Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Teeter-Totter

Stress is like a teeter-totter. The more things pile on in one area, the closer you get to hitting rock bottom. The less you have on your side, the higher the ride. Most of us would like to be somewhere in the middle. To achieve balance. That is difficult on the teeter-totter. It’s hard to stay centered. A little twinge this way, a wiggle that way and the weight gets thrown off.

Up or down you go.

Riding through life.

Up and down.

Up and down.

Soaring. Failing. Exuberance. Defeat. Contentment. Resign. Where will the ride take me today? Perhaps, if I push a little harder, I can get some great air up there.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Cable Guy

We changed cable companies for the millionth time. After waiting 4 hours yesterday, the first guy came and set it all up incorrectly. He gave us the wrong type of boxes and didn’t set up the Internet. He told me that we requested it to be set up ourselves. I assured him that we would not normally make such a request-perhaps, because we are not technically savvy. He disagreed and said that must have been what my husband wanted. I said, well since I’m the one here with you, we’re going to override that thought and have you set it up. He informed me that would require another appointment. Proceed with deep breathing techniques…

On day two of the cable saga, I learn that Zac Efron is my new cable guy. No kidding. He walked up my driveway and it took all my restraint not to bust out with “hey, did anyone ever tell you that you look like…” I’m sure he gets it a lot.

As Zac is walking into the house with me, the kids are standing there looking at him. I swear they were about to ask him themselves. He mutters hi to A. Then walks past B just as R jumps out from behind the door he was about to knock into her. He says, “Oh, there’s another one.” Yes sir, Zac. You have to watch it around here. These little kids are everywhere.

We are in the family room and I explain the problem to him. He begins fiddling with the cable box and graciously points out to me that something or another is not plugged into the right spot. I am not sure what yesterday’s cable guy did, so I say just go ahead and do whatever you need to. I walk into the chaos of the kitchen (we had just arrived home from school as he was pulling up) and begin trying to help B and A with homework before we have to leave for soccer practice. Zac gets a call on his phone from a friend. He just starts chatting away and at one point goes “Dude, I can’t even hear you it’s so loud in here.” Again, yes, children are noisy. Especially when they just get home from school.

So, he goes upstairs and starts working on the box up in the master bedroom. In the meantime, I am trying to get B and A into their soccer uniforms for practice. There was some confusion on where certain shirts and socks were located. I go up there to see if he’s almost finished and notice that someone had dumped the entire laundry basket out onto the floor of my bedroom. Perhaps a certain someone looking for a soccer jersey… So, scattered all over the floor were clothes and underwear and last, but not least, one of my bras spread out directly in front of the TV set where Zac was trying to hook up my DVR. I believe I said something intelligent when I walked into the room like “What the hell?” Zac just shrugged as I, with warp speed, picked up all of the laundry and deposited it back into the hamper.

I return downstairs and begin to get the kiddos into the car when I hear him calling “Miss? Miss?” He needed me to sign the paperwork. At least Zac threw me a bone and called me Miss instead of the dreaded Ma’am. For that, I could have kissed him. But, I figured Vanessa was surely waiting in the van. And I did have that soccer practice to run to and my youth and dignity to find somewhere…

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Little Snippets 5

R: Mommy, is it time to put my ballet-it-tard on now?

Me: What??

R: Time for the ballet-it-tard now? I want to go to ballet!

Me: Do you mean your leotard for ballet?

R: Yeah, my ballet-it-tard.

We had a book fair at school last week. They are kind enough to include books for small children in the fair so that siblings can have something to pick out also. So, we found a book about an iguana for R. All three children have been somewhat obsessed with iguanas after our February trip, where we were able to see lots of them up close and personal. In the car on the way home, R is reading her book. She starts calling it an ig-u-na-na. I think I must have corrected her about 12 times. No matter what, she either couldn’t or wouldn’t correct her pronunciation of it. I have to say, in that little voice the ig-u-na-na was hysterical. B, A and myself couldn’t stop the giggles.

R has reached the exact height of all counter tops, doorknobs, tables etc. Anything and everything that you could possibly run into, she is these days. I feel sorry for her little head. This weekend, she hit the granite in the kitchen and the post of a soccer goal on Sunday. She walked into the grill on the patio yesterday. Running into school to get B and A, she collided with the metal tab that sticks out from the handle on the door. I swear I am contemplating a helmet for her. As we are grocery shopping the other day, she turns and whacks her head onto the cart handle. I am consoling her when an older woman walks up to us. She tells R not to worry she just needs to grow two more inches and she’ll be fine-so, get on it! R and I sat and stared as she walked off.

I am coming up on my 100th post soon. (Yay! Cue the confetti and balloons!) This is a small milestone for lots of bloggers. So, I was wondering what you all did to celebrate your 100th post. I am contemplating the traditional 100 things you don't know about me list, but am open to other suggestions. Mainly because I don't know if I can come up with 100 things that are even remotely interesting. So, please, by all means suggest away.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Dress Up

In May, B and A will make their First Communion. As many of you know, this usually entails a beautiful white dress for the girls and jacket and tie for the boys. So, a few weeks ago, we started looking for their attire.

