Funny Girl

I eat fast. Really fast. My mother once asked me if I had perhaps starved in a past life. Sometimes, I don’t think I even taste my food.

My child can take an hour to eat a scoop of ice cream. The words “Hurry up” bring her instantly to tears. She has always moved to the beat of her own drum.

She has been struggling, a bit, with math. It’s too fast for her. And knowing she is being timed just makes it worse. She has always had performance anxiety, which is sad to watch (from where I’m sitting). She’s such a talented singer and artist. But the thought of anyone “watching” her makes her insane. The thought of “messing up” and knowing that people witnessed it is too much for her to handle. I know this is a required step in child development, but it’s a little more than that.

Of course I blame myself for her falling behind a bit in math. It’s not my strong suit. And, by the time I get home I’m hurrying to make dinner, hurrying her to do her homework, hurrying her to bathe, and get ready for bed. I’m not helping. And there isn’t much time for anything else.

Today, she brought home a piece of paper from school. I asked, “When did you do this?” She said, “We had free time during reading.”

Remember…beat of her own drum. The math will come. WP_20150109_003

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Isn’t It Funny

Parenting is, hands down, the most interesting thing I’ve ever done.
I pretty much spend every day trying not to dumb my child down to my level.
Pay attention.
Look when she’s talking to you.
Don’t assume you know what she’s trying to say.
Believe her when she sees something.
Make things interesting.
Learn something new.
Be new.
Be fun.

I don’t know what I would do without this child in my life.

Before she was here, I could go to the bookstore and hang-out until they turned the lights off and politely told me to “Get the hell out.”
I could wake up when I wanted, go to brunch (or not), eat chips and salsa for dinner (okay…that never really changed).
What I am trying to say is, I didn’t have to come home. No one was waiting for me anywhere. I didn’t feel guilty because I wasn’t home making someone’s dinner.
I wasn’t going to be punished for neglecting anyone.
I didn’t punish myself for doing nothing special, or doing too much.
I could go where I wanted, when I wanted, and stay as long as I wanted.
I didn’t have to hear anyone complain about how bored they are.
I didn’t have to limit my time because someone else wasn’t enjoying the moment.

Now, every single thought revolves around this child and what makes her life meaningful.
I don’t eat, sleep, or think without her face in my mind.
“How can I make our lives mean something?”
“What can I do to make sure she will remember me, always?”
“Is she happy?”

The holidays have passed and I didn’t take the time to blog.
Not since September.

I would like to think it’s because we were too busy having fun.
But, in all honesty, I didn’t feel like I had anything worthy of writing.

So, that will change.

I’ve set many goals for myself for the remainder of 2015.
Most of them revolve around remembering what makes me happy.
And we all know…when momma ain’t happy, nobody’s happy.
The rest have to do with my lovely child.
Create memories.
Don’t be so hard on her; she’s hard enough on herself.
Remember that I know who she is; who she has always been.
And most of all, look forward to the unknown.

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Welcome, Fall (and All the All)!

It’s that time of year…! My favorite time of year, though winter is my favorite season. Fall is the foreplay. My closet is much more suited to colder weather. I love sweaters, and layering, and a lovely pashmina scarf. I also love soups.

In an attempt to not send my child to soccer practice on a full stomach, I had the brilliant idea to get out my crock pot. What the heck has it been doing in the cabinet all this time? Seriously, man. Make yourself known.

Last Wednesday, I made pork tenderloin (which she devoured, and had enough time to digest before she went off running for two hours). This week, I’m thinking some type of chicken soup with vegetables, and the leftover garlic cheddar biscuits I made for dinner last night (if they make it that long).

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Hang Me In The Closet

(That’s what my dad always said he’d do for me when I wondered what I’d look like as an old woman: “We’ll just hang you up in the closet and get you out in the morning.”)

Well, I can honestly say, I never imagined this day would ever come. Or rather, tomorrow would ever come.

Two weeks ago, I found out my rod is broken in two places. It’s been bothering me for a little over a year. No idea what I did/how it happened.

Friday, I had two CT scans. Tomorrow, I will find out if my rod is coming out, or if I have to have a new spinal fusion.

I’m really hoping that, after 25 years, my spine is completely fused and that I’ll be able to live the rest of my life without it (and without looking like the Hunchback of Notre Dame in my eighties). If my spine is not fused, I’ll have to have this rod removed and a new one will be placed.

The silver lining is (and, yes, there is one), my pediatric orthopedic surgeon retired from Children’s and is going to be doing the surgery, with his fellows, at UC Hospital. I’m a very lucky girl. I recently read an interview with him where he said, “I discovered if you help a child, you’ve made a friend for life.” If the man needed a new lung, I’d strap mine on him.

So, if you’re the praying kind…please, pray for the removal of this thing that has become such a part of me whole months go by that I don’t even think about it. It’s sticking pretty far out of my back at this point, which wasn’t what was actually bothering me. And it didn’t bother me until Dr. Crawford said, “My main concern is how long your skin can withstand the pressure from inside.” That kept me up one night, the thought of sitting at a restaurant and someone coming up and saying, “Um…you’re bleeding profusely from your back. And your table is ready.”

I’ll let you know what I learn tomorrow.

Thanks, friends.

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Rehab

My child would have pasta every day. When I ask her what she wants for dinner, she says, “PASTA” every. time. 

I find this to be a huge coup, considering we’re gluten free. 

