Displaced Stay At Home Californian in rural N. Carolina

The Many Faces of Joy

The Many Faces of Joy

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


My friend Germaine and I have been doing a lot of yoga lately. I feel like I started it by dragging her to a really really tiny zumba class of 3 people and making her zumba to hip hop music and "break it down" when lets face it, neither one of us has any idea what that means anymore. Breaking it down to me means taking something apart, like a folding table or a tent. Anyway, in preparation for her sister's wedding and wanting to look like a milf instead of a sahm , she found this great yoga deal, Hot Yoga, $20 bucks for as many classes as you could squeeze into 10 days.

Let me just say that when she called it Hot Yoga, I thought it meant that we were going to look really hot after we did it. Like as in Hot Mamas. Or that everyone one else there was really hot, as in, young and hot. Everything in advertising is sexual after all. It turns out that Hot Yoga means that the yoga studio is heated to 98 degrees, seriously, anywhere from 95 to 98 degrees. I imagine it feels much like doing yoga in the middle of the summer in India.

Anyway, tonight was our last class of our $20 dollar trial and now if we want to go back, we have to pay hundreds of dollars to be a part of Hot Yoga. Actually we have to pay something like $15 dollars a class, they have to pay for the heat in the studio for crying out loud, and as we all know, heat, like everything else, is not cheap now days. And let me just brag a little and say that I made it to a whopping 6 classes in 10 days while my friend Germaine, rocked her hotness in at 7 classes in 10 days. Impressive.

Wanna know what is more impressive? Three days ago, two 20 something girls were in front of us doing their downward facing dog's and their plank's and their cobra's and sweating and whispering their way through the class unlike the rest of us who sweat and focus inward. They were wearing the most stylish (and expensive) Lululemon yoga pants and their Lucy activewear tops and they were hurting. Either they didn't know what the Hot meant in Hot Yoga either or they were just tired from a busy day of shopping for yoga gear. Whatever the reason, they made it about 22 minutes into the class at which point they picked up their mats really fast and bolted. I looked at Germaine and we laughed out loud, for a couple of old sahm's we were still tearing it up at Hot Yoga! Ok, maybe not tearing it up, but we'd outlasted a couple of 20 year olds and that felt pretty good.

Abbreviation guide:

sahm - Stay at Home Mom
milf - if you don't know this one, something is wrong with you

Friday, May 20, 2011


So we've been eagerly awaiting summer vacation and all the fun it entails. There will be trips to the beach and trips to visit grandparents, trips to Great America and trips to Happy Hollow, trips to go camping and trips to the mall, trips to the movies and trips to go hiking, just typing out the list makes me tired. In anticipation of summer vacation we have talked about it and we've made lists of all the fun stuff we will do. The 3 girls in this family can't wait to sleep in and eat breakfast leisurely and then put on a tank top and shorts or a sun dress and apply the sunscreen and head off on adventuring.

Along with the anticipation of summer vacation the girls have ramped up the fighting. I have tried to mediate and then separate, time out and punishment, threaten and finally shout to get them to stop picking fights at every turn. I even tried to pretend that they weren't really fighting but rather working out their differences, which is just a fancy way of saying that they are fighting.

For the longest time the older child completely ignored the younger child. Then we congratulated ourselves on having a very well behaved older child that didn't hurt or antagonize her younger sister. This too has come to an end. Here is how it works: If the older one heads off to the bathroom the younger one plunks down in her spot and waits for her to return. She knows full well that this will spark a total freak out fest when she comes out of the bathroom and sees her sister sitting in her spot. There is also the barstools where they sit to eat most of their meals. The younger one started resting her feet on her sister's barstool knowing that her sister would have to retaliate until they looked like a game of foot twister, legs and barstools contorted just so that neither one had the upper leg. I could continue to list all the ways they bait and antagonize and then invariably take the bait and pester the living life out of me but that would take pages and pages of blog to cover.

The truth be known, it is a little satisfying to watch and listen to. I remember going out of my way to antagonize my sister and watch her totally melt down with all the pestering a little sister could do. My kids have normal relationships with each other, they are perfectly normal sisters and they will do this for many years to come! Meanwhile as summer vacation inches closer and closer I think I will take up meditation and buy some ear plugs, or better yet, sign the girls up for a summer boxing class, let them work it out in the ring.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


My kid goes to a school that is very diverse. These are the conversations we have over bowls of strawberries in the morning. "Evan has 2 sisters that live in China. He also has a brother in 3rd grade. Aoi has a sister in Japan but he also has another sister at our school. Adonis has 2 mothers and no fathers, in his family two ladies got married. Alex's daddy came from Ecuador to visit him, he lives very far away." There are so few prejudices in the first grade. Everything comes from an innocent and honest place.

