Friday, December 28, 2007


We went to the doctor for the first time this week. (I know, I know. Should have been two months ago. But I always procrastinate.) It is nice to hear the heartbeat and be reassured that it is, in fact, a baby, and not a two-month case of food poisoning.

As for how things are going, I suppose they are going better. It's all in what you compare it to. Last week I couldn't move or keep anything down, and this week I can keep most food down if I don't move and breathe deeply and think Beautiful Thoughts and no one asks me about the grocery list. It's good practice for labor. Wondergirl is doing everything, for which we are so deeply indebted we shall never be able to pay her back.

We had a very nice Christmas. D2 got a lot of cars, so he was happy. D1 got to wear her black and red dress and open lots of packages, so she was happy. DOB finished the presents he was writing (a complete history of Burgundy), so he was happy. Wondergirl got everything done as planned and took many pictures of small children, so she was happy. I didn't throw up anywhere embarrassing, so I was happy.

Weird pregnancy dreams continue. Last night's involved porcupines that turned into stray children and a trip to play golf in Florida with the president and my late grandmother.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!

"Any agnostic or atheist whose childhood has known a real Christmas has ever afterwards, whether he likes it or not, an association in his mind between two ideas that most of mankind must regard as remote from each other; the idea of a baby and the idea of unknown strength that sustains the stars. His instincts and imagination can still connect them, when his reason can no longer see the need of the connection; for him there will always be some savor of religion about the mere picture of a mother and a baby; some hint of mercy and softening about the mere mention of the dreadful name of God."
~G. K. Chesterton, The Everlasting Man

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Deficiencies in the Christmas Story

We have been enjoying reading The Christmas Story with illustrations from the Metropolitan Museum of Art for our family devotions. Alas, it does not seem to be readily available. Too bad it is not one of the library books we have lost.

Anyway, D2 was quite entranced with the picture on last night's page, studying it in great detail, especially the hillside behind Bethlehem.

"Where is the car?" he kept asking, "I have to find the car."

"There aren't any cars," DOB kept explaining.

"Why don't they have any cars?"

Clearly the Christmas story could do with a few more motorized vehicles.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Duckling Quotes

D1 (while coloring): Are you watching us?
QOC: Yes, it's my job to make sure you grow up into decent and responsible human beings.
D1: I'm not a bean, I'm a person.

D2 (swathed in blankets): D1 is Mary and I am Joseph.
QOC: And where is the baby?
D2 (triumphantly): In your tummy!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Some Important Information

  • The twelve days of Christmas did not start yesterday. They start on Christmas. We're still in Advent, folks. Don't jump the gun, or the party will be over too soon.
  • There is no "e" in Santa Claus. A clause is a sentence fragment, and will not bring you presents no matter how good you have been. (However, if you treat your sentence fragments properly, the Grammar Commando, in the spirit of holiday cheer, will refrain from slaying you with a red marker.)

Monday, December 10, 2007


"It is things going right," [Syme] cried, "that is poetical! Our digestions, for instance, going sacredly and silently right, that is the foundation of all poetry. Yes, the most poetical thing, more poetical than the flowers, more poetical than the stars--the most poetical thing in the world is not being sick." --G. K. Chesterton, The Man Who Was Thursday

I must agree with Syme here, and therefore admit that there is not much poetical--or bloggable--around here right now. I am too brain-dead even to read books worthy of comment. (I started The Canterbury Tales, and found it much easier going than I expected, but it got lost somewhere on the Table of Doom, or perhaps below on the Floor of No Return.) I am counting down the days, with the dreary knowledge that there is no guarantee of feeling better at twelve weeks, or thirteen weeks, or fourteen weeks.

The good thing is, this always makes the newborn phase seem like a piece of cake by contrast. I'd rather be up with someone else's empty tummy than my own.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Drastic Simplification

Christmas is going to have to be very simple this year. This will not be the year of clever handmade gifts, or complex cookie trays, or elaborate parties. In fact, we won't even be attending any parties. The only company we will be having for awhile is the kind that will clean the house when they arrive, fix and serve the food, and then clean it all up. (We do know some amazing people like that.)

What we do have, though, is quite enough:

The Tree: I have to have a tree. A real tree. Having grown up in the rural Northwest, I find it as much a piece of home as a piece of Christmas.

Even our first Christmas, when I was sicker than this and we lived an apartment so overcrowded with furniture for a house that you need never touch the floor, we chopped the bottom three feet off the tree and put it on the coffee table. (This turned out to be cheaper than buying one sized for the task.)

This year the tree is standing (thanks to that helpful company) full-sized on the floor. It smells wonderful and not at all like food. We left off a lot of the ornaments, but it still looks lovely.

Music: Even I can handle popping a CD in and pushing play once or twice a day. We can also sing Christmas songs.

Advent calendar: We have the felt one from my childhood, with an animal or person from the nativity to turn over each day. The ducklings also have a set of nativity blocks made by my siblings. They like to rock the sheep and Baby Jesus. So far no one has turned up the nativity set proper, but maybe someone will before the month is out.

Presents: This is not a great year for presents on the time or money angle, but there are enough things picked up here and there that I'm sure the ducklings will have a great time on Christmas morning. (Although wrapping is still in doubt.) Everybody else will have to content themselves with pictures.

Christmas Cards: I'm still hoping to get these out before the new year. I just lack the address labels now.

Some things we won't have that I will really miss:

Christmas play: We've had to give it up. I would be lucky to even attend it, much less rehearse or perform. And DOB is simply having to spend too much time on his feet. Maybe next year; and then D3 can star as baby John the Baptist.

Advent devotional box: This is entirely my fault. If I had just put it all back together properly when I put it away last winter, it would be ready to use. But it's not, and it's not going to be. I'm going to try to do something simpler and shorter with a lovely book we got from the library that has the Christmas text mingled with gorgeous Renaissance art prints.

Gifts from the kids: I really love having the kids make Christmas gifts for people. Alas, there are very few crafts that can be done successfully by a 2- and 3-year-old without any preparation, supervision, or clean-up.

If I felt well enough to miss Christmas cookies, I would feel well enough to make them. If I felt well enough to miss parties, I would feel well enough to attend them.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Another Odd Symptom

Now this one I've never heard anyone talk about, but it has applied consistently to me. When I'm pregnant I frequently have violent dreams. I'm always beating someone up, usually one of my brothers. (I have four of them, and they are all much bigger and stronger than me and and definitely not people I would even THINK of fighting.)

Last night it was my oldest brother, sporting a full head of hair (which he hasn't had in twenty years, I'm sure). I was trying to roll out cookie dough on the floor of the front porch (despite it being covered in dog hair--eww), and he kept stepping on it. So I beat him up.

What does it all mean? Maternal protective instincts coming out? Or is it just that I'm getting restless at a life limited to eating and sleeping? I have no idea.