Thursday, April 28, 2011

Ten things I want to teach my daughter

For many years now I’ve been compiling a sort of mental list of the things I want to teach my children, things I feel are important, and I imagine that many, maybe most of you do something similar.  We all have our reasons for engaging in this possibly futile exercise, and today I decided to share mine, just in case you needed another example of my neuroses.
As you may already know, I’m a tiny bit into apocalyptic scenarios (one of my favorite movies is The Day After Tomorrow – no, not joking) and one of my biggest fears is dying, disappearing, getting stranded on a desert island… and not being there to see my kids grow up. So I started keeping journals for them; proper, hand-written journals. But, who am I kidding, they may not manage to glean the really salient information from all of my long-winded ramblings, or possibly by the time they’re grown the hand-written word will be so unfamiliar they won’t be able to make out what I wrote, so I decided to start a list of important things they need to know. This one is for The Girl:
  1. Cherish your brother – so you’ll always have family, even after we’re gone.
  2. Be nice, respectful and caring – it costs nothing and is worth millions.
  3. If your bum is cold, your skirt is too short.
  4. You never, ever need to do anything that makes you uncomfortable to prove your love.
  5. When you’re old enough you may drink, you may even get tipsy but don’t ever get all out drunk, it’s un-lady-like and you’ll regret it.
  6. If you’re unsure whether something you want to say is mean, don’t say it.
  7. If your underwear is uncomfortable you’ll have a miserable day.
  8. Do whatever you want with your life as long as it makes you genuinely happy.
  9. Sing and dance as much as you can, it’ll make you happy on the gloomiest of days.
  10. Childbirth is not as bad as everyone says, no matter how badly it hurts it’ll end soon enough and you get a baby out of it.
There you go, I’d like to do one once a month and I’ve decided to put up a linky, both to hold myself accountable and to make it more fun. So if anyone wants to participate write up your list of ten important things you want to teach your child or children and link up! I’ll be doing it the first day of every month, so it’s not too much of a hassle and we’ll see how it goes.
The previous list is just a test run and an example of what I mean, but feel free to write whatever you want whichever way you want (funny, heartfelt, ironic…) after all it’s for your children. I’ll be putting up the linky on Sunday, May 1st (need to figure out how to do it!). If you have any questions feel free to ask in the comments or email me moomser at gmail dot com. Hope to see you Sunday!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Virtual Coffee {7}


Happy Tuesday friends, I hope everyone had a lovely Easter. 
We got lucky this year, the weather was supposed to be rainy and dreary, which is how it started out, but then after lunch the sun came out and we got to spend a wonderful afternoon lounging in the sun.

So, if we were really having coffee today, I would tell you that the last week has been kind of difficult for me, I’ve been emotionally unstable for the past few days kind of like I have permanent PMS. Yes, lovely. I’m not really sure why, because except for the obvious “husband’s in the hospital” excuse nothing’s really happened and I’m assuming I’m too young to be premenopausal. One would hope.

I got really upset Thursday cause I thought my little brother was coming to visit and I’d been counting on some fun distractions, but he can’t and that depressed me more than is justified or normal. Luckily my older brother and his wife came to the rescue and spent a few days here, providing a nice breath of fresh air.
Of course, as soon as they left I promptly re-captured the whole woe is me state of mind and since I realistically can’t have someone here holding my hand for the husband’s entire recovery I’ve decided to get a leg up from a pill. So, if we were really having coffee today, I’d probably ask you if you’ve ever taken anything for anxiety/depression cause the idea of taking medication scares the bejeezus out of me, although becoming a weepy mess at the slightest provocation possibly scares me more.

If we were having coffee, I’d also tell you that the Girl has been sick and the list of possible illnesses we considered is impressive. I wonder why it is that when your kid is sick everyone has an opinion and they all differ completely. Anyway, I’m sticking to sixth disease (roseola) after all my opinion is the only one that counts, right?

I would also ask you how your Easter weekend was; do you have any fun family traditions I can steal? Ours are still in the making, though they do involve inordinate amounts of chocolate so we’re on the right track! Talking about chocolate I really miss Cadbury eggs. They don’t sell them here, why is a mystery far greater than my understanding. So if anyone wants to send me a box… just kidding, sort of. Let’s just say they wouldn’t be too good for my diet and leave it at that.
Oh, my diet you ask? Well let’s just say Easter and dieting don’t go well together, especially considering that my sister in law recently took a pizza making class and decided to teach me how to do it, amazing! And fun! And yummy! Though really an awful lot of work. In any case, recipe and pictures coming soon.

