Sometimes I post on here out of desperation or frustration to complain about how Belle isn't sleeping or something like that. But for the past five or so days with very little exception she's been in a great mood. She's so awesome. Inquisitive, nosy, happy, smiley, playful, squirmy, drooly...adorable as adorable can be. Sometimes it's difficult on Thursdays or Saturdays when I watch her during the day and Janelle is at work - but not today. Belle is being an absolute pleasure. She's even taken two long naps...one for three hours and the other for two. I want her to wake up so I can play with her instead of wanting her to go to sleep so I can get a break from her. Good stuff.
I mentioned in my last post that there were some things I wanted to get done this summer. Ricky asked in the comments section what those things were, and instead of putting it in the comments section I figured I'd do another quick post about it. What are some things I want to do or get done this summer?
- I want to get back into a regular routine of exercise and eating well. It's been difficult with Belle but I think I've realized it won't get any easier but I will continue to get fatter. Belle continues to not sleep at night but I have to find the ways to incorporate the healthy stuff into my life.
- I want to get into the habit of having a regular date night with Janelle. It's been increasingly difficult for us to spend meaningful time together and the exhausting "baby that won't sleep during the night but will actually kick her feet and cry for two hours so you can't sleep either" makes it difficult to have a good time when we are together. Being as Belle is almost 8 months old (holy crap) we will begin to get over our paranoia and let my Dad and possibly some others babysit Belle so we can go on date nights.
- I want to get on the wagon with my organizational situation. It's hard for me to keep track of the various moving parts of my life and sometimes I feel like I don't know where to start. Recently I've picked up ZuluPad (a personal wiki) and have been more active about making sure I'm doing the GTD thing. At the end of the summer I want to look back knowing I "got things done" and did it well. I want to have a few consecutive months of great time and energy management under my belt.
Of course there's more to be done but I think focusing on the above three should be good. They are all three significant changes to my routine and the usual way I go about doing things, and if I can see those things change over the next few months that would be great.
Today I am subbing at Irvington High, Janelle's alma mater. Last week you may remember me complaining about having to show Michael Moore's manipulative propaganda. Right now I'm sitting in a science class watching The Day After Tomorrow. At least some of the kids are playing PSP instead of watching.
Today I'm subbing at Mission San Jose High School and my job today is to show videos to my classes. Two classes will watch Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 and the rest will watch Bowling for Columbine. These "documentaries" are little more than lame propaganda. The students are watching them and taking it all in. They say the teacher is having them watch it to learn about good documentaries.
Before starting the DVD I told the kids they need to think for themselves and not just believe whatever they see or hear or read. It made me feel a little better but I'm not really sure they're going to take it to heart. It's much more likely they'll hear Michael Moore's idiocy and take that to heart. We need to train our kids how to think, not just tell them what to think. That's not happening here.
This is your life. What are you doing with it?
All of a sudden this obnoxious little brother who runs into his sophomore big sister's room to turn off her stereo is the uncle of a high school sophomore trying to convince her boys are evil.
All of a sudden this kid learning how to dance form his mom because he got invited to his first boy/girl party in 5th grade is warning his 5th grade nephew to beware of girls.
All of a sudden this dorky Jr. High kid who brought his video game manuals to school and lived for his Super Nintendo is encouraging Jr. High kids to love Jesus and do the right thing.
All of a sudden this child who can't stand it when his Dad wants to stop at historical landmarks can't wait to expose his own kids to the joys of a vacation based on stopping at historical landmarks.
All of a sudden this incredibly depressed and lonely High School Freshman is struggling to think of ways to console a sobbing High School Freshman who was just dumped by his girlfriend.
All of a sudden this kid who wanted to be a published author before he left high school is approaching 30 struggling to figure out what he should write.
All of a sudden this Sophomore convinced of his genius and wearing shirts quoting Shakespeare plays he's never read is wishing Sophomores would get a grip on themselves.
All of a sudden this Junior scared to drive his Dad's stick shift truck in the deserted parts of town is buckling his daughter into her carseat in his station wagon.
All of a sudden this High School Senior wondering if he was raised believing in a fairy tale is talking to High School seniors about making sure they don't wake up one day believing in a fairy tale.
All of a sudden this college guy surveying every room he enters for his future wife while wondering if any woman could ever love him is married to a woman better than he ever could have imagined.
All of a sudden this overweight college sophomore eager to lose weight before his metabolism slows down is an overweight graduate student wondering if it's too late.
All of a sudden a newly learned instrument becomes a neglected hobby.
All of a sudden a reconnection with a friend becomes just another lost connection with a friend.
All of a sudden an exciting new restaurant becomes just another on a long list of places you'd rather not eat at again.
