January 14, 2008

This is my dance space

We moved into this house about two weeks before my oldest daughter was born and so, this has always been a house of children. Every room, every space, reflects some aspect of their existence.

No room shows that more than the playroom, which is as it should be. But the playroom is also, by default, my room; my office, my desk and craft area. My Place. Until recently, My Place constituted one desk crammed into the corner of the room with a messy bookshelf . It was surrounded by toys and constantly pulled apart by curious little fingers. I have a vivid memory of trying to "organize" my desk and bookshelves when Anna was just a baby and being thwarted, (yes, thwarted!), at every turn by her never-ending ability to removed everything in sight from it's place every time I blinked.

This week, it all changed.

No, sadly, I didn't get my own office with my own door. And no, I didn't get rid of the children, either. How then, you ask, could the two polar opposites of work space and play space co-exist?

It was a two-step plan. First, I completely re-arranged everything in the room. I set my desk and craft table into a U-shape in one corner of the room and arranged the rest of the room to respect those clear boundaries. Now my desk faces the play area, but the play area is NOT IN AND AROUND AND BEHIND my desk. Awesome. The kids love it because it is different and new, and therefore exciting. I love it because I am now facing them as they play and I work and because my little area is separated from theirs. However, my baby girl still always seemed to find it fascinating to come pull on the power cords under my feet and topple the trash can and unwind every ball of yarn she could find. But, as I said, it was a two step plan.

The second step? A ginormous wraparound baby gate. The only way in? Stepping over. And hey, guess what? Turns out, my 3 year old and my 1 year old? Too short to step over, darn it.

THIS is my dance space, y'all. Hell yeah!

January 08, 2008

Random Lists

When in doubt, I make lists. Actually, when in anything, doubt or otherwise, I make lists. Lists of things to do, things I like, things I want, things I hate, things I must absolutely not forget, things I should stop thinking about so much. I am a lister.

And now, as I languish in blog-limbo with nothing exciting to write about... I have a list! Yay! Just especially for YOU.

These are a few of my favorite things.

1. Rembrandt Whitening Strips. These actually make your teeth whiter, I kid you not. But, since I'm being all honest and stuff, I must confess that the main reason that I love this kit so much is that it takes 30 minutes a day, for 5-7 days. After the girls go to bed and my hubby is in his man cave, I go up to my room and take off the day. Then, in my comfy jammies, I put on the little wax strips, curl up in bed and read a book. FOR HALF AN HOUR. All by myself in total silence. It's bliss. I suppose I don't need to have wax strips glued to my teeth in order to steal 30 minutes for myself, but still, it gives me an easy excuse and I love it. The whiter-teeth-in-a-week part is just a bonus.

2. My MomAgenda. It's got a page for each of my favorite lists and a large note section in the back for all the rest. The layout is perfect for keeping track of several people's schedules. And it's just weighty enough to make me feel important and organized just holding it.

3. Healthy convenience foods. I've been really working for awhile now to clean up what we eat as a family, but I am the first to admit that I'm a sucker when it comes to convenience. I want to just open something up and be ready to eat, no muss, no fuss. Some of my favorites are (a list within a list! Oh, bliss!): Amy's Kitchen frozen foods, Annie's Deluxe Mac n' Cheese, and frozen grilled chicken strips which I can add to anything and also get the girls to eat.

4. Speaking of snacks, here's my favorite courtesy of Shanyn (in turn courtesy of The Best Life Diet). Spread a Wasa Crispbread with low-fat ricotta and top with a few teaspoons of your favorite jam (I like Smuckers Simply Fruit blueberry). OhmygoodnessthisissotastyIthinkI'llhaveTWO. And, hey, bonus! Low in fat, high in fiber and protein and very filling! Yay! Now speaking of healthy food...

5. The Best Life Diet. I've been working on this with my friend Shanyn and I just really like this whole approach. It's all about making small changes, slowly, over time that lead to an end result of a healthier and more balanced lifestyle. Whether you're trying to lose weight or just get over the holiday sugar rush, this is a really approachable and user-friendly-back-to-basics plan.

6. Feel the Purge. I come from a long line of hoarders and pack rats. My family knows how to hold on to stuff. Lots and lots of stuff. I like stuff as much as they do, it's true, but I also LOVE to purge. I get all giddy and feel so free! Whenever an area starts to pile up and look cluttered, I start to feel the tingle of a purge coming on. Goodwill loves me. After I'm through, I always feel so clean and virtuous... until I go and start filling up on the stuff again. Hmm... I wonder if there is a lesson in here somewhere...

Okay that's enough for listing for now. At least I'm posting, right?