Potato IceCream

A recipe for potato ice cream as concocted and relayed to me by my four year old:

Him: “You need cheese, and onion and garlic. And probably a little sugar but not too much sugar.

And then you mix it up.

And then you have to cook it for eighty-one-hundred days!”

Me: “Wow, buddy, that’s a long time! And then when it’s done cooking what did you make?”

Him: “Potato ice cream, Mommy.”

Me: “I don’t think I’ve ever had potato ice cream before.”

Him: “Yeah, but it’s probably good but not healthy.”

Just a bit of an insight into my world with a four year old. Also? He’s going to be an amazing chef when he grows up.

Our Fire Alarm Is Overworked

It’s been quite a week, friends.

While I wish I had something of more substance to write, I realize that I’ve unintentionally neglected my blog for another week (again.)

It tends to happen that my writing sits on the back burner when real life starts to happen. (Do you do this, too?)

I’m so honored to have stepped up my responsibilities at Richmondmom.com as I’ve taken on some of the calendar content managing, and also get another role in the big Christmas show so intense rehearsals are already underway. Despite my brief emotional breakdown, I’m back on track with other real life things like parent conferences and keeping up with my son’s school.

I’ve also been busy getting ready to throw our very first Halloween party and trying to come to terms with the fact that I’m almost 30. Eek!

So instead of bore you will all the details, I’ll just tell you the story of how the fire alarm went off at our house. Twice.

It’s no secret that I can not cook, so last week I decided to be nice and have dinner ready for my husband and son when they got home from running errands. I went for pasta, a good stand by, and put the water on to boil while I went around straightening up the house. A few minutes later I smell something burning and go into the kitchen to see flames leaping up all around the pot. I picked up the pot to move it, which of course just made the flames rise up even more quickly. At this point, the fire alarm was beeping madly. I was clever enough to remember NOT to pour water on an electrical fire, turned the eye off, and stifled the fire with my near by container of flour. The entire container.

Crisis averted, I opened all of the doors and windows, turned on some fans, and then it was time for me to leave to go to rehearsal. I texted my husband with this picture and said, “Can you guess what just happened here? Also, we might need more flour.” 1268027_372716026192324_826887844_o

I also told him that I was leaving the house with the doors and windows open so I hoped there was not a robber in the house when he got home. I’m obviously wife of the year.

Then today, in our attempts to decorate our house for our upcoming Halloween party, my husband came home with a fog machine. Which he thought would be a really awesome thing to have in the house.  After a brief set up (which included him NOT reading the directions), we all watched carefully as….nothing happened.

“Why isn’t this working? This will have to go back,” my husband said in a frustrated manner. Meanwhile, the 4 year old had the remote control and was mercilessly pressing buttons. A few minutes later, after the fog machine warmed up (as detailed in the directions, ahem) the 4 year old’s button pushing resulted in a heavy stream of fog that quickly filled up our entire living room to the point that I could not see the coffee table right in front of me and our fire alarm was again beeping madly and incessantly. And the cats were running frantically around the house because they were terrified. Luckily, this time, we all got a good laugh. Followed by a round of can’t-breathe-from-the-fog-coughing.

The beginnings of the fog machine sensation.

The beginnings of the fog machine sensation.

I’m still voting the the fog machine goes back.

What has been going on in your world?

 

When Your Best Friend is Three

When the person you spend the most time with is three, it also tends to happen that they become your best friend.

You are with them every second of every day.

When you spend all of your time with someone you begin to notice the nuance of a sigh, the preamble to a smile, and the lingering of a disappointment.

They see you at your best, your worst, your strongest, and your most vulnerable.

And since the age of three does not come with a filter, they call you out. On everything.

When your best friend is three, they don’t hesitate to tell you that the green dress you put on makes you “look like a T-rex.” Obviously, you are not leaving the house in that condition.

When your best friend is three, they will help you limit your calorie intake by telling you that you don’t need to eat any more “so your tummy won’t get squishy.”

They can boost your ego with a “you look beautiful” and tell you like it is when you need to freshen up so you “won’t be scary” with a “maybe you need a little make up.”

When your best friend is three you find that your most animated conversations tend to involve the life cycle of bugs or the origins of poo.

They will also help you make decisions with impressive negotiating skills, like when you can’t decide if the afternoon’s activity should involve cleaning or playing. “How about this, Mommy? You can clean and I can play.” Problem solved.

