Thursday, August 4, 2016


Part I.
Today was my 34th birthday; just a normal day, really. Got up a little later than normal but before everyone else still, L waking as I was putting on my clogs to go outside. Let out the chickens; one little hen ran out the wrong door of the coop and was in with the mean old hens and the pubescent roosters, so I had to chase her down and get her back on the other side. Harvested Roma tomatoes, and checked on the progress of the heirloom tomatoes and bell peppers. Made my way back inside, got showered and dressed, which now includes homemade deodorant, the current recipe of which isn't really working, but I've been off of conventional deodorant for seven months now and I'm determined not to go back. Dressing now includes hand-me-downs from my aunt and about eight days worth of different shirts, some with holes. My favorite purse is fraying too. These are days of completely wearing things out, still feeling a little like a have-not. Oh well.
Mom called on my way out the door; otherwise, not sure if I would have called anyone this morning. Going through something where I don't really feel like talking to anyone. Feeling isolated and alone, not sure if anyone would understand. Taking refuge in music during my time.
Office all day. Too much sugar, and personalities, and stuff coming in from every which direction. But it will be there again in the morning.
Home. Kids have had a fever this week, and lying around. Pizza Hut, my choice, a treat these days, for dinner, and ice cream cake for dessert. One of the only things NT would eat all day, and possibly one of the only things she smiled about all day. Poor kid. Cool bath, books, bed. AD is in bed with LG, taking a break from his nightly Prime or Netflix binge, and thus the laptop is available.

Part II.
I remember last year on my birthday taking and posting a selfie of myself crying in my car, trying to be transparent to all about something I'd not been letting on about--that my parents were divorcing and I was stuck in the middle, trying to support everyone, as I do. While there were not any tears today, I'd be lying if I said there has not been an amount of heartbreak and sorrow in my life this past year. There's the realization that "home" as I knew it has completely changed. The house I grew up in, and the house I started my own family in, now belong to other families. The stuff I grew up with, a pot used for popping popcorn, dishes, silverware, tables, blankets, and people, all familiar, are now in two different and foreign places. Other family getting ready to move away, to places I may not go for a long time. It's a realization that I can never really go home again. And because this place doesn't completely feel like MY home, there's just this feeling that creeps in sometimes that I don't really belong anywhere. Here, there are missing parts. Friends with whom I have a history and memories. People who care about me, get me, seek me. There's a feeling here, that if I were to just disappear, people would probably be over it in about a month. That is aside from my family, of course. Perhaps its our age, or season of life, but everyone here seems so set in their ways, and they are not without their friends for which they have history, memories, for which they care, get, and seek, that there's not room for me. From season to season, month by month, it does get a little better, but I wonder how long it will take. So, to put it plainly, I am lonely.
And stressed.
And anxious.
Work is busy, and demanding, and competitive. And it's all we have to keep afloat, and it's barely enough, which makes it all seem very heavy. There's an overarching feeling that I need to be "on" all the time, at work and at home--that I should be paying attention and listening very closely, that every word and action should be considered and deliberate. It's thinking too much and yet not enough both at the same time.

Part III.
I think about my children, and how they will look back on their childhood, and how they will remember me. Will they not be able to remember times when I played with them, because they are few? Will they remember me getting up early, rushing to leave, with them for a few hours after work before bedtime, staying up late, always tired? Will they remember all the projects that I started for them, but never finished? Will they remember that I cared a little too much about food, that many of our days together I'd be looking to food as a fix? Will they one day understand that I had a sadness that existed apart from them, that I harbored alone?
The things I think they may remember -- that I always let them play in the bath longer than their father did -- that I always pushed bedtime back so they could be read books -- that I sat at the dinner table with them for a long time while they finished eating (or not eating) -- that I held their hand walking around the yard.

