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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Some Great Reads and a Worthy Listen too : Roundup a la Wednesday

Didn’t get to these on Friday, then found some more this week that just have to be shared, so here we are.  It’s beastly hot here, spent the day near the park sprinklers, then came home and set up the little wading pool in the back.  Boys are spent, and I’m not far behind as the heat drains me, especially in the first few days of swelter. 

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Friday Roundup, a bit on the moldy side

Hello, is that rain?  Right, grey skies and rain.  Again.  Just checking, nothing seems to have changed for a week now, and I’m starting to wonder if my shoes will ever dry out, or if that dingy spot on Fynn’s forehead is mold growing.  Upon further inspection it’s the leftover bruise from his falling-off-the-radiator-while-teasing-his-brother incident last week.  Douglas has dark circles under his eyes too, which may be some combination of lack of sleep and potion, as he’s concocted something that he says will make you look tired when rubbed under your eyes.  Trying to hide the fact that he’s staying up too late reading most likely …

Some links for your weekending pleasure …

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I am so done with this week

The mask is finally finished! I wished it fit me today, so I could hide behind it and just breathe heavily and growl a bit …Breaking the silence on Friday night to say this week has beaten me.  It started well enough, but I’m glad it’s Friday night and I can close the books on this week of school, and pray my mood doesn’t continue through the weekend!  The last straw today was the cats knocking the new camera onto the floor (it was lying on the washing machine this time) and cracking the casing open.  I cried into my taco meat in frustration, and gave up.  It’s been a long week.
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Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother’s Day to all of us, here’s hoping yours is fabulous and you get whatever you need!  I’m not feeling the love right now, but hope I survive until Sunday night without imploding or saying too many things that I regret.  Just one of those weeks where the breaks are few and far between, and the stresses pile up in precarious towers that I keep bumping into in the dark.  Imploding might be nice at this point?

I’m obviously not full of cheer, but do have a few things to share that might brighten your mood if you’re feeling the least bit down!  Otherwise I hope you’re headed for a delightful weekend full of things you love, whether that’s kisses and chocolate and sticky cards, or a day to yourself after getting to sleep in.  I’m going for a long run, and can’t at this point imagine any better way to spend Mom’s Day :). 

  • First up is a great video that My Mama Mojo shared on her facebook page.  It’s called Your House is Strong, and the words and harmonies are delicious, please give it a listen!
  • Another video, with a lot more attitude :) is In Tha Muthahood by Anita Renfroe, and it’s well worth it … a good dose of reality thank you very much!
  • A Tale of Three Mothers on Mother’s Day is raw and good and oh so real … she ends with “But Mother’s Day of 2008 will always be a sacred day in my memory. It was lovely, but it was also raw and painful. And that’s motherhood, isn’t it?” By Shannon of Peter’s Cross Station

Can you take a quick look at who you were before you became a mom, and tell me if you’re stronger now?  It just takes a glance for me to see that I’ve grown immensely since those pre-kid days, in ways I never thought possible, and in many cases didn’t want to.  I’m stronger now than ever, but weaker and more fragile too, in matters of the heart. 

Happy Mother’s Day to all my amazing Mom friends, enjoy!

Tuesday Ten

Just re-found this pic, it’s been 10 years since this was printed, and I’m no longer a member, but I still barefoot whenever I can get away with it! The weather is looking mighty good for such things, I have to say. I’m borrowing directly from Kizz over at 117 Hudson today, and posting a list.  A random list.  For some reason I can’t seem to focus enough to write anything else, so here you go …

  1. I’m going out tonight to see this movie, and I’m looking forward to the venue, the company, and the subject matter.  I’m sure I’ll come home touched, and probably stuffed too if I can find some good GF food in the area. 
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Friday Roundup ...

Gratuitious cat shot, just becase I can. Got a replacement (replica) camera yesterday via Ebay, and am able to photograph the stinkers again. Hope they don’t break this one!What’s this weather called?  Oh right, it’s spring … puddle stomping yesterday, freezing hands and hot chocolate today.  Rain predicted all weekend.  It’s not snowing though! 

Quite the week, and I’m so glad it’s Friday.  Breakdowns, good news, late nights, subway dramas, and more.  It’s been full.  Here are a few things I wanted share, they’re all great and worth clicking through, so if you’ve got a drink and a few minutes, enjoy!

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Friday Roundup ...

A few links for your enjoyment, I know it’s a busy time of year but it’s good to find some downtime and just chill, right? 

Have a great weekend!

