Saturday, December 31, 2005

Season Seven

Buffy was given to me for Christmas. All of season Seven. Yesterday I got my order of cute-but-not-cutesy iron-ons for spicing up the kid's onesies, so I had some crafty time to put in.

Buffy got me through the wedding invite making, too.

I didn't expect this season (the last) to be as good as it is. I can't believe past Buffy folk like Alyson Hannigan and Seth Green are on such crappy shows now.

Anyway, see you at the end of disc II.

Soggy Ending

2005 is almost kaput. It has been quite a year, if I remember to straighten up and look back over it- most of the time I sort of feel like I'm trudging ahead, letting my eyes roam only over the next few steps ahead. If you do that while hiking, your neck gets sore and you miss all the good scenery.

It looks like New Years Eve will be a soggy one here. It may in fact be quite similar to the time I was visiting Grandma English and we watched the ball fall on TV. I say we, but she had dozed off in her chair.

Things are flooding all around here- I find that oddly exciting. It's mean of me, really, because I know if we didn't live on top of a hill then I'd be worrying like the folks around us must. A few miles down the road there's the little sad town of Turner. It features a train track, several stuffy pubs, two run-down mini markets and all of it tends to flood. There's a huge Tabernacle church building- pretty, really- and already the entire lot it's on is a lake.

Something about water overrunning boundaries makes me feel all biblical. The bridges around here are low and quaint- mostly cement with neat shapes cast in them, from earlier times. Since it's an agricultural area out here there are probably more chemicals being washed around with the silt than can be counted, but it LOOKS like nature gone wild. Everyone is talking about winter of '96, when the floods were the worst and bridges were washed out entirely. Mom and dad were surrounded by flooded roads- all 3 routes between them and town were covered.

Despite the chance of getting socked in, I am still taking herbs and pumping whatever I can get out of my boobs. Even in '96 they were able to get out because they drive big rigs, so I refuse to let up on my labor quest. It seems somehow appropriate to labor in a deluge.

Friday, December 30, 2005


I have found it. I will do everything I can (don't remind me it's not much) to get the kid ready to pop on out. I've bought the breast pump (there's two potentially hot words you can combine to take the sex right out of them), the double-blind scientifically tested herbs, the treadmill (thanks J!) and the gym membership with a pool included.

It's hard not to get my hopes up or to get dismal.

Right, then. It's about time for my morning nap. Someday soon I know I will look back on this freedom and curse my ungrateful little taking-for-granted self. So let's savor- c'mon, Simon. We'll stack up a pile of frivolous parenting books & pillows and listen to the rain fall outside. Maybe we'll even go wild and hook up the old pump, lulled away to the land of nod by its peaceful zzzt zzzt-ing.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005


Hello, my name is Miriam and I am a raging hormone-aholic.

Yesterday I wanted to get out of the house. So we went birthday shopping for a certain sister and also Christmas gift exchanging. And then I realized that wasn't what I wanted to do. Have you ever seen a toddler ask for and recieve something, only to shriek Noo-o---ooo? That was me.

It is a very strange thing to go from school/work/practice/church/things to do with friends any day of the week to.... Salem. And I like Salem, and my parents are amazing and gracious and kind as always. (Here comes the dreaded However) However, I am going nuts.

I have no friends, and no prospect of encountering any, and sometimes (yes, like now) I fully and completely indulge in self pity. No wonder I am so ready for the kid to arrive, just to have a purpose. Normally I would look at the situation, come up with some solutions, start to DO something about it and buy myself a Starbucks. There just really isn't much I can figure to do just now, except... what was it other people have.... Patience? Yeah, learn that.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Veni, veni Emanuel!

Merry Christmas!!

Wishing you and yours the best evening and warmest time.

Playing in church yesterday we had a great time with the band. Mom and Dad drove up (first time they've heard me play for ages, and J ever!) and the service included tons of little kids with candles. That way we get the thrill of wonder- wondering if any of them will set any one on fire.

None were ignited, and Rick gave an excellent message- I like him more and more, and respect his depth of knowledge. We also went to Mom & Dad's church and got to say Hi to Pastor Moody.

Our tricky present wrap jobs worked and there were real surprises all around. J got a little keychain baby that poos gel when you squeeze it, courtesy of his Dad. Huge an extravagant gifts were spread liberally about, and we all feel blessed (not to mention fed) into a state of grateful shock. Lovely!

Sweet love to you all, internet people.

Friday, December 23, 2005


Less than a month. A day less than four weeks.

Milk purchased now expires right around my Estimated Due Date.

Things that take 4-6 weeks to arrive would not be here by then.

If I started a Write a Book in 28 Days! course, I wouldn't quite get to The End.

