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Archive for July, 2008

I am wiped out from sitting on my ass all day on the beach yesterday.

Imagine that.

Yes, we have a good life here and today is a day that I feel more gratitude than ever.

I was sitting at my painting table last night, near midnight, realizing I had eaten only sandy donuts for dinner.

As I cleaned out the beach bag from the day, I pulled out the box of “Munchkins” we had picked up that morning on our way to the beach.

Even funnier, I “smuggled” them into my mouth, not wanting the kids to see I was finishing them off.

They weren’t missing much, I mean, sand=sand.

In standing there over the sink eating sandy Munchkins, I was thinking about how simple our lives are here. It didn’t used to be, but in moving here and omitting unwanted stress and choas in my life, it just kind of ended up that way. I suppose it was a subconscious thing.

I-Love-It.

Back when I was married, or even before I was married, I always needed to know what was going to happen next. What time would I go to the grocery store that day? What time is dinner? What day will I use to clean the house and can I do it without being interrupted? If anything got pushed off course, I was unwilling to accept that I had to be flexible.

I fly by the seat of my pants now.

I can make plans and when I do, I appreciate that I have something to look forward to and organize. The difference now is that if something gets altered, I can actually cope and be flexible and go with it.

The biggest problem is when I want something to happen and I am waiting for the plans to fall into place. I realize, I need to let go.

“Stuff” happens for a reason.

I drove home from Boston on Friday evening after dropping the girls at their dad’s house and sat in horrid traffic and blasted Idina Menzel on my new Belkin fm iPod tuner thingy. (okay, I totally forget what it’s called but now I can actually listen to my ipod in the car)

By the time I got home, it was almost eight and so I got some work done, cleaned up the house from the kids’ two weeks with me, messaged with Ohio for a bit. It’s interesting how I start to feel disconnected from him over a time and then when we text or email or talk on the phone as we did on Friday, as well, I fall right back into how I felt when he was here. It’s a cycle of promise one day and hopelessness and frustration another day. And this is where the simple flexibility comes in.

Practice practice.

Perspective.

And just feeling what I feel and being okay with that.

Then I just went to bed.

Way before midnight

THAT was unexpected.

The rest of the weekend I spent floating around getting things done, getting my hair cut, painting, I had breakfast with my piano guy  before my guitar lesson. It appears I can actually LEARN the guitar up until this point, aside from totally stinking at the bar chords. But that takes practice.

I went to the piano bar with some friends drank a little and sang a few.

Some old guy at the bar called me “precious”.

THAT was a new one.

Me, precious.

Heh.

I had a conversation with my father, one that upset me to a point where I actually felt I DRANK to cover the pain of it. He called on Saturday as I was driving down to the piano bar and the discussion that ensued was one that brought up alot in me that put me on the defense, enraged and hurt me. I was reminded of the parent I would never ever be to my girls because I consciously work to not raise them the way my parents raised my sister and me. And I was reminded that in time I will eventually learn that these things have nothing to do with me, but my dad’s own issues…and it can all just roll off my back.

In time.

This time, I just needed a bit of booze to help that rolling movement.

I am due to write about the parents sometime soon.

Despite that little setback, the entire weekend was totally up in the air and felt good. I had no idea what I was doing or where I would be at any given moment. I didn’t expect to find myself sitting in my underwear in bed at 9am on Sunday, reading the paper and drinking coffee. The last time I did that was probably a year ago. (but perhaps I was wearing clothes)

Fly by the seat of my pants.

And when I picked the girls up on Monday morning, I felt refreshed and happy about myself and secure in knowing I can get through the next two weeks as the sole parent of my two girls.

And now, as I sit drinking my coffee this morning, licking out the remainder of the vanilla pudding I fixed myself for breakfast, I think about how there are only five more weeks until school starts for the girls.

Who’s counting?

ME! ME! ME!

