Saturday, January 31, 2009

the truth

the truth is you cant fix crazy she told me. and i believe her now more than ever before. we watched the forest of families and friendships burn from the edge, sometimes still feeling the cool of the other side, sometimes feeling the burn. the person we spoke of lit matches with lies and gossip, imaginary scandals and then waited. and waited. waited to see which ones would take, fanned by her well disguised intentions and which ones would simply die out without any kindling to spark.

and i wonder from time to time how the fires are burning around her right now. i think of her, of her family unknowingly drowning in her toxicity and choking on her smoke and wonder what their future will be. what the future holds for the landscape of ashes she has created. my burns have healed, only on occasion do i even notice their scars, but they remain scars just the same. evidence of her love of fanning the flames. our friendship ended even quicker than it began. it wasnt a choice as much as a necessity to protect myself and my family. its dangerous to keep an arson in your midst when your shortcomings create sparks. those sparks, with the right person, can destroy an entire landscape with catastrophic results.

and im smarter now (though i thought i was smarter then) and i can see the benefits of what ive learned. i can now recognize the smell and sound of a match as it is being struck and am no longer drawn to the warming and disarming small flame. i see the potential wildfire in my own choices as well as the ashes left behind. i can sense the motives of arsonists around me, almost always self seeking and self promoting, leaving charred landscapes in their wake only to come in after the smoke has cleared and pretend to help in the recovery and rebuilding of lives. i have grown fiercely protective of my own trees and do more to care for them than before. and while there are certainly phoenixes that will arise from ashes; i have witnessed them around me and around her, theyre flight is hindered by where they have arisen from. perhaps that is my hope for her own children, for her own husband and undoubtedly the countless others caught in her blaze, that one day they will all arise from charred remains and take flight. that they would reach happiness and health. balance and love. and of course the peace and sanity that cannot thrive in her presence. and for myself, for the multitude of lessons i have learned, i pray for a heart of compassion and forgiveness even while acknowledging the truth that you really cant fix crazy.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

the friendly skies

recently we took the kids and flew to texas for Christmas and then onto missouri for new years. due to patricks schedule and his need to be back sooner than we needed to be, i decided to stay an extra week on the farm...still cant seem to ever get enough time with the rents. i vaguely remember the conversation that took place the night we booked our tix for the trip...i was pregnant (which for those of you who know me leaves me incapable of making sound decisions) and realistic husband even questioned (albeit briefly) if i thought traveling by myself with the kids would be too difficult. of course not...georgia did manage to handle a 30 hour itinerary from korea and jack will naturally be sound asleep in the baby bjorn safely secured to me. i never gave it a second thought. mostly because ive been living somewhere between underslept and over caffeinated and partly because my way of handling any and all potentially unpleasant future situations is to spend my present in a state of denial.

needless to say traveling to texas and then onto missouri with better half was to man coverage is always a safe bet. however, the trip home solo had a few moments worth mentioning. and by few, i mean many. too many to actually recount, but ill highlight the faves.

during our brief layover in newark, i had the opportunity to exercise while traveling..running through the airport with jack strapped in somewhat safely with his head bobbling around, pushing georgia in the stroller and lugging 50 lb diaper bag on one shoulder with childs suitcase on the other gave me the chance to burn those mini pretzels from flight one right off. when i began to literally feel the burn in my arms, i expertly transferred both bags to the handles of the stroller. with my load considerably lighter i bravely ventured into the public restroom to let the peach use the potty. this was my lame attempt at avoiding the plane bathrooms that bring out the claustrophobic in me in 2 seconds flat. not to mention the maneuvering that must take place in there with a toddler. ive said it before but i expect applause and a medal every time i step out of one of those germ infested porta potties in the sky having successfully sanitized an area and changed a diaper or assisted a toddler in the one square foot allotted. anyway, i waited patiently for the large stall at the end to open with the peach asking a relentless series of questions ranging from 'are you going to go tinkle, mommy?' to 'i think that lady went poop. do you think she went poop, mommy?'

once inside the stall, georgia promptly hopped out of the stroller. heavy bags on stroller handles promptly caused it to flip over onto the sticky floor. all 736 items in diaper bag are now covering every inch of the stall floor. in my haste to lean over and begin picking up said items, jack about falls out the top of the bjorn. he is completely upside down while i hold him in with one hand and take inventory of all items in need of sanitation with the other. i cant help but try and ignore the floor that georgias fingers are all over and keep reminding myself we will wash extra well after potty time. jack is now awake (as anyone dangling upside down would be) and hungry. fabulous. i get gk on the potty and she reminds me that we are 'not to touch anything'. i find this particularly funny as everything now in the diaper bag and every part of both of her hands have now been all over the floor of a very high traffic public restroom.

i made the decision to not attempt to pee with jack in the baby bjorn...ive never been good at peeing in the woods and with my luck and how the day was unfolding i was fairly confident i would end up either peeing on myself or on jack. i figured it would be nice if just one in our party of three could be spared the joy of public restroom germs and i couldnt bear the thought of hours of questions from my interrogator on what happened to mommy and jack if my attempt failed. we rolled out of the stall looking weathered at best. between my sweat and flustered self and the black cashmere sweater now giving my drooling 4 month old the appearance of a goatee, i just wanted to wash hands and get on the next flight. except that now in front of the sink, i cannot get to georgia fast enough and she hops out AGAIN. stroller flips AGAIN and i am left wondering what patron saint of parenting i have pissed off.

