Grapes, Balls, Colds, and Love

I just had one of those moments. One of those moments that I really, really need these days.

First, some background. I have not been sleeping well. I think the last time I slept all the way through the night without waking was about three weeks ago. Let that sink in a sec: my baby is sleeping better than I am. I guess that’s a good problem to have, but the problems and worries that are keeping me up almost cancel them out. B’s job hunt continues. We thought we had some leads, but they ended up being for naught. We are now about a month and a half away from having to re-sign another contract with his school, and I’m beginning to think that in that period of time he is not going to find another, better job. It makes me so frustrated to think that all the work we’ve both been putting into his applications isn’t going to pan out. It also makes me frustrated to think we likely have another entire year left here. I am impatient. I want to get a move on on this hypothetical life that I’ve imagined for us.

We were all sick today. This is C’s first real cold, and even though she’s handling it with a lot of grace, the fact that B and I don’t feel well makes it hard. Our apartment has been a disaster all day. All I did was pick up after the both of them. Since I praise B so much here I think I am allowed to say today that he is sometimes kind of infuriating to live with. He really doesn’t have the picking-up-after-himself skill set. I asked him yesterday if he could kindly show a little initiative and unload the dishwasher if it’s done running, to which he replied that all I had to do was ask and he would do it. I hate being a taskmaster. It’s such a cliche, but there’s a lot of truth to the statement that the sexiest thing a guy can do is perform some household chores without being asked.

So we’re sick. We’re run down. I’m resigning myself to another year here. I am not looking forward to taking C’s bassinet to Babies ‘R Us tomorrow and trading it in for a discount on a big kid carseat*. I don’t care if she slept *maybe* a total of 10 hours in that thing. It still makes me weepy. We already packed her infant swing away this week. This is more than one mama can handle in the span of a week.

*Which, BTW, never happened.

But then – BUT THEN – she makes me put it all in perspective. I’m sitting on the floor with her and we’re practicing rolling a ball back and forth to each other. That’s it. That’s the story. We’re rolling a ball. It’s meaningful to me that my girl can do this. I roll the ball to her and she gets giddy to grab it and push it back to me.

A few days ago C and I were Skyping with B’s cousin who lives and teaches in Korea. He and his girlfriend at the time moved there when we still had about eight months left in our contracts. B’s cousin doesn’t have kids and really doesn’t want them, but he’s interested in the whole transformation of a person into a parent. He was telling me about his friend who had a kid and was freaking out when the baby ate a grape. The baby ate a grape. And our baby rolled a ball. Woo woo.

The thing is, only two years ago this child didn’t even exist. Now she exists and rolls balls. And gets colds. And evidently wakes up at 1:30AM to talk to her nightlight? They are tight.

So when she eats a grape, you had better be sure I’ll freak out in a good way. That little grape grew on a vine to nourish my little grape, which is all oddly reassuring to yours truly, The Worrier.


  1. Curly Carly · · Reply

    Congrats on the ball rolling. Are you gonna try to give her a grape soon? (I have no idea when children are of grape-eating age).

    1. Hmmmm….I probably should try giving her a grape soon! As long as it’s cut up small she should have no problem with it.

  2. I’m up with you friend, no sleeps for the Jamie either. I envy your moments of ball rolling and night light convos and future grape eating, these stories are wonderful and happy-tears-provoking to a wanna be mama ;-)

    1. Isn’t not sleeping the bestest? I mean, Jells should know ;)

  3. I know for a fact you’ll freak out over the grape.

    Because we all know where raisins come from, right?

    1. Hahaha! Best comment ever.

      1. I am glad it worked. I wanted to make a grapes of wrath comment, but it just wasn’t working

        1. If C continues to like raisins, then you will definitely have a chance to use that grapes of wrath comment in the future.

    2. Oh lord. I didn’t even think of that. :P

  4. Crap. I hate these February days when everything seems so gray and dismal. These really are the doldrums. I want so badly for you to get the heck outta there and reading that B’s job hunt is stalling makes me cranky. Yes, it makes ME CRANKY! What’s wrong with people?! Hire this smart guy! Sheesh!
    Thank heaven for Cee’s ball rolling skills. Seriously. Everything crappy from 2012 seems to still be hovering over us – it’s like a dark cloud that won’t lift. Without baby news to smile about where would we be? Having kids, and, or pets, is such a great distraction from kingsize adult stress and headaches. You can always look at them in their sweet and simple activities and think about how great it would be to have no worries or cares. Babies provide a much needed perspective – grape eating and ball rolling can easily balance the scale. :)

    …and B, if you’re reading this, start picking up!!!!!! ;)

    1. You are so right about kids and pets. I was sitting here gloomily when I read that, and then I realized that my dog is snoring behind me…and it really does cheer me up. Ugh. February.

