The Magic of Mirrors

I'm a sarcastic person by nature. Hubby and I like to have verbal wit duals sometimes, and he usually wins, but I can spar verbally with the best of them. But sometimes, I'm rendered speechless, and it's almost always when I look at my kids.

Today was a normal day, which means abnormal, because there are no normal days in our house. Woke up at 5:30am, showered, got dressed, packed up my stuff, and headed out the door for a 7am meeting 45 minutes away. Wore a suit today, which has not been a part of my normal routine at all since I left the corporate world 3 years ago, but I was speaking at this meeting so I suited up and put my game face on (whatever that is, I don't even know anymore!). After the meeting, I met up with hubby who drove the kids into town, switched cars, dropped off the deposit for my new office space, then headed to the bank to sign papers to help pay for said new office space. It was still early, about 8:45am, so it was quiet at the bank. But by 9am it got louder, thanks to my kids' comfort level with the bank growing. We waited. and waited. and while we waited and waited, the kids started running around the bank. Baby Tickle kept cracking up at big brother Boo. They played tag and chased each other. As I signed papers and talked numbers and equipment, I would catch a glimpse of their reflection in windows and monitors around the bank. They were so happy. So free. And so darn cute.

Finally papers were signed, and off we went to run more errands. More laughter in the car, and I'd catch them in my car's "conversation" mirror, grabbing for the other's hand, making faces at each other. Boo kept trying to explain things like a big experienced brother, while Baby Tickle just listened intently before throwing her head back and giggling the most amazing belly baby giggle. I am surprised I got us home safely: those conversation mirrors are addictive and probably why my neck hurts most of the time.

Life in our house truly is crazy right now, and I mean crazier than the normal craziness. There is so much happening, most of it good, but there's SO much of it, all at once. I don't have any downtime, none, and that's ok because I know it's temporary. What keeps me sane is catching glimpses of my kids throughout these super crazy days. My mind may be elsewhere but then suddenly I'll catch a glimpse of them, or hear their laughter, see their smiles, and suddenly the world stops. I stop. Even if it's just for a moment, it's beautiful and comforting and grounding. These magical moments remind me that the decisions I've made are the right ones, that as hard as they can be to work through, the reason is always worth it. To see my kids, to hear my kids, to hug and kiss and tickle my adorable breathtaking little people makes everything, everything worth it.


Garage Sale Revelations

On Saturday, I started this lovely, poignant post about our garage sale and the beacons of light that beamed down onto my overloaded soul and filled it with such inspiration.

But it's the end of Monday now, and I don't have time to finish that bullshit so here's the short list of what I learned from our garage sale on Saturday:

1. "Things" really don't have sentimental value to me as perhaps some should. As we were putting out Boo & Baby Tickle's teeny tiny baby clothes, I would remember their itty bitty little selves writhing around in their cribs those first days, months in those outfits. But then onto the racks or bins they went. The new open spaces in all of our closets? Heaven! I hate clutter, apparently, more than I love what should be sentimental memories.

2. It really is nice to live close to family. I can bitch about how my parents set back months of working with Boo about the value of money within one 2-hour babysitting timeframe in which they taught him that if he's simply"good" he gets tons of quarters for his piggy bank (grr...). I can complain about my mom always forgetting things I tell her or my dad still trying to tell me how to do things that a stupid monkey could do, but when it comes down to it, having my parents and brother live about 45 minutes away is very nice. It's great to watch our kids grow up with fond memories of their grandparents (they LOVE their grandparents), and to grow up playing with their cousins. And we really couldn't have had that garage sale without them there to help. My bro & SIL and nephew stayed the whole time! On a beautiful Saturday! We didn't expect that at all so a big huge THANK YOU to them.

3. Never underestimate the power of a clean garage. I've seriously walked in and out of there, with it all clean and organized and corners where I am no longer afraid to reach for things for fear that something might bite me, and I've been as giddy as I would be after finding a fridge full of chocolate truffles. A clean garage gives me hope. For what? I don't know. But it does.

4. I'm a pushover. Big time. What's that? You say you want to give me just 25 cents for that almost brand new toy that costs $55 on store shelves right now? Ok! What a great idea! Take it! You look nice! And apparently, I can't say "no"!

