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19 Dec

A dusting of snow!


Little pink houses almost done:




Trying on her Christmas dress:


Much to B’s horror, he is Mr. February in the 2012 work calendar:


I sent this to my niece and she screamed like it was real:


I got sick and gave up on the tree:


And I’ve been here since:



Today, on my iPhone

13 Dec

Making village houses, getting a couple rows of the blanket done, the good book I never have time to read, the coffee creamer I’m obsessed with and a little fire time with the kids. Not too shabby!







And then we all lived fatter ever after.

8 Dec

Seriously, this having a baby thing just packs the pounds on, even if you didn’t give birth. It’s a combination of sleep-deprivation and B’s new schedule (2 to 11pm) (UGH) that has just made our eating habits all out of whack. B said the other day, “I am such a fat bastard!” and I was like, “Me too!” and then we promptly did nothing about it.

Le sigh.

I’ve been missing blogging lately, feeling a bit isolated with the stay-at-home thing. Can I tell you a non-secret? I suck so hard at being a stay-at-home mom. I guess I used to think the formula was No Job + Baby = SAHM. I was so wrong, and I don’t even quite know how to articulate why it’s difficult for me. It requires quite a bit of structure, which I’ve never been good at. It’s as if when there is a vast sea of time in front of you things seem like they can wait, and very quickly the house is a mess and the laundry is falling out of baskets and there are diapers everywhere and the dogs toenails look like some sort of vampiric horror show. THEN, by that point it all seems too much, and you are too morally depleted from the fact that you haven’t worn anything with a waistband in over six months and your hair is just a mess, and so you just call friends and talk about how hard it is to . . . well . . . do stuff.

First world problems, yo.

The flip side of all the whine is that I love to be with her. I do, I love being home with her and the thought of working makes my stomach turn. I think the solution is that I have to learn how to be a better SAHM. I goggled it the other day, and man was that a joke. I know I can’t be the only one that is so clueless about these things, yet the results page was either, “Make organic play-doh and count to 10 in Mandarin” or “Don’t stay at home it ruins your life”. Sweet options, internet. Can I stay at home and not ruin my life and not be a douche, all at the same time? I guess we will see.

In the meantime, HI! I love your faces. Here is a picture of Team Swan, being all festive and getting our “sleigh ride” on, which was really just a hay ride with “hay” crossed out.

Testing from iPhone

15 Oct

So you’re telling me I can blog from my phone? We live in the future!

I’m such a dick.

12 Jan

When I am gone from the blog for so long, the first post back is always dreadful. I’ve been starting posts in my head for over a month now, so when I sit down and finally write it is a mix of twenty posts floating around, no cohesive thread to be found.

So man, I really bagged NaBloPoMo. It wasn’t intentional, it was Thanksgiving day and I was just exhausted and not at home with my laptop, so I didn’t even think about it until the next day. At that point, I was relieved. I was so sick of myself, really. I love the idea behind NaBloPoMo, but my little new-mommy brain was not up to the task. I figured I would give myself a week and then come back, and then a week turned into several, and then Christmas was here . . . you know how it goes. I guess this is why I could never be a professional blogger, I lack the stamina.

Our first Christmas with Fiona was amazing, and lightening fast. It felt like a marathon. B and I were having trouble getting the Christmas spirit due to the crippling financial situation. I know that the spirit is not about monetary things, but it was hard to be in that place when we are spending so much time calculating and budgeting. I felt like there was a lot of (admittedly self-imposed) pressure on making it The Best Christmas Ever, when in reality Fiona slept through most of the gift opening and is, you know, a newborn. It was an amazing Christmas in the end, and we found our spirit on Christmas Eve and woke up Christmas morning looking at our baby and feeling like the luckiest poor people you’ve ever met.

We decided to stay home on New Years Eve, since we had been running so much the week before. We went to The Best Friend’s house for dinner and then watched movies and cursed the neighbors who let off fireworks and almost woke up the baby.

And then, New Year’s Day I got the email that my aunt who had been struggling with lung cancer had died the night before. I kept thinking, the New Year can’t start like this! Day 1 and I am shedding crocodile tears. Ah, foreshadowing.

