Reframing Life: A Meditation On The Home

My two-year-old sincerely loves all things musical – Recently we’ve discovered that this includes The Lawrence Welk Show.

My husband took this photo yesterday as we were working on getting dinner on the table. He had been about to shut off the TV after playing the toddler Pandora station for awhile and it landed on The Lawrence Welk Show on PBS.

Sebastian saw the horn, looked up and him and said, “I love it, daddy! I love this show!”

We sat back amused and allowed our kid be exposed to the music of another era, while daddy made dinner and mommy worked on her blog.

Sebastian Watches Lawrence Welk

I love this picture because my husband took it and there is not one thing I would change about the composition – which, I must admit, is rare.

For once I can’t say, “Next time try not to get the counter top full of clutter right behind his head.” Or, “It’s better if the light is behind you.” Or, “See how the light fixture looks like it’s sprouting out of his head.” (I got this photo pickiness from my mother, in case you were wondering why I should be such a nag.)

The timing was perfect, too. How awesome is that Geritol ad at the top of the screen?!!!

Here is a rare snap-shot of a day in our lives in which I feel that we really do live that unattainable, magazine-perfect life. Outside of the shot, the rest of the house is steeped in the clutter of the weekend, and of my recent trip to Target to get toilet paper, diapers, and La Croix sparkling water.

But in this photo, I’m not bothered by the out of place kids toys, the old Turkish rug that doesn’t match anything, the crumby blanket that covers our crappy couch, the new curtains that still have creases in them from the package, and that I hate but we can’t return. Etc, etc, etc.

In this photo I see our house as an outsider might see it. A comfortable place to be at home with family. Watching Larence Welk to boot!

This photo has been a reminder for me to be truly grateful for life and the home that we share together as a family.

I love it because it’s aesthetically pleasing to me: I love, love, love the composition. It stands on it’s own as a photograph. (Old-school photography, before digital cameras, was the first art form I fell in love with.)

I love it because it was such an amusing moment in our lives. A moment that made my husband and me smile together and appreciate the wonder that is our son. That despite us being sleep deprived, him being on-call all weekend and trying to get dinner on the table, and me feeling uncomfortable and swollen with pregnancy, allowed us to step into another frame of mind and enjoy our family time.

I’m planning to use this whenever I need a lift and a smile this week.

My new meditation on the home:

As I look around my house this week I’m looking through the eyes of the photograph. Our house – even with the bits of clutter that I’m always battling on the counter tops, with all toys and books and things that the two-year-old tornado is always depositing all over the floors in all of the walkways, with all the clutter that gets shuffled from place to place because it doesn’t yet have a home – even with all this stuff, our house is still a comfortable, happy home when you step back and look at it from the right point of view.

This week I will look at our home from the frame of mind of love, comfort,  togetherness, and amusement,  not with that critical eye that infects my everyday battle with domestic chores.

My son with his hair sticking out

You Do What You Gotta Do

(I wrote this two days ago and it took this long to get it posted.)

It is plum hard to blog while a toddler, just shy of twenty months old, is awake.

Ditto when packing all one’s possessions into boxes and moving them across town, just to have to get them all out of the boxes and into some kind of order.

And it got sooooo crazy at the end of the packing. All of the boxes are scrambled – and the unpacking is not working out at all like I had hoped.

Sigh.

And do you know just how irritating it is when you thought your toddler was going to take a nap, to let you finally write! – and finally break this cycle of blog silence – but he just won’t?!

So you pack him into the car – in which instantly falls asleep – except now you have to waste this nap because you really need to run the couple of errands that you were going to do later after he woke up.  So now, out of sheer stubbornness, instead of going directly to your errands, you’re sitting in a taco restaurant (Panchero’s, which we used to frequent in Iowa City, how crazy is that? It’s not a very big restaurant chain but there’s one in this small Colorado town) typing on your laptop, while your toddler sleeps in his car seat in the booth across from you, because you don’t want to waste the precious time he’s asleep on errands, because you don’t want to give up the idea that today you are finally going to post something again, darn it! (Seriously, I haven’t taken my laptop out with me in months.) And then you notice you forgot to put your wedding bands back on after you put on lotion this morning. Ick! Don’t you hate that eerie feeling of having your bare ring finger out in public?

Whew! It’s been rough. It’s been rough because I really, really want to be blogging. But this boy is just so demanding of my time. I am not going to plop him in front of the TV just so I can blog. (Though it is tempting.) But man, I hate wasting his nap on errands when I could be using it for me time.

Yeah, so that’s where I’m at these days. If I’m not blogging, you know why.

Here is a picture I took this morning after breakfast.

My son with his hair sticking out

This happened to his hair all on its own. We put him into the stroller and went for a run and that’s what he looked like when we took him out. The picture does not do the hairdo justice. And do you know how difficult it is to get a toddler to pose for a photo now that he knows he can instantly see it on your camera phone? I have countless blurry photos of him running at me with a big grin on his face while I’m shouting “No! No! No! Stay there! Stay there!”

He is at a delightful age though. (Even if he sent me from calm and this-is-going-to-be-a-good-day-finally to irritated-beyond-belief when he popped up in his crib for the umpteenth time and I realized that my plans were going to be foiled again.) He is starting to try out more and more words, parroting back things that we say. Tim and I had a laugh-attack last night when I was asking him to say words, “Can you say mama? Can you say daddy? Can you say car-car? Can you say doggie? Can you say car keys? (He does, ever so cutely – with a velar fricative to make a linguist’s knees buckle.) Can you say coconut?”

And for coconut he suddenly made up a really convoluted sign with his hand. And he repeated it again and again while we asked him to say “coconut” while sharing a good belly laugh. Losing our breath a little – but trying to downplay it so he wouldn’t  get worried we were laughing at him.

I know it’s not funny, really, to anyone but us. (And you really had to be there.) But that bizarre invention of a sign, for no reason, from my child – that is the kind of moment that manages to ease the irritation of my day-to-day and the realization that I’ve given up all notion of free, or me-, time for the next decade or so.

Here are a couple more pics from our photo shoot today.

Another pic with his hair sticking out

Another pic of my son with this hair sticking out

One last pic of posing with his funny hair

Brown, Green, & Blue Eggs

Green Eggs & Huevos Rancheros

(I wrote this Sunday morning.)

I love it when my husband cooks breakfast on the weekend! And this was partially leftover from our delicious vegetarian fajitas last night – he cooks most of our dinners too. And most of those are great. With only a few misses. 😉

We actually ate green eggs from a local farm. Look at these eggs! Green, blue, and dark brown.

Local brown, blue and green eggs.

Vegetarian Huevos Rancheros

Huevos Rancheros with leftover seitan fajitas and homemade, roasted chile and grape tomato salsa.

Brown, Green, & Blue Eggs

 I am one lucky lady!

(P.S. The eggs look normal once you crack them open. Once in a while when there’s a few to many crazy colored eggs, I almost lose my appetite, but the bottom line is – whatever their color – fresh, local eggs really do taste better!)