Missing: French Maid Uniform

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I’m literally on my hands and knees scrubbing our kitchen tiles. It’s my husband’s birthday today: June 18th. I’m listening to him put an IKEA shelf together with the children in the other room. What a way to spend your birthday, I think. Hey honey! Let’s clean the house!

The thing is, this is how we roll. We don’t have a cleaning person so if the kitchen is going to get presentable, I’ll be the one to do it. We don’t have lawn boys to do our yard work for us so if the weeds are going to be pulled, it will be our family pulling them. We have a lot, and I’m not even being dramatic here, a lot of work to do on our old 1963 “well loved” velveteen-rabbit of a house. And if it’s going to be done, we’ll be the ones to do it. Every weekend. For ever.

8/4/2011

Sticky Notes ADHD Parenting

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I have these sticky notes. They line my computer background, they clutter my virtual desktop, the travel in my portable office. They are text files I keep open to remind myself of my goals, todo lists, small notes. I have one that I keep open nearly all day, every day. It is titled, “People I want to emulate.” 

On this text file I keep a very short list of people I admire and dare to imitate. It’s like my own version of the, “What Would Jesus Do” bracelet.

7/10/2011

On fifteen minutes Parenting

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Four

“Mamma, will you play with me?” There are three other children at school outside playing under the careful eye of their pre-school teacher. I briefly consider the deadlines, the emails, the phone calls. “Yes, Buddy, I will.” His face lights up and he runs to select a ball from the bin. We play “kick the ball” which could also be called soccer if we were a little more agile.

Life Impractical

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I live with an Engineer. I work with software developers. My life is a sort of a living excel spreadsheet. If things are to be done, they are to be done in order, logically, after much research and testing.

Only thing is? I am an anomaly.  I picture myself standing in front of The Man watching myself on TV screens of utter chaos being told I’m the One who has to introduce spontaneity.

Noise

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My Grandfather was an electrician in a mill. He often explained his lack of hearing from years of being around loud machines. “GRANDPA! TURN DOWN THE TEE VEE!” He would wave a hand in our direction, mutter something completely incomprehensible and turn the volume on the TV up.

Last weekend a friend of mine spoke of reducing the noise in his life. As a single man who enjoys many activities outside the computer, I thought it was a strange, though admirable, statement. So often the level of noise in my life is beyond was I can tolerate. Children whining and needing immediate attention pulling on my arm, Co-Workers on IM, twitter, facebook, email, friends asking about this weekend. It’s not that the noise is bad, each in of itself, it’s that together there isn’t a single conversation occurring in full.  The noise fractures my relationships in to compartments. Not a single person gets my full attention.

May your holidays be everything you asked for and then some

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I am blessed with people in my life whom I share traditions with. We watch our children grow together. They bring me joy well beyond a generic word like “blessed.” Each year, for as many years as my youngest has been alive, we gather at Christmas to exchange gifts and create christmas memories to hang on our trees. These memories: beaded off-center balls, reindeer with too much glue, pictures of children years younger under glitter and foam; are treasures of magnificence. We hang each on branches every year in prideful spots. These ornaments, complete with thumbprint-smeared reindeer heads, go in the front of the tree. We’re proud of our inability to craft at our house. To visitors it appears we’re all a bit special-needs with glue but we see laughter and disastrous glitter accidents and children aching to be with their friends.

2009

6/8/2011

So I’m going to England in a few days… Travel

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This is pretty much how I start every conversation to any person anywhere right now. If you’re my grocer, you know I’m going to England in a few days. If you’re my pharmacist, my hair dresser, the lady who answers the phone for my hair dresser, my doctor, my kids’ doctor, my neighbor, my other neighbor, my neighbor’s dog: They all know I’m going to England in a few days.

I’ve nearly run up and down the streets naked screaming it.

The Red Stapler around the world

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There are some people who are genuinely the type of person who helps remind me humanity can be awesome. The first time I met Suebob in person, we were in an elevator at BlogHer Chicago 2009. She walked in with her PJs on, a huge grin, and a welcome hug. “Hi Flinger!” It’s a moment where you realize we’re not just bloggers, we’re people. We laughed about her PJs, we talked about our websites. We had the kind of friendship that you only get in that initial meeting with other bloggers: the kind where they KNOW you. Possibly even more than your family does.

She’s spent years lifting each of us up, being a voice of compassion and comfort. She doesn’t just wear her PJs in an elevator, she takes that comfortable loving spirit with her to every blog she’s been involved with.