It is slightly bittersweet, the girls will be with me much less. But also, summer, for them, is sometimes not so good. Despite our time outside running around and swimming and catching sea creatures, the lack of structure puts them (us all) out of sorts. And they need more stimulation than what I am doing for them on some days. Especially when I am worn out and distant and feeling disconnected.

I will have to have things more together during the school year, between homework, extracurriculars, my work, packing lunches, getting them to school on time and picking them up and making sure the afternoon meltdowns don’t result in my own crazy freak-outs.

It will just be different. But like the summer, it will be good.

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Tidbits of Red and Blue

8:00pm: Bedtime. I say goodnight to the girls and walk out of their room.

8:10pm: Red shows up at my desk and scares the shit out of me because I am working with my iPod plugged in to my ears.

Red: Mommy, I’ve been trying to fall asleep FOR HOURS but I just can’t. Can I watch some tv and have some Pirate Booty?

Apparently she is going to extremes on the stall tactics.

++++++++++++

My legs were apparently a bit dry the other day. The girls started to do some etching.

++++++++++++

I got a call from the nurse’s office at my 7 year old’s school back in May. Apparently, she needed a new set of clothes. A boy hammed it up and she laughed so hard, she peed in her pants. When I got there, she was still laughing. You know, that uncontrollable laughter that has you spitting out your food and blowing snot out your nose? Yes, that was my child. The good thing is that it is out of the ordinary for Red to be like this so the teachers thought it was endearing. But I let her know she needs to try and keep it short next time. And pee before she goes into her classroom, just in case.

++++++++++++

Blue seems to think that standing in front of the television while her sister is watching it from the couch, is a really good thing. I wonder when she will learn that no matter what, when a fight ensues like that, the television comes off and they will be forced to listen to Celtic Woman. (which I happen to love)

++++++++++++

Red loves to read. I am constantly reminded of the comfort I felt as a kid, getting in bed with my reading light and a stack of books. I am blessed that my children love to do the same. She also writes in a journal, or what she titles “A Dy-eer-ie”. When she returned from her vacation with her dad recently, she handed me a new journal and said “Mommy, I wrote to you in my journal and tonight when I am sleeping, can you write back to me?” And so, we’ve been writing back and forth every day and night. I am shocked at the value and communication it brings up, not to mention her writing practice, which I find secondary to the connection we are making through it. Blue, who can write and read some words at age 5, is drawing me pictures in her journal and writing lists of things she knows like the names of family members and candy she likes.

++++++++++++

Blue’s favorite music is still Bon Jovi and Coldplay. Red still prefers Miley Cyrus. I find that amusing for some reason, the difference between my two children.

++++++++++++

I love the fact that since moving to the beach exactly three years ago last week, my girls have blossomed into free birds, unafraid to battle the waves in the ocean, roll themselves, wet in the sand as I did as a girl, and pick up dead things, even when they smell. I love that I did this for them. I did this for us. I wonder what else it has in store for us.

++++++++++++

In the car on the way home from the beach…

Red to Blue: I see a bug on you.

Blue: A BUG! I HATE BUGS! WHERE IS THE BUG?!?!

Red: Right there! On your booster seat!

Blue: A BUG! I SEE A BUG!!!! MOMMY!!!!!!!

Me: Just brush it off, I can’t do anything when I am driving!

Blue (wimpering): Oooooh. I hate bugs, I wish there were never such thing as bugs.

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More photography

In the spirit of photos, I thought I would share Blue’s little bout with the camera on the beach the other day.

She was “a-whining” so I handed her the camera and went back to my book.

She spent the time hammin’ it up for herself, apparently.

I didn’t realize until I just downloaded the photos.

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Hello, Summer?

A week ago I was complaining about the humidity and high heat.

Three weeks ago I was complaining about the afternoon thunderstorms, the kind where the lifeguards blow their whistles and instruct everyone to leave the beach.

This week, “I’d like summer back, please?”

I don’t mind a rain storm once in a while but my GOD, a whole week of it?

