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.