Once More With Feeling.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Peas feels things intensely. She feels EVERYTHING intensely. Happy she is elated. Sad she is in the 'depths of despair'. Anger or frustration? Enraged.
I suppose that some of that has to do with the fact that she is two and her emotional barometer is no that developed- but some has to do with her personality. This part of her I understand oh so so well.

Still, I struggle with how to help her to learn to manage her feelings a little. She is so sweet and so loving and so snuggle-able- but oh so frustrating at times.

Peas is a master at the face crumple. When her face goes from normal and relaxed to so sad and so pathetic instantaneously. She also can throw herself on the floor in sorrow. Conversely, she will throw her hands up in the air can yell, "Yay" with exuberance. She has an adorable squeal and giggle that show her zealous appreciation of the smallest of things- a crayon drawing, a cookie- anything- thrilling.

Feelings are not a shortfall of hers. I am amazed that she is so 'congruent' with her feelings and expressions- as I have struggled with emotional expression. I would never want to have her struggle with that- and G-d willing she never will.

Fruit Pizza

Thursday, April 29, 2010

I meant to share this a while ago- like last year but I forgot. Then I made it a few more times and each time it was met with more excitement than the previous time so I suppose sharing it would be ok.

My kids eat fruit like it is going away forever. Princess eats blueberries by the pound and Stinky eats strawberries by the crate- but I am always looking for new fun ways to serve them.

The basic recipe is to use a cookie dough crust, but that seemed to dessert-y for me, so I used crescent roll dough instead. The 'sauce' is originally supposed to be more cream cheese frosting type- I altered it to be more creme fraiche or plain greek yogurt. Then topped in whatever fruit I have every time I make it- it is inhaled.

How do you serve fruit and veggies??

Now that I am sufficiently recovered

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I can talk about this without wanting to scream, swear, or cry.

Last week we had an uninvited and unwelcome guest: the Stomach Flu.
Poor Princess did not move from the couch all day Thursday instead opting to just turn her head and vomit into her puke bowl. She was gray- seriously she looked gray. Then miraculously she was fine. She woke up from her nap about 5 p.m. and declared she was hungry and color had returned to her face.

This was however one of the worst days I have had in a long time. Peas was also coming down with the flu and exceptionally clingy- as apparently I was as well so I was irritable- not a pleasant combo.

I had been puked on, peed on, and pooped on through the course of the day. Which, truth be told, is not that unusual in my life- or the life of any mother.

My day was about to get even worse. I went outside to get the mail and came in with a bee on my head. It stung me. ON MY HEAD! I shrieked. Then saw the bee on the inside of my glasses. I threw them off as my lungs started to close up. I began to squeak (wheeze) and Peas began to laugh. Mama was hopping around throwing glasses and squeaking- fun times. I ran to the kitchen and flung open the junk drawer to find my epi pen. I had to dig here- as after all- it is the JUNK drawer- the drawer that sometimes does not close because of tall of the JUNK in it. I found my epi pen and jabbed it into my thigh. Pain ensued. Those epi pens while preferable to death are certainly not fun.

So my thigh was swollen courtesy of the epi and my head was swollen from the sting. Peas enjoyed the show greatly. I followed up my epi with a prednisone chaser to stave off any follow up allergic reaction.

Princess was blissfully unaware of the drama that had unfolded around her.
I am glad that I was able to deal with that effectively. I cannot imagine having to take her and the others to the ER with me.

Later that night Peas and I were hosts to the stomach bug. Being two, it is harder for her to remember to throw-up into the bucket or toilet, all she was interested in was having someone hold her and comfort her. So she and I were icky together.

Now we are doing better. I have almost dug out from the mountain of laundry and we have cleaned up the debris. Only to find out a playmate has strep- yay.

First Dance

Monday, April 26, 2010

Last Friday was a milestone in Princess's life journey: she had her first dance. A Daisy Dance- more specifically a Daddy (or some other adult in the girls life) Beach Party Dance.

There was lots of anticipation regarding this event. Wardrobe choices. It was like a birthday or major holiday.