I'm trying to encourage myself, because I really can't believe I've ever not been pregnant, or ever will be done being pregnant. 40 weeks is longer than it seems. About 27 days longer.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Becoming a Dad

It's at least a little funny that right now I am reading a book called Becoming a Dad. It's a slightly Christianese book with a more contemporary spin written by a couple of psychologists. It's a good read, except when they start in with the Find Yourself descriptions (are you a Mr. Nice Guy or a Joe Quarterback? Did your family tell you You Were Loved? Did you Always Get Your Way? etc.) complete with horoscopian predictions of what this will mean in your own parenting style.

I do like the verses they chose to throw in. This one from Deuteronomy 4 reminds me a bit that my whole life up to now does still count for something:

"Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them."

Another translation:
"Just make sure you stay alert. Keep close watch over yourselves. Don't forget anything of what you've seen. Don't let your heart wander off. (I LOVE THAT!) Stay vigilant as long as you live. Teach what you've seen and heard to your children and grandchildren."

I also like that they talk about this whole thing being preparation for a mystery. We really have no idea what the baby will be like, how the birth will go, what he might need, how we will feel.

One thing they talk about a lot that seems unbelievable to me is that new dads often feel left out- that the mom has everything the baby will need. I cannot even IMAGINE doing any single little tiny part of this without J. I would be even more of a crabby wreck, and I don't think I'd even bother trying to hide it. My requirements for housing now absolutely include SHORT commute times, because I am selfish. Some of the time I imagine needing him to do stuff for the kid, but for the most part I want him for me. Me me me me me.

Last night I played for a guy who proposed to his girl at our church- we (string trio) were in the balcony and he had the whole place decked out with candles, stained glass lit and nothing else. They came in and we started Be Thou my Vision while he took her up to the altar and got down on one knee. It was a little like watching a silent film- she even had a cute little flapper-like outfit on. It must have gone well, because they smooched a bit and ran out. Folks at our church like drama, creativity. And, lucky for me, string players.

Here's where I was rudely reminded I am pregnant.

But after that, when J and I were finally driving home we got a little turned around as to where exactly I-5 was. I knew I didn't want to go home through all the little puny towns just south of Portland because I was already exhausted and it was raining hard and I wanted me some cruise control. But of course, we did indeed tour quite extensively through hill and dale, knowing the freeway was RIGHT THERE all along, just past that winery or those Stepfordian developments.

When we finally found a freeway feeder road, J zipped past me (I had missed an increase in the speed limit and was zoning out, which he thought meant I wanted him to lead). Because I am now officially in the ninth month and drunk on hormones, I of course assumed he was annoyed with me for crabbing and for wandering around in the Explorer like a lunatic and started bawling. Nothing purtier than a pregnant lady snuffling along in the slow lane feeling sorry for herself, squeezing all the blood out of the steering wheel and unable to find a comfortable temperature for the heat/AC/heat/AC.

What a dork. Can you see me being somebody's primary caretaker????. Hmph.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

They have classes for everything these days...

We are now officially aware that I am an anal nut.

Tonight I have us signed up for a breastfeeding class. I think it's funny that a class is required in this, but it comes highly recommended by every book in the Obsessive Preparations for Parenthood aisle.

See, this way, if parenthood is hard or if I am not suddenly transformed into a perfect person by giving birth, I can at least say I did everything I could to try.

My man- he's a good one, going with me to all of this stuff.


Monday, December 19, 2005

Six days later...

And still not a ton to report.
We are under seige. Germs and icy roads. My parents are both wretched with yucky viruses and/or bacterial grossness and feel lousy. I have just gotten over a fun two-week cold, but it really wasn't that bad except at night.

Today I discovered the kid clothes resale shop and bought a bunch of cute stuff. Not a pastel in the bunch- lots of stripes, several orange items. I think this was the first time I had a good time shopping for His Impendingness. Is that sad? It might have something to do with the fact that I feel as though we might actually be sort of in the realm of readiness now, and shopping no longer presents itself as desperate and futile. J went WITH me and we got a car seat. This made me deliriously happy- wierd, huh.

I started reading another Don Miller book- I remember liking Blue Like Jazz and I sort of felt I should read this stuff since it has in part made our new church what it is. It's a very popular, very hip church. The other day after playing a totally not church-related gig (which was packed with folks from the church) J and I made some observations.

There is a breed here, the Pretentious Hippy Front (affectionately known from here out as the PHF- could less offensively be called the Portland Hippy Front) who dominate the scene. To attain PHF-ness, it appears necessary to either pay no attention to your hair (IE, let it grease, dread, or mat at will) or pay a lot of attention making it look like you don't (die it intricately but then cut it in such a way that it looks untouched by adult hands). They are passionate about Christ but like to throw out the worst curse words (like writing them in glitter on stockings on the wall of the gig venue) to prove they understand that Jesus said "shit" and that they are above religiousity. Most of the men have beards and are called Nate, most of the women have neat names and are careful none of the cool stuff they wear matches. I have seen more shoes I like in a church service than in any store on the planet.

