Tuesday, November 29, 2011

And then she inhaled a pumpkin whoopie pie in the rain

Heading back south tomorrow, leaving Grammy Camp behind. Will shed a small tear, but we miss dada/cc and heck -- we'll be back in a few weeks. Oh, holidees! I love thee.

But hey! Only a couple short nights in Stupid Apartment before we move into our house. Bam! It took till today, but the lease is official and we're IN. I'm excited like woah. I need to host a garden party or sumpin. Or maybe just toast a couple bagels for friends. Nite!

Monday, November 28, 2011

While I eat my millionth Trader Joe's JoeJoe

Wooden shoes = the next big craze. 

'ello! (As Harper says.) I hope everyone had a nice and restful turkey day. I spent mine on the Right Coast, my first over this way in 6 years. It was a lovely first holiday back -- lots of food and family time and oohing and ahing over Chennypants.

I couldn't help but pause to remember last Thanksgiving -- also known as, what I hope will remain and not be usurped ever, The Worst Thanksgiving of My Life. I had a sick baby (who was beginning a very sudden self-weaning) and a very (very) sick husband. Schlepping through the airport, cc weak and unable to carry the baby, the baby wailing from a stomach bug and ear infection, I considered lying down in the middle of everything and letting one of those moving walkways take me away, Calgon. Exhausted from a year of serious sleep deprivation, I was still the only one that felt relatively well. There's no sitting down and kicking up your feet over a slice of pumpkin while the rest of your family is suffering.

We spent those days gritting our teeth, grinning and bearing it -- in cars and planes, sleeping in different beds, swallowing sweet potato, all the while trying to act okay. I'm pretty sure we failed.

The fear and exhaustion and uncertainty of that time was nothing I'd ever experienced. I fought back tears when Harper wouldn't nurse on our last day in Texas. I tried and tried and tried to get her to latch, but she was simply and suddenly done. Beside myself with grief and rejection, I convinced myself I was a terrible mother; looking back, I was anxious about some much deeper things. It was simply something to pin those feelings on.

But shew yikes -- back to the here and now. Exactly a year later and life looks much different. Happier, slower, much healthier, more grateful. Thursday morning, while I tossed the squash in evoo and brown sugar, alone in the kitchen for a minute, I paused. I wasn't anxious, I wasn't scared. I could hear cc and Harper giggling, coloring frogs and ghosts together before they moved onto reading that Arthur book for the 25th time. I started to cry, overwhelmed in the best of ways.

And oh yes, there was plenty of pumpkin this time around.

(Back to the JoeJoes.)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Good guv'nor I love driving more than flying

Sicky Harps and her new best friend, Chewy.

Yesterday, Harps and I made the trip up north to my mum's house. Dude. It was pie. I wasn't sure how it'd all go, but it was seriously fine. There were a couple stops along the way (when she got fussy we did up McDonald's for fries -- it'd been so long and I think they might not be as good? Am I missing the transfat? -- and some running around the scary play thing, then visited with my dad for some intense coloring/doctor kit'ing/soccer playing), but the traffic was nil and I could haul ass drive at a very reasonable speed. (And when she started losing her noodle, a well-placed iPad with some Caillou kept things peaceful.)

What a difference, doing a drive instead of taxi'ing to the airport and checking a bag and going thru security and and -- yeah. I'm also a nut, I think, and love to drive. Always always always prefer to be at the wheel than next to it (unless I'd like a cat nap...)

Speaking of cats! Much to my allergy-ridden husband's dismay (who isn't here yet, but I can imagine his pout-to-be) my mum just got a new kitty and...we're fairly obsessed. His name is Chewy and he has little pointy, crooked ears like Yoda, and he's the sweetest love I've ever met. Last night, after I put my stuffed-up baby girl down in her old school Pooh jammies, as I sipped my tea and kicked up my feet, Chewy climbed onto my lap and cradled himself into a baby position, wrapping his paws around my arm. We are in love for life. (And now I've started obsessively researching dogs. Oh b!)

Post drive tea binge.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Turns out, toddlers love parades

I was originally planning on driving to my mom's house today, to kick off our Thanksgiving celeb early. But then cc was all "Huh? But...I'd miss a whole weekend day with Harps?!" And so okay, can't argue too much with that. Leaving tomorrow instead.

In my defense -- at taking away a sweet biscuit from her dadpants -- I walk in my mom's house and enter Enormous Amounts of Help Land. So when that's beckoning...it can be hard to stay in this here small, nothing-works-ever apartment. But I did!

And listen. On my walk back from the drugstore this morning (scared of the CVS-brand dipes I just bought), I noticed a parade was about to start. It was also probably 68 degrees out and sunny and she's never been to one and I haven't been in years and why not? So I hustled back and told cc he was taking her while I sat at home and didn't. And he did. But then he called and said "Only the motorcycles have come out and she's already so dang happy...I don't think you'll want to miss this." And woooeee he was right.

