the state of our household

Hi sisters.

Life continues at its hectic pace around here. So much happens at home with my little family and I miss taking the time to sit down and write to you all about it. So, I thought I’d try and summarize a bit.

Miriam always requests icing cookies when we bake together
Miriam always requests icing cookies when we bake together

Food: Even when everything else is crazy/not going well in our family life, we manage to eat well. Eating delicious food together is important to us so we put in the time and effort to make a good dinner every night. I know this is something that all us sisters feel strongly about! I sometimes think I should take a picture every night of our dinner, just to share what a normal weeknight dinner is for us. This week we’ve had pork chops with rosemary Gorgonzola sauce and whipped parsnips. We’ve also had Italian sausage on a bed of polenta, with a side of sauteed lacinato kale and garlic. Another night it was baked salmon with lemon and rosemary, along with roasted sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts. Mostly the kids eat what we eat, maybe with a little bit of fuss, or refusal of one or two items. Tonight I made chicken curry with rice and roasted cauliflower and Miriam had two helpings of everything! It’s so nice to enjoy a meal together as a family. I make the sweet treats for the family, and Miriam and I enjoyed decorating all the Valentine’s Day cookies you see above.

The house: We haven’t done a house project in ages. Sometime soon we will sit down and make a list of summer projects which will be very long. This past weekend Krestia and I got a chance to go shopping for house stuff without the kids (thanks to Mom watching Eve and Dad taking Miriam to a museum). We may be getting close to making a decision about a big rug for the living room! It takes us ages to make decisions. In other news, every night I sit in a folding camp chair when nursing Eve before bed, and I think, someday this will be a nice armchair! Maybe she will be weaned before we get the nice nursing chair, sigh.

Eve loves to help me sweep the floors.
Eve loves to help me sweep the floors.

The kids: Miriam and Eve are both doing so well. Miriam reads and writes and creates all the time. She is currently obsessed with Magic Treehouse books. She loves her new gymnastics class. Eve is adding new words to her vocabulary all the time, and toddles about destroying all the things on a daily basis. She’s so cute when she does it though, so all is forgiven. She has recently learned to climb the entire flight of stairs by herself. She understands so much of what we say. She loves to eat! A lot of her new words are food related. She says “cheese” and “cracker” and “cookie” and “apple.” Cookie is particularly hard to resist…who can say no to a cute baby asking for a cookie? She also has learned the word “no” and uses it correctly! Yesterday I asked her if she wanted to get out of the bath and she looked at me and said “no” so calmly. It’s crazy when your kid suddenly starts answering your questions. Miriam and Eve are now able to play some simple games together, since Eve is old enough to walk and follow some directions. One is “baby train” (put Eve in a laundry basket, pull her around the house). Another is “follow the leader”–Miriam holds one end of a jump rope, Eve holds the other, and they walk around the house together. Such simple games but they love playing them and there’s always lots of laughter! It makes me happy to see them playing together.

super hero Miriam.
super hero Miriam.
Eve has amazing hair.
Eve has amazing hair.

Sleep: I think things are slightly improving here. There have been a few nights where Eve has slept all the way until 5 am or even 6 am! She still wakes and cries a few times, but we are able to pat her back to sleep quickly. Sometimes, though, she wakes at 1 or 2 am and cries inconsolably, and then she ends up back in our bed for the rest of the night. Usually this correlates with an illness. I don’t sleep so well when she’s in our bed. I do wake in the morning though, and see her sleeping curled up between us, and think about how our days of having a sleeping baby in our bed are numbered. But I also think, I will really enjoy having uninterrupted nights again! Mostly I don’t feel totally exhausted all the time, and I’m glad for that.

