...random experiences, observations and thoughts of my daily life as mommy...past journeys and dreams of journeys yet to be taken creating my life story as i go...

Thursday, August 15, 2013

the last couple weeks of summer

i posted this top photo on facebook with the caption "love giving my children the gift of boredom"...this really has been one of my goals for the summer...to have as few plans/schedule as possible and to allow my children to find their natural rhythm playing with each other, creating, time outdoors, climbing trees, riding bikes, drawing, reading, etc. i love the peacefulness i feel imagining my daughter creating a story under the olive tree next to the pond in our back yard...she found this space on her own when she was bored.

story has been riding his bike out in the front yard a lot this summer. he just gears up with his helmet and heads out the door...
i adore this photo of him...it captures his smile and innocence coupled with his creation of a bug habitat....
a few days ago his super wiggly tooth finally fell out (he was afraid to touch it unlike sea who wiggled and yanked until she pulled out most of her own teeth)...this was the point where i realized he is growing up and "big" instead of my little preschooler...
just over 2 weeks left of summer before they are both off to school...i'm reminiscing about the years of cooperative preschool we experienced together...getting ready to offer advice to someone looking to create their own preschool and missing those days myself but blessed by the place we are at in our life and trying to appreciate each stage as it comes...here sea and story wanted to walk home from our community pool down the street...love their carefree bliss as they skip along beside my car...
as usual we have spent many days at the beach this summer...la jolla shores to be exact...love the orange glasses and spontaneous lean over to hug her brother...
i've been writing many many posts in my head throughout the summer but never seem to have the energy or time or mental space to sit down and write about these ideas...so photos will suffice for now...i'll end with sea with her habitat for the lizard she caught out of her room...off to the park...me to get exercise and let the kids run free :)

Thursday, August 1, 2013

sea is 8...

 i woke up early with hopes of writing about this point in her life...our lives...but am rushing to get ready to go out of town for our 10 year anniversary...more to come :)

Friday, July 12, 2013

dreams...senses and weaving meaning through memories

 "gingky" holding me holding my newborn sister marci

i've been "writing" so many blog posts in my head...and then life gets in the way and i've been choosing to experience these things instead of write about them. i'm still having trouble balancing living in the moment and appreciating what is and having to "capture" it through words or photos. so in some ways it has been a good thing for me that i've been blogging so much less because i've been appreciating experiencing these things instead.

this morning i woke up from a very vivid dream. i had just been climbing on my tile roof (identical to the roof of the apartment we rented when we first moved to san diego) looking at my neighbor's fruit trees with peaches and oranges (just went to farmer's market last night and was imagining planting these in our yard). down below i saw a little white doggy (same as gingky's yesterday) and remembered i was watching him (symbol of responsibilities i'm forgetting to fulfill) and he needed to go to the bathroom (my children requested this several times yesterday at inopportune moments). next scene i was opening the front door of my house and both doors swung open...really big inviting doors welcoming me (my sister marci is looking for a house to buy in redlands and last night i was looking at some houses with her and imagining what qualities i would look for in a home if we were to buy again)...i was excited to talk to manuel about something (miss not being with him and sharing my day to day thoughts and experiences) and i could hear the children happily chatting about something with each other and with him...(these sensations/observations are a constant in our home in the morning...i always look forward to their happy chatter and excitement to start their day)

as i tried to stay asleep to see what i was going to say or what was going to happen, i could feel myself coming in and out of sleep and realized it was due to the sensations i was experiencing around me...most notably the sunshine streaming through my window. i miss this way of waking up! as much as our house has a lot of light and windows, it doesn't have DIRECT light streaming through. next i was listening to the birds chirp and sing in the tree outside my window and of course the far off train i forgot to listen for but find as a comforting reminder of my dad's ever-present memory. a large hawk called out a cry and flew over...the sprinklers burst on and sprayed their steady stream over my mom's yard. i wanted to ignore all this and find out what was going to happen in my dream but then i realized this was sort of a metaphor to my life...waiting to "find out or analyze" what will/could happen in my life versus just making it happen. so i popped out of bed, observed my swollen eye lids (my body disagreeing, saying i really need better/more sleep) and ran down to write about this.

