December 28, 2010

new year intentions

it’s hard to believe that a new year is almost here; just when i finally broke myself of habitually jotting the year as 200_ when writing checks. I don’t do resolutions but i do like goals, so as we prep for the Big Ball Drop and hang up a new calendar I like to think about what I’d like to accomplish in the next 12 months…

read 26 books. this is only a book every two weeks. totally doable, right? the twist: reading a book with a title starting with each letter of the alphabet.

get back to a regular yoga class. good for my mind and body, which is good for my family. a balanced mama makes for a balanced family, yes? I hope so.

dust off my treadmill and actually use it. run outside when the weather and children accommodate.

make good use (read: monthly visits at a minimum) of our annual passes to the zoo, nature & science museum, and butterfly pavilion.

recycle the same goals/intentions I set for myself last year that I didn’t accomplish. (is it cheating to change the date on last year’s list? I really meant that i’d get better at meal planning in 2011. really. and that part about finishing unfinished home improvement projects? yep. totally. meant to say 2011 on those too.)

to be continued as I think more about what i hope to make out of 2011.

and you? any goals for the upcoming year? are you a “go big or go home” type of goal setter? or more of a “well, let’s just wait and see what happens” type?

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December 1, 2010

broken

I lie down and I can’t sleep.
I hate my brain.
I take a pill, and wait.
squeezing my eyes shut to keep them from popping open.
awake.
take another, and wait.
twitching, tossing, turning.
awake.
and another.
fuck me, this sucks.
it’s late and I’m still awake. he’s disappointed in me.
he doesn’t know that I’m disappointed with myself too.
so, I lie here awake,
cursing my fucking broken brain.

November 20, 2010

the ups and downs

i started a post titled “the grumbles” the other day, griping about the woes of solo-parenting two demanding kiddos, but i got called away by children and motherly duties before i had a chance to finish it.  it’s tucked away in my drafts folder now.  when i returned to my computer the next day and i saw that draft sitting there, i smiled happily and realized that i didn’t need to finish it because, miracle of miracles, the grumbles had disappeared!  grumbly wednesday was followed by a pretty darn awesome thursday, full of smiles and laughter and cooperative children.  ain’t that grand?!

it seems that that’s the way it is, this life with kids.  one day is up, the next is down.  there will be good days and there will be great days, but there are the inevitable awful, want-to-sell-your-children-to-the-gypsies days tucked in there as well.  there are plenty of days when my well of patience and laughter is full – those are the fun days, the days when i can just roll with the punches – but there are also days when i feel like a tightly stretched wire, constantly vibrating and threatening to snap.  those days are not fun.  those are the days when my daughter’s dawdling and insistent-yet-incompetent independence are just about too much to handle.  those are the days when her constant noise and motion are a real challenge for my silence-and-stillness craving soul.  but she is three; amazingly, wonderfully, delightfully three.  confident and intelligent and hilarious and curious…yet moody.  yes, three is definitely moody.  she is a challenge, for sure, but she is awesome.

and the boy.  oh, how i love the boy.  he has my heart.  i want to scoop him up and drink him in, devouring the chub of his thighs and the sweetness of his cheeks.  he is full of laughs and motion.  he crawls, he climbs, he stands, he is never still.  he is six-months old.  i think back to the days before we decided to have a second child and i cannot believe that i ever doubted that i could possibly have room in my heart for two kids.  ::sigh::

but juggling two kids alone is tough.  holding the baby (to prevent him from attempting to climb the stairs or scale the kitchen cabinets) while simultaneously tending to the girl-child who needs me to wipe her tushie/have a tea party/pour a glass of juice/fetch a snack is exhausting.  wonderful, yet exhausting.  my husband is an amazing, helpful father and partner but he also works long hours and has been traveling more than usual lately.  i have mad respect for single parents who juggle kiddos and careers by themselves.  after three days of solo-parenting i am spent.

up and down, the grumbles will come and go, and i give thanks on the days when the awesome outweighs the awful.  i will continue to rely on coffee and wine to get me through, savoring every moment (because i’m supposed to) even if i have to do so through gritted teeth while counting to ten v-e-r-y, v-e-r-y slowly (because sometimes i have to).

