Monthly Archives: June 2015

Slowing Down

C has hit the 9 month sleep regression. There isn’t one consistent issue, like practicing developing skills in her sleep, or crying out every time she wakes up and finds herself alone. Each day is a new and different problem. Sometimes in place of the one from yesterday. Sometimes in addition it. Sometimes it results in a stubborn war between her and I. Sometimes it means trying new tricks. Sometimes it means just taking a step back and accepting that this nap will only happen if it’s in my arms.

Part of my brain was so frustrated as sleep started to degrade. We just finally reached the stage where she takes some legitimate naps so I can start getting things done around the house.

On the other hand, we’re getting down to a few weeks before I’m back at work (I refuse to count it because it feels like someone punching me in the gut). The number of full days I have of just me and my baby. And every day she is growing more and more independent. Yes, it may take twice as long with her arms flailing madly in all directions. She may throw soothers across the room and then cry because she wants her soother. She works up a sweat just to fall asleep. But then she sleeps. And it’s so peaceful.

The last few weeks of mat leave are going to fly by, especially since it’s summer. In the meantime, I’ll take advantage of these moments I get to slow down.

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Categories: The new identity | 1 Comment

Bad Feminist: or someone speaking my language

I’m not a hugely vocal feminist. In fact, Scott is a much better feminist than I am. We’ll get into discussions about current events and movements in feminism, and I frequently find myself saying: “Maybe I’m a bad feminist, but…” Naturally, this book title spoke to me.

Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay is not simply about feminism, but about issues of academia, race, and gender, within the vein of personal experience and popular culture. As frequently my discourse on feminism tends towards intersectionality. A lot of what I read on feminism makes me go: “Yes, but!” where as I found myself think “but yes!”.

The issue with siding with someone is that you begin to identify with that person, and so while you ignore the allusions of trauma in the first few chapters, once it comes into full view, it takes an overwhelming situation to staggering depth. It’s not for middle of the night reading unless you sob quietly to not disturb anyone else slumbering in your house.

That being said, I feel the sections on racial stereotypes in pop culture treaded a bit too far into the academic for a much more conversationally written book. Having not seen most of the movies (which I’m not sure whether would support Ms. Gay’s arguments or not), I did only skim over these chapters.

Book: Bad Feminist
Author: Roxane Gay
Rating: 3/5
Features: a conversational social discourse that is educated while still accessible
Who should read: Anyone who calls themselves a feminist

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Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone: Or being almost 20 years behind the times

I don’t like doing back to back fiction works, as I like to keep it interesting, but when you’ve got Harry Potter on hold, the library automatically checks it out for you, and you know you don’t get much time to read it, before it’s off to the next person.

I’m not sure what propelled me to read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling after years of saying I had no interest. Perhaps that was reason within itself: it’s always good to push yourself. While I understand why it was hugely popular within the general public (a surprisingly quick read, despite its length, and full of interest and intrigue), I still can’t understand why it was so immensely popular within academic settings. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it still held public interest almost two decades after its release, thought that could very well be related to the fact that those who read it feverishly upon its release are now reading it to their children. I have no doubt that it may very well become an children’s classic.

I actually found the book to be too much to read before bed. I was surprised at the fact it gave me nightmares. Granted, some days anything can give me nightmares, but the degree to which I found myself trying to distract myself after reading it before bed makes me a touch wary to encourage a child to read it. However, the tale is sweet, and setting is mystical so I have no problem handing it over to C when she’s old enough… and during daylight hours.

I enjoyed it, but I’m not sure I’ll keep reading the rest of the series.

Book: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
Author: J. K. Rowling
Rating: 4/5
Features: a well crafted magical world
Who should read: Anyone who likes to be transported to another world.

Categories: The new identity | 2 Comments

A new kind of food guilt

Little C has allergies.  There was something unknown she reacted to in her first oatmeal cereal. Then, there was stomach issues with avocado. Now, she breaks out in a rash if she touches egg, which she had been happily eating for weeks.  It’s terrifying to look over and see your daughter’s face, unblemished minutes ago, now covered in red splotches. There is now so much trepidation every time we offer her a new food. A bottle of Benadryl lives on our kitchen table.  We haven’t had a serious reaction yet, but there is always that lurking fear.  And the guilt.  I didn’t expect our daughter to be perfect. I knew I would love her anyway. But once the latest rash cleared up and she was playing happily on the floor, relief gave way to a sinking feeling.  Allergies are commonly inherited.  We can debate whether she has my eyes or Scott’s (both blue), my hair (light brown) or his (curly when wet), but without a doubt, these allergies are mine.

I know that lots of kids react to a certain food one day, and then are fine with it months later. I know that kids without allergies are born to parents with allergies all the time, and that kids with allergies are born to parents without allergies all the time. But the guilt remains.

I grew up with allergies, so I know it’s not the end of the world. I know it’s likely she’ll out grow this allergy, and we’ll learn to deal with it in the meantime. But I also know how self-conscious you feel when your mom has to call your friend’s parents ahead of a birthday party to let them know about your allergies. How awkward it feels when you’re eating something entirely different from everyone else. How quietly terrifying it is to pretend everything is normal when people find out about your allergies and tell horror stories about a cousin’s friend who went into anaphylaxis.

With the exception of a delicious box of cookies one summer that I ate until my face swelled up, none of my reactions have really merited too much concern, at least on my part. I learned, over years, which allergies cause which symptoms, which allergy meds work on which of my allergies. I coped. And I know she will too.

Categories: The new identity | 1 Comment

Currently: In June

The lovely ladies Anne and Jenna are once again back with the monthly “Currently”. Please stop by their blogs to give them a virtual hug!

Playing: Scott and I enjoy board games, but we enjoy very different types of board games. I’m big into trivia games while he likes more of the role playing. There are few games we agree on and fewer for two players. We were slowly working our way through MarioKart 8 for Wii U, but summer put that on hold. Most of our games these days involve peek-a-boo, or stacking things (oh, and a baby).

Going: To the zoo, whether it rains or not. I don’t know why I think that it has to happen THIS MONTH but I’m slowly realizing that summer always goes too fast, and when fall comes, I’ll be back at work, so I’m trying to savour every moment (while simultaneously filling up all of our time with activities)

Wearing: Oh man, this outfit made me feel so trendy the first time I wore it. I mean, distressed shorts? Gingham shirt? If only I had Birkenstocks! It’s totally no where near as flattering as I thought it was initially (or perhaps things are still shifting post-baby), but any day I wear it, it’s a good day.

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Sipping: I’ve been BIG into beer these days. Summer does that to me. Usually, I’m all about the fruit wines in summer, but it’s only been in the last few weeks that C has been sleeping well enough for me to chance an evening libation, so I haven’t been so bold as to crack open a bottle of wine. I appreciate the single serving quality of beer.

Reading: I was reading French Women Don’t Get Facelifts by Mireille Guiliano but my eBook expired and I couldn’t renew it. My reading has tapered off significantly now that C is sleeping better. I’m ok with that. Sure, I could now read in other places than in the rocking chair in her room, but I do appreciate my Kobo always being sandwiched between the seat and the arm on nights when she randomly decides sleeping is for chumps.

🙂

Categories: Currently, The new identity | 3 Comments

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