Thursday, October 29, 2009

101 in 1001

There's a movement taking place.  Ok, so it's probably not a movement but if you go to Google and type in "101 in 1001" you will see tons of people on this bandwagon and I, for one, think this is a fantastic idea!  And since I'm a huge procrastinator with big dreams, I think this is right up my alley.  So I am embarking on the 101 in 1001 challenge.  Ok, so that makes it sound like a Special K thing where I eat a bowl of cereal an hour for 101 hours or something but I assure you it's SO much cooler than that!

The Mission (should you choose to accept it):

Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

Why 1001 Days?
Many people (myself included) create lists that generally consist of simple goals (think New Year's resolutions). Then no one ever sticks to them or follows through and by January 12th you've forgotten all about them in the first place.  The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organizing and timing some tasks (such as overseas trips  - ha! - or outdoor activities).

So, I am in the process of compiling my list of goals.  This step will probably take some time (seeing as I've been brainstorming this for a couple days now and only have 7 really concrete goals spelled out) but once I have that list completed, I shall embark on my journey (and thus start my countdown).  I hope to emerge on the other side of this challenge wiser, more cultured, more accomplished, and hopefully not a complete and total failure!  HA!  Wish me luck.  

But wait!  Before I go, I wish to extend an invitation to those of you out there reading this to journey with me...especially those of you with blogs who might want to journal about the trip as we take it!  Is there anyone out there willing to join me?

For more info, check out this website!  It has helpful info on how to get started and some worksheets to help you plan your goals!  I love it!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fall Random-lings

Fall in New York is definitely here.

The proof is all over my yard.

Leaves fallen.
Toys abandoned and seemingly forgotten.

Soon, the temperatures will fall.
The leaves will be buried under piles of wet, heavy, cold snow.
And the kids won't need toys to occupy their time outdoors
as they'll have a wonderland of nature's playdoh to create magnificent masterpieces with.

Monday, October 26, 2009

I ♥ Faces...Halloween Dress Up

I decided I wanted to start participating in the I {heart} faces weekly challenge.  Each week they offer up a themed challenge.  This week's theme is "halloween dress up" so I'm jumping in.  I dug back into my "archives" to find this gem but it's one of my favorites of Nate at his first Halloween.  He's too cute!  Enjoy!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Latest Fall Fashion Tip: Layers

Alex took this Fall fashion tip a little wrong and instead of layering his CLOTHES, he decided to layer his FOOD.

What happens when you take cottage cheese:

add some ketchup (from the hamburger he was eating),

throw in some blueberries,

and finally, round out the ensemble with a cheese stick?

You get a MESS! Gotta love this kid!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Athazagoraphobia - The Fear of Forgetting

I take a lot of pictures. I've captured more than 18,000 images of my children and our lives in the last 12 months alone. (And those are just the ones I've KEPT after editing). In the "olden days" that would have been the equivalent of more than two rolls of 35mm film taken EVERY day. Can you imagine? My husband jokes that I could print all my pictures and put them together to make a flip book that would essentially play a video of our life as the pages were turned.

I realize that's a lot of pictures and many would say I have issues. Which I'm not arguing, but I take a LOT of pictures with good reasons.
1.) I enjoy the art of capturing life's precious moments. I often challenge myself to see things differently and take MANY pictures of the same thing in an effort to get one REALLY good one. Most of my photos are taken just to freeze that moment in time so I can remember it for years to come.
2.) I desperately strive to document each new milestone and the tiniest of quirks for each of my children through pictures (the way Alex squints his eyes when he's smiling REALLY big or the short lived comfort Nathaniel found in sniffing his blanket when he was tired or upset).
3.) Not only that but photos are an easier/less space consuming way to hold onto the little things I adore from their childhood like some of my favorite outfits, the toys they loved most or the adorable giraffe print swing they found comfort in.

Well apparently not everyone gets that about me. Twice in the last 24 hours I have been instructed to put my camera down and just live life. Just live life? I thought that's what I was doing. In fact I'm trying to soak it all in and hold onto it for dear life which is why I'm IN the midst of life 100%, flashing away. I had never thought about the fact that I might actually be missing something by trying so hard not to miss anything. That's seriously disturbing.

Truth be told, I have the world's worst memory and I'm afraid if I don't capture it on film, with time stamp technology/data to remind me of the particulars, that I'll forget the good stuff. That terrifies me. I don't want to forget a thing.

But as desperate as I am to create a scrapbook of my life through pictures, I think what I fear most of all is forgetting what I can't document in pictures or on DVD. The little details. The smell of my babies' skin. The softness of their hair. The way their tiny hands fit in mine, or how cute their toes wiggle when I tickle them. That's the stuff I'm seeing, soaking in, and cherishing out from behind the camera. At least I'm trying to.

I'm not sure if it's a good or bad thing that my kids will inevitably remember me as the woman behind the camera taking pictures of everything they ever did. But I do hope that they also remember that I put the camera down to snuggle them on the couch cushions on the floor, chase them into their bedrooms to hide from the monsters, and give them the world as often as possible.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

WARNING: Erratic Thinking Ahead!!

