Saturday, November 20, 2010

Getting Back to Being Thankful

I've been sidetracked from my thankfulness the last couple days. Two nights ago I started feeling cruddy, so I went to bed early. Before long I woke up knowing I was about to get sick, so I got up to go to the bathroom and...woke up on the floor a minute later. Chris heard me fall and came to help me, and yes I (thank God) made it to the bathroom in time. Unfortunately passing out from a standing position, with no one around to catch you, well it ain't pretty. One tooth went through my bottom lip, and I must have fallen on the right side of my face because my top teeth all shifted over from that direction. And my face is swollen and sore and sort of numb, I have a fat lip, a scabbed up knee, a scraped and swollen hand, and a bruised shoulder. Chris is afraid for me to go out in public because he thinks people will suspect him of beating me. I look like a hillbilly with my teeth all crooked. Chris called the dentist, who said my teeth will probably go back in place when the swelling goes down. I have, of course, been freaking myself out thinking about what will happen if they don't. There would probably be a lot fewer freaking out thoughts going through my mind if I had dental insurance. So come Monday morning, if the teeth are still looking pretty mangled, I'll be calling the dentist. But I'm not sure what he's going to be able to do about it, especially since we are leaving for Florida on Tuesday. And the fun thing about that is I can't chew, so I'm not so super excited about going on vacation and not being able to  eat. I love to eat on vacation. The other fun thing about that is I haven't even started packing yet. I've been pretty much laying around and playing games on Facebook, trying to make sure my kids avoid all my sore spots when they are climbing all over me, and Christmas shopping. 

So what I'm going to do is dissect this situation and find the good in it. Because I'm trying to be thankful and all. 

First of all, I am so thankful I didn't get hurt worse. I have a very small bedroom and fell right between my dresser and the foot board of my bed, so it could have been much uglier. I could have knocked my teeth right out, or wound up with a concussion or worse. So the damage I incurred was minimal, compared with what it could have easily been.

Second of all, I've experienced an outpouring of love from my friends and family. Knowing I'm loved makes me feel all warm and tingly inside. I've had lots of phone calls, sympathetic posts on Facebook, and offers of help. Chris and the kids have been so sweet too. Bethany put a sign up on the fridge that says, "Do Not Bother Mom Unless the House is on Fire."

Then there is the matter of the aforementioned Christmas shopping. I'm feeling pretty good about the fact that I got more than half of the kids' shopping done (all online), and before vacation to boot. I know some procrastination-lacking people have been done since July, but that's not how I roll. Having this much done this early is a big accomplishment for me, and I'm hoping to get even more done this week, so when we get back from Florida I can concentrate more on enjoying the holiday season, and less on shopping.

When things get totally crazy and I start trying to get maybe too much done than is humanly possible, my body has a way of shutting me down for some mandatory rest time. So okay, point taken body, I've had my rest. Hopefully I'll be feeling almost back to normal by tomorrow so I can start getting myself and five other people ready for vacation. In the meantime, I'm going back to bed.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I am Thankful for Creative Minds

Ideas precede reality. Someone, in his or her creative mind, thought of all the things we enjoy and take for granted today, which no one would have thought possible 500 years ago, or 100 years ago, or maybe even 10 years ago. Everything is born of an imagining.

Mostly, people just go along with whatever is handed to them. We accept the world at face value. We enjoy the end results of the hard work of people we don't even really think about or acknowledge. But behind this netbook I'm typing on, behind the wireless internet connection that is going to facilitate putting this post into the cyber world, behind this recliner I'm sitting on, behind the delicious Orea cookie I just ate...behind all these things and everything else surrounding me in my life was a person with an idea. That person had the foresight and the fortitude to believe in an idea that could change the way the rest of us live.

Creativity is so much more than books, movies, art and music. Although I love and enjoy all of these aspects of creativity, the whole world around us is really the result of the imaginations of people who brought their ideas alive to the benefit of everyone else. Maybe God imagined this world into existence; the trees and flowers and animals and mountains and oceans and snow and everything else that happens and grows and is without our human help, planning, and invention.

