Sunday, July 17, 2016

I have been laid up since Wednesday with some horrible cold. I went to the doctor, got a couple of big shots, and while the ear infection went away, the asthma flared up and the coughing was uncontrollable, and I've had to take some serious cough medicine to make it through the night which has left me feeling in many ways worse than without it (but sleeping through the night through the coughing is worth it). However, this means I've spent a lot of time napping and foggy-headed which means that I've done no work since Wednesday. Now I'm panicking. The plan I had worked, until I got sick.

But this is the problem with the time crunch, isn't it. The time crunch only works if one does not get sick or if the wheels are well oiled and there's no hitch. And I've put myself into this situation, so I've got no choice this summer but to make it work, but after reading EE's blog about The Slow Professor (sorry that I'm too lazy to link you Earnest--feel free to link yourself in the comments if you want), I think I'm going to check out that book and perhaps change my approach to my life (which I've been struggling with for some time). I work well with a schedule. But what I believe my problem is is packing that schedule so tight that when one thing goes off, I cannot adapt. And then EVERYTHING falls apart, and rather than just having to fix one thing, I have to fix all the things.

I'm going to keep this in mind when I schedule my office hours for next quarter, and when I schedule other things.

There is some crunch time though this week. I've got to get some massive amounts of reading done today so that I can plow through a couple of things tomorrow, and start drafting some of this article that's due Friday. I hope it can be done. But this morning is the first morning I don't feel foggy-headed and grumpy, so there's some hope. And I think I can get a fair amount done in the morning so I have the afternoon to spend at the pool with the kid.

There it is. Wish me luck!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Some goings ons.

I have been working steadily this past week on the book chapter that was due tomorrow, but for which I got an extension until next Friday. I still think this is possible. I've still got a lot to plow through, but I really feel like I can get through all the rest of the research by Monday and spend the week drafting, writing, revising. It'll be a crunch, and tough, but I know I can get through it.

That being said, yesterday was a bust though. I have an ear infection! Like a full blown, ear going to burst out of my head, ear infection. I went to the doctor (that's how I know it was an ear infection and not a sinus infection or cold or whatever), got a massive and a little shot in one hip, another shot in the other hip, and needless to say, I was out for the count yesterday. I spent most of the day in bed. And I felt really bad because the kid just wanted to play, and I think she sort of understood "Mommy's really sick," but not really. Anyway, that was tough.

So here's what's going on with her. She's been having some lower GI problems. Intermittent diarrhea, but no fever, no dehydration, no weight loss (she's been gaining actually), no abdominal pain, no loss of appetite. Aside from the intermittent diarrhea, she's healthy. But this has been going on since April, and she keeps getting sent home from daycare, which during the quarter when it's just me is a real problem, and would have been a real problem this summer had my mom not been here. (There are other things going on at her daycare that are really stressful that I'll get to in a minute). Back in May she tested positive for this. We treated it. Next go round of tests, negative. That was gone. But still, the problem was there. Maybe it just did a number on her system? Whatever. Sent home from school. More tests. She's had this, since probably April. It's a relatively easy fix with the right antibiotics. But still. Hopefully this will be the last of it. What we think happened here is that she got this from the zoo, specifically the petting zoo. She had been sick the week before we went, probably a virus at school that caused the initial diarrhea, and then in a weakened state, her body was prime for these things to enter. I know it wasn't my cooking (and she doesn't eat out because of her allergies), because none of the rest of us got sick. So that's my best explanation.

