22 July 2008

end of day.

i stepped out into the slight mugginess of evening. the air wasn't particularly sticky, but not breezy either. it was just sort of there. that's kind of how i felt too as i sat on the porch swing and looked out over the field where between trees the sun was turning a shade of golden pink that's hard to describe. cars were starting to round the corner at Hillman Street and pull up onto the edge of the grass to park.

i was taking a break to clear my head but it didn't do much good. lately--mainly today--we're a little overwhelmed. i think we (our family) has taken on more than we can handle comfortably for the moment. whether or not we're those kind of people who can easily tackle a home renovation is yet to be determined. well, i think the easily part has definitely been determined. still our house is slowly taking shape, and our lives too as a result. but it's just difficult to rest sometimes [i mean that more in the internal sense.] or maybe we're not meant to rest as much as i think we are. i believe God set aside one day a week, come to think of it.

sometimes i feel like when i'm trying to do so many things, i don't do any of them very well at all. it doesn't help that i'm a perfectionist either. i far too quickly feel that i've failed.

so i sat on the porch and watched the (mostly) older men file out of cars and greet one another before heading into the small white building directly across from our neighbors who have a mint green kitchen. the building belongs to the methodist church which sits just beyond a group of trees and a clearing, and they use it for different outreach meetings such as a weekly food pantry. it occurred to me that Tuesdays at 7 o'clock are AA meetings [i think.] mmm, probably not helpful that i was sitting on my porch not thirty feet away sipping a half-glass of wine. so i went inside.

...and here i am. eli is asleep and we had some sweet moments today. he very much enjoyed my iPod and listened to Sixpence and the Bees for quite awhile, strutting around the house. he helped me sweep and put away rolling suitcases (he pulled, i lifted). he ate well and is learning to feed himself with a spoon. we read two books (Goodnight Sweet Pig and another one about a duck.) he rested on my shoulder and drifted to the nighttime portion of Slugs and Bugs and Lullabies as we rocked in the big brown chair. and for a moment, i think i might have rested too.

sneak peeks

i'm hunkered down in the house these days, working on a couple of projects: one large, one small.

i'll reveal more once there are completed pieces to show but for now i'm keeping them a secret. here are a few little hints...

i'm also on to my next bit of summer reading: Love In The Time of Cholera...

plus tending to the life and times of this little person...

and approaching thirty-five in a few days which feels just crazy & unbelievable to me. but not necessarily in a bad way.

13 July 2008

sweet little thing(s).

we've learned not to grumble when jeremy leaves town...usually it's only for a few days at a time (could be worse), and we keep our schedule filled with outings and errands and coloring books. sometimes i actually do strangely better when i'm solo parenting. not because my husband isn't a tremendous help when he's home (he is), but i think there's a mental shift that happens whenever he takes a trip. perhaps by sheer necessity, i spring into power-mom mode and am fueled by a subconscious sense that i have no choice but to handle things on my own. and so i do: happily and quite resiliently at first. but by about hour three of day four, we both start to get a bit whiny, eli and me. he starts muttering da-da between tears, and i start checking the clock every twenty minutes.

it also doesn't help that he's not feeling well. he had a fever yesterday and has been horribly tantrum-prone today, so i think we'll be staying home from church this evening. i am actually really wishing we could go (there will be adults there!) but i can tell he's on the brink of something, whether sickness or an emotional meltdown is yet to be determined. currently he's napping after falling asleep during a time-out which he earned by hitting me because i wouldn't let him pluck the letters from my keyboard one by one (my spacebar is already askew). mean mean mommy.

today aside, the weekend has been productive and fun for both in varying degrees. our child-centered activities have included playing in the tee-pee with twelve stuffed pets. a trip to the indoor playground at McDonald's because it was too scorching hot outside for the park. bubbles. coloring pictures of Thomas the train. fun with fly swatters. eating chocolate pudding. reading a new story-book that came in the mail. and talking on the phone with daddy.

now i'm doing laundry upon laundry and brewing afternoon coffee for one. my mother-in-law recently enlightened me to the power of Oxiclean. it's good stuff.

