I love winter.  Up until the last month or so.  Then my heart, mind, and body prepare for the very best season of all.  Spring.  I am a bona-fide spring junkie.  Today was the first time this year that I got the springy dingy feeling.

I’m going to get carried away in this post.  Consider yourself warned.

Today was an unexpected delight.  After last night’s terrific thunder storms, I figured it might be kind of warm. But when I stepped outside this morning–oh my gosh.  Bliss.  And there is no better bliss than the kind that catches you off guard.

I loved seeing those super white, chubby, little legs dangling out of the first shorts of the season.  Those little that have been hiding under layers of fleece for months came out to be kissed by the sun (and mama) today.  Exposed arms and faces soaking up the natural vitamin d those bodies have been craving.

A first real exploration of the outdoors for Maxine.  Crawling around.  Do I like the feeling of grass on my knees?  Do I hate it?   Oh, right-right, I’m mama’s daughter.  I love it.  I think.  Maybe.

Evie pushing the limits of her comfort zone.  And.  Wandering into the back yard by herself.  Crouching down to squish leaves and mud.

Rebecca arching her head back to feel that honest to goodness spring breeze on her beautiful face.

Me with a permagrin watching my girls fall in love with spring.  Me falling in love with my girls falling in love.

Long walks in the stroller with Wally trotting along beside.  And sometimes in front of the stroller.  That’s a mistake Wally.

Open windows.  Ceiling fans circulating the beautiful spring air into the house and the stale winter air out.  At least that is what I picture happening.

Dirty feet.  There is nothing better than dirty feet.  There is a direct correlation between how dirty you are and how much fun you had.

Little reddish buds on all the trees waiting to burst open into that young green in just a few short weeks.

A little chipmunk darted in front of us while we were lounging on the lawn.  Like 1 foot in front of us.  Okay, well that part kind of sucked because I don’t like rodents.

But mostly today promised me so many things.  Of the long daylight hours.  Of the summer nights with trips to creamy stand–Maxine can have her first soft serve this year.  Today promised me that our world would soon be exploding with green.  That the daffodils that opened today are just the first of many flowers to come.  It promised scraped knees and bee stings and all of the rights of the rights of childhood passage.  It promised us long hours at the park.  And swimming.  Lots of swimming (I considered pulling the kiddie pool out of the cellar but vetoed myself since I was the only adult here).

We were promised the endless summer–like the ones that turned me into the insane springy ding dong loving gal that I am today.

Enjoy the spring!

check myself before i wreck myself

For the most part we aren’t crass consumers anymore.  By we I mostly mean me because I am pretty sure my husband would go hog wild on electronics if given the chance.  We weren’t always this way but we’ve made some great strides towards the whole less thing.  There was a time in my life where I had almost 100 pairs of shoes and enough clothing to make your eyes bulge out of your head when you got a glimpse of my closet.  In fact, I am pretty sure I am largely responsible for the economy crashing as I pretty abruptly buttoned up my spending.

I get off track so easily.  Back to my point.  I do have one.  I swear.

So anyway, I was bragging about being such responsible consumers.  Comparatively.  And since we’ve made these changes, I have felt better.  I’m not focused on amassing a bunch of crap that was likely manufactured in China by young children under horrible conditions.  I don’t stress out about not having the latest and greatest XYZ (again, this is my blog, not Scott’s.  he may well be stressed about the unconsumed electronics).  I am pretty sure that I used to be somewhat compulsive about consumption.  Not to get all Freud or whoever, but it wouldn’t be a big leap to say that I probably bought things to assuage some subconscious want or dissatisfaction with my life.

I am currently in the process of remodeling my home.  Before having kids and moving into Vermont, I was seriously into design and spent much of my free time perfecting my home in FL.  It feels good to feel energized about making my space in Vermont my own.  I don’t feel guilty about doing some consumption or spending my free time scouring the web for diy tutorials.

But I am occasionally finding that spoiled, over consuming, brat makes a guest appearance.  My intention is to do everything on the cheap–reusing, repurposing, and refinishing whenever possible.  But that damn brat pops up in attempt to derail my best efforts to be responsible–tempting me to make the flashy trendy purchase over the practical enduring purchase.  And if that is not bad enough, she even slips back into obsessing over consumption of this or that.  And sometimes I don’t even realize she is here until I catch her whining about wanting/having to have this or that.  And I’m disgusted.  But I haven’t known how to control her.

Until today.

I remembered that no matter how much I bought, I never felt fulfilled.  So I would keep looking and buying more.  Vicious cycle.  I wasn’t happy.  And gosh darn it, before I started thinking about amassing more crap, I was totally happy.

Holy shit.  I’m so obtuse.

What I really want, I have.

And when I stop focusing on the love– on my little sprites,  on our good fortune,  on our health.  The happiness–it fades.  And really when I am spending so much time wanting a couch instead of enjoying my beautiful life, I am unworthy of happiness.

