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Archive for the ‘domestic insanity’ Category

Exhausted by 9 am

Do you ever wake up, drink a half of a cup of coffee, and then decide it’s high time to try to de-stink your couch?  Welcome to my morning.

We’ve been talking recently about the possibility of looking for a new place next spring.  This is imminently exciting and completely terrifying.  It is mostly completely terrifying because I realize that we will have to do a lot of minimizing if we’re going to have anyone in to look at the apartment.  Which, of course, is a painful reminder that we have a shit-ton of stuff.

I like my stuff, but I’m almost ready to admit that I have too much.  I can get rid of books with only a minimum of pain, and I’m cool with sending out bags upon bags of clothing and shoes.  It’s the little, pretty stuff I am totally in love with and purchase quite happily at just about every available moment.

There is also the little matter of project-makings.  This is harder because once projects are completed?  You still have something to make space for.

So in light of my flashes of ‘holy shit what am I going to do?’ I am also hit with the almost unstoppable desire to tackle something tangible.

This morning it is the sofa, which is now in a million pieces with the cushions airing outside and the cushion covers in various stages of defunking (half are halfway defunked, the others are waiting patiently.)  And as with every project of this nature, I am completely and totally over it.

Alas, I have no couch to collapse upon right now.

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  • My God, kids *need* all the time.  I think my head would explode if I got to change a diaper without the baby demanding to nurse while his sister calls me from the other room.
  • I currently have enough lettuce in my fridge to choke a rabbit and neither kid eats the stuff.  I’m going to overdose on salad.
  • Today I walked 2.3 miles and am more tired than I should be.  I need to start doing this more often before it gets stupid hot.
  • Strawberries!  One pint is already gone.  I’m going to have some more with the homemade flan once C gets home.
  • I think my new favorite thing is when people agree with me.  How sad is that?

That’s all I got, folks.  Pleas for attention, a fridge full of lettuce, sore calves and an inflated ego.  And flan.  Can’t forget the flan.

Oh also?  I have bok choy I need to prepare ASAP and no clue what to do with it.  Any ideas?

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I spend a lot of time feeling behind the curve on things.  This is in part due to being a pretty massive daydreamer who has to crash back to earth several times a day, and in part to being descended from folks who define slacking as any time spent not accomplishing a task.  This is something I really need to work on because sometimes slacking is a good thing.

I can only half-slack today though, because I have a fridge full of CSA goodies to wash and prep.  I am so relieved that the season has started, and not just because we got my beloved salad turnips.  There really is nothing like fresh, local produce.  Hells, I even forgot my lask of enthusiasm for strawberries last night because the farm ones were so damn good.

Then there are the two history chapters I have to read and the economics chapters and the heaping mound of laundry but I’m ignoring that right now 😛

It’s hard to remember sometimes that habits, even when they are ones that hurt you, are hard to overcome and the habit of telling yourself you aren’t doing enough is one of the hardest of all (and this is coming from an ex-smoker so I know from hard habits to break :P)

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Seriously, trying to write with two maniac children directly behind me is trying my ability to concentrate.

Last night was filled with those dreams that straddle reality and not-reality.  At one point I woke up panic-stricken that the dress I got for the wedding we’re attending next weekend is…unsuitable.  The husband assures me it is cute but I tend to not trust his opinion in such matters for, although he has an excellent eye when it comes to esthetics, he tends to see things as ‘cute’ that are more ‘frumpy’ or ‘lumpy’ when it comes to me.  Namely my big ole babygut.  I may be hauling out to Marshalls today in search of something less clingy (or clingy in better places) that is also breastfeedable.  No wait, that sounds wrong.  Something in which I can breastfeed.

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My monstrous to-do list for the break is, mercifully, commensurate to the time left in my break.  Meaning, I will actually manage to get everything crossed off in time to start classes tomorrow.  This pleases me greatly.  More importantly, I did not leave until the last minute those tasks I was most dreading, which means that today will not suck.  There will be planting and organizing in the kids’ room and shredding and perhaps a decoupage project if I am feeling crafty.

