Browse and Seek
On the Nightstand
  • Your One-Year-Old: The Fun-Loving, Fussy 12-To 24-Month-Old
    Your One-Year-Old: The Fun-Loving, Fussy 12-To 24-Month-Old
    by Louise Bates Ames, Frances L. Ilg
  • Your Six-Year-Old: Loving and Defiant
    Your Six-Year-Old: Loving and Defiant
    by Louise Bates Ames, Frances L. Ilg
  • Ragnarok: The End of the Gods (Myths)
    Ragnarok: The End of the Gods (Myths)
    by A.S. Byatt
  • The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home (Revised and Updated Edition)
    The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home (Revised and Updated Edition)
    by Susan Wise Bauer, Jessie Wise
  • The Bay Area Forager: Your Guide to Edible Wild Plants of the San Francisco Bay Area
    The Bay Area Forager: Your Guide to Edible Wild Plants of the San Francisco Bay Area
    by Kevin Feinstein, Mia Andler

Settling in

It’s been a few weeks since we packed up and moved across the bay, and while we’ve gotten Seamus’ room unpacked as well as enough of the kitchen and bathroom to function, most of our things are still in boxes. I’m loath to leave Seamus to the TV while I unpack, and in any event, he’s done being our trooper and has begun acting out, which while expected, takes up much more time and effort to deal with reasonably. I’ve gotten very crabby in the last week or so, as Patrick has been cleaning out the crap from the garage since we moved. But he’s done, so he’ll get back into our routine and give me a bit of respite soon.

When Seamus is not throwing down like an almost three year-old who has just moved from the only home he’s ever known, we’re exploring our new town as well as spending a lot of time playing out back. We live near a commercial corridor so I’ve been spending a good chunk of time sourcing stuff and figuring out costs. We’ve visited playgrounds, the beach, the dog park, the shoreline wetlands preserve and the local aviation museum. We saw a tiger swallowtail butterfly yesterday. Depite my slatherings with mineral sunblock, we’re tanning under the afternoon sun.

Other news:

  • I found a preschool for Seamus! I was a little worried about this, as the spot we relinquished was one I applied for in 2008 and I had no idea how competitive the application process was here in Alameda. The school is play-based with structure, and Shea loved the place when we visited. He’ll go three days a week, they’ll support potty-training efforts, and I feel very optimistic about the whole thing.
  • Once I’ve gotten this place under control, I begin re-skilling to work part-time from home. There’s the dream job I have in my head, and there’s the dream of sharing both the working and care-giving responsibilities with Patrick. With world enough and time they may not be mutually exclusive, but I am not sure if we have that.
  • Bandit is running about the house and behaving like a normal cat. She eats only wet food now, and we’ve made some good spaces for her food and box, and she seems to be happier. She’s obsessed with the basement.
  • Faolan misses C and her dog-walking group, so we work really hard to get her time with our neighbor’s dog, and I plan on geting her to the dog park at least twice a week.

I’m helping a friend with an essay, so that’s all for now.


From sand to Jell-O (or however that's spelled)?

The San Andreas Fault woke up this morning about four miles from our place and said hello. I’m suddenly very very glad to be getting off of this sand dune, but have a bit of trepidation about moving to an island that was once part of the East Bay wetlands.

Ah, the Bay Area. Atlantis in our times, you are.


"We're gonna need a bigger boat."

We are book people, make no mistake. We buy, we borrow, we read and re-read. We lend sometimes, we cull when we must. We have enough books that when I unpacked them last five years ago, I used them as a design element in the living room and arranged them in blocks of color, based on the dominant color on their covers/spines. I managed to make it so the color blocks complemented each other horizontally and vertically.

Yes, I had a job at the time. So did Nehemiah Wallington, and he managed to pray eleven times a day. Just sayin’.

So I’m packing them up with similar intentions, and have boxes labeled with tags like “Penguin Orange Books - Living Room”. Once you tape up five or six boxes and assign a color to each, the work goes pretty quickly. Only… I’m packing boxes 17-22 now, and I’m maaaaaybe halfway done. With the main collection, not the smaller subject/genre collections- homemaking, parenting/child development and education, travel, and porn (What?). Or Seamus’ books.

We’re also in the maket for new bookshelves. Think we can get a bulk discount?


The purge

I just got rid of all of my books about information architecture, systems librarianship, web design and usability, and jump-starting my library career. I feel so much…lighter.

I kept the indexing books. I’m not sure why, though I think indexing would provide a brainy component to my life that I’m currently lacking. Never say never? I’ll get some use out of that degree yet? Hard to say.

But all of that attempting to find a permanent job, contracting, then finding one that wouldn’t cover the expenses of having an infant in San Francisco and the attending emotions of anxiety and doubt and sorrow and some hope followed by more doubt and confusion (and rage, let’s not forget that one)- that’s going away with the books I’ve just consigned to Goodwill. I’ve kept the things that keep me curious. And no more.


How big an asshole does this make me, exactly?

Question for the parents:

I’ve been trying to re-jigger my exercise routine so that it’s a routine and not, I dunno, some happenstance event like finding a twenty in the street. I’m okay enough with how I look, but I don’t feel great, so I’d like to work on that. I’ve discovered that my running stride is too bouncy to effectively push the jogging stroller forward without over-using my shoulders, so I’ve settled on five-mile walks, which let me work on my posture.

It took a long time to figure out how to incorporate Seamus into the walk once he started trying to ditch his nap. He fights getting into/being in the stroller if he’d rather walk, but the truth is that if he’s walking, Im not exercising, I’m walking with a toddler who still requires constant supervision and re-direction. I do those walks too, but not as my workout. Which I really need in order to not grey-out like I have been, or to keep my crankiness in check.

I’ve discovered that if I put Seamus into his stroller at mid-day, hand him his lunch, and go for a five-mile walk, he eats well then has a nap/quiet time, and I get some exercise. But he’s eating a meal alone´╗┐, essentially, and I’m wondering how much of an impact this has. All breakfasts and dinners are family meals, and I’m a much more patient person when I’ve gotten my time to do something that is mostly for me now, but he could join me in walking when he is older and undertands that this is not a walk for exploring every single driveway on every single block.

I’m torn between thinking that this has benefits for us both, and that it’s a total dick parenting technique. Enlighten me please.