Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Blueberry picking

Picked this morning, originally uploaded by Secretsugar.

Sometimes this real life business is pretty sweet. I just took the girls out to an organic pick-your-own blueberry farm way outside of town. Like an idiot, I forgot to bring my camera which was a real shame. It was so peaceful and all the mamas and kids--and it seemed to be only mamas with their kids out there--were so happy and relaxed. The blueberries were abundant, a bumper crop according to the cheerful women running the stand. Sister asked how much their bushes usually produced each year and they told us it was somewhere between 6,000 and 10,000 pounds of blueberries.

Can you imagine?!

I swear, I want to retire to a pick-your-own blueberry farm now and have that be the way we make our living. I walked away with the sense that the world is fruitful and abundant, that all it takes to be your real self is to live that close to things that grow. Happy children running around exclaiming over every little amazing everyday thing--a dragonfly wing, a bird's nest, all those berries, an ancient apple tree--doesn't hurt either.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Something fun

It's hard to put together the chatty, light-hearted post I'd half-written in my head earlier today now. It's been a long damn day. Husband had to leave the house for something work-related at 7:00 am this morning. He returned for 45 minutes this afternoon--long enough for me to make a solo trip to the grocery store--and then was back out again til 9:30 tonight. When he got home, the goddamn dog woke both the baby and Bean up with his shrill little miniature Schnauzer yapping and I could have thrown him across the room. Sweet P has just, just fallen back to sleep after screaming for the last hour. Stupid frigging dog.

So anyways.

Remember how I wrote about real life, wanting to live a real life, something...what the hell did I say about real life? 'Cause all this doing real life stuff is tiring! Here's a list of real stuff I've been doing since my last post:

1. Repainting my downstairs bathroom. A room probably 10 square feet has taken me most of last week to (almost) finish painting during naptimes. Why am I doing this? Is a turquoise bathroom really worth it?

2. Dealing with Bean's mysterious, horrible spider bite. She woke up yesterday morning with a hugely swollen ankle and 2 tiny pus-y (um, how do you spell the adjective describing something containing pus...?) fang marks in the middle of it. She's on a course of antibiotics now because it was already getting infected. We're supposed to be looking out for necrosis. That's dying tissue that will have to be removed via surgery, for you spider bite neophytes.

3. Running naked in a thunderstorm with some college girlfriends and drinking entirely too much wine. Yes, this really happened! I'm too old to be drinking that much wine, though, and my liver hates me now.

4. Hmmm, can't think of much else just now besides changing a lot of diapers, nursing, and cleaning up a lot of poop and pee, of both the child and animal variety. Do any of you other moms feel like most of your day consists of wiping someone's butt?

5. Did I mention that Sweet P can crawl as of last week? It's a whole new world for both of us. She's interested in all kinds of things now--delicious bathroom trash, dog ears, the compost bucket, dust bunnies, electrical cords. I forgot about this dashing around to protect my infant from all things disgusting part of baby-mamahood, I must confess.

Off to bed now. It's late for this mama and both the big girls were demanding to do "something fun" tomorrow before they went to bed. And I get the sense that it better be something real, too. None of this "Let's just hang out!" stuff I've been trying to get by them lately.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Trying to catch a morning frog

Please ignore the black plastic of Husband's waterfall-in-progress, and try not to worry that Bean will fall in here. (She didn't.) It was such a lovely, cool morning after last night's thunderstorm that we were all drawn out onto the patio to enjoy the cool even before we'd had our respective morning beverages.

There's a frog under the rock that Bean's after there, and you can't tell in the picture but there were several bullfrog tadpoles--which are the size of my thumb!--surfacing and diving, nibbling on algae, maybe. It felt like autumn for a little while.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Sleep-deprived and jonesing for some mama time

What the hell has happened to my sweet angel baby? I'm not joking here when I say that she woke me up probably about a dozen times last night. Teething? The fact that she just learned to crawl yesterday and is practicing in her crib when she should be freaking sleeping? I don't know! I've had no problem letting her cry it out ever since I went on nighttime nursing strike last week. But the other morning I came into her room to get her up and her leg was stuck between the bars of her crib all the way up to her chubby little thigh. That's a first for me, so now I'm worried now that she's going to injure herself through my slack-ass, third-baby parenting. Ugh. I dread going to sleep tonight.

Despite my recent angst about my on-line time, I did lollygag around today on the sofa with my trusty laptop, browsing amazing Flickr photos and inspiring Etsy shops. I'm dying to try my hand at something called itajime after I saw this gorgeous little quilt. I also really really really want this to be my sewing space.

See? So inspiring! And so utterly unattainable for me with my sleep-deprived brain and utter lack of any long stretches of free time. One of these days though....

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Is there life without the internet?

