Distraction City

I should be folding the laundry.  It has taken over our soon-to-arrive exchange student’s room, and lies draped in wrinkled, week-old piles all over the carefully chosen IKEA furniture.  Every time I wash a load of laundry, I manage to fold and put away a few items (or just dress myself and my two children straight from the dryer), before I get distracted by a weeping baby, a needy husband, dinner burning, or a strong desire to get online and see what Wikipedia has to say about Joss Whedon.  The latter was my distraction this evening.  By the way, there’s no way you can just look up a director/scriptwriter/all-around quirky genius like Joss Whedon for five minutes.  I kept reading interesting little tidbits.  For example, did you know that his father wrote for the show “Leave it to Beaver”?  What a chasm of difference between that show and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”!  I just loved “Buffy”.  I got really into it, even though I’m a chicken and have never once watched the show alone because the fake-looking monsters scare the patootie out of me.  And what about Nathan Fillon’s portrayal of the villain “Caleb”, huh?  Was he scary or what?  

Then I need to Google Search Nathan Fillon, which leads me to see what’s going to happen in the next season of his current show, “Castle”, and on and on it goes.  

Either the internet distracts me from the oh-so-joyous task of folding laundry, or a Creative Project distracts me from folding laundry after the kids have gone to bed.  (Or their rooms, in my son’s case.  I tuck my 2-year-old cutie into bed at 9:00, but he gets up and runs around in the dark until 11:00).  My current Creative Project is another dress for my sister, Beth.  I made her a Monique dress from Kay Whitt’s pattern recently, and she looked so cute in it, I started another.  I have all the fabric pieces except interfacing cut out.  I HATE the way interfacing feels–so scratchy and synthetic and clingy–so I am going to wait until tomorrow, again, to cut it out.  Also, I have no business working any more on a dress when I have a room full of laundry waiting to be folded.  

That room is so handy.  We fixed it up so nicely as a guest bedroom and bought some furniture and put some little touches in it especially for our exchange student (who arrives in 3 weeks).  We vowed to stay out of it and keep it pristine and pure and clutter-free until Reinhilde arrived, but you know what?  It is just so handy for stuffing clean laundry in.  It’s a habit so firmly ingrained in me, I’m terrified that after Reinhilde gets here, I’ll just open her bedroom door one day and toss clean laundry on her bed without even thinking about it.  

Speaking of being terrified, I am going to be (sort of) the mother of an 18-year-old teenaged girl/woman in a short time!  AAAAAAHHHH!   It’s not that I’m worried about her sneaking boys in or smoking pot, or being difficult to live with.  We’ve been in contact and she seems absolutely lovely, and (embarrassingly for me) possibly more mature than I am. (Despite my husband and two children, I seem to have stopped maturing at 25–almost 10 years ago).  I am honestly nervous about having a much younger woman in my house that I am officially responsible for, who is more mature and responsible than I am.  

As I write about maturity and responsibility, I think I should change the subject.  I won’t be mentioning her in my blog much anyway (though she will be a big, and I think, wonderful part of our lives this year), because she might not appreciate it.  A lot of people wouldn’t like being regularly featured in a blog.  A lot of people, who are not like me.  I have pretty much become resigned to being transparent over the years.  I’ve been working toward “translucent”, with little success.  I could stick to being transparent in my own little sphere without broadcasting it into cyberspace, but I was born transparent with a deep desire to communicate.  Which means I end up eating a lot of shoe leather.

Okay, I’ll fold that wretched laundry for 5 minutes.  Here goes something.

 

Staycation (Written June 22, 2012)

 

This wasn’t intended to be a staycation. We are supposed to be in Los Angeles today, taking my sweet grandpa out for a Mexicali breakfast, looking out the window at the palm trees, and anticipating a nice get-together with my aunt and cousins. I should have had a nice dinner catching up with my childhood girlfriends and their families. My husband should have been able to catch a karate class with a top-notch instructor 5 miles from my grandfather’s retirement community.

