Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Touch of Pneumonia and Home Decor

I am home today with a sick little boy who's getting less and less sick by the minute and a rambunctious not sick at all 3 year old girl and I'm losing my mind...

My son got sent home from school last Wednesday with a fever and horrible cough and never quite recovered.  We spent Memorial Day in urgent care and got a diagnosis of "a touch of pneumonia." So, that was fun. Who gets pneumonia on Memorial Day?? That's what oppressive Wisconsin winters are for.  Someone needs to send the bacteria in my son's lungs a memo.

We are 3 doses of antibiotics in and the young chap seems to be recovering nicely.  He just threw his sister off the couch..."What??  We're playing pirate ship!" Oh, well silly me-by all means, proceed with coming dangerously close to breaking your sister's arm. I mean, had you just said upfront that my couch was in fact, a pirate ship, and your sister clearly deserved to walk the plank I never would have complained...  

Hard to believe that two nights ago I lay awake next to him all night long massaging his chest and praying that I wouldn't nod off and then not notice that he had stopped breathing.  You know, due to all the gasping for air between wretchedly drawn out coughing fits.  You never understand that about motherhood until you're knee deep into it.  The worry, I mean.  That intense, fearful worry that you feel in your bones...*shiver*

Anyway-so we are home today for one more day of rest.  I'm telling myself that I need to at least catch up on some housework and laundry if I'm going to get horrendously behind at work.  One aspect of my life should maybe feel like it's semi-under control.  But why start now??

Instead-I've been perusing the Anthropologie website and coveting this insanely fabulous lamp shade.  I must have it.  It shall be mine.  It needs me-we need each other.  It's our destiny.

Isn't it just lovely?  Can't you hear it calling my name?

I just need to come up with a rationalization for spending $128 on a lamp shade.  Hmmm... that's going to be hard to come by since both of our cars just decided take a crap at the same time.  Ugh.  Also-I lost the charger for the battery in my camera.  It's like a big crapfest around here, I tell ya!

I'm going to go back to clicking through all of the wonderfully unnecessary items at Anthropologie and pretending that I'm not really having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.   

Hmpf!

xoxo
J

Thursday, May 26, 2011

On Losing Oprah

I joke with a lot of people about how much I love Oprah, including you, my (I'm not sure if you really exist) readers.  And mostly I always thought it was a big joke.  I did really sit in the front row at one of her shows...and I do (did) watch her show every day.  Admittedly, the invention of the DVR has really helped up my viewership in the last several years.  What with my life taking on this whole responsible grown-up type turn and all. I really did pay attention to the things she said and incorporated them into my own life.  I really do feel like she might like me, if she ever had reason to meet me....but I never really thought my umm, let's call it "appreciation" of her was really all that serious.

Until today.

Today is the first day of the World Without Oprah and I don't like it. I am genuinely, positively, not in a overly dramatic way, sad.  I'm really, really sad.  I feel really, really weird about that.  Cause I would make fun of someone like that. Someone who gets attached to a celebrity that they've never, and will never, meet.  That's just sad.  Sad and pitiful.  Reeking with, at best, narcissism and at worst, delusions of grandeur.  But there it is.  I can't hide from the truth...I'm in what can be described as nothing other than a Post-Oprah Funk. 

Please don't try to cheer me up by saying things like, "But she has her own network now-she's still going to be on T.V!"  Yes, that's true...but it won't be the same.  I know it won't because I've lived long enough to know that it's true what they say about never being able to go home again (err, something).  It's just like when I left for college.  I was pretty young for my grade and not so very worldly back then.  Naive is probably an understatement.  I had yet to turn 18 and I was packing up everything I owned and leaving my family behind.  I was one of those kids that was sad to go.  Excited, hopeful-yes, but also sad and scared.  Everyone said, "Don't worry you'll come home on your breaks and weekends every now and then and it will be like you never left!"  In the moment, while I was living it, that felt true.  It was hard to see at the time how my old self and old life slowly crumbled away bit by bit with each passing month like the paint on an old, rickety house. I grew to love college.  Looking back now almost 20 (holy shit can that be right?-dear God..it is) years later I can see that the day I left for college really was the last day of that chapter in my life called childhood. 