Now, tell me about your Easter? Did the Easter Bunny visit? Are you all chocolate-ed out?
Oh and don’t forget to hop on over to Amy’s for another cup!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

First Times

Since the day I found out I was pregnant I’ve been recording “first times”. I’m not overly zealous about it, I don’t, for example, recall the Boy’s first poop, or spit up, but I did make a mental, written and photographic note of all the main milestones. Up till now I’ve managed to be there with my kids for all (or most) of their first times, the few times I wasn’t there are permanently branded on my heart with an aura of regret. I missed the Boy’s first time crawling; I was at work, it was one of the reasons I decided to quit, that’s how bad I felt, and I wasn’t the first person to hold him when he was born (darned c-sections!). Apart from these two times I was always there, and I was always there for the girl’s firsts. I realize it may sound a little crazy (read anal) and probably many of you don’t feel the same, but being there, witnessing their small successes makes me feel good, complete, like I’m doing my job. But we can’t always control everything, can we?

I got home from the hospital Saturday and the Nanny was home alone with the Girl, my first hint of this was the completely alien silence in the house. As I wondered aloud as to the Boy’s whereabouts and did someone muzzle him perchance, the Nanny pipes up with a “you will never believe where he went”; you see, The Boy had gone to his first mass ever (not counting his baptism, but he mostly slept through that so it really doesn’t count). And I wasn’t there. Apparently the Nonni (paternal grandparents) decided to go to mass and the Boy insisted he be taken along. We had never taken him to mass, because we’re not church goers and we were waiting for the Boy to get a little older so we could explain stuff better. Turns out he’s plenty old enough to take an interest in that strange building in our main square and understand simple explanations as to the service.

I was a little upset (well, quite a bit upset, in fact) at first cause as I said I’m a control freak of epic proportions and I wanted to be there the first time the Boy went to Church. Again, I want to be there for all of his first times, but then I realized that I can’t be, can I? I won’t be there during his first day of real school, I won’t be there for his first crush, his first kiss (we can only hope), I won’t be there a lot, so who cares that I wasn’t there for his first mass… well, I kind of do.

Rationally, I realize that he’s going to be doing more things than I can count without me. Once they’re fully mobile we can’t expect to be together all the time, but rationality rules not the heart.

I must admit though that since I’m not even Catholic, attending his first mass with the only practicing Catholics in our immediate family was probably a smart move on the Boy’s part. This little thing made me realize that learning to let go of my children, even just a little bit, is going to be a very difficult thing for me no matter how clearly I understand the need for it.

I’m linking up today with Claire at The Grumpinator to her meme Random Acts of Kindness, because I think it’s an awesome idea that’s going to make me a much better person!
How on earth does this post relate, you ask, well, I didn’t yell at my in-laws for taking him to mass did I? That’s my random act of kindness this week. Next week I’ll do better, promise!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Virtual Coffee {6}


Hello friends and welcome to coffee. I’m actually having my protein shake breakfast today cause the kiddos, grandma and I are off to the beach for the day. Jealous much? 
(Ok, I admit it, I watched Cougar Town last night, just in case you got that reference.)

Grandma has an apartment at the seaside not too far from where we live that needs renovating and the husband has been hinting that he wants to be able to go there in September. As his every wish is now my (our) command, and Italian builders are notoriously slow and relaxed when it comes to getting the job done we’ve decided to hop to it. I, of course, am envisioning a wonderful winter of seaside weekend breaks when the snow gets too much to handle. And who says we’re not lucky, right!

So, if we were really having coffee today, we would probably spend a good amount of time staring at the Ikea catalogue and fantasizing about how we’d furnish the apartment.
When that got boring we would probably talk about our kids, cause, I honestly need some levity in my life plus what else do we ever talk about anyway, right? And I would tell you that yesterday I went in to cover them at naptime (I can only do this once they are asleep) and I spent a fair few minutes watching them sleep. Isn’t it the absolutely most peaceful sight in the whole entire universe?  The boy sleeps all rolled up like an inverted comma and the girl sleeps on her front, knees tucked under her chest, bottom up. Seriously, my kids are the cutest kids ever. No, really, MINE are!