Instead, I am sitting in a folding chair, typing, with my runny-nosed toddler wedged between my knees, whining at me to pick him up. “Mick me mup,” he whimpers, stuffily. I refuse, because I have been holding him half the day, and he whines just as much in my arms as he does on the floor. Besides, he is so hot and sweaty, he slips right out of my arms. 

All right, I caved in, picked him up, and pushed him in the swing for 15 minutes. Then he had a bath in the water table on our deck. As a bath, it was somewhat counterproductive, because he “dropped a log” the size of his arm while splashing around. Luckily, Josh saw it first, so he was on clean-up duty. Now he is napping peacefully in his room. I also ran to Walmart and picked up a couple fans, so the heat (and life in general) is more bearable.

What happened is our whole family came down with a nasty cold right before we were set to fly to L.A.. We decided we couldn’t very well stay at Grandpa’s retirement community in good conscience in our contagious state, so we canceled our flight with Southwest. The airline was good enough to give us the full credit of the ticket prices to use at another time. However, we bought these tickets months ago when they were much cheaper, and the credit we have wouldn’t go very far purchasing more tickets say, next week, so our trip has to be postponed. This makes me very sad, because my grandpa is going on 92 years old, and I haven’t seen him in over a year. It really sucked calling him the night before our scheduled trip to say we weren’t coming after all. Even though he was incredibly nice about it, I felt intensely guilty. 

Well, anyway, here we are having a staycation. Despite the lingering runny noses, it is surprisingly pleasant. One of the hidden blessings of having a sick family is that everyone gets extra cuddly. The dishes remain unwashed while everyone just piles into bed with Mom and Dad and sleeps. We spent Monday and Tuesday doing just that. Josh recovered the fastest, and he went to work giving our bathroom a mini makeover. Fresh paint on the walls and cupboards, a new shower curtain, fixtures, and a curved curtain rod (to make the shower feel bigger), and the tiny bathroom is transformed. He is about 3 quarters of the way done, and it looks so much better. The walls had originally been puke green, then repainted blood red, and now they are a safe, normal “Country Cottage White”. The nasty wood veneer sink base is repainted a silvery sage green with brushed nickel drawer pulls. My hubby is awesome. 

I’ve been busy, too. I’ve almost finished the dress I was working on for my friend Sarah Jo, and I signed myself up for Zumba class. The instructor has an impossibly skinny butt, but she redeemed herself in my eyes by sticking with choreography that even I could follow (for the most part). I had a surprisingly good time and am still reaping the benefit of all those endorphins. 

So, even though I could be in L.A. with my extended family and friends, it’s still pretty darn nice just being at home. In closing, I will include a picture of my hubby and our incredibly hairy baby. I love my cute family. 

The World According to Mrs. Podge (Written June 12, 2012)

I like to talk.  I dislike being interrupted.  Hence, the blog. 

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Hello, folks!  My name is Mrs. Podge (okay, not really, but I worry about stalkers, liability, and oversharing, so “Mrs. Podge” will have to do) and I live somewhere in New Hampshire.  Okay, right on the border of Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts.  It’s a nice place to live, mostly.

I’m a stay-at-home wife and mom of two infants, starving for more adult interaction than I can get at the moment, and I figured a blog would be a little better venue for verbally (or literally, to be, um, literal) processing all the things that whirl around in my brain.

This blog will be a little bit about mothering, a little bit about crafting, probably a whole lot of venting, and a smorgasbord of everything.  Do you like smorgasbords?  They are kind of like buffets of thought for those afflicted with ADD, in my book, and I am really good at dishing them out. 

I’m trying not to over think the things I write down, as I’m somewhat cramped for time and have about a million other things going on.  For example, tonight I am working on two dresses, for two very dear friends, both named Sarah.  One Sarah picked a lovely floral print for her dress.  The other Sarah picked camo.  Huh.  Well, I’m off to give it a go.

Love,
Mrs. Podge

Zee (written July 5, 2012)

I realize I don’t talk or write quite as much about my daughter as I do my son. This certainly isn’t because I think of her less, or find her less interesting. It’s just that most folks don’t find each gurgle and coo of hers as adorable as I do. But let me tell you about Zee; she’s entrancing.

