Archive for November, 2009

In the light minority, Happy Thanksgiving…

(picture from our Thanksgiving morning breakfast at our inn, more further in the post)

I’m in the minority in our town for putting up lights. Just last week, I was driving in the dark evening of 4:00 and noticed all the lights, Santas (you know, the big blow up lit up kind) and even a few trees.

I REFUSE to decorate until at least after Thanksgiving Day.

But, ahem, I did just download Christmas music to my ipod. Yeah. Who can pass up some Olivia Newton John at a time like this?

This year the girls are gone for the full four days and J and I drove with the masses up North (can we say “traffic”?) to see his family.

I was the only person out of the 12 that were at his sister’s house for Thanksgiving dinner, who was not groaning about how full they were. I had one modest plate. I had two glasses of wine. I ate one extra roll. Three hours later, I had a piece of lemon meringue pie and my own cranberry steamed pudding (ahem, with brown butter sauce).

This is where I write in what I am thankful for. In essence, I am thankful for the life we are living. I give endless thanks for the ability to see that things work out how they are meant to be, even if they are hard…I think often about how last year at this time, J had just left to play piano out of the country for seven months.

I remember how fucking hard it was.

Without that, I possibly wouldn’t be so appreciative and thrilled that he is lying here next to me napping in the middle of the afternoon, snoring like a train.

The blessings in our family sit steadfast.

I was thinking just now, about last Monday, how after school, the girls and I ended up eating breakfast in my bed for dinner and watching “Little Women”.  We finished it off with pudding, during which, I threatened to never allow eating in bed again if it ended up on my white 1000 count sheets.

Let’s just say they went at it like superstars and the sheets stayed clean.

I’m glad for moments like those, especially when I can look back on weekends like these that I spend without my kids. I know they are well cared for by their dad, but I feel like they always belong here with me, and maybe the reason is because they came directly out of me…or maybe because I am just so used to them needing me, I am not so sure what the hell to do with myself when I stop long enough to think about what’s missing.

Regardless, it was a great few days, J and I spent some time on a lake up north in an inn that was to die for.

This is where we stayed for three nights.

We had time with his family, but most of our time was spent alone, together, by the fire, overlooking the lake.

There was endless tea and coffee, episodes of “Glee” on the laptops, a bar downstairs for hot toddy’s, Thai food down the street, a hot tub, a feather bed that makes you want to never get out of bed and rain coming down reminding you that you really don’t have to go anywhere you don’t want to, for three whole days.

I’d say in bed first thing in the morning (due to the feather bed thing) with coffee while J stretched out on the deck in his boxers.

And we basically did not much but relax and work on our laptops in order to get ready for the next stage of our piano bar planning.

Which I will update you with once it happens. (2-8 weeks…yeah, I know, the waiting is killing us)

On the last night, I wanted a bath. The drain had stopped plugging up, so the tub wouldn’t fill.

I’d given up and was getting ready for a shower when J came out out of the bathroom to tell me my bath was filling up…

He’d “McGuyvered” (a verb in our household) the plug for me.

Even better, it actually worked.

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A gift

A few months ago, J had a pretty cranky day and I sweetly suggested he get himself out on his bike to get some air and exert some energy.

(and get himself some better mood)

He biked around.

He stopped at a bar and got a beer and called me to tell me where he was.

I had the kids at home and couldn’t join him, so we chatted on the phone for a few minutes while he had a beer.

He said he was going to ride around some more and we hung up.

Fifteen minutes later, he called to tell me he booked himself a last minute massage at the local Aveda salon.

This cracks me up, because although he has a massage therapist he uses up north when he is visiting his mom, it is more of a sports massage thing than an “Aveda Salon” sort of thing.

When he got home, he sheepishly handed me a small wrapped gift.

“For putting up with me,” he said.

It was a gift certificate for a massage for me at the Aveda Salon.

It took me two months and alot of prompting to go use it and today we had been at the coffee shop next door and he walked me over to make an appointment.

I chose a facial instead of a massage and walked out of there with waxed eyebrows, a waxed upper lip, a very well cleansed pore cleaned steamed and relaxed face, compliments of J’s precious gift card to me…and with $145 worth of product, charged to my credit card.

Thank you, J.

Juice and Parenting

The kids were sick and out of school for three days last week, tag that onto the weekend, and they were home, sick, for five days. J was camped out for the following three days in the living room with a more horrid flu than I have ever seen (more horrid than what the kids went through), didn’t help.

