Saturday, 31 December 2011

greatest hits 2011

thank you 2011...

  • fitflop slippers
  • eternity scarf
  • daddy pig
  • the good wife
  • part time nursery
  • bbc radio 4 extra
  • blakley fit eddie bauer trousers
  • curly wispy lewis hair
  • FJF tribute to quiet hero
  • motherhood friends
  • babychinos
  • expecting baby number 2
  • family, nuclear, extended and inherited
  • full conversations with Lewis
  • owning a car
  • perfect pancake pans
  • staying

Thursday, 20 October 2011


I am having a really good birthday.
Celebrating the day of the birth of boy, that is.

Simple day: his parents, grandma, home made pizza, grandma- made white cake with chocolate frosting, red balance bike, red balloons (and a giant somewhat scary mylar "2" balloon) cards, books, digger wellies, car garage, playdoh, singing the happy birthday song AND blowing out the candle 5 times, and enough adorable clothes to make his mom happy. Enthusiastic opener, polite and equal attention to all (except the clothes). Time and the park, time at home.

And best gift of all is that all, he is napping. RIGHT NOW!

Happy Birthday, all of us. 

Thursday, 29 September 2011

brave new look

or just lipstick on the pig?
Here I sit. A blessed Thursday of nursery for L, work for husband and no clients for me. The list of things to do is as tall as me. Time, particularly the solo variety, she is rare and she is precious. So what have I done? Spent 2 hours monkeying about with my blog template. (whaddaya think?)

I have been enraptured by the parenting blog brigade lately -- with really insightful and smart posts.   They are prolific. Posting near daily. New things to say. They all have nifty bespoke headers, copyrights, and all seem to be well connected to each other, with squillions of followers.  How do they have time for this? Do they not sleep or need to watch all their DVRed shows? Do they have children who sleep in their own beds? Do they not need to shower at night? Do they not obsess about the laundry?

Now this little blog, born in 2004 never set out to be more than an online account of what new groceries I found in the UK or the fancy accents I was hearing and feeling cool about being an expat.  And it has morphed, along with the rest of my life into coaching, marriage, moving, pregnancy and now parenting. I want the look to morph too!

I envy those fancy blogger people with their links to their facebook pages and smart subscriptions and fresh, new things to say.

Today I changed the look (thank you people of blogger). Today I change the sheets.

Tomorrow may I be fresh. Tomorrow, may I be insightful. Tomorrow, may I be smart.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

pause: 22 months and 3 days

sweetie grin
Almost two years old and it just gets more interesting. It is so nice to be able to have a conversation (of sorts) and make each other giggle. Our boy is outgoing, strong, remembers the weirdest (and forgettable) incidents for a long time, like buying a new broom or seeing a dog swim in the river.  Remembers people he's met and says bye bye to the taxi, the house, the cat on the street or the checkout lady at Tesco.  He can cling to my apron (literally) or run off with to the swings without a second glance, depending on mood.  He gets car sick after 15 minutes, loves to push his own pram, and still has the prettiest blue eyes.
  • understands pretty much everything you say, possibly I am sure even the swear words
  • comfortable chatting away: favourite words ''tiny', 'winnow' (window),  'oh dear' and 'wow' and 'what's daddy doin?', 'lewie do it" and 'home'  and noo neeee (for fire truck noise)
  • loves diggers, dirt, water (drinking and pouring) swimming, books with diggers, Peppa Pig (daddy pig especially), throwing balls, climbing (especially ladders), spinning things, his friends Kit and Jamie, splashing in puddles in his boots,  sticky tape, going to the cafe in the park, and blowing raspberries on mummy's tummy
  • before going to sleep, recounts highlights of his day to himself, processing people he has seen, the story lines of Peppa Pig, particularly exciting trucks or events like mommy breaking a cup.
  • likes to choose his clothes and is very particular about his shoes
  • loves dried apricots, cheese, toast, peas (frozen and cooked), sausage, noodles, ice cream, apples cooked in butter with cinnamon and brown sugar
  • fights naps and bedtime sleeping and loves cuddling
  • pushes kids big or small when he is tired or frustrated (we are working on this!)
  • is very attached to his parents, his pram and his little man cap
  • very much wants a bike or a scooter (shhhh- 2 year bday is coming!)
While they say it doesn't get easier, after spending the morning with 2 friends who have 2- year olds AND 6-7-week old babies, it sure feels easier than that. I need to relish Lewis walking up the stairs, pulling off his own socks and having an opinion about what's for snack.  His smallest independences are all victories. We are still learning so much together. Parenting is getting more fun and more rewarding (like the requests for "hand mummy"), I realise the stakes are getting higher. He is a squirmy, adventurous, curious boy. Keeping him safe and letting him explore are proving a tricky act to balance. 

