Saturday, August 28, 2010
I just had to post these before I forget them:
Looking at a dead bug that we decided had gone to heaven and was now an angel bug,
"Alls I need is wings to be an angel."
Said impatiently as I was making dinner,
"When are we gonna go to space, mom?"
Walking back home from the train station after a fun day trip to Raleigh,
"Well, that was a really fun adventure!"
(OK, so this one's not funny, but it is really really cute!)
What made you laugh today?
It sounds silly, but sometimes our family is so busy we forget to save time for plain old fun.
But not today!
This morning, we woke up early and took the train into Raleigh. Yay for Amtrak! It was Flannery's first time on a real passenger train. Then we spent the day in Raleigh exploring the Museum of Natural Science and Marbles Kids Museum. Marbles was the bit hit of the day, a really wonderful place for Flanna's imagination to burst into high gear. She seemed to have a marvelous time, and really, so did we parents! There was a cool jump rope troupe performing at the Marbles museum, too, which was really exciting!
We were so glad that we "scheduled" some fun for ourselves this weekend. What a nice day together as a family. Hopefully the fun memories will sustain us in the next few weeks as Robi travels and I juggle full time work while Flanna figures out how full-time school works.
Does fun just naturally happen for your whole family, or do you also have to mark it onto the calendar?
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Here are some funny things I can remember from this week. There are so many I miss because I don't write them down! Hope you enjoy!
Looking at paintings at Robi's grandmother's house:
Me: Look, Flannery, Nana painted all of these paintings. She's an artist!
Flanna: My fairy godmother's an artist, too.
Flanna: You know...Dana. (Dana, Flanna's godmother, is an artist! Just not a fairy! :) )
Riding in the car:
Flanna: Mom, when are Padme & Annie gonna have babies?
Me: Sweetie, they can't have babies. We had them fixed, because they're not breeding dogs.
Flanna: You mean it's hard for them to breathe when they have babies?
Driving back from my niece's birthday party. It's dark out, and we're up much later than normal.
Flanna: Look, it's dark! I see the moon!
Me: Yeah, we don't get to see the moon a lot, because you're usually in bed before it gets too dark.
Flanna: Yeah, but why did we stay up til it's dark today?
Me: Because we had a special occasion. Sometimes we stay up late when it's a special occasion.
Flanna: That's right. This IS a special vacation, so we can stay up late and see the moon!
Me: It's a Special OCcassion.
Flanna: Uhhuh, a special VA-cation. I know, mom.
That kid cracks me up.
What made you laugh so far this week?
So we now have memories of flying.
Today as we were driving to the HR department at my new job (yes, I got a new job! Full time school position!), looking up at the clouds from our car as we inched through traffic, I said to Flannery,
"Remember how yesterday we were above the clouds?"
"Yeah. I remember that," she said.
"That was really cool."
"Yeah. Because I like to look out the window and see the roads all tiny," she laughs.
"Yeah, me too."
This has been a hard day.
A day of figuring out hard things.
Hard things like, how leaving my flexible part-time job for a non-flexible full-time job that pays more money is really going to be tough. Not seeing my daughter when she wakes up in the morning tough. Heart wrenching, maybe I need a valium to get through the first few weeks, tough.
Hard things like, crunching numbers and realizing that quality day care is ridiculously expensive, twice our rent expensive. So expensive that I should really keep my part-time flexible job AND my new full time non-flexible job if I want to ever end up with, oh, say, an extra few bucks to go for ice cream. I mean, an acceptance fee, one month's tuition as a deposit, and a first month's tuition, all due next week? This is where I begin to get high blood pressure.
But then I remember us flying in that plane, high above the clouds, with the tiny roads snaking their way across the South. Patches of earth glide by underneath, lush forests, and thirsty fields. Green, brown, green.
And those tiny fingers stuck to the glass of the airplane window, peering down at a world larger than she can understand. Larger than any of us can understand, really.
And I try to remind myself.
This too shall pass.
Bounty will come again.
Green, brown, green.
What hard patch in your life did you think might never end? Money problems? Sadness, loss? What helped you through?
Monday, August 23, 2010
This weekend, I threw a baby shower for my sweet friends (aka, Flannery's godparents), who just adopted the cutest little baby boy in the world. It was so wonderful to get to see all my old friends from Georgia, and to get to hold a tiny wiggly baby for a bit! But the best thing was to get to see my friends, who've been waiting and praying for this little guy for quite some time now, in their new roles as parents. And really comfortable parents, at that.
Flanna is in love with babies right now, and asks constantly for a little brother or sister. I mean, constantly. So she was in heaven when we let her "hold" him.
And then we flew back home to Durham. The first flight that I think Flannery might actually remember. (She's flown twice, but was really small then.) She kept saying, "I've never ever been up so high, mama!" and flirting with the college aged girls sitting in the row behind us. And she played paper dolls during the trip, which were a big hit. (Thanks, Grammie!)
And now we're home, and what a peaceful home it is. I think I'll go take a bubble bath and go to bed early now.
What's your favorite thing about brand new babies? I just love their curled up toes, and the wrist rolls on the little chubby ones!
