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Posts Tagged ‘home’

It was when I was 43 that I realized my obsession with Sex and the City had lasted for 15 years.  I began watching this show during my first marriage.  That was long over.  The show lasted far longer than that and spawned two movies.  Now Carrie and the girls had become my eternal contact to single life and adventure that would never be achieved in my life.

Now I never wanted to live in New York City.  Really.  I’m not just saying that because I could never afford it.  Also I am way too scared to love there, though I did live in Philly during college.  I also feel like I could live in Boston, but NYC, never.  Too small.  Too crowded.  And I don’t have the wardrobe for it.  I suppose if you are independently wealthy or have your grandmother’s rent controlled apartment, you could have a nice life in NYC.

I love the life I live.  My husband is wonderful.  He makes me laugh, and he’s my best friend.  We have amazing sons.  They crack me up.  We do have adventures.  Just a dinner with my husband’s baked beans proves to be an adventure.

Still, the escapism Sex and the City offers is too tempting to ignore.  What if I could spend hundreds of dollars on shoes?  What if Miranda and Charlotte didn’t insult me in the second movie with the throw away line about admiring women who manage it without full time help?  Sometimes the shit they complain about is ridiculous and even more first world problems than I complain about, but I love the escapism.  It’s riskier than I would ever be in my life and so it’s like a giant fantasy world.  It’s a cartoon for grown ups.

Still, when did I become so obsessed?  I’m overly fixated on Sex and the City and the “clean” version, Friends.  Man, was that an incestuous group.  Phoebe is my favorite.  I feel I am a kindred spirit to her.  Definitely as ditzy as her at times-though I think she may have been the true brains of that group when you think about it.

Watching these shows helps me to escape the crappy commercials that target me.  Really, juice pouch commercials pitching women against each other as to who is the cool mom?  Fuck you.  Isn’t it hard enough to be a good mom and raise good kids without a fucking juice pouch making me feel like crap if I don’t chaperone every field trip?  Sadly, the commercial is spot on.  I see those women all the time when I’m chaperoning the field trip…oh shit.

So I escape with Carrie and the gals.  Their ladies night out is racier than mine but I do have one coming up.  PTA fundraiser, biggest of the year…oh shit.  Damn you, juice pouch commercial.

How does it happen that this PTA stuff and juice box phenomenon take over?  It seeps into the brain and becomes the mentality.  This is what I wanted in life–I wanted the happy marriage, kids, dog, six cats, four fish, and two bearded dragons.  No picket fence.  We’re a corner property and the zoning makes it really difficult to have a nice fence, so we didn’t bother.  I’m trying to work on the yard this year.  A bit more landscapy-ish than it is, but the backyard is still a lost cause. The boys are digging for a fossil.  Somewhere along the line I became a mom.  Everything shifted.

It just slips in there.  When you are least expecting it, your whole focus becomes your kids.  Your family.  And somehow I got swept up in the “keeping up with the Jones’” mentality.  That’s got to end.  Our house is very cluttered.  My one friend calls it the house of chaos.  It is.  My husband’s practice is in the bottom of the house, so during the day the door is constantly opening and closing, lots of random voices, people using the restroom.  Someone once asked the boys if it was weird for them and they said no.  Why would it be?  It’s the normal childhood they’ve grown up with.

Cluttered house…not as neat and tidy as some would have a house be.  We LIVE in our house and it is a home.  I’d love to not have to step on Legos, pick up socks every day, and remind the boys not to pee on the toilet seat, but this is our house.  At least for another decade or so.  Then it will seem quiet and empty once the boys are grown.  So I need to savor it now.

But then I watch SATC or Friends and see the people with their tidy homes, organized days, and calm and breezy approach to life.  I want that too.  Am i just lazy beyond all belief?  Am I spending too much time watching those shows?  Would my house be less cluttered if I got off of my ass, turned off the television, and cleaned?  Yes…but after working all day, I just want to hang with my family, throw in a load of laundry, and chill out.

