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Archive for the ‘Blue’ Category

A walk

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When your Kindergartner doesn’t have school because the preschoolers have orientation in the Kindergarten, it kind of throws you off balance. (at least, it did for me).

Blue had Monday off.

Red was pissed because she had to go to school.

I almost let her have the day off too, but a) she was being a little bitchy/entitled about the whole thing and b) she had a big presentation to get ready for on Tuesday (I know, I do recognize that she is only 8, but still, Fablefest was on Tuesday…more on that another time).

So, I took Blue for a walk on the nice day we had on Monday.

And at first she whined.

And I was thinking, “SHIT, the girl gets the day off and she’s whining about taking a walk to the river.”

But then I pulled out the camera (I know, I am brilliant) and handed it to her.

Thankfully the battery was charged and I had emptied the card, so she had 675 photos she could take. (she took about 150).

Here are some, including running into a friend who frequents the piano bar and a dog he was borrowing from a friend to take on his walk.

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Residency

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J’s an official resident of Massachusetts. His license and plates say so.

His mail is coming to my house and we made a place in the kitchen for me to put his stuff as it comes in. I already know he is one of those guys who opens his mail on a monthly basis. Good thing all his bills are on automatic payment!

He set up his keyboard and all this stuff I am not sure I can identify but it is electronic and relates to his microphone and drum machine and there’s all these equalizer things…the best thing is that last night we spent about an hour with the girls, who sang into the microphone and played the keyboard and could hear themselves on a more “professional” level. It was priceless. Red is actually figuring out how the drum machine works. She is ahead of J, who is still reading the manual. (some of the gigs overseas actually require drum machines so he is working it out, even though I think they are stupid).

He’s spent a larger part of the morning today working up in his “studio” which has ended up working out great. Mine is downstairs and after I ran some errands and hung a painting in a local gallery (YES! I DID! SO EXCITED!) I have spent the morning here in my studio finishing a painting for a big show next week. 

It all feels very normal. He just left to get his bike repaired and have the inspection done on his car by the insurance folks, so I am here working and we’ll meet up again for lunch. 

I’ve been caught up in my studio here so much that while I had my Adele album playing, it took me 30 minutes to realize I had accidently hit the “repeat song” button on itunes and have been listening to the same song for a half hour. 

Doh.

Still, weeks after J’s return, I look over at him often and go, “It’s SO great you are here!”

It’s gotten to a point now that he rolls his eyes at me when I say it. 

Last night was portfolio night at the school. It means that the classrooms are open and we sit with our child and go through these massive notebooks of the year’s worth of work. It’s awesome and now requires their dad and I to split our time between each classroom. He spent half in Red’s class and I spend half in Blue’s, and then we swap half way through. 

Last week, the girls invited J.

So, I called their dad and just gave him a heads up and he goes, “that’s great, the girls already told me.”

So I hoped it was genuine and at least he could put on a good fake face, even if he wasn’t liking it.

It went beautifully. The two men shook hands and we did our stuff, and even if it was horrible inside for either one of them, the girls saw something good. J stepped back and neither man tried to prove anything. It was all about the kids.

I so empathize with him though, the feeling of the girls coming home with J and me at the end of the night, while he drives back towards Boston without them.  

Granted, today, they go back to him for the weekend.

When they are gone, we sometimes take an evening walk.

See how gorgeous it is here?

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I’m not really sure how things are going with the kids other than that they seem to be adjusting pretty well. Red’s hand washing has gotten alot better. She still pulls some quirky things, like not wanting to touch a library book after her bath, or open the car door. She has stopped washing her hands every ten minutes and has not woken me up in the middle of the night either (to wash her hands).

I know that deep inside, Red  must have some sort of deep 8 year old conflict between loyalty towards her dad and loyalty for J. She adores them both and I only hope she never feels guilt for enjoying the man who now lives with us.  I suspect that some of the extreme behavior lately has stemmed from J’s return and the slight changes. Even if they are good, I know it causes some anxiety, just because it is “change”.

Fortunately, we talk alot. There is alot of nurturing going on between all of us and J is so great to not make a major slam into the household. He’s spent some of the last two weeks up north cleaning out his apartment and getting affairs in order after being gone for six months. So it has given the girls some time with him here, but also still, with me, alone…with him gone.

I am grateful that he kept his Monday night gig that is two hours north. He is happy to be visiting with his mom and sister and her family, make extra money, as well as give us some balance back here with the girls. It’s a way to ease into things here.

In terms of changes, they are small-ish, other than the big one, where the man is home. He has clothes here and music equiptment and brought his new dvd player to replace our crappy one. But other than the keyboard in my bedroom and the duct tape chair, no changes have been made in the house.

Except that J is here most of the week. Which apparently, she loves. I see no weirdness when they are together. It is AWESOME.

And as for Blue, she just goes with the flow. 

