These last few weeks of summer break I have been trying to fit in as much fun as humanly possible. School starts in a couple days and although I am a crazy lunatic by 5pm from turning off lights and serving ‘snack’ 37 times a day, I’m gonna miss my sweet monkeys. I mean, who else is going to follow me around for a solid 2 hours with a squeaky rubber ducky?
Side note to My Sweet Lovie: your stamina and dedication to ‘the squeak’ amazes me. Kid, you are going places with that kind of commitment to your cause. You, My Love, are a bad ass.
Side note to self: For the Love of Pete, stop buying squeaky rubber duckies.
Anyway, where was I?
Ah yes, avoiding responsibilities with a bucket full of fun….
I worry. It’s what I do. I’m like – really REALLY good at it. I worry that the mole on Emily’s arm looks different. I worry that Darren is too busy. I worry that Maddie’s eye prescription has changed since we checked a couple weeks ago. I worry that Jack-Jack is going to grow up.
I worry that there are mercury vapors in the air. I worry about world hunger & people dying.
I know, I know. My dad was always the first to smack me upside the head.
I’ve found that one of the ways I can keep the worries out of my head AND an added bonus of keeping them from turning into anxieties, is to have projects. Lots and lots of projects.
Darren can usually tell worries are on high alert when he comes home to a newly decorated bathroom. Poor guy.
I’m pretty lucky that over here in New House Land, I have projects coming out of my whozits. One of the projects I am working on now is the entry from the garage. I don’t like how neglected this area is and I would like to turn this into a welcoming, warm and functioning space.
When Maddie was born 13 years ago, we had a fancy digital camera. And by fancy, I mean that it was like 1 pixel and the zoom was horrible. I don’t even think I knew that spatial resolution was a thing. I was filling up the memory card every day BEFORE Darren would get home from work and the poor guy would have to load everything to the computer the second he walked in the door. I had jpegs coming out of my whozits.
It was so great; I was going to make scrapbooks and document everything and be the most amazing mom in the history of ever.
Pfft – that’s funny.
I took a couple pictures when Emily was born and I don’t think I could even find a camera or my phone that first year after Jack-Jack was born.
The good news is that all 3 of them were identical when they were babies. When they ask who is in a picture, I always tell them it’s them (what? Come on, don’t judge. Next you’re gonna tell me the smoke detectors in every room aren’t really Santa cams…Dude, you’re mean)
Fast forward a couple years of zero documenting & zero scrapbooking. That (air quote) Most-Amazing-Mom thing isn’t working out so well. I know, I’m shocked too.
Then came Shutterfly and the angels sang down to me.
When I crossed the finish line of my first triathlon I was pretty darn proud of myself. I had two goals. One, to not be last and two, to not seek medical attention.
I use this same kind of gauge towards parenting. One, did anyone need medical attention today? Two, did anyone catch on fire? If both of those answers are no then I am putting the day in the win column.
Do I still get frustrated when I ask my kiddos if they have brushed their teeth and the answer is ‘I forgot’. Jiminy Christmas. Are you kidding me? Every day. Twice a day. I’ll let the flossing slide, but dude…Every day for the last 12 years.
I hear you. I shouldn’t be getting frustrated; this is my job as a mom – right? I know. I would say it’s a fifty-fifty split. Half the time I’m totally cool and all angelic ‘My Sweet Lovie, don’t forget to brush your teeth’. And the other half I’m a grumpy old troll who just can’t say it one more time. Seriously, let’s do the math…I’ll give you a free pass for the first 3 years of your life…leaving the past 9 years at twice a day, every day. Yup, over SIX THOUSAND times. I have said brush your teeth six thousand times. And you forgot. So great.
Ok, no more complaining, it’s time to find a solution.
I just love love love the history behind family china. Heck, I think I love the history behind all china. Please don’t tell anyone that if I had to pick between laundry & a documentary about presidential china patterns, I would totally pick the latter.
I enjoy setting a beautiful table and my heart skips a beat when it gets to be pretty and sentimental to boot.
My grandfather shipped me my grandmothers set about a year after Darren and I were married. Man, it’s beautiful. It is this perfectly creamy gold with gold stars everywhere, it’s unlike any china pattern I have ever seen & I adore it. We kept it in the crawl space since we didn’t have any other storage options and every holiday Darren would schlep downstairs and grab ‘the china box’. We then inherited Darren’s grandmothers’ sets, 3 generations of china and I am so honored to be able to showcase these sets every holiday.
Every holiday it became a little trickier to find everything. Darren would laugh every time I would say ‘I’m missing a box’. Laugh, curse, grimace…tomato/potato.
This was one of my favorite projects. I wanted these to be housed at the middle landing of the stairs but since there weren’t any power outlets there I had to scrap that idea and move them somewhere else. I’m still not completely comfortable with the idea of electronics being housed upstairs. I feel their home should be more downstairs, in the living areas. Maybe when I figure out how to program Circle I will be a little more at ease. I’ll say it again, the cyber detective lady that gave the lecture about internet safety and the kiddos scared the bejezus out of me. That’s right, my bejezus.
Let’s go back to talking about cute furniture that is also crazy functional, shall we?
We had a problem. Our electronics storage solution in the old house was no longer an option here and we were currently using a cabinet in the built-ins. Although it kept everything out of sight, the phrases ‘I can’t find a charger’ or ‘the chrome book isn’t charged’ were becoming all too common and were driving me up the wall. I needed a Technology Command Center. TCC. A small Data Center if you will…OMG, like a Barbie Data Center….Hold on, I need to tell Mattel my million dollar idea. All the creepy blue lights will be pink…Oh yeah, we’re doing this, people.
Here we are My Friends, my favorite time of the week. I’ve snuck out of bed and tiptoed downstairs as quietly as possible. I like this time to myself & I try to savor it as long as I can.
The morning coffee is brewing and wishing me a good morning in its sweet aromatic way. And a fine morning to you too….did I just tip my invisible hat to my coffee maker? Aw yeah, this is going to be a beautiful day.
I grab everything and head on over to my favorite spot at the kitchen table. I need my calendar, my laptop, my stickies, my coffee, my favorite pen and my beautiful daily log.
I’m working on finding an electronic calendar that fits our needs & I’m still pretty frightened by them. I’ve just started defining what I’m looking for and researching online calendars that fit the bill, so for now the paper version stays. But I do see the possibility of this being the last year.
What I really want to talk to you about is my log. This bad boy has saved me on many occasions and I don’t know where I would be without it.
I love getting cards in the mail, any kind…especially Birthday cards. They make my heart so happy. The idea that someone took the time to write to me just makes me feel so darn special. “You like me! You really, really like me!”
A few years ago I started trying to make an effort to send everyone I knew a birthday card. It felt like I was writing a card every day. It started to be something of a chore, I had to think of a different way/a better way, I wanted it to be fun, not a chore. These were birthday cards for crying out loud.
I decided that dedicating a day to making them instead of a few minutes every day would be more my style. I spent my day addressing envelopes, writing birthday wishes, stamping and adding stickies that noted your special day. When I say ‘I spent my day’ I should say daysssss <= yup, extremely plural.
I needed an even better way.
Organization is tricky around here. It seems like there is always something to put away. I’m embarrassed to say that finding a ‘home’ for our stuff isn’t always easy. But I am excited to find just the right home for our things in this new house.
One thing we did figure out how to organize is the kids ‘stuff’…class pictures, art work, yearbooks, report cards and a movie stub or two.