Monday, January 26, 2009

Just another typical day

  • It is 3:00 p.m. and the boy and I pick up the gurl from school; she is whining.

  • I load the kids up in the car and we proceed to the closest department store to pick up a birthday gift; it is dad's birthday.

  • We get to the store and I realize I do not have the stroller for the boy and this store does not have any type of cart or stroller for little ones. I try to assure myself that it is not a big deal.

  • We make our way through the parking lot, not without the gurl attempting to jump in a muddy, slushy puddle. I manage to grab her arm and deter her just in time, almost falling in it in the process. I feel the emotions starting to rise.

  • We enter the store and I see the signs everywhere: This location is closing: HUGE SALES. Almost all of the inventory is already gone; no jewelry counter, no watches, no gift.

  • I take a deep breath, turn around and leave the store trying to carry the squirmy boy, my purse and hold the hand of my distracted four year old gurl.

  • Gurl attempts the puddle again, this time more successful. Now she is wet, I am wet and I am trying to stay calm, this is not easy because the gurl is now screaming because she is cold and wet; it is 36 degrees. Patience is fleeting quickly.

  • The kids are finally settled in the car and we are on our way home and the gurl starts crying and yelling hysterically about something very tragic. I can't understand what is upsetting her. I pull over into a parking lot. She is sobbing. Five minutes go by. I finally can understand her. Her juice cup is empty.

  • I calm her down by agreeing to stop at a coffee house to buy a bottle of juice. I am at a point where the patience is almost gone. I despise buying juice at these types of places. It is not juice they sell, it is apple concentrate loaded with sugar syrup. I buy the damn "juice." I am trying to keep peace. I fill both cups with "juice." I resist the urge to buy myself a coffee. I want coffee, but I know it will push me over the edge. I don't want to go over the edge today. I want a peaceful birthday for their dad.

  • We finally start our commute home to Detroit in this miserable weather surrounded by shitty drivers and bad scenery. The kids start to squawk at each other. I am not sure why, I don't care. I tune them out and turn the radio up. I begin to sing and dance to some booty shakin' song on the radio. They instantly stop and join in.

  • We are close to home. I am counting down the minutes until we will be out of the car; a little under 12 minutes. The gurl erupts again. Floods of tears. She manages to choke out this sentence, "YOU made me miss the national elephant!" She sobs even more. The elephant: a massive statue painted like the American flag in front of some car dealership on Telegraph. Something she enjoys pointing out everyday on the way home from school, always insisting that she be the one to point it out, not me.

  • We continue on for 12 minutes of sobbing and screaming. Now the boy is screaming. He is not hurt. He is not upset. He finds it amusing. Now she is screaming louder. She is mad that he is screaming. I WANT TO SCREAM. I pull in the driveway. We are finally home.

  • I take the gurl in the house and I hold her. I try to get her calmed down but all she wants to do is play with her ponies. Fine with me. I bring the boy in the house and set him up to play in the kitchen.

  • I start to open the cook books wanting to make a nice meal for dad's birthday. I am overwhelmed by screaming. The boy has entered the front room and the gurl wants him out, now! He is "disturbing the ponies!" I want to scream, "You are disturbing me!" I take deep breaths instead.

  • I move the boy back to the kitchen. I begin browsing the cookbooks again. I see the gurl approach. I watch as she takes the magnets away from the boy and begins to play with them. The screaming starts again, it is the boy. This time he does not find it amusing, he is mad.

  • I give the gurl a time-out. She screams even more. I take the boy to the basement. Maybe if there are on different floors in the house there will be peace.

  • Within ten minutes the gurl follows us down and promises that she will not bother the boy.

  • Five minutes later they are both screaming again as the phone rings. It is their dad. I pick up the phone and all I can do is laugh. I can't hear a damn word, so I tell him I will call him back in ten.

  • The gurl finally has decided that she wants time by herself so she packs up her ponies in her backpack and moves up to her bedroom. The boy begins to play with blocks on the floor.

  • I climb into the basement cedar closet and call their dad back. He offers to pick up pizza. I accept the offer and sit in the closet for a few minutes to gain composure. I want to cry. The tears won't fall. I wonder how long I could stay in here before they would really NEED me.

  • I get on the computer and try to facebook with a friend. I decide that 4:30 p.m. is not too early to open a bottle of wine. So I grab a bottle of Merlot and pour a glass. I grab a square of chocolate too, I deserve one today. Can't do anything on the computer; the boy won't leave it alone.

  • We move upstairs and I put on some music, make a salad and wait for the pizza. I enjoy the quiet. I sit with my wine, my music and wait for the noise to start again. It doesn't to my surprise.

  • The pizza arrives. We eat in peace. We read books to the kids. The kids go to bed. It is finally quiet.

  • And it is the end of just another typical day in the life of a mom.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

So much to say and not enough time

So much has happened since the beginning of the year. I vowed I would take some time away from the computer and television, which was not as easy as I thought it would be. There were so many times I just wanted to sit down and write and so I did; in my journal...I forgot I even had one until two weeks ago!

A lot of renewing of spirit, faith in this world and faith in myself. It is so easy to go through each day in a blur trying to keep up with an impossible pace we have set for ourselves here in the states. In my own world I go through the motions of being a mom, doing what has to get done. I find that at times it becomes a routine that is dull, drab and emotionless. I get the kids up, I feed them, bathe them, clothe them and scoot one off to school and then start the mundane tasks of dishes, laundry, floors, bathrooms, cooking and the list goes on and on. I loose sight. I forget what is important. I forget why I CHOSE to do this.

