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Jul. 21st, 2011

It has been so long since I visited livejournal, I started feeling like it must have ceased to exist. I'm rather startled, visiting here now, to discover that a fair bit of my friends list is still active. I may just have to remember to stop by more often.
For Mother's Day, Rob gave me a lovely little potted mum, with yellow flowers and many buds not yet open. Because it's still growing, he said.

He's good like that sometimes. :)

(I did make him promise that he wouldn't take it as terribly symbolic if I managed to let the mum die before the rest of the flowers opened. He assured me that he wouldn't.)


I am feeling very thankful for my life, today.

I am grateful that this pregnancy was planned and wanted, and that we were able to conceive after only six months of trying.

I am grateful that both bratling and I are excited about the coming baby, and feeling positive about the change coming to our lives.

I am grateful that both of us come from functional families, with parents who have maintained basically healthy marriages to this day.

I am grateful for the support of my friends and family members, and for the many and varied examples of parenting that we can find among them.

I am grateful that my pregnancy has been easy so far, and that my baby seems healthy and vigorous.

I am grateful for healthcare, and for the opportunity to choose the type of care I will receive.

I am grateful that we are financially stable enough to afford, if with difficulty, for me to stay home with the baby for the first year.


I've been reading When Partners Become Parents today. It's a sobering read, but also a useful one. I am keenly aware that the first years of parenting are hard times for many couples, and it scares me a little. I know that even partners who ultimately thrive in parenthood face real challenges in getting through the transition, and I worry about how we will handle those challenges. I am deeply frightened of the isolation that can come to stay-at-home parents, and I'm not sure how I can ease it.

But as I read the early chapters of this book, I am also reminded of what extra challenges we don't face--unresolved ambivalence about parenthood, unplanned pregnancy, tumultuous family histories, true financial hardship, and so much more. That realization bolsters my hopefulness, and leaves me feeling very thankful for the life that I am living.


Feb. 17th, 2009

I was just dancing around my slippery kitchen floor in sock-feet, drinking a glass of orange juice. In my enthusiasm, my feet slipped out from under me, and I fell on my hip and slid across the kitchen in fairly spectacular fashion. I did not, however, spill a drop of orange juice. I am entirely proud of this.

(Yes, I'm fine. So is the baby. And so is the orange juice.)
I find it very funny that I'm suddenly getting much more flattering pants by breaking into my stock of maternity clothes.

I've made it to 16 weeks still wearing my usual pants, despite a visibly growing belly, for the simple reason that most of my pants started out too large for me. I had managed to lose some weight before I got pregnant, enough to make my jeans pretty baggy, and buying new ones seemed silly once I found out I was due for nine months of significant growth. So I've just been wearing the same ones, still baggy through the butt and thighs even as they stretch around my belly. They have the effect of blurring out my silhouette and making me look mostly like I've gained weight.

But they're starting to strain a bit over my belly, so now I'm trying on some of the maternity clothes my sister passed on to me... and, woah. Suddenly, I look distinctly pregnant, and way more attractive. Not the effect I was expecting from maternity clothes!


And now, a brief update

So, wow, it has been a long time since I posted here. I haven't been feeling very verbose in print this year... though I do have a small collection of half-written entries I never finished. But in the meantime, life has happened.

Specifically: I'm some 15 weeks pregnant.

I'm really very excited about this, and have been ever since I stopped quivering in terror (which I did for about the first 48 hours after I found out). Yes, this is planned, but I expected it to take much longer! But it's a good thing. The baby is due in July, which works out absurdly well for my work schedule, as a teacher. I'll get to finish out this school year, let my students see me go through almost the whole pregnancy, and then hopefully have enough time to rest a bit in the last month.

After some soul-searching (and spreadsheet-pondering), I've decided to take next year off of work, and stay home with the baby. That has always been my preference in theory, but I wasn't sure if it would be financially feasible. It certainly will be tight, but bratling and I feel like it's worth it, at least for the first year or two. I'm also hoping to use the time to try making some salable artwork--mostly pagan-oriented sculpture, with a solid historical eye. I'm looking forward to that challenge; it's a project that appeals me on a number of levels. I don't know if it will generate any income to speak of--and I'm open to the possibility that new-motherhood will override the project altogether--but it would be nice to try, at least.

Other details that might be of interest:

* I feel great! A little nausea first trimester, but almost nothing compared to what some folks experience. And now, even that's gone.

* No, I'm not going to find out the baby's sex in advance. I'm not going near an ultrasound machine, unless something is evidently wrong. I am content to be curious.

* Yes, we have some names in mind. No, I'm not telling. :)

* I'm planning a home birth, with as little outside intervention as possible (where "outside" means "outside my body"). I feel very fortunate to have found a midwife who seems to be of a similar mind as me in that regard--willing to sit back (like, in the other room) and let me do this myself, and genuinely willing to honor my decisions even when they're unorthodox. I didn't think I would be able to find a midwife whose style meshed with mine so well, and I'm ecstatic about it. She's awesome, and she even lives in my town! *does the happy dance*

I suspect I'll have more to say about this as things go on! I might even get as far as typing it in...


