Thursday, March 31, 2011

who, me?

Should I try to explain my 2-week absence?

I fell off the blogging horse. I got overwhelmed. I tried to figure out a new way to post pictures, and couldn't do it in the 4-minute increments I had, so I gave up.

There. Now you know the exciting stuff.

Don't listen to what she's about to tell you.

Emry has a cold, just in time for his first flight on Saturday, just in time for me to fly alone with both the boys. And he was up most of the night last night - crying, fussing, nursing, restless. It was his worst night yet. It was quite unfortunate.

Who, me?

At 6 a.m., when he was crying unconsolably and refusing to nurse and just plain unhappy, I started to feel just a touch violent. I set the baby down on the bed and went to the guest room, where Mikhail often sleeps these days, and woke him up. This is why children have two parents, I said. You're on.

I am deeply suspicious of my mama's version of events.

I only needed about 15 minutes away for the anger to fade into plain old exhaustion. Luckily for me, since Elan was up and in the guest room bed with me within 10 minutes.

These are the moments when I wonder how single parents do it.

Friday, March 18, 2011

my little nugget

If Emry was on Twitter, this is what he'd tweet: "You know you're fat when your dada can froozle your shins."

In our family, froozle means to blow a raspberry, you know that thing you do when you can't resist squishy baby tummies, and, in our case, shins. A piece of terminology a la Mikhail's family.

Do you see that chin? Elan has it too. That's an Alper chin, a la Popa Al Alper, my mother's father, who is 101 years old. The ears, however, appear to be from my dad's side of the family, specifically my Grandpa Matty, who's in his 90s.

And for comparison, here's Elan at around the same age:

That's some strong genes.

Monday, March 14, 2011

just another day at the office

I have many posts sketched out in my mind but am drowning in work right now. Mikhail brought Emry by the cafe where I am holed up with my computer so that I could nurse him. Emry thinks Mama's office is pretty cool, especially when he gets to stare at my computer screen while I work.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


After Mikhail lost his job over a year ago and started working from home, he took over our home office and a corner of our bedroom became my office. It was a plain little space, my beautiful vintage table that I used as a desk perpetually piled with projects in progress.

Truthfully it was not a very inspiring place to work, but I don't usually do my creative writing at a desk anyway. I use a desk for paying bills and doing household and organization work. The work that needs more intense focus I usually do at cafes, away from the chatter of little voices. Or when the house is quiet, I often migrate onto the couch, laptop on - well - lap.

When I was pregnant and couldn't sleep, I often found myself rearranging furniture in my head. I think it was part of my obsessive need to make the baby a real entity, a tiny person who would need a changing table, storage for diapers and ridiculously small clothes. It was like if I could just figure out how to arrange the furniture to make it all work in our small house, I could guarantee that the baby I so longed for would become a reality.

But when it came to implementation, I hesitated. When was the right time to take the plunge - to buy a changing table, to wash the baby clothes, to buy the diapers, to move the contents of my desk into cabinets in the living room? And I struggled with what it meant to no longer have a desk, that symbol of working life. Would it mean that I was no longer a writer? Would it mean that motherhood would have overtaken my life completely, leaving me no opportunity for my creative life? Would it mean that I had no chance for paid work?

The funny thing is that it totally works for me to have my office downstairs. Most of my papers are contained behind cabinet doors, there when I need them but not where I have to look at them. My laptop is perpetually within reach and regularly carted up and down the stairs. I've pulled out a pewter bowl that was a wedding gift to hold my stack of unopened mail, which before would just stack up on the counter. Ironically, I'm generally better organized than when I had my own desk, and I've done more paid work since Emry was born than I had in the previous four years. Of course someday, I'd like to have a desk again. Mostly because that would mean that my gorgeous & super-smart husband had a full-time job again.

In the meantime, I love how the nook in my bedroom has been transformed. It's cozy and bright and warm. Perfect for cuddling up in the rocking chair and having a nice snack of milk. It's the baby's space, and it's magical to me.

mobile with removable cloth insects/finger puppets by Furnis Spielwelt

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

in the country

In the country, there are dirt roads and muddy puddles perfect for stomping.

A wooden swing at Grandma's house.

A barn full of baby goats.

Who turn riotous when we enter.

They're looking for milk.

Elan tries feeding them hay, but they prefer the real thing.

This makes me glad I have only one baby.

And look, here he is (with his handsome Dada).

There are other adventures to be found in the country, too -- like rock-hopping in the creek.

He was fearless about climbing over the rocks and wading through the water. It was just the right size creek for him. I watched him, marveling over how big and grown-up he seems, and remembering how, as a kid, I was also fascinated with creeks (they were such a novelty to this desert-grown girl).

Eventually, he did fall in and get sopping wet. But I don't have a picture of that. Mikhail and I had snuck off for a quick visit with the redwoods, just the two of us, a date in the country.