Monday, March 31, 2008

Your Character Is Showing!

Some days I need to ask God to help me be grateful. There are days when being grateful is easy, but, for me, dealing with unexpected expenses sometimes requires me to force gratefulness upon myself. It always helps during trials like these for me to remind myself that at least the money is there to pay these bills; I don’t have to sell my plasma or go to work in a sweatshop. But really, I would much rather go to a five-star restaurant and spend two hundred dollars for a stellar meal instead of having to spend that money on medical care that wasn’t any fun at all.

I called my girlfriend to see how her husband is feeling: he has been in a lot of pain over the last week with a kidney stone. She made the mistake of asking me how I was doing, so she had to listen to a ten-minute diatribe about the finer points of medical insurance (like she needed to be further stressed out). I don’t do this with just anybody, but when you’ve known a person your entire life they tend to get the good with the bad in there too. The baby has developed a fascination with the cats’ water bowl and in the middle of my serious phone conversation I turned just in time to see her doing the breaststroke in their spilled drinking water. It is difficult to strip a baby out of wet pajamas, dry the toddler’s wet feet so he’ll stop begging frantically for them to be wiped, and carry on an angry rant all at the same time. Watching a baby attempt to swim on a damp floor is just too funny.

Thankfulness breeds contentment. I want to be happy. There are much, much worse things that can happen to a person. I have no control over when my body chooses to be sick or develop a chronic health problem. Nor do I have the authority to dictate the amount I would like be billed for services pertaining to my physical health and well-being. On the other hand, I can make the choice to look for the silver lining and thank God that he not only has the ability to take care of me, but that he chooses to do so because of his unfailing love for me. If I think on that I may even be able to smile while writing out those big checks.

“O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. O fear the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him.” Psalms 34:8-9

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Dirty Dirt

It is with hesitation and a feeling of deep shame that I confess what I fear is a dislike for gardening. I love plants and flowers; I love looking at them and smelling their aroma. It’s the dirt I don’t like. I really, really don’t like dirt. First of all, sitting on the ground in the dirt is not something that appeals to me because of all the skittery ants and bugs. Even when wearing gardening gloves I become a bit squeamish at the sight of juicy pink earthworms writhing around in my trowel.

The idea may not seem like such a trial if I was actually good with plants. I need low maintenance flowers because I have a propensity toward destroying them; and there is the ordeal of where to put them. I’m not a landscaper, I don’t know about these things. It really is quite embarrassing.

So far, our method of gardening is me instructing my husband on where I think it best for a particular plant or shrub to go, and him digging around in the dirt and mulch gloveless, getting dirt under his nails and manhandling the weird live things that he finds in the bowels of the backyard, at which point I need to avert my eyes and insist that he not let our son touch that! I realize that my son is indeed a boy and will most likely find himself drawn to all things slimy, but I would prefer to delay that phase until he has learned not to put his hands in his mouth when he plays outside.

If nothing else I feel I must be succeeding at being Mommy because when I opened my eyes this morning both of the cats were staring worriedly at me from the bedside. My husband herded both of the kiddos downstairs so that I could lie in bed undisturbed for an extra half hour. The sounds of coffee beans being ground and pancake batter being mixed were lovely.

The cats sensed the abnormality of the situation and hastened to my side. I do not know if they were just checking to make sure I was still breathing, or if they were concerned about Daddy being left alone to multitask while the children were present. It’s hard to sleep while being stared at and I was pretty confident the baby needed a clean diaper, so I got up. It was nice while it lasted!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Murphy Strikes Again

I don’t know anything about the person who drafted Murphy’s Law, but I suppose I wouldn’t be partial to him or her. It seems to me that if the notion that “anything that can go wrong will” weren’t floating around out there in the atmosphere circumstances wouldn’t feel they were at liberty to wheedle a person’s nerves. There are few things that have the ability to work me up into a frothing frenzy faster than problematic bills and issues with our medical insurance. More often than not, these bills or insurance statements that claim “THIS IS NOT A BILL”, which they may as well be, arrive in the mailbox on weekends. Murphy knows well and good that my insurance company does not field phone calls on weekends. That means I have to wait until Monday to straighten out the problem that looms over my head like a giant black anvil or a sleek grand-piano waiting to smoosh my cartoonish form into a flat pancake. I really find it that stressful. On the brighter side, my little boy had a raging fever for one day and then it magically disappeared. Thank the Lord. So far no one else has exhibited any signs of sickness. I’m having myself fitted for laser beam eyes just in case that darn Murphy tries to show up to wave his magic wand and cause the rest of the family to become ill with typhoid fever or something; that way I can blast him and hopefully put an end to his maniacal dealings once and for all.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Here We Go 'Round The Mullberry Bush

