-It bothers me that I have to be careful about using “big” (really they’re obscure, not big) words too much, because people think you’re talking down to them if you use words they don’t know. It’s really not that I’m arrogant or trying to come off as smart! I just really love words. I collect them, and I’m so happy when I find a good new one that I don’t know. (Especially “-ine” words that mean like various types of animals. There are the obvious ones like canine and feline, and the slightly less well known ones like lupine (wolf) and ursine (bear). The really uncommon ones are the best though. I got so excited when I ran across hircine (goat)! Because I’m a big enough dork to get excited about learning a new way to say “goat like.”) I love the nuance you can achieve with the right choice of word. I could describe something as calm. Or I could use tranquil, or serene, or halcyon, and each of them would mean something just a little different and paint just a slightly different, clearer picture in your mind. Language is just endlessly fascinating.
-I have all these plans. Pinterest boards full of them! Most of them never get done, of course, but it can be fun to think about. One thing I genuinely intend to do sooner than later is to get some cheap (but decent looking) frames and frame some printables. I’d like to collect different ones for different holidays and seasons, plus just some pretty ones that go with our house well enough. I love (LOVE) decorating and changing things up, so that’ll be a cute, cheap way to get some variety. Plus, as the Lils gets older it’ll help make her aware of upcoming holidays and season changes. I can even plan activities or special meals or what have you to go along. Like having coloring pages and maybe some library books and stuff that relate to valentines this time of year. And some heart shaped pancakes for breakfast or something on the day of. Ideally I’d have something along those lines a minimum of every month. Better yet I’d like to take an hour or so each weekend to plan a couple of fun activities/experiments for the coming week, and tie those in to the holidays or seasons when appropriate. Let’s be honest, there are going to be a lot of weeks where that does NOT happen. But won’t it be fun when it does?
-Well, that was the sweetest thing ever. She woke up from her nap a little sooner than I thought she was ready for. I stroked her cheek (because it’s so soft I can’t resist!), and as I did her eyes got heavy. Her arm started flailing so I caught her hand and used it to stroke my cheek, and it put her right to sleep.
-On a comment thread I saw recently, someone said their mother was a bipolar alcoholic, but that she could have held down a job if she’d been willing to be a little more selfless and put down the bottle. On the one hand, this is clearly a traumatized child’s response to a bad childhood (maybe some issues to work through there?). But addiction is a disease. Coupled with bipolar disorder, honestly, there’s a good chance that person could not have held down a job. Certainly not without help. It’s just, if that person had stroke and couldn’t take care of themselves enough to have a job, no one would think they were being selfish. But mental illness (especially addiction) isn’t considered “real,” you just need to suck it up and get over it. It’s frustrating that we as a society can’t seem to realize that it doesn’t work like that and start trying to help people instead of demonize them. This cartoon on “if physical diseases were treated like mental illness…” puts it in some perspective.
-On a related note, it’s fascinating to me how cartoons can so clearly express what words cannot. Look how much I said to try to make a point that that cartoon made (more effectively) in just one panel. You see it a lot in political cartoons too. Try explaining one to someone without them looking at it, and see how pithy the image seems by contrast. I know they say a picture is worth a thousand words, but it’s so interesting to actually see that in action!
-I spoke too soon on saying her bottles are too heavy for her to hold! She did it a couple of times for my mom yesterday, though I wasn’t sure it wasn’t a fluke since she’s tried to do it for a long time. But then today she grabbed her bottle from me and just laid there happily drinking and holding it all by herself! I do think she has an easier time with the Avent bottles than the Dr. Browns. I might start using the Avent more during the day so she can get more practice. But when did she get so big?!
