Last week we did take-out or frozen meals every day except Monday. Shameful. I'm lighting a fire under my ass this week and getting in the kitchen. I'm not a cook by nature. Not something I truly love doing, but I do enjoy a good homecooked meal -- as does my family. (Although frozen pizza does come in a close second.)
So, here I go...
Monday: Tortellini/pancetta soup with bread and grilled asparagus on the side.
Tuesday: Chicken/pineapple stir fry
Wednesday: Portobello mushroom lasagna
Friday: Grill out burgers
I'm exhausted just thinking about all this cooking.
I'll let you know what did and did not come to fruition in the kitchen...
In case you guys don't know what a Rody is, they are rubber, inflatable, bouncy dog-like creatures you sit on. Usually they're for kids. But fuck it. This morning, the Rody Race was on. My 5-year-old was going down. Mutha-fuckin' down to Chinatown. You think you can bounce faster on that Rody than me? I birthed you! Bring it!
Waiting for the start gun to go off.
Drum roll please...
And they're off! (Note the hair on M. That is some serious bouncing. I told her to bring it and she did.)
Wait! An obstruction in the course! Sabotage!
Obstruction removed. Victory is mine. I can taste it!
Rody Rematch scheduled for 9 a.m. Monday morning. I'm not going down that easily. All I have to say is, better bring your A game...
My daughter's been driving me bonkers. Questions McGee. Whining, complaining, asking, screaming. I actually tried to have a real thought yesterday and failed miserably.
So, instead of continuing to bitch and moan about how annoying my five-year-old is, because, let's face it, five-year-olds are by nature annoying...I decided to do this:
The 11 Best Things About M
1. She is always willing to pitch in when it comes to kitchen duties. Need an egg cracked? At your service! Need some mix stirred? Don't need to ask me twice. Or even at all. Need some liquid poured? Wait, wait! Don't move! I got it! I got it!
2. She loves potty humor. Ok, this may not seem like a plus to most people, but in this house it's aces.
3. She loves to take care of her brother. Nevermind that he doesn't want to be taken care of, we're talking about her right now.
4. She knows what she wants. Now, oftentimes this can sometimes come off as bossy and controlling, but really it's just a person knowing exactly what's what, voicing it and following through -- loudly.
5. She's got the best smile on the planet.
6. She is so sweet with her stuffed animals. The way she puts them to bed, feeds them, etc. Her heart is exactly in the right place.
7. She has great style. She will put striped tube socks on with a pink princess dress. That mix of masculine and feminine is so an example of true, individual style.
8. She loves to sing. And, even more, she loves it when I sing. She'll defend me to the end to her father when he accuses me of warbling off key. "No Daddy! Mommy is a good singer!"
9. She's always game to make friends with other little kids. Not a mean bone in her body. You could be green, have three heads and eat worms. She'll find a way to get into it.
10. She's really good on her scooter. Like she can go really fast. Steers. Crouches. Makes her serious scooter face. It's pretty rad.
11. When she holds my hand, smiles at me and says, "I love you, Mama," I know I couldn't ask for a better kid.
So, this exercise in blogging for 30 days straight is not easy. But, it's supposed to be enjoyable, not work, so eff it. I'm going to just do five days in one entry. There.
Day 11: Remember those candy cigarettes that kids could blow into and then some powdered sugar stuff mimicking smoke would come out the other side? Thinking that would be an awesome treat for my kids is...weird. Times they do change.
Day 12: Mother's Day! Remember as a kid giving your mom crap like lavender-scented bath beads? She'd smile, gaze at her bath beads like she'd just been given the answer to the meaning of life, and then...lie. "Just what I wanted!" Little did I know then that my mother barely had time to shower, much less soak in a tub filled with melting bath beads that contained a floral scent so powerful, I imagine she'd be unapproachable for days, maybe weeks, after her bath.
My kids made me an awesome card, we went to a fancy brunch during which I didn't have to chase, glare, scold, threaten, or exit the premises altogether. Then they fell asleep on the way home. Now that's what every mom wants for Mother's Day.
Day 13: I am a horse. As in, I'm on all fours, neighing. As in my toddler is on my back, bouncing up and down yelling "Haaaaaawsie! Haaaaaawsie!" That is all.
Day 14: Husband out of town for work. Tired and miss the adult interaction after the kids have konked out, but not having him here does make some aspects of parenting easier. My dirty, dark little secret? I'm a control freak and like being in charge...like of everything.
Day 15: She's quiet now for the first time in three days. Can't believe how much she talks. As in, I don't think she's zipped her lip (unless she's unconscious) for three days straight. I'm astounded by how many questions, arguments, tears and general yammer, yammer, yammering she does. Will someone rip my ears off, please? No seriously. Remove them. Now.
Sometimes you see, hear, feel things that just nail it. Makes you want you to approach parenting in a true, honest way. My friend, Melanie, shared this video today and I just had to post it here because it embodies so much of what I strive to be with my children. Neither of my kids have Asperger's, but still...they are their own unique individuals with unique challenges and frustrations.
The video reminds me that even though family life can often be far from perfect...it is the greatest thing I have done and will ever do in my life.
I had a great day today. Wonderful client in the morning followed by successful shopping trip in the afternoon followed by an impromptu lunch with two friends downtown.
And, right in the midst of it, I found myself crying -- make that sobbing -- in my car. Sun shining. Cars whizzing by on a busy city street. People chattering all around. And me. Sitting in my parked car, bawling.
My mother. Lately, I can't shake the feeling that the clock is ticking. That my time with my her is finite. And not in some abstract way where death is this blurry thing waiting for all of us in the future. But as in "I see the end. I see it coming."
