Posts Tagged ‘Love Thursday’

A spud by any other name…

April 28, 2011

…would still hold my entire heart.  Look what I found once upon a night when I was preparing for my trip and riddled with anxiety:

Gracie and Bee declared it the coolest thing evah and pouted that I wouldn’t let them put it in their treasure box. Instead I baked it (with some very tasty barbecued chicken) and gave each of the girls half of my heart(-shaped potato). Mmmm….potatoes by any other name and in any other shape would still taste as nummy. Yes, indeed.

So begins the season of Peace, Love, and Calories.

December 16, 2010

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! We wish you peace, love, and…calories? Yes, for that is how we do things here are at Casa de Katie. In other words, I started my holiday baking last night.

I remember once upon a yesterday morning, I was excited about this. Only two projects in, I remembered why I start to hate this and swear each year is the last. Not the baking – I love baking! It’s the time. Last night I accomplished two – count ’em, two (ah, ah, ah) – projects. I made soft gingersnap cookies and I made chocolate cuppacakes for the girls’ parties. I didn’t even frosten the cuppacakes yet, so really, I finished 1 1/2 projects last night.

Tonight, I have to make krispie treats and fudge. Countless containers of fudge. But at least I’ll have my little minions to help me. And that’s just for teacher gifts. Then I have to start on actual Christmas cookies and care packages for my auntie (who is having surgery on Friday) and for my friend’s IO (who is having surgery on New Year’s, but hey – cookies freeze for a reason). Lots and lots of baking in my future. I think I baked 1,151 cookies two years ago – a personal best. I don’t know whether I should attempt to shatter the record or not. (Which is worse – beating it or falling just short?)

So off I go. Baking, baking, baking, CHRISTMAS! It’s like some demented grown-up version of Duck-Duck-Goose, a game I play only because I love you all to damn pieces. Ahem. Happy Love Thursday, everyone!

Love is lots of helping hands.

December 9, 2010

Because Christmas=baking cookies and because love=lots of hands in the kitchen:

Me, Cousin 2, and Cousin 1.

Love all those hands squished in, decorating cookies! That's what a kitchen should look like.

Me and mah minions!

Heaven help the boys in our family. Me, Bee, Cousin 2, Tee, Gracie, Cousin 1, S., A., and Mom II.

Happy Love Thursday, everyone!

Love always, ALWAYS!, comes home.

December 2, 2010

I’ve been lucky enough to make many new friends through the blogs I read. Several of the first blogs I read were quite well-known and so a response to one of my witty comments often elicited fan-girlish excitement. I love reading comments on all the blogs, too, and – naturally – I followed several of my favorite commenters over to their blogs and became friends with them, often exchanging daily emails.

Despite all of my own experiences, however, I never expected people other than my family and my “real life” friends to ever read my own blog once I started one. My ego is very thankful that I was wrong because I made friends with people like Kathy. Kathy was one of my first commenters and has been keeping me company almost since I first flung open the doors here at Can’t Get There. She and I email back and forth several times a day and we always, always, send out an APB if we go more than a day without hearing from each other. I like making her laugh and – from some crazy, unknown reason – she thinks my (many) neuroses are hilarious.

Last month, Kathy found out her brother, the Lieutenant Colonel, was coming home after serving more than a year in Iraq. After doing the woohoo! dance, I immediately asked Kathy to send me a pic of her brother’s homecoming. I was so excited for my friend, for her family, and I wanted to share in her Thanksgiving joy the best way I knew how – with all of you! Also, what a cool chance to say thank you to someone who so selflessly is serving our country.

Here are pictures of the Lieutenant Colonel with Kathy’s daughter and another with her dad and her son (I love generational pics!). What a great Thanksgiving!

The Lieutenant Colonel is an attorney with the JAG corps and will be stateside until late summer before taking a post in Germany. (Kathy, what a fun road…er, plane…trip that would be!) I’m sure the time will fly by, but I know his family will enjoy every minute! I am so, so happy for them all!

Happy Love Thursday, everyone! Take time today to enjoy the company of those around you. And if your friends and family aren’t there right now, send them a note to say hello until love brings them home again.

