Tuesday, February 22, 2011

cooking show; audience of 2

   i love food!!! i love to see it, feel it, taste it, smell it, hear it. yes. hear it. i like to hear it while it sizzles, boils, bubbles and is smashed as such is the case of squeezing air out of risen dough or mixing mushy things with the greatest kitchen utensils of all; hands. i like to hear it being torn. i like to hear it being chopped. i just love food!
   my mom was a great cook. every food she touched was the yummiest! sadly, i didn't learn much from her. in fact the only things i can remember, for sure, her teaching me is how to whisk eggs, how to form meatballs and how to stuff shells. i guess i do remember watching her mix the ingredients for meatballs, and the ricotta for shells, but mostly i remember her shooing me, "okay now go while i make _____" and she'd flick her wrist so her fingers would flop up and down twice. as if that gesture was magic i would turn and run off knowing a great treat was in store for dinner. i can still feel my checks high and tight on my face with the giddy smile of anticipation.
   when i was pregnant with my son i was obsessively perfecting my cheese cake. he has been working with me in the kitchen since utero. once born he'd sit either in the comfy car seat and watch me cook or bake, or i'd wear him, when not frying or doing things near the stove. he was the first audience member to the cooking show i film in my head complete with invisible cast and crew. thankfully, they never judge me when the outcomes are poor.
   as mikey got bigger he'd stand on a chair and watch. then he was my big helper, carefully listening to every word i had to say about why tomatoes are beautiful and how lovely their marriage is with crusty, garlic, rubbed bread; smooth, thick olive oil and a touch of salt and pepper. for the longest time we baked every monday morning. at first i'd do the measuring and he'd do the pouring and mixing. always from scratch. he is four now and knows very well how to crack eggs. perfectly retrieve any tiny bit of shell using the shell. mix and smash the best meatloaf and make the yummiest of billy's vanilla-vanilla cupcakes. he even sits and watches the cooking shows with me on tv calling me into the room when ina or giada come on.
   the other morning i realized the cooking show that has been secretly taped for a little over four years, if your counting the cooking lessons while in utero, has grown it's audience by one!! my daughter, now 1 1/2 is very excited about the go'ins-on in the kitchen. "cook? cook?" she says while reaching up for me to hold her whenever we enter the kitchen. she even whisked her first eggs this very morning! i may not have many of my moms coveted recipes but one thing she did pass down was her passion for food. this, i do believe, has been handed to mikey and grace as well. so each morning we prep together, we mix together, and peer into pans and even oven windows together. all filled with excitement and anticipation of whats to come. of coarse, the pure enjoyment of cooking together is ever so rewarding in itself, but i want and hope and think, i have passed this wonderful all senses awake kind of food passion on to them.   manja!!

the game of clean up

   monday and friday are usually big cleaning days at our house. i feel like i'm recovering form a lack of keeping-up over the weekend on monday, and gearing up for not keeping-up over the weekend on friday. vacuuming carpets, steam mopping floors and a super thorough cleaning of the bathrooms. in general, my kids enjoy the clean up. their is an age that either children love the vacuum or fear it. of coarse i have yet to reach the age of loathing the chore of vacuuming, although i hear it will someday come. i've tried a few methods to get the kids in on the act. "you better clean up your toys or i may vacuum them up..." this never ends very well. how could it with a beginning like that? my poor boy.
   we have things like small child sized brooms that play music. i turn the vacuum over to my boy of four and don't think twice when his vacuum lines in the carpet don't overlap the way i like them to. my daughter of 1 1/2 enjoys wiping things and dusting. we play music loudly and dance around with our cleaning accessories singing all the clean up songs that i can think of or make up. it really is quite fun. i pray it will last long into their teenage years.
    the funny thing is, while at the table grace still enjoys purposefully dropping food on the floor and then singing the clean up song while gazing over her tray at it. i'm begining to wonder if this exciting type of cleaning up isn't going to just backfire on me. "it's okay if i make a mess mommy, and it's so fun to clean it up i'm gonna let you do it!" i can just imagine. for now i will enjoy their enjoyment in the game of clean up and be thankful for it.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

