Sunday, December 30, 2012

Mommy life

If you had told me 5 years ago that I would be happy about finally getting a toddlers finger nails trimmed I would have laughed at you.

But today, after a week of trying to coax her into letting me trim the razors that were growing out of her tiny hands I was able to get all ten fingers back into order.

I used the same strategy that worked with Peter the cat. The beast is most easily manhandled during or after a nap.


Ok, back to your regular lives.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Day care camera

Reading Corner

I don't think I like this guy.

I'm pretty sure I don't.

Bubble Table
Ice Table
Hello Kitty

Sunday, December 16, 2012

A long video of us playing.

For the record, when the Legos are thrown all over the house, I'm the one who has to find them. It's a "great" game.

The Lord's Prayer

I'm going to get spiritual.  Calm yourselves.

The Lord's Prayer is something that as a kid I worked hard to memorize.  I didn't do it because it was important to my faith or because I understood the meaning I did it because I felt awkward  not knowing the words and I felt that if I had it memorized that I would fit in better.  Oh the mind of a kid in 6th grade.

I was well into my adulthood when the meaning of the story of the last supper and the Lord's Prayer finally clicked for me.  Hold the phone... Jesus was a real person (unlike Santa) and these are words that came out of his mouth.  Whoa.   I'm pretty sure this was my exact thought.  Granted, Jesus likely didn't speak English and thus what we have today is a translation.  Regardless, when I think about that it really says, for me it holds some very powerful concepts.

I've often thought that if I was ever to write a book it would be a book for kids explaining what the Lord's Prayer means.  The thing that holds me back other than time is that I don't think of myself as qualified to comment or interpret something to integral to the Christian community.  I mean, who am I but a sarcastic gal with a biting sense of humor?   Who knows, I might do it anyway and run it by my liturgical friends.

The thing about The Lord's Prayer (TLP)  for me is that the meaning of it hits home in different ways.  At first it was the idea that it is a connection between Jesus and my modern world in the same way that when I read a passage from Shakespeare I find it amazing that those actual words were spoken 400 years ago by far better people than me.  It may sound silly, but saying TLP and forming the same words is connective for me.

I find that aspect of it interesting because while I am attracted to the Jesus story, my spirituality is with God and not a specific person in the Bible.  I always thought that the attention given to the Mary's by the Catholic faith was odd, but the Lutheran's and Presbyterians do the same thing with Jesus.  I guess we need the actual people to relate to instead of a "dude on a cloud". Anywho, just a tangent.

Life is happening all around us.  There is joy, there is sorrow, there is excitement and boredom.  Life goes on and on and on.  There are times when passages of TLP don't mean anything, and others when they speak to me deeply.

Over the course of the last year the line "forgive us our trespasses as we forgive others" struck me as really appropriate.  I've lost a friend and the forgivenessneeded in that scenario is layered.  I need to forgive her for her opinion of me.  I need to forgive myself for my part in the death of our friendship.  I need to know that the transformation of our friendship from an active part of my life to someone whom I read about on Facebook is how life works and that is ok.  I mourn it but I forgive the hurt I feel.  (Pretty sure Jesus doesn't care about Facebook - but you get my meaning.)

Today, that same line spoke to me differently.  Forgiveness.  I send out prayers of forgiveness for the families  in Connecticut who I can't imagine how they are functioning.  I pray that they are able to find forgiveness and that it helps heal their sorrow.  I don't mean straight up "no harm no foul" type forgiveness, but I hope in time they are able to let go of any anger or hate this terrible event has brought to them.  I pray that the next person who is out in our world who is contemplating a similar act can find forgiveness and it eases whatever is driving them towards a dark act.

I also see for the first time that the line 'thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven" isn't a statement that our earthly place is so great and amazing, but a plea for a change in our world.  It's an acknowledgement that life is rough and influenced by more than this omnipotent and benevolent being.  It isn't God's will that this young man took the lives of these people - I don't believe that God was anywhere in that act. This line implies our hope that "God's will" is peaceful and good and wishing for that in our real live world.

I do pray for those families.  I pray that they are able to heal in a way that I don't think I could.  I hope they have people who will help pick them up and that the learn how to live in this new world. I hope we never see this type of event again (but accept that it likely will.)

I pray/hope (it is the same thing for me) that we learn something and that the people who use this terrible event to further their own agenda know how much they are hurting us.

I hope that even if you aren't a spiritual person that you are able to find comfort and peace in your own way throughout these terrible events.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

We three

  I ordered new return address labels and added these cute "images" of us.  We don't look like this in real life, but I thought they were fun.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Mommy Koolaid

Hi, my name is Terri and I'm a mommy-aholic.

I can no longer fool myself into thinking I'm a balanced person anymore.  I post stories to Facebook about my kid, I take pictures of Lego creations she has made with my husband and I even posted a picture of her on this blog in a diaper.  Sure it was an Instagram photo so it looked vintage, but still it was nothing more than a kid in a diaper and rain-boots standing by a Christmas tree.

