Monday, June 28, 2010

Four Books, Four Days

For the past four days, with the exception of basic necessities and tending to my children, I have done nothing but read. No blogging or browsing the interwebs. Very little television. No reading of emails or magazines or twitter. Instead, I have sat, at the gym, the playground and in our living room, with my nook, quietly devouring the entire library I had downloaded.

I have read four entire books*.

After such a prolonged period of time spent enveloped in worlds and lives not my own, I am left feeling slightly dazed when confronted by reality. Sort of unaware how to get back into my normal routine. Instead I want to dive back into another story, another adventure.

This is not an unusual experience for me - I often get completely absorbed by the books I am reading and barely come up for air until the end. Marathon sessions are nothing new to me either- I have read every Harry Potter book since #4 in one sitting they day they arrived in my hands. However I can't say that I have ever had one spread across so many books at once. Typically after reading a books that is so engrossing it is hard to jump right into another - the different stories sometimes conflict and fail to ensnare you in the same way. Plus, usually once I am thrown out of the intensity of such a reading session by the book's ending, I am relieved to switch gears into tv or browsing the internet - reading fatigue sort of sets in.

This time however I am still eager for more. I think it may be the shiny newness of the nook captivating me, or perhaps I'm just having some kind of major attack of the bookworm.

For now, I am left with one book unread in my digital library, although I have stacks more on my shelves just waiting to be picked up. And I have uncounted blog entries and magazines waiting for my attention, as well as houseguests coming in two days, so there are definitely things I need to do and taking a break from this intense reading may not be a bad idea. But I may dive right back in, see if I can squeeze in another before I need to get the house ready and myself back into the mindset of dealing with actual living breathing people instead of just the ones on a page.

After all, it'd be a shame to quit now. I'm kind of working on a record here.



*okay, so these were not exactly literary challenges, but still, a book's a book right? what I read:

61 hours: Lee Child
The Law of Nines: Terry Goodkind
The Hunger Games: Suzanne Collins
Catching Fire: Suzanne Collins (book 2 Hunger Games trilogy - and the 3rd won't be out til Aug 24th which is super annoying cause I want to read it RIGHT NOW!)

It's possible I'll do reviews at some point, and there are a couple other reviews I need to do too (The Passage, O M G), but it just may never happen.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Nookie

My husband was just gifted a Nook by his company, which in turn means I was gifted a Nook by my husband. I like that it is slim and sleek, although I wish it had a color screen because I think it might be best for magazine and newspaper reading since I love having a real book in my hands. I also think it is wonderful for travel since you can bring a ton of books without overloading your luggage - gone are the days of filling my suitcase with five novels only to be finished by day three of my vacation.

Read more...

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Guilty Aftertaste

Guilt has got to be the most useless emotion, and yet it is probably one I am most familiar with as a mother. You just never feel like you are doing the best you can. And sure enough, as I left for my day of freedom yesterday I was racked by the sense of guilt at abandoning my kids. When you spend as much time with your kids as I do, you would think that all you really need is some time alone. And you do, but what you don't take into account is that feeling of being incomplete, the feeling that you have forgotten something vital. I experienced it when we first moved here - after 8 months of never being away from my kids, I would find myself constantly feeling like I forgot something if I ever went anywhere alone. Like when you forget your purse or your cell phone, or that nagging feeling when you know you meant to do something but can't remember what it is. It was so distracting at first until I realized that it was just because I didn't have my kids with me. Then I could kind of relax and move past it.

But it is hard to get past the guilt. Despite being with my kids pretty much 24/7, I still feel like I'm abandoning them if I run an errand by myself. And if that errand involves me doing something only for enjoyment (as opposed to hitting the grocery store or something necessary) the guilt is even stronger. When I'm with my kids I know that I deserve time for myself and that it is okay to do things that make me happy - that is the only way to stay sane as a mom. But when I'm off doing those things and leaving my kids at home it is harder to hold on to those feelings. Everything feels so much more frivolous and unnecessary.

I'm working on letting go of the guilt (in fact, after the initial rush at leaving, I was able to enjoy myself and not feel too terrible) and allowing myself to just enjoy my alone time without trying to rush through everything and get home so my kids know I'm always there, but it isn't easy.

Maybe I just need to get out more often- weekly massages, anyone?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Brief Taste Of Freedom

My husband just returned late Tuesday night from a business trip. He will be leaving again tomorrow to go back to Steamboat and attend some issues involving our tenants (signing another year lease etc), probably not to return until Sunday or Monday.

But today is all mine. He got the day off, so I get to have all day today for myself - to do whatever I want without the kids. Well, all day except for this morning because he took the kids to the zoo and his car is pretty much dying to i can't go anywhere until he gets back, but still, almost all day. And sure, I'm spending a lot of this alone time cleaning and tidying up, but to be able to do that without interruption is its own sort of treat. Kind of a lame treat, but still.

