Monday, December 27, 2010

catching up

leon at twenty-two months.

from a word here and there to stringing along two and three words into honest to god sentences (of a sort). no-cat-up-hill ("get off the table, cat"). mine-turn-choo-choo. appah-no-come ("go away, dad"). he speaks a mish-mash of english (ninety percent) and korean (five percent). the rest is incomprehensible, a secret language that i have yet to learn. "phway" for "other side" or "that way", which is typically used when nursing and asking to switch sides. yes, still nursing. yes, still waking 2-4 times between midnight and seven a.m. no, not sure when he's going to wean. we'll re-evaluate at two years, but i suspect he'll go for as long as he wants. maybe he's actually mongolian and will nurse until he's nine!

he's impossibly beautiful. i think maybe i'm allowed to say that. and it breaks my heart to think i can't always stare at him, grab his ear and pinch it gently before kissing his cheek. hungrily. and he's too thin. he's such a picky eater--always has been--and it's amazing that i still feel insulted by his refusal to eat. the worst is when he opens his mouth for a bit and then shuts it quickly in order to bat away the food. i don't know why it bothers me so much more than the sleep issue, but it drives me irrationally mad.

i don't understand how he's growing so quickly. some days i think he would be the perfect only child. other days i'm baby hungry. i did not expect to feel these things.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

one year ago

one year ago we were in orange county and leon was recovering from H1N1. it's hard to remember how small and babyish he was. but ever leon "and eternal."

the words are coming fast and everyone remarks on how verbal leon has become in the past month. he's always been opinionated, but it's amazing how a 'yes' or a 'no' can produce results that even impress him. i would love to read more about the acquisition of language because it's very clear that a) certain sounds are repeated in slightly new ways to form similar sounding words and b) he's uninterested or unable to repeat the few words and phrases i'm able to offer him in korean. although i'm literate and have decent comprehension of spoken korean, my speaking ability is wretched. not sure how to deal with this, since i would love for him to have enough fluency to be able to converse with his grandparents. my grandmother and i can barely exchange more than two sentences. when i have the time, i pore over the korean language workbooks that my mom sent me, but my accent is atrocious. the same goes for all of my languages, which makes me think i don't have an ear for the spoken word.

my favorite words:
hess (yes)

and another bit from A.S. Byatt:
She thought she would never forget any of these moments, these points of development, these markers in time, and forgot all of them as the next stage seemed to be William and eternal.
--Still Life, page 242. [i feel like i could write a dissertation on motherhood in A.S. Byatt's novels. perhaps one has already been written?]

Monday, October 18, 2010


thanks for all the comments, advice, and support. it appears leon is slowly settling back to his regular schedule. maybe it was a growth spurt. either way, it was scary to see how quickly things fell apart for me. i'm looking forward to the day when sleeping more than 3 hours at a time is normal rather than a special treat!

i just wanted to share a photo that was taken by a much much nicer camera (nikon slr of some sort). all i have is a canon powershot, nothing fancy. i was stunned by how beautiful this photo turned out. it made me a little wistful. i have so many blurry, grainy photos of leon as a newborn, and i wish i could go back in time and take better photos with a fancy camera.

if i were in the market for a new camera, but didn't want to spend $900, what would you recommend for an active toddler who is often photographed indoors (less than ideal lighting)? i sent this photo to my parents in a not-so-subtle attempt to convince/guilt them to buy us a new camera for christmas + my birthday. after all, they're leon's biggest fans, and who wouldn't want to plaster their fridge with crisp, high res photos of their beloved grandbaby?

Friday, October 8, 2010

coming full circle

all the things leon used to do, he's doing again. crying for over an hour nonstop. crying until he vomits. napping for less than an hour (in the car, in the stroller, in the bed, doesn't matter). it's like trench warfare, and we've lost ground again on sleep training. he demands 'mommy' at 10 or 11 pm instead of 2 or 3 am. he screams and vomits...i come and nurse him. he doesn't nurse during the day unless he's upset. he nurses continuously from when i go in at night until morning.

twice in the past week he's fallen asleep in my lap while nursing--at 6 pm. this is a boy who has insisted on falling asleep between 8 and 9 pm for the past 6 months, and never before 7.30 since he was 4 months old. the early bedtime (no dinner, no bath), plus the less than 1 hour nap (in the car, which was fool proof for nearly 11 months), and i'm about to fall apart. it's as if the small gains we made in the past 6 months make the setbacks that much harder to take.

