Don’t get your feathers in a ruffle. I’m not pregnant and have zero plans to be.
No, what “it” is, is something else. I finished my book.
Yes, it’s true. In case you’ve been reading this blog for some time you’ll know that I have been working on this book since…well…a long time ago. It’s been a very bumpy road getting here, including having to write an entirely new book for my agent. Well, 2 years, a natural disaster, a baby, postpartum depression, and a whole laundry list of other crap later, I have a finished draft.
I’m not quite sure how to feel about this. I was a little emotional at first. This story and these characters have been swimming around my head, fighting with me, growing on me, for a very long time. It’s like sending your kid off to boarding school. I sent the draft to my editor and was overcome with anxiety. I was terrified that she would tell me that my contract had become void because I had taken too long to produce anything, or that she was just going to tell me that it was complete crap. She e-mailed me back the next morning asking for a synopsis of the manuscript and told me she’d get to reading as soon as she could. Which means now…I wait.
It’s not the end of the world, the waiting. So far. I’m enjoying the time “off” from having to think about it, stressing over how to finish the stupid thing, stressing over whether or not it’s any good or if it makes sense. My editor can decide that and we can go from there. In the meantime I’m tinkering with some new ideas to save for later. And packing. Right. Because we move next week.
The other day I was off from work, so I took the baby to meet Cameron for lunch at Costco and do a little shopping. We perused Christmas toys and she ooh-ed and ahh-ed at the twinkly lights on display. She ate all the samples they were giving out and even convinced me to buy a bag of veggie stick chips after being so interested in them. On the way home we stopped at a playground near the house because it was so beautiful outside. Bean laughed while I pushed her on the swings and played in the sand area and went down the swirly slide all by herself.
And I realized, as I was driving home, that I was happy.
This kind of revelation probably shouldn’t be a surprise, but it was for me. It’s been a difficult year in a lot of ways. Nearly 6 months of unbearable PPD and anxiety that at one time had me terrified to leave my own house, with or without the baby. Trying to adjust to being a new mom among all the other things that life throws you. This summer was tumultuous and honest to God left me wondering if my whole life was about to implode.
So to take a moment and realize that I made it through all of those things and I’m happy now is a bit of a big deal for me. Because pretty much for the better part of a year I’ve been faking it, one way or another. And part of it wasn’t conscious, it was just normal, until I looked back on the situation and wondered how I ever fooled anyone, least of all myself. But it’s better now. I have a job I like and feel confident in. I’m getting closer to finishing my manuscript. Cameron is finally in a job that doesn’t require his attention 24/7. Bean is happy and upbeat and doesn’t need constant attention. Sure my house isn’t always clean, sure we don’t always sit down to a home cooked meal every night. But we’re still enjoying a beautiful life together. And that’s worth everything.
Man it has been difficult to find time to get to my computer lately! Whoops.
Bean is now 11 months old! (As of a little over a week ago.) See above.
Last weekend, we went to San Diego for Cameron’s brother’s wedding. We had a fun time and Bean was a traveling trooper. We had short flights luckily and she was pretty good both times. The flight home she slept pretty much the entire flight. We were only there for a short weekend, but we got to stop at the beach, so Bean has now put her feet in two oceans before her first birthday!
While we were in San Diego Bean got to meet lots of family on Cameron’s side and everyone was so excited to see her. Although I have to admit that as much as I love her, I probably would have opted to leave her at home for this trip if I thought the family wouldn’t have killed me for not bringing her. It would have been nice to have a baby-free trip and enjoy more of the wedding festivities, but c’est la vie. As it was, Cameron’s aunt and cousins graciously took the Bean for a few hours on our last morning there and we were able to have breakfast and visit the beach by ourselves.
So, what is Bean into these days? EVERYTHING! She figured out how to pull up on things a couple weeks ago and now she is cruising around the house like nobody’s business. She makes laps of the living room and she is working on learning how to let go of things and sit down so I have a feeling she will be taking unassisted steps in no time. She is interested in everything and she is very brave.
