Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Virtual Coffee {12}


I almost didn’t write this Virtual Coffee post today because I’ve been sick for the past few days. I even had to rewrite this introductory sentence three times cause I just kept coming off as snippy. I’ve had tonsillitis and let me tell you, it has put me in a BAD MOOD. I’m still cranky today and it’s already day four of antibiotics and I’m starting to feel better, just to give you a measure of how much of a BAD MOOD I’ve been in.

I’m not a total wimp, I mean I gave birth naturally, no meds, and it totally didn’t put me off having more babies, so I do have some tolerance for pain and discomfort but there’s just something about throat ailments and colds that drives me over the effing edge. I’ve been really bitchy with my kids and with the husband, though not with the Nanny, cause heaven forbid I offend her and she decides to leave me. And for some reason I’m totally exhausted though I’ve been basically lying around since Saturday afternoon. Seriously I went downstairs, made coffee, drank it and am now lying in bed with my Mac typing more slowly than my 101-year-old grandma and wondering how I’ll ever make it downstairs to cook lunch later.

And you want to know what the worst thing is? It’s my own damn fault! Because last week I just had to write about how wonderful my life was, and how the sun was shining and birds chirping and all manner of la, la, la wonderfulness and THIS is how the universe gets back at me. I should know better, I really should. And no, I’m not being dramatic. You want proof, because I have proof. See among other things I wrote (and I quote): “the kids are inexplicably healthy” and the second I hit publish on that post, the Boy got a fever. A fever and no other symptoms (well apart from the general crankiness and neediness of having a fever) for four days, and then poof, it was gone. And then I got tonsillitis accompanied by exhaustion so profound that it makes typing a herculean feat and puts me in a BAD MOOD.

So the lesson here is to not brag, bragging is bad, humility is much better, it has no adverse consequence. The Universe likes humble people and not braggers. I’ve had plenty of opportunity to learn this in the past, but for some reason it just doesn’t stick.

This is a depressing coffee I’m offering today, apparently I’m still in a really BAD MOOD,  you should probably go visit Amy, she’ll cheer you right up.

Oh, and remember: bragging bad, humility good.

By the way… I’m doing my monthly meme “Things I want to teach my kids” tomorrow. If you’re interested just write a post with a list of things you want to teach your kids or that you feel your kids should know (I started out with ten, but write however many you want), and then link up (It’d be great if you put my button at the end of your post too, it’s over on your left ;-). It can be funny, or serious, or heartfelt, or angry… however you want, it’s for your kids! (Ok, maybe not angry.) For examples go here or here. Hope to see you tomorrow! Thanks

I'm linking up here today too, it's a great way to find new blogs!

Our Family World

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Go the F@#k to sleep

I found out about this book thanks to this awesome blog and I have to tell ya, I’m definitely going to buy it. Apart from all the hype that it’s received from a rogue pdf copy that has been making the rounds of the ether (incidentally, I still haven’t managed to get my hands on it, now what does that tell you about my techiness or total lack thereof) and the insanity of its rise in amazon’s bestseller lists before it’s actually available for sale, have you looked at the title? 
I mean really, I’ve been screaming that same sentence in my head nightly for nigh on four years now, and finally, finally someone’s said it out loud. How liberating is that?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Virtual Coffee {11}

Good Morning and welcome to coffee. I don’t think I ever mentioned this but I drink mine with lots of sugar and a dash of cream, how bout you? I think it’s important to know how your friends drink their coffee. Of course, my memory being what it is it took me about six months before I started remembering that one of my good friends, with whom I often have coffee, actually doesn’t drink coffee but tea. I really have no preference, I go through phases: tea, tea, tea then only decaf then only coffee the only think I absolutely can’t abide is tea with milk, ugh. But, ever the gracious hostess, I don’t mind if you like it.

I haven’t got an awful lot of news today, the past few days have been pretty relaxed, the kids are inexplicably healthy, they’re happily going to daycare in the mornings and the husband is getting his energy back. I can’t complain, in fact I’m the opposite of complaining right now (a state so unfamiliar to me, I don’t even know what to call it). I’ve even managed to finish the Girl’s baby book, and I’m printing pictures for the Boy’s baby book (yes, he’s three, did you not read the post about how I like to procrastinate?), I even dusted off the treadmill and went for a run today. You can stop laughing now. I do, occasionally (ok, rarely) dust, and though I didn’t actually run per say, I did do that run a minute walk a minute to catch my breath then run another minute thing that allows me to feel virtuous and not drop down dead from lack of oxygen, for a whole 35 minutes. Impressed?

