Saturday, October 23, 2010

Bad Feeling in Her (& My) Stomach

You know the feeling you get when someone in your family is recovering from the stomach flu and is feeling just better enough to be hungry? That feeling you have when everyone else is well and sits down to eat a normal meal while the formerly ill person is stuck with jello and applesauce. The feeling you get when the sick one is a little person who gives you sad eyes when you tell her (again), that no, she may not have cheese pizza tonight like everyone else. It's the feeling you get as you look in those sad eyes. You know, that pit-in-your-stomach stuck kind of feeling? Yeah, that one.

I've got that feeling today. Except no one in my family is recovering from the stomach flu. Instead, I'm having to look in the sad eyes of my child who has chronic "stomach issues" and tell her that she can't have cheese pizza for the next few weeks. And we don't know how much of an option cheese pizza will be in the future.

I'm having to talk with my chocoholic Timid Daughter about how chocolate is on the list of foods that could contribute to her stomach problems. A week before Halloween.

I'm having to sort through what our doctor has told us to avoid or limit and match it up with what we usually eat. Except that the list to avoid looks strangely like my entire menu plan.

Yeah, I've got that feeling and it's not going away. At least not any time soon. And I know there are plenty of parents out there these days who have experienced that feeling in deeper and darker ways than I am. Parents who are thinking to themselves right now - yep, welcome to my world.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Burning the Candle at Both Ends

Thankfully the title of this post doesn't entirely capture life for me recently. But sometimes it feels like it. Between new school routines, work and a class I'm taking that's proven to be rather rigorous, this little blog has gone by the wayside for a while. It's not that I don't have anything to write about, but that there's so much to write about and not enough time.

Here's what I'm thinking about today: candles. That's right, those little (or big) wax things with a wick that used to be used for light, but now are pretty much just decoration. I have a lot of candles. But I haven't much paid attention to them in the past. I remember a wise friend who is known for having candles lit in her house, pretty much 24/7, advising that it's a great gesture to make your house more welcoming. I tried putting her advise into practice, but more often than not would remember until after the fact.

Then I read about a writer who would stage her writing area in such a way as to cue herself that it was time to write (I think it was Gretchen Rubin in The Happiness Project). She'd go to her writing space and would light a candle before starting her work for the day. I decided that this was just the thing to banish my lazy writer ways. I needed a candle for my office. So before the school year started, I took my children to Yankee Candle and proceeded to sniff every one of their candles in a search for the perfect scent for my office. It needed to be something gentle. Not too sweet, not too musky. Something soothing and cozy. I decided on "Drift Away". It seemed fitting for what I hoped would happen as my fingers scrambled over the keyboard - that I'd drift away into my writerly world. I'd become prolific.

Since then I've been kind of candle crazy. I actually remembered to light the wonderful Autumn Wreath jar candle I've kept in my powder room prior to the arrival of some overnight guests (partly because I needed to cover up the Scrubbing Bubbles scent from our mad cleaning spree). And most days I light my office candle as I settle in for a writing session. The promise of a beautiful scent and the calming sounds of my favorite Pandora stations tends to woo me into the office. The candle and music ritual seems to be working.

But I don't always write in my office. When my family is around and I still have writing to do, I like to sit in our living room with my laptop. What to do? I have no candle for the living room. You can imagine then how thrilled I was to get an Amber Sunset jar candle as a gift recently. It took me a few moments to think of where to put it, but then I remembered: my candle-less living room.

An added bonus of my new found fondness for candles? My family will have a much easier time finding gifts for me this year for Christmas. They can just pick up Drift Away or Storm Watch or even Garden Sweet Pea for me. It's one way to get onto the dedication page of my next book. : )