Thursday, January 30, 2014

Minor Adjustments

Well, here we are, happily making messes cooking and cleaning them up in our almost-almost finished kitchen. I probably spent 90% of my time at home this weekend in the kitchen. Sigh... it was glorious!

However, having a beautiful new kitchen and an almost done beautiful new laundry room and playroom did not come with any extra hours in the day. Still the same 24, and I do like to sleep. (Although the youngest member of our household STILL hates to sleep, but that is another post.) So after the euphoria of having a kitchen wore off a bit, I was left wondering why I was still stressed, short-tempered and running around like a chicken with its head cut off every morning and evening.

 That saying should really be updated for modern life to "running around like a mother trying to get herself and her children out the door in the morning in 15 degree weather while the sun is still rising".  With, mind you, (relatively) clean clothes on, homework done and IN the backpack, hair combed and WITH the lunch box in hand.  A few details which, lately, have sometimes gone overlooked. I haven't yet forgotten to put my own shoes on after I'm done wrestling Lily's on her feet, but too many times I have arrived at work with my hair in the same sloppy ponytail I put it in when I woke up.

And then there was the time I walked through a snow storm to bring Daniel a lunch from the deli because I forgot his lunch box on the counter and GOD FORBID he try to eat the horrible yucky school lunch! Or, worse, I pick him up from school and he's HUNGRY. (Hungrier than usual that is. My son is now averaging 4-5 full meals a day. Nothing fits him. He's growing like a teen. And everything must now be eaten with a big dollop of hot salsa, although I did put my foot down with spaghetti.)

Oh, you know, just enjoying a little afternoon snack of rice and beef stir fry. 

So, adjustments have to be made. Minor ones that, I'm hoping, will a little bit less "hurry up let's go! we're late! did you pick up your pajamas?! where is your water bottle?! ahhh!" and a bit more peaceful. ooohhhhhmmmmmmmm....

For example: In the mornings I will drink a cup of coffee from a mug, nice and hot. And then I will put the mug in the sink. I will not make myself another cup to go, and then run frantically back into the house while the car is running because I forgot it on the counter.  I will not try to hold said hot coffee while also carrying two heavy bags and thus spill it all over myself. I will not bring the coffee all the way to work only to leave it on the table and forget to drink it until it is cold.

Minor adjustments.

I will wash and comb my hair in the morning. I will not leave the house looking like a schlub.

I will make my own healthy lunch to eat, and not have to buy a sandwich (and chips and a candy bar) at the deli.

I will not spend hours in the kitchen making dinner, and then try to rush around paying bills and blogging and answering emails while the kids are melting down going to bed. I will cook quick, simple meals on school nights and reserve my happy baking/stewing/saucing for the weekends.

These sound like a bunch of New Year's resolutions but I think of them more as okay you REALLY live here in this new house resolutions.  It just so happened that our renovations were almost done after the New Year.  There have been so many changes in the past 6 months. We sold/bought. We packed. We moved. We renovated.  I don't need any more big changes, I just need to adjust to the ones we've already made.  A little at a time.

One adjustment we are making in our family life this weekend is that we are starting a Sabbath practice. Not, like, can't turn on the lights Sabbath. More like a, turn off your phone and look at each other Sabbath. A no working, shopping, schlepping Sunday. A day of rest. So far the putting the phones/devices away seems the most daunting (to the kids and the adults).  We'll see if I can make it 24 hours without looking at or adding to my to do list. (Or accomplishing anything it!)

I'll tell you more about it afterwards... Wish us luck!

You know it's serious when you are studying up on it...

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Kitchen Tour!

It's done! Okay, almost done... But we are using it to cook and store food in, so I'm calling it done!  To celebrate I burned my finger making roast chicken tonight. Mommy is BACK! And my family can attest, mommy is in a MUCH better mood than she has been for oh, about 6 months.

So, here it is! Our almost done kitchen. My iPad photos don't really do it justice. The kitchen is kind of an L shape, which makes it hard to photograph. It's not really dark and cramped! It's actually perfectly lovely and spacious. 

My little helper! There she is cutting up a whole box of mushrooms with a butter knife. That gray backsplash does not look nearly so dark in real life. The blue tape is there to help us open the cabinets, which are still missing knobs. Also we are still in the "Where is the...?" " Where can we fit the....?" phase. So fun. We are not fighting at all. ;) 

Just squint and imagine the microwave above the stove. And also my finger out of the way. And oh my God, is that a dishwasher?! Yes, oh, yes it is!! 

View of the snow out one of the windows. To the left are the stairs to the basement (which is definitely not finished yet.)

That window over the sink ( I looooove that sink!) will one day look out over our garden. Which is what I like to imagine, instead of looking at what is there now: a broken toilet and other construction debris. 

Clearly I am not one of those bloggers with a fancy camera (and camera skills).  Thanks for your patience in reading all the trials and tribulations of our little house renovations and for looking at all my fuzzy photos. I promise to stop whining now about construction problems, and if I could I would bake you all a pile of cookies. I can't wait to show you the amazing kids play room that is being completed next!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Life in the Dreamhouse

Nope, our kitchen is not finished. Just in case you were wondering..

I think I'm getting a taste of what it is like for pregnant women as they near the end of their term and get lots of questions and comments like; "You look ready to pop!"

Yes, construction is almost finished. No, I don't want to talk about it. (I have a friend who did not answer her phone for the last 2 weeks of pregnancy.)

I don't want to talk about it, and I doubt you want to listen to me, anyway. Because there would probably be lots of curses, and you'd probably walk away thinking, "wow, she used to be just a nice person."  Ask me about our ongoing, seemingly endless home re-construction and you will be talking to a bitter, frustrated woman who has lost perspective and empathy. Our contractor had a death in the family and I could barely muster the "I'm so sorry to hear that".  Yup.  Couldn't muster it, because inside I was screaming YOU SAID THIS WOULD ALL BE DONE BY CHRISTMAS AND IT'S $%&*ING JANUARY!!!

Lots of curses. Sigh.

So, I'm choosing the practice the art of Zen. Zen Denial. When I'm not at home, I just pretend that our  house is all finished and beautiful and artfully decorated. When I'm home, I pretend that it's just one or two more days and then the house will be all finished and beautiful and artfully decorated. If I just squint, it's almost true.

I'm also learning to ignore the carpet of toys in our living room. Specifically, Barbies.  Oh, my goodness, we are in the BARBIE phase.  Lily has somehow acquired a dozen dolls and their shoes, clothing, cars and accessories. They are all she plays with. Morning: Barbie. Noon: Barbie. Night: Barbie. In the car, in the bath, in her bed: Barbie. The sight of all these dolls without their tiny pink clothes on all over the house has led to a "Barbie must be dressed when not in the bath" rule.  And ohmygoodness the Gender and Racial Stereotypes that are doing bandied about during her Barbie play. Wow. She sure picked up those tropes quickly. "Ken to the rescue!"  "I like the blond Barbie the best."  "I don't like brown Ken." "Want to go shopping Barbie?"

UGH! ACK! What is happening here!? We try, we do. We sit down to play with her and say things like, "Well, how was work today Barbie?" "Did you finish cooking dinner Ken?" Her dad bought her a new, super cool "brown" Ken. She's not really buying it. We are going to have to step up our game.

Living in the Dreamhouse. Oh yeah.