When your best friend is three, you find yourself in power struggles. You want to value their opinion just as much as they want to be heard, but sometimes you still have to the be grown up.

When your best friend is three you might share your day with them even if it involved grown up things like bill paying and phone calls, because even though you don’t want to burden them with grown up stuff it’s ok to let them know it exists.

When your best friend is three you will truly be excited to hear about what the teachers said at camp today and who they played with that morning because you are just as curious about their child life as they are of your grown up one.

When your best friend is three you will sometimes not understand why they are so upset because you thought you were having a great day until the flip switched and you have no idea how to fix it.

When your best friend is three you may find yourself hovering between a desire to let go and a desire to hang on because three doesn’t last forever and fearlessness sometimes presides over logic.

When your best friend is three sometimes you just need a break because you can’t talk to them about all of the crazy that runs around in your mind all day. They are, after all, only three.

When your best friend is three you will find yourself on a roller coaster. I have spent days laughing, crying, being frustrated, being confused and being content.

When your best friend is three you will be surprised when you see bits of yourself in them. Maybe it’s looks or mannerisms or emotions but this little mini me has somehow become both your shadow and your reflection.

When your best friend is three you may find your world is small and large all at once. Because only in the confinements of a three year old world can you be completely isolated from the complexity of adult life and completely in awe of the world’s vastness in unison.

When your best friend is three you know there will be a limit to it. It’s not like when you were in school and you got those BFF bracelets with your girlfriends. (You did this, too, yes?) It’s not like your relationship with your husband that will grow and change and come together and fall apart.

It’s different.

When your best friend is three, you are completely aware that it is fleeting and that one day he may not be so interested in hanging out with you at the coffee shop or telling you all of the details about his day. Even the yucky ones.

When your best friend is three, you know that this part may end. But you hope, so very much, that the parts where he’s honest with you, and loves you, and laughs with you and shares with you will stick around.

Because you know that somehow what you are establishing with your little best friend now will be the foundation for what you will sustain with him later.

And even though you know he will not always think so, you will always think of him as the very best part of yourself.

That is what happens when your best friend is three.

My Best Friend, Age 3

Noah age 3

 

How to Survive the Summer on RichmondMom

I am over-the-moon excited to have my debut post live on Richmondmom.com today.

This summer in Richmond has been wet, rainy, and scary humid. (The scary part being the big-ness of my hair.)

Join me at Richmondmom where I talk about how to survive the summer with a toddler.

See you there! xo

 

What I’ve Learned From a Summer of Night Shifts

My husband got the short end of the stick this summer in terms of his schedule, and he’s been on nights since May. He’s only had one 24 hour period off since then, and prior to that was on a 21 day stretch with no day off. This has made for a pretty long summer of just the toddler and I hanging out, but in the meantime I’ve learned some interesting things.

1) If left to my own devices I do not go to bed. Ever. Or at least until a ridiculously late time in the early morning which means I then have to function without sleep while taking care of a 3 year old the next day.

2) When given the opportunity to have complete control of the TV remote, I watch trash TV. The really bad kind that I make fun of other people for watching like Keeping Up With the Kardashians and The Real Housewives of Somewhere (mainly New Jersey and Orange County.) Ridiculous right?

3) I do not cook, so without my husband home to cook for us, my son and I eat out. A lot.

4) When we are sick of eating out, my ability to cook does make an occasional appearance. I actually do know how to throw together a meal of salmon, broccoli and rice or pasta and salad.

5)I’ve also spent a lot of time watching you tube how to videos…how to put on make up. This new little late night hobby has taught me a lot of new tricks and introduced me to some really fun new products. Also, I may have a new make up addiction.

6) Taking care of a three year old all by yourself day in and day out is exhausting. My old routine of put-the-toddler-to-bed-and-go-downstairs-to-write has become a new routine of put-the-toddler- to-bed-and-fall-asleep-with-all-of-the-downstairs-lights-still-on. Oops.

7) I actually like the new morning routine when my husband is home to help get the toddler ready for his various summer camps. He’s even been making scrambled eggs and bagels or toast for breakfast for our son, which I know he appreciates more than the cold cereal he gets from me.

8) Only seeing your husband for 30 minutes to an hour a day is difficult. I wouldn’t necessarily say I’m lonely, because I am very rarely without the toddler and I’ve made sure to fill our calendar with a lot of play dates and summer camps this summer, but it’s hard. And it’s definitely not the ideal family life I had once pictured our family enjoying.

