Why Lemony?
(the “About Me” page)

June 29, 2005

got it!


I finally got Georgia to show off her 'gone tooth'.

Posted by Bahiyyih at 09:21 AM | Comments (1)

June 25, 2005

big Chicago

The girls and I tagged along to Billy's business conference in Chicago- to the hotel, not the conference- and I had a very exciting time taking care of the kids there. It was a wild ride! Almost everything I did was something or somewhere new so I just had to keep being brave. I used to travel all over the place with minimal stress- Japan, Korea, Guyana, Antigua, Barbados, St. Croix, St. Lucia, etc. and to lots of big cities: New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Tokyo, etc. but I am not used to traveling with three small children, one of whom is four months old! It's a totally different experience. Many of their needs cannot easily be taken care of while traveling. Little kids need to be able to run around, babies need to be nursed on their own schedules, regardless of your travel itinerary, etc, etc. And I've been living in a gradually retracting circle, taking care of a new baby and two little kids at home. I'm VERY lucky if I get one ten minute walk by myself once a week. (I'm also really lucky to get any writing done here, but that's a little easier since it's in the house and naps can be effectively utilized for that purpose.) So I'm looking forward to my circle expanding and being able to take my kids out into the world more and more. That's one of the benefits of homeschooling, in my mind- having the time to learn by being there in the places you are learning about, instead of just reading about them. But I digress. We arrived in our lovely hotel room, flung open the curtains, and saw the whole skyline of buildings, complete with fireworks (I'm not kidding) off of Navy Pier. We were so excited we could hardly sleep. Billy went off to his conference early, we woke up later and tried to eat our cereal, but we were just too excited to eat. We found the hotel pool, but it was lacking in stairs and shallow parts for kids, so we cut our losses and drove off through moderate traffic to Layli and Mom's new house in Lindenhurst, just past Great America. It was a hike, but the kids were still really excited so they did really well in the car. They have a lovely townhouse that looks very much like the one they just moved from. We decided, after a lovely lunch, to head to the beach to relax and meet up with Suzanne and Amia. Driving all the way back down 94, Teresa finally had enough with all the driving and screamed until we stopped at a gas station for a diaper change and nurse. When we finally got to the beach, I was exultant. We made it! It was perfect beach weather- hot, but late in the day so not such burning sun, and cool (OK, cold. but in a good way) water. And with Layli and Suzanne and I with all our kids, it felt like the ideal playgroup.There was very little squabbling among the three big kids (Georgia, Maya, and Lucy) and just a lot of playing and sand castle building. Husayn and Anya (Suzanne's sister) joined us and we had a great time. I even got to bond with Amia and get to know her a little bit. She's such a great person to know. Such interesting expressions and little words. There's so much going on in her head and she was so brave, facing the waves and walking into the water as far as she could (holding Suzanne's hand of course). Then we had a boisterous and delightful dinner at Chipotle, eating outside in downtown Evanston. The girls were still running around and getting into mischeif at the very end at like 9:30. Teresa started to get sick by the end of the evening though and was miserable with a fever and stuffy nose by then. That's when the tide of the trip turned and the hard part of travelling with kids started up. She screamed in the car most of the way back to the hotel because she was just sick of it all. And the next day I cancelled our plans to museum and play downtown to take care of her at the hotel until Billy was done. It was a tortuous day just sitting around in the lobby and trying to entertain the kids while taking care of sick Teresa. But it was terribly hot out and downtown was swamped with Taste of Chicago, so I thought it better to just sit tight. The ride home was long for the kids, but at least there were two adults to help them.

I found the whole experience, good and bad, to be really empowering and circle-widening. The energy in that city is enormous. Even the elevators are faster there. And I did so many new things that I either didn't think I could do or had forgotten that I could do. The biggest was staying calm and happy in the face of uncertainty and difficulties. I tried to just stay flexible and loose and it really helped. And the best part is that I already want to do it again!

Posted by Bahiyyih at 10:13 AM | Comments (3)

June 19, 2005

teresa smiles

Here's a couple we finally caught on film. The second one's from the Bloomington Children's Museum where they have this cool little octagonal tunnel with mirrors all around on the inside:



Posted by Bahiyyih at 10:16 PM | Comments (1)

popsicle girls


Here's the Baha'i children's class taking a popsicle break after their fieldtrip to the park across the street from our house. There are usually three boys to add to the all-girl cast there. From left to right, that's Maya, Amy, Georgia, Mariah, Kaseka (visiting from Decatur), Nadine, and Kabedji (also visiting from Decatur).

