Friday, November 7, 2008

Just call me Monkey Bread

Well, well, well... look who's putting up another post! And within a week of the last one!

I was driving to work today, categorizing and prioritizing the various things I want/need to accomplish in the near future. (The "near future" being anywhere from this morning until ... ???) Every time I'd think of something and add it to the mental list, another one would pop into my head, weaseling its way in front of the last thing. I started having that feeling of being pulled in every direction -- sort of like Monkey Bread. You know, it's like a big blob of cinnamon rolls, and half the fun of eating it is pulling off individual pieces as you go.

Feeling pulled in a million directions isn't always fun and games. In fact, I've never known it to be ANY fun at all. I mean, it's nice to feel "needed," but when several areas of your life are needing things from you on a daily basis, it can become a bit too much. Two Thanksgivings ago, while driving to my parents house for the feast, I had an epiphany of sorts. As a single-parent then, I felt I needed to focus on things in my life that were important (my kids, extended family, work, etc.) eliminate everything in my life that was taking away from that. I realized that, in 25 years, no one would remember (or care, for that matter) that I served on such-and-such committee, or handled XYZ for some organization. What would matter was the time I spent with my boys... and what kind of relationship we had. Being too stressed out with too many things on my plate made me cranky, and being cranky when dealing with kids is a recipe for disaster.

Now, remarried with a seven- (soon to be eight) person family, there are a whole new list of priorities to order. I guess if I can just remember to keep who and what is important at the forefront of my mind, I should be good to go.

And the only Monkey Bread I'll have to worry about is the batch I want to make for Thanksgiving. :)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Cleaning before company comes...

No, I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. Nor have I been sucked into a giant black hole in the universe. Life just has a way of getting in the way sometimes. Sounds lame, I know... but true. How sad when a person doesn't even have 10 minutes to spare and ramble incessantly about life in general?

I just re-visited a friend's website. I hadn't been there in a while, and wanted to check her blog to see what she's been up to. Reading her update prompted me to dash off a quick email to her and check in. I told her about having started this blog, and gave her the address to come visit. Of course, I admitted I hadn't posted in ages, which was a good nudge to get me here and update things. I likened it to cleaning up before company comes over... so here I am. Sans feather duster, but here I am nonetheless.

Thankfully, all shreds of whatever fever/virus was visiting our home have left the building. At least I hope so. Now, in our post-Halloween sugar buzz, my main objective is to keep the excess sugar from completley depleting everyone's immune systems. I know, I know,... I'm just short of being the ultimate "Candy Nazi." But I'm OK with that. Seriously.

We are gearing up for a mid-month, early Thanksgiving celebration in Chicago with relatives. Actually, a bit north of Chicago in Crystal Lake. (Shout out to Stacy! "HEY!") We are calling it our "Festivus," but will have traditional Thanksgiving all together back in Indiana a couple of weeks later. Honestly, there is no such thing as too much Thanksgiving... or as I lovingly refer to it, "the kickoff of 'Pie Season!'"

The "little one inside" is growing healthier and stronger each day. This fact is perfectly illustrated by the repeated kicks and shoves he's giving to my internal organs. This is especially charming when he targets my bladder. Enough said. After joking with one of my co-workers today... some light griping about the pregnancy ... she asked in all seriousness if I was excited about it. Truthfully, I am. It's just that this came so out of left field, I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that in a matter of months, we're going to have another child. Not just another kid to trek around to school and activities, but a newborn who will rely on us for every waking/sleeping need and want for a looooong time. We will be back to square one (Hence the name of this blog; clever, no?) when we were all set to sit back and enjoy the ride with five kids. With the element of surprise as a major factor, I find times when I still can't believe this is happening. Not in an "Oh-my-gosh-Why-me?" kind of way, but in a state of total disbelief that we would be blessed in such an awesome way this late in life. So, yes... I am excited. I would probably be more outwardly excited if I weren't experiencing some of the less glamourous accompaniements of pregnancy, but I digress. (Seriously. You don't want to know.) I will admit... I have two baby outfits hanging in my closet. Six-year-old Sam spotted them on a trip to Sam's Club one day, and begged me to get them. When I am reaching for something near those two outfits, I often stop... take one down and hold it out in front of me. Most times I will hold it under the arms, like holding a baby in it, and I just smile, marveling at how little it is. It won't be long...