"She refused to be bored, chiefly because she wasn't boring." Zelda Fitzgerald

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sweet Sleep

Mattresses are important, people! I had the best night of sleep last night that I have had in forever: dreamless and smooth, rippling on and on, with only a few hip aching moments of dim awareness as I rolled over in the night. I usually sleep pretty well during pregnancy, I'm just lucky like that, or chilled out like that or desperate like that or something. But this pregnancy has been different...our mattress had done its most valiant but there are limits. It had been with us through a decade of marriage and who  knows how many years with another family before us. I honestly think our mattress was from the 60's or 70's. This year it reached astounding heights of absurdity. A and I had begun to joke about going sleep in the soup bowl every night but truthfully it was more like sleeping in a real life game of Chutes and Ladders. There springs poking up, gooshy holes, hard ridges, and broken plastic handles sticking out in gouge-ready positions.

Thankfully, oh so thankfully....I report to you that we are now the proud owners of a new to us, 2 year old mattress that feels like heaven. We lay in bed laughing this morning about the strangeness of sleeping on such a nice bed in our own room, we felt like we were at a hotel! So silly!

Before we carted our old lump-fest of a previous bed to the dump I whipped out a pair of scissors and zipped off the beautiful fabric that covered the box springs. I've been eying it for years and knew even when we first got it that I would someday strip that cloth off for another use. The bonus of ancient mattress sets is the psychedelic, vintage fabric that they come wrapped in. What do you think? Curtains in the bathroom or the kitchen or something more creative?

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Greening and Cleaning

The world is greening, the lawn wants mowing already and our new baby guinea pigs are living high on boy offerings of dandelions and grass blades by the fistful. We have been spending a lot of time outdoors. The garden is in, all but the tomatoes, the corn and the possible melon plants which I am waiting on just a little, little while. I feel quite accomplished....as long as I don't think too hard about my spring cleaning plans.

 Spring Cleaning is hard. It's grueling, back-breaking, mind-bending, knee throbbing work by design...that's why it's only done once or twice a year. We can't really put out this sort of effort very often and when we do we go all out. I'm not sure how much pressure to put myself under while pregnant.
There's a piece of me that says:
          "You better push hard now girl! You think its hard to clean this house when you're shaped like a beach ball and everything aches? Just wait till you're trying to heal up from birth and nurse in all your waking hours. This is the time. Don't whine. Just get it done." 
And then there's the voice that says:
           "Heh. Right. You're enormous, everything hurts, and who really spring cleans anymore anyway. All your friends think you're insane! Just mop the floors and give yourself gold stars for even attempting the job. There's always later."
Which little shoulder voice to obey....what to do, what to do? At the moment I am weakly still claiming to be cleaning and making tiny, little feeble stabs at the list every day now for the second freaking week running. Am I duping myself or am I a Spartan of a woman, fierce in my stubborn desire to make it through, even if it means accomplishing it all at a crawl? I'm not sure. Maybe I'll still give up. It remains to be seen.
 In other news, A is off work this week...he took some time for sanity segue before his new job he's starting (cue confetti!) so we have him around the house all week in varying measures which has been super productive and quite fun. His new position will be similarly geeky (programming extraordinaire) but at a local company a little closer to our house, right in our own city no less. He just breezed into the house from a test run rollerblading to the new job site....30 minutes by blade from our front door. Not bad....honestly its exactly the same by car minus the exercise credits.

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Monday, April 16, 2012

Just Because...

Because the Forsythia is leaving us, we had leftover Easter lily blossoms and there are so many executed daffodils to use up.... a happy spring arrangement.

And that's enough reason for me. 


Friday, April 13, 2012

Poetry Friday: A Botany Poem

I have been soaking in Amy Merrick's stunning blog An Apple A Day whenever I get a spare minute. Between that, spring being present and spring cleaning addling my brain a bit my thoughts have become quite blossom-soaked. Why fight it? Spring wants to be center-stage...so let her.

Flowers on Dancing Woman
Flowers on Dancing Woman (Photo credit: TheArches)
My poem today is all about this very favorite season of mine...and maybe explains a bit of the madness we all feel suddenly at this time of year. May she ever shake her blossomy mane on my street....
Sunlit leaves in spring with and without backlight
Sunlit leaves in spring with and without backlight (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Once A Sensualist Dame...