November 14, 2010

scattered thoughts ahead: proceed with caution

i have a million ideas floating in my head:  snippets of creativity, inspirations, aspirations, must-do, must-make thoughts.  i want to paint, and sew, and photograph, and design, and create, and stitch, and draw, and then tie it up in a bow, throw some glitter on it and show it off to the world…but i don’t know where to start.  i feel paralyzed by creative aspiration.  is there anything worse than creative paralysis?  the bubbling energy that zipzipzips through me when i dream about all i want to make comes crashing down when i try to think about how to make it all happen.  ::crumble, crash, fail, despair::  linear, organized brain in battle with scattered, creative brain.  harumph.  distracted crafter syndrome in full effect.

November 6, 2010

tweets to my 16 year old self

there was a topic on twitter yesterday in which people were revealing the bits of wisdom they would bestow upon their younger selves if they could travel back in time and have a chat.  i didn’t add mine there, but it inspired me to create this list of my own:
  • it’s okay to let people know that you’re sad – feelings are not flaws
  • it’s also okay to let people know that you’re happy
  • that guy you’re in love with is not the one and that is okay…you’ll find out soon enough that he’s good for right now, but not for forever
  • listen to your parents.  it turns out they’re right about a lot of things
  • eyebrow shaping and maintenance is a job best left to professionals
  • there’s a big difference between loneliness and being alone.  you’ll find out that solitude suits you and that’s just fine
  • the bully who “stole” your best friend and your crush?  she’ll end up marrying someone really unfortunate looking.  thanks, facebook.
  • smart and pretty are not mutually exclusive
  • it’s okay that you dropped calculus.  you will never, ever need to know calculus in real life
  • a fresh start is nice, but don’t try to change who you are
  • don’t quit dance lessons
  • it’s okay that you don’t have a clue what you want to be when you grow up.  you still won’t have a clue when you’re in your thirties
  • that number you’re trying to maintain on the scale but still believe to be too high?  enjoy it, honey.  you will never see it again after college, and won’t even approach it after you’ve had kids
  • dude…lighten up a little.  you’re only sixteen once

how about you?  anything you’d like to say to your adolescent self?

November 5, 2010

the most wonderful time of the year is upon us once again

put down the halloween candy, folks, we’re on to the next holiday…or maybe even the one after that.  even though we haven’t yet had our first snowfall here in colorado – my weather widget tells me that saturday is predicted to be in the mid-70’s and sunny, by the way – the red cups at starbucks and christmas displays in every store tell me that the holiday season is upon us.  there are only seven weeks (!!) until christmas, it’s time to get Elf-ing.

i tend to get a little bah humbug around the holidays because there are so many things to do, so many things to buy, so many things to eat, and limited time in which to get everything done.  even with the best intentions to simplify it’s still all a bit overwhelming.  i try to make things as easy as possible which means that you’d have to pour a lot of brandy in my eggnog to convince me to step foot in a mall between mid-november and january and i outsource whenever i can.  in other words, online shopping is my friend.

if there is anything better than easy during the holiday madness it’s free and easy, so when i saw the opportunity to snag 50 free christmas cards from Shutterfly i was giddy.  i love sending photo cards to friends and family every Christmas because, let’s be honest, it gives me the opportunity to show off cute pictures of my kids…what mom doesn’t love that?  i order my cards and address labels (again, easy!) from Shutterfly every year because their site allows me to make the cute and stylish photo cards that i would design myself if i had any sort of graphic design know-how.  best of all, it’s simple and easy.

 

in 2007 our card looked like this:

in 2008, like this.  my, how my baby has grown:

and in 2009 we sent this gem:

our 2010 picture will be fun to design because we have another member of the family to include, our 6 month old son.  you know how much people love to see pictures of adorable babies…i may have to order more than one style card this year just to get all the best pictures of everyone in there.  browsing through the sample designs i already see quite a few that i think will be perfect for our cards.  now i better hurry up and take some pictures so i can get the cards ordered.  only 7 weeks until christmas, remember?

 

disclaimer: this post sponsored by shutterfly and their free cards for bloggers offer, but i would have ordered from shutterfly even without the offer.

