not yet running

...and running with a sprightly dog says my blog. I haven't run in months and miss it so. Now that bug is born, I asked my midwife when can I run? When you feel up for it, she said.

Bug is 12 days old today and I don't feel up for it yet. But I am close. I went skate skiing yesterday and, man, it was different than it used to be. Grateful to fit in my ski gear, I fed bug and then we all scurried about to accommodate the small window created by her newly full tum. Andy was instrumental in it happening; he could sense my bummed outness when the boys went skiing on Christmas Eve.

So, yesterday morning, he said Babe, what do I need to do to make sure you get out and ski today? And I thought, Gee, I have the greatest guy in the world. So while it wasn't downhill skiing, I got out and it felt (really effing hard and like my legs are at least 72 pounds each) great.

Andy, his mom, Alice and bug went for a hike up Pattee so they were near my ski path. I huffed along for the first time without my girl since her entry to my world. I have new reason to be strong and keep up with my passions and needs. I have new purpose to be a person who cares for herself and her community. And, a new perspective on efficiency and multi-tasking.

My fresh approach comes from my little bug who is staring up at me as I type (I am learning the important skill of typing with one hand). She has changed everything. But in my first few days of parenthood I am happy to report that my man and I haven't sacrificed all else we love. It is possible even though many said it wasn't: we can keep on with our passions and interests with bug in tow. It is just richer and more treasured. And I think really great for her.

We got home just in time for her next feeding. Still in my ski clothes, we melted into my bed.

After a full night of bug action, Andy is up at our local hill right now. He read the snow report as soon as he woke this morning, checked-in with his girls to make sure all was well, made his french toast and coffee and was out the door within minutes.

Our new life is good so far. I can't wait to go for a run with bug.


been busy

So we had our bug last Tuesday. Margot Bea. I have been busily posting on her blog and dig this chick has been neglected. But here I am and I actually have something to talk about besides painful nipples, her perfect lips, watching her with my man, my swollen heart, her giant, wrinkled feet and how I cannot believe she was in me and is now out: Margot's first holiday skirt.

It is super simple. Rectangles. But I managed to turn it into a full day project that involved a lot of seam-ripping and cursing. I have felt surprisingly energized after the 15-hour, drug-free labor and delivery that rocked my world. I have been craving for Margot to meet friends and get out and about with her. Sewing has been a great way to spend time. She snoozes and sighs in her sling and I, distracted by her amazingness, mess up over and over. And over. But I am super happy with the result. She wore it to John, Tony and Pam's Christmas Eve party.


holiday gifts

I am still pregnant. Honestly, it is making me a bit crazy. I thought for sure last night was the night and then the contractions just stopped after three uncomfortable hours after Heather and Charlie's eggnog party.

So, because I am still pg, today I am able to get started on what will most likely be New Year or perhaps Valentine gifts. I spent two hours at the fabric store yesterday. I found some great fabric but left with low blood sugar and a weakened will.

It is largely because of one woman in particular that just sucked the spirit out of my body as she sauntered through the aisles of bolts and bobbins. She had a bell on her person. Like a jingle bell that rang and rang throughout the store. It was inescapable. It was torturous.

Ding. Chime. Jangle. Tinkle. I think it was attached to the pull on her red holiday coat. It didn't matter if I was looking at fabric markers or 50% off Christmas decorations that no one needs, she was always within 30 feet of me. I just don't know how she could stand herself. Has she become immune to the horrendous tintinnabulation (that was a word that my team studied for the Festival of the Book Defineathon. We got second place.)? Does she believe she is spreading holiday cheer? Does she think others enjoy her incessant chinkling all about town?

I actually left the store without two key ingredients--facing and buttons--and now I have to go back. But I just couldn't take it anymore. I thought about sucking it up and grabbing the items but at that point my brain was loose and my eyes were bulging so I thought it best to leave and return tomorrow.


bug mobile

I having been sewing tiny pillows for an art piece I am working on and wanted to make bug her very own little tiny pillow crib installation. I decided to use the scraps from the quilt, guest room curtains and bug curtains. I tried to draw out the mobile but having never made a mobile and also realizing that I am not a planner in that capacity, I tossed the drawing aside and began enthusiastically cutting. There is always a chance my projects could end in tears but it is how I work.

I settled on nine pillows and cut out random shapes. I did have to redo several because in my cutting fury, I did not place the fabric face to face with several of the organic shapes and therefore, they did not line up. duh.

I then sewed and stuffed the pillows and spontaneously added buttons for contrast and interest. I hear kids like that sorta thing. The buttons came from Sara's grandma's sewing stash I recently inherited. I cut down a 1/4 inch dowel to varying sizes, again not planning so much.

At this point I was very proud and thought wow this is a piece of cake! I should make these and sell them! I could make millions! But then came the tying the itty bitty threads onto the little dowel and trying to make the effing thing balance. I thought I was going to lose my mind. It did cross my mind that I will soon be this frustrated with a kid who isn't balancing and I will not be able to toss the kid across the room as I could with the tiny pillows. And when I would finally get the stupid thing balanced, two pillows would be dangling at the same length so I would have to redo and redo and REDO until they were separated enough and aesthetically random so that the whole thing looked accidental.

So, they are for sale. Cost is $678 each. I am really happy with the result.