my love is stretched thin. leon is a toddler. he's stubborn. he pushes against me, unable to articulate fully enough. his motor skills aren't good enough to use chopsticks or pull on his shoes. he's not quite ready for the toilet, but he's fed up with diapers, fed up with being carted around, pushed and prodded and dressed and undressed like he's a doll. i would be fed up, too. we're working on the motor skills, working on the steps to independence. he cuts his own cheese with a butter knife. i'm going to set up a water station as soon as i can figure out where to put it. i'm trying so hard, but i'm stretched thin. my love is stretched thin, and it makes me afraid. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

sleep training, one month later

so proud that he can pet turtle without mauling her.
19 months

just born
1 day old
1 week

1 month
2 months (at his plumpest. look at those thighs!)
6 months

10 months
1 year

1.5 years

at what point does the baby-ness go away entirely? leon has always been on the skinny side, which i think has made him look less babyish than most. his bright expressive face and constant activity also make him seem older than he is. he's still my dumpling, my first born and much adored baby, but i can't deny that he's been looking quite grown-up for a long while now.

sleep training and the natural weaning process that comes with my work schedule and longer stretches of sleep only reinforce this sense of time passing. plus he now says so many words including bye, mine, no, bird, straw, ball, balloon, truck, dig, draw, and more. i won't deny that i would like another soon, even as i worry that he or she might be as difficult in the sleep/feeding/activity department(s).

the sleep has been so hard. it has made me feel like a bad person. the overtiredness that becomes my new normal, that causes me to snap or have a meltdown seemingly out of the blue. the inability to focus on work. i've learned the importance of time-outs for myself. i still have to count to ten at least once a day in order to refocus. with these baby steps of sleep-training, i thought i would become more relaxed about minor set-backs. instead i've found them to be more daunting than when i was in the trenches. just catching a glimpse of a more normal sleep situation has made the set-backs hard to handle.

after nearly two weeks of leon falling asleep somewhat easily during both nap and bedtime, he finally figured out the new regime. suddenly 'book' and 'draw' were uttered in plaintive tones (which nearly melt my heart). 'night, night?' was now answered by a swift 'no, no!' and vigorous head shaking. my 1.5 year old was figuring out how to stall. bedtime has been taken over by matthew, who reads leon a few books and pats him to sleep. naps, however, have become semi-hellish for us both. 40-50 minutes of screaming, writhing, kicking and hitting. the rage that i used to feel whenever i attempted to sleep-train him has come flooding back. counting to 10, deep breaths....of course he goes down fairly quickly for naps when his two babysitters are with him (2 days a week). they rock him and sing songs until he falls asleep. when i try this, he glares stonily back at me. just like the old days, but with a bit more maturity on both our parts. he understands the routine but doesn't want to comply. i now know there's a light at the end of the tunnel, so i persevere.

Friday, August 27, 2010

sleep training, final attempt. day two.

7.30 am / good morning
11.10 am / asleep in stroller, which is dragged up to the second floor and placed next to a fan
12 pm / awake/falls asleep on his own in stroller
12.50 pm / awake
8.10 pm / nurse/five books/plays with trains
8.25 pm / bedtime/shhh night night/loveys/2 short cries
8.40 pm / asleep

to be continued....

i used to read that you're supposed to put your baby to bed sleepy but not asleep. i didn't understand what this looked like until now. as a newborn, leon would nurse til almost asleep, and then we would bounce him for 10 minutes, lay him on his back with our hand on his chest, and wait 20 minutes. during the day he would play, kick vigorously, smile, and then a split second later, scream, freaking out. i would rush to nurse him, and he would inevitably fall asleep at the breast. by the time he was 3 months old, i was nursing him to sleep in bed. at 6 months, i attempted to sleep train him. i would nurse him for a while and then rock him until asleep. once placed in the crib, he would start flailing and screaming. at this point he began vomiting from crying so much.

every time we tried to sleep train him, we failed. i tried the no cry sleep solution and manage to break the suck to sleep association after several weeks. but i could never get leon to stop nursing at night. we tried dr. jay gordon's method, but even after he started falling asleep without nursing, he never slept for more than a 2 hour stretch before needing us to help settle him again. so i gave up and went back to nursing him to sleep. unfortunately the 2 hour stretch became routine even with night nursing.

