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Monday, February 8, 2016

fruit and warm air

I texted my friend this morning.

I am feeling cranky and feisty and like a waddling penguin HOW AM I GOING TO DO THIS FOR THREE MORE WEEKS???

But, she rightly points out, you have all that FRUIT and you have the nice WARM AIR.

Okay. Yes.

Fruit and warm air.

We went on a little island excursion this weekend and it occurred to me I have done precious little island-y blogging lately. So, here are some island-y thoughts and pictures and such.

The friends we visited, on the other side of the island, have a little farm set up. Orchards of avocado and citrus and chickens running around through the trees, all with the ocean in the background.

It was gorgeous. And it made me realize while we like our little neighborhood and the convenience to town we really REALLY need our own little spread to make Hawaii feel like "home."

I need my chickens back.

How to make this happen, in the most expensive place to live in the country, well, eh, that is the rub. But it needs to happen to be here long term.

In any case. Our friends sent us home with boxes and boxes of fruit. Sticky ripe guava, that filled the whole car with its scent, green and ripe bananas - along with a recipe for banana egg pancakes - hard to find yellow dragon fruit, a few tangerines and oranges, and a bag of lemons including one huge variety of lemon that fills up your hand and squeezes out nearly a cup of juice for lemonade the next day.

I now have an entire counter filled with fruit.

So of course I had to do some fruit related experiments.

The results:

Guava goes a long way. Use sparingly in smoothies

Frozen banana mixed with coconut milk and cocoa makes an excellent substitute for late night ice cream. Especially if you mix in a handful of chocolate chips.

Dragon fruit, when refrigerated, is an amazing snack, peeled and fresh.

Guava rinds sitting in kombucha overnight. Mmmmm...

Up today.

Moroccan preserved lemons. Cut lemons into quarters, the long way, but leave them still connected at the bottom. Stuff with sea salt, sprinkle salt in between the lemons, let sit in a loosely covered jar for a month. They turn into yummy preserved lemons that can be used to flavor chicken and rice and hummus and all sorts of things. Can't wait to try.

I may even try banana pancakes. Our friends said to use green bananas (we have the Williams variety from them) or plantains along with a few eggs and cinnamon. Fry up like pancakes in coconut oil. BONUS (for us). It's gluten free! Or. Maybe I will convince dada to do this.

And then there is the daydreaming about a farm. Thank you God for daydreaming. Its gonna get me through the next few weeks...All I need is a little patch of land by the sea. Some lemon trees. Chickens. And a field of red berried coffee trees. And this baby to be born.

That. I need that.

those little white patches in the waves are from whales!

i love these little yellow guys...

guava, such a pretty pink color!

unpeeled dragon fruit

the peel comes right off and the fruit is like a mild sweeter kiwi

the fruit counter. um. look at that giant lemon!!!

giant lemon next to a regular lemon

a box of bananas. i found a giant cane spider drowned in my bathtub of water
i forgot to let out after these bananas were in the house overnight. they
are now living on the front porch, which the geckos appreciate.

must. eat. more. fruit.

the giant lemon

our bare plumeria out front
baby lemon trees growing in a pot in our front yard...
getting ready for my orchard by the day...

the ocean was so gorgeous last night (behind the trees) one of these days i'll get a good shot of it...

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

homeschooling amidst chaos

So. Life is different these days. Dada is holding down two jobs. His schedule is always changing. And I'm actually working, sort of. So, maybe I haven't said much about why we are here, aside from no winter and fresh pineapple. HA. There is an organization here that runs a non-profit university to train people from all over the world in all kinds of amazing things. School of Midwifery for midwives going to work in the developing world. School of Seamanship for those working on mercy ships, going to help in natural disasters or bring health care to places like Papua New Guinea. So. I'm helping to start a new school, to help teach skills in advocacy, law and government.

In any case. It means meetings. And phone calls. And skype sessions. And mama at the computer. Which is all....different...for our family.

