31 December 2008

The obligatory Wrapping Up The Year post

Sorry that I've been silent since Lucy's birthday; it's been a crazywhirlwindsuperattackholidayseasonwahoo! little bit busy around here.

We survived Christmas with surprisingly little shrieking due to overstimulation. This was especially surprising when we went to Christmas at Dad and Mary Jane's, where there were six children under the age of four enjoying their presents in a (relatively) decorous manner. I mean, given that they are kids, and there was wrapping paper flying in all directions. Lucy made out like a bandit; she got tons of clothes and a few awesome new toys. Best toy? She got a keyboard that she.absolutely.loves. My little brother watched her pound on the keys for a little while -- she's figured out that different keys make different sounds, and will adjust her pounding according to what she wants to hear; she also knows how to make it play her a song so she can dance -- and then commented that he knew of someone else born on her birthday. That would be Beethoven.

Not saying she's a musical genius or anything; just a fun fact.

Looking back on 2008...well, a friend of mine sent me an email on my birthday (number 29, and for the first time, thankyouverymuch) and said pretty much "You've had an awesome year; you must be so proud. Good for you!" and it really made me take stock of everything that's gone on in the past 13 months.

What I said to my friend, I will say now to you. I really felt the solstice this year. I swear, I knew in my bones the moment the sun started to turn around and come back to us. I feel like I have been in a dark night of the soul for -- well, a lot of years, really. Depression hasn't been the right word, not exactly, but whatever it was, it peaked in the weeks and months after Lucy was born, and it didn't really start to lighten up until the past month or so. But that moment, on the solstice -- I felt that one. In my bones.

This is a much more articulate conversation in my brain, so I thank you for bearing with it while I try to sort it out on (digital) paper.

I feel lighter. For the first time in years, I am enthusiastic about the new year. About the potential it holds. About the challenges it brings. About the opportunities and possibilities and the It's A Wonderful Life moments.

There is such darkness in the world. I don't get political or relevant here very often -- this place is my escape, not my platform -- but my heart broke this morning, hearing about the fighting in the Gaza strip. Realizing how lucky I am to live in a part of the world where violence -- well, we have our own problems, don't we, but people aren't dropping rockets on us. That takes me pretty damn far on a daily basis, you know?

I've started feeling this way a few months ago, when I started going to church again regularly. I haven't talked about it, because it's so incredibly personal...and if you have anything mean or even just critical about that decision, you can take it somewhere the hell else for now, thanks kindly...but I'm glad. I'm making the right choices. And I'm very happy about them.

Feel free to remind me of this next year when I (yet again) fire November.

16 December 2008

You look like a monkey...

but you smell like a sweet little baby girl.

Today, a little more than a year and an hour ago, a star shone in the east -- well, no, not quite, a snowstorm rose up in the middle of the night, which meant that my stubborn daughter decided it was the perfect time to make a slightly more dramatic than strictly necessary entrance into the world. This has become the modus operandi of one little Miss Lucy Joy.

Someone said to me last weekend, as we celebrated Lucy's birthday, that we had named our girl perfectly. Lucy means "bringer of light," and that is absolutely what she does.

My response? "She's pretty cute. I think we'll keep her."
Which is my trademark New Englander way of saying "My entire life has been reshaped around this tiny bundle of high powered energy, and I'm not sure what I would do if she were not here with me."

I can't believe the pictures I see of the day she was born, where she fit under my chin, and her feet were barely at the bottom of my breasts. Where she looked dwarfed by my (suddenly monstrously large) breasts as she smacked me around to get what she wanted.

I've been very clear with a lot of people over the past year; motherhood is not this golden fog of wonderfulness. Those daydreams you have of curling up with the baby for a gentle snooze completely skip the part where you haven't showered in days, your house is a mess, and you're so exhausted that even when you have the chance, you can't sleep. The part where the baby hates your favorite song; even hearing Glowworm tinkle out "Rockabye Baby" reduces her to hysterical tears. It sounds sweet to hear stories about moms singing themselves hoarse because it's the only way to stop the baby screaming -- until it's you.

