Sunday, January 4, 2009


Solstice candle sacrifice

The other day a very dear friend commented that she had visited my blog and that my life seems so peaceful and productive. I felt like a sham, since in my own eyes my life is messy and chaotic and not as Waldorf-y as I like, but I guess one doesn't blog about that do they?

Since that conversation, I felt like I should post a few truths in the interest of full disclosure and hope that they make you chuckle a bit and maybe share something in your life that just doesn't make your blog that day- fair enough?

OK, I'll go first-

You know that pretty candlelit picture of the nativity scene I posted before Christmas? During dinner on Solstice, my sister in law Karina asked us if we smelled anything burning. I thought "oh that's just the beeswax candles" but got up to check and well.... the palm tree from the nativity set was smoldering from being too close to the candles. Yes, the OSTHEIMER palm tree was burning and the other one was starting to singe. In the true Buddhist tradition of detachment I told myself that our family enjoyed it so much while we had it that I wouldn't mourn it's loss... but also good ole American consumerism was in place when I also told myself that it's a kind of a good reason to think about replacing the set with a Buntspechte one next year anyway.

... all right, it's a really stupid reason- but I said I was going to be honest

beep, beep

We own a TV. Not just any TV, we're talking an old, enormous big-as-a-Volkswagon-parked-in-the-living-room television set. And we have cable. With premium channels. Showtime AND HBO. Ivan and I LOVE the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, we're mourning the end of the season for Dexter and are waiting anxiously for Lost to start up again. Otherwise, we find everything else on TV to be pretty craptastic. And did I mention that we only watch our shows after the kids are in bed... Am I sounding defensive enough?

I hate this guy

The boys also have an uncomfortable familiarity with Thomas the Tank Engine. I should just spit it out that they worship that stupid train. I had let them watch the show before I started learning about Waldorf and all their friends were really into Thomas too. They used to be pretty obsessive about it and when I saw Matteo copying story lines from the show during his train play I decided to cut out as much as I could without bloodshed involved. So no more Thomas DVD's, clothing, toothbrush, plates and silverware. I've kept one book that was given as a gift and the wooden trains since I think taking those away would be akin to cutting off an appendage for the boys. We bought the boys a beautiful wooden train set for Christmas and so far we have been totally Thomas free for a week.

This picture cost Ivan half a bar of his organic chocolate

Most pictures of the kids involve bribary. Chocolate, cheddar bunnies, more chocolate... you name it. I'd do most anything for a good shot. That includes pictures of craft projects with the kids. They do enjoy doing crafts to a certain extent, but at 3 and 2 years old, they have the attention span of gnats.

And lastly, my crafting is more heart than skill. So deepest thanks to anyone who gets a gift I've made and has graciously not asked if the boys did it all by themselves.

I love that this life is a journey and we can keep trying to improve what we're not satisfied with. Life isn't always picture perfect and I hope that this post makes you laugh and think... "wow, I sure am doing better than this chick!"

xoxo- Marina


Anonymous said...

You're awesome! We hadn't had a TV since 1995 until 2008 - the year I needed a freakin' break. Now my 2yr old can recite every Thomas related train, episode and emotion of the various characters. Horrifying! Interestingly, he has recently lost interest in the videos in favor of playing with the trains we broke down and got him off eBay for Christmas (baby steps. baby steps.) I think the TV will be freecycled soon and since he has old-school trains (with hitches instead of magnets), maybe that fetish will pass soon, too. Sorry about your smoked trees :-)

Erin said...

Dear M,

You are a champion Mother. Be proud and give your self a deserve it. You inspire me to stay the course on my path as a mother.
Thank you

Stephanie said...

Can you do that? Bribe kids with popsicles and candies and such? I just always settle for the blurry ones.....
My son (now 7) doesn't like crafts. I've taken to coming up with different words for it!
Like "experiment". :) (I'm kind of kidding, kind of not.)

Pinkpeone said...

This was super funny in a reassuring way! It is always enlightening to read your blog (I just started reading it back in December) and today was no exception. I am sorry about your trees but I am in awe of your honesty and candidness.

Have a wonderful and joyous new year

Eva said...

Thank you, that was exactly what I needed today. Where did you find that beautiful wooden train?

faeriefeig said...

love this post!

Tahara (Autumn Oak) said...

Great stuff Marina!...We ALL have these days and those times :-)...I love your blog and can tell that you love your family...We are all striving to get someplace we will never be...But the journey is the fun part...It's actually the only part :-)

Nicole said...

You've earned my love and loyalty by not only showing your "realness" but by also sharing that you are a fellow Lost fan. :p

Seriously, I have craft blogs that I no longer read because NO ONE is as darned perfect as the blogger would like to appear.

Nicole Spring said...

oh my goodness! thank you for sharing this! i needed it! im rigth there with you. we have..wait for it...

3 tvs in our house!! dh refuses to get rid of them. 1 in his office, 1 in the living room and 1 in our bed room. they are all covered with playsilks during the day and then when the girls are asleep i tend to have the living room one on for company. i'm right there with you!! i love your honesty!!

Nicole Spring said...

oh and heck yeah!! not too much longer for lost to come back!! we'll have to talk about it after it airs!!i can't wait! *girly laughter*

Marina said...

