Thursday, November 29, 2007

Holiday Nesting

I was talking with our doula on the phone last night while making holiday gifts (can't say what I was making, you might be getting one!) and she said "Oh, you're nesting!" I hadn't thought of that, I thought I was just trying to save money. But I guess I am (on both counts).

It's almost impossible for me to describe why it is so important for me that I really work to reclaim Christmas this tear, given my mother's death on Christmas Day last year. But it seems absolutely crucial to try to get it back — or I am afraid I never will. This time was always so important to her.

I feel similarly about the nursery and getting the house ready — that it needs to be a welcoming space for our daughter to come into. Thus the importance of crib sets, etc. to me. Why are the nice ones so expensive? No matter how important this is, I can't justify $500 for a few yards of cloth. I hope everything works out to get the carpet installed on the 3F this weekend.

Yes, we are meeting with our doula tonight. her name is Vanessa, and she is AMAZING. We hit it off immediately at our introductory meeting. More after tonight.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

So Tired

Why is it still so dark in the morning? Isn't standard time supposed to fix that?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Arizona Pictures




I would crash Blogger for the whole world if I spent time upoading all the pics now.

Suffice it to say we had an incredible time, Sue and Bill's place is beautiful, and it was truly wonderful.

See for yourself here:
http://flickr.com/photos/snugglewombat/sets/72157603231660018/

Friday, November 16, 2007

Things I Cannot Even Begin to Tell You

- How lovely it is here.
- How much I love my husband.
- How I suddenly became uber-pregnany, overnight.
- How happy I am for the wonderful friends I have.
- How much I need to be working on this grant, yet am procrastinating.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Scottsdale, Arizona

We are at Patrick's client's, in one of the most beautiful homes I have honestly ever been in. We have our own *casita* guest house, and I am looking out over the sunset. The house is warm, livable, welcoming — so very much like Sue herself. I foolishly did not bring my camera cable, but will post a set of photos to my flickr account when I erturn so you can see what I mean.

It brings to mind the idea of the best. In the past few days, we have been talking a lot about being the best people/citizens/mmbers of society/parents/etc. that we can be. There are a lot of aspects to that, but the conversation started when I met with the fund manager with the Minneapolis Foundation, where we have our small family foundation. How do we ensure that we are avid, careful yet generous, responsible, donors who do the best with our money? Right now the fund is not fully set, so I think we will just do some low-key charitable giving this year-end. It's a hard place to be in, because right now money is tight and we are still trying to recover from the past few years of financial issues for both of us; though a far more stable future is in sight, it is not here yet. But it feels like we ought to be getting a start on it now.

More musings on being a good citizen later. i'm interested to knwow what others think.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Nesting

The #1 sign that I am pregnant (well, besides the belly, food cravings, and stroller obsessions), is the fact that I am nesting like there is no tomorrow. I have baked no fewer than four cakes this week, and am beginning to eye the freezer so I can stock with food for easy post-baby thawing. This afternoon I decided my credit card was my friend and ordered 800 square feet of carpet for the 3rd floor. And, while I was painting the basement wall this afternoon (and then touched up the living room, then the dining room), I realized that there really is Nothing I Would Rather do right now than house projects (well, and perhaps read, and snuggle with Patrick). But you get the idea.

Now, if you'll excuse me, there's a pile of mending over there...

Monday, November 5, 2007

More Room Pics


Also wanted to show this picture of the reading/nursing nook we set up next to the bed. The chair and ottoman are on loan from our friend Erin, who is in the Democratic Republic of Congo for the year. The shelf we purchased yesterday at Ikea. My friend Brandon brought me the scarf on the wall from China, and I got the rug free at a seminar tonight. Very cozy!

Home Improvements




So, after a year of meaning to do so, I have finally finished the curtains for our 3rd floor bedroom / office area!

The process of dealing with them has really been quite complex. You see, my sewing machine and I have been in a battle of wills for years.

The machine was my mother's. She received it in the mid 1970s, from a lawyer she was dating, who thought that it was all she really needed to make her a domestic goddess/proper little lady. She was intimidated by the machine (or perhaps the attitude), and I remember the few projects she took on to be full of angst, frustration, and language perhaps not suited for a small child to witness. Before long, the machine was relegated to a corner, and she returned to crafts more her forte — sequined napkins and Christmas ornaments, knit mice slippers, and the like.

The machine, confident that it had prevailed, grew more assured of its powers.

I learned to sew in a theater costume shop, where attitude (of the machine, OR the actors) was just not an option. In a costume shop, you have a lot to do and a limited time to do it.

My mother then gave the sewing machine to me. Knowing I was my mother's progeny, it sought to intimidate me as well. I was having none of it. For years it has fought me with bad tension and other, more mysterious problems. One Christmas I actually asked for a new machine, only to re-receive this one, all tuned up. Sigh.

It tried its tricks again tonight, but I really wanted to get the curtains done, so I wrestled it into submission. And finally, after all these years, by the second panel it gave in. I have curtains, and a sewing machine wiling to collaborate with me.

They are not the be-all and end-all of all curtains. But I like them and they look pretty good, and I got to spend some time in my future daughter's room (where we have the machine until the front room is finished) working on them, and I feel good.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Because I Sometimes Forget How Important Friends Are

Our lives have been jam-packed with both administrivia and pathos lately, and it's really taken us away from one of the most important things in our life — true connections with friends. Last night we got to hang out with a a great dinner party of diverse people (including the couple that introduced us), eating sushi and playing Apples to Apples and laughing like we have not had a chance to in quite some time. Tonight our friend Kelly came over for dinner, and then we brought dessert over to Carrie and Jason's and just hung out — it was so nice to connect. Tomorrow, more of the same at Maisie's 1st birthday party!

No matter how overwhelmed we can get, these connections are keystones in our lives, and it feels nice to dedicate some attention to them.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Dark Days

I am not trying to be a slacker poster. I've just been going through a rough patch right now, and I was discussing with a friend at lunch yesterday, it doesn't matter how honest you are trying to be, it's hard to put those thoughts and feelings up in cyber-land without feeling really vulnerable. And frankly, I am tired of listening to myself whine.

I am sure some is hormonal, and fear of the unknown in this whole pregnancy thing, and being overwhelmed with life in general. I think that entering November, and the holiday season, is likely a large part of it. My sense of loss in not having my mother here right now is thick and pea-soup foggy, it's hard and metallic, it's a dull pain that just won't go away. I feel it in things I can't share with her, in trying to register for baby items and seeing mother-daughter pairs excitedly buying things, in having my doctor evaluate me for premature birth risk factors and just not knowing the answers about what my mom's pregnancy was like.

Maybe the time change will do something to help.