Tuesday, August 9, 2011


It has been a while since I posted anything, and I think it really comes down to a lack of focus. I haven't been able to decide what exactly I should be blogging about these days. The topics that I set out for my blog when I started centered on cloth diapering, being a first time mom, graduate school, and life in general. I purposefully kept it broad so that I could write about pretty much whatever I wanted and whatever was going on at the moment. But lately, I just feel like there hasn't been much to say about any one thing...

Cloth Diapering:
As far as cloth diapering goes, I've already bombarded you all with tons of cloth diapering information...and even though there is definitely more out there to write about, I really want to try to save some of it for after the baby arrives...so I can give a more "real world" perspective on how cloth diapering is working for us and things that we are discovering along the way. 

First-Time-Mom Experiences: 
Until the baby actually arrives, I don't have much to say in this department. Though, I have been battling a fairly severe case of "mommy brain" lately. 

What is "Mommy Brain"?

Though some other moms might disagree, I imagine the term "mommy brain" to refer to the disorganized scattered thoughts and complete inability to remember to do the basic every day tasks that used to be second nature which generally accompanies pregnancy and those early months as the parent of a newborn. Though I (thankfully) was not afflicted with mommy brain early on in my pregnancy, I am finding that as my due date creeps (or zooms!) ever nearer I often forget to feed the dogs (or sometimes that we even have dogs), that I will walk into a given room in our house a half a dozen times trying to remember why in the world I was headed there in the first place, I can go through an entire day and realize somewhere around dinner that I didn't put on deoderant or brush my teeth yet (yeah, it's this bad and the baby isn't even here yet - yikes), and I have become consumed with an endless list of minute tasks that NEED to be completed before the baby arrives (which I'm sure falls under the heading of "nesting" - though, my compulsive preparations have been very limited to getting the baby's room and things ready, and have not yet spread out into the remainder of the house). 

And, thanks to this compulsive baby preparation, I think we are pretty much "ready" for the baby's arrival. The hospital bags are packed, the car seat is ready to go, the crib sheets (and mattress pads) are washed and ready to go. All of baby girl's clothes in the newborn to 3 month range are washed, folded, and neatly organized in the dresser drawers. The cloth diapers are prepped, folded, and waiting. And all of the remaining baby items are neatly organized in bins on the bookshelf (pacifiers and teethers, first aid and grooming, toys,  shoes, baby carrier, etc.), or neatly folded in a cloth organizer near the changing station/dresser (predominantly blankets, swaddle wraps, burp cloths, and breastfeeding accessories). I'm sure that once the baby arrives, I'll figure out that bits and pieces need to be moved elsewhere to make life easier...but, for now, I've done the best that I can do. 

Graduate School:
To say that I haven't gotten as much academic work done this summer as I expected might be an understatement. See above. Every time I sit down to make progress on reading lists or grant proposals, I am distracted by some minute detail elsewhere. My thought processes are disconnected. What is the motivation for this study? Are the breathable bumpers on the crib tight enough? How can we measure isolation by distance in a fossil population? Did I finish folding the receiving blankets? Is a Mantel's test or a Partial Mantel's test more appropriate to test this hypothesis? Would these pacifiers be more convenient in another location? How do I construct a distance matrix? Do I need to re-arrange my diapers, yet again, by some different property - color? closure type? brand? 

My distraction is only worsened by my terrible sleep patterns. I believe that my nighttime wakefulness has something to do with "mommy brain" or hormones or the (wonderfully adorable) alien life-force that refuses to be active during the daylight hours. Regardless, I am lucky to get 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep. My nights generally look something like this: exhaustion (and the rarely true thought that maybe I am tired enough to sleep through the night tonight), toss and turn for an hour trying to find a comfortable position, finally find one and need get up to pee, try to recreate the "comfortable" position that I was in before having to get up, finally fall asleep, wake up to pain in my back/hip/shoulder/pinky toe, get up to pee, blow my nose, sneeze, blow my nose, sneeze, sneeze, sneeze (seriously, I do the nose-blowing/sneezing thing for 30-45 minutes or more - literally every single night), get up to pee (sneezing is hard on the bladder), toss and turn, finally get out of bed at the bright and early hour of 2:30, 3:00, or 4:00am, curse that I couldn't sleep longer, try to be productive (might as well make the best of being awake, right?), realize that I am WAY to tired to think clearly, lay back down, feel the baby practice her round-house kicks, read or stalk facebook on my phone, pray for sleep to please come back, and occasionally (eventually) - when I am really lucky - fall back to sleep for a couple of hours...

I know, I know. This is just "nature's way" of preparing me for those sleepless nights up with the baby. I don't care. It's a cruel joke is what it is. It's like making a woman who is 9 months pregnant try to pee in a tiny little cup at the doctor's office. It's not fair that when your body most needs it, sleep is elusive. I've got months (well, realistically years) of night waking in my future, so I feel like I should be able to take advantage of these last weeks of being able to sleep whenever I want to (or desperately need to). Apparently, that is not part of the plan. 

Life in General:
Despite my sleeping woes and inability to concentrate, there are some great things going on in my world. My wonderful husband started a full-time job recently - so now we have health insurance benefits AND a weekly paycheck to look forward to. He is absolutely amazing. I know it is a major sacrifice for him to post-pone finishing his dissertation in order to provide for us, and I'm really impressed at his willingness to do it. I hope that once our baby girl arrives, we are able to quickly get onto some kind of schedule (or routine at least) that allows him time in the afternoons/evenings/weekends/whenever to continue making progress toward finishing that dissertation and getting his PhD....because he is sooooo close, and I don't want me or the baby to be a hindrance to his getting done. 

While I'm wishing for things, I also hope we get into a routine that allows me to get back to work on my own dissertation as well. But, I know that my role as mommy is going to be much more important than my role as scientist...especially over the coming year...so it may take me a bit longer to get "back on track." And, I think I'm OK with that. 


  1. @the sleeping, don't you just want to KILL all the people who say "you better get sleep now, bc you won't ever sleep again once the baby comes" or "just spend the last few weeks sleeping and relaxing!" ugh. I got much better sleep after Landon was born then I was getting before. Not always longer, but at least when I did get to sleep it wasn't painful!!
    @mommy brain, I went to work in my Jammie pants (complete with my work shoes) once... Didn't realize it until I got to work, lol!!

  2. Love your closing paragraph, it is true being a mommy is more important. School will always be there, but your little girl will only be a baby for a very short time