mommy's red corduroy chair

   i have this chair. it is red, corduroy and slopes funny in the back. i remember this chair from my childhood. i remember curling up, laying on my side and watching i dream of genie and gilligan's island in it. i remember when the young and wrestles came on and the piano music started to play it was my cue to close my eyes and not to open them again until the music from general hospital was playing. i played behind it in the strange nook that the sloppy back created. it was a great place for barbie and her friends to sit and share tea. it was a fun place to put my coloring books and crayons, tape recorder, tapes and the books that came along with them. this chair has followed me always. this chair has waited patiently for me always. sometimes in strange basements, sometimes on porches, sometimes in garages. i used to question myself often, 'why do i keep lugging this chair around?' 'is it worth it?' i have dropped a lot of stuff off at good will and salvation army in my many moves but always kept this chair. people would say, "that chair is dirty" " that chair is weird" "it's not the chair you love, it's the memories attached to that chair". yes and no. the chair is dirty. it is weird. i do love these memories. i also happen to love the chair. it is also one of the few things that i have that belonged to someone i loved very much, who also loved this chair. 
   so now i have my own house. we have been here almost a year and still this chair has yet to be cleaned. i have often wondered, 'maybe it is time for this chair to find another home?' until the other night.   the chair is currently in our playroom. my son, daughter and i were in there playing. mikey was curled up in my old, red, corduroy, chair watching spider-man. that in-itself was very heart warming to me. it made me think, this is still a comfy chair, perfect for a small child to curl up and dream and imagine in.' it was about then that i noticed my daughter was stinky. i got a fresh diaper and the box of wipes, sat on the floor and called her to come for fresh pants. grace is infact a rascal. she quickly ran away. she ran to the red, corduroy chair, climbed up, squished in next to her brother and rested her head on his shoulder. 'this is why i kept the chair' i thought to myself. because along time ago i dreamed of having kids and watching them play in this strange sloppy chair. i wanted to watch them sleep, dream and imagine in this chair. i had a hope and a dream that one day that would happen. here it was. like God had gift wrapped my dream, tied it in a nice big bow and handed it to me. what a wonderful dream to see realized.
   i have this chair. it's red, corduroy and slopes funny in the back. it held me as a child. aided my sleeping and dreaming and now is handing them back to me gift wrapped by God Himself. i love this chair.

my children are nudists

   i am beginning to think that my children are nudists. sure, it's one thing in the summer to have the desire to take off articles of clothes. it's hot. it's humid. they're young enough. they do not yet understand that it's socially unacceptable to disrobe in public simply because your hot. weather in your own back yard, or the park. to them? it's all relative.
   the other morning, i walked into my daughters room to get her out of her crib and greet the morning. she had been in there for a little while talking with her various stuffed animal friends while i ground coffee beans and set the machine to full octane. the night before she was dressed in a diaper, a long sleeve onesie and fleece-feetie-jams that once belonged to her brother. when i walked into her room she was wearing her diaper and half of her onsie. the fleece-feetie-jams were on the floor as if thrown carelessly by a teenager. she is only 19 months old.
   okay, i get it. the zipper on the front of the fleece-feetie-jams is very fun to play with. and grace has been witness to the countless times her brother sports a sweatshirt only for the pure joy of unzipping it and pulling it open to reveal his "super" shirt, a phenomenon know in our household as, "ripping his shirt" complete with the superman soundtrack "deet de de deeee!" as played by his mouth. while i was a little stunned that my daughter had started to get undressed without me, i was able to explain it all away.
   i brought her into my room, let her tuck herself under my covers and lay her head on my fluffy pillows while i put her favorite cartoon, ciallou, on the telly. once the theme song started i proceeded out the room to the kitchen for my coffee. only i was stoped in my tracks at another strange sight. i backed up. literally. walked backwards thinking my eyes were deceiving me. i peek into the cracked door way of my four yr.old son's room, and yes. he too was naked. naked as the day he was born, crouched under his bed, hinney up in the air, arms bracing his upper body, his face as scrunchy as can be. i pushed his door open a little more, "mikey?" i asked. boy did i scare him! he jumped higher on all fours then i thought possible while crouching under a bed.
   "mikey? honey? what on God's great earth are you doing?" i asked, holding my breath for the answer.
   "mommy," he started. then, as if in defeat, he set his forehead down on the silvery, grey, carpet before him. "i'm turning into batman."
   i shook my head, closed his door and headed down the hall for my coffee. this is how the day started. i don't ever recall bruce wayne turning into the batman in such a manner, but if my children grow up to be nudist, i won't be surprised. 

mommy's throwing a temper aria!!

