Monday, August 30, 2010

Silence and Sandwiches

Oh boy!  There's nothing quite like a few hours of "silence"!

My dear friend took the kids for a few hours (to play with her kids - it's a win/win type thing... I think) and I have been enjoying the "silence".

Well, not total silence.  I've got my Pandora tunes going and, with the windows open, I can hear the crickets and the wind and the kids playing across the street.  Isn't it funny how kids playing across the street sounds so much nicer than kids fighting in the next room?

And since I wasn't worn out by being a short-order lunch cook, I made myself an actual sandwich.  I mean, I got out a frying pan and everything!  Here's a picture of my lovely lunch...

Sometimes there is nothing better in the world than a fried egg sandwich smothered in Miracle Whip (not mayo!) and a big dill pickle.  It makes me think of my mother - it's one of the few types of sandwiches she eats.  And yes, I had to take a bite of the pickle the minute I took it out of the jar... sorry.

So today, the beauty I found in the chaos was a total lack of chaos.  But you may not think that if you saw my kitchen... ; )

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Pretty Shoes

When you're the third of three girls, most of your clothing comes from hand-me-downs.  Or, as they are called in our house, "pass outs."  I'm not sure quite how they got that name, but it has stuck and it makes us laugh (well, mostly me and John - the husband).

But every year, just before school starts, my mother-in-law abuses her credit card and takes my girls and my two nieces Back to School Shopping.  It started about 3 years ago at the outlet mall just down the way, and has since grown to a two-day extravaganza where we trek across the state to the biggest outlet mall in Michigan (yes, Michigan).  And since we have so many "pass outs," I'm always a little weary about a full day of shopping for things we don't need.  But, as my mom-in-law says, "It's always nice to have something new."  And, quite frankly, if it were left to me, they'd only get new socks for school. 

This year though, we ran into a snag - not enough weekends.  So our "grand trek" was shortened to the outlet mall "just down the way."  Since it's so close, I decided that #3 daughter could join us. 

Did I mention she is 3?

It's pretty hard for a 3 year old to "be patient," and "wait her turn" to pick out something - especially when Grandma is buying and says you can have whatever you want.  So at the very first stop (Gap Kids), she fell in love with a pair of "pretty shoes."

The problem is, I, the mommy, did not think the shoes were pretty...  I thought the shoes were hideous...

They were shocking pink patent leather ballet flats with a turquoise jewel that covered the entire toe of the shoe.

As Grandma started to say, "Of course you can have those pretty shoes," I shot her down.  Nope.  No way.

And then the finagling began.  Have you tried to compromise with a 3 year old lately?

For the rest of the day, all I heard about was the "pretty shoes" that she wanted so desperately.  We tried every shoe store in that stinking outlet mall, but to no avail.  Too tight, too ugly, too "hurty" in the back...

Finally, at the end of the day, she had worn me down.  I mean, weary worn down.  To the point that if I heard the phrase "pretty shoes" one more time...  well, you know...

So we went back to the store.  We bee-lined to the back where the pretty shoes were.  I dug through the rack and found the right size, and when I pulled them out, she says, "Those are ugly, Mommy."

And picked out these instead...

Aren't they the cutest shoes you've seen for a 3 year old in ages?  And there's no Velcro, or ties, or silly huge turquoise jewels.

And this is the beauty of it... she loves them.  They make her happy.  She wears them around the house and wanted to wear them to bed.

Now if I could just find some shoes that made me feel that happy...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Embracing the Chaos

I am tired of being tired.  I am tired of being overwhelmed... grumpy... harried... unhappy.

I need an attitude adjustment.  I fully acknowledge this.

So, I'm starting an experiment.  It is time to find the beauty in my everyday, to actively seek out something each day that makes me smile, touches my heart, or ignites my imagination.  I'm hoping that by chronicling this "experiment" I can make it stick as a new habit.

Here's the background...  I have three beautiful daughters.  They are smart and funny and unique - and they drive me crazy most days.  I have three part-time jobs.  I love that I have joined the "adult" world again after taking time off to have my kids.  I relish afternoons of diving into creativity - but then, it's awfully hard to fit in 4 hours a day on a computer at your kitchen counter while there are kids around and dishes to do and laundry piling up and...  you get the idea.

And I have a wonderful husband.  He has grand ideas and is really good at starting projects, but the execution is sometimes lacking.  He is my best friend and acknowledges that sometimes he is definitely my 4th kid.

And summer seems to be extra long this year...

And there are still 13 days until school starts.  (sigh)

Well, here goes...