I took her shopping alone- which when you are the oldest of several children- is a big deal. Granted- I just took her to Old Navy, but she was thrilled. I let her pick out a dress. They had a small selection- mostly beach-y summer-y dresses perfect for the occasion.

As the day approached- Princess began asking repeatedly if it was time yet- how many days were left etc. over and over and over. We counted down the days one at a time with great anticipation.

On Friday- her excitement was palpable. She got ready. I helped her brush her hair, paint her nails, and yes even put on a little lip gloss.

So off she went and had a grand time.

This let me have a small glimpse into my future as the mother of a young lady. Who will- much to my terror- at some point date, go out without me... and go to dances. I am glad I have a long time to prepare for this. I'll need every second.


Sunday, April 25, 2010

A few months ago one of my friends had to move away. I get it. Really. I do. But I am sad. I did not realize how sad until I stopped to look at some photos.

You see she was and is one of those people who will (lovingly) give me a slap in the back side when I need it- she will also, with love, pull my head out of my ass when it seems firmly lodged there. She demands more of me because she knows I can be a better person, a better mom, a better friend- and who wants complacency anyway?? But the awesome thing is pious judgment is not her style.

So friend, know that I think of you daily when I take Arnica for my pole dancing bruises. There is a Lap Dance class coming up I wish I could share with you. I think of you and Moose when I see "Guys on Trains" or "Curious George".

I miss your dogs. I miss Moose. I miss you and wine. I miss you.

Eye Update

So yet again I got to go to the ophthalmologist. Now they are starting to recognize me and no longer ask if I am sure I do not mean the optometrist (thanks for that by the way).

This doc was not my normal doc. This one was a glaucoma specialist; whom I was referred to in January but got caught up with a thousand other things in the mean time.

Good news! I can see.
Bad news- I have optic nerve damage in my left eye (my good eye).
Good news! My vision in that eye is not damaged badly.
Bad news- my right eye is still screwed.
Good news! My pressure in my good eye (left) is fantastic (12)

So where does that leave me? Glaucoma. I had always thought that Glaucoma was optic nerve damage and vision loss resultant from increased interocular pressure. I was wrong- it is optic nerve damage with or without pressure issues. So I learned something new. This stuff can be controlled. So now I get so see another eye specialist. Retina and Glaucoma docs.

You want me to do what with the pole??

Saturday, April 24, 2010

I have not blogged a lot about pole dancing for a few weeks... not because I have not done it just because life seems to get in the way a lot. I think I would re-schedule just about ANYTHING to make pole dancing classes- I mean I skipped Glee- and if that is not love I do not know what is.

Level II is fantastic. If three months ago someone were to say "Flyer" I would say "stuck in my front door??" because that is all a "flyer" would be. Now it is a dance trick. If you say "flyer/dancer" I may cry a little because I have a hard time with that one. There is also the chair, and the flip flop, the peter pan, and the boomerang, etc...etc...

I have left a fair amount of wrist skin there and gotten some pretty intense bruises- but wow. I love it. LOVE. Except the pole climb. The pole climb and I are not friends, not even frenemies... we are just enemies- blatantly hostile- ask my inner thighs. It is a challenge, I will meet it, and I will succeed at the pole climb.

Here is my introspection for the week. I am considering- ok- I REALLY desperately want a pole for my house. I have a concern though. So I buy a pole and put it up in my house and dance and play on it great right?? I am afraid that having the pole in my house will somehow ruin the 'magic' of my playtime. Tease is a haven, a place to laugh, and feel safe, and see friends, and Tease itself makes pole dancing so so special. I am scared that having a pole will somehow make my pole dancing time a little less sacred.

Any ideas?? Please advise.

Lots to update on- not much time.

We have had the stomach flu here so I have been in that place known to parents as 'survive the day- just survive' So soon I will have mountains of dishes and laundry to dig out from.

I also need to update on pole dancing- and a new possible development.

Also Princess having the immune system of steel was over her stomach bug and last night went to her first dance. Yes I have pictures. I will get there. I swear. I may even tackle one topic today.

