Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Visualizing 2009

The other day I phoned my sister...she’s finished her last round of chemo so we're thinking positive thoughts. Thanks everyone for your well wishes. She’s scheduled for mid-January surgery and we’re hoping for a non-radiation recovery.

Our last few calls we’ve focused on the positive. The year 2008 was a positive one for me, where the good outweighed the bad. Even despite my sister’s illness, we focus on the present and a positive outlook. And, people? It works. Some of you who know me outside this blog, know what I mean. And if you don’t, just drop me an email and I will share my *secret*.

Tonight my sister told me she did her visionary board to back up all her positive thoughts and to drive them forward into 2009. Visionary boards are a visual confirmation of your positive thoughts—a board with pictures of concepts, things and words that convey your affirmations, your desires and your positive thinking. What you want, what you deserve and what you’ll get!

After a week of hanging with lozenges and lemsip (think Theraflu), I decided it was time to reclaim my girls. Together we spent a few hours cutting up glossy magazines into insightful mementos, enlightening and inspiring in pictures and in words. Here’s mine.
Allow me to clarify:

New Home, kitchen, study, bedroom: while we live in a gorgeous area, our house is old and we either need to build or buy...Rock on

Mind Over Matter: need I say more?

Sleek and slim: more so, free and happy with your bod, baby!

Flowers: natural beauty

France: from the girls, home of previous au pair and Euro Disney, need I say more?

Love: for all and to all

Sandy Beach: for DH, he’s craving a vacation hotspot

Movies: more free time to catch my matinees, me myself and I

Flowers: more natural beauty

Mascara wand: from the girls, the only off-limits tool in my makeup kit

Irish Quilting: need I say more?

Shampoo: from the girls, I'm not sure, but I'm all for clean hair

Baby sleeping: from the girls, I had a startling moment with this one, but ahh, it's the sleeping! more ZZZZzzzzzz.

So there you go, a preview of this verry new year for 2009.

What’s in store for you?
Happy New Year!

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

I Blame the Sneezes

All last week my girls were sick. Coughs, fevers and runny noses. Oh my.

This week I’m sick. Feverish, stuffy and sneezing. Oh my.

At least I have that. I am sick. So when social services come to ask why my kids aren’t in school, I have an excuse. Buried under three pounds of Kleenex, I ask you, is anyone else afraid to drive during an attack of the sneezes?

I kid. Not about thoughts of sneezing into a roadside ditch, but rather the excuse. The truth be told I had no excuse.

Yesterday DH called to ask why Babydoll was home when he saw other kids in the school grounds. Really? The fridge calendar says ‘School Holidays’ on Monday, Dec 22—whoops! Must have meant after school on Monday.

Today DH called to tell me, yet again, he’s seen kids at school. Not again.
Quickly I displace. “Yeah? So why didn’t YOU take Babydoll to school?” After a phone call, it’s confirmed. School holidays began at half day today. Darn! What I wouldn’t give for a quiet, albeit sneeze-induced, morning!

All was better when DH arrived home to nurse me and mind his truant children. A private nurse. Oh yes. This was quickly debated by our 4yo and 5yo unschooled scholars.

Babydoll: Mom, Daddy can’t be your nurse because he is a boy. Boys are doctors and girls are nurses.

Cutiepie: Yes he can, Babydoll!

Babydoll: No, he can’t!

Cutipie: Yes, he can. He’s like, you know, that boy? You know, our godmother in America? You know, her wife! He’s a nurse AND he’s a boy!

Refusing defeat, she turns to me, “Mom! What is Babydoll’s godmother’s wife’s name?”

Me: achoo! uh? achoo! wife? achoo! who?

Cutiepie: You know! What is his name? Babydoll’s godmother’s wife in America?

Me: You mean Steve?

Cutiepie: Yeah! Steve. See? Babydoll, your godmother’s wife Steve, he’s a boy AND a nurse!!

Let’s hear it for gender equality! I think?

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

I'll Huff and Puff and Eat Your House Down!

Here I sit eating cookies.

Chocolate ginger snaps, chocolate biscuits, chocolate mints. You name it, I eat it.

I'd like to say I don't know what has gotten into me, but I do. Besides cookies, of course.

You see, our au pair has gone home. But before she left, between her and DH, there was more candy, sweets and chocolate in this house than at a grandmother's who's awaiting her grandchildren.

Anyway, I'm trying to empty the house of such evil (and young Ms. Au Pair, I found the stash of chocolate you donated to the cookie jar, thank you very much--NOT a very kind goodbye gesture, if you get my drift, my heavy overweight drift!).

I realize I could just toss the sweet selections in the trash, but really, what challenge would that be?

Besides I have a good friend, here in Ireland, who had just returned to work after many years at home. She's returned to her consulting position with Unislim (Weight Watcher equivalent). So yes, I'm supporting her. Oh yes, I've already signed up for classes in January.

See? I have a plan. And it does reach beyond the cookie jar, I promise.

It doesn't help that I have been housebound with two little sickies for the last five days. We think and hope they are improving, but the sick bug is in deep.

