Monday, October 27, 2014

For the first time this quarter, a full three weeks before the quarter is over, I have actually finished the reading for the upper division class a day early. Generally I'm frantically trying to finish the reading up the day I'm teaching, and more often than not this quarter I've not even finished the reading for class. So that eliminates a bit of stress at this moment for me. I've still a ton of grading to do, but perhaps if I don't have a line of students outside my door tomorrow, I can get some work done.

I'm annoyed at the amount of students I've had today simply because many of them came 90 minutes before their paper was due. I think next quarter I will institute a "you cannot come see me the day the paper is due for feedback. It must be at least 24 hours before it's due" rule because yeah, seriously the "how do I turn this from a C to an A in 90 minutes" is getting old. And uh, you can't. One stu got snippy with me because ze wants an A, and I said "well, try bringing me the paper more than an hour before it's due and we can talk about the work that needs to be done." Stu: "I have a whole lot of other stuff to do and I can't write these papers until the day they're due." Me: "Well, if you want to do better, then organize your time better." Stu: "Yeah, but I have a lot of other stuff for my other (which I read as "more important") classes." Me: "So?" Stu: humph. Stu is a bit of a PITA anyway, but still. Whatever.

So perhaps I can head into finals a bit calmer than I have been the entirety of the quarter. We'll see. Off to teach stuff!

Friday, October 24, 2014

My grand plan this morning was to get up early and read before babycakes awoke. Uh, I hit the snooze three times. So nothing got done there. Then I thought I'd spend the whole afternoon grading and just knock that stuff out, but it's already 1:30, and well, I just don't want to. The grading will get done this weekend. I'll just do it tomorrow while babycakes is napping. I need to think about dinner tonight. I need to get the kitchen clean. I really just want to be lazy today.

Apparently there was a grad faculty meeting today. It got rescheduled, thankfully, but apparently I never got the email about it.

I guess I'll get stuff ready for dinner and then read for a bit. I'm glad the J is home this weekend. It will make things easier. And it will be nice to have a weekend of us all together, alone.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

I am impossibly manic this week I feel like. Today, a better day. I was able to workout this morning, and the J was able to get Magpie fed and the morning went smoothly apparently while I did some CF. And I think that is the biggest difference today in my being overloaded with work and behind but not not freaking out, stressing out, and everything else about it. Rather, I feel sort of like, "well, it has to get done, it'll get done eventually. I can only get done what I can, and when the rest gets done, it gets done." Will there be disappointed students? I'm sure, yes. At least I'm back to feeling more in control today. I don't know. I stuffed my face full of chocolate yesterday, too.

On the to do list for today:

  • Teach
  • Grade as many mini research essays as possible by 1:30
  • Finish prepping for afternoon class
  • Breathe
It's likely that I will not be able to get through all that I need to in the next hour or so. I'm okay with that. I'll make some coffee, grade as much as I can, and then whatever. I like these days where I don't feel so freaking crazy so much better. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Maybe I'm just having some sort of existential crisis or something lately.

I think part of the problem is that I've worked out twice since last Monday. It's affecting my mood. This morning I chose not to go in order to get some things done around the house before I came to campus. I feel like this was probably a mistake. My mood is awful. I feel awful. My body feels stiff and angry at me. Yeah, I got some stuff done, but it was not the massive overhaul I had been hoping for (I even dropped the kid off early too in order to try to knock out some stuff).

Have I succeeded in getting caught up?


Am I cranky because of this?


I think for my sanity and for my health, the working out needs to be a priority. Not going last week helped me get some stuff done, but it wasn't the magic bullet to life that I was looking for, nor did it make that much difference in what I got done by not going. Rather it's made me cranky and less productive. I think come hell or high water, that needs to be priority number one because if I take care of myself, I'm better at taking care of other things.

Priority 2: Sleep.
Priority 3: Research and Writing
Priority 4: School stuff.

what I have to seriously consider is what am I willing to compromise or sacrifice for the sake of getting things done. But it pisses me off that I have to think like that.

