Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!

Ginger’s cousin was born nearly two months earlier.  I look forward to the girls having as wonderful a relationship as their older brothers have.

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Relaxing Never Used to Be So Hard

Remember when we were young without many responsibilities?  Here’s what a vacation looked like:  pack a bag, jump in a car with some girlfriends, take a road trip somewhere, share a cheap hotel room and have a grand ol’ time.  When we got a little older, it was: scan online deals, book a trip a few weeks to a few months out, pack the night before and off you go.  Now it’s this:

  • arrange for grandparents to take toddler for 4 nights — pack half the house accordingly, days in advance;
  • arrange for other grandparent to join us on the trip to help care for the baby and give us alone time
  • arrange for other grandparents to sit for cat — drive cat 30 miles over windy roads to their house
  • for baby: pack portable crib, diapers, cream, 20 changes of clothes because this one throws up like it’s an olympic sport, bottles, formula, brush for bottles, stroller, oy, I’m too tired to finish this post…
  • for us:  whatever clothes fall out of the closet and we’ll buy whatever else we need on the way…

And I bet you dollars for donuts we’re more tired when we come back than before we left.

Eating Crow (and it tastes like chicken)

Some of you might remember a post of mine about firing the maid and doing my own cleaning.  I was young and idealistic, looking forward to rolling up my sleaves and giving my floors some elbow grease and home made cleaners to get the job done in a cost-effective manner.  Not sure how many months its been, but I’m crying uncle.  Cleaning service will be starting again next week. Sigh.

I admit it.  I couldn’t keep up.  If I can’t make it happen when I’m at home with the baby, I have no shot of keeping it up later.  Might as well throw in the towel and have a cleaner place to live while I’m at home, right? 

In other news:

Popsicles: I just made raspberry popsicles!  I put a pint of raspberries, a couple of tablespoons of sugar, lime juice, and a little water in the food processor.  Then I put it through a strainer and then into popsicle molds.  It’s freezing now.  I’ll see if Max wants to partake tonight. (I’ll add pictures if he does)

Fruit Leather:  My friend Emily came over last night with a batch of pureed apricots from her tree.  We put it on parchment paper in my food dehydrator and it’s looking promising — though it’s taking much longer than the 5-10 hour estimate in her recipe.  Thanks, Emily for participating in my homemade mishugas! (that’s yiddish for craziness)

Now, I know aspects of this post seem silly.  I caved and hired a cleaning service, which is objectively expensive, but I consider my victories to be pospicles and fruit leather — which, in actuality, save very little money in the family budget.   Maybe it comes down to the commitment aspect of it.  If I go 6 more months and don’t make another popsicle, no one will notice or care. (well, maybe Max would care).  But if I go 6 months without addressing the cleaning situation, then Child Protective Services gets called.  What I’m really saying is, someone please tell me it’s ok!!!

Ch-ch-changes

Since my last post, I’ve gone on maternity leave, had a baby girl named Ginger and made some progress in the garden — though it’s by no means a big bounty year.

First the update on the garden:  our green beans (which is to say, green, yellow and purple speckled beans) really came into their own.  Max has had his fill and I’ve even had enough to pickle one jar (ok, 1/2 jar) and really fell in love with the spicey hum of a pickled pod.  Our 7 tomato plants have become 8 with a very strong volunteer tomato plant that came forth from one of the compost piles (how fun is that!!).  There is tiny fruit with promise on the melon and watermelon plants.  Volunteer broccoli is doing way better than the planted broccoli.  Max strips the blueberry plant every morning on his way to school — I consider that his breakfast along with the chocolate I always use to bribe him into the car with minimal drama.  The peppers are still not looking so hot.

The worms are producing castings which I harvest every month — the last batch had a ton of worms in there so they must be happy.

Now on to less trivial things.  I’ve been getting to know my little girl.  She made her appearance after a planned C-section, at 8 lbs, 13 ounces.  She coos and makes funny gestures with her hands.  She’s smiling but I’m not sure if those are real smiles yet.  But they might be.

I’ve also been getting to know myself as a ‘new’ mother again.  I’ve been determined to have this maternity leave be a different experience than last time.  Let’s face it, last time I was depressed.  I was chained to the house by an evil machine called a breast pump.  I was also immobilized by cloth diapers which I wanted to use for a moral reason, but really weren’t working for me.  It felt like I didn’t go anywhere, do anything, or see anyone except the four walls of our apartment.  It was winter in more ways than one.

Flash forward two years.  The breast milk factory is closed.  We’re going with formula and compostable diapers. (We have a diaper service that picks the dirty diapers up and composts them, but if I happen to be out of the house and don’t want to lug the diaper back home, I can ditch it like a disposable one.) 

Another big difference this time around is that, J. has been home because he’s on summer break.   So, we’re basically treating this time period like an extended vacation.  I have an informal bucket list because I don’t want to feel like I’ve missed opportunities.  We went wine tasting on day 6 post surgery.  We go to the movies (Harry Potter 7-2 tomorrow).  I meet friends for lunch.  I go to parent support groups.  I feel much more present and available to my new baby and the rest of the family.  It helps that Ginger is a great sleeper.  It helps that it’s summer.  It helps that Max is an amazingly loving (though not particularly gentle) big brother.  It helps that we’ve gone down this road before.  It helps that we have an appreciation for how quickly it all changes, and we want to hold on just a little tighter this time around.