The baby slept eight hours for the first time last night. Being a new parent = notifying everyone when your baby A) slept less than usual, or B) more than usual.

I’m still eating better. I don’t know which has helped more with the mood swings—better nutrition + keeping blood sugar from bottoming out/spiking, or just knowing that I’m prioritizing my own health & well-being. Add to that the knowledge that whatever that 3-week long inner storm was (hormones and/or terrible diet and/or some really objectively terrible days?)…I weathered it, and that we actually got out into the woods on Saturday and hiked, and those eight hours of sleep last night—and suddenly today feels like The Next Chapter. Wow. Finally. Also Mary’s getting stronger and can hold herself up better than ever (makes things SO much easier), and spring weather and flowers and the first leaves are on all the House Mountain dogwoods, like tiny green tongues of flame.

Sometimes I struggle with knowing whether life really is this universe of cliffs and poles, enormous opposing forces, or whether I just perceive it that way because I [fill in the blank]. I feel too much, or worry too much, or spend too much time trying to predict the future. I’d like to become amazing at enjoying the present moment, which is surely the only way to suck the marrow out of life. But I also believe that even the present moment contains depths of sadness and crests of joy, even a single moment is so complex.

For instance, it’s a small, joyous miracle that I’m having this peaceful, reflective moment right now, because there’s a pile of laundry at the foot of the bed, leather- and paper-craft detritus strewn across the living room, Mary is sleeping on my lap rather than in her crib where I gingerly laid her 25 minutes ago, and I have for the 1,728th time not washed out the French press after making coffee. (It’s rusting because of my reprehensible habits.) (Stainless steel, indeed.)

I can tell I’m starting to feel centered and ambitious because I was daydreaming this morning, with coffee and journal while the baby played on the playmat, about planting an in-ground garden. Which I could never do right now, and I know that.  But I was imagining what I could grow and thinking about companion gardening, and felt excited rather than wistful. I might be able to pull off a container garden though. Also, Marshall called at noon and told me about his co-worker’s lambs that were born on Easter, and I started thinking about the goats I want—again, excitement rather than wist.

It also feels really good to put clothes and diapers that the baby has outgrown up in a box, and get rid of the ones I don’t want to keep. Indeed. New chapter. I’ve heard the first three months of a baby’s life called “the fourth trimester” because of the huge developmental leaps happening, brainwise, but—even though I haven’t really talked to any other moms about this—I can see a more nuanced meaning behind the phrase: the baby is growing, yes, but the mom (and dad) is still falling off the side of that enormous mountain that is pregnancy and [incredibly] new motherhood (and fatherhood). It’s a time of rapid growth for her (and partner), as well. This morning I re-read a journal entry from May of last year, when I was five weeks pregnant, and was struck by how lovely and easy the foothills were, ascending that mountain. And here I am, enjoying an easy moment, having grown into my new skin a little more, enough to feel lovely. Fourth trimester, for me = fourth months long.

chloe alicia photography
chloe alicia photography 2

Speaking of lovely, these are two photos we got to preview from a photo shoot we did this weekend. I’m finding the beauty in my new body, as it feels more and more “mine,” and am doing pretty well at focusing on these positives rather than nit-picking, like I usually do when I see photos of myself. And Marshall is cute, and our baby looks exactly like an Easter egg.

My house is maybe going to be a lovely place, at the end of next month, when I will host a bachelorette party here for my sister, whom I love, admire, and miss. It’ll be so put-together, which I didn’t have time to do pre-baby or post-baby, thus far. But the insulating plastic film is coming off the window frames today, and a load of stuff is going into the car so I can drop it at Goodwill next time I’m out. I never understood Spring Cleaning till this year, I think.

So long, fourth trimester!