I'm determined to make the most of my time, so I have mapped and plotted out where I want to go and what I want to do - there are vintage shops, clothing stores, bookstores and maybe even a movie on my list, and I can only hope that I will stay on task and manage my time so I get to do all of these things.

Relaxing is hard work.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

On Second Thought

Brett has taken a new position at his company. One which will require 3-4 days of travel weekly. Every week. All the time. It is a great opportunity and wonderful for advancement (and raises hopefully!) and I was all for it. After all, I managed 8 MONTHS completely on my own with these kids - a few days a week will be nothing.

Of course, they were all younger then. Sophie was basically just a blob I could move from room to room whose only requirement was a bottle and diaper change every few hours. And our house was all one floor, with a baby gate separating half of it, so they really only had two rooms to play around in, which meant I could sit on the couch and still basically know exactly what was happening with everyone.

Now they are all bigger. And bossier/chattier/whinier. There are three floors which they can be off getting into trouble in, and when someone starts screaming bloody murder I have to walk actual STAIRS to go see what the problem is. And we have a big backyard that they love to play in, but which is OUTSIDE, like in the heat and humidity, and which seem to involve games of physical labor for me rather than just sitting and watching while they do their thing. I'm not so into that.

Oh, and the total lack of listening/complying with anything I say. That is fun too. Really makes it relaxing and exciting for me when they just won't do what I ask them to do, ie: stop coming up from the basement and leaving their baby sister down there alone howling. Awesome.

Maybe it is because I basically haven't had a break from the kids in almost two years (no, honey, a few hours at the movies DOES NOT COUNT), but I have to say that I am looking forward to this new schedule less than I thought I would. Right now I've got it pretty good; my husband gets home from work at about 3pm, so he is there to take on the brunt of the playing duties in the afternoons and help with dinner/baths/bedtime routines. On the positive side, the more alone time I spend with the kids the more I get to make all the rules (for example bedtimes and allotted tv time) myself and then my husband just has to learn and live by them when he's home, but let's face it, I pretty much got to make all those rules anyway. I am sensing a big time kid related burnout coming in my future, so let's all just bow our heads and pray for one of those raises to come our way soon so Mama can have a spa getaway for the sake of her mental health.

In the meantime, I've always wanted to take up meditating.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Synced

You know how women who live in close proximity will "sync up" with their menstrual cycles? Well, the same is true of my kids and their digestive systems. it makes total sense, seeing as they eat all of the same food and they do it together, but that doesn't mean it makes for a pleasant experience during the 30 minutes or so when they all go. For that space of time it literally feels like all I'm doing is wiping and inspecting butts - it can seem like a thousand rather than three.

I suppose this is a better system than having them go all different times during the day. Instead of having shit sprinkled liberally throughout my day it is concentrated in one fell swoop, but some days I could really use with an intermission in between showings. Especially when someone takes it upon themselves to go twice in a row so we have a double header diaper changing.

I'm sure all of this will seem like such a quaint memory in a few years when everyone is potty trained and their rear ends are no longer my special area of maintenance. And in general, I don't even really mind changing diapers. But some days, when they all hit me one two three (and for or five sometimes), and I feel like I've literally spent an hour elbow deep in poop, I definitely think about staggering their mealtimes.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Then The Rains Came

When you hear that there is a tornado watch, it can be a little confusing if the sky looks like this:

But then the clouds roll in.

Slowly,

steadily

darkening the sky with a burnished light

To the East: blue
To the West: gold

East: peace

West: turbulence

It is enchanting

hypnotizing

and a little spooky.

You Capture: Water

I was so excited about this week's You Capture topic of water. I had big ideas and grand plans, and I spent the whole week intending to do them and not actually picking up my camera. Then it was down to the wire and too late, so I had to make do with what I could find in my back yard. it didn't even rain for me, and it has been raining at least a little EVERY DAY before now. So thanks for that, weather.

Dripping


Pouring



Puddling


Flowing






What I really wanted to do was play around with exposure times and get that streaming look at a waterfall - preferably Fish Creek Falls in Steamboat where we used to live. Unfortunately, we no longer live there, and there aren't really any waterfalls that I know about here. There is a decorative one outside a subdivision a few blocks away, but I was too chicken (and busy doing other things) to go stand on a busy street with my tripod and try and take a picture of it. I saw this waterfall by chance, tucked away while I was waiting at the zoo. I only had my point and shoot, so I couldn't play around with exposure or anything, but I think they came out okay:






Photobucket

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Bloggy Blues

It has been so hard to blog lately. I hardly think of anything to talk about at all, and when I do I can't seem to maintain that thought in my head for longer than five seconds. Just today, as I'm sitting here, I have a crystal clear memory of three separate occasions TODAY when I thought "that would be a good blog topic," but can I remember a single one? No. I cannot.