i am visiting my mom in the home i was born and raised in until i left for college at 18. i came out because a neighbor we grew up with, dear "oma" her German nickname, had passed away and i wanted to attend the memorial. i wanted to do it for her because she was such a wonderful woman and close friend of our family for so many years but i also wanted to see her daughter "gingky" (what i called her when i was too young to pronounce her name linda) and because it was something i felt i needed to do on a gut level i couldn't fully explain. yesterday my sister watched my children and my mom and i attended. it was a touching service complete with lots of biographical details that were fascinating, music that made me cry, a slideshow depicting her throughout her life with photos i remember seeing hung on the walls in her home and memories i was a part of in their pool and in their living room. the most difficult part was listening to gingky share her personal memories and how her mom touched her. i imagined how i felt sharing these things about my dad and how i will someday feel sharing them about my mom. on top of this i had my own memories of gingky's mom and what a gentle, loving, dedicated wife/mom/friend she was. it was strange to observe this intimate personal tribute to a woman i haven't been in touch with for over a decade yet she has been a part of my life and my childhood memories weave in and out of gingky's at some point.

gingky's youngest daughter is headed off to college. of course this got me thinking about my own youngest headed off to kindergarten in the fall. how time moves so quickly it will be seconds before my children move on. last night sea wanted to sleep with me...specifically she wanted me to hug and cuddle with her and she wasn't tired and wanted me to tell her stories so she could fall asleep and i was super grumpy because story had just fallen asleep and she woke him up trying to negotiate these things. i didn't handle this request well and even though i went to sleep with sea after story fell back asleep and we had some "resolution' of sorts i want to feel like my daughter can count on me to be there for her more often than not. and i want to get over my own self-absorbed "needs" and put her first more often because i know it is just a matter of time before she doesn't "need" me so much.

i'm trying to wrap up this blog post so i can move on with my day...my cousin katie is coloring my hair shortly and i have things to take care of. in the grand scheme of things, looking over the life of a dear friend yesterday, for example, this seems trivial and like i should take a few more minutes to end this blog post with meaningful, touching words that pay my respect and hold onto memories. but that is part of the tragedy of loss...when people you love die they are yanked out of the daily stuff and memories only get to come in and out as time and mental space allows. i think i will visit my dad's grave today, just to offer him a little bit of that time and space for reflection and memories. and i will remember to listen for the trains. and squeeze sea and story a little tighter tonight without them asking.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

spring rambles

 grr...almost two months since i last wrote a blog entry and i had hoped to "blog more regularly"...life, family, drama, cross roads, various excuses but really i miss writing so much i need to make the time for it instead of hoping the rest will come together and there will be time left over. this top photo was taken at my friend kim's annual easter egg hunt/brunch. we have another photo taken in this same spot from two years ago and story's hair is only to his shoulders and, well, sea is about story's age. i try to slow them down but they get older and bigger faster than i can capture or appreciate their ages. i remember last year wanting to blog about sea getting ready to enter 1st grade...then our summer...entering second and now she is almost DONE with second and i haven't written any of these things down. i've still been taking photos and done a much better job experiencing the moment and slowing down my own thoughts (trying to be less self-absorbed/selfish) and just appreciating what is in the moment. i keep having these ideals or dreams of waking up early with the perfect cup of coffee and no one needing anything and just writing all the thoughts that keep spinning around or get tangled in my dreams.  but instead i sleep in or wake up too tired or wake up with too many things already on my plate and the writing ideal goes out the window.

so here we are on a saturday night. sea has a friend over and they are watching a movie. manuel is taking a nap. story is having his second sleep over at another friend's house. i fed the children homemade split pea soup and grilled cheese sandwiches and i'm enjoying a glass of red wine as i type. i had a bunch of ideas in my head yesterday or the day before and was trying to untangle them so i could write a cohesive blog post. i often feel, when i start typing after such a long hiatus, like i need to have something really important to say or well thought out or well put together. but if i'm going to be true to myself and my style of writing, i tend to ramble and hope the ideas eventually link together.

today i wrote an e-mail to a professor who was most influential to me in graduate school. i wished him happy birthday and told him a little bit about my current life and how i'm thinking about going back to teaching within the next year or so. specifically i shared with him how i'm at a cross roads of sorts...story, my youngest, will start kindergarten in the fall. i am holding off on submitting any applications until i know how he adjusts to school (he's never been in preschool) and i suppose equally as important in my hesitancy to go back to work is wanting to be as involved as room parent, in the classroom, teaching art, going on field trips, etc. part of me is excited about the opportunity to have more free time...i hope to use it gardening, exercising (or at least doing yoga), reading, blogging, making photo albums of the children, etc. though i really SHOULD use it finally cleaning out the garage, going through to accumulated "stuff" i no longer use or need, paperwork, etc....hopefully some combination of the two.

