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Cheryl's Parenting Journal

Entry 20 ~ January 19, 2009
~ Christmas Decorations and the Inauguration!

ChocowitsWinter has definitely taken Rhode Island by storm this year! Being so close to the ocean we tend to have less snow than other parts of our state, but that's not the case this year. We've had a total of 32 inches so far, and we're still in January! Looking out the kitchen window is breathtaking at the present moment. The snow is fresh, crisp and white! Within a few hours it will have many sled marks, boot prints and when our feisty black lab, Molly, gets out there, it will be dotted here and there with yellow!

Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and my kids have (another!) day off from school. We probably wouldn't have had school anyway with all the snow that fell yesterday and last night, so I suppose the timing is good. Six of my kids are already up, have had breakfast and are asking to go out and play-it's 7:30 AM! My daughters Brittany and Casey are quite cozy and sound asleep in their turquoise haven-their girls only bedroom! We won't see them until close to noon! By then the boys will have gone outside at least three times and I'll have probably done all the laundry, two loads of dishes and assisted Annie in the bathroom a half dozen times--a typical day at home!

Not really typical, however, in the sense that our country is about to witness history in the making when Barack Obama is sworn into office tomorrow! This is a very exciting time for each and every American regardless of who they voted for in November. As I packed up the last of our Christmas decorations (finally!) this past weekend and watched the many boxes head back up to the attic for another year, I looked around our home and took notice of how dramatically different everything looked. Everything seems so fresh and sparse. I almost think it made our entire family a lot calmer this weekend!

Not that I don't love having lots of lights and festive decorations all over the place during the holidays, I truly do. But having our "space" back is refreshing in more ways than one. I almost feel like it's a completely different house, and I'm kind of feeling like this Inauguration is the opportunity for a clean slate and a bunch of brand new opportunities and fresh perspectives for each and every one of us here in the USA. The possibilities are endless if we choose to reach out and grab them. (And reaching out in my house is not always easy, but with the holidays packed away in our attic and our memories, I feel like we're ready to take 2009 and run with it now!)

At present, the next part of 2009 that yours truly is focusing on is Valentine's Day. It's usually my kids that are looking to the next holiday the second the one we are celebrating is over. This year it's me and it's not because I'm hoping for that 5 lb box of chocolates I've dreamed of getting since I was 16! It's due to my new business, Chocowits. We actually had to create our Valentine's line during the holidays so we'd be ready to go when the calendar said mid-January! So my business partner, Sabina, and I will be finishing up all the package preparations today and tomorrow. I can't tell you how much we've laughed this weekend. Because our product, which we call Giggle Bites, is all about unwrapping a funny joke inside of each piece of chocolate, we have to spend a lot of time researching and writing jokes. Some of them are truly hilarious-the kind of jokes that make you cry because you laugh so hard. Laughing helps keep us going when we're so tired from both working our day jobs, caring for our families and homes and then launching a new business after hours. It beats the alternative-crying!

So that is the focus for me this week, laughing, especially with the kids home from school again today! I don't imagine I'll really get that much done. I have managed one large task already-cleaning off the sludge (I mean dust!) from the kitchen ceiling fan. If I do nothing else today, I can take comfort in knowing that when we turn the fan on later today, dust bunnies will not be flying around the island and landing on someone's sandwich. What more can a mom ask for?

I know many of you are looking out your kitchen windows at much more snow than we have here in Rhode Island, so I hope you are finding fun ways to warm up your winter as long as the grass is white! I'm hearing grumblings in the background wondering where snow boots and gloves are so I suppose I'd better head to the mudroom and make sure everyone is wearing their own gear and not someone else's. That can get ugly, believe me!

Stay warm and cozy everyone and I'll talk with you next week!

Take care
   ~ Cheryl

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