Tuesday, October 26, 2004
It's in the mail
43 pages per application, plus 7 envelopes in each one (separate transcripts and recommendation letters), times 13 applications to various sites in the Boston/NH area, plus let's not think about the number of copies that had to get thrown out for one reason or another, plus Priority Mail postage for each and Delivery Confirmation for five of them, plus application fees, plus endless, endless hours of counting up all my clinical hours and trying to find some way to make the essays both professional and un-boring and wavering about which sites to select and kicking myself for having already gotten my heart set on a site before I ever even mailed in the application... $193, and that's low because I was able to get most of the supplies and copies from work!

Now I have to sit back and pretend the whoele internship application process doesn't exist for a few weeks. Hopefully by mid-December I will have been granted a few interviews - I can't get placed at a site unless they like my application enough to ask me to interview. I promise that I will cry like a baby if I don't even get an interview slot at my #1 choice. Interviews will be scheduled throughout January. We get notified of our final placement at the end of February. Nothing like a long, drawn-out process to really make you bleed from the ears.

(For those of you who don't know, I'm in my final year of grad school - clinical psychology - and am applying for an internship placement for next year. If I don't get placed, then I have to take a year off and apply again - I can't get a full-time job or a professional license until I have completed the internship. No pressure.)

Hmm. I suppose now I should go reintroduce myself to my husband and children. Maybe even bathe them. I could consider doing housework... of course, that would mean that first I have to find the house under the mountain of toys and clothes and such that have accumulated over the past few weeks while I was drowning in this application nonsense.

EEEK now I get to start preparing for the holidays. Sometime in the midst of filling out some form or other, my mother-in-law suggested that we host Christmas at our house this year. Brilliant! But at least with this project, I can make my husband and kids help!
Thursday, October 21, 2004
It's been a year.
A year ago today was the last day of my lost pregnancy. We got the news of an impending miscarriage on 10/6/03, and a diagnosis of a blighted ovum on 10/8/03, but I waited a few weeks before giving in and accepting that my body was just not going to do this on its own, and scheduled a d&c for 10/21/03.

I am so grateful that I did start bleeding the night before the procedure, because that meant I could stop feeling so doubtful that something actually was wrong.

I am so grateful to my husband for carrying me through such a dark time.

I am so grateful to my daughter for forcing me to smile and move on with my life.

I am so grateful to that lost baby, because any ambivalence I may have had about having a second child was erased by the grief I felt at that loss.

And I am so grateful to be typing this post one-handed as I hold my sweet, sleeping baby boy. Jacob could not have existed if that pregnancy had progressed, and while I know I would have loved that child just as much, I can't hold regrets when this little boy is so perfect.
Saturday, October 16, 2004
I'm sick. I can't breathe through my nose (or, if I were speaking aloud, "I cad't breed true by node."), I have a wicked headache, and I have a fever of 102.

My left breast is engorged, rock-hard and painful.

My hopefully-temporarily idiotic husband asked me to have sex this afternoon. Um, gee, hon, would you like to schedule that before the next round of nausea or wait until after the next hacking, gasping coughing fit?

My 4-year-old is finally NOT sick. You would think this would be a good thing... but it means she's all energetic and snuggly, and I would rather peel off my own skin than indulge in a close hug.

My 11-week-old son is much better than he was yesterday, but I still have a hard time keeping him awake through a whole feeding. (See engorgement, above.)

My mother-in-law is leaving for a 3-week vacation to Italy on Monday. Her absence will be much appreciated - she doesn't live near us but has the capacity for intensive irritation over the phone, and seems to feel a need to stock up NOW on all the phone calls she would normally make over the next 3 weeks. "I hate you for living so far away from me, I want to see the kids more often." Our geographical distance is not a coincidence. "I thought breastfed babies weren't supposed to get sick. Maybe it's not worth the effort if Jacob is sick, so you can stop." First - yes, he was sick, but not as bad as Emily or me, so it's obviously helping somehow. Second - allow me to invite you to take a flying leap at yourself, what I do with my breasts and my baby is none of your ever-lovin' business.

I have soooooooo much work to do for school but all I want to do is hover a few inches above the couch, nurse on the left side, and whimper.


I don't even want to run away, the wind on my skin would be too abrasive right now. WAAAAAAAHHHHHHH.
Sunday, October 10, 2004
Long, long weekend in Maine... looooong weekend.
When we go away for the weekend, it's like a planned military maneuver. We typically leave on a Friday right after Willem gets out of work, which means that I spend the whole day running around getting myself, both kids, and the car all packed up and ready to go. And the only way I can do it with my poor, addled, sleep-deprived, post partum brain is to have lists of EVERYTHING (including "eat breakfast" and "take a shower" or I WILL forget!) and work my way through them.

