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Monthly Archives: February 2013

Ugh. Already?


Daily Prompt: First Light.

Remember when you wrote down the first thought you had this morning? Great. Now write a post about it.

My morning began as every school day begins – with my doing mental math to calculate exactly many times I can hit snooze on my phone before I will make myself late.

It usually goes like this:

4:55 – Alarm goes off the first time.  Automatically hit snooze.  That is the practice alarm.

5:00 – The alarm across the room goes off.  Get up.  Trip over something on the floor.  Turn it off.  Shuffle back to bed, careful to avoid the previously tripped on item.  Climb back in bed.  “I have a few more minutes.”

5:05 –   Phone alarm goes off again.  I think, “One more should do it.”  Hit snooze.  Back to sleep.

5:10 – Phone alarm again.  I think, “Oooo!  The Monkeys are at their dads!  I have a few more minutes.”  Hit snooze.  Back to sleep.

5:15 – Phone alarm again.  I think, “My hair isn’t that dirty. I can go without washing it today.  I have a few more minutes.”  Hit snooze.  Back to sleep. (Now, I have to be very careful about this level or I will convince myself that my hair isn’t dirty far more times than I should…)

5:20 – Alarm again!  By this time I am hating the STUPID SONG played by my STUPID PHONE!!!  TURN OFF ALARM!!!  Turn on TV.  Roll over and listen to the news.

5:30 – If it is a morning when I have my kids, then I had BETTER GET MOVING or we will be late.  If not, I start rationalizing why I deserve to lay there a few minutes longer.

By 5:45 I am approaching Threat Level Midnight, and I had better get my butt in gear and get ready.  And so it begins.

No other thoughts in my head.  Except for, “Ugh.  Already?”

 

It’s Date Night!


… with myself.

The Three Little Monkeys are at their dad’s tonight.  It was already past dinner time and I had absolutely no idea what to have.  Not much in the fridge.  Besides, that would mean I would have to cook, and while I do enjoy cooking – I didn’t feel like it.  I could go get something, except that MY CAR HAS BEEN AT THE DEALER FOR THREE WEEKS (another story).

It was then that I remembered that my favorite little Italian place has started delivering.  YAY!  HOORAY!  Soon, lasagna is on the way (oh, and a cannoli, just because I wanted one).

And THEN I remembered the half a bottle of wine tucked away in the fridge.  Even better!

So, here I sit.  Yummy, fresh from the oven lasagna and a glass of wine in front of me, Survivor on the TV, thoroughly enjoying my little date night.

Oh, sure.  Date night is usually a bit more enjoyable when you have someone with you (and at times even more so…), but there is something wonderful about just taking care of yourself.  Taking the time to just BE.  Not a single solitary other person for you to be concerned about.  It is good for the soul.

Now, my dears, if you will excuse me, I must depart.  My lasagna is getting cold.

Buon Appetito.

Screaming, and Stomping, and Slamming! Oh, my!


Ah.  Motherhood.

Or with the inflection I am really thinking,
AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!  MOTHERHOOD!!!!!!!!!

Life in a house full of ADHD (present company included) and Asperger’s is always, um…interesting.  Particularly in the evening.  When everyone’s meds run out (present company included).

So far this evening, The Girl Monkey has had three Drama Queen scream stomp slam breaks into her room.  (Why is everybody picking on me?!?!!!!!!!)

Monkey #1 has had two screaming Asperger fits. Including yelling at his sister…which then prompted one of The Girl Child’s events.  (Why won’t anyone let me talk?!?!?!?)

Monkey #1 was sent to his room to cool off.  The Girl was being dramatic in her room.  So, Monkey #2 and I settled on the couch to watch some TV. Wheel!  Of!  Fortune!  Monkey #1 comes back down and starts to grumble about not getting a say in anything and why can’t we change the channel…grumble grumble grumble.  Wellll…. It could be because when we were trying to decide what to watch – YOU had a meltdown and threatened to hurt your little sister and had to go to your room…  Smart Mommy did not say that out loud.