   their has been a lot of talk, in the small groups i talk with, about temper tantrums. moms venting to moms about their small children throwing themselves around on the floor, flailing about in convulsive ways. asking other moms, how long will this last? laughing about the ridiculousness of it. crying about the embarrisingness of it when it takes place in public. i've heard a few moms say, "wait 'til your two year old reaches puberty" this one always makes me laugh, unless they are saying it to me of coarse, in which case i say a quick prayer for peace to fall fresh over my children and patience to implant itself into my core being, and never leave. ( i know, praying for patience is expecting to have ample chances to practice patience, at every single second of the day. ) 
   can i just be honest? i am going to be 32 years old very soon. i am still throwing temper tantrums. they come while trying to clean up the kitchen. they come while unloading groceries and children out of the car and up to our second floor kitchen. they come while i'm trying to get out the door, already very late, on the way to church ~ hahaah!! they come while i'm praying for patience!! hahaahaaah!! and they sound like either the sound of music or phantom of the opera. no kidding. ever since i can remember, i've been getting in trouble for humming. i got my first handful of detentions for humming in miss mencer's first grade class. i didn't even know i was humming, how could i fess up unless i was aware i was doing it? that's how often and how long i've been a hummer. i hum or sing when i'm nervous. i hum or sing when i am happy. i hum or sing when i am sad. i hum or sing when i am angry.    i am a soprano. i am loud. and like to sing in an operatic kind of way when i am angry. this doesn't happen often, but often enough that my daughter is now singing along in her best mommy's-soprano-aria impression that a 1 1/2 year old possibly can. from the bottom of my being i sing!! " in dreams he saaaang to meeee ~ a straaaange duet ~ " or " how do you solve a problem like maria ~  " i figure, it's perfect deep breathing exercises and i'm releasing a bit of frustration disguised as a crazy need to just belt it out. no one has to know. but everyone hears.
   i no longer sweat it when grace rolls around the floor picking up her feet and slamming them back down again. when mikey throws his head back and whines loudly in protest. instead i take a deep breath, and sing!! "how do you catch a cloud and pin it down ~ "  we must be the strangest sight and sound at the grocery store.

piles of wishbones

 as a little girl i remember seeing wishbones on the kitchen counter. my mom would save them after using chickens for roasting or for soups. i'd see one drying for a few days and the anticipation of either her and i, or her and my brother holding either side, making a wish and braking it to see who got the center piece would just tickle me. whoever got the center piece of the wishbone got their wish granted. by who? i don't know. did it work? i don't know that either. i never made a wish. the mere act of taking part in this strange ritual was so exciting, that i could never have a wish made by the time my mom asked, "ready?" i was always ready for the participation in the wishbone brake, but never ready with a wish. i always answered with a yes anyway. i only ever got that center piece of the bone once that i can even remember. braking it always seemed a shame. all the excitement for me was placed in the anticipation. 'maybe she'll ask me to do the wishbone with her!' i'd always think. a few times i'd find it had disappeared and i ask about it. she'd say, "oh i did it with chuckie" and my heart would sink a little. not because she did it with chuckie, my older brother, but more so because it was gone. over. the anticipation of it all was gone. we weren't superstitious growing up but we did these funny things together that have stuck with me. this wishbone thing is one of them.
   i have my own kitchen now and in it is a window with three very dried chicken wishbones and even one from a turkey, sitting on the sill. the first four birds i ever cooked on my own. my first four wishbones. their plenty dry and would be easy to brake. i've thought about starting the ritual with my kids. my son is four and my daughter is 1 1/2. mikey is old enough but every time i think about it, i say to myself, 'no not right now. besides, i don't even have a wish ready.' and that thought has made me so thankful. to have no wish. i have many wishbones and no wish. we are blessed. we have full bellies, a warm house,good health, love to spare and a loving Heavenly Father. this is more then enough. 'no,' i think to myself. 'i'll save these wishbones for a day when i have a wish to make.' thinking about it... it never was about the wish. it was the anticipation of it all. it was about the person who i did it with and that brief moment in time that we shared together. how could i keep such a charming memory to myself and not share it with my kids? their is a possibility for them to look back and say, 'my mom had this strange collection of wishbones, you'd think she was a witchdoctor.' or 'we had this great ritual at our house with wishbones...'
   wish or no wish, i think tomorrow our pile of wishbones will need to be replenished.

my son, superman and i must fly!!