So, what do I do? Suck it up for the rest of the quarter, the last what, three weeks, and make it through? Do I put effort into things to make them worthwhile for the remainder of the quarter? Here I am still trying to find a rhythm of some sort, and I just can't make my life work right now. it seems like other people have their shit together, are able to fit in the things they want, but I am not functioning that way this quarter. I feel like I'm getting way less done this quarter than I have in the last year. I need to rethink my assignments I think for next quarter and make things easier on myself so that I can get things done in a timely manner and still have, oh I don't know, perhaps some time for myself? I'd like to read a book that I'm not teaching or using for research.

I'm just back to grumpy, moody, and pissy again at all the things I have to do that are in conflict with the things I want to do.

On a positive note, the pediatrician got our referral in to the ENT specialist for the Magpie and we have an appointment set up for November. This is great news because once she's not sick, then perhaps things will get easier and I'll settle down, and I can get things done. Honestly, I don't know how people with truly ill children function and take care of themselves. The cumulative affects of small issues is enough to drive me insane.

The parents come back next week. While it will be nice I suppose to return to my regular workout class and have someone to help cook and do laundry, it has been wonderful just having alone time with the J. And it's little things like being able to walk to the kitchen in the morning in my underwear to get a cup of coffee, not tripping over people, really, in short, just being alone.

Well, I will grade a bit before I have to go teach. Blerg.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

So it turns out that I might have just needed some sleep. I slept in this morning, and by slept in I mean I got up at 6 am. I'm letting some of the prep slide just to maintain my sanity. I was exhausted last night so I didn't work, and I didn't get up early to work either. And i'm the better for it today, honestly. I got the dinner in the crock pot this morning, got the kid and myself to school on time today, and I'll be able to get a good night's sleep tonight hopefully. At least I'll have a good dinner. I honestly hate feeling like I'm blowing off work here, but I think it's more of a matter of triage really. My only goal for this quarter is to make it through the quarter. That's it and that's all. I will look forward to next quarter and to getting my research done--which the priority right now is working on that. And if I can get sleep, then I should be okay. Nothing seems quite as desperate when I've gotten a good night's sleep.

And the J cleaned and organized the kitchen yesterday. It was amazing. I just wish the kid were feeling better, but I can only do what I can do for her right now to keep her fed, comfy, and relatively happy. So I'll do a little bit of work and organization, and then teach at 2. That's all I got for now.

Monday, October 20, 2014

I feel like lately I must sound like a broken record here. To be fair, it's not just me who's all disgruntled and whatnot--that seems to be the prevailing mood in my department or at least among my closest friends here. We all seem to be feeling overwhelmed, overworked, dissatisfied with our classes currently, and all other manner of things. I find myself totally and completely unmotivated still, counting down the days until the end of the quarter, doing as little as possible to get by, not that that seems to be alleviating my stress any. I am having trouble keeping up with my work.

In theory, my schedule should be a good one. In practice, I just don't know. However, my alternatives are getting up at 4:30 or 5 am every morning, a five day a week schedule, and putting the kid in daycare from roughly 7 am until 4 or 5 every day. None of these options appeal to me individually or combined in any manner.

There are two things that are really draining me right now: One, what I suspect is perhaps a hormone imbalance wreaking havoc on my system as a result of the IUD, which should have an obnoxiously low and very localized hormone dose, but which does not seem to be working in conjunction with my system, and I vacillate between getting it out now after only 5 weeks or giving it until my follow up appointment three weeks from now. And two, a sick baby.