She is the single most snuggly baby on the planet. She is almost five months old, with hair like Einstein or a rock star. She’s my baby genius rock star. She hardly ever cries, and when she does, it’s always for a good reason. I don’t believe in reincarnation, but when I look in Zee’s eyes, the phrase “old soul” comes to mind. She has a very peaceful, placid look to her. She smiles benevolently upon mankind. She was born mistress of the art of Zen. (I’m not really sure what it is, but I’m pretty sure Zee defines it). I am afraid to take her anywhere near Asia for fear someone will kidnap her and crown her the next Dalai Lama. She’s “like a miniature Buddha, covered in hair,” to quote Ron Burgundy.

When someone picks her up, she just nestles down on their shoulder. She lets people (even other babies) run their fingers through her hair. She doesn’t complain when her toddling cousins yank on it or steal her hair barrettes. She reminds me of a therapy dog. It is impossible to stay stressed or crabby while holding this baby. If I’m stewing about something, and am enjoying my cranky, dramatic state, I stay the heck away from Zee, because she will quickly reduce me to a mellowness before I get the chance to stomp around and bang my pots and pans.

Little babies are so pure and beautiful, it almost physically hurts me to look at them sometimes. Zee is no exception. Some evenings, she’ll open her eyes impossibly wide and just radiate love at me. Her first sentence, starting a couple weeks ago, is “I love you.” She stared up at me, her whole clean heart in her eyes, saying over and over, “Ah wuv you.” It kind of freaked me out. Granted, her first word was “poopoo”, so that brings her down to earth a bit. She also has said “Mommy” and “Daddy” once each, and spent an hour smiling at Silas and saying, “Brudder” at him, while he toddled around and pretended not to care (with a secretly pleased expression on his face). She even said, “Brudder, Ah wuv you,” a couple times. She adores her two-year-old brother, and gazes up at him in awe. She does, however, find it hilarious when he is throwing a tantrum. She laughs and grins from ear to ear. (It is pretty funny).

Well, I’d better get back to tending my hairy Zen baby. Talk to you later!

Find the Yellow Mini Cooper! (Written June 14, 2012)

I am sitting down, gasping for breath, trying to recover from my son’s tantrum, which has been happening on and off all day.  My son is two.  I call him “Bubsy”.  He’s adorable, he’s precocious, he’s mischievous, and right now, he’s a soggy, sobbing mess upstairs, because I’ve failed him as a mother.

I cannot find his equivalent of a security blanket, his toy yellow mini cooper, from his Marmee.  It’s been missing since about lunchtime, when he went outside with it, and came in without it.  I’ve looked everywhere outside: in the garden (where I discovered several trampled lilies–thanks, kid), under the grating in the deck, on the swing, under the slide, and even on the other side of the fence, in case he flung it in a spasm of joy.  No luck.  I looked high and low inside the house, behind furniture, even under the stove.  No luck.  Once, I thought I’d found it, wedged between his toddler bed and the wall.  “Bubsy, here it is!”, I yelled excitedly, which was a big mistake.  It was the white Mini Cooper, looking deceptively yellow against the wood.  Oh, the weeping that ensued.

As I type, still drawing deep breaths, I hear my toddler whimpering: “Marmee’s Mini Cooper.  Find it.  Find it.”  He pauses, trying to calm himself.  “No whining, no whining,” he murmurs, as if by minding his manners, he can will me to pull it out of thin air.  Now he has reverted to throwing his less beloved cars around his room in anger.  I’ll let it pass.  I’m just grateful my four-month-old daughter, Zee, is sleeping.

In my mind are thoughts like: “If I have a shot of honey-flavored whiskey to help me cope with my son’s meltdown, am I a budding alcoholic?” and “One day I’ll slip on a toy mini cooper and break my back, and then my husband will have to both look after me and find the yellow Mini Cooper when it goes missing.”

Yeah, I think I need that drink.

–Ooh, I think I know where his toy car is!  He dropped it down one of the garter snake holes in the yard.  Maybe Target still carries yellow Mini Coopers.