Super

Super
And for once I was SuperMom

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Meaning of it All

So I was watching TV and along came the values.com commercial about the little boy who goes on stage before a piano performance and then the master pianist comes up behind him and plays along with him, so I'm sitting there all innocent like and unsuspecting, and what did I do? Cried.

So we're catching up on old episodes of The Office and I'm sitting there all innocent like and unsuspecting and we watch the one where Jim and Pam have their baby and what did I do? Cried.

So were watching How to Train Your Dragon, and he finally trains the dragon. And what did I do? Cried.

So I'm watching Pink's new video 'F*ckin Perfect,' because I like Pink and I heard that it was very powerful. What did I do? Cried. Actually that one I think I bawled.

So we're watching the Oscar's, having a little party. Natalie Portman gives her acceptance speech. And what did I do? Cried.

I'm like a frickin' sprinkler. While watching TV my husband will now turn around and look at me expectantly when anything with a baby or child comes on.

I remember coming home from the hospital with Emma and feeling so surreal, a sonicboom had gone off in my worldview. Everything looked different and everything felt like it had more meaning. Each of these moments that before would have not affected me have completely changed in light of the fact that I now have a child. What if my daughter had wandered on stage and that pianist had been so kind to her? I know what it feels like to have a child and the did a great job on The Office of capturing those first few days. What if my child was trying to attempt the impossible, like training a dragon, eh? Pretty impossible, right? And she finally did it? Okay that's just emberrassing. Pink's video? It kills me at the end when the actress mouths the words to her baby, 'You are perfect to me.' Because no matter how much I love her someone will tell her she's not enough, and she won't believe how beautiful and how perfect she is. Natalie Portman's speech? She mentioned motherhood as her most important role ever.

PS: Just got choked up watching Jennifer Lopez's commercial about shaving. Why? Because she's dancing around with her kids. Ugh. I need to be stopped.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Not so Clean House

A few weeks ago I got out of the shower, opened the bathroom and almost tripped over one of my red high heels. I looked up at my husband who was in charge of our little grommet for the moment and said,
"What is this doing here?" He shrugged and motioned at Emma, what I said next wasn't nice or pretty, so I won't write it down, but I think you know what came out of my mouth.
Other things that I have almost tripped over:
1. Tampons.
2. Yarn - turned into an epic tangle that had to be cut off and destroyed.
3. Half chewed pretzels.
4. Half chewed cookies.
5. My keys.
6. Brown food slag encrusted sippy cups.
7. Refridgerator magnets.
8. Photographs.
9. Videos.
10. Communion cups
11. And, of course, toys and books.
Our house has three floors, I have designated toys and books for each level. In my head. Right now we are in the basement and Emma just pulled out a dollhouse, I don't know where the dolls and furniture are. She has no one to blame but herself. Right now she is presently trying to jam a babydoll the size of a 6 lbs. newborn into the dollhouse that is the size of a box of pasta. She is failing miserably.

For Christmas we usually give boxes to each family of things that we have gathered throughout the year, like jam or teas. So in December I had the open boxes strewn about on our kitchen floor, a space that doubles as my 'studio.' At Christmas my older brother, Clint, was opening his gift, about halfway through he pulled out one of my nice filbert paintbrushes. Grinning he handed it back to me, and said,
"I don't think you wanted that in there, did you?" No, decidedly not.

Emma just tried to shove one of my Uggs into the dollhouse. Didn't work.

Today in the living room the bottom stair has becoming her staging station for partially eaten snacks, toys, some shopping bags, and a pink balloon that has become her constant companion the past few days.

I have tripped over a babydoll in the kitchen, found a bath toy in the back of the car, and my mother in law stepped on one of Emma's stacking cups in their bedroom, in the middle of the night. I feel like I spend all day picking up her toys and putting them back in the various baskets that we have scattered all over the house.

Watching my little tiny terror toddle around the house scattering things to and fro I have decided that I have to laugh, as I did today when she tried to shove a two foot tall sheepskin boot into her dollhouse, or else I will go insane. I develop a completely new definition of 'clean.'
Hey moms, what crazy things have you found in the 'wrong' place.

