Friday, April 23, 2010

I Ran So Far Away...

New Balance 760 - WR760KM
I have always prided myself on the fact that I do not run. I thought I never would. But...never say never because: I have decided to take up running.

After a long conversation with a good Mama-friend I realized I need a physical outlet for my stress and emotions.

I have ben so physically inactive the last 6 months or so and it was really having a negative impact on my life. (big surprise)

I've never thought I would enjoy running AT ALL but at this point I was willing to give it a shot.

The first morning I suited up in an ancient Adidas sports bra, a yoga tank and some exercise capris. I went to a circular path near my house and gave it my best shot. Exhausted and sweaty after only one mile, I decided to go for a bike ride, then a swim.

The next day I ran again...and the next. The following day I started my period and felt crappy. I didn't push myself to go. I was also so incredibly sore. It felt good to work inactive muscles but my ankles were throbbing too. I decided to get some new shoes just for running. I let the boys pick them out for me...of course they chose the hottest pink they could find!

The first time I laced them up LeeLee said: "Mama, you look cool..."

Thanks, dude. I feel cool.

But here we are, a week past my period and I haven't laced my shoes back up. I realized that the dog park directly across the street from my house is also a running path. And a better one than I had been going to. So tomorrow I am back at it, with a vengeance. I'm actually looking forward to it.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Conversations with My Boys:Secret Code

huge.75.379772.JPG.jpgI I






I worry constantly about my boys. And between school and my work and sharing custody there doesn't always seem to be a good time to really talk to them. I'll ask how their day was and usually I just get 'ok.'

Last night after we read stories (they are both really into poems right now and the idea of writing their own books) we were cuddling. They were both playing with plastic swords/knives and Moomers said: 'I'll put this in my throat and die.' He was playing, but I was very upset. He has said things like this before and is very self-deprecating in general.

Both of the boys are going through this weird morbid phase where they talk about death a lot and don't seem to understand the permanence of it. I don't want them to fear death but I don't want them to think it's something to take lightly.

But, with everything that has been going on lately I am shaky emotionally and this just set me off. I cried and told him to NEVER say that again. That he is a special boy and my baby and I can't stand the idea of something ever happening to him.

My tears set him off and he cried too. Then LeeLee started crying. Soon we were all hugging and crying. LeeLee said 'Mama, I love you. I love you so much. I miss you so much when I can't be with you' and Moomers said 'Mama I love you and I don't want you to hate my Papa.'

I promised I would try to be nicer to their Papa and told them how much I love them, at all times. Moomers asked if I would still love him if he was a dinosaur. I said of course.

Then, just as thins were settling down LeeLee said he's going to miss me when he dies. I made the mistake of saying 'no, I will probably die first' and he freaked out and said he can't stand the idea of my skin falling off and me becoming bones and dirt in a boneyard, maybe a boneyard FAR FAR AWAY! I soothed him the best I could and told them that we were all here and alive and the best thing we can do here is to love ourselves, love each other and be kind to others.

We decided, well they decided that we need a code word so if anyone is feeling sad or upset and needs to talk we can use the code. They decided we would all pretend to be gorillas beating our chests and that would be the signal that we need to talk and cuddle.
I felt uneasy when I kissed them good night and sure enough, an hour later LeeLee woke up crying. I scooped him up and put him in my bed and spent the whole night holding his sweaty little body, so much bigger than when we co-slept and getting kicked in the side as he stretched out diagonally to hog the bed for the rest of the night.

I woke up feeling exhausted and sad but at least we had a good talk.

Silly Things

barack-obama-kissing-dog.jpg

*photo from scrapetv.com






Yes, I voted for Obama.

BUT--

I don't talk about politics. Not at home, not with friends really, I try to avoid posting political stuff on my Facebook page... I just hate how divided our country is, especially now. I don't care to change anyone's mind. I have my opinions but I would rather express them through voting than arguing and I prefer to find things I have in common with people.

So imagine my surprise last night when Moomer's said (out of the clear blue sky)

"Mama: I love Obama. I love him so much, I want to kiss him right on the lips!"

Um, ok.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sharing My Boys: a bitter rant



The worst part about being divorced is sharing my littles with their dad. I know I should say 'our littles' but I still have feelings of anger and bitterness towards him that I am trying to work through. It's going to take time.

I had zero free time the first four years of their lives, until they went to school. I loved being home with them so much and will always be grateful for that time with them, completely immersed in their small worlds.

When I first left their dad, then later when they started school I was giddy at the prospect of free time. We never had babysitters or date nights and very rarely gave each other real breaks from parenting. (wonder why our marriage didn't work?!)

When I first started dropping them off with him after I moved out I would hop in my car (especially once I had a snazzy new car and was no longer driving his car) turn up the radio and zoom off, towards my freedom. (aka single mom duplex)

But now that I have had plenty of time to reconnect with myself I value my time with the boys more than ever, and really more than anything. I love those boys with every fiber of my being and sometimes dropping them off with him is more than I can bear.

I'm not saying he's a bad father: we have major differences in opinion as far as certain things go but I know he loves them. I just hate being away from them so much.

He has yet another new girlfriend, another single mom. This chafes for several reasons, most of them having to do with the fact that he always told me he didn't like being tied down to family life, having to compromise his personal freedom and commit to a monogamous lifestyle filled with restrictions and obligations. So the idea that he is willing to commit to someone's else's family structure makes me want to vomit.

I guess if this goes anywhere I'll be meeting her soon. I know this is mean, but I was shocked when I saw her Facebook pictures and learned that she is very cute. S is not a bad-looking guy by any means but 8 years of dealing with his b.s has left me immune to his meager charms.