On Tuesday, I took the kids to see “Chimps in Space”. When we went to the counter to pay for the tickets, I ordered three tickets to “Chipmunks in Space” and the pimply kid working the desk just stared at me and said “We don’t have that movie here”.

Chipmunks. Chimpanzees. What’s the difference?

My kids had a good time correcting me loudly in front of the line that was behind us.

Anyway, that day was “anything goes” day.

We ate Junior Mints and Sour Patch kids at 11am, before lunch, in the movie theater.

My living room looks like a hurricane has hit because that is where the kids have been living for the most part during rainstorms and tantrums, my own meltdowns result in “let’s see what’s on the television”.

As a single mom…okay, as any mom, we sometimes do what we gotta do, right?

I’ll confess, my girls went to bed in t-shirts and sweatpants the other night. The next morning they were still wearing them. And they wore them out all day and into the evening when I had to peel them off and soak them in OXY before running the wash cycle.

And when their dad called last night, he asked them what they had for dinner and they both piped up into the phone “SNACKS AND ICE CREAM! WE HAD SNACKS AND ICE CREAM FOR DINNER!”

Which is sort of true. Starting at 4pm, we had snacks. And then a banana. And then some cucumbers and carrots and hummus. And then some Frito’s. More snacks. And then we had the ice cream. We ate it all standing up. Sitting on the front stoop. And on the couch. I believe Red may have eaten her Frito’s while looking out the bathroom window during one of the thunder and lightning storms.

Before I get comments on what a horrible thing that is to teach the kids, this sort of dinnertime habit, let me just add that I KNOW all you moms out there get tired of cooking a dinner that the kids won’t eat, plates that you pick off of because after making their meal, you certainly don’t want to make your own.

I’ve actually found myself eating the remainder of cold soggy grilled cheese crusts from their plates…and drinking warm Go-Gurt and calling it “dinner”.

So, what’s wrong with grazing every now and then? They ate it all. It was somewhat balanced. And there was no whining.

Back to the weather…of course, we alter our plans because we actually BELIEVE the weatherman.

What do you use to find your weather forecast? Is there ANYTHING that is remotely close to being accurate at least a day in advance?

I suppose that is kind of like life in general, eh?

Today we headed to a small beach down the road at 9am, the sun was sorta shining.

We were the only ones on the beach except the lifeguards.

And then a few hours later, it started to pour.

As I gathered up our stuff and ran the girls to the car, I was thinking “It’s not even lunch time, how long can I stretch the bubble bath today? An hour? Two?”

I got about 45 minutes out of it.

And I was cursing the weatherman for being right for once.

Tomorrow at 5 I drop the girls off with their dad for the weekend.

I am not ashamed to say that I can’t wait. I mean, they come back Monday and I’ll have their cute little faces in mine for two weeks straight after that.

I need a breather. I need to take a walk with my iPod and not with two little girls, asking if we can step on the slugs, stop at the variety store for cheap quarter priced toys from the vending machine, or go home after just a 5 minute venture down the block. I need to read a book, sleep, work, watch grown up television, or at least something that isn’t in cartoon form.

I need to eat an adult meal and talk on the phone without any interruption.

Masturbation is not out of the question.

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A little while ago, we got out some shells from our big basket to paint on a rainy day and the girls spent about three hours painstakingly painting each one and naming them and setting them out to dry.

When the shells were done, I brought out some old matte board from my studio to let them paint and I thought I would be getting back some sweet girlie paintings of flowers and a portrait of our house or bugs, the usual.

And they did some.

But then, the girls decided they wanted to sell shells out on the sidewalk.

Red made her sign.

And then Blue “one-upped” her in making her sign.

Fortunately, they decided they didn’t want to sell them after all and I was secretly glad, not wanting neighbors or friends to feel obligated in paying this for a single shell.

One shell for alot more than the amount of one gallon of gas.

Plus tip.



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Oh Man(hattan)

It happened.

