Saturday, December 26, 2009


Today as I was wearing a paper jumpsuit and painting Ben's parents' front hall, I heard a rattling sound. Eden, once again, was wandering between the wet walls, and this time was shaking her cousin's Christmas box of Gobstoppers.

It wasn't until I was kneeling, prying the candy box out of her hands, that I saw her bulging cheeks. Apparently Eden had been drifting through the house in a sugary world of her own, enjoying candy-box shaker percussion when I interfered. Each time I thought I'd fished out the last gobstopper, I'd spot a little pink or yellow, and there would be another. That's because she was eating eight jawbreakers at once. Eight. And she most certainly didn't want to stop, so as I pulled them from her mouth, she furiously shook the box and sent the rest of the candy marbles bouncing and rolling across the wooden floor.

Her cousin has yet to find the nearly-empty box or rainbow smears on the freshly painted wall...

Monday, December 21, 2009

En Route

Today is a travel day.

On most travel days we are out the door at dawn. But today our flight left at 1:20PM, which means we had a handful of hours in the morning to wreak havoc. *SIGH*

Ideally the day of departing, especially departing with young children and especially departing heavily laden with Christmas presents and clothes to wear in snowy weather, is quiet and calm, with the car already packed.

Our morning, however, involved racing with a car full of recycling to the center, picking up dry cleaning, mailing something at the post office 3 days before Christmas (quel horreur!!), and going to a framer who was behind schedule to pick up Christmas presents. As our friend -- who had left work to drive us to the airport -- walked through our front door, we realized we still needed to clean out the fridge, empty diapers from the trashcans, change a dirty diaper, wash baby bottles (which are still on the counter), start the scooter in the garage to juice up the batter (an apparent priority), gather scarves (which are also still at the house), etc etc etc. (Needless to say we felt like the WORST friends).

Our house looks like a tornado blew through it, and I think my breathing went no deeper than my chin for a couple of hours. Silas, our new Jiminy Cricket, commented on how Ben and I spoke to each other more than once, and I think all the air drained right out of our joy and excitement about a snowy Christmas in DC.

Here on the plane we are slowly finding breathing again. We are at the level of a low tire now, an improvement 1from the limp rubber that we were as we climbed into the car. Hopefully by the time we get into bed tonight, we will be back to Good Year tires.

And miles to go before I sleep. And miles to go before I sleep.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Galore (more detailed than you may desire)

There were Christmas ideas in my head for weeks and then all at once, Christmas gusted into action. It's the first year Silas has really anticipated Christmas with me -- both spiritually and fancifully -- and with that sweetness have come many firsts.

We decorated the house and bought a squat little tree:
We waited in line for Santa:
While we were waiting, Silas wrote Santa a letter: "Dear Santa, I'm feeling a little shy today so I'm writing you a letter. I would like a Super Duper Double Looper for Christmas. Love, Silas" And when it was our turn, Silas wordlessly handed it to him.
Silas and I made the kind of Christmas cookies Ben grew up with that involve rolling, cutting and icing (and, it turns out, a lot of work, but are fun nonetheless):
Ben's Favorite Christmas Cookies

These cookies tend to be a little more flour-y than buttery, which I like with the icing (and this is coming from a butter-cookie lover). I think they're best when rolled thin and cooked well. This recipe makes a LOT of cookies (at least 5 pans), so you may want to cut it in half. And parchment was my best friend.

1 c sugar
1 c butter
2 eggs
5 T milk
1 t baking soda dissolved in
1 t lemon juice
2 t baking powder
3 c flour
1 t vanilla
extra flour for rolling out the dough

-roll and cut
-bake at 350 til brown

For the icing, mix milk and food coloring; add powdered sugar til the mixture is think enough to spread (or even spoon) but not too runny.

Silas learned "Away in a manger" and performed for the first time with hand motions and all (he's front right):

Silas chose and gave Eden the first present she's ever received from him:
We loved spending time at the manger (even though this Jesus was blond-haired and blue-eyed -- come on!)

And had a visit from Santa (YES, Silas DID hear a "clink clink" on the roof during the night) for our California Christmas morning -- the pajama-ed, beaming anticipation was delicious.And Monday we will set sail, yet again, for DC, where snow is piling nearly to the windows -- a rare and wished for treat.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Without Me

I just closed the door of big black car and sent Silas off on his first play-date without me.
When his friend's mom offered to pick Silas up this afternoon, my first reaction was amazement at the freedom that would ensue -- Eden napping, Silas off with a friend who was not a babysitter, whom I did not have to pay, no strings attached, simply boys playing. Uncharted waters.

