Polar Vortex, Crazy People and Babies

I was watching this news report today saying that the Midwest U.S. is currently caught in a Polar Vortex. The already freezing cold temps are compounded by a severe windchill that leaves the brutally frigid air feeling about thirty-five below. I would probably agree with that assessment as I was outside with Scott shoveling a thick two-to-four foot avalanche of snow off of our driveway this morning so he could back his car out and go to work.

To add to the physical impact of this bone-chilling weather, I swear, I am feeling an emotional one today as well. It seems as though everyone is affected by this “Polar Vortex.” Today I felt the decent of a slow swirl into madness as the children took turns “weirding out” about something. Luke’s anguish was spurred by my refusal to let him play on the iPad all morning. He walked in circles around the living room carrying his blanket and asking for: fruit snacks, iPad and then for me to please wipe his nose, repeat. Noah was hell-bent on playing outside in the snow-whipped tundra and I denied his request, deciding that I may never see him again if he walked past the garage doors.  He refused to nap and took off all but his underwear and wailed for ten minutes that he was “not tired and very did not need a nap.” And Grace…well sweet baby Grace just wanted to eat nonstop.

So this “haven” I’d sought to create the other day…well it wasn’t happening today. Scott also had a stressful day and even left work early to try to take care of some loose ends but ended up getting very little accomplished. I just wonder if this voretx is not just a physical phenomenon but perhaps a meta-physical one as well. Everybody is going crazy!

In the news, I think there were more headlines about Jennifer Lawrence cutting her hair short than there were about affairs in North Korea. Even Lawrence said in an interview that she was pretty certain her hair should be the last thing people need to know about and that other events in the world seemed far more note-worthy.

But the vortex does mark one TREMENDOUS positive occurrence of today. If craziness can yield happy change then it did its job today. My sister’s water broke and hopefully in the next twenty-four hours, I will get to meet a new little nephew or niece! I hope the cold eases up enough to allow my sister to enjoy a little sunshine from her hospital room the next few days. I will probably be writing and posting pictures soon!

Good luck Cathy, Eric and BABY PALTE!

Update: Cathy and Eric welcomed Joseph Matthew Palte to the world at 6:48 a.m. today, January 7, 2013. Cousins Noah, Luke and Grace couldn’t be happier! And Aunt Christine and Uncle Scott can’t wait to meet him and give him LOTS of little boy hand-me-downs.



Good Things Come to Those Who Try

My friend Jenny told me her New Year’s resolution was to make her home a haven for her family. A place where her kids feel safe and cherished and her husband can come home after a long day at work and feel relaxed and content. And it got me thinking what a wonderful goal that would be to make for myself. I am usually wound so tight and I know this will take great effort on my part, but I am determined to make our home a happy place not just for 2014, but for always.

So I woke up with a very specific intention today. I resolved not to yell at the kids. I promised myself I would take time out to play with them. Since it’s the weekend and Scott doesn’t work, I would take a minute to do something I enjoy so that I feel recharged. I would make a healthy dinner which we would sit down to eat as a family. And I would exercise as much patience as possible with everyone.

So I played Legos at 7:30 this morning for forty-five minutes, went to my Pilates class then came home to shower, fed the kids lunch, played with Grace and then went to Whole Foods. I bought all organic ingredients to make spaghetti and meatballs and a big colorful salad and a threw a pretty, little chocolate cake into the cart as well. I brought it all home, showed Noah and Luke the “prize” if they would eat a good, healthy dinner. And they were jumping up and down with excitement. Luke helped me set the table. We said prayers as a family before we ate.

The warmth was palpable as we sat around the table. Then magic happened. They ate my spaghetti and meatballs for dinner! The two pickiest eaters on the planet ate real food that didn’t have a speck of peanut butter or jelly on it. And they ate every, single bite! Scott closed his eyes with joy (which is what he does when he’s really enjoying a meal) and practically licked his plate clean. He had just come in from shoveling the driveway and had broken the shovel against the heavy snow. Of course Gracie ate and loved it as well and everyone- including Gracie- enjoyed a slice of rich chocolate cake afterward.

I was in heaven. Our house felt so warm and happy. And now Scott and I are lounging in the living room in front of a toasty fire, feeling truly blessed. It made that day when Luke fell out of a chair and knocked his tooth on the counter top a few weeks ago seem like a distant memory. And while I know there will still be tough days head, I am truly grateful for all of the things that went right today.

(Thank you for inspiring me, Jenny!)