Friday, September 4, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Hello there. We've had a marvelous summer, and hope that you have been finding lots of juicy bits yourself. As september looms around the corner, and outdoor living turns towards crisp evenings at home, I hope to be blogging a bit more regularly. In the meantime, we've found it easiest to upload photos to our flickr page, rather than try and catch up on moments that have lost their freshness.
Thanks so much for visiting us at this space, and for checking in on our lives. Best wishes to you and yours!
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Ah, a scientist for a papa, there are so many joys from it. Shall we consider them? First, there is the sheer nerdiness, the brainy dork-fest around some new thought, and the tingle the papa gets from just thinking about some thing or other. Yes, that excitement is perhaps my favorite aspect of the scientist papa. Second, there is simply an extraordinary volume of facts and details and knowledge about any given topic that the scientist papa has stored away. It's like a walking wiki, for all Oona and I might wonder about during our day. That is very convenient, surely. Third, it's always a good idea to have someone who really enjoys Order living in your house. They are sure to tidy up on a regular basis. And thoroughly! Fourth, (and probably the scientist papa would have a theory for this reason), there is something very satisfying about mixing up one's genes with those of a person who is inclined to deeply explore the world in a systematic fashion. That systematic thinking turns out to be quite useful in a wide range of situations - fixing the computer for instance, or brewing beer, not to mention dealing with that pesky climate change issue. Lastly, the scientist papa is a perfect role model for a young, curious, passionate child investigating all of life's big and little mysteries, if only because he's happy for the company.
We sure do love you, Papa.
Friday, June 5, 2009
Last year at this time Oona was a newborn, and slept on my back while I worked at the computer. This year, she is a scampering, daredevil rascal, with great passion and enthusiasm in her new-found mobility. And yet, our connection is still so very strong, and she likes and needs to check in with mama with great regularity. So it was a rather significant shock for both of us to learn that there were times when I couldn't be available. We were both unprepared for entering the world of negotiation for time and space, and there were many tears shed by both of us - from frustration, fear, and sheer desperation. But after several intense weeks, Oona decided she was tired of feeling miserable, and has struck out on her own in many ways.
I've gotten a first taste of the long process of watching my little girl go out into the world on her own. I find that it is pretty much what so many others have written before: a sweet sentimental joy that tugs hard at my heart and floods me with gratitude - for having the opportunity to observe the tiny details of a life growing and stretching and reaching for experiences, creating tendrils of patterns so exquisite, so particular to this one being, that I am out of breath and tingling all over. Yes, such gratitude.
My feeling about childhood and parenthood is that if it works out well, your child will leave you forever for her own life. There will of course, hopefully, be dinners and holidays and conversations and closeness, but mostly, I hope that Oona finds her own fullness of days. When she leaves our home, I hope it is to a home made of her own dreams. And when that time comes, slowly and circuitously, I will bask in the delight of Timon and I's life together, likely sitting outside with good wine and fresh strawberries, and our continually interesting conversations.
Friday, February 6, 2009
Last week Shannon and Charmaine took me out for a birthing day celebration, and the fire at Blue Hill certainly did the trick. Fire, and the ephemeral Snow Quince cocktail - frothy elderflower infused alcohol. Thank you ladies, that evening was a long time coming, a whole year in waiting.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Follow the sun
Monday, January 26, 2009
Oona arrived right on time, her due date, January 31. My water broke at 4am, and contractions began immediately. I insisted Timon get some more sleep while I was determined to have a "normal" morning ritual: shower, tea, and breakfast. I wanted to be ready for labor day! As I hopped in the shower I was suddenly compelled to shave my legs for the first time in eight months. So, in between contractions, I was frantically shaving my legs, and feeling very amused at whatever hormones prompted such an impulse.
I never made it downstairs for breakfast. The contractions were intense, right away, and about 5 minutes apart immediately. Timon got out of bed at 6, not having slept a wink, and I asked him to get me some tea - at least tea! but I couldn't keep it down, nor anything else for that matter. We called our amazing doula, Kali, who ran my yoga teacher training program and is so dear to me, and she took the train up to meet us at home. Timon called our expert midwife, Anne, who said to let her know when the contractions became more intense. Kali arrived around 9am, and had me walk up and down the stairs to get things moving. Timon was filling the birth tub, set up in the dining room, and Kali didn't want me to get in yet as sometimes it can slow down the birth. But I was begging to be in water, so she let me stand in the shower. Anne called back and wanted to hear the contractions, and I talked her through one from the shower. I didn't know how intense things were - I'd never done this before! and so I kept telling her it was fine and she didn't need to come yet. After the shower I walked back downstairs and realized I didn't want to talk to Timon or Kali anymore, I just wanted to go inside myself and be with what was happening. Kali still didn't want me in the tub, so she set me up on the couch in deep relaxation pose, with my palms up and my feet turned out. I have done this pose countless times in yoga classes and anytime I need to calm and relax myself, and so it instantly clicked and I went into a deep meditation. (It is the frequency of doing deep relaxation rather than the pose itself that made it so useful.)