Part IV.
There is simple joy in the everyday. Pulling a firm tomato, saturated with color, from the vine. The striations in the rind of a growing watermelon or pumpkin. Tucking a chicken up under my arm. Striding up the hill. Noticing my muscles changing beneath my skin. Watching the fields change with the season, and observing what the farmers are doing that day (today it was the height and color of the corn and soybeans, hay raked and in the process of being baled).

I think I'm at my capacity tonight. I had meant to be in bed two hours ago. There are still chickens and guineas to be put away outside (though I'll be honest, the guineas are not intelligent enough to go into the coop in the chicken tractor, and they feel funny in my hands--maybe dusty?--and they were free, so I am probably not going to go the effort of trying to get them in their coop).

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

These days, these nights

[Annual blog post here]. 2015 has been quite the year thus far. We started out knowing that it would take us from the metro Detroit suburbs to the mid East coast by the halfway mark, but the timing and circumstances were unexpectedly changed. God most definitely orchestrated every detail--everything lined up, and I have a new job, A has a new role, and we have a new home. There is a lot to be done on the property before winter comes, and a lot to be done at my work before annual enrollment sets in [and so much that I would like to be done within these walls for my mind's organizational wellbeing, and my soul's creative satisfaction]. The days can be long here, with fewer friends and neighbors, and greater distances between everything (from the mailbox to the closest place to buy milk). The work is hard here, with little shade where you need it and an unrelenting sun. Learning curves and heavy loads. But at the end of the long, hard day, you ease into bed knowing you've pushed yourself a little further physically and mentally, and will pick up where you left off when the morning light wakes you (or your alarm/four-year-old insists you get moving).

Saturday, June 7, 2014

A few more minutes

NT is in the throes of teething right now, and has been chomping and pulling when she eats, so there will be no pumping tonight. However, I can throw a few minutes out for this here blog's sake. Theoretically, I would pick up where I left off last night, but today has made me weary.

This morning my mom and I took the kids to the Farmington farmer's market, and they were also having their [very small] art fair downtown, so we did that for a few hours. We had lunch and each commandeered a cart and a kid at Target so I could pick up some essentials that were on sale (I saved $37 and got a $15 gift card, so I did pretty good and was very thankful for Mom's help). That portion of the day was nice, aside from the time that LG would not go to the bathroom as my mom and I had been telling him to do, and I got to watch him do the potty dance and then pee himself right in front of me while I was nursing NT. I was pretty pissed; he's been potty trained since January, and this was not really an accident, this was just him being defiant.

The rest of the day kind of followed in that vein. LG would not take a nap and made such a ruckus that it woke NT up. He was sassy with me during dinner. Then he dumped a pile of landscaping pebbles on the lawn after I told him not to. Praise Jesus that he didn't put up too much of a fight with bathing, and that my parents stopped by right as NT was about to lose it, so I got to put her to bed right away and Mom did all the bedtime prep work for LG. And he went down okay.

It's a good thing for LG (and all toddlers, I'm sure) that the good half of the things that come out of his mouth outweigh the naughty. Today he asked me to put butt paste on him, had sunscreen applied, and had a sprayer bath, and after each he said "that feels so much better."

As always, there is much to be done around the house that is mentally nagging and pulling at me, but I am in bed (after a very short and refreshing shower). Hopefully a little extra rest will help me cope with whatever tomorrow brings.

10 minutes: Go!

Six and a half months later...

I am starting to run low on my freezer stash of breastmilk, so I've started pumping before I go to bed. There has been no alarm setting to pump in the middle of the night like there was with LG. There is no compression to get every last drop of milk out. I just start the pump and go for ten minutes (more, if there is more). I thought instead of paying bills, clipping coupons, or doing Facebook or Pinterest, I'd put some sort of update up here.

