Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Story of Holly and Ivy

The boys and I have been transfixed by this delightful Christmas book for two days now.  The storyline is charming; the descriptions, pleasing; the illustrations, sheer pleasure to look at.  We were absolutely glued to the pages as we read through it. 

Think orphans, trains, snow, small towns a-glow for Christmas, longing, a beautifully lit toy shop, loneliness, breakfast sausages, and an ending that warms the very cockles of your heart.  What a pleasure!

Highly recommended.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

"Happy Fanksgiving,"

as Truen would say.

And truly, what a nice Thanksgiving it was; we have had a very restful weekend together.  Squeeze had 4 days off, which was prit'near a mini-vacation for us.  Or stay-cation, as it was.  It felt so good.  So very good.  I would definitely say the whole family reveled in it.

Big breakfasts.  Long naps.  Family time.  Leisure.  Time to talk.  Late-to-bed nights, early-to-bed nights.  Reading.  Tree trimming (the boys were chomping at the bit).  A lighted parade and visit with Santa.  Lovely.

Meanwhile, I am 36 weeks pregnant.  Ugh.

Generally uncomfortable.  Very tired in the evenings.  Groin spasms (oh joy) that stop me in my tracks.  Peeing all the time.  Pushing the wee babe's feet off my ribs when it is awake and stretching.  Lots of contractions, particularly in the evening hours.  Waking up 2-3 times a night to urinate.  Tired.

etc. etc. etc.

I am starting to feel so ready to be done.  Another month. 


Tuesday, November 23, 2010


My outstanding breakfast this morning:
  • 4 fried eggs, over-easy
  • Heaping pile of fried cabbage (a winter favorite)
  • Sauerkraut (yes, more cabbage)
  • Diced potatoes fried in butter w/ salt and ketchup
  • Red raspberry leaf tea
The sun was bright, the ground had a light dusting of snow, I was reading a particularly intriguing section of Full Moon Feast, and the boys were happily playing in the next room. 


Wednesday, November 17, 2010


If I haven't mentioned it before, Squeeze is a major sucker for cats.  He loves 'em.  His heart is tender for them.  He doesn't get irritated when they harrass him for food (ahem - I do, bigtime). 

He builds cat-houses for them so they won't be cold in the winter.


This particular cat-house is in a window-well right above the wood-burning stove in our basement.  He water-proofed, insulated it, and changes the bedding every year.  And our outside cat, "Keumers" or "Outside Bay" gladly takes up residence every winter.  It gets downright balmy in there despite the frigid temps.

Shoot, even our inside cats - Bay, Toots, and Kizzle - nap in there from time to time in the summer months (they're too weak to even go outside in the winter, wusses).  And our hens like to use it as a far-away nesting box (we have to check it every night for eggs).

So take a look at that picture a little closer.  Sure, you see Keumers, but do you see the hen?  It is Buff Orpington pullet, just starting to lay, who had snuggled up right behind the sleeping puss. 

One of Squeeze's co-workers told him of cats and hens snuggled down together in his coop, but we had a hard time picturing it at that point.  I mean, wouldn't a cat KILL a hen and eat it if it got the chance?  (Our cats only play at attacking them.) 

But sure enough, it happened to us.  In a cat-house.  Meow!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Snuggly pals

Good Buddies

Good friends came for a visit for a couple days this week.  The 5 year olds and 3 year olds were both born within 4-6 weeks of each other, so as you can imagine, it is a wild romp when they are together. 

They ran around outside, planned traps for Squeeze, made zip lines, wrestled, had tea parties, played with Legos, fought, and made each other laugh. 

They had a such a blast -- it was a great visit.  Diego cried and said, "but I will miss my friends!" when he realized they were leaving that afternoon.  Awwww.

Incidentally, this picture also shows my boys' new favorite snugglies.  (Jack and Claire had snugglies for the pictures too, but they must have been stuffed down in a crack.) 

We've never really had anything even resembling a favorite stuffed animal or blanket in this household.  A pacifier, my neck (Diego) and my armpits (Truen) are the closest comparisons. 

[My armpits, yes.  !!!  Since weaning last spring, Truen adores touching one armpit or the other, or both.  Why?  He likes the hair.  "It's soft," he says.  No joke.  Good thing I don't wear conventional deodorant.  I don't know what I'm going to do when the truly cold months come and my pits will be virtually inaccessible.  That, and nursing a baby all day long.  Oy.  Still, it is very sweet.]

But, back to the snugglies. 

Last spring I pulled a cheapy pink stuffed bunny-rabbit out of the dumpster to give to my friend's brand-new thrift store.  Needless to say, it never made it there -- Diego claimed it for his own, declared it a girl, and named it "Bunny-rabbit Smudge".  It stayed in the van for the longest time and he would play with it whenever we went anywhere, but has since made it into the house.  He loves it, though mostly just for play-time.

