Sunday, August 28, 2011

Silver Lining

As with all things, there has been a silver lining to the restlessness I've been feeling (and truth be told, maybe a little bit of baby blues too). In an effort to keep myself from going stir crazy, I dusted off my sewing machine that had been stashed away, and started sewing again. The last thing I had sewn that was more than just a straight line on a pillow case or curtain was when I was in college. I sewed these two little dresses for the girls and they looked darling in them. Calista's milk belly has expanded a little faster than I expected so the dress was a border-line hoochie mama on her. I think I'll put it away and have her wear it as a shirt next spring.

And while I was rediscovering my love for fabric stores, I ran into some awesome buttons. I thought to myself, "Hmm...I wonder if I could make these into jewlery somehow." So I bought a package of earring studs, trimmed off the backs of the buttons and glued them on to the studs. Each pair ended up costing about a $1.50.
Fun times, and what a great rediscovery of something I had forgotten I loved.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


This morning as I lay in bed half asleep, Calista's tiny little hands were rubbing my arm, up and down as she slept. I realized how so much of the bonding between a mother and her child come in these fleeting moments. These moments often pass, unbeknownst to those involved, but still leave footprints on the hearts of both mother and child. The consiliatory hug after the scold, spoon-feeding the toddler (and often the 7 year old too), the exchange of silly faces between driver and passenger in the rearview mirror of the van, the swinging on the hammock, comforting the heaving child at 2am who ate too much candy, even the wiping of the bum. All of these things, as mundane as they might seem, are building something greater than we know.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

New Camera Fun

My kids are a little peeved with me. Ever since I bought my new camera, I've been one of those fanatic camera moms. They were sick of it after about 15 minutes. The camera we had had since Camden was born finally died- R.I.P. It's amazing how quickly the top-of-the-line technology that you pay top dollar for becomes a dinosaur. Frustrating but just a part of life I need to get used to.

But yet again, I totally let myself get suckered into the sales pitch that the guy at Best Buy gave me on the new Sony Nex-5. I must say, I do love it though. I even went to the library and got a couple of books on photography and have been studying it for the past few days. I feel so smarty pants with my new vocabulary words like ISO and aperture- words that a couple of weeks ago I would have thought were from a nerdy Sci-Fi movie or something (no offense to the Sci-Fi nerds out there). Here are a few of my favorite pictures that have come from my new camera. Now I just need to learn how to use photo shop since I've heard a lot of people say that's when you really get the good pictures.

This statuette is in what I lovingly call the "Pagan Room" of the house. I've turned our study into our international room where I've put all of the souvenirs and trinkets we've collected from all of the countries we have visited, and it has become my prized room in the house. I love religious statuettes from all different faiths. We bought this one in Bali.

This one makes me laugh. After multiple failed attempts of trying to get the boys to look at the camera, I finally told them that if they looked really close at the lens, they'd see a little bug inside. I imagine this was the view for many bugs during the last few seconds of their life.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

What am I going to do with this kid?

Disclaimer: I've been debating whether this is appropriate to post but then I thought, "What the heck? This is my blog and I'll post whatever I want!" Just know it's all in good fun and that my son really is quite normal.

I just know that Luke's going to hate me when he's 16 and reads this. Actually probably more than anything he'll be totally weirded out by his 4 year old self but it's just too good to not get a good laugh from now when it's done in total innocence.

I should probably back up a few months to when I was pregnant. As any woman that has been pregnant can attest, pregnancy has a way of making you ...ehhhhh....jou ju saaaaay... (as Latins say when they're trying to think of a word) more bounteous, abundant, plentiful, well it what you will.

I was about 6 months pregnant and I had gone from barely there to very much there if you catch my drift. I was leaning forward helping him clean up after his toilet business when he looked up and took a curious poke at my chest. Not thinking too much of it, I explained to him that those were my "privates" (I'm not ready to hear my four year old say boobs or breasts) and to please not touch them. He looked up and grinned and said, "I know...but I sure do like 'em!" I laughed but was a little taken back since he had never mentioned anything about them before. But then I guess there really hadn't been anything worth mentioning or poking until then.

Then a few days later I was getting dressed in my walk-in closet with the door closed when he unexpectedly burst in. He took one look at me, pointed up at the girls and said, "MOM!!! Those things are AWESOME! Did you buy those?" Oh son, if you only knew the price some women actually do pay.

A couple of days later I was getting dressed again in my bathroom when he burst in doing the potty dance (I really need to teach that kid how to knock). As he scurried past me towards the toilet doing the knock-kneed, crotch-holding wobble, he glanced at me quickly, pointed up at them, and then smiled to himself shaking his head saying, "Those are so cool."