I was the only healthy one and not sure if I preferred that or not.

I’m still healthy, as the kids and J are as well, finally.

What got us heathy and what keeps me healthy?

J has a juicer and we started juicing vegetables three times a day while he was sick. It’s a pain in the butt to clean the juicer, but worthwhile, sucking down a glass of juiced kale, (which makes the juice caca–green) carrots, tomatoes, cucumber, parsley and spinach made me feel better than I have in years. Kind of like I am finally getting the vitamins I lack in the winter, or with the craziness of living on cereal as a single mother because I was too tired to fix myself a proper meal at the end of the day.

With J living with us, I actually menu plan, grocery shop, and cook. I love it and love the fact that he will eat anything I make, even if it’s a flop.

I love that I am healthier and it’s a miracle I didn’t a) get sick first this week and b) get sick at all.

Yesterday, we went to our second session of family counseling, without the kids. It’s a preemptive strike, asking questions about our parenting skills, as a team (because we are generally on the same page with how to do it, and back each other). There is a book she suggested that we’ve started reading, “1-2-3 Magic” and it it certainly helpful, if not for some new information and tactics, but also as confirmation that we aren’t doing so badly since alot of it’s tools are ones we already use.

Importantly, she reminds us the importance of knowing how our kids are feeling and making sure they feel they can communicate what they are feeling through words and not just actions (screaming, fighting, hitting).

You should see the look on Blue’s face, who just turned 7, when she says to us, “Red just looked at me funny! I don’t want her to look at me!” And then J and I say, “Really? How does that make you feeeeeeel?”

She thinks we’re wacked.

There is also the reminder that the girls are only 7 and 9, they are still children and don’t think like we do, and therefore, although we should have great expectations from our children, realize we can’t expect the world because they are still growing into it.

Recently a great comment from Blue, who turned seven last Saturday, she said, “You know Mommy, grandma told me seven was a good age, that it’s the age of reason.”

And I said, “Oh yeah? And what exactly do you think that means?”

She thought for a minute and then says, “I think it means more will make sense to me.”

and then after a pause, she goes, “But I’m still not so sure why you drink that green juice.”

 

 

Best conversation of the day

Blue, while sitting on the toilet, talking to herself:

“Someone’s eye lash is on the toilet seat!”

“How’d it get there?”

Calling out:  “Mommy, how did an eyelash just DROP OFF of someone’s eyelid and land on the toilet seat?”

Red pipes up:

“It’s probably one of J’s back hairs!”

(or something)

Random Ending with Falafel

falafal

I can’t possibly create piles as well as J does. Seriously, he throws away stuff and files and all that and then the next day, he has another pile of “stuff”.

Guys.

At any rate, I do love his skill for extension cords and setting up my wireless effectively, along with networking all three of our printers, getting my fax machine to receive and send faxes (something I have never ever been able to do).

He also got my scanner to work with my Mac. It was one thing, when I switched over to my Mac, that didn’t keep working as a peripheral.

But he got it done.

He set up the dubber so we can transfer every VHS tape we have to DVD.

I have about four VHS tapes to transfer.

And he has a PILE of about 56 of them.

Guys.

The fact that he has taken over the trash duties has me swooning. Never in my life has a guy ever taken out the trash on a regular basis. I love that I don’t have to deal with it and when it’s twenty below in the winter, I will love it even more.

I definitely appreciate the fact that J got creative the other morning when he made the girls french toast and told me to sleep an extra half hour before I had to get up for a meeting. He was creative when he saw the syrup was almost gone and discreetly added honey to it.

The girls didn’t even notice.

Ah, but I did.

And the fact that I keep forgetting to go to the liquor store to stock up on wine, because he was the last one to stock up on wine for the house, well, he came home today with a bundle under his arm, having re-stocked us.

He gave me points for picking up a 12 pack of Michelob Ultra for Sunday’s game.

I am appreciative that he doesn’t complain when I, say, feed him falafel two days in a row.

Yeah.

That’s a big one, ain’t it?

Hormones Suck

hormones

It was Friday and I spent four hours with 48 third graders at the maritime museum in our town. We built fans. We looked at phytoplankton and “shrimps” under the microscope.

We dissected squid.

Yes. We did.

Do you have any idea what that smells like?

I arrived home and drove immediately to the bank to sign on our financing and then ran up the road to pick the girls up from school.

My head pounded all day. Advil didn’t help. Soup didn’t help. Not even chocolate.

I was excited to curl up with the kids on the couch and watch the original Black Stallion. I lived for those movies when I was a kid and secretly loved the boy. Most girls I knew loved the horse, but I hated horses, have always been scared of them…but I loved the boy.

The guy I love now, I am so blessed.

Tonight, I told him two of my pet peeves. One being that when he cracks eggs, he puts the used shells back in the carton and then BACK in the fridge with the unused eggs still in the carton.

Pet-Peeve.

And then when I sliced my finger and he said, “Nice Going Wendy.”

He picked that up from my mom who told him I was clumsy like my Aunt Wendy. So he teases me.

Unfortunately, when hormones strike at this time of the month, being associated that way with Aunt Wendy is worse than usual.

And I  might add that Aunt Wendy is as sweet as all get out but not the brightest pin in the cushion.

In fact, she is not bright….AT ALL.

She thinks that bottled water is legitimate bottled water if she refills it from the tap.

So I let him know, “stop calling me Wendy” and I cried.

GAWD that sucks.

At any rate, he still fell asleep with me, letting me get all up against him even though the heat was on and it was sweaty and I was all emotional-girly-like. He managed to sleep through it, so I thought….in the morning I said, “you slept really well last night, didn’t you?”

And he goes, “Like hell I did!”

Apparently, my tossing and turning and clutching to him kept him up a bit.

Whoops.

Hormones.

They totally suck.

On a funny note, when I boldly asked him to “spoon me” that night in bed (yes, people, I did….I know, weak of me…) he goes, “What’s in it for me?”

And I answered, “You get a happy girlfriend.”

It was enough for him at that point.

Drinking stress

1-30days-pour-wine-lg-63555269

We’ve been a bit under stress lately. Turns out as we wait for our dream piano bar location to come to fruition (final negotiations and finality of a loan we really really need to make it happen), another property came up for sale about a mile from our home.

So we made an offer.

J had to drive south of Boston (over an hour away) to make the offer and found himself in the office of some very sleazy salesmen/brokers who told him he had to make an offer before receiving the profit and loss statements of the restaurant we were investigating. This is after we decided, based on the numbers we already saw and a tour of the business, that it would be a prime spot for our business. It’s like it fell into our lap.

So we were going to just lowball the offer in order to get the papers because we couldn’t make an accurate offer without knowing how the business is really doing and seeing what is it likely worth.

But the brokers refused a lowball offer.

We offered low but higher than we thought we wanted to offer.

The next day, they accepted our offer but by that point, we had gone over all the numbers and saw that the business that exists now is losing ten grand a month.  And it was definitely not worth what we had offered.

We withdrew our offer in order to make another offer, which I am sure was offensive to them, but still.

At any rate, Friday night was one of our first real “date nights” in a long long time. Mainly because J was working every weekend until the summer season ended at the local piano bar.

We started out with wine in the bathtub. (to drink, not to bathe in)

Then we had some amazing Italian food at a really cute place in town. (and had more wine)

It was when J started talking kind of loud that I realized I should lay off on the wine and let him keep drinking if he’d like.

He liked.

We went to another local place where live music was playing.

I drank ginger ale while J drank more wine.

We left the bar to go to the car and drive up the road to another live music haunt to meet some friends.

“I’ll drive,” I said to J.

“WHAAAAAAT? YOU MUST BE DRUNK!” he said.

I pointed to the passenger side and belted out, “GET IN.”

And he got in.

He looked at me and smiled and goes, “are you sure you’re okay to drive?”

It made me laugh and glad he could let loose once in a while.

We arrived at the final destination and we listened to a great band and were the only ones not dressed up for Halloween.

I got my butt pinched by a woman dressed like a man. (I think)

J kept his hand on my butt after that and every time I turned around, he had this smile on his face like he was already scoring with me, but hadn’t realized he wasn’t.

The woman dressed like a man came up to us and goes, “I’m really a woman, SEE!????” And she stuck her chest out so we could see she had boobs through her tshirt.

And J drawls, “Well, see this!” and lifts up his shirt (for really no pertinent reason, seeing that he is a man, other than the fact that he was slightly shnookered)

The next morning J said to me, “I don’t remember much about the end of the night…”

Which was funny.

I’m glad he didn’t remember leaning over to hug our friends goodbye and kissing our male friend, on the lips.