Work Force(d)

03/31/2010 at 10:14 am | Posted in Belly to Butterfly | Leave a comment
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(This is part of Belly to Butterfly, by my sis Laura.)

As March comes to a close, I once again am in a funk about the looming end to my “extended maternity leave” (i.e. unemployment). It has been really, really amazing having this time with my daughter, and it saddens me that sometime soon I’ll have to join the tons of parents who don’t see their children nearly enough.

Why couldn’t I have been famous like Julia Roberts so that I could take my children with me on location, or be Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth so that I can pack up my little bundles for my next tour?! Damn my non-famous abilities.

The other night C and I had this amazing discussion about jobs, life and finding the balance that we want. C has recently come to terms that he’s not “selling out,” as he likes his job and the people he works with, even if it’s in dreaded corporate America. He’s a musician by night and weekend and defines his success by the fact that he’s still creating music he loves. Also a lover of history and writing, he’s figuring out a new schedule where he can write every week.

(I’ve politely asked him to go ahead and pump out the next great American novel so we can both create from home. I’m waaaiiiting…)

We live in a small house in an amazing downtown neighborhood. Basically, we want to make enough money to live here, raise a couple of kids, get back to Italy someday and have some extra cash for important things like cured meats and hydrangea bushes.

I’m extremely lucky to have a partner who puts pressure on me to do what makes me happy and who sees outside the 9-to-5 box. When I was thinking “okay, I just need to find a crap job to make some money,” C was saying, “Why not go for what you really want?”

What I really want is to have a life full of family, friends, creativity, volunteering and money-making productivity. My work ethic isn’t screwed up, as I used to think, it’s just that I think work should be a part of my life…not my whole life.

So for as long as I can I’m going to squeeze O, go for walks pointing out tulips and bumble bees, take care of our home so our weekends can be pure fun and make the most of this time where my little bubble doesn’t involve asking for vacation or calling in sick because I want to watch O’s new trick all day.

Happiness is: a good walk, with Prudence and her potty

03/30/2010 at 9:08 pm | Posted in Happiness is | 2 Comments
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Swell Stuff {grow, bloom, spring}

03/30/2010 at 10:00 am | Posted in Swell Stuff | Leave a comment
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Eco-friendly plant markers by Toolbox

Bloggin’

03/29/2010 at 4:35 pm | Posted in I take too many pictures, Small Fry | 2 Comments

I suck at being alone

03/29/2010 at 8:21 am | Posted in Thinking, Travel | 13 Comments

You know that mom fantasy, where you just get in the car and drive as far and as fast as possible? To wherever. As long as it doesn’t include a crying baby or a dirty house? That fantasy dogged me for the first few months of Small Fry’s life, when in the throes of postpartum depression, I could hardly conceive of how anybody would want or need me. I craved the open road.

Since I’m better, the fantasy has mellowed out. Now a shadow of its former larger-than-life self, the fantasy mostly involves simple pleasures. Peeing alone. Sleeping through the night. Freedom to eat whatever I want whenever I want. Collapsing into bed when I get home from a long day at work.

I got to live out the fantasy this weekend. Don’t hate me.

With M’s blessing, I booked a room on the coast for one night. Well actually, it was a room on an interstate a few miles from the coast, but close enough.

I could not wait.

My life right now is pretty much in the crapper. Huge personal issues, an illness that won’t quit, a bad back.

I was so sure that escaping everything for one weekend would be just the remedy. To get some sun on my face. To get a break from being mommy, wife, worker. To make my own choices (gasp) and enjoy the simple freedoms that suddenly became luxuries when I entered motherhood.

So it surprised me that I couldn’t stop crying as I drove out of town. That not only did I not escape my worries, but that they all crowded into the car with me. Guilt came along for the ride, too. And eventually, Loneliness.

I tried everything to feel happy. I even found an all-80s radio station. But despite Cyndi Lauper and Tears for Fears, my thoughts raced harder and grew more twisted as the drive wore on.

