Thursday, August 18, 2011


A good friend of mine once said to me, "The scales are always balanced." We were talking about the difficulties of raising small children. She had a child starting junior high and on the other end of the spectrum her youngest was a year and a half old. Her point was that parenting older children has its own set of difficulties and challenges. No matter what your situation in life or what stage you're at, life will never be without challenges. The scales are always balanced.

How many times have I caught myself thinking, "When he starts walking then at least I won't have to carry him around anymore" or "When she goes to school all day, then life will be easier because I'll have one less child at home" or "When I'm married, life will be easier because I'll have someone to go through life with" or "When I have children then I won't feel such emptiness and life will be easier"? By the way, the latter thought is the funniest to me now. When, when, when... Why do we suppose that one day life will be easier or better? As if life now were so terrible.

I can logically tell myself that life will always have its ups and downs, but for some reason I perpetually have that when in the back of my head. Today was a rough day and my whens went something like this - "When she starts preschool next week then I can focus more on him and he'll be happier so he wont' act out so much, and then I'll be happier. When he is one year older then he'll be able to communicate better and won't get so frustrated." Of course, the underlying "..and then life will be easier" is implied. If only I could remember that the scales will always be balanced. One day when my little ones are teenagers I'll probably look back and wish that my biggest problems were diaper changes, dribbling sippy cups and defiant toddlers. But for now thoughts of when often get me through the hardest days, and I'm not sure I'm ready to give that up.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

My Own Personal Downgrade

As I have been telling my husband lately, I feel very overconnected. In fact if I were any more connected to the digital world, I'd have a neural implant in my brain that has 3G and wifi. Since I got my new iPad a month ago, it's almost ridiculous how much I use it. I'm not sure if it's been a blessing or more of a curse. Then there's my Blackberry which will buzz or ring in concert with my iPad when I get a new email or someone has posted something on my Facebook wall...or even if they've just posted something that remotely relates to me.

As if all this weren't enough, there's texting and now my parents and I have started Skyping now that they're in Finland. I can't deny how totally awesome it was to video chat with my parents and have my kids be able to see them. I even got to see part of their new apartment there. And being hyperconnected definitely came in handy on my recent trip to California driving between my aunt's house and my brother's house in different cities (see the only 2 pics I took below).

But there are some major drawbacks too. It's overwhelming to have so much information constantly at one's fingertips and the constant flow of communication... *ding* a new email, *ding* someone friended me on Facebook, *ding* there's an upgrade for one of my iPad apps, *ding* Kent texts me "Heading home" (my favorite ding of the day!). So... I have decided to downgrade my tech...a little. I'm going back to my old unsmartphone where I get those old fashioned things called phone calls and that's about it...ok, maybe some texting too. And I've been reluctantly turning off my iPad throughout the day so I can deal with the equally overwhelming input from the 4 little people in my life whose alerts are accompanied with cries instead of dings. Ah, the challenges of the 21st century life.

Photos: Drove to Capitola, CA in my brother's convertible Jaguar. Great vacation!