so i feel like i should really be maximizing this last time home alone with story. i'm not sure what that means or what he will most remember or appreciate about our time alone together. i also feel like i need to really listen to sea right now and connect with her while she still wants to connect with me. she is getting to an age where she is much more independent and analyzing things on deeper independent levels and doesn't "need" me as much. it is funny how i want us to be closer when she seems fine alone and i feel like i need space when she is more clingy and wants to snuggle in my lap. today she sat on my lap in church and she felt big and it was awkward and an uncomfortable angle but i immediately thought how i may not get many more of these spontaneous times together when she wants to sit in my lap so i squeezed her and smelled her hair while we sang hymns together.

today we went to our community pool. we go there pretty much any day manuel is home from work early enough and any weekend it isn't quite warm enough to go to the beach. the photo below was taken later in the day on easter after the brunch photo above:
i love this pool. it has an old feel to it (established 50 years ago and has some of the same equipment or feel of the 60's) and many of the members have had their membership passed down through family members; most member live in our neighborhood. so it has this feel like it has been around forever and always will be...very familiar and an integral part of our lives. also great exercise for the kids, wonderful sun for all of us, relaxing, etc.

today at the pool i decided i would finally put some books on book shelves in the app goodreads which is a cool social sight where you can see what other friends are reading and post what you have read, want to read, etc. i listed anne lamott (one of my all time favorite authors...she is funny and sincere and believable and likable and also happens to be both spiritual and very hippyish in her lifestyle/political beliefs which doesn't often coincide). then i listed billy coffey whose books i haven't read...my connection to him is i was commenting on a blog about some religious topic and i happened to read a comment by billy right above mine...i appreciated his perspective and the way he wrote his response so i clicked his name and started following him on his blog. i must have thought of him right after anne because they both write about religion (along with a lot of introspective/philosophical/humanistic observations on life in general). then i remembered one of my good friends, tanya, was also an author and i hadn't listed her books. as i was listing these, i looked up from my relaxing lounging position at the pool to see margaret dilloway, whose daughter is in my daughter's class at school. we worked together to create a basket of advanced reader copy books for the school's auction (i should say she did all the work getting the books from her publisher and friends and i just met her for coffee to talk about it!) anyway, it was weird to be listing authors i'd like to read and then see one looking down at me...so i listed her two books (i have bought one and keep meaning to make the time to read it). finally, i listed alfie kohn who has by far been the most influential writer on my parenting philosophy (he gave words to ideas i couldn't quite explain to others when i was intuitively dealing with my children and focused more on "big picture" outcomes than what was happening in the moment).

i'm really not feeling like writing right now...probably because i have a full hour and a half "free" and i usually feel most like writing at like 3 a.m. when i wake up with too many ideas in my head to sleep or something impractical like that. a friend on facebook once wrote how the difference between amateurs and professionals is the professionals don't need to have an inspirational moment to produce fine work (he was referring specifically to music) but i think that is true for writing, too...i don't HAVE to write anything meaningful or at a professional level at this point so when i no longer feel like it i can just stop.

i do feel guilty it has been too long since i last wrote and wish i had more in me...maybe after a hot bath and i put on some snuggly clothes...

thanks for allowing me to free associate...

Friday, February 15, 2013

happy 40+ birthday to me!

"i am ready to blog again...will edit this post later but wanted to get in a february 15th entry after more than 6 months...off to bed..." i wrote that last night right before going to bed...a quick commitment to blog again and i said "i'm ready" before i really was sure that i was...i've been wanting to write a post about this "in between" place that i've been...but i will save that for another day...for now, i just wanted a quick hello and update about the present...

i turned 41 yesterday. not a milestone birthday and it felt no different than any other except it was nearly 75 degrees outside and i'm always whining about rain on my birthday...and i was noticeably free of melancholy and drama...it felt nice to just appreciate what is. i even woke up with energy and ready to pick up my surroundings and appreciate a clean environment to start our day (normally i struggle with feeling these are chores that take away from something more important but on my birthday they somehow felt important and necessary and not that big of a deal). i enjoyed a kona coffee latte, did some yard work and enjoyed the feel of the soil in my fingers and sun on my back. we dog sat percy (a friend and neighbor's dog) and watched him chase and play with our dog kyra for awhile. then we spent an hour at the swap meet, watched a "space" IMAX and finished our day with a yummy thai meal that ended with this mango and sweet sticky rice dessert (sea had pulled our server aside and asked her to bring her mommy a surprise birthday dessert!)

i am just grateful for what is and hope i can return to writing soon.