Framed

September 11, 2012 at 10:29 pm | Posted in Family, Me | 10 Comments
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I haven’t been here lately. I’m not sure where I’ve been.

Why …

There’s no doubt my body has been busy: Cleaning up smooshed graham crackers. Refilling milk and juice (or “goose” as Bun calls it). Walking geriatric dogs. Washing laundry. Drying laundry. Folding laundry. Cursing laundry. Signing my kindergartner’s (!) take-home folder. Hosing off rambunctious brothers after a morning in the sandbox. Steering giant shopping carts up and down aisles. Blocking tiny hands from lobbing sacks of flour and bags of oranges onto the grocery-store floor. Sweating. Doctoring mosquito bites and scraped toes.

But my mind, well, I’m not sure where it’s been. I still feel lost, somewhere between here and there, as if my thoughts are still on the plane waiting to clear customs. For the first time since I started this blog, I can’t think of anything to write. Nothing seems worthy enough. Interesting enough. Happy enough.

I …

And the very reason I write here is to help myself re-frame the boredom and frustration — which is as much a part of motherhood as the snuggles and sandwich crusts — into something meaningful and rejuvenating.

I just can’t seem to do it lately.

But today — today of all days — I want to be here. I want to continue chronicling my life and my family’s. I want to talk about the noses I wipe and the diapers I change and the lunches I pack and the socks I meticulously match, fold, and put away. Because while the little details may not mean much, the bigger picture is important. It’s worthy. Interesting. Happy. It’s my life.

Write.

And in the end, at the end, it’s all that matters.

How are you reflecting on today’s anniversary? How do you motivate yourself to keep going on an important project? And how many noses are you in charge of wiping?

The Lady of Letters

April 27, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Posted in Guest Posts, Haiku Friday | 11 Comments
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Today? It’s a Small
World chez Fluffy Bunnies. E.’s
Our grand finale.

And she’s the real deal.
She’s got three letters after
Her name: M. F. A.

She’s got three kids, too:
O., N., and L. (That E., she
Does love her letters.)

This week? O.’s seven.
Teeth and his love for trains … gone.
Get out your hankies.

+++

Haiku for Seven by E.
for O.

Tomorrow, seven!
A big kid; it’s official.
How did this happen?

First boy of my heart,
whose newborn wails echo when
springtime windows open,

I miss morning nests
on the couch, reading Harry
and nursing, nursing.

I miss your backhoes,
trains, trucks, tractors, balls, and cranes.
Teach your brother soon.

Now when no kids wake
at night, it’s worry keeps me
up in the wee hours.

Thinking of you out
in the world, braving your way
on paths I won’t know.

This, the year you left
dinos for Pokemon, glad
animals still rule.

Fan of your break dance,
sibling kindness, fearless joy
on two wheels of bike.

I love your magic,
pranks and all; Tae kwon do moves;
your Tiger Cub hat.

Not so your fart jokes,
back talking, button pushing,
all that growing up.

Nighttime snuggles still
are needed for hours, it seems.
When patience is thin.

Not room for two there,
You flop and never settle.
“One more minute please?”

“How does coffee taste?
What makes a hearing aid work?
Why is some skin brown?”

Then you ask the one
all kids find their way to, and
answer for yourself.

“L. is the baby,
and N. is your girl, but
I made you a mom.”

+++

Don’t forget …
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From Transylvania!

Knits and Pearls

April 26, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Posted in Family, Giggles, Lollipop, Me | 21 Comments
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This sweater is old.
It’s an odd mottle of colors, like the dollops of paint my son swirls around and around.
It’s Kraft-cheese stripes are an accidental hybrid of funk and tang.
It’s exactly as frayed as it ought to be.

This sweater has been places.
I bought it, cheap, on the beach in France. Hundreds of flip-flopped tourists.
I was the cold one.
When I slip my arms through, I hear the wailing wind as it leaps from the Cliffs of Moher.
The whispers in the Sistine Chapel.
The sizzle of frying calamari at that tapas bar in Madrid.

This sweater reminds me.
My mom. Rocking, rocking. The worn springs strumming a lullaby — woom, woom, woom.
My forehead burrowed in the brown-sugar knits and purls of the sweater she wore, always.
The one that smells like her. Like buttercups and post-its and cherry tomatoes and safety.
It’s exactly as frayed as it ought to be.

This sweater will remind them.
I hold them. I listen to their tales: timeouts, worksheets, noodle soup, ladybugs.
I drink them in. Their longness and leanness. The freckle on her shoulder. His eyelashes.
My God, his eyelashes.
Their synapses churn out data, imprinting this, all of this, onto the endless RAM of childhood.
They will remember.
I hope they will remember.

