Rich in friends.

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Honestly, I was just sitting down to write you a huge rant about landlords, paperwork, illnesses and other of life’s mysterious Bermuda triangles of annoyance. But then a friend just asked me what clothes my toddler is in need of. Just a casual text. It reminded me how lucky we are in our friendships. We are rich in friends. Friends who have started preschool co-ops, friends who make jam, friends who think of us every holiday, friends who send us letters and postcards, friends who look at my child with love, friends with good advice. Friends with compliments, friends who let us help them in life, friends who trust us with their secrets, friends who forgive us our toddlerhood. Friends who invite us to dinner, who sneak money into our bags because they refuse to let us pay for lunch. Friends who listen, friends who don’t judge. Seriously. How did I get so lucky?

We are rich in other ways, too: rich in library books, rich in veggies from our garden plot. Rich in religious freedom and fresh air. Rich in preschool artwork. We aren’t rich in money over here, painfully true at times. But, dang, we are rich anyway. How are you feeling rich these days?

Snug as a bug: links to look at.

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Sometimes my kid asks me to wrap him up in a blanket or towel “snug as a bug.” Or he will be wrapping himself in the curtains and I’ll hear him saying to himself “I’m a bug in a rug!” So here’s to staying warm, cozy and snug as a bug in a rug this cold weekend!

Some favorite socks.

This portable heater is sooooo on my wishlist.

A few recent favorites on Netflix:
What Maisie Knew
Some Kind of Beautiful
This Isn’t Funny
The Wolfpack
People Places Things
—and I really enjoyed having Austin to Boston on in the background while I was working the other night – really beautiful music.

Have you heard of adding mint and cilantro to your regular ol’ chicken soup? Yum.

I spent a winter in Wisconsin once and secretly had these hand warmers in my pockets all the time. If I had a microwave I’d totally get myself a reusable pair like any of these.

The perfect hot toddy.

Don’t forget to check out the Geminids!

 

Some lonely nights.

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I met a new single mom today. Her baby is only a week and a half old. She is hanging in there, though anyone who has been there knows those can be some tough days. It brought back a LOT of memories for me. The first week of barely leaving my bed. The first three weeks of never putting clothes on me or my baby. The feeling of how absolutely absurd the idea of anyone else holding my baby seemed…for a month. All the theories and ideas I came up with about everything in life. It was a very rich creative time for me. But I also remember the shock of the long and lonely nights, one after another after another. The silence of my phone which previously was solid years of beeps and rings.

It was a shock at first, it seemed unreal like time was standing still. Like I was Evie from Out of This World and I had accidentally stopped time but couldn’t figure out how to make it go again. The shock grew into a deep ache and then a crawl-out-of-your-skin withdrawal kind of anxiety. One of those feelings like if you could die of an emotion that one just might kill you. Eventually, I got over it and the long evenings alone became my new normal. I found different ways to interact and to fill that void: meetup groups, comment sections of blogs, new friends, a major resurgence of reading, consuming more television series online than I could ever have imagined and being productive by getting more work done. Now, though I sometimes miss my old life, I mostly enjoy my quiet nights.

Meeting this new mom today brought back all those memories and feelings, but also made me feel like I’m distinctly on the other side of a really rough patch of new parenthood. That I could turn around and be of help to her felt so good. And yet, here I am having one of those lonely nights, just wanting to talk to someone, and writing here instead. Good enough for me.

How about you? Can you relate? What do you do on your lonely nights?

 

Single mom winter.

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We had such a fun fall. So many adventures for us that I hope my son will remember for a long time: renting cabin with another single mom and her toddler (frolicking and foraging all over the property and mastering the art of lighting a fire in a woodburning stove – yeah!), hygge parties, Halloween festival in the cemetery, harvest festivals, farm visits, sailing, hikes and even beach days. We couldn’t have crammed in any more fun and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I’m excited about the month ahead, too. This December we are renting a snowy cabin with the same friends again, cozy dinner parties, going to see the local production of the Nutcracker (thanks to my client who is excited about my son’s love for ballet – she also sent him this glittery book), friends coming to town for visits, and other annual gatherings. It’s going to be a good one, and we are so lucky to have such great people in our lives to share this season with.

We’ve also been enjoying Snowflake Bentley, The Cozy Book, Winter and any other book featuring snow. And of course a baseball book or two since that is the current obsession over here. If it seems like I write about books a lot it is definitely because we are rich in library books over here! How did I get so lucky to have a kid who loves his tea and books and being such a funny guy? Since the day he was born, he has continued to pull truly awesome people into our lives. What a cool person.

2015 has definitely kicked my ass in some ways but did not keep me down for long! So ready for 2016 after we enjoy a sweet winter with friends.

What are you most looking forward to this December?

Four favorite books.

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I was recently talking with a friend about some of our favorite children’s books around here. So I thought I would post in really quick and share four of our many favorites. These have been read over and over. The covers are bent and worn and my toddler has been reciting the words for at least the last year. He never seems to tire of these thought…

  1. A House is a House for Me. This is one I remembered vividly from my own childhood. Unfortunately I couldn’t remember the name of it so it took a long time to track it down. The moment I found it though was sooo satisfying! The illustrations are amazing, the rhythm is comforting and the vocabulary introduced is pretty inspired!
  2. In the Night Kitchen. This one is so wacky and the words are poetry. We both love yelling “quiet down there!” and “cock-a-doodle-do!!!” Plus it makes you hungry for cake.
  3. Goodnight, Goodnight. We read this every night for the first year and a half of his life. Such a comfort to us both. I really credit it to a very calm bedtime routine in our house. I also once lent it to his preschool teacher and she loved it! (And she has read a lot of goodnight books over a decade of naptimes!)
  4. Pass the Celery, Ellery!. I love the names in this book. And all the foods. It’s another one that will make you hungry. And there is a space for you to add your family’s names to the rhyme at the end…

I only had time to post four today but there is plenty more where that came from if you enjoyed this post! What are your favorites? Tell me about them in the comments below…

See ya November, hello December…

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Well November passed by in a bit of a blur. I’m thankful for this five-year diary for helping me remember all the awesome and awful and awkward and funny things that happen every day. Anyway, I have to say I find single parenting and running a business to be a bit too much. Forget about the cooking and cleaning and planning and stressing. This girl is only sleeping over here because of a little bit of this. I’ve hit pause on the days of making our own yogurt and being able to see the floor without clutter and crumbs, etc. Lately it is all clients, clients, clients, billing, billing, billing, groceries, groceries, groceries. Here’s to a slightly slower December please.