Friday, September 30, 2011

My Heart Hurts

Today, Dante fell off the swings.  I have no idea how he got up to the swing, how he was sitting, or how he fell off.  I was feeding Scarlett and had looked away.  All I know is that my son landed on his back, and I was afraid he'd bitten his tongue.

I opened my own mouth wide, demonstrating how I needed him to do it so I could see his tongue, and he licked my face.  I squeezed him so hard, his eyeballs should have popped out like a cartoon.

When I met Chris (my friend that passed last year, for those just catching up), he licked my face.  Every time I got wound up about something and he needed to break tension, he'd lick my face.  I've seen him do it to a few people, and I know he did it to unnerve them.  If they can handle some random wack-job licking their face, they were bound to get on famously.  (Part of me will always contend he liked the taste of make up....)

You can imagine my shock and my heartbreak when my son, that never met him, licked my face like my best friend used to.  If we can assume that time heals and I have a scab on my heart, that just ripped it off.  What hurts so bad, what really ripped that scab off, was the glaring fact that my son (and daughter) will never meet him.  He was fond of saying that he corrupted kids, and I really wish my kids had the chance to get to know him, to be as corrupted as a few other kids have been so privileged.  That little nugget of truth is bearing its weight on my chest, and I am still figuring out how to breathe despite it.

I miss him.  I miss him every day, to a varying degree.  Some days, it's the fly on the wall that I can't seem to smack with a fly swatter.  Other days, like today, it's the freight train bearing down on me so fast and so loud, it seems like it could just crush me.

And I must admit I am exceptionally selfish when I think about how much I miss him.  I may wax poetic about how it's not fair that my kids won't know him, but what goes unsaid is how incredibly unfair it is that I don't get to talk to him again, or give him another hug, or have lunch at Los Cuates with him again.  I am incredibly greedy with my memories.  I have found a way to block out others from all the times we hung out and just focus my brain on him and how lucky *I* was to have him, if only for 14 or so years.

But I have to pick my chin up.  And my kids (they just woke up).  I know I can't, or shouldn't, let this wound immobilize me, even if all I want to do is crawl into bed and cry.

I Have to Toot My Son's Horn....

Since he doesn't even know he has one.

On Wednesday, as we were getting ready to leave and go to Starbucks so we could get some fresh air (and coffee), I put Scarlett in her car seat so that I could brush my hair and tie it back.  When I came out of the bathroom, there was Dante, putting two blankets over his sister's legs and then her hat, in case she wanted to wear it.  As I pushed the stroller across the parking lot to our usual Starbucks, Dante adjusted the visor on the stroller so she wouldn't catch any sun on her porcelain face.  (He then proceeded to be a little hellion once we got to Starbucks, though, but that's ok.)

Today, as I was getting us ready to go walk for ice cream (I am a cool mom, after all!), he kept kissing Scarlett!  He ran and got her bottle, and even put his sandals on all by himself!

He was actually a joy when we went to two different grocery stores, and he sang the alphabet in the car and said "Bye, bye, Auntie Mindy.  Thank you!" as we dropped her off back at her place.  And then we got home.

The KICKER????  He took off his clothes and his diaper all by himself and ran to the bathroom as I loaded the dishwasher.  He then moved his step stool over to the potty, put his potty seat on all by himself, and he used it!  You could have knocked me over with a feather!

What am I going to do?!  My little baby boy is becoming a boy.  A real, live boy!  GAH!  He's so incredible!  Sure, there are moments I want to jump out the window in sheer frustration, but I know he's almost 3 and well, almost preschoolers will be almost preschoolers.  I'm blown away every day.  Every so often, I have to pinch myself.  Kids are time machines.  Days may be pretty slow, even the busy ones, but holy hades, weeks and months just fly by.

