Thursday, September 30, 2010

the weight of the world

yesterday while m was in class i was talking to my friend hannah about blogging. when i started this blog we had just found out m was deaf, and it began as a place for me to write and process. i think lately i have been writing a lot of posts in my head, but not feeling it once i sit down to write. so, it is a new season, and one in which i parse out what i want to write and what this blog space is about. i haven't quite figured it out.

this week has felt heavy.

since this is such a public arena i won't go into details, but i have been reminded this week that there are so many children in this world that are neglected, overlooked, or damaged by their own parents. it grieves me to see these little ones fending for themselves and not knowing anything else but survival because that is all their life has ever been. i was struck by this the other day when i was in the kitchen in the middle of making dinner and i swooped down on m to tell her how much i loved her; outside i could hear the voice of a little boy who rarely if ever hear those words.

i think poor parenting and neglect exists in all kinds of neighborhoods and socio-economic levels (although it may look different in those various contexts). living in an urban area, in which living spaces are closer together, means that you are up in each other's business more often. lately i have been experiencing this as i am in relationship or close proximity to lots of neighbors.

m's therapist was surprised yesterday when during therapy m was talking about her "neighbors" and "neighborhood." i wasn't as shocked- just because we talk to lots of neighbors, and there are lots of kids playing outside and visiting all the time. that is one of the gifts of living in a city, but it also means you can't avoid coming into close contact with the ways we as human beings are selfish and fallible. it means sometimes you witness firsthand the neglect, abuse, or emotional violence of children. suffice it to say i have experienced all of these this week. it just grieves me. i can make phone calls and intervene in little ways, but the reality is that we live in a broken world.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

oh, how the time flies

as of friday, ruby was 4 months old. first of all, her hair continues to be amazing (see above.)

she is becoming so much more interactive in her old age, and still has such a sweet temperament. i see these glimpses of the girls staying up til all hours and getting each other into trouble. oh, how full our hands will be.

it's funny - little m was forced to be flexible because we were always schlepping her to and from appointments, therapy, and deaf related stuff. (and when i say m was flexible, i mean she often screamed her little feisty heart out, but she learned to go with the flow because there really was no other choice.) ruby is forced to be flexible because we schlep her to m's school three days a week, and then since we are doing that, why not just bring her along to every other place we are off to? and so it goes. the gift has been that she is incredibly mellow - even with long car rides, multiple appointments for m, random napping locations (often the car seat) and a big sister who likes to maul her. of course, she shares two things in common with her big sister: a. they have the same exact cry face; somehow their mouths look identical when it is time to scream and b. when it is time to scream, ruby can hit some veeeery high decibels. the girl is loud and committed to letting us know that she is, indeed, displeased.

the first thing m says every morning when i go in to get her, even before we put her implants on, is "i want to go see baby ruby?" so, you see, we all like her around these parts.

in short, i think she is pretty marvelous. i am so happy she is a part of our family.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

and also...

happy birthday papa!
we think you're the best!!

from all of us

behold the power of s'mores

i'm going to sprinkle in a few vacation posts here and there. i figure that since our summer was hardly a summer at all and consisted of dreary & grey weather for most of the time, why not extend it a bit longer - at least virtually.

today, as fall begins, a celebration of one of life's most wonderful summer traditions...s'mores!

for a week in august we were staying at a beach house in san diego with our friends kim & jeremy and their boys eli and amos. usually the bulk of our time together is planning and then executing food adventures, all while the mayhem of 4 small children ensues. one evening, kim & i hatched a plan to get the kids cozy in their pj's and then to whisk them down to the beach for sunset s'mores!
they were so excited they ran almost the whole way to the beach
we found the perfect spot
ruby was all snuggled up
s'more prep
jeremy stoking the fire
we left the actual work to the boys, while we frolicked with the kiddos
amos, monrovia & eli waiting patiently
love this photo that kim took of m looking out at the water
amos makes his move on m
first bite...
they were so happy & sugared up
eli savoring his treat
and this is how i enjoy a s'more- sans the graham cracker!
kimmie and amos snuggle while they snack
poor ruby - no treats for her, so she sucked on her hand instead
operation s'mores successful!
do you have a favorite summer tradition?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

smorgasbord post

this photo is unrelated to this post. i just think m + drawing=awesome. today she drew some butterflies in boats.
a few things:

1. an open letter to toyota, or a love letter to my car:

have you ever seen my car? it's sort of well, a little beat down looking to put it nicely. i bought it when i was 21 years old, fresh out of college, and needed a car to drive to my first big girl job in. that year was my hardest year of life to date (at the time), as a first year teacher. did you ever see the movie dangerous minds, starring michelle pfieffer, from the mid-nineties? um, that was essentially my classroom, except they were shorter. i somehow survived 180 days of school, and at the end of each day i would drive home in my brand new 1996 toyota corolla which i had named tortilla.

fast forward to last night...14 years later, and my little corolla hit 270,000 miles. TWO HUNDRED and SEVENTY THOUSAND. i love it. i know my car is old, and i will have to get a new one sometime soon, but to be honest i don't really look forward to that day. as the odometer flipped over to 270,000, i flashed back through the last 14 years & thought about how much i love my car.

and then, i thought about how my car is by far the most ghetto car in the parking lot at m's school. um, in most parking lots actually. and then i wondered how soon m and ruby would realize that and be embarrassed by their car. and then i thought of the bazillion ways i will likely embarrass my daughters in future years. that thought was too depressing, so i reverted to being thankful for tortilla, my first and only car so far.

