Today (or last week but who is keeping track?)

Today I started out in a good hopeful mommy mood.  My first words were kind and loving. I took time to play with Ella, fully engaged.
I made a good plan for the day. I drank my water, I took my vitamins. I used my oils. All was well.
But today Ella was not “on”. Ella was off. Very off.
Ella has spent much of the day:
Lying on the floor
Peeing on the floor
Screaming from the floor
Eating bites of things and then spitting them back out. On my clean shirt. #rageinducing
Screaming some more
Peeing some more.
In between we have had very, very loud construction at the house.
4 other children whining/negotiating regarding their chores and paid jobs
4 other children fighting with each other regarding their chores
1 other child becoming hysterical upon discovering that everyone else had their middle school packet but she did not on account of the fact that we had not provided the school with proof of immunization on account of the fact that we WERE NOT PLANNING TO BE HERE WHEN SCHOOL STARTED
While I am on the phone to the Dr. asking them to fax proof of said immunization child is wailing to me about how she cannot go on with living if she has to wait a few more hours to discover which team she will be for her brief time at school.
I hang up and yell at wailing kid in front of people working on the house.  Classy stuff.
Ella is on the floor screaming.
A saw is shrieking intermittently.
A guy is at the door to tell me he is going to shut off my gas. WHAT??! (Frantic call to Aaron ensues, it was a mistake on the gas co’s part…but still….)
OK all of the above is where I abandoned my post the other shall we say Seriously out of Synch day where I considered it a literal miracle that we all saw bedtime physically unscathed and not incarcerated.
The day went on in that vein hence the fact that the above post was never published…. I’m not sure what day it was….several days have intervened between then and now. Some good some bad.  PMS has probably been a large contributor to the bad days but whatevs. I guess I wanted to show why sometimes I really do have good intentions but the post does not get posted.
Other stuff that has gone down this week includes…hang my iphone pics.
Ah yes… 5 Things to Tell You About From Last Week
1. fresh commitment to improving my cooking skills and habits.
The farmer’s market was gloriously inspiring this week.  I know this is going to sound so corny, but I looked at the vendors, at their hands all rough and grubby and felt so envious of their literal connection with the earth, with something so real, and genuine and pure as good, organic produce.  There is something about being outside that feeds my soul in a way that nothing else can simulate. No medication or food, music, therapy or meditation can ground me in the same way.   My attempts to garden have been met with mediocre results at best in the past and this is not the season (haha) of the year or my life to revisit that endeavor but I realized that I could do better about connecting with that good food by cooking. When I do cook in an intentional (rather than throwing it together as quickly as possible) I find it very rewarding and meditative. Chopping up vegetables is my favourite part…
Then we saw the one hundred foot journey over the weekend..and that spurred me on even more. 
And now..with all these good intentions, what should I make?
2. We did a lot of entertaining over the weekend. I had book club on the deck (by the way The Rosie Project is a great read). Gabe had some friends over for s’mores in the firepit and a sleepover
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and then we had a farewell get together to say goodbye to our dear friends Janelle and Madi who are leaving us for Washington state.  It was our first major goodbye. And I was not a fan.
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An exhausting yet fun weekend.
3. I’ve managed my stress not murdered anyone this week, solely thanks to keeping up with my running commitment.  I’ve been running mostly in the forest near my house this week. It’s an absolutely beautiful place no matter what time of day, and what season.  Here are a few pics I took the other evening.  Seeing that little deer was so life affirming. She was not afraid of me at all, even when I gasped loudly as I almost ran into her.  I had decided to stop and turn around just before I saw her. Something made me decide, very deliberately to continue for a couple more steps before I did, had I not, I would have missed her. I’m not sure why, but this made the experience feel all the more special.  She just observed me and kept on eating. I took several photos and talked to her for a few minutes until the mosquitoes feasting on me spurred me to continue moving.   My evening ran was so soothing after my terrible day (described at the beginning of this post). I came back a new woman. I felt calm, grounded, grateful and peaceful.
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A couple of days later I went at high noon. I left feeling energized, exhilarated and grateful. I remember thinking, “I have such a good life, I am so blessed” throughout that run. There are thousands of things I could and do complain about in my non-perfect life but while I was running on that day I realized how few of them really matter.  I felt so grateful to move my mostly pain-free body to beat of the music. To feel my feet falling on the soft and cushiony natural surface beneath, to see the incredible beauty all around me. To have a home to return to with people who make me crazy a good deal of the time but only because I am crazy about them.  I am so grateful to have people to really really care about. And who really, really care about me. Why do I ever drift away from running? Running or whatever my version is….shuffling, wuffling…it’s so important to my happiness, to making me feel like me.
