Friday, June 30, 2006

My new melmac platter....

 Love it. Love the chocolate chip cookies. We're heading to Tom's parents for a visit. I always bake chocolate chip cookies to take with us. This time, I'm afraid not so many are going to make it. That's what I get for baking two days in advance rather than the day of. Posted by Picasa

One month from today...

Yes, the official countdown to thirty has begun. In one month, I will no longer be in my twenties. I know it's not really that big a thing and I'm not like upset about turning thirty or anything. I'm, well, maybe a little disappointed in myself. I'm sad that I don't know myself any better than I do. I guess I thought that by age thirty, I know what the heck I wanted to do with my life, career-wise. I don't. I don't have a freaking feasible clue. I have about a dozen impossible dreams (photographer, pastry chef, interior designer, research librarian, professional margarita taster...), but since I'm not even in a position to start any of them yet, I can't even decide if the impossible could be possible. Tom and I have agreed that it's important for me (or him - he would actually love to stay home with the kids) to be home with our kids through high school. We're talking about 17 more years - IF we don't have a fourth kid. I'm sure I'll do something part time because I just don't think I can handle the kind of boredom. At any rate, I'm using the time to test out my ability to do some of the things on my list.

One month from today...My parents' oldest child will be thirty. How freaky must that be? I was in shock when T turned five in May. I mean, seriously. I'm the mother of a five year old? How is it possible that five years has gone so quickly? Did something happen to time? Did someone speed it up in those years? Are my parents thinking the same thing?

When I was pregnant with T (and before, really) I had this idea that becoming a mother would make me a different person, that somehow the process of giving birth would change me so irrevocably that the old me and the new me would be entirely different people. It was quite a revelation after his birth - well, a year or so later, to realize that I was not at all different. I was still me - crazy, moody, tempermental, wildly fun at times. I think I had difficulty adjusting to motherhood because of my insane expectation. I realized when I started typing this that I was doing the same thing to turning thirty. I'm stopping myself. It's just a day. A number. Nothing will be different. I will not suddenly have the insight I didn't have the previous day. Expecting anything different would be pretty stupid, especially having already learned this lesson.

Thursday, June 22, 2006


So is it turning thirty that has me reminiscing for my college days? Or maybe it's because that's the time when I felt most happy with myself. Not to say that I'm not happy now. Just that I have this idea (and it's probably touched up a bit the way memories are) that I was truly content to be me then. For at least one of those years. Really, I'm sure if I broke out the journals, I'd remember the angst - it's how I live after all. If I can't worry about something, I worry about that.

I'm breaking out the music, the movies, even ordering the DVDs of the tv shows that mark my college years. Counting Crows are coming in concert. I'm seriously thinking of getting tickets. I love their music. The poetry of the lyrics really gets me. I'm a singer-songwriter fan in general, and, while they don't strictly fit the bill, the basic feeling is there. My roommates and I listened to August and Everything After so many times our freshman and sophomore years.

I'm working on a mix CD of college music (don't worry, I download legally. I'm such a rule-follower). Which makes me think of my roommates. And how absolutely crap I am at keeping in touch with people. Of my close group of girls, eight or so of us, I keep in touch with one. How sad is that? I'm the same way with the group I was on the fringes of in high school, but there I feel no guilt. I never was really part of that group. My girls from college? I should do better. I wonder if they're feeling this turning 30 nostalgia.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Apparently, I'm a cliché...

I was watching that new summer show The Tuesday Night Book Club (at least I'm not likely to forget which night of the week it comes on, right?) and one of the women said something in a quick little clip about having spent her twenties taking care of her family so now that she was in her thirties she was trying to find herself. I guess that's what I'm doing (although I'm NOT thirty. I've a whole six weeks of 20-hood left). I don't know. I'm not really the kind of person who's ever felt like she lost herself, if that makes sense. I never felt the need to go off on a big trip away from everything when I was in college. Once when I was in high school, my mother read an article on Multiple Intelligences. She declared that I was in the Intrapersonal category (she did credit me with linguistic too). So apparently even then I knew myself, liked spending time with myself.

So why is that I'm struggling with this now? I think partly it's because I've put off some decisions that most people make in high school or college. You know, like what they want to be when they grow up. Some people just know, you know? Like since they were a child they wanted to be a teacher or doctor or lawyer or astronaut. And they might not become those things but somehow their goals were at least shaped by those childhood career aspirations. Me? I wanted to be a mom. Well, I've got that. Now what? Trust me, most days that's enough. I'm completely content and happy to be a hobbyist and not a career woman. Sometimes, though, I think that motherhood and staying home is just an excuse not to figure out what I want to do. And stick with just one thing.

Friday, June 9, 2006

I'm seriously addicted...

