December 28, 2011

i guess this is it, 2011. maybe.

maybe more mental powers! maybe not.

i found typos in my previous entry. so sad. maybe now that i am succumbing to a seasonal cold, i will be smarter. yeah.

the wife's mom said something i am currently trying to remember because it connects to something i wanted to say... oh well. i shared in this great in-between moment at the wife's on boxing day where us bees napped and the wife's mom took batdog out to the shopping place and the wife made soup while listening to bob marley. it was so quiet. the wife and i later agreed it was an awesome point in all the excess. we had a post-craziness discuss today where we acknowledged our relationship and its benefits.

the dumpling and i (we are considering renaming her 'the pork chop') went on a walk today with her new sleigh. it's the cutest little baby sleigh. well, she might make it cuter. we were able to make two trips to the recycling and mail a letter to our friend field-in-bloom. these are my days and i am glad to get back to them. i even like my stack of dishes. how weird is that?

things that have been accomplished over the holidays:

- i learned how to play craps (and lost five dollars of mrs awesome's)
- i visited my own family, a brother of the queen's, the wife (and her family), an old friend from high school, an old friend from university, a sweet friend with three cats and a beautiful cottage, and field-in-bloom.
- the queen and i hosted the awesomes and chaos, and nothing was even broken. now that's a gift. we also hosted pixie from new orleans, and her chauffeur ms sparkle.
- i collected letters from friends for my friend in jail. i haven't yet mailed these though, so it's only sort of an accomplishment.
- stretched boundaries of dumpling. she came through with shining stars and new abilities and some extra fan base coverage (always good strategy).

i'm tired of listing things. i vacuumed today. the cat is alive. i feel peace in these apparent facts. wit shall come later.

i read an actual book! i thought it was a tawdry mystery from the sixties, but it was actually a rad dystopic novel translated from the swedish. i shan't remember the title (shame) but it's written by per wahloo, maybe with umlauts. okay, definitely almost certainly with umlauts. it joins my collection of dystopic paperbacks. yay. (i will go rescue it from the mystery section. of course i have sections on my bookshelf. i worked at a good bookstore.)

i needed to move the dust buster (charging) to find the dystopic section. oh my.

also, i seem to have lost "the handmaids' tale". it's not a very big section; that's quite the dent.

perhaps i shall retire at this point.

December 27, 2011


we went too many places, the dumpling has too many toys, there were festivities and visits and even a bit of jesus. we survived. i was so exhausted, i didn't even drink. seriously. i'm so hard done by...

our house is very messy.

i read this amazing post on grief by an amazing woman. i know i am grieving right now. i feel anxious, tired, sad, bloated, beaten and empty. i feel grateful for my home and family. i feel rich and overstimulated. i feel demanded upon and yet satisfied that i am not twenty and seeking.

we got home last night at around midnight, put the dumpling to bed and opened our presents. i forgot that i had put fancy cheese in the queen's stocking and it sat in the living room for two days. at least the cat didn't get it. it's in schrodinger's fridge right now, possibly gone bad. living amongst the other things that have possibly gone bad.

after stockings and scotch, the queen went to bed and i stayed up, until three in the morning, cleaning. i probably got about a third the way through the slog. i spent some of the time mentally posting on this blog. you should've been there - we were laughing and looking at pictures of the spaceship the awesome possums made for the dumpling out of a cardboard box. pictures i might never actually post. supposing i actually take them in the first place.

merry holidays. may you not run out of toilet paper. my god, this is such a north amercian post of privilege.

December 19, 2011

an entire post about the cat

when i was younger, i wanted to be a cat... to disappear into the tall grasses... to have the ease of jumping, stretching and curling into tiny balls without doing hours of yoga... to be able to sleep for hours, uninterrupted. i mean, is giving up opposable thumbs really such a big deal?

i just looked over at olive. she was stretched out on the rocking chair, which has the coziest light blue acrylic wool blanket on it, and is currently getting a really sweet sunbeam. i told her she was incredibly spoiled, so she jumped down and curled up under the ring of neglect. poor cat, has to sleep on plastic.

she is acclimatizing to being in second place, though appears conspicuously soon after the dumping goes down for a nap (and her per-day nap is down to an average of 1.5) and plays more - is this competitive playing (you want cute? i'll give you cute, cuter than that naked monkey), or are there simply more available toys? who knows.

cats are great incentive for learning to walk. they tease, and the dumpling falls for it, following her around the living room for quite a while. i think it's a good deal for everyone, as the cat gets the attention she appears to desperately crave, the dumpling gets exercise and i don't have to think about what to do next. coming up with new and exciting things to do is a bit exhausting.

oh noes, the cat blog post is being infiltrated by the dumpling. poor cat; she can't even get her own couple of paragraphs.

December 11, 2011

merry merry

weekendia! welcome to the land of strangely-timed meals and hobby-cruising queens! welcome to a visitation from Chaos, and only one broken thing after he left (the queen's flask; how i don't know, because i went to bed at a reasonable 1am. but really, how do you break a metal flask? it has no neck anymore, just an empty hole - so sad). welcome to people sleeping on available surfaces, and blatant napping. welcome to greasy breakfasts and another bodum of coffee.

i feel good! visitations are lovely for cleaning the mental and emotional slates. and the queen puttered around yesterday resulted in a hangout spot in the basement for loudness and messiness. it's remarkably satisfying not to worry about cleaning up when i go to bed, and still get a functional table for breakfast.

the dumpling also enjoyed the company, and of course increased her fan base with big smiles and shy waves. we played radiohead and the girls, and Chaos played the banjo. deep and shallow discussions were had. wine was spilled. food was prepared. yay.

December 8, 2011

exorcised nightmares

okay, here it is:

it's really hard to be a stay-at-home parent for the same reason it's difficult to be a stay-at-home, DIY anything: motivation rests solely on one's own shoulders. in a slump? no one will notice except you (especially if you're good at faking it). no one will beat it out of you, challenge you to better yourself, or come to the rescue.

however, it is really awesome in that YOU choose the course, you choose how things play out. and i have needed that for a long time. i have a strong tendency to blame authority figures for my misery, and i have made the queen out to be my authority figure, when in fact he is just the only other adult in this household. yeah yeah, he's a man, but that doesn't make him The Man. i am my own boss and i always have been, as everyone who knows me will laughingly attest.

so i finally finished a painting (or at least took it off the easel and hung it up). and i am finally figuring out a rhythm - coffee breaks come with a workday, so there is both work and coffee in my day but the order they come in is of my choosing (well, allowing for things like business hours of the post office and family time with the queen - today we danced with the dumpling to this awesome wagonchrist song). it doesn't matter how it looks to other people, it doesn't matter if it's weird, it just matters that i feel the balance works for me and my family (because if it worked for me and not my family, that would be sad - shared space needs to be respectful for all parties), that i find some peace in my day.

okay. there it is. i'm living the dream. thank you.

December 7, 2011

dumplings with a side of mustard

am attempting to blog right beside the dumpling, so pray i have luck and patience.

the dumpling has evolved her ability to cast things aside. she throws things away with a royal disregard. right now she has the hiccups and she's playing with giant lego blocks and an old greeting card given to the queen. upon opening, it plays m.c. hammer's "u can't touch this" (no link provided; if you want to listen to it, you're on your own). the dumpling thinks it's the greatest.

it's blowing snow outside in that way that heavily implies hot chocolate. i want to make it to the post office today to mail a letter or two, and other than that my intentions are all household bound; walk-shoveling, bathtub-cleaning, and maybe some kind of crafts. heavy hitter i am!

if you noticed the exclamation mark, i am typing on an early christmas present - the queen bought me a new macbook pro!!! it's soooo lovely, though i do miss my old french-canadian keyboard. but this computer has memory! and the use of the tab key! and fancy new (probably not so new) features like glowy keys. i feel totally spoiled. 11111 (ahhhh).

i want desperately to read something so i can tell you about it. i think i'm going to try a collection of ray bradbury short stories. i need to wake that part of my brain before it atrophies completely. probably right now isn't the best time to test my brain; i couldn't sleep last night. at least i got to listen to the queen talk in his sleep. he was saying something about the cat.

we have some visitors coming for the holiday season! hopefully more than i realize, but definitely pixie from new orleans!!! i am mildly excited, and i know once caffeine starts running through my system, i'll be really stoked. gotta get on that caffeine thing.

December 5, 2011

half a glass weeps its heart out

i was chatting with another parent today and we were discussing Things We Should Be Paranoid About. i'm surprised i am not more paranoid about more things. before parenting, i was very paranoid: cancerous foods, cancerous plastics, cancerous stores. now, i'm paranoid about my child eating known allergens too early, and our cleaning products. seriously, the dumpling chews on toys that will probably be banned in fifteen years and i'm only mildly traumatized. why is this? because i exist on way less sleep. i shove aside paranoia in favour of exhaustion quite regularly.

this is also my justification for reading less, reading more crap, watching more tv and eating more (gluten-free) toast (okay, i always ate too much toast). also, not watching foreign language movies; too tired or distracted to read the subtitles. it's good that i find some meaning in parenting, because i sure as hell get less meaning elsewhere.

case in point: i came across this blog entry, and in my previous life, i would have been fascinated by the linguistics of it all. and i still find that interesting. but mostly i was caught by a mention of an author of a cool mystery novel i read, and disappointed that what with his interest in physics and politics, he just didn't get much mystery-writing done. sad. see how far i have fallen?

the wife says a lot of free time and brain power returns with the fifth birthday. i just want my ability to construct reasonable sentences back. see what i'm saying? not sure. right-o.

i miss free time, and the freed-up mental space that came with it. i miss perspective. i miss having taken the time to rub out my own sore spots so that i am free to help others. now i'm just proud of shovelling the driveway. but it's only our driveway. i have friends that are Occupying, and i don't even know why. i have a friend who is going to jail for activism and government interference, and i'm worried i won't write her enough letters because i will forget she is in jail.

i have never felt so selfish, and yet, my life has never felt so challenging. what the aitch.

