Welcome to my blog. I write about fitting in, sticking out, and missing the motherland as a serial foreigner.

Happy/Oddly Emotional Birthday, Sterling!

Sterling is one year old! I found myself on the verge of tears for most of the day today. I don't know if they were happy or sad tears. They were just feelings. Feelings about being in labor, and the relief I felt when he was born, and those first precious/terrifying days with a newborn, and how our family has changed since Sterling joined us. Twelve months ago, I remember thinking that if I could just make it through the first year of raising him, we might both be all right. And here I am, at this particular finish line of life. It has been a difficult year - the first year of raising a baby always is for me. Sometimes I feel like I've been hibernating for the last twelve months, and am only now emerging back into real life and here's this toddler, and he's mine.

So yes, feelings. On a lighter note, here are some of Sterling's projects around the house these days, as a newly-minted one-year-old.

1. Tearing up toilet paper and putting the shreds in the toilet, the bidet, the trash can, and the bath tub. This is a continuous work in progress - I don't think he'll ever be done.

2. Taking off the drain covers and drain grates. It makes a loud metal-slidey noise and there's a gaping hole left uncovered with rushing water at the bottom.

3. Gathering assorted detritus and putting it in the drawer under the oven. He takes this one very seriously. I walk into the kitchen, he follows me, and it's like he metaphorically rolls up his shirtsleeves to his elbows and says, "let's get'r done." In that drawer, I have found bag-closing clips, silverware, cups, water bottles and their lids, straws, and toys - anything. If you are missing something, it is probably in that drawer.

4. GO OUTSIDE. He has a radar-like sense for when the front or back doors open. Once his internal alarm has been tripped, he makes a beeline for the exit point. The other day a neighbor kid came in the house and left the front door open. I was in the kitchen and by chance, I glanced out the window and saw my baby walking down the front patio, on his way to who knows where.

Happy birthday, Sterling!

My bicycle commute, with high heels

Toddler church terror