Archive for March, 2010

and then

and then it was time to pack.

and wake up and eat breakfast and finish packing.

and drive the 2.5 hours to charlotte with the two kids in the back and my dad at the wheel and me pulling out the stickers, the crayons, the toy cars, and every version of every song i know to entertain them.  oh yes, and the cashews, pistacios, baby carrots, pretzels, and sesame snacks to munch on.

then we had to return the car and take the car rental place bus to the terminal.

where the bean NEEDED a new toy.

and i NEEDED some food to eat.

and we made it to the gate in time to board.

and i sat in my seat with the pea on my lap and the bean next to me waiting for the guy who had seat 20C to get on.  he was basically the last person on.  he finally got to the back of the plane.

and, i said, “my dad is traveling with me and my kids.  but for some reason he got an email bumping him up to first class and he lost his regular seat which was this one here.  so i am hoping you would be willing to let him have this seat and you can go sit in seat 1A?”

and he said, “so you are basically bumping me up to first class?”

“yes.  please.”

“well, as much as i would love to sit here with you and your two young children i am going to have to accept your offer to be sitting in first class instead.”

and then my dad made it back to 20C.  and we were delayed slightly at the gate and the pea fell asleep nursing before we even took off.

eventually it was time to descend and it was so bumpy and i had the vomit bag at the ready because it has become clear on our last few flights that the bean might be developing some motion sickness.

and then he threw up, right into the bag i was holding for him, while the pea was nursing.

and then we did that a few more times.

then we landed and the puking was over and i was telling him how proud of him i was.

we eventually got our bags and flash picked us up and we installed the car seats and got on the road and then we dropped my dad off at his office where his car was and then we drove the hour-ish home to our house.

and then the kids really really really wanted to play with daddy.

eventually they went to sleep and early in the morning they woke up.

flash went to work.

and the day has rolled past me so far like a blur.  i did get to shower at one point.  i got a suitcase unpacked.  i got some packages opened.  we ate canned soup for lunch.  i sent flash the list for trader joe’s.  i pulled some italian wedding soup out of the freezer for dinner.  i made coffee, i made tea, i made more tea.

we are home.

it is so nice to be home.  home. home. home. home.

it is a nice fit.  us and home.

we do miss gran gran, and rhyson, lacey, carolina, ruhe, lucky and eli.  we miss the SUN and the SPRING that is clearly in aiken.

i feel lost that it is midweek and i have no meal plan and i have no vegetables in my fridge and i can’t even figure out where to begin.  so i am spinning in circles instead.  dreaming up sewing projects and wanting to put all my loose herbs into glass jars.  yep.  that’d be nice.

i know it takes a few days to settle in.

i feel so lucky to have my life.  the one where i get to visit in aiken and come home and be healthy and happy and loving both places.  i am on a high of gratitude for my marriage and my children and these two cats i have.

and the cute skirty that arrived while i was gone:

yeah so, that is here.  how is there?

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pura vida

flash and i took the most lovely and memorable trip to costa rica maybe six or seven years ago.  the country won me over.  it is beautiful and the people are so friendly and there was just this very pleasant feeling everywhere we went.  even when we were lost, completely off track, in the middle of a rain storm on the night we arrived — ok yeah that was not my favorite part of the trip — but in typical costa rica style we magically landed at the neatest hotel and had a perfect dinner, night, and breakfast there.*

everywhere we went on that trip we heard, “pura vida!” until we were caught up in the simple expression. it felt like declaring that this was the pure life, the good life, life is good, (or however you chose to translate this typical costa rican expression [scroll down for the bit on this expression]) was enough to make it true. the sun shone, the pace was slow and the people were smiling and we were having a great time.

on saturday i had planned to make guacamole as one of the dips i was preparing for our polo picnic but when i grabbed the avocado’s out of the basket on the kitchen counter they were hard – much to hard to turn into a nice guac. for some reason my parents had a can of hearts of palm in the pantry and so i was struck by the inspiration to bring some of the pura vida to aiken. in costa rica i ate a simple avocado and hearts of palm salad for lunch almost every day we were there. it was fresh and delightful. i made this dip in that memory and by the reaction of the other polo watchers at our picnic it did the job of spreading the spirit of pura vida…

pura vida dip:
2 ripe but still firm avocado
1 can hearts of palm
juice of one lemon
a hefty handful of fresh cilantro
olive oil to your liking

  • cube the avocado and then get it into a tiny dice (i used the cuisinart)
  • dice the hearts of palm (by hand i think they would get to wet in the cuisinart)
  • combine the hearts of palm and avocado in your bowl
  • now put the cilantro and lemon juice in the cuisinart and give it a whirl
  • when it is a nice little dressing type thing add your olive oil to thin it out and let it whirl again.
  • the olive oil and lemon juice in the cuisinart will turn into a slightly thick opaque consistency.
  • there is probably a more proper cooking way to describe what happens but i do not know it.
  • pour your lemon/cilantro/olive oil on the hearts of palm and avocado.
  • mix and serve.

we ate it with blue corn chips.

don’t mind this very strange looking photo – somehow my camera settings got changed so this is the best i can get it looking.  i considered going photo-less but decided this strange pic is better than none at all…

*i have to point out that when we stayed in the grano de oro it was not in the same building as pictured on this site. it was more gem disguised as hole in the wall than it appears to be now.