A baby who gets an occasional cold or ear ache can in and of itself be draining, but the Magpie is still just sick. We are on our 7th, yes, that's right, SEVENTH double ear infection since Sept. 2013. I was resistant to tubes back in the spring because she was only 7 months old and I know it's minor surgery, but surgery on a 7 month old scared me and we did everything we could to keep the fluids from settling in the ears and it worked, for a while. But now this fall looks to follow last fall. Here's what's concerning me about this: the possibility of speech delay as a result of the ear infections, potential damage to the ear as a result of all the ear infections, and I wonder if her fear of walking has to do with feeling unbalanced as a result of some inner ear issues. And this last round of antibiotics is making her miserable, which in turn is making me miserable because when the J is gone, we're kind of trapped in the house because she doesn't feel well and isn't feeling adventurous. It also affects her napping, so I get less of a break when I'm at home with her all day like when the J has drill. Right now I'm struggling with feeling like a failure as a human being, a mother, a wife, and a professor. My whole existence right now is simply a series of just getting by, and I hate that feeling, and I hate operating like that. I just kind of move from yelling to crying, and that's not good for anyone!

I'm already just focused on next quarter. I obviously have to finish this one out, but I don't know how to just push through right now and not go insane. I'm trying to balance everything, but to be honest, I'm just exhausted. And I think the emotional exhaustion is what is taking it's toll.

So this week I am going to talk to the pediatrician to see if we can go ahead and get our referral for the ENT and try to get an appointment in before the holidays (I DO NOT want to spend the holidays with her being sick again, and I am sure she doesn't either). Swee'Pea is just so miserable.

I think one thing I need to do is make a plan for break. I think it's going to be crucial for me to use break to get ahead on the winter quarter so that I can make time for research. I'm going to have to rethink a couple of things for the survey class, too. And I need to figure out how to stay healthy myself. This allergy thing is kicking my ass also.

Well, thanks for listening you guys. I feel significantly less angry and pissy now. I'm a bit demoralized, but oh well. But alas, I will go talk about two stories I love, and then pick up the babe and enjoy some family time with her and the hubs. I will get to have a little bit of a lovely evening before I have to dive in and read more, which at this point will simply just be skimming to the end.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Still battling some sort of sinus problem here. It's getting ugly again.

I've been sorta phoning it in this week in class. Movie in three of my four days of classes, and one canceled day of class.

My canceled day--an amazing lovely wonderful day with the Magpie. She seems to be feeling much better. And we've had some wonderful alone time during the mornings.

I may have hit on a workable rhythm here for myself. Some things I've learned already this week on my own:

  • Until I get my tenure stuff secured, I may have to be content now, when the parents aren't here, of only getting my workouts in MWFS. And I may have to give up my 7:30 class on MWF and go to the 9 am after I drop off Magpie rather than bringing her with me. This may change next quarter or after the first of the year, but I will try this next week.
  • I'm too exhausted in the evening to get any work done. There's no point in my trying. If I leave stuff to get done in the evening, it's not going to happen. But, if I get up early before the kid, I can get 1-1.5 hours of my own work done before baby girl gets up. It's just better for me to make a cup of coffee and sit in bed and read and take notes. I'm just gassed at the end of the day, and it's the only time I have alone with the J.
  • If I can get a handle on my work and keep up, then I can get all the prep, reading, and grading I need to do during my office hours--or most of it anyway. There's still time at night to read if I want--sometimes the J likes to read before bed, but if I'm forced to have to do work at night, then I end up more tired and cranky and very behind. And even 7-10 hours a week toward the book and article will go a long way. 
So there we go. I'm glad I have tomorrow off. Even though I'd like for Fridays to be my research day, but since the J has drill this weekend, tomorrow I've got to get to the grocery and get the food for the week prepped. 

And now I think I will enjoy the rest of the movie. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

So I've yet to actually get to the research part of my life since the parents left; however, the house has not imploded; I've managed to get dinner on the table every night, and the kitchen has been cleaned and dishes put away every night as well. We've not ordered pizza once. Yes, lots of leftovers and easy things, but all is well. And we've not been without a few curveballs either. Magpie's cold turned into yet another double ear infection, so we had a weekend of a toddler not napping and requiring lots of attention. I was super sick on Sunday as well, and the J was gone for the morning to run a half marathon and was sore and tired himself as well. Monday saw a doctor's appointment and a tornado, an unnapped toddler, and no access to the school's server so I couldn't even finish up my grading at home. Oh, and the internet in my office has mysterious been cut, so I can't get the grading done there. I'm behind in just about everything.