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Younger son’s best friend came over today along with his two sisters.  In total, I had a ten-year old boy, a ten-year old girl, two eight-year old boys, and a three-year girl in my house for four hours.  Plus the 15 pets (1 cat, 3 kittens, 1 dog, 2 bearded dragons, and 8 fish…okay, the eight fish don’t require a lot of attention).  It was a full house of chaos.

At one point the three-year old girl said, “You talk about me.”… “No, we don’t. Why would you think that?”… “I dreamed about you and Younger Son. And you talked about me.”

Then there was a loud noise competition between the three-year old girl and my oldest, the ten-year old boy.

Another moment during the afternoon, I hear “I’m done!”  I looked around, not sure what that meant.  The ten-year old sister stood up, and sheepishly explained it meant her sister was done in the bathroom, ready for help, heading down the hall to the bathroom.

Sitting at the dining room table, my two sons and the three-year old were all still eating pizza, when the sweet little girl passed some gas.  My sons looked at me, at each other, back at me, then she passed a little more gas.  They looked at me again and I gave them the look that said, “she’s three, she can’t help it, and I know what each of you are capable of at this table, so let it go.”

These are the joyous moments of motherhood that make me realize I am glad I have an eight-year old son and a ten-year old son.  I do not miss diapers, playpens, toddler years, preschool years.  I loved those years when we were in them (how did I have the energy?!?), but I love where we are even more.  Those early moments are so very precious.  Each stage of childhood is precious and I’ve never been one to look back and sigh, missing the stage that had been grown out of.  Today, I realized I barely remember the stages the boys have grown out of.  I loved the silliness, the discoveries, the wonder of the world through their eyes, but I love where they are even more, so much so I don’t miss where they’ve been.

I also realized I have brought out a good number of breakable items that had been packed away for so long while they were little, little boys.  Okay, the items weren’t packed away all that long, but it felt like a long time while we were in it.  The boys are just such interesting people…I love watching them discover more and more about themselves.  I realized their days do not revolve around me (like days do when they are so little) and that’s a good thing.  Hell, sometimes I’m just the annoying mom now.

I love that my sons stay up till around midnight most nights whispering in their room, having “bro talk” about topics ranging from Lego design, to life dreams, to deep conversations about how to handle peer pressure.

I love that younger son tells me and Hubby that we are addicted to Law and Order SVU and that he’s going to call Dick Wolf and tell him to take it off the air.

I love when older son steps up by stepping back and letting his younger brother take the lead.

I love that they still share a room and have the other room set up with their Legos and beardies.

I love that they take turns walking the dog and they are nurturing the kittens with such love and attention.

I love that we live in our house, the house of chaos.  (In the middle of the street…it was our castle and our keep…)

I love that they love that song.

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whatever I’d like to do.  It’s odd.  I’ve haven’t had this much on my hands in years.  I do not want to fritter it away however, so I need to focus myself and find something purposeful to do with all this time.

Hubby and I have begun discussing sprucing up the laundry room.  We need to clean and then seal the walls, finish the top half of the walls, and do something with the floor.  Then the fun part is painting it.  I think I’ll pick a very funky color for the room.  It’s one of the rooms you can have a lot of fun in because one has to make laundry fun and exciting.  While we’re at, we can seal the lower half of the walls in the family room and lay down the new floor boards.  The frame of the floor is fine, it just has terrible floorboards.

I also want to paint the upstairs.  Not the boys’ rooms, they’ve been painted several times.  The bathroom’s been done twice too.  I want to paint our bedroom.  And the hallway, living room, dining room, and stairway walls.  This means of course I get to pick COLORS!!!!!

I have no clue about any of the rooms yet except our bedroom.  I’m planning a lovely jewel-tone in the blue family.  I’ve already found the new bedding to go with it.  I have some paint chips and will narrow down the choices.  Then once that’s done, we’ll figure out the rest of the upstairs.  By we, of course I mean me with some mice.

I need to choose carefully about the living room because very soon we will have to replace the furniture.  I’m thinking I’ll pick something in the espresso family because in theory that could hide the boys’ messes.  I keep thinking of spices for the living/dining room colors and then a bright vibrant color for the hallway.