The only quiet one.  Monkey 2.  No whining.  No stomping.  No screeching.  Just enjoying some Mommy Monkey Snuggle Time.  Of course, he can’t sit still at all. Wiggle. Wiggle. Wiggle.  (Sweetie, your chin is very sharp.  Please stop digging it into my arm.)

By this time, I just want to put the other two outside to fend for themselves and just snuggle with Middle Monkey.   They are scrappy.   And pretty darn smart.  They should be fine.

Ok.  Not entirely practical.  And won’t get me voted Mommy of the Millennium.  Guess I shall keep them.  Just as long as I can occasionally run off screaming and stomping and slamming, too.

Oh, my.

On the Next episode of Mythbusters…Happily Ever After.


Daily Prompt: Happily Ever After.

Once Upon a Dream…

“And they lived happily ever after.” Think about this line for a few minutes. Are you living happily ever after? If not, what will it take for you to get there?

If The Disney Company ruled the world (which let’s face it – they nearly are), they would have us all believing that all we need is a fancy dress, a cute guy, and a little magic – we would all live happy little lives for the rest of our natural existence.

It’s a load of crap.

It is impossible to be happy every single moment of every single day.  And if you are – you SERIOUSLY need to have your Prozac levels checked, because I’m a thinkin’ you are on WAY too high of a dose!

 

 Life is rife with downs and ups.  Grief and joy.  Sadness and happiness.

Think of it as climbing a mountain.  Even after the arduous ascent, once you get there – to the promised land – to the mountain-  top – to the (insert your own idiom here), you HAVE TO GET BACK DOWN THE MOUNTAIN!

It is up to you, however, whether or not you stay stuck in the valley of despair.

So, to answer the question, “Are you living a happy life?”, the answer is no.  Not all the time.  Not every single moment of every single day.  Particularly not at this point in time in my life.  Things are down right blecky – about a lot of things.  However, I do not chose to let myself be stuck in the Sad Susie Swamp.  I chose to find my joy where I can find it, and I know that one day, the scale will move again and things will equal out.  And until then, I live my life the best I can.

So, as they say on Mythbusters:

BUSTED!

The Loves of My Life


I LOVE many things.  Chocolate.  The beach.  The feel of the summer sun on my shoulders.  Four-inch high-heeled shoes.  But of all the things I love now, and have loved in the past (any idea whatever happened to Shawn Cassidy?), nothing compares to the love I have for The Three Monkeys. As challenging and strong-willed as the three of them are, my love for them is unwavering.  They have served as great inspirations for my writing. I have written about each of them, at different points in their development, usually because I was particularly struck by something they had done.  This piece is one I wrote about Monkey #2 – The Middle Monkey.
Monkey #2, at 10 – almost 11), is the consummate middle child. He craves alone time. Who can blame him? Particularly being sandwiched in between The Asperger King and Princess Bossyboots.  They DEMAND so much attention, my little middle monkey will do what ever it takes to get someone to pay ANY attention at all to him.  And frequently, it is negative attention.  One day as I was about to lose my mind and all I could think about was just how IRRITATING he was being, I decided to “reframe” his seemingly aggravating habits, and make them endearing. Hence this piece.

Stuff
There is so much “stuffs” about you to love.

The way you talk endlessly about Pokemon.  And The Lord of the Rings.  And Transformers.  And Star Wars.  And…And…And…

The way you will fill the pockets of your coat with granite gravel just because it sparkled and you wanted to add it to your “rock collection,” which is in a pile by the door on the carport.

The way your thumb still goes up to your mouth when you are nervous – but you hold back slipping it in – and you check to make sure I am noticing.

The way you will read aloud from those silly joke books and then say, “I don’t get it.” Followed by, “OOOOOOOHHHHHHH!” after I explain it – for the hundredth time.

The way you love maps. And mazes. And LEGOS. And puzzles. Even if they are strewn about your bedroom floor.

The way you are so curious about everything around you. Yes, everything.

The way you put your shirt on backwards, or your shoes on the wrong foot, or wear two different ones, or have chocolate all over your face – and not really care.

But mostly the way you will, out of nowhere, look over at me and say in your sweet lispy way,
“I love you, Mommy.”

