This is where the whole world keeps on turnin…

Today marks six weeks postpartum, which basically means that this is as normal as it’s gonna get for a while. I’m physically safe to workout again, which I’m surprisingly siked about. I always enjoyed getting out and doing things- so I got exercise, but I’ve never really wanted to exercise for exercising’s sake. I suppose whatever, it just feels good to get your blood pumping now and then. I have an aerobics/weights dvd that my friend burned me, and I also plan to get right back into yoga and pilates. I decided early on in my pregnancy not to weigh myself- that little number on the scale affects my brain too much. I still have yet to weigh myself, and I hope I don’t for a while. Realistically, the number will not affect my life, but my perception of it will. At this point I would just rather go by how I feel. Instead of stepping on the scale each week hoping for some kind of false validation, I can close my eyes, breathe deeply, and ask my body how it feels. I think that this will be the way I workout too. I want my body to navigate, just like I let it during my pregnancy, and again during my labor. I am a big fan of instinct these days, not so much a fan of compulsion and obligation. Go figure. Anyway, I hope to have updates in the coming months about how damn good I feel now that I’m healthy and active and yadda yadda. Be forewarned.
In addition to all that, on Thursday I had my last appointment with Amanda, my midwife. It was great as usual. We hung out and she held Vera and we chatted. She told me I could come over any time for tea and whatever, and that we’ll have to have barbecues in the summer- so I told her to be careful what she wished for because I’ll do it (she only lives 2 blocks away too…). She said I had better. I was kind of sad when she left. It marks the end of this transition, an incredible phase of my life that I will never have again. I am so grateful for my experience. Even though it was sad to think of it all being over, I really am way too excited for what’s to come. My baby is already changing so much- I see the most beautiful summer ahead with my family, I see years of joy and surprises, and I see motherhood being a great teacher for me. Anyway, on to “normal” life, whatever the hell that is…

March 21st:
The second day of spring and we got a ton of snow. I wasn’t as upset as many people I talked to. It was beautiful and refreshing, and it almost completely melted the next day anyway. I never understand why people get irritated about cold and erratic weather here. We live in Michigan. I mean, it’s Michigan. Get used to it already. It’s part of what I love about living here. It keeps us on our toes and grateful for the new season. So Doug (our friend who lives upstairs) and I went out on the porch for a while and just enjoyed it.

March 22nd:
I got this washcloth monkey puppet while thrifting on Saturday. I figure Vera will like it in a couple of months. I got lots of stuff that I was going to get new- but ended up finding very easily used. My friend Annie decided she’s going to take on the challenge of buying everything used too, and her husband was right on board too. So we went together to the thrift stores and at the end of it all she said “I don’t know why we buy anything new…” It was cool- we really did have this kind of epiphany about it all. There was just SO MUCH. I feel really strongly that I can do this, that it’s the right thing, and that I can do this for… basically forever. Yay for a new (and cheaper!) way of living.

March 23rd:
Easter. It was a great one. I don’t so much enjoy it for the religious significance, although I certainly appreciate the idea of rebirth and spring and all that and it’s symbolism. I also love seeing how happy the holiday makes my mom and sister who pray so ardently on this day they just inspire an “Amen!” outta me. Regardless, I love spending time with family and eating food- and that we did.
This year set the bar high for future years on the food. We had lamb stuffed with raisins, parsley, mint, and spices, and crusted with pistachios, apricot jam, and panko bread crumbs. We also had pickled everything (thanks Gretchen!), a mushroom and asparagus risotto (including morels from my grandparent’s backyard right before they moved), my brussel sprouts with raisins and bacon. Ok, to gloat a little, my little sister said at the table that she hated brussel sprouts until she tasted these, then after dinner she reiterated saying that not only had she been converted but she had saved them for last. I can’t think of a better compliment for any cook than to hear that they’ve changed someone’s mind. I can’t really take credit though. I saw someone cook them this way on tv a while back, and I’m so glad I tried it. I’ve included the recipe here so you guys can try it- it’s now my favorite way to eat them. At the end of the meal my Uncle Rick said that he felt sorry for all the poor schmoes eating ham. Indeed.

I thought her head looked kind of bunny-like.

March 24th:
Gotcha!

If I had to narrow it down, I’d say the two must-haves for attaining happiness are as follows: gratitude and forgiveness. I’m really just speaking for myself, but I know that if I didn’t remind myself to routinely stay grateful and forgive (and that includes forgiving myself) then I think I would be much worse off. I have just recently seen the fruits of this theory in my own life, as well as a shining example of what happens when you are entitled and vengeful. Anyway, I’ll get into that more later.

