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It has been a busy month packing and moving and … not really unpacking yet. Our new house is still under partial renovation, and this has forced us to live off the “first couple of days” supplies for almost 3 weeks now. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for minimalism and living off what you have with humility and resourcefulness, but I am also ready to find the last kitchen box with the coffee in it…

This prolonged wait has had a number of challenges (beyond the coffee jar), and some not so unexpected benefits. Among them, the time to think, dream, plan before putting anything into action. Time to think and plan seems like such a luxury lately, in times of perpetual rushing and winging dinners while still exploring the best options for shopping and time management in a new environment. So, until I can line my bookshelves along the wall and start filling them with books, I sit, and wait, and think, and dream of ways to sort and make beautiful. And make lists, of course! I am very pleased with how productive and creative this waiting and dreaming has been. Hopefully soon you too will hear and see all about it!

Random photos above: Skid, daydreaming with me :: color and pattern inspiration :: pretty flowers on my way to work :: blocks lined up, or order in the midst of chaos

Yesterday was one of those days, where our little family managed 3 blocked noses and coughing throats, a cut lip, a whole in the head, a cut finger, and an almost burned dinner.

So today we will take a step back and spend the day resting, drinking ginger and honey tea, and snuggling with the kitties. The kitties said they ‘re ready to do their part.

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We got a magnetic drawing board for the boys a while ago, and it has been a great thing to have around for many reasons. They love to have me draw stuff (trucks mostly) while they ask what each part is and contributing to the picture by asking me to add things (lights, bumpers…) For me, it is liberating to just draw something fast and on a slippery surface, often with someone bumping my arm or jumping on my back, and know that however bad it is, it will soon be erased and no trace of my ineptitude will remain 🙂 In fact, this feeling of freedom has actually helped somehow improve my minimal drawing skills. Thankfully the boys don’t mind my level at all, and I comfort myself by thinking that the abstract scribbles I make help develop their imagination 😀

Having said that, sometimes I am in need of ideas for what to draw next, when I get bored of the fire truck and carrot-bearing truck I usually get asked to make. Earlier today they asked me to make them a snake (they actually said “sssssss, sssssss”) and the idea of impermanence was not so liberating any more. I want them to remember what they liked to see drawn at that age, have some reminders of how much they loved cars, trains and animals, so I took some shots of a few of what we make on the magnetic board.

  

The other day a friend was here, and he made a portrait of V on the board too. Thankfully I had my phone in my hand, so I took a photo of his first portrait!

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Not much on the Bad Kitty Diaries lately. In fact, the kitties have been wonderful since the boys came into our lives. The first three months they stayed out of everyone’s way, avoiding the new-smelling and very loud creatures in the bed. Little by little, they began coming closer, especially when it was quiet (they ‘d bolt as soon as the first cry would sound. Sometimes I wanted to join them.)

At 7 1/2 months now, all is back to a routine. Kitties find spaces close to us but still away from grabby hands, and the boys absolutely love the kitties. Their faces light up when they see them come around, and they want to “pet” them. It will be a while before they learn that petting needs to be open-handed and does not involve pulling – and when that happens, I ‘ll be the first one to rejoice, as that would hopefully mean no pulling my hair either!

Before (and after) the boys were born, we heard a lot of comments like “you ‘ll have to get rid of the cats when the babies are born.” Which infuriated both of us, because you don’t get rid of grandma if the baby doesn’t like her. The cats are members of the family, simple as that. Of course, there are times when you are confronted with a terrible dilemma, such as if the cats / pets in general were being aggressive, or depressed, or there was something else making co-existence impossible. We were lucky, I guess. I never had doubt that the kitties would love the boys, and vice versa. Our kitties are very calm, well-adjusted and loving, and I didn’t expect they’d show aggression or jealousy now.

And they are as cute as ever. Skid has recently been sleeping on the changing table, which has several advantages that appeal to her: it is not used during the night, it is soft and contoured, and it is close enough to the bed but higher from everyone else sleeping, so she can be close to us and supervise everyone with one half-opened eye.

Sharing the space and sharing our lives. Just as it should be. Seeing her there reminds me to be thankful.

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Every now and then as a kid I used to pay attention.  Not often, I admit, as I had more important adventures and thoughts in my mind to pay attention to adults. But when I did, I listened and thought about things I heard. One of those things I remember being impressed by was that breakfast is the most important meal of your day. I kind of liked the idea, and began to appreciate the breakfast that miraculously appeared on the kitchen table every morning on school days.  Everyone’s favorite drink (mine was milk with HEMO, a chocolatey powder with vitamins), heaps of toasted bread, pita bread, or sandwiches, sometimes τσουρέκι (a yummy sweet bread). It must have taken my dad (the cook in the family) a good half hour to prepare all that, as the rest of the family stumbled in, gobbled everything down, sometimes ungratefully, and rushed all together to catch the school bus (my mother taught at the same school us children went). My dad got up first and left the house last, after taking care of everyone. In this, I notice the love for us, and the benefits of being an archivist with a somewhat flexible schedule 🙂

Breakfast nowadays is somewhat of a challenge for me. I like to start the day with savory tastes, but to achieve that and avoid high cholesterol foods is a puzzle. I have asked my friends from other cultures about breakfast foods, and I am amazed at the variety of what is considered breakfast. Still, I can’t eat idli, rice, soups, salad, breakfast cereals, or even eggs for an extended period of time. I always have to go back to my sandwiches, like the ones I grew up with.

Nevertheless, I am now on a high calorie diet (courtesy of 2 hungry boys), which means I get to eat a couple of breakfasts! Yay for nursing! In my effort to have something I don’t easily run out of, I thought of granola as a backup for when bread is not around. I made some using this great lady’s fool-proof recipe, and made a mix of raisins, dried cranberries, flaked almonds and chia seeds for topping, which I embellish with whatever fresh fruit there is around at a given day. So far, I am on my second batch and haven’t grown tired of it, which is an absolute first for me!

Next, a cup of milky tea (no HEMO for me any more, I am a big girl) and a biscotti. I love my multiple breakfasts!

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July 16, 2011

July 15, 2011

July 14, 2011

July 13, 2011

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