Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Back in the USSA

S and I came back to NY this weekend and have both been really sick. S has it the worse since he's got body aches. He slept all day yesterday. Thankfully, Z hasn't caught it (yet.) I'd really hate for this first bout of sickness to be this horrible virus we brought back from Thailand. S has been staying away from him and I've been trying to have as little contact with him as possible. Luckily he's ok playing on the playmat by himself. Been washing my hands a lot. I'm breastfeeding, and hopefully the immunities will help stave off the virus.

His week with my mom and dad went very well. We were able to use Skype to video conference with them a few times, and that was great. It's amazing to me that a phone call from the US to Thailand costs more than video conferencing (free w/ our hotel's wifi connection.) Z is now sitting up all by himself, and is getting on his hands and knees. He's still wobbly and not really moving yet but it's definitely a milestone!

Thailand was damn awesome. I'll write more about my trip when my head isn't so foggy.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Short wait in Hong Kong before connecting to Bangkok. I left my baby behind. It was relatively painless. He's in good, capable hands.
I bought a manual pump to take on the trip so that I can keep up my breast milk supply. I can't save it, because of the long flight, and because we'll be moving around a lot in Thailand. It's such a waste pouring good milk down the drain. I pumped in the airplane bathroom. Felt bad b/c it took a while, and when I came out, the line was really long. Well, I had no choice. It's not like there's a pumping station on the plane.
There were several infants on board and for an instant I felt guilty for not taking Z along. That guilt went away when I heard the screams. I would not be able to handle my child screaming like that. He's better off with my overprotective mom.

Flight's boarding!

Thursday, April 8, 2010


The heaviest of burdens is simultaneously an image of life's most intense fulfillment. The heavier the burden, the closer our lives come to the earth, the more real and truthful they become. Conversely, the absolute absence of a burden causes man to be lighter than air, to soar into new heights, take leave of the earth and his earthly being, and become only half real, his movements as free as they are insignificant. What then shall we choose? Weight or lightness? - Milan Kundera

S left for Thailand this morning and I feel like I'm missing something. That's the only way to describe it. It's strrange not being able to communicate with him. Even when we are apart, we are constantly texting and calling each other. I miss sending him silly texts about the trivial stuff. At the moment he's been in the air for seven hours, and will be for another 10. I knew I'd miss him, but I didn't think it would be this extensive. I thought baby Z would be a distracttion. But there's no distraction from the fact that our little family is missing a major component.

The Unbearable Lightness of Being talks about choosing a life of lightness or weight. There used to be a time when I didn't know which direction I wanted my life to go. I felt truly weightless a few years ago, when I left it all behind and fit everything I needed in a backpack. Now, I am weighed down. The responsibilities, the bills, the car, the relationship, the kid. These are all welcome burdens. I feel connected.

Maybe that will change. Nothing is infinite. We are continuously reincarnating ourselves, changing directions, changing plans. But right now, in this moment, I am so grateful for this burden.

Monday, April 5, 2010

When the parents are away...

My mom is taking care of my child for a week and I am scared. Not for his safety, I'm 100% sure he's going to be in one piece when we return. I'm afraid he's going to be a whiny brat when she gives him back.
The thing is, we have been lucky and have the least fussy baby in the universe. He doesn't need constant attention, and only gets a little pouty when he's hungry. As long as this baby is well fed, he's perfect. We have been nurturing this by letting him play by himself. I put him in his exer-saucer and walk away, or sit him on the floor (propped up by his boppy so he doesn't fall over) and out his toys in front of him. We put him to bed while he's still awake and let him self-soothe, and fall asleep on his own. We take him everywhere. He's been to dinner, to happy hour at bars, he's been held by random strangers, he's even been to one of his father's rock shows. I fully understand that you can not do this with 99% of the babies out there. I am aware of how easy we have it, how lucky we are.

My mother can not leave my child alone for more than 2 minutes. She is constantly holding him. If someone else (like my dad) is holding him, she can go about 10 minutes before she takes him back. She hovers. She is constantly trying to entertain him. She puts him to sleep in her arms. No amount of reasoning with her is working. She smiles and nods, but does not follow through. So I'm worried that all the training that S and I have put in will be lost during the week we are not around him. They say that it takes 3 days to make a habit. What will seven days do?

I hope that at some point (by the second day or so) my mom will realize that she needs to shower and has to put him down. She'll realize that, right?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The hunt

I've been actively looking for a job. My timing is shitty, with the economy being what it is. No one is hiring, and the ones who are can be and are very selective. I'm not even pretending that I can come even close to the salary I was making before. Plus my resume is weird. I have been meeting with lots of recruiters, but it's all the same story. "The job market is just tough right now, but we'll let you know!"

To top it off, S is not having a good month. There was a major issue at one of his biggest clients. So, we are just watching the bills pile up, hoping that something works out for either of us.

At this point, we are putting groceries on credit cards, and its not by choice. I should be worried, and some days it gets me down. But I can't help but be happy. It's just enough to know that we have each other. My little nuclear family is healthy and safe, and at the end of the day, that's what matters to me.

I read a book, Notes on Cooking. It's not a cook book, just short bullet points giving tips and techniques. (Another happy side effect of not having disposable income: rediscovering the library.) One of the points that stuck with me: "Revel in the mundane." It was referring to the chores, like washing dishes or prepping vegetables. Doing these repetative tasks frees your mind. There isn't much thinking involved in peeling potatoes, and you can let your mind wonder.

I've started applying this line of thinking to my life outside of the kitchen as well. Life isn't always exciting or spontanous. But in those mundane moments, great things can happen.