This week Kyle graduated from BYU.
Whew. What a relief. It has sometimes felt like we would be students forever!
I’m really, really proud of him. It has been a long road for us, with some challenging times. He has worked very hard these past three years between work and school and family and being a person and trying to find a balance with it all somehow. He’s really magnificent in how much he cares, and how much he wants to help out and be there for me and Ruby. Being able to celebrate him this week has been really wonderful.
Now he just needs a job. We feel like he’s got some promising leads, so we’re hoping that something will come through sooner rather than later. I guess we’ll just see what God has in store for us.
Both of our families were in town this week. Not only was Kyle graduating, but his sister went into the MTC to serve a mission in Rancagua, Chile. We were able to say goodbye to her, and hopefully her first few days as a missionary have gone well.
It was a good week, but it is also nice to be returning to a sense of normalcy and routine. Ruby had a tough week with her schedule being disrupted and teething being a nightmare. It led to some short nights for me, as well, and I’m hoping to catch up on some sleep this week as well. Here’s hoping things go as well as I want them to.
It’s 3:50 am and I have been awake with the Amazingly Inconsolable Ruby since 1:30.
It’s been a long night.
According to the pediatrician, Ruby has four teeth coming in. I feel like she’s been teething for eons, and yet no teeth have appeared. The doctor says that baby teeth often move back and forth in their mouths before they ever pop through, so that’s probably why she’s had such a hard time.
At about 3, Kyle took a bath with Ruby. Now I’m up with her while she plays and chews on toys to keep her mind off of how grouchy she is. The only upside to this coin is that when she is up in the middle of the night like this, she will also generally sleep in. I’m kind of counting on that, or tomorrow’s going to be a very, very long day.
This morning, Ruby discovered that I keep receipts in a pocked of my purse that she can get into. She gleefully pulled receipts out, crushed them in her small hands, and stuck them in her mouth.
As it approached naptime, Ruby was using the couch to support her as she stood reaching for me, one receipt in each hand, fell and bumped her head on the floor. Because she was already tired, she had an ugly, total melt down. I reached down to hold her, comfort her, and rock her. As she snuffled snot into my shoulder, the receipts were still clutched, one in each hand, crinkling against my shirt.
No trauma, it seemed, was worth giving up those precious receipts.
So you know that nice post I wrote about me time yesterday? Well, today Ruby sneaked in three naps, which meant that at 7 pm she was chipper and just wanted to stay up and play with my friends who were over for board games. I put her down anyways, but Amy’s heartstrings couldn’t handle the crying, so I told her that if she held Ruby she could pick her back up.
By the time everybody left, it was about 10 pm, and Ruby was obviously tired. She cried when Amy walked out the door. She cried when I swaddled her. She kept crying and crying, but she just would not go to sleep. Amy forgot something, returned to pick it up, and Ruby cried more when Amy left again. I finally changed her diaper, and she has the worst diaper rash that she’s ever had. She cried harder when I put lotion on it.
I started feeling bad about how frustrated I’d been with her.
So I rubbed lotion on, got her a clean diaper, and held her for a few minutes. Now she’s sleeping softly.
Babies, man. If only they came with instructions, and buttons that lit up when there was a specific problem. “Hey, Kyle, Ruby’s diaper light is on. Go change it.” “Her hungry light is on, give her some cheese.”
There’s something really satisfying for me to be alone, doing what I want. Since my days are filled catering to the whims of a pre-verbal human (one that has been whiny recently because she is sick), doing what I want has become something that tends to take the back seat.
Tonight after Ruby went to bed Kyle went to the library to finish a paper (the last thing he has to do in college! Huzzah!). I have been home alone ever since. I spent some time on the computer, did some sewing (mostly unpicking, then a little bit of sewing…then more unpicking…), and I looked to see that it is now quite late.
I should go to bed.
But I do this almost every night. I do it because I need these hours to myself. It helps keep me centered, and it helps keep me sane. I need time to be me, and I need time to do what I can only do with hours that are not also caring-for-Ruby hours.
It turns out that parenting isn’t a nine to five, it’s a twenty-four seven. If Ruby wakes up, or is sick, or teething, these me hours become Mom hours again. And that’s as it should be. But I find that having a routine and a schedule helps me get those me hours in on a regular basis. Her naps tend to be short and unpredictable, but bedtime is golden.
And I’ll take that.
It’s been a long day. I don’t feel well, Ruby doesn’t feel well. So when 7:00–bedtime–rolled around, I was gloriously, wearily happy to be putting Ruby down. I set her down and she cried for about ten minutes. I popped my head in to check on her and make sure she hadn’t wiggled into a corner of her crib and jammed her head at an awkward angle (as she is wont to do). Little did I expect to see a distressed, tear-stained face peeking over the side of the crib, small hands clutching the railing for stability.
Ruby had pulled herself up to a standing position to wail her woes to the world. She wanted to be sure I heard.
So I nursed her a bit more, set her back down, said goodnight, and raised the railing on the crib again.
Ruby legitimately crawled for the first time on Saturday.
Hooray, Ruby! Good job!
But her increasing mobility is also a reminder to me of just how baby proof my house is NOT.
Can you have bookshelves that aren’t on the floor? Currently my bookshelf is protected by my trumpet case and a bag holding heavy objects.
It is also teaching me of the great benefit of Pack ‘N’ Plays. Baby+Toys+Pack ‘N’ Play=less need to baby proof house.
The honest truth is that our house would need such an overhaul to really baby proof it that I’m just waiting to move. As soon as Kyle get’s a job, it’ll work great! Right?
…I just hope I don’t sacrifice too many books to my baby’s maw before that happens…
In related news, please pray that Kyle will find a job soon. He is working diligently at it, but nothing seems to be coming through. I know that your prayers will help.