Friday, October 25, 2013

Overheard & Said

  • "Mom, I'm just a little tired and crabby."
  • "Sharing makes me crabby and it makes me want to walk away."
  • F: "Mama, I need to go to school." | M: "What do you need to learn?" | F: "I need to learn to share."
  • "Mom!  My imagination is falling down!"
  • "Toothpaste is not a snack."
  • "Do NOT wipe your nose in books!"

Monday, October 21, 2013

Patience: not a virtue in my house.

Yesterday we cleaned up the back yard, put away all of the summer stuff (sandbox toys, lawn chairs, bikes and wagons), the lawn mower and the snow blower traded places, and Uriah pulled down his ice fishing stuff (priorities, people).  Our snow shovels took up a forward position by the back door.  The wind chimes came down, I cleaned out one last garden for the season and the gutters were checked for excess junk.  The dark clouds moved in and the wind picked up.  A little bit of rain fell.  And Finn proceeded to ask every four minutes - all day long - when the snow was going to start.

It didn't really snow at all up here and Finn woke up in a bear of a mood because of it.  So while he moped around the house this morning, alternately looking outside and sighing heavily, and making a construction site all over my piano, I spent this morning doing the most mundane things known to man: finishing up the laundry, cleaning the fish tank and washing some windows.  And trying not to be frustrated every time I had to answer that the snow would come when it was good and ready.

For about twenty solid seconds, the snow came down in teeny tiny flakes during lunch and Finn pressed his sticky, jelly face right up against my freshly cleaned window and screamed with excitement and asked where his snow suit was.

And then the snow stopped.

He looked at me with his little brow furrowed and said through his teeth (his new way to talk when he's frustrated):  "That was not enough to fill up my back yard!"

This was 6 months ago. I'm okay with waiting a little bit longer for snow to fill up my backyard.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Fall into you.

Last night we celebrated being The Hefters.  Abby baby-sat Finn (for the first time alone and almost successfully.  Another story for another time, but I will tell you this: 3 year olds are the best nanny-cam ever. Given a little pressure, they crumble like a house of cards.), we got to power shop through a few stores to find Finn a Halloween costume, found out after waiting for 30 minutes that I'm not eligible for a phone upgrade until April (I should probably stop dropping mine), and Uriah let me dream in the Coach store for 10 whole minutes (I'm never brave enough to go in there with Finn in tow).  He told me that the 4 year anniversary present was not, in fact, a $400 purse ($100 for every year I've put up with him seemed logical to me).  We had dinner downtown and we made each other laugh.  A lot.  We might have decided that we should get a cat...strictly for writing-muse purposes only.  We ate ice cream in the car on the way home singing John Denver songs off-key (well, I sang them off-key, obviously not Uriah) and we ended the night in our favorite way...reading in bed.  (Oh, you dirty minds.  This blog is wholesome.)

And I told him this morning that I would choose him all over again.
In a heartbeat.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Decide what to be and go be it.

Every single song on my play list spoke to me at the gym this morning (yes, even the Eminen song that never fails to push me from a tra-la-la steady, light jog into run for your life, there's a giant freaking bear behind you!  You have no idea how much I need that motivation every. single. time. And yes, I get it from a white rapper who uses profanity.  We take it where we can get it).  And so I pushed myself a little harder, ran a little further, and as I worked on my breathing (so, so hard for me to master) I let my mind trip over the words blasting in my ears.

This has been swimming in my brain ever since: Decide what to be and go be it.

I want to write more, but instead, over the weekend we cleaned the house.  Fall cleaning, if you will.  We moved furniture and dusted and swept in places that hadn't seen a broom or a rag for months.  Words bubbled up in my brain as I was making beds and emptying the dishwasher and folding laundry.  And before I could put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) I was consumed with a 3 year old and trains and cars and the library and dinner and baths and bedtimes and church and we fell down tired into our beds every night; the weekend gone before I'd done something want to do.  Doesn't that sound selfish?