And now I get to go to bed.  After I play a couple silly games.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Check ups, Insomnia and Spell Check

Scarlett's check up was both informative and a bit of a let down.  I got the usual "She's beautiful," and then the let-down:  Some bull shit about how even though Dante didn't breathe like Darth Vader, I need to treat Scarlett just the same.  I don't like it, it's not sitting well with me.  She got her shots, and I held and fed her afterwards so she'd calm down, and now she's a mucous-y mess.  Now she sounds like a pug.  Don't get me wrong, pugs are precious animals, but I don't like my daughter sounding like her nose wasn't made for her body.  But she was born at 7 lbs., 12 ounces and 20 1/2 inches long.  Now she's 9 lbs 8oz., and 22 1/2 inches.  She's got all her shots, so now I don't feel bad about putting her on a plane next month.  Doc also suggested vitamin E oil on my burn, and while it still looks like I am a bad horror movie extra, it hurts less and looks a lot better than it did!  HAHAHA!

I'm still having serious problems sleeping, but Scarlett is doing well.  Now at night she'll get about 4 hours between feedings, which is awesome.  She is more alert, and showing some serious SPUNK.  She loves to be held, and I think if I let Dante hold her, she'd still love it.  She's getting a lot better at holding her head up, and every time I look at her, I am floored by how lucky I am.  If I can toot my own horn for a second, I am very proud of how well I've handled myself.  Maybe my grief is why my brain drifts off and I do things like singe layers of skin off my hand with bacon grease.  But I'm still swimming in some pretty rough currents, and I am super proud of me.  I do let myself slip from time to time, but if I didn't, I'd just be bottling it up until I explode. Little bursts are so much better in the long run.

I had the pleasure of editing an essay for a friend on the other side of the pond, and its subject made me think about how lucky I am to have my love, and my kiddos.  I really just want to stop my world from spinning long enough to scream from my proverbial soap box that I love them all so much, I am surprised my heart can beat, it's so damn full.  I also really miss editing and writing.  I should finally finish that series of novels stored away in my grey matter.  I should strike while the occult iron is hot.  I got some sick shit stored up there.  LOL!

Now I get to roll cigarettes while my kids sleep.  And I get to watch some Glee since I had 6 episodes on the dvr.  So I shall dance in the butt-spot I created in my couch while I roll those dreaded cancer sticks.  I'll kick it someday, but not until my feet are on solid ground....

Friday, September 23, 2011

Invincibility or Motherhood?

I sometimes wonder if there is some secret fuel that only mothers can live off of.  Are toddler hugs a source of energy?  Maybe it's diaper changing that refuels me like I stuck a power cord in my skull.  I guess the world will never know...

Today, er...yesterday for you day walkers, my friend took Dante, Scarlett and me to a music class.  Part of my brain went directly to "Oh, my goth.  What would 18 year old me say if she saw me now?" And the other part went "Holy crap, my son is stinkin' cute!"  The stinkin' cute bit won, and I am willing to sacrifice and recharge off magic spit up fuel if that's what it takes to get Dante in a music class 2 times a month.  I need to ask the teacher if I can take pictures, since his happy face is a smile that could launch an entire armada.

Speaking of happy faces, my friend in Montana (there's only one.  Maybe if I ever get up there I can make a few more...) decided to make me a happy camper and sent a care package!  I not only got a cool Scentsy disc (cinnamon!  YAY!), but she sent Scarlett a gorgeous outfit that should fit next summer with the way she eats, a couple of gorgeous bibs she embroidered, and Dante got a bad ass chalk and bubbles set!  He was so excited, I thought his head was going to explode!  (Excitement aside, if you decide you want some cool Scentsy stuff, I will get you her info.  If you are in Billings and need an awesome cut and color, same gorgeous gal.  Let me know.  =D)

On the agenda for today:  Lunch with a friend, assuming she gets back to me...I texted pretty late because I'm a space cadet, a trip to Albertson's with my binder (and the kids, since the nanny has the decade off) and then dinner with another good friend and her gorgeous kiddos.

