Wednesday, November 18, 2009

More Nostalgia

Okay, this has to be brief because Ian's waiting for me to proofread his grant that's due tomorrow (even though I assured him that while I was an English major proofreading was never my strong suit) but I want to write something nonetheless.
I was just sitting here knitting, watching a show, and was struck with the memories of childhood triumphs.
Let me back up a bit. One of the hardest things about being a mom, for me, has been the lack of acknowledgment, no that's not quite right, the lack of esteem that I get from my daily activites. In college if I worked really hard on a paper (or didn't) and got an A it felt great. I felt accomplished, smart, a bit proud even. It's been a long time since I've felt that way. I miss feeling GOOD at something.
Going back to childhood, some of my proudest moments were (hold back the laughter) dance recitals. I played sports (petrified of batting and never scored a goal) and took piano lessons (my hands shook at recitals) but dance was the one real thing I felt I was good at. Now mind you I was not good. Once it got past the point where just memorizing the routine qualified you for the front row and fuetes became more important I got the shaft, but when that music came on something just felt right when I moved. I knwo how bizarre this all sounds, but I miss that feeling. Waiting in the wings all dolled up, smelling a fart because some nervous girl had poofed (never me of course). Then the previous number exits, the lights go low,the audience quites in anticipation as we prance out to our spots on stage. Then the music comes on and...MAGIC.
It's strange now how someting that used to bring me so much joy has left my life completely. I miss that feeling. Taking a bow and knowing that you did the best that you could, and you at least didn't look like a fool.
I always feel like a fool now. I've worked my whole life to be good at certain things, and now none of them matter. All that matters is that I take care of this little beautiful kantankerous baby girl, keep her alive, and happy. It sounds easy, but it's the hardest thing I've ever done. I never know if I've done enough, if I've gotten an A for the day, or heck, a B- would be good most days. There's no one to tell you that you did a good job, that you're doing the right thing. I miss that certainty. Perhaps I should take up math as a hobby. There's always a right answer there.
We close on our house in two days. I can hardly wait!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Oh Happy Day

Dear Blog,
I am feeling joyous, thankful, blessed, and inspired. A rare, and, of course, welcome combination of emotions. In 5 days Ian and I will own our first home together. We can paint the front stoop whatever color we chose and plant a flowering tree in the backyard (just for you Ian). I can hardly wait.
I love Sunday nights. I know for most it is a night of trepidation preparing for Monday and theworkweek ahead. For me it is a night filled with my favorite TV shows (I'm not ashamed to admit) a glass (or two) of red wine and a couch shared with one of my two favorite people in the world.
Perhaps it's the wine, or the ever emotional and talking-to-my life Brothers and Sisters ( I love this show, so reminds me of my own family minus the hot French boyfriend and the gay brother), but I am feeling rather nostalgic tonight. While I love my life today and yesterday and tomorrow, I do miss days that have passed. Pajama dressing races with my sisters and dance parties before bed. Christmases when I still believed in Santa Claus and that my dolls came to life when I put them to bed at night. College and the friends that I made there. I am reminded tonight of sitting at my computer writing endless English essays praying that Bil would come distract me or Sara from next door. I remember walking across campus to meet John for dinner and always a fun night out and of course Ian and his quirky ways. It's amazing how life can change in a few short years.
The other night Ian and I went out for our first evening date since Ainsley was born. I know, you think it's pathetic, but I'm a stay at home mom with no need (or money) for a babysitter and with the closest family members 45 minutes away by car the opportunity just hasn't presented itself. We were sitting in the car on our way out to the St. Albert's Day dinner honoring all Loyola Science grad students and faculty trying to recall how our lives were before Ainsley, and having a hard time remembering.
I felt so proud of Ian last night. I always do, in the back of my mind behind my pride for Ainsley and myself that I was able to clean the toilet AND make dinner in one day. He is truly amazing. I was sitting there listening to the speakers talk about the importance of scientific research in adding years onto peoples lives and improving the quality of the years that we have and I was taken aback. This is my husband that is doing these amazing things. While I am changing diapers, singing the Itsty Bitsy Spider on round and playing at the park, Ian is changing lives. I am proud of my husband.
As for Ainsley, I am of course proud and in awe. I have felt so stressed out lately with all of the things to do in regards to moving and she has kept me grounded. I look at her little sweet face and I can't help but forget the troubles of the world. My one main regret with her thus far is that I don't feel that I apprecitate her enough. Somedays I am just trying to get by and go from one hour to the next without going crazy. I neglect to notice her new sound or newfound confidence in walking. She is getting so big, not just physically but in the person that she will someday become. It boggles my mind to think that just months ago she was an adorable baby blob needing only food, sleep and cuddling to survive. Now she has opinions and a temperment and a voice that needs to be heard. I wonder who she will be in one year, two, five. Will she have an odd obession with horses, or outerspace, or sparkly things. Whil she want to be an illustrator like her mom or a scientist like her dad, or most likely, something completely of her own design.
Goodness, I am so blessed in my life and while this week will prove to be chaotic and overwhelming I can only hope to keep my eye on these many blessings.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Before I Go To Bed

It's after 10 and Ainsley went to sleep at 6:30 so writing a blog post is definitely NOT what I should be doing right now. But my heart is racing and I don't think I can fall asleep just yet.

