Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I'm still here.

A recent spate of stormy weather coinciding with an overnight business trip for my beloved requiring that I drive like mom one morning in the midst of many end-of-Kindergarten festivities for the elder lad has spelled a drought for this chronicle.  I'm still here, though, with a laundry list of salient topics (but lots of laundry to keep on, lest it bury me alive) in my mental queue.  So please stick with me...

Saturday, May 21, 2011

just sayin'

I went to the salon this morning for a little spruce up to my neglected mane.  O happy day!  Upon my return, however, there were some mixed reviews.

my beloved: "you look great, Sweetheart!"

younger lad: "why does your hair look like that?"
me: "like what?"

him: "weird."
me: "how?"

him: "like [the two-year-old lass's]."
me: "how should it look?"

him: "curly."  (the lass's is *straight*, and she thinks my hair looks "good".)

Once I came home from the salon all coiffed and curled.    The younger lad said I looked "like a tiger".  That was a compliment coming from him.  I assured him my locks would be back to wavy soon enough...

Friday, May 20, 2011

clearing the air

Invariably, I nullify the olfactory delights that linger in the air after baking double batches of muffies or breakfast cookies by later cooking something equally aromatic (in a different way) like a stir fry.  Afterward, the air quality takes a nose dive, as what was once aromatic and tantalizing is now just stale and stinky.

So on those occasions, I light a candle -- usually lavender-scented, as that's my favorite -- as I go about my other wind-down activities in the kitchen.  As the flame dances in the pool of wax, I offer the day's shortcomings with the candle's smoke floating heavenward along with prayers for the grace to do better tomorrow.

At our wedding, we chose a Responsorial Psalm with the refrain
Let our prayers rise like incense in your sight.  
May this place be filled with the fragrance of Christ.

Ancient as time and fresh as the start we will have -- God willing -- tomorrow morning, the failure to overcome our weaknesses necessitates an air clearing of sorts so that only the fragrance of Christ remains.  Lavender-scented candles don't accomplish that, but the symbolism of prayers rising like smoke helps this mama remember and be thankful for God's tender mercy.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

muffin tops (aka "muffies")

My little helpers and I made "muffies" this morning with my new "disher."  Check it out.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

minor victories :: selective listening edition

Identifying as I do so strongly sometimes with Charlie Brown's teacher, I admit to letting the frustration of not being *heard* (as in, requested response or a reasonable facsimile given) get the better of me.  That's right: sometimes I yell.  I'm not proud of it, but there it is.  I almost always feel like a big meanie immediately after I yell, so I am continually employing proactive measures to prevent the outburst, including big deep breaths, distractionary tactics, sign language, and whispering.

I am happy to report another alternative to the ranting and raving that actually seems to work with a reasonable amount of frequency: singing.

Now, when I say "singing" I mean silly sing-song singing, a little bit Ethel Merman and a little bit overdone operatic caricature.  In the classical singing world, this "sung speech" has a name: sprechstimme.

I make my request in sprechstimme, and like some sort of magic, there is an appropriate (usually) response!  Better yet, sometimes the response is sung back to me: "why are you singing?"

I answer in sprechstimme: "because if I don't sing I might yell, and I really don't want to yell.  Do you like it when I sing to you?"

on pitch (!): "yes."

And then there are the beginnings of grins, laughter, compliance, and cooperation. 

It doesn't work every time or with every child, but it works enough of the time to be worth giving a try whenever conditions warrant -- which sometimes seems like all too often...

Sunday, May 15, 2011

busted: the sequel

The two-year-old lass spies me popping a couple of bittersweet chocolate chips in my mouth.

"What you having?" she asks.
Is it that obvious?

Apparently it is.  Next thing I know she comes toddling over to the sofa I'm standing behind and says, "let me climb up here.  I have some?"

I oblige.

"You such a good mommy."

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

myopic view?

Since he is still hyped up from the "come join Cub Scouts" ice cream social the elder lad went to with my beloved this evening, the soon-to-be kindergarten graduate is taking some extra time to wind down to sleep.  He is, however, doling out sweet smiles as he is telling me how much fun he had at the event, which reminds me of similarly sweet smiles he gave as a baby...

me: "when you smile at me like that, it's like sunshine to my heart."

him: "when you smile at me, you look like you have two heads and four eyes."

Gee, thanks. 

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

above & beyond

Elder lad to his brother in the most suppliant tone of voice he can muster, "it would be really considerate of you to put these socks [that he's worn all day] in the laundry basket for me..."
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