Friday, January 28, 2011

Our New Project: Preadolescence

When my boogies was a baby, a six week old baby, I remember her sleeping in her bassinet while Paul Bunyan and I watched a movie. And then I remember looking over at the bassinet and seeing a fountain of puke, at least two feet high, fly straight up to the ceiling. Luckily, for Claire, it didn't land on her face. And luckily for me, Paul was there to calm me down. I thought, for sure, she was dying. She only did it that once. Thank the good lord I don't believe in.

Don't worry, this post isn't about projectile vomit.

When by boogies was a baby, a six week old baby, she got a severe case of baby acne all over her face. Here's a not-so-great picture of her with her acne:



I would go up to my friends, who hadn't seen her yet and say, "So, here (throwing the baby in their face), meet my beautiful baby girl." And then I would slap my leg and laugh myself silly so as not to make them feel uncomfortable at how un-beautiful my baby looked. There is nothing beautiful about acne. Not when you're six weeks old, not when you're sixteen years old, not when your 36 years old.

But don't worry, this isn't a post about acne. It's a post about hormones. Yay! Here is what I'm thinking. My mother passed down the hormonal thing to me, via the genes. Mmmhmm. She got her period early and subsequently I got my period early. 10 years old. Ten. X.

I remember what bathroom I was in. Right outside the art room. I was all alone. First one of my friends. My mother cried when I came home from school. She pulled the big green box from Kotex off the top shelf in my closet. Showed me how to put the mattress pad in my underwear. And how to wash the blood off my sheets in the mornings with Ammonia. I bled like a butchered pig.

Don't worry, this isn't a post about periods. Remember it's a post about hormones. Because I'm trying to figure out how and when they infiltrated my daughter's body. And then I remembered that I probably fucking gave them to her. Like my mother gave them to me. It's a wicked wicked present, especially when they're wily and clever and move in prematurely. My boogies turns 9 next month.

Now she's flying into fits and slamming doors and stomping feet and being the beast that those wily buggers make you be. I have to place blame on the hormones. I have to because I don't want to think we've gone wrong.

So, we've resorted to making lists. On a particularly bad day here are 15 things about my 'stuped' life.






And being the caring Mom that I am, I want to fix it all. MOSTLY the part about her feeling stupid. Because that could just wreck her...forever. So, I've been going over all the possibilities here. Homeschooling being one of the options. I know Mom, it would be crazy. But here's how I'm breaking it down in my head. I can either tell Claire to suck it up and deal with it, which is a great lesson (especially if she has the skills to deal with it) or I can show her that when things aren't going so well, we have the power to change it.

So, of course, I made a Pro/Con list. Told ya' I still do it.

I tried to make the homeschooling look really awful, but in actuality I've spent many an hour of sleepless nights going over all the fun things we could learn, like really learn. All the projects, all the places, all the investigating, all the ways to look more closely at the things that she is just skimming over in school. Could I actually make my daughter love to learn? Could I actually make her inspired to do something instead of just for a grade? Could I actually make her believe that she IS smart? I believe so.

So we've compromised. Because I stay on the trail. I do the normal thing. I follow the leader. I never rock the boat. Here's our action plan. I help Claire see the positives in her day.

Project #1:
Set the alarm clock to go off 10 minutes before she needs to get up. Set it to go off to her favorite radio station. Hope for this song because we like the message.




Project #2:
She takes a photo at the top of every hour. Here's what she took on the first day:


7 a.m. Life in a bowl.



8 a.m. Helping Sue in the main office.



9 a.m. Reading!




10 a.m. paper mache turtle in art.




11 a.m. Math




12 p.m. lunch



1 p.m. science



2 p.m. clean-up.


3 p.m. Off the bus.


Claire was so excited about this. It made her look at her day from behind a different lens. She told me later that night that she realized that she needed to change her attitude. Oh, what a camera can do!!

Project #3
The Power of Positive Thinking Project

Every night Claire writes down on a Post-It Note one positive thing that happened to her that day. It doesn't have to be about school, just something that happened that was positive. So far we have: ate the best apple I've ever eaten, made my own lunch, was given a dictionary. Soon, we'll see how our positive thoughts can fill up a room, can fill up a day, a month, a year, a lifetime. This is a lesson I need to learn too. We're learning from each other.


