Saturday, April 26, 2008

4/26 The Day of the Dinnertime VICTORY!

Alone time. I don’t get to sit by myself and just be. I made sure I got to do that today. Not even kept company by tv or internet, just me and my journal. I think it helped.

S got to see a Yankee game. I think it helped him release pent up energy and put him in a better mood. His beloved “Jankees.”

I made my grandmother’s habichuelas guisadas or stewed beans, and rice, because I was telling my uncle about them, and he told me he’d had them the one time he came to NY when I was about 7. The recipe was not quite hers, because I either left it behind or stored it with my cook books. I’ll haave to talk to my mom about the recipe.

The beans were a big hit. They woke my uncle up from his nap because they smelled good, and he came down for a plate. And the smell got the boy interested while they were still on the stove. He asked me to let him see the beans, so I picked him up and let him look, and then I let him taste and he was very enthused, saying “more, more.” So I made him a plate for dinner and he had three helpings. No rice, but he ate beans! so I’m happy.

4/26 The Morning of Taking Stock

When things are tough, and my mood is sinking into the toilet, I am able to go outside into the garden and sit there, listening to the waterfall tinkle into the pond, and the birds chirping and hooting and cawing. I can feel the sun on my face and the coolness of the dappled shade. I can watch the butterflies and the tadpoles and the lizards dart in and out of water, air, land and greenness all about. And I can breathe and get my head back on straight.

Chili dogs for lunch.

Finishing the hard sudoku.

G figured out a way to pretend to be Spiderman. He takes his blankie, and it’s various dangling strings and flings it out at you like Spidey’s webflinging. He has spent the morning trapping baby sister until she got too cranky, and then I found myself frequently wrapped up in baby blue knit spiderweb.

4/25 Also The Day of New Friends' Barbecue

Going to a barbecue. Not having to cook tonight, or any of the dishes that come with it. Yay.

Letting the kids hang out with Grandma. G loves her and doesn’t want her to go away. Ivy is slowly getting comfortable with her. The tears and hiding period is getting shorter and shorter. Soon, soon.

More peach sangria.

G adored playing with the toy room in the hosts’ house. Not just the toys, but also the the gerbils and the fish.

Jello. Believe it or not, I’ve never given the kids jello. Just wasn’t in my repertoire. But they got some at the barbecue and they were very very happy.

Hanging out with the hosts, who are actually friends of my mom. They are closer to our age, though. My mom calls her an adopted daughter. She’s really nice. Ross is really nice. They have a little girl a year or two older than G. It’s nice to talk to someone not family.

S looking and feeling better. Something I recently noticed. I think it’s because he’s recently come off of some medicine he’s been taking. I don’t know if he’s noticed, because of all the changes and the stress we’re still struggling with, but soon, maybe.

Friday, April 25, 2008

4/25 The Day of Many Media and Peanut Butter and Jelly

G thought I had an ant on my sunglasses (he has a thing about ants) and I told him, no, there was no ant, but I looked like an ant when I wore them. And then I held my fingers up to my head and wiggled them about like antennae, and made little ant noises and tapped him with my wiggling antennae, and all of a sudden, everyone was an ant… creating finger/feelers with varying levels of success according to age and agility. Ivy, G, Mama, Papa. Everyone was an ant.

This is yesterday, but we got to see two hours of good, new sitcoms. Funny. And then, a new Lost. Been a long time and I miss real tv. What a terrible year for tv.

Reading a book before bed. I left my whole library in Brooklyn, but I borrowed a fantasy book from my mom, and I get to read a few minutes before I pass out. This is a big improvement in my ability to read for the past few months/years. A new, unfamiliar book? In no time at all, I’ll be back to reading the Pulitzer Prize winners.

A call from my mom midday, reminding me that we were invited to a barbecue. I don’t have to make dinner! Woohoo!

Watching Return of the King before nap. So inappropriate, but the boy loves it. The girl doesn’t even pay attention.

The happiness that peanut butter and jelly brings. So easy to make smiles.

