Spring Forward

Spring has returned to this region. Thank goodness. I wasn’t quite ready for summer yet. With the warm weather comes busy-ness. Webs need to be spun. Buds need pop. Children need to grow. Big thoughts need to be considered. Every … Continue reading

Ice Out

Winter is fleeing, it can’t handle the surge of warm weather. The logs in the lake are reappearing. The edge of seasons are everywhere. The ice is tinkling and dripping. The cattails are bursting. The air is filled with cotton. … Continue reading

MoreThan a Test

This post comes to you via my smart phone and by the letter Y.

I feel like and absent mama when it comes to The Mama Lake. Every email that pops up on my phone reminds me how much I haven’t blogged in the last few weeks. Interestingly, I frequently have moments where I think, “this would make a great blog post!”

Most of those moments come whilst sitting in a classroom full of 1st and 2nd graders. For 8 hours of my day I get the pleasure of being part of the education and social development of these students. They perplex me most of the time. But in the last 3 weeks I have found myself saying “I love my job” more than I had the last 3 years.

I am where I am suppose to be.

Yeouch!

So, this morning found me hopping up and down, clutching the middle finger of my left hand (which I had just shut in the bathroom door), trying not to swear too audibly whilst my darling boy obliviously watched his 5th, eight minute, episode of Kipper and 3rd, seven minute episode of Pingu.  All of which were enjoyed while eating a breakfast of eggs in a “pocket” (aka pita) and wearing his new crocodile t-shirt (thank you consignment shop!).  What a way to start the day…

(In case you are wondering–the mini-episode marathon was due to a family bout of insomnia during which the only person to sleep was the boy child.  Thank you claymation penguin and softly drawn British dog…you made our morning MUCH pleasanter.)

Some days are just like that.  And, since I smashed my finger this morning I rewarded myself for my pain and suffering by skipping my new running group and eating a donut instead–sensible no, survival, yes–and having a 16 ounce iced coffee on the way to playground #1 of the day (we mark our days in this blissful spring weather by the number of playgrounds we manage to hit).

Some days are just like that.  And, my finger is throbbing and it hurts to type–and I’m just a tad bitter about daylight savings time (hey, I grew up in Hawaii, where there is no daylight savings time and we get to enjoy a weather forecast that is largely 70 degrees and mostly sunny a good portion of the year).  And, with DST the boy child is having a hard time falling asleep at good ol’ 7pm AND waking up too early (where or where is the DST sleeping in I had heard rumors of?).  Additionally, due to the aforementioned evils of DST,  it has taken him an hour and a half of conversation with his loveys to get to the serious business of his nap.

Some days are just like that.  But, despite it all, I do hope the boy wakes up soon because while he was not napping in his crib (otherwise know as singing and practicing talking time) I turned the white noise machine up on high in our room and took a half hour nap.  And now, the sun is shining, the birds are singing (seriously, do the crows HAVE to perch outside the boy’s bedroom window) and a new (to us) playground is calling.

So, what is your day like?

What’s calling to you today?

(And, for extra credit, how on earth do you mainland folk (those not living in Arizona) deal with the artificial imposition of jet lag caused by daylight savings time (seriously all the jet lag, none of the vacation!)?

What Am I Doing Here?

March brings out the  existentialist  in me…questions of belonging and purpose start to occupy me as I go about my movement of the day.  My general rhythm of wake,  nurse, play, go, feed, nurse, nap, chores, write, read, play, feed, bathe, nurse–a rhythm that is my son’s so also mine–begins to feel inadequate and the gray gloom of continuing winter weighs heavy on me.

In response to this, to this sense of heaviness, I’m starting to look around for those first buds of spring.  The crocus and snowbells which are the first to pop through the thawed earth and the haze of the willow as the willow branches begin to yellow with new life.  Yesterday I allowed the time for my curly headed wonder to poke about in puddles with a stick as he explored the textures and margins between winter and spring–first poking the snow, then the puddle, then the snow, then the puddle.  He dipped leaves into each pooling sidewalk skin of snow melt and experimentally dipped fingers in and looked in wonder.  Yes, even this mild winter has been a long one.

As I witness his learning, his growing and changing, I wonder how too I have grown and changed over these past two years.  I wonder where the next steps will take me–and how I might best live into my callings as priest and parent.  The supply gigs (Sunday subbing) are starting to trickle in for the spring and I eagerly wait for phone calls and e-mails asking for my help.  It’s a delicate balance this parenting and priesting and, while my little is little, I know that his needs and the needs of my family are best served (for us) by having my time spent with him.  But, I still long for the parish and for other ways to serve and I am exploring how I might best do both.