You can always find a little love if you look for it.

November 18, 2010

Okay, on one hand, it’s an empty coffee cup. Boooo empty coffee cups! On the other hand, the heart (that is a heart, right?) at the bottom is a sign that today might not be so bad after all. Hooray hope!

You just gotta know how to look at things. Happy Love Thursday everyone!

A mamacita’s lovin’ feeling.

November 4, 2010

It dawned on me – distantly, through the fumes – the other day as I was cleaning out the nuclear waste dump microwave that we mom’s have it pretty good. I mean, look at all the natural highs we have! We don’t need no steenkin’ bong – we have natural highs! We are high on life! And…cheerios dust! Or, um, something. Really – stop and breathe in the ammonia (slowly, now – don’t hurt yourself) and appreciate all the little moments we have to get feel high each and every day.

  • I wasn’t kidding about that kitchen-cleaner high. Spray down your microwave and all but climb inside to get those back corners. Then, try not to inhale.
  • That feeling you get when you finish the very last load of laundry.
  • That bounty fresh scent when you inhale a warm shirt fresh from the dryer.
  • Speaking of laundry – beat the “Woohoo!” scream of triumph you get when you find $5 in the pocket of your jeans. “Free” venti nonfat latte, come to mama!
  • Being rewarded for rebelliously not pre-rinsing the dishes…and having them come out spotless anyway. Yeah, baby.
  • Getting a stain out of your daughter’s white uniform shirt – especially when you’ve forgotten to check it until after the dryer cycle has finished.
  • Standing a leetle too close to the fumes when you draw a picture on the outside of your daughter’s brown bag lunch with a Sharpie.
  • Remembering to use the detangler to unravel your daughter’s hair before the screams are turned on.
  • Picking up your oldest daughter’s cookie dough so long after you paid for the fundraiser that you feel like you’re getting it for free. Boo-ya.
  • Being able to fix a very tragical boo-boo with a hug or a band-aid or half a tums. (Hey. Don’t knock the tums. At least it’s not Windex.)
  • Speaking of Windex: Convincing your kids you’re doing them a favor by paying them a penny for each window pane they wash.
  • Surviving the noxious fumes of those self-cleaning ovens. No, I do not know what I could have cooked that could make me feel quite that woozy. However, I am pretty sure we have it hard, breathing in that crap while the oven cleans itself. By magic.

Yes, being a mom is hard every frickin’ minute sometimes. But you have to remember all of the in-between minutes that you keep you from doing yourself in. Those are the moments that count. (I’m not sure for what, but for something.)

Happy Love Thursday, everyone! Take a minute to breathe in all the happy thoughts today and let out all the bad. (And laughing couldn’t hurt, either.)

Love knows when to shake it.

October 28, 2010

Ahhh, running.

One of the good things about feeling broken and angry at everyone and everything is that you know how to really put it all out there when you run. Monday – I ran two miles without breaking a sweat. Okay, I was sweating, but only in the literal sense. It was easy. I stopped only because I had reached my goal for this week and you are absolutely verboten from running any farther than your prescribed amount. (Or next week your leg will fall off. True story.)

Last night I ran two miles again. This time it was a little harder. When I started thinking about how much farther I had to go or the stitch in my side, I would start yelling in my head, “Angry! Be angry! Grrrr!” (think Animal from the Muppets) to get myself all worked up…and then fly merrily along, ho-hum.

Still, by the end I was a little out of sorts. I was in the final stretch and my iPod shuffled to the next song. The perfect song, I decided, for finishing runs when you’re tired and in pain and hurting: Black-Eyed Peas’ “Pump It.” So many fun lyrics to listen to. A fun beat to keep your feet moving. And when they sing, “When we play, you shake your ass / shake it, shake it, shake it girl,” you know what you gotta do? You gotta shake your thang. Yep, right there in the middle of the road. In the middle of the neighborhood. In the middle of your run.

Oh yes I did! I shook what my mama gave me right there in the face of this crappy, sucktastic week. You gotta love that kind of crazy. (It’s the kinda thing that makes you bounce when you hit bottom.)

