April 13, 2009

List, list, Everyone loves a list

Since I know everyone is just breathless to find out what makes me tick, tock and smile, here's a few of my current fav's. I will not be putting jelly beans or Reese's bunny candies on the list because I am trying to completely banish them from my thoughts. So there will be no delicious chocolate peanut butter bunnies, you here? I certainly won't mention Jelly Belly's either, or that the popcorn flavor is my favorite and I wrestled one out of the grasp of my crying two-year-old yesterday in a completely shameless display of greed. And Peeps are totally beneath my notice. Especially the timeless yellow chicks, the classic Peep before all Peeps, that are currently on sake for half off today.

Shall we move on? (mmmmm... peeeeeeps)

1) My egg timer: I am not an efficient person. It's quite possible for me to lose several hours and then be completely bewildered about why I have "no time". Enter the egg timer. I picked up on this idea from "Sink Reflections", a book I pull down and skim from time to time (in an ironic display of procrastination) when the laundry is piling up, the floor has more crumbs visible than hardwood and my children want to know why mommy won't give them milk (because there is none in the fridge and hasn't been for at least three days). The egg timer is my rigid task master- I sit down to whatever task I plan to lose myself in and set that little ticker to 30 minutes, 45, one hour. Just as I'm about to achieve full-immersion, the bell goes off like a bomb and shocks me quite literally out of my seat. Time to get up, shake and stretch, move on down the list (you know how I like my lists).

2) Easter candy: wait... NO! NOT ON THE LIST.

3) Pandora Radio: This is awesome. You can create your own radio stations based on a certain singer or band that you like and then edit what songs it plays that you like or hate. It remembers your exact tastes and gradually refines the stations to fit. IT'S AWESOME and even better, it's free. Who needs to buy music anymore?

4) Yogi Lemon Ginger Tea: This is my favorite after-dinner treat, and yes, it is a treat. There's something in the mix, maybe the hit of licorice, that adds a bit of sweetness. Coupled with a few of these shortbread-like arrowroot cookies, and it's perfect to settle your tummy, nerves and sweet tooth without any of the added guilt or heaviness of a big dessert. (note to self- time to go get more, to replace the Easter candy)

5) Writer Mama: In terms of inspiration, "just do it" attitude and support, this is just about the best site, book and class series that I've found.

6) My Desk

7) Purging toys: This is my house and I am an adult. Toys, with all their insidious creeping spread, will not be allowed to overtake my home. Every few months, I take a box and sort through the piles. I always find that there are little bits and pieces that are either broken, trash or totally forgotten by my kids. Poof! Off they go. I save the maybe items in a tub in the basement and if the girls don't miss them for a few weeks, they join the rest of the rabble in the charity box. There are two benefits to this. One is obvious- I have less crap to trip over and wage war against. The second is, believe it or not, that it helps the girls. They play more sedately and happily (or mostly happily) clean up the more simple herd. They also end up being more imaginative with less fodder to fill in the details for them. It's a win, win.

8) My research: This is my second favorite part of my chosen career path (with the actual writing being the first). To stay on top of current trends, spark new ideas and familiarize myself with my target market I have to, get this, sit down with a cup of coffee, a stack of magazines, a notebook and relax into it all. It's important to note here that the eggtimer is critical to this activity, otherwise I'd do it all day.

9) Recycling: SO easy. It's very impressive and gratifying to see that our piles of recycling every week are more than double the actual trash we throw away. It's so easy these days, too. Curbside pick-up of completely mixed recycling (no sorting!) is only about $5 a month more. Do it, y'all! DO IT!

10) The fantastic way this chocolate peanut butter bunny just melts so delicately in my mouth....

(At Christmas I had to have Kurt throw out the leftover candy for me because I just... couldn't... do... it. My hand would hold the bag over the trashcan, trembling and frozen in its grasp. It just feels so wrong. Thank God, once he does the dirty work for me, we'll be safe again until Halloween. Mmmmm... candy corn...)

April 07, 2009

32 Things

Sunday was my birthday, the big Three-Two. Is that a big one, actually? Maybe not technically, but for me it felt pretty important. You see, on my birthday last year, (the big Three-One), I was discharged from the hospital and riding a wave of shock, humiliation and self-doubt. Not the best day for me. But, I've come a long way, baby.

This year I woke up with a heavy weight pressing down on me. Anna had crawled into bed at some point in the pre-dawn hours and was curled up, for whatever bizarre reason, between my neck and shoulder- or at least, trying to curl up there. She doesn't so much fit in small spaces anymore, but she has the soul of a circus gymnast and will ever try to fold herself into itty bitty spaces.
I was not annoyed at this early morning visitor. I was, in fact, delighted. Last year, I was afraid of losing my children, not to mention myself. This year, my children were so close that we actually occupied the same space at times, a physical impossibility for most of the rest of the universe. Anna and I snuck away from an as yet unconscious Kurt, rescued a delighted Silvia from her crib and hopped downstairs for a satisfying hot chocolate and coffee (I'll let you figure out who drank what).
Then, we turned up the music and danced. All around, three girls in pajamas, three girls with no rhythm, no smooth moves and absolutely no inhibitions. In terms of birthday mornings, this one pretty much blew the rest away off the edges of the known world. Add to that the french toast Kurt cooked up soon after and there are now no better days left in time or space.
It sounds cliche, I suppose, to get all mushy over a dance break with kids and breakfast a la I-didn't-have-to-cook-it, but the whole day my memories of last year lingered in mute comparison. I don't mean that in a morbid, depressing sense. Quite the opposite. As Seneca said, "We become wiser by adversity; prosperity destroys our appreciation of the right".
Appreciation is really the only word that fits this year. My children are healthy and LOUD and with me, my husband lavishes me with french toast, firm belief and furniture (more on THE DESK later), my family gifts me with time to myself and no question as to my sanity (unless it applies to my obsession with THE DESK). None of these blessings are offered out of worry, fear or judgement, not anymore. I've reached ground where I can stand on my own. I'm no longer stamped, "Fragile, handle with care".
This year I received at least 32 things for my birthday:
1-31: everything and everyone I almost lost, and dance FEVAAAH to boot.
32: A desk (DESK!!!!!)

(hey, at least I didn't put the desk as #1, right?)
(And forgive the spacing here, for some reason beyond my reach I cannot get blogger to seperate paragraphs today.)