*sigh* I love you, too, baby.  Truly, I do.

In the year 2525…or maybe it was 1979


Dig through your couch cushions, your purse, or the floor of your car and look at the year printed on the first coin you find. What were you doing that year?

Daily Prompt: Buffalo Nickel.

image

I have a confession to make.  I saw this challenge and thought it would be fun to do, so I stuck my hand in the bottom of my purse (a veritable coin graveyard), and pulled out a coin.  This one.  I looked at the year and thought, “Hum.  I don’t like this one.”  So, I threw it back in, rooted around again and pulled out…the same damn coin.  Interesting.  But, I still wasn’t overly thrilled with this year.  “Let’s try again,” I thought.  And yes, that’s right.  I pulled out this coin AGAIN.  I figure that the universe is trying to tell me one of two things.  Either, A) I shouldn’t cheat on the challenge by throwing back the coin I first pulled out, or B) I should really write about this year.  Either way – here goes.

1979 was the year I turned 13.  My birthday is in August, so technically, I spent most of the year as a 12-year-old.  The same age as Monkey #1 is now.  I attended Conniston Junior High School in West Palm Beach, Florida (Go Blue Devils!).  I sang in the school chorus and after school, I took ballet and tap.  Sounds pretty average.  But, I was pretty miserable.

In 7th grade (which I was in for most of the year), I was  – how should I put it – an awkward child.   Too tall.  Too heavy.  Too “smart.”  Too misunderstood.  I was teased by the “mean girls,” who questioned my talent and my intelligence.  To make matters worse, I was at a school where very few of my elementary school friends had gone.  My “home” junior high did not have a gifted program, so my mother had me sent to the one that did.  It meant an hour long bus ride to get to school.  We had many stops to make to pick up kids from all over.  Kids in wheel chairs, “Special Ed” kids, and a few others in the gifted program (along with 2 others from my neighborhood).  Yes, that is right.  I rode a “short bus,” and once some of the others at school realized it, they didn’t let me forget it.  So, here I was, an awkward, too heavy, shy, sensitive child, heading off to a place where I did not know anyone else.  It has never been easy for me to make friends.  It was really hard at the beginning.  Luckily, I did establish a little group of friends who accepted me for who I was , but it wasn’t many.

1979 was a rough year for my family as well.  That was the year my parents divorced.  My parents separated the year before.  At the time, Florida required a year separation when there were children involved.  My dad moved out of the house while we were on vacation the summer of 1978.  The night before we were to drive home, my mother sat my brother and me down and told us that my father would not be at the house when we got back.  Oh, and she had him put the dog to sleep while we were gone.  Big fun.  And since it was a “separation,” my father hadn’t bought a house.  He had instead towed our Airstream trailer to a nearby campground.  My parents had decided to switch off weeks – one week in the house – one week in the trailer.  And since my mother had primary custody (except for every Wednesday and alternate weekends), that meant my brother and I also had to move back and forth.  It was insanity.   The summer of 1979, my father bought a duplex a few miles from our house, so things got at least a TINY bit more normal.  The fact remained, though,  that my parents were divorcing.  Granted, they didn’t have a wonderful marriage.  I knew it.  I was old enough to tell.  But, these were my PARENTS.  None of my friends had divorced parents (well, there was one, but her mother had left when she was a baby and her dad had been raising her since then).   It was the end of the world as I knew it.  And I wasn’t sure I’d be fine.

image

My brother, mother and myself around 1979

They say that every experience in your life leads you to who you are today.  And that if you went back and redid anything, you wouldn’t be who you are right now.  I understand that.  I really do.  Now.  But then?  As a shy, awkward, 12-almost-13-year-old?  I wasn’t able to see the person I would grow to me.  Oh, sure, I know some of my insecurities date back to then.  But, I kinda like me now – insecurities and all.

 

It’s a Matter of Trust


Monkey # 1 is fascinated with the fact I am blogging.  He actually has said, “I can’t believe my mom has a blog!  How cool!”  Nice to know I am still considered cool by my almost 13-year-old.  I know the end is near for that.