Yet, as I sensed his wee hesitation when I bucked him into their strange car, and as I watched them drive off, tinted windows obscuring his face, I was struck by how much of the rest of our lives will consist of separation; he going one direction and I another. In such a short time, it will be hard to remember these days when I crave even an hour on my own.

And I must say, that now sitting here without him, I feel a little sad.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

In Defense of Butter - or- How Christmas Cookie Baking is Going

Well, I have used 6 sticks of butter in the last two hours. Fortunately, I haven't eaten them all. But I do keep thinking about the Parisian sandwich -- I don't think we've talked about that enough. How IS it that Parisian sandwiches have visible pats of butter the length of the sandwich AND cheese and ham, yet people eat them for lunch regularly in France? I recently was sifting through a bunch of my grandmother's recipes and when she came to any sandwich recipe (of which there were surprisingly many), it began: "Generously butter each piece of bread..." And yet, like many French, my grandmother was a lean person. I think our society carries far too much fear of butter these days, don't we? Churned cream with a little salt -- it does add a lot.

Which brings me to baking cookies. I haven't actually baked any yet but have been making batches of dough -- glazed lemon cookies from a recipe I tore out of a magazine last winter; Ben's mom's sugar cookies that Silas and I will roll out and ice tomorrow; and, most intriguingly, Brown Butter Spoon Cookies with Jam.

There have been a few glitches along the way, like a paper towel falling into my bowl of carefully squeezed lemon juice and sucking it all up. Or water sloshing into my pot of carefully browned butter that was cooling in the sink. Or flour measuring. I have taken to measuring flour with a 1/3 or 1/2 c measuring cup because they fit into my flour jar (yes, wide-mouth kitchen jars are on my Christmas list). And I often lose count, even when I know that I often lose count and concentrate. When I couldn't slice the chilled lemon cookie dough without it pulverizing, I knew that once again, I had mis-measured (as I had earlier with a pumpkin cake).

Despite all the setbacks, though, I think cookies will ensue.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Twiggy Foto Pics

Chi-Lin Sun took some pictures of us the other day. She has a magical way of capturing children in their everyday way... Check out her beautiful work here.

Here are some gems from our tromp at the bay:

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

A Morning in Paris

I love how tastes, like smells, can magically transport us. This morning in the middle of a string of errands, Eden and I pulled into my favorite market for a cappuccino and a bite to eat. Wearing boots, candy cane striped tights, and dragging a bulky Handy Manny backpack behind her, Eden walked into A Market with me. I didn't want a muffin, cinnamon coffee cake, or gooey pecan roll (though they all sound like a perfect afternoon snack right now), but something savory... I asked about the Parisian sandwich I've eyed every time we've come in, and just as I'd hoped, butter, cheese, and ham filled the narrow baguette -- exactly what I wanted. The bread was crusty with some chew, and the combination of ham, salty smooth butter, and creamy, slightly sharp cheese -- perfect. With the first bite, there I was, standing on a grey Paris street, beaming.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Annual Argument

Ben and I got our Christmas tree yesterday and ended up having the same discussion we have every year:

Bronwen walking over to the car: Have you tied the tree to the roof yet?
Ben: No, I'm just going to hold it.
Bronwen: Hold it to the roof from inside the car?
Ben: Yes.
Bronwen: You are going to hold the tree?
Ben: Yes.
Bronwen: With one hand?
Ben: Yes.
Bronwen: Out the WINdow?
Ben: YES.
Bronwen: while we DRIVE?
Ben: yes.
Bronwen: 35 mph and around corners?
Ben: It will be FINE.
Bronwen: Ben---

The conversation goes on and on like this until segueing into exasperation. How would you explain to the person behind you whose windshield your tree just smashed that it wasn't tied down because you'd decided "just to hold it"? Unlike most years when I march back into the tree lot, muttering to myself as I unravel 20 feet of string, and march back to the car with the tangled mess of it, this year I gave up early. I couldn't bear the ridiculousness of the argument -- or the fact that, once again, we were having it.
Ben: "This is going to work fine -- I'll just tie net around the tree to the roof rack."
(tie the net to one side of the roof rack so that worst case scenario -- hopefully -- the tree just rolls off the roof and hangs along the side of the car hiding us from anyone who thought a Christmas tree was tumbling off the roof and about to hit them).