May I continue to be the best parent I can be and may Lewis forget the swear words, or at least use them only at home.

Friday, 19 August 2011

our quiet hero, now rest

My Dad died a few weeks ago on 27 July.  He had a rough few years with his health, battling (and winning) lung cancer and heart surgery, with long, hard won recoveries. He recovered enough to enjoy a bit of this summer, taking a coach trip with the Korean War veterans to Washington DC, seeing a few local baseball games with my Mom, riding his bike, eating McDonald's ice cream cones.  But it was an infection from his surgery that got him in the end. He died in no pain, with no mental anguish, with my Mom, 2 of my siblings and the nicest nurse with him.

I am fresh back from my visit home to say my final good bye to my Dad at his funeral. It was a hard, loving, emotional visit that had flashes of normalcy and many sweet laughs as Lewis entertained and provided a tender elixir to the heaviness of the days.

Along with my Uncle Dave and a fellow Gray Beard, Korean War veteran friend, all of my brothers and sisters and I spoke at my Dad's service. The service was fitting to the man, simple, lovely with a military respect of the 21 gun salute and buried in his favourite green fleece.  It was an honour to speak of my Dad and I share my words here.

We have heard so many themes today about Frank, solid, loyal, kind, dependable and fun.

Until now I haven’t realised what a quiet force my Dad was. He was often in the background but he was always there ... steady, strong, available.

In my job, I often ask people what they want people to remember them for.
I can’t help but think Dad would be so happy and proud to hear that his small and large kindnesses, his friendly and warm company and his steadfast presence made us all of feel loved, safe and taken care of.

And I don’t think I ever got to thank him for that.

So now I take my moment to say thank you, Dad.

  • -     For being the man that drove me to endless tumbling and random events all my childhood, with Sports Talk on the radio
  • -      For being the best looking Dad in the pack
  • -      For always smelling like clean aftershave
  • -      Magically changing all my crumpled singles and big pile of change waitress tips into nice, clean 20s
  • -      For wearing his kid’s logo wear with pride, or at least making us feel like he was proud.
  • -      Playing with my fingers in church when I was little
  • -      For being the man who documented things like the date we got a new toilet seat
  • -      And taking pictures of things on TV
  • -      For showing me that being a dad often means eating burnt toast and the black jellybeans
  • -      Having the perfect architectural penmanship
  • -      Hiding $50 bills at my house, for me to find later
  • -      With limited success, trying to teaching me and Gary to bowl – shake hands with the ball
  • -      Showing me that arguing bitterly with you spouse over Christmas tree lights is an annual event that your marriage will survive
  • -      For forever cementing that lunchboxes should always smell of bananas
  • -      For walking me down the aisle at my wedding
  • -      For making me feel safe
  • -      Driving us home from the lake and feeling so utterly secure that we always fell asleep that 45 minutes
  • -      Insisting on filling up gas in  your car
  • -      Hearing Mom and Dad’s low murmur voices in bed talking at night
  • -      Warming up the car and scraping off the snow for you on cold mornings
  • -      For being there when Lewis was born … 16 days late, and being the first person to call Lewis “sweetheart”
  • -      For the example of hard work  -- like the rings he made for all his kids and for Mom, taking silver dollar coins and painstakingly pounding them into simple, string silver rings… much like Dad himself.
I know Dad was always so happy when he and Mom were on their annual vacations in Florida. He would go for long solo walks on the beach, in search of sharks teeth, sand dollars, and maybe a bit of chat with other folks he’d meet along the way, collecting scraps of information to report back to Mom.  He was tanned, happy, relaxed and utterly in his element...