We all have creative minds, how much we use them varies. I am thankful for those who take matters into their own hands, using their imaginations to shape the world and create new, better, reinvented, beautiful, useful, tasty, comfortable, and safe _____________ (fill in the blank). 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Spies in the Family

We have some junior spies in the family on a (not so) top-secret mission: Operation Mommy Investigation. Basically it goes like this: they sneak around the house and I pretend not to see them. They have a hide-out where they do most of their covert investigating. The hide-out is behind my recliner, while I'm sitting in it. I happen to turn my head at the right moment, they sneak back there while I'm reading or whatever, and then they sit there and giggle. Or they start making "mysterious" noises, and I start complaining loudly about the mice which seem to have invaded our home, or threatening to call the police on our neighbors who are making such a terrible racket. Then I remark, to myself because no one is listening, that I think I'll close my eyes for a minute and take a rest. That's their cue to exit the hide-out unseen by their subject. Even Mathilda likes to play along, hiding in the curtains and revealing herself every 10 seconds or so while laughing hysterically. Later on the spies will let me in on their mission, incredulous that they are so fantastically good at sleuthing that I never even knew (!) they were behind my chair, or under the dining room table, or  sneaking past me as I made dinner or did laundry.


Mathilda has begun to take up climbing as a hobby quite earnestly. I haven't yet found her on the dining room table (I don't think she's thought of it) or on the kitchen counters (she's trying), but couches, chairs, coffee tables and toilets are all part of the game. Of course there's no way of knowing if she could climb her way out of her crib because she never sleeps in it. I remember before I had kids and I just knew I was never going to let a child of mine sleep in my bed. Yeah, those were the days when I knew everything there was to know about being a parent without actually being a parent. Reality sort of has a way of asserting itself.

I am Thankful for Generous Souls

In my life, I am blessed with abundance. It's almost ridiculous, really; practically embarrassing, or at least maybe it should be.

My uncle will stop at a store near my house, see that mac 'n cheese is on sale, and bring over a case because he knows my kids love it. Chris's mom and step-dad recently used up their frequent flyer miles to get tickets for all six of us to fly to Florida to spend Thanksgiving with my brother-in-law. A friend cleaned out her closet and brought me loads of awesome hand-me-downs in my size that she thought I might like (she was right!).  My mom takes all of my kids shopping for shoes at least a couple times a year. I admired my aunt's bicycle, and she told me I could have it. Another aunt got a new sewing machine and passed her old one on to me (in perfect working order!). Yet another aunt used up part of her employee clothing allowance to send boxes of name brand clothes and accessories to my kids and I (brand new! with tags!).

On and on it goes in an almost dizzying whirl. I am incredibly thankful for the generous souls who do, and have done, so much to enhance my life. Giving makes the world a nicer place, both for the recipient and the giver.

Of course, the material aspect of giving is just one facet. I am also eternally grateful to those who have babysat my kids, taken care of our dog when we're on vacation, cooked a meal for my family when I needed help, baked me cookies just because I have an infamous sweet tooth, or been there to listen to me ramble and vent and support me during times of stress.

Beyond me and my own personal little corner of the universe, there are those wonderfully unselfish people who endlessly give of themselves to make the world a nicer place for lots of people (not just me). My grandparents were such people. They each had their passions and they poured themselves selflessly into them. In return they expected nothing. They didn't brag about spending every Wednesday night for 25 years working BINGO for a local Catholic school, or spending hours visiting seniors at a nearby nursing home. They saw a need, something they could provide, and they just did it. 

I have an old friend from high school who brings to mind the altruistic giving I witnessed in my grandparents. His name is Mike DeWaele and he helps run a seriously awesome place in Kalamazoo, Michigan called The Peace House. He lives there with his family and friends, in a not so great neighborhood, trying to make the world a brighter place for the local residents. The group provides a safe place for kids to hang out, hosts neighborhood parties and events, tutors kids after school, shares a community-built play scape and on-site garden, and advocates peaceful living. They depend upon donations to operate, but have no plans to seek non-profit status because they do what they do as neighbors and friends. They saw a need, and decided to dedicate their lives to helping to fill it. I am so thankful there are people like this in the world! I haven't seen Mike in many years, but I greatly admire what he does, and if I'm ever in Kalamazoo I'm definitely going to check out The Peace House for myself.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I am Thankful for Me Time

