day 30: happy birthday hankster

To the dearest little brother, happy birthday. I love you. I’m so proud of you. You’re one of my best friends (you share that honor with A, la’M, and and Karl) and you make life better each day you’re around. It’s hard to believe you’re 15. Our adventures when you were four and I was 16 number in my fondest memories; 1, 2, and 3, 5, 6, and 7 were pretty great too. I missed you terribly when I went to college, I came back and got to spend 4th and 5th grades with you (remember our walks home from school?) and next thing I know you’re a sophomore in highschool.

I love you so much. You really are wonderful; don’t ever forget that or tell yourself otherwise. Your laugh is beautiful: never surrender your joy.


day 29: stieff

Today was spent piano shopping. We only saw one piano, but everything revolved around the trip. It seems a very nice piano, and we may very well buy it, but I’ve contacted a technician to make sure it would be a wise buy.

e was pretty wonderful in the car on that long drive there. It was 40 minutes away, which is five times longer than e generally tolerates the carseat. Luckily, baby beluga was enough to stave off all but three minutes of crying. Our visit was pleasant as well; two friendly dogs simply loved e, and that love was returned, and the seller was like the morning sun.

We left and e had had enough of the car so we stopped at the mall, seven minutes down the road from the piano. He took a nap while I wandered and when he woke up we were off again, in much happier moods. It was so wonderful to finally come home again. A 9 to 1 day is unusual to us. Even better, A surprised us by coming home early. And then dad came over! All in all it was a very good day indeed.

day 28: surgery

It was another beautiful day. I spent most of it excited for braces, the last step in my journey to a functional right side. My hopes were dashed, though, by a heavy sheet of paper signed by one Dr. P., a mysterious radiographer who initially found the source of my pain and then told my that the past year and a half of appliances and jaw jutting have been for naught.

My right disc is still displaced, and the deformity in the bone is worse. Degeneration is accelerating due to the unnatural wearing. Arthritis is setting in. It’s a circus, and not a happy one.

The surgery scares me. It’s not often done, and there are few joint specific studies.

Also, e rang the bells hanging from the front door today. We leave them there for boomer to tell us when she wants to go outside. The sound and his joy were marvelous. Cacophony at its greatest. Then he gave me a big huge kiss.


day 27: one fine day

Our string of good days is unprecedented for the depths of winter! Indeed we’ve been enjoying the sunshine in the sunroom to great effect. E continues his explorings and boom continues her vocalizations and I continue my quest for myself.

The morning began well, as most mornings do, with a quick (but really actually too long) burner of 21-18-15-12-9-6-3 kettlebell swings (#44) with 3-6-9-12-15-18-21 romanian deadlifts (#115) but bean started crying at the 15 set of swings and so I ran back and forth between comforting him and finishing the workout. All together that left me at 12:19 of a raised heart rate. My grip was really struggling on the last few rdls; it is long past time for me to get used to our men’s bar. I think if I name it, it’ll be better, more like a friend. Or someone I want to conquer. I think I’ll name it cash.

Also, hello montessori.


day 26: window watching

Yesterday, we opened the doors to the sunroom, shivered at the cold soaking our bare feet and caressing our cheeks, raised the blinds and wondered at a world waiting for snow. boomer was territorial I f her windows at first, barking and growling as e crawled near. But I distracted her with a rowdy game of fetch and afterward, breathless, she resigned herself to her brother.

e was amazed by the outdoor scene, but his attention turned to movement, as it always does these days. He crawled to the low bookcase (actually a sanded and painted shipping crate) resting on the floor and pulled himself up, eagerly patting his hands and feet, so excited for his height. He is far from being a paragon of stability, but his enthusiasm means he practices, endlessly.

What persistence and what joy this wee boy holds! I’ll never let anyone give him cause to loosen his grasp.


day 25: witching

The witching hour, somebody had once whispered to her, was a special moment in the middle of the night when every child and every grown-up was in a deep deep sleep, and all the dark things came out from hiding and had the world all to themselves.

― Roald Dahl, The BFG

Sweet bean has entered that magical world of witching, and I tag along sleepily. Last night I awoke to an empty bed and a blurry view of a little bum. Bean had pulled himself up to the grownup bed and stood there, surveying his sleeping companions. I think he had every intention of climbing up and playing with boomer, but I gathered him back to our mat before he had a chance. Thank goodness he didn’t lose his balance; those skull-cracking impacts are more than I can bear. We played for a bit then drifted off to sleep again. This morning, I found him halfway to the space heater. It looks like we’ll be rearranging some furniture tonight.