I awoke at six o’clock this morning with my son’s feverish toes digging into my back, and his head feeling hot enough to fry up some breakfast. It has only been a month since my family was rid of the dreaded viral cold/bacterial ear infection illness. That virus held us in a death-grip for weeks and weeks. It’s six am and I can’t sleep because I’m having flashbacks of force-feeding two kids amoxicillin twice a day for ten days.

When I finally dragged myself out of bed at eight o’clock I settled my little guy on the couch with a sheet, his pillow and a fuzzy blanket, put on a video and then plodded into the kitchen to make the coffee that I would need to get me through my day. I ground up some nice Mexican Select Green Mountain Coffee and poured cold filtered water into the reservoir; I plugged in the pot and toggled the switch into the “on” position. No red light. No sounds of percolation. Turned it off; turned it back on. And off. And on.

I suppose there is no good time for a coffee pot to break, but today seemed a particularly bad choice. The thing is only 1 ½ years old. In the six years that we’ve been married we’ve had to replace a VCR and our microwave. Family members have microwaves that have been around since the dawn of time and coffee pots that are older than me and still operate. They just don’t make things like they used to.

My husband was able to convince the mutinous coffee pot to brew ten cups, but I have a desperate hunch that it won’t be made to work again. In the meantime I suppose I shall have to drink twice as much tea to sustain me as I nurse my poor sick toddler back to health. All I can do is hope and pray that this time around the period of illness will be short lived and milder, and that it won’t ravage the whole family. If I ignore the tickle in my throat and wash my hands every two-point-five seconds maybe it’ll go away.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Who Brought This?

Everyone, excepting the baby, learned something new about food this Easter Sunday. Not for lack of trying on the baby’s part, for she will try to eat anything presented to her; however, there is only so much food that is palatable for a nine month old.

For my part, I learned that peanut butter cookies dunked until soggy in coffee are a new dangerous favorite for me. Dangerous because although I have self-control in many areas when it comes to food, this does not seem to be one of them. It is quite possible that I would continue to submerge the crunchy cookies until I either went mad from the amount of caffeine I was ingesting or I threw up from the amount of sugar I was introducing into my system. This was the first time I have made this type of cookie since being married six years ago: they were a favorite of my Dad’s and I used to make them when I lived at home with my parents, but I tend to shy away from hard cookies as I prefer soft, chewy ones. It was sometime yesterday evening in the midst of my sugar-induced euphoria that I declared the peanut butter cookie, accompanied by a hot cup of coffee, to be my new favorite. I shall have to be careful and only bake them for very special occasions so as to avoid blatant displays of self-indulgence and gluttony.

My little boy got his first chocolate car. He loves cars and trucks and his Nana couldn’t resist buying him a chocolate racecar. Of course he attempted to drive it and seemed a bit confused when he was told it was for eating, but he soon got over it and happily gnawed off the front bumper.

And then came my husband’s food related learning experience. The poor man has been teased about his garbage disposal approach to eating for many years now. He takes it in stride because he knows it to be largely founded in truth and I believe that he takes some pride in this title. (Only one of our male friends can wolf down a plate of food faster than my husband, and my husband speaks of him with a kind of reverence and admiration). My husband not only has the ability to eat absolutely humungous portions of food, he also finds a wide range of food to be palatable and does not balk from trying new delicacies. Yesterday was no exception. While the rest of the family was recuperating from dessert in Nana’s living room- where I’m sure I was still dunking cookies- my husband wandered into the kitchen in search of more coffee and something to munch on. A short time earlier Nana had placed her cat’s food on the counter next to the percolator so that the baby wouldn’t get into it. As my husband made his way toward the countertop the kitchen was cloaked in a quiet, dusky darkness. I suppose there really is no need for me to say anything further except that my husband not only chewed and swallowed one modest handful, but two, and was on his way back to the living room to see if anyone could tell him what he was eating before the cogs in his brain started to turn and he blurted, “I just ate cat food!” to himself and everyone present as he crossed the threshold of the room.

