Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Simple Life

I live simply, or at least I try to. I love for life to be full of simple abundance. I enjoy peace and contentment, which, as I look around in the world, is a lot harder to come by than it sounds. My days are spent loving my family and home; daily activities revolve around it. It doesn't mean that my life isn't crazy sometimes, and busy most of the time, but it's things that I choose. I enjoy the sweet flavor of mangoes, and the color of pomegranate seeds and cranberries. I love the sound of my kids laughing together, picking blueberries in the summer, and the smell of the lavender that grows in my backyard. I love textures, and taking pictures of them. The pure joy in my children's eyes makes my heart overflow. I love wholesome food, and most things containing chocolate. I love decor that looks like it's been ripped off of old buildings, or at least had a spicy past. I love homemade quilts, and falling asleep to the sound of rain, which I do almost every night here. I love making cookies and neighbors who smile at each other. I can't get enough of the softness that is my baby's palm, and the novelty of cherubic sleeping children never wears off. I can drink in the beauty of the Northwest all day and never tire of things like tulip festivals and the wild calm of the ocean. New skills like canning fresh peaches bought from farmers, making jam, and digging for clams on the beach thrill me. I love to bask in the glow of genuine friendship and the love of family. The very essence of being together with the ones I love is so deeply delicious. And, I'm forever grateful that I can even notice these things. None of them costs much, but they are all priceless and they contribute to a life that is richer than one money could ever buy. It's a simple life, but, joyfully, it's mine.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Life and Death of A Dirt Eater

"I found a worm today", she said.

"Cool!" (not cool, actually, but I'm trying not to pass on my irrational fear of worms--or sleeping under ceiling fans--to my children).

"I found a worm at recess, and I think that it was the mother, or the brother or sister of the daddy worm that Lexi squashed when we were worm hunting at recess on Monday."

I remembered the sad fate that the 'daddy' worm had suffered at the hands of Lexi's boot that day.

" I put it in my backpack," she was saying, "but I left it unzipped a little so he had some air."

"What??" I looked into the rear view mirror to verify the awful truth. She reached into the winking Tinkerbell backpack pocket and tenderly took out a thick, dirty worm, along with a big leaf, included to make "Sammy" the worm feel more at home.

I tried to explain how worms really like it outside in the wild--clearly, that's the reason they choose to live there, instead of indoors or in a backpack. But the sweet, excited look on her face, coupled with the fact that it's highly unlikely that a real pet will ever see the interior of my home, made me drop the issue.

We went for a walk as soon as we got home, and the whole time she planned a 'worm habitat' for Sammy. She chatted about using her dollhouse furniture initially, but worm germs on the Lovin' Family dollhouse is where I draw the line. I suggested he might be more comfortable in leaves and dirt. She switched to designs for worm beds, chairs, jammies, toothbrushes and flossers all from leaves, sticks, and goodly amounts of hot glue.

It was a sweet life that lay before Sammy. Being pampered as no worm in history had before. Which is why it was sad that as soon as we got home and Girlie started on the worm habitat, that she discovered that the hardship of being dropped a few dozen times on the walk had taken their natural course, and Sammy was no longer 'with' us.

Poor Sammy. Girlie cheerfully assured us that we'd see him in heaven, and she could probably make the worm jammies then. Thus ended the life of Sammy the worm. He was a good pet. For both hours.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

That Feeling

Never ignore that feeling. That feeling that even though the house seems peaceful, and you're trying to sort through kids' clothes, that maybe you should go see what your baby is up to. He left the room and slithered down the stairs just a few minutes ago. He'll probably be fine for a couple minutes. ...Right?

Because, even though he has the biggest, most innocent eyes, no amount of eyelash batting on his part will make up for the fact that, when you do rip yourself away from your productivity , you will find him standing with an uncapped, orange marker in his cute, chubby hand. You'll see that he was trying to schedule things in your planner for you with that marker, because you were trying to do that right before you went to rescue him from the nap he didn't take because of the poopy diaper he had, which you then changed. But as you take the marker away your eyes will race down to the leather sofa, which now bears orange stripes. You'll give a little gasp and immediately lick your thumb and start scrubbing, because that's the first thing that comes to mind. But that's nothing in comparison to when you then look over and see that your brand new laptop is now missing some keys, and that some of the remaining ones are orange. It makes you almost not notice the fingerprints all over the screen.

You will almost yell, almost. But you won't. Because it wasn't the little cutie's fault that you left your laptop and the marker and the planner out, even though you did it to rescue him and then got sidetracked by the clothes that needed sorting. You will spend some frantic time unsuccessfully trying to reattach the keys, while trying to come up with explanations you'll give your husband. You won't get the 'caps lock' key reattached, and you hope that your husband won't notice, because who uses the caps lock anyway?