 And I blame it all on my gallbladder. After the surgery, I'm not supposed to have much fat (and I've tested the reasoning for this - I'm going to stick with the no-fat diet). Well, marshmallows are fat free. Just a tiny bit of butter and Rice Krispies, right? Right. Yum. I've been eating them like...I don't know. I just had to have something sweet and couldn't find anything else especially low in fat (Peppermint Patties are, but I'm not fond. Blasphemy say Tom and my mother).

Besides what's better that sweet crunchy vanilla-y goodness? Well, some chocolate wouldn't be bad (testing fat-free Fudgesicles tonight - I'll let you know if they're worth it). I tried making these on the stovetop (as opposed to the microwave) the other night. Why, oh why, would anyone make them any way but the microwave? Maybe if you don't have one, but they should NOT list the microwave directions as the alternate. They should be the main method and the stovetop should be the alternate. What a pain. And a totally different look. These are clear and glossy and the stovetop ones came out white and matte. Taste the same, so we're good. Posted by Picasa

*&%$#@ Thunderstorms!

My kids are terrified of, well, lots of things. Spiders (I don't fault them), bees (again, no problem with that), ants, dust (you know, if it moves and could be any of the aforementioned creatures), and thunder. Oh, and cropdusters and tractors that move (well, most tractors move, but they're not afraid of ones that are turned off, only ones that are moving at the moment they see them). You see, right now is my ideal time to put all three kids in bed for a few hours. T & G will only lay in bed and read for a while. They don't sleep anymore. Baby S still naps for a good two hours, usually closer to three. But I need that time. No one has to sleep. They just have to rest. That's what we call it. But right now it's storming and they're too scared to rest. And I really need it today. I'll see if I can talk them into it. Maybe some good Laurie music will do the trick. Probably not, but it's worth a try, at least until the storm ends.

Oh, should I maybe turn of the McPuter (it's not a Mac, that's just what G calls it. Tom says she has aural dyslexia - she reverses the sounds she hears "COM" = "MOC" Puter)?

Thursday, June 8, 2006

Oh, the very deep nature of what weighs on my mind...

Right now I'm practicing photography, really working at it it completely understand the ins and outs of it all - you know, the f stops, shutter speed, all that jazz. I'm getting it. Well, I think I am. But as I'm working on this, I'm also studying photographers who are already where I want to get. Yes, their photos are technically better in lots of ways (that I'm hoping and pretty sure will come with practice). But what really gets me is their innate (is it?) style. Their kids are wearing THE cutest clothes, their houses are neat and clean (at least the parts they photograph are). Mostly I'm hung up on the kids clothes thing right now though. My kids clothes are boring, photographically speaking. But so are mine. Just what my eye is drawn to in most things - clean simple lines. Solid colors, maybe the occasional pattern, but always matched with solids. Jeans and t-shirts (except for G, the princess who will only wear dresses).

And it bugs me that this plagues my mind at all. Why am I not worried about debt or the disaster of clutter that is our house? Or, you know, the state of the world and the future that my children and grandchildren face? Yeah, all those things are too much for me to worry about. Too big, too abstract. Even the clutter staring me in the face is just too much for me to think about without getting overwhelmed. So I'll just stick my head back in the sand and shop for cute kids' clothes online.

Monday, June 5, 2006

Taking care of me...

This is really one of the hardest parts of being a stay at home mom for me. Taking care of myself. Accepting that sometimes I need help. Asking for that help. Actually accepting that help when the time comes. I don't even like to hand the reins to my husband, the father of the very children I need help with. I have a follow-up appointment for my gallbladder surgery on Friday. I have to ask someone to watch the kids for an hour. It's killing me. And it's not like I don't have a wealth of takers - I have a huge family that is always offering to help. But they don't offer it when I need it (which is not their fault for not being psychic, it's mine for not knowing how or being able to ask for help or accept their offers when they come). And if it wasn't for the fact that I can't avoid this appointment, I'd probably just ignore it.

Last week, the two older kids had dentist appointments. I needed help because they both panic while with the dentist. I can only handle one panicking child at a time. So I needed (wanted, really) someone to take care of the remaining two while I was with the panicked one. None of my regulars (my grandparents, my brother and his girlfriend) were able to help. My mom's sister came because she works just down the road. But I feel horrible about this. I hate that I had to have someone else there. And I suppose I could have done it alone, but it would have been difficult. Very difficult.

I don't know if I've mentioned it, but we're talking about whether or not we want to have a fourth child. This is one of the things that's making me lean to the no side. If I can't handle my kids that I have now, do I have any business having another? Not even going into the space issues, financial issues, world overpopulation, etc. This is really weighing on me. I know I don't need to decide today. We wouldn't even try to conceive until December at the earliest, so really no pressure to figure it all out now. But any time I doubt myself as a mother, I think there's no way we can bring a fourth child into this mix. And yet...I can't close off that possibility.