Friday, August 13, 2010
We had a lazy river kind of afternoon today. It was cooler than it had been all week (maybe in the high 80's?) here today, so we ventured out into nature. And boy were we glad we did!
We went to the Eno River, where we saw a zillion huge butterflies, where fish nibbled on our legs, and where we just generally enjoyed a relaxing afternoon of peace and quiet.
It really does boost my happiness!
How are you going to experience nature this weekend?
I haven't posted for a while, so sorry!
My mom's been visiting, and I've been enjoying spending time with her!
We took her to the museum, one of our favorite places to take guests. It was hot but fun!
Who are you enjoying spending time with right now?
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Saturday, August 7, 2010
On top of the craziness that is normal moving and unpacking and sorting and organizing, on Thursday, a breaker in our kitchen decided to malfunction. At first, the power just went out when I used the dryer. Annoying, but not completely disastrous.
Then, the breaker decided to flip every time I used the oven or the stove. Yup, that's right, every time I try to, say, cook, in my kitchen, the power goes out. Every time.
And the electrician who was supposed to try to squeeze us in on Friday never showed. So it'll be Monday before we can even call him again to see if he can possibly help us out.
Which has made for a really ridiculously frustrating few days.
I've tried to be productive. I've unpacked. I've organized. I've hung photos and art.
But my laundry is piling up. And my microwavable, toaster oven-able, crock-pot-able food ideas (the few appliances that don't immediately blow our kitchen fuse) are all used up.
As is my patience.
What helps you calm down when you're super frustrated?
By the way, the photo above is of this amazing circular kitchen that rotates 180 degrees, designed for really small spaces. I stumbled upon it looking at clever designs for small kitchens, and now I really want one!
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Today after work, Flanna and I made play dough birthday cakes, with real birthday candles. We lit the candles and (very carefully, I promise!) sang happy birthday to her dolls, and Flanna made a beautiful meal of pretend pizza and lettuce from her play kitchen. She set the table, and brought out chairs, plates, cups, and a pretend piece of birthday cake for everyone at the table.
Then she helped me shuck real corn for our real dinner. That kids' got some muscle! Corn shucking isn't easy!
What a nice way to end the day. I need to find some more meals that are fun for her to help prepare.
And to eat.
A while back, I taught her how to eat corn on the cob like a typewriter (yes, I realize she has no idea what a typewriter is!). It's so cute to see her eat a huge ear of corn in 3 minutes flat, saying, "Ding!" every time she eats from one end of the ear to the other. That's the way my grandpa used to eat it, and it's fun to carry on that silly tradition. If only I knew a trick like that for broccoli.
How do you bring fun to everyday events like cooking and eating dinner?
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Sometimes there are things about our lives that we don't like, but that we just can't change.
For me, that is living so ridiculously far away from our extended family.
Sometimes I get so focused on how much better life would be, how much easier things would be, how wonderful it would be if we just lived near the fam, that I make my current situation into something I'm just bearing.
Sometimes I treat my wonderful, amazing, current life, with my kind and devoted husband and my sweet darling girl, as if it's something I have to put up with.
So, I've been telling myself a new phrase for the last few days. It's really rocket science, if I do say so to myself.
"Bloom where you're planted."
I don't think it's cured my homesickness for our family. But it's helping a little.
And where we're planted is a really cool town, actually. Today we visited the public library, took a drawing class, had some amazing mango frozen yogurt at Local Yogurt, checked out the fall schedule of classes at the Little Gym, and found a really neat unfinished furniture store that I fell instantly in love with.
Blooming in progress.
What's something hard about your life that you're learning to accept right now?
By the way, this photo is of Flannery in the garden behind our old house in Athens. See why I miss it so much?
One thing I've discovered during my happiness project this year, is that being the "memory keeper" for my family really makes me happy. I just love taking photos, writing down cute things that have happened, and retelling the stories to my daughter and niece. I really think that retelling stories and sharing memories help us shape our view of ourselves and our place in the world.
For instance, when someone asked Flannery the other day, "who are you?", she said, "I'm a cousin."
Seriously. This is how she defines herself. From the moment she was born, she was someone's cousin. A very special someone's, to be exact.
My niece will never want for adoration as long as Flanna is around!
And Flannery loves when I tell the story of how everyone came to the hospital when she was born, and how her "big cousin" held her when she was only one day old. That story sort of defines who loves her most and who is most important to her in the world.
Which, by the way, is not any of us adults. We're okay and all, but that cousin, she's the one.
What stories or memories from your life help you define who you are? I remember my dad telling the story of how I would never "bump" anyone when we'd play aggravation as a family, because I was just too "sweet." And I remember my mom telling the story of how my sister at just 3 years old would play with me, feed me, change my diaper, and just generally be a sweet second mama to me. She had my back from the get go, it seems. And that's a nice way to grow up.
Monday, August 2, 2010
My new apartment is still a mess of boxes. So if I don't post for a few days, you'll know why.
You know, because a pile of boxes has fallen and trapped me inside my own home.
Hey, it could happen. You really should see these piles of boxes.
What system do you have for moving? I had a professor once who said he always hung his curtains and pictures on the wall first thing, before he unpacked a thing, because it made the new place feel like home. I love that!