All of a sudden potential becomes wasted opportunity.
All of a sudden strangers become friends you don't hang out with enough anymore.
All of a sudden a wasted hour becomes a wasted day.
All of a sudden "one of these days I'm gonna" becomes "why did I never do that?"
All of a sudden "I don't want to call my Dad today" will become "I wish I could call my Dad today."
All of a sudden, stuff happens.
All of a sudden a blog post you think should be brilliant becomes a bloated, meandering mess.
These are our lives. What are we doing with them?
Last week I got a letter in the mail from the school district informing me that due to my lack of subbing I would be terminated. Being someone who greatly enjoys making money for very little actual work, this spurred me into action. It's tough in the mornings with Belle - subbing basically means more pressure is put on Janelle to get Belle ready and to the babysitter (grandma) before she has to get to work. But now that Belle is 7 months old we're a little more in the swing of things and so I figured I'd do some subbing before the end of the school year and hope it's enough to keep me on the rolls for the future.
So right now I'm sitting in a Spanish class at Washington High. That's the glory of subbing - you can know next to nothing about the subject and do just about nothing and still make money. Some days you do earn that money and are just about ready to jump out of a window by the end...but I've found that most of the time it's no sweat.
In fact just now, observing me, a student said to her peers: "Man, being a sub is like the easiest job in the world. It's like babysitting."
Word. Here's to a college education.
Belle has been sick a bit recently. Nothing major, just sniffly and cough sort of stuff. It makes it more difficult for her (and by extension us) to sleep. For a while she was doing pretty well with the whole "sleeping in her crib in her own room" thing but when she got sick it sort of went out the window. She'd wake up coughing like she was going to hack up a lung, then she'd start crying because she felt miserable. Because of that we started to get lax with her sleeping habits.
Even with naps we would hold Belle until she fell asleep, and sometimes rock her to sleep. When it came time for her to go down I would put her into her crib and hope she didn't wake up. If she did, she'd realize what was going on (I would no longer be holding her) and she'd start crying. Not wanting that to happen, I'd pick her back up (which would bring an immediate halt to the crying) until she fell asleep and try again. Sometimes she'd stay asleep a while, other times not so much. At night it became a regular occurrence for us to bring her into our bed. That was cool in some ways (she is very cute) but other times it would make sleeping harder.
Belle would sleep between Janelle and I. If she woke up that meant she had two readily accessible toys - our faces. She has a particular affinity for grabbing my beard and pulling on it as hard as possible (which is quite hard...seven month old babies are stronger than you think). She'd also grab our necks or cheeks or lips and squeeze. This was disruptive to our sleeping patterns to say the least. But at least we didn't have to get up and put her binky in in the middle of the night. We didn't realize it but Belle had assumed control of the sleeping patterns in our house. This past Saturday was my breaking point, after weeks of zombie-ness.
Due to her lack of regular naps and irregular night sleep schedule Belle had been fussy all day (for a few days). She wouldn't sleep but the time she was awake she'd be irritable and impossible to please. And I checked, that' s not just because she's a girl. I was watching Belle alone and after one of those put-you-down-and-hope-you-don't-wake-but-oh-crap-you-did-and-now-we-start-again sessions I decided that she just needed to sleep. So when she started crying I left the room and let her cry. She cried for about a half-hour before falling asleep. It was tough but I knew she needed rest and wasn't getting it. She slept for about 30 minutes and woke up in the best mood she'd been in all day.
Saturday night I convinced Janelle it was time to lay the law down with Belle, who had somehow become 7 months old. I figured we needed to get in the routine now of Belle being able to put herself to sleep so as she got older we wouldn't have to do all these weird things to get her to sleep, and also so she wouldn't be sleeping in our bed. The last couple days have been a little tough due to hearing her cry, but she's crying less and less each time, and getting more and more rest. The result is a more pleasant baby and also more pleasant parents.
My experience as a parent so far has been that just when we think we're got something down, or just when we think we're in a rhythm, something happens to screw it up. So we'll see. Belle should be teething more soon...we'll see how that impacts the sleeping. Anyway.
I will no longer watch more than one period of a Sharks game. It seems that when I do, they blow it. So until they have at least moved past the Red Wings I'm going to refrain from cursing them any further. Seriously...a goal in the last minute of both the second and third periods? What the heck.
Continuing my short tour of websites I like - I hereby suggest Yelp to you. It's a site where people review local businesses of all kinds. If you want to find some places you may not have heard of to go for dinner or a place to find a good crepe, go no further than Yelp. If you like a place and it hasn't been reviewed there, you can add it and review it yourself. Just hop over and check it out and you'll see why it's useful. Add me as a friend while you're there, if you want.