Monday, November 26, 2012

It Makes a Difference to This One

We have snow on the ground. Thanksgiving night it snowed, as if to usher in the Christmas Season in the most festive way possible.  We have a tree in our living room just begging for lights and ornaments.  There is Christmas music on the radio 24/7.  And I have found the BEST station ever.  I've been listening to Christmas music since Friday every.waking.moment. and they haven't played that awful Shoes song once!  107.9 is the place to be, Twin Cities people. 

I thought I was done with my Christmas shopping, but I still have to get something for the bus driver.  But otherwise, I was done last Tuesday.  Friday I spent the day working and earning money instead of spending it.  And then I turned around a spent every last penny on my favorite gift for myself: I donated to Reece's Rainbow!  This Sweet Rainbow, to be precise. 

Reece's Rainbow is having it's Angel Tree 2012 Fundraiser right now!  This is their biggest fundraiser of the year and their goal is to get at least $1000 for each and every child on their website.  And hopefully more children will not only get funds in their adoption piggy banks, but also find families.  Please click here to see the kids, read the stories, donate a few bucks and maybe consider adopting a beautiful child!  It is super fast and easy to donate and if you give $35 or more, you get a sweet ornament for your tree with your child's photo.  I just got mine Saturday and can't wait to get it on the tree tonight. 

A few weeks ago, I read this article.  And my heart just broke for all of these beautiful children.  Please take the time to read this article and see why I am so passionate about this organization.  This truly is a must-read.

Afterwards, I sat on my couch in my warm and comfy home with fuzzy slippers on my feet, a cup of coffee in my hand and dinner cooking on the stove and I thought, What kind of person am I, if I can know about these children and what they are living and not do something?  Not do everything in my power to help?  And then I thought of Matthew 25:40.  “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’"  And I thought to myself, whatever I'm NOT doing for the least of these, I'm NOT doing for You, Lord.  

We are not in a position to adopt a child right now.  And we don't have a lot of money to give away.  But I can give a little.  And I can pray a lot.  And I can share this message with others.  And maybe you are reading this and you can adopt a beautiful child.  Maybe you have money to donate.  Or maybe, like me, you can offer up prayers for these kids and share their story.  

Everybody can do something.  And it makes a difference to this one.  

Friday, November 16, 2012

Learnng To Play Again

When Little Man and Jameson we little, I was an awesome mom.  Not perfect by any means, but I spent a lot of time and energy planning meals, activities, playdates and games to keep my boys learning new things and having loads of fun in the process.  I let Little Man use an entire bottle of glue on one piece of paper and only put one bean on it if that was what he wanted.  I let them play in dirt and water and paint with pudding.  We made rocket ships out of cardboard and spent hours flying them around.  And I played with them on their terms, not mine, with real joy.

When Jameson got sick, the play stopped.  I was never home and when I was, we would snuggle and read a book and go to sleep because everyone was too tired.  For four months, Little Man not only lost his best friend and brother, but he lost me, too.  I was gone; even when I was home, I was a skeleton of a person, filled with fear over what what happening with J, guilt over not spending time with Little Man, sheer exhaustion from the overwhelming anxiety of it all and inability to sleep.  I was a mess.

When Jameson died, I think in some ways, it was a relief for Little Man, because at least Mom and Dad were home again.  But it was so different.  The grief.  The silence.  The dynamic had changed completely.  I feel like my playfulness died with Jameson and I didn't know how to "be" with just Little Man.  For months, he played alone while I sat on the couch and watched him, trying to just make it through the hours without crying, without shutting down, without completely falling apart.  I could fake it for a few minutes here and there, but it wasn't the same and we both knew it.

I was a crappy, crappy mom.   Poor Little Man went from having an awesome mom and the world's best brother, to being a lonely, only child with a shell of a mom.  I'm getting better, but it still isn't like it used to be.  I don't know how to play like we used to.  It seems foreign to me.  I don't even feel like I'm the same person and it sucks.  I wish I could just be that happy, awesome mom again.  But I'm not.  I love my son so much and I have such awful guilt over not being able to just get on the floor and play with him with ease and joy like I used to.  And this is hard and scary to write this out and share with you.

I'm working hard to be a good mom, but so often when we do play now, it is totally on my terms.  And I want him to look forward to playing with his mama.  So this weekend, I'm completely going outside of my comfort zone and doing something that I'm not looking forward to at all.  Something that I never saw myself doing.

I'm learning how to play Pokemon trading cards. And I'm praying for a joyful spirit, too. 

Baby steps... 

If any of you are seasoned Pokemon moms, please give me some hints here.  I'm totally confused so far. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

I Have Arrived

Last week was a good food week.  A really, really good food week.  We had an acorn squash and pesto pasta one night with fresh Italian bread.  We had eggs florentine. Totally a breakfast food, but now that I'm working afternoons, we end up eating eggs a lot for dinner.  So quick and yummy.  And how is this not good enough for dinner???

We had crockpot pork tenderloin with tomatoes and green chiles,  hand-pulled and made into tacos with homemade guacamole and Tillamook cheddar. 

And then we had pizza.  Pizza.  PIZZA.  We made three pies and had some of our favorite people over to break the bread together.  We did a traditional red sauce pizza with freshly roasted bell peppers, sausage, and mushrooms.  We also had a hot wing pizza: homemade hot wing sauce, celery, onions, chicken breast, and blue cheese.  And then we tried a new one: curried pumpkin pizza.  The sauce was a pumpkin puree with curry and other spices and we topped it with broccoli, spinach, and mushrooms.  And of course, all the pies have mozz on top.

Yum.    And to wash it all down, Hubby has a Rye IPA and Black IPA on tap right now, too.  It was better than going out for dinner.  Way better...even before we got to dessert.

Ahem.  Dessert deserves a moment of silence before we delve in.

Creme Brulee.  It got really quiet in the kitchen as we all ate dessert.  The only sounds were some moans and the clinking of spoons as everyone scraped the ramekins clean.  It was bowl-licking good.

All I could think as I ate that creme brulee is that I.Have.Arrived.  Not sure why this pushed me over the edge; it really isn't even that difficult to make.   But this, in my mind, is a feat.  And I now feel I've officially lived up to my domestic goddess title.  I'm maybe as proud of this as that deboned bird from last Thanksgiving.  That was a lot of work...

Sigh.  And now it is gone, my pants are a little tighter, and the sink is FULL to the brim with 2 day old pots and pans waiting to be shiny and clean again.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

We're Odd

The dishwasher is fixed, Hubby is no longer working a million hours a week, the political ads are almost other words, all is right in the universe today.  We've been busy.  And we aren't slowing down anytime soon.  But it has been good crazy.  I don't have anything particularly exciting to write about today.  Saturday I made cheesecake and chocolate orange curd cakes for a baby shower.  Didn't take any pictures, but they were good.

Last night Little Man had some homework for math.  They are learning all about odd and even numbers.  When Hubby came home I was telling him about the homework.  Little Man had to count the number of people in his house and then say if the number is even or odd.  I told Hubby that Little Man wrote that we have seven people in our house.  Mom, Dad, Farkus, Flick, Little Man, Little Lady, and Jameson.  And before we can feel the heart strings pulling too much, Little Man chimes in loudly, "Yeah, we're odd."  He doesn't even know yet how funny he is. 

My mother-in-law lent me some ramekins and I'm going to try making creme brulee for the first time.  Hubby is letting me use his soldering blow torch for them.  I've been craving creme brulee since I was pregnant.  It has been a long time coming, so I better not screw it up!  I'll let you know how it goes!

Happy Election Tuesday!  Go Vote!