I came across some images by German photographer Michael Wolf while I was in Shanghai. He captures everything I love about big cities in Asia, and now I'm captivated.
(Image credit Michael Wolf.)
Speaking of Shanghai, Emily introduced me to this blog, Life on Nanchang Lu. And I'd happily get lost in it for hours. She also pointed me to Post Secret. And while I know that I'm late to the party, it is now a Sunday obsession.
And while we're on the subject of the arts, I'm having a aural love affair with Steve Reich.
Oh, right. Now on to the serious stuff. I'm in love with this necklace from this store. And while you're there, I'll also take one of these, and these, and this. Stella will take this. And this. Why not.
I'll saw these shoes, and promptly began obsessing over them. Although the inevitable purchase will be made, I will spend the next six weeks telling myself that I'll be good and refrain, yet checking the site daily, you know, just because.
I want these suitcases for Stella's room. And, well, everything in the store is pretty sweet. I may have my eye on a few pillows for myself. I may be a grown up, but that doesn't mean that I don't enjoy wimsey!
Also, Ikat. Please.
My FIRL (friend in real life) has just started a wonderful blog documenting her unconventional start in mothering. And my FOTI (friend on the internet) is running a series on marriage, and her first post is, like, totally spot on. Very wise. Finally, my FIAWG (friend in a writing group) also just started a blog about running and motherhood. If anyone could help me find the time to run it's this amazing woman, who has an amazing career, does a million things all while raising two girls and being super savvy and fab. Oh, and in a crazy turn of coincidence, we met in a writing class online (FIAWG), but it turns out we lived in the same apartment complex in Shanghai. In THE SAME BUILDING!!! At the same time. If that doesn't convince you to read her blog, than you have no faith in the joy of serendipity.
Mondays could use some help, no? Especially Mondays when you know that you'll be spending the morning a the Chinese Consulate praying that they issue your child a visa. So, clearly I spent a good amount of time on the weekend distracting myself from the visa anxiety with a dose all things interwebular. And now you can too. Here you go:
Sing this song to your kid, and you'll be sucked into a time / space vortex of memory (if you were a child of the eighties and also Canadian), plus your kid will love it. Promise. But you have to do the dance.
Ever wonder about breastfeeding in Mongolia? I totally did. And now you can know everything. Its super interesting. I'd suggest that you read it.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElzPZNSdd5w&feature=youtu.be
I'm obsessed with this artist. She's a Scandi. Which is why she's awesome. Obvs.
Oh, and is this little blind kitty not, like, the totally the most adorable thing ever?
Speaking of cute things on YouTube, Stella and I were mesmerized by this wee guy, sweet Lil Drac.
Far and away, the most hilarious thing I read all week. Oh boy, I can't wait till my kid starts really talking.
My writer friend wrote this about screen-free kids. And I totally aspire to be that kind of parent, but, well, cute animal videos on YouTube.
On a more serious note, my friend Aisha, who writes one of my favourite expat blogs, is hosting a series on mental health issues called Breaking The Code of Silence. I urge you to check it out; it's powerful stuff. And, if you're interested - why not offer up a guest post?
Okay, that's it from me. Cross your fingers and toes that we get our visa!!
Oh, WAAAAIIITTTTTTT....before you go, could you give us a quick vote on Top Baby Blogs? It'll be like karma for the visa office, or something.
Why.....someone must be procrastinating like it's their job.
That someone is me. But I suspect that that someone may also be you. And far be it from me to impede your procrastinatory ways. Rather, I will support you in all of your postponery and foot dragging. In that vein, I present you with videos. That probably were viral months ago. But I procrastinate everything. Even video watching. So. Whatever. Here you go.
I aspire to this when I'm an octogenarian. I have a long way to go, but I'll be working on it. I have time.
This may just be the best wedding trailer video of all time. Watch it and try not to get misty. Just try. I dare you.
Norwegians are hilarious. And books are hard. Call the IT guy.
Get your nerd on and watch these amazing documentaries. I know I am.
Wanna take a photography course from Stanford for free? Here you go. While not strictly video, it involves a camera. So whatever. Don't complain.
I have some things to show you. See, look.
I'm trying to be a grown-up blogger, and as such, I'm giving myself some focus and direction on my blog. Here's my new editorial calandar. Feel free to ooh and awww.
