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An Update

alec vanderboom

I'm five weeks from my miscarriage, four weeks from Leo's funeral. I'm healing.

We had a really fun Halloween. No pictures. I let my artistic six year old play with my digital camera. Her Dad put it on a tripod for her one night and she was a fantastic photographer. I handed it to her the next night, sans tripod, and she dropped it within 5 minutes. So now I'm stretching my Christmas budget to buy her a cheap digital camera and myself a replacement camera. Can anyone email me recommendations? I need one that takes pictures fast because my cuties don't hold their expressions long and it needs to be as inexpensive as possible.

I must be healing from my conflicted relationship with my feminist alma mater, Smith College. I need workout clothes. I've started running to lose the 19 pounds of remaining pregnancy weight. I surprised myself by checking out the T-shirt selection at the Smith College website. There is something about a Smithie or Smith College Crew shirt that makes me feel like I can kick butt as a runner. That could be a treat to myself.

I did have to laugh because the Smith College "kids and baby" section is virtually none existent. This is after I checked out the extensive collection of University of Wisconsin kid gear at Kohls. (I met my husband as a fellow student at the Big W). Is that because Wisconsin is a Big 10 school with a larger fan base? Or because most Smithies don't reproduce? You decide.

I'm clothes shopping online because nothing fits. I have that weird pudge in the middle of my body. Usually that awkward post-partum thing happens when I have a cute newborn in a Bijorn on my tummy. Rather than feel weird, I'm just embracing it. I took Rebecca F's suggestion to hit Goodwill. I spent $30 and discovered a delish combination of ballet sweaters, a maxi skirt, a giraffe print purse and dangly silver earrings.

I love dressing myself on no money in second hand stores. It's all about prayer. I pray that line "are you better dressed than the lilies in the field?" before I shop. It's crazy to find good stuff for $4. I love it because it forces me to try things that I won't normally pick out for myself. For example, I thought "get a tunic to hide to bulge." I couldn't find tunics easily, but the store was filled with the short ballet sweaters that were popular a few years ago. Those sweaters looked better on my body than my initial idea.

That is my Fall. It's turning out to be a sweet one. Jon is remolding our basement into a second living room. I'm shocked what that man can do with color. He's truly a professional graphic designer. We had this gross room that had once been a dreary basement bedroom. Jon painted the cheap drop ceiling a rich chocolate brown and the walls a vivid lime. Tonight he's putting a wood patterned linoleum on the floor. I picked up some Kelly Green Dorm Furniture from Target. It's going to be an awesome kid hang out.

On the first floor we have the "adult" living room. We got a full cord of wood for the fire. It is so cool to light a fire in the fireplace on dark winter nights at our house.

Maria, my six year old, and I are experimenting with cake recipes. The girl is a nut. Anyday is a great day if we bake. She's struggling a little with first grade reading, so I'm giving her extra time school time to read cookbooks. (When she reads books that she's interested in, the lessons are so easier.) The other day she asked me "Mom what does f-r-a-i-c-h-e spell?" I asked her to respell the word twice and still had no idea what basic ingredient Maria was trying to read. I thought "Man, this kid really doesn't know her letters. I better do some massive remedial phonics with her!" Then I came over and read the cookbook myself.  The recipe was for 2 cups of crème fraiche! I started laughing at myself. Is my six year old behind or ahead in her reading ability? It's ridiculous the amount of pressure I put on myself to homeschool well.