Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Ouch

It has been busy around here.  The Bug's first day out of school was Monday and we had a brilliant day.  Visited the garden store.  Took Morai (grandma) to the doctor and played at the bookstore.  Enjoyed a pizza together.  Went out to sweep off the front porch.  The Bug fell down seven brick stairs and landed on concrete.  With a baby gate on his head. Wait- that part sucked.

 P1210512.JPG

We rushed off to the urgent care place.  I was very happy to find out he didn't have a concussion and all his limbs seemed fine.  Sadly, his face didn't get off so easily.  Two stitches.  But at least we've got that over with now.  I didn't think that I'd ever be able to hold my own child down while someone sewed him up.  But I did.  I think it is amazing what all of us do as parents.  Give us the option and we will do everything in our power to protect, help or comfort our child.  And afterwards, if we need to fall apart, we do.  I was lucky enough to have Morai here to help me hold it together. And Senor on the phone.  Thank goodness.

We are attempting to take it easy after that.  Sometimes it is easy because he is in pain and so remembers.  Then he feels better and try to convince your nearly-three-year- old to not dive over the ball onto his face (really) because it might end up really, really hurting that oh so sensitive upper lip and watch your efforts fail.  Until you just have to take away the ball and watch him cry his eyes out.  So, which is worse?  I don't know.

P1210507.JPG

 If you are into that sort of thing feel free to click through the pictures above to see more details.

Ps- I forgot to mention- If all this left you stressed go check out the guest post I did about meditation over here.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Natural History

Elephant!!

This past weekend we did something I've wanted to do for a long, long time.  We took the Bug and drove down to a DC Metro stop, bought tickets and rode into the heart of the city.  All last year I wanted to do this with him but was afraid to do it alone.  The time finally came when we were ready. And Papa could come too!
It was pure magic watching the Bug see the metro train come into the station, getting on and picking seats, watching and talking about all the things that were speeding past.  And then we went into the tunnel!  How exciting to be traveling underground.  He wanted to know where the grass was down there in the dark.  Why didn't the dirt come in?  What kind of lights are underground?

 talking it out

He has recently been more and more interested in dinosaurs.  I wanted to take him so he could see how big they really were.  I wanted to watch him run on the Mall and go visit the National Sculpture Garden with him.

 Street musician

It was the perfect day for it.  The cherry blossoms just beginning and the weather so, so fine.  We found our way in to the museum by way of the butterfly garden next door.  No butterflies were out but two tame as pets ducks were snoozing in the sun.  A horn player serenaded us.  We came in the back door to avoid the line and found our way to the halls of the dinosaurs.  He said, "They can bite me?!" all excited and thrilled at the thought.  We found Mammoths with giant "tuskeses" and a sloth over 8 feet tall.

 Dinos!

Eventually we found our way to a room full of items for small people to explore and we took our time and enjoyed each thing with him. Watching his wonder, interest and indifference.  Seeing him stand next to a big ruler that told him he is as tall as a peacock. 

 exploring

Eventually we had to eat again and so made our way back outside.  Of course, we found a carousel- another thing I have been excited to share with him.  And ice cream sandwiches, which I am always willing to share with anyone. :)

 1st carousel ride

After that we found our way back to the Metro stop to ride back to our car.  We were all pretty tired, but only one of us passed out on the way home.

Peace passed out

I can hardly wait to go again.

ps- there are a few more pictures on fliker.  click any of these to go see them.

Friday, March 16, 2012

A Monk's Bag

Months ago, maybe six or eight even, I had the thought to make myself a bag in the style of the ones carried by Buddhist monks.  They are so simple, but with a graceful design.  They have room enough for a book or some crochet or an extra pair of pants for your small one in addition to your regular things.  The crossover strap is perfect in every way for a mother who may have to chase a child at any moment.
I found this easy tutorial.  I put it off.  I couldn't decide on the fabric.  I didn't need it that much at the time anyway.  The Bug was still in diapers and then he was in school.  And then a couple weeks ago we decided to pull him out.  So I could be with him all the time again, and I realized I would be wanting this bag.  And I should get on with it.  Really.