   my son is on a first name basis with superman. for the longest time mikey called him super. "hey mommy, do you know where super is?"    ",,,yeah, me and super defeated brainyac today while gwacie-gail took her nap."  these days, they are so close that superman's nickname even has a nickname. it is now sup,  pronounced: soup.
   the other day mikey asked me, "hey mommy, how come when sup had to save lois, but he didn't want her to know he was sup, so he kept his clark glasses on...well he used his laser vision to make that tree fall into the water, but his glasses didn't burn up?" 
   what in the world? is this like, the deepest four year old ever or is he really that close to sup that he not only notices this stuff,  but he thinks about it. and my, oh my, he thinks i have the answers! thankfully his daddy knows about lasers and sup's super vision 'cuz phew!! that was a doozie!
   that same day mikey says to me, "ya know mommy, the superman music is different in part one than part four," these are the classic movies mind you. 
   "how so buddy?" i ask waiting for a comedic response.
   "well, their are more horns in the music in the first movie and more strings in the music in the fourth movie." 
   'what?' i think to myself. 'how in the world does he see this stuff? how in the world is he hearing this stuff?'
   then i realize just how precious it truely is. his mind soaking up the world, still very new and exciting, even at four. hearing the sounds of it all, still so new to him. not having to muddle his way through the clutter in his mind to be able to enjoy it.  his play time with his friend sup, that i know beyond the shadow of a doubt, he thinks is really flying right beside him, arms up over their heads. way up over the couch and around the light hanging over the dinnng room table. in his mind he might as well be superman.
   in my mind, i see my small boy of four, full of wonder, full of anticipation, full of excitiment with all their is around him and i pray, 'oh Lord don't ever let him loose his gusto for life. i know one day his mind will be full of other things, rather then superman and his lasor vision, but please Heavenly Father, i pray his wild creativity will stay with him and close to you always. so you can navigate him through lifes many questions.' 
   and maybe, just maybe, i could cut the clutter out of my mind and actually watch more of  the movie of life playing out infront of me. hear more of the music, the soundtrack, of everyday life. in fact, maybe tomorrow, when mikey and sup are flying through the house, over the couch and around the light hanging over the dinnng room table, just maybe i'll go flying with them? i wonder what my new nickname will be?   

the hands of a lady

   i was washing my hands in the kitchen sink the other day. noticing bits of broccoli in the drain that i needed to collect and throw away, and paint that still needed to be scraped off the sink from weeks ago. my hands were not in focus. yet those hands were my focus.  those hands were some one elses. red. cracked. dry, even under the running water. tired, even while moving briskly so as to make bubbles of the soap. i stared at the silver messy sink so i couldn't see these hands for a little longer. i didn't recognize them as my own. no. these were the hands of someone older then i. the hands of someone doing task's often. cooking. cleaning. drawing. painting. making ponytails in baby soft hair. patting the back of a small boy who just needs a little bit of encouragement. swiping quickly over bed linens so as to get the wrinkles out. making piles of clean, fresh bath towels to then place in a hall closet. briskly chopping fresh basil in the kitchen before a meal. reaching for another hand, similar in task-weatherdness but only more so and bigger, belonging to their mate. these hands. they don't look like mine. they look like the hands of a lady. i focused my eyes and placed my gazed upon my hands. they were in fact attached to the end of my arms. 'it's finally happening,' i think with a smile to myself. i am growing up.

my husband, the poet

   tonight at the dinner table i told my wonderful, loving husband, "i cut a hang nail off my toe last night waaaay too short. it is soooo sore today." ya know what his response was? you'll never guess. not in a million-bajillion years. He said, "you need to be more aware of your surroundings."
   a few odd seconds of time passed. my son made a few comments. my daughter threw some food on the floor. i just started laughing. no one even noticed that i was laughing!!
   okay, my wonderful, loving husband was either not listening, or, he was being very poetic about the whole thing. while he was climbing into bed this evening i recounted the whole short conversation to him. and ya know what he said this time? "yeah, that's what rah zawhl ghoul said to bruce wayne when he was training to become the batman."
   who knew my wonderful, loving husband was such a poet!?!

my daughter can be so naughty yet so cute!!