and now, i can't even believe how smoothly it has been going. he's visibly tired when i nurse him. i tell him 'night night' and he crawls into the bed and lays his head on the pillow (which he started doing 3 weeks ago). i place his two loveys next to him, and he touches them. i say 'shh, night night,' and he closes his eyes, shakes his head, and tosses from side to side a few times.

this is what normal should look like.

it all seems so easy, i now understand how crazy i must have seemed to everyone else who successfuly sleep-trained a baby at 6, 10, or even 12 months. this is just a theory, but i believe that not all babies are ready to fall asleep on their own until they've reached the developmental stage that is right for them. for leon, i think being more verbal is what helps. he now understands 'night night' and my promises to stay with him until he's asleep, and my repeated declarations of how much i love him.

it all seems so easy now, but it was not easy getting to this point. i am still following the dr. jay gordon method, but for some reason, everything is falling into place now. i don't think i'm doing anything different this time, i just think that leon is more mature, more equipped to handle sleep on his own. we'll see how it goes.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

sleep training, final attempt. day one.

a sleep log for my own records.

6.30 am / good morning
12.30 pm / nurse
12.35 pm / shrieking/patting/offering of loveys
12.55 pm / asleep
1.40 pm / awake/shrieking/patting
2.25 pm / cuddling/asleep
3.15 pm / loud sirens/awake
7.40 pm / bath
8.00 pm / 2 books/nurse...leon is visibly sleepy
8.15 pm / lights out/a promising start with no crying
8.20 pm / crying/offering of loveys/cuddling with hands on chest and cheek
8.45 pm / asleep
11.10 pm / awake/crying/patting/cuddling
11.35 pm /matthew takes over
12.20 am / asleep
5.30 am / awake/nurse/asleep
7.30 am / nurse/good morning

the patting and cuddling worked until the first night waking. i think the desire for milk was so strong that he couldn't handle my immediate presence. i let matthew take over, and i slept on a mat on the floor. matthew slept on the bed with leon. this 5 hour stretch was the longest he's slept since he was about 3 months old.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

on being a mother

She bends her head to his. She smells his hair. She has no choices. She imagines suddenly a film in which a sagacious dog travelled hundreds of miles, back along the scent, or the magnetic field, which pulled from what it knew and loved. This hair she could distinguish in a room piled high with other heads. This note she would hear through all others. This person is the centre. It is not what she would have chosen but it is a fact, it is a truth stronger than other truths. It is a love so violent that it is almost its opposite.
Babel Tower, A. S. Byatt

Going back to work in two weeks. Trying to get as much writing done as possible. The two hour nap at 11.30, which was reliable for almost three months, is no longer so. Not sure how to juggle childcare, teaching, writing, applying for jobs, and surviving. Lack of sleep is going to be a problem, but I don't have the energy to sleep train (nor do I think it will work). I need help. My mother is here for a month, cooking, cleaning, watching Leon for 2 hours at a time. Sleep has deteriorated, and he is nursing constantly. This is likely because he's separated from me now. Having my mother here has made me realize just how much help I actually need. Not having friends to rely on for an hour or two of babysitting every once in awhile, not having family, not having childcare, and not having a partner who can help...I don't know how people can be full-time stay at home parents without any breaks, any assistance. And yet, 18 months later, I'm so attached, I don't know how to function without him constantly by my side. But I will have to figure something out because there is little joy in this.

Leon's words at eighteen months
appah (father in Korean)
mommy ("help" or "I want")
it's mine

Monday, July 26, 2010

imps and elfs sale

imps and elfs is one of leon's favorite labels. luckily for us, stel's carries the line, and their markdowns are hard to resist.

if leon were smaller, i would snap up a few of these double layered bodysuits for autumn ($20)

the perfect jacket, wind and water resistant. i'm sorely tempted ($40)

Friday, July 23, 2010

cloth diapering so far

we started cloth diapering around 5 months, took a hiatus at 10 months for 6 weeks (leon would not tolerate long changing sessions), and have been doing 3-4 day cycles once a week since then. i have a coin-op laundry in the basement, so washing and drying not only gets expensive, but it's a pain to find quarters so frequently. i thought about doing a diaper service, but the only one available in my area provides their own diapers. i've found a combination of prefolds, pockets, and fitteds that works for me, so i wasn't interested in a predetermined selection of diapers.

