hump day nuggets: the new year

hump day nuggets: little bits of the season in photos and words about the last week

This week is the first week of our new life. Since Ruby's birth, we've either had company, been in the hospital or on holiday and this week Andy is at work and I am at home with our kids and animals.

Overall, the past few days have been great. I love it. Margot is a big help and really funny and I find that, like most everything, frustration can be turned into fun when I let go of silly, unnecessary agendas. But, oh to get out the door takes me about 27 conscious decisions, accompanied by very deep breathes that could be interpreted sighs, to turn frustration into fun.

The hardest part for me is deciding what to check off that looooonnnng list of to-dos when both girls are asleep or occupied at the same time because it is pretty rare when those stars align. I end up starting an essay, a sewing project, a load of laundry, dinner and to pick up the house but not finishing anything and that sits with me like a turd sits in a punch bowl. Andy thinks I need to be more organic about it, the list, and just allow time and capacity to determine the checking off. Organic.

The easiest part for me is loving my girls. I am really fortunate to have this opportunity.

So there is easy and there is hard. I promise to report on both. Nuggets:

:: Big, fat flakes are the best.

Alice wears them well.

:: New year's eve we met up with friends and visited Caras Park for pony rides, a downtown bonfire and a sweet concert on campus. My chicken was beside herself. Mama, three ponies. Big ponies. Blue helmet. Ever since the birthday party last summer with ponies, she has been asking to ride ponies. Just out of the blue like over pancakes or while on the toilet, ride the ponies?

We nearly missed it as I incorrectly thought the rides went until 6pm and after an afternoon of using the pony rides as a major leveraging tool (Margot, pick up your blocks and we'll go see the ponies! and so on), on the trip there I realized they went until 5pm. I gasped and we both looked at the 4:57 on the clock as we crossed the Orange Street Bridge.

Margot was bucking in her car seat in the back exclaiming ponies! eleventeen ponies! downtown! We squeaked in and she was very pleased and I didn't have to spend the evening feeling like an asshole because I promised my two year-old ponies and didn't deliver.

We were home by 8pm, popped open some good champagne to sip with our take-out and were in bed by 10.

:: New year's day was lazy and fun.

Had friends over for dinner and I had my first ever attempt at a traditional french baguette and it totally sucked. Here's why: the crust wasn't crusty enough and the nooks were too uniform. But the process was really beautiful and I'll try again. I'd love tips. Like, I'd like it if you'd say, Nici, you need a new, really nice oven.

:: Margot's favorite post-nap game: do this. She very assertively says, mama, lay down right there and points to a tiny place on my bed. And then, if I miss the spot, she redirects me, no, right there. And then, mama, do this. Her little version of simon says. I love it.

:: And bug had her first adventure on skis. More in my mamalode column next Monday.

Monkey loved it.

I loved it too.

There's just something about seeing my husband with our two girls. He's a handsome dude and I adore him.

Ruby slept through most of the excitement and snow flakes, nestled against one our bodies. It was a great day.

By the way, getting out the door with a two year-old and five week-old is challenging but getting out the door with with a two year-old and five week-old and ski gear....I want a merit badge.

:: While everything shifts throughout the day and we are sorting out our stride, Margot is usually running within four feet saying mama this way or mama looket this and Ruby Jane is near my heart. And, really, what else matters? The stride will find itself.


Tammy B said...

Yay for Hump Day!! Was totally excited when I saw a new post, I forgot it was hump day nuggets day :)

The organic, letting go, thing. It will happen naturally. You will do whatever has to be done, or whatever you have time to get done - and the rest? Tomorrow is another day.

And Margot on skis? How cool is that? Looks like so much fun, even though I'm not a skier myself. Tried it once, it hurt bad. Never tried it again. But then again, we don't live where you can ski everyday. SO.

Really enjoy reading your tidbits. Looks warm and cozy, fun and lovey. Let me know when you perfect that french baguette, then post the recipe :) Been into baking the breads lately - without the bread machine. Haven't gotten the seed bread to rise properly yet, but I'm not done trying!

Sorry, that was a bit rambly :)

j.j. said...

Hey Nici~
Glad to see your past week or so in pics...was that RLM???!! Seeing Margot (and you!) on skis makes me want to give it a go after more than 10 years now! yikes. Your back yard photo is great. What a cool retreat - in any season! love ya...

LeLo said...

