Thursday, October 31, 2013

October 31st

Holy crap, I think I have time to write, and I must seize the moment.

I have a crockpot meal going, the smoky scent of the pork carnitas drifts in the air, along with the tinny, electronic notes of Meri's swing. I tried lulling her into the swing with the soothing notes of ocean waves or jungle birds, but she will have none of it.

She clearly prefers one themed jingles repeated endlessly; something like a particularly annoying ice cream truck circling the house again and again and again and again. That's okay though, she has lots of time for her musical appreciation to develop. I'm sure by the age of two that she will prefer Bach's cantatas and Mumford and Sons.

I am in the throes of sleep training. Sleep training is when you realize that you have done everything all wrong and that everything is coming back to bite you in the ass at two o'clock in the morning, when you would, naturally, prefer to be sleeping, and so one temporarily does things that worsens the situation in the hopes that, in the end, everything will improve. You will sleep, Baby will sleep and husband will sleep. It will be Goodnight Moon, everybody.

That's the dream, the goal, the illusion that taunts at the end of a long night of putting Meri down drowsy but not asleep, which she does not appreciate and protests most vehemently, over and over and over and over again.

This is, by the way, the exact opposite of the advice that I had started out with, advice that my first baby book gave so convincingly- to hold baby until she had fallen completely asleep- in deep, solid sleep. I mean, who's going to argue with that? Who wouldn't want to hold their adorable, cherished, little tiny baby girl in their arms while she peacefully drifts off into happy slumber?

Apparently, no one who wrote it heard anything about "sleep associations" and that once Meri ceased to sleep like a newborn and began instead to have short, light sleep cycles which would cause her naturally to wake several times in the night, she would need those sleep associations to get back to sleep, and if those sleep associations are my limp, aching arms twitching in exhausted sleep, she will make very sure to inform me of her need for said sleep associations.

As an aside, I have the most toned, shapely arms in the history of my having arms. I'd be down right slim if I wasn't addicted to chocolate and other forms of fatty foods. I guess if my body can't get sleep, it will demand chocolate.

My back is better, that is something that I am grateful for, every single day. There was a time when I couldn't sit, stand or walk without aching, stabbing, debilitating back pain that spread down my leg all the way to my foot and out from my hip into my stomach.. I had to kneel on the floor to change Meri's diaper instead of bending over the crib- I couldn't bend at all- and couldn't use the Moby wrap, obviously, or sit in the computer chair, even if I'd had the time to write. Hell, I couldn't get to the lower cabinets to put away the 12" sauce pan. I couldn't even lift it off the counter.

I was miserable. I ended up crying on the couch because I couldn't even hold Meri on my lap to feed her without waves of pain rolling down my back and leg. Soon after that, I made a trip to the clinic, where they reminded me that I still had a herniated disk- from that first year of my marriage, when Keith was deployed and I was working in an assisted living home. The pain had gone away, but the injury never does. It's always there, lurking, looking for an opportunity to strike again.

They gave me a shot of something or other and some medication and some back stretches, which I now do, religiously, whenever I can get Meri to fall asleep in her bassinet, and I did a lot of walking, and now I am almost back to normal and can wear Meri in the wrap, which was an elevated manner of living to which she was very accustomed and which she was not happy to give up.

The neighbors around here go all out with their decorations- there are ghosts across the doors and skeletons half buried in the landscaping, decals on windows and gravestones on front yards. We had a pumpkin for a while and then, after a week or so, caved in to the unspoken peer pressure of the houses across the street, and bought some cheap foil decorations which are now hung, somewhat haphazardly, on the wisteria tree.

If this is what they do for Halloween, I am in big trouble for Christmas. It's not that I wouldn't love to decorate everything to the nines, it's just that it costs so very much and right around the holidays is when I have the least amount of money for it and even though, each year, I tell myself I will be all housewife-ly and clever and coupon clip-y and buy the decorations after the holiday, when they are half price, I never actually remember to do it.

We are heading toward that Indiana ideal of three attached garages- one double, one single, with an even larger pole barn in the back with space and height for snowplow, and one shed. This is my husband's heritage and our eventual car housing/storage goal in life- we built this house specifically to create a custom, larger garage and now we have purchased a storage shed.

I think this is as far as we can go in this house, but you can bet in our next house we will have all the car storage that my Indiana farm raised tank commander could possibly imagine, and that is going to be a lot. He's already been talking about getting a golf cart and "just a little bulldozer." Purchasing the John Deer ride-on lawn mower is just a given, of course.

I would end with a cute little picture of Meri in her adorable Halloween costume, but I couldn't find any adorable costumes in her size- two and a half months. The only thing I could find was a little kitty outfit in neon pink with black tights, and she is currently not wearing the tights, because putting them on and taking them off again at every diaper change drives us both a little nutty. Also, I bought the outfit two weeks ago and though the tights are still many inches too long, the top only fits now with the back buttons undone.

I assure you, however, that she is still very cute.