Yes, it is March, and I recognize this feeling…this malaise in search of spring.  It’s a metaphorical and literal haze as I search for purpose (a purpose I already have in all reality).  But, as an English Major I cannot resist linking to this awesome song from Avenue Q (cusses abound in this one…so if your kiddo is apt to start singing “f*ing purpose”–and if you don’t find that funny–you may want to watch this one on your own).

Purpose

A Rainy Wednesday is for Linking

Feed Lotus Bud breakfast.  Check.

Pack lunch.  Check.

Get to Zoo.  Check.

Get Lotus Bud down for nap.  Check.

Get Moogy lunch.  Fail.

Write an actual post.  Fail.

The days are full of ups and downs.  When are they not?  I’m satisfied when my days begin with a number of wins and try not to fret when, as the afternoon comes around, the day starts to fill with fails.  So I grab something snacky-snacky and wander around the Internet.

Here’s what I found this past week.

Take a look at these beautiful photos from a Sikh wedding ceremony!

If these animals don’t make you smile on a rainy afternoon, then I don’t know what else could.

Scary Mommy almost always cheers me up.  Check out her Scary Momfications.

I really want to tap maple trees this year.  Here’s a good how-to.  I met a Mama last year that told me she brews tea and makes rice with what comes out of her maple taps.  Doesn’t that sound interesting?

I was so this person before Lotus Bud came around.  The only things I’ve managed to be strict about are bedtimes and sweets.  Consistent bedtimes are for my sanity.  And, avoiding all sweets are for her health.  Her Dad has Type 1 diabetes so we’re trying to be real careful now while we can still control her sweet intake.

Yeah for me!  I got those flowers done!

I started thinking maybe there’s something hormonal about my extra attention to downs and fails this week.  I weaned the Lotus Bud last month and I think I’m not quite over that yet.  Thank goodness for the Internet because I found some articles here and here that confirmed the reason behind my blues.  I’ve dealt with depression before.  We did keep a close watch for postpartum depression which never really fully erupted.  Now out of nowhere I get slammed with a depression caused by a hormonal withdrawal from weaning.  Thank goodness we are getting an early Spring here in Minnesota!  Warm weather always helps my mood.

I’m going on a much lighter note.  Here’s a new favorite in our house : “I Love You Too“.  If you haven’t heard Ziggy Marley’s album Family Time, I’d say you were missing out!

Well look at that!  I do think I finally managed the semblance of a post!

Skating on thick ice

Have you ever skated on a lake? I didn’t think I had, but apparently I had (according to my mum) when I was very little in Germany. She said that it’s where I learned to skate. But it’s been around 30 years since then, and Cedar Lake looked so very tempting with it’s beautiful groomed path around the rim, so I recently decided to give it another go.

And whilst I was outwardly breezily laissez-fare about the whole thing, it wasn’t until I got to the lake that I realized that maybe the whole idea of stepping out onto a frozen lake which could be, possibly, potentially, a definite chance of it being unfrozen in certain points, was perhaps a teensy incy wincy bit (well, maybe a lot) scary.

Random thoughts began to flash through my mind. Hearing a crack, or maybe not hearing anything, and sliding straight into the inky freezing waters before any of those ice fisherman 300 yards away even saw me attempt to frantically wave my hands. Does a responsible mother endanger her life and risk never seeing her daughter again? How cold is it really? There’s no way I could tread water with skates on. Why had I sent my husband and daughter off to Wholefoods for a WHOLE HOUR while I skated ALONE on this lake?

This is what the ice looked like.

There were all these fantastic fissures, cracks and scratches on the surface. And then you could see different ones below that, on other frozen planes. It was quite beautiful, despite looking uncertainly solid. Then there were the drilled holes where the ice fishermen had bored through the ice – which meant, yes, I had to watch out where I was going!! No looking around at the scenery or up at a flock of birds unless I had absolutely stopped. To make things more interesting you could hear all the water glugging beneath the frozen-ness. Unnerving? Uh-huh. Plus it was nowhere near an uber-groomed indoor ice rink either. It was bumpy and lumpy and you could see where the water had frozen with the tide. This is a good idea, I kept on telling myself, really it is!

This is how I looked:

(You can’t see the glint of semi-terror in my eyes!)

This is what I saw when I looked down:

And when I looked around, this is what I was actually skating on:

So, what happened? I loved it. I didn’t fall over, once! (But did almost fall over a couple of times.) I got over my irrational fear of being swallowed up by the lake and went all the way around it; skimming the thick ice enjoying the slick noises my skates made, breathing in the fresh air and getting up close to peer at the fancy houses on the far side of the lake that you never get to look at otherwise!

It was a gentle reminder for me to get out there more. Not just outside, but to put myself in situations out of my comfort zone and do things outside of things just with my daughter. Being a mum is a huge part of who I am, but I have to keep finding things that keep me happy outside of motherhood too.

It makes me a happier mama. More inspired, more fulfilled. And most importantly moving forward, on THICK ice!