Thursday, March 31, 2011

Good things on Thursday night

I'll just start by stating for the record that I thought Grey's Anatomy was good tonight. I know, I know, they threw in all that singing, and sometimes it was a bit irritating, but I think they pulled it off. I'm always a sucker for a storyline that involves either babies or Callie and Arizona, so maybe I'm not the most objective judge. But I'm guessing nobody actually cares what I think about Grey's Anatomy, so I'll continue with favourable reviews. Actually, that's not true. Matt cares very, very much because tonight Grey's interrupted the first night of baseball season. He is now finally able to finish his game.

I don't have much in me right now. It's been a busy couple of days. Did you know that tomorrow I can start declaring, "next month we're moving!" This time last year I would have been saying, "next month I'm going to give birth to my second child!" A lot happens in a year.

But I couldn't go to bed without sharing two great things with you.  I love the internet. I love that I open up my reader and discover that some really smart people have left a message just for me (and maybe a few other readers). Yesterday I stumbled across this post. There has been a lot of talk lately about what it means to make your family vulnerable in wave of oversharing, first-person parenting blogs (like this by Katie Granju), and I think Alexa over at Flotsam has nailed it. I could read her blog all day long.

I also found this post, over at The Leaky Boob, and yes, it might be the greatest blog name of all time. If you have a thing for breastfeeding (like I do), you might want to check this out. It's a nice reminder that sometimes breastfeeding is just breastfeeding. Not a parenting philosophy, just feeding your baby. Honestly if were more than just food and time spent with a delicious baby, I might have given up long ago. Plus, it's called The Leaky Boob.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sorry, Monday, but Sunday had it going on

So that was big news. I had been thinking, very quietly, about picking up and moving back to Canada for a little while now, but I hadn't really said it out loud. But when I mentioned it to Matt it took him all of three seconds to say agree that it was a gone idea.

But more about that later. If I don't stop talking about moving I'll never get to tell you about the amazing Sunday I just had. In the rank of Sundays, it was definitely in the top two or three, after our wedding and maybe that really amazing Sunday brunch I had this one time. It was looking to be a good day from the minute it started, since it was only the night before that we had decided on Canada. I certainly awoke with a bounce in my step. I started the day by taking Alyce out for pancakes, just me and Alyce, and it doesn't get much better than listening to her chatter with a mouthful of pancakes. It was seven in the morning and the 24 hour IHOP that just opened up down the street (presumably to cater to hoards of drunk students at three in the morning) was completely empty. The food was terrible, but the company was divine.

My breakfast date was quickly followed by my escaping to Philadelphia for my first sewing class. All by myself. Without children. Just me. I can't remember the last time I drove for more than five minutes without a child in the backseat. Being the party girl that I am, I picked up a coffee and cranked NPR. My sewing class, inspired in part by one of my mother's thoughtful gifts, was incredibly fun. How could it not be at a store like this:

This is the fabric I chose for the reversible tote we're making over a two-week class. The walls of this store are lined with bolts of the most beautiful fabric I've seen, and we were given the task to choose any fabric we wanted for our first sewing project. I know I've faced some difficult decisions lately, but this was one of the toughest. I think I made a good choice. The class was taught by a woman with years and years of experiences sewing and designing textiles, and in addition to her being a very patient teacher, she reminded me of a wonderful friend I haven't seen in three years. She had the not only the same mannerisms, but seemed to possess the same general bad ass-ness as my friend. It was a lovely treat. I even bought the pattern for a dress I'm going to make for the Children. I'm sure it's way beyond my skills at present (that is, if it requires more technique than threading a machine), but by summer I'll be all over this pattern. I think you'll agree that this dress is adorable:

Image from Spool

Sunday got even better after my trip to Philadelphia. We had booked a sitter and had planned a date. An actual date. We don't do this very often (usually only when my mum is around to look after the girls), so this was a real treat. Alyce was over the moon at the possibility of showing off her room and baby sister to Carrie, our sitter, and Matt and I were over the moon about leaving the house alone. Everybody was winning! Dinner was fantastic, but my date was even better. We spent two hours making plans for our move, making each other laugh, and only talking about the Children for a few minutes. It was one of those nights we used to have all the time and that I had been missing lately. This needs to happen more often. It's good for me to be around such a handsome guy.

Like I said, it was a great Sunday.

Monday, March 28, 2011


If you've been reading around here lately, you know that we're in the middle of an enormous transition. I left my graduate program and a potential career as a professor, Matt's three year postdoc is up here, and he has also decided to leave academia. And we've always planned on not staying in Delaware (we've never been on good terms). So what to do? Anything, we decided.