Ok, short coffee today, as I have to go pack the car. I’m bringing three bags; we’re going for a little over half a day. I seriously can’t wait for the days when I will be able to go further than a few miles from my house without having to pack for four hours simply to survive.

Monday, April 18, 2011

First week down

Last Sunday was a very depressing day, this Sunday was much better, we’re adjusting. I can’t say it was fun and carefree, per say, but at least the black cloud hovering above our heads is a much friendlier grey.
The husband finished chemo Saturday and today he’s having the transplant and then we wait. We wait, and hope and pray (and do a little fortune dance) that everything works out and that his immune system kicks in to fight the leukemia swiftly and definitively.
It’s amazing to me how people adjust to whatever situation. I always wondered how people dealt with things like wars and disasters, my dad (who was a young man during WWII) said to me once that you adjust because that becomes your reality. It’s sad, but simple. I’m not comparing our situation to a war, or a terrible natural or man-made disaster (just think of the recent ones) but if people can adjust to such terrible ordeals they can definitely adjust to tiny, small-scale personal “disasters”. We’ve adjusted, it has become our reality and that’s how we get through it.
Of course, I can’t wait for this to no longer be our reality and for the husband to get home and be well so we can move on, but it’s not as bad as I thought. The kids are getting used to talking to him on the computer (the Girl even kisses the screen to say bye), I’m getting used to this temporary single-parenthood (hat tipped to actual single parents, by the way), the sun is shining and everything is looking up.

Now, for actual news of the husband: he’s getting the first transplant today, it’s like a blood transfusion with the original donor’s cells, so it’s almost like an autologous bone marrow transplant, meaning it’s easier to handle.  Then we have to wait for him to start feeling the effects of the chemo, which will make him feel really bad for a few days (hopefully not weeks), and then we wait for his blood counts to go up. He should be allowed to come home once his white blood cells are at around 1500 (normal is 4000) so he has at least some immunity to be able to leave the sterile room.
This is what we know for now, the rest they’ll tell us as we go along. Most of what they’re doing is experimental at this point cause of how soon the cancer came back. I was going to start that last sentence with “unfortunately”, but in keeping with my new more positive attitude I should have started it with “fortunately” since we’re lucky to live near a hospital that can and is willing to try experimental treatment in this case.

Wow, I started out thinking this was going to be a really short, quick update post, and I’ve been rambling on forever. Brevity is not my thing lately. Ok, I’ll shut up now, see you tomorrow for virtual coffee!

Friday, April 15, 2011

No woman no cry

The original title of this post was “Heartbreak, a little piece at a time” but then I went and got inspired by the king of reggae of all people. This post has been a weeklong work in progress, so if it sounds fragmented, well, it’s because it is. Let’s just say it reflects how my feelings have evolved throughout the week.

My chest hurts. It physically hurts though there is no physical reason for it. My sternum feels like it’s been whacked repeatedly, it feels bruised; it hurts at the slightest touch. I debated with myself long and hard about whether I wanted to write this post or not, it’s almost too personal for my personal blog, but at the same time the reason why I started blogging was to have a place where I could write what I couldn’t say out loud. That’s why I don’t use our names… but then I went and told everyone I know about it and now I find myself wondering whether I can talk about whatever I want or not cause I’m not just communicating with strangers, I’m also communicating with friends and family. The conclusion I came to was that I’m thirty five years old and I need to be able to communicate what I need to communicate without having to worry about anybody’s opinion, or judgment. It just means that my friends and my family may find out something new about me, because at the end of the day, those people who judge will judge me whether I speak my mind or not, so I might as well vent in the process.

So let me tell you why my chest hurts. Many moons ago a Chinese doctor told me that the center of the chest, the sternum, represents our emotions, our feelings. It’s where we send (or more precisely, block) all that emotional energy that we don’t want to, or simply can’t, deal with. I’m a huge repressor of my feelings, I always have been, so my chest has often hurt, off and on. Obviously lately I’ve had to keep it together, be strong, be centered, and you can’t do that if your emotions are all over the place, so you repress them. And that’s why my chest hurts. And that’s why I don’t want to talk about the husband’s illness this time around.

