Sunday, March 30, 2008

Easter Weekend:

We made the trip to New Jersey to see the families, and I think this photo sort of sums up the holiday vibe now that my mother-in-law is gone. Things just aren't the same, and never will be.

Anyway, you have to press on for the kids, right? So we did. We had some fun, and some naps, and some fever...Ray and I have been sick for over two weeks now.

We had some breakfast with cousin Super Man.

...and some nice time with Mommy.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Awwww...little girls

So cute. The doll was her Christmas present from Mommy and Daddy, and the cradle is her (early -I couldn't help myself, and besides, she doesn't know the difference. She's a baby) birthday present from Mommy. I made the little mattress today out of a thrifted table cloth and some batting, and the blanket is a crochet place mat also from the thrift store. She loves that doll, and the cradle (eBay) was a hit. We talk about putting her baby to bed, and saying: "Goodnight, Baby. Mama loves you. Here's your blankie...night-night." -And she sits there and rocks the cradle. She also kisses the baby. It's so sweet I can't stand it.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


Beans rinsing, muffins cooling, and bread dough resting. I have been using this nice prepackaged Bob's Red Mill bean mixture to make a thick soup with curry spices and some amaranth thrown in. I top it with raisins, raw pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds. SO GOOD. The muffins are whole wheat, bran, raisins, and coconut sweetened with sucanat. The bread is a whole wheat "kneadless" variety which has to rest for at least 8 hours. The recipe is from Mother Earth News/New York Times. Apparently time does the work that kneading would otherwise. I have had ZERO luck with baking bread in the past. I am an anxious sort of person who over-kneads, and ends up with a nice whole wheat doorstop. Maybe not this time -we'll see.
This week has been pretty good. The baby has a cold. It's warmer, and meltier around here which is encouraging. Right now, though, it's flurrying as I watch huge, fat adirondack crows pick at my frozen compost heap. It's really just a big pile of kitchen veggie scraps, because I rarely remember to turn it. A neat thing happened when I dug some soil out of it in the fall for a baby spider plant I had going. A tomato plant sprang right up out of nowhere -it's a foot tall now. That soil is always full of worms too, so it must be pretty good though perhaps neglected.
I am enjoying the time I now have for such things. They are most agreeable pursuits, and the stuff of life -as I see it.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

I was trying to...

...take some decent photos of what I think is one of the cutest things I have ever knitted for Ray. She is, however, a moving target these days:

I LOVE that little jumper. Here is the pattern:

I knitted this while I was pregnant, and still had time for anything ever. Now I want to make another one while she is still little enough to fit it, but I don't know if that will happen. I am working on another pair of socks, and that's likely to take until it's too warm to wear them this year anyway. Whatever, I guess.

These days:

I'm real busy with the cleaning business. I clean most days all day, and it is very tiring. I am skinny, with dry hands, an aching back, and chapped lips. I really love being my own boss, though, and there are trade-offs in life for sure. Right now I would rather scrub a million toilets than have to work in an office again. I hated sitting all day. I love being with Rayona. I love that she is solely in my care right now with the exception of the help I get from my husband. For some reason this makes me feel like a more complete mother for her than I did when I left her with someone else during the day. That never worked well for me. Some women can do it, but I never liked it a bit. I hated the feeling that I had this beautiful child just to pay someone else to be with her. This is how I grew up, and I was sad. I in no way take issue with other women's choices for career and/or childcare, but I can only make decisions based on my own experiences. I resented my mother a lot for not being willing to put her career on hold to be with me more. I understand where she was coming from, and how hard her generation had to work to even exist in the workforce, but I was a pissed-off kid. I wanted her there. I was jealous of my peers whose mothers stayed home or worked part time. I was treated badly by care givers.

Anyway, having said all that, it is also really REALLY difficult to scrub my fingers to the bone, and break my back lugging my gear around all day (in the unrelenting snow and ice) with a baby in tow. Unbearably so some days. Some days the apparent impossibility of completing my work by the time the guests check in to their rentals comes crashing down on me. I always seem to make it work, but nursing breaks, naps, snacks, tantrums, teething, and whining, and crying, and screaming can make me feel so hopeless. It can be hard to maintain a healthy outlook. Then I remember the alternative, and just how awful my old job could make me feel sometimes. I mean, like feel awful about myself and my whole situation. So this is better. Just 100 times as hard in different ways. I know I'm doing the right thing. I need to be home with my girl. I could never go back at this point. Most days I'm extremely happy as I drive past my old office on the way to a cleaning job with a schedule that I'VE set for myself. The money is there, but it is not as there as it was before.

The solution:

We really ate like this anyway, being that we are whole-foods-type vegetarians, but now we have to be really serious about the budgeting and rationing. It's ok, we still have abundance when compaired with most of the world. We are lucky to have these jars of beans and grains.

So ultimately I feel I've made the right decision. I couldn't stay where I was, or do what I was doing any longer. So I took the only other skills that I already had, and put them to work. I want to have more children, and I want to take care of them myself. I am SO much stronger than before I had a child. My tolerance for pain, and fear, and fatigue is way higher than ever before. I finally feel good about myself. So that's something.