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Like St Patrick only slower

One more baby mouse caught and released this morning, which brings the grand total to 5 mice no longer inhabiting our basement. We will now start taking wagers on how many mice you think we'll catch before this trial is over. I predict 10, based on absolutely nothing.

A Quick Note to God

Dear Jesus,

We're coming up on Palm Sunday this weekend, and then it'll be holy week and time to remember the specifics of your death and resurrection. I have to admit that I haven't been very enthusiastic about it this year. It's usually fun waiting out Lent for Easter, but this year we're doing this longer waiting out thing, this 10-month wait-out thing, and it's making April 12th feel a little anti-climactic compared with June 7th.

I'm worried that I won't be able to sit through all the services next week, that the pain in my back and legs will get worse (if that's even possible!), that I'll be annoyed with the particulars of the services and sermons, and that Dan will fume all weekend from having to stand and play music all day Sunday. Also, I have nothing exciting to wear. Blue or gray mumu? God, you went through a lot of stuff in your life, but never pregnancy. That was your mom's thing, yes, but we don't know anything about her ordeal except the beginning and the end. That's not very helpful. It's easy to say that you're the handmaiden of the Lord when you haven't had a single day of nausea yet.

Anyway God, this is all to say that I'm sorry if I'm a bit too wrapped up in this other thing to properly celebrate Good Friday and Easter this year. Please keep checking in on us this year, not only next weekend. We have this little one on the way in June, and I hope you'll stop by for that occasion. I'm pretty stoked that because of your sacrifice this little boy or girl will come into the world blameless despite the sins that we all know he or she will come to commit. That's a hope I can get behind! So thanks from Lily or Harvey, and thanks from me and Dan. And from Rascal, who may not enjoy your love in the same way, but sure does enjoy the Easter ham!



Shameless Plug

In case anyone asks, we do have a registry for baby stuff. The site is a thing of beauty (Dan made it naturally) and you can find it here.

Apparently, babies need a lot of stuff. We have endeavored to choose items that are environmentally friendly, reusable, gender non-specific, and designed with care. That's why everything is so damn expensive. No just kidding; it's always that expensive. Happy shopping!

night life

Who says we're not cool: we had a party tonight, without even the excuse of a holiday! We stayed up late, drank beer, and played board games.

Well, two out of three ain't bad.

farming season starts today

I finally got my seeds today, after many weeks of anxious waiting. The delay was caused by an unusually high volume of folks looking for planting supplies, surely a good sign. The only problem is, now I'm not sure how I'm supposed to go about starting seeds! I've got my heating pad, my lights, and my soil-less medium, but what kind of containers should I use? Should I plan to transplant the seedlings to pots, or should I start them in something big enough to hold them until they go outside? How many seeds should I start? What kinds need to go first? Where will I ever put all the plants, should any of them germinate successfully, in the little garden? What a stressful hobby this is!

the end of a (short) era

I am now back to being a humble IA; my reign as the classroom teacher is over after only seven short weeks, with the return of the real teacher from her maternity leave. Less work for me now, yes, but less fun too! It was strange walking out of the building this afternoon right after the kids left. "But... people are still here doing things! What about the faculty meeting?!" I'm sure I'll get used to it in time.

At least leaving early meant that I could catch more of the Red Sox opener, but even that pleasure was denied me thanks to the torrential downpour we had all afternoon. Is April 6th too soon for baseball in New England? All signs point to yes. It is not, however, too soon for seed starting indoors, something which has still not begun yet. And peas outside soon! Better get going!


grow little seeds, grow!

The grand experiment in starting seeds has begun this evening with 40 tomato seeds and 12 hot pepper seeds heating up in the tray. I got Early Girl and Brandywine for the big tomatoes, both of which varieties I grew last year, but I replaced Super Sweet 100s cherry tomatoes with Gardener's Delight, which is supposed to be a little more tomatoey. The peppers are Hungarian Yellow Wax, which I have no idea what they'll be like but the description sounded fine. It won't take much for them to beat the unnamed jalepenos of last year, which I think ended up producing about nine peppers; admittedly, after a very late start!

Of course, everything has to germinate first, and then escape rot and damping off or whatever it's called; and then it has to grow quick to make up for the shipping delays. If we have to buy some plants this year it won't be the end of the world, because now I'm ready for the 2010 season, for real!


Knowing is half the battle

I am in week 3 or 4 of a long-running cold which has turned into a bitter cough... so bitter today in fact that I managed to strain muscles on either side of my ribcage. So I'm not only coughing every minute, but whenever I do so I have to hold my hands on my sides like chicken wings. Just when you thought I couldn't get any more attractive!

Anyway, at our meeting with our midwife last night, she gave me permission to take some children's cough medicine at nighttime to help me sleep. So we headed down to CVS to peruse their children's medication isle. After much deliberation, we picked out a Tryaminic brand with no added dyes. So we brought our choice up to the cash register, and before asking for my money the clerk printed out this message on a receipt and gave it to me to read:


Really? I said. Teens use this stuff to get high??? AWESOME!!! You see, it's been a really long time since I've been able to indulge in over-the-counter cold medicine, and CVS's PSA really got me psyched up for the experience.

