Tuesday, April 30, 2013


You guys. They said yes. They actually said yes. 

I will begin midwifery school this fall, though I wish I could start tomorrow.  I've waited years, years, to become a midwife. I could go on and on (and I probably will for weeks, so bear with me) about how long I've wanted to do this for my future. Now I am here to tell you that things can happen. Dreams and big ideas and tiny goals that you only whisper to yourself late at night are real. I am so excited I might just float away.

If you see me floating around, just let me go. I want to bottle this feeling and carry it with me as I throw myself into what will be the busiest, most demanding, four years of my life. I want to dance around and twirl and declare to most anybody that I'm going to be a midwife. I think I'll be a good one.

I'm not sure what this will mean for this blog. I'm about to embark on a very busy summer leading up to a very busy fall, and a very busy winter, and you get the idea. Will I have time to return here, to store little bits of my everyday life while the whirlwind takes off around me? I hope so. This blog is where I come to exhale, and I'll need that more than ever as the year continues. But there is so much real life going on that deserves my attention, I can't make any promises to myself. I'll just take it one busy day at a time.

Now, bring on the babies.

Be well!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

On returning

Returning to Nana's
 My mum welcomes these beasts with open arms every time.

What do you do when you need to collapse and step way from life for a day or two? I go to my mum's house. She no longer lives in the house I grew up in (my grandparents actually live in that house now, so I'm still able to visit some of the favourite places of my childhood, like the secret fairy garden that still grows outside what used to be my bedroom window), but because it is where my mum lives, it's home. Occasionally I feel a bit juvenile returning to mum so often, but sometimes it's just exactly what I need.

It could be that she feeds me some of my favourite foods (I'll be there briefly this coming Sunday and I'll be asking her to make this soup again) or that the red wine flows freely (which it does), or even that she loves my girls *almost* more than I do. But it isn't quite any of those things exactly. There is something about being in my mum's presence that just makes be feel strong and it's always been that way, since the beginning of us.

At mum's house there are king-size beds.
Alyce's work of art
Snail and worm, detail

Or maybe that's just what love feels like. Glorious strength, rooted in relationship with another person.That's the only possible explanation for allowing your grandchildren to draw pictures on your pantry walls, right? Only fierce love could do that. That, and drunkenness, which while I promise you there was wine, my mother only gets giggly when she drinks champagne.

Sadly, there was no champagne this weekend. Maybe the next weekend.

Whatever the feeling, whatever the reason I have for returning again and again for short visits (or long ones, but that was just once), this is what I do. When I daydream about Alyce and Shira growing older I always fantasize about those times when they return to me. They'll leave me to explore, to love, to fail, to put one foot in front of the other, but they'll return, or at least I hope they will. I wonder what kinds of food they'll want me to cook, or what special things I'll sneak into their bags as they leave again.

I was taken by this blossoming turnip in my mother's kitchen.

I asked my mum if we could visit last weekend because I told her the girls were missing her. Which they were, deeply. My mum has been written into the foundation of our family, not only because we lived with her for so long last year, but because she comes with me, as I do with her. We are a bit of a package, the two of us. I really wanted to visit because I needed a quick recharging after my interview last Friday (which was hard, but still felt good). The four of us threw ourselves together and drove to Cambridge for a quick sleepover, just time enough to enjoy my mum's home and to feel a little bit more like myself again.

It worked.

Update: This was the post I had intended to publish last Monday, but couldn't. This week's Sunday visit I mentioned above turned into two days, and yes, this time there was champagne, and yes, my mum did get the giggles.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Monday sucked

I've been all talk of regular posting lately, and on Monday afternoon I was about hit publish on an update about my weekend to kick off a week of regular updates, but then I heard about the explosions at the Boston Marathon and I couldn't hit publish. Later that night I heard that an eight-year-old boy died in the explosions and I just didn't know what to do. I know eight-year-old boys (and five-year-old girls and almost-three-year-old girls) who have families who love them and need them, and I'm just so sad.