What I'm calling "me time" lately is really a pathetic stand in. Yesterday I went to a baby shower and my girls were not invited. Alleluia! Maybe I was particularly relieved because I also went to a baby shower last weekend, and all of my girls were invited to that one. And it was a two hour drive each way. Yikes. So yesterday I was kind of giddy to leave the house alone. I hitched a ride with my mother-in-law and her two nieces. The ride was an hour each way, and we could actually talk because there was not a movie playing and obliterating all possible conversation. Or kids asking for food one after the other non-stop, or complaining of car sickness or boredom. Or a toddler screaming because she was absolutely exhausted but stubbornly refused to take a nap. Yeah, especially that. 

Chris's aunt and uncle were hosting the shower, and I knew that they would hook us up with some really good food. They did not disappoint.  Plus they have a killer house which I was excited to see for the first time (it has an elevator! a real elevator! you would think I had never been in one!). And I got to catch up with Chris's cousins, some of whom I hadn't seen in quite awhile. So it was a very nice time for a baby shower. 

A few nights ago I had a preschool board meeting. No kids allowed - yee haw! I can count on these once a month. There is always good food, and I really enjoy the company of my fellow board members.

I do realize how sad it is that my "me time" consists of baby showers and preschool board meetings.  But I've got to grab it when I can. And I truly am thankful for any little bit I get. Talking with grown-ups, especially while not being interrupted, is just refreshingly wonderful. Being able to concentrate on something I'm interested in is so decadent. Most of my time happens when the kids are all in bed, or when I just have Mathilda with me and she is sleeping in the van. I love to sit in my van in the preschool parking lot while Lucy is in school and Mathilda is sleeping in the back seat. I bring a book and my journal, maybe make a few phone calls or sip on a yummy caffeinated beverage.  It is absolutely divine.

I'm also lucky enough to have a mother-in-law who is not afraid to take all four kids over night once in awhile. Those are good nights. The best part is being able to sleep all night, which is a real rarity for me. No one wakes me up in the morning and I don't have to fix breakfast for anyone but me. Sublime.

I so adore my children, and spending time with them is my most favorite thing in the whole big wide world. But sometimes a mama just needs to attend to her own needs so she is then better equipped to handle those of the little people. Everyone needs a reminder now and then that she does exist outside the realm of mothering. A morning to sleep in. An hour to read a book in silence. A few minutes to concentrate on a phone call with a friend. A meal and lots of laughs shared with friends.These are moments I treasure, and I am so thankful when I have the opportunity to enjoy one.

Friday, November 12, 2010

I am Thankful for the Privilege of Being a Mother

Nine years, two months, and 23 days ago my oldest child was born and I was blessed with the privilege of becoming a mother. 

I had no idea what I was doing. I still don't. I'm learning as I go along. Sure I knew some basic stuff; I had babysat plenty, read books, gone to classes, talked to friends with kids of their own. Of course I thought I knew a lot.

What I know now is that each child is completely and wonderfully unique. Nothing can truly prepare anyone for becoming a parent except, well, becoming a parent. Love expands...and expands...and expands.

And most of all, there is no greater privilege than being a parent. Rearranging my priorities is a privilege. Being responsible for the well-being of my children is a privilege. Putting their needs before my own is a privilege. Being the lucky recipient of so much sweet, innocent love; with all the hugs, kisses, and cuddles that go along with it, is a privilege. Tending to tears and hurt feelings, being the secret holder of dreams and fears, being utterly trusted and looked up to - these are all part of the parenting privilege package too.

I am lucky, so very lucky. To be interrupted every time I try to make a phone call, talk to Chris, read something, or pretty much attempt to do anything. To have mounds of little laundry to wash, shoes to trip over, crumbs to vacuum, food to prepare, diapers to change, and noses to wipe. To have homework to check, chores to assign, boundaries to set, and advice to give (wanted and not).To be the guardian of four individuals as they make their way from infancy to adulthood; doing my best to keep them happy, healthy, and safe as they fumble and triumph toward independence and self-discovery. The pleasure and the privilege is mine.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I am Thankful for Unconditional Love

What I'm most thankful for today is unconditional love, mainly because I have been a wicked crab to my poor kids. I've just been having one of those days when everything kind of rubs me the wrong way. When I'm irritable, the ones I love the most suffer the most. Thankfully, my sweeties are so forgiving and they love me no matter what.

