Monday, August 30, 2010

Mother May I Have Ten Snacks?

One day I am going to actually keep track of the amount of time I spend in a day making some sort of food for the girls.

They eat NON STOP.
I thought teenage boys were supposed to be bad, but you'd think these girls were going out for JV football the way they eat.

From the moment they spring out of their beds in the morning they are asking to be fed.
“O-mee-ows, Mama. O-mee-ows.” (Oatmeal)
“Mama, I’m weally weally hungwy. My tummy hurts weal bad.”
This one is followed by the backhand on the forehead, international symbol for "I will surely perish."

It’s like they’ll wither and die without it
– Something I know will definitely NOT happen to a 3 year old and an almost 2 year old who are both approaching 40 pounds.

Every morning, I get my eyelids pryed open with a tiny index finger and then I get dragged downstairs well before I’m ready and spend the next hour in the kitchen cooking oatmeal, then eggs, then peeling mandarins and fishing for raisins.

And for some reason, I have grown to dread getting their sippies ready.
When they ask for something to drink, I often get cold chills.
I don’t know why.
I guess it’s because they always ask for something to drink just as I think I’m done, maybe, with food service for a few minutes.

After they eat and I clean the oatmeal bits out of their hair and wipe their sticky fingers and then make a good solid attempt at pulling the bib over Tessa’s hair without getting everything that’s stuck on IT in her hair, I get them down and I could bet the farm that one of them will MAYBE give me about 15 minutes before they’re asking for something else to eat.

If they are not asking for something else to eat,
it’s because their fingers are already poking around in MY breakfast and shoving it in their own mouths.

My breakfast that is no doubt cold because I made it when I made their FIRST breakfast and it just sat there as I made their breakfast #’s 2, 3, and 4.

This makes for interesting food journaling on my part.

I’m on about my fifth go-round of Weight Watchers now, and have been doing really well with journaling, but this morning learned my lesson not to count my egg points before they’ve
Hatched because this is what my food journal looks like after Tessa came a-hunting.

I had just relinquished half my breakfast to Tessa and at this moment, my mom came down and headed out the door with her food in hand grabbing her keys to head off to work.
It was like everything froze.
Their eyes locked on her like cats would if a mouse ran by.
Their pupils dilated.
I could almost hear their pulses quicken.
Time slowed like it does in a vampire movie just before a kill.

They went running after her asking for a taste before they really even knew what it was she was eating.
It could have been bran toast covered in rubber cement and they would have asked for some.
If it goes in your mouth, they want it.
Actually, even if it DOESN’T go in your mouth they want it, but that’s a different story.

She gave them a taste.

”Mmmmmm. Mama! This is good! Can I have some?”
“Sure. I mean, I’m already in the kitchen cleaning up your LAST snack.”

By the time lunch time rolls around, there is a pile of dishes half way to the molding.
And that’s just noon.

This lasts all day.
I am allowed little snippets of time here and there to shower and pee and smooth wild wisps of hair, but that’s about it.

Afterall, when you’re a mom, you might as well just forget about any personal needs that last longer than 20 minutes.

A 30 minute interval?
That’s a fantasy creature right up there with a leprechaun.

I’m thinking of just setting up a cot in the laundry room so I can have quick access.
A servant’s quarters, of sorts.

It’s really no wonder all my clothes have bits of food on them all the time and my skin feels shiny.
Anyone’s would if they spent 20 out of 24 hours standing in front of a pot of boiling water or sizzling oil.

It’s not even a joke that when I began writing this, the laptop was set up on the kitchen counter so I could write and pour kefir simultaneously.

Perhaps instead of teaching them things like ABCs or number sequence, I should start with something more practical for ME, like how to spread peanut butter without tearing the bread and should post sign ups for a course called
“You TOO can break off a chunk of cheese!”

Monday, August 23, 2010


I have a reoccurring dream.

I'm running in an open space, and then just as if I'm on some sort of stair-stepper, I start pushing my feet against the air -
Climbing higher and higher into the sky and before I know it I'm soaring -
Showing off to people below who are pointing and waving and awestruck.
In the dream I'm powerful and set apart.
The only one who can do what I'm doing.

