Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween has changed since I was a kid

Halloween has changed since I was a kid. Today started out sadly. We stepped out of our house this morning and the two jack-o-lanterns that we had carved yesterday afternoon were gone. POOF! Just gone. I am not sure who was more devastated, myself, BOY or GIRL. I almost cried. It just felt so mean spirited. BOY had helped me design a sad jack-o-lantern and GIRL wanted a happy one. They turned out great and luckily we lit them last night, so the kids got to see them lit up at least. And it was probably some kids looking for a lark, a dare. But, at the expense of 2 little three year olds and one mad mommy. The scarecrows were left on our porch, but they looked quite forlorn without the jack-o-lanterns. (As you can see, I'm not quite over it yet.)

Tonight was quite something. The kids were very excited! GIRL looked absolutely darling in her makeshift owl costume. She was dressed in brown and I had found a winter hat that looked kind of feathery and we topped that with a set of ears. Then I drew black, yellow and pink circles around her eyes. She was a girl owl, of course, hence the pink. And she had a little black on her nose for the beak. BOY was an airplane pilot again. This year in addition to the navy blazer with airplane buttons on the lapel, we added a shirt with airplanes on it and a blue tie. He again wore a set of headphones. Pilot/navigator all in one. We went to a neighborhood just a couple of miles away from us and had dinner with friends and then all went out together.

And out it was. I have never seen the like. 7pm hit and swarms of kids were all over the streets. Houses set up like professional set designers (and some of them were) with grave stones, cob webs, intricate skeletons, moving heads, actors doing mime, etc. Many were scary, so I was a bit reticent about the whole thing, but BOY and GIRL were fine. I kept saying in a loud voice, "It's just pretend. See that PRETEND person in the costume right there?" There were actually lines at some of the houses. Incredible. Of course, the older kids were rolling their eyes at the mom who kept booming, "It's just PRETEND. It isn't real." And some houses were way over the top in distributing spinning lights and GIANT Hershey's candy bars together. But, over the top is fun for Halloween and the kids' eyes were big as saucers. I was so impressed with GIRL not being shy and actually insisting on carrying her own bucket and saying "trick-or-treat" audibly. And the "thank-you's" were frequent. I was proud of them both, especially as some big kids (well over 12) were shoving their way past us. Oh, GOD, that sounds so smug. The confidence of someone who hasn't had teens yet...

So, we were out for about an hour and that was enough. Time to go home. We did keep to the 3 candy rule and BOY was heard repeatedly saying, "O.Kkkkkkk" in a dramatically dejected voice. But, he listened. After we got home and the kids were in bed asleep, I sorted through the candy. They have about 6 pieces left in each of their jack-o-lantern plastic buckets. The buckets are in the closet and if they ask for them, they'll be there. Meanwhile, E and I keep reflecting on the night and how much fun we had. It is a gift to be parents. It is a gift.

Halloween has changed since I was a kid. It used to be that you'd just walk up to a house that had its light on. There might be jack-o-lanterns or the owner might have a costume on, but it was pretty tame overall. Not anymore. And it isn't bad, I don't think, just different. The kids are the same. The same excitement. The same wonder. You can actually go to a house, knock on the door and they give you candy!? It is all in the perspective. I can't wait until next year.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

WFMW - How much candy to let the hooligans have?

Last year was our first venture out to trick-or-treat, when BOY & GIRL were 2. The whole candy thing had me a little concerned as we try not to have the kids consume too much sugar, and candy is something pretty rare. (For those of you who know me as the chocoholic, I know this sounds highly hypocritical - but, hey...trying to be a good parent.) Anyway, a friend gave me an idea last year and I really like it. On Halloween night, allow your child to eat as many pieces of candy as their age. So, last year BOY & GIRL had 2 pieces of candy each on Halloween. (Then E and I devoured the rest and believe it or not they forgot about it the next morning!!!) This year, they will each get 3 pieces. I don't anticipate that they will forget about the candy upon awakening in the A.M. However, 3 pieces a day for 3 days sounds reasonable. We'll see. It works for us.

What do you do to limit the amount of candy your child gets on Halloween?

For more great ideas, please check out Shannon's Works for Me Wednesday.

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Conversations, monologues by GIRL on Halloween Eve

I'm going to be a owl. But, I'm not going to say "HOO." I'm not going to be a real owl. I'm going to be a pretend owl. So, I'm not going to say, "HOO." A real owl says, "HOO." I am going to knock on the door and then I'm going to say, "Hello, trick-or-treat. Then they're going to give me candy and I'm going to say, Thank-you."

Daddy, daddy, we made Jack-o-lanterns! One is a happy one and one is a sad one. No scary ones.

Mommy, the jack-o-lantern fell off the porch. Mommy, the jack-o-lantern fell off the porch. Mommy, the jack-o-lantern fell off the porch.

if this jack-o-lantern falls off the porch one more time, the jack-0-lantern is going in time out [forever!].
(And Mommy is going to run away to a place where they serve chilled margaritas and kiss your ass because you were brave enough to have children.)

Mommy, I don't want to be an owl. I want to be a cow girl.

{This Mommy is DEFINITELY going to run away to a place where they serve chilled margaritas, kiss your ass because you were brave enough to have children and give you your own stash of Halloween candy.}

So, tomorrow night we're in for a small girl with a feather boa or a small girl with a cowgirl hat. Personally, I'm rooting for the boa.

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Monday, October 29, 2007


Halloween party pictures below....that means scroll.....down...

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It feels good to have faith

Faith, where does it come from? Are you born with it? Do you learn it? These are some of the thoughts that I'm reflecting on today. My husband and I are struggling financially - hence my decision to go back to work full-time. It has been a long uphill battle for a couple of years now and if you sit down and look at it on paper it is really scary. But, somehow you have to be able to take the information in and use it. Assimilate it. Dissect it. And have the faith that you can change it.

I grew up not going to church on any regular basis. My parents decided not to join a church or have church be a part of our lives. My father, ironically, had gone to college with the idea of becoming a minister. But, he became disillusioned over the abstract aspects of Christianity. My mother was the child of rebels. My grandparents came from a very small, still tiny, town in South Georgia. My grandfather's father was a Southern Baptist preacher. My grandmother's father was the town doctor. You know where I am going with this... of course, they rebelled. And in a big way. They moved to New York City in the 30's, lived in a 4th floor walk-up and took on the life of artists in Greenwich Village. They had great stories of 10 friends sharing 1 bottle of wine and a big spaghetti dinner every Friday night during the depression. Their friends would sing, perform, display their art and read aloud from their novels-in-progress.

