Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tales of being busy, bored and happy

I keep telling Adam I'm bored.  He keeps looking at me like I'm crazy.  "But you're SO busy!", he always responds, "You never sit still!  How in the world can you be bored?".  Good question.  I guess I've come to realize that boredom isn't created out of a state of standing still.  Bored, uninspired, unmotivated...whatever I call it, I feel it.  And I'm not sure how to fix it.

Call me crazy, but I've been fantasizing about being in school again.  Just recently, when listening to my iPod, I stumbled across the playlist I used to listen to just before exams, to get me motivated to do my best.  I listened to the whole thing, wistful for the days when I had a goal I was working toward.  I miss being motivated.  I miss kicking ass at something.

Adam will argue that I AM kicking ass at something, which is being a mother...but I think I might disagree.  I'm present.  I'm with the kids.  I'm at every single soccer practice.  I am the one who picks Ethan up at school each and every day.  I'm the one who makes it possible for Ethan to do Cub Scouts (which he loves).  I'm the one who enables him to do Science Club after school once a week (which he also loves).  I'm the one who provides dinner on the table every night (note I said "provide" and not "cook"!), I'm the one who gives the boys a bath every night and tucks them into bed most nights (at least one of them anyway, depending on the demands of Adam's schedule).  I'm the one who puts clean laundry into their drawers, makes sure they have breakfast, makes sure they visit the library regularly.  I'm the one who sits (not always patiently, I might add) while Ethan does homework, I'm the one who organizes his book bag for school, who makes sure he has everything he needs and anticipates the things that he might need but doesn't know it yet.  I'm around to help out in his classroom and chaperone field trips.  I'm the one teaching Eli the alphabet.  And teaching him how to pee in a potty.  It's me who holds his chubby hand in mine while I grocery shop for the four of us, who takes him to the park on nice days, who watches Thomas the Train alongside him (even though it makes me want to gouge my own eyes out).  I'm helping my synagogue raise money.  I'm helping Ethan's Cub Scout den.  I'm reading books I haven't had time to read.

My days are so full.  So why am I feeling so empty?  I know the ability to do these things is a blessing.  I am grateful that I can do them all and that my husband not only makes it possible for me to do these things, but encourages me, supports me and cheers me on while I do it all.  I feel ashamed for feeling bored.  I do not wish my children to grow up too fast and I do not wish to miss any of what is the solution?  If I go back to school, I will miss some (or a lot) of this stuff.  Is this just a temporary case of the blues?  Of thinking that the grass is greener?  Am I still adjusting to my decision to put nursing school on the back burner?  Who knows?  Would taking golf lessons or a photography class or joining a knitting group help?

So, these ridiculous, spoiled, self-pitying thoughts are what's been tumbling around my head these days.  And then, just this morning, I got a little shove to smarten up (From G-d?  The universe?  Myself?) in the form of Ethan's daily folder.  It was the push I needed to stop complaining and start enjoying again.  I'd just stepped out of the shower this morning after dropping Ethan off from school when I spotted it sitting on the counter.  He's supposed to have it every day as his teacher uses it to send home work, communications and all kinds of other important first grade stuff.  Ethan is like me: he panics when he realizes he doesn't have everything he needs.  I'm sure when he got to school this morning, his stomach sank when he unpacked his bag and realized his folder was missing.  Suddenly, I felt like Super Woman!  I could fix this!  I had nowhere to be, nothing to do!!  I hopped in the car and dropped it off at school.  Ta da!  Suddenly, I was reminded of the benefits of my choices and my spirit soared.  Just like that.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Tales from the house of germs

This week was one of those weeks...
...Eli had some sort of nasty bug, which luckily came and went quickly.
And just when I was feeling relieved 
that he was better so quickly,
Adam came down with the nasty bug.
Whilst taking care of Adam, I got it too, 
but thankfully to a lesser degree...and while I was nursing myself and Adam back to health,
while trying to keep Eli from getting something new, 
Ethan came down with strep throat.
I was ready to throw in the towel.
I really was.

And then Ethan came along and made me laugh.  
And laugh.  (And blush and giggle.)

First, while I was curled up in bed, 
he came in very serious 
and stood by my bedside. 
He began, "I know you told me babies grow from a seed.  
But HOW does the seed get there in the first place?"  