So this month I have spent my time trying to let go of this fast-paced, always moving and always thinking way of life and instead take the time to connect with those around me, particularly my children. Forcing myself to not worry about everything that I think needs to be done, but actually do what NEEDS to be done, which is smothering my children with love and reconnecting with those feelings of love, tenderness and awe that I have for them that sometimes get shoved to the side. I have let myself be in love this month. In love with my children, with my partner and husband, with my family, with my true friends and with my life.

It has been an eventful time in my life, January 2009. First of all, there is a new baby in the family, and I am happy to report that is is not mine, but my sister's! My little sis is now a mommy to a healthy little boy who was born in the beginning of January. I am amazed at all of the birthdays that are in January; all of the springtime luvin' I guess. My new nephew is now the tenth January birthday to celebrate in our home. So welcome to the world and the family little man...and sis, welcome to the club!

I am so proud of my sister who made it through almost 24 hours of labor (mostly back labor) to give birth naturally (by that I mean NO DRUGS) to a little boy.The day she went into labor I happened to be engrossed in the documentary The Business of Being Born , which I watched almost 3 full times in a row and can I just say....what an amazing documentary. A must for anyone who is thinking of having a baby, about to have a baby, even throwing the idea around about kids in their future.

I will write about that documentary soon, along with so many other things that have peaked my interest this month such as the state of Detroit, the inauguration, sewing, easy artisan bread baking, making homemade yogurt, womyn-centered activities, seed catalogs, feminist books about loving your body and your vagina and the anticipation of spring. All of the things that I focused on during my detox and throughout this last month's break from the computer and television. All of these things I have found pleasure in and have helped me reconnect with myself and with those around me.

So...stay tuned I am revitalized and ready to share so much of what keeps me going day after day!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I have a confession to make. I hate the cold! I hate
living in MI at this time of year and I hate leaving a warm, cozy house to go outside into this awful, dreary, frigid weather. I am miserable these days and I have a severe case of cabin fever. I want to go outside. I want to go outside and see this beautiful garden. I do NOT want to go outside to see what actually is out there, 6 inches of snow and temperatures that are below zero.
I want to walk in the grass barefoot and bury my hands in the dirt and pick a cucumber or a tomato for a snack and run my hand through the lavender...mmm the smell of fresh lavender, rosemary, thyme, sage, lilacs, and nicotiana at night...I have cabin fever and this is NOT what I want to see right now every time I look out my kitchen window!

It happens every year right around this time. The time of year in Michigan where the temperatures hover around zero and the wind chills your bones. This year I have decided that I am not meant to deal with cold weather and that there has to be a place for my family that gives each of us what we need all year long, right? All we need is a decent income, low humidity, and mild temperatures(no crazy amounts of snow and definitely none of this 20 degrees or below crap) so that we won't have to deal with winter depression and so I can garden all year -is that too much to ask?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

On with the detox...

It is a new year once again, a time full of anticipation and excitement of what this year has to offer and a time of reflection on what last year taught. I have spent the last couple of days reflecting on 2008 and all of it's joy, sorrow, excitement and drama. It has brought tears to my eyes on a few occasions thinking all that happened this last year for my little family. I celebrated a lot and I also mourned a lot. It was a interesting year that is for sure!

But now...I am preparing myself for 2009 and what it may bring. First of all I am starting with physically getting my body cleansed and healthy because it is the time of year that I must rid my body of all of this junk that has been building up in my system. Which means it is time to detox. For the last couple of years Greg and I have created a ritual by starting the new year with a serious detox. We follow a strict diet eliminating processed sugar, dairy, starches, caffeine, yeast and alcohol for 21 days and follow a 14 day herbal detox supplement.

For those of you who are not familiar with what it means to detox I will do a little explaining. Our bodies are exposed to a lot of junk-chemicals, pesticides, toxins, not to mention all of the crap that we tend to put into our body that aren't necessarily the best things to consume as frequently as we do, such as processed sugar, excess dairy, alcohol and caffeine. By doing an herbal detox it is possible to flush your system of these toxins that have built up over time leaving your body feeling healthier and full of energy. If you are interested in doing a detox and have never done one please do some research first. There are many detox kits around, a lot that are weight-loss oriented, especially online, so I highly recommend to go to your homeopath, your chiropractor, or the local natural food store and talk to someone who knows about the best detox that fits what you need.

There are many reason why people detox but for me it has a deeper meaning that eliminating food that I tend to eat out of habit or stress. But it brings me back to a place where I am connected with my body and I am connected with my food. I have found that in the winter it is easier for me to get lazy when pertaining to eating healthy. Between the weather outside being way too cold and miserable and celebrating a long season of holidays I find myself very sluggish as January 1st rolls around.

I love food as you have noticed, but not just eating the food, but feeling a connection with the food-knowing where it came from, how it was grown, who grew it if possible (which is not usually possible this time of year) and what benefits it offers to my body. That is part of why I garden so intensely, that is why I freeze and can as much from my garden as possible and that is why I go to Eastern Market as often as I do, because I want a direct connection with the food that sustains my body and those of my family's. So for me...detoxing helps me regain my energy and overall feeling of health, but it also reminds me to make a conscious effort to connect with fresh food numerous times a day.

This year I have decided to add to my detox ritual by focusing on my mental and emotional aspects of health as well. I have decided to add daily time to meditate, exercise, read and sleep. These are things that as a mom I have realized get ignored too often. I get so wrapped up in making sure everyone else is okay that I forget to stop each day and ask myself that very same questions. Am I okay today? If not, why? And what can I do about it?

So this week as we started the detox I have asked myself these questions and incorporated these other aspects of health back into my life. In doing so I have vowed that I would pull myself away from the computer and T.V. and take time to be reflective and enjoy life without so much visual stimulation and noise.

So I will close for now saying Happy New Year to all and I hope to be back writing on here in a couple of weeks refreshed and renewed. I wish you Blessing & Peace.