9) All of the work we put into getting our son to finally sleep in his own bed has gone out the window. The toddler’s been sleeping with me for two months straight now and I know that when we try to move him back into his own room it’s going to be a battle.

10) I often refer to myself as a “single mom who happens to be married” which I realize is not fair to my husband and I don’t mean to be insulting to all of the single moms who work so hard every day. But only seeing your husband/the toddler only seeing his father for 30 minutes a day for months is very difficult, and sometimes I’m downright mad about it.

This will all be over soon, and I think that the month of August has the potential to be full of quality family time, or at least family dinners, which to us will feel like a vacation.

Do you ever feel alone in parenting? How do you deal with it?

 

100 Mommies

“I think we need 100 Mommies,” I heard a little voice pipe up from the back seat.

This is my favorite time with him, when we are driving from one place to the next and his body, finally still from the requirements of a car seat, allow his mind to imagine, create, and share.

“100 Mommies!” I reply. “Why do you think you need 100 Mommies?”

“If I had 100 Mommies, then one Mommy could do every thing.”

“Oh I see. So every Mommy would do one thing? What things would the 100 Mommies do?”

“Well, one Mommy would clean, and one Mommy would drive and one Mommy would play with me. And, well, I don’t know what the other Mommies would do.”

“Hmm, would one Mommy cook?”

“No, the Daddy will cook.”

This is an accurate portrayal of our family roles.

“I really like this idea! Everything would get done if there were 100 Mommies!” I enthusiastically replied, genuinely on board with the idea.

There was a pondering silence coming from the back seat.

“I’m so lucky I get to be your Mommy,” I added to the silence. Because I am, and I want him to know that.

“Yes,” he agreed in his swaggering three year old confidence. “Maybe there should only be one Mommy.”

I smiled at his conclusion and focused on the road ahead of me.

And I thought, even though I love this idea of 100 mommies and the fantasy of actually having a crossed off to-do list, I’m glad there’s only one Mommy too.

Have you shared a sweet conversation with your little one lately?

Aunt Babs. Kind of.

(A not-so-coded post about periods. Don’t read if you are a boy. Or my family. Or anyone that doesn’t want to read about periods.)

Let’s pretend you have an aunt named Babs. (An upgrade from the traditionally named Flo.)

Every woman has this aunt. She varies from slightly annoying to downright painful, though she does gift you with the ability to have children, which is a plus. She likes to show up once a month and almost always at inconvenient times.

My relationship with Babs has been very predictable. She started visiting me monthly when I was 12 and never stopped.

Until I got pregnant.

The funny thing about Babs is that she doesn’t like to show up when you are pregnant or nursing. She also doesn’t like to show up if you use an IUD as a birth control method, which I did immediately after my son was born (because no way was I going through that experience again.)

Taking all of this into account, I have not seen Babs in 4 1/2 years. Four and a half years people!!

It’s been amazing. Wonderful. Truly, I have not missed her at all.

I got my IUD removed last month because it was causing all sorts of mood swings (sorry husband and son) and really I had just run my course with it. (Though it is supposed to be a 5 year birth control my doctor said a lot of people tend to feel this way around the 4 year mark.)

And then, this morning, Babs showed up. Truly at the most inappropriate time. Right before my son and I have a pool party to go to this afternoon and my husband and I are going away overnight tomorrow for a late anniversary celebration.

It was a great 4 and a half year run without you, Babs. I hope to endure only a very brief visit.

 

 

 

Fashionista

This week I am overwhelmed with my role as Parent Council Chair at my son’s school.

I have been working non stop on the Silent Auction fundraiser coming up next week and it’s Teacher Appreciation Week and Mother’s Day weekend. And we have company coming while we’re in the middle of home improvement projects. And, you know, there’s stuff like real life that tends to get in the way of productivity. I actually had to make a list of day by day items to accomplish this week because I was on overload with all the things. Basically, I’m a walking disaster.

Tuesday was Mommy Muffin Day at my son’s school. It was also the theme of “school supplies” for Teacher Appreciation Week, so we brought hand sanitizer.  I enjoyed spending the morning in the three year old classroom with all the other sweet moms and children. Even though my little guy spent the majority of his time acting like a wild man, I always enjoy a chance to connect with the other moms and the teachers.