I sometimes wonder if I spread myself too thin, but then I remember that I am a lucky be-otch.  I have wonderful friends, a fantastic husband, gorgeous kids and two legs that work.  I am luckier than a lot of people.  Sure, I'm pudgy (thanks, Scarlett!  LOL!) and I'm hundreds of miles from my family, and not too easy on the eyes, even when I'm emaciated (I got the pictures to prove it!), but dammit, I'm happy, even if I am an insomniac and always short on cash.  I think what saves me most days is my optimism.  Maybe that's my super power, my fuel.  Other people would have crumbled with the last year I've had, and yet I'm not just treading water, I'm swimming when I don't even know how to swim.

What I'm getting at, is that even though we don't have a lot, I like going out and seeing the people that matter.  In the end, when I am on my deathbed (hopefully it'll be as cool as Frida's), I'll be able to look back at all the memories and experiences and just...go.  I'll have few regrets and a couple of gorgeous kids happily pulling the plug knowing I'm done.  I've lived my life to as full as I could make it, exhaustion be damned.  I don't know how many days I have left, and I am going to cram them all as full as I can....

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I'm Too Young for a "Senior Moment!" Aren't I?

The last few days have been interesting, to say the least.  Sunday, we went to get groceries with my friend Mindy, and Dante was...Dante.  I know.  Shocker.
We went to two stores.  That's it.  We started at Sunflower and as we were piling back into the car, we noticed Dante's butt was wet.  Sigh.  His diaper leaked.  And when I say "leaked," I mean that his ass was sopping wet and smelled like a bus station.  So Mindy changed his diaper while I got him juice, and then I soaked his shorts in water, wrung them out, and wrapped them in a polar fleece blanket that I had in the back.  By the time we got to Albertson's, they were still wet.  Damn.  So he got wrapped in his daddy's hoodie that I had in the car and we made him leave it on for the remainder of our shopping trip.  He looked incredibly silly, but he's too old to be a pants-less baby in a supermarket.  I actually tried to use it as a "teaching moment," but the idea was quickly lost on him.

Yesterday I finally got to see my doc for my post partum check up.  Damn scheduling conflicts!  HAHA!  So, I took Scarlett (to show her off, of course!) and had a decent chat with my doc.  We discussed my IUD options, and it looks like Mirena's the winner.  I go back on October 10th for that, and before then, at some point, I need to go back to Quest Diagnostics for another glucose screen.  Not looking forward to it, but it has to be done.  Especially since this wasn't done last time!

Started the laundry last night a bit earlier than usual, and while it was going, I decided I was going to make bacon and roast some Hatch chiles I got while shopping, and when I was done making the bacon, I poured the grease into my bacon grease container.  (WHAT?  I like to use it to make eggs because of the way my pans stick.  And it's delicious.)  I went to take the full container and put it out of the way and it spilled all over my hands!  GAH!  I have never cried or cursed that way before.  Poor Dante came rushing into the kitchen to help me (how sweet is that?) and he slipped in the grease.  Hubby just about caught him and he barely tapped his head on the floor.  That made me even more inconsolable and the rest of last night is mostly a blur.  I know I spent HOURS with my hands in ice water and every so often taking them out of the water to rub in some First Degree homeopathic ointment.  (I think that stuff is awesome...on first degree burns.  Downright useless on 2nd-3rd degree grease burns.  FYI.)

Because I couldn't cook and because he didn't want to, Hubby ordered pizza.  Fine with me; it's actually been a looooooong time since we ordered a pizza.  But I have no idea what I'm making tonight now that I can use my left hand.  Any kind of heat, even lukewarm water hurts like a sunofabeetch.  Which ought to make loading the dishwasher fun since I have to basically pre-wash them if they intend to get clean in this crappy dishwasher.