Of course, likewise goes for them. I'm thankful I love them unconditionally. Especially when Mattie purposely dumps the dog's water all over the kitchen floor, empties half a box of crackers out (and stomps on them maniacally), and looks at me with that "so whatcha gonna do about it, huh?" look on her sweet little face. Or when Lucy screams at Connor to get out of her room ~NOW!~ and never ever come back, because he's making it STINKY! And when Connor interferes with Lucy's imaginative play, ruining her fun by refusing to play along with whatever she is make-believing at the moment. Or when Bethany rolls her eyes and talks to me like I'm the most ignorant fool ever to walk the earth.

Yes, unconditional love has saved them more than once. I am thankful they know I love them unconditionally, so they can save all their worst behavior for me, because I'll still love them no matter how fervently they test my limits. I'm happy to get the short end if it means they behave themselves for others, especially when Chris and I aren't around. And I'm thankful that even though I try to give them the best of myself every day, sometimes I slip; and when I do, they are waiting without question to accept my apology and keep on loving me.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I am Thankful for This Moment

Today I'm thankful for this moment. I'm sitting in my van, waiting for Lucy while she is in speech class. Mathilda is napping in the backseat. The windows are down on this warm November afternoon, I'm listening to the radio, sucking on a Tootsie Pop and writing this.

But all of those details are secondary.

The real point is that whatever I may be doing from one moment to the next, this present moment is really all I have. The past is gone, and it is as I remember it, whether that happens to be accurate or not. The future is uncertain, as much for me as anyone else. Only in this moment can I take control of how I choose to spend my time and how I choose to feel about it, and how I choose to react to everything else - the stuff I can't control.

Every single moment in this life is a gift, a blessing, something for which to be thankful. Certain moments may not feel like blessings, but it's all in the interpretation. Sometimes it might take a long time to realize a particular moment was a blessing. Sometimes we have to get through some really ugly stuff in order to appreciate the good stuff.

I try to remain cognizant of living in the moment every single day, and I am thankful for those times when I succeed.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Why I'm Thankful for Winter

This is totally counter-intuitive, and I'm really stretching my gratitude muscles here, because what I really feel like doing is creating a list of a million and one reasons whey I absolutely loathe winter. But here goes.

  • The groceries stay cold in the car. It sounds like a little thing, but how nice to be able to run an errand or two or pick the kids up from school after grocery shopping without worrying about the milk spoiling.
  • Hot chocolate, which is maybe my favorite drink ever. It warms you up inside and it's chocolate, therefore it is perfect. 
  • Christmas. There are so many reasons to love Christmas. I love shopping, spending lots of time with my family, homemade gifts from my kids, baking, getting Christmas cards in the mail (bonus if they contain pictures and/or annual letters!), and the music. It is the most wonderful time of the year, after summer of course.
  • The preschool holiday program. And I am completely confident that Lucy will happily participate this year, and that she won't stand with her peers scowling and crossing her arms, whispering (loudly) that she is not going to sing this one either at the start of each new song, and that maybe she will even smile and not insist on clinging to me throughout the entire performance.But even if it doesn't go quite as I imagine, I will nonetheless love every second of it.
  • Bethany is in her school choir this year, and will be doing a holiday performance as well. 
  • Snow days, because if it must snow, it's very kind of Mother Nature to snow enough so at least I don't have to drive my kids to school in it.
  • Playing with my kids in the snow, which truthfully I only like to do once or twice each winter. I'm going to try to enjoy it a little more often this winter.
  • Sweaters, tights, and boots, and otherwise feeling like I have a whole new wardrobe when I pack up my summer stuff and take out my winter clothes.
  • Celebrating birthdays; first my mom, then Chris, me, and Connor.
  • Theater season. I love the theater, and if I'm lucky I might get to see a show or two each season.
  • Going somewhere warm while everyone is freezing their booties off at home. Yes, I realize my admitting this will probably result in Florida experiencing an unprecedented cold spell on our next visit. 
  • When it first snows, and everything is blanketed in a clean, white, sparkly beauty. The world seems so quiet and peaceful.
  • Having nowhere to go, just sitting in my nice cozy house and watching the snow fall. Preferably with a good book, or a cuddly kid on my lap, or with something baking and making the whole house smell delicious.  
Well that was less painless than I thought. Maybe winter isn't so bad after all.

