Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sunday Update

Last night, K. and I said our goodbyes to Cousin Nick (middle above). He's been with us since JANUARY 10TH-- sleeping in the guest room, working on every brick we own, and snuggling in between K. and me on the couch while watching Arrested Development.

We're gonna miss him, even if he doubled our grocery bills and failed to change a single diaper. 

The picture above was taken yesterday, before the boys (K., Nick, and Nick's brother who visited for a scant four days) walked down to Main Street and spent three hours getting their hair cut by the local barber. 

Mom was also in town for the last week, but she hates it when I post her picture. She spent lots of time with Annaliese though (K. and I slept in together this morning until after TEN!), and gave her a pillow (among many other things) that was a big hit. Please note the dress: Annaliese decided to wear it yesterday, and spent the day prancing around in a sunny mood, obviously feeling like the little princess she is. We all went out to dinner at the local catfish joint last night, and as it was quite chilly, K. put her into jeans and a sweater. She cried. I think we have a real girl on our hands.

I would post a picture of me except in every photo I looked either exhausted or fat. Seeing as I am quite tired (a few late nights seeing the cousins off) and seven months pregnant, I figured I show you Seester Eliza instead.

Ain't she adorable? She's holding a koala in Australia. It sounds like a great, great time, though little mention of actual CLASSES.... in a few weeks she's taking an 11-day trip to New Zealand and renting a camper to drive wherever she and Charlie will. Spring Break Down Under. 

It's funny how much I miss her. With the five years between us, we've been in "different places" for the past few years: (me, first job, marriage; her, high school graduation, lacrosse championships; me: pregnant; her: pledging a sorority) but she's always been my SISTER, and... I just miss her. She needs to show up around here so I can make fun of her clothes and her workout regime. 

Re. the house: K. is nagging me to take pictures, but since y'all will just gasp and say-- no way you'll be in there in 2+ weeks... I am reluctant to...

But there is now NO ONE on the pay roll except me and K. 

I have 18 window casings and 11 doors + casings and a ginormous porch with 200 spindles to paint. We have all the floor to finish. K. has to build kitchen counters and shelves and tile the shower and install hardware and door knobs and light fixtures and ceiling fans and sinks and stuff.

You know, the little stuff :)

But ya know what? I see my tall handsome husband with a flannel shirt tucked in at the waist and my heart still skips. And baby boy is head-down, appropriately positioned and kicking away; and Annaliese is more and more of a little girl every day (she's learned how to blow her nose into a tissue-- total genius). So all-in-all... we're good.

Have a good week-- I'll be the one with a paintbrush in my hand, sporting unfastened overalls.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

So, my mom is here. And Cousin Nick's family arrives tomorrow. And everyone leaves on Sunday.

So look for an update with pics on Monday. In the mean time, I'm either cleaning, cooking, wiping Annaliese's nose, or taking a nap.


Friday, March 20, 2009

Happy Friday!

It is a cool sunny morning in Mississippi-- the kind of crisp sun that reminds me of Vermont, actually, and it's nice to have a Vermont day down south.

It's Friday. K. and I went to sleep at the same time last night and took Annaliese to school together this morning. There are grilled pork chops on the horizon. I have some creeping phlox that needs to be planted at the new house.

A nice day.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Yesterday, Annaliese and I neglected housework (it's just too pretty, and consequently my floors are revolting) to head downtown and chill with the Main Streeters.

She walked, holding my hand, all the way from our house to the Mechanics Bank parking lot, where she got distracted by a mud puddle and tried to stomp in it.

I am growing to love walking with Annaliese. If I'm in a hurry or actually trying to get somewhere specific, I have to carry her, but when it's a sunny afternoon? Pretty great to cruise between her and the street, watching the top of her candy-floss head as she trundles along and stoops for the occasional bug, stick, or weed.

When we got to Main Street, we said hey to Cousin Nick, then wandered over to the drugstore and hung out for awhile. Didn't buy a thing, but Annaliese had a great time wooing the old men coffee drinkers and listening to me chat to P.,  who works the soda fountain.

The owner-- sort of the town's local saint-- came over and held Annaliese for awhile; I watched smiling as she lay her head on his shoulder and stared snoozily at the ceiling (all that walking,a after all)-- and inwardly, I was all like, aww, how sweet, but now she'll smell like his cologne.

Because the man seriously wears way too much and I have literally taken a shower after getting hugged form him at church.

On our way home, two people stopped to ask me about K's political campaign (he has filed to run for alderman against THREE others, but his campaign is non-existent-- he has less than zero time). Both told me that they wanted to see him win; I knew neither.

