Home sweet home

July 27, 2012

I have fond memories of my childhood. Growing up in the flat land of North Dakota meant grass huts for building forts, sunsets that painted the sky every color of the rainbow, and enough snow to build a two bedroom, one bath house with a view. (of the fence) Ah,  snow. Even though it’s summer and I haven’t actually attempted to eat snow in at least 25 years, I still remember how it tastes, like earthy ice fluff that disappears on your tongue. And I remember how it feels to lay in  cushion of snow, breathing in the crisp winter air, and feeling . . . safe. And then I remember football games in the fall, with leaves crunching under foot, shivering in a sweater, (because as long as winter jackets weren’t worn, it wasn’t winter yet) and sipping on hot cocoa while checking out the boys. 

Ahem, cheering on the home team!

As these memories come flooding back I can’t help but wonder if I am cheating my children of the same childhood. Will they appreciate a thousand acres of prairie grass? They certainly have never tasted snow.  And while I was shivering in sweaters, my children know of a different “fall” where mercury sits above 100 for days on end. Will they appreciate the reasons I left the place I hold so dear? Or do I hold memories in such a fond place because I am no longer a part of it? Adolescence reemerges, where do I belong???

*to be continued . . .

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23 days and now goodbye

July 18, 2012

lines running through Mind’s eye
belly bubbling over In smiles
and now theSe  lines
cyCle  through my mind,
“birth to deAth or death to birth?”

a miRacle of birth is met with
teaRs that drip from cheeks
like beads of mornIng dew
and cries thAt
rinG the sound
of lifE

and death
is met with
tears of mourning
a constant drip that’s never fixed
but echoes on,
death to birth

loved as much
but never met,
my angel number 2.

Some people’s parents!

July 15, 2012

I would like to preface this with the fact that I by no means consider myself to be “the perfect” parent. Far from it. In fact, at least once a day I have what I like to call a WTF moment, where I have absolutely no idea how to react/discipline/comfort my child. I think I spent the first few weeks of my parenting life phoning my mom with, “what do I do now?” Eventually, I came to the realization that sometimes I just have to figure it out on my own. And so, I respect that every parent does things a little differently. Being a parent is hard work, by all means do what you gotta do.

That said, what is the deal with child leashes? I get the desire to be attached to your child in a large group. I mean, it must bring comfort to know that anyone’s plans to snatch up your child will be foiled when they see the furry little lion backpack and follow the lion’s tail straight to your own black belted hand. I get that. I’ve even thought to myself on occasion, when my daughter’s independent spirit refuses to hold hands crossing a crowded street, and I am forced to grab her wrist while she is screaming bloody murder and apologetically smile at every passerby who must surely think I’m abusing her. . .that maybe, just maybe, one of those leashy things would come in handy. And then the thought quickly dissipates as the more normal side of my brain regroups and says, that’s ridiculous.

The thing is, children need to be taught things. You know, like, crossing the street is dangerous, so until you’re big enough, you should hold my hand while doing so. And, strangers can be dangerous, some even might try to take you from mommy and daddy. So when we’re in a crowd it’s really important that you don’t wander off. Because, let’s be honest here, what are you really teaching your child by putting them on a leash? I can’t think of any good life lessons. Unless you’re perversely training them to become a sex slave. Too far? Probably. But I just DON’T see the benefits here.

My sister told me the other day she went for a walk on the trails behind her house and she saw the kid leash being most absurdly used by a mom walking with her 5 year old and her dog. This is ridiculous for a multitude of reasons. First, the walking trail is very sparsely populated at any given time. In all of the times I have pitter pattered my little feet on this path it would be generous to say that I’ve encountered a handful of people. Is this parent so paranoid of a kidnapper she thinks they will jump out of the bushes? And let’s say that did happen, and she was preparing herself for said situation, what about a little old fashioned mace and a cell phone? Furthermore, it’s not like this is a trail in the middle of timbuktu, it is literally weaving through residential backyards, parks, and businesses. It’s hardly a menacing place for children and their parents. Oh, did I mention she had her dog with her? And that it was a big ol’ German Shepard of a dog?? And that HE was NOT on a leash??? So by her logic, for some reason, the dog listened better to her than her own child and she couldn’t trust that her child wouldn’t bite other small children. Makes sense. I digress.

