Tuesday, June 24, 2008

little funny thing

I have now found Eden four different times screaming at the top of her lungs because she has grabbed a handful of her own hair and is pulling it as hard as she can.  Not only can she not stop pulling, but it is really hard to pry open her fist to help her.  

Maybe most newborns are born without a headful of hair for their own safety.

Luckily it is no longer 100 degrees here (it was 89 degrees in my living room two days ago -- pu-leese!) so I can swaddle her little arms or protect her with a cotton hat. ha.

Monday, June 16, 2008


I tend to look ahead and to anticipate the future.  I love my calendar.  I love buying plane tickets.  I love planning.  The down side of this forward focus is the accompanying anxiety: making plans creates expectations, and expectations are risky because they may not be fulfilled, hence, the worry.

Transitions also lend themselves to worry -- especially when the transition is not only life- changing but involves a rotating door of visitors, long stays, uncertain plans, compromised space, etc...

The other day I read this quotation by Tim Keller (paraphrased here), which has been food for thought:

Peace that depends on our wise choices and competence is easily shattered by unfavorable circumstances... 
True peace is based on humility.  Worry is basically an assumption that you know best how life ought to go. 
We worry when we think we know what is best and should happen;
unshakable peace depends on trust -- a trust that God has the big picture and holds us in whatever form the future takes.

Butterscotch Nana

It is Monday morning.  I am sitting at the kitchen table with Ben -- lounge music playing in the background, Eden asleep on the couch, Silas out with Ben's parents, empty coffee cups and syrup-y plates still on the table.  We are writing thank you notes and mailing off a few pictures.  
I just packaged a bundle of old jewelry to send to my New York nieces, and as I was weeding through a bag of dum dums, I saw a butterscotch one.  Suddenly I was 12, standing in my grandmother's red kitchen in the mountains, opening a jar of bright yellow, cellophane-wrapped butterscotch candy, and I felt a surge of loss.  In that image were so many others: Nana cooking in that kitchen, the smell of hazelnut coffee, card games after dinner, homemade dumplings, romps through the woods, buckets of stones and salamanders, all being together, the ritual of driving up that steep dirt road every summer.  

I opened the lollypop to see if it tasted liker her.  It did.  A flavor I know will be her for my whole life.  And with its sweetness, the sweetness of all those days.

Friday, June 13, 2008

More Eden Joye (per Mari's request)

Our new expanded fam:

Here she is at home in all her wee little glory:

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A Peek

5 days old:

Eight Days Out

When Silas was born, Ben in particular was struck with a mad case of "baby brain." Ben, who has forever ridiculed me for losing my keys in the house, misplacing my cell phone, leaving the house 3 times because I forget things etc, suddenly was realizing on his drive to work that his wallet and phone were at home, that his keys were in other pockets, that he went to pick up food with no money etc.  The guy was all over the place.

So far, this transition has seemed much smoother (that said, Ben is still on paternity leave and the real test will start when he has to go back to work and think in a straight line).  Today, however, I found that I may not be operating at 100% (or might this have happened anyway?) I started the grill in the afternoon because we had chicken legs that needed to be cooked and promptly forgot I'd turned it on.  About 20 minutes later, I remembered, and Ben put the meat on.  This alone was good, but what really ended up fortuitous is that he also set a timer to turn the chicken.  Who knew, when the little beep sounded in the kitchen, that Ben would walk out to discover the plastic /canvas grill cover (that I had apparently left on a secret side burner which I had also lit) ON FIRE with its flames leaping just next to the wood siding of the house.  Had he not flipped the chicken,  there's a good chance that first, our house would be burning, second, all of the old-school sprinklers in our ceilings would be spraying dirty water all over, and thirdly, in chain reaction, all the neighbors' sprinklers would also be on and perhaps their houses would be on fire too... 

So, today I am grateful not only for milk that's regulating but also for timers and patio hoses and dry ceiling sprinklers.  And mushy, sweet Eden.

Saturday, June 07, 2008


Eden Joye Newcott was born early in the morning on Wednesday, June 4th (her auntie's birthday) with a headful of dark brown, softer-than-flower-petals hair.  Oh how we love her!

Here she is right after she was born 

a few pictures from the hospital

and with Aunt KJ, her birthday twin and namesake

She's a little dish of pudding -- delicious.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Slight Madness

So, here I am in the  w   a   i   t    i   n   g .  Somehow I arrived here much earlier this time around.  And somehow I arrived here with great restlessness.  It's hard to relax when perched at the top of a free-fall ride waiting for the bouncing teases to be THE bounce that will plummet us toward the ground with exhilarating speed. . . But seeing as that's where I am, I would like to relax and, as I always tell myself to do on those rides when my hands are sweating, my heart is about to bust through my chest, and I am literally praying for my life, to look at out at the horizon and take in the view. 

But, the view from up here is a little scary (and doused with hormones).  It involves a new baby + a toddler and lots of change.  And change-- unlike moving or chopping off all my hair, or taking a new job -- that I can't quite plan or control.  

Thinking about all of this -- which includes waking up every hour during the night to think about it some more and scratch down details and tidbits in the dark beside my bed -- has become some kind of drug that I can't extract myself from.  So today is about detox.  Slowing.  Re-seeing.  At least I hope it is.

In the meantime, here are a few observations and recommendations I've gathered:

-run don't walk to "Sex & the City"

-run don't walk to "Baby Mama" 
(in fact, I'd really like to spend all my days from now until labor watching extended versions of both of those films).

-Buy some wheat germ to put on your yogurt and cut up cantaloupe

-Buy cantaloupe, oranges and strawberries -- they are peaking!  (is that true in the east too?)

-Eggs from the farmers' market have yolks that are shades brighter and richer than grocery store eggs.  I have no idea what this means, but now I only want the bright ones.

-Hooks on the back of public bathroom doors = great inventions.  The lack of a hook =  my bag swinging off my back as I lean down to perch Silas on the toilet and, without fail, whacking him on the head

-Pee everywhere.  Not something I recommend as much as something I'm experiencing.  Turns out that two things are difficult: one, running fast enough with a 2 year old to a bathroom, especially in a large store, to avoid any wet clothes, and two, making sure all boy equipment is pointed down while being used to avoid fountains and floor-puddles.  Yesterday there was even pee in Silas's CROCs, and I had to sit him in a sink in a public bathroom and wash his feet and shoes... yes, I was pretty sure that violated some kind of health standards.

-Jasmine in gardens = heavenly smelling breezes

And WHO is responsible for sticking warning labels on items?  Here are two:

-I ordered some "green" Simple. shoes recently.  And as I was trying them on -- yellow burlap-like mary janes with recycled tire rubber soles -- I noticed a sticker inside: Not meant to be used as a flotation device. 

-I also just bought a plastic step stool for Silas.  The sticker adhered to the side:  Not intended for children under 3 years of age - choking hazard.