I closed my eyes and released everything - all intentions, all muscle control, all desire. I just observed with utter fascination all the things happening within and around me. I told the universe to do whatever it needed to do to birth this baby. I immediately felt physically connected to the extreme forcefulness of life. With my eyes closed I was suddenly surrounded by a whirring black space, with thousands of tiny specks of stars in every direction. Things were moving very very fast, and it was a bit like being on a gravity ride at an amusement park - strong pulls on my body, and if I looked out too far or lost concentration then I would begin to feel dizzy. I was continually telling myself to let go. With every release the faster and harder the "ride" spun. It was exhilarating. And so very very fast and large. Things were moving in a pattern though, it wasn't chaos or strange or confusing. From all this outer space and stars and from every direction, came giant swells of movement, entering me from my extremities - head, fingers and toes, and moved along my body to my center, my solar plexus, my uterus, to surround Oona. Over and over, like waves in four demensional space. By the fourth dimension, I mean something interior, in addition to height, width and depth. An additional something "inside" normal perception.
I was very quiet through all of this, and I have foggy memories of cracking open my eyelids and seeing Kali and Timon discussing where I was in the labor, as they couldn't tell since I wasn't communicating or expressive. Anne called again, asking if she should come yet, and they didn't know what to tell her. A phone was pressed against my ear and Anne said I needed to be the one to tell her if she should come. I said "yes" without thinking and sunk back into the middle of labor. Soon I asked Kali if I could get in the tub and she said she guessed it was fine. They helped me get in, and I suddenly woke up to my surroundings. I looked directly at Timon and said, "Oh no. I want to push. NOW". Timon said he and Kali looked at each other and had a silent exchange where they both knew that if necessary they could birth Oona without Anne. Of course, they immediately called her back and Anne said it would take her at least an hour to get to us, and to get me out of the tub. Back to the living room couch, where Kali helped me to breathe through the contractions, which were now very powerful urges to push. Kali wouldn't let me look anywhere but in her eyes and she stayed right there with me. It was difficult after relinquishing control to suddenly have some intention over my body. The moment Anne walked through the door I was up and they helped me to the tub. I held on to Timon, my very strong, very loving support, in all senses of those words, and he held me while I pushed, and Oona came out 30 minutes later, birthed into the water and into our arms. It all felt so normal, the whole thing, until the haze lifted a couple weeks later, when we realized the space we were in was in fact so special.
And then of course, we began the long, sometimes painful, sometimes fun, always profound process of learning what being a parent means. We shed our old selves, slowly and without much awareness, to make room for a tiny little person with very simple communication skills, and to make room for our new selves as papa and mama, whoever they might be. Now a year later I look at Timon and feel a flood of gratitude so strong that I want to fall on my knees, because I cannot believe I get to do this with him. Despite my best attempts at awareness, I did not know until many months later that during the labor what allowed me to feel safe, to feel secure and confident enough to let go, was Timon, and his confidence and love for me. Not to say that this ride is over by any means, for now when I look at our little family, I am amazed to watch all three of us unfold together.
There are two other people in addition to the cast above who made such an amazing birth experience possible: my parents. They showed me how to live joyfully, to let go, to trust life and be unafraid of wild new rides. And Oona's birth is truly one of the greatest adventures of my life.
Friday, January 16, 2009
In honor of deep winter, I've been taking some photos of ice, mostly around our home. And often it's on the inside of our drafty, 99-year old, three-season, lovely home. You can see these photos here.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Anyway, Shannon's blog. It is an inspiration to me, as it will surely be to you. While I share copiously with chatter, I realize that I am quite afraid to share my words on something so permanent. Its not quite the public that's the problem for me, its the permanance. If someone doesn't like my chatter, I hope that it evaporates quickly for them. But so many issues arise when I can look back and blush.
But as I said, Shannon inspires. And so I think that this year, I will try sharing a little bit more on this here blog.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
These happy campers just finished opening their Solstice and Christmas gifts.
Notice also the super cool wool overalls Keely made from an old sweater of mine. Does this kid look like the cutest boy ever or what? We really do try to make her look girly, but even pink doesn't do it. More pictures are on our Flickr site.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
oona and i frequently head to the city to meet timon for lunch. one afternoon we decided to be spontaneous (and use some of our accumulated free hotel nights, untouched for months), and stay at the W hotel at union square. a sort of vacation to our old life.
After Charmaine gave me a cute apron/smock dress to use for a pattern, I've been making a few of these for oona. This is one I made before our apple picking trip, and embroidered oak leaves and acorns in honor of fall.
This is Oona's amazing babysitter, and one of our best friends. Rachel and I have been super good friends since freshman year of high school, and she is THE MOST AMAZING friend to kids. Seriously, look at the smile on Oona's face? She's so happy to get to hang with Rach. Thanks love!