In another not. I am going to give the winner of my giveaway until Monday 4/26/2010 to get back to me- if she does not- I'll use random.org to select another winner.

giveaway etiquette

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Ok so I did my giveaway thing. I emailed the winner and she has not contacted me back yet. How long is 'typical' to wait before I should pick a new winner?? what are the rules here? I do not want to commit a faux pas

yep she is a girl.

I don't know if expected this part of it quite so soon.
Last night I was getting Peas ready for bed and I noticed that the mirror in their room was a bit dirty, Princess had put lipstick on and kissed the mirror (it was kid lipstick). The girl already has more make up than I do- and wears it more often- which is not a hard feat at all.

I remember doing this as a girl and thinking I was so grown-up. No idea why- it is not like my mom kissed the mirror in lipstick, but nevertheless, I did it too. I do think, I was slightly older though, I think.

Part of me is kind of sad that she has reached this stage in her life so fast. She is growing up all too quickly

Mama wants a stripper pole

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Mother's day is approaching. I do not want jewelery (not that I would say no, though). I do not want breakfast or dinner. I want a pole. Yep. For my house. I want a pole. How now to convince my five year old to get one for me?? Or to have her come up with the $200 to buy one.

If you have read my blog at all you probably know that I have been taking pole dancing classes for a few months and am totally, utterly, hopelessly hooked. Calm down it is not like I am going to be gyrating or stripping..at least not when ANYONE is watching. I just love the way it makes me feel. Sensual, feminine, whole, radiant.

I suppose it could be a 'fire' pole- or a playground pole. But my playground pole. I mean how could I explain to the other kids at the playground when princess busts out with a fairy and hair whip? Seriously, I can see that happening.

So if anyone wants to buy this poor mama a pole let me know!! (kidding, kinda)

Chalk it up to another thing I never thought I'd see

Monday, April 19, 2010

Princess is turning six this May. What do you think she asked for? A pony? To be a princess?? Nope. A laptop. My nearly six year old wants her own laptop. I never anticipated this.

It is a different generation. My kids know email- not letters. They know not catalog shopping but Amazon.com. Princess knows how to get to her websites- Sprout, and PBS kids. She can log on to the computer and get online all on her own. She can work the touch pad and mouse.

Stinky is the same- he is all over the internet- he loves his PBS kids. Even Peas is getting into it at the ripe old age of two.

The saddest thing is that I am thinking of getting her a netbook. Why? I am tired of sharing my computer. I want it back. If she has her own- maybe I can have mine back.

and the winner is....


I emailed her this morning.

thank you all so much for entering- I have such a fantastic time doing giveaways.

keep coming back! I have a great prize for mothers my mothers day giveaway!

I wouldn't have to make it fun if it already were.....

Friday, April 16, 2010

My eye is twitching. I am SUPER stressed. I want so much to let loose with a stream
of bad words worthy of a teenage kid.

The day did not begin well- and it went down a fairly steep hill rather quickly.
Peas, today, decided to act in a perfectly age appropriate (yet exceptionally frustrating way). It took an hour to walk 4 blocks. An hour.

Then Peas and Stinky wanted to play in the dirt- ok fine- dirt it was- it did not last long before the kids started to fight over shovels- they each had their own but that was not apparently enough battle ensued.

Peas took a brief nap. All to brief. When she woke up it was not good. We decided to go for another walk. In the middle of the walk the wheel on the stroller fell off. Yep- that was great. Four kids a mile from home and a broken stroller. Left the stroller, carried 2 kids home got the car and went back for the stroller in the van.

This is where I made an error in judgment. I figured I already had everyone out- may as well hit the grocer, right?? Bad, bad, SUPER bad idea. Two year old little girls can be very stubborn at the least convenient time, like in the middle of a parking lot. I had to carry her through the entire store. Stinky had his share of issues too. He would not leave Princess alone to save his soul. FINALLY- we made it through the store to the check out line. As soon as we paid I asked who wanted to hold the receipt. Princess was paying attention and asked to- Stinky just lost it entirely when he missed out (because he was harassing Peas). The throw himself down on the floor and cry lose it. It was very fun. Princess being more mature than I am at times gave him the receipt in interest of getting out of there. Back to the van and back home.

