Cold and Gray

Snow is beautiful when you can stay inside and watch it fall all day long. But then it stops. Then comes the clawing at the walls around you feeling. One day off work is fun… but the next day? Keeping the toddler distracted. Too cold to actually go outside and play in the snow. Ugh. Finding yourself cleaning things and not relaxing. Finding yourself easily irritated by those around you in the house that is becoming smaller and smaller by the hour. That was me!

Having off for MLK day and then two snow days following sent my need to be moving and thinking self into overdrive. The first snow day found us doing arts and crafts, enjoying movies, snacking on food, playing outside and snuggles on the couch. BUT I soon found myself overdosed on episodes of Super Hero Squad cartoons as well as Dawson Creek episodes on Netflix. The couch became uncomfortable, the kid became intolerable and the fridge’s contents were not appealing by the end of the second snow day. Amazing how much can change in a day when you don’t have the option to go anywhere!

My office felt welcoming against the cold and gray outside this morning. Cheers to being back!

snow

Oh boy…

Oh boy. My little boy has turned four. The beginning of this month found us celebrating Connor’s fourth birthday. Super heroes have taken up residence in our house. His face is changing, his voice is changing from baby to little boy and he’s grown an inch in the last six months. Watching his personality come through and take shape each day can be challenging and rewarding all at the same time. Here’s is 4 year old interview compared to his 3 year old interview.

What is your name?
4 year old: C-o-n-n-o-r, Connor
3 year old: I don’t know, um Connor

How old are you?
4 year old: 4 (holding up four fingers)
3 year old: I don’t know, um 3

What is your favorite color?
4 year old: Red
3 year old: Red

Who is your best friend?
4 year old: Riley
3 year old: Mickey Mouse

What is your favorite animal?
4 year old: T-Rex
3 year old: Ducky

What are you favorite movies?
4 year old: The Avengers (cartoon)
3 year old: Cars

What are you favorite books?
4 year old: Coyote That Swallowed a Flea
3 year old: Lightening McQueen book

What makes you happy?
4 year old: Mickey Mouse
3 year old: Mickey Mouse

What makes you sad?
4 year old: Yelling (ouch…..)
3 year old: Seahorse (what???)

What is your most favorite food to eat?
4 year old: Shredded Chicken
3 year old: Pizza

What is your favorite song to sing?
4 year old: Animaniacs
3 year old: Old McDonald

What game(s) do you like to play?
4 year old: Hungry Hippos
3 year old: Color game (Candy Land)

 

he's four

Great Day for Up

And finally I feel awake. Aware. Motivated. Up. Excited. Present. I feel like I’ve just woken up from a three month nap. Was everything a dream? Fog? Haze? Going through the motions but not paying attention to what was going on?

I can here the words from my favorite Dr. Seuss book Great Day for Up, “UP! UP! The sun is getting up. The sun gets up. So UP with you! UP! Ear number one… Ear number two. Up, heads! Up, whiskers! Tails! Great day, today! Great day for UP!”

I’m aware! I’m meditating! I’m soaking in baths! I’m reading! I’m writing! I’m taking care of my body! I’m ready! I’m Up!

 

upup

What I Do All Day

I work for a community college in Maryland. While working here in the last two and half years I’ve learned the importance of being part of a community and learned that a person can wake up and love going to work every day. — Well most days. Those rainy days make it suck getting out of bed.

The college has a lot of events for staff/faculty/students and their families. Since I started working here I’ve taken Connor to events like Movie Under the Stars, Halloween Safe Night, Breakfast with Santa and Easter Egg Hunts. He’s also been to my office a couple of times so he knows where I “work” when I drop him off at daycare.

On Friday evening the college hosted the Kenya Safari Acrobats. I took Connor and he was amazed pretty much the whole time. The night ended with him and his friend dancing in the aisle and pretending to be acrobats. He even got to high-five the acrobats before we left.

I found myself sitting in the shade at lunch today in the back of a parking lot reading and enjoying my acorn squash soup. Mid-reading a thought popped into my head, “I wonder what Connor thinks I do all day at work.”

Does he think I have lunch with Santa?

Does he think I walk around building to building hunting for Easter Eggs?

Do I spend my weekly Wednesday morning meeting watching a movie out in the quad?

Do I find myself wandering a “haunted trail” put together in the dinning hall?

Do we have team building exercises with acrobats – stacking chairs and balancing on the tops of them?

I gave myself quite a giggle thinking of all the possibilities that could go through his head if he really ever stopped to think about it.

Everything mentioned above sounds like a blast. Maybe I should put in a request to my boss.

