Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Happy 150th post!

How far we have come in seven short months........

Daily Magic #5 and #6

I am grateful for:

  • The internet which allows me to stay close with old friends, even when they are far away. I have received comments from four midwestern buddies in the past week, which means that at least that many have read my drivel.
  • In-Laws who are loving, giving and kind. I am a very lucky warillever indeed.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Pretty as pie

Pretty as pie
The pies are cooling and actually look quite tasty. I used the recipe in How to Cook Everything, and it was easy enough that I may try this again. Now if only I could get the kitchen cleaned and a suitcase packed quickly enough to get some sleep before Agent 004 wakes up.....

Fortunately Mr. warillever will be driving tomorrow night......

Monday, November 21, 2005

Irony alert

The spell checker embedded in Blogger does not recognize "blog" or "blogger" as words.

Daily Magic #4

I am grateful for:

  • Simple Technology: I may be the rare blogger in that I am not at all a gadget freak. I have no cell phone, flash player, or pda, and have little interest in acquiring any of those electronic tethers. I am, however, enamored with the baby monitor. This simple little radio allows me to do things like blog, read, or rake leaves without worrying about the children's well-being. In the twenty minutes that Agent 002's and Agent 004's naps overlap, I can almost pretend that I am in the house all alone..........

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Daily Magic #3

I am grateful for:

  • Living close to family. We spent the day at my sister M's house yesterday. Their woodshed collapsed after their winter's wood had been stacked last week, so I volunteered Mr. warillever as grunt labor for the day. M, Cousin F, Agent 002, and Agent 004, and I did some socializing inside the house while the guys worked. Sexism at its best.

Cooking for Two

Two Thanksgiving dinners, that is. I offered to bake breads for my mother, and got talked into baking a pie for the dinner we are attending (at y sister-in-law's house).

Did I mention that I have no idea how to make an apple pie? here I come!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Daily Magic #2

(to make up for the lack of an entry yesterday)

I am grateful for:

Daily Magic #1

I am grateful for:

  • morning kisses - as Mr. warillever leaves for work, he gives each member of the household a kiss. No matter how late he is running, he takes the time to honor "last time" requests for extra kisses from Agent 002, and even gives the cat a goodbye stroke. Yay for thoughtful Papas.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

JPII was grand. Benedict is homey.

The Anchoress has a beautiful post about Pope Benedict's surprisingly warm and approachable manner. The Anchoress ends her post with a fitting metaphor:

John Paul was a mighty pipe organ, dramatic, transcendent, soul-rattling -
almost overwhelming. He brought you to your knees, before God in hushed awe.
Benedict is a piano being played by a musician who plays for love of the music,
and he draws you into his sphere, to sing along in praise.

For all of the talk (from supporters and detractors alike) about the Rottweiller that would close the cafeteria, Pope Benedict has proven to be pastoral and inspiring

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Awful Beautiful Life

I listen to music that speaks to me. I have been on a classical kick lately, and just "rediscovered" the power of Mozart. My guilty pleasure, however, is pop-country. One song struck a chord with me today -- Darryl Worley's "Awful Beautiful Life"

I woke up early with a poundin' in my head
I'd been out the night before with all my friends
A little worried, kinda wonderin' what I did
I said, " Lord, please forgive me for my sins."
My wife wanted to kill me, but she tried to save me first
"You're goin' if I have to drag your butt to church."

I love this crazy, tragic,
Sometimes almost magic,
Awful, beautiful life

I read the hymns and kinda sorta sang along
And made it through the Sunday sermon wide awake
We met the family for dinner at our home
Drank some beer, watched a game, and cooked some steaks
My little brother had a big fight with his wife
And my poor mother sat between'em both all night

I love this crazy, tragic,
Sometimes almost magic,
Awful, beautiful life

We said a prayer for Cousin Michael in Iraq
We're all aware that he may never make it back
We talked about the way we missed his stupid jokes
And how he loved to be a soldier more than most

I laid in bed that night and thought about the day
And how my life is like a roller coaster ride
The ups and downs and crazy turns along the way
It'll throw you off if you don't hold on tight
You can't really smile until you've shed some tears
I could die today or I might live on for years

I love this crazy, tragic,
Sometimes almost magic,
Awful, beautiful life

I love this crazy, tragic,
Sometimes almost magic,
Awful, beautiful life

It's a beautiful life
Awful, beautiful, life
I love this life
It's a beautiful life

Ain't that the truth? Our circumstances are all different, but I bet that we could all describe our lives as "crazy, tragic, sometimes almost magic" lives. The trick is to remind ourselves to appreciate the magic in our daily lives.

In this week leading up to Thanksgiving, I will institute a daily feature where I recognize at least one of these magic moments.

Our even smaller artist

Fall Symphony
Originally uploaded by warillever.
Agent 004's first painting. There was as much paint on her pants as on the paper, but her smile made the cleanup worth it.

Our little artist

Masterpiece #1
Originally uploaded by warillever.
Watercolor on paper, created October 2005 by Agent 002

Tired spirals

I am used to being busy. As a college student I balanced a job, activities, and a varsity sport along with classes. After graduation I worked eighty hour weeks as a teacher, regularly waking at 4 am to get papers graded. I then earned a masters degree while working full time.

But being a stay-at-home parent is different. I am not over-scheduled like I was as a student athlete, or drowning in paperwork as I was as a teacher. Except when one of the children is sick, I am not pulling the "all-nighters" that I did in graduate school. Overscheduling, lack of sleep, and balancing work and school made me very tired (see this post for verification of my energy level last spring).

I am not as physically tired as I was then. I am sleeping a solid six or seven hours per night, eating well, and getting exercise. I do have momentary spells of psychic tiredness however. When Agent 002 ignores my third call to "be gentle" with the cat, when Agent 004 wiggles into her own poop during a diaper change, or when the two agents whine simultaneously. I am ashamed to admit that once in a while, I am even get tired of Agent 004 clinging to my leg.

When I am tired, I am impatient. And when I get impatient, the spiral begins. Agent 002 misbehaves and Agent 004 cries for attention. Which makes me more tired. Which makes him act up and her grumpy. Which make me more tired........

I have noticed that the spiral usually begins with me, and have gotten much better at preventing it. But even I do not have the energy to be on all the time..... fortunately my parents' house is a short drive away.