2. have you had mini peanut butter cups from trader joe's? they are ridiculously good. and addictive.

3. does anyone have a good lentil recipe? i am about to give up on lentils because the recipes make are a waste of time, ingredients and energy. someone out there must have some way to master them?

4. ants have been attacking our house for at least 2 months. we are attempting (again) to attack them, and i have to admit it is so satisfying to watch thousands of little ants marching to their demise. i can't help it, they are nasty and into everything in our house. so. over. ants.

5. tomorrow is my father-in-law's birthday! among many other qualities, he is a great papa to our girls and a fabulous dad-in-law. he deserves a wonderful day celebrating & being reminded of the gift he is to so many people.

6. this morning i talked to a mom with an itty bitty deaf baby - wearing hearing aids but not yet with implants - and it just served as a reminder of how rich our journey has been over the last 2 years. i remember how hard it all was in the beginning- not just emotions, but the logistics of appointments and wrangling hearing aids and later implants onto m's ears. now it all feels so normal. after all, as my friend nicole would say, we all have our own normal. i am amazed at how much my daughter is talking and hearing. as i drove to do errands with the girls this afternoon m - my very deaf, yet very song-happy daughter- made up a very long song in the back seat, "we're gong on adventure, adventure, adventure, we're going on adventure, mommy, ruby, roro" (etc etc) which then morphed into a medley mashup of her favorite songs. we certainly are on an adventure (in a 1996 toyota corolla nonetheless)!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

dance party

one of my favorite sentences that little m says these days - in her crib, in the car, while she's eating, when she's playing: "mommy, i want to dance."

and then we dance our little hearts out.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

to quote my mother, "woe is me"

this is how i feel tonight.
and thanks to really strong susannah genes, 
my daughter can make a suitable expression on my behalf.


it's hard to know where to start: one of my best friends had a baby yesterday, my brother got married this weekend, our dear friends were here for a week prior to that, and i never really recapped vacation.

i feel like i am constantly telling people, "life is so crazy right now because x, y, and z has been happening. i would love to see you-maybe next week will be less hectic?" but it just feels like really, life is always pretty busy. usually it is busy in a good way- i am so grateful that we have such good friends, and family that lives close by, and two very fun kids. adding in another day of school, and a longer school day at that, has for some reason really added a lot to our schedule - it just makes for a very full and frantic schedule, especially in the mornings.  i don't know if i just need to recognize that at this point in time life is full, and that each week holds a lot of activity. it isn't even as if it is full with loads of friend time - it just feels packed with the nuts and bolts of parenting two little ones, school, finishing unpacking the house, nursing a lot, and trying to squeeze freelance work and my vocation as an artist in at any possible time.

i was halfway through this blogpost, and - in keeping with the subject matter - didn't have time to finish writing it in one sitting, when i saw this article posted on a friend's facebook page. and i thought, this article is better than any accompanying personal photo i can post, because i ask myself this same question: "why don't i have time?" i'm not technically a stay-at-home mom, since i work from home and in my studio, but enough of it resonated with me that i thought i'd share it. i think it applies whether you work as a mom, work from home, or work outside of the home part-time or full-time.

on that note...since i have one child asleep & one in class, i have a window of time to work, so off to knock out some freelance.

lots to post, so hopefully i'll be back here soon!

Friday, September 10, 2010

yay for love

aunt sarah & uncle aaron with baby ruby when she was spankin' new

wow that picture is large.
i am exhausted. tomorrow is my baby brother aaron's wedding to the fantastic and amazing sarah. so fun! we had the rehearsal dinner at our house tonight & i am so sleepy. yay for love, and awesome new family members, and delicious food, and heartfelt words, and karaoke in my livingroom, and new marriages and also, for my cozy bed.

i love aaron. i love sarah. but i love aaron plus sarah the most.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

life is crazypants

a moment of rest with my sweet ruby
home from vacation. then dear friends in town staying with us. meanwhile school starts for m. 3 days a week an hour each way. oh, and this weekend my brother is getting married. and the rehearsal dinner happens to be at our house.

maybe that explains my lack of posting. maybe that explains my messy house. maybe that explains why i've wanted to go to sleep before 9 the last few days.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

happy september!