Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Being Creative

Taking care of small children full time, tending to a house that is under constant arrest of two pint sized whirling dirvishes, and conjuring intelligent thoughts beyond pork chops and scalloped corn for dinner has proven at times to be a creative energy vacuum for me. All of the day to day, hour by hour and minute by minute happenings in my little corner of the world have at times consumed even the most spirited and creative part of what makes me, well...a happy well balanced me.

This is the part of full time stay at home mother-dom that has sent some of my dearest and most talented mother friends skittering off to a cubicle near them to be amongst movers and shakers. The reality of what I have known in the past is that having it all takes giving something up. By that I mean that the grass is not always so much greener on the other side...both being at work outside the home and not working outside the home takes work and compromise. I am in awe of women who seem to make it work while working. Period.

I am even more in awe of women who have found a way that includes flexibility for what their needs are in any given year. For example, they have a 1st grade child and work while the child is in school but make it home in the nick of time before the bus arrives at 2:50pm. I know women who work doing something at home, while the children nap.

So where is all of this going? Why the work home life balance rumination?

Maybe it is because the last week or so I have been making a concerted effort to be more creative. I have been photographing the kids. (Oh my, even with my delayed snap digital they are cuter than bugs ears.) I have been spending hours dragging those children through the fabric stores in attempt to find the bestest darn trims and fabrics for a new round of handbags.

While Olivia naps my sewing machine has been humming. And it is food for the creative soul. Maybe it is time for me to work on finding a way to make work WORK. I can't work in the cubicle, no offense to anyone who works in a cubicle...I have had some pretty nice darn cublicles in my day. Creative work is what I want. I'd love to dream that it is not too far fetched that I could create a job for myself that let's me create the stuff I'd like to create and that someone out there in the world would find enjoyment from that stuff. (aka, pay for it) I am a child of the 80's after all.

So here it is, some cute pie pictures that I enjoyed taking.

Ava and her friend E at a holiday party.

And some hand bags, just for fun.

Next time, more about conjuring nerve to take handbags to local boutiques.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Ornaments On The Move and Pie

You people Rock! There is no other way to put it. My email inbox tells me that over 40 ornaments will soon go to very deserving homes. They will be reflecting the little cutie pie children's faces in no time at all hanging from a tree or kitchen cabinet. And soon my local FCC chapter will hold me in decent graces once again when I come a knocking bearing gifts of cash so that some little local munchkin can attend Chinese Culture Camp this summer.

Ahhh, and on the news front this great day of giving thanks.

I must mention for posterity's sake that sweet darling little Olivia wolfed down turkey, mashed potatoes, Emerils fabulous spinach and artichoke dressing, and an entire piece of pumpkin cream pie that was earmarked for my mother. (Who wouldn't choose to buy my gal's affection with pie?) She also tossed her sippy cup off the high chair tray no less than 6 times with gusto, sending the Muffin Man skittering and mumbling obscenities under his breath. She promptly wore herself out shoveling the grub in faster than I could move it from the kitchen island to her high chair and is now resting comfortably on a triptophan high in her crib.

Ava thought it better to cook this year than eat. She is a pint sized Rachael Ray if there ever was one. I am personally pushing for restaurant ownership and culinary leadership in Vegas. Who wouldn't want their sweet innocent to be slinging hash at the Bellagio in a few years. For all my years slaving silently and passively raising these girls (ahem...) I deserve a free trip to Vegas and have my gal cook a meal for me one day.

We here at the estrogen packed side of the cul-de-sac wish you and yours a very full and thankful belly.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Ornamental Firesale

Never in a million would I have ever thought I'd be using the ole' blog to sell stuff. And I'm not, well not really. Ok, kind of sort of....

My local chapter of Families With Children From China has some glass ornaments that they purchased last year and did not ummmm...completely sell out. I said I would take on the little project of reducing inventory of the glamorous store front located on prime real estate in the fashionable arts district of my town, otherwise known as the brown box in the garage.

We are selling them at cost plus postage. They are glass, not plastic. They have the word family etched in the glass in both the Chinese character and English. They come in a pretty darn cute little box, suitable for upscale gift giving. Slap a red bow on it and you'll be ready with a darling hostess gift this holiday season. Or if you are like me and collect ornaments for your kids so they won't have to hang milk crates from the tree in several years perhaps you'd like a few to put away until she moves into that first apartment with the leaking faucets and mice running amok in the kitchen. I guarantee huge oooohhhh and awe factor should you show up with copious amounts of free ornaments at dear child's wedding shower in the year 2020. Aunt Betty's flower vase will hold no candle to your box of ornaments.

This money does go to a registered 501(c)3 and proceeds are donated to Chinese Children's charities. Should you be mildly interested, checks for $10 per ornament can be made directly to FCC Indiana. Email me and based on where you live I will ask for the shipping add on. (I might also ask for a few extra bucks since I want this for Christmas but feel free to ignore me.)

Go ahead, click the view profile button in the sidebar of the blog and then click "email me" when the next window appears. Tell me you'd like to order a few and we'll be instant friends. You'll be one step closer to completing your holiday shopping and all will be merry and bright.

