Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The Cruller

My body again

It has been a few weeks since I have officially stopped breastfeeding little Petunia and I am noticing all sorts of changes in my mind and body. My appetite is down and the bloating has decreased, but so has my energy. This could be related to being back on the menstrual-go-round, as the first period was a heavy one. I was craving red meat and spinach instead of the usual sweets and carbs. I am also watching for signs of the nasty PMS I was experiencing before this pregnancy. I have to say it has been a nice 18 months of stable hormone action, a gift, I guess from the progesterone and prolactin goddesses!

I start back at school part time and I am happy to begin mildly abusing my body again. Now I can resume my daily practice of skipping meals, drinking too much coffee, popping pills for this and that and inhaling the toxic fumes of dyes, paints and inks. Maybe I’ll even get drunk! Oh, so much to look forward to :).

Seriously, I am going to need all that caffeine so I can keep up with the Pet these days. She tears through the house on all fours, pulling books and cd’s off the shelf, dumping the dog’s food and water, grabbing the toilet bowl scrubber and putting all sorts of things in her mouth: screws, coils, batteries, cords, coins and legos. She tries to climbs out of her stroller, out of the bed, out of the bath, and off the changing table. She is a blur of banana puffs, strewn nuks, diapers halfway on and the bumps and bruises of an unflappable explorer. So we try to stay one step ahead of her, get her outside to feel the rain and walk in puddles, to see the ducks at the lagoon under the weeping willow, to walk with her by the lake and show her the grey crane that stands so still on the rocks as the boats sail past. But most of all, I’m thinking: it is time to get this monkey her own jungle gym.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Canoe to the sky

Ely, Minnesota

We spent the last week in the Boundary Waters at little place called Clear Stream in Ely, Minnesota. During the 10 hour drive, past the tall pines and white birch trees on the side of the highway, music playing and the baby babbling, I felt my mind empty out of all the chatter and noise of daily city life. That lasted but briefly and then Little Pet needed feeding and Juji wanted a snack and we needed gas. I did one quick sketch on a postcard size pad and then the car sickness started. So for most of the trip, I sat in the back with little Pet, eating mints and resting my head while Juji ate far too many jolly ranchers and got far to jolly for the front seat, and JB talked on his banana phone (One of Lil Pet’s chew toys) just to amuse himself and all the other drivers on I-94. (Reminded me of Smitty and Ronchez and the rotary phone in the orange Noth wagon back in the day).

Once in Ely, the whispering pines soothed us and the lapping waters and loon calls deep into the night lulled us to sleep. But in the morning Little Pet was everywhere, and everything was in her mouth. She squealed like a wild boar at the trees and the lake and chewed on pine cones and rocks. She crawled around in the pine needles and pulled herself up to taste the bark from a tree. She walked to the dock in the mornings with Dada and dipped her toes in the lake, tasted blueberries and watermelon and rode on boats. She loved it all.

As for Juji, he fished and drove a pontoon boat, helped with the campfires and got the sauna up to 200 degrees. He ate blueberry pancakes every morning, canoed to Pine Cone island, hiked the soggy Moose Horn loop and gazed at the milky way from the dock on Burntside lake.

As my agnostic husband so aptly quipped: "There may not be a god, but this sure is god’s country." And he’s right. Beautiful it was. But most memorable for me was the time spent in the little red house around a bowl of guacamole or a specially cooked meal and a half a dozen bottles of red wine, while babies were nursed to sleep and the dogs curled up under the table and Little Pet climbed from person to person and everyone was relaxed and worn out from hiking and fishing and canoeing and the fresh air off the lake rustled in the tops of the tall pines.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Double Digits Dude

May All Your Wishes Come True

It seems as if Juji has gone and turned 10 today. And I’m not quite sure how it happened. He’s well up to my shoulder for sure and has long fuzzy legs and cute little freckles on his face - somewhere between the child and the pre- teen (I guess they are called “tweeners” these days). Where did the baby that loved to see a red coin spinning on the coffee table go? The toddler that would shake with excitement with the sight of running water? The kindergartner whose friends always chanted a big “Hi Juju” every time he came to school? The little urchin who crawled into bed with us in the middle of the night until age 6?

He’s grown into the boy who sleeps with his dog every night, with the radio on and a stack of Hardy Boys books by his bedside. The boy who plays with wires and batteries and has alarms rigged up all over the house. The almost 5th grader who plays apple ball in the back yard (hitting little green apples with a bat for Stella to chase after), who still adores his sandbox and blocks and little cars and insists on bean burritos and malts every Tuesday night at Amu and Papa’s. The one who says: “shut your piehole dingbat,” “that sucks,” and “Duh, no,” to no pleasure of mine. The boy that never likes to be rushed and who can be slow to warm up. This boy, age 10, our Juliano, our Jules, our Juju, will always be the baby, the toddler and the school aged child all wrapped up into one black bean and cheese burrito, hold the tomatoes and just a touch of hot sauce please...