Friday, September 24, 2010

More From My Butterscotch Babies...

Noah, Rhys & Owen: Grabbing At Straws (and other things...): "I grab at straws and the remote and the spoon The Mommy feeds me formula with and The Daddy's glasses. I like The Daddy's glasses. And I li..."

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Cool Blogger Gadget: How To Cook Anything

So as I was browsing through widgets and gadgets, I found this nifty little gadget called "How To Cook Anything". For those of you who are cooking challenged (that would be me), consistently running out of ideas for meals or find yourself in a quandry because you have various ingredients in your pantry but don't what to make out of them (me, again) and you don't have time to go to the store to supplement, here is a quick way to get recipe ideas in the moment with the ingredients that you have on hand. All you need to do is plug in the ingredients that you want to cook with and this gadget will lead you to some mouth watering recipes. At your fingertips.


Feel free to use mine's or you can find it through in their gadgets section. If you have a blog through Blogger you will find it on your Dashboard, under "Design". Just click the "Add gadget" box and it is under the section labeled "More gadgets."


Friday, September 10, 2010

The Resident Grouch

I hesitate to write this.  Even to admit to this.  Okay, here goes. 

Every day at around 4:30p, the resident grouch comes to visit me.  Actually, it takes over my body and stays until about 6:30p/7:00p or until the children go to bed.  Its visits are pretty consistent these days, especially after a long day of driving (2 kid pick-ups) and time out and about with the kids.  

Funny thing is, I'm fine throughout the day.  A mostly perfect Zen Mama is who I am.  Milk spills, I'm cool.  The cheese crackers fall on the ground, I'm fine.  The baby is screaming at the top of his lungs while driving back to pick up my oldest from school, I'm good.  Even the mini-tantrum that my 5 year old might try to pull after school to get his way.  I'm calm as I reach out my hand to take his, and speak soothingly to him about not always getting his way all the time.

Then once I'm home and have sat down for about fifteen minutes the grouch comes to visit. She's cranky and snippish and selfish.  She's tired of serving her hungry boys snacks and growls that this is absolutely the last helping of cheese crackers they are going to have before dinner. She's quick to send one son or the other to his bedroom, the second they gripe or complain or scream in protest.   She gripes at her husband (via email) when he mentions he has to work later than his usual time (this scenario is pretty much an every day thing this week).  She lets the baby cry and fuss just a bit longer than usual because she doesn't feel like picking him up and holding him in the moment.  This resident grouch pulls no punches.  

I'm not proud of the grouch.  I sometimes wish she would just not show up.  No visits, please.   I want to be peaceful, loving and kind all the time throughout the trials and tribulations of family and life.  But, with a consistency that matches the rising of the sun everyday, the grouch comes to visit.   The grouch wants nothing to do with anyone in the moment.  Sometimes the grouch just wants to curl up in a comforter and sleep.  Worst of all, it's not hard to see the grouch.  It at times makes itself crystal clear to the husband and kiddos.  Not my finest moments, I tell you.  

When the husband is finally home and the house is quiet and the older boys have been put to bed, then, only then, does the grouch decide to leave.  The zen mother sort of returns.  You see, the grouch doesn't really thrive in quiet, calm, non-stimulating places.  It rears its ugly head only during times of loudness and stress, after a long day, when the demands from the kids seem to supercede my quota of patience (not that there should be one, ever).  Ahhh...

The grouch is kind of hanging around now yet not so grouchy as I write this.  As my baby fusses in the other room and my middle son asks me to read him a book,  there's a war going on within me: resident grouch vs. zen mother.  The grouch is taking a stand - doesn't want to be bothered; needs to not do anything but meet her own needs.  Yet the zen mother is pushing back harder.  After a few minutes of fighting, zen mother has won this battle as I go to end this post and see to my crying baby.

The resident grouch concedes.  For now...  


Monday, September 6, 2010

Why Do I Obsess Over My Wood Floors?

Two years ago when my husband and I first looked at the house we live in now, what we noticed first was the endless stream of beautiful hardwood floors.  The flooring runs throughout the entire house like a main artery connecting our boys' bedrooms at one end of the house to the foyer and living room and onward to the master bedroom, the family room, dining area and ending in the kitchen.  I was smitten.  From the time my eyes laid upon those floors, I felt the house speak to me.  

Fast forward to the present and these smooth, hardwood floors are full of dents, nicks and (gasp!) a few small holes due to the endless dropping of toys and heavy objects by my two older boys.  Everything from the big dump truck to the small wooden trains to small chairs being toppled over, to a standard sized bowling pin (don't ask!).  I cringe as I'm writing this, remembering the scuffed white bowling pin being dropped on the floor by my then 2 year old. The sound of the pin hitting the floor felt like an explosion to my ears as I thought of the mark that would be left behind on the precious floors.   I just about died inside.  I know I blacked out for a moment. 

These smooth floors have now gained "character" my husband tells me.  I get that he's trying to make me feel good.  Put a positive spin on the situation. It's not quite working.  

Trust me, I'm not the materialistic type.  Really I'm not.  I don't need to have the latest of anything whether it's clothing or shoes or appliances or furniture.  I'm still trying to wear several clothing items that I obtained back in college twenty years back.  Items I should truly let go of and replace, especially since my body has changed due to having birthed 3 children in six years.   I just like having a nice home.  A neat, orderly, clean and beautiful oasis that we, as a family, can step into and breathe a sigh of relief.  One that is aesthetically pleasing to the eye and inviting to all, friends and family alike, who walk into it.  

To me our dented wood floors are symbolic of a bigger issue and begs the question I often ask: can I have an attractive looking home while raising three children?  I've been told not to expect much now that I have kids.  To get used to the sticky walls, the rooms cluttered with toys and other bric-brac, the crayon-marked curtains, the scuffed floorboards.  To not even think of getting new or nice anything: furniture, art, appliances, until the children get older.  Really?  Do I have to wait more than a decade before my home is house beautiful again (my youngest is only 6 months)? Ten years feels like a long time. 

Honestly, I'm not looking for magazine house beautiful just a beautiful home.  I really believe I can have it, still.  Am I crazy to have that belief?  Am I holding onto a pipe dream?

If any of you have any advice or feedback, I gladly welcome it.

In the meantime, I'll continue living for the dream, as I run my finger over another gash in the floor.  Now where did this one come from?