Spring is doing her passionate tarentella
All down our block and the next one too
Pursing her bold red tulips and fiercely
Kicking up chartruese, grassy spears.
She shakes her tinkling forsythia mane
And drops rings of daffodil at every door.
She lays herself a rosy, blossom rug on
The corner under the lush magnolia tree.
Where she blows a flirty kiss of pear petal
Confetti after every oblivious, passing car.
She winks a forget-me-not eye in each yard,
Reaches her long, leaf-tipped limbs skyward
And performs a saucy, hosta-fringed hip-roll
That always leaves my old house open-doored
Lolling dusty rugs from every window.

Wall painting from Stabiae: Flora with the cor...
Wall painting from Stabiae: Flora with the cornucopia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
You can find the other Poetry Friday participants contributions over at Book Talk, today's host blog. Feel free to chip in with your own additions too! Participation is open to all....just link up and join the throng.
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Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Floral Execution

Too much Alice In Wonderland? A did just read it to the boys. This afternoon it was "Off with their heads!" for a whole flock of my sweetest and most unsuspecting daffodils.

That entire left-hand side of the front walk got scalped.

The guilty party. At least he was sorry when caught.

And the consolation prize is fists full of sweet daffodils on the table.
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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Checkups and Coral With a Side of Pea Shoots

Have just had another little check-up at the midwife and tomorrow I take the two big boys to their yearly appointments as well. Its a week for medical doctoring. We usually get very simple, happy news at the pediatricians. We've been very lucky to have such normal, easy childhood health situations so far. I do think there may be some shots for Dee which will be tricky since Ru is positively exultant over the fact that he is quite done with shots for a few years. Please lets not have a meltdown.
Brothers fooling around on Mommy's cell phone, under my recently framed apple painting in the office.
My appointment went well. Heartbeat sounds strong and clear (135!), my blood pressure is pumping along at a perfectly healthy spot, iron just a touch low, glucose test was all clear, and my weight...have I told you about my weight? My weight was wonderful! They always tell you to gain 20-25 lbs during a pregnancy and then I always gain more like 40-50 lbs. Intimidating to the max. Part of the problem is that I binge eat when stressed and pregnancy brings out very worst in my emotional instability. Part of it is honestly just laziness in menu planning and eating. But this time around I am doing amazingly well. I've gained 20 lbs so far and between last appointment and this I didn't gain anything at all, just held steady, although Baby continues to measure larger.
Typical lunch at our house. A plate full of nibbly bits, lots of produce and nothing that requires Mommy to cook. :)
I have been doing a good job lately, trying to eat carefully during the week and allow myself to cut loose on the weekends. I've heard this sort of back and forth effect is good for the metabolism and keeps food restraint from getting too restrained to keep up. I also gave up drive-through restaurants for Lent which was a very good plan. I sometimes skipped fast food and just went home to get food or even dashed into the grocery store and made better choices for quick lunch ideas. Am hoping to keep this going. I am also trying to track what I eat as consistently as I can and watch my nutrients using Fitday to be sure I'm hitting all the targets which is far more interesting and encouraging to me than watching calories.
You can see the matching baskets and new runner on top of the bookcase here.
In other news, my Interior Design class is done. I feel so-so about it. Am not terribly inspired as a result of what I heard and learned and I don't feel accomplished in the subject or anything like that but it is a toe in the door. I think I may take an online class next to see if a different instructor helps. My assignment for the class was the living room in our house and although I have just a few new ideas and no real progress there I did get a few thoughts for the dining room.
I put all our regularly used eating accoutrements (olive oil, salt, pepper, butter, etc.) into a pretty basket that matches one for bibs and cloth napkins. When the meal is over the get cleared to the top of my cookbook cupboard which functions as a sort of sideboard. I also bought matching runners for the top of the bookcase and the dining room table to try to pull in the coral color inside the corner cupboards. And I bought a stunning ceramic bowl for a between-meals centerpiece.

Am madly in love with it. Am now considering painting the walls a soft oatmeal grey to set off the white and coral accents. What do you think? After of course, I finish all this crazy spring cleaning I'm in the middle of.

