Wednesday, March 31, 2010

new life

the Bible doesn't record
what Jesus did on wednesday
of His final week.

and so our celebration today
was the traditional
easter egg painting.

as we painted
and decorated our faberge's
we talked about where eggs come from.

and how they are
a symbol of new life.

and how Christ gives us new life.

the easter bunny
didn't even enter the conversation.
and at the end of it all,
milla exclaims,
this is better than christmas!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

two wise virgins

three days before passover.

Christ teaches in the temple,
namely the parable of the ten virgins.

of all the parables to focus on,
with two little girls
of course i had to choose
the marriage-themed one.
we first crafted our own lamps
out of modeling clay
and then dressed as the virgins.
of course, ours were wise.
we read matthew 25:1-13
and put on the play.

though in this house,
it was the bridegroom who was sleeping.

Monday, March 29, 2010

fig tree

four days before passover.
Christ returns to jerusalem
and curses the fig tree.
matthew 21:18-22
He shares a few poetic thoughts on faith,
which we elaborated on--
talking of prayer
and the blessings it unlocks.

then we adjourned
to the cooking area
where avi donned her party hat
(from the last birthday party),
called herself a chef
and dove into tearing apart the dried figs
as we made

Sunday, March 28, 2010

palm sunday

palm sunday.

today we began the institution
of a full week of easter celebrations--
which i plan to make tradition.
beginning with palm sunday
and going through the final days of
the life of our Lord,
His death
and His resurrection.

after reading matthew 21:1-11
we sat our own little Jesus
on his donkey
and walked Him into Jerusalem,
while waving our palm leaves
and placing our coats under His feet,
crying Hosanna to His name.

Jesus sat on our table
all day long to remind us
of where He was 2000 years ago
and why we celebrate today.

(though i did overhear avi
whisking Him off to the ball
on his horse this evening. . .
will the cinderella phase ever end?)

Friday, March 26, 2010

granola bars

this evening
for our dear friends' visit
we actually made
of all things.
they happened to be quite delish.
i wouldn't call them
low in sugar
but who ever wanted that, anyway?

this sunday is palm sunday.
and if you remember
my pathetic attempts in the past
to establish a Christ-centered easter,
i'll soon show you
a much better attempt.

stay tuned.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

double bed

we're not really an early morning crowd,
to be honest.
not that i don't like getting up early,
i just rarely get up earlier
than i have to.

this morning felt like a saturday.

and we all woke up early.
first it was dad that couldn't sleep.
then that cooing baby in the basket next to me
decided to order an early breakfast.
after that the sun
was beating in the window so strong
with the cold, bright blue sky outside
and the little breeze through the window
that we were snuggled in tight
when i noticed a quiet visitor
slipping under the blanket on dad's side.
and as we all laid there
nuzzled in that little double bed
and unable to sleep
at that early hour,
it was only a matter of time
before that pesky sun
woke up the last of the family
and avi came tiptoeing across the room.
she squeezed in next to me
and by that point
there was no hope of sleep for anyone.
and it was a good thing
we had nowhere to rush to,
waking up so early--
that we laid there playing
for a good hour
before it was time to greet the day.

and because it felt like saturday?
i just had to run to the corner
for some eggs
to whip up a waffle breakfast.

and only one more day
until another saturday!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


when we saw the picture
in that book
she asked me what it was.
i told her hopscotch,
with my mind flashing back
to second grade
and the blacktop at recess.

and then as i laid next to her
in bed last night,
with milla fast asleep a few feet away,
we whispered back and forth
in the dark.
"what do you want to do tomorrow?"
and so the plan was hatched.

i'm not sure what our downstairs neighbors think,
but we're sure having a fine time.

Friday, March 19, 2010

apple tartlets

this blustery, snowy, wintery afternoon
was spent in the kitchen,
honing my tart dough skills
and whipping up
alice waters' apple tart
in miniature form
for this weekend's dinner guests.
now on
to the rest of the menu!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

detective work

that's my poor baby's face.
if you could only see
her whole leopard body--
silky soft skin
riddled with pink sandpapery spots,
growing larger
and spreading further every day.

we've made it a morning
and evening ritual now.
she grabs her computer of choice
and lays on her bed
while i grease her up
(and we thought that tub of aquaphor
would last us years).
she's a champ.

it took off
when we moved to our new place,
and the mystery has begun.
first job:
get it under control.
second job:
locate and eliminate the culprit.
i wasn't born a detective,
but we're doing our best!

personal experience?
do share.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


and as we drove that day
on the outer ring of moscow
he was totally appalled
that i would say such a thing.
-yes, i think they're kind of pretty.
-you? the tree-hugging granola?
what are you talking about?

i know, i know.
but with the sun
and the bright blue clear sky
and those billowing clouds
and those big ominous silhouettes. . .

i stayed firm.
there really was something to them.