So we're happily wandering through my list on Friday morning, when my husband calls to say, "I can get out of work early, I'll be home in about 20 minutes." WHAT!?!?!?!? Instantly I'm in panic mode, trying to simultaneously repack the diaper bag and get my daughter some medicine (of course she had the nastiest drippy, snarfling cold ever starting Thursday night - not quite sick enough to stay home but just sick enough to be hanging off my ankles all day) and feed the cat and nurse my son and make phone calls to work. He gets home just as I collapse on the couch, drooling and whimpering, and he says, "Okay, let's go!" Shut up. Bite me. Grrrrr. "Okay, sure, let's go."

We start driving, and since he has this inexplicable THING about not using direct deposit we need to drive through town to deposit his paycheck, and then we might as well stop and grab lunch before we get on the road, and now hey, whaddaya know, the baby wants to eat again. So an hour and a half after we leave the house, we're finally actually on the road.

The first hour was nice. We *drove* for that hour, such a neat idea.

We made it to Manchester, NH... had to stop to feed the baby. I know, it's only been an hour. But clearly this 14-pound 10-week-old is starving to death. I don't even know for sure if he even HAS ribs, his belly is so round.

Back on the road again... and he starts screaming AGAIN. We ended up stopping SEVEN TIMES in the first 200 miles of the trip. And it's not like we're stopping in pretty, calming, comfortable places. One of the parking lots we used was for a restaurant which has been closed for several months ("JOI US FO OUR ST PATRI K DA ELEBRAT !!") but apparently that parking lot is one sexy place, judging by the number of condom wrappers flying around.

Our last mid-trip stop was in Freeport, Maine. We pulled into the parking lot of a Friendly's, and we noticed that there were a lot of people sort of milling around looking confused. Turns out the Friendly's is ON FIRE and now we have to (1) find somewhere else to eat, (2) WALK there because the road has been shut down, (3) stand in line at the McDonald's next door for 20 minutes because everyone else in Freeport was there, and then (4) wait another half hour before we can finally pull out of the parking lot. By this time I had nursed 10 times in one day and my nipples were about 6 inches long and all I wanted to do was run screaming into the woods.

But the rest of the trip was quiet, both kids fell asleep and we tiptoed into Bar Harbor around 10 p.m.

The weekend itself was okay, much better than I had expected. We were there to spread the ashes of my husband's grandmother, who died in August but it took a while for her ashes to be shipped from Holland. There were certainly some awkward and inappropriate moments - my in-laws wouldn't know how to get through a weekend without that - but fewer than I thought there would be. (The best was when some of the family was talking about viewing Grandma's body before the cremation - it was a closed casket ceremony, so she had no makeup at all on - and my mother-in-law said, "Yeah, she didn't look good." Um, yeah. I'm sorry, but, Duh.)

Last night the rest of the family decided to go out to a fancy French dinner. We were the only ones with kids - after Emily, I was the next youngest person there - and Emily was still dealing with her cold. Plus dinners with this family are always 3 hours at a minimum. So rather than nurse in public once (or three times) again, and try to quietly entertain Emily after she had worked so hard to behave herself all day, I stayed at the hotel with the kids while the rest of the family went out. And though Nutter Butters and ginger ale were probably not on the restaurant's menu, I had a much nicer time with my kids than I would have listening to my in-laws insult and interrupt each other.

And today's drive was fine, we made it home in 7 1/2 hours (according to Mapblast it should have taken us 5 - but it took us 9 hours to get there, so it was an improvement!). I got to call 911 to report some kids vandalizing a mall because we were - you guessed it - in the parking lot while I nursed. So exciting.

And now soooo happy to be home. Please cross your fingers for me that we don't have to leave the state again until Thanksgiving!!!
Friday, October 01, 2004
Too... much... whining..... Losing... sanity...
She's cute and smart and 99% of the time she's a joy to be around... and I'm repeating this like a mantra today because I swear that Emily, my 4-year-old, really wants me to toss her in a box and ship her somewhere. Anywhere.

We haven't had major difficulties with her since bringing the new baby home. She's a bossy kid anyway - comes from having two "assertive" parents and being an only child for 4 years, I think - and has definitely gotten bossier and more outspoken in the past 2 months. But I've watched her at preschool and the other little beasts are acting the same way, so I'm thinking it's more a developmental thing than a specifically little-brother thing.

How is it that they have this instinctual understanding of exactly which words are most likely to make us insane??? I asked her - nicely - to get dressed this morning, and this child who has gotten dressed nicely and by herself every day for the past year looked at me and said, "You can't make me." And for just a moment my reaction was, "I can TOO make you, wanna see?!?!?" But then my impulse control kicked in and I was able - through gritted teeth - to remind her that if she wants to go to the store today she needs clothes on (she's a nudist at home, not sure why).

And oh, the whining. For no reason, in response to the most benign suggestions, and apparently she has the capacity to whine indefinitely - at least, that's been the case so far today. We use the line, "I'm sorry, I can't understand whining, can you try again?" and I've seriously considered just taping it and playing it on repeat this morning. It's almost a given that each sentence has needed to be repeated 2 or 3 times today, obviously with breaks in between for the drama and angst.

I do love her, I do, I do... I just really, really wish that today was a school day for her...