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Yes, but how are you?

When Mia spent her first nine months sleeping only and exclusively on top of me and then did not sleep through the night so much as once until she was 21 months old, I felt certain that no mother in history had suffered so greatly with sleep issues as I.

In retrospect, this was certainly untrue, but I was deeply sleep deprived.

When Owen gave up napping entirely before he turned two and then took 38 months to learn to (mostly, sort of, sometimes better than others) sleep through the night, I just resigned myself to my desperate fate. But my long tango with lousy sleepers seems to be nearing completion, at least until the next round. Mia sleeps like a log, and Owen sometimes goes 10 entire hours without intervention.

That sound you hear is me collapsing in exhaustion. (Although to be fair, Owen has been very Daddy-centric the last nine months, so Chris has borne the brunt of the late-night awakenings since then, but the first five years were all me.)

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So, everybody sleeps, more or less. And everybody also uses an actual toilet for all of their toileting needs, more or less. Next step, "How to Wipe Your Own Butt," and then I can retire to the couch to eat bon-bons.

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Those of you who have been here a while ought to brace yourselves - especially those who pop in occasionally to remind me we have known each other since before I had ever been pregnant.

In a matter of weeks, I will have a six year old first grader.

As you were.

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I just had most of my backyard quite literally plowed under. You know you are an abject gardening failure when bare dirt looks a million times better than your gardening attempts. We are going to see if we can get some grass going, instead - we usually do ok with grass.

Speaking of - has anybody tried that thing where you put layers of wet newspaper down under your mulch to stop the weeds? I thought it was a stupid internet myth, but the internet is pretty insistent about it, and I hate to use chemicals where the kids play but I also hate to pull weeds (see above, where my yard required plowing), so anybody? Works? Bullshit?

(It has been so long since I posted to this here blog that it took me four tries to upload that lousy cell phone picture. Must be a sign that it is time to either get back to posting or shut it down.)

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I've been doing a fair amount of freelancing, off and on. The kind of thing where I do nothing for two weeks and then lock myself in the basement to work for an entire weekend. And man, I love being home with these kids and a major goal of my triumphant return to employment a couple of years from now will be that I still get a lot of time to be mommy, but I also sort of can't wait to have a job. You know, one with a paycheck and no cleaning up vomit.

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Finally, I am trying to learn how to dress myself. I am 36 after all, it seems time. You can help me with step one here, if you are so inclined. (Please be inclined, I am a clueless slob.)

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Enough with me, how are you? I feel like we never talk anymore.

Comments (24)

I'm not familiar with the wet newspaper tactic, and it seems to me like it would work for a few weeks, but then break down and be pretty much useless. I know they sell black landscaping fabric for this exact purpose, but I have no idea how much it costs (my guess: more than wet newspaper). The newspaper certainly wouldn't hurt anything, though.

On Mia:
Holy shit, no way in hell can she be allowed to go to first grade... I think my head just spun around three times in disbelief. You should've passed out paper bags with that news. First grade... Wasn't she born YESTERDAY?!

On Newspaper:
I put it down in flowerbeds. For the first year, it was great, but five years later, I can't tell that it really did a damn thing. I still get a shit ton of weeds and nutsedge, but I still support newspaper over the black webbing stuff because if you ever decide you want to plant something, it's a bitch to dig through. I, of course, try not to do that because I am the most lame gardener of all time.

On Clothing:
I could create an entire wardrobe out of blue jeans and both white and black tank tops or tees, so I'm really zero help in the pattern department. Occasionally, I sport a pair of bright red shoes or leopard print shoes ($11 at Target.com) because DUH there is no way you can wear a patterned shirt with those shoes. EVERYONE knows they'd compete (and not in a healthy way -- in an "no she di'int" kind of way). I find that patterned shoes are a great alternative to patterned shirts, in the event that you get stumped in the shirt department.

First grade... That's incredible. I swear she just learned to say "umbrella"...

I can not believe these kids are going to be first graders.

You sound exactly like me when it comes to gardening/yardwork. I hired people last summer to mow and weed the garden and make at least my front yard look presentable. Since I don't garden ever, they suggested the black landscaping fabric. Lay it down, put some beauty bark over the top, IF you get any weeds they are the surface kind that you can very easily pull. It is a total pain if you decide to plant somthing in the future. I have never heard of the newspaper thing.

I am going to a grown up party in two weeks. I need a new dress or two. I have no idea how to dress a 52 year old body.

We had a really weed filled, mulch covered spot behind our last house. We did the newspaper thing, using 3+ layers everywhere and it worked very well for several years. It's not a permanent solution, but even 3 years later we had far fewer weeds than we did when we started. And it was cheap... :)

'Plowing the backyard' is ripe for use as a euphemism. Your blog is so rated R.

How does one acquire a 'fair amount of freelancing' work? I've been wondering this for, oh, years now.

