Saturday, March 31, 2007

The Teething Project

So, here I am attempting to study the Sanskrit names of 27 yoga poses, while Lil Pet decides to grow two new canine teeth, and appropriately behave like a bad mannered puppy. She climbs over me while I draw figures bent in Trikonasana, circles me as I attempt Tree Pose while listening to a study CD in which the instructor repeats the Sanskrit names over and over and over... Lil Pet is in a developmental echolaylia stage says the "in house" Neurologist and can gibber-jabber in complete sentences, so it didn't surprise me when she attempted salamba sarvangasana. Her words are multiplying these days and she repeats/attempts to repeat any word that comes her way. Grandpa swore he heard her say Easter Bunny the other day and aside from her favorite No, No, No, she likes to say Go!, Uh Oh, Owie, Ucky, Juj, baby, kitty, monkey, and the ever popular Mama and Dada. She tried out book yesterday, repeating it over and over with a heavy accent on k. Today it is booky instead. She loves to Meow! and Choo Choo! and make a ticking sound when she sees a bike, fan or helicopter. So the teeth are still pushing through and the Pet is managing some sounds other than EH! I'm worn down by the whining and the "studying" and the attempt (see above) at a 3-d nature project. And again by the dang cold weather. But if I learned nothing else in yoga class, I hope to remember to approach these days with equanimity. Soon, of course, the semester will end, summer will arrive and the Pet will have a mouthful of teeth and a whole lot more to say!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Summer's Here!

No, just kidding. But I do have a gorgeous new niece with that name. A beautiful, dark-haired delight of a newborn, so sweet and soft, face still in a wrinkle and brows furrowed at all the excitement that is life outside the womb. Mommy is smitten and so is Auntie Monpon. Lil Pet says "baby!" and points to the little feet sticking out of the bundle. Those two will have years of fun and exploration together being less than a year and a half apart.

As for spring, it is officially here as well. In these Midwestern parts, it is always a pleasant surprise to see families outside again: strolling, biking, walking dogs, enjoying the wonderful parks and beaches or simply sitting on their porches under the warm sun. But as the snow melts and few bold stalks of green force their way up through the ground, the wreck of fall is revealed again: mud, half decomposed leaves, garbage of flattened plastic soda bottles and caps, dog poop petrified and defrosted. And unfortunately, a wave of spring crimes that have hit our block again. Midday last week, someone broke in to the lower flat, grabbed a laptop and some valuables and beat it out through the yard and into the alley. Lil Pet and I were napping upstairs, the sound of the intruder’s banging muffled by the sleep sheep’s ocean waves.

Despite that, Lil Pet and I still enjoyed walking up and down the block, spotting cardinals and tweet- tweeting while doing the bird sign. We also slid down still-wet slides, "nacked" on pretzels at the park with big A and little N, and played trains with a friendly boy named E. at the toy store. We clanked along on the rocks at the beach with the big boys and threw the ball for Samantha who’d run into the lake, bite at the waves and bring back a soggy, sandy ball each and every time (are you reading this Stella?). We awed at the bigness of the lake and the rush of waves, the soft-yet-grainy sand and most of all the warmer spring sun we slowly tilt towards.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Daylight Savings Week

I really can’t seem to catch up on that one lost hour of sleep last week. I wake up tired, nap with the baby and end up staying up far too late. And the pattern repeats itself. All week long. Maybe it is the rapid change in temperatures this week, or the fact that it is mid-semester, or it may be that I’m inhaling too much wood dust. At any rate, this Mama is fatigued! Spring break is next week and even though I’ve got to learn the Sanskrit names for 30 yoga asanas, I’m still looking forward to a few under-scheduled days. And to do a little reading for myself.

On the bookshelf right now, calling me, is "The Omnivore’s Dilemma, A Natural History of Four Meals" by Michael Pollan and "The Family Bed" by Tine Thevenin. I just read "Alternadad" by Neal Pollack, and enjoyed yucking it up with him and at him as he writes about taking on the learning curve of new parenthood while attempting to keep his "cool." I am in the middle of "Birth -The Surprising History of How We Are Born" by Tina Cassidy, which is a gory but clear eyed look at the history of birth, midwives and the evolution of the pelvis. What a great way to spend the last few weeks of hibernation.

So, apparently it is nearly time to say goodbye to the melting burgs of winter snow, the ice-cold mornings of unburying and scraping down my car and the indoor adaptation habits. I welcome more light (and vitamin D - the sunshine vitamin!) and all the wonderful things that come with warmer weather, but hope my body can catch up with the clock by then. Spring... make it so!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Thats my boy!

the dandelion
Originally uploaded by monpon.

Sir Juji is officially a Jr. Art Docent! We attended his graduation last week in which he briefly but thoroughly discussed a piece by Harry Bertoia entitled "The Dandelion." Juji's piece (pictured at the art museum) is a small- scaled version of the the abstract metal sculpture. Juji, with the help of his grandpapa, researched, measured, cut, drilled, glued and painted the sculpture which is made from wooden dowels and toothpicks. Way to go kiddo for sticking with the program, especially for one who hates to have to bring any school work home with them!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Get Thee to a Library!

Lovely children’s books have been hitting me in the head lately. Literally. I wake up most mornings with Lil Petunia hefting a book onto our bed, shoving it in my face or dropping it on my head. The rule is Coffee First, then reading. Sweet JB brings me hot coffee with a splash of cream before he jumps into the shower after having breakfast of bananas, pepperkakors and yogurt and granola with the kids. Did I mention, I’m not a morning person? Anyway, the lovely picture books the Pet has "handed" to me lately are really for the older child, but wonderful to look at anyway.

  1. The Sound of Colors - A Journey of the Imagination by Jimmy Liao. A colorful picture book about a young girl who is losing her sight. She travels through the subways, with a shaggy white dog not far behind her (Lil Pet loves to find the doggie in the maze-like paintings). She exits into magical worlds of dolphins and elephants, remembering the tastes of sweet red apples, the shapes of clouds and the feeling of flying. As she loses the last light of her sight and moves into darkness and uncertainty, she listens, smells and feels her way through the city and ultimately, following the fluttering of a butterfly, finds her way home.
  2. The Red Tree by Shaun Tan. A good book for the pre-adolescent in all of us. A young girl’s sense of bleakness is challenged by the unexpected existence of a beautifuly glowing tree grown from one small red leaf. " The world is a deaf machine... wonderful things are passing you by...sometimes you just don’t know what you are supposed to do or who you are meant to be... but suddenly there it is right in front of you... bright and vivid... quietly waiting.... just as you imagined it would be."
  3. Which leads to The Three Questions by Jon J. Muth. Based on the writings of Leo Tolstoy (Anyone dare recall Anna Karenina?). The questions are: What is the best time to do things? Who is the most important one? What is the right thing to do? And the answers? "There is only one important time, and that time is now. The most important one is always the one you are with. And the most important thing is to do good for the one who is standing at your side."

Guess I better keep reading the stacks of books that "fall" into my lap...