I like to imagine he is on one of those adventures now – enjoying the view, collecting unexpected treasures, and forever basking in a beautiful sunny day.

So now we are all back at our respective homes. Back in the business of living. People have been heart-breakingly kind. Death does that. It shows our underbelly and our collective circles of friends and even acquaintances rally to hold our net. Makes us feel very very human and very alive in our pain. Now we are all sorting this through and feeling the soft spot where my Dad lived in each of us. Feeling lucky to have had him in a way we never acknowledged before.  Feeling just that much closer to each other than before. Feeling what's missing and holding on to what's not.

Our quiet hero, my Mom's rock ... now rest. 

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

good bye dear friend

Dear bed,

I think you may as well know. We are getting a new bed tomorrow. I am truly excited. A Superking (which is a normal King in the US). It will be HUGE. I look forward to the acres of space for all the sleeping beings in there. I look forward to a fresh mattress. New sheets. Yum.

And yet, yes, I am sad.  I have always thought one of the most depressing sights was seeing a discarded mattress on the side of the road, awaiting the garbage men. No doubt that mattress was the refuge of many wonderful nights of sleep, love, tears, conception, naps, cuddles, piles of clothes, and comfort. Seems so wrong to discard it all naked and stained to the world's cruel view.

We got you when you were going to be just "Mark's bed" in 2002 in Washington DC. I remember helping pick you out in the shop, feeling very grown up and proud that I was being consulted for such an intimate  purchase. I was the girlfriend and it gave me peace to think I could contribute my opinion on such a long term item. I remember thinking you were worth every penny for your pillow-top dreaminess.

Who knew that 9 years later I would be saying good bye to you after making you my own.

I have always loved you and felt you were a safe and welcoming place I could hide, dream, escape and unwind. You've earned your retirement. You sag. You've been subjected to all manner of new stains and indignities thanks to a new family member. And, bed, don't take this the wrong way, but you may have bugs.

We had some good times. You've seen us through 5 moves in 3 countries and never let us down.

Thank you for being such a good resting place. And don't worry, the nice men who are bringing your replacement to us will wrap you up and take you to your final sleep.

Night night.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

the great unsaid

for sale at
I just read this on Honest 2 Betsy's blog -- "This isn`t an everyday blog. It`s not even an every week blog. It`s a when-I-have-something-to say blog."

Well said. I feel very much like that. And I guess the things I have to say have been said in my head. Are they blog worthy?

Such as:

-How cute is my boy, who is starting to use two words together like "tiny spoon" and "mommy, in"
- This weather sucks. May and June were 100% dismal. Gray, raining and cold. Even I, who hate the heat, was grumpy.
- I need a new look. My style is slowly disintegrating from new mum dishevel into toddler mum frump.
- We need to get a plan.  We have an income. And it is not ideal. We need to pull up our socks and get ready to make our changes happen. Life awaits and we are both sick of the holding pattern.

So, some items noteworthy, some trivial and many, many days of laundering, errands, toddler enertainment, trips to the park, big coffees to go, picking up small cars off all surfaces, making breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks for 2 males in my home.

Mombie mode is a murky gerbil tunnel. Occasionally you get a glimpse of the outside world, but then you remember that you need to get home for naptime. Maybe even yours.

Friday, 10 June 2011

why the playground scares me

I'll be the first to admit it. I am impressionable. If someone I like and respect tells me something or points out something to me I hadn't seen before, the seed is well and truly planted.

My grip in my parenting is often wobbly. I am finding scores of really interesting blogs and reads about kinds of parenting, ways to be positive, be connected, stay calm,  be an example, etc. It is just the kind of reading that hooks me and also frees me. Gives a bit of direction to point my sorry ass self in when I am stuck with my own temper or cluelessness about how to best help Lew.