I do not enjoy running, not even a little bit. As my friend Larissa declares, I'm a lover, not a runner. But I love marathoners. I think they are a bit wacky, but I love them for it. I love how they believe in themselves enough to run for hours and hours for apparently no reason (I'm sure they have reasons but I just can't for the life of me figure them out). I love that they push themselves and how they are supported and cheered on by thousands of strangers. Anyway, like I said, I'm just so sad about the whole thing. My husband went to college in Boston and has for years told me about how special this days is in Boston. He gets this lovely, nostalgic grin on his face and tells me about how the Red Sox play an early game before the marathon ends, how almost everything shuts down so that people can be there to cheer on the marathoners as they cross the finish line. I just don't understand.

Anyway, I'm back to my regularly scheduled life, as we all need to do, but I just want to declare that Monday sucked.

Be well and smile at someone today, because I just don't know what else there is to do but offer some love.

Photo from The Boston Globe

Friday, April 12, 2013

Today I have an interview

Alyce, 1 day old.

Maybe you remember last year, when I didn't even get an interview. I had applied to midwifery school with so much passion and excitement it never occurred to me that I wouldn't get an interview. When I got the letter my heart was broken, but the world didn't collapse. Doesn't that always happen? We get so worked up and teary (or sobby, as it happens with me), and then in the end, we adjust. Plans change, new ideas emerge, and we move forward.

Now it's a year later and I am one step closer. Today I have an interview for midwifery school. I am roughly equal parts thrilled and nervous. I'm standing at this place where I want something so badly yet I know, I just know, that everything will be fine no matter what. I'm coming to see, stubborn as I am, that I have everything I need already. I am built to be a midwife, but I'm build for many other things, too.

As I make the final preparations for my interview later today, I find myself thinking about my midwives, the women who helped me bring both my children into the world. Thank you Houley, Andrea, Lindsey, Manavi, Katie, Sarah, Nicole, and Dorinda. They supported me and inspired me, and I am forever grateful. Thank you for making me feel safe when I was scared, for encouraging me when I doubted myself, and for catching those slippery babies, especially Shira, who was enormous.

Be well!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Shall we reintroduce ourselves?

Hi there, I'm Danielle. 

You might recognize me from my previous roles as a regular blogger and occasional list maker. It's been awhile, hasn't it? As it happens, life got Busy. The kind of busy where I wasn't returning emails, wasn't home to tuck my girls into bed as often as I wasted to be, and was showering only every other day at best. It was the kind that kept me away from writing. But oh how I miss the writing.

Since January things have felt extra charged. Everything was changing, mostly for the good, and the mood in our house was an only slightly organized chaos. Shira grew up when we weren't paying attention. She's bossier than every, though less frightening now to unsuspecting children and elderly people (translation: she yells less frequently at complete strangers). She started daycare last week. Clears her own dishes from the table.

Yes, that's right. Shira now attends daycare. My teeny, tiny baby, who turns three next month, is now leaving the house each morning carrying a bumble bee backpack and a grin a mile wide. I have a lot more to say about daycare, but I'm not ready to yet. Once I adjust to this new reality I'll have some things to share, but until then let me tell you that as complicated as this development is, it also feels very easy. 

Having the days to myself allows me to work on my two jobs during the daylight hours without having to constantly negotiate with Matt and his work to cover child care. I won't have to pretend to work late into the night when I'm really falling asleep at my desk. I'm getting busier as a doula especially and it was time to take this step. And for the first time since December (otherwise known as the last day Shira breastfed), she is napping. It was time. It is time. Nevertheless I miss her terribly. 

And so I am returning after months of here-and-there posting. I love writing this blog and I'm so excited to have some more time to post here once again, if you'll have me. Things around here might even change a bit in the next few weeks, I think. So, until tomorrow, I leave you with some photos from the past few weeks. I hope you'll stop by and catch me up on what's been going on with you. 

Be well.