After a year and a half of a consulting project up in the air in Manhattan, one that D wanted with a passion, one that was dangled in front of him and then shut down because the big ass company kept putting a hold on it, he got hired.

He flies to NYC on the 4th.

My friend is off. He’s kinda leaving me here, the security of a friend who has been ’round for a long time because he’s been working from home, just down the street.

After a year and a half of two projects he hated, except for the one where he could work from home in his boxers, despite the job being BORING, he gets to fly to NYC every Sunday night and come home every Thursday night and be kickin’ around for the weekend.

The best of both worlds.

I get him part time now instead of full time.

You can bet your bottom dollar I will be going to visit. He’ll get his bearings and then he’ll stay for a weekend instead of coming home and I’ll go and we’ll do the city.

We’ve been planning.

I will go when the weather gets cooler.

Summer in NYC…is cause for a stink. I imagine the city is stinkier and I imagine I would be stinkier.

I’d like to go stand in front of “The Today Show”, smelling nice, and be “found”…for what? I have no idea. I just want someone to “find” me, so I can get myself a heated barn to paint in.

And not worry so much about the cash flow.

Hmmm, what would make them “find” me? Maybe for my mouth. Maybe for the new haircut I plan on getting soon. Maybe they will say “she must have some good art, let’s buy it all and have a show at the museum.”

Or not.

Maybe someone could just come by, find me and hand me a wad of lots of cash and then be on their way.

Yeah, that is the best scenario.

D and I decided long ago I would go visit and stay with him at his “free place”. Especially when I confirmed with him that I was comfortable staying in the same hotel room with him, because he was safe.

Gay is safe, for a girl to stay with a guy.

I like safe.

He laughed and then I was worried I’d offended him. And his response was “well, it’s true!”

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Do we need to call the…

Red (age seven, sounds like age 3 on Mondays) had been having a difficult morning, crying as if she were stabbed by a villain. Screaming at her sister over a red marker when we were coloring. Throwing herself to the floor because she couldn’t get her water bottle open.

I got her settled in her room for some alone time with a timer. An hour seems to be just long enough. And often the girls choose to stay alone in their room for longer because they realize the need and want the time alone. This time, she voluntarily stayed in her room for an hour and a half. She even reset the timer herself. Kids sometimes know better what they need.

Blue, on the other hand, appeared to be completely stable today. She calmly had colored, cut fabric, eaten her lunch, flushed the toilet, without a big scene.

While Red was in her room, Blue turned to me and said “Mommy, I am not fussy today, do you know why?”

Me: I am really grateful, thank you, Blue. Why is that?

Blue: Because I did it all at Daddy’s last night! I even had a time out!

Me: So, you got it out of your system, I see.

Blue: Yip!

Today I felt like my head was going to blow off because trying to be firm, yet sensitive, was a challenge. Especially when the air outside was remotely familiar to mid-summer humidity on the Mississippi River and my pits were sweating, my legs were chafing and I had intense cravings for things that I don’t have in my cupboards. In particular, really really good lemonade.

While we were at a “spy themed” birthday party up the road for some twins we know, a storm rolled through. Something blew through here mid-day and the humidity dropped and the cool breeze that I remember from the last three summers since I moved here, has come through.

And the little ones in the house are calm now and I wonder if it is because they have hit a wall or if it is from the relief of the heat and humidity. They have a good time running through the house and wiping the windowsills after a storm. And the coolness settles them down. As it does for me.

Shortly before bed, there was a small discussion I overheard between the two.

Red: I need to find my Barbie, the one with the earrings. YOU know, where is it?

And then she started to cry. And then she cried louder. And then she started yelling at Blue “where is it, where is it, oh my, where is it! My “earring-ed” Barbie is gone!”

And Blue said in a calm voice, “I’m not sure, did you look under your covers?”

Red continued to cry and fuss and whine and scream.

Blue responds: Do we need to call the “waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa-mbulance?”

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