Today was my first day in the gym since 2014. It has been a long time. I always have this problem: whenever I stop exercising for whatever reason, I have a bear getting started again. Sometimes it’s a teddy bear, sometimes it’s a koala bear; this time it’s a polar bear.


I’ve had false starts; here’s pledging today’s start will stick.

day 24: swimming

Bean had his very first swimming lesson today! We’ve been so excited. I signed him up this past Thursday for their very last spot, and we’ve anticipated it since. A came home as soon as he finished coaching and we left for the pool immediately. In truth it was the fastest we’ve been out of the house since bean was born! Walking into the locker room, I was regaled with memories of elementary through high school: the chlorine in the air, my feet splashing through puddles, little girls rushing around trying to get their bathing suits on or struggling out of them. This time, though, I was a mom.

With bean in his new suit, we made our way onto the deck and sat while waiting for his instructor. It was a rather a mess: we were one of 15 other parent-child pairs, but for all of that it was everything I had imagined it would be. We waded into the water and bean had a beautiful time splashing and floating, doing the “rock and roll” and climbing into and out of the pool. He didn’t much care for the “pop, goes the weasel” game and by the end he was shivering and hungry so we left early. Still, it was beautiful.

To have A there on the deck, taking pictures and watching proudly, was wonderful. It was a perfect family thing to do. After the swim lessons, I fed bean and the we fed ourselves at Del Ray Cafe. The waiter was fun-loving and friendly as always, and the buckwheat gluten free pancakes were delicious and fluffy. Loathe to end the day, we lounged at M.E. Swings with coffee and tea and then wandered around MOM’s, the grocery store. Finally we came home to boom and had a few great hours sitting in the kitchen, being a family.

Soon, bedtime. All the reading caught up to me and I fell asleep with bean before the sky even darkened. He ended up waking at 0030, and was not going back to sleep. So, here I sit at 0330, finally catching up with the going-ons of my simple, sweet life. Bean is back asleep, and so I’ll go as well. But maybe a chapter first.

day 23: car’a’carn

I am well enamored with Robert Jordan’s epic

    The Eye of the World

. My first brush with it was the summer of my high school senior year, but it was incomplete at the time. I predicted I’d never be able to finish: with real life looming and the belief that that summer was to be my very last taste of freedom and leisure (things are so black and white for me) I imagined I’d never read the conclusion, even if Jordan lived long enough to write one.

Jordan, in fact, died before he finished, but the story was completed by one of his dear friends, Brian Sanderson. And now, stress-less as I am, I’ve undertaken the exciting task of finishing the series. I began again at the beginning, and am on the fifth volume.

The story is riveting. I turn those pages, spellbound. Most nights I find myself reading through 300 or so before I finally switch off my nightlight. This takes me into the wee hours of the night, leaving me a zombie when e wakes up. I catch up on sleep during naps, but this book party lifestyle is a young woman’s game.

Despite my reckless abandon when faced with this story, I do not care for most of the characters in this world. The women especially make me cringe. To be fair, those of the three-fold land I rather admire, but wetlanders all I could do without.

He shall slay his people with the sword of peace, and destroy them with the leaf.
–The Dragon Reborn, Chapter 6

day 22: now

In the absence of the interview’s shadow, life seems light. But without that weight, I find myself spinning about, dizzy with freedom yet longing just a bit for a tamper to the incredible lightness of being. What can offer the mass I seek?

Only these: my goals, my morals, the urgent task of bettering myself. My views of what constitutes improvement changes each day; the environment I’ve chosen no longer values grades or salaries or status. Instead, I’ve found myself in that place I didn’t realize I sought: that garden of possibility which asks me to cultivate my soul and my mind and my body without catering to separate definitions of worth, but is solely responsible to God and God within me. This, finally, makes sense.

day 21: yesterday’s dream

Yesterday marked the last day of interviewing for what has come to seem a dream job. The people are engaged and engaging, the environment is clean, bright, and all hail the work as stimulating and flexible. Ahhh, but is it flexible enough? Sadly, I think it might be on par with a Level II yogi where I really need @cyberyoga.


The thing is, if it isn’t, it really isn’t worth it.

What’s most important? bean. Taking a job which interferes with his upbringing serves to put the first thing last. When I don’t have to, why do it?

I’ve struggled so long to come to terms with my decision to stay home. I find no argument in my heart, but all around I feel the pressure to conform to what is expected. I think, in this case, my heart deserves a fair hearing. I’ll continue to listen to it barring a drastic change in fortune which would require me to work. In the meantime, I’ll keep looking for flexible jobs, and keep brainstorming start-ups.