Friday, September 29, 2006


the weeks keep speeding by. i know that in no time i'll be celebrating 37! (well at least in no time celebrating halloween!!)

attended a very exciting, inspiring pta meeting last night. and feel renewed. but tired too. i have taken on a role that i am not entirely prepared for - but i think ready for.

hoping to glean some assertiveness along-side stephanie... and to have a *s l o w* weekend.

hope yours is as you wish it to be!

if you are as envious as i am that aforementioned steph will be seeing m.ward this weekend - check out the live podcast from kcrw - the next best thing?

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

unremarkably remarkable


thank you all so very much for all of your bday wishes! it was a lovely day. as i told melissa - unremarkably remarkable. just the way i wanted it. yummy indian food. chocolate cake. an unexpected visit from our beloved neighbors bearing this as a present. (i subscribe to and love the magazine and was keen to check out their publication.) and i got this too. from sam. by kristina. (you ladies rock!) and this yummy-crazy fabric and kit from my dearest friend back home. (oh how i miss you.) but i didn't get to bed as early as i hoped. (too much cake and unexpected visit for the little bug!) i was surprised too that some of you knew my previous place of employment. in fact one of you worked there too! (myredwagon - i did work for atique and maha - their first year of ownership - 1995 - 1996 if I recall correctly. and you??) ah what a lovely small world it is. remarkable.

speaking of melissa, and lovely (which by the way go hand-in-hand) have you seen this? (oh that portland. i will be checking for seat sales!)

a few have also mentioned that bloglines is delaying updating my blog. as i understand it when i updated to beta the feed changed. unfortunately you have to resubscribe to have it in a more timely manner. bummer. sorry. other than that i like beta. so far so good.

i also can't pass this day without thinking of my dad. it is his birthday today. he would have been 65. he always told me that i had been his best birthday gift. and that he forgave me for always ending up with my left-over cake. (not true - the left-over cake part that is.) i miss you dad.

happy wednesday

Monday, September 25, 2006



today is my birthday. i arrived 36 years ago today. my mom likes to tell the story of how she thought she had indigestion from a mama burger at a&w - but it was me.

as i grow older. and watch my kids grow older too. their birthdays seem to become more and more significant - while my own seems less and less. i completely understand why my mom likes to tell that story. my birthday is a marker in her life as much as it is in mine. don't get me wrong. i like the cake and the tradition of yummy indian food ordered in. and i love hearing those two little voices sing to me. and opening presents wrapped by little hands. but their days. the days that mark their arrival in my life. those are the days during which i seem to contemplate my own life more. so tonight we will eat yummy indian food. and i will listen to them sing. and i will mark the entrance into my 36th year with those i love the most. and then i will try and treat myself by going to bed early. and that will be that.

today also marks my anniversary of arriving in los angeles. i arrived 10 years ago today. (this seems much more poignant than turning 36! and harder to believe... 26 seems so long ago.) i vividly recall the day 10 years ago i drove down the 405 freeway in my little blue 1989 vw golf. i was coming for an internship at the getty conservation institute. i had applied for it on a whim, never thinking it would actually happen. i was living in toronto and very happy with how things were turning out. i actually had a job in the field i had studied. (ok, so i was supplementing it by working nights managing a cafe - but by day i was working in the field i had studied!) i lived in a great neighborhood. i had adopted this city as my home and planned on staying for a while. then the news arrived. i accepted. and i prepared for my journey to l.a. (how could i refuse?) i had no idea how big the city, or the job, really was. i couldn't find a place to sleep that birthday night, and ended up in a terrible flea bag motel (literally flea). i remember vividly calling my mom in tears questioning what i had done. (i had to get the inebriated motel manager to install a phone in the room after giving him a $25 deposit) the next night was in much better quarters and i soon settled in to my new life. (always reminding myself that it was only for a year and to make the most of this adventure.) 10 years later. here i am. still trying to make the most of this adventure. the internship turned into a temporary one year position. that was renewed for another 2 years. during which i met d on a tram ride up the hill. and the rest - how cliche - is history. my history.

amazing what can happen in 10 years. or maybe not, really. amazing what can happen in 36. (if you had asked me 12 years ago where i would be at 36 - i never. ever. would have said los angeles with an (american) husband and two kids. never. maybe two kids. maybe a husband. but i was thinking sheep farm with a conservation studio about that time...)