December 2, 2011

just click on the links, they're awesome.

the queen has returned - long live the queen.

it's really nice to have him back, for reasons i will get to in a second. but i have to laugh first, and so can you. ah, dirt.

we went to the queen's family farm to look for a holiday spruce tree, and found a gooder. the queen's parents have a patch of spruce that need thinning, so we gave one a temporary home. i love the smell of spruce. i have never gone tree-hunting before, and it was super fun. the dumpling seemed to enjoy it. of course i wanted all the scraggly peanuts trees, and the queen chopped down one that was too tall for our house. there is probably some good relationship analogy in there... it smells really wonderful in our house. the cat is angry about Change.

it has been lovely to have Da Man back home, especially since it's no longer movember so he shaved it off. whew.

just a dark moment here: how do i cope with all of the terrible things that are going to happen to the dumpling? i mean, i'm not even talking about pedophiles and car accidents and little kids with guns. i'm talking about bullies and puppy love and puberty. she is going to suffer even more than she has this week, with two teeth popping out. i have no idea what to do, and i am desperately going to need to do something. what the hell.

November 28, 2011



not going to lie; things have been rough. but now that i am feeling better, i can talk about it. of course.

the queen's vacation with the awesomes is going well. drinking, shooting, playing music, etc. of course, i am equally enjoying a testosterone-free home; all weapons and tools larger than a swiss army knife are in the mancave and nothing has been deep-fried in days. the dumpling and i go for walks every day, we put up some outdoor LED lights in the bushes today and i spent some money at for the holy-day season.

the tough things. yeah. okay maybe i can't talk about them yet. this parenting-as-a-couple thing is rough. take the hardest thing you've ever done and imagine trying to do it while coordinating dance steps with someone else. i don't even know how sane i am or am not. but the queen and i are figuring it out. separation is good for us. must remember.

i am loving all the things that are difficult, and i feel more meaning in my life than i have in years. it's just ... not easy. oh well. blah blah blah insert truism here. stick it out, sista.

dumpling popping her second front tooth is helping a lot, yeah. at least it's just she and i in the middle of the night, so the noise doesn't matter. i've noticed that when she teethes, she doesn't like eating as much and wants more bottles. she threw carrots at me yesterday, and the highchair today had serious rice fall-out. rice gets into crevices.

anyway, times are times are times.

November 26, 2011

if only i took notes

again, the witticisms have passed and i am left only with the knowledge that it has been some time since i have blogged.

things (exclamation mark). we had a little bird visiting for a few days. culinary delights ensued. we made sushi, which was awesome, and then he hooked us up with a moroccan dish and rice pudding... the plethora of food left over gave me the courage and necessity to make salmon patties. he made me a sandwich. dang, it has been a very long time since someone has made me a sandwich. i find myself remembering especially lousy days in the service industry when i found myself craving the other end of the consumer interaction - having sold things all day, i needed to buy something in an elementary attempt to right the imbalance. it was the same with the sandwich. i have been feeding two other people for a while now, and it was really, really lovely to have someone make ME something. specifically for me.

the queen has gone to visit the awesomes. the dumpling and i were scheduled to go with him, but it seems healthier for he and i to take separate vacations right now, so while i am sad to miss out on the awesomes, i know the benefits will extend into our lives.

and i am already feeling freer in the household than i have in a while. which is mildly disturbing, because i would like to feel this free all the time. at least in my own home, yes?

November 18, 2011

more nothing or more than nothing

okay, while i have some time (exclamation mark).

the queen went to costco today (in a hideous and fascinating tidbit, we are down to one third of that jar of mayo). i've been trying to make room for the quarter of a steer we're getting in a couple of weeks, and i am proud to say i stuffed the healthy stack of freezer goods (and i use the term 'healthy' as an adjective meaning 'of some size') into the fridge freezer and left the stand-up freezer undisturbed. it is fallow.

if the queen sees things that say "organic" and "gluten-free" he tosses them into the cart knowing i'll be all aglow, so there are often a few surprises. today he surprised me with a super-funky bean mix (seriously, i didn't think mixed beans could get down, but these beans get down like nobody's business) with several quick and easy methods of preparation posted on the back that have me mildly excited.

i've been arranging dried flowers every now and then, and it quite pleases and satisfies me. i feel weird about how much i enjoy it. it's a hobby i didn't see myself having. oh well. guess who we see ourselves as isn't always who we turn into. who knows.

November 17, 2011

blankey blank blank

it's been forever - sorry, pigeon-mistress.

i've been struggling with the way my blogging has changed. i feel like this is more a chronicle of my activities and less a collection of my witticisms and epiphanies. le sigh. i still have witty and mind-blowing moments, i am just too busy or tired to write them down. maybe that will be my next rebellion. i try and rebel at least once a week. sometimes i stay up late drinking whiskey and writing letters, sometimes i furiously clean the house and pile sir mans-a-lot's various tools back down into the mancave, sometimes i have an illicit bath while the dumpling naps and the dishes pile up (because dishes spawn when you let them lie).

i've been driving more recently. it feels empowering. finally. we've got snow, but it isn't crazy icy yet. just cold.

the dumpling is growing and eats a lot. a lot. also, frequently. it seems like i just got her up and changed her, and then after eating we play for a bit and she goes down for a nap. planning outdoor activities requires a strict "move along, nothing to see here" attitude, which seems weird and forced. but we usually make it out of the house once a day. and we play a lot.

i'm having trouble getting to the stuff i like doing, but i drew a little this evening - oil pastels on a paper bag. fun.

anyway. might as well post this; it isn't getting any more interesting. what am i doing?
parenting takes the lead, learning new skills comes next, then maintenance tasks (laundry, pasta sauce), then art, then blogging and letter-writing. minimum exercise.

okay, here's a tidbit: my favourite feeding is the late night feeding right before i go to bed, especially if i get there first with a ready-to-go bottle. after she guzzles it back she stretches waaay out (like a starfish basking in the awesomeness of the ocean), and while i'm pulling the blankets up, she grabs a hold of the wool blankie knit by my aunt and pulls it over her head. dreams are merely seconds away.

November 2, 2011

blagga blagga blag

internet, oh yeah.

i've been up in the city with the dumpling, and staying with the wife (we still discuss how she's the husband, and how we're both wives, and how inappropriate it is to describe our relationship with such an analogy). her new place is really cute, and really tiny. also, really internetless until this evening. so of course we're both sitting beside each other, (b)e-ing.

it's nice being up here. firstly, because i'm still depressed. this is helpful because it's information. i know i'm not depressed due solely to location. in fact, conversing with a friend led me to the realisation that after all i've been through in the last year and a half, i probably merit 'coming down' a bit. it's inevitable to have some plateaus. after the dizzying heights and rocket ship trips of late, these plainsy places might feel a tad blah. so that's how i feel. it's reasonable. it will pass. it isn't a tragically deep cesspool of postpartum blues from which i will never arise except as a wraith of a woman, shrouded in grey, wispy, shapeless sweaters.

it's also lovely to miss my manly queen. we've been talking while i'm gone. he's visiting the guys, eating chinese food, leaving beer cans all over the house, etc. to give credit, he is also being nice to the cat, knowing how much she is suffering. it's nice to miss each other. he misses the dumpling, of course. and i miss him both for myself (ze cuddles) and as a relief from parenting. there are many people here who like to hang out with the baby, but they aren't her dad, on whom i rely regularly and have agreements with (i think). the space has been good for us.

and lastly, the city is good for all the reasons it usually boasts: i have shopped 'locally', picked up cheaper expensive cat food, visited with Da Ladies (stay tuned for dumpling's first 'other hippie baby' playdate), enjoyed walking around and eating indian food, visited the bookstore... plus this time i got a massage, which was awesome. someone rubbing my sore spots made me feel simultaneously lucky and sorry for myself.

as i enjoy myself, i look forward to going home. traveling with a baby is weightier. and my home rocks.

nb: spilled water on computer, have no exclamation mark access. insert heavy emotion where you see fit.