Life in a small town. 

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Srcrambled eggs and peas



All the men in my life (my cousin Nick, who is still with us; the three-man crew who's been working on the house since November; the electrician; and of course, K) have been slaving away to gratify the wish of a third-trimester pregnant lady who dearly wants to move into her own house in a month. We are o-u-t of cash-money-bling and thus the paid employees will be dropping away in the next 2 weeks, leaving-- you guessed it-- K. to finish up: meaning prime, paint, finish the floors, install the light fixtures, the ceiling fans, the entire kitchen, and the bathrooms. In a month.

He is working so hard. Yesterday (Saturday), a day on which other people mow the lawn and go grocery shopping with the family, he spent the morning burning scrap behind the new house, the afternoon installing windows at the main street building, and after dinner, more burning; I'm not sure what time he came home, but it was after eleven I'm sure. He plans to spend today priming.

The only way I can try to say thank you is to make healthy meals and let him sleep in. So I've been doing that. Someday I swear the man is going to take a vacation.

But enough about the house. I think about it at two in the morning and upon waking and in the middle of the day and all there is to say is that it is coming along. And I will try my best to make sure K. gets treated like a king as soon as we're in there.


About me and the new bebe:

The novel progresses but as always, more slowly than it should. It's pretty good though. Fun writing a pregnant teen while being knocked up myself-- I wasn't when I started.

Speaking of which: we are having another home birth, with a different set of midwives this time, but there is continuity because Melissa was the assistant at Annaliese's birth and has since opened her own practice. We feel good about this. Baby boy weighs on me more heavily than Annaliese did; he moves a lot more than she did, and is currently transverse, meaning he's got his head up against one side, his bum against my pelvis, and his feet up on the other side of my ribs-- an entirely un-birthable position, the best he could do would to be pop a hand out and wave. So I have been ordered to lie on an ironing board propped against a couch several times a day and do other strange things to encourage him to turn.

He is due May 31st. I am not ready. Hopefully I will be before he gets here. But when I stop to think about it-- it's going to be super interesting to have TWO little strangers.


K. and I are both daily surprised by how much we adore our daughter. We just... dote on her, think she's interesting and marvelous and amazing and it's a continual shock to realize she's not going to be this adorable age forever and will isntead master new skills and keep turning into a person.

The play school has been fantastic. After a week or two of disgruntled adjustment, Annaliese now spends her mornings there happily, waving goodbye to us, playing, drawing, singing, and scampering around with the other little ones. She eats like a horse, is sleeping like a champion (12 hours a night, 2 hour nap in the afternoon), and on the few occasions K. and I have left her at school for longer, she naps on her mat with the other kids without fanfare and seems entirely content when we come to pick her up.

It is great. Everyone is happy about it. Balance-- something conspcuously lacking from her first year of life-- has been achieved.

Currently, Annaliese likes to go on walks-- meaning she walks, periodically holding my hand-- climb stairs, put lids on jars, eat hardboiled eggs and berries of all kinds, kiss her blanket and me, jump on her papa, read books (current favorites: the big red barn and Mother Goose nursery rhymes), and flirt with Cousin Nick. She blows him kisses very coyly; hilarious.

We had a really good thing going of spending the afternoons outside, but the last 3 days have been so cold and wet that huge earthworms have found their way into my kitchen every morning, gasping that they're drowning. This has made for a bored and housebound Mama and Annaliese. But tomorrow's supposed to be 70 so hopefully we'll be putting on our sneakers without fear of getting our feet wet and heading out to do more important things like collect sticks and tear the heads of daffodils.

Cos when we're stuck inside we feel like this:


In garden news--

I've been planning this year's Farmers Market, which has involved all sorts of political shenanigans now that it had a successful season last year. Pain in my rear. But what's nice is my farmers want me to run the market again.

Our first day is May 9th, and we'll continue every Saturday through September: 21 Saturdays in all, and they'll probably be some Wednesday markets in there. I don't get paid a dime but man do I love it.

What with a new bebe, K will have to help me some more than he did last year. But the farmers like him too :) So hopefully it'll work out.

My tomato seedlings are doing GREAT. Pretty cool considering they're the seeds I saved myself from last year's heirloom tomatoes. I'm going to keep on starting more and maybe sell a few to further recoup last year's $80 on heirloom seedlings, (though I made up for it last year by selling half my tomatoes at market. So we'd be into gravy territory).

The next round of landscaping commences in the next 3 weeks. Flowers and shrubs this time. And once it gets dry enough, K will be tilling me a ton of flower beds and the veggie garden.

