Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Word of the year: JOY

I'm learning to let go, to delegate to my girls and to be OK with things not perfect. This article spoke to me today. It's old, but it's what I've always been about but just never knew it.

More later on my identity crisis.

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Joy to the World

Dear Joy --

I lost you somewhere along the way. I lost sight of your face and the sound of your laugh. I gave way to the unauthentic kind of happiness that shows up in photographs and videos and blog posts and facebook status updates. I surrender. That joy is lost on me.

But, I am renewed.

I'm determined to find you again, to see your soul and feel your warmth. It might be snuggling with a good book on a Sunday afternoon while the girls sleep and the husband naps and the crockpot makes dinner. It might be dancing the morning away to a CD I love with the girls at my hips, shaking their booty along with me.

It might be dropping everything to just sit and be quiet and still. I think I need this joy most of all. The joy of no obligations, no responsibility, no to-do list and no, above all, NO pressure that I've placed on myself, this day, this moment.

Yes, joy, I'm all yours for the taking and I"m smiling as I tell you this. It's not about the perfect moment-to-be, it's about the moment that is right now here in front of me, at my fingertips, on my lips, whispering in my ears. Now. Now. Now.

I want to be your friend again, Joy. I want to know you like I knew my best friend in high school who I miss dearly. I want to feel your breath on my neck and I want to know that you are squishing deeply between my toes like the sand on the beaches of my youth.

Even as a mother, I must allow you, more than anything else, into my life. I must put you before the meal planning, the 40-hour work week, the gossip of others, the wants and desires of the future I dream of and even before my children on the days they are most cranky.

You are a wish I dream of every moment, of every day and yet I never even knew it. Until now. A little light sparkled in front of me and I followed it and I now realize what has been missing all along.

Joy, stay close. Hold my hand when times are tough. Stick by my side and hold me when I am weak. Hold me up when I am happy, too. You mean the world to me and to my family and I realize that now. My Joy is the difference between a good day and a great one. Why haven't I known this until now?

Whatever, it doesn't matter because I'm letting go of all guilt to make way for more joy. More joy in coffee mugs in the evenings, more joy in a wine glass in the bathub, more joy is cupcakes for breakfast and more joy in prepared foods to carve out more time for joys like writing, and creating, and ... dreaming on the stars.

Welcome, Joy! Welcome home. May you find enough peace here to stay forever.


Joy-filled.p.s. Happy Everything, everyone! I love you all.

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Monday, December 14, 2009

25 Days of Christmas

Much like last year, we're using our mini stocking advent calendar to fit in some truly fun and memorable activities this holiday season. It makes me realize that I'm a much better mother when I'm organized and full of activities in my pocket ...

This year, still trying to find ways for the girls to not compete against each other while also building their self-esteem, we're doing two activities a day. Each girl pulls a paper from their stocking. They love listening to me read what their activity of the day is and, even more than that, they love doing them. They do everything with such enthusiasm!

Here's the list:

Here's the list real quick.

1.Make list -- sing carols
2.Look for color red -- dance party
3.A joke -- city light up night
4.decorate the doors -- visit santa
5.movie night -- make cookies
6.paint nails red and green -- make gift tags
7.play with cookie cutters -- mail cards (trace cutters, cut out playdoh and paint) we haven't done cards.
8.hang candy canes -- snowscapes with shaving cream
9.find the color green -- camp under the tree
10.drink hot chocolate -- read around the tree
11.count the red lights -- christmas magic
12.family tree activity -- make cards for teachers
13.make homemade gifts -- be an elf for the night
14.Santa's helper/wrap a gift game -- create gift kits
15.make choc. covered pretzels -- make seating cards (this tiny tumbler's and MNO so ... ??)
16.pin the nose on rudolph game --write a Christmas story (and what is left from above)
17.make ornaments/wrap gifts -- red and green snack
18.spa night -- light a candle in memory of dog Prince
19.put on a christmas play -- eat dessert first
20. Create a winter alter -- jingle bell dance around the tree
21. Winter Solstice celebration -- star gaze
22. wear red and green -- eat breakfast for dinner
22.Jingle bells dance -- make sugar cone trees
23. Hand out gifts to teachers -- star watch
24. set out cookies and milk -- sprinkle reindeer food outside

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Monday, December 7, 2009

A mother's brain cracked open

From the Archives of Between the Lines

Motherhood is ...

Wow, they're sleeping in today.
Oh, goodness, the whole day will be ruined because they're sleeping late.
They're crying; they're hungry.
No, they're not hungry.
Yes, they are hungry.
Must fix something healthy.
Nothing easy is healthy.
Who am I kidding? They won't eat anything healthy.
I want them to eat well.
Is it wrong to give them all sweets for breakfast?
Yes, it's wrong.
Let's eat!
Are you done?
Stop playing with your food.
Are you done?
Just take a bite.
Are you done?
I'm not making anything else for you.
Are you done?
We're done. Go play.
Just shoot me now. They never want to eat anything anymore.
Let's go in the playroom.
No, don't take out all of the DVDs.
Let's play with toys.
No, we're not going to jump on the cushions at 7:45 a.m.
What was their father thinking to start this tradition?
They're crying; they're probably hungry.
Try eating something for breakfast next time.
What's wrong?
Are you tired?
Are you hungry?
Are you thirsty?
Are you a Republican?
I'm sorry. I don't understand whining.
I have an idea! Let's go outside.
Yay! We're outside.
No, don't put flowers in your mouth.
No, don't put mulch in your hair.
No, don't throw grass at your Mama.
Hey, let's go inside and see if the mail came?
Let's watch Baby Signing Times!
Let's jump on the cushions!
Let's destroy all the DVDs so long as you aren't crying.
They're crying; are they hungry?
Should I give them a snack?
No. No snack. They must learn to eat at meals.
Aw, but they're hungry.
Aren't they?
I think so.
I don't think so.
Well, it's only 10:30, but let's try having lunch. I think you're hungry.
What? You're not hungry.
How about a nap. I think you need a nap.
Yes, let's take a nap. Shall we?

This post is in honor of Mamablogga's September writing project.

Now that you have some insight into how my brain works, and how much stress I cause myself, I hereby am taking a much-needed break away from this blog. A week of silence shall prevail here. Please leave me a comment if you participate in this writing project because I will stop by for a visit. Perhaps some solitude will come to my mind in the next several days. If not, our 4-hour drive to the beach and our first night away from home -- and cribs -- should make for some interesting posts next week.