Things Seen, Heard, and Mused Upon ...

If you’ve wandered the web today, you likely came across some black-out sites.  Self-censored in protest of the SOPA and PIPA legislation currently before the US congress, which will end up allowing censorship of the web (among other things) if it goes through.  Please check it out, and do something if you can. 


I saw Pina last night, a 3D movie about the choreographer Pina Bausch.  I knew nothing about her prior to going, other than seeing the trailer several times.  It was beautiful, full of raw emotional dance that was almost painful to watch.  I loved it, but was a bit unsettled by it. 

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A quick look back, and a happy New Year!

The boys got a huge kick out of sounding the steam whistles themselves … nothing like boys getting to make super-loud noises in the middle of the night!

Happy 2012 to you all!  We rang in the new year last night with our annual tradition of going to the steam whistle extravaganza down the street at the Pratt Institute (deets and video in the link).  It’s great fun for all, and participation is encouraged so the boys had a ball pulling the cords to blast the things off, listening to the calliope, and running around like maniacs playing with balloons. 

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Is your holiday calendar empty enough?

Today’s crafty moment : Glass “bracelets” so we can tell whose is whose. This time of year can be utterly chaotic, with the invitations and obligations tripping over each other to make a tangled web of shoulds and coulds.  It can cause tension and drama, but I hope that’s not happening to you?  My life has changed enough in the last couple of years that it’s now easier to follow the KISS principle, mostly thanks to homeschooling.  We have a cello party this week, and our own holiday party next week, but other than that the calendar is pretty clear of obligations on our part, and has left room for family and friends to come visit which I’m really looking forward to :).
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Weekend Makeover

I got the urge to clean up and renovate around here this weekend, and while it’s not vastly different it makes me really happy.  The blog I mean, not myself or my house.  It was suddenly a top priority, despite many other things to claim my attention, and I dug in and stayed up late.  I realized part way through the process that it was a joy to work on something that no one else could touch or mess up, especially not my kids!  No one to leave sticky fingerprints on it, clutter it up, or bury it under piles of to-do lists.  It’s mine to play with :).
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Friday Roundup

Bringing you my favorite blog-finds this week, enjoy! 

We, Who Need Such Great Mysteries / Her Bad Mother muses on death and life and faith. It’s beautifully written and clearly articulates the struggles she’s going through. A wealth of honest comments too.

In Defense of the F-bomb / I started a bit skeptical, but I have to say DaMomma lays it out pretty clearly! It centers on her struggles with Doctors after her 3rd daughter was born. 

Agave Nectar: Good or Bad? / Food Renegade does a great job of clearly toting up the evidence about how good Agave Nectar is (or isn’t) for you.  I find her posts are always thoughtful, well documented, and give me real food for thought.  I’m on an anti-sugar kick more strongly than usual thanks to the holidays, so this was timely :).

Nightingale Shiraz / All her posts this month … the quotes particularly got me, though her writing is as lyrical and aching as ever.  Give her a chance, I did once and have always gone back for more. 

Ice Breaker / Mrs. G’s tale of a boring icebreaker game about Your Most Interesting Hidden Talent has produced a fabulous list of comments which certainly bears reading, and weighing in on. 

Those are my fave finds of the week, please share if you’ve got a must-read!

Happy New Year!

my husband’s latest snow sculpture, and i love the reflectiveness of it :)It’s been a quiet week here, but I wanted to take the time to wish you all a most Happy New Year, and hope that it brings you peace and joy!

It’s no surprise that I’ve been chewing a bit on where to take SaneMoms, and haven’t been posting as much as I’d like.  I’m making a commitment to NaBloPoMo for January, and hope it kicks my ass into gear!  The theme for the month is BEST, which I think is a fabulous way to start off a new year as a woman and a mom.  I’ve been struggling with a lot of negative thinking and depression lately, and while a lot of it needs to be hauled out of my emotional closets and dealt with, focusing on the BEST things about life is just what I need for a bit of perspective.  I hope you’ll join me :).  There will be lots of questions and room for comment, and I look forward to sharing the journey with you! 

While you're waiting ...

