Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving, a scary movie and a trip to the hop-stital

Hey gobblers (heh). Hope you had a nice holiday and that it wasn't filled with TOO much food remorse. Here at Peckerwood Farm we did Thanksgiving dinner by our lonesomes. We roasted a turkey breast with a ton of veggies and fresh herbs we picked up at the farmers market, and had sides of stove top stuffing, homemade cranberry sauce, and parmesan encrusted brussel sprouts and cauliflower. It was super easy and laid back, and we ate it in front of the TV like ungrateful heathens. I also made the most delicious pecan pie muffins and a super simple pumpkin pie that Nate insisted was the best he's ever had. It had condensed milk in it, which I had never baked with before. Have you tried that stuff? I could eat it with a spoon. I might, if there's another can somewhere in the house tonight. Later that night we watched a movie called "Insidious" on Netflix. I hadn't heard of it while it was in theaters, but it was actually a pretty respectably good ghost story. I keep remembering scenes from the movie in the midst of my midnight trips to the toilet and then end up frozen with fear in the bathroom, afraid to go out and walk past the open basement door in the dark. We really need to get a nightlight. Anyway, I recommend it. It's not like, the best movie ever made (because that would be The Legend of Billie Jean), but fun enough. So, it's been a pretty good Thanksgiving weekend, except that today I stubbornly insisted on walking the dogs by myself. They were being super good, shuffling along slowly with me and not pulling on the leashes, but I totally spaced it and twisted my ankle where the curb meets loose gravel about 10 minutes down the road. I fell to my hands and knees in the gravel- and to add to my shame I was wearing a skirt, which I'm pretty sure flew up, revealing my pregnant lady knickers. I thankfully did not hit my belly, but my midwife insisted we go into the hospital and get hooked up to the fetal monitor to be on the safe side. 2.5 hours later we were sent home with a clean bill of health. Oddly enough, this felt like a practice run for when I actually go into labor, minus the pain. So, it wasn't a total waste of time, and I feel hugely relieved that all is well. Plus, we got to listen to the baby's heartbeat for 2 hours, which was super cool.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Hey, wha's happening?

Hey y'all, I have been pretty lax on updating here, but things have been happening, I swear! This morning, for example, Nate and I have been sitting on the couch relentlessly mocking our dogs and likening their relationship to prison-love. It is THAT dominationey.

I never did write a post 2 months ago when we found out what kind of baby we are having. It's a GIRL! Did I mention that I KNEW it was going to be a girl all along? I had no doubts, to the point where I couldn't even seriously think about boys' names. Intuition is weird. I also have the intuitive feeling that this kid is going to be awesome, but that could just be my motherly bias speaking.

We have been trying to get the house in order, and get the baby's room under control before she comes in January, but this is an act in futility with 2 dogs and 2 cats in a 1200 square foot, ancient house. The dander! My God. It is revolting. I keep reminding myself that I'll be off work when we bring her home and will have the time to sweep then as well, or at least I hope I will. How much time can a newborn take out of your life? I mean, they are pretty self-sufficient, right?

We had a baby shower in early October (and I am so sorry if I know you in real life and you weren't invited- I had about a 2 hour window to obtain addresses for people for my sisters to invite, and I realized after the fact how many people I didn't have addresses for that I wanted to invite, it was chaos). It rained through the whole shower, and we were sequestered in my barn, but a lot of the kids went outside and played in the mud puddles. That was pretty hilarious.

Anyway, today we are off to hand out candy to trick or treaters at my parents' house. New England had a nor'easter on Halloween weekend and everyone's trick or treat was postponed. Stupid global warming, ruins everything.

Oh, and did I mention that I found the best hair product EVER? I have horrendously frizzy hair, and this has made it smooth and swishy. I highly recommend.

Look at these two idiots:

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Shhh...Come closer...closer...

I have to whisper this shit.

Did you know that ultrasound technicians, as a last resort in getting a decent image, utilize a WAND of sorts? Let's not mince words here- it's a giant dildo that looks at your womb. We had our first ultrasound on 7/12/11 and after having me roll from side to side to get the baby in a decent position to measure his/her spine proportions, the elderly lady broke out the big guns. It wasn't horrible, just ODD, especially with Nate sitting right next to me, smiling grimly at the ultrasound screen, but eventually she just gave up and scheduled for us to come in a week later.