   persistence. patience. and...i forget the other p word that i'm supposed to remind myself everyday. pretty much on an hourly basis. can i just say, there are times when persistence is just too hard. well i guess that's why i'm constantly reminding myself.     parenting is work. hard work.
  my daughter is seventeen and a half months old. she can be darn right naughty sometimes. she's cute all the time, but she has learned that purposely being cute while being deliberately disobedient goes a long way for her. she is fascinated beyond belief with things like the television, d.v.d players, v.c.r and blue ray players. we watch a lot of movies and my husband bought a blue ray player. i don't know much about it or even care to know much about but it, but i know it plays movies. it's a big deal to him and grace does not have permission to touch it. she knows this. for a long time she would try and i would redirect her attention. then i realized she wasn't hearing "no" in reference to daddy's blue ray player. so she would touch buttons or open the disc drawer and i would tell her firmly, "no." and she would be insulted and cry. it worked for a little while but she was back at it again eventually. this is that persistent and patient thing i have to remind myself about.
  i know she knows what "no" means. their are plenty of things i use it for of much more importance, in my opinion. things like the oven, the facets in the tub, crossing the hose that i drag across the driveway, that keeps the kids still a very safe distance from the road. she knows so well what the word no means that she had started to catch herself going for the blue ray player. she would instead set her hand on top of it, say "no" in her best mommy impression and quickly move her hand to her belly as if it were hot. she knows what "no" means, and she knows that daddy's blue ray player is off limits.
   she also knows what "i love you " means. it probably means feel good hugs, pats on the back and everyone is happy, in her seventeen and a half month old mind. she says it back to us, and she says it first, offering hugs and even pats on the back. "aaah ~ y'I y'ove you" she says and my heart melts into a pile of mush.
  she started touching that blue ray player again. knowing she knew full well that she wasn't allowed to i had to spank her hand. oh how it hurts my heart to spank even her hand!!! it's the worst. 'just go play with your own toys and leave daddy's alone so i don't have to spank your hand,' i would think. hand spanking only helped for a week or two. then it began again. she would go for that blue ray player and as soon as i would approach her, she would look up at me with those big blue eyes and say, "y'I y'ove you" her little way of saying i love you.     oh. no. she. didn't.
  this has, unfortunately gotten her far in her adventures with daddy's blue ray player. "grace, i love you too but you can't touch." my firm "no" is now a "sing song profession of love" and "i wish i could but i can't" type of voice in the world of toddler translation. it is no longer a firm "no".
    the other day i found myself wondering, 'who in the world is grace professing her love to?' she was all by herself in the living room when i walked in to see her one hand holding open the door and another hand shoving a movie into the machine, while another movie was already half in and half out of it. that little rascal . i'm starting to wonder, she may really truly be madly in love with that blue ray player! here i thought it was me she loved so much!!  my daughter can be so naughty and so cute at the same time. it's really working in her favor, but not her daddy's, or his blue ray player.

V is for...violence?

   my son is all boy. a rough and tumble, guns and swords, motorcycles and four wheelers, super heroes and villains kind of boy. now don't get me wrong here, my daughter keeps up with all of this 'boy' behavior. she just does so in a very lady like way, hair done, frillies adorned and a little color on her lips. my son is in love with the whole good guy bad guy scenario; super heroes versus. villains. i find myself asking my husband,  "is this too violent for a four year old," often while flipping threw comic books, watching movies and even while playing. we edit where necessary and don't edit where it's just pure rough and tumble testosterone infused adrenaline.
  the other afternoon mikey asked to work on "lettaas". let me translate: letters. i don't know why he doesn't pronounce his R's but i find it awfully cute. so he was tracing letters and i was asking him what sound each one made.
  when we got to the letter V i asked, "what letter are you tracing buddy?"
  "V!" he proclaimed with much gusto.
  "very good, and what does V sound like?" i ask.
  mikey set his top teeth upon his lower lip and produced and very pronounced V sound.
  "wonderful," i say quite impressed. it had been long since we worked on letter names and sounds so i added, "like vvviolin" enffacess on the v sound.
  "yeah!" he agreed. he then set down his dry erase marker and made a fist,  "and vvviolence!!!" he exclaimed as he swung it through the air.
  now i had two ways to go about receiving this. i could 1.) freak out and assume he would eventually be that crazy kid growing up with a tendency to shoot the outdoor cats with a sling shot, ...or...  2.) realize that kids hear everything. especially when mommy is asking daddy if their are any pages in a comic book that we should skip, or a scene in a movie that needs to be passed up, or if we should calm down while playing. of coarse he knows what violence is, we've talked about it before. "no buddy, that is just too violent, we don't need to see this".
  "very good, buddy!! i'm proud that you have such an extensive vocabulary for such a young gentleman," i respond with a high five. quickly i turn the page to the letter Y. yarn, yo-yo and yodel. i breathe a sigh of relief as this turn of excitement will soon calm down into a literal yyyawn fest.