The sun is shining, the birds are tweeting (hee, hee), there’s a slight breeze, so life is good. And I’ll shut up now, because after all this la-dee-da positivism I’m expecting an anvil to fall from the sky onto my mac any minute now.

The past few days I’ve been reading the archives of a blog I think is insanely good, I’m sure most of you know it: Uppercase woman, Cecily is an insanely awesome writer, she’s very honest and has a way with words, of course I’m stuck in 2005 so can’t vouch for what she’s like right now, but it’s worth a peak. Do any of you do this? I often find a blog I like, even from just one post, and I start reading the archives, just to see where that person comes from. Most of the time I give them up, deflated, but sometimes I run into a blog that just makes me want to keep reading, a bit like a novel, and then I feel like I know the author. Of course, I always want to comment or write them an email saying “good for you”, or “I’m sorry such and such happened to you” but it would be too weird since I’m talking about stuff that happened years ago.
Do you do this? Or did I just confess to something that’s just not done in the blogosphere. I’m often iffy on the rules. Of course, I’m often iffy on the rules in life too, so I guess I’m just being consistent.

Ok, I’ve rambled on long enough; I actually enjoyed writing this post, just stream of consciousness (with punctuation, do I look like Will Faulkner??) no thought or planning. Well some thought, I mean who can write and not think, right? Ok, I’ll shut up now.

Now go visit our hostess Amy!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Potty training for lazy parents

A while back I briefly mentioned that the Boy had potty trained himself and I’d be writing about it presently so, here I am writing about it now.
As may, or may not, be common knowledge, I am a first class procrastinator. Truly, I have elevated the practice of “why do it today when I can do it tomorrow” to a fine art, you only need see my desk to believe it. So true to form, though I knew I should get my three-year old potty trained, I just saw no reason to start immediately… and well, for once in my life procrastination actually paid off.

You see, many of my friends had been on my case cause my kid was still in diapers and I was bothered not one bit. He’ll have to go to preschool soon they’d say (they start at three here, and though it’s not mandatory the majority of children go), kids don’t potty train themselves, it’s your job, you need to get a move on… 
It got to the point that even I started feeling the pressure of just getting the job done.

So, a few weeks back I decided that as soon as the weather got warmer I would start the stupid potty training. I figured I could just leave him in shorts all day outside and he’d end up getting annoyed at constantly getting wet so he’d spontaneously learn to control himself. Yes, I’m all about minimizing costs and maximizing returns. I half-heartedly read a few books on the subject, I even got the boy a book for kids on potty training, and I must have mentioned to him in passing that we’d be taking the diapy off “soon” and he’d go pee-pee like a big boy in the potty.
He didn’t seem too interested and I was clearly unmotivated, but he’d be going to preschool in September and I had recently heard of a mother who six months into it still hadn’t gotten her kid to go consistently on the potty and that kind of scared me as I didn’t want the Boy to have to possibly endure a hard time at preschool due to his mother’s  character flaws.

And then, lo and behold, one morning the Boy just looks up at me as I’m dressing him and says: “no diapy today mama, I want Spiderman underwear” (in a mix of Italian and English, I’m simplifying for you). My initial reaction was, god no, it’s still kind of chilly out, I don’t want him to pee on the couch or the carpets. But then the mothering instinct took over (thankfully) and I thought, well I really can’t prevent him from foregoing the diaper if he really wants to, that would be bad. So after ascertaining that he was absolutely, positively sure he wanted to wear his Spiderman underwear and not the Lighting McQueen training diapers I had bought for just such an occasion, and making him go pee on the potty twice (he didn’t, apparently he simply didn’t need to) we left for daycare and that, my friends, was that.
Since that fateful day he has had a grand total of three accidents (none on the furniture I might add) and he now does all his business in the potty, with minimal assistance and prodding on my part. I basically limit myself to reminding him to go potty when we’re getting in the car cause I honestly want to avoid that whole possible mess and that’s the extent of my involvement.
It simply could not have been any easier, or frankly more surprising. Who would’ve thought that my chronic procrastination would’ve worked as a stimulus to my kid to hurry up and grow up already, all on his own.
And, the Girl, who is only eighteen months old, now always wants to use the potty when I change her diaper and half the time she’s perfectly dry and does all her business in the potty too. I mean really, could I possibly be doing any less work here?

