August 22, 2011

Famine and Feast

As I continue to make the adjustment from I-take-myself-too-seriously office manager to Levi's full-time sidekick, I have learned a few things. Most importantly, I have learned that being Levi's full-time sidekick is really tiring. And that in that role I can still take myself too seriously, but it's a lot harder because I am so tired.

Second, the prospect of spending nearly all my waking hours doing what I want to do can often lead to doing a lot of nothing. List making, which until now has just been an outlet for neuroses, now provides an outlet for neuroses AND documentation that I have not simply frittered away my day. Of course, the only person who needs such documentation is me, as no one else in my life would ever ask what I did all day. But on many days, I ask myself, so the list of accomplished missions makes me happy.

And third, I have learned that my kid is amazing. Yes, I already knew this. But as his curiosity and vocabulary expand by the minute, he just blows me away. The things that he says and does astound me, though somehow it seems that writing them down for the blog would make them seem trivial, even normal (What?! You mean every kid this age adds 5 new words to his vocabulary everyday?! Mine isn't the only one?). So you'll just have to take my word for it. This kid is amazing.

In my first week or two home, another stay-at-home mom observed to me that activities and obligations can lag for a while, only to all hit at once. This feast-or-famine pattern has definitely marked the last two weeks for me. So when I am not just staring at Levi in wonder - or chasing him - here is what we're doing:

First, we got out of town for a few days last week (or was the two weeks ago?). The circumstances were not ideal, but due to a death in Lindon's extended family, we made a quick trip to PA for a long weekend. It was indeed a quick trip, but it gave us a chance to see a lot of family. Levi got to see all of his cousins, many of his aunts and uncles, and some of his grandparents, too.

Second, the weather gods have shown mercy on St. Louis and offered some days that have been unequivocally beautiful. We have spent many a morning playing outside at the park or just in the back yard. My strategy of getting Levi to wear himself out before his nap has worked intermittently, but, generally, we spend our mornings playing hard.

Third, writing. A couple assignments have given me lots to do during Levi's naps, and I love it. Some are big assignments, and some are small pieces, but all writing is good in my book.

And speaking of books, for the first time in a forever I have a chance to do some reading! For fun and for work. Earlier this summer Lindon and I decided to watch "The Kennedys" miniseries on Netflix. During each episode we found ourselves saying, "It couldn't have REALLY happened like that...could it?" When we read that the History Channel dropped the series during production due to its lack of historicity, we really became curious. So I picked up a copy of Doris Kearns Goodwin's "The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys: An American Saga" so that we could get a better idea of what actually happened with these two families (Interestingly, the last time I attempted the behemoth was during my last pregnancy. This current attempt has been far more successful, but it interests me that pregnancy causes me to crave biographies). I am slowly working through the book, and it is fascinating. The level of Goodwin's research is fabulous, which wasn't exactly true of the miniseries (which we still liked, by the way).

And my freelance career has taken a new turn when, for the first time ever, I have been asked to interview an author about a forthcoming book. No, it's not a best-selling author by any means, but I still think it's kind of fun. It's not every day you get to read a book that is not in its final form (unless you work for a publishing company, in which case I envy you). Here's to hoping I can conjure some questions that are actually interesting.

We have also had some fun excursions creep up here and there - an evening making dinner for friends, a trip out to the country for a birthday celebration, play dates with other kids, a super awesome 3-hour glucose tolerance test, stuff like that. But the "busy" days seems to all crunch together, making the feast and famine contrast all the more striking. Last Friday I had to budget every nanosecond of time in order to accomplish all the things I needed to get done that day. And today? Well, we took a walk. That's about all the fun we're going to have. But it's ok. As much as I am tempted to think every other stay-at-home mom is out conquering the world while I contemplate the dirty kitchen, that simply isn't the case.


At any rate, some days the routine is fun and exciting. Other days it's not. That's life right now. And if you want to come keep me company while I attack the dirty kitchen, please know you are certainly welcome.

August 15, 2011

Hello, Terra

So, here is the new bike, in all her glory. She is a Terranaut Wanderer, and if you've never heard of Terranaut, you're in good company. While the brand popped up occasionally on Craigslist, I had a hard time finding out any information on it. Even this guy didn't have any info on his website to aid my research. Turns out, it was the house brand for years for a St. Louis cycling company called The Touring Cyclist. 

When this dusty frame appeared on Craigslist for next to nothing, I figured it was worth a look. It was. Though the bike was filthy when I brought it home, cleaning it revealed a really pretty frame that appears to have spent most of its life sitting around unused. Once I saw how pretty she was, I decided she needed a pretty pannier, too.

While naming bicycles is not really my thing, as I pulled away from the seller's apartment with my new treasure I thought to myself, "I shall call her Terra." Instantly I heard Scarlett O'Hara's father saying, "...from whence you get your strength." That made me happy. So Terra she is, though most of the time I just refer to her as "the new bike" or "the Terranaut." 

Admittedly, the bike is not exactly a perfect fit for me. You don't have to be a bicycle wiz to realize that if the seat is properly placed in the first picture (which it kind of is), the handlebars are low (which they are). Some adjustments certainly need to be made, and we are getting to those one by one. But this bike just makes me happy. Such a nice looking bike in such nice shape for such a nice price. 

And yes, Pa O'Hara's voice accompanies me on my rides, urging me up those hills that I simply do not feel like climbing.