She was mildly pleased with the drummers and the bugles and the big police horses, but then the huge Macy's-type balloons started coming down the street (A caterpillar! Scooby! Garfield! Cookie Monster!) and she was beside herself. Clapping and yay'ing and pointing and kicking with glee. The sun was shooting sparkles off her little face and she was hugging cc's head and, well, I was suddenly okay with changing a few extra dipes today.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Calm hands

Guys, it felt so good to type out those words last night. I'm never sure ahead of time if I should press publish after putting my weirds out there, but whew. Glad I braved it. Completely cathartic, right before sleeps, right before I drifted into closed eyes closing out a long day.

Thank you for your thoughtful and kind comments and for being so nice to me. It's such a boost to read uplifting words as they ping into my inbox -- especially when it's raining and we're cooped up and I haven't talked to another adult in many many hours. So thank you.

Oh and so crackers and cheesiness out of the way, let me tell you about tonight:

When I put Harper down in her little white bed and cc popped in a video game and I said "I desperately need a peppermint hot cocoa, goodbye!" So I put on my green rainboots and my slouchy cap and went out into the dark city. Where scary people abound? (But 'twas only 7:30, so felt safe-ish...) And I first stopped at McDonald's because I guess they have a gross peppermint concoction for the holidays, but the line was so long and I felt way too close to getting a large fry. Ohhhh a large fry. It's been so so so long.

But since I'd walked that far, I was thisclose to the 'bux where I could get a soy version. Which is better for my face, I s'pose. So I ordered and it was ohsotasty; I started the walk back, jolly and with a minty mouth. Three quarters of the way home, though, on a particularly dark and empty stretch, a car pulled up next to me and two guys jumped out. And I was pretty sure I was dead dead dead with a mouthful of soy, dead. And I was so angry at myself for orphaning my baby, all for some sugar! She'd grow up motherless because I like overpriced hot beverages! I couldn't shop for a prom dress or teach her how to drive stick shift or watch Footloose while she did Algebra homework. Because of cocoa.

But then! They looked at me, shrugged, and...ran across the street to Macy's. And I wasn't dead. I was alive! and my drink was still warm. And I finished it quickly. Tasty, but not quite so much as before.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Words on a wednesday

Oh hey, fingers crossed but... if all works out, we'll be moving into a new pad on December One. Joy! I always feel nervous till the lease is signed and all that (we're in the paperwork phase right now), but tentatively, cautiously excited. It's a really unique place and I really can't wait to get my bum in it. But! Trying not to count chickens yada yada yada.

Should help with the general malaise I've got grooving. I'm happy pants to be back on this coast and excited for things to come, but also in this weird zone I haven't been in since Before Baby days. The past two years, Harper's completely occupied my whole everything -- but now that she's more and more independent (sob, but also yay?) (and also who am I kidding -- she's still 100% dependent on me, she can just... talk and stuff), I find myself thinking about goals with a capital G. Semi obsessively.

And then beating myself up because I haven't accomplished them yet or worry I never will accomplish them or stress because there's really no way to accomplish them while being a SAHM (which I'm committed to being) and wanting more babies. What a completely weird limbo space to be in. Knowing I'm doing what I want to be doing, but wanting a bit more, but not really being able to do it.

Because isn't there a way to live parallel lives? Haven't they cracked that time machine code yet? Where I'm off training to be a yoga teacher in one plane, writing a book in another, having 12 babies in a third; And somehow aware and mindful in each state, appreciating how rad it is I'm getting to live up to my potential (that's in heavy quotes), but also raising chickens in the backyard and knitting an afghan while I breastfeed?

I compare myself to other bloggers who live seemingly flawless and accomplished lives. With etsy shops and beautiful shoes and puppy dogs and master degrees. I compare myself to writers and artists and actors and business people and friends and enemies. I compare and compare and envy and fret and come up zero. Because oh my. Once you start thinking the grass is greener or smarter or prettier, you start to lose. Lose your mind, your grounding, your groove.

Because oh, I know (some of the time, when I've just finished my yoga or I'm drinking my tea and doing a crossword or biting Harper's cheeks and holding her hands) it's all a matter of yet. Not being able to do it all yet. This right now, these hours and days and months, these are my hardcore mothering days. These are the days Harper needs me needs me needs me and these days won't roll around again. They won't be waiting for me later, in a patient pond of things to dip into, like the other wants I want to do. This is it and I have to own it. And I am. It just takes a second to get back there sometimes.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Sunday, November 13, 2011

This weekend.

