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Showing posts from December, 2013

Homemade Christmas

This year Phil and I began brainstorming for Christmas before Thanksgiving. We wanted to be smart and thoughtful with our gifts, and this meant spending more time instead of money on people. In October we made our first batch of soap using the instructions from . Phil handled the chemicals and essential oils because websites suggested pregnant women not participate in these sorts of experiments. (Everyone is always pooh-poohing on pregnant women doing cool stuff.) The most surprising bit in the experiment was the lye, which we purchased in the form of drain cleaner from home depot. Mixed with water, the lye heats up all on its own and forms the base for the soap. To this we added our oils: palm, coconut, and olive. The second most surprising discovery was the color of our soap, which I believe was caused by the red palm oil. That creamy pumpkin color inspired Phil's clever labels: Phil's Naptha—a play off of Fels Naptha, which is an orange laun


7 days until Winter Solstice 11 days until Christmas 18 days until January 28 days until baby’s due date This was what life was like before any more little ones came. The mandarin oranges were ripe on the tree. The Boston Ivy was dropping it’s rusty red leaves. The stag and the moon and the lady with cookies were all opened on the advent calendar. And I’ve just made fresh bread with my free bread maker. Phil and I ate slice after slice slathered in butter and dipped in the turkey broth simmering on the stove. The green corners of our home are shaping up as Phil and I have moved pots here and there, replanted, transplanted, and made way for new plants. We hope to buy a Ginkgo in honor of the new baby. Lee received a navel orange, grapefruit, and strawberry tree. Perhaps the new baby will also get a Hollywood Juniper, but a Ginkgo will be enough. It is a tree that I’ve written into my story. Both Phil and I   love it.

All His Needs

Multitasking: it’s a necessary skill to mother. I don’t mean acting like you’re listening while checking facebook, or chatting on the phone while trying to cook. Those combinations don’t work well. I mean going about the necessary business needed to keep a household running in the midst of watching children. This is necessary. I cannot let my 20-month-old wander freely doing whatever he wills while I swiff or meal plan or change the sheets on the bed. I cannot ignore him for such durations of time. I suppose if and when I have multiple children, I will become better at ignoring them, but for now I haven’t perfected that skill. Oh yes, I do believe it is a skill because I’ve seen a dozen mothers at central park who do not have it. They follow their children around the play structures: “No Mariah, don’t pick up that pinecone.” “Come here, Mariah. Let’s climb up these steps.” “No Mariah, don’t lay down on the floor.” "Mariah, look at the doggie!” “Say hello, Mariah.” “Sa