Dear Rowan, today you are...

Dear Pookie,

Today you are five months old. You have enough balance to sit up for minutes at a time. And you can even inch over onto your belly from that position. While on your back today, you picked up the baby beach ball to your right and moved it to your mouth. You dropped it and picked it back up, and you totally could not have done this a month ago.

{a nap after you fell backward and bonked your head, sorry about that}
Sometimes I can't believe what a happy baby you are. I want to take some of the credit for this 'cuz I'm human, and humans can be ego-maniacs. But I believe this is your disposition. You really are a Buddha baby, maybe the next Dalai Lama. I thank you every day for being so patient with mommy.

I know sometimes it takes me forever to change your diaper. (Though you have to admit I do a pretty good job with all that kicking and leg exercise you do.) And sometimes your elbows get a little stuck midway through the arm tubes of your onesies. You let me know this is frustrating, but in a sweet, warning way. Like you're giving me a few more minutes, but I'd better get my act together pronto! You can wait, because you know that I'll give your knuckles back. So you can put 'em right where they belong: back in your mouth.

{here you are with daddy on father's day}
I feel funny resuming this letter after you had a meltdown and it took me an hour to seduce you to sleep. But you're a baby. And you certainly don't cry as much as the baby downstairs--who sounds really sad right now--while you're asleep, all peaceful. I like how your left arm either stretches out over your face or brackets it like a "greater than" math sign. Like daddy.

I like how you suck both your thumbs at the same time. I like how when we dance, you suddenly catch a glimpse of my fingers hugging your fingers from the corner of your eye; and your whole body bee lines to gum my knuckle. You have good peripheral vision.

We have this monkey that we bought in Santiago on one of our several trips to the American embassy for papa's visa. I slept with that monkey all the time after we got it for you, because you weren't born yet and papa was working in the mountains.

{r + m}
Now that your brain can tell your hands what to do, you love that monkey with all of your might. And when you drop it from the swing, you crane over to find where it might have gone. When the monkey flies back to you from the opposite side, you coo and squeal and grab the monkey with all of your body: your feet your legs, your killer abs your neck, and your wide open mouth.

I love that I can make you this happy. I love that you can make me this happy.

Even though you don't sleep very well. Though tonight you are sleeping well. (And I don't want to jinx it.)

Mommy loves Rowan.

depending on the inversion.

Happy summer or winter to you, depending on the inversion. Summer hit us whole-heartedly yesterday, and our house smoldered like an oven. We don't have A/C, and up until yesterday, I didn't think we would need it. Today is back to cool 70s, so I guess we really don't need it. But after wearing shorts for a day or two, I'm wondering... when will I feel comfortable in my skin again?

{paso john gardner :: torres del paine}
Choosing summer clothes feels near impossible. For all intents and purposes, I've lost my pregnancy weight. There'd only be another 6-7 pounds to go, and this isn't the heaviest I've been in my non-pregnant life. Right now I need shirts with easy access for nursing Rowan. And preferably something that makes my soft belly somehow less wobbly. Nothing fits well. I know, I'm being shallow. (But while I'm at it, I have another confession: I don't like my lumpy scar--even though my sweet baby came out of it. Somehow it still feels numb or occasionally hurts dully, oddly.) Yeah, people who know me would say I am crazy.

So what? My clothes don't fit, or they're not right for the occasion. But clothes are just the surface. It's not only my wardrobe. Maybe I'm having culture shock. I recently moved back to the States, and we also moved to the oddest plot of city we could. After living here a couple of months I have to say it's not my cup of tea or coffee. I miss walking in pretty places. Honestly, give me a nice trail, and I'm a fairly happy camper. I wish we'd had the time and foresight to think of this back when we were moving. Our lease is up in September, so I guess that means an imminent something

{my trails don't even need to be well defined :: paso oggioni :: tdp}
I am finally starting to feel used to being a mom, and yet... I still wonder how others get used to this new role. Do they swim up into it at ease? How do you all manage to find balance in whatever you do? I have never been this inactive in my life. And I can't blame it on being a mom. There is time for me to start running again, to do yoga. Yet I don't.

