I defended my Ph.D. thesis on October 29th 2004. The next day I woke up unbelievably liberated. I went for a run around Greenlake and on my way home I stopped at an estate sale where I admired a hand-stitched patchwork quilt top with vintage fabric. It had no back and was coming apart in a couple places. The woman running the sale said I could have it for free, so I took it home, delighted. I mended it and splurged on nice fabric for the back, and then I hand-tied it and hand-stitched on the binding. For a few years it was on the guest bed and then in the nursery. Now it’s on Henry’s bed where I think it looks cheerful, although some might argue that, strictly speaking, it’s a little girly for an almost four year old. Don’t worry- I have a new quilt underway for him.
But this patchwork quilt I will always love for being handmade, for having history, for being a gift to me on a happy, carefree day. For bringing love to our guests and to our baby. For cuddling us while we read bedtime stories. When it wears through in places I patch it up. The new squares blend in with the old and even add dimension.
Oh, people, my heart is sore. School creates so much anxiety for the boy. If this situation doesn’t improve we will need to make some big changes. In the meantime I need to be productive enough at work to justify this distance. I’ll start NOW. NOW! Do you hear me brain!? He’s fine.
I’m going a little crazy with a sick baby at home. Snot, other messes, cheek rash, fun plans cancelled, nutritious foods spurned, lots of crying. Just take one look at him and there’s no question he has a bad mom. I’m really worried about our trip to DC on Sunday. In fact, I’m sort of mess about this whole DC thing and praying the government shuts down. It that wrong? Would there be disastrous consequences? The way I see it it would be a win for Obama, a blow for the Republicans and I could relax, tend to my baby and scope out D.C. at my leisure to try to strategize our move.
I read more about Placement Week last night and found myself dizzy with anxiety over lots of things including the specific instructions to bring a suit or a jacket with pants or skirt. “Crap!” I thought. “I don’t have a suit. Or a jacket.” and then I remembered an olive green suit that I picked up at Goodwill about a year ago for $25. The pants fit me well and I wore them with a blouse to my interview for the USFWS spotted owl job. The jacket was a little too boxy. In my memory it smacked a little of polyester, but when I dug it out of the closet I was pleasantly surprised. It’s a prettier green than I remembered, definitely wool and seemingly well-made. I looked up the brand online, determined it’s from Nordstoms, consulted my style guide and decided it was worth trying to arrange a rush alteration.
I found a really great old world tailor on Consumer’s Checkbook and plopped poor Goobs on the floor in his little chair with a handful of raisins while I was fitted. Tomorrow when I pick up the suit I’ll try to sneak a photo of the place which is fantastic.
P.S. Do you like my green California shirt? It was in one of my bags o’ crap from the Goodwill Outlet store.
Goobs got a tricycle! I found it on Craigslist and met a tall, classy woman at the Queen Anne Safeway at the top to pick it up. It’s shiny and red and perfect in every way except that I wish it had streamers. I may have to buy those separate. No rush though. Just so we have them for the forth of July parade in Gearhart.
Yesterday I neglected to mention my inspiration for the hippy quilt. My blog de jour. Stay at home mommies get all my attention these days. Just an observation. Last night I had trouble falling asleep hearing Henry’s voice saying the names of his friends: Neko, Mia, Alasdair, Nam, Nona. I HATE the idea of uprooting him. Once when we leave and then again to come back. Meanwhile the Wiz is happy at work, and I am very happy as a stay at home mom. Plus I would love to have another.
I need some guidance. Do you hear that higher power? I humbly beseech your guidance.
Oh, BTW, Sam and I were on the radio. Only listen if you are struggling with insomnia. And then feel free to laugh- particularly at my first contribution which was a nervous, confused noise of agreement elicited when Sam asked me to confirm some small fact at a point where I was not listening to a word he said (worried about Tina actually who I heard trying to sooth a crying Goobs just up from his nap in the other room). Also at the trippy sound effects that enhance my last goodbye. I’ve always wanted to be interviewed on NPR.
I’ve been resolved to edit down our belongings, but this apartment really appeals to me. It would be a perfect movie set.
Oh, dear readers, I feel like I’m failing badly at my improvement a day resolve. But I want to go a little easy on myself so I’m going to count having a fasted blood draw this morning as something that I will still be glad of in a month.
Despite my limited accomplishments, today was a good day. After the blood draw I treated myself to a cherry cheese danish at Whole Foods AND a dark chocolate yogurt. What? I was hungry. Afterwards Goobs and I took a long walk, smelling all the flowers we could find. Goobie’s nose and lips turned bright yellow from the pollen. I filled the house with vases of daffodils, grape hyacinths and camilias.
Goobs didn’t want to take his nap and fell asleep around three on my lap bouncing on the yoga ball. When I moved him upstairs to his bed he woke up cranky after only 30 min and fell asleep on me again when I brought him downstairs. I listened to This American Life and dozed a little and let myself savor the moment. The house is clean now and smells good. I have a pile of receipts sitting next to me that I plan to enter into Quicken. Then pilates, a shower and to bed. I hope you are also feeling comfortable and satisfied. Thanks for checking in and Goodnight.
Today was the first day of spring and my first day of full-time motherhood. It was delicious. Goobiedoo and I went to Woodinville to look at baby chickens at DeYoung’s and smell the flowers at Molbak’s. We also bought sugar snap pea seeds and walla walla onion starts. I returned the Christmas PJs for some more practical everyday PJs and made copies of our official documents at Kinkos (improvement of the day). In the afternoon we stomped around in the front yard dirt patch. Goobie threw rocks into a birdbath. It was nice to be outside.
I promised an update so here it is: my baby brother is headed to Providence, Rhode Island for a residency at Brown! He spent a month or so there over the summer in their E.R. and really liked it. He said the town seemed like Portland was 30 years ago. There’s a strong design community which is attractive for his wife. It was his first pick. So it’s great news. And here’s where I should bite my tongue but can’t (it’s OK, no one reads this anyway, not even the Wiz): he made a bad decision. He could have been in Seattle. At UW. He and his wife want to start their family in the next years. They’re going to start putting down roots. It would just make more sense to be in the NW that’s all. He wants to teach and supposedly wants to come back to the NW so getting involved in the new E.R. program at UW would make a lot of sense.
Oh well. We all do what our gut tells us to. I’ve thought he made a bad decision before and been wrong.
As for Wiz- major kudos. Hi bosses gave him a big bonus out of the blue, sort of a retroactive raise. And then they gave him a real raise of almost 35%! A “promotion” more accurately but his new job description matches what he’s been doing for months anyway. They also agreed to invest in training. Plus they praised him lavishly. Sadly, Wiz didn’t seem appropriately happy about the whole thing. Maybe because we’ll be leaving for DC in a few months? Maybe because he’s burnt out?
Tomorrow we leave for Whistler on the trip he won (earned) for being MVP. I’m wishing I were packed/ showered and that the house/car/ laundry were clean.