Saturday, August 19, 2017


We're heading home to the north today from Blackrock, and in the trailer we'll be hauling with us will be many small outfits for a little girl.*

Yes! That means baby shower!

Actually, the invitation to it said it wasn't so much a shower as a drizzle, so as to keep everyone's expectations nice and low. Because this is for the fourth child, you see. A shower--or whatever you want to call it--for a fourth child is a whole different thing from the fancy, elaborate first-child shower.

Some of you may recall the shower the MiL's sister kindly hosted for me at her house lo these many years ago (eight? what? how?) when we were anticipating the arrival of our first-born. There was nicely arranged food and a truly impressive cake and even champagne glasses. And champagne. My mom and my sister flew up here for it. There were no (ex-utero) children present, and it was lovely.

The shower another of the MiL's sisters (she has three) hosted for me this week was held at Cubby's old school. This is the school that sister runs, and she thought it would be convenient because not only does it mean no one has to clean her house, but it's all set up for kids.

None of my family were there, although two of my friends were. Between us, we have nine children so far. Combined with the young cousin who came, that meant there were 10 children under the age of 10. The school location was perfect for them.

There was no champagne, although there was some Corona Light being consumed straight out the bottle. A., who I had asked to come as playground monitor for all the children so the women could possibly actually have a conversation, appreciated the Corona greatly.

There was no elaborate cake, for which I was very grateful, since I can't eat it anyway at the moment. Instead I ate quite a lot of a really delicious curried chickpea salad and surprisingly good raw summer squash salad. We all sat around in tiny chairs at low tables in the school room for our inside picnic and took turns serving the various children present.

Of course, there were also lots of little girl clothes in festive wrappings. Because these women who seem to have no luck when it comes to the next generation producing female offspring really just wanted to buy some adorable little girl rompers. How could I deny them that pleasure?

We can all go ahead and acknowledge here that little girl clothes are way more fun than little boy clothes. I received many very cute items of clothing. In fact, I'm pretty sure this baby is going to be more fashionable than I am.

I don't have any photos. It was just that relaxed. But it was perfect. The perfect small party to celebrate the imminent arrival of this small person who will be welcomed into a family and circle of friends featuring generous hearts, delicious food, and lots of kids to play with.

Lucky girl. And lucky me.

* Also, a forty-year-old woodstove A. is bringing to set up in the barn for the winter so he can hang out in there with any boys who want to be manly and carve stuff or whatever. Because I'm afraid one girl baby is not going to tip the testosterone-heavy balance in our family.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Liquor, Doughnuts, and Other Forbidden Pleasures

I had my big outing in the Small City today, the main purpose of which was to check thrift stores for maternity clothing for me and any clothing at all for my clothes-destroying sons. A. asked me to pick up some whiskey for him at the liquor store while I was in the city, too.

There happens to be a liquor store just down the street from the thrift store, so after I did my shopping, I decided to walk to the liquor store. It was only about 300 yards. Definitely not worth getting in the car again.

This did mean, however, that I had to walk back to my car parked at the thrift store on the busiest road in the city, obviously pregnant and carrying a similarly obvious brown paper liquor store package.


In addition, my little walk took me directly past the bakery that sells the best doughnuts in the entire world. Thanks to that little issue with gestational diabetes--which is entirely controllable for me if I'm careful of what I eat--I am no longer eating doughnuts.

Harsh. Way harsh.

I marched resolutely past the bakery, holding a bottle of liquor that I am also not permitted to ingest.

The only thing I could take comfort in was the coffee mug that I found at the thrift store. See, I dropped my coffee mug last week and broke it. This was my special mug. The mug in which I drank my coffee every single morning for the past eight years or so.

It was one of those camp-style mugs, the kind that are extra wide and straight-sided. I like that style because they are particularly stable around rampaging children, and also hold a little more than a standard mug. This is important because of the amount of milk I put in my very strong coffee with chicory.

I thought I could just use one of the many other mugs we have. But none of them were the same shape, and I was sad every morning when I drank my coffee out of an inferior mug.

Because of this, I was actually planning on going back to the local Huge Outdoor store from which I originally purchased my mug to get another. Even though it had a picture of a gaping fish on it that I really did not care to see first thing in the morning.

But while I was at the thrift store, I decided to check their selection of mugs and ta da! There was just the right kind of camp mug for 99 cents, with the benign logo of the YMCA on it. So it's even an improvement on the ugly fish mug.

I may not be able to have liquor or doughnuts, but at least I can once again enjoy my coffee from a proper (and gratifyingly cheap) mug. It'll have to do.