Monday, December 17, 2007

Holiday Thoughts

I spent yesterday afternoon shopping for Christmas presents online, and all I can say is "what did we ever do before Amazon?" Good lord, it was easy. No crowds, no lines, no confusion; just type, click, buy. Almost pleasant, actually, as far as shopping goes.

When I was done, I took a few minutes to bask in the glow of being able to buy exactly what I wanted for the girls and our family, without worrying about whether or not we could afford it. I didn't get extravagant - our Christmas gifts are pretty low-key - but the very act of buying things always reminds me of how blessed we are to be able to buy non-essentials comfortably. It is a luxury that I am aware of, and grateful for.

In that spirit, I am trying to be mindful of balancing all the girls' talk about receiving presents with talk about giving wholeheartedly, and being thankful for the many good things we already have in our lives. My local hair salon is doing a toy drive, and this Saturday Hazel and I will be taking a Dora sleeping bag in for a little girl who requested it for Christmas. Then we'll be taking a trip to Second Harvest food bank to make a donation there, and finally, we'll be taking some toys and clothes to the local women's shelter. I wish I was better about making donations and spending time at our local food bank and shelter year-round; we do it occasionally, maybe two or three times each year, but still... if I was the kind of person who made New Year's resolutions, making more time for giving back to our community would be mine this year.

I went ahead and made a "wish list" for myself as I was finishing up my online shopping yesterday, but it occurred to me later in the day, as I was putting away the week's groceries, that what I already have is more than enough: a home, a full fridge, a healthy and happy family - and more! No box under the tree can compete with that.

Labels: ,

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Violet in the Bathroom

V: "When I grow up I want to be a mama."

Mike: "Maybe you could be a German teacher."

V: "Maybe I could be a Hello Kitty teacher!"

Hey, it's as good a place as any to plan for the future. With her rampant use of toilet paper and excessive flushing, she's certainly not cut out for environmentalism or plumbing, so it's good she's exploring other options.


Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Project Life Change: I Didn't Fail as Miserably as You Thought I Did!

Although I completely and utterly ignored my own sincere pledge to update this blog more, I actually did accomplish the other goals I set for myself under the mantle of Project Life Change. Yeah, me!

Change #1 (sign Haze up for a class she'll enjoy) sort of backfired on me, so I crossed that off the list (N/A). I've blogged a little bit on the topic of Hazel's sensitive nature, which is a big part of our family dynamic, without going into too much detail about how it effects her as an independent person, or as a social being. The reason for that is simple: I don't feel that it's my right to go into the specifics of the how/when/why aspects of what it's like to live with a highly-sensitive, slow-to-adapt kid. Especially a kid who's learning to read, and probably wouldn't appreciate a mother who spills her personal beans all over the interwebs on a regular basis. Suffice it to say, Hazel didn't want to participate in the gymnastics class I signed her up for. My perception of "why" is that having to be "on" in kindergarten 5 days/week, every week, is enough activity for Hazel right now. Totally understandable. She expressed some interest in doing a class with Violet, so I'm looking into mixed age art classes for both of them.

Change #2 (sign Violet up for a class she'll enjoy) was a piece of cake. The local community center as a fabulous, age-appropriate gymnastics class that Violet adores. I've tried unsuccessfully to take posterity pictures of her during class, but it's impossible: she's a dervish, running from trampoline to rock-climbing wall to uneven bars, and I can't get her to slow down long enough to take a picture that looks like something besides blur of cuteness. Big bonus: naps are back! Thanks, gymnastics!

Change #3 (spend less time sneaking over to check email/feeds during the day) was also no sweat. I let my editor at Strollerderby know that I needed to slow down on my posting over there, and we worked out a compromise that resulted in me taking on weekend duty for S.D. A few posts spread out over the weekend, plus 1 or 2 during the week is much more manageable for me, and makes my weekdays feel more open and free. A welcome change that was easy to pull off, thanks to my awesome SD coworkers and editors.

Change #4 (complete tasks around the house regularly) resulted in us painting and setting up the garage/craftroom for general use! Still a few minor tasks to be done in there (installing shelving, freecycling old computer, hanging bikes from celing hooks), but nothing major. Next up: planting the winter garden!

Change #5 (update the blog weekly) is really the only play I dropped the ball on. I've been in decompression mode since scaling back on SD, and have been ignoring my computer almost entirely. It's been so nice! But I've missed blogging here, which is perhaps good: missing out is a big motivator for me.

Four out of 5 "life changes" accomplished. Not bad. Not bad at all.

Labels: , ,