The Calm After (Before?) the Storm

There are times when I reach the end of the day and wonder how in the world I am going to survive tomorrow.  My head is swimming, or is it "the thoughts are swimming in my head"?  Whatever it is, my big heavy sigh feels loud enough to be heard by the neighbors.  It is late and I know I should be in bed, sleeping so that I can get up tomorrow on the right side of the bed.  But do you know what I want to do???  Stay up longer. 

It is so quiet I can hear the air from the furnace blow through the vents and the clock ticking...I'm not even sure where it is!  In fact, it's pretty loud!  I want to read blogs and check Craigslist and write and search the internet for frivilous things and maybe turn the tv on and watch ridiculous, brainless shows.  I want to read magazines and flip through pages of home decorating catalogs.  But, my eyelids are so heavy!

Quiet time is a precious commodity around here.  Sometimes I just need it to decompress a little.  Every day in my house is an adventure...but usually a noisy one.  And even though each day presents some wonderful, memory-making events and happenings, many days there are also--oh, my, where do I start?
--someone blaming anyone who may be breathing for everything that hasn't gone right
--someone who doesn't feel well
--someone who is screaming unconsoleably from behind the straps of a 5-pt harness for the entire 30 minute drive
--someone esle, or two someones who aren't buckled in their seats CLEAR in the back and wrestling--for the fifteenth time this week
--someone fell in the snow, despite the fact that they weren't supposed to be outside
--someone who has snuck (sneaked??) food from the pantry--AGAIN
--someone who has to go potty for the 41st time in 10 minutes
--someone who just rememebered at 10 pm that they need something elaborate for school in the morning
--someone who has just one more important thing (like, "can I have something to eat tomorrow if I get hungry?") before being capable of staying in bed--before said someone comes out for just one more thing less than two minutes later. 
--someone thought the baby was too quiet for those long 6 seconds, so the teasing begins!

Calgon baths really don't take me anywhere, so I must persisit and continue doing my job...sometimes gracefully, and other times not so gracefully.  And after one of those days that all of those things and more are packed together, hot cocoa (sugar free) with whipped cream (light) and drizzled with chocolate syrup (Calcium enriched) never tasted so good! 

But sometimes, there is this:


for friends of all sizes...

with carrot crumpets...

and lots of ranch on the side!
(The whole tea party was orchestrated by Mathilda and was in the works for weeks...I'm not very good at pretend play, so all urgent things--dishes, laundry, that piece of paper littering my floor--were put aside for 20 minutes for tea...and even a little bit of ballroom dancing!  Boy, I really stepped out of my box today!)

And is good for me to sit in the quiet and dark that has now become a new day and decompress from the chaos and reflect on the beauty...before the chaos starts all over again in less than 6 hours!  I better go to bed!