Let the dogs out. Go back to carry groceries in. Go let dogs in. Hear screaming (sigh heavily) come back in to see Stinky holding Peas poised to punch her, Princess is in tears (stinky scratched her), Peas is defiant, and there are groceries ALL OVER THE FLOOR. Step into no nonsense mommy voice. Deal with situation. Stinky and mommy discuss why hitting is not okay even when people make you mad. Peas tries to retaliate (she really has the idea of, 'revenge is a dish best served cold' down.) Clean up groceries. Get snacks and drinks. Decompress. Feed Pixie who is not totally overwhelmed with all of the kids yelling.

Here is what I don't get. I had wanted to take them for a fun outing. I had wanted to do something fun and special with them- they knew this- did they subconsciously want to sabotage it??

April Giveaway

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Did I forget? No- but almost. I have been pre-occupied with the kids and the nice weather so we have been spending time outside and loving it.

This month, in light of my relaxing massage, I would love to give away some of my favorite bath pampering products from the Body Shop. Per the FCC- this is sponsored by me- yours truly.

So entering?? Comment- say hi- I hope you like what you read- and I adore comments.
Become a fan on Facebook, and tell me you did, in another comment- or tweet this- if you are already a fan.
hmmm or you can follow my blog.

The particulars:

The contest will end Sunday (4/18/2010) at 11:59 Central time. If you do not have an email associated with a blogger profile- please either email me your email address or leave it for me- otherwise I can't contact you if you win. And that would suck.

Monday I will use random.org to pick a random comment and that person wins. Simple?? I hope so. Have fun! Good luck!

Story Time

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

It is no secret that I have a deep love for books. I am thankful that I am able to share this with my children.

We have, again, begun to read Little House On The Prairie By Laura Ingalls Wilder- this time I also found a Little House Cookbook with recipes and stories pertaining to the food that they may have eaten on their homestead.

I am hopeful that this will bring another aspect of the story to life for them. To help show them that people did not have all of the comforts and things that we have. This should be really fun for us. My kids love to help in the kitchen- really what kid doesn't? and they can relate the cooking project to a story and eat them.

I'll update as we go. Wish us luck!

Dust made me happy

Monday, April 12, 2010

A few weekends ago we went to my parents house for the weekend. Going there is great and frustrating at the same time. The kids LOVE spending time with their grandparents especially on the beach. Grandma's is always super fun. They play with them and are just fun to be around- I love watching them interact.

It can also be exceedingly frustrating... as it is a different place than home bedtime can be tough and over night can be also be more labor intensive than normal. Also, it reminds me of my short-comings. My home is A LOT smaller than Grammy's house but her house is typically spotless. Floors clean, things put away, basically neat. My house does not see clean that much- there are always loads of laundry in various stages of done- dishes are usually somewhere, the floors are not spotless, there are toys out, and there is dust. Lots of it.

My mother is one of those perfect women. She is pretty, she is smart, she is kind, she is a good mom, a good wife, a good cook, a good well everything. I grew up having my house be amazingly and shockingly clean, having food cooked every night for a family dinner, and a built in homework helper. I am not so patient, not so kind, not so smart, not as clean.... Certainly not as clean.

This time, I opened a window and was thrilled to find dust on the outside of the window- between the glass and the screen. Insignificant--- very insignificant--- but it made me see that maybe- possibly- she is not perfect.

Who Nurtures the Nurturer?

Friday, April 9, 2010

I spend my days taking are of my family, the kids, the dogs, the cats... I hold, I carry, I lift, hug, snuggle, change, comfort, feed, and teach all day. All night. The kids curl up beside me next to me. Holding me- clutching even. All of it wears on me. It wears me down emotionally. It tires me; it drains me. Everyday, every night I give of my spirit of my heart to my family- sometimes I run a little empty and when there is nothing left to give I start to be crabby lose my patience, and be less than the mother and person I should be.

