Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Long time no post

Sorry I haven't posted anything in a while. I haven't been writing in general and it's really making my mind all cobwebby and sluggish. Not writing begets more not writing and so it is a terrible downward spiral until one forces oneself to get back to it and put fingers to keyboard. So, here I am, easing back into things, cobwebs and all.

Here's some stuff we've been up to lately...

My friend Ramona told me about this blog The writer of soulemama is so talented that it puts all of us normal moms to shame. But she is not talented in the annoying, great-now-I-feel-like-a-loser kind of way. She inspires you to greatness in your momness, causing you to want to elevate your life with kids to an art form. I even bought soulemama's book The Creative Family and I have just devoured it--reading bits over oatmeal or while the kids are taking a bath. She is an amazing photographer that soulemama and her pictures will make you salivate even more than the Anthropologie catalog, I'm telling you. She depicts a world that I so crave for myself that I can almost taste it. Her family is constantly digging up the earth of their luscious Maine property so that they can plant something or they're hanging clothes (that she has made of course) out to dry on a clothesline--the littlest soulemama offspring standing on a stool and pinning the clothes herself. She tells you how to repurpose your husband's old shirt into a pair of super hip pants for your toddler and she also encourages you to keep a basket of yarn out for little ones to play with and run their hands through. Who needs a Bob the Builder computer when you've got a basket of yarn? Why didn't I think of that? Even if you aren't the least bit crafty, she will get your mind a-workin so that all you think about are the crafts. I keep finding myself staring into space and imagining the things I could make if I just had a little time and little hands weren't constantly all up in whatever it is I'm doing. I'm hoping to teach Emma to finger knit soon. According to soulemama, children as young as three can do this. I think if I could just get that girl hooked on some kind project then we could all sit around knitting together, growing things, wearing Brandon's old shirts as pants. That is my fantasy.

I've also been passing the time by learning how to hypnotize myself. I have been listening to a friend's Hypnobabies CDs in an attempt to prepare myself for a "pain-free" birth. I know, I know. It sounds kind of crazy, huh? But according to lots of people, it's supposed to work. I always seem to fall asleep during the hypnotizing so hopefully I will just sleep through the whole labor and wake up when I've had my baby. I'll let you know how it goes!

I also spend way too much time looking at real estate web sites dreaming about buying a house someday. We are hoping to be able to buy something in about 9 months to a year. Soulemama's got me wanting a big old house with lots of land with room enough for a banging wall and my own studio to make things and write in (actually I wanted all these things pre-soulemama, but now the desire is palpable). Maybe we could have some goats or something too? It's not likely to happen where we live though. We are destined for townhouse living for some time with prices the way they are here. I am just really itching for an old house with lots of character, a yard, room for the kids to have birthday parties and their own gardens in the back yard, etc. I know that if I had those things, I wouldn't be any happier than I am now. My life wouldn't be this beautiful soulemama photograph. It would just be more rooms to clean, a lawn to mow, a banging wall to tend to. It would still be me living my life after all.

So, since I am slightly real estate obsessed these days, I found this article to be really interesting. It's about how the ideal American house has changed over the past century and how it's changing now. I am sure that I'm not alone in my American's probably indicative of some big cultural shift that I'm part of but can't see because I'm too close. I'm pretty sure there are millions of pregnant ladies out there blogging about houses and goats and hypnobirthing all over America right now. I'm okay with being a cliche.


Phillips Family said...

I just spit my Diet Dr. Pepper out over the comment of your family sitting around in your husband's old shirts made into pants. Hilarious!

I just checked out The Creative Family from the library. I have yet to open its beautiful cover (it has been one of those weeks here) but I am quite excited to read it.

Deanna said...

That banging wall would be TOO much upkeep, really.

Love your writing, as usual :)

Jennifer said...

It's definitely not just an American dream, though. The Italians have a proverb: In gioia e in lutto la casa e tutto! joy and in grief, the home is everything. Surely it's a natural human desire that is especially strong when you're nesting.

Did you see the article in the New Yorker about the history of the American lawn? Apparently, now we're supposed to put aside the ideal of the perfectly manicured, velvety lawn and use the land we might have for either growing vegetables or allow it to go back to prairie land with whatever wants to grow there naturally. It made me think I should stop bothering to pull weeds out of the grass anymore. I think my Italian neighbors wondered what in the world I was doing, anyway.

gwen said...

I don't quite have that yen to own a house yet, but I am SO WITH YOU on the goats. Have I ever recommended the book The Year of the Goat to you? It actually speaks to a lot of the things you're talking about in this post. Plus, there are so many anecdotes about the awesomeness of goats, you may become obsessed. Just a warning. :)

Anonymous said...

Elizabeth, I'm so glad you're back. I've really missed your blog. Your writings about the goings on in your lives are just so captivating that I never miss a one. I think you do so many creative things with your children...very impressed. You might want to rethink the goat part though. It's amazing what they get into and on top of...the car, for example. Hi to Brandon. caroleb in SAT

Robin said...

Hey, girl. You better be looking for houses in Austin or I'm not going to be your friend any more. You are NOT ALLOWED to settle in Northern Virginia!! :)

I can't wait to hear how the hypnobirthing goes...and I can't help but picture you checking into the hospital in Brandon's old clothes. Maybe with some yarn fringe?

I'll have to check into soulemama when I'm not already feeling super un-crafty and unproductive.


Amanda said...

I love your writing! I also love soulemama. I, too, have devoured her book and we have tried a variety of the activities in it. I made Aidyn a pair of pants out of an old skirt (not one of Jimmy's shirts, but still inspired by soulemama:) and I really love them. The girls love stitching on burlap and we have several freezer paper stencil creations lying around. There is so much more I would love to do and be - soulemama makes it seem so effortless. It's not that effortless for me:)

I didn't get to talk to you anymore about the hypnobabies yesterday, but don't worry about falling asleep. I fell asleep just about every time I practiced, but they tell me your subconscious is still hard at work absorbing those positive messages when you're sleeping:) I tend to believe them because of the difference it made for me. When I walked into labor and delivery on Delaney's birthday, the midwife was pretty skeptical that I was in labor. She was thinking she was going to be sending me home. When she checked me, it was kind of fun to see the shock on her face, because I was almost at an 8 already (I was really a mess by that point in my labor with Aidyn). Just be confident that it will work - I think that's half the battle. And I think it would be fantastic to fall asleep during labor and wake up as your little man serenely makes his entrance:)

Anonymous said...

It is good to have you back. I laughed out loud at some of the images you paint in this blog. I mis ya lots and I second the notion that you better buy your next house in Austin!!!

Katharine Graves said...

Please, please go to a hypnobirthing class. The book is good, but the course is wonderful, and really makes a huge difference to birth. There's nothing like it.

Katharine Graves

Katharine Graves is a hypnobirthing teacher in London