I need to make these choices and then make my timeline so I don’t fritter away my time to do whatever I want to do with my family.  Some home improvement projects are always a good idea.

Happily it’s been too hot to weed!

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Today was a day of simplicity.  The boys and I went to church.  I was subbing for one of the other Sunday School teachers and my students were the helpers.  This meant I got to teach my youngest son’s class.  He did really well having Mom be his teacher for the day.  I try to teach a grade that neither are in because there is a wee bit more pressure when your mom’s the teacher.

The worship service seemed to be filled with simplicity in that so much of it was prayer.  Prayers for the community as we struggle with the tragedy from Thursday morning.  The words from my pastor filled my heart and I kept adding my own prayer of thanks for my two healthy and happy sons.  The boys helped me put the new curriculum in the classrooms after service and then we drove home.

On the drive we looked to see if the carcass of the deer was still on the side of the road.  It had been several weeks since we sat and watched the turkey buzzards (I think that’s what they were; they didn’t look like a classic vulture).  The bones were still there but no birds were circling anymore.

We came home and had sandwiches for lunch.  We had hoped to go to the museum this weekend but the boys didn’t keep up their end of the bargain.  Chores had to be completed by the time I got home from work on Friday and the chores weren’t done.  There were a lot of tears, a lot of promises, and I’m sure they were thinking “mean Mommy and mean Daddy”, but they had the whole day to accomplish a few simple chores.  What they accomplished was making the mess even bigger.  I hate that part of being a parent.  I love to take them on adventures.  But part of the job is saying no when the time is appropriate.

Without the trip to the museum, yesterday was spent working on the house.  With actual thought and planning, we simplified our kitchen.  We have this pile of stuff that tended to sit on the floor due to lack of cabinet space.  I measured the space and found the two random, funky cabinets we inherited with the house would fit in the space.  I gave them each a quick and dirty coat of paint (theater painting in my vernacular) and we set them up.  Not only does this give us the extra storage we needed, it provides the ever popular extra counter-top space.  Ah, simplicity.

My hubby and I also talked about the fact that we don’t need to buy as much food as we do.  I am dreadfully spoiled since my hubby does the shopping, but the man loves a sale.  He’ll stockpile like a hoarder.  Today he went to get the lunch meat for the sandwiches and did buy some Entenmann’s donuts–on sale.  Today he only bought two boxes.  Yea!

Hubby did a lot of work in his office too.  We also agreed that the more we cleaned out the more there is to clean out.  We agreed it will simply take time and celebrated our little victories of the weekend.  I repositioned my wonderful “Vera” bouquet in a spot that highlights it beautifully.  I used the space it had been in to set up a little bar (when did we acquire enough liquor to require a little make-shift bar?  Wow, we’re like grown-ups or something).  I dealt with several bags of “stuff” that seemed important enough at the time to set aside but now are clearly unnecessary.  Time really does work its magic, doesn’t it?  Things that seem so urgent and important rarely are as important as we make them out to be.

And now I sit looking at my home.  If one of those “staging for sale” shows came in, they would have a heart attack.  But man, it’s our house.  It is fun, funky, and a little bit strange.  It always strikes me as odd when people ask me how the boys handle the office downstairs.  I have to remind myself that to some that’s a weird way to grow up.  To me, it’s not like it’s a funeral home or anything.  It’s a chiropractor’s office.  Sure there are a bunch of spines and x-rays, but what house doesn’t have them?  With my hubby working from home, our sons get to have grand adventures after school and all summer long.  We are in a phase of simplicity yet also a renewing of our shared lives.  It’s quite a lovely place to be.

Our sons bedrooms would also freak out the staging people.  A picture is worth a thousand words. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So our house is our own.  We live life marching to our own drummer.  At this moment, our sons are cuddling on the couch watching their beloved Pokemon.  Then they’ll get ready for bed and they’ll probably fight just a little bit.  Because they are brothers.  And that’s okay for now.  Simplicity.  Spending the weekend together.  Simplicity.  Doing a little bit each day.  Simplicity.

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