Posted by Bahiyyih at 10:08 PM | Comments (0)


The girls often ask me to tell them stories of when I was a little girl, and I am most willing to oblige them when I am nursing and am trying to keep them from fighting with each other. Other times are ok too though, especially bedtime. It's usually Billy that tells those, but Teresa's been more interested in falling asleep at night by being carried around on a walk outside by daddy than by nursing to sleep (yeah!) so I've been doing story duty lately. I don't have a very good memory about some things, and I've never thought of my childhood in story form so I feel like there's not much to tell, but I think it just takes some practice and enough rest for that kind of brain function to be happening. There are three that they ask for over and over, maybe because they have an element of danger to them- the time a bear visited our cousin-ly campout in the middle of the night and ate all of our food, the time I fell off a dock when I was really little and was rescued by a family friend, and everyone's birth story that I could possible know. It's fun to have this challenge ahead of me (since I can only imagine the demand for stories growing in the years to come) to think in stories and remember things in story form, with drama and characters and a good plot. That's a part of myself that I really want to grow. Hmmm. it makes me want to go to a storyteller's concert (or whatever it would be called) to get some tips. I know that the last time I went to Louhelen Baha'i School there was a big emphasis on learning to tell stories like the Hands of the Cause did. That's something I want my kids to learn as they grow up. Right now they all seem to like telling stories. Maya breathlessly tells Liza stories of what has happened that day, Georgia told Teresa a story today when she was playing with her about a king who thought he was poor but it was just because he couldn't find where he'd put his money, and Teresa sure seems to be trying to tell us something when she babbles and coos. Georgia also tells stories in these hilarious songs she makes up in the car. If you're on a car ride with us sometime, you may get to hear one of them. Today's song had to do with the words see and si (Spanish for yes) and the letter C. Something like "I love si, yes I love si but C is hard to write, it's just like an O but with a piece taken out, and I love you si si yes I do. See, I love you, can you see"'.

Camp update: She has made a friend, Emma, who she LOVES. Yeah! And she loves her camp leader person so much that she dictated a letter to Billy who dutifully wrote down all about how much she loves camp so much and never wants to miss a day of it. I'm really impressed with her enthusiasm.

Posted by Bahiyyih at 09:46 PM | Comments (1)

June 14, 2005

camp update

Hooray! Georgia came back from camp with comments like 'Do I get to do this everyday? It's so fun!'. So I know she likes it. And it was pretty hard to get Maya to leave this time because they had playdough out. She checked out the camp room that's for her age group and they had playdough too so she sat down and started to play. She said she wanted to stay and be in the camp, but she may have changed her mind once playdough time was over. We'll see about that idea.

Posted by Bahiyyih at 08:47 AM | Comments (0)

June 13, 2005

first day

Georgia just went off to her first day of summer camp. She was scared and excited and good at talking about her feelings. I like her leader person. When Georgia hid from her, the leader person hid from Georgia too. It was pretty cute, and a good approach to take with Georgia. I tried really hard to stay cool and act like it's not a big deal. I think I pulled it off pretty well but my tummy hurts. I hope she's happy and the other kids are nice to her. Deep breath! Teresa and Maya helped the bye bye process by being smiley and playing with the toys (respectively).

Posted by Bahiyyih at 08:37 AM | Comments (0)

June 05, 2005

the fruit tree

(Early spring- Maya raking a patch of dirt that used to be a pile of garbage and rocks)

We just got a few blueberry bushes to plant in the backyard and we've been thinking and talking a lot about virtues and how important their acquisition is, for both the kids and ourselves and it's all swirling around in my head and out comes a bunch of images and ideas, including a new idea for a quilt. The first virtue on our list on the fridge is kindness, and I read about it in the Family Virtues Guide (an excellent resource for training systematically to acquire virtues, written by Linda Kavelin Popov) this morning and I started thinking about kindess to people and the earth. You know the slogan, 'Take only pictures, leave only footprints'? Well how about 'acquire only virtues, leave only well-tended gardens'. And then I imagined a city garden, created in just a few square feet of dirt in the front of a store, 'The Fruit Tree', and it used to have garbage and a few hearty weeds in it and is then transformed by the kindness of a few thoughtful gardeners (with money to spend on plants, soil amendments, etc.) into a little oasis of fragrance. They would get rid of the junk, dig down really deep and add compost and whatever else was needed, and plant things that all smelled good- a weeping cherry tree, Russian sage, lavender, miniature roses, maybe even a trellis with some hearty climbing roses or, hey, some vigorous tomatoes even. And in the store they sell lots of good smelling things too, but not overwhelimgly so, just natural good smells. There would have to be some good local organic produce and some fruit trees and bushes, of course, maybe in big containers, maybe some flowers in season, and yummy candles and soap and books about gardening. But everything wouldn't be horribly overpriced. Very reasonable. Oh, and there would have to be a hospitality aspect to it- for more kindness to people- a little juice and snack bar and comfortable places to sit and chat. Ooo, I want to go there right now.

Well, the whole garden transformation theme is certainly not a new one. It wasn't my idea, but I sure do love it. Oh, and the quilt idea is to put that whole storefront with the garden and everything onto a quilt. Wouldn't that just be so delicious?

Posted by Bahiyyih at 11:52 AM | Comments (0)