Meanwhile, your baby will have climbed up and unloaded the silverware drawer. He'll climb up on the couch for a snuggle, with fists full of spoons. You'll go lay down by him, stroke his cheek and ask him what he was thinking, but the blue eyes will just smile up at you, unanswering.

You really just want to yell, "Crap, crap, crap", but you'd never use that kind of potty talk in front of your child, so you just bite your lip, literally. You'll decide that you need some rainbow sherbet to calm you down, so you'll get a bowl. Then you'll smash your finger in the freezer door, because your brain hurts from not sleeping last night. You'll strap your baby into his booster seat and feed him bits of banana bread, while you sit down at your computer. You think that maybe your husband will read your blog before he comes home from work. Maybe he'll realize that you feel really, really sorry about this. And, your pregnant brain isn't working, which also explains why you left the garage door open last night and the door unlocked. Maybe he'll be able to laugh about it and come home and give you a hug and help you fix the caps lock, because you could really use it after today. You really, really hope.

That is why you shouldn't ignore that feeling.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Dear John, I mean, Jeans

Dear Jeans,

Wow, I don't even know where to start. This is one of the hardest things I've had to do. We've had so much fun together, since that day at the Loft sale rack. Good times, good times... We've seen each other through a lot. And I appreciate that, I do.

It's just a way...a small may be time for us to take a little "break". Please don't think that it's personal. It's just that we've sort of grown apart. Or, I'm growing at least. And it's getting a little 'uncomfortable' when we're together. You're a really great pair of jeans, you are. And you deserve someone who won't stretch out your 99% cotton waistline. That's just not me right now.

I just have a lot going on right now. And when we see each other occasionally, I hope it's not awkward. Please don't feel like you have to avoid me, hiding behind my skinny shirts or under piles of non-stretchy pants. I want us to be on good terms. Who knows? Maybe in a few months things will be different and we can get together again. Right now, we're just not a good "fit."

In short, it's not you, it's me.



PS: Please don't take it too hard if you see me around town with some hot "stretch panel" jeans. It's just a fling. It won't last.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Calling all moms

I don't usually "plug" things, because that is not why I blog. I usually stick to projecting random, personal drivel out there in cyberspace. BUT, I am too excited about this, and I have to share the wealth.

This website is for homeschoolers, or for moms like me that love teaching their kids stuff, or anyone who has an interest in kids and how they work. One of my dearest, longtime friends--Karen-- is a brilliant, and I do mean brilliant, homeschooler. She somehow manages to educate her four kids in a fun, interesting project-based curriculum. She's one of those women who somehow does it all. I stand in awe.

I check out her website for fun, easy ideas to do with my kids. I don't know about you, but I can always use ideas to keep my kids busy and learning. Karen, together with her sister, has got lesson plans, theory behind teaching, and projects. It's absolutely fantastic. Check it out!

Friday, January 1, 2010


That is the stage right in between "normal self" and "oh, look, what a cute pregnant girl." The stage where you're not obviously expecting, but you groan just a little when you have to change out of your yoga pants and get into your regular jeans, even though they have 1% spandex. It's the "wow, those holiday cookies were not kind to her" stage, right before you look cute-pregnant.

I ran into Bonnie on New Year's Eve. She's my pregnant buddy, but I haven't seen her in months. We attended the same fun party (a family party with an East Coast countdown--I will say, that is the WAY to do it!!). Bonnie is 5 months along. She's adorable anyway, but now pregnant, she's got this cute, little bump right in front. It's perfectly round and cute. In a tiny way, I'm glad that I don't see Bonnie more. Because, I on the other hand seem to have just...exploded around my entire mid section. I want to wear one of those shirts that simply say "pregnant" on them, as sort of a mumbled explanation of why my pants appear to be cinching me off.

In St. Louis, I had these friends, Lynn and Lance, who were my go-to peeps for self esteem during my pregnancies. Let me back up. During my first pregnancy, I gained almost 55 lbs. True story. Well, my sweet husband loved me anyway, bless his heart. He did, however, make a little joke as we were getting ready one morning that should have stayed quietly inside his head--"Hey, wouldn't it be funny if you made beeping noises when you backed up?" Our bathroom was tiny and crowded back then, but still. If he hadn't offered to shave my legs that I could no longer reach...he would have been in serious trouble. It's been seared in my brain ever since. Suffice it to say, I don't necessarily turn to to him, fishing for prego compliments. Enter: Lynn and Lance. They are friends who used "glowing" and "beautiful" and "you make heels look good even 9 months pregnant" very liberally.
I miss them.

Have you seen "Monsters vs. Aliens"? If so, you'll recognize the guy at the top. His name is Bob. I feel like Bob.

PS: Bonnie, are we still on for that playdate? ;)
PPS: Lynn, I may be calling soon.