January 30, 2009
But here's the irony...my two children who have not slept for a complete night in their beds since we have returned home; my two children who were sleeping just a couple of feet away from a very loud alarm sound; my two children who have been waking me up every couple of hours each night for various bunny hunts, bathroom trips, and snuggling. Those two children slept through the entire night! in their beds until this morning! clueless about the craziness of the night before! I guess the house was just too quiet for them before? I don't know. But I do know that I am headed to bed right now and I am really, really hoping for a good night's sleep.
Happy Chinese New Year! We celebrated the day by making banners for our front door. Using these guidelines we each took a turn writing "Good Fortune". Noah has been really fired up about learning to write in English so this project was especially exciting for him.Over the weekend we had an early Chinese New Year's Dinner (actually it was a feast!) with our Taiwanese friends. It was truly one of the best nights with amazing food, lots of laughter, crazy kids, red envelopes of money ($8 since that is a lucky number), and some wild Wii playing. I hope it is an indicator of what this year will bring for us. The next few weeks are full of holidays that have significance to our family. This time of year always feels like the most important for our little family of four...Chinese New Year, Tu B'Shevat, Valentine's Day (also our family day), Mardi Gras....it is a big celebration of who we are as a family with our Jewish/Taiwanese/Cajun/American roots. I always have big plans for ways to make each of the holidays special and unique. I never really get it all together and each year I unpack decorations that I meant to hang the previous year or find notes about crafts/recipes to try, etc. But this past weekend with our friends was a good reminder that the real focus should just be on enjoying our time together and realizing how fortunate we are.
Wishing you all the best in the year of the Ox!
Hard to stay grumpy long when you watch this video! I saw this a few weeks ago on Sarah's blog but I couldn't get the volume on the computer to work (figured it out a few days ago) and then I saw it again on the good + happy day blog...must be making the rounds. Made me smile and want to grab a paintbrush!
"When I am twelve, will you and mom still own me?"
He wanted to know if he would still be living at home with us. In his mind twelve seems very grown up. He told Camille yesterday:
"By the time you are in third grade, I'll probably be married".
January 21, 2009
I have been a long time follower of the Camp Creek Blog. And now Lori has created a wonderful new spot in the blogworld: In Heywood's Meadow. A place for encouraging all natural exploration. She recently asked "What's in your field bag".
This is what we have in our field bag (backpack):
- local wildlife books (birds, sea creatures, butterflies, plants) I especially like the laminated fold outs because they are so compact, but small books are also good.
- sketchbook/nature journal
- colored pencils and Stockmar crayons
- magnifying glass
- vented box for viewing/collecting
- water bottles
- bug stuff
Things I want to add/find for our field bag:
- pair of small, good binoculars (any suggestions?)
- net and bucket (for our beach field bag)
- laminated sea shell/creature trifold like our butterfly one
Looking forward to getting some ideas from others' field bags. Want to join in the fun? Make a trip to Heywood's Meadow.
An adaptation of Simple Gifts by some of the most amazing musicians of our time. American musicians of different colors playing on the steps of the Capitol surrounded by a million people of various ages, backgrounds,stories all celebrating a historic moment in our history....a proud moment to be American. So much came welling up from inside me when the music started. Simple Gifts was one of my father's favorite songs. It was played as I walked down the aisle with both of my parents to be married under a chuppah surrounded by our family and closest friends. And now it will mark this historical day for me. Truly American music that moved me to sob with tears of joy, sadness, and pride today.
Adam on the other hand has learned a snazzy new skill: woodworking and he has been spending long hours in the base wood shop producing some beautiful pieces. He has also been leading a very different lifestyle than us and I am starting to think about his transition home. The kids and I have pretty much maintained the same daily routine that we all had before the deployment, but Adam has spent the last seven months in a warped summer camp experience. Group living, group meals, group exercise, group recreation. He has had time for soccer,reading, movies, nightly conversations with adults, and a different type of work (emergency room vs. full scope family medicine). My friends who have gone through deployments always comment on the transition period after deployment. I am sure we will do fine but I won't be surprised by moments of tension and re-adjustment. So on this night before the Obama inauguration, I feel hopeful, excited, and anxious to get started with the next chapter. Ready to see this deployment come to an end. Anticipating and preparing for more transition. And finally truly counting down!
Put together this little arrangement the night before a freeze warning....broccoli flower, parsley, fern, and pentas. I love being able to use things from our yard to brighten up the house. Fresh herbs are always nice to use. Parsley, dill, and rosemary are my favorites because of their scents, bright colors, and interesting textures in arrangements.
