Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I've got 'Art'

.. And I am not really sure what to do with it. For now, it is on the fridge. But there have been 3 more pieces added since I took this picture...and it's getting a little full.
I am alright with having lots of stuff on my fridge. My mom never let us, I mean, we hung up our art, but she was really minimalist when it came to magnets & pictures. So I think I am over compensating by covering every square inch of mine. But seriously, what do I do with it once it's had it's turn on the fridge? I know I can't keep every piece but I can't imagine tossing any of it.

Miles started Nursery School this year. This is him on his 1st day of school. My sister-in-law took this picture & I love it. He looks so grown up. And he is. It breaks my heart.

And while we're on the topic of 'Miles' (aren't I always?), I have to mention his new obsession with Lego Mini Figures. I am using them like an allowance (or bribery). When he does a job, we earns money for a Lego man ($3.49 ea). He got two last week! He's been setting the table (I even let him carry the milk!!!), sorting recycling & playing with Molly. I wonder how long the Lego Man motivation will last?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Easy Readin' & 10 Randoms

I made a deal with Miles tonight, so while he watches Dora The Explorer before bedtime I found myself with a moment to sit down with a book. Molly is climbing on my legs & Miles keeps asking for a Popsicles (He's wondering how many No's = one Yes?)... it's clear I can't take on too big of a challenge.... my new Margaret Atwood will have to wait.
I picked up this book at Time Out for Women. I was so excited to see the author speak (it the reason I bought the ticket for the weekend) and she didn't show.Something about having lost her passport. I had to giggle that I was looking forward to learning some motivating (hopefully) parenting & prioritizing tips from someone who lost such an important document. I decided to give her books a go anyhow. And I peeled through The Time-Starved Family in a couple of days. Great book.
This is the second book I bought that weekend. By page 5 I had found pure brilliance (re: mothering). ...Instead of consistently being pleased with my daily efforts, I somehow tend to concentrate on my undone tasks - on those areas that desperately need improvement. Without question I was buying into that familiar fallacy that my offerings had to be grand to be great, and that small meant insignificant.

 In honor of that passage, and pretty much the entire Introduction, here are 10 small (but supposedly significant) things I did today (this was harder than I thought it would be).

1. I finally put that darn rocketship outside. It's a punishment for not sharing that I know will be worth it in the end....but there were tears.
2. We made foam turkeys to hang up for Thanksgiving (but that's not the little thing) and I let Miles get glue all over the freshly-oiled dining room table (that is). He has more fun when I'm not cleaning up as he creates.
3. I fixed Miles race track at least 12 times. At least.
4. I rewashed some second hand clothing a friend gave us for Miles. I explained to him that his new Superman PJ's were once his friends (who is bigger than him) and that he was giving them to him...sharing!
5. I rummaged through my old photos to find a picture of my childhood dollhouse that I would like Brian to recreate (build) for Molly this Christmas. Found one! Can't wait to see her face on Christmas :)
6. I ordered pictures from Costco of Miles first day of school. I ordered extras for Aunties, Grandmas and an enlargement for Great Granny who is slowly losing her vision.
7. I made dinner. A cottage pie. And I was lucky to have help from Sister Hill & Sister Riley, who peeled my potatoes when they stopped by today. Miles hated it. Molly loved it. And Brian will be so happy to have leftovers for a week (I made enough to feed an army).
8. I let the kids have a cookie from the bakery at the grocery store. I knew they would be filthy in minutes and that I didn't have wipes or change of clothes. I knew I would regret having the kids with the dirty faces at the next store (where they don't pass out free cookies or appreciate grubby little hands) and that the judgements of others ("What's all over your face sweetie?") would make my skin crawl. But I did it anyway, because Miles was so happy that he remembered where the Free cookie lady was ("Near the Lobster!")
9. I let Miles mash the potatoes for the cottage pie. I had to stand behind & mash with my arms around him. It was so awkward and my arms were aching.... he was pretty proud of himself.
10. Miles was upset about going to bed... so I do what my mom did when we were younger and calmly talked to him until he stopped crying and accepted his fate. We usually have two conversations. The first one is "Who Loves You" and I name all the people who love him. And then "Tomorrow is Going to be a Great Day" and I tell him all the things he will do tomorrow if he goes to sleep. It works every time, but sometimes takes some time.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Fall Feel-good

Yesterday was a fabulous day, today stinks. I'm in a rut (ok, only one day, but that's one too many). I could make a list of 10 things that are bugging me right now... but I am afraid that if I start I will hit 99 before I know it. No one needs that much negativity.

So in an effort to feel better I decided to decorate my house for Autumn. It's early but changing my home a little bit each season usually makes me happy. It worked today, for an hour or two.
There have been some big changes in my life over the summer. Some of them I am thrilled about, but some have made my heart a bit heavy. I am looking forward to Friday when I am off to scrapbook with some friends & can take my mind off of it all. It has been too long and I think this will be just what the doctor ordered. Maybe I'll even do some baking on Thursday in hopes that sugar will assist my creativity.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

My my phyllo pie!

It's worth mentioning that I remember where I was 10 years ago today. I had come 'home' from College for the weekend. I rarely came home, but I guess I just knew I was burning out. My relationships weren't good, my health wasn't great & I missed my family. I fell asleep on Mom & Dads couch & woke up just in time to see a plane fly into the second tower. Mom & I sat, stunned. Carmelle walked into the room and asked what movie we were watching. It was on this weekend that I had two revelations. #1 being that I will no longer expose myself to 24/7 coverage of any tragic news story. It just isn't good for the soul. And #2, I wanted to be closer to the people I loved.
The decisions I made based on those two revelations play a big part in where I am 10 years later. Without going into much detail about my choices and situation at the time, I can tell you that 10 years later, I am happier because of how the tragic events of September 11, 2001 impacted me (although I wish they could have come about another way).

Today I didn't watch the news. I can't. I prefer now to get my news through printed media. I have more control over the graphic details I am exposed to and I know this is healthier for me personally. So, while I know that the tributes and memorials can be uplifting, I decided to immerse myself in my family...the thing I am pretty sure most victims of September 11th would do if they had just one more day.

I went to church. And then I came home and sewed Molly a blanket for her 'baby'. It was flannel and minky, and I put the letter 'M' on it. I still have the little blanket my mom made for my doll, I think Molly will love this one just as much. I went for a bike ride with my husband and kids and we played at the park. And I cooked a delicious meal for my family. A spinach and feta phyllo pie and it turned out fabulously.
 Then we built a big fort in our living room with a sheet, brooms and hockey sticks. We (including Woody, a Dinosaur, Tabitha the Cabbage Patch, Cinderella & a Groovy Girl) cozied up to watch a movie.

 I lined up all the popcorn buckets. Brians, mine, Miles' and Mollys.....
 ... And Brian made popcorn with the WhirlyPop (and let me take his picture).

Sundays with my family are my favourite thing in the world but this one seemed extra juicy. Maybe because we appreciate our lives a little bit more on this day each year.... or maybe because I have so much I can appreciate.