don’tsayit don’tsayit don’tsayit don’tsayit……. SHITHEAD!!!!!
GAAAAHHHH! Curse my lack of impulse control!
I blame Marie.
don’tsayit don’tsayit don’tsayit don’tsayit……. SHITHEAD!!!!!
GAAAAHHHH! Curse my lack of impulse control!
I blame Marie.
seethe with jealousy at your incredible talent hate you. I mean, REALLY?!?!?! Did you have to raise the bar that high? Could you not have kept this awesomeness to yourself?
Click the link for more pancake pictures. Below are a few examples.
And check out these amazing bento boxes (which I had never even heard of before). Here’s an example:
Jealous, disgruntled mom
On Thursday, I attended the funeral service of a beautiful, 13 year-old girl. She died unexpectedly. Though she had a heart condition which had required several surgeries, from all accounts, she lived with joy and enthusiasm and never let her challenges get in her way.
I did not know this girl. I hardly know her family. I am merely a passer-by in their lives. I felt honored to hear their stories about their incredible daughter, but it was all uncomfortably familiar.
Since my children were born, I have been to six wakes or funerals. Of the six, five were for people aged 22 or younger. This seems remarkable to me, perhaps, because it seems so unnatural, so disordered. Painful though it is, we have an expectation that our parents will die before us. It is the natural order of things. We don’t expect the young to die, especially not our children.
As I have attended each of these services, I have found two things. First, was that, even though I was only tangentially connected to any of these children or their families, my grief was deep. I could see it, too, in the faces of the other parents in attendance. It was a grief felt not only for the deceased and their loved ones but the intense, overwhelmingly grief that you feel at the mere thought of losing your own child. The sentiments shared at each passing were the same. “I can’t even imagine how they feel.” “I can’t even think about it.” “I’m so sorry, I don’t even know what to say to them.”
The second thing I found was that these children were extraordinary. Each child had been challenged with a health issue that might have made others crumble. But these children seemed to lift up their families, to make the burden of their health issues lighter. They all actually seemed to do what so many of us express a desire to do. They lived life to the fullest. They lived with joy. They lived with a focus on others and connecting with them. They did not live with “Why me?”. I’m sure that there were times they must have felt this but they rose above it. This seems to be a characteristic shared by their families.
I feel that I have learned so much from these families, these children. More than the usual hug your children more tightly, I have learned that I need to keep things in perspective and make the most of each experience. Not for me, so much, but for my children. Because my children do have their challenges, but how they handle them will depend greatly on how I do. I want to help them find joy in this world, but that can only happen if I find it, too.
So, to Taylor and Maddie, to Mark, Daniel and Lisa, I say thank you. Thank you for the gift of your life, the example you set. Thank you for your families that so openly shared you with us. Thank you for the beauty you brought into this world, if only for a short while.
I have thought, too, this weekend of another young man in our community who lost his life too soon. I did not get to attend any services for him, though I thought of him and his family every second of the rainy day he was laid to rest. This young man, Adam, lost his life in service to our country. His parents said he died doing what he loved. He also shared the qualities of the others who lost their lives too soon. To Adam and his family, I say thank you as well.
None of you will be forgotten.
The very first week of Nic’s life, I became buried in laundry and have never gotten out since. No sooner have I emptied one hamper, and another is filled and ready for laundering. It wouldn’t be so bad except that I never seem to be able to get things out of the dryer as soon as it goes off. Hours (okay, sometimes days) will pass and now the wrinkles have set in. There are only so many times you can throw a damp cloth in the dryer and run the air again before the clothes hold together like a rubber-band ball of static. For me, this is a problem.
You must understand, I am a person who used to iron her sheets before she had kids. My co-workers used to laugh at me because I would run home from work and iron my skirt and jacket before meeting everyone for drinks. Wrinkles were for the untidy.
A few days after Nic was born, I took out the ironing board. My mom, who was staying with us to help out for a week , offered to iron my husband’s work shirts. That would be great I said, and when she was done, I would iron the baby’s things. She gave me a gentle, knowing smile. “Marie, honey, you don’t have to iron the baby’s things.” Now, we aren’t talking about a christening outfit or clothes he would be wearing for a professional photo. No, I wanted to iron Nic’s onsies, his sleepers, his little blankets.
“It’s okay, Mom. I just want to do it,” I replied in a small, tired voice.
“Really, you can just smooth the clothes out and fold them like this.” she offered folding a onsie as I stared on in horror.
“Mom.” I said, as firmly as someone who has not slept in three days could say. One look at my sleep-deprived, hormone-crazed, everything-must-be perfect-or-my-baby’s-life-will-be-ruined, you-can’t-tell-me-what-to-do-anymore face and she realized I was going to iron those baby clothes.
