Breakfast: The Most Important Meal of the Day

July 29, 2009 at 1:57 pm (Uncategorized)

Important?  Definitely.  I mean the USDA wouldn’t steer us wrong.  But breakfast here drives me nothing short of nuts.    These girls will beg and plead for what it is they decide they want for breakfast.  I’ll painstakingly prepare what it is that they request and place it lovingly in front of them only to have them eat two bites.  And then declare themselves done.  And honestly that wouldn’t bother me.  I mean, I don’t like the wasted food, but I won’t force them to eat anything.   It’s the constant requests/demands/whining for snacks that starts about an hour after they’ve turned their noses up at whatever was placed on the breakfast table.  

I really don’t think the issue is that they’re not hungry in the morning.  I think that they just like the idea of snacks.  I have been trying, with lousy results, to get them to understand that our day is not just an uninterrupted stream of snacks.  I know they’re hungry.  They have to be.  They only ate 2 bites for breakfast.  But I’m done.  I’m done with snacks.  You don’t finish breakfast, you don’t get snacks.  

This morning though? Almost broke me.  It was almost comical.  Well, maybe only in hindsight.  I had both girls following me around the house, begging for food for almost 30 minutes.  Literally 2 steps from my ankles.  Almost whining in unison.  While I was on the phone.  I almost dug their eggs out of the trash and served them on a platter.  
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Family Date Nights. Hot or not?

July 27, 2009 at 5:00 pm (Uncategorized)

Ladies and Gentlemen, I think we’ve hit an all time low.  The last time Todd and I had a date night might have been way back in February when we went to San Francisco.  We were a bit desperate for one.  So on Saturday night, we packed the girls up and took them with us.  Yeah.  I know.  Totally defeats the purpose.  But desperate times call for desperate measures.  

All in all, the drive-in isn’t a bad place for a date night that you have to drag children too.  We saw the new Harry Potter.  And aside from the slightly-more-than-sporadic interruptions from the peanut gallery requesting more popcorn, it was fairly successful.  There was only a 10 minute screaming fit, complements of Ladybug, that required the rolling up of windows.  Both girls did even fall asleep, eventually.   Although Sunshine has recounted for me the entire scene where the Weasley’s house burns.  Oops.  
I would love the chance to actually go out.  With my husband.  Without my children.  But frankly, neither of us can stand to shell out $15/hour for a sitter.  We’d rather pack them up and pray they fall asleep before the movie starts and save the sitter money to pay for things like food and electricity.  
I’ve tried to float the idea of a co-op with the other parents in our neighborhood.  Nobody really seems interested.  Of course they don’t know what Sunshine can do with a bottle of diluted vinegar.  Perhaps that might sweeten the deal.  Watch my kids for a few hours, and she’ll clean every mirror, window, and baseboard in your house.  That wouldn’t violate child labor laws.  Would it? 

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Off the Beaten Path

July 26, 2009 at 4:07 pm (Uncategorized)

We love hiking.  Ever since college really.  I remember my first time visiting the Devil’s Marbleyard in Virginia.  Gosh, that was years ago.  I actually think that was also the site of my first anxiety attack.  Halfway up, and all I could picture was us falling to the bottom.  But that didn’t stop us.  Well, we did start choosing hikes with lower elevations.  

We found Edwin Warner in Nashville.  It was only 3 minutes from our apartment, and it was perfect.  First it was just the two of us.  And truthfully, now I can’t even remember what it was like when it was just the two of us.  We added our dog, Macy, in short order.  This tiny puppy who wouldn’t come near us at the SPCA, wouldn’t stray farther away then the back of our heels at Edwin Warner.  Well, at least for the first six months.  After that we barely saw her on our hikes.  Every now and again we’d see a black streak fly across the ridge in search of squirrels.  
After the arrival of our oldest daughter, our hiking stopped.  Just didn’t seem feasible to carry everything that was required to sustain our tiny daughter, our dog, and ourselves.  Now that Ladybug is capable of doing a nice 2-2.5 mile hike, we’ve started back up again.  
And let me tell you, we’ve learned a lot since we’ve started hiking with the girls.  First? Grunters.  You know those people at the gym who grunt impossibly loudly when lifting weights or hitting a squash ball?  Well, they’re born that way.  And we know that because Ladybug is a grunter.  Every rock or step that she climbs is accompanied by the loudest grunt.  She just can’t help it.  And I feel for her a little, she’ll probably be glared at by tons of gym goers when she’s grown up.  Second? I squeal like a little girl when bugs fly into my ear.  Yes, that’s right.  And then the girls will spend the next hour repeating it, and any chance we have of spotting wildlife is gone.  But when they’re super quiet, and they certainly were today, we catch glimpses like this… 

By the way, nursing mothers are everywhere!

