I'm knee deep in a work project right now. Did I say knee? I meant neck. It's time consuming but fun, and I'll tell y'all about in a few days.
Deadlines aren't what they used to be, though. When I worked full time for newspapers I used to thrive on knowing a story had to be filed by 9 p.m. After being wherever I had to be to cover the news, I'd have half the thing written in my head by the time I got back to my desk. And if I didn't, I was in trouble.
Everything changes with kids, though, especially when you work from home. Except when the girls are at preschool, there's never a guarantee that I'll have time to focus on what I'm doing and get it done by the time my editors need it. That uncertainty is more stressful than any breaking news ever was.
A phrase we seem to keep repeating around here is "It is what it is." In other words, quit complaining. Be grateful for the fascinating careers/assignments/life we have. Get it done. And move on.
But here's a phrase I came across tonight--on Sarah Jane Studio's blog--that I like much better:
"Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved." -Thomas S. Manson
I wish that had been in my head last night as I was frantically trying to get the dishes done before bedtime while Magpie was crying and tugging on my leg, begging for my attention. Instead of turning off the water, parking my rear on the floor and loving her up, I scrubbed those pots clean like a madwoman ... and eventually let all the noise turn me into, well, a mad woman.
Ridiculous. I'm not advocating being at kids' beck and call at all times (they need to learn patience, right?) but two minutes of quality time probably would have calmed her down and allowed me to finish the dishes in peace.
I read something once that said even if we do something we regret with our kids--even if it happened just a second ago--we have the option of changing our direction and taking a more positive route. In the next moment. Right then and there. Turn the corner. Don't look back.
I don't know how that looks when your kids are older, but at 2 and 4, usually that means shifting gears from frustration to total silliness. Usually that comes naturally to me. Other times, the dishes win. Grrr ... moving on.
I really just meant to pop on here to share a few tidbits:
-I'm getting a lot of hits right now on my pumpkin carving tutorial from last year. Just thought I'd post a link to it here to make it easier for newbies to find.
-Everybody and their brother also seems to want to bake an owl cake right now (based on Google searches that find their way to Penny Carnival). You can read about my adventures with owl cakes here and here.
-At some point, I'm going to have to start planning Magpie's second birthday party. The original idea was to make it a parade-themed party, which was inspired by these invitations I ordered.
Aren't they adorable? They're even cuter in person, with their sweet little rounded corners and all.
But the weather has become downright frigid here, so I'm not sure I want to subject a bunch of kids to a late-October prance around the neighborhood. I think I'll save the invitations for Bo's July birthday, since she's the one who's been begging for a neighborhood parade anyway. A parade party could be so much fun--tell the kids to bring their bikes/strollers/wagons, have a stash of streamers and flags they can use to decorate their rides, do the parade thing (inviting neighbors to cheer them on), then come back to the house and serve a long, skinny cake that's frosted to look like a street.
So I'm working on a Plan B now. Little Red Riding Hood birthday party? Three Little Bears? Alice in Wonderland tea party? Vintage circus? Hedgehogs? Mary Had a Little Lamb? OK, I need to have more kids so I can fulfill all my toddler birthday fantasies.
Update: I just want to acknowledge that I realize the birthday theme should be all about what the kid wants, but Magpie is at an age where everything is awesome to her. "Do you like moldy bread?" "I like mo-wee bed." "Do you like Brussel sprouts?" "I like bussybouts."
Other things I'm loving right now:
-This idea for thank-you cards (just in time!)
-A work-in-progress by Anna Maria Horner. I will never get tired of rainbows.