Monday, August 29, 2011

Rhythm

Matt got home late last night after a long trip for work. When we heard Jasper at 6:30am, I got up and tried to find things we could do that don't make too much noise. This is his happiest, most active time of day and my goal was to wear him down within an hour so he'd take an early morning nap. I wanted to go back to bed, too.

At least that's usually my first thought on Monday mornings. I always rise thinking about my day off "Pre-Jasper". Mondays used to be lazy and quiet, but now they begin with a diaper change and making all kinds of noise in the kitchen before 7am.

Jasper was very vocal this morning, so we soon headed outside, both in our PJs, to find all kinds of neighbors out and about. His little cowlick blew in the breeze as we stood on the corner near our house watching traffic file into the high school parking lot. Cars, minivans, trucks and buses joined us slowly at first and then in a steady stream until the first bell rang. Kids walked down the sidewalk carrying new backpacks and clean notebooks and new resolutions for the first day of school.

We walked around outside, barefoot with bedhead, for almost two hours. I told Jasper all about school - the best stories I have from Kindergarten and making new friends and pop quizzes and writing notes to cute boys and locker combinations and spelling bees and the smell of the seats on a school bus.

Soon I forgot about wearing Jasper out and heading back to bed. We were busy watching cars, waving to strangers and giving each other the giggles. Seeing so many people fall back into the rhythm of school made me miss being a student myself. There is something so familiar about new pencils and shoes in the fall and my life could use a hint of routine these days.

When the traffic slowed down Jasper and I returned to our front steps and sat side by side singing songs. I looked down at this little peanut - this kid old enough for oatmeal and haircuts and sitting up with just my hand behind him - and thought about how amazing our chaos has been.

Matt and I both work some evenings and portions of every weekend. Each day begins and ends at a different time and each night we celebrate the small miracle of holding it together one more time. While our rhythm is currently lacking, well...rhythm, we are blessed with plenty of humor, love, good health and Monday mornings I never knew until now.

Later this afternoon I took Jasper to an open house for our first ECFE class together. We explored the room, met our teacher and mingled with other moms and kiddos. By the time we got home, teenagers were pulling away in cars with the stereos turned up. The school year is officially underway.

Maybe this rhythm can be ours, too. Maybe it already is.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Exhale

Today has been a highly anticipated mental health day. I took Jasper to daycare bright and early. The rest of the day has been filled with get to's instead of have to's.

My only goal today was to read all three Marie Claire magazines that loomed unread on our dining room table this season. They were a sign of leisure lost and today was all about remembering how to relax.

You know you're having a good day when your stereo is pumping really loudly for the first time in ages and you get sweaty dancing around your living room. You know it's a beautiful day when you cancel the massage you had planned because it feels like too much structure and you'd rather be outside.

Today was one big exhale. I needed it and I'm glad I'm surrounded by wonderful people who reminded me to make room for it. Sigh. :)


Monday, August 1, 2011

Yum.

I rarely cook and when I do, I tend to kill a recipe early by failing to follow instructions carefully. I had never used a food processor until yesterday. But since this baby food adventure began, I've already made fruit smoothies and guacamole. I'm totally hooked.


Now I know I'm supposed to want to make baby food because it's all about the baby. It feels so good to know exactly what's going into your child. True. It's so much cheaper than buying baby food. Sure. It's less wasteful than getting buried in dozens of little glass jars you might never use again. Okay. But none of those reasons got me off my tail and into the kitchen.

Instead, it was this lady!

My lovely sister-in-law squealed with delight as she pureed beets and their explosive purple color made her giggle. Cara adores good cooking, kitchen gear, old cookbooks and The Splendid Table. I could listen to her talk about food all day, describing textures and ingredients with such joy. We spent the afternoon collecting yummy, fresh foods from the Kingfield Farmers' Market and the Seward Co-op before peeling, boiling and pureeing like crazy. It was beautiful work. Jasper thought so, too. He was fascinated by this raw carrot I let him hold. He stared at it with such fierce concentration until the Cuisinart would start whirling and then he'd look up, his eyes wide. That's the sound of your lunch in a few months, kid.




And thank goodness Cara got me into the kitchen because now I know what will keep me there: the sheer hubris of it all. While I can't make anything too impressive for grown ups, people tend to react with such awe when you say you make baby food. If they would just think about it for a minute, I'm sure they'd realize it's not that amazing and it's certainly not hard. But there's no way I'll admit it to their faces. Instead, I'll just smile like a snotty mompetitor, aglow with happy success.


Beets, Carrots, Green Beans, Pears, Spinach

Amazing applesauce not pictured because we ate it all before it made it to the freezer. So, so good.