My job: You all know that I started a new job Feb 1st. I get to work with pregnant and postpartum moms, doing home visits! I am enjoying this work so much. I meet with women throughout their pregnancies, and then visit with them once or twice after the baby is born. The postpartum visits are my favorite. Those first few weeks after a new baby arrives are such a special time–the family has expanded, the mama is healing, the baby is adjusting to the world, and it’s wonderful to provide support during that tender time. I am thankful for this good work. I can’t wait to go to my Lactation Counselor training. That has not been scheduled yet but I hear it will be coming soon.

Daycare: Speaking of work, yeah. I have to have someone watch my kid while I work, and you all know that has been difficult for many months now. The end is in sight, though. Eve will start at a daycare center 5 minutes away from us in May (when she turns 18 months). Up until then we have a patchwork plan of babysitters that is working out just fine. Recently I found a new woman who lives just down the road from us–literally half a mile away! She is wonderful, so kind and gentle and seems to really enjoy watching Eve two days a week. It’s such a relief to have good people to rely on for child care.

Hair: yes. I know you all have been dying to know, how is Rachel’s new crazy hair regimen going? I saw a DevaCurl stylist back in November, and the day she cut and styled my hair remains the best hair day I have ever had. I actually had big, soft curls in my hair with no frizz! That has never happened.

soft curls. I know, I can't believe this is really my hair.
The one glorious day of soft curls. I know, I can’t believe this is really my hair.

So I’ve been trying to replicate that success ever since, and I think I’m getting closer. I invested in a lot of hair product. I have been putting forth some effort. Now and then I have a good hair day–defined as nice curls with minimal frizz. Here is a recent pic, from last week:

not great, but better than usual
Not great, but better than usual for me. I need another appointment with the curl genius.

Cocktails: Yes, this deserves its own category. We have gotten into fancy cocktails. After the kids are in bed, and the dishes are done, and the laundry folded, and the floors swept and the lunches packed (so.many.chores!), we enjoy a nice drink together (preferably while watching something on Netflix, if it’s not too late). Recently we discovered the Mr. Stair which is pretty delicious. Have any of you ever had pear eau de vie? It’s very very good. I also like anything with St. Germain and I can always say yes to a gin and tonic.

So…that about sums it up. I could give you a status update on laundry and dishes (both never ending, but that’s nothing new) or the state of my fingernails, but those are depressing topics (I fell off the wagon and I’m chewing my nails to bits again! Ahhh! Stop it, Rachel!). Sometimes I feel like I can barely lift my head above the constant work of raising kids and working full time. What an intense stage of life this is. I miss you all and think about you often.

Much love,

Rachel

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5 thoughts on “the state of our household

  1. I love this update. Curls and homemade cookies and super heroes. I’ve been thinking about the life is hard part recently and wondering what it means to care for ourselves and each other while that is true. Love you.

  2. Hurray! I love all the things. I am wishing we lived close enough to come over for a fancy cocktail, I enjoy a yummy cocktail but not enough to buy ingredients for one! Your dinners sound amazing too. Life sounds good but busy busy busy.

  3. Your post left me drooling, Rach! I have always admired how well your family eats and how much you prioritize good food. I would say that eat well, but it is always very simple and rather plain. We’re not too creative. Like last night it was soup made from a drawer full of almost-gone-bad vegetables, and the night before was sausage and roasted vegetables. I love the idea of making delicious and flavorful food every night, but when it comes down to it spending an hour cooking or doing something else, I often choose the latter. Your meals are an inspiration, and who knows, maybe I’ll settling into the kitchen a bit more this evening :). It was so wonderful getting a family update and congrats on your new job! It sounds perfect for you. My love to you and your beautiful family.

    1. Hi Jill! I know where your creative energy is going–into the beautiful things you knit and sew! If you are happy with the balance you have don’t change it! Cooking and eating well requires quite a bit of time and energy. It’s something I love doing so I don’t mind the investment. Also I should say Krestia does 90% of the cooking around here–he knows it’s important to me to eat well so he takes good care of us that way. You are spending a lot of time as a solo parent these days, right? That is hard and I can totally understand eating simply and quickly. I love hearing from you!

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