All this to say, laziness in parenting is not always a problem, sometimes it’s a blessing and it could teach your children independence to boot. Definitely a win-win in my book!

p.s. he still wears diapers at night, I’m not a miracle worker!
p.p.s. I realize that now that I’ve written all this in a mildly self-congratulatory tone, something will happen to revert this entire situation and come September you’ll find me crying knee deep in diapers. But I guess that’s fodder for a whole ‘nother post on hubris.

p.p.p.s. I apologize for the overly enthusiastic use of italics in this post.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Shoe Psychology

It’s no secret that many women (and an increasing number of men) have obsessive compulsive relationships with their shoes, I certainly do. I have an alarming number of shoes, sandals and boots and everything in between. In fact, I’ve never counted them cause I’m a bit frightened to find out the exact number of shoes I own, what I can say is that more than likely I could change my shoes every single day and not wear the same pair twice in a year. Scary, I know.

I’m also an equal opportunity shoe owner; I don’t discriminate at all. I own very expensive designer shoes from my pre-kid, two-income, no-need-to-think-about-the-future days as well as crappy, cheap market shoes. Of course, all these shoes take up an inordinate amount of room and as my one, single, lonely new year’s resolution this year was to de-clutter my life I’ve lately hit upon the unfortunate realization that I need to get rid of some shoes. Today was the day I chose to do this.

Let me just say that today has been highly traumatic for me. I know, I know, most of you are thinking that after all we’ve been through lately, I can’t possibly be traumatized by having to part with some shoes. But the human mind is a mysterious thing and it creates strong attachments in surprising ways.

Let’s talk a bit about shoe psychology, shall we? As anyone with as many shoes as I have knows, shoes rarely get bought with a specific purpose or need in mind, shoes usually get bought for one of three reasons:

- A strong fatal attraction, wherein you’re walking along minding your own business and out of the corner of your eye you spy… something… an imperceptible flash of color, a vibration that tickles your stomach and you turn against your will and find yourself totally and completely smitten. These are the shoes that have the potential to change your life, when you find them you know, deep in your heart that you will suddenly become thinner, smarter, stronger, more confident and more beautiful. These are the shoes that love affairs are made of. You buy them, of course, despite the price, despite your actual need. In fact, you don’t even look at the price, these aren’t shoes you need cause you have to match them to an outfit or cause you have to wear them to cousin Myrtle’s wedding, no these are the shoes you need because once you have them your life will suddenly have meaning and purpose.

- Boredom and dissatisfaction. You’re unhappy with your life, your job sucks, your husband / boyfriend / partner is a dick, it’s been raining for three weeks straight and your bank account is anemic, basically your life looks like it’s going to collapse into itself creating a monstrous black hole that will finally finish sucking all of your joy, hope and dreams into the void. This is when you go out and buy a totally useless, moderately priced, uncomfortable pair of shoes in a funky color that you think you’ll be able to match to something. These shoes were bought simply for the fleeting high generated by the salesperson’s smile, the swish of your credit card and the crinkle of the store bag. These shoes will spend eternity on their shelf in your closet, covered in dust, unworn.

- Actual necessity. This reason for buying shoes boggles the mind. When you own as many shoes as I do it is unimaginable that you’d find yourself in a situation wherein you actually need to buy a pair of shoes for a specific reason. But this happens, with alarming frequency I might add.

So, these are the main reasons why shoes get bought. Guess which one happens to me most often? Anyway, back to the whole point of this post, today I got rid of some shoes. I didn’t count how many but I filled a large, large trash bag. I’m starting to get heart palpitations just thinking about it.

This little exercise was equally terrifying and liberating. Liberating because, seriously, who needs ten pairs of black shoes with the same heel height? Terrifying because who in their right mind gets rid of Blahniks? In any case, I feel quite good and my shoe cabinets look amazing and I’ve found shoes I had no memory of, oh and now all the shoes that are left actually fit. On a side note, for some inexplicable reason my feet have grown exactly one and a half sizes after the two pregnancies. I’m shocked and angry. In fact, this is why I managed to get rid of so many shoes, most of them didn’t fit anymore. It’s been a year and a half since I gave birth last so I’m thinking they’re not going back to their regular size, this happen to any of you, perchance?

