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Showing posts from August, 2006

Taking a Break

I'm supposed to be scrubbing down the walls to make sure there aren't any kid fingerprints or footprints left. But it's 11:30 and dark, and I'm almost completely done with everything except making the sink shiny, sweeping the patio, (Anyone know how to get melted crayon off of concrete?) and the aformentioned wall scrubbing. Since I have all day tomorrow to do it, give or take the care and maintenance of two toddlers, I am going to tell you a quick story instead.

The Boy saw some friends on the weekend that he hasn't seen in 7 months, and has only seen occasionally over his few short years. We look at pictures and remember people but he's four so 'nuff said. I told him he was going to see his friend's Kai and Kenya and meet their baby brother. He looked doubtful, and said, "I don't know them any more, mom."

Later on in the day when we were visiting he came up to me at one point and confided, "I know my friend Kai again mom, I remembered…

This Weekend.

We are moved, I am happy. Remember the trees? They are definitely worth it. In the middle of the afternoon at the hottest outside temperatures, the new apartment had a nice cool refreshing breeze blowing in the windows, while the old apartment was hot and stuffy and stinky from all of the closed windows and the air-conditioning running full blast. That alone makes the move worth it for me, but there’s more. Falling asleep on Friday night with my window wide open, I didn’t hear any car radios or brakes or engines. I also didn’t hear any clomping footsteps, loud conversations or screaming babies who are up way too late.

The Girl needed some reassurance sleeping for the first time in our new location, there was a lot of crying, and “I want to go back to my house.”

“But this is our house now honey, we moved here, we’re all sleeping here tonight.”

“No, I want my red house.”

(I’m amazed at the way she thinks. We had a red wall in our old living room, actually we have one in the new living room …

Moving Day

The great move of 100 yards commences today. My internet access will be disrupted until late next week. I am still completely ambivalent but that can't be helped now.

The lovely little sisters in law are coming to help and watch the kids while we move things around, and my Milly will be here to help tomorrow, so yay for that. I just wish I were more excited about where we're going, I keep telling my self ,"TREES, REMEMBER THE TREES."

Ah well. C'est la vie.

Have a good week.

PS. Just found out the lovely and wonderful Journey Mama is in town at a mutual friend's house. I desperately hope we can squeeze a visit into my moving and her vacation schedule because she is one of my all time favorite people, and my kids love hers.

Commitment

So we’re moving this Friday, to different place that’s almost exactly the same. Why you ask? I’m not exactly sure anymore. Perhaps because I just wanted a change. The new place has new carpet that isn’t growing mold, it’s not near a parking lot or a dumpster, and it’s closer to the playground. These were things that mattered when I decided to take it. It also has an enclosed patio so there will be no more kids running out the gate and down the sidewalk.

I have this problem with decisions especially the more major but largely inconsequential ones. I second-guess them the instant they are made and can’t stop until I have no choice but to follow through. It usually happens when we are moving, but not very far. In the end it’s just an apartment, in the same city, same friends, it’s a small transition but there are reasons for the changes reasons that we could live with if it weren’t possible to change them.

The fact that the genius husband doesn’t care is making it harder for me rather tha…

My little girl

She comes running from the bath, white blond hair tousled by the ducky towel she has been running around in and throws herself down in all her naked golden splendor on the pile of floor pillows next to my computer. Life radiates out of her face as she smiles up at me with her blues eyes and dark lashes and I think to myself that she is perfect. I want to catch her up and hold her to myself in a mommy squeeze that never ends, to keep her like this forever.

The days are coming when she will be aware of her beauty, or doubt it. When she will become self-conscious, when she will change from a girl to a woman, and I fear them and welcome them with equal intensity. I know that hurt will find her as it finds us all, and I want to shield her from it. I only hope that, as it is for most of us, great joy will find her also, the joys that can only be experienced with growth and change, and I hope that is the case for her; because even if I want to I can’t keep her this way forever.

As she moves on…

In which I mention several things about the specific functions of a woman’s body. You have now been warned.

I have clinical prove of my virginity, up to a month after I was married. Not many can say that. Not many would care anymore, but hey, it’s a good way to stop conversation at dinner parties. I did choose to wait until I was married to have sex. I just happen to believe that it is more than a physical act as our bodies and souls are co-existent with each other and that something that can be so physically vulnerable must be spiritually and emotionally vulnerable as well, And I’m not comfortable with vulnerability, I wanted to feel safe. Turns out there were some other things going on as well.

So after a couple of weeks of trying to make me a not virgin anymore, we realized that we may need professional assistance, and an emergency consult with an OB/GYN was scheduled. The immediate diagnosis, unusually thick and fibrous hymen, it would have to be surgically altered in order to allow for other activities to occur. I am one of the less than one percent of women who in earlier days would ha…

Thinking, Remembering, and following where it leads.

I was over at DotMoms today reading a post by Robin about the war in Lebanon. (I can't get the link to work, but if you follow the first one an look for lessons in friendship you'll find it.) She is Jewish and wrote a great post about a conversation with her daughter about friendship and prejudice. It's good, go and read it.