conversations in the car

   "LOTS of people know who Jesus is, hugh mommy?" my 4 yr. old son mikey says from the back seat of the car.
   "sure buddy," i reply, trying to match his enthusiasm.
   "but lots of people don't know Jesus can be our bestest friend, hugh mommy?" he asks.
 and a profound silence fills the car.
   "well buddy," i say, searching the rear view mirror for his eyes, "that's why we're here, so we can tell lots of people that He wants to be our bestest friend."
 i finally find him in the rear view, putting two thumbs up ~ and the praise music gets switched on.

four mountains of laundry diverge throughout the house and i...

   laundry. it turns into piles. they get shifted a lot at our house. they start in either the bedrooms or bathroom. then they migrate to the hallway outside the rooms from whence they came. next stop? infront of the stairs, only to be kicked or tossed down to the bottom. sometimes from under the railing and sometimes up and over the top, depending on who does the kicking or tossing. from the bottom of the stairs the piles get kicked or picked up and dropped in the laundry room, where they tend to grow into one or more mountains. these mountains then get concord by my constant desire to organize. i don't seperate the luandry because the lid on the washing machine tells me to. i do it because i enjoy it. my organizing of dirty laundry is also vary different from what the back of the laundry liquid bottle tells me it should be. i like to seperate by dirt. mike's work dirt is very different than his at home dirt. sometimes the kids dirt is different then my dirt ~ i am, thank you very much, potty trained, if ya know what i mean. so the separation of clothes takes place and then, depending on how big my piles or mountains still are, they still sometimes get thrown in together. so you see the step of separating at all for me is really quite rediculus.  
   like most modern people of the world, the clothes then go from washer to dryer (i am still waiting for my clothes line outside) but i think this is where our similarities stop once again. you see years ago, much to my dearest nana's dismay, i gave away all our dressers. folding laundry just never made sense to me. if you spend time ironing only to fold your clothes ~ aren't you then folding wrinkles back into your clothes? plus i can't see my clothes when they're folded and piled on top of each other in a drawer. how am i to choose from folds? no no no. i hang almost everything. sweaters, socks and unmentionable all have a place and do in fact get folded. but who irons their socks and unmentionables?
   so when i'm "on my game," i take items from the dryer, insert hangers and immediately hang on the washline that hangs in the laundry room. this is very good  =) more times then any, i simply start the organizing all over again.
   a pile is created. a more fresh, clean, neat and tidy, straightened out kind of pile. this pile will usually migrate to the play room where it will inevitably get organized into four piles. one for mike, myself, mikey and grace. then they get hangers. if time is lacking these piles of organized, hanger inserted clothes get put back on the wash line in the laundry room. if the kids are content i sneak them up stairs where the pile ~ gets put away in their proper closets? no silly, set on my bed. i can't leave grace downstairs in the play room for more then a second. she's a clumsy monkey who likes to climb ~ and she is determined to master those stairs. they will wait on my bed until we all come back upstairs and i can close the baby gate and then put them away. like most times though, i forget that i made the newest pile on my bed, and need to move them so i can go to sleep. then the pile of clothes, hangers inserted, gets moved to the baby craddle that no one sleeps in, in my room. and saddly, that is where i tend to leave them for the longest. the easiest step ~ so close to done ~ and i don't know,,,i forget them? am entirely too tired to care by then?
   by now you are asking yourself "why am i still reading this crazy post about this obsessive laundry organizer?" or, "why is she waisting her time typing about how the piles of laundry get moved around her house and not just do the laundry?" well my friends i can't answer either of those questions for you. i just know that mountains of laundry diverge throughout the house and i... feel all that much better seeing it all typed out. i can see this craziness and laugh. i can't say it will change because i have no plans of changing any of it.
 "what's that mike?" i call back to my husband. "where are your jeans?   ...i don't know, check the pile."