There's so much about my girl that is completely inscrutable. I've survived phases and spells and situations which have a cause I can only guess at. There were the two weeks where baths caused screaming so loud I stopped hearing sound and started hearing vibration. The past two weeks, where going to sleep is JUST NOT ALLOWED. The sudden desire to bite my left nipple -- but only the left one.
The complete and total love of music, and dancing, and mama's good cooking (smart move there, kiddo). The way she goes completely still and silent to listen to "Lucy's song," aka that Bach lullaby that's on every kid's mobile ever made. The way she slowly got back to trusting that she was safe in the bath, even though it meant that I once climbed in mostly clothed, because I couldn't conceive of making her wait and cry while I got undressed. Every time I think that I can't survive another second, she snuggles into me, or gives me this sweet, desperate look that says that I am her world, and she trusts me, and she knows I can help.

And yet, there's this way she has. She's growing up already, and I'm so proud of her. She crawls away from me all the time, goes around a corner, and then panics because she can't see me. Puts herself to sleep, then wakes up in a tizzy because we're gone. Falls asleep as soon as we walk back into her room.

She's precious. I adore her.
I think we'll keep her.

05 December 2008

Is it Friday yet?

Thank goodness.

Work is always nuts at the beginning of the month, and then it gets crazier after a holiday. I should have known that Monday and Tuesday were going to be oy-yoy-yoy. And they were.

I want to say a quick thanks to all the Canadians who've been so carefully explaining all the ins and outs of what's going on with the parliament; our local papers here are reporting everything in a very sensational style (shocking, I know), and I've enjoyed calming down my co-workers.

Finished the Cardigan for Merry, and I will try to set up a photo shoot this weekend, although the sweater came out much closer to 18 mo size than 12, so it's a bit too big for Lucy to be happy about; I may pack it up and call it a Christmas present. It's not like she'll know the difference, so we'll see. Cast on a sweater out of the blue Cashsoft DK that I have, and I'm loving how it's going...I'm thinking of using it as a canvas to learn needle felting or embroidery. We'll see how I feel by the time it's done.

I want to work on my grey aran sweater that I started to replace the sweater that Lucy hates because it's scratchy, but I keep getting distracted by knitting for other people (shocking, I know).

I have nothing else to report. :) There might be pictures on this blog again, someday. Until then...

01 December 2008

November: Survived!

Next up, December.

See, it's good for me; the writing this is finally starting to happen again after a five year dry spell (there were lot of reasons there, and we don't talk about them in polite company anymore to protect the innocent, okay, so just trust me that it was HELL and BAD and all things TERRIBLE), and I'm fascinated by the words I'm churning out on a daily basis. I wrote 33K words last month, which is more than I've written in the last THREE YEARS put together. I was talking to my friend J today about the story I'm working on, and how all the modern vampire stories have missed the point, because they are equating being consumed with being loved, and it's not the same, and maybe that's part of what this story is about, and I just love it, darlings, I LOVE it.

I've been knitting, too, almost done the Cardigan for Merry, which was annypurls adaptation of the Cardigan for Arwen from IK a few years back for her little boy; Lucy's version is pink (I know, I think I'm coming down with something), but as I've said a zillion times before, I have time to knit and write or take pictures of my knitting and blog about them, so the first is winning, especially since I've got an almost-12 month old to chase around all the darn time. She's cruising like crazy, and resisting all efforts by the grandparents to "teach" her to walk; try to stand her up, and she will sit down on her butt, hide her hands, and give you the most petulant look; she'll do it in her own time, thank you very much.

I swear, her first sentence will be "Mama, I do it."

Have I mentioned lately that I'm totally in love with this baby girl?

Someone asked me the other day how I felt about motherhood. When I got done laughing, I asked him if he wanted the truth, or the PC version. He asked for the truth. So here it goes.

I hate it. I hate not getting enough sleep, having no time to myself. I hate planning for three people when I just want a cup of coffee. I hate having to get up earlier so I can get me AND someone else ready before I go for work. I hate not being able to eat brownies for dinner because someone else needs a nutritious dinner. I hate being relied on, depended on, and knowing that my saying the word "no," can break someone's world, not because she wants to do whatever it is so badly, but because she is stressed that I look upset with her. I hate that because I let myself be convinced to "sneak out" yesterday, rather than saying good-bye when I knew it would upset her, and then got punished all night long because she was so afraid that I would disappear again.

I hate it, and yet I wouldn't trade it for anything; not all the knitting time in the universe, or all the sea silk in the Handmaiden Vaults.

Just now, I could hear her whimpering a bit in her room; I didn't even have to get all the way into the room before she started to settle down. As soon as she heard my voice, I saw her shoulders relax, heard the tension ease out of her tiny voice.

Being a mom; it's a pain in the ass, but it's as good as it fucking gets. Pardon the profanity, but -- it's just the way it is. :)