Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Pomegranate Crush

This ole girl needs some rejuvenation, some energy, some skin care.  Pampering would be nice, but let's get real.  It's a Saturday morning, where I find myself time to do laundry at my leisure and have nothing scheduled for the day.  We are in between "seasons", the holidays are over and basketball starts later in the month.

"Boys...I'm doing some laundry and taking a shower," I call downstairs for anyone who might be listening.  No response.  "BOYS!  I'm getting in the shower!"

"Okay, Mom," the oldest absently hollers back.

His reply was automatic.  He has no idea what he is even assuming with his recognition.  "You are in charge of the others while I'm upstairs.  Got it?"  Hello?  I call his name, then repeat my directives to solicit coerced agreement.

There are a couple of items on my agenda for the next little bit of time that I have squeezed from the day, laundry and me time.

I am a sucker for subscriptions.  It all started many years ago with babies and Amazon's Subscribe and Save program.  Since then, I have been a part of many services where I sign up under the lure of some list of discounted merchandise then find myself months later with 14 bottles of hand soap and 3 cases of peach green tea (that I only use one bag of per gallon of tea, so I'm pretty much set for life there).  I still LOVE Subscribe and Save!

Currently, I am part of a few of these subscriptions.  One of which is a monthly shipment of beauty supplies, bits of cosmetics, hair care samples, or skin care regiment trials.  I am in no way a cosmetic, beauty supply, Vanity Fair sort of girl, but I do want to look my best (without trying, which is where it gets sticky).  These vials of promise make me only slightly nervous, each one feeling a bit like I am Frankenstein's bride or something.  I do love the mascaras they have sent.  Recently, I received a "BRIGHTENING" face mask.  Today was the day to use it!

After putting a load of lights into the washing machine, I took my shower, got dressed, and prepared myself for this fantastic few minutes of relaxation and beauty rest.  The description on the back of the package said, "Illuminating fiber sheet mask infused with natural pomegranate and vitamin E".  Sounds perfect.  I couldn't wait for its brightening properties to make me look years younger.  Knowing in actuality, I would be lucky if my face still looked clean after this little science experiment.

There was a small commotion coming from downstairs as I tore the top of the package at its indicated spot, then removed the mask.  It had holes for my eyes and mouth, plus a cut out section for my nose, with slits around the perimeter so that it would lay flat against the edges of my face.  It was cold and wet.  That part was invigorating.  Looking in the bathroom mirror to align it just right, I could hear what sounded like a disagreement from the boys.  The mask seemed to be properly applied, so I proceeded to follow direction #2 "Wear mask and relax for 15-20 minutes".

As I exited my bathroom to lay on my bed and read for "15-20 minutes" as directed, my second son came strolling into my bedroom.  "What?" he wrinkled his nose.  "Why do you have coffee papers on your face?" he asked with a look of disgusted confusion on his face.

"It's not coffee filters, it's a facial mask.  I'm following the directions and relaxing for 15-20 minutes.  I plan to read my book.  You are supposed to be helping with the baby" (he's two now, but I keep saying baby).  I plopped onto my bed and grabbed my Kindle.  Before I could look up, he was gone, probably in fear that I would give him some other job or insist that he put a mask on too.  This one was quite nice.

The boys survived on their own for most of a half hour.  I got to lose myself in the world of The Last of August by Brittany Cavallaro.  After taking of my mask and massaging "excess serum" into my skin, I went down to work on getting something together for lunch.

I am under no illusion that my 15-20 minutes of relaxation and Pomegranate Crush face mask made a difference in my appearance.  It did smell good and promised to deliver vital nutrients to my skin, so I'm sort of relying on the assurances of the packaging here.  However, I was grateful to my boys for allowing me some time to myself on this Saturday morning.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018


I first heard of One Little Word when I was reading over at Two Writing Teachers.  Each of the contributing writers there chooses one word to focus their lives around for the year.  This is based on the work of Ali Edwards.  Check it out here.

For the last few years, I have been fascinated by this decision, their focus.  It's a great concept.  I am indecisive and haven't taken the course, so it was fascinating and, simultaneously, intimidating to me.

This year, I'm going to give it a try.

My one little word for 2018 will be concentrate.

When I think of the word concentrate, I normally focus on the verb having to do with mental focus.  2018 will be a year for this cognitive center, to concentrate.  Many times, I find myself multi-multi-tasking.  This usually ends feeling unproductive and scattered.  In 2018, I want to slow down to go fast.  I will be present in conversations and become a better listener, concentrating on what is in front of me in that moment.  I vow to be more organized and centered in my work and play.

