Thursday, March 26, 2009

Ugh.

The snow outside is depressing me. So is the laundry that needs to be folded, the baby that won't let me put him down, and the test for which I need to study. And yet I can't bring myself to do much else but contemplate my life. Too much on my mind as of late.

It's become quite difficult for me to recognize the real purpose of life. Gray and I had (until about five days ago) quite the routine going day in and day out - weekends included. Wake up, make bed, eat breakfast, bathe, dress, clean something, eat early lunch, he naps while I study, eat late lunch, play, welcome Josh home, eat dinner, clean up after dinner, get Grayson to bed, spend a bit o' time with Josh, go to sleep. Of course there are several diaper changes (I've the most regular baby I've ever known), phone calls, errands, laundry loads, and other time-consuming activities (cooking, shopping, class, church obligations) thrown in there, but I still find myself shocked at how much free time I don't seem to have. I know I could get an extra 1 1/2 hours out of each day if I could figure out how to get Grayson to feed himself without making a complete mess, but it's constant cleanup for now.

Anyway, I've begun to feel like my 'free time' has been dwindling over the last month. Instead of blogging, I'm pulling Grayson out of cupboards, holding ice on his latest bump, and cleaning up his toys.
Instead of pulling weeds and planning this year's garden, I'm waxing cheese and scouring the ads for good deals on food storage items. Instead of leisure reading, I'm studying food labels and googling new recipes for chicken. Valiant endeavors? Yes, of course. But shouldn't I be able to do it all?

Maybe I spend too much time keeping my home clean. Maye I spend too much time studying for tests. Maybe I spend too much time trying out new recipes and stocking my pantry. Who knows? But the real question is...do I want to do all of this plus toss full-time dental hygiene school into the mix?

Honestly, I'm not sure I do. My Microbiology class this semester is difficult - more difficult than I remember Anatomy or Physiology being - and I would love to be able to dismiss it entirely and focus 100% on my family. I won't because that would be a terrible waste of $1000 and all the time I've spent succeeding in it thus far, but as of this moment, I can't imagine doing it for another two years.

I'm 32 years old and I've only recently embarked on the adventures of marriage and motherhood. A lot of people are done having babies by the time I finally started. I am at least 10 years older than the majority of students in my class. I almost feel like I'm ripping myself off by splitting my efforts between family and education - how much has Josh suffered since I've been in school? How much do my studies suffer since I've had a baby? Have I become a jack of two trades, mastering neither?

It seems so easy for other women. Either they have time on their side or their husbands have the job and degree they want and they don't need to plan for future changes. Is that reality, or have I once again fallen into the trap of comparing myself with others?

I have now spent one hour of my very valuable free time organizing these thoughts in my brain and writing them down. I am glad I did. Yes, I have about 20 unfinished blog posts, but this suddenly became more important to me than posting pictures of Grayson's first (and last!) hair cut. I will now
fold the kitchen towels, hang up the jeans to dry, and start a load of whites. Once that's done, I will share a snack with Grayson, play with him for an hour, then spend the last hour before I leave for class studying for my test. And when this class ends in one month, I will have to decide what the real purpose of my life is.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

All Things Gray

My sweet baby is no longer a baby, it seems. He started taking small, independent steps back in December, but finally ventured out and actually walked on January 22. How do I remember something that long ago? I wrote it down so I wouldn't forget to blog about it. Josh stopped by the house to eat lunch in between sites that afternoon and we were talking in the kitchen when suddenly Grayson let go of the island and took three steps into the middle of the kitchen with no help or prodding. Josh made Grayson practice all night while I was at school so that we could record him walking the next day. You can imagine that he mastered it quickly with that kind of hard-core training.
Runway Practice, January 23
video
Grayson is a very generous little boy. He loves putting his Cheerios in my mouth and wiping my face after I'm done eating them. He offers me multiple sips of whatever he's drinking, and even pours water from his bath on me. He tries to brush my hair and read me his books. He doesn't mind knocking down the towers I build with his blocks, making cleanup so much easier. He's really such a thoughtful fella.
I know most babies love music, but Grayson SERIOUSLY. LOVES. MUSIC. He will come running from another room if he hears the radio. He enters the room, grinning wildly, then abruptly stops in his tracks and begins bouncing away. If he's sad for a minute and you need a quick distraction, just turn on some tunes. He immediately forgets that you took whatever object of his mouth and starts jiving. He's come down with a combination arm dancing/bouncing maneuver that just cracks me up. He loves to play the piano, but in an effort to preserve its pristine condition, we got him a small drum and xylophone instead, both of which he enjoys pounding on nearly as much.

Dancin' Fool, February 14
video
Grayson's personality has just skyrocketed. I dare say we recently entered the realm of the terrible twos because this baby can offer some serious meltdowns when he wants to. Should I make the mistake of taking something from him that he was not ready to part with, I will definitely know of his displeasure. He occasionally tells me 'no' when I do something he doesn't like, saying 'no no no no' and waging his little finger at me while doing so. I had no idea I was a finger wagger until now!

But overall he seems as happy and content as he was as a little baby. Poor thing is so happy all the time it's hard to tell when he's sick. Last week he seemed a little grumpy with a slightly runny nose and tons of saliva so I chalked it up to him finally cutting his molars. When Grayson held a fever for two days, though, I took him into the doctor on Friday to make sure he was okay. Turns out that while he is cutting four molars right now (two have since broken through), he had a double ear infection as well! I felt so bad that I'd waited to take him in, but honestly, he was just acting like he was teething, nothing more. I guess a year of parental duties haven't completely prepared me for the unexpected, but I'm working on it.

Table Dancing, January 20
Going out, January 23Birthday lunch, February 2
This chair is just right, February 3
First (and last) experience with mac 'n cheese, February 9