It's November, and I'm Thankful

In honor of Thanksgiving, I'm going to (really try to) write about something I'm thankful for every day from now until Turkey Day. Actually, I try to do this daily in my gratitude journal, but I'll be going into a bit more detail here on my blog than I normally do in my journal. And if anyone wants to shareI'd love to know what you are thankful for.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Should I Be Worried?

Connor is the best kid. Seriously, other people talk about how wild their boys are: destructive, rambunctious, and so on. But Connor has been mellow and even tempered since birth. He's never been much of a complainer, he never even complained when he was teething as a baby. I remember once being shocked to find that he was cutting four teeth - I had no idea because he didn't make a single peep about it. He is sweet, generous, helpful, and he loves to create violent comic books.

Yep, everyone else can gloat because while their boys were busy starting fires in the garage and cutting their sister's Barbie clothes to shreds, our son was busily plotting his future as a serial killer, complete with bloody pumpkins and Justin Bieber jumping out of a helicopter onto a bed of metal spikes.

That's our boy.

I love his idea for Nightmare on Elmo Street, starring Freddie Forker (with forks for claws, get it? hahahaha), which he shared with me on the way home from school and plans on creating this weekend.

Actually I think my son has an epic sense of humor, especially for a 7-year old. I love that he has a series of shark comics and his friends at school anxiously await the newest edition. I love that he explains his jokes to Chris and I like we are a couple of simpletons and then laughs hilariously at himself.

No, I'm not worried. I'm a proud mama.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Why I Love Detroit. No, Seriously.

I was born and mostly raised in Detroit. Well, okay, not quite in Detroit, but near Detroit. I was actually born in Grosse Pointe and raised in Harper Woods, Clinton Township, and various areas of California and Arizona. Detroit is grimy and imperfect, but I have a fierce love for the city.

My love began as a youngster whose family was not opposed to spending afternoons on Belle Isle, with close relations who actually did live in the city, with family stories of the Detroit of many years ago, with field trips downtown. Here are just a few reasons why I love Detroit.

