Archive for the ‘Red’ Category

I don’t even know where to begin

Sometimes big things happen, sometimes small, I just want to be sure I don’t miss anything.

Lately, I’ve been sitting here at home with the kids, looking at them, thinking, “How on earth did they get so grown up?”

I mean, it’s to a point where I feel like I can’t remember being home with them 24-7 when they were babies, I barely remember what it was like to have their little bodies snuggled up to mine when they nursed. I mean, I don’t remember alot, I remember it was good, but there are so many details that feel so far away. Some of them, almost ten years way back.

So, Red, who is 9, needed something like a trainer bra.

Yes, that’s what I said, and I can’t believe it.

Maybe not even so much a trainer bra, as a tank top underneath her tshirts. Something with a built in, extra layer. I am glad she surprised me by being excited about it and not embarrassed by the thought of something like that.

We went to Target and along with buying some new clothes for the girls for Spring, I told her we would get her some tank tops/bralettes for little girls.

Well, she led me to the rack with big padded bras and pointed “I want those”.

Holy Mother of GOD.

I stifled an amused giggle, and told her that in a few years, yes. But for now, we got cotton, UNPADDED (but cute, they make these things cute now) bralettes.

She is terribly cute, putting them on every day.

On a larger level, I just got home from signing a very large check as well as a purchase and sale for our business.

There is so much more to do and still a big negotiating thing to work out on the lease of the space, that could be a deal breaker, but we really hope not. We hope this works out, but if it doesn’t, we know another place will come to light, and all that we are doing is educating ourselves to be ready for the next thing.

But still.

I signed on the line. And I handed over some big money.

Yikes.

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sick in the house

(scarf making on a sick day)

Have you ever experienced that moment, RIGHT after one of your kids throw up, and you think, “HOLY SHIT I KISSED HER ON THE LIPS JUST FIFTEEN MINUTES AGO!!!”

Happens to me all the time.

So, after the hurricane, the next night, Blue got sick and lost her dinner in the middle of the night, in her bed…um, in her hair…everywhere…

Nothing wrong with a bed change, pillow change or a bath at midnight, right? Nope.

Doing it again at 3 am, that’s pushing it.

She woke up Saturday morning feeling decent, Red had a little cold, so we stayed in and literally watched TV all day, made scarves and did Pixos and ate toast and omelets and cuddled. It was a peaceful day with no more puking and everyone getting better as opposed to getting worse. And so far, the rest of us have refrained from getting the stomach bug.

I set my alarm for the wrong time this morning, so I jumped out of bed fifteen minutes late to get on the road to Boston to pick up the girls from their overnight with their dad and bring them back to school. I literally threw on my clothes and ran out the door.

It’s a non-bra day.

It’s a non-everything day, in fact.

The drive sucked. Traffic, slush, ice, rain, accidents, but somehow I got the girls to school right as the bell rang.  Secretly, I wished it was another holiday or snow day and we could all stay home together.

J and I are sitting in our pajamas drinking coffee, doing more restaurant planning work. Oh my, how frickin’ slow this shit is. Meetings, phone calls, making notes, keeping things on the calendar of when they need to be done (liquor license meetings, etc).

We’ll have a better idea this week how things are panning out. Keep your fingers crossed, I know we are.

We were out last night listening to some live music, actually, we were having dinner and drinks at the place that we are working on buying.

I was ordering my wine with my dinner and J started to laugh.

“What?” I said.

“Um, if we’re going to be owning and running a restaurant and bar, you really need to learn how to pronounce ‘Pinot Noir’.”

On the Bedside Table

I grew up reading avidly.

We weren’t allowed to watch tv except Little House on the Prairie, so I think I felt a bit deprived at the time, especially while all my other friends spent their Saturday mornings watching cartoons.

The tradeoff though, was an appreciation and excitement for books, for reading. On Fridays, we’d stop at the library and I’d check out the maximum limit of ten books, go home, get in the bathtub, and read a novel front to back, pausing only to add hot water. We’d get in bed at night at 7 and read until Mom yelled at us to turn out the light, hours later. And I recall waking up before sunrise often enough to keep reading before having to get up for school. Saturdays were a dream, where I could sit on the beach and read in between volleyball games, or in the cooler months, stay inside and read by the fire.

Now, in our house, we’ve promoted this sort of habit with the girls. Both J and I read, currently, it is more marketing and restaurant books. Sometimes inspirational or self help books. But the other day I was at the book store with the kids and bought myself “The School of Essential Ingredients.” I even started it last night and I can’t remember the last time I actually read a book that wasn’t teaching me more than what the story was telling me.

The girls have a reward system chart on the fridge. Their goals for each day are to a) keep their room clean b) respect each other (which is a nice way to say “don’t fight, hit, scream at your sister”) and c) listen to Mommy and J. At the end of each day, they get a sticker for each accomplishment and when they reach 25 stickers, they get a reward.