So, all this led to me growing up with an incredible ignorance of Christianity, just from lack of exposure and also a prejudice born from previous generations. My interpretation of Being a Christian meant being a right wing, bible pounding, literal translation in your face kind of person. (You may have noticed that I tend to lean a bit to the other side...) So, I rejected going to church, too. Yet, I always felt that something was missing. Especially when I was going through difficult times and needed something else. Something larger than myself. Something to lean on.

Over the years, in my 20's and 30's I explored different churches, searching for .... that elusive faith that I felt I lacked. After E and I had children, it became even clearer to me that I wanted to find a church that gives me strength and hope. That inspires me. That leads me to believe in the good and that there is a place truly open to everyone. Black, white, gay, straight, old, young, poor - just open. We were lucky enough to find a church, and it is one of the main things that anchors my life. I feel centered when I go, which is often. Yet, I never feel obligated and I cry almost every week because I feel so lucky to have found a place where "whoever you are and wherever you find yourself on your journey of faith, there is a place here for you." Best of all, it is true. They walk the walk. And I am in wonder that I actually go to church! I feel so blessed that my children will have a place of strength that they can draw from as they mature, that is in addition to us. My greatest wish is that E and I will have a relationship with our children that is one in which they can come to us, with anything. But, I also know from some of the troubling times I went through as a teenager and young adult sometimes you need more than your parents or your friends.

It is not like me to wax on and on about my Christianity or my faith. I tend to be a very private person about this issue. But, recently someone came over to my blog and made some hurtful, hateful comments about people who are gay. And I find that unacceptable. I have found myself biting my tongue and letting myself believe that it is best to just let it go. Yet, I can't. Because that feels wrong to me. And so today, I find myself posting about something that I didn't intend to write about. And my inspiration has been Deb at Tired Mummy. She made me weep.

So, what does this all come down to for me? It is a question of faith. Having faith that we will come through challenging financial times and come out on the other side. Having faith that my children, who are lucky enough to go to school with children who come from diverse homes with amazing single parents, homes with 2 mommies or two daddies, and homes that have a mom and a dad- will grow up to be good, loving people who have faith. BOY & GIRL are being exposed to different versions of "family" and I am proud that we can give them that. It is a small step, but a step to what I believe is a better world of possibility for all. I have faith that it will be a different place when they are my age and that there will be less anonymous posters of hate, but more of joy and love. Is the world that perfect that we have room for more prejudice, more injustice, more segregation, more vitrioled expression?

It feels good to have faith. Even on the worst days. Sometimes, I need to be reminded of it. And today Deb reminded me. And something she said in the comments section to her post was brilliant: "It's a fine line though, being intolerant of intolerance." It's a fine line though, being intolerant of intolerance. As we fight against injustice, we must be cautious of our anger carrying us into territory of our own intolerance. And I leave you with that.

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Is that a coconut around your neck or are you just glad to see me?

And so we introduce....The Professor & Ginger.

Striking resemblance, don't you think?

I like his coconut, what about you?

Post title credit goes to E

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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Passing it forward with TREATS!

Wow! I've just been given some treats by What Works for Us for being a new visitor on her blog. You have got to check her out. My favorite of her recent posts is this picture. It is HILARIOUS. I am very touched that she would do this. And SO excited for the opportunity to pass these on to my new blog visitors. So, here they come to....

Omnia causa fuint , Derfwad Manor , The Happy Geek , Momtech , and Madness, Madness I say. Thanks so much for commenting on my blog, ladies! Take one, take two. And then if you want, pass it forward.

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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Ginger & The Professor

Halloween is coming a bit early. Tonight there will be....goblins, ghosts, witches...

and Ginger from Gilligan's Island...accompanied by ...The Professor. I have my voluptuous red wig, my eyelashes of "a movie star" and a body hugging dress with a fur stole. I am set. E's signature will be a coconut strung around his neck containing some contraption - "ham radio to rescue the castaways." Oh, yes, he will also wear clothes. Minor detail. To be continued....

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Friday, October 26, 2007

I LOVE MY BLUE SKY! and Scott Parazynski

We've been very lucky that the wildfires raging throughout Southern California have not been too close to us. To watch the news and see the cover of the newspaper has been both heartbreaking and unimaginable. The smoke and ash and dangerous particles are everywhere. I've found myself wheezing a bit and I don't normally have any breathing issues. The air quality seems worse today, even though it is cooler. We live in the foothills and today you can't even see the mountains. It is a beautiful October day, but where is the blue sky?

I was lucky enough to live for several years in Beirut, Lebanon when I was a child. It shaped my life forever. We lived in an apartment on a hilltop overlooking the Mediterranean sea. The Lebanese people welcomed us into their homes and I attended a phenomenal school called the American Community School of Beirut or ACS. It was an amazing time, the 1970's, and Beirut was known as the "Paris of the Middle East." While there, I was classmates with Scott Parazynski. I wasn't a close friend, but remember him vividly - mostly for his blonde hair, friendly smile and long legs. This week Scott blasted off into space for the fifth time. He is an astronaut on the US space shuttle Discovery and today he did a space walk! How cool is THAT?! I am so incredibly proud and can only imagine how his parents, wife and children feel. So, I envision Scott looking down at the earth and wonder if he can even see California with all the haze that is in the atmosphere.

This morning on the way to take BOY & GIRL to school, I was explaining what the haze was in the sky. We've been talking about the fires a lot - how we have to conserve water to help the firefighters, how we have to stay inside because the air is bad for us to breathe, etc.

I pointed to the sky and said, "See that yellowish brown color in the sky? That is the smoke that has been blown over here."

BOY craned his head to look and screamed, "Oh, NOOOO, my blue sky! I LOVE my blue sky," and proceeded to cry.

He thought it was permanent.

Postscript: It is now Tuesday the 29th and we have BOY's beautiful blue sky back. What a glorious world we live in.

When I did the original post I completely forgot to quote Scott Parazynski's out of office reply. It said, "Gone flying... and where I'm going I (regrettably) won't have my Blackberry! Scott"

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

I've got an ear confection!

GIRL has been sick on and off for the last month with a chest cough and cold that just wouldn't go away. We went back to get a recheck on Tuesday and this time the doctor prescribed an antibiotic. Now I don't know how it is in your household, but in our household my children think medicine is GOLDEN. Straight out of Mary Poppins. Only better. There is no need to sing "a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down, the medicine go down, the medicine go DOwn..." - sorry, the tune tends to stick. As I was saying, no persuading needed for getting medicine down throats at our house. Be it Omnicef or the over-the-counter cold medicines, the medicine goes down. Why? There's strawberry, bubblegum, grape, cherry, a full cornucopia of flavor. And my kids dig it. Big time. Yes, medicine is right up there on the top of their goodie list. So much so that yesterday, when I was giving GIRL her dose, BOY ponyed up and said he wanted some.