{before I started working, I did manage to squeeze in
a couple of hikes with Rowan in the carrier :: coyote hills, fremont}
This keeps coming back to issues of physical health. It's not really that at all. Well, maybe a little. I think it's about balance and groping to get a grip on it again. In fact, after I started working, I struggle to even find time to blog, among other things. I'm not about to fall off the tightrope yet. But I don't think my pocketful of grace is quite ready for prime time yet either.

I would love to hear how you find balance in your life. 
This isn't only about motherhood, though I'm tagging it so... 
Cuz I'm also tagging the phantoms in my life, like running + yoga. 

buddha baby.

As I was doing laundry, I was interrupted by thoughts that required blogging. I know this happens to you guys too, which is why I'm writing about blogging itself. I mean we're all writing these diaries; we have topics to share and stories to tell. But we never really talk about the fact that we write these diaries. We just are what we are: bloggers. And I still think blogging sounds kinda dorky, like being in band in high school. But who are the coolest saxophonists you know? I bet half of them came outta high school band. Blogging even has its own (kinda dorky) word.Not to mention the masses in the palm of its hand.

{i love blogs button ring: find it at just lovely things}
But thoughts of blogging itself didn't make me stop folding to sit down and blog.

Enter smoky, vanilla-colored fade-in signalling a flashback (No, I never was a playwright): I am looking down at all of Rowan's little clothes. Only, they are not little. As I fold his onesies I think back to a couple weeks ago (ooh, flashback within a flashback), when I was unpacking them from the 6-month and 6-9-month storage containers. We pretty much get all Rowan's clothes from my cousin. They have two boys, born in opposite seasons, and their youngest is about 18 months old. 

As I get each next container installment, I go through the stash, pick out what I like and fold it out into piles on the floor. We don't have much closet space, so anything I think Rowan won't wear or doesn't make sense for the temperature, I put back in the container. (I wanted to take a picture of him in these penguin tuxedo footie pj's. I don't know why I didn't, and I think I better do it before he just bursts out of them.) Just a couple of weeks ago I was thinking: Hot diggity! These look like they'll fit for a while!

But today, I'm folding his jammies and sorting out which ones are already starting to feel snug. You guys, Rowan is soo-ooo healthy. He's only 4.5 months old, and we are about ready to put him in 9-12-month gear.

These pictures just make me grin every time I see them. 

So, I'm looking down at all these baby clothes wishing that something would look big on him for once--like it did when he was a baby. But even though he's giant, he is still my baby. And I guess he'll continue to be my baby well after he starts growing facial hair. Do you know how absurd it feels to think of your baby needing to shave his someday-beard? Whew. That's about as far as I'll venture into the Rowan-growing-up continuum. I'm not ready to start thinking about what happens post-facial hair.

{someday he might actually grow a mustache!}
We'll need to get this for his nursery someday.

I'm sorry I've been so absent from your blogs lately. It's been a hectic few weeks. Some days I don't even check my personal email. Can you even imagine that? I can't. Hopefully next week will be more relaxed. This weekend we're all going camping in Angels Camp, near the river where S will be working. Sounds like Rowan will have a sitter there for a couple hours there, so I can go on S's rafting trip too. 

What are your plans?
Happy Father's Day to the dads in your lives!

obviously I need a little pick me up.

So let's talk about hair. I need a makeover. And it seems that I'm about to be hooked up with one by my cousin's beautiful wife. She's a masseuse, and the salon people she works with owe her various beauty favors for massages she's given them.

And, bless her heart, she has offered to give those favors to me! I don't know what to do with my hair. I just know a.) it's been more than half a year since I cut it, b.) last time it was cut horribly and crooked, c.) the time before that it was cut even worse, and d.) it's falling out in clumps.

I would love to do this with my hair, and it would be awesome with my neck tat too.