      1. Dogs are so awesome! My family finally got one when I was 19 and I really don’t know how I did without one my entire childhood.

    2. They DO provide so much perspective! It’s funny; I’m a lot more worrisome now that she is here, but I almost feel like that worry is channeled in the right way, like I’m able to be more productive with it.

      Speaking of the B, I wanted to share this article with you that was written about his poetry blog. It’s pretty cool! So, at least there’s that going on right now. Bright spots, bright spots ;D

      1. That was an amazingly intense review!!! I think he wants to marry B!
        But seriously, that is absolutely a big bright spot. Enjoy it!!! (It just frustrates me that someone with his talent hasn’t been scooped up for a job.) Argh!

        1. HAHAHAHAHA you are not the first person to have said that! A lot of our friends who didn’t even know he was writing poetry read it and thought it was hilarious that someone would think he’s such a big deal. They all remember the times he always ordered Blue Hawaiians all night long at the bar.

  5. Here’s hoping you all feel better soon. Colds are no fun and what’s worse, they tend to just hang on and on and on…

    1. Thanks! We’re all feeling a lot better now. C manages to be cute even when she’s under the weather.

  6. Failing at finding a new job is a lousy feeling. It just gives you a sense of “life on hold.” But as your daughter is showing you, in a way, that’s when life really happens.

    1. Amen to that. I’m keeping the faith that things will start happening when I least expect it.

  7. Sending some positive thoughts your way, Em. I hope the job search pans out. I’m impatient, too, so I completely understand your frustration.

    1. Thanks, TD. I appreciate it. Being patient is a lesson that will likely take me an entire lifetime to learn. I am completely aware of the irony in that.

      1. It’s genetics. I’m not sure there’s much you can do about it. I’m infinitely more patient now than I was before I was a parent, but there are still some things I simply can’t wait for. I certainly relate.

  8. I can totally relate to that kind of “life on hold” thing you’re going through right now. Zach’s happy in his work, but I feel sort of just…blah. I don’t know what I’m doing with my life. lol Or how we’re going to get out of debt, or ever buy a house, or blah blah blah.

    I’m sending positive vibes your way, and I’m glad you have little Cece there to brighten your days. Rolling a ball is no joke!

    1. Ball rolling is so fun! My MIL sent her a ball that makes this hilarious sound that I can only liken to the sound of a gobbling turkey. It’s awesome ;D

  9. Ball rolling sounds awesome! I’m pretty sure the first time either of us even see the little one drool we will think its adorable. I’m sorry about your job woes. Hopefully, everything will work out for the two of you very soon.

    1. Drool is so cute! When C was tiny, I think the only thing about her that wasn’t cute at the time was when she was screaming bloody murder at 2AM. Hopefully you’ll be experiencing those joys any day now!

  10. That little grape grew on the vine to nourish you, too, ya know. AS WINE. Hope you guys all feel better!!

    1. Omgosh how did I not even think of that? There’s something seriously wrong with my mind when I can’t recognize that wine comes from grapes.

  11. Don’t let her roll too many balls. She’ll become a professional bowler which means she’ll probably never make you a grandma (female bowlers like women)

    1. ^Best comment in the entire comments section of this post. No offense to anyone who left a really poignant, heartfelt comment. But Tim has set the bar.

  12. Ugh. I am sorry for the stalling and the uncertainty. As a professional worrier myself, I can definitely relate. I am so happy you are finding moments of light and peace in the midst of it. I love you all more than you can ever know :)

    1. You are such an incredible encouragement. I love you!

  13. That last bit, it’s so sweet! Your baby rolled a ball! Yay!
    Good luck on the job hunt, and get well soon

    1. Thanks! We are all feeling a lot better.

  14. I’m glad you’re able to see the ball rolling makes up for all the other crap stuff. Ball rolling is awesome. Colds and job hunts are the opposite.

    1. Well said. Colds and job hunts are not the best.

  15. “the sexiest thing a guy can do is perform some household chores without being asked.”—Yes. Yes it is.

    1. I know, right? When I figure out a way to imprint this on my husband’s mind, I will be sure to pass along any tips.

  16. Oh…. it’s hard, mama. It’s hard!
    And I completely hear you on the household chores thing, We shouldn’t *have* to ask! And yet…. they really don’t see what needs to be done… And yet, if you are lucky enough to be married to a guy who truly *does* want you to ask him to do things, count your blessing, and learn to ask graciously.