Oh, just in case you were wondering, after I was done with what shall now be known as “the great shoe purge” I only went back to salvage two pairs of shoes, because, seriously, who in their right mind throws out a pair of Manolo Blahniks? So there you have it, a little psychology of the shoe.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Family Matters (Virtual Coffee {10})

Family has been on my mind a lot lately.
I did a google search on “immediate family” right before I started writing cause I wasn’t sure if it included just my husband and children or also my parents and siblings and I was astonished to find out that immediate family includes my husband, children, grand children, parents and siblings (whole, half or step – of which I now seem to have at least one per category) as well as my in laws (mother, father, brother, sister as well as possible future son and daughter); I guess I was just being narrow minded when I thought immediate was actually, well, immediate.
It puts a whole extra layer of thought and consequence to the whole “you’re not just marrying the man, but his whole family too” concept. Although, bizarrely, first degree relatives are just spouse, children, parents and siblings, I would’ve thought aunts, uncles and cousins would’ve fit right in there.

Anyway, I’ve been giving family a lot of thought. My family is all over the place. I rarely see my mother and brother as they’re in the US (lucky bastards!), my grandma’s in Brazil, my half-siblings are all in Italy but nowhere near us, so I practically never see them, this makes me feel a little isolated sometimes as well as a possibly over-protective of my little family unit (husband and kids).
I know, this is starting to read a bit like a demented census, brother, sister, husband, children blah, blah, blah…

On the other hand, I seem to be constantly surrounded by the husband’s family. They’re all over the place too, and yet they always just seem to be here. It’s a little twilight zone-ish. I’m not complaining or anything, I get along with my whole extended (or should I say immediate?) in-law family and I’m happy to be quite close to most of them but we’re, well, different.  Of course, most of the time different is good, it helps define boundaries and roles but other times it’s just hard and tiring and exasperating to have to wrap my mind around another family dynamic.
Each family has it’s own dynamic; it’s own very specific and very personal patterns of interaction. It’s like a dance, where each member knows his own complicated steps and it usually comes together harmoniously, or discordantly, but it makes its own particular kind of sense.

Family matters are a bit tense right now, nothing major, and certainly nothing regarding the husband or I (or our children), but it makes for a lot of drama. Mostly unwanted drama on our part, as we’re really trying to concentrate on the husband’s recovery and not things that really are no concern of ours. And yet… and yet… we always seem to get sucked in, despite our best intentions, and it’s unsettling and it’s unhealthy I find. I’m not going to talk about it, it’s not my business to share, plus right now I’m more interested in the whole philosophical aspect that in the actual reality of it all.

There’s a lot less drama on my side of the family, there are also many more miles. Does physical distance play a role in our involvement, or is it the ever-elusive family dynamic that differs? And how, does one change it were one to want to (and I want to)?
Ideally, I would like to crank up the interest, the closeness and the intimacy with my side of the family, just as I would proportionally tone down the theatrics, recriminations, side-takings and phone calls on the other side of the family. Is a happy medium possible or would it require too drastic a change in the family dynamic? A change that inevitably would call for too many adjustments on the part of individuals who, more than likely, are happy, or used to, or set in their ways and unwilling and uninterested in changing, because, after all, why would they want to change if I’m the only one perceiving a problem. Because that’s the thing about family dynamics, they are set in place and perpetrated by individuals in a family and that’s what works for them, even if it doesn’t seem to work or even if it doesn’t fully work for all family members.

So the husband and I find ourselves in a strange limbo, we truly come from different worlds, with different experiences, with different, ingrained dynamics that don’t completely fit us anymore and we have to find a way, a path, that works for us, for our family (and here I’m only included the husband, children and myself). We have to create and perpetrate our own family dynamic, one that works for us and that ideally takes the good from the examples we were given and removes the bad.

I know, I’ve been rambling on forever and really this is much more of a discussion for whiskey than coffee, but you see, I’ve been thinking a lot about family lately and all this writing, all these words, really help me work out the jumbled stuff in my head. It’s important to me to do this, it’s important to hear your opinions, it’s important to talk about this, though no real answers are (or indeed can be) forthcoming, because at the end of the day family matters doesn’t it?

