Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Eyes Wide Open

Dinner table conversation the other day -

C: You have blue! Two blue eyes!

W: Yes I do, what color eyes do you have?

C: Green.

W: You have green eyes? What about Mommie?

(Caroline peers into my eyes and then thinks for a bit)

C: Hm...She has half brown and half black.
(looking closer at Will and pointing to his iris)
And you too - half blue and half black. (then she pulls up her own eyelids)
Look! I have half red!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

May traveling

We didn’t venture out much this winter. I realized just how little when I happened to call our rental car company to see about renting a car for the weekend.

“Julie, you’re alive!” our car guy said. “Wait, but you’ve bought your own car, is that it?”
No no, I promise we haven’t.
“Then,“ (his voice chokes up) “you’ve found someone else?“
No, really Alex, we haven’t rented a car in months! But it’s spring you know, so time to start traveling!

That was five weeks ago. We haven’t been home on a weekend since. Last Thursday found us in Paris, where we experienced French life with a toddler, a stroller minus a wheel and winds that threatened to blow the horses off the carousel in the Jardin du Luxembourg. At a certain moment I had to remind myself - in a year you won’t remember the pollen lashing your face like a sand storm, you’ll remember the foie gras, the coffee and the pain au chocolat. You’ll remember playing gamba with your teacher while Caroline pretends to play harpsichord on the music stand, the fountains blowing across the gardens at Versailles, the Sunday market at Versailles with more fish than you’ve seen since South Carolina.

And mostly that is what I remember from our weekend in Paris. But I am guessing I’ll also remember having to floss my teeth late Sunday night, just home from the airport, to get rid of that last tricky piece of pollen, wedged there by the winds of the North Atlantic blowing into Versailles.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

What's in your Google history today?

Google search histories are a bit like a Scrabble board after a game - cues to what its players are mulling over. At lunch I looked through my Google history to see what my morning’s ponderings (not including work) had covered. Here they are:

• where was Tara supposed to be in Gone with the Wind1
• when was Jonesboro, Georgia founded (and Tara built)
• what is a loutka kachna
• where does the word loutka (puppet) come from
• is there a metro to the Prague zoo yet
• what street is close to the super playground in Smichov
• what buses run by the super playground
• who wrote "Will to Fail"2 and when
• what type of musical genre is "Will to Fail"
• what is space aged pop?
• who is Les Baxter?

1. Just watched Gone with the Wind for the first time this week. I had a hard time believing that this movie shaped so much of what, in the 40s, 50s and 60s, the South thought of as antebellum. I also decided that the movie's portrayal of a Southern business woman is pretty damning and could explain some things!
2. A favorite Caroline song (because of the cool textures). I wanted to see if I could find more music like this, minus the psycho-therapy lyrics. I did! Check out for more, and download tracks from the site here.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Night light

Caroline likes to stay up late. She’s not a morning person, and hates to wake up once sleeping, but falling asleep is hard for her. In the last few months, she’s tried to stretch her bedtime later and later. She’d stay awake playing in her room by the light of her star-shaped night light (star light she calls it), until she tired of her books and ran into our room to demand more milk, or for me to stay awake with her. We tried to be civil and explain it was bed time, we tried ignoring her, we tried time out, but mostly Caroline just got more riled up and stayed awake anyway. Finally, Will said - turn off the star light, it’s as bad as coffee. We did. She got mad at us and another week of mayhem and late nights ensued.

Then, last weekend in Germany, hanging out in a hotel room, I got C ready for sleep and turned out the light. I thought we’d both go to bed, since I knew the light would keep her up. Caroline started asking for star light, the room light, anything to see by. The dark was too much, falling so fast.

I told her I knew a trick, and if she wanted, she could try it too. I said - hold out your hand and start counting, by the time you get to five, you’ll be able to see your fingers. She counted. She saw her hand. We counted to five again and she could see the end of the bed, next she could see the door and the curtains on the other side of the room. She fell asleep a few minutes later. Now at night, before I sing her lullabies, I turn out the light and we watch our hands reappear. She doesn’t try to turn on her star light any more and tonight, she fell asleep at 9:00. Perhaps my nights will reappear too, I’ll wait and see.