Signed up for another blog website. I had some technical difficulties, but what else is new? It’s good to step into the global world, climbing out of my shadows. I have been working on expanding the reach of my blog, and I think it’s something that needs to be worked on quite often. But it feels like I am making small inroads.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

4/24 The Day of Art and Life, Life and Art

While the kids played in the garden, this morning, I took out my journal and my art kit that I have started carrying around in my bag, and drew a picture. I drew the kids at play in the garden. I figured it was good to integrate life and art, art and life.

Checking many nice blogs today while kids were napping. Commented upon some. I’ve noticed that I have gotten about three comments on my own blog in the past week, only one of which is from someone I know. I attribute this upswing not only to my own activity on my blog, but being more social, making friends on facebook, putting a signature on my email with a url, telling people about my blog, and making comments on other bloggers posts. It all adds up. Must keep it up.

Finding old friends on facebook. One of my favorite students, a friend from college and an ex-boyfriend who was always better as a friend than as a mate for me. Both guys are married, and I am very happy for them, and the student is living it up, and I am very happy for her.

My step father called and he’s about to come over to take me on a circuit of the town so I can drop my resume at various restaurants. That other restaurant never called back, so I am moving on. Life is about moving on, sisters and brothers. Being open to the possibilities.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

4/23 The Just A Regular Day With a Tea Party, Some Dancing, and a Movie

America’s Next Top Model. So silly. I loved seeing the girls in their stilettos fall on their asses in Rome. I loved how badly they did their Italian commercials. I mean, cringe and laugh uncomfortably bad. This wasn’t even an episode where I got to see artistic photos being made, just bad acting and girls who could use the maturity of a few more years. But I still enjoyed it.

And I had my chocolate ice cream with fudge swirls and peanut butter cups. No brownie batter, but a good substitution.

Dancing at bedtime, this time to papa playing the baby xylophone. “More, More!” the boy kept saying, as he and his sister danced around the room, happy.

Hanging out with Uncle and S, chatting, eating chocolate, getting ready to watch Knocked Up No cable here and bad reception, so we watch a lot of movies. Which isn’t a bad thing.

The kids playing under the little desk, like it was a play house. They had a toy tea set, and sat there sipping their cups and filling each up with the pitcher.

Slept late. Well, not on purpose. Couldn’t wake up. S had the littles until he had to go to “his throne” and then he got all pissy about me still being in bed. It was around ten o’clock. Can’t hardly believe I got to sleep into the double digits.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

4/22 Also the Day of Dancing and Pickles

S went out to get cigarettes (he’s been working on so many things that I’ve been letting the smoking slide) and came home with a jug of cheap wine. Sure it’s cheap, but it’s tasty and fun. And we are on quite the budget, so it’s that or nothing.

The idea that I might apply to be a contributor for a website. I was checking it out to see what I might like to write about. In the end, I think I should stick with the projects I already have going and make it something in the creativity and/or motherhood area.

The bedtime dance at bedtime. Sure, it prolonged bedtime a bit because they enjoyed it so much, but it went something like this, “Night night dance, night night dance, kiss mama, kiss papa, kiss Ivy, kiss G goodnight.” And the little guys marched around the room smiling and “lalalaing” spinning a couple of times until we ended the song on a grand note and ended the fun.

More good dinner things. G not only ate the tater tots, but he also ate the corn on the cob, and to top it off, he ate a half dozen pickles. That is THREE vegetables in one meal. Holy cow. On top of the green beans from yesterday, I’m wondering if we have broken the picky stage of eating.

4/22 The Day of Morning Realizations

Spending more time with S. This period of change and being unemployed has given us the opportunity to get to know each other again after the heavy duty lifting of having two kids in 20 months, and all the resulting stresses.

Nice hot shower. I realized that when I am in the shower, I do some major thinking. And generally it’s creative thinking. I come up with solutions. I plan out plots. I think about characters. I world build (as in creating an alien planet.) I dream about paintings. I write essays in my head. I mean, I do SERIOUS thinking. After these last couple of years when my creativity has been so anemic, it is nice to make that realization.

And gosh, what a wonderful breakthrough I had in the shower, about creativity and motherhood not being opposed to each other but actually being two sides of the same coin. I don’t have to steal from one to feed the other, I can let them both nurture life in general.