Finally tonight we were at the mall and we walked past the lingerie section in one of the stores. He stopped, admiring the frilly bras and with all innocence said to Dennis, "These privates would look beautiful on mom." I should probably teach him the word for bra. "Privates" is apparently his default word for anything between the belly-button and shoulders be it clothing or flesh. Some clarification would probably be helpful.

But seriously kid! What am I going to do with you?

On a side note, speaking of how Latins say things, I've been helping a Mexican friend of mine with her homework from an English class she's taking. I just love how she teaches herself the pronunciation for the words. Next to the English word, she writes out the pronunciation as she would say it in Spanish. It's quite clever if you ask me and she's doing really well with it. She'll ask me to say the word in English two or three times as she carefully watches my mouth. Then she thoughtfully spells out what she hears and sees my mouth do. Wouldn't English be so much easier to learn if words were really spelled this way? It makes me smile.

Hello: jelo
Name: naim
Daughter: dare
Husband: jasban
Wife: guaif
Mail: maio
Water: guare
Please: plis
Vegetables: veshtabos
Good Bye: gud bai

Completely random piece of information: I realized in helping her that the letters k and w don't occur anywhere naturally in the Spanish language. Although they're in their alphabet, they're only written when using words from other languages like English. There's your useless piece of trivia for the day. And you thunk I wasn't smart.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


This is one of my all-time favorite pictures. A friend snapped it as we finished the "Dirty Dash." Racing is one of the the things I've gotten into to help fight the never-ending restlessness.

I always knew being a mom was going to be hard. I never expected anything less. But what I didn't realize was that what makes being a mom hard isn't always just the kids. For me, I'm what makes it hard sometimes. The dizzying circles I run from cleaning poopy toilet seats, to wiping noses after those explosive sneezes, to filling up Lauren's "baba" with whatever I interpet the scream-and-point to mean (usually it takes a few guesses before I figure it out), to breaking up squabbles- that's all hard, but I expected it to be. What I wasn't expecting were the feelings of restlessness that never seem to let up.

Given the way I was raised, always moving every couple of years, change was something that became as much a part of me as my droopy puppy dog eyes.

The first few years of our marriage, I didn't notice it much because we were in school, moving apartments, getting new professors, etc. But within just a few months of having bought our house where we live now, I found myself scouring the internet for another home and pushing Dennis to keep job hunting. Trying to wrap my mind around the thought of living in the same place for the rest of my life was about as unfathomable as comprehending the size of the universe- that's no exaggeration. After reading a couple of books on "Global Nomadic Syndrome," "Third Culture Kids," and having a patient husband talk some sense into me, I would settle down for a few months before my next wave of restlessness would creep back in. Although I've gotten much better about controlling the impulses, I have to keep myself constantly in check on whether what I'm feeling is the issue at hand, or simply restlessness. We've lived here now for 5 years and that's by far the longest I've ever lived in one place.

Unfortunately, having kids, quitting my job, and doing the same thing day in and day out hasn't helped my plight. Today I went to the library with the kids and while they were running up and down the aisles squealing, earning me annoyed looks from the other library patrons, I was absorbed in the "How-To" section. There were so many subjects that interested me that I could have sat down, forgot the world, and lost myself in something new. Anything new. Heck, if it meant reading a "How-To" book on building outhouses, I probably would have been engrossed in the subject.

I find myself trying to fill the void from restlessness by signing up for countless races (last year I think I ran at least a dozen), travelling, and trying to pick up new hobbies. But when I honestly crack open the real intent of what I'm doing, I realize it all comes down to the insatiable need for change. That right there is most likely at the heart of the matter as to why I like to exercise and race especially.

I think to myself, probably naiively, that it would be easier if what I did every day was something I felt I was actually good at. I think sometimes how unfair it is that Dennis goes to work every day to do something that he does well. While he's getting praised out the wazoo on how fantabulous he is, I'm getting mooned by my four year old when I tell him to stop throwing sand in his sister's hair. How many hours have mothers spent laying awake in bed, going over how badly they screwed up that day and wondering why things aren't panning out as rose-colored as they thought it would be. Even the immensity of the love a mother has for her off-spring doesn't soften the feelings of inadequacy that follow her around just as surely as does her shadow.

I hear pat statements all the time from mothers who have made it alive through the trenches. "It will all be worth it in the end," or "There's a time and a season for everything," but for now that's about as helpful as a bandaid is on a headache. I have to remind myself that there's a reason God made me this way. And a good one at that. It's just a matter of making who I am and what I've experienced in life pertinent to what I do today and everday. Maybe it's a matter of putting on my big girl panties and realizing that life is bigger than me and my petty feelings of restlessness. I have a feeling that's probably it right there. As I have to constantly remind myself, "Get over it and get over yourself."