You know, conservatively, I wash upwards of 20 loads of laundry a week. I've had my front loader for about four years. I'm not the greatest in math, but I think that I've done over 4,000 loads of laundry in this baby. You would THINK that I'd know how to do this stuff in my sleep, right?
My typical MO is to sit on the floor between the washer and dryer in order to swap the loads over. I tried to open the washer today, and the door appeared to be stuck. Because I am nothing if not smooth, I leaned over to tug at the door, and smacked myself RIGHT in the eyebrow with the door. That takes REAL talent.
The bruise on my head matches the one on my foot. (Yes, I hurt something ELSE this week. You'll have to read over here for the down and dirty.)
My first baby came four days early. My second baby came four days early. When, at 36 weeks, the doctor proclaimed me to be "4 centimeters and ready to go at any minute!", I foolishly listened. I heard the same report at 37 weeks. 38 weeks. 39, 40, 41. Finally, at 42 weeks one day, he was helped out. When it finally began, the entire labor was five hours, start to finish.
Gabriel was the pudgiest baby I've ever seen. Now, he's short and skinny, with the pudgiest CHEEKS I've ever seen. Witness the reincarnation of Sir Dizzy Gillespie:
He's a wickedly funny, very bright boy who could care less about neat handwriting, clean bedrooms, or keeping a bathroom pristine for the family. He loves Legos and K'Nex, and reads bigger chapter books than most kids his ages. He loves to be goofy - case in point: we went to dinner and the waiter came to sing "Happy Birthday" to him. The waiter got down on one knee, slung his arm around Gabe and began to sing in an amazingly deep operatic baritone, worthy of the Three Tenors. My son responded by lifting two fingers behind the man's head. Bunny ears all the way.
He used his birthday money to buy a Master Secret Spy book, and has already written me two codes in lemon juice, one in milk and a rubber band note. He is determined that, one day, he will crack the code that I'm using to talk to his dad about him. (?) He never walks when he can run, makes motor boat noises with his mouth and is super aware of his food allergies. He reminds everyone, "No peanuts, tree nuts, coconut, dogs or cats", rattling them off as if we truly eat dogs and cats. I've been letting him read his own food labels this year (and I check after him), and he hasn't missed one yet.
When we had his party, I made no plans. Everyone asked, "What's the theme?" I replied, "Uh, come over and run around?" Also known as the Gabriel has a lazy, cheap mom theme. I tossed ten kids in the back yard, added my own, and brought them back in an hour later, tired from a ping pong table, a pool table, a swingset, two soccer nets, and a bucket of soccer balls, baseballs, bats, and tennis rackets. We had cupcakes and ice cream. He wanted cupcakes with swirly icing, because he can't have the ones in the store. I was happy to oblige. Except I had every number of candle in the drawer except EIGHT, and he wouldn't accept that a SEVEN plus a ONE was the same thing. One quick trip to the store later, and he was happy. He's easy like that.
He hates all meat except hot dogs, loves apples and almost all other fruits and veg. Current food kick? Multi Grain cheerios. He's a good kid. I think we'll keep him.
Happy birthday, Little Man.
It's Monday, it's Monday, rah, rah, blahhhhhhh.
Yeah, that's how I feel. Monday already? Where did this weekend go?
So, for us, it's just a few days until payday, which means it's the time of the month where we get creative. And THAT means it's time to clean out the freezer. What's hiding back there? Vanilla ice cream you brought to work for a coworker's special day? A turkey that your boss gave you LAST Thanksgiving? Taquitos from your last venture to Trader Joe's? A bag of blueberries left over from the summer picking frenzy?
What is in the depths of your freezer that you need to toss? Who has the oldest and/or the weirdest stuff? What can you use to make an AWESOMELY creative meal? How creative will you get, anyway? There's a gift in it for the most creative and the weirdest items.
Wipe down the door and the inside, toss in a small bowl of baking soda, and prepare to enjoy the forgotten treasures.
Similar to Newton's Law, or Murphy's Law, except this one is not named for an obscure male figure, but, rather, for a fact of life (my life).....
If one should go to the grocery well dressed, with makeup on and hair styled and just so, and really be one of those stunning people who appear to have it all together -
you will see no one you know.
But, if one should wake on a cold, rainy Saturday, when all soccer and football games have been canceled for the day, and one should decide to spend the day cooking, cleaning and doing laundry -
and said person decided to dress in workout clothes, and began to cook, but realized that there was no butter, necessitating a really quick trip to the 7-11 just around the block,
but the 7-11 didn't sell butter and so the person would just run up to the big grocery. And one would discover, on the way to the store, that hair was unbrushed and flat on one side, eye makeup remained from the night before, wearing COKE bottom glasses, and that person had tossed on The Hubster's Extra Large Hooded Sweatshirt, and so the person pulled the hood up over her head, effectively resembling an unkempt hoodlum, and that person stepped into a puddle in her flip flops that sloshed up to her knees -
well, then, that would be the day that the person would run into FOUR people that she knew, including the manager of her favorite restaurant, and one of them would remark to the others in what is commonly known as an "outside" voice, "I saw you in a magazine!", causing each of the others to wonder if she was mistaken.