Her daycare. There's one teacher, and just when we think the Magpie is out of her room for good, she moves up to help in another room. Look, and I understand that Mags is going to have personality conflicts with her teachers throughout her life and that it doesn't mean that every time she is in conflict that we need to move her. But she's three, for starters, so she cannot really advocate for herself. But anyway, that's besides the point. The very first day, at 14 months when she was in, let's call her Miss A, Miss A's room, after four hours, Miss A suggested that there was something abnormal about her because she didn't feed herself and wasn't orally fixated (wasn't trying to chew on all the toys in the room) and that we needed to look into occupational therapy for her because she doesn't know how to use a spoon. Well, we never taught her that, and we were told it would be several more months before she would even get a spot in the room, so we were going to work on self-feeding then.  Okay, so Miss A moves up after a couple of months. Magpie gets to her room when she turns 2. Third day in there, Miss A: "you know she doesn't talk like she should for a two year old. The fact that she says these big words, that's a sign of autism." Now, I understand she's been doing this for a long time and has seen a lot of kids and has more experience around 2 year olds than I did, but um, no. Neither of our pediatrician has ever suggested that she is on the spectrum or should be tested.** She treats the Magpie differently. And Mags picks up on that. And hates to be in her classroom. Another ongoing issue is her food allergies. We've had her tested. By a specialist. We have a doctor's note. We are asked at least once a week: "Are you sure she's really allergic to these things? How do you know for sure? Have you tried feeding her these things?"And when it's not that it's: "You know she feels different right? You know she understands that she's not normal like the rest of the kids and she wants to eat the things they have." I'm going to address that first. When we go have their picnics with them, we NEVER see Magpie looking at another kid's plate, trying to take food off another kid's plate, crying because her plate looks different. She eats her fruit and the snacks we bring her. In short, she could give two shits about what the other kids are eating. And don't fucking tell me it's weird not to give my kid juice (she doesn't like juice anyway, and don't tell me that's fucking weird either, that there's something wrong with a kid who doesn't like juice. No. It means my kid's teeth won't rot and she's not hopped up on sugar all morning). But Magpie hears things like "weird," "not normal," "wants to be like the other kids," etc., and she picks up on this negativity, and she doesn't want to be with this teacher.

And if I need to prove beyond a doctor's note that my kid's allergies are legit, then fuck you.

Another recent instance: "She doesn't nap anymore. Maybe she has a sleep disorder."
No, she sleeps like 12-14 hours a night and has a good diet. She doesn't have a sleep disorder. The pediatrician said she has just outgrown naps. "Does she really sleep that long? My kid doesn't go to bed until 9. How can she go to bed at 6:30 and sleep until 7 am?" (In my head: well, don't keep your own kid up so fucking late if you're going to judge me on our early bedtime).

She cannot move up to the 3 yr. room until she's potty trained. She's potty trained. We've spent the last week and a half on this and we've deliberately kept her out of school until she is confident and can get her clothes off and on by herself (we've never taught her how to do that, so that's on me for her being 3 and not dressing herself). Here's the problem with the room now. There are about 4 her age in there. The rest are two year olds or almost two year olds. She knows she is with the babies. She does not want to be with the babies. When we get there and her friends are not there, she cries when she sees the room full of babies. I think the other parents are unhappy with this too, because though her friends's names are still on that room's sign in sheet, we haven't seen them there. So they are either there and being brought to the big kids room, or they are not going. And, if they have accidents, they will send the kid back home in a diaper, and this will destroy Magpie if this happens. So, we are keeping her home until they are going to move her up, basically. We're  afraid that she will have accidents because she'll be stressed and depressed about being in the baby room.

All of this is emotionally draining. We are trying to get her into the Montessori school. One of the problems here in this town is that a) we don't go to church, and that is where nearly ALL of the major networking happens, so we are by default excluded from a lot of stuff, and it's a small town; b) there's only one. There are no options, and the good options all have waiting lists a mile long (unless you know someone from church), so we're sort of stuck right now.

Sigh. But, life goes on. I'm enjoying my time with the Magpie, it just makes balancing work and meeting deadlines and working out a little bit harder, but we're trying.

So there it is, y'all.

**I am not saying that there is a problem with autistic kids at all!! Nor am I in denial about my child. What pissed me off was that if it were true, she was using it negatively as a way to label the kid to get her out of her room. Does that make sense? It wasn't "let's get her what she needs so she can be successful." It was "you're kid is handicapped and it's not my job to accommodate that if you're in denial." Which is wrong.

Monday, July 11, 2016

The new schedule does not work.

We were going to try a new schedule.

It turns out that it doesn't work for me. At all.

Here's what I was trying to do: get up at my normal workout time and instead of going to work out, read/write during that time. Then after my mom got back from her work out and the kid got up, then I'd go work out and then be done with everything by like 11 am.

So far, that has not happened for various reasons.

1. I think the reason working out first thing in the morning works for me is because even though I like getting up early, it takes me a while to get going. So by working out first thing, that is the time that I need to "get going." It also sets the tone for the day. I come back feeling energized and ready to go.

2. Attempting to use this time to work has not resulted in 2-3 hours of work. No it has resulted in me still getting up early, taking seriously like 45 minutes to settle in, getting an hour of work in, but still by the time the kid gets up I've been up for three hours and not been very productive, and I still have a huge workout in front of me. So here it is already 9:30ish, and we are taking the kid to the pool early in the hopes that she'll have a nap, but that means I don't get to the gym until after 12. That just screws up my whole freaking day.