So we've decided to move back to Canada.

Unfortunately I can't continue this post because I'm too busy flying over the moon with excitement. I'm too busy celebrating our return to my family, our good friends, and universal health care. Alyce is also excited and has confirmed that she'd like to bring The Cats. And her toys. And Shira.

I'm sad to say good-bye to a few wonderful people I've met here, but this is the best decision for our family and I can't wait to figure out all the details. And there will be details, lots of them. Immigration for Matt, moving our household to another country, and, of course, finding new careers. But now that the decision has been made about the where of our family, figuring out the how seems much easier.

You'll be hearing more about this. I'm sort of excited.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

I'm Not the Only One Feeling Rested

I hope your weekends are treating you well. We have had a great day and we've made some decisions about the shape of our future. I'll be sharing some of these (I think very exciting) details soon. All I can say is that I feel lighter, as though I might just float away.

For now, I offer you my youngest:

I can't be the only impressed by that flexibility.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Getting Ready

Reset. I love Friday nights.

Shabbat Shalom, everyone. I wish you the best of weekends!

I Know Some Good People

This week has been hard. Work-hard, family-hard, Alyce-hard (thank you, Shira, for deciding to sleep this week). Everyone say it with me: being a grown-up can be really annoying some days. I mean really annoying. Like having to realize that I'm the grown-up and can control my emotions better than my three-year-old, so that we can get along better. Sometimes all I want to do in the moment is collapse right along with her on floor and have a meltdown, but I'm not having much success with that reaction. So I'm trying to pick myself up and model some patience for her because the alternative might involve sending her to live with her Nana in Canada, and then I'd really miss her. Since I miss her one hour after she goes to bed at night, shipping her north isn't ideal.

Do you know what also works in place of side-by-side meltdowns? Jumping in puddles. After a long afternoon of whining and general tomfoolery (and not the good kind), I escaped into the rain with Alyce in search of puddles. Actually, we needed bread and Alyce needed to get out of the house, but as soon as we started our walk I realized that all of this was just about getting to the puddles. At first Alyce was afraid to fall in, but she quickly realized that falling in was actually kind of fun. But not more fun than getting her feet stuck in the mud, which elicited some of the most restorative giggling sessions I've ever been a part of. Me and Alyce needed those puddles.

That was Wednesday. That night I posted about what was really bothering me and I realized that I'm feeling strained by all this uncertainty more than I had admitted, even to myself. It was all piling up and it was beginning to reach Alyce, who seems still attached to my insides and appears to feel as I feel. Shira's birth has made it so apparent that Alyce and I will always have a relationship that is just for us. Even though Shira's the one physically attached to me through breastfeeding, Alyce and I still often occupy the same physical and emotional space. Some days I swear she's trying to climb back inside me. But then the next second she's yelling at me to leave her alone, so I don't foresee her return to the womb anytime soon, in case you were worried. I wonder how my relationship with Shira will unfold? The first ten months have been delicious (during daylight hours).

It was important for me to realize that the stress of grown-up life was seeping into my mood with the girls. Realizing this doesn't fix everything, but it helps. What also helps is having amazing friends who read my posts and then send me the most supportive, encouraging messages. So much of the past three years has been isolating, and what I'm learning about isolation is how important perspective can be. It's far too easy to be hard on yourself when there is no one else around to tell you differently. Of course I've had my best friend with me here, but sometimes he's too close to the situation for me to hear him clearly. So, thank you to everyone who sent me messages. I haven't been able to respond to them all yet, but I wanted to let you how much perspective it gave me. It was a gift I needed.

I'm hoping the weekend brings more restorative giggling, and maybe some restorative movie-watching and napping. I'm taking my first sewing class on Sunday and I'm really looking forward to that. What are your plans for the weekend? Please do share!

Passover parley update: still growing. The cats are dutifully supervising, and Pomegranate, if you eat the parsley before Passover you'll not be invited to our seder.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sleep Happened

Don't tell Shira, but she's slept amazingly, wonderfully, delightfully well the past three nights. As in, only breastfeeding once through the night. This beautiful sleep took place after some crying, yes, but it's working. The first night she cried (and by cried I mean sobbed) for almost 90 minutes. I was just about to start sobbing myself when she stopped crying, around 8:00 pm. She didn't wake up again until 3:15. The next night she cried for one hour and woke up again at 3:00 for milk. I'm not embarrassed to admit that I was doing a special kind of happy dance in the one square foot of free space in our bedroom, which I'll also admit is not very comfortable to do with engorged breasts. But who has time to worry about a little extra milk when celebrating all that delicious sleep?