"Well," I said, "It just grows in there.  Into a baby."

Ethan: "I know all about that!  But how does it even get to a place to start to grow!?  How does a mommy and a daddy plant it!?"

oh boy...

"Um.  Uh.  Well.  You"  

Now, I'm perfectly content sharing the real story, 
but am guessing that all of the parents
of Ethan's little first grade friends
would NOT be so content for me to share the real story.
To be honest, I might be better off sharing the real story
because I doubt Ethan would even believe it.

So, I continued with my vague version of the explanation
which was that a mommy and a daddy plant the seed
a special way when they get married. 

I know.  It was a bad version of the story.
Really bad.
But I was sick.
And couldn't come up with anything more clever.

Ethan looked at me like I was a moron.
"You know, Mommy, some people don't even have babies
when they get married," contempt filling his voice.
I'm pretty sure he also mumbled something about me not knowing what I was talking about while he stomped out of the room.


Just when I think that he is all grown up,
I wander into the playroom
and catch site of something under the couch
that doesn't belong.
When I investigate,
I find the object in question
is a syringe half-full
of Ethan's antibiotic for his strep.
When I find him, I ask why on earth
his medicine was under the couch. 

His answer was simple: 
"I didn't like the way it tasted."

Me: "So you hid it under the couch?!"

Ethan: "That's right."


Just now, as I was getting ready to post this,
Ethan came running into the kitchen
demanding to know what an "ascot" is.
I told him and then he looked at me like I was crazy.

And then I realized he said "mascot".
That makes way more sense.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Tales of Tuesday Afternoon was a quiet afternoon today.
After spending the morning at my synagogue 
helping out with preparations for the upcoming holidays,
I picked Ethan up from school.
And picked the dry cleaning up from the dry cleaner.
Ethan got a lollipop (and one for his brother).

We went home and did homework. 
In fact, Ethan did his entire week's worth of homework.
Just because he wanted to.
And then asked for more.
(He is definitely his mother's son)

I made bran muffins.
And then the boys rode their bikes in the driveway.
And scampered off to the swing set.
Eli asked me if I would make him "fly faster"
and Ethan loved that his feet went over my head
if I stood in front of him.  
Before we headed inside, 
we picked the last of the vegetable garden.

For dinner, we had a picnic.  And breakfast.
The bran muffins inspired me (and were really, really good)
You must try the mix from Trader Joe's, it's excellent.

When I tucked Ethan in, we took turns scratching backs.
He told me about "the mean boy" in his class.
He also told me all about the boy who threw up today.

I can't wait until tomorrow so Ethan can regale me with more tales from first grade.
And Eli can ask me to make him fly faster.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Tales of Holiday Weekend

We haven't been able to do all that much celebrating this weekend.
Eli woke up with the pukes yesterday morning, so we were among
the first families to be at urgent care on Sunday morning.
I thought it was strep - I'm usually always right - but this time I was wrong.
(He seems better today).

I spent all day willing myself to just get through the day until bedtime.
I made it, and then promptly went downstairs to do laundry, after giving Eli
one more snuggle.
As I unloaded the contents of the washer into the dryer I thought about how
sore my back was, how tired my muscles were and how all I wanted to do was
throw myself on the couch in front of the tv for a little 
while before going to bed.

Adam found me in the laundry room and told me to come outside.  I groaned.
I did not want to go outside.
Plus he was invading my space.  That is MY laundry room.

I was annoyed and aggravated as I pulled on a long sleeve shirt.
I did not want to go outside, I wanted to go to bed.
I made my way down the stairs to the backyard and almost cried
and felt a sudden sense of shame for being such a grumpy wife.

Adam had built a fire in our fire pit, put two chairs in front of it and
had brought down two wine glasses and a bottle of wine.
Music was playing, and he didn't seem to notice that I had
been horrifically grumpy just moments before.

I started to apologize and Adam stopped me and said,
"It's okay.  I get you.  You don't have to say you're sorry."

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tales From a House of Chaos

Somehow, I was under the crazy, misguided impression that now that I'm not in school, that life would be calm and quiet.  Not sure where I got that idea, but clearly that line of thinking was a rookie mistake.

