Snapshots are what I’ve got. Connecting life’s latest happenings into some sort of coherent narrative would take far too much energy. And life is demanding that I loosen my grip and let everything be semi-orchestrated, chaotic, disconnected and connected.

Here’s what’s going on. When our renters moved out in February, we got a bee in our bonnet to demolish a bathroom in our back house so that we could have a south-facing patio. And so we propelled ourselves into some high-intensity duplex living. Thankfully we have friends with sledgehammers willing to work for pizza and beer.

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Turns out it *was* harder and *way* more expensive than we thought.

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But miracle of miracles, we made it to the siding stage just in time for our new renter to move in this weekend. (YES! My crazy hippie tactics worked…in case you were wondering.)

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Naturally, while this is all going on, J is still going strong, fully occupying his main toddler functions as a comic, zen master and general obstructionist.

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Oh, and there’s also this:

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While this photo makes it look like I might just have a spare tire going, I assure you, I am settling into a 3rd trimester with all the trimmings–my ankles officially disappeared yesterday, my side of the bed has turned into a “heartburn management station” and this baby is head down and hiccuping like crazy.

Here are a few other little nuggets from the past week or two.

  • A friend of mine told this story at our women’s group: she has been relentlessly busy and had the presence of mind while she was walking to a meeting to just stop on a bridge near some trees and water, take a deep breath and pause for 10 seconds. She said, “That 10 seconds of beauty gave me energy for the next 7 hours.” Revelation!  Paying attention to beauty has not been a priority of mine in my current gestating, demolishing, mothering blur. But hearing this reminded me that it *should* be. And this morning, I got a fix. Just before he got dressed, J scrambled to our bedroom window to catch a glimpse of whatever vehicle was driving by with its siren blaring. He stood there for 20 seconds or so, his lithe, naked body half behind the white curtain. That soft glow of his sillouette in the morning light behind the fabric. And where the curtain ended, his straightforward little boy butt and legs. Sigh. Energy for 7 hours.
  • I had my last two doula clients during this crazy time–two whopping births of two whopping boys two weeks apart. During the last few minutes of pushing, I saw the same thing in the eyes of both birthing women: a dead calm, blank, focused power gaze, tunneling back to every woman who has ever lived. The intensity and vastness I could see in them — brilliant and terrifying.
  • After J goes to bed at night, we’ve been going to the back house and painting, to prepare for our renter who moves in on Sunday. IMG_7536 From 8-11 every night, my hands are busy, trimming and rolling wet colors onto the walls–Pale Sky, Plateau, Pot of Cream. I’ve had the gift of a friend who came one night to paint with me, and our hands flew while we caught up on the details of common friends, personal revelations and babies born. Other nights it’s just been A and I, talking out the endless details of the demolition and tasks to be done, J’s video monitor crackling in the background, and catching up on back episodes of This American Life. While it has been incredibly tiring, I have loved it. Nothing makes me feel quite like the creature I am and should be than having my hands busy, doing something repetitive and useful for a sustained amount of time and connecting with people and ideas that I care about.