Energy Saving Tips for the Lazy Homemaker:
1. Store your dirty clothes baskets and baskets of clean unfolded laundry against a a drafty wall so that they can at least help insulate the house.
2. If you're too tired to pick up little things your children drop, just be sure to remember where they dropped so you can direct the children where to retreive them when they're wanted again.
More to come as my 'homemaking skills' are further compromised by having a baby in arms with two little ones wreaking constant havok.
I dreamt about this baby last night. I feel like it's the first time, but I'm not sure. I think we're going to name her Teresa, by the way, although we haven't decided on the spelling yet. (Theresa or Teresa?) So all I can remember about the dream is that I was playing with Teresa and holding her and having a great time and loving her very much, and it seems like she was just born because it was the first time I had seen her, but she wasn't a newborn, she seemed about six months old or so, and chubby! But I took a good look at her sweet face and noticed that she had very dark red hair, and I was the first one to notice that, so I told whoever else was there that I thought she had red hair. Then I remember thinking, 'uh oh, another red head in the family. we're really in for it now'. That's all I can remember, but it was a happy-feeling dream and I feel really glad that I had it, even if I can't remember it very well.
It's been one of those weeks where you're tested as a parent and as a person. Georgia had the stomach flu (the clean-up of which was almost more than I could bear with this sensitive pregnant nose) and at the same time this spam fiasco was happening, and then Maya got the same flu, and soon after she was better, I got it too. Tuesday night I was up all night with it. I'm finally on the other end of it and just started back on solid foods today. It was the worst stomach flu I've ever had in my life, for intensity. I didn't know there were that many colors of fluids inside my body. Luckily it was relatively short and my body was completely empy by the morning. I've just been sleeping since then and feeling every muscle I never knew I had all sore from fever or exertion or both, I don't really know. I don't hurt so much this afternoon, though, and am getting lots of good naps in. (Do you like how I have managed to refer only indirectly to throwing up in this post, without actually using those words? I'm trying not to be too gross. But I'll tell you one thing, I have not seen so much puke, so intimately, in my life. And I hope I never do again. But since I have three children to raise, I don't think that that wish will be granted. This is the reason that mothers (and fathers if they are the clean-upers) need to go to spas. To try to forget about all the puke. Ok, now I'll be all indirect agin.) Billy has taken the kids to Nana's house for Thanksgiving so it's really quiet here. The quiet is a real blessing when I need this much sleep. I miss everybody though. It's kind of strange to be alone on this holiday. But on the sort of bright side, what kind of enjoyment would I get at a holiday focused around food when all I can eat is Pedialyte and cheerios? Better not to be tempted to eat all that rich stuff that would make me feel awful at this stage. Seriously though, I miss my people. Happy Birthday Nana and Lucy!
I'll just have to make the best of it and get some QUILTING done between my naps!!!! yeah! That sound so decadent and luxurious, in a wholesome sort of way. I'm working on a twin size quilt for Maya's bed. It's the biggest I've attempted so far and it's quite a meaty project. There are so many parts that each take so long that it's hard to see the end of it. But that's what I wanted- something to make me feel like I've had enough so I won't miss it when my hands and free moments are no longer free during little sister's babyhood. And I'm using lots of fun colors- a lot of batiks, which are so delicious- for this quilt because it's a turtle theme and there's a big turtle in the middle with a sort of coral reef thing going on around it. So I get to get all Caribbean about it with happy swirly blue-greens and peaches and bright fish colors. I'm so excited about some of these fabrics that I don't even want to cut them up- I just want to hang them up in a big piece and soak them up for a while.
Speaking of pretty things to soak up, here are some late blooming roses from one of my birthday bushes that bloomed a few weeks ago. It's amazing to me how little care these rose bushes have needed to produce such lovely flowers. I've literally done nothing to them, they just seem to be happy where they are.
