Monday, May 23, 2011

Productivity and Prattling

I've been reading organizational and productivity books again, not finding them terribly useful overall, but getting at least one phrase or idea which keeps me going. The latest "thing" is to make a plan: write down the goal, breaking it into sub-goals, and then assign dates by which each sub-goal needs to be completed.

So I've got three pieces of scratch paper (A, B, and C): (A) one for the Metropolis of Atlanta presvyteres directory (needs to be ready and printed before we leave for Clergy-Laity next month); (B) one for the NSP newsletter, which needs to be put together and have address labels printed by about June 1 (thank heavens for two ladies: one who suggested someone else print and mail the newsletter, and the other who volunteered to do it); and (C) one for my AFR transcription to-do list.

I'm way ahead on the directory, but mostly because I was terrified of having dozens of presvyteres to call (no email address) and check on their mailing addresses so I can send them the information to review, correct, and give permission for me to share among the presvyteres. I set aside from Sunday through Wednesday to make all those calls (50), and I'm already done! I still have to call parishes to get any contact information for another 20 or so (phone numbers disconnected, etc.), and then print and mail something, but I'm ahead! I'm ahead on something!

Just to make up for that, I got more assignments for my AFR to-do list. But I get paid for that, and it's fun and ... intellectual-growth-inciting. (Post-partum vocabulary. It's better than the first time, but not all that much.) So I finished another Fr. Thomas Hopko podcast, but I don't dare post it until I'm more lucid. (Man, can he talk. I have trouble keeping up with him even on "slow playback." Occasionally I hear him on normal speed by accident, and it's just scary. I'd hate to have to take notes for a class of his; I'd want to write everything down, and there's no way I would be able to keep up.)

The newsletter has been blocked out, and I got a report in already, and a promise of another one, but those are from two ladies whom I know I can count on already. Getting the other reports, and the letter from the Archbishop (didn't leave enough time between my request and the deadline, due to moving up the dates for the newsletter because of the deadline for the retreat which is advertised in the newsletter ... that was fun, too)—those have a higher risk factor.

The other things I'm working on are staying on top of the laundry (so far, so good, although there's a few dribs and drabs on the sofa currently), the dishes (I emptied the dishwasher this morning! We won't talk about the mess on the counters of the previous days and days until my husband took pity on us and just started the dishwasher even though—gasp!—the top wasn't full.), and the childrenses. THERE ARE LOTS OF SMALL NEEDY PEOPLE NOW. Sometimes they are asleep at the same time (like now), and I almost congratulate myself. Other times my head explodes and I wonder whether I am an alcoholic except with cookies. (I'm breastfeeding. Nobody wants a drunk spitty baby. The spitty is bad enough.)

I should have replaced the leg elastics in all the diapers before Lucia was born. I did four. Her legs are simply too small, and I'm tired of getting hit from both ends. (Did I mention spitty?) I want at least the covered end to BE covered. So I'm up to ten of the 24 diapers being "safe."

In terms of spitty, I feel like I'm in my own private Lent. When I went to the birthing center for Lucia's hearing screen, the lady giving it (wish I'd gotten her name; must remember to ask) asked if Lucia spit up a lot and did I drink milk. Yes to both. She said I should drink less milk, because casein, the milk protein (needs a cape or at least a jingle), is hard for babies to digest. She said I craved milk because I needed protein, so I could get that fix by eating "green leafy vegetables and lean cuts of meat." I think milk is also comfort food for me, and my mother was visiting then; I estimated that the previous day I'd had about 12 cups of milk. So I cut it out. She still spits up, a lot, but I think there's a significant decrease, especially at night. I hadn't realized that there was actually a time when, after feeding, you could just rock and pat the baby on the back and not have to screech because you'd gotten blasted and would someone take the baby and put her elsewhere so you could mop everything up and go change clothes and then change the baby's clothes and find where you'd missed the spot and change the baby's clothes again because she's still erupting. NO. You can sit and rock and be dry. Not all the time, but twice in a row was just magical. There was more rest. There was more dry.

I was supposed to go to the midwife today, but received a call saying there was a woman in labor and could I come in on Wednesday. So we moved the appointment, but the (pregnant) office admin was sad because I often bring in banana bread and had already told her I had three fresh loaves ready to bring. So I told her I have more bananas and would make another batch. This morning I made four loaves of banana bread (the fourth was for the (pregnant) office admin at the chiropractor's office where I needed to go to pay the bill and it's right near the birthing center), wrote five thank-you notes (I was caught up three days ago!), packed up baby goods for donation, and made sure the frozen milk was ready to go for donation. So we'll try all that again on Wednesday. During Teddy's naptime. Woo!

We realized the Clergy Family Retreat (lasting about four days) includes the feasts of Ss. Peter and Paul and the Twelve Apostles (June 29 and 30), so it kind of makes going for the little snippet of time (Sunday afternoon to Tuesday afternoon) not worth a trip from south-ish Florida to near-nothing South Carolina. With a small baby and a 2.5-year-old. This would be harder to accept if we didn't have plane tickets to all go to the Metropolis Clergy-Laity, which is not as much fun, but includes some of the same people, which is the reason I get excited about both. Nonetheless, I told my husband he owes me. I'm not sure whether this debt will be paid off in ice cream, a trip to the beach, or letting me go on some sort of retreat by myself (iconography?), or a regular date night (we've never had one; I think we're still on single digits in terms of dates anyhow), or maybe even TAKING a vacation like our bishop told him (and all the priests) to make sure to do.

He is not good at vacations. He is not even good at days off. I have taken to answering at least our home phone all the time so that I can say, "Father is not available right now," because he won't. (Sometimes he does let a person leave a message on his cell, but usually not.)

I think the babies are the hardest part. I thought I would be a good mother. I thought I would ENJOY being with small people all the time. I would be Julie Andrews. We would sing all the time. I would not be angry and shouting and mean. Nobody ever said about the screaming in my head. Somehow, though, it's easier with more things to do. (I have an appointment to talk to someone, but encouraging words are welcome just the same.)

I may just pass out from overuse of parentheses. Tomorrow we are going to visit friends and show off Lucia and maybe have chicken-fried steak (buy-one-get-one-free, and I will eat my vegetables). I miss milk rather desperately.

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Blogger Matushka Anna said...

Magda dear, I've emailed you because I can't fit everything into a combox! Plus, go check this out:

Tue May 24, 08:04:00 AM CDT  
Blogger priest's wife said...

take a breath- you sound really busy!

Tue May 24, 01:07:00 PM CDT  
Blogger elizabeth said...

wow! super busy! nice to know about the milk thing - I have friends with babies who are now totally off milk (but one drinks organic goats milk and it works!) and the babies have much less acid reflex...

Just met you via Mat. Anna and you know, I like you already! :) Just so you know. :)

Tue May 24, 04:04:00 PM CDT  
Blogger Anastasia said...

Oh thank you. I have an almost two year old and a baby, and I too have been thinking "why did no one tell me about all the screaming I would be doing in my head"? I just LOVE babies but it is hard... it is nice to see others going through it.

Tue May 24, 06:23:00 PM CDT  

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