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Nerd Reminiscings

Just a heads up, this post has absolutely nothing to do with anything.  It’s just that lately I’ve been feeling very nostalgic.  Maybe it’s because of the return to school (after over a decade).  Maybe it’s just because my ever-increasing repertoire of grey hairs is making me feel old.  Or maybe it’s because the kids are getting old enough that we can actually start introducing them to some of the kid things we like.  Who knows.  But I’ve added “Getting Jiggy With It” to my Grooveshark playlist.  And I’ve been thinking a lot about this kind of stuff:

Do you remember Mathnet?  Ya, you know Mathnet.  Monday and Frankley solve “crimes” using geometry and calculators.

I loooved that show.  Because I was a big nerd.  I’m still a big nerd, but now that I’m grown up (and married to another nerd) it doesn’t matter so much.

The nerdy Mr. Fair and I actually bonded early in our relationship over the revelation that we both grew up wanting to be marine biologists thanks to “Danger Bay.”  The fact that Grant Roberts was a veterinarian, not a marine biologist seems to have escaped both of our notices.  Neither of us did become marine biologists, but we’re actually planning to retire to an Island off of Vancouver, and I can’t claim I don’t secretly dream of rescuing seals and busting polluters when we do.

I also loved Star Trek.  TNG, of course.  With Voyager in second place, and DS9 a distant third.  The original series was just before my time.  I’ve always wanted to own a Star Trek uniform.  If I did, it would be blue.  And now that I actually do own an iPad, I totally pretend I’m sitting in 10-Forward, looking at subspace messages on it.  Also, the fact my smartphone has an app that takes my heart rate just by touching my finger to it makes me think of it more as a Tricorder than a phone.

And although this is not nerdy at all… I’ve been seriously jonesing for a Lick-M-Aid lately.  That one has to stay under wraps.  I can’t give Little Man any more reasons to pester me for sugar.

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We hear a lot about postpartum depression.  In my first pregnancy it was talked about frequently.  We were told about it by our doctors and in our prenatal classes.  When the baby was born, a postpartum depression assessment questionnaire for me was even a routine part of the baby’s public health visits.  But we were never told or asked about feelings of depression before the baby comes.  And at 40+ weeks with my second babe, I still haven’t heard any mention of it, in any public health campaign, by any other pregnant woman, or even by our wonderfully helpful midwives.  But I know it exists, because for 40+ weeks I’ve had it.

I worried about postpartum depression when I was pregnant with Little Man because depression is by no means foreign to me.  There’s a family history and I have had several depressive periods of my own since elementary school.  Mr Fair and I talked about it a lot, so he would know what to be watchful of, but thankfully it never materialized.  So I let my guard down.  And since I loved every minute of my pregnancy with Little Man (that is, every minute that wasn’t being overshadowed by the Debbie Downer that is the modern obstetric system), I assumed it would be the same this time around.  By all accounts, I probably should be happier this time than last time.  I have supportive prenatal care!  I have the go-ahead to birth at home – a dream I honestly thought would never come true for me.  I have possibly the most freaking adorabletoddler on the face of the planet, a female replica of whom I assume I’m gestating right now.  What is there to be depressed about?

It might not be the onions making a pregnant woman cry...

Saying that I am depressed actually makes me feel ashamed.  It took me until only a few weeks ago to even say it out loud to my husband, although I’m pretty sure it’s been there since about the day we conceived.  He told me he already knew but had been afraid of pointing it out in case it made me feel even worse.  But let’s face it, when the very idea of chopping vegetables for supper makes you feel so overwhelmed that you burst into tears, there’s no tiptoeing around it.

