Thursday, August 30, 2012

snaps from the day

This was one of those days when I couldn't seem to put down my camera, even though it was all very ordinary...

  ...from morning light to moonlight.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

honoring the down time

I had a few days of feeling 'off', not depressed, but an odd combination of restless and unmotivated.  I have observed in my children that when this mood is prevalent for more than a day, it usually precedes an expansive growth spurt, either physical, intellectual, or creative.  I honored my moodiness by only doing the essentials (feeding and clothing children, as opposed to cleaning, yard work, etc.).  I read a novel over three days, did some garden-harvesting and creative cooking, played low-key games with the girls, and laid around when I could.

Yesterday, I felt the expansive shift.  Between starting the day with some cleansing tears and then continuing the day with fun and awe at the circus, my mood was shook loose, and I feel returned to myself and renewed.

So, today was all about renewing my environment.  In other words, the place was a mess and needed some doing.  I spent hours picking up, sweeping, sorting loose Uno cards, Lego pieces, and drawing paper, separating them from the crumbled bits of playdough and wrappers that had migrated to the floor.  I didn't do anything crazy like sorting toy bins that were to shortly become a jumble again, but just tidied and collected until it returned to an appealing and inviting space to create, play, and relax in.

I also made yummy baked zucchini fries, and spent a couple of hours weeding the garden, which isn't to say it is weed-free, but just that there are no more weeds taller than Camille :)

During all of this doing, the girls sometimes helped, sometimes kept me lively company, sometimes played outside or in the playhouse, and sometimes watched Dragon Tales. There was also a mid-cleaning 80s dance party, which is inevitable when Cyndi Lauper and Blondie are blasting out of the computer speakers, not my usual  music selection, but surprisingly good cleaning motivation.

When it grew too dark to differentiate between potato leaves and weeds, Camille and I took a moonlit walk to gaze at the stars, watch the bats swoop around the trees, and hear the owls call to each other.  She is cozily tucked into bed after I read to her aloud for a bit.  Sylvia and Ayla are still going strong, dressed as princesses, popping the bubbles that I am blowing to them between  typing out sentences (good ol' mama multitasking).

I am writing this to remind myself (and you, if the reminder is useful to you) to honor the low points as well as the high ones.  It  does, can, and will come back around if you allow it, feel it, accept it, and let it go in its time.  Sometimes we need to conserve mental, emotional, creative and physical energy to allow it to reemerge in a positive way.  This is not mere laziness, it is a way of caring for ourselves as busy Mamas, and as creative People, in a way that allows us to live a joyful, sustainable life.
 I love bins, baskets, and shelves.  I go more for accessible, inviting, playful and creative than simple, spotless, or goodness knows, classy.

 living room dance party

 graffiti wall



baked zucchini fries with marinara and melted mozzerella

Monday, August 27, 2012

Circus World Museum

We joined another homeschooling family for a day at Circus World.  I started out the adventure in tears to be honest.  I was running a tiny bit late, which was made much later by getting pulled over on the freeway by a police officer.  He wrote me a warning ticket for obstruction of view.  The windshield wipers work on our car, but they stop in the 'up' position.  He said that he'd "trust my honesty and integrity", whatever that had to do with it.  

As I was waiting in line after finally getting there, the girls were frantic with desperation over needing the bathroom, water fountain, etc., but those things were past the ticket area.  Not knowing where my friend was, 20 minutes late to meet up, and overwhelmed, I burst into tears as I was paying for the tickets.  Not a very auspicious start to the day.... (I've been feeling a bit restless and agitated in general the last few days which probably had more to do with the tears than the immediate events.)

  But we got seats just as the show was starting. and my anxieties melted away...

 After the performance, Sylvia and her friend enjoyed a pony ride while Camille opted for riding on an elephant.

 We followed the girls' lead, while us mamas with younger ones chatted and strolled.

 After an enjoyable picnic lunch, we had ice cream treats and explored some more.

 Feeding the goats and llama was an excitement the girls didn't want to end, so they gathered the grains and corn that were dropped all around the feeding pen and fed them over and over.

 By unanimous girl decision, we watched the circus show AGAIN.  This time with front row seats,...
 a clown who got each girls' autograph,...
 and a chance to go on stage to help get the circus started!

The second time around I noticed different things than the first time.  Little facial expressions of pride and satisfaction on the performers faces could be seen from the front row.  This performer (the man with his back to us, not the Pekinese) is a 9th generation circus performer who first hit the stage at the age of 2 and had been performing for the 70 years since. He was still full of enthusiasm and smiles.

These jugglers and 2nd generation circus performers are the parents of
this 3rd generation performer.

While this beautiful horse rider is the mother of the aerialist.
 Can you imagine growing up in a circus family?

 Ayla slept through the entire show this time around.  I love having a portable lap-napper.

 The girls proudly posed with the aerialist after her last daring feat, the Slide for Life.  She glided along a wire spanning the Baraboo River, suspended by her head and neck.  Yikes!

Even though my experience started in tears, we were primarily filled with smiles, friendship, awe, and magic through out the day.  The Circus World Museum, taken at a child's pace, was a delightful all-day experience.