(Here's just a few I am particularly obsessive about consulting)
So I read these and I feel good. I feel like I have some ways to "be" and a bit of extra confidence that I am doing OK by my boy and not totally screwing him up yet.   We are happy, we are connected, we are making it!

And then we go to the playground. The playground in the park near our house is really designed for bigger kids, but tell that to sweet Lewis, who has been conquering the big steps and big slide since he was 1.  It is fun it a little daunting to let him explore and play, albeit with a sharp eye, possible hovering and lots of "carefuls".  He loves being around other kids and part of the "scene." 

Here's where I go tense and want to leave:

 ... the big kids come.  3-5 year olds are HUGE. They are STRONG. And FAST. And truly are not yet wired to care about a toddler's feelings ("Go away" "Stop following us" or ignoring small Lew's wave hello) or well being as they zip by him or knock him over. So that gets me. I don't expect little kids to get it. I do expect their parents to be 1% watching though. And so often they just aren't paying a lick of attention.

 ... I also sometimes see parents treating their kids in a very different way than I want to treat mine.  Not listening. Bullying. Not watching. Ignoring. My stomach knots. I know know know that I do not have the answers and everyone deals in their own way.  My parenting instincts are mine -- I get that. It is just very hard to witness upset kids being ignored. Here I am full frontal faced with my fears of bad parenting. And. I. Must. Flee.

I sometimes think Lewis and I need this cocoon of time together for me to get better and clearer about what kind of parent I want to be. My impressionable side at this point simply cannot watch parenting behaviour that I do not want to copy.

I do not want to judge any parents. I don't WANT to be judged. It is a serious job and  we are all in our own boat. And yet I find that my incredibly helpful resources (see above) direct me in such a different way.

Until I can start to look at other families with more compassion, and be more rooted in my own gentle parenting, and Lewis can get up those slide stairs on his own, I think you'll see us at the playground only during the quiet hours.

Hopefully I'll be listening to Lewis, letting him play without too much direction, helping when he needs it, watching him, giving lots of love and we'll be walking home holding hands. 

Friday, 3 June 2011

for my next act

I feel like I should be ready for something.   Note the *should* in there. Never a good sign.

Much of me thinks the next thing is another baby. Body= ready. Husband= ready. Brain= ready. Age=hurrythehellup.

But at 43 (gulp) things are not instant. And what to do with my few available waking energies and fleeting moments. I know I can make laundry obsess-er, meal planner, nap police and supply manager a near full-time job.  While is it not entirely 'un' satisfying, the bloom is nearing its peak on household running.

I don't have much energy to do anything very time consuming or brain taxing.

Mostly, I find in the few spare minutes to myself, I want very much to read. And then very much to sleep. And possibly have some time to stare at the TV with sole control of the remote.  The end. That feels almost enough right now. Yet, I judge.

Coach? Surely I could be using my nice coaching abilities to reach out, do more get more clients, learn more things.

Exercise? I see new-ish moms in the park, running in a pack with their prams all a jiggle, encouraged from a skinny guy wearing shorts and asking for "10 more" push ups.  A real workout? (Besides the 54 stairs I carry a 26 pound boy up thrice daily.)

Clean? Well, that seems much more like home-making again. And really.

Write? My pal Lexie always has something new up her sleeve and has written a little book. I am envious of her enthusiasm and determination. I'd love to write something more substantial then the 5 items needed at Sainsburys on tiny scraps of paper.

It all seems a bit daunting. Just going into town on my own feels a little like I am visiting a foreign land. I am not sure I am really ready for any big changes. Except the kind that take 9 months to cook.

My next act.

I know there is one. I just don't know what it is.   I hope it is something really interesting and compels me and calls me forward to be brave and stand tall and feel alive and do my best. I hope it involves a costume change or two. I hope it emerges slowly and when I am ready.

But in the meanwhile, this intermission feels important.  Now I just wish they'd quit yelling at me to take my feet off the seats.

