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Showing posts from July, 2012

IVY + SEQUOIA

Hudson is stark raving crazy for camping. I was raised camping, or what I considered a big boring trek from Chicago to Colorado every summer. Truth be told, I don't know how many times we spent part of our summer driving to Colorado in our gigantic (seriously bigger than the Grizwald's!) station-wagon* camping -- but in my memory, it was every year. And while I'm blurting out truths, when I was young I made a pledge to myself that when I grew up, I wouldn't camp when I was an adult because I wouldn't have to. Instead I planned to travel to luxurious places that offered every comfort, convenience and even pampering if desired.

So how do I reconcile Hudson and my views of sleeping out of doors? Well, he loves camping and I love him...so I'm onboard. After spending time with our daughters, I had my doubts that they'd achieve Hudson's level of excitement about outdoor living, but I kept an open mind.

Yesterday we returned from a week-long camping trip in th…

FINDING THE QUIET

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To quote a famous Chicagoan, "Life moves pretty quickly" and this Chicagoan agrees with that observation. The constant flow of responsibilities and expectations is enough to run a person into a wall, and that's without adding the compounded stress of self-imposed busy-brain chatter that most of us can only occasionally become aware of -- let alone silence -- even when we're asleep.

That is where meditation comes in, but many of us who hunger for serenity and calm in our daily lives aren't in the practice of strengthening our mind so actually meditating is nigh on impossible.

So how does a person, a supposedly enlightened sentient being remove themselves from the swirl of hectic stimuli and learn how to have some small control over our thoughts and emotions? How do we evolve?

I don't believe my education was complete because I only know enough to know that I don't have any control over my brain and the thoughts/chemicals that rush through it at the loud bl…

SECOND CHILDHOOD

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Since adopting our daughters I'm not 'regressing' in the strict sense of the term, but I'm re-experiencing my youth in a big way... and in small ways too. For example, all it takes is for me to announce to my family that we're going to the pool for the afternoon and POOF! suddenly it's a hot Chicago day in 1971 and Stokley is trying to get me, Barb, Lloyd and baby Matt out the door to Rec Park to swim.

Oh the logistical nightmare of changing clothes, remembering to take off my underwear before putting my bathing suit on, deciding whether or not to attempt to pull my shorts on over my shoes, retrieving my pool pass from the bulletin board in the kitchen and pinning it to my suit, etc.

Then I'm 6 years old at the pool, recalling the sweet smell of Twizzlers mixed with Coppertone sunblock, chlorine and toasting skin as the olfactory backdrop to the total exhilaration of my body plunging into cool water and enveloping me ending with the incomparable swoosh of i…

ROLLIN WITH MY CREW

Yeah, OK, they may be 9- and 10-year-old girls who speak almost no English but they're my posse. We woke up on the 4th of July just like any of the other Wednesdays we've had together -- all 6 of them -- and because there are no chores on Wednesdays (a big bonus to being the mother,  sort of like being God, I get to devise my own schedule reality and figured that a mid-week break would be good for all involved) we drifted into the kitchen. Me in an inside-out slip dress (it's what I woke up in, no need for further explanation) Jung-Chu wrapped in her fleece blanket and wearing a Northshore Day School football jersey and Chi-Ping in a blingy sparkle baby t-shirt and striped size 2 toddler underpants.

We yawned and blinked and held a brief committee to pass a breakfast referendum: buttermilk pancakes with a selection of mixed nuts and sliced fruit. This quiet committee was shattered by hunger and activity. Chi-Ping flipped on the radio and started to get breakfast underway t…

WHAT'S YOUR TATTOO DARLING?

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Yup, I got a new tattoo from an artist named Darling. Arlene Darling. It is "Fearless Honesty" in Chinese. I got it only after scribbling it on my hand for several months like a grade-schooler doodling -- but this one is deadly serious for me. I feel incredible freedom in living honestly.

As a newly sober alcoholic I need to be rigerously honest and work to the steps that give me the best shot at a good life. I figure having a tattoo reminding me to keep it real staring back at me as I drive with my hands at 10 and 2 is a good reminder.

I'm at a point in my life where I can no longer be afraid to be honest with myself and the people around me. I've employed a few strategies to keep me from telling convenient untruths -- one of which is correcting myself immediately upon blurting the words that I know aren't true. And holy crap that's effective. It's also a serious deterrent to recidivism because the immediate result is severe embarrassment.

Example with m…

IVY GROWS IN HUDSON'S GARDEN

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Where have I been and just what have I been up to? Well, I am recovering from a near deadly alcoholic decline and I'm enjoying a period of growth. There. Too frank? Well, sorry, but there it is.

What should I begin with in my catch-up post? Well, I'm a full-time stay-at-home MOM.

Yup. I'm not one to bury the lead so I just tossed it right atcha. Sorry I forgot to holler, "Catch!"

"Who" you may ask, "would give Ivy children?" No, not have sex with me, but legally endow me with live youngsters. Well, that's a story that is worth sharing so I'll do that here.

 "Why?" you may ask in my 46th year of life would I embark upon mommy-hood? Why indeed is a fleeting question when I make a mistake and have to explain in a mishmash of Mandarin-English to my daughters that it's my first time being a mom and I need a do-over.

"Where?" you get the idea that I'm prepared to re-join the quasi-literate bloggishphere and work t…