Thursday, May 22, 2014

At least we'll have Paris.

Well, I tried writing this week. I really did. Not to be.

But Paris exists, so everything is okay.

Le sigh.











Monday, May 19, 2014

Come see me at kids' music classes sometime.

I'm playing a LOT of kids' shows and birthday parties and stuff lately. No actual Brigid Kaelin Band shows on the books until August 10, which is pretty nuts. In the mean time, why don't you come out and join me at at Family Music Jam sometime?

Tuesday May 20 at Mama's Hip
9:30am 
and again at
10:30am

It's only $10/family (that means you can bring all your kiddos for the price of one), and it's a solid 40 minutes, sometimes more when the kiddos are dancing, of good fun.

Starting June 11, I'm adding a Wednesday class that will be at Notable Beginnings, 2309 Taylorsville Road. 

Good fun, right?

Come tomorrow and you might even get to hear the wee boy sing "Happy Birthday To You," which is apparently his favorite song, which he sings loudly and unprovoked to whosoever he chooses. I guess he's a good Kentucky boy after all.

I'm all out of whack from being up every 90 minutes with the boy the last few nights, so I'm going to stop writing now and have some caffeine before I start just rambling and happy birthday to you la la la and stuff.
 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

I don't like babies. There. I said it.

I am not a baby person.

There. I said it.

Remember when I was pregnant, and I posted that puppies are cuter than babies. Guess what? I still agree with that post. I'm not supposed to admit it, but even today I don't squeal when I pass a new baby in a stroller. Most of them still look like crinkly old men. I gawk at how tiny they are, but I do not miss those days. I will, however, cross four lanes of traffic for a box of puppies.

Do I love my baby? Of course.

But I sent his crib back to Texas a few weeks ago because he can climb out of it and only ever sleeps well when he's in a big boy bed anyway ... and it was an AWESOME feeling. Then, of course, I felt guilty because apparently I'm supposed to be crying that my little boy is growing up too fast. (Fact: this still been the longest 19 months of my life!)

See? Toddlerhood rules. You can't do this
with a newborn.
I've been thinking about this a lot lately. I'm crazy in love with him now, but I definitely wasn't always. And I absolutely like hanging out with him a lot more now that he tells me what's going on with him or what he wants to do or what hurts or what he wants for breakfast.

I'm sure every parent has an age that they don't like. How many times have I heard: Oh, you just wait until he is mobile. You'll be exhausted, chasing him around everywhere. It's my least favorite age. I was expecting toddlerhood to be worse than infancy. Honestly, the wee boy's mobility saved me from pulling my teeth out one by one trying to figure out what he wanted. Sure, I'm chasing him around, and he's contrary and wild and wants to get into everything. He also gives me random hugs and says, "I love you, Mommy-O." I'm enjoying it a lot more than I ever did. (Especially now that he both peed and pooped in the potty this morning, entirely of his own volition -- potty-training book recommendations, anyone? I'm jumping for joy about this over here ... not shedding a tear.)

I know, I know -- I'm not supposed to wish away his childhood. Don't worry, I'm not daydreaming about sharing a pint with him in Scotland someday (although that does sound fun, especially if it means also sharing a pint with his husband, Prince George) or wishing he would just go to school already. I actually wouldn't mind pausing time at this age because he is the most perfect size to squeeze and cuddle, but he doesn't break if we wrestle rambunctiously. But I'm finally coming to terms that it's not that I don't like being a parent; I just don't like the infant phase. Unfortunately, people like me take a lot of flack for that, when no one judges the parents who complain about their teenagers.

If I could magically give birth to an 18-month-old, I might actually do this parent thing again.

Maybe I should get a puppy ...

Anyone else not a baby person?

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Trading piano lessons for all the things I want. But mostly Adirondack chairs.

I am obsessed with the barter system. I think I first learned that term back when I was mastering "Oregon Trail." (Click the link if you want a nice flashback to elementary school ... if you were in grade school in the 1980s, that is.) It's been a while since I partook in the wild west way of doing things, but lately I've been trading a few swim/piano/guitar lessons here and there for some things I need or want (childcare, massage, website help etc). And don't worry, mother, I pay taxes on them at the appropriate rate, unlike probably everyone else who works on the barter system.

There is a Timebank here in Louisville that's a great idea -- anyone a member? Basically you rack up hours offering your skills and can then start collecting help other people in kind. The website has too complicated/long of a sign-up process for my taste, though, and I haven't gotten past the home page. (Maybe I could trade someone piano lessons for someone signing me up?)