I stumbled upon this "feature" on a blog I frequent called Confessions of a Moody Mommy (via another blog she reads and borrowed it from called The Un Mom) and seeing as I have a bazillion posts that contain little more than a few stray sentences that never quite had the clarity to come together as real posts, I thought I'd take those thoughts and spew them here in one big GLOB of random thinking. That way nothing has to have a logical flow - hence the RANDOMNESS. So here is an invitation into my head...but don't say I didn't warn you!

*It pains me how wasteful we are in today's society. I drive down City streets on my way to work and on garbage days people have PILES of stuff loaded on the curb outside their houses. I mean perfectly good, USEABLE stuff. Yet because it's not immediately needed, or can't be stored, or whatever the reason, it becomes trash. It's just easier. Things today are made to be disposable and expendable. If the batteries die, it's useless. No one knows how to FIX anything anymore, even the simplest things. It's really a lost skill. And it's extremely disheartening. I watched this video over a year ago and it's haunted me every since. I highly recommend watching it. It's well worth 20 minutes of your life to really learn something. Unfortunately for me, it was largely depressing and made me feel hopelessly out of control. But someday I hope to be empowered to BE THE CHANGE I HOPE TO SEE IN THE WORLD!

*I'm pretty sure whoever engineered and designed sippy cups was a spawn of the devil. Seriously, were they ever market tested or focus-grouped? I have yet to find one that's durable, functional, AND easy to clean (have you SEEN all the nooks and crannies in those things?!?). Now think of all the gunk that collects in those nooks, especially while said sippy cup is hiding in the bathroom cupboard where your three-year-old hid it from his baby brother and then promptly forgot about it until it was stumbled upon a week later with some solid substance in it that looked like it could have at one time been milk. Now THAT'S a real world test!

*There are very few things in this world better than that initial feeling you get when you crawl into bed and your head hits the pillow at the end of a hard day. I love that feeling.

*This morning while blow-drying my hair I heard Alex pounding at the door and crying because he wanted to get in. Of course, Nate just walks in if he wants to and I thought "it's just a matter of time before Alex sees how Nate does that and learns to do it himself, which will be a lot sooner than Nate did it, I'm sure". Then I racked my brain trying to figure out how old Nate was when he learned to open doors himself and I couldn't for the life of me even ballpark it. I realize it shouldn't because that's silly, but why does that make me feel like a bad mother? Like I'm failing him somehow by not being able to spout back to him (in 20 years) the age at which he started opening doors. I mean really, is that ridiculous? I guess on some level I realize it is. But tell my brain that. Perhaps I should refocus that negative energy on the fact that I haven't written anything in either of their baby books since Alex was born. Yikes!

I was wondering recently, do you think people drive cars that fit their personalities? I mean tough guys seem to drive trucks, flashy people tend to choose bright colored cars or sports cars. Does anyone else see this as true amongst people you know? I suppose that's why they make so many styles, colors, etc. But if this is the case, I might be worried. See, my cars have ALWAYS been pretty non-de-script. An American Idol judge would no doubt call my choice of vehicles "safe". I could easily blend into traffic and get lost in a crowd. So what does that say about ME? Not that this should be about ME, but I was just wondering what you guys think...

ANYWAY, that's enough of a picture into my bizarre thought patterns for one day. Come back next week for more randomness.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Happiness is...

apple season.

There is nothing better than biting into a fresh, crisp, in-season apple in the Fall. I love apple season in NY. My favorites are empires but I'm a huge fan of the relative newcomer in apples, the Honeycrisp. This variety comes from cross-breeding the Macoun and the Honeygold apples and it is delicious. If you haven't tried it I suggest you do so, and PRONTO!

I really love everything about Autumn, really. The weather. The Fall festivities. All of the holidays around the corner.

But I especially love the apples. Everything about them.
Apple picking. Apple Festival.

Apple pies. Apple crisp.

And fresh made apple sauce smelling up the house and vacuum packed in the freezer to enjoy all winter long. Yum! It makes me so happy!

What makes YOU happy?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Frogs and Snails and Puppy-dogs' Tails...

We walked through the woods today, spending a beautiful (yet chilly) day in the great outdoors.
As we romped around in the "spooky forest" I asked Nathaniel if he wanted to find some treasures in the woods that we could use in a craft project later. In my head I was thinking Fall leaves, acorns, maybe some Indian Paintbrush flowers.

I was disappointed when he looked at me very matter-of-factly and said "No." To say the least, I was crushed.

This isn't the first time I've had my dreams cut down unintentionally by the independent thoughts of my 3-year-old. Growing up, I had certain ideas about what being a "good" Mom meant - teaching my children fun and interesting stuff, doing fun projects, engaging their little minds with activities and games and...

I had no idea how difficult that would be in reality.

I'm not sure if it's the pig-headed independence in my child, the different priorities he holds because he's a boy (digging in dirt vs. painting or paper crafts), the fact that's he's only three, or if it's something I'm failing miserably with, but I worry that I'm missing something.

