inspiration, motherhood

Maple Syrup Mountain

Somehow, after years of trudging my way through the trenches of motherhood, I have reached the ultimate pinnacle of triumph.  T.Puzzle and Full Speed make me breakfast once a week!  And not a sad, soggy, partially frozen waffle sort of deal, but a glorious, made-from-scratch, giant golden, fills-your-whole-plate kind of waffle situation.

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To be fair, they learned from the best.

Mad Dog used to frequently make us homemade waffles on the weekend.  Then, life got way too busy until everything came to a quarantined halt.  He took this pause in time to resurrect this beloved tradition and managed to teach the boys how to do it from start to finish. T.Puzzle runs point and Full Speed is the technical support (readies supplies, melts butter, perfectly times the bacon preparation).  Whatever they are doing is working.  The waffles turn out amazing and then the whole house smells delicious for hours afterwards.  

And then,…they clean it all up afterwards!  Sure, there are times that the waffle iron gets left on and the batter mix floats over my kitchen in an apocalyptic-sized cloud, but I’ll take it.

Now that I am at the summit of motherhood freedom, I’m sure T.Puzzle will tell you it’s a swift dive downhill for me into creaking old age.  And this may be so, but while I’m here taking in this fabulous view, I plan to party like a rock star and eat as many waffles as humanly possible.

humor, motherhood

Fast Asleep

IMG_8767At a certain point in the day, I am over watching tv.  Especially on days I’ve clocked in a four-hour-plus baseball game. Sometimes I’m over reading, too.  When these moments happen, I just want to call it a day.  Even if I’m not truly tired I’d prefer to have dark and quiet.  Mad Dog isn’t always in agreement, but part of marriage is compromise.

“Are you planning on reading?” said Mad Dog as he finished up brushing his teeth.

“Nope. But I did think we could talk about our feelings,” I said.

“Great!  That will help me fall right to sleep!”

I do what I can, Mad Dog.  I do what I can.

 

motherhood

Coping

This is how I am coping with the pandemic.

I’m not.

Well, that’s not totally true, some days I fake that I am okay better than other days.  So, there’s that, but mostly, I have no idea what I am doing.

Here’s what helps:

1.Taking a million photos of my dogs:

 

2. Cracking jokes with my boys:

 

3. Reading updates on Roho (he’s doing awesome).

4: Watching baseball.  So. Much. Baseball.

5. A gratitude practice.  I particularly love this journal:

Start with Gratitude

It includes unique prompts that make you stop and reflect about your day. This way it’s not a rote listing of the same things over and over.  The only one I struggle with is “Favorite people I saw today.”  The answer is always the same: Full Speed, T.Puzzle, and Mad Dog…it’s the pandemic y’all (I always add that in so if future generations look back at it they won’t be sad that I had no friends).

6. Get outdoors until I remember I live in Texas and it is currently a thousand degrees and I retreat indoors before my face melts off.

7. Question why I live in Texas.

8. Eat chocolate.

9. Eat more chocolate.

10. Allow for bad days, offer myself some kindness, and hug my boys (T.Puzzle LOVES this!).

11. Cardio kickbox my way through some aggression.

12. And last but not least, remind myself that there are awesome people like you in the world.

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humor, motherhood

Any Day Now

There are two important characteristics to look for in friendship.  The first being pool ownership.  The second, and most critical, is this friend allows you full use of their pool if they have to travel.

Let’s just say, I have some of the best friends in all of Texas.

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The key to surviving any competitive endeavor in this family whether pool related or not, is to make sure Mad Dog is always on your team.  He is a natural-born strategist and the king of trash talk.  However, the boys having learned from the best, are now able to verbally spar on his level.

It’s a whole lot of nonsense if you ask me, but apparently the secret ‘man-formula’ to showing respect is hurling insults at one another at a top-rate speed.  Full Speed especially enjoys targeting me.  If you were a betting kind of person, you might guess it’s because I am the most reactive of our bunch. I can’t speak to this specifically but I am crying right now as I type this.

Pool volleyball is no exception. Mad Dog and I happened to win our first round of games versus the boys.  We had to work for it.  As we sat around poolside dissecting various aspects of the game, T.Puzzle remained surprisingly unfazed by the loss.  Normally, he would brood and mope leaving the whole outing in ruins because he did not win.

“That means you are growing up, when you can lose and still say you are had a fun day at the pool,” Mad Dog said.

At what age does this happen you may wonder?

Well, Mad Dog is turning forty-nine this year…

I’ll keep you posted.

 

 

humor, motherhood

Questions and Answers

In these strange, lock-down days, I have been attempting to engage my boys in meaningful dinner conversations.

It hasn’t been a good run lately.

T.Puzzle is the worst offender. You could ask him about it, but I promise you, he won’t answer you. And if he did, you wouldn’t gain any new information.

I have even tried to speak to them as adults.

Hilarious.

This was my attempt last night:

“Please take this question seriously. I am genuinely curious as to what your answers are. What are your thoughts about what you may want to do as an occupation? I want you to dream big.”

Full Speed said, “Contact tracer.”

I just gave him that look. You know, the mom one where you telepathically communicate your inner most thoughts of frustration and/or annoyance.

“How are you going to be a contact tracer? By the time you are graduated from college, I don’t think it will be viable option. At least I hope not.”

“I could do it over the summer. They pay $25 an hour,” he said.

“But you are only fifteen!”

“Once they got to know me, they would make an exception. I’m that good.”

As you can see, my first attempt at realness failed.

I turned to T.Puzzle. After a few moments of him looking completely bewildered and/or uninterested, he said he wanted to work for Space Force.

He wasn’t being serious either. They were both chuckling and finding themselves to be utterly amusing.

This wasn’t an isolated incident. I had reached my limit.

I lifted my right arm, pointed to the stairs and ordered them to go to their room.

Protests abounded but I kept my composure and sent them on their way.

Here’s a little trick that I am happy to share with you. In these situations, never give them a time limit. Send them on their way but leave their return time open and ambiguous. This can make thirty minutes feel like thirty years. Also, in the name of brotherly unity, I thought it was good to send them together so they could bond over how impossible I was being. There is nothing that solidifies a sibling connection more than having a shared common ‘enemy’.

Mad Dog and I proceeded to clean the kitchen post-dinner at our leisure. We then went on a walk and spent some time hanging out on our back porch.

I was in no hurry to set the jailbirds free.

I asked Mad Dog if I was attempting the impossible by prompting the boys into thoughtful discussions. Am I only hurting myself? But, they are the people I encounter the most so maybe I should keep going?

He said it’s good for them so keep trying. It wouldn’t hurt to lower my expectations either.

Honestly, the bar was already set pretty low.

I would not trade these two for anything in the world. I’m okay with them not answering all my deep questions as long as they keep being who-they-are. (Awesome).