Children are funny little enigmas. One minute you are pulling your hair out, contemplating how you can legally get them to sleep early without brute force and Bendaryl because you think you sense a cold coming. (I mean… moms do have that special connection with their children, right?) The next minute, in between the same question being asked 400 times and requesting, then refusing a snack, they say that one thing… one small thing that washes away all of your anxieties and allows you to see the reasons why you decided to procreate in the first place.
I was standing in my kitchen, half-ass cleaning and cursing my husband for going on this hunting trip, wearing the same pajamas for 2 days straight and wondering what I could scrounge up for lunch while putting in the least amount of effort and binge watching This Is Us (AMAZING by the way) since our cable seems to be out when Cori crawls up to me and as I prepare to say “WHAT?!”, I take a deep breath and ask what she needs…
“Mommy, you look very pretty, your hair.”
Well I’ll be damned. In my makeup free, broken out face, stretched out t-shirt and greasy-bunned state – my kid felt compelled to tell me I looked pretty. Very pretty. Which was a lie. I looked far from anything even close to resembling a human being, no less ‘pretty’ but it just goes to show, your children don’t see you as you see yourself. This could have been her way of buttering me up so I would let her have a cookie, or to get me to put on 102 Dalmatians again, or for me to go play with her… but in that moment, I bathed in her tiny compliment as she began to hobble away. Which recently, it struck me… you know that part in the Little Mermaid when Ursula turns Ariel back into a mermaid on the boat and she starts flopping around trying to get away? That’s kind of how my toddler looks dragging her leg around. And before you clutch your pearls and call me a monster… she WANTS the independence. She likes that she can do things for herself, even though it’s difficult. She can’t walk and she’s too little for crutches… so we like to think of this time as her building up some upper body strength. It’s still pitiful to watch her, but she’s as happy as can be and her old, silly self has been coming out more and more. So I invited her back over to help me make lunch.
She loves to do things “all together”. Which we (Chris and I) love as well. Things are still not running as smoothly as we’d hoped this week. The weather was nasty, Diem is getting her cold back and cutting teeth so she isn’t napping and I have yet to have a restful nights sleep… BUT the plus side is, in 2 weeks this cast is coming off and we can finally start trying to get her walking and ‘normal’ again AND I wrote a chapter for my new book while they napped a couple of days ago. I really needed that. I have been staring at the blank pages of my computer for weeks now… hoping that the words will come to me and they just wouldn’t. The funny thing is, I know the story! It’s in my head… but it’s all the in between: the dialog, the time of day, how they are feeling and the order it all happens that just won’t translate. But this week… I got one more chapter. So now I have a solid VERY rough 9 chapters. I still have so much more to go and so many revisions to do, but this small pinch of progress really gave me a boost.
I also started using tea tree oil and witch hazel to cure my forehead acne… since that’s apparently going to be a thing now. I already see improvements and it’s just 3 days in, so that’s promising! It also could be because I’ve been getting back into a regular exercise routine again, or that I’m not as stressed as I was a couple of weeks ago, but I’d like to think these magic potions are working. And I didn’t have to break the bank which I’m sure my husband appreciates.
If I’ve learned anything in the last month, it’s that I am thankful for the independence my own mother taught me to have. I’m also so grateful that my husband is my best friend and such an amazing father. Without those two things, I probably would have just cried. Well… I have done a lot of that, but I also was able to shut that shit down and help Cori feel like a normal kid and still make sure Diem got the attention she needed. I don’t like the idea of asking for help, because in my mind, this family is our responsibility. And as lame as it sounds, we like being home with the girls. As exhausting and mind-numbing as it can be, we want nothing more than to be sitting on the floor, watching the same movie on repeat and seeing our girls love/hate each other. It’s the thing that gets my husband through a rough day at work and what makes me want to be the best wife and mother I can be. Then, they go to bed and we can be husband and wife. Not a manager, not a mom or dad, not the housekeeper, but the two people that met and fell in love years ago. Laughing about the same stupid things on our big wine and dog drool stained couch and watching shows that have adult ratings and just making the time for one another with alcohol and pj’s.
I really thought with him being gone, I could refresh and enjoy some evenings to myself, but that was just a bust. The first night was great, I read a book with a glass of wine and listened to some music. After that, the novelty of “me time” had worn off. I guess I really do love my husband. Lucky for him!
Please continue sending positive thoughts my way! I will be attempting to get more words on paper… well… screen soon and am still hoping to hear from agents – more in the “I want to work with you” direction.
Here is something I threw together last week that was a hit with the kids!
Turkey and Spinach Pasta
1 lb lean ground turkey
1/2 yellow onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1- 15 oz can tomato sauce or the equivalent amount from a jar
1/2 tsp garlic
1/2 tsp onion powder
dash of basil, oregano and thyme
1 tsp paprika
2 cups chopped spinach
salt/pepper to taste
(add a little cayenne for spice if you want)
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese for topping
- Cook the ground turkey in a skillet on medium heat using the oregano, basil, thyme, cumin, salt and pepper. once it’s cooked add in the garlic and onion. Stir until onions are soft.
- Pour in the sauce and season with the garlic and onion powder, thyme, oregano and basil. Toss in the chopped spinach and stir until well combined and spinach is wilted. (I have also done this with a cup of chopped mushrooms)
Serve over either the barilla protein plus noodles or for more carb friendly, serve over roasted leeks or zucchini.
Leeks do take a while, so if you do that, plan ahead – preheat oven to 400, cut the leaves and bulb off, slice in half and toss in 1 tbsp olive oil, and 1/2 tsp of salt, pepper and garlic powder. Roast on a cookie sheet or roasting pan for 40 mins- 1 hr