Jack Frost is Still Nipping...Everywhere

See the picture above, it was taken in our backyard. Very cool, I know, we live right next to National Forest. We can right out from our house onto miles of wilderness. But that's not the point. This picture was taken in December, our backyard still looks like that.
I hate this time of year. I haven't felt my nose for about three months, or the tips of my fingers, or my toes. And we still have two more months to go. Yesterday we got another two inches of snow, as I was shoveling I attacked a patch of packed snow and ice, hacking away at it. Yes, I was taking my frustration out, but why shouldn't I on the very thing that has socked me into our home for so many months? Today as I was shoveling another two inches I was tempted to shake my fist at the falling flakes and yell,
"Turn into rain already!" I doubt it would listen.
I don't even know what to cook right now, the weather says turnips and potatoes, the calendar says strawberries and asparagus. I say I don't care, I'm just cold.
Catalogues arrive with glorious spreads of sandals and shorts, I look down at my wool socks and think, 'not yet, not yet.' I can't even fathom shorts, but I day dream about it, probably more than I should. This is the time of year when I start refusing to wear my coat. I don't care if it's still in the thirties, I am tired of being strangled by my clothes. So I sit in the car and shiver until the heater kicks in.
I also lose the will to fight it, instead of suiting up for the weather I give in and curl into a ball most Saturdays. This winter we have hibernated more than most, largely because we have a toddler and outdoor activities in below freezing weather are well nigh impossible with someone who is barely walking. I don't think I have ever spent this much time inside, but what's a girl to do? We haven't gone snowshoeing or done any form of skiing.
I did make strawberry pie today, because here's to hoping that spring will come early this year...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Toms Shoes

We lived in Kenya for two years. A poor country to be sure. I taught art in an international school and Scott worked with a Kenyan organization that did backpacking trips and team building. I struggled with the ministries that we were called to, because we weren't on the front lines. Sure, I taught the children of people who were in the slums, who were giving away free dental care, who were running medical clinics, who were creating sustainable water filters, but I wasn't doing it myself. Part of my own problem is my talents, I'm not a nurse or a dentist, I am artist and an art teacher. There have been many organizations that have gone into the slums and taught art and photography as a way to promote self-esteem among the children, give them something to do to show that they can 'do' something rather than get into trouble. As of yet I haven't been called to one of those ministries. Teaching at Rosslyn Academy i was able to support the families that were doing the work on the front lines, those that go into the slums of Nairobi. Those that provide food and shelter for orphans. Those that create and give away simple water filters providing fresh water for people who don't have access to safe water.
There were two slums that were imbedded within our neighborhood. Every morning and afternoon on my way to and from work in our nice Subaru I passed people walking to work, children going to school, and children that couldn't afford to go to school. These were the proverbial children with no shoes, shabby clothes, and sullen looks on their faces. I would stare straight ahead and try not to sink too far into guilt.
Maybe being an art teacher for a few years helped educate kids that will go back and fight poverty. Maybe I eased the minds of parents who wanted to help in Africa but also wanted quality education for their children. I did proved quality education for those children. Hopefully I stoked creativity, critical thinking, and artistic skill.
Now that I am back home I even less opportunity to fight poverty in Africa. I have mostly focused on ways to make my life less wasteful here in America. Knowing how many resources we use and how many other countries don't have access to has made me cut back and rethink many of my own choices. But what am I doing for that little girl that I passed day after that couldn't afford shoes or school fees? I don't know.
One thing I have discovered is a company called Toms Shoes. For every pair of shoes that you buy they donate a pair of shoes to a child in a developing nation. One for One. I love this, clothing is one of our last frontiers for poverty. Most of us are wearing sweat shop clothing right now. (Even though sweat shop jobs are often highly prized jobs because they still pay better than other jobs in that country.) It's hard to know what you are buying and make good decisions.
SO here's the website, look into it: www.toms.com
I think they're cute shoes, you just might too.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