on friday, we stopped by two antique stores which Eli is beginning to detest less. I found some trinkets for $5. this is becoming my favorite time-passer when j is out of town: hunting for a small collection of desirable objects for around $5. some might call it junk, but i have a vision for all of it. i don't buy things unless i'm inspired when i see them. last time i acquired this & this.

this time, i found:

a crocheted apron which i might make into a pillow.

three doilies for which i have plans.

a small dish for my wall-display of plates.

this cute embroidered wrap for my silverplate spoon collection.

and a tin petty cash box to hold art pencils.

all for five dollars, and in THIS economy! Oxiclean was helpful in bringing two of them back to life.

in other news, we have gnats! an entire army of them and apparently they keep making babies behind the cereal boxes. we've set out saucers of vinegar and have caught at least eighty of them since tuesday, but just when i think we're down to the last three or four, a new litter hatches and they begin swarming again. i must say, few things are more annoying than a kitchen full of gnats, and isn't "gnat" just the perfect name to describe them? yes, i think so too.

12 July 2008

drink your breakfast.

i guess it's a little late to be trying to sculpt myself into shape for bathing suit season, especially since i've already been to the beach, but i have felt inspired to get a bit more healthy lately. mostly, i'm hoping to keep up with my energetic eighteen month old. many days, to be honest, i find myself already exhausted by noon.

breakfast is part of my problem. i know it's the most important meal of the day, and considering my need of a nap by lunchtime, i can understand why. but i just never really feel that hungry in the morning. i know part of it is that i'm filling up on coffee (a necessity), and part of it is that i hit the ground running with Eli first thing, so by the time i've fed him breakfast and chased him around the house for awhile, i forget about feeding myself. my friend lisa mentioned a healthy drink she's been making at home to start her day so i decided to try it out this weekend.

one small banana, five strawberries, two handfuls of fresh spinach, and a splash of unsweetened apple juice into the blender.

true, it came out the color of grass clippings, but it actually tasted delicious and i will admit i felt a bit more energized throughout the morning. and being able to drink my breakfast quickly is definitely a bonus. i had a piece of string cheese afterward just to get some protein in my system too.

jeremy has been out of town this weekend so i made a tasty dinner for myself after putting Eli to bed that evening: salmon filet brushed with my favorite sauce: veri veri teriyaki, along with a side of oven-roasted asparagus tossed in olive oil, and a sweet potato. i felt a little guilty eating so well with my husband out of town, knowing he was probably grabbing some pizza or a burrito. i'll probably make it again for him this week.

tonight i'm going to pick up a little brown rice sushi and stir-fry some vegetables in the same teriyaki sauce. it's good to eat well, knowing that i'm getting the nutrients i need to be a better mom for my son. i don't imagine he'll be slowing down any time soon, so i had better learn how to keep up.

09 July 2008

home revisited.

we've been in and out of town vacationing this summer, and it's been good to take some downtime after a winter spent hammering away on our house. now that we've taken a little time to rest, we'll be picking up tools again this month to resume work on trim, doors, a new master bath, my still-to-be-painted art room, and then finally hanging photos and artwork on the walls. i've been so eager for this final step. a home just isn't a home without things on the walls, in my opinion. as much as i love our paint colors, the bare spaces lack warmth. i have plans to display a black and white collection of photographs in the entry hall, my large ledger collage in the living room, and some other pieces i've got bookmarked on my laptop to buy from etsy and other shops.
hopefully by august, most of the final details will be completed and i can reveal some before and after photos. at the moment, most of what i have are before and during, so i'm waiting for the finished views. mostly i'm looking forward to my creative space...it will definitely be the most colorful, feminine area of the house, with shades of blue and green and teensy bits of pink. our master bath is second on my list of anticipated rooms...currently it's just dull grey drywall and lots of dust but soon will be washed in a coat of golden saffron with creamy white accents including an antique vanity, clawfoot tub, and a heavy old wooden mirror framed in chippy paint the color of vanilla frosting.