I used to be a planner, also super-organized (and this is the part where my husband would insist otherwise and I would end any possibility of a long, drawn out debate, by insisting back "WAS SO!" Because I am a great debater, like that!), but those days seem so long ago.
I knew if I just held out long enough, mismatched plates and glasses would become a thing (are so!).
In our house, the holidays were my Olympics! I researched recipes, collected odds and ends for binge-crafting sessions with the kids and made lists for ALL things holi"daze".
This year? I'm lucky if I remember to wear matching earrings, and leaving the house with shoes on, and I can't tell you how many times I've caught myself wondering if I had remembered to use shampoo after already having gotten out of the shower.
My mommybrain is all grown up and waiting for someone to strain my carrots, dammit.
Now with Dad in and out of hospitals and rehab centers, since the end of August, I can't seem to think past remembering to eat lunch. Our parents play a large part of our celebrations and, now that our kids are getting older, (us too!) I keep reminding myself that every day we spend together is a gift.
"What's gonna happen on Thanksgiving?"
Thanksgiving has ALWAYS been my son's favorite holiday and now that he's turning 17 (ugh, really?!?) and has the appetite of a 17yo (a.k.a. never NOT hungry) he's taken over the menu-planning :)
"I haven't even thought about it, so don't know what we're doing, Bud!"
Truth be told, I'm still trying to figure out where September went.
"Well, if Papa is still in the hospital, we'll just have to bring Thanksgiving to him, that's all!"
[one beat, two beats]
"I mean, it doesn't matter where we have it, or if we cop a squat in the corner and eat off of trays, as long as we are together, right?!?"
I'm still trying to clear the massive goober that has formed in my throat, so I have yet to get back to him on that one, but I think maybe he already knows the answer and it was more of a rhetorical question, because these kids are way smarter than me.
"Wait, is that Christmas music you're playing?"
My oldest daughter, on the other hand...
"YUP! Don't judge!"
Gahdfuhbid, it's like she doesn't EVEN know me!!!!
Our youngest daughter is not a fan of hospitals. Not that anyone we know is all...yay, we're going to the hospital!!!!...or anything...but if she were to measure up with her three siblings, when it comes to being squeamish, Hope has succesfully unlocked the "Holy Crap, I'mma Throw Up!" achievement medal at the age of 8.
If it is associated in any way, shape or form to the medical profession, she will work herself into a full blown anxiety attack and then projectile vomit all over your nice, crisp, white medical lab coat -- you're welcome!
At fourteen, it bothers her to no end whenever someone suggests she is simply being dramatic and clearly that someone has never witnessed anyone projectile vomit...like a boss.
Long story short: I've been taking medication for hypertension and monitor my blood pressure, regularly. And Hope had a breakthrough while visiting my Dad at the rehab center, where she actually walked inside, passed all the medical equipment and headed straight into my Dad's room, without throwing up.
Hope: Can you take my blood pressure?
It's the little moments, when your child opens herself up and attempts to control her fears, that make me agree to do things without thinking on it, too much.
Me: Sure, pull up a seat!
I gently wrapped the blood pressure machine's cuff around her arm and reminded her that it would slowly inflate.
[turning machine on]
It began to inflate and my precious, beautiful and ever so brave daughter began to lose her shit.
Hope: It's not stopping...it's NOT stopping...MOM...IT'S NOT STOPPING...AHHHHHH...MAKE IT STOP...GAAAAAAAH!!!!!
10 seconds later, it stopped.
Hope: Huh, that wasn't soooo bad, how'd I do?
[leaning over the machine]
Me: All things considered, your blood pressure isn't too bad at all.
Yesterday started out uneventfully enough -- I hopped onto the train (okay, so it was more like a slow side-step, being very weary of not falling in between the dreaded gap) settled into my seat (near the emergency exit, of course!) and then started playing around with my phone.
What?!? I get bored, easily.
And then my left eye began to twitch and I started rubbing it...and rubbing it...and daaaaaaang, what is UP with the itching...so I rubbed it some more, blaming the stupid cat or the dumbass dog for dumping hair all over the house.
I got into work and then the coughing started...cough-cough...hack...gag...cough-cough...OMG!!!...what is up with all this...cough-cough...hacking?!?!?! I've had this weird sort of nothing cough since spring, so I thought maybe it's allergies...rub...rub...rub...and the itchy eyes must be like fall allergies...OR...I'm just allergic to work.
What?!? YOU TOO!!! Ugh, one of us needs to win the lottery and end our agony, right?!?
So, by the end of the day, my left eye was beginning to hurt and now my right eye was getting all weepy, but I really needed to finish up a few projects before leaving for home, so I texted my husband:
So, I got on the train and then the pain hit...not like, hmmmm, this sucker hurts...I'm talking about the full-metal-holy-crap-I'm-dying-ova-here...ME EYE!!!! And then I InstaFacebooked it:
Seeeeee, totally gross, right?!?!?