And I'm loving it. Truly.

But holy moly. Life is chaotic. And yes. We are contemplating other school options next year. But for now. Homeschooling it is. Shoving it into the random corners of the day.

Something like this.

 come to me my children, let me teach you wise and wonderful things...hehehe

8am. Coffee. No. Mama is drinking coffee. Dont speak.

Okay, last slurp. Now you may speak.

Little man is reading on the couch, in his pajamas, wrapped in a blanket (because, you know, 72 degrees is COLD)

It is 9am.

Did you eat yet?

What? Ummmm... (nose in book)


legos. an ever present part of our homeschool day.

a newly discovered fascination with the game risk. kinda relates to geography...right????

He eats. Girls of course have eaten hours ago, at the crack of dawn, cinnamon toast is their norm these days.

Mama sipping coffee sits at "the homeschool table" in her adopted chair.

Let Us Begin.

Usually we do a Bible story, and a chapter of a book we are reading. We just finished Mary Poppins. Then we dive right in to grammar or copy work of some kind or maybe a lit story and reading comprehension questions for little man. Here. Read this story. Answer the questions. Neat sentences and proper punctuation. Here you. Little girl. Sit down. Alphaphonics. Let's go.

If they sit by me for more than one minute I grab a book off the table and get things started right then and there.

Then math. I have been lazy about math curricula over the past few years. Practicing adding and subtracting with math games and gems and stories about gnomes and etc. Up until a week ago I was making up math problem sheets every morning for little man with division, stacked addition, multiplication and adding simple fractions. Good enough. But it was getting to be a lot. So I finally caved and got them both math books. We chose Life of Fred for little miss. I like the story format. Little Green will sit and listen with us. Then there are a few questions at the end of the chapter. We also supplement with math worksheets from one of those big generic workbooks from Costco. For little man we got "Hard Math for Elementary Grades". Straightforward lessons with trucks and tips to using math in real life and learning shortcuts for mental math. He likes it so far. 

That takes care of the basics. I also just go Little Green a wonderful book introducing the alphabet chapter by chapter. Its with the "Tiptoes Lightly" characters, by Reg Down. She has been starting to read with Alphaphonics already but this book reinforces the letters, the sounds they make, etc. She does this and then plays in the corner (making a MESS ALL OVER the LIVING ROOM, but. Okay.)


I decided the easiest thing these days was to have themes each day. History is Monday and Tuesday. Little man is working his way through an audio book (free on Loyal Books!) called "This Country of Ours" on early American history. Little miss gets a reading of a history story from "Baldwin's Fifty Famous Stories Retold" (available here for free!) and then she does an oral narration of the story (it's amazing how good she has gotten at this, and really it helps comprehension and memory skills for later schooling!).

Wednesday we do geography. We just started "Home Geography" with little miss (here, for free) which includes copywork to do and some projects. I have little man study maps in his big Costco book and then play "Stack the States" on the iPad. Later in the afternoon he usually will watch "How the States Got Their Names" (available online).

Somewhere in here Little Green starts whining about a craft. So we do a craft. Today we made a pig from a plastic bottle. Two days ago a bird from styro foam balls. All from a a giant container of craft supplies we got them for Christmas. Glue. Paint. Glitter. EVERYWHERE.

I try to play some music for Green or maybe get some alphabet cards out but inevitably she whines and I let her watch Daniel Tiger on my phone. (Like now, so I can do a blog post. HA)

Thursday and Friday we do science. This has involved unit studies the past few years. We've done volcanoes and now we are doing the ocean so far this year. We get out a lot of books from the library, watch relevant Netflix documentaries, and read something together (I'm doing the Burgess book about the sea right now). Little man, being older, has started doing reports. Little miss too, a few lines and a picture of a sea animal, etc. Then we end the unit study (after a month or two) with a "report day" with daddy as the audience and some kind of experiment. With volcanoes we made a giant exploding volcano.