-Started supplementing with formula today. A few weeks ago my supply dropped (not sure why), and she’s been eating a ton so we’ve been going through my freezer stash at an alarming rate. I got a can of good quality formula for the cruise, because I was SO afraid we’d be out at sea and something would happen and I wouldn’t have access. (Which really she’d have been fine on cow’s milk for a few days if it had come to that, but I worry.) I did the math today and realized it was pretty much inevitable that I was going to have to use the formula at some point. She’s only 7mo, and I have about enough milk in the freezer for one more month at the rate she’s going. And that’s assuming my supply holds steady. So rather than wait until the freezer is empty, I decided to go ahead and start supplementing now. That way I can maybe keep her on some breastmilk after a year for just a bit without having to pump so damn much once we’ve made it that far. My biggest concern was that she wouldn’t like the taste, but she drank it down no problem. It’s honestly a relief. I didn’t want to use formula, but since I’m exclusively pumping anyway it’s not like I have to worry about it hurting my supply (nursing works on supply and demand- if you supplement, baby nurses less, which tells your body to make less milk, which leads to more supplementing and so on). She’s still on 85+% breastmilk, so she’s still getting the immune benefits and all. And by waiting as long as I did I gave myself time to be okay with it. Also, after weeks of stressing about supply and watching the freezer stash dwindle, it’s nice to just be able to pump as much as I can and know that if it’s not enough it doesn’t matter. She’ll be well fed and happy no matter what!
-This baby’s favorite thing in the whole world is playing with strings. (Well, aside from her mommy and daddy anyway.) Why does she have to love something dangerous?! I let her play with the drawstring on my hoodie; since it’s literally attached to me I figure I’m close enough it’s safe. But generally speaking, it really bothers me that I can’t let her have something that makes her so happy. Come on kid, pick something safe please!
-Why the heck does Let It Go make me choke up every time I hear it? I’ve seen the movie all of once, it wasn’t one that I felt emotional about, there’s no relevance that I can find. Weird.
-When I was little, my mom always sang to me, especially Edelweiss at night. I’ve always rather looked forward to doing the same for my kid(s). When Lils was itty, I tried it as part of her going to sleep routine, but it seemed like she didn’t like it, and preferred quiet, so I didn’t continue. But recently she was fussing tired, so I tried it again, and it worked! She settled down and relaxed and fell asleep as I was singing to her. So I’ve started incorporating that into our pre-sleep (naps and bedtime) routine. I sing Hush Little Baby, Raindrops On Roses (more slowly than the original), and Edelweiss. Nine times out of ten she’s asleep before I finish. That one extra time I throw in a slow rendition of Oh My Darling, and I’ve yet to get through all the verses before she was out. It’s just so sweet! And I can almost hear my mom singing me to sleep when I was little as I sing to her.
-Going back to the issue of mental illness- I have a lot of what I just call “issues.” Depression (surprisingly much better since Lils was born, despite the fact that I was high risk for postpartum depression), anxiety, OCD (for real, not just “I don’t like things to be out of order” like most people refer to), Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder, possibly borderline Aspergers (which my mom agrees with, btw). Most of those (not all) are self-diagnosed. I avoid mentioning any of that normally, not out of any sort of shame, but because every time I do, someone feels the need to argue with me. Which honestly? Really pisses me off. I’m gonna give people the benefit of the doubt and assume they’re trying to be helpful. They see those things as bad, and they’re trying to tell me that I don’t have that bad thing, I’m “fine.” But for me, having a label for those things I’m feeling, understanding where certain compulsive behaviors are coming from, is SO liberating. And when I say that, I don’t mean I feel free to just hide behind a diagnosis and make no effort to change for the better. I mean knowing there’s a reason behind it actually gives me the strength to do better. It makes it something other, something that can be fought, instead of a part of who I am. Instead of feeling like a freak, or like my picky eating is a personal failing, or like I’m just weak or moody or pathetic, I feel like a normal person with an illness (or 5, whatever) that I can do something about. It lets me give myself some grace to give in when I need to (there’s really no harm in saving the torn paper towels for Christopher and getting a fresh one for myself), and the courage to fight when I can. No one thinks less of someone with cancer, or thinks of it as a personal failing when they’re sick. I’m choosing to feel the same way about myself. So don’t argue when someone says they have a disorder. You might be trying to be nice, but what you’re actually doing is being invalidating and telling them you know them better than they know themselves. If they’re wrong, they’ll figure that out. But it’s not your place to tell them what’s going on in their own head.
(Edited to add- Upon further contemplation, I’m not sure I feel good about lumping Aspergers in as a mental illness. For the purposes of my point, that being able to label the things about me that make me feel bad about myself helps me to accept them, I’m going to leave it. But it doesn’t really belong in that category I think.)
Let’s end on a cuter and less serious note-