    Easier said than done, I know! I’m still learning this! But after being married to a guy who truly did not give a shit, being married to a guy who really wants to help out if only I’d point out *how* is refreshing.

    A friend of a friend got a marriage proposal via email. My friend posted it to FB. It was less a proposal and more a very specific job description of all the chores the wife would have to do, and then treat the guy as a ‘knight in shining armor’ at the end of the day. I will have to lift it and post it.

    Get some sleep!!!

    1. Please please PLEASE post it! I need to see that! That really does put it in perspective about how lucky I am that I’m married to a guy who at least wants to try.

  17. When I’m not feeling well, my point-of-view is colored by my mood and lowered resistance. I’m glad that the rolling the ball game inspired some positive vibes. I hope you all feel better soon.

    Reading this made me think of times I held tight to ideas that I had about the direction of my life, and how I would have been better off to just ride the wave and be open to other possibilities, since I really couldn’t do anything to force the outcomes of my efforts anyway.

    In one of my spiritual books I read that life is a bit more comfortable when you make the effort and just forget about the results — as much as possible. Don’t have any expectations and just figure out how to enjoy the ride. I know it’s cliche but when I can do this the best I can, I’m usually better off. If I have tunnel vision about where I think my life should go, I’m not seeing other possibilities that might exist around me.

    Good luck Emily. I get the feeling things will work out to your benefit.

    1. Cliche or not, that is some very, very true advice. I am getting better at seeing the big picture of my life rather than just the legs of the journey (cliches outta control!) but there are frequent bumps when I allow worry to derail me. I guess I’m speaking from that right now. But things will get better. They always do. Thanks, Sandee. You are

      1. ‘’ — I love it! I’m going to see where I can use this phrase somewhere during the week — haha!

  18. I’m sorry you’re all sick. That is no fun at all. The ball rolling is mucho exciting. They reach so many cool milestones when they are teeny. It’s a great time.

    1. The milestones are just flying by like crazy lately! Today she stood by herself for a couple seconds without holding on to anything. Mind=blown.

  19. Well I’ll be waiting for when I have someone to roll the ball with ;) best wishes to you all, hope you’ll feel better soon!

    1. Thanks! We are all feeling a lot better now ;D

  20. Lovely. The freaking out never ends, by the way. And the working out seems to happen just fine most of the time. Hope it does for you.

    1. Very, very true words. I have a lot of faith that we’ll all be OK. Thanks, Ross.

  21. Emily, colds suck and anxiety suck, but at least you experienced some precious first-time ball rolling with Wee Cee so this time is not totally crummy. I hope B finds that elusive new job.

    1. Me too! In the meantime, a fancy article about him was published in Bomb Magazine’s online edition! Weehee!

      1. That’s excellent, Emily! And Whoa! I guess it must never get dull being married to “a 21st-century infospeak prophet for a generation of gizmo-glomming, comic-scanning, tabloid-gorging, acronym-slurring, graffiti-bombing, gang-banging, pornography-ogling movers and shakers and artisan-“artist”-entrepreneurs, a generation of surfing, posting, blogging, tweeting, commenting, liking, following, gaming, socio/politico, post-post-post po-mo warriors and heads, spenders and geeks, fruitcake lumberjacks and academic jerks, mavericks and hipsters and misfits and tweens and slackers and addicts and pundits and pervs and dystopian, antihero, g-man punks”?

        1. Haha the fun never ends. Especially when said poet has a tummy ache.

  22. I am sorry the crud and the job huntin delays have hit your house. But I am glad you’re reveling in those moments that C is having; they come fast and furious and they’re easy to miss if you’re not looking.

    1. I am baffled at how fast the milestones are coming recently. Yesterday she stood by herself for a few seconds without holding on to anything. What.

      1. I should have either added an apostrophe to the end of huntin’, or a g. Probably a g.

        Anyway, time to stop feeding the little wee ones so they stay small.

        1. No, it’s OK. I am from the South so I didn’t even notice it. I am fluent in Murcan.

  23. Yes. Ball rolling is the real deal. For reasons relating to my own self, I am having to read the Ben article in parts. Pack up your two fellow geniuses and come to Memphis. It is the mecca for ball rollers, worriers, mamas, and legendary poets.

    1. I know, it’s pretty heavy, right? I would LOVE to be back in Memphis, for no other reason than we could drop in on y’all any ol’ time. You’d get tired of us ;)

  24. Not just watching people become parents, but watching babies become people is fascinating! :)

Now you can hold the magic talking stick.

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