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Double-Sunrise Shell

I like picking up stones and shells to mark experiences. It's taken me a while to realize that relationships are made up of a lot of unremarkable finds -- gravel, beach pebbles, skipping-stones, broken shells. It's a rare day when one finds a green stone on a beach or a large piece of sea glass, or a pebble shaped like a heart. But these, of course, are what keep us looking.

When I was home for Thanksgiving, I started thinking about this one evening when my dad and I sat in the semi-dark living room speaking more honestly than we usually do. His tenderness during that conversation is one of the perfect white stones I will carry in my pocket.

I realize that I wish relationships consisted of those remarkable moments all of the time -- the close, intimate, and undivided ones. I am reading Gift from the Sea* by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. She talks about how the stages of early love, friendship, and even parenting are "pure" -- they exist in the sweet spot of fresh, early love where a relationship is a world unto itself, unhindered by the responsibilities and complications of life. In this early stage we are "loved alone" -- completely and exclusively, outside of all other affections and distractions; we are, as Donne says, in that small time, each other's whole world.

From Lindberg's chapter "Double Sunrise":

"We all wish to be loved alone. Perhaps, as Auden says in his poem, this is a fundamental error in mankind.

'For the error bred in the bone

Of each woman and each man
Craves what it cannot have,
Not universal love But to be loved alone.'

...In discussing this verse with an Indian philosopher, I had an illuminating answer. 'It is all right to wish to be loved alone... mutuality is the essence of love. There cannot be others in mutuality. It is only in the time-sense that it is wrong. It is when we desire continuity of being loved along that we go wrong.'"

One comes in the end to realize that there is no permanent pure-relationship and there should not be. It is not even something to be desired. The pure relationship is limited, in space and in time. In its essence it implies exclusion. It excludes the rest of life, other relationships, other sides of personality, other responsibilities, other possibilities in the future . It excludes growth...
One learns to accept the fact that no permanent return is possible to an old form of relationship; and, more deeply still, that there is no holding of a relationship to a single form. This is not tragedy but part of the ever-recurrent miracle of life and growth. All living relationships are in process of change, of expansion, and must perpetually be building themselves new forms." (73-75)

Though what she says holds true for all relationships, I have thought about it especially in terms of marriage (the relationship she most specifically addresses here). Ben's brother Zack is getting married in February. I have loved watching him and Beth the past few months-- how they talk to each other under their breath in a way that's almost their own language, look at each other with small smiles tucked in the corners of their mouths, wend through their weeks popping in and out of thrift stores, and photographing each other in greenish light. Fresh love.

Watching their world has also heightened my awareness of what a different world Ben and I now live in -- a world orbited by two dancing moons, a world with lots of life to maintain. But Lindberg reminds me that change can be life-giving, a mark of expansion and growth, that instead of trying to return to an old form, we can work to reconnect and create new forms. She talks about how we can rediscover "the miracle of the sunrise" shell (the rosy early stage where two are joined by a perfect simple hinge) when we duck out of life's rush together. "What unexpected joy... to leave the children, the house, the job, and all the obligations" and find the "sudden pleasure of having breakfast alone with the man one fell in love with... Nothing [to separate each other] but a coffee pot, corn muffins and marmalade." (70-71) (I don't much like marmalade, but that sentence makes me want a whole jar of it on the kitchen table).

For now, I am off to make breakfast with Silas -- not quite the same, but doesn't it help to remember his downy-headed little self while he is yelling the entire house awake at 6AM?
And yet wouldn't I be even more exhausted had he stayed that nursing baby? (Oh, so grateful not to be in that stage any longer!) Reminders all around...

*If you are not familiar with the book, a little background: each chapter is an essay based on a different shell she's found. She writes from a bare-bones beach house during a week of solitude. The book, written in 1955, pre-Feminist movement, is definitely dated in parts, which she addresses in an afterword, but the heart of her musings stand true.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Eastern Early Winter Reminders

*the magic of static sparks in the dark
(winter's version of fireflies)

*chapped lips

*sock lint (I realize how seldom we wear socks!)

*that jet lag means that even when dog-tired from small people who rise early, I may still be wide awake Christmas shopping online come bedtime...