A measly teaspoon later, I was sound asleep for 10 hours. If this is the kind of thing teens are into these days, at least it prevents them from having pre-marital sex!


this stressful Eastertide

We are done with Lent and on to Easter, having said the first Alleluias of the new season at the Easter Vigil this evening. Oh, isn't Episcopalianism fun! We will not feel like we've arrived, however, until we get to brunch tomorrow, which has less to do with the ancient rhythms of the traditional church and more with our state of desperate busyness and sickness. Leah is sicker than I am, laid up with a cough and some sprained rib muscles that give her intense pains every time she coughs, but I'm busier this weekend, with a working Easter of two services of trumpet-playing tomorrow. We didn't even manage to decorate eggs this year! Not even after I bought the special selected-for-light-color dozen at the egg farm and blew out all the eggs we ate or cooked with over the last couple days (not counting the ones that smashed in my hands).

I did find time, at least, to make hot cross buns today. They were rather more successful than the last time I tried them, and they were just the thing when we got home from the multi-hour Vigil service. I was observing Passover the last couple days (yes, with delicious sandwiches) but Easter takes precedence! Maybe we'll get the eggs sometime next week... or this summer, after the baby's born.

Anyways, Happy Easter everyone!


we're still alive

And we had a very pleasant Easter, all things considered, helped by the presence at our Easter brunch of a Yorkie puppy who was endlessly amusing to all of us, not counting Rascal. It was the biting around his face that he didn't really enjoy; that and the high-pitched barks directed at him I suppose. Us, we laughed. The church wasn't so bad either. I didn't even mind playing the two services, despite all kinds of complaints (privately, to Leah and my parents and everyone in the Bible study) over the past few weeks; it helped that they fed us well between shows. I'm still not doing it again next year though! Probably.

Now it's back to work, which is fine enough because the three days off felt like a week or so with all the different things we done. Also because I really do have a week off next week, which is something to look forward to: much gardening will be done over that time.

Five of the 52 seeds have sprouted so far.


Exciting Mornings

"Is Rascal Okay? He's coughing like he's hacking up something... Oh he's throwing up... and here's the home appraiser at the door!"

Why do I feel like this is a tiny window onto the rest of my life?


So I'm on day 12 of the continuous rib pain ordeal, trying to figure out how to live with these injured intercostal muscles which refuse to heal on account of they keep getting re-injured because I'm on day 12+7 of the most lingering cough in the friggin universe. I'm torn between mocking myself with condolences like, "May this be the worst thing that ever happens to you," because of course real people are really sick or injured for real long periods of time, but at the same time when you're eight months pregnant and all you want to do is be unconscious and instead you're reading blogs at one in the morning because you're in too much pain to lie flat and sleep, because you have to sleep on your side for the sake of the baby but both sides feel like they just came through a meat grinder because you had a 30 minute lag in the effectiveness of your children's cough medicine and you know tomorrow will be another day where you cringe at the thought of walking downstairs to the basement and picking up the laundry and putting it into the washer, because all of those things hurt like they're punishment in Singapore, but at the same time you've already put it off for three days because you thought you were slowly getting better, but then three coughs and you're back at square one with no clean underwear.

So if you're the type of person who tells pregnant women "Get all the sleep you can now before the baby comes!" it may be too late to save your soul. That may be the type of sin for which repentance goes unrewarded. On the bright side, if you've ever said that to anyone, but then also at a different time in your life you've actually been pregnant, then you're probably pretty well prepared for hell!


A plug for our healthcare provider

On Saturday morning I noticed my vision start to go blurry, which for most normal people would feel a bit disconcerting, and even more so when you recently went though a very expensive lasik procedure so this sort of thing wouldn't happen. Also, when you're pregnant everything can be a symptom of imminent death. So I called our midwife Rebecca and left a long message which contained the sentiments Sorry to bother you... blurry vision... I may just be going crazy.... but internet says I'm dying.

Rebecca promptly called me back and asked me a series of bizarre questions: Are your ankles swollen? Do you have a headache? Do you have pain anywhere else? "Well," I replied, "I'm pregnant, so you'll have to be more specific as to what magnitude of swelling/headache/pain concerns you."

Even though I assuaged her fears on the secondary symptoms front, she still insisted on coming over that afternoon to evaluate me. Hours later she was here at our door, blood-pressure monitor in hand, to make sure I wasn't showing signs of pre-eclampsia, which is pregnancy code for HOLY F-ING SHIT. Luckily, a two-minute screen of my blood-pressure and pee confirmed that everything is fine. Boy, then didn't I feel stupid. Like, um, sorry to make you drive all the way out here when I've just got a bout of lazy eye. Apparently I no longer manufacture enough blood oxygen to power a baby incubator and read at the same time.

As bad as I felt socially about the whole situation, it sure does beat a saturday afternoon in the ER getting simple symptoms checked out, which is what I would have had to do in a managed care situation. If that's not a plug for midwifery, I don't know what is!


happy Patriots' Day!

For the first time in many years, I slept in on the third Monday in April, but it's nice to know that those minutemen were out there fighting for my liberty from the English crown even though I wasn't there to watch. I'll still go take in the parade, of course, though sadly Leah won't be able to join me: her company is in New York and doesn't know how to celebrate freedom.

bee afraid, bee very afraid

Yesterday afternoon Rascal asked to go outside. We were of course happy to oblige, but once he was out he sniffed around for about thirty seconds until he noticed (with his keen sight-hound senses) a bee buzzing around within a couple feet of his head. He snapped at it four or five times, with increasing concern, but he couldn't catch it or chase it away; and when it came even closer and did a little circle around his head he decided he'd had enough and ran right back up the steps to the house. How we laughed. Poor little pup.

He has been spending a whole lot of time outside at other moments, though, as have we all. It sure is nice!

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