7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 216)
The baby turned one month old this week! We’re finally drifting into something that looks like a routine, and the PPE (Postpartum Ennui) is slowly getting better. I was starting to feel like things might never improve. I was so profoundly unmotivated and uninspired that I suggested to Joe that maybe life as I knew it was over, and from here on out I would spend my days shuffling around like a zombie, not trying to do anything, letting go of all my goals outside changing clothes every few days. (The doom-and-gloom predictions got even more ominous than that, but I’ll spare you the drama.)
I had forgotten that it can take a long time to bounce back from traumatic experiences, especially when they occur over a long period of time. Now that I think about it, after we went through a difficult few months in 2005, after everything finally blew over I felt like I had adrenal fatigue for a couple of months afterward. Whether or not it was a diagnosable condition, I was definitely mentally and physically exhausted from being under so much stress for a prolonged period of time, and my body needed a few weeks to just zone out and chill.
I think that’s where I am now. On those moments when I catch myself engrossed in Dora the Explorer thirty minutes after the kids have left the room, I need to remind myself that I’m probably still in recovery mode.
My kids must have such a different impression of the Tooth Fairy than I did when I was a kid. In my childhood, I would always put my tooth under the pillow the night I lost it, and the Tooth Fairy would come promptly and leave me a lavish gift that was exactly to my liking. It is so very different around here.
My kids often puzzle at the fact that sometimes we can’t put the tooth under the pillow for a couple of days because the Tooth Fairy is “out of town.” Then there was the time my six-year-old put her tooth under the pillow and it was still there and there was no gift the next morning (this was a couple of weeks ago, when she had the misfortune of losing a tooth the day the baby came home from the NICU). The Tooth Fairy is also a kind of an erratic figure to them, since sometimes she leaves really nice gifts, and other times it’s a couple of crumpled dollar bills that look like they’ve been stuffed into the pockets of some mom’s jeans for a few days.
When I was a child, imagined this fairy to be a perky, confident being, kind of like a Martha Stewart with wings. I think my kids imagine a disheveled slob floating into their room each night they lose a tooth, rummaging around in her overstuffed bag for a random gift, then barely getting her act together enough to stumble out the window and drift over to some other kid’s house, probably getting lost a couple of times along the way.
After acting like the Google Reader shutdown was the worst thing that has ever happened in human history, and specifically calling out Feedly as an “alternative” that was too depressing to think about, you might be surprised to hear that I am now a big Feedly fan. In my defense — and to the Feedly team’s great credit — it was kinda lame when I wrote that post back in March. The Android app was basically useless, which was problematic for those of us whose lives revolved around reading blogs on Android tablets.
But the folks and Feedly stepped up in a big way, and added a ton of features to their app (to give you an idea: when I first downloaded it a couple of months ago, they were on version 7; now they’re on version 15). I would go on, but it is embarrassing to admit just how important it is to my quality of life to be able to read blogs in a convenient format.
To my shock as much as anyone’s, we’ve actually been sticking with the healthy eating thing. This is seriously surprising to the mother who was regularly letting her kids have Cheetos with a side of Goldfish for lunch just last month.
The ease of the transition was all thanks to the fact that the kids jumped the shark with their obsession with junk food. You see, for the longest time I had resisted making changes to our diet because it would be too hard. “I just couldn’t deal with the kids constantly whining about not having their favorite snacks around!” said I.
But then it got to the point that they were constantly whining for me to get them their favorite snacks when we did have them in the pantry, and I realized that I probably wouldn’t be dealing with that much more whining if I stocked only high quality foods in the house. So I just stopped buying crackers, chips, bread, pasta, tortillas, etc., and stocked up on tons of fruit and veggies instead. There were a couple of days that I’ll henceforth refer to as The Great Dorito Famine of 2013, but after we got past that it’s actually been fine. I leave fruit sitting out on the table all the time, and the kids have learned that it’s easier to just have some of that than to try to coerce lazy mommy to get off the couch to get them something else.
I continue to be inspired by the concept of Bento Boxes, and got a few plates with multiple compartments to experiment with. Granted, my concoctions are totally uncreative and boring, but I’ve found the concept to be key to avoiding processed food at meals.
For whatever reason, I’ve found that it’s easier to get the kids to eat good food when I give them little bits of a variety of different things, rather than trying to get them to eat one thing in big quantities.
Speaking of me being sunglass-blessed: My mom asked me what I want for Mother’s Day, and since she already does sooooooo much for us I wanted to think of something super easy for her. I offered the usual protestations of not needing anything at all, but since I knew she’d get me something anyway, I said that I’d love a new pair of sunglasses if she had any of her usual freebies handy. She gave me this pair of Tom Fords, which she happened to have lying around:
I’ll just be tacky and tell you that they retail for almost $400. I noticed that the model is called the Jennifer, which I take as a divine sign that it is an immutable part of my destiny to have outrageously awesome sunglasses.
The Novena to the Holy Spirit starts tomorrow if you’d like to finish it on Pentecost! For those of you who aren’t familiar with it (or with novenas in general), it’s a nine-day series of prayers, with each day focusing on a different gift of the Holy Spirit. I have always found the Novena to the Holy Spirit to be a particularly powerful experience, and highly encourage you to do it.
[UPDATE: Oops! The novena begins TODAY, not tomorrow. That's what I get for blogging while tired.]
Hope you all have a great Mother’s Day weekend!