P1210382.jpg

It took about an hour total.  Cutting, ironing, sewing.  I changed a couple things.  I cut the straps as whole pieces and shortened them a couple inches.  I skipped the inside pocket in favor or a full panel outside pocket.

 P1210381.jpg

I really like it.  I have the strongest urge to paint the flower on the pocket.  I'm just unsure about the best way to do it.  Any ideas?

P1210383.jpg

Monday, March 12, 2012

Cylburn

Near our home there is Cylburn Arboretum.  This has always been a favorite place, especially right at the start of Spring, when we are desperate to stretch our legs and see the new flowers blooming.  On Sunday we packed up some snacks and the dog and went out for a walk.

P1210353.JPG

We discovered snails.

P1210347.jpg

And daffodils (he calls them sunflower daffOdils.)

P1210358.JPG

We were all eager to be out. (she is sniffing at a waffle ;)

P1210363.JPG

And when it got too steep, there was always someone to help.

P1210369.JPG

This tree was pretty much the only tree in bloom.

P1210370.JPG

As you got closer you could hear the hum.

P1210371.JPG

Thousands of fuzzy little honey bees covered these blossoms.  Can you find one?

P1210373.jpg

I laid down in the grass and let the sun warm my face.  It was a perfect day.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Grateful

red bud

red bud 1

daffodil hill

It is making me so happy to have Spring here so early.  I feel like it is a gift just for me.  There is so much life and beauty around me, how can I be sad?  The sunshine warming the ground and the flowers turning their little faces up.  Branches reaching ever longer in a never ending hope.

Thank you all so, so much.  The comments and emails I have gotten have been so meaningful, so full of love and kindness.  You all have brought me such comfort, just knowing how much you care, hearing all of your stories of loss and hope.  Thank you.  Thank you.

Friday, March 2, 2012

{this moment}

dolphin show with wetsuit

A dolphin show complete with wetsuit and mouse from early in the week.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Smile, breathe and go slowly.

 magnolia bud.jpg

Yesterday morning we went to the doctor for the first prenatal checkup.  After a lot of poking and probing the doctor was unable to find a heartbeat.  The fetus was too small and had no movement.  They call this "intra uterine demise."  Most of the rest of us call it a miscarriage.
It was a fairly wild ride.  My only hope when we went in was to hear the heartbeat.  The doctor was unbelievably gentle while still being very direct.  I felt sadness right away but never scared or confused.  I imagine in the last twenty years he has given this information to people many, many times.  He said right from the beginning that he was very pessimistic and so I wasn't waiting all morning for the second ultra sound believing that things would be different.  Hoping, of course, but not truly believing.
I keep coming back to something I heard in a dharma talk by Thich Nhat Hahn (Tick not han) a few weeks ago.  Life happens when the proper elements gather in the proper way.  Life ends when they cease to gather.  And ends isn't quite the right word.  Life never dies, it just moves on, in a continuous cycle.
So, this was not the proper time or place for this child to continue with us.  On my Monday night meditation I spent some time preparing myself for the many fold possibilities of this child.  I told myself it was the perfect new part of our family, it would bring us the perfect joys, challenges and teachings.  What we needed right now, it was, if only we could be open to it.  And I was right.  I just didn't know how soon it would be teaching me.  Surely it is too soon to see all the lessons, but the first few I see now are these:
The lesson of miracle.  What a miracle that we can make room for another life inside our bodies.  Not only is it possible, it is common!
The lesson of letting go.  Up until about 11am yesterday my vision of the future was drastically different than it is now.  I can choose to hold tight to that other reality and torture myself or let it go and watch as a new future forms.  One which I am sure will be full of joy and laughter, frustration and challenges.
The lesson of grace.  So many people have already offered such comfort and kindness to us.  So many women have told me how they have gone through the same thing.  (The doctor quoted a number something like 60% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage if you were counting all of them, even ones where the mother never knew she was pregnant!)  And now I have people bringing dinner for the next week and wrapping us in love.  And instead of telling everyone that I'm alright and I don't need anything I am trying to just say, "Thank you."  Which is a little hard for me.  But it feels good.
Tomorrow I go to the hospital for a procedure to speed up the process.  Hold us in your thoughts then and I will be back here soon with more images of Spring.