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Everyone has had them, those moments where all rational thoughts give way to our inner devilish voice tempting us with chocolate orgasims and promises of never ending warm and fuzzies. Here are my top 5 weaknesses:

1. My mom’s chocolate chip cookies

Maybe you’ve said, “my mom makes the best chocolate chip cookies,” BUT, that is because you haven’t tried my mom’s cookies. They are out of this world delish. I’ve been known to hide a few in the freezer as a secret stash for myself. Try as we may, none of her children have been able to duplicate their salivating deliciousness. She does something magic in the mix. Buttery brown and crisp on the outside, yet chewy on the inside, and LOTS of ooey, gooey chocolate chips that melt in your mouth the moment they hit your lips. Words cannot describe the heavenly taste. That’s all I can say about that.

2. My baby boy’s pleas for m&m’s

He is only one, I know. He shouldn’t be feasting on sugary treats, I know. But when his eyes are fixed on the bowl, and his baby stubs are kicking in anticipation, and his teeny tiny finger is pointing so earnestly, and those chubby cheeks are begging for just one little piece, I can’t say no.

3. Baby shows

You guys, I have an addiction to these shows! I obviously missed my calling in life to be an OBGYN. Giving birth has been he most painful and rewarding thing I have done in my life. I just can’t peel my eyes away from these other women, who made the decision to say, “welcome, cameras, come watch me wallow in pain for hours and push a thing the size of a watermelon through a hole the size of a golf pin. Enjoy!” Popcorn, anyone?

4. Rancho Food

If you ever go to San Diego, please try this place. It’s just off sunset cliffs (another must do) and it serves the BEST mexican I had ever had. I crave this food so often I’ve considered driving the 60+ minutes to eat here. It is that good.

5. Listening to my children laugh

There is no sound more soothing than the happiness of my children. They don’t get away with staying up past their bedtime often, but that said, I have a hard time putting them to bed when they are rolling around on the floor in fits of giggles. It is moments like these I wish I had a pause button on life.

Jackson 2007-2012

July 3, 2012

About 5 years ago, my husband and I had recently moved into a new apartment in San Elijo. Since we weren’t having any luck in our procreation efforts, we decided to get another cat. It made perfect sense: getting a buddy for our high energy cat, Peta, would keep him out of trouble while we were away from home, right? (insert naive comment here)

We named him Jackson. He fell in brotherly love with Peta immediately, and while it took a bit longer for Peta to get used to him, before long we caught them snuggling together during their afternoons naps, waking each other up with caring licks of their sandpaper tongues, and most certainly conspiring with each other over their next attack on the new toilet paper roll in the spare bathroom while we weren’t looking. They became partners in crime in the never ending cycle of tearing the house apart, (making us curse our decision to ever provide a roof over their heads) napping, and then forcing us to forgive them with their precious purrs and kitty snuggles.

This parternship continued on throughOut our big move to our new house in Temecula, and the biggest change in our lives, our children. Their conspirascies evolved from dismantling the toilet paper roll to hunting lizards, mice, and grasshoppers. As for the new additions to our home, we were pleasantly surprised. While Peta was sweet enough to tolerate cuddling from Gwen as a newborn, it was Jackson who truely amazed us with his sudden patient nature for Toby. On a few occasions, I had been on the recieving end of Jackson’s unpredictable vicious attacks. He held nothing back, not like Peta who would give a gentle “warning” bite, Jackson would attack full force, with rabbit kicks and a full on death grip. But with Toby he was different. While Gwen generally steered clear of the cats, Toby was attracked to the cats as if they were the soft fluffy blankets he had been searching for all morning to take to his nap. He would tackle Jackson on all fours, roll on him with his fur held tightly between his tiny fists, sit on him, and in between rest his head on him as if he was a pillow. Throughout it all, Jackson would purr.

This is what I miss most about Jackson. How sweet and gentle he became with our Toby. Last Tuesday night, he went to kitty heaven. Your life was short, but you were loved Jackson. Your family misses you. Rest in peace.

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