Trying to run a smooth household, driving the boys back and forth to school and to Ethan's activities (soccer and cub scouts), tending to synagogue responsibilities, plus having time for Adam (and maybe even a little bit for myself) has proved to require artful execution and crisp choreography. 

Though school has been in session for over 3 weeks, this is our first "real week" in terms of having to do the whole sha-bang: be at practices, attend cub scout meetings, turn in homework, plus juggle my own activities and commitments.

During all the racing about, somewhere in between strapping Eli in his car seat to do nothing but tag along with me, helping with math homework and throwing dinner at Ethan on the fly, I've managed to learn a thing or two.

What've I learned?

...that Eli is a complete and utter nightmare to take to soccer practice.  He hates being there even more than I hate having to manage him there.  Sounds pretty mean, right?  Well, it's not.  First, all the other parents must have older kids because they all sit in their chairs, sipping cold water and leafing through magazines while watching practice.  I, on the other hand, am dripping with sweat and cursing under my breath as I chase after Eli who has gone onto the field for the 116th time while he screams Ethan's name.  There is a playground, which I took Eli to, where I was successfully able to occupy approximately 14 minutes of our time before I realized that the language coming from the "big boys" on the playground was entirely inappropriate for Eli to be exposed to.  What I want to know is where kids hear these words and furthermore, how they know how to use them in the proper context.  Thankfully, the coach's daughter adores Eli and was fantastic with him for the time that he would let her entertain him.  So, since Eli's just at that hard-to-entertain-and-contain age, I'm considering bringing along the DVD player next Monday.  And also maybe a straight jacket.

...that you should never, ever put a half pound of cooked pasta down the garbage disposal.  Ever.  And that having a friend that's also a plumber is a good thing.

...that your two-year-old shouldn't empty his little potty into the big potty by himself.  Unless you plan to wash your floors that day.

...and that as a mom, you're never enough of a veteran to keep from making rookie mistakes.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Tales of a Fortune Cookie

Adam brought home Chinese food for lunch.
I opened my fortune cookie and it said:

Love waits for one thing, the right moment.

I'm not sure I agree.
I thought back to when Adam and I met.
It was not the right moment.
We were introduced by 
my boyfriend and his girlfriend.
His girlfriend told me they were getting married.
And I was devastated. 
(Even though I barely knew him).

Later, I broke up with my boyfriend.
And decided to enjoy the last of my college days
ignoring men and enjoying the company
of my zany sorority sisters, 
acting silly, giggling and generally wreaking havoc.

Against my better judgement,
I went on a date with Adam.
Imagine my surprise when I realized
that I'd met my husband.
This was anything but the right moment for me.
Yet, we immediately fell in love.
We had much in common, enjoyed the same things.
Dreamed big dreams.
But we also knew we were imperfect.
We argued.  We yelled.  We slammed doors.
We broke up.  Twice.
But we laughed.  Loudly.  And we spooned.  
And snuggled.  We held hands.
We shared inside jokes.
We went on adventures.
And we had each other's backs.  
Though we fought with each other,
we fought harder for each other.

We moved away together.
We began building a life.
We got married.
We had babies.

Adam grew up Jewish.
I didn't.
It didn't matter to either one of us.
Until I wanted a Jewish life.
So I studied.  A lot.  For two years.
And then I converted.
And on the day of my conversion,
I was in my bathroom, 
carefully getting dressed in a lovely 
black and white silk skirt and black sweater.

Adam came up behind me and put his arms around me.
And told me I was helping him to fulfill
his dad's dying wish.

I didn't know what he meant
but he went on to tell me that as his dad was dying
he asked Adam to be sure to marry 
a nice, Jewish girl.

I was stunned.
Adam never said a word of this to me.  
Never guilted me into converting.
Never pushed me toward it.
Never made me feel like I 
should be someone different.
Always just wanted me to be me.
And I realized how difficult
it must've been
to keep that secret from me.

I told this story to my mother the other night.
And my eyes filled with tears.
Adam's silence about knowingly 
letting down his father
in return for a life with *me*
overwhelms me with love.
And then knowing that we didn't 
let down his dad after all... humbles me beyond words.
It makes giving Adam a Jewish family
all that much more rewarding.
And it makes the process of converting 
all that much more
pure and meaningful.

