Archive | September, 2013

Rule of thumb

27 Sep

I’ve been shedding hair ever since Teddy was born.  I know that there is a very scientific explanation for this.  Baby Center reassured me (because don’t forget, we can get all medical questions answered on the internet, right?) that this is completely normal:

“Here’s what’s going on. Normally, about 85 to 95 percent of the hair on your head is growing and the other 5 to 15 percent is in a resting stage. After the resting period, this hair falls out — often while you’re brushing or shampooing it — and is replaced by new growth. An average woman sheds about 100 hairs a day.  During pregnancy, increased levels of estrogen prolong the growing stage. There are fewer hairs in the resting stage and fewer falling out each day, so you have thicker, more luxuriant tresses.  After you give birth, your estrogen levels take a tumble and a lot more hair follicles enter the resting stage. Soon you’ll have more hair coming out in the shower or on the brush. This unusual shedding will taper off and your hair will be back to its pre-pregnancy thickness about six to 12 months after you give birth.”

So fine, I knew this.  I went thru it with Lucy, too.  But then…Gloria chimes in and tells me that the reason I’m losing so much hair is because…


T sucking his thumb

Lucy Tuesday, take four: The Noticer

25 Sep


As a kid, I never simply asked a question.  I always began my inquiry with, “I have a question.”  This delighted my dad to no end and I never truly understood why until Lucy started saying, “Did you notice [insert whatever she’s noticed]?”  I suppose the joy comes from the fact that kids aren’t just asking and noticing, but that they are aware that they are asking and noticing.  I’ve taken to calling Lucy my little investigator because she pays attention to every single detail and then draws me in by asking if I’ve noticed it, too.  Our daily walks through our tiny neighborhood never become boring for Lucy (or me) because she is constantly noticing something new: a horse in the field, a wasps nest, a hummingbird, a puddle, a flower, a flower that’s there today and wasn’t there yesterday, the caretakers new hat, whether the neighbor is speaking English or Spanish.   Mother Nature keeps us on our toes, too, by constantly changing the landscape with rain, wind, bugs, and more.  Just this week, we passed thru a swarm of tiny bees and only became aware of their vibrating buzz after Lucy noticed a new sound.   Not to be overlooked, Teddy loves to notice things, too.  He breaths in giant gulps of fresh air with the passing wind and squeals with joy when the breeze brushes through his spiky hair.

And so a trip to the beach for our weekly Lucy Tuesday outing proved to be a great opportunity for noticing.  We made the short drive from home to Playa Marsella, just 7 minutes down the road.  We set up shop at the southern end of the beach, under a sturdy palapa built for the residents of Bosques del Mar, a development set right behind Playa Marsella.  While access thru the development is private, you can still reach the palapa by parking at the northern end of the beach and walking south.  I’m not sure if we are actually welcome there or not, but no one came to ask us to leave.

Teddy and Gloria joined us for the outing and made themselves comfortable in the shade of the palapa while Lucy and I set out for the sand.  For a girl born in an oceanfront surfing village, Lucy is still quite fearful of the ocean, but I suppose that a little bit of fear can instill a lot of caution which is never a bad thing.  Hesitant at first, Lucy refused to join me on the hard-packed wet sand, choosing instead to stay as far from water as possible.  But I eventually eased her closer to the ocean with the promise of shells that we would later use to finish decorating a [very gaudy, but made with love] flower pot.  Before she knew it, I had Lucy heading for the small tide pools among the rocks at the southern tip of the beach.  Positive she would freak out once she realized where we were, she completely surprised me by jumping right into the tiny swirling pools.  Almost immediately, she began noticing.  “Look, Mommy, hermit crabs!”  “Look Mommy, bird poop!”  “Mommy, did you notice these shells?  They are stuck to the rocks.”  “Mommy, can we climb up there so that I can see things better?”  “Mommy, let’s go find a BIGGER tide pool.” “Mommy, did you notice how the water comes in and goes out?”  “Mommy, mommy, mommy, did you notice…”

We stayed on the rocks, noticing, for over an hour [and 100 pictures] and returned to the shaded palapa only upon my insistence that we both needed some water and a break from the sun.  After a snack of yogurt and animal crackers, Lucy set about counting, ordering, naming, washing and playing with each and every shell.  “This one is my favourite, Mommy.  And this one, too.  Oh and I like this one because it’s lila (purple).  This one is friends with this one, I think, don’t you think, Mommy?”

As Lucy set about sorting her shells,  I put my camera down and simply noticed her.


“The observer, when he seems to himself to be observing a stone, is really, if physics is to be believed, observing the effects of the stone upon himself.”

~Bertrand Russell





Peace be with you, Mamas

19 Sep

Sometimes, the best thing a mom (or dad) can do for her kids is to do something for herself.  So earlier this week, I nursed up Teddy, dropped Lucy at school and set off on a pilgrimage to see Jesus (said the half Jewish girl).   Though really what I did was punish myself for 40 minutes as I scaled the hill in Pacific Marlin to the world’s second largest Jesus statue, set just north of our little San Juan Bay.  I’ve visited Jesus numerous time with friends and family, but always by car.  I knew him when he was a wee-one, quite literally before he had his head on straight.


I cheated a bit by parking at the bottom of Marlin and began my journey at the old gate, just inside the Talanguera neighborhood.  As luck would have it, the skies opened as I took my first steps, creating a much cooler and much slicker trek.  I’m naturally clumsy, so slippery grassy paths and I do not get along well.  Nevertheless, I continued on in the hopes of finding solitude and sweat beneath the looming clouds.  It took me just under 10 minutes to reach the turn off at the top of the hill, passing a few local caretakers on their way to work along the way.  I caught my breath under the guise of looking at some of the lots for sale just below Jesus before continuing on to the final stairway to decompression.  Two steps below reaching enlightenment, St. Peter’s surly younger brother greeted me at the gate and charged me two bucks.  In my most broken Spanish, I attempted to charm the guard and convince him that I am a resident of San Juan and therefore, should only pay 20 cords (80 cents).  But he tripped me up by asking to see my cedula (proof of residence), and I realized, ashamedly, that I was haggling over one dollar in the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.  Besides, two dollars was still way cheaper than a gym membership and I didn’t have to wait in line for the Stairmaster.  And let’s face it, the payoff is way more spectacular, even on a rainy day:

IMG_4123 IMG_4121



I lingered for a while to absorb the tranquility, the quiet, the calm, the blessing of this town I’ve called home for over five years now and then I began my descent back into the beautiful chaos of motherhood.


Oh and that caretaker I passed on his way to work?  He was actually just heading into town for a bottle of Coca Cola and made it down, back, and up before I was halfway there.


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