The customary jokes followed, and my husband expressed his delight at the sheen his coat of fur was sure to get; I was told not to be surprised if I found him curled up on the windowsill licking himself, and he was warned about tracking litter around the house after trips to the cat box. After much laughter and silliness the family eventually succumbed to the return of post-dinner lethargy. All in all, my husband, food connoisseur that he is, declared the whole fiasco to be a success of sorts as he imparted his wisdom that cat food actually doesn’t taste too badly.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

He Is Risen!

"But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: that in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace ye are saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast." Ephesians 2:4-9

""For God so loved the world , that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved."" John 3:16-17

"And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweat spices, that they might come and annoint him. And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulche at the rising of the sun. And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulche? And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great. And entering into the sepulche, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him." Mark 16:1-6

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Updates and Musings

There is a horrible crick in my neck and my children are sure to believe that I no longer love them due to neglect, but I have triumphed over the scrapbook. No longer will it sneer at me and taunt me with the fact that I have had two-point-five years to put it all together. It is done. There will be the initial look-through during which my family members will click their tongues and awww at the tiny baby that my son used to be, and then the book will be slid onto a shelf where it will be forgotten and begin its long life as a dust collector. Yes, it will be nice to look through when my little baby is all grown-up, but so will the photo albums that only require the pictures to be slid into plastic pockets.

My husband has declared our home to be a “potty-training free zone”. This is not because my son has finally mastered this difficult chore which requires him to stop playing for forty-five seconds and go to the toilet. But rather because he feels it to be a lost cause. Apparently he has decided to take residence in the camp of “you can’t force a child to potty train; he has to be ready”; after the first frightful week I staked my tent in the “I’ve worked too hard to quit now” camp, so I’m afraid the poor child will not only be resistant but also confused.

The first day of spring always brings with it the pleasant expectation of bright flowers, rollicking at Nana’s house, and the promise of warm sunshine. This year I am even more pleased that the cold weather is retreating: the oil company delivered heating oil today. It is possible that building a fire pit in the middle of the living room floor and burning money to keep warm way be the cheaper way to go.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Substance Reconnaissance

A crawling baby’s radar for certain things- like cat vomit- is superior to a parent’s. This is probably due to the fact that they are closer to the ground and have the advantage of proper perspective for these sorts of abnormalities of color on the floor. In the hour following our descent to the first floor of the house after awakening this morning, I had to clean cat puke from the floor in three different locations.

Thankfully, it is rare for the cats to regurgitate three times in one day. Much to my dismay the baby did manage to find one of these sites before me. I got to her while she still had the can-I-put-this-in-my-mouth look on her face and was pat-patting the small pile with her little hand.

I turned around from scouring the carpet and I saw that the baby was moving something around in her mouth with her tongue; her jaw shifting from one side to another as her gums relentlessly mashed whatever it was. My fingers fished out a brownish pebble sized mass.

Of course the only to do is to sniff it and hope for the best. I heaved a sigh as the whiff revealed it to be chocolate and not something much more offensive as I had initially feared. My son has a penchant for chocolate and this piece must have gotten away from him yesterday while he savored the treats that his Nana brought. Another day, another disaster averted.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

They're A Cat And Bunny!

Well, they do make cards for just about anything these days. My sister has infected the rest of the family with hoops&yoyo mania, and now if a card isn’t loud and crazy in a hoops&yoyo kind of way it just isn’t funny. I opened my email inbox the other day to find an e-card pronouncing it to be Spastic Colon Sunday! It just doesn’t get any better than that. The best part is that all four of us can gather around the monitor in our cramped little office surrounded by stuff that has no home and the kitty litter box and be entertained for upwards of thirty minutes: because once one has viewed the e-card that was sent it’s time to browse all of the others to find one that has the capacity to make all of us (even the baby) snort with laughter. There are cards to tell people how gooood they smell; cards commemorating Canada Day (eh?); and cards hailing the awesomeness of the coffee bean. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find an interactive “Name That Stain” card or an “I’m Sorry You Had To Clean Poop Out Of The Rug Today Again” card. Now there’s a gold mine.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Remember When

I purchased a scrapbook before my son was born to chronicle his first year. It includes sonogram photos, pictures of my pregnant belly, and snapshots of the baby shower along with the usual first bath, first food, Christmas, and learning to walk keepsakes and pictures. He is now two and a half years old and I haven’t quite gotten to his first birthday party yet. My daughter is nine months old and her scrapbook hasn’t seen so much as a sticker.

