Did I say she’s getting into everything?
She’s getting into everything. No shoe is safe.
I don’t think I blogged about it, but I got spoiled at Christmas this year. My parents spoiled me and Sparks’ parents spoiled me and Sparks spoiled me big time with tickets to South Beach and Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses and diamond earrings to wear there.
Staring down the barrel of my first postpartum vacation, I decided it was time to start exercising again. I ran out of steam for walking when the weather got hot over the summer, and never really got back into it when things cooled off. Now that Mimi is crawling and climbing and pulling up (oh yes–she’s pulling up now, though mostly just to her knees rather than her feet), my workout also needs to be fast. So I dug out my 30 Day Shred DVD, which only takes twenty minutes, and have been doing it most mornings. Sometimes Mimi does crunches with me, even.
Since I hadn’t gotten any sun, really, since our trip to Saint Thomas pre-Mimi, I thought I’d better do something about that too. I hadn’t ever gone to a tanning salon in my life, or ever thought I would, but somehow there I was signing up for unlimited tanning in January for $20.12. The first session was terrifying but I’m getting used to it now.
Let me tell you, these two things have had a profound impact on my mood and my energy. I shouldn’t forget that I also started a higher dose of Synthroid at the time I began this, because I’m sure that has something to do with it too, but boy oh boy does the tanning give you a boost in the middle of January. And the exercise, besides helping my cardiovascular fitness (my appearing in a swimsuit, not so much… yet), has sent me back into the deep, sound sleep that I had been missing for over a year. I can go back to sleep after Mimi’s night wakings now. I can sleep through them, sometimes, on nights when Sparks has the monitor. That fuzzy, dizzy, about-to-pass-out feeling I’d had every afternoon is gone. And all I can say that is HALLELUJAH!
Last Saturday Sparks asked me what my plans were for the day. I had scrubbed my tub the day before, so suddenly I thought, a bath! “I want to take a bubble bath after I exercise.” I hadn’t had one since the night before Mimi was born. Over ten months. So Sparks took Mimi to his workshop, and after I was done exercising I drew a deep bath, and I (feeling guilty for neglecting the family) got into it.
Best spa treatment I’ve ever had.
Can’t tell you how good it was. It was THAT GOOD.
I’ll be doing that again.
Oh my. It’s January. We’re supposed to be thinking about the upcoming gardens, aren’t we?
Sparks and I have a new vegetable garden strategy. We’re going to grow smaller amounts of more things, and not burden ourselves with intentions to preserve any of it (except, maybe, some more of Alton Brown’s fabulous salsa recipe, because it’s the best base to make chili). When it’s ripe and we want it, we’ll pick it and eat it… otherwise it’ll just go back to the garden. That sounds very zen, right?
Amidst the enormous effort both of us put in to get our order of garden seeds placed this month, I realized that I haven’t thought about my flower gardens at all. Happily, I think that is a good thing this year. Last summer, before Mimi was mobile or much interested in doing anything except waving her arms while looking at the trees, I did a lot of garden re-arranging and dividing. And then, oh then! let us not forget the autumn’s last great hurrah, those hundreds of bulbs and dozen-or-more chrysanthemums I planted at the last minute. Those will, I hope, provide big yields in the spring and fall to come. I’ve been nostalgically paging through photographs of Mimi’s first few months, and I’m happy to see that there will be flowers in April. That sounds lovely… and not too far in the future. I’m so looking forward to my daffodils and crocus and grape hyacinth and Dutch iris. And oh! Oh oh oh! I have those seven new iris rhizomes too, which just might bloom this summer. What excitement!
I need to divide my pulmonaria. That’s the only undone job I can remember. Isn’t that nice?
If you’re familiar with the state of my sock yarn stash, you’ll nod when I say “if I want new socks, I have to knit them.” But even superwash, part-nylon sock yarn needs to be babied in the wash and doesn’t play well in the dryer. And sometimes I just don’t have the energy to baby them. Sometimes I need to wear boughten socks.
These are my new ones. Those gorgeous ones I bought last September? All wool. Full of holes already. Pfffft. These have nylon though, and are heavier weight, and are by Smartwool. I think these will last better. And ooooh do I ever have a thing for Scandinavian knits right now. These socks and My Mug at the same time? YES PLEASE.
I am a Pinterest junkie and every now and then some variation of a particular quotation comes up. It’s by a woman, and it’s about her decision to make everything around her beautiful–and that will be her life.
This has been echoing in my head lately, because I have so precious little time to make things beautiful. I used to cook lovely meals, to make lovely things, and keep my home relatively clutter-free and lovely. With a crawler in the house, all of these things become a stretch. So do beautiful experiences like bubble baths, having friends over for dinner, and long knitting sessions with a hot cup of tea.
My daughter is beautiful, though. She’s a pretty baby, fun and fun-loving, always seeking out a loving connection with us, and always surprising us with the things she can do. Raising her is one big beautiful work that is crowding out all of those little ones. And she’ll grow up fast; she already is growing up fast.