3. My body does not like being up early and inactive. Seriously. But I feel bad because this means that my mom doesn't get to work out with her friends at 6 if I go early. I've got to overcome my guilt.

4. Because I don't work out early, and because I feel terrible after getting up early and reading (but not being productive really), that makes me grumpy when the kid gets up. It also, even though this schedule was supposed to allow me more time with her, has actually meant less time with her, and that has led to a slight regression in her potty training because she is feeling neglected by me.

5. I think for the sake of everyone, I need to be able to work out early in the a.m. This may also mean that I do actually need to go check out the 24 hour gym so that I can get to my workout early enough so that it works for everyone.

I have also learned this weekend that tequila mix does not work for me at all either. Actually, one thing that I've noticed over the past few weeks is that alcohol in general does not agree with me anymore. I had one mild margarita last night, like not even 4oz margarita, and I had the same on Saturday, and let me tell you, yesterday and today have found me in foul moods, exhausted, despite lots of sleep both nights, and just grumpy and annoyed with the world. I hate that feeling. It's not productive. It doesn't help me. I hate having a scowl on my face. I'm seriously mad at the world right now.

I've made some pretty healthy lifestyle changes this summer. I've done pretty good. But lately, sugar and alcohol (both of which I have little of) seem to be affecting me disproportionately to what I'm used to. I'm done.

I'm trying not to see the rest of the day as a whole shitty day ahead of me. But seriously though, I wish I were done with my workout already. And my head hurts.

Saturday, July 9, 2016


I had made some progress on work, and now I'm back to overwhelmed again.

I am nearly paralyzed by my fear of failing this summer with my work. Granted, I've gotten more done this summer than I have in the last three summers combined, but that's not saying much, really.

I addition to being overwhelmed, I'm angry, which is also unproductive. I'm angry at myself for putting myself in the position I'm in. I'm angry at my boss for her lack of support and her creating a hostile work environment for me which had me shut down for most of the academic year. I'm angry that I got taken in by her, and let her feed into my insecurities. I'm angry that most of the year I've just been basically blackmailed with getting tenure, and I'm still super worried, because I'm still working on stuff, that it won't happen. I'm angry that I've got at least 10 months of worry and anxiety ahead of me because of her, that the blackmail will continue until a decision is made around March or April of next year.

I know there are two things I can do: Nothing, or Get Shit Done.

I know that anger and hatred are not productive. I know that. Sometimes I need to grit my teeth and express that.

I feel paralyzed right now too by the need to get things done, to finish the articles. I feel like I can do nothing else until that happens. I cannot clean, gut, plan, do anything that will take up any more mental space than what I need to work on. I resent though that since my daughter is home right now that I have to spend time away from her to get work done. I keep telling myself that next year it won't matter--I'll either have tenure or I won't, in which case I'll have time with her. But next year will be different than this year. I don't want to fail her though. I don't want to be unemployed. I don't want to be the one who didn't get tenure.

I will get my stuff done. I am working on my stuff. I am making progress. I guess the fear is that it won't matter really, because my boss, for all her "I want you to get tenure" doesn't ring true to me. I feel like I have the unconditional support of one solid person who may or may not end up on my committee. The gender discrimination over the last year has me so out of sorts with my department, the "rules" that have been enforced upon me--don't miss work, don't even post stuff about the kid or even non work related stuff on FB, be better, smile more, look nicer, etc., it's almost too much to bear at this stage in the game when I have stuff to do and need to do more. Oh, I was also told that, too, that the minimum requirements for me were "the minimum," that I needed more than the minimum if I wanted to be successful. Well, then, that's not the minimum requirement is it? And I've been told that the "minimum" is flexible depending on who you are. And if I don't get tenure, then I cannot help to change any of these things: I cannot work to change the climate of the department, the discrimination in the department, the lack of support in the department. There is nothing that I can do because my boss just dangles that carrot in front of my face.

In part, I hate myself for being so fucking spineless.

I dream of the life I want. I agonize over the things that are on hold. Both of which are somewhat counter-productive at this point, except that when I get my work finished, when I do what needs to be done, I can focus on those other important things. I can suck it up until September. I can. I can make time for the kid amidst work. I will not fail. I will not fail. I. WILL.NOT.FAIL.

And on that note, I'm off to sneak in what little work I can before the kid gets up.