I’ve been cranking through projects with J being gone right now up North. I finished my last commission that came in since my last show. It’s up at the top of the post here.  I am nearly done with the thirteen (random number) paintings that go up in a large group show in three weeks. I’m finally getting homeowner’s insurance on Thursday. I’ve got lists and lists of things to do for and with J, here around the house.

But here I sit browsing Hulu.com.

And I am in awe at all that is on there.

Who knew that you can watch Silver Spoons on the internet? And The Partridge Family?

Anyway, I am jumping around here, and am going right into conversations we had in our household this past week:

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Red: (to me) Mommy, when I grow up will I have medium sized boobies like you?

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Blue: (upon learning that I was getting my hair cut) You should make it long so you can braid it like Laura Ingalls Wilder. That way you can never grow up, like her.

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Red: (screaming) I NEED TO WASH MY HANDS! Apparently, the 2nd grade teacher made an announcement in class about Swine Flu.  Unfortunately, someone also told her that a baby died. Over the course of the last few weeks, she has become completely compulsive about washing her hands and being clean. So badly that I am considering taking her to the doctor who can explain to her about antibodies and how Swine Flu is not gonna be touching her if she waits more than ten minutes to wash her hands.  It got so bad last week, she woke me up at 4am to wash her hands. She wont touch things like her clothes or doors or even her stuffed animals unless she washes her hands after. This is a big problem and I learned she isnt doing it at school and I decided it will likely go away by the time school is out and we we are at the beach every day rolling around in seaweed and sand and catching sealife in the nets. Until then, I am ignoring it and not responding or giving it attention because it seems to bring the anxiety level up in her. It is so so sad to see. I realize my anxiety over her behavior is making her more stressed out. So I have to cool it. (update, this appears to be resolved!)

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Me: I’m a rockin’ girlfriend, aren’t I?

J: Yes, you are. 

Me: I’m a rockin’ girlfriend because I bought you some lube to take with you on your trip this winter.

J: (laughing) Yes, you did.

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…that my man has no problem sleeping in a very girlie bed.

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…that my kids are the ones who pointed it out.

…that eventually my girls will just go to bed when I tell them to. Not three callbacks later and two visits down the stairs.

…that I am ready for the kids to be out of school so we have more quality time together and not rushed after school activities, homework and dinner.

…that I will be ready for school to start again in the Fall.

I realize that when I want a grilled cheese sandwich, I should just have one.

Same goes for chocolate. Speaking of…I bought J some malt balls at the market today and before he got home, I ate them.

Tomorrow J will be an official resident of Massachusetts. He’s finalizing his car insurance, registering his car and getting new plates and changing his driver’s license.

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I am so…so…so…

OH SHIT WHAT HAVE I GOTTEN MYSELF INTO?!?!?!?

Just kidding.

I am so so so ecstatic, I don’t even know what or how to write right now.

In an email to a friend yesterday, I said, “It’s like he was just here, although then I remember the length of time he was away and how hard it was, and now hold him tighter and look at him longer.”

We kept waking up the first night and grinning at each other. I think at some point, I may have even said something stupid and obvious like, “you’re here!”

The girls are excited and are way overtired from staying up until 9pm every night, unable to sleep because he is in the house again. I know it will settle down, and I also need to train him not to go back up to check on them “one more time”…because as I learned a long time ago, you say your final goodnight, leave the room, and pray they go right to sleep.

He starts his gig down the road on Saturday night and I can’t wait to be there. Having him gig just down the road, in the old original venue of “us” is like a dream.

As I write this, he is up north packing his apartment up and pulled his car out of winter storage. I drove him up there today and had lunch with his family and then drove home, leaving him to his “stuff” while I come home and get some work done, so I am ready for his return on Friday.

On Monday, after sweet reunion and sentimental conversation, I asked “So, what did you miss the most?”

He turned to me and looked deep  into my eyes and grinned. “Your boobs.”

After my stoic response (which was a solemn/fake stare), he goes,”Oh, well, your cooking too. I definitely missed your cooking.”

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Saying Goodbye

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I was driving to the post office and bank one day, running errands and found myself pouring M&Ms into my mouth from a 21 oz bag. It’s not that I overeat, but I find sustinance in M&Ms for breakfast some days. Sometimes it is just a pot of coffee. Sometimes yogurt and fruit. Eating chocolate for breakfast is often a sign of being off balance.

That was about six months ago and J had just left for the island gigs. I was so so so sad, sadder than I let on. I got used to it, in a sad and lonely sort of numbing way. With trips and visits to look forward to, I kept plugging away at things. 

In the very beginning of our relationship, J was local half of the time. He was here for four days and then up north for the rest of the week. Knowing he was coming back each week for a few days at a time had been a luxury for me, but the season here was ending for him so we made our time together as we could.

So, today, I was thinking about how all our lives, we are saying goodbye.

We say goodbye, as often as we say hello.

