Cradle Song

Sleep, sleep, beauty bright,
Dreaming in the joys of night;
Sleep, sleep; in thy sleep
Little sorrows sit and weep.

Sweet babe, in thy face
Soft desires I can trace,
Secret joys and secret smiles,
Little pretty infant wiles.

As thy softest limbs I feel,
Smiles as of the morning steal
O'er thy cheek, and o'er thy breast
Where thy little heart doth rest.

O the cunning wiles that creep
In thy little heart asleep!
When thy little heart doth wake,
Then the dreadful night shall break.

William Blake

2 Earthquake

Wednesday, 21 August 2013
I know I haven't been writing recently.  To be honest I've been so busy being a "single" mom and trying to stay on top of my studies, that any free time has been spent vegging out nursing a beer.

Today feels like a good day to write though, now that the internet is back.  The kids and I are on vacation in Mexico, in Acapulco, Guerrero.  The Don woke up early and took his computer games to the living room, while Betty snuck into my bed for a little early morning downtime.  The room started to shake and I knew right away it was an earthquake.  I wasn't too worried though, this area gets frequent earthquakes and they're not usually that strong.

After a few seconds though, the room started shaking really hard.

This wasn't your run of the mill, small earthquake. 

I scooped Betty up under one arm and ran to the living room to get The Don.  He was playing Angry Birds (duh!) 

I called him to me so we could stand under a doorway.  We're on the top floor of a small apartment block, and earthquake had already been going for a while, so trying to evacuate the building would have been more dangerous.  We waited it out and it stopped. 

I always get a little nauseous after earthquakes.  It's not a panic response, I think it's more the movement of the earth that triggers it.  Anyway, we were surveying the damage...

...and I was bracing for the aftershocks.  We got a few small ones, and after about 20 minutes a big aftershock hit. 

That one was big and I was ready.

I scooped one child under each arm and ran down the stairs into the parking lot.  The Don was so cute, he said "let's not do that again". 

Some people from the other apartments came to the parking lot shortly after.  We were talking about the damage to the building and apparently we'd been pretty lucky.  Our apartment was relatively undamaged.  We got a few cracks in the walls and a lot of stuff knocked off the shelves, but nothing major.  This other lady's apartment was flooded.

Once it was all over, I went to walk around the building to see the damage and the East side was hit pretty bad.  Pipes burst,

there was a waterfall coming all the way down the stairs, big heavy railing had fallen off the sides and shattered glass was everywhere. 

Apparently the pool of a building behind us had cracked open.  Fortunately no one was really hurt and the aftershocks seem to have slowed down. 

This earthquake was a 6.2.  The big aftershock was 5.3.  I was mentally comparing it to an earthquake I was in in 1999 when I used to live in Cholula, a little village on the outskirts of Puebla.  Other people were saying that the earthquake this morning was the biggest one they'd ever been in, but I remember the 1999 earthquake was pretty strong too.  I looked it up and reports vary - from 6.5 to 7.0.

Today's earthquake was definitely the scarier one for me.  In 1999, I did not have two young children to look after. 

4 God touches everything...

Monday, 28 January 2013

 ...Except my iPhone...

My parents were never very religious as I was growing up.  We celebrated the relevant holidays, but it was more a social thing than a spiritual one.  Given this state of affairs, my religious grandmothers both tried their best to educate me in matters related to The Faith.

I remember being a very young child when Abi, my maternal grandmother, was telling me about God.  She explained to me that everything exists because of the power of God, that he touches everything.  We had a discussion about it, and I went away with the idea that if He did not touch it, it could not exist.


So off I went to play with my favorite, super bouncy ball.

The game was to bounce it as high and as hard as I could, chase after it laughing my ass off, then do it again.  I had so much fun with that game.  (Did I mention the ball was ridiculously bouncy?)  After one particularly enthusiastic throw, the ball bounced so hard I couldn't keep up with it.  I saw it roll under a set of floor length curtains, never to be seen again.

I looked everywhere.  It was my only, my favorite bouncy ball.  I searched and searched for it.  Behind the curtains, all the way along the walls, all through the house.  It was nowhere to be found.  I persisted, but it was in vain.  I even checked the walls for holes, maybe it had rolled out into the garden?  But no.  I kept searching for sporadically over the coming days, maybe even weeks, but it never turned up.


Either I bounced it so hard, God couldn't keep up with it (yes, my arm was that strong at 4 or 5 years old); or maybe God had lost interest: either way, he had stopped touching it and it had ceased to exist. 

I was very young then.  I'm agnostic now, (I come from a multi-faith family, so I respect religions, but do not take part).  I stopped believing in God when I was in first grade, or maybe younger (my dad had a talk with me, encouraging me to find my own answers since he probably didn't like people filling my head with "truths".  He wanted me to find my own path).

Anyhow, back to the present:

God stopped touching my iPhone.

I curled up in bed with my computer and iPhone, like I do every night so I can watch a few shows before going to sleep.  I went to check my phone to make sure the alarm and everything was set for tomorrow, but it's nowhere to be found.

I turned my room upside-down.