Good grief. I am exhausted reading that. HA HA.

I'm thinking we might scale back for a few weeks as baby-go time gets closer. Although, the rhythm of it all really helps us give structure to our days and weeks, so maybe I'll just keep it all going as long as I can. Plus I get to spend the morning sitting in the mama chair. Sitting is good right now. Standing makes me feel like the BABY IS ABOUT TO FALL OUT. No, seriously.

So I sit.

And then I get up to make lunch. Smoothie for me. Back to my chair. Kids reading and doing iPad things. Something. Fairly soon I am going to lay down.

That is my day. Well, today anyway. Yesterday was crazy meeting day with dada holding down the fort and doing (some of) the above routine.

Anybody have any tips for homeschooling in a chaotic time of life? Do you let go of subjects? Or keep at the routine?

In any case. I'd love to hear how other busy moms handle life. Meanwhile dishes and dinner prep and sweeping the floor are out the window. Maybe later today....after my nap....HA.
the messy homeschool table. awaiting another day...

Monday, January 18, 2016

love through the ages

It hit me the other day, after a heated, feisty argument with dada that our tactics for disagreeing have changed over the years.

You remember that first big spousal fight, right?

I flung myself on the couch, as he stamped off to bed, in our first apartment. I likely had my 8am French class the next morning. But I lay awake, staring at the snow out the window. Devastated. Stressed. Convinced we would never make it.

so young. and yet. the smartest thing i've ever done with my life.
16 years ago...

That's it, I thought.

Real married folks don't fight. Ever.

We are done for.

Too young to get married.

We are both too fiery. Too feisty.

What were we thinking??

And unlike the old adage, we let the sun go down on our wrath, waking up pissy and bitter the next day.

I can't even remember what that fight was about.

But it was real.

And I realize now its because we are both very different people than my parents, my models of relationship. They never yelled at each other. Aside from one time I remember my mom yelling at my dad for letting us have honey on our toast when she had just said no. And I asked my sister, nearly in tears, if they would get a divorce like my friend Christy's parents just did. She said, no. Probably not.


That was their relationship. Calm. Respectful. Quietly disagreeing in the politest of ways. Or at least, hiding any disagreement from us kids. Because they are subdued people. Midwestern to the core. And I don't know if I just inherited the Scottish fire instead of the Scandinavian cool or maybe because I've spent too much time living around the country. But yea, I got the fire. My husband, well, he's pure German. So. There's that. HA. And, as old married folks do, I guess we've rubbed off on each other. I am more prone to vocalize my, er, dissent. He is now more apt to lower his voice and talk calmly than he once was, or than how he was raised (his is the family that has loud heated conversations about say, the local football team's latest draft, that in my family would have constituted voices used only for unpleasant shouting and anger.)

So for me, that first fight was devastating.

But then. We woke up. A new day dawned. We went to our respective occupations. Likely watched a movie that night, cuddled on our old, inherited, orange corduroy couch that weighed hundreds of pounds. And we talked. And it was okay.

us at my parents farm during those crazy law school years...
So yea, we argue. And I realized then, or maybe a few squabbles later, that perfect marital harmony isn't possible without perfect marital partners. I am not perfect. Neither is he. We disagree. And in front of the kids, sometimes. Its not great of us but its inevitable. And, here is my point.

It doesn't change our love.

And what's more, we don't have to agree with someone, to love them, to respect them. In fact, I might go so far as to say that being able to disagree, say so, and move on, is a form of love, in itself. I recognize you and your thoughts. I am not going to dominate what you want out of life. Lets just say our bit and move on, in love.

And yea, we make it a point to talk afterwards to the kids, say after one of those unfortunate Saturday morning errands crabbing at each other about everything episodes. Guys, we are sorry. Sorry for yelling in front of you. Yelling isn't nice, is it? You know we love each other though, right? But, even people who love each other as much as we do don't always agree. And that is okay.