I follow a blog called "STFU Parents"* and it is a place for all people to post online parent fouls.  Things like when someone posts a "Remembering D-Day, thanks for your service." on their Facebook page and some clueless mom adds her own comment like "Oh yes, it was a great day when Dylan was born."  Uh... D-Day - not about your kid!

Or, when someone posts that they are super tired because they have been working really hard, some mommy will add "Try doing that with four kids at home."  Hey lady, just because parenting can be an energy sucking vortex doesn't mean you have the market on all 'tired' or 'busy' situations.  

I find the site amusing and a bit of a touchstone.  I am relieved to see that I am not guilty of many of the parental offenses in the public social world  but I give myself licence to perpetrate all sorts of parental over-sharing in this forum. 

The diaper picture however made me stop and think about my attitude and judgement.  I am aware that a certain fog of brain damage occurs when you become a parent.  Brain damage like secretly thinking that other people's children are nice, but your own are PERFECT.   It also includes thinking that taking the picture of her with poop on her hands or spaghetti all over her head is funny.  For the record, your children are also perfect and I have not photographed poop.  Spaghetti head - guilty.  I have the parental brain damage.  There I said it.

Before my own child came into our world if you asked me what the words that came to mind when I saw a kid running around wearing just a diaper and I was being honest my own social prejudices would spew out of me in an ugly way:  Trashy, Unkempt, Welfare, Bad parenting, Child Neglect Trailer park, Spaghetti-O's  (ooh, the honesty... it hurts me.)

I have a child who is well cared for, clean fed and we are attentive. She lives in a nice place, she can pay her rent (with assistance from the tall people) and she also likes to be NAKED.  At the end of the day her parents like to change out of their day clothes into what we call "squishy pants" - essentially pj bottoms, good cozy socks and tops.  Lucy likes to rid herself of her glitter and water based finger paint stained shirts and toddler jeans and be free.  There isn't much difference between squishy pants and a clean diaper.   I apologize for any judgement I may have passed on random naked toddlers.  I have been informed by a specific toddler that there are times when she will flat out do what she wants.

We are able for the most part to keep her clothed when other people are around and when we're out in public.  However, there was nakedness at Thanksgiving.  I can see where she might have felt comfortable.  After dinner there was a palpable vibe of "oh, I wish I wasn't wearing these tight pants" going on in every corner of the house.  Lucky Lucy, she was able to pull off her dress and be done with it.  I bet Uncle Marty was a bit envious.  Thankfully, he doesn't wear a diaper so the pants stay on.  WHEW.

I will keep monitoring STFU Parents to keep my public parenting infractions to a dull roar but if you see them know that I AM holding back way more than I post.

Speaking of things I wanted to share:  

Last night we sang "Old MacDonald" in the bathtub.  Her 'EIEIOooo" makes up for the fit she threw in Target.  Well, not totally, but I forgave her for my having to carry her out of the store while she screamed and tried to get away.  These battles are rough, but she will learn that safety things are NOT negotiable.   I was thankful to receive thumbs up and nods of encouragement from other parents as I manhandled her out of the store.  Funny how a "you can do it" or "it'll pass" from a total stranger with calm kids in tow helps.

I drank the mommy koolaid, but thus far I'm not posting pictures of her 'art' to Pinterest... yet.

*STFU means "Shut the f*ck up"

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Chicken Soup

my soup

I was inspired by a recipe I read yesterday, so after I dropped a well rested and pleasant Lucy at Day Care I zipped to the market to pick up chicken, celery, carrots and onion and came home to make soup.

I love the cast iron pot because it does it all.   I heated olive oil in the pan and then browned my onions and chicken thighs (bone on) added seasoning (salt, pepper, poultry seasoning) and then added chicken broth.

If I was a better cook, or had lots of time on my hands I would make my own chicken stock, but the stuff from Swanson's is lovely.  I like to mix the regular stock with the lower salt version.  I'd like to think that I'm honoring my grandmother a bit when I use something like Swanson's that she thought was a marvelous time saver for her.

I added celery and carrots and let it cook for about 2 hours.

I then pulled the chicken thighs out and removed the bones.  Now it is all nicely marinating in the pan.

Later on this afternoon I will add noodles, likely pastina.  Pastina??? Yes, that is the fancy name for 'stars'.

Jason has a desire for biscuits with this meal so I will also be serving up some fresh baked blobs of bread.  Now, again noting that I don't have loads of time these too will be cheater rolls.

I've learned a few things over time.  As much as I favor chicken breast meat, when cooking a 'meal in a pot' thigh meat offers more flavor and responds better to the extended cooking time.  If I need more meat, I can add white meat towards the end of the cooking process.   Also, browning the chicken in the pot with the skin on helps leach out the flavors of the chicken.  The bones and the skin will be removed before eating, but are a key step in the development of a deeper flavor.  I also chopped up the entire celery stalk - including the leafy bits.  Those don't add much flavor but they sure are pretty floating around in my soup.

The pot of soup is large, so I'm sure there will be enough to save for a different rainy day.  I hope Lucy likes it - from the samples I've had it is savory.  I'm looking forward to dinner.