Which I’m really not right now.

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I am very excited about sending Lucy back to school tomorrow my classes starting.  I will probably be less excited come tomorrow night when I have assignments and reading and stuff, but at the moment I’m going to bask in the anticipation.

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The baby has discovered force.  Force of his throwing arm, force of his little half-fist, force of his voice.

It is not my favorite stage, I have to admit.  It’s not the worst, but the noise.is.driving.me.crazy.

The throwing isn’t fun either.  Makes the decision to go with wooden toys come right back to bite me in my hippy ass. Although I must admit plastic toys aren’t much softer.

I’m trying, though–trying not to lose my temper too many times, not to let that feeling of frustration creep up my spine until it comes shooting out of my mouth.  I’m trying to remember to relax my shoulders and shake the tension out of my hands.  I’m trying but some days are not so good.  It’s the age, not knowing what to do with myself without classes, the allergies–a whole garden of factors.  But hell, today seems to be ok so I’m going to slide off of this track and back to my good morning.

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The little voice in my head has been shouting as well.  Most recently, the shouting is about getting rid of…this crap I’m carrying around.

After firing the therapist, day-tripping to Jersey, a stop by the pediatrician and an evening with Krishna Das, I spent much of yesterday wound into a tight little wad of tense.  I snapped at the kids, I snapped at the cats, I snapped at myself–all until I passed out with the baby on the couch while Lucy played on the computer.  I have been feeling very tired lately.  Sleeping, thinking about sleeping, dreaming about…well, you get the idea.

When I woke up, I looked down at my pants and realized that I hate them.  I have three pairs of the same ones, and I cannot stand the way the look on me.  I looked at the toys hanging out of the basket and realized they could all be put elsewhere.  I bagged up a bunch of baby toys to donate.  I got rid of a bunch of recyclables I’ve been saving for craft projects for the last year.

I’m starting to wonder if I’m so tired because I carry these things with me all the time–all of these “maybe I’ll use them someday” things and “it would be such a waste” things.  I wonder how much I let myself off the hook for bringing new things into my life because I don’t “waste”.

This time when I’m getting rid of things, I need to seriously think about this because it just doesn’t feel like I get any relief from getting rid of, and there must be a reason for this.

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The voice in my head also likes to shout at me for not using the things I’ve gotten.  This week’s big project is going to be using all of the planters I had to have last year (and the year before.)  I have enough seeds to make a go of it, and the ones I don’t think I’m going to use…I don’t know.  But this is yet another thing weighing me down.  I think maybe it isn’t the stuff that is such a problem.  It’s knowing that it all represents something I didn’t follow through on.

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I have officially been done with my classes since 2:03 pm on Saturday.  Not that I was counting or anything.  Let the partying commence!

By partying I mean organizing.  I am proud to say that I will be using my day of childcare to dig through last years’ summer stuff and (hopefully) pack up a ton to dispose of.  I am also hoping to tackle the crap on the balcony so that we can start to enjoy it again.  Maybe a bit ambitious but what the hell.  I realized yesterday that I have to get some place set up where I can enjoy quasi-nature and our balcony has the potential to be a nice little oasis if I can just get stuff planted and st up out there.  I only say this every year and never do it.  I’m going to clean this keyboard too; it’s really gross.

Maybe I’ll try to get one room of the house organized every day until my classes start up again.  See, Party!

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I have yet again lost several days due to my inability to focus on one task at a time.  I will be sitting down today to work out a schedule because clearly I need more structure in my life.  It was a fun weekend, though, complete with a playdate, an afternoon spent playing board games (we never finished, thank you Bubby, although I was $18 million in debt and well on my way to losing, it was great fun.)  Lucy’s birthday celebration is set, favors ordered, menu planned.  I’ve been reading extensively about ayurveda in my down time and am thoroughly fascinated by it.  Good times.