More Food from Trash

About two weeks ago I wrote about making chicken broth: http://redearthsafari.blogspot.com/2011/01/something-out-of-nothing.html
This week I made veggie broth. For about three weeks I have been saving all my vegetable clipping, carrot peels, the tops of tomatoes, onion skins, broccoli stalks, etc. I froze them in a big ziploc bag until the bag was full of veggie detritus. I threw everything into a stock pot covered it with water, added some salt, pepper, thyme, a bay leaf, and leftover fresh parsley that looked like it was on it's way out and then let her boil/simmer for about two and half hours. What I ended up with tasted like weak vegetable soup, which I assume is what vegetable broth is supposed to taste like. I then put it in six 16oz freezer jars.
I read about this in another blog and loved the idea of using veggie trash to make healthy viable food. I've already expressed my deep desire to compost, so this seemed a close second. The vegetables still end up as trash but I used them once, re-use, eh, like that? Then I don't have to buy canned broth, reducing trash and controlling the sodium and chemicals in my family's diet.
I used the broth the next day to make pozole, a mexican stew with pork and hominy. the broth tasted great and made really tasty soup. I threw in the extra bone from a pork shoulder roast to enrish the flavor, and then pulled it out before serving. I was pretty happy with how it turned out. Here's the recipe:
Pozole
1 medium onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, diced
Saute in large stockpot until tender
Add:
2 cups cooked pork (we used the leftovers from a shoulder roast)or a pork tenderloin, cut into medallions
2 freezer jars of veggie broth
1 can or freezer jar of diced tomatoes
1 small can or freezer jar of fire roasted green chiles or 1 anaheim chili, diced
1 large can 28oz mexican style hominy, drained
Let simmer until done. Right before serving pull the tenderloin into bite size chunks or cut up the pork. Stir in 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Serve with tortilla chips, cheese, and sour cream.
Or corn bread. Eh, whatever you want..:0)

Friday, February 18, 2011

I did the unthinkable...

Awhile back I was perusing www.cottonbabies.com and noticed that they were selling re-usable cloth wipes and I thought to myself,
"Now, you've gone too far."
My daughter gets diaper rash like it's her job. When we introduced solid foods I basically gave up, it didn't matter what I did every time she pooped she ended up with an angry red rash. I would change her diapers as soon as I could smell it, and that seemed to not make a difference. Eventually she turned up with rashes that didn't look like diaper rash, little furious red dots. I did figure that one out, the wipes. The only wipes I can use on my babies sensitive bottom are Pampers Sensitive wipes. All natural wipes, don't do it. Any other brand of 'Sensitive' cause those little red dots to reappear.
Now our little grocery store does not carry Pampers Sensitive wipes, so I either have to make a separate stop at another store or drive 45 minutes to the nearest WalMart.
I finally decided to try to make my own baby wipes. I found a recipe for them online. You chop a roll of paper towels in half, and soak it in a solution of two cups of water, a TBSP of baby wash, and a TBSP of oil. They recommend olive oil, but I was all, like, that stuff's expensive, baby you're gettin' canola. I liked them, they were wetter, they seemed to get her cleaner, and they didn't contribute to any angry red bumps.
But then again I wasn't so sure that they were cheaper and they still produce trash. We all know how I feel about trash.
Emma got one particular frightening rash. So I acquiesced and just used water and some baby washclothes until it cleared up.
I guess according to Oprah I had an 'aha' moment. Instead of having to drop poopy wipes into a separate diaper bin, therefore increasing the probability that your hand will land in poop, all I had to do was roll the whole diaper up and drop it into one diaper pail. Just like with disposables. Then when you wash the diapers the washclothes just go in the washer with them. Brilliant!
So far I've done two batches of cloth wipes, just like the DIY wipes they get Emma cleaner and don't seem to contribute to diaper rash. I used the solution from the DIY wipes and just threw a bunch of baby washclothes in an old plastic wipes container. I think next round I may just go buck wild and just use water. Then it's even cheaper and more green. Trashless diapering, who knew?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Why Use Cloth?

A few years ago pre-baby I was watching a special called the Human Footprint,
it detailed all the resource one American life uses. I remember at one point the narrator stood in front of a huge mound of used diapers and detailed how much one infant would use in their lifetime. I vowed to use cloth. And then the next moment the narrator stood in front of a washing machine and told you how many gallons of water you would use washing cloth. I remember throwing my hands up in the air and yelling
"What am I supposed to do let the kid just sit in their poop!" I didn't yell poop, I yelled another word, but my kid is starting to speak and I think I'm gonna need to stop the salty talk.
We use cloth diapers. I was thinking about why the other day as I was washing them (pretty gross job) and thought I would sit down and think, really, why am I doing this?
The Math for disposable diapers:
(You should know I don't do math, so this is how committed I am, I DID the math.)4-8 diapers per day (depends on your kid, I think we've all had a 4 day and an 8 day)
28-56 diapers a week; that's a pack a week = $5-$10 a week (depending on the type you buy)
1,456-2,912 diapers a year: $260-$520
If you calculate that each diaper weighs about 2lbs when done that equals:
2,912 - 5,824 lbs. of trash a year (roughly)

