Saturday, October 25, 2008

Quotable quotes

These are from Natty:
One afternoon, chatting about princess headgear, and who wears what, she and I disagreed about what Snow White wore. Her definitive answer, "I don't know much about 'dult things, but I know about princesses...... And ponies."  

Godmothers versus Fairy Godmothers: "Mom, is Auntie Sharyl my godmother?" 
"Then can she do magic like Cinderella's godmother?"
"Cinderella's godmother was a Fairy godmother. Fairy godmothers do magic."
(Lucky Natty, I think Sharyl is as close to a fairy godmother as a girl can get in this world.)

Another evening when Murray and I had been parental and she was upstairs in timeout, we heard her fuming away, thinking of the worst things she could, "I wish Mommy was a BOY, not a girl anymore. And Daddy will NOT be a boy, he will turn into a girl." The typed words don't recall the feeling that the 3 yr old voice carried, but it was intense.

Then there's the philosophical times. One day she was trying to figure out reality versus stories. I explained that stories are imaginary. Her comment "What if we are all in somebody's imagination?" 

I don't record enough of these, but that's a taste. Oh, and she wants to name the baby Tom. I don't know why that's the winning name, but it's been the consistent front runner for a few weeks. 

Tonight we had a pre-Halloween party with the Boston Buttners and Auntie Jenny. We had a parakeet (Khai), a Korean princess (Soo Jin) and a bride (Natty). They were all so cute and had a great time playing. Natty is into Go Fish and Khai brought some maturity and discipline to the game that Murray and I don't have when we play with her. 

I'm still working on the photos, but I better get it up and going by Halloween. She's the cutest bride ever, in a wedding gown that was Emmeline's when she was this age. Marmee found it at her house and Natty latched right onto it. Add the tiara/veil, flowers and white gloves, she's a vision in tulle.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Since starting work my blogging time has been reduced. Part of it is that I have less free time and the other part is the brain-dead aspect of working nights. I chose to work nights because 1) I figured it would work better for the overall family dynamics and 2) I've done it before and did ok with it. 

It's going about how I expected: I'm very tired, but life isn't totally out of whack for all of us. And I kind of like the Secret Life of Walter E. Middy aspect of being out of sync with the world. When everyone else is sleeping, I'm helping babies be born and supporting new, dazed families adjust. I feel like it's a job worth going to which helps a lot when I really, really want to go to bed, not to work. Also, I'm so tired that I don't have the mental energy to agonize over it. I just make some coffee, put on my scrubs, grab my bag (already packed - must do) and go.

I come home as Natty is waking up and Murray is getting ready to go, say goodbye to him (we watch him bike down the golden avenue, piled high with leaves, on his cruiser bike - a fun image to carry with me), get Natty dressed, fed and take her to school. Come back home to sleep, wake up, go back to pick her up and then run errands, etc. We often end up hanging out at Victoria's Station, a coffee shop in Putnam. I've lived here about 2 months and am on a first name basis with the manager - what does that say? Natty is a creature of habit and we always sit in the same place - a yellow couch with gold and black velveteen pillows in a corner window. She checks to make sure we have our seat as we walk in the door and we haven't been out of luck yet. She gets a steamer (strawberry is the most recent flavor - yuck!), I get a decaf Americano and we usually split a treat. The staff is indulgent of my persnickety ways with coffee and they make a lovely cup.

One dark area of my life is that I decided not to go to grad school this spring. The program started in December and with the baby coming in January we decided I would focus on the kids a bit longer. I'm disappointed, there's no getting around it. But I also don't want to be a stressed mess with a new baby. That's no life for us. I admire families that juggle everything, but it's not the road we want to take. 

For now, autumn is beautiful and I just splurged on a snazzy double stroller - Phil and Ted's. I'll let you know how we like it when I get it assembled and road tested. Must hit the roads while the weather's good! 

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Here's an update on our housing situation. I joked about Murray finding us a house, and he did set up an appointment with the agent that we're working with on last Saturday. Unfortunately (fortunately? because it shows I've done my research well) I recognized almost everything she showed us and had driven by most of them. So now we know where we're starting from. Lots of houses for sale at a good price, none that meet our criteria. At the moment we're trying to go slow with a purchase anyway so it doesn't make sense to snap up something we only partially like when we still need to see how the area fits us/we fit the area. 