Friday, 27 May 2011

ode to Fridays

  • a slow, unfocused walk
  • closing my eyes for whole moments 
  • entering the inner world of my clients and being in someone else's shoes for a while 
  • walking up and down each aisle, giving my full consideration to the vegetables 
  • noticing the faces as I pass by unencumbered and on my own 
  • the loose end jobs tied 
  • contemplating the state of my fingernails and my wardrobe
    • another cup of tea
    • home in peaceful order
    • 7 hours of being just me

    Friday, 20 May 2011

    19 (really??) months

    Lewie loving Lambie
    Alas, I look up and notice the time.
    About a month since I last blogged.
    About a minute since I did my last load of laundry.
    And a million seconds of L's everyday getting bigger.

    Today, my sweet sausage is 19 months.
    Closer to two years than to one.
    He is a boy.
    A mama loving, dadddieee playing, wheel-obsessed, charming small person.  He knows who he is and says no when he doesn't want something. Although he still says it so sweet (noo noo) that the novelty hasn't worn off.

    He discovered the love for stuffed animals lately, which melts my own personal heart into a quivering sop.  He kisses them, he feeds them (hello gross, stained furry mouths) and he gives them tight cuddles. Right or wrongly, I feel a certain pride that he may have learned how to treat his fuzzy pals in a gentle way, hopefully because we treat him that way.

    It is a reminder that we are his models for human behaviour.  How to manage not getting our way, how to be when we are tired, how to treat each other, how to take care of ourselves and how to interact with the world. 

    I must say I am enjoying this part of parenting way more then the wordless babe stage.  Now we communicate and we share and truly *do* things together. I feel and see the impact.

    It is tender and hard and lovely and scary.
    He sees us.
    He is listening.
    And is waving hello to make friends on the playground. And kissing boo boos - mine and his own.  And throwing things when he is angry. And melts into a fury when he is tired.
    Oh yes, he is watching.
    He is holding up a giant mirror showing me how I am.
    What a powerful little mirror.
    Hope I can keep seeing sweetness and be brave enough to change for both of us when I don't

    Sunday, 24 April 2011

    living in the now

    And here I am ... back. I have been holding my tongue and  my breath for a while now. Scared to write what was happening since I was working over time to not think too hard about it. And inevitably, if I open a blank blog page, the truth is sure to flop out.

    It looks like we are going to be in Glasgow for the summer. After much hand -ringing, hallway-pacing, excel spread-sheeting, scenario list-making, nail-chewing and general fretting, my dear husband has landed a contract job for the summer.

    Insert GIANT sigh of relief here.

    Yes, this is a short-term solution. Yes, we still need to figure out what happens, erm, AFTER summer.

    And yet, that, is not now.

    Now I  can buy flour, baking powder, mustard and peppercorns... things I have been holding off on since a move may have been imminent. (No one ever can find a way to move a half empty jar of mustard across international lines.)

    Now I can get my summer clothes out of storage. (Naturally only to look at since it is only about 55F here but a girl can dream.)

    Now we can keep L in nursery for his 2 life-saving, child-enriching days a week.

    Now we can hire a babysitter so we can celebrate our 5 year wedding anniversary along with Kate & Will's wedding on April 29. (yes, they copied us.)

    Now I can plan a long overdue trip to the US to see my parents and other mid-westerners. 

    Now we can enjoy the parks and the flowers and take advantage of the lightness and the warmth and enjoy. (a.k.a. chase Lew as he runs amok throwing gravel or trying to lick wheels, pet strange dogs.)

    Now I can make a hair appointment to recreate something that resembles a *hair-style* rather than the multi-coloured, straggly ponytail.

    Now we can plan, really plan, what our next step is.

    Three months isn't all that long, really.

    But to me, to us, for now

    It is everything.

    Friday, 1 April 2011

    the beginning, the middle and the end

    Things are changing in my life. 

    Some faster than I can track, some achingly slow and some that are just hovering, waiting to land.

