Seven days until the world changes

Had the sudden realization yesterday that I only had eight more days of works. After today, that leaves only seven left. SEVEN. How did that happen?

What is it about transitions like this that no matter how you prepare, no matter how long you think about it and anticipate it, it still feels like it sneaks up on you? Your first day of college. Your wedding day. The arrival of your first child. The last day of school. The last day on the job. Time doesn’t matter to these transitions. Awareness doesn’t matter. Suddenly, they are just upon you like a surprise downpour on a sunny day.

Hope I’m ready for this? How do you make transitions easier? What transition took you by surprise?

Transition Time! Training and Exhaustion

Well, it is official: they’ve hired my replacement at work, and she started a week and a half ago. No going back now! I’ve been training her since that time, and hope to finish up formal training by this time next week.

It’s a rough ride. Seven years of work, seven years of information in my head that I’m trying to pass along to the best of my ability. It’s exhausting. I’m bouncing around between workstations and projects, worrying about things I’d have done by now, but knowing it is important for her to get her feet under her. I’m afraid of leaving loose ends.

I’m especially afraid of leaving loose ends. I had an early labor scare over two weeks ago. And while Baby seems to be staying put, tomorrow I will run out of the medicine they gave me to help slow/stop contractions. I feel huge, and tired, but not at all ready for our new little gal to make her entrance into the world.

The plan is to work until November 30, if I can, to tie up some of those loose ends. We’ll see if Baby cooperates!

Sick Husband, Good Kid.

Days like today make me think that maybe, just maybe, I won’t go crazy being a stay-at-home.

Hubby started feeling really yucky yesterday. Sore throat, congested, etc. Middle of the night he climbed out of bed, headed to the basement, and didn’t climb back in. Stayed downstairs pretty much all day today. He is, after all, very sick with a sore throat, body aches, and fever. And I’m seven months pregnant, which means I can take virtually no medicine to ease any symptoms I might get. He is trying desperately not to expose me to his germs.

So I played single parent today. Sweet Pea and I took a (very cold) walk to a couple of garage sales. After warming up, we took another cold walk to the park, where she played for quite a while. Came home, had hot cocoa, played a board game, and then she napped. We had a bit of a fight getting her out of bed after that nap. But she painted a picture while I made dinner, and then we played on the piano after we ate.

And now, she’s in bed, without a fight. I miss my hubby, and sad that he’s sick. But I’ll admit that having this day to get a feel for what this might be like made me feel a little bit better. I know not everyday will be this good. But if some of them are…

I. Can. Do. This.

Temper Tantrums: Not just for kids

Today was one of those days when a cage in the backyard seemed like a good idea. The question is, who would have been more appropriate to lock in: my daughter, or myself?

Sweet Pea did NOT earn her nickname today. The tantrums started when we attempted to take her to Sunday school. She refused to let go of her daddy, or me. I stayed with her during music time, trying to get her to engage. And then she panicked when it was time to go down to the room. (Determined she isn’t ready for Sunday school. That’s okay.)

The day just went downhill from there. It became obvious that her clingy behavior and bad attitude was because she hadn’t had a bowel movement in a while, but every time we put her on the toilet, she fights like a tiger instead of relaxes. I even tried to let her watch a show on my iPod while she was sitting there, to no avail. She just won’t have anything of it. In between attempts, she wouldn’t listen, was argumentative and particular, and threw several fits. Finally, I saw the signs that a BM was imminent, and managed to get her on the potty and hold her there (against her wishes) while also hugging her and trying to be reassuring, and the poop came out. Usually, that is enough for her behavior to drastically improve, but today, it just seemed to get worse, and we had more meltdowns than I care to count.

Unfortunately – and this is the hardest part – Mommy melted down several times, too. I remember feeling, sometime around age 11 or 12, like I’d finally mastered my temper, and that it didn’t rear its ugly red head very often any more. That monster has apparently been sleeping for the last 20 years, lying in wait for me to have a daughter that pushes my buttons. I’m not proud of it, but I yelled and I threatened, and I threw away her backpack. I didn’t hurt her and I wouldn’t hurt her. But I certainly didn’t like her today and was ready to put her in a box and ship her to Siberia.

I don’t want my daughter to fear me or pick up my bad habits. I’ve already seen how my less than stellar behavior becomes hers. Yet, whether intentional or not, she wore me and my patience down beyond the place where I had any left. And I feel like a terrible mother, one that shouldn’t be allowed to bring home this new little life inside me. With Sweet Pea, I felt like I was bringing her into a loving stable home. And I did: my husband and I just celebrated 10 years of marriage, friendship and partnership. But Sweet Pea’s presence has shaken up my stability – not with my husband but within myself.

I pray it will get better rather than worse when I actually have the opportunity to set some real routines with her, and maybe get to know her better. Sometimes I feel like my daughter is a stranger since she spends so much of her weekdays with someone else. And maybe I’ll have a better chance to reach inside of myself and find the storehouse of patience I think is there.

I know I’m not the only mom who’s lost it, and I know I’m not the worst mom ever to walk the earth. I’m totally with claretaylor15 when she posts about her own temper tantrum.

So Moms and Dads, how to do you calm yourself when you’re ready to blow?

Something New for Baby

I had a huge realization the other day that Baby #2 does not currently have anything bought/made just for her. While many of Daughter #1’s clothing and items were hand-me-downs from cousins, so much was given new and special just for her. I was just past my first trimester when her daddy came home from a business trip with an adorable stuffed wolf. This new baby doesn’t have so much as a new rattle…

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Until now. I made a special sweater for Daughter #1 to wear in her hospital first photos and special events. I spent the weekend using my free time (I have free time!) to make Baby #2 a baby cocoon and matching hat! I used the free pattern from the Knitless Knitter and altered it to be made of half-double crochets rather than triple crochets. It still worked up fast, but won’t have quite such a “holey” feel. Given this baby is born in December, the extra warmth might be welcome, too. I used a beautiful wool heather I’d bought to knit a sweater for myself (a task I still haven’t felt the courage to try). I just hope it is big enough: the HDCs made it a little less stretchy.

I know there are some tricky issues around throwing a shower for a 2nd baby, and I don’t really expect one (I have most of what I need saved from before) but I do think every baby needs a few special things, just for her.

My child won’t play!

English: A German Shepherd waiting for someone...

English: A German Shepherd waiting for someone to play with him. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Okay folks, I’d love your take on this one. My kid doesn’t play. She’s sweet (much of the time) and bright, but she is ALWAYS under foot. She knows where her toys are, but she would rather watch what I’m doing and “help.” Which is okay. Sometimes.

Sometimes, I just need her to go play. Build with blocks. Color on her easel. Dress her dolly. Heck, bang on pots and pans! But she won’t play unless we’re there with her, either as an engaged audience (and I do mean engaged…no zoning out in a book) or active participants.

I chatted with her daycare provider, who said the same thing.

“I have to push her to go play.”

That said, we put her to bed for a nap rather early today, and I went into a room, closed the door and painted walls. I could tell within the first half hour that she wasn’t sleeping, but I wasn’t about to come out, covered in paint and only 1/3 done with my wall. So I ignored the sounds I heard.

Today’s mess wasn’t quite this bad.

After two hours, I opened the door to her room, and she was happily playing on the floor!  For two hours! By herself! In her room! (Of course, she’d dug out three drawers’ worth of toys and doll clothes, but that is fixable.) The second I opened the door, all playing stopped, and it was back to being my little follower.

So, how can I get my child to play like that once in a while when she is NOT supposed to be napping? Any ideas?

I can’t just disappear all the time…my house isn’t that big!