By time that Aaron was born, I had given into the idea that I couldn’t possibly iron everything that I laundered. I had a new system. I would set the oven timer for about 5 minutes before the buzzer on the dryer was set to go off. When the oven timer went off, I would race to the dryer and start folding things as quickly as I could. My husband’s work clothes and anything the rest of us would be wearing that other people might see would still be ironed (whether it needed to be or not). Most everything else could handle the smooth and fold method my mother had so gently to introduce to me.
As the boys grew, so did their messiness and so did the laundry pile. Only, now, I was so busy chasing them around that I couldn’t keep up with the buzzer on the dryer. The clothes would sit. The wrinkles would set. Each night the ironing would begin. My husband would shake his head at me. “Your exhausted,” he would say,”why are you ironing?”
He was right, I was exhausted. I needed to rest, but I couldn’t. Some where in my brain, deep in that part that holds our magical thinking, I was sure that if my children, my family, were always in wrinkle-free clothes that everything would be okay. I was wrong, of course.
Over the next few years, in our perfectly ironed clothes, we would go to countless doctors and therapists and specialists. We would deal with our sons’ medical and learning issues as they came along. We would fight with the school, we would explain to our families, we would educate doctors. All while wearing, every last one of us, our perfectly ironed clothes.
With so many other things to deal, and to enjoy, I have made some peace with the laundry. Today, anything that no one else will see, doesn’t get ironed. If it will be just as wrinkled when you get out of the car as it is when I take it out of the dryer, it doesn’t get ironed.
I still can’t help myself, though. If the laundry has sat for more than a day, I still need to iron the shirts, the pants, the shorts. The pile is still there but now I deal with it when I can. If there is any left in the end, they can bury it with me.
So I went to pick up my kids from school this afternoon with Barefoot Boy in tow. When I got to my son’s school he was in the “safe room” which is essentially the lost and found room for minds so we needed to wait a while. While there I had to borrow the school’s phone to call my daughter’s school (fortunately they had the number) in order to let them know I would be late. No problem, they said, she’ll be waiting in the office.
When my son calmed down he, Barefoot Boy, and I went to pick up Kelly. Just as we pulled up to her school she came out of the front door with Marie and her two boys.
Marie: I asked Kelly if she wanted me to wait with her and she said yes.
Me: Thanks, Marie. I appreciate it.
Marie: Why didn’t you call me? I could have brought her home.
Me: Are you kidding? Since I lost my cellphone I discovered that I don’t know anyone’s phone number anymore. I should never have downloaded my brain into that thing.
Me: (opening tupperware and scooping frosting out with finger and shoveling into my mouth) ohmygod. I think I just got pregnant. I’m going to have a chocolate frosting baby. And then I’m going to eat the baby.
Marie: Be warned, it has a cup of cream and a pound of butter in it.
Me: (mouthful of chocolately goodness): You’re trying to kill me, aren’t you? Did you take a life insurance policy out on me?
When we first moved into our house, I didn’t understand why on humid days a part of the house smelled like we had a cat. I assumed the previous owners must have had a cat and were not very good about cleaning up after it. At least, that is what I thought until I had boys.
Well, not right away actually. For the first few years, my sons, like all kids were in diapers. (Except for, of course, those most superior children who are born to those most superior mothers who teach them how to empty their bowels on command and never, ever let a diaper come near their tiny bottoms.) While the kids were in diapers, the smell from the Diaper Genie (or even worse the smell of the Diaper Genie liners) made me forget about the cat smell – except on the most humid days.
Then, I would scrub the bathroom with the offending smell. I tried Pine Sol and bleach. I lit candles, sprayed air freshener, scattered about cottonballs soaked in vanilla extract, even made crafty little pomanders from fresh citrus and cloves. All the while, I would curse the prior owners and their cat and wonder where exactly they put a litter box in such a small bathroom.
A few months after my sons were potty-trained and taking a special glee in learning to “pee like daddy”, I started to notice the cat smell on days that weren’t even humid. I also started to notice it as I walked by the guest bathroom and the master bath. I suddenly realized the previous owners of the house didn’t have a cat, but they did have a son! A son who was about 4 years-old, a son who had been potty-trained in this house, a son just like my two sons – a son with bad aim.
I was mortified. Worse than my house smelling like a cat on some days, my house smelled like little boy pee! My little boys’ pee, their little boy’s pee! I ran around the house opening windows (no matter that it was only 40 degrees out – I would bundle the kids up.) I scrubbed each bathroom with Pine Sol and bleach. I lit candles, sprayed air freshener, scattered about cottonballs soaked in vanilla extract. I even hung up the crafty little pomanders of fresh citrus and cloves that I had made.