Project #4
The Davis Studio

Go back to what you enjoy. This is one thing that Claire isn't doing enough of. She used to love this at Bellwether. We all have to go back to what used to make us happy. For me it's potato chips.

My Boogies needs to feel special, different, unique, seen and heard. This could be a product of being trailed by twins, who have always stolen the limelight. However, I think we all need to feel special, different, unique, seen and heard. I know what she's feeling is natural and normal. And I know it may be about her body changing right now, and about school not being the greatest place for her to learn, and about us making errors in parenting. And believe you me, I know a lot of it is her trying to maneuver through the maze of mean girls. And we're going to try to do our best to help. But really. Really. I wish she could just lay back and projectile vomit all this out. Just purge all those evil hormones. A fountain of insecurity and sadness and feelings of being stupid and alone- all those chunks just flying up into the air and landing on the tile floor next to her with a slap. And Paul Bunyan and I just looking on from the couch at the sloppy mess, waiting for the dog to lap it up.

Oh, wait, this post wasn't going to be about vomit.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Booger Freezing Weather

It is. It's booger freezing weather. Well, today's temps in the 20's feel warm, like a Spring day warm. Compared to the -22 we had yesterday. When I started my car yesterday morning it gave this gag and cough routine, kinda like my kids do when they don't want to go to school. I forced it to go any way. But the gears didn't shift too smoothly. But neither did mine.

So, I froze my little bippy off this weekend playing lots of hockey. But it was for a good cause:

BOOBIES.

Okay, there, I got your attention. I don't do so well asking people for donations. I was never very good at selling girl scout cookies. I don't know what it is. It's not like the people who are donating money are paying me. I just know that people are working hard these days to try to make ends meet. So I feel guilty asking them to raise money. Which is why I only asked my parents for money (thanks Mom and Dad!) and which is why I didn't ask YOU to donate any money.

But every year I go to Middlebury to play in this tournament I am BLOWN away by the amount of money our team is able to raise. This year we made it $12,000! We had one anonymous donor give $5,000. Which is huge! Now, how does this money actually go to the boobies? Well, this is the best part.

IT GOES TO GAS CARDS!!

Well, okay, so not really. But sorta. Because if you have breast cancer (which now 1 in 8 of you do!!) you will have problems paying for things like...your bills, your groceries, your dentures, your dog, your heat. Definitely your heat if it's -22. And that's what is amazing about the Cancer Patient Support Program- your money isn't going to some lab or drug company for cancer research, which is all good and important, but rather it's going to people who NEED it. Because they're struggling.

Well, okay, so we lost in overtime in the Championship game but that's because we're getting old. But we raised the most money and that's all that matters. The woman at the Cancer Patient Support Program said that they are now spending about $12,0oo a month to help patients. That means that we (as a team) have taken care of one month of gas cards, and hamburger meat, and wigs!! How cool is that?

Here are a bunch of photos from our first game.

If you want to save yourself some time, here is a good one of me, because I'm not vain.

It's not too late to donate. If you know someone who has suffered from breast cancer, or any kind of cancer for that matter, and could have used this support, then donate for them. If you need some good karma, do it for yourself. If you don't need any karma, do it anyway. If you've done it, good job. If you have boobies, do it for them. If you don't have boobies, I'm really sorry. My cousin's wife had them recreated from the fat on her stomach. I wonder if you could too?

much much love,
The Hussy

DONATE!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I'm Surrounded By Two for Ones

I'm embarrassed to admit that Saturday mornings are full of cartoons. Tom and Jerry beating the shit out of each other. Phineas and Ferb pissing their sister off. It's streaming through the house as mom and dad sleep, stay cozy in bed. Especially if dad has worked the night before. There is no jumping up to read; we're not doing math facts at 7:30 a.m. We're also not rushing out the door to catch first chair. Sue us.