Last time it was a trip to Chuck-e Cheese.

This time, it was a choice to take a trip to the bookstore.

Oh and what a treat that was. To have kids who beg to read, who beg for new books, who beg for the library, who beg to trade books with each other, how did I get so lucky?

They each picked a book. Blue got this gorgeous Pippi Longstocking book.

Red chose a Roald Dahl book, which I found amazing, considering she seems to have already read about ten of them, it is hard to believe there are more out there!

The girls both have reading homework every night, and I found myself, in the beginning, begging them to read after school, but they weren’t interested since they were busy doing other homework, resting, playing, studying, doing flashcards. I thought back to my own childhood and the new plan was easy. For the last few years, the girls have been getting in bed at night and reading for 45 minutes, sometimes longer, in their beds. In the mornings, they no longer come traipsing in to wake us up, but I go pull them from their beds and their books to get them ready for school on time.

We got a good thing going and I have even had to make the “no reading at the dinner table” rule. (along with the “no Nintendo DS at the dinner table rule.”

Lastly, on J’s bedside table is a book I ordered for him a while ago. He has read most of it but I find he has been holding onto it and picking it up and re-reading pieces of it. He alternates this with Macworld magazine and restaurant books on cutting costs, employee satisfaction, and advertising. The book is “Soul Proprietorship”. And oh man, is it good. (I know this only because I read over his shoulder sometimes when he isn’t looking. I’m still waiting for my turn with it and considering my own copy.

great worrying

Red has a very good friend, they are the sweetest together, watching out for each other, true partners at school and every year they are put together, seated together, partnered, and even paired together with others who need additional moral support in class.

It makes me really proud of both of them.

Last year, when the “swine” flu was the most common subject in the news and on the street, I struggled a bit with Red, who suddenly became immensely phobic of germs. I wrote about it on my previous blog “Movin’ Down the Road.”

It got so bad and I was so worried, but eventually, especially once summer hit, the phase and worry passed on her part and therefore I was relieved of it.

Red’s little friend has suddenly developed this anxiety thing at school, and it causes her not to eat, especially in the cafeteria. Just the other day, I saw her drinking “Ensure” because I know her dad is trying to just be sure she gets the nutrients she needs into her, fast, throughout the day, until they resolve this issue. J and I are good friends with her dad, who has custody of his kids, and does an amazing job parenting his two girls.

It’s horrible and they are getting a handle on it, even  though this little eight year old is seemingly disappearing, physically, but her personality is big, her presence is huge when she is here in this house and she shines at school. But she still just doesn’t eat.

I got her to eat with us the other night though, when she was here visiting, a few completely dry pancakes, which is more than she has eaten in a while, apparently. Anyway, at school, the cafeteria is too crazy for her for eating, so her dad asked if Red would be willing to eat with his daughter somewhere quieter. He arranged it with the faculty, so Red eats with her friend in the principal’s office (which is apparently a really fun and exciting special thing to them!)  It seems to be helping, but not sure what will happen when re-introducing her to the cafeteria.

This whole thing has really affected me. I feel bad his little girl is going through it and that he is going through it. He even has her going to a therapist  who specializes in eating disorders and the last time I talked to him, he was horrified and sad and struggling.

It makes me think about the kind of kid I was and what I put my parents through. I never did anything REALLY bad, but there were times I didn’t eat, times I stole candy from my sister and her clothes when she went to college. I stayed out past my curfew but I wasn’t out partying, I was making out with this cute guy I adored, out on the front lawn. I didn’t study and got b’s and c’s, and they knew that if I studied just a tiny bit, I would have gotten a’s. I faked cleaning the house when I was supposed to and shoved my dinner under the rug, often enough. (we didn’t have a pet). I also screamed and yelled and butted heads with my mom, on a daily basis. About what, I have no idea, but all I know is we were both stubborn and over the years I have had to let go of it, for my sake, for my own behavior, and for her sake.

Although the things I worry about now are minor, like how Red is doing with math (tutoring starts next week) or if Blue is lying to me about small things, I realize these will be teenage girls, going to middle school in a few years and then high school. I think about what I saw or what I experienced as I got older and cringe to think of my kids in similar situations. We can’t always protect them, but we can be there when the come to us, needing help to fix something or just be comforted.

Stranded and I can’t lay off the chocolate frosting

This is how I feel.

I stood there over J, who was flat on his back on the ground under my car, in nice clothes, after  lunch out yesterday. And I am thinking, “this man loves me.”

I had started the car up and the engine was loud, like my muffler had been chopped. You know, like when the kids back in the day wanted a loud car to be cool.

But this was not cool.

So, he’s lying under the car in the snow and salt and mud and I hear, “your pipe is cracked”.

It was ever so slight and he thought I might be okay driving the kids down to Boston to their dad’s later in the day.