It's a whole new year, it's a whole new life. Kinda sorta. Love love love the pony ride photo: the smile tells it all.

Melissa said...

The pony photo is the best as far as happy kid photos go. Talk about organic!

And you get more than a merit badge for being out there on your skis with your girls and your man. Oh, I love RJ in the ergo wrapped up like that, and also in the sling near your heart. You are so awesome. Lots of deep breaths and no judgment of yourself about what you should/shouldn't be doing. And you have only just begun! Why are we so hard on ourselves??? Maybe you could explore that question in one of your columns . . .

And you deserve a nice new viking oven and I bet you surely will get it. Love from SF.

Katie said...

I loved Ruby's birth story! I don't think I took a single breath while reading it, which is exactly how well written it was. What an all-encompassing powerful experience. And so much energy to pass on to sweet Ruby. Surely must have helped carry her through those next few weeks.
So wish we lived closer. Sounds like we're spending our days so similarly. xoxo

Ann said...

I look forward to Wednesdays for you Hump Day post. I know what you mean about NEEDING the house to be clean. I have tried to leave it messy and not worry about and I have decided I'm just not wired that way. I think when you are a neat freak a mess will never be okay. I get up around 4:30 every morning so I have 30 minutes to clean by myself before I leave for work. it's my fav part of the day some days.

Joan said...

Very good Nicole. That pic of Margot on the pony is so cute and the ones of the both of you being silly. Great times on the mountain. Even Ruby was having fun. I picked the picture of Ruby up in the air for my screen saver this week. That hat is a kill. As I look over these for a third time I can't help but be proud of Margot for wearing her mittens. Margot I knew you could do it. XOXO

booksNyarn said...

That is a beautiful shot of Alice!

I made my first baguette this week too. Not "properly" (it's a no knead dough) but still not bad. Do you make a steam bath in your oven? It seems to help make the crust crunchy.

Oh, it seems that making to-do lists and letting go of them is the bane of ANY mother's existence, especially with wee ones like Margot and Ruby. Deep breaths, smiles, and the joy you obviously see make the time much easier though. :)

Anonymous said...

I am a lurker and love your blog. Congrats on surviving the last month. If you can do that, you can get a handle on the organic parenting/life management.

About that bread...give up the baguettes (until that Viking oven arrives) and do a boule in a pre-heated, covered, cast iron dutch oven. Here's the link that explains http://is.gd/5OGch
We have fresh bread several times a week with this method. Painless and truly yummy.

Jean said...

Oh, God, loved the pony story and pony photos. That so takes me back to my very own pony-honed days, right Joan? OMG.

Glad things are moving along just as they should. But, uh, I don't get "organic." Does that mean to just go with the flow?

And yep, that hat is a killer on Ruby. I'm sure you're all in heaven on that ski hill.


jen said...

that smile atop the pony and skis? absolutely shining.
you rock at this mama thing.
2 feels overwhelming at first ... but believe me ... it gets just right ... very soon.
3 though ... you have every right to tell me i'm crazy.

Lurky Mommy said...

Well, this post was so lovely and had such an ordinary, every-day feel to it. I mean that in the best sense as I am thinking you have had more than your fair share of dramatic posts lately. And you're right, the stride will find itself. Just soak up all the good stuff while you're in these sweet moments! Now...bread. I started using the book Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day last August and have not bought bread since then. In this book, you will find the secrets to perfectly yummy baguettes and lots of other good stuff. There is a new book out I like even better: Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes A Day full of whole grain recipes. Their blog is www.artisanbreadin5.com It's worth checking out. Happy baking!

FinnyKnits said...

Sounds like you're getting your rhythm - even if the results are a little wild right now. I love that

Margot has become your helper, she is such a big sister already. And I'm so glad she got to ride her ponies because the look on her face? That's happy right there.

Congrats getting her out on skis, too. The sooner the better!

I'm loving very much that teddy bear hat on Ruby. Cute cute.

Chiot's Run said...

Yes you need a great new oven, as I do as well :)

I second the person who said steam!!! I you put a roasting pan on the bottom of the oven filled with some lava rocks, then add a cup of hot water when you put the bread in the oven should help with the crispy chewy crust. I'd recommend checking "The Bread Baker's Apprentice" by Peter Reinhart out of the library for great step by step tips & photos on how to make wonderful delayed fermenation bread.

Love the photo of the puppy - our chiots loves the snow as well, she gets all excited when she spots white on the ground.

