I’m still here. I just had some holidays and breaks and probably illnesses to contend with. I don’t really remember. It’s all a blur. Perfect time for some random thoughts:
- Everything after Christmas seems empty. Take down the tree and look at the naked corner of the room. Everything is unwrapped, open, and hopefully put away. Even the calendar is empty. Cookies are gone (yay! boo…). It’s both a welcome time of rest, and a sort of sad time.
- Parenting is a roller coaster. Last night I had to dig way back to the recesses of my college mind for a counseling class so I could mediate an argument between the older two. “Ella, what I hear you saying is _________.” “Natalie, when you say _______, it makes Ella feel ________.” Meanwhile, Zoey was demanding to be read 800 books. No skipping pages. Nice and slow, or you have to start over. And Captain America was off somewhere watching the college football game with friends. When I went to get kids ready for bed, I found Natalie and Zoey in Zoey’s rocking chair. Natalie was reading books to Zoey, and they had an arm around each other. I kind of didn’t want to put them to bed ever. Then this morning, the two girls who’d been crying over each other and hurt feelings last night were busy making plans to meet up at recess. Natalie said something about how she wanted to play with Ella at recess today, because a couple other girls yesterday told her she could only play with them if she played a certain game. Ella piped up, “What? Who is it? Show me who they are at recess, ok?” Best of friends, worst of enemies.
- I have a sort of anxious child. Through separate string of events (oh Elementary Girls, you have all your lives to have the drama – don’t start now!), I ended up having a lovely discussion with our school guidance counselor regarding the Anxious One. She suggested a guided relaxation cd. I figured it couldn’t hurt. So I found “I Can Relax!” on itunes and downloaded it. She loves it! The key is, it helps her relax without giving her mind time to wander and worry. I’ve had her listen to some of it every night. She’s falling asleep faster, sleeping better, and is generally more at ease. And when she does get upset, she’s able to put those relaxation techniques into use. Plus, she just enjoys doing it, and she knows it helps her feel better.
- I love Pinterest. I know some people feel like it’s just another way for us to feel less than fantastic about ourselves while we see all the overachieving. How it can make us want things we don’t have. Of course it can do that. Pretty easily. But when used just as a tool, it’s so fun. I’ve found great recipes (and not so great). I’ve found helpful household hints (dawn dishsoap mixed with vinegar is like a Magic Cleaning Fairy potion). I’ve had a good laugh when I needed it. I’ve gotten good ideas for keeping Zoey busy so I can get something done. I got cute ideas for patching up Ella’s hole-in-the-knee jeans (which I actually did! and then she grew out of them).
- How is it that children grow a size overnight? Sometimes you get a little warning. “Hey…those jeans are looking a tiny bit short. I suppose soon we’ll need to find new ones.” But usually it’s just instant. One of the girls will put on some pants for school, and I think I shouldn’t let them out of the house with flood pants like that. And unfortunately, that usually means every pair of pants is too short. That happened last week to Ella. It seems like it always happens around Christmas (which is close to her half birthday). It probably happens around her birthday, too, but I don’t notice because she’s wearing shorts. In any case, this time I got really lucky. Once Upon a Child was having a clearance deal on Saturday for 60% off. I ended up getting her 7 pairs of jeans, 3 shirts, a sweatshirt, a book, and 4 shirts for Natalie. For less than the cost of 4 pairs of jeans at Target. It was fantastic. You’d think now we’d just save Ella’s old jeans for Natalie, but they’re too small. Ella wears slims, and Natalie wears regular. And they wear the same size shirts. It’s crazy.
- I love a teacher with a sense of humor. It makes everyone’s life easier. Yesterday I was talking with Mr. B, Natalie’s teacher, about reading for the month. “This month they’re doing take home books, you probably remember it from Ella.” “Ah yes,” I said, “I remember then she had to keep every single book she brought home for her ‘library.'” Mr. B replied, “Yeah. I’m taking money from TLC to create the next generation of hoarders for their tv show.” Ella’s over it, but it’s sure working with Natalie. Of course, that could be because her mother’s a packrat.
- Speaking of hoarding, it would seem I have taken over almost an entire cupboard in my kitchen with my tea habit. Black tea. Green tea. White tea. Rooibos. Herbal. Celestial Seasonings, Tazo, Teavana, Bigelow, Stash. A nagging sore throat has left me with the tea pot on a near constant boil. Two large mugs in the morning. One in the afternoon. One before bed. It’s tea craziness.
- Downton Abbey is back. I’m so happy. My favorite line from the season premier was, “Have you done something jolly with your hair?” I know that’s not a line that was written to be a favorite – not like the Dowager’s fantastic one liners – but it made me so happy. Makes me want to do something jolly with my hair. Makes me want to do something jolly period. It’s the only show I watch that I have to watch when it’s on. Usually I like to record shows and watch them later. But with Downton, I do both. I watch it right away, and then maybe again later in the week. I don’t like to miss anything. Random within a random: Isn’t Downton a big enough deal to be recognized by spellcheck? I would think so. Somebody get on that.
Stacy’s got more random if you’re interested. Thanks for stopping by!