To my dear friends who read this weblog,
Thank you for all your wonderful and community-building comments. Unfortunately, I have had to temporarily shut down the comments section (even though the comments box is still there) of this weblog due to the criminal activity of assholes who would pollute the world with perverse and nasty comments. These pernicious comments have moved beyond automatic spamming and are now being entered by hand by some depraved individual. I'm so mad I can hardly think straight about that. But anyways, this weblog will bear it no longer. I don't need the extra stress hormones in my bloodstream going to my sweet baby. Anyone that actually knows me can e-mail me if they have any comments. Soon, we will figure out a more permanent solution to this problem, but it's going to take some major changes to deal with this threat. We will probably need to change out of Movable Type to some other system with better security measures like a password or login kind of deal to make this weblog safe for well-intentioned people such as yourselves. I'm sorry that anyone has had to see the awful words people have put up on this site. We've been trying to deal with it in a less intrusive way than closing comments, but haven't been able to shut down the nastiness that way. So that's it for now. I'll keep writing! I will not be stopped by any puny attempts at intimidation, thank you very much.
Here are some pictures of our dear new friend, Amia Allmart, playing with our kids:
We've been doing a lot of cooking here which makes me happy because Billy and I have a really good time playing in the kitchen together. Also, Billy has made seven lemon or lime meringue pies in the last week or two. He had been wanting to do that for a while, and we all enjoy the outcome. Yum! He says he's got the recipe memorized now. Impressive. Maya (and sometimes Georgia) has also been asking at least once a day to bake muffins. Unfortunately, nobody actually likes the muffins enough to finish a whole batch before they go bad, so we're going to have to find a new happy baking project.
I've also become addicted to quilting this week. I finished a quilt for the new baby (finally) and Georgia asked me to make a quilt for her doll, Lisa (who was also my favorite doll as a child, and whose hair has seen better days). We sat down and made the whole thing in one evening. I couldn't stop! I had to kepp sewing until it was done! There's something about the fast needle making all those stiches and the sewing maching noises that's really exciting. And creating something new and interesting from scraps of beautifully patterened cloth is REALLY addictive. I think I could do this for a living if I could just figure out a way for my back and shoulders not to ache so much after hours at the sewing machine. Thanks so much to Amy for teaching me all of what little I know about quilting and to Husayn for lending me his mom's sewing machine so I could bring it all home and sew into the night.
We had another super-packed weekend starting with the Birth of Baha'u'llah celebration Thursday night where I got to be in a really touching performance of storytelling about Baha'u'llah's childhood told from the perspective of the house he grew up in (the storytellers were the various parts of the house). I got to be a tile. Hee hee. I love ceramic tiles anyways so that was fun. And I told a story about Baha'u'llah as a baby, also very appropriate to my present situation and very meaningful to me. I'll put my script in the extended entry part of this post in case you want to read it. Then Friday we had a big family day since everyone was home for the Holy Day and we even got a surprise visit from Nana and Khalil coming to visit U of I! The Heidi and David Bakers were here for the weekend and we got to all play, with the Allmarts too, at an open gym at the YMCA gymnastics center. Suzanne and Heidi reminisced about gymnastics days of old, all the kids enjoyed jumping around and we all watched the gymnasts practising impossible-looking feats. Then we had a fun game night sort of thing at out house that night. On the weekend we went to a very yummy pre-Thanksgiving party at Katie's house and raked up huge piles of leaves blown into our yard from the woods across the street. Georgia really enjoyed hiding in the piles, and pretending to swim in them. Maya plowed her way into them too, but wasn't so interested in being totally covered with leaves. That makes sense because Georgia could always just stand up to get out, but the piles were still over Maya's head when she was standing up.
Here's the text of my script:
I am one of the many beautiful tiles, placed over the doorways in Mirza Buzurg's mansion. I add refinement and beauty to this house and reflect his wonderful artistic sense. I have seen and heard many things over the years. All the sounds of the household bounce off of me and I amplify them and make them more intense. From thunder rumbling overhead to the sweet songs of birds that come to enjoy our beautiful gardens, and all the sounds of the people who live here, their talking, their laughter, the running feet of little children, and the baby's cries. I have many memories of beautiful sounds, but my favorite one was not a sound at all. It was a silence. The illustrious Khadijah, Mirza Buzurg's wife, was expecting a child. I remember that he was born in the fall because the leaves were rustling and turning colors. When this beautiful baby was born, he was named Husayn Ali and this blessed child never cried. I found his quietness deafening. His mother was amazed. I heard her exclaim one day, "This child never cries. He is so unlike other babies who cry and scream and are forever restless while in the nursing stage." How could such a small being have such powers of peace, contentment, and wisdom? How extraordinary! Can you imagine such a miracle? How could such a thing be possible? It seems to me only a child touched by God could show such inherent nobility.
