Friday, September 30, 2011

October Eve

Fall is here! Fall is here!

Before we go any further, I have to show you this. Ada picks out her own shoes and socks every morning. Today, this was her chosen combination. The socks are from a dollar bin at Target - last year. They were big on her then, but perfect now. She picks them to wear every day.


OK, getting back to it.
Fall is my favorite season by far. Growing up in Ohio, this time of year rang in with some clear declarations: the leaves changing, the shadows growing longer, the crispness in the air and the smell of wood smoke indicating a bonfire somewhere. I do miss those seasonal changes. Ohio is often overlooked but really, it is quite beautiful.

I guess autumn officially started in September but last month didn't feel very fall-ish. In San Francisco September and October are two of the best weather months all year. It really is beautiful, clear (I can tell when I can see all the way to Mt. Tam to the north and Mt. Diablo to the east) and perfectly warm. This year, things are shaping up just a little bit differently, but still it's all good.

Last week I thought Ada and I could go to the beach in the morning before it was crowded. The weather was perfect at our place. Even though the beach is only 3 miles away, it was still foggy and cool there. We spread our blanket, took our shoes off but left our jackets on. She was happy, she didn't care.



Yesterday the fog cleared only for about an hour and a half before it was cool and windy again. A perfect day to get our fall on around here. Out came the seasonal kitchen towels and russet-colored mums in the flower vase. We had an autumnal scented candle burning away all day and a maple-pecan bread was begging to be baked. Our Halloween decorations are slowly making their way to windows and shelves. I can't wait to carve pumpkins with her again this year. We might go back to the farm for a little party and do it there.

Lower right corner: We live in a traditional Edwardian house. There is a shaft that lets air in to the kitchen, toilet room and shower room (separate, as is tradition). Puppet loves to go out there. In the fall, the evenings are balmy enough to leave the window wide open so he can come and go as he likes.

There have been assorted projects of the toddler kind too.

Ada made the "B" in pre-preschool a couple weeks ago. It was really a great outlet to watch as a ribbon of glue melted into a glue mountain on the paper. Ultimately it ended up being a hill of beans. I love it that there are no rules.
Like a helicopter stored in a plastic pot in the refrigerator. Duh. Where else would it belong? No rules.

Yesterday, Ada and I stayed in our pajamas until about 3:30. She spent most of the morning chasing the cats around the house with a scream and a weapon. We had a tea party on the floor. We dumped out all of her toys and made a huge mess. We only pulled ourselves together when we went to meet Kathi and Sarah at the playground.


My God. She is so beautiful. I can't believe she's my daughter. 



Ada pointed out Sarah's hair, mouth, eyes, nose, ears. Sarah patiently participated in the anatomy lesson. 

I got home and started to go through the pictures and realized that she has her tongue all a-waggin' out of her mouth in most of them. She comes by it honestly. Her great-grandmother was the same way. 

We stopped at Trader Joe's for strawberries and fig bars on our way home. I notice this adjacent building every time I park on the top of the parking deck but haven't even stopped to get a picture. Today I did. I love the simplicity of the bare brick, crumbling in places against the foggy, gray sky. What was this building used for so long ago? Who was Louie?

Beauty is everywhere. It really is.


Thursday, September 29, 2011


Today I'm hanging out over at Lisa's place: The O'G's for my first ever guest blog post. Head on over and check it out. Be sure to check out Lisa's blog while you're there. She is smart, funny and tells it like it is! I like Lisa a whole lot.

For anyone stopping by from Lisa's blog, here are a few recent posts that you might want to check out:

Go Slow: the 40th Year

Killer Butterflies


They Just Can't Believe It

She Won't Always Need Me

Loving By Instinct

My Heart, My Healer

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Buttoning Up: the Quick n' Dirty

Feels like it's been a while since I've simply posted what we've been up to. Ada is now 2 years and 3 months old and I gotta tell ya - the kid is smart as a whip, interested in everything, sweet as pie and insistent that she and I do everything the same way.

Preparing cantaloupe the other morning. I turned around to find that she had run into the living room, dug through her toy box, and found her little knife to bring it in and set it next to mine. She wants for her and I to do exactly the same thing. Powerful if harnessed correctly. Man, I best watch my step...