I'm delving into the world of YouTube hair tutorials. Which basically proves that I have entirely too much time on my hands and entirely too few smart thoughts in my brain. Oh well. Here's the sock bun SECRET!
Speaking of hair, I'm newly obsessed with this product. It has done wonders, and for the first time EVAH! I can flat iron my hair and have it not look terrible.
Oh, and while we're at it, let's all learn how to tie a scarf, too, OKAY?
This is probably just about the most amazing and inspiring writerly story in the history of writerly stories. Pretty wonderful, if you ask me.
Speaking of pretty wonderful things, I am in love with these prints. They're pretty and wonderful.
And just because I'm not above a little shameless promotion, here's a post I wrote for Aiming Low.
And the latest installment in our NorthSoutEastWest series.
And finally, please, pretty please, with a cherry on top, would you give us a vote on Top Baby Blogs? If you do it once per day, I'll kiss you three times like the Swiss do. THANKS!
I Skyped my sister today. I didn’t have much to tell her, so I showed her all of Stella’s new party tricks. “How old are you, Stella?” She holds up one finger. She bows her head in greeting. She can bring her finger up to her face and say “Shhhhhh!” Though it sounds more like “Ssssssss.” When we were finished and it was time to say good-bye, Stella kissed the computer.
I skyped Mr. Chef today. I didn’t have much to tell him, either. Except that we’re both fine. We slept okay. Stella’s eating well.
Stella saw the cat, and rubbed her fingers together, calling him to come sit on her lap. She was frustrated when he wouldn’t come. She lifted her arms up and down, and wondered why her Papi wouldn’t pick her up. When it was time to say good-bye, she kissed the computer.
Each night, back in Japan, I call Mr. Chef at bedtime so that he can say good night to Stella. When they’re done talking, she kisses the phone. Sometimes, her lips hit the big red bar at the bottom of the screen, and the phone hangs up. I always call back so they can say good night properly.
I wonder what it’s like to be a baby in this age of technology. To grow up believing that parents, and cats, and aunties live inside these little screens. That they can feel kisses through the internet.
This was my 5 minute Stream of Consciousness Sunday post. It’s five minutes of your time and a brain dump. Want to try it? Here are the rules…
- Set a timer and write for 5 minutes only.
- Write an intro to the post if you want but don’t edit the post. No proofreading or spellchecking. This is writing in the raw.
- Publish it somewhere. Anywhere. The back door to your blog if you want. But make it accessible.
- Add the Stream of Consciousness Sunday badge to your post.
- Link up your post at all.things.fada.com.
- Visit your fellow bloggers and show some love.
Happy fourth of July, people of the interwebz! It's my first ever Independence Day celebrated in America and I'm not really sure how to do it properly. We're Canadian, so we don't really understand things like barbecue and pulled pork and cornbread. And were we to try to cook a Fourth Feast, we'd likely douse everything in maple syrup and remark, "This is aboot the best thing ever! Delicious, eh?????"
So I think we'll go out for hamburgers instead.
But what I do know, is that my FIRST. EVER. GUEST POST! just went live at Paul et Paula, which is a super awesome fantastic kids' fashion blog. It would make my day if you clicked on over and left a comment. And would totally make up for my barbecue incompetency woe.
Internet, I am super-mega-effing stressed out right now, and it's all your fault. YOU! You, with your shiny happy pictures on Facebook of your smiling little kids, your sunsets, your perfect dinners, your soccer games, your evenings with friends, your tidy little houses, and your chirpy LOLtastic updates. You with your blog posts, coyly letting slip that you have a jillion kids all of whom are little prodigies, who you sit with while they practice piano, and behave themselves while you run a business and singlehandedly keep your household ticking along like a Swiss watch, (except for that one lampshade that is just a tad off kilter, and that's like totally shameful for you). Blerg, you Internet.I can't live up to your standards! BLERG YOU!
(Just kidding, Internet. I love you. Don’t be mad.)
You see, I can’t live up to that. For example, this is what my house looks like right now:
The problem is, my expectations and my ambition are in conflict: I expect myself to keep an immaculately clean house; to have organized closets; to make homemade baby food; to dream up and implement baby betterment projects; to cook meals worthy of a chef; to handwrite thank-you cards in a timely fashion; keep the baby happy and entertained; and a myriad other household tasks, varied and sundry.