I am, however, oddly more relaxed right now than I have been this whole quarter. I have some anxiety this morning because Swee'Pea will be at daycare until 4, and that's the longest she's been there thus far. It was all I could do not to cry. I'd like to keep her home Friday just to hang out, but the J has drill this weekend, so I won't get anything done this weekend, and grocery shopping and food prep needs to happen on Friday then.

I really think that the J and Magpie and I just needed some time alone. I had to cancel classes yesterday because Swee'Pea threw up her breakfast and so under the weather with the ear infection. So I stayed home all day with her; didn't get a lick of work done, and while that would have been nice, what was even nicer is that she totally had a great sick day. It was clear that she enjoyed having me all to herself without the grandparents here. And the same thing happened on Sunday and Monday when she had her alone time with the J. We didn't rush this morning (in fact, I still haven't showered or gotten ready yet, and the kitchen is horrendous from breakfast), but still made it out the door on time (if my mom were here though, she would have stayed home again today). I know she would have rather stayed home in her pjs, but this morning after breakfast we read some books, played on the floor, there weren't three people running around trying to get ready, there was no tv, and things were just calm and lovely.

This morning I got up with the J (well, about a half hour afterwards) and got to work for about an hour. I had some stuff to read for tomorrow, not done, but it was good for me to do so.

I'm thinking about readjusting my work/research at home schedule and my workout schedule so that I can get more done or make better use of my time. And this is my last week of barbell club, so I'll be able to give the schedule a "test drive" next week and we'll see what happens.

I guess that being said, I need to get my stuff together now and get ready for work. And just for shiggles, here's today's goals during office hours:

  • Finish grading take home exams
  • Grade in class exams for both classes
  • Grade lit analyses for both classes
And then tonight:
  • Finish reading for tomorrow during Royals game. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

I'm going to continue my bitch fest over here. I think we're all ready for a break.

I'm not caught up on grading or reading for tomorrow. I refuse to spend any time at home over the next few days grading either. The J and I have a date Friday while the Magpie is in daycare, and we are very much looking forward to it. We are going to workout together after we drop off the babes, then have lunch, then go to a movie, and we may still have an hour before we have to pick up Mags after that!

I'm just done with this week and with this quarter. I know, it's terrible to say. I'm more looking forward to the stuff I'm teaching next quarter. I'm looking forward to break. And I'm aching to work on my own stuff.

As I think I posted yesterday, I realized that I have all of this wasted time about which I'm horribly resentful. I waste so much time. Like I don't even know where it goes. I need to take like a week to document what I do and when so I can find ways to eliminate this waste.

I think I said yesterday that I'm hoping that I can work on that next week when the parents are gone. Shoot, I may even be able to this weekend. It's been such a long 24 hours that I can't even remember what I wrote yesterday and I'm too lazy to go look it up.

Here are some other disjointed thoughts because that's where I am right now?

  • So this weekend I cleaned my room and my closet (hence my being extremely behind). My closet looks so good for the first time since we've lived in our place. I keep walking into it to look at it it looks so good. And I can hang up my clothes and get them out without tripping over things or kicking things out of the way. It's lovely.

  • I'm thankful that my mom went to the grocery store for me today so we have food for a week. She's not feeling well because her arm is swollen from getting the flu shot and then working out hard so her lymph nodes are working overtime. That was nice of her to do when she's not feeling well at all. 

  • The kid is just growing impossibly fast. She eats so much! She ate more for breakfast this morning than I did. She seems to be hungry all the time, and I can't seem to get enough food into her. Of course, we don't have words yet so she can't tell me she wants food. (I wasn't very good with the sign language thing). But last night and this morning she shoveled the food in my the handful, both of them! I felt so bad. So obviously, she needs more food. 

  • While I do mourn the loss of her babyhood and the development into toddlerhood, I am oddly not that sad about not having to make her food anymore and feeding her what we cook for ourselves. It's so much easier.

