Wednesday, January 26, 2011

531: poor penny

My days and nights still revolve around a creature who weighs half of our Siamese-mix cat, but there's someone else who needs some extra love, someone who is joining me in the tender world of post-surgical recovery.

Our little Penelope, who is only five years old, blew her ACL, an injury she has been on her way towards for some time now, with her leaping and bounding and leashless adventures. Her left will soon follow, but we can only afford one leg at a time, which is convenient, because she can only recover one leg at a time.

So now, in the daylight hours, it is me, a hungry newborn, a rambunctious black lab mix who hasn't gone on his daily walks in a while, a golden retriever who is supposed to be confined, and two cats who are both needy and insist on chewing everything plastic to bits. Sometimes my eyes get a bit crossed, especially when Maya decides that I cannot move anywhere in the house without her attached, or she will wail from said abandoned post. Fortunately, I sleep in decent bouts, even if nothing else gets done.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

530: peek!

What do you mean I haven't been around? Why, I'm overflowing with photos and nattering. Just not here, not right now. You see, I'm enjoying the beauty of the baby-moon, and in order to preserve that bliss, I'm recording like a mad-mama, between feedings, during naps, late at night when my eyes are crossed and I've given up on all mama-trickery. And because of this, along with other obsessive blog-readings, I've decided to go ahead and make the space public again. It's one of those will-she-or-won't-she propositions, one of those obnoxious forms of waffling I take on. Ryan always knows to hold onto what he's offering because I usually change my mind--no thanks to tasting his beer and then all of a sudden, I must taste it. For now, I'm offering it up for whomever wants to read about the journey--from all those desperately hopeful posts during the infertility treatments to my pregnancy frustrations to that crazed labor story to now, becoming a little family of three. The link: roots + wings. Come say hello!

It's been two and a half weeks since the whirlwind birth (can one call it a whirlwind when it was two days of labor? things were always happening, after all) and I've finally begun to unfurl from the family bed and into the wide world of the house. Actually, I've only been back in the bed for two days, due to an infection from my surprise! c-section, but unfurl nonetheless. I'm taking on the tasks that would have been mine from the start, but Ryan has taken them on with much charm--changing diapers, doing laundry, contacting the insurance company about overly large and frightening bills, that sort of thing. One begins to lose that get-out-of-chores-free card as the wound begins to heal.

I write this in the minutes leading up to my first class, which I am not teaching. I am officially on maternity leave, though only for my teaching duties; for my studenting duties, the light has flashed on, and I have a pile of books to work my way through, not to mention an incomplete to tidy up from last semester. I'm taking two independent studies, more or less, one taking a close look at the poetry (and prose-by-poets) of motherhood and the other is deemed 'thesis credits,' which means I'll be communicating and meeting with my thesis adviser as I progress on my manuscript. This means, of course, that I need to actually progress, but I've begun generating again, and this makes me happy. Of course, I'm learning that I am both a slow writer (or a writing-in-bursts writer) and a writer who isn't in love with the editing process (fear), a combination that is tricky as I face my final semester.

It doesn't help that all I want to do is snuggle with my little babe all day.

Friday, January 7, 2011

529: Maya

I done went and had that baby--an intensely beautiful experience, on January 3rd. And I will tell all about it, but for now, I have a few flickr photosets to share with you, so you can decide how you want to immerse yourself in my daughter, whose name became Maya Marjorie Kiefer:

- There is the hospital set, dedicated to her first 24 hours, and a bit before and after.
- There is her year one set, which will include every photo I take of her in the first year (that will grow so quickly and be the largest set by far very rapidly).
- There's 3, which is Maya with either one or both of her parents.
- There's Maya and..., which is the little one with friends and family.
- And my favorite, because it contains all my favorite photos of Maya.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


Happy 2011! Ryan fell asleep long before midnight, and I was reading Winter World: the Ingenuity of Animal Survival as the clock quietly ticked over. We shared an Alaskan Amber, which is a sweet selection, given how many we shared on our honeymoon. Ryan's brother brought a case back for us from Colorado.

Every year, a list of a few favorite things I encountered during the year. I read a lot of books, but somehow, not a great many of good ones. Last year's goal had been to gather a dramatic number, and 228 is the largest by far, and this year, I hope to look at my list and feel as if I'd read a great many good books, books that I savored. For now, here are a few good things I read or watched in 2010:

Books, Fiction
- The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera (re-read)
- Shark Dialogues by Kiana Davenport
- Push by Sapphire
- Housekeeping by Marilynne Robi
- We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson (re-read)
- Franny and Zooey by JD Salinger

Books, Nonfiction
- This Cold Heaven: Seven Seasons in Greenland by Gretel Ehrlich

Books, Poetry / Books on Poetry
- Cooling Time by C.D. Wright
- My Wars Are Laid Away in Books: The Life of Emily Dickinson by Alfred Habeggger
- School of the Arts: Poems by Mark Doty
- The Last Clear Narrative: Poems by Rachel Zucker
- The Woman Who Died in Her Sleep: Poems by Linda Gregerson
- Bird Eating Bird: Poems by Kristin Naca
- Juvenilia: Poems by Ken Chen
- Face: Poems by Sherman Alexie
- The Country Between Us: Poems by Carolyn Forche (re-read)
- Little Boat: Poems by Jean Valentine
- Compulsions of Silkworms & Bees: Poems by Julianna Baggott

- (500) Days of Summer
- The Girl in the Cafe
I've Loved You So Long
- Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself
The Boys Are Back
- La Moustache
- The Big Question
- Babies
- Under the Same Moon
Facing Windows

Television: We don't have cable or any reception at all, for that matter, so we rely on Netflix, and I went through The L Word and enjoyed it; we also discovered the charm of Eureka and had an oddly transfixed time watching Discovery Channel's Out of the Wild: The Alaska Experiment.
2010 held a brief bout with cable, and we crushed on Ace of Cakes as well as Life.