the windy city was is our living room

 mikey is my four year old son. he has been fighting a stomach bug for fours days. lately he has the worst gas EVER!!! it's worse then pregnancy gas!!! i know it's not his fault and he can't help it. although, if he could help it, i still don't think he would. 
 the other night for dinner we had pasta. i don't usually like red sauce on my pasta, so i had pesto.  
 after dinner is finished and the kitchen is cleaned we have family devotions. so we were all lined up on the couch. i was holding grace in my lap, mike was to my right and mikey to mike's right,  during the hymn trust and obey i burped. i did it silently, not even excusing myself!!! and kept right on singing it out. or might i say stinking it out. the return of the pesto. during my silent-song-burp, just on the other side of mike, was mikey, who might i remind you had  been gassy all day long. letting a silent but deadly fart out. he too mentioned it to no one, nor did he excuse himself.
   mike was doomed. trapped between an old pesto burp and mikey's diarrhea-meets-rotten intestinal-tract-fart. he was almost knocked out and not sure who to blame, or which way to turn for fresh air. it would have almost been funny if not for that stinky fart smell, being far more prevalent then the pesto burp, it took over the whole room, landing on me and grace as well. that night, the windy city, was our living room.

i take beauty tips from my daughter,,,she's 16 months old

   so i've been a stay at home wife and mother for four plus years. and by stay at home, i really mean, stay at home. my husband and i share one car which he usually takes to work monday through friday. don't get me wrong here. whenever i want to, i can get up in the morning and drive him to work and drive all day long until my hearts content, if i wished to wake up before the wee hours of the crack of down. he is up and out the door before the birds, before the sun and probably almost anyone else, unless they too are driving a truck. in the summer time it's a lot easier to have the desire to get up early to take the car. the winter is just sooo cold and sooo dark and soooo we are home, a lot more. let me get to my point, i usually have NO reason to get dressy during the day, or even the week for that matter. my first child is a boy. he has taught me sooooo very much and i am eternally in love with him. even when he's naughty. my second child is a girl. i honestly didn't think their was much more to learn in life, how haughty i am. she too has taught me sooooo very much and i am eternally in love with her as well.
   when grace came into my life, i was used to throwing my hair in a pony tail and maybe smearing some chapstick on my lips. after all, i wasn't going anywhere, and since we usually live in the middle of now where, no one was coming here. all this has changed. i found that with little girls come clothes!!! boys have clothes too but not like girls do!!! i love to get her dressed and do her hair and have tea parties and show her all the wonderful world of lady-like things. of coarse we have battles, swing swords, shoot guns and play in dirt too...but we do so w/ our hair done, our Jewelry on and a little bit of tinted chapstick. my daughter. one of the fun things she is reminding or even teaching me is, that it is fun to be a girl.
   to get dressed in clothes suitable for a lady. to try a new hair-do. to play in that old jewelry box i thought i'd never dig through again. to even play in make up. ya know, she has a pair of wings and a whimsical skirt that matches, i don't know maybe fairy-like? butterfly-like? she brings it to me and after i put it in on her, she'll wear it all day. as soon as i learn to sew, i think i'll make myself a pair of wings and a whimsical skirt. who knew i'd be taking beauty tips from my sixteen month old daughter? certainly not me. but i am so glad that i am . 

my on-again/off-again is ... back on-again?

 dear amelia's grocery outlet,

     i know we've had our ups and downs lately. i know through trial comes some understanding and growth. i also know that sometimes ya don't know what you've got until it's gone. here is my confession...

 last night, we needed things. things you usually provide us. things like juice, coffee, laundry liquid you know the list. i went to weis markets *cringe*  ...i spent a total of $52.17. i also bought milk, 1/2 & 1/2, tishues, tooth paste, dishwasher liquid, infants pain relief and childrens pepto,,,butter and car soup. i know- i know, this is a longer list then you'd think, we had sick babies remember? you don't even carry childrens pepto!! ~ the things you've been keeping from me...really...  
  i'll cut to the chase, i bought a few of the necessities and they cost only $10-$15 more then my usual  WEEKLY grocery bill would cost w/ you. and so,,,humbly i'd like to ask if we could,,,ya know,,,just simply date?   we could hang out every now and then - you could see other customers more often, i could buy juice that's not rancid, waisting away on the shelf awaiting a maybe purchase, maybe soon death of trash-can-freezer-burn...?   i mean, i have options ya know. but weis doesn't carry strange but good laundry liquid for $2.99/per 32 loads!!! only you have that Dynamo!!! only you amelia's :)
  see? now doesn't that feel a little better? so now that we're clear, we're outta frosted flakes and once again only you have them 2 boxes for $5 and  in mix and match flavors. i'll be seeing you real soon - but don't even think for a second that i'm gonna get sucked into that juice shelf again - that will be saved for another store,,,and maybe not even weis either,,,i'm playin' the field!!!   =)

so i have these callus'...