twenty something cutie patootie who has the nerve to wear horizontal stripes, leggings, boots and a handbag trots over to begin helping me pick the items up. gk is a little unnerved, jack is screaming now and i am wondering if i will ever feel cold again. i dont exactly remember what i said at that moment, truth be told it probably rhymed with fit (which i felt like having) or quit (which i felt like doing), but what i apparently failed to say was thank you. i only know this because as stripe girl walked away she said 'your welcome'. ahh yes. jersey. the friendliest place on earth. i wanted to say, 'hey, wait can i get your address? or maybe your autograph? i was hoping to send you a thank you note and flowers to thank you for really going above and beyond here.' the truth is, i was grateful. and appreciative, but seriously, was it not obvious that the balancing act i was trying to pull off while not dumping infant out head first and hanging onto now fit throwing 2 year old with other hand not evidence enough that i was in no position to fall over myself with gratitude? i think i even muttered thank you in the midst of the ordeal but her bangles were probably clicking too loud for her to hear me. anyway, bathroom scene over. onto boarding.

i couldnt help but notice the insanely long line waiting to board my flight and i even felt a moment of relief (the screaming baby with a goatee and whining two year old were just like white noise at this point) realizing i fell into the 'in need of help, please pre board' category. until i heard airline guy make the announcement that it was now open to everyone. clearly, while playing in the restroom, i had missed my chance at the only perk of flying with children. ugh. fortunately, there was a nice guy who let me go ahead of him which was great because i just needed to get to my seat so i could feed jack.

we found our seats, i found my hooter hider and gk found the air controllers above the seat. now i just needed to feed the baby and show all the passengers that their flight really wouldnt be as hellacious as they thought because the baby will stop crying and the peach will sit down and be quiet...while she polishes off a pound of skittles. this detail will mean nothing to any of you men reading, but to you women...i had skipped nursing jack at his last feeding and opted for a bottle which left me...full. so with hooter hider in place and black sweater up i began trying to discreetly feed the boy while a constant stream of passengers filed by and georgia experimented with varying degrees of cold air...which helped me transition nicely from sweaty to clammy. perfect. right as i was about to begin feeding jdub, marcos, the happy flight attendant with a nice manicure shows up next to me. i am caught off guard and jack pays the price with a steady stream of milk shooting into his eye. at the same time gk now has all air pointing at me going full blast and marcos wants to chat about an infant life vest. seriously?? marcos, i know you dont lactate and im fairly confident you dont have small children, but surely it is clear to you from your vantage point above me that i am blinding my infant, exposing myself and in the event of a water landing would just as soon take my chances. he continues on, 'if you cannot find your infant life vest in the event of a water landing (arent those more accurately called crashes anyway) see me and i will get you one.' really, marcos, when this plane goes down and all 150 passengers are panicked, youd like me to bring my two children up and down the aisle until we find you to request an infant life vest? wow.

of course i didnt say anything. i just nodded my head and continued to shower jack. however, i did manage to remember my manners this time and thank him profusely before he walked away. within moments, jack was fed and happy and georgia was happily eating skittles. i even managed to wipe the goatee off of jacks face before landing. clearly a successful day of travel.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

the day!

so ill post a few thoughts at length when i dont have jack on my lap drooling and gk setting up a tea party for me in her running late already, but i wanted to post a quick pic from the big day...the inauguration of president barack obama. it was unbelievable to be there and witness such a great moment in history with some rockstar friends, brooke and paul kind who drove down from princeton to witness the event with us. it was everything id hoped itd be and more....and i didnt freak out with 2 million people around proud.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

because im the lamest

im finally posting a pic of jack...hes 4 months old today and this is only his second appearance on the blog. im a terrible mother and proving that whole second baby theory. hes awesome and his sister still rocks. hes huge weighing over 16 lbs at his last appt...i keep telling gk to watch her fingers when he starts rolling over and to start protecting her plate of food...hes putting down rice cereal like a champ and has only requested a side of a-1 steak sauce once.


there are many things that make me highly uncomfortable...turbulence, 4 inch heels, strapless bras, bleachers, and crowds with lots of children. im fine on a playground, im great in a classroom teaching, but parties with lots of children freak me out. i would rather sit in a car in minot north dakota without heat than be at a party with the little people running wild. so imagine the scenario that played out a couple of weeks ago when one of my bestest friends in the world was hosting her 5th annual thanksmas bash. this event is always a blast, tons of food, drinks and people. and because my dear friend is THE most social person you have ever met, because she LOVES lots of children and because she would never leave ANYONE out, she sent the invites out and the rsvps began pouring in. we decided to drive down for the weekend and get our holiday party on at the hotel friddell aka her house. it was all good and i was feeling ready for the shindig all day long. doors opened at 4pm sharp and the peeps started rolling in one after another. of course all the couples sans kids and singles arrived first...i vaguely remember what it was like to be on time before kids. at around 5:30, the families with kiddos started showing up. i could feel my stress level rising with every gleeful squeal and snotty nose that walked through the door. i began to hold jack and georgia close to me as i scouted out with my eagle eye the sickest kids to avoid...i know, youre realizing how ridiculous this telling you, i realize it, too. i even realized it then, i just couldnt control it. at around 6:30 and 40 adults + 20 children later, i retreated up to the guest room we were staying in with both of the kids.

it was impossible to supervise that number of people and rather than continue my death grip on my kids in the corner, i did what any crazy mother having a panic attack would do...i bribed georgia to follow me upstairs. within the calm walls of my room, i began to relax and feel better. it took less than two minutes for the peach to ask 'what are we doing up here?' um...well, sweetie, we are just taking a little break and hanging out just the three of us. isnt this fun? 'no mama, i want to go play chase with the kids downstairs'. okay, honey we could do that or we could put on makeup! perfect. yes, i was clearly desperate, but at least i wasnt trying to catch my breath. so, makeup it was. and lotion. and jewelry. and before i knew it, the families cleared (those pesky bedtimes kept the night short) and i was able to spend the rest of the evening with my friends without white knuckles hanging onto my kiddos.