10 August 2017

"Winter is great to stay in and cuddle, but put me in summer and I'll be a... happy snowman!"

It has been awhile since I have posted anything, but that does not mean that I have left for good. My time for creative pursuits is more often spent inventing dances to disney songs and ways to get all manner of gooey foods to be eaten. Baby girl is just a few weeks past seven months, and while she takes a great deal of my time, energy, and sleep, life with her couldn't be more wonderful. I have very little experience with other babies, but Ana seems particularly happy and calm. Her laughing brightens any dark winter day. She is our whole world. 

Recently, we escaped the southern winter to soak up some Indiana summer. It was a glorious respite that we all very much enjoyed. Ana loved swimming, and she got to be the center of attention both with the family and when we took her for her first visit to camp. The eight year olds crowded around and cooed "oh a little baby, she's so cute" as I thought the same about them. But it seems it makes no difference if you are eight months, eight years, or 80 years old, camp is always fun. We splashed in the lake and sat on the pier. We said hi to the horses and took in the stillness of the trees. There are few other ways that I'd want to spend a summer day. 

28 March 2017

The last three months...

As we nestle into Fall, we look back on our first sweet summer with baby girl. We were graced with many visitors that were just as eager to meet Ana as we were. We battled out the hottest days under the shade of the roble trees and baby girl splashed in her new bath tub. We tried out new sunglasses and took many walks, getting to know all of the plants and animals in our neighborhood. 

Time seems to have flown by and now our little lovey is no longer a newborn. She grew like a weed in the summer sunshine; now many little too-tight clothes are stored away. As Ana moves into her third month of life, we see her personality starting to show, shining bright like her still-blue eyes. We are loving this phase of goos and gaas and toothless smiles, yet we know that it too will pass before we fully cherish it. We wonder what the next season will bring. 

03 March 2017

Its apple season around here. 

For those of you on the northern side of the globe, think September. The kids have recently gone back to school. The morning breeze is crisp, but the afternoon sun is still warm. The evenings glow, warm and golden, and the sleeping is good on cool nights. 

It is the perfect season for apples. Around where I live there are tens, maybe even hundreds of apple trees all brimming with green, yellow, and red treasures. Some of the trees are old forgotten relics of previous homesteaders, likely German immigrants nostalgic for a proper kuchen or strudel. Other trees have been recently planted by neighbors eager for a certain variety. Not all of the apples are pretty. Some are prone to pests, others to mold. Some apples are very small and sour, others are plump and sweet. Regardless, this year I can't get enough of the fruits that can be harvested from around the house. Spending more time at home with baby girl has encouraged me to be observant and creative. A trip to the supermarket is not as easy as it was, so why not make an apple crisp rather than go out for the missing cocoa for that cake? Even better, my mother-in-law helped me to capture this sweet season by starting a batch of fresh apple cider vinegar. Months to come we will be reminded of hopping old farm fences to sample apple trees. We will remember long slow walks with two month old Ana just starting to focus on the red orbs in front of her. 

Vinegar fermentation has the whole house smelling sweet!

26 February 2017

We bought a house!

Rather, the bank bought a house and is letting us live in it... but we are really excited! As with all things in Chile, the process has been a long one, and we still won't move in for another month or two, but finally the paperwork is complete and the house is ours. 

So now with a two month old baby, a new house, on-going renovation work, and dreaming up garden and chicken coop designs, we are really busy! Even still, this moment in our lives feels impossibly sweet. Summer here might be turning to Fall, but we are entering Spring with all of the fresh new additions blossoming in our life. 

12 February 2017

 Hello World.

It has been quite awhile since I have posted here. This is not for a lack of happenings, rather life has taken a new rhythm that is both fast and chaotic and slow and pensive. Like never before, I feel like the list is forever growing and time is continually shortening. The garden has gone to seed, the floor hasn't been washed in weeks, and the poor cat is more often forgotten than not. At the same time, we have slowed down. During this summer vacation, without classes to teach, or major research obligations, the mornings start later, we have been able to relish a long evening sitting around with Ana and her grandparents, and everything moves in function with nourishing ourselves and our baby girl. 

It has been the sweetest of summers.

01 January 2017

At 4:30pm on the 28th of December, 2016, little Ana came into this world.

Since then, our favorite activities have included snuggling with her, watching her while she sleeps, and taking countless photos which our families are probably already getting sick of. But you see, we have fallen in love. You know that feeling when you can't stop thinking about someone else, when it seems that your heart could burst from fullness, when you are completely distracted, and  you make everyone around you ill from your shear disconnect from the physical harshness of reality? That is us right now. 

So far, the sleepless nights feel like a small price to pay when we are nuzzled by a little being this is both half him, and half me. The diaper changing is not so much a burden, rather a new adventure that we are embarking on together. Even the most difficult, the fear of failing or somehow getting it wrong, doesn't seem so overwhelming when she gives us a sleepy little smile. 

Needless to say, it is a happy new year. We hope the same for you. 

18 December 2016

The calm before the storm.

Right now life is quiet. It is early summer, which means warm days and cool nights. The weather allows us to take advantage of time in the garden, playing at the beach and on the river; cherries, strawberries and melons are abounding. At night, we turn on the AC by putting a fan in the window, and by morning it is still cool enough to snuggle under the covers. 

We know, however, that the only certainty is change. This year, more than any other, we can feel the slow rumble of change making its way towards us. Soon, it will be hot. The grass will stop being so brilliantly green, and everything will be yearning for rain. We will toss and turn, trying to find a cool spot in the bed. The lettuces in the garden will be long gone, replaced with tomatoes and perhaps some struggling squash. 

Most of all, life as we know it will change. Where once we were two, in just a matter of hours (?), days (?), weeks (?), we will be three. We will be forced not just to think of our own needs, but of those of another. From what they say, our days and nights will blend into an alternate reality of caregiving stupor. All three of us will embark on a journey that we have no preparation for, nor any idea of what we will be faced with. 

In the meantime, as the approaching storm sounds louder, we will continue to pretend that this year is no different than any other. The tree is up and decorated with the orbs of tiny spiders that claim our spruce as home 11.5 months of the year. As a blend of cultures, cookies have been made for Christmas, though you won't find ginger, nutmeg, or icing on the ingredients list, rather harina de yuca and aguardiente. And in the real spirit of the holiday, the nursery and gifted moisés peacefully await their new occupant.