Academic Leigh Speaking

A professor, four kids, and a crash course in work/life balance

Recent Books, Dreams, More Snow February 16, 2014

1. I’ve finished the hippie midwife book. Biggest takeaway–feel empowered and you will be. Incidentally, it inspired me to feel less annoyed by my week-old stuffy nose. I told Patrick, “I’m not going to complain about this stuffy nose, instead I’m just going to feel that it’s a sign that my body is doing all the right things that it’s supposed to be doing. I’m making more fluids, blood volume, and part of that shows up in my nose.” Then I woke up with a sinus infection! Ha, positive thinking!

2. I then blew through the book Call the Midwife which the PBS (BBC) Series is based on. It was a fascinating look at midwifery in the 1950s in London’s East End. Some of it was fairly horrifying, but other stuff was really interesting; for instance, the ways that family relationships worked and the limited but interesting cross-section of opportunities she shows for women–mothers, nurses, nuns, and prostitutes–and how one’s fortunes could change depending on if the men around them lived or died.

3. Gilbert’s been having bad dreams lately. He sometimes cries out, but almost every morning he tells us about something scarey that happened to him in his dream the night before. A few nights ago, I told him to dream about butterflies and flowers. Then he told me he’d dream about giving me kisses. When he woke up, he reported happy dreams. We’ve been doing this every night since and the situation seems to have improved.

4. Swim lessons were going well, but as always, we hit a snag. They changed the last date on us, so we missed the lesson. Seamus was deeply disappointed, mostly because he’d been making progress, but also because his little friend also goes to swim lessons. However, this is more of a don’t mess with Seamus’s schedule and expectations. He was mad about that; then he got into his head that we were leaving the lake at night, so when we left after lunch, he was irritated. But most of all, when we got home, he said, “I’m really ready to go back to pre-school.” Me too, kiddo. Me too.

5. Snow is covering the yard. Still. I have a few cute pics of them playing in it that I’ll post soon, but I haven’t uploaded them to the computer yet. Even though we had school on Friday, I had fewer than half my students there.

6. Tonight for dinner we had nachos and berry cobbler and salad. Nice whole foods. Most of the books on pregnancy say that nutrition is a vastly overlooked area in prenatal health. To that end, I’m working on eating only what I make or things with actual food as the ingredient. I usually do pretty well with this in general, but winter slows me down, and I start just wanting to eat popcorn. So nachos with black beans and cheese and mashed avocado. Butter lettuce salad with pumpkin seeds, and no sugar mixed berry cobbler. The boys could not have been happier when I dished them up a big bowl.

7. And I clearly have nothing else left to say. Ending on the weather and food, sheesh.

BONUS: A famous family story is Bret sneaking off to eat Flamin’ Hot Cheetos when he was expressly forbidden by my Aunt Linda. He came in panting and begging for water. She can comment here on whether she gave it to him or not. I was reminded of this on Thursday when there was a bowl of Thai Chili and Lime Spiced Almonds on the table. Patrick and I were in the kitchen when all of a sudden Gilbert was underfoot, panting. “Spicy! Milk!” He’d eaten the almonds!

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3 Responses to “Recent Books, Dreams, More Snow”

  1. Linda St Clair Says:

    On the Bret and very hot chip story: No I did not give him the water he asked for. My reasoning — not to be mean to this small boy, but he stood there and lied literally red-handed (and red mouthed) that he had not been in the chips after I specifically told him not to. So I said, “Well, if you haven’t been in the very hot chips, then you don’t need water.” My reasoning was that he needed to learn that his actions have consequences and some of those consequences could be unpleasant.

  2. Heather Says:

    mmm…nachos. You are speaking to my cravings..


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