Death by Clutter

Image Courtesy of EvelynGiggles via Flickr.I mean to link to this post by the Minnesota Matron last week, on the subject of clutter-prone family members, and then didn’t get to any links at all.  It hit so close to home for me it wasn’t funny … anyone else have a case of Incurable Clutter Brain Suck?!  You know, when the more cluttered the house gets the less you can think … and the less it seems to bother anyone else in the house, let alone inspire them to pick anything up and put it away! 
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Friday Roundup ...

I’ll be running in shoes like these … gives new meaning to “getting cold feet” at this time of year!I’ve been getting more and more preoccupied this week, thanks to my marathon this weekend, and the need to get myself properly rested, fed, and relaxed.  I’m not doing too well in any of those catgories, and taking the boys to the expo today was a test of endurance in itself!  They did get to have some fun, but spent most of the time getting squashed in the crowds, or being told to “grab my hand!” over and over again :).  Glad that part is over at least.  I’ll let you know how it went on Monday … prayers and speedy thoughts appreciated!

Here are just a few links I loved from the last week … I didn’t spend all that much time online for once.

That’s all she wrote, happy weekend!

Friday Roundup

… on Saturday instead :).  A few fab links this week, truly … please take a sec and check one or two out.  Some wise words and great mom=moments. 

  • Kelly Corrigan, word-crafter extraordinaire, reads a brief clip from her new book Lift.  “…about my mother, my daughter, my younger self and my current self. Bet you can relate.”  I sure did, and I don’t even have daughters … take 3 minutes to laugh and be understood.
  • Mrs G at Derfwad Manor hits it out of the park with a story about Lady Daze and Pam, I laughed till I cried and then had to share my own embarrassing story about bodily functions gone wrong … check it out.  
  • The Shape of a Mother is the greatest thing … REAL images of REAL moms that haven’t been retouched in any way.  The truth, thank you very much, about what babies do to our bodies … and how beautiful they still are. 
  • On a very related note, see Own Your Own Beauty for a horrific example of what media-perfected body images do to young girls … something we can fight against.

Have a great weekend! 

Roundup ... the Monday edition

The weekend got away from me again, with company and ever-more-insane runs (I have a marathon in 7 weeks, eek!!) along with looming deadlines on several big projects.  Not to mention we leave in less than a week for 10 days in FL to set up for and participate in a big family wedding … if I dare share pictures afterwards you’ll begin to understand why 10 days are involved :). 

There were some great links and reads and conversations around the web in the last few days though, and I want to get them out to you before another week rolls around. 

Enjoy, and please visit and comment if you can!

Friday Roundup

A few gems from this week, enjoy and have a great weekend!

  • If you’re not familiar with Hyperbole and a Half, you’re in for a riot … the illustrations make me howl, and she’s so dead-on in her observations!   Check out The Four Levels of Social Entrapment for starters … 
  • This clip on Dolphin Bubbles was v. cool to watch, and the kids loved it too … not sure what it says about the boredom of animals in captivity, but I love that they’re so playful!
  • Erin wrote a post about Operation Beautiful, and I think it’s such a great idea! A post-it note a day keeps the blues at bay … spread random reminders that we’re all beautiful :). 

Would You Like Some ... Funky Crafty DIY Summer Ideas?

Douglas at the new project table …I’m a big fan of SAJ and she’s got a gig with Alpha Mom that’s turned out some cool craft projects.  If you’re hitting the summer doldrums and need some ideas, take a look!

I’m also addicted to the New Dress a Day blog, which has me scarily inspired to start mucking around with my sewing machine and some old clothes that aren’t quite favorites.  I’ve finally gotten the sewing machine OUT which is huge progress, it’s normal home is wedged in our single tiny bedroom closet, to the left of a filing cabinet which fills the entire doorway.  I have to deadlift the heavy old thing over the filing cabinet while batting away my husband’s suits (which he wears once every 2 years but that’s another story) and sweaters.  Swearing is usually involved.  So are pinched fingers.  Douglas is sewing madly away as I write, trying to stitch the word Mitten onto a series of tiny silk scraps he’s sewing into some form of a mitten.

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Tip Tuesday : Be Full, Not Just Busy

I was going to save this for Friday, but it’s too good not to use today.  Misha Thompson wrote a great article On Being Busy or Being Full: How Can You Tell the Difference? and it’s so worth reading.  She starts it with an Anne Lamott quote that I’ll share again here …

“..At 80,” Anne says about the students she is teaching, “will they be proud that they spent their lives keeping their houses cleaner than anyone else in the family did, except for mad Aunt Beth, who had the vapors? Or that they kept their car polished to a high sheen that made the neighbors quiver with jealousy? Or worked their fingers to the bone providing a high quality of life, but maybe accidentally forgot to be deeply and truly present for their kids, and now their grandchildren? …What fills us is real, sweet, dopey, funny life.”