The Little Things

Its the little things that give you giggles that can keep your mood from going sour while sitting in traffic in the morning.

Just like this morning… It was raining and a Thursday.

What does Thursday have to do with anything?? Well… It seems that Tuesdays and Thursdays are the heaviest traffic days for me. I try to leave earlier than planned or at least RIGHT ON TIME.

ANYWAY because it was raining and a Thursday I knew I needed to get out the door as early as possible. I typically leave at 7:30 but today Connor and I pulled out of the driveway at 7:15.

It took me well over an hour to get to daycare to drop Connor off. Usually it takes me 30 to 35 minutes on a good morning to get to daycare. WTH.

I kept my cool. After all, Connor was in the back seat and he’s a sponge. I try to control myself. We had QUITE the conversation this morning. Check it out here.

We were at what I felt like the “finish line”. Its right at the point where I know traffic is getting ready to open up and we should cruise to daycare in no time (but that didn’t happen this morning). I look at the truck in front of me and on the back it says, “Jesus Recycles People… We Recycle Cars.” Oh man. I laughed. Hard. Really hard. Connor was all like, “What? What? What?” But it was just me giggling at this little piece of fun that universe put in front of me to help tick the time away while trying to ignore the minutes getting closer and closer to me having to arrive at work and knowing I wouldn’t be there on time.

What was your little thing today?

 

Jesus Recycles People... We Recycle Cars

Love of Reading

I was updating my account on Good Reads with my latest books that I’ve finished reading. I just realized that I’m 9 books away from reading 52 books this year. If I were to read 52 books this year that would mean I averaged about a book a week for the entire year. Wow.

I didn’t start out the year with that goal in mind. The year before I tried reading 30 autobiographies/biographies/memoirs before I turned 30 but that got mundane and boring. I don’t think I’ve ever read so many books before!

Of course I’m sure it has something to do with the fact that Connor and I go to the library at least once a week or every other week. Figuring out how to get books waiting for me to pick up when I get there just made things simple. Who knew I’d get so into reading.  As a kid there was nothing more I loved than sitting on the couch and watching TV – now? At the end of evening the TV goes off and the book or Nook comes out.

Will I make it to 52 books this year? Maybe? Maybe more? I guess we’ll see.

image of book

Glitter, Glitter – EVERYWHERE

If there is one thing in the world I could eradicate, it would be glitter.

I cannot stand glitter. I haven’t been able to stand it my whole life. Just the thought of the feeling on my skin makes me shutter.

Birthday / Christmas / any holiday worthy card with glitter on it makes me gag – especially if I can feel the crunch of it in the envelope before I even open it.

I always thought this was something that would go away once I had a kid. I mean – having a kid pretty much means arts and crafts – arts and crafts means glitter. I did one glitter thing with Connor as a young toddler and that was it. I couldn’t do it. I threw it all out. There’s no glitter in our house. At least until this past Tuesday…

Oh TUESDAY. That beautiful day, Tuesday.

When I pick Connor up from daycare I usually take a quick peek in his “take home folder” from preschool to see what he did so I can ask questions about his day and get more of an “I did stuff” answer on the way home.

I opened the folder and glitter. Oh… LOTS of glitter. ALLLL right there in the crease, over other pages and the project itself. My breath caught and my skin crawled. The humor is he had been learning about the creation of earth and this was the worksheet for the 7th day. God rested. Well apparently, he rested in a pile of glitter.

I shook the folder out before going inside the house when we got home. But the infestation has begun… its on my kitchen counter, in his book bag, in my car and I caught glimpse of one on my hand this morning. God help us all – there will be no rest till its been purged from my home.

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The Chaos In Between

Fall is here and so are the camping trips. And so is the chaos in my house.

It all started the days leading up to our first camping trip last weekend. Things were being pulled out of hiding in the darkness of our laundry room for preparation to go with us to Rocky Gap for a nice weekend of camping. Only to come home and now the things that should be put away are lingering in the kitchen and living room waiting for their next trip to the camp ground. That’s the problem with back to back trips… the chaos of camping we usually tuck away is now staring at me. Tubs of camping dishes and supplies, tubs of propane for the lantern and coleman stove. Campground smelling laundry is being washed and then brought back up to the living room. Waiting for their turn to smell of the outside once again. Boxes with things prepacked that we’ll use again soon so it might as well stay upstairs in the light. In my view. Taunting me. Clutter. Clutter. Clutter. EVERYWHERE.

The trips away are nice. My house is a disaster. Chaos is swallowing me whole.