I want them to know that.

To live by that as adults.

That  you can have a differing opinions about important things, or even little things, and still love your partner, and still have a fantastically fabulous relationship. It doesn't have to break you. And you don't have to break who you are to accommodate each other.

The key is, to teach that love overwhelms those differences. That love can recognize each other's preferences, cling to our own, or meet half way if we are so inclined (fine, you can go watch the football game at the sports bar but dammit I am going out for coffee with girlfriends one of these days!)

We can learn to disagree and yet love. What's more, we can respect people in our lives, outside of our family, even if they have differing opinions. Vastly different even. This is what teaches that.

And gooodness, doesnt it seem like we need more of this in the next generation we are raising?? Yes, please. Respect and love but still voice your thoughts to the world. Learn to be okay with someone else having a different opinion than you.

We all know that we as mommies tend to surround ourselves with our own crew.

The crunchy homeschool mamas.

The public school PTA soccer moms.

The working moms.

The work from home moms.

The stay at home moms.

The breastfeeders.

The bottle givers.

So many divisions, just in parenting. Extending it beyond to religions and politics and soon it's easy to find yourself secluded inside a cloister of friends who ALL THINK EXACTLY LIKE YOU.

This isn't the real world.

And it isn't helpful to teach our kids this either.

And also, there is this.

Someday. MAYBE. Far Far in the Distant Future. Our own children MIGHT grow up to (GASP) have a different opinion that us!



And they will.

They will have radically different ideas, at one point or another. Date someone we don't like. Choose a profession that we disagree with. Voice opinions at family gatherings that make us cringe.


And when it does happen, I want my kid to know, that through it all, in it all, perhaps because of it all. I DESPERATELY LOVE THEM.

And, if you haven't noticed. The whole different opinion thing? That is starting now. (Ha. Sarcasm)

The other day, little man says to me. "Mom, I wish you would have informed me you were making spaghetti for dinner. I needed more time to prepare myself. As I've mentioned. MULTIPLE TIMES [he actually said this all] I do not like spaghetti."

I seriously turned away and laughed into my hands.

First of all. Hello, son of a lawyer and otherwise opinionated parents. RIGHT???

Second of all.

Yes. They have opinions. Clearly.


What to do with that? We teach them to express their opinions in a respectful way. (Little man said "hate" first about the offensive spaghetti, to which I said, you probably dont HATE it. Let's say dislike, ok?)

The child who is comfortable arguing (in a respectful way) about bedtime or the movie chosen or the dinner served will be the child who later on feels free to tell me about his friends, what they are up to, what they say that makes him feel uncomfortable, or maybe something his prof said that challenged his faith or his way of thinking.

And this goes for me too, still learning about this whole marriage thing at 16+ years. I'd rather have a husband say he disagrees with my choices or opinions than one who quietly stews, doesn't talk to me, or worse yet, talks to other people about it.

And we have worked on doing it respectfully. Rather than two days of stewing, which was our norm in those early years, or even bitterly hanging on to things as ammunition for later arguments, it now pretty much always ends like this...

"Hey, can you grab that basket of laundry for me?"
"Sure, here."
"Oh, and I'm sorry hon."
"Yea, me too."
"Were you going to go to the store now?"
"Yep, do you have a list?...."

Done. And done. Maybe we've gotten more efficient at arguing. Maybe we are just too distracted and tired. HA. But still. There is no more devastation.

My point?

Keep them talking.


Work on doing it respectfully.

Teach love. That love in family is stronger than different opinions, even the occasional fight.

My family today? We are a giant family. Scattered all over. With many differing opinions on many different things. And you know what? We chat on instant messaging all day long. We love the CRAP out of each other.

Love overwhelms it.

That is what I vote for. An argumentative kid now who later on entrusts me with his life's worries and goings-on. A husband who challenges me in a moment where I need challenging rather than ignoring my less than stellar moments. A sister who texts with a real worry late at night. A world where different opinions make a crazy, beautiful, challenging, interesting, heart-warming, heart-breaking at times place to live.