So does love really wait for the right moment? 
I don't think it does.  
In fact, I think love might even make 
some moments disappear forever.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Plan B

It seems I'm all about
Plan B these days, 
what with taking an
open-ended break from school and all... today, when the 
we planned to go to
got rained out, we had to move
to Plan B.

Ethan doesn't like Plan B's 
anymore than I do.
And my way of trying to teach him
to embrace the Plan B
is to tell him to
cut the crap
& quit complaining.
Adam's method is a lot better.
He points out the positives
and encourages Ethan to do the same.

But, our Plan B was a success.

We ate.

We drank.

We danced.

We watched the world go by.

I was in charge of
controlling the chaos
& keeping the troops happy.
I think I did ok.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Mother's Intuition

Remember yesterday when I said 
something was "off" because the house 
was so quiet and things were running so smoothly?  

Turns out, I was right.  
Darn that mother's intuition.
I went upstairs to find this in Eli's room:

Instead of napping, Eli was redecorating.  
With the contents of his drawers and baskets.

Oh.  And, he had turned all
his lights on.
Using his rocking giraffe 
as a step stool.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Something might be off...

....because dinner is prepped, the Rachel Zoe Project is on in the background, Ethan is up in his room playing with Legos and even Eli has stopped knocking on his door screaming at me to "peas open door!" when he should be napping.

...the transition to the big boy bed has not been as smooth as I hoped.  In fact, it's been somewhat disastrous.  My little Eli, who has loved his bed and gone to bed (literally) with a smile on his face almost since the day we brought him home from the hospital, now screams, cries and tears around his room putting on a freak show for me every night.

...last night (or rather, this morning) at 4:30, I heard him on the monitor and peered at the video screen.  He had turned all the lights on in his room (by standing on his rocking horse, er, giraffe) and was scrambling up on the bed, standing on it for several seconds, and then scrambling back off to go stand by the door to scream my name.  I really, really didn't want to get into the middle of his madness so I watched him from my end of the monitor and eventually the little darling turned off all his lights and crawled back into bed.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tales of Nursing School Drop-out

After spending last semester on an unintended sabbatical, I spent the summer registering for spring classes, and then subsequently orchestrating, planning and rearranging my family's schedule so I could make the class schedule work for us.  I thought I had it down.  Which I did.  And I thought I was comfortable with it.  Which I wasn't.  But I pushed the creeping thoughts of discontentment to the very back of my head, comforting myself with the knowledge that with big goals comes hard work.  So I set about getting ready for the semester.  Books were purchased, sitter was confirmed, game face was on.

And then, I yanked the rug out from underneath myself.  As much as I love being a student, as much as I crave being a nurse, something was holding me back.  I spent a sleepless night imagining scenarios of how the fall could play out and then rearranging those scenarios so I could get comfortable with them. But the comfort wasn't coming.  It's not the hard work, the long hours, the lack of sleep, the difficult exams.  I can manage all that.  That's the easy part, believe it or not.  But, I hate quitting.  I'm not a quitter.  I made a commitment to myself to get a nursing degree and I didn't want to lose my focus, no matter what might be getting in my way.  Except that what was clouding my focus was the idea that two, possibly three, nights a week my boys wouldn't have dinner with me.  Or with Adam.  As much as my kids and I adore my sitter, she's not me.  Clouding my focus was also the idea that I wouldn't be the one driving Ethan back and forth to soccer practice every Monday (and that I wouldn't even be the one to see him off or to meet him back at home).  And then forget the time just spent in class...there's the exams, the hours and hours of studying, spending Sundays studying while Adam spends time with the boys instead of actually being with Adam and the boys.

I finally had to face reality: though I desperately wanted it to, my school schedule just wasn't fitting into the framework that I want for my family right now.  It's the right decision.  For the right reasons.  I'm sad.  It's difficult to put myself on the back burner, but I have every confidence in my sensibilities and I know I'll never regret this.  Nursing school isn't going anywhere, but man, are my kids growing fast.