Saturday, September 23, 2006

apples and honey

for rosh hashana


a sweet new year to all
l'shana tova

Thursday, September 21, 2006


special stolen hour last night. just me and the little bug while the big bug and her "coach" (dad) were at soccer practice. we have just recently realized that all this change in our household has played on her too. she misses her big sister. a lot. the change in routine has caused a bit of a regression. though i don't think it isn't something a little extra attention - and good old playskool puzzles - can't help.

and to help me - i purchased a new agenda. and i plan on finishing reading this book over the next few days. and delving into this one next. (thanks sam and lisa!)

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

neighborhood news

just made the switch to a new blogging neighborhood - bloggerbeta. (or is it betablogger??) do things look any different? i can't see any difference! can you still comment? (if you can't let me know by email, please) hmmmm... will see how it goes. and the search for the perfect new autumnal banner continues. (this too, is not it. but it does make me happy seeing that little face! gone already. sorry! it was this one here. )

i take that back. the new spell-check is much improved. (god knows i need a good spell-check) and you can now "label" posts by category. is this useful? and it also seems to have messed up my bloglines feeds.

and we have chosen to stay with our neighborhood school. but are switching teachers. i am not looking forward to another transition but know that the change is for the best. (interestingly, i found out yesterday that e's current teacher has a degree in theatre, then received her teaching credential through the lausd internship program - a response to the teacher shortage in the region. i think that this explains why i like her so much, but feel that she is lacking in certain background skills. an interesting article on this can be found here.)


and very (v e r y !) excited that our neighborhood is to be part of this tour! there will be tours of some of the homes. (we declined the invitation as we are still in such a state of "progress"!) we have been talking about trying to get hpoz status and hope that this will get the ball rolling. if you live in the area hope you can make it to the tour! the buzz is that krisel of palmer & krisel, the architects of our development, will be in attendance. (probably not that exciting for 99.9% of you but quite a thrill for us - mid-century modern architecture nerds that we are...)

and speaking of neighborhood, have you checked out / joined this flickr group. fantastic idea i think. thanks 62cherry!

hope you are having a great week

Friday, September 15, 2006

five and up

five years ago i would never have imagined the passion that this little girl brings out in me. five short years ago i would never have imagined the overwhelming emotions of being a mom. five years ago i was in the hospital, waiting for her (we didn't know she was to be a her) to arrive. i am lucky. she was a very quick and easy delivery. she was three weeks early and weighed only 6 lbs 10 oz. (though she doubled that in less than a month. man, could she nurse.) she was so tiny to me. her head fit in david's palm. so tiny. fragile. but quickly fierce. strong. and she makes me the same. happy birthday miss e. (you can check out a few pics from her tea party, which we had last weekend here.)


it has been a passionate and overwhelmingly emotional week for me. and i have been surprised by the strength of my convictions. it is amazing what those big brown eyes do to me. and i thank you too - again - for standing by me. for listening to my tale. for offering your advice, opinions and support. i know there are so many bigger issues out there - but our kids' education - it is big too. and demanding that it be a quality education - for all children - is something i feel espcially passionate about.

i have been in contact with the charter school we originally investigated while exploring our options early on and it sounds like they have room if we need. but i do love and believe in the concept of our neighborhood school. part of the reason we decided to go this way, though we knew it would be a lot more work - was because we wanted the girls to know that this is the world they are part of. this is the reality and it is not perfect. but we can and will work hard to make it what it needs to be. and i have met with the principal, assistant principal, another mom, and another kindgergarten teacher there. this teacher gives me hope. she is saying the things i think should be said. ("no television in the classroom!" "teaching to the individual instead of to the test" etc.) i was not surprised to hear that she is a mom to two girls. it is a kindergarten / first grade split and this excites me as well. we haven't finalized our decision yet, but i am feeling oh so much better.

a few valuable links and references came up in the comments and in emails i have received this week. i think that they are important enough to restate here.