Third?  We move at two different speeds, the girls and I.  Especially when hiking.  The girls?  They meander.  Every ant, rock, grain of sand, and leaf is worthy of their undivided attention.  And truly?  That’s the way it should be.  I have to fight my inner need to walk at warp speed like I’m shopping on Black Friday.  And anyone who knows my mother and Black Friday knows what I’m talking about.  
Our hikes are different now.  Less hand holding with my husband.  More hand holding with our children.  Less talk about our future.  More talk about peeing in the woods, and why it’s only done in an absolute emergency.  Ladybug has this strange idea that it’s the absolute best place to pee.  Although Sunshine did steer the conversation today towards her fervent desire for a baby brother.  Ha!  Not exactly something you put on a birthday list, kid.  

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525,600 Minutes

July 22, 2009 at 2:53 pm (Uncategorized)

We moved back to Atlanta just a little over a year ago.  And since then, I’ve been thinking a lot about this past year.  I know I keep harping on it.  Maybe I just don’t know how to let go.  Tumultuous.  I guess that’s my best description for it.  We’ve been though so many changes.  So how exactly do I measure this year?

In the miles traveled to reach home? 
In the number of phone calls to my sisters? (Thank God we have the same cell phone provider.)
In the number of friends we made and reconnected with?
In the number of times I’ve yelled at my girls?  (Far too many.)
In the number of times those girls have made my heart melt?  
In the phone calls to my husband, praying that his day was going well?
In the smiles that I now see on his face since leaving that hell hole of a law firm?
In the number of tomato plants I have killed this year? (Just too damn hot on that porch.)
In the number of tantrums my kids have thrown in public?
In pots of tea?  (Hot Cinnamon Spice only, please.)
In the number of books I’ve read?
In the number of times I’ve reread my favorites?
In blog entries?  (Ha.  Not these last few months.)
Perhaps the better question would be how does this last year measure me?  I’m a little scared to ask that question.  Part of me thinks that I’ve spent quite a bit of time pretending to be a zombie.  I’m not sure anyone would notice.  I think I fake it quite well.  Maybe not these last few months though.  
But I swear.  This is the end.  I’m done taking stock of this past year.  This is the last whining post I’ll write.  At least for a while.  

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Dear Mr. Grocery Store Bagger

July 8, 2009 at 9:16 pm (Uncategorized)

Yes.  I am the first to admit it.  I am anal retentive.  If you see that I have painstakingly separated out my groceries according to their temperature requirements on the conveyer belt, you can assume that I expect you to bag them accordingly.  Come on.  All of my freezer things are together.  How hard is it to put all of them in the same bag?  Instead I find that I have one freezer item, one refrigerated item, and three pantry items per bag.  And what’s really fun is finding cleaning products in the same bag as my milk.  Or even better.  Raw meat in the same bag as my fresh produce.  Are you kidding me?  And yes.  Every time you do it I will insist that you take the package of raw chicken out of the bag, return the grapes, and wait while I go pick out some more.  
Sincerely,
Your incredibly annoyed, and more than a little disgusted, Grocery Store Shopper
Ok.  Rant over.
***
We’d been doing so well.  The last time we had it was more than three years ago.  We’d grown complacent.  And then it hit us.  The stomach flu.  Again.  Sunshine came down with the symptoms last Thursday, Ladybug on Monday night.  It seemed to pass quickly.
And then Tuesday morning came.  By 5 am, I knew.  It was going to hit me.  I can’t even begin to explain how awful it is.  But taking care of two very active children while barely able to crawl off the couch?  Damn near close to impossible.  
I am embarrassed by the amount of television my children watched yesterday.  But frankly, it was the only way I could cope.  And believe me.  I paid for it dearly today.  They fully expected to be watching the television all day today too.  
The high point of my day was Todd coming home at lunch time to feed the girls.  Because I know I could not have done it.  He even made a fort for them to play in.  Which occupied them for about 10 minutes, until I realized that they’d brought the Maglite  into the tent to help them see.  Even in my half-conscious state I knew that wasn’t a good idea.  
My fever finally broke around midnight, and today I dealt with the aftermath.  Toys, crayons, books and blankets that were strewn everywhere have been cleaned up.  The stockpiles of gingerale, crackers and immodium have been replenished.  My fierce determination to never have to go through that again has been renewed.  
My one good memory about yesterday?  Sunshine sitting next to me, rubbing my head, telling me that it will be alright and that I’ll feel better soon.  She’s going to make such a great mom some day.

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