July 9, 2020

week twenty-nine

week twenty-nine with you, sweet love. this week your bassinet arrived, as did your first set of clothing and the first pink cosmo (it's as tall as the home you are growing in).  and these are just some jittery and fidgety photos of your mother taken in like a minute. i was just filled with so much love for you in this moment beside your bassinet, beside the cosmos, beside your almost-ness. i haven't taken many photos of us whatsoever, so these are for you.

i play this song a lot. i wonder if you will have dark curls. or blue eyes like your brother. or hazely-brown eyes like your sister.  a small freckle on your wrists. dimples above your peach-bum. a soft cry. a deep gaze. will you know me by my voice or by my heartbeat?

the body you share with me feels ancient and seasoned. i apologize to you when my tears fall (you must be able to feel them if you can hear me) and a curse word falls from my mouth when i am unable to stand. i don't remember feeling buried in this type of physical pain but perhaps it is the body that allows our minds to forget the sacrifices that come with the sacred gift of carrying life. some days i can walk in an orchard of plum trees. some days i simply cannot. they are never split into good days or bad days: they are our days. the pain is a reminder that you are growing and alive and that i am carrying two hearts in one vessel. it is a gift. it is my honor.

nana is coming over on her lunch break to look at your new items. i will be making egg salad on sourdough bread with pickles and vinegar chips on the side. she loves you so much. your brother and sister love her beyond any words that i can mortally speak. when you meet her, you'll know this love, too.

daddy and i stood in the kitchen a moment ago. he held me and said "it is the most beautiful thing to be standing next to my girls. the distance from where i can hold you keeps growing because she's growing, that will never cease to amaze me."


'cause you are loved
you are loved more than you know
i hereby pledge all of my days
to prove it so
though your heart is far too young to realize
the unimaginable light you hold inside


June 15, 2020

sunday morning strawberry biscuits.



to wake on a sunday morning, bathe, play beach house (this song, over and over) and bake sourdough strawberry biscuits while our children water the garden and my husband tests paint colors in our kitchen--- was it written somewhere long ago that this is where i would find myself?


Sourdough Biscuits with Strawberries
adapted from this recipe

1.5 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 cup (or more) loosely diced strawberries
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 cup cold, unfed sourdough starter discard

cut strawberries, sprinkle with brown sugar and set aside.  in a bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder. add cut butter and mix with your fingertips until dough is pea-sized (like coarse crumbs) and combined.  add in strawberries (make sure they are not sitting in liquid as your dough will become sticky ~ blot dry if needed) gently using the folding technique with a wooden spoon or hands.  make sure the strawberries are coated in the flour and do not over mix. if some strawberries do not mix in, just (gently) place them back into the dough.  mix in sourdough discard with a wooden spoon and knead (gently) a few times until a ball forms. cover and let chill in fridge for about an hour.

preheat oven to 425.
roll out biscuit dough onto a floured work surface. using a pastry cutter (or even the top of a mason jar lid), cut dough into rounds about 3/4" thick. add more flour if dough is sticky. place on ungreased baking pan and bake around 12-15 minutes. sprinkle with brown sugar when straight out of the oven. serve with butter & honey and enjoy!

June 12, 2020

rising.







 







i am certain of a few things each day. the children will rise, bare-skinned, covered in sleeping dust and eyes at half mast. they will shuffle down the stairs in a slow race, bickering and crooning all at once,  still tired. too tired. they will see me sitting right outside those old stairs, unkempt, motherly. they will climb onto me like i am a rock at the edge of the sea. she climbs into my lap, he climbs my sides. they play with my fingers, kneecaps, the tie of my robe. "the need for nearness," i think. they will ask for breakfast and they will ask for a cartoon. lately it's been air benders, last week it was matilda.
and i will rise for them. usually slowly. what is the rush, anymore? there is no place to be. the clock isn't counting down to anything specific. i wish there were dates at the park or shuttles waiting to go to science museums or trips to splash pads in the cities we love. but there isn't. there is this. there is us. there is this time. i think back and wonder how we have made it this far. we have made more home out of this house than ever before. 

but i will admit, i am tired. the bones in my lower back hurt when i rise from anywhere --- a tied shoelace. picking the lettuce. saving a bee. i can lose my breath returning a cart. sometimes it feels like i am cracking (into place). i fight the urge to cry. "i feel like a breathing teardrop," i tell my husband. everything makes me weep. the milk in the green carton left on our doorstep, the fruit-stamped letters in the mail from a new friend, my grandfather's jawline and white reebok shoes, the way fiorella hula-hoops and his layered shirts with clip-on ties. i told my children that if they see me crying to not worry. they do not  have to come running to me anymore because it will pass. it always does. instead, i told them to say 'oh that mama of mine" and to carry on with whatever they are doing. 

twenty-five weeks and three days. 