I’ll write about it till my finger’s cramp, but I do not want to talk about it, because I’ll start crying and I won’t be able to stop. All this to say, don’t ask me about the husband, please, again, I will keep everyone posted. If you really can’t help yourself, send me an email but don’t make me talk about it cause I can’t.

What prompted this post? What’s so personal that I can’t talk about it?
Well, Sunday was our last day together, we celebrated Easter, we spent a gorgeous day with absolutely beautiful weather together. And the husband packed his bag. As he was packing his bag he started quietly crying. Now think about this for a sec, you walk into your bedroom and your husband, your man, your rock, your soul mate is packing his bag for the hospital and he’s crying. He’s crying because he doesn’t want to leave his family, he doesn’t want to be ill, he doesn’t want to be shut up in a sterile room for a month, and then another month, he doesn’t want to feel like shit run over again, he’s scared and angry and afraid he’s never going to get better. And tell me, tell me if it doesn’t feel like your heart is going to implode in your chest.

There is nothing I can do. There is nothing I can say to make him feel better, to make it easier, and it breaks my heart.

The unfairness of it all has no explanation, no meaning, nothing that we can cling to and say if we do this or that everything will be alright in the end, because we have no way of knowing. I guess what’s different the second time you hear the doctors say leukemia is that you simply don’t go in with the same blind hope that in the end everything will be alright, because, quite simply, we have no way of knowing.

Now this post has been in the making for a few days, it’s been read, and re-read, written and re-written and what I can say at this point is that now that he’s in the hospital both the husband’s mood and my own have improved greatly. Dreading something is much harder than actually living it. When you’re weathering the storm you’re too busy to worry about the water seeping under the doorframe, so to speak. Whereas when you’re waiting for it, sitting in front of the weather channel going “oh shit, the hurricane’s coming” it feels like the worst thing in the world. So, here we are in the middle of the freaking hurricane.

You know, many months ago I read a blog post where the author was talking about a friend who was fighting cancer or something like that, I can’t remember, but what stuck to my mind is an idea she put forth in her post I think it may even have been the title of the post: “It’s better than chemo” and the sense was that we complain daily about hundreds of little annoyances but really if we compare them to having to undergo treatment for cancer they really start to seem insignificant.  And so I started saying it to myself, in my head, occasionally: “the baby kept me up all night… well, it’s better than chemo”, “I have to work late again, eh, it’s better than chemo”, “the car won’t start…”, “that asshole cut me off…”, “I lost my keys…” most things are actually better than chemo, except possibly the alternative to having chemo if you have cancer (i.e. death). It really puts a lot of things into perspective.

I guess that my long and rambling point is that cancer sucks, it sucks that the husband is back in the hospital, it sucks horribly that he’s not yet forty, has two small children and a wife who loves him more than even she thought possible (that would be me) and he has such an aggressive, recurring, crappity crap pot leukemia that won’t leave us the hell alone, it sucks beyond what is humanly imaginable that he has to go through the whole treatment again after less than a year but it sucks infinitely, monumentally less than the alternative, doesn’t it?

So there you go, despite my best intentions of writing a sad, sad post, it seems that the silver lining is always lurking somewhere in the back of my mind. I guess this is what I want to leave with you today, as a sort of hat tipping to my dad and to the husband, the two most optimistic people on the planet, there is always some good to be found in hardship. And that is what we must grab ahold of with all our strength, because in the end, thinking of the good is what gets us through it.

My heart breaks every time I see the husband in pain, or upset, or dreading the chemo, the endless transfusions, the loss of his hair and his strength and his will, and yet we treasure the time we get together when I visit in the hospital, quiet time, just he and I, to talk and dream and plan our future together whatever and whenever it may be. Because though it’s true that we’ve lost the blind hope of the newbies we still need to hope, believe and have faith that in the end “everything’s gonna be alright” because that’s what life is all about (or so Bob Marley says).

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Aw shucks!

I have a post all written out and edited and re-edited and mulled over for a few days, and it’s now ready to go up and then Frau Fancy and Nuts about Food go and mention me over on their blogs so now I can’t put up “The World’s Most Depressing Post Ever Written” because that would just scare away any of their readers that might come over to visit. So now what do I do?
Why, I can always dig in my well of inanities to lighten the mood, so here’s a few completely random thoughts for today. The tear-fest is rescheduled for tomorrow.