She still points them out whenever she hears one (although she says, "I see an airplane" when really she means "hear" - she'll get it one of these days). Helicopters fall into a different category and I think that she may love "da-choo" even more than regular airplanes. So we went to the airport to see the planes take off. SFO is a nice airport but the best part is the little park you can visit to watch the planes. There is about 1/8 mile of bay that separates you from the planes so they are loud and big. Apparently, Ada prefers the airplanes way up in the sky...

Cool view, right? Great place for a plane-watching picnic. 

At first, she was intrigued.

Then came the slight concern.

Then came the head buried in my arm/chest and a refusal to even look no matter how enthusiastically I told her a plane was landing or taking off. We left about 2 minutes later and went to World Market instead. 

The Garden:
Well, I'll be damned. We turned into farmers after all. Ada mostly contributed by digging up the tender, young seedlings but a few survived. We grew some nice radishes and beautiful lettuce. And the daughter-unit is learning where food comes from. Goal achieved.


Autumn is Here:
More on the specifics of this later but for now just know that it turns out we only visit World Market but once a year - right around now. There is a reason. Since every single thing Ada sees is the most interesting thing she has ever seen, she is into everything. Dude, there is A LOT of glass in this store. I hadn't realized just how much until she found the super bouncy balls and proceeded to throw them toward the displays of glass crap. I am a good goalie though  - nothing broken.


Rubber Room:
The nanny takes her here when the days are cold and rainy. Today was the first time I ever went in - we will come back for sure. Ada LOVES it in here. And why shouldn't she? A mesh-enclosed room with balloons blowing around? The definition of awesome.


Each picture is more blurry than the last. I decided to include them anyway because just look at her! She is deliriously happy. 

The Playground:
We meet Kathi and Sarah here pretty much every week. Today when we came through the gate Sarah screamed with joy and Ada volleyed a scream back. Clearly, the girls were happy to hang out together.


My daughter took off running like the hounds of hell were after her. It took a few seconds because this little guy is fast, but I finally saw the chihuahua she was chasing down.

After 3 or 4 laps around the playground she finally wore him down enough for her to squat down beside him to wave and say, "hi puppy!" That was it. All that chasing for just that. 


Earlier today, Ada was back in her room quietly reading to herself. I heard her leap up and run to the front room crying, "Steeellllaaaa!" the whole way. It was a very 'Streetcar Named Desire' moment. I giggled and went back to what I was doing. When we got home tonight I found the scene below. This is a brand new book I bought for her this morning. It didn't even occur to me that the baby in the drawing looks just exactly like her doll, Stella. My girl is amazing.


Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I'm Not Your Competitor

It's been over a week since my last post. I know, I know. I broke a blog-rule. Shame on me.

I have been focused elsewhere these past few weeks. That's just one excuse. The real reason I haven't been blogging is because I joined the reading list of a blog that's all about making your blog better. Actually, making your blog more competitive.

Last month I wrote a lot. I tried to dig deep when I wrote about some personal stuff and I didn't hold back. I had the most page views I've ever had. It was really exciting to see my numbers climb and to read all of the comments - hence my interest in making my blog even better. I read all about the size my header should be and how to make my "About Me" section really awesome, and the importance of Twitter. At first, I thought it would be really fun to get more serious about it. Now, seeing these posts in my reading list every day is just bumming me out.

Late last week it came time to put something out there on my blog. As I was sitting down to do some rambling I realized that the only reason was doing it was to see how much better September could be. As if having more followers validates that I'm a nice person to know? I was starting to be motivated by something that felt so icky and was so far from the original reason I started this blog. After that I just couldn't do it. So, no post.


It's not that I didn't have plenty to say. We've been pretty busy and my mind is on fire. It's more that I resented how competitive blogging had somehow started to weasel it's way in to this little space where I create the history of my family. Even though I had invited it in, I felt so violated. Dude, this place is mine. 

Something I really dig about blogging are the personal connections. I get facebook messages and emails all the time from friends and family who are so happy to see pictures of Ada or are so happy to know what's going on since we don't get to talk often enough. It's unnerving to know just how comforting it is to hear, "Dude, I get it, I've been there. You are so not alone." Also, I have found some super, lovely ladies through blogging and I love that. I learn from them and get new insight - it's a valuable community. Once I started trying to take it to a new level this other side of the blogging social scene started to emerge: The bizarre high-school social dynamics side of blogging. It can be pretty insincere and it makes me so sad. 