  • I think I just hate Fall quarter. I used to enjoy it as a time of starting over. Not anymore. It just seems like an extension of a stressful and crappy summer and a stressful year. I'm more looking forward to Winter Quarter. I just feel stale and stuck, you know? 
  • I am incredibly anxious to get back to my research which I suppose means that I am ready to make it a priority, finally. 
  • I think the problem with this fall, and the same problem that I had last fall, last winter, and last spring, is that I just never found my groove. I started off stressed and behind; my courses weren't set up; I did, and am doing, every thing last minute, still, so like I've been complaining about since the beginning, I've just not found my groove. And then it stresses me out even more that I haven't. I want a groove. I need a groove. And the groove eludes me. 
  • My halloween costume this year involves wearing pajamas. I'm beyond excited for this. 
  • I have a student right now who is going to spend an inordinate amount of time on the midterm so he can spend time with me. He's a former student's boyfriend. He kinda creeps me out. And I think he thinks I'm going to give him hints or pointers on the exam. Or perhaps I'm just being a real jerk right now and he really is struggling, but probably not as much as it appears.
  • I have an intense desire to be organized and clean out clutter, everywhere, right now. I think this is a good desire. It is probably in part to avoid grading and class prep, but I tell you what, since I cleaned my room and closet, I feel so much more relaxed in my bedroom. I sleep better! Plus, Mags is so close to walking that as soon as she gets her legs under control, she's going to make a beeline for anything within her reach and that means stuff needs to be out of her reach. 
I suppose that's all I need to complain about. I guess I needed to declutter my head, too. So if you made it this far through the post, then I thank you for reading all of the way through and enjoy the remainder of you day. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Argh. Most of the day has gone by. I'm still extremely underprepared for class--not totally unprepared mind you, but still. I'm unmotivated, hungry (despite having had lunch), cranky, and everything else, and not relishing a two hour class. Of all the upper division English classes I teach, this one is actually my least favorite because it's an elective  and lots of non-majors take it, so participation is meh. About half of them are disengaged, and maybe it's partly me here, but I only have so much energy.

I am complaining a lot today and a lot about this quarter in general. Honestly, I really sorta feel like I've already checked out a little bit here, and we still have about six weeks to go I suppose. I'm just ready to be done already.

I fully admit to my whining and stuff today. I'm borderline incoherent at this point, and I'd like to just go take a nap. Sigh. Off to class I go.
This girl needs to do some laundry because all she has is cranky pants right now.

I am in a foul mood. I'm annoyed at the world, my life, everything.

I got up at 4:30 to go Barbell Club. I'm woefully behind on everything for the 2pm class today, but I function significantly better when I workout, even if I'm behind. I can't imagine how much crankier I'd be right now. (And I'm typing this while my students take their exam. I can never get any meaningful work done during exam time anyway, so I'm taking this moment for myself). And I needed to throw around some very heavy weights this morning for my own sanity (I'll brag--15 backsquats at 140#. Yeah, I feel pretty tough). But here's the thing. I realized this morning how much wasted time happens during my mornings right now, especially on TR. When I get home, the J gets in the shower. Dad's usually in the other bathroom, so I have to wait until they're done in case the kid gets up. I get everyone's breakfast ready. Kid up by the time everyone is settled. Mom gets in and gets in the shower. Meanwhile, I'm still not ready for work yet. And it takes my mom an hour and a half to get ready in the morning, and they take the baby to daycare, so legitimately she does need to get ready when she gets back from her workout. I get the baby's lunch and everything ready. By 8:40 they're ready to leave, and I'm still in my workout clothes and haven't done a damn thing. So instead of being able to get to campus at 9 and get some work done, hours later, I'm still trying to get dressed and I'm resentful that the morning is over with and I've not had a chance to work.

I'm hoping, hoping that next week we can get some sort of schedule going for the three of us. On BBC days, the J will have to shower while I'm gone so I can get in the shower before Magpie gets up because I will be taking her to daycare. And I'd like to be dressed when I drop her off so I can head right to campus and get some work done.