*the fun of tromping through a field of papery poplar leaves, watching Eden learn to lift her knees and kick foot-fuls as she goes

*the sink into quiet during stretches of cool, grey days

*traces of my parents in the mornings: a kitchen that smells like coffee and newspapers sectioned on the table

My eyes are tired, but it's good to be home this week...
(the other home)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Silas has begun to "help" me pack. I just opened his roller backpack (a clever way to make him carry the DVD player and videos) and found 6 cars, 1 combine, a yo yo he can't use, a light-up spy rocket ship, a stuffed tweeting bird, a pop gun, two packets of trail mix, and a handful of change I told him to put in his piggy bank. A little bit of packing, a little bit of unpacking, a little bit of packing, a little bit of unpacking... Slowly but surely we will get on our plane tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Attempt to photograph the two together...

t i r e d

I feel the kind of tired where I could fall asleep mid-chewing and nod right into a plate of eggs. Tired between my eyes. And in my neck. And head.

After Eden was born (and it probably should have been illegal for me to drive because I was so tired), I listened to the Weepies album Hideaway every time we got in the car. It marks that time of great shift, summer brilliance, and exhaustion.

I listened to it again today for the first time in a while and couldn't help being bolstered by the lyrics to "Can't Go Back Now":

Yesterday, when you were young,
Everything you needed done was done for you.
Now you do it on your own
But you find you're all alone,
What can you do?

You, and me, walk on walk on walk on
Cause you can't go back now.

You know there will be days when you're so tired
that you can't take another step,
The night will have no stars
and you'll think you've gone as far as you will ever get

But you, and me, walk on walk on walk on
Cause you can't go back now...

I can't really say why everybody wishes
they were somewhere else
But in the end, the only steps that matter
are the ones you take all by yourself

And you, and me, walk on walk on walk on
Yeah you and me walk on walk on walk on
Cause you can't go back now

It's about this stage of life trying to waltz in a life of solitude; fumbling for our next steps; feeling pangs of isolation, exhaustion, and the stubby rough end of our rope; knowing at the same time that we aren't the only ones journeying; choosing to walk on because, after all, we're able to do so much more than we think we can.

Cloth diaper update (very very small)

Well, it has been a while, I realize, since I updated you about the world of cloth. A few quick things:

*For the past two weeks, we've been using only disposables again because Eden had a killer rash and then an infection, so we had to use creams. Because of that I feel a little out of practice, though the past two days have whipped me back into shape (routine sets in quickly).

*I've started putting them in the dryer rather than hanging them out in the shade. Makes sense and IS easier.

*I've also started bleaching them once a month, which helps the freshness factor.

*Eden loves sitting on the potty -- asks for it (sometimes to stall going to bed -- why are they so smart?) and has peed there twice. Maybe we will be moving away from diapers before TOO long. (and then again, maybe not... you never know with these things)

I thought I had many new things to say about cloth, but it turns out I have hardly anything to say... ha!

Thursday we leave for DC again, and I am planning to haul the cloth with us. I have lost a little momentum and excitement in thinking about traveling with all the diapers again, but I think I will rise to the occasion.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Funny Little Thing

After Silas's ride on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad went less than well, Ben's been "preparing" him for the Matterhorn (I haven't even asked) -- giving him the play-by-play, watching the ride on YouTube. The climax of the roller coaster for a 3 year old, of course, is when the giant monster with red eyes (red eyes, as I've mentioned, are particularly terrifying) roars.

When they were talking it over, Ben asked, Silas, what's that monster's name?

a moment of thought....
The Obama Snowman.
(also known as the Abominable Snowman)

So excellent.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My little Senile Uncle and Auntie

It struck me yesterday as I spent a low-key day with Silas and Eden, that spending time with them is very much like spending time with a sweet little senile aunt and uncle pair.

There is Silas carefully calculating things like, "I will put a stamp on this for one hour and fifteen minutes," or "I am not ready to go to bed. I want to play for 5 more minutes, no THREE more!!" -- proving again and again that despite his convictions, he has a poor grasp of time.

And then there's little Auntie who will even just hear me talking to someone in an animated way and will begin madly nodding with earnest "yes, yes"'s each time her head bows (they are deep nods). Little miss playing along.

Looking at them this way definitely lightens the mood. Even (or especially) when Eden is feeding dozens of flat rate priority envelopes through slats in the bench inside the post office, and Silas is fully lying on an empty shelf while I mail a package...

Monday, November 02, 2009

Fall Soup: Yellow Split Pea

Inspired by Hollie Moyer's recent potato soup posting (and photo idea, since it turns out soup in a pot is difficult to photograph and make look appetizing -- I am still figuring out how to photograph food...)

