adjusting…

i haven’t forgotten about the blog, although it probably appears that way.

school was supposed to start 2 weeks ago, and instead, we had 4 days of snow and ice to start off the semester. we ended up being snowed in, which is not as much fun as it sounds. in other towns in georgia, there were preventative measures taken for the icy roads. instead, athens and uga decided the best idea would be to leave the roads alone, and tell people to stay off them. from sunday night, until thursday morning. not cool. zoë is on steroids right now, although that is currently being tapered off thanks to an allergist willing to use other medications than just a 3 month heavy steroid burst to control zoë’s allergies. but… a 3, nearly 4 year old, cooped up in the house for 5 days with her parents, with only about 2 hours of weather warm enough to go outside every day gets stir crazy and starts making us all a little loopy. needless to stay, she was very very happy to go back to school this week. although when it first began snowing, she was overjoyed. i think we all were. she woke up at 11pm, and started yelling that she was awake. that is normally her favorite trick in the mornings, trying to get someone’s attention to make sure she can leave her room and come beg for breakfast as we stumble, half awake through the kitchen in search of cheerios and coffee. cheerios for her, coffee for us. but at 11, she yelled that something woke her up, and it was the snow making noise outside her room. she ran out, yelling “it’s snowing, it’s snowing!” and looked wide eyed through the window at the snow shower, falling, falling, and covering the world in quiet whiteness. we turned out the lights and stared in awe, she in her pajamas, so pleased to be awake long past her bedtime, and spencer and i reminiscing about other places we’ve lived, where snow is common and ugly, and never as pretty as that night in the streetlights, falling, falling. 2 days later, we were out of milk, eggs, and running low on bread. the joy wore off fast, when all we could serve was oatmeal and PB&J’s.

i went back to class this week as well, and i’m pretty excited about this semester. maybe not about all of my professors, but the material is great. i’m taking a detective fiction class, and we’re reading things like the maltese falcon, and the laughing policeman, and the number one ladies detective agency. lots of ground to cover, and it’s such a tough class, because everytime i read a book, i read the end first. i don’t know if there is something terribly wrong with my brain, in that i cannot deal with delayed gratification. at all. one of my favorite sites to go to before seeing a movie is themoviespoiler.com. and it is nothing but movie spoilers. they do have somewhat irritating popups, so i’m not recommending you go there, unless you are just dying to know how a movie ends. needless to say, detective fiction will be a challenge. i’ve already read the end of the maltese falcon, and we’re not even reading it for another 6 weeks. unfortunately, the professor is not quite what i am used to – leading lively class discussions, allowing us to talk about the deeper thematic elements, and ties to other pieces of literature/genres. nope. we get taught at. oh well.

on the other end of the spectrum is my south african literature class. man. it’s tough for me in a different way. just like i like to know endings, i get so emotionally vested in my literature, and to read of the horrors of s. african slavery, the injustices and outright crimes of life under apartheid, as well as the violence and heartbreak of life after maj0rity rule came to south africa really drains me emotionally. i won’t say i am a world weary traveler, seasoned in seeing the way things really work, but what little third world travel i’ve done makes it hard. because there are real people suffering rape, and poverty, and loss and injustice in the world – even in my own backyard, and reading about it, with no way to immediately change their circumstances is tough. can i stop and mention some really wonderful people, doing some really wonderful things? its not enough to merely sympathize with a broken world, because there are things we can do with our money that make a significant difference in someone’s life, even for tiny amounts of money. check these places out when you get a chance:

love146 – they’re an organization that combats child sex trafficking, and we (spencer and i) used to work with some of these folks, in a different organization.

kiva – this company helps facilitate microloans from individuals to other individuals in the developing world – you can loan as little as 25 bucks, and almost everytime (in the high 90’s %wise) you get paid back. you’re helping a man buy equipment for his farm so he can feed his family, or fulfilling a single mother’s need for a sewing machine so she can keep her children alive by sewing clothing. i can’t tell you how much i think this is amazing. my extra fun money could help someone avoid back breaking, pseudo-slavery in a country i may never visit.

heifer – this is another one of those make a difference tangibly for very little money sites. you wanna help someone send their kids to school, and avoid crushing poverty? buy them a goat. or send some money to join with others to buy the animals.

so this was a small break in my largely selfcentered blogging. because it’s not always about what zoë’s up to. sometimes it needs to be about something more. something more eternal.

on the zoë topic, she’s working with me on sounding out letters when we read, and talking about how the letters sound together and what words look like. i’m sure, that by the end of the school year for her, once she learns a few more letter compounds, we can get her reading. well, maybe by the end of the summer. i had thought i would take summer classes, and try to finish up in december, but i think we’re taking the summer off. zoë and i, that is. we’ll work on reading, and painting, and maybe i’ll get her to remember a few french words, and we’ll spend hours at the park just enjoying the freedom of being a mother and child in a summer that feels never ending when you’re small and far too quick when you’re old. even in the last 2 weeks, her vocabulary continues to get more sophisticated, and the imagination she has makes me smile everytime she tells me something new. earlier this week, we were discussing ocean explorers, like jacques cousteau, or nemo the fish (from finding nemo) and she asked me who else? i began to tell her about captain nemo, and his big submarine and the giant squid he saw in the ocean. her eyes lit up, as she looked at the cardboard box we had just unpacked, and said she would be captain nemo and i needed to be the squid. we propped a clear plastic bin on top of her box, and she set sail in the nautilus. i was a squid, a jellyfish, an octopus (note the tentacled nature of these creatures, as instead of tearing apart her submarine, she was tickled mercilessly) and a giant shark.

and she’s silly. oh so very silly.  she told me about 2 weeks ago “when i’m a big girl, a lobster is not going to punch me with his feet. i’m going to cook him until he dies, and eat him. he’s not going to punch me.” now, in our defense, we don’t eat lobster, nor has she watched any crazy cooking shows where they throw lobsters into boiling pots of water on tv. no, she’s decided this from our weekly visits to the lobster tank at publix, where the lobsters are always taking naps. the nap is the only explanation i can come up for their malaise and disinterest in being entertaining to a 3 year old with high standards for lobster behavior. but even in the midst of silly, slightly macabre statements, we see a sweet, obedient polite little girl being shaped. she’s started saying she’s just kidding a lot. even when it wasn’t really a joke, she’s joking.

i’m hoping to get pictures edited tomorrow after church, because it is late, and i have promises to keep, and miles to go before i sleep. we’ll be back to the routine soon enough, but the narrator needed to get some words in.

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