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    Lux: she’s very sensitive about being sensitive. If she gets hurt, she doesn’t like sympathy and she doesn’t want to talk about it. It was soothing to all three of us to get her into the tub to clean up, then some ointment, then two bandaids. Phew. 

    Alma: smiling mysteriously this week. It passes over her face and her eye’s register just a flicker of smile-momentum. 

    Joan: got a bang trim so this is the last week of those wispy, omnipresent locks in her eyes. The hair stylist asked me if I was sentimental about hair since I waited so long to trim it–“no, just absent minded.”

    So much pale winter skin in these!

    This week I googled news of zika nearly every morning. In December I thought about pregnant women every time I saw a naivety scene or read The Legend of the Poinsettia to the girls. I thought of pregnant woman as strong, brave visions for the future. Now in February, I think about all the countries where they might be feeling fragile and vulnerable instead. What a horrible plague to pray over.


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    Joan: at the contemporary art museum she said right away when she found an exhibit “too scary for me.” I would say “oh ok” and we’d march away. 

    Lux: deliberating a move in one of the brief games of chess she plays with Joe. Face so old, hands so young. 

    Alma: still taking photos of her sleeping, but I’m spending much more time trying to get her there these days. 

    This week Alma has blossoming teenage acne all over her face. It’s the strangest thing (that happens to all babies everywhere, I know). For this week at least, if I soothe her to sleep and then set her down, she wakes up after ten minutes. So now I tuck her in and then soothe. I’ve noticed Lux has become a bit of a surrogate mom to Joan. I used to suggest “Maybe Lux can help?” Now Joan just asks Lux to do it from the first. The things she wants me to do: listen to her side of an argument, give a hug when she’s crying, sit really close and read her books, prepare/present her food the way she feels is extremely important.

    People say the thing about three is that there’s always a need. That’s true. But I’ve been surprised to find myself happy to switch from need to need. When Alma’s all set I fairly sprint to one of the other girls to talk to them, ask them if they want to read a book, tell them they look beautiful in their eclectic outfit for the day with bed mussed hair. .

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    Lux: I needed to order new ballet shoes and tights for her–the old ones had gotten so little! She convinced me to throw in the components of a white swan costume. She asked me every day when I thought the package would arrive. She’s so proud of the elegant long tutu. 

    Alma: mid-yawn! Caught it at last. 

    Joan: Delighting in a crazy confetti colored Italian cookie from the North End.

    This week I’ve been thinking about the basketwork of nursing. If nursing for nine months, or a year, or whatever you manage, is a finished basket you can place on your shelf and smile fondly at later, now is the rough work of pulling it together. Binding reeds and callousing soft fingers. Weaving in and out exactly the same way over and over, picking it up again and again before you’re through. Dropping your soft body into the mold of new habits with gusto: drinking so much water all day, yet gasping for still more as soon as you begin nursing again. Shifting time from twenty-four to three hour cycles (or much, much less, early on). Stretching achy shoulders, massaging small hot pockets of pain here and there, losing half your wardrobe, adjusting to the milky smell that surrounds you when you wake up each morning.

    With Lux and Joan I always thought I’d stop nursing at nine months. But then I reached nine months and everything mentioned above had become so normal, that settled in and did it for three more months!

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    Alma: last days of napping willy nilly. Now she must be swaddled to stay asleep. 

    Lux: during her quiet time. Listening to Boxcar Children, probably. 

    Joan: loves to go outside. She is still the first one dressed every morning.

    We’ve been completely inundated with food from friends in a wonderful way. I’ve started eating entrees for breakfast: spicy chicken lasagne, tikki masala with rice and chopped kale, wedges of roasted sweet potato peppered all over. It’s my hungriest meal of the day, I start thinking about food at 5am when Alma wakes up, so why not?

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    Lux & Joan: They both like to hold her for about 60 seconds and then they get a vaguely repulsed and overwhelmed look, and sigh with relief when I take her.

    Alma: Those tiny, absentminded, infant face scratches! It’s impossible to keep the nails trimmed short enough. 1.5 weeks old here. 

    I’m in the everything-is-an-experiment stage of newborn-parent relationship development. Will she wake up if I set her down. How long will this nap last. Swaddle, or no. Pacifier, or no. On me, or on the bed. Needs to burp obsessively. Doesn’t need to burp this time.
    It’s fun as long as you don’t worry too much about it.

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    Lux & Joan: I don’t think I’ll be getting many shots with them individually this year. Gosh I’m so proud of them. 

    Alma: the only thing I can type when I see this photo is “coo.”

    Every year Jodi inspires me with her talk of a folder full of weekly photos at the end of the year. Why not start anew with a new babe? I just finished The Wright Brothers and am feeling rather optimistic about everything as a result. So inspiring, those boys.

    And Joe gave me a new lens for Christmas; my second Canon pancake (= slim, light). I love it.

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    18_52Bridget caught this moment at Drumlin Farm. Lux was playing with her friends, and then left them to come over and dig with Joan. It was so sweet.  I’m of the “try it ’till they don’t like it” school when handling hand-to-mouth exploring, if you can’t tell!