Monday, March 13, 2017

Almost six months...

Well, hey, I was never sure if I would keep up with this blog after Speck turned into a baby with a name, so if my posts are a little... infrequent, I suppose you can't blame me. Or, maybe you can, but I don't blame myself. I'm trying to spend my available writing hours on my next book, which is now almost a year behind my planned release schedule for it.

It's strange to think back... this time last year, I was just starting in on the second trimester of pregnancy and generally feeling pretty good. I think this is around when I started this blog... in fact let me check that... March 29th was the initial post. I suppose I should just sit on this post for a few weeks and then Cedar will be six months old, and this will be the anniversary of the blog but... well, that's far too organized, and who knows when I'm going to have time to write this again.

So, parenting life, it's interesting.

So far today, while Cedar has been napping on my lap, I have managed to get 1200 words of rewrite for my next book done, along with this blog (we'll see how much I actually get to write before she wakes up). I have successfully fed myself once, and am hungry for a second meal, so I will likely move on to making and eating food when I finish this post. Those things, along with feeding the child and changing her diaper a couple of times, are all that I have accomplished so far, but it feels like a pretty productive day. Oh, and I managed to look up a couple of writing grants and their deadlines and add them to my calendar so that I can apply for them later.

In other words, I have actually gotten some gwendamned work done today and that feels like winning.

That said, I still need to walk the dog somehow (preferably during daylight) without freezing the child to death (it's 13 degrees Farenheit out there (-11 degrees Celsius)), and it would be great if I could manage to get myself into the car and run a couple of errands, but at the moment that seems like an unlikely pipe dream rather than an achievable reality.

Meanwhile, you would think it would seem pretty attainable after successfully traveling to Arizona and back with the Shmoop, and not only keeping our sanity intact but actually having a really good time visiting friends and family, as well as doing all kinds of grown up things, like going to an art museum and the botanical gardens.

See, here's Cedar with a butterfly on her hand at the botanical gardens (ignore the finger she's shoving up her nose).

But, it turns out, that a trip like that, even when utterly successful, tires one out, and when you add all three of us getting a cold on said trip which we are still battling, getting two thirds of us into a car to go run errands seems like an awful lot of hassle. Especially when there's still a dog to be walked.

Does that give you an idea of our parenting world? I don't know if that really covers the feel... let's see... how else can I explain it?

90% of the images on my phone are of Cedar doing things that I think are cute. I only share approximately 1% of those with people that aren't her father. Yet, despite my incessant picture taking, whole days have passed where I don't document our lives on film, and indeed we spend a lot of time just reading, playing with things (read putting objects/extremities in mouths) and hanging out. Cedar is becoming increasingly entertaining and I enjoy spending time with her. I also enjoy getting writing done while she's asleep and... bare with me now... sometimes I just let her play by herself while I get work done, make food, or go to the bathroom. 

Please don't call Child Services on me but.... I DON'T SPEND EVERY WAKING MOMENT ENTERTAINING MY KID.

Whew. It feels good to get that off my chest.

She's actually quite good at entertaining herself, and it's pretty fun to watch/listen to her play while I get work done nearby. Eventually, I usually wind up swooping in and cuddling her a bit because she's so darned cute, but she still gets time to do her own thing, and so do I. Win/win.

I have managed to get back into climbing again (albeit only at the local gym so far) and I go once a week with a friend, and once a week by myself. Sometimes I leave Cedar at home with her dad (whenever he's around to make that work) and sometimes I take her with me to the gym. On the nights I take her along she just sits in her bouncy chair and watches me climb. She lasts a good 90 minutes before I have to feed her, change her diaper, or just take her home. It's pretty sweet, especially since I don't have the stamina to climb for much longer than 90 minutes these days anyway.

I am hoping to take her swimming in the not too distant future, and I can't wait until it's warm enough for me to jog with her in a jogging stroller because as it stands I can only go running when her dad is home. I'm tempted to start going to the gym with her though, and see if she can join me for swimming and running indoors until the weather gets nicer... she fits in a backpack now too, so I am really looking forward to hitting the trails with her once the snow melts a bit, and maybe even before then.

Life moves steadily onwards. I am finally making solid progress in my writing again, and hope to get my next book out later this year. I have other projects in the works too, and I've done a few graphic design contracts in the past couple of months that have made me feel productive in that realm too. 

I need to schedule some outdoor adventures for when the warm weather returns, but I managed to get out on a few trail runs and hikes while in Arizona and that felt pretty awesome. 

Does any of that tell you what parenting a five month old is like?

In terms of baby news, Cedar is growing well. At her last doctor's appointment she was in the 50th percentile for weight and slightly above that for length. So all in all an average baby, which is awesome considering she was in the 3rd percentile at birth. As I mentioned before, she has a cold at the moment, which is frustrating for all of us, but she's a real trooper and is still one of the chillest babies I've ever seen. She has two teeth coming in, slowly, which doesn't help matters. These things have combined to interrupt our sleep quite a bit more than we had grown used to (she was sleeping for 8 hours straight for a while there) but we still get enough sleep stitched together at night in order to stay sane. 

She's beginning to stir from her nap now, so I am going to wrap this up, as I expect she'll be hungry at the end of this nap (it's been a long one). Besides, I have more work to do on my novel and that needs to take priority for now. 

I leave you with this image of Cedar and her fur sister. 

I'll try to write back with more updates about the new human soon as well as more parenting insights, including things like: How to know that you're not fucking everything up? (Spoiler alert: you don't) or Why didn't this damned thing (baby) come with a manual? and other heady topics. 

Maybe... if I can find the time.