This weekend, my mom took the train down for a quick visit. The train! A quick visit! Also known as: things made possible by my new locale. Harper lost her mind (I mean, really) when she realized Grammy was in the car all uh the sudden. And I lost my mind when I realized weeeeee! I've got more h-e-l-p! Weeeeee! I can bathe and pee! Grammy usually ends up feeling like quite the VIP.

Navigating the rocky shore. A couple o' pirates.

These pictures are out of order because Blogger wants me committed to a hospital for cranial leakage. But anyways. Here's Harps when she realized I was taking pics of us. Happy happy baby with little pearls for teeth. (Also, this was 2 minutes after a long string of scary, death-defying playground tricks on her behalf. Can't I have a wimpy child, please? I'm scared of her bravery. Does that sentence make sense?)

That little blonde mop needs a serious chopping.

An entirely perfect afternoon for one happened today. (One being me, natch?) I've committed myself to doing 45-60 minutes of yoga during HJ's nap and usually/hopefully this affords me some leftover time when I'm finished sweating for eating and sitting. Today, I finished my mat stuff and then made hot tea, a plate of Indian leftovers, and grabbed the Sunday paper. Stuff dreams are made of. (It lasted about 20 minutes.)

I'm really, really into raita. And making a soupy mess.

I'm loving this insanely warm November. Lots of beach time makes all the people happy.

Every single person thought she was a boy. Sigh.

I told you we transitioned Harps to a bed? I thought it would be a huge, tortuous ordeal but...nothing really changed. One night we just said "Hey! You sleep in a bed now, cool?" And she was all "Okay, cool!" And life went on. She loves the thing and asks to go to bed now, letting us walk away with a jolly "Ni ni!" and I love not worrying about her climbing out of the crib and breaking her bones.

Of course we made sure the room is all safe and secure and fine, However. When she wakes up in the morning, she CAN bolt out of bed quite fast and open her own door (very recent discovery) so that needs to be fixed fast. Don't need her wandering around, making oatmeal and coffee and such. Tonight there shall be a chair blocking her exit, tomorrow we'll get our acts together.

Reading books in new bed. Pretty proud of her digs.

Totally a deer-caught-in-the-headlights shot, buuuuuut I just had to snap a pic of that Book Worm shirt, courtesy of a cc shopping spree. Heh! Tonight I used it as jammies (anyone else use real clothes as jammies when they want to layer up? Er?) and she was so flippin soft and snuggly while I sang Cee-Lo and rubbed her back. This was right before bed, coloring her letters with a "geen" crayon. Little love ham sammich jones burger.

I pluck her eyebrows once a week.

What'd you guys do?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

When you take a froggy to the beach in November

After naps today, I took Harps to a little playground-by-the-ocean. It was crazy beautiful. (Seriously, Connecticut! What's with you?) And we both needed it after a long week (of crayons? I don't know, it was just long) and not enough how-we-like-it time. Because what I've realized this past week or two, with moving and hovering and figuring and driving and such, is that my days -- my normal days -- are centered around her.

And it's mindfully so. Sure, I get my own stuff done. Nor am I a slave to her every whim. What I mean is, I've figured out what she needs and when -- it's a real flow, not a real schedule per se -- and I run our day that way. It works for us. She's content and I'm content and we roll and we roll and then we smooch and sleep and do it all over again.

This is a pretty cool slide, dude. And I dig my "ghost" sweater.
But, mom? I spot the water. Can't nothin' hold me back from that. 

So I'mma hand you my boots. And I'mma get my ocean pedicure on. Sweet November bliss.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

A few things, bullet point style

Strolling around our new lil courtyard.

- At least half of Harper's clothes you see pictured in pictures are hand-me-downs from the loves in my life. Thank you and you know who you are! (Christie and Mandy, <3) I love them more than new things! They're dusted with cool girl vibes and stuff. 

- Yesterday was such a bad day. Bad bad bad badness. Some of it was bad in a yeah, this sucks and I know why way. Harper had some very lengthy, very terrible, hitting-herself-in-the-head-with-her-own-hand tantrums (brought on by long car rides and different everything and mucho undersleep from the time change and, like, once I moved her red crayon to the wrong side of the coloring book?) and I didn't feel well. And then I got my hopes up about something and then it didn't happen and then Harper screamed some more. And then there were some can't-put-my-finger-on-it things that made my mood terrible/made even normal things (we were out of carrots) seem insurmountable and horrifying. I don't know, dude. But. Bad. 

- But today was much better, thanks!

- We've taken to watching (in the absence of DVR and a good Internet connection for streaming) our shows real time (feels so old-fashioned!) and then, well, eventually the show Tosh.0 comes on. And um? I feel like maybe I shouldn't admit this, but it's hysterical. I can't help myself.

