The baby is almost 3 weeks old! A great many times in the last few weeks I have pondered that my due date was January 18. As I’ve gotten to know the little guy, it’s strange to think that he could still be inside me. Given that my first two pregnancies went to 41 weeks, it’s kind of nice, this time around, to have gotten an early reprieve from being pregnant (given that he was fine and still technically full term). These would have been a really tough last 3 weeks given how uncomfortable I felt over Christmas.
Instead, we’ve been welcoming him into the family. We took some really sweet family photos last weekend. You can see Yana Shellman’s blog post about it (with many photos!) here. I’ll also be posting some on Instagram (@lvanderkam).
This week I survived my first solo overnight with five children. It could have been worse. The 5-year-old (feels funny to write that, but he had his birthday this week!) did not fight bed. The baby took a long time to settle, so I didn’t actually get to sleep until midnight, which was frustrating since I started trying at 10 p.m. But I did get a 3-hour stretch from 2:30 a.m. to 5:30 a.m., plus about 90 minutes prior to that and half an hour after. I took a 30-minute nap during the day as well. And last night, when I had the night nurse service, I rewarded myself with pumping the 1 a.m. bottle before I went to bed. So I pretty much slept 10:30 p.m. to 4:30 a.m., fed the baby, then went back to bed for an hour. Heavenly!
I ran most days this week but realized, yesterday when I woke up from my nap and the temperatures were dropping and the wind was howling, that I wasn’t doing my streak anymore. If I didn’t feel like running…I didn’t have to. Instead I played a rather aerobic game of modified indoor dodge ball* with the big kids and then took the 10-year-old for a 20-minute walk. He regaled me with some description of a video game the entire time. I can’t say I entirely followed but the walk was nice. And the world didn’t end when I didn’t run.
Last year for this upcoming long weekend I took my now-12-year-old to San Diego. He had asked for that as his big Christmas present, and I’m a fan of experiential gifts. It’s been a long year; that seems like a life time ago. But reflecting on it, it was a very good trip. I’d like to do some more one-on-one adventures like that with my kids.
This long weekend my plans are less ambitious. I’ve been trying to assign myself 1-2 little projects each weekend. If I have a short list, stuff gets done. A long list? Not so much. Last weekend I sorted the mail pile and cleaned off a shelf on the back porch so the porch looked more calm and inviting. This weekend I intend to go through my closet to put away the maternity clothes and move my normal clothes back into regular rotation. I’ll probably winnow down what’s in the closet, too, and hopefully end the weekend with a big enough donation pile to schedule a pick-up.
I’m trying not to take on too much work during my “maternity leave” (such as it is when self-employed), but I do have a few articles and projects coming up in the next month or two. For one, I would love to talk with some young people who’ve started businesses without enrolling in a 4-year-college. If you know some folks who are supporting themselves through their entrepreneurial ventures as their main post-high-school gig, and would like to talk about it, please let me know. You can always email me at lvanderkam at yahoo dot com. (The laura at lauravanderkam dot com address also works — I check them both). If you are (or know) a high school teacher teaching an entrepreneurial curriculum, that would be great too.
I also had an exciting conversation yesterday about how I might structure the time diary project that will become the basis of my next book. More to come on that!
*One reason to have a house with a basement
Photo: Yana Shellman photography