Today I was thinking about curtains. And that made me think about my grandma’s previous house and the big front window with 2 curtains that fascinated me when I was younger. Then I remembered kneeling on the couch and looking out the window, then I pictured the other couches, the piano, the hearth, grandpa’s chair, jumbo…
This was during Ellie’s nap, and as I rocked her, I went from room to room, remembering every piece of furniture, everything on the walls. The terracotta colored sitting lady (who’s ridged hair I liked to brush with my fingertips), the batik of women washing clothes, the tiles by the stove, I tried to remember all of it. It made me happy and sad at the same time.
As I was looking around in my head, I started to see people in the house. Grandma in the breakfast nook, Grandpa nodding off in his chair, aunts and uncles snacking on a veggie platter, Grandma at the piano, Grandpa at his desk, “Hello, the Mallory’s”. And I would say, “Hi Grandpa!” And out of 9 female granddaughters, he always knew it was me. I guess I miss my grandpa.
I love seeing Grandma so comfortable in her new house and I always get a thrill when I see something from the old house and remember my history with it.
Last night we went to a dinner party at Sky’s and it was lovely. Excellent food, met some new people, enjoyed the company of some old friends and some newer. It was nice to feel like a normal person rather than a housefrau.
Actually, it’s not so much that I feel stuck at home, but that I have felt too much like myself. Let’s see if I can explain. When you’re at work, you’re one person. When you’re among differing groups of friends, you’re a different version of yourself. When you’re at a playgroup, when you’re at the store, etc, you present a different version. And at home (hopefully) you’re just yourself.
Well, the variety of things I do these days has rather narrowed. I have a reduced number of “selves”. So going to a dinner with people I hadn’t seen in a while was exciting. Also, I love showing off how lovely and sweet Ellie is.
I got one of the finest compliments of my life last night. And it had nothing to do with my appearance! I was told by Sky’s fiance that I seemed very wise. Wise! I think the truth was that I was very tired and sober, but I’ll take wise instead.
In other news, Ellie is working on cranking out a tooth, so is whiny and waking me up 4+ times a night. Also is gorgeous.
It was a bit of a trying day today. I woke up with a headache that followed me around all day. And I was just feeling tired. But Ellie was having none of that, and wanted me at my peak performance all day. She was almost as grumpy as I was. Maybe she was tired and headachy, too. Her naps were short and she was hard to get to sleep.
She and I met up with Linsey and Erica, on their way down to Cayucos for the week. We walked a short trip around some shops, looking at all the cute stuff we couldn’t afford, and then they went on their way down to bask in some sunshine and soak in the quiet. I found myself envying them their quiet, carefree, single girl lives.
Then I came home, wrestled more with her little grumpiness to get her to eat and/or sleep, before Jesse and I took off on a long walk. And of course, she fell asleep just as we were about to get back in the car and go home for a nap and nursing. So instead we let her nap while we walked all around the lovely neighborhood we were in. By the time we decided to give up and get back in the car, she had slept for more than an hour and not eating in 4 hours. So she ate furiously and angrily once we got home. Twice.
Then, Jesse and I determined that a trip to Safeway would really make our evening and morning much nicer, so, seeing as she’d just napped and just eaten (twice), I took off on my own to the grocery store. I left feeling carefree, “ha, ha! A baby-less trip to the grocery store! How exciting!”, until I’d walked not 10 steps and found myself instead thinking, “oh, but my baby! My identity, I’ll miss her! Nobody will know I’m a mom. What if she needs me?” Sigh. I am my own contradiction.
Ellie Mae 2/21/09
Well, folks, here it is. The day that is 5 months since I pushed out that little girl. Amazing!
And now it’s 3 days after that. Oops! Ellie forgives me, though, she told me so. This month has gone by so fast! Soon she’ll be 6 months – ack! She can grab her feet and likes to lay around holding onto them. They haven’t yet made it into her mouth. When on her tummy, she lifts all the way up on her hands and then lets them go and does that “flying” thing, where her hands are up in the air and her legs are up in the air and only her torso touches the ground.
She tries to grab whatever I’m working on, whether it’s a bowl of cereal, or putting a stamp on a letter. She still mostly wants to eat her toys, but also seems to be experiencing their textures and sounds. Jesse noticed the other day that she recognized her name. We were talking and she was playing on the floor and when I said her name, she looked up at me. If she’s with me when I turn the water on at the faucet, she grimaces in readiness for me to wash her face. And then if I do, she chases the washcloth with her tongue.
On my birthday, 2/25/09
She still approaches eating with a wide open mouth, like a little bird, bobbing her head around looking for my nipple. While eating, her arms and hands snake all over the place, usually ending up gouging at her eyes or trying to pull off her ear. She still loves to bounce, and when I try to get her to practice sitting, she pushes with her legs to stand up and then bounces. She still spits up often enough that Jesse and I can’t keep our clothes clean for long. She laughs at unpredictable times, though always will with just the right tickle. She likes to practice talking on her own – if I respond, she stops and looks at me expectantly.
Daddy's chair, 2/13/09
As you can see from the pictures, her smile is meltingly cute. When she’s excited and happy and meeting a new person, she almost shakes and shivers with delight. Her eyebrows are so expressive and her eyes are a turquoise green. Her hair has gotten almost an inch long in places on top of her head, but from across a room, she still looks bald. She’s holding her head up so high now that she finally has a neck and not just neck folds. Her skin is the
softest in the world.
Elena and Jesse, 3/1/09
She just gets sweeter and happier and more fun with age. I don’t know how Jesse and I got so lucky!
It’s coming! Maybe tomorrow. At this time a few other things are taking priority, like baths, eating and enjoying the sunshine.
Here’s a preview, though:
I am constantly composing entries in my head. They are usually about the sweetness, gorgeous face, bright smiles (etc, etc!) of Elena. But instead, she’s just gone down for a nap and I find myself waiting for calls back and freaking out and sitting here in front of the computer.
I messed up. Big. I missed the date to elect to continue our medical coverage (COB*RA) and that means we may have to cover all our medical costs for October. When we had Ellie. Oh my God. I’m nearly over hyperventilating and am waiting to hear from Medi*Cal to see if they would cover us and the ex-employers to see if we were somehow covered, but I’m just a big bundle of nerves waiting…
So, I don’t write nearly all month and this is what you get? I know, I should just erase it. I don’t really want to share my huge *%$#-ups, but this is me. Take me or leave me. Jesse says he still loves me.
And also, Ellie is the sweetest thing. Lovely girl!