Now, go say hi to our hostess Amy who's totally "in the Spring of things"!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Virtual Coffee {9} - not up to the minute news and a tangent or two

I realized that I’ve been remiss, and probably deserve the stern talking to I gave myself this morning. And here we have yet another example of my frequent departures from all that is sane and normal.
I do indeed have entire conversations with myself, which often occur, but are not limited to, the bathroom (in front of the mirror), the car, the kitchen while cooking (though not while eating), and the closet (while deciding what to wear, I don’t go in there for the specific purpose of talking to myself… yet…). And yes, I do talk to myself as if I were a third party giving myself a lecture, or advice, or reprimanding me… what can I say, it seems to work for me and no one has (yet) threatened to have me institutionalized – though as I write this I realize that I’m giving the husband plenty of ammo should he want it in the (unlikely) event of a hostile divorce.

Anyway, getting back on point after this massive tangent, I was saying that I’ve been remiss because I’ve failed to mention that THE HUSBAND’S HOME. (I’ll allow you a moment to settle down after the inevitable cheering.) Although I did tweet it, one of the few times I actually remembered twitter existed, and if you missed it let’s take it as a sign you should be following me. Just a hint. (Tangent 2)

Yes indeedy, they sent him home last Wednesday (and yes “indeedy” I am getting dorkier and dorkier as we speak, my initial impulse was to write “Yes indeedy-dee-doo-dah”, but I spared you, sort of).
We are obviously thrilled to pieces, I can’t even begin to describe how happy the kids were when they saw him. The boy couldn’t stop smiling, he followed the husband around non-stop for two days straight, the girl must have said “Papà” approximately eight hundred thousand times, and both of them still fall into hysterical tear and sob fests if the husband raises his voice a little or dares to utter the word no. Seeing them seeing him almost broke my heart from sheer joy.
He’s doing much better than expected, his energy is good (considering what he went through), his appetite is decent and his mood is positive most of the time so we really can’t complain. He being he (or he being him?) though, he’s complaining that he wishes he could do more, that he had more energy, that food didn’t taste weird… etc. But really, as an impartial third party, let me just say that he’s doing much better than fine. Last year after the transplant he was a zombie-like, couch-dwelling, zero-energy, sluggish shell of a man, in comparison this year he’s the ironman.

So, if we were really having coffee today I would totally monopolize the conversation with our good news until I remembered my manners and asked how you are. Though honestly, I can’t guarantee I’ll be listening to your answer, as I’m thoroughly self-absorbed these days, please forgive me.

Ok, I’m all coffeed out, I’m going to go bask in my happiness, joy and cheer now, so go on and visit Amy! (and yes, I realized I just used three synonyms in a row, but some things deserve to be repeated)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The ugly truth

Ok, I’m just going to come out and say it and propriety be damned, lately my kids irritate the hell out of me.

At bedtime, 9 times out of 10 I want to kill them and be done with it. The crying, the mommy come back, one more story, one more song, stay one more minute, I want milk, I want water, change my diaper… oh my GOD, SHUT UP!!! It never ends, it goes on for hours, and the sad, sad thing is that it’s my own stupid fault. I gave them an inch, and then another inch and then another and two and a half hours later when they’ve taken a mile out of my patience, my willingness to take care of them, to please them, to make them happy I scream at them and then feel guilty all night. It’s a horrible cycle, perpetrated by me, the adult, but how do I get out of it? I have to be firm, I know. I just seem to always take the easy way out, I’m compliant, I coddle them, I do what they want, until I snap and then I don’t and they’re probably wondering who the hell the crazy person is who looks like their mother.

The easy way out always ends up being the hard way out, doesn’t it? Sure it’s easier handing out cookies rather than fruit or yoghurt for snack but then I get hyped up kids for an hour, it’s easier letting them watch tv while we eat but then I find I’m feeding two kids who are perfectly capable of feeding themselves because they’re both completely zonked out watching Diego or Dora or our new fave Tractor Tom.

Will I ever learn? Or are my kids going to start referring to me as Lunatic Mom, kind of like a superhero, maybe? Or more likely a super villain.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how not to want to commit massive murder/suicide every night? Cause, really, apart from bedtime my kids are actually pretty good, and I’m not Insano-Mom.

Oh! Insano-Mom! I kind of like that, a cape-wearing, sword-wielding, bottle-bearing, diaper-changing, time-out-giving, often-screaming super villain type character. I’m off to draw my costume now.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Of Motherhood and Whale Wars – a guest post

Today’s post is very special because for one it’s the first guest post on Moomser, but mostly because the writer is very special to me. The woman who wrote it has been my friend for eons, her family was a second family to me and she’s one of the best writers I know. Her blog The Nero Chronicles is all about beautiful things, whether you are into art and design or not it’s definitely worth a visit. So here I leave you to Nero, enjoy.