And that's how it feels to me now--this losing Oprah.  It's not going to be that weird at first.  She still in every one's consciousness and besides, all shows go into hiatus over the summer.  Life is as it should be for the moment.  But soon-she'll really really be gone and the vacancy will be all too noticeable.  I guess, all this time, I kind of counted on her.  As my life changed and got hard at times-unbearable even, and as I changed and grew up into this woman that I am and am still learning about-she was always there at 4pm on channel 12.  I went from watching her from my parents' couch as a 10 year old, to a futon in my dorm room, to the couch that was now just my mom's cause she and my dad weren't married anymore, to a second hand couch in my first off campus apartment, to a seriously second-hand-caked-with-someone-else's-cat's- hair couch in my funky apartment in the city during grad school, to the first new couch I ever owned, to the couch my new husband and I bought to furnish our first home together, to the couch I sat on and watched from while breastfeeding my babies and sobbing with 1 part joy, 1 part compassion, and 2 parts post-partum depression. 

Through all that she's been there every day at 4pm on channel 12.  She made me laugh, gave me a good, cathartic cry, made me see things in a way I never would have and taught me something new about life and myself every single day. 

Really-she did!  When I'm crabbily cleaning the dried pee off my toilets I think about all the mothers I saw on Oprah who had lost a little boy and would kill for just one more chance to clean their pee off a toilet.  And then I feel grateful for cleaning that toilet and I am happy.  When my daughter infuriates me with her incessant need to change outfits and her constant demands for my attention I think of Toni Morrison. She was on the Oprah show and talked about how the most essential thing to remember about being a good parent is to make sure that every time your children walk into a room-your eyes light up. When your eyes light up, that is how they learn that they matter.  So, I think of that and I shake off my anger and look with twinkling eyes into the beautiful face of my daughter and I am grateful.

I will genuinely miss her-Miss Oprah whom I've never (really) met.  I'll continue to watch her where ever she pops up and it will be kind of like it was, but not really. It will be nothing like that 25 year chapter in which she was one of my life's only constants. But, it will be okay.  Oprah would want it to be.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Death of Me

I'm a little melancholy at the moment.  First, because my darling husband left early this morning for Minneapolis for business and won't be returning until late Friday night.  I am not so much sad because of how deeply I love him and will miss him, but because the rat bastard has left me in the unfortunate position of acting the part of a single parent for the next 72 hours.  Which means that I have to deal with this (among other things) all by my lonesome self:






Try going head to head with that death glare with no back up -I dare you.  3 year olds are frightening.  They smell fear, exhaustion and weakness and are not afraid to pounce at the slightest sign of apathy.  That photo was taken this past weekend at the water park-I had just told Miss A that it was time to leave.  She did not want to hear this-hence the strategic covering of the ears and previously mentioned "death glare."  *shudder*

Second, I'm a bit sad because my dog, Skeeks, just leaped up from her perpetual nap to bark loudly at the window and pace around the house.  Considering that my sweet Golden Retriever only finds it necessary to bark approximately 3 times per year, I'm pretty convinced that I'm about to be murdered.  There is for sure something or someone lurking in the bushes outside deciding how best to torture and dismember me.  So, that sucks.

Finally, I'm sad because I'm pretty sure that Oprah taped her final show ever today in Chicago and It feels a bit like someone I love has died.  Have I mentioned that I've met Oprah?  No...oh, well-I've met Oprah.  We're tight.  Okay, so "met" is a strong word but I did sit in the front row at a taping of her show several years ago and she made eye contact with me.  Since then, I've kind of felt like maybe she and I were meant to be best friends, or maybe she was my mother in a former life, or something.  I love her.  It's true. I love her as much as someone can love someone who they've only kind of met through eye contact.  I'm as far to edge of being a stalker as one go without actually being a stalker.  I maybe should stop now.  I'm obviously exaggerating a bit but I'm sitting here picturing those last few lines being read on 48 hours Mystery after they find my dead body in the bushes later and start to theorize as to whether or not my untimely death had something to do with Oprah (because obviously, that would be the most logical conclusion to leap to).  I clearly watch way too much 48 Hours Mystery. 