So I'm not quitting.  I'm not letting go of my dream.  I'm just asking it to sit tight for a while because I still have a little more work to do here at home.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Mommy, Ethan, and the open road

Last year, around this time, I took Ethan on our very first annual "special Mommy and Ethan trip".  It was one of the best weekends I've ever had.  Until this summer.

Once again, Ethan and I packed up the car and headed to Tennessee, this time to Sevierville to spend two nights at Wilderness at the Smokies, an indoor/outdoor water park resort.  What great fun we had!  Having Ethan all to myself for two whole days turned even the ride up into an adventure.

We made unplanned stops along the way.  (Like this one, at Popcorn Haven, where they have over 100 flavors of popcorn!)

We also stopped at Cracker Barrel for a stretching and potty break when Ethan couldn't feel his bum anymore (and admittedly, neither could I).  Numb behind and all, the drive up to Tennessee was one of the best parts about the trip.  Something about actually being on the trip that I so looked forward to and having the whole weekend still stretched out in front us felt magical to me.

We played Twenty Questions, we played I Spy.  Ethan watched a movie.  We listened to music.  We munched on our popcorn (Ethan chose "rainbow" and I chose "dill pickle").  He asked me if G-d made the dinosaurs.  He asked me if G-d made the meteor (What meteor, Ethan?  The meteor that killed the dinosaurs, Mommy.)  He asked me if he has to ask G-d for patience or if G-d just knows to give him patience without being asked.  I wracked my brain for good answers and prayed for easier questions and wondered why other moms get little boys that ask questions about boogers and laser guns.

When we drove up to our hotel, Ethan was as excited as I hoped he would be.  The water park, from the angle we drove in at, looked extra-impressive and Ethan couldn't stop staring out the window of the lobby while I was checking in.  His excitement and joy was completely contagious.  And I loved being able to be focused enough on him to be able to not only pick up on it, but also to share it.

I love being a mother to two boys.  And my love for each of them is boundless.  But I feel like I spend a lot of my time in "management mode"...managing the situation, managing their stuff, managing their meals, managing our schedule...this weekend with Ethan was, for me, all about being in the moment rather than managing the moment.  Of course, the fact that I was away from home and from my responsibilities made this oh so much easier to do...which is one of the main reasons that I elected to go on this trip every year with Ethan (and will do the same with Eli once he gets a little older).

I could focus JUST on Ethan...on his sweet smile, on the silly things that he said, on the way his small hands felt in mine, on the way he smelled after he's been in the sun.  I could do what he wanted to do without trying to squeeze it in during Eli's nap time, or in between laundry loads, or before making dinner.  I could slow down to keep his pace instead of dragging him by the arm to keep up with mine. I wasn't interrupted by anyone else in the middle of one of his stories.  I had all the patience in the world for all of his questions.

We played in the water park for hours. I followed him around from slide to slide, from pool to pool.  We played mini golf and floated on the lazy river.  I let him open and close the sliding glass door as many times as he wanted.  I obliged when he asked me to run down the hallway with him.  We ate ice cream and sno-cones.  And stayed up late playing Guess Who? and watching America's Funniest Videos.  We rode the shuttle bus around the hotel even when we didn't need to be shuttled anywhere.  For the ENTIRE weekend, I didn't have to hear myself say "Just a minute."  Not even once.  And you know, I liked myself a heck of a lot better.  For a whole weekend I was the kind of mom I wish I could always, always be.

I had a pit in my stomach when it was time to go, surprised at how fast our special little weekend had come and gone.  I wanted to stay in our little world there forever and play and eat junk and be free from our real life.  But there's the key - that's not real life.  As much as I want to let Ethan open and close sliding glass doors as much as he wants, the truth is that it was really loud and probably disruptive to the rooms next to us...especially at 10:30 at night.  My job is to teach him manners so at some point, even if we lived at the Wilderness at the Smokies hotel (which he did ask if we could do) I would have to explain to him why he couldn't do that.  We wouldn't be able to stay up late every night playing games and watching t.v. because he would still have to go to school at some point and eventually, we would have to eat a vegetable or two to maintain our health.