I’m beginning to think that seasons are completely over-rated. As I’ve mentioned before, I grew up in Texas, specifically Houston where the seasons are “Nice, barbecuing in shorts and flip-flops” – autumn - “OOOh, there’s a chill in the air I think I may need a cotton sweater today” – winter – “Ooooh, how nice it’s getting hot” – spring – “Damn, it’s hot” – day two of spring – “OMG, I think I’m going to die, it’s so fucking hot, get me inside, get me inside, I’m melting” – Summer – “Can’t move, can’t breath, in the 100% humidity and sweltering heat, my eyeballs are burning up” – August. Now I live in Northern Italy where we have the four canonic seasons. We are now at the beginning of spring. At first I was in awe of the budding plants, the pretty flowers, the melting snow and all the green bursting forth in a majestic show of mother nature’s power, now I’m a pathetic mess of sniffle-y nose and watery eyes cause of all the pollen and my kids have had bronchitis for two weeks now cause it’s hot in the sun, but there’s still a chill in the air so how the hell am I supposed to dress them in the morning?? Oh, you thought I was done complaining about the weather once it stopped snowing, did ya?

Somebody needs to explain to me how it is possible that in Italy by April one can no longer find summer clothes for one’s kids. I mean seriously, my kids (as I, assume, everyone else’s kids) are growing at such an insanely fast rate that buying them clothes in March for August seems a little ridiculous. But this is what one has to do in Italy, why, I simply cannot fathom. Plus, wouldn’t they sell more if they simply ordered more pieces per size so that the super organized mom that wants to get all her clothes shopping done in March can buy her clothes then, and the pathologically procrastinating mom, like me, can buy her boy’s new sweatpants when his old sweatpants are somewhere round his knees whatever the season? (not that that ever happened, or anything).

And lastly, ever since the Husband left my children have developed worst sleeping habits than a newborn. Last night I got up a grand total of eight times. Are they trying to kill me? So, I need a solution. I mean, I totally get that they miss daddy, but really, it’s not my fault he’s in the hospital. Frankly I would totally send them to spend the night with him at this point for a few hours of uninterrupted sleep, but unfortunately kids in his wing of the hospital are quite frowned upon. I honestly don’t see why, they would totally lighten the mood, they would distract the patients in the adjoining rooms, the husband would pass the time and I’m sure all those night nurses would love to get a break from their nightshift to tend to my two little angels. Maybe I should sneak them in and leave furtively?

That’s all I’ve got for today folks, thanks for stopping by! Oh, and say hi in the comments, if you are so inclined.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Virtual Coffee {5}


Hello friends, I’m late posting today cause it’s been an insane day. I fear I may sound whiny with our coffee today, so if that’s going to irritate you and you want to leave I understand. No, that’s not true, I will get upset everybody needs a good whine every once in a while! Plus, I’ll let you whine all you want next and I won’t roll my eyes at you once. Promise.

As most of you know (and if you don’t read here, and here, and here, oh and here) the husband went back in to the hospital yesterday morning. He started his six days of chemo today and will have the transplant next week. What this means for me, apart from a lot of heartbreak (incidentally, tomorrow’s post will be unnecessarily depressing, I’m warning you so you can steer clear if you’re pms-ing or tear-prone or just having a bad day) is getting used to a different routine.

I need to get back in the groove we had last year. Just getting his meals to him today was a challenge, I need to start planning menus again, so I know what to buy for him and I have to start cooking in the mornings again, so I can bring him his lunch and dinner on time and I need to keep on top of his laundry and generally making sure I keep his needs met, cause he doesn’t need to worry about stuff like running out of underwear or having to eat the totally disgusting hospital food. It’s no big deal, we’ve already had practice, but today it all threw me for a loop for some reason and I spent the day running around town like the goose in a wild goose chase.

So anyway, I totally need this coffee, though as I’m writing it’s actually 11pm where I live, plus it’s decaf so no chance of it keeping me awake, the empty bed should do it. Sniff.
Ok. All whined out. Thank you for listening. I may not put out my best work this week, but we should be back to our regularly scheduled programming by next week at the latest so don’t lose hope!

