Confession. I’m still not making it as often as I laid out in my 30 After 30, but as I attend more often, I feel like I gain the grace and energy to carry on.
Possum Radio. There’s a student radio station here that has recently been knocked off the air for FCC indecency violations, so instead they just play bluegrass all the time, and it’s great. (I am old.) Seriously, though, the bluegrass reminds me of the beauty of this little pocket of the country, even as I drive through landscapes that feel bleak and barren.
Bulbs poking up. This happens at least six weeks sooner here in the Shenandoah Valley than back in Western Massachusetts, and always gives me hope.
Vitamin D3 gummies. My midwife said they might help with seasonal affective issues, so I gave them a try. They probably don’t do anything but I get to eat midwife-recommended candy by myself in the bathroom first thing in the morning and that helps by itself.
Scout saying “thank you” 1472x a day. It’s the best.
Pippin books. It’s like I can’t read to him enough, and as this is one of my very favorite aspects of parenting (vs., saying, washing the hair of protesting children or pretending to drive a firetruck), this is a pretty sustaining development when we are quarantined with our third cold of the month.
Other moms. Ooh, my. If I thought I was the only one limping a bit at the moment, things would be so much harder. And knowing I have that fall back help — a quick meeting at the park when the sun appears, switching childcare when the doctor can no longer be avoided — makes all the difference.
Sometime we should pretend we are going on a big trip, load up the car, then immediately go back into the house and get rid of 1/3 of our stuff fueled by hatred and overwhelm.
There’s a melancholy as I walk through the empty house, lights off, rooms hollowed out. I take out the trash, straighten some surfaces, and imagine what it will be like when we return, days or weeks later. Vacation will be over. Anticipation will be over. We will collapse among our bags and parcels and return to this life. It’s a sobering thought.
Relatedly, I could never, ever be the kind of person who rents out my house on AirBnB while I’m on vacation because much as I try, the house is wrecked when we leave. Without fail.
Things that have worked really well for the four-year-old in the car this go round: a magnet board with a bunch of different magnet shapes; a reusable sticker board; downloadable Netflix.
Things that have worked really well for the eighteen-month-old in the car this go round: CocoaPuffs in a claw cup; little toy pieces she can put into and take out of one of those diaper wipe tubs.
My first semester as a co op art teacher ended well, even though the students are merciless about my inability to draw (also to write on the marker board). I learned a lot from the “real” art teachers I helped in the other classes, and loved connecting church art history projects with books.
More roasted garlic butter for Christmas, but next year, I’m tempted to try slow cooker bacon jam. I’m definitely not settled on a trademark food yet. (As I type this, the mail lady just dropped off J’s grandaddy and grandma’s famous homemade fudge. Man. Is fudge hard to make? That should totally be my thing.)
Starting around Thanksgiving, Pippin finally started going gently into the good night of preschool drop off. It feels like a natural and expected part of our week now, but I’m still not quite ready to say we are doing formal preschool again next year.
This winter, I’m pretty much back to my jeans uniform of auld lang syne, straddling that place where we are starting to wean and I’m about to gain ten pounds. (Eep.) But I’ve got a few beautiful skirts that work their way into rotation, and help on the days everything is too big or too small.
The garden trundles on. This fall I’ve killed three mums, some hanging plant I never IDed but which is apparently susceptible to frost, the mini rose, which J mowed over, and the Solomon’s Seal, which I left out of the ground too long, I think. Still, I’ve started green onions and mint growing in the windowsill, so it’s not just a slaughterhouse around here. My ambition is small, but I have laid down black plastic to kill some grass and start a tiny herb and tomato garden next spring.
I have developed mixed feelings about loveys after Scout lost her Oswald for 48 hours in the local Walmart and refused to accepted Imposter Oswald, who I spent $35 (!!!) to replace on eBay. Proceed with caution, folks.
Naps are still mostly working here, although the other day I found Pippin hiding under the couch instead of in bed. Syncing their naps (or quiet times, eventually) may be the best thing I’ve done for my mama sanity — ever.
I still feel weird about weaning, but I’m starting to move toward closing up shop when we are done with the holidays and travel. I worry a lot about how I’d handle nursing while pregnant, and so I’d like to send Scout out into the world before there is someone else to contend with.