my minimalist diaper 'stash' includes:
12 medium sized pre-folds from green mountain diapers
2 pockets from apple cheeks (purchased used from the
2 medium fitteds from sustainable babyish (these run small), great for long naps.
6 pul covers (my favorite is the thirstie duo wrap because leon is so skinny)
2 wool covers, one from little beetles, the other from the defunct luxe baby.

if i could start over, i would have bought 2 more wool covers. leon has only had 2 almost-blow outs while cloth diapering (rarely with disposables, too), so the wool doesn't really get dirty. it's breathable, water-repellent, and neutralizes ammonia. i balked at the price of wool ($30-50 for nice interlock, but you can knit your own, or buy repurposed wool), but they're actually more affordable that i had thought. between the two wool covers, i can use 6 prefolds and the 2 fitteds. all you have to do is air the cover out compared with rinsing and drying the pul cover (which i'm too lazy to do). i use this tutorial to lanolize and wash my covers once every 3 weeks. i'm glad i've found a use for all that extra lansinoh left in the tube.

i may be lucky in that leon has remained a slim baby. we've been using the same prefolds and covers since he was 5 months, but he's also only 20 lbs at 17 months. maybe cloth would have been more expensive if he had had a major growth spurt. i've seen people buy 5 pocket or aio diapers at a time at my local diaper shop ($20-25 each), and although i've been tempted by the rumparooz and fuzzi bunz, saving money has been one of the main reasons that i use cloth. i've spent less than $280 on detergent, snappis, wet bags, doublers, diapers, and covers. laundry is $3 per week, and disposables are $30 per month. i'm terrible at math, but i'd like to think i've done ok so far.

one of the hard parts of cloth diapering is finding clothes that fit over the extra bulk. i can do a pretty trim diaper with a snappi'd prefold and cover, but we always size up with onesies. leon doesn't outgrow the carter's onesies as often as he does with gerber or baby gap. pants are tricky because they tend to have a low rise. which is why i was excited to see these corduroy pants on baby gap's site.

i swear by catherine's wool jersey pants. you can ask her to increase the rise to accommodate a cloth diapered bum. leon finally outgrew one pair (both purchased last october), and the other one is still loose on him. he wore them nearly every day last winter, and finally wore through the knees. i patched them up, so they're ready for another baby (if not mine, then a friend's).

Monday, July 12, 2010

16 month update

leon doesn't wear too much clothing nowadays. one of the beautiful things about being a baby is that it's ok to not wear pants.

he had his 15 month check-up (at 16 months), and we learned that he remains firmly in the 75th percentile for height and 5th percentile for weight. since he still refuses to drink whole milk--he still nurses 6-10 times per 24 hour cycle--i've been trying to sneak in food through other means. for instance, his favorite dish is a beef soboro bowl with fried egg and a few chopped up veggies added surreptitiously. sometimes he'll eat whole milk greek yogurt with honey and granola, but food continues to be a struggle. he has also been indifferent to his sippy cup, so i've started filling it with coconut water instead of less delicious regular water.

as for sleep, it's still less than reasonable. he has yet to sleep more than 3.5 hours without waking. on the upside, leon will take a 2-3 hour nap (this includes wakings and nursing), so i am now able to get a little work done during the day (along with making lunch, starting dinner, cleaning out the cat litter, etc.). he goes down at 8.30 or 9 pm (trying to move the bedtime earlier), and then wakes around 11.30 to nurse. usually i give in and go to bed at this time. if i don't, i can do a little more work or read a novel until about 1.30 am. at this point i throw in the towel for good and join him for bed. between 1.30 and 7.30, he usually nurses 3-4 times for less than 2 minutes each. i still have to switch sides or drag him back from the edge of the mattress, so i do wake up to some extent.

a lot of people have asked me if i'm planning on weaning leon. they seem to think it'll help with his sleep. i'm afraid of the vomiting and screaming. in the past month, he's thrown up 3 times because i refused to go in and comfort him before 11.30 pm. sometimes i get really frustrated and feel like i'd rather not have anything to do with being his parent. i guess sleep deprivation and watching him from 9 am until 7 pm has really taken a toll on me. i need a break, but it doesn't look like i'll have the funds for another babysitter until september. until then, i need to finish a draft of the dissertation and hold down the fort.