My husband is beautiful too. He’s a handsome man, and kind, and affectionate, and giving. It’s true that having a baby turns your marriage from two people looking at each other, to two people looking at the baby. But again, she will grow up. Sparks and I will be able to concentrate on each other again soon. And until then, we are doing out best to be available to each other for every opportunity to go out to dinner, every good-morning kiss and hug, every snuggle on a cold winter night.
When I was single, before Amelia and Sparks and Pudding, I had a lot of time to make things beautiful and no one to see that they were beautiful. That’s why I started this blog in 2007. I wanted someone to see.
And now I have people who do see. And people who live, for real, the beauty I have the time to make. And I get to enjoy their beauty in return. It’s all about give and take, you see.
Little Tootse is ten months old now.
I’m a little embarrassed, looking over my past several blog entries. I hadn’t realized I was complaining about the same things over and over again: teeth! chicken pox! head cold! teeth! So I won’t talk about those any more. Instead, this month:
Little Tootse grew two teeth and we are so proud. She’s definitely not a baby any more; she’s definitely a little girl now.
Little Tootse’s hair grew over her ears. It is getting pretty thick and long; just towel-drying doesn’t get it completely dry after we wash it, anymore.
Little Tootse became a seriously fast crawler. She needs more and more freedom, so I often let her play on the floor wherever I’m doing things (and the decision to let her free-range has made it possible to do things again). More than once I’ve gotten absorbed in my task for a minute, only to discover she’s gone.
Little Tootse has become fascinated with swinging doors back and forth. When she disappears, I almost always find her swinging our bedroom door. If not that, our bathroom door.
Little Tootse had her first Christmas! She was too dainty to tear wrapping paper, but she loves her new toys. I am especially impressed by the way she can put the little topsy-turvy-beany things into the top of their funhouse. Do you know what toy I’m talking about? That one, yeah. From Uncle Davy, thank you Davy!
Little Tootse began to crawl over obstacles. This turned her Exersaucer into a toy she crawls into and uses as a fort, rather than a toy she stands up in. She has her favorite toys squirreled away in the bottom of it. It’s adorable.
Little Tootse developed a strong interest in books. She has figured out how to turn pages, especially of board books, and those are her absolute favorite toys.
Okay, enough about my little tootsie–my favorite tootsie–my best and only tootsie. We love you so much, little monkey.
It is January and we only got our first substantial snowfall of the winter yesterday. I finally put the winter quilt on our bed in its honor, and Sparks got to put his big Christmas present to its inaugural use–snowblowing the driveway.
January has been a hard month. Mimi cut her first tooth the week before Christmas, then got what we thought could be chicken pox on Christmas eve, then got the nasty headcold Sparks and I were recovering from and spent two nights sleeping in her bouncy chair so her head could drain, and one strange day passively cuddling on my lap with a fever. Then she cut another tooth. Right now I think all of that mess is cleared up; she is drooling and has a rash on her chin, which is a teething prodrome, but if the first two are any indication we won’t be in real trouble until she gets a diaper rash and I can feel the tooth under the gum. So, phew.
Mimi got a lot of toys for Christmas. We don’t have an especially large house, so the onslaught scared me a little, but I’ve made peace with it now. My parents gave her this Fisher Price Noah’s ark (at my suggestion). A Noah’s Ark with animals is such a classic toy. Felicity from American Girl has a Noah’s Ark. Nellie Oleson from Little House on the Prairie had one. And now Mimi has one too. I love to line the animals up and sing “the ants go marching one by one, hurrah! hurrah!”. I spend a lot of my time making sure the set stays intact. There are twenty little animals plus Noah and his wife to corral.
Right before Christmas I made a rare trip to Aldi and discovered Moser Roth 85% chocolate, which is my favorite dark chocolate ever. It has a nice snap and a gorgeous buttery finish that have won me over completely. For $1.89 a package, I’m happy to be won.
Mimi is getting to be a master of the army crawl. She can scattle so quickly that I lose track of her, and have to walk around the house looking for her. Usually when I find her she is eating lint, dead bugs, and cat food. This from the baby who won’t eat most of the food I put on her tray at meal times… sigh. I think she learned it from Pudding. Anyway, we are babyproofing the house as she develops interest in new rooms. Right now she is a huge fan of our bedroom, which with its piles of clothes being sorted into special washing/to be donated/to be chucked is admittedly, right now, a very interesting place.
Mimi has always had a smallish head, and the baby sunglasses I bought around the time she was born were too big for her all summer. I recently bought this pair, triumphantly thinking I’d finally found a pair to fit her. They are too small. The original pair fit just right now. Sigh. Don’t you like the pink sneakers? I put shoes on her for Baby Story Time at the library, where the girl-moms competitively dress their babies (or so I’d like to think). The shoes stay on for about thirty seconds.
The centerpiece is the closest thing to a crafty endeavor that I have to show you, though you’ve seen it before and several months ago. Having a sick/teething baby in the house, and the sleep disruption that follows, has made crafting absolutely out of the question. I got through Christmas and its assorted chores only because I’d gotten started early, before things got rough. For what seems like forever now there has been precious little house cleaning or even cooking of dinners. Things are getting better now though… things always get better.