Part of the trouble is that after I collect all of the supplies (markers, stickers, stencils, photos, memorabilia, etc.) I have to take them downstairs to the dining room table. That means there will be little hands groping around in search of items left too close to the edge of the table to smear with sticky peanut buttery fingers or use to make art on the walls with.

In my experience it is unsafe to attempt most craft projects without the aid of talking vegetables or cars to keep the children entertained. Even with creativity-leeching entertainment, it will only be a matter of minutes before someone needs a diaper change/potty break or a snack; or they just simply want to be involved with the fun new thing that is going on at the table.

Today, after much organizing and searching for misplaced pictures, I managed to complete one whole page and pre-plan another. It took an hour to choose a piece of colored paper, arrange three pictures, stencil captions in brown archival ink and decide where to put a sticker of Winnie-the-Pooh clutching a walking stick. No wonder I’m not finished yet.

I really am determined to complete it before my son’s third birthday in September. Maybe by the time I’m ready to buckle down and start his little sister’s scrapbook he will be old enough to play co-designer. If I continue at the current rate, my daughter will be four by the time her book is finished. After we have more children I’ll most likely resign myself to the fact that Baby’s First Year scrapbooks will be done in time to be presented as high school graduation gifts.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

How I Became A Crook

The kids and I went to the toy store last evening to pick out a small toy for each of them to unwrap on Easter Sunday. My son also had four dollars from Valentine’s Day that had been given to him to use at the toy store, so it seemed a good time to spend it. I had previously placed the money into his coin bank for safekeeping.

As I sat shaking the contents of my son’s bank out over his bed I felt I was remiss in not having a lookout posted at the door to warm me of any approaching persons. It felt like robbery to remove the four one-dollar bills. Random loose change fell out with a satisfying “clink” into a neat little pile; the paper money, on the other hand, had to be pried through the round opening in the bottom of the bank and some of it was rather difficult to coax out.

The fact that it seemed the job would require tools made it seem even more unorthodox. My palms began to sweat, and even though I was the only adult at home my adrenaline was under the impression that we were in a race against the clock: that at any moment the law would show up and I would forever be ashamed to call myself Mommy.

It was such a horrid experience that I have resolved never to keep spending money in the coin bank again. My offending hands felt so dirty when they put that crisp green paper into my wallet. From now on, a plain white envelope with my son’s name on it will have to suffice as a reasonable storage place for money that’s not meant to be saved.

Friday, March 14, 2008

I'm In The Market For A Third Eye

My son has taken to having swashbuckling adventures around the house; he wields his made-especially-by-Daddy pirate sword of cardboard and tinfoil as he roams the house in search of unsuspecting teddy bears and swarthy felines to stab or force, at sword point, to walk the plank. The only pirates he has seen in action are The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything, courtesy of Big Idea. They don’t do much stabbing, although they do make Jonah walk the plank in Jonah: A Veggie Tales Movie. I suppose it’s in a young boy’s nature to understand a sword’s purpose. Since there is no ship in sight he has begun to train the cats in the art of carrying a human from one point to another on their backs. This training has so far been largely unsuccessful, sword or no sword.

While I attempt to keep tabs on these exploits with one eye I am forced to watch my little girl non-stop with the other as she seeks entertainment in another way: climbing. My son was never much of a climber as a baby. My daughter, on the other hand, absolutely refuses to go around an object when she can go over it. As a matter of fact, she hunts for things to climb on or use to pull herself into an upright position. This wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for her still wobbly legs or her pirate brother who is forever weaving in and out of her path. Every other minute there is a “thud” or a “wump” to investigate. She just can’t be stopped and is forever falling, rolling, or tumbling over something. It would seem that she isn’t the type to let a few boo-boos stop her from getting back up on the horse.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Early Morning Reverie

I am a morning person in the sense that I relish the morning quiet that allows a person to hear the birds singing even though one lives in the city. I love the soft pinks and blues in the sky as the sun makes its ascent to the peak of the firmament. The only problem is that I loathe getting out of bed while still in the throes of an undisturbed sleep.

This morning I had to be at Quest Laboratories by eight o’clock in order to have some blood drawn for testing. The combination of the crispness in the air and the ebb and flow of the traffic around me as fellow motorist hustled off to work reminded me of my working days, and, for a moment, I actually missed them. Only for a moment.