I've been struggling with finding the time to blog lately. And struggling with some new mixed feelings about my life + internet, too. When I posted about our cabin vacation a few weeks ago, I didn't mention how absolutely eye-openingly lovely it was to be without internet access or television for that week. Do any of you remember life before the internet? It's a distant dream, isn't it? I had forgotten how my days could be filled with real activities if I didn't have a computer doing it's daily time suck thing. I could read! I could sew! I could pay attention to the hilarious things my children come up with! I could think long thoughts! In short, I could have a REAL life and not some shadow life where I was just reading about what others are doing with their time, y'know? It made me want to go back to my pen and paper journal and just board up my little on-line cave here. Horribly luddite of me, I know.

But here's where those of you who know about Spoonflower, our (ahem) internet-based business, will start to think the obvious: "Um, you know you can't chuck that computer out the window if you've got help emails to answer and craft blog posts to write and all, right...?" Sigh. I DO know that. And I have no intention of avoiding that part of my new job description of stay-at-home, work-from-home mama.

I'm still trying to decide how to keep that feeling I had at the cabin, though, of remembering REAL ways to spend my time and energy. I'm a things-in-front-of-me kind of girl all the way, I guess.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

I have a 10-year old!

DSC01081, originally uploaded by Secretsugar.

It's hard to believe that 10 years ago this child made me into a mama, but there it is. Time passes and they grow up.

Sister had 4 friends over for a sleepover for her birthday which she also did last year. But this year all of a sudden the girls seemed so grown up. They got along well without me having to intervene and make them be nice to each other. They told jokes, they listened to each other, they made little "trading cards" to exchange, and they just generally hung out and enjoyed each other's company without me having to do much besides feed them and make them brush their teeth. (Oh, and settle down at 1:30 in the morning when the baby woke me up and I realized that I could still hear them giggling loudly downstairs.)

One of my favorite things they did was riff off of this Worst Case Scenario board game we have. At first, they got a kick out of reading the cards to each other, but then began making up their own scenarios:
"How to eat your lucky underwear after a volcano erupts."
"How to survive an unexpected poop."
"How to drink your pee in a dire emergency."
"How to use a chicken and a DVD as clothes in dire trouble."
"How to survive in a room with a toilet, Hagrid's butt, and a saw."

They just keep being hilarious, I guess, no matter how old they get!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Crisp around the edges

Husband has taken all three girls and the dog out for an evening's walk around the neighborhood. I am grateful, if all too aware how quickly this little piece of quiet will last.

I am burnt out, I think. Short-tempered with everyone, sleep-deprived, and having dreams about how I fail at trying to fix things or make them better. Husband told me the other night that my overreacting to Bean's nightly ruining of dinner is in fact ruining EVERYONE'S dinner. I've decided that ignoring my middle daughter at dinner is my best strategy, but I can't just ignore everyone all the time.

Actually, I don't know what the hell I need to make this better. I mean, I THINK I know what I need, but it's so unlikely that I'm going to get it anytime soon that it seems pointless to try and do much. I need to be able to sleep nights for at least one long chunk of time. I need to be not the only one maintaining the house on a daily basis. I need someone to fix shit that's broken around here. I need some time daily to do a little something for myself--just an hour or so would do. And I don't want to make it the very last thing in my day after the dishes are done and the mess picked up and the trash taken out and the laundry folded.

And while I'm making a list of things that I'd get in my ideal world, I'd like for kids not to scream back or sigh dramatically or glower sullenly at me if I ask them to do something they're not particularly fond of. I'd like people to remember the things that I tell them or request of them for longer than the day that I tell or request them. I'd like my mother to be involved more in my kids' lives and, like, keep them at her house sometimes. I'd like to have no t.v. I'd like to chuck the computer out the window and go live in a big, ancient farmhouse somewhere out in the country where there was a pond and animals and a huge garden and quiet and you could still see the stars at night.

All that stuff I want. Anyone else feel like joining me?

Monday, July 07, 2008

Last vacation

Hmmm. Guess I shoulda said something about how I'd be gone for Husband's family reunion last week, huh? We were up in the mountains of TN at his family's cabin and had a really lovely time. Just for the record, I take back everything I ever said about the (ahem) rustic state of the cabin. When we drove up, I was startled to note my happiness in seeing it again, spiders, dust, must and all. And I promise, it wasn't all due to my relief at getting out of the van after 8-1/2 hours. No, really! I was even genuinely sad to be coming home, and I usually LOVE to come home after vacations. Was it me who even suggested to Husband how great it would be to stay there for a month sometime?! Yes, it was!
But here we are at home and it is nice to be back after all, except for the evidence of an enormous storm that blew through on the 4th. It knocked a huge branch off our neighbor's old maple, crushing a particularly lovely part of my flower garden out front. I have blackberry lilies, obedient plants, hollyhocks, and spiderwort there and hope they'll all perk up again. Oh, and a 7-foot tall cactus we keep on our front porch to ward off religious proselytizers fell over, taking out both our porch railing and half a gardenia bush. Our metal porch railing! Now there's a big hole in the house siding that will no doubt cost an arm and a leg to repair. How random is that?

Still, it was a lovely vacation and our last one for quite awhile, I think, since work is getting so busy. Hope all you American types had nice holidays, too!