God I’m depressing today… go visit Amy, she’ll cheer you right up I’m sure!

Oh, also, you’re turn, go ahead whine away!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Happy Easter... no I'm not high.

I swear I haven't been smoking anything, today is Easter at our house. We decided to celebrate Easter early because we didn’t want to spend it apart for another year running, and you know, Mohammed and mountains and whatnot, so Easter came early here.

We had fantastic weather, the husband barbecued, we lounged around in the sun, the kids played in their new dirt pit (a sandbox feels like too much hassle, and it makes no difference whatsoever to them, actually a dirt pit is better cause of all the worms), and then we went for a nice bike ride. I forewent my diet in favor of the chocolate eggs and decided not to give a crap and enjoy it.

I won’t talk about all the emotions we felt today, because I refuse to post two depressing entries in a row, but let’s just say that we managed to enjoy the day despite the ticking clock above our heads.

So I’m keeping it short and sweet today, pictures follow so click on the link if you want to see those. All I’m going to say is we enjoyed the husband’s last day home and tomorrow is another day. So there.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

It is what it is

No long-winded preamble today, I just don’t have it in me. The husband had the bone marrow biopsy again today; the blast cells have increased, meaning the leukemia is in full swing, meaning he’s being admitted into the hospital on Monday for another transplant.

The only good thing we can think of is that we can stop stressing. The past two weeks have been wonderful on one hand and intensely yet quietly stressful on the other. Did we do the right thing by waiting? Should he have just gone in when the doctors wanted him to and be done with it? He would be halfway through the first treatment by now. But on the other hand the work he did emotionally, the cleansing diet, the memories we made are priceless and I wouldn’t have wanted to give them up. We’ve been spending so much time together, having such a wonderful time, but underneath it all the doubts, the fear, the stress. At least now we know, and it is what it is.

He had the biopsy this morning and we spent every minute since then thinking about what the outcome was going to be, but acting like it was the furthest thing from our minds. Hope in our hearts, doubts in our heads. And then we got the call at four in the afternoon; the disappointment took our breaths away. And we went from sadness, to anger, to disbelief to anger, to fear – of the treatment, of how badly he’s going to feel, of the possible consequences on his already challenged internal organs, of the nausea, of the loneliness. But in the end, what can we do? All the anger, all the tears, all the disbelief in the world aren’t going to change the outcome. He has to go in the hospital, we’ll both be lonely, each on our end, the kids will miss him, there will be challenges, he’ll feel crappy for who knows how long, but it is what it is and we can’t change it and whining about it isn’t going to make it go by any faster.

So we went out and bought the boy a tractor, the Easter Bunny was supposed to bring it, but what the hell. We set out to get one of those electric tractors with an engine but he fixated on one with pedals, with a wagon for his sister and a digger attachment in the front. He’s in seventh heaven, and the smile on his face when we told him he didn’t have to wait for Easter to get his tractor was priceless.

This weekend should be sunny, we’re barbecuing on Saturday, we’re going to enjoy our last few days together, we may even go for a bike ride or down to the beach for the day, and then on Sunday we’ll pack the husband’s bag; because we’ve decided to be happy and relaxed despite the situation, or we’re trying to be in any case. Because life is simply what it is.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Virtual Coffee {4} (and waffles)


Hello friends! I’m linking up a little later than usual for coffee today because I actually went out for coffee at a friend’s this morning (as in out of my house, for coffee, with other adults, no children to speak of, astounding!). So, if we were really meeting up for coffee today I’d be having tea, cause too much caffeine makes me jittery, although, and this is a little weird, I can have as much soda as I want and I sleep like a baby at night. Soda actually has more caffeine than coffee, doesn’t it? Anyway, the excuse for my first coffee meeting this morning was my friend had to inaugurate her new waffle iron. Let me tell you, buying a waffle iron in Italy is no small feat, up until just a few years ago no one even knew what a waffle was, so buying a waffle iron is definitely something to celebrate. (any excuse, right?)