things that make me happy include leon's spontaneous displays of affection. i love that he really interacts with his books and is finally swaying to music and trying to sing. i know that he's been busy with physical activities, but life is more bearable when he's able to interact with me in a meaningful way. the sleep and food issues will pass. the tantrums are becoming more challenging, too. all in all, leon has a remarkably laid-back temperament when he isn't being intense, needy, or demanding. i guess you could say that he takes after me. another way of putting it is that i have the temperament of a toddler.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

outfit ideas, no. 1

a romper from the 1930s for leon, at belle heir
rachel comey boat shorts for me, at frances may

Saturday, May 29, 2010

the active life

15 months. things leon does.
antagonize the cats
comb his hair
eat from his snack cup
dine on the countertops
staring contests

Monday, May 10, 2010

almost 15 months (the longest month ever)

my baby is no longer a baby. maybe it's because he's only in the 5th percentile for weight, but he doesn't have any baby fat left. i forget how young he is, especially because he's so mobile. but then i see him doing the same things as a 2 year old, how small he is compared to them, and i remember he's not even 15 months.

i feel like leon has been 14 months for ages. he was the crankiest person for two days, cried out in pain for a night, and then two molars magically appeared. i'm used to the sleepless nights now, so i didn't mind the teething too much. plus, he now has this habit of yelling when he wakes up to nurse (4-6 times between midnight and 7 am). i think he picked up the yelling from me. i'm working on it.

food is still a struggle. i know i'm not supposed to worry because he's growing and thriving, but i still get angry when he throws everything on the ground or worse, he spits it out and wipes his hands ("dirty"). everything is a phase, so there's little predictability. right now leon will eat blackberries and strawberries, earth's best chicken nuggets, and the occasional freeze-dried yogurt bite. sometimes i can sneak in an iron-fortified graham cracker after a few hours of playground time.

speaking of playgrounds, i now spend 6-7 hours at the playground every day, even on days when a babysitter watches him for 3 hours. we're letting her go after the 20th, which means i have to fend for myself again. little by little i'm trying to write at night and during his 1 hour nap (usually taken in a stroller parked at a busy roadside park).

writing is hard, especially when you've been sitting in the sun for 3 hours at a time, no bathroom in sight. my hands are brown and my feet are sporting a saltwaters sandal tan. leon's hands are also brown. i slather on the sunscreen and fight mightily to keep his hat on him, but there's only so much i can do.

writing is also hard when you have an upset stomach every couple of weeks. i don't know if it's stress or something more serious, but i've had major stomach problems once a month for the past three months. most days i feel nauseated, tired, irritable. i'll have to get it checked out soon, but the nurse will probably tell me that it's psychological.

i don't know how i manage to get through these days. the condo isn't selling, and there are several good reasons why i don't think it will any time soon. honestly, i'm relieved that we no longer have showings or open houses.

this is a tired post, a tired update. the days are good, but they're long and hard. maybe that's why month fourteen has felt interminably long. my leon is no longer a baby. some days i feel like he's barely a toddler, even. he's picking up sign language so quickly now. his desire to communicate has accelerated unexpectedly. just two weeks ago he finally started clapping. i've been beaming like the parent of a 9 month old.

at my worst, usually when he's asleep (a semi-reliable 4 hours stretch 7.30-11.30pm), i stare at photos of leon smiling and being silly, and i try to ignore my wretched stomach and everything else stressing me out. even as i brace myself for another sleepless night, i look forward to being next to him. lately he's taken to holding my hand as he falls asleep after the 5th dream feed of the night.

a second mother's day came and went.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

leon's room

it only took 13 months, but leon's nursery is basically as done as it will ever be. there's nothing like selling your place to get you motivated, i suppose!

sleep at 14 months

(last two photos taken by leon while i wasn't looking)

sometimes we let him cry, sometimes we don't. it depends on the cry and the number of yawns that intersperse the cries. but in general, our schedule looks like this:
i crawl into his toddler bed (the gulliver crib converted), nurse him for a few minutes, and then lay next to him until he falls asleep.
i nurse him again
more insistent cries mean that nursing to sleep won't work. i take him onto the futon on the ground and we fall asleep.
good morning.

i've tried letting him cry at 3 am, but that has only led to hourly wakings. i'm too exhausted to go back and forth between rooms.