The other night at the grocery, I purchased Barilla gluten free pasta. I did not want to buy it. I had a coupon that for some reason outweighed their views on homosexuality. I can’t overlook it. *sad face* 

Even sadder face that I must tell you, after five years of eating gluten free pasta, Barilla is hands down the best I’ve ever tasted. 

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I cooked the pasta, and with about 2 minutes left, I added broken bits of asparagus. 

In a separate bowl, I whisked together 1 egg and 1/6 cup of Parmesan cheese. 

I tossed the hot pasta in the egg mixture. 

Eh. Mah. Gawd. 

It was Ah. Maze. Zing. 

You could easily cook some bacon and reduce the grease with white wine. 

It is not going to break my child of her pasta habit. And, now…I’ve got one myself. 

Highly recommend. 

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A Beautiful Mind

My sweet child and I were at a stoplight tonight next to a restaurant that is going out of business.

“Mom, how old is this street?”

Very old.

“How do you know?”

Well, that restaurant sign says ‘Family owned since 1939.”

“Is that old?”

Yes. That is old.

“At least the sign doesn’t say ‘Whites Only’.”

And, that’s how it goes sometimes.

I heard her explaining Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to our four-year-old neighbor.

“She doesn’t like children and they take them away and hide them in the castle. Who could do that to children? That is not a nice lady.”

Everything is just as it sounds. It must be incredible to be six years old. I don’t remember much about it, honestly. My parents had just divorced. I think all I cared about was Grizzly Adams, MASH, and Andy Gibb.

I have to remind myself to just let her be. I was very good at it when she was a baby. But after a while I realized I needed to be a little bit more strict or she would, one day, walk all over me. I wish I had a picture of the moment she realized I had changed my parenting skills. You could see from the look on her face that shet was about to get real. She was wide-eyed and her jaw dropped. It was as if her mother had disappeared and had been replaced with a crazy lady.

Luckily, we’ve figured it out. She tells me every day how much she loves me, and that I am the best mommy ever. I tell her how lucky I am, and that she is the best kid ever.

Tonight, I rewarded her with roasted asparagus. I cook it for 35 minutes at 375 degrees. I drizzle olive oil on the asparagus, after breaking off the ends, and sprinkle with kosher salt and black pepper.

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I love that if there is a vegetable tray within a mile, my daughter will stand in front of it and eat all the raw broccoli and cauliflower. She loves Brussels sprouts. And asparagus; one of her favorites.

So, I cooked rice and chicken and cut the asparagus into bite size pieces while she made her Valentines for her class party on Friday. The Ziploc bags have red and pink kisses all over them.

“Mom. I cannot give these to the boys!”

So the boys get plain. And one day…they won’t.

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Just Another Saturday

I have always cleaned on Saturdays. My ex-H hated it. “You’re wasting the whole day inside.” Didn’t matter if was raining or sunny, he couldn’t deal. I had never really thought of it before, but he was right. I guess when you’re single and working and socializing, not a lot gets done on a Saturday day, so I cleaned and did laundry. It’s a horrible habit. Especially now that I have a child. She certainly does not enjoy sitting around and watching me clean. 

Today was no different. (I’ll learn…eventually.) I did laundry and dishes (always with the dishes). Straightened up a bit here and there. Wrote out the grocery list. Plopped her down in front of Enchanted. 

At the grocery, I restrained myself from most things, and then heard myself saying aloud, “Let the child have some damned hot chocolate.” I should be making it from scratch (as my dear friend of Candy Coated Reality pointed out), but sometimes you just have to let go. Today was one of those times. 

When I got home, I couldn’t get the chips and salsa out of the bag fast enough. Then, I had gluten free Udi’s cinnamon raisin toast with Nutella. It was $1 off, and it’s quite delicious. Then…I had rice with gluten free chicken tenders and sriracha. I found the tenders at Target, and I have to admit…they are quite tasty. 

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I may be the only person with sriracha left in the whole world. There is not expiration date on this thing, so who knows if I’m eating poison or not. Mmm. Delicious poison. 

I previously mentioned my crazy dry eye issue I’ve been having. I got to wondering about the eye liner/mascara/eye shadow I was using. I would look at myself in the mirror and almost see the red veins popping out on my eyeballs. There wasn’t a mention on the packaging of anything derived from gluten, but you never know. 

I went to sephora.com last week and typed “gluten free” into the search bar. A bunch of stuff showed up; a few of them being these: 

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I am liking them very much. I think the eyeliner has made a big difference. The texture is quite nice. The liner goes on very easily, and is easy to wipe off when you make a mistake which I often do. The lipstick is very lovely. I should have taken a picture of it opened at either end. It has two colors, a light-ish pink and a darker rose color. I only use gluten free lip products since you basically eat lipstick. And, I know people say that no one should be affected by topical products that contain gluten. I find that to be a real piece of malarky, considering skin is the largest organ in the body. Hello? Transdermal patches, anyone? 

The mascara is also quite lovely. Except for the fact that I am a freaking idiot and could not figure out how to get the freaking thing open. That gold contraption stays. I was trying to pull it off and ripped off the cap. When I put it back on, it was misaligned and ain’t nobody got time for that. I remove my eye makeup with olive oil, and after smearing that on (and on…and on…and on…) I looked like I’d just gone five rounds with Mike Tyson. It has some staying power. But, it’s gluten free. And it didn’t bother my eyes at all. I’m going to go with it. 

Tomorrow, I will end the evening making a chocolate cake with chocolate icing. I have serious issues. I’d rather have a piece of cake than crappy chocolate. Wait. That’s not true. I’m not picky about chocolate. It’s a sickness, okay. Leave me alone.

 

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