On to a slightly more upbeat subject...my handsome (non pouting) boy.  He had sooo much fun at the water park.  It's hard to believe that last year at this time he was terrified of water let alone an entire park full of water.  Not only did he go down all the water slides all by himself he actually willingly stood under the big 1000 gallon water dump thing:


CRAZY!!

And finally, lest you think that Miss A was nothing but evil for the entire trip:

Doesn't the ballerina swimming suit just kill you??  It's so her.  Oooohh, do I love that feisty little beast. 

I'm off to go check the locks for the 32nd time...


J

Friday, May 13, 2011

Mother's Day and Other Musings

See what I mean about the me and the not posting very much until school is over thing?  Sheesh. 

I don't know how other moms are able to pull off working full time all year round.  There's never any time to do everything you actually need to accomplish in any given day.  Either the children are fed or they have clean laundry.  Never both.  Okay, some how both of those things usually get done in reality but that's how it feels in my mind.  The only sanity I have is knowing that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and I will have 12 whole weeks off to just concentrate on this whole motherhood/maintaining my house situation.  That is hard enough and feels like two full time jobs without all the other stuff added on.

To recap my week: I had a lovely Mother's Day.  We drove 3 hours or so west to visit my mom for the weekend and had a really great time.  The highlights of the weekend included; Chuck E Cheese, kids at prom who were at Chuck E Cheese (is this a thing now?) and my daughter being convinced that there were real live princess there, late night cocktails with my husband, mom and brothers, a visit to a horse ranch, a fancy Mother's Day brunch, and a long walk along the Mississippi River.  Who could ask for more?

The rest of my week until now went something like this...get up early; scramble like insane people to get everyone dressed, washed, fed and out the door to our respective responsibilities; deal with work shenanigans for 8 ish hours; grocery shopping; picking up kids; after school snacks and homework; making a semi-respectable dinner; cleaning smears of cheese off the living room windows; baths, books, bed; having grand intentions to post something, read something, clean something, or organize something; deciding instead to veg out in front of American Idol/various shows on OWN; sleeping; not sleeping because a 3 year old girl has found her way into our bed and is kicking me in the spine; alarm; snoozing alarm; husband yelling at me to get out of bed and stop snoozing the alarm; lather, rinse, repeat... 


I wasn't kidding about the cheese on the windows thing, either. That really happened.  That is my life. 


On tap for this weekend is a Brewer's game for the Boy and his Dad tonight while My Girl and my cousin's little girl and I nosh on delivery pizza.  Followed by two (count 'em-two!) back-to-back early morning soccer games for The Boy and then leaving from the soccer fields on a trip to a water park resort to spend the rest of the weekend with my husband's extended family.  I plan on drinking heavily during those last two events  so I will have lots of stories for you I'm sure.  I'm kidding! (Kind of).

Before I go, here are some pictures from Mother's Day Weekend!

My mom reading a book to my little girl on her porch...in fact, it is actually this book! See, it really is our favorite! Incidentally, that book on the table next to them is called, Does a Pig Flush?. It's a fabulous potty training book if you happen to be entering that glorious stage of life. It's written by an M.D., but more importantly, it uses the word "poop" at least 236 times.  Kids dig it. 


My Boy feeding a carrot to my brother Chris' horse, Bently.  Isn't he beautiful?  (The horse, not my boy or my brother-but they're pretty cute, too).

My Girl and the poor cat she stalked all over the horse stables.  She followed him around saying, in a creepishly sweet voice, "Hi Caaat!  Come here, Caaaat!  I love you, Caaaat! Don't worry, Caaaat! I just want to squeeze you and pull your tail and generally terrorize you, Caaaat!"  Okay, not really on that last one.  But that's what she meant.  And what she would have said had her vocabulary been just slightly more advanced than it already is.


My mom and me looking quite fabulous, if I do say so myself. 



And finally, a photo of me and my two darling cherubs.  The sweetest, loveliest children on earth.  My reasons for living. The only human beings for whom I would willingly throw myself in front of a speeding train if it meant saving them....



