This morning I took V to a park and then to lunch and though he looked fried, I needed to make a quick trip through the art store (because “need” and “art store” usually go together). Vincenzo was a whining, screaming terror until he realized he could sit on the front of the stroller and power it with his legs (“Look Mom, now you have an automatic stroller!”) It was totally awkward and annoying for me and everyone else we ran into and bumped into and actually knocked down and then rolled over, but the alternative was to drag a tired, screaming child through the store and hope the nice lady in the felt aisle could watch the baby without stealing him while I tied up the fighty one outside..
In happier news, Vincenzo invented a new word that is worth sharing:
hearitable: being completely irritated by things you are hearing; e.g.: Your whining has made me incredibly HEARITABLE.
It was an hour past Rocco’s feeding time when we got home so I rushed upstairs to nurse my screaming baby, and only after he latched on did I realize Vincenzo had never gotten out of the car and was yelling for me. I headed to the garage, still nursing Rocco, and as soon as Vincenzo got out of the car he said, “I need to p—“ and then there was pee all over the floor.
I know there are so many worse ways this story could have ended, but standing there with a baby sucking on my boob, watching the yellow puddle of pee reach my Goodwill basket while I stood there helplessly lactating felt pretty low. I feel even lower when I think of all the trolls who are going to comment about me leaving Vincenzo in the car in the first place. I know. Don’t do it. I get it.
In happier news, I made up a new word of my own:
festerday: how you refer to yesterday when it was a bad one; e.g.: I can’t wait until tomorrow so that I can laugh about festerday.
WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE:
P.S. Rocco just threw up on the carpet. Now he is rolling in it.
Not much going on so I’ll just make fun of the kids as usual.
This conversation went down today:
Vincenzo: [holding up a shell] Mom, guess what animal would wear this shell. I’ll give you a clue: it’s round.
Me: A turtle?
V: No. I’ll give you another clue. It has square patterns on it.
M: A turtle?
V: No. I’ll give you another clue. It starts with the sound “turt.”
M: Ummmm…a turtle?
V: No. I’ll give you another clue. It starts with the word “turtle.”
V: A cat!
I don’t know what is more disturbing about the following picture: that Vincenzo seems to be flashing a gang sign or that he ate the middle out of a piece of bread and is now wearing it as a garter. All I know is that the picture must be shown to the world.
He’s got the matching pair of glasses, too. (He always eats his toast/bread like this. He informed me the other day that the crust is just a handle.)
Don’t you think Rocco looks so much like a hoser in this next picture? Especially since there is a self-portrait feel to it.
But this picture makes up for it, eh?
WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE:
BIL’s ribs (thanks BIL!)
Twice baked cheddar and bacon potatoes
So a couple weeks ago my sister hosted an Alice in Wonderland party. Here’s the good, the mad, and the ugly of it.
My sister decked the table in astroturf and covered it with all kinds of wonders, my favorite being these tiny bottles of cocktails with tags that read “Drink Me.”
Bee cookies (I made them, brag braggity brag)
Croquet in the basement (my sister sewed her own dress, vicariously brag braggity brag)
The host…who actually did make his own hat
Alice. BIG Alice, to be precise.
(I went as the white rabbit, courtesy of Hugh Heffner and my Speedo swimsuit.)
In the words of the real Alice, “I can’t explain myself, I’m afraid, Sir, because I’m not myself you see.”
WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE:
Spaghetti and meatballs
We went letterboxing for the first time. Letter boxing is like geocaching only for people who find their way places by turning left at the Starbucks and right at the Jiffy Lube rather than those who turn east on 4th and north on main. It was…AWESOME. Vincenzo and his buddy played in the mud, threw rocks in a pond, blazed their own trails, and pching’d things with sticks* on a drizzly day where normally we’d be inside drumming our fingers on the table and hurling insults at each other.
A few pix from the day:
What is it about dimples that makes a normal person so dang cute? Why don’t we go “awwwwww” when we see someone with differently colored eyes or a monobrow or maybe a cleft palate? At any rate, this kid lucked out.
Crouching cheetard, hidden letterbox
Finding the letterbox (despite the fact that the tree mentioned in the clue was apparently chopped down this month)
Shut up. It’s the first stamp I’ve ever made.