Truen, however, has become extremely attached to a little dragon he named "Honey".  Also a girl, she's a little beanie baby with iridescent red wings that I picked up at a thrift store at some point in time because it was so irresistibly cute.  He sleeps with her, totes her around the house, and likes to take her with him when we go places.  (He puts her in his little "pack-pack" with her head sticking out so she can see.)

Who knew? 

I'm enjoying their attachments, actually -- it's fun to pretend along with them.  Honey loves snacks of raisins and walnuts and I find her in the most thoughtful and comfortable spots.  And because they both have a favorite, Bunny-rabbit Smudge and Honey often play with each other, too. 

It is all very sweet.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Remembering to be thankful, thank goodness

I am thankful for . . .
  • High-quality kitchen knives, which make everything easier
  • Recently perfecting split pea soup, then having the presence of mind to write it down ASAP
  • The dwarf lime tree that Squeeze bought this summer, which is blooming in our sunroom and emitting an ethereal scent
  • Squeeze, for the fact that while he is logical, he is also very in tune with beauty and "the little things", from sunsets and billowing clouds to making our flower gardens beautiful in both the summer and winter months -- I love that about him
  • For the memory of walking down the block from the bus after work on chill autumn nights in the pitch-black, seeing the globe Christmas lights that Squeeze hung from our balcony railing, which he always had lit for me (I keep on remembering that recently -- it must be the feel in the air)
  • Little boys who spontaneously tell me they love me with great, big hugs
  • Feeling like I finally mostly figured out this mothering thing -- probably in the fact that I have more of a sense of peace about it, knowing that it is a constant adaption vs. feeling rife with questions, wondering how to even do it
  • The coming winter
  • Daybooks
  • Blogs
  • Feeling like I've had enough to eat
  • The new green beaded bracelet my parents got me for my birthday this fall (the boys call it my "snake bracelet" because the lines of beads are inter-woven)
  • The color green, my favorite
  • Realizing that I need, then enforcing upon myself, structure -- things are calmer and cleaner when I stick to a regular routine (while it doesn't come "natural", I have found it can be "normalized" -- what a discovery!)
  • Figuring things out with a greater depth of maturity and understanding that comes with being 33 (and how much more at 44, 55, 66 . . . ?)
  • Area friends who are excited about my belly/baby/pregnancy.  It is so fun to be reminded that being pregnant is a special time -- it is easy to forget in the last couple of months.
  • The new babe, which, with how much movement and awake-time it spends bobbling around, I'm wondering if it might be a firecracker of continuous energy and enthusiasm.  ???

Monday, November 08, 2010

Wah, wah, wah, and then some

  • 33 weeks pregnant
  • I spent last week, in a nutshell, lying prostrate on the couch, totally done in from the previous weekend's labors.
  • Which was . . . butchering 25-ish chickens from 10:00 AM to 5:30-ish PM.  We still have 7 left to go.
  • Totally done in.  Destroyed.
  • I felt (feel) like a complete wimp, but it is hard to argue with a body that won't cooperate.  The next step was the total zap of all optimism and anything vaugely resembling get-up-and-go.  And wondering if it will ever end.
  • It was pure survival, that's it.
  • I have to remember that my body is being used for something else right now (growing a baby!) and while everyone else was sore, too, their ligaments and muscles are not being stretched like mine.
  • Still, hard to stomach.
  • Symptoms: PAIN.  First muscles and skeletal frame, them hips and ribs, then settling in my neck, shoulders, and head.  Combine this with the nasty, violent cough that is "going around", which left me crying, feeling like my frontal lobe was being stabbed.  Ugh.
  • I'm feeling better, though.  I have a chiropractic appointment for tomorrow, because something is definitely out of whack.
  • Meanwhile, life goes on . . .
  • Truen says, "She am" and "You am" and "I can't know".  He is so spontaneously affectionate, hugging me and giving me smooches while telling me he loves me, totally out of the blue.  His favorite game is "Mama Mouse & Baby Mouse" or "Mama Rabbit and Baby Rabbit" or "Mama Kitty and Baby Kitty".  So precious.
  • Diego is developing into such a helpful boy.  He has gladly taken on tasks like turning on the crab light every morning and is starting to remember to do after-meal clean-up without being reminded (and has always happily said, "Oh yes!" when I do remind him).  He'll gleefully say, "Dooooooo it!" when I tell him the name of the next chapter of the book.  He still wants to marry me; and the new baby, too, whom he insists is a girl.
  • Both boys want to name their new baby sister, "Pretty Girl".
  • Given the last 4 generations of Borealises, the chances of that are not very likely.  This generation has their one Borealis girl already.  Or could we break the pattern?!
  • Not very likely.
  • I peed my pants the other day in the midst of a violent cough.  I was on my way to the bathroom, taking a slight detour to drop something off in another room.
  • My last urine analysis at my pre-natal appointment indicated I'm not getting enough water.  Great.
  • I had my first thought of, "I have to be pregnant for two more months?!!" the night before last.
  • Wahhhhhhhhhh
  • etc.