BOY: Mommy, I want some medicine.

The Mommy: BOY, you don't need any medicine, sweetie. GIRL is getting medicine because she is sick.


The Mommy: BOY, you are not sick. It is not good to be sick, BOY.

BOY: But, I AM SICK! I want some medicine. (Somewhat fake coughing fit commences.)

The Mommy (hoping to deflect): BOY, let's get you some water if your throat is dry.

BOY: But, I need medicine. I really NEED it. (Mommy's deflection technique obviously not working.)

The Mommy: BOY, I don't want you to be sick. It's not a fun thing. And medicine isn't fun. It's awful. Yucky. (The Mommy makes goofy clownish gross-out face for emphasis.) GIRL has to take medicine because she has an ear infection.

BOY: But, I have a ear confection!

And so we have it. It is SO absolutely ambrosial that words cannot describe its pure deLIciousNESS. It is confection!

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Blog Day for the Mothers Act

BlogHers Act: Blog Day for the Mothers Act

Postpartum depression. It is something that is spoken about, if at all, in hushed tones. Who could possibly be depressed after going through the miracle of birth and holding a precious baby in your arms? Well, plenty apparently. It is a reality for 500,000 women every year. 500,000. That is someone you know. Or you.

After giving birth to my beautiful baby GIRL in September 2004, I did experience what I would call a mild case of postpartum depression. I cried at everything, found myself just sitting staring into space, and felt that I couldn't talk to anyone about it. It lasted for a short period of time (several days), but it felt really scary and I felt very alone in my feelings. Here I had been so incredibly blessed with a baby girl so closely following the open adoption of our BOY born 10 months earlier. This was what I had wanted for years. Years. Through IVFs, through making peace on not being able to give birth, to the miracle of BOY coming to us and then the birth of GIRL. An instant family. I couldn't possibly be depressed could I? And, if so, what the hell was wrong with me?

That's just my small story. Let's hear yours. Or, better yet, Take Action for the MOTHERS Act today, October 24th on Blogher and save womens lives.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

WFMW - Simple Baked Alaska with a twist

So, what's a woman to do when she barely has enough time to shower, get the piles of laundry done, play with the kids, cook, shop for the accouterments for making an owl costume, drop off & pick up BOY from preschool, pick up GIRL off the floor of Target having a tantrum, check the news for recent updates on where the California wild fires are now, guzzle 4-5 cups of double Irish breakfast tea, clip Girl's tiny toe nails that are beginning to look "Howard Hughes like," get two children into bed who just don't want to be there, oh YES and blog?? What is a woman to do, you may ask? Well, she can only do what is absolutely essential. And that is... to participate in WFMW over at Rocks in my Dryer.

So, I am going to share this amazingly Simple Baked Alaska recipe with you from I made it this past Saturday night for a dinner party I hosted and it was simply... FAB. My mom whipped up a Baked Alaska from her own cook book (her brain) last New Year's Eve for a dinner party and I was looking for something that would be fun, unique and yet not too time consuming. May I point out that her brain apparently was not affected after having 4 children and 20 grandchildren. Unlike, moi, who has 2 children and is overwhelmed on a daily basis. Granted, they are 10 months apart, but still... she keeps me very humble.

So, without further ado (otherwise known as yackity, yack, yack) here it is:

Simple Baked Alaska Recipe with a twist {see below}
#13046 - by LikeItLoveIt (Chef #21694)

9 servings
25 min 10 min prep (does not include baking the cake)

2 pints ice cream (brick-style) (I used Neapolitan ice cream for pizazz!)
sponge cakes or layer cake (1 inch-thick)
5 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
2/3 cup sugar

Lay ice cream bricks side by side; measure length and width.
Trim cake 1 inch larger on all sides than ice cream measurements.
Place cake on a piece of foil.
Center ice cream on cake.
Cover; freeze till firm.
At serving time, beat together egg whites, vanilla, and cream of tartar to soft peaks. Gradually add in sugar beating after each tablespoon is added.
Transfer cake with ice cream to a baking sheet.
Spread with egg white mixture, sealing to edges of cake and baking sheet all around.
Swirl to make peaks.
Place oven rack in lowest position.
Bake in a 500F degrees oven about 3 minutes or till golden.
Slice; serve immediately.

And what is the twist? I decided to try something different and instead of sponge cake or layer cake I baked a sheet of 1 inch fudge brownies with coconut lightly sprinkled on top. It was YUMMY! And the coconut added a perfect touch of crunch.

And I leave you with one thing. This goes under "Do as I say, not as I do." Remember when slicing the masterpiece to cut it lengthwise so that you can see the chocolate, strawberry and vanilla layers... on the plate.

For more great Works for Me Wednesday tips, check out Rocks in My Dryer.

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Monday, October 22, 2007

12 things I love about you

Dearest E,

Tradition says silks and fine linens for 12 years of marriage. Mmmm...silks and fine linens, materials that are PERFECT for two little preschoolers, with nimble fingers, who seem to have taken up residence in our house. Perhaps we could alter the selection to ... hand painted silks and fine & funky smelling linens? Perhaps not.

12 years is a long time. A dozen anniversaries. Many memories. Many meals together. Many nights of lascivious ... living. But, the years that really stand out are this last quarter - the last four years in which we became parents together. This anchors us, enriches us and yes, occasionally exhausts us. No matter what, I know that you put our family first.

Thank your for your patience, most especially as I spend so much time writing on this blog now. And that takes time away from us. Your creative way of flying BOY'S Buzz Lightyear doll by my head last night, and talking for him Hello, I'm Buzz Lightyear! while I was up late writing did not go unnoticed by the way.

And so I give you 12 things...

12 things I love about you:

12) Your fanny.... no explanation necessary.

11) Your helpful nature - you'll drive a friend 50 miles roundtrip to the airport in the middle of rush hour traffic on a work day - no problem.

10) Your physical & emotional strength - you'll move some lost soul (usually a friend or my family member) out of one house and into another place multiple times within a few months & be the first one to show up for a friend when a loved one dies.

9) Your passion for learning & interest in just about anything - art, politics, sports, obscure trivia.

8) Your incredible energy - hiking from the south rim to the north rim of the Grand Canyon (22 miles) in 12 hours. (I think you've got the fanny advantage for that last 7,000 feet incline.)

7) Your belief that things will always get better ... despite so many obstacles.

6) Your hands - worn, hardened from physical labor, battered nails, so beautiful to look at.

5) Your talent - the best damn actor who should be regularly employed.

4) Your belief in me - you've been my biggest cheerleader, most recently for this blog.

3) Your ability and facility to say you're sorry, especially when someone else (me!) should be saying it instead.

2) Your joy in being a father - one has only to watch you with BOY & GIRL.

