Sunny, sore, satisfied.

I’m loving this morning. I woke up to Vera climbing gently across my chest asking for milk, and I kissed her cheek. She said "I love you, mama." Kind of a perfect start, if you ask me.

He shaved. He always looks so young to me when he does. He does this every year. He looks good to me no matter what. 🙂


So much love around these parts. I’m a lucky lady.

I’m very much inspired lately to get everything around here organized. That can sometimes be a task when you’ve got two adults who both have their organizational hang-ups (me: clothing and paperwork; jeff: tools and miscellaneous things), and a toddler who frequently resembles more of a tornado than anything else. I’m chipping away at it. I’ve got two months to keep working, and really it’s not like when the baby comes I have to stop. I’d just like there to be more order before then. My goals are as follows:

  • Donate lots more clothing (mostly kid stuff- people throw hand-me-downs at you, and I just have to remember to go through it right away and get rid of like half of it at a time. There’s no way Vera could wear all those clothes, and I can’t keep up with them, but at the same time it’s how we can clothe her for free. So I just have to be sure to sort and donate right away when I get a bag)
  • Clear closets and set them up for better storage (this goes for our little laundry area downstairs, too- it’s just not utilized well at all)
  • Finish Vera’s "big girl room" and make it a place she really likes to be in.
  • Get rid of more clutter. There’s so much that just ends up here that we don’t want to "waste", but it just can’t live here anymore. 
  • Finish misc. paint jobs

It’s totally do-able, and I’m even doing it, too. The unfortunate thing is that it makes everything look crazy during the transition period. Our bedroom just has piles of clothes stuffed in the corners. Vera’s room has boxes and bins and toys everywhere… but it’s really better! I have to keep that in mind.

One of the more gratifying things that I did recently was to get rid of all the plastic food storage containers that we don’t need. This one was hard because the city only recycles some kinds, and we don’t want to just toss it in the trash. We’ve found ways to recycle the other kinds, and our co-op will take some for people to reuse, so that’s good. But regardless, plastic is a pretty hazardous substance (from the production end and also just having it around us), and we just generally want to reduce our connection to it. To some degree contact is unavoidable, but we’re slowly making the change (a big one that we always got were yogurt containers, but now that I make it it’s stored in glass quart jars). Jeff’s been making calls to local places and asking about making packaging changes. We love Calder’s butter, but it comes in these plastic tubs. Jeff called them and the woman was really receptive. She said at one point they tried using re-usable crocks, but that it didn’t go over well with the public. They also liked the tubs because they hand cut the butter and weigh it in them… anyway. She took us seriously, and she said we could get butter in bulk monthly wrapped in wax paper, I believe. So we’re going to try that. I can separate it into pounds and keep the extra in the freezer. Anyway, here’s a bunch of tupperware collected over a few years that we just didn’t need at all, and it was taking up too much space. It’s all going away from here.

And here’s what we’re keeping. If it doesn’t fit neatly into this little bin, then it doesn’t get to live here. 🙂

It feels so refreshing.

Vera has been a bundle of joy and development lately. She talks a lot, and has a pretty big vocabulary for her age. She’s been speaking in big, compound sentences for a while now, and it’s SO fun. Every day we communicate better and better. She’s been really imaginative lately, too- and not just like pretending to talk on the phone or make us food. Like, yesterday morning she was hugging her special little bear and said "Don’t worry, we find your mama…" and kissed his little purple nose. So sweet. She’s also starting to have very strong preferences. She doesn’t care much what she wears on her actual body, but shoes and hats are entirely her domain.

Oooh! Potty training too! She’s been in "big girl undies" for a week tomorrow. Except at night, but that’ll come later. She doesn’t have many accidents, but she doesn’t have the poop down. I don’t know what it is, but she pees much more easily in the potty. I’ve heard that’s really common. Anyway, even with the poop accidents, it’s a way easier clean up than with diapers because she doesn’t like it and tells me right away. She’s really ready for this, and I’m so glad to be doing it before baby comes. 🙂

Mid-jump! I thrifted two floppy garden hats for us yesterday- mine is really nice and sturdy and I’ve been wanting to find one for a while. Hers is white with different colored flowers on it. I had to pin it up so she could see.

