So it’s been another month come and gone. Christmas is over, I think I finally got everything put away about a week ago! Seriously, every year I find something that I ‘forgot’ to put away and it makes me crazy. This year was 2 big wall hangings. How I forgot to put the one by the back door away, I don’t know, particularly considering that I could see it every time I left the house, but it never occurred to me that it was Christmas related, I guess.
School is settling into the doldrums. The ethics class is fascinating and leading to good discussions. I was really jazzed about the archives class, but it’s turning out to be a total fizzler. There are more than 20 of us in the class, we’re all supposed to post every week and respond, and on a good week, we’re lucky to pull together 12 comments. I suppose this should make it easy to get an A, all I have to do is really light up the message boards, but there isn’t much to respond TO and the readings are so dreadfully dull, I feel totally unmotivated. I spoke with my advisor on the phone a couple of weeks ago and he’s pushing me into an archives track, which is fine and probably which way I will end up, but based on this class, I’m thinking about renegging on the whole thing. This summer I’m dedicating my time to the research methods class and then will have my core classes done. In the fall, I will take introduction to digital collections and some other class that I can’t remember off the top of my head. If I still like it, then I guess next year I’ll start looking around for internship possibilities, even if that means putting my baby in day care! YIKES! My mom needs to get off the stick and move north. I really, really dislike distance learning. It was so nice to talk on the phone to an actual human being, and coming from someone who HATES talking on the phone, that’s saying something.
In Leah news… She is actively dismissing becoming “a big girl”. Today marked the day I finally decided she didn’t need to be in a crib any more, and I took the front of the crib off and converted it to a toddler bed. She screamed and cried and yelled at me furiously. “Mommy! NO BREAK MY BED!” Tonight when it was time to get into bed, she was still incensed. We are down to our last pacifier and I am not buying any more. She’s been biting through them and I am just mortified that she still uses one. I swore she would NEVER use one from the day she was born and here she is nearly 3 and it’s her thing. She doesn’t have a favorite stuffed animal or a blanket, but that stupid pacifier is her thing.
I registered her for pre-school earlier in the month. She is going to go 2 days a week, even though I wanted her to go 3. That was more selfish on my part. I think pragmatically it’s best that she ease herself into it. She really liked the super expensive corporate day care preschools and she hated the preschool I wound up putting her into, but I felt good about the teachers, the atmosphere, and the kids who go there all seemed happy. They had a good, diverse mix of kids, and it is a Montessori program that we can actually afford. Her little friends Jilly and Anna will be going there as well, so I’m excited she will have friendly faces to look for.
Consequently, I have to get her potty trained and she flatly refuses to do it. She knows how, she knows when, she just doesn’t want to. I’m going to try a couple new things and see if they work. Thankfully we still have 7 months until the rubber meets the road, but it would be nice not to have to lug diapers everywhere we go.
She has given up on dance lessons for the time being, much to my dismay, but as I listened to myself talk to my mother about my feelings on that matter, I realized that I am really trying to overcompensate in not having had children for so long by pushing Leah to do and have everything. I was saying “But I want her to…” a lot and that really has everything to do with me and nothing to do with her. She is perfectly happy to spend her days at home with me, playing and reading and having fun. We take little adventures as the weather permits and recent conversations with an expert have led me to realize that Leah’s crazy behavior stems from a desire to have choices and be included in decision making, so many times I let her choose between 2 things and decide what she wants to do for the day. I also let her choose to get ready. Today was the first time in FOREVER that I didn’t chase her all over the house to get dressed, and she very calmly and serenely let me put her shirt and pants on her and when I opened the back door, she placidly walked to the car and waited to have the door opened instead of tearing around the backyard, cackling while I try to catch her. It was a banner day until I “broke her bed”.