1) Your kindness and the way you love. And you get up and do it again.

Today I dedicate this post to you, as I am conscious of the many things I love about you. Too many to count... thank you for 12 years of love, challenge and growth.

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Sunday, October 21, 2007

To my fellow lady bloggers who teach me something every day

Today has been a long day. The hang over of too much child-free fun was had by me last night. And so I feel as I'm slouching past 40, not quite as puddle wonderful as I did perhaps many, many years ago before I became another Antique Mommy. Yes, true confessions of a Pioneer woman this may not be, but I do know something about notes from the trenches. Oh, the joys of having small children quite skilled at speaking in loud decibels, which sounds like rocks in my dryer. I must admit that my frequent refrain today was because I said so. At one point I had to retire to this small office, as I'm the happy geek and am addicted to doing momtech things online. I didn't lose face today, but I am left wondering if they'll have the last laugh as I breed 'em and weep. NOT that I plan to produce more little hooligans! No, the thought of that is sending me to the kitchen to stuff myself with bub and pie and later read tons of blogrhet. Yes, the day is over now and I find myself inside out. But, before I go off the deep end and say madness, madness I say! I shall just say that blogs are stupid. But, not really...

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Saturday, October 20, 2007

Grown-up time is good...

Today was a mad dash to get the house cleaned and the kids to bed so that we could ....entertain. We have 3 couple friends whom we have dinner parties with every couple of months and tonight was our turn to host. We worried about getting the BOY down as he's been having such a hard time lately with fears around bedtime, waking up several times during the night - oh, and did I mention several times during the night? I can't remember the last time I had a good night's sleep. As E said, it is like he is an infant again - only not. So, BOY actually passed out pretty easily tonight - the one positive about losing the nap. GIRL on the other hand was not so easily swayed. She was deeply curious about all the goings-on. Deeply curious. So much so that when I went back to throw on some pretty clothes (hey, I try!) and a touch of makeup, I found her in the dark sitting on the toilet.

What are you doing, GIRL?
I had to go pee-pee, Mommy.
I can see that. Didn't you just go before Daddy tucked you in?
Yes, but I had to go AGAIN.
OK, GIRL, but I want you to hippity hop back into your bed.

So, after much debate over whether the bathroom light should be on or off, she finished up and sauntered back to her room. I won the "lights on" contest, make-up takes priority, by GOD. Right after I had done my impressive Superwoman quick change in the phone booth - I mean bathroom, I hear all kinds of loud talking and thumping down the hall. I go down the hall and she has the lights blazing in their room and has changed her pajama wardrobe from salmon to fuchsia. I shush and swoosh her back to her bed and miraculously BOY still sleeps.

After tucking her in again and getting her more cold water and my nose is running I need a Kleenex, Mommy, I whisper goodnight and head back to finish my bathroom toilette. By this time the guests have arrived so I just slap on some lipstick, make sure nothing is in my teeth and leave the vicinity. BANG! GIRL has come to her door, slammed the door and run back to her bed...laughing. Once again I go in, tuck her in and this time...promise to give her all the details of the dinner party in the morning. What is she 14? Apparently so. She is dying to come out to the party. Alas, Mean Mommy has had enough and she is tucked in for the FINAL TIME, GIRL.

And then I enter the land of adults. A place where you can have uninterrupted conversations, sometimes not about children. It was heavenly. And what did I cook? Pork roast with mandarin orange glaze, fresh asparagus and risotto. And for dessert.... Baked Alaska. And I actually pulled it off! The menu and succeeding in spending an evening with adults. What a concept. It was raucous. My stomach muscles hurt from laughing. Grown-up time is good...

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Friday, October 19, 2007

Moments when things slow down and you're really there, seeing...

Some days I feel that this blog is about whining. And maybe it is. It is easy to write about the mess ups, the aggravations, the lack of sleep, the frustrations, the days you want to take that one way flight to Burma. Burma? Well, sometimes it feels like anywhere would be better than here. Not that there's anything wrong with Burma.

So, how does one capture in writing the moments of ... joy? It is SO much MORE than mere joy. Ecstasy? Closer. Yes, being a parent - having that privilege, and it is a privilege, is not so easy to write about. Yet again, maybe it is.

Every parent has these small moments in time. Moments when things slow down and you're really there, seeing... These are a few of mine from this week:

Watching GIRL & BOY on the seesaw, GIRL's face alive with gleeful abandon as they go up and down and weave around in a circle, going faster & faster.

BOY reaching out to clasp GIRL'S hand and uttering "I'll take care of you GIRL," as I walk away from them on the playground at school. I turn back and see their little backs to me, holding hands tightly. They are so small.

GIRL very seriously disclosing, "BUZZ is his first name and LIGHTYEAR is his last name."

BOY saying, "That's so sad!", when I explain to him what it means for a person to be homeless, after we pass a man on the street pushing all of his worldly belongings in a grocery cart.

GIRL snuggling in my neck and whispering, "Mama, Mommy, Mama..." as I carry her small person, something happening less and less as she wants to be so independent.

The look of endless love in E's eyes as he watches the children...every day. It gets me every time. If love could be bottled it would look like this.

My children are my greatest gifts and I am truly blessed. They are extraordinary teachers and I am learning day by day. My children are my most challenging hurdles, sometimes I stumble, sometimes I make it over and sometimes I fly. My children are my heroes and they give me hope for the future. They have taught me about love and what that really means. Through loving them I feel the closest to GOD that I've ever felt. And I feel closer to my own parents and love them that much more. For they felt this way about me...and survived it.

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

It's something I forget about sometimes...laughter.

Since our life has revolved around pooping, eating and sleeping (or lack thereof) for almost four years, it seems only fitting that BOY & GIRL are obsessed with it. Poop that is. Not with the actual substance; that they know about, but the ability to use Poop as a vocabulary word. Flung out randomly, most especially at the dinner table. The other day GIRL had a monologue going on for over 10 minutes on Poop.

You're a poop, BOY! Poop! Poop! Mommy is a Poop face. There's poop on the book. There's poop on the stairs. Poop. Poop. Daddy, you're A POOP! There's poop on the table. There's poop on my shoes. There's Poop! There's Poop. Poop. Poop... you get the picture.

And the problem is that ...I start laughing. And that really helps. Which reminds me of my mom, bless her, who had 4 of us. How DID she do it? Well, she laughed a lot. It's something that I forget about sometimes ... laughter. I just don't do it enough. And I know it is vital for my existence, our existence as human beings. Most especially essential for parents who have children who do sing-song chants about poop, for example. So, if that is the only laughter that comes easily these days...let me have it, will you! Of course, this does not make for great parenting. No, I would imagine that you won't find a child development expert out there recommending that you laugh when your children are flinging poop phrases around. But then, they haven't been to our house... and it IS funny.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

BOY & GIRL'S tips to avoid a messy car...well, sometimes

Over at Rocks in My Dryer, it is Works-For-Me-Wednesday once again...GOD the week flies by, especially when you are under the weather and have 2 children whom you want to ...throttle? Throttle, yes, a very good word. But, that's another story.

