Thursday, October 30, 2014

Story of my life

Lately, it feels like my default setting is "overwhelmed." This week is getting the best of me. This quarter at school is getting the best of me. This schedule is getting the best of me. I usually take an hour of downtime each evening for myself, my sanity, my health, but it's never as it's intended to be, since I KNOW I should be doing something else. Some homework assignment that I didn't have time to finish the day before, some chore around the house that's constantly behind, some stupid daily-life task, like calling to schedule doctor or dentist appointments, or that e-mail from work...

If I slow down, even for a minute, I feel like I'll stop completely. I have SO much on my plate right now, and not enough time to do it in, or hands to complete the tasks, or memory space to even remember it all.

(this is a blog, so you can't see it, but I was just derailed for almost 40 minutes right there)


I'm feeling the pressure at school. I am SO excited about the classes I'm taking this term; they're ones I've wanted to take for over a year (Python programming and HTML) and I've scored the best (IMHO) instructor at Clark for these topics, and I feel like I'm letting myself down because I can't put as much time into these classes as I want to.

I WANT to spend a couple of hours each night just tweaking my web pages or screwing around in the Python GUI, but I can't. How could I possibly?! My family demands SO MUCH of my attention right now, and when it's not them, it's things related to them. The laundry, the dishes, the packing of the lunchboxes, the constant need for my attention to read a book or help them get dressed or undressed or change a diaper or turn on the TV or go outside or get them something to eat or drink or play with them... and that's just the kids.

I love my kids (understatement of the decade). I know they're not going to need my help or want my attention forever, and I am trying to cherish every day with them because every day they get older and change and it happens so quickly, and yet so gradually... but MAN.  I also need to find the time for Chris, who does just as much around the house (well, ALMOST) as I do and who also wants my attention. But what about me? I'm 7 months pregnant and average 6.5 hours of sleep each night, which isn't really enough for me even when I'm not growing a human. So which thing wins? When I have a finite amount of time in each day and more to do than can possibly get done, how do I  prioritize a seemingly endless list of equally important tasks?

If you know, will you tell me? I'll listen to your explanation in just a few minutes, after I finish these 2 past-due homework assignments, mail off letters to the HOA for my boss, call DHS and the kids' day care to adjust their schedule, take Liloa in for an immunization that was missed at his last appointment before they kick him out of day care on Monday, carve these pumpkins, get dinner started, let the contractors in to work on the furnace, and maybe have some lunch. If I get around to it.

Thursday, August 14, 2014


Let's consider this almost two year break from blogging a vacation, shall we? Much, much, MUCH has happened in my life and I keep intending to write a catch-up series, maybe an entry for each month that I was gone, but as time goes on that task seems more daunting than enjoyable and I find myself avoiding it.

So instead of saddling myself with one more freaking task, I will come back to this blog with the enjoyment it was intended to provide me. Entries will likely contain a mix of current events and nostalgia. Feel free to let your mind wander along with mine.

The reason for today's post is to brain-dump, I suppose, a lot of things that have been weighing on my mind that I'd like to unload and move on from. I have enough to deal with in my simple day-to-day goings on that I really don't need my spare brainpower to be devoted to dissecting these issues in the background. So in random order (for this is how my brain works when overloaded) here we go:

Baby #3 will be here in January. About 5 months from now, we will add a third little person (sex as yet unknown) to our household and it will be everything that a new child always is: wonderful, exciting, terrifying, exhausting, joyful, challenging... As this is my third "rodeo" I have an idea of what to expect, and as such, have no delusions about my abilities (or lack thereof) immediately following the birth. I am hoping for a slightly easier birth experience than I had with Liloa (PLEASE less tearing this time) and more support for my intense, unwavering desire to nurse one of my children for longer than a month.

Leading into... nursing. Hindsight is SO 20/20. Looking back I can see my mistakes and think "If only I had known x, y, or z at the time, I could've nursed longer!" I've always wanted to nurse my babies. I'm a firm believer in breastmilk being the best thing for babies and I admire the shit out of women who breastfeed. I tried, with both of my boys, and you can bet your ass I'll try again with this baby. I feel like I know more than I did, and am better prepared, but... I doubt myself and my abilities this time, where I didn't before.