When we came in a week later, the first words out of my mouth to the tech were "Do I have to take off my underwear?" only instead of coming out worried sounding, I sounded excited about it, like I'd been thinking about that ultrasound tool all week in sexed up anticipation. Goddamn my inability to voice modulate when I'm nervous.

Anyway, the baby is doing well, at the second ultrasound it was SO MUCH BIGGER than the week before. It was kind of mind blowing. It moves, and swims, and holds its hands to its tiny face. It rolls over onto its side or stretches its arms so far that it presses against the placenta wall. Here is a picture from the first ultrasound. This is our son or daughter!

In the meantime, at home, we've been frantically nesting. I'm offically in the second trimester, so I'm feeling a bit better energy-wise, and my appetite is back. Nate painted the baby's room a lovely blue, and I've been attempting to get keep the pet fur under control AND get my gardens weeded before the summer is over.

Saturday, July 2, 2011


I started this blog half-assedly last year, and then forgot it existed until the other day when my sister Ruby suggested I start a journal to keep track of my experiences being a mom-to-be. She suggested this because I am pregnant! 10.5 weeks, to be exact. This is our first child, a happy accident caused by my inability to understand ovulation. But we are both in our thirties, and we own a house and have jobs and are generally responsible people, damn it! We can DO this. That is my new mantra, especially on days when I slog out of bed exhausted, look around at the dog hair everywhere and start having thoughts of "how the hell am I going to handle having a newborn in the house, crying all night, and then dropping them off at daycare so I can go to my mind-numbing job for 8 hours every day?" I guess that's why God created trucker speed, though. Ha! I kid. That stuff gives me insomnia.

At this point we don't know the gender of the baby, and we are still tossing around names. We made the mistake of pinky-swearing on names a few years ago while a little drunkish, and now I am having some reservations about them: Ernestine and Buckner. I like Ernestine, a lot, to me it sounds awfully adult but can be shortened up to a cute nickname: Ernie. And I like Buck... but with that name you run the risk of some terrible mockeries. However, there are so many good names out there: Iris, Agnes, Nelly, Hobart, Henry, Clay. How does anyone choose?? I just realized that all of my names are very dust bowl-era.

We get our first ultrasound in 10 days. I can not tell you how excited I am to get a glimpse of this creature. Lately my symptoms have been dwindling, and it's making me nervous that something is wrong, even though I know I'm at the period when symptoms start to abate. I'm starting to show a little, and I've been using a rubber band as an expander to keep my pants up.

I am having a little anxiety as to the type of mother I'm going to be. I keep having worries that I am going to be selfish and resentful- I can be prone to that type of behavior. What if I have NO maternal instinct? What if the whole thing is completely overwhelming and the house turns into a hoarders den? My coworker (who is a little crazy) reports that once she gets home and makes dinner, oversees her kids homework, and vacuums the entire house from head to toe, followed by her daily aerobics workout, it can be 10 pm before she ever gets a minute to herself. Obviously, I'm not her (we clean the floors once a week, for example, not nightly) but I feel there's a lesson in there somewhere, that I can kiss time alone goodbye, that my days of luxuriating with a book are nearly over, or on hold. My other sister reports that once you look into your child's eyes all that goes away, you are bonded for life with them and none of that matters. I am just hoping that I'll be the kind of mom I want to be-relaxed, fun, reliable, consistent.

Anyway, despite all that neurotic stuff, this pregnancy has started out pretty easily. I've been sleepy a little, a little nauseated, I have patches of dry skin all over my torso and my short term memory is disappearing, but other than that I feel great. Maybe better than I have in years. We're slowly getting the baby's room in order, I've been taking my daily walkies and am about to go purchase an expandable bathing suit so I can start swimming a couple times a week.

So... that about brings this journal up to date on that subject. More to come soon. I'll post ultrasound pics!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Well, OK, if you insist.

1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?
This was basically the year of adult decisions: I stuck to a budget for the first time ever, bought a house, adopted our dogs, basically kept on track with healthy eating (although I've strayed during this holiday season, oh, how I've strayed). Oh! And I am actually entertaining the thought that I might have a shot at learning a musical instrument, since we moved the piano into the house and Nate insists that I am a quick study. He has a lot of building me up to do, after my sisters' tore me down musically when I was seven and recorded "That's what friends are for" in the mall. I guess I never did recover from that.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Hmm, in 2008 I lost 30 lbs that I had gained from being in love, and my goal in 2009 was just not to gain that shit back, which I mostly accomplished, except for a few stray lbs this past month or so. I have been chugging Lindt chocolates for breakfast on a semi daily basis out of stress and house-boredom.