You know?

But now. It's Monday afternoon. And my children are, of course, quite fittingly, having a heated fight about who gets to have the next iPad turn. Circles within circles I tell ya.

And here is where I sign off. HA HA HA.

Happy weekend mamas! 5-6 WEEKS LEFT OF BABY GROWING. I CAN DO THIS!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

dilemmas at the 4 o'clock hour

And now, the 4 o'clock challenge we all face but made particularly troublesome at a painful contraction-y 7.5 month pregnant state. 
This. This is the state of the living room. 

I'm sitting here with my feet up in the sunshine and it is staring at me. 
And I at it. 
Who will win? 
Also there is that pesky 4 o'clock problem of dinner. 
Who will make it? 
Dada is working late, so I guess, me?
Maybe I could make a game of it with the 9 year old. How to make a chicken nugget dinner! Fun! 
Maybe if I close my eyes it will disappear. 
Nope. Didn't work. 
And the kids are fighting which might require intervention. 
I'm getting a contraction just thinking about getting up. 
Dilemmas, dilemmas, dilemmas. 
Oh but that sunshine...
Okay. View right now. Too funny not to share. 
What are you doing Green? I ask. 
Picking up. Of course. 
Oh right. My mistake. Of course. 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

the not perfect Christmas

So. No snow for Christmas. No cold even. So bizarre. Of course, I lived in Cali for years as a teen but even then, you get cold mornings with frost even. Here. Around 69 degrees at night, and we all wake up with chattering teeth, wrapped in blankets.

But it was a good Christmas.

The kids were blessed by many people with gifts and Facetime calls home with cousins and grandparents took out the sting of being so far from family for the first time in their lives.

But it was still strange.

Guys, I think I'm starting to feel unsettled a bit about moving here. Like WOAH, we really live here? Well then, where is all my stuff ?! Little things like dish towels and jewelry and teapots and my good paints. Why did I not bring my good oils?? Its weird to have pangs for things like this. I need to be all here, maybe, not half of my life sitting in a storage unit so far away.

I think we just need to sort, sell, and ship the rest. Which is going to be torturous.

Clearly I have nothing to say in this post. Its been a hard couple of weeks. I won't get into the nitty gritty but. Its been hard. For many reasons. Last night I was in so much pain - contractions, muscle aches, this weird pelvic separation thing that feels like my body is ripping in half with every step.

And dada has taken a second job, which means I need to be stepping it up around here. But I can barely move by the end of the day. And I can't call anyone to come and help. There isn't anyone, I moved away from my anyones.

Seriously I need to not post until after this baby is born. HA. My body is apparently going to fall apart again. And I - AGAIN - am turning into the worlds crabbiest pregnant lady.

And yet I am wrestling with these attitudes, I need to learn something about myself this time around, of  my compulsion to "step it up" to stay on top of everything, to not let pain get the better of me or my attitude. My sister says to me, "you just gotta let it go." But I cant. I just can't step up over the crayon getting ground into the carpet, or the pile of clothes on the stairs, or the pillow lying askew on the floor, or the honey someone forgot to wipe up on the counter, or the Legos randomly all over the bathroom. WHY ARE THERE LEGOS IN THE BATHROOM?

I could become boss lady. Kids can do more than we think. Little man has actually really stepped it up. He makes tea for us both every night and offers to rub my shoulders when I heave myself down into my chair at the end of a long day. Little miss too. Seven year old girls are amazingly helpful. Cheerfully fetching things in the other room or helping her sister brush her teeth.

But then you get to feel like you are just barking orders all day. Because they aren't me. Because I want them all to do it the way I WOULD DO IT. Which is, when you get up from the dinner table you immediately clear the plates and wipe the table and rinse the dishes and load the dishwasher. I do it immediately. I don't go and sit with my feet up in a chair digesting whilst looking at Facebook. Like some people. I just can't. So. My OCD then makes me the order barking grump. "Can't I sit for ten minutes first?" Um. No?

