Thursday, January 31, 2013

Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Park

The other week I went to an art workshop on loss.  We made postcards about a place, internal or external, that we have lost.  

I just found out that Boston Robert died this week, one of my teachers at the park (people who changed my life)*

Meyer Lemons and Baby Days

I burned through a bag of meyer lemons yesterday (lemon piccata and whisky sours), and today my mom, knowing how even the smell brightens my spirits, appeared with another big bag (thank you*)!  I have used them constantly: lemon-honey tea, salad dressing, I even squeezed one in my Corona.  Meyer lemon ricotta cookies are baking now.

It's snowing here.  The flakes are tiny and dusty, but their threat closed schools at noon today, and for the past hour, the kids have been in the backyard "sledding."  Our "hill" is about four feet tall and though there is some snow on it, for the most part it's a tangle of roots and dirt.  Their jeans and coats are streaked with mud.  They've been at it for at least an hour.

Maeve and I are sitting on the floor.  She is thumping her legs and squealing, smiling big gummy bashful smiles.  Hair, so unlike her sister's hair at this age (pony tail!), dusts her head and is rubbed a bit bald in the back.  When I carry her, Maeve holds my arm tightly like a koala, which I'm choosing to interpret as intense adoration.

Despite the fact that I called the Hoag Baby Line (at the hospital in Newport Beach where Silas and Eden and notably not Maeve were born) with lots of questions after Maeve was born; that I called the pediatrician to tell her Maeve's skull was not fused together and her brain was probably not developing; that I race home to put her in her bed rather than fostering the oh-so-flexible-baby-#3-on-the-go; I don't feel that same wild sense of juggling, the fear that one person will smack the ground as I struggle to hurl the other one in the air, that I felt when Eden was this age.  Instead, we are all moving together, more like the insides of a clock.  Together, somehow, we make the hands move.  I don't think our clock ever really keeps time, but it ticks, which feels daily like a small (and large) miracle.  And there are the days when we get all mucked up, like the white rabbit's pocket watch when the Mad Hatter slathers it with butter and jam and the whole thing goes berserk and explodes -- but then we carry on again.

This week was a hard one with ghosty feelings of overwhelm and gloom that I remember from days before, but the only option -- be it a battle or not -- was to carry on (the keep calm part would have been nice too, but no such luck).

A bit of carrying on:

Thursday, January 24, 2013

these are kind of awesome

and the smell of meyer lemons reminds me of the pink house.  i miss you pink house.

Meyer Lemon Whiskey Sour
makes one cocktail  (recipe from
1 1/2 ounces whiskey (rye or bourbon)
1 ounce freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice
1/4 to 1/2 ounce simple syrup*, according to taste
Maraschino cherry for optional garnish
(*If you don't have simple syrup on hand already, no worries - it's super easy. Just equal parts sugar and water heated in a saucepan on the stove. You can make some in about 5 minutes with this recipe here.)
Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a Maraschino cherry.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

making lunch

a year

It's January.
A colder January than I've felt for a while.
Last week, Ben and I sat at the kitchen table and wrote about the year.

There was a lot to write.  

A year ago today, the dominoes hadn't started to fall: we still didn't know we would move and hadn't yet found out I was shockingly pregnant.  In fact, what we knew, was that we were not pregnant and that we wouldn't be again.  (I was grieving).  Ben was just beginning casual conversations about a DC sales job, while I was busy asking our landlord if he'd sell us the pink house and meeting with an overly handsome realtor about a duplex down the street.

At the end of January, the first domino was knocked: Ben accepted the DC sales job.  A week later, way out of left field, I was pregnant.  And then life changed rapid-fire.

Now a year later we sit in a new city, in a new house, in new sweaters (because we didn't have any), with a new baby, at new schools, in a new neighborhood, working a new job.  

January begins our tenth month here and for the first time since we arrived, I can see bits of growth nosing up through the dirt -- somewhere underground, the roots of what our life here will be have started growing.

on strike / hiding / drinking / fleeing

Call it what you will; it is 7:31 and I am downstairs while bedtime stomps and romps and screams about toothpaste above me.  Today was a weird day -- weird because we started school on a Tuesday (due to the lovely diarrhea and throw-up fairies that visited us Sunday) but I thought it was Monday and missed Tuesday things; weird because Maeve broke out of her swaddle every nap and cried as two wild arms flapped around her bed; weird (and wearying) because, though she usually drops right off to sleep, today I walked and re-walked her up and down the stairs because despite nuzzling my face and yawning, she wouldn't sleep; weird because she screamed when I tried to nurse her; weird because outside's damp cold seemed to seep in through every door and window; weird because I baked Huckleberry Bakery's apple butter cake and it was just ok; weird because I started cleaning out a few problem areas and ended up with piles on the floor; weird because I'd rather not hear anyone say "mom" again for two weeks; weird because I've lost hope of confidently leaving Maeve with a babysitter ever so I can leave the house alone.


Thursday, January 10, 2013

lingering Christmas carols...

In first grade, bastardized Christmas carols are hilariously clever.
They are fresh, unexpected, a little naughty.  I remember thinking this, that though Robin's laying an egg was a strange image, and nothing ended well -- bat mobile lost a wheel, Joker got away -- we singers certainly knew funny, and how worldly to bring batman into things.  And the three kings trying to smoke a rubber cigar -- funny, right?  -- a rubber cigar that somehow exploded so we kings were ON yonder star rather than following it -- good one.

Well, this season (which should be well over), Silas has joined the ranks of such singers.  It's hard to say if his are the current versions sweeping six year olds across the nation or if some lyrics have been mashed in the broad game of song-telephone, but this is what he sings:

Jingle bells, Batman smells
Robin laid a gun
Shot a tree and made it pee (or sneeze if parents are listening)
in 1981!


We three kings of Orient are
trying so hard to smoke a cigar
the gun was loaded, we exploded
that was the end of us.

Poor Batman plays the same role, but why so many guns, why couldn't Robin stick with that uncomfortable egg?  Why a peeing tree, and why is 1981 named like the olden days?  What's with the real tobacco, and an unexpected loaded gun accompanying the inept smokers?  And now the kings are ended rather than just hurled to a nearby star?  Well, merry christmas!

In this house, despite being nearly two weeks into January, the three kings song won't stop.  Silas makes up a new version with every action: Listen, Mom, listen to this song I just made up: we three kings of orient are, making pancakes in the kitchen, they exploded like TNT, that was the end of us.

It may be the end of us.

Friday, January 04, 2013

December in Pictures


 miss m.m. 3 months old