    Not all of it feels comfortable to write *out loud* yet.  Even in my own head. 

    And it made me think of this beautiful poem, Aristotle, by Billy Collins. 

    This is the beginning.
    Almost anything can happen.
    This is where you find
    the creation of light, a fish wriggling onto land,
    the first word of Paradise Lost on an empty page.
    Think of an egg, the letter A,
    a woman ironing on a bare stage
    as the heavy curtain rises.
    This is the very beginning.
    The first-person narrator introduces hirnself,
    tells us about his lineage.
    The mezzo-soprano stands in the wings.
    Here the climbers are studying a map
    or pulling on their long woolen socks.
    This is early on, years before the Ark, dawn.
    The profile of an animal is being smeared
    on the wall of a cave,
    and you have not yet learned to crawl.
    This is the opening, the gambit,
    a pawn moving forward an inch.
    This is your first night with her,
    your first night without her.
    This is the first part
    where the wheels begin to turn,
    where the elevator begins its ascent,
    before the doors lurch apart.

    This is the middle.
    Things have had time to get complicated,
    messy, really. Nothing is simple anymore.
    Cities have sprouted up along the rivers
    teeming with people at cross-purposes—
    a million schemes, a million wild looks.
    Disappointment unshoulders his knapsack
    here and pitches his ragged tent.
    This is the sticky part where the plot congeals,
    where the action suddenly reverses
    or swerves off in an outrageous direction.
    Here the narrator devotes a long paragraph
    to why Miriam does not want Edward's child.
    Someone hides a letter under a pillow.
    Here the aria rises to a pitch,
    a song of betrayal, salted with revenge.
    And the climbing party is stuck on a ledge
    halfway up the mountain.
    This is the bridge, the painful modulation.
    This is the thick of things.
    So much is crowded into the middle—
    the guitars of Spain, piles of ripe avocados,
    Russian uniforms, noisy parties,
    lakeside kisses, arguments heard through a wall—
    too much to name, too much to think about.

    And this is the end,
    the car running out of road,
    the river losing its name in an ocean,
    the long nose of the photographed horse
    touching the white electronic line.
    This is the colophon, the last elephant in the parade,
    the empty wheelchair,
    and pigeons floating down in the evening.
    Here the stage is littered with bodies,
    the narrator leads the characters to their cells,
    and the climbers are in their graves.
    It is me hitting the period
    and you closing the book.
    It is Sylvia Plath in the kitchen
    and St. Clement with an anchor around his neck.
    This is the final bit
    thinning away to nothing.
    This is the end, according to Aristotle,
    what we have all been waiting for,
    what everything comes down to,
    the destination we cannot help imagining,
    a streak of light in the sky,
    a hat on a peg, and outside the cabin, falling leaves.

    Thursday, 24 March 2011

    I think we're alone now

    This is desktop wallpaper called, Quiet, Still, Alone.
    I guess this day was bound to happen.

    Mark away for the day.
    Lewis at nursery.
    Me freaking hallelujah on my own on a day during the week, with no clients. 

    It is a day I have fantasised about. 
    No one to pay attention to except me. No nap schedule except my own. I could have on loudest music or be ensconced in calm silence. I could go see a matinee. Or wander aimlessly.  Or walk with purpose and intent to get somewhere. Somewhere NEW! Somewhere that babies aren't allowed. OR I could read! Or think clever thoughts. Call friends. Do some marketing for coaching. Take a water wastingly long, hot shower.

    It is now 1:30 in the afternoon.

    No long leisurely shower.  (OK any shower for that fact)

    No smart thoughts about anything.

    No dancing in my underwear a la Risky Business.

    I dropped off the boy and ...

    I have eaten nachos.

    I have washed and folded 3 loads of laundry.

    I have emptied the dishwasher and all the garbages. 

    I have organized the recyclables.

    I managed a Sainsbury delivery.

    I changed the sheets.

    And I have cleaned the flat.

    And now, I think ... I don't know what do.

    There is only a little bit more free time.  It is fleeting. And going fast.

