getting my house in order

getting my house in order
it's a jungle out there

Friday, May 29, 2009

Meat eaters

cc: in medispeak this stands for chief complaint... the reason for the office visit

So today, I pick up a chart and see...

cc: attacked by mosquitoes while hunting this weekend




???... hmm... are you kidding me???
am I the only one who sees something odd about this?

Don't get me wrong. I don't particularly have an issue with hunting... it's just not my cup of tea

And I'm not a vegetarian. I definitely enjoy a burger now and again. 
Especially when it's pastured organic abattoir-slaughtered Amish cow meat labeled 
NOT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION
                                                 
kiss my meat eating ass, USDA




However, if you're sixteen, and hunting, or if you're the mother of a sixteen year old hunter, and you, or your son, get attacked by mosquitoes while hunting, my advice to you is 

SUCK IT UP like those mosquitoes did 
or
SHOOT THEM WITH YOUR BAZOOKA
or 

something... but don't bug me about it


I would have included a hunting pict, but the Google images were ENTIRELY too disturbing

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Gloves


Ty, by his own admission, was having a
dark and sensitive day.
He was dressed in black, head to toe. A long sleeved black shirt, black sweat pants, his black Converse.
So not like him.
I thought jeez, he's only 8, he's not going goth on me... is he??
So... umm... Ty honey, dark and sensitive... is this just today? or is it gonna be everyday??
Just today... whew!! that's a relief

So he moped for a while... not a happy camper.



At some point during the day, I noticed he was wearing these...
hmmm... where did those come from??



Hey Ty, where did you get those gloves?
Aren't they cool, Mommy?...I always wanted gloves like these. We found them in the park.

OK. the park. The park is the school playground which borders our backyard. I can look out our kitchen window, across the length of our backyard, and literally see into the school's cafeteria. Which is great. It's great that my kids can walk out our front door, make 3 left turns, and be at the school's entrance without crossing any streets. It's great that I can be cleaning the house, or folding laundry, or gardening, and hear them playing at recess. It's great that all the little kids file past our backyard at the beginning and end of their day, and stop to feed the dog cheese doodles or gawk at the chickens hi Mia's mom, hi Ty's mom.

There's also a lot of extra-curricular activity back there when school's not in session. Folks use it as a short cut, and toss their candy wrappers, soda, or beer cans over the fence as they walk by how rude.
At night, it's a secluded alley where high school kids can hang out, have sex, and do whatever kids are doing these days
i'm so old.

Last spring, one of the lunch ladies came by ...
umm... TyandMia'smom??... umm there's a condom... a red one... hanging from a tree by your fence... the kids can see it from the cafeteria... they're calling it a rubber tree...
RUBBER tree...it renewed my faith in the public school system that the elementary school children in our semi-urban town have learned enough about ecosystems to know that RUBBERS GROW ON TREES

So this is where Ty found the gloves that he's wearing on his hands... YUCK!!!

Later that evening...
OK guys... time to brush your teeth...


Mommy, what?? What's the problem?? It's protecting our toothbrushes from germs. Do you know how many millions of thousands of germs get from the toilet onto toothbrushes?? We learned it in school.

ecosystems and microbiology...
so glad the school budget passed

Monday, May 25, 2009

Burnt toast

So the other evening at work, one of the medical assistants was like,"I think I have ADD. I never thought so before, but I think maybe I do. I think maybe I need medication". 
She probably doesn't have ADD. What she had was 3 kids in 4 years. A job. School to get a better job. A mother in law. Oh, yeah, and a husband. 

I never had ADD either. Ever. Until I had 3 kids in 4 years, a job, a house, a dog, 2 cats, 3 chickens, and a husband who worked 10 hr days with a 4 hour commute and a stupid fucking save the planet food obsession

Unless it's microwaved, it's burned. I burn pancakes, I burn french toast, I burn grilled cheese. I burn eggs gross. I burn stuff, and then get stressed because I've trashed the precious eggs from our chickens, the organic butter, and the Amish cheese... and the kids are still hungry

I burned the cupcakes for Mia's birthday three times. I thought my head was going to explode. I burn stuff because I'm always doing 157 things at the same time.
On not so good days, I'll stand in tears at the stove. Ty will come and put his arms around me and say "its alright, Mommy"

Today, Mia was eating leftover pizza and wanted a fork.  I got up, and came back with scissors...nope...went back for a fork, and came back with the spatula that I used to scrape the burnt pizza cheese off the oven floor... try again... next it was a fresh cup of coffee... still no fork. By that time, she had eaten most of the pizza with her fingers which is the way it should be but that's not the point

I never finish anything anymore except for cursing at burnt food. We've lived in this house for two and a half years, and I still haven't finished painting the inside. I decided to paint the porch and trim, and that's not done either. When I'm in cleaning mode, I bounce from one task to another, usually don't complete any and then run out of time and have to start over another day.

I never used to burn things, just like I never had ADD. But there never used to be so much shit in my head, and so much to do, and so many people to take care of. 

My guess is there are a lot of moms out there who have developed ADD.