Tomorrow it will be back to low pressure pictures of my kidlets baking pies and stuffing their little faces with turkey.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

She's 1 and Here's The Photographic Evidence

Red Velvet. After the birthday girl was done tossing RED cake around the kitchen it looked ummm, slightly unappealing.

Birthday carnage, if you will.

"Let them eat cake." ~Marie Antoinette

"A lot of cake." ~Olivia Xi GeGe

"Yeah, I know when to say when."

And, no it does not concern me that I 've eaten so much red cake that I might be pooping red for days."

And on that note, Happy Birthday to Me.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Does This Mean No More Baby?

She's 1. It happened yesterday. I almost cried, but then thought better of it, too melodramatic even for me. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I'd want a kiddo o'mine to stay babified for longer than a few short months. I was researching preschools at Ava's 1st birthday party. Not because I was so interested in her becoming some academic whiz kid, I simply wanted to grocery shop alone again. It is selfish, and yet true.

But when Olivia turned one I started pining for that day 6 weeks ago at the park when I looked
into her huge brown eyes and silently begged her to stop time. I touched her perfect downy hair that naturally grows a little to the right and willed it to never grow into long girlie pigtails. I looked up to the sky and asked why her little size 4 foot must get bigger. Then again the twinkle in her eye and the way that she tips her head and smiles just a bit when you feed her will only get more endearing and she grows.

Why do mothers sometimes get like this? So sentimental and wishing for ridiculous jerks in time and space? Maybe the moon is full. Maybe deep down I sense she will be my last baby. She will be forever my baby.

In addition to the birthday, there is another anniversary to mark for my Olivia. It weighed heavily on my mind all day. It has been exactly one year since she left a birthfamily and found a caring orphanage to foster her most basic needs. One Year. That is a lot of change for one little 6lb. kid. Indeed, November 12, 2005 was a monumental day for Miss Olivia Xi GeGe. It was a day filled with changes that would knock the average well adjusted adult on their butts and running for the nearest therapist.

On to the celebration. Ava voted for a large friends and family event. As often happens in this benevolent dictatorship she was vetoed. We ordered take in Chinese and baked her a Red Velvet cake with cream cheese icing. It was dry and from a box. But her sister and I tried our best and well, red for love and red for China. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Scroll up for a few pictures of the little gal helping herself to a healthy dose of 1st birthday cake.

Happy birthday baby girl, here's to many more.

Friday, November 10, 2006

A Day At The Park

It's nice and warm here today and Mom took us to the park. Yeah.

Except now she is posing us like a bowl of fruit.

Let us at that slide.

Who are we kidding here? Are you going to let her go down the big girl slide?

Something we can both ride, sort of.

Here is the real story. My sister ditched me for a kid named Goldie. Yes, she really did have curly gold hair, it was weird. They were playing freeze tag or something like that.

Who needs freeze tag when I can run away from my mom and her relentless camera.

So, I decided to make my own fun and run laps around the playground.

Check out the Guangzhou special on my feet. Wahoo, I love it when I'm styling.

Friday, November 03, 2006

The Pink Load.

Tuesday night I took every last full sized Halloween candy bar we own and put them in the freezer. We own the Costco big box since in a moment of denial I convinced myself we'd be more likely to give away that a big box of 30 full sized candy bars than a large bag of smaller snack sized bars.

It is now November 2, 2007 and we still own 22 giant bars of candy. We gave away exactly 3. I have downed 5 leftovers in 2 days. Two for breakfast on November 1st. Two for snack today and I'm not sure about the last one...a sugar high and resulting memory loss is a conspicious thing. Reason number 628 I'm not leaving the house until May and Liv is 18 months old.

How did we only manage to ditch such a low low number of candy bars? We have at least 10 children in the neighborhood, not including the six pack next door. (Yes, six of them.) What has become of today's child? Is no one teaching the fine art of Halloween grabby hands anymore? Is everyone turning to granola? Here's the real clincher. I left a big bowl of 30 large candy bars on our front stoop on Halloween night unattended while I shopped my two kids around the neighborhood. The Muffin Man is in Las Vegas on business eating at Emeril's so I was left solo. Unattended people. The Jack o' Lanterns were lit, the front light glowing. Something is wrong with today's youth they not a) too nice or b) too stupid for words since I have 22 candy bars left! And so, I am left with an icebox full. Poor me. (Just so you learn something in this post, take note that BabyRuths are NOT better frozen like Snickers.)

After my 2 frozen candy bar snack today I decided to catch up with a little laundry. Nothing like 16,000 grams of sugar to get the hands folding.

Here is what I noticed at my house.

Do you notice anything strange? Do you see a trend? A color trend?

Most people do darks and lights. We do pinks and other. Forget the testosterone. Since I was left to contemplate laundry while riding the sugar wave I decided to just wash all the Muffin Man's underwear with Olivia's red jumper to make them pink.

Now my life as a candy eating stay at home mom will be much more simple since we don't need to sort anything...we will simply toss in a pink load.
All in a day's work. That is why I get the big bucks. Now excuse me, it's time for a Butterfinger.