Sunday, May 29, 2011

What We've Been Up To....

The Mayhew-Bergman family is complete (with the exception of the 2,000 random dogs and cats we'll acquire over the next decades). Emma Zephyr was born at 1:48 on Friday morning at 8 pounds and 3 ounces.

So far, during our first 24 hours home, our phones have died, and a goldfish - of all things - has gone missing.

We are officially falling into the baby abyss....talking to you....sometime. Thanks to all for the wonderful support.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

So This Really Happened

Today, somewhere between 38 and 39 weeks pregnant, and unable to walk comfortably, I gave up on hard work and projects and decided to take a lunchtime break on the porch. I ate a cup of homemade veggie soup. I brought my knitting with me; I'm making a blanket - an ugly one - for Wumpus 2. There were four dogs and two cats sunning themselves around me; the cats had finally given up on the yarn ball.

Then the UPS man showed up and ruined everything.

Betsy Spaniel, aka Savage Spaniel, went ballistic. She hates the UPS man with passion. But before tearing off the porch, she got insanely tangled in my yarn ball - then sprinted down the steps, off the porch, and AROUND the UPS truck, taking my yarn ball with her. The UPS truck ran over the yarn ball. Betsy continued to run around the truck, frothing at the mouth with fury, trotting out the last of my yarn.

I waddled off the porch (swearing). The UPS man, needless to say, did not make eye contact, but placed the package on the porch and promptly pulled away, backing over the yarn.

I went to survey the damage - the yarn ball itself, now just a tiny nub, was halfway down the hill. The yarn trail went from my blanket, around a chair, down the porch steps, into the lawn, and down the driveway, where it became very tangled and full of pollen.

Grrrrrrrr. Unwilling to pick pollen from yarn for an hour, I decided it was time to call the blanket a blanket, so I have now finished casting off, and the ugly-blanket-made-with-love is now complete and waiting for satin binding.

So much for my peaceful, pre-baby rest moment.

Monday, May 16, 2011

An Anniversary

Two years ago this week, my beloved mother-in-law passed away. Wumpus was a few weeks old and colicky. The Dogtor had just graduated from veterinary school and was in VT by his mother's side as I packed our house in NC for our move north.

It's not a time I look back on with a smile; those were easily the hardest few weeks of my life. I remember the 12 hour drive we made overnight from Raleigh to Shaftsbury - my father driving, my mother holding Wumpus' hand in the backseat as she slept. We stopped once or twice. I changed Wumpus' diaper in a McDonald's parking lot and still remember the glare of the parking lot lights on her tiny face as she looked up at me.

Two years later, exactly, and much has changed. Wumpus is 2. She wears cowboy boots and speaks at length on cats, dogs, books, and the potty. Another Wumpus is imminent. The butterfly magnolia tree and the memorial gardens planted in my mother-in-law's honor at the vet clinic are beginning to thrive.

We miss her, still.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Writing Updates

Hi guys -

Current status: 37 weeks pregnant, desperate to enjoy spring, and engaged in a flurry of writing and house organizing endeavors.

Two new pieces of writing to enjoy:

1. I had the privilege of reviewing Melissa Coleman's memoir, "This Life is in Your Hands" for the New York Times Sunday Book Review. If you are familiar with her father, Eliot Coleman, organic gardening, or enjoy memoirs that involve the outdoors, I recommend this book.

2. My second essay - Enter at Your Own Risk: Millay's Inner Sanctum - on Edna St. Vincent Millay's homestead, Steepletop, has posted to the Writer's Houses website.

Thanks for reading, and, as always, I'd love to hear back from you - reactions, questions, etc.


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

What's Up at the Farmette?

(Disclaimer - I'm not even sure our 13 acres qualifies as a farmette. But as per shady Wiki standards, we qualify.)

Here's what's up:

1. The Dogtor found a six egg Silkie hen stash underneath the coop. I think our little girl Djuna had plans. I won't say hopes and dreams.

2. NBA finals. Obsessed. But the Celtics really need to make a series of the Heat match up.

3. Nesting spiral. The Dogtor is putting together the crib for Wumpus #2 tonight. I have cleaned out and organized obscene amounts of linens, socks, towels, clothes - that's what we get for buying and renovating my husband's childhood home two months before our second child is due. I could have a reality show called Extreme Nesting right now.

Don't worry - I wouldn't watch it either.

Counting down my last moments of pregnancy. (And don't tell me you liked being pregnant; I'll think you're crazy.)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Rooster Grudge

Okay folks, it happened. The silkie rooster - damned thug! - attacked Wumpus.

She and the Dogtor were feeding the hen-girls clover (which they love) through the fence, and Wump walked away from the Dogtor, staying by the fence line, in la-la-toddler land. The rooster went all UFC and leaped onto the fence, grabbing her hand with his talons and clamping down, bruising and breaking the skin.

Wumpus came into the kitchen, where I was making dinner, and said: I have a boo boo on my hand.
Me: Where?
Wumpus: (shows hand)
Me: What - did a chicken bite you?
Wumpus: (nods)
Me: (laughs)
Dogtor: She's actually telling the truth.
Wumpus: I don't like it. I don't like rooster.
Me: (shock)

Ridgeley the Rooster was named for "the other guy in Wham!" Andrew Ridgeley, but has apparently grown out of his beta male status. (George was savagely attacking the hens, and I couldn't stand it - beatin' up on women. He ended up at a rescue down the road - a lady with a high tolerance for roosters.)

I know roosters will be roosters, but I'm not sure I can keep one that attacks toddlers as they're walking away. (And look, I know toddlers are weird and intimidating - but seriously? Pick a fight with a goat or something.)

Dilemma: Does the rooster go away? And if so, how? I'm not one for breaking necks. He's also a good first line of defense.

Maybe a hawk will take him away. Maybe I'll call the lady with the high tolerance for roosters. Maybe our coop is going to be less of a harem and more of a Ms. Magazine staff meeting in a few days.

(Photo - Ridgeley getting heavy handed with Djuna, the only hen smaller than he is.)

Wham! Photo Credit