Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Outtakes

I just deleted the Strava widget from my sidebar. It was only reminding me of how long I've gone without running, and who needs to keep track of that? Actually I ran less than two weeks ago while we were out of town. There are only so many body-weight exercises you can do to burn off your grandfather-in-law's incredibly rich and delicious fudge. The only stretch of relatively dog-free road I know of in Holland, Kentucky puts me just under 3/4 mi away from my starting point when it is time to turn around due to the yippy black and white terrier who warns the real guard dogs of my approach. So back and forth I ran on that stretch, warming up for a mile, running "fast" for a mile, cooling down for the final one. My hip hurt for days after, but at that point I hadn't started the exercises my new physical therapist gave me. I finally found someone who could really test my weaknesses and work with me to make a plan of action. I am not feeling particularly optimistic that I won't need surgery anyway, but at least I can get things more aligned. Hunter suggested that for my birthday I ask for "a new hip."

I suppose I could post all my massive bike mileage. Just kidding, it's only 45-60 minutes a day, most days of the week, on the trainer, which comes to exactly zero miles that I have actually moved. There were some actual yards that I swam in the actual pool this weekend, which were slow enough to have made a lifeguard jump in to rescue me, if only there had been one on duty. All this catching up is to say, I'm not withholding any closet training, I'm just boring and do the same thing every day. There is no training to speak of, just exercise for my sanity.

To get past this lack of sharing that has been going on lately, I thought I'd overshare for a bit about the other hours of my life. Pictures posted and things shared, at least from most people, tend to be of the airbrushed variety, but of course there is a lot of behind-the-scenes action. And that's the real fun part.

For example, I have a lot more of these sorts of shots...


than these:


But that was so worth it. These two!!

But really, these last 3 years and 10 months have been challenging. Adventurous and challenging. Have you ever heard of the book The Spirited Child? Or Dr. Sears's description of the high needs child, and his book that may have the word "difficult" in its title? I love how both of these child experts focus on the best qualities of these determined, intelligent, spunky children named Hunter who need a little more than other kids-- attention, focus, participation, patience, and everything else except sleep. Of course it's sleep he can go without, for the one mom who needs much more than average.

It is kind of eye opening to have Josie around. She likes being put down (except since it has taken me a month to write this in 30-second increments, this is not so true anymore), she laughs a lot, she enjoys sitting in her jumper seat. I told somebody that before Josie I couldn't imagine a baby could be easier than Hunter, and realized that came out exactly opposite of what I meant. I meant that I thought all babies needed a life-altering amount of attention. When Hunter was a baby, Jeremy and I laughed about those hypothetical babies that "like sitting in swings" and "have fun playing on play mats."  My velcro baby literally needed constant contact to sleep. He wanted to nurse at least once an hour, day or night. He never went more than 4 hours without waking up until he was 3 years old. We were so, so tired. 

Is "oh for Pete's sake" anybody else's most common phrase? No?

We are still pretty tired. Thankfully my wonderful husband sleeps next to the baby at night so that I don't jump up at every sound. Apparently she is a sleep-talker just like her mom. This means he comes to get me every few hours when Josie needs to nurse. Every couple of nights he has to wake me up twice to get me out of bed once. And several times I have looked at him and said, "What?? Why are you waking me up?" At least I don't think I have two babies like I did in my early sleep deprived state with Hunter. 

I can count on one hand how many times Jeremy and I have left Hunter with someone else, and then only for a couple of hours, except for the night of Josie's birth. Some people would urge me to let him "cry it out" or to just drop him at daycare to let him adjust. I have never felt that learned helplessness is a productive state of mind for little people trying to figure out the world. It's exhausting to spend so much time and effort, but after my developmental psychology classes in college, my gut would never have me do it another way. 

Finally admitting I needed help right around the time Josie was born, we hired a cleaning lady to come twice a month. I couldn't for the life of me figure out how people who work outside of the house managed to keep cleaner houses than I do, since I should have more time to do it. Then I realized that I actually run a 24-hour-a-day (non-profit) daycare at my house, and I spend time playing (teaching? coaching? working on my patience?) rather than cleaning. That, in the long run, is more productive anyway -- raising these sweet babies. And working on my own self, being calmer, more patient, nicer, would be a full-time job anyway.  

When I realized that I am one of the only moms of a preschooler who does not send him off to "school" a few times a week, I got dressed up in my Lulu yoga pants, remembered to brush my teeth, and interviewed a nanny. I have to admit to myself that I need time to do things on my own. Like go to the dentist (see above). Or maybe use the bathroom by myself.

I never want to wish away moments of their childhoods, so I try to keep in mind just how fast they grow. I adore the baby and toddler stages of these little lives and hope that I can keep remembering to soak it in. 

One of my favorite quotes is from Ruth Hulbert Hamilton, and I believe either my mom or grandmother had this written somewhere when I was little. It's a good excuse to keep a few cobwebs around. ;)