When I wake up, I'm smiling.

Something has happened to me lately.
I had been walking around in a fog. A daze.
Every day feeling the same - Like a record skipping the same tune over and over again.

I don't know what it really is, but there's a new fire in me.
It's like I got up one morning in the last few weeks with super powers.

I feel alive.
I feel invigorated.
I feel hopeful and optimistic.
I feel happy and blessed.

Not that I wasn't feeling those things at all before, but all of a sudden, they're just more amped up.

I think it happened about two weeks ago.
One morning, I opened my eyes and felt a ping of energy.
I felt every excuse for how I was spending my time fade away and I saw things more clearly.
Then, I did the best thing that anyone can do with that sort of feeling, I think -

I acted on it.

That day I worked out for 2 hours. I ate good. I smiled more. I let the kids bounce in their beds at nap time and sat downstairs listening to their giggles on the baby monitor.
Instead of charging upstairs to tell them to knock it off - I sat down with a glass of water and just listened and I giggled too.
The next day, I did it all again - pushing myself. Challenging my own beliefs.

Now, I know after years of looming depressive feelings and equal time of trying to fight off those feelings that this recent soaring mood may be just a crest of a hill that will soon start heading downward,
but I'm choosing to enjoy it while it's here.

It's like all of a sudden colors are more vibrant, food has more flavor and I'm breathing more deeply.

I attribute a lot of it to the exercise. It's been 1.5 hours + every day for about a week and a half -
But I also attribute it to conscious decision and hard work and prayer.

Instead of feeling mired down in my Groundhog Day moments of the every day, I'm choosing to make those days different in some small way.
It takes thought and planning.

When I boil it all down,
I'm absorbing the blessings.

The other day, when Chloe refused to take a nap in her own bed and the only way she'd sleep was with me in my bed
which she repetitively says is "Weally weally comfy" -
She had finally drifted off to sleep and I lay there staring at her thick long eyelashes and perfectly still lips and there was a flash of remembrance of when we were trying to get pregnant with her.

We tried and tried and nothing.
It seemed like a cruel joke.
Why would God make me with a mother's heart and then hold it back from me?

I remembered finally getting pregnant. I remembered the elation.
Then I remembered the feeling of the celebratory dinner, when I felt myself start to bleed.

The panic.
The pleading.
The pain.
The life draining loss.

That experience changed me in ways I cannot explain to most people who haven't lost something they really really wanted.

It taught me that true growth comes in the painful moments - Not the easy ones.

It taught me that sometimes the best plans for us are seen when our own get scrapped.

I remembered getting pregnant again right away, and how I felt when at 10 weeks I started to bleed again.
I've never prayed so hard in all my life.

But one tearful, panic stricken ultrasound later, there was that flickering heart on the screen. The baby was OK.
Chloe was OK.
Her name, meaning "Verdant and blooming" had real reason.

I'll never stop thinking of her as my redemptive child.

And just like God, she's also been my most challenging.
The squeaky wheel.
The dramatic one.
(May that serve as a reminder to be careful what you wish for.

All those thoughts were in that moment as she smacked her lips and rolled over on my pillow.

Take it in, Kerri.
Remember where you came from. Look at where you're going.

Live every moment as it was intended.
Stop waiting for the next perfect moment.
Stop waiting for the temperature to be right and my weight to be right and our money to be right.

THIS is what's right. What if this moment is all you've got?

So something's clicked.
I'm really loving things right now.

I even closed my eyes tonight and took a good long sniff off the top of Tessa's post dinner hair so that I could remember what toddler pizza oil head smells like.

I took Alena school shopping today and let her get all skinny jeans instead of some sensible ones because she's a pre-teen and how she feels really matters right now.

Nothing should hold her back from being fabulous, and gosh darn it - Nothing should hold ME back, either.

So I'll walk and I'll run and I'll sweat and
I'll do my makeup even when I'm just going to the park.

And then I take a nap next to one of the precious little beings in this world that remind me that I'm alive and that I have a reason to stop just walking and fly.