Today we went to Walgreen's for burn spray and cooling pads and while we were there, I made good use of my recently completed coupon binder.  M&M's bags were on sale 2/$5, and I had 3 $1 off coupons.  You get a $5 Register Rewards (a coupon to use on a later transaction) when you buy 4 bags, so I spent $7 and got $5 back.  I used that $5 on 3 packs of wipes, a notepad for the fridge for Dante to color on while I cook and a pack of smokes, 4 packs of gum (had a coupon for $1 off 3 and they were 2/$1) and a 20 oz Mountain Dew.  Wound up spending $6 on that transaction.  I am a bad ass.  I even gave the guy ahead of me in line one of my $1 off 3 packs of gum coupon.  When I pulled it out of my binder, the guy behind me in line said my book was cool.  I told him I'm neurotic and got on with what I was doing.  When we left, I adjusted the shade over Scarlett's face, and he walked past me and told me I wasn't neurotic, I'm thrifty.  I got a good giggle and went on my merry way.

Every so often I wonder where my head would be it wasn't screwed on so tight.  I'd probably keep it in the fridge, right next to my jar of chopped garlic that I keep losing in there.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I Didn't Teach Him That!!

Last week, Dante impressed the hell out of us when he read a piece of mail that said "Xfinity;" it was mail from our cable provider.  It completely blew my mind.  I can't help but wonder, though, if he just sees so many of the ads on tv that the logo tipped him off.

Then, today (yesterday, for you day walkers) I asked him if he wanted a quesadilla since I didn't feel like cooking, and never mentioning the chain by name - Taco Bell - we just hit the drive-thru and went home to munch and nap the rest of the gloomy day away.

Fast forward to Hubby getting home.  He asked Dante where we went today and Dante picked up a wrapper and pointed to the logo and said "Taco Bell, Dada!"  What.  The.  Punk?

I decided we watch too much tv and went to finish dinner.  And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that we don't see many, if any, Taco Bell commercials.

As that little nugget of information creeped its way into my gray matter, he looked at Hubby's phone, pointed to the top of it, and read where it says "T-Mobile."

We really don't see many commercials.  We skip them on the DVR when we watch shows that have them, but he mostly sees PBS shows, which are (thankfully) commercial free.

So I'm sitting here, about to go to bed (if I can turn my brain off...PLEASE?!) and I'm wondering if he's going to just be an early reader like I was.  I have been reading voraciously since the tender age of 2 1/2.  In hindsight, I'm thinking I did it to kill time while Mom fed and diapered my little brother.  Is that what's happening to him?  Now I'm beginning to think I'm abandoning my son and the only way he feels he's going to get any attention is by doing something awesome while finding something to do.  Two birds, so to speak.

On that note, I put Scarlett in the Bumbo seat today, and she was able to sit in it without completely flopping about like a fish out of water.  I got video AND pictures.  I cried because it means she's getting bigger and stronger and will soon be running circles around me like Dante does.  Dante cried because even though he rarely sits in it (and it's Scarlett's anyways), she was invading his turf.  It was very cute, and I distracted him with avocado.  Ha!

I am going to attempt to get to bed before the sun comes up.  That is my new daily goal.  *yawn*

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Easy Fried Rice (Recipe)


1 C. white rice
2 C. water or chicken broth, or both
2 average sized (not gargantuan!) chicken breasts
1 1/2 C frozen veggies, your choice (I used a combination of a frozen mirapoix mix - carrots, onions and celery - and corn and peas)
2 eggs
2 Tbl oil (I use canola; higher smoke point and heart healthy)
soy sauce and spicy mustard to taste
Sriracha, as garnish


Make rice:  simmer water, and add rice.  Bring it back to a simmer, lower the heat and cover until it's done.

While that cooks, chop up the chicken into bite sized pieces.  Heat the oil in a large skillet, and add the chicken, consistently moving it about so it cooks evenly.  Add the veggies and stir until they are all well incorporated and the veggies are cooked most of the way through.
Add the cooked rice; stir to incorporate.
Move the contents of the skillet to one side of the pan, and on the "blank" side of the pan, add the eggs and scramble them.  When they are almost cooked all the way through, incorporate the eggs into the chicken and rice and veggies.
Add the soy sauce and mustard, and continue to stir and fold.  If you're unsure how much of each to add, start with the soy, just a little at a time, then do the same with the mustard.