The Math for cloth diapers:
We use Bum Genius (purchased off www.cottonbabies.com):
$30.00 for two; we have 16: $240.00
(Econobum are ten bucks per diaper)
I have to wash them about twice a week, they make about half a load:
40 gallons of water each week
2,080 gallons per year
I only use about 1/4 cup soap per wash:
1/2 cup soap per week: We go through a 50 oz container of detergent about every three months.
4 containers of detergent per year.
At about ten dollars each: $40.00 a year.
We do about six loads of laundry a week including the diapers; which are a third of that; that's $12.00 of detergent a year
And of course there are acessories:
Poop sprayer that you attach to toilet to spray off poop into toilet, instead of putting poop in your washer; $45.00
Extra inserts: $12
Flushable liners (they catch the poop, you pull it out and throw it right into the toilet): $6 a 100ct. roll
So far we have only used 6 rolls, you don't have to use them until the baby is eating food. That works about to about half a roll a month; $3 a mos; $33 a year
Grand Total:
240 + 12 + 45 +12 +33= $342 a year
Oh, and no trash, I forgot that part. But lots of water.

Buuuuuuuuuuuut most children are in diapers for two years.
So the next year you don't buy more diapers: -240
Or more inserts:-12
Or a poop sprayer: -45
So the second year you are only buying detergent and the inserts: $45 the second year.
Then you don't have to buy them for subsequent children.

So if you are going to have three kids, that's six years of diapers:
Disposables: $1560-$3120
Cloth: $567

Then again we cheated, www.cottonbabies.com gives away diapers to overseas religious workers; we only bought two of our diapers. So over six years we will only spend:
$367

But wait! You yell, what about electricity for drying the diapers? We line dry them most of the time. That's what they recommend and it's better for them as it helps with odor and the sun will bleach them out. So I didn't factor in the electricty for drying or running the washer.
Which may be negligible, because of the amount of electricity and resources it takes to make disposable diapers, while cloth only needed manufacturing energy once.
Now of course, cloth are not simple. You have way more intimate contact with your kids poop than you probably ever wanted. And you do have to take the time to wash them. That amount of time is not very much and I don't mind it considering how much money it's saving us.
So in the end I guess it's worth it.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Rock Valentine

Emma gave me a rock today. It's warm enough that the snow has started to melt off the porch, so while I finished my lunch, she toddled about on the wood planks, eagerly babbling and waving her bunny about.
She found the rock and walked up to me, held it up to me with big blue hopeful eyes. I took it and said thank you, held it my chest for a moment and then tried to hand it back to her. She almost looked hurt. My first gift from her and I think I biffed it. Dang.
Every time I have worked with children they do this. Walk up to you, hold out their fists and give you some prize, a crumpled flower, a twig, some treasure that they have found. I have left playgrounds with pockets full of rock gifts from children. I don't know why they do this, why they are so compelled to give you their little discoveries. The ultimate altruism of a child. They share their little new worlds with you, and of course all we see is a rock to be thrown away when they are not looking.
Later in the day Emma walked up and handed me a bottle cap. I took it, and said thank you. Maybe it's a lesson in learning to accept love on other people's terms. You take the expression of love that people can give you. My daughter can't wrap her arms my neck and say, 'I love you,' but she can hand me the rock that she just found.
Mostly I am just pleasantly surprised to see her giving away things, instead of insisting that everything is hers. I love that we are ever entering into a new stage of development with her. She's walking, and starting to talk, and now she's sharing.
Maybe I'll save up all these gifts from her and when she's a teenager and acting uber-selfish I will whip out this box of rocks and twigs and yell, 'See you used to GIVE things away!' No, I kid, but can you imagine? That might be awesome.
A sweetness that I will not discourage. I am going to count it as her first Valentine to me! Because right now I'll take what I can get!