But the quip about Murray did come true. He had put cards in the mailbox of 3 houses in a location we like which weren't for sale. We didn't think we'd hear anything but nothing ventured, nothing gained. 

What do you know, Monday morning we got a call from an agent that the person that lived in one of them had passed away and her family had given her our number to call. That Murray and his crazy ideas!  

The house isn't ready to show yet - we know for sure it will need some work. But since we don't have anything else on the short list we're happy to hang out and see what transpires.  We feel slightly weird about it - our potential good fortune at another's misfortune and all. 

The whole story is proof that Murray and his unorthodox ideas succeed where my plodding research just got me frustration. 

Since we've received our stuff I'm coping better with the cottage so we have time to watch and wait. One never knows what is coming down the pike, but it's bound to be interesting.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

This week Natty and  I went apple picking and made apple butter. I went to college in Spokane, WA, which is serious apple/pear/fabulous fruit and vegetable country, but I haven't done that kind of thing since. Natty and I went to a farm that Marmee recommended (and had taken Natty to, so Natty felt like she was showing me around). We quickly picked a half bushel (20 lbs if you're like me and don't know how much a bushel is) of a variety of apples. Thankfully a lot of the trees had low fruit so Natty could pick. She wanted to carry the bag, but decided (correctly) that it was too heavy a few apples into the process. 
Then we came home and pottered about eating apples and making apple butter. We didn't really have the right equipment but that never stops me. I guess a crucial piece of equiment for true apple butter is a food mill or other puree-er and I didn't bother with that, so it never got smooth and buttery. It is more like intense, thick apple sauce. Still yummy. I did get a potato masher finally when a wooden spoon just wasn't working, even for my lax standards.
We had borrowed a apple corer/peeler/slicer from Marmee, so we did that processing, threw some spices in and went for it. Unfortunately, I put way too much cloves in. Nutmeg would have been ok, cinnamon even, but cloves numb your mouth when they're too strong. So it was back to the peeler/corer/slicer to process more (many more) apples to dilute the spicing. Fortunately we got our stuff from Alaska on Monday (O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!) so I had a pot to cook the plain apples in and add them to the over-cloved pot. After a few days of puttering (when I had the time) it finally turned out. 
Then I wanted to can it, but didn't have a pot tall enough for the jars I'd purchased. So back to the store for  smaller jars (I could have bought a tall stock pot instead, but the jars were quite cute. I'll have to get the stock pot another time). The canning worked so I've been passing the cute little jars out and still had some un-canned left over to put in pancakes Saturday morning - delicious. 
It was a good experience and appealed to my autumn nesting instinct enough that we'll probably go back to pick and process some more. It just seems the seasonal thing to do. 
Another good event this week was the first U Mass OB visit. I'm officially high-risk with this pregnancy so my visit included a Level 2 Ultrasound (very cool - even got 3-d pictures) with a perinatalogist, a talk with a genetics counselor and a Ob visit with a MD whom I liked immensely. All is going perfectly well with the baby. I'll continue to see that OB for my prenatals but of course don't know who will be "on" for the delivery. It was nice that she agreed that I'm a good candidate for a trial of labor and I got to let her know my comfort level vis a vis induction (no) and augmentation (no). 
We ended the week with a visit to Emmeline's school to see her play in her first varsity field hockey game!! It was great fun to watch her play and to hang out on the sidelines with the Carlisles. Natty was in heaven to be playing with her cousins - and they are fabulous with her. We went from the game to Jon and Abbie's for Jon's birthday celebration - Abbie made an amazing dinner and we had an autumnal evening around a cozy fire. 
I keep encountering funny cultural differences which remind me I'm in a new world and keeps life interesting. Sarah Palin incites lots of Alaskan comments/questions so that is an ongoing conversation with everyone. What a time to be an Alaskan transplant to New England!
Today we came home in the rain and are ready for a new week. I start nights this week - good for the family schedule and we'll find out if I still have the night shift in me.