O.K., so we have a couple of tips for keeping the car out of the "land of sticky."

  1. Put a nice towel, coordinated to match the interior of your car, under the car seat so that it covers the entire seat of the car. This little trick has a couple of advantages. When your child is climbing in the car and her feet are all wet (and sometimes muddy!), she can wipe her feet off on the towel and climb right in her car seat. No muddy/wet prints on upholstery or leather or on the car seat OR on the back of your front seats! (At first I tried getting those plastic seat covers that go under car seats, but my daughter slipped with her wet feet and they don't absorb any of the wetness.) We use two matching towels, as both BOY & GIRL are in car seats, and the towels come in handy also if the sippy cups spill overboard... Then when your towels get dirty (I use dark colors to disguise everyday dirt) you can just throw them into the washing machine and replace! It has been a great thing for us and has really protected the seats.

  2. Speaking of sippy cups, I keep a couple of empty sippy cups in the car in the bag with the extra pair of clothes for each child (poop explosions... need I say more?). Before I wised up, we would get drinks with straws going through the drive-thru. My children love to play - as in...blow milk all over the car through the straw. So...if you have a couple of extra sippy cups, you can pour out the milk into the sippy cups and voila - no problem. Makes for a cleaner car and a less stressed Mom. And for the have actually outwitted the hooligans!

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Blog Action Day...a day late, but it is never too late

So one of my new favorite reads is The Happy Geek. You HAVE to check her out. I just popped over there and found out that yesterday was BLOG ACTION DAY and the focus was on the environment. The goal was to unite everyone in being aware of the environment and what we all can do. I missed the boat yesterday, but am hoping I can tag along a day late.

There is an organization called Earth Share of Georgia that "promotes environmental education, volunteerism and charitable giving by partnering with businesses all across Georgia." If you live in the south, you should definitely check them out! (There is also Earth Share's national organization's web site where you can see if there is a local Earth Share near you!) The Executive Director of Earth Share Georgia, Madeline Reamy, has been making things happen and is really facilitating change. It is very exciting. There are definitely family oriented volunteer activities that would be both fun and rewarding, like their partnership with Trees Atlanta.

I also just found out about the National Geographic's Green Guide online magazine/newsletter. It is definitely worth checking out.

And....two of my goals for personal change this year are to start using cloth bags for all my grocery shopping and... to use those convenient paper goods & plastic utensils LESS, especially on those annual large family beach vacations. It's time I quit talking and started doing.

Oh, and the best thing I've done to make a difference? Stopped dying my locks. Did I say dying? Well, yes the hair is dead..but, I meant dyEING. No more chemicals. Gone GREEN with my hair, Baby! Well, silver, BABY, silver!

What have you done to make a difference and what are your goals?

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Monday, October 15, 2007

She wants to be an Owl

My beautiful, darling, creative little GIRL wants to be an Owl for Halloween. An owl? An owl. I have tried to subtly steer her in a direction that might lead us to creating a costume that might be a tad... easier to figure out. No such luck.

I try asking her every couple of days, What do you want to be for Halloween, GIRL?

Her answer is consistent, I still want to be an Owl, Mommy.

So, it seems I have to get with the program. I'm thinking brown leggings, a brown long sleeved shirt and a feather boa (hopefully Owl feathery) that we can pin to the shirt sleeves across the back. Or all white. The ears/hat issue is what is giving me trouble. Any ideas? I welcome them!

Oh, and did I mention that I don't sew? A stitch. Buttons are a challenge for this GAL. All you Martha Stewart types - come on over!! In other words, all you lurkers who are costume wizards - please delurk and help a domestically challenged mama....

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Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Mouseketeers

We've been on a whirlwind tour this weekend, 2 birthday parties yesterday - cupcakes x2, ice cream and cake. Oh, and did I mention cupcakes x2, ice cream and cake? Yes, SUGAR. Always a good thing to put in your children when you want to see them zipping back and forth like YoYos. At bedtime. Anyway, overall we've had a pretty good weekend considering E is away and they miss their daddy and I miss my hunk 'O Burnin' LOVE.

This afternoon, after attending church and seeing to lunch and reading 3 stories...well, I was way beyond ready for "quiet time." In fact, I started to fall asleep on the bed in the playroom where we read stories. In the middle of a story. I'm reading along and all of a sudden I say things like, "blah bligity blu." Of course this set off peals of giggles and when I feel asleep again GIRL got a big kick out of poking Mommy and waking her up. So, YES I needed "quiet time." Desperately. Nap time has pretty much evaporated in our house at this point.

So, they had a choice of playing quietly in their room, watching a movie, looking at books, etc. They chose to play in their room and I went to go lie down. I was able to doze for short periods of time - when not interrupted by BOY running down the hall and BURSTING INTO THE ROOM declaring: GIRL just pushed me. Or BOY running down the hall and BURSTING INTO THE ROOM declaring: Mommy, something is wrong with the movie. So, after a bit of a rest I was up and actually felt much refreshed. As I looked into the kitchen I noticed one of the dining room chairs had been brought into the kitchen and was up against the open pantry door. Curious as to what I would find, I walked into the living room and BOY & GIRL are sitting quietly watching Curious George together. On the Ottoman were two wash cloths neatly arranged each with a handful of raisins set upon it. I was quite impressed. The portions were LARGE, but still this self-sufficiency was impressive. And right in the middle between the two servings was what was left of an enormous wedge of Gouda cheese - basically the wax. The cheese had been devoured and the remaining shell was covered with tooth marks. Many, many little tooth marks. As if a fleet of mice had been by and happened upon the mother lode. And so it is this image that will stay with me tonight. My little Mouseketeers. It seems I have taught them well at fending for themselves.

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Saturday, October 13, 2007

Just say NO!






That about sums up my day today, how was yours? And the "No's" were unfortunately uttered by small children who appear to have taken over my house. I don't know them. These small tyrants with large lungs. However, they appear to know me. Intimately. They also have very small fingers that can push a large red hot button in the center of my chest marked "HIT ME WITH YOUR BEST SHOT 'CAUSE I'M YOUR MAMA". Once, twice, 15 THOUSAND...I've lost count. I may just sleep outside with the dogs tonight. It would be quieter and besides, they like me. Today I've been handed snotty Kleenexes, wadded up wipes with strawberry jam trails, napkins with chocolate cake crumbs, a sippy cup, Spotty the stuffed animal dog, gooey milk soaked O's, and oh amazing shrinking brain - on a platter. Served with au du I luv des chillins. And I do. Surprisingly, despite the goo... I do. Dammit!