October 14, 2011

stuff! things! time!

thieving some time in the midday to blog.

brain kind of on overload. thanksgiving was successful with only one minor meltdown on my part and several cranky moments from the overstimulated dumpling. she was seated at the head of my mom's dinner table, with a mickey mouse plate for banging on, and mashed potatoes by the fingerfuls from my plate.

the awesomes' visit was true to their name, and they even brought a little bird, who left a pot roast in our fridge that i cooked up a couple of days ago. i had never cooked pot roast before (it's an hours-long thing with lots of opening of the oven to pour more meat liquid over the roast to prevent it from drying out. also, it comes with a string around it, which you cut off afterward), but the queen said good things and so did bijoux, who came for dinner with scalloped potatoes. of course the house is a mess and things have stacked up, but oh freaking well, right? because i successfully survived a holiday AND made a pot roast that received multiple accolades. so screw you, decaying apples.

the dumpling's hollow leg has been pounding back the carrots, apples, minced hormone-free chicken, avocados, sweet potatoes, green beans and my mom's canned peaches, among other things. adults wipe their mouths, but children need their entire faces wiped. i regularly wipe food off of her forehead, eyebrows and hair.

friends have been going through rough times, so my energy is there, not here. "this too shall pass", i guess. sometimes that's the worst of it. something totally sideswipes you in life, and even that tragedy passes. so you go back to work. you brush your teeth. how different is anything? things should be more different, you think. the difference should last, like the difference in your psyche.

we bottled the queen's first batch of wine. it's quite lovely. are you ready for halloween, then snow? oh of course. of course. the race is on. i'm stockpiling cuddles, myself.

October 7, 2011

warning! run-on sentences abound!

i've been wanting to post in the middle of the day when i'm doing stuff, and then at the end of the day i'm too tired to think with words. so this morning i got up early so i could say all the witty things that float through my mind. of course, by some shared bloodline creepazoid thingie, the dumpling can sense my conscious presence and is gurbling away in her crib instead of sleeping it off as a tame, not-yet-housebroken child should. oh who am i kidding, she's so not tame. one whose hobbies include grabbing onto my facial protuberances (lip being a faviourite; good for digging in with tiny talons) and then kicking me in the throat (my throat is getting to be mommy-tough) cannot be reasonably described as tame. the cat is tamer than that, and she eats flies.

the dumpling's latest feats include being able to take off her hats, which means sweaters are my saviour, though i did finally finish plasticking up the windows for winter. i also unpacked my winter clothes and am excited about woolly accessories because that's the kind of nerd i am. bring on the wrist warmers! scarves of varying thickness! leg warmers! classy gloves that remind me of my grandma but make my iphone inaccessible!

i retired hank for the season, which doesn't mean we won't take 'er on any more trips, but since the queen bought a used, right-hand drive safari (see how the steering wheel is wooden? classy, eh?) whose seats fold down quite well to fit an us-sized (okay, me-sized) mattress and one of the queen's bros gave us a portable crib, we figure we might downsize the travel accommodations for quick trips to the city. one camping stove for bottle heating - check. sorry hank. you're hard to park. but hank is still our awesome inlaw suite, where our friend fieldinbloom will be staying when he comes out in a couple of weeks! with his mother and daughter!

also, the awesomes will be staying a night on this thanksgiving long weekend. they are bringing the possums, and i am rather excited since the dumpling has evolved to a new level of playing. she quite likes the possums, and of course they like her since she is little and cute and they are smart little possums. lady awesome is no doubt liked by all girls everywhere, with her pocahontas-lady-of-the-woods eyes and her crooning ukelele skills.

other thanksgiving weekend activities include visits to both families for dinner. i'm quite looking forward to it; it's a small enough holiday that i don't generally feel unduly stressed, and my mom's famous potluck dinner is reliably entertaining. i was quite sad to have missed it last year, though wisconsin was quite lovely... i will bring my gluten-free stuffing, and the queen will bring his homemade lager. or stout. or possibly wine.

what have i been doing? puréeing those mother-loving apples like there's no tomorrow (i think we actually have too many frozen apple icecubes. for realz. but on the other hand, dumpling has been impressive in her eating lately, so maybe i just don't get how much her appetite will increase), making more homemade baileys (second batch is super freakin tasty), being all homebody-ish and trying to conserve my sanity. it's nice that these newly developed hobbies of making booze covers our asses for the holiday season. except for the queen. what do you get the guy who has too many hobbies and buys everything he wants? you make something, with time i can't find.

one last link: i have decided to enter the world of makeup. blame/reward bijoux! she's turning me into a girl. we did at-home facials the other day. anyway. i found the awesomest place to order super lovely cosmetics: all fruit pigments, vegan (mild use of cruelty-free honey), made in canada and free shipping in canada when you spend a small truckload of money (which i totally did yay!). hey, it's an investment. into what, i'm not sure. stay tuned for feedback on effectiveness and ease of use! and don't worry, i'm still a belching, wig-stealing, hardcore hiphop fan who skulks around in black, fraying hoodies.

September 27, 2011

tickets for the ferris wheel - rode the roller coaster

i did this! with bijoux. it turned out alright. we accidentally added too much almond extract, so it was a bit sweet. also, i think it needs more booze, though the queen says it works for him, so now i feel like a big lush. but i'm still going to add more booze to the next batch. and there will be a next batch, because homemade irish cream is surprisingly easy to make, and if you buy ingredients by the case, cheaper! solstice/christmas gifts - check.

we went to an equinox gathering put on by a crowd i "used to hang out with". except there were actually a high number of reasonably close friends there! i was pleased. everyone cooed over the dumpling, i was only annoyed several times by shit from this dictionary of mockery. if you've spent years going to ritualized festivals put on by people trying to reinvent community because they've been raised without it, and grown annoyed by all of the broken habits and manipulative bullshit that get(s) carried over unconsciously, you will laugh at that link. if you don't subscribe to "that hippie stuff" you might giggle occasionally but it won't be the same, sorry. and although i was annoyed, that's because i'm jaded. i was also pleased/impressed/amazed at the beautiful land and the efforts of those who worked to make it a great gathering. i'm very glad i went. i'm still jaded though. maybe more on that in another entry but probably not.

i finally got to the apples! i keep putting off gathering them, and then they rot on the ground and i put them in the compost. but i had gathered them all yesterday so today i harvested the droppings and actually picked some off the trees! first i blanched them, then i made some apple juice using this baby. it took a lot of work and made a small amount of delicious, cider-y juice. so i said "fuck this! carrying around a small brick and doing this in my spare time will give me bigger pipes than the queen!" i then cooked up a batch of apples, and the same throwback tin device made, relatively easily, a good batch of apple purée. so that's what we get. i also sliced up a bunch of blanched pommes and have them in the fridge, browning away, waiting for me to be motivated enough to make some kind of crisp/crumble/thing-in-a-pan.

why i am not motivated today: i've had days where i'm like "dumpling! that's a lot of poop!" and days where the poop gets places it shouldn't. but today i had my first poop nightmare. i left her on the diaper pad having some bare bum time while i took care of my own business. i thought i was safe because she had already done the deed today. but apparently she decided it was time to empty the reserves. and then kick in it. and then kick everywhere else. so that was an entire load of laundry. then, later, there was more. and this (the third batch) got off the diaper pad and onto several blankets i had set up behind her because her bare bum time can now be accomplished in a seated position (the blankets are for the rare occasion she topples straight backward). i just deleted a couple of sentences that gave way too much information about baby poop. anyway. off to drink wine now that the dumpling has been laid down and the queen is bottling his beer and a late supper is cooking.

September 22, 2011

doldrums and ladybugs

doldrums? beat them back. constant vigilance, boo radley! earn your keep!

between a teething dumpling, fall cleaning, driving practice (i popped my highway two cherry! it was terrifying!) and the queen's family, days are passing. the queen and i take turns putting effort in and being moody. the dumpling, being the alchemical production and reduction of our combined essence, puts efforts into being moody (and does a wonderful job!).

the queen's family had a gathering and almost everyone came out, but without their kids. we rode hank out with the dumpling; she was pretty good that night, so i managed to stay up late enough to surprise everyone (they've mostly seen me pregnant, new mom and almost dead, so i think my natural energy level is a bit higher than i've heretofor revealed) and the queen got ragingly wasted, which was good for him. he's still working almost every day and feeling underpaid, which sucks big time. he recently got a raise, but when you're feeling underpaid, how often is the raise enough? not very often. it mollifies, but does not please.

i've been chatting with one of the girlfriends of one of the brothers more often recently. let's call her Bijoux. she's great for empathising with not being a member of a large, passionate family. sometimes i have trouble differentiating natural display of emotion and serious emotional trouble, or friendly ribbing and fighting. it's good to be able to share (and occasionally vent, not gonna lie) about loving a big irish farmboy when we've been raised in a quiet household to be nice polite girls. although she's been in fistfights, and seems surprised that i haven't, which i'm going to take as a compliment.

anyway, bijoux is helping me learn how to drive, but i have accepted that it's time to drive with the queen, even though i think he'll be impatient with me and spike my already over-stimulated adrenal glands. if i keep getting stressed out, will that eventually up my ability to tolerate stress? or will i just crumple/explode into a sobbing, screaming mess? stay tuned!

ladybugs, everywhere. we had an aphid infestation, and now i am literally stepping on ladybugs when i go out. i brought the laundry in and had to pick ten ladybugs just off of our clothing. it's kind of crazy; mother nature, gone wild. (returning to wild? never left wild?) i am out, picking up apples that have fallen and are soft, and i feel like i'm composting ladybugs. on a semi-related note, the dumpling is quite fond of dried leaves.

September 15, 2011

things that rock hard

- this. and delightful new webcomic discoveries in general.

- the peanut outgrew another set of clothes, and into a size where we have a lot of t-shirts. i guess she'll rock the t-shirt & hoodie with me for a while. also, i think she may have outgrown the peanut size. what next? dumpling? we call her the burgolator sometimes (because she burgolates, clearly).

- this. rocks. i've been looking for size-positive images and ideas to feast my eyes and mind upon and shake up my shiny-body-image magazine upbringing. plus who doesn't just want another intelligent blog to read?

