A few weeks ago I felt a little dirty going to Wal-Mart. All the years of avoiding it made it even worse to go that day. I felt sad for the people that work there, nostalgic for all those sweltering summer days in the South when my mother and I found refuge in our local Wal-Mart, and I felt more than a little hypocritical. [more]
I never thought I’d be one of those people who made my baby’s food. I always figured some company had perfected recipes and processes and that I as a consumer would benefit from their years of research and trial and error. So when Eliza started eating solid foods we bought jars off the shelf of our local grocery store. It went on like this for a month or so, grocery bags with jangling jars inside. There is a sign in one of our local grocery stores that reads, “organic doesn’t mean clean,” and in the case of organic baby food I would argue organic doesn’t mean tasty either. After a while, I noticed that most of this food was pretty bland, even for baby food. So we steamed some carrots one day, put them in the blender and within a few tries, came up with a creamy, sweet, electric-orange meal. We’ve been making her food ever since. [more]
There’s a Lucinda Williams song that goes something like “I think I lost it, let me know if you run across it.” That’s how I’ve been feeling lately about my own game. It’s missing, on vacation to somewhere warm and sandy and, I’m convinced, may never return again.
I’m afraid I’m turning in to that woman. That woman who walks around just plain dirty with a just plain dirty baby in tow. That woman who trades hip and sexy for fashion-tragic comfort. That woman, as we say in the South, who has “just let herself go.” [more]
Last week we planted carrots and greens. I sat Eliza in the dirt and moved quickly making rows in the soil I’d turned the week before. As I sprinkled seeds, Eliza grunted to be picked up.
“Just one more row,” I told her over my shoulder.
Her grunts turned to whines then to cries. It took us all day to plant one bed. Saturday we planted potatoes and onions. In the middle of planning the potato patch I turned to look and Eliza had a handful of dirt in her mouth. [more]
“Trust your instinct,” a friend said.
It’s such a simple concept and one that we new mothers often forget. We’re inundated by advice – some well meaning, some not so much – and we want more than anything to do it right, to make sure our children are OK. And the fear and guilt that come from the newness of this endeavor make us vulnerable even to concepts that seem foreign, concepts that go against everything our gut is telling us. [more]
Last summer Eliza was born and our poor dog Imogene has had to take a back seat both in terms of time and affection. I tell her to be quiet when the baby is sleeping, I won’t let her lay on the rug because she gets muddy paw prints on the baby’s blanket. Dinnertime is no longer the begging free-for-all it used to be, I usually tell Imogene to get out of the kitchen because she is just one more thing in my way. She stays outside most days now; she sleeps in the laundry room instead of our room. We’ve even talked about having her sleep in the garage.
Imogene’s status has shifted without any of us meaning for it to happen. She’s still the baby dog but there’s new angel-faced girl in the house. Lately it seems as though we’re treating Imogene differently. We’re treating her like a dog not the go-everywhere-we-go companion she’s always been and somehow that’s strange. [more]