Last Wednesday, my sister Kaia Joye and four of her friends from the Island (doesn't calling it "the Island" make Catalina sound mysterious and like LOST?) stopped over for dinner on their way to Joshua Tree. We piled into the living room, sitting on every available surface, and drank wine from jam jars, ate crusty bread, salad with crasins, pears and sunflower seeds, and bowls of fall soup. This was the first time I'd tried this recipes, and one thing I loved about the final product is how beautiful it is with flecks of red tomato, orange squash, and ribboned kale against the yellow.

Yellow Split Pea Soup with Autumn Squash and Kale
(from Fresh From the Farmers Market, by Janet Fletcher)

2 T o.oil
2-3 oz (I'd say 3-4) pancetta, minced (you can buy it diced in a container at Trader Joe's)
1 large onion, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 c dried yellow split peas
1 fresh rosemary sprig, 4"long
4 c chicken broth, plus more for thinning later if needed
1/2 lb peeled hard-shelled squash such as Kabocha or Butternut, diced
1/2 lb plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, diced
1/3 lb kale or green chard, ribs removed

Heat oil in large pot over moderate heat.
Add pancetta and saute until it renders some of its fat, about 3 min.
Add onion and garlic -- saute until soft, about 10 min.
Add split peas, rosemary, 4 c broth, 4 c water
Simmer, cover and adjust head to maintain simmer
Cook until peas completely soft, 45 min-1hr
Taste often and remove rosemary when flavor is strong enough (should be subtle)
Season soup with S&P
Stir in squash and tomatoes
Slice kale into ribbons and stir into soup
Cover and cook until squash and kale are tender, about 20 min.
Think with broth of needed.
(it will thicken considerably as it cools)

Sunday, November 01, 2009

The Morning After

I moved through October with heightened senses -- sweeping stores for creepy decorations since even in the most unassuming places, there can be contorted, bloody, rotting-faced masks...

Halloween used to be my favorite. I could not begin to understand the people who forbade trick-or-treating or only took their kids to harvest festivals. How grossly over-protective.
But then I met a soft impressionable child with wide eyes and a leaping imagination whom I had to protect. And the world looked different. Experiencing horror on his face -- his first real fear -- because of a "decoration" in a store last year changed me and reminded me that images stick.

Last week, I tried to get to the YMCA with the kids over and over. But there was weather, a cough, a loss of motivation. We didn't go. At the end of the week, I finally went alone. In the entrance hung the most horrific decorations I have ever seen in a public space. They were unavoidable and larger than life. I couldn't even think how Silas would have responded (for days after).

the entrance of the Y:right inside above the front desk:

Today the stores will be drained of witches, masks, fake blood, bones, rotting corpses and spiders, and will be prematurely filled with fake snow, elves, stockings, shiny balls and candy canes. This November morning I can feel my guard melting. Once again, Halloween is over.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Today I have the blahs.
They seem to have crept up on me.
I think it has to do with Ben's being gone all weekend and my being all hands on deck without ceasing since last Monday (he gets home today -!!)
But I can't motivate to do anything. Literally.
I'm helping throw a Halloween party today and I have all these great ideas like making orange jello in clear plastic cocktail cups with a black gummy spider at the bottom, blowing up water grenade balloons and with kleenex and string making a ghost craft with the kids -- but I haven't done any of it. And can't. I literally could not move myself from the living room this morning.
So we sat there.
But I cannot.
I cannot get out of the living room.
I cannot take the kids even outside the front door to race around.
I cannot go to the grocery store.
I have told Silas, probably a dozen times, that I need "a quaker meeting" (silence) and can field no more questions.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

What to do?

Our dilemma of the day: how to get the antibiotics INto Eden's body.

Yesterday she loved them.
Today she refuses to swallow them. Refuses. Fills her mouth and them lets the medicine dribble out. Or spits it.

I tried to hide it in orange juice. She didn't drink it.
I gave her a straw. She put her mouth on it but wouldn't suck.

We have 9 more days of antibiotics, 3 times a day ahead of us (or maybe only 8 days since at least two doses were spat about the kitchen). What do I do?
I'm at a loss. Any suggestions?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Killer Bunny Follow Up

When driving around this morning, Silas asked, Why did that bunny bite Eden?...
Did the police come and take it right away?