To recharge there are limits to what I can do. Last night- I took time for myself. I have awful headaches that have been getting worse. I carry tension in my neck and back- stress pent up from life.

I am sitting here trying to and struggling to find the words I would like to use to express how I feel- how I experienced my massage- and I am coming up empty. I am however welling with tears because it felt so good emotionally, spiritually, and physically. I feel filled again and ready to give of myself to my family.

It was warm. It was comforting. I felt cared for. I could feel my back, neck, and shoulders, releasing under her touch. I am perpetually cold- even at 80 degrees I am cold. The therapist's touch warmed me. She also put a heating pad across my middle which was amazing. It had enough weight- physical weight to help me feel grounded and warmed- the weight was comforting as was the warmth.

I found myself praying. I found myself melting into myself. I found myself listening to the quiet. Her touch was gentle and warm smoothing out tension. As part of my session she used craniosacral therapy to help with my headaches. The peace and relaxation I felt during that part was shocking. It felt almost like she was listening to a part of my speak that I cannot even be in tune with.

It is, I problem that a lot of mothers and caregivers have. We take care of of everyone and forget to take care of ourselves.

I found myself thinking- who nurtures her? She has a gift for nurturing. She has a peaceful presence. But when she gets 'empty' how does she nurture herself? How does she find so much in her to give to others?

How do you fill up? When you are running out of parts of you to give- how do you refill your heart?

It really helps

Sometimes I feel bad about myself... don't we all though? I look in the mirror and I see lines, circles, bumps, and lumps that were not there- that should not be there-- that were not there- but now grace me with their presence.

I see wobbles and jiggles and all of the things that are not so appealing.

Since starting pole dancing I am less likely to immediately start the critique. I will instead appreciate the soft curve of my hips or the muscles that are becoming more defined in my legs.

The week before we officially graduated from level I, a classmate filmed us doing our dance, she filmed us individually; us dancing to our own music, doing our own thing. It was harder than I had anticipated. But it was a ton of fun.

She gave us each our DVDs and I was not expecting to look hot or sexy- I was expecting to look silly- like someone trying to look sexy and winding up looking goofy. I was so pleasantly surprised, shocked even, that I liked the way I look. I looked hot. I looked like I was having fun. I looked good! Sure, I can see that I have some jiggles that I would like to work on but for now..even if it never changes- I was hot!

It helps me remind myself that I am a woman an attractive woman at that and I can enjoy that.

Look at me I am FABULOUS!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

To quote a friend interpreting Peas. Its true too. She is very much "Here I am love me! I am fantastic!". I love her for it.

For no reason the other day she walked up to us standing on the driveway chatting and she threw out her arms, grinned, giggled, and said "DA"- which as you know translates to "Look at this!!!"

She is totally the girl who will be the only one dancing and not care- she will live it up. She is the life of the party. She is exuberant and ohh so tiring.

I hope to preserve her good-natured love of well- everything and her self worth.

We could all be a little more "Look at me, I am FABULOUS!"

I have it in writing.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I am a Princess. So Ha! It is official. I am a princess..a pole princess... but the operative word is PRINCESS! Now I just need a tiara- I can raid the dress ups for one.

Last night was my pole dancing graduation from level 1 of pole dancing. I DID IT! I really did! yay! It has been one heck of a journey of introspection, self discovery, and exploration...and yes a bad ass work out too. The best part of it are the other ladies there to cheer each other on and support one another. We started out in our first class as strangers- now I would call them all friends. They made me laugh after a particularly awful day yesterday.

During the eight week class I learned some fun tricks but I learned more about myself and am beginning to learn to value myself and beginning to cherish what and who I am- right now. Which- given the kind of person I am- is a darn miracle.

Next week starts level two. A continuation of my epic journey. I could not be more excited.

Luck or lack of it.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Does it seem like some people get everything? Being pretty..Smart.. everything that you (I) ever wanted without having to work so hard at it??