By the end of the day, my house smelled like a candle shop. I was pleased with myself. My boys would not turn my home into a cat shelter even if I had to race into the bathroom after every pee to make sure I removed every offending drop. And, I did. For awhile anyway.
But life got busier, my boys got bigger. They didn’t want me standing outside the bathroom door, santizing wipe in hand. I’ll do it later, when they can’t see me. Later would turn into minutes, which would turn into hours. At last, the pee had won.
While I try to keep the bathrooms as clean as I can and wipe everything down as often as I can, the fruits of my sons’ bad aim have taken hold. I have tried every way I can think of to exorcise the pee smell from my home. Every way that is, short of calling an actual preist. I don’t think they would come to my house for that.
I have finally accepted that I will need to replace every floor in every bathroom in my house. I am waiting until they move out – I don’t want to have do it twice. Until then, I will scrub and spray and scent. And, ask my guests to watch for my cat as they leave the driveway. I just don’t know where he’s gotten off to.
So yesterday I was in a hurry to leave the house to pick my two older kids up from school. I raced out the door without putting shoes on Scott. After picking up the kids I was on my way home when I hear Kelly start to panic in the backseat because she forgot her favorite jacket at school. So I turned around to go back to school and pick it up from the library where she left it. We parked the car and I ferry all three kids inside, barefoot boy included. First we started in the library where we disrupted a “Mad Science” group (no jacket), then we went to Kelly’s classroom where we interrupted a meeting (no jacket), then we visited David’s favorite former teacher just because we were there (obviously no jacket), and finally we checked lost and found (still no fucking jacket). I talked a deflated Kelly and my other two unstable electrons back into the car where I immediately spied underneath her backpack the practically-glow-in-the-dark neon pink jacket. This is how I felt inside:
On a related note, for Christmas I want one of those dogs that herds
Last summer my daughter and I were working together out in the garden when we had this conversation:
Kelly: Mom, when I grow up I’m going to have four kids, two boys and two girls.
Me: Neat. Can I babysit sometimes?
Kelly: Yep. You can come visit me too.
Me: I would love that. Where will you live?
Kelly: I’m going to live here (indicating our house), but you’ll have to move because it would be weird for you to live with me and my husband.
My boys love to watch Food Network shows. What could be better than watching cooking shows – no nudity to worry about, hardly any profanity and that’s always bleeped, no crazy yellow sponges spinning them into the outer-stratosphere of silliness – just wholesome, family TV. This will be great, I thought. If they watch Food Network, it will make it easier to introduce the kids to new foods and get them to try a variety of cuisines. What I hadn’t counted on was being Chopped.
Seems my sons have decided that they are food critics. Apparently, after watching countless episodes of Chopped, my sons now believe that they have enough culinary knowledge to “critique” my meals.
“Hmm, nice presentation. A variety of colors to brighten the plate,” Nic says as I place his dinner in front of him.
“Well,” chimes in Aaron, ” I agree, to some degree. Personally, I think there is a little too much brown on the plate.”
“That’s just because you don’t like breading on your chicken,” responds Nic flatly.
“Are these those funny white mushrooms from the yard,” Nic asks, accusingly.
“No, ” I say. “Those are white asparagus. Like they had on Chopped. You said you would try them.”
“I didn’t say I’d eat them,” says Nic.
“They give you stinky pee,”adds Aaron.
“Just try them,” my hopes of expanding their food repertoire waning.
“Yuck. I mean, you didn’t do anything to elevate the asparagus. They just taste like grass,” Nic states authoritatively as he spits out the asparagus.
“And, they make your pee stink.” adds Aaron again.
“Just eat your dinner.” I command.
“Interesting mix of spices. What is that cumin, coriander?” questions Nic.
“Salt and pepper,” I say, hoping to bring the commentary to an end.
“It smells like the foot cheese,” giggles Aaron. “Remember the guy with foot cheese?” he asks Nic as they both dissolve into giggles.
“Just. Eat. Your. Dinner.” I huff.
“But I don’t like breaded chicken or mushrooms,” Aaron pleads. “Hey, Nic, remember that Steve’s Song about mushrooms between your toes. It smells like foot and we have mushrooms, get it?” Aaron giggles. “I got mushrooms, I got mushrooms, I got mushrooms between my toes,” he sings driving himself into hysterics.
“They are not mushrooms, they are asparagus. And, nothing smells like foot. Now. EAT. YOUR. DINNER.”
After a moment of silence, Nic looks at me. “I’m sorry, Mom. But for this dinner, you’ve been Chopped.”
“Yeah, the judges agree.” adds Aaron.
I think from now on, we’ll just have hotdogs.