A concentrate of my family time is also needed.  I know that my love language is quality time.  However, my family can often be found in proximity to one another, not spending quality time together.  Instead, it has a feeling of "putting in our time".  I know that these are precious, fleeting moments with my loved ones.  I want them in concentrate.  It's not enough to have this diluted time where we are together, only as defined by space.  I want time spent together to be full of meaning and conversation, and memory making.  I want our family, each other, to be the center of our time together.

This is a year for concentrate.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Asking for a friend

Have you ever used a (sort of) clean fork as a bookmark? In a book about writing notebooks?

-asking for a friend

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

My Fingerprints

Yesterday, I was trudging down the hall, hauling a giant stack of notebooks for a couple of 1st grade classrooms.  The notebooks were heavy.  The stack was tall and awkward to carry.

"Do you need help?" a passing student asked.

I had a moment of doubt and was considering offloading the top half of the stack.  Suddenly, "No, thanks," popped out of my mouth automatically.  Unsure that I was going to make the trek without losing the top few notebooks, I continued on, grateful for the creation of my fingers.

The rest of the hundred yard journey was spent deep in thought about the marvel that is the human anatomy, especially the grooves and valleys at the ends of my fingers, gripping the cardboard back of that bottom notebook.  I was in wonder at the almost spidey like grip I could have on these notebooks, yet feel they could slip at any instant.

By this miracle, I made it safely to my destination, delivering the potential for lifelong writing to begin.  We are working on a mini unit about living a writerly life.  Our 1st graders will be headed into the Christmas break armed with a new notebook and good habits to practice there.  I can't wait to see what it becomes.

After delivering my goods and reflecting on my time spent in wonder of my fingerprints.  I started thinking about leaving my fingerprints and how teachers do imprint something on students.  Is what we leave messy like the greasy goo after shoveling down a large fry?  Do we instill strong character with healthy habits, clean lines and clarity?  What fingerprints are we leaving with kids?  Is my effect an oily smear or a crisp stamp?

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

For When I Have Too Many Words

Aunt's birthday
travel time
big plans.

Airport parking
nervous stomach
take meds.

Take off
stay hydrated
doing fine.

Touch down
too fast
I'm safe.

Big hugs
smiling faces
sister's place.

Cowboys' football
road trip
memories made.

Drinking soda
stadium food
yelling loud.

Long walks
past parties
I'm done.

Hotel room
time change
free breakfast.

Drink coffee
new hat
take meds.

In air
no wi-fi
almost there.

Quick trip
we're back
I'm home.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

When Weird Al and Red Ribbon Week Meet

Every year, in the last days of the year, our elementary has a talent show.  Brave boys and girls step out on the stage with mic in hand and impress the audience with their boldness and courage.  Weird Al songs have made a few appearances at the talent show.  I think these songs (from a couple years back) inspired my little middle for today's participation in Red Ribbon Week.

We are in the midst of Red Ribbon Week, celebrating and committing to healthy, drug-free lifestyles.  Today's theme is "Hats Off to Being Drug-Free", where students are allowed to wear hats to school and during the school day.  It's so exciting!

Last night, after he had already been told to go to bed twice, the little middle said, "Mom, I want to make an aluminum foil hat for tomorrow."

"You are supposed to have brushed your teeth and be in bed.  We are not talking about hats right now.  If you can get up, and get yourself going in the morning, and find that you have time to make a hat, then you can talk to me about it," I answered.  "Now, go to bed."

This morning, as I drearily got dressed and drained two cups of coffee, the little middle was busy dressing, brushing, eating, and designing.  I trudged down the stairs to a bustling kitchen where the little boys were occupied, one with dry cereal on the counter, the other with aluminum foil on the floor.

The baby was the cause of my sleepiness.  He seems to be decreasing my hours of rest at 15 minute increments with today's initial wake up call at 4:37, too early.  Now, I find him happily munching on cereal, watching his brother create something shiny.  I am jealous of his ability to easily fall back into a slumber, while I lay in bed changing my mind repeatedly about what to wear or what to make for dinner.

The little middle raises up from the floor with his aluminum foil cap on, complete with a camo duct tape connecting to the aluminum foil bill.  It's possibly one of the cutest things I've ever seen.  He is proud and happy.  "Looks good.  Are you done?" I ask.

"Aaaaluuuuuminum Foooiiiiiil!" he sings, in reply.  Thanks, Weird Al.

On the way to school, with the three youngest boys in tow, the little middle says from the third row, "Mom, do you know the last time we ate at the Chinese food place?"

"Not really," I say back.

He continues, "Well, my fortune said 'Tomorrow your creative juices will be flowing,' and that would have been a Saturday, but today is Tuesday."

"Ok."  I mean what do you say back to that?

My boys are random.  I am random.  I don't know why I continue to be surprised.