303/365: Inside the Box

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This is Iris, seen through the back “window” of her new giant box fort.

The box is courtesy our new lawn mower Carl picked up yesterday (“built in wifi and finger print recognition!” he texted me from the store [NOTE: it does not have built in wifi or finger print recognition, and even I am not quite that gullible. My return text was the skeptical eyes emoticon]). Of course, we had crazy intense rain off and on yesterday afternoon, so there was no actual mowing involved, and our backyard looks like bucolic 18th century—kidding.

Overgrown. Our backyard looks really overgrown.

To be honest, I’m sort of proud of us for even starting to pick up the pieces after our fun but crazy week. We had a good time in GR, full of cherry-picking and swimming and long, lazy naps, but my poison ivy rash also turned out to be way more evil than I thought (including huge patches ALL EFFING OVER MY ARM AND LEG AND BELLY. DON’T EVEN ASK). Iris was totally happy on her little mattress on the floor by my bed (soooooo much easier than trying to reach into a pack’n’play with my now ginormous belly… illustrated best by the well-meaning clerk at the grocery store who said with an encouraging smile “any day now, right?!?!” Sadly, no. Still 10 weeks), but while Iris was happy on her mattress, she did manage to roll off it about three times every night to wake up with an indignant squawk at landing on the cold floor. I eventually learned to ring the mattress with pillows. She still rolled off and squawked, but she didn’t actually wake up either when she fell off or when I scooped her up and put her back in the middle of the mattress. So… call it a win? Carl painted the ceiling, the stairs, AND the ledges on the main floor while we were gone, but he also caught a nasty cold and spent large chunks of Thursday and Friday on the couch.

You know. Life stuff.

On Monday I woke up with a sore throat and between the fear of getting sick, the desire to sleep for just 12 more hours, and the general jumble of dirty clothes and overgrown grass and no food in the fridge, we managed to completely forget a doctor’s appointment and a tentative hangout with friends.

Ugh.

Have you read the “make the job smaller” post that’s making it’s rounds on the internet lately? It’s short and sweet, and if you read the sentence before this, you’ve already got the gist of it. When life is overwhelming: make the job smaller.

Last week was a lot of fun, but staring at my life and house and kid and book this morning I do feel a bit… overwhelmed. I’m five or six thousand words behind on the novel. Iris is BUSY these days, and I can’t shake this guilty feeling that a good mommy would probably be all over helping her with her verbal development and challenging her mind with something besides Curious George reruns and helping me fold the laundry (or, you know, throwing the clean clothes all over the floor). Pretty much every surface in the house could stand to be cleaner. We’ve killed 3 mice already, and we heard another one rattling around in the kitchen last night after we were in bed.

And I’m slowing down. I’m 30 weeks pregnant, and I already feel that gentle, scary coasting sensation as everything in life starts to concentrate down to one tiny point. I walk slower and think slower, and nothing feels very important except that I’d really like to curl up on a couch in a cold, cold room with a beading glass of lemonade. And maybe a book, although the book isn’t strictly necessary. Little Man is big enough now that I can pass a lot of time with one hand on my belly trying to tell the difference between his head and elbow and the borders of a small foot that protrudes for a second and then disappears.

In the midst of all THAT, then, is my new goal: Make the jobs smaller.

… and if there’s a certain sameness to all my posts lately, it’s just because this is where I live right now. In the trying-to-figure-out place, slightly past the-journey-begins place and not quite to the cheerfully-full-steam-ahead place.

It’s a season of learning to be steady, to focus on the kind of tasks that don’t get done in a semester, where you can’t just turn off your phone and forget about it for the weekend.

It’s all good stuff.

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2 thoughts on “303/365: Inside the Box

  1. Fantastic picture of Iris from the box…and a great post full of thoughts I can remember about early motherhood and hot weather and feeling like a GGS (great, grey ship, as they say in the navy) for the last third of pregnancy. And TIRED! It was sure great to have you visit, though. Thanks so much for making the effort to come! May the mice disappear and the grass get cut. And, other than that, may your jobs get smaller and easier!

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