This sweater is old.
This sweater has been places.
This sweater is time, memory, instinct, life.
It’s exactly as frayed as it ought to be.

+++

Today’s Five for Five topic is age. Join in at Momalom.

The Borrower

April 25, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Posted in Bun, Family, Giggles, Lollipop, Photo Tuesday, Transylvania | 26 Comments
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“You don’t take a photograph. You ask, quietly, to borrow it.” — Anonymous

Are you a borrower, like me? How do you capture the quiet moments, the ones that might otherwise go unnoticed? And don’t you want a pair of those pink boots?

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Today’s Five for Five topic is pictures. Join in at Momalom.

Birds, Bees, and Bunnies

April 20, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Posted in Guest Posts, Haiku Friday | 4 Comments
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Today, Rachel’s here.
She ferments. And eats road kill.
And grows stuff. Green stuff!

She shares 800
Feet with her man Dan and her
Two kiddos. She’s brave.

Her poem? “Bee”ware.
It’s rated PG-13.
You’ll snort your coffee.

+++

Spring
By Rachel at 6512 and Growing

New life pops and darts
Blossoms beckon honeybees
Green grass stitches up

In our warm bright room
I lay Dan down with a kiss
Outside, insects mate

While inside, we try
not to make anything as
precious as new life

+++

Don’t forget …
Comment in haiku
And you could win something cool …

From Transylvania!

Bragging Writes

April 15, 2012 at 11:16 pm | Posted in Guest Posts, Haiku Friday | 9 Comments
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It’s past Friday. But …
I stayed in an igloo this
Weekend. Slooooow wifi.

This week’s poet is
So cool she’ll give you brain freeze.
Better than ice cream.

It’s MEP, not to brag.
Mom of three who needs caffeine
And e-books in bulk.

She’s the CEO
of RWoP.
And? She laminates.

Grab your M&Ms
And raise ’em high: a chocolate
Salute for my friend.   

+++

Cardinals bop and weave
two have made our yard home base
my sign — all is well

Squealing, joyful kids
wreak havoc as they sow fun
delight in chaos

Ice cold Diet Coke
peanut butter eggs in house
all else fails? look here

Library email
the book I want? they have it!
find the time? c’est mine

Spray, spritz, wipe, repeat
for ten minutes all is clean
exhale in this calm

Two heads, two pillows
shared chat as day calls it quits
night night, my best friend

High school English Ms.
knows this poem is not “A” work
but, man, she’s seen worse

+++

Don’t forget …
Comment in haiku
And you could win something cool …

From Transylvania!

Bringing Haiku Back

April 6, 2012 at 11:36 pm | Posted in Guest Posts, Haiku Friday | 12 Comments
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Guess what April is …
National Poetry Month!
And to celebrate?

Haiku Friday is
Back. With guest poets! Prizes!

And erudite fun!

First up is Justine,
who knows that a dead wasp can
Cure sore throats. (Really.)

She’s got two girls and
Works and writes from her home in
The Windy City.

And? Her words are as
S
crumptious as her rainbow chard.
Sit down and dig in!

++

The Epic Battle
By Justine

She kept saying, “Pink!”
I countered with “How ’bout green?”
or “What about blue?”

This? Our daily dance
between her “I want this now!”
and my “I know best.”

She is defiant;
she’s got personality.
Maybe ’cuz she’s three.

I see her folly,
and so I try to guide her,
hoping she would learn.

But there’s a fine line
’tween giving autonomy
and steering her right.

And sometimes I fail
(a lot) in finding balance;
that’s why we struggle.

Or maybe this is
how it will forever be;
my guidance, her bane.

Her will and my hope
haphazardly colliding —
friction that won’t wane.

All ’cuz she wants just
to be herself, and it’s sad
that I would want more.

How do you balance teaching your kids and letting them learn for themselves? How do you encourage independence? And do you recognize where your hope ends and their will begins?

++

Comment in haiku
And you could win something cool …
From Transylvania!

The Punchline

January 23, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Posted in Guest Posts, Me, Transylvania | 10 Comments
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Want to know what seven pillows, gunshots, and a remote control have in common?

I’ll give you a hint: They almost led to my undoing.

Head over to Rebecca’s to read the punchline (and more about the actual punching that accompanied it).

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Fluffy Bunnies in Romania:
Read the tales
.
See the photos.

