First Steps

Olivine has definitely been standing, walking while holding, and even taking a few steps.
DSC08270Tonight was the first time she tried over
DSC08274 and over.
DSC08274 She would land in her brother’s arms
DSC08265as they cheered her on.
DSC08279She would walk all the way around the roomDSC08284but then stop to take a thumb sucking break.
DSC08256Sometimes in the standing up from a fall she would act super silly.
DSC08272 All eyes are on her and she loves the attention.DSC08271


Everyone was awake before I left for work:
DSC08155 I carpooled in the morning so Joe could have the car. It is one of my favorite days of the entire year. My students have been studying about India (counting in Hindi, greeting each day with “Namaste”, labeling maps, reading about Gandhi & Mother Teresa, etc.)
IMG_2127 I have a table set up with artifacts that enhance our learning.IMG_2125 All of this culminates in a school-wide, multicultural day celebration. The last couple years I have been teaching my students some of the dance steps to “Jai Ho” (the song from Slumdog Millionaire) and this year they were so synchronized:
DSC08172Parents come out and this year many students had outfits to wear. One student had a grandmother who made her a dress from looking at a picture in one of our books.
DSC08173I even had a parent who found some clothes in her garage from when she was younger and so I dressed up. I am posing with my student who earlier in the week won the oratory contest at school for her recitation of part of a Maya Angelou poem.IMG_2109 This is the first part of the day, and then the students are treated to an Indian meal which Joe usually picks up for me and brings to school with children in tow. We enjoy rice, curry, naan bread, chutney, samosas, and mango juice.IMG_2117 It is exhausting but so worth the effort. On the way home, little ones fell asleep and had a late nap. Dinner was celebrated with classmates who are  all officially done with the purple side at Isabel. He is moving to the school age side in the fall. There was an amazing slide show and plenty of play time after eating.
IMG_2136There is my guy who is insisting he doesn’t need any help and has a look that disdains my even asking. I can’t believe he is already five. Where has the time gone??


We give lots of warnings so that little ones don’t feel like play is being interrupted. Tonight it was a fantastical game of climbing with a harness made from shoelaces while wearing a glove, belt, and various other climbing tools.
DSC08177We try to sit down at our table most nights.
DSC08183 Although we are falling into a routine where Olivine starts her meal early so she can have plenty of time to practice using her fork or spoon without distractions.DSC08180I caught those wiggly toes again, this time long enough to add a dab of polish.
DSC08185I am grateful for a table full of happy faces to share my meals with. It’s never perfect. There are meltdowns and disagreements about what is being served, but then I remind myself of the routine we are in the midst of creating. This is the one meal where we gather together. Our chance to practice slowing down, listening, and taking turns.

{this moment}

A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.



Today marks my first day (after many) without tears and I feel loved. One of my students gave me this miniature rose plant last week and as the buds open slowly in my windowsill they are a reminder that life continues.
DSC08064 Timing is Everything. So when Henry handed me a package from my dear friend Angela today my heart swelled. Angela is my soon to be momma friend who I had hoped to see in Portland a couple weeks back.
DSC08083 I haven’t seen her in a long while and I had randomly booked a flight to attend her baby shower. I never made it to Portland and my suitcase remains packed. Frozen in time. Not wanting to fully acknowledge that my Ji’chan is gone and that I never made it to Portland. She put all these treasures together, small and significant, from her doorstep to my own.
DSC08086My package for her is overdue, her thoughtfulness is never ending, and my guilt is overpowered by being reminded of how loved I am. It is easy when you loose someone so close to your heart, to fear that feelings of being loved will never be the same. However, friends and family keep reminding me and reaching out to offer their love.


Olivine has a these wiggly little feet all through dinner. She goes from resting them together
DSC08102and then pressing them against the tray as she leans back to stretch.
DSC08106If she leans to one side she can
DSC08110 almost reach the little foot rest
DSC08112and this momma notices these details (the third time around) because it is one more tug on my heart that this little baby is quickly becoming a kid right before my eyes.

More Light

means farmer’s market for dinner
DSC08072 means short sleeves
DSC08075and sweaty foreheads
DSC08080 means agua fresca
DSC08077 means face painting while wearing flip flopsDSC08082

Happy Momma

They woke me up with breakfast in bed

DSC07976and homemade gifts.

DSC07978They were in their bathing suits and a gift bucket filled with treats was hinting that we would be spending some time seaside.

IMG_3339At the table Olivine played peek a boo

DSC07996with added enthusiasm just for momma.

DSC08001My boys are fearless in the water

DSC08053and someone was trying to copy them

DSC08046in the water and on shore.

DSC08034It felt like summer in the “endless time for relaxing” sort of way (which was exactly what Joe was aiming at).IMG_3253Although there was a small burst of fog, most of the day was gorgeous.

IMG_3274A really amazing, low-key, all about the family sort of day.

IMG_3291And we are hoping that a little salt water and sunshine is helping speed recovery from pink eye.


a van from friendsDSC07956so we could take our car in for serviceDSC07968and run our errandsDSC07970done


We stamped up envelopes
DSC07855 and filled them with homemade goodiesDSC07895to show some love to the folks who watch and teach our children.
DSC07879I helped Henry with addressing his: he has two teachers named Eric. He loves them both.
DSC07878Plus I love some of my coworkers, so spending time saying “thank you” has been a good focus for this week (I have still cried every single day, truthfully). Students brought in cards, flowers, candy, and teacher appreciation was in full force, headed in all directions this week.
DSC07951Then there were conferences. I love that the focus is quotes by our kids and photographs to show their social, cognitive, and physical growth.DSC07950There is the upcoming meeting for Paul starting kindergarten, so Joe took him to get a physical and a TB test as part of his registration packet.IMG_3248And last night, we were exhausted yet Joe went to urgent care with Mr. Henry as his eyes are messy, the opthamologist didn’t want to wait.DSC07955Once again we are thankful for insurance and doctor recommendations because he has pink eye, along with baby. Medicated eye drops and warm wash cloths are the remedy at hand.