So while I won't beat myself up for not being a fun mom all the time, I did learn from this trip that I need to loosen up a bit on some of the rules, and more importantly, when I'm spending time with Ethan (and Eli, too), I need to do a much better job of not managing the moment, but being in the moment.  And while I'm attempting to put that into practice, I'll also be counting down the days until next year's trip.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Is my "baby" really SIX!?

Tonight, after we were done putting the kids to bed, Adam reminded me (as if I needed reminding!) that six years ago tonight, he and I spent the evening walking up and down our hilly neighborhood trying to coax a certain stubborn baby to meet his anxious mama!  During dinner at a place called Uncle Wong's, I had my first "real" contraction...and naively thought that I would be holding my baby boy just a few hours later.  Not so much.  More like 20+ hours later...

Ethan arrived a few days past his due date but he was worth every single second of the wait.  My arms itched for more than nine months to hold him and as soon as I was able to wrap my arms around him, I looked into his eyes and was stunned by what I saw.  I knew this person!  I knew him.  I'd never seen him before, yet he looked so familiar to me.  I knew him.  And I loved him.  Immediately.  Fiercely.  Unabashedly.  Unconditionally.  And of course, forever.

My love for this little man energized me enough to carry us through the first few weeks of newbornhood (because it definitely was sleep that was energizing me!).  He has been my little buddy, my sidekick, my helper.  He inspires me.  He keeps me in check.  He makes me smile.  And he makes me laugh.  He's made my life.

Thank you, Ethan.  For being my everything.  Happy Birthday, baby boy.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Everybody wins

The semester of my unintentional sabbatical is quickly coming to an end...and I realize I have nothing to show for it.  My plans of organizing and deep cleaning my house were largely unrealized.  The book I have in my head has only about nine pages written instead of almost all of it.  Even my blog has been, for the most part, completely ignored.

In part, I can blame these shortcomings on my tendency toward procrastination.  And in part, it was by design.  You see, I read lots of blogs - not every day, but when the whim strikes - and many of them are what are known in the blogosphere as "mommy blogs".  Most of the moms that write them seem to have these super powers that I could only hope to possess some day.  They manage to spend hours upon hours of each day playing with their kids, and not only playing with them, but providing engaging, innovative, creative activities.  These wonder-woman-mommy-bloggers manage to stay on top of their housework, fold their laundry right out of the dryer and make delicious, organic meals three times a day (and not only that, but they post their recipes, photos of the process of making these meals and then photos of their kids eating said meals in their tidy and clean kitchen on their blogs).  They shop, they decorate, they sing, they dance...and they manage to blog about it.  Daily.  At least.

I'm amazed by this.  I'm truly amazed (and also not too proud to admit that I'm more than a little intimidated).  But this is where my whole procrastination-by-design schtick comes in...I decided that if I did manage to be the kind of mother I actually want to be at least a couple of days out of the week, then I wasn't going to go and muck it all up by taking time away from my kids (or husband) by blogging about it.  One of my biggest (and probably very realistic) fears is that my kids will look back on their childhood and say, "My mother was always on her computer!  And she always said 'hold on a sec' whenever we asked her for anything".

So, I think I've figured out how to undo some of the damage.  Maybe.  It has come in the form of  weekly "picnics" (or "nic-nics" as Eli calls them) in the living room, regular trips to Baskin Robbins, lots of bike riding in the driveway and lots of walks to see the cows.  Will this make my kids believe that I'm the perfect mother?  Doubtful.  But it does make for some fun afternoons.  And typically, these sorts of activities are the things I like to share on my blog, not only so my family can keep up with my growing boys but more importantly, so I can remember them, so that the details will remain vibrant and unfaded.  But, in addition to trying to be more focused on the boys (and spend less time on my laptop), there's also something special about just being able to remember this "feeling of fun".  Rather than remembering the details of our days together, I'm finding that remembering the warmth of those days is just as satisfying and comforting.  Does this mean that I won't blog anymore?  Definitely not.  But it does mean that I can cut myself some slack whenever I start to feel guilty about ignoring my blog.  (And being Jewish, anything I can do to get away from guilt is a good thing.)

In the meantime, if I do start to spend too much time on my computer, I can just bribe my kids with ice cream and trick myself into thinking that I'm a flawless mother.  Everybody wins!

