Sunday, February 17, 2008

"You'll understand if I'm not in a particularly social mood." *

The older boys are at church with H – H helps run the children’s music program and since we don’t insist on the kids going to Sunday school, we do make them attend the music service. They always grumble (I think it’s the having to put on real pants (not sweatpants) and decent shoes (not sneakers) more than anything else) but they seem to enjoy it once they get there and spend the week humming the new songs they’ve learned

I opted to stay home with the baby – yes, it’s fifty degrees here, but it’s raining and everyone seems to be sick (including me) so I figured I’d keep him sequestered a while longer. My mother-in-law would approve – in her day you didn’t take babies anywhere until after they were christened (about six weeks). Quarto will be christened (Episcopalian), but maybe not at exactly six weeks, and he’ll be out and about before that, as I still have three other children who have things to do and places to go.

Meanwhile, I can use the relative peace and quiet to edit a sixty-page proposal I promised a client by Monday. I KNOW, I just gave birth, but this is the third client who has contacted me and pleaded with me to “just take a quick look, pretty please” (ok, he didn’t say pretty please, but he was very nice). The only people who seem to understand that I HAVE JUST GIVEN BIRTH (and seriously, you don’t want me editing anything with my diminished brain capacity right now) are my favorite clients with whom I have a standing gig, and they have told me to take all the time I need. Which translates to a few more weeks for me, thank God. But meantime….my other clients are frantically preparing dissertation proposals for defense, and childbirth cannot get in the way!

I have been happily procrastinating, however by reading voraciously. I finished Enigma Friday night, Sleep Toward Heaven Saturday morning, and Mrs Kimble last night. Well, you know, all I have been doing is nursing The Remora and reading.

Enigma was somewhat predictable but that didn’t make it any less enjoyable. Sleep Toward Heaven was an almost perfect little book – sparely written, but with real characters. I couldn’t put it down, and requested How To Be Lost the minute I turned the last page on Heaven. And I loved Mrs Kimble - way more than I liked Baker Towers which is saying something. I am greatly looking forward to Jennifer Haigh’s newest novel due out in the spring. Granted, none of these novels are destined to become great works of classic literature, but they are all well-written, very plot-driven, and completely engrossing.

Now I am started on Barack Obama’s Dreams from my Father, which I am enjoying. I am not sure how strictly autobiographical it is, in that it’s not full of facts and dates; it is more of a gentle rambling over childhood memories and impressions of people and events. But he’s a good, mostly clear writer and I like him. I like his voice, I like his honesty and introspection, and the way he explores and probes his conflicted feelings about and impressions of race.

In other news, The Remora is pooping dark green poop which according to reliable sources (um, the Internet) apparently indicates some sort of foremilk/hindmilk imbalance so now the jaundice is cleared up, I have something new to worry about. Yay, motherhood

Theoretically, the electrician is coming tomorrow to run the cable line up to the third floor so we can move the computer out of the boys’ bedroom finally and start organizing this disaster of a house. I love my books but am thoroughly sick of two-thirds of our books being piled in my bedroom, with paths left only to the bed and the closet.

And I made the mistake of looking at Us magazine’s profile of celebrity moms and their post-baby bodies (linked from Mamarazzi). Oh. My. God. My flabby stomach seems worse than it ever did. But it does make a nice shelf to prop The Remora on so I can type...

*Karen, "Cabin Fever"


blackbird said...

- bad link, dear...probably in more ways than one.

Kathy said...

Don't look at the site again! They all have personal trainers and nannies and all kinds of helpers that you don't have.

I just finished The Heroines and completely agree with you about it. What was the purpose of that bit in the psych unit? The plot could have been carried forward in some way that was more integral to the novel -- this took me out of the story.

I love Barack Obama's writing style. I'm reading The Audacity of Hope right now.

TLB said...

I liked Mrs. Kimble better than Bakers Towers too. (Did I mention Jennifer Haigh was in a classmate of mine?)

I am trying hard not to think about the post-pregnancy belly myself. The pre-pregnancy belly was nothing to write home about, so at least I won't be in mourning for it.

Suse said...

People who have flat stomachs ten days after giving birth are spending too much time exercising and not enough time cuddling their babies.

MsCellania said...

All these things written on our bodies I consider the triumphs of our lives. A smooshy belly after a baby? Wrinkles from laughing so much? Frown furrows from worrying? Signs of time well spent, in my book.
Smooch those heavenly cheeks for me. I never had an infant; the boys arrived at 5 months and 7 months. But I got the smooshy belly in honor of their births, just the same! And now plenty of laugh lines, too.

Anonymous said...

I've always hated those features about alien celebrities and how they lost their baby weight in 24 hours.

Sure, who wouldn't look good with a personal chef and fitness trainer and masseuse and maybe a little plastic surgery?

I saw an infomercial the other day that featured a woman who'd had five children (including one set of triplets) and she claimed she got her rock-hard abs and smooth skin just from exercising.