MWF will be a bit different as she will have to come to the box with me for my workout, and I'll drop her off at daycare afterwards, then go home and get ready. That means she needs to be up and fed and ready to go on those days before we head to the workout, but either way, it *should* mean that I am able to get about an hour each morning for research because I haven't done shit yet. The thing that's going to suck is if we hit a groove, then the parents will be back, and maintaining that might be a struggle. They will respect the schedule though, but it means that I go back to not having a place to work at home because there's so little room.

Getting dinners done might be a struggle, too, but I will figure it out. It's a bit easier now with the Magpie because she's eating what we eat most of the time, so I don't have to cook anything special and make batches of food for her and freeze it and prep it. The only thing we do that for is breakfast, and that goes for all of us.

Anyway, I'm just full of piss and vinegar because I feel like everyone else's time is respected but mine, and even though they try to stay out of my way, it's not like they actually do, and I feel so f*cking guilty when I do work at home and everyone is home, but pissy when I can't get out to leave. Argh.

While it might be an adjustment, the J and I are looking forward to having some time to ourselves. I am so thankful and grateful for my parents being here and helping and cleaning and cooking and everything, but they need time to themselves and so do we, and I think it will be good all around, though I feel horribly guilty and extremely ungrateful for saying so.

On days like today, I just feel like I suck.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Ahhhh, I have a few brief moments to myself right now. Class got out early. My office hours don't start for another 20 minutes. I've just been screwing around on the computer for fun. And I feel somewhat relaxed at the moment. I have to start grading again here soon before too long, but I've got a stay of execution, as it were. Oooh, I've also got some admin type stuff to do today, so I can't forget that.

I think much of my feeling overwhelmed a lot lately coincides with being sick. Both the J and my dad are sick right now. Magpie's got another cold (though nowhere near what the one two weeks ago was). My mom was worn out and run down in the beginning of the week, and so was I. I just felt like I had an anvil sitting on me and just felt kinda weak. I think for me though, this is allergy related. Once I got allergy meds in me, boom. I feel significantly better today, and nothing seems to be terribly hopeless right now. I have a lot to do, but I at least, right now, feel like I can get it all done. I've got a good lunch. I don't have to go to campus at all tomorrow. I'm mostly prepared for class this afternoon. At least today I've got a handle on things.

It's very frustrating though because I do all the things one should do to have energy and not be super stressed and all that, but I'm failing miserably at it. I'm trying to prioritize things in my life, and I'm failing at that, too. Again, I think part of the problem right now is that because my parents are still here, I don't *have* to do a lot of the things that I need to do because the parents are there to pick up the slack, so I don't actually have to be organized or put things away or do any of the things I should be doing. And this is hindering me right now. And I guess so is being sick/plagued with allergy headaches and lethargy. Although who knows. I might be a total basketcase without them. We'll see what happens when they leave next week. Will I survive on my own? Or will the house tumble into chaos and the J finds me under a pile of clothes and uncooked meals? Stay tuned for the exciting adventures of the grown up who isn't.

My feelings of overwhelmedness have manifested themselves in lots of on-line shopping. I find that lately I am dissatisfied with all the things, and this is mostly appearance related. There are very few things in my closet that I a) feel comfortable in; 2) fit; 3) are both 1 & 2. Most of the stuff in there makes me look frumpy. Hardly any of my clothes fit right. They may fit, but they just don't look good. And I'm having an image crisis, too. Because few things of my "style" currently in my closet look good anymore, I wonder if it's not time for a change? Maybe I'm more self-conscious about it now because I'm a mom and I don't want to look like a middle aged mom? Nor do I want to look like a middle aged mom who is trying to look like a 20 year old sorority girl. Most things just seem to be ill-fitted because my body has changed since having a baby and from weight lifting. And maybe I just really have no sense of style (though I used to). Perhaps I'm just lazy. But it's starting to bother me. So lots of time this week window shopping on-line in an attempt not to be frumpy. I'd settle for frumpalicious, but I'm not even at that level.

That being said, I'm going to start on those midterms I took up today and hope that by immediately starting them that that keeps some stress at bay this weekend.