I really find all the outside work more satisfying than the house renovations; it just feels like something I'm better at, where as the house stuff-- I can spend a day doing what K. can do in an hour. Which gets frustrating. Where is there ain't no way he'd ever have planted all those trees.

WHICH ARE DOING GREATY, BY THE WAY. Budding out and all. Warms my heart.


So, we're busy. I have weekly I-want-to-go-to-Europe days. I wish I saw K. more, because everything feels right when he's around and fantabulous when we actually have time to look at each other for awhile.

But we both knew when we signed up to be K&A that there would be busy years.

These are them.
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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Everything's Fine

That's all I got to say.

Big update/pics this weekend.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

People condescend towards pregnant women. It's, oh, don't lift that bag of groceries (but the 20-plus pound toddler is fine?!?!) and oh, isn't that sweet, she's having a craving, if you pick up a pickle or order an ice cream cone.

Have you ever heard of the term "nesting?"

This term refers to the flurry of activity women begin to engage in during the final months of pregnancy. People think it mostly has to do with redecorating.

Last night, K and I took a bath together. This is less romantic than it sounds; our tub is a miserable beige shower-wall combo, and the drain leaks slowly and steadily, plus we're both pretty large people, so mostly it was an exercise in contortion and a lot of water-splashing as we attempted to, I don't know, actually submerge more than a half-inch of our limbs?

Anyhow. As we sat in rapidly cooling water, he murmured into my hair, you've been kind of bipolar lately.

Said I sweetly, how?

Said he, you know, about the house. It is coming along and everyone's working really hard. You just really want it to be done.

Said I, umm, YEAH.

New-baby-time is batten-down-the-hatches-and-hold-your-breath time, and I think women know this. You want to get stuff done? Assemble a bunch of third-trimester women who have THE BIGGEST DEADLINE THAT YOU CAN IMAGINE and believe you me, it will get done.

I am preparing for the arrival of this child with the precision of a five-star fucking general-- don't call it nesting, or I might EAT YOU.

Finances? Reorganized and in order. Dogwalking, house-cleaning, grocery shopping? Delegation, dear friends, but it will be getting done. Annaliese's routine? Will be firmly established in the new house at least 30 days prior to due date. Garden? It'll be planted. Kitchen? It'll be FINISHED.  Small pool in the courtyard with a privacy screen so I can labor in warm water? You better believe it. All our furniture scraped and repainted? Mmmhmm. 

Because here's my job when the baby arrives (look at me saying arrives, like it's that easy. Heh. Let me rephrase: after I (and God) get him here).

I will be climbing into our new bed (being ordered this week) and I will be resting. Eating. Feeding the new baby. And doing my best to give Annaliese lots of love and attention. 

There will be no laundry, no housework, no bill-paying, no dog-walking-- for at least a month. And I certainly don't anticipate having the time to deal with closet shelves or screening in the porch or repainting a bookcase for a solid year, considering the fact that I'm going to have two children in diapers.

K. didn't call my preparations nesting. He just kissed the top of my head and agreed when I pointed out that it made sense to deal with everything we possibly can right now since we won't be able to later.

Wise man :) 

Sunday, March 01, 2009

My heart, my heart has been mostly in my throat this weekend.

Here's the things: adults and mothers especially are supposed to know. What's needed to ensure a good nap, what's going on the table for dinner, when the dogs need to go out-- and big matters, like I dunno, money and career trajectory and overall life plan, are supposed to be GIVENS. And perhaps it's the position of the moon or the six-month-pregnant mark or the fact that my husband is really, seriously, literally insane when it comes to heaping his personal plate-- but I am pretty grade-A anxious and fed-up with life in general.

Seriously, someone else decide. Everything. I will be eating a fricking orange and drinking chamomile tea since I'm not even allowed to abuse my own body anymore without feeling guilty about it. Then let me know and I'll probably end up taking apart all the plans because they'll fail to properly balance the greens and fruits and grains and dairy that my babies need to keep growing so good. Look at this one. Isn't she just the most beautiful little girl you've EVER SEEN?

In other news: my seedlings are coming along quite well. Twenty-four heirloom tomatoes from the seeds I saved last fall and I just started a whole bunch of flowers for the new hourse... hollyhocks, dianthus, calendula, echinacea. Very exciting.

But the most exciting flower news of all is that the lilies-of-the-valley Eliza sent me before her trip to Australia have come up and bloomed. They're right next to me on the couch right now, flooding the living room with scent and reminding me that after all, my world is pretty damn beautiful.

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