The other night he came to me and told me he wanted to start one as well.  Being the ultimate cool mom, I set him up with one.

Today he is working on his first post.  He came to me for some “technical advice.”  I showed him what he needed.  Then I asked him what the theme of his blog would be.  He simply replied, “Life.  My thoughts.  You know.  Stuff.”  Before he left my room, I said to him, “When you have posted it, let me know.  I’d like to follow it.”

He just nodded his head in his little Asperger-y way and said, “Ok.”  And he turned to leave.

It made me think about why I started this blog.  I started it to get some things out of my mind.   I started it to throw private thoughts out in to the universe.  And I know there are some things that I have posted that are “personal.”  Things that I wouldn’t want to censor, just because of who might be reading.  So, I rethought my statement.

I called him back to me and said, “Scratch that.  I trust you.  You can share with me what you want to share.  And if you don’t, that’s ok.”

I realize that most parents of teenagers would question my sanity.  And believe me when I say I doubt mine every day.  But, like with most things I do, I have a pretty good reason.  In this case it is his Asperger’s.  This kid isn’t like most just about to be teens.  He is an old soul.  And because of the Asperger’s, he is incredibly rules bound.  And he tells the truth – always.  And I know that if I set parameters for him, he will follow them.  This is the kid who has been known to walk up to kids at school that he has heard using very inappropriate language for a middle schooler, and inform them thusly.   Which then creates a new rule, “Leave things like that to the grown-ups.”   But, that is another story.

Of course, I know his password, and I can log in at any time to check up on him, but I would never do that with out just cause and with out his knowing.   I don’t want to be that sneaky mom.  The stalker mom.   It is a matter of trust.

As he enters into his teen years, there will be many times when it will come down to a matter of trust.  My trust of him – and ultimately his trust of ME.   But, I like to think that as he has grown, neither of us has done anything that would prove to be UN-trustworthy.  I am trying to raise The Monkeys to have good heads on their shoulders.  I realize things might be very different the other two – especially the Girl Monkey… I envision her teenage years are going to be hell.  Somewhere in the back of her closet, she most likely already has the beginnings of a hand-made rope ladder for when she sneaks out at night to go hang out with her friends.  I can read that little girl like a book.

For now, I welcome my sweet boy to the world of blogging.  I fully trust he will find it as enjoyable an experience as mine.

Thanks.

 

 

Food, Glorious Food


Describe the most satisfying meal you’ve ever eaten, in glorious detail.

Daily Prompt: Seconds!.

Food.  Isn’t it amazing how many memories are tied up in food.  Holiday dinners.  First dates.  Wedding receptions.  Funeral bunches.  A whiff of a familiar aroma can instantly take you back to that table, mouth-watering, ready to dive in.   There are certain foods that just by imagining it, I can virtually taste it.

Try as I might, I simply cannot narrow down to the MOST satisfying meal.  I must admit, I truly ENJOY food.  The taste.  The mouth feel.  Not eating just to eat, but savoring.  So, instead of the MOST satisfying meal, I thought of one amazing meal in my not so distant past.

About a month after my former love and I started dating, I accompanied him on a weekend business trip to Charlotte, North Carolina.  A big step in a fledgling relationship.  He is “food lover” as well, and he insisted we stop at a steakhouse that he is particularly fond of – located just off the highway in Greenville.   This restaurant was one of those steakhouses that makes you feel as if you are stepping back in time.  A time of Mad Men and four martini lunches.  The kind of place that you half way expect to look over and see Frank Sinatra sitting in the booth next to you.  Or at least Jon Hamm.

We began our meal with a martini.  Dry.  Bombay Sapphire Gin.  Very dirty.  Blue cheese stuffed olives.  The saltiness of the olive.  The sharpness of the cheese.  The smooth burn of the gin.  It seemed very appropriate given our surroundings.

For our meal, we shared a filet.  Two-inches thick.  Perfectly cooked.  Meat so tender, that despite its thickness – you could almost cut it with only your fork.  Meat so delicious, the sides were almost superfluous.  Superfluous – but oh so delicious.  Creamed spinach so good that I was tempted to use my fingers to make sure every last drop was consumed.  Creamy, buttery, fluffy garlic mashed potatoes.   Each bite an explosion of flavors and textures.