In other non-Leah news, today I got a letter in the mail that I did. not. want. to. open. It was from Manhattan and was the dates for my 15 year college reunion. Jeepers, has it really been that long!? This led me to indulge in my once-a-year-or-less Google binge of people who have been and gone in my life. There are 2 men in particular who I always think of and Googling one brings up nothing and Googling the other brings up almost too much. They were both people I thought would be in my life forever, both people I could talk to and laugh with about anything. I suppose in thinking about them now, it’s not with a sense of “What If?”, but a different kind of nostalgia. I have looked for other friends and reconnected with some who responded and some who didn’t, and I think, “Why? What makes the difference?” Anyway, I’m not going to my reunion and I only Google for my own nosiness, not out of any general sense that I would make different choices. I look over the grand arch of my life and I think I’ve done pretty well. There are few things, if any, I would change and I think my choices have stood the test of time. So I’m not going to the reunion. Every time I get together with Joe, it’s like a mini college experience—my husband and his partner are kind enough to look the other way while we play dorky drinking games and giggle over the same stupid crap that made us laugh 17 years ago and makes us laugh today. I’m in touch with my good roommate on Facebook, and Joe’s housemate Todd, and everyone else would be able to find me with a quick Google search, so I just let it lie. But I’m happy to hear from anyone :) Just in case, you know, you ever Google me.
I’ve thought of many of my friends in the past months, wondering, “If it wasn’t for Factor X, would we still be friends?” For instance, if we didn’t have Leah, would we still be friends? I don’t know, I have a sense that some people just hang around because Leah’s so cute. Mike and I were talking at dinner about some neighbors who suddenly seem to be giving us the cold shoulder and our confusion as to why that is exactly. It is hard to get out and around any more—when Leah was a baby, it was easy. No resistance, she was like, “Yeah, I’ll go eat lunch at thus and such, I’ll just sit in my carrier and eat my fist", but now requires entertainments. Still, now that I’m cutting back on other commitments, I will make an effort to be a better friend.
The big news is that I dropped out of my book club. It wasn’t going in any direction that made sense to me and I found myself getting increasingly frustrated and upset about the whole thing. During the last meeting, I just sat there with no one saying anything and thought, “This is such a waste of my time”. I had been thinking it over for a year and finally just decided to pull my own plug on the matter. I also gave up on AFS and being a liaison. Right after I got back from my dad’s house, I spent all day Saturday running up to an AFS interviewing event. I interviewed 3 kids and hung out a bit with a couple members of the area team who were pretty open about how things have been going and I don’t think there are too many kids left in the original homes they came to this year. When I got home, we had a big email about all the things we were supposed to be doing as liaisons that weren’t getting done, and I just decided I really couldn’t handle it all on top of the classwork and being a mom and a wife, so I drafted up a resignation and sent it out. It was an immense relief, although a bit of a disappointment in myself not to follow through on my commitment to the girls. But it was a bigger challenge not to follow through on my commitments at home. SO I chose the lesser of two evils. I have offered and they have accepted that I can take them out once more before they depart. Given that it’s February and I already have no free weekends until May, I’m not sure when that will be, but we’ll work it out.
Leah’s 3rd birthday is upcoming. Her big present is that we are going to see the Fresh Beat Band in concert in DC. She has no idea, but I got her the CD the other day and she goes CRAZY when it’s on, dancing all over the place. If you haven’t seen her video on Facebook, you are missing out. Friend me. :) We are having her party on March 31 since her birthday falls on Easter Sunday this year. My mom is coming up for Easter and my sisters-in-law are coming for the party, so I’m excited about that. It’ll be nice to have both families around to celebrate.
Mike and I are leaving on April 14th to go to Myrtle Beach for a week. Dad and Linda are coming to babysit Leah for us here at home while we relax and celebrate TEN YEARS OF MARRIAGE. And they said it’d never last. Pfff. Well, actually I don’t know if anyone did say that, but if they did, they were wrong. Hard to believe it’s been that long and how much has happened in those 10 years! New homes, new states, new kids, new friends, new lives! Jeepers. (That’s my new word as I am really, really working on not cussing now that Leah’s favorite word when something goes wrong is, “Damnit!” Although, come to think of it, I don’t say that, so I don’t know where she gets it). I’m hoping to enjoy a couple of tours and different attractions in SC. We’ve been to Myrtle Beach so many times that it seems like home, but it’s really one of my favorite places ever. Still, it’d be nice to see what’s in the area besides what we already know.
Well, I’m rambling, so I’m going to close here and go to bed. My Lenten “thing” is to go to bed early and to meditate for 15 minutes a day in an effort to relieve some of the stress I feel. I haven’t managed to meditate once, but I have been going to bed earlier, so there’s always that. Until tonight when I suddenly felt ramble-y. So good night and I’ll be back with more another day! :) And don’t forget to get in touch if you’re a long lost friend!