If it is because he's ALL boy, or even if it's his strong sense of wanting to do anything other than what Mommy wants him to do, or whatever the reason, I'll do my best to accept that and try not to mourn the loss of my crafts and quiet time activities too much.

Afterall, if it weren't for my boy and his fantastic personality, I would never get the chance to do all the fantastically fun stuff we DO get to do instead.

Like inspecting caterpillars up close and personally...

or swimming in the dirt...

or playing with snakes...

Or checking out snails...

And once in a while, we do get to paint...even if it's with our hands and it only lasts 5 minutes before he's moved onto his next interest... playing monsters and rescuing fairy princesses :)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

10 on 10 : October 2009

I spent a fabulous day with a group of fantastic women I went to high school with. We had a blast catching up and sharing stories! Probably half of these photos are from our reunion and the rest are before and after our fun filled day! Enjoy this month's edition of photos taken once an hour for 10 hours on the 10th of October.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Be VERY afraid.

Fear (n.)
a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger,
evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.

I live my life in fear. As a mother I'm not sure how NOT to, honestly. Of course I try not to let it reign over me or overshadow my entire life, but it's always there - gnawing at my temples and the back of my neck, trying to get to me.

I fear a lot of things. I fear for my children's physical and emotional safety and I fear that I'm inadvertently failing them miserably. I even fear that they'll grow up sooner rather than later, take wives and forget all about their dear old mother. Ha!

Fear is a funny creature. It lurks quietly in the shadows of your mind almost invisibly, yet has the overwhelming power to completely paralyze you if you turn your back for a second. And there's a very fine, almost nonexistent line between fear and worry. Worry, of course, the vicious vehicle through which fear is expressed and allowed to reign. And worry is an ugly beast all its own.

So this week's Thinkbox Thursday question was fitting for me, the Queen of Fear and Wizard(ess) of Worry.

What were you afraid of as a child? Why? Did this fear follow you into adulthood?

I was afraid of a lot of things as a child but my two biggest fears would unquestionably be fire and wolves (or more accurately just any mean dog). Odd mix, I realize.

The wolf thing was a repetetive bad dream I had as a little girl in which wolves were chasing me and threatening to get me. I believe this was precipitated by a combination of having been scratched by a dog when I was only 4 (requiring many many stitches) and having watched a traumatizing episode of Little House on the Prairie when I was little. As anyone will tell you I'm still not a fan of big dogs that jump up on you, nice or otherwise, and have been known to bristle while viewing the scary wolf scene in Beauty and the Beast. However, I have a pretty good sense these days that wolves will not "get me", as it were, if I step outside my door. And I am proud to say I have read many rather riveting versions of Peter and the Wolf to my three-year-old with nary a tear or hastened heart beat. Thank you very much.

Fire, on the other hand, is a little more serious a fear. When I was very little my mother would send me up to my bedroom everyday to take a nap. I vividly remember this (even though this was almost *gulp* 30 or so years ago). I would head upstairs and methodically start gathering all my worldly possessions - my tiny stuffed koala bear, my favorite footie pajamas and my Holly Hobbie blanket. Then I would position myself, with everything that meant the most to me, at the top of the stairs...and wait. Wait for what, one might ask? Why for the fire to start, of course. You know. The fire that would burn down my house while I was taking a nap. :) So, I would sit positioned at the top of the stairs (every day, for at least an hour or two!) staring at the fire alarm installed above the stairway and watch the red light beep - over, and over, and over again. There, I felt safe. Ready to run down to safety when the fire alarm went off.

I'm not sure if this coincided with fire safety lessons in school or if we had been practicing fire drills or running through Stop, Drop, and Roll demonstrations, but the thought of dying in a fire terrified me. Or worse yet, losing my most prized possessions to a fire. To this day that's one of my biggest fears. I'm not sure if it's because I lost my uncle to a fire even before I was lucky enough to know him. Or maybe it's the complete destruction and sheer devastation a fire can cause at will - single-handedly wiping out your home, your every possession, and sometimes even loved ones in a random act of nature you have little to no control over.

I'm not sure where it comes from but I know it terrifies me. If I could build my house out of the stuff they use to construct the black boxes on airplanes, I'd be the first in line at Home Depot to purchase it. The peace of mind that would buy would be priceless.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Promises, promises....

There is nothing worse than broken promises. And I break a lot of them- to other people as well as to myself. Not purposefully, mind just happens. Perhaps because I'm a procrastinator by nature, or because I'm busy, or air headed, or just plain forgetful. Who knows. I just make a lot of promises that I can't seem to keep, even with the best of intentions.

And I've done it again.

I promised myself I wouldn't let another week go by with no actual TEXT posts between my Wordless Wednesday pictures.

And yet here we are.

It's Tuesday. The day before another Wordless Wednesday.

And I've posted nothing, again.

So, to rectify the error of my ways, I offer this pathetic excuse of a post. And vow to write and share something of substance very soon.

Please forgive me.