Another thing that has me excited about eating locally/seasonally is The Beaches Local Food Network. I was shocked when we moved here three years ago to discover that there weren't any great farmer's markets. I couldn't understand it. This is the perfect climate to have tasty produce all year round. So I was very excited to make our first trip to the new (to us) market last weekend. We had such a great time and came home with so much good stuff that we headed back today. In addition to all of the good produce and friendly faces, there is a also a wonderful community garden and a great playground. I think we'll be making it a weekly outing since it makes every one happy. Last week we ate romanesco cauliflower for the first time...my first fractal vegetable experience! And purple heirloom carrots, fresh satsumas, fresh dill, basil, parsley, and bok choy. Today we got an early batch of Florida strawberries, freshly popped kettle corn, a beautiful head of lettuce picked this morning, and bright green spinach. If you are in the area, I highly recommend a trip to the Beaches Green Market. Every Saturday 2-5 at Jarboe Park, Neptune Beach.
January 13, 2009
Me: "Noah, please get dressed. This is the last time I am going to tell you. Do you want to be late for school? Camille and I are about to get in the car".
Noah: "Why can't you be more like Sid the Science Kid's mom? She never yells at Sid".
M: "Maybe that's because he gets dressed the first time she tells him"
N: "No, he never gets dressed because he gets to wear the same clothes all the time. Why can't I do that?"
Ugh. So it has been over a week since the kids have seen tv and yet here I am getting compared to a tv mom. It's the first time (but I am sure it won't be the last) that Noah has openly compared me to other moms. I bet that tv mom never has to deal with recurrent pink eye (yes, Noah has it again!), sleeping in a twin bed with two wild monkeys, and an on-going battle with prehistoric silverfish. Must be nice to never have to do laundry because your perfect tv kid just lives in the same outfit but that doesn't seem too hygenic, so you can't be all that "perfect". Damn you, tv mom, for making real moms look bad!
So I headed to yoga class today with these thoughts in my head and I ended up leaving in a much better mood. I love taking yoga classes with older Jewish women at the local Jewish community center. So much better than those power yoga classes I used take on the Marine base...surrounded by young muscular divas...I usually left class feeling sore and old. My older classmates make me feel good on two levels. First, it makes me appreciate having a young, strong, flexible body. I am far from perfect but I can feel my body starting to respond to being back on the mat and that makes me feel good. I will never be anywhere near the muscular diva Marine level, but that's not my goal. But here's the second and perhaps even more important reason I love taking classes with older Jewish women. I love being surrounded by a wide variety of personalities and body types. I love looking around the room and seeing all of us contorted into crazy looking pretzels. I love seeing the bulges, the wrinkles, the bodies of real women who have birthed babies, broken bones, carried pain, and jumped for joy.
Give me a bunch of real women any day of the week...they are way better than those "perfect" tv moms (yet another reason to keep the tv off!). And as much as I would love to always be the perfect mom in my son's eyes, I would much rather strive to be myself and to be happy with that even if it means I yell sometimes and my children daydream about living on a tv show. I will try to yell less, but I will still insist that Noah put on clean clothes each morning.
January 10, 2009
I have been dealing with the sleep stuff long enough to know that things will settle down and we will eventually all be sleeping a little better. I don't need to stock up on books or ask for advice. I know better than to complain around others who are getting sleep or even worse those who aren't because that always leads to a competitive little discussion of who is getting less sleep. So think of this post as the t-shirt I should have been wearing this past week. It goes well with the dark circles under my eyes and the wrinkled pair of jeans I seem to wear over and over because it's just too much trouble to find something else in the morning: "Grumpy and Frumpy".
January 7, 2009
Both kids are back in school. Noah has enthusiastically jumped back into the swing of things. He starts each day anxious to get to school and eager to get home each afternoon to play with his neighborhood pal. Camille on the other hand is having a harder time. She was convinced (although we repeatedly discussed the reality) that Adam would be waiting to surprise us at her "Florida house". So when we arrived, she frantically search each room for him. It was very sad. Returning to school has also been hard for her and she repeatedly asks to go back to Ms. Mandy's school (her teacher in Louisiana). But things are getting a little easier for her each day. As with all of our moves/changes getting her back into a daily routine is key so we are working on that.
Our house is in pretty good shape except for the infestation of silverfish and a very moldy garage. Serious mold on everything in the garage...stroller, shoes, sports equipment, etc. And I am still trying to remember how to work various things in the house (amazing how many appliance clocks I need to update, re-learning how to work the alarm, the timers on exteriors lights, etc.). I couldn't quite remember how to work the tv/dvd player when we first returned. The kids witnessed my frustration and are now convinced the tv doesn't work so they don't even ask to watch (which is a good thing because I think they watched enough tv during our last few days in Louisiana to last a lifetime...it was the only way I could get any packing done...sad but true since they kept unpacking things anytime my back was turned). I feel tired but happy to be back and happy to have lots to keep me busy in the next few weeks before Adam's return. And did I mention there was lots of weeding/yard work? I have been outside every chance I get and it feels so good to have my hands back in the dirt. So we are back, we are adjusting, we are busy, and we are one step closer to having Adam home.