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Friday, October 12, 2007

My husband left me

My husband left me. Well... for the weekend. Alone. O.K., not ALONE alone. Alone with the kids. Normally this wouldn't even make me blink. But, tonight I'm kind of down to a squint. I've had a vicious sore throat for days now -one of those sore throats that makes you feel like someone slashed your inner throat with a razor blade. Not that I have that intimate a relationship with razor blades. Nope. Am a lazy ass when it comes to using a razor. Legs often look like an advertisement for hedgehog fur. Now that E is gone, I might even misplace the razor.

It was E's 50th birthday last month and what he really wanted was not a party, but something different. Something life changing. Something inspiring. And so, he has gone to the Grand Canyon for the weekend with a couple of buddies. To kick back and smoke cigars, you ask? To ogle Swedish tourists? Well, maybe. But, the main focus will be ...hiking from rim to rim in one day. 11-12 hours and about 21 miles. They drove out today, had dinner at a nice lodge and will hit the trail in the early morning - hoping to be on the other side when darkness falls again tomorrow night. He saw the Grand Canyon for the first time today. He didn't have the words. I'm really thrilled for him that he's getting to do what he really wanted to do for his birthday. Of course, I would have been absolutely ECSTATIC if he had hired a babysitter, masseuse, housekeeper and cook to take care of me while he was gone, but you can't be too picky I guess. After all, I do all of that and who could compete?

So, back at the ranch (we have a small grassy area in a neighborhood that is zoned for horses) today I was inside getting dinner ready and BOY & GIRL were outside in the back yard playing. After determining that the screeches were starting to escalate into painful shrieks and shouts of "Mommy!", I hustled outside and found GIRL sitting on the bottom of the seesaw and boy sitting in the grass right next to her, patting her gently and saying, It's O.K., sweetie pie.

GIRL, are you O.K.? What happened?

I hurt my ankle, Mommy. It hurts.

I'm sorry, sweetie. Can I give it a kiss?

Mmmmhmmmm, said with a nod.

She had hurt her foot while they were playing on the seesaw and he had gotten off and was sitting with her. Trying to help her.

BOY, I can see what a wonderful big brother you're being to your sister. That is so nice that you're helping her.

And GIRL says, he's not my brother. He's my teacher.

And so he is...

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Woe is me, today was poop and pee

I have a tragic flaw as a blogger. You may have noticed. I cannot be brief. I cannot. I cannot. Alas, it is true. I try. I really do. And sometimes it happens. Sometimes, what I want to say can be said in ...well 300 words or less. Really. And when that happens it is SO exciting and I feel like a BLOGGER! A real blogger. But, mostly I feel like a rambler. I AM a rambler see me ROAR.

Then there is someone like Antique Mommy who basically is a goddess. Yes, she is a goddess of blogging. She's funny. She's real. She's an amazing writer. And she-can-be-brief. What a gift! And it is simply not fair, but if she happens to write a longer post - it never rambles. How can that be?

So, in honor of trying to be brief. Here is an accounting of my day:

Woe is me,
today was poop and pee.

First poor BOY,
distracted by a toy
had a poop in his knickers
which wasn't even the kicker.

Because then my little Girl
in the middle of a whirl
had a poop in her pants
and then I was ready to rant!

All this in one place
so we lost face.
A Kids Kuts location
and it wasn't a vacation.

So, tonight I tucked them in
covers up under chins.
I reached for the quilt
and something had been spilt.

There arose such a stink
that my eyes had to blink.
It seems the cat had been by
and no, I do not lie.

He had peed on the bed
by then I was seeing RED.
So the bed sheets were changed
all the stuffed animals rearranged.

So, I'm really wiped out
but, I'm proud I didn't shout.
And, I'm off to get some Z's
God, NO more poop and pee, pleeeze...

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Great cookie recipe to make with small children

Well I had so much fun doing backwards day at Rocks in My Dryer's Works for Me Wednesday last week, that I'm back again. This time I have a wonderful, simple Heloise recipe that my Aunt shared with me for making cookies with small children. And it only has 3 ingredients! It is really fun. BOY & GIRL love helping to mix this up with their small fingers - no mixer required!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl mix together: 1/2 cup of cooking oil & 2 eggs. Add the contents of one box of your favorite cake mix, dry just as it comes from the box. Mix it all together with your hands. **REQUIRED** It will be very stiff. Can continue with your hands to add 1/2 cup or so of chocolate chips, nuts or whatever.

Pinch off bits of the batter about the size of a tablespoon if you want large cookies, or more like a gumball if you want small. Bake about 10 minutes. Watch carefully, they bake pretty quickly. Top will still be a little moist when they are done. Remove immediately to a rack or to sheets of newspaper.

Some great variations are: chocolate cake mix & added chocolate chips & nuts. You can also use yellow or white cake and add food color for fun. Or white cake mix with M&Ms! Anything will work - that's the fun! Enjoy.

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Tuesday, October 9, 2007

LOOK, I don't want her this upset was what you would call a mixed bag. Part rotten tomato, part luscious plum. It was GIRL's 3 year old check-up. The annual check-ups are doctor's appointments that I actually look forward to. This one seemed like it was going to be alright, yet there were signs early on that there might be a problem. Perhaps when I told GIRL what we were going to do today -first we'll go to Tarjay (Target for you neophytes) and pick-up some essentials, then we'll go see Dr. Y and see how much you've grown...INTERRUPTION of NO! erupting from the back seat. Yes, perhaps that was a small clue that going to the doctor's was not a pleasing idea to GIRL.

We arrive at the doctor's office, our parking angel flags us in to an open space and we get out of the car. We enter the lobby. I walk over to the reception desk to make the co-payment and GIRL bids hello to the fish in the tank near the door. Everything appears O.K. They call us, we walk to the back together and the nurse indicates which room we can go into to wait on the doctor who is ready for us. We enter the room and GIRL just FREAKS. She wails and clings to me with absolute, unequivocal terror. As in: the world is ending and I am going to die, Mommy don't leave me - abandonment issues type FREAK-OUT. It. Was. Awful. And...of course, I'm "probably projecting" as E would tell me, but today... I could see through her eyes the memory of that day we raced to the ER with blood gushing out of her head. After all, it was only 7 weeks ago ... And I really think she thought she was going to have to have an injection in her head again. Who wouldn't be scared of that?