Happy Love Thursday, everyone! Sometimes you have months weeks like this one and there might be only one thing that makes you smile – make it count.

Never take love for granted.

September 30, 2010

Monday feels like it was about a year ago. Okay, so we have good news and not so good news. The good news is that Mom II is getting much better care at the Stroke Center where she’s been transferred. These doctors obviously are the best in their field and we are really, really grateful that things worked out and Mom II was able to scoot her little self over there. After a quick angiogram checked out (don’tcha love the way I made that sound like she was walking to the corner for a cuppa coffee?) (sorry, I use humor to diffuse stressful situations), Mom II was wheeled down for neurosurgery to stop the bleeding in her brain. The Head of Neurosurgery was going to perform the operation and instead of being all, “Oh, she could lose her right brain,” like the last place, we were told that there was a 92%-95% chance that Mom II could pull through with a meaningful recovery. That was good. So, so good.

Even better? She was awake the night before the surgery and, while she was weak on her left side, was able to hold everyone’s hand and tell them she loved them. I’m sure that was a very emotional moment for everyone. I’ve been staying away because I’m sure my presence would cause lots of unnecessary drama, but I am so happy for the Ex’s family that they were able to talk to Mom II before the surgery. Besides, I’m sure I would have cracked jokes at all the wrong times and been asked to leave. But really? That night was great news.

The bad news? Mom had another stroke. She needs to have another surgery. Minimal stay in intensive care is now the entire month of October – and that’s if the complications stop falling out of the sky. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Moms are not supposed to be mortal. For one thing, it scares the crap out of us the children. For another, it’s messing up the curve for when we have to grow up and be the mommies. I am not on that level. I don’t have a cape or super-powers or legendary status. So. Mom II, if you could pretty please just CUT IT OUT and get better already, pleaseandthankyou, because I really cannot keep having breakdowns here there and everywhere. Ahem.

Pretty morose for a Love Thursday post, huh?

But you know what? That’s what Love Thursday is for. It’s for loving the little things, like the cooler temps in the morning and how good your coffee tastes when you sit down at work, and the big things like when your daughters yell across two rooms and a hallway at daycare, “I LOVE YOU, MOM!” Life is short and you gotta stop, take everything in, and love it all. And hugging those around you a little bit closer probably wouldn’t hurt, either. These crazy rides are so damn short, after all.  Happy Love Thursday, everyone.

Love plays along.

September 23, 2010

Yesterday, Kath over at soeurs du jour wrote about sitting there and looking pretty. Actually, she was playing along with a challenge she found from a friend’s site. I was sure I had a pic that would capture the challenge: Just Sit There And Look Pretty. (After all, it’s what I do all day, every day. Snort.) Here’s what I found:

Just sitting there, looking pretty.

I snapped this while we were at Old Sturbridge Village, on vacation. I love so many things about this picture.

I love how all-over lovely it looks.

I love that you can’t tell what a mood Bee was in at that particular moment. She and her sister had a great time and they were both very well-behaved that trip, but right when we wheeled into that particular garden, Bee decided she Didn’t Want To Listen!

I love that no one can tell that from looking at it.

I love that Bee played along and sat there nicely and let me stage the picture anyway, just because she loves me. And I love that both girls got taken in by the pretty lake below and eventually enjoyed it for what it was instead of just to make me happy. Just sitting there, looking pretty is what soothed them, I think.

And I love that all I knew this week was that I wanted to write about the girls, but nothing really stood out for me. Nothing seemed like a “Love Thursday” moment. But I got to play along anyway, to really stop for a minute and soak in what it must mean for a cranky 4-year-old who was pitching a fit to stop, sit on the bench, and pose even though she did not want to. She must love her momma an awful lot.

Just sit there and look pretty! It’s good advice, I think. And many and many a day, just what everyone needs! Happy Love Thursday, everyone. If you don’t know what advice I’m going to give you today, you need this more than you think: just sit there and look pretty! (And feel pretty, too!)

Childhood lesson #3,492: Mom’s love can sometimes be devious.