Friday, March 26, 2010


This semester I took an unintentional sabbatical from school.  Sparing you the gruesome, sordid details suffice it to say that I am an idiot there was a minor snafu with my registration.  In all honesty I probably could've begged and weasled my way into the class that I needed but truthfully, I decided to give up the fight and focus my energy on spending some time with the boys (and attempting to catch up on the sleep and housework that eluded me last semester).

As the first day of classes came and went without me, I admit to feeling a little blue and left behind.  So, I did what I always do when I'm feeling useless and not busy enough - I made a list of all of the things I planned to do with all of my new found free time.

Here are the top ten things I aimed to do:

1) Organize my laundry room shelves
2) Purge and organize all the closets in the house
3) Read at least half of the 23 new books that I have stacked on and around my night table that were mercilessly ignored last semester
4) Create a solid routine of menu planning, grocery shopping and meal preparation
5) Purge the playroom
6) Make a list of all the small repairs to be done around the house and hire a handyman for the items that can't be done myself and will probably be ignored by Adam (which means almost all of them)
7) Watch all the movies nominated for an Academy award.
8) Finish knitting all the unfinished projects I have sitting on knitting needles
9) Organize all the digital photos I have of the boys and create a photo album of my favorites
10) Write at least half of the book I have in my head

Here are the top ten things I actually did:

1) Bought MORE books that I didn't read.  I DID manage, however, to purchase and read the entire Twilight Saga in about two weeks, fostering an unhealthy obsession a casual interest in all things Twilight.

2) Not only did I not see all of the movies nominated for Picture of the Year, I didn't even see one.  I did, however, watch the Twilight movie on my iPod and MacBook at least once a week, and also saw New Moon in the theater three times.

3) Celebrated Eli's 2nd birthday.

4) Played in the snow with Ethan (Poor Eli had to nap.  Being two is hard work.).  This particular activity was not on my original list, but was way more fun then purging the playroom.

5) Decided not to devise a solid routine of menu planning, grocery shopping and meal preparation.  Ate out.  A lot.

6) Considered running away with the circus.

7) Stayed in.

8) Rubbed elbows with a celebrity chef.

9) Played hard.

10) Reconnected and fell in love all over again (with three different guys!).

That's some sabbatical.  I could get used to this!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Coming out of retirement

When I was (semi)regularly updating my blog, I'd get emails and comments every now and again after posting something.  I liked this.  I wanted to use my blog as a means to jump start a career where I could write (read: actually get paid to write).  I joined a couple of blog networks where I could get some exposure in return for writing for free or allowing ads to appear on my blog.

I have always loved to write.  I have always been told I "should be a writer".  I have often been told I am "wasting my talent".  I think I'm a good writer.  Sometimes, I think I'm a great writer.  It would be nice to get paid for it.  But herein lies the problem.  I write for me.  Only for me.  So deadlines don't really work within that framework.  Nor do deliverables such as posting on my blog at least once a week.  As soon as I"m given a deadline or a deliverable, it's done.  I lose interest, I lose momentum, the part of my brain that helps me organize my thoughts into words and pretty sentences literally shuts down and I just have to sit around and wait for it to start working again.  I can't force it to happen, it just happens on its own time.

After years and years of fighting against this and beating myself up for "wasting my talent" (i.e. - not getting paid for writing), I have finally accepted the fact that I am not a deadline meeter when it comes to my writing.  And meeting deadlines is sort of important when you want to write for a living.  Or so I'm told.  I've been kicked off all the blog networks I've joined since I've failed to update my blog frequently enough.  And I'm so okay with that.  I feel so much less cluttered and heavy.  After months of trying to get people to read my blog and tracking the number of readers who visit it every day, I've finally accepted the fact that my blog was never meant for the people that I was trying to drive to it.  It was meant for me.  And if anyone loves me (or even likes me) enough to read what I've written, then it's just a little happy bonus if what I've written touches them (or at the very least, entertains them) somehow.

I like to write about my emotions and experiences.  I like to write so that I'll have some sort of record of my life, of my family's life, of my love for them and for myself.  I like to write to help sort out the jumbled mess of thoughts and feelings that criss-cross and meander through my mind.  So, yes, maybe I'm not getting paid for what I'm doing, but I'd hardly consider that a wasted talent.