TRB Holt said...

Well Burb I clicked on every photo, as I read, saving it as my background, only to find the next one to be "IT"....felt like a kid in a candy store! Finally settled on the one of you and Bug on the slope, all smiles! Will probably change it out daily.

Margot Bea …..all I can say is watch out Picabo Street or maybe Torah Bright, (since snowboarding may be your passion….like you papa’s). Anyway, I look forward to our first run together and I will definitely be singing, “Here comes the Sun”! Did you know I learned to ski at Missoula Snow Bowl too? I remember in 1966, when I first stated, (I was in 8th grade), a season pass was $50. I just looked it up now, in 2010, the cost for me, at that age, would be $526. Just for fun, you’ll have check and see what it is when you are 13! Bakka was 4 years old when he began skiing it was at Lost Trail….from Missoula you go though the Bitterroot Valley it is on the Montana/Idaho boarder. You mama took her first turns when she was two years old at Big Mountain in Whitefish, Montana. I checked with your Grandma Joan and your papa started at the age of 4 in Red Lodge, Montana. Okay enough of the ski history lesson. What about that pony!!! Maybe Santa will bring you one next year; I know your mama would find a cozy place to bed it down! I will help muck out the stall, feed and provide riding lessons.

Ruby Pie, your mama just told me you are now over 8lbs!!…..all that good Montana livin’ & lovin’will do it! Having a mama, papa and big sister, like you have, to watch over you is also a big plus! You seem mighty content in your snuggly garbs…I love the photo of your papa holding you up, you now own a piece of our beautiful Montana Big Sky! Soon you will be schussing down the slopes behind Margot….or given your already demonstrated determination…we will all be following you!

Yes Nici, you are married to one handsome dude! Not to mention an all-round great guy, I do need to tell him…”Andy ~ Nici, needs a really nice oven”…one fit for a ‘Viking’!!! I must say it is quite sorry that Margot has a better-looking one than you...hmmmm can Andy wire it up?

I love you all!

xoxo, Mom/Grammy

ps…the snow flakes become you sweet Alice!

dig this chick said...

Yay thanks for all the bread advice! Lurky, I have Artisan Breads in Five Minutes a Day! It is collecting dust and I VOW to shine it up and dig in. Thanks for the reminder.

I sprayed several times with water but didn't do a steam bath...good to know.

Also, good to know I really do need that oven.

Mom, what a very thoughtful comment. xo

TM_Erin said...

Holy smokes...could that smile be any bigger on Margot? (Horse riding photo.)

savagemama said...

Nici, you really do need a new oven. I've never been a baker and with this new, fancy, gas, convection thingy Richard got for us on some Kiwi deal, I made Christmas cookies (twice!) from scratch this year. A new oven, it's what you need.

Sage said...

What a sweet sweet life you have made for yourself! It warms my heart and brings a smile to my face to see you and margot so in the moment and having fun skiing. I look forward to reading about the easy and the hard in 2010. Love your space and love you for sharing it. And thanks for the email. It truly means so much. xo

6512 and growing said...

Your pictures are lovely.

Amazing, the leap from one child to two. Making the love go 'round is easy, getting out the door is not.

Congratulations on getting back to "normal."

Kelle said...

so, here i am. unpredictable, for once. :o)

margot's absolutely perfect circle of a face surrounded by hat on skis.

happy pony face.

self portraits.

snow on red fence.

baby ruby reflexes as she's stretched into snowy sky.


Conny said...

I LOVE this post - all of it: the photos, the stories!! I'm glad Margot got her chance on the pony ride - it's such a drag to disappoint. Wonderful Wednesday.

@Chiots Run - Peter Reinhart is a great instructor and very nice: I was able to take a workshop of his at Sur La Table in my area a couple of years ago. If he ever teaches in your area, taking his class would be well worth it.

Domestic Diva said...

great, great post!! the rhythm of your new life will come. so don't sweat it because it really does seem to work itself out on its own. time is all you need. so just keep on lovin' and livin'!

and i have to say, loved bug on the skiis! my husband is crazy about skiing. and since we live a good distance from anything he considers halfway decent (i have to sneek to look at your blog sometimes because the pictures of montana are just too much for him. he loves big sky country!), he doesn't go often enough. but he's made his decision, and this is the year our big kids will get on skiis!

can't wait to read the article on monday ...

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