Sunday, January 18, 2015


 Aimee's photo: Roo helps with the dish-washing.

Our little bundle of joy has been anything but these last two days: cranky, windy, always hungry, wants to play constantly, but then is also always tired. I don't quite know how she achieves so many mood swings in such short space of time. It's a bit like the current weather, which is also going from January thaw to deep freeze and back again with alarming regularity.

Aimee says that it's a "growth spurt", a diagnosis I am easily prepared to believe, considering I weighed just her last weekend and she came in just under fourteen pounds and is now closer to fourteen-and-a-half. Our scale, donated by a colleague at work, has seen better days and is somewhat uncertain, so these are unscientific estimates. But, best I can tell, based on the average of the needle swing, she's put on a half pound or so in a very short time frame.

In other news, we survived our first week of work as two fully-employed parents. Last semester I worked full-time, but with flexible hours. Aimee had about half the semester off, thanks to the various forms of maternity leave available at our small college, but then was back to work, with somewhat flexible hours. This semester we have a normal workload each, and an inflexible schedule, but no overlaps, meaning that one of us can be with Roo most of the time. This is necessary because she's still way too young for daycare.

Trying to make this work was interesting, to say the least. For my part, I had to work a lot of very early morning hours, Skype in to meetings, and go to work on part of Saturday to succeed in this endeavor, but I'm now done until Tuesday, thanks to the MLK holiday. Aimee had to work a lot of evening hours and still has things to do today and during tomorrow's holiday, but plans to watch the football today. This, despite her being up almost all night with Roo. I'd say she's getting the worst of it, and will continue to do so as long as Roo needs to be breastfed in the middle of the night.

There remains virtually no time for house, farm, or mechanical projects. Luckily it's too cold to do mechanics. The Lister engine has been removed from it's trailer and sits cold and neglected on the shop floor. Its generator is in a hundred pieces and I despair of ever remembering how they all fit back together. The farm work is ticking over on a low "idle" -- all I do is make sure the sheep and chickies have lots of food, and unfrozen water to drink, and as well keep the heat lamp running. It takes less than twenty minutes a day. The dogs are lucky if they get even a half-mile walk once a day. I did start the job of cleaning out my den, but was only able to give it twenty minutes at a time. After about two weeks I got it done.

I did manage to host these renewable energy students at the house the other day to study energy retrofits, of which the house is of course a great example, and Roo was good enough to sit on my knee and let me talk to them without too many interruptions. That was remarkable, but it also reminded me that I still have a serious career in renewable energy and climate policy to tend to, if I somehow can.

Roo, for her part, now four-and-a-half months old, has been working on important projects: learning to roll over, and trying to crawl. She is beginning to be a little more mobile, and can squirm herself around a little bit, especially when gravity is on her side. She'll be sitting on your knee, see something she wants, a favorite toy, say, a foot away on the couch, then execute a kind of controlled fall in that direction, and sometimes almost get there.

I expect that she'll get to crawling an a few weeks or months. We hope to start her on solid food soon too. But this is not any big, intense kind of a project. We're just taking things one day, one hour at a time.

Mostly we just hope to get more sleep, especially Aimee, before we begin another week of school work. Our semesters are fifteen weeks long, except that one week of that is exams, so basically we have to survive another twelve weeks after this one and we will have not only summer, but a seven-month-old baby to spend it with. We hope we make it. That's about the limit of our time horizon.

I'm reminded of Bob the Builder, my new favorite philosopher:

"We can do it! Yes we can!"

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Welcome to our Farm Blog.
The purpose of this blog is for Aimee and I to communicate with friends and family, with those of our students, and other folks in general who are interested in homesteading and farming activities.

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