September 16, 2010

I’ve done a lot of whining complaining venting philosophizing this week about the pitfalls of parenting. Coping with the age-old dilemmas of whining and laziness sometimes exhibited by our darling children – it’s never easy. At our best, it can elicit sighs and prayers that we’ll make it through this stage. At our worst, we lose our tempers, yell and revoke privileges, and even bang our head against the wall. And that’s before we start dosing ourselves with liberal amounts of wine. (It helps. Really.)

I’ve tried being patient and correcting my children’s behavior time and time again, but that only works on my (and their) good days. I’ve tried time-outs. I’ve tried revoking privileges (desserts, bed time, TV time) and that has been fairly effective when the girls aren’t being outrageously stubborn. I’ve tried standing in the room and directing Bee’s every move – “Put away the baby doll. Now put the sock in the hamper.” – and ignoring her whining and crying, but that isn’t really an effective use of my time and hasn’t taught her to clean up when I’m not around playing Air Traffic Controller. I’ve cancelled errands and put off dinner and bedtime and everything else that was scheduled until the toys were picked up, but that just prolongs the agony for all involved. I’ve set a timer and piled any toys remaining into trash bags – to be redeemed by extra chores or acts of kindness and once I even threw the bag of toys away. All of these methods work on Gracie, the child who will clean with very little prompting. None of them work on Bee, the child who needs to learn to take care of her things and our living space. Bee? That child will look me in the eyes and, calmly as can be, tell me to throw the toys away. No lessons learned there. But there is a little bit of mama’s sanity circling the drain. So. Yeah.

From that lovely, barren wasteland of desperation, there was really no place to go but up. Or at least that’s what I kept telling myself.  I dreamed and I schemed, and I schemed and I dreamed. I came up with a better solution. You know – because I am super and sneaky and formerly obsessed with SuperNanny. I came up with Two Jars to Rule Them All. (Otherwise known as my alternate blog title, but I thought it was a little lacking in the Love Thursday department. Meh, details.) I am going to buy two glass jars and a bucket of marbles or colored stones or some such colorful object that can be added to the jars. For every chore that is completed without constant reminders on my part or whining on theirs, the girls will earn a marble. Acts of kindness will be rewarded with a marble. Using good manners, getting a “green” mark at school, and other general good behavior – all rewarded with a marble. Whining, tormenting their sister, having to be reminded more than once, lying, etc., will all result in losing a marble. Egregious acts could even result in losing more than one marble, if I’m so inclined. Whenever the girls fill their jars, they get to redeem their marbles for a reward. I haven’t quite worked out what the reward will be, but I’m leaning towards letting the girls choose. It could be an extra half-hour past bedtime, a new book, an extra-special dessert, skipping a chore, a package of silly bandz – the possibilities are endless.

What I particularly love about the jars is that I will have so many opportunities to “catch” the girls being good and rewarding them for good behavior – something that is crucial in teaching them to make more good choices. If the girls know they could be rewarded for making good choices, they’ll try to create more opportunities to “get caught,” so to speak. Having marbles in a jar in a prominent place in the house will visibly remind the girls of their behavior so they can see how they’re doing. Young children have a hard time remembering what’s not right in front of them.

And you know what? Sometimes so do parents. Mom might even get a jar to help her remember. If I raise my voice, I lose a marble. (Not that I’m not losing my marbles on a regular basis, but that’s a whole ‘nother story.) If I calmly and expertly handle a tricky situation like a SuperMom, I get to add a marble. I probably won’t earn my reward as quickly as Bee and Gracie will, but I like the idea that they see grown-ups are accountable for their actions, too, and this isn’t just a measure to punish the children into submission.

Quite the opposite – cleaning the house and learning how to comport oneself is a difficult, but important, life lesson. It’s one I should have addressed before now, but love steps in no matter when an issue is raised. Love addresses problems both easy and difficult. And love isn’t afraid to be sneaky and devious in its solutions. That kind of love is what makes us SuperMoms. We just need to find some capes to make it official.  Happy Love Thursday, everyone!