    This is what happens, I think, to mothers. First reaction is to do the normal things. 

    And do them in peace. And fast. And with concentration.  Alone. Blissfully.

    It feels so relaxing to be alone. To take one's eyes off the ball (or kid as it were) and just let the mind flop a bit. 

    Is this the new dream? To be silent in my brain? Those other things sure sound nice. And what feels even nicer is to know those things are still out there.

    I just think I'd need several weeks of this quiet to remember how. 

    Saturday, 12 March 2011

    going under

    Friday's  note from the Universe told me that wisdom arrives in silence.

    Silent is what I have been feeling lately. Not that I have nothing to say. But more that my words go in circles. I find myself at a weird juncture, causing me to walk carefully without attachment to my current situation.

    Looks like dear husband's job really really going to end soon and we are now looking at some rather dramatic options to our next step. Rent out our (lovely, big, perfect) flat and go live somewhere for as free as possible. In Laws. And await a job. And decide if the US is that next place to be.

    This level of Get Ready to Jump is putting my running our household/laundry doing/house stocking/cleaning/care taking//friendship nurturing /social outreach right into a state of emergency. And then ultimately a state of unattachment.

    Do I have to let go of *this* in order to reach what's next? How tight is my grip on keeping things the same? What am I preventing by this? What do I need to let go of? What's really important here? What's scaring me about leaving? What scares me about staying?

    Yeah- those are the twilrlings in my noggin. All big thinkings and all insider jobs, done a bit in, well, silence.

    What's emerging in that silence is sometimes complete acceptance. (Hey, I am not MARRIED to Glasgow, we can make new friends and lighten our load of *stuff* and just GO. ) Othertimes it is more desparate clinging and hand wringing (I LOVE our home, we finally own everything, I love our friends and the neighbourhood and out life here and Lew is happy and we are settled, finally settled for a while and I DON'T WANNA GO. Stamp foot.)

    What else is emerging is that I have done this all before. What I need is trust. Hope. Lean into what's possible, dream more about what it is we WANT in our future. ( I see Seattle, a cute house, Mark's GREAT job, more babies and a lovely lifestyle)

    AND AND AND ... it may be something else.  Something I have not yet dreamed of.

    What I know is it matters that we are a) together b) happy c) OK.

    The rest can come.

    Even as I type I can feel the undercurrents of this going under.

    It resonates.

    When I am silent. 

    Wednesday, 9 March 2011

    upwardly mobile

    Two developments have really surfaced these last weeks.

    We have a full-on bonified WALKING boy. Outside. In the World. Where there is glass and cigarette butts and giant bumpy holes in the sidewalk where little feet can trip. Where cars/trucks/bikes/taxis/buses and all manner of the wheeled which we look at and point to from the pram or out the window in our flat are  in 3-D... zooming past, parked on the street and omnipresent. 

    Mixing with the world
    Nursery for 2 days a week. It was a rough entry for me us.  It was hard to be away from him and he came home absolutely exhausted. But within weeks he slept there, played HARD at really fun things that we don't have at home (music class and giant cars and 8 other toddlers), charmed the ladies and now runs to get there in the morning.  I vacillate from missing him and exuberant rejoicing. I run around the house like  on speed and cram in all the Need 2 Hands jobs. I eat lunch in front of the TV. I savour the quiet. And zooooom. It is time to get him. I get excited butterflies as I walk down the stairs to get him at the nursery.  It is a blissful reunion each day. He is all smiles and all arms out running towards me. For that alone -- the short time apart so we really really miss each other and are excited to be back in each other's company, it is worth it.

    Thursday, 3 February 2011

    now we're talking

    We are entering a new phase with our boy ... words. Or moreover, pointing and demanding to know what something is called.  It is darling, really, except is becoming a game show of guessing.

    Lewis: pointing up,"Da???"
    Mommy: Sky? Light? Birdy?

    Lewis: pointing to his head "Ha"
    Mommy: Hair? Head?

    Lewis: pointing to the street "Ca"
    Mommy: Cars?