I went to a very tiny private SDA school when I was in the first grade. My brother and I were diversity cubed, being half Korean, twins and coming from a single parent household. I remember in the second grade there was a girl named Lori whose parents were divorced. She was the most diverse kid that year. She told all of us after Christmas vacation that she got 2 new outfits from the "free" clothing store. We were all confused until we found out she meant the Dorcas which was our church's equivalent of the Salvation Army.

I remember getting outfits from that store too. I remember my grandmother remaking the outfits so they would look like they were made for me, she was a very good seamstress. But I remember hiding in the bathroom one day because the girls in my class told me I looked like I was wearing diapers with my elastic waist pants. I remember crying because I didn't have a pair of Ditto or Jordache jeans.

I remember when I was in the 5th and 6th grade going to a uniform school in Jamaica. Even though we all wore the same uniform to school, the kids could pick out the poor kids uniforms as opposed to the uniforms bought at a uniform store. I remember one day a girl getting taunted because her Mom made her uniform and it was ugly. She punched one of the girls taunting her and got suspended for starting a fist fight.

I look at all the stories of bullying and picking on kids that are in the news. We had a lot of bullying growing up, but it didn't get a lot of attention. It was called "just being a kid". It was taken care of by beating the bully up at school or waiting for them on the way home and beating them up then.

The other day my 4 year old was playing with some kids and they were bossing her around and telling her what to do and where to go and how to get there and she got red in the face and spit out "You are just a buller!" at which point she ran up to me and said, "Mommy what is a buller?"
I thought for a second and then I replied, "A buller is someone who doesn't eat their vegetables". She ran back over to the kids and shouted back, "Don't be a buller, eat your vegetables!"

Saturday, May 7, 2011


It is a good time to be a kid in our house. We don't spank our kids. We don't hit our kids in any way. We don't wash their mouth out with soap that has been rubbed on their toothbrushes for saying bad words or saying hateful things to each other or to other kids. We don't send them to bed without their dinners. We don't pinch their ears when we want them to pay attention or slap them across the face when they openly defy us or have meltdowns. We don't assign them chores except making their beds and taking a multivitamin each morning. And the multivitamins are gummy bears and taste great.

What we do, is, we ask that they be responsible for their actions and self realize when they've made a poor or wise decision. We ask them to make the best choice for themselves whether we support that choice or not.

My oldest daughter has been begging for these round little balls of gelatin that grow when you put them in water called Orbeez. Apparently they are all the rage in the first grade. They were selling them in the 5th grade to lower grades to raise money for the school's new computer lab but they were so popular that by the time my kid got there with the money I had given her, they were sold out. She was crushed.

This morning I went to the flea market and as we were leaving I found them for a dollar a bag. I bought 4 bags and got enough Orbeez to fill all the containers in my kitchen with Orbeez. I realize that I spoil my kids like this and I indulge them when they ask me for trendy toys like Squinkees, Zoobles and other crap that has no function whatsoever other than to end up cluttering the space under their bed until December when we will weed it out for all the new crap they get from Santa.

It is a good time to be a kid these days - at least a good time to be my kid.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Snack Plate

One of the things I love the most is getting a snack for my kids after my wee ones come home from school. I'm not sure if this is something all moms love or if it is specific to me. I love running down the list of food items we have until we find one that meets with everyone's approval. Today the snack was frozen yogurt in tubes, lemon bars I made yesterday and plantain chips from the Indian market.

I remember vividly when we lived in Jamaica, we got home from school in the 5th and 6th grade by 2pm. We only had a snack at school and had our big meal of the day at 2. Sometimes we would eat stew peas with spinners and rice and have a delicious crunchy coleslaw salad. Sometimes it would be curried ackee over rice with some boiled bananas or yams. Other times it was baked beans and rice and fried plantain slices and fresh fruit. Whatever the lunch items were, we ate until we were stuffed and then played all afternoon while my grandmother rested through the heat of the day. It was a magical time of day and the smells and tastes of the food prepared by Muriel or Beverly was a huge part of that magic.

I have incorporated the foods of the Caribbean into the foods I feed my children as well as the food of Asia and I enjoy watching them grow on this healthy and filling diet. I imagine snack time will always be fun for me - especially when it is something the girls love to eat and ask for over and over again.