Monday, February 27, 2012

Multitudes on Monday...#301-310

Thankful for:

301.  Time off mom duty (courtesy of le husband extraordinaire, of course) to just sit by myself and watch the Oscars, even though it was spectacularly boring this year.  Although it was helped by late-night texting with The Shabby Princess...we agreed on the following:  The Academy needs to bring back Hugh Jackman as host (for now and forevermore, amen); Colin Firth should just be nominated for everything and also win everything so we could just look at him all evening (I don't care if that makes it the "Colin Firth Show" -- fine by us!); and finally, we both wanted to elope with Natalie Portman's red dress -- it was delicious vintage perfection.

Dear J.Lo:  Please take a page from this book.  That is all.
302.  Will's ever-expanding imagination.  While I was changing his diaper this morning, he pointed to an owl perched somewhere on the wall in his bedroom.  He hoot-hooted with it, too.  (Does anyone know where I can get a stuffed owl?)  Then later this morning, we all (me, Will, and Lucy) alternately hid from a dragon under the table and then fed him dragon snacks so he would be nice.  (Marty and I honestly have no clue where he picked up dragon knowledge -- we know there are no dragons in his books and we can't recall any from his shows?)
303.  Pinterest.  Yes, I'm thankful for Pinterest, okay???  I know that for some people, Pinterest is materialism overload and I get that (after all, it's mostly pictures of *stuff*).  Yet for me, I am actually energized by it.  I see pretty rooms and think, I know how I can put together that element on the cheap!  And I see fun kid's stuff and think, What a great birthday present!  It's sort of like my relationship with the Pottery Barn catalog.  I know I'll never have all those lovely things, but I can sure use it for inspiration, can't I?
304.  Reading the 19th installment (Body in the Gazebo) of the Faith Fairchild mysteries (Katherine Hall Page).  I've been reading this series for a good decade now, and it always feels like hanging out with an old friend.
305.  Lots of sunshine and fresh breezes.
306.  The never-ending process of self-discovery.
307.  That Lucy is *finally* teething the last of her baby teeth!  (I know those 2-year molars are on their way, but still, it's nice to feel accomplishment with her.)
308.  That Lucy is *finally* talking a bit more.  She might also be a candidate for speech therapy if she doesn't add a whole lot more to her vocabulary by her next well-baby appointment, but we have seen some improvement.  Her favorite thing to say is "!"  (Don't be alarmed; she is rarely in any kind of trouble.  It's just a call for attention from her favorite guy.) 
309.  Planning trips.
310.  (Already) planning my kids' birthday parties.  (Will is pretty much fixated on oceans right now; we watched a documentary this weekend about a dolphin named "Jo-Jo" and he's been walking around with a Fisher Price toy dolphin ever since, helping his own Jo-Jo to swim.  I can just see an oceanic birthday's off to Pinterest I go!)  :)

Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Daybook

It has been forever since I did a Daybook post!  I shall have to be more consistent with these because I love how they seem to capture my life (that day) in a nutshell.

Outside:  I've had the windows thrown wide-open all morning and afternoon, even though it's been raining on and off (my kitchen windows sit just-so in my house that nary a raindrop seems to be admitted entrance).  We've had a burst of very mild, almost balmy weather here.  It was in the 70's yesterday, so Marty took Will to the park (Lucy has been under with a bug).  It wasn't so warm this morning but the breezes were heavenly.  And then the thunderclouds rolled in and we had several minutes of storms, but it blew through rather quickly.  We've all enjoyed it...even Will has come to the window several times to say "Rain...pwetty."  Yes it is, baby boy. 