    Lewis pointing in the kitchen: "Ma"
    Mommy: Mug? Water?

    I just keep naming things until he smiles. I had thought it is because I named what he wanted. Now that I think about it, it is maybe just that he is finding my frantic ping ponging of naming exercise humorous.

    He can name cheese (cheeeeee) cream cheese (chee cheee), chicken (kik), balloon (baaallo), ball (baaa), dog (daaa).  And anything with wheels deserves a point. Cars, buses, bikes, prams. Over and over and over. And has put together that something like water is in the vases, in the sink, in his cup and all sorts of weird places.  Pots (pa) and pans (pah) have covers (off= ooof and on = ahhh) and putting various their lids on things is enormously fun.

    What is enormously fun for me is seeing his brain literally expand right in front of me.  I can see the lights of understanding go on. Wow. And we can talk!  I say things and he understands me.  I ask him to go get something and he does. Miracle.  I can tell him what we are going to do.  (Time for bed, let's go outside, let's have a snack, let's find Daddy.)  It feels respectful and collaborative now that we can *be* together in a different way.  He points to people in photos around the house and names them.  I am pleased to note he has recognised me in a picture, as well as Da and Baba (Auntie Barbara!)

    I can't always guess or translate his insistent "ba!!!!!" and enthisiastic pointing but I can try.  I can listen to him and hear what is is saying behind the words. What I want him to know is that I am here and I hear him.

    Monday, 24 January 2011

    it is all working out perfectly

    Isn't that a lovely way to think?  I have been living in a bit of a white knuckle existence lately.  Getting through the day has been enough, and no space for dreaming or believing. Instead, I have been super glued to the outcome of  *this is how it must be*.  It is a very narrow corridor to live in.

    After talking to my dear pal Lex, she has inserted magically (she is sneaky) that thought into my brain ... things are working out perfectly.  Huh.  I know I, like everyone in the world, can get very attached to How Things Are. And it is scary to think about the unknown or about change.  Letting the notion that things are actually working our perfectly is so liberating.  It loosens the vice grip and drops the shoulders and lets my brain sigh with relief a bit.

    I know this on some cellular level after all.  I recall a very bleak period in 2004. My job sucked, I was 36 and the love of my life moved to another country, my studio apartment of over 10 FREAKING years was closing in, and I felt very very stuck.

    Ah, yes, then enter coaching, gulps, bravery, big leaps, learning, and we all know how the story unfolded. Me in the UK, married, baby, happy career, way expanded way of living and a completely different life. A good one.

    I never could have seen what goodies universe had cooking up for me. I never could have dreamed this one up.  So I know (KNOW) it is an axiom that works.  It is all working out perfectly.  I just don't know how yet. I do trust that the wildest dreams are not so crazy.

    I just don't have the whole board game in front of me ... but I can trust that the moves I am making, the cards we are playing are going to get us a really great outcome.  Somewhere.

    And the best days can be and are ahead.

    What would be different for you if you believed that too?

    Try it on for fun ... see how it sits. 

    Monday, 10 January 2011

    ready for the miracle


    Seems we have been here before -- a time when jobs and contracts and futures are uncertain. Continuity of income unclear.  And somehow at the 10th or 11th hour, things work out. Usually for the best. Usually pretty seamlessly.

    So why does this feel different? Because we have an actual mortgage? Because we have a child? Because so much of my time, attention and dwindling energies are all but spent loving and caring for a 15 month boy and I don't have much to "do" except support and hope?


    It is time again to believe in the universal goodness that things will evolve as they should. And trust that.

    An 11th hour miracle would do nicely, but how about at the nice and early 8th hour instead?

    Tuesday, 4 January 2011

    21 2011 intentions

    1. drive
    2. read
    3. procreate
    4. laugh
    5. learn
    6. earn
    7. savour
    8. love
    9. parent
    10. expand
    11. improve
    12. choose
    13. write
    14. relax
    15. tickle
    16. hug
    17. cook
    18. sleep
    19. enjoy
    20. befriend
    21. intend