5. I hate garage sales. Too much work. Cleaning, organizing, pricing, staging, negotiating. Next time? All of our friends and family can come over for an open house sale and just let us know if they want to take any of our older stuff. The rest goes to charity. We were pooped after just a one-day sale. I'm still pooped. So pooped, I'm going to bed. Good night!


Rockstar Cuties

Today was an amazing day with the kids. They were both just rockstars and sure they had their moments when we were out and about, testing me and trying to get my attention by whining while I failed miserably at attempting to hold conversations with fellow adults, but all in all, we had a super fun, silly, big hugs all around kind of day. We danced, sang songs at the top of our lungs, made beautiful drawings and made up great crazy stories, made all of our regular errands fun adventures, and we just had so much effin fun today, that it really set the tone for the rest of the week. So are you listening, Tuesday through Sunday? You'd better live up to the wonderfulness that was Monday, or else I'm kicking ya back to last week, when you all sucked!

Which is why I didn't blog last week. Because it sucked. But this week....ah, I feel the change in the air already, thanks to my super rockin kiddos. I love you two more than the moon. And chocolate. Yep, that's right: even more than chocolate.


Foto Friday: My Secret Love

I love pretty things. Paper. Coasters. Shirts. Bags. Laptop Skins. If I see a color combo or pattern that makes me happy, I have to have it, regardless of what it is. Most of the time, my purchases make sense. Sometimes, they don't.

Like my secret love of fabrics.

I could spend hours in a fabric store. The eye candy is just too much for me and I have to buy a few yards. Just a few. Because you never know. I may just buy a sewing machine one day and actually, um, sew something out of the beautiful fabrics I purchase.

I have cut out patterns and my mother, the seamstress, has made some t-shirts. Shirts we were and possibly still will sell through my design studio but for now just adorn my two kids. Sometimes I think about pillows. Pillows were always easy. I used to sew: pillows, blankets, skirts, shirts for my dolls, stuffed animals. It's been a long, long time.

I keep these in a cabinet in my office for design inspiration, and some framed on our living room wall because they're just too beautiful to hide away. Someday they will all be out in the world in varying shapes and sizes and uses...for now, their main purpose is to keep the creativity flowing and just simply make me happy.


Calling Super Nanny

The time has come. Our nanny's fall school schedule isn't jiving with our family/my work schedule, thus we're (who are we kidding, I am) on the hunt for a new part-time nanny for my baby girl. I am grateful that I have two months to find one, and that I am lucky to have a lot of great resources in the area, but I am still not looking forward to the search. It's worse than hiring employees, which I actually love doing; it's asking complete strangers to come into my home and to love and care for my flesh and blood as much as I do. And to try not to kill the dog. Or to eat all of the bagels.


My dear daughter has never gone through this kind of transition before, so I worry what it will be like for her. My son, who will only be hanging out with the new nanny for less than an hour at a time after school, will most definitely put the new nanny through his test of wills, but I think he'll be fine. It's my sweet baby girl, who has really gotten attached to our current nanny...she's the one I worry about. She's been super clingy lately, and she's not normally so. I worry that at this stage of her life, it is a more difficult time for this kind of emotional transition.

But such is life. And I have to remember that she's a tough girl. She'll be fine. Right?


I've put the call out to friends and family, but have yet to hit Craigslist. I really don't want to go that route. So far I have one great lead, and I feel like I must have done something really great in a past life to have this lead so soon in the search. It's almost too good to be true. But will it work out? We shall see. I'm trying not to get too excited. She sounds great. But hiring a nanny puts me in both the interviewer AND the interviewee spot: I need to like and approve of her, but she needs to like and approve of us too.

The thing about hiring a nanny is that it's not just the kids that get attached. I do too. And while I love change, transitions, new beginnings, I truly suck at saying goodbye. I can't do it. I get attached to people I chat with in line at Starbucks, so imagine the attachment I get to the people who come into my home a few times a week and care for my children.

Well, wish us luck. And if anyone knows of a great part-time nanny in the Portland area, let me know! :-)