*
i had forgotten about my sourdough starter in the refrigerator for quite some time. i assumed it was perished ~ what hope is there for something i didn't help tame? out of some guesswork, i attempted a revival by pouring out the hooch, adding more flour and water with ratios that fall out of any tongue beautifully: one to one to one. and then i mixed it all, slowly, purposefully, and gave it warmth. after a few hours the bubbles came, and then expansion. the rubberband from where i began was surpassed as if by some ancient magic. leaven. my favorite word, idea, belief(?) right now. how beautiful that a substance can rise and rise and rise when given the proper amount of care. when given purpose.

is that what this time has been? a leavening ~ a transformation, alteration: a rise.
i play sam cooke loudly, for my heart, for my children, for the hearts of the world, for her heart inside me.

there have been times that i thought i couldn't last for long
but now i think i'm able to carry on

 i play nina simone and feel her inside.
my skin is black
my arms are long
my hair is woolly 
my back is strong

their words are a sacred living room. a message and reminder of a prayerful plan on how to rise.

//

memories, in order:
1. early morning stillness
2. dinner ~ inspired by @thescandicook 
3. favorite snack ~ cucumbers with red wine vinegar, sesame oil, everything but the bagel seasoning
4. coming out of the market to this :)
5. brother and sister in the backyard, summer '20
6. gift from grampy (pool), bucket boats by gus
7. wafers, bites of strawberries (dessert leftovers from fi)
8. my beautiful husband in evening light
9. last day with training wheels
10. feeding geese in marin
11. after-pool ringlets
12. only boy in the world wearing a tie and  riding his bike
13. fiorella & "lucky"
14. sorting baby clothes/ try-on of his old favorite jacket
15. journal entry to her/tangled hair/ nightstand
16.dresser things
17.mama's bandana as a mask
18. feather tricks
19. sourdough

May 20, 2020

Rainbows Under Water


we have been at home for a touch over two months now, like most of the world. i keep thinking of our days as  rainbows underwater. they're all there, beautiful, but with no real distinction of where one color ends and the other begins. the days feel like this, too. rainbows under water. i often joke that the way i determine which day it is, is by seeing neighbors roll out their rubbish for the next morning's pick-up. i joke, but it's true.

from morning until night, what remains is what has always been. there is coffee and white yogurt with granola, honey and sliced strawberries that leak their always-perfect berry blood. there are four growing limbs shuffling down sea-ship stairs, with warm morning breath and hair like garlic scapes. there is a sexy man, my beautiful man, eyes closed and graying, on the piano. the walls inside this home of white and black are roaring with life. i walk down the street to where we had parked our car and i can hear a brother calling for his sister upstairs. the bikes in the front are tangled into each other from a ride after lunch. warm, dirty, alive with childhood.

my half-moon belly is pushing inches from the waist of my skirts that used to button. one zipper on the side remains unzipped, tucked under, and still worn. maybe a month longer, maybe less. this belly is full and ripening. like buckets of summer cherries, like thick milk swelling into whipped cream. my mom asks for pictures of her growing third granddaughter. a shy pose with a cheesy grin is what she always receives. it is not easy photographing miracles. it is not easy always documenting heaven's currency.

she rests on the contours of my sciatic nerve and sometimes i am stuck in place for minutes that feel like hours. steve helps adjust me, running up to where i've paused. he rubs my lower back, both gently and firmly (like in everything), holding me in place, massaging my tailbone down into the back of my knees. he whispers in my ears and his beard sends chills down my sides. now, more than ever. his touch is a magic rose. it brings me back, every time. or rather: he does.

fiorella keeps running through the mud room to where i sit at the laptop  asking me to lift her into the loquat tree that dips into our yard. i can hear steve on his new saw and gus asking for help moving his wine barrel of strawberries. an hour earlier, the carrier dropped off the first item we ordered for our baby girl, a floral sleeper made for a body so small.

the sun has come out and she's calling me.

(another day at home, with them. another beautiful rainbow underwater)