She was doing really well sleeping through the night, but then she had two teeth come in about the same time and has been a little disrupted of late, but luckily is usually still only getting up once a night for a few minutes. After another dose of Advil and some cuddles she goes right back to sleep. She still naps twice a day, usually about 2 hours per nap, and gets into bed between 9 and 9:30 each night. I am working on transitioning her off formula soon, but I am thinking I will leave her on the toddler formula for a little while until she is more used to cow’s milk. I started giving her a couple ounces with food but it seems to make her really gassy, so we’re going to see how it goes. She gets 3 bottles a day, so I think soon I will work on cutting out the two daytime bottles and only give her one before bed because it helps her settle down.
Bean has a very independent personality and she definitely does not like to be crowded. She has never been much of a cuddler, and she becomes extremely overwhelmed if she is surrounded by lots of noise and people. In loud restaurants or gatherings she gets fussy easily but if she is removed from the situation she cheers up right away. Most of the time she prefers to play on her own and only comes to us to play occasionally. She still loves her kitties most of all and I have a feeling she’ll be using Sherlock as her dress-up doll/doctor patient/plaything in the future. She plays fine with other kids when we take her out to play with the neighbors, though she is more interested in observing the older kids than she is actually engaging in play–so she might be a little shy or socially nervous around strangers like I am. Now that she can cruise and do things a little bit more independently the playground is becoming more accessible, so I think the more I introduce her to other kids the more she will hopefully open up. I don’t think she’ll be much of a social butterfly, though.
Bean is a chatterbox and has started to say “mama” and “dada” with more regularity now. She also says “ooh-day” when she is excited or interested in something. She loves birds and airplanes and points at everything. She LOVES to dance and she likes to watch nature shows and recently has become interested in Curious George. She has been spending a lot of time with her Papi when I am at work, and they go for walks and hang out at the playground a lot.
We are trying to take her out for lots of fall activities, and yesterday she went to her first pumpkin patch. Just a small one; we planned to go to a place called Anderson Farms that has lots of activities, but she was a grumpy gills and wouldn’t take a late nap, so we opted for the one nearer to our house and we are planning to take her up to the big farm next weekend. Oh–and she is dressing up as an owl for Halloween! I also have to start figuring out what to do for her birthday…I can’t believe I will have a toddler in a couple weeks. When did that happen?
Can I just start off this post with something I just overheard at my neighbor’s house? In the midst of some argument about something with his mother, my neighbor’s son said, “I’m tired of being broke. I need to grow weed.”
Anyway, what’s new! Lots. This last weekend we added two more states to the Bean’s map-o-places-I-been. Kansas and Missouri, so nothing super exciting, sorry Kansas and Missouri. We trucked off there last Thursday and stayed the weekend to go to a wedding and spend time with Cameron’s step-sister and her husband. Bean did pretty well all things considered, I mean, nobody loves being in the car for 9 hours, but she handled it better than I expected her to.
Back on the home front, fall is on the way! With the exception of today (with a high of like, 91), the temps are dipping down into the mid-70s and it’s been awesome. Cool at night, warm during the days, damn perfect. I put out my fall decor yesterday, and was super pleased (read: not pleased at all) to find that at some point between last Thanksgiving and yesterday, a mouse or some small rodent has taken up residence inside the tote where I keep the fall and Halloween decorations. I have no idea if it’s still in there or if it…starved to death…and I kind of abandoned the whole thing once I realized it was in there. Aside from the classic sign (droppings), it had clearly burrowed inside a hay bale and those fake spiderwebs and even ate the burlap wrapping off of my wedding bouquet, which I use as a centerpiece on our table every year. Anyway, I guess in the next few days I’ll don gloves and work up some courage and pull the whole thing outside and likely take the entire thing to the trash so I don’t have to go picking through it. Luckily it doesn’t seem that there was anything damaged, though I have yet to pull out the Halloween lights and see if those got chewed.
