And anyway, this is far more fun.
And anyway, this is far more fun.
Today when she woke from her morning nap it wasn't with the usual babbling and chattering that quickly turns to yelling and sobbing if she isn't immediately heard and rescued. No. Instead, what I heard through the baby monitor was complete silence, not even rustling--I didn't even know she was awake. Then a sweet little girl voice chirped through the soft buzzing: "uh, ohhhh". If you must know, she was filling a diaper. And after every quiet grunt was the same tiny voice, "uh ohhhh."
She first learned to say that about a week ago, when my mom was over and Penelope was having her bedtime bathtime. My mom would say it whenever Pea would drop a toy into the water and it only took a few minutes for her to catch on. At first she said it this way: "eh ooohh, eh ooohh". It's her favorite thing to say and she totally gets the concept. Too well, in fact. She loves to say it while throwing her food from the table or dropping my phone on the wood floor.
She's also trying to say the names of her two favorite things in our house: the ceiling fan in the living room ("Faa!") and the clock in the hall ("Ca cah!"). Her babbling speech is changing, too. She's becoming more insistent and working really hard at being understood. It's still hard for me to understand most of what she's getting at, but it's obvious that she is very clear about the meaning and what I'm supposed to be doing to make her happy immediately. I'm a lazy-ass mother, you know, otherwise I'd have it all figured out by now.
Posted by Annagrace at 11:07 PM
There is much to catch up, several posts that have been sitting--written, complete or nearly--for day, weeks, who knows.... but sitting in front of a desktop computer has become decidedly less appealing to me as the weather turns. I'm posting these things under their original date because it's just easier that way. I'm terribly sorry if that's violating some blogger code of conduct.....
Darkness disappears earlier each morning, now, and at evening it takes its lazy time returning. The morning light still feels tentative and green.
I've needed time, the last few weeks, time easily lost to search engines; time to absorb the changes that have been bubbling around the edges of in my life and heart. Things just now becoming real. There is suddenly all this clear, sweet grace poured over everything....there's really no better way to say it. I am tired and still full to brim with questions, but there is also deeper rest and happier dreams, happier things beginning.
Winter has been hideously long at times and far too full of broken things and disastors, disappointments and displacement; hopes deferred. But the waiting has been worth it. I think spring is finally breaking inside my heart.
Posted by Annagrace at 9:57 PM
Today I am sitting at my favorite coffee shop, which, thanks/no thanks to all the wonderfully glowing press and praise it's been receiving, is usually crazy hopping. I liked it better when it was quieter. When the locals and neighborhood people knew, and everyone else, driving from across town or on their way elsewhere, thought it was too difficult to explain to their friends from the 'burbs how to navigate that edgy, urban neighborhood--much less try to explain why sometimes coffee with no "whip" or "frapp-whatever" or ultra-perky people recommending everything over-sized and over-flavored would even be worth it.
I came here a lot at the end of my pregnancy, sitting in the back on the leather sofa drinking my one-a-week hit of caffeine over one of the many big books I had big plans to read before the baby came and took over. The caffeine would make her suddenly flip around and kick and flutter her hands and bobble her head against my pelvis. I've had caffeine once since then and it made me want to do the same thing. Funny and oddly frightening, since I used to rely on the stuff, and lots of it, to help me get through years of retail-schedule hell.
Today it's actually calm here. Here in the back, on the very same sofa, it's just me, a trusty blank-paged Moleskine, black Uniball gel grip pen (0.7), double decaf 12 oz latte in a large white, low-sided cup with saucer, and a lovely black kitty cat asleep on my lap.
I'm alone. So very precious it is, too. Rare. I'm grateful.
Everyone is kind today: the fellow coffee drinkers, writers, readers, the baristas, and most especially this cat, dreaming and twitching in her sleep.
The rain is suddenly splattering across the windows, pelting the people sitting outside, pressure washing everything. It's lovely, you know.
Posted by Annagrace at 10:40 AM
This is Penelope's favorite thing to eat right now--she will eat bowl after bowl of it. It's one of my favorites, too, and seems to fit this late winter/early spring confused weather. Very easy to make and the recipe is my own. Enjoy!
