Saturday, March 30, 2013

Egg Hunt

We went to an egg hunt a couple of weeks ago, sponsored by Families Supporting Adoption.  Thankfully Eden's ambitions are pretty small still, so she was completely satisfied with the two-egg haul her larger and faster peers left to her. 

This morning she got to have her own hunt, and let me tell you, she was a machine!  I was so surprised and impressed to see Eden dart from egg to egg with precision focus.  She dutifully shook the first two to make sure her notion of this game was correct.  Ears registering the sound of candy within, Eden wasted no more time in locating and collecting every single egg in the back yard.  There was no stopping to open them or distraction from the birds cawing overhead.  Before her tiny hand had placed an egg in her bucket, her eyes were already focused on the next target. 

She conquered. 

Only then did Eden sit on her daddy's lap to examine the spoils.  She loved the candy, but was also pleased with the balloons, stickers, and little felt animals her eggs contained. 

May I say that I am dreading the next year of Eden's life?  I fear that in it she will complete the transition to child, and I am busy loving every moment of her toddlerhood.      

Monday, March 25, 2013

On TV, I Love Lucy, and Museum Life

The evolution of television was pretty slow on my parents' ranch.  It started with a ridiculously long cable that led from their cabin straight up the steep canyon wall to a booster on top of the rocky ledges. There are a lot of things that can go wrong with a cable that long, so our picture was usually fuzzy if present at all. When I was in high school that gave way to a ginormous satellite dish that didn't really work depending on the changing weather (and also required some brave soul to take the broom to it repeatedly during snow storms). We watched a lot of shows with waving lines and static-snow and fantastically green people who flitted back and forth between lip-syncing and the most cacophonous noise.  

It's said that watching TV is a couch potato brain drain requiring no creativity.  Ha!  For us, watching television was an art.  You had to focus through distraction, block out the static, readjust the color in your mind, supply half of the dialogue, and run laps adjusting the dish.  Small wonder I became the svelte genius you know today!  Thank you, television. 

One of the absolute best shows to watch on our TV was I Love Lucy.  (Heck, that's maybe one of the best shows to watch on any TV.)  You didn't even have to hear Lucy shilling Vitameatavegamin to know that junk was funny.  

I have a friend who does not approve of I Love Lucy.  She can't get past the ways in which it is a product of its time (read, the 1950s attitudes toward women). I think quite the opposite.  A show depicting a multicultural marriage was quite progressive, for one thing.  For another, consider the irony.  Yes, Ricky is often derogatory toward Lucy and treats her like a child.  Yes (according to the script) Ricky is the famous, talented star to Lucy's inept, nobody housewife.  But that was the genius of the show.  Where Ricky was actually a decent musician and actor, Lucy was a brilliant comic.  The real star.  The one beloved.  The one subverting Ricky's misogynistic machinations, if not to her gain then at least to his downfall.  Pardon the English-majory digression. 
I bring up I Love Lucy because what I'm about to tell you next reminds me of the episode where Ricky puts Lucy on a schedule.  Why? you ask.  Simply because I am on a schedule.  A cleaning schedule.  I hasten to reassure my friend (you know who you are) that Kris did not devise, suggest, or in any other way force it upon poor female me.  It's just that I happen to be a tad bit of a perfectionist.  When I set out to be something (in this case a homemaker), I set out to BE it. 
Through my education and career, I developed a lot of great skills for process development, organization, goal setting, task analysis, reflection, and improvement.  I find that these skills have transferred very well to my new profession.  Thank goodness for that!  I wasn't exactly a terrible housekeeper before, but I did feel like I had limited time for cleaning.  (i.e. between work, infertility-induced depression, seemingly constant house guests, and traveling a lot for family events, my efforts to clean our house came down to sporadic bursts of the essentials with a lot of hiding things in the closet.)  Eden's newborn phase also lent itself to a lot of survivalist homemaking, but that too did pass.  So several months ago I sat down and really looked at what I wanted to do around the house and how often I wanted to do it.  After a couple of rough drafts and some experimentation, I'm pretty happy with the schedules I've developed (one for summer and one for winter).
Some of you are probably thinking, Duh!  I've been doing that forever.  Others may be more inclined to mention (as another friend of mine recently did) What, do you live in a museum or something? Well, here's the truth of it:  I do live in a museum, a museum dedicated to exhibits of modern toddler life.  I unabashedly admit that for about 12 hours a day, our house looks like this:
It's only during Eden's 12 sleeping hours that any part of it looks like this:
So what's the point of my cleaning schedule?  Peace of mind from a sense of order, accomplishment, and the knowledge that if you drop by to see me my living room will be a disaster (albeit free of dust), but the bathroom sink is sparkling and my refrigerator shouldn't make you gag.  I also like that if I miss a chore on a busy day or week, it's OK!  I know the last time it was cleaned and I know I'm coming back around to it again really soon.  Plus, when I sit down to read a book or write a blog post or work on a craft, I'm not hounded by guilt over dishes in the sink.  I can say to the specter of Better Womanhood, Stay Back!  I've done my checklist!  You have no hold over me now!  I find it quite empowering. 
So to sum it all up...TV was better back when it didn't work, Lucy is a gem, and cleaning makes me happy.  Boom.  Just like that.  All in one post.  How do you like me now?