I will attempt to be better at documenting this pregnancy. This is how the second month of pregnancy (weeks 5-8) went for me.[Read more…]
Thirteen months for the little mussed-haired sprite currently hanging on to the sides of her playpen and shouting plaintively aaaiieee, aaaiiieeeee at me. She has recently found her voice. She has never been much of a babbler, but now she speaks full sentences in her own tongue. None of it is understandable, of course, but it is all heartfelt and emphatic. Aaaaiieeeeee!
Now she is complaining–not exactly crying, but certainly not happy. I glance at the clock; it is nap time. I sincerely doubt that’s what aaiiee means. (Elvie thinks it’s Beatrice saying her own name. She could be right.)
Naps have been something of a nemesis lately. She’s slowly and surely transitioning to one nap, but it’s quite the process. Some have dropped to one nap very early (Ephraim); some have hung on to two for what felt like forever (Eldore). Beatrice does not get sleepy in time for a two good naps. As a result, her first nap is great and long but there’s no time for the second without moving bedtime. I can wake her up early from the first nap, but honestly I need her to sleep at that time so we can do school. So I let her sleep, hoping each day that that first nap will turn into a solid, three-hour, one-nap-day nap. It rarely does, but I keep hoping.
On the days it doesn’t–which is most days–we go for a late-afternoon catnap.
She’s a nimble (and quick, and silent) crawler. I am forever checking and re-checking to make sure the basement door is shut. If I’m sitting with her while she plays in her room and one of the other children comes in, she makes a beeline for the door and can completely overtake some of them. SHUT THE DOOR! has, therefore, become an oft-heard refrain in the house. That, and HERE COMES BEADIE!!
She’s become very brave about cruising and standing. The other day I found her perched on top of her toy-tin, turned upside down and shoved against the rail of her playpen. She may be plotting an escape.
hair & eyes
I can’t believe I can say it, but her eyes seem to be the same strange, what-color-is-that–anyway color as Elvie’s eyes. I suppose this is a good thing; the more they have in common the better, I guess. At any rate, they are a golden color in the center and grey-blue on the outside. It’s not hazel. It’s not grey. Elvie’s look green until you get close enough to tell they’re not. Beatrice’s eyes aren’t as far along as Elvie’s, but they’re the same color Elvie’s were at this age.
Her hair is growing, growing, and curls beautifully on the ends. It’s very much like Anselm’s was at this age, though his was thinner and a bit more flippy. It’s still dark. She and Anselm are the only two to not go blond-ish after birth.
Her personality has gotten BIGGER, if that’s even possible. She loves a good joke, and especially loves Eldore’s antics. She loves to have her siblings around, but it also very content to play alone in her crib while she listens to music. Music! She is a big fan. Everything from our singing after breakfast to her favorite “Family Folk Songs” station makes her glow with delight.
She likes to rub noses with Ephraim and Eldore. I’ve not observed her doing this with anyone else.
She has a very good eye for details, and has been seen following sugar ants across the floor.
She deeply resents being told “no”.
She doesn’t care for sitting in the grass.
She does like flowers.
She lives for the thrill of finding an unattended package of wipes, picking it open delicately, ripping each wipe out one by one, and flinging them aside with a flourish.
I officially weaned her about a week ago. She barely batted an eye, though she was unhappy the first day I took her straight to the changing table instead of nursing her right away when she woke up. After that she was fine.
She is not much of an eater, though. She’s extremely picky. She will condescend to eat greek yogurt and simply adores lasagna. Grandfather’s stir-fry is high on her list of edibles. Scrambled eggs are hit or miss. It’s always a bit of a guess as to whether or not Beatrice will refuse whatever food she’s offered. It makes things interesting.
A short–and late–update.
Beatrice has been ten months for three weeks, now. I can, however, still tell about her tenth month with fairly clear memory.[Read more…]
A little rush of adrenaline accompanied my typing out that title. I confess, I was not expecting to ever write that.
But I tell myself every pregnancy that this time I will be better at documenting it, and I never follow through. I am trying to remedy this; I am actually typing this post before we have even announced the pregnancy, so that I may capture all of these thoughts at their freshest.[Read more…]
I started writing about paying attention several months ago. It was an unfinished thought, and I knew it, and I wasn’t sure how to complete it. It wasn’t entirely clear in my own head; I wasn’t sure how to articulate it in its half-formed state.
I am still not entirely clear, but I’m giving it my best try, anyway. Over the past few months I have attempted to clarify the thought that precipitated a total paradigm shift for me this year, the former way of thinking and the feeling of being bricked in, and the change and the relief and peace that came and what all else was lost in the process.
Yes, there was loss, but it was a good kind. It was throwing off of “things that hinder.”
That loss can probably be most accurately summed up as myself.
Lose myself? That can’t be good. One is not supposed to lose herself in motherhood. She’s supposed to work very hard to establish herself as separate, to care for her own needs first, and not forget herself while she cares for her children. And to a certain extent that is true; there is danger in focusing all of my energies on my children. It’s unhealthy for them and for me–but I think we confuse symptoms with cause, here.
It is not the hyperfocus on children’s care that is of chief danger to me as mother–it is the fact that, more than likely, I do what I do out of a deference to myself and my insecurity. It is how I convince myself that I am a good mother, something of which I desperately need to be convinced. Because I am motivated, ultimately, by my own self-interests, counseling me to move from focusing time and energy on my children to focusing time and energy on myself only allows the root cause–an over-preoccupation with myself–to flourish, unseen. (I call the result of this the Pet/Pest Situation–something that has its own post in the works and will be published “eventually”.)
When I say lose myself I’m not talking about a loss in practice, where I bolster my self-image by passing over my needs to become a martyr to my family’s needs. I’m talking about a loss in principle, where I no longer judge what I do by how beneficial it is for me personally. Pay attention, Beatrice told me. And I tried to. And when I did that, I couldn’t pay attention to myself. I quit worrying about me. In practice, everything stayed the same. Our days actually looked the same. My work and my rest looked the same. But I stopped paying attention to myself and I started slowing down and paying attention to somebody else. And, suddenly, I could breathe.
the lure of slow living:
on slow living + on busyness + on rest i / ii + on routine + on paying attention
I’ve been thinking about books. There are a few (very few) I want to re-read–slowly–and then write about while re-reading. Or after I’ve re-read them. Or something like that.[Read more…]
Last week marked nine months for Beatrice, who is currently seated in a high chair beside me, working on a mini powdered donut with much sucking and smacking sounds. When I look over at her, she stops and grins; her face is covered with white dust and fragments of donut. This is one of the first times she’s sat in a high chair, as well as her first powdered donut. She seems pleased with both experiences.[Read more…]
Beatrice Darlene turned eight months on December the 4th.[Read more…]