What else. Work! Yes, work. Cameron started his new job this morning as a personal banker. Yahoo! I know I mentioned a little while back that he left Starbucks some time ago, and had an interim job for a short while, but when he got interviewed and hired on the spot to work at the bank, it was too good of a position to pass up. I mean, who wouldn’t want to work banker’s hours when you have a family at home? So, it took a little while for them to let him come on board because you have to get background checked and all that, so he’s been home for the better part of three weeks now, and I know he’s glad to be back to work and getting back to a routine. (And I’m happy to have some income coming in soon.)
Also, I am going back to work too! Also at a bank! The same bank I used to work for in fact, though at a different location. It’s part time, more than likely 3 days a week plus the occasional Saturday morning. I thought it would be good for me to have a couple days a week when I could get out and talk to adults, plus make a little extra income to help cushion us (we really need to get back on track with our savings because unfortunately we got capital-F Fucked on our health insurance for the last two months)…and possibly help support my IKEA addiction. Anyway, I’m pretty excited. Bean will get to spend a few days a week with her Papi, and I know he’s pretty glad for that. I don’t start till the 22nd, but I’m excited.
I also decided over the weekend it was high time for me to get my body back in shape and be nicer to it. I’m definitely carrying around a considerable amount of weight that I don’t want to be hauling around, and it’s becoming more and more obvious at least to me. I’ve never been really good at sticking to (or figuring out) diets, but we are making an effort to eat more cleanly and really stick to our meal plans instead of eating out or eating badly. I also plan to start going to the complex gym a few days a week (since it’s, you know, free) and get back to doing Pilates when the baby is sleeping. I need to be better about drinking water which I know is a key factor in good health and I am unbelievably bad at it. What are your tricks for keeping in shape and feeling healthy?
So yeah, lots going on here lately. I’ve been spending a lot of time devoting energy toward making our house more of a home, which has meant a few purchases of furniture to help store things and display family items, things like that. I’ve always felt like our house(s) has(have) not really been homey, more just…functional. But I want to enjoy where I live, I want to feel comfortable here, and I want to take pride in showing it off to friends and family. I am making an effort to find better ways to keep things organized because I feel like it is ALWAYS getting cluttered in here, way more than it should for only two and a half people living here. But it’s getting there for sure.
The Bean is 9 months old! Well…9 and a half at this point, but you get the idea.
At her checkup last week, she weighed 16lbs15oz and measured 28 1/4 inches long. Growing growing growing! The doctor was very pleased with her weight gain even though I was a little freaked out at first (I thought closer to 18lbs surely), but though she be but little, she is progressing through the percentiles normally. So she’s in the 24th percentile for weight and the 66th for height, so it may just be that she will be petite and tall.
As of last night, she had taken one “step” as a crawler. She can get herself into the position and turn herself in circles, but she hasn’t quite been brave enough to take a leg forward. So is really close though, and gets very frustrated when she can’t do it, which makes me feel bad, but I don’t think it will be too much longer. However, she loves to stand behind her walker which we converted to a walk-behind. She isn’t taking any steps on her own just yet but she has exceptional balance and can stand there holding onto the bar for some time. I think she will be walking by her birthday. I really need to baby-proof stat.
Sleep is going okay, we had a slight setback with her nighttime sleep due to her top teeth coming in plus all the traveling we’ve been doing in the last few weeks. Things have been a little topsy turvy for a bit so hopefully she will settle in soon and the teeth will stop bothering her. She still naps like a champ though, usually twice a day for about 2-2 1/2 hours.