The pea shoots are turning their velvety leaves to the sky and starting to uncurl tendrils here and there. I am hoping they really begin to climb sometime this week. We have forecasts for warmer weather and even a little rain (Heavens, we could use rain!) and spring is really chasing us down! Hooray!
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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Some Women Knit Booties

Some women (even me) have been known to make booties in the third trimester. I get crazy ideas about making giant sculptures out of sticks in the yard. It takes all types to make a world. Last year I posted about my first round of pruning the apple tree, and this year I knew another big whack needed to be taken at it but it was a daunting task for a pregnant chica in winter. Teetering on a ladder in January with a saw is now always advised in prenatal texts. Wow was I relieved and excited when A surprised me and manifested his own spontaneous interest in fruit tree pruning and decided to practice on our apple! Whew! He really went to town and took off several limbs I was too intimidated to try to saw through. When he was finished there was a giant pile of sticks and branches sitting on the lawn. He hauled some of them to the curb for spring cleaning pick-up by the city and then I stopped him because a wild, hair-brained idea struck.
Beginnings. A big heap of apple trimmings. You can see how I was starting to lay out the arch shape, flat on the ground on the left side of the photo.
"Leave the rest! I'm going to build something!" And so I did.
And here's the finished project...at least as finished as it gets until it has plant occupants.
Lots of scratches on the arms and loads of grunting, hoisting and weaving later...we have a giant stick sculpture arbor that leads from our driveway into the back garden. Kind of fun! I'm not sure how long it will last, its not exactly permanent but for now it is a pretty fun thing to have accomplished. I was thinking of the hood-type willow weaving I did in our condo garden a couple of years ago and then as I worked it ended up being a lot bigger than I was expecting. Am still trying to decide if it needs some kind of foot anchoring via stakes or something or some other reinforcement but it is pretty heavy and although it flexes a little in the wind it has managed to stay standing quite solidly so far. Now...the big question is what to plant on it! Clematis? Morning glories? Climbing roses? Honeysuckle?

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Monday, April 9, 2012

Spring, Full-On!

Here I am, back at the beginning of a new week again. We're having real spring here, we're deep the midst of a forsythia explosion, and the daffodils are working to best them in sunny glow. Its a good time of year. Little bouquets come in with me from every single gardening session, my own or gifts from the boys, at least one cluster from our own yard on the table at a time, usually two or three.
Violets from our lawn. Two different colors. :)
We had a great time celebrating Ru's birthday and Easter although it did take a little psychological trimming on my part to pull it all off without any meltdowns. We had an Easter hunt instead of a hunt and filled baskets waiting on the breakfast table. I cut the candy level way down and gave the boys some mini-Lego sets, seed packets and some energy bars to fill out their loot collection.
Happy birthday big man!

I bought myself a new dress but just dressed the boys and A in dress clothes they already had, no mass wrangling into new, stiff ties and matching dress shirts. Easter meal was modestified a bit too, a special lamb roast but otherwise it was simple veggie dishes and easy no prep appetizer type nibbley bits: a small smoked trout, some fresh berries, a blue cheese, some nuts...etc. Special but low fuss was my goal. For Ru's birthday we mostly spent a day together as a family in small celebration and then included friends with another fuss-free event...a nature scavenger hunt at a local park with celebratory glasses of lemonade together afterwards. Less is often more. (How many times do I need to tell myself this in order to actually absorb it?)
Family shot on Easter morning.

Belly-twin shot with a great friend who is due a week or two after me. She is having a girl that she plans to name Ulla...I am having a surprise but if we have a girl, Una is tops on our list. That'll get confusing, eh?
Am feeling the itch and thinking seriously about making this week be my spring cleaning week. I've talked before about The Seasonal Scrub from Brocante Home which is my favorite way to tackle the house with zest and vim. I just printed off her cleaning list and am thinking about opening all the windows and doors next. Its a new week, its a new season and the holiday is behind me...time to nest!
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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Six Times Around

He's having a great day and he's been around the sun six whole times now! Today Ru turns six years old. We're celebrating some today (lunch at the local cafe, cake and special dinner at home and maybe, maybe a short romp at The Children's Museum this afternoon) and then a little more on Saturday after Daddy A has had a chance to get out and do a little top secret shopping for the man-of-the-hour.

Am so pleased to have shared a little over half a decade with this spunky boy. He's all buzz and high octane, has taught me a lot about myself and about children and been the source of loads of wonderful memories already. I cannot wait for another year of them. Am reminding myself of all the little ways I'm thankful for this boy with the twinkly eyes and the dimple and trying to keep things cheery for him in the midst of this really busy week. BUT...that said, I can't stay long....its nap-time which means it is time for all good birthday fairies to get busy with balloon arranging and cake decorating and burger prepping for all manner of party goodness which will go down tonight!

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