Chapter Books and Parenting Fantasies

by Ginger on February 22, 2015

in Mom Thoughts, The Kid

Long before I had a kid, I had fantasies about certain aspects of having a kid. Idealized aspects in most regards, frankly, that included things like “my kid will always be the most well behaved in the room” and “my kid will eat whatever I give him” and the like. Actually HAVING a kid has made me laugh most of those pre-kid ideas away in the face of the realities of parenting an actual person.

One small thing that I’ve always held on to though has been reading, and specifically reading longer chapter books with my kid. I grew up being read to, and memories of my mom reading me Winnie the Pooh, or my dad reading me The Hobbit remain some of my favorite memories of childhood, and something I’ve long wanted to be able to do with Jackson. However, he is a very energetic boy who is very wiggly, and my prior attempts at reading chapter books, even short ones, have been met with resistance. I would read a chapter & then he’d never want to read another one, or he’d just bounce around the whole time, or he’d say “this is boring mommy,” especially if there weren’t full illustrations for him to look at.  I’ve tried to prime myself that maybe “reading chapter books together” is another one of those pre-kid fantasies that may not apply to my specific kid, who loves to be read to but maybe not like that.

And then…

A few weeks ago, we were stuck at home on a Sunday for some reason, and after playing superheroes and bad guys and after watching tv and after another round of Candyland, I decided to give it another shot. I grabbed a copy of Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, and told Jackson to come sit down with me, and I started to read. He let me read him 1 chapter that day.

And then we read another couple of chapters at bedtime one night.

And then we read another chapter before starting homework another night.

It was always me picking the book those days, but he listened, and got into the story, and asked questions. He helped me read certain parts, and got BIG ENORMOUS eyes at other parts.

And then today, *he* asked if we could read some more of the chocolate book before nap time, and let me read him 3 chapters.

I don’t know if it will keep up, or if it’s a fluke, but I’ll take it for however long I can foster it. It’s one of those parenting things that I’ve daydreamed about for longer than I’ve had a kid. Books have always been so special to me, and I’ve always wanted to be able to share them with Jackson this way, and it is as awesome and special as I had always thought it could be.

For however long he’ll let me, I’ll gladly share this special thing with him. Or maybe it’s more likely that he’s sharing this special thing with me.

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A couple of weekends ago, we painted the entire upstairs. It’s something we’ve talked about for a couple of years now–the living room was a nice enough blue, but the dining room was this green that turned out WAY brighter & yellow/green than we had thought it would, and it just never was our favorite. But painting is such a production, you know? Especially in your living space. It ends up being this hassle and so we talked about it and never did it and talked about it and never did it.

But then, shortly after I started the new job, we just made the decision to go pick out paint colors. We were running errands anyway, and it was on our way home, and we knew about what colors we were looking at, so fine, let’s just go pick, maybe get a sample. And instead of agonizing over it, we picked a couple of colors that were close to what we’d been imagining, picked a finish, and went “eh, close enough.” And then, when we got home, we were originally just going to test a swatch in each room, to see how we liked it, and the next thing you know, there was plastic sheeting all over the living room & I was running back to Home Depot to get gallon sizes of the little tiny sample cans we’d picked up.

photo 2

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There are a couple of things we probably could have done differently–the satin finish ended up a bit more shiny than I was expecting, and we probably could have planned the whole thing a bit better timing wise–but it’s completely changed the entire house & the way we all feel in the house. It’s bright and cheery and beachy and everything we had hoped we’d get from painting over the other colors (although DAYUM do I dislike that rug in the living room now. It’s on the list to replace).

It just took doing it.

There’s a lot of that going around, in big and small ways. I hung up hooks in the bathroom to finally solve a minor irritation about where our robes go, something that’s bugged me for a long time. We set up some systems we’ve talked about for a while to try and get a handle on all the stuff that goes with having a family. I’m trying out a new system for managing bills and errands and to do lists. I’ve sold a bunch of stuff I’ve needed to sell for months and months. I’ve started purging the closet for goodness sake.

None of this sounds like that much, but it was that stuff that just…piles up on you, you know? That you keep thinking “I should really just DO something about that” and then you never do, because, what, it’s inconvenient? Or you’re lazy? Or you’re burned out by the rest of your life, and so dealing with the stupid bathrobes is just one thing too many.

What’s amazing to me is that I can see, incredibly clearly, how much different my outlook on this stuff is, and it’s been since starting my new job. Some of it is that I’m home during the day, and so I see some of this stuff more than I did when I was at an office most of the day. But the reality is that it’s not about that so much as it’s about a change in mindset and outlook. I can see how much my stress was affecting my ability to do these kinds of things, to CARE about this these kinds of things. I can see how my stress played into my anxiety and how my anxiety keeps me from DOING. I can see how, and why, these little niggly details, big & small, just piled up.