I want to write more, so in the midst of my cleaning frenzy over the weekend, I decided to carve out a space that would be conducive to writing - somewhere that I would feel creative and comfortable and inspired.  I've thought for a while now about bringing my computer out to the Artist's Cottage because I love that space, and as we were shoving and organizing in the house on Saturday morning, I told Abby we were moving my desk out to the cottage. It works because Finn can be in here with me and occupied (paints, play dough, car mat, dump trucks, puzzles) without me wondering how many not-so-secret cereal snacks he's going to sneak out of the kitchen (the boy is a bottomless pit already!).

I want to write more, and I've thought about writing the story of Uriah and me, something for our kids and our grandkids to have before we both lose our marbles and rock quietly next to each other in a rest home, our stories locked up inside our minds.  Of course, that story is entirely interwoven with Abby and how we got her and the court-house-shit-show that ensued for years (I'm eternally grateful to a youth spent reading Nancy Drew; I consider her my mentor), and I'm still trying to decide how that all works, because the story - while it is Abby's - is also integral to Uriah and me and the family we've fought for and struggled with and created.  But it will get started...that story, I mean.  Because it, too, is bubbling inside my head, looking for a way to get out.

I want to write more, so initiative taken.  Space created.

Decide what to be and go be it.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Catching a mouse.

Yesterday Uriah's restaurant had a guest-chef event, which I couldn't attend know, kids, and since my husband was working, no date.  Anyway, it turns out they needed some cheese for the dessert course of the meal, so it fell to me and my copious amounts of stay-at-home-mom free time to drive into Duluth to pick up some fancy Minnesota cheeses. 

I made Finn a pb&j, plugged the address into my phone and we were off on a rainy adventure.  We drove through a really, really, really nice neighborhood and up to a really, really, really nice grocery store (I texted Uriah - later, because I do not text and drive, mom - that he needs to make more money because I found our next neighborhood.  He did not find that amusing.).  I immediately felt out of place with my no-make-up/windblown hair and my son and his semi-wet pants from playing at the park earlier, his rain boots, and his sticky jelly fingers and cheeks.  But we pressed the cheese mecca of Duluth.

Now, I like cheese. but I was overwhelmed; top that with the fact that this is for a meal being served by a James Beard Award Nominated chef (it's like the Oscars for Chef's.  It's a big deal.) and I had an anxiety attack right in the middle of the artisan cheese section.  My heart started beating really fast, my palms got sweaty, and Finn decided to use my distraction to his advantage and take off his sweatshirt, swing it around his head and sing The Itsy Bitsy Spider to all of the shoppers hovering over the fresh sushi case right behind us.  The cheese guy looked at me kind of crazy when I told him I needed 8 pounds of Minnesota cheese.  They didn't have a lot of Minnesota cheese options; Wisconsin, however, makes a crap-ton of cheese (I guess that's why they're called Cheese Heads?  Who knew...).  I probably called Uriah 3 or 4 times in my panicked state, trying to choose correctly.  He had a lot on his plate (which is why I was sent on this stupid errand in the first place) and really didn't care what I picked, but he tried to be helpful and keep the exasperation out of his voice when he said: "Just pick some, whatever you choose will be fine!"  Then the cheese guy showed me a cheddar cheese that was $80/pound and I knew I had to get away from him.  I made my frantic selections of Minnesota and Wisconsin cheeses, attempted to add the ounces and pounds up in my head (math is not my strongest subject) and prayed there would be enough.

I corralled my vocal son, who at this point had moved on to a rousing rendition of the Move It, Move It song from Madagascar (including some sweet dance moves) and we headed to pick up the last of the items on our list, which read (I kid you not): fancy tomato paste and Minnesota honey.

We finally made it to the check-out after avoiding a near-catastrophic melt-down in the soup aisle because there was a can of Cars soup with Mater on it that Finn felt he really needed to have.  We did not buy it.  I slung my basket on the counter, ready to be done with this chore from hell.

I was explaining to the check-out boy the reason for all the cheese when the sweet old man bagging my groceries told me that I should tell people I was trying to catch a mouse.  He then asked me - straight faced - to come back and tell him which cheese the mouse preferred.

$200 worth of cheese to catch a mouse.  I laughed all the way to the car.

From this morning.  I had all of my laundry sorted and ready to go when Finn decided to claim the clothes for himself.  He told me he was making islands for his boat.