Here's my list of current things I daydream about. Anyone want something I've got?
  • Adirondack chairs (seriously, I don't know why I'm so obsessed with Adirondack chairs)
  • Rain barrels
  • Refinish my hardwood floors
  • Plane tickets to Paris (hey, I have to dream, right??)
  • Art. I want to start owning original art.
  • private pilates lessons
That's all I can think of at the moment. My wants aren't too crazy ... but I shouldn't be too greedy. My lesson schedule is full with a wait-list at the moment anyway. But I might be able to find some more time in the day for some custom Adirondack chairs...

Monday, May 12, 2014

Simple patio plans for under $100.

I've been wanting some sort of front-yard patio for ages now. I love my backyard deck, but I also really like watching the neighborhood roll by from the front stoop. We rented a lovely holiday flat in the Stockbridge Colonies for my work/vacation last month in Scotland, and there I found the inspiration for our latest DIY project -- a simple patio made of paving stones and gravel. No concrete mixing or hired hands required.

The garden in Scotland:

Front yard: Edinburgh, Scotland

Our front yard BEFORE:

Before: Our front yard, Louisville, Kentucky

My front yard had been a vegetable garden for eight years. Last year it was mainly herbs (we built a raised bed on the other side of the sidewalk for our veggies), and I admit to having let my mint run wild. I adore fresh mint, particularly how it makes my yard smell when the wind blows. Still, there's plenty of mint left to make for good smells while sitting on our new patio.

Step one: We mostly used a good old-fashioned hoe to dig out as much mint and as many weeds as possible. After a while, we borrowed a neighbor's rototiller to make the job a little faster and more thorough. David then dug out a lot of extra dirt that had accumulated through years of adding compost and moved it to another bed. We smoothed out the dirt with a rake.

Step two (not pictured): We put down weedblocker -- some regular old black weedblocker fabric that we found in the shed, plus several layers of old newspaper.

Step three: We got 1600 pounds of gravel from a place on River Road -- all for $20. This required both the borrowing of a truck and the purchase of a wheelbarrow. Here's David smoothing out the gravel he poured on top of the weedblocker.

Here's also where David and I disagree. I, for one, still think it would have been a lot easier if we had laid the paving stones first rather than than having to dig out space for them around the gravel. He keeps saying something about the gravel needing to be level first, but having laid half the stones myself, I contend he's just not admitting that I was right about this tiny little detail.



Step four: Lay the paving stones. We purchased 24 paving stones (almost 5x5, but minus one corner -- on purpose, I know it seems weird, but it looks nice) from a hardware store. They were $2.35 each, so about $57. Basically all you do is move some gravel around, lay the stone, then fill the gravel back in around it. David used a straight piece of wood to make sure they were all level -- using small bits of gravel as shims to raise stones that were lower than they need to be. It was all a fairly quick and easy process.

Here's our final project, total cost around $77. Now we just need some Adirondack chairs or a bistro set (anyone out there make Adirondack chairs and want to trade for some piano/guitar lessons?):





Simple patio with gravel and paving stones.


Friday, May 9, 2014

I finally did something I haven't done in most of my adult life.

Yesterday, I did something I haven't done in most of my adult life: I went to the doctor because I wasn't feeling well.

You see, since I graduated university, um, 15 years ago, I have either had no health insurance, or I've had an awful individual policy with a ridiculously high deductible (translation: excess) that didn't cover a lot of things anyway (off the top of my head, no maternity, birth control, or mental health).

Politics aside, one big effect of having a policy like that is: I just never went to the doctor. I know that's bad. I even have had friends, well, die because they didn't go to the doctor for random pains before the cancers had spread too far. Morose, no?

what i feel like.
On the plus side, I've read countless books on holistic medicine, preventative health, yoga, and eating right, all in attempts to avoid the doctor. Sometimes one just has to give in and go with Western medicine though.

My back has been bothering me for years. Having a baby exacerbated it -- the awkward nursing positions, the babywearing, the bending over to pick him up, etc. It's getting to the point where I feel like I'd make a good hunchback. Yoga isn't helping, as the positions that are supposed to help me are incredibly painful or impossible.

I finally went to the doctor yesterday, who promptly ordered some tests that cost more than that trip to Europe last month, and I'm kind of regretting going. The bright side: I did have a really good experience with her. Her office found me a same-day appointment. She spent more time with me than any US doctor ever has -- 15 minutes! -- and she was incredibly kind, empathetic, and really nice to talk to.


So now we wait for fun test results to come back, and we'll see if I am permanently a hunchback (should I blame the accordion? or bad genes?) .

Anyway, I do wish I'd gone years ago when this first started bothering me. I don't have any solutions to the American health care problem, but I do know that preventive care is cheaper and easier than waiting until it's too late.

Excuse me while I attempt to limp away from the computer now.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Funny updates about the wee boy.

Despite being up with the wee boy every 60-90 minutes last night, I had a few hours of sanity this morning. My young cousin came over to play with him for a while, and guess what? I paid some bills, went to the post office, scheduled three appointments, and emptied the dishwasher. Success!