We just had the first successful little girl's play date in many months. I'd been avoiding these kinds of things for a while because I felt mentally put upon by parents that are constantly comparing, judging, complaining, bragging, and terribly materialistic about their and my children. Now that I've 'found myself' a little more about parenting and feel more comfortable and secure with my style and decisions, I'm not too worried about other people's hang ups. I'll help if I can, but mostly I just feel protected against taking on other people's points of view that are in conflict with what I beleive. Anyways, we had a great time with Georgia's friend from school and her little sister who is just Maya's age. The kids all got along well and were good at working with each other and the inevitable conflicts over taking turns with toys. Maya did really well with sharing. We talked beforehand about making our guests feel welcome and letting them play with our toys and when I reminded her of that when it came up, she happily agreed to share. I was so releived! She seems to have (at least temporarily) gotten over her bullying stuff with other little kids. Happily, the kids that came over today were neither shy nor aggresive, so Maya was not really provoked by either extreme.
I should say here that all that hard work has so far paid off, and Billy's crazy long hours last month have resulted in that 'release' finally being 'shipped' of the product that Billy makes, which he can explain to you if you're curious, but I really can't do it justice. It's enough for me to know that the company has not sunk yet, and they have a few customers and the higher ups have said that they are committed to keeping the engineering team (of which Billy is a member) as it is. Damn straight- they're making the thing you boys are trying to sell. So the crisis has been averted for now and Billy's back to a saner life, which means that all of us here are back to a saner life and appreciating each other even more because of the testing we've been through by being apart. Now what week of pregnancy am I in?
(Oh yeah, 24. And baby girl is 1 lb 5 oz now and 11.8 inches long, approximately. She's doing somersaults in there now, not just little kicks. But she's still little, so it all seems pretty mellow from this side.)
We've been doing lots of good family together stuff lately, but I haven't been feeling very photographic, so I haven't been taking pictures. I just want to be there instead of being the reporter. But now I don't have any pictures to help me remember! Urgh. Oh well. We've had a lot more of Billy lately and we've been taking every opportunity to be all together and do fun things. We started going to the YMCA every Friday afternoon (Billy too!) for "Rugrats" where little kids can play on all the gymnastics equipment any way they want. It's just right for our kids- they've needed a place to jump and tumble around for a while now. Georgia spends almost the entire hour jumping on their big inset trampoline. When her tummy starts hurting from all the jumping, she swings from the rings or the big hanging rope. Maya does a lot of running up and down the tumbling tracks ( a long sidewalk of squishy mats or trampoline) and hanging from bars.
We've all been playing at Meadowbrook park too and we all made it all the way around the long walk around the prairie on Friday. Saturday we shopped all day for a dresser for the new baby's clothes- and enjoyed the crazy wind!- and spent the evening putting it together. Sunday, Billy was in an informal frisbee tournament where he played ultimate frisbee ALL DAY, from 8 AM to when it got dark. Crazy! And his team won the tournament! Yeah Billy! The girls and I came to cheer them on in the afternoon and had a good time being outside. It was weird being the ONLY spectators, let alone the only pregnant woman and children there. Oh well. We're used to it. Maya kept things lively by running out on the field as often as she could get away, to try to make a break for Daddy. I got more of a workout that I wanted to running after her and hauling her back to the sidelines. The players on the 'bench' would call out 'baby on the field!' when she got away. It was kind of humorous, but it's a pretty dangerous thing to do, so we didn't want to turn it into a game, which is exactly what it was for her. She wanted to play a running, chasing game on that field too! Not just watch other people do it!
We had a very low key Halloween, happily. No trick or treating, Maya fell asleep for the night around six after all the running around, and Georgia and I made pretzels and popcorn balls and painted pumpkins while Billy went to terrorize (actually socialize with) the neighbors in a lion costume. We had Liza over (hooray!) for a little bit to help us eat our halloween treats and play with her new Mr. Potato Head and then Georgia was asleep at 9:30. That was the sanest, least sugary halloween I've ever had. It was weird, but good. I'm trying to make over the Holidays that have a lot of candy and stuff the kids can't eat but still make it fun. It's been a very gradual process because they only come around once a year, so there are not many opportunities to practise and it's hard to get detached from all the traditions I grew up with and separate out the things I want to keep from those that aren't healthy enough to make a part of the family we're creating.
So that was our big weekend! Yeah!