I realised that I have been posting some personal stories and Luna updates, but no real updates on myself recently… I suppose I should remind myself to do so once in a while!
A year ago I was in California for my brother’s wedding (I actually even wrote about that trip here), enjoying the time with my family, seeing old friends and loving the gorgeous weather. I was also missing Cesar terribly and 16-18 weeks pregnant. It was about that time that I had started showing, and I knew that it was the last time in a long, long while that I was going to be able to have a holiday where I could really, completely relax, all by myself. It really was lovely – I even had a pedicure twice, and made the most of the time I wasn’t working to sit around and read a lot, as well as go around taking photos of ghost towns, Dia de los Muertos celebrations and pumpkin patches with my mother. I was going to try to take Luna out there before Thanksgiving but it’s just not possible right now. There are so many things that are on the more-necessary to buy list before plane tickets, and Cesar just can’t take the time off right now… Maybe early next year, after the holidays.
So this year we are setting up our own Dia de los Muertos altar at home, a tradition I really wanted to start with Luna. I love Halloween, always have, and I love bringing a tradition that is part of her father’s heritage into our home. I also love having a boyfriend who is super creative and who can pretty much make something out of nothing, and make it look really cool at the same time (we haven’t finished it yet, so pictures at a later date). I really wanted to get some real sugar skulls, so we went to Corona yesterday (only a couple of subway stops from us) and found skeletons and pastries and pan de muerto. We ate huge burritos but didn’t find any sugar skulls. I will have to actually make some next year… Luna had great fun hugging the pumpkin for photos and seemed to love the Halloween playlist I compiled a few years back. I promise, I do balance out her music! We were listening to Mozart the other day! She seems to enjoy absolutely everything at the moment, apart from sweet potato but that is a story for another day.
I’ve been doing some freelance writing work here and there, and am finally beginning to get more offers. I just did a paid test for a company that runs a really cool website. The projects are not something I would normally do, but it would be really great to get the job as it’s fun and different. Ten to twenty hours a week, work on my schedule, decently paid… More information to come if I actually get it, but fingers and toes crossed. I’m finding it hard to make time for anything outside of looking after Luna at the moment, so I need to figure out a way to be a little more productive if I am going to work at home regularly, continue writing my personal stuff and make sure the house is clean and that we are all eating correctly. And sleeping. Still very important. Sometimes I don’t know where the days go! We are often out and about as I want to make sure we do things outside of the house and see people and that I maintain adult interaction, but it leaves less time in general for writing.
I think that’s why I got a little frustrated with myself the other day. I want to make sure I post something on my blog every couple of days. But then I don’t want to post just anything… I have many half-written essays that I need to finish, reviews I want to write, photography projects I would love to do, short stories that are waiting to become fiction, and they will all be released and realised at some point, along with many pieces that will eventually flock into my brain as they are wont to. It’s always a catch-22 with me though: on the one hand I think I should be able to reach a wider audience, but on the other I wonder why anyone would want to bother reading what I write anyway. I mean, I created a Facebook page for myself as a writer so that I could keep it separate from my personal page. But I don’t want to invite friends to “like” it because I don’t want to seem pushy. Yet I write about very personal things at times and share them with the world. Yes, I can be very silly at times. Another reason why I would love to have a crack at this potential job – my name would be attached to everything I write. This is all part of my resolve to start doing more and thinking less. Actually, less procrastination. I quite like thinking to be honest.
Doyle, my old roommate Beth’s dog, has been staying with us this past week. He’s such a sweetheart, an old soul, and is content to sleep on the couch and not be any bother at all. We think he had a very stressful life before he was found running around a dog park in Fort Greene, and he is such a happy, lovely dog. As much as I thought Luna would want to play with him, she is still much more interested in Joey and pulling his tail. Cesar has decided that he needs to prove to me that we can have a dog (as well as a baby and a cat and another baby at some point) and has been taking care of most of the walks, as despite all of Doyle’s wonderful sides, he loves to pull on the leash, and it’s hard for me to walk him when I am also carrying Luna. So we are coming to a compromise, because I really want a dog too… It has to be a rescue that is very good with children and cats, and we need to get pet insurance from the bat. Dogs are a lot more expensive than cats, and we already have enough expenses as it is. I have always wanted a bull terrier to call Bullseye, just like Bill Sykes’ dog in Oliver Twist. We shall see. It won’t happen right now, but at some point we will have a doggie. I bet we will end up getting a dog and then find out I am pregnant with triplets or something like that. (I hope not). But if we have a dog, he or she needs to be seriously well trained, and I just don’t have the time or energy to do that. But Cesar at least has the energy to, so I won’t need to worry about that part!
I read some of my first (and last) parenting book, Bringing up bébé. Where on earth did all these labels for parenting come from?! It’s crazy. Am I supposed to categorize myself into a parenting camp? (That was a rhetorical question and the answer is NO). I found the book fun to read at first, as I grew up in France and completely related to a lot of the descriptions in the book, but I didn’t relate to the author at all. For me everything she was learning was common sense. And then during the sleeping chapter I started to think we had done everything wrong and I had ruined Luna for life… So I shut the book and returned it to the library. Oh… Actually I lie. I have read parts of another book, one that a friend lent to me and that I should probably return, but that one was a general baby book with great breastfeeding and bedsharing tips. But anyway, that was my last foray into parenting books and we will continue how we started. And I will spend my precious reading time reading something way more important like the newest Alan Furst.
I’m nowhere near as tired as I was a few months ago, although I still dream of a long night of interrupted sleep. I’ve just learnt that trying to cram everything I want to do between the time Luna goes to sleep and when she wakes up is not actually that beneficial to me. It’s just better to go to sleep early and get some semblance of rest. Nowadays I also avoid phone calls after 6pm. I know it’s easier for many people to chat in the evening, but it’s the only time I actually get any “me” time, when I can let my brain sit in silence or drown itself in music or words, and I need that time to be a happy mummy. I do like our little non-schedule that we have set up these days with early mornings and breakfast, favourite TV shows and baby naps and mid-morning food and walks and talks and more naps and play time (alone and together), and cooking time and cleaning time and outing time and finally bath and bed time. It’s flexible and predictable at the same time, something that seems to work for all of us. I think becoming a mother has really calmed the internal anxiety that I used to always carry around, as much as I still worry about things, I do not let them nag away at me incessantly. Basically, I just feel more relaxed nowadays. Not a bad thing really!
I should probably post this before Luna wakes up again and I accidentally fall asleep next to her… The amount of times I wake up around 2am, fully clothed and wondering what happened, is more of a regular occurrence than not. I shall really, really try to post more often… As long as you all keep your fingers crossed for me and that job I mentioned earlier!
(Also, why the hell won’t my MS Word default to UK English, even when I set it to?! It’s really, really frustrating).