Like I said, I’ve been here before and it always follows the same triggers.  This time is no different. Major life changes led simultaneously to stress, isolation and feeling a loss of control.  We moved from Calgary to Toronto only a few months after Little Man was born.  It was a long-planned move, and my desire to go to midwifery school was the impetus.  But still it was a big change.  Especially since we left behind a really strong network of parenting resources and new-parent friends.  Moving also meant I had no job to go back to.  I probably would have decided to stay home longer anyway, but the fact that I had little choice made it feel different.  And after all of that, I didn’t even get into midwifery school.  My alternate career plan for this scenario was to get trained and start working as a doula until I could get accepted the following year, but when I sat down to plan a doula business, I realized that it would be a financial drain until after the new baby was old enough for me to go full time.  Limbo, the final stressor.

The thing that is so infuriating about depression, for me, is that it is so self-perpetuating.  The isolation cycle is my nemesis.  One of the first ways I react when I’m depressed is to withdraw.  You’ll note the dearth of blog posts over the last 9 or so months.  (Of course, that also has a lot to do with the fact that I can rarely organize my thoughts well enough to write a post from start to finish.  Instead I have a stack of unfinished tid-bits.)  It’s the same in real life, too.  I stop replying to emails and phone calls from friends and family.  When I would like to get back in touch, the feeling of guilt over my absenteeism and the need to explain it away becomes overwhelming, so I don’t reach out.  The longer it goes, the worse it gets.  I get more isolated because I push everyone away and the more isolated I am, the fewer resources I have to cope with my feelings, so the feelings get worse.  Vicious, vicious cycle.

So now that I’ve admitted it, what do I do about it?  For the moment, I wait.  I know that, for me, this illness tends to remit and recur rather than setting up permanent camp in my brain.  Hubby and I are keeping our eyes peeled for signs that it’s getting worse and we’ll be especially vigilant after the baby comes.  We’ve got plans to get me back to professionally fulfilling work as soon as the baby can handle the separation and hopefully that will remove the triggers that keep fueling the negative feelings.  And of course, we’re waiting out the hormone roller coaster that is building and birthing a human being.  I don’t have any answers, I just needed to put it out there.

 

*For anyone looking for actual answers and information, here’s a starting point

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Hi, I’m Krista and I’m a TV addict.  So is my son.

When I was planning the kind of parent I wanted to be, the images in my head were of a home with a TV that collected dust.  But 13 months in, that is definitely not the reality and I’ve decided to accept that it never will be.

I loooove TV.  Movies too.  I always have.  For many years, before streaming and ‘on demand’ programming, my weeknight activities were scheduled around my shows.  Even as a kid I would throw a fit if my parents made me go out during Star Trek (yup, big Trekker nerd here!)  My mom actually let me quit ballet because I complained that my class was at the same time as the Wonder Years.  In short, it interfered with my life.  So I was determined to get rid of it completely so that my kids don’t suffer the same fate.  But that’s just not going to happen.

My son enjoys the TV.  From day one I’ve had it on, usually turned to the news, because the voices make me feel less lonely in my house all by myself.  In the last three months it’s been increasingly tuned to Treehouse to entertain Little Man.  And I’ve been beating myself up about it because he’s so little, he shouldn’t be watching it AT ALL.  But when music comes on and his face lights up and he gets up and starts dancing and laughing, how can I say no?  And when it’s five o’clock and I’m itching for some down time but dinner still needs to be cooked and Little Man is literally biting my legs to get my attention, why shouldn’t I give myself that break?

And then there’s the fact that I had many goals like this when I was pregnant and let’s face it, I can only tackle so many things at once.  I’m very proud of the strides I’ve made to feed his body (and mine) with clean, delicious, whole foods.  It takes a lot of time and energy, and it’s a major life change for me.  But this is a crucial period for him nutrition-wise, so right now it’s my priority for him.  I do know that this is also a crucial time for his brain development, but the reality is that I’ll be able to continue nurturing his intellect long after I’ve lost the ability to control his food.

So here’s the new plan.  It’s no longer about unattainable goals for quantity.  It’s about quality, connection, and balance.

I want him to know that TV can be a way to get information, not just a way to tune out.  So I’ll be making sure we watch shows in French.  My french is good but if I want a bilingual baby, he needs to hear native speakers.  And I’ll be making sure we mix some documentaries and National Geographic stuff in with the cartoons.