Serve warm with a bottle of sriracha and enjoy!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Today, It Rained.

What a day!  Took my Scarlett to her one month check up (a little late, whoops!) and she got a clean bill of health.  She's 8 pounds, 9 ounces, and 21 1/2 inches long.  She has a fast pulse, but no murmur, and Doc says she's gorgeous.  But I knew that.  =D

We raced to my appointment at 3, but, alas, I got there too late and had to reschedule for the 15th since my doc will be on vacation all of next week.  Yippee.  (*SARCASM*)  Fed Scarlett in the waiting room anyways, and then we ran by the bank really quick to get cash.

While we were at the bank, I had an old mix cd in, and Bullet by Covenant came on.  I immediately remembered when Chris got that cd.  We went together to the Hastings on Montgomery (in ABQ) and we both heard that song and fell in love with how well it was written.  The split second my brain recognized the song, it started to rain.  I laughed at the coincidence, until the next song came on.  Daddy by Ulcer.

And then it rained some more, hitting my face thanks to an open window and utter disbelief.  When I drove away, I looked up, and it seemed like the black cloud was following me.  A few blocks over, it was sunny, but the whole way home, I had my own cloud hanging over my car.  I wanted to apologize to all the folks who were on bikes that shared the road with me.  (I will never forget when Chris came to LC for my birthday one year on his motorcycle, and he told me that it rained on the way.  That's when he told me that riding a motorcycle in the rain was like getting acupuncture from an epileptic.  I loved his wit.)  As I pulled into my building's garage, the rain stopped.  

It was odd and surreal, and it put me on edge.  I'm still a bit weirded out, but there's not a whole lot I can do besides chalk it up to my over active brain.  Maybe it was someone else's black cloud and I just happened to put the wrong cd in.  I guess I'll never know....

Edit:  I almost forgot!  Today at Scarlett's appointment, Doc let Dante pick a toy from the Toy Chest and he picked a pretty pink necklace and a gold heart bracelet.  He loves them both!  It's so darling!  He looks quite dashing in pink, let me tell you!  LOL!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

One Good Turn...

Dante was AMAZING today!  (I'm sure I'm going to pay for that statement as soon as he wakes up...) and it only took him half an hour to put all of his toys away.  He helped me get snacks into his Elmo backpack, and even caressed his sisters foot when she got fussy.

We went to Starbucks first so I could get some caffeine into me, and as we left, we saw one of the homeless folk that are always in our neighborhood.  He was at the corner, and I saw him, so I got a $1 from my wallet and gave it to Dante to hold.  When we got to him, I stopped and asked Dante to please give it to that gentleman.  He handed it to him, gave him a fist bump, and said "Thank you!"  It was so sweet!  The man he gave it to didn't look at me, he thanked Dante, and I told Dante to tell him to be safe.  And we were on our way!

Got to the park, and Dante blew me away.  He could suddenly go places he wasn't able to go last time, and he climbed like a champ.  With every fall, he blew my mind simply by getting up, dusting off his butt and trying again.  When I would call him back for some juice, he'd kiss his sister before running off again.  He would go to the slats in the fort and call me over to give him kisses, and he listened when I told him to get away from the tire swing that bigger kids were using.  (I didn't want him to get nailed in the head!)

When I told him he had three more trips down the slide before we left, he counted along with me, and didn't argue when I told him to get into his seat so we could go.

I decided on the way home to stop for some Burger King, and there was a weathered older lady waiting for her order along with us.  She pet Scarlett, then asked how old Dante was.  Then she told us that Dante was the same age as her grandson and just invited us over to her house to use her pool.  There's no way on the god's green earth that we'd go, but my curiosity wants to drive by to make sure she's safe.  I had Dante tell her "Thank You" for her offer and we got our order and ran.

Got home, Dante ate his burger when I asked (ok, about 1/3 of it!) and all of his fries.  He even agreed to be put down for a nap!  My son has been an amazing child today!  I wonder what it was...but I hope this keeps up!  I'll take it!