Falling for Fall

I love Fall. I never used to. As a kid, fall meant bulky scratchy ill-fitting sweaters and tights that wouldn’t stay up. It meant school and lots of stay-inside days. In high school, Fall and Winter meant rain and if it rained then the hairspray on my bangs would completely lose all it’s stiffness and my day would be ruined. Oh the horror.

But now I love wearing bulky clothes. I hardly ever wear tights but I love wearing socks. I still don’t really love rain but I could care less what my hair looked like. I love the crisp air in Fall and the blue blue blue skies. I love taking walks with Baby Bug and not feeling drops of perspiration run down my back underneath the baby harness. I love sipping hot drinks and walking on a beach completely bare of tourists. I love thinking about pumpkins and butternut squash soup and warm cozy things like making pies.

Speaking of… I wonder if I’ll be able to pull off making pies now that I have a baby. It was such an achievement for me last year. I think I can do it. And you know why? Because I AM the MASTER MEAL PLANNER!!! [insert cheery tooting kazoo music here] Meal planning rocks. I thought it was a silly idea at first. Just one more thing to fill up my day. I thought it was overkill. I mean what are you going to ask me to do next? Lay out my clothes on the bed the night before and iron my shirts! Enter my receipts into an Excel spreadsheet? That’s just silly talk.

You know what? Meal planning works. It was a very productive exercise to force myself to sit down and think about what I had on hand and what I needed from the grocery store. I usually just wing it and it’s a good thing I’m creative because you know how well winging it works. Then I got out my big fat Joy of Cooking cookbook (that I just happen to be reading these days. I kid you not.) and I picked out one new recipe to try. We have “new recipe night” now. It’s kinda fun. Except I think I’m either allergic to walnuts or I poisoned myself. (I’ll try to link the recipe on my cooking blog and link it here later.)

I feel like such a fake trying to be so domestic but it’s not that bad really. If I’m here being a mom 100% of the time, I might as well embrace all the facets of professional wife-and-momhood and be good at it. It just feels so foreign. I’m not a good cook. I don’t really like to clean. I’d rather spend all my time playing on my computer and making things. But this is what fits around the baby’s nap times and this is what makes my family happy. So I’m going to do the best job I can. And maybe along the way I’ll enjoy it and become a good cook. Imagine that!

Enough about that. Here are some more swing pictures. We have a lot of pictures of Baby Bug in the swing. Mostly because we go to the park EVERY DAY!!! I have to. It keeps me sane. But these pictures are special because I sort of almost got a picture of her peek-a-boo invisible new tooth. It’s there, I can feel it. It just doesn’t really show up well, especially in a gritty slideshow.

fastidious freak

I put the baby’s pacifier back in her mouth when she woke up from her nap and guess what? She went back to sleep! I’ve been getting her up when she starts to rouse but now I’m thinking I should leave her in her crib more often and let her take long naps if she needs them. What a revelation!

Every day I learn new things about Baby Bug. She really is something else.

I’m looking at my big pile of bills and papers to file and miscellaneous projects to finish and then I look at the clock and the sleeping baby and say, phooey! I’m going to blog instead of “getting things done”. This is my downfall. I only have so much free time during the day and my priorities are thus:

1. clean the house
2. write a blog post
3. answer emails
4. read blogs and comment
5. tackle projects/work

I’m proud that I usually manage to clean the house but I’m sad that work is at the very bottom of the list. I lag lag lag on work. I guess my heart just isn’t in it anymore. What I really need is a big cup of coffee and then I could power through it in half a day. But I can’t drink coffee anymore. Or can I?

This is where I need an “Ask the Internets” category like Kristin has. I’ve been letting myself have a sip of coffee now and then (because I’m falling asleep sitting up and my eyeballs feel like scratchy balls of gravel) and I’m not sure if those are the days that Baby Bug is extra fussy and won’t go to sleep promptly at 8 p.m. like she usually does or if it’s just a coincidence. I am not very scientific in my testing and there are so many variables from day to day I’m often completely confused. So what does caffeine do to babies and does it hurt their development?

