What is happening while I make other plans…

Hamster wheel of thoughts:

1.  You know your babies are getting older when you unsubscribe to Babysteals.com.  It’s a practical, logical thing to do when you no longer technically have babies, right?  Why did I feel a lump in my throat?

they don't look like, smell like, act like, or sound like babies anymore. Awesome playground merry-go-round thing at Al-Bireh park.

2.  Kids on the playground today offered Laila their snack because she was panhandling walked up to them with her big blue eyes and her hand out and that’s all she needed to do to get a cheeto looking puffy thing.  I have no idea what she ate, but she tried to go back for more.


My kids get a lot of things that way.  The other night Sufyan was ogling chocolate in a window and after we dragged him away, the “Amo” came running up with a stick of chocolate in his hand for Sufyan.  Great until he ran away without giving Laila anything and she is WAY past the age of not noticing. Fairs fair, she said, and threw a massive fit.

3.  I’m getting older, too, and noticing lines where I remember once noticing lines on that weird older woman who was in my college class sooooo long ago.  Er, I mean a little while ago.  She seemed strange and ancient then.  But now I am her.  Who gets little downward lines from collarbones to the decollete?  Old people.  That’s who.  I look down my collar in down dog and I see that gravity works.  And so does breast feeding for nearly 4 years…*sag* oops, I mean *sigh*.

4.  I tried on a dress that I eyeballed to be totally my size…but it didn’t fit.  The chest was tight and my arm movement was so restricted that I had to kind of side lean over to get my purse.  I guess I going to have to update my wardrobe to include a whole lotta’ J Jill.  I would be sad about this, but I actually love knit stretchy waistband-free pants and drapey, formless “tunics” under baggy cardigans.  Bonus if all colors are neutral and scream “HUSH”.  Such is my postpartum reality.

Sewage! Okay!

Laila is bitten up by mosquitoes all the time while she sleeps.  They leave scabs.  She is really sensitive to them.  More than once she has woken up with her eyes nearly swollen shut.

mosquito brutality

I refuse to use the insidious seeming “Vape” chemical in our house that literally EVERYONE uses here. (plug it into an outlet, leave the room and close the door.  wait for the room to air out and voila’!  Safe to sleep in and breathe all night, right?  Uh… Solution?  Nightly hunt for mosquitoes by flashlight and grow our own citronella plant.  Is it working?  No.  Not really.

So, why do we have such a mosquito problem?  Well, it’s comforting to know it’s probably just because of the sewage that runs down our street.  Okay!

Around Town, scenes from my current world

white dove, flags of Palestine, lucky shot...is it still overwrought if I didn't stage it?

our view of the wadi. so beautiful.


candle at a restaurant. made from a letter written by a Palestinian in an Israeli jail.

Unfortunate placement of lights over man's head = mantis man

then this man and his horse trotted into the picture on the main road where we had parked. I have not seen chains as reigns before. AND I didn't notice that the man was staring in at me until I saw this photo. Fair enough.

a house near the old city.

homes in the old city.

there is so much in this picture! KFC in Ramallah? Is there no place American fast food can't conquer? Is this the downfall of Ramallah's cultural life? Isn't it surreal seeing 2 hijabs behind the counter? This is not your Mama's KFC. And sadly, yes it is.


I sorely miss our CPSC vetted toys and I still get and read their emailed list of recalls.  A sad fact is that toys available here are generally terrible quality and made in China.  No, I mean really terrible quality.  Leaking batteries (the Duracells look real, but are they?), breaking plastic levers that puncture and cut right out of the box, stinky plastics.  And lead?  I’m sure.

But they make great pictures.  So here are some recent toy pics to make you laugh and make you super glad your kid is playing with his BPA-free plastic sorting bath cups which encourage age appropriate motor skills and proper brain development and surely do not contain lead.

she continuously sucks up her babies. one by one.

Love Me (before I run out of oxygen in here)

"Weep and Shaking". Which is what Mama would do if someone gave my kids this toy. Wa wa wa.

you say FUO I say U.F.O. Lovely either way.

Happily Comorant. Kudos for the unusual choice of bird species to educate kids about...what's that you say? That's a Pelican? Wait a minute!

it will give you infinite pleasure. to clean. and clean. and clean....