Despite all of my explaining, he still was unclear about why the police wouldn't have come to help with traps galore.

Tonight we visited Beth's apartment where we met Georgie Fruit the cat AND Johnson the bunny. After staring for a minute, Eden walked over to the rabbit cage and stuck her left pointer finger (the bitten one) right in. She, at least, seems not to be remotely traumatized by last night's events.

This morning I did end up taking her to urgent care because her cuts looked redder -- which the doctor said was from the bacteria in the animal's mouth -- and she is taking antibiotics.
So, that's that for now (and hopefully ever).

Friday, October 23, 2009

Catching up from our 10 Days in DC

Our first day in DC, Silas and I went for a walk and gathered along the way. His finds made me realize that though we have Fall here in California and the leaves of the Liquid Amber Maples behind my house gradually (and thankfully) turn cranberry red, we do miss some of Fall treasures
and brilliance

We played at the pumpkin patch (my favorite where I used to go as a kid)

and spent some time with Ben after being apart for a week.

One of my favorite moments was when Eden first saw the dollhouse in my parents' basement: she began chanting "hass hass" (house), and then immediately climbed in (and got stuck)!

An Eventful Night.........

This afternoon, Silas dressed up as Lightning McQueen and Eden as a puffy ladybug, and we headed to a Fall Carnival.

I was expecting a bean bag toss and mob of people, but instead the crowd was thin, and we were greeted by a Ferris wheel, moon bounces, candy apples, climbing walls, little carnival rides (and as you may know, I am particularly partial to fair-like events), and a petting zoo! Silas jumped and climbed; we ate ribs for dinner -- well, Eden and I ate ribs and Silas ate two bites of fried chicken, a pickle slice, cheetos, 3 jolly ranchers, and a tootsie roll -- and visited the animals.

The petting zoo was a tiny pen with friendly goats, an impossibly tiny black pig (I WISH I had a picture of him, actually, I wish I had him), bunnies, a couple of ducks, and chickens -- perfectly manageable. Eden was thrilled.
As we stood next to the fluffiest goat with our hands buried in his coat, I marveled at these animals who moved around the pen so calmly as tiny hands plunged toward them.
The bunnies, being bunnies, darted by here and there, but surprisingly paused to let us pat them. One even let Eden stroke its ears. I was taking this picture of Eden with the sweet bunny when Eden started SCREAMING.
Have you ever seen a bunny eating a carrot, the way it bites in a series of fast definitive chomps? (all the while wiggling its nose so it looks cute?) Well, this carrot was Eden's finger. She couldn't get it out of the rabbits mouth, and I couldn't move fast enough. When I finally (finally -- it was probably all of 2 seconds) pulled her finger out, there were 4 clean bites down her pointer finger and one between her pointer finger and thumb. She, of course, was hysterical. And I didn't know what to do. So I stood there, in the middle of the petting pen, holding my screaming ladybug, vaguely nodding at people who asked if an animal bit her, wanting to tell them to evacuate the pen and to put the rabbit down immediately.

Her hand was red and puffy. Ben was out of town. Silas was still in line for a balloon-filled moon bounce he'd been so patiently waiting for. Staff people were talking into walkie-talkies looking for first aid. And my new friend Alison was looking firmly into my face telling me it was OK.

I'm often amazed by what we can do -- what we do do -- when we have to. I am operating on a major sleep-deficit, which means that I feel like I could drool at any moment or burst into tears. All I wanted to do was to collapse in a heap with Eden -- who, every time she rediscovered her cuts, held up her hand, crying "BUNNY! BUNNY!" -- and sob my eyes out.

But instead, I went with first aid, I scrubbed little E's hand, I smiled at her and sang, I called my pediatrician, I decided to go to urgent care, I extracted Silas from the carnival (though he became hysterical because I wouldn't let him have a candy apple -- see tantrums), I walked all the way down the hill and through the crowds carrying heavy Eden to our car, I somehow LOST my phone on the way, I retraced my steps praying, I somehow FOUND my phone by a curb!, I buckled everyone in, I came home, I re-scrubbed Eden's hand, I decided not to go to urgent care, I put Eden to bed, I read Silas books, I brushed his teeth and tucked him into bed. I made it.

I often feel like a small miracle of life is that I make it through a day. Despite myself. Despite so many things. Despite fumbling. Despite being impatient. Despite Eden's feeding her finger to a rabbit. We make it. And then we sleep. And then we wake to a new morning.