a moveable feast

{view from land's end}
Indian summer is in full swing here, so we dipped Rowan's feet in the Pacific for the first time. He was a little worried.

{baby toes meet the ocean}
But even though the days have been warm, the nights are chilly and crisp fall convinced me to wear a scarf and hat yesterday evening. I'm craving butternut squash soup and drinking lots of jasmine pearl tea.

S bought a TV. I'm not thrilled about that, but he's been on a movie strike. Meaning he refused to watch movies on the computer screen for months. The other night we hunkered together to watch the magic that is Midnight in Paris. Have you seen it? That movie makes me happy. And while I'm not a huge fan of the huge screen in our living room--which will now be a permanent fixture--I admit I want to watch Hemingway pick fights and call the sexy girls moveable feasts on the big screen.

Rowan turns nine months old on Thursday. He'll be almost as old as the time he grew and lived in my body. It simultaneously feels impossibly long and like he's lived with us for much longer than that. He is living proof that time is a useless accordion. I wonder how I could turn that into a Halloween costume.

What are your cravings lately? 
What will you be for Halloween?

and so we adapt.

Dear Rowan,

Lately we look at this every day.

Puerto Natales, Chile, where you were almost born.

I like to see this 10x20 print unscrolled in the kitchen, waiting to be framed. Of course it looks cold and romantic, quiet, a little bit sleepy.

There's this emotive sky at dusk when the streetlights light up dimly. And you really feel like you're at the end of the world. See me? Wearing my favorite San Francisco boots, jeans, a patchwork skirt, a couple layers of shirt beneath a puffy jacket, scarf, hat. Walking fast cuz it's cold and confident cuz I don't belong there, feeling like I can do anything because I am there.

Even though it seems pretty dark, looking at that picture makes me want to go back. Life is visually lighter here in the Indian summer of California, but a bit cluttered and clumsy too. I continue to struggle with whether we belong here. (Apparently, I still have some reckoning to do with this matter of belonging.)

For the moment I'm happy to remember that exhilarating feeling of living at the bottom of the world.
And to share it with you, whether we're looking at the photo or in the mirror every morning together. All the mirrors in the house are covered with your slobbery handprints. Yep, I'm a mom. I still turn the idea over in my hand, smooth as a river stone by now. I'm a home, and I'll be your home for a while yet. Wherever we are, that's where we belong.

I promise to do my best to help you feel like you belong, wherever you are. But don't ever move that far away from me. I might just follow you!

mirrors are the way to go.

Not much going on in these parts. I've been working on a couple of mini essays for the blog, but nothing that I can seem to finish in the amount of time I have between working, caregiving, and nesting. After being on the computer all day for work and often not leaving the house at all, it's hard to sit at the computer even more.

I already feel like I'm neglecting things as it is. After baby is asleep, it's time for S + I to spend a pocket of time together. To remember what it was like to be a couple, just like in those pictures we put up on the photo wall over the weekend. 

{mantel by my sister's suitcase}
Meanwhile a million little things tug at my eyeballs: a sea of correspondences, Rowan's baby book to assemble, books to read, nails to be trimmed, floors to be cleaned, fabric to iron, a mantel to decorate. Not to mention the deeper endeavors of meditation, yoga, love letters. Our baby still wakes up a whole lot, though it's been getting better. Last night he gave us three hours of uninterrupted adult time. But tonight he's woken up twice already and it's not even 9.30. We take baby steps. How do all you mamas do it? I used to be organized.

{mantel by perfectly imperfect}
But let's talk about mantels. We have a fireplace! A super 1970s fireplace, complete with oozing mortar between the brickwork and dark faux wood paneling above the mantel. I'm not complaining, because I love the fact that we even have a fireplace. But somehow I would love that space to be lighter and whiter. Sure it's an apartment, but unless we change countries again, we'll be staying here for a while. So... I've been seeking mantel inspiration. And I'm seriously considering wallpaper.

Do you have a mantel? What's going on up there?

today i spy...

Today we had our first rain in a while. The dwarf orange tree we bought a week ago is blooming its delicious scent, and we all love it. I know Rowan wants to devour the flowers, because his grabbing hands open and close like butterflies and he circles his wrists, reaching for the green leaves. But when I fly him over the tree and put his sniffer in the flowers, his eyes widen and narrow at the same time and he opens his mouth in a way that helps him breathe in the sweetness better. Tonight those flowers are waving wildly in the wind. I hope they're not yelling for help.

Today I realized that we pretty much feed everything to Rowan somehow masked with the essence of sweet potato. He was eating other things before, but apparently he really loves his sweet potatoes. Tonight S and I ate a sweet potato each for dinner. I put salt, yogurt, and sumac on mine, and he put cinnamon in his--which opposite to our normal flavor palates. He's been feeding Rowan a lot lately, while I work in my perfect cubbyoffice inside the nursery closet. I guess S has been getting a little jealous of Rowan's meals. I'm just happy S loves sweet potato as much as Rowan does.

{a view of the tatra mountains :: by all that is interesting}
Today started with a vow to not think negative thoughts. Which would be rephrased to: think positive thoughts. And then edited to: Think positive. And then fanned back out into a thought bubble: Well... "think positive" is not exactly the same as "don't think negative thoughts." There's something more complex about the latter. But then maybe I'm just complicating things. My ego brain revels in making mountains out of mole hills. Really, it's time to stop thinking at all. And talking. You know what they say about not having anything nice to say. Ick. Who wants to be that person? (See? How I just did it?) That sort of negativity has a way of creeping up on us collectively!

So let's try to make this a complaint-free day. Let's observe our thoughts.

What do you eavesdrop? 
I know that's really personal, you don't have to answer that.


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