She’s really into music lately- she’ll stop what she’s doing and say "I really like this song!!!" She’s an excellent dancer, too. I’ll get a video up one of these days.

Close up of the shoe thing. She wears matches of everything else, but she consistently picks this combo as a pair. Both are slightly too small for her- one is pink and has a little strap across the top and a flower, and the other is a little tan high-top boot. She calls it "boots and shoes", and seems to understand something about it that I don’t.

I’m starting to have to really care for this body of mine, all full of child and all. I don’t know why my hips have to protest so much, but I’m working them into submission. There’s lots of ridiculous looking stretching come evening time, Jeff can certainly attest. But I find that I have to stay active, otherwise it gets worse. So I’m doing lots of squatting and walking and yoga, and I just moan occasionally while doing one of my crazy stretches and Jeff comes by to push on my low back. I was very bothered by it last time with Vera, but this time (seeing as how this will likely be my last pregnancy), I’m just reveling in the humor of it all. It’s also so much more real to me, this time. Every ache and pain I feel is part of the process of bringing a whole new person into our lives. It’s a miracle any way you look at it, I think. Plus even though I’m all limpy and wobbly at the end of a long and accomplished day, I get to receive love from my partner trying to help rub it away… sometimes even Vera comes in to help massage mama.

Anyway, today is full of planting and then a house-warming party for our friends. Tomorrow is more planting and finishing the chicken coop, then I’ll be going to see the movie "Babies" with some girls, and dinner out with my family. Sunny and breezy the whole time. I hope you all have a lovely weekend.

Quote of the day:
"You don’t get anything clean without getting something else dirty."  ~Cecil Baxter


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Comments (17)

  1. ladyfaith3

    Vera is so cute!!

    I want to see that movie too! I thought it was very interesting that when one baby bit the other no one did anything about it, the babies went back to what they were doing. I like that someone posted in comments on the video the babies with less toys and technology were more content. I find this is ture in our home. We got rid of our TV and never missed it.
    We have a new one and we almost never use it. When the kids do watch a movie they are lazy and irritable and complain more…interesting!

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Yeah, that’s something that Jeff and I keep mulling over- getting rid of the tv. We only have the tv for pbs and movies, so it’s not even like we have cable or watch that much, but it’s just something that we think might be not so good for us. It is weird how after kids watch they are less content. I even have memories of myself being that way… Anyway, I’ll be really interested to see this movie. I hope you can see it soon. 🙂

      1. honeyrider

        We only have the tv for pbs and movies, so it’s not even like we have cable or watch that much, but it’s just something that we think might be not so good for us. It is weird how after kids watch they are less content.

        im sorry to butt in, but i find this interesting. eloise was raised with PBS programming. i’m in grad school and we can’t afford daycare/childcare so TV was/is my go to babysitter when i need to get work done. for a long time i was a little ashamed of how much TV she watches (probably 3 hours a day on average) NOT counting all the hockey ian and i watch every other day for most of the year. granted, she doesn’t watch “just cartoons”, only sesame street, sid the science kid, word world, baby signing time — things like that. there is so much stuff she learned from watching those things. when she started singing the ABCs and recognizing all the letters, it wasn’t because i taught them to her [which is a lil’ sad but i do the best i can with what i’m given in terms of free time]. she continuously tells me things about science, the weather, numbers, behavior, etc., that come from watching TV. you can’t run an experiment with one kid as a sample, but it makes me wonder if it’s not TV in general that makes kids lazy and irritable, but the quality of the programming they watch.

        i do find that on the rare days when we go over 3 hours a day [rain + lots of work for me], her attention span goes in the gutter from overstimulation. otherwise, idk, i want to hate TV but it seems to have done only good things for her development. just food for thought. 🙂

        LOL@vera with those shoes on.