So, I'm going to just keep doing what I'm doing, which is mostly writing stuff about my daughter. I'll keep throwing out some thoughts too - I want her to know what I thought about nearing 40, how I feel about my extended family and where I was when her grandmother died. I won't be likely to revamp my "About Me" section or add tabs so that my most popular posts can be found more easily or obsess about my header height. I'll keep reading blogs that do, but I'm just not up for playing along, you know? I'm not a competitor. 

Oh, and I did the dreaded "unfollow" for that blog about blogging. Life is hard enough.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Perfect Storm

Ever get that feeling like you're juuuust on the edge of ... something? Even though you can't identify what "it" is you know it's out there. Whatever it is, it fills you with excitement because deep down you know it's something good and you can't wait to finally dig in to the goodness that awaits you.


Not paying attention to the typical ups and downs of life, I've been feeling this edge-of-the-precipice thing for at least a year now. Dreams and plans have been composting in my mind and I'm just waiting for the process to be complete enough to start planting something in the rich, dark soil.

Last week I had to check out for a while. Something about turning a year older, being socially isolated thanks to a horrible virus, a chance to work with a personal coach-in-training, another negative pregnancy test and stumbling on the exact information I've been craving to find and BAMM!! the perfect combination of elements came together for a sea change to occur.

When I talked to this personal life coach-in training last week I was trying to describe my daily life. Gosh. Have you ever done this? As the words were spilling out of my mouth I was realizing just how ridiculous some circumstances really are. That's when she asked about my habits - what do I do to help myself navigate some of these really trying things? As I fumbled through a half-answer/half-excuse it became clear that I wasn't helping. While there are some trappings beyond my momentary control I haven't been very good at maximizing those things that I can control.


It also became apparent to me that I haven't felt good in a really long time - all the energy, interest, and enthusiasm I used to approach all areas of my life with has slowly been replaced by errands, long work hours, and responsibility to the point where feel physically exhausted and mentally spent.

For example, I've known for a while now that getting pregnant at this point was going to involve a pretty dramatic lifestyle shift. I'd been resisting it. The timing wasn't right and I'd have fought myself the whole way. If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times: every time I try to force something before its time I inevitably precipitate a crisis. So here it is: I'm following Dip in operation egg quality. I'm saying no to caffeine, alcohol, and processed foods for a while. Anyone who knows me in real life can attest to how horribly addicted I am to caffeine! I'm 8 days caffeine-free now and it's not so bad, actually. (when I just now read that I thought, "What? Is that it? Feels like forever!") I have, help me get that feeling of settling down for a good cup of coffee.


What with all the taking charge, yoga, meditation and supplements...


there hasn't been much time for anything else like blogging. The good news is that I feel better than I have in a long time on all levels. I'm pretty focused right now and I like that. I just hope I'm not too late. Too late for what? Oh my aging eggs and overall health is all. I really do want to be alive when she has kids of her own. I mean, truly alive.

Wish me luck.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

September Ten on 10

Today really was a lovely day.

6:30 AM
Yes, those are whispy clouds and a blue sky with the sun rising on the right. Could it be that the month of "Faugust" is finally behind us? HOORAY!!

7:30 AM
Morning smoothie with a couple huge handfuls of spinach. Absolutely. I will sneak in something green whenever I can. If you make your own smoothies at home you should try it. I promise you can't taste it at all.

8:30 AM 
Ada and I were in the Goodwill yesterday. When I laid eyes on this little collection I knew it was too good to pass up. I love milk glass. Like, really love it. Take me to an era I am convinced I was a part of in a former life. 
(check out Many Lives, Many Masters by Brian L. Weiss. I couldn't put it down.)

9:30 AM
We met Sarah and Kathi at the park this morning. Sarah was having so much fun pretending to drive the car that she didn't want to get out. So we all got in and played in the car next to the park for about 45 minutes. 

11:00 AM
Back at home pre-nap with Daddy.

12:30 PM 
I got this at Renegade this year. I love it. 

1:30 PM
Up from her nap, post-lunch ice cream cone. 

3:00 PM
We had plans today but Tim is so sick that all we could muster was a trip to Target. Fall is here!! Sweet! My favorite season. 

4:00 PM
In the car, headed home. This bracelet is one of my favorites - another flashback to an era long since passed. 

5:30 PM
It's maybe a little soon for Ada to have a box of 64 crayons but I like them! 

Linking up with the lovely Rebekah. I do love this challenge, Rebekah. What a great task - to spend the day looking for the beautiful moments. I should do this every day. 
ten on ten button