A week in pictures

October 15th, 2010

“I knitting.” (No, she’s not.)

Making no-cook play dough.

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{this moment}

October 8th, 2010

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Via soulemama.

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Rocket fuel baby

October 6th, 2010

On Monday I took O to the pedi for his one-month checkup and he weighed in at 9 pounds, 15 ounces! “What are you feeding him, rocket fuel,” she joked. Nope, just mama’s milk freely offered. Looks like he’ll eat anything, though.

I can’t believe my newborn is dissolving like a smoky illusion―gone is the gaunt line of his jaws and thin blades of his shins. They’ve been replaced by cheeks round like sticky buns. I’m enjoying each moment.

The sweet smell at the top of his head.

Cuddling with him tummy-to-tummy at night and during naps.

The way his nose wriggles when he latches on.

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{this moment}

October 1st, 2010

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Via soulemama.

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Raspberries and apples

September 29th, 2010

Raspberry and apple picking this weekend with friends.

Activities

  • Next year, we will try to go apple picking during the week to avoid the crowds and then have a separate outing on the weekend to enjoy festivities on the farm, listen to music, see animals, and eat cider donuts (yum).
  • Apple prints

Foods

Songs

The Apple Tree from Sing a Song of Seasons

A verse/rhyme from (I think) The Millennial Child

Two little apples up in the tree

Red and shiny smiling at me

I shook the tree as hard as I could

Down came the apples

Uhm!  They’re good

Stories for the kids

The Apple Pie Tree | Zoe Hall and Shari Halper.

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Little pebble vest

September 28th, 2010

After swearing off knitting for a while, this post on soulemama made me pick up the needles again. This is the Pebble vest, a free pattern from the Thrifty Knitter. The yarn was bought at a thrift store for a dollar, and the buttons came from my stash of odd buttons collected over the years. It is also a breakthrough project for me because it is the first “real”  piece of clothing I’ve completed.

Knitting and I have a checkered past. I remember as a young child watching my great grandmother knit a cardigan for me. It was brick red, with a cream colored border, and red glass buttons that reminded me of hard candy. I watched her work what appeared to be magic, producing a garment out of two sticks and some red yarn. I wish I had the opportunity to learn from her before she passed away, but I was very young at the time.

My aunt E was the one who taught me how to knit when I was a bit older. She gave me a pair of knitting needles and taught me how to knit and purl. I remember making a small peach colored scarf riddled with holes from dropped stitches.

Over the years, I’ve picked up knitting now and again but was never happy with the results of my efforts: some funny looking scarves and hats. After taking a hiatus from knitting, and only after O was born, did I start feeling a longing to make something for him. As I worked through the pattern stitch by stitch, I thought of my great grandmother and the red cardigan, and how nice it would have been to work with her over a cup of tea.

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The master in diapers

September 27th, 2010

My friend R confessed yesterday that she yelled at her baby in the middle of the night after being up for over an hour trying to settle her back, “What do you want?!” ”

“And then [my husband] took her away,” she said.

I was relieved to hear her confession, as two nights ago, I found myself at wits end at 5am in the morning. After an hour and a half of multiple diaper changes, many nursing sessions, bouncing on the exercise ball, rocking in the glider, and holding O upright, sideways and every which way, I put him down on my bed, looked up and said “What the @#%& does he want!”

Compassion, patience, and loving kindness went out the door in the wee hours of the morning. And so I was relieved to read an excerpt of the article “Mothering as Meditation Practice” by Anne Cushman in the book Buddhism for Mothers. In the following quote, she draws the analogy between nighttime parenting her newborn and intensive meditation retreats:

It had all the elements, I told myself: the long hours of silent sitting; the walking back and forth, going nowhere; the grueling schedule and sleep deprivation…

…And at the center of it, of course, was the crazy wisdom teacher in diapers, who assigned more demanding practices than I had encountered in all my travels in India- like ‘Tonight you will circumambulate the living room for two hours with the master in your arms, doing a deep-knee bend at every other step, and chanting, `Dooty-dooty-doot-doot-doo…’ Or `At midnight you will carry the sleeping master with you to the bathroom and answer this koan: How do you lower your pajama bottoms without using your hands?’

Is my baby a zen master in diapers, teaching me to transform resentment and frustration into meditation practice? A week ago, I had found myself in a similar situation. I had been up for over an hour before the birds even peeped, danced the same dance, sang the same songs, and reach the end of the same rope.  To no one in particular, I made a plea to get me through the next hour in any way possible. Right after that, I decided to just be present and to stop resenting yet another hole in the shredded fabric of my sleep. Then I noticed that I wasn’t as deliriously tired as I had thought I was. I was able to watch him peacefully and enjoy my time with him.

Was it a shot of adrenalin that got me through it? Or someone above answering my cry for help? It didn’t matter, I felt calmer and more focused and somehow, O did end up eventually sleeping.

In Instructions to the Cook, Bernard Glassman writes:

Usually we function with a split between what we want to do and what we’re actually doing, between what we wish we had and what we have. This division creates a loss of time and energy, and that loss actually wears us down. Since the mind wants something other than what’s happening, it creates the delusion that there’s not enough time or that time is running out.

But when we eliminate the gap between our expectations and what we’re doing, our energies all go into what we’re doing at the moment. We’re not wasting our energy on what we think we should be doing. At that point, all of a sudden, the notion of time disappears…

The magic secret is to do just one thing at a time. We do what we’re doing when we do it.

One night, I had been able to tap that secret. Two nights ago, I wasn’t able to find it again. Tonight is another night. Wish me luck.

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A week in pictures

September 24th, 2010

Quality time with Grandpa Jack.

Painting with H.

Catching rainbows.

Stick raft made by daddy.

Climbing trees and rocks by the pond.

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Moon festival celebration

September 22nd, 2010

The weather forecast called for cloudy skies tonight, so we moved up the moon festival celebration to last night. It was a perfect night, clear skies, mild weather.

We had some friends over for a snack of mooncakes, rice balls, and peach herbal tea. Then we went for a walk down the street to the community garden with our lanterns before heading back for bedtime.

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Moon festival lanterns

September 21st, 2010

We’ve been working on paper lanterns for the moon (mid-autumn) festival.

In this post: RC and her daughter E, and V’s friend O.

9/22 – added the following pictures to show the details of the lantern construction.

The LED tea light is secured to a one-inch strip of bristol board, which is then glued to the inside of the white cylinder. I cut a notch in the bristol board to access the switch. The handle is also made of bristol board.

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