The next morning, my phone rang (I had left it downstairs) and my the first thing my mom asked is where I had been all night. I knew that couldn’t be good. The night before my dad had become very ill very quickly, and they had to call 911. He was in the ICU, which has never happened before. Day 2, more tears. When I saw him that day he was lucid but sick, and I sat by his bedside and knit and read and listened to the beeps and hisses of machines, and things quickly progressed to dire. The next day my mom called choked with tears and said the doctor had told her his kidneys were failing and this was likely fatal. I didn’t even cry at first, just focused on the logistics of getting someone to watch the kids so that we could all get there as quickly as possible. I didn’t cry until until I called B and I said, “It’s not good. I need you” and without asking a single questions he said, “I will be right there.” As I ran around the house trying to pack Fiona’s bag I was struggling to breathe. It was like the whole thing took the air out me, I was panting and wailing and just thinking that I was (am) not ready for this.

The next days are a blur. I felt like it wasn’t time for him to go, but then I saw him and thought that maybe I was just in denial. The doctors were standing in front of us, asking us about his end of life wishes. When he was on Hospice he had signed a DNR, which complicated things a bit because since then he had improved and would most certainly want to be resuscitated. There is a fine line between starting someone’s heart again and keeping them alive with machines, however, and as the doctor was talking and looking at me all I could think was am I in charge? If I am in charge we are in so much trouble.

And then, miracles. Every day more improvement, and then like it never happened, he is home. It scared the crap out of all of us, and I am so thankful it turned out the way that it did.

I just want to tell you about Fiona. An entry with no other drama, just how amazing she is. The dimple in her cheek, the dimples in her knuckles, how beautiful she is, how I can’t believe how lucky I am. She is growing so fast, I can hardly believe my eyes some days. She bounces in her little bouncer, and plays with toys, and eats oat cereal . . . not a newborn anymore. That entry is coming soon, because man, she is changing so fast I have to get some of this down.

A few of you have sent messages asking if I am okay, and I just think that is the nicest thing I’ve ever heard. Even though I suck at this blogging gig, you guys are still out there. I would worry if you were gone too, I love the give and take of mutual readership. So thank you, and yes I am okay, relatively speaking. You know, besides the crippling poverty and critically ill father. 🙂

It’s snowing!

22 Nov

I had a crappy day today, with lots of worry about finances and a cranky baby, and other stupid things like that. BUT NOW. Now it’s snowing, and we have a fire, and there is yarn, and goodness. It’s almost enough to make up for the suck.

I’m wearing Powerpuff Girls socks

19 Nov

I have a handful of writing books that I have read a thousand times, and they just cycle around the house. I can’t poop unless I’m reading*, so mostly they go from bathroom to couch because I start reading them again in the bathroom and get all inspired and bring them out to my nest in the living room and then I repeat that cycle a billion more times.

Anyway, one of those books is Stephen King’s On Writing**. I love it because it isn’t flouncy and long, it’s to the point. It is also a good reminder that this guy knows what he is doing – I think he gets a bad rap because he writes “popular” fiction, but he is wicked smart. All of this is to say, his theory that writing is telepathy never fails to fascinate me. So it is, when you think about it. I am in my living room, wearing Powerpuff Girls** socks, sitting on a leather couch with a white blanket, with the Celtics playing in the background. When I tell you that, and read it hours later, the next day, whenever – you see it. And there are variations to be sure. You may picture a knitted blanket when really it is muslin one, etc. but for a minute, we are seeing roughly the same thing.

I think it’s magic, that’s what I am trying to say.

It is stormy and cold here in the NW, I didn’t want to leave the house at all today but I had a coffee and bookstore date with a friend and her baby. It was Fiona’s first trip to a book store, and I had a fabulous time wandering with her. Her big bright eyes took in the stacks of books with a solemn stare, like she knew we were in a church of sorts. I let her touch the spines, and whispered titles in her ear until she fell asleep. I could have stayed there all day.

Tomorrow is more stormy weather, but we are headed out to the farm where it is always roughly 120 degrees, so we are in no danger of being cold. I am going to make something with butternut squash and declare it a perfect Saturday.

*I could have told this story without this detail, no?
**I’ve included the lings for you.