Monday, March 28, 2011

Right Now

Right now, I am...
  • Enjoying a quiet, clean house with my feet up while sipping some tea.
  • Feeling relaxed after a tough workout.
  • Remembering how good those endorphins are for the mood. Oh, it's been too long.
  • Getting set for a busy week- work called- they need me there tomorrow and- judging by the situation, possibly another day in addition to my regularly scheduled day.
  • Marveling that all of my daytime babysitter options seem to have gone MIA at once. Coincidence?
  • Thankful that it's spring break week and that I have lots of nieces of the babysitting age. And one that's able to help me out tomorrow on last minute notice. And for a father in law who says he'll take the kids another day if needed.
  • Glad for the break from school for Lydia. Jack is so happy to have her home- and so am I.
  • Happy- so happy- for the sunshine we're seeing nearly every day now. Incredible, what it does for one's mood!
  • Pondering which book amongst the stack of books by my bed I want to dive into first.
  • Realizing it's almost April- and how exciting is that?
  • Also realizing that means my son's birthday is a month and a half away. And he's fully expecting a 'boy' quilt like the one his sister got for her birthday.
  • Not panicking. Yet. Because I have all the fabric and some of it is cut out. Way ahead of the game here. It's all good.
  • Recalling, however, that my free motion quilting foot (which was so much fun, by the way) broke at the very end of that quilt.
  • Debating if I should get another one or do his a bit different.
  • Knowing these next few days are going to sail by as we move into the weekend the kids have been waiting for and counting down to for weeks.
  • Hoping for a good time with healthy, happy kids. And healthy happy parents.
  • Ready, at 10 p.m., to crawl in bed for the night and pick up one of those books.
  • Focusing. On being still. On breathing deeply and letting the worries of the day fade.
  • Content.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

ANY Day Now...

We are currently in the midst of a record-breaking tooth cutting marathon. At least for our house. My little mold-breaker over here is at it again, although through no fault of her own. To say she's feeling kind of rough could just possibly be as understated as saying rocks thrown with significant force can kind of break windows.

And I'm feeling pretty haggard. Oh HOW long can this ridiculous insanity go on? Once again, I am pulling my foot out of my mouth. Never again, friends, will you hear me brag about the children in this house who just popped teeth through like it was fun or something without subsequently bringing up our war stories of this sweet child of mine.

If I didn't feel so bad for her, I would actually probably find a lot of humor in the apparent coping mechanisms she's acquired during this long and painful stint. Trust me, you give the baby whatever she wants these days- cell phone as a chew toy? suuuure. Saltines for supper? why not?! Is there a problem with that?

If, for some backward-thinking moment you believe you actually are going to deny her wants, let me tell you friend, you are in for quite a show. She'll start smacking her gums, yelling "MMMMAM-MAAAM-MMMAAAAA-MAAAMMM!" and will (taking into no account how far she might flop or where she might land) flail herself onto the ground in a complete breakdown. It is a serious five star-worthy tantrum. My three year old can't pull them off that well. And she's got years of experience. Oh, who am I trying to kid? I do find humor in it. Only because a moment later she's on to something else and has completely erased all memory of the fact that I just fished a beaded bracelet out of her mouth.

Last night was fun. She spent three beautifully long hours from 11 to 2 completely resisting sleep, literally screaming if either of us so much as dared lay her back down hoping we might stop our zombie-like stumbling around the house and get some sleep ourselves.

Trying to think when you're tired becomes as easy as trying to locate missing pluggies under the crib in the pitch black of night. What does she want? How do I know? Another bottle? WHAT, you already gave her one?! Where's the Tylenol? Already gave it. Can she have more yet? What in the world time is it? NOT time to be awake. We can't just drug her up... Can we? Oh, uh, NO. No. Go for the bottle.

I attempted to take her into bed. Bad move. When will I ever learn this never, ever, under any circumstances solves problems so much as it serves to create newer, bigger ones? Like I mentioned above, apparently my thinking was skewed from the sleep I realized I would no longer be getting and I was desperate, so I hauled her in.

We all have those weak moments of grandiose ideas when we think- maybe, maaayyybee what has never worked before will somehow miraculously work just this once. Again, I was proven wrong. After she had completely wedged her entire squirming and kicking body halfway on top of mine, she made sure to lay a protective hand over my face lest I actually try to breathe or something. Needless to say, that lasted approximately two and a half minutes and at long last she finally fell asleep, exhausted, as I rocked her in the creaky chair next to the bed.

I think we're going to throw a party when those swollen red gums finally allow those difficult little teeth to slip through. After weeks of this mad torture we all will have surely earned it.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Plummeting willpower

So, someone around here had the dumb idea this week to start eating a little more healthy. This is always a fun way to assess just how horrible my self-control really is. Every few months or so I set myself up in this trap just to make sure I'm still really bad at being on any sort of health-kick for more than approximately 42 hours.