I checked the bathroom, living room, kitchen - I even checked the kids room while they were sleeping.  I turned the light on in their room - that's how desperate I was to find my phone.  Fortunately the kids didn't wake up, but damn.

That phone is nowhere to be found.  

Maybe there is something to this "touching" business after all.

7 Hard does not mean impossible

Thursday, 24 January 2013
It seems like forever since I wrote my last post.  I've wanted to get back in the swing of things so many times, but have felt overwhelmed by the task of recounting everything that's happened, so I kept putting it off.

Living here has been a godsend, but it has also been really tough.  Living as a "single" parent is not easy.

I spent the entire last semester struggling to catch up with my courses because I had started the school year totally behind since I had to search for schools for The Don and Betty, interview babysitters, take the kids to a gazillion doctors appointments to get them up to date with their vaccinations (the vaccination schedule here is different from the UK), and for numerous assessments with various different organizations (school, ABA, developmental, audiology, speech, shrink, OT - you name it, we did it).  There was furniture to build, packed lunches to make for the kids school days on top of all the other mundane domestic tasks and ridiculous amounts of readings and assignments to do for my masters degree.  There were a lot of times I wasn't sure I'd make it through my classes and I really worried about my grades.

We somehow muddled through till it was time to go visit the Bubs in London.  I couldn't believe it when I got my grades back - straight As!!

The flight back to the UK was the easiest one we'd had since The Don was a newborn!!  I had been freaking out about that since I had such a ridiculous amount of luggage taking presents for the family and dumping clothes and toys the kids had grown out of.

This was just the hand luggage.  We got looks.  Lots of them!

They both slept the. whole. way. through the flight and I managed to catch a couple of movies!!

Bliss, baby!  Pure bliss!

I couldn't believe it when I had to wake them up when we landed!  It made a nice change from this and other experiences like it.

The way back was pretty chilled too, they didn't sleep but they were happy munching on snacks and watching the kids movies with no sound (they both hate wearing headphones).  I watched another couple of movies on the way back - I have never been so spoiled!!

Our vacation in London was great.  Betty was scared of Astrid at first (which was a little sad since they used to be inseparable), but she quickly warmed up to her again and it was so nice to have the family together again.  Leaving was exceptionally hard.  Thinking back to how tough times had been in London for The Don and me didn't help make it any easier, I was surprised to find myself dreading the flights back to the US.  Seeing the family, all that wonderful relaxation time and pampering from the Bubs made me soft!!  Everyone said how well The Don had done though, how it was clear from his progress that we had made the right decision.

You may remember this post from 2011, where The Don point blank refused to wear a collared shirt.  I picked out a proper shirt for him to wear for a big lunch we were having with the Bubs' family over the holidays.  I'd been really nervous about dressing him, I wasn't sure how we'd do, but he didn't even flinch!  It was awesome! 

All dressed up.

The Don didn't even get sick from the jet lag like he normally does and I was able to take the kids to school the very next day after we landed in the States.  Truth be told, they were gunning to go.

My boy.

Who had previously been terrified of school, who had an actual phobia from it after all the bullying and mistreatment he had been subjected to.

I'm so lucky to have found that place, so lucky that he's somewhere where I know he's not only safe, but around kind people who are passionate about what they do.  That school is a real gem.  And to add the icing on the cake, I got accepted into my first choice internship this semester, which is on the same campus as the kids' school.  The school where I work is for bigger kids, and The Don and Betty's school is a preschool/kindergarten.  It's pretty far away from where we live, so it's nice to be able to cut down my commute as well as work in such a great place.

So here we are, back to our old routine.  Well, they are - mine is slightly modified - but that's to be expected, every semester will be slightly different from the last.  I'm worried about this semester, I had thought it would be easier than the last one since I wouldn't start off having already fallen behind, but this internship basically takes out three days which leaves me very little time to study (I can't study at the weekends, I can't just ignore the kids, so I can only study when they're asleep and I'm exhausted, or the two mornings they are at school and I don't have to work).  I'll try to keep the title of this post in mind though...

And it makes me laugh, the kids now like saying "hi" to the old toys that we left back in England when we FaceTime with the Bubs.  >_<

2 10 Years

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Do not stand at my grave and weep,  
I am not there, I do not sleep.  
I am in a thousand winds that blow,  
I am the diamond glints on snow.  
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.   
When you awaken in the morning's hush, 
I am the swift uplifting rush  
Of quiet birds in circling flight, 
I am the soft starlight at night.   
I am in the flowers that bloom, 
I am in a quiet room.   
I am in the birds that sing, 
I am in each lovely thing.  
Do not stand at my grave and cry, 
I am not there. I do not die.
                               Mary Elizabeth Frye
The Clod and the Pebble

"Love seeketh not itself to please,
Nor for itself hath any care,
But for another gives its ease,
And builds a heaven in hell's despair."

So sung a little Clod of Clay,
Trodden with the cattle's feet,
But a Pebble of the brook
Warbled out these metres meet:

"Love seeketh only Self to please,
To bind another to its delight,
Joys in another's loss of ease,
And builds a hell in heaven's despite."

William Blake
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