   on the bottom of each foot i have a callus. they run vertically separating the right side of the ball of my foot from the left. i am a barefoot walker. almost always. i feel them when i walk in the drive way, through the kitchen, down the hall and when i'm standing in front of  the mirror in the bathroom on the cold tile. they hurt. i've tried to file them and that hurts too.   i used to be a dancer. i danced a lot. in the evenings i helped at the dance studio that i grew up taking lessons in. i assisted the wonderful teacher ~ she was one of the few people i had consistently in my life as i grew up. i stretched and warmed dancers up for ballet, tap and jazz. i demonstrated for all three styles and even taught some jazz of my own. i loved it!!!
  when i started dancing i had flat feet. i didn't know it though. i didn't know that my mom teased me about my wet foot prints on the drive way or in the sand at the beach, because my feet were flat, i thought it was because they were gigantic ~ and they are huge for my body size. i found out my feet were flat when my dance teacher, mrs. horn, commented on how i suddenly had arches. they didn't just arrive. they came from countless nights of dancing w/ her and the other kids in her studio.
  these calluses are not from dancing. no. these calluses are from not dancing. i developed these calluses from not pointing my toes and not stretching my feet the way they would be stretched when i am dancing. 
 when i first noticed them i got angry at my self. you see i stopt dancing at the studio when i was very sick and pregnant w/ my son. he is four years and three months old. at that time i no longer had the energy to stand, let alone dance. i just simply stopt.
   my calluses hurt and i curse them inside my head. these reminders of another thing i no longer do 'cuz i've given up a lot to be a mommy.    ...given up a lot ...as a child, all i wanted to do was dance and be a mommy. ...dance...
  i sure did dance a lot. 
  i dance now too.  in fact, i dance more now. i dance every night while cooking dinner, while praising Jesus, while cleaning the kitchen, while playing outside and playing in. i dance in the driveway, through the kitchen, down the hall and while in the bathroom in front of the mirror on the cold tile. in fact, come to think of it. these calluses remind me of a time, when as a young dancer i dreamed to one day be a mommy. to one day be dancing with  kiddos while cooking dinner, cleaning the kitchen, playing outside and in. i dreamed of dancing with my kiddos in the driveway, through the kitchen down the halls and in front of mirrors in the bathroom on cold tile.
  so i have these calluses on the bottom of my feet. they used to hurt. a lot. but now they remind me, that i grew up to be exactly what i always wanted to be.

dear john letter to amelias grocery outlet

dearest amelias grocery outlet,
    i am sorry to say that  i am ending our several year long love affair. i approached your open arms w/ caution and hesitated at first only to get sucked into the savings.  as time past i have let my gaurd down and fallen deeply and madly in love w/ your wonderfull prices, strange yet exotic iteams and have even gotten excited about the lack of continuity in your iteams - you spontainous grocery store you.

 alas, my gaurd was dropped and i let you in to my world of chasing after the savings and even stoped checking expiration dates prior to purchasing. and here we sit all sad and belly-aching, fighting over the toilet 'cuz i foolishly bought v8 fruit fusion two years past code. never before have you let me down like this, dearest amelia's.
 i know, i know you are not to blame in all this. i should have been checking the dates, but two YEARS? it's just too much. i simply refuse to get sucked into the allure of your strange food choices and wonderful prices again,,,as for me and my family, we will sit all snuggled on the couch, bottle of pepto in hand, watching movies in between fighting over the bathroom.     ......come to think of it,,, i better go check the date on that bottle of pepto ......

in the biginning...

    in the beginning is a lady. eternally optimistic. plopped into a world stained with pessimism. this is the story of her life adventures and/or misadventures. you decide. you will find that she is a wife a mother and lover of the Lord. she's loves crafting ~ all kinds, gardening, movies, books, singing, dancing, dating her husband and doing art w/ her children. she is a terrible speller and has a difficult time w/ correct grammar and punctuation. this will probably not change, at least not over night. so if you are bothered by any of this turn back now least you get sucked into the charming whacktasticness of:    confessions of a stay at home wife and mother. 

ha!!! as i typed this i totally heard that deep male voice who does the action movie commercials!!!