My attempts at nursing Kawika and Liloa were hard-fought and ended prematurely, both times. And I felt like a failure after each time that relationship ended. I hope the third time's the charm, as it's likely to be my last chance. But that self-doubt, oh! Add that to the logistical challenges I'm going to face being at home with all 3 kids largely on my own, and part of me is tempted to give up before I even try. But that stubborn side, that logical one that knows what's best for baby, that side that bristles every time I hear a woman nursing in public was asked to cover up, THAT side won't let me give up without a fight.

In the same vein as nursing (insofar as it applies to newborn-related challenges) I've decided to cloth diaper from the get-go this time. I didn't start cloth with Loa until he was about 6 months old, and never put cloth on Kawika (until this year, for night-time diapers) so I'm a bit intimidated. However, the downright adorableness of those tiny diapers is TOO MUCH right now so I'm focusing on how fun it will be instead of how much extra laundry I'll be doing.

Our Blazer is DOA. They key is stuck in the ignition and won't turn over. Google results are varied and range from the not-so-bad, "Just a jammed key, happened to me, try x, y, z, good as new..." to the awful "You'll need a replacement steering cylinder, ignition switch, and transmission." This is particularly bad news because we were planning to SELL this car to get a down payment together for a new car. My Maxima is also on its last legs, it seems, and starts slowly or not at all depending on its mood. It probably just needs the starter replaced (oh, is that all?) but that's another $300 I wasn't planning to spend on that car. Meanwhile, we'll eventually need a car that fits 3 car seats ANYWAY so let's just get rid of the two junky ones and get one nice one. Right? Oh, down payments and APR's and my credit score is WHAT?! Well, shit...

And school. Oh, school! If it wasn't for having a baby in January (about 6 months earlier than I'd planned) I would take the last classes I need for my AAS in Computer Support during Winter term. I'd graduate in spring. Or I could take 20 more credits over the next 2 terms and graduate next September with 2 degrees. That was the plan. But plans change, as mine have, and now I have to think of a new plan. I am so frustrated that I am SO close to being done with my AAS and I can't quite finish it in time. I'm scared that taking a term off (or two) might turn into me never going back and finishing, which would mean the last year and a half of my life was wasted. But again, I know my limitations, and maintaining even a half-time school schedule with a newborn is... well... damn near impossible. *sigh*

I thrive on challenges. I kick ass at finding solutions. I am a planner, and once I have a good plan in place, I am a master executor. But I am floundering here. I can't even think of a viable plan to continue to work on my degree(s) AND have a third child.

Discarded plans:
1. Take ALL OF THE CREDITS I need to finish my AAS in fall term.
<i>Whoops, that's 22 credits, which means I can't work, and unless Chris has a full time job lined up for this winter (he doesn't) I can't NOT work</i>
2. Take 1 class in Winter term to keep my student status and make (slow) progress toward the AAS.
<i>Whoops, if I'm taking less than 6 credits (half time) my children won't be able to go to day care, leaving my only option an online course, and pickings are SLIM as far as what I have left to take for my degree.</i>
3. Stay enrolled full time in Winter term
<i>HAH, yeah right, with a NEWBORN?! Who would watch baby while I was in class, anyway?</i>

Current plan:
1. Take 12 credits Fall term. Take Winter term off. Possibly Spring term off. Try to re-enroll in school for Spring or Summer term. Try to get day care lined up again (which involves coordinating between my school, our state's subsidy program, my job if I still have one, and Chris job). Try to find another day care that will take a 3 or 6 month old since our current provider will not. Try not to FREAK THE HELL OUT about leaving my infant in someone else's care. Go back to school for TEN MEASLY CREDITS and then... Attempt to find a job after being out of the workforce for three years? Try to finish my second AA? Or go for a BS?

Backup plan:
See Discarded Plan #2, plus lots of crossing-of-fingers for a 3-credit online course that will fit the "elective requirements" of my AAS.

All this, and a stomach bug? Please, go on.

But no, I will stop. I have spewed enough for now and this blog is starting to sound more like a pity party than a brain dump. Maybe now I can focus on something productive.