It happened. We succumbed to purchasing a baby gate for downstairs in our home.
I avoided it long enough but P has been growing and getting faster than ever, and way too curious about going up our giant 15-step staircase. I let her tackle it sometimes – me behind her the entire way of course, watching carefully – and she climbs it like Everest! But there is no way in heck she can have access to that thing without me there, and with her speed lately, it’s a chance I can’t take.
We have a double-wide hallway, and you know this presented a problem because Greg was pretty adamant about not wanting a gate that would require drilling/mounting to the wall. So we got this one:
It’s free-standing and it’s technically a pet gate with a door. Here it is in action in our house:
If you’re a regular reader of mine you might be wondering, what the heck will Marcus and Bear make of this new gate? They are giant
gazelles Maine coon cats and would have no problem clearing it if they had no choice, but I still felt bad. But while we were deliberating how they would get around this thing, they solved their own problem, because look!
They adapted by making their own little “cut-through”! And I think they kind of like it, because when P chases them around, they now have a quick escape route. Sometimes they leap through it, stop, and stare at her from the other side of the gate. I swear I see them blowing raspberries at her.
On another note, lately I’ve been taking one morning a weekend, usually Sunday, to get out of the house with my laptop and write. I think it’s comical how easy I thought this was going to be before having my daughter, that is to get any sort of writing done while being at home with her.
Writing is creative work, the kind of thing you can only do when you are absolutely in the state of “flow”. You know, the place where time sort of stops and you are in the zone, operating on pure adrenaline and, when it’s over, you wonder where you went and if you maybe blacked out or something. Sort of like when you’re running (not me, but maybe you). Or decorating (sounds more like me). Or when you demolish an entire tray of chocolate chip cookies without any recollection (what?).
Achieving this state of flow while managing a miniature, uncoordinated human is impossible, and for me to have a shot at writing something remotely close to interesting or legible, I need to get my toosh out of the house.
So Sunday morning has become somewhat of a weekly refuge for me, at least for those 2 hours, but there’s never a guarantee I’ll get anything done. For that you need inspiration, and inspiration is a fickle little B.
Inspiration will whisper in your ear while you’re changing a diaper, and you’ll forget what she said by the time you get to a paper and pen. When you’re stuck in line at the grocery store with a toddler on your hip. When you’re driving.
She will poke you in the middle of the night and wake you up from the only good sleep you’ve had in months because she doesn’t give a damn, she has to talk to you NOW. And even though she is impatient, demanding and rude, you always miss her when she’s gone and leave the light on for her no matter what time it is, because she’s passionate and crazy and you feel incredible after she pays you a visit.
Some mornings Inspiration stands me up. I save her a seat and even buy her a coffee, but nothing; I’m left to stare at a blank screen for two hours and people-watch. Other times I catch a small glimpse of her darting past the window, pausing only for a brief moment to give me the finger before running away.
But lately she’s been dropping in. And being nice! And refraining from profanities! Which is a good thing, because I’m working on two books: one of which is similar to my bridal book but this time around it’s all about pregnancy, and another book I am co-authoring with a friend.
That second book is a baby food cookbook called “What a Good Eater!” with a unique little twist to it: it incorporates herbs and spices into foods from an early age, and it also has lots of easy, healthy, approachable recipes that the whole family can enjoy. Because really, who has time to cook twice?
The recipes are simple, savory, and seasonal, crafted to be either easy to whip up on the fly, freezer-friendly, and/or yield multiple servings. The ingredients are healthy and the cooking is light (think “one-pot” meals and standard kitchen equipment). And – get this – lots of recipes require no cooking at all. You’re welcome.
We’ve been working on it for the past several months but haven’t been ready to share it until now, and I’ve been so excited about it I’m busting. Busting! (And so are our kids because, as our tiny food critics, they’ve been eating pretty good lately.)
We are currently in the phase of testing recipes, so we’ve been sharing our recipes with moms and asking for honest feedback. Do you want to be on that list, or do you know a parent who does? If so, join the mailing list for our baby food cookbook here: What a Good Eater! We’ll be sending out the a new round of recipes to test next week.
It’s been interesting doing this with two infants, and now toddlers, to say the least, but luckily we’ve been making it work by meeting at night after the kids are in bed (when we aren’t exhausted), or going to each others houses during the day and hoping that by some miracle we can get both babies down for a nap at the same time and for at least an hour so we can work. These meetings also serve as built-in play sessions! (Sorry, I hate the word “play date”.)
As we move into other phases of the project, we will switch off who works and who watches the kids together so we can each get some hours of work in without having to pay for a sitter. It feels like a giant, messy, unplanned game of chess atop a board splattered with baby food, but it’s somehow working!
I’ve also been taking on freelance writing jobs, so if you are in need of a content writer for your website or other communications, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
So, while freelance writing and working at home isn’t as easy as I once thought it would be, I’ve learned that I can adapt. That if a gate goes up, although I’m not four-legged and furry (most of the time), I can still find my “cut-through”.
Don’t forget to check out our site for our new book (it’s “bare bones” at this point, but a work in progress), and please pass it along to any moms you know who may be interested! Again, you can join that list here.