October 28, 2010

i need mommymatch.com

i totally got hit-on by another mommy today.  not in the “let’s make out” sense, but in the “let’s be friends” sense, and i feel like i totally let her down.  she approached me at the playground and sat down, cooing about how cute my baby is (major points scored in her favor there).  “this place is great!  it’s our first time here,” which, if we’re being honest, is really just a small jump from the classic, “so, do you come here often?”  we chatted about our kids, their milestones, our challenges etcetera, just like mommies do.  “is this your first child?”  “yes.  and you?”  “no, my second.” and on and on and on, following the niceties of two strangers at a playground who know nothing about one another but who are forced to make small talk because they’re the only two grownups in the vicinity, and otherwise would just be staring off into the distance or staring at their iPhones updating their facebook statuses (statii?) about how uncomfortable it is to interact with other mommies at the playground.  “well, i guess we should be going,” she says to her daughter.  and again, “well, sweetie, we better get home,” and again, “well, we have to go get dinner started.”  i should have said, “it was so nice to meet you” and given her my name or number or email or something – afterall, i was the *experienced* mom-of-two “regular” at the playground – but i didn’t.  “i’m sure we’ll see you here again,” she said, lingering just a bit longer, “especially when the weather turns colder,” i answered.  “okay, see you later,” she said, hoisting her daughter (whose name and eating habits i now knew with deep familiarity) onto her hip and walking away.

i suck at this.  if she had given me her number i would never have called her – i don’t do phones – and then it would probably be all uncomfortable the next time we run into one another at the park.  (side note: i met most of my mom-friends AND my husband online, i apparently have a problem meeting people in person.)  if i had gotten her email address i might have emailed her, but i don’t know that i would, and i didn’t get it anyway.  i didn’t even get her name.

it’s such a weird dance, isn’t it?  this whole “let’s be friends because we’re moms but really the only thing we have in common is the fact that we both have children.”  it’s the mom club.  i’m sure she is a lovely person, she seemed quite nice, but i just don’t know what to do in social situations like this.  anyone else find this to be really awkward?  anyone else try to make friends with other strange mommies at the playground?

October 25, 2010

life lesson: chocolate and wine make you happy

i watched the woman as she walked through the grocery store.  her body language and movements were tight, in a way that suggested self-consciousness and a lack of comfort in her body.  her face was drawn and tense, she looked weary.  neither her mouth nor her eyes were smiling.  she looked to me like she needed to close her eyes and just exhale.  i peeked in her shopping cart; i admit that i always peek in others’ shopping carts because i’m insatiably curious and it provides a wealth of information about a person.  hers was mostly bare, save for a few packs of caramel flavored rice cakes, flavored seltzer water, and other Diet Foods loaded with impossible-to-pronounce chemicals unfit for human consumption.  i felt sad.

in my mind i created a story about her; always worrying about her weight even though she never really had to worry about it, preoccupation with body-image and an undying belief that her body didn’t match up to the ideal, constantly counting calories instead of enjoying life’s immeasurable moments.  it exhausts me just thinking about it.  that is certainly no way to live.  it’s certainly not the message i hope to pass on to my children, and believe me, the example i am setting for them definitely not one that endorses restriction.

i want to enjoy good wine, savor rich chocolate, delight in discovering new cuisines, dive into the bread basket, eat ice cream cones with my children, smile and laugh over a great meal with friends.  life is too short to eat crappy food.  life is too short to deny myself the pleasure of great food.  i want my kids to learn to eat right, of course, but my definition of “right” doesn’t include rice cakes and nutrasweet. but more than just eating well, i want my kids to feel well, be happy, and feel comfortable in their bodies no matter what shape they may be.

maybe i’m totally off-base in my estimation of this woman at the store.  maybe she’s joyful and carefree and is actually buying the rice cakes for a skeet-shooting adventure this weekend.  who knows…maybe the person peeking in my cart pegged me as a devil-may-care glutton for the two pints of haagen dazs i was buying.

October 24, 2010

remind me to write about this later

tons of thoughts swilling in my head about bullies, cliques, meangirls, my fear of sending my children to public school, the hopelessness i feel when i think about the state of our schools (both educationally and socially), and why i’m half tempted to home-school my kids but never actually will.  related thought: where do i find a protective bubble for my kids, and if no bubble is to be found, how do i adequately prepare them to live in this big ol’ scary world?

October 23, 2010

sleepless

oh, insomnia
why do you ensnare my brain?
every night i fight.

thoughts randomly swill,
brain races on hyperdrive
why can’t it turn off?

no caffeine past noon,
sleeping pills and more on board,
still i lie awake.

i feel like crying
or, alternatively might
pursue brain transplant