Sick and Tired

On Tuesday I came down with a cold or the flu, I'm not really sure. Symptomatically it was a mix of both. So tired I doubted my ability to walk across the room, my appetite had left the room, like the flu, but all other symptoms were like a cold. Sore throat, congestion, and a headache like a icey wet rag had slapped me across the forehead. Anyway, the gorey details aside I was laid out from tuesday until saturday. Sunday was the first day I felt able to leave the house. I had to cancel my commitments all week long. I have never been that sick for that long. Usually I just have to lay low for a day and then resurface after drinking my volumetric weight in Vitamin Water and watching all the Star Wars movies (the real ones, there it is: my inner nerd, you found it)and return to life as we know it. Not so much this time. Especially since I have a kid. I can't really camp out on the couch with a toddler. There are diapers to be changed and sippy cups to be filled. We did have a lot of 'snuggle with mommy time' on the couch watching way more TV than I would normally allow.
It's also February and has been below freezing at our house since November, I have spent an inordinate number of hours inside. Today is actually a beautiful day, it's in the 50's, which now since I am still running a low-grade fever is no coat weather for me. Instead of running outside to enjoy this gorgeous sunny day the vestiges of a headache still cling to my temples and I still mostly feel like sitting on the couch.
Does anybody love being sick? I know I don't, my artistic productivity goes way down, my mind turns to a substance like leftover grits, and empty water bottles, tangled blankets, and used tissues sprout on the floor and furniture like mold. And now toys, when your head is pounding about the last thing you feel like doing is bending over to put blocks away again. Sometimes I wonder though, if a good cold or flu isn't like a fire in a forest. A way of nature rebooting you. The days that I am sick are the days that I break all my rules, I watch TV in the middle of the day, I eat whatever I want, wear pants without buttons, read whatever I want. I'm kind to myself, I don't ask anything of myself other than the bare minimum to get by. Maybe my body and soul needed a week of rest, maybe I needed to take some naps. Either way, I did. Here's to hoping that next week I feel like putting on shoes...

Monday, February 7, 2011

A Man's Man

At a party the other night a few women and I were talking about what out husband's would do if an intruder came into our home and were threatening us. A few of the ladies asserted that their husbands would shoot him as quick as possible. I had to admit that I didn't think that Scott would shoot him. I sat for a moment and thought about what my husband would do. Mostly I knew that Scott wouldn't shoot him because we don't own a gun and I can barely imagine that we ever would. I spoke after awhile and thought that Scott would probably talk my assailant down and then try and pin him. Something he is capable of doing, and he would hope that I would call 911 in the scuffle. Which I probably would.

One of my favorite pictures of masculinity is one of Scott. One day Miriam and I adopted a kitten, we brought her home and set her up in the bathroom. When Scott came home, he was wearing a t-shirt with the arms cut off, a summer of working outside had puffed up his muscles and tanned his skin, he went right away to see the kitten. I remember watching him pick up that kitten. The look on his face of tenderness contrasted with his appearance. That to me was a picture of strength.

Earlier today I was thinking about the look that some fathers get on their face when they hold a brand new baby. There is this look of joy and tenderess mixed with awe. I think that men hold awe for young children because they watch the whole process of childbearing and birth and can only passively participate. There is a wonderment in that it actually happens. For women a newborn baby is no mystery, we know exactly where it came from, still miraculous, but not mysterious.

I think to me that is the picture of masculinity that I hold close to me, not of men wantonly killing because they can, or gladiators cutting people down with swords, but of men who know their strength full well, and know when to use it. Men who can hold a baby and cherish the miracle it is but also protect their wife and child.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Hooked on Phonics