She lives in Thailand, and if you follow this blog, you probably have seen a few posts about her and her illness. At any rate, I don't like to talk about her. In fact, for the most part, I don't like to think about her. To say that what is happening to her is sad and tragic doesn't even begin to scratch the surface. It is horrifying.
To lose your ability to walk, speak, go the bathroom or pretty much do anything on your own is a prison of misery I can't even begin to imagine. To know your mother -- the one who held your hand when you had nightmares until you fell asleep -- is now a shell of the woman you knew? It seems unreal. Too unreal to even consider.
And so, it's easier to pretend. Pretend it's not really happening. Easy enough. She lives across the world. Put some pictures up around the house. Talk to your daughter about her "Khun Yai" as if she's a totally normal grandmother. And, presto, magic! Problem solved!
Except not. I call her each week these days. We talk for about 15 minutes. I usually update her about the kids, husband, work and anything else going on in my life. She tries to talk sometimes, but most of it I can no longer understand. I always end our conversations with, "I love you mom" and she will respond, "I love you, Rosana." Out of the entire conversation, they are really the only words I can make out.
Today in the car, I had gotten off the phone with my brother who has been updating me regularly on my mother's declining health and state of mind. He was not in a good way. I wouldn't be either if I was caring for -- on my own -- a severely handicapped mother who now was exhibiting signs of dementia. He had just spent the past afternoon with my mother. He works nights and had gotten a frantic call from her around noon (as he gets everyday because my mother has anxiety.) She is on anxiety medication, but her delusional behavior still manages to push through. It's hard to know if it is her illness, depression or something else. At any rate, he went to her condo, tried to calm her and ended up sitting with her, holding her hand for most of the afternoon.
"I want, I want....I want..."
"What do you want mom. Tell me. What do you want?"
With her disease progressing to the point where her speech is nearly incomprehensible, my brother finds himself regularly coaxing information out of her, hoping she'll be able to eek out a word or two that he can understand. She usually becomes emotional and frantic, because shit, if you couldn't verbalize to your loved ones how you were feeling wouldn't you go mad?
That afternoon with my mother was no different. Except she got it out. She got out those words:
"I want to walk."
And isn't that the bitch of life? She won't walk. She won't ever walk again. And all my brother and I can do is ask ourselves "Why the fuck does she have to go this way? Why?"
So from my vantage point -- far away, over the phone, in pictures -- my days are spent laughing with my family and friends because life truly is joyous. But more lately, that joy is interrupted by a tightness in my throat. That clenching, squeezing knot in my stomach. Tears that are right at the surface, but get swallowed, pushed, pressed down as far down as I can get them.
Knowing I just won't ever have that mother I knew takes my breath away. As in, I literally have a physical reaction to my grief where I feel a shortness of breath. And knowing she will continue to drift further and further away...I can't even begin, right now, to really wrap my brain around how to face it.
So, I'll do what I can do for now. Call her. Talk to her. Tell her I love her...and hope that she'll be able to say it back.
Spent half the day removing about 50 pounds of hair from my head. Freeing...and terrifying. My only request to my hairdresser was please, please, please do not give me the short I've-given-up-and-I-just-want-what's-easiest mom 'do. You know. Sort of like a helmet. Made of hair. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
I think he hooked me and I'm enjoying my first day with my new badass, kickass, take-no-prisoners hair.
I will miss being a princess, though, which M says is no longer in my future now that I have short hair. Ah well. I guess I'll have to settle for being the knight in shining armour.
"Mommy, when I bring plums into school for lunch, Timmy goes crazy."
"Oh, really? How?"
"Well, he jumps up and down and just starts yelling, 'Plum! Plum! Plum!"
"Wow, he really likes plums, huh?"
"So much. Now, when I get into school and I see him, he asks me, 'Do you have a plum today?' I say, 'Yes!' He starts going crazy again and then I say, 'Just kidding!' and then he gets really sad like this."
Makes a sad face with bottom lip jutting out. The kind of face that my husband says he used to make and get the whole I-could-park-a-cadillac-on-that-lip remark from his grandfather.
Wait a second here. Just wait a gosh darned minute. What the heck is going on with the friggin' plums? Is this some sort of preschool precursor to flirting? Oh hell no.
"You tell that boy that your plums are yours and yours only and he should just go find a plum somewhere else!"
Strange look from preschooler.
A week later, Timmy's mom approached me before class the other day. "So, I hear Tim really likes Marley's plums."
"Um. Yeah. I heard."
"I asked him if he wanted me to start packing plums in his lunch and he said, 'Naaaah.'"
Ok, I missed a couple of days of blogging...I'm just going to keep going like they never happened...
Went for a run today. Not sure what inspired me. I did go running a couple months back, but didn't manage to start making it a part of my routine again. Hard to imagine this was the same girl, this time last year.
Husband was off this a.m. doing a little pre-triathlon training and, yes, it did make me feel...mushy. So, I packed up the kids in the jogger and decided to do a little training myself.
First thought: "Holy shit it's hot out here." (I wasn't making excuses, I swear. It was legitimately hot with temperatures fast-approaching 90.)
Second thought as I was a quarter way through the run: "Man this is hard. Dub tee eff?" I know I'm out of shape, but basically I was walking enthusiastically with a bounce. How sad have I become? I'm a friggin' speed walker.
Oh, wait, one tire is nearly flat. Thank God. At least now I have an excuse.
Third thought: "What's that jiggling sensation around my legs?" Hold up. Those are my thighs. Clapping. Applauding my efforts. Thanks guys.
Now getting on the exercise wagon...not hard. It's staying on it that gets me every time. Stay tuned.