humor, motherhood

Close Quarters

I’m not sure exactly why my family still allows me to wield a knife.

To give some context, a few weeks prior to quarantine I decided to begin a meal kit delivery service.  Lucky for us, we now have a few meals a week planned and delivered, but the dark side of this is, well, …me.

It all started innocently enough. Sure! I thought. Why not have the boys alternate nights and ‘help’ me.  Our first forays into the realm of kitchen adventure were tense.  I barked orders and became increasingly exasperated by each and every OBVIOUS question.

Case in point:

Full Speed (asking this while I have burners going and the oven already ablaze): “Where are the paper towels?”

You mean the paper towels that are two feet away from you sitting in the very spot they have sat for NEARLY TWO YEARS?  You mean those paper towels?

OR

“Full Speed, could you grab the pulled pork from the fridge?  It’s on the third shelf from the top.”

An inordinate amount of time passed, even though I am busy with twenty other things, I pause because I didn’t ask him to go to Timbuktu to get it.  Our kitchen ain’t big folks!  I look up to see him squatting down absently perusing the bottom draws of our refrigerator.

“Um, Full Speed.  Those are DRAWERS, I said SHELF.”

Thinking this solved the issue, I went back to work.  And, still, no pulled pork arrived.

With painstaking effort to not lose my cool, I glanced up AGAIN.  This time I found him looking at the inside door catchalls that hold condiments and drinks and the like but NOT THE PULLED PORK.

“Full Speed,

IT

IS

ON

THE

THIRD

SHELF

FROM

THE

TOP.”

I said this while thrusting my finger at the pulled pork like an accusation.

The whole scenario, while only lasting a minute or two, left me feeling drained.

Fortunately, for all involved, I had finished the chopping portion of our meal prep so the knife was already put away, but other times, I won’t say the danger was imminent, but there were some dangerous moments (at least in my mind).

It’s a harrowing existence as the lone emotional being in a house of super laid-back men.  I wouldn’t want it any other way, but I definitely am the most shall we say ‘expressive’ of our family.  Most of my outbursts and/or meltdowns are due to the stress of our current situation.  Contrary to popular opinion, I am falling within a normal category of cooped-up-and-about-to-lose-it behaviors.  My favorite is when Full Speed then imitates my meltdown.

“I’m Mom and I’m mad for no apparent reason.  Stop looking at me. Stop taking up space. Stop existing.  Just. Stop.”

He does this while flailing his arms about while shouting hysterically.

He’s not wrong.

I commend you if you have yet to lose it.  Please tell me how you have managed this feat.

Please.

And, if you have lost it, know you are not alone. Just dust yourself off and get on with your day.

I trust you know the difference between a drawer and a shelf so obviously you are already crushing your day.

 

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T.Puzzle vs Mad Dog in chess T.Puzzle 30 Mad Dog 1 And, there was one tie so Mad Dog has to feel great about that.
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My foray into painting with watercolor because weirdly I have tons of free time. #LetsMakeArt
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Quarantine Easter. Grateful to be together.
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Guess who loves her family in quarantine? #SorryNotSorry
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Max showing off some of his prodigious napping skills.

 

dogs, motherhood

Times They are A-Changing

Things change as time passes.  Now, when I take my boys to the movies, they no longer jump up on the seat and shout at the screen during action sequences.  While I don’t miss wrangling them into a loosely based version of socially acceptable movie theater behavior, I do miss the wild abandon they would demonstrate as they actively believed they were part of the movie.  (Full Speed watching Transformers for the first time is the stuff of legends in our house).

On a personal level, over time I have noticed a shift in the way my body reacts to dips in temperature.  Ten years of living in Florida has given me the bold physical constitution of a tiny, very old woman.  My midwestern genes fail and I recoil at any temperature below eighty degrees.

My boys tease me endlessly about this.

Recently, Mad Dog purchased me a blanket.  It is velvety smooth and weighted.  Just the kind of thing to help combat cold weather and the stress of our on-going home renovation.

With the boys on break and the home stuff in full swing, we had to take refuge in our upstairs guest room.

I asked the boys to please bring up my new blanket.

Full Speed could barely contain his mirth.  He thought it was hilarious that it was sixty degrees out and I needed this mammoth-like blanket to warm me.

However, he was quickly overruled by Little Guy.

