decorating the house for Christmas until Joel was finished with the quarter, and he submitted his final on Thursday! Therefore, this week will entail placing ribbons and lights on things, putting up our kitschy 50s pom pom tree, and watching Christmas Vacation. Bring on the jolly winter warmers, please.
Happy Monday, if possible.
December 03, 2012
December 03, 2012 Candace Morris 2 Comments
My usual struggle lies not in the comparison of my physical self to others, nor to their intellectual pursuits or material conquests. Instead, I unfairly berate myself about my lack of emotional resources.
Surely she does not have such special needs as I do. She always has time for her friends. He never struggles with the obsessive need to plan in the hopes that planning will allow himself to BE in the moment when that moment for which he's planned occurs, but he then realizes that the over-planning has created a rigid wall he is unable to traverse. She is never mean to others when she is stressed. He doesn't have to say 'no' to social things as much as I do. And if this is all false, at least these people reach their proverbial "end of the rope" much later than I.
I can manage my emotional end well when I am self-aware enough to realize I am nearly there, but if I wait until I hand-over-hand to the next bit of rope only to discover I have run out, I begin to despair. In fact, I'm presented with several options: I can either sit still and do the self-care necessary to weave myself a bit more rope, or I can reach over and request a bit of Joel's rope for loaner, or I can berate myself for being so short on resources. Why I am not as resilient as he is would take a doctoral statement to unpack, so I try to ignore all the whys. But it is the whys that turn into self-compassion; the whys allow me the vision of a candace-child in need of guidance and generosity; the whys are one of the only ways to blur the bitter tears of disappointment in my adult self, whose hands are (seemingly) less capable than others.
I manage my anxiety by removing myself from stressful situations and people. While it was once self-preserving to do this, I am now recognizing a few holes in this practice. I cannot avoid stress altogether, so instead of giving myself the opportunity to create more resilience by controlled exposure, I've mistakenly created an allergy to it. I believe that a child needs to reach a point of maximum frustration in order to encounter their personal resilience and resources, which are vast. I have allowed Bowie the privileged of this frustration when it comes to self-soothing for sleep. I cannot spend the rest of my life assisting her back to bed, and so the sooner she learns that within her lies the resources to care for herself better than I can, the better. Why would I allow Bowie this human right, but not myself? I've stripped courage from my bones by never demanding that I use it. I've been afraid of the dark, of who I am when I am stressed - which is honestly quite short, ugly, and mean. Perhaps avoiding stress is no longer helpful. I am seeing that Bowie has the potential to be raised by a very scared woman...a woman afraid to travel, to try new stimulating things, to spontaneously embrace life, to pick up more than she can carry just to see if she is strong enough. I don't want this for her. I want to stand beside her with a shovel and assist her in digging deeply a wellspring of resources from which she draws energy and love for others.
Disliking myself for the shorter wellspring of emotional resources I posses compared to others is an exercise in futility. It is as illogical as hating my human body because it requires food. I cannot change who I am. I can only care for the special needs I have. I think trying to keep Bowie from seeing my darker bits (as if I could) will only serve to cripple her when it comes to learning how to love people - that of holding their pain without being drowned by it. She is strong; she has weaknesses. All are lovable because I love all of Bowie, not just parts of her.
At the very least, she will see me loving myself through these needs; she will learn the subtle nuance between coddling one's own weakness as opposed to engaging the self-care necessary to empower personal growth. In the end, it is pride that tempts me to hide my shadows from my daughter. If I value personal growth above the eradication of darkness as I say I do, then I must find the courage to be myself in front of her, to live my life authentically before her observant eyes, to teach her the biggest lesson of all, how to love oneself so that she can love others out of authentic resources, and not from obligation or empty routine. There is nothing like teaching a child something to challenge your belief in it.
An authentic life, not just an illuminated life...my bones rattle with desire for this. I refuse to trust only light. It is only one-half of an existence. I will take brokenness based on reality over pseudo-wholeness based only on embracing positivism any day.
Hold on to me, child. We need to teach each other these lessons.
Musings of a Mum: 5 months
November 30, 2012
November 30, 2012 Candace Morris 1 Comments
Dearest Baby Girl,
You have only just begun to show the slightest preference for me above others, and only in that you follow me intently as I move about. You now know when I leave the room after putting you down for naps, and sometimes this makes you upset indeed. However, you get over it very quickly and suck your thumb loudly for comfort as I stand outside the room, door closed. I am always listening, my star. For a few precious years, your Dad and I are your safety net.
