time has made a fool of us again

i have a schedule for updating this thing, but obviously i’m not really sticking to it. i don’t know what the hell happened to my time management skills. i feel like i don’t really waste much time, & yet, i don’t have time for everything. i haven’t even been to the pool in almost two weeks.

jared’s brother, david, & his partner, alana, were in town over the weekend to meet ramona. they offered to babysit for us on monday evening so that jared & i could go out alone. we’ve only done that once before since ramona was born, when his parents visited & babysat for us. we walked david & alana through doing a diaper change, preparing a bottle, washing bottles, the sleep routine, the sleep sack, putting ramona down in her crib…they said that they’d do their best to get her to sleep so we could just relax & not have to worry about putting a baby to bed when we got home. i think both of us were pretty skeptical. we played out a lot of different scenarios for what we were likely to come home to:

* david & alana unconscious on the floor with ramona rolling around between them, giggling & chewing on her giraffe teether.

* david & alana huddled in the corner in tears while ramona reclined in her bouncy chair, giggling & chewing on her giraffe teether.

* david & alana walking ramona around & around & around the house in her stroller while ramona screamed & screamed inconsolably.

* ramona asleep in her crib with her pajamas on upside down & backward, every bottle in the house dirty, diapers everywhere.

* the three of them just gone. david & alana have stolen ramona.

instead, we came home to david & alana reading quietly in the living room & ramona asleep in her crib, pajamas & sleep sack on properly. apparently she was pretty fussy, but conked out at 8:30pm without too much trouble. we were very impressed. she slept straight through until 6am too, at which point she woke up & started quietly babbling to herself. which woke us up. it’s a real argument for a baby having its own room. too bad we live in a one-bedroom house. luckily, i was able to get her to go back to sleep after a quick diaper & bottle.

anyway, while jared & i were out on our date, we talked about what might be behind my newfound inability to manage my time. my theory is that i now feel a lot less guilty just hanging around the house doing my own thing while jared takes care of ramona–i no longer feel that ramona is “my job” because “i’m the mom”. & that means i’m a lot more comfortable hanging around doing things that are maybe not that important in the greater scheme of things, like reorganizing the refrigerator or polishing the bottle warmer. instead of things like going to the pool. i was a lot more on the ball about going to the pool in the winter, when ramona was a newborn, because it was a way to not feel guilty about leaving her in jared’s care. i was subconsciously thinking, “well, i can’t help if i’m not there. & this is important! it’s for my health!” now i don’t care if i’m here. if jared is on duty, jared is on duty. sometimes i feel kind of guilty if he’s grappling with a screaming baby & i’m sprawled out on the couch eating peanut butter fudge & reading “real simple”…but i get over it pretty quickly.

plus the weather has been weird. the outdoor pool downtown opened last week, & i thought i’d be going every day since it’s only like three blocks from my house. but it’s been like sixty degrees in the morning–if that. ramona was supposed to start her baby swim class on monday, but i didn’t want to plunge her into an icy cold pool, & i didn’t think the instructor would appreciate a screaming baby in the class. so i transferred her into a july class. it was a smart move, because ramona came down with a cold the next day & wouldn’t have been able to go anyway.

i started writing “ella funt” #2 today. my goal is to have it finished in august, in time for the portland zine symposium. but ramona demands so much more time & attention now. she can’t talk yet, obviously, but her grunts & gesticulations make it clear that she is saying stuff like, “mom! hey, mom! hey, look at me! i’m looking at the ceiling fan! mom! mom? did you see me looking at the ceiling fan? hey, i’m doing it again! look!” when i wrote the first issue, she was still in that zone where she’d just pass out after every meal & i knew i had like an hour of time when the baby didn’t need anything. so. we’ll see.

i have plenty of copies of issue #1 left, by the way, in case anyone reading this has not yet ordered. sliding scale, $4 to $10, via paypal to learningtoleaveapapertrail@hotmail.com or cash to: ciara xyerra, 307 e. 8th st., lawrence KS 66044

in keeping with my goal of writing at least one unflattering thing about myself in every post: i sent a copy of “ella funt” #1 to a zine distro for consideration, & i haven’t heard anything back yet. & it’s been like a month, maybe more. i’m a bit worried that it may have been rejected. if so, this would be the very first time a zine i’ve made has ever been rejected from a distro. i myself have rejected more than a couple in my day. i keep thinking, “so this is what it feels like. man. this sucks.” but maybe the distro person is just busy? or a little bit flaky? another distro got in touch several weeks ago, asked for a certain number of copies, confirmed my wholesale price & paypal address &…nothing. has yet to pay me or get in touch to say that payment will be made when the zines arrive. does that distro still want my zines? what’s going on? i don’t know. it makes me realize why zinesters liked to work with paper trail so much back in the day. the second i heard about a new zine i wanted, the money was in the mail. because a) i was all about supporting zinesters & zines i liked, & b) the faster i send payment, the faster i get the zines & can get them into the catalogue, & that means more orders! i mean, maybe i’m wrong about this & zine people don’t care so much about new stock, but i always felt that it was just smart business to make sure i always had something fresh & exciting for sale. i had quite a few regular orderers who would order just a single zine several times a month–usually whatever was newest. but i guess every distro is different. or something.

in closing, check out the half-birthday cake i made for ramona’s six-month birthday. it’s a four-layer chocolate half-cake with vanilla buttercream frosting dyed pink. it’s worth noting that the frosting is FUCKING AMAZING. i made it with granulated sugar instead of powdered sugar, & it’s much lighter, fluffier, & less sickly sweet than powdered sugar frosting.


& a bonus ramona photo. happy bathtub baby!


Published by Ciara

Ciara Xyerra wrote zines for the better part of two decades. She has a brilliant & adorable preschooler named Ramona & sews as much as she possibly can. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her boyfriend. She enjoys catching up on "The New Yorker", meatball subs, keeping it cranky, intersectional post-third wave feminism, dinosaurs, & monsters. If you have nothing nice to say, she recommends that you come sit here by her, so you can say not-nice things together.

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