Saturday, January 29, 2011

Mmm, artichokes...

I haven't had artichokes in ages, and the week before last I bought a couple, thinking I could steam them for lunches when my husband was off at work (he hates artichokes. The fussy bastard). I forgot about them, which makes sense because I was obviously thinking I was someone else when I concluded I would have enough time to eat lunch, let alone to linger over one! It seems these days I can barely keep up with the laundry and cleaning up after my cyclone babies, so my goal of such a respite was, to say the least, a tad lofty.

Lucky for me, my sister arrived for a visit the following weekend and I realized the artichokes were there waiting for us. I had made a batch of ginger carrot soup that week on one of my many attempts to get the kids to eat vegetables (it actually worked, once I'd added a bit of cream and grated cheddar to the lower-fat base), so I warmed up the last of it. Then I made a dipping sauce with some dijon, lemon juice, a little olive oil and just a couple of teaspoons of melted butter. Usually I go with straight melted butter, but now that we're building a house with a pool I figure I can go without now and then so I'm not mortified when it comes time to don my suit in front of company...but I digress. With a swirl of balsamic reduction and a beer on the side, it was a lovely lunch. We watched the end of an old Chevy Chase movie, nursed our hangovers from the wine the night before, and gossiped about everything while we ate. It was a perfect, quiet afternoon. I don't know what I would do with myself if my children didn't nap.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Life is Good. Chaotic, but good.

It's 4:43 AM and I can't get back to sleep. I was woken by a nightmare that my youngest had gone off with a friend of my husband's, who at some point ceased to be that friend and became a meth addict, and we didn't know where they were. It was the kind of dark mom-dream that had me still worrying about what might happen next, even after I woke up and realized it was just a dream.

So, here I am. I checked on my boys and they're all sleeping peacefully. I've let the cat out and put on some coffee. I figured hey, might as well get to work on the mountain of laundry that's been stressing me out for a couple of days. Actually, it's laundry plus all the contents of my youngest's closet - it's time for a cull because he's growing like a weed.

Do most moms suffer this kind of insomnia? I think at least some must. Life is really, really good right now. Every day is a push and I never get it all done, but my kids are happy and healthy and my husband and I love each other. While in truth I am exhausted most of the time - because mornings like this add up after a while - the payoff makes it all worthwhile. My three and a half year old was sitting next to me on the couch the other night, and he turned to me and said "Mom, you're a sweetie-pie." He's been doing things like this lately. Commenting on my run at the chip trail near our house "You ran the WHOLE THING? High five! Good job!" Our one and a half year-old is talking too, and doing very well with making his demands known: "I want the ball." "I like it too!" and of course the classic "Na-na-mah!" for "thank you." Okay, not sure where he came up with that last one, but it's awfully cute. And somehow, though there are days and weeks lately when my husband and I hardly see each other, let alone have time to connect, we are still able to fall into bed at night and say "I love you," and mean it, and enjoy being next to one another. So really, with all we have, how can I complain?

There is a lot to accomplish this year. We will be moving into our new home and are getting the one we're in ready to sell. I'm on a mission to slim down and sleep more (maybe not today on he latter...baby steps). So while it sucks that I don't have time to get my hair done (I won't even get started on what I think of salon pricing these days) or paint my toenails, the bigger picture is looking really good.

When I get stressed out, I find that little bursts of creativity can really turn my mood around. I make little vignettes around the house - rearrange a section of my kitchen counter or some trinkets on a window sill, or tidy up my bookcases. Though this behaviour can be looked at as a form of procrastination (which it is), it fuels me for the mundane things like that laundry pile or the constant bathroom cleaning I am doing now that our oldest is "toilet trained" (this is a relative term, and while his aim is generally not bad, he does miss frequently enough to warrant daily disinfectant wipe-downs!).

I will post some of my vignettes for you to enjoy on my "home" page, and now I am off to drink a big cup of coffee, tackle the laundry and figure out how to squeeze a nap in today so I can watch "Parenthood" tonight. Oh, and before I go, I've been published again on Urban Mommies, a fantastic website for moms and parents in general. Check out my article at http://www.urbanmommies.com/featured-1/recipe-for-a-play-date/ .

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

Happy New Year! This will be a quick entry because bedtime soon approaches (and I am quite looking forward to it). I thought I would publish a few of my personal goals for the year just to help me stick with them (and I thank you in advance for your only partially voluntary participation)...We will be moving into our new house this summer and have to get our current place ready to put on the market in a few months, so accomplishing my many creative, organizational and health-oriented goals will be a challenge. That said, one doesn't know if one doesn't try. I hope to accomplish or at the very least make progress on the following ideas:
  • Make at least one blog entry EVERY WEEK, including photos of what I've been up to.
  • Drop the extra weight I am still carrying. I have come down some since the birth of my youngest but I have a ways to go before I am happy (and healthier, and more energetic). This goal includes running at least one half marathon.
  • Reduce the amount of packaged, prepared products and foods we purchase by planting a vegetable garden and sourcing more of our foods locally. Out new neighbourhood is a rural area with tons of local farmers and such. I can't wait to scope things out.
  • Improve my wardrobe, which is tired and kind of boring and not at all representative of my creative prowess.
  • Organize my piles of loose photos and recipes! This will be a big accomplishment and has been on my list for a while already...With finishing and decorating a new home and being home with my boys full-time, it won't be easy...
  • Adopt a puppy. This will happen after we've moved and taken a little time to settle, but I definitely miss having a dog. No one will ever replace our Rupert Bear, but I would love to love another pooch, and so would my boys.
  • Make my Mom feel like a million bucks on her 60th birthday.
  • Remember to take time for play, with my kids and my husband and everyone I love!
  • Song and dance. I won't elaborate too much but here's the deal: I am shy and stopped doing these things when I was younger because I was far too worried about what others thought of me. Now that I'm older I'm too tired to care, and singing and dancing makes me feel GREAT, so I plan to do so, and with great abandon. I don't know yet in what context, but it will happen.
  • Figure out a way to meet Sheena, with whom I have been friends online for almost four years, but have not had the pleasure of meeting yet. You will see why this must happen when you visit her blog at www.thewarbetween.blogspot.com


That's it for now but I may update my list as time goes on...in the meantime I wanted to share a picture of this beautiful bracelet my sister-in-law gave me for Christmas. I love it and my 21 month-old is obsessed with it - those are his hands in the picture. I thought the beads were made of wood at first but amazingly, they're FIMO! That stuff you mold and bake...not easy to make such intricate designs, I tell you. Anyway, it's a fave, so I thought I would post it. Voila.