It is finally not frigid and I am happy to not be sitting here in layers down to my socks.  We made it without turning the heat back on (remember, we get tons of passive heat from two sides so it never gets dangerously cold in here) and even had the playdate without heaters.  I am probably more pleased about this than I should be 🙂

I still have not implemented the menu plan (see paragraph one about routine) but here is the butternut squash with curried millet recipe for Jennifer.  I’d swear that I’d do it this week but I don’t feel like lying to you this early in the year.

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I have been spending a lot of time since my last entry thinking about growing up.  I don’t know if it’s my personality that makes me so eager to gain approval or if it’s because I was raised to believe that approval is the highest form of praise, but I have come to realize that I need very badly to deal with the fact that I just can’t please everybody, and it’s not a personal failing that I can’t.  It’s a sad denouement, set into motion long ago and winding down almost pitifully for the amount of pain it has caused me over the years.  It’s a curse, I think, when you lose someone close to you because you’re always left with the what-ifs or should-have-saids.  I can’t live like that anymore, worrying about displeasing people, worrying about offending them by saying the wrong thing, always feeling as though the ultimate consequence of disagreeing could be the inevitable regret of time lost.  Is this suitably cryptic?  What it really means is that I have to grow up now, stop being the little girl afraid of doing and saying the wrong thing.

I could stop being overly dramatic as well but what fun would that be?

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Look!  It’s already the 4th.  I have been ruminating on the specifics of what I want to accomplish this year and while I never make do-or-die resolutions (I know my limitations and my follow-through often sucks), I wanted to put down for posterity the stuff I want to focus on this year.

First, I realized on New Year’s Day when I went to chant that I have really been missing God.  This year I want to focus on regaining a spiritual practice.  I probably won’t be writing very much about this because honestly, it’s really personal and my beliefs need not impinge on y’all.  I’m excited about this, though.

Second, and possibly an even bigger challenge than the first, is getting our stuff under control.  This involves a lot of honest evaluation, and I’m both looking forward to and dreading this.  It’s hard for me to face up to the amount of things we have and I truly think that we are imprisoned by our stuff when it is stuff we don’t love or use regularly.  I know I feel it when I walk through the house and trip over toys and books that just don’t have a place to live when not in use.  I have been conservative in the past about letting things go but this time around I need to remind myself that I am letting my things own me more often than owning my things.

Third, I am going to give a serious go to not eating meat that we don’t get from the CSA (not including fish since we can’t get that locally all the time and I really just eat sushi.)  Its’ being more expensive should help me to generally cut back on meat which can’t be a bad thing for my body or the earth.

Fourth, I am going to take time each day for the following:

  • meditating/chanting (15 min. a day)
  • knitting/weaving/spinning (15 min. a day)
  • yoga (30 min. a day)
  • a walk with the baby  (30 min. a day)

One hour a day, every day, where doing something for and by myself takes priority over the house, the laundry, the internet, and than another half an hour to get outside with the baby so that I can remember to connect with nature (such as it is here in the neighborhood).  This will be, I think, very important to keep me grounded as I go into classes and papers and figuring out how to slot together tasks.  I used to be quite good at getting lots of things done in a day and I’m hoping I can get a true schedule going again.

Fifth, and final, is the Riot/Competence Project.  I am tracking numbers for the Riot again, this time informally in a wee notebook that will fit in my pocket.  I’m going to set up a tab for that when we have completed the first week and all numbers will be kept there.  No spreadsheets, no making things more complicated than they need to be.  Just notes plugged into the calculator each week and then each month when we get the electric bill.  Easy peasy.  For the Competence Project, I will be learning to spin and weave for some time so I reckon as long as I check something off every month or so I’ll be happy.  This is not a big focus of mine at this point but I do want to continue with it.

And that, my friends, is that.  The year in preview as it were, again.  Now all I have to do is get started on it, eh?

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Without a doubt 2008 was one of my most eventful years yet.  Between the meningitis, foot surgery, volunteering, learning new stuff, and most importantly, getting into college, I have certainly kept myself busy.  And all this with two children!  I don’t know how I do it!