Bean eats everything in sight. She has 3 8-oz bottles a day and then breakfast, lunch and dinner. For breakfast she usually has fruit (blueberries and oranges are her favorite), Cheerios, and a waffle or an egg depending on how lazy I am. For lunch she typically eats some cheese cubes, crunchy puffs (the veggie dip flavor is her favorite), some more fruit and maybe a veggie. For dinner, if she doesn’t eat what we are eating, she loves to have things like ravioli which she snarfs like there’s no tomorrow. I also try to give her those fruit and veggie pouches, which are convenient but a lot of times she wants to eat things on her own and not let me feed her. Usually if I put her food in front of her and leave her alone, she will clear (most of) her plate. She’s not a picky eater as of yet and will pretty much eat everything I give her. She still won’t hold her own bottle, but we’re working on it. Mama needs her hands back.
She loves to swim at the pool! We put her in her little floatie and she kicks and splashes like crazy. She also loves remotes and wind-up toys. We take evening walks and she waves at everyone we pass. She loves to sit in the castle tent we got her at IKEA and play with her toys. I realized while we were in Maine that while she is sociable and likes spending time around people, she definitely gets to a point when she wants to go and do her own thing and be quiet. She doesn’t like to have a lot of people smothering her and still doesn’t want to cuddle much. Some of the best time during the day is her “quiet time” after her bath, when I let her sit on the floor in her room and just play. She has magnetic letters that she loves, and she is a pro at the roller-coaster bead toy. She is extremely interested in small details. She’ll spend twenty minutes in her bath investigating the hole in the bottom of a rubber ducky or turning the wheels on the bottom of her wind-up airplane. She’s still incredibly observant and loves to sit outside in the grass and just watch the other kids. She isn’t very interested in other babies it seems like; if we sit outside with our neighbor’s 13-month old, she is more interested in the older kids than him. It is plain fascinating to watch her investigate something new. Ripping up my junk mail or magazines seems to be one of the best ways to entertain her for ten minutes.
Bean is in the thick of her second set of teeth coming in, these being to two buck teeth up top. (Those being the scientific names of course.) She went through the cranky-all-the-time phase while we were in Maine. The last few days she has been in the scream-at-random-moments phase and last night we were in the up-every-two-hours-screaming phase.
I mean, just look at this grumpasaurus rex.
Luckily, yesterday afternoon I saw the top left tooth cutting the gum so hopefully he worst is over for that tooth. Still, she was up a good portion of the night last night unable to rest, and today her morning nap was almost 2 1/2 hours long. Poor Bean.
The summer is starting to close. Kids are heading back to school. The nights are a tiny bit cooler and there are little splashes of color appearing inside the trees. Yesterday, even though it was in the 90s, the sky had that deceptive “fall” color to it–extra bright and clear and crisp. Football is back on and I am officially burning the “fall leaves” candles. And, as I noticed this morning at 5:30 courtesy of Bean’s extra early wakeup call, the sun is staying in bed a little longer.
All good with me. Fall is my favorite time. What’s not to love? Warm days and cool nights, beautiful color in the foliage, pumpkin EVERYTHING, more fashionable clothes (sorry summer). Lots and lots to do with the family. I don’t know about you but I hate super hot temperatures and it makes going out and enjoying things outside really difficult unless you’re in the pool. Once temps start to come back down it makes going outside so much more enjoyable. Zoo, Botanic Gardens, we can go to the park any time of day we want…plus, can we talk about pumpkin patches?? The time between Halloween and New Year’s is, in my opinion, the best time of the year.
OMG WHAT DO I DRESS UP THE BEAN AS FOR HER FIRST HALLOWEEN??
Fall is a time of transition and that’s sort of where we are right now. Bean is transitioning out of babyhood and into toddlerhood. Which is crazy. Cameron recently left his job at Starbucks and will be starting work as a banker with US Bank after Labor Day. We have had some difficult times the last few weeks and we’re transitioning out of that. Time helps. We think we will take a quick vacation this weekend down to Ouray or Glennwood Springs, leave the Bean with my parents, and get some time to ourselves so we can get back to…somewhere.