Gotta go...I think I smell something burning  could be my 3 remaining brain cells

Saturday, May 23, 2009

stimulating the local economy


memorial day weekend

cook-outs, yard sales, outdoor fun

Went to the farmers' market and came home with sweet italian lamb sausage and lamb chorizo, spinach ricotta ravioli, and cranberry raisin walnut bread, all made locally here in the beautiful Hudson Valley... yum...so exciting
I'm stoked and hopeful that the peanuts will enjoy the fare, and I will hold my head high and
not be ashamed/guilty/frustrated

Mia spies a yard sale a few houses down. 
She and Ty go to scope out the goods.
it's just junk says Jack can i go to ethan's house?? see ya do you remember the summer before 7th grade?
Mia comes back mommy, can i have 3 dollars? 
...and ty wants his allowance.
I dispense 3 dollars each

They proudly return with these lovely acquisitions


pleasemommyplease can i go back?
can i have a 4dollar bill or a 5dollar bill?
honey, that's alot of money to spend on someone else's junk
pleasemommyplease
andtheniwon'tbotheryoufortherestoftheday...
...unless i want food


so, i don't know
they struck some kind of barter/deal thing with the yard sale lady
every so often i noticed them carrying stuff out of our house, and coming back with armloads of different stuff
...hmmm...


wow
well, it's not new junk 
it's not new junk from walmart
it's reused
won't be used by us
I'm stimulating the local economy
hope that yard sale lady doesn't have anything valuable of mine

Dinnertime
Skip the fancy sausage dinner maybe tomorrow
Jack's at the drive-in with his friends
yeah, drive-in, pretty cool
Mia & Ty want to try the new hot dog place on Main St.
the buzz was specialty gourmet dogs
i'm thinking not unlike sweet italian lamb sausage
yeah, not so much
sabrette's , greasy fries, cheeseburgers

  
tasted good, as a hot dog should

please pass the pepcid



Thursday, May 21, 2009

It's all about the love, baby

Been reading blogs by moms with special needs kids. I have something to say to those moms. Your children are perfection. All kids have special needs, some more than others. My Jack is 11 and dysfluent (he stutters). He's got so much to say, and sometimes just can't get it out. Ty, on the other hand, didn't speak until he was almost 3. He's now 8. He has to carry the entire contents of his desk back and forth in his backpack, otherwise he's sure to forget the ONE book he needs for homework. Ty jumps up and down and flaps his hands when he's excited about something. Jumps and flaps incessantly. Most of the time, he's on another planet. Mia is 7, and probably on the bipolar spectrum. I'm scared for her, for the struggles I expect her to face during adolescence and adulthood. But you know what? They're all really smart. Jack is cool, wise, thoughtful, and funny as hell. Ty does that jumping thing when he's stoked about his cello. Last October, he asked to play the violin ice picks in my temple...how 'bout the cello, honey, everyone plays the violin... so now it's 8 months later and he loves his cello. It's never in the case because he's always playing it. He would sleep with that thing in his bed if he could. And he's really good. Like weirdly good. Mia is so creative, so artistic. Think van Gogh, think Kahlo, think Abu.

The thing is, we underestimate what a child is capable of. Years ago, I cared for kids, little kids, infants, who spent every day of their lives in pain. Legs shrunken and weak from neuropathy, lungs scarred by pneumonia, bodies and brains not able to grow from wasting syndrome. All from that nasty-ass virus sadly passed from infected mama to baby. I was privileged to be the one to whisper in their ears, kiss their foreheads, and hold their hands when they were dying, 'cause their people were either in prison, on the street, or already dead. Or maybe just too broken themselves to care. Sometimes it was a few days, sometimes months, some even years.

But you know what else I saw. I saw these kids thrive in a way that defied their prognosis. I saw them learn and sing and walk and smile and play. I saw them live way longer than expected. Because they were loved. We loved them and nurtured them and laughed with them. We held them and hugged them and said "no" to them. We cheered them on every single day. We were a family. Each and every one was a miracle. They were brave and strong. And I saw them not be afraid, even at the end.


We are born knowing. I bet you've looked deep into your infant's eyes, and she's looked right back at you with wisdom and awareness... old...i must be seeing things... It's not your imagination. When your babies are looking at something, and nothing's there, they're looking at heaven. When they smile in their sleep, they're smiling at angels. When they're cooing and babbling alone in their cribs in the wee hours, they're talking to GOD. And God spelled backwards is LOVE. Love heals all things. Love moves FUCKING MOUNTAINS.

So you mamas and papas out there with special needs children, do not be afraid. Celebrate your babies, believe in your babies, love your babies summpin FIERCE. And you will see. They'll surpass all expectations. They are miracles. They will be strong. And loving. And you will look in their eyes and see absolute perfection.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

mama mia



Mia is my challenging one. 
Intense, creative, unpredictable. Gorgeous-but sometimes painfully self-conscious. 
Intuitive. Sensitive. Huge emotions in a skinny little body. 
Although I am the alpha female by status, she is the alpha by personality, so we are in constant conflict.
Always a struggle, always a standoff. 
With Mia, I'm quick to say no, quick to sigh in exasperation... 
as though she's a perpetual pain in my ass 
quick to snap. 