So my husband, Garth (not his real name) picks me up at the train station and takes me to the doctors office. We were waiting for quite a while and I was getting restless, because ME EYE!!! So, as a way of distracting myself from the full-metal-holy-crap-I'm-dying-ova-here, I started telling my husband about the conversation I had with my co-workers, before leaving the office.
"I told them it was probably pink eye and then one of them asked me if I had heard about the licking eyeball fetish?!?"
"I looked it up on the train home and found out it has a name, too: Oculolinctus."
"Even though I was a little afraid about Googling licking eyeballs, because you never know what the Internet will spit out!"
[one beat, two beats]
Aaaaand, oh how he laughed...and laughed...
[the sound of crickets chirping]
Moral of the Story: I put the LOL into Oculolinctus!
[the sound of crickets gasping for air, and then falling down, dead before even hitting the floor]
I love going through my Instagram feed, especially while riding the train, first thing in the morning. You people take good pictures, while I play with apps and filters and pretend like I know what the heck I am doing. Photo apps are so much more forgiving, they make even the most...meh, it's a drawbridge...image worth an extra 3 seconds of non-scrolling.
Today, I took this picture of one of my favorite little coves along the water (in between the Raritan River and the New York Bay) and a drawbridge...but, well, the poor drawbridge can't help its utilitarian feel. I mean, it's a drawbridge. A hard-working, under-appreciated and often times thought of as an inconvenience to commuters rushing to and from work type of drawbridge. And it deserves a little love, dammit.
Add a little charcoal filter and it becomes a much more interesting drawbridge, don't you think? Even the high-tension wires in the the back look almost cool and the shadowing of the water directly under the bridge, very deep!
Hit it with a little pen and ink, and the drawbridge transforms into something so unlike a drawbridge, right? Still, I can't stop staring at it.
This one is called Fusain Painting, which means creating art with a charcoal in stick form, made from the wood of the spindle tree -- don't believe me? Google it, like I did :)
Aaaaand, then my favorite filter: Van Gogh Style! I adore the coloring, now this drawbridge makes me feel all artsy-fartsy and stuff. Thank you SO MUCH and have a nice day, drawbridge!
Many of my friends with younger children aren't very fond of Daylight Savings and rightfully so. It takes a while (if ever) to adjust a child's internal clock and convince them that...yes, I know it's still light outside...and YES!!!... it is SO bedtime.
If you have teens then you already know -- rebooting is near to impossible once they've executed an all systems shut down -- asking them to get up earlier than they need to?
It's like a scene out of Clash Of The Titans, where Zeus hesitantly asks Poseidon to...WAKE...THE...KRAKEN...while us mere mortals duck and cover.
Note: I'm talking about the 1980-something version with Harry Hamlin. It's super-campy and awesome fun to watch with your teens, while they rag on all the bad special effects and you try to remember the names of all the actors, wondering if he/she is still living or not.
[one beat, two beats]
And if you're still reading, then I love you and we can totally hang together...moving on.
I too was all Team Daylight Savings Sucks, until I started going to work in the dark.
This morning, however, the platform lights went off as I was buying my 10 trip tickets! It was soooo awesome to ride with the sun shining on the right side of my face and I swear there was a little extra spring in my step.
Until I looked up from my desk at 5:15 p.m. and...wth?!?!...when did it get so dark, again?!?!...BAH!!!...Daylight Savings sucks!!! Until it doesn't, and what a view, right?!?!
With my working full-time and commuting into "the city" (NYC, if you live in and around "the city") 3 days out of the week, my kids and my husband have taken over some of the cooking...okay, they do a lot of the cooking...fiiiiiiiiiine...I haven't cooked a solid meal since April.
Oatmeal craisin cookies
Garth(NHRN) is an especially gifted baker and I would do almost anything to bite into one of his delectable cookie creations (that's what SHE...I mean...that's right, I said it!) like those up there, they ARE my favorite! And now he's experimenting with real food.
Herbed chicken casserole
Whenever my husband is home, I start looking forward to lunchtime at 11:30 a.m. Because he'll almost always place a plate on my desk, while describing EXACTLY how he mixed this with that and threw in some more of that stuff over there and...LUNCHTIME!!!!
Oh, and my man is NOT afraid to peel a pomegranate and...NO!!!!...I am SO NOT taking ANY of this for granted. Trust me! And it's really cute how the roles have reversed and I am more than happy to give him space in the kitchen...UNTIL...he placed today's lunch plate on my desk:
Grilled chicken and mozzarella on top of a bed of salad greens, zucchini, red pepper and a ginger sesame dressing
And my first thought was...WOW!!!...I'm feeling a little insecure about my place in the kitchen...I mean, he really needs to lower the bar, a little. And then I ate it in like four bites...NEVER MIND...IGNORE ME...and carry on, Garth(NHRN)!