I know it is a bad idea to have a cat in a crib but Olive insisted on being my assistant this morning. I am really surprised my cats can jump into the crib. I think it is because I had the quilt draped over the side and they can sort of leap off of the fabric. We are in the process of training.


Nouveau Bitch's Night

Long before any of us had kids, I held a monthly soire at my house. Bitch's Night. The premise was simple: ladies, come on over, bring other ladies, have a beverage or two. It was born out of the fact that of all the amazing women in my life, I don't get to see any of them as much as I'd like and they all know other women that I don't know...so it is an open house for bitches. But it is called Bitch's Night, not Bitches Night. Like we own it.

I had this panicked moment last weekend when I realized that my life as it is now will change forever at any moment. We didn't host a single party last summer, which is highly unusual for me. I haven't hosted Bitch's Night in over a year.

So, I called an emergency BN. And, while many couldn't accommodate the last minute invite (a further testament to our lives moving from I-can-rally-anytime to Let-me-check-my-daytimer), we had a perfect group.

It is different. Yes. We have all dug in a bit. Whether it is career, parenthood or both, we have all made choices that would make it a lot more difficult to pack our subarus and move. Sometimes this is a nostalgic realization. The days of I'll just quit my job if my boss doesn't let me go skiing tomorrow and I think I'll move to Argentina next month have been replaced with marriage, homes, pets, kids and job security.

But this generic shift is a evolutionary and wonderful. Relationships with these women are richer and more thirst-quenching. During my heady introspection at a three hour gathering over soup, I felt so fortunate.
edited, improved 11/10

* olive oil
* one onion chopped
* five garlic cloves, minced
* six large carrots
* three celery ribs, chopped
* one fennel bulb, sliced thin and fronds chopped up
* 6 cups water or broth
* 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
* salt and pepp

  1. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until the onions, fennel and celery. Cook for about five minutes.
  2. Add carrots and cook for another 10 minutes. Stir a lot.
  3. Add water or broth. Simmer for 45 minutes-1 hour--until everything is soft and smells divine.
  4. Add balsamic, salt and pepper.
  5. Use an immersion blender or food processor to puree.
  6. Stir in chopped fennel fronds.


the quilt!

My mind has been whirling about the kid I am about to have. She arrives any day now. People keep saying to enjoy these days because there won't be any more like this. That is difficult because I am just so...

The quilt has arrived. Andy's grandma Dolly made it. I couldn't love it any more. I picked out the fabric and pattern and she assembled it perfectly.

I asked her if she would like to make the quilt and she seemed apprehensive. I couldn't tell if the trepidation was because she hadn't sewn in years or because she didn't want this project so I proceeded carefully. The next day she phoned and told me to send her the pattern so she could study it. And the day after that she had hauled her machine out of the basement to the kitchen.

I don't know how long it has been since she has sewn. I feel so lucky to have something she made. I love staring at the stitches and the composition and imagining her in her kitchen under the china plates that Lewie bought and the picture of the religious-looking man praying over bread, licking her lips as she does when concentrating, threading a needle and piecing it all together.

While taking the above photos, little peanut became irresistibly photogenic. Olive loves to hang out in Bug's clothes. She buries herself way way back of the drawer so I often don't notice her in there and I close the drawer. She doesn't make a peep. And, then, sometimes hours, later I hear this sweet little meu suggesting she would like out.


high fashion: cat wearing

Andy placed our delicate, 16-pound cat in the bug sling yesterday morning. The sling is funny for me to wear right now with a gigantic belly but Sam Bubba loved it. (I adore the sling, called a Sprout Pouch. They are made locally.)

I carried him around for about 1/2 hour. He fiercely purred and occasionally gazed at me drunkenly with adoring eyes. I hope he is not jealous when bug arrives now that he has experienced such splendor.

What is it with babewear and animals? When we receive tiny hats as gifts we immediately put them on our animals to see how they look. And we laugh and give them kisses every time. It never gets tired. It is ridiculous I know. Alice broke in the bright green booties not long ago.


and yet another paint job

We bought our house four years ago and the whole interior shebang was painted a pukey light grayish white. When you entered the temperature plummeted a good seven degrees just because of this color. I really wish I had more pics to demonstrate the severity.

With absolutely no money but lots of creativity and charm, we befriended the paint lady at Home Depot through frequently checking the oops paint counter. We struck gold when we discovered a five-gallon bucket of whitish paint one morning. With a wink and some stroking words, she was soon adding different colors drop by drop. We were customizing our very own, warm color--five gallons of it-- for $20. We call it our first home. Just kidding but I couldn't resist that one.

It is amazing what paint can do. We also bought different hinges for the cabinets from Home Resource (building supply re-use store). They were brass and five cents each. We painted them a nickel color to match the knobs we scored from IKEA. I even painted our ridiculous old fridge in tomato soup.

I bought Canon Ball for the kitchen cabinets and Beehive for the kitchen walls. Our little house perked right up. But I am not one to pick a paint color under the assumption that it will remain that color for very long. I have now grown tired of the black I once had a crush on.

In a monochromatic prenatal state, I painted the whole kitchen in Beehive. I am pleased. Next, I crave baseboard.

In searching through photos for evidence of said pukey gray and Canon Ball, I found the below shot from Thanksgiving three years ago advertising the black cabinets (the one on the right from this year). Guess I can't resist my man with a bird.

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