Any guesses how long Shira cried at bedtime last night? No? I'll tell you. Three minutes. I'll let you soak that in for just a minute before I continue.

It was magical. She woke up for five minutes to yell at me around 1:15, but then waited again until 3:00 before needing milk. I scooped her up and brought her bed to nurse, and if I wasn't so busy falling back asleep I would have celebrated some more. When I woke up this morning I would have given her anything she asked for. Fortunately for me, she only wanted to chew on a rubber fish. Done and done.

Good morning to all and to all a good morning! Or something like that. You get the idea.

Monday, March 21, 2011


I haven't been entirely honest lately.

That's not to say that I've been lying to you. The things I write about my children here are true, and I think, worthy of sharing. Like all parents, I like to show off. And all my complaining about being tired, that's true, too. I couldn't make that up if I tried. and I'm too tired to try. I'm not apologizing for any of this, mind you. It helps me to talk about being a parent and I like telling these kinds of stories. Sometimes being a parent to The Children is really difficult, and other times it's just plain ridiculous, but it's always where I want to be. Like this afternoon, enjoying the first day of spring.

I'm occupying an unfamiliar place at the moment. There are things that I know: I recognize Matt, Alyce and Shira. I know my family and that feels good. It the rest of the world that feels unfamiliar, and by "world" I mean my own tiny piece of it, not that big world that is certainly unfamiliar and too often a scary and confusing place. Tonight, right now, it's my own selfish world I'm concerned with, because lately this world of mine has felt a bit overwhelming.

I've been in school since the beginning of time, and even when the work was hard, it was safe. I was given this cozy space to think and learn and write (and just so you don't think it was all rainbows and unicorns, there were plenty of tears along the way, too) and I could do so with a clear vision of what I wanted to the future to look like. I could really see myself as a professor, looking much like those mentors I had learned from so many times in the past. When I married Matt, our futures melded seamlessly. We would both find work in academia, even if that meant some wiggling around (that's the technical term for the negotiating and compromising that comes with two scholars in the same field finding a job at the same school). There would be challenges, but everyone faces challenges. We could do this.

It turns out that we won't be doing this. I stepped away from my graduate program before completing my PhD, and so for the time being I've closed those doors. I no longer want that future, no matter how much self-doubt I feel from time to time about my decision. And Matt? He's leaving academia, too. My gifted, nerdy, talented (and handsome) husband has tried for three years to find a position in a discipline where there are simply not enough jobs. And by not enough I mean that there are like three jobs. In North America. Sure, Matt could find short-term contract work (schools rarely turn down the opportunity to hire professors on the cheap!), but that isn't what we want for our family. We like things like health insurance and the breathing space to reasonably expect that our job to last more than one semester.

You see, we have this wonderful little family, and want to provide for everyone. We even want to provide enough to add some more to this family. So this means that we need a new plan. Our old plan was a good one, but as it turns out, it's just not for us anymore.

So this brings me back to that unfamiliar place I mentioned earlier. I have trouble remembering a time when I wasn't working toward my goal of the PhD. Yes, I've really been in school that long. I have spent a little time trying on the new goal of being a teacher, seeing how things fit, and there's a chance that's the next step that I take. But now with Matt also deciding to leave the academic world, it feels as though the stakes have changed. In so many ways it feels as though we have been given this incredible freedom to choose anything we want. We can live anywhere and take any job.

But if I'm honest, I feel a bit paralyzed by all this freedom, and I've been hiding this paralysis from you. Instead I've chosen to share what I know for sure: that Alyce and Shira are the greatest, silliest, most delicious children in the world. But this blog is also about carving out some space for myself to figure some things out. You know, little things, like what I'm going to be when I grow up and how I'll pay for The Children's college tuitions.

But not to worry, I couldn't stop talking about Alyce and Shira if I tried.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

It's Madness

I think it's adorable that he prints out the NCAA Tournament Bracket and makes little notes. By the end of the tournament this piece of paper will be falling apart after being folded and unfolded so many times, and inspected so very, very carefully.