Wow, thank you all so much for the wonderful positive feedback! I had a fear that I'd post this and it would go over like a fart in church... followed by dead silence- so thanks from the bottom of my heart!

Just some quick replies-

Jumbleberry- those trains are evil aren't they? We thought we'd be ok just letting him have ONE train and the next thing we knew- one day we're standing in 100 degree heat amongst hundreds waiting for the *ahem* opportunity to ride on Thomas at "Day Out With Thomas"... but that's for another post. I love your blog, will you be my new BFF?

Stephanie- Why yes you can bribe children with sweets. At least mine you can. They think getting clementines is a big whoopty-doo, so when REAL refined sugar is involved- they're like putty.

Eva- We had the trains made by John Michael Linck:

and Nicole S... SHUT UP!!! 3 really???? Love you even more *hugs*

Love every one of you who left comments, I feel like you're all my pals who I invited over for coffee and you didn't care that my house was a mess :)

Please keep visiting, it's great fun!

Emma said...

Thanks for posting this, Marina!

I love when bloggers show their "real" side once in awhile.

My biggest truths are:

I don't do cloth diapers like I should... even though I spent $300 dollars on them! I can never seem to get the smell out and it is just so much easier to dump a disposable. Someday, I will though.

My daughter watches Sprout. Sometimes it is for 15 minutes a day. Others, it is for an hour.

We bought Thomas train tracks to go with a dear Little Engine that Could train set we found for our little ones. LETC doesn't fit through the bridge though, so the two Thomas cars that came with the tracks get used more. If handmade things don't go under (wishful thinking!), I'd love to buy a few of the train cars that your boys have!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the honesty! It's so easy to get intimidated by someone who looks perfect all the time! I really appreciate confession time once in a while. Although, a blog is a perfect place to highlight your successes---it's inspiring to others and a good place to look back when you're having one of Those Days.

And btw, you should see the ginormous tv in my living room. You can't hide it. I've tried. One step at a time!

cat said...

i love it...haha shhhh....we have the exact same tv. LOL but no cable. although we did order our coupons for the digital converter boxes..;) my girls do know who dora is *sigh*, and a plastic and cloth baby doll is a must have for the 3 year old at night..;) however, the sun egg gifted to her from some gracious mama *wink wink* is now a must read every night and she even sits it up in her bed to look at the cover as she goes to sleep..:)

sorry about your blackened palms but thank you for your continued gracefulness and peaceful existence. you are a true inspiration, thomas and all..;)

cat said...

oh gosh..didn't even comment on lost...yeah..right there with you mama! i'm an addict..;)

Nicole Spring said...

we love you marina!! seriously i feel like we could sit and chat for hours on ebd!

ok we need a lost tribe for us to chat about it..hmm where can we do that? <3
sorry im way OT huh?!

Jen said...

Thanks for this post! I often feel like the master of deception with my blog. There's no account of me cursing at the dogs in the middle of the night for waking me up or stomping my feet at the 100th diaper change of the day. Or my embarrassment at little guy's use of a pacifier. Thanks for keeping it real! xoxoxo

minipak said...

Well, even with your "truths," I still believe you and I live entirely different lives with me wishing I could get closer to your end.

My favorite line of yours from this entry was that your boys have the "attention span of gnats." That one made me laugh out loud. :)

Anyway, even though we have different styles, I think we are both kick-ass Moms, wouldn't you agree? :)


P.S. I counted the TVs in our house. We have 5: master bdrm, family room, guest room, dedicated treadmill TV, and Ali's office computer has a TV tuner in it. If you'd have asked in December, there would've been 6. We have since gotten rid of the one in "Grandma's room."

Marina said...

Emma- I've been verrry bad about using cloth with Luca Bean. I started with it and allowed myself disposables for night and when we went out and it's been a slippery slope ever since. I just cancelled the diaper service and bought some.. I refuse to give up, I'll send you positive cloth diaper vibes :)

Iyneya- Thanks for posting that insight! I hadn't thought of blogs that way, but I guess I do like thinking that there are days when I'm not sucking at housework or a mother and I have pictures to prove it :)

Cat- I can't believe you have that same dinosaur of a TV! You, Nicole x2 and I have to have our own Lost tribe! We should start a thread at MDC "Waldorf mothers addicted to Lost"

Jen- I've known you forever and think you are incredibly awesome. I love reading your blog to see what a wonderful mother you've bloomed into! About the pacifier, don't sweat it... Matteo had one firmly stuck in his mouth until he was 18 months and our babysitter "lost" it.

Minnie- I have learned so much from you, you are an awesome mom! I love that there is so much we can learn from our friends with different parenting styles.

Anonymous said...

ha, ha, ha....not about the palm trees, but about being real. i often wonder how i am doing and in a sea of super-mommie-dom it's nice to see what's on the other side of the veneer.
thanks for your honest. i think i like you more because of it.

mcm mom,
aka mommabeehilly

Lisbeth said...

Love your blog! It is very honest and
a lot like how I feel. I did not know
much about waldorf living, when I had my first child and it is difficult to
take away toys that are not good for the children...
I would like to say much more, but my english is not that good;o)