Mother and Child Reunion

My kids are back!  My kids are back!

Of course, they arrived at 3p, which was precisely when I was going upstairs to get dressed for work.  I didn’t get a lot of quality time with them, but I got to see them and hug them and snuggle them for a few minutes. 

It’s crazy how old they seem.  I’ve noticed that with Amelia…when she goes away for the weekend (usually to her grandparents’ house) she always comes back looking and acting older.  It’s like she’s a tiny little adult.  And now it’s both of them…my little man and my little lady.  And, holy cow, Z has a head full of blond hair (yeah, I don’t know how I ended up with a blond kid…Jason thinks I look like his nanny).

I secretly suspect that Z started walking while he was in FL and Jason’s parents didn’t have the heart to tell us.  When he finally walks for us, we’ll all rejoice and my in-laws will all laugh behind our backs. 

I can’t adaquately express how freakishly happy I am that they’re here.  I’ll admit, it was really nice to have a weekend to myself (one word….mojitos).  And it’s not like I sat around weeping because my kids weren’t with me.  It was just….boring.  No, seriously, what the hell did Jason & I do before we had kids?  Did we seriously lie around watching TV and reading on the deck?  Yeah, it sounds good now,  but to do it it everyday?  No, that DOES actually sound kind of cool.  But, trust me, once you’re amped up by parenthood (and parenthood DOES amp your brain up) it’s only acceptable for a few days.  Then you climb the walls.

 I can’t wait to get up tomorrow and find something fun to do with the kiddos.  I may even offer to bring them to storytime at the library (and that’s saying A LOT).  Maybe it’ll be nice weather and we can just hang out outside.  Rock on!

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Digging in the Earth

There is something so satisfying about digging in the earth.  Something so wonderful about planting something beautiful or useful or good.  Something so good about creating.

Lately we’ve been doing a lot in our yard.  It started with the woman running across our lawn.  It needed to be fixed…so we fixed it.  But once we started fixing one thing, we realized how much nicer it would look if we did this…and that…and maybe this too….

It should be said that when I say “we”, I actually mean “mostly Jason, but me a little”.  My main jobs have been to cheer and encourage and get tall glasses of ice water so Jason wouldn’t pass out while shoveling dirt in the mid-day sun.  My other job has been to create and maintain the potted herb garden on our porch that Jason has very little (absolutely no) interest in.

Our yard has made a complete transformation this year.  It’s suddenly this wide open, completely lush space.  It’s actually the NICEST lawn on the street.  It’s a bit more manicured than I usually like….but give it a few years for the new plants to spread and flourish and it’ll take on that “Secret Garden” feel that I like.  Yesterday, while discussing the backyard (which, oddly, we’ve done absolutely nothing to) I was thrilled to hear Jason use the word “sanctuary”.  It makes me feel like someday our house will be nothing but flowers growing wild and beautiful.

As much as Jason doesn’t care, I am so completely, nerdily, over the top PSYCHED about the herbs that I’m growing.  I’ve wanted to do it for years.  Every spring I’d think about how cool it would be to plant something (besides the random houseplants that we occasionally replant).  I’ve always thought that it would be cool to grow something useful like fresh herbs.  That way I’d finally be able to make those gourmet meals that I’d been meaning to whip up.  Yeah.  But, as with a lot of things, I’d always completely procrastinate.  I was intimidated.  I had no idea what I’d grow or how they were supposed to be planted.  For some reason, I also felt like once I missed my window in the spring, I’d never be able to grow anything  (Um, it’s not like I was planting a garden in the ground or anything).  

So, one Saturday morning, when the kids woke up early and I was trying to let Jason sleep in, I packed us all up and went to Lowe’s.  I already has that giant pot that was plastic, but looked like terra cotta.  I bought soil and 4 plants- dill, cilantro, mint & basil.  Within a week, the dill, cilantro & mint had taken off (the basil got a little too cold and never really grew, more on that later).  The pot is on my porch right next to the front door and every time I walk in or out, I smile.  The greatest feeling came when I was making dinner last week and needed some mint….and I went outside and CUT IT FRESH.   

