A thousand apologies for how quiet the blog has been! I really need to learn how to be a blogger. My husband told me about this lovely podcast he listened to, in which the podcaster likened blogging to a weeks worth of family meals. Obviously, no one wants to have thick steak and fluffy potatoes for dinner every single night, not even me and I love red meat above all things. When it comes to food, most of us appreciate a diverse balance: some hearty meals, some lighter meals, meals that fall somewhere in between. The same holds true for blogging. The content of my very favorite blogs are neither too light nor too heavy. I also like when blogs are updated regularly, but not too regularly, because then I begin silently wondering if the author is ever really present for his or her own life.
If I want to be more like the bloggers I love, I really need to write more often. I could certainly be much better about blogging consistently if I was offering a more diverse “menu” of posts. I need low-maintenance, peanut-butter-banana sandwich posts. Like, I don’t even have jelly right now, guys, I just have this banana.
This post won’t exactly qualify as a peanut-butter-and-banana sandwich post. Its more like a weird combination of leftovers as I catch you up on the happenings of the last few weeks!
First, Tim got shingles, which is just strange and uncalled for. Luckily, we caught it immediately so it was manageable. But we all felt a little bump in our immune systems: aches, colds, sore throats, and just general sloth. This, in conjunction with the never-ending deluge that has been Southwest Florida for the last two weeks made us all a bit unmotivated. Our backyard is currently flooded with rainwater and frogs. Nonstop rainy weather would actually be ideal for writing if I was some child-less, moody dude with a typewriter. But I am not.
On the Catholic front, I was privileged to attend the Extraordinary Form of the Mass at a stunning little church in our area. I went twice, so that I could experience both the Low Mass and the High Mass. (The Low Mass wasn’t exactly my cup-of-tea, at least not with children in tow, but High Mass was rad.) While I found the Extraordinary Form fulfilling and rewarding overall, it definitely catapulted me into a confused state. The church I normally attend is pretty much the epitome of Vatican II so my field trip to a new parish was absolutely like entering a different world. I’m sure I will eventually write all about my thoughts and general confusion on this subject but as St. Augustine would say, not yet. I just can’t even.
Our farm business has really been taking off, and we are thrilled to announce that we will be at the Sarasota Farmers Market this Fall. So many happy, healthy, pasture-raised chickens will die at the hands of my husband and become delicious bone broth!
Lastly, and most importantly, the weeks of rain have heralded in some big news for our family: I am currently expecting my third baby. This news is so brand new that no one really knows yet. I even have a few family members that I have yet to tell, who hopefully will forgive me if they find out by reading this post! I don’t even wanna deal with sharing the news on Facebook yet, because it seems just a bit too soon, but I have lots of love and trust for the very small community of people who actually read my writing.
I will tell you that this was not planned. It is not exactly the best time, to say the very least. I’ve spent the last few weeks moving through stages of overwhelm, excitement, fear, grief, calm, more fear, trust, rest, fear again. I could unpack that process a bit more for you guys but I think there are some things that should stay between me and my journal. The short version of the story is that I felt deep grief over rushing my time with Rosa Maeve, who is only 19 months old and in so many ways still my baby. I felt grief over having to be round again. Oh, and then I remembered I would have to give birth, ugh, and I was like whyyyyyyyy.
But at the end of the day, I must still be an animal-woman in heart and soul, because however terrified I am of having three small, needy children, I am still genuinely happy to be pregnant. I really like my husband. And I have truly loved being a mother of children much more than I ever enjoyed being the mother of only one child, much to my surprise. I’m actually really into my kids lately. My first year with Rosa was hard, I have not forgotten that, but these days, the girls (ages 1.5 and 3.5) totally party together.
Since finding out and dealing with stages of fear and grief, I have made a meticulous plan which I have titled Operation Continue to Survive Motherhood. (Title needs a little work.) Here are the details of the plan:
1. Be brave. I can do hard things. (I stole that line from a smart friend.)
2. Go to bed at 9:00pm. (Seriously, this is a simple change that has the effect of taking a bottle of joy pills. I am shockingly patient when I’ve had good rest.)
3. Wear mascara. Or lipstick. Or both.
4. Live within a Happiness Bubble. The bubble comes with strict handling instructions: Don’t f*** with my happiness bubble. (Stole this one from another smart friend.)
5. I am going to choose not to piss and moan, and avoid excessive venting sessions overall. Because why even bother.
6. Lots of bodywork: I am going to trade babysitting for craniosacral therapy, thai massage, and any other weird body treatment that might increase my bliss factor.
7. GIANT CUP WITH CRUSHED ICE AND STRAW.
8. Hire a birth doula. I already have an excellent midwife who attended both my homebirths but I need to kick this shit into high gear and hire a full staff for round three. Do Priests come to homebirths? Can I get a Rabbi as well?
10. Come up with a tenth item for the survival plan. (I have some solid contenders, such as “Drink more beer!” and “Eat Chipotle forever and always.”)
So, hopefully after reading this you understand my recent quietness. I had a lot to process. Luckily I don’t really suffer from morning sickness in pregnancy but I do get super, duper tired, so I am going to have to carve out some new time for writing since bedtime is no longer an option (see survival plan item #2 above). I hope I can keep posting regularly, but things may be a little spotty until I enter the second trimester and start feeling like a jolly round Christmas present.