Posted by: Kate | September 10, 2009

Nineteen More Things

…no, not another random-things-about-me meme, which I haven’t done in probably a year or more, partly because I continue to be a horrible citizen of the blog world and have not been reading a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g lately. Next week, once Jacob starts school and I’m rattling alone around the apartment for seven hours a day, then I’ll start clicking again. Honest. Or, at least, I’ll try.

Anyway, I’ve had several fairly momentous events lately, some of which have been posted and others – just because they got edged out or because I was too tired/sick/distracted to think of them at the time I sat down to post – have not yet gotten any pixel space here. And I feel bad about that, because they are important to me, and if I continue to try to find time to give each item its own day then they might well not get published, at all.

So, instead, I’ll tie them all together in one package, as I go through and revisit my “100 Things” list… I can fully check off 12 things, and move seven others from the “someday” to the “started” category. (This is one of those posts that just ended up stretching far too long, and now I lack the energy to properly edit or partition it… so if you just read to the separator bar, you’ll hit the biggest, most important stuff, and the rest is really more for my own reference…)

Have a third baby …and maybe a fourth
I decidedly seem to have started on this one. I’m having a distinct suspicion that I won’t be able to convince Willem to get back on this particular roller-coaster for another ride, so three is likely to be the magic number for us. Which I can live with; one of the hardest things for me was wrapping my brain around the idea that my pregnancy with Jacob – which was just so hard and scary and overwhelming – was going to be my last-ever. Both because it seemed like a down-note to end the experience on, and because I didn’t know it was the last at the time. Somehow that matters.

Be in a wedding party
It turns out, this technically shouldn’t have even found its way onto my 100-things list, because it’s already been done. When I thought about it before, all I remembered was that, when my father’s youngest sister was married, every one of the cousins found a place in the wedding party except me. I still don’t know why (I got the impression it was just not being able to figure out a role for a 14-year-old in a wedding, not a hard-feelings sort of thing), and am distant enough from that branch of the family for it not to matter anymore, but I was left with a vague sense of “hey, no fair.” Since then, I have remembered that, when I was around 7, I was the flower girl in a very small, backyard ceremony between two of my parents’ friends. That was an official wedding, in which I was an official member of the wedding party, and the fact that I forgot all about it shouldn’t entirely disqualify it…

But now it doesn’t matter anyway, because last month (which, yeah, I feel horrible about letting this much time go by without saying anything here, and I blame that firmly on the baby-to-be) Gretchen asked if I would be a bridesmaid in her wedding, next August. I was properly surprised – I had just finished talking to Willem about how it sounded like it was going to be a smallish, intimate family-and-friends kind of event, and I would try hard not to hold a grudge if there just wasn’t space to invite me to attend. I was kidding, of course – I would totally hold a grudge if we weren’t invited, because Gretchen and I have become so close over the past three years, but I never expected to be asked to stand up in the ceremony. Still makes me a little weepy to think of it, which is another thing I blame on the baby.

So I could, I suppose, draw a line right through that item and call it done because of the 25-years-ago wedding, but I won’t because this one will count more.

Get less-rare massages (2 per year)
Two per year… hah! I’ve had one already this year, in July with Jenny… and now Jordanna and I are planning monthly massages with a woman here in Salem, whose prices are very reasonable and whose studio is on the beach. Cannot wait.

Retrain and volunteer at rape crisis center
I just, this very minute, made the call to the local hotline, to leave my name and number for someone to contact me about volunteer opportunities. See, this list is more than just a way to fill up a page with words, no?

Have professional, artistic pregnancy photos taken
All signed up… my friend Lisa has done the lovely-family-photographs thing as long as I’ve known her (five years, now? Six?), and has accumulated the proper high-end toys to go with a proper high-end camera, and has recently started branching out to actual, paid-for, professional photography, weddings and such. I’ll be her first pregnancy-pose sort of client, unless some brat sneaks in before me, and will likely drag the kids along for some family photos, too. I won’t have bare-belly photos taken, but still, those backlit silhouette, black-and-white, artsy sorts of things, I’ve always wanted to get them taken at the point of my life when I am most pleased with my body, and just never got around to it before. Late January or early February, just need to nail down a date…

See a live-audience taped show (Letterman, John Stewart, etc.)
September 24, baby! Jenny got tickets, and she, Carolyn and I are heading down to New York City for the night. Cannot wait!

Complete a birthday calendar and send a card or gift to everyone on it
I did this, for one year. And then fell off the bandwagon completely… between moving to a new computer and Facebook bringing a deluge of new birthdays, I just couldn’t keep up. It’s on my to-do list, to write out a new, paper-and-ink calendar, to hang up and be able to read over easily, but in the meantime, I can say that I had one full year of birthday-preparedness. I’ll try again, someday, but for the purposes of this list, specifically, I can cross it off.

Lose 20 pounds before next pregnancy
I did, indeed. Was comfortably into size-12 jeans, which may not sound petite to many of you but I’m 5’9″ and hadn’t worn that size since 2002. This morning, I couldn’t button the size-14s I’d saved as a just-in-case, so they’re all getting bundled up into the attic until after the birth.