I don’t want the TV to isolate us.  When I was growing up, we had 3 TVs for 4 people.  My parents could usually agree on programming (except during hockey playoffs) and shared the biggest one.  My sister then took the second TV and I sat in the kitchen to get my Star Trek fix.  That won’t happen in my house.  We’ll continue to have one TV.  So movie night will be an exercise in compromise as well as learning to enjoy the things the other members of the family enjoy.

I want him to see us walking away from the TV.  Weekends are for outings.  Nice weather is for playing in the garden.  Responsibilities get tended to before the TV comes on.  I just can’t completely eschew the TV, but if I’m modeling that balance for him – the balance I couldn’t find as a kid – then I’ll feel like I’ve accomplished something.

What about you – what battles have you had to concede?  What plans of attack have had to be altered when you realized they weren’t working or feasible?

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I frequently have tidbits I feel like sharing.  They’re often off-topic to this blog, sometimes I’ve Tweeted them through the week, sometimes they’re too long for Twitter (but not long enough for their own blog post) and sometimes it’s just a recounting of the adorableness of Little Man.  Either way, I collect them all here and send them out for some Friday fun.

So, the evidence has been mounting quickly lately… I’m getting old.  You would think that having a baby, watching him turn ONE, buying (no more renting!) a home, or my fast-approaching 30th birthday would have tipped me off to this fact a while ago.  But it’s really only starting to hit me.  Here are a few of the things that have really made it sink in lately:

While following our federal election campaign incessantly (political junkie that I am), I was thoroughly enjoying Rick Mercer’s rant about youth not voting.  I was appalled at my fellow young Canadians and their political apathy.  That is, until one minute and thirteen seconds in, when he stopped saying ‘youth’ and said instead ’18-25′.  Egad.  I haven’t been ‘youth’ for half a decade.  Shit.

Of course, I should have been tipped off to this even earlier.  My aforementioned political addiction also leads me to watch parliamentary proceedings on TV on a semi-regular basis.  On the day the government fell, I was watching Question Period, when the camera turned to an MP from my home area.  A guy I used to have a crush on.  When I was in 7th grade and he still had hair on the top of his head.  Double shit.

While loading pictures onto the computer today I actually stopped to marvel at the flash drive that holds 2GB of data.  The first computer we owned had a 5″ floppy drive.  Backing it up used so many disks, they took a tier on the bookshelf.

For the record, I'm not sure I am actually older than the internet...

But that’s all just circumstantial evidence.  I’m still youthful even if I’m not technically ‘youth’, right?  That’s what I thought until I went to the mall.  I walked into one of the underwear stores and two thoughts immediately popped into my head prove I’m old:

1. Ooh, goody, neon is BACK! (Yup, because I remember when it was in the first time, that’s how old I am)

2. Ooh, wow, those panties don’t look comfortable at ALL!

Old.  Oldy-old-old.  That’s me.  But I guess there could be worse things.

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Luckily it’s not really the half-way mark since March has 31 days, but we’re still two-weeks in and I’ve got a ways to go.  Anyway, here’s a quick list of the commitments I’ve achieved already.

Kiva loan. Check.  Not only that, I convinced my Dad to get in on the action and he mad *wait for it* SEVEN loans!!

Give something away. The Goodwill box is full to the brim.

Sign up to glean. Check.

Reconnect. Two down, two to go.

I’ve also had a couple of unexpected chances come up.  I’ve picked up garbage around my ‘hood a couple of times, pet sat for friends and in-laws, and struck up a conversation with a neighbour.  All in all, not bad!