Thinking:  Honestly, there's so much on my mind I'm going to do a bullet list.
  • Why do my kids always outgrow their clothes about 4-8 weeks before a season ends???  Will's pants are too short and most of Lucy's clothes look just a wee bit stretched on her.  I'm *not* about to buy more cool-weather clothes, nor are we quite ready to break out the shorts and tees.  Spring is such a conondrum clothing-wise even when you have a wardrobe full of options.  But when new clothes must be bought for each new season because that person is still growing, well, it's just a big ole headache.  I've been doing my pre-shopping (scoping out items at different places) and once again, I'm going to buy the bulk of Will's wardrobe at Old Navy and Lucy's...elsewhere.  Old Navy is cute for little boys but I find their girl's clothing to be, well, just not cute enough?  Not girlie enough? 
  • I've been doing a lot of thinking about Christianity lately, and more specifically, what kind of Christian I am and want to be.  To be honest, I've lost all patience with a certain type of Christian.  All around me I see so-called Christians picking apart other people and I can't even begin to explain how this rubs me so wrong, and on really bad days, sends my head veering for the nearest wall or keyboard.  Guys, the second commandment is to "Love your neighbor."  If what you're doing or saying doesn't look or sound like love, then may I respectfully suggest that you *sit down and shut up*???  This is especially true in the political sphere.  I understand if a politician wants to bring a Christian perspective to decision-making; more power to ya, I say.  But that doesn't necessarily mean that you should wield your moral high ground like a weapon, verbally clubbing anyone and everyone that doesn't fit your model of good behavior.  Look, we are *all* fallen, all sinful, all in need of *grace*.  If other people are not measuring up to you, then you haven't had a good look in the mirror lately.  Let's just remember that when Jesus walked this earth, he sat with the sinners and rebuked the self-righteous. 
    That is not to say that I have all kinds of love for non-religious politicians or even anybody currently holding office, for that matter; in fact, I can hardly believe the news out of Washington on a daily basis.  Our economy is in the toilet and our unemployment rate is wretched, yet we're arguing over *birth control*???  Could we just steer this ship a little better, please?  But I majorly digress...
    (I have lots more to say on this -- the bit about Christianity, that is -- and I really want to capture it all in a blog post, but the topic obviously lends itself to deep thinking and careful writing, so it may be awhile before it appears here.  It's a goal, though, anyway.)
  • Yes, I went from "new clothes" to "moral high ground" -- is your head spinning yet?  Just imagine having my brain, because that's how it works! 
  • Other things I'm thinking I used to gently tease my sister Sarah for eating her kids' food scraps for lunch.  Um, Sar?  I just did that today.  It made me really think how a person can have all the opinions in the world about something, but until you walk a mile in those moccasins, you don't know jack-diddley-squat. 
  • How much Will has improved with speech therapy and how I'd recommend it to anyone who was even slightly doubtful about their kid's developmental progress.  This morning I sat down with him to look at his A-B-C book (it has beautiful pages of letter-specific pictures) and while I usually stick to the easy ones (pointing to the bear on the B page and asking, "What's this?"), today I went for harder ones.  I pointed to the puppet on the P page and asked him what it was; his response?  A very clear "I don't know."  I was absolutely *thrilled* with this, because you know why?  It was the beginning of DIALOGUE.  With MY CHILD.  I then explained that a puppet was just a doll with strings attached for moving the doll, and he nodded in very apparent understanding.  And we moved on to the next picture, with me trying to tamp down my urge to do cartwheels.  :)
From the kitchen:  Attempts at new recipes all the time, some results good, others not-so-good.  But we're trying (and it's not as hard as I thought it would be) to maintain our "no junk" approach to eating.  And it is *working*.  I hope he doesn't mind that I brag on him here, but Marty has now lost 21 pounds, in just about 6 weeks.  He is also spending quality time with the elliptical, but we both agree the diet change is playing the prominent role in his weight loss.  I plan to do a blog post soon on all the foods and menus that are really working for us (why am I all "promises, promises" today?).

Happiness on a stick
Reading:  See above.  (I've finished 2 of them; working on 3 others.  This is my birthday stash, courtesy of the world's best hubby.)

Shopping:  Er, it seems I already covered this one.

Hoping:  Again, and always, for some good news.  I actually find myself jumping a little bit when I hear the phone ringing!

Hearing:  Besides my neighbor who yelled (a bit too harshly) at his dog, nothing but the sounds of the entryway clock ticking, leaves rustling outside, someone's windchimes, and occasional birdsong.  It's perfectly peaceful in my house right now and I'm soaking it up.