… for a newsletter from me, which won’t be coming today, please go read the most delicious bit of writing over at DaMomma, she really nails this one. I give you my very favorite bit …

There is no perfection, no life without sorrow, no relationship without its wrong turns.  The romantic surrender to love has no depth.  It is the surrender to imperfection that builds life.

The rest is here.

And I leave you with that, surrendering to a lot of imperfection over here.  I’m rather swamped with work, feeling depressed, and generally struggling to find words myself.  Perhaps they’ll come tomorrow.  In the meantime, there is no shortage of good words out there in mom-land, and I’ll keep sending them your way. 


When is it too much?

We all have our escapes.  One of my favorites happens to be reading mom-blogs as I’m sure you know if you’ve been around here much.  I don’t have that many that I follow regularly, and I’ve slowed down my reading times, but I still use them as a real escape/pleasure several times a week. 

One of my favorites is P-dub aka The Pioneer Woman, and I recently referred my house-mate “A” to one of her recipes that I thought she’d love, thus introducing her to the site.  At dinner the next night, we had mutual friends over and were all sitting around the table chatting.  A had made a dessert she found on p-Dub’s Tasty Kitchen, and the subject of mom-blogs came up as we were devouring it’s pear and ginger crispiness.  Being my philosophical self, I tried to analyze why P-Dub and dooce, the two most-read blogs I was aware of, were so popular.  Things like transparency, honesty, great photography, and belches-and-all reality were tossed around for a minute or two. 

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Sane Grandmas too

While doing my too-often perusal of The Women’s Colony, I came across this gem.  It’s about grandma being grandma and herself too, and not always being ready to watch her grandkids at the drop of a hat.  She has a few things of her own to do also!

A wee sample …

Tonight my beloved daughter called to see if I would babysit her two children on Saturday night. I love my grandkids (ages 3 and 5) to pieces, but if I said yes, it would be the third time I’ve watched them in one week. I declined and told her I had already had plans to see a movie and have dinner with her dad. I could hear the irritation and disappointment in her voice. I rarely say no to her frequent requests to watch the children so that she can go out to dinner with my son-in-law (love him too), go to her book club or go out with the girls for a night on the town.

Guess what? Grandma’s tired. Grandma has a life. Grandma has places to go and people to see.

I was so glad to see this this grandma’s perspective aired, and enjoyed the comments on it also.  I get the very occasional babysitting from my father-in-law, but hesitate to ask much and know he’s got a lot going on.  I don’t live near any other family really, and often wish I did (not just for the prospect of free babysitting!).

How much kid-minding do you get from family?  Ever feel guilty about it or sense that they feel taken advantage of?  Curious. 

A window to the chaos

One of my favorite bloggers put up a post the other day that got me thinking.  You know the self-talk that goes on in your head when you’re doing one of the 42 million necessities of the day, but you find yourself resenting it or just plain wishing to be elsewhere for awhile?  Then you beat yourself up for wishing that?  Yup, I’ve been there.  Am there.  Daily.  When Douglas talks a mile a minute about the intricate details of a made-up game that he’s been playing during recess, and my mind wanders off into something completely unrelated and I just mmm-hmm at some vaguely appropriate moments. 

As Anna at Borderline Bonkers says …

Somehow I find a way to be there and in the moments sort of. It is something I strive for but in my head I am also a million miles away. It is like there is the front part of my head that talks and sees and functions normally and then there is this dark little back room in my head where all this chaos goes on behind the scenes.

Read the rest of her thoughts (and see her great photos!) here.

To put it politely, being fully present is not my strong point.  Sigh.

The Mama Bee : On Being a Mommy Blogger

I’ve been reading The Mama Bee lately, and loving her insights and well-laid-out thoughts on being a working mom. She wrote a great post last week about the definition of mommy bloggers, blog-advertising, and the power of moms and media.

And yet, “mommy blogger” has become quite the buzz phrase lately. Mom blogs are now considered major viral marketing opportunities for dozens of products and services — from toys to financial services to food. And for sure, it’s a good thing that women and mothers — who it is estimated will control 60% of all wealth by 2010 — are being taken seriously by marketers.

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