Tuesday, March 22, 2011


You are right. It was once upon a not so long ago that growing fields of lavender was my dream. Images like the one above, dramatically purple heavenly scented bouquets of lavender, captivated my imagination...my soul...

There some things in our lives that never happened that we know, in our bones, could have happened. Maybe a would have been lover that never was, maybe a takeover of the family business that didn't happen, maybe a farm on family land that could have grown your dreams, that never did.

That being said, somewhere, very far away from the original lavender fields of my heart, there is land asking to be grown on. There is lavender waiting to be cultivated, cared for, introduced to little grabby hands and pressed against smiling faces to smell.

In a way, I am even closer to my lavender dreams. I can walk outside my door and plant it. I can fly to Provence in 2 hours and buy the species of it I want. I can start here and return it there. That family land, still growing, my father keeping the earth worked and ready, will remain, like an open invitation. Even after he is gone and I am gone, maybe one day Sophia will run and fall in the middle of the field grasping at strands of lavender all around her, shaking and smelling them compulsively, desperately trying to remember the lines on my face and the stories I told about her grandfather. Maybe Mae will grumble upon her and urge her up, mumbling about her sentimentality but secretly wishing away with all of her soul to be able to return to that one summer that mama planted that crazy lavender filed in front of the white house in Tamaris...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

which one is which

Hi everyone, I have written two poems below, which is about Mae and which is about Sophia?


When I wake with your  face smashed against mine
hand down the front of my shirt
curved in and clenched
your mouth slightly agap revealing traces of grown up breath

as you call out in anger of having been jostled
hand removed from my shirt
face removed from my shoulder
it takes you but seconds to sit up and
clasp your hands together and start your desent to the floor

You call out for your pappa
you look for your sister
you start closing all of the doors around you
slowly you make your way to the other room in anticipation of finding sister and cartoons and pretzle sticks
life is good for you in the morning
and I...
am a most humble observant


As we sat round in a circle on the floor
pappas prayer mat scrunched up beneath him
the activity table game brought into the living room
pappa and I decided to hide all of the pieces and dispense them to you both one by one
we gave the first one to your sister
it was a triangle
she fumbled trying to make it fit in the triangle hole

you watched intenetly
impatient and expecting
you understood that you were next but not prepared to wait very long
when I pulled out the green circle piece and handed it to you
you slammed it into the circle hole faster than I could say circle
pappa said "mashala" and kissed your head
I said bravo my daughter and kissed your mouth

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

How one could move to Morocco with their Family - PART 1

1.)    Set a date, proper planning can be executed in year and a half (maximum) So currently it is March 4th, 2011. A year and half from now equals September , 2012. Remember that date, September, 2012!!!
2.)    Start an internet search for a job and contact your friend Carrie that lives in Casablanca to alert her to keep her ears open or possibly (depending on your relationship with her) keep doors open, like with her elbows as she pushes her way in with your resume.
3.)    Enroll in French classes
4.)    Start mentally preparing yourself to LEAVE EVERYTHING BEHIND, this might mean a rented storage shed for some, or a shed in the back of a parent’s house…or…nothing at all. It might mean just that. You could, for example, decide to give away all of your most precious belongings to those that you love so that they can live with a little part of you everyday and so that you can leave a little part of your soul there, that you can use as a portal for visiting them through creative visualization…whatever works for you.
5.)    KEEP going to those French classes
6.)    Did you send Carrie your CV yet?
7.)    Start planning a visit within six months of this date, so that you have a year to execute this plan upon your return.  This will be a good opportunity to see how people are living, check out which city you want to live in and also to have a great time with your friend Carrie.
8.)    Morocco has a booming economy just now and has an affinity for foreigners looking to share what they have to offer with them. Is there a business you could start? Think of it.
9.)    Sit down, with yourself (and your husband and your child – if you have those things) and decide if you are selling your home or renting it.
10.)  Start stockpiling stuff for ‘your time of the month’ as that shit is expensive over there, take it from Carrie, she knows.
11.)  Ditto for high thread count sheets
12.) Look at these school websites for your rug rat:

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

La leche league

Tuesday, March 08, 2011
My dearest Sophia,
So we are here now: the end of our breastfeeding relationship, never to return. How it happened: well, you got sick. You had an outbreak of fever blisters on the outside and inside of your mouth and it became too painful for you to drink. After that you no longer wanted the breast or the bottle. I feel a little mixed about it. I feel so so grateful that you choose it. You were so much more outwardly connected to the boob. You were kind of obsessed with it. I am also so so grateful that I did not have to have some big final feeding with you and then listen to you cry and beg for it.
I am glad it happened this way. I have cherished and I mean cherished our time together like this.
I remember when you were first born, two days after and everyone said you were too little or two weak to feed and I was so scared and I fought so horribly with your father because I wanted to hold you in my arms and feed you my milk. It was so important for me to give you my milk. Well, so, I finally got the clearance from the doctor and I went to the NICU and took you in my arms and the nurse in there showed me how to pop my boob into your mouth and you latched!!!!! Like right away! It gave me such confidence that what I was doing was right, that you really needed me then. And you just sucked and sucked and sucked until they came and said no more. They told me you would get too tired. So I went everyday to the NICU and I pumped and left my milk for you. Even then when I had to leave you in the hospital and go home without you for the two longest days of my life. I went back three time a day to drop off my milk. I will never forget that feeling. That was before your father and I had a car and he would take me on his little scooter. It was October so it was cold at night and my feet and arms would freeze and I was scared to death of how your father would weave in and out of traffic so I would hang onto him so so tight and close my eyes and listen to Buena vista social club on my headphones and I could never get there fast enough. Neither one of us could. When we would pull up to the clinic, he would say, “go, just go, I’ll be there in a sec” and I would jump off even before we stopped moving and throw him my helmet and run inside and then knock on that damned door and then go in and put on that damned dirty smock they made every one share and walk over to your  and Mae’s little plastic cases and I would just cry and cry and tell you both through the plastic how much I loved and missed you. Then I would pull out my kit and, still being so new at it, slowly assemble my mechanical pump and pump out as much milk as I could and leave it for you. I don’t want to remember the details of what it felt like to leave, to say goodbye…