Was my mother always on the other side of the door?
(It's okay. Moms don't need to sleep anyway).
You are still "technically" sleeping through the night on your best nights, but not for the glorious 12 hours as you were before. Instead, you now like to get up around midnight. I used to use this as a feeding, but when I realized you were getting more than enough nutrition during the day and that you were most likely waking out of habit than hunger, I decided to try simply picking you up and helping rock you back to sleep, but not to sit down in our nursing chair so that you wouldn't assume food was coming. Success! You have taken to falling asleep quickly in my arms. Hopefully, in the next few weeks, we will cut that wake time entirely.
One of the reasons for the regression was vaccinations. I think the last round of immunizations really stuffed you up, and this prevented you from self-soothing with your thumb. It was so pathetic, nothing is more sad than a sick baby. We scooped you up and tried to help you sleep upright.
This month we also focused on your sleep at Grandma Jean's house. You are getting better and better at going down awake and sleeping longer than an hour. At home, no problem. But I don't blame you; it's always hard to sleep at someone else's house. You did sleep well when you spent the weekend there, so perhaps that was just what you needed...time to adjust.
7am: Wake, feed, infant seat activity time
10am: Wake, feed, get dressed for day, play-mat for activity time
12:30pm: Wake, feed, play-mat or swing, maybe a walk or run errands for activity time
2:30pm: Wake, feed, lay on bed or sit in seat and talk to Momma as she cleans your room
4:30pm: Wake, feed, swing
6:30pm: Wake, feed, bath and pjs, lay on couch and play with Dad
8:00pm: Wine for Mom and Dad
12am: Wake for a cuddle
5am: Wake to feed, go right back to sleep
Two weeks ago, we began to supplement breast-milk with formula, as I will most likely wean in the next few weeks. Nursing is a hot topic right now, and I am guessing it will be when you have children too. I am so satisfied that I have been able to breastfeed you even this long, as I was assuming it would be more challenging than it is. I love the closeness, but my body is telling me in various ways that it is time to move on, and while I could fight it with supplements and more nursing to bring back flow, I simply feel it is time to wean. I suppose I mention this to remind myself more than anything. You have done great with the change, and have always taken a bottle easily anyway. You have begun to show the slightest interest in Mom and Dad's food, following it with your eyes, which is a sign you might be ready to start interacting with solid food. Just last night we gave you your first taste - which was a pureed banana.
The jury is still out.
The biggest development is the discovery and continued use of your hands and now feet and how both of those things can manipulate toys and grasp people's fingers and shirts.
You love to be held, but almost always facing out. You can sit up with assistance, and prefer this position to reclining. You are assuming the position necessary to roll from back to front, and my guess is that it will happen soon. You are continuing to drool and make a mess of all those pretty outfits, but I just let you wear a bib around the house most of the time.
You had developed a few patches of eczema on your legs, but the doctor said to be consistent with a moisturizer and since doing so, it is all but gone.
Dad and I both agree that as you grow, you are more and more resembling my side of the family. I can see myself and my siblings in your countenance. Your hair is getting slightly longer and becoming browner.
You seem to be right on target for your actual age. You are small, but not for a preemie. I have noticed a discernible growth in your length.
Most recent stats:
Weight: 15lbs 8oz
Length: 24 inches
Head circumference: 43 cm
November brought a few firsts for your busy social life. Dad when on a work trip, leaving us overnight. I was nervous, and it was actually a really hard night since you had decided to stop sleeping through the night. But we made it! Then you meet your Aunt Jackie and cousins Mekenzie and Asher.
Mom and Dad then went away for their anniversary, and you spent 72 hours at Gma's house. The anticipation of leaving you was actually much harder than the being away. Every time I longed for you, I knew you were loving your life with Grandma. Dad and I really needed to reconnect, and I think your life will continue to be more and more enriched by us taking first priority with our marriage. It is truly one of my greatest desires, for you to be raised in a house of domestic peace and see a healthy marriage - not a perfect one. You will see us fight and bicker, but I believe those things can and should be done openly and with respect toward the other, just as we will respect you and help you learn to respect us, the earth upon which you were born, and all manner of people you will encounter.
So much love,
Bonjour & welcome
Saint Theresa newly adorns my green room. I'm in love with a new muscle T-shirt I found second-hand. I showed them to her last week wh...
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