- like this one, at its deepest and most meaningful. that is one of my favourite entries.

- it's autumn! decay! colour! dead bugs! cute sweaters! a fresh sense or organization! starting to think about holidays and lots of eating and gift-giving and stress-building!

- babies. okay, okay, i finally caved to the cuteness of babies. one of my friendquaintances gave birth the other day. cute baby! a good friend of mine is due about now with her second, and it's fascinating to hear about. she's great at describing a situation and getting to its essence. i think we also have really good communication, born from years of practice and a keen sense of how each other are feeling. and of course there are at least five other people i know who are pregnant. epidemic! careful, unfixed heteros!

- the queen is making beer and wine. i am helping, but it's definitely his thing. mostly, as i'm sure you figured out right away, i'm helping enough to justify my future quenching of thirst sans guilt. and of course because i love him and want to support his creativity. beer is way simpler, by the way. way simpler. you could do it. order the kit. the queen has this mini oak cask, and he has stored some of the beer in there. tasty. we have been talking of having a housewarming when it's ready. scandal - loud music! a fire!

September 11, 2011

what makes it suck sometimes

- because counting one's blessings doesn't take the suck away, and i never have enjoyed watching people trying to "fake it to make it" all better.

the queen working weekends.
no weekends?!#@!$ yesterday he got off early (three) and we went to the lake. we met two brothers there. one has a boat and two kids; older boys who like cliff-jumping, and watching the fight that broke out after some douche sucker-punched a guy (douche got told). we ended up having a fire at the farm, but the queen's parents are off doing something horse-related for a few days and weren't there. i touched one of the feral kittens! cute.

on the way to the beach, we stopped at a garage sale and i got some super cute stuff for the peanut. while the queen was at work, a mutual friend we went festivalling with this summer came by, and we had a good greasy breakfast. so it was, all around, weekendy. and it made me feel SO MUCH BETTER. but one day isn't enough! labour movements and studies have shown! and he thought he only had to do a couple of hours today, but now it looks like he'll be there 'til three again. hopefully, some people are coming by tonight and we'll have a fire. and eventually the busy season will end. but i don't know what my life will look like, how it will change, because we haven't been through this before, together. so it's not entirely reassuring. we have no "bigger picture" routine yet, if ever! do i need routine?

September 9, 2011

jotting down the feats and fears

my day sounds boring sometimes, but it actually requires a fair amount of creativity. questions i am concerned with include: how do i fit in all these chores while spending quality time with my child, taking care of her physical needs and "being myself"? how can i incorporate learning into play? what is she learning now anyway? (the peanut's new thing is noticing the accessories. she's obsessed with my clothes and jewelry as well as windowsills and doorknobs.) how do i balance my relationship with the queen, my relationship with the peanut, and their relationship with each other? how do i share finances with someone? i truly have no idea and have been avoiding this question.

how do i find the energy to do the same thing every day with no end in sight? how am i going to cope when the government cuts off my maternity benefits?

there are more questions, more thoughts, more worry, more excitement. but that's all for now.

September 2, 2011

trouble in hobbiton

been a while since i blogged? not sure; days swim together. the queen doesn't get days off very often anymore so i find it hard to differentiate. there are sunny days and rainy days. i know time passes because i have to water the plants and mow the lawn (ironic, really; here, grow. no, not you!).

i've started a few blog posts, but they just peter out into nothingness. i suspect i fear i have nothing new to share. and i have been writing a lot of letters, which is an indication that i want to connect more on an individual basis, not with a group.

i started this blog as a method to meet a need for expression, but expression with responsibility. in a journal, i can lie to myself, but a blog pushes me to be more honest because someone out there reading could be able to see through my bullshit, and i would rather call myself on it.

i feel bored expressing the same thing: i feel depressed - not horribly depressed, just enough to make the day harder. i feel guilty for feeling depressed, even though it is a reasonable thing that happens to many new parents. i feel guilty because the queen is trying hard to make things nice for me, because he is supporting me while i can spend most of my day in a bathrobe (i don't, but i can - and there's a big psychological difference between working at home and working in public).

i feel trapped in the parenting role, so when i want to talk about the peanut, i cast myself as that person who can't talk about anything else because they have nothing else to bond with other adults over; they don't read the news or take in any art ... they don't have time for introspection.

i feel human when i can go to the city, or when someone takes the peanut for a day, or when we go camping. even though i am just as human when i stare at the dishes for the millionth time and i can't find the energy to do a twenty-minute task because i do it every day, usually twice. but if i am to be honest on this blog, which is the fucking point, i need to find a way to communicate honestly over my typical day, not my atypical day.

so we have identified the challenge. which is enough for me today. we're going to the city for a night; the queen gets this weekend off due to a stat holiday. so i shall feel human briefly again.

August 22, 2011

hilarity, and beer.

so i'm sitting here, drinking an illicit afternoon beer. (yes, i know. the gluten! the gluten! what can i say? the queen and the weather have worn me down. plus i hear that the lighter beers have less barley or something. by this i mean heineken, not the nasty coors.) the peanut has tooth number two coming in, so there have been random furious midnight awakenings. today has been reasonably good, and a longer afternoon nap means i got to do this! with a beer!

spicy potato salad awaits our evening. there has been talk of a fire and some smokies, which sounds absolutely fabulous to me. the peanut got introduced to cherries yesterday. yeah. cherries-everywhere later, it's a hit. well, everywhere below her nose. thing is, it wasn't actually cherries that made such a mess. it was cherry. one.

we made it out to the city for two nights. the awesomes dropped their children off at mister awesome's sister's place so i challenged mr awesome to a drunken idiot contest. of course i lost, but i did some great acts. deep conversations - at least on my part - and some dirty dancing with the queen at the falafel place after two shows at two bars... mr awesome won though, by spraying the band at the first show with beer - by accident and then on purpose. then he group-hugged them. he actually does this a lot.

it was great fun and we had many party buddies. field-in-bloom made an intersection getaway on our way to the second show. i wasn't in that car, but i hear he hopped out at a red light and thanked everyone before disappearing into the neon-lit night. i actually couldn't remember how we got from show 1 to show 2, but the queen reminded me later it was our musician friend with the big gasket problem who was more focused on playing us a great phish tune than his steaming hood upon our arrival. and it was a pretty great phish tune...

we inherited a strange weirdo as we came back to hank (parked behind the gnome wreckage, where we made use of the old patio table and firepit. long live gnome spirit!) who we had to kick out eventually. i was passive-aggressive about his presence for most of the couple of hours we spent playing music, but to no avail. proper passive-aggressive techniques involve persistence and repeated follow-up, which is difficult when drunk.

the next day we were more mellow; visited a festival, had a fire and swayed the wife into coming over with a friend of hers. they were like elves, which just shows what happens when the gnomes are released.

i was reading this post on puking (the end is the best) and it reminded me of 'morning' sickness. my favourite place was sitting on one of those old railway ties people use in their yard, quietly puking under a tree.

August 14, 2011

at least there's a hammock now

so we didn't end up going to the city after all. our friend came down here for a night instead. it was lovely to see her. we made a fire in the front yard, and had put the hammock up earlier that day (why had we not strung the hammock up between the two apple trees immediately upon moving in? we have discussed this but failed to arrive at a solution. i saw it in hank yesterday and was all "hey, we have trees!"). we drank wine and talked about old crazy stories and a few new things.

last night the moon was full full full and the skies were clear. we went to sleep at about midnight and were woken at quarter to three by howling coyotes. of course, i couldn't appreciate it because i knew olive was outside, hopefully terrified and hiding. she came in later that night and seemed to appreciate a warm, coyote-free bed.

i've been feeling a bit down. well, actually, hella down. the queen's mom recommended that i take a daily walk, which is an excellent habit that i've fallen out of. so i started that again and have been exploring the parks and alley raspberries. i stopped promenading for a bit because the siren in town was going off. but i've asked a few people and no one seems to know why or care, plus the dogs were explained to me, so now i feel safer again. i was hanging laundry and noticed a police officer and trained dog booking it down the alley. i'm thinking "kay, drug bust or escaped prisoner?" but the bartender at the pub says they just train the dogs here. whew.

i started writing a bit but i don't feel very excited about it.

anyway. still a bit bummed i guess. going to try and enjoy the morning; the queen went golfing and his mom has the peanut. i guess this is the time where i should do all those things i want to do that i can't remember now. seriously, i don't have a clue.