Don't get me wrong- we do like it, and them. So far there are lots of these folks who are geniune and sweet and seem to remember us from week to week. Occasionally it just seems we may not be quite cool enough, or young enough, or from-Portland enough, you know? Probably that's because I've been feeling a little frumpy, old and out of place lately. It may be that the PHF is innocent, and will love us and keep us and call us George. Can't wait to see- can't wait to move up there and get into it all seriously.

I feel amazing lately. Could just be that non-fat decaf eggnog lattes are in season. There are little arms and legs tumbling around and except for the practice contractions (Braxton-Hicks is just about onomatopoetically the right name for those) during which I could swear he has snuck himself a shank in there, it's not half bad growing a life.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


Waiting for the big event now is almost exactly like that time DeeDee Spooner helped me get a loose tooth out in Darcy Elementary in Helena, Montana. She tied a string carefully around my wobbler (she MUST have had younger siblings) and fastened the other end to the bathroom door handle.

It didn't hurt, but it seemed like it was going to.

Waiting for her to count, One Two... was kind of like this. When I think about labor, I feel a little shot fo adrenaline jump around from my legs to my lungs somewhere. When I think about having a kid (like yesterday when I was folding ridiculously small onesies and putting them in a drawer) who depends on me I get a Venti jolt with about 15 shots in it. Also, I think that despite being all cumbersomely bumpy and having every woman in a 50-yard radius smile knowingly at me, I am still harboring a little kernel of denial. Who's pregnant? Yeah well, you're pregnant. Your mama's pregnant.

I'm not sure if I'm nesting or if I'm just indulging every crafty-cleany anal impulse that sprouts in my sleepy little brain stem. Mom and I spent hours yesterday putting up big creamy curtains (which I sewed! I'm a sewer- oh, that doesn't sound quite right...) over the closet in our room. The closet was previously concealed by those bending metal door things which A) are a little noisy, B) had something against me and staying in their tracks and C) protruded into the room when open. So of course that meant they were threatening precious baby-space and had to be dealt with.

I was so overzealously punching holes in cards and paper last night that I managed to break a brand new hole punch and make my right shoulder sore. It might have had something to do with the fact that we were watching Nanny 911 (remember, no cable out here= limited viewing choices) and the dad was a horrible schmoe. Plus they kept showing what kept him away from home (and his SIX kids) every night- the worship band at church! (I am sparing you multiple abundances of exclamation points from here on out, but feel free to imagine them anyway.) Every time they showed him with his group he was literally singing... no.. I can't say... Kum ba Yah. While his bratty little kids at home were acting out in every possible way to get some attention and to show the mom that they would treat her just like he was.

So somewhere in there, I must have over-punched the paper puncher.

I haven't practiced in 3 1/2 weeks. I also have not exercised (other than marathon shopping days with mom) in 2 weeks.

Assign me some rosaries, anoint me with holy water- confession complete.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Merry Kitschmas!

The craft fairs were, as expected, kitschful kitschfests. I took a picture with my phone of a toilet seat cover booth at the high school that had white knit ones with little black poodles embroidered on them. The maker had also displayed a photo of her own real-life poodles. She had them in holiday fabrics. If I was any good at blogger I could get the picture up here.

Another booth consisted entirely of brooms with the handles colorfully painted, right next to one full of crocheted afghans in the full range of 70's colors.

We did get a tree after some confusion and a bit of rain. It's resting in the garage just now in preparation for The Decorating tomorrow. I love that in Oregon you can get a great tree from a neighbor's farm for $15. Watching them harvest the bigger operations with helicopters is kind of cool, too.

Small towns make Christmas even better. Being shaped like a snowman in the middle also helps.


I have no job just now. I'm not a mom yet, though every time the kid decides to press on the exact same spot for an entire morning- not kicks per se, but a methodical bruising of several sections near my ribs (little prodigy already)- I try to convince him to come outside and play already.

Yesterday and the day before Mom and I shopped from dawn to dusk. We have Christmas to get for! Today we're headed to the local high school (Turner, OR- population about 10) for the craft fair, and then maybe to Portland for an outdoor weekly craft market and tonight we're getting our tree. I am living a Norman Rockwell life. Sweet.

I wonder if housewifery is pronounced funny like midwifery.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Be afraid...

Portland is. They are preparing for a Winter Storm- a Snow Storm. It has been on the news for about 4 days now, dominating. (Yesterday, "Our top story today; no snow in Portland.") Obsession, people.

Meanwhile the midwest looks like it's getting actual weather but of course not much changes or closes there. Out here, even J's office said to check the website and see if he should come in or not. (He gets snow days!!!!)

I like the little newscasters in their brightly colored Columbia gear, hoods tightly squinched around their little faces. They are generally shown standing somewhere with a slight breeze and 40 degree temperatures. I imagine when the cameras stop rolling they remove the jacket and light up a cigarette or something. Cutie pies.