I would tell you that spring is finally in full bloom here, though the wise old townspeople say not to put our winter coats away yet, as we should be hit with another cold front soon. I don’t know, these old mountain folk usually know their weather but I’m having a really hard time refraining from dusting off my flip-flops. I’d tell you that the boy is in full gardening swing at this point and is having a grand old time digging up our entire yard (our gardener hasn’t come in to plant anything yet, probably waiting for the cold front to come and go, so the boy is in seventh heaven with nobody yelling at him to watch the flowers). Still, it kind of looks like we have a family of groundhogs living in our yard and you have to be careful not to break an ankle stepping in a hole, but he’s happy so I’m not complaining (too much).

We finally seem to have made our way out of the black hole of death which was last week’s full family bronchitis-fest, though I still sound like a transvestite when I talk. I was hoping to sound sexy with my gravelly voice but apparently it’s just creepy.

I would tell you we took the kids for a bike ride on Sunday (the girl’s first), I was a little worried cause I hadn’t been on my bike for two years, but I soon realized what a huge difference it makes not to be riding a bike whilst enormously pregnant, I barely huffed and puffed at all, barely.

The Girl and I, we had just started out, so she was still a bit worried.

The Boy and the Husband. I have no clue how the husband manages to take pictures while riding his bike and not falling straight into the ditch. Men absolutely can't multitask unless there's some sort of physical activity going on.

While I’m on the subject, I should probably go huff and puff away those waffles now, cause apparently they are not approved by the zone diet, but honestly can you blame me for cheating just this once?
And of course, as we are finishing our cups, I would nonchalantly mention that I lost three pounds this week, so I’m thrilled. Now all I have to do is keep them off, whilst I lose the rest… hmmm… now that I think about it that waffle isn’t looking so great anymore… so note to self stop cheating on the diet!

Now go say hi to our hostess Amy, apparently she's got butterscotch cookies!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Parenting is hard (i.e. the post wherein I state the obvious)

Parenting is hard. Nobody ever tells you how hard it actually is though. I really wish that before I had children someone had come up to me and said: this is the most difficult thing that you will ever do, bar none, and it will not get easier the longer you do it because the challenges are constantly changing. When you feel like you’ve finally got it down, something new comes out of left field and you have to figure it all out again. And it will never end, because, let’s be honest, we’re still our parents children (if we’re lucky enough to still have our parents around) and we may think we’ve moved on from our parents, being adults in our own right, but more than likely our parents are still sitting there worrying about us and wondering how they can steer us in the right direction. I have endless conversations with my friends about how our lives have changed and will it ever get back to normal and when will we be us again.

But I’m coming to the realization that this is the new normal and we’ll never be the old us again. We’ll never be completely carefree again, because, really, how can we with such massive responsibility on our shoulders. We’ll never sleep as soundly again, because once they’re done with the neediness of babies and toddlers we move on to school and friends and achievement and activities and we’re going to worry about one or all of those things at 4am, and then they become teenagers and there’s the whole sex, drinking, what the hell are they wearing bits that will turn us into chronic insomniacs, followed by college, are they just partying or are they actually studying, and then god help us they get married and have their own kids and how will they ever raise them??

Okay, I may be getting ahead of myself, my kids are just 1 and 3 after all but I’ve seen how fast it’s going already. It feels like just yesterday morning that I was lying in the clinic sore from a c-section with a tiny wailing, flailing, red-faced, cute as a button human in my arms wondering what in the world I was going to do with him. So it stands to reason that in the blink of an eye they’ll be all "growed up", and I’ll be all alone. (Oh, ok, not alone, alone, the husband will be alone with me, let me be a little dramatic, sheesh!)

Basically all I wanted to say with this post is: Parenting is hard, and it’s for life. We have to enjoy every moment, because every moment is fleeting and yet we’ll never stop being parents. Ever. It’s scary and tiring and often overwhelming but it’s also wonderful and amazing and the one thing that brings me joy consistently. It’s the dichotomy of our souls. 

I know it sounds like I just realized the world is round or something, but sometimes the most obvious, mundane things are the ones that no one talks about. And sometimes we really need to stop and acknowledge what we’re doing, and what our parents did, and give ourselves and each other a break when we screw up. There’s a lot of screwing up in parenting, a lot of fixing our own mistakes and a lot of getting things right the first time. It’s a 24/7 job and the only compensation is watching our children grow up and become whoever they’re supposed to be. It’s two parts wonderful and one part terrible and there is no going back from here.

Ok, I'm all done with the obvious today, hopefully my next post will be more enlightened, carry on.