Aren't they just a dream come true?  Arrghh!  The saddest part is how stupid and happy I look.  I'm thinking how great it's going to be to have such a nice picture of me and the kids. If there were a thought bubble over my head it would say, "I bet this one's going to be a framer!"  I'm such a sucker. 

Enjoy your weekend!

J





Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Fine Art of Complimenting a Woman

I was helping My Boy get ready for bed tonight and he grabbed my head and said, "Mom, let me smell your hair."  I was thinking to myself what a sweet moment this was and imagining my handsome boy as a grown man years and years from now at a cafe in Paris telling the story of how, for as long as he lives, he will never forget how beautiful his mother's flowing golden locks were and how they always smelled of fragrant honeysuckle....or something like that...

But then, when I asked him why he wanted to smell my hair, he replied,

"Because something really stinks in here and I'm pretty sure it's your hair." 

 " Um..yeah, I'm pretty sure it's not my hair, " I replied. 

"No-I think it is for sure, " he countered, nonchalantly." It smells like the stinky onions that were in that weird dinner you made tonight and it's coming from your hair."

This wouldn't be as big a hit to the old self-esteem if last weekend, while getting ready to go out with my husband for the night, The Boy's reply to my question, "So, how does Mommy look, Buddy?"  hadn't been..."Umm, kind of fancy and mostly good but also kind of chubby."

Clearly, we're going to need to work on some things around here or else I'm destined to have a 40 year old virgin living in my basement when I'm 70...

Meanwhile, me and my funky onion hair are going to go to bed.

Sweet Dreams,

J

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Motherhood Quotes

 Nerd confession: I keep a file of my favorite quotes on my computer.  Sometimes other people have a way of saying exactly what I mean but in a way I never would have thought to say it and that makes me happy.  So, I hoard the words of others and read them from time to time when my own words fail me.  Or, just when I'm bored by all the words in my own head and would like a window into someone else's head for a change.

In honor of Mother's Day this weekend, here are a few of my most favorite quotes from my archives about motherhood or from the mouths of famous mothers...This first one is hanging on my fridge:

I catch them into my lap, press my nose to their scalps, and it is still the only way I know to be sure that I am fully here, now, soaking them in before they flood out of the house on the tides of their own growth and movement. That wild-animal smell of their hair, which I was born to breathe.
~Catherine Newman, an excerpt from her colum on wondertime.com


If you bungle raising your children, I don't think whatever else you do matters very much. Jackie Kennedy







Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing up is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing. Phyllis Diller

Do you have any favorite motherhood quotes?  If you do, please share...I'm always looking to add to my word hoard!  I fixed the comments so you don't have to have a google account or be logged in to leave a comment now.  Just in case, you know, that was the only thing preventing people from leaving a comment.  Cause for sure that's all it was, right? So glad we got to the bottom of that...

:)
J



A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.  ~Tenneva Jordan

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Realization That I've Become a Gardening Wannabe Soccer Mom

It's so funny how aging works.  In my head I am about 22.  That's how old I feel.  I see young 20 somethings out and about and think for a brief second-"Ooooh, I love her outfit-I need to find a cute shirt like that."  And then in the next instant I realize that I'm almost 15 years older than that girl and I've given birth twice and my boobs are no longer high and dry and my muffin top would be oh so sadly accentuated in that shirt.  Not to mention I would look like a 35 year old having a mid-life crisis if I went out in that shirt. And where the hell would I be going in that shirt anyway?  My idea of a crazy night out these days is dinner at 5:30 in a restaurant with children's menus and crayons.  The shirt would be a little too much for that scene, I'm thinking. Oh well. 


So anyways-my point is (I think there's one in here somewhere) is that I wanted to post a few pictures of my budding indoor, soon-to-be-outdoor, garden but I have to hurry cause I need to shuffle My Boy off to his Soccer Team Photo and I realize that it's really nerdy that a) I have an indoor garden and b) I have a kid who needs to get to a soccer team photo.  The reason these things feel nerdy is because, as previously referenced, I feel like I should be about 22.  Thank You.


Here's my little garden--I'm so proud.  I really am.








So these photos took waaaaay too long to upload and now we're gonna be late.  Story of my life.


More later,


J
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