March Madness, that is. Matt loves NCAA almost as much as he loves his family. I think he has NCAA dreams at night, unless he's dreaming about his two fantasy baseball leagues. If Matt could control the universe he would add an extra eight hours to each day and dedicate these hours to sports. But he doesn't control the universe, and he spends hours at work and hours chasing Alyce and Shira, and hours doing laundry, and this doesn't leave much time for basketball. This is why I happily give Matt his four days in March to watch the NCAA tournament. I take the girls (I'll admit, this was a lot easier last year when there was only one of them) and give him a free pass to watch as much as he wants.

There has been so much general madness around here that I am currently hiding in our bedroom (and I use the word "our" lightly, seeing as Shira's enormous crib is in here and Matt is still sleeping on the futon in the living room) on a Sunday morning, with my coffee and toast, typing away at this post that should have been published days ago. While I'm sitting here in bed I can hear Matt giving breakfast to the girls, with all the chatter and yelps that go along with it (the yelps come from Shira, who doesn't like waiting for food). But I'm enjoying this stolen time.

Some of the madness comes from exhaustion, since--wait for it--Shira is still not sleeping. It has been a rough two weeks around here and I'm this close to sleeping in the car and letting Shira figure it out on her own. But we made some progress last night, so I'm optimistic once again, because I have no other choice. When I'm not trying to sleep, life with Shira is delightful, and I know that that is what I'll remember when I'm crying about how she's left me to go to college. I just know she'll choose a far away school and break her mama's heart.

So I'll leave you with some images from the past few days of madness, and start fresh again tomorrow. I hope your weekend has been filled with just the right amount of madness!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Ten Months

Shira woke up at ten months completely unaware of how tired I've become. She was just excited to start another day. This is the card she plays. She wakes up 1,287 times* a night wanting to nurse, preventing me from getting any of that consolidated sleep I keep reading about in my baby sleep books, but then she wakes up and gives me this face. And then she has me.

Ten months is dangerously close to twelve months. I'm just saying.

Now, little one, go back to sleep.

*This number might not be entirely accurate.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Scenes From a Long Day

Oh, Tuesday, you had it in for me. Shira was sick with a terrible cold, and, of course, she's still going on about that tooth. She's been sporting that red cheek again. And not sleeping, even a little bit.

But you weren't all bad. Alyce and Shira played their first game of Candy Land. I don't know if it is a Canadian thing, but I didn't grow up playing Candy Land, though I did read about it for years in the The Babysitter's Club books that I inhaled each month from my scholastic book order (did anyone else want to be Stacey? I was desperate for her hair and NYC flair). Alyce adored the game and insisted on spending the entire day either playing or talking about playing the game. Shira mostly ate the game pieces.

And you did give me those productive two hours where I managed to take both girls grocery shopping (and not collapse on the floor in tears). Alyce was exceedingly helpful with her tiny cart unitl she gave up in produce and announced that she was tired of having to walk and push a cart and couldn't I just carry her? I really don't know how she does it. We were also able to enjoy lunch with our favourite dates, even if it was one of those meals where the adults don't really eat so much as run interference.

And then I was able to laugh pretty hard when I found my frying pan in Alyce's bed at the end of the day, filled with dry pasta. I had forgotten that she'd swiped it from my kitchen earlier in the day. No, I did not let her sleep with my frying pan. Even I have limits.

So I might be able to forgive the rest of the day when Shira should have been napping but was instead crying, or when I had to explain to a whining Alyce that I couldn't play Candy Land again because someone needed to cook dinner and Shira was too busy crying to be of any use to us. Somehow we all survived the day and that's not bad.

Monday, March 14, 2011


I don't watch too much regular television. I do watch the shows I want to watch, but I record them and fast forward through commercials (oh, DVR, how I adore you). I never watch the news, instead preferring to have NPR on as much as I can, or at least until Matt comes home and turns it off (NPR divides us, instead of bringing us closer together.) I also spend a little time online (ok, a lot of time) and between the two, I usually have some idea about what's going on. But I haven't been turning on the radio, and I've been deleting a lot of posts from my reader.

Japan. To say it's hard to imagine is an understatement. I've been avoiding the photos and the details because I'm just not sure how to process. The footage I've seen is heartbreaking.

Then yesterday I read about a family murdered in Israel. What are you supposed to do with this kind of knowledge?

I don't have much to offer, but I do have two suggestions. First, text REDCROSS to 90999 and donate $10 to help the Red Cross deliver aid to the people in Japan.

Second, go hug and squeeze and snuggle your children. Don't let them go for a long time, even when they start rolling their eyes and complaining. Then do it again. And again.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Today Alyce touched a shark. And a stingray. And then she tried to pick up a starfish.

