Monday, August 31, 2009

A great weekend.

Began with a fab dinner here; ended with an evening here.

In between: Farmers' Market (which seems to be waning, actually, and causing me some concern); 90% of the porch trim painted; the bathroom trim finished; pancakes and an extra nap; grilled shrimp and zucchini.

We go to Vermont on Wednesday.
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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Somehow, a long exhale

We've had 5+ weeks of houseguests in the last 3 months. Mostly, this has been a good thing, because it is great to have people do this:

aka hold the baby.

But fyi, no more for now-- even though Eliza is a rock star and didn't mind getting up at the crack of dawn; even though Dad washed dishes and took the dogs for walks. Even though we love you all. We need at least three months of peaceful weekends and plenty of pajama time to recuperate--especially since WE'RE traveling in September and October.

We are still beginning to come together as a family of four, and sometimes-- it has been this week, anyway-- it is delightful.

Annaliese came down with a nasty chest/cough/cold bug on Sunday. We were grilling at the lake with my family, and I could see her becoming sicker and sicker until on the way home, she was pale and slumped in her car seat, snot running out of her nose.

Talk about making me feel like a lousy mother.

She has stayed home from school all week (though she is much better now and could probably go back) but we have opted to keep her out this week and the next-- when we go to VT-- which means she'll not return until the 10th.

She's glad to be home. In general, our little girl is a social butterfly, but there have been some big changes here lately and I think the adrenaline has faded for us all; now we're just ready to settle down. So I've been home all week with my two babies, wiping snotty noses and poopy bottoms and somehow managing to love it.

I was not ready to handle the two of them on my own for extended periods of time before now, but I am very proud of how I can now. Today I even trapped Caspian onto me in the Bjorn and popped Annaliese in the stroller and walked down Main Street to the drugstore, where I bought my little girl a chocolate ice cream in a cup and watched her smear it all over her snotty little face. She deserves it. The kid said table today; she's talking up a storm. I can now ask her if she's hungry or thirsty or if she wants raisins or blueberries and she will shake or nod her head and say "Pease" when I tell her to ask politely.

K. and I woke up and found ourselves out of the rocky place, which is fantastic. Always amazing to remember how much we like each other at the bottom of all the bills and the babies and the whatnots. We're even going to dinner tomorrow night; one of my Farmers' Market vendors is a very Christian teacher and one of 10; she regularly looks after her brother's 9 children; I think she'll be fine. Annaliese probably won't find her as glamorous as her old teenage babysitter, but here's to hoping she's more reliable.

Sadly, no one is sleeping more. Caspian is holding steady at 2 feedings per night but Annaliese has not slept without coughing and crying in over a week. Saturday she sobbed for about an hour in our arms, our bed, her crib; we couldn't get her to calm down. (In retrospect: too much of a big day and the illness coming on).

We have 7 chicks and 3 mama hens who are competing for the said chicks. We also basically killed one of our hens by accident. More on that later; the affair of the chickens is kind of in flux with the new arrivals and our system is currently sort of limping along. I need pics of the fuzzballs though; don't have any.

Tea and book and bed time.

Goodnight all.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

My sister and my dad are arriving tonight.

This is big news, as Eliza has been in Australia and Shanghai and Dad has never been to Mississippi since we moved here.

Pics to come!


It has been a sad week in our town. A toddler who had wandered onto the busy road in front of her house got hit by a truck. The driver of the truck is recently widowed and was so upset he had to be sedated. K. had a very scary incident with our truck, and was towed home on his way back from Detroit. The lady in charge of the baby's room at Annaliese's play school found out yesterday that her Hodgkins Lymphoma is back.

More reminders that life can change irrevocably in an instant and that no blessing can be taken for granted.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Brace Yourselves

All four of Annaliese's eyeteeth are coming in and she's having a tough time. Snot. Cough. Rash. Short naps and staccato nights. There have been no subsequent big-girl-bed nights or potty pees, though she did deliberately pee in the dog dish yesterday.

Caspian is waking up to the world around him and proving to be a good-natured cutie pie who likes pink elephants.

I took pics of the farmers yesterday for our webpage. The market is going well, but I'll admit that it's kind of hectic this year. I spend more time policing my kids than shooting the breeze, and that's never fun.