Then when I brought you home from the hospital, I fed you every time you cried, non-stop for months. It was CRAZY. You would SCREAM so loud and for two whole months all you and Mae did between 5:00pm and 10:00pm was stay latched on to the boob. I would just lay in bed with you two and not be able to move for hours. Your father hated it. He was so worried about you two. He didn’t think you were feeding enough. We disagreed. But he was still very helpful. He cooked us dinner every night and did all of the dishes and straightened the whole house. And that was after he would work a 10 hour day.

Your auntie and your granmother from America were there and they fretted and tried to help and I spent so much time being locked up in bedrooms, keeping you away from people and feeding feeding feeding. It was my job, it was my reason to exist at that point.

We went on like this until I went back to work and then I would leave pumped milk for you, but we always had a bottle of formula in the house just in case. Sometimes we would give you a bottle a day, sometimes none. We played it by ear and you two just kept growing and getting so big and healthy.  I was so so proud of you. Then people, the same people who said you were too small before, started to say you were too fat! I thought it was great.
The breastfeeding relationship changed and got easier, gradually, once you started eating. We didn’t go down to two feeds a day until you were around 14 or 15 months. That is when I stopped night feeding you and two…oh my god, you fought it SO HARD Sophia. You were so so mad that I would not feed you at night. You would twist and scream and yell and wake us all up every night. Finally it got easier and you stopped demanding it at night, but then every once in a while you would “reclaim” and demand that I feed you at night.  
Until, at 17 months, you, shockingly, self-weaned. I totally respect your decision and I am also very proud of you. Sometimes you still want to see the boob and lay your head on it. And ALWAYS when I pick you up you put your hand down my shirt and rest your little hand in between my boobs. This may sound funny and weird to talk about if you are reading this before you have kids but once you do have children of your own, re-read this. You will understand it better.
I love you so so much. Thank you for latching on when you did. Thank you for not letting go until you were ready. Thank you for being you baby girl.

And Mae…then same goes for you. You were even smaller than Sophia and when you latched in the hospital, I was indescribably vindicated. I KNEW that my babies needed to feed even the little one that they said would not be able to. Mae you latched on and started drinking like crazy and SCREAMED when they took you off. And you were not even 4 pounds!
I will never ever forget, the feeling of, once I got you home, looking down at you while you fed. Your big HUGE eyes would stare up at me and you looked like a little alien! But you were so determined to grow and survive and you drank so much. You drank all the time and before we knew it you were bigger than Sophia. Your father and I would laugh at the sounds you two would make while you were feeding. He called you the Williams sisters (see female tennis players) because they make funny sounds when they hit the ball and you two made funny pleasure sounds when you drank. So you drank and drank and drank and pooped and pooped and pooped and that was our life, For a long long time. That was our life: Breastfeeding and dirty diapers.
And Mae…as you grew and started to walk and be independent you would go long periods and not care as much about the boob while you were awake, but really really need it at night. And now Sophia has quit and you know it. It is the strangest thing. A few weeks ago you could totally forget about the boob for a day or so at a time. But every since Sophia has quit you have totally revitalized you commitment! You scream and pull at my collar and unzip my sweaters and throw yourself on the floor and wake up in the middle of the night to breastfeed. It is like you are trying to tell me that you don’t want to quit. I get it, I hear you and I will not force you. Ok? I promise. I will not force you. If you are not ready, it is ok. We can keep going. I have a conference in a month and we will be apart for a week but I have decided to take a pump with me to keep a little milk in case you still want to feed when I get back. So don’t worry baby girl. We will keep going until you are ready too. I promise. And you know what…not just for you, for me too. Sophia decided and that is her right and she certainly didn’t ask me. I totally supported her decision but if you are not ready, then I am not ready either. And when youa re ready, that will be fine with me. I will probably have a good cry and then a long sigh and then be done with it. But as for now, if you aren’t ready, I’m not ready and we will just keep going.  That’s a promise. I love you.


Wednesday, March 02, 2011

How Tired I am

I am so tired
I miss Sophia and Mae
Worker not Mother


If the above Haiku is any indication of my state of mind right now then I have written it well.

Oh how I miss poetry...Oh how I have been meaning to paint a peace for my walls...Oh how I want to start going to Hot Yoga once a week...Oh how I miss my family...Oh how I fluctuate between happy and sad, joyous and mad....Doesn't it ever even out? Or maybe I need meds for that...that's what my mother thinks:

You've been sad since birth
That's what Mother says to me
Why does she think so?

Okay so none of those reference the nature or any of that other fancy stuff for haiku, but there you go. Courtesy of Pioneer woman for inspiring me to dabble again into poetry...

Oh poetry, how I MISS You? with my whole ripped up heart. I long for you POETRY
At one time you pulsed through my veins, that was the best time
At one time I awoke from sleep to scribble down lines that haunted my dreams
and now...those words
those lines

Harmony...do you hear me?????? Kate....do you HEAR me????? Julie, remember when we started that poetry club...that was good.

Okay, now that I go that out of the way...back to your normal programming....

Here is a photo. My husband took it in the South of Morocco on a trip I did not go with on because I didn't want to leave my girls...I missed out huh?