My little punk rock guy thrashing around to a Sesame Street song. He’s not a singer in general, but he was really rocking it out. I mean, it got a little wild and loud after a while, but it was still cute.

Monday, April 21, 2008

4/21 The Day of Everybody Eating Dinner and No Drama

I can’t believe I forgot this yesterday, but it was again confirmed at tonight’s dinner. The boy is eating greenbeans! The greenest of the green vegetables, it even has the word “green” in it, and he sits there chomping away. He has trouble chewing them, but I am afraid to cook them too much because I have the feeling that it is the crunchiness that attracts. But so far, so good.

Dinner in general was pretty happy. I made chicken breasts mishmosh out of whatever was in the kitchen, and it came out really well. I don’t think my uncle will mind that we used the dusty can of mushroom soup that was hidden in the back of the cabinet. We loved it. To be fair, I made the kids chicken without the sauce, but they thoroughly enjoyed their square meal of chicken, rice, and greenbeans. They also enjoyed the ice cream.

My friend started a blog with these inspirational emails she’s been sending out for a while. They are based around Goddesses and life lessons and such. For me, a blog is so much easier to read and to communicate with than a daily email… which is what she was doing, so I’m glad.

I am anticipating a yummy bowl of chocolate icecream with fudge swirls and peanut butter cups. Licking my lips at the thought. I’d better set it out so it can get soft.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

4/20 The Day of the Mainsail Festival

My Brother and soon to be sister in law showed up at the house unexpectedly and asked if I wanted to go to the art festival on the water front. This was just after my mom had cancelled on going with me. I was getting ready to go by myself. Nice surprise.

After a bad start (sunblock in G’s eyes, a bad reaction, lots and lots of tears,) we took our long walk to the bay. Once we started walking, the kids stopped crying. They really wanted to go for a walk in their stroller.

All the interesting houses in my neighborhood. So many different styles, bungalow, spanish, craftsman, colonial. All so different and so fricking cute.

As soon as we got to the festival, I turned around and S was there. In all the drama of leaving the house and the kid tears, we had a little spat and he didn’t come with us. But he must have gotten ready and walked faster than us to meet us so quickly.

G was still hiding his eyes (all red and puffy) until we looked at one of the art tent and there was a print of these animal people in the woods, and then he started smiling and he got very interested in the pictures and the tears and grumpies were over.

An ice cream bar. I chose chocolate ice cream, milk chocolate dipping, and crushed oreos and it was just like the old timey favorite “chocolate eclair bar.” That was the nail on the coffin of the grumpies. We all shared the ice cream, the boy got out of his stroller and played with Uncle M and perused the art tents and sat on the grass to see the birds and the ocean, and it was all lovely.

Ivy’s chocolate covered grin. Four teeth, endless amusement.

4/19 The Day of The Jacaranda Supper

It makes me happy that I do not seem to be getting a full blown cold like I was afraid. Knock on wood.

We went to dinner at my moms and she invited a few other people, couple friends of hers who were our age or had shared interests. It was nice to get out and socialize a little bit.

G played so independently at grandma’s, running into the spare room where the toys are and digging around in the boxes until he found something good, and I didn’t really have to stand over him and watch him every moment. Maybe we are getting to the point where that is possible most places?

G found a little plastic fishing pole, and I told him he should go fishing in a shoebox full of little toys and figurines, and he thought that was a good idea. So while I was in the kitchen with mom and the other women, I would hear an occasional squeal and then he would come running out with one or another toy hooked on the line to show everyone.

My mom’s peach sangria. Yum!

The dinner table my mom set up outside under the jacaranda tree, with a centerpiece of orchids and a lace table and pretty china and a pitcher of yet more peach sangria. This was the table for the women. The men were in the backyard, without any of the fanciness, but with the kids. tee hee.

After dinner, sitting out in the back on the swing, all the kids getting a twilight ride.

G got to watch some Jimmy Neutron before we left.

Changed the kids into pajamas before we left, and when we got home, they went straight from the carseats to the beds.