August 8, 2011

rush hour: three cars at one intersection

day by day.

today has been rewarding. both enjoyable and active. cleaned hank today. vacuuming an environment that's composed entirely of nooks and crannies is a pain in the back. literally. while i was battling the carpet grunge in hard to reach places, the peanut was lying in the hank-crib, miserably gibbering to a toy that hangs from the mosquito netting draped over the two bus seats pushed together to make her "crib". it needs a baby gate; three walls will only stop her for a little while longer. olive, having decided that hank belongs to her (and where the fuck do we take it sometimes?), was sulking on the patio. later, she curled up in a back corner of the hank-crib and went fast to sleep, not even noticing that she got locked in there for several hours. her other favourite place in hank is the middle of the "kitchen" table while preening.

the littlest one's first tooth is prying through the walls of her gum, and it sucks to watch it suck for her. today she woke up shrieking from a nap. poor thing. i told her that "with power comes responsibility" but it didn't seem to make the looming status of bite-ability any less crappy. oh the thresholds we have crossed, people. bodies! development!

tomorrow we get picked up by a friend for a few days in the city. i'm weirded out trying to visualise it sans gnome home. i think i need to take some kind of action about that. stay tuned for emotional sayonara story.

i still read sometimes! when i visited my mom a few weeks ago, i found this mystery in the bookstore she frequents. who knew asimov wrote mysteries? apparently just this one. it is hilarious! i think i read one of his sci-fi's (the use of the apostrophe for plural can be used where, given the spelling of the word, the reading of the word would be easily mis-read without an apostrophe. or something. i learned this a long time ago. is it true? i cannot find it in "the elements of style". of course, if i'm going to be so anal about it, i might just spell out 'science fiction novels' and be sure that i'm correct. close parentheses). i think my dad used to collect asimovs, and let me read "i, robot" when i was young. it didn't take at the time. it was possibly my first science fiction. anyway, "murder" made me reconsider reading him again. his protagonist was honestly portrayed, and the words were witty. there is some sexism, for sure. asimov pulls off writing himself into the book quite well, using himself as comic relief.

kay, tired. 'night.

August 2, 2011

just a bunch of randoms

what the fuck: norway. and then muslish! at least it shows the idiots as idiots, but that's a fine fine silver lining.

the queen bought me flowers last week. they're still looking beautiful. we've been good lately. he took his iphone for a swim, but found a youtube video describing how to pop the battery out, and thebn something with methyl hydrate, of which he has a few litres in his mancave (see, he really does merit a whole cave. it has a separate entrance, as a cave ought). now his phone works again, mostly.

the peanut is enjoying textures as well as grabbing lately. she has a fierce grip, which is not just very cute, but also logistically difficult when you're trying to disengage her from something or someone. we play games like peekaboo, dancing and try-and-touch-the-cat. her current method of transit consists of wiggling her butt around and arching her back to sort of slither nearer to whatever she's grabbing.

i think i'm going to write a letter to my therapist, to explain how i suddenly stopped going (summer she went on holiday, then i missed an appointment and didn't call back because i was having morning sickness and reeling in shock, then i went on a roadtrip and moved). i have been carrying around guilt about that for quite some time. if it won't go away, at least i can acknowledge it.

things is okay.

August 1, 2011

but i rock at volleyball.

we went away this weekend again. i look forward to next weekend, when we are staying home. or at least only going on a day trip.

the weekend was nice though. before we left, we had the queen's parents and two of his brothers over for a barbecue. one of his brothers' partner is pregnant, so i'm collecting a schwack of baby clothes. actually, not a schwack. i'm being merciful. more of a stack.

we lazily got ready saturday morning, and drove maybe an hour and a half to a lake where my mom's inlaws get together every year. their family is about the same size as the queen's, so there were many people and many games. the lake was great; sandy and reasonably warm, if shallow for miles out. there was a volleyball tournament i got signed up to, much to my dismay. i'm not really one for group sports. but it ended up being okay; 'anything goes' except finger-breaking, apparently that's my style. i hit the ball over the net exactly once, and my team won the tournament. could they possibly be related? sure!

we spent sunday night at the next campgrounds down, where two of the queen's brothers (one brother a crossover from friday night barbecue) happened to be camped. it was a neat coincidence, and it was nice to camp with a smaller group of people - after two festivals and a fifty-plus family gathering, i think i may be socialed out for a while.

there was a fantastic thunderstorm that came through. the peanut passed out solid (the louder the better for her; on this trip when we stumbled upon a hard rock/heavy metal wedding, she slept like, well, a baby) so after the thunder faded, three of us went three campsites down to the beach and watched the lightning across the lake. there was a second stormfront brewing up from another direction, but it mostly passed us. so there was lightning in two directions. it was really, really great. the wind was blowing hard and it had rained so much, the rainwater collected in the rut of a path - it looked like a small, still river that lit up with every flash of lightning. i don't know if i painted the picture so you can see it, but it was very raw and beautiful.

we didn't rush anywhere, and we didn't argue. it was an agreeable arrangement. the peanut expanded her fan base, hank held up, the queen and i enjoyed ourselves and the cat lived through it all - and that's all we ask of her.

July 26, 2011

i suck at ping pong.

i really need to blog while i'm feeling what i feel. later, even a day later, it changes.

we went on 'vacation'. you know, where instead of going somewhere, you just tour around for a week or so? we went to two festivals; one with the peanut, one without (thanks to my parents). we fought, got along, fought again. in the end, we were getting along, and i had one of those feelings like "wow, we fought but it ended up clean! maybe this crazy passion thing can work! cuz i sure do have a better sense of how the queen is feeling and what i can do to help him feel better!" but this evening we fought again, and now i'm back to feeling shitty.

you know when you try and change something in a long-term relationship, and at first the other person doesn't notice, because they're used to a certain behaviour from you? so you just have to keep on going, and wait for the part of the film where they suddenly, through a fairytale blessing of kismet and serendipity, totally notice how hard you've been working to make things better and then everything is great? well i'm at the point where he doesn't notice. they don't put this part in the montage, not really. maybe i'm not watching the right films.

you know one of the reasons i like the queen? when we were driving home tonight from a tiny ping pong tournament, he commented that it was really pretty out. i hadn't noticed, but he was right. there was a dark blue sky; seriously stormy but far enough away. the canola fields were bright yellow and everything else was a lush green. the yellow line on the highway shone. the setting sun cast a slight hush of pink on the sky. and i was grumpy because i worked extra hard last night and today to make the house nice and create a birthday cd for a friend of ours, and we had a tense moment when he got home about who unpacks his massive pile of mancave stuff when he has a job and i don't.

i know i'm not used to relationships working out. sometimes i feel like i'm just waiting for this one to fail so i can get on with my life. i have no picture in my head about how family should work. recently, friends have commented on how hard their relationships were in the first few years of having children together. i feel like they're telling me to stick it out. it helps.

another thing that helps is that although i am stressed out and uncertain and working harder than i ever have in my life, i do not regret the choices that got me here. i do not regret having a child and moving to a small town. so i guess i just need to have faith that i made the right choice for me at the time, and stick with this as long as ... as long as i can?

July 12, 2011

let's do this

have you seen this? anonymous seems kind of exciting. it's motivating when other nations are stepping up, since canada isn't the 'going first' type. the video is a bit eerie, but then, so is the government.

i think a tricky thing is to find your way in a world that may fall apart, or may not. what actions would be worthy either way?

gardening, yes. google plus, maybe ;)

July 6, 2011

the days pass.

i'm craving company - this is very unusual for me. actually seeking out communication, and looking forward to seeing people. weird.

still enjoying the new place; so much so, i feel as though it should have a name. we'll see what pops up. olive busted out yesterday - she was almost immediately treed by a happy dog. the first time she came down, but the second time he treed her (by going into the next yard over, where she had taken refuge) she stayed up for quite some time. eventually i got the ladder and rescued her into the house. she did come back out though, and we haven't seen the dog again today. no, today we saw the Homeless Cat. sigh. i am This Close to putting out a bowl of food. we'll see what tomorrow brings.

it's finally summer, so i spent it outside doing yard work in our shitty yard. rental yards seem to be the worst. the last yard had a litter of broken glass and nails. this yard featured a shoe, a sock (no, they didn't match), a bottle of salad dressing (oh yeah - still good?), several toys which i washed and am debating giving to the peanut, piles of regular garbage, empty bottles and bits of wood that kept getting caught in the mower as i attempted to hack our lawn down with the push mower. i enjoyed every minute. also, the shower afterward.

the queen has been doing household errands and getting loads of our stuff back from the farm, so our quality time has been watching "house" and sleepily chatting in the middle of the night. we finished season four the other day and it made me bawl. i won't give away the story line (it's the last two episodes, if you care), but watching it gave me the realisation that it is so very hard to love someone, and then we lose each other anyway. god, we're fools. i won't argue with you about how good the love can feel, and how valuable it is to community and family, etc, etc. so don't argue with me about how we're fools. because we are. statistically speaking, love is a nightmare.

anyway, i'm happy and somewhat lonely. i think being somewhat lonely works for me.

July 4, 2011


i'm back! my balls, it's been six days at least.

we're still settling in to the new place, but three out of four of us like it better (it's hard to tell how the peanut feels - she likes the new things to look at, but wakes up three times a night again). the queen likes how spacious it is, i like the neighbours and the light wood paneling, and olive likes the windowsill that looks out onto bird café.

the queen went camping for a night and left us in a quiet house with many boxes. the next night, we went camping together. hank looks very lovely in a field made by logging and gas companies. we spent the afternoon at the beach - i had my first swim of the season; shockingly late! it was awesome, and i realise how out of shape i am. things just don't settle back into place after what i've been through. but damn did it feel good to jump in a lake.

anyway, i am enjoying the boost of energy i have from all the forced labour and change that comes with moving. i think i'll go enjoy it.

