Saturday, November 21, 2009

No place like it

I have a kitchen full of unwashed dishes. Some have been in their piles since Thursday.

But Joe is working today, so we won't be able to wash them side by side this morning or afternoon, one handling the soap and the other wiping down counters, or making faces at the baby, or sweeping, or putting on good songs. And though the neighbor kids came over yesterday and filled the house with paper airplanes (I taught them how to make good ones), and though I know there are friends who might be able to talk on the phone, the thought of staying in today is a quiet one, and I realize I have no real, close friends here.

So I am putting the baby in the car and going to Cloverly, where my grandmother is full of old stories and my parents are happy to listen on a shady deck. It's still home, though this is too, and I'm always welcome both places, I and my daughter both.

I will be back to make dinner. And then the pile of dishes will be so big, well, we will figure something out, or maybe we will just leave them 'til Monday, hah, and dance a dance to celebrate. (But we almost certainly won't, because that might drive us a bit too crazy.)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

An appointment

I'd been dreading yesterday's dentist appointment for days, and not because I harbor any fear of getting my teeth scraped with metal implements (though it might make more sense than fearing tornadoes), but because I would be getting my teeth scraped with little Marija looking on.

I've taken her shopping and to church and to other people's houses and I've learned that even though I can plan things so she's likely to be calm or asleep, I can't ever really know how she'll behave. But the way things were going today, it looked like she was due for a long nap about the time I'd be getting examined, and she fell into a nice sleep in her baby carrier as I filled out paperwork in the dentist's waiting room.

They called my name and I took Marija into the exam room. When the hygenist looked at her I said, "She's asleep!"

"Oh, we like sleeping babies," was her reply.

And then Marija woke up!

And I thought she would fall right back asleep, but everything was so interesting she stayed awake. And I thought she would start to fuss halfway through or so, for sure. But oh, she stayed contentedly awake in her carrier almost an hour, looking around and playing with her hands and making adorable noises from time to time. Other staff members passing by would make little faces at her and oh, it was perfect.

The hygenist did say that a woman who came in recently with a baby a similar age had the baby scream the whole time, and the woman ultimately had to reschedule. And she said it in an understanding tone, and I am not so afraid of having a baby who might make a big fuss, because I know I won't be the first. And I guess I knew that before, but still, it helps me to hear it.

In the last couple weeks, I feel like I've really gotten things together a bit, and feeling like I can do almost anything even though Marija is here.

And the crack on my front tooth I'd been worried about is apparently nothing to worry about for now, so that is just wonderful.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The sun came out!

It was beautiful yesterday, so Joe and I took the baby to a park in the afternoon. It might become one of our favorite spots: Gilbert Run Park, just a pretty drive away. There was a long lake with woods around it, and we took Marija in her stroller. She stared up at the trees and we realized we hadn't taken her into the woods before. What kind of parents are we... she's more than two months old!

I wish I'd brought my camera. There was a long bridge over part of the lake and very big ducks on the water, and we lifted Marija up to show her, though she seemed a bit under-impressed. Then we went over some crunchy leaves and across the earthen dam and along the trail around the lake, where we had views of the water and also the trees that kids had carved their names into over the years.

The way was bumpy but quick until we got halfway around, where we rested on a bench and looked at a beaver lodge. Then the trail got narrower and hillier, until finally we folded the stroller up and one of us carried it and the other carried the baby. It was quite a haul until we were almost back, when Joe found a little maintenance road that was smoother, and when we got out we saw the sign (facing the direction we hadn't been going): "Nature trail, rough terrain." The warning came a little late...

It will be really fun to go there when Marija's older and can marvel at the ducks and the little fish in the streams and all the low bridges through the swampy bits. And the park has the best playground. I wanted to play on it!

Friday, November 6, 2009

My little girl

Marija turns two months old in just a few hours, wow. There is a lot of time just changing diapers and such, but there is more and more time spent playing, and always new discoveries, like noticing the red spot on her tongue or realizing her eyes are lightening to look more like Joe's or my sisters'.

Her likes: milk, naps, being held upright, rattles, stroller rides, car rides, being sung to, dancing with Mamma or TÄ“tis, anything interesting to watch

Dislikes: the dirty diaper coming off, the clean diaper coming on, needing to burp, pacifiers, when Joe blows his nose (she cries!)

Hobbies: making adorable coos and other sounds (favorites include "ah-gu," "hau" and "genng"), trying to fit her whole fist into her mouth, melting hearts with her smiles, napping with one eye open just to keep Mamma on her toes

It's really neat to watch her blossom, getting more interested in the world around her and participating in it more. She's also becoming more independent... of course she still loves to be held, and she gets held a lot, but sometimes she's happy now just to lie on a mat and watch me put laundry onto hangers -- as long as I do a silly song or dance every once in a while, hah!

She's been really sleepy today, and though it's let me be more productive than usual, I'm getting lonely without her to hang out with!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Some things

Things Joe and I are currently managing just fine: cooking/eating, taking care of Marija, laundry, dishes, taking things in from the garden (a handful of raspberries every other day!), occasional walks, even sleeping (well enough most days).

Things we often don't manage nowadays: keeping the house clean, watering the plants and most other things.

Times I have been able to sit through church since Marija was born: 3 out of like 12. Those are the times she slept through it; more often, I end up walking her back and forth outside the sanctuary or finding a place to feed her.

I guess this is all in about the range of what I expected, but it is a little different to live it in real life than in imaginings. It is hard to imagine it has been just eight weeks since she was born; life without her in my arms seems long ago. People said everything would change, and many things did -- but it feels surprisingly like part of the same life as before, and it is.

Times when I'm sitting with the baby in my lap are good for prayer, but not as good as the head-swirling opportunities in the middle of the night, when everyone is quiet and I can really think.

Have had two nights of quiet dreams after a string of bad ones - tornadoes, lightning, deep cold water. Am feeling peaceful after times of imagining all kinds of bad things that could happen but probably won't. Maybe stories used to soak up the excess imagination, but lately my thoughts turn mainly to daily life and the people I love instead of the stories I used to breathe by.

I am trying to rely on the Lord
but trying harder some days than others.
I am weak
but He is strong.
This is something I need to remember.