David's been working a lot this week, which I normally don't like, but comes at a time when I am desperate for alone time.

Some funny/exciting updates:
Sunscreen, anyone?
  • Total TMI parent post, but the wee boy peed in the potty this week. We hadn't even begun to talk about potty training, but this little animal went over to baby potty in the closet right before bathtime, sat down, and peed. He then declared "Graham pee-peed potty," and jumped in the bath. I'm not sure what to do now because, well, I haven't read anything about potty-training. I also wonder if this was a weird fluke or what.
  • This morning he woke up bright and early and yelled, "DOUGHNUT TIME! DOUGHNUT TIME!" I'm pretty sure that means my dad is never allowed to babysit again.
  • He got his first set of Legos, and I can tell you firsthand that stepping barefoot on a Duplo™ is more painful than natural childbirth.
  • He is passionate about skincare. You'll rarely find him without a stick of sunscreen, and he very kindly will apply it to your nose if he suspects you are being like my dad and not wearing any.
  • He split open his bottom lip on Derby Day, like probably a lot of people do, although his wasn't alcohol-related. It's healing nicely, but there was so. much. blood.
  • He fell all the time all winter, but his trousers kept him safe. Now that it's shorts weather, his poor poor knees ...
  • He's pretty much the cutest, cuddliest, sweetest boy in the world.

Also, there was such a great response to yesterday's blog about Nextdoor -- as in enough neighbors signed up to our neighborhood page -- that we now have a permanent group there. I've heard almost entirely great feedback about people who already use it, and I can't wait to loan out our ladder so that a neighbor can rescue their kitty. If you want to start a group for your neighborhood, go for it.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Community, neighbors, and Nextdoor.com.

A friend recently told me about Nextdoor, and I'm now obsessed with it. Well, not obsessed, as I'm not sure exactly how it works just yet. It seems to be like a Facebook group for your neighborhood only (confirmed and verified addresses), except it's not on Facebook.

It's used for a variety of things, kind of like a non-creepy craigslist. You know, if you post that you have something to sell, you can be mostly sure that the person who comes over to pick it up isn't going to chop you in a thousand bits. It seems particularly good for finding lost pets or borrowing a tool. Or really, just meeting your neighbors.

That's actually my favorite part: the idea of community sharing. Several years ago in the UK, I read about a website there that was created for just that. Say you needed some hedge clippers, but it felt silly to go out and purchase a brand new pair when someone on the street probably had some already. Just log on to the private verified website and find a list of what people had and what was available to borrow. If you don't see what you need, post a question.

Honestly, it blows my mind that every single household on my street owns a lawn mower. I feel like there should be some big ol' shed at the end of the block where we keep one or two of
everything. You could just check out the ladder for an hour, clean your gutters, and put it away until the next time you need it (like, years, from them probably).

Check out Nextdoor if you're curious ... your neighborhood might already be on there.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Brigid on TV, making friends with The Wynns, and loving the library.

                       

I'm in this video starting around 4:25.
 
I was on Great Day Live again this morning, which is always a good time. Even with everyone suffering from the post-Derby blues (yes, yes, the song is in the works), we managed lots of smiles and fun.

Because I haven't slept in well over two years, I have become terrible with adult interactions, complete sentences, and basic etiquette. Somehow I managed to introduce myself to Jason and Nikki Wynn, aka Gone With the Wynns. I'm new to The_Wynns, but liked them straight away. They are doers rather than talkers, and I'm always drawn to people like that. (Remember when David and I sold our stuff and moved to Scotland for a couple of years?) Also, Nikki is from West Texas, so David now wants to be her best friend. Basically, they sold all their stuff about four years ago, bought an RV, and just travel around. Fun, no? Well, I think it sounds dreamy, but then again, I like music tours and life on the road.

Anyway, check out their blog, and daydream a little with me, won't you?

Back to the lead ... why was I on TV anyway? It was a promo for the one unpaid gig I do each year -- a freebie for the Louisville Free Public Library, which is pretty much my favorite cause of all. Books are the best. The How To Festival #howtofestival is this Saturday, May 10, and I'm teaching "How to Yodel" at 11:00 in the Main Library alcove. Wear your dirndl! And stick around to learn how to belly dance, garden, and do all kinds of fun things.

Free download! Full-band version of "Kentucky Waltz"

If you "like" me on Facebook, you probably saw this already. But if not (and why not click "like" anyway, even though yes, yes, Facebook is over...) here's your link.



Thursday, May 1, 2014

Cute video of the wee boy counting.

Today I shall bring you an adorable video of my son, who is clearly a genius:



He may not sleep through the night yet, but he knows what each little piggie said.

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