It is so simple.  I feel like a fool for losing sight of it.


Today, Maxine took her first real steps.  She is so proud of herself and holds onto her little belly to steady herself.  Hey, whatever works.

Yep, I’m sure you guessed it.  Love Explosions.

Her doctors have been fretting over her resistance to walking for a while.

I have not.

Maxine is almost 19 months.  A few months ago, just before she got the croup, she was taking a single tentative step here and there.  After the hospitalization, she stopped.  Even though I never left her side, she needed the reassurance of closeness to me.  She didn’t want to take risks.  She had to find her way back to that place of security.  I understood that.

I don’t believe in bribing, coaxing, cajoling, or manipulating my children because I think they should be doing something because of some chart or because the neighbor’s kid did it when he/she was XYZ age.  I don’t believe in pushing my girls to do things before they are ready.  That includes weaning.  That includes walking.  That includes sleeping in their own beds.  That includes almost anything.

I say throw the charts out the window.  Relax.  Enjoy your babies.  Seeing those first steps at 19 months is just as sweet as seeing them at 9 months.  Resist the urge to enter your baby in the race to nowhere and live in the moment.  The rat race is always hiring.

busting up misconceptions

I’ve been trying to write about Evelyn’s recent gasping for air-turning blue-ambulance-hospital experience for a couple of weeks.  I’ve come to the conclusion that it is not meant to be written–at least not now.  So I am putting it away and writing about something else.

People often ask me how I do so much.  Because I am asked it so often, I have given it some serious thought.  I’ve come to some conclusions.  People ask the question with some incorrect preconceived notions.

The bottom line is that we all make choices about what we do.  And I am here today to destroy any respect you may have previously had for me 🙂  No seriously.  You probably think that I do everything that you do plus the things that you see me doing–like schlepping Evie to umpteen appointments, that you don’t do.  No.

I don’t clean.  Nope, I’m not kidding.  I have a housekeeper.  She comes once a week and digs us out of our filth and clutter.  Were it not for her, we’d be in some serious trouble as proven by weeks that she hasn’t been able to come.  Sometimes I will run the vacuum quickly across the floor but that is pretty much the extent of my domestic efforts.

I don’t really put laundry away.  We mostly live out of laundry baskets.  I’m not exaggerating in the least when I say that we own 10 baskets for clean clothing and 4 baskets for dirty clothing.  I do a pretty decent job of getting dirty laundry clean.  I actually empty the clean baskets—once a month?  Maybe?  On a good month.

I don’t iron.  Nope.  Not at all.  It doesn’t make sense to me.  So we wear clothing that we don’t need to iron.  I haven’t ironed in years and I’m not ashamed that I choose to spend my time in other ways.  In fact, I am proud of it.

I neglect my appearance in other ways too.  I don’t style my hair-it is almost always up.  I don’t wear makeup.  I don’t get my haircut but a couple of times a year.  I don’t color my hair.  I don’t shave–maybe a couple of times in the summer.  I mostly bathe with my children.  I steal a couple of adult showers a week but that’s it.

I sleep perfectly well when there are dishes in the sink–amazingly, they are always there in the morning for me to wash.  I don’t have much to shovel in the winter because we have our driveway plowed.  In the summer, we have our lawn mowed and raked and I just take care of the fun stuff like planting things that make me happy.  Truth be told, if it were up to me, I would turn our lawn into a field of wild flowers, tall grass, and vegetable gardens that someone else takes care of.  But I have been vetoed on all of these whimsies.  Well, I am slowly achieving the wild flowers but shhhhhh.

So now that you’ve lost all respect for me, let me try to build it back up to a normal level.  I am pretty much a single parent during the week with Scott being down in Boston.  He is home for about 48 hours a week.  We don’t want to spend our weekends cleaning or doing yard work.  We want to spend time as a family.  And quite frankly, I need to spend time alone rejuvenating and energizing for the long week ahead…so I do.

We have a lot of therapies and appointments during the week.  My calendar would probably boggle your mind.  When we aren’t doing those things, we chill.  That doesn’t necessarily mean sitting on our bottoms and doing nothing; although, sometimes it does.  It means we don’t do anything that we don’t feel like doing that doesn’t have to be done.

I had to let a lot of things go in order to be happy.  I’ve spent too much of my life worrying about things that don’t matter.  When I am old and look back on my life, I want to see days that were filled with laughter and love.  I don’t want to wait until I am 80 to realize that there is no prize for having pressed clothing or the most organized home.  I want my children to remember long hot summers filled with swimming until their hands look like prunes, bare feet, and a mother that encouraged them to seize the day and get dirty.  And eat big fat ripe strawberries right off the vine.

So yeah, back to my point.  I don’t do nearly as much as you think I do.