*eye roll*

It has been a big year, and overall I am really proud of myself for all that I have accomplished.  I am hoping 2009 will be more of the same, minus the health issues of course.  I’m setting pretty lofty goals, including getting back to the Riot, clearing the apartment of the stuff we just don’t use/need/want to keep tripping over, and the Competence Project.  I will also be taking 10 credits’ worth of classes, which will be interesting at least, terrifying at worst.  I’m trying to do less thinking and more doing, to be honest, because the more I think the more I can’t figure out how in heaven’s name I’ll get anything done what with the huddling in the corner muttering about nonsense.

I jest, I jest.  I huddle in therapy muttering nonsense.

The big thing I plan on doing in 2009 though?  Is giving myself a break from time to time.  Seriously.  I have a really bad habit of being hard on myself for not doing as much as I think I should and the result has been that I spend more time berating myself than giving myself time off.  And I need time off or I’m going to crack.  It’s the bitch about being a stay-at-home-mom.  It seems like you have nothing but time off but in actuality, not having the divide between work and home means that even your time off is working time off.  I’m hoping that having classes will allow me to feel like it’s ok to take time for myself.

In the meantime, today is my only day this week to get shit done so I fear a break will have to wait.

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A Day in the Life

Yesterday was cooking day.  Despite my best efforts to make Monday mass-food prep day, it never seems to work out that way.  And so I cut veggies while the Bub ate lunch.  I browned chorizo while Lucy was on her way home from school.  While she was doing her homework, I steamed up some broccoli for a snack, and then started in on the kale and chorizo soup.  Seventeen hours later…

Ok, not really.  We turned the soup off briefly to bundle into our layers for the walk to the CSA pick-up.  It was a long mile in the blistering cold, and even with Chico in the ‘hawk with a sweater, hood, hat, and the Peekaru his little face still froze.  Back here, we started the soup back up and I made dinner for the kids–a freezer meal for Lucy (oh the irony!) and a sweet potato from the farm for el Chico.  I ran back and forth between the dining room and the kitchen for a while, and then I realized…

The soup was foul.  No taste.  I added salt.  Still nothing.  Thankfully I had some pre-prepared stock on hand and after a box of veg, a box of chicken and some paprika, red pepper and black pepper, it was edible.  I cut the sausage too big, and the recipe I used was not fit for human consumption, but all in all, it was a pretty good soup at the end of the day. Still, I don’t think kale and chorizo soup is my favorite variety so I’m not sure I’d bother with it again.  Sort of a waste of a perfectly good sausage.

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In between the chopping of the vegetables and the cooking of the soup, I got together a pile of stuff for an expectant family in the neighborhood, which both felt nice emotionally and also space-wise.  I’ve been really concerned about new stuff coming in for the holidays and now I feel like I can breathe a little.  The irony is that almost all of it is leftover from when Lucy was a baby and the apartment we lived in then was a good 300 sf smaller.  I don’t know how we weren’t tripping over baby gear at every turn.

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Speaking of holidays, I need to get started on the advent calendar for the kiddies.  I got some cats in santa hats fabric for the pockets and some bamboo batting to make it not floppy, but I have not sewed one stitch.  Nor have I fully thought through what to put in said pockets.  I think maybe I’ll get them each an ornament for the last pocket, and I’ve been toying with the idea of getting a cord and a bead for each of Lucy’s pockets so at the end she’ll have a holiday necklace to wear.  I’m at a loss for anything to do for Chico so maybe this will just be Lucy’s year.  I think she needs a little Just-for-Lucy anyway.

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On the roster for today is all of the stuff I should have done yesterday but ended up pushing off because of cooking/CSA.  I have laundry to pull off of the drying racks and put away, diapers to wash and hang, dishes to do, plants to water, toys to pick up, a trip to the Good Grocery for rice vinegar and something else I can’t remember, cat litter to change, summer clothes to put away and a Bubby who has taken to making his demands by pointing at me and yelling as loud as he can.  And that’s just before Lucy gets home from school.

Sigh.

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