Having visited the aquarium before, Ishaan explains to Alyce that it's a Hermit Crab. It's good to know people.

We were lucky enough to be invited to join some friends today at the aquarium in New Jersey. Now these weren't just any friends. Ishaan was Alyce's best friend at school, a friendship sustained since February 2009 by kindness, fun, and just the right amount of bossy. We are grateful that Ishaan's parents suggested that we all spend the day at this fabulous aquarium, since we've found Alyce playing with and reading to an imaginary Ishaan more than once over these last four weeks that she's been out of school. Something tells me she's been missing her friend.

I told Matt that he could take me on a date here. It was sort of beautiful.

Clearly meant for each other.

Speaking of aquariums: Matt and I spent our honeymoon in St. Andrews-by-the-Sea, New Brunswick. We wanted to have a relaxing few days near the ocean, eat wonderful food, and generally wander around in the Maritimes. The Bay of Fundy was breathtaking, but for some reason we were hearing more about this great aquarium we should visit. Have you been to the aquarium yet? people would ask. We didn't want to waste our time in St. Andrews, so off to the aquarium we went. It turns out that by "aquarium" people meant "two large seals stuffed into a kiddie pool while being taunted by the vast Atlantic outside their window." We ran screaming from that place, feeling dirty. Don't even get us started about the Chocolate Museum.

Speaking of chocolate, for the past month Alyce has insisted on taking her pretend jar of chocolate icing everywhere she goes.

Today's aquarium was no kiddie pool, and we all had so much fun. I don't know what I enjoyed more--the jellyfish or Alyce and Ishaan holding hands all day long. I was also able to nurse Shira in a darkened amphitheater surrounded by circling sharks and stingrays, which was a first. And speaking of nursing, the aquarium also had a breastfeeding room that wasn't in or near a bathroom. It had a comfy chair and pillow, crayons and paper for older kids, and a floor to ceiling view of the water and Philadelphia in the distance. Shira and I thoroughly enjoyed the little break. She had been a little distracted by the sharks and was still quite hungry.

Alyce, Ishaan, and an enormous hippo.

Shira was also impressed by her nursing hideout.

P.S. Thanks for all the good wishes last week. It was a long one and I needed to just cocoon for a few days. But things are looking up, especially since tomorrow is Monday.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Midweek Slump

I must admit. I'm feeling a bit down today.

Even watching Alyce at swimming lessons didn't sway my mood, though it was still thirty minutes well spent. Alyce glows in the dark with her pale skin and white hair and her general pixieness, and it's all I could do not to scoop her up and jump in the pool with her myself. But I exercised great restraint and watched, from behind the glass, as Alyce taught the other kids how to scoop water from the pool into their mouths.

Shira has returned to her non-sleeping ways (with thanks to some new teeth), and in my now-familiar state of exhaustion I'm finding it hard to get moving in the world. So here I find myself, unable to feel my best. For tonight, I think I'll leave it at that. With some extra rest (see how optimistic I remain?) I can start over in the morning.

Anyone else in a midweek slump? Or maybe you have a good story to lighten my mood? I'm all ears.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

At Any Given Moment

I am surrounded by babies in milk comas (well, just one baby).

And cats.

Although it's not nearly as much as it was a few months ago, I spend a lot of my time nursing Shira on my bed. And for reasons unknown to me, The Cats join us. Lucky for you I always have my iphone with me to capture these special times.

We have a full day planned here, with bread to make, dates with friends, and lists to work down. Remember that list from last week? Still working on that.

Monday, March 7, 2011

A Saturday Package

Last week I received the most wonderful gift in the mail. It was unexpected, and so it was all the more lovely (although, if you listened to This American Life this week, you might argue that unexpected gifts aren't always so delightful.) We receive a lot of boxes from Amazon--filled with diaper liners, wipes, food, puzzles, and sometimes even books, so when I first saw the package last Saturday my mind immediately began doing an inventory of things we might be expecting. But when I opened it I found a book I hadn't ordered, and a little note from a wonderful friend.

Mammy P knew I would enjoy Karen Walrond's The Beauty of Different: Observations of a Confident Misfit. The book is a mixture of exquisite photos and Walrond's easy stories on what it means to enjoy a person's differences--including your own. One of the early chapters, an interview with one of Walrond's former colleagues reminded me of an experience I had nine years ago.