his morning nap usually happens around 11am, in the stroller. for some reason he has been fighting the bed for the past two weeks. the weather is nice, so we walk and walk.

the afternoon nap is on the way out. sometimes it happens at 3, but usually he pushes it back to 4 or even 5. this one happens either in the stroller or on a drive.

he nurses twice in the morning, twice in the afternoon. and nights are an open bar, per usual.

am i tired? yes. do i function? more or less.

we have a part-time babysitter (9 hours a week, m-w). i dash off to starbucks, which is the nearest coffee shop, and write as much as i can for 2.5 hours. usually i can produce 2-3 pages of something. the babysitter has made all the difference in the world. i resent leon less during our time together because i have those 9 hours reserved for work. it was so hard staying focused on him when half of me was fretting about my stalled dissertation. it's slowly starting back up again, but i know that i'm going to have force myself to work at nights. until now i've refused to do this because of sleep deprivation and leon's inability to sit still. things are getting better. he loves the playground and can spend an hour sitting in the sandbox by himself. i've managed to edit a few pages with one eye on him.

it's taken a long time, but it's getting better. his phone conversations are getting more and more hilarious, and i don't know whether to laugh or cry when he throws a tantrum. that lower lip gets me every time.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


important phone call from erica kim on Vimeo.

i also like to pace when i'm on the phone.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


being in grad school for 7 years means that we've had to say goodbye to a lot of people who have graduated recently. last weekend leon said goodbye to his first and best friend gob, who moved back to bangkok. as much as we're going to miss him, we're already happily planning our first trip to thailand in the next couple of years.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

thoughts on one year later

one year later. i knew things would be different, but i didn't realize just how profound of a change living with leon would be.

i expected sleepless nights. crying. spit up and worse. messy diapers. breastfeeding challenges. lots of laundry. lots of tears (and laughter). i thought i had prepared myself for the worst. the worst didn't happen, but barring illness and death (the absolute worst), it has been tough, tough going.

i keep telling myself there's no way i could have anticipated a such an intense baby with a fiery temper. a friend confessed he couldn't handle leon's cries. they were driving him insane with their relentlessness. there has been no routine, no schedule, no consistency. we have a loose framework for the day, but there's little guarantee that leon will follow it. usually 2-3 meltdowns a day.

for the most part he's a happy, active, outgoing baby in public. sometimes i doubt my perception of our situation. sometimes i think i'm the one with the problem. that my expectations are too high, that my attitude is overwhelmingly negative. i'm riddled with inconsistencies, uncertainties, hesitation.

one year later, and i'm still bewildered and exhausted. there are moments of pure delight, but they're weighed down by my fear of meltdowns, fear of my reaction to them.

i need to hire a nanny so i can have a couple of hours every other day to myself. but i'm resistant to the idea. money is tight now because i didn't finish my dissertation on schedule. plus, this is my baby. i've been with him 20 hours every day for the past 12 months. it's hard to give up control, hard to trust someone else.

i need to let him cry himself to sleep. i know now that he's capable of falling asleep in 10 minutes or less (usually less than a minute), and sleeping longer stretches (3-4 hours), but i'm resistant to this, also. what if he's afraid? what if he thinks i've abandoned him? he's more clingy during the days, reluctant to be more than 4 feet from me. i need space, but i can't stop myself from holding him close. he's growing so quickly, becoming such a boy, and i know i'll have to let him be more independent soon.

i need to get ready for weaning. leon nurses for comfort. he is a picky eater, which has led to thrice-daily battles in the kitchen. matthew thinks that if i wean leon, he'll have no choice but to eat more solid food. i'm reluctant to force this on him. of all the things that give leon joy, i can see that breastfeeding is his favorite activities. he laughs and smiles and curls up against me as if we were made for each other. the hard work of the first 9 months finally paid off. it gives him comfort and makes him feel safe. when he's trying to sleep, it helps soothe him. as much as i need more mobility, more flexibility, more time away from him, i'm reluctant to take this away from him.

my instincts tell me to stay attached, stay close. but not working on my dissertation has become an untenable situation. as much as i adore him, as much as i feel the need to be in control, i need to respect myself as an academic, too. it has been tough going. we've lived like a triage unit for so long, it's the only normal i can envision. i'm not ready to commit to something different, but it looks like i'm going to have to anyway.