It all started the morning after our gingerbread party. Hmmm? Which by the way are on display here. Mind you, we did remodel several times over in our construction phases.

Babydoll's house actually withstood the building phase--no remodeling required, walls stood firm and roof upheld. I like to say the candies have remained the same. But I can't. Why? Reread post, no sweets are safe from me!

Ah! Here is the entrepreneur of the bunch. While the others experienced remodeling hassles, reinforcing roofs and walls, this little chicky was outwittingly building panel pieces--why fuss with the whole mess, when you can build, decorate and eat as you go?
Here is a happy builder. Hopefully the manor survived his transit home.

ps., sorry for the stretch photos-- it's the seasonal new graphics, they tweak out my photos!

Friday, 12 December 2008

Cause I have nothing better to do at 6 a.m.

This morning I plastered six houses. Yes. Really I did. Take that DH! (aka stucco man among friends)
Well, I joined the walls, and that's paramount to a good house. A gingerbread house.
Afterschool there are six little architects arrriving to create and design masterpieces. It should be good fun.
Yesterday was a more productive day than lately. I only had one errand amid my work and that was depositing money in the bank. A feel-good errand. Until you lose the bank. Can I help it, if all the storefronts on Main Street look alike? So here I was on Main Street, which looks like every other Main Street in every other Irish town, walking to a bank I can't find. Clearly I don't visit the bank enough.
Just when I think I've gone completely bonkers, I spy the bank's colors way over yonder. Apparently the bank moved into shiny new digs, you feel golden just by walking in. I must have missed my housewarming invite.

Tomorrow DH and I brave the cold and crazed as we head out to do our Christmas shopping. A little late for my taste, but sometimes we can't schedule chaos as good as create it. The girls have been good gift-receivers in training. According to how our Santa works, he's bringing a big item (luckily he's on top of that Wii thing), a Man U t shirt (DH influence all the way, or need I say?) and a surprise. So it's surprise time and, honestly, I can handle shopping for a 'surprise' for 5 and 4 yos. That's a walk in a park for me and DH.

Well, that is, if we can convince the other shoppers to stay home.

Do I have something on my nose?

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

I Never Liked Homework

Working from home ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. You know?

The notion, that, as your own boss, no one is keeping tabs on you is soooo overrated. In fact, the freedom, the liberty, or whatever blissful name you call it, well, it’s just downright deceiving. A grand illusion, that’s what I call it.

Sure, I can come collect it. Freedom? Oh, yeah, freedom to over commit.

Well, I’ll just fit that in between this and that. Yes! I’m at liberty to squeeze in tasks.

Um, ok, I’ll do that while I do this. Right. Now I’m imaging I’ve cloned myself.

They say, "it's 5pm quitting time somewhere", and I say, "it's 9am starting time somewhere, and in that place is someone I can channel." Yeah, like who needs sleep, when there's work to be done?

And housework? Oh, it's there too.

If I walk down the hall one more time with that flint and fluff snickering in the corner, out comes the hoover. Really, how long can that take? Too long.

Or, as I feel the sun streaming through the windows, I look and quiz myself: how did I manage so many streaks—surely I can wipe a window better than that! What? A challenge? Here I come.

One glance in the girls’ room and I’m chasing another taunt. I mean, tangent. How sneaky and good would that be if, while they're in school, I sweep clean of toys outgrown? Too good.

Today I found myself calculating for when rented offices are a possibility in the budget.

Until then my choice of concentration--aka denial of the obvious--is the closed door. If you can’t see it, it can’t be added to the list.

Oh and Christmas decorations? Boxes were opened; garland and shining balls are protruding all sides. Still. Beyond the decorated tree, it’s as if Santa’s elves DH and the girls just lost interest. With each peek, I feel those boxes calling me. And yet, I admire and pine from afar.

When I’m done admiring, or more like, when my mind drifts to the next task, I close the door.

Monday, 8 December 2008

And Then, A Tree Appeared in My Living Room

I have friends who do not have children. For one reason or another, it is their chosen path. For that matter, I also have single friends who are very happily single. And trust me, when I say, there are those days that I think, “Oh! I wonder what Girlfriend’s doing right now? I bet she’s not home wiping jello from her dining room windows.”

And then there are the other days. Such an airport , 18 hours travel in and 6 hours to go, amid a showing of anxious and weary passengers, Cutiepie climbs into my lap hooking her plump hands around my neck, pulling us face to face, and with volume control that is nonexistent, says, “Mommy, I’m in love with you.”

Or the morning we needed to bring boxes down from the attic. Confident and informing, Babydoll orchestrated the task. “Mommy, you will have to go up into the attic.” Cutiepie chimes in, “Yeah, cause the hole is small and Daddy is too wide to fit.” At which time Babydoll clarifies, “You know, wide is just a nice word for fat.”

Or like today, when I came home late from meetings and exhausted to the bone. I was greeted by my enthusiastic daughters. “Mommy, mommy!” “Guess what!” “You’ll never guess!” The excitement was bursting through the house.
Finally, Babydoll spilled. “Daddy’s making dinner!!” “Really! He is!”

And then like that, I realized there’s a tree in my living room. Christmas has arrived.