So, the doctor tried, but GIRL didn't want any of it. She didn't want to get weighed, she didn't want to get measured. She didn't want to sit on the exam table. And by GOD, I wasn't going to force her. The nurse was annoyed and the doctor tried, but I finally had to say to them - LOOK, I don't want her this upset. By this time, I was practically in tears. It baffles me that people who work with children do not see that continuing to "encourage" a child, while she is crying traumatically is not helpful in any way. So, finally the doctor suggested that I sit on the exam table with GIRL on my lap and that worked like a charm. GIRL calmed down enough to be examined. Well, as much as you can be examined when you're attached chest to chest to your mommy with legs that appear bionic. Is there a Bionic Child? Apparently so. After the exam we again tried to have her step on the scale. No go. She was not having that. No. Nada. No WAY. So, I stepped on the scale and they took my weight. Then I picked her up and they took our combined weight and subtracted my weight from that to get her weight. Are you following? And then we left. She was ready. I was ready. No looking back. And from that moment on, the rest of the day was fine.

So, what was the luscious plum part of the day you ask? Was it the fact that I weighed less than I thought - with shoes on, I might add. No, although for a brief moment in time I was thrilled to hear that I weigh less than I did in high school. Until. Until I realized that yes, I do weigh less -BUT, everything hangs a bit differently shall we say. Hangs. Butt, too. And some things are going in directions that seem to attract gravity. A sad tale. Sometimes I wish I did believe in plastic surgery. *sigh*

The luscious plum! The luscious plum of the day was that after dinner, we all made ice cream sundaes together. BOY & GIRL got to scoop their own ice cream into bowls, pour the chocolate sauce and pour the sprinkles on - themselves! I had dibs on doling out the whipped cream. E was in charge of quality control - making sure every bite was savored. And it was. By all of us. Thank GOD for ice cream. Sometimes it saves the day.

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Monday, October 8, 2007

Our minivan can fly!

Shhhhh... I'll let you in on a secret, our minivan can fly! Yes, it's true. Once everyone is buckled in, we brace ourselves for the countdown out the driveway. I know, I know, airplanes don't have countdowns, but in our world...they DO.

10..9..8..7..6..5..4..3..2..1..BLAST OFF!!!!
And Pilot Mommy has hit the road. Co-Pilot BOY is eagerly pushing his arm rest executive controls and proudly wearing his navy blue Pilot blazer with the airplane buttons held on with safety pins (Halloween costume from last year.) Navigator GIRL has flipped open her Thomas Guide Maps of Ultimate Maneuverability and is ready to guide us through challenging morning air traffic.

Whooaa, there goes a truck airplane, shouts BOY!

There goes a bus airplane and another bus airplane, screams GIRL not to be outdone.

Navigator GIRL, please check your maps and tell me if we head due South at the next light?

Yes, Mommy, we do. We certainly do, she states with conviction.

O.K. heading south it is, states Pilot Mommy.

There's a FIRE TRUCK airplane! A FIRE TRUCK AIRPLANE, MOMMY!! - shrieks BOY. The louder the shriek, the easier it is to reach almost deaf by this time Pilot Mommy. MOMMY! MOMMY! This ol' Pilot needs some Super Dooper ear plugs. After all, it is 8:00am and I've only had one cup of tea.

Got it, BOY! Wow, a fire truck airplane. Here comes the flashing lights, prepare to slow down. I'll contact the tower. **Squawk** Pilot to BOY & GIRL's school tower. **Squawk** **Squawk** **Static** Pilot Mommy to the school tower, do you read?

Yes, Pilot Mommy, come in. - mystery voice from the tower.

We're on our descent. Prepare for landing, Co-Pilot BOY & Navigator GIRL.

Minivan comes to a halt in front of the school. Co-Pilot and Navigator exit their car seats after Pilot pushes magic release button. Pilot throws one blue backpack marked BOY and one red backpack marked GIRL over both shoulders, grabs one small hand of each and steers everyone to the school gate. All have arrived safely and in good spirits.

This is a GOOD day. I have them fairly regularly considering I have two children who are both currently 3. But, the best part hadn't come yet. No, the best part was when this Mommy picked up a dirt covered BOY and a paint covered GIRL and BOY said, Mommy, thank you for pretending the car was an airplane. It stayed with him all day. It did!

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Sunday, October 7, 2007

I hadn't planned on it. And here it is.

I'm feeling like a porcelain doll. Body cold. Expression fixed. The Trying so Hard to Look like I'm Fine face. It's cracking. The little hairline fractures are zipping up my doll-like body. Fissures now. Cracks that have weight. I am frightened and feel that I am holding on with my fingernails to what is left of this life in my role as a stay-at-home mom. Change is coming and it is coming fast. Faster than I can handle? Probably not. But, it feels turbulent and ferocious. Because I don't really want it. I hadn't planned on it. And here it is. The kids will be fine. They really will. Really. They will. And me? Well, I'll be fine, too. I just have to put one foot in front of the other. I am very strong. Just resistant to change. Especially change that comes about without your own orchestration. Yet, I am part of it. This is my life. I'm not a puppet dancing to the invisible strings of a manipulator offstage. I'm just a woman, a mother and wife, who does not feel ready to reenter the work force. And I must. AND .... IT .... SUCKS. It sucks. Intellectually I know that the act of going back to work could end up being a wonderful change. It is just that I'm afraid. Of? So many, many things. The worst being that my children will get less of me. And sometimes it feels like there's not much of me left ... now. What will it be like then? ... Deep breaths. Deep, deep breaths. I can do this. I just need some super glue.

Oh, and the POUND PLUS Milk Chocolate bar imported from Belgium? GONE... as of this last delicious minute. Every bite mine except for a small morsel that E arm wrestled me for...

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Saturday, October 6, 2007

They slay me. They just slay me.

Don't worry Mommy, I'll take care of you. This said as BOY wrapped his arms around my legs. I really LOVE you, Mommy.

I love you, too, BOY. As I bent down to snuggle my nose in his soft neck.

Do I look worried? Apparently I do.

And tonight as I backed out of the driveway to go babysit someone else's children, I glimpsed my daughter's small face, eager for the last sight of me, hands touching the window pane watching until I was out of sight. Her small person. My GIRL.

They slay me. They just slay me.

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Friday, October 5, 2007


Tonight E is out at a fundraiser for Soles4Souls - Changing the world one pair at a time. It is a wonderful organization that helps children and adults all over the world have what we take for granted - shoes on their feet. A couple of his friends are hosting a shoe drive. I would have loved to go, but we couldn't get a babysitter. Oh well...

As I gathered a few pairs of shoes together, I explained what I was doing to BOY.

BOY, tonight Daddy is going to a fundraiser. That is where they raise money to help people who don't have money and need help. This is a special one and we are giving away the shoes that are too small for you and GIRL to children who don't have any shoes. There are some children who don't have shoes.