I wish I could say that I am not jealous of it. But I confess I am. I confess that I am jealous of people who find their lives fulfilling and are so talented. I confess I feel desperately untalented and unattractive and no amount of anything seems to help it.

Sure when something good happens to someone I am happy for them but a little teensy part of me is jealous of it. Yes, I recognize that it is about me not them.
I wish I had their luck or talent too. I cannot think of anything that I am 'good' at. Really there is nothing.

About 6 years ago

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The weekend before Princess was born B and I went away for a few nights. We were not anticipating Princess to arrive for another few months so we were just having fun being two people stressed, in love, enjoying sometime.

The memories from that weekend stay with me as vividly as anything. I can still feel my right shoulder slightly sunburned. The smell of the breakfast that B made still lingers as do the memories of the movies we watched: "Band of Brothers".

It was the first time that anyone thought I was pregnant and not just fluffy- which thrilled me.

I got to go for a nice walk and enjoy the sun... and he followed me on his bike to make sure I was ok (my sense of direction is very very poor)

We went for pizza at what will always be my favorite place. We held hands we kissed we snuggled. We were so gloriously happy.

It was amazing. Every Spring I remember it; knowing that nothing can every come close to touching that time.

I must have blinked.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Yesterday or the day before--- sometime recently I was driving somewhere and I looked in the backseat of my sexy minivan and noticed that Princess was no longer the sweet 2 year old girl who had a winsome laugh and infectious grin. She is growing. So so fast. Her limbs are stretching; her hands are almost as big as mine and she is creeping up on me in height.

Her face is loosing the softness of baby chub and becoming more defined. Her eyes are still piercing blue and she smiles with her whole face but they have a maturity too them in the five year old sense.

She carries herself not with the awkward gait of a toddler anymore but with more grace and purpose to her movements. She can flip her hair with the best of them!

Princess has always been bright and she has always been astute. But now, she is learning emotional intelligence, as well as reading. She is conscientious and generous with her heart. She is a peacemaker with her siblings.

She is all of this and at the same time as being a five year old girl with a budding attitude and occasional defiance. She can be the greatest one to solve problems and in a moment switch to being in the middle of the conflict. She is so independent but still relishes in snuggles and stories.

As much as she is a young lady she is also a kid. I am guilty of at times expecting too much from her. When she acts in a perfectly age appropriate way I get unduly frustrated and I am sorry for that.

I am proud of her. She is an outstanding girl and I love her.

And like that it is over......

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Chicago weather is a fickle thing. You can go from 80's to 60's in hours...from 70's to snow over night.

This week has been glorious weather wise- days like these are why I live here. The cold and snow and rain make me appreciate these kind of days that much more so I try not to take them for granted- especially so early in the season.

The weather has been mid 70's and sunny today it was in the 80's I believe and heavenly. We were outside essentially all day. Riding bikes, going to the park, playing in the dirt (yes they literally play in the dirt- and love every moment of it).

But last week it was still mitten and hat weather and today was dressing the girls in sun dresses and liberally applying sunscreen- it never ceases to amaze me. In a few months these warm days filled with sunshine will be common place- but now they are a treasure to be savored.

It is going to rain this weekend and get chilly again. I'll be sad to put away my shorts the sundresses for a bit more but it was great to get things moving.

Ohhh- speaking of bike riding. Princess can now ride a two wheeler. When did she get so big? It was a year ago (or two?? I don't remember) I was teaching her how to peddle in 10 degree weather now she is zipping around sans training wheels.

Yesterday, she asked me all nonchalantly if I could take of her training wheels and I figured that now was as good of a time as any- Pixie was sleeping.. Peas was worm hunting and Stinky was collecting Roccos...so I would have time to run her up and down the driveway helping her learn balance. How naive I was. It took me longer to get the wheels off than it did for her to learn to ride. I held the bike steady for her to get on and off she went--- no problems. In fact I got more injured in the bike riding lesson than she did I must have done something wrong.

Cross of another milestone this girl is going places.

here are a few pictures from our day: