Tuesday, March 25, 2008

another wordy post sans pics...check back later this week!

I just returned home from an all-day trip to Memphis with Annaliese. K. was at work, and though I was nervous about the whole sole expedition with an infant...it went brilliantly.

She napped on the way there, ate and had her diaper changed pre-a Wild Oats run. Rode peaceably in the Baby Bjorn for an hour's worth of grocery shopping, then napped on the way to the midwives, then ate/diaper again so she was bright-eyed and chortling for the hour with Amy and Andrea. Another small feed and then an hour-and-a-half nap back to WV. Brilliant!

We're now thoroughly stocked up on meat and I'm once more cognizant of how much I miss sisterhood...I love visiting the midwives so much, and unless I get knocked up again, I'm out of reasons to go back there. And I just don't love them that much.

Finding funny women who speak the same pregnancy/parenting language as me is so affirming. The moms I know locally are all overbooked with little time for socializing, and my good friends are sans children, so the only people I get to talk to about my child and random parenting thoughts are my husband and my mother. And whining about my post-partum body isn't really what I want to do with either one (though I still do.)

It's not what I expected, since I've always heard about moms groups being hotbeds of sisterhood...but of the few moms in my age group I know, they're working full-time, and with small children and husbands, that leaves them less than zero time for get-togethers.

Maybe my circle will expand when Annaliese enters pre-k, but that's a long way off.

In the meantime...

Thursday, March 20, 2008

the three writers I'd like to meet

So we all know I'm a reader. The girl who got grounded from reading, who checks out 10+ books a week from the library, etc. etc. (I'll add that I often read junk. I love me some good junk).

But despite all my reading, I don't often come across authors that I recognize as kindred souls, as people I'd like to meet because we have stuff to talk about.

I can count three: Barbara Kingsolver, Louise Penny, and Pearl S. Buck.

I've always loved Kingsolver's fiction, but it wasn't until her essay book Small Wonder that I felt like I wanted to meet her....I think it was this line, "I do my best thinking looking out over a clean plank of earth"--- or something like that, I'm writing from memory, though the book is in the living room. Of course, why it took the woman nearly 20 years to move to a farm in southern Virginia from her adopted hometown of Tucson, I don't know. It brings out the handwaving in me... (what, you want heaven on a plate?) Because they had the farm the WHOLE TIME... gar.

Louise Penny writes mysteries from her home in Canada. They're wonderful. She's created what she calls an idyllic village populated with people she'd be friends with, and since I want to move to southern Canada every time I read one of her books (ME. ME!), I think we'd get along and enjoy many savory cups of hot chocolate together while talking about how much we adore our husbands.

And now, Pearl Buck. I read the Good Earth many years ago and re-read it probably once a year-- it's not at all one of my kinds of books...instead, it's a gem, and unlike anything I've ever read. Probably why she got the Nobel. But now, I'm reading her autobiography, and the woman and I agree on so much!!! She's writing in the 1950s about local and seasonal eating, raw milk, the evils of technology, the virtues of community.... so naturally I find her extraordinarily wise. She also admits to being really happy making a house and gardening, and that she could not write until her surroundings were in harmony.

Always fun to read someone and go, me too!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I spent the weekend and my free hands (since my mother-in-law was here!) working in the garden, shoveling up dirt and earthworms.

It was a blast.

Couple that with the long walk K. and I took solo-- sans bebe and dogs-- on Friday night before going to dinner ALL BY OURSELVES and it was an outdoorsy weekend, good for the soul and my back. Ain't nothing like shoveling for the back.

Sometimes I think living in town is pretty great. I can walk to the drugstore, the library, the post office. But give me a field and a big blue sky and the realization that no one can see me, and I remember why I want a farm of my own; it's exhilerating, rejvenating. Myabe someday I cna have a farm within walking distance of town.

That would be way cool.

In the mean time, I've got my bamboo-fenced plot of land, where I labor mightily over plants that will probably die. Given my history. (But this year it will be different! This year I have a SYSTEM, a PLAN, and it will be oh-so-GLORIOUS!)

Appropos of nothing, here's some baby pictures:

Annaliese is growing, growing, growing, and more fun every day. Tomorrow she gets shot up by the pediatrician. Pray for us.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Monday, March 10, 2008

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The bebe has been so awesome these last few days that K. and I think that our caterwauling fussy baby must have been swapped out in the night or something.

She was the belle at church yesterday; after sleeping through most of the service, she concluded the hour being awake and bright-eyed, strapped to her pap's chest in the church's foyer after worship, nodding and smiling to the crowd gathered around her. Many a fake nail stroked her cheek, and she loved it.

She watched Pirates of the Caribbean with K. in the afternoon, as I took a nap, and then hung in with us for an evening viewing of the Darjeeling Limited (which is fab. I recommend it. Though it sure does make India look...cleaner.)

And then she wound up her 9th week by sleeping by herself (meaning, not attached to me) until 3am. Rock ON.

K's back at work today...we miss him so when he's not here during the day. But the good news about Daylight Savings is that he can take a walk with all his girls in the evening after work and still savor this amazing day...blue skies, sixty-something degrees-- just perfect.

My weekly feature for the local paper is becoming a monthly feature, due to their budget concerns and the town's dwindling pool of interviewable people-- I've done one a week for the past year.

I'm trying to look at this as an opportunity, so I'll be writing some personal essays and the like and sending them off to magazines. Who knows, maybe this will end up being a good thing.

Novel #2 got its first rejection. It's not finished yet (still revising), but enough is done that I can send it out, ergo the rejection. Never fun, and it always gets under my skin more than I think it will.

So that's the Monday update. In-laws coming for their first-ever Mississippi-- and grandchild-- visit this week, so here's hoping Annaliese's angel streak continues.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

On diapers

Annaliese is two months old!

As if to mark the occasion, she skipped her usual midnight feeding and slept solidly until 3am. Her papa and I appreciated it.

Many of you have asked about the cloth diapering thing. Here's our system:

baby in crib on uncovered wipe-down mattress

a basket full of cloth diapers-- the basic ones which are like squares, made from white cotton by Gerber, with absorbent centers

a few pull-up vinyl panties

and these.

Dirty diapers go off the bebe and straight into a 5-gallon bucket with a lid and some white vinegar on the bottom. When full, the pail is taken to the washer and its contents are run on hot water with heavy soil and extra rinse directions. We do this about every 3 days.

We bought our energy-efficient frontloader before I was even pregnant, but it sure has paid off. I can rest easy knowing we're using so much less water, and the diapers come out clean. Stained, but then we don't bother with bleach.

We put a disposable on at night so she doesn't sleep in a soaked diaper.

On day trips, we bring a plastic bag for used diapers.

That's it! Really pretty easy. If it was hard, I wouldn't be doing it; and our initial diaper investment was about $30-50; our only costs now are diaper cream and energy.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Today my mother asked me if I've given up on blogging.

Au contraire. It's just that I'm trying to use my available typing time for the novel. Plus all I have to talk about is the bebe, anyway, and as superlative as she is, I'm kinda sure that's obnoxious.

But really guys, I got nothing else.

She's eight weeks old, and way more fun than she was. She still sleeps in our bed every night, and I'm usually awakened by her kicking me. Sometimes I wake up when she's sound asleep, and I'm so disconcerted that she doesn't need anything that I have to stop myself from messing with her.

I kind of love sleeping with her in our bed, actually, though I do look forward to her moving into the crib in a month or so. But I like knowing where she is, how she is, and the sight of her curled up next to me makes me feel like an ocean liner with a dingy floating adjacent.

K. dresses her more than I do, which is why she's in that purple outfit above half the time. He thinks it makes his girl look like a princess, and who am I to object?

We've had the next-kid conversation, which surprises me. Memories of labor really do fade fast. (But it'll be a while yet.)

Spring is coming to Mississippi. Since we live in a house with a certain lack of outdoor privacy, I'll be turning a small side porch into an outside nook where we can spend some private time outdoors. That and the garden I've planned should get us outside during the day, which will be fab; my husband loves me enough to let me do what I want with the veggie garden, so we are having...drumroll...a tomato garden.

Nothing but heirloom tomatoes. Forty seedlings are ordered, and I'm going to plant basil between them.

I'm seriously excited. I have this idea that maybe we'll sell our excess at the local farmer's market, since a vendor's permit is only $5 a week, and that way I can spend spring and summer toddling with my baby girl and hopefully my snooze-a-bed husband down under the magnolia tree, where we can sit next to the bed of the truck and sell beautiful Nebraska Weddings and Mr. Stripeys to our neighbors and friends.

Sounds fun, eh? What are y'all planning for spring?
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