|The kitchen being this cleared was entirely due to this apron-wearing, wooden spoon wielding man of a man. I miss him now that he left me for work again. Sniff.|
The sweetling is 3 weeks old today. (Well, yesterday, when I wrote this!) I can't believe it. She is such a dear girl- already basically sleeping through the night (10-4:30 ish most nights and waking up once if I put her to bed earlier than that) and still sleeping most of the day too. She peeks out from behind her eyelids to check things out occasionally- but still, mostly with a squint. She is such a contented little thing. But even her wails don't bother me at all or stress me out- this, I think, is the gift of a longed-for and waited-for child. I feel so incredibly blessed to get to hear those sounds at all, they stir up in me only joy and immense gratitude. They make me happy.
I spend as many moments I can muster of my days trying to soak up her fleeting expressions and stretches and they are never, ever enough. Her little puckers and when she sticks her tongue out. The feel of her warm little hand on my chest, her fuzzy little head nuzzled under my chin (she loves that spot. me too.). Baby breathing, heavy and quick. I wonder at the teeny foot that can be massaged with a single thumb and the wrinkles of her hand and her dainty little fingers. I love the chubby fat at the back of her neck and her dream smiles, glimpses of what the real thing will be like. I clutch these moments desperately because I know how quickly they are gone.
After a blissful two weeks off, Matt went back to work last week and real life began. I have discovered that real life is harder to get back into than I remember with a new baby, even a most contented one like Ineke. We still have Christmas cards waiting to be mailed. We are still, three weeks in, incapable of arriving anywhere on time. The day ends with basket-loads of laundry still to be folded and science still left undone. And, though not exactly a need but certainly a want, a blog stands too quiet for too long.
Penny (the cow) is producing such quantities of milk now I have to use at least five gallons of milk a day in order to have clean gallon jars available for the next milking. That means, daily cheese and butter making on top of the laundry, the schooling, the cooking, the cleaning, the nursing, the snuggling, the thank you note writing, the taking down of Christmas and every other thing ToDo. In the last two weeks or so I have made and gifted to friends and family 24 balls of mozzarella, 25 rolls of cinnamon honey butter and 6 rounds of queso blanco. In two weeks. This of course, is not including the cheese and butter and yogurt we have kept for ourselves. The cheese & butter making is time-consuming, but the constant state of dirty dishes is the most frustrating. There are some nights I think- if I have to wash this enormous pot ONE MORE TIME today I am going to SCREAM. It did make for convenient gift-giving this year...but now that the spreading of good cheer (and milk products) is over ... that quantity of milk products being consumed by this family alone will result in me never.ever.ever losing my baby weight. EVER.
I have always been over-motivated to get things done. (This does not mean that I actually get huge quantities of things done- but that I am motivated to *think* about getting them done!) I make to-do lists that fill entire pages in notebooks and those are things I hope to accomplish in one day. These days, however, I am finding myself content to get done just a handful of things. I feel very accomplished if at the end of the day, those things are complete. And "those things" require no list. They are the most necessary things. Milk making-at least a bit. Schooling- a bit more, but still not nearly where we should be. A load of laundry- washed AND folded. Filling bellies, large and small. And then, maybe, one or two snippets of other things a day. Paying a few bills. Taking down bits of Christmas. Writing a few thank-you notes. And that's it. That is all I can muster. IF I AM LUCKY. If I am particularly productive that day. Strangely, I feel completely satisfied with this. I know this feeling of satisfaction will not continue forever and being able to get by accomplishing only a handful of things a day is completely unsustainable but for now, I feel pretty proud of those handful of things.
A new year- 2016. I love the fresh start. I love the looking back to see how I have done on my goals for the previous year. I love looking ahead and coming up with new goals for the new year. It's my thing. But this year, this moment, I don't feel like looking ahead or looking back. I am sure it may come eventually, when I can wrap my head around the hugeness of a new year before me. But, for now, I just want to stay in this moment with this teeny Tiddle squeaking in her sleep and laying peacefully and heavy upon my chest.
These moments, I wish they could last forever.