Everlasting Friendship! Beautiful Happiness.

more cleaning toys. This washing machine BLARES techno music. Makes laundry into the party it deserves to be. Good times! But its not as infinitely pleasurable as vacuuming I suppose.

Mom Thought for Today:

my babies


I barely have time in my day for thoughts outside of poop, parks, and the next meal.  I wonder how much more time I would gain in my day and how much more focused I would be on the present moment with my kids if I didn’t feel the urge to check email and respond to email during the day.  My brain is totally addicted to email checking.  It has gotten this way since having a baby (Hello outside world?  you still there?) and even more so since moving so far away from home.  We are proud not to have a TV, but the computer is really taking the place of the boob tube.  In truth, the internet has become my link to friends and family.  It creates a world I feel familiar with when I feel homesick or lost.  But I think tomorrow I am going to run an experiment based on the hunch that life might be better with less internet.   Maybe I will be able to stop some of our issues from happening so frequently (like toy squabbles and melt downs) if I am more present to see them BEFORE they become huge.  Ok.  Here goes (holding breath and unplugging…after I push publish, of course).

love my boy


Yoga Thought for Today:

nice pajamas.

My practice has been pure drudgery lately.  Unsatisfying, plateaued, flat lined.  But I keep showing up to the mat.  I have faith in my practice to eventually help me clear this hurdle.  Meantime, yoga in pajamas.  Yoga with headache.  Yoga with toddlers.  Yoga with full belly.  Yoga without asana.  Yoga of only asana.  Yoga without savasana.  Yoga of only savasana.  Yoga Yoga Yoga Yoga….just showing up to the mat is yoga.

just keep showing up...stop checking the time...just keep showing up.


15 thoughts on “What is happening while I make other plans…

  1. SO the toys you shared made me laugh out loud…and I needed that, thank you. I am so inspired by your commitment to yoga. I have it too–almost to the same degree, but not quite. Loving you from a distance… xo-me

    • Liz I love that you were here and commented. And glad you laughed…I adore the hilarious toys here. I am so happy to hear from you! And I am so inspired by you and your amazing teaching! As always.

  2. Yoga is sometimes just showing up for me too. Yoga with a full belly left a lasting impression last week (skip the Brussel Sprouts next time – note to self)

    Congrats on UNESCO membership Palestine! Sorry my homeland is taking away $50 Million from the organization now – boo.

  3. I love your blog posts! They are so full of so many thoughts and moments in time and adventures that I want to comment on all of it but that would result in a novel. 🙂 Let’s just catch up by phone instead. My October has been ridiculously busy with both parents and one friend visiting and 3 birthdays. November looks good. How about you?

    I love your toy pics and captions- hilarious! Especially the infinite pleasure in cleaning toy.
    And about your babies growing up, I unexpectedly felt that pang too when I went to babycenter.com to see what the average one-year-old would be doing milestone-wise and found that I had to click on the ‘toddler’ tab to get that info. Sniff. Sophie really is clearly more a toddler than a baby now though. She arches her back and throws a fit whenever she doesn’t get what she wants, pushes us away when we try and help her do things or feed her with a spoon, and spends all day working on her walking skills.
    Oh- Lucas just woke up and needs me. Talk to you soon I hope!

    • Thanks so much Jenna. I would love to chat this month. Call me if you even have a free 3 minutes and we will set something up? much love to you and your family. we always miss you. we watched a couple of old lucas videos here the other morning. and some new Sophie videos. You have such great kids.

    • we thought about it, and found some for cribs but not big enough for beds. I think we are almost out of the season for mosquitoes, and I know we are not in a malaria zone. But I am sure there is mosquito borne illness here…dengue maybe…we are really luck to be ok so far.

  4. I laughed so hard at the toy pics that I woke up the boys… Reminder, dont read Ravyn’s posts at night anymore. Speaking of, I have hot chocolate and free time at night. Come over and we could talk using words that contain more than 5 letters.

  5. I just looked at the full size images of the toys. I love the Chinglish packaging, and it is hilarious that two of them basically say that the contents of the package may look completely different than the illustrations!

    I used to laugh at the kids miniature janitor kit, but then I though, that some kids parents clean for a living. My kids want to do whatever I do, so I am sure there are kids who want one of those to be more like their parents. Unfortunately, my kid is turning out to be too much like me, and when it comes to cleaning, she likes to say “YOU do it.” Maybe she needs a cleaning kit.

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