For some more inspiration, here some of the other participants:

1. http://www.urbanmoms.ca/multiple_musings/2011/03/kindness—day-1.html
3. http://brodogg.blogspot.com/2011/03/march-of-kindness.html
4. http://www.gardenvarietymama.com/2011/03/march-of-kindness.html
5. http://momgrooves.com/2011/03/march-forth-into-kindness/
6. http://schmoopybaby.blogspot.com/2011/03/march-of-kindness.html
7. http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KIYYIMKLWSOIJOBUPPOG6DIYVI/blog/articles/259796?listPage=index
8. http://www.ithoughtiknewmama.com/2011/03/random-acts-of-kindness-month-for-my-husband/
9. http://abeautifulmess-workinprogress.blogspot.com/2011/03/doing-what-is-best-for-my-family.html
10. http://notsoaveragehippiemommy.blogspot.com/2011/03/code-name-mamas-march-of-kindness.html
11. http://livingpeacefullywithchildren.wordpress.com/2011/03/04/29-days-of-giving-and-the-continuing-march-for-kindness/
12. http://www.anktangle.com/2011/02/march-of-kindness.html
13. http://tinyurl.com/4wxpmv2
14. http://mccrenshaw.blogspot.com/2011/03/whats-that-smell-march-of-kindness.html
15. http://touchstonez.com/2011/03/10/march-of-kindness-the-first-ten-days/
16. http://purpledancingdahlias.blogspot.com/2011/03/month-of-kindness.html
17. http://hybridrastamama.blogspot.com/2011/03/march-of-kindness-some-ideas-for.html
18. http://jjgregoryfamily.blogspot.com/2011/03/code-name-mamas-march-of-kindness.html
19. http://talesofatiredmommy.blogspot.com/2011/03/march-of-kindness-week-one-round-up.html
20. http://fineandfair.blogspot.com/2011/03/march-of-kindness.html
21. http://monkeybuttjunction.com/2011/02/28/march-for-kindness-2/
22. http://reedfamilyjourney.blogspot.com/2011/03/march-of-kindness-code-name-mama.html
23. http://becomingcrunchy.wordpress.com/2011/02/28/march-of-kindness/
24. http://redlegsix.xanga.com/742397794/march-of-kindness/
25. http://teslagirl360.blogspot.com/2011/03/march-of-kindness.html
26. http://yayforhome.blogspot.com/2011/03/march-of-kindness.html

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I frequently have tidbits I feel like sharing.  They’re often off-topic to this blog, sometimes I’ve Tweeted them through the week, sometimes they’re too long for Twitter (but not long enough for their own blog post) and sometimes it’s just a recounting of the adorableness of Little Man.  Either way, I collect them all here and send them out for some Friday fun.

Went to IKEA last week and watched a woman spoon feed a whole lot of IKEA “ice cream” to a baby who was at most the same age as Little Man (i.e. 9 mos).  WTF?

Is it just me, or is Charlie Sheen wearing a rug??

Mike Huckabee thinks Natalie Portman is glamorizing single motherhood, eh?  Bristol Palin, on the other hand, is a hero for not having an abortion, I suppose?


Is there anything cuter than baby bed hair?  I think not.

There’s another mad cow case in Alberta. Seriously, can we stop grinding up dead herbivores and feeding them to the not-yet-dead herbivores?  Is that really too much to ask?

From the Twittersphere:   “The person was giving me stink eye {for BFing in public}, while she poured ice coffee in her infants bottle.” via @mama2_3penguins

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I know I’m biased, but my Little Man is a cutie.  I also know I’m not the only one who thinks so.  We get told all the time that he looks like the Gerber baby (ugh… Nestle) and that we should model him.

When I say no because I don’t want his face on something I object to morally, people roll their eyes at how fastidious/self righteous/silly/paranoid they think I’m being.  So from now on, I’ll flash them this picture, of a little girl whose Mom isn’t happy about how her face is being used.  This is why I won’t sell his picture.  Because it would make me sick to see it on something this vile.

It doesn’t matter what you think of abortion, this is wrong.  This little girl is not old enough to understand the message her face is being used to sell, let alone to consent to participate.  It’s disgusting to use your kids to do your dirty fighting.  It’s unconscionable to use someone else’s kid.

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