Baby Sleep Dilemma

If she sleeps more now, I can get stuff done… but then she won’t sleep at night, and I lose the chance to sleep… what to do, what to do…

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It’s largely irrelevant, because if I move at all, she wakes up anyway.

Best to just stand there in absolute silence, watching her breathe.  Because she’s so very cute.  It’s the easiest time to appreciate babies; when they’re asleep.  The rest of the time, it’s too hectic to notice.

Nearing Due Date

I’m now 37.5 weeks pregnant.  This means when someone (aka everyone) asks me “how long to go?” I can honestly say “any day now!”  I even say it cheerfully, because nobody likes a downer.

But honestly, between the unending braxton hicks “practice” contractions and an element of apprehension while waiting for the “real” contractions, I have decided that the waiting game sucks.

Sometimes people say “you must be sick of it by now” (oh yes, indeed I am).  Usually women say this.  Women who have had children.  Because let’s face it, pregnancy does drag on for an insane amount of time.

I’m lucky that I am the kind of person who can keep myself busy.  But not this close to the due date.  I don’t want to start anything new, can’t really plan anything, don’t want to book myself in for anything, and don’t even really want to venture too far from home, in case I end up labouring in, say, a shopping centre, or a swamp full of gnats, leeches and crocodiles somewhere.  Or god forbid, a shopping centre full of gnats, leeches and crocodiles.  *shudder*.  (Well, this IS Australia.  Things happen.)

So to distract my terrible imagination from wearing me down, I try to keep as busy as can be.  I’ve done the usual things, assembled the change table and cot, washed all the baby linen (twice!), filled in endless amounts of relevant and/or outstanding paperwork for just about everything under the sun.  And now the urgent, difficult, relevant things are done.

This leaves me with little option but to FIND things to do.  Often far out of balance to what still needs to be done.  And at the expense of regular tasks.

Like sweeping the back yard concrete.

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Can’t remember the last time I swept indoors though. Huh.

There are times when my energy levels are so high I actually accomplish nothing, because I’m racing around manically, from task to task, my extreme-multitasking skills about as organised as a balloon in a tornado.

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Always followed by bouts of fatigue. So a *kind* of balance is achieved.

During the low points, I have trouble entertaining myself, because everything I do seems to trigger an oxytocin-induced sob-fest.  Even TV.  No, especially TV.

sad tv

Pictured: pregnant person watching advert for tax accountants

Generally these mood swings elicit the comfort response in others.  This rarely goes the way they expect.

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That’s right, Sunshine, back away slowly. And don’t come back until you have burritos.

Between all this, the usual functions of the day are also skewed out of recognition.  So much so that it’s like being back in the first trimester of pregnancy again.  Some days you can’t get enough to eat, others you do nothing more than play with your food.

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One of these two will NOT be getting any dessert this evening.

The main feature of the last few weeks, however, has been my renewed interest and energy in long-forgotten projects that have been outstanding since before we moved house.

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Never get so much done as when you forget you have kids.

But the due date looms closer and I am running out of distractions.  Which is probably just as well, because I am also increasingly dizzy as the days go by.

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I want to sit down, but I have forgotten how to chair. Or how to gravity, for that matter.

So I have my fingers crossed that this will all be behind me soon, because I’m not sure how much more of this I can take.  And I am fairly sure that the family are just as sick of it as I am.

So with any luck the next post will be about a brand new baby (girl or boy, we just don’t know).  Because it really is going to be any day now…

Cat

I’m accidentally a cat person.  I find dogs annoying and I don’t really like tiny animals or huge animals.  So I go for cats, by default.  They are pretty much all that is left.  Also, and most importantly, they can tidy up after themselves, and I appreciate that in a pet.  Given that baby no. 3 is likely to arrive any day now, I thought I would spare one last thought for my cat who is, basically, about to be forgotten all over again.

Cat and I met around 12 years ago, at a cat shelter.  I had decided on the spur of the moment to get a pet.  I convinced my brother, who was also not busy, and was also a flatmate at the time, to come with me and help me to find “an enormous, grey, long-haired cat.”  Preferably a full-grown neutered male, who would do nothing but sleep on the back of the sofa all day, and eyeball us malevolently from time to time.  That’s what I look for in a pet.  Lazy, self-righteous, monochrome and fuzzy with buckets of disdain.