Dessert was a simple cheesecake.  No frills.  But perfection.  A cheesecake that rivals any found in New York.

I was intoxicated.  And no – not just from two martinis and a glass of wine.   Intoxicated by the surroundings.  Intoxicated by the tastes and the textures of the meal.  Intoxicated by new love.

And an evening I am sure to never forget.

Undo the doubt


Daily Prompt: Undo.

If you could un-invent something, what would it be? Discuss why, potential repercussions, or a possible alternative.

There are so many things I could suggest.  All things Pokemon related (Good Lord!  I just cannot hear another word about them.  NOT ANOTHER ONE!).  Stompies (they are just FREAKY!).  Anything having to do with Carrot Top (Not funny.  Period).  Chocolate being fattening (that is just wickedly unfair).  But in the bigger picture, these things are simply annoying.  And while I can’t figure out the reason for their existence, there are others that really enjoy them – so, who am I to say they should be vanquished?

What then would I choose to un-invent?  Well, it’s not a tangible thing.  But, it has serious repercussions on every aspect of a person’s life.  I would choose for the feeling of self-doubt to have never been invented.  That state of feeling mired in indecision – or even after you have made a decision, DOUBTING the choice.

And no, I am not talking about doubting whether or not it is a good idea to dive off of a balcony into a pool while on Spring Break.  That’s just plain ol’ stupid.  I’m talking about the self-doubt that can consume you.  The feeling of self-doubt that can keep you from entering in to a new situation.  The feeling of self-doubt that tells you that you are not good enough to deserve anything better than what you have.  The feeling of self-doubt that eats at your SOUL.

It seems to me that the world would be a much happier place.  Strike that.  The world would be a much more CONTENT place.

I certainly know I would be.

A Plot of Earth


Daily Prompt: A Plot of Earth

You’re given a plot of land and have the financial resources to do what you please. What’s the plan?

Daily Prompt: A Plot of Earth.

My own little corner of the world

“In my own little corner in my own little chair I can be whatever I want to be.
On the wings of my fancy I can fly anywhere and the world will open its arms to me.”

Such an interesting question.  The logical, Spockish, part of my brain is thinking, “I am missing a much-needed variable.  You have not indicated how much land I have been given or where this land is located.  Highly illogical.”  It could be a 1×1 foot plot, or it could be several miles squared.  Not having been given any other parameters, I will just let my mind envision my ideal space.

I was born and raised in South Florida.  I have watched land being purchased and built upon until there is very little resemblance to the landscape that originally brought people to the area.  Sand dunes were leveled out so that condos could rise like sentries guarding against the beauty of the ocean.  Blocking out all but the tiniest glimpses to all but those wealthy enough to “deserve” the location.

This summer my former love and I took a combined family vacation.  His two kiddos and my three monkeys.  A lovely condo, right on the beach.  On one of our outings, we drove to the Canaveral National Seashore.  In all my years living in Florida, I had never been.  It was like driving back in time.  Nothing but miles and miles of original Florida landscape.  I was moved to tears.   My senses were bombarded.  It was amazing, and just what my psyche had been demanding.

It may seem I have veered away from my original question, but trust me – I’m geting to it!  Be patient!

If I were given a plot of land, I would want it to be beach-front property, somewhere on the Atlantic coast of Florida.  But, the kicker is, I would want it to be untouched.  And I would leave it that way.  Call it a natural sanctuary.  Not just for the native flora and fauna, but for us lowly humans as well.  A place for soul-searching and soul-cleansing.  A place where I could BREATHE.  I would not be selfish, I would share.  BUT, I would limit the number of people each day.  After all, this isn’t about a place just to frolic at the beach.   It is to be a meditative place.

The one human element I would add, however, is a BATHROOM!  With a SHOWER!  Near enough that I don’t have to hike to get to it when the need arises.   I don’t care how much it costs, but I think having a civilized bathroom near the beach is a necessity.

Welcome to my own little corner of the world.