He always told me he preferred "hot, athletic blonds" and that he wasn't at all a fan of my tattoos, or tattoos at all.

When we met I had dyed black hair, he quickly convinced me to grow out my natural color and take out all of my piercings. If he could have peeled off my tattoos too, he would have, completely erased my personality and programmed in another one--or left it totally blank and pliant.

So imagine my surprise when I see that she is yet another in a string of tattooed brunettes he's been with since I left.

She has an adorable boy with a cool name, not too much older than my boys. I'm sure they like the company although I hate them having to share his attention with another kid and Moomers in particular seems confused and upset at the idea of yet another woman in his dad's life.

There was one seemingly meaningless fling with an old high school friend he had somewhat recently. For some ungodly reason he thought it was appropriate to introduce her to the boys. Something about her scared Moomers really badly and he had nightmares for three nights, waking up screaming and saying that "the lady with the big, big tummy was trying to steal LeeLee" Marvelous.

I waited months to introduce the boys to C and talked to them a lot about him before they met. I wanted them to know who he was and what we were doing together beforehand. I know any new person is an adjustment but I wanted to try to make sure we were pretty solid before taking the next step.

It's an ongoing process to gauge their reactions to our situation. We moved from my single-Mama bachelorette pad to a rad new house in the suburbs--a quiet place big enough for all of us with sidewalks for the boys to learn to ride their bikes and a great public school close by. But I am always on the lookout for signs of issues that I need to address with either C or the boys. And C calls me out on any parenting flaws he observes, he doesn't just blindly go along with me, and he truly loves the boys.

S texted me earlier to say the boys were sick and could I stay home with them tomorrow? I am not sick: he is. Great. I have a million balls in the air with work and I am getting close to PMS'ing. This is so not what I need right now.

But, in July I will be getting my first tattoo in over 8 years. Since right before I met S. I can't wait. Oh, and C loves tattooed brunettes, but me in particular.



I do hope S and I can be friends one day. But now, it's just not possible.


It still tastes good...


photos by www.notderbypie.com

Ok so I worked for a while today on this tart. There was no picture of it in the book and once I started putting it together I started to completely stress out.

I am not at all experienced with fruit desserts so it shouldn't have surprised me that I have a ways to go before mastering them. I have never really made crisps or betties or cobblers...I usually have stuck with chocolate-y cookies and cakes and bars. I had no clue what the dough consistency should have been or what the finished pre-baked tart would look like.

I thought the dough should have covered all of the fruit but it turns out it should have looked like this:
blueberrytart3.gif

That is not quite what mine looked like. When I completed my dough it seemed a bit damp but again, I wasn't sure what it was supposed to feel like. I got a little frustrated as I rolled it out because it seemed thin and was tearing easily.

After rolling it out way too many times I finally just went for it (at C's urging--I was ready to just give up) and immediately filling started oozing out. Completely demoralized, I threw it it the fridge to chill and pre-heated the oven.

After 20 minutes I checked on the tart and it was super oozy everywhere. I panicked and managed to throw the whole oozy, crumbly mess into a pie plate and cram it back in the oven. (this was before I found this helpful blog entry, sadly)

Anyway, it's through cooking and after a quick taste I think that although it's ugly as sin it will be still yummy with ice cream. I have a ways to go with this fruit dessert thing. It's a good thing it's Springtime so I can get lots of practice in!






Time to Get My Bake On


As I lay next to C in bed I am contemplating what I am going to bake once I get up and stroll into the kitchen. I've had butter softening on the counter overnight and I'm pretty sure it is about to become part of a tart crust.


My friend C brought this lovely book to my attention and I haven't been able to put it down. I've made some yummy banana cupcakes from the book already (they are what made me go buy the book instead of just checking it out from the library)

The Craft of Baking: Cakes, Cookies, and Other Sweets with Ideas for Inventing Your Own

Over the past couple of weeks or so I have gathered better ingredients to add to my pantry. I love baking and have done a lot of it--but now I want to add some finesse and good-quality ingredients to my repertoire. The great part is that my boyfriend is an amazing chef and noticed that our pantry was slowly being stocked with good flour and artisan chocolate.
Product Details Product Details

I really really really want to get (finally) a Kitchen Aid stand mixer. I love my little hand mixer but...it can't do everything I need it to.
KitchenAid Artisan 5-Quart Stand Mixers

I saw this book on Amazon that I also want to check out...what is YOUR favorite baking book or recipe?

Baking

Oh, and I totally need/want this:

Fiesta Products French Style Sil-pin Silicone Rolling Pin, Red

Being a Mama

Moomers:


I can't believe it, but my little boys are coming up very quickly on their fifth birthday. (it's in August, but still...) They have almost completed their very first year of school. They are tall and chatty and hilarious. They are not babies anymore.

Moomers:

When I left their father they were still my babies. They still nursed, they still slept with me, they didn't want to leave my side even for a minute. They stayed home all day with me.

Now, none of that applies. They like going to school and hanging out with other people and sometimes say 'you leave now, Mama.' They write their names, create amazing art projects and sound out words.

They are becoming aware of the vast world around them. They tell me of their desire to travel to places like Hawaii, Egypt, Japan. (to 'kick Ninja butt' but still... ;)

LeeLee:

I can't believe I get to hang out with and raise these amazing little people. I love spending time with them, watching them play, answering their silly questions and hearing their little chipmunk voices sing "Ice, Ice Baby."

LeeLee:
It's been hard for me to maintain my blog lately but I started it to record my journey as a mother and I miss that. I want to remember this time.