I complimented his teacher on her cute outfit and she said “That’s quite a compliment coming from you Ms. Fashionista!” I was genuinely shocked by her comment and told her she had to be kidding. She said, “No, I’m so serious! You are always so put together! I can only imagine how perfect your house is, and truly if I could line up our teacher gifts I would know that the hand-sanitizer came from you guys. That’s so you!”

We laughed and made small talk and I thanked her but with an undertone of “oh please.” (Is that an undertone?)

Her sweet words completely made my day, but I was truly surprised.

Of all the things that I am and all the things that make me “me” being put together and called a fashionista is certainly not something I’ve heard often. I feel like a dirty ponytail, no make-up and “comfy pants” (work out pants that I don’t actually work out in) are my staple wardrobe and I ALWAYS feel like I’m a hot mess.

It was so nice to briefly see myself in someone else’s eyes, and realize that maybe, just maybe, my “hot mess” is just a feeling, not a reflection. I did actually take the time to have my hair cut and colored this morning. I felt like a new person.

 

Thank goodness that teacher can not see my laundry pile.

Have you seen yourself through someone else’s eyes lately?

 

 

 

Valentines and Memories

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Today, I am linking up with my very favorite link up, Memories Captured, which encourages us each month to capture the moments that catch our hearts and hold our memories. This will be the last Memories Captured link up until June, so instead of sharing just one memory with you, I want to share a few of my recent favorites.

Most of my heart belongs to this sweet little boy who I am honored to make memories with daily. I absolutely adore this most recent picture of him that I just captured Tuesday. At three-and-a-half years old, this little guy is mischievous and sweet all at the same time, and I think this exactly captures his current complexities.

(And the love between a boy and his ice cream.)

A boy and his ice cream

Then there’s this one from January, when just enough snow came to Richmond to build a small snowman and bring this grin to my sweet boy:

playing in the snow

I adore this picture of my son and I riding a children’s train during a weekend afternoon winter visit to an outdoor mall.

Mommy and Noah

And this very rare occasion of a date night at the beginning of January, when my husband and I went to dinner and a movie for the first date we had been on in 6 months.

date night

So this Valentine’s Day, I am cherishing these recent memories and so many memories from the past, and thinking about all of the amazing people that may not be in these pictures, but are always in my heart.

I did something a little crazy for Valentine’s Day this year…I entered a boudoir photography contest and have been selected as a finalist. If you would like to vote for me I can promise I will reward you with a probably hilarious story of how embarrassing it was to take intimate pictures. Voting ends February 14th at 5 pm PST. Thank you!

Update: February 15th: Thank you so much to all of you who voted for me! I did not win, but another one of the deserving finalists did. Thank you again for helping me try to make that silly little idea a reality! Maybe one day…. :)

Tick Tock

It’s late. I can feel the clock judging me with its tick tock, tick tock.

There’s too much on my mind to give in to the taunting rhythm.

I’m listening to an opera right now, trying to soak it all in, because I’ll be performing it in just a few weeks. Yes, I’m going to be in an opera with a professional opera company. Just in the chorus, but I am excited and nervous all at the same time. This will be my very first opera and very first professional performance. I am honored and scared and haven’t even told that many people yet, because, well, I guess I just can’t believe it myself yet.

Tick tock.

I’m making flyers for Parent Council at my son’s school. This has turned out to be a much bigger job than I imagined, and though I don’t want to be the annoying PTA mom, I think I am. But in a nice way. I’m planning a fundraiser night at one of those places where you drink wine and paint. I’ve always wanted to try it. I’ve also booked a local children’s musician for a family fun night at the end of March, but planning a family fun night is starting to feel a lot like planning a wedding, which is a lot of fun at the beginning but then you really just start to look forward to it being over and going on the honeymoon.

Tick tock.

I hear my son upstairs. He is still not sleeping through the night. I am leaving my husband to deal with this late cry and nearing the end of my patience because we’ve tried all of the tricks and tips and we still have a 3 and a half year old that doesn’t sleep.

I am trying to write. Posts here, posts other places. I need ideas and time, both of which seem to be coming slowly or not at all.

Tick tock.

I have a list of blogging to dos. The most important one is to read blogs, but lately I’m having trouble finding time to read or write. I mostly just make it through the long to do lists of days which include mundane things like taxes, the post office and an oil change and lovely things like making magnet alphabet soup with my son.

Tick tock. My cat is meowing at me, even she is ready to curl up and surrender to sleep.

And I am too, if only my thoughts will stop chaotically dancing.

Tick tock, tick tock. Tick tock.