I arrived at precisely the right time and did not have to wait before being escorted to the room where I would be stuck with the needle. The reason for my early morning visit was two-fold. On top of my routine lab work my physician also wanted to have some further testing done because I have been fatigued more than usual lately.

So there I am, it’s early, I’m tired and the phlebotomist is having some trouble with me because I’m finding it difficult to keep my arm straight instead of resting my elbow on the table. She’s asking me if I’m okay since it’s generally an easy thing to do, sitting there with one’s arm stretched out, the inside of the elbow taught in preparation for the needle’s penetration. The fact is that today I’m there because I’m fatigued, it says so right at the bottom of the script- Dx. fatigue; it is surprising how difficult it is to keep an elbow lifted up off of a table when tired. After being asked to “stop flopping” my arm around “like that” I gritted my teeth in concentration and managed to be of no further trouble while the two vials of blood were drawn.

Ah, well. I shall just add her to the list of people who think I’m odd for one reason or another. After I left I thought it would be a good idea to stop by Dunkin’ Donuts and pick up some sugary treats to eat with our morning coffee. I generally stay away from doughnuts because that much sugar early in the morning tends to make me feel ill; but I thought that maybe the grouping of sugar and caffeine would, at least temporarily, relieve my fatigue. I was wrong. I’m still tired, and all of that sugar coursing through my veins is making my tummy feel a little warbly.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Some Days I Feel Like Truman

There is some strange territory that goes along with living in a twin home. Just on the other side of that shared wall could be someone looking in a mirror to pick their teeth while you idly wash the dishes. Late at night the hallway next door creaks and moans as people walk up and down it. At times it’s so loud that it seems to be our hallway and I am convinced that a burglar could sneak up on us because his furtive creeping would easily be mistaken for the next-door neighbors’ middle of the night trip to the potty.

Our cellar way smells like fried food in the evenings and cigarette smoke the rest of the day. The upstairs bathroom wall is so thin that phone conversations and sneezing can be easily heard. It can be unnerving to hear loud bangs and whining drills and be unable to investigate the source of the disturbance.

My husband and I were blessed enough to rent a freestanding apartment for the first five years of our marriage, and so I am unaccustomed to these sorts of living arrangements. We still can’t complain as our neighbors are nice people who aren’t given to having loud parties or standing on their front porch to scream obscenities, neither do they have a large dog that barks at all hours of the day.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Photographs, Pictures, and Prints

Right before my son was born we invested in a digital camera. Digital photos have a lot of favorable qualities over those of regular film. A person can take seven million photographs of their children without having to go through the expense of developing all seven million photos (although because a person tends to take so many more photos it is likely that they print more as well); they are easy to email to family and friends who are not able to see the kids often; and they can be viewed and accessed immediately. There are definite drawbacks, however. No more simply dropping a roll of film into a box for development. Now there is the waiting in line and loading your images into a computer. I only manage to get to this three, maybe four times a year, so I have loads of images to sort through while the next person in line impatiently waits behind me for their turn. I’m beginning to wonder if it is redundant to print pictures that are to be relegated to photo albums, especially since the albums are on a shelf in the office right next to the computer where they can be viewed at the touch of a button. The problem is that I can’t stop now considering I have so many pictures of my son already organized into pages of four-by-six slots: I feel that my daughter should be shown the same consideration. Not that I would be the first parent in the history of the world to hear, “Mooommm! How come there are so many pictures of my brother and none of mmmmeeeeeeeeee?”

Thursday, March 6, 2008

And You Are...?

My doorbell rang today, immediately followed by a pounding loud enough to break the door down. Upon opening the door I was greeted by a man of average height and average build with sandy brown hair who was wearing a brownish sort of necktie. When I said that he greeted me, what I meant was that he said “Jessica Jones?” Neither of these names belong to me, so at first I was under the impression that he was introducing himself. I glanced at his partner who stood behind with a red shirt, non-descript necktie, dark hair and a scowl, and decided that it was unlikely that their mothers had named either of them Jessica. I continued to stare at the man who had addressed me while drool puddled in the corners of my mouth.

My confusion must have been obvious because the sandy haired gentleman glanced down at his portfolio and muttered something about making sure they had the right address. He then looked me in the eye and said the thing that every woman/mother/person wants to hear from the guy who knocks on their door: “We’re detectives from (insert your town here)”.