Life has just been one thing after the other lately. Marriage, moving to a new city, new job, new apartment, baby, new house. I wonder if this cycle of "newness" ever ends? I suppose new is good, but I have never been one to deal with change well. When I was feeling overly anxious after Ian and I first got married people chuckled when I gave my response to "has anything changed in your life?"

While it's normal to feel anxious and on edge at times of change, it doesn't make me feel any less so. I feel like I've just started to get used to how life is and then BOOM. Ainsley starts walking, we find the perfect house minus a dishwasher so what would be a simple kitchen upgrade turns into a complete re haul. I feel like life has just gotten more and more complicated, which is the exact opposite of how I want to live. I am mostly stressing out right now about not having a kitchen for a good month when we first move in, right before the holidays no less. We hardly eat out once a month let alone every meal. I seriously may lose sleep over this tonight.

And the physical moving aspect could just put me right over the edge. Last week I went in search of free boxes and while somehow managing to collect 10 while simultaneously pushing Ainsley in the stroller it hit me...this is going to suck. Big time. I can't pack even one box without Ainsley trying to crawl into it, or stand up on it, or my personal favorite, pull everything that I just packed out of it. Now yes this is a bit cute and funny, ONCE. But over and over? I may go insane. And now that our precious 10 month old baby girl has decided that she not only needs a mere one nap a day, but that nap will be NO longer than 45 minutes I officially have time to perhaps eat a sandwich and change the laundry around before she decides it's play time again.

On top of all of this I am just anxious for the change. I know that I love the house and that we will be so happy there. I just can't imagine getting through the next month and actually being there. I know that it will happen. I just don't know how sometimes.

Off to bed or I'm really going to regret staying up this late (yes 10:16 is late, I've been up since 5).

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Great Moms

What a great day. FINALLY a crystal clear blue sky crisp air fall day.

It's actually been a great string of days. I can't exactly describe it, but it's as if a cloudy veil has been lifted from my eyes. I've been trying to figure out what it is exactly, the return of my energy and optimism, general zeal for life. I have to say I think I'm finally getting the hang of this whole "being a mom" thing.

Don't misunderstand me, I still have my moments of complete despair and overwhelming-ness at life and the responsibility that being not only an adult but a mom brings, but in general I am feeling so much more like the person, the mom that I want to be, and less like a misplaced impostor.

Thus far in my life I have abided by the "just take a deep breath and dive in" rule of thumb. This namely has been applied to college, finding a job, getting married, and now Ainsley. I just knew that these were all things that I wanted so I did them and figured that the details would work themselves out. I think sometimes in life you have to trust your instincts and take a leap of faith. This has always worked in my favor until recently. Getting married to Ian was something that felt so natural to me that it truly didn't feel like this huge life altering thing, but more a natural and wholey pleasant progression in my life. I blindly assumed that having a baby would be the same way.

Being pregnant with Ainsley was the easiest thing. Sure I had to pee more and tums were my new best friend, but even the 3 weeks of bedrest flew by with my attentive husband and family by my side and endless Christmas movies and knitting to attend to. When Ainsley was born I think I was seriously in shock for not just hours, but weeks. I loved her dearly but I don't think it was until she was almost 2 months old that it finally started to sink in that this little sweet screaming baby was here to stay.

I laugh now looking back at how frantic I was. Going to the grocery store was the BIGGEST deal! Today we were out for 3 hours with nothing but a sippy cup and my running spandex and it was glorious.

What I'm getting at is having Ainsley has completely jarred my life in ways I never thought possible. I know I've written about lack of privacy in the bathroom, amongst other things that have changed in my life, but it's more than that. Up until this point I have been living for me, and I guess Ian too...but now I am Ainsley's mom. Wrapping my mind around that has been more overwhelming that I could have ever imagined.

I think the reason behind my seemingly sudden burst of energy and motivation is that I'm finally ready to truly take that challenge on.

I have the best mom. I realize it more every day that I am alive. She is strong and wise and warm and kind. I never thought that I could be her, and I can't, because I'm not. I'm just me, an introverted, crafty, whiny, cheery, talkative, active, neurotic, homebody girl/wife/mom. I'm learning to start taking what makes me great and use it to make me great as a mom.

It's hard doing crafts with a 10 month old, but we're working on it. Ainsley sure does loves pulling apart my box of crayons. That's a start.

Babies are such a test, well at least Ainsley is. She brings out the worst of me and I hope, the best. I love that little girl more and more every day. Sometimes it aches to put her to bed. I just want one more look, one more brief (because it's all she'll allow me) snuggle. I am so blessed to be able to be at home with her every day, watching her grow and learn, especially now that I feel so empowered to be a great mom.