There were a few highlights, though: retail therapy (spring shopping for a toddler is too much fun), discovering jets in the hotel bathtub, sitting at the bar at the local fish house eating and watching basketball, catching an episode of Entourage.

And even though it was cold and freakishly windy, I enjoyed my treks on the beach:

I heart this pier. Good memories.

The foam was out of control. Clung to the beach until the wind pried it loose.

One of the more interesting things I've found on the beach. Looks like a shard of tile. I like to think it drifted over from Italy.

This is the spot where M proposed to me. Sigh.

But I could not wait to get home. I missed my family and thought about what they were doing at every turn. It was all I could do not to make a call or send a text.

Crazy, right? Totally crazy.

Any mother would give her left arm to be alone at the beach for an entire weekend. Believe me, I know this. I’m not ungrateful.

Just disappointed to have blown such an awesome opportunity.

Anxiety: 536. Suzanne: 0

Horsies, piggies, peep-peeps

03/26/2010 at 10:51 pm | Posted in About town | 3 Comments
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When Small Fry wakes up in the morning, after I inhale the back of her neck and nibble on her cheeks, I ask her what she dreamed about. Almost always the answer is, “horsies, piggies, peep-peeps.” Farm animals are her fave.

So today, I could not wait to get into her room and tell her that we actually were going to see real live horsies, piggies and peep-peeps. And cows, goats and rabbits. PLUS a big red barn.

That is one seriously big animal. And hungry.

She was so psyched about it that she wanted to go right then and there, pajamas and all. Which she had unzipped at some point in the night. This is a new thing, the half-naked sleeping. When I checked on her last night, she had one leg out of her pj’s. I actually tucked it back in and got her jammies zipped without waking her. Score one for mommy.

Farm Animal Days did not disappoint. We parked in a cow pasture, so as soon as Small Fry got out of the car she was in animal heaven.

Too much cuteness. My ovaries exploded.

She touched chicks, sheep, a baby goat and one very fluffy bunny. She talked to the horses and cows and got a little freaked out by the gigantic bull chowing down on some hay less than two feet from her face.

After she pet the sheep, I asked her what it felt like.

“Strawberries.”

Er, okay.

Perhaps the most adorable animal in all the world, this little guy kept nuzzling Small Fry's arm. I want a baby goat.

Baby O had a miserable time. Obviously.

Dude, wanna ditch the moms and hit up the chick pen? I'll push.

Our little adventure ended with homemade ice cream, which she WOULD NOT TASTE. Daughter of mine? Hmmm.

I hope her farm animal dreams are extra-awesome tonight. And that she won’t have nightmares about the guy in the cow suit who made her cry every time he came into eyesight. Cows are cool and all, but apparently not when they’re standing up on two legs waving at you.

Ferocious.

Bacon fairy!

03/26/2010 at 3:18 pm | Posted in Friends | 1 Comment
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Look what came in the mail! Oh happy day. Greasy bacon lips, here I come. I’m pretty sure this girl might be behind it, but I need to confirm my sources. Bacon fairy, you rock!

O so freaking cute!

03/26/2010 at 9:27 am | Posted in Family, I take too many pictures | 1 Comment

My niece, known in pretty-swell-land as baby O, has the BEST facial expressions. Her ridiculously awesome smile stretches from ear to ear. And those eyes? Don’t even get me started. These shots are a little fuzzy, but our girl O shines through.

Swell Stuff {barley & birch}

03/25/2010 at 3:58 pm | Posted in Swell Stuff | Leave a comment
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children's t-shirt

Look at this cuteness! Thanks to DesignHER Momma and her swell giveaway, I’ve discovered barley & birch, maker of organic and totally rad baby clothes.

The giveaway ends on April 4, so hop on over and check it out. Er, I mean, not really. Nah. Nothing to see there. After all, you wouldn’t want to reduce the odds of me winning, right? Or, if you win, you’ll give me your prize? Right?

Happiness is: ranunculus

03/25/2010 at 8:53 am | Posted in Happiness is | 2 Comments
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