I DO need to let it go, don't I?


And it extends beyond that of course, beyond the house. Families we know around here posting pics of trips to the volcano, days spent on the beach, running on the sand with their kids, hikes up mountain, camping in the jungles, strolling around quaint little towns and shops. Friends I know who dance and jog and play until the day their babies pop out.

I CANT DO ANY OF THOSE THINGS. Man, I can barely get my ass into the car to drive down to the public library. My poor children. I feel like we are missing out on so much.

Life lessons at nearly 40, right?

I DON'T HAVE TO BE THE PERFECT HOUSEKEEPER. I DON'T HAVE TO BE THE PERFECT ENTERTAINING MOTHER.  There will be other Christmas breaks to go camping and see the volcanoes and drive to the other side of the island. It doesn't have to all happen now.


So. No. It wasn't a perfect Christmas. But it was good. The kids are happy. We have a pool, which is my only source of relief most days, so I don't need to feel guilty about not going to the beach in weeks.

And soon. EIGHT WEEKS FROM NOW HOPEFULLY. A little guy will come into our family. And the tight grumpy Christmas will be far behind us. And I can sit in my chair and hold a new little life. And the pain will be gone. And things will get back to a new normal where I bend over to pick up broken crayons like a boss, and drag four kids around the island without a qualm, and wake up early to bake bread and drink coffee as the sun rises, sparkling on the hazy ocean in the distance.

And it will be home then, maybe. And I can make it.

Monday, December 21, 2015

confessions of a woman in the third trimester

Oh man.

The third trimester. The fourth baby. At almost forty. Yes. I shall confess that. ALMOST FORTY.

SIDE NOTE: What??? How is this possible??? I swear I'm still 23. Except for when I hang out with 23 year olds. Then I'm like, nope. I'm totally almost forty. HA HA HA.

But seriously.

Dude, its like my body wakes up every morning whining...


I have dreams regularly about stretching my belly up to my arms, trying to hold little guy, still encased in my rubbery belly.

I WANT HIM OUT. Okay. But not yet. Yes, yes, I know. Ten weeks. Baby needs it. I can do it.

But I don't have to like it.


One leg is in constant pain. Every step. I have really flexible joints to begin with and the relaxin chemical of late pregnancy just means EVERYTHING IS FALLING APART. And yet, my hips are so so tight. Dada questioned this as he rubbed my hips one night after me begging and I'm all, "I DONT KNOW, JUST MAKE IT FEEL BETTER."


When you think about rolling over at night and you're like, nope, can't do it. Bedsores it is! Or bending over to pick stickers off the kitchen floor and you find yourself looking around, "what else can I do while I'm down here??"

Every move, economized.

Yes, I've made an effort this pregnancy. I swim every day with the kids and do water exercises. This has totally helped. I look slightly toned and fit, so I'm told. I've also been doing regular inversions, pelvic tilts and other exercises from this site in an effort to position baby in a better way and avoid the long painful birth of my last pregnancy.

And yet, LOOKS CAN BE DECEIVING. HA. Someone commented on a recent facebook picture, "you look so energetic.!" Made me cackle. Yea, it was 9am when that picture was taken. Talk to me at 2 in the afternoon. By 9pm I'm moaning on the couch. CANT MOVE. DONT. TOUCH. ME.

(NOTE: have you heard of belly binding?? Apparently its a thing quite normal in other cultures to support the belly. I totally have been doing this around the house. Much more comfortable than the back/belly brace things you can buy at the store. I have found a large strip of fabric works well - I use a sarong from Thailand. Here are some links about it.)

Okay. So far, I have had nothing to say except whining in this post. I think its the current cold I just came down with that has set me over the edge. Pretty sure I am feverish. Every sneeze and I have to concentrate on not, er, losing control.