When we arrived at the shelter, there were many cats, but they all ignored us completely.  All but one.  This strange, half-sized fuzz ball that began to run towards us the moment she saw us… and then stopped halfway, and did the world’s biggest cat-stretch.

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AH! A stretchy cat! I want THAT one!!

All thoughts of a big, boofy grey male forgotten, I signed the things and paid the money and took home that small, tortoiseshell-tabby  bundle of fuzz.  The shelter said she was about 2 years old, small for her age, and had no record of her name.  That suited me, I already knew I wanted to call her Matrix.  Not because of the movie, which I hadn’t seen, but because of some weird nerd humour which made better sense at the time.  (No, I lie, it was always a terrible idea.)

Matrix settled in pretty fast.  In hindsight, she took to me faster than I took to her.  I think in all relationships you need boundaries.  Matrix did not hold this same belief.

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Stealth-Cat, before I purchased a collar with a bell on it

She kicked off her first day with showing me affection by washing behind my ears.  While I was still asleep.  This is a whole lot less pleasant than you can ever imagine.

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What the – ? What is happening to my head? Where AM I ?!?

As if the early-morning confusion of what exactly was going on wasn’t enough, it also meant that for the morning, if not the whole day, my hair was glued upwards and outwards in the most chaotic spiky tufts.  That smelled of fish.  Which is something of a surprise really, because getting her to eat anything was an absolute trial.

She completely refused to eat canned cat food.  To this day, she still will not touch it.  She would only tolerate dried food, or tinned tuna.  It took me 3 years to figure out that she would eat tuna, because I am not very bright, and also because she is lousy at semaphore.

Meanwhile, I would put out bowls of canned food that she would ignore.  I would put out dried food that she would sometimes eat.  But she seemed to spend much more of her time licking the walls of the house.

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Yeah, I don’t know either.

She was otherwise healthy, so I let it go.

I decided to try to be friends with her.  I would pat her, but she would just bite me, so I let it go.

I brought home cat toys, but she ignored most of them, or just clawed my hand when I tried to engage her interest, so I stopped.  But one day I found a sort of glove that had strings on the fingers with little toys on the ends, that you could wear and wiggle your fingers and make the fuzzy toy things bounce about.

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Yay! Look!! We’re bonding!

Which would have been brilliant, if she wasn’t such a violent, evil-minded killer.

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OK it’s not meant to be competitive, cat, but you know what? I think you win.

She has had her slow days too though.  At one house I lived in, the simplest way for her to get in and out without human assistance, was via a small window in the kitchen.

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Just came out…. must go in again. So that I can go out again. In order that I may go in again…

One time she came in, just after someone had spilled cooking oil all over the bench.  So instead of a graceful leap from window to bench to floor, she leapt in the window, skidded with surprise across the bench, and landed in an awkward heap on the floor.

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Needless to say, this was hilarious.

She shook her head a little and looked around.  When she realised she was right beside her food bowl, she didn’t even bother standing up.  Just lifted her head and then dropped it right into the bowl and started eating, while still lying in a heap on the floor.

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Clearly this is a cat after my own heart.

Sadly for my cat, though, she is getting older.  She is not as cute as she used to be.  She still appears to be cute and fuzzy from a distance, but the closer she gets, the more haggard you can see that she is.

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Naaaw, look at the cute little – AAARGH! Kill it! Kill it with fire!!

She is also going deaf, so her sweet little mewling has become a sort of plaintive banshee cry that can stop your blood cold at 2am.  Which is her preferred time for conversation.

In spite of all this, I do still think of her, well, not fondly, that’s too strong a word…  but perhaps, as a pet that I… well, a cat that I know.  She’ll always be that insane, sketchy yet hyperactive cat that I… clean up after and receive scars from.  Bless her fuzzy little psychotic tendencies.

OK that’s done, now I can go back to ignoring her in favour of the kids again.

Expanding Family

Once upon a time, I thought family life would look like this:

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Probably with it’s own upbeat soundtrack too.

However I can honestly say that it looks nothing like that, and looks everything like this:

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Soundtrack to this image is “mum! mum! mum! mum!!! MUM!! MUM!!!”

You have to imagine that we are also knee-deep in toys, but I couldn’t draw them all in.  Also three minutes after this picture was taken, the youngest child declared that the reason the banana was in her nose was “to get out the pea”.  Don’t even ask.