Goals for next year: I covered some of these in my first blog (ever) two entries ago, butI want to pursue some interests I've been postponing for a while now. I want to get good at running, start building up a metal smithing office in the barn, get our raised vegetable beds going, and keep the flower beds in good condition.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

So many people! My sister just bore me an adorable niece, Jolie, who truly is the fattest and cutest baby alive. If I could figure out how to post pictures on this thing, I would, right now.

Also, my lady friends Kristen and Catherine had babies this year: Emmett and Marion, respectively. Both are healthy, beautiful babies. All this baby making has put my ovaries into overdrive. Nate's too. We both stare at babies and toddlers with sappy, moist eyes these days. God, we're pathetic.

4. Did anyone close to you die?


5. What countries did you visit?

Not one, but did I mention we are going to France this spring? Well, we are.

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?

More organization, more motivation to work on getting this house set up so that it isn't so cluttered downstairs and completely empty upstairs. A shit-ton more energy.

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

I sound like a broken record, but I won't forget moving day on 10/31. We moved everything on that day, I wept while cleaning the kitchen of the rental house from sheer exhaustion, then Nate had a show in Portsmouth that they played while dressed as ZZ Top which I only made it to the beginning of. I went home, alone, only to discover that the power was out and I was alone in the dark on the first night in our creepy old house, and I had no idea where the flashlights were. I stood, paralyzed in the dark for a full 10 minutes before I could bring myself to go up the stairs and crawl under the blankets.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Getting a hold on our finances.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Being generally paralyzed by the daily rut of things. I really need to learn to shake that.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I have had 2 headcolds in the past month, and I hadn't been sick in 3 years before that. I blame the dogs and all of the freezing cold walks I've been taking.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

The house. The treadmill. Besides that, my money's been mostly going to food and books. And beer, now that the local pub lets dogs in again. Ha, that sentence makes it sound like I'm talking about ME. No, I meant my actual dogs.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

This question sounds snippy to me, am I imagining that it's meant to be a passive agressive invitation to criticize someone's past behavior?

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Oh, I get it.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Into this house, fancy cheeses, animal care, home depot, a few Anthropologie dresses.

15. What did you get really excited about?

Farm livin'. Of course, it's easy to get excited about when it's winter and no work really needs to be done. When it's summer and I'm getting home from work and weeding for 3 hours a night I might change my tune.

16. What song will always remind you of 2009?

"Lovecraft in Brooklyn" by the Mountain Goats. I listened to it quite a bit this year. Also, "Make a plan to love me" by Bright Eyes. So romantical, that second one.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

– happier or sadder? More temporarily dissatisfied, due to our house guest.
– thinner or fatter? Slightly fatter, got to get that under control.
– richer or poorer? Less in the bank, but more credit at my disposal I guess.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Taken more weekends away with Nate or even my girlfriends.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Couch-sitting, which is what I'm doing now, but we are in a BLIZZARD, for eff's sake.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

At Nate's father's house down the road, and then we went to my parent's house, where it was sheer chaos, but we scooted out within 3 hours guilt trip free.

21. Did you fall in love in 2009?

I gave my heart to two hot bitches with large haunches and giant flapping teats.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

True Blood, for sure.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Heh, no.

24. What was the best book you read?

The Debt to Pleasure, by John Lanchester. It's a cookbook/memoir as written by an aristocratic serial killer. So funny and strange.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

I can't think of a single band I just started listening to this year. I basically keep the same ten CDs in my car and listen to them over and over and over again. I did discover one song I really liked: Swimming Song by Loudon Wainwright.

26. What did you want and get?

A home near my family, for all of the children in my family to be healthy and happy, for my partner to still love and like me, and vice versa, after our trying year of fiscal responsibility.

27. What did you want and not get?

A really sweet pair of Frye riding boots. Some Miller Harris Geranium Bourbon perfume.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

Ohhh, I don't know. We just saw Avatar, and that was awesome. I also really liked Oldboy, which was not a new movie but extremely strange.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I invited a very small group of people over for wine n cheese, and got extremely drunk very quickly despite eating 10 lbs of cheese and bread, so I missed out on most of the fun.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
A 6 month sabbatical and $100,000.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?
Sweats and fleece jackets. Sad. I did buy some pretty dresses, but didn't wear them very often.