Our baby girl, who we'll call NT in the context of this blog, came the day after my last blog post, at 37 weeks 4 days--the same day in the pregnancy as her older brother. Apparently my body has an eject timer. I woke up at 7:30am that morning, got up and sat on the toilet, and felt some sort of internal pop or a drop, which I noted as interesting. Right about then LG found me, and he had pooped in his Pull Up (he did that a lot in those days, as well as trying to change it himself and getting it everywhere). I took him upstairs to change him, and just felt like I couldn't handle sitting down and doing it right then, so I woke up AD and told him about the pop/drop and asked him to change LG. I got in the shower and AD came to discuss what might be going on; I was starting to feel a little achy/crampy, so I told him to go upstairs and start breakfast--I'd finish showering, we'd have breakfast, and regroup from there. Well, the contractions started, breakfast got left half-cooked on the stove, LG went to the neighbors, and set off for the hospital at 8:34am. Luckily the rush hour traffic was headed the opposite direction and we made it to the hospital in 9 minutes at 8:43am. I think I had three pretty intense contractions in the car. I had another while we were waiting for the elevator. When we got into the room I really felt like I needed to sit on the toilet. While I was there, I had another contraction and started screaming. The nurses rushed in and ordered that I come out of the bathroom and get on the bed. They checked me and I was at 8cm (read: transition). The nurses got busy calling all sorts of people in and hooking up the fetal monitor. I had one or two more contractions and the on-call doctor was getting suited up. My OB was the on-call doctor from our practice and was luckily in the office (right next to the hospital), and got there just in time to relieve the other doctor. She checked me and told me I could push. Three pushes later, NT came out all in one push like a water rocket (the pop/drop was my water breaking, but her head was so low it had corked all of the water so there was no leakage prior to birth). She was born at 9:13am, 7lbs 12oz, 22+ in, with a very nicely shaped head that was covered in dark brown hair.

Okay, so that was about 20 minutes of typing, but a good stopping place. More to come at my next nighttime pumping session (maybe...)

Friday, June 6, 2014

Well, I guess I should start where I left off: 
Wednesday, November 20, 2013, 37 weeks 3 days pregnant with baby #2. 

I had little energy or motivation that day, so I hung out with AD while he finished cleaning up the kitchenette area in our basement where he'd just processed a deer (he jokingly told me I could have the baby as soon as this was cleaned up). I shared with him my anxieties about when and how the baby would be coming, and we both decided that we should just let the baby come when she was ready.

I put LG to bed that night. During the week or so prior, we'd been telling him that it was almost time for him to be the big brother--that little sissy was going to need a lot of attention when she came out, and while he didn't have to go to sleep, he needed to stay in his room and be quiet at bedtime--and it was actually kind of working. That night, however, I laid down with him. He put his arm around my neck and asked me to hold him, and I thought about how this could be one of the last nights where I could stay with him until he fell asleep.

And on to:
Thursday, November 21, 2013, 37 weeks 4 days pregnant with baby #2.

I woke up around 2:30 that morning. I braced myself and tightened core my muscles to roll from one side to the other and up to sitting, which I'd become accustomed to doing over the past few months as my hips loosened up. I went to the bathroom and something told me I had better have something to eat, so I had a bowl of cereal.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Nervously waiting

On this day in my pregnancy with LG (37 weeks 3 days), I spent a Sunday afternoon with my dad's side of the family for Gami Brunch, where I was told by my family that I would either be having the baby the next day (on my cousin's daughter's birthday) or before Christmas (that Friday). I told them they were all crazy, as there was no evidence that the baby was coming soon--I hadn't "dropped," had any real contractions, lost my plug, or even had effacement/dilation checked by my doctor. However, a couple hours later at home, standing at the bottom of the stairs wrapping up a casserole and talking to AD, I felt a giant blub and told AD, "honey, something just happened in my pants." My water had broken, contractions started up, and LG was born the next morning. 