Here are two-- the first is Annaliese's surrogate grandpa and good friend, the second a rather random character who cuts lawns and sells blueberries. He has a fantastically southern Gothic name, but I probably shouldn't put that in the Internet.

The weather is holding steady at hot. I've done a lot of dishes.

There, that bland enough for you?

I never really intended for this blog to be read by my mother-in-law, my aunts, my mom's friends, and Lord knows who else. I try not to think about it, because if this blog becomes a place for me to post pics of my kids and lie about how great everything is going, then it becomes a chore.

Instead I think of it more as sort of random outbursts about whatever is on my mind, good and bad, cuss words and all, which only imaginary people read. Oh. And pictures of my kids.

So, now that we've sorted the imaginary non-judgemental people from those who are closing their browsers and will wait for my annual Christmas card...

K. and I have been having a tough time lately.


I know, we're only the World's Most Fated Couple, but throw romantic soul-mates together along with two kids under two, incontinent and flea-ridden dogs, bills, renovation projects, and-- as always-- too little sleep and pretty much zero time together, even WE descend into higher levels of snarkiness, hurt feelings, and general sniping over Who's Doing More.

(By the way, I WIN. BECAUSE BUSINESS TRIPS = VACATION AND SO DOES WORK. Any time you can excuse yourself to go to the bathroom means that you're in the lap of luxury.)

(Just kidding, honey.)

I know why we're snarky-- like, duh!-- and I know things will get easier as the kids sleep more and blah blah blah. I mean, we haven't left kids for so much as an hour with anyone else in over a month, and by the time they're asleep, we're ready to collapse too. it's what they call a wearing situation.

(This Situation Will Change, by the by. We're just saving our pennies for our vacation later this month to Vermont. When we get back and all the freaking insurance premium checks have cleared we're instituting date night, like every other boring-but-still-married couple out there. Cos I love him so and we're staying married forever.)


In other news, K. cleaned Boatie til she gleams and fixed the motor mounts so that the hood doesn't vibrate at an idle.

Boatie, for those who haven't met her, is my navy-blue 24-year-old Diesel Mercedes station wagon. I really, really love her. Even if her radio and AC doesn't work and her cruise control tries valiantly but pretty much is useless.

I love her. She is my dream car. And the fact that she's got two car-seats in the back doesn't detract from her overall coolness one whit. I keep the windows down, my shades on, and purr along through town five miles below the speed limit, because she's just that kind of car.

Plus she feels kind of whacked out and confused at high speeds.

Someone asked me the other day how her pick-up was, and I, confused, said "fine?"

"No, I mean can you pass people?"

I snorted. "Pass people? I don't pass people. People pass ME."

I've had cars I liked before-- my Subaru comes to mind-- but man, do I feel like one hot-ass mom driving around in Boatie. Go figure. K likes to laugh, shake his head, and say-- "she really is the perfect car for you."

Plus, despite the fact we've spent more than her purchase price on various things and flibber-gibbits (ask K for the technical details, all I know is she doesn't whine at high speeds anymore but I still don't have AC), she's still coming in at under 5k.


K. is going to Detroit tomorrow. He will miss two dinner/bath/bedtime madnesses. I am jealous of this.


The skeeters are really bad?

We accidentally hard-boiled an egg that had a half-way-formed baby chicken in it?

We took both kids to a restaurant for lunch after church today and there was minimal tears but disappointing food?

That's the word folks. Hope all you imaginary people are having fine weekends.
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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I am still twenty-six (despite what I told the Indian man at the Shell station, who then assured me that I looked too young to have two kids! Hah!) and so occasionally I think about what my peers are doing.

For some inexplicable reason, V. and J. (Vinnie+: yeah, you know these people) especially cross my mind of late, probably because my mom sees them all the time and tells me things like "J is so great! You would totally be friends!" and "V. is back from touring Europe!" and I'm all like, so how long have they been engaged? Because IT IS TIME TO BUCKLE DOWN, young hooligans. Get married and procreate so I don't have to think about how you two SLEEP IN and then EAT BREAKFAST without a toddler on your lap and there is No Chance of Anyone Going to Europe Ever, Ever Again.

