Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Real jeans, anxiety flareups, and surprise! It's a baby jacket...

 This is very unusual, but I'm writing this blog post in the evening. Anne is upstairs asleep, after being comforted for an hour by yours truly following a sobbing spell (Anne's, not mine, though based upon how my day went, it could have easily have been me :0), Mike is at rehearsal, and Henry is at an audition for a kids part in the December play. I am drinking wine. A BIG GLASS of wine, and it's not working fast enough. This was one of the most difficult days I've ever had as a librarian, and I'm thinking that it's going to take some time for me to normalize afterward. Let's circle round, though, shall we?

Over the weekend, I experienced more This Back To School Thing Is Really Happening sentiment. I took Anne shopping for school clothes, just her and I:

"I like girl time, Mommy. I do NOT like *boy* time."

Something tells me that will change, but for the time being, there you have it. We arrive at JC Penney, and Anne makes a beeline into the girls section. She comes out carrying a jean jacket. And jeans. REAL jeans, with sparkly pockets.

"Mommy. I love these. Can I get them?"

When, oh when, did my little baby get so big?!

Now I may cry again. This was not a good idea. :0

We also procured many tops, both long-sleeved and short, some comfortable cotton pants, a back pack, lunchbox and new matching water bottle. And declared her ready for Kindergarten.

She went to Pre-K last year, so its not like this is her first time going to school. But this year she'll be going a full day. And she'll be at the same school as Henry. It just feels very official.

A new chapter of my life has begun. And now I really am crying.

It's the Anne/baby thing. But it's also work. I had an incredibly long day today, so I'm feeling a wee bit vulnerable.

Nothing truly bad happened today. It's just that I've felt all summer like I was always super distracted, much more busy than anticipated, and hanging on by a mere brain cell. As the summer progressed, it got worse. A LOT worse. 

And in the last week I have felt nearly suffocated by anxiety. With the fall semester officially beginning next Monday, the pace of our lesson planning and last-minute logistical nightmares has grown frenetic. Today was BAD. The lower half of my body actually ached from sitting so much (which I HATE) due to hours of training on new citation management and ePortfolio software, and then panicky time-sensitive things that HAD to get done before our appearance at the new instructor orientation later in the afternoon. I could barely eat, frantically shuffling food across my desk as I worked, my stomach in such turmoil over worrying about everything. By the end of the work day, I felt like a wrung out dishrag, both physically and emotionally.

The way that we're going to be teaching in the fall is totally new; new for us, new for the university, since the curriculum is dramatically changing as of this semester. So everyone is scrambling, no one knows exactly how this is all going to work, and there is a lot of anxious tension in the air. I'm going to be responsible for providing a 1 credit hour Library Lab for 15 sections of English Composition. That's a lot more teaching than I've ever done before. There may be other instruction requests that come up as the semester progresses too, and we'll have to squeeze those in where we can. I'll also be meeting with students, grading over 300 assignments, and somehow writing a book. Taking a day off until Thanksgiving week is pretty much not a possibility. Needless to say, I haven't been sleeping well. And on Monday and Wednesday mornings, my first class is at 8 am.



I don't mean this as a litany of "Look how crappy my life is!!" Because it isn't. I know it isn't. I have a fantastic life. I have a beautiful, loving family, fantastic friends that I love as if they were family, and I work with people that I genuinely like and care about. I'll be busy, but my situation is a good one. But anxiety? She is there, my friends. This has always been a personal demon of mine, and I'm just trying to deal with it as best I can.

When I got home, Mike had dinner ready and on the table, and a wine glass chilling in the freezer. Is it any wonder that I married him?! Afterward, Anne burst into tears about something she saw on TV, and I spent the early part of the evening comforting her and cuddling. But truth be told, I really needed that too.

*group hug*

I'm doing what I can to try and keep my spirits up. In the meantime, I've been knitting. And JUST under the wire on Sunday afternoon, I finished my Olympic/Ravellenic Games project!

*drum roll*

I knit Elizabeth Zimmerman's famous Baby Surprise Jacket for Sam's niece. I mentioned in a recent Tea Time that you knit it flat, in a blob-like configuration, but when you are done, it miraculously seams into a perfect baby cardigan. Here is the before photo, with sweater fully knit, but still on the needles and waiting to be bound off:

It seems to be begging for help and TLC.

And here it is bound off, with 2 small seams:

This is a very happy baby sweater!
I mean, did you ever?! I love the pattern. And I finished it within the timeframe of the Olympics, and so this means that I won Ravelry's version of a gold medal:


So that's a brightener, to be sure. I'm about to embark on fall socks and scarves.


How are you doing, dear reader? Come commiserate and join the group hug. :)


  1. Anxiety is no fun--but I'm sure as you get settled into your new routines all will be well.

    That sweater is beautiful. I've never tried knitting, and have always been a bit intimidated by it. I should really learn...

    Now here are some virtual hugs for you!! {{}}

  2. Laura, I am virtually hugging you right back! And I wish we could get together, and I could teach you to knit! :-)

  3. BIG HUGS - I know how you feel and often its the unknown and anticipation that completely stresses you out. Once the classes begin and you feel more comfortable and in control you'll minimize stress to "busy stuff" like prep and grading. I hope you enjoyed that wine! On the flip side, I don't remember getting weepy over my babies growing up and my oldest will be 17 next week and is a senior in high school. I feel like I SHOULD be all "oh, this it the *last* first day of school, or FFA year, or Homecoming Dance. But with her current teenage drama/attitude (she looks at me like why are you still here? I don't need you anymore - dramatic sigh and very likely a hidden eye roll) just makes me wish for college to arrive a teensy bit faster. (Except the payments... definitely not looking forward to the stress of FAFSA in a few weeks.)

    LOVE the baby jacket. Congrats on completing it within the challenge. Quite fun and absolutely adorable. Wish I knew how to knit. Maybe we'll gather again for a Catholic-something meeting and you can introduce me.

  4. SHELLY!!!! I would LOVE to teach you how to knit! Yes, we will gather at a Catholic-something-or-other meeting someday, absolutely. :)

    I know, the kid stuff is tough. They're babies and they don't sleep and you need to watch them every moment = exhausting. Then they get bigger and you worry about different things. Then they get a LOT bigger and whole new set of problems. :0 I feel ya.

  5. Ugh, I feel you. Like, when did they get so big? Kindergarten seems so big! Annamarie is taking the bus to school, which makes me even more nervous than I would be normally. I am sure she will do fine, but still. I worry!

  6. Hi Allison! I know, I will worry right along with you. :0 Even though, like you say, they will be fine. They will be FINE. I just need to keep repeating this to myself.


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