So here I am again at 37 weeks 3 days, one month shy of three years later, with a different set of circumstances. Almost two weeks ago (35 weeks 4 days), huffing my way back to my car after dropping LG at daycare, I was ragged and weary from the pace of working full-time and being a single mom part-time. I called the doctor, expecting them to have me come in, but since I'd been having Braxton Hicks and cramps, they insisted I go to the hospital to get checked out. I was 3-4cm dilated and 70% effaced, and since this was my second baby, they kept me overnight, then released me from the hospital and from work the next morning with instructions to take it easy and try to get to 37 weeks (or more). The following morning, I lost my plug. Almost two weeks later- I'm about the same, though getting even bigger, more uncomfortable, and starting to get anxious. 

I've been having a hard time falling asleep when I lay down in bed at night, even though I tell myself that this could be the last good rest I get before labor begins. I get this nervous feeling in my chest and have to concentrate on breathing. Though I've now read Ina May's Guide to Childbirth two times in the past months, have ideas of what I might do differently this time, have evidence that things might be different this time, and have a positive attitude, I'm still anxious. So, I think it might be helpful to just put out there some of the things that are worrying me:

- AD has not had to work since the 9th. He'll go back to work on the 26th--the Tuesday before Thanksgiving--and work through the 30th--the day after Thanksgiving. If I go into labor while he's at work, he's going to have a hell of a time getting home with the holiday travel. So I'm wondering, should we try to use some natural labor induction methods to get things moving so Baby Girl Meyer arrives before he goes back to work? Or would it be best to just let her come when she's ready and risk AD missing her birth? My next doctor appointment is tomorrow, so I guess we'll just wait and see what she thinks.
- Due to the fact that I have Group B Strep, that I'm already 4cm dilated, and since this is my second baby and my labor (not pushing, unfortunately) with LG was relatively short, the doctor has stressed that I need to get to the hospital right away when I go into labor. But what if this labor is different, and going in right away leads to Pitocin or C-section?
- This is going to sound really silly coming from someone who had her first child, and is planning on having her second child without any pain medication, but the IV I had at the hospital two weeks ago hurt the whole time it was in and for a couple days afterwards. Not looking forward to having another. Also, my doctor has said that I can just have the IV put in and injections of antibiotics put through without having fluids (I swear all of the fluid ended up in my feet last time), but I fear I'm going to have to argue with hospital staff about it.
- Finally, there are aspects of LG's birth and postpartum that I do not want to repeat: I pushed for three hours, different positions did not seem to help, and was really worn out by the end. I tore really badly. 10 days after he was born, I had severe bleeding and clotting, had two excruciating pelvic exams in the ER (seriously more painful than actually having LG), and a D&C to remove placental tissue.

So there it is, my fear. If you're the praying type, please keep these things in prayer for me.

Thursday, June 27, 2013


All day, I had an idea of what I would do with the quiet part of my evening once the toddler feeding, bathing, and bedding were complete--I was either going to work on the basement portion of "the great shuffle" that will be going on in our house throughout the next few months to get LG's big boy room ready, or I was going to work on some (non-post) bloggy stuff I need to do.

But the evening played out differently. I was able to pick up LG from daycare a little earlier than normal, and it started storming right as we pulled in the driveway (he was thrilled at the opportunity to use the umbrella, or "la" as he calls it). It was so dark inside the house that I turned a lamp on. We played with his cars, and he helped me get dinner ready.

During dinner, I realized that these days of just him and I, so simple--no working on projects or running to the hardware store like when his dad is home, but an easy meal, a brief task like watering the garden or taking out the trash, bath, and bedtime--are numbered. Soon we will have to navigate a whole new routine that meets the physical needs of an infant and the emotional needs of a toddler.

While I was rocking quietly in LG's darkened room as he settled down into his crib, I was at peace, and decided I was just going to clean up the kitchen and go to bed. You see, AD had been home the two days prior, and kept me up on feet well into the night working on plans and designs for the garden and basement. And to be honest, I've been sleeping much better when I have the whole bed to myself. Finally, yesterday was the first time I can definitively say that I felt this new baby move, and it moved over and over again throughout the evening, as if to assure me of it's presence. 

So tonight, I will put my plans aside, and hopefully drift off into a long sleep to the tappings of this little one.

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