And the I think about whether or not K. and I should have waited to have kids until we were in our 30s. And then I think: No. Because holy poopy, are we going to be young and fit when our kids get out of the house. And it took us about ten minutes to get pregnant, and I really would not have coped with infertility at all well, and your body bounces back quicker when you're younger, and, and...

and, well, I really do love my kids. Plus they've made me into the person I have always wanted to be: at ease with small children (before I was a mom, they made me inadequate and uncomfortable-feeling, now I'm all like Joey Adams! You need a tissue, honey?) as well as comfortable sending food back on the rare occasion I eat out.

It's interesting, how much validation we all need for our choices. Home Birthers! Attachment Parenting! Ferberize! Have a career first! Live together Befor Marriage! Get divorced! Get married! Get a masters degree!

When what we're really saying is--

this is what I did


what I did was/is right (right?)

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Big-girl Beds and Potty Time...oh My

This afternoon the children were like Jack-in-the-Boxes; as soon as we got one settled, the other popped up.

I am very tired these days. Not that Caspian's schedule is so onerous (he's up at 1-ish, 4-ish, and then the entire household rises at dawn)-- it is more that I go to bed waiting to be woken up. I am on call at almost all times, and after two-plus months... it's getting to me.

I remind myself to be patient. That kids are not static, that this is not my life forever. To enjoy the soft fuzz of his head and his funny little coos and the way his dirtiest diapers don't really smell bad, unless you have a strong aversion to buttermilk.

That being said, I sure would like to go out for a long dinner with K. and come home late, knowing nothing and no one would wake me up.

Maybe for our FIFTH anniversary:) The fourth is rolling towards us, Sept. 18th, and since I am a girl who loves anniversaries and birthdays and Christmases I am quite excited. Four years! Whoa! I remember on our honeymoon people would ask how long we'd been married and we'd stammer, "nine days," or whatever. Four years is quite respectable sounding.

Enough of my complaining and yammering and now for the big news:

Annaliese slept twice this week all night long in her big-girl bed. Good news for Caspian, who is rapidly outgrowing the bassinet; maybe in another two months both my babies will be sleeping in the nursery, Annaliese in her bed, Caspian in the crib, ALL NIGHT LONG. HINT. HINT.


Today, Annaliese peed twice in her potty.

The parents out there know how very impressive this is, and no doubt will want the FULL GORY DETAILS.

No, you need not insist. I'll spill.

We were lounging around in bed this afternoon after the whole Failed Nap Experiment and Annaliese was naked, mainly because the outfit she'd had on at the Farmers' Market was trashed-- sweaty and mulchy from the great magnolia tree.

She made a face I know all too well and we looked down to see a small spot of pee on our white comforter (which come to think of it, is still on the bed. Hmm. Tomorrow.)

"Annaliese," said I, because I work hard to be laissez-faire (sp?) about toddler mess, "if you have to go pee, go to your potty."

Off hopped Annaliese to the bathroom. I heard the seat of her potty clink, and then there was silence. K. and I kept talking about whatever and then Annaliese appeared in the doorway.

"Bee-bee?" she said, because she can't say her Ps yet.

So we rose and lo and behold, a small neat amount of pee in her potty. We clapped and then poured it in the big toilet, and waved "bye bye" as we flushed it away.

About two hours later, after her snack, we were having communal bathroom time and Annaliese sat on her potty and peed once more!

We are very impressed with our little girl.

I'm not rushing off to buy her first set of panties, but wow, people... my baby's such a little rock star.

Have a happy Sunday!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Annaliese in the sink this Saturday

I have been trying to write a post for quite awhile and since the baby is currently crying and Annaliese is hugging her pink blanket covered in chicken poop (don't ask) and crying No, Mama, No, whenever I try to lead her to the washing machine...

there will be no related post.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Not sure folks have seen the fab new shelving K built two weeks ago.

The living room is coming together. No more trash bags on the floor, anywhere!

We took a self-family-portrait too. This involves me positioning the camera, setting the timer, and running like a maniac while we try to entice Annaliese to look at the blinking orange light and not crazy Mama.

Amazingly, we were successful:

So what if the eldest has no clothes on? Shoes are what matter.
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