There is a darling bridal store in the town next door to ours. Just the kind of place you’d dream about when planning a wedding. They carry the most exquisite dresses, jewelry and hair accessories. It almost makes you want to do it all over again. But this time with the elegant and refined taste that comes with your thirties and not your twenties. They also carry adorable flower girl dresses.

After striking out at the department stores with overly sequenced and tuelled dresses, we opted for a trip over there. I wanted something classic. Something simple. Something that suited A. And we found just that at this store. It is a beautiful dress with pretty lace over silk on top and the silk continues on the skirt below with a bow at the waist. Tiny pearl buttons close up the back. It is also not white. Gasp! It is more of an ivory color. I know, I know. We are going out on a limb here, but she is a brunette and looks really lovely in an off white versus pure white dress. The woman at the store wanted me to call our religious education director and to see if it would be all right. As her mother, I assured her it would be fine.

We tried on a few veils as well. And, I have to admit, that when she placed that on her head, I had to hold back a few tears. It all came rushing at me. I saw a glimpse of us twenty years from now buying another white dress and veil. I know that time will be here before I’m ready for it. So, for now, we said no to the veil. We are opting for fresh flowers on a barrette instead. I think it’s actually a lot prettier and holds off those wedding visions for me. She is going to look beautiful. Her brown hair and green eyes with the off white dress. So slight and so tiny-she is such a little lady. She will be very elegant on her special day.

While I was excited to shop for and buy A’s dress, I didn’t really think much about B’s outfit. He was supposed to wear the navy blazer that both of his cousins have worn for their First Communions. That means this would be the third time the blazer would be worn. Plus, I hate to admit it, but how many pairs of khaki pants can you buy someone in one lifetime? I feel like I have been buying him some in every size from three months to eight years. Boy’s clothes are just not that exciting.

However, when we actually got the blazer and tried it on, we found it did not even come close to fitting B. His cousins are quite a bit bigger than he is. So, a new navy blazer, dress pants, shirt and tie were needed. We actually took an entire afternoon shopping for his outfit. And I will admit, it was more fun than I anticipated. For the boy who gives me a hard time about putting on a collared shirt at the holidays, he was quite into the process. And when he slipped on that navy jacket and tied the knot on his striped tie, I was misty again. He could not have looked any more like his Dad. The spitting image. So unbelievably handsome. I caught a glimpse of him as an adult. That beautiful face and that kind heart will make some lucky girl swoon someday.

They grow up so fast. I know that is an old cliché. But, I once read somewhere that parenthood makes all the old clichés true…

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Stretching Myself

Life is busy. Hectic. Crazy.

Typical mom stuff.

Typical chaotic pace.

Unfortunately, lately, my mind seems to be running at the same pace as my body. This is not a good thing. I need to find some quiet. Some peace. “Serenity now!” as Mr. Costanza used to say.

So, I’ve been on a quest for some Zen.

While on vacation six weeks ago, I enjoyed a very nice massage in a beautiful spa at our resort. I left feeling tranquil. I walked out into the sunlight and felt the ocean breeze on my face. This resort and spa had a labyrinth set on a cliff overlooking the ocean. I’ve read about idea behind a labyrinth and have always wanted to try one. So, I began walking it. Unfortunately, it rained the day before my spiritual escapade. Therefore, the labyrinth was a bit muddy and I fell walking in the spiral. Completely oiled up from the massage with mud up and down my legs and all over my white swim cover up, I walked to meet my family at the pool.

When I got there, T saw me and started laughing. “What happened?” he asked. “On my path to spirituality, I fell in a mud puddle.” I answered. He thought that would make a great title for a book. It would because it sums up my quest for peace perfectly.

For me, it’s just not that easy to attain calmness. I am a doer-not a sitter stiller. My mind works at warp speed compared to the rest of me. I can think twenty steps ahead of any given situation. This is a great quality when it comes to mothering by the way and an even better quality for a mother of multiples. Over the long term, however, it not a great quality for your well-being. The mind deserves to be quiet at times. Each of us should be able to turn it off for a while and rejuvenate when necessary. I have lost the ability to do this well.

So, even though I fell in some mud, I am trying again. Yesterday, I began an eight-week yoga course. Not the crazy Pilates or Bikram type of yoga. Just the regular- learn to breathe kind of yoga. Because damn it, I can be calm!! I swear.

My class is an hour and fifteen minutes long. We stretched. We held poses. We breathed. A lot. Towards the end of class, we lay on the floor with our palms out and breathed for a long time. I’m not sure of the minute count-she makes us take off our watches. But, it seemed like nearly an eternity on that floor trying not to focus on anything but my body, my breathing and “honoring this time for myself”. I tried hard to fight the to do list piling up in my head. I fought hard the urge to say why am I here when I could be doing ___________. I fought fidgeting. I fought myself. I fought hard. And yesterday, I’m not sure who won the battle. My body or my mind. This war is far from over. But to the victor shall come the rewards.