It’s made me so happy that yesterday, when Jason started formulating the plan for our next project (which, no joke, was accomplished because we were BORED), I tagged along and bought more herbs.  This time I bought oregano, stevia (which I didn’t even know they sold) & another basil (try, try again).  So, last night, after hours on the latest flower bed (that I DID help with…I planted 5 of the 8 plants and with Georgia clay that’s no small feat), I planted my herbs.  I was sore and exhausted from the yard (yes, I did more that just planting), but I sat on my porch in the cool night and gave my plants new homes.  I replaced the shriveled basil with stevia, mostly because it looked sturdy and seemed like it could hold its own with the spreading mint & cilantro.  The basil & oregano each got their own pot.  And now, with a fledgling jade plant that’s trying to grow, I’ve got the most perfect line of mismatched flowerpots on my railing.  It makes me happy just to look at it.  After I arranged everything, I sat there and stared…almost waiting for everything to grow. 

I felt weirdly relaxed after all of that.  Actually, I’m feeling weirdly relaxed after WRITING about it.  I don’t want to whine, but I don’t have a particularly relaxing job.  Although it DOES occasionally afford me the time to write in a blog (cough, cough).  Maybe all those obsessive gardeners have something….

I’ve felt this relaxed, earthy “shift” lately.  I feel like I’m where I’m supposed to be (take that as you will..).  And that place is feeling the earth under my hands and knowing that I’m connected.  More to come…..

 

I’m on fire!

You would not believe how much I got accomplished today.  Seriously, with no kids around I flew through everything I needed to do.  Well, I flew through a lot.  If I hadn’t taken a break and screwed around on Twitter, etc between each task, I would have done EVERYTHING. 

Cleaning went ridiculously fast.  I would set out to do something, unload the dishwasher for example, and I’d do it.  No pulling Z off the door or finessing knives out of his hands.  No telling cleaning up a cup of spilled milk and wiping a 4 year old bum.  I just….DID it.  Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t give that other stuff up for the world (well, except the wiping…I could do without that).  But WOW it was nice to get something done on the first pass.  So then, when I finished, I’d look at the clock and only 10 minutes would have gone by! (Which led to the screwing around on the computer, but that’s another topic). 

Sometime in my 4 years of mothering, I’ve become a lot more efficient.  It’s probably the fact that I have to do everything in quick little spurts to save time for the “incidentals” (i.e. cleaning/saving/distracting the kids).  It’s like those athletes who train at high altitudes and then compete at sea level and are completely unstoppable .  I’ve trained with the extra weights on, and when they’re not a factor I’m on fire! And I’m so used to doing certain things over and over and over (picking up the living room), that when I do it once and it stays that way, it’s a little shocking.

I say this all like my house is perfect.  It’s so not.  But for the time that I devoted to cleaning/cooking/household errands, I rocked the house. 

Then I went and read a magazine in the sun (Hey, I’m on mom-cation!)

I Miss My Kids

I miss my kids.

I’m not even home and I wouldn’t be with them right now anyway….but I KNOW that they’re not home and I KNOW that I won’t be able to snuggle them when I get home.  I’m blue.

Jason’s dad has been here watching the kids for the last few weeks.  He was going to go home to FL for the weekend and mentioned that he could take Amelia with him.   She’s spent weekends with them before, she loves hanging out with her cousins, she loves running around in their yard.  Cool.  But then yesterday, while I was at work, Jason called and asked what I thought about Z going too.  My stomach dropped.  He’s never been away from us before.  He’s my BABY.

But then I thought about it and I got a little selfish.  How long has it been since I’ve had a weekend to myself….since I’ve had a DAY to myself?  How long has it been since I went to bed and KNEW that I’d be able to sleep in, without the threat of a blowout diaper or a little girl crawling into my bed and flinging her arms around.  How long has it been since I got to sit outside in the sun and read a magazine for AS LONG AS I WANT.

