Just Some Pictures

Dave is a better photographer than I am, partly because he’d taken the time to actually understand things like the camera’s optics, and partly because he takes the time to set up his shots — is the lighting good? The framing? Does he have the right lens?

I merely reap the benefits of his efforts.

M_and_H

M_and_H_2

Baby Faces

It’s been close to five years since the last time we had a newborn in the house, so I suppose it isn’t surprising that I’ve forgotten a few things. I’d forgotten how unutterably sweet and soft is that tiny head when it’s nestled into my neck, for example. Or how a baby can startle in her sleep, her arms and legs jerking into the air, to slowly relax back down as though by hydraulics. And I’d forgotten how expressive is that little face, entirely unguarded, each expression — often apparently unrelated to what’s happening around her — taking over her face completely before being subsumed into the next.

faces

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First Days

Mica

Mica seems overall to be a fairly calm baby. She didn’t even cry when she was first born — just lay on my chest in the birth pool, coughed a few times, and squinted around at things with her dark eyes. Eventually she thought to utter a cry or two, but where Nathan had been clearly tired and unhappy, and Ryan simply mad, Mica seemed caught between bewilderment and mild annoyance.

It wasn’t until a couple hours after her birth that something disconcerting happened to her bottom and caused her to utter the first major complaint of her life. Being diapered was clearly not on her agenda — the previous arrangement of naked snuggling had worked just fine for her — and her little face afterwards, as she let herself be soothed, was somehow incredulous. “Good lord,” she seemed to say, “what the heck was that indignity? Let’s hope it doesn’t happen again.”

She’s been disappointed, and so far is not reconciled to the prospect.

Though it was late when she was born, the boys had not been able to sleep for all the excitement, and when their grandma heard the first little baby cry she brought them in to meet their sister. This was perfect for me; in those quiet moments after the birth I wanted very much to share her with the rest of our family. They stayed up for a while, looking at the baby while I showered, coming to see me after I was done, and (in Nathan’s case) taking a few pictures, including of the placenta, which clearly was a fascinating subject matter for him.

Nathan likes his sister a great deal, and is happy to stroke her little hands and arms and head and spend time smiling down at her, although not nearly so much time as any of the adults in the household. The fact that her tiny hand will close around his finger is something that makes him smile every time. Ryan is less enamored; he was as excited as Nathan initially, and is still interested in touching her sometimes, but he told me yesterday that he was done with having a baby around. Apparently she made noises that disturbed him while he was trying to play a video game. This is from the boy who can carry on hours of loud running commentary while engaged in his own activities. I’ve helpfully informed him that, regardless of his feelings, there’s no going back to our baby-less state.

…And Done Waiting

Linda

Nathan

Dave

Holly

Waiting

pregnant

I didn’t have time to become impatient over Nathan’s birth, since he proved himself a well-ordered baby and I went into labor right on his due date. With Ryan, despite being two weeks late, it didn’t bother me; I had faith that he would come, I had nothing else scheduled anyway, and sure enough he came when he was ready.

With this one I’m having trouble being quite so accepting.

I’m not sure why, since I’m not all that uncomfortable — even that ravenous appetite that got me up in the middle of the night has tapered off. And everything that was true with Ryan is still true: it really is easier to take care of a baby when it’s on the inside, and this delay is, perforce, of limited duration anyway, so why stress over it?

I’m not stressing, exactly. I just keep envisioning the next day being The Day, and it keeps not being true. Dave is wise enough not to ask me too many times a day how I’m feeling, which is good because I feel exactly the same as I did a week ago. Mostly this post is to show off the enormous bulging belly and confirm that yep, we’re still waiting…

Woven Bracelet

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I really intended to make a much longer version of this woven bracelet that could be worn as a necklace. But because of limited bead quantities, I ended up with a bracelet after all. It was a fun and fairly quick weave, and I do like the look of it — I just never wear bracelets, that’s all. So far its major use has been as an anklet for Ryan.

Desultory Gardening

Early this spring it was suggested to me that, given the fact I’d be heavily pregnant and then with a newborn this summer, I should cut down on my garden ambitions for the year. This was good advice; I even recognized it as good advice at the time. And of course, it made very little impact. At the time I could still bend at the waist, and it’s amazing how that creates a sense of optimism.

raspberry

An objective judge would probably admit that my garden is not exactly in tip-top shape this year, that a great deal of weeding and watering and even planting is not being pursued as avidly as it has been in years past. (“I hope it rains soon,” I’ve thought often, with a vague glance at seedlings that I decided were probably fine.) I have been eating greens from the garden, but they were all overwintered spinach and romaine, which is now dwindling and/or trying to go to seed. There are very few new seedlings, partly from lack of planting and partly because rain apparently failed to fall at the right time. It seems that gardens don’t just spontaneously feed one without some effort.

garlic

As though to drive that point home, this year has been my first experience with garlic rust. I reacted to it in roughly the same way as I did when I discovered that mint, of all things, fails to thrive in my herb garden: outraged disbelief. Really?! This crop, which I’ve long been touting as the Easiest Crop Ever, it too can suffer from disease and death?! And now I shouldn’t plant garlic in those beds for three years?! It didn’t help that I didn’t discover the problem until it was well advanced, since I haven’t been spending much time in the garden. Theoretically gardening is supposed to teach one a certain amount of patience, acceptance of the vagaries of fate, and tender stewardship of the land. I have a ways to go yet.

corn

For all that, there are of course many wonderful things happening in the garden, and I know that as soon as I dish out snap peas for the first time at the dinner table, I’ll forgive the garlic for getting rusty and the spinach for going to seed. Or possibly I’ll be forgiving myself for unreasonable ambitions. Whatever — there will be forgiveness involved, and it will be tasty. Just the other day I pointed out to Ryan the first tiny green furls of corn seedlings, and the eternal flame of Gardening Hope flared brightly within me, and I began to consider whether I shouldn’t plant some more beans…

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