Saturday, January 27, 2007

A New Heart in our Home

For months now, I have been wanting a new kitchen table. After we remodeled the kitchen this last time, it became entirely too linear for me (which is odd, because I normally do not like round shapes). Our old kitchen table was a hand-me-down, a very nice one but a hand-me-down none the less. It was a rectangular French farm table constructed of pine and had previously belonged to my dad. I loved it and it did its job well.

It is the table where we signed the offer for our first house. It is the table were Jeff and I would do our homework while still in college, taking turns finishing our degrees. It is the table we played cards when I was in labor. It is the table that held the bathtub while we bathed our first baby. It is the table that we ate most of our meals at to mark special occasions along the way.

It was warm, sturdy and forgiving of dents, scratches and paint jobs from the kids. It held spilt milk well, resisted poundings of forks and spoons by the littlest ones and was always great for sorting candy after Halloween. We loved it, but dammit it was time for a new one.

This time, it was going to be round. When I looked at the kitchen and where it was placed in the house, I noticed that we needed a heart. We needed a warm spot that invited people to get closer and share (and maybe would encourage good table manners?). I wanted a round table. The quest began and I finally found one.

Then, the chairs. Must have new chairs. Found chairs too. But, of course, it takes forever to get furniture. Our wait was finally over yesterday. They delivered our new table and chairs (yet to come, our other new furniture for our addition). I am in heaven! As soon as it arrived, I knew it was exactly what I wanted it to be--the new heart of our home.

I quickly unpacked my boxes of new dishes from Crate and Barrel, pulled out the new placemats (which we have never used, this is a new thing too) and just fell in love! The new dishes and glasses--much deserved. Our dishes were my parents when they were married. Purchased around 1985, originally a set of 12. We were down to 7 of one size plate and 6 of another. They also served us well, but now we have our OWN! Glasses? Purchased at Target when we were married and came from a box. That is ten years ago, people! It was time.

Here it is, the new heart of our home.

We had our first meal there last night. Salmon with Shitake Mushrooms, roasted squash and potatoes and a salad (well, at least that is what the adults ate). The boys used real plates and glasses (did you hear that? glasses for dinner). Everyone did great, dinner was so relaxing and cozy. I look forward to creating new memories with this table too. Who knew that the old table could hold so many memories and the new table could hold so much hope.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Under the Laundry Tree

My friend Anne recently had a blog entry about her backed-up laundry situations. Her daughter Ella yelled for the plunger when she found the laundry chute clogged ( Anne just had her third amazing baby.

Laundry is one of those things I don't discuss with a woman pregnant with her third. Is it hard to have three? Will we be able to handle it? Do you ever get any sleep? These are all questions women ask me as they prepare to enter the club. I answer--and truly, it isn't that bad--but the laundry, I never bring up the laundry.

Think about this:

Underwear--weekly minimum: 35
with characters on them: 21 pair a week--minimum and assuming all three make it all day, every day in one pair of underwear.
without characters on them: 14--and, let's hope we don't have any issues making it all day in the same pair!

Socks--weekly minimum: 35
Kid socks that never seem to match again: at minimum 21 pair, but no one ever makes it all day in just one pair. They take them off while playing and then if we need to leave, they cannot find them so they get a new pair, bringing the real total up to more like 27 pair.
Grown-up socks that we spend lots of time matching: at minimum 14 pair, but add on top of that Jeff's work socks vs. nonwork socks and my tennis socks vs. nontennis socks and the real total is more like 24 pair for us.

Pants--weekly minimum: 25
Kids pants that we cannot tell whose is whose and spend a great deal of time trying to decide which drawer to put them in only to have one child snatch a pair from another's drawer: at least 21 but most weeks involve mud, paint, water, messy meals, a missed shot at the toilet (we are all boys here) and the reality is more like 25.
Grown up pants: as few as possible. Those jeans aren't dirty yet!

Shirts--weekly minimum: 25
Kid shirts that all have a particular meaning and are best worn on certain days but we don't know what days those are until we inadvertently suggest a particular shirt only to be met with screams of NOOOOOO it is not a Bob day it is an Army day: 21 at minimum but add back in the water, messy meals, mud, chewing (what is it with my kids and chewing on their shirts), pee (to avoid a half-moon of pee on the bottom of the shirt, you need to lift the shirt up a bit when you pee) buggers and more, it is upwards.
Grown up shirts: that shirt matches those isn't dirty yet either! Unless it requires an iron, then straight to the cleaners.

We do laundry once a week, which is all day Sunday. Folding makes for good work while watching my week's worth of DVR'd shows. Most weeks, we do about 7 to 8 loads. Front-loaders have made a big difference in our lives. All in the name of love!

I would share the food consumption, but for those of you who don't know us, you would be convinced we all weigh 400+ pounds. You should see the looks I get at Wild Oats when I purchase five loaves of bread at a time. Hello...? I have three kids and it is called "small-batch bread" so the loaves are not huge. One round of lunch and a piece of toast or two and the loaf is gone.

It is coming up on 6AM, I better get to work. Until next time, my friends!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

I Have a Blog?!?!

Bet you think I forgot about my blog! Well, I sort of did. I took some time off from work over the holidays, focused on organizing and cleaning out closets. It has been a real struggle for me to get back in to work. I think I have finally re-entered work, but am now once again hopelessly behind due to all my goofing off.

Seems like the universe will not let me forget about my blog, though. Everyone has a blog. I read an article and it suggested as a professional, you should have a blog. Another, to get a reputation as an expert and draw attention to your company, comment on blogs. On NPR, go check out the blogs of the guests, commentators or hosts. On television, read the blogs of reality stars, like Dr. 90210 (oh, that might be a good one, that guy is a total freak).

Alas, I did not forget. I even have an entry swimming around in my head, but it will have to wait until I feel less pressure to get my work done. I have overextended myself this month and must complete these projects as promised. Until then, we part. See you in a week or so (I hope). Don't stop checking in...