I don't really have anything to say (my tomato seedlings are coming up? I have a splinter in my thumb? my adirondack chairs got primed last night thanks to my super-cool husband?) but I wanted to say hey to everyone anyway.
So hey! May your day be filled with luscious oranges, strong coffee, and good conversations.
Spring is barely here but these past weeks, I've been in the mood to get my hands dirty. I have me some real farmer boots now (green Hunter wellies) and my very own shovel, safe from the ravenous maw of the Building. Between the four of us (boots, shovel, et moi), I got my 16 trees in the ground last week, each planted the day after arriving.
Plus two fig bushes.
And I'm totally loving it. Not that the results are impressive: planting trees isn't really about immediate gratification, as pretty much it's a lot of work and the end result is what looks like a stick stuck in the ground.
But in my mind's eye: I can see the cherries blooming, and the plums ripening, and the whole sweet perfect triangle of my wee orchard filling up the hillside with awesomeness.
In terms of more immediate gratification, I've got boatloads of annual seeds and plants! But it is only February, after all, and I have to wait to sow my sunflowers and bee balm and asters and hollyhocks and zinnias and cosmos and... until April. The vegetable garden goes in around the same time; good thing I got a buddy with a tiller. The shrubs around the house will go in around mid-March (we plan to have the outside of the house painted by then, so we won't stomp on the blueberries and the hydrangeas).
When I told a member of my knitting group that I was landscaping our new house, she said "oh? Are you putting in some azaleas or something?" And when I answered that I was planting sixteen trees, eleven fruit-bearing bushes, five hydrangeas, a vegetable garden, an annual garden, an herb garden, and a long, long trellis for clematis and crossvine and all sorts of lovelies, her eyes got kind of big.
There's so much left to be done, inside and out. But when I think of how far this whole project has come (we started without walls, y'all), and when I look at the barely visible silhouettes of my fruit trees on the hillside and my willows along the road, I trust that we'll get there.
The Sheetrock guy should be done by next week. The siding is on. The roof is finished. And the flooring is ordered.
Odds are real good that baby #2 will be born at this house.
1. She hates having too-long sleeves that touch her hands, and tries to pull them off if they're not rolled up.
2. She loves to sit on anything that she can back her butt up to and plop down on. Like the shelf in her room, where I get her to sit while I put on her shoes. And the box in our room that K. made me for Christmas one year. And her papa, when he lies on the ground.
3. She gives kisses. She blows them, smacking her lips together, and she also will cup my or K's face in her hands and press her lips (tongue protruding) against cheeks or lips or whatever. It's the cutest thing EVER.
4. She eats probably two-three bananas a day, and whenever she SEES them on the counter, she lets out a little, mmMMMmmm, with a hand reaching.
5. She still, after 13 months and counting, hates having her diaper changed.
Last year, Annaliese was five weeks old and killing me. Killing us! So K's birthday would have been completely lackluster if my sister hadn't been visiting; she made us all crowns, looped beads around our necks, handed us party horns, and helped me make the dinner that K. had requested.
This year we're not quite so exhausted. But still, if I could pick a birthday for my husband... I'd have a backhoe being delivered, laden with his favorite people and a check for a million dollars so he could stay home and play forever with us.
Instead I have fruit trees coming in the mail and an appointment with a horticulturist and I have to teach my knitting class and he has to do a hundred things as well. Which means the actual celebration of his birth won't take place until after the wee one is in bed, the day's chores are done, and even then he won't be getting a backhoe (sorry, honey. I really am.). But there are no words for how happy I am that my sweetie was born, that he exists, that we met, and even though he may not be EVERYONE'S sweetiepiesnookumpants, everyone in the whole wide world should be glad that he is here. He's a great father. A superlative husband. A loyal friend. A fun guy to go snorkeling with. A superb citizen. And so good-looking that the first time I saw him, my heart went BOOM!
He's turning twenty-eight. Back then, he was nineteen.
The laundry's in the machine. The dogs are on the rug. The crew is on the roof. The morning's revisions are next to my elbow.
It's a weekday again!
At least, for me. For my wee sister, who HAS LEFT ME to go study in Brisbane, Australia (miles and miles and miles away from the fires, thankfully) until June, at which point she will NOT come home to see her new nephew but instead plans to spend the summer studying in SHANGHAI, it is more like acclimate-to-her-new-timezone-and-flit-around-a-lake-before-beginning-classes day.
The lily of the valley bulbs she sent me last week broke through the peat moss of their pot this weekend. That, coupled with the fact I can't call her and listen to her insane workout schedule while I gaze at my belly and contemplate yet another slice of toast, makes me miss her.
The weather is fab, the siding is almost all the way on, K. and I primed the ENTIRE HOUSE (except for the three gables which are still un-sided) yesterday in 6 hours while Annaliese rode in a backpack, took a nap in her stroller, hung out in the bed of the truck, and toddled around the porch (under close supervision).
We are working our butts off.
On the house, on the fruit trees (one hole left to dig!), on the building, and then there's the novel and the full-time job and the 13-month-old.
Despite all the work-- all is really quite well. K. and I went out for dinner last night after putting Annaliese down (sitter in the living room) and ate some super-good food at our new favorite restaraunt. We're spending more time together than we have been since we've resolved to work together rather than the divide-and-conquuer approach we were using.
And baby #2 is definitely present. A woman glared at my stomach last night as we left the restaurant, don't know why, but I can tell from the world's reaction to me that I am unmistakably showing.
I don't think about him much. I don't have time, frankly. But having had one child, I'm pretty sure that I don't really have to right now-- because when he gets here, he'll get lots and lots of my attention.
Right now it's more like having a comfortable little buddy riding around me who doesn't talk much, squirms occasionally, and is generally biding his time. Mostly, I find being pregnant pretty pleasant. It's the labor/newborn part that I mentally sigh and resign myself to...
No pictures, because K. took his laptop with him on that "business" trip to New Orleans. Dinner at Galatoire's, a somnelier, a five-star hotel, a distinctly blurry-reading email late at night from a piano bar... but he swears he hates it all and can't wait to return to his girls.
Anyhow, Annaliese is at morning #3 of play school. And so far, we're batting... a thousand? 300? Whatever's THE BEST.
She loves it. Eats like a horse, they tell me; plays like a champ; calmly says "hi" when I come to pick her up but doesn't act anxious to leave, then falls asleep on the three-minute ride home.
Yesterday I came to her classroom without anyone seeing me and I looked over the half-door and saw 4 13-17-month-olds sitting quietly in a half-circle, watching their teacher sing a song and move her hands.
There are 20+ kids at this place, broken into 4 classes by age, and yet whenever I'm there, it is surreally calm. No screaming, no crying; just a whole bunch of little people going about their business of food and play.
The dogs are splayed out on the living room rug, still tired from yesterday's monster walk. My daily cup of coffee (sorry, kid) is to my right; Annaliese is at her first morning of "play school." I pick her up at 11:50, after they've fed her lunch and right in time for a nap.
Four months of this until Baby Boy (who is growing like a weed and moving around frequently) arrives.