Commercial Alert


American Academy of Pediatrics

Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood

A Well Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer

Consuming Kids by Susan Linn

i hope this dialogue keeps going. that we keep talking about the current state of our kids' education. and that we keep supporting one another in whatever decisions we make.

again. thank you.

who knows where the next five years will take us? i so look forward to the journey.

enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

comfort food

so the meeting didn't go as well as i had hoped. i failed to see the connection between a unit on water and viewing disney's "little mermaid".

i am investigating our options. will let you know.

thank you so much for all of your kind and thoughtful words. it is always so reassuring to know that i am not "the only one".

my mom, an educator for many many years, has often told me of how stuck the educational system is. of how it takes 50 years for change in thinking to take effect. while in medicine new discoveries and better methods are employed so quickly. it baffles me how our kids can be so overlooked.

she also tells me that she really believes that we will be the generation that demands that changes be made.

thank you my friends. my kids thank you too.

and now i will go eat my apple fritter and drink my coffee from stan's. because even though i know it is wrong. it does make me feel better.

sign in the window of stan's, westwood

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

dancing with the issues...


so we are doing ok on the kindergarten front. and i wasn't going to mention it. i felt somehow it might reflect a weakness in our educational choice. that i had somehow already failed by putting her in this place. but now i feel i have to say something. my heart is a little broken. and i need to get it off my chest.

the big bug very smugly and with a very big smile on her face announced to me last thursday that her teacher had let them watch t.v.

silence on my part. i knew she was waiting for a reaction. she is aware (she would tell you painfully so) about my feelings about "screen time" (as we call time in front of the television or computer - limited to the weekends and no more than 30 min. / day with the occasional family movie night exception...) "so what did you watch?" "bob the builder." "oh."

i should have prefaced this with some facts. there are currently two kindergarten classes in the school, each with 30 (!) kids. los angeles unified school district (lausd) caps enrollment for K - 3 (i think) at 20. so within the next week or so that should change to three classes of 20. i can sense the teacher is overwhelmed. i like her a lot. her demeanour is lovely. she is loved by the bug already and so on... BUT i do not think watching television in the classroom is o.k.

so the next day she exited the room to tell me that maybe the teacher is "like you" since they didn't watch any t.v. then monday they did again. she told me the teacher said she "didn't know what to do". so turned on "blues clues".

in our "family profile" i wrote about the media choices in our household so i don't think she was surprised when i asked if we could meet to speak of some of my concerns. i even wrote her a note saying that i'd be happy to help in any way i can - come in and read, put together portable activity centers, etc. i realize that i am only getting one side of the situation (and that that side is from a four year old) and look forward to hearing what the teacher has to say. and so we will meet today. i'll let you know what happens. i am hoping for the best, but fearing the worst.

i'll add too that i love the rest of our public school experience. i love that i hear probably a dozen different languages as we walk through the campus each morning. the children in her class are gorgeous. i love walking with my girls to the school. and i love holding the big bug's hand as we walk slowly home and she tells me of her day. and all the fun she has had. (aside from, ahem, the t.v. watching!!)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

and the winner was

after carefully reviewing the choices - the big bug went with the fleurville lunch-bag. i like it for its apparent ease of care, its lifetime warranty, and the company's commitment to our environment. she likes it because it is a backpack, and it is pink. nuff said.

Monday, September 11, 2006

looks like we are making it


she sits quietly, shyly, with her classmates along the low wall that runs the perimeter of the kindergarten yard. she faces forward. not looking back at us. we wait on the other side for the teacher to tell them to stand, then head off to their classroom. inevitably, as we wait, little fingers creep through the fence to meet even littler fingers. they press into each other. sending a silent message between sisters. it will all be ok.

we are still transitioning. but definitely feeling that it will all be ok.

i can't help but think of what we were doing five years ago today. how shocked, horrified, saddened, scared we were. i was 8 months pregnant and so terrified by the thought of the world we were now part of. how could i bring a new baby into this? the big bug arrived four days later. three and a bit weeks early. we were so unprepared for her. and so so ready for her. again. it will all be ok. it is.

Monday, September 04, 2006

first day jitters

we are slowly, leisurely, squeezing, the last drops out of this weekend. the last day before the big bug enters the school system. kindergarten.

an "art opening" in celebration of last day at preschool.

a picnic at our community garden plot

a day at the beach and visit with friends


trying to breath slowly. i alternate between panic and glee. i really didn't think i would feel so emotional. but she all of a sudden seems so grown up, yet so young.

i am so thankful that my mom is in town to hold my hand as i hold her's and we venture off tomorrow morning on a new adventure.

i think i'll follow another's lead and take the week off. i feel some reflection, reassessment and reorganization are in order.

for all of you heading back-to-school - and especially those facing first days - enjoy - new beginnings / new adventures...

as the little bug is so fond of saying - "off. we. go!"