Several years ago before Scott and I were married I was sitting in the San Francisco International Airport waiting for my flight back to Chicago. I sat across from a family, they seemed typical San Francisco. The mom had frizzy unstyled hair and was wearing some form of outdoorsy casual shoe (probably made by Keen or Merrell) the dad was Asian, bespectacled, and only mildly interested. She had two toddlers with her, over and over again she whipped educational toy after educational toy. Once the boy finished with his game of chess that he was playing with his father out came the book in French, then the all wood puzzles that looked like they were purchased at the SFMOMA, and then came out coloring books of biological systems. I kept thinking, 'relax lady, let them have fun. Everything does not need to be educational.' In watching her I decided to play it easy with pushing academics on my future children.
I made alphabet flash cards. That's right I made my own alphabet flash cards. As I was doing it I kept thinking, 'You know Lara you can buy these.' Then I would think,'eh, Alco probably doesn't sell them,' and I kept going. Why would I make alphabet flash cards for my 15 month old kid? Here's my logic. She is in the beginning of speech, she babbles, saying the same sound over and over again. I think she is still not in full control of her mouth and what comes out of it. When I would isolate a sound for her, one that she was already saying like, 'dah,' and say it for her. Trying to show her, 'look you can do this on purpose' her little mouth and tongue would wiggle around like she was trying to get it, but couldn't quite do it.
She can already identify pictures in books, and tell me where the duck is on the page. So I thought what if I gave her the symbol for the sound to anchor the sound and give more meaning to her babbling.
I wasn't sure if this idea was way too early for her, but I thought, 'why not, if it is we'll put them aside and try again later.' I finished them, colored them, and then laminated them.
I thought I would just pop one in my back pocket and whip it out a couple times a day and say the phonetic noise, very distinctly while holding it up next to my mouth. I started on Wednesday with 'O.' I only showed it to her about three times that day. Each time she was engrossed but said or did nothing. That night I tossed the card on the old church pew in our living room and thought, 'oh well maybe it will show up later.' Within minutes she had grabbed it and was doing toddler laps around the living room saying,
"Ooooooooooo, oooooooo, OOOO!" I couldn't believe it. I was so excited, it actually worked. Since then I have done d, m, and i. Last night in her triumphant parade of phonics she was actually combining o and i, while holding the respective cards.
The only reason I did this whole alphabet thing was because I thought it would help her, a significant part of me thought it would completely not work. I won't push it, I will only offer it.
I think this whole experience has taught me that it's important to pay attention to when your child is ready. Don't introduce a concept or activity until you see evidence that she is ready, by displaying foundational skills. Like when Emma would attemp to copy by moving her lips. Educational games aren't bad, and honestly I think my little kiddo likes to learn, but, again, there is a balance between fun and learning.
And sometimes learning is fun.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Quality not Quantity

This week has been long, emotionally taxing, and very, very busy. Including spending a day driving to another town two hours away to file for a replacement social security card for Emma, because we lost hers. Yes, we are THAT irresponsible. I laid in bed for a long time this morning, hating the thought of getting up and dealing with the day. On deck I had running around posting fliers for an art class I will be teaching this spring, grocery shopping, and dealing with our medical insurance. I rolled over on my belly and actually put my pillow over my head. I lolled about for a few more moments and forced myself to get up, I was getting to the 'Lara I'm worried about you,' place.
I went upstairs after throwing on my sweats and sweatshirt, collected my coffee that Scott had left out for me, and plunked down on the couch. Within moments Emma was in my lap with a book and her teddy bear. Scott looks at me and says,
"I am assuming you'll drop me off at work?" We only have access to one car at the moment.
"No, I think I'll just stay home today, you can have the car," I mentally cancelled all my appointments and decided that a long walk with my baby was in order.

A day that has often driven me crazy, a day where I am marooned in my house with a toddler, a cold front moving in, and nowhere to go but down, was pure peace. Emma has spent most of the week slung on my hip acting as a pity device for people to allow me to advertise in their place of business. Goes like this: harried mother walks in the door of coffee shop, breathing heavily, waits in line dutifully, child has magically increased in weight because of coat, plops child (wearing cute pompom hat) on the counter, barista stares misty eyed at cute child, and lets you do whatever you want. Works every time, except on old elementary school secretaries, they're jaded, and like to say 'no.'
So I spent the day actually focusing on my kid. Doing the things that normally wear on me with gusto; like snuggling while watching Sesame Street, reading the same book fifteen times, introducing her to markers, then giving her an afternoon bath because of said markers, taking her for a long walk, and playing with christmas presents we haven't really had time to enjoy. We spent our day in quiet companionship, babbling to each other and giggling.
I remember this when I was working for about four months of her infanthood. When I was home with her I was able to focus on her, instead of thinking about the million other things I wanted to accomplish. Now that I am with her all the time I find that I have quantity but not so much quality. This makes me think of something I read in a Dr. Sears book about encouraging you to stay home, it went something like this, 'you can't make quality time, you have to be there to catch quality moments.' Of course I was working at the time so that made me feel awesomely guilty. Today Emma said several words she's never said before, and had new experiences, something that I am usually too worn out to do or notice.
More and more I learn that life is a balance, too much time together and you grow tired. Too little and you miss out on too much.