Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Sky is Falling

Do you ever feel like if anything else bad were to happen, you'd just explode?

I can't even count the number of awful things that have happened in the last month. I mean really awful things. Its hard to stay positive in the face of so much negativity. I feel like crying - collapsing into a puddle on the floor...but, as far as I know, that won't actually HELP anything - it would just freak out my daughter (lets be honest, if someone turned into a puddle in front of me, I'd be freaked out too).

In the midst of all this awfulness there have been sparkling gems. How do you thank the people that stand by you when you are at your worst and need them most? How do you possibly put into words what that support means? When times are good, there is a very abstract view of what friendship really is - someone to talk with, pass the time. Its when times are bad that I think friendship moves from becoming a luxury to an essential component of life. Friends are there to remind us that there is goodness in a dark world, to overwhelm us with their generosity and love, and to help us strive to become better people. I hope you know who you are, dear friends, that are guiding me through this time. Without you, I don't know if this world is a place that I'd want to be.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Travel Plans

Its about that time.

I can feel the bottoms of my feet itching. Straining to reach into the earth and grab hold of the ground, planting me firmly in place. Growing roots.

Apparently, 10 months is the maximum amount of time that I like to travel before I start craving my home. Or, I could just be feeling this way because I know that we're leaving for Seattle in a little more than two weeks. Regardless of the reason, I find myself perusing the furniture on amazon and comparing internet provider prices.

We've been exploring less and planning more - although last weekend, we did visit Coronado Monument.
We leave on Friday, October 8th for Wisconsin to go to our friend's wedding. They are getting married on 10-10-10 (how cool is that?). We leave Wisconsin on Monday the 11th and get back into Seattle at 11pm.

Ah Seattle. I can't wait for you to embrace me with your cool, wet skies. Your coffee addiction and strict recycling laws. Your tourist spots and delicious happy hour finds. I'm ready for you. I'm ready for home.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Profound thoughts from my daughter

Every once and a while (alright, usually everyday), I marvel at how simple, pure, and wonderful life is through my daughter's eyes. Here are some of Ilya's rules:

1) Everyone is a friend

When we go to the fountain or playground to play, Ilya constantly looks for other little people. Once she spots such a person, she immediately stops doing whatever she was doing, walks up to this person and attempts to hold his or her hand. Words are not necessary. Sometimes they are exchanged, but usually they simply hold hands and continue to play together. It doesn't always work - most kids are not as nice as Ilya...which leads us to:

2) If someone doesn't want to hold hands, simply look for someone else who does

Eventually, she will find some nice child who is as enamored of holding hands as she is. This is accompanied by huge smiles and, "Mama, she's holding my hand!"Holding hands and playing is not always the easiest thing to do. Sometimes there are stumbles.

3) When you fall, get a kiss, then keep playing

My daughter doesn't cry when she falls. She doesn't collapse into a pool of misery. She walks over to me (usually with her new friend in tow) and calmly asks for a kiss. Once she has received said kiss, she continues with the play.

4) Question everything

When I was tucking Ilya into bed last night, she looked at me and asked, "why do we dream?" I almost cried.

5) When you are sick, nothing helps as much as a cuddle

Ilya was sick yesterday with a fever. The only thing that she wanted all day long was for me to hold her. Best sick day ever.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Roald Dahl

Apparently yesterday was Roald Dahl's birthday. I know this because I have a child which means that I am suddenly privy to a whole world of holidays and events that I never knew existed when I was childless.

A new children's bookstore called Almosa Books just opened up near us, and to celebrate Rhald Dahl's birthday they were having a sort of party with lots of sugar, balloons, and a Roald Dahl story read-a-loud done by none other than Willy Wonka himself (or one of the employees pretending to be him).

Now, I am the first to admit that there have been days when I was teaching that I would present material to the students that I hadn't thoroughly looked through previous to class, but it has never ended well. Willy Wonka apparently hadn't read the story he picked out prior to the read-a-loud. It was the story of Little Red Riding Hood as told by Roald Dahl (who admittedly is a bit...dark). The audience was comprised of 2, 3, 4, and 5 year olds. Everything was going fine until he got the bit about Little Red pulling out a gun and shooting the wolf between the eyes. There was a silence in that bookstore that could be herd miles around. Wonka quickly finished the story and mumbled something about his other stories being much too long to read aloud before he made a mad dash for the safety of the back room. Ilya was oblivious, as were most of the other kids, but some of the mothers were shooting bullets of their own with the looks they gave. I found the whole thing rather amusing, but I'm that kind of mom.

Anyway, happy birthday Roald Dahl. When Ilya is old enough, you will definitely be on the reading list :)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


I'm beginning to get the hang of this "mother" thing, and it has only taken me two years (famous last words - I know as soon as I publish this post, the sky will open up and a reign of toddler terror will engulf me the size of which has never been seen before)!

The hardest part of being a mom, for me, is not the diapers or the temper tantrums, but the tedium of everyday life. Everyday is the same - we wake up with an entire day ahead of us and my job is to entertain and expose this child to a variety of experiences that will open her mind and broaden her horizons while working around her nap and food schedules. But I'm tired. And there is only so many times you can go to the zoo before the thought of looking at another gorilla makes you break out in hives. And I'm still struggling with this awful hormonal post-pardon depression thing which does NOT make getting out of the house any easier.

So, I decided to simply my life. Awhile back I discovered that if I made the same dinner menu every week we saved a ton of money on ingredients (not as much stuff went bad and we could buy in bulk) and I no longer stressed about what I was going to make for dinner that night (its Friday, therefore it is pizza night - easy). I decided to do this sort of thing with parenting.

Tuesday is zoo or aquarium day
Wednesday is story time at Barns and Noble followed by carousel ride
Thursday is library day
Friday is museum day followed by picnic in the park
Saturday is friends day
Sunday and Monday are family days with daddy


Of course the key to happiness is flexibility so these are not set in stone but rather a blueprint for a day so that I have one less thing to stress about at 7am.

I've also been walking/jogging every evening after dinner which has really helped with the depression thing.

Like I said - I've got things figured out for now... I'm sure everything will change tomorrow but I'll face that hurdle when I reach it.