Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween to my fellow Americans

Trick-o-treat! Oh wait, the kids who just came by were asking for money, not candies. Where the hell am I??? The dogs are barking and I don't see any jack-0-lanterns :( We celebrated autumn by having pumpkin soup yesterday. God, I miss America.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Sunday, October 28, 2007


The other day, someone saw me for the first time since April, and said, 'so, you're a mother now!' I don't know why I found that to be slightly shocking, it seems only natural that I am a mother now, particularly after 31 hours of labor and many days of sleeplessness. I suppose I have always equated motherhood with something grand, bigger than life itself. For me, many hours of waiting in line and endless pieces of certificates and numerous exams must be accomplished before I can drive a car, get a discount to go in a museum, or live in a foreign country; yet, in my house, on May 3rd, I was just me, then the next day, I was a mother. No exams, no lectures, no waiting in line, there you go, good luck.

Sure, there are daily moments when I feel lost, inexperienced, impatient, overwhelmed, exhausted (many moments), but more often, I'm surprised to find feelings which are so raw and new to me that I never expected: feelings of utmost tenderness, protectiveness, selflessness. It almost always catches me by surprise. When Mia falls asleep now, she likes to play with my hand, the feel of the softness of her skin and the growing strength of her fingers can bring so much joy to me. Sometimes when I'm in the next room and she's with N, I can hear her 'sing' and coo, I almost always have to drop whatever I'm doing, just to be near her and enjoy a part of this sweetness.

My mother told me that she felt I was losing myself in being a mother. I think I'm okay with that for now. After all, to quote country western singer George Strait from his song One Step at a Time:
"there is something about angels you should know:
she'll walk away one step at a time,
it will take you by surprise,
you'll think it happened over night,
it will be too late when you realize angels don't fly,
they just walk away one step at a time."

Now, she's playing (banging away) at the piano, I think I want to go to her again :)

tiger mosquitos

Incidentally, these little buggars have arrived to Tiana. I've been seeing a rather large mosquito flying around the house for a few days (how long do they live anyway?) now and am getting very paranoid. The thing is, when I'm around, nobody needs to worry about being bitten, I'm 'THAT' person who the mosquitoes always zone in on. Since pregnancy, I seemed to have lost all innate ability to get rid of any foreign toxants from my body, which is a terrible thing, to say the least. Any old little bite from whatever bug can send parts of me swelling up like a balloon and itch for days. I guess the good thing is I don't have to worry about M being bitten.

They are rather pretty to look at from the internet, I hope I don't have to see one in person any time soon.

Friday, October 26, 2007

a day in the garden

the start of a lasting friendship?
why is it that nobody is looking at the camera??
studies of the knee

NOT impressed with the hamack
a girl who expresses how she feels pure sweetness

Thursday, October 25, 2007

sitting big :)

yep, still doing the "o" face :)

studio pose and NO makeup

I too, sightread

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


I´ve been driving to work for the past three days now, and everyday so far, I´ve managed to hit a different way going there AND coming home... At least, according to my father-in-law: I drove, I got there, did something at work, and came home; how it all happened is less important.

I must admit, I do secretly love driving, and missed having a car for the last 5 years. Until I'm brave enough to take Mia on to the public transportation again someday (say when she's 18?), it's a good thing I'm driving again. What I need now is some open highways like the ones in northern Arizona, where I can roll down the windows and sing my heart out, watch the miles go by with the roads all to myself except for the passing canyons.

Incidentally, a blog is more fun if there are feedbacks; I do encouarge my dear friends to leave your thoughts and observations. It's getting rather lonely here talking to myself ;-)

Do YOU like driving? (baits for leaving comments) How do YOU pass the driving test here in Europe, aside from spending thousands of euros???!!!!

Monday, October 22, 2007

First day back to work

Today was the first day I'm back to work since Mia's birth; it has been 5 months since I stepped into the conservatory. I'm particularly proud of this since it's also the first time I drove to work from home. How silly is it that I am so afraid of driving after having driven for 21 years, and may I softly remind everybody, that I am STILL trying to get my European license, desparately taking the written exam for the THIRD time now... So for now, I drove to school today with N and M, and tomorrow, I may have to venture the same journey alone.

The three of us are establishing our isosceles triangular family dynamic: everybody is back to work 'full time', Mia is learning to 'be', all of us try to keep track of the other two parties, balancing the self with the family, moving as one from three equal directions. To shamelessly use a cliché comparison, it reminds me of good chamber music making, where no one leads and no one follows; the unity breaths and flows as one, always listening and adjusting accordingly.
Obviously, good chamber groups occasionally flop once in a while, but the collective goal is always the same, and I suppose that, is what keeps us going, to reach the end of a piece (a day) together, and having played (expressed, said, done) what we set out to do, and still love each other unconditionally.

Good night and sweet dreams.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

THE turn

just another day, hanging out on the table...picking plants... let's find another view, shall we?
and another...

the world is all mine...
why is everyone watching?
oh yes, socks for anti-scratch and chewing

hm, I think I'm going to...turn
and push up if you have zoom, you can see my two new teeth peeking out :) yay, hooray!!! Triomph!
phew!!!! hard workout!

free thoughts - changes

So, on my way to the post office today, I noticed something... Mia and I walked by the construction site and I did NOT get rude remarks or noises, but instead....the men SMILED!!! And I don't mean in that condescending eyes up and down kind of smirk, but a genuine I-can't-help-but-smile smile. I suppose everybody has a mother, a wife, or a child, and when a woman has gone through that rite of passage, or at least, demonstrating one by wearing the baby, she becomes a reminder of humanity rather than object. It is sad that young women cannot get the same respect on the street without having to wear a baby, but for now, a smile is a smile, and I'm happy with that.