I’m a pro at being busy, but often end the day feeling like I missed something.  Being full is more about intention and less about reaction.  It feeds the soul, not just the checklist.  It’s about priorities and memory making.  If we can’t do that in summer, when can we?!  Go check it out!

Food and Kids

No matter where (in the USA at least) your kids get their education, chances are the food program at their school could use some improvement.  I can certainly vouch for the craptastic quality of most of what Douglas was served for 4+ years.  It’s full of sugars and fillers and all kinds of stuff that we know isn’t the healthiest thing for our kids.  I think we can all agree there’s a lot of room for improvement in the public school system! 

I’ve gotten a chance to watch the first couple episodes of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, and it’s enough to make me hope that he can pull off some kind of change that makes other cities sit up and take notice!  He shows that many people have no idea where their food comes from, or what it even is.  That a classroom of kindergartners couldn’t identify a raw potato or tomato?!  There are some scare tactics in there for sure, but they make a very clear point.  We can do better.  It’s a cause I’m happy to support, and hope you do too!

The link to his petition is here, and the shows can be seen online here.  Check it out, and sign if you think it’s time to change the food served in our schools!

Friday Roundup

Sorry it’s so late today, it’s been a crazy-full day with last-day-of school parties and all the loose ends that had to be tied up at school.  I’m ready for bed, but wanted to share a couple links before I crash!

WC post about how honest are you when answering your kids’ questions about your own past?  Great questions, interesting answers …

Our demons … from Shinshu Life … fun bath conversation with truths woven in, what inner demons do you fight?

I didn’t do much blog wandering this week, so that’s all i really feel like recommending.  I spent most of the week trying to end school well.  Leaving is hard, especially something you love, and honestly I have come to love the community at D’s school.  It hurt a lot to say goodbye.  Watching for D’s reactions and emotions was critical too, and ultimately it all took most of my energy and attention for the week.  Not to mention shoveling and snow playing and sledding and all the fun that comes with a February snowstorm!  I’m emotionally and physically pooped :). 

So if you’ve got great links to share, please share ‘em in the comments!  Otherwise have a great V-day if you celebrate, great weekend anyway if you don’t, and I’ll catch you all on Monday. 



A little piece of God

While you’re waiting for a Q of the Week, and a newsletter (I just haven’t managed it today, you’ll likely have to wait till tomorrow) please go read this.  It’s beautiful.  And powerful.  It technically speaks to mothers of autistic kids, but it speaks to us all I think.  A snippet …

I have an autistic son who is truly a bit of God broken off and fallen to this earth. I am fortunate in a a million ways that he is oh… let’s say autism-lite. He has none of the most challenging behavioral and cognitive elements of the disorder and his therapy is moving faster than anyone could have imagined. I am in no way brave about this, and his diagnosis did very nearly turn me to dust, but recently someone asked that I write a letter to her friend, a stranger, who is struggling with her daughter’s recent diagnosis. So I gave it my best shot.

This diagnosis is a pointing finger and nothing more. …

Please, go read the whole thing

Motherhood and Identity: Is it a Crisis?

Great post by JCK over here at Motherscribe … very closet to my own heart.  It’s called “Motherhood and Identity…is it a crisis?”, and to give you a taste ...

There is a definitive link between being a mother and the risk of losing one’s self. I’d like to flip that around. Being a mother and the risk of finding oneself.

What a great line: the risk of finding oneself.  It’s a hopeful thought, and a very real risk.  I’ve been going through a bit of an identity furnace the last few days, thanks to some heavy conversations.  Mothering has intensified some of my strongest traits (control freak), and blown some others out of the water (patience, anyone?).  It’s made me confront some of my demons, and I’m not so comfortable with that.  I’m glad though, and I’m going to chew on this one a bit more.

Check it out!


Costume Craziness?

Our boys are determined to be a martian and a cement truck this year, and neither one is remotely close to being finished.  I’m not too worried, it’s always a night-before affair in this house and I’m resigned to that.

In case you’re still hunting for costume ideas, here are some links to check out (for both kids and adults) …

Costumes you can make cheaply

50 Cheap and Easy Halloween Costumes for Adults & Children from the Coupon Sherpa

10 Cheap Costume Ideas

Thrifty Mommy has 33 DIY ideas listed

What are your kids going to be?