But I also have ambitions: grow my blog; finish that freelance project I'm midway through; learn to sew; start running again; explore my little corner of Japan; keep up with friends and family back home; go out and do awesome fun things with my girl. Bike to the shore. Decorate my house. Finish that resume.
But there is just not room for all of these things in my life. The expectation / ambition conflict means that something always gets left by the wayside. Unfortunately it is usually my living room. (Incidentally, when taking my daughter out to play the other day, I had to go over her with a lint roller to make her presentable enough for public observation. Oh gawd. I am the best mother ever.)
Once more, for the kids in the back row, I give you this in lieu of a thousand words:
Please note the dirty breakfast dishes on the table. And the random blanket strewen across the couch. Along with the cat cage, that was recently extracted from THE CLOSET OF HORRORS, of which I remain very afraid, and as I have not yet found an alternate home for said cat cage, it just sits there in our livingroom. Like this.
So anyway, I'm stressing out about not being as good as the other mothers out there in Internetlands real and imagined : not doing as much; not being organized enough; not being fun enough; our outdoorsy enough; or ambitious or industrious or whatever enough. And then, I read this book to my girl for her bedtime story.
This gem of a book! This little treasure with it's jaunty rhymes, it's joyful illustrations, it's depiction of the real life of a family.
Look! A messy house! Puddles on the floor! Clothes strewn in random places! A baby who lost his shoe! A mother working hard, trying to stay on top of things! This looks just like my life!
And I started to feel a bit better. I'll bet that more people than are willing to admit have dirty laundry like mine. I'll bet more people have chaos that they are sweeping under the rug. But we keep it hidden, and post shiny happy things on Facebook and on our blogs.
Now, here is where I would say, in conclusion, that I'm going to go easy on myself, modify my expectations, realize that they are unrealistic, and that no one actually lives that way.
But what I'm actually thinking is HOLY CRAP I've got to organize the closet, and clean out the fridge, and make baby food, and that massive pile of ironing isn't de-wrinkling itself, and there are masses of emails that are hanging over my head, and the minutes in the day are not nearly enough to find the time to finish that video and write that update, and think smart thoughts, and my kid is whining, and needs me to pick her up and I can't make dinner and ... gah gah gha ... brainaneurysmkaboom.
So, maybe I'll just conclude with a question or two? Are you swimming along swiftly, or just barely keeping your head above water? If you're managing....please tell me howhowhowhowhow!?!???????
In an attempt to boost my interent cred, and maintain my webular ninja status, I've just signed up for Pinterest. Crazy, I know, I'm trying to be an early adopter for once. (When Facebook started, I was all, "internet? What is 'internet' anyway?" And I had to be dragged, kicking and screaming to Twitter. My last job forced me to sign up, against my will. Those bastards. And now I'm addicted.) But Pinterest! I'm joining! Early(ish)!
So far, I'm in love.
(Now, imagine a wonderfully elegant transition to my next line of thinking here.)
I've gotten a few emails from readers* asking for hints, tips, and tricks for surviving as a new parent. And I thought to myself, "MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN! I'll just create a little pinboard of baby essentials, and learn about Pinterest that way." So, without further adoo, here is my wonderful fabulous list of things that are essential for the all essential baby.
Okay, so now that you've had a look, I'd like to say a few things about Pinterest.
- It is awesome and beautiful (true)
- You should join (also true)
- I worry that I've degraded the aesthetic value and strayed from the philosophy of Pinteret by posting a shitload of plastic crap on my pinboard, but wheves (probable)
- Is it, perhaps a gigantic feedback loop wherein everyone ends up liking the same stuff? (maybe)
- Will it make me feel bad about myself for not having enough beautiful things in my life? (yes)
- WIll it keep me blissfully unfazed by my screaming child as I sit by her crib as she shouts about the injustice of having to go to sleep (certainly, yes)
Therefore, in conclusion, I'm digging Pinterest. You guys should join. Hit me up for an invite, will ya? And then follow me, cuz it's more fun that way.
Also, as an aside, if you want a superhelpful beginers guide, visit Megan at Sorta Crunchy.
*No I haven't; I just said that to sound important, like a bloggy authority. Whatever, all the cool kids are doing it.