I see those people at showers and get-togethers who pass by the bakery and chocolate like it's no big deal as they load up their plates with tomato slices and grapes. The same ones who eat granola and fresh fruit for breakfast and lay claims to things like, you know... I never really cared for triple-chocolate-turtle-cheesecake. They run, like, fifteen miles a day and buy running shoes and running shirts to actually wear for, uh, running rather than marathon cleaning sessions when company calls and says they'll be there in ten minutes. Well, every once and awhile I aspire to be like them. Usually with no real plan in mind. Let's wing it- yeah! Let's get HEALTHY.

So, as expected, I started off the week with a vengeance. Measured out my cereal, chopped up veggies, bought some hummus, and baked some ridiculously healthy brownies made of carob powder, whole wheat flour, and I'm pretty sure nothing else. Willpower made of steel on day one. With extreme effort, er, with natural instinct to make the right choice I went for a snack of broccoli and carrot sticks with guacamole- knowing full well we had vanilla ice cream in the freezer, hot fudge in the fridge, and real right out of the box full fudge brownies in a 9x13 on the counter. Congratulated myself up and down, I did.

On Tuesday, I continued my veggie-munching, whipped up a grilled chicken-something-or-other for lunch, and guzzled water to the point that I can't really remember what else I did besides run to the bathroom all day. On Tuesday evening I had myself a tiny hot fudge brownie sundae. Oopsie daisy. No biggie. I'm not all for deprivation, you know.

By Thursday I was eating at McDonald's with the family. Oh yes, I was. And I can't even brag and say I ordered a grilled chicken snack wrap because that would imply that I didn't snitch half of the kids french fries or nibble on those yummy grease-coated, over-processed, chicken nuggets that supposedly contain zero percent chicken or something like that as I tore them up for the young ens. It would not have surprised me in the least had I started jumping up and down and begging for ice cream afterwards with the kids.

Thursday was also the day we (and when I say 'we' I really do mean my husband and I) baked bread. It wasn't my idea. He wanted to, and I was so giddy with disbelief that he seriously wanted to bake bread that I happily agreed, telling myself I could not be held accountable for any slip-ups on the diet exchanged for a chance to create such a rare piece of history. Anyways, that's another story. Homemade bread is always a killer. I can stay away from store-bought bread pretty easily. But, homemade? Cinnamon swirl homemade?

Apparently if you're trying to eat healthy there's a few things you shouldn't do. One of them is frequent fast-food joints and the other is not bake yeast-filled lumps of cinnamon-y-sugary goodness. The smell alone will drive you to such extreme madness that you will not be able to control yourself or the hunger you have attempted to ignore and deny all week. The results will be catastrophic. Lesson learned.

Let's all hear it for will-power, shall we? I can hardly wait to find out how Saturday goes.

Monday, March 7, 2011

This Little Old Town

The other night we went to the second annual dog sled races in our town. And I had one of those moments where I felt such pride to live in this area. As we stood shivering on main street, gathering with the other spectators that had came to watch the race begin, my husband and I tried to imagine what life was like here 100 years or so ago when the streets were lined with people like that on any average Friday evening. Sometimes we forget about all the history this area holds and when we stop to think of it like that- it's pretty amazing. And then, we came to the conclusion that we're pretty glad there are no longer 50,000 or so people living in this area like there was at one time. We rather like it on the smallish side, thank-you very much.

Sometimes this town gets a bad rap. The negatives get brought up much more than the positives. People who don't live here drive through it and see a bunch of run down buildings and abandoned houses. They see struggling businesses and tired neighborhoods and they leave as fast as they came in. But others- those of us who grew up here- well, we don't mind it so much. In fact, some of us rather like this little old town quite a bit.

So it was one of those moments- first, watching the mushers led out of town by their teams of dogs with so much support from the community, and then later watching the brief- but perfect in it's small-town way- display of fireworks over the football field- which led me to feel a strong sense of pride for this little, old town.

Several years ago I was asked if I minded growing up here. No offense to the asker, but it was worded as if it were some sort of punishment to grow up here. And I immediately laughed. Minded? I repeated and chuckled some more. It's where I was born, where I made friendships and went to school. The streets of this town are familiar to me in a comfortable sort of way that fits. I skied on the hill behind my house, I ran the trails that wound through the woods, I thought perhaps someday I'd leave, but I never went too far. This is my home.

Did I mind growing up in this town? Not hardly. I felt lucky to grow up here and I feel lucky to raise my kids here. Not everyone might agree with me- of course this place has it's difficulties like any other town in this country- but it's not that bad. In fact, this town is pretty much okay.