{love maegan even has a video on how to do this!}

I don't even know if I have this much hair anymore...

{via hip hip gin gin}

Or should I just chop it all off? (Since it's falling out anyway.)

{via baubauhaus}
I shaved my head right after high school (yeah, better not talk about that one), but I've had medium-long hair for most of my life. Right now it's a couple inches below my shoulders.I haven't had any sort of coloring for more than five years. Thinking about getting some highlight too. You know, something bright.

 Have you ever drastically cut your hair?

something invisible can make so much music.

Is it wrong for me to not want my husband away from home for five days at a time? I have a full-time job. I'm lucky enough to be working from home, but when S is not here I'm working and taking full care of little Rowan too. It's after 10 p.m., and I'm just barely eating dinner. It's been eight hours since I last ate.

To intensify matters, this bundle of sweetness puts on the saddest face--quivering lip and all--when it's time for any kind of sleep. I've given up trying to do the whole nighttime routine. Then put him in his crib half awake and leave the room hoping he falls asleep without a fuss, because he stopped doing that.
He fights it so much, I just end nursing him to sleep in our bed.

We all share a room anyway and R has yet to spend a whole night outside of our bed. He's one of those babies who wakes up a lot. And I'm one of those mommies who just really wants to sleep for one more session between feedings. I talk to him like I would talk to my alarm clock back when I needed one: Just 10 more minutes. C'mon. Mama just needs 10 more minutes. 10 more. Just 10 more. (This could go on for hours.) When S is here, he takes Rowan in the morning, and it's a huge help. S gets his deepest sleep at night, and I get my deepest sleep in the morning, so it works out well. OK. That's enough about our sleeping habits.

{the old days}
I work during the week, and S mostly works on weekends, guiding white-water rafting trips. This means a lot of me never leaving the house, because--here's the kicker--we only have one car. And driving six hours with a baby, three of which find me driving a screaming baby by myself and stopping a whole bunch just isn't my cup of tea. We tried it once.

So today after I got the news that S won't be returning for another two nights, I asked myself that opening question. Is it wrong to want my husband to come home every day? I mean I want to be that wife who can just handle anything and that mom who just doesn't need help. But I'm feeling a little desperate here, you guys. I thought moving here was going to be easier. I knew some things would be difficult, but I wasn't prepared for just how much. And even as I write this, I hang my head in shame, because I know we have it so much easier than many couples. Not to mention you single mamas. I'm in awe of you. (If I was writing in a place that is not this blog, I would totally delete all the smaller text. And I wouldn't talk about having deleted it either. But this doesn't change the fact that I am in awe of single mamas.)

Sorry for being dark. This has digressed so much more than I planned. I wanted to write one thought cleanly, simply: Is it wrong to want to sleep with my husband every night? And then move on to what I did while this thought was knocking around in my mind like an ugly marble. Rowan took me for a walk. He led the way in the ergo, like he always does. He lets me choose the route, and I decided to do something different than yesterday. I like to mix it up.

{wind chimes by supersassafras}
As we circled back toward the house, we decided it was so windy we should walk a bit longer to visit yesterday's wind chimes.

Enter my favorite house in this neighborhood. It's an unassuming corner lot with an old sky-blue pickup on one street and a yellow VW bus on the other. The place has tranquil landscaping, old trees, roses, jasmine, wisteria, a gazebo haloed by potted basil and tomatoes. And large guttural wind chimes sing beneath a canopy tree. Benches everywhere. And a white Alice-in-Wonderland-type gate opens into it all. The only other fence is a squat wavy row of ivy, which you could easily step over.

Rowan and I walk toward the music and stop to listen to it. Everything changes in that little space of sidewalk. We step into a bubble surrounded by a field of light. We listen to the chimes' music, and it is so quiet. We hear a car start and pull out of (what I thought was the neighbor's) driveway. A man is driving an old woman--his mother I think--somewhere, and they stop. I look up, and then back down at Rowan to ask if we should be heading home. The man gets out of his car and says that if I like it, I can get closer. This is his house. He opens the magic gate for us and tells us we are welcome whenever we want. I walk into wonderland as they drive off. Rowan and I sidle up close to the chimes, listening to several gusts of song.