Deuces

January 9, 2012 at 11:25 am | Posted in Family, Me, Transylvania | 19 Comments
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Two. It’s one number. With three letters. And the most important word of 2011 for me.

Here’s why.

Two Lives
I’m living two lives. One is here, in Romania, filled with things like walking to the brutărie, drying towels on the radiator, and spending Saturday mornings at the pirate-ship playground. In this life, we indulge in îngheţată and Orange Fanta. And pleasantries like mulţumesc, cu plăcere, and bună dimineaţa roll off our tongues, at last, with ease.

The other is there, in the States, filled with things like dear friends struggling to have a baby, property taxes due, and fresh tortillas any day of the week. We schedule midnight calls with our vet’s office and do Internet searches for “canine hypercalcemia” and “parathyroid tumor” while people shop at Target and routinely obey stop signs.

Two Legs
Here, in this life, I spent a quarter of the year on one leg. While my fractured tibia healed, I sat on the couch and watched dump trucks, taxis, horses, and the city soccer captain’s Porsche drive by. A nanny cared for the baby I couldn’t hold, feed, change, or tuck in.

In November, I tentatively put weight on my newly repaired leg. I steeled myself for that awful feeling of my body collapsing like a useless lawn chair, just as it had on a dusty Tuscan road back in August. It didn’t. It held.

Just like me.

Two People
And just like my marriage. Night after night, I unleashed a day’s worth of frustrated, angry tears on my husband after the children had finally gone to bed. Twice a week, he hauled in six bags of groceries after putting in 10 hours at the office and 2 as chef, bubble-bath-giver, story-reader, and blanket-tucker. Then he helped me into the bath and into my pajamas and into bed, just as if I were a fourth child. Too many nights, I played the part by being petulant and pouty.

But we’re through it. We’ve regained our equilibrium. We held.

Two Hours
Without the ability to wash laundry, prepare grilled cheeses, and mop parquet floors, I suddenly found myself with time. Two hours with Lollipop to shake sprinkles onto sugar cookies with abandon. Two hours with Giggles to glue-stick sparkly confetti onto paper plates. Two hours with Bun to put together and take apart and put together and take apart Legos.

Not long ago, I would have considered this time wasted. Wasted. When there were dishwashers to empty, couches to clean under, and photos to sort. There still are, of course. There always will be. But none of that seems quite as important, now that my children invite me to tea parties and kitchen-table art classes and pretend grocery stores, now that I say yes.

Two Years
This week, I celebrate two years of blogging. It’s a pale yellow post-it tacked haphazardly on the pages and pages I’ve lived over the last 12 months. Four months preparing to move overseas. Seven months in Romania. Three months with a broken leg. Five months of physical therapy. (With more to come.)

Oh, and 341 blog posts to date.

I’ve held.

I’ve written my way through many of motherhood’s challenges. I’ve embraced the chaos, noise, and discarded sandwich crusts that come with three children. I’ve sifted through all the rocks, crumpled-paper bits, and walnut shells in tiny pairs of blue jeans and found the silver lining.

I’ve said yes. Yes. To all of it.

What number defined your 2011? Do you mark anniversaries, or do they sneak up on you? And how long have you been blogging?

+++

Fluffy Bunnies in Romania:
Read the tales
.
See the photos.

Haiku Friday

September 23, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Posted in Haiku Friday, Me, Transylvania | 9 Comments
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Haiku Friday: An Open Letter to Halle Berry

Dear Halle, It’s me,
Stacia, from Romania.
I just heard the news.

You broke your foot in
Spain. And I’m here to tell you:
I know, girl, I know.

It hurts. You don’t know
what anyone is saying.
And you want your mom.

Here’s some advice, from
Someone who’s been right where you
Are not long ago.

Take the drugs. Don’t be
Tough and try to ride out the
Pain. Just take the drugs.

Hire someone to give
You daily pedicures. (Casts
Make your feet gnarly.)

When you can’t sleep, read.
Or sing songs or do puzzles.
Don’t lie there and think.

Make ’em serve tapas
Or something. Just enjoy Spain
Any way you can!

I won’t lie, healing
Is slow. Slow. You’ll hate your foot
Before it’s over.

You’ll hate the doctor,
Therapist, pharmacist, and
Olivier, too.

They get it. It hurts,
And you’re frustrated. Cry. Curse.
Throw things. Get it out.

Think of your little
Girl. When you can’t be strong for
You, be strong for her.

What’s your advice for Halle? What’s your favorite thing about Spain? And how do your kids help you find strength?

+++

Fluffy Bunnies in Romania:
Read the tales
.
See the photos.

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