June 23, 2011

a quick tour of the darkness

ugh. depression. gee, is it postpartum, post-surgery, or post-small-town-move? if i pretend it's all these things, i can pretend it's not just in my nature, and that i am currently not doing very much to challenge it from taking over my whole being.

reasons why i blog these days:

- if i don't now, i might never again
- it's pretend personal time!
- it's a chance to hear myself think
- i feel like i have a shred of community here (you!)
- i vaguely remember uncovering deep, meaningful things about myself by sharing personal stuff on the internet where anyone can read it
- it's how i put off doing something destructive like drinking wine in the afternoon or starting to smoke cigarettes
- it's how i put off tedious things i must do anyway, like dishes and cleaning out the produce drawer

before there was the little peanut, i could pretend i would change my whole life tomorrow. now, i pretend that i can't. delusions; still my favourite game! i stumbledupon this quiz and was mildly shocked by its accuracy (it gave me discomfort, which is always a shot close to home). my prognosis was that i isolate myself from those closest to me, cut myself off from pleasure and feel like any change i could make wouldn't make much of a difference. uh, yeah...

June 21, 2011

baby steps for adult me

we went camping on hank this weekend. 20 000km around the continent, and hank breaks down two hours away in a national park. we had to call the queen's parents to pick us up. right now, the queen is up trying to fix it so we can use it to move in nine days. i spent all day packing, when i wasn't taking care of the peanut or -gasp!- getting a driving lesson! the queen's youngest brother's girlfriend is teaching me in exchange for the queen hooking up her stereo system all fancy. i'm pleased to report that i only messed up a few times, and fortunately country roads are big enough that people could drive around me. i did not pass anyone, but i did drive into a small town, stop for coffee and turned left through an uncontrolled intersection with only mild panic.

while i'm packing, i've been watching 'house' tv show. it's traumatizing; surgeries, dying babies and repressed emotions. i've cried once and had to breathe deeply several times (needles to the belly - i remember).

camping before hank broke down was awesome. playing cribbage, the occasional shot of tequila (i quite liked it for sipping, but then, my previous experience with tequila involves being eighteen at the bar, so maybe i have no taste), and some great views of nature - the pembina river is raging! the last place we camped had shut down the spots closest to the river for fear of flooding.

we really want to spend more time on hank, and theorized about living off the bus for a summer. we could get gym memberships somewhere, or kick someone a few dollars for their shower and washing machine use. we're sad we signed a lease, but oh well. i guess we'll spend this year doing things more easily accomplished in larger spaces. for me, that means sewing! i want to spend at least one evening a week on the sewing machine. when i gain confidence, i will start projects instead of just mending. i have ties collected to make a purse out of them. i have one already, but i didn't make it. friends have told me that it's important (both as a new mom and as a smalltowner) to pick up hobbies wherever i can.

i had this great moment standing outside the bus at dusk, realising that i still know my wounds, but i don't identify as wounded anymore. mostly.

June 16, 2011

all over the place

last night, after i fed the peanut her 11pm feeding, i went to bed and the queen, who sometimes talks in his sleep, said:

you alright baby? can i hold something for you?
me: you can hold me in a minute.
him: you're a goof.

then he fell back into deeper slumber. it was amusing.

so, in our haphazardly unplanned way, we are no longer moving to the city. it was a big pay jump for the queen, but he didn't like the company or the job, and he felt badly letting go of a contract for work he has here. following the tone set by the cancellation of the wedding, we are trying to make less stressful choices for the next little while. this way, i get to see him over the summer, and he gets a week off in july, whence we will go festivalling.

i am disappointed that we are staying in smalltown alberta, but i intend to get my driver's license and book it to the city for several days at a time, whenever i want (until it gets snowy and i get nervous). friends who read the blog have sent me messages inquiring after my wellbeing in a caring fashion. truthfully, i feel less depressed than i did a couple of weeks ago, when we were still pretending everything was okay and relentlessly moving forward. taking a breather and talking about what has been bothering us has lifted the fog a bit. i still feel anxious though. who the fuck knows why. still processing the surgery (hair's still falling out, but pace has slowed down - possibly because i have less hair to lose now :), still adjusting to parenthood and lack of sleep, still processing being in a longterm relationship (the queen and i first 'hooked up' back here); seventeen months is my longest romantic partnership to date. i don't even know how i'm doing. and it's not like i don't care, but i'm just busier with other things. it's a relief not to be consciously processing. i'm sure it will come around again.

last night, friends came over and we bbq'd up some smokies and asparagus and corn. it was fantastic. i tried a new recipe. i wouldn't have thought watermelon and pudding could work so well together - it's relatively easy to make, gluten-free and vegan (whipped cream or edible oil product both work) and a light summer dessert.

i talked to my mom. she said the most important thing was that the queen and i talked about it. since we are still loving to each other, i think she's right.

June 13, 2011

here, there and back again

the lovelies got married!

the ceremony was, of course, lovely. it was rather hindu, so lots of beautiful saris, some circling of the fire while stepping on bricks and rice in some elaborate way (ritual still makes me nervous, but this was okay, perhaps because it wasn't expected of me to understand or participate. or maybe because i am MELLOWING OUT omg). there was also some AMAZING curry. the reception was at a decent hotel with more amazing food (our friend snuck tupperwares out and i'm fondly envious of her), good decor and some indian dancing (two different styles but i don't remember what they were). of course, the best part was seeing how brilliantly in love the lovelies are. i mean, they're nicknamed the lovelies for a reason, but they really outdid themselves with beauty and starry eyes. the needy cat in the post i linked to was present via framed pictures on the tables. yes, seriously. (RIP buddy the fish.)

the wife took the peanut for the evening so the queen and i rented a room at the hotel and partied like it was 2009. no, no we didn't. we went up to bed at quarter past twelve and passed out. then we both woke up at quarter past five, because that's what we're used to. oh boy oh boy.

it was weird getting together with a bunch of people i hung out with back here, before i moved in with the wife. i tend to see that as a traumatizing time in my life. bad romance, not standing up for myself, not feeling at home where i lived. it was enlightening to see how far i've come, because i didn't even feel awkward. hellz yeah, sistasage. you be growin. confident.

we're moving back to the city for a variety of reasons (you can probably guess most of them). we're also debating putting off the wedding for a year. it feels very stressy and rushed right now, and i think we will enjoy it more when we've settled in to whatever it is we're settling into. we're still deciding, and i went through a serious grieving process even acknowledging the idea of postponement, but i think it might be for the better. why rush? part of me worries i will use more time to freak out and back away, but quite frankly, this relationship is amazing. one more year just gives me one more year to enjoy it wearing an engagement ring. i would talk about what would happen if it didn't work out, but that feels very weird right now, so i will skip it. it feels weird enough to decide to get married, tell people, and then talk about putting it off. i don't like being public with my life unless it's very put-together. this is disconcerting, like admitting we are human beings or something. brr.

a disjointed blog entry. poor punctuation. welcome to parenthood.

June 7, 2011

a million stupid deer

my lovely folks took the peanut for a couple of nights - so wonderful! the queen and i took a drive out to the hostel where we've booked the wedding, and stopped at ram falls on the way - fucking gorgeous. worth the crazy back road required to get us there. i think we took the long way on the back road though. we saw a little badger - very cute (from a distance).

then we got to the hostel and had a disagreement about how the wedding was to proceed. the queen wants tables for people to sit at, and i've always found the sit-down dinner type to be the killer of spirit. we'll see, i guess. he wants enforced mingling, i think. maybe we could compromise and have a cheesy icebreaker game. i'm down with that.

there were many, many deer on the way home - highway 11 between nordegg and rocky mountain house was practically choked with ruminants running in front of old blackie (the truck's name). seriously, they made the wrong decision so frequently that i got home and looked deer up on wikipedia because i was curious to see if vehicles make them blind. i mean, how beneficial is it to run directly in the path of the predator? but i suppose most predators don't follow the highway, so maybe it doesn't seem like the obviously suicidal choice it is.

the queen and i have been facing disagreements more often lately - with honesty and effort. because of that, i feel more intimately connected with him than i have in months. i think we are definitely past the honeymoon stage. i hope this honesty thing continues. it makes for uncomfortable moments, but the overall effect on the relationship is way way better than bottling shit up.

i have a mosquito bite on the bottom of my foot which made it very hard to sleep last night. still, the tiredness is far easier to manage than waking up to feed a ravenous legume. curious.

i used my free time to sew on my fancy husqvarna machine the queen ordered off the internet. it's lovely to have halved my mending pile so quickly! my mom's husband fixed it - there was a problem with the bobbin that i may or may not have contributed to. he's quite the seamstress, so when they came down to pick up the peanut, he wiggled around in there and showed me some things. tension disks, etc.

i missed her even as i was enjoying her absence. i miss her cooing noises, damn it. i've gone soft.

June 5, 2011

guide to baby clothes

gotta do it. it's driving me crazy. there is some useless shit out there.

sleepers: these are the complete one-piece pyjamas. THEY MUST HAVE TOES. thank you. they come either snapped up (slight pain in the ass at four in the morning) or zipped up (better, but make sure there is a snap at the very top - this shelters tiny necks from being jabbed with zipper heads). i prefer zipped, but many are snapped. the ones with snaps can have them up both legs - if not you end up having to jam a leg in - this leg can be very unjammable ("no! i will not stretch! i will remain absolutely straight and turn purple with rage! what the hell are you doing to me?"). my favourite is a sleeper given to us by mz awesome - it has two zippers - one up each leg - and two snaps at the top for neck protection.

onesies: these are the little bodysuits sans legs. they make changing diapers reasonably easy, and you can just throw a pair of pants to achieve clothed baby. the big problem here is the neck - you have to put onesies on over the preternaturally ginormous head. some just stretch (i like the overlapping shoulder stretchies versus the plain elastic ones) and some have a couple of snaps up the back. get some longsleeved and some shortsleeved. (i wish we knew someone to give this to).

socks: knee socks are best. ankle socks are as ridiculous and useless as pockets, and less cute. the higher, the better. remember, wriggling octopus must wear them.

t-shirts: for the baby that gets carried, annoying. they ride up.

dresses are better. riding up happens less often, but they're still easy diaper changes. some come with matching bottoms, but we have cute cloth diapers, so i don't worry about it too much (except for grandparent visits).

sweaters: super cute, especially when knit by friends. hoodies are also nice, though i think i prefer tuques to hoods as it interferes less with peripheral vision. baby sweaters seem rarely to come with zippers, which i think is a missed opportunity, but at least they are often cardigans. over-the-head sweaters sound like a nightmare.

bibs: the peanut currently goes through four to six a day - drooly mcspitup. i don't like leaving them on when they're damp, because something damp beside the skin all day long is gross. the big decision is velcro vs snap. the velcro sticks to everything in the wash while the snap (i fear) digs into her back, all bulky. i think i'd lean toward snap-up, especially for secondhand shopping, as velcro wears out with time. whew.