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Today I noticed that running up and down the stairs did not feel like a slog anymore. I am still not running for speed or distance. I am running because I can, because it’s fun. I run when the music gets me going and stop when my body says to.  I am loving this approach.  Speaking of which, I am loving this article so.very.much
4. This week Ella started using the potty.  Pause for applause. I have photos but have resolved, for once,  to not be that mother. Apart from the above mentioned day from hades, we have had no accidents. I am very proud of her.  And yes, yes I know Ella is rather old for this venture but she has always been very very  consistent and  clear on her disdain for the idea of pottying, and I have never pushed my kids regarding this issue. Not because I’m a great mom but because I’m really lazy and I feel like if you can’t allow someone control of decisions regarding their own bladder and bowels then you are pretty much asking for trouble.  And I have enough trouble. Life is Trouble. Ella’s rationale was this:  Using potty meant that she was “Bigger”.  And  naturally being the smart girl she is, she wanted to remain Smaller due to the obvious perks it allows her in a family of 6 Biggers doting on her.  I’m not sure where her watershed  (haha punny?) moment was but with less than a month ‘til preschool starts (rollontheday) I was feeling particularly motivated to change her views on the matter one day last week. So.. upon taking off her morning diaper I said, ok, here we go, no more diaper or pull-up just tell me when you want to sit on potty. And she did.  And that was that. (Apart from the unfortunate incident on Out of Synch Day the next day). So far.  Knock wood, make sign of cross, spit on ground etc… (have just broken the number 1 Cardinal Rule of Parenting which is NEVER to mention when things are going well so I’m sure it’s all going to fall about momentarily.)
That same day Aaron took her to watch the boys high-school soccer   game. I suggested he take the potty with for use in the van so we could keep the momentum going. I received a text from  him that she was keen to set up her throne right behind the players bench. He felt that although everyone would probably have a very good laugh “many many years from now” he had decided against it. I applauded him on that decision.
She doesn’t even piddle in the bathtub.  She asks to get out and then does her business in the appropriate receptacle. This is why waiting ‘til kids are practically high school graduates works for me.
5. Speaking of high-school. Awkward segue yes, but really just coming full circle to the beginning of the post.  The kids will indeed be going to American school in 9 days. That was Not The Plan. But we are still waiting for a million visas/passports to come through.  Oh my good hell people. This stuff is such a pain. In our conservative estimation we will be here until early October.  Apart from my OMIGOODHELL moments here and there, I am mostly zen about this because..well it’s completely out of my control and also there is a lot to love about being here at this time of year. But I’m also frustrated that I can’t get my mitts on that new baby (BTW: warning: do NOT brag about getting to hold my sister’s baby in my presence unless you are in fact my sister or her husband or I will get angry, bitter and jealous and one never knows what might happen next…..)
Baby huffing aside,  I’m anxious to start the next phase of our lives.   I never do well in limbo. On the other hand, MY passport is supposedly in transit which has suddenly made things feel…very real. And I am unexpectedly terrified by that.  I have never wished more for a crystal ball than I do now.  Since I do not have a crystal ball I am trying to press forward with faith and view it all as a win-win. 
But why not let me take you on a little jaunt through my obsessions for a moment?
If we go and Aaron does not get a great job and cannot join us and we have to return, the kids will have had that experience of being up close and personal with family for a few months and exploring a new culture. Right?  Right.  But in reality life is so much more complex. What if they love it so much but we have to come back and they can’t stand it here?  They are perfectly happy here now in their blissful ignorance. On the other hand, what if they hate every second of it there and we spent all that money (ack) and then we have to return and now they are behind in school out of their social/sporting loops and and and and..they resent us forever for messing with their neat little world…eh that doesn’t worry me too much…they’ll survive. Kids resent their parents regardless, right?
Mostly I’m just worried about the money. Haha. As always. But really it is a lot of money. I also worry a lot about safety which is a harsh reality over there,  and I am absolutely dreading leaving my husband. I don’t do well without him. He’s the yin to my yang (or whatever the zen side to the crazy side is) and I really like him.  On the other hand once again,  I’m actually really excited for that poor guy to get a break and get in touch with himself for a change. He really needs it. I think it will be very good for him.
For the most part?  I am excited. Nervous and excited and terrified and resolved and unsure and calm and freaking out and and and….
I’m sure there is more about this last week to share but it’s getting late and I have to channel my inner farmer/chef now and make an incredible omelet with beautiful free range eggs and gorgeous farm fresh produce now….and then I need to go for a run.  SO I am going to hit publish on this one.
I started the day writing a whole other post by the way. But that one is going to take some time and work. It’s kind of a life changing one about some stuff I have been mentally, spiritually and emotionally wrestling with for a long time. But I want to do it right. I don’t say that to dangle a teaser in front of anyone I just put it there for posterity that There Is A Lot Going On Right Now in my head and heart and spirit apart from in my life.  I found it interesting how life sort of works in seasons. Seasons of stagnation/hibernation, seasons of rebirth/change.  Ok really hitting publish now..see if I don’t.
(Ella last night watching a balloon floating away.  I love this girl…and you know what? I think this is the right reaction to watching a balloon floating away..I could learn something.)

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