Yummy Brussel Sprouts Delish

Brussel sprouts- halved
Bacon- a few slices, chopped into bits
Raisins- a handful
Chicken stock- about a cup/ cup and a half

Brown bacon in a skillet. When bacon is just about crisp, add sprouts and cook until you see some good golden color on them and they’ve turned bright green. Add raisins and chicken stock and cover until sprouts are fork tender. Don’t overcook them! Mushy sprouts are grody. Voila! Oh- add a little fresh cracked pepper if you want, but you can skip salt- I find the bacon and stock make it perfectly seasoned in the end.

*I’m sure you can make a vegetarian version of this too- just sautee the sprouts in butter/oil and then simmer with the raisins in veggie stock instead. I would salt it at the end though.

Quote of the day:
“Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo.” -H.G. Wells

Gracie
Gracie

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Comments (14)

  1. 3squares_a_day

    I remember how forlorn I felt when the last midwife appointment came after Iris’ birth. It is such a powerful relationship to be so transitional!

    Forgiving myself is something I struggle mightily with. As a family, we’ve taken to asking for forgiveness instead of just throwing a “sorry” at someone we’ve wronged. It’s been a positive thing for all of us! “Sorry!” can be such a one-sided transaction, where asking forgiveness is a different experience all together.

    I can’t imagine living with the snow… It’s beautiful!

    Reply
    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Really? You had that experience too? Do you ever see her anymore?

      I really like that! It’s like you don’t forget the sorry, but it’s a step up because it’s challenging the wronged person to find compassion and forgiveness- never a bad thing! I have so much to learn from you, Mama!

      I can’t imagine living without the snow… I’ll send you some. 🙂

      Reply
      1. 3squares_a_day

        I see her once in a while. At first, we went to the potlucks at her house, plus I get my yearly exam with one of the other midwives that was at the birth. It kind of naturally faded over time.

        Send me some, do! It won’t last though, it’s been 70 degrees here this week and sunny… Allergy season, everything is blooming!

        Reply
  2. pithy_epigrams

    I think buying things second hand is not only better for the environment, and your pocket, but it’s more fun! You end up feeling like you’ve won when you find that one thing you’ve been looking for for so long. I also like going to Buffalo exchange where you trade in your clothes for other ones. That, for me, is a great way to itch the shopping bug when I don’t have any money. Which is all the time. Let me know if there’s anything you/you guys still need and I’ll keep an eye out here for it.

    Reply
    1. Gracie (Post author)

      I agree! I guess it’s not so bad for me because I’ve always liked thrift shopping and garage saling for that very reason, and I hated shopping in big stores and stuff. I think my mom passed on that gene. I also think it’s more fun because sometimes the stuff you find is surprisingly cool because it’s used. Like there’s a story to it.
      I love all the cool stuff out there! I’ll let you know, for sure, if I think of anything! Thanks!

      Reply
  3. unicorntapestry

    Smiling Vera Jean! I know you’ve seen that before, but I haven’t, so I’m allowed to be irrationally excited. 😀

    Reply
    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Hooray!!! I can’t get enough of it! I can’t wait for her to meet Aunt Marya.

      Reply
  4. nashifeet

    i think a girl i work with is apprenticing with amanda this spring.

    Reply
    1. Gracie (Post author)

      That’s awesome! Amanda is so great- I’m sure she’ll love it and learn quickly.

      Reply
  5. purerandomness

    You are totally going to be my go-to person for questions about midwives and pregnancy in general when/if Jake and I have a baby.

    😉 Glad you had a good Easter– especially family dinner! I must admit that I don’t particularly like brussel sprouts either, but I can see how your recipe would be a good one.

    Reply
    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Yay! I would love to be helpful in any way! When/if? What’s your criteria? Finishing school and stuff?

      What’s your favorite vegetable?

      Reply
      1. purerandomness

        We’re thinking about starting to try sometime next spring/summer. That way, Jake can be (almost) finished with his masters and I’ll be wrapping up things. I’m trying to gather information now before we’re trying so that we can make efforts to be as healthy as possible, make lifestyle changes, and so we really know what we want as far as pregnancy/birth/raising a baby.

        I have too many favorite veggies! I absolutely LOVE tomatoes though, directly from the plant with just a little salt or garlic powder. YUM! Can’t wait to grow some this summer!
        Do you have a favorite veggie or do you just love your garden and all it’s bounty?

        Reply
        1. Gracie (Post author)

          That sounds like a master plan! How exciting…

          Tomatoes. Absolutely tomatoes. Of course I love them all, but a tomato straight off the vine is like nothing else for me. Great minds think alike, yes?

          Reply
  6. Gracie (Post author)

    Re: Smiles

    Excellent- we’ll call this week!

    Reply

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