That is sad.

Yes, it is sad. But, your shoes will make them SO happy. And their mommies and daddies so happy.

I am SO happy, too. I want to go and see them and run around and play with them.

Oh, sweetie, that is just wonderful. There won't be any children there tonight, though. It is just for grown-ups. They will gather all the shoes and bring them to the children soon.

I want to go.

Someday, we can do something like that, BOY. It is very special that you want to help the other children. I am proud of you.

After E left, I had quite the star studded evening right here with my two hooligans. We had turkey pot pies for dinner and cinnamon schoolhouse alphabet cookies for dessert. We picked the letters out and spelled out their names. BOY enjoyed the game, GIRL just wanted to have at it. Well, she is a early this love affair with food starts! Speaking of...tonight I am indulging in Trader Joe's Pound Plus milk chocolate (hey, I'm PMSing!) imported from Belgium. Yum! That should get me through the weekend. Or maybe not...

It was cooler tonight and the kids got in what we call their "sleepy pajamas." Those wonderful footy PJs that look so darling and keep them warm when they kick all their covers off anyway. We did our usual ritual, first Twinkle, Twinkle then a Silly, Silly Soul man story - tonight about the dog Silly, Silly Soul Man who had a bad cough and needed a vaporizer in the garage, which steamed out a mouse from the rafters, who was chased down by our cat Sneaky, Sneaky Dillon. Then lullaby and goodnight to BOY and GIRL as well as the assorted stuffed animals and I'm over and out at this point. Best job I've ever had being a Mommy, but kicks your ass! Goodnight...

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Thursday, October 4, 2007

An amalgam

The problem is that part of me is still at heart an actress, that wild child little girl madly dancing across the stage shouting Notice ME!! NOTICE ME!! DON'T YOU SEE ME! NOTICE ME!! And part of me is the writer who goes within and responds to the bliss of a quiet space in which to breathe and create. Both are me. And they battle it out inside me. Yet, I feel that the battle is shifting and somehow the actress and writer will merge. This is who I truly am. A combination. An amalgam. And the frisson is coming... where it will lead I do not know. Yet I do know it is vital to my being. The "she looks pulled together," Calm Mommy facade is definitely a part of me, yet there's a messy, passionate, voluptuous voice in me clawing to get out. And it's getting snarky waiting. And that is the quandary. And the quandary is this. Can the stifled voice be let

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Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Getting BOY motivated to dress himself

First off I want to thank all the lovely ladies who hopped on over here from Rocks in My Dryer to participate in Backwards Day Works-For-Me. It has been such fun reading all of your ideas. Now I feel fully prepared to deal with the deluge of art work....well, almost! Seriously, what fabulous ideas! And it has also been great to hop on over to your blogs and read up about you. Thanks for making my day!

So, we're trying something new here. BOY is very resistant to dressing himself in the morning. He uses it as a strategic delaying tactic before we leave for preschool. So, I've started laying out his clothes the night before and we have a new rule that he has to be dressed down to socks and shoes before he gets breakfast or can watch a morning program (which we do sporadically, anyway.) If he succeeds in doing this, I am letting him have a cup of chocolate milk. Organic Midnight Moo is pretty yummy. I read about it over at Kind of Crunchy Mama. Somehow if it is organic, I feel less guilty. And Trader Joe's is the best! So, the "big plan" is to keep doing this until we phase out of the chocolate milk (bottle of Midnight Moo is empty and doesn't get replaced) and getting dressed before breakfast becomes a habit. We did this with his potty training. Wish us luck!

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Tuesday, October 2, 2007

My question for Backwards Day at Works-For-Me Wednesday

So...this is fun. It is Backwards Day at Works-For-Me Wednesday hosted by Rocks in My Dryer. Wow...that's a mouthful. Great, great idea - Rocks in My Dryer!!

My question is this..What to do with all that art work? My GIRL started preschool almost a month ago and we currently have enough paintings to paper over all the food stains flung on the dining room walls. Yes, there are many. Food stains. And paintings. She quite possibly could be a budding artiste extraordinaire. However, extraordinary or not, we're running out of room. And I even let some of them go...Bad Mommy. Bad, BAD Mommy... But, the few that are let go seem to bring on 10 more. And I love them all!! But... So, please tell me, what do you do with all that art work?

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It seems I've reached a new low

I burst into tears in front of the children this afternoon. It seems I've reached a new low. I was at my wit's end, wit perhaps looong gone, and they were both being extremely naughty. No one was listening. No one was cooperating. I carried BOY into the living room, as I was trying to get GIRL to go down for a nap in their room and he kept zooming into the room and revying her up. He gave me a light tap on my face and I just burst into tears. Then he burst into tears. So, the two of us were weeping and GIRL was laughing. She didn't seem unduly bothered by my tears. BOY, on the other hand, was greatly disturbed. Believe it or not, this is the first time that I've actually broken down crying in front of them. I cried while trying to inch up the pull-up on GIRL's kicking legs. And I kept crying while she laughed. And BOY kept crying. It was a very sad state of affairs. So, after I took a deep breath, put the covers on GIRL and left the room, I swept BOY up and hugged him.

I don't like it when you cry, Mommy.

I know, sweetie. But, sometimes Mommies and Daddies cry, too.

I don't like it.

Then in a very soft voice: Did I hurt you?

No, sweetie. It's OK. Well, it is not OK to hit. You didn't hurt me, but you did hurt my feelings. And sometimes I cry, and that's OK. (Not really, but it sounds good. Have probably put some weird Mommy guilt wojo on him.)

Within 20 minutes it was determined that our GIRL was not to sleep. So, she came out of her room and I explained my tears to her. Or tried.

These small little persons whom I absolutely adore to the ends of the earth are incredibly magical creatures. And incredibly challenging. And being a Mother is ... I don't know if I have the words today.

It seems we've recovered for the moment. Well, all of us except me. They're resilient. At least that's what I'm telling myself.

I feel very burdened by stress these days. It is starting to bleed into our lives. Should I go back to work full-time? Do I have a choice? What is the right decision for our family? I hate feeling this way. Is it the financial stress? Or maybe I'm just an ordinary mom who lost it today. Either way it feels really bad. No other word for it. Just bad.

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Monday, October 1, 2007

Remembering Dreams by SARK

Do you know the writer SARK? I'm a fan. I opened up Living Juicy: Daily Morsels for your Creative Soul today and this is what it said:

October 1


Keep your dream held high! Be the dream. Live your dreams. Remember that dreams can be more power full than fact.

I kept forgetting my dream of living as a writer, creative person, and continued doing things that were not nourishing at all! I believe we need to remember our dreams, and keep them very close to our hearts.

...remembering dreams is part of living them...


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