I really miss my coffee.

So what else is new? I’m loving having a new car. It’s so great to be able to get up in the morning and plan my day without having to negotiate with Toby and his photography schedule over whether or not he needs the van. Freedom is wonderful. It’s also scary. I’ve realized that my odds of getting in a wreck or hurting Baby Bug in some way have jumped exponentially. But I can’t just sit at home in a bubble all day. I must get out and go to IKEA and Target and Baby’sRUs! The possibilities for good old fashioned American consumerism are endless! Arg.

I hate it that half of my fun outings involve shopping for things that are going to fill up the landfill. Do I really need a plastic high chair that only costs $19? Yes, yes I do. It’s so much better than the monstrosity peg perego one that I got hand-me-downed from the kid’s I babysit. Ugh. Just thinking about cleaning rice cereal out of the nooks and crannies of the nylon cushion gives me the heebie jeebies. The new plastic high chair is so sleek and visually it takes up half the space because it is white and it blends right into the wall. I love that. If I weren’t worried about boring Baby Bug to death, I’d like it if everything baby oriented was white and invisible. I love color, I do. I just hate how it clutters up my house. But Baby Bug’s happiness comes first so brightly colored plastic things are a big part of our life whether I like it or not. We’ve already talked about that.

I watched a show on garbage the other day and it almost kicked me into being a raging environmentalist again. Not that I ever was but I did go to college in the bay area so some liberalism rubbed off on me. Speaking of environmentalism… there was a sticker on my new car that said fumes from my car could cause cancer and birth defects! Why is this world so depressing! Is the new car smell going to melt Baby Bug’s brain cells? I think I should ditch the car and buy a bamboo bike. But then I’d have to breath all the exhaust and break dust from all the cars that are whizzing by me and giving me the finger because I am causing traffic jams with my baby strapped to my back who likes to arch her back and cause me to weave about dangerously.

I guess we’re all going to die one way or another.

About the “towel spreading” that I mentioned yesterday… (as if you are all waiting anxiously to find out what that is about) Back in college I used to live with my best friend from high school and she had OCD. I’d never experienced this kind of freakish cleanliness before. As you know, I was raised in a MUCH DIFFERENT environment. I was in for a big education on how to keep things neat and clean. Daily, I got lessons on why I should not use hair spray in the bathroom. (The residue! The spots on the mirror! The smell! The air must be clean for the plants to breath! I had to go outside to spray my bangs into perfect submission. Or even worse not use hairspray! ) If I took down a message on the pad of paper by the phone, I had to place the pencil beside the pad in an exact way or else all hell would break loose. We had this little string that attached the pencil to the pad of paper and I remember the string HAD to be wrapped around the pad. You couldn’t just leave it laying any old way it fell. Sometimes I would on purpose make lighting bold shapes out of the string just to piss her off. Thankfully my friend has always had a great sense of humor about her wackiness.

So anyway, my roommate/best friend from high school also liked to spread towels on all flat surfaces so that she wouldn’t have to dust. This meant all the countertops in our tiny little apartment kitchen had towels on them. On top of the refrigerator, the microwave, the shelves in the pantry…towels everywhere. We had a lot of towels. It used to drive me crazy. I hated the towels.

But somehow her funny little quirks have stuck with me through the years and now in my old age I have towels spread about on things I never would have thought possible when I first met her. I have a towel spread on the back of the toilet and on top of the microwave. And just the other day I bought black towels for the passenger side and back seat floor mats of my car. I got tired of looking at the little white flecks of lint and dust. Until I find a small vacuum that will plug into my cigarette lighter, the towels are going to have to do the trick. “Biff”* would be so proud of me. I’ve turned into a fastidious freak.

*not her real name of course