I was attending a weekend-long training to become a crisis counselor at a sexual assault center. Needless to say it was an intense weekend, where thirty women, most of whom had been strangers before the session began, learned how to listen to each others intimate stories. At the close of the final day, on blank pieces of paper we had taped on our backs, we were asked to write something we liked about each other, something that made each person unique. So at the end of a hard weekend where we were challenged to learn a lot of new skills (which at times felt very powerful or a bit deflating, depending on your success), we were left with a piece of paper filled with amazing observations from new friends. I had just moved to a new city and didn't know anybody, but there I was reading this list about myself, seeing my differences through a new lens. Whereas I thought I talked too much, someone else observed that I was able to make new people feel as though we'd been friends for years. And even though I'd hated my smile for years and years, all of a sudden I was discovering that it was the first thing other people noticed about me, and not in the way I had imagined. It's good to get out of your own way sometimes, and just enjoy who you are. Holy cow that's hard to do some days.

Thanks, my darling, for sending this book my way.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Singing Rules

Dear Alyce, Concerning the Rules for Singing:

I love to hear you sing. Love it. I love it when you sing while you eat, bathe, play, skip, build, paint, and cook. I also love it when you sing in the car. I have no preference when it comes to the song choice, though that might change as you grow and develop musical tastes that I will surely find undesirable. That will be ok, we’ll get through that stage, perhaps brought together by a mutual love of Barbra Streisand, as was the agreement I had with my own mother. No matter how much we might disagree, we always have Yentl.

Today I enjoyed your silly rendition of The Itsy-Bitsy Spider, the ABCs, and My Favourite Colour. I also appreciated the songs you made up about chocolate, princesses who love chocolate, and spiders who love chocolate. Really, I love them all. Seriously, Alyce, you have a free pass to sing all the time. It makes your Mama happy.


We need to establish some ground rules when it comes to duets. You see, I also love to sing. As a child I could spend the whole afternoon belting out songs in my room, and even when I learned that my room wasn’t soundproof and that everyone else could hear me, I still sang. Singing has always made me feel joyful in a way that I think you already understand, even at the age of three.

My point is this: you are not the only one permitted to sing. Yes, you sing beautifully, and yes, you make up some fantastic songs about chocolate, but this does not make you Queen of Singing. There, I said it. It seems that whenever I start singing along with you, innocently experiencing a moment of joy, you immediately, in no uncertain terms, order me to stop. While I expected that you would forbid me to sing around you as a teenager, I was unprepared for your strong opinions about my singing voice at this early age. And I’d love you to clear something up for me: are offended by my singing voice or have I simply violated the “no one else gets to sing but me” rule? I think it’s the latter, and I’m unhappy with this arrangement.

It is my suggestion that we meet in the next few days, having had some time to consider the facts, and establish some new rules. I am happy to compromise, but I an unwilling to keep quiet in your presence, because, frankly, you are always in my presence. So let’s schedule a meeting over hot chocolate, my treat.

Yours sincerely,

The woman who grew you in my belly and then pushed you out after more than one day of labour. Without painkillers. Also known as Mama. xxx

Saturday, March 5, 2011


It's Saturday night and all is quiet in the house, except for the sound of Hille snoring. I find it comforting, really. He's so big and round and warm. And sometimes he shares chips with me.

Alyce and Shira are in bed, Matt is working in his on the computer downstairs, copyediting a book on prison psychiatry. I'll let him know you're jealous. I have things I could do tonight, but instead I'm just sitting here, enjoying the quiet (and the snoring).

I hope you are all enjoying a lovely Saturday. I spent most of my time at home puttering and cleaning for Spring, which will be here any minute, I can just feel it. I spent at least an hour in the kitchen with my new mixer and we (the mixer and I) made pumpkin bread and granola (for the granola recipe you'll need to visit Jess at Sweet Amandine, whose recipes I use so frequently, she probably thinks I'm stalking her.) To be fair, the mixer was not involved in the granola-making, unless you count moral support, which I do. Alyce, who by all accounts seems to be growing up faster than it pleases her mama, spent the afternoon eagerly painting yesterday's macaroni art. Shira spent the day snacking, nibbling, and looking for trouble. So nothing was really going on around here, but it was just the way I liked it.

Someone replaced my tiny Alyce with a larger replacement.

Shira recommends the peas and shredded cheese. And whatever else is in the kitchen.

I also wanted to thank all of you for stopping by lately. So many of you have offered encouraging words and I want you to know how much it means to me. I came to this blog craving community and some creative space, but I didn't expect it to stick. But like it or lump it, I'm going to keep writing. Can't wait to see more of you!