- Harps is now 21 months old! It's insane! We've been obsessively looking at pictures of her as a teeny tiny bebe. She is (Exorcist style tantrums aside) a riot these days. Right now she loves, in no particular order: stickers, tying cc's bootlaces into knots, running, putting iPod earbuds in her ear and "jamming", bowls of peas, blueberry muffins, this-little-piggy on her toes, her new Ugg knockoffs, being outside, "reading" Goodnight Moon to herself ("ni ni cats! ni' ni' mouse! ni' ni' moon!"), doing her elaborate secret handshake/kiss routine with cc, holding hands, sleeping in her new bed, hiding in closets, doing puzzles, CARROTS, stairs, music videos, Batman comics, the nude lady statue outside our apartment. She's a complex girl.

- I somehow have 1 pair of pants I can wear without feeling dumb. They are brown corduroys from J. Crew, cc picked out for me at an outlet last winter. Every pair of pants I buy, I take home and they don't fit. What happens between the dressing room and my bedroom? Nobody knows. I do, however, like my shirts?

- Think I need some leftover pizza and orange juice from a wine glass.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Oh, b! (Harper's favorite exclamation)

After breakfast at the Sugar Bowl. Happy girl at the Republican HQ. Am I raising Alex P. Keaton?

I admit I felt a little glum about our current digs the first few days here. Last week we were in a cozy, decorated-just-how-we-liked bungalow and suddenly we were in an apartment with a smelly hallway and paintings from hell/K-mart in our bedroom and yellow, un-hot water. But then I pulled my grumpy self together (and we got a new water heater) because ... this place is free, dude. Free. Stop yer mumbling and pull yourself together, woman.

Re-arranged the furniture some. Scattered little play stations for Harps (tiny to-die-for IKEA cups/saucers with a doll to feed, stickers/paper, library book piles, crayons/coloring books, train set), stocked the fridge with foods we love, bought a red mum for the mantle, put on some Raffi. It's amazing how much a few days of living and some effort can do to revamp a vibe.

Other than getting settled and un-jetlagged/travel traumatized, we spent the weekend driving around all the little towns we might live in. Trying breakfast places and playgrounds, zipping down side streets and peeking thru windows. I admit I didn't know a dang thing about Connecticut before moving here, but hooooeeeee is it beautiful down here. (See how I call it down? Because I'm from Mass and now spend all my time in Maine? Heh.) This particular section is all along the ocean...but then there's lakes and ponds and creeks and, well, just a hell ton of water. I love water. I missed the water. I'm happy.

Of course with all this loveliness, comes crazy high price tags. So it'll be interesting to see where we choose to settle. Smaller/funkier house, but perfect town? Bigger house/land, but a little more remote? I know you're on the edge of your seats.

Off to bed! Way too late as usual. (I just saw a local news segment about a cat who survived for months alone in an airport? Yeah, it's time to go.)

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

I haz East Coastness

Double chins! Boyfriend sweater! Snowflake turtleneck! Random house's pumpkins!

Guys. GUYS. We're here! In Connecticut! Alive! We did it. (Barely, it felt, at times.)

Moving ain't easy. Even if you've done it a million times. Even if you think you gots it in the bag. You probably don't. There were slow movers and feisty landlords and hotel pizza parties (and oops! her pack 'n play got packed and I guess she'll be sleeping on a mattress now?) and many processed foods in bags and boxes and a toddler who got lost many times amongst boxes and mattresses and empty closets. I thought I'd learned my lesson about losing that one, but nope. Lost her like 12 times this week.

Oh also? Because of delays (oh, just a blizzard and stuff) in Denver, we got free teevs for our ride. After many many hours of traveling and almost zero minutes of nap, H was approaching DEFCON 1. Desperate to keep her lid on, we found a Tom and Jerry cartoon on the mini screen. Oh my heaven. I've never seen anything sweeter, truly. She was so, so concerned for both T and J. Eyebrows scrunched up and mouth in a frown. "Oh no! OH NO!" as Jerry got smushed by yet another anvil. (And we exchanged looks like um...bad parenting move maybe?) Then she'd get frantic. "More mouse? MORE MOUSE?!" And then he'd come back to life and she'd look so relieved. And then Tom would pour a barrel of fish on his head and she'd bust out laughing. For about 4 seconds. And then back to very, very worried for their health. Oh wow. Best (only good?) part of today.

So yeah. As I sit here, on this fuzzy green couch in our temp housing, I can't believe we just took a one way plane zoom to the East Coast?! Like...not round trip. Like...this is our home now. As our plane descended this afternoon, cc and I looked at each other and seemed to realize at the same time... "We live here." Woh.

Tonight, after 12 hours without food (I did feed my child), we inhaled a huge veggie Indian feast and put Harps to sleep in a big walk-in closet on a down comforter. (Yes, really.) And we took a deep breath, put up our feet, kissed our apologies for all the snapping we both snapped this week, and settled into our new little life.