A favorite thing:  Oh golly, don't even get me started on Pinterest.  It's my crack, kids.  For some reason I didn't really get it when I first looked at it a long time ago, but when I tried again this week, oh we clicked.  So well, in fact, that I have to remind myself to step...away...from the Pinterest.  Other faves:  when Marty makes me coffee in the mornings.  Whole-grain fig Newtons.  Magazine subscriptions...a gift from a beloved friend.  The few minutes that Lucy and I hug and pat each other before I lay her down at night.  The way Will organizes his blocks into categories of numbers and letters (that's my boy!).  (Okay, some of those aren't "things" but who's grading me here?  Ha!)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Multitudes on Mondays...#291-300

Thankful for:

291.  A much-needed trip to the salon, not only to fix a couple of cheap and iffy haircuts and have a professional hide those grays but also to sit and be still for a couple of hours.  Got lots of reading and thinking done and came out with a whole new look to boot!
Yes, kids, that's RED hair.  (Sorry to all my Facebook peeps; this is my profile pic so you've seen it aplenty, I know!)

292.  A clean, stocked, and organized refrigerator.  I confess I've opened the door a few times just to enjoy the sparkle and sanity of it all.
293.  A husband who has as much fun cooking as I do, and the time we spend together in the kitchen partnering up to make meals, dream, and slow-dance to the music on the radio.
294.  Friends made doing just this -- blogging and sharing and rambling about the miscellany of life. 
295.  How truly delightful -- and funny -- my kids are.  The toddler stage is definitely one of high maintenance, but it's also pretty hilarious!

Someone found a clubhouse.

She likes to empty it and sit inside with the door closed.  And then open the door with a shriek, hoping to startle you!  (The more dramatic your response, the harder she laughs, of course!)  (And yes, I know, we need to trim her hair or get her to wear barrettes...)

This one takes a drive at least once a day about the property.

Fueling up.  (Do you see his backseat passengers?  He's in a *huge* animal phase right now.)

I love getting random pictures that really capture personality!
296.  Packets of 80-calorie Nestle cocoa.
297.  Perrier with lime. Diet Coke, who?
298.  Days off for Marty.  Happy birthday, Mr. President(s). 
299.  Sorry for dropping a Marilyn there...we've been watching "Smash" and I am loving, loving, loving it!  Yes, thankful for good entertainment!
300.  Weaning Lucy from the bottle, which was #22 of my 35 New Year's aspirations.  Check!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Multitudes on, on Thursday. #281-290

Thankful for:

281.  Getting to that to-do item that has plagued me and my list for MONTHS.  You are ta-done, sir.
282.  The self-disclipline to take a much-needed break from Facebook during the day to get some things done (see #281).  I have all my laundry done with the exception of a basket or two (and that much gets generated in my house during the space of a couple days!).  Bills/mail/filing all done, some desk drawers cleaned out, etc.  It was a productive break from screen time, but I have also very much enjoyed all the "I missed you" notes on Facebook, too! 
283.  Starting new traditions with the kiddos.  We now have a dance break almost every day.  You should see my babies get down with their bad selves.  (If a couple days go by without getting in some boogey time, Will comes to me and says, "Dance, Mama?"  I love it!)
284.  The way both kids greet their Daddy when he walks through the door, with shrieked exultations and arms thrown about his knees and thighs and waist -- just wherever they can cling to him the fastest.  Add to that his own excitement and the gleam in his eyes, to be so enjoyed by his children.  It is beyond precious.
285.  Speaking of...I'm so thankful for my partner in life.  We've had to make a couple of big decisions lately and even though it bites rocks to face some tough realities, the difficulty is absolutely mitigated by having someone with whom to share the burden.  (And I know, Marty probably appears on this list at least once per installment...)
286.  That Lucy is finally drinking from a straw-sippy cup.  We're weaning her from the bottle this week (and I am more sad about it than I care to admit).
287.  A box full of goodies from my parents, and a gift card for a Valentine's Day meal.  We used it, Mom and Dad, and it was delish!
288.  A box of Russell Stovers.  It's bizarre, but I actually prefer them to Godiva!
289.  Reading all the expressions of love on Facebook on Valentine's see that so many of my friends are happily married, or even happily single, but surrounded by love, regardless.
290.  To feel very hopeful about good changes coming in the future, and the near future at that.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Monday, February 6, 2012

Multitudes on Monday...#271-280

Things have been quiet here on my blog for a simple reason...I've been going through something of a tough time lately and haven't felt any compulsion or desire to write or share anything here.  This morning, however, I found myself mentally listing things for which I'm thankful (it's become a habit on Mondays) so even if I don't blog anything else for awhile, I'll still try to post my "gifts" on Mondays.