FUN TIMES, right mamas???

The things we do.

It's like a job, isn't it, to do it "right." I have to watch my sugar intake, not because of gestational diabetes but because of the dreaded GBS. BLARGH. I'm following this protocol, more or less, taking probiotics in mega doses, drinking kombucha, eating as much garlic as I can stomach, vitamin C and D in high doses, I have a list. A LIST. A LONG ONE. Plus there is the whole "good fats!" (yay for our avocado tree, and yet, one can actually get tired of avocados) and "protein!" (seriously, how much meat can you actually eat in a day??) and "daily leafy greens!" (WAH!) of this diet that I try to follow in pregnancy. And really, we're all just like, GIVE ME THE CHEETOS NOW.

The things we do.

I try to reward myself. Carry the laundry down to the laundry room and you can sit for 20 minutes and read in front of the fan with sparkling water! Heaven, am I right?

Meanwhile, the other day I was lounging on the couch, laying sideways, because laying on my back feels like I am being slowly suffocated, and I reached across my belly to turn the page of my book and little punk actually kicked me SO HARD that I yelped in fright. Okay, then. Sorry about that, picky little guy. I roll over at night, finally willing myself to do it, and its 20 minutes of kicks until I roll back to the other side. Already bossing me around from inside. Perfect.


Its not magical anymore folks.

I am ready. Except not. Labor. Ugh. I don't want to do that again. I mean I will. And I've got a good feeling about this time around. But still. Thankfully its not imminent...yet...when those weeks approach its like waiting for a surprise marathon run. Any minute you'll be asked to run for hours and hours. But, you DONT KNOW WHEN.

Also, punk comments aside. I really want to meet this guy. See who he is. When you are pregnant with your first its all so unknown. After a few babies, having kids who are older with funny charming quirky personalities you find yourself wanting to know...who is this guy? How will he fit in our family? Who will he be?

And we all know how patient I am.

So, what do we do? In the meanwhile?

Well, I got several books to read from the library. When I wake up in the middle night, (sigh, get up to pee, FINE.) and can't get back to sleep, at least I have something to do other than look at facebook where all I seem to see are pictures of friends who have had their babies recently. NO FAIR. ha.

I am trying to be nice to myself too.

The house is not going to be the cleanest every day, all day. It will not be a Pinterest-perfect Christmas. The kids can do more if I accept it not being as good as how I would do it. Little man is now being tasked with weekly cleaning of the bathrooms. Its all about the foaming bubble cleaner for him, HA. Its okay to not be perfect lady, slurp down that nutrient packed smoothie and you can have some cheesy nachos as a reward!

Its the little things, my friends, the little things.

So today as I sneeze and sniffle and await our "date night" I'm letting the kids absolutely trash the living room. Earlier we decorated cookies and I actually let them do it. Most of them. Our poor neighbors HA. In a little bit I'm going to put in a load of laundry (has to be be done) then make them mac and cheese and then I'll read, then take a ten minute nap while they zone out on the Ipad (Ah, Christmas break!). Then we'll swim and afterwards I'll bark orders for them to pick up as I sit, queen-like, on the couch with the occasional attempt at bending over to pick the broken candy cane bits out of the living room carpet. And I'm not going to feel guilty. I've gotta save my energy for waddling around Target, limping in pain, to buy them Christmas presents this evening.


Ten weeks and counting.

We women in the third trimester are heroes I tell you. FREAKING HEROES.
Thursday, December 17, 2015

Santa Lucia day, a little late

"We missed Santa Lucia Day??" 

Little man was upset. I had had meetings, fighting off a cold, dada working all weekend. 

"Yea," I sighed. I know I suck. 

His disappointment made me sad. So instead of scratching it for the year I said, "well, we could do it a few days late if you want, on dada's day off?"

So we did. Which was today. I took some refrigerator dough and made cinnamon rolls. Some strong coffee. And, lacking crowns of pine boughs we twisted some play leis into wreaths for the girls and let little man carry the candle. 