Today started out as one of those days for Mia...a day when nothing is right...nothing is OK 
 I knew how the morning would end...with her clinging to me, sobbing into my belly by her first grade classroom door, the teacher's aide trying to free me from the mia death grip. So this morning I said fuckit how 'bout a Mia & Mommy Day. 
oh the smile oh the grateful love in her eyes. This was special. 
I'm that mom who fills my kid full of Motrin and says "tell your teacher you're on Amoxicillin ...and DON'T cough". 
So to stay home just because-unheard of at our house. 


 We strolled on Main St and sat at the sushi bar for lunch. 
Mia had the California roll, I had the spicy salmon. 
I tried not to think about mercury, farm raised vs wild, or avocados from Ecuador. 
This was our day together. Mother and daughter. Cultivating relationship 

mommy, don't even THINK about touching my food


Mia loves her California roll



 We strolled down Main St some more, to the micro-batch popsicle place. 
Mia chose chocolate, I chose cucumber chili mint. 
YUM 
no, really it was delicious



...and a Coke... sshh...don't tell the boys... 
what a treat!!




Mia sure enjoyed that popsicle


Oh, did I tell you? 
Mia cries when she sees a picture of her Grandpa who passed when she was 6 months old mommy i miss him soooo much. 
She'll find pet bugs and let them crawl on her face
and love them to death
mommy they're my friends
And she'll snuggle-up and smooch and cuddle forever if you let her. 

It was a lovely day. 
Me and my Mia

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Bringing home the bacon

So, I've spent the last two days at work. 
Just another manic monday, seeing baby after baby. 
Cute chubby healthy babies. 
Two month old, four month old, six month old fatty fat fat babies. 
Chunky on breast milk, chunky on formula. 
Chubby hands and chubby arms with creased wrists that remind me of...

italian sausage links right out of the package.

                                          soft, squishy, damp                                       

                                      upturned noses, squealing, snorting                                 

              this little piggy went to market               

ten fingers, ten toes
"she's perfect
"he's perfect"
I say reassuringly
 and see relief and pride in parents' eyes

Later in the day, the sick kids come
coughs, sore throats, headaches, fevers

"It's just a virus"
I say reassuringly

virus?... VIRUS!?!

I see parents' eyes widen, panic stricken
there's an apocalyptic plague out there
devouring school principals and toddlers

they voice their fears

our cousins live in Queens...
our housekeeper is Mexican...
you can't get swine flu from eating pork...can you??


Another day...another dollar



Sunday, May 17, 2009

A Balanced Diet

It's Sunday, and I've sinned...I crossed over to the dark side, crossed the threshold to Hades, 'cause Jack needed new sneakers. 

Walmart

thru the doors, and my teeth are clenched...the enormity of the place makes my ears ring...the lights furrow my brow...and the piles of stuff
I remind myself there are valid reasons to descend into hell on a Sunday...
batteries, band-aids, benadryl, 

and kid's feet do grow
(all right, just eat it)


Sweatshop remorse alone is not sufficient penance for my egregious transgression.
I consider sitting on a stormy windswept moor to embroider a scarlet W on my favorite hoodie, but decide instead to pay alms to our farmers' market.

(bless me farmer, for I have sinned)

I can breathe easy here
the breeze off the Hudson washes away all trace of the ick I seem to feel on my skin
the healthy looking vendors smile and offer their artisan wares 
breads, cheeses, jams, spring greens
I gladly hand over nine dollars for 12 ounces of mesclun and arugula


Mia & I snack on milk and honey
local bleu cheese with honey supplied by an amish farmer
(all unpasteurized, of course)

and what do we eat the manna from above on??


...the road to hell...

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The First Bite

I have a confession...
I'm paralyzed when I walk into a grocery store.
Stay on the periphery where the real food is.
Read the labels...high fructose corn syrup, guar gum, soy derivatives.
Then came the books...Joan Dye Gussow, Barbara Kingsolver, Vandana Shiva,
and Michael Pollan dammit
Now I can't buy a plum tomato without visions of that darn tomato being picked by immigrant farm workers living in abandoned refrigerators in Immokalee.

I rant in front of bags of grapes imported from Chile
I cringe at the plastic in which everything is wrapped, boxed, and displayed.
I wonder where all the leftover produce goes when it's
just a little wilted
I stomp up & down the aisles saying:
"are you kidding me...ARE YOU KIDDING ME???"
my peanuts love that part

I decided I was going to grow all our food.
My husband looked at me like I had two heads, but knew MUCH better than to say anything

So this was our garden


ripped out old tennis court...

trucked in composted organic soil...

planted stuff...watched it grow

and grow...

Whoops...forgot one thing...
the darn peanuts HATE VEGETABLES

So what happens to the mom when she's just a little wilted
Your fairy is called Columbine Icedancer
She is a bone chilling bringer of justice for the vulnerable.
She lives in mushroom fields and quiet meadows.
She is only seen when the bees swarm and the crickets chirrup.
She wears lilac and purple like columbine flowers. She has icy blue butterfly wings.