Friday, February 22, 2013

Failing at motherhood, example #ILostCount

You know when you are in argument with someone and you walk away dumb founded and then hours or days later you're like: GAH! If I only said X Y and Z.

That happens, and it's life.

What's horrifying is when in that moment, whether it is an argument or not - a moment in time - something happens where you fail your child. And moments, even hours later you think - I could have done that better.

I failed mine. Hours later, I thought, SHIT. Why didn't I say anything? And days later, I'm still thinking about it.

In comment to my kindergarten CHILD the following was said, in front of her: "Look at her! She lost some weight!"

I blinked.
There is no defense to my (non-re)action, but in that moment I remember thinking. Wait. Is this OK? Am I over thinking that this is wrong? I'm tired. I must be tired. 

Another lesson learned: listen to your gut. Always listen to your gut.

If I could do it all over, if I could be the mother I want to be my girl, it'd go a little like this:

Excuse me,  I'm sorry. Are you seriously commenting on my five year old's body? Providing her with a flashback where she is able to pin point where her body issues began to her therapist that I will gladly foot the bill to. I will be pissed, though, when I find out it's YOU that started it all. With all of that said, she's beautiful. Inside & out. And not that thing that people say, she is. She has enough pressures and she will - between kids - that's right children who barely have an excuse, television, magazines, the Internet - the god damn world will hand it to her. Perhaps during our "family time" we can lay off the fucking body issues. 

Ok fine, I probably shouldn't drop the F bomb - but I wish I could. I wish I could have said any portion of the shame on you speech that I now have in my head. Even if it cost me an F bomb, I should have. Sorry, kid. Some days I'll make you proud and other days I'll fail you - but I'll always love you and work to make it so the days of pride heavily outweigh the failures. The only fucking mass that matters.

My pushy peaceful kid.

Driving to pick the kid up from school today - I saw one kid run across a (busy) road to attack another kid. High school students? Fighting in the street, scary. Weird. As they were fighting I was honking my horn, trying to pull over to call the police - only to see there was subway security there. As I was telling someone this story - the kid interrupts (side note, I know I probably shouldn't have been telling this story in front of her).

"You should have just said. 'HEY BOYS! My daughter is learning about peace. She said to be peaceful. Use your words, peacefully.' That would've worked."

The kid has been learning about peace. It's everywhere. Including solving local crime.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

I used to love her name

My mom got the kid a CD. It has her name on it. Sure, it's spelled wrong - but that's our fault. Though the kick to the namesake is they spell it the two other ways you can spell her name. The pronunciation of her name remains. It says her name 50 times. 9 songs, her name interwoven within each song, what seems to be every 15 seconds. The kid loves it. In related news? I now hate her name.

The only thing I do like? Is her reaction.

"How do they know my name? HOW?"
"They say my name - they know me. But seriously, Mommy. HOW?"
"Can you believe they know my name? I just wanna know how."

Basically, 50 variations of the same question. 5 year olds, simple minds. Many questions.

It's mind numbing. But the kid, no seriously loves it, times 50.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

week 7

  • We were in NY for most of week 7. Great to see family. Great to be home, now. 
  • Traveling with babies (like ours) sucks. The only people who hate it more than me? The entire flight manifest of United flight 1053.
  • Valentine's Day 2013. Loved it. The kid loved it. I loved how much she loved it. There was a lot of love. 
  • Speaking of love, we had a date night. We went to Brite Winter Festival - where they say 'There might be snow, there might be rain, it might be cold, it might be a blizzard, but it doesn’t really matter. This is Cleveland, and we’re going to play outside.' You know what sucks? Playing outside in the snow, rain, cold and likely blizzard. 
  • The baby loves yogurt. Eat it. Slurp it. Wear it. 
  • The baby now loves washing off in the sink. 
  • The baby loves Nemo. Hard. And I love that she stays quiet for the duration of the movie loves it.

Monday, February 18, 2013

week 6

  • A week late. Because this week we were traveling. 
  • Traveling, sucks. If I can figure out a way to appropriately put all of that into words, I will. 
  • We got to see family & friends. That's the upside of traveling. 
  • Otherwise, traveling sucks. 
  • Airplanes should let families keep their electronic devices up, out, and on. It's the only humane thing to do. 
  • Traveling sucks.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

10 layers of magic - salad

This, my friends, is not a blog where you will find a ton of recipes. It should, however, be noted that from time to time I feel like I need to share awesomeness. And this, is way overdue. My mom (aka Nana Lu) makes this salad. It's not for those watching their waist line, unless you are watching it go out. That said, it is the best.thing.ever. I eat it for breakfast, lunch & dinner. And as salads go, this one gets better with age. You'd think to yourself, self - but the lettuce will get wilted. The bacon won't crunch. And I'd say to you... whatever. It's the best. In our family, we fight over left overs and if someone goes to the fridge to dole out another serving I will hover over them to make sure they are only taking their share. And I don't say "fair share" because it's not fair I have to share it. Before we moved, my mom would make it for special occasions or parties. And honestly? It irritated me because then I'd really have to share it.