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silent sunday

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muscle memory

little legs not long enough to reach the ground from their big person seats. i remember so clearly that feeling of swinging my feet back and forth, back and forth. back and forth when i was the young child with feet not touching the ground. not just the feeling of my feet moving but that emotions that came with the swinging – it evokes a certain freedom in me. a slight boredom, a what shall i do next?

it is nice sometimes to remember those sweet moments of being a child as i watch my own children have them. when i am quiet and observing there is so much richness to remember and revisit.

the sun was out and the morning was gorgeous. i sat on the deck bench knitting and watching the kids enjoy a snack with their gramps.

i try to let these content moments sink right deep into my memory, in my mind and my body, so that i can pull them up later to help ground me or lift my mood. another day, when the weather is no good and my temper is short i will call on my muscles to take me back to this mornings peace and happiness. or i will sit up on a high stool and swing my feet to and fro and forget all my grown up busyness.

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alternating days

finding a little rhythm down here – one day couch to 5k, the next day take lucky for a ride.

the weather has been treating us so kindly.
the dinners have be delicious.
i have found a few moments here and there for some knitting.

i have big ideas shifting things in my head. like the reading i have been doing and the learning about parenting, waldorf, etc is clinking into the place that fits well for me. instead of feeling like i need to be forcing things i am starting to see how some of the theory can work for me and be paddling downstream.

i am this close to writing about it. this close. but then it just feels not quite there so instead i go to the local greyhound rescue website and dream about which dog i could adopt into our family. (which dog is ours?)

happy thursday.

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to the zoo

where i find myself saying again and again, “thank you for living like this so we humans can see you up so close.  you are doing your brothers and sisters a great service.  thank you for letting us see how beautiful and amazing you are.  thank you.”

today it was the giraffe’s that stole my heart:

on the drive home we ate crackers and nuts and looked for john deere’s out our windows.  somedays having an almost four year old and a 1.something year old is pretty dang awesome.

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this morning it seemed like the bean had a major tantrum the moment our feet hit the floor.  i wasn’t fully awake yet, i was cold, and i really had to pee.  he was screaming full throttle and i felt like i had nothing – nothing – with which to withstand the onslaught of noise.  so, i did what any truly mistake prone mama would do – i screamed back at him.  then i slammed the door for good measure.  niiiiiiiiice.

i ended up grabbing both the kids (now both screaming and crying) and climbing us all back into bed telling them i wanted to start the day over.  i was still mad at the bean.  i was also frustrated with myself and desperately wishing this whole thing would end and we could get back to being the happy little family.  i tried for a few minutes to fix it and make it go away before i was able to quiet myself enough to realize how hard i was trying to fix it and make it all go away.  then i stopped talking and lay there in silence just sitting with what was going on.

  • the bean was upset
  • i had had a strong reaction to his tantrum
  • ok, i had my own tantrum
  • i was very uncomfortable with the noise and upsetness
  • i was still tired and cold

ok, we were laying on the bed so i took a moment to climb under the covers.  then i said out loud, “i am going to take a deep breath.”  i took a deep breath that was audible.

“now i am taking another deep breath.”  this time i noticed the bean joined me, or at least he was making a deep breath sounding noise.  hard to tell with him but still seemed like a nice shift.

“and another one.”  we continued our noisy breathing and the pea had stopped crying.  i did this for about seven breaths and then i got silent again.  i noticed that the breathing had settled me and i was feeling a little more centered.  instead of only feeling angry with the bean, i also felt sorry that i had yelled at him and generally acted in a mean way.  i moved closer to him and i told him.  i said something like, “it can be hard when you want to use the potty but mama is on it and so you have to wait your turn.  i can understand that and i am very sorry that i yelled at you and i got mad at you.  i love you.”

we stayed in bed for about ten minutes with me taking time to notice how i was feeling.  trying to find honest ways to apologize to both my children.  trying to let go of wanting the bean to apologize to me.  still feeling grumpy and frustrated with my kids and myself.  we did a fair amount of snuggling and hugging and general touching and kissing — connecting.  then we got out of bed.  again.

in the kitchen, trying to get breakfast ready i still felt on edge and irritable and it seemed like the bean was feeling similarly.  i remembered that on the daily planners i am working on at home i had written one day, “each day is a clean slate.”  i know i was trying to live this in a way when i brought us all back to bed.  i was trying to restart our day on a different note.  as i stood there getting breakfast ready i felt defeated that today was indeed a new day and it was going terribly.  yesterday seemed like such a good day and i wasn’t sure i really wanted a whole new day after all.  grump grump.

then i thought, well if i don’t want to wait until tomorrow to have a new day why don’t i just decide that each moment is a clean slate?  why don’t i truly allow myself to let go of the crack of dawn bathroom shenanigans and set my intention to be forgiving and accepting (of my self and my kids) starting now?

there were a lot of voices telling me this plan probably would not work.  there were also several telling me it sounded like a good, solid, real possibility.  those voices told me to take a leap of faith into the next moment, the new moment, the clean moment.  i put agave in my coffee, i took my first sip and it spilled on my sweatshirt, then i decided to leap.

i took a deep breath.  i put my coffee down for a moment.  i closed my eyes and i decided that this was a new moment and that each moment after it was also new and that i had a million chances each day to get back in balance.  i decided and i believed.

it is funny how often i catch myself wishing i had a “real” spiritual practice.  a regular sitting meditation, a circle i sat in monthly, a yoga practice…i wish i could get a break from parenting and get back to my spiritual growth and learning.  it is funny because in other moments i can see so clearly that this is it.  this.is.it.  i have never called on my spirit to grow so quickly as i do in this calling.  i have never wanted so much to be the best version of my self.  i have never leapt so often or so far on faith alone.

right now my children are my teachers and in this moment right here with my fingers tapping the keyboard i want to be sure to thank them for coming to me.  for coming to me and being patient with me and giving me the space to make mistakes and then leap forward.  bless you bean and pea.  the ultimate practice.

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