Saute 4-6 slices uncured, thick-sliced bacon cut into 1-inch pieces in
2 TBSP (or so) olive oil, medium heat
You want to the bacon to render it's fat and brown a bit, but you don't want it crispy
Once the edges are dark and fat is released, add 1.5-2 large white onions, chopped
Saute till onions are soft
Add 4 good-sized cloves garlic, roughly chopped, and
2 bunches of kale, tough stems removed and leaves torn into rough pieces
Continue to saute over medium heat and stir often
to keep onions from getting dark or garlic burning
Once kale is bright green and partially wilted (will only take a couple of minutes),
Add a handful of fresh thyme sprigs, lots of freshly cracked black pepper,
5-6 cans of white beans, drained and rinsed (I like a combo of navy and cannelini),
about 1 cup roughly chopped roasted red peppers from a jar,
and 6-8 cups low-sodium chicken or veggie broth (depending on volume of kale, etc)
Bring just to boil and then turn heat down to simmer till flavors blend.
Check salt and pepper levels, and then
(preferably with garlic toast or crusty, rustic bread, and a bottle of wine)
She walks. For real. Today, at Donna's house to hear about Deborah's trip to India, she got into some nicely folded newspaper which looked as though someone had carefully set it aside for later and a cup of coffee. With one eye on the computer/photo slide show to my right, my left arm reached over and gently pried the beloved material from her sticky little hands. I expected the screech and the thundercloud building behind her eyebrows. What I didn't expect was one-two-three-four and her little sailor-pants and stripe-shirt closing the gap.
It hasn't really sunk in yet, for her. She's done a step here and there but I'm betting that within 48 hours she'll be toddling around like she was born this way.
Posted by Annagrace at 10:47 PM
Today at OMSI with Pea I decided that it's truly much easier to interact with some of the stay-at-home dads (who are almost as commonly seen there as their female counterparts) and their babies than it is with many of the mamas there. I know I'm speaking in generalities and I know this is just my experience, but it does seem like a lot of the lady-parents and their babes come with their friends, meet up with friends, or keep to themselves. In the babies-only area, this also frequently means keeping their children from touching or closely interacting with any of the other little ones, which is sort of sad to me. That's one of the reasons I love going there with Pea--having her be able to play with other babies and toddlers around her age. And wouldn't you think that most of us stay-at-home mamas would love nothing more than to interact with each other in the meantime? I don't know about you, but I'll take a semi-intelligent conversation whenever I can get it. My daughter and I are friendly and largely well-mannered so it never ceases to amaze me when I attempt to start a bare-bones conversation with someone and they do everything but pull their child across the play-enclosure and cross themselves. I haven't gotten my tattoo yet (still finalizing the design) so lord knows what will happen then.
Today it was surprisingly empty, at first, for a rainy mid-week afternoon, but after a few minutes a man and his little boy came in and sat down in the infant area. I asked the basic, polite questions I typically do when I'm in such close surroundings with another human being and--no surprise--actually got treated like a normal, non-crazy person. This isn't the first time this scenario has happened-- it's just that today my theory of the past couple months clicked over and became, to me, a fact. He and his baby were lovely and kind and funny and nice. Exactly what you would expect to find in a room specifically geared for parents of-and-with small children. Pea really liked his six month old and I enjoyed having an adult conversation and having us make some friends. We thoroughly enjoyed the two hours we shared their company.
I would think that with all the complaining we women do about how lonely and exhausting mothering-as-career is, we would enjoy connecting with other, similarly-situated people. Sure, there are always economic, social, and philosophical differences in such large groups but, excuse me, am I the only one who doesn't care? If all the work you're doing at home to raise your children according to your own personal standards can be undone in one stray interaction with a different sort of child or parent, then obviously the foundation was shaky from the beginning.
There are two things that I do worry about when I'm with my small daughter in public: that I lose her or lose track of her, and that an adult I don't know is handling her or being in any way inappropriate in their interactions with her. That's pretty much it. Oh, and not having a diaper on hand when I really need one. In my book, just being friendly and decent isn't crossing any line.
Posted by Annagrace at 3:57 PM