Well. The rusty old cogs in my brain started to turn and the first thing they cranked out was, “This can’t possibly have anything to do with the time my son called 911?” Thankfully, my mouth slapped my brain in the face and called it stupid before that thought could slip out. It occurred to me that perhaps I should ask to see identification, but they had their hands where I could see them and they weren’t any where near my personal space bubble. I thought it prudent to inform the detectives that we purchased the house last February and that it was a rental property prior to that, so maybe the person they were inquiring after had lived here during that time.

Then the two of them shambled off of my front porch with a well-what-do-we-do-now look. At least I didn’t have to bust out my Kung Fu moves. When I was a little girl (and a teenage girl and a grown woman) I always wanted to be a detective, so the whole exchange had my curiosity piqued and, in a dull sort of way, it was kind of exciting! And just for the record- I don’t open my door to men I don’t recognize unless I’m home with someone who also knows Jujitsu.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Behold, The Power Of Cheese

After my son was born I always (half) jokingly said that I hoped to one day have a nice, quiet little girl who would sit once in a while to give me a break from my constantly on-the-go little boy. My daughter will be nine months old in a couple of days and it seems unlikely that her personality will develop into a child that sits still and watches what is going on around her.

Even though she is still doing the army crawl it only takes a blink of the eye for her to warp to a new location where she can find something to get into. We have no way to put a gate across the three bottom steps, so she is already playing on the bottom step and trying to climb them. In her little world the cat’s food and water dishes have become an all-you-can-eat self serve food bar for the hungry baby. Mom is a little late getting my lunch - no problem! I’ll just help myself to some of this dry stuff in the shape of a chicken leg. Tastes just like Cheerios! The trick is to swallow it before mommy can fetch it out of her mouth.

Of course there are times when she participates in relatively safe activities like chasing the cats or playing with her brother’s toys, although the safety of the latter activity is quickly being called into question. She has gotten to the point where she dislikes it when her brother takes a toy away from her: she has been observed swatting at his offending hand in frustration.

Regardless of the fact that she is very task oriented and likes to stay busy, her maternal instinct is sharpening. She delights in feeding her father and I Cheerios from her tray and often becomes insistent if we show disinterest toward eating them. I could quickly become fat by being handfed by the baby because she has such a wonderful giggle when I eat from her hand that I could let her feed me all day and not tire of it.

Food is a powerful thing. I almost wept at the beauty of a ham sandwich the other day. The cross-section of it was mind-blowing: a thick layer of green, crispy lettuce so fresh that it sparkled with water sat beneath thinly sliced white cheddar, extra sharp, decorated with yellow mustard and topped with ham betwixt two slices of soft potato bread. I tell you, it brought a tear to my eye.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Heirloom Slush Mugs

How delightful it can be to be reminded of one’s childhood. Being the oldest grandchild on my mom’s side of the family, and the first to bear children, has already yielded its advantages. My Grammy (my Mom’s mom) has passed the magical Slush Mugs onto me. A person has only to pour a delicious beverage of their choice into the cup insert and put it into the freezer, and in a couple of hours- slushy! As a child I gleaned that root beer was the best choice for making slushies. My son hasn’t shown too much interest in this treat yet; in the meantime my husband and I are enjoying our root beer slushies with a movie in the evening when the kids are in bed. It’s one of the favorite parts of my day!

I enjoy food. Some of my earliest memories are food memories, so maybe that’s why. We didn’t have cable at home for most of my childhood. When we went to Grammy and Pop-pop’s house Grammy would spread a sheet on the living room floor so we could watch television while we ate and she wouldn’t have to worry about us staining her carpet. It was like a picnic!

Now when Grammy comes to visit my kids she always brings a box of animal crackers with her: the red box with the handle made of string. My mom, Nana, always prepares a goody bag full of snacks for my son to eat on the ride home from her house, and she never comes to our house without some sort of treat for her grandbabies: sometimes it’s a bag of Goldfish, or a granola bar, or graham crackers in the shape of insects. Nothing says, “I love you” like a graham cracker inchworm.

It’s all those special things that only your family does that make it your family. I’m anxious to nurture special memories for my kids that they can take with them into their adult lives; memories that make them smile and know that they are loved. Memories that make root beer flavored slushies.