He knows greatness when he sees it:

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family, motherhood

The Rearview Mirror

As you read these words, we are in transit to our new home.  We are leaving nearly a decade of life behind us.

While it is sad to see so much of our story in the rearview mirror, time will settle us into the next chapter.

I have lived enough life to understand that home is not a destination.

Home is a feeling.

It is always with us.

It can be found in the hearts that surround us and if we happen to journey alone, it is there for us to uncover within ourselves.

WFAM moving

 

family, humor, motherhood

Democracy in Action

Every family has a structure of ‘power’ so to speak.  It’s a dance between allowing everyone to have their say and getting individual needs met.  Let’s say you are on a 15 hour road trip one way (true story), and it comes time to decide where and when you might make a pit stop.  Each member of the family is allowed input and then a family vote is taken.

Voting System Breakdown

(should be noted this is Mad Dog’s creation):

As an adult and as a child over the age of twelve, myself and Full Speed are afforded one vote respectively.

Full Speed = 1

Mom = 1

Got it so far?  It seems straightforward but gets infinitely more complex as the process continues.

T.Puzzle gets a half vote since he is under twelve.  However, if he agrees with Mad Dog he gets a full vote.

T.Puzzle = 1/2 vote, bumps to 1 vote when he aligns with Mad Dog.

Mad Dog gets three votes.

Mad Dog = 3 votes

Yes, you read that right… three votes!

In the rare event that T.Puzzle’s half vote slips under the radar and a tie ensues, Mad Dog automatically becomes the tiebreaker.

“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”

-Sun Tzu

Game over, Mad Dog.

Game over.

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We all voted and yes, Mad Dog makes us laugh… a lot!
Happy Holidays, motherhood

Life Lessons of 2017

It’s hard to believe, but another year is drawing to a close.  To date, this has been a year of tremendous change as Full Speed became a teenager (!) and T.Puzzle jumped more solidly into the double-digit realm.  It’s not the age-number per say, 13 and 11 respectively, but the growth and maturation I’ve seen from them.  It’s been a lot to process as I am seeing more clearly the young men they are becoming.

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Full Speed is on the left, T.Puzzle on right

T.Puzzle continues to surprise us.  He developed a love of distance running.  How Mad Dog and I produced a distance runner is still a bit mystifying, but it is awesome that T.Puzzle is finding his own interests and pursuits.  LEGO construction and playing video games remain firmly at the top of his list, but nice to know that he likes to get up and go sometimes, too.

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Full Speed became a middle-schooler this year (it starts in seventh grade in our region) and he has adjusted beautifully.  He shows leadership to his classmates willingly coaching them through Algebra assignments, and has a zest for presentations in class.  A recent assignment in Civics had him debating school politics and he was in his zone.  Leadership qualities and a passionate debater, hmmm…does that sound like anyone we might know?  He also learned that not every dream is realized as he tried out for his school’s soccer team and didn’t make the cut.  My favorite part about this life lesson was his genuine happiness for a long-time friend and classmate who did make the team this year.  It’s not to say Full Speed’s given up on soccer forever, but oh my, isn’t there a wonderful world of possibilities out there waiting for him?

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One of the very best parts of 2017 was the addition of our newest family member, Miss Lady.  She is by no means a perfect dog, but she absolutely has been the perfect dog for our family.  She keeps things lively here which I’m not so sure our senior resident (Little Guy) appreciates.

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Little Guy’s shocked expression captures the essence of his disbelief at the amount of his new sister’s energy.

If you ever need to feel like you are the most amazing being alive, come on over and hang out at our house for a while, Miss Lady will not disappoint with her enthusiastic snuggles and love for you.

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Miss Lady is as sweet as she looks.

Mad Dog continues to travel all over America and then some as the scope of the call centers he oversees grows and grows. As hard as it is to be away from him sometimes, I see how fulfilling his position is and know it is keeping him challenged and inspired. That’s truly all I want for all three of my boys, to be challenged and inspired.

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As for me, I’ve made a little more space in my life for the things I enjoy.  I continue to walk our dogs every day, have started a daily yoga routine and write as much as possible.

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Life is short so whatever brings us joy is absolutely what we should pursue.  It’s as simple as that.

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Hope you had beauty-filled 2017 and that the lessons that lie ahead for all of us keep us growing in the direction of love.

Happy Holidays!