I got me thinking about how we can raise our children without prejudice, and teach them not to generalize, or assume they know about a person from their race or situation before they get to know them. I don’t know how my mother did it, but I need to ask her, because I remember growing up color blind.

Somehow she managed to shield me from my grandfather's strong prejudice against immigrants, and my father's bias against Native Americans long enough for me to grow up and form my own opinions. Of course in small town Alberta there are very few people who actually looked different, so I may not have realized that the few people I knew who did might b…

In which a not wealthy housewife complains about the help.

So I have a moldy carpet in my bedroom, I’ve mentioned this before. I haven’t yet related the whole saga however.

Mold likes to grow in the small airless space between my bed and my carpet. I have called the office before and they have sent someone over promptly to check on the situation. He pulled back the carpet to check underneath, sprayed to kill it and then came and put it back. Then they hired a new staff member. His name in Brandon, and he’s the dorky kid that would have been in middle school when I was on my way to university.

About a month ago, in the middle of a very humid heat wave, I found mold under my bed again. While in the office I mentioned it to Brandon, who said he would put in a work request. I told him that they could come in whenever after Monday. A week went by, no one came, another four days and I mentioned it to another employee, Erin, while in there working out the details of my transfer and new lease. (Oh yeah, I’m moving to a better location in the same compl…

This summer we learned to swim.

Okay, so they don’t actually swim yet, but put water wings on them and they do everything they see the big kids do, except swim along the bottom of the pool; something that they find fascinating.

The Girl has always been drawn to water. Last summer when she was only 18 months she would run headlong into any body of water she saw, lakes, rivers, wading pools, the ocean. It was nerve wracking to say the least. The first time I put water wings on her and actually let her go in the water she swam like the fish she always pretends to be. She has never looked back, even the time her uncle took her swimming at the pool and I forgot to tell him that she thinks she can swim on her own and he had to make sure she had floaties on before she got near the pool. She walked right in kicked out, and sank like a stone. He pulled her out a second later. He tells me she spluttered for a second and then tried to go right back in. Nothing, it seems, can scare her. (Unless we count strange objects floating …

Nice: The word that doesn’t mean anything.

I used to use the word nice without really thinking about it, though I’ve never really LIKED the word. The Genius Husband on the other hand detests it. Being the philosophically trained mind that he is, he is bothered by the misuse of words, and the constant use of poorly defined words. Needless to say, when talking to him it is important to get one’s terms straight, and know what you mean by them when you use them. I have become much more precise in this last decade than ever before.

So back to nice. Nice is a word that can be used in several situations, which makes it quite useful, but which also strips it of meaning anything at all. Moms use the word nice I think more than any other group. “Now honey, play nice…be nice…wasn’t that nice…does that feel nice…oh this is nice, do you like this?” It goes on, but I think you catch my drift. A long time ago, when I had time to do such things, I looked up nice in the Oxford dictionary. It used to be used to describe the peculiarly specific r…

Culture Shock

I have been gradually getting used to the site of military personnel in uniform walking around outside my window. Located as we are in San Diego, close to Miramar and Camp Pendleton, a lot of my neighbors are in the employ of the US military. This has been a weird enough for my Canadian and somewhat leftist, pacifist brain to absorb but yesterday I think I saw the ultimate juxtaposition in living color at the leasing office.

As I turned around to leave, I saw standing behind me, in full fitted uniform, a woman who had to be at least 8 months pregnant.

My brain almost short-circuited as I tried to comprehend and reconcile the opposing ideas contained in that one image.

Confessions of a Reading Addict

Hi, my name is Carrien, and I’m a reading addict. I have been since kindergarten. Words have been my friend, solace, and constant companion. They have sheltered me through childhood, cradled me through adolescent despair, and guided and distracted me into adulthood. I read everything almost without discrimination. If there is time to sit and something to read, it will be in my hand and I will be unable to put it down until I’m satisfied that I have gotten everything from it that I can.

This love of reading was seen as a blessing when I was a child, I got good grades, I have a large vocabulary, I aced english lit. and the IB exam, I didn’t get into the kind of trouble most teenagers find themselves in, I was too busy on Saturdays. I would read late into the night, inhaling every story I found, classics, science fiction, fantasy, teen romance novels, historical fiction, anything that had enough of a story to keep my attention. I would wake up the next day and read in bed until noon, eati…

Tantrums

I’m in the middle of writing a different post, but the Boy wailing for half an hour about the last popsicle that I gave him having a little plastic fork stuck in it instead of a “real” popsicle holder, because we’ve misplaced one, interrupted me. He eventually told me as he wailed and alternately clung to me and flopped his way around the living room and on top of the Girl that if I wouldn’t give him a Popsicle with a real holder, he refused to eat any more snacks.

So I eventually decided I needed to attend to this behavior and sat him down to explain that very few people get exactly what they want in life, we often can’t choose our circumstances but we can choose how to respond to them. He could choose to be happy with his popsicle and the other snack I gave him, or he could choose to stay in his room and whine about it. I told him that mommy and daddy don’t get what we want most of the time, but we can choose to cry and whine about it, or we can choose to make the best of it and coun…

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