Unless it was a magazine of homeless people.
No disrespect intended towards homeless people.
Check out The Parent Bloggers Deceptively Delicious Blog Blast for today - here is my entry to win the $250 gift card to Williams-Sonoma. (I was pretty impressed with the Deceptively Delicious book and I'll be reviewing it later on next week.)
Having six kids, I've gone through my fair share of "He won't eat dinner! She's living on french fries and chicken nuggets!" I've fiddled with different ways of disguising food, of cajoling and bribing, tricking, pleading and outright lying. My oldest child didn't eat solid foods until he was 15 months old, despite careful purchase of organic veggies, free range chicken and hormone free milk. He turned up his nose at all of it and continued to nurse exclusively until he was over a year old. That child is now taller than me, drinks a gallon of milk a day, and spends $10 on healthy foods whenever I allow him to buy lunch at school.
Which is hardly ever, because, hello? $10??? For one kids lunch? He can pack his three sandwiches, fruit and bottled water, thanks. (It's $10 because he eats a lot, and at his school, they have a buffet line, prime ground for him.)
I did cook separately for him when he was younger, somewhat. I remember calling my mother once in a panic because he wouldn't eat pasta one night, just sauce and bread. Why that bothered me, I have no idea. As I added more children to the mixture, cooking a separate meal became more and more of a pipe dream. I rarely do that anymore. Interestingly enough, The Hubster, who has nine kids, is willing to cook three separate meals for our kids, in order to make them happy. I am so not going there.
Child #6 is my Sensory Sensitive child. She was born with very poor facial muscle tone and didn't eat solids until we'd done a few turns in the feeding clinic. Getting her to eat was a challenge and a struggle, and it really was a celebration when she ate her first bite of yogurt, or applesauce, or popcorn. Today, this child is one of my best eaters. She will eat what I give her with very little argument.
In our house, the rule is that you have to eat what you are served. Period. I will always give a choice of fruit, offering one that I know everyone likes and one that most like. I serve two veggies with lunch and dinner, and one of those is non negotiable. They have to eat them. I do know that kids have different taste buds and that it can take 20 or more times that a food is offered before it is accepted. I know that there isn't anything in one food that you can't find in another. I also know that sometimes, you have to eat what you are served and we don't waste foods. And I've been heard to answer, "Yes, I know you don't like cucumbers. When you are an adult, you don't ever have to eat them again."
Which is why beets will never be served in MY house.
Just for kicks, I'm putting a list of likes and dislikes under the fold. See what I have to work around?
There is so much guilt that I carry around on a daily basis.
I packed someone the wrong fruit for lunch. I forgot to sign a test. I missed a game. I missed a cross country meet. I didn't buy the school pictures. I did or didn't do a million and one things a day.
I packed up the Mommy guilt tonight. I refuse to feel guilty for what I did.
Wednesday nights are one of my three capoeira nights. I spend all of my time from 4 on trying to prep for the night, getting dinner on and as soon as dinner is finished, the little people get up to bed. If all goes well, most everyone is either in bed or well on their way before I go to class. Tonight it just wasn't working. My daughter had a special visit with a relative that went well over the time I'd allowed - which was TOTALLY fine, the smile on her face was worth all of it. But it put me behind schedule for class and I still had to go home and change and when I returned home, my youngest was being "difficult". My oldest was laying down with her and cuddling her, and I just.felt.guilty. What kind of mother was I that I was leaving a child who was having a tough time going to sleep - she was just SO tired that it was impossible - and
going off to her own place?
A good one, that's who. I can't take care of them if I don't take care of me, and capoeira is one of the only things that I do for solely me. Last week I was only able to make one class, since soccer took up the other two. I was planning to have a dinner out with friends, but had to cancel it for another family function. Every time I have something planned lately, I've had to cancel it. And it's ok, I know that's part of the job of being a Mom. That doesn't mean that I have to like it, or have to be a martyr.
So even though I was 15 minutes late, changed my shirt in the parking lot and started class without warming up, I went. Even though I left a stack of laundry as big as the sofa and dishes unwashed, I went. Even though I knew that when I got home, the house would be wrecked and I'd have two to three hours of stuff to do, I went.
Because sometimes, I'm not Mom. I'm me. I'm the me who likes to read, to take capoeira, to go for runs and talk on the phone. And I can't be the Mom without starting first with the Me.
None of these have anything to do with the others, but they are all things I wanted to mention and can't figure out how to make a blog post of them.