This Blog Has Moved
Please visit me at fruitsaladfamily.wordpress.com.
In the end, we are all fruit. -- Gus Portokalos, My Big Fat Greek Wedding
Please visit me at fruitsaladfamily.wordpress.com.
I am ashamed to say that I ended 2007 on a very pessimistic note. While I enjoyed Christmas with my family, I was stressed and tired from long hours at my job and from the schlepping of kids and presents. It felt too much like work, and not enough like a holiday. I was annoyed by news of the presidential race, and annoyed by my own cynicism. I felt trapped in my own life, but I had enough logic left to know that I had plenty of choices, I just needed to choose something.
Somehow, this New Year really does feel like a clean slate. I've always thought January 1 was as good a day as any to start something new, but that it really was pretty arbitrary. This year I'm not so sure.
I am tired, but I'm coming to terms with this job, and I'm making plans for the future. I'm enjoying my kids again. I'm sticking to the diet. I'm hopeful about what voters can accomplish in November, no matter which candidates get the nomination. I have done a 180 in attitude. I'm not sure why, but I am so grateful, because I was tired of being that woman.
I have long intended to write a post explaining the panic that started the whole "let's put ads on this site" thing, but it doesn't seem as important now. Suffice it to say, I freaked out and made several rash decisions, when a few well-thought-out ones would've served us all better. (Sample thought process: "What else could I do to make money? I'm pretty good at ovulating, maybe I could sell my eggs." You'll all be relieved to know that even then I realized that was taking things too far.)
So, as part of reclaiming my life, making choices instead of pretending to be forced into them, I am returning to Wordpress: the blog will be back here starting immediately.
Thank you all for your patience. I cannot promise a freak-out free future, but I do tend to panic about NEW things each time, so it's pretty likely that this particular freak-out will not recur.
People often ask me "how I do it." How do I manage with toddler twins and a preschooler (or, at first, infant twins and a toddler)? (Go ahead and laugh, moms with triplets -- or those of you with 4 + kids. It's OK. You have earned it.)
I don't know.
At home, it's not too hard. We follow the Routine, and it serves us pretty well. Some days Raisin doesn't brush her teeth until after lunch, and some days the grit underfoot in the kitchen feels like a million daggers in my soul, but it all gets taken care of eventually.
But I don't want to be the mom who says "no" all the time, so we venture to the library, or bowling with Raisin's friends from school, or out to play in the snow. At the library, Orange tries to rip pages out of every book. At the bowling alley, Apple wanted a closer look at the pins, and I had to chase him down the lane. It took me 1/2 hour to get everyone dressed for outside today. Apple and Orange both had their boots off within 2 minutes of being out (a good chunk of the 1/2 hour was me putting one twin back in their boots while the other struggled out of theirs). I made them stay out another 15 minutes anyway.
They deserve to have all these childhood experiences, and the fact that it's hard for me is no excuse for them to miss out. So, I keep trying. But I don't think I'll ever feel like I'm "managing."
The real trick is being OK with that.
1. Garrison Keillor: literary luminary, or Humongous Bighead? It's hard to tell sometimes -- maybe he's both?
2. In the 2008 presidential election, I would like to cast my vote for someone who opts out of the political game. Tell me the truth. Tell me what you really think, and not what you think I want to hear. So far, the only candidates willing to do this are friends of Shirley MacLaine or they believe that "illegal alien" means the same thing as "American dream killer." Please tell me these are not my only choices.**
3. When Raisin chooses names for dolls or imaginary friends, they are always things like "Kaweeza" or "Halla." When I was a child, I had an imaginary friend named "Seeley Galeely." Um, my child and I are normal, right?
4. Orange walks on her knees. Why does she do that? (She will walk on her feet if she's holding someone's hand, so I'm not worried about her development. I'm just wondering...)
5. Why didn't anyone tell me about "Wait, Wait ... Don't Tell Me?"*** I had no idea public radio could be so funny.
6. Making your own hummus is easy. I assumed there'd be some trick to it. I've been missing out, apparently.
7. New Year's Resolution: go back on Weight Watchers. Good thing hummus is low fat.
8. Pre-New Year's Resolution: eat all the junk that will tempt me after New Year's. That way, it won't be here to make things harder later. Logical, right?
*...I could be another Lincoln, if I only had a brain. Phew. That was like leaving "two bits" out of "Shave and a Haircut."
**Except maybe John McCain. So add one more caveat: candidate must be willing to think outside the box on health care, the mortgage crisis, education, and most importantly, Iraq.
This wasn't my best Christmas Eve. The kids were tired from celebrating yesterday with my mom and dad. I tried all day, with extremely limited success, to unpack their loot from that party so they could play with it and leave me some time to clean up for our company tomorrow. I have to work tonight, and so will miss the family gathering at my Grandma's house. We haven't made it to church at all this week, what with tired and/or sick babies and bad weather. By the time the Jellyman got home from work, the house was a disaster and his entire family was crabby. Merry Christmas.
He just called me from upstairs. "Take a break from checking email, and see the mess I've made in your kitchen," he said. So, I went.
He's making beef stroganoff and popovers, which is what my grandmother always serves Christmas Eve.
He's mine, and you can't have him. *Sniff*
Raisin starred* in her preschool's Christmas program this week. If it was unclear before, it is now quite obvious to me that I am raising a march-to-your-own-drum kid.
She sang along with the first song, but as an echo. This actually makes sense; that's how the teachers help the kids learn the songs, so it's logical that she thinks that's how the song really goes. But since the rest of the class was singing in unison, and she took seriously my suggestion that she should sing loudly -- well.
During the recitation, she was so enthralled by the Oscar-worthy performance of her peers that she forgot to say it with them.
While the rest of the class sang "Jingle Bells," she was trying to push her way to the front to tell the teacher something, and missed the whole song.
And while the whole school sang some other bell-related song (this is my favorite part), Raisin sang "Jingle Bells," which actually made for a nice sort of medley. (Like that Sting/Bing Crosby carol where Sting sings "Peace On Earth" and Bing sings "The Little Drummer Boy.")
She looked so beautiful and confident up there, waving to us before her part began. She listened politely to the other classes, and she even managed to enjoy the twirliness of her skirt without hiking it up around her waist for a better look.
It sounds like I'm kidding, but I honestly have never been so proud.
*The other families probably thought that their kids were the stars. We'll just have to agree to disagree.
In your family, do people stay no matter what? Do they show up for the big family functions even when they're mad at somebody, just because they believe it's important for family to be together? Or do they stay away, maybe for years, maybe forever, because something has hurt them, and they can't or won't get over it?
My mom's family, with whom my brother and I spent most of our holidays and special occasions growing up, is the first way. We may not have a good time, but darn it, we are THERE. Through divorces and remarriages and awkward moments and bad memories, everyone just keeps showing up. The difficult things sometimes get talked about, sometimes not, but eventually things even out again and we are glad that no bridges got burned in the process.
My dad's youngest brother has been estranged from us for years. Not a complete break, but enough of one that he was not present at my wedding or my brother's (he was invited). There is a lot of stuff there, dirty laundry that I won't air on a blog, even one as anonymous as this. The point is this: I contacted him again, got rebuffed again, and got angry, and maybe a little reckless. I asked him why -- what could I have possibly done to create this distance?
He answered me. I think we can make things better between us. Not perfect, but better.