Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sweet End to Sour Morning

As the first toasty marshmallows were heating up on the fire and I listened to the girls and Ron all talking about how to best roast a marshmallow (though they still don't have anything on my marshmallow roasting skills), I jumped up and said I needed to get some pictures. I had that warm, fuzzy feeling: we were having some quality family time, and it felt so peaceful. We had already roasted hot dogs on the open fire and eaten at the patio table in the cool autumn evening chatting about the girls' activities of the day. Everything just felt right.

Then, I thought about posting and I laughed. 'Cause my last post was about how I had had a perfect mommy day. What's so funny is that since that perfect mom day and tonight, I had had a number of really bad, sad mom days. Because I was not the mom I wanted to be. In fact, I think I would have been horrified if I had seen my mean mommy face in the mirror this morning when I went head-to-head with Annalee over TV, backtalk and general 7-going-on-13 angst.

So, while I like to post the priceless moments on this blog, everyday life is not perfect by any means. But, when I can end my day hearing Annalee say that 'having a sister is the best thing' and I can hear Zelda say 'way to go Daddy-O' for the marshmallow he roasted, despite the nastiness that started my day, I'd say life is pretty priceless. Pricelessly perfect, but with typical ups and downs. And, sometimes it takes the downs to make the ups seem even more special.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Really Good, Really Full Day

Around 4 o'clock today, I had the wonderful realization that I was having a really good day. A good mom day, a good me day and even a good kitchen-construction-getting-done day. But, I was most happy about the mom day.

Of course, when your day starts out with these two looking so hip and happy, what other type of day could I have had?

What really made the day for me was that I felt like I had been present for my girls. And, it has been a long time since I have felt truly present, without thoughts of which merchants I had to track down or contractors to contact about kitchen stuff not getting done. (Day 72 and counting, but today was a day when we saw tremendous activity and progress!) We played with Legos and Play Doh and in the sand box. I even snuck in some education with Zelda, working on patterns and colors and numbers with those Legos.

I couldn't help but remember something I wanted to carry with me this year: do less, be more. I've worked at it, and even been successful at it in the past nine months. But, during the past two months, those efforts have been scarce. So, woo hoo for me!

I even labeled my dill pickles - the first things I canned last week after the cooktop went in - and put them 'up.' I just love doing that!

As I kept patting myself on the back through the late afternoon and evening, the good mom day almost went south as our evening wound down and I was reading with the girls. Here we were reading Little House in the Big Woods with Laura and the family making cheese when Annalee starts asking me about my watch and electricity and the microwave. Hello? Are you even listening to me read? When I called her on it, she refocused enough for me to get to the end of the chapter, at which time I called it quits for the night. Then, Annalee remembered she needed to read a book to me for school. I found myself happily going into Annalee's room, snuggled up with her and let her read to me. Wow, I was so present, still.

And, it was so worth my energy. 'Cause Annalee and I shared a belly laugh when she came up with a new word: pork-cup-pin-ease. Don't you think that's so much more fun to say than porcupine?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Day 65

Today is day 65 of our kitchen remodel. Yes, 65 days and counting for something that my contractor assured me would take 3-4 weeks. And, now you know why I have posted so little in the past few months...

Though I still think we have at least a couple weeks to go, today my ears heard the sweet sound of a working sink in the kitchen. I have stepped on the last pieces of mango, watermelon, parsley, onion and rice in my shower (yes, I've done dishes in the bath tub for 10 weeks!) and for that, I am so thankful!

Yet to be done...the defective kitchen flooring to be replaced by the manufacturer (we hope and are still waiting to get confirmation) and installed; several new cabinets to be remade due to mistakes by the kitchen cabinet rep; new crown molding due to the same person's mistakes; my really cool ceramic tile backsplash installed; bathroom wall tile to be replaced (we moved the door to the bath from the kitchen to the hallway); final round of painting; all new lighting to be installed; and hardware to be installed on the cabinets and drawers. When all that's done, I'll pull the remaining plastic off the appliances and know that it's really over. Oh, I mean done.

I won't go into the details here of this fiasco of a remodel. I'm saving it for a big post on Garden Web. It's a really great forum for kitchen remodeling. I hope to give back some bits of wisdom to anyone coming behind me preparing to remodel their kitchen. Maybe they can learn from our many missteps.

In the meantime, I'll give you a sneak peak of our kitchen:

Do you like the counter? It's the second Cambria quartz counter top we had installed. This second time, we got a really great company to do it right. They actually centered the top over the peninsula, unlike the first company that had a 1" overhang on one side and a 2-3/4" overhang on the other side. Yes, really.