Finding the Zen…

I don’t function very well past 9:00pm, and that’s usually when I start my chores. My day goes something like this:

ANYWHERE between 4 and 6am – wake up with Malka Palka Pooka Palka, change diaper, give bottle, clean dried gak from nose, hope she’ll go back down (like she did this am).
Stumble back into bed for a few more minutes of blessed sleep. But by now, the 3 fur balls that ruled the roost before that giggly, grabbing bi-pedal came into the house are aware that the lady with opposable thumbs is awake. So Cougar will come on over near my head and start drooling and purring, Quincy will jump onto my chest and start doing the same, and Juno will just sit on the floor and DEMAND that breakfast be served. NOW.

So I reluctantly get up and feed them, turn on the coffee maker (having prepped it the night before – that’s almost the MOST important lesson I’ve learned in parenthood – PREP THE COFFEE THE NIGHT BEFORE!), make Malka’s lunch bag for the day, (which this week is REALLY easy, since the fan in our fridge is broken, it doesn’t get really cold in there, so she’s getting jars – aka, “fast food.”), scoop litter and try to sit on the sofa and listen to, or watch the news for a bit before MP3 gets up again. Sometimes I have a glorious 45 minutes, like this am, since I got up at 5 and stayed up, and now the dishwasher is going, the cats are fed, the lunch is made, and I’m having a bit of leisure time for the internet… weeee!

But back to my day.

When MP3 gets up, we do another diaper change, and there’s usually a dookie involved, which in spite of my best efforts, I always must analyze as if I was on CSI, and I ALWAYS, much to Narda’s chagrin, share my report. Even if she’s still asleep. I don’t know, maybe I’m one of those people who can tell the health of a creature by their poop, as I can usually predict when one of the cats isn’t doing so well by the same thing.

Then Malka and I go into the living room, where I plop her down with her toys for a bit while I go make her waffle of happiness. She now, however, is aware that she has the power to find me, and she will no longer cry when I leave the room, she’ll just crawl with the speed of a cheetah after me. It’s rather cute to hear the slap slap slap of hands on the wood floor, truth be told. She’ll find me in the kitchen, and either make a b-line for the cats’ water dish, or pull herself up by my pj’s, which I have to then hold up with one hand while cutting up her waffle with the other. Then it’s breakfast time, and she loves breakfast time. She even willingly puts on a bib now (THANK YOU SUZANNE FROM DAYCARE!). After breakfast, it’s a bit more of playtime, cat chasing and the like while I go in her room to pick out her clothes and turn off the humidifier, white noise machine, etc. We then get her dressed, and then I’ll usually put her in her bouncy seat or the stroller, and wheel her into the bathroom with me while I shower. We then play the peek-a-boo game from behind the shower curtain, and she giggles and laughs with delight. The goal is always to leave the house by 7:30, and in a perfect world, we do just that. But more often than not, someone in this house, be it Narda, myself, Malka, or one of the cats, puts a wrench in the schedule – by puking, pooping in an inappropriate place, oversleeping because someone decided that being up from 2 to 4am is a fun thing to do, or what have you. So most often, we’ll leave for daycare between 7:45 and 8:00. Although lately, because Malka’s been sick, she’s sleeping better (the ONLY advantage to being sick), so we’ve been able to leave more or less on time. We walk to daycare, and everyone is SHOCKED! It’s one mile exactly. And truth be told, it’s the ONLY exercise I’m getting these days, so I’m grateful for it. But as it’s getting colder, and as you all know, MP3 doesn’t “DO” cold, so we may have to take the bus soon, and I’ll have to figure out how to get my heart pumping in other creative ways.

At daycare, she really has a great time, and is getting better at not crying when I set her down on the floor in order to put her lunch, etc. away. Suzanne (one of her new teachers, whom we LOVE) has started this thing where she walks Malka to the door when I leave, and they “say” goodbye to me. She wants Malka to learn that it’s HER leaving me, not me leaving her – I said: “OK, whatever you think is best,” secretly chuckling to myself, but by George, I think it’s working! Suzanne then takes Malka over to the sink, and they play with the faucet (hence her new fasicnation with the cat’s water dish…).

Then I’m off to work, where the scent of the nearby cookie factory wafts in through the windows on occasion, just to torture me. But I’m liking my job a lot, even though I am missing Malka more and more during the day. I think it’s because she’s really blossoming into this little person, and she’s such a joy to be around and to hang out with. (EVEN when cranky – her little temper tantrums are even cute. Ask me again in a few months, but for now, the throwing herself backwards on the floor, where I gently hold her head and help her down to the floor and then ignore her for 30 seconds is cute.) I’m finally starting to feel more comfortable with a few things at work, which are making some tasks easier. I’m still not 100% mastered in Chaverware, an incredibly difficult computer program, but I’m getting there.

At the end of the day, Narda or I will pick Malka up, and she’s actually starting to nap better at daycare. She’ll get at least an hour and a half nap, if not more, where she used to just do 45 minutes, so that’s an improvement, and it REALLY helps with the getting home part, she’s less cranky if she sleeps. (I mean, who isn’t?)

When we get home, it’s dinner, playtime, bath, slather, bottle, brush, book, bed. On days where she doesn’t nap at daycare so well, she’s practically falling asleep during the bottle. She has her good days and her bad days with the toothebrush, and I’m open to any suggestions for making it more fun for her – I pretend to brush mine first, and even make squeak squeak noises with it, which she giggles at, and I let her hold my finger and guide the “brush” (it’s a baby brush that slides over a parent’s finger), but she just doesn’t want me to do it some days, and the mouth will NOT open. She’s really great at actually going to sleep, and will roll over and fall asleep the moment I put her in her crib.

By this point, I’m pretty exhausted. And it’s only 7:00pm. So I’ll grab something to eat, and take a small break to watch a bit of tv, chat with Narda, read blogs, upload pictures, etc. But I really need to not get so pulled in by the internet, as by the time I realize that I’m really tired, it’s 9:00, and I still have to prep the coffee, load the dishwasher, feed the cats, prep Malka’s food for the next day, and tidy up the kitchen. If I did all of those things immediately after Malka went to bed, I’d then have the rest of my evening to myself. it all makes such logical sense on “paper,” but when in the moment? I’m zonked, and I just want to chill out for a bit.

This morning, however, I chose to stay up after she was up at 4:50am. I got ALL of my chores done, and have had time to write this post, while drinking my coffee. Tonight will be about packing, as we leave at 10:15am for Chicago tomorrow. (Narda left yesterday). I’m kind of stressing out about it, but I TRULY feel that the Lexapro has taken the edge off, my edges are rounding out a bit, and for that, I’m so grateful. So VERY grateful.

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