Thursday, August 28, 2008


My mommy friends were over today with their kids. It was great!! The kids played (all five of them) and the moms sat around drinking coffee. Thankfully our kids play fairly well together, so that we can actually sit down and have coffee, rather than spending the entire 2.5 hours chasing after fighting kids. Yes, there was some noise, and running, and the occasional squabble about a toy. But overall, we could relax and let the kids play.This is no small feat when you consider that there were five kids (all mobile) in a small space peacefully co-existing. But I have decided that it comes down to the parenting....
Friends are important at any time in your life, but I think that they are absolutely crucial if you are at home with little kids. And I think "mommy" friends are the only friends that really need to be somewhat like-minded, or at least on the same page when it comes to parenting styles. I will never bond with the hippy moms who let their kids run wild, because I find it exhausting to parent their kids on top of my own. I will never bond with the super active moms, because come on, I will never go hiking up the Grouse Grind with one of my kids in a back pack. Why would I when I can call over one of my likeminded mom friends and sit on my butt drinking coffee and eating fresh-baked brownies instead:) I will never become close with the "perfect" moms, the ones who pretend that they are never frustrated and are full of platitudes about the loveliness of children. And I will never understand the partygirl moms whose kids seem to be an afterthought and a hinderance to their clubbing and drinking.
The moms I am friends with are educated and have had careers. They like to read, a lot. And yes, they STILL read even though they have kids. Because either you are an avid reader or you aren't. If you stop reading because you have kids, you are not an avid reader. Avid readers can't live without reading. Books, real books. But I digress. My mom friends love good food, and in most cases, are culinary geniuses themselves (although this is not a They set boundaries for their kids and they try to provide stimulation and creative outlets. They also see the value of play and arrange regular playdates for their kids. They don't freak out if your house isn't spotless, because theirs isn't either. They always show up at your door with something to eat so that you don't have spend your morning baking up a storm (unless you have a particularly strong craving for brownies like I did this morning....) But most of all, they are just real. Real women who talk about real feelings. Frustrations, lack of sleep, being underappreciated, husbands, kids, work, cooking, books, current events.

So, I am so grateful to have found mommy friends who make my life better. I have known these particular moms since Matias was less than 1. Our kids play nicely and we can just hang out and commiserate. And when we're done, the world just feels like a better, lighter place.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

happy anniversary

Today is wedding anniversary number 9. Crazy how time flies! We aren't really celebrating much today. We're going to celebrate on the weekend, when my sister can watch the kids. Although to be honest, I am celebrating by going to the Gipsy Kings concert. Pentti is coming with me, but he is coming, not to celebrate, but as one of those martyred, self-sacrificing gestures one makes in the name of marriage. Ah, wedded bliss. Perhaps he will have a good time in spite of himself? That depends on whether he is allowed to surf on his (blackberry type) Nokia phone during the concert:)
Anyway, for our anniversary, I thought I would share our song. Well, we have more than one, but this particular song is one Pentti has promised to sing to me on our 50th wedding anniversary because (according to him) it reminds him of me. By the way, that would be in 41 years, at which point I would "only" be 76, so it could actually happen :)The song is below along with a very rough translation for those who don't read Finnish.
ps. yes, the wedding photo is actually us, except our hands have a weird orange tanorexic hue, which they did NOT have on the actual day nine years ago...

Runo By J. Karjalainen
Kun sinut näin, olin kääntää sivua
Olit niin hienon ja taiteellisen näköinen
Että pelkäsin sinua
Kuin lumottuna kuitenkin sua katselemaan jäin
Ja ihmettelen vieläkin sua
Tavaillen näin
Olet runoni
Vaikea ymmärtää
Olet niin kaunis että
Tahtoisin yrittää
Ei mulla koskaan ole ollut mikään kovin hyvä lukupää
Usein hyvä kirjakin multa puoliväliin jää
Mutt’ lukemista sun en tahdo lopettaa
En vaikka koville se kyllä joskus ottaa
Sanot yhtä
Tarkoitat toista
Merkitset kolmatta
Etkä edes odota että pysyisin perässä
Olet runoni
Vaikea ymmärtää
Tehtävä tää
Mua alkaa miellyttää
Aikeesi sun, pikkuhiljaa selviää
Alusta loppuun uudestaan ja uudestaan
Mulla on aikaa
Sua lukea saa

My Poem By J. Karjalainen
When I saw you, I almost turned the page
You were so fine and artistic looking
You had me scared
But I kept staring anyway, like one captivated
I still wonder at you
And I say...
You are my poem
Difficult to understand
You are so beautiful
I’d like to try my hand
I’ve never been much of a reader
Even good books end up half way read
But reading you I will never stop
Even though some days it can take all that I've got
You say one thing
Mean another
Infer a third
And you don’t even expect me to keep up
You are my poem
Difficult to understand
I am starting to like
This challenge of mine
Your thinking is slowly coming clear
I have time
To read you

Monday, August 4, 2008

Hope, BC

Anyone who knows me at all, knows that I am so NOT a low-maintenance nature girl. I hate Birkenstocks. I need a shower. Bugs make me crazy. And yet...there is something to be said for communing with nature. Or at the very least, getting away from the big city. Right now I am sitting on the terrace of my parent's second home in Hope (drinking coffee of course). There is a light breeze swaying the leaves on the trees in the backyard. Water is rushing down the creek as the occasional butterfly floats by. The thermometer reads 27 C. It is the perfect summer day. And even though I am no granola girl, it feels peaceful and calming to be here, in this little backwater town, closer to nature and fresh air. In fact, whenever we get off Highway 1 and enter the city of Hope, with its two grocery stores, one theatre, no Starbucks and couple of gas stations, I often find myself sighing with relief. Like here I am again where I can breathe and relax. No crazy traffic. Nowhere that I have to be. Just enjoying life one moment at a time. Of course, if we didn't have two kids under 4 with us, it would take me to a whole other level of relaxation, but still ;)