'nighties'. these are basically baby-in-a-bag. most of them don't have bottoms, but i got a hold of a couple that did and i like them. the wife called them little prisons because they are closed at the bottom, but i think they just keep baby toes warm. i like nighties better than sleepers because they are closer to sleeping naked than sleepers are, and i think we should all sleep naked as long as we're warm enough.

little mittens: some sleepers come with built-in optional mittens. go for built-in optional things whenever you can. mittens on their own are decent for when she develops little talons that we haven't trimmed. generally i avoid them though, because i think it's better to let the hands touch things - that's how they learn. we have used them on occasion though.

two pieces i want to try: baby leg warmers and chaps (though i'm still interested in adopting the diaper-free approach).

June 3, 2011

can't think of title - baby crying

i really enjoy shit like this article, stuff that shows the common ground of apparently different lifestyles. growing up rainbow in a grey and white landscape (the first half of the twentieth century seems well-portrayed in sepia; i think the second half will be best represented by muted, faded shades of grey and charcoal.), but still wanting to love where i come from. this trait came out when i moved to the coast for a year - a sudden, inexplicable fondness for western styles and prairie landscapes, where before there had been only derision. would i seek balance so much if i hadn't been witness to such disparate lifestyles?

on an unrelated note, bwa ha ha! and again to the first half of the scrollover (but until recently, not the second half - i have wanted to grow older for most of my life, and still look forward to it. growing up, i definitely craved my thirties).

writing more regularly is good for my mental health. so is going outside. why do i need to force myself to go outside? in theory, that's where i want to spend most of my time. but in reality, i am very house-centric. i remember that about playing dolls too (yeah i played dolls). i enjoyed setting up house, but i didn't feel like doing much once it was all scened out. my favourite game was carving villages into the ground outside, with rocks, sticks and other natural landscape providing not just bridges and houses, but cities and environments. anyway, random rant aside, the queen, peanut and i have been starting to take walks after supper. mostly we just walk up and down the nearby four-block railway track-side path, but tonight we might cross the tracks and hit up the cemetary. i have a new appreciation for actual paved walking paths - the stroller only appears 4x4ish, and in fact is hopelessly suburban (but true to suburbia, has matching everything!). even alleys are rough going - a sign of sorrow to my previous, alley-pilfering self. mourn mourn mourn. having a child somehow bounced me over the radar line, like an automatic ticket to respectability.

June 2, 2011

not long enough

feel like writing again today. yay!

plans when the peanut wakes up: pick up the accordion again, and vacuum. right now, "penguin café orchestra" is playing (vinyl, baby) and i am drinking a second cup of coffee. the queen left me a cup by my bedside this morning. i found it when it was cooling, but the timing was perfect since someone, who shall remain nameless, was sucking up all my attention with her mewling cries. i massaged her gums with a baby toothbrush (important, they say, to disturb bacterial growth) and she totally freaked out on me, lending credence to my theory that she's teething slightly early (i think four to seven months is average). i dreamed last night that she had eight teeth; i was showing the queen. they were all hanging from a barn ceiling like stalactites (i had to wikipedia that term, as i can never remember which is stalactite and which is stalagmite).

i have started to pack for the move. just the currently useless stuff - winter garb, etc. it feels good to start packing. i'm excited to move somewhere larger and more user-friendly. we might have some new roommates too, come the fall. a friend is taking arborist school in a town nearby. we shall see.

oh damn, peanut awakens. too short of a nap, mammy didn't get her shit done. fuck fuck fuck. depth and emotions will have to wait.

May 31, 2011

the tiniest knuckle hairs

whew. she also boasts the tiniest knuckle sandwich. i think she's teething. is it too early to be teething? hopefully not. eating doesn't help, changing doesn't help, even carrying her around only appeases for a moment. one cannot argue, bargain, plead or reason with an angry, stressed out little grublet. why don't i stop trying and just sing when she cries? because i have empathy, and as a parent, it's a superpower - 'super' implying intensity, not capability.

i gave her a little teething ring, but her tiny mouth is too small - it's sort of fun to watch her try though. i'm going to try the chipped ice in a mesh chew bag-thing someone gave us. i'll try anything, i've no shame (chipped ice in the mesh bag totally worked; she was all "what the? - gimme that shit"). writhing octopus, tribe of hissing cats, bottomless pit. what do these all have in common? they're her new nicknames.

uh, in deeper matters, i'm definitely going through one of the mourning stages for my old life. i took a few days off from small town life to go to "the big city" with the peanut. the queen joined us partway through. the wife did her amazing childcare thing in exchange for some groceries, and the queen and i went to a live jam and got drunk with my sis, who later disappeared into a gross nightclub with lots of young people. it was nice to get some time off from the grublet. the queen and the wife let me sleep a whole ten hours - it was like a holiday, especially in the way that i felt as though i needed another one to recover from this one.

oh yeah, i was supposed to talk about deeper matters. i've noticed i am good at avoiding this lately. i think, to be honest, that i don't want to admit i am not particularly happy right now. it will make me feel like a failure in choices, since shouldn't i be happy laying in this bed i made? and if i'm not, doesn't that mean i made the wrong choice? i know it's more complicated than that, but the realisation doesn't stop the insecurity. also, if i admit i am not happy, doesn't that make me a horrible mom? these things i would scoff at as a non-parent are harder to discard now. stupid hormones-led-on-by-society-bullshit. i've been faking it, telling people about the deep sense of satisfaction i feel, but quite frankly, sometimes i prefer the previous fleeting quest for happiness to this "i am already content, give me more poopy diapers" attitude of motherhood.

a friend told me not to succumb to the image of motherhood, to remember i am still me with all my non-maternal instincts. i was all "i am SO not at risk of that" and then i thought about it for twelve hours and realised i am. horribly, horribly at risk. isolated, with only my queen (AKA sir mans-a-lot) and the cat to remind me of my previous desires - shit, see that's how it happens - my current desires that are muffled under a thousand bibs wet with spit-up.

she's cute, and i love her, but it ain't everything.

May 26, 2011

send more nori

stayed up late enough to make it easier to just stay up til the peanut's 1am feeding. listening to ckua, a very wonderful radio station. a great blend of better songs. that is all i will say about music in this entry, sorry.

emotionally, what is up with me these days:

well, still tired. probably still quite low in iron, since i went below the line under which it is reasonable to receive a blood transfusion (but skipped it). i eat nori sheets (even though my but microbes are inferior), beets, liver... but it will take a while. other parts of my body are still settling in to whatever my new life looks like. lots of small child, way less personal time. did you ever notice that we allow ourselves more of a 'stress' reaction to change that surprises us? expected or chosen change isn't allowed to be stressful.

in one way, it's easy to be me right now. certainly easier than it has been! parenting is probably the simplest it's going to be; the peanut and i are developing a rhythm (not a schedule) and i am finding pockets of time (when i should probably be sleeping) like right now. a snatch of fun here, a scattered few pages in my journal or online; sanity. later, when she's running amok, these moments will probably be harder to find.

in another way, things suck. we are moving, so add another stressful thing to the table. the queen is working hard, renovated hank and is now beefing up the truck he bought recently. when we see each other, we're both very tired. this is draining, especially since we are still wanting to do things like go camping for may long weekend, but now that's harder to do. we exchange sharp words with what looks like increasing regularity. i realise this interaction reminds me of (all things!!) the dynamic my mom and i had when i was growing up: she had standards, i didn't always measure up, didn't do it her way, was told that.

i need to find a way to respond in a healthy way to these situations. the queen and i are equals in this relationship. this is easier to see for what is than when i was a child. i have moved forward in emotional development and communication skills. plus, i am choosing to be here. fuck, does choice make a difference in empowerment. that's why childhood sucks. i hope i remember that when the peanut is fifteen and the weight of the world lies on her shoulders, and she's surrounded by fallible family members who let her down.

i mine my emotions for content. i feel like i'm on a path. i think it's my path. right now, i'm trying to merely see it as clearly as i can, and walk.