Second change: I'm beginning to notice babies on the street who are smaller and younger than Mia. It's hard to believe that she's now a 'bigger' girl than some, I suppose this is the same as how we tend to stay at the same age as when we first meet someone. I always become my mother's daughter (often immaturely) when she's around, or act goofily with undergraudate or high school friends. No matter how much time has gone by, or how much we think we have changed inside, and EVEN if we truly have changed inside, when old and good friends are near, there is that hidden part of our past which comes out to play, even if it is just for a moment, and with that one special friend. They keep a part of me that sometimes even I have forgotten.

And more thoughts: This morning, for the first time, I've managed to have Mia by myself, studied for my doctoral exam, make and eat breakfast, do a load of laundry, clean Mia's room, check ebay and facebook, AND make lunch (fancy stew!) I am so amazed at myself (those who know me know that I have NEVER said this before!) What a big change from just a few months ago, or even a few weeks ago, when I couldn't even imagine going to the bathroom without someone's (DH) help nearby...I'm growing as a mother! :)

Oh how I love autumn, a season of changes. Hope everybody is enjoying the transformation.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

La Reina de la Casa

"this is what I would look like with hair"...that, or "heil..., H...!"

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

we see teeth!!!

they're there!!! the bottom two are peeking out :)!!!!! we tried taking a photo, but as you can's a forbidden area these days...

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

pear - fun food


mom's practicing the cello

concentrate, concentrate...strangely long, hairy arms and tiny short, fat legs

those 2 cold days of autumn...are long gone

mmm, where did everyone go?

Monday, October 08, 2007


Incidentally, I tried taking up knitting while my mother is here, thinking that it may be a good mother-daughter bonding thingy through 3 generations...

For now, I think I will just take pictures of what I've done and got stuck on, and hope someday I will be able to do it properly, like a pro...

growing - part 2

So, I can't stop thinking about this theme on growing. Today, after I cried for an entire session at the physical therapist's office, and then cried again when another package came in the mail for Mia, it dawned on me what a large part of my internal conflict has been since I moved here five years ago. For some reason, I expected growth to take on a standard, regular path, where you sit first, crawl, stand, walk, run, and eventually fly :) As it turns out, to my dismay, life doesn't work that way. Here is a list of things which I find interesting and unexpected in my 37th (Alas, did I just say that aloud on the net??) year of life, regarding growth:

Things I thought I would be doing:
get a doctorate
land a job in an university as Dr. Heidi
move to a small town on the east coast where my university post would be
enjoy a quiet life of music making and academia
own a house with a fabulously wild English garden
own a car, crappy as it may be, I'd be able to drive it freely
have a supportive community around me who shares similar beliefs (MY beliefs)
be a strong female role model for my students and all other impressionable young lassies around

Things I AM doing instead:
learning how to drive (after 21 years of driving)
trying to pass the written driving test, for the THIRD time
figuring out what it means when people refer to my 'culture' and my 'country'
trying to plot out where Luxembourg and Andorra are on the map
learning how to be seen and heard
learning how to shop for fruits and vegetables without being ripped off at the market
trying to get on and off the metro without being shoved and pushed
learning to stand up for myself when people try to cut in front of me

the list continues, it feels like re-birth (renaissance?) at the age of 37. It's all good, keeps me on my toes, alive, and always alert.

p.s. oh yes, to add onto the second list: motherhood

Saturday, October 06, 2007


In these few moments every night after Mia goes to sleep (and before she wakes up again), I get a minute to myself, and thoughts come and go as life was 'pre-baby'. This week, Mia must be going through one of her growth spurts, I could feel her weight increase in my arms, and she's fussing, probably due to all the uncomfortable and unsettling growing pains.

The first year of life, there seems to be so much to catch up, all parts of the body are busy expanding, shaping and transforming. The soul may be old, but the new body still needs to match. I'm reminded that after these first years, when physical growth slows down and because not visible to the naked eye, we often forget and neglect the growing pains of the emotional and spiritual growth. This is a reminder to myself as a new mother, as well as a reminder to my own growing. To honor and acknowledge all the errors, wrong decisions, consequences of those decisions and to learn from them, may be a long-term remedy to all the growing pains, maybe even embrace them. Without leaving room for error, or fearing imperfection, we will never go anywhere, take risks or succeed.

Very often, in these past few days, Mia would whine and complain, and nothing seems to be able to satisfy or make her forget her woes. Another reminder for myself is that after all possible attempts have been tried, it may just be important to be with her in these hard times, letting her know that we're here for her. After all, our parents can not fix the world for us, or shelter us from all the wrongs in life, but the long journey is more joyous when shared with someone who loves you, someone who will embrace YOUR errors and mistakes, moans and groans, and all those imperfections which make us individual. So, here is to all the new little people, may you smooth sail through your first years, surrounded by love.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Thursday, October 04, 2007

San Mateo

Dear secret Santa from San Mateo, California? Your address is 100 Dartmouth...We would like to send you a thank you card, could you please email us at

perplexed and pleased,
Mia and her parents :)