32. What kept you sane?

Laughing. Already being laid back.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Most celebrities are revolting, but I can't help but think that Jake Gyllenhaal is pretty darn cute.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

The economy and the healthcare reform issue.

35. Who did you miss?

The kids in my family when I hadn't seen them for a while.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

My twenty year old niece, who I had met before but on different terms. She's a young woman now, and one that I like very, very much.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.

There's always something you can do without. Physical exhaustion helps you to sleep. When you invite someone to stay at your house, give them a definitive time limit at the beginning for your own sanity.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

From "Swimming Song":

This summer I went swimming,
This summer I might have drowned
But I held my breath and I kicked my feet
And I moved my arms around, I moved my arms around.

This summer I swam in the ocean,
And I swam in a swimming pool,
Salt my wounds, chlorine my eyes,
I'm a self-destructive fool, a self-destructive fool.

This summer I swam in a public place
And a reservoir, to boot,
At the latter I was informal,
At the former I wore my suit, I wore my swimming suit.

This summer I did the backstroke
And you know that's not all
I did the breast stroke and the butterfly
And the old Australian crawl, the old Australian crawl.

This summer I did swan dives
And jackknifes for you all
And once when you weren't looking
I did a cannonball, I did a cannonball.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


It is cold in my office. Real cold. I refuse to turn on the space heater, though, because it decreases the odds of me not hearing someone walk past my office. I like to toggle screens to give the illusion that I am always working. We've had too many layoffs in the past year to risk anything else. Now that I have a mortgage, staying employed seems to be THE MOST IMPORTANT THING.

Last night I came home with a giant bag of curry ingredients. I found what looked to be a delicious curry recipe on the Pioneer Woman website, and was all excited to make my flu-ridden boyfriend a spicy, sinus clearing hot meal. However, when I walked into the house I realized that my kitchen was taken over by the transient sausage vendor we have living there- and I wish I was joking. He was cooking a turkey and was racing around the kitchen making gravy and shit. Now, that does sound delicious, I'll admit it, but when you have a dinner all planned out for yourself, it's extremely irritating to find your squatter preparing a sumptuous feast in your kitchen. Especially when your kitchen is a 24 square foot area. Inward babyfits ensued, but I made a quick recovery by devouring a bowl of maple walnut ice cream. It's been a month of him living there, and we have one week to go before he moves on to the next friend's house. I can't even tell you the amount of stress eating I've done in the past month.

However, there is one good thing that came out of this month- we decided that when we get our first time homebuyers tax credit back we are going to take a trip to Paris. Neither of us have ever been anywhere outside of the country (Canada doesn't count), so this is extremely exciting. We are trying to pick up a little french here and there so we don't sound like complete a-holes to the locals. I want to check out Montmarche and the church that's on top of it, as well as all of the other touristy places.

Also, another good thing did come out of this month- Nate created an alter-ego that we have yet to name but I think I want to call "Precious", it's a gentle-minded male prostitute who talks like Huckleberry Hound and calls everybody "Please, Handsome" in a servile tone. It's the best thing ever, and I wish I had a recording of it to share here.

Shit. I better get back to work.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Big bloggy style.

Happy impending New Year! This year I vow to:

  • avoid joining any book groups.
  • Run at least 3 times a week on the new used treadmill in the barn.
  • Eat as much Indian food as I can cram in my salivating maw.
  • Learn how to bake a decent loaf of bread.
  • Make more time for activities I actually enjoy (such as sitting on my couch with my filthy yoga pants on, doing deep mouth breathing exercises) and not let obligatory social events crowd my schedule.

Those are a lot of empty promises to make to one's self, I know. The book group one I think I can easily keep, as I hate them. The running thing I most want to keep, as it makes me feel good, and being a runner has been one of those life's goals that I still haven't tackled. Everything else would just be a bonus.

2009 was a pretty amazing year. Nate and I started out the year living by the ocean in a rental- it was a beautiful place, but we really wanted to own a home. So we started saving in July- by October we had somehow scraped enough together to get a loan, and found the house of our dreams- a tiny, dustbowl-era farmhouse on 2.5 acres of wetlands. So we moved in and adopted a couple of elderly dogs from the shelter. We've got flower gardens that neither of us know how to manage and a riding lawn mower that we don't know how to fix, but I'm convinced all of that will come with time. Somehow. Magically.

Life is pretty good right now. I hope I can continue self-propelling in the years ahead.