And I can see, so clearly, how much of a 180 I’ve done. It’s apparent to me that stress and anxiety are the enemies of productivity, and of change. Which, yes, is a DUH statement if ever I’ve made one. But as I sit here and stare at my lovely new walls, and think about my lovely new hooks, and look at the changes, big & small, that I’m suddenly not just making but making easily, I’m grateful to be able to see the truth in that statement. And I’m glad, so glad, for all the changes.

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Beauty Empties

by Ginger on February 10, 2015

in Makeup and Beauty

Whoa, I did another video.

I’ve been making a point to actually use up the eight zillion products I have hanging around, and I decided to do an empties video to keep myself accountable. This video covers stuff from probably September to January. It’s long, and if you’re not into empties stuff, you’ll be bored. Unless you want to ogle the awesome new paint color.

Enjoy!

 

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Pros/Cons

by Ginger on February 3, 2015

in Random, The 9-5

So, I’ve been in the new job for a little more than a week now, and it’s awesome and exhausting and mentally stimulating in a way I haven’t really had in a really long time. I remain super excited, and pretty damn happy.

I’ve also been working from home for a week, and I figure I should share some of the pros/cons I’ve determined about that whole situation.

Pros:

  • No commute!
  • I don’t have to wear shoes if I don’t want to
  • If I get cold, I can go get a blanket, or go get a sweatshirt, or go sit in the sun
  • If I get hot, I can go change into shorts, or a tshirt or turn the fan on
  • I get to have lunch with my husband. A meal uninterrupted by the melodious sounds of a five year old is a luxury
  • I can make my lunch. I’ve had wonderful salads, elaborate sandwiches & wraps, things I would never have taken to the office
  • I can blast my music as loud as I want AND sing along, and no one cares (though I’ve scared the cat on occasion)
  • There’s no deli across the street filled with all kinds of delicious junk food
  • I don’t have to listen to anyone else’s conference calls on speaker phone
  • I can take the dog for a walk if I need a break from the computer for a few minutes
  • No overhead florescent lighting
  • There’s no one around to hear me talking to myself. Not that I do that. Much.
  • (did I mention no commute?)

Cons

  • My cat is the pushiest coworker I’ve ever had. He’s got some real personal space issues
  • The lighting in my house is crap
  • The dog farts. Oh dear god the dog farts
  • There’s no deli across the street filled with all kinds of delicious junk food
  • Uhh
  • Hmmm
  • Well

Yeah, at least so far, the cons list is preeeety short. I’m a big fan of this whole situation.

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Errands, and Being a Grownup

by Ginger on January 18, 2015

in Becoming Myself

This weekend was a whirlwind of getting stuff done, much of which was focused on getting stuff ready for my office area. I ended up getting a desk at IKEA, and though it may drive me bonkers that my measurements didn’t take into account the base boards so it peeks around the wall by 1/2 an inch (seriously, I can’t believe I forgot about that, I’m pretty happy with it. I need to get a chair still, but the desk is put together and in its new home, and wow this is starting to feel more real.

We ended up spend all of Saturday running errands, and then most of Sunday putting things together/cleaning/rearranging/etc. I feel nice and accomplished, and the house looks nice, and look, I have clean clothes for the week!, but I do also kiiinnnnddddaaa wish that I had tomorrow off to kind of recuperate. I mean, not really, because I have a ton to do in the next 5 days at work to wrap everything up and feel pretty sure I’m going to need every possible moment, but still. I sometimes miss the weekends where I slept until noon, and accomplished nothing of substance beyond making myself food.

In the midst of all the office making, it’s made me really, REALLY want to redecorate the house–or, more accurately, just decorate. Right now we have Lego chic going on, with a splash of too-cheap-to-buy-nice-things style, and I’m tired of it. We do have plans to repaint the dining room, because I think the green will drive me nuts sitting in it all day long, and then I want to repaint the living room, get a new rug, put the rug from the living room in the dining room, clean up the bookshelves, get rid of the junk/organize J’s toys (I’ve made peace with the fact that J is going to have toys and stuff in the living room. I haven’t made peace with them being all over the floor and every flat surface), and put some new pictures up on the walls. That’s just what I want to START with. But for now, we’re going to limit my grand plans to painting the dining room, and see where we go from there.

I dunno guys, this all sounds like being a grown up or something.

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