  • My great-grandpa lived in Detroit when I was very young, in the house his parents built when they moved here from Germany in the 1800's, the house my grandpa grew up in, across the street from the house my grandparents lived in when they first married. Sometimes I still drive by and have a look at the old place on Harding (truthfully, it's been awhile), standing amongst the shells of its burnt out neighbors. I remember my great-grandpa pushing a manual lawn mower in the backyard, and my grandpa telling me stories of how he and his friends used to smash Tiffany lamps in the alley with their baseball bats.
  • Feeding deer on Belle Isle. I'm pretty sure you're not supposed to do this anymore.
  • The Belle Isle Zoo, which sadly closed its doors before my oldest was born. 
  • The aquarium on Belle Isle, which also sadly closed its doors years ago, although my two oldest did get to visit a few times. Rumor mill purports that it may re-open some day...let's hope.
  • The conservatory on Belle Isle, a place I still visit every year with my kids because it is beautiful and I love it, and it's free, which is also quite important to me. And when we are there we also visit the (free) nature center, and the really cool playground. We have even been known to take swan boat rides.
  • The very fact of Belle Isle's existence. Okay, I really love Belle Isle, and that such an awesome place exists right in the midst of the Motor City.
  • My grandparents took my cousins and I for a tour of the salt mines when we were kids. Something else I'm pretty sure you can't do anymore. My grandpa lifted a hard hat for me, which is likely still in a box in my mom's basement. He wasn't like a clepto or anything, he simply sometimes felt justified in taking things he maybe felt he had paid for with the price of admission.
  • My Uncle Herb took my cousins and I to see Sesame Street Live at Cobo when I was a kid, and it was seriously so much fun.
  • My grandpa used to take me to Tigers games at the old Tiger Stadium, sometimes even on school nights, and it felt pretty cool to get to stay out late and brag to my friends the next day.
  • My beloved aunt lived, and still lives, in a green brick house in Detroit which was one of my favorite places to be as a kid. 
  • The DIA, which I first visited with my 3rd grade class. I loved it then and I love it now. One of my favorite pictures of Bethany and Connor when they were really little was taken at the DIA.
  • The Detroit Historical Museum, which I also first visited with my 3rd grade class (thank you Miss Rose!). I am long overdue for a visit, since my two youngest have never been there, and I know they would love to see the streets of Old Detroit.
  • The Detroit Science Center, which I first visited with my friend and her mom many years ago. Another worthy kid friendly destination in the city.
  • Greektown, especially Astoria Pastry Shop. I love the street artists and musicians and the food and the people watching and the scenery.
  • The People Mover. It's super cheap (50 cents to stay on as long as you like, kids are free), the kids love it, and it's a great way to get around and see the sites from above. 
  • The Detroit RiverFront, which became one of my favorite Detroit destinations this past summer. People are walking around with their families, riding bikes, jogging, doing cartwheels on the grass (that would be my daughter...), and in general enjoying the best of what Detroit has to offer. There is a carousel, with all the seats being animals indigenous to Michigan, concessions, benches overlooking the Detroit River, boat tours (Diamond Jack's river tours), the Ren Cen with the fantastic fountain outside for the kids to play in on a hot day, and Coach Insignia on the inside, for special occasion dinners with a view like none other, and Hart Plaza, that deserted urban wasteland that is really cool but for some reason no one seems to want to hang out there. I have heard tell that the plan is for the RiverFront to eventually lead all the way to Belle Isle. 
  • Both of my in-law's and my father grew up in Detroit. Chris's parents actually met while ice skating at Belle Isle (yes, I'm back to Belle Isle). While they are no longer married, if not for that fated union our family would not be here as it is today.
  • Faygo pop (all you people from other parts of the world, to me soda is a nasty substance used in mixed drinks and has nothing whatsoever to do with the delicious sweetness of Red Pop or Rock 'n Rye).
  • Eastern Market, another place I visited with my grandparents as a child. I have yet to take my children there, shame on me.
  • Three of my children were born in Detroit, at a pretty awesome hospital, nearby my awesome ob/gyn's office, also in Detroit.
  • During the early years of our marriage, Chris and I lived in a sweet little one bedroom house in Detroit. I have many happy memories of this place, like the time someone was being beat to death in the street in front of our house and by the time the police arrived the culprits (and the body - dead or alive?) were long gone and the police officers didn't so much as get out of their cars to investigate, and how our mailman used to hang out at the corner bar, in uniform, with his mail truck parked outside. But since I'm writing about what I love about the city, I will just say these were happy times for us.
  • I went to Wayne State University with one of my best friends in the world, and going to college there got me driving on the expressway for the first time. And we have some good Getting Lost In the City stories.
  • Its proximity to Canada. Yeah, it's pretty neat that I can cross a bridge or go through a scary underwater tunnel and wind up in a foreign country. Way cool.
  • That one can take Jefferson Avenue, a street that goes through my very own city, all the way downtown.
  • The Fisher Theater, The Masonic Temple, The Detroit Opera House, and The Fox Theater. I love me some theater (and some Sesame Street Live), and these gorgeous venues are just heaven on earth for me.
  • That there are still plenty of things I haven't done in Detroit that I really want to do and share with my kids. 
This is definitely an incomplete list. I know some people are afraid to venture into the city, and there are some valid  reasons for this. Sure there is a lot of crime (like any big city), lots of scary looking neighborhoods, and not nearly enough signage to help visitors find stuff. Detroit is kind of for insiders, and it has no business being as such, since the city really needs people to love it. Well I love it, warts and all.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

An Ode to Wayne Dyer

Wayne Dyer, I love you. I love you and your book, The Power of Intention,so much, in fact, that I almost (almost) don't mind that the library is charging me top dollar to replace this book for water damage, for which I'm pretty sure I'm not responsible, in order to retain my beloved library privileges. The reason I almost (I did say almost) don't mind is because they are letting me keep the book. Plus the book was in my house at the same time as my four Mega Mess Makers, so I suppose I have to accept the remote possibility that perhaps I could maybe be responsible for the damage. In any case, I've let it go and am happily welcoming the book to my collection..