I said goodbye when school ended every year for the summer. I said goodbye to my beach friends when I went back to school in the Fall. I said goodbye to to folks when I graduated highschool and moved to the midwest. Likewise for the end of college. I’ve said goodbye to my parents when I left home, for any period of time (but gladly happy to escape into a world of adulthood and independence). I’ve said goodbye to boyfriends, some gladly, and some sadly.I never said goodbye to the girls’ dad, because, well, I just can’t be rid of him, since he is still their dad.

I’ve crossed paths with great people who’s lives haven’t aligned with mine, where the significance of separating was greater than if we’d actually known each other better, longer.

I said goodbye to my grandparents who no longer grace this world with their sweet smiles, and some friends, who died too young or tragically or peacefully.

I say goodbye to my children, often enough and what seems like too much, when they leave to go to their father’s house. 

In fact, I say goodbye when I take them to school every morning. One stands at my side until the bell rings and prolongs her farewell. The other gives a little air kiss and runs off to see her friends.

Sending J off for his whirlwind of gigs felt more like a “see you later,” because for once, I felt pretty darn secure with someone leaving. Don’t get me wrong, though, I’ve had my moments. When it felt like he’d never be home. But I knew he would be. And deep down (and way out in front) I knew he wanted to be back home with me, with us.

I was talking to my friend D early on in J’s departure, and he said to me, quite clearly, “isn’t it better to be with someone who you trust and feel secure with, even if they go away, than feel unsafe and distrustful with someone who is near?” And he ended with “Use that time for yourself.”

And by golly, I did.

My friend, Jen, emailed me months ago, after I had a little email “freakout” (to her) about him being gone. One of those “I have no idea what will happen and suddenly I am thinking about this too hard.”

And my brilliant friend said this: 

“Oh sister, you are kinda having a meltdown on the this subject–that sucks and I know it feels scary and crappy and all that stuff mixed up.  It’s tough when you start out a relationship with someone who already has his life planned out (at least for the next several months) you want him to be able to drop everything and just poof! be with you and relocate and all that good stuff. I have a quote in my office shelf that I think about often. My minister once said to me, “God’s delays are not god’s denials.”  When things don’t work out the way we want them to, the moment we want them to, we doubt ourselves, our partner and the whole she-bang. But as tough as this next several months may be, you will blossom and grow in new ways as a person, a mom and a partner. There is plenty of wonderful time when the two of you will be together. Just try and be patient.”

And then she ended with, “Love is like water, it flows where it’s needed. He needs you and loves you and rest assured that all is well.”

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On Mama’s Day, I woke up at 6am and gathered my clothes and started to sneak out my bedroom door. You see, I’ve been training the girls to not leave their room until the first number on the clock read “7”.

So, it being 6, I figured I could get a shower, have some coffee, and maybe get some work done in my studio before the girls came down to start the day.

But then I realized their bedroom door was open and their room was empty. I heard voices downstairs in the kitchen and thought “I’M SUPPOSED TO STILL BE ASLEEP!” and I dove back into bed.

I browsed the internet on my iphone under the covers until I heard the girls coming back upstairs. Sure enough, they plowed into my room yelling “HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!!!!”  

Red carried the largest tray I own (which is twice the size of a normal tray) filled with yesterday’s coffee cake, water, juice, straws, and a very full bowl of milk with what seemed to be half a box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal.  Apparently, that had been sitting around for a few minutes…or perhaps twenty.

Soggy cereal. Mmmmmhmmmm. Oh, what we’ll do for our kids. (even gag down soaked cereal)

They were beaming and I was thrilled at their independence (and more thrilled when I went downstairs later to find that the entire kitchen was clean!) and the joy they took in celebrating a day for their mum.  We spent an hour reading and talking and snuggling in my bed. 

I am truly blessed by these little ones. No matter how big they get, they will always be the little ones.

Soon, they were off to play in their room and I went downstairs to shower and have my coffee. 

They took off for Sunday School with my mother (because I refuse to step into church, but they like to go sometimes) and J and I had a coffee date on Skype.

Then I went to the market and with the needed groceries, stocked up on candy bars for the day. A Twix. 1000 Grand. A mongo Peppermint Patty.

I called my stepmom.

I swept the kitchen floor.

The girls came home and my mom came in and I gave her the gift my sister and I had for her…she hung out for a while (refused to go out to Mother’s Day brunch, because as usual, she is on a diet and “isn’t eating anything”) 

The girls and I went outside and rode scooters and jump roped (they did, I sat on my ass on the stoop).

Their dad came at 3 to pick them up for their Sunday night overnight. He gave me a portrait of the girls in a frame.  

I ate chili con queso and guacamole with chips. I got heartburn. Happy Mother’s Day to me!!!!

I did some work.

J called as it was getting dark here and he was in bed, since he’s six hours ahead.

We talked about how in a week he’ll be on a plane home.

And then we just sat there and looked at each other.

“Show me your dimples,” I said.

The next thing I knew, he’d moved his computer so that the video cam was pointing directly as his bare chest.

“Show me your DIMPLES!” I repeated.

His face appeared on screen again and he smiled, showing his dimples.

And then he laughed, “I thought you said “nipples”!

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