Parenting, or more specifically motherhood, is a topic that either pops up on our blogs intermittently or peppers our daily convos ad nauseam. 
I like to think that being a mother is a bit like being engulfed by quicksand, only brighter. Once you dip your toe in, there's no turning back, you're in over your head most days and yet there are those instants -- fleeting flashes of light -- that buoy us and help make the sneaking suspicion that we're permanently beached creatures worthwhile. 
Moomser and I grew up together in Houston, our parents and brothers were fast friends. 
She was a few years my senior and as such looked up to like a demigoddess by an awestruck, pudgy and bespectacled me. 
She crossed the threshold into high school before I did and it now seems hard to believe that after years of safety-pinning my schoolgirl kilts to try and emulate Moomser's more whittled waist, and watching her chew gum or chat boys with her peers over the phone,
we're both more-than-grown mothers of wee ones.

Moomser and I parted ways in the way that life and studies and family send people to far-flung places to be chiseled, refined and ultimately, defined. 
She spent several years in Milan, I in Buenos Aires, Madrid, Paris, and we lost touch. 
But in time blogging and motherhood helped us find one another again. It is fascinating how becoming a mother -- that most complicit act between two symbiotic beings -- leads us, so often bewildered and frazzled, to reach out to other moms more than ever before. 
And so across the distance, she in Italy and I in Houston, we check in on each other's lives and on what our children are up to through the blogosphere. 
Much like when Moomser was a leggy teen, but also different, I often find myself in awe of her -- of what a loving and generous mother she's become, of how supportive and steadfast a wife, of what a finely honed but solid rock.

It baffles me how unlike our innermost selves our children can be. I was a child of fantasy, of make believe. The world scarcely seemed a bearable place to be unless I was imaging the parallel lives of elves or vampires.
My son, however, is a staunch realist. He often brings me down to earth when I begin to wander or ramble, reminding me that such and such quite simply don't exist. That is of course unless he's telling me about the ghosts that come out at night in his room, then a glimmer of hope overtakes me, which is quickly snuffed out by the part of me that longs for uninterrupted sleep and crosses-fingers that whatever particular Casper seems to be haunting his dreams, he won't make a cameo tonight.

In lieu of tales of knights or dragons, goblins or warlocks, Tarek would rather listen intently to accounts of the dark underwater battles, miles below the ocean's surface, between the sperm whale and the giant squid. These violent jousts take place in "the dark depths" according to his latest favorite book, and in pitch black save for the flickering of the bioluminescent creatures which inhabit those murky, otherworldly reaches.

Just think, while you or I may be unloading groceries or taking out the trash, busying ourselves with the mundane, somewhere deep in some unknown ocean, tentacles and giant tails could be dangerously entwined. An often deadly altercation that would otherwise cause the earth to shake and rumble, veiled in water, goes down without a superficial ripple. 
Is that a bit what mothering, what life, is like? An ongoing push and pull, an inner strength rallying to direct and encourage, an often opposing outer force to grow and thrive? And when it's all said and done, is the surface of the ocean left smooth as glass?

It's likely we may never know with clarity. Life at its most basic is confounding but luckily the ongoing banter of the blogosphere, the sharing of what would otherwise be secrets or concerns, alleviates some of the angst somehow. 
The "you are not alone" followed by the great communal sigh of relief voiced as "oh, yours does that too?" reminds us that we are a tangled web but still interlinked. And so Moomser and I and many of you soldier on and blog and chit-chat, swap recipes, techniques, philosophies and converse. And meanwhile, many miles down, squid and whales duke it out for survival just as our children are learning to do under our guidance. 

Ultimately, the kids'll likely turn out okay, and we'll look back on the loving battle as little more than a life-brawl. And if this is what it takes to stay interconnected, engaged, in the moment, then so be it.  