May I just say how amazed I am by moms like you? After my first kid was born (just a bit after Mia), I thought FOR SURE I wanted 3 kids. But then again, HE SLEPT. Then I had my second (a little after Owen), and SHE DID NOT. I will not be having 3. I could not withstand that kind of sleep deprivation again. I am pretty certain I have permanently lost a small portion of my sanity from enduring it once...anyone who can do it twice without becoming a homicidal maniac has my deepest admiration. And I sincerely mean that.

Mia is still five months old, Silly, and I only just discovered your blog last week. Also, it is 2005. You must be confused.

OMGoodness it is so good to check in and find a new post from you!! I have missed you terribly. Now that the kids have eased up on you a bit you can post more about your life again...LOL But then again Summer is so close and you will be busy taking the kids swimming and such. Just don't forget us here waiting to hear from you periodically. AND posting pictures again.

For the newspaper thing, that's only a short-term solution. But yes, it does work. Weed seeds only sprout when exposed to sunlight, so it blocks that out. It also smothers any weeds you currently have. However, it breaks down quickly and is kinda ugly, so I only use it in my back yard.

So, you're telling me they DO sleep? At some point? By themselves? I am not entirely clear on this yet.

And since I know you'll be amused - it took me THREE DAYS of having this tab open to manage to get time to comment on it. I don't even know.

I would prefer you post quarterly as opposed to shutting it down.

You have a lovely yard. I put newspaper (dry, it will get rained on) under some small rocks. It is better than before, so I would recommend it.

I have never tried the newspaper trick. As a previous poster mentioned, I use weed barrier. Wanting to be eco friendly myself, I used a recycled product by Fentex.It's made from recycled plastic bottles. It is, of course, more expensive then newspapers and other weed barriers, but it works beautifully and easily and I'm keeping more crap out of our landfills.
Our mulch is also the recycled rubber kind and using the two together I never have to weed in my flower beds.

Don't know if this helps, never tried the newspaper trick but I got the black weed barrier material at my local dollar store.

Glad to have you back, my dear internet friend. Life has a way of zipping right by, doesn't it? My Owen is now 9 years old.

Don't stop! I love your posts few and far between as they are!

We love, love, love the newspaper thing. But I think it only works for gardens that you're going to plow up and restart every year. Vegetable gardens, yes. Perennial flower gardens, no. And it doesn't stand up to roving neighborhood cats with a desire to play in the dirt again. But last year the newspaper solution gave us a weed-free four months of summer vegetables, out of our five-month growing season; not bad!

I do wonder, though, if the results of the newspaper solution depend partially on your soil. We live about a mile from a river and have great soft, silty dirt, so maybe our weeds are spoiled and not as tenacious as weeds that are used to breaking through clay.

Please let me know how that newspaper thing goes down...I spent waaaay too much of my Saturday weeding. It is the work of Satan. Um, how can it be that your children are so grown up AND sleeping? Times, they change.

Hello (waves madly)!!! OK, my thoughts on this lot:

Newspaper - works to conserve water under beans in the veg plot but no idea if it works for weed suppression.

Mia - I have a nearly 7 year old and no idea how that happened. Wierd, huh?

Nothing wrong with being pattern phobic - we are having new wardrobes (closets, whatever), and had a clearout - EVERYTHING in my wardrobe is plain apart from 1 dress that has spots. Nothing else. Go with it (and the patterned shoes are a great idea!!).

We did the newspaper thing once. It worked well, but it lasted so many years and the weeds reappeared. We dig our weeds up and try not to spray them that often unless they get crazy.

I wear whatever is comfortable. Can relate to your issues as I need to reevaluate my closet too. Most of the time, I wear t-shirts and jeans. My daily routine doesn't need much more than that. Boring, yes, but easy.

As a fellow member of the my-kids-don't-sleep club I feel your pain and I too look forward to freedom. Here's a story you'll like -
When my always-lands-in-clover friend was having triplets I thought "Finally!" THIS will not be "no sweat" like everything else. So A few months later as I staggered through my life bleary with exhaustion I asked my friend's sister how she (my friend) was doing.
She told me her sister was enjoying floating in her pool for several hours a day.
How can that possibly be?
Because her triplets (and 19 month old) all take at least three hour naps, went to bed at 7P and slept through the night at 3 months until 7 A.
And, oh yeah, having the triplets she lost 20 pounds from her (already skinny) pre-pregnancy weight.
I hung up on her.

Oh. Oh my. I'm one of those that has been around since before you were pregnant.

I'm off to check for gray hairs now.

I do the newspaper thing, and then cover it with bark dust, it works pretty well. I have to redo it every couple of years, but even the black plastic stuff breaks down eventually. The newspaper is easier to deal with I think. I live in a dry climate though, might break down a lot faster where you are.

My daughter just finished kindergarten. I don't know where the time went, I swear I still have a preschooler and a newborn, not a 6 year old and a 3 year old who is just about potty trained and mostly sleeping through the night, and will start preschool in the fall. What will I do with myself now that I'm getting some sleep and not changing diapers. Maybe my house will get really clean... Or I might just sit around and catch up on some of the TV I've missed in the last 6 years. :-)

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So the Fish Said...

Whoever you are, now I place my hand upon you, that you be my poem, I whisper with my lips close to your ear.

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