Amelia was 15 months old when she spent the weekend away from us for the first time.  It tore me apart, but I got through it.  She was also my first child (so I was super attached) and I was still nursing (so I was super engorged).  Z is almost 13 months, weaned & extremely independent.  He also has a cousin the same age as him down there, so I know that my in-laws with be well-stocked with diapers and ready to chase a baby.  I hate to think that I’m less-protective because I’ve done it all before but, well, I am.  I think it’s natural.

So, for the most part I feel okay.  It’s just the momentary feeling that I SHOULD be worrying (why am I NOT worrying????) that makes me panic.  I deal with this like I deal with my fear of heights- it’s a fear, but it’s a functional fear.  I feel like I need to throw up, but I still do it.

It’s not worry….I just MISS them.  I LIKE hanging out with my kids.  I never thought that I’d be one of those moms, but I really enjoy chilling with A & Z.  They’re freakishly funny and crack me up constantly.  I literally sit there watching them to see what will happen next.  It’s better than “Heroes”.  (Note: I’ve never actually watched ‘Heroes’ but I hear that it’s good.  I just couldn’t think of a show that I watch that would sound cool and be culturally relevant.)

Last night when I got home from work and went in to snuggle with Amelia.  I’d had a tough day after hearing some tragic news from home (that I won’t get into because it’s a subject of its own and I still haven’t completely processed it).  I just wanted to hug my kids.  I crawled into bed and just watched her sleep.  I love her so much.  I knew that she’d be leaving today and I wanted to drink in as much Amelia as I could.  (Btw, I did the same thing with Z this morning while I was getting him dressed.  I nuzzled him and bit his cheeks and told him how much I loved him.  I don’t want to make it sound like Amelia got all the love…I just can’t fit in Z’s crib).

After they left with my father-in-law this morning, I just sat there for a while.  Then I watched ‘The View’ (it’s been ages since I’ve watched ‘The View’ and the guy who plays Sheldon on ‘The Big Bang Theory’ was on).  Then I set up my Twitter (way too late to be considered cool) and Twittered (tweeted?  I’m still not sure) about how I missed my kiddos.  I texted Jason and told him that I missed the kids.  My mom called and I talked to her about how I missed the kids. 

And then I went outside and sat in the sun and read a magazine.  And, you know, it wasn’t too bad.

Tomorrow I’ll probably do practical things like clean the house and go through old toys.  I might go get my hair cut.  You know, boring stuff.  Saturday Jason works, so the entire day in MINE.  It’s supposed to be in the mid-80’s so I may just sit outside and drink pina coladas…I can’t really make any promises.  Maybe that night we’ll go on a date.  Going to the movies would be kind of cool…it’s be ages since we went to the movies.

It’s funny, when I tell my friends that the kids are away for weekend I get one of 2 reactions.  A.  “Oh wow, (3 year old kid) has still never been away from us overnight.  I just couldn’t bear it.”  or  B. “Oh my God, that is freakin’ AWESOME!  What are you going to do????”  I’m sort of in the middle (as I assume most moms are if they’re really honest about it).  I’m definitely bummed, but I’m a little psyched about all the possibilities of this weekend.

I miss my kids……

I wonder if I should go buy rum tomorrow…..

Brace youself…….

..Jessica has FINISHED Catch-22!!! 

I had my doubts….obviously…but I will admit that it really did pick up as the book progressed.  I encourage readers to stick with it. 

I DO stand by my previous opinion that the book could have been tightened up to about 1/5 the length and not lost anything.

 

On to Life of Pi…..

I realize……

I realize that I’ve been a little heavy lately.  I’m not sure why.  I haven’t been feeling particularly deep.  I think I just need to get my thoughts out on these few topics and then I can get on with my life.

I’ll try to change it up a little tomorrow…..