Oh, this guy was there too. In case there’s any confusion, his face is the one on the bottom.
Please note I sacrificed one of my gloves to a lost sock cause. I’m real selfless like that.**
Vincenzo found his letterbox treasure, but I found this super cool plant that gets purple berries this time of year—it’s called Beauty Berry and I need it! (I also need a macro lens so I can take better close-ups.)
Can’t wait for our next letterboxing extravaganza!
WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE:
You tell me. (Really, tell me! I’d love to know.)
*Who are we kidding—they shot things with guns.
**sic (It kills me to use an adjective where an adverb should be used, but it sounds righter.)***
***sic (That’s just to be funny.)
QUICKIE: Vincenzo cooked Grammy a pretend fish. She took a bite, declared it delicious, and asked, “What seasonings did you use?” He answered simply, “Summer.”
I think this is about the funniest flipping poem I have ever read aloud. It’s from Vincenzo’s High 5 magazine this month, and I can’t physically make it through the poem because I laugh so hard I cry:
I scoot right up the Chester
and the Susquehan-i-aye
and I toot—oh how I toot!
at the blue crabs in the Bay.
I toot and toot again
and TOOT—what do I hear?
Something’s tooting back at me
—a tug is chugging near!
The poem ends by telling you that New York is the best place to toot. I’m booking a ticket today.
There’s this other poem in the magazine:
When you’re yawning and nodding and flopping,
and ready to fall in a heap,
where do you choose for a nap or a snooze–
where is your favorite place to sleep?
When we finished reading, Vincenzo answered, “On your sister.”
Thank God Vincenzo doesn’t have a sister. And Lord have mercy on everyone else’s sisters.
WHAT’S COOKIN ‘2NITE:
Tilapia fish tacos
Spicy black bean stew
Dulce de leche cookies
I’m heading out now to find a field of tulips to run through.
Some of you who read this are SAHMs like me. Some are DINKs. Some balance work and kids. Some don’t have anything to balance. I’m betting all of us from time to time fantasize about being the other and question ourselves about the choices we’ve made—and that we’re still making. I live in a constant state of self-doubt about my choices. I feel like I let someone down when I run into childhood friends who have a successful career. I feel even let-downier if they also have a family or brand new kittens. It doesn’t help that for all of February I was comparing myself to friggin’ Olympic athletes and coming up remarkably short. I actually probably could win a gold medal in the Olympics, but I don’t think Mediocrity is officially an Olympic sport just yet.
Some days I just feel like a dud.
But then there are the days when I feel like I’m the one who has it all. Like an Olympic gold medalist would be a fool not to trade it all for just one day of my life.
There was this day I spent at the beach with my boys last week. One street over people the city was busy with people going to work, people at work, and people taking coffee breaks from work while my boys and I sat on the edge of the lake to play. We threw rocks. We wondered how there can still be so many rocks after all the kids that come through that beach. We studied the patterns the currents made on the water. We made up voices for the seagulls that were loitering there and played out a story starring them. We got wet up to our thighs even though we didn’t have a change of clothes. I didn’t have camera so I memorized how regal and ridiculous Vincenzo looked standing atop a boulder in the water, his leopard cape flapping behind him. I turned my head up to the sun and closed my eyes and let it fill me up, and at the same time Rocco turned his head up to my face and closed his own eyes.
And I knew who I was.
When I am an old lady looking back, I will know I was a person who stopped to notice the beauty in a day. Who lived in constant awe of the mountains and lake outside my window, and the sunsets that stretched their long fingers into my living room every night. I was the person who woke up to another rainy morning and told her kids, “Isn’t it beautiful outside?” A person who almost never snapped, “Hurry up, we need to GO!” because rarely was anything so sacred as what we were doing in that moment. I was a person who let my children know I had all the time in the world for them.
I may not end up with a long list of my accomplishments by the time I die, but I will be able to tell you that life was beautiful. And I’ll be able to tell you exactly why.
(View from my window at 6:30 and 6:45 in the morning)
WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE:
Spinach phyllo triangles
Quinoa and aduki bean salad
Roasted red pepper and tomato soup
Lemon wreath cookies