So the girls and I set off at 4, he was already on the road in his car to go play a gig. And I heard a horrible high pitched dragging sound that was actually slightly confused by the girls’ new Nintendos that they were playing in the back seat. I pulled over and sure enough, the pipe had broken and was dragging. And then I lost complete power in my car, no power steering, no lights, no heat.

At any rate, I love my car, it was my first car ever, 9 years old (yeah, my first car was when I was 28 years old, imagine that) 2001 Subaru Outback Wagon. I love it.

It’s as old as Red.

There is a possibility I will decide to buy a new car. I’ve put 5k into this one in the last two years, so it may be time to bid this one goodbye and spend some money and gain some piece of mind. The last thing I want is another breakdown in the dead of winter, farther away from home, perhaps, with my kids in the car, with no heat, or cell reception, or whatever….

Anyway, soon after, my mom came to rescue the girls and take them back to my house to get them some food. I waited in a very cold car, because I also lost complete power, for an hour, waiting for the tow truck. After he came and towed my car to the car place, I walked home in the freezing cold. (just a quarter of a mile or so). I barely felt it, I was upset, mad and annoyed.

My mom was a saint and we drove the kids the hour south to their dad’s and back again, in snow and sleet and ice.

When she dropped me off at home, I took a shower and went to bed.

I’m thinking “bad reality tv” and nachos today.

Actually, no.

I am working on a new painting, because I haven’t painted since November.

I’m doing my end of the year financials for my tax guy.

I will do the laundry.

And maybe then, will lounge under ten layers of comforters in bed, eating leftover cake frosting with a spoon and watching bad reality tv on Hulu while I wait for J to come home.

Walking Through the Mall

Last week, before Christmas, I took the girls to the mall.

It is one of my least favorite places and one of their most favorite. So you might say, I compromised.

Red had the camera and took this video, with a little humming in the background and skip to her step. And I was unknowing of her actions and gosh, had I been prepared, I would have worn a belt that day…or at least pulled up my pants.

J Skyped a few minutes ago from his hotel down in the islands. He was flown there this morning, put up in a fancy place with a HOT TUB ON THE DECK OVERLOOKING THE WATER and will hang out until Thursday, when he will take a puddle jumper to a YACHT and play piano, piano bar style, for a private party.

He’ll be home on Friday night.

So, as I sit here in the “feels like -1” degrees and my house shaking from high winds, winds that are tearing off roofs and shingles and blowing down trees all around us in town, I’m thinking how great it is for him and how badly it sucks to be living in winter already. My hands are chapped. My skin is pasty. I have a little muffin top going down when I wear my jeans. And I can’t go outside without wearing ten frumpy layers, some requiring to be itchy wool, and big non-sexy winter boots.

Oh, counting the months til summer.

We left snow and came back to sunshine

We left Saturday morning to go North for a few days with the kids to see J’s mom and sister and her family. For the second time ever, we stayed in an inn with the kids sleeping on blow up mattresses on the floor of our room, by the fire, on the lake. It was alot of fun and the indoor pool was a blessing with the few days of rain.

Even better, the hot tub sitting right next to the pool, served as a perch for me to stay warm while they swam right beside me.

The inn was cozy and wonderful (but I didn’t sleep much).

J played an extra gig last night at a restaurant up there, so we sat at a table near him and had dinner while he played. The girls enjoyed putting money in his tip bowl, saying, “you can buy Mommy Starbucks tomorrow with that”.

It was funny, since the money came from my wallet.

Yes, I tip my piano playing boyfriend.

On the way home tonight, we dropped the girls at their dad’s house, where they will stay for a week of vacation with him. They invited us in to see their rooms (I had seen them but J had not and he had avoided it for months and months now, he finally conceded and I think it was the welcome from the girls’ dad to come in. I appreciated that, as did J. And I know the girls loved it.

We drove back up the highway to our ocean town and noticed the snow was somewhat melted. I checked the car’s thermostat and it said that it was 50 degrees outside. When we pulled in to our house, the sidewalks were clear, the mound of snow in the middle of the square (where we live) is very small, and everything looks clean and smells like Spring.

Too bad we have a long way to go for that!

At any rate, here is a picture of our neighborhood from tonight.

Can’t beat that, two days after Christmas.

Tomorrow we are staying in Boston to celebrate New Year’s a bit early. J is heading down to the islands for a New Year’s Eve gig for a bunch of folks on a private yacht. Not too shabby, a flight down, a day to rest, play one night, fly home the next day.

I’ll be spending the days kicking the tree out the door and cleaning the house, top to bottom.

I’ll likely sneak some old toys and stuff into the Goodwill bag while the kids are gone and place their new toys and books in the proper places in their room.

I’m even thinking of cleaning out cupboards, or at least, the laundry room.

And I am thinking of movies and Sushi for myself on New Year’s Eve, in my pajamas, with the heat cranked up to high.