Your inspiring words of wisdom, your quotable passages, your unsinkable positive attitude...I love it all. I admire your strongly-held beliefs, and I look forward to frequently re-reading and referencing my newly acquired Wayne Dyer masterpiece.

Thank you, Mr. Dyer, for your prolific writing career. And thanks to my ability to suck it up and pay up, I will soon be checking more of your books out of the library for my reading and self-improvement pleasure.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Eat, Pray, Love

I loved reading Eat,Pray,Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. Watching the movie, well, not so much.

Yes the book had its moments that kind of lost me...I don't really have the attention span or patience for lots and lots of descriptive details. But the message I just loved ~ finding yourself, finding balance in your life, following the serendipitous signs that the universe sends you. Reading it was a treat. It was how I could imagine a single, formerly married, childless, fantasy version of myself.

I thought the book would translate well to film, and I do like Julia Roberts. I was excited to watch the movie version. But it just kind of fell flat for me. It seemed like the writers were trying really hard to stay true to the book, which ended up falling on the awkward side of the chopping block. The transitions from one country to the next were particularly rocky. For someone who has never read the book, I think this would be a bit confusing.

The beautiful backgrounds were definitely a huge plus. And I didn't hate the movie. I think Julia Roberts played a good Elizabeth Gilbert. But on the whole, it was just "eh" for me.

Preparing for Hibernation

I'm pretty sure the little old lady who lives in a gingerbread cottage in the woods is sending me subliminal messages. I don't see any other possible explanation for my recent need to eat, like, e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. She wants to fatten me up and EAT ME!

That's my suspicion at least.

The other possibility is that I'm really a bear living under the delusion that I'm human, and I'm getting ready to hibernate for the winter. Which wouldn't be so bad since I really hate winter.

But I digress.

The Halloween candy really really really does not help. And I seem to be operating under some kind of weird reasoning that it is better to consume all the Halloween candy in about three days time, and then there will be no more Halloween candy to tempt me. Cause that makes a whole lot of sense.

I am just plain famished all the time. And what bad timing, because simultaneously I have temporarily lost my verve for working out. In fact, I've been slacking horribly. One would think an upcoming trip to Florida would be enough to keep me on track, but what the heck, we're just going to Orlando. There will be no lounging on beaches in bikinis. Just hanging out at commercialized theme parks, which means I will be getting plenty of exercise. Which means I'm good.

I feel so much better now.

Monday, November 1, 2010

A Moment to Myself

I was laughing on the inside as I typed the title of this post.

On the way home from picking Bethany  and Connor up from school today, Mathilda fell asleep. She's been sniffly and run down, and not sleeping well, so when we got home I decided to sit in the van with her for a little while to let her sleep. I settled in to read my book in peace and quiet. I stayed out there for less than 30 minutes, during which time I was interrupted by three kids on numerous occasions, for example:

"Can I have a piece of Halloween candy?" (yes, ONE piece)

"I'm having cheese and crackers after my candy." (go for it)

"Can you open this box?" (yes, with a little finagling)

" Can I play with the Leap Pad?" (if you can find it, knock yourself out)

"Look at this book I got at school!" (great, very cool)

This is just but a very short and typical episode in my life. If I am going to the bathroom, at least one little person needs me rightthisveryminute. If I'm trying to read, it's time for someone to tell me about their day in minute-to-minute detail. If I'm on the phone, there is a crisis that needs my attention so desperately that all learned manners can be justifiably ignored. These crises, by the way, do not generally involve loss of limb or raging fire.

Despite the constant interruptions and the definite lack of moments to myself, and although I do sometimes get a teensy bit annoyed, the truth is I cherish the fact that my kids want to be around me, and that they want to talk to me and tell me every little thing. Before I ever had kids, I hoped I would be the kind of mom whose children clamored all over her constantly. I am, and they do. And I hope it never ends.

Of course, a moment to myself every now and again would be a sweet bonus.