Traditions don't have to be perfect to be memorable, to be important, to be worth it. 

Say that with me, a couple times. Ha. 

The kids sang a few lines on the below song as I sat in bed with dada. And then we ate clementines and the rolls. 

(For a few minutes, while I nagged at the kids to please not wipe their fingers on my bed.) 

Santa Lucia
Now in the darkest night

Enter with candlelight

Santa Lucia 

Santa Lucia


Now winter’s coming on 

Now summer sun has gone 

And with the darker days 

Help us to light our ways – 

Santa Lucia, Santa Lucia! 


Come blessed spirit bright 

Shine through the darkest night

Santa Lucia, Santa Lucia! 


As forth in life we go 

Sweet is the faith we know 

That blessings from above 

God sends with living love – 

Santa Lucia, Santa Lucia! 


Come blessed spirit bright 

Shining with God’s own light 

Santa Lucia, Santa Lucia!

Help us to see our way 

Steadfast through night and day

Santa Lucia, Santa Lucia! 


No matter what may come 

Poor rags or kingly crown 

Show us the truth behind 

All things in space and time – 

Come blessed spirit bright 

Shining with God’s own light 

Santa Lucia, Santa Lucia!

Then we read this story together, snuggled on the bed, drinking coffee and eating. (Again, pausing to nag. Ha.)

SANTA LUCIA A story written by Tiziana Boccaletti
Once upon a time, a long long time ago, in a far away land there lived a young woman. Her name was Lucia and she liked spending time on the lake, quietly listening to all the animals and the sounds the water made. The swans knew her and liked her and would come feed from her hand during winter time. Mama hawk would often salute her with a loud screech when circling in the cool sky. 

She was a young girl like many others, she liked what everybody else liked and enjoyed spending time with friends in the woods, playing games and baking cakes with her mother. 

She always felt gratitude in her heart for what she had and her good kind loving family but there was one thing she always wished for. Lucia wished she could see with her eyes. Born blind, she had learned at a young age to use her ears, her hands and her heart to listen. 

One day, after going for a long walk in the woods, she sat under a mighty walnut tree and fell asleep. She dreamt many colorful dreams of faraway places, unicorns, knights and palaces and in her dreams her eyes were as bright and clear as one thousand candles. 

In her dream, an old good witch from the castle told her that soon the light from her heart would travel to her eyes and she would be able to see. Lucia woke up and was at first startled by her dream but then she realized in was time to go home. 

It was the darkest night of the year and she could smell the sunset dampness coming from the green grass. 

On her way to town she heard an old woman asking for help. Lucia immediately ran to her to see what she might need. The old woman asked for help walking home. Lucia immediately offered her arm and the two of them walked for a long time. 

They had been climbing up a hill when a young boy approached them and asked for food. Lucia was very hungry herself but she reached into her apron pocket and offered him her red apple. He thanked her and devoured it right away. Lucia was hungry herself but didn’t say anything..she was happy she could help. 

They had almost reached their destination when Lucia heard the voice of a man calling her. He was sitting by the side of the road and told her he had been robbed of all his clothes. Lucia took her shawl off her shoulders and gave it to him. It was her favorite shawl, the one that her grandma her patiently knitted for her by the fire, but she didn’t mind. 

When she asked the old woman if they had arrived yet, the old woman said, “Yes, you have arrived”. Lucia asked: “Where are we?”. The old woman replied: “Look up at the moon in the sky and you will know”. Lucia raised her head and saw the full moon with her own eyes. She looked at the old woman and realized it was indeed the witch she had dreamed of. 

The old witch said: “The golden light from your good heart grew so strong that it had to find a new home and that new home is your eyes. Go and use the light to be of service to others and light their way”. 

Lucia was overfilled with joy and ran all the way home to tell her mother and all her friends. And if things haven’t changed, they are still the same!


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