Jul. 25th, 2008

I have just made myself an egg scramble with onions and mushrooms and asparagus, and Armenian string cheese melted on top, and oh my goodness, it is an orgy of yum. I managed to get the onions just right and they're so sweet and the string cheese and the asparagus are a seriously awesome combination.

Having time to make proper meals is one of the best things about being on vacation.

More from wonderingmind42

Last June, I posted a video of an interesting call to action on the climate change issue. The maker of that video, Greg Craven (aka wonderingmind42), then posted a few more videos trying to patch holes in the first one, in a rather frazzled tone.

Apparently, he then took a step back, regrouped, and made a new video summarizing his argument for taking action. It's tighter than the first one by a good margin, and I dig it:

There's even an expansion pack: A comprehensive response to every question and objection he could think of, in the form of 6+ hours worth of 10-minute videos. It's intimidating in size, but there's a handy index and menu, so it's possible to skip to the critical bits.

Craven got slammed in the responses to his first video, but he says that the response to this one has been vastly more positive, and there have been more people helping him to field the critiques. There's been some mainstream press coverage, and there are now two websites dedicated to spreading the word, neither started by Craven. (One of them offers the whole 7-hour series on DVD, at cost (and in higher resolution than YouTube can provide).) And Perigee has offered him a book contract.

The phenomenon definitely gives me pause. This guy is just a high school science teacher, and he made these videos at home, on a very low budget. He's fired up, reasonably cute, and definitely articulate, but other than that, he really is just some guy. But he's gotten an awful lot of people to listen, if only for 10 minutes, and a decent number of people to act. That's like my life dream, right there. It's nice to know it's possible.
Right now, I am listening to Hooked on Classics for the first time in over a decade, and it's almost embarrassing how much I'm enjoying it.

For those who have not encountered it: it's a series of medleys, taking the most stirring bits of various famous classical orchestral pieces and stringing them together over a pop beat. It's cheesy. I'm sure that as someone who generally appreciates classical music in its more dignified form, I'm supposed to think it's cheesy.

But I completely adore it.

My parents had it on vinyl when I was growing up, and it was one of my favorite records to listen to. It was energetic and interesting and more complex than most rock music, and I loved it. The cover features a shiny silver G clef on a staff of multi-colored neon, and as a child, I always thought the neon lines looked like toothpaste; I have vivid memories of rolling around on the carpet frantically rubbing my teeth with my finger as I listened to some of the more boisterous medleys. And it did stand me in good stead later--it gave me familiarity with the themes of lots of major classical pieces, and when I met the full pieces later, I immediately recognized them as something I liked, and wanted to hear more of.

I mostly stopped listening to it after we got a CD player, and the record collection fell into disuse. And somewhere along the line, when I was still young enough to absorb such comments uncritically, someone made comments that implied that it was Stupid and thoroughly Uncool, and so I put it out of my mind. But a few weeks ago, I looked online and found a copy of it on CD, and it just arrived today. And now I am listening to it, and discovering that it's still enormously entertaining, and that I still remember it as though I'd listened to it last week. I was cheerfully bouncing around my living room conducting, and it startled me when the CD failed to skip where the record always used to.

Apparently, there are more albums where this one came from, and I may have to go look them up...


Tonight, I am enjoying the peace of my house. It is a house that, between the changes made to it during the mad preparations for hosting family Christmas, and the warmth brought to it by being full to bursting with my family for a few days, now feels more like a home than it ever has before.

I am sitting now in my dark quiet dining room, watching the snow fall outside and feeling Violet purring in my lap. I am drinking in the gently colorful glow of the Christmas tree, so perfect, so evocative of warm memories that it brings tears to my eyes. I look around, and I see the lights one brother hung playfully on the shelves, the poinsettias my other brother set here and there to brighten the rooms, the silver candlesticks my mother polished up, and all the many little signs that people I love were here.

I have spent this evening painting, the largest painting I have done in many years, a broad snow-covered landscape that I will hang in my classroom to help children learn what animals do in winter. In a few moments, I will go and curl into bed and snuggle in close to my husband, and Angel will come purring to sleep in the crook of my knees. Tomorrow, I will welcome the new year in the company of dear friends, and I am sorry only that I cannot be in four places at once to celebrate with more of them.

Tonight, I am happy.

I hope that you are happy, too.

May you be blessed, and may you know yourself to be blessed.
May you be loved, and may you know yourself to be loved.
May you find what your heart yearns for, and may it burn brightly in your keeping.
May you find that which you most need, and that which will lead you forward.
Peace be with you.