Well, last Saturday night when I was putting the boys to bed I went to tuck Auggie into his blankets. "Where's your pillow?" I asked unassumingly. "Well, uh, see, uhm, Timmy. Well, he..." he stammered. "He what?" I pointedly asked. "He, sorta wanted me..." and then he pointed up to the top bunk where Timmy was preparing to throw down the pillow onto Auggie's bed. Auggie was afraid to say what I couldn't really register was happening. But I finished his sentence anyway, "to cuddle??" I tried not to sound sarcastic. Auggie gave me this crooked, shy, awkward, guilty smile. I giggled. I said, "that's what your wawwa's for." (The boys were unable to pronounce 'brother' so it became 'brutha' but it couldn't even become that so it ended up being 'wawwa'). Auggie gave this shy little laugh. And then Timmy said, "well, I still hate my wawwa." "Whatever," I said, like a teenager might say. But I left it at that. I felt like if I made more out of their cuddle session then they would never do it again. But I...was...blown...away.

Now, these boys play well together. They play really well together. They have, from the moment they started moving around this house together, always played well together. It's not something I forced. They support each other, comfort each other, laugh with each other, work with each other. Granted, sometimes they fight. But it's very rare. However, I have not once, not once in their 6.5 years, seen them cuddle with each other. Unless I forced them together as babes. The identical twin thing is a phenomenon.

And I've been lucky enough to witness it lately.




With James and Nicholas.



We can tell James from Nicholas because he has a strawberry hemangioma on his cheek.



But really, same hair, same eyes, same spit up:)




Same schedule.



Same genetics.




And then, then last Tuesday I went to see my gals. My identical gals.



Anabelle. She used to have red marks on her eyelids.




But now they're gone.







And Ahlora used to have a red mark in the space between her eyebrows.




But now that's gone too.




So now everyone knows she is her, or her is she, because her hair stands up straight.




And she's the one who spins around on the floor on her butt. But that might change too.




Big brother Ari will have to be the one who tells everyone who is who. I'm sorry Ari, Claire knows how ridiculously annoying this is. It might make you feel a bit empowered, but overall you'll probably find it totally ridiculous and you may find mixing people up on purpose because it's more fun. Claire did that too.

But in all seriousness, for all the twin babies I know I wish you one thing. Whether or not you play well together all the time, or support each other some of the time, or get along at all, it doesn't really matter. Just give your parents one moment of seeing you really truly loving each other and it will make all this sleeplessness and changing diapers and spit up worth it. Just one moment of love. That's all it will take. Okay?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Drag Racer


Daddy is so cool.



He builds race cars.



And paints them.




And finds monster truck tires to attach to them.




And straps on Estes rockets to the backs.




To launch them across the pond.




He takes the spawn skiing.




And hucks big air with them.




And buys hot cocoa.




And then, after skiing, he takes them swimming.




And hucks them into the air.




He lets them stay in the shower afterwords as long as they want.




He buys Fig Newtons for the ride home.




Mom?




She tries. But she usually forgets her wallet.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

In One Week.

The first week of 2011


Cons:

  • Older dog continues to take herself for walks. On Thursday she made it into town.
  • Younger dog may have a fatal autoimmune disease called TEN- Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis. A biopsy is scheduled for the 18th. It cost me $50 to determine she needs the biopsy. And that's just the beginning.
  • I got bit by a dog. Not one of my own.
  • I had such a horrible Healing Touch appointment because of the spa owner's 45 minute conversation she was having right outside my 'relaxing' room.
  • Paul Bunyan and I spent all day on Tuesday running errands.
  • I drove over 550 miles in 1 week.
  • I prepared and cut 32 Lego waffles.
  • I had one daughter so tired from a sleepover she was talking about killing herself.
  • Mini van was in the shop to have the muffler fixed because it sounded like Momma's Monster Mini Van. The kids thought it was cool.


Pros:

  • I still have two dogs who provide me with lots of love. At least one of them is happy to see me when I get home. And neither of them bite me.
  • I had such a horrible Healing Touch appointment because of the spa owner's 45 minute conversation she was having right outside my 'relaxing' room. BUT I finally stood up for myself, which I've never ever been good at, and I asked her to pay for my session and told her that I wouldn't be returning to her spa unless she could ensure that her 'rejuvenating' space would, in fact, be 'rejuvenating'. I was sweating when I left there. But felt proud of myself.
  • Paul Bunyan and I spent all day on Tuesday running errands. Any time alone with Paul Bunyan is quality time. He says we're spending every Tuesday from now until June in the woods. He's buying me a chainsaw (pro? or con?).
  • I might have prepared and cut 32 Lego waffles, but I made myself at least 12 fried eggs, now served on toast with cream cheese.
  • I had one daughter so tired from a sleepover she was talking about killing herself but now she is entering her 13th hour of sleep. I'm not going to wake her.
  • I had to get the mini van fixed because it sounded like Momma's Monster Mini Van. But the mechanic said it wasn't what he thought it was and that was good because what he thought it was would have cost us an arm and a leg.
  • I made French onion soup.
  • And the best local steak we've ever tasted.
  • I made the best homemade pizza I've ever made.
  • I made the best wild rice soup I've ever made.
  • I made the best brownies I've ever made.
  • Some of our great friends invited themselves over to skate under the lights AND they brought supper.
  • We got one cast off!
  • I wrote one essay to be submitted to a competition. I am starting small.
  • I scored a few goals.
  • It's snowing.
  • On the first day of the year I made spaghetti and meatballs and I got to hear this in my own living room:


video


I won't subject you to the whole song. Well, I can't because my ancient video camera won't let me upload more than a minute of video. But it's the song Claire wrote with her buddy Isaac. All the words themselves. My friend Jen helped them with it. And I love it. It makes me happy.



When I was debating between attending Michigan and Iowa for college my father recommended I make a pro and con list. It helped me make that life changing decision a little easier. I sometimes use the technique today. I know is seems a bit silly for me to look back on the first week of 2011 to determine how the rest of the year is going to go based on the outcome of my pro/con list. And I know it seems a bit silly for me to assume that I might actually think that I get to choose if 2011 will be a good year for me. Although some would say that I can control that. We all sort of play limbo with destiny and self motivation.

I think I'm hoping that it'll seem like I have some kind of control of the outcome of this year if I make a weekly list of the pros and cons and I start seeing that my pro list is always longer than my con list. And more importantly, that some of the con items could actually be viewed as pro items, especially if you put them in the right light. 2011 will be exceptional. Especially if I continue to get healthier. Especially if I continue to eat good food. And especially if my friends continue to show up uninvited with good food to feed me. So, I'm expecting you this Friday. Even though I don't really know who you are. The lights over the pond will be lit. But you'll need to bring a shovel. Because it's snowing out. And I like chili. A lot.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Reso....Lutions

I'm leaving 2010 in the dust. Can't you smell the burnt rubber? Done with it. Over being sick. Ready for health.

So, I'm listing some of my hopes and dreams for 2011. And since I've never smoked a thing in my life, not even the big Mary Jane, I don't have to quit that. And since the heavy duty antibiotics I've been on have helped me quit my nightly beer habit, I don't have to quit that. And since too much sugar in my tea is my only real vice, I don't have to quit that because frankly that ain't so bad. Maybe I should quit mayo, but frankly Mayo, I just can't quit you.


So this will be the year of more (MORE!) and not less.

I hope for more of these 11 things....Please (!) more:

1. good food. Like, french onion soup. I need more french onion soup. Made with homemade beef stock. And lots of melted gooey cheese on top. Please.

2. good sleep. Like, no arms falling asleep sleep.

3. more Weeds. Great show.

4. more dog walks. Never seems like there is enough time.

5. more time to shave Paul Bunyan's neck hairs. Never seems like there is enough time.

6. more wombat time.



With good food. And in-house dance parties. And sleepovers.

7. more self control. For this Fall during soccer season.


Because when they do this.



And this.




And most definitely this.

Every bone in my body wants to jump out of my skin and run onto the field and pull them out of this un-animalistic trance and make them run after the f-ing ball.

I'm breathing, breathing.

8. more root vegetables- in my garden. So many onions, potatoes and carrots that I have to build my very own root cellar. Like, my very own. And they last ALL year long until the fall of 2012 when I have mountains of more.

9. more words. written and read. weren't enough in 2010.

10. more hugs. never seems like there are enough.

11. more sunsets on my mountain. it's my favorite time of day. MORE MORE MORE!




I'm going to be greedy for 2011. Ready for some GOOD. MORE of what is right and less of what is wrong. I wish more of the same for you, unless what is good is actually less of something. Hope you can quit that, whatever it may be. I'll quit now, but I hope for nothing MORE than joy for you and yours in 2011. Puns all around. Maybe more of those too. They're all good.