Monday, March 15, 2010


it was as we were driving
home from church,
when avi asked me
what we talked about in the boring class
(my class became "the boring class"
when i had to threaten
misbehaving children (yes, mine)
that they'd have to come to class with me).
i told her we had talked about
the creation
and gave her a sentence or two
of summary.
that was when milla said,
"mom, when i get up to heaven
i'm going to give Jesus a lot of stickers
for making such a good world for us.
like, 10 stickers,
because that was so nice of Him!"

that was when i started to wonder
about my sticker-incentive program.
desperate measure
to get them to stay in bed at night?
but i have been gloating in its success
ever since it began--
reveling in the fact
that something so simple
works so well.
i know it's not a permanent solution.
but hey,
we do what we have to do around here.
and if she thinks she'll go out of this world
with an envelope full of stickers,
well, so be it.
at least she's willing to share them.

Friday, March 12, 2010

cooped up

today is friday.
milla stays home from preschool.
and we are cooped up
by sheer lack of desire to go out.
nothing wrong with that, right?

we became fashion designers
for an hour,
making good use
of another man's creative ingenuity:

avi's prince & princess

and milla's
family portrait.

can you find me?
(and no, i'm not the princess)

Thursday, March 11, 2010


i realize maybe i have issues.
i began to think that
when i spent an hour and a half
scraping the spanish language warning stickers
off our brand new baby car seat
with my thumbnails.
or maybe i didn't think about it
until the next day
when my thumbs hurt so bad
i could hardly use them.

but seriously.
can i be the only one out there
whose biggest pet peeve
are the stickers and price tags
that get plastered all over things,
and take fingernails
and chemicals and my precious time
to get scraped off?

as i spent some more of that precious time
last night
on some new glasses,
i pondered this.
i again mentally thanked that dear friend
who smuggled me some goo gone
from america to france.
and reminisced about that
blessed christmas present from alex
years ago,
the "sticker lifter."

or just somebody
who values their time
and their fingernails?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

craft du jour

oh, i love it when
other people
come up with the good ideas for me.
the hard part is already done.

try this charming barrette yourself.
the purl bee shows you how.

Monday, March 8, 2010

lovely mess

'twas a lovely mess, it was.
such a lovely mess
i didn't even mind cleaning it up.

after a late night with alex
setting up that makeshift table
with the smorgasbord chairs and stools
that we've been living with since we moved in,
pulling out more silverware
from the storage,
counting the placemats
to find there weren't enough. . .
finally we can invite
more than one couple to our house
all at once!
we found we're not outfitted
for such entertaining,
but with the space
we just can't help ourselves.

the occasion:
8th of march
(international women's day)
a big holiday here.
it was brunch with monte cristos,
eggs, fresh pineapple,
raspberry smoothies, alex's hashbrowns,
and tea and cakes.
(and chocolate truffles for the women!)
a full table, fresh tulips in the center
(white, in honor of the snow),
good friends and joviality,
music in the background and
children running crazy
throughout the house. . .

nothing but
beautiful noise
and a lovely mess.

Friday, March 5, 2010

crowning moment

when milla crowned,
(and i don't mean into princesshood)
i was experiencing
the most intense pain i'd ever felt
in my life.
but even that didn't stop me
from asking the one question
i had on my mind:
what color is her hair???

if i've had one dream for my children
(alright, among others)
it would be that they would inherit
the thick, black hair from their father,
instead of the thin, fine hair
of their well-intentioned mother.
it was strike one, then strike two,
and then i was really full of high hopes
when it came to the third time around.
i mean, surely father to son, right?

this time around
i didn't have time to ask any questions
during that crowning moment,
but it was the first thing i noticed
when i first set eyes
on my boy.
thick, black hair.

they'd always told me
that baby hair falls out.
but i didn't believe them.
i didn't believe, i didn't believe,
until that day.
that fateful day
when i looked inside his hood.
it was full of black hair.
fine, black, beautiful baby hair.
the hair i had dreamt of for so long.
the hair i had wished upon my
firstborn son.
the hair i married for.
tragedy struck.
and continues to strike.

even the fact
that i am in good company losing my own
doesn't make me feel better.

tell me it will come back.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


dearest friends,
this happens to be
my 500th post.
maybe it's just another day for you,
but for me
it's a milestone in my chronicle.
and i'm ever so delighted
that you are enjoying the ride
along with me.

to celebrate
i would love to send
two lucky persons
a photo print of their choice
from my chronicle.

perhaps you've found one
that made you happy?
let me know about it,
and you'll be in the game.

happy 500!
i've loved every minute.

(lucky winners:
tnd, sweetpeainfrance, jen a!)