Join a gym (whole family)
Just never got around to it in the last house; none of the places that were within a reasonable drive had kid-stuff, or a pool. But we’ve started making the requisite phone calls to join Salem’s YMCA, and with a little luck I’ll get on the ball and have us signed up – and attending – soon.

Find those shoes – the black ones with the strap and heel
Oh, but I did. Just last week, actually. We were taking the kids – and Willem – school shopping, and stopped at a Payless for new sneakers. And, given their buy-one-get-one-half-off deal, and my own unbreakable optimism (hah), I wandered through the women’s shoes, even though I wear a size 11 and am quite used to my only in-store options ranging from bland to hideous. And instead, I found these, and they fit, so even though I have no plans to dress up anytime soon, I pounced on them. (And, for $20? Damn right.)

Knit items to donate (12 per year)
I did this in 2007 and 2008, and will likely continue to do so, but for the moment my charity knitting is on hold. Beside myself, I know of six women who are pregnant or have newborns, and so I have a bunch of gift-knitting to do, not to mention the stockings another friend has requested, and the hats and mittens yet another friend wants… the needles will be busy for a while, but still for a good cause, I think.

Knit a sweater that I would wear any day
I haven’t gotten around to photographing or posting it yet, but in June I finished a sweater that makes me quite happy. That’s next on my bad-blogger to-do list, to catch up with displaying some of my knitting projects.

Update kids’ journals (3-4 times per year)
Ever since I started blogging, I’ve fallen off the journal-writing, though I still make an effort to write personal notes to each of the kids in their own, private journals. My point in starting them in the first place was to have a way to speak directly to them, and only them, and to let them get to know me more, as a person in my own right instead of always in relation to them as Mom. That first reason is still valid, and is why I still write once in a while, but the second has effectively been addressed by this blog. They’ll find it and read it someday, and then they’ll know more about me, for better or worse.

I helped Mary with her shell table, which is actually almost all beach glass and very few shells… we had a cheap, Target-purchased microwave stand, and she completely covered the top in the summer of 2005. But my input was minimal, and it’s really her project (and, happily, the top will come off for easy wall-mounting when we have a mantle or somewhere similar to mount it, because the rest of the piece is really not worth saving forever but I won’t give up the decorated side).

Instead, I have a project coming up, which I won’t write about for now because it’s meant to be a surprise. But it involves a mosaic project of my own, and will make for a sweet little story, I think.

• Sleep in a castle
This one has been modified… it used to be, “sleep in an ice castle,” but for a number of reasons – chronic back pain, Reynaud’s disorder, increasing disinterest – I’m altering it to something I’m more likely to actually do.

• Join any sort of team/regular event with Willem
Another alteration… I’m not sure my health would allow me to be a decent member of a team sport, but perhaps regular racquetball once we join the gym, having him teach me to golf (thereby addressing another list item), or even a regular trivia night… just something that’s for us, and happens more often than, well, never. (And, for the record, it is a big deal that I’m willing to even consider playing racquetball with him… back in the bad old days, he would tell me he was “going to play racquetball,” which turned out to be a euphemism for “going to cheat on you.” That particular bitterness took a good long while to wear off, but enough time has passed, and I’m secure enough in where we’re at now that I can’t even imagine him thinking about cheating, so…)

(The end is in sight, honest! Is anyone still reading this far in??)

Sort out bookshelves – minimize, organize
Done, thanks to the move. I wouldn’t consider myself to have truly minimized the collection, just sorted out what I want to be able to read within the next year and what can safely wait in storage until we have a B&B and guests that might want to spend an evening with a book.

Read 50 of Time Magazine’s 100 Best Novels
Still not great, but I’m up to 10… Animal Farm, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, Catcher in the Rye, The Grapes of Wrath, The Great Gatsby, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Lolita, Never Let Me Go, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and To Kill a Mockingbird. That reminds me, I need to join the Salem Public Library.

Redo bathroom (NH house) [completed 10/7/07]
Paint living room (NH house) Thanks, Willem!: August 2008
Paint/touch-up exterior (NH house) July 2009
Reclaim Dad’s room, recreate a playroom/guest room (NH house)
Assemble a craft room
All completed over time, and especially recently, courtesy of the move. Even though the apartment we’re in now is much smaller than the house, I finally have my very own craft room. It’s about 6’x10′ and I loves it.



  1. 🙂

    Speaking of which, do I owe you an email? I shall check. And, start bombarding me with any pictures you come across of stuff you’d like to do. The more ideas I have about what you want to accomplish, the more we can make it the photo shoot of your dreams. 🙂

  2. What are the most popular things the accomplish?

  3. Wow, wicked impressive!

  4. Wow! It must feel great to have so many things accomplished, and yet still many more to look forward to. I keep meaning to start my own list; I have one, in my head, but it’s not the same as having one on paper and sharing it with my corner of the world. I like that yours is organic and evolves, given the situation.

    And I can’t wait to see the sweater!!! I love all things hand-knit, but esp. sweaters!

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