271.  Learning to "roll with it" as a parent.  Will has been fighting naps for several weeks now, and instead of insisting on the same old-same old routine (and *MY* way), I've worked with him on various options and we've come to a workable alternative, which Puppy and I call "couch rest."  After lunch, he gets snuggled on the couch with a pillow, his pacifier, and his blanket (which he calls "Rijey"???), and I play a video from a series called "Sweet Dreams" (available on Netflix; it's nature/wildlife scenes mixed with sand-drawing and simple cartoons, all set to classical music).  He watches for a few minutes and without fail, he's asleep before it ends.  I'm limiting his naps to less than 2 hours (he used to burn through at least THREE hours and would keep going if allowed!) so he's tired at bedtime.  Anyway, all this to say that I'm extraordinarily thankful for "couch rest" and also for the fact that somewhere along the way, I've learned to adapt to a growing, changing kid with growing, changing needs.  Best. Parenting. Lesson. Ever.

Couch rest, Exhibit 1

Couch rest, Exhibit 2

Couch rest, Exhibit 3 (weekend edition, on Daddy)

272.  Eating healthier.  It is not as hard as I thought, nor as expensive as I feared.  And the difference it has already made!  Marty has lost 18 pounds so far.  EIGHTEEN!!!  I, of course, have lost a grand total of FOUR.  Oh well, I do *feel* different, and my body feels different to me even, so hopefully there's more weight loss for me coming 'round the bend, if I keep at it??? 

Eating healthy, SuperBowl style.  Pita bread toasted into chips with sliced peppers and hummus; low-fat Triscuit with low-fat Boursin garlic&herb cheese.  So incredibly yummy.  Marty even said he wouldn't miss potato chips!!!

273.  Speaking of the SuperBowl, how awesome of a show did my hometown put on?!?  Am I right or am I right?!?  Thankful for the fun and distraction that the big game gave me, for sure.  And how about that halftime show?  Madonna absolutely rocked it.  Marty said she singlehandedly made the halftime show cool again!  I totally agree.  We had a blast watching it, even had the babies up on the couch dancing with me to "Like a Prayer."  Good times, good memories.
274.  Speaking of music, I've been feeling so grateful lately for the immediate availability of music.  I've been known to say that Dolly Parton got me through divorce.  Well, Adele is getting me through this particular bad time.  There's just nothing that compares to her sultry tone, and she definitely strikes the perfect mellow chord with me right now.
275.  Something else hitting the right note -- Ken Burns' "Civil War" documentary.  You'd think that if you were going through a hard time, the last thing you'd want to watch would be a documentary about the bloodiest war ever waged on American soil.  Well, you'd think.  But this documentary has been so soulful, so inspiring, so patriotic, that it has been nothing short of *uplifting*.  I can't explain it, really, so please do yourself a favor and watch it (if you haven't already, I think it's at least a decade old?).
276.  Will's continued good progress with speech -- his therapist "couldn't be more pleased" and he voluntarily used a verb this morning to me! -- but better than that has been his complete explosion of imagination lately.  He's been combining all his loves -- cars, trains, balls, animals -- into new "sets" of play.  I haven't the faintest what's going on in his world, but I know there's some serious good stuff going on when I find things like this:

Headed back to the ocean perhaps?  "Ocean" is one of Will's favorite words!
277.  My (almost) daily ritual of afternoon tea with Lucy.  Okay, I'm the only one who has tea, but we both share some Nilla wafers and have a "chat" of sorts -- Lucy says some of her Lucy gibberish and I nod excitedly.
Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed from her afternoon nap.

278.  Even though my kids sometimes have spats over toys (the plastic fishing pole is a popular one of late), they clearly love each other and sometimes I will catch them doing this:

279.  Texts, emails, notes from friends who are just checking in, making sure I'm hanging in there.  I am.  And you all help more than you know.
280.  The first signs of spring!  I hope it hasn't come too soon to the Tennessee mountains, where winter could still wreak some havoc, but I have a gut feeling that the mornings of sunshine, the return of birdsong, the first few flowers pushing up through the dirt -- that these lovely harbingers are gonna hang on and shove Old Man Winter out of the way and send him packing.  You know, back to Canada or wherever he goes.