Emerging from the mom fog

Cleaning out our barn
Just a small taste of the great big mess we’re working through in the barn.

The TLMB household has knocked it out of the park over the last week. We spent the long holiday weekend welcoming our incredibly generous friends to our “farm” to help us clear space in our barn to make way for a couple of pet goats we hope to acquire in the next few weeks, who in turn will (I hope) help us with our burgeoning poison ivy and brambles problem.

The Husband and I also finished painting and putting hardwood floors down in our hallway and The Baby’s room, making great headway in the battle against the shag carpet.

We also painted and installed mounted shelves in our pantry, which is now a dazzlingly ordinary, organized space that makes me swoon with satisfaction. I’m a simple girl. Being able to see all our dry goods and baking pans makes me feel like I’m in control of my life.

We re-upped our lapsed membership to Northeast Ohio’s most expansive CSA, since our dreams of having an abundantly producing garden have withered and floundered like the neglected tomato plants and never-sprouted carrots that we put in too late and water too infrequently. Next year, we’ll be armpits deep in homegrown produce. In the meantime, Fresh Fork has been a much-needed source for locally grown veggies and other goodies, and I’ve gotten back into cooking in a decent way.

I’ve picked up a couple new clients for freelancing and am undertaking some intellectually stimulating and creatively fulfilling projects.

While I’ve been consumed with motherhood for the past six months, the past couple of weeks have made me feel more like a whole person than I have since The Baby arrived. Sure, I still wear a rotating uniform of stretched-out V-necks, shush The Baby to sleep four times a day and eat like I’m training for sumo, but I also used a miter saw and drank a bunch of cheap beer with my  friends and did research so I could write coherently about a subject other than breastfeeding.

While the fog of motherhood obscures the less important things in my life, it’s been nice to feel it lifting a little. It may be temporary or it may be because The Baby is getting a little bigger and I’m getting the hang of things a little more. Whatever the reason, it’s nice to feel a little of my old self shining again.

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Emerging from the mom fog

Weekend warrior and half a year…

It’s been a busy week at the TLMB compound, and the only time I’m finding to blog is while rocking a napping, teething baby, so forgive the stream of consciousness/lack of a clear thesis to this post. In no particular order, some updates:

The Baby turned six months old on Saturday!

He is *eating solids. He is scooting across the floor toward anything (cords, table legs, dog toys) he thinks he might be able to put his mouth on. He is picking up the main concept behind playing peekaboo. He has endured another round of shots and he has cut two teeth. My tiny baby is careening headlong into toddlerhood and I am just trying to keep up without my heart breaking/bursting. This wasn’t the only.milestone we hit since my last post. In fact…

*Mostly smearing on his head/massaging into his hands and arms like lotion.

My marriage turned six years old on Friday!

My dear husband brought home a bouquet of flowers and we celebrated by driving up to our old neighborhood in Cleveland, eating some of the best bakery in the universe, having a beer at Nano Brewery while The Baby slept in his carrier, and then going home and tearing the carpets out of our hallway and The Baby’s room. It may not be super romantic, but it reinforces the fact that The Husband and I make an amazing team. Which is critical right now, because…

The home improvement saga continues

We’ve been trying to make some urgent upgrades to our house (formerly my grandparents’ house) since we moved here in April. Most pressing has been replacing the 30-year-old shag carpet that resembles a basset hound’s back in its wrinkles. With The Baby making it clear he will never again remain where I put him down on the floor, we chose this past weekend to go for the hallway and his room. (We had someone else do our living room, kitchen and pantry a few weeks ago, but committed to doing the rest of it ourselves.) I actually really like doing this kind of DIY, but the corners and closets are awful. We also painted both rooms while we had the subfloor exposed. Last night when we finally moved the furniture vack into The Baby’s room it felt wonderful to be so nearly done with this project. But it’s just one of many projects, the craziest and next one being…

We’re getting goats?!?!

It sounds like a very bad idea, but the overgrown flowerbeds and yard around our house are brimming with poison ivy, brambles and wild garlic to such a degree that getting goats has become the most timely, affordable and eco-friendly way to solve this problem. The property has a barn (currently stuffed almost literally to the rafters with broken lawnmowers) that we’re tricking our friends into helping us clear out a bit. Then we’re charging full steam ahead into acquiring some goats. I am still in disbelief that I’m doing this, but that’s sort of how I felt about parenthood, so…it will be fine? Stay tuned.

A final note of congrats…

My good friend and way better blogger Melissa became a mom last week! I’m so excited to meet her little guy and hear how her birth went. Check out her post (and blog in general… especially if you love food and running and Cleveland.)

How’s your summer going? Any tips for new goat owners? Any tips for new crawlers? Any suggestions for what beer I should buy myself to deal with all this?

Weekend warrior and half a year…

17-year cicadas and some demolition

I will try to avoid too much about how busy or stressful my weekend is because A) I’m  boring myself talking about it all the time and B) parenthood is basically the state of being busy and stressed.

So.

Just a quick update.

I moved back to the forest just in time for the 17-year cicadas to emerge. The first time I experienced this I was 13 and totally horrified. This time I’m still a little horrified but it’s tempered with a little fascination and yes, even admiration.

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These things are  born underground, dig their way out, then push their way out of hard little exoskeletons, climb higher while the sun warms and dries them and their wings stretch out, then spend their short lives singing for a mate. Then they die, and their offspring won’t see the light of day for almost two decades. The Baby will be finishing up his junior year of high school before they return.

Isn’t that a little crazy?

Don’t get me wrong… I will gladly take another nearly two decades before I see them again, but I have new appreciation for these red-eyed, flying kazoos. As long as they stay out of my house and most especially out of my hair, we can coexist in peace.

This weekend also marked the tearing out of the atrocious brown shag carpet and old linoleum in the living room, dining room and kitchen. It was rough, miserable work but I can’t wait to get new floors, especially because The Baby is discovering how to get from Point A to Point B by rolling like a little tumbleweed. The Husband and I both feel like we took a moderate beating, having had to aggressively smash and tear the linoleum and particle board up from their super strong glue and long, long staples. Here are a few photos from demolition.

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My, what a mess we made
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Glue and staples, glue and staples

I have plenty more to say about our weekend (which featured both a certain Husband’s birthday and the unfortunate loss of another member of our family), but I will save it for another day.

In the meantime, here’s hoping the cicadas lull you to sleep if you’re also enjoying their epic return.

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17-year cicadas and some demolition