29 November 2006

The Moth Chaser on an Ordinary Night

Just barely seven o’clock and already it has been an evening full of activity. Mia springs from floor to bed and back again, chasing a moth around our room, while Jeremy packs in preparation for his whirlwind trip to Germany. Three nights in Europe and home again; I’m not sure if that even leaves time for jet-lag. I iron a stack of shirts and lint-roll his wool winter coat to remove all traces of Sam--who happens to be watching from nearby, a look of concern on his face. He seems to understand what a suitcase means and doesn’t much like it. The tail goes down; he pouts.

I sit on the bed again amongst piles of clothes and pillows, watching the cat who seems tireless in her prowling. No one is very fond of our cat, or cats in general I guess, unless they happen to be cat-people and own a cat themselves. We like her though. It feels like my stomach is full of weeble-wobbles, tumbling around as if trying to escape. Being pregnant is a strange time, fascinating even in small ways and full of things I did not know to expect. I can only imagine what it will be like when this bundle is outside of me, peering up into my face with tiny eyes.

Jeremy leaves to pick up Chinese take-out and to rent Antwone Fisher for us to watch, on recommendation. In my mind is a long list of things to do. 1. Decorate the house for Christmas…we’ll be home this year. We have four old fireplace mantles in our house (attached to coal-burning fireplaces that no longer function) so almost every room seems ready for a garland or arrangement of winter candles. I have plenty of ideas, but at the moment lack the energy to attempt them. 2. Make Christmas cards to send. Hmm...or maybe just buy them. 3. Move Jeremy’s music room into our sunroom and try to find ways to cram eighteen guitars and various amps into an already over-crowded space. 4. Set up the nursery with baby things. 5. Sleep until the end of January.

For now, the list will have to wait. Time to find the chopsticks.

21 November 2006


Somewhere between picking through the bottom of a leftover bag of Halloween candy hoping for some chocolate, and carrying a platter of untouched cranberry sauce to the sink, there’s supposed to be a moment or two of actual thankfulness. I’ve always believed that. Often it skips by me, and my only thought of “thanksgiving” happens when I bow my head over a heap of mashed potatoes. In truth, I am more aware of my gratitude for my dinner than I am for anything else. Which is not entirely awful I suppose.

But this year, as I sit curled up on the sofa, awaiting my mom’s arrival in Nashville with her time-honored stuffing recipe and gladness in my heart that there will be someone here who knows how to properly cook a turkey, I look down and see the large bump protruding where my stomach used to be. And I am thankful.

I think back to May 19th, waking up in Siena, Italy in our cozy room with its view of church bells and a grove of cone-shaped trees. We discovered we were pregnant right before breakfast, and sat on the balcony just staring at each other with smiles behind our eyes as we nibbled on homemade croissants prepared by the hotel owner. He was a man who spoke choppy English, seemed to drink a lot, and played the violin at every time of night for anyone passing through the hallway. By morning he was jovial and sober, and extremely proud of his breakfast offerings.

He could have served us sun-baked shoe leather with marmalade jam for all we really noticed what we were eating. We sat in a swimmy daze of both disbelief and elation, pondering the future between sips of cappuccino. After breakfast, we walked to the pharmacy and bought two more Italian pregnancy tests, just to be triple-y sure.

Now it’s six months later and here we are. There’s a nursery to put together. Tiny socks and shirts must be folded in preparation. We have a name chosen and a sudden enthusiasm about diaper changes and sleepless nights. Time has galloped along and it’s amazing to realize how very close we are to holding a little person in our arms, one who might have Jeremy’s long eyelashes or my mouth in miniature.

And we know that we are blessed.

10 November 2006

pretty trees on forrest.

today jeremy was recording at a studio a few blocks from our house.
at one point, we all went outside to look at the sky...

after everyone else had scattered in search of coffee, i wandered the sidewalk, hypnotized by all the colorful trees lining the street.

i am trying to grab onto the last bits of autumn before they disappear for good...

07 November 2006

Glorious Rainy Dreary Day

Today was my first day out of the house in nearly a week. It is overcast and sloshy out there, and many of the leaves are off the trees now--stuck to the pavement like soggy bits of discarded newspaper. Our backyard is a carpet of yellow leaves lying on their faces.

We had an appointment with the baby doctor this morning and all is well. The little monkey kept kicking and bumping around as we sat in the waiting room, and then kicked at the little heartbeat monitor as the doctor felt around on my puffed-up stomach. It’s difficult to tell at this point what’s a foot, a fist, or a tiny baby bottom poking out, but nonetheless, he loves to groove around in there and make himself known to the outside world.

I, too, have been kicking my way toward the outside world, slowly. I managed to crack or separate my rib(s) during a sneeze-gone-wrong last week and have been hobbling between bed and couch since then, trying to heal. Never have I been so bored, so uncomfortable, so irritated by Oprah.

Jeremy has been sweetly caring for me, concocting a fabulous new spaghetti recipe and helping me around the house. Today is the first day I have felt ready to get out and about, so after the doctor visit, we stopped into Marche’, the new Artisan Foods café (from the talents of Margot) which finally opened for business in our neighborhood this morning. Hoorah! Back to the rainy-windowed Paris cafés we went in our minds, as we sat with thick white porcelain mugs of coffee and a delicious bread basket. We slathered up wedges of raisin toast with fresh gourmet peanut butter, local honey, and sweet red jam. The music—nostalgic old jazzy tunes--matched the vibe perfectly: cute marble tables for sitting, and rustic wooden cabinets housing rows of artisan pasta, Italian canned tomatoes, and bottled anchovies for sale. This will be a new favorite escape, and was a perfect first outing for my morning away from home.

If only there was something to shield the obnoxious, red tinsel-covered letters reading: HUNTERS Automotive across the street. The walls of Marche' are at least three-fourths glass and could stand a more romantic view. Our neighborhood remains a mixture of old run-down Pawn shops, boarded up storefronts, new lofts, and quaint shops all reluctantly holding hands. There are times I embrace the diversity, and moments when I want to take a giant sponge and wipe it all clean of its remaining dilapidation.

I am back in sofa-land now, not minding (a bit) the rain outside, or Sam the dog’s clinginess as he bundles himself into the crook of my bent knees, trying to get warm. Jeremy is a few feet away in the Map Room, whispering new lyrics and slapping his hands against his legs to keep rhythm as he writes. Out front, the crabapple tree is full of fruit, and a stranger is asleep on our front steps. It’s a wet day, a grey day…but a cozy day when it actually feels good, for a change, to be stuck inside.