There are a ton of varieties on the world wide web, when you google "10 layer salad" - but none are like this. And even when I try to make it, I could never do it justice. I don't even try. It's really a summer recipe. It's really for BBQs and pot lucks. It's not for the every day. That said, since we live so far we get to have it any time we come to visit. It's worth it's weight (no seriously, it's heavy) and it's absolutely worth the cost of any flight ticket home.

It's super pretty in it's bowl, but honestly I didn't take a
picture because I needed to eat it. Immediately.

Here is how you (can try to) do it. If you really want to win, you'll put all of these ingredients in a clear glass bowl, cause it's pretty. With each layers you have to physically put your back into packing all the ingredients in, with the exception of #4, cause that would be messy. 
  1. Shredded ice berg lettuce 
  2. Carrots (personal preference julienned) 
  3. Frozen peas - don't defrost
  4. 25-30 oz of mayonnaise & 2-3 teaspoons of sugar (on top of mayo)

    Cover with tin foil, overnight and refrigerate.

  5. The next morning or a few hours, but I'd go with overnight, cause that's how she does it: 1 lb of bacon, crumbled
  6. A dozen hard boiled eggs, sliced
  7. Cucumbers, sliced
  8. Chick peas
  9. Olives, she keeps the whole. She once did it with low sodium olives. Don't do that. Seriously, if you are watching any intake (salt, fat, cholesterol) - don't bother with this salad. Don't ruin it with health in mind. Yes. I'm seriously still writing about this. I mean it, don't skimp on the calories, etc.
  10. Cherry tomatoes (if you cut them, you'll cut down on the number of left over days you have)
  11. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese
  12. Love, spread throughout 
Me: "It's 13 layers, if you separate the sugar & mayo, don't forget the love."
Nana Lu: "Well, I did at the chichi beans." (chickpeas)

When it comes to serving this salad, you kind of cut into it like a delicious cake. You want to get all the layers. Do not, however, mix it once you have space to do so. You want to keep everything in it's place until it's getting ready to get in your pie hole.

Now go get your delicious on. You won't regret it.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Constantly Cleveland

"Did I ever complain about the heat of St. Louis? If I did, I didn't mean it. I take it back. I take it all back!" - me. Most nights as I bundle myself, teeth chattering, wondering if I will die in my sleep due to equal parts hypothermia & misery.

This is what I get for ever muttering the words, "I won't miss the heat." What a lie. A crazy. Miserable. Lie. Oh to walk out of my door and be hit with temperatures over 100 degrees. The air so thick you feel like you are walking in an oven with your insides cooking to dangerous temperatures.

The only thing constant here in Cleveland is me being miserable and the worst weather. It's almost always grey. I've seen the sun a handful (literally) of times since we moved here 4 months ago. For awhile, it just rained. I don't count seeing the sun, when it's sunny AND raining or snowing. It's weird. It happens, and it doesn't count as seeing the sun. It rained, all.the.time. And here I thought Seattle was known for it's rain. Why Seattle? Why not Cleveland? Cause all it was doing was raining. I would say, "I can't handle another day of rain! Anything but rain!" And you know what? Be careful what you wish for.

Now, if it isn't raining? It's snowing.

Slight, detour: The kids have been waking up early. Like, it's still dark outside, early. I can't yell at JJ to go back to be bed with the result I want - I can give L the what for. One morning (true story), when L came in to wake me up - it was still dark. I shot her 'the look' and told her to

L, "Mom. Will the sun come out?"
Me, "When it's morning, you'll know because it won't be DARK! For the love, go to bed!"
L, "No, mom. I mean - will the sun come out, ever?"

That's how little we see the sun. It's all Alaska up in here.

As I was saying, it's so cold. I'm sure there are colder places, but colder than I can describe. The worst part is the inability to regulate the temperature in the house. We have a big ol' house, built in the 20s. Guess what they didn't use in the 20s? Insulation. Our master bedroom is 27x19. Pause to gasp. It's huge. There is a little offshoot within the room, that I have made my home office. Basically, my office is in my bedroom, but it's blocked off so it isn't that obvious. With a 27x19 room - we had the space. It's the coldest room in the house. By.Far. The next time it dips to hell freezing over temperatures,  as it did a week or so back, I'm bringing in the outdoor thermometer for some real numbers. I'm into numbers. While I can't tell you how cold it was inside the house. I can tell you (allegedly) it was 10 degrees outside, on a good day. And even though it was 10 degrees, the news would say "it feels like 1°." FEELS like 1°???? It felt like hell was freezing over. If I wasn't wearing my Northface long down parka, I was most certainly wearing a winter hat, gloves (without fingers so I could type), scarf & blanket. To add to that? I would light candles. Not to set the mood, but to omit heat. I look like a homeless person, without a shopping cart. Or so I was told.You be the judge. Look at the sadness in my eyes.

Sure, when we were in the STL I wasn't happy about it being so hot, you could break a sweat breathing. But did I look this sad? NO. Ah, to be unable to reach for the remote without losing my breathe due to heat overcoming our home. To shield our rooms of the massive sunlight we once knew. Those were the days...
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