        1. Gracie (Post author)

          I agree, I’m totally past the notion that it’s the devil and kids shouldn’t watch any… and for a little while I felt bad about letting her watch at all. I have found that quality of programming does make a difference, too. Even with me- if I watch something solid with a good story then I feel way better than if I’ve watched something crappy with lots of ads. Anyway, it just makes me wonder if we’d miss it, though, and if it’s not a pretty unnatural use of our time. I bet it would be an adjustment at first, but maybe I’d learn to be more creative and occupy my time better, and Vera would do the same and learn not to need entertainment all the time. It’s just such an easy choice- especially when we’re tired or I’m trying to get something done, and I just wonder what we’d be doing without it and how our overall moods/energy for each other would be affected. 🙂

  2. lilpeace

    Ypsi Township recycles #’s 1-7, as far as I know. So if you ever want to recycle them, bring ’em over.

    We saw Babies at a “Mommy & Me” matinee on Thursday. It was fun. 🙂 I definitely loved watching the babies in Mongolia and Namibia entertain themselves, as opposed to the Japanese and San Fran babies. Hanging out with their cows and playing in the dirt. 🙂 It seemed like the parents felt way more relaxed about safety and the kids appeared way less supervised–though it was certainly just snippets of their lives. That said, their environments were definitely more free from “hazards” than ours is, unfortunately. I’d rather my kid hang out with baby cows over zooming cars any day…and until then I’ll unfortunately have to keep my gates latched.

    Enjoy!! I’m sure we’ll talk about it later.

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Sweet- I will bring them over. 🙂

      I was going to go to the mommy & me thing, but I decided to go with Katy today instead. I can’t wait to talk about it!

  3. unicorntapestry

    I had to go rewatch the videos I took of Vera dancing (from last summer) after reading this. So cute! I miss her. I miss you.
    I want to see that movie “Babies,” too.

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      We miss you too! Are we going to see you this summer?

  4. purerandomness

    What a great start to your day!
    I was thinking with the picture outside the cut “… that can’t be Jeff, can it? Maybe they have a visitor?”
    He looks so different! I’m so used to pics you post of him with his beard.
    🙂 Enjoy the sunshine!

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Haha, yeah, I always tease him that he looks like a teenager when he shaves… The beard will be back in a matter of days.

      I hope you guys are enjoying the sunshine, too! 🙂

  5. metalgypsy

    so envy your home and the nice kitchen and older furniture!

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Thank you! I find it’s so easy to have internet envy- other people are always giving me ideas, and that camera lens is really forgiving… Really though, I only show what I want! In reality, my kitchen is small and disorganized and the house is perpetually messy. But, it’s nice to hear that you like what you see, I have tried to make it a place I like to be. What’s a favorite spot in your home? 🙂

  6. moondaughter20

    This was such a lovely post to read. Thank you for sharing your house full of love.

    Vera is just adorable. I hope she will like her ‘big girl’s room’. 😀

    Ugh, plastic containers breed in the cupboards, I’m sure! We’re always recycling them or returning them to people who gave us food in them, etc. I like that you guys are so pro-active about making positive choices for yourselves, and the planet.

    Your partner is not only dreamy, but sounds like a real rock for you. You are a lucky lady. 🙂

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      🙂 Yes, aren’t those plastic containers crazy!? It’s tough when you don’t want to throw stuff out, but they can’t all live here!

      I love that you called him “dreamy”- I always think so. Really it’s the kind soul and desire for good that keep me coming back!

  7. csgraham

    Good to know you’re doing some exercising. You were starting to look too fat. Even for a preggarz. I was embarrassed for both of us.

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Oh good- I was getting worried.

  8. Anonymous

    seriously, “boots and shoes” probably the cutest thing EVER!!! I LOVE it!!


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