On the way home I tell Rowan how much better I feel. That I could have stayed there all day. That I could do my work there. That I could become a zen monk there. That we need to have a house and a garden someday. And that we definitely need some of these wind chimes.

father's day gift idea.

To tell you the truth, I don't even know when Father's Day is. I just know it's soon. I've been swimming through words and work, too busy to bother to look it up. My brother just left this morning, and I swore he wasn't leaving till Saturday. The house is quiet.

So, I steal a quick break to post some sweet poses. I think these would make fabulous framed gifts for Dad. I know I should just buy a really good travel knife for this household's papa, but aren't these precious?

Alright, maybe I'm thinking too much like a woman. One day our baby boy will teach me to be more manly, but not yet.And since I'm on the subject of gift ideas. Here's a great one for your breastfeeding mama friends (or their babies).

{nursing necklace}
I swear I'm gonna get this when no one is looking.

What are you getting for the dad in your life?

Bug Miscellany :: five word memoir.

While I'm away, I invited some of my favorite, inspirational bloggers (read: my blog crushes) to post their five-word memoirs. It's surprising how intimate five little words can be. 

This one is from Bug Miscellany.

I just can't stop wandering.
sun in the woods.
Wander on, fine friends! How about to... Kelli, the creative diva behind Bug Miscellany. Find more Bug on Tumblr, Facebook, and Twitter!

So, that's it for the week and a half of tiny memoirs. I hope you've enjoyed it as much as I have! If you have one to add to the collection, feel free to send it to me, and I will feature it.

Also, I wrote a guest post for Bug Miscellany on Monday. Check it out!

Signe Pling :: six-word memoir.

While I'm away, I invited some of my favorite, inspirational bloggers (read: my blog crushes) to post their five-word memoirs. Signe wrote six, but either way it's surprising how intimate five or six little words can be. 

This one is from Signe Pling.

Go say hi to Signe, and wish her luck on her grand move above the Arctic Circle!  

Village :: five-word memoir.

While I'm away, I invited some of my favorite, inspirational bloggers (read: my blog crushes) to post their five-word memoirs. Let me just say, it's surprising how intimate five little words can be. 

This one is from Village.

Better than I ever dreamt. 

It's pretty safe to say I adore this series. Only a couple days more before we return to our regular scheduling. I will continue to post your 5-word memoirs every now and again, so if you want to send me one, I'd be thrilled!

See more of Krystal's beautiful life on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Tumblr!

Design Addict Mom :: five-word memoir.

While I'm away, I invited some of my favorite, inspirational bloggers (read: my blog crushes) to post their five-word memoirs. Let me just say, it's surprising how intimate five little words can be. 

This one is from Design Addict Mom.

Life. Happiness. Delving right in.

{by julia galdo}
Go say hi to Stacey, and delight in the vibrant, happy world she's created. 
Check her out on Twitter and Tumblr, and enter the giveaway she's hosting here!

OneCraftyFox :: five word memoir.

While I'm away, I invited some of my favorite, inspirational bloggers (read: my blog crushes) to post their five-word memoirs. Let me just say, it's surprising how intimate five little words can be. 

This one is from OneCraftyFox.

Certain coasts cry for shipwrecks.

For whimsy, adventure and bits of the pretty life, visit Diana here.
Check out OneCraftyFox's jewelry, accoutrements and dresses too!

& Baby Makes 3 :: five word memoir.

While I'm away, I invited some of my favorite, inspirational bloggers (read: my blog crushes) to post their five-word memoirs. Let me just say, it's surprising how intimate five little words can be. 

This one is from & Baby Makes 3.

I'm part of something beautiful.

Visit Hollie here for some honest, funny, insightful and genius writing + photography. 
Impossible not to Want more? Twitter & Flickr.  


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