image by Chris Goodwin

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Virtual Coffee {8}


Too bad Tuesday comes around but once a week cause I really enjoy this virtual coffee date. Well, actually maybe it’s not so bad as Tuesday is the Nanny’s day off and my life runs significantly less smoothly without her.  Anyway, now that I can finally sit down with my lovely Nespresso Coffee, I would tell you that my house looks like a train wreck (just without all the blood and gore of course).
You see spring is finally, officially here and I can no longer ignore my bi-yearly duty of the “seasonal closet rearrange” (about which I wrote extensively here, if you’re interested). This year I totally lucked out because my MIL and the husband’s aunt are visiting so not only do I have two extra sets of hands to move four people’s clothes, bags and shoes around, my MIL is also an organizational genius and she’s rearranging all my closets so I will never have to go throw this massive pain in the behind again. Ever. I am beyond thrilled. Also, I have someone with a very critical eye going through all my crap with me and constantly going “are you sure you want to keep that?”. Now, I realize I may sound sarcastic right now, but I swear I’m not. Most of my friends would want to kill their MILs for sticking their nose so far into their business, but I am genuinely, seriously relieved and happy to have someone help me put order in my life. I love order, I’m simply missing the gene necessary to achieve it independently.

Also, if we were really having coffee today I would tell you that the boy seems to have potty trained himself all on his own this week, with really minimal intervention from me. I’ll be dedicating a post to this (isn’t my content grand?!) but I don’t want to jinx it, so for now I’m just sharing the news with a sigh of relief and the rest of my thoughts on this thoroughly interesting subject shall be forthcoming. I’m sure you’re all on the edge of your seats in anticipation.

I would also tell you that I’m beyond thrilled (again) because the husband is showing signs of having GVHD (graft versus host disease) which sounds truly horrible and means that his immune system attacks certain cells on his body, in this case his skin, but is really, actually, wonderfully amazing news because it means that the immune system is starting to work and therefor should take care of the few random cancer cells that always remain after chemo. Basically, the husband has a rash that itches and stings and is a ginormous pain but we’re all thrilled to pieces cause it’s a sign the transplant worked and this time his immune system is doing it’s damn job. It doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods or anything but it’s a positive sign and frankly at this point we are happy to celebrate even the smallest victories.

Ok, finished my cup and hope you enjoyed yours! I’m off to stare in wonderment at my halfway finished closet and try to get the rest of the mess under control.

Oh, but one last thing, I have an extra special, super duper guest post tomorrow that you absolutely cannot miss because this girl’s writing is amazing. So please come back to check her out and say hello.

Now go say hi to our hostess Amy!

For my Italian readers: MIL sta per mother in law (suocera)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Ten things I want to teach my son

Here we are, my first attempt at a meme. Drumroll please!
As mentioned in my previous post I’d like to do this on the first of every month, so you have plenty of time to think about it! The theme is ten things I want to teach my children, or that I think my children need to learn to be successful (however you define it!) adults. I posted my first list for my daughter, as an example, here. Today’s list is for my son. You can write it any which way you want, for your son or daughter, for your children if you don’t want to genderize it, or for your future kids if you don’t have any yet, hey, you can even write it for your grandkids if you don’t agree with the way your own grown children are doing things:

Here’s mine:

Ten Things I Want To Teach My Son

1. Cherish your sister – so you’ll always have family even after we’re gone

2. Be a gentleman – even though you may grow up in Italy where this seems to be a lost art. Gentlemanly behavior is not outdated, most of the time it simply equals being nice and caring towards others. So hold doors open for people, help someone struggling with their load and for goodness sakes give up your seat on the bus to women and older people.

3. Be generous – if you’re going out with a girl, pay. That’s it, no arguments, no excuses. If you want to date her pay for dinner, if she’s just your friend treat her anyway and she can get it next time, and what the hell, treat your mates to a beer every once in awhile too. Pay it forward, it never hurts to be generous – but no strings attached!

4. Learn to change a tire. Seriously.

5. Tie a proper bow tie – no man has ever looked dapper or dashing in a clip on. Ever.

6. How to fight – resolving conflicts with diplomacy is always best but know how to throw an effective punch because you may need it someday.

7. Sex is great but it needs to be accompanied by respect and discretion, you may not always do it for love but for goodness sakes don’t brag, demean or disrespect the person you are having it with.

8. Think with your brain and not your….

9. Be nice to your in laws, no matter how annoying they may be.

10. Don’t compare your girlfriend to your mother (because mothers always win!)

Ok, your turn! Just write your post and link up here, and be nice and go visit the other bloggers on the list! If you don’t have a blog and want to play anyway send me your ten things via email and I’ll make a special post for you or write them in the comments (if you’ve got the time and patience!).
The linky will be open for a week and since I’m only doing this once a month, I’ll be posting reminders when we get close to the next installment. Thanks for participating!

(Yes, lots of exclamation points in this post, I’m excited about this, ok?!!!)