I haven't even been reading any blogs at all - I fear to even check my reader because it is probably obscene the amounts of blogs waiting on there. Instead I have been reading books- right now I am reading The Passage by Justin Cronin, and it is awesome. I will do a review on my other blog when I'm done, but let me just say that it is completely wonderful. All of the hype I had seen about it is totally deserved and I recommend it completely to anyone looking for an 800 page read.

Hmm, what else?

I am (finally) making a real concerted effort towards eating better and losing some weight. I've really been pushing myself at the gym, and while I have mainly been rewarded with back pain from tight muscles, I have am also seeing more definition in my legs which is nice. And yes, this is a topic for my weight loss blog, but since I can't seem to remember what aspect of my struggle it is I want to focus on, I'm just stuffing it here. I plan to formulate a complete entry there soon since I have written in an embarrassing amount of time. For now, I will just say this: I am completely obsessed with food now. It is all I think about - what I can eat, what I shouldn't eat, what I'm going to eat next and what I have already eaten. It is all consuming (hardy har har) and I look forward to a point when I have adjusted a little and no longer have food on the brain constantly. honestly, that is probably the hardest part right now - not eating all day when all I am thinking about is eating. Even healthy foods aren't going to help you lose weight when you eat them all at once.

So whatever. This is all totally boring, but I felt the need to blog about something. When I skip too many days my mom calls to see if I'm sick.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Sunday Must Have Been "The" Day

Yesterday we went to the zoo, and instead of doing our typical gorillas, tigers, bears circuit, we decided to ride the train. We had previously established the train station as a hang out for the peacocks:



So we weren't really surprised when we saw a peacock right at the entrance for the line. It was pretty cool though, when we saw him raise his tail into full display (I didn't get pictures, but here's what it looked like the last time we saw it:)


Pretty. But unlike that last time, he didn't just raise it up and then lower it. He kept it up. And kept it up. And kept it up. And lo and behold, here came a peahen over, checking him out. He was shaking his tail and wings and leaning forward, and she was basically acting coy and pretending not to be interested. Another male came over (poor guy had no big tail) and the first male chased him away and kept up his display for the female. It was very cool.

But then we noticed the other peacocks. Basically every male peacock in the zoo was in sight of where we were standing in line, and almost all of them had their tails up. I think at one point there were six or seven that we could see putting on displays for the females, and three or four more walking around trying to find someone to dazzle. It was pretty neat, and the longer it went on the more I wished I'd gotten out of line to take some pictures.

Oh well. I'll remember it if I go back next year on June 13th, that's for sure!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Budding Photog

The other morning the kids got up without letting me know, and went downstairs to play. When I got up I noticed that my point and shoot camera was out on the counter and turned on. Imagine my surprise as well, to find all of these photos on it: (and yes, I had to include all SEVEN of the Buzz Lightyear shots to demonstrate Jack's fervor for his subject matter)









I especially love that he caught Izzy red handed playing with my cell phone which is typically off limits.



Busted.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

I Should Change The Name Of This Blog To Clouds R Us

This is the sky Tuesday night


AT 9:30 PM!!





Now, I'm all for daylight savings time - I enjoy when it stays light in the evenings, and even enjoy the sudden drop when we "fall back" in October and it suddenly gets dark so early. In my mind it really adds to the sense of the seasons.

But there is staying light a little later, and then there is this ridiculousness. I mean honestly, 9:30pm? And it's not even to the lightest day of the year - by then we are going to be really pushing 10 o'clock, which means that most likely MY HUSBAND will be going to bed before it gets dark out. Which in turn means I will be left up all alone... with the kids. Cause you don't really believe they fall asleep before it is dark out do you? we may put them to bed at a normal hour (8pm usually), but they sure as heck don't go to bed then - Jack stays up looking out the window until the last drop of light is gone.

And you can forget about sleeping in to make up for it. That sun pops it's merry head up before 6am, and I think we have all established that there is just no sleeping while the sun is up, so I can't hope for more than an hour or so beyond sunrise until there are little feet padding into my room, or worse, downstairs to wreak havoc on the fruit drawer. And you can forget about naps of any kind with all that cheery sunlight streaming in from everywhere.

Clearly, daylight savings hates parents. I thought one of the fun things about being a parent would be to relive all of the things you loved as a child through the eyes of your own kids. But this whole, the kids are awake ALL THE TIME, is really ruining my fond memories of the extra sunlight in summer and making me wish for the darkness of winter to descend upon us quickly. Although, I have always been a bit of a hibernator, so that is not really a surprising wish.

Fun fact: I am writing this at 10 IN THE MORNING, and it is darker than in those photos thanks to some major thunderstorms outside. I'm sure it will clear up just in time to be too bright at nap time. Stupid weather.

You Capture: Fun

Fun is trying to get everyone to look at the camera at the same time.




Or not.


pulling the wagon is fun,


but it gets old quick.


(when it's not impossible)


Fun is sprinklers,


and snacks,


and snuggling.


And cameras!




Photobucket