May 23, 2011

bourbon, arrows and bikers

ahh, may long weekend. and it didn't even snow.

we went out to mr awesome's sister's place, a few hours east. she and her hubbyman proved the awesome moniker - they were awesome. they have a quarter-section with a couple of houses on it and some good plains n bushes. they have a one-year-old, three dogs and a cat or two (with outdoor cats, you never know for sure). we had a fire, chatted, drank too much bourbon n rum, and generally enjoyed ourselves. so much so that the next day was rather rough. well, we stayed up til the next day actually. jeezus.

two nights with the fine folks of awesome, then we headed out to a night at the farm. we were still in rather rough spirits, and the peanut, having been quite lovely for the duration of trekking around in hank (hank!) was also feeling crabby. most of the family had spent the weekend at the farm and were heading back, but there were still three brothers there; two with families, one with a ladyfriend. we chilled out for the evening, with the queen and his youngest brother shooting arrows (i shot a couple too, from the twenty yard line. i need some practice, but did manage to hit the target - a bale of hay with a bulls-eye spray-painted on it) and some mild refreshments happening.

the queen's brother came up with the idea of adults keeping the emotional motor functions of babies - bursting into tears at the least provocation, then totally fine again a minute later. can you imagine adults randomly freaking out? business meetings, family dinners... i like the mental image of sitting on one's ass in a grocery store aisle with a box of cheerios, just wailing.

now we're back at home - home for the next month or so! we got a new place in the next town over. it has way more room, is more baby-friendly and boasts a mancave for the queen. he really needs one - a place to put his guitars, his wood glue, his extra bottles of whatever vehicle liquid he is currently storing... i'm intrigued by the livingroom. it has a sunken-in area that would be good for new crawlers. there is also an apple tree in the front yard! yay! we move in the first of july. i'm excited to live in a town that doesn't have a dogfood factory, even if there are biker-looking dudes in the mobile home across the street. that just adds character to the neighbourhood, ya know?

anyway, as another parent put it, the long weekend are long when you're a parent. gotta run (trot, stumble, whatever).

May 17, 2011

girls gone wild

it seems that i blog while things are baking in the oven. today it's a crisp. or a crumble, if it comes out all crumbly. i found some rhubarb in the freezer, and i'm trying to thin out the forest of goods in there, so crumble/crisp it is. don't get the idea that i bake all day. i also complete such mentally stimulating activities as dishes, laundry and saying "what? what is it??" to crying grublets.

today the peanut spit up while i was burping her. she somehow managed to miss all my clothes but puke directly into my slipper. good times.

the queen got a job nearby, so "real life" has begun. we celebrated by sharing some gin and orange juice on his last day off. i managed to come off with only a mild hangover, but then, i was also in bed by ten.

it's interesting, being a stay-at-home mom. a mom, specifically, what with the stereotype and everything. those who know me know i'm not into reinforcing gender stereoptypes. but neither am i sworn off certain activities that i enjoy simply because they are "girly". i remember when i realised that it was okay to shave my legs as long as it was something i didn't feel pressured into doing.

so it's the two of us for most of the day (three if you count the cat, but very few do). we go crazy with all the home-stuff. today we mailed things! i know - sound the alarms. speaking of alarms, i think there should be a car horn that sounds like a crying baby. that would get people out of your way for sure.

May 12, 2011

blaggity blah blah

i've been mentally blogging all week, but of course this will sound like i just pulled it out of my ass while waiting for brownies to bake.

... fuck, i'm drawing a total blank. like that warp field that erases all the films you want to see from your memory, as soon as you enter the rental place (back in the day, when you used to rent films, at a physical location. remember that? dude, you are so old!).

we are looking for a new place to live. we visited a town nearby that has an actual lake, and thus a beach front and tourism. now i am jealous. when i lived in the city, tourism was lame, but now it means that something might be open past five pm (or even on a sunday! my gosh!). also, there's an indian restaurant. i could do that.

it was my first official mother's day as a recipient rather than just a giver. my folks came down, and the queen and my mom's husband cooked us steaks. they were yummy. the queen also came home with a lovely "plant".

him: i wanted to get you something green and living!
me (thinking): that looks just like those plants i see in restaurants, cool.
me, feeling the leaves: honey are you sure it's real?
him: ... nooooooo!!

thankfully, he had kept the receipt. great comic relief.

i read an interesting debate on fbook about the consumeristic, hallmark nature of mother's day. truthfully, i don't find it so in my life. i usually just got my mom some seeds for the garden, and made her a card. i think, in a way, that the consumerism nightmare argument doesn't work if you don't let it dictate your life. are the people in your life really going to be disappointed that you didn't buy them something? handmade things and thoughtful actions are pretty fantastic. and if we don't have enough time to do something nice one day (or five, or ten) out of the year, then isn't it more accurate to complain about our own damn lifestyles, rather than blame it on a holiday? it's odd, because i used to bitch about the consumerism and the resulting pressure at every holiday. but now i don't care.

which doesn't mean i don't stress over gift-giving; just not about buying shit. the queen's birthday is coming up. what do you get for the person who orders everything they want on the internet? handmade card, coming right up!

the brownie recipe (from this book, which i highly recommend for those gluten-free cooks who like slightly more complex recipes. also, not vegetarian, though offering some dairy-free options) called for a quarter cup hot coffee, so of course i made a wee french press and had a cup. now i am thinking i'll be up for hours, but truthfully i'll probably just make icing, read a bit from spadework (not finished, so not sure if i agree entirely with this review, but i am enjoying this one less than his others), and fall into a fitful sleep that will only start to feel restful shortly before the peanut stirs.

May 4, 2011

reasons i am sick

1. the pixies. it was a good concert though. i scored a ticket and a hot date - the queen's brother had to work so i went with his special lady friend, who is really fun. i was disappointed in the many lineups - it was an all-ages show, which necessitated beer gardens, bag searches and beefy security guards who could never find the grey-haired man lighting up doobies in the crowd. it sucks having to chug down an overpriced, lousy drink to get back to standing behind tall people, but we were at least on kim deal's side of the stage (she's so cute!) and they played "where is my mind?" which i am a sucker for (there's a great porn shot at the end of that video).

i am old, though. i wasn't feeling well (darn you, mr awesome, and your little virus, too!) and i kept yawning, and my feet hurt. welcome to old age/the world of not doing yoga. i should really do some yoga. at least i have swapped out my computer chair for one of those giant playroom balls. it's easier than i thought to sit on it. i think it's actually more comfortable than a chair. hmm. we've got civilization all wrong (again).

2. the farm. we went out because there were some siblings visiting. it's rather difficult to visit there without drinking. no one got drunk (at least not while i was there) but everyone drank socially. everyone. i guess i could have just had tea, but i'm still so happy i can engage in health-ruining activities with other adults that i refuse to pass up. so i didn't get any healthier that night, but i laughed a lot.

3. fucked-up schedule. the see-saw continues as we try and get the peanut on a schedule and she refuses. ah, random hour in the morning - it's been so long, almost 24hours, since we last met. you are as hazily beautiful as i remember.

4. the election. crap. long-term win, short-term loss. thanks, quebec. fuck you, alberta. now left-wing canadians want to move south.

5. stress. the queen and i are currently getting along more than we were a couple of posts ago, but we're both still tired, and we're becoming broke, and we're getting married this summer, and blah blah fucking blah. we'd rather be on a beach somewhere far away. i'm glad we didn't buy a house, because then we'd be cemented into one lifestyle, but at least then we would be able to work on our own home instead of staring glumly at this rotten rental (the cute built-in shelving has worn off, leaving bad wiring, a stained floor and a yard full of broken glass). we're both too exhausted to make full-capacity mental decisions, so we stare blankly, yawn, and throw around ideas like damp dishrags. i wonder how many good nights of sleep would repair us. i know one night isn't enough. is parenting a long-term illness? there are correlations...

April 30, 2011

things i think of at five in the morning

we've been visiting (most notably with the awesomes) and i've noticed how children huddle around the peanut like she's a shining pot of gold or something. i was never that kid - i was totally indifferent (bordering on slightly nervous) when it came to drooling little droolmasters. does this make me less maternal? who cares!

of course, now i have to trust my baby with all these eager kidlets, some of whom just like to tell you they know to support a baby's waify little neck. well let me tell you kids - IT'S NOT LIKE YOUR DOLLS. okay. right.

at the farm for easter, the queen's dad was playing the card game "go fish" with myself, the queen, a niece and a nephew. there's some kind of family tradition where he loses everytime, yet calls himself the best player. i sat next to him and caught on to his method: he stockpiles all his pairs instead of laying them down, so that he is more likely to have whatever card the kids ask him for. scam! i'm onto you, grandpa queen. i used to play "go fish" with my mom's friend, and there was one memorable incident (i think i was in the five to seven region).

him: do you have a five?
me: yes (grudgingly hands it over)
him: thanks! (puts it in his hand) your turn!
me: wait! you have to put your pair down!
him: what pair?
me: your pair of fives!
him: i don't have a pair of fives.
me: well why did you ask me for a five then??!! (quite upset by this point)
him: well if i had a five, what would i want with your five?


when the awesomes were here this week, we drove over to a local dam with some decent (for prairie province) cliffs. the wind was too cool to have the picnic we had hastily planned, but we did get to chase some geese off the road on the way there (by 'chase' i mean stop until they got up from THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD where they were sitting, and lazily flew away).

two irrational fears i have: meningitis and baby theft. look, she's really cute, okay? but the meningitis thing i think i can start deprogramming myself on. for some reason, i listened to folklore that suggested the symptoms were flu-like, then a stiff neck, then ON THE THIRD DAY YOU'RE DEAD. but as it turns out, symptoms are somewhat serious enough that a person would notice.

oh good.