Gee, where do I start?
I am sipping tea with honey because I seem to have a little tickle in my throat. I know I am going to pay for this in about fifteen minutes because sweets make me nauseous. I feel strange talking to people about my particular brand of pregnancy nausea because it isn't stereotypical. I am not on the couch throwing up for three months. In fact, I rarely throw up. (Unless beans are involved. Can't do beans, thank you very much, or vegetable soup. Or pineapple really. And when I was pregnant with Gareth the smell of bread made me feel like I was going to throw up, so grocery shopping was always a little dicey.) What happens is I constantly feel like I must eat, but nearly everything makes me feel sick right after I've eaten it. After 7 first trimesters, I am now sure that this is a torture invented by the ancient Greeks. It smacks of Tantalus.
On the other hand, while I am sitting on the couch trying not to move and therefore disturb whatever equilibrium my stomach has gained, I like to watch Food Network. And I like to read about food. I just finished my annual re-reading of Laurie Colwin's Home Cooking: A Writer in the Kitchen. I first discovered Laurie Colwin's books at a library book sale when we lived in St. Louis. I did not realize she was dead until I had read most of the book and had already decided that I wanted to be Laurie Colwin when I grew up. When I learned that she had died at the age of 48, leaving behind her young daughter and husband, I burst into tears. It took me a while before I could pick the book up again to finish it. Now I re-read this book every year when I get it down to make her gingerbread recipe right after Thanksgiving. This year I got it down so my mother-in-law and my kids could make her gingerbread recipe. The book (and the recipe, which I highly recommend) is just as good as ever.
While I sit around and try not to feel guilty because Andy is doing the dishes at night and also dealing with a couple of hyperactive preschoolers, I also think about things like, those people who worry about homeschoolers being unsocialized have it all wrong. Yeah, I know. But this is why. I keep seeing and hearing references women make in blogs, on message boards, and in real life about how they call each other just to talk. I'm pretty sure this is a normal part of female socialization, and one I seem to have missed out on. Aside from it being impossible to talk on the phone in my house because of the NOISE and also because seeing Mom on the phone gives certain little people automatic permission (somehow) to do anything they are never, ever allowed to do, I have never figured out how to call somebody on the phone just "to talk". So apparently 17 years of formal schooling and immersion in peer culture was completely useless from that point of view. I still have no social skills.
Really, I think I was designed to write letters. Real letters. On paper. In pen. When I was a teenager, several of my best friends were long-distance (setting up a standard which holds to this day), and we would sit in class and write long, episodic letters to each other, mainly involving our novels, what TV shows we were watching, and how bored we were. I miss letters. E-mail was wonderful when people used to use e-mail like letters, but then e-mail took too long, and so people just wrote blogs to keep friends up to date and stayed up all night chatting with Instant Messanger. But then blogs took too long, and people switched to facebook and twitter. (Maybe they still IM, I don't know. I had to give up IM a long time ago because it took too much time. Which is also why I don't log on to facebook or twitter much anymore either.) With a pen and paper letter, you could write long, thoughtful responses even if it took you three or four days because paper and pen are so very much more portable than even the most portable computer, and far easier to use to compose long, thoughtful responses than a cell phone.
I'm such a Luddite.
Katydid asked me the other day, "Mommy, is one reason why some women don't like to be pregnant that it makes them look fat?"
Unrelated to Katydid's comment, which reminded me a little of an innocent comment my husband once made involving shrubberies, a green maternity shirt, and me being 9 months pregnant... I have started trying to exercise in the mornings. I think it is helping just a bit, although I can barely get through fifteen minutes without someone needing a stinky diaper changed.
The wind is blowing across the field like a freight train this afternoon, gusts up to 40 mph and a windchill of 5 degrees. In western NY, the Weather Channel reports "blinding snowfall." Here it's fairly clear. Puffy purple-gray clouds smear across the sky like healing bruises, that weird, pinkish late afternoon winter light glowing around them. The trees on top of the hill are a uniform wall of charcoal gray, alleviated here and there by a spike of piney green or a slash of stark birch white. Yellow grass tops bend over a crusty blanket of snow -- about 6 inches now, less than we had on Wednesday because it rained a little Wednesday night. Every now and then a wind gust whips up a handful of snow and flings it into the sky, but there's little drifting because ice is holding the snow in place.
The boys keep asking if it's winter now. Yes, dear, I say. It's winter. I make an imperfect attempt to build a fire in the woodstove every day now. I have finally ordered snow boots for everyone. I would love a big bowl of beef stew, but will settle for the pizza I am going to ask my husband to pick up on his way home. I am grateful I didn't have to take anyone out today. Instead, we all hunkered down inside, and listened to the wind blow.