Friday, February 22, 2013

Cabin Fever

Before anything else, I want to point out that Playlist is working again. Oh, praise Jesus! The first five songs over to the right there? I can't get enough. If you're interested in some good new tunes that aren't owned by Clear Channel then check it out. For real. I haven't listened to 'real' radio in ages and am all the happier for it. Another good place to get good music is They didn't pay me to say that. I just really love them a whole lot.


OK, back to business:

I find myself searching everywhere for signs of spring, craving the change in the air that invites an open window and imploring the tree tops to show their veil of light green buds.

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We had a couple of warm days last week that teased me mercilessly. A cold front pushed it's way through and now day after day I hear "It's 24 degrees in White Plains today. With the windchill it feels like 14." Again? Well, that's just awesome.

I had forgotten about this particular stage of winter, which seems to drag on and on and on... Weeks ago the snowplows left behind little mountains that have since been covered over with a dirty black shell of ice. Now they rest on the roadside nice and safe thanks to the persistently cold temperatures to preserve them. I feel openly mocked by an inanimate object. It's all good though. I do remember how much greener the first buds look and how much cleaner the air smells when you've waited for them.

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Daily I mutter under my breath, "We've gotta get out of here." I am, of course, referring to our perfectly cozy house. We spend a lot of time at the library. We have lots of play dates. I go to the gym simply so Ada can run around with other kids, an arrangement that has lost me 6 unwanted pounds in the last month. Nevertheless my toes aches to have freshly turned dirt under them and I long to see the straight little tufts of hair on the crown of Ingram's head and the long curls that cascade down Ada's back blown by a gentle warm breeze.

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Here is where I find the challenge of being home with them: finding a way to make the mundane tasks of daily life a little more interesting. How to turn Trader Joe's into a "field trip"? Oh, the very words get her excited enough to jump up and down! Lots of 'treasure hunting" (lists with pictures) and "projects" created out of nothing. Today we made easter cards out of some random crap I got from the dollar bins at Target. Watch out family, you've been warned, they make no sense at all. Please just play along, OK? And if you could send her something in the mail that I can sneak into her mailbox, that would be great. A post-it note with a smiley face is sufficient as it doesn't take a whole lot of attention to make her feel super special.

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The time will pass quickly enough. We have visitors coming, a dear friend moving to the east coast and a weekend trip in the works all before Easter. Meanwhile, all this concentrated time together has led to catching moments like this one

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I get choked up just looking at the picture of it, nevermind how incredible and sweet the actual moment was. She's a great big sister and they both know it. He loves her so much that he won't sleep if he knows she's around. I have to ask her to play in the next room when I put him down for a nap. No matter how quiet she is, and God knows she tries her 3 year old best, he is straining to sit up to smile at her and play. I hope they stay close for all their lives.

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Finally, for grandparental and uncle interest, Ingram had his 6 month check-up today (OK, he's nearly 7 months now). 
20# 3 oz (83%)
29.75 inches (99%) 

He's a big guy and the happiest baby. All you have to do is look at him and pretend giggle - it throws him into a fit of hysterical belly laughter. This boy is a light and a joy. You're welcome world.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Crying Uncle

To my left sits a tall stack of books and my cup of coffee. My Kindle is loaded with things that, in brief moments of inspiration, I decided I couldn't live without. A Valentine project from last year sits on the table still only half done. There are dishes and laundry to do. We have music class in less than 90 minutes and none of us is dressed yet. 

I've heard the analogy made that life is like juggling - some balls are up in the air being expertly tossed about at just the right moment while others lie on the ground, bouncing, rolling and generally going wayward. I've definitely dropped the reading ball just as I have dropped the blogging ball. Over the past three days three family members have contacted me independent of one another to ask what the heck is going on? Why no blogging? 

Sorry, been busy with this: 

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and this:

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Eczema. We're working on it. 

I'm a stay at home mom for the moment. I'm a suburban housewife. I got my Mrs. degree, as my mother would say. In the eyes of some, I've achieved a dream. And in the eyes of myself all the way up to May 14th I was pretty convinced that this was going to be really awesome. It is awesome but I'd say my definition of that word has expanded to include more than it ever did before. 

I really thought that being a stay-at-home-mom was, oh, how to say this gently? Easy. You know, lots of free time, waking up when you wanted to, not being rushed, doing crafts and baking, taking yoga and going for a morning run every day. I thought that because you weren't leaving all things family behind for 40+ hours a week that the list of stuff to manage would be tamed somehow.

I was wrong. SO WRONG.

This is harder than I expected.

I am astonished - I mean, absolutely astonished, that I am having so much trouble to keep up with two children, a not-very-demanding husband and a modestly sized house. Me. I am addicted to my Franklin Covey planner. I am a goal-setter, a high achiever, a perfectionist and above all else, a complete control freak. Back to those balls in the air. Just when I'm victoriously throwing my hands in the air shouting "I did it!" (a phrase in my lexicon, no doubt, thanks to Dora the Explorer ) because it seems that I've managed to achieve something resembling balance there comes another ball tossed in the air and a different ball drops.


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It's not all bad. Our morning table today.

I'm learning. Slowly. It's sinking in that to embrace some of the beautiful, joyful but fleeting parts of my life I have to let some other things go. Knowing that how you approach a situation, that is, your attitude, makes all the difference in the world I have decided to pretty much try my hardest at rocking out this staying home thing. Dare I say that most of the time we are having fun.

Morning tea parties

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The boys watching the Super Bowl

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Playing orange melon smile

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She is full of questions now. "What's his name?" and "What she said?" and "Where are those cars going?" are common ones to hear. I love how she shouts ,"Zero!" whenever a timer goes off. We look for geese when we drive along the Bronx River Parkway. She comes up with hilarious little projects like rearranging our silverware so all the spoons and all the forks are together

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and she puts glass baby food jars on her baby giraffes feet because apparently you need to wear shoes to drink coffee

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He's sitting up and about to crawl any day now. He's love, love loving solids

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This hair tuft drives me crazy. I must spend at least 2 hours a day rubbing his downy head with my cheek and my hand. Oh, and he looks like he might be a ginger. I'll be helpless if he is.

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My God, how she is growing. She is so perceptive and so sensitive - much more than Tim and I realized. We are having to really watch ourselves with her now. She has lately come up with things that we are quite certain we haven't said to her, which introduces a new ball to juggle: damage control when she hears something